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Pal. O base Assyrian knight, what is thy news? Let King Cophetua know the truth thereof.
Silence sings. And Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John. Pist. Shall dunghill curs confront the Heli
cons; And shall good news be baffled? Then, Pistol, lay thy head in furies' lap.
Shal. Honest gentleman, I know not your breeding
Pist. Why then lament therefore.
Shal. Give me pardon, sir. If, sir, you come with 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? speak or
Shal. Under King Harry.
Pist. A foutra for thine office ! -
Pist. As nail in door: the things I speak are just.
Fal. Away, Bardolph; saddle my horse. Master Robert Shallow, choose what office thou wilt in the land: 't is thine.- Pistol, I will double-charge thee with dignities.
Bard. O joyful day! I would not take a knighthood 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.-0 sweet Pistol! -Away, Bardolph. [Exit BARDOLPH.]-Come, Pistol, utter more to me; and 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 2nd Groom. The trumpets have sounded twice. are at my commandment. Happy are they which 1st Groom. It will be two o'clock ere they come have been my friends, and woe to my Lord Chief 'from the coronation. Despatch, despatch. Justice.
(Exeunt Grooms. Pist. Let vultures vile seize on his lungs also ! “Where is the life that late I led ?" say they :
Enter Falstaff, Shallow, Pistol, BARDOLPN,
and the Page. Why, here it is. Welcome these pleasant days!
[Exeunt. Fal. Stand here by me, Master Robert Shallow:
I will make the King do you grace. I will leer
upon him as he comes by; and do but mark the Scene IV.-London. A Street,
countenance that he will give me.
Pist. God bless thy lungs, good knight. Enter Beadles, dragging in Hostess Quickly
Fal. Come here, Pistol; stand behind me.and Doll TEARSHEET.
O, if I had had time to have made new liveries, Host. No, thou arrant knave: I would I might I would have bestowed the thousand pound I die, that I might have thee hanged: thou hast borrowed of you [To Shallow).—But 't is no drawn my shoulder out of joint.
matter: this poor slow doth better: this doch 1st Bead. The constables have delivered her infer the zeal I had to see him. over to me; and she shall have whipping-cheer
Shal. It doth so. enough, I warrant her. There hath been a man Fal. It shews my earnestness of affection. or two lately killed about her.
Shal. It doth so. Doll. Nuthook, nuthook, you lie. Come on. Fal. My devotion. I'll tell thee what, thou damned tripe-visaged Shal. It doth, it doth, it doth. rascal: an the child I now go with do miscarry, Fal. As it were, to ride day and night; and thou hadst better thou hadst struck thy mother, not to deliberate, not to remember, not to have thou paper-faced villain.
patience to shift me. Host. O the lord that Sir John were come! Shal. It is most certain. he would make this a bloody day to somebody. Fal. But to stand stained with travel and sweatBut I pray
God the fruit of her womb miscarry! ing with desire to see him: thinking of nothing 1st Bead. If it do, you shall have a dozen of else, putting all affairs else in oblivion: as if there cushions again: you have but eleven now. Come, were nothing else to be done but to see him.
go with me; for the man is Pist. 'Tis semper idem, for absque hoc nihil est. dead that you and Pistol beat among you.
't is all in every part. Doll. I'll tell thee what, thou thin man in a Shal. 'Tis so, indeed. censer: I will have you as soundly swinged for Pist. My knight, I will inflame thy noble liver, this, you blue-bottle rogue, you filthy famished And make thee rage: correctioner !- If you be not swinged, I'll for- Thy Doll, and Helen of thy noble thoughts, swear half-kirtles.
Is in base durance and contagious prison : 1st Bead. Come, come, you she knight-errant;
By most mechanical and dirty hand:Host. O that right should thus o'ercome might! Rouse up revenge from ebonden, with fell Alecto's Well, of sufferance comes ease.
snake; Doll. Come, you rogue, come; bring me to a For Doll is in: Pistol speaks nought but truth. justice.
Fal, I will deliver her. Host. Ay, come, you starved bloodhound.
[Shouts within, and the trumpets sound. Doll. Goodman death, goodman bones!
Pist. There roared the sea, and trumpetHost. Thou atomy, thou !
clangour sounds. Doll. Come, you thin thing: come, you rascal! 1st Bead. Very well.
[Exeunt. Enter the King and his Train, the Chief JusTICE
them. Fal. God save thy grace, King Hal: my royal
Hal! Scene V.-A public Place near Westminster Pist. The heavens thee guard and keep, most Abbey
royal imp of fame!
Fal. God save thee, my sweet boy!
King. My Lord Chief Justice, speak to that 1st Groom. More rushes, more rushes.
I charge you
Ch. Just. Have you your wits: know you what
'tis you speak? Fal. My King; my Jove! I speak to thee,
my heart ! King. I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy
prayers : How ill white hairs become a fool and jester !
a I have long dreamed of such a kind of man, So surfeit-swelled, so old, and so profane : But being awake, I do despise my dream. Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace: Leave gormandising : 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.—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.
Shal. 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.
Shal. 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 thousand.
Fal. Sir, I will be as good as my word: this that you heard was but a colour
Shal. A colour I fear that you will die in, Sir John.
Fal. Fear no colours: 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,
Fal. My lord, my lord, -
you soon. Take them away. Pist. Si fortuna me tormenta, spero me contenta.
(Exeunt Falstaff, &c., with Officers.
Ch. Just. And so they are.
lord. 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 ?
Spoken by a Dancer.
First my fear; then my courtesy; last my me, will you command me to use my legs? and speech. My fear is your displeasure; my cour- yet that were but light payment, to dance out of tesy my duty; and my speech to beg your par- your debt. But a good conscience will make dons. If
look for a good speech now, you any possible satisfaction, and so will I. All the undo me: for what I have to say is of mine own gentlewomen here have forgiven me: if the genmaking; and what indeed I should say, will, I tlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree doubt, prove my own marring. But to the pur- with the gentlewomen, which was never seen pose, and so to the venture :- Be it known to before in such an assembly. you (as it is very well) I was lately here in the One word more, I beseech you :- If you be end of a displeasing play, to pray your patience not too much cloyed with fat meat, our humble for it, and to promise you a better. I did mean, author will continue the story, with Sir John in indeed, to pay you with this: which if, like an it, and make you merry with fair Katharine of ill venture, it come unluckily home, I break, and France: where, for anything I know, Falstaff you my gentle creditors lose. Here I promised shall die of a sweat, unless already he be killed you I would be, and here I commit my body to with your hard opinions: for Oldcastle died a your mercies: bate me some, and I will pay you martyr, and this is not the man.—My tongue is some; and, as most debtors do, promise you weary: when my legs are too, I will bid you infinitely
good night; and so kneel down before you: but. If my tongue cannot entreat you to acquit | indeed, to pray for the Queen.
“See if thou canst find out Sneak's noise." -Act II., Scene 4.
A "noise of musicians" signified a concert or company of them. In the old play of "HENRY V.,” which preceded that of Shakspere, it is said :-"There came the young prince, and two or three more of his companions, and called for wine good store ; and then they sent for a noise of musicians."
"Erter Rumour, painted full of tongues."-Induction.
Rumour, or Fame, was commonly thus represented in the masques of Shakspere's day. In a masque by Thomas Campion, presented on St. Stephen's night, 1614, Rumour comes on "in a skin-coat, full of winged tongues." Many similar instances are cited by the commentators.
“ But let one spirit of the first-born Cain
Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being sel
Act I., Scene 1. The conclusion of this noble speech is extremely striking. There is no need to suppose it exactly philosophical : darkness, in poetry, may be absence of eyes, as well as privation of light. Yet we may remark that, by an ancient opinion, it has been held that if the human race, for whom the world was made, were extirpated, the whole system of sublunary Dature would cease at once.-JOHxsox.
The true point of this fine phrase (“darkness be the burier of the dead") is, we apprehend, that, if universal darkness prevailed, there would be no occasion for any other entombment:-on the poetical supposition that the sole use of burial is to remove the dead from the sight of the living.-0.
“I will bar no honest man my house, nor no cheater."
Act II., Scene 4. Dame Quickly here uses the offensive word "cheater" in its original sense of escheator, an officer of the Exchequer.
“These be good humours, indeed! Shall packhorses
And Trojan Greeks?"-Act II., Scene 4. The poet has put into the mouth of Pistol a tissue of absurd and fustian passages from various old plays. Those quoted are a parody oa some lines in Marlowe's "TAMBURLAINE:"
“Holla, you pampered Jades of Asia !
What! can you draw but twenty miles a day?". The same passage is burlesqued by Beaumont and Fletcher, in “THE Coxcom B."
"Eats conger and fennel; and drinks off candles'-ends for Aap-dragons; and rides the wild mare with the boys."-
Act II., Scene 4, “Conger and fennel" appear to have been commonly eaten together, and were esteemed provocatives. A "flapdragon” was some small combustible material, fired at one end, and put afloat in a glass of liquor. “Riding the wild mare" was another name for the game of see-saw.
"FAL Very well, my lord, very well." -Act I., Scene 2.
In the quarto edition of 1600, this speech has the prefix "OLD." to it. This is a strong corroboration of the tradition that Falstaff was originally called Oldcastle. "If I do, fillip me with a three-man beelle." -Act I., Scene 2.
A " three-man beetle" is a heavy instrument, with three handles, used in driving piles, &c. To "fillip" may mean merely to strike; but it is commonly thought to allude to a barbarous practice of placing a toad at the end of a board, which was laid across another; when, the first board being struck with a bat or large stick, the persecuted toad was thrown high into the air, and his best fortune was to be killed by the fall.
"For his divisions, as the timos do brawl,
Are in three heads : one power against the French,
Must take up us."- Act I., Scene 3.
"To comforl you the more, I have received
Act III., Scene 1. Glendower did not die till after Henry IV. Shakspere was here led into error by Holinshed, who places Owen's death in the tenth year of Henry's reign.
“He would have clapped i' the clout at twelve-score."
Act III., Scene 2. That is, hit the white mark at twelve-score yards. By an Act of 33rd Henry VIII., every person turned of seventeen yoars of age, who shot at a less distance that twelve-score yards, was subject to a fine of 6s. Sd.
"A prelly slight drollery, or the story of the Prodigal, or the German hunting in water-work."—Act II., Scene 1.
By "water-work" is meant water-colours, either frescoepalatings or hangings in water-colours. The painted cloth was generally oil-colour; but a cheaper sort, probably resembling in its execution some modern paper-hangings, was brought from Holland or Germany, executed in watercolour, oz distempe:
"Como off and on swifter than he thal gibbets-on the brewer's buckel."-Act III., Scene 2.
Meaning, probably, swifter than he who puts the buckets on the beam or gibbet that passes across his shoulders, in order to carry the beer from the vat to the barrei.