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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nothing ? 5

Fal. Pistol, I would be quiet.

Pist. Sweet knight, I kiss thy neif! 6 What! we
have seen the seven stars.

1 This is a parody of the lines addressed by Tamberlane to the captive
princes who draw his chariot, in Marlowe s Tamberlaine, 1590.

2 A blunder for Hannibal.

3 This is again a burlesque upon a line in The Battle of Alcazar, in
which Mulcy Mahomet enters to his wife with lion s flesh on his sword :

" Feed then and faint not, my faire Callypolis."

4 Pistol is supposed to read this motto on his sword ; by singular chance
Mr. Douce picked up an old rapier with the same motto in French :

Si fortune me tourmente, Vesperance me contente.

5 That, is, Shall we have no further entertainment ?

6 Neif is used for fat. It is a north country word.


Dol. Thrust him down stairs ; I cannot endure such
a fustian rascal.

Pist. Thrust him down stairs ! know we not Gal
loway nags ? 1

Fal. Quoit 2 him down, Bardolph, like a shove-groat
shilling. Nay, if he do nothing but speak nothing,
he shall be nothing here.

Bard. Come, get you down stairs.

Pist. What ! shall we have incision ? shall we im
brue ? [Snatching up his sword.
Then death rock me asleep, abridge my doleful days !
Why, then, let grievous, ghastly, gaping wounds
Untwine the sisters three ! Come, Atropos, I say ! 3

Host. Here s goodly stuff toward !

Fal. Give me my rapier, boy.

Dol. I pray thee, Jack, I pray thee, do not draw.

Fal. Get you down stars.

[Drawing, and driving PISTOL out.

Host. Here s a goodly tumult ! I ll forswear keeping
house, afore I ll be in these tin-its and frights. So ;

murder, I warrant now. Alas, alas ! put up your

naked weapons, put up your naked weapons.


Dol. I pray thee, Jack, be quiet ; the rascal is gone.
Ah, you whoreson little valiant villain, you.

Host. Are you not hurt i the groin ? methought he
made a shrewd thrust at your belly.

1 Common hackneys.

9 i. e. pitch him down. The shove-groat shillings were such broad
shillings of king Edward VI. as Slender calls Edward shovel-boards, in
The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act i. Sc. 1.

3 Pistol makes use of fragments of old ballads as well as old plays :

" O death, rock me on slepe,
Bring me on quiet rest,"

is an ancient song, attributed to Anne Boleyn. There is another in the
Gorgious Gallery of Gallant Inventions, 1578, which has furnished him with |

some of his rhodomontade :

" I hate this loathsome life,
O Atropos, draw nie,
Untwist the thread of mortall strife,
Send death, and let me die."


Re-enter BARDOLPH.

FaL Have you turned him out of doors ?

Bard. Yes, sir. The rascal s drunk : you have hurt
him, sir, in the shoulder.

FaL A rascal ! to brave me !

Dol. Ah, you sweet little rogue, you ! Alas, poor
ape, how thou sweat st ! Come, let me wipe thy face ;
come on, you whoreson chops. Ah, rogue! i faith,
I love thee. Thou art as valorous as Hector of Troy,
worth five of Agamemnon, and ten times better than
the nine worthies. Ah, villain !

FaL A rascally slave ! I will toss the rogue in a

Dol. Do, if thou darest for thy heart ; if thou dost,
I ll canvass thee between a pair of sheets.

Enter Music.

Page. The music is come, sir.

Fal. Let them play ; play, sirs ; sit on my knee,
Doll. A rascally, bragging slave ! the rogue fled from
me like quicksilver.

Dol. 1 faith, and thou followedst him like a church.
Thou whoreson little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig, 1 when
wilt thou leave fighting o days, and Joining o nights,
and begin to patch up thine old body for heaven ?

Enter, behind, PRINCE HENRY and POINS, disguised
like Drawers.

FaL Peace, good Doll ! do not speak like a death s
head ; do not bid me remember mine end.

Dol. Sirrah, what humor is the prince of?

FaL A good, shallow young fellow : he would have
made a good pantler ; he would have chipped bread

1 Roasted pigs were formerly among the chief attractions of Bartholo
mew fair.


Dol. They say, Poins has a good wit.

FaL He a good wit ? Hang him, baboon ! his wit
is as thick as Tewksbury mustard ; there is no more
conceit in him, than is in a mallet.

Dol. Why does the prince love him so then ?

FaL Because their legs are both of a bigness ; and
he plays at quoits well ; and eats conger and fennel ; *
and drinks off candles ends for flap-dragons ; 2 and
rides the wild mare with the boys; 3 and jumps upon
joint-stools ; and swears with a good grace ; and wears
his boot very smooth, like unto the sign of the leg ; and
breeds no bate with telling of discreet stories ; 4 and
such other gambol faculties he hath, that show a weak
mind and an able body, for the which the prince admits
him ; for the prince himself is such another ; the weight
of a hair will turn the scales between their avoir

P. Hen. Would not this nave of a wheel 5 have his
ears cut off?

Poins. Let s beat him before his whore.

P. Hen. Look, if the withered elder hath not his
poll clawed like a parrot.

Poins. Is it not strange, that desire should so many
years outlive performance ?

FaL Kiss me, Doll.

P. Hen. Saturn and Venus this year in conjunc
tion ! 6 What says the almanac to that ?

1 Fennel was generally esteemed an inflammatory herb, and therefore
to eat conger and fennel was to eat two high and hot things together.
Fennel was also regarded as an emblem of flattery.

2 Theflap-dragon was some small, combustible material swallowed alight
in a glass of liquor : a candle s end formed a very formidable and disagree
able flap-dragon, and to swallow it was considered an act of merit, or of
gallantry, when done in honor of the toper s mistress.

3 Riding the wild mare is another name for the childish sport of see

4 Mr. Douce thinks Falstaff s meaning to be, that Poins excites no cen
sure by telling his companions modest stories, or, in plain English, that he
tells them nothing but immodest ones.

5 Falstaff is humorously called nave of a wheel, from his rotundity of
figure. The equivoque between nave and knave is obvious.

6 This was indeed a prodigy. The astrologers, says Ficinus, remark,
that Saturn and Venus are never conjoined.


Poins. And, look, whether the fiery Trigon, 1 his
man, be not lisping to his master s old tables, his note
book, his counsel-keeper.

Fal. Thou dost give me flattering busses.

Dol. Nay, truly ; I kiss thee with a most constant

Fal. I am old, I am old.

Dol. I love thee better than I love e er a scurvy
}oung boy of them all.

Fal. What stuff wilt have a kirtle 2 of ? I shall
receive money on Thursday : thou slialt have a cap to
morrow. A merry song, come : it grows late ; we ll to
bed. Thou lt forget me, when I am gone.

Dol. By my troth thou lt set me a weeping, an thou
sayest so; prove that ever I dress myself handsome till
thy return. Well, hearken the end.

Fal. Some sack, Francis.

P. Hen. Poins. Anon, anon, sir. [Advancing.

Fal. Ha ! a bastard son of the king s ? And art
not thou Poins his brother ?

P. Hen. Why, thou globe of sinful continents, what
a life dost thou lead ?

Fal. A better than thou ; I am a gentleman, thou
art a drawer.

P. Hen. Very true, sir ; and I come to draw you
out by the ears.

Host. O, the Lord preserve thy good grace ! by
my troth, welcome to London. Now the Lord bless
that sweet face of thine ! O, Jesu, are you come from
Wales ?

Fal. Thou whoreson mad compound of majesty, -
by this light flesh and corrupt blood, thou art welcome.

[Leaning his hand upon DOLL.

Dol. How ! you fat fool, I scorn you.

Poins. My lord, he will drive you out of your re-

1 Trigon or triangle, a term in the old judicial astrology. They called
it a fiery trigon when the three upper planets met in a fiery sign ; which
was thought to denote rage and contention.

2 A kirtle was a petticoat, which sometimes had a body without sleeves
attached to it


venge, and turn all to a merriment, if you take not the

P. Hen. You whoreson candle-mine, you, how vilely
did you speak of me even now, before this honest, vir
tuous, civil gentlewoman ?

Host. Blessing o your good heart ! and so she is,
by my troth.

Fal. Didst thou hear me ?

P. Hen. Yes ; and you knew me, as you did when
you ran away by Gads-hill : you knew I was at your
back, and spoke it on purpose to try my patience.

Fal. No, no, no ; not so ; I did not think thou wast
within hearing.

P. Hen. I shall drive thee then to confess the wilful
abuse ; and then I know how to handle you.

Fal. No abuse, Hal, on mine honor ; no abuse.

P. Hen. Not ! to dispraise me, and call me pan-
tier, and bread-chipper, and I know not what ?

Fal. No abuse, Hal.

Poms. No abuse !

Fal. No abuse, Ned, in the world ; honest Ned,
none. I dispraised him before the wicked, that the
wicked might not fall in love with him ; in which
doing, I have done the part of a careful friend, and a
true subject, and thy father is to give me thanks for it.
No abuse, Hal ; none, Ned, none ; no, boys, none.

P. Hen. See, now, whether pure fear, and entire
cowardice, doth not make thee wrong this virtuous gen-


tlewoman to close with us ? Is she of the wicked ? Is
thine hostess here of the wicked ? Or is the boy of the
wicked ? Or honest Bardolph, whose zeal burns in his
nose, of the wicked ?

Poins. Answer, thou dead elm, answer.

Fal. The fiend hath pricked down Bardolph irre
coverable ; and his face is Lucifer s privy-kitchen,
where he doth nothing but roast malt-worms. For the
boy, there is a good angel about him ; but the devil
outbids him too. 1

1 The quarto reads, " and the devil blinds him too.



P. Hen. For the women,

FaL For one of them, she is in hell already, and
burns, poor soul ! For the other, I owe her money ;
and whether she be damned for that, I know not.

Host. No, I warrant you.

FaL No, I think thou art not; I think thou art quit
for that. Marry, there is another indictment upon thee,
for suffering flesh to be eaten in thy house, contrary to
the law ; for the which, I think, thou wilt howl.

Host. All victuallers do so. What s a joint of
mutton or two in a whole Lent ?

P. Hen. You gentlewoman,

Dol. What says your grace ?

Fal. His grace says that which his flesh rebels

Host. Who knocks so loud at door ? Look to the
door there, Francis.

Enter PETO.

P. Hen. Peto, how now ? what news ?

Peto. The king your father is at Westminster;
And there are twenty weak and wearied posts
Come from the north; and, as I came along,
I met, and overtook, a dozen captains,
Bare-headed, sweating, knocking at the taverns,
And asking every one for sir John Falstaff.

P. Hen. By Heaven, Poins, I feel me much to blame,
So idly to profane the precious time ;
When tempest of commotion, like the south
Borne with black vapor, doth begin to melt,
And drop upon our bare, unarmed heads.
Give me my sword, and cloak. Falstaff, good night.

FaL Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night,
and we must hence, and leave it unpicked. [Knocking
heard.] More knocking at the door ?


Re-enter BARDOLPH.

How now ? what s the matter ?

Bard. You must away to court, sir, presently ; a
dozen captains stay at door for you.

Fal. Pay the musicians, sirrah. [To the Page.]
Farewell, hostess ; farewell, Doll. You see, my good
wenches, how men of merit are sought after ; the un-
deserver may sleep, when the man of action is called
on. Farewell, good wenches ! If I be not sent away
post, I will see you again ere I go.

Dol. I cannot speak ; if my heart be not ready to
burst ; Well, sweet Jack, have a care of thyself.

Fal. Farewell, farewell.


Host. Well, fare thee well : I have known thee
these twenty-nine years, come peascod-time ; but an
honester, and truer-hearted man, well, fare thee well.

Bard. [Within.~\ Mistress Tear-sheet,

Host. What s the matter ?

Bard. [Within.] Bid mistress Tear-sheet come to
my master.

Host. O run, Doll, run ; run, good Doll. [Exeunt.


SCENE I. A Room in the Palace.

Enter KING HENRY in his nightgown, with a Page.

K. Hen. Go, call the earls of Surrey and of War
wick ;
But ere they come, bid them o er-read these letters,

And well consider of them. Make good speed.

[Exit Page.
How many thousand of my poorest subjects


Are at this hour asleep ! O Sleep, O gentle Sleep,

Nature s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,

That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,

And steep my senses in forgetful ness ?

Why rather, Sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,

Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,

And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,

Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,

Under the canopies of costly state,

And lulled with sounds of sweetest melody ?

O, thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile,

In loathsome beds ; and leav st the kingly couch,

A watch-case, 1 or a common larum bell?

Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast

Seal up the ship-boy s eyes, and rock his brains

In cradle of the rude, imperious surge ;

And in the visitation of the winds,

Who take the ruffian billows by the top,

Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them

With deafening clamors in the slippery clouds, 2

That, with the liurly, death itself awakes ?

Canst thou, O partial Sleep ! give thy repose

To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,

And, in the calmest and most stillest night,

With all appliances and means to boot,

Deny it to a king ? Then, happy low, 3 lie down !

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.


War. Many good morrows to your majesty !
K. Hen. Is it good morrow, lords ?
War. Tis one o clock, and past.

1 A watch case here may mean the case of a watch-light ; but the fol
lowing article, cited by Strutt in his Manners and Customs, vol. iii. p. 70,
from an old inventory, may throw some light upon it : " Item, a laume
(larum) or watche of iron, in an iron case, with two leaden plumets."

2 Some commentators propose to read shrouds instead of clouds.

3 Warburton conjectures, that this is a corrupt reading for happy lowly


K. Hen. Why then, good morrow to you all, 1 my lords.
Have you read o er the letters that I sent you ?

War. We have, my liege.

K. Hen. Then you perceive, the body of our kingdom
How foul it is ; what rank diseases grow,
And with what danger, near the heart of it.

War. It is but as a body, yet, distempered ;
Which to his former strength may be restored,

With good advice, and little medicine.

My lord Northumberland will soon be cooled.

K. Hen. O Heaven ! that one might read the book

of fate,

And see the revolution of the times
Make mountains level, and the continent
(Weary of solid firmness) melt itself
Into the sea ! and, other times, to see
The beachy girdle of the ocean
Too wide for Neptune s hips ; how chances mock,
And changes fill the cup of alteration
With divers liquors ! O, if this w r ere seen, 2
The happiest youth viewing his progress through,
What perils past, what crosses to ensue
Would shut the book, and sit him down and die.
Tis not ten years gone,

Since Richard, and Northumberland, great friends,
Did feast together, and, in two years after,
Were they at wars. It is but eight years since
This Percy was the man nearest my soul ;
Who, like a brother, toiled in my affairs,
And laid his love and life under my foot;
Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard,
Gave him defiance. But which of you was by, 3
(You, cousin Nevil, 4 as I may remember,)


1 This mode of phraseology, where only two persons are addressed, is
used again in King Henry VI. Part 2.

2 This and the three following lines are from the quarto copy.

3 The reference is to King Richard II. Act iv. Sc. 2 : but neither War
wick nor the king were present at that conversation. Henry had then as
cended the throne.

4 The earldom of Warwick was at this time in the family of Beauchamp,


When Richard with his eyes brim full of tears,
Then checked and rated bj Northumberland
Did speak these words, now proved a prophecy ?
Northumberland, thou ladder, by the which
My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne ;
Though then, Heaven knows, I had no such intent,
But that necessity so bowed the state,

That I and greatness were compelled to kiss :

The time shall come, thus did he follow it,
The time will come, that foul sin, gathering head,
Shall break into corruption ; so went on,
Foretelling this same time s condition,
And the division of our amity.

War. There is a history in all men s lives,
Figuring the nature of the times deceased ;
The which observed, a man may prophesy,
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life ; which in their seeds,
And weak beginnings, lie intreasured.
Such things become the hatch and brood of time ;
And, by the necessary form of this,
King Richard might create a perfect guess,
That great Northumberland, then false to him,
Would, of that seed, grow to a greater falseness ;
Which should not find a ground to root upon,
Unless on you.

K. Hen. Are these things then necessities ?

Then let us meet them like necessities:
And that same word even now cries out on us ;
They say, the bishop and Northumberland
Are fifty thousand strong.

War. It cannot be, my lord ;

Rumor doth double, like the voice and echo,
The numbers of the feared : Please it your grace
To go to bed ; upon my life, my lord,
The powers that you already have sent forth,

and did not come into that of the Nevils till many years after ; when Anne,
the daughter of tliis earl, married Richard JVH i/, son of the earl of Salis
bury, who makes a conspicuous figure in the Third Part of King Henry
VI. under the title of earl of Warwick.


Shall bring this prize in very easily.

To comfort you the more, I have received

A certain instance, that Glendovver is dead. 1

Your majesty hath been this fortnight ill ;

And these unseasoned hours, perforce, must add

Unto your sickness.

K. Hen. I will take your counsel ;

And, were these inward wars once out of hand,
We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land. [Exeunt.

SCENE II. Court before Justice Shallow s House in

Enter SHALLOW and SILENCE, meeting; MOULDY,

Shal. Come on, come on, come on ; give me your
hand, sir, give me your hand, sir : an early stirrer, by
the rood. 2 And how doth my good cousin Silence ?

Sil. Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.

Shal. And how doth my cousin, your bedfellow ?
and your fairest daughter, and mine, my god-daughter
Ellen ?

Sil. Alas, a black ouzel, cousin Shallow.

Shal. By yea and nay, sir, I dare say, my cousin
William is become a good scholar. He is at Oxford,
still, is he not ?

Sil. Indeed, sir ; to my cost.

Shal. He must then to the inns of court shortly.
I was once of Clement s inn, where, I think, they will
talk of mad Shallow yet.

Sil. You were called lusty Shallow, then, cousin.

Shal. By the mass, I was called any thing ; and I
would have done any thing, indeed, and roundly too.
There was I, and little John Doit of Staffordshire, and

1 Glendower did not die till after king Henry IV. Shakspeare was led
into this error by Holinshed.

2 The rood is the cross or crucifix (rode, Sax.).


black George Bare, and Francis Pickbone, and Will
Squele, a Cotswold man, 1 you had not four such
swinge-bucklers 2 in all the inns of court again : and,
I may say to you, we knew where the bona-robas 3
were ; and had the best of them all at commandment.
Then was Jack Fal staff, now sir John, a boy, and
page to Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk.

Sil. This sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon
about soldiers ?

Shal. The same sir John, the very same. I saw
him break Skogan s 4 head at the court gate, when he
was a crack, 5 not thus high ; and the very same day
did I fight with one Sampson Stockfish, a fruiterer,
behind Gray s Inn. O, the mad days that I have
spent ! and to see how many of mine old acquaintance
are dead !

Sil. We shall all follow, cousin.

Shal. Certain, tis certain; very sure, very sure:
death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all: all shall
die. How a good yoke of bullocks at Stamford fair ?

Sil. Truly, cousin, I was not there.

Shal. Death is certain. Is old Double of your
town living yet ?

Sil. Dead, sir.

Shal. Dead ! See, see ! he drew a good bow :
And dead ! he shot a fine shoot : John of Gaunt
loved him well, and betted much money on his head.
Dead ! he would have clapped i the clout at twelve
score ; 6 and carried you a forehand shaft a fourteen
and fourteen and a half, that it would have done a

1 The Cotswold hills in Gloucestershire were famous for rural sports
of all kinds.

2 Swinge-bucklers and swash-bucklers were terms implying rakes and

3 " Bnona-roba as we say, good stuff; a good, wholesome, plump-cheeked
wench." Florio.

4 Shakspcare probably got his idea of Scogan from his jests, which
were published by Andrew Bordein the reign of king Henry VIII.

5 A crack is a boy.

6 Hit the white mark at twelve score yards. By the statute 33 Hen.
VIII. c. 9, every person turned of seventeen years of age, who shoots at a
less distance than twelve score, is to forfeit six shillings and eight pence.


man s heart good to see. How a score of ewes

now ?

Sil. Thereafter as they be : a score of good ewes
may be worth ten pounds.

Shot. And is old Double dead ?

Enter BARDOLPH, and one with him.

Sil. Here come two of sir John FalstafPs men, as
I think.

Bard. Good morrow, honest gentlemen : I beseech
you, which is justice Shallow ?

Shal. I am Robert Shallow, sir ; a poor esquire of
this county, and one of the king s justices of the peace.
What is your good pleasure with me ?

Bard. My captain, sir, commends him to you ; my
captain, sir John Falstaff ; a tall gentleman, by Heaven,
and a most gallant leader.

Shal. He greets me well, sir : I knew 7 him a good
backsword-man. How doth the good knight? may
I ask how my lady his wife doth ?

Bard. Sir, pardon ; a soldier is better accommo
dated, than with a wife.

Shal. It is well said, in faith, sir ; and it is well
said indeed too. Better accommodated ! it is good :
yea, indeed, it is ; good phrases are surely, and ever
were, very commendable. Accommodated ! it comes
from accommodo : very good ; a good phrase. 1

Bard. Pardon me, sir; I have heard the word.
Phrase, call you it? By this good day, I know not
the phrase ; but I will maintain the word with my
sword, to be a soldierlike word, and a word of ex
ceeding good command. Accommodated : that is,
when a man is, as they say, accommodated ; or, when
a man is, being, whereby, he may be thought to
be accommodated ; which is an excellent thing.

It appears that it was fashionable in the Poet s time to introduce this
word accommodate upon all occasions. Ben Jonson, in his Discoveries,
calls it one of the perfumed terms of the time.

VOL. IV. 8



ShaL It is very just. Look, here comes good sir
John. Give me jour good hand, give me jour wor
ship s good hand. Bj mj troth, jou look well, and
bear jour jears verj well : welcome, -good sir John.

Fal. I am glad to see jou well, good master Robert
Shallow. Master Sure-card, as I think.

Shal. No, sir John : it is my cousin Silence, in
commission with me.

Fal. Good master Silence, it well befits you should
be of the peace.

Sil. Your good worship is welcome.

Fal. Fie ! this is hot weather. Gentlemen, have
you provided me here half a dozen sufficient men ?

S/ial. Marry, have we, sir. Will you sit ?

Fal. Let me see them, I beseech you.

ShaL Where s the roll ? where s the roll ? where s
the roll ? Let me see, let me see. So, so, so, so :
Yea, marry, sir. Ralph Mouldy: let them appear as

I call ; let them do so, let them do so. Let me see ;

where is Mouldy ?

Moid. Here, an t please you.

ShaL What think you, sir John ? a good-limbed
fellow; young, strong, and of good friends.

Fal. Is thy name Mouldy ?

MouL Yea, an t please you.

Fal. Tis the more time thou wert used.

ShaL Ha, ha, ha! most excellent, i faith! things
that are mouldy, lack use. Very singular good ! In
faith, well said, sir John ; very well said.

Fal. Prick him. [To SHALLOW.

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