William Shakespeare.

The dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) online

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That knew st the very bottom of my soul,

That almost mightst have coined me into gold,

Wouldst thou have practised on me for thy use ?

May it be possible, that foreign hire

Could out of thee extract one spark of evil,

That might annoy my finger ? Tis so strange,

That, though the truth of it stands off as gross

As black from white, my eye will scarcely see it.

Treason and murder ever kept together,

As two yoke-devils swore to either s purpose,

Working so grossly 1 in a natural cause,

That admiration did not whoop at them ; 2

But thou, gainst all proportion, didst bring in

Wonder, to wait on treason, and on murder :

And whatsoever cunning fiend it was,

That wrought upon thee so preposterously,

Hath got the voice in hell for excellence ;

And other devils, that suggest by treasons,

Do botch and bungle up damnation

With patches, colors, and with forms being fetched

From glistering semblances of piety ;

But he, that tempered thee, bade thee stand up,

Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do treason,

Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor.

If that same demon, that hath gulled thee thus,

Should with his lion gait walk the whole world,

He might return to vasty Tartar 3 back,

And tell the legions I can never win

1 i. e. plainly, evidently.

2 "Did not whoop at them;" that they excited no exclamation of

3 i. e. Tartarus, the fabled place of future punishment.


A soul so easy as that Englishman s.
O, how hast thou with jealousy infected
The sweetness of affiance ! Show men dutiful ?
Why, so didst thou. Seem they grave and learned ?
Why, so didst thou. Come they of noble family ?
Why, so didst thou. Seem they religious ?
Why, so didst thou. Or are they spare in diet ;
Free from gross passion, or of mirth, or anger .;
Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood ;
Garnished and decked in modest complement ; x
Not working with the eye, without the ear,
And, but in purged judgment, trusting neither ?
Such, and so finely bolted, 2 didst thou seem :
And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot,
To mark the full-fraught man, and best endued,
With some suspicion. I will weep for thee ;
For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like
Another fall of man. Their faults are open ;
Arrest them to the answer of the law ;
And God acquit them of their practices !

Exe. I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
Richard earl of Cambridge.

I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Henry
lord Scroop of Masham.

I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of Thomas
Grey, knight of Northumberland.

Scroop. Our purposes God justly hath discovered ;
And I repent my fault more than my death ;
Which I beseech your highness to forgive,
Although my body pay the price of it.

Cam. For me, the gold of France did not seduce ; 3

1 " Complement " has here the same meaning as in Love s Labor s Lost,
Act i. Sc. 1. Bullokar defines it, " Court ship [i. e. courtiership], fulness,
perfection, fine behavior." The gradual change of this word, to its mean
ing of ceremonious words, may be traced in Blount s Glossography.

2 Bolted is the same as sifted, and has, consequently, the meaning of

3 " For me, the gold of France did not seduce." " diverse write

that Richard earle of Cambridge did not conspire with the lord Scroope,
&c. for the murthering of king Henrie, to please the French king withall,
but onlie to the intent to exalt the crowne to his brother-in-law Edmund
earle of Marche, as heir to Lionel duke of Clarence, who being for diverse


Although I did admit it as a motive,
The sooner to effect what I intended : V
But God be thanked for prevention ;
Which I in sufferance heartily will rejoice, 1
Beseeching God and you to pardon me.

Grey. Never did faithful subject more rejoice
At the discovery of most dangerous treason,
Than I do at this hour joy o er myself,
Prevented from a damned enterprise :
My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign.

K. Hen. God quit you in his mercy ! Hear your


You have conspired against our royal person,
Joined with an enemy proclaimed, and from his coffers
Received the golden earnest of our death ;
Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,
His princes and his peers to servitude,
His subjects to oppression and contempt,
And his whole kingdom into desolation.
Touching our person, seek we no revenge ;
But we our kingdom s safety must so tender,
Whose ruin you three sought, that to her laws
We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,
Poor, miserable wretches, to your death :
The taste whereof, God, of his mercy, give you
Patience to endure, and true repentance
Of all your dear offences ! Bear them hence.

[Exeunt conspirators, guarded.
Now, lords, for France : the enterprise whereof
Shall be to you, as us, like glorious.
We doubt not of a fair and lucky war ;
Since God so graciously hath brought to light
This dangerous treason, lurking in our way,

secret impediments not able to have issue, the earl of Cambridge was sure
that the croAvne should come to him by his wife, and to his children of her
begotten. And therefore (as was thought) he rather confessed himselfe
for neede of money to be corrupted by the French king, lest the earl of
Marche should have tasted of the same cuppe that he had drunken, and
what should have come to his own children he much doubted," &c.
1 i. e. " at which prevention, in suffering. I will heartily rejoice."


To hinder our beginnings. We doubt not now,
But every rub is smoothed on our way.
Then, forth, dear countrymen ; let us deliver
Our puissance into the hand of God,
Putting it straight in expedition.
Cheerly to sea ; the signs of war advance ;
No king of England, if not king of France.


SCENE III. London. Mrs. Quickly s House in



Quick. Pr ythee, honey-sweet husband, let me
bring 1 thee to Staines.

Pist. No ; for my manly heart doth yearn.
Bardolph, be blithe ; Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins.
Boy, bristle thy courage up ; for FalstafT he is dead,
And we must yearn therefore.

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

Quick. Nay, sure, he s not in hell ; he s in Arthur s
bosom, if ever man went to Arthur s bosom. A made
a finer end, and went away, an it had been any chris-
tom 2 child; a parted even just between twelve and
one, e en at turning o the tide ; for after I saw him
fumble with the sheets, and play with flowers, and
smile upon his fingers ends, I knew there was but one
way ; for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a bab
bled of green fields. 3 How now, sir John ? quoth I ;

1 i. e. let me accompany thee.

2 i. e. chrisom child ; which was one that died within one month of birth,
because during that time they wore the chrisom cloth, a white cloth put
upon a child newly christened, wherewith women used to shroud the child
if dying within the month ; otherwise it was brought to church at the day
of purification.

3 And a babbled of green fields." The first folio reads, " For his nose
was as sharp as a pen, and a Table of green fields." Theobald gave the
present reading of the text, which, though entirely conjectural, is better than
any thing which has been offered in the numerous notes on this passage.


what, man ! be of good cheer. So a cried out God,
God, God ! three or four times : now I, to comfort
him, bid him, a should not think of God ; I hoped
there was no need to trouble himself with any such
thoughts yet. So a 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.

Quick. Ay, that a did.

Bard. And of women.

Quick. Nay, that a did not.

Boy. Yes, that a did ; and said, they were devils

Quick. A could never abide carnation ; twas a
color he never liked.

Boy. A said once, the devil would have him about

Quick. A did in some sort, indeed, handle women:
but then he was rheumatic ; l and talked of the whore
of Babylon.

Boy. Do you not remember, a saw a flea stick upon
Bardolph s nose ; and a said, it was a black soul burn
ing in hell-fire ?

Bard. Well, the fuel is gone, that maintained that
fire ; that s all the riches I got in his service.

Nym. Shall we shog off? the king will be gone from

Pist. Come, let s away. My love, give me thy lips.
Look to my chattels, and my movables ;
Let senses rule ; the word is, Pitch and Pay.
Trust none ;

For oaths are straws, men s faiths are wafer-cakes,
And hold-fast is the only dog, my duck ;
Therefore, caveto be thy counsellor.
Go, clear thy crystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,

1 Rheumatic. Mrs. Quickly means lunatic.

VOL. IV. 19


Let us to France ! like horse-leeches, my boys ;
To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck !

Boy. And that is but unwholesome food, they say.

Pist. Touch her soft mouth, and march.

Bard. Farewell, hostess. [Kissing her.

Nym. I cannot kiss, that is the humor of it ; but

Pist. Let housewifery appear; keep close, I thee

Quick. Farewell ; adieu. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. France. A Room in the French King s


Enter the French King, attended ; the Dauphin, the
DUKE of BURGUNDY, the Constable, and others.

Fr. King. Thus come the English with full power

upon us ;

And more than carefully it us concerns,
To answer royally in our defences.
Therefore the dukes of Berry and of Bretagne,
Of Brabant, and of Orleans, shall make forth,
And you, prince dauphin, with all swift despatch,
To line, and new repair, our towns of war,
With men of courage, and with means defendant ,
For England his approaches makes as fierce,
As waters to the sucking of a gulf.
It fits us, then, to be as provident
As fear may teach us, out of late examples
Left by the fatal and neglected English
Upon our fields.

Dau. My most redoubted father,

It is most meet we arm us gainst the foe ;
For peace itself should not so dull 1 a kingdom,
(Though war, nor no known quarrel, were in question,)
But that defences, musters, preparations,

1 To dull is to render torpid, insensible, or inactive.


Should be maintained, assembled, and collected,

As were a war in expectation.

Therefore, I say, tis meet we all go forth,

To view the sick and feeble parts of France :

And let us do it with no show of fear ;

No, with no more, than if we heard that England

Were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance ;

For, my good liege, she is so idly kinged,

Her sceptre so fantastically borne

By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth,

That fear attends her not.

Con. O peace, prince dauphin !

You are too much mistaken in this king.
Question your grace the late ambassadors,
With what great state he heard their embassy,
How well supplied with noble counsellors,
How modest in exception, 1 and, withal,
How terrible in constant resolution,
And you shall find, his vanities fore-spent
Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus,
Covering discretion with a coat of folly ;
As gardeners do with ordure hide those roots
That shall first spring, and be most delicate.

Dau. Well, tis not so, my lord high constable,
But though we think it so, it is no matter.
In cases of defence, tis best to weigh
The enemy more mighty than he seems,
So the proportions of defence are filled ;
Which, of a weak and niggardly projection,
Doth, like a miser, spoil his coat, with scanting
A little cloth.

Fr. King. Think we king Harry strong ;
And, princes, look, you strongly arm to meet him.
The kindred of him hath been fleshed upon us ;
And he is bred out of that bloody strain, 2
That haunted us in our familiar paths.
Witness our too much memorable shame,

1 "How modest in exception;" how diffident and decent in making

2 Strain is lineage.


When Cressy battle fatally was struck,

And all our princes captived, by the hand

Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales ;

Whiles that his mountain sire on mountain standing,

Up in the air, crowned with the golden sun

Saw his heroical seed, and smiled to see him

Mangle the work of nature, and deface

The patterns that by God and by French fathers

Had twenty years been made. This is a stem

Of that victorious stock ; and let us fear

The native mightiness and fate of him. 1

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. Ambassadors from Henry, king of England,
Do crave admittance to your majesty.

Fr. King. We ll give them present audience. Go,
and bring them.

[Exeunt Mess, and certain Lords.
You see, this chase is hotly followed, friends.

Dau. Turn head, and stop pursuit ; for coward dogs
Most spend their mouths, 2 when what they seem to


Runs far before them. Good my sovereign,
Take up the English short ; and let them know
Of what a monarchy you are the head ;
Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin
As self-neglecting.

Re-enter Lords, with EXETER and Train.

Fr. King. From our brother England ?

Exe. From him ; and thus he greets your majesty.
He wills you, in the name of God Almighty,
That you divest yourself, and lay apart
The borrowed glories, that, by gift of Heaven,
By law of nature, and of nations, long

1 i. e. what is allotted him by destiny.

2 i. e. bark ; the sportsman s term.


To him, and to his heirs ; namely, the crown,

And all wide-stretched honors that pertain,

By custom and the ordinance of times,

Unto the crown of France. That you may know,

Tis no sinister, nor no awkward claim,

Picked from the worm-holes of long-vanished days,

Nor from the dust of old oblivion raked,

He sends you this most memorable line, 1

[Gives a paper.

In every branch truly demonstrative ;
Willing you overlook this pedigree ;
And, when you find him evenly derived
From his most famed of famous ancestors,
Edward the Third, he bids you then resign
Your crown and kingdom, indirectly held
From him, the native and true challenger.

Fr. King. Or else what follows ?

Exe. Bloody constraint; for if you hide the crown
Even in your hearts, there will he rake for it ;
And, therefore, in fierce tempest is he coming,
In thunder, and in earthquake, like a Jove ;
(That, if requiring fail, he will compel ;)
And bids you, in the bowels of the Lord,
Deliver up the crown; and to take mercy
On the poor souls, for whom this hungry war
Opens his vasty jaws ; and on your head
Turns he the widows tears, the orphans cries,
The dead men s blood, the pining maidens groans,
For husbands, fathers, and betrothed lovers,
That shall be swallowed in this controversy.
This is his claim, his threatening, and my message ;
Unless the dauphin be in presence here,
To whom expressly I bring greeting too.

Fr. King. For us, we will consider of this further.
To-morrow shall you bear our full intent
Back to our brother England.

Dau. For the dauphin,

I stand here for him. What to him from England ?

1 " Memorable line ; " this genealogy, this deduction of his lineage.


Exe. Scorn, and defiance ; slight regard, contempt,
And any thing that may not misbecome
The mighty sender, doth he prize you at.
Thus says my king : and, if your father s highness
Do not, in grant of all demands at large,
Sweeten the bitter mock you sent his majesty,
He ll call you to so hot an answer for it,
That caves and womby vaultages of France
Shall chide l your trespass, and return your mock
In second accent of his ordnance.

Dau. Say, if my father render fair reply,
It is against my will ; for I desire
Nothing but odds with England : to that end,
As matching to his youth arid vanity,
I did present him with those Paris balls.

Exe. He ll make your Paris Louvre shake for it,
Were it the mistress court of mighty Europe ;
And, be assured, you ll find a difference
(As we, his subjects, have in wonder found)
Between the promise of his greener days,
And these he masters now : now he weighs time,
Even to the utmost grain ; which you shall read
In your own losses, if he stay in France.

Fr. King. To-morrow shall you know our mind at

Exe. Despatch us with all speed, lest that our king
Come here himself to question our delay ;
For he is footed in this land already.

Fr. King. You shall be soon despatched, with fair


A night is but small breath, and little pause,
To answer matters of this consequence. [Exeunt.

1 To chide, is to resound, to echo.




Chor. Thus with imagined wing our swift scene


In motion of no less celerity

Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen
The well-appointed king at Hampton pier l
Embark his royalty ; and his brave fleet
With silken streamers the young Phoebus fanning.
Play with your fancies ; and in them behold,
Upon the hempen tackle, ship-boys climbing ;
Hear the shrill whistle, which doth order give
To sounds confused ; behold the threaden sails,
Borne with the invisible and creeping wind,
Draw the huge bottoms through the furrowed sea,
Breasting the lofty surge. O, do but think
You stand upon the rivage, and behold
A city on the inconstant billows dancing ;
For so appears this fleet majestical,
Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow !
Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy ; 2
And leave your England, as dead midnight, still,
Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old women,
Either past, or not arrived to, pith and puissance.
For who is he, whose chin is but enriched
With one appearing hair, that will not follow
These culled and choice-drawn cavaliers to France ?
Work, work, your thoughts, and therein see a siege.
Behold the ordnance on their carriages,

1 " The well-appointed king at Hampton pier." " Well-appointed," that
is, well furnished with all necessaries of war. The old copies read, " Dover
pier : " hut the Poet himself, and all accounts, and even the Chronicles
which he followed, say that the king embarked at Southampton. A minute
account still exists among the records of the town ; and it is remarkable
that a low, level plain, where the army encamped, is now covered by the
sea, and called Westport.

2 The meaning of this passage is, " Let your minds follow this navy."
The stern was anciently synonymous to rudder. " The sterne of a ship,
gubernaculum" Baret.


With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur.
Suppose the ambassador from the French comes back ;
Tells Harry that the king doth offer him
Katharine his daughter ; and with her, to dowry,
Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.
The offer likes not ; and the nimble gunner
With linstock now the devilish cannon touches,

[Alarum ; and chambers 1 go off.
And down goes all before them. Still be kind,
And eke out our performance with your mind. [Exit.

SCENE I. The same. Before Harfleur. Alarums.


Soldiers, with scaling ladders.

K. Hen. Once more unto the breach, dear friends,

once more ;

Or close the wall up with our English dead !
In peace, there s nothing so becomes a man,
As modest stillness and humility ;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger :


Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,

Disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage.

Then lend the eye a terrible aspect ;

Let it pry through the portage of the head, 2

Like the brass cannon ; let the brow o erwhelm it

As fearfully as doth a galled rock

O er hang and jutty 3 his confounded base,

Swilled with the wild and wasteful ocean.

Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostril wide ;

1 " Chambers" small pieces of ordnance.

2 " The portage of the head." Shakspeare uses portage for loop-holes
or port-holes.

3 " O erhang 1 and jutty his confounded base,
Swilled with the wild and wasteful ocean."

To jutty is to project; jutties, or jetties, are projecting moles to break the
force of the waves. Confounded is vexed, or troubled.


Hold nard the breath, and bend up every spirit
To his full height ! On, on, you noble English, 1
Whose blood is fet 2 from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers, that, like so many Alexanders,
Have, in these parts, from morn till even fought,
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument: 3


Dishonor not your mothers ; now attest,
That those, whom you called fathers, did beget you !
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war ! And you, good yeomen,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture : let us swear
That you are worth your breeding ; which I doubt not ;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Spraining upon the start. The game s afoot ;
Follow your spirit : and, upon this charge,
C ry God for Harry ! England ! and Saint George !
[Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off.

tCENE II. The same. Forces pass over. Then


Bard. On, on, on, on, on ! to the breach ! to the
breach !

Nym. Pray thee, corporal, 4 stay; the knocks are
too hot ; and, for mine own part, 1 have not a case of
lives : the humor of it is too hot, that is the very plain-
song of it.

1 " You noble English." The folio reads noblish, by mistake ; the com
positor having taken twice the final syllable ish. Steevens reads noblest.
This speech is not in the quartos.

2 Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof." Mr. Pope took the
liberty of altering this word to fetched. The sacred writings afford us
many instances of its use. " .dscita et accepta a Grsecis, Fet and taken
out of Greece." It is often coupled with far, as in the expressions " far-
fet and dear-bought," "affectated and/ar/ef."

3 Argument is matter, subject.

4 " Corporal" Bardolph is called lieutenant in a former scene.

VOL. iv. 20


Pist. The plain-song is most just; for humors do

abound ;

Knocks go and come ; God s vassals drop and die !
And sword and shield,
In bloody field,
Doth win immortal fame.

Boy. Would I were in an alehouse in London ! I
would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety.
Pist. And I :

If wishes would prevail with me,
My purpose should not fail with me,

But thither would I hie.
Boy. As duly, but not as truly,

As bird doth sing on bough.


Flu. Got s plood ! Up to the preaches, you rascals !
will you not up to the preaches ?

[Driving them forward.

Pist. Be merciful, great duke, to men of mould ! 2
Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage !
Abate thy rage, great duke !
Good bawcock, bate thy rage ! use lenity, sweet chuck!

Nym. These be good humors ! your honor wins
bad humors.

followed by FLUELLEN.

Boy. As young as I am, I have observed these three
swashers. I am boy to them all three ; but all they
three, though they would serve me, could not be man
to me ; for, indeed, three such antics do not amount to
a man. For Bardolph, he is white-livered, and red-
faced ; by the means whereof, a faces it out, but fights
not. For Pistol, he hath a killing tongue, and a

1 Fluellen is merely the Welsh pronunciation of Lluellyn, as Floyd is
of Lloyd.

2 i. e. " be merciful, great commander, to men of earth, to poor mortal
men." Duke is only a translation of the Roman dux. Sylvester, in his
Du Bartas, calls Moses " a great duke."


quiet sword ; by the means whereof a breaks words,
and keeps w T hole weapons. For Nym, he hath heard
that men of few words are the best men ; and there
fore he scorns to say his prayers, lest a should be
thought a coward : but his few bad words are matched
with as few good deeds ; for a never broke any man s
head but his own ; and that was against a post when
he was drunk. They will steal any thing, and call
it, purchase. Bardolph stole a lute case ; bore it
twelve leagues, and sold it for three half-pence. Nym
and Bardolph are sworn brothers in filching ; and in
Calais they stole a fire-shovel. I knew, by that piece
of service, the men would carry coals. 1 They would
have me as familiar with men s pockets as their gloves
or their handkerchiefs ; which makes much against my
manhood, if I should take from another s pocket to
put into mine ; for it is plain pocketing up of wrongs.
I must leave them, and seek some better service : their

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) → online text (page 11 of 38)