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    Act 4. Scene II

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    SCENE II. A public road near Coventry.

    Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH
    FALSTAFF
    Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry; fill me a
    bottle of sack: our soldiers shall march through;
    we'll to Sutton Co'fil' tonight.

    BARDOLPH
    Will you give me money, captain?

    FALSTAFF
    Lay out, lay out.

    BARDOLPH
    This bottle makes an angel.

    FALSTAFF
    An if it do, take it for thy labour; and if it make
    twenty, take them all; I'll answer the coinage. Bid
    my lieutenant Peto meet me at town's end.

    BARDOLPH
    I will, captain: farewell.

    Exit

    FALSTAFF
    If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am a soused
    gurnet. I have misused the king's press damnably.
    I have got, in exchange of a hundred and fifty
    soldiers, three hundred and odd pounds. I press me
    none but good house-holders, yeoman's sons; inquire
    me out contracted bachelors, such as had been asked
    twice on the banns; such a commodity of warm slaves,
    as had as lieve hear the devil as a drum; such as
    fear the report of a caliver worse than a struck
    fowl or a hurt wild-duck. I pressed me none but such
    toasts-and-butter, with hearts in their bellies no
    bigger than pins' heads, and they have bought out
    their services; and now my whole charge consists of
    ancients, corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of
    companies, slaves as ragged as Lazarus in the
    painted cloth, where the glutton's dogs licked his
    sores; and such as indeed were never soldiers, but
    discarded unjust serving-men, younger sons to
    younger brothers, revolted tapsters and ostlers
    trade-fallen, the cankers of a calm world and a
    long peace, ten times more dishonourable ragged than
    an old faced ancient: and such have I, to fill up
    the rooms of them that have bought out their
    services, that you would think that I had a hundred
    and fifty tattered prodigals lately come from
    swine-keeping, from eating draff and husks. A mad
    fellow met me on the way and told me I had unloaded
    all the gibbets and pressed the dead bodies. No eye
    hath seen such scarecrows. I'll not march through
    Coventry with them, that's flat: nay, and the
    villains march wide betwixt the legs, as if they had
    gyves on; for indeed I had the most of them out of
    prison. There's but a shirt and a half in all my
    company; and the half shirt is two napkins tacked
    together and thrown over the shoulders like an
    herald's coat without sleeves; and the shirt, to say
    the truth, stolen from my host at Saint Alban's, or
    the red-nose innkeeper of Daventry. But that's all
    one; they'll find linen enough on every hedge.

    Enter the PRINCE and WESTMORELAND

    PRINCE HENRY
    How now, blown Jack! how now, quilt!

    FALSTAFF
    What, Hal! how now, mad wag! what a devil dost thou
    in Warwickshire? My good Lord of Westmoreland, I
    cry you mercy: I thought your honour had already been
    at Shrewsbury.

    WESTMORELAND
    Faith, Sir John,'tis more than time that I were
    there, and you too; but my powers are there already.
    The king, I can tell you, looks for us all: we must
    away all night.

    FALSTAFF
    Tut, never fear me: I am as vigilant as a cat to
    steal cream.

    PRINCE HENRY
    I think, to steal cream indeed, for thy theft hath
    already made thee butter. But tell me, Jack, whose
    fellows are these that come after?

    FALSTAFF
    Mine, Hal, mine.

    PRINCE HENRY
    I did never see such pitiful rascals.

    FALSTAFF
    Tut, tut; good enough to toss; food for powder, food
    for powder; they'll fill a pit as well as better:
    tush, man, mortal men, mortal men.

    WESTMORELAND
    Ay, but, Sir John, methinks they are exceeding poor
    and bare, too beggarly.

    FALSTAFF
    'Faith, for their poverty, I know not where they had
    that; and for their bareness, I am sure they never
    learned that of me.

    PRINCE HENRY
    No I'll be sworn; unless you call three fingers on
    the ribs bare. But, sirrah, make haste: Percy is
    already in the field.

    FALSTAFF
    What, is the king encamped?

    WESTMORELAND
    He is, Sir John: I fear we shall stay too long.

    FALSTAFF
    Well,
    To the latter end of a fray and the beginning of a feast
    Fits a dull fighter and a keen guest.

    Exeunt
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