Henry IV, Part 1

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH
FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH enter.

FALSTAFF

Bardolph, am I not fallen away vilely since this last action? Do I not bate? Do I not dwindle? Why, my skin hangs about me like an like an old lady’s loose gown. I am withered like an old applejohn. Well, I’ll repent, and that suddenly, while I am in some liking. I shall be out of heart shortly, and then I shall have no strength to repent. An I have not forgotten what the inside of a church is made of, I am a peppercorn, a brewer’s horse. The inside of a church! Company, villanous company, hath been the spoil of me.

FALSTAFF

Bardolph, haven’t I shrivelled since our last robbery? Haven’t I gotten thin? Aren’t I shrinking? My skin is hanging off me like a loose gown on an old lady; I’m puckered like a rotten apple. I’d better repent my sins, and fast, while there’s still something left of me. I’ll be in bad shape soon, and then I won’t have the strength to repent. If I haven’t forgotten what the inside of a church looks like, I’m a withered berry, a lame old nag. The inside of a church! The wrong crowd, the wrong crowd has ruined me.

BARDOLPH

10Sir John, you are so fretful you cannot live long.

BARDOLPH

Sir John, you complain so much, you’re sure not to live much longer.

FALSTAFF

Why, there is it. Come sing me a bawdy song, make me merry. I was as virtuously given as a gentleman need to be, virtuous enough: swore little; diced not above seven times— a week; went to a bawdy house once in a quarter—of an hour; paid money that I borrowed, three or four times; lived well and in good compass; and now I live out of all order, out of all compass.

FALSTAFF

You’re absolutely right. Come on then, sing me a dirty song. Make me laugh. I lived my life as properly as a gentleman should. Well, properly enough, anyway. I didn’t swear much. I didn’t gamble—more than seven days a week. I went to a whorehouse no more than once—every fifteen minutes. I paid my debts—three or four times. I lived well and within reasonable boundaries. And now, I live poorly and out of moderation.

BARDOLPH

Why, you are so fat, Sir John, that you must needs be out of all compass, out of all reasonable compass, Sir John.

BARDOLPH

You’re so fat, Sir John, that you have no choice but to live out of moderation: moderation could not fit you.

FALSTAFF

20Do thou amend thy face, and I’ll amend my life. Thou art our admiral, thou bearest the lantern in the poop, but ’tis in the nose of thee. Thou art the knight of the burning lamp.

FALSTAFF

You fix your face and I’ll fix my life. You’re like the flagship of our fleet, with a light on its bow—except that your light is in your nose.

BARDOLPH

Why, Sir John, my face does you no harm.

BARDOLPH

Why, Sir John, my face isn’t hurting you.