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Henry IV, Part 2

Henry IV, Part 2 Translation Act 4, Scene 2

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Alarum. Excursions. Enter FALSTAFF and COLEVILE, meeting

FALSTAFF

What’s your name, sir? Of what condition are you, and ofwhat place, I pray?

FALSTAFF

What's your name, sir? What rank are you, and where are you from?

COLEVILE

I am a knight, sir, and my name is Colevile of the Dale.

COLEVILE

I'm a knight, sir, and my name is Coleville of the Valley.

FALSTAFF

Well, then, Colevile is your name, a knight is your degree, and your place the Dale. Colevile shall be stillyour name, a traitor your degree, and the dungeon your place, a place deep enough so shall you be still Colevile of the Dale.

FALSTAFF

Well then, Coleville is your name, you have the rank of knight, and you are from the Valley. Coleville will still be your name even when you are known as a traitor, and your place is in a dungeon so deep that they can still call you Coleville of the Valley.

COLEVILE

Are not you Sir John Falstaff?

COLEVILE

Aren't you Sir John Falstaff?

FALSTAFF

As good a man as he, sir, whoe'er I am. Do ye yield, sir, or shall I sweat for you? If I do sweat, they are the drops of thy lovers and they weep for thy death. Therefore rouse up fear and trembling, and do observanceto my mercy.

FALSTAFF

I'm as good a man as he is, whoever I am. Are you going to surrender, sir, or am I going to have to break a sweat apprehending you? Every time I sweat, the drops of sweat will be like the tears of your loved ones, weeping over your death. So it would be good if you could be scared of me, start shaking in your boots, and beg me for my mercy.

COLEVILE

I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and in that thought yield me.

COLEVILE

I think you are Sir John Falstaff, and knowing that, I surrender.

FALSTAFF

I have a whole school of tongues in this belly of mine,and not a tongue of them all speaks any other word but my name. An I had but a belly of any indifferency, I were simply the most active fellow in Europe. My womb, my womb, my womb undoes me. Here comes our general.

FALSTAFF

My stomach is so big that it can speak many languages, but it only ever says my name. If I had a more ordinary belly, I would just be another healthy soldier in Europe. But it is my stomach, my stomach, my stomach which gives me away. Look, here comes the general.

Enter Prince John of LANCASTER, WESTMORELAND, BLUNT, and others

LANCASTER

The heat is past. Follow no further now.

LANCASTER

The danger is over. Let's rest here for a while.

A retreat is sounded.

Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.

Tell our armies to withdraw, my good Westmoreland.

Exit WESTMORELAND

Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while?When everything is ended, then you come.These tardy tricks of yours will, on my life,One time or other break some gallows' back.

Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this time? Now that everything is over, you're here. At some point your lazy attitude is going to destroy some gallows, I swear it.

FALSTAFF

I would be sorry, my lord, but it should be thus. I never knew yet but rebuke and check was the reward of valor. Do you think me a swallow, an arrow, or a bullet? Have I in mypoor and old motion the expedition of thought? I have speeded hither with the very extremest inch of possibility. I have foundered ninescore and odd posts, and here, travel-tainted as I am, have in my pure and immaculate valor taken Sir John Colevile of the Dale, a most furious knight and valorous enemy. But what of that? He saw me and yielded, that I may justly say, with the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, “There, cousin, I came, saw, and overcame.”

FALSTAFF

My lord, if things could have been different, then I would be sorry. I didn't know that the way we rewarded bravery was with punishment and scrutiny. Do you think that I'm as quick as a swallow, an arrow, or a bullet? Now that I am old and weak, do you think that I can move with the same speed that thoughts can? I have traveled here as quickly as I possibly could. I have worn out about one hundred eighty horses, made it here—and even though I'm exhausted—I still managed to capture Sir John Coleville of the Valley. That's how honorable and brave I am. He's a dangerous knight and a powerful enemy of ours. But what does that matter? He simply saw me and surrendered, so I feel that just like Julius Caesar I can say that "I came, I saw, and I conquered."

LANCASTER

It was more of his courtesy than your deserving.

LANCASTER

That says more about his good manners than it does about your bravery.

FALSTAFF

I know not. Here he is, and here I yield him. And I beseech your Grace let it be booked with the rest of this day’sdeeds, or, by the Lord, I will have it in a particular ballad else, with mine own picture on the top on ’t, Colevile kissing my foot; to the which course if I be enforced, if you do not allshow like gilt twopences to me, and I in the clear sky of fame o'ershine you as much as the full moon doth the cinders of the element (which show like pins' heads to her), believe not the word of the noble. Therefore let me have right, and let desert mount.

FALSTAFF

I don't know what you mean. Look, here he is, and now I give him over to you. I just ask your Grace to make sure that this is added to the list of successes from today. If you don't, I swear to God I will have a ballad printed about it—and it will have a picture of me right at the top, with Coleville kissing my foot. If I'm forced to do that, it will make you all look like fakes next to me, And my fame will shine brighter than yours, just like a full moon shines brighter than the stars, which end up looking like tiny dots in comparison. If it doesn't, then I must be lying. So give me what I deserve, and let my achievements build up on top of each other in a pile.

LANCASTER

Thine’s too heavy to mount.

LANCASTER

That pile would be far too heavy for me to pick up.

FALSTAFF

Let it shine, then.

FALSTAFF

Well, let my achievements shine then.

LANCASTER

Thine’s too thick to shine.

LANCASTER

You're too fat to shine.

FALSTAFF

Let it do something, my good lord, that may do me good,andcall it what you will.

FALSTAFF

Well let it do something, my good lord—anything that will make me look good. And call it whatever you want.

LANCASTER

Is thy name Colevile?

LANCASTER

Is your name Coleville?

COLEVILE

It is, my lord.

COLEVILE

It is, my lord.

LANCASTER

A famous rebel art thou, Colevile.

LANCASTER

You are a famous rebel, Coleville.

FALSTAFF

And a famous true subject took him.

FALSTAFF

And it was a famous, loyal subject who captured him.

COLEVILE

I am, my lord, but as my betters areThat led me hither. Had they been ruled by me,You should have won them dearer than you have.

COLEVILE

I am, my lord. But my superior officers led me here. If I had been the leader, you would have lost a lot more than you have.

FALSTAFF

I know not how they sold themselves, but thou, like a kind fellow, gavest thyself away gratis, and I thank thee for thee.

FALSTAFF

I don't know how much these men made us pay. But, Coleville, you gave yourself away for free like a kind man. And I thank you for that.

Enter WESTMORELAND

LANCASTER

Now, have you left pursuit?

LANCASTER

Have you told the troops to retreat?

WESTMORELAND

Retreat is made and execution stayed.

WESTMORELAND

The troops have retreated and the fighting has stopped.

LANCASTER

Send Colevile with his confederatesTo York, to present execution.—Blunt, lead him hence, and see you guard him sure.

LANCASTER

Send Coleville with his fellow prisoners to York, where they will be executed right away. Blunt, lead him there, and make sure you guard him carefully.

Exeunt BLUNT with COLEVILE

And now dispatch we toward the court, my lords. I hear the King my father is sore sick. Our news shall go before us to his Majesty, [to WESTMORELAND ] Which, cousin, you shall bear to comfort him, And we with sober speed will follow you.

And now, my lords, we must set off quickly for the royal court, as I have heard that my father is very sick. We will send the news ahead of us to the King so that he knows we have won.

[To WESTMORELAND]
 Will you please take this news to my father and comfort him? We will be with you as quickly as we can.

FALSTAFF

My lord, I beseech you give me leave to go throughGloucestershire, and, when you come to court, stand mygood lord, pray, in your good report.

FALSTAFF

My lord, may I have your permission to travel back through Gloucestershire? Also, when you get back to the court, please stand up for me and say that I did some good work here.

LANCASTER

Fare you well, Falstaff. I, in my condition,Shall better speak of you than you deserve.

LANCASTER

Goodbye to you, Falstaff. As a Prince, if I say good things about you, it is defintely more than you deserve.

Exeunt all but FALSTAFF

FALSTAFF

I would you had but the wit; ’twere better than your dukedom. Good faith, this same young sober-blooded boy doth not love me, nor a man cannot make him laugh. But that’s no marvel; he drinks no wine. There’s never noneof these demure boys come to any proof, for thin drink doth so overcool their blood, and making many fish meals, that they fall into a kind of male green-sickness, and then, whenthey marry, they get wenches. They are generally fools and cowards, which some of us should be too, but for inflammation. A good sherris sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It ascends me into the brain, dries me there all the foolish and dull and crudy vapors which environ it, makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble, fiery, and delectable shapes, which, delivered o'er to the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit. The second property of your excellent sherris is the warming of the blood, which, before cold and settled, left the liver white and pale, which is the badge of pusillanimity and cowardice. But the sherris warms it and makes it course from the inwards to the parts' extremes. It illumineth the face,which as a beacon gives warning to all the rest of this little kingdom, man, to arm; and then the vital commoners and inland petty spirits muster me all to their captain, the heart, who, great and puffed up with this retinue, doth any deed of courage, and this valor comes of sherris. So that skillin the weapon is nothing without sack, for that sets it a-work; and learning a mere hoard of gold kept by a devil till sack commences it and sets it in act and use. Hereof comes it that Prince Harry is valiant, for the cold blood he did naturally inherit of his father he hath, like lean, sterile, and bare land, manured, husbanded, and tilled with excellent endeavor of drinking good and good store of fertile sherris, that he is become very hot and valiant. If I had a thousand sons, the first human principle I would teach them should be to forswear thin potations and to addict themselves to sack.

FALSTAFF

I wish you had the wit to do that—it would be better than everything you have already done. By Good, this young, sensible boy doesn't like me at all. And no one seems to be able to make him laugh. But is that any wonder, when he doesn't drink any wine? None of those reserved boys ever turn out well, because weak drinks and a diet of fish makes their blood cool. They all become green-sick, like unmarried girls. Then, even when they eventually do get married, all of their children are girls, because they're too weak to have boys. On the whole, they are fools and cowards. And we would be the same, if it weren't for the excitement of alcohol. A good sherry has two main benefits to it. First, it goes up into the brain and it gets rid of all the stupid, boring, and thick thoughts which have been left there. It makes the brain quick, responsive, and creative—full of nimble, fiery, and captivating ideas. When these are picked up by the voice and the tongue, they grow up and become the things of excellent wit. Second, good sherry warms your blood. Before the sherry, your blood is cold and slow. And this makes the liver—the source of our passions—pale and cold as well, which is the symbol of weakness and cowardice. But the sherry warms the blood, and makes it flow all around the body, from the inner organs to the far extremities of a person. It brightens up the face, which is a signal for the rest of a man's kingdom—that is, the rest of the body—to do the same as well. Then the substances of the body and the other vital organs stand behind their captain, the heart. The heart is so inspired by this support that it can carry out any brave action it needs to. This is the courage that comes with sherry. Without any wine, no one is a skilled fighter, for wine gives them that skill. Even education is just worthless gold looked after by the devil, until it finds some wine and then is ready to be of use. This is how Prince Harry became so brave! He took the cold blood that he inherited from his father, and, just like sterile and bare land, he worked on it, cultivated it, and took care of it by making sure he drank as much good wine as he could—until it became passionate and courageous. If I had a thousand sons, the very first thing I would teach them would be to avoid weak drinks and get themselves addicted to strong wine. 

Enter BARDOLPH

How now, Bardolph?

What's going on, Bardolph?

BARDOLPH

The army is discharged all and gone.

BARDOLPH

The army has all been discharged and they are leaving.

FALSTAFF

Let them go. I’ll through Gloucestershire, and there will Ivisit Master Robert Shallow, Esquire. I have him alreadytemp'ring between my finger and my thumb, and shortlywill I seal with him. Come away.

FALSTAFF

Let them go. I'll go back through Gloucestershine, so that I can visit Master Robert Shallow, Esquire, on the way. I already have him basically under my thumb, like soft wax. And soon I will seal the deal with him. Come on, let's go.

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.