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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and perturbation of the brain. 1 have read the cause
of its effects in Galen ; it is a kind of deafness.

Ch. Just. I think you are fallen into the disease ;
for you hear not what I say to you.

FaL 1 Very well, my lord, very well; rather, an t
please you, it is the disease of not listening, the mala
dy of not marking, that I am troubled withal.

Ch. Just. To punish you by the heels would amend
the attention of your ears ; and I care not, if I do be
come your physician.

FaL I am as poor as Job, my lord ; but not so
patient. Your lordship may minister the potion of im
prisonment to me, in respect of poverty ; but how I
should be your patient to follow your prescriptions, the
wise may make some dram of a scruple, or, indeed, a
scruple itself.

Ch. Just. I sent for you, when there were matters
against you for your life, to come speak with me.

FaL As I was then advised by my learned counsel
in the laws of this land-service, I did not come.

Ch. Just. Well, the truth is, sir John, you live in
great infamy.

1 In the quarto edition this speech stands thus :

** Old. Very well, my lord, very well."

This is a strong corroboration of the tradition that Falstaff was first called

VOL. iv. 3


Fal. He that buckles him in my belt, cannot live in

Ch. Just. Your means are very slender, and your
waste is great.

Fal. I would it were otherwise ; I would my means
were greater, and my waist slenderer.

Ch. Just. You have misled the youthful prince.

Fal. The young prince hath misled me. I am the
fellow with the great belly, and he my dog.

Ch. Just. Well, I am loath to gall a new-healed
wound ; your day s service at Shrewsbury hath a little
gilded over your night s exploit on Gad s-hill. You
may thank the unquiet time for your quiet o erposting
that action.

Fal. My lord?

Ch. Just. But since all is well, keep it so ; wake
not a sleeping w^olf.

Fal. To wake a wolf, is as bad as to smell a fox.

Ch. Just. What ! you are as a candle, the better
part burnt out.

Fal. A wassel candle, 1 my lord; all tallow; if I did
say of wax, my growth would approve the truth.

Ch. Just. There is not a white hair on your face,
but should have his effect of gravity.

Fal. His effect of gravy, gravy, gravy.

Ch. Just. You follow the young prince up and down,
like his ill angel.

Fal. Not so, my lord ; your ill angel is light ; 2 but, I
hope, he that looks upon me, will take me without
weighing : and yet, in some respects, I grant, I cannot
go, I cannot tell. 3 Virtue is of so little regard in these
coster-monger times, that true valor is turned bear-herd.
Pregnancy 4 is made a tapster, and hath his quick wit
wasted in giving reckonings ; all the other gifts apper-

1 A wassd candle is a large candle lighted up at a feast

2 "As light as a clipped angel " is a comparison frequent in the old

3 I cannot tell, Johnson explains, "I cannot be taken in a reckoning, I
cannot pass current." Mr. Gifford objects to this explanation, and says
that it merely means " I cannot tell what to think of it."

4 Pregnancy is readiness.


tinent to man, as the malice of this age shapes them,
are not worth a gooseberry. You, that are old, con
sider not the capacities of us that are young. You
measure the heat of our livers with the bitterness of
your galls : and we that are in the vaward of our youth,
I must confess, are wags too.

Ch. Just. Do you set down your name in the scroll
of youth, that are written down old with all the charac
ters of age ? Have you not a moist eye ? a dry hand ?
a yellow cheek ? a white beard ? a decreasing leg ?
an increasing belly ? Is not your voice broken ? your
wind short ? your chin double ? your wit single ? * and
every part about you blasted with antiquity ? and
will you yet call yourself young ? Fie, fie, fie, sir
John !

Fal. My lord, I was born about three of the clock
in the afternoon, with a white head, and something a
round belly. For my voice, I have lost it with holla
ing, and singing of anthems. To approve my youth
further, I will not. The truth is, I am only old in
judgment and understanding ; and he that will caper
with me for a thousand marks, let him lend me the
money, and hav 7 e at him. For the box o the ear that
the prince gave you, he gave it like a rude prince,
and you took it like a sensible lord. I have checked
him for it ; and the young lion repents ; marry, not in
ashes and sackcloth ; but in new silk and old sack.

Ch. Just. Well, Heaven send the prince a better
companion !

Fal. Heaven send the companion a better prince !
I cannot rid my hands of him.

Ch. Just. Well, the king hath severed you and
prince Harry. I hear you are a going with lord
John of Lancaster, against the archbishop, and the earl
of Northumberland.

Fal. Yea ; I thank your pretty, sweet wit for it.
But look you pray, all you that kiss my lady peace at
home, that our armies join not in a hot day ! for, by

1 Single is simple, silly.


the Lord, I take but two shirts out with me, and I
mean not to sweat extraordinarily ; if it be a hot day,
an I brandish any thing but my bottle, I would I might
never spit white again. There is not a dangerous
action can peep out his head, but I am thrust upon it.
Well, I cannot last ever ; 1 but it was always yet the
trick of our English nation, if they have a good thing,
to make it too common. If you will needs say, I am
an old man, you should give me rest. I would to God
my name were not so terrible to the enemy as it is. I
were better to be eaten to death with rust, than to be
scoured to nothing with perpetual motion.

Ch. Just. Well, be honest, be honest ; and God
bless your expedition !

Fed. Will your lordship lend me a thousand pound,
to furnish me forth ?

Ch. Just. Not a penny, not a penny ; you are too
impatient to bear crosses. 2 Fare you well. Commend
me to my cousin Westmoreland.

[Exeunt Chief Justice and Attendant.

Fal. If I do, fillip me with a three-man beetle. 3 A
man can no more separate age and covetousness, than
he can part young limbs and lechery ; but the gout
galls the one, and the pox pinches the other ; and so
both the degrees prevent 4 my curses. Boy !

Page. Sir ?

Fal. What money is in my purse ?

Page. Seven groats and two-pence.

Fed. I can get no remedy against this consumption

1 The rest of this speech, which is not in the folio, is restored from the
quarto copy.

2 A quibble is here intended between crosses, contraryings, and the
sort of money so called.

3 This alludes to a common but cruel diversion of boys, called Jttlipping
the toad. They lay a board, two or three feet long, at right angles, over a
transverse piece, two or three inches thick ; then placing the toad at one
end of the board, the other end is struck by a bat or large stick, which
throws the poor toad forty or fifty feet perpendicular from the earth ; and
the fall generally kills it. A three-man beetle is a heavy beetle, with three
handles, used in driving piles.

4 To prevent is to anticipate.


of the purse ; borrowing only lingers and lingers it out,
bu,t the disease is incurable. Go bear this letter to my
lord of Lancaster ; this to the prince ; this to the earl
of Westmoreland ; and this to old mistress Ursula,
whom I have weekly sworn to marry since I perceived
the first white hair on my chin. About it ; you know
where to find me. [Exit Page.] A pox of this gout,
or, a gout of this pox ! for the one, or the other, plays
the rogue with my great toe. It is no matter, if I do
halt ; I have the wars for my color, and my pension
shall seem the more reasonable. A good wit will make
use of any thing ; I will turn diseases to commodity.


SCENE III. York. A Room in the Archbishop s


Enter the Archbishop of York ; the LORDS HASTINGS,

Arch. Thus have you heard our cause, and known

our means ;

And, my most noble friends, I pray you all,
Speak plainly your opinions of our hopes.
And first, lord marshal, what say you to it ?

Mowb. I well allow the occasion of our arms ;
But gladly would be better satisfied,
How, in our means, we should advance ourselves
To look with forehead bold and big enough
Upon the power and puissance of the king.

Hast. Our present musters grow upon the file
To five-and-twenty thousand men of choice ;
And our supplies live largely in the hope
Of great Northumberland, whose bosom burns
With an incensed fire of injuries.

Bard. The question then, lord Hastings, standeth

thus :

Whether our present five-and-twenty thousand
May hold up head without Northumberland.


Hast. With him, we may.

Bard. Ay, marry, there s the point.

But if without him we be thought too feeble,
My judgment is, we should not step too far
Till we had his assistance by the hand ;
For, in a theme so bloody-faced as this,
Conjecture, expectation, and surmise
Of aids uncertain, should not be admitted.

Arch. Tis very true, lord Bardolph ; for, indeed,
It was young Hotspur s case at Shrewsbury.

Bard. It was, my lord ; who lined himself with


Eating the air on promise of supply,
Flattering himself with project of a power
Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts ; 1
And so, with great imagination,
Proper to madmen, led his powers to death,
And, winking, leaped into destruction.

Hast. But, by your leave, it never yet did hurt,
To lay down likelihoods, and forms of hope.

Bard. Yes, in this present quality of war ;
Indeed the instant action, 2 (a cause on foot,)
Lives so in hope, as in an early spring
We see the appearing buds ; which, to prove fruit,
Hope gives not so much warrant, as despair,
That frosts will bite them. When we mean to build,
We first survey the plot, then draw the model ;
And when we see the figure of the house,
Then must we rate the cost of the erection ;

1 That is, ivhich turned out to le much smaller than, &c.

2 The first twenty lines of this speech were first inserted in the folio,
1623. This passage has perplexed the editors. The old copies read :

" Yes, if this present quality of war,
Indeed the instant action : a cause on foot
Lives so in hope: As in," &c.
It has been proposed to read :

" Yes, if this present quality of war;
Induced the instant action: a cause on foot
Lives so in hope, as in," &c.

The reading adopted by Steevens and Malone, from Johnson s suggestion,
is that which is given above.

SC. ill.] KING HENRY IV. 23

Which if we find outweighs ability,

What do we then, but draw anew the model

In fewer offices ; or, at least, desist

To build at all ? Much more, in this great work,

(Which is, almost, to pluck a kingdom down,

And set another up,) should we survey

The plot of situation, and the model ;

Consent ] upon a sure foundation ;

Question surveyors ; know our own estate,

How able such a work to undergo,


To weigh against his opposite ; or else,

We fortify in paper, and in figures,

Using the names of men instead of men ;

Like one that draws the model of a house

Beyond his power to build it ; who, half through,

Gives o er, and leaves his part-created cost

A naked subject to the weeping clouds,

And waste for churlish winter s tyranny.

Hast. Grant, that our hopes (yet likely of fair

Should be still-born, and that we now possessed

The utmost man of expectation ;

I think we are a body strong enough,

Even as we are, to equal with the king.

Bar d. What ! is the king but five-and-twenty thou
sand ?

Hast. To us, no more ; nay, not so much, lord Bar-

For his divisions, as the times do brawl,

Are in three heads : one power against the French, 2

And one against Glendower ; perforce, a third

Must take up us. So is the unfirm king

In three divided ; and his coffers sound

With hollow poverty and emptiness.

Arch. That he should draw his several strengths

1 Agree.

2 During this rebellion of Northumberland and the archbishop, a French
army of twelve thousand men landed at Milford Haven, in aid of Owen
Glendower. See Holinshed, p. 531.


And come against us in full puissance,
Need not be dreaded.

Hast. If he should do so,

He leaves his back unarmed, the French and Welsh
Baying him at the heels : never fear that.

Bard. Who, is it like, should lead his forces hither ?

Hast. The duke of Lancaster, 1 and Westmoreland ;
Against the Welsh, himself, and Harry Monmouth :
But who is substituted gainst the French,
I have no certain notice.

Arch. Let us on ; 2

And publish the occasion of our arms.
The commonwealth is sick of their own choice,
Their over-greedy love hath surfeited.
A habitation giddy and unsure
Hath he, that buildeth on the vulgar heart.
O thou fond many, with what loud applause
Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke,
Before he was what thou wouldst have him be !
And being now trimmed 3 in thine own desires,
Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him,
That thou provok st thyself to cast him up.
So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge
Thy glutton bosom of the royal Richard ;
And now thou wouldst eat thy dead vomit up,
And howl st to find it. What trust is in these times ?
They that, when Richard lived, would have him die,
Are now become enamored on his grave.
Thou, that threw st dust upon his goodly head,
When through proud London he came sighing on
After the admired heels of Bolingbroke,
Cry st now, O earth, yield us that king again,

1 This is an anachronism. Prince John of Lancaster was not created a
duke till the second year of the reign of his brother, king Henry V. At
this time prince Henry was actually duke of Lancaster. Shakspeare was
misled by Stowe, who, speaking of the first parliament of king Henry IV.,
says, " Then the king rose, and made his eldest sonne prince of Wales,
&c. : his second sonne was there made duke of Lancaster." Annales,
1(531. pie seems to have consulted Stowe (p. 323) between the times of
finishing the last play and beginning of the present.

2 This speech first appeared in the folio.

3 Dressed.


And take thou this ! O thoughts of men accurst !
Past, and to come, seem best ; things present, worst.

Mowb. Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on ?

Hast. We are time s subjects, and time bids be gone.



SCENE I. London. A Street.

Enter Hostess ; FANG, and his boy, with her ; and
SNARE, following.

Host. Master Fang, have you entered the action ?

Fang. It is entered.

Host. Where is your yeoman? 1 Is it a lusty yeo
man ? will a stand to t ?

Fang. Sirrah, where s Snare ?

Host. O Lord, ay ; good master Snare.

Snare. Here, here.

Fang. Snare, we must arrest sir John Falstaff.

Host. Yea, good master Snare ; I have entered him
and all.

Snare. It may chance cost some of us our lives, for
he will stab.

Host. Alas the day ! take heed of him ; he stabbed
me in mine own house, and that most beastly ; in good
faith, a cares not what mischief he doth, if his weapon
be out : he will foin like any devil ; he will spare nei
ther man, woman, nor child.

Fang. If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.

Host. No, nor I neither ; I ll be at your elbow.

Fang. An I but fist him once ; an a come but
within my vice ; 2

1 A bailiff s follower was formerly called a Serjeant s yeoman.

2 The quarto reads view. Vice is used for grasp or clutch. Thejisl ia
vulgarly called the vice in the west of England.

VOL. IV. 4


Host. I am undone by his going ; I warrant you,
he s an infinitive thing upon my score. Good master
Fang, hold him sure ; good master Snare, let him not
scape. He comes continually to Pie-corner (saving
your manhoods) to buy a saddle; and he s indited to
dinner to the lubbar s head in Lumbert-street, to mas
ter Smooth s the silkman. I pray ye, since my exion
is entered, and my case so openly known to the world,
let him be brought in to his answer. A hundred mark
is a long loan l for a poor lone woman to bear ; and I have
borne, and borne, and borne ; and have been fubbed off,
and fubbed off, ariti fubbed off, from this day to that day,
that it is a shame to be thought on. There is no hon-


esty in such dealing ; unless a woman should be made
an ass, and a beast, to bear every knave s wrong.


Yonder he comes ; and that arrant malmsey-nose knave,
Bardolph, with him. Do your offices, do your offices,
master Fang, and master Snare ; do me, do me, do me
your ofiices.

Fed. How now ? whose mare s dead ? what s the
matter ?

Fang. Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of mistress

Fal. Away, varlets ! Draw, Bardolph ; cut me off
the villain s head ; throw the quean in the channel.

Host. Throw me in the channel ? I ll throw thee in
the channel. Wilt thou ? wilt thou ? thou bastardly
rogue! Murder, murder! O thou honey-suckle 2 vil
lain ! wilt thou kill God s officers, and the king s ? O
thou honey-seed 2 rogue ! thou art a honey-seed ; a
man-queller, 3 and a woman-queller.

1 The old copies read " long one ; " which Theobald supposed was a
corruption of lone or loan. Mr. Douce thinks the alteration unnecessary ;
and that the hostess means to say that a hundred mark is a long score, or
reckoning, for her to bear.

2 It is scarce necessary to remark that honey-suckle and honey-seed are
dame Quickly s corruptions of homicidal and homicide.

3 To quell was anciently used for to kill.


Fal. Keep them off, Bardolph.

Fang. A rescue ! a rescue !

Host. Good people, bring a rescue or two. Thou
wo t, wo t thou ? thou wo t, wo t thou ? do, do, thou
rogue! do, thou hemp-seed!

Fal. Away, you scullion ! you rampallian ! you fus-
tilarian ! I ll tickle your catastrophe.

Enter the Lord Chief Justice, attended.

Ck. Just. What s the matter ? keep the peace here,

Host. Good my lord, be good to me ! I beseech you,
stand to me !

Ch. Just. How 7 now, sir John ? what, are you brawl
ing here ?


Doth this become your place, your time, and business ?
You should have been well on your way to York
Stand from him, fellow ; wherefore hang st thou on him ?

Host. O, my most worshipful lord, an t please your
grace, I am a poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is
arrested at my suit.

Ch. Just. For what sum ?

Host. It is more than for some, my lord. It is for
all, all I have ; he hath eaten me out of house and
home ; he hath put all my substance into that fat belly
of his ; but I will have some of it out again, or I ll
ride thee o nights, like the mare.

Fal. I think I am as like to ride the mare, if I have
any vantage of ground to get up.

Ch. Just. How comes this, sir John ? Fie ! what
man of good temper would endure this tempest of ex
clamation ? Are you not ashamed to enforce a poor
widow to so rough a course to come by her own ?

Fal. What is the gross sum that I owe thee ?

Host. Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself,
and the money too. Thou didst swear to me upon a
parcel-gilt * goblet, sitting in my Dolphin-chamber, at

1 Parcel-gilt is partly gilt, or gilt only in parts. Laneham, in his Let
ter from Kenilworth, describing a bride-cup, says, " It was formed of a


the round table, by a sea-coal fire, upon Wednesday in
Wheeson-week, 1 when the prince broke thy head for
liking his father 2 to a singing-man of Windsor; thou
didst swear to me then, as I was washing thy wound,
to marry me, and make me my lady thy wife. Canst
thou deny it ? Did not good wife Keech, the butcher s
wife, come in then, and call me gossip Quickly?
coming in to borrow a mess of vinegar ; telling us
she had a good dish of prawns ; whereby thou didst
desire to eat some ; whereby I told thee, they were ill
for a green wound ? And didst thou not, when she
was gone down stairs, desire me to be no more so
familiarity with such poor people; saying that ere long
they should call me madam ? And didst thou not kiss
me, and bid me fetch thee thirty shillings ? I put thee
now to thy book-oath ; deny it if thou canst.

Fed. My lord, this is a poor mad soul ; and she says,
up and down the town, that her eldest son is like you.
She hath been in good case, and, the truth is, poverty
hath distracted her. But for these foolish officers, J
beseech you, I may have redress against them.

Ch. Just. Sir John, sir John, I am well acquainted
with your manner of wrenching the true cause the
false way. It is not a confident brow, nor the thronir

J o

of words that come with such more than impudent
sauciness from you, can thrust me from a level consid
eration. You have, as it appears to me, practised upon
the easy-yielding spirit of this woman, and made her
serve your uses both in purse and person.

Host. Yea, in troth, my lord.

Ch. Just. Pr ythee, peace. Pay her the debt you
owe her, and unpay the villany you have done with
her ; the one you may do with sterling money, and the
other with current repentance.

Fal. My lord, I will not undergo this sneap 3 with-

sweet sucket barrel, a faire turned foot set to it, all seemly be-sylvered
and pared gilt."

1 The folio reads WTiitsun-tveek.

2 The folio has " for likening him to," &c.

3 Sneap is reproof, rebuke. Snip, snib, sneb, and snub, are different
forms of the same word. To sneap was originally to check or pinch by


out reply. You call honorable boldness, impudent
sauciness : if a man will make court sy, and say noth
ing, he is virtuous. No, my lord, my humble duty re
membered, I will not be your suitor ; I say to you, I do
desire deliverance from these officers, being upon hasty
employment in the king s affairs.

Cfi. Just. You speak as having power to do wrong ;
but answer in the effect of your reputation, 1 and satisfy
the poor woman.

Fal. Come hither, hostess. [Taking her aside.

Enter GOWER.

Ch. Just. Now, master Gower, what news ?

Gow. The kins;, my lord, and Harry prince of

Are near at hand ; the rest the paper tells.

Fal. As I am a gentleman :

Host. Nay, you said so before.

Fal. As I am a gentleman. Come, no more words
of it.

Host. By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must
be fain to pawn both my plate, and the tapestry of my

Fal. Glasses, glasses, is the only drinking : and for
thy walls, a pretty slight drollery, or the story of the
prodigal, or the German hunting in water-work, 2 is
worth a thousand of these bed-hangings, and these
fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten pound, if thou
canst. Come, and it were not for thy humors, there
is not a better wench in England. Go, wash thy face,
and draw 3 thy action. Come, thou must not be in
this humor with me ! dost not know me ? Come,
come, I know thou wast set on to this.

1 Suitably to your character.

2 Water work is water color paintings or hangings. The painted cloth
was generally oil color; but a cheaper sort, probably resembling in their
execution some modern paper-hangings, was brought from Holland or
Germany, executed in water color, or distemper. The German hunting,
or wild boar hunt, would consequently be a prevalent subject.

3 Withdraw.


Host. Pray thee, sir John, let it be but twenty
nobles ; i faith I am loath to pawn my plate, in good
earnest, la.

Fal. Let it alone ; I ll make other shift ; you ll be a
fool still.

Host. Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my
gown. I hope you ll come to supper ; you ll pay me

Fal. Will I live? Go, with her, with her; [To
BARDOLPH.] hook on, hook on.

Host. Will you have Doll Tear-sheet meet you at
supper ?

Fal. No more words ; let s have her.

[Exeunt Hostess, BARDOLPH, Officers,
and Page.

Ch. Just. I have heard better news.

Fal. What s the news, my good lord ?

Ch. Just. Where lay the king last night?

Gow. At Basingstoke, my lord.

Fal. I hope, my lord, all s well. What s the news,
my lord ?

Ch. Just. Come all his forces back ?

Gow. No ; fifteen hundred foot, live hundred horse,
Are marched up to my lord of Lancaster,
Against Northumberland and the archbishop.

Fal. Comes the king back from Wales, my noble
lord ?

Ch. Just. You shall have letters of me presently.
Come, go along with me, good master Gower.

Fal. My lord!

Ch. Just. What s the matter ?

Fal. Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to
dinner ?

Gow. 1 must wait upon my good lord here ; I thank
you, good sir John.

Ch. Just. Sir John, you loiter here too long, being
you are to take soldiers up in counties as you go.

Fal. Will you sup with me, master Gower ?

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) → online text (page 2 of 38)