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Nym. Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph. Bard. 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: xo and there's an end.

Bard. 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.

Bard. 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. must be conclusions. Well, I cannot tell.

Enter PISTOL and Hostess.


Bard. Here comes Ancient Pistol and his


the game of primero,-make my wager, stand to win or lose.

26. mare; Theobald's correction for name.

27. conclusions, attempts. Nym cautiously avails himself of the antiquity of the word.

wife good corporal, be patient here. How now,
mine host Pistol !

Pist. Base tike, call'st thou me host?
Now, by this hand, I swear, I scorn the term;
Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.

Host. 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.

Bard. Good lieutenant! good corporal! offer nothing here.

Nym. Pish!

Pist. Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prickear'd cur of Iceland!

Host. Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put up your sword.

Nym. Will you shog off? I would have you solus.

Pist. 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

31. tike, cur.

39. drawn; Theobald's probable emendation for Ff 'hewn.' 44. Iceland dog, white, longhaired dogs, in favour with ladies as lapdogs.

47. shog off, be packing.




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me. I have an humour 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: 60 if you would walk off, I would prick your guts a little, in good terms, as I may: and that's the humour of it.

Pist. O braggart vile and damned furious

The grave doth gape, and doting death is near;
Therefore exhale.

Bard. 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.
Pist. An oath of mickle might; and fury shall

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 humour of it.

I thee defy again.

O hound of Crete, think'st 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.

66. exhale, draw your sword.
72. tall, sturdy, valiant.
75. Couple a gorge'; prob-
ably designed corruption.

77. hound of Crete; the hunting-dogs of Crete were famous; but the term to Pistol is merely a sounding phrase.

79. the powdering-tub, used

in the treatment of a disease.



80. lazar kite of Cressid's kind; Troilus' faithless mistress Cressida, according to Henryson's Testament of Creseide, ended her days as a leper in the 'spital. The phrase 'kite of Cressid's kind' had already been used by Gascoigne.

Enter the Boy.

Boy. Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master, and you, hostess: he is very sick, and I would to bed. Good Bardolph, put thy face between his sheets, and do the office of a warming-pan. Faith, he's very ill.

Bard. Away, you rogue!

Host. 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.

Bard. 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?

Pist. Let floods o'erswell, and fiends for food howl on!

Nym. You'll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?

Pist. Base is the slave that pays.

Nym. That now I will have: that's the humour of it.

Pist. As manhood shall compound: push home. [They draw. Bard. By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I'll kill him; by this sword, I will.

Pist. Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.

Bard. 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 110

you at betting?

100. Base is the slave that pays; probably a play-house


IIO, III. omitted in accident.

Nym's speech is
Ff, clearly by


Pist. 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?

Pist. In cash most justly paid.

Nym. Well, then, that 's the humour of't.

Host. 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 humours on the knight; that's the even of it.

Pist. Nym, thou hast spoke the right;

His heart is fracted and corroborate.

Nym. The king is a good king: but it must be it may; he passes some humours and careers. Pist. Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins, we will live.



130. fracted, broken. ib. corroborate (used in a blundering way), probably for corrupted.

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132. passes careers, indulges in sallies of wit; 'to pass careers was a phrase of horsemanship, meaning to gallop to and fro.

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