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Prince. And thou a natural coward, without instinct.
Fal. I deny your major : 60 if you will deny the sheriff,

if not, let him enter: if I become not a cart as well as another man, a plague on my bringing up! I hope I shall as soon be strangled with a halter as another.

Prince. Go, hide thee behind the arras : 61 — the rest walk up above. Now, my masters, for a true face and a good conscience.

Fal. Both which I have had; but their date is out, and therefore I'll hide me. Prince. Call in the sheriff.

[Exeunt all but the Prince and POINTZ.

Enter Sheriff and Carrier.

Now, master sheriff, what's your will with me?

Sher. First, pardon me, my lord. A hue-and-cry Hath follow'd certain men unto this house.

Prince. What men ?

Sher. One of them is well known, my gracious lord, A gross fat man.

ardice is ingenerate in him, and not, as he has alleged, the mere outcome of a special instinct stirred into act in a particular exigency or towards a particular person.

60 Here, again, Mr. Crosby gives me a just and fitting explanation. Falstaff has some knowledge of technical terms in logic, such as the major and minor premises of a syllogism or proposition. But he here uses major in the sense of proposition, putting a part for the whole. It would seem that major and mayor were sounded much alike. So Falstaff makes a pun or quibble between major, as a term in logic, and mayor, as the head of a civic corporation, and the sheriff's official superior. So that his meaning is, "I deny your statement, what you have just said or affirmed: if you will deny the Sheriff, very well," &c.

61 Tapestry was fixed on frames of wood at such distance from the wall as to keep it from being rotted by the dampness; large spaces were thus left between the arras and the walls, sufficient to contain even one of Falstaft's bulk. The old dramatists avail themselves of this convenient hidingplace upon all occasions.


As fat as butter.
Prince. The man, I do assure you, is not here;
For I myself at this time have employ'd him.62
And, sheriff, I'll engage my word to thee,
That I will, by to-morrow dinner-time,
Send him to answer thee, or any man,
For any thing he shall be charged withal :
And so, let me entreat you leave the house.

Sher. I will, my lord. There are two gentlemen
Have in this robbery lost three hundred marks.

Prince. It may be so : if he have robb’d these men,
He shall be answerable ; and so, farewell.

Sher. Good night, my noble lord.
Prince. I think it is good morrow, is it not?
Sher. Indeed, my lord, I think’t be two o'clock.

[Exeunt Sheriff and Carrier. Prince. This oily rascal is known as well as Paul's.63 Go, call him forth.

Pointz. Falstaff ! - fast asleep behind the arras, and snorting like a horse.

Prince. Hark, how hard he fetches breath. Search his pockets. [POINTZ searches.] What hast thou found?

Pointz. Nothing but papers, my lord.
Prince. Let's see what they be : read them.
Pointz. [Reads. ]

62 Shakespeare has been blamed for putting this falsehood into the Prince's mouth. The blame, whatever it be, should rather light on the Prince; and even he is rather to be blamed for what he has all along been doing, than for what he now says. To have betrayed Falstaff, after what has passed between them, would have been something worse than telling a falsehood; more wicked even, let alone the meanness of it. The Poet did not mean to represent the Prince as altogether unhurt by his connection with Sir John; and if he had done so, he would have been false to nature.

63 St. Paul's Cathedral is the object meant; then the most conspicuous structure in London, its spire being five hundred feet high.

55. 8d.
25. 6d.

Item, A capon,

25. 2d.
Item, Sauce,

Item, Sack, two gallons,
Item, Anchovies and sack after supper,
Item, Bread,

Prince. O monstrous ! but one half-pennyworth of bread
to this intolerable deal of sack! What there is else, keep
close ; we'll read it at more advantage : there let him sleep
till day. I'll to the Court in the morning. We must all to
the wars, and thy place shall be honourable. I'll procure
this fat rogue a charge of foot; and I know his death will be
a march of twelve-score.65 The money shall be paid back
again with advantage. Be with me betimes in the morning;
and so, good morrow, Pointz.
Points. Good morrow, good my lord.



SCENE I. - Bangor. A Room in the Archdeacon's House.

Mort. These promises are fair, the parties sure, And our induction 1 full of prosperous hope.

Hot. Lord Mortimer,—and cousin Glendower, — will you sit down ?-- and uncle Worcester,-a plague upon it! I have forgot the map.

Glend. No, here it is.

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64 Ob. is for obolum, which was the common mode of signifying a halfpenny. 65 Meaning that a march of twelve-score yards will be his death.

1 Induction is used by Shakespeare for commencement, beginning. The introductory part of a play or poem was called the induction.


Sit, cousin Percy; sit, good cousin Hotspur ;
For by that name as oft as Lancaster
Doth speak of you, his cheek looks pale, and with
A rising sigh he wisheth you in Heaven.

Hot. And you in Hell, as oft as he hears Owen Glendower spoke of.

Glend. I cannot blame him : at my nativity
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
Of burning cressets ; 2 ay, and at my birth
The frame and huge foundation of the Earth
Shaked like a coward.

Hot. Why, so it would have done at the same season, if your mother's cat had but kitten’d, though yourself had never been born.

Glend. I say the Earth did shake when I was born.

Hot. And I say the Earth was not of my mind, if you suppose as fearing you it shook.

Glend. The Heavens were all on fire, the Earth did tremble.

Hot. O, then th’ Earth shook to see the Heavens on fire,
And not in fear of your nativity.
Diseasèd Nature oftentimes breaks forth
In strange eruptions; oft the teeming Earth
Is with a kind of colic pinch'd and vex'd
By the imprisoning of unruly wind
Within her womb; which, for enlargement striving,
Shakes the old beldam Earth, and topples down
Steeples and moss-grown towers. At your birth,
Our grandam Earth, having this distemperature,
In passion shook.

Cousin, of many men
I do not bear these crossings. Give me leave

2 Cressets were lights used as beacons, and sometimes as torches to light processions; so named from the French, croissette, because the fire was placed on a little cross.

To tell you once again, that at my birth
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes;
The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds
Were strangely clamorous in the frighted fields.
These signs have mark'd me extraordinary;
And all the courses of my life do show
I am not in the roll of common men.
Where is he living, — clipp'd in with the sea
That chides the banks of England, Scotland, Wales, —
Which calls me pupil, or hath read to me?
And bring him out that is but woman's son
Can trace me in the tedious ways of art,
And hold me pace in deep experiments.

Hot. I think there is no man speaks better Welsh. — I'll to dinner.

Mort. Peace, cousin Percy; you will make him mad.
Glend. I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Hot. Why, so can I, or so can any man ;
But will they come when you do call for them?

Glend. Why, I can teach thee, cousin, to command
The Devil.

Hot. And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the Devil
By telling truth : tell truth, and shame the Devil.
If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither,
And I'll be sworn I've power to shame him hence.
O, while you live, tell truth, and shame the Devil !

Mort. Come, come,
No more of this unprofitable chat.

Glend. Three times hath Henry Bolingbroke made head
Against my power; thrice from the banks of Wye
And sandy-bottom'd Severn have I sent
Him bootless home and weather-beaten back.

Hot. Home without boots, and in foul weather too ! How 'scaped he agues, in the Devil's name !

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