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Fal. Thou hast the most unsavoury fimilies; and art, indeed, the most comparative, rascalliest,--sweer young prince,-But, Hal, I pr’ythee, trouble me no more with vanity. I would to God, thou and I knew where a commodity of good names were to be bought: An old lord of the council rated me the other day in the street about you, fir; but I mark’d him not : and yet he talk'd very wisely; but I regarded him not : and yet he talk'd wisely, and in the street too.
P. Henry. Thou did it well; for wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it.
Fal. + O, thou hast danınable iteration; and art, indeed, able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much
great fen, or moor, on the north side of the walls of the city, being frozen over, &c. This explains the propriety of the comparison. WARTON.
3 — the most comparative,–] Sir T. Hanmer, and Dr. Ilar. burton after him, read, incomparative, I suppose for incomparable, or peerless ; but comparative here means quick at comparifons, or fruitful in fimilies, and is properly introduced. Johnsov:
This epithet is used again, in act III. sc. ii. of this play, and apparently in the fame lense :
stand the push “ Of every beardless vain comparative." And in Love's Labour's Loft, act V. sc. ult. Rosaline tells Biron that he is a man “ Full of comparisons and wounding flouts.”
STEEVENS. So, in Nash's Apologie of Pierce Penniless, 1593 : “ He took upon him to set his foot against me, and to over-crow me with comparative terms. MALONE.
O, thou hast &c.] For iteration fir T. Hanmer and Dr. Warburton read attraction, of which the meaning is certainly more apparent; but an editor is not always to change what he does not understand. In the last speech a text is very indecently and abusively applied, to which Falstaff answers, thou hasi damnable iteration, or, a wicked trick of repeating and applying holy texts. This I think is the meaning. Johnson.
Iteration is right, for it also signified simply citation or recitation. So, in Marlow's Dator Fauftus, 16;1:
“ Here take this book and perure it well,
“ The iterating of these lines brings goid.” From the context, iterating here appears to mean pronouncing, reciting. MALONE.
harm upon me, Hal,—God forgive thee for it! Before I knew thee, Hal, I knew nothing; and now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give it over; by the lord, an I do not, I am a villain; I'll be damn'd for never a king's son in Christendom.
P. Henry. Where shall we take a purse to-morrow, Jack ?
Fal. Where thou wilt, lad, I'll make one; an I do not, call me villain, and baffle me 5.
P. Henry. I see a good amendment of life in thee; from praying, to purse-taking. Fal. Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal; 'tis no
- and baffle me.] See Mr. Tollet's note on K. Rich. II. act I. sc. i. STEEVENS.
6 In former editions : Fal. Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal; 'tis no fin for a man to labour in his vocation.
Enter Poins. Poins. Now mall we know, if Gadshill have set a match.] Mr. Pope has given us one signal observation in his preface to our author's works. “ Throughout his plays," says he, “ had all the speeches been printed without the very names of the persons, I believe one might have applied them with certainty to every speaker.” But how fallible the most sufficient critic may be, the passage in controversy is a main instance. As signal a blunder has escaped all the editors here, as any through the whole set of plays. Will any one persuade me, Shakespeare could be guilty of such an inconsistency, as to make Poins at his first entrance want news of Gadshill, and immediately after to be able to give a full account of him? - No; Falitaft, seeing Poins at hand, turns the stream of his discourse from the prince, and says: “ Now shall we know, whether Gadshill has set a match for us ;" and then immediately falls into railing and invectives against Poins. How admirably is this in character for Falstaff! And Poins, who knew well his abufive manner, seems in part to overhear him: and so soon as he has returned the prince's falutation, cries, by way of answer : “ What lays Monsieur Remorse? What says fir Jack Sack-and-Sugar?”
THEOBALD. Mr. Theobald has fastened on an observation made by Mr. Pope, hyperbolical enough, but not contradicted by the erroneous reading in this place, the fpeech, like a thousand others, not befin for a man to labour in his vocation. Poins ! Now shall we know, if Gadshill have set a match. O, if men were to be sav'd by merit, what hole in hell were hot enough for him?
P. Henry. Good morrow, Ned.
Poins. Good morrow, sweet Hal. What says monsieur Remorse? What says fir John Sack-and-Sugar? Jack, how agrees the devil and thee about thy soul, that thou foldest him on Good-friday last, for a cup of Madeira, and a cold capon's leg?
P. Henry. Sir John stands to his word, the devil shall have his bargain; for he was never yet a breaker of proverbs, He will give the devil his due.
Poins. Then art thou damn'd for keeping thy word with the devil.
P. Henry. Else he had been damn’d for cozening the devil.
Poins. But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four o'clock, early at Gadshill: There are pilgrims going to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders riding to London with fat purses: I have visor's for you all, you have horses for yourselves : Gadshill lies to-night in Rochester; I have bespoke supper to-morrow night in East-cheap; we may do it as secure as sleep: If you will go, I will stuff your purses full of crowns; if you will not, tarry at home, and be hang’d.
ing so characteristic as to be infallibly applied to the speaker. Theobald's triumph over the other editors might have been abated by a confession, that the first edition gave him at least a glimpse of the emendation. Johnson.
a match.—] Thus the quartos 1599, and 1608. The folio reads ; a watch. STEEVENS.
Fal. Hear ye, Yedward; if I tarry at home, and go not, I'll hang you for going.
Poins. You will, chops?
P. Henry. Who, I rob? I a thief? not I, by my faith.
Fal. There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee, nor thou cam'ft not of the blood royal, & if thou dar'st not stand for ten shillings.
P. Henry. Well then, once in my days I'll be a mad-cap:
Fal. Why, that's well said.
Fal. By the lord, I'll be a traitor then, when thou art king
P. Henry. I care not.
Poins. Sir John, I prythee, leave the prince and me alone; I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure, that he shall go.
Fal. Well, may'st thou have the spirit of persuafion, and he the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may move, and what he hears may be believed, that the true prince inay (for recrcation fake) prove a false thief; for the poor abuses of the time want countenance. Farewel : You shall find me in East-cheap.
P. Henry. Farewel, thou latter spring! farewel All-hallown summer!
if thou dar'st not cry, stand, &c.] The present reading may perhaps be right; but I think it neceffary to remark, that ali ihe old editions read :-if thou dar'st not stand for ten shillings.
JOHNSON. Falstaff is quibbling on the word royal. The real or royal was of the value of ten fhillings. Almost the fame jest occurs in a fubfequent scene. The quibble, however, is loft, except the old reading be preserved. Cry, stand, will not support it. STEEVENS.
All-hallown summer!] All-hallow's is All-hallotun-tide, or All-faints' day, which is the first of November. We have fill Poins. Now, my good sweet honey lord, ride with us to-morrow; I have a jest to execute, that I cannot manage alone.
· Falstaff, Bardolph, Peto, and Gadshill, shall rob those men that we have already way-laid; yourself, and I, will not be there: and when they have the booty, if you and I do not rob thein, cut this head from my shoulders.
P. Henry. But how shall we part with them in set
Poins. Why, we will set forth before or after them, and appoint them a place of meeting, wherein it is at our pleasure to fail; and then will they adventure
a church in London which is absurdly stiled St. All-hallows, as if a word which was formed to express the community of faints, could be appropriated to any particular one of the number. In The Play of the four Ps, 1569, this mistake (which might have been a common one) is pleasantly exposed :
6. Pard. Friends, here you shall see, even anone, “ Of All-hallows the blessed jaw-bone,
" Kiss it hardly, with good devotion : &c.". The characters in this scene are striving who should produce the greateft falfhood, and very probably in their attempts to excell each other, have out-ly'd even the Romish Kalendar.
Shakespeare's allusion is design’d to ridicule an old man with youthful patsions. So, in the second part of this play: “-the Martlemas your
master.” STEEVENS. In former editions : Falstaff, Harvey, Roffil, and Gadshill, Mall rob these men that eve have already way-laid;] Thus we have two persons named, as characters in this play, that never were among the dramatis perfonæ. But let us see who they were that committed this robbery. In the second act we come to a scene of the highway. Falstaff, wanting his horse, calls out on Hal, Poins, Bardolph, and Peto. Prelently Gadshill joins them, with intelligence of travellers being at hand; upon which the prince says : You four Mall front 'em in a narrow lane, Ned Poins and I will walk lower. So that the four to be concerned are Faltaff, Bardolph, Peto, and Gadshill. Accordingly, the robbery is committed; and the prince and Poins afterwards rob these four. In the Boar’s-head tavern, the prince rallies Peto and Bardolph for their running away, who confess the charge. Is it not plain that Bardolph and Peto were tivo of the four robbers ? And who then can doubt, but Harvey and Roslil were the names of the actors, THEOBALD.