Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Henry V.
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
The Life of King Henry the Fifth
 
Act II. Scene I.
 
London.  Eastcheap.
 
Enter NYM and BARDOLPH.
  Bard.  Well met, Corporal Nym.
  Nym.  Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.
  Bard.  What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?        5
  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.
  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. There must be conclusions. Well, I cannot tell.        10
 
Enter PISTOL and Hostess.
  Bard.  Here comes Ancient Pistol and his 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.        15
  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 prick-eared cur of Iceland!
  Host.  Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour and put up your sword.        20
  Nym.  Will you shog off? I would have you solus.  [Sheathing his sword.
  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;        25
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 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: 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.        30
  Pist.  O braggart vile and damned furious wight!
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.  [Draws.
  Pist.  An oath of mickle might, and fury shall abate.        35
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.
  Pist.  Coupe le gorge!
That is the word. I thee defy again.        40
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:        45
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 your 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.
  Bard.  Away, you rogue!        50
  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.        55
  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.        60
  Nym.  I shall have my eight shillings I won of you at betting?
  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.        65
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.  [Paying him.        70
  Nym.  Well then, that’s the humour of it.
 
Re-enter Hostess.
  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;        75
His heart is fracted and corroborate.
  Nym.  The king is a good king: but it must be as it may; he passes some humours and careers.
  Pist.  Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins, we will live.  [Exeunt.
 
 
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