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FAL. Well then, Colevile is your name; a knight is your degree; and your place, the dale: Colevile shall still be your name; a traitor your degree; and the dungeon your place,—a place deep enough; so shall you still be Colevile of the dale 2.
COLE. Are not you sir John Falstaff?
FAL. As good a man as he, sir, whoe'er I am. Do ye yield, sir? or shall I sweat for you? If I do sweat, they are drops of thy lovers, and they weep for thy death: therefore rouse up fear and trembling, and do observance to my mercy.
COLE. I think, you are sir John Falstaff; and, in that thought, yield me.
FAL. I have a whole school of tongues in this belly of mine; and not a tongue of them all speaks any other word but my name. An I had but a belly of any indifferency, I were simply the most. active fellow in Europe: My womb, my womb, my womb undoes me.-Here comes our general.
Enter Prince JOHN of LANCASTER, WESTMORELand, and Others.
P. JOHN. The heat is past, follow no further
Call in the powers, good cousin Westmoreland.[Exit WEST.
2 and the dungeon your place,-a place deep enough; so shall you still be Colevile of the dale.] But where is the wit or the logick of this conclusion? I am almost persuaded that we ought to read thus :
Colevile shall still be your name, a traitor your degree, and the dungeon your place, a dale deep enoughHe may then justly infer,
you still be Colevile of the dale." TYRWHITT. The sense of dale is included in deep; a dale is a deep place; a dungeon is a deep place; he that is in a dungeon may be therefore said to be in a dale. JOHNSON.
3 The HEAT is past,] the eagerness of revenge.
That is, the violence of resentment,
Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while?
FAL. I would be sorry, my lord, but it should be thus; I never knew yet, but rebuke and check was the reward of valour. Do you think me a swallow, an arrow, or a bullet? have I, in my poor and old motion, the expedition of thought? I have speeded hither with the very extremest inch of possibility; I have foundered nine-score and odd posts: and here, travel-tainted as I am, have, in my pure and immaculate valour, taken sir John Colevile of the dale, a most furious knight, and valorous enemy: But what of that? he saw me, and yielded; that I may justly say with the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, I came, saw, and overcame.
P. JOHN. It was more of his courtesy than your deserving.
FAL. I know not; here he is, and here I yield him and I beseech your grace, let it be booked with the rest of this day's deeds; or, by the lord, I will have it in a particular ballad else, with mine own picture on the top of it, Colevile kissing my foot: To the which course if I be enforced, if you do not all show like gilt two-pences to me; and I, in the clear sky of fame, o'ershine you as much as the full moon doth the cinders of the element", which show like pins' heads to her; believe not the word of the noble : Therefore let me have right, and let desert mount.
P. JOHN. Thine's too heavy to mount.
the hook-nosed fellow of Rome,] The quarto reads"the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, their cosin." I have followed the folio. Some of the modern editors read, but without authority-" the hook-nosed fellow of Rome, there, Cæsar."
cinders of the element,] A ludicrous term for the stars. STEEVENS.
FAL. Let it shine then.
P. JOHN. Thine's too thick to shine.
FAL. Let it do something, my good lord, that may do me good, and call it what you will. P. JOHN. Is thy name Colevile° ?
COLE. It is, my lord.
P. JOHN. A famous rebel art thou, Colevile.
COLE. I am, my lord, but as my betters are, That led me hither: had they been rul'd by me, You should have won them dearer than you have.
FAL. I know not how they sold themselves: but thou, like a kind fellow, gavest thyself away *; and I thank thee for thee.
P. JOHN. Now, have you left pursuit ?
WEST. Retreat is made, and execution stay'd. P. JOHN. Send Colevile, with his confederates, To York, to present execution :
Blunt, lead him hence; and see you guard him sure. [Exeunt some with COLEVILE. And now despatch we toward the court, my lords; I hear, the king my father is sore sick :
Our news shall go before us to his majesty,Which, cousin, you shall bear,-to comfort him ; And we with sober speed will follow you.
* Quartos, gavest thyself away gratis.
FAL. My lord, I beseech you, give me leave to go through Glostershire: and, when you come to court, stand my good lord, 'pray, in your good report 7.
6- Colevile ?] From the present seeming deficiency in the structure of this and the two subsequent lines containing Colevile's name, and from the manner in which it is repeatedly spelt in the old copies, viz. Collevile, I suspect it was designed to be pronounced as a trisyllable. STEEVENS.
7- stand my good lord, 'pray, in your good report.] We
P. JOHN. Fare you well, Falstaff: I, in my condition, Shall better speak of
you than you deserve.
must either read, pray let me stand, or, by a construction somewhat harsh, understand it thus: "Give me leave to go-andstand." To "stand in a report," referred to the reporter, is to persist; and Falstaff did not ask the prince to persist in his present opinion. JOHNSON.
"Stand my good lord," I believe, means only "stand my good friend," (an expression still in common use,) in your favourable report of me. So, in The Taming of the Shrew: "I pray you, stand good father to me now." Again, in King Lear:
conjuring the moon
Mr. M. Mason observes that the same phrase occurs in Ben Jonson's Case is altered, where Onion says to Chamont: "Monsieur Chamont, stand you my honour'd Sir."
Mr. Steevens is certainly right. In a former scene of this play, the Hostess says to the Chief Justice, "good my lord, be good unto me; I beseech you, stand to me." Though an equivoque may have been there intended, yet one of the senses conveyed by this expression in that place is the same as here. Again, more appositely, in Coriolanus:
his gracious nature
"Would think upon you for your voices,—
Again, in The Spanish Tragedy:
What would he with us?
"He writes us here
"To stand good lord, and help him in distress."
Stand is here the imperative word, as give is before. my good lord," i. e. be my good patron and benefactor. "Be my good lord was the old court phrase used by a person who asked a favour of a man of high rank. So, in a Letter to the Earl of Northumberland, (printed in the Appendix to The Northumberland Houshold Book,) he desires that Cardinal Wolsey would so farbe his good lord," as to empower him to imprison a person who had defrauded him. PERCY.
I, in my CONDITION,
Shall better speak of you than you deserve.] I know not well the meaning of the word condition in this place; I believe it is
FAL. I would, you had but the wit; 'twere better than your dukedom 9.-Good faith, this same young sober-blooded boy doth not love me; nor a man cannot make him laugh1;—but that's no marvel, he drinks no wine. There's never any of these demure boys come to any proof2: for thin drink doth so over-cool their blood, and making many fish-meals, that they fall into a kind of male greensickness; and then, when they marry, they get wenches they are generally fools and cowards ;— which some of us should be too, but for inflammation. A good sherris-sack hath a two-fold opera
the same with temper of mind: I shall, in my good nature, speak better of you than you merit. JOHNSON.
I believe it means, "I, in my condition,” i. e. in my place as commanding officer, who ought to represent things merely as they are, shall speak of you better than you deserve. So, in The Tempest, Ferdinand says:
I am, in my condition,
"A prince, Miranda."
Dr. Johnson's explanation, however, seems to be countenanced by Gower's address to Pistol, in King Henry V. Act V. Sc. I.: "-let a Welsh correction teach you a good English condition.”
your DUKEDOM.] He had no dukedom. See vol. xvi. p. 178. RITSON.
this same young sober-blooded boy doth not love me; nor a man cannot make him laugh;] Falstaff here speaks like a veteran in life. The young prince did not love him, and he despaired to gain his affection, for he could not make him laugh. Men only become friends by community of pleasures. He who cannot be softened into gaiety, cannot easily be melted into kind
to any PROOF:] i. e. any confirmed state of manhood. The allusion is to armour hardened till it abides a certain trial. So, in King Richard II.:
"Add proof unto my armour with thy prayers."
3 - sherris-sack] This liquor is mentioned in The Captain, by Beaumont and Fletcher. STEEVENS.
The epithet sherry or sherris, when added to sack, merely denoted the particular part of Spain from whence it came.