3. Scene III. Eastcheap. A Room in the Boar's-Head Tavern.
[Enter Falstaff and Bardolph.]
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
old lady's loose gown; I am withered like an old apple-John.
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
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, villainous company, hath been the spoil of me.
Sir John, you are so fretful, you cannot live long.
Why, there is it: come, sing me a 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; 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.
Why, you are so fat, Sir John, that you must needs be out of all
compass, --out of all reasonable compass, Sir John.
Do 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.
Why, Sir John, my face does you no harm.
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
hell-fire, 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 rann'st up Gad's-hill 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 maintain'd that salamander of yours with fire any time this
two-and-thirty years; God reward me for it!