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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MouL 1 was pricked well enough before, an you
could have let me alone ; my old dame will be undone
now. for one to do her husbandry, and her drudgery ;
you need not to have pricked me ; there are other men
fitter to go out than I.

Fal. Go to ; peace, Mouldy, you shall go. Mouldy,
it is time you were spent.

MouL Spent!


Shal. Peace, fellow, peace ; stand aside. Know
you where you are ? For the other, sir John, let me
see. Simon Shadow !

Fal. Ay, marry, let me have him to sit under ; he s
like to be a cold soldier.

Shal. Where s Shadow ?

Shad. Here, sir.

Fal. Shadow, whose son art thou ?

Shad. My mother s son, sir.

Fal. Thy mother s son ! like enough ; and thy
father s shadow ; so the son of the female is the shad
ow of the male. It is often so, indeed ; but not much
of the father s substance.

Shal. Do you like him, sir John ?

Fal. Shadow will serve for summer, prick him ;
for we have a number of shadows to fill up the muster

Shal. Thomas Wart !

Fal. Where s he ?

Wart. Here, sir.

Fal. Is thy name Wart ?

Wart. Yea, sir.

Fal. Thou art a very ragged wart.

Shal. Shall I prick him, sir John ?

Fal. It were superfluous ; for his apparel is built
upon his back, and the whole frame stands upon pins ;
prick him no more.

Shal. Ha, ha, ha ! you can do it, sir ; you can do
it : I commend you well. Francis Feeble !

Fee. Here, sir.

Fal. What trade art thou, Feeble ?

Fee. A woman s tailor, sir.

Shal. Shall I prick him, sir ?

Fal. You may ; but if he had been a man s tailor,
he would have pricked you. Wilt thou make as many
holes in an enemy s battle, as thou hast done in a
woman s petticoat ?

Fee. I will do my good will, sir ; you can have no

Fal. Well said, good woman s tailor ! well said,


courageous Feeble ! Thou wilt be as valiant as the
wrathful dove, or most magnanimous mouse. Prick
the woman s tailor well, master Shallow ; deep, master

Fee. I would Wart might have gone, sir.

Fed. 1 would thou wert a man s tailor ; that thou
might st mend him and make him fit to go. I cannot
put him to a private soldier, that is the leader of so
many thousands. Let that suffice, most forcible

Fee. It shall suffice, sir.

Fal. I am bound to thee, reverend Feeble. Who
is next ?

Shal Peter Bull-calf of the green !

Fal. Yea, marry, let us see Bull-calf.

Bull. Here, sir.

Fal. Fore God, a likely fellow ! Come, prick me
Bull-calf till he roar again.

Bull. O Lord! good my lord captain,

Fal. What, dost thou roar before thou art pricked?

Bull. O Lord, sir ! I am a diseased man.

Fal. What disease hast thou ?

Bull. A whoreson cold, sir ; a cough, sir; which I
caught with ringing in the king s affairs, upon his coro
nation-day, sir.

Fal. Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a gown ; we
will have away thv cold ; and I will take such order,
that thy friends shall ring for thee. Is here all ?

Shal. Here is two * more called than your number;
you must have but four here, sir ; and so, I pray you,
go in with me to dinner.

Fal. Come, I will go drink with you, but I cannot
tarry dinner. I am glad to see you, in good troth,
master Shallow.

Shal. O, sir John, do you remember since we lay
all night in the windmill in Saint George s Fields ?

Fed. No more of that, good master Shallow, no
more of that.

i There is, in fact, but one more called than Falstaff required ; perhaps
we might, with Mr. Capel, omit the word two.


Shal. Ha, it was a merry night. And is Jane
Night-work alive ?

FaL She lives, master Shallow.

Shal. She never could away with me.

FaL Never, never ; she would always say, she could
not abide master Shallow.

Shal. By the mass, I could anger her to the heart.
She was then a bona-roba. Doth she hold her own
well ?

FaL Old, old, master Shallow.

Shal. Nay, she must be old ; she cannot choose but
be old ; certain, she s old ; and had Robin Night-work
by old Night-work, before I came to Clement s Inn.

Sil. That s fifty-five years ago.

Shal. Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that
this knight and I have seen ! Ha, sir John, said I well?

FaL We have heard the chimes at midnight, mas
ter Shallow.

Shal. That we have, that we have, that we have ;
in faith, sir John, we have ; our watch-word was, Hem,
boys! Come, let s to dinner; come, let s to dinner.
O, the days that we have seen ! Come, come.

[Exeunt FAL., SHAL., and SILENCE.

Bull. Good master corporate Bardolph, stand my
friend ; and here is four Harry ten shillings ] in French
crowns for you. In very truth, sir, I had as lief be
hanged, sir, as go ; and yet, for mine own part, sir, I
do not care ; but rather, because I am unwilling, and,
for mine own part, have a desire to stay with my
friends ; else, sir, I did not care, for mine own part, so

Bard. Go to ; stand aside.

Moid. And, good master corporal captain, for my old
dame s sake, stand my friend ; she has nobody to do
any thing about her, when I am gone ; and she is old,
and cannot help herself; you shall have forty, sir.

Bard. Go to ; stand aside.

1 There were no coins often shillings value in Henry the Fourth s time.
Shakspeare s Harry ten shillings were those of Henry VII. or VIII.


Fee. 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 his prince ; and, let it go
which way it will, he that dies this year is quit for the

Bard. Well said : thou rt a good fellow.

Fee. Faith, I ll bear no base mind.

Re-enter FALSTAFF, and Justices.

Fal. Come, sir, which men shall I have ?

Shal. Four, of which you please.

Bard. Sir, a word with you. I have three pound
to free Mouldy and Bull-calf.

Fal. Go to ; well.

Shal. Come, sir John, which four will you have ?

Fal. Do you choose for me.

Shal. Marry then, Mouldy, Bull-calf, Feeble, and

Fal. Mouldy, and Bull-calf; For you, Mouldy,
stay at home till you are past service ; and, for your
part, Bull-calf, grow till you come unto it ; I will
none of you.

Shal. Sir John, sir John, do not yourself wrong ;
they are your likeliest men, and I would have you
served with the best.

Fal. Will you tell me, master Shallow, how to
choose a man ? Care I for the limb, the thewes, 1 the
stature, bulk, and big assemblance of a man ! Give
me the spirit, master Shallow. Here s Wart ; you
see what a ragged appearance it is : he shall charge
you, and discharge you, with the motion of a pewterer s
hammer ; come off, and on, swifter than he that gib-
bets-on the brewer s bucket. And this same half-faced
fellow, Shadow, give me this man ; he presents no
mark to the enemy ; the foeman may with as great aim

1 Shakspeare uses thewes in a sense almost peculiar to himself, for miis-
cular strength or sineivs.


level at the edge of a penknife. And, for a retreat,
how swiftly will this Feeble, the woman s tailor, run
off! O, give me the spare men, and spare me the
great ones. Put me a caliver into Wart s hand, Bar-

Bard. Hold, Wart, traverse l thus, thus, thus.

Fal. Come, manage me your caliver. So ; very
well ; go to ; very good : exceeding good. O,
give me always a little, lean, old, chapped, bald shot. 2
Well said, i faith, Wart ; thou art a good scab ; hold,
there s a tester for thee.

ShaL He is not his craft s-master, he doth not do it
right. I remember at Mile-end Green, 3 (when I lay
at Clement s Inn, I was then sir Dagonet in Arthur s
show, 4 ) there was a little quiver 5 fellow, and a would
manage you his piece thus ; and a would about, and
about, and come you in, and come you in ; rah, tali,
tah, would a say ; bounce, would a say ; and away
again would a go, and again w r ould a come. I shall
never see such a fellow.

Fal. These fellows will do well, master Shallow.
God keep you, master Silence ; I will not use many
words with you. Fare you well, gentlemen both ; I
thank you ; I must a dozen mile to-night. Bardolph,
give the soldiers coats.

ShaL Sir John, Heaven bless you, and prosper your
affairs, and send us peace! As you return, visit my

1 Traverse was an ancient military term for march!

2 Shot, for shooter.

3 Mile-end Green was the place for public sports and exercises.

4 Arthur s show Avas an exhibition of Toxopholites, styling themselves
"The Auncient Order, Society, and Unitie laudable of Prince Arthure
and his Knightly Armory of the Round Table." The associates Avere
fifty-eight in number. According to their historian and poet, Richard
Robinson, this society was established by charter under king Henry the
Eighth, who, "when he sawe a good archer indeede, he chose him and
ordained such a one for a knight of this order." Robinson s book Avas
printed in 1583. Sir Dagonet, though one of the knights, is also repre
sented in the romance as king Arthur s fool. This society is also noticed
by Richard Mulcaster (who Avas a member) in his book Concerning the
Training up of Children, 1581, in a passage communicated to Malone by
the Rev. Mr. Bowie.

5 Quiver is nimble, active.


house ; let our old acquaintance be renewed ; perad-
venture, I will with you to the court.

FaL I would you would, master Shallow.

ShaL Go to ; I have spoke, at a word. Fare you
well. [Exeunt SHALLOW and SILENCE.

FaL Fare you well, gentle gentlemen. On, Bar-
dolph ; lead the men away. [Exeunt BARDOLPH,
Recruits, &c.~\ As I return, I will fetch off these jus
tices ; I do see the bottom of justice Shallow. Lord,
Lord, how subject we old men are to this vice of lying !
This same starved justice hath done nothing but
prate to me of the wildness of his youth, and the feats
he had done about Turnbull-street ! l and every third
word a lie, duer paid to the hearer than the Turk s
tribute. I do remember him at Clement s Inn, like a
man made after supper of a cheese-paring ; when he
was naked, he was, for all the world, like a forked
radish, with a head fantastically carved upon it with a
knife ; he was so forlorn, that his dimensions to any
thick sight were invincible ; 2 he was the very Genius
of famine ; [yet lecherous as a monkey, and the whores
called him mandrake.] He came ever in the rear-ward
of the fashion ; [and sung those tunes to the over-
scutched 3 huswives that he heard the carmen whistle,
and sware they were his fancies, or his good-nights. 4 ]
And now is this Vice s dagger 5 become a squire ; and
talks as familiarly of John of Gaunt, as if he had been
sworn brother to him ; and I ll be sworn he never saAv
him but once in the Tilt-yard ; and then he burst G his
head, for crowding among the marshal s men. I saw

1 Turnlndl -street, or TumbaU-street, is a corruption of Turnmill-street,
near Clerkenwell ; anciently the resort of bullies, rogues, and other disso
lute persons.

2 Steevens has adopted Rowe s alteration of this word invincible to ?-
visible. The word may be metaphorically used for not to be mastered or
taken in.

3 i. e. whipped, carted. A scutcher was a whip, according 1 to Cotgrave.

4 Titles of little poems. The sentences in brackets are not in the folio
of 1623.

5 For some account of the Vice and his dagger of lath, the reader may
see Twelfth Night, Act iv. Sc. 2.

6 Burst, brast and broken, were formerly synonymous ; as may be seen
under the words break and broken in Baret.


it, and told John of Gaunt, he beat his own name;
for you might have trussed him, and all his apparel,
into an eel-skin ; the case of a treble hautboy was a
mansion for him, a court : and now has he land and
beeves. Well ; I will be acquainted with him, if I
return ; and it shall go hard, but. I will make him a
philosopher s two stones to me : If the young dace be
a bait for the old pike, I see no reason, in the law of
nature, but I may snap at him. Let time shape, and
there an end. [Exit.


SCENE I. A Forest in Yorkshire.

Enter the Archbishop of York, MOWBRAY, HASTINGS,
and others.

Arch. What is this forest called ?

Hast. Tis Gualtree forest, an t shall please your

Arch. Here stand, my lords ; and send discoverers

To know the numbers of our enemies.

Hast. We have sent forth already.

Arch. Tis well done.

My friends, and brethren in these great affairs,
I must acquaint you that I have received
New-dated letters from Northumberland ;
Their cold intent, tenor, and substance, thus:
Here doth he wish his person, with such powers
As might hold sortance 1 with his quality,
The which he could not levy ; whereupon
He is retired, to ripe his growing fortunes,
To Scotland ; and concludes in hearty prayers,

1 Be suitable.

VOL. IV. 9


That your attempts may overlive the hazard,
And fearful meeting of their opposite.

Mowb. Thus do the hopes we have in him touch

And dash themselves to pieces.

Enter a Messenger.

Hast. Now, what news ?

Mess. West of this forest, scarcely off a mile,
In goodly form, comes on the enemy ;
And, by the ground they hide, I judge their number
Upon, or near, the rate of thirty thousand.

Mowb. The just proportion that \ve gave them out.
Let us sway l on, and face them in the field.


Arch. What well-appointed leader fronts us here f

Mowb. I think it is my lord of Westmoreland.

West. Health and fair greeting from our general,
The prince lord John and duke of Lancaster.

Arch. Say on, my lord of Westmoreland, in peace ;
What doth concern your coming ?

West. Then, my lord,

Unto your grace do I in chief address
The substance of my speech. If that rebellion
Came like itself, in base and abject routs,
Led on by bloody 2 youth, guarded 3 with rage,
And countenanced by boys, and beggary ;
I say, if damned commotion so appeared
In his true, native, and most proper shape,
You, reverend father, and these noble lords
Had not been here, to dress the ugly form

1 To sway was sometimes used for a rushing, hasty movement

2 Baret distinguishes between bloody, full of blood, scniguincous, and
bloody, desirous of blood, sanguinarius. In this speech Shakspeare uses
the word in both senses.

3 Guarded is a metaphor taken from dress ; to guard being to ornament
with guards or facings.


Of base and bloody insurrection

With your fair honors. You, lord archbishop,

Whose see is by a civil peace maintained ;

Whose beard the silver hand of peace hath touched ;

Whose learning and good letters peace hath tutored;

Whose white investments 1 figure innocence,

The dove and very blessed spirit of peace,

Wherefore do you so ill translate yourself,

Out of the speech of peace, that bears such grace,

Into the harsh and boisterous tongue of war ?

Turning your books to graves, 2 your ink to blood,

Your pens to lances ; and your tongue divine

To a loud trumpet, and a point of war ?

Arch. Wherefore do I this ? so the question


Briefly to this end. W r e are all diseased ;
And, with our surfeiting, and wanton hours,
Have brought ourselves into a burning fever,
And we must bleed for it ; of which disease
Our late king, Richard, being infected, died.
But, my most noble lord of Westmoreland,
I take not on me here as a physician ;
Nor do I as an enemy to peace,
Troop in the throngs of military men ;
But, rather, show a while like fearful war,
To diet rank minds, sick of happiness ;
And purge the obstructions, which begin to stop
Our very veins of life. Hear me more plainly.
I have in equal balance justly weighed
What wrongs our arms may do, what wrongs we suffer,
And find our griefs heavier than our offences.
We see which way the stream of time doth run,
And are enforced from our most quiet sphere 3

1 " Formerly all bishops wore white, even when they travelled." Hody s
History of Convocations, p. 141. This white investment was the episcopal

2 Warburton very plausibly reads glaives ; Steevens proposed greaves.
It should be remarked that greaves, or leg-armor, is sometimes spelled

3 The old copies read, " from our most quiet there." Warburton made
the alteration.


By the rough torrent of occasion ;

And have the summary of all our griefs,

When time shall serve, to show in articles;

Which, long ere this, we offered to the king,

And might by no suit gain our audience.

When we are wronged, and would unfold our griefs,

We are denied access unto his person l

Even by those men that most have done us wrong.

The dangers of the days but newly gone,

(Whose memory is written on the earth

With yet-appearing blood,) and the examples

Of every minute s instance, 2 (present now,)

Have put us in these ill-beseeming arms ;

Not to break peace, or any branch of it;

But to establish here a peace indeed,

Concurring both in name and quality.

West. When ever yet was your appeal denied ?
Wherein have you been galled by the king ?
What peer hath been suborned to grate on you ?
That you should seal this lawless, bloody book
Of forged rebellion with a seal divine,
And consecrate commotion s bitter edge ? 3

Arch. My brother general, the commonwealth,
To brother born a household cruelty,
I make my quarrel in particular. 4

West. There is no need of any such redress ,
Or, if there were, it not belongs to you.

Mowb. Why not to him, in part ; and to us all,
That feel the bruises of the days before ;
And suffer the condition of these times

1 In Holinshed, the archbishop says, " Where he and his companie were
in armes, it was for feare of the king, to whom he coulu have no free ac-
cesse, by reason of such a multitude of flatterers as were about him."

2 " Examples which every minute instances or supplies ; " which even
the present minute presses on their notice.

3 This line is omitted in the folio.

4 The second line of this obscure speech is omitted in the folio. Some
thing appears to be wanting 1 to render it intelligible. Johnson proposes
to substitute the word quarrel for brother in the first line, and suggests the
following paraphrase : " My general cause of discontent is public misman
agement ; my particular cause a domestic injury done to my natural
brother," who had been beheaded by the king s order.


To lay a heavy and unequal hand
Upon our honors ?

West. O, my good lord Mowbray, 1

Construe the times to their necessities,
And you shall say indeed, it is the time,
And not the king, that doth you injuries.
Yet, for your part, it not appears to me,
Either from the king, or in the present time,
That you should have an inch of any ground
To build a grief on. Were you not restored
To all the duke of Norfolk s seigniories,
Your noble and right well-remembered father s ?

Mowb. What thing in honor had my father lost,
That need to be revived and breathed in me ?
The king that loved him, as the state stood then,
Was, force perforce, compelled to banish him.
And then, when Harry Bolingbroke, and he,
Being mounted, and both roused in their seats,
Their neighing coursers daring of the spur,
Their armed staves 2 in charge, their beavers down,
Their eyes of fire sparkling through sights 3 of steel,
And the loud trumpet blowing them together ;
Then, then, when there was nothing could have stayed
My lather from the breast of Bolingbroke,
O, when the king did throw his warder down,
His own life hung upon the staff he threw ;
Then threw he down himself; and all their lives,
That by indictment, and by dint of sword,
Have since miscarried under Bolingbroke.

West. You speak, lord Mowbray, now you know

not what.

The earl of Hereford 4 was reputed then
In England the most valiant gentleman ;
Who knows, on whom fortune would then have smiled ?
But, if your father had been victor there,

1 The thirty-seven following lines are not in the quarto.

2 i. e. their lances fixed in the rest for the encounter.

3 The perforated part of the helmets, through which they could see to
direct their aim (visiere, FT.}.

4 This is a mistake ; he was duke of Hereford.


He ne er had borne it out of Coventry ;

For all the country, in a general voice,

Cried hate upon him ; and all their prayers, and love,

Were set on Hereford, whom they doted on,

And blessed, and graced indeed, more than the king.

But this is mere digression from my purpose.

Here come I from our princely general,

To know your griefs ; to tell you from his grace,

That he will give you audience ; and wherein

It shall appear that your demands are just,

You shall enjoy them ; every thing set off,

That might so much as think you enemies.

Moivb. But he hath forced us to compel this offer,
And it proceeds from policy, not love.

West. Mow bray, you overween, to take it so.
This offer comes from mercy, not from fear ;
For, lo ! within a ken our army lies ;
Upon mine honor, all too confident
To give admittance to a thought of fear.
Our battle is more full of names than yours,
Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
Our armor all as strong, our cause the best ;
Then reason wills, our hearts should be as good.
Say you not, then, our offer is compelled.

Mowb. Well, by my Avill, we shall admit no parley.

West. That argues but the shame of your offence.
A rotten case abides no handling.

Hast. Hath the prince John a full commission,
In very ample virtue of his father,
To hear, and absolutely to determine
Of what conditions we shall stand upon ?

West. That is intended in the general s name.
I muse, you make so slight a question.

Arch. Then take, my lord of Westmoreland, this

schedule ;

For this contains our general grievances.
Each several article herein redressed ;
All members of our cause, both here and hence,
That are insinewed to this action,
Acquitted by a true, substantial form,

SC. I.] KliNG HENRY IV. 71

And present execution of our wills
To us, and to our purposes, consigned, ]
We come within our awful 9 banks again,
And knit our powers to the arm of peace.

West. This will I show the general. Please you,


In sight of both our battles we may meet :
And either end in peace, which Heaven so frame ;
Or to the place of difference call the swords
Which must decide it.

Arch. My lord, we will do so.

[Exit WEST.

Moivb. There is a thing within my bosom, tells me,
Thaf no conditions of our peace can stand.

Hast. Fear you not that. If we can make our peace
Upon such large terms, and so absolute,
As our conditions shall consist 3 upon,
Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains.

Mowb. Ay, but our valuation shall be such,
That every slight and false-derived cause,
Yea, every idle, nice, and wanton reason,
Shall, to the king, taste of this action ;
That, were our royal faiths 4 martyrs in love,
We shall be winnowed with so rough a wind,
That even our corn shall seem as light as chaff,
And good from bad find no partition.

Arch. No, no, my lord. Note this ; the king is


Of dainty and such picking 5 grievances ;
For he hath found, to end one doubt by death,
Revives two greater in the heirs of life.
And therefore will he wipe his tables 6 clean ;
And keep no telltale to his memory,

1 The old copy reads confined. Johnson proposed to read consigned;
which must be understood in the Latin sense, coiuignatus, signed, sealed,
ratified, confirmed ; which was indeed the old meaning. Shakspeare usea
consign and consigning in other places in this sense.

2 Awful for lawful ," or under the due awe of authority.

3 To consist, to rest ; consisto. Bard.

4 The faith due to a king.

5 Insignificant.

6 Alluding to table books of slate, ivory, &c.


That may repeat and history his loss

To new remembrance. For full well he knows

He cannot so precisely weed this land,

As his misdoubts present occasion.

His foes are so enrooted with his friends,

That, plucking to unfix an enemy,

He doth unfasten so, and shake a friend.

So that this land, like an offensive wife,

That hath enraged him on to offer strokes,

As he is striking, holds his infant up,

And hangs resolved correction in the arm

That was upreared to execution.

Hast. Besides, the king hath wasted all his rods
On late offenders, that lie now doth lack
The very instruments of chastisement ;
So that his power, like to a fangless lion,
May offer, but not hold.

Arch. Tis very true ;

And therefore be assured, my good lord marshal,
If we do now make our atonement well,
Our peace will, like a broken limb united,
Grow stronger for the breaking.

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) → online text (page 5 of 38)