Henry IV, Part II "Let The Welkin Roar"

William Shakespeare

"Let The Welkin Roar"

Context: Falstaff is in the Boar's Head Tavern with Doll Tearsheet and Mistress Quickly when it is announced that Pistol, Falstaff's "ancient," is outside. Both the women burst out in accusations against Pistol as being a swaggerer, and both swear that they will not have him in the house. Nevertheless he does enter. Doll Tearsheet, whose ability to hurl epithets is as great as Falstaff's, blasts him roundly. Pistol returns the charges in kind. Mistress Quickly tries to quiet Pistol by saying that his boisterousness will aggravate his cold. To this remark Pistol replies with a typical roar, in which he parodies several famous lines from Marlowe's Tambur-laine and, in general, the highly rhetorical style of all of Marlowe's plays.

These be good humours indeed.
Shall pack-horses
And hollow pampered jades of Asia,
Which cannot go but thirty mile a day,
Compare with Caesars and with Cannibals,
And Trojan Greeks? Nay rather damn them with
King Cerberus, and let the welkin roar.
Shall we fall foul for toys?