Page images

ear close to the ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread of travellers.

FAL. Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down ? 'Sblood, I'll not bear mine own flesh so far afoot again, for all the coin in thy father's exchequer. What a plague mean ye to colto me thus ?

P. Hen. Thou liest, thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.

FAL. I pr’ythee, good prince Hal, help me to my horse; good king's son.

P. Hen. Out, you rogue! shall I be your ostler !

Fal. Go, hang thyself in thy own heir-apparent garters?! If I be ta’en, I'll peach for this. An I have not ballads made on you all, and sung to filthy tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison®: When a jest is so forward, and afoot too, I hate it.

Enter Gadshill. Gads, Stand,

6 - to colT-] is to fool, to trick ; but the prince taking it in another sense, opposes it by uncolt, that is, unhorse. Johnson.

In the first of these senses it is used by Nashe, in Have With You to Saffron Walden, &c. 1596 : “ His master fretting and chaffing to be thus colted of both of them," &c. Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Loyal Subject : “What, are we bobbed thus still ? colted and carted ? From Decker's Bell-man's NightWalkes, &c. 1616, it appears that the technical term for any innkeeper or hackney-man who had been cheated of horses, was a colt. STEEVENS.

7 -- heir-apparent garters !] “ He may hang himself in his own garters" is a proverb in Ray's Collection. Steevens.

8 Ån I have not ballads made on you all, and sung to filthy tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison :) So, in The Rape of Lu


“Shall have thy trespass cited up in rhymes,

" And sung by children in succeeding times.” Again, in Antony and Cleopatra ;

“Will catch at us like strumpets, and scald rhymers
Ballad us out of tune." MALONE.


saucy lictors


FAL. So I do, against my will.
Porns. 0, 'tis our setter: I know his voice.

ain. lesh er's



BARD. What news'?

Gads. Case ye, case ye; on with your visors; there's money of the king's coming down the hill ; 'tis going to the king's exchequer.

Fal. You lie, you rogue ; 'tis going to the king's tavern.

Gads. There's enough to make us all.
Fal. To be hanged.

P. Hen. Sirs, you four shall front them in the narrow lane; Ned Poins, and I will walk lower: if they 'scape from your encounter, then they light on

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Peto. How many be there of them ?
Gads. Some eight, or ten.
FAL. Zounds ! will they not rob us ?
P. Hen. What, a coward, sir John Paunch?

FAL. Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your grandfather; but yet no coward, Hal.

P. Hen. Well, we leave that to the proof.

Poins. Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge; when thou needest him, there thou shalt find him. Farewell, and stand fast.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

9 Bard. What news ?] In all the copies that I have seen, Poins is made to speak upon the entrance of Gadshill thus :

“O, 'tis our setter; I know his voice.-Bardolph, what news?" This is absurd; he knows Gadshill to be the setter, and asks Bardolph what news. To countenance this impropriety, the latter editions have made Gadshill and Bardolph enter together, but the old copies bring in Gadshill alone, and we find that Falstatt

, who knew their stations, calls to Bardolph among others for his horse, but not to Gadshill, who was posted at a distance. We should therefore read :

Poins. 0, 'tis our setter, &c.
Bard. What news?
Gads. Case ye,” &c. Johnson.

[ocr errors]

FAL. Now cannot I strike him, if I should be hanged.

P. Hen. Ned, where are our disguises ?
Poins. Here, hard by ; stand close.

[Ereunt P. Henry and Poins. FAL. Now, my masters, happy man be his doie', say l; every man to his business.

Enter Travellers.
1 Trav. Come, neighbour; the boy shall lead
our horses down the hill: we'll walk afoot awhile,
and ease our legs.

TRAV. Jesu bless us !

FAL. Strike ; down with them; cut the villains' throats : Ah! whorson caterpillars! bacon-fed knaves! they hate us youth: down with them; fleece them.

1 Trav. O, we are undone, both we and ours, for ever.

FAL. Hang ye, gorbellied? knaves; Are ye un



dole,] The portion of alms distributed at Lambeth palace gate is at this day called the dole. In Jonson's Alchemist, Subtle charges Face with perverting his master's charitable intentions, by selling the dole beer to aqua-vitæ men. Sir J. HAWKINS. So, in The Costly Whore, 1633 :

we came thinking “We should have some dole at the bishop's funeral.” Again : Go to the back gate, and you shall have dole."

STEEVENS. The same proverb occurs in The Merry Wives of Windsor, vol, viii. p. 135. Malone.

2 - gorbellied -] i. e. fat and corpulent. See the Glossary to Kennet's Parochial Antiquities.

This word is likewise used by Sir Thomas North in his translation of Plutarch.

Nashe, in his Have With You to Saffron Walden, 1596, says : "O'tis an unconscionable gorbellied volume, bigger bulk'd than a Dutch hoy, and far more boisterous and cumbersome than a payre of Swissers omnipotent galeaze breeches." Again, in The

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

done ? No, ye fat chuffs"; I would, your store were here! On, bacons, on! What, ye knaves ? young men must live: You are grand-jurors are ye? We'll jure ye, i' faith.

[Exeunt Fal. &c. driving the Travellers out.

Re-enter Prince Henry and Poins *.
P. Hen. The thieves have bound the true men':
Now could thou and I rob the thieves, and go mer-

[ocr errors]

lead hile

* Direction in the old copiesHere they rob them, and bind them. Exeunt. Enter the Prince and Poins.


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Weakest goes to the Wall, 1600: “What are these thick-skinned, heavy-pursed, gorbellied churles mad?” STEEVENS.

ye fat Chuffs ;] This term of contempt is always applied to rich and avaricious people. So, in The Muses Looking Glass, 1638:

the chuff's crowns,

“Imprison'd in his rusty chest," &c. The derivation of the word is said to be uncertain. Perhaps it is a corruption of chough, a thievish bird that collects his prey on the sea-shore. So, in Chaucers Assemble of Foules :

“ The thief the chough, and eke the chatt'ring pie." Sir W. D'Avenant, in his Just Italian, 1630, has the same term:

“ They're rich choughs, they've store

“Of villages and plough'd earth." And Sir Epicure Mammon, in The Alchemist, being asked who had robbed him, answers, “ a kind of chough, sir.” STEEVENS.

The name of the Cornish bird is pronounced by the natives chow. Chuff is the same word with cuff

, both signifying a clown, and being in all probability derived from a Saxon word of the latter sound. Ritson.

See various derivations of this word in Johnson's Dictionary by Todd. BosweLL.

4 - the true Men :) In the old plays a true man is always set in opposition to a thief. So, in the ancient Morality called Hycke Scorner, bl. I. no date :

“ And when me list to hang a true man

“ Theves I can help out of pryson.”
Again, in The Four Prentices of London, 1615:

“Now, true man, try if thou canst rob a thief."
Again :

“Sweet wench, embrace a true man, scorn a thief.See vol. ix. p. 148, n. 8. STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

rily to London, it would be argument for a week", laughter for a month, and a good jest for ever.

Poins. Stand close, I hear them coming.

Re-enter Thieves. FAL. Come, my masters, let us share, and then to horse before day. An the prince and Poins be not two arrant cowards, there's no equity stirring : there's no more valour in that Poins, than in a wild duck.

P. Hen. Your money. [Rushing out upon them.
Poins. Villains.
[As they are sharing, the Prince and Pons set

upon them. FALSTAFF, after a blow or two,
and the rest, run away, leaving the booty be-

hind them.] P. Hen. Got with much ease. Now merrily to

horse : The thieves are scatter'd, and possess'd with fear So strongly, that they dare not meet each other; Each takes his fellow for an officer. Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to death, And lards the lean earth’ as he walks along:


ARGUMENT for a week,] Argument is subject matter for conversation or a drama. So, in the second part of this play:

“ For all my part has been but as a scene

Acting that argument." Mr. M. Mason adopts the former of these meanings, and adds, in support of his opinion, a passage from Much Ado About Nothing, vol. vii. p. 23, where Don Pedro says to Benedick : if ever thou dost fall from this faith, thou wilt

prove notable argument.” SteevENS.

6 Each takes his fellow for an officer.] The same thought, a little varied, occurs again in King Henry VI. Part III. :

“ The thief doth fear each bush an officer.,' STEEVENS. 7 And LARDS THE lean Earth -] So, in King Henry V.

“ In which array, brave soldier, doth he lie
" Larding the plain." STEEVENS.

« PreviousContinue »