Page images
PDF
EPUB

To build at all? Much more, in this great work,
Which is almost to pluck a kingdom down,
And set another up, — should we survey
The plot of situation and the model,
Consent upon a sure foundation,
Question surveyors, know our own estate,
How able such a work to undergo,
And weigh against his opposite ; 6 or else
We fortify on paper and in figures,
Using the names of men instead of men :
Like one that draws the model of a house
Beyond his power to build it; who, half through,
Gives o'er, and leaves his part-created cost
A naked subject to the weeping clouds,
And waste for churlish Winter's tyranny.

Hast. Grant that our hopes—yet likely of fair birth-
Should be still-born, and that we now possess'd
The utmost man of expectation ;
I think we are a body strong enough,
Even as we are, to equal with the King.

L. Bard. What, is the King but five-and-twenty thousand?

Hast. To us no more ; nay, not so much, Lord Bardolph. For his divisions, as the times do brawl, Are in three heads : one power against the French,? And one against Glendower; perforce a third Must take up us : so is the unfirm King In three divided ; and his coffers sound

6 His refers, apparently, to estate. The sense is somewhat obscure, but may be given thus: “We should know how able our estate is to meet, or balance, the outlay that assails or threatens it." The use of his for its has been repeatedly noted, and occurs several times in the preceding scene; as, “ I have read the cause of his effects,” and, “should have his effect of gravity."

7 During this rebellion of Northumberland and the Archbishop, a French army of twelve thousand men landed at Milford Haven, in aid of Owen Glendower.

Let us on,

With hollow poverty and emptiness.

Arch. That he should draw his several strengths together,
And come against us in full puissance,
Need not be dreaded.
Hast.

If he should do so,
To French and Welsh he leaves his back unarm’d,
They baying him at the heels : never fear that.

L. Bard. Who is it like should lead his forces hither?

Hast. The Duke of Lancaster 8 and Westmoreland ;
Against the Welsh, himself and Harry Monmouth :
But who is substituted 'gainst the French,
I have no certain notice.

Arch.
And publish the occasion of our arms.
The commonwealth is sick of their own choice;
Their over-greedy love hath surfeited :
An habitation giddy and unsure
Hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart.
O thou fond many! with what loud applause
Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke,
Before he was what thou wouldst have him be !
And, being now trimm'd in thine own desires,
Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him,
That thou provokest thyself to cast him up.
So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge
Thy glutton bosom of the royal Richard ;
And now thou wouldst eat thy dead vomit up,
And howl'st to find it. What trust is in these times ?
They that, when Richard lived, would have him die,

8 This is an anachronism. Prince John of Lancaster was not created a duke till the second year of the reign of his brother, King Henry V. At this time Prince Henry was actually Duke of Lancaster. Shakespeare was misled by Stowe, who, speaking of the first Parliament of King Henry IV., says, “ His second sonne was there made duke of Lancaster."

Are now become enamour'd on his grave :
Thou, that threw'st dust upon his goodly head
When through proud London he came sighing on
After th' admired heels of Bolingbroke,
Criest now, O carth, viell us that king again,
And take thou this !! O thoughts of men accurst !
Past, and to come, seems best; things present, worst.

Mowb. Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on?
Hast. We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.

[Excunt.

[blocks in formation]

Enter the Hostess, FANG and his Boy with her, and SNARE

following:

Host. Master Fang, have you enter'd the exion ?1
Fang. It is enter'd.

Host. Where's your yeoman?? Is't a lusty yeoman? will 'a stand to't?

Fang. Sirrah, where's Snare?
Host. O Lord, ay ! good Master Snare.
Snare. Here, here.
Fang. Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.
Host. Yea, good Master Snare ; I have enter'd him and all.

Snare. It may chance cost some of us our lives, for he will stab.

Host. Alas the day ! take heed of him; he stabb'd me in mine own house, and that most beastly: in good faith, 'a

1 Exion is a Quicklyism for action, that is prosecution.
2 A bailiff's follower was formerly called a sergeant's yeoman.

cares not what mischief he doth, if his weapon be out: he will foin 3 like any devil; he will spare neither man, woman, nor child.

Fang. If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust. Host. No, nor I neither : I'll be at your elbow.

Fang. An I but fist him once ; an 'a come but within my vice, 4

Host. I am undone by his going ; I warrant you, he's an infinitive thing upon my score. Good Master Fang, hold him sure ; — good Master Snare, let him not 'scape. 'A comes continually to Pie-corner saving your manhoods to buy a saddle; and he is indited to dinner to the Lubber'shead 5 in Lumbert-street, to Master Smooth's the silkman : I pray ye, since my exion is enter'd, and my case so openly known to the world, let him be brought in to his answer. A hundred mark is a long score for a poor lone woman to bear : and I have borne, and borne, and borne ; and have been fubbed off, and fubbed off, and fubbed off, from this day to that day, that it is a shame to be thought on. There is no honesty in such dealing ; unless a woman should be made an ass and a beast, to bear every knave's wrong. Yonder he comes; and that arrant malmsey-nose 6 knave Bardolph with him. Do your offices, do your offices, Master Fang and Master Snare ; do me, me, do me your offices.

Enter FALSTAFF, the Page, and BARDOLPH.

do

Fal. How now! whose mare's dead? what's the matter?

3 Foin is an old word for thrust. The Poet has it repeatedly.

4 Vice is used for grasp or clutch. The fist is vulgarly called the vice in the West of England.

5 Lubber is Mrs. Quickly's version of libbard, which is the old form of leopard. The pictured heads of various animals were used as signs; as the libbard's by Master Smooth, and the boar's by Mrs. Quickly.

6 The epithet malmsey-nose is probably given to Bardolph because his nose had the colour of malmsey wine.

Fang. Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of Mistress Quickly.

Fal. Away, varlets ! — Draw, Bardolph: cut me off the villain's head; throw the quean in the channel.?

Host. Throw me in the channel! I'll throw thee in the channel. Wilt thou ? wilt thou? thou bastardly rogue !. Murder, murder ! — Othou honey-suckle villain! wilt thou kill God's officers and the King's? O thou honey-seed rogue ! thou art a honey-seed, a man-queller, and a woman-queller.

Fal. Keep them off, Bardolph.
Fang. A rescue! a rescue !

Host. Good people, bring a rescue or two. — Thou woo't, woo't thou? thou woo't, woo't thou?9 do, do, thou rogue ! do, thou hemp seed !

Fal. Away, you scullion ! you rampallian ! you fustilarian ! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

Enter the Chief Justice, attended.

Ch. Just. What is the matter? keep the peace here, ho !

Host. Good my lord, be good to me! I beseech you, stand to me! Ch. Just. How now, Sir John! what, are you brawling

here?
Doth this become your place, your time, and business?
You should have been well on your way to York. —
Stand from him, fellow : wherefore hang'st upon him?

7 Channel here means kennel, that is, ditch or gutter. So in 3 King Henry VI., ii. 2: “As if a channel should be call'd the sea." Also in Lucrece : “Here friend by friend in bloody channel lies." See, also, vol. viii. page 211, note io.

8 To quell meant to kill; so that man.queller is manslayer or murderer. - Honey-suckle and honey-seed are Quicklyisms for homicidal and homicide ; as indited and bastardly are for invited and dastardly.

9 Woo't is an old colloquialism for wilt. So in Hamlet, v. 1: "Woo't weep? woo't fight? wov't fast ?" &c.

« PreviousContinue »