• Enter PISTOL, HOSTESS, NYM, BARDOLPH, and BOY

    HOSTESS

    Prithee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.

    PISTOL

    No; for my manly heart doth earn.—Bardolph, be blithe.— Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins.—Boy, bristle thy courage up. For Falstaff, he is dead, and we must earn therefore.

    BARDOLPH

    5Would I were with him, wheresome'er he is, either in heaven or in hell.

    HOSTESS

    Nay, sure, he’s not in hell! He’s in Arthur’s bosom, if ever man went to Arthur’s bosom. He made a finer end, and went away an it had been any christom child. He parted ev'n just between twelve and one, ev'n at the turning o' th' tide; for after I saw him fumble with the sheets and play with flowers and smile upon his finger’s end, I knew there was but one way, for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and he told of green fields. “How now, Sir John?” quoth I. “What, man, be o' good cheer!” So he cried out “God, God, God!” three or four times. Now I, to comfort him, bid him he should not think of God. I hoped there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet. So he bade me lay more clothes on his feet. I put my hand into the bed and felt them, and they were as cold as any stone. Then I felt to his knees, and so upward and upward, and all was as cold as any stone.

    NYM

    They say he cried out of sack.

    HOSTESS

    Ay, that he did.
  • PISTOL, HOSTESS, NYM, BARDOLPH, and BOY enter.

    HOSTESS

    Please, sweet husband, let me come with you as far as the town of Staines.

    PISTOL

    No, because my manly heart is grieving. Bardolph, be happy.—Nym, rouse your bragging spirits.—Boy, be brave. Falstaff is dead, and we must mourn him.

    BARDOLPH

    I wish I were with him, wherever he is—in heaven or in hell.

    HOSTESS

    Oh, no, he’s surely not in hell. He’s in Arthur’s bosom, if any man ever went to Arthur’s bosom. He died as peacefully as a baby. He departed right between twelve and one, just as the tide was turning. For after I saw him fumbling with the sheets and playing with imaginary flowers and smiling at the ends of his fingers, I knew it was the end. His face was gaunt and he was babbling about green fields. “Now, now, Sir John!” I said. “What’s all this? Cheer up!” And he called out “God, God, God!” three or four times. To soothe him, I told him not to think of God, that I hoped it wasn’t yet time to bother with such thoughts. So he asked me to put more blankets on his feet. I put my hand into the bed and felt his feet, and they were stone-cold. Then I felt his legs, and they were stone-cold, and so I moved upward and upward, and his whole body was stone-cold.

    Arthur’s bosom

    The hostess means Abraham’s bosom, the proverbial resting place of good Christians, but has King Arthur on the brain.

    NYM

    They say he cried out against sherry.

    HOSTESS

    Yes, he did.