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Henry IV, Part 1

Henry IV, Part 1 Translation Act 4, Scene 2

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Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH

FALSTAFF

Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry. Fill me a bottleof sack. Our soldiers shall march through. We’ll to Sutton Coldfield tonight.

FALSTAFF

Bardolph, go ahead of me to Coventry and get me a bottle of wine. Our soldiers will keep marching but we'll go to Sutton Coldfield tonight.

BARDOLPH

Will you give me money, captain?

BARDOLPH

Will you give me money for it, captain?

FALSTAFF

Lay out, lay out.

FALSTAFF

Pay for it yourself.

BARDOLPH

This bottle makes an angel.

BARDOLPH

That will make me an angel.

FALSTAFF

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

FALSTAFF

Well if it does, then keep it for your trouble. Even if it earns you twenty shillings, then keep them all, I can pay you for it. Tell my lieutenant Peto to meet me at the edge of the town.

BARDOLPH

I will, captain. Farewell.

BARDOLPH

I will, captain. Goodbye then.

Exit BARDOLPH

FALSTAFF

If I be not ashamed of my soldiers, I am a soused gurnet. I have misused the King’s press damnably. I havegot, in exchange of a hundred and fifty soldiers, threehundred and odd pounds. I press me none but good householders, yeomen’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 lief 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 theirbellies 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 servingmen, younger sons to younger brothers, revolted tapsters, and ostlers tradefallen, the cankers of a calm world and a long peace, ten times more dishonorable-ragged than an old feazed ancient; and suchhave 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 fellowmet 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 not a shirt and a half in all my company, and the half shirt is two napkins tacked together and thrown over the shoulders like a herald’s coat without sleeves; and the shirt, to say the truth, stolen from my host at Saint Albans or the red-nose innkeeper of Daventry. But that’s all one; they’ll find linen enough on every hedge.

FALSTAFF

If I'm not ashamed of my soldiers, then I'm a pickled fish! I have misused my position with the King terribly. In return for the one hundred and fifty men I have made fight in the army, I have received over three hundred pounds! All the men I have found have been good house-owners and the sons of successful farmers. I found men who were engaged to be married, men whose weddings had already been announced twice in church. I found a group of such privileged cowards, that they would rather hear the devil talk than hear the drums of war; they are more scared when they hear gunfire than a bird or a duck that has actually been shot! I only looked for the pampered citizens, whose hearts were about the same size as a pin-head, and they paid me so that they wouldn't have to fight. So now my whole section is made up of flag-bearers, corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of companies, and crooks who looked as disgusting as that cheap painted wall hanging of Lazarus, where the dogs are licking the sores on his body. These men were never meant to be soldiers—they are servants who have been fired for lying, they are younger sons to younger brothersrunaway barmen, and unemployed stable boys. They are like diseases in a world full of calm and peace, they are ten times more dishonorable and disgusting than a tattered old flag. And I've had to replace the men who have bribed me with these idiots. You would think that I had found a hundred and fifty men, dirty from looking after pigs and from eating scraps and husks. One crazy guy saw us all marching and told me that it looked like I had taken all of the dead bodies from the gallows and made them fight again— no-one has even seen something so terrifying! I can't march through Coventry with them, that's for sure. These men march with their legs wide apart, as if they had chains on their ankles, which makes a lot of sense, as I got most of them from prison. There's only about one and a half shirts between the lot of them, and the half shirt is really just two napkins tied together and thrown over his shoulders like some kind of herald in a sleeveless coat. Even the whole shirt, to tell you the truth, was stolen from the bar owner at Saint Albans or from the red-nosed innkeeper at Daventry. But that doesn't matter, they should be able to steal people's laundry out of their hedges

Enter PRINCE HENRY and Lord WESTMORELAND

PRINCE HENRY

How now, blown Jack? How now, quilt?

PRINCE HENRY

How are you doing fat Jack? How are you, you padded thing?

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 Honor had already been at Shrewsbury.

FALSTAFF

Is it you Hal, how are you, my crazy joker?! What in the devil's name are you doing in Warwickshire? Oh! My good Lord of Westmoreland, I beg your forgiveness, I thought that you would already be in 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.

WESTMORELAND

Don't worry, Sir John, I really should be there already and so should you, but at least my men are there already. The King is certainly expecting us. We will have to travel all night.

FALSTAFF

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

FALSTAFF

Oh, don't you worry about me! I am as alert as a cat is when it's trying 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?

PRINCE HENRY

I think you must have stolen cream, because whatever you steal turns to fat. Tell me, Jack, whose men are these?

FALSTAFF

Mine, Hal, mine.

FALSTAFF

Mine, Hal, they are mine.

PRINCE HENRY

I did never see such pitiful rascals.

PRINCE HENRY

I've never seen such a pitiful bunch.

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.

FALSTAFF

Oh hush, they are good enough to die—they are cannon fodder, just cannon fodder. They can be thrown into a mass grave just the same as better men. They're still men, mortal men.

WESTMORELAND

Ay, but, Sir John, methinks they are exceeding poor andbare, too beggarly.

WESTMORELAND

That might be so, Sir John, but they look incredibly poor and thin, almost like beggars.

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.

FALSTAFF

Well, I don't know where they got their poverty from, and as for their thinness, I know for certain that they didn't get that from me. 

PRINCE HENRY

No, I’ll be sworn, unless you call three fingers in theribs bare. But, sirrah, make haste. Percy is already inthe field.

PRINCE HENRY

No, definitely not, unless you think that having layers of fat over your ribs makes you thin. But come on, sir, let's hurry. Percy is already at the battlefield. 

Exit PRINCE.

FALSTAFF

What, is the King encamped?

FALSTAFF

What? Is the King already camped out and ready for battle?

WESTMORELAND

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

WESTMORELAND

He is, Sir John. I'm afraid if we don't hurry, we'll get there too late. 

FALSTAFF

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

FALSTAFF

Well, an excited guest gets to a feast early, whereas a bad fighter gets to a battle as late as he can!

Exeunt

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Lani strange
About the Translator: Lani Strange

Lani is currently studying for an MA in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe. She has a BA in English and Latin Literature from the University of Warwick and worked as a Teacher of Drama for a year in between her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. She has a love for all things theatrical and spends all of her free time either watching theatre or taking part in it herself.