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Henry V

Act II, Scene 1

London. A street.
 
[Enter Corporal NYM and Lieutenant BARDOLPH]
 
BARDOLPH
Well met, Corporal Nym.
 
NYM
Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.
 
BARDOLPH
What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?
 
NYM
For my part, I care not: I say little; but when time shall serve, there shall be smiles; but that shall be as it may. I dare not fight; but I will wink and hold out mine iron: it is a simple one; but what though? it will toast cheese, and it will endure cold as another man's sword will: and there's an end.
 
BARDOLPH
I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends; and we'll be all three sworn brothers to France: let it be so, good Corporal Nym.
 
NYM
Faith, I will live so long as I may, that's the certain of it; and when I cannot live any longer, I will do as I may: that is my rest, that is the rendezvous of it.
 
BARDOLPH
It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell Quickly: and certainly she did you wrong; for you were troth-plight to her.
 
NYM
I cannot tell: things must be as they may: men may sleep, and they may have their throats about them at that time; and some say knives have edges. It must be as it may: though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I cannot tell.
 
[Enter PISTOL and Hostess]
 
BARDOLPH
Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife: good corporal, be patient here. How now, mine host Pistol!
 
PISTOL
Base tike, callst thou me host? Now, by this hand, I swear, I scorn the term; Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.
 
HOSTESS
No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot lodge and board a dozen or fourteen gentlewomen that live honestly by the prick of their needles, but it will be thought we keep a bawdy house straight.
 
[NYM and PISTOL draw]
O well a day, Lady, if he be not drawn now! we shall see wilful adultery and murder committed.
 
BARDOLPH
Good lieutenant! good corporal! offer nothing here.
 
NYM
Pish!
 
PISTOL
Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-eared cur of Iceland!
 
HOSTESS
Good Corporal Nym, show thy valor, and put up your sword.
 
NYM
Will you shog off? I would have you solus.
 
PISTOL
'Solus,' egregious dog? O viper vile; the 'solus' in thy most mervailous face; the 'solus' in thy teeth, and in thy throat, and in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy, and, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth! I do retort the 'solus' in thy bowels; for I can take, and Pistol's cock is up, and flashing fire will follow.
 
NYM
I am not Barbason; you cannot conjure me. I have an humor to knock you indifferently well. If you grow foul with me, Pistol, I will scour you with my rapier, as I may, in fair terms: if you would walk off, I would prick your guts a little, in good terms, as I may: and that's the humor of it.
 
PISTOL
O braggart vile and damned furious wight! The grave doth gape, and doting death is near; Therefore exhale.
 
BARDOLPH
Hear me, hear me what I say: he that strikes the first stroke, I'll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier.
 
[Draws]
 
PISTOL
An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate. Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give: Thy spirits are most tall.
 
NYM
I will cut thy throat, one time or other, in fair terms: that is the humor of it.
 
PISTOL
'Couple a gorge!' That is the word. I thee defy again. O hound of Crete, thinkst thou my spouse to get? No; to the spital go, and from the powdering tub of infamy fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid's kind, Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse: I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly for the only she; and--pauca, there's enough. Go to.
 
[Enter the Boy]
 
BOY
Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master, and you, hostess: he is very sick, and would to bed. Good Bardolph, put thy face between his sheets, and do the office of a warming-pan. Faith, he's very ill.
 
BARDOLPH
Away, you rogue!
 
HOSTESS
By my troth, he'll yield the crow a pudding one of these days. The king has killed his heart. Good husband, come home presently.
 
[Exeunt Hostess and Boy]
 
BARDOLPH
Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to France together: why the devil should we keep knives to cut one another's throats?
 
PISTOL
Let floods oreswell, and fiends for food howl on!
 
NYM
You'll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?
 
PISTOL
Base is the slave that pays.
 
NYM
That now I will have: that's the humor of it.
 
PISTOL
As manhood shall compound: push home.
 
[They draw]
 
BARDOLPH
By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I'll kill him; by this sword, I will.
 
PISTOL
Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.
 
BARDOLPH
Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be friends: an thou wilt not, why, then, be enemies with me too. Prithee, put up.
 
NYM
I shall have my eight shillings I won of you at betting?
 
PISTOL
A noble shalt thou have, and present pay; And liquor likewise will I give to thee, And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood: I'll live by Nym, and Nym shall live by me; Is not this just? for I shall sutler be Unto the camp, and profits will accrue. Give me thy hand.
 
NYM
I shall have my noble?
 
PISTOL
In cash most justly paid.
 
NYM
Well, then, that's the humor of it.
 
[Re-enter Hostess]
 
HOSTESS
As ever you came of women, come in quickly to Sir John. Ah, poor heart! he is so shaked of a burning quotidian tertian, that it is most lamentable to behold. Sweet men, come to him.
 
NYM
The king hath run bad humors on the knight; that's the even of it.
 
PISTOL
Nym, thou hast spoke the right; His heart is fracted and corroborate.
 
NYM
The king is a good king: but it must be as it may; he passes some humors and careers.
 
PISTOL
Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins we will live.

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