"We Owe God A Death"

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Context: Sir John Falstaff, rude and roguish knight, recruits men for the army of King Henry IV, who is beset by rebellion and by ill-health. In Gloucestershire at the house of Justice Shallow, Falstaff and his corporal Bardolph survey the available men. Some of the more likely candidates approach Bardolph with excuses and bribes to avoid service, but Feeble announces that he is willing to serve "his prince" since every man must die at his destined time anyway:

By my troth I care not, a man can die but once, we owe God a death. I'll ne'er bear a base mind. An't be my destiny, so; an't be not, so; no man's too good to serve's prince. And let it go which way it will, he that dies this year is quit for the next.
Well said, thou'rt a good fellow.
Faith I'll bear no base mind.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

"We Have Heard The Chimes At Midnight"


"You Lie In Your Throat"