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Henry IV Part 1

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FALSTAFF
No, I’ll be sworn, I make as good use of it as many a man doth of a death’s-head or a memento mori. I never see thy face but I think upon hellfire and Dives that lived in purple, for there he is in his robes, burning, burning. If thou wert any way given to virtue, I would swear by thy face. My oath should be “By this fire, that’s God’s angel.” But thou art altogether given over, and wert indeed, but for the light in thy face, the son of utter darkness. When thou rannest up Gadshill in the night to catch my horse, if I did not think thou hadst been an ignis fatuus, or a ball of wildfire, there’s no purchase in money. O, thou art a perpetual triumph, an everlasting bonfire-light! Thou hast saved me a thousand marks in links and torches, walking with thee in the night betwixt tavern and tavern: but the sack that thou hast drunk me would have bought me lights as good cheap at the dearest chandler’s in Europe. I have maintained that salamander of yours with fire any time this two and thirty years, God reward me for it.
FALSTAFF
No, you’re right. I actually get some good from your face: it’s like a skull, or a death token. I can’t look at your face without thinking of the flames of hell, and Dives from the Bible, who burned eternally. If there were anything pious about you, I could swear oaths on your face. I could say, “Now, by this

fire

will-o-the-wisp = a natural phenomenon in which lights seem to appear over marshy ground

fire
, which is God’s angel …” But you’re a complete sinner, and if it weren’t for the light in your face, you’d be the son of darkness. When you ran up Gadshill at night to find my horse, I could have sworn you were a will-o-the-wisp or a fireball. You’re an endless torchlight parade, a permanent bonfire. Walking with you from tavern to tavern at night has saved me a thousand

marks

marks = unit of currency

marks
in candles and flashlights. But the money I’ve spent on wine for you would have been enough to buy the most expensive candles in Europe. I’ve kept that nose of yours burning for thirty-two years, God bless me.

BARDOLPH
'Sblood, I would my face were in your belly!
BARDOLPH
Dammit! I wish my face were in your

belly

a common expression of irritation

belly
.

FALSTAFF
Godamercy, so should I be sure to be heart-burned!
FALSTAFF
God have mercy! Then I’d surely have heartburn.
Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY
MISTRESS QUICKLY enters.
How now, Dame Partlet the hen, have you enquired yet who picked my pocket?
Hello there, Madame Clucking Chicken! Have you figured out yet who picked my pocket?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Why, Sir John, what do you think, Sir John, do you think I keep thieves in my house? I have searched, I have enquired, so has my husband, man by man, boy by boy, servant by servant. The tithe of a hair was never lost in my house before.
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Now Sir John, what do you think, Sir John? Do you think I have thieves in my establishment? I’ve searched, I’ve asked questions; so has my husband. We’ve asked every man, boy and servant here. No one’s ever lost so much as a fraction of a hair in this tavern before.

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