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BARD. Hear me, hear me what I say:-he that strikes the first stroke, I'll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier.
PIST. An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate.
Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give;
NYM. I will cut thy throat, one time or other, in fair terms; that is the humour of it.
PIST. Coupe le gorge, that's the word ?—I thee defy again.
O hound of Crete, think'st thou my spouse to get?
And from the powdering tub of infamy
9 O hound of CRETE,] He means to insinuate that Nym thirsted for blood. The hounds of Crete described by our author in A Midsummer-Night's Dream, appear to have been bloodhounds. See vol. v. p. 289. MALONE.
This is an ingenious supposition; and yet I cannot help thinking that Pistol on the present, as on many other occasions, makes use of words to which he had no determinate meaning.
"Twelve men of greatest strength in Troy, left with their lives exhal'd
"Their chariots," &c. STEEVENS.
S the lazar KITE OF CRESSID'S KIND,] The same expression occurs in Green's Card of Fancy, 1601: 'What courtesy is to be found in such kites of Cressid's kind?"
Again, in Gascoigne's Dan Bartholomew of Bathe, 1587: "Nor seldom seene in kites of Cressid's kinde."
Shakspeare might design a ridicule on the last of these passages. Again, in The Forrest of Fancy, 1579:
"For such rewardes they dayly fynde
"That fyxe their fancy faithfully
there's enough.] Thus the quarto. The folio adds-to go` STEEVENS.
Enter the Boy.
Boy. Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master, and you, hostess";-he is very sick, and would to bed.-Good Bardolph, put thy nose between his sheets, and do the office of a warmingpan: 'faith, he's very ill.
BARD. Away, you rogue.
QUICK. By my troth, he'll yield the crow a pudding one of these days: the king has killed his heart.-Good husband, come home presently. [Exeunt Mrs. QUICKLY and Boy.
BARD. Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to France together; Why, the devil, should we keep knives to cut one another's throats? PIST. Let floods o'erswell, and fiends for food howl on!
NYм. You'll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?
PIST. Base is the slave that pays*.
NYм. That now I will have; that's the humour of it.
PIST. As manhood shall compound; Push home. BARD. By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I'll kill him; by this sword, I will.
PIST. Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.
BARD. Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be friends: an thou wilt not, why then be enemies with me too. Pr'ythee, put up.
3- and you, hostess;] The folio has-" and your hostess." Corrected by Sir T. Hanmer. The emendation is supported by the quarto: Hostess, you must come straight to my master, and you host Pistol." MALONE.
4 Base is the slave that pays.] Perhaps this expression was proverbial. I meet with it in The Fair Maid of the West, by Heywood, 1631:
My motto shall be, Base is the man that
NYM. I shall have my eight shillings, I won of you at betting?
PIST. A noble shalt thou have, and present pay; And liquor likewise will I give to thee, And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood: I'll live by Nym, and Nym shall live by me ;Is not this just ?-for I shall sutler be Unto the camp, and profits will accrue. Give me thy hand.
NYM. I shall have my noble?
NYM. Well then, that's the humour of it.
Re-enter Mrs. QUICKLY.
QUICK. As ever you came of women, come in quickly to sir John: Ah, poor heart! he is so shaked of a burning quotidian tertian, that it is most lamentable to behold. Sweet men, come to
NYM. The king hath run bad humours on the knight, that's the even of it.
PIST. Nym, thou hast spoke the right; His heart is fracted, and corroborate.
NYM. The king is a good king: but it must be as it may; he passes some humours, and careers. PIST. Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins we will live". [Exeunt.
SO SHAKED &c.] Thus Sidney, in the first book of his Arcadia :
"And precious couches full oft are shaked with a feaver." STEEVENS.
6 for, LAMBKINS we will live.] That is, we will live as quietly and peaceably together as lambkins. The meaning has, I think, been obscured by a different punctuation: "for, lambkins, we will live." MALOne.
Lambkins seems to me a fantastick title by which Pistol addresses his newly-reconciled friends, Nym and Bardolph. The words-we will live, may refer to what seems uppermost in his head, his expected profits from the camp, of which he has just
Southampton. A Council-Chamber.
Enter EXETER, BEDFORD, and WESTMORELAND. BED. 'Fore God, his grace is bold, to trust these traitors.
EXE. They shall be apprehended by and by. WEST. HOW Smooth and even they do bear themselves!
As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,
BED. The king hath note of all that they intend, By interception which they dream not of.
EXE. Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow",
given them reason to expect a share. I have not therefore departed from the old punctuation. STEEVENS.
that was his BEDFELLOW,] So, Holinshed: "The said Lord Scroop was in such favour with the king, that he admitted him sometime to be his bedfellow." The familiar appellation of bed fellow, which appears strange to us, was common among the ancient nobility. There is a letter from the sixth Earl of Northumberland, (still preserved in the collection of the present Duke,) addressed "To his beloved cousyn Thomas Arundel," &c. which begins, "Bedfellow, after my most harté recommendacion." So, in a comedy called A Knack to know a Knave, 1594: "Yet, for thou wast once bedfellow to a king, "And that I lov'd thee as my second self," &c. Again, in Look About You, 1600:
if I not err
"Thou art the prince's ward.
I am his ward, chamberlain, and bedfellow." Again, in Cynthia's Revenge, 1613:
"Her I'll bestow, and without prejudice,
"On thee alone, my noble bedfellow." STEEVENS. This unseemly custom continued common till the middle of the last century, if not later. Cromwell obtained much of his intelligence during the civil wars from the mean men with whom he slept.-Henry Lord Scroop was the third husband of Joan Duchess of York, stepmother of Richard Earl of Cambridge.
That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell
Trumpet sounds. Enter King HENRY, SCROOP, CAMBRIDGE, GREY, Lords, and Attendants.
K. HEN. Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.
My lord of Cambridge,—and my kind lord of Masham,
And you, my gentle knight,
give me your
Think you not, that the powers we bear with us, Will cut their passage through the force of France; Doing the execution, and the act,
For which we have in head assembled them1?
SCROOP. No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best.
K. HEN. I doubt not that: since we are well persuaded,
We carry not a heart with us from hence,
CLOY'D and grac'd-] Thus the quarto. The folio reads-" dull'd and cloy'd.” Perhaps dull'd is a mistake for dol`d. STEEVENS.
9to death and treachery!] Here the quartos insert a line omitted in all the following editions:
"Exe. O! the lord of Masham!"
For which we have in HEAD assembled them?] This is not English phraseology. I am persuaded Shakspeare wrote: "For which we have in aid assembled them?" alluding to the tenures of those times. WARBUrton.
It is strange that the commentator should forget a word so eminently observable in this writer, as head for an army formed. JOHNSON.
In head seems synonymous to the modern military term in force. MALONE.
2 That grows not in a fair cONSENT with ours ;] So, in Macbeth: