Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 were seen,
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,
(You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember,)

[T. WARWICK.
When Richard,—with his eye brimfull of tears,
Then check’d and rated by Northumberland,
Did speak these words, now prov'd 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 bow'd the state,
That I and greatness were compelld 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 deceas'd :
The which observ'd, a man may prophecy,
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 ries out on us ;
They say, the bishop and Northumberland
Are fifty thousand strong.

War. It cannot be, my lord;
Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo,
The numbers of the fear'd :--Please it your grace,
To go to bed ; upon my life, my lord,
The powers that you already have sent forth,
Shall bring this prize in very easily.
To comfort you the more, I have received
A certain instance, that Glendower is dead.
Your majesty hath been this fortnight ill;
And these unseason'd 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

Gloucestershire.

Enter Shallow and Silence, meeting; Mouldy,

SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, BULL-CALF, and Servants, behind.

Shal. Come on, come on, come on; give me your hand, sir, give me your hand, sir: an early stirrer, by the rood. 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 black George Bare, and Francis Pickbone, and Will Squele a Cotswold man,—you had not four such swingebucklers in all the inns of court again : and, I may say to you, we knew where the bona-robas were; and had the best of them all at commandment. Then was Jack Falstaff, 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 head at the court gate, when he was a crack, not thus high: and the very same day did I fight with one Sampson Stockfish, a fruiterer, behind Gray’sinn. O, the mad days that I have spent! and to see how many of mine old acquaintances 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; and carried you a forehand shaft a fourteen and fourteen and a half, that it would have done a 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.

Shal. And is old Double dead !

Enter BARDOLPH, and one with him. Sil. Here come two of Sir John Falstaff's 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 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 accommodated, 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.

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 soldier-like word, and a word of exceeding 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.

Enter Falstaff. Shal. It is very just: Look, here comes good sir John.-Give me your good hand, give me your worship’s good hand : By my troth, you look well, and bear your years very well : welcome, good sir John.

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

« PreviousContinue »