Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

beard; he sent me word, if I said his beard was not cut well, he was in the mind it was. This is called the retort courteous. If I sent him word again, it was not well cut, he would send me word, he cut it to please himself. This is called the quip modest. If again, it was not well cut, he disabled my judg. ment. This is called the reply churlish. If again, it was not well cut, he would answer, I spake not true. This is called the reproof valiant. If again, it was not well cut, he would say, I lie. This is called the counter check quarrelsome; and so the lie circumstantial, and the lie direct.

Jaques. And how oft did you say, his beard was not well cut?

Clown. I durst go no further than the lie circumstantial; nor he durst not give me the lie direct, and so we measured swords and parted.

Jaques. Can you nominate in order now the degrees of the lie?

Clown. O sir, we quarrel in print, by the book, as you have books for good manners. I will name you the degrees. The first, the retort courteous; the second, the equip modest; the third, the reply churlish ; the fourth, the reproof valiant; the fifth, the counter check quarrelsome; the sixth, the lie with circumstance; theseventh, the lie direct. All these you may avoid, but the lie direct; and you may avoid that too, with an if. I knew when seven justices could not take up a quarrel; but when the parties were met themselves, one of them thought but of an if; as, if you said so, then I said so; and they shook hands, and swore brothers. Your if is the only peace-maker; much virtae in if.

Jaques. Is not this a rare fellow, my lord? He's good at any thing, and yet a fool.

Duke. He uses his folly like a stalking horse, and under the presentation of that he shoots his! wit.

Shakspeare.

NEW MADE GENTRY.

AUTOLICUS, SHEPHERD, CLOWN. Aut. HERE come those I have done good to against

my will, and already appearing in the blossoms of their fortune.

Shep. Come boy, I am past more children ; but thy sous and daughters will be all gentlemen born,

Clown. You are well met, sir, you denied to fight with me this other day, because I was no gentleman born. See you these clothes? Say, you see them not, and think me still no gentleman born. You were best say, these robes were not gentlemen born. Give me the lie; do, and try whether I am not now a gentleman born.

Aut. I know you are now, sir, a gentleman born.

Clown. Ay, and have been so any time these four hours.

Shep. And so have I, boy.

Clown. So you have; but I was a gentleman born before my father; for the king's son took me by the hand, and called me brother; and then the two kings called my father brother; and then the prince my brother, and the princess my sister, called my father, father, and so we wept; and,

there was the first gentlemanlike tears that ever we shed.

Shep. We may live, son, to shed many more.

Clown. Ay, or else 'twere hard luck, being in so preposterous estate as we are.

Aut. I humbly beseech you, sir, to pardon me all the faults I have committed to your worship, and to give me your good report to the prince, my master.

Shep. Pr’ythee, son, do; for we must be gentle now we are gentlemen.

Clown. Thou wilt amend thy life?
Aut. Ay, and it please your good worship.

Clown. Give me thy hand; I will swear to the prince, thou art as honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.

Shep. You may say it, but not swear it.

Clown. Not swear it, now I am a gentleman? Let boors and franklins say it, I'll swear it.

Shep. How if it be false, son?

Clown. If it be never so false, a true gentleman may swear it in behalf of his friend : and I'll swear to the prince, thou art a tall fellow of thy hands, and that thou wilt not be drunk; but I know thou art no tall fellow of thy hands, and that thou wilt be drunk; but I'll swear it; and, I would, thou would'st be a tall fellow of thy bands.

Aut. I will prove so, sir, to my power.

Clown. Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow; if I do not wonder how thou dar'st venture to be drunk, not being a tall fellow, trust me not. Hark, the kings and the princes, our kindred, are going to see the queen's picture. Come, follow us : we'll be thy good masters.

Shukspeare.

HUMOUROUS SCENE OF COWARDICE AND LYING,

PRINCE HENRY AND FALSTAFF.

P. Henry. WELCOME, Jack !—Where hast thou been?

Fal. A plague of all cowards, I say, and a vengeance too, marry and amen! Give me a cup of sack, boy :-ere I lead this life long, I'll sew nether socks, and mend them, and foot them too. A plague of all cowards ! give me a cup of sack, rogue. Is there no virtue extant? [He drinks.] You rogue, here's lime in this sack too. There is nothing but roguery to be found in villanous man; yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime in it. A villanous coward!-Go thy ways, old Jack; die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a shotten herring. There live not three good men unhang'd in England, and one of them is fat, and grows old. God help, the while! A bad world! I say—A plague of all cowards! I say still

P. Henry. How now, Woolsack? what mutter you?

Fal. A king's son! If I do not beat thee out of thy kingdom with a dagger of lath, and drive all thy subjects afore thee like a flock of wild geese, I'll never wear hair on my face more! You prince of Wales !

P. Henry. Why what's the matter !
Fal. Are you not a coward? answer me to that.

P. Henry. Ye fat paunch, an' ye call me coward, I'll stab thee.

Fal. I call the coward! I'll see thee hang'd ere I'll call thee coward; but I would give a thousand pound I could run as fast as thou canst. You are strait enough in the shoulders; you care not who sees your back. Call you that backing of your friends? a plague upon such backing! give me them that will face me-Give me a cup of sack : I am a rogue if I drunk to-day.

P. Henry. Oh villain! thy lips are scarce wip'd since thou drunk'st last.

Fal, All's one for that. [He drinks.] A plague of all cowards ! still, say I.

P. Henry. What's the matter?

Fal. What's the matter? here be four of us have ta'en a thousand pound this morning.

P. Henry. Where is it, Jack? where is it?

Fal. Where is it! taken from us, it is : a hundred upon four of us.

P. Henry. What! a hundred, man? Fal. I am a rogue if I were not at half-sword with a dozen of them two hours together. I have escaped by miracle. I am eight times thrust through the doublet, four through the hose, my buckler cut through and through, my sword hack'd like a hand-saw, ecce signum! I never dealt better since I was a man : all would not do. A plague of all cowards!

P. Henry. What, fought you with them all?

Fal. All! I know not what ye call all ; but if I fought not with fifty of them, I am a bunch of radish; if there were not two or three and fifty upon poor old Jack, then I am no two-legg'd crea. ture.

P. Henry. Pray heav'n, you have not murdered some of them.

« AnteriorContinuar »