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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low s House.

Page, and DAVY.

Shal. Nay, you shall see mine orchard ; where, in
an arbor, we will eat a last year s pippin of my own
graffing, with a dish of carraways, 1 and so forth ;
corne, cousin Silence ; and then to bed.

Fal. Fore God, you have here a goodly dwelling,
and a rich.

Shal. Barren, barren, barren ; beggars all beggars
all, sir John : marry, good air. Spread, Davy ; spread,
Davy ; well said, Davy.

Fal. This Davy serves you for good uses ; he is
your serving-man, and your husbandman.

Shal. A good varlet, a good varlet, a very good

1 This passage, which was long a subject of dispute, some pertinaciously
maintaining that carraways meant apples of that name, has been at length
properly explained by the following quotations from Cogan s Haven of
Health, 1599 : "For the same purpose careway seeds are used to be made
in comfits, and to be eaten with apples, and surely very good for that pur
pose, for all such things as breed wind, would be eaten with other things
that breake wind." Apples and carraways were formerly always eaten
together ; and it is said that they are still served up on particular days at
Trinity college, Cambridge.


varlet, sir John. By the mass, I have drunk too much

sack at supper ; a good varlet. Now sit down,

now sit down ; come, cousin.

Sil. Ah, sirrah ! quoth-a, we shall

Do nothing but eat, and make good cheer, [Singing.

And praise Heaven for the merry year,

When flesh is cheap, and females dear,

And lusty lads roam here and there,

So merrily,
And ever among so merrily.

Fal. There s a merry heart ! Good master Silence,
I ll give you a health for that anon.

Sfial. Give master Bardolph some wine, Davy.

Davy. Sweet sir, sit ; [Seating BARDOLPH and the
Page at another table. ] I ll be with you anon : most

sweet sir, sit. Master page, good master page, sit ,

preface. 1 What you want in meat, we ll have in drink.
But you must hear ; the heart s all. [Exit.

Shal. Be merry, master Bardolph ; arid my little
soldier there, be merry.

Sil. Be merry, be merry, my icife has all ; [Singing.

For women are shrews, both short and tall :

Tis merry in hall, when beards wag all, 2
And welcome merry Shrove-tide. 2

Be merry, be merry, &c.

Fal. I did not think master Silence had been a
man of this mettle.

Sil. Who, I ? I have been merry twice and once,
ere now.

Re-enter DAVY.

Davy. There is a dish of leather-coats 4 for you.

[Setting them before BARDOLPH.
Shal. Davy,

1 An expression of welcome, equivalent to Much good may it do you !

2 This proverbial rhyme is of great antiquity ; it is found in Adam
Davie s Life of Alexander:

" Merrie swithe it is in hall
When the berdes waveth alle."

3 Shrovetide was the ancient carnival.

4 Apples, commonly called russetines.


Davy. Your worship? I ll be with you straight,
[To BARD.] A cup of wine, sir?

Sil. A cup of ivine, that s brisk andfne, [Singing

And drink unto the leman mine ;
And a merry heart lives long-a.

FaL Well said, master Silence.

Sil. And we shall be merry ; now comes in the
sweet of the night.

FaL Health and long life to you, master Silence.

Sil. Fill the cup, and let it come :

Pll pledge you a mile to the bottom.

Shal. Honest Bardolph, welcome : if thou wan test
any thing, and wilt not call, beshrew thy heart.
Welcome, my little tiny thief; [To the Page.] and
welcome, indeed, too. I ll drink to master Bardolph.
and to all the cavaleroes about London.

Davy. I hope to see London once ere I die.

Bard. An I might see you there, Davy,

Shal. By the mass, you ll crack a quart together.
Ha ! will you not, master Bardolph ?

Bard. Yes, sir, in a pottle pot.

Shal. I thank thee. The knave will stick by thee.
I can assure thee that : he will not out ; he is true

Bard. And I ll stick by him, sir.

Shal. Why, there spoke a king. Lack nothing;
be merry. [Knocking hard.~\ Look who s at door there.
Ho ! who knocks ? " [Exit DAVY.

FaL Why, now you have done me right.

[To SILENCE, who drinks a bumper.

Sil. Do me right, 1 [Singing.

And dub me knight : 2

Samingo. 3
Is t not so ?

1 To do a man right and to do him reason, were formerly the usual ex
pressions in pledging healths ; he who drank a bumper expected that a
bumper should be drunk to his toast.

2 He who drank a bumper on his knees to the health of his mistress,
was dubbed a knight for the evening.

3 It has been supposed that the introduction of Domingo as a burthen
to a drinking song, was intended as a satire on the luxury of the Domini-


Fal Tis so.

SiL Is t so ? Why, then say, an old man can do

Re-enter DAVY.

Davy. An it please your worship, there s one Pistol
come from the court with news.

Fal. From the court, let him come in.


Fal. How now, Pistol ?

Pist. God save you, sir John !

Fal. What wind blew you hither, Pistol ?

Pist. Not the ill wind which blows no man to
good. Sweet knight, thou art now one of the greatest
men in the realm.

Sil. By r lady, I think a be ; but goodman Puff
of Barson.

Pist. Puff?

Puff in thy teeth, most recreant coward base !
Sir John, I am thy Pistol, and thy friend,
And helter-skelter have I rode to thee ;
And tidings do I bring, and lucky joys,
And golden times, and happy news of price.

Fal. I pr ythee now, deliver them like a man ol
this world.

Pist. A foutra for the world, and worldlings base !
I speak of Africa, and golden joys.

Fal. O, base Assyrian knight, what is thy news ?
Let king Cophetua know the truth thereof.

Sil. And Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John. [Sings.

Pist. Shall dunghill curs confront the Helicons ?
And shall good news be baffled ?
Then, Pistol, lay thy head in Furies lap.

Shal. Honest gentleman, 1 know not your breeding.

Pist. Why, then, lament therefore.

Shal. Give me pardon, sir. If, sir, you come with

cans ; but whether the change to Samingo was a blunder of Silence in
his cups, or was a real contraction of San Domingo, is uncertain. Why
Saint Dominick should be the patron of topers does not appear.


news from the court, I take it, there is but two ways :
either to utter them, or to conceal them. I am, sir,
under the king, in some authority.

Pist. Under which king, Bezonian ? 1 speak, or die.

Shal. Under king Harry.

Pist. Harry the Fourth, or Fifth ?

Shal. Harry the Fourth.

Pist. A foutra for thine office !

Sir John, thy tender lambkin now is king ;
Harry the Fifth s the man. I speak the truth.
When Pistol lies, do this ; and fig me, 2 like
The bragging Spaniard.

Fal. What! is the old king dead ?

Pist. As nail in door: 3 The things I speak are just.

Fal. Away, Bardolph ; saddle my horse. Master
Robert Shallow, choose what office thou wilt in the
land, tis thine. Pistol, I will double charge thee with

Bard. O, joyful day ! I would not take a knight
hood for my fortune.

Pist. What ? I do bring good news ?

Fal. Carry master Silence to bed. Master Shallow,
my lord Shallow, be what thou wilt, I am fortune s
steward. Get on thy boots ; we ll ride all night.
O. sweet Pistol: Away, Bardolph. [Exit BARD.]
Come, Pistol, utter more to me ; arid, withal, devise
something to do thyself good. Boot, boot, master
Shallow ; I know the young king is sick for me. Let
us take any man s horses ; the laws of England are at
my commandment. Happy are they which have been
my friends ; and woe to my lord chief justice !

1 Bezonian, according to Florio a bisogno, is " a new-levied so-uldier,
such as comes needy to the ivars" Cotgrave, in bisongne> says " a filthie
knave, or clowne, a raskall, a bisonian, base-humored scoundrel." Its
original sense is a beggar, a needy person; it is often met with very dif
ferently spelled in the old comedies.

2 An expression of contempt or insult.

3 Steevens remarks, that this proverbial expression is oftener used than
understood. The door nail is the nail in ancient doors on which the
knocker strikes. It is therefore used as a comparison for one irrecover
ably dead, one who has fallen (as Virgil says) multa morte,i. e. with abun
dant death, such as reiterated strokes on the head would produce.

VOL. IV. 14


Pist. Let vultures vile seize on his lungs also !
Where is the life that late I led, say they.
Why, here it is ; welcome these pleasant days.


SCENE IV. London. A Street.

Enter Beadles, dragging in HOSTESS QUICKLY and


Host-. No, thou arrant knave ; I would I might die,
that 1 might have thee hanged : thou hast drawn my
shoulder out of joint.

1 Bead. The constables have delivered her over to
me ; and she shall have whipping-cheer enough, I war
rant her. There hath been a man or two lately killed
about her.

Dol. Nut-hook, nut-hook, 2 you lie. Come on ; I ll
tell thee what, thou damned tripe-visaged rascal ; an
the child I now go with do miscarry, thou hadst better
thou hadst struck thy mother, thou paper-faced villain.

Host. O the Lord, that sir John were come ! he
would make this a bloody day to somebody. But
I pray God, the fruit of her womb miscarry !

1 Bead. If it do, you shall have a dozen of cushions
again ; you have but eleven now. Come, I charge
you both go with me ; for the man is dead, that you
and Pistol beat among you.

Dol. I ll tell thee what, thou thin man in a censer ! 3
I will have you as soundly swinged for this, you blue
bottle rogue ! 4 you filthy, famished correctioner ! if you
be not swinged, I ll forswear half-kirtles. 5

1 In the quarto, 1000, we have "Enter Sincklo, and three or four
officers." And the name of Sincklo is prefixed to the Beadle s speech
es. Sincklo is also introduced in The Taming of the Shrew; he was an
actor in the same company with Shakspeare.

- *\ ut-hook was a term of reproach for a bailiff or constable.

3 Doll compares the beadle s spare figure to the embossed figures in
the middle of the pierced convex lid of a censer made of thin metal. The
sluttery of rush-strewed chambers rendered censers or fire pans, in which
coarse perfumes wore burned, most necessary utensils.

4 Beadles usually wore a blue livery.

5 A half-kirtle was a kind of apron or fore part of the dress of a woman.


1 Bead. Come, come, you she knight-errant, come.
Host. O, that right should thus overcome might!
Well ; of sufferance comes ease.

Dol. Come, you rogue, come ; bring me to a justice.

Host. Ay ; come, you starved blood-hound.

Dol. Goodman death ! goodman bones !

Host. Thou atomy, thou !

Dol. Come, you thin thing ; come, you rascal !

1 Bead. Very well. [Exeunt.

SCENE V. A public Place near Westminster Abbey.

Enter two Grooms, strewing Rushes.

1 Groom. More rushes, more rushes.

2 Groom. The trumpets have sounded twice.

1 Groom. It will be two o clock ere they come from
the coronation. Despatch, despatch.

[Exeunt Grooms.

the Page.

Fal. Stand here by me, master Robert Shallow ; I
will make the king do you grace : I will leer upon him,
as a comes by ; and do but mark the countenance that
he will give me.

Pist. God bless thy lungs, good knight.

Fal. Come here, Pistol ; stand behind me. O, if I
had had time to have made new liveries, I would have
bestowed the thousand pound I borrowed of you. [To
SHALLOW.] But tis no matter ; this poor show doth
better : this doth infer the zeal I had to see him.

Shal. It doth so.

Fal. It shows my earnestness of affection.

Shal. It doth so.

Fal. My devotion.

Shal. It doth, it doth, it doth.

Fal. As it were, to ride day and night ; and not to


deliberate, not to remember, not to have patience to
shift me.

Shal. It is most certain.

Fal. But to stand stained with travel, and sweating
with desire to see him ; thinking of nothing else ; put
ting all affairs else in oblivion ; as if there were nothing
else to be done, but to see him.

Pist. Tis semper idem, for absque hoc nihil est :
Tis all in every part. 1

Shal. Tis so, indeed.

Pist. My knight, I will inflame thy noble liver,
And make thee rage.

Thy Doll, and Helen of thy noble thoughts,
Is in base durance, and contagious prison ;
Hauled thither

By most mechanical and dirty hand :
Rouse up revenge from ebon den with fell Alecto s

For Doll is in ; Pistol speaks nought but truth.

Fal. I will deliver her.

[Shouts within, and the trumpets sound.

Pist. There roared the sea, and trumpet-clangor

Enter the King and his Train, the Chief Justice among


Fal. God save thy grace, king Hal ! my royal Hal ! 2
Pist. The Heavens thee guard and keep, most royal
imp of fame !

Fal. God save thee, my sweet boy !

King. My lord chief justice, speak to that vain man.

Ch. Just. Have you your wits ? know you what tis

you speak ?
Fal. My king ! my Jove ! I speak to thee, my heart!

1 Warburton thought that we should read :

" Tis all in all and all in every part."

2 A similar scene occurs in the anonymous old play of King Henry V.
Falstaff and his companions address the king in the same manner, and are
dismissed as in this play.


King. I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy

prayers ;

How ill white hairs become a fool, and jester!
I have long dreamed of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swelled, so old, and so profane ; J
But, being awake, I do despise my dream.
Make less thy body hence, 2 and more thy grace ;
Leave gormandizing ; know the grave doth gape
For thee thrice wider than for other men :
Reply not to me with a fool-born jest ;
Presume not, that I am the thing I was ;
For Heaven doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turned away my former self:
So will I those that kept me company.
When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
Approach me ; and thou shalt be as thou wast,
The tutor and the feeder of my riots ;
Till then I banish thee, on pain of death,
As I have done the rest of my misleaders,
Not to come near our person by ten mile.
For competence of life, I will allow you,
That lack of means enforce you not to evil ;
And, as we hear you do reform yourselves,
We will according to your strength and qualities
Give you advancement. 3 Be it your charge, my lord,
To see performed the tenor of our word.
Set on. [Exeunt King, and his Train.

Fal. Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pound.

Shot. Ay, marry, sir John ; which I beseech you to
let me have home with me.

Fal. That can hardly be, master Shallow. Do not
you grieve at this ; I shall be sent for in private to
him : look you, he must seem thus to the world. Fear
not your advancement ; I will be the man yet, that
shall make you great.

1 Profane (says Johnson) in our author often signifies love of talk.

2 Henceforward.

3 This circumstance Shakspeare may have derived from the old play
of King Henry V. But Hall, Holinshed, and Stowe, give nearly the same
account of the dismissal of Henry s loose companions.


Shot. I cannot perceive how ; unless you give me
your doublet, and stuff me out with straw. I beseech
you, good sir John, let me have five hundred of my

Fed. Sir, I will be as good as my word ; this that
you heard, was but a color.

ShaL A color, I fear, that you will die in, sir John.

Fal. Fear no colors ; go with me to dinner. Come,
lieutenant Pistol ; come, Bardolph. I shall be sent
for soon at night.

Re-enter PRINCE JOHN, the Chief Justice, Officers, &c.

Ch. Just. Go, carry sir John Falstaff to the Fleet ;
Take all his company along with him.

Fal. My lord, my lord,

Ch. Just. I cannot now speak ; I will hear you soon.
Take them away.

Pist. Sifortuna me tormenta, spero me contenta.

[Exeunt FAL., SHAL., PIST., BARD., Page,
and Officers.

P. John. I like this fair proceeding of the king s :
He hath intent, his wonted followers
Shall all be very well provided for ;
But all are banished, till their conversations
Appear more wise and modest to the world.

Ch. Just. And so they are.

P. John. The king hath called his parliament, my

Ch. Just. He hath.

P. John. I will lay odds, that, ere this year expire,
We bear our civil swords, and native fire,
As far as France : I heard a bird so sing,
Whose music, to my thinking, pleased the king.
Come, will you hence ? [Exeunt.




FIRST, my fear ; then, my court sy; last, my speech.
My fear is, your displeasure ; my court sy, my duty ;
and my speech, to beg your pardons. If you look for
a good speech now, you undo me ; for what I have to
say, is of mine own making ; and what, indeed, I
should say, will, I doubt, prove mine own marring.
But to the purpose, and so to the venture. Be it
known to you, (as it is very well,) I was lately here in the
end of a displeasing play, to pray your patience for it,
and to promise you a better. I did mean, indeed, to
pay you with this ; which, if, like an ill venture, it
come unluckily home, I break, and you, my gentle cred
itors, lose. Here, I promised you, I would be, and
here I commit my body to your mercies : bate me
some, and I will pay you some, and, as most debtors
do, promise you infinitely.

If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit me, will
you command me to use my legs ? and yet that were
but light payment, to dance out of your debt. But
a good conscience will make any possible satisfaction,
and so will I. All the gentlewomen here have forgiven
me ; if the gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do
not agree with the gentlewomen, which was never seen
before in such an assembly.

One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too
much cloyed with fat meat, our humble author will
continue the story, with sir John in it, and make you
merry with fair Katharine of France ; where, for any
thing I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless al
ready he be killed with your hard opinions; for Old-
castle died a martyr, and this is not the man. My
tongue is weary ; when my legs are too, 1 will bid you
good night : and so kneel down before you : but, in
deed, to pray for the queen. 1

i Most of the ancient interludes conclude with a prayer for the king or
queen. Hence, perhaps, the Vivant Rex et Regina, at the bottom of our
modern play bills.


1 FANCY every reader, when he ends this play, cries out with Desde-
mona, " O most lame and impotent conclusion ! " As this play was not, to
our knowledge, divided into acts by the author, I could be content to con
clude it with the death of Henry the Fourth :

" In that Jerusalem shall Harry die."

These scenes, which now make the fifth act of Henry the Fourth, might
then be the first of Henry the Fifth ; but the truth is, that they do not
unite very commodiously to either play. When these plays were repre
sented, I believe they ended as they are now ended in the books ; but
Shakspeare seems to have designed that the whole series of action, from
the beginning of Richard the Second to the end of Henry the Fifth, should
be considered by the reader as one work upon one plan, only broken into
parts by the necessity of exhibition.

None of Shakspeare s plays are more read than the First and Second
Parts of Henry the Fourth. Perhaps no author has ever, in two plays,
afforded so much delight The great events are interesting, for the fate
of kingdoms depends upon them ; the slighter occurrences are diverting,
and, except one or two, sufficiently probable; the incidents are multiplied
with wonderful fertility of invention, and the characters diversified with
the utmost nicety of discernment, and the profoundest skill in the nature
of man.

The prince, who is the hero both of the comic and tragic part, is a
young man of great abilities and violent passions, whose sentiments are
right, though his actions are wrong ; whose virtues are obscured by neg
ligence, and whose understanding is dissipated by levity. In his idle
hours he is rather loose than wicked ; and when the occasion forces out
his latent qualities, lie is great without effort, and brave without tumult.
The triflcr is roused into a hero, and the hero again reposes in the trifler.
The character is great, origina! and just.

Percy is a rugged soldier, choleric and quarrelsome, and has onlv the
soldier s virtues, generosity and courage.

But Falstaff, unimitated, unimitablc Falstaff, how shall I describe thee ?
Thou compound of sense and vice ; of sense whicli may be admired, but not
esteemed ; of vice which may be despised, but hardly detested. Falstaff is
a character loaded with faults, and with those faults which naturally produce
contempt. He is a thief and a glutton, a coward and a boaster, always
ready to cheat the weak, and prey upon the poor ; to terrify the timorous,
and insult the defenceless. At once obsequious and malignant, he sat
irizes in their absence those whom he lives by flattering. lie is familiar
with the prince only as an agent of vice ; but of this familiarity lie is so
proud, as not only to be supercilious and haughty with common men, but
to think his interest of importance to the duke of Lancaster. Yet the
man, thus corrupt, thus despicable, makes himself necessary to the prince
that despises him, by the most pleasing of all qualities, perpetual gaycty ;
by an unfailing power of exciting laughter ; which is the more freely in
dulged, as his wit is not of the splendid or ambitious kind, but consists in
easy scapes and sallies of levity, which make sport, but raise no envy.
It must be observed, that he is stained with no enormous or sanguinary
crimes, so that his licentiousness is not so offensive but that it may be
borne for his mirth.

The moral to be drawn from this representation is, that no man is more
dangerous than he that, with a will to corrupt, hath the power to please ;
and that neither wit nor honesty ought to think themselves safe with such
a companion, when they see Henry seduced by Falstaff.





THE transactions comprised in this play commence about the latter
end of the first, and terminate in the eighth year of this king s reign ;
when he married Katharine, princess of France, and closed up the differ
ences betwixt England and that crown.

This play, in the quarto edition of 1608, is styled The Chronicle His
tory of Henri/, &c., Avhich seems to have been the title appropriated to all
Shakspeare s historical dramas. Thus in The Antipodes, a comedy by R.
Brome :

" These lads can act the emperor s lives all over,
And Shakspeare s Chronicled Histories to boot."

The players, likewise, in the folio of 1623, rank these pieces under the
title of Histories.

It is evident that a play on this subject had been performed before the
year 1592. Nash, in his Pierce Penniless, dated in that year, says,
" What a glorious thing it is to have Henry the Fiji represented on the
stage, leading the French king prisoner, and forcing both him and the
Dolphin to sweare fealtie ! " Perhaps this same play was thus entered on
the books of the Stationers Company: "Thomas Strode] May 2, 1594.
A booke entituled The famous Victories of Henry the Fift, containing
the honourable Battle of Agincourt" There are two more entries of a
play of King Henry V., viz. between 1596 and 1615, and one August 14,
1600. Malone had an edition printed in 1598; and Steevens had two
copies of this play, one without date, and the other dated 1617, both
printed by Bernard Alsop : from one of these it was reprinted, in 1778,
among " Six Old Plays on which Shakspeare founded," &c., published by
Mr. Nichols. It is thought that this piece is prior to Shakspeare s King
Henry V., and that it is the very " displeasing play " alluded to in the
epilogue to the Second Part of King Henry IV., " for Oldcastle died a
martyr," &c. Oldcastle is the Falstaff of the piece, which is despicable,
and full of ribaldry and impiety. Shakspeare seems to have taken not a
few hints from it ; for it comprehends, in some measure, the story of the
two parts of King Henry IV. as well as of King Henry V. ; and no igno
rance could debase the gold of Shakspeare into such dross, though no
chemistry, but that of Shakspeare, could exalt such base metal into gold.
This piece must have been performed before the year 1588, Tarlton, the
comedian, who played both the parts of the ciiief justice and the clown
in it, having died in that year.

This anonymous play of King Henry V. is neither divided into acts or
scenes, is uncommonly short, and has all the appearance of having been

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