Imagens das páginas

P. Hen. Yes, Jack, upon

instinct. Fal. I grant ye, upon instinct. Well, he is there too, and one Mordake, and a thousand blue-caps6 more : Worcester is stolen away to-night; thy father's beard is turned white with the news ; you may buy land now as cheap as stinking mackarel.7

P. Hen. Why then, 'tis like, if there come a hot June, and this civil buffeting hold, we shall buy maidenheads as they buy hob-nails, by the hundreds.

Fal. By the mass, lad, thou sayest true; it is like, we shall have good trading that way.-But, tell me, Hal, art thou not horribly afeard ? thou being heir apparent, could the world pick thee out three such enemies again, as that fiend Douglas, that spirit Percy, and that devil Glendower ? Art thou not horribly afraid ? doth not thy blood thrill at it ?

P. Hen. Not a whit, i'faith ; I lack some of thy instinct.

Fal. Well, thou wilt be horribly chid to-morrow, when thou comest to thy father : if thou love me, practise an answer.

P. Hen. Do thou stand for my father, and examine me upon the particulars of my life.

Fal. Shall I? content :- This chair shall be my state, this dagger my scepter, and this cushion my crown.

P. Hen. Thy state is taken for a joint-stool, thy golden scepter for a leaden dagger, and thy precious rich crown, for a pitiful bald crown !

Fal. Well, an the fire of grace be not quite out of thee, now shalt thou be moved.-Give me a cup of sack, to make mine eyes look red, that it may be thought I have wept ; for I must speak in passion, and I will do it in king Cambyses'8 vein.

P. Hen. Well, here is my leg. 9 Fal. And here is my speech :-Stand aside, nobility. Host. This is excellent sport, i'faith. [B] A name of ridicule given to the Scots from their blue bonnets. JOHNS. [7] In former cimes the prosperity of the nation was known by the value of land, as now by the price of stocks. Before Henry the Seventh made it safe to serve the king regnant, it was the practice at every revolution, for the conqueror to confiscate the estates of those that opposed, and perhaps of those that did not assist him. Those therefore, that foresaw the change of goveri ment, and thought their estates in danger, were desirous to sell them in haste for something that might be carried away.

[8] “ A lamentable tragedy, mixed full of pleasant mirth, containing the life of Cambyses, king of Persia By Thomas Preston." THEO

[9] My obeisance to my father, JOHNS.



Fal. Weep not, sweet queen, for trickling tears are

vain. Host. O, the father, how hc holds his countenance !

Fal. For God's sake, lords, convey my tristful queen, For tears do stop the flood-gates of her eyes.

Host. O rare he doth it as like one of these harlotry players, as I ever see.

Fal. Peace, good pint-pot ; peace, good tickle-brain. -Harry, I do not only marvel where thou spendest thy time, but also how thou art accompanied : for though the camomile, the more it is trodden on, the faster it grows, yet youth, the more it is wasted, the sooner it

That thou art my son, I have partly thy mother's word, partly my own opinion ; but chiefly a villainous trick of thine eye, and a foolish hanging of thy nether lip, that doth warrant me. If then, thou be son to me, here lies the point ;-Why, being son to me, art thou so pointed at? Shall the blessed sun of heaven prove a micher, 2 and eat blackberries ? a question not to be asked. Shall the son of England prove a thief, and take purses ? a question to be ask'd. There is a thing, Harry, which thou hast often heard of, and it is known to many in our land by the name of pitch : this pitch, as ancient writers do report, doth defile ; so doth the company thou keepest : for, Harry, now I do not speak to thee in drink, but in tears ; not in pleasure, but in passion ; not in words only, but in woes also : And yet there is a virtuous man, whom I have often noted in thy company, but I know not his name.

P. Hen. What manner of man, an it like your majesty ?

Fal. A good portly man, i'faith, and a corpulent; of a cheerful look, a pleasing eye, and a most noble carriage; and, as I think, his age some fifty, or, by'r-lady, inclining to threescore ; and now I remember me, his mame is Falstaff : If that man should be lewdly given,

[1] This whole speech is supremely comic. The simile of camomile used to illustrate a contrary effect, brings to my remembrance an observation of a late writer of some merit, whom the desire of being witty has betrayed into a like thought. Meaning to enforce with great veheinence the mad temerity of young soldiers, he remarks, that though Bedlam be in the road to Hogsden, it is out of the wsy to promotion.'' JOHNS

(2) i. e. truant; to mich is to lurk out of sight, a hedgi-cl, per: WARB. -A micher, I believe, means only a lurking thief, distinguished from one more daring.


he deceiveth me ; for, Harry, I see virtue in his looks. If then the tree may be known by the fruit, as the fruit by the tree, then, peremptorily I speak it, there is virtue in that Falstaff: him keep with, the rest banish. And tell me now, thou naughty varlet, tell me, where hast thou been this month?

P. Hen. Dost thou speak like a king? Do thou stand for me, and I'll play my father.

Fal. Depose me? if thou dost it half so gravely, so majestically, both in word and matter, hang me up by the heels for a rabbet-sucker, 3 or a poulter's hare.

P. Hen. Well, here I am set.
Fal. And here I stand :-judge, my masters.
P. Hen. Now, Harry? whence come you ?
Fal. My noble lord, from Eastcheap.
P. Hen. The complaints I hear of thee are grievous.

Fal. 'Sblood, my lord, they are false :-nay, I'll tickle ye for a young prince, i'faith.

P. Hen. Swearest thou, ungracious boy? henceforth ne'er look on me. Thou art violently carried away from grace : there is a devil haunts thee, in the likeness of a fat old man: a tun of man is thy companion. Why dost thou converse with that trunk of humours, that boltinghutch 4 of beastliness, that swoln parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack,5 that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with the pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that grey iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years ? 6 Wherein is he good, but to taste sack and drink it? wherein neat and cleanly, but to carve a capon and eat it? wherein cunning, ' but in craft ? wherein crafty, but in villainy? wherein villainous, but in all things? wherein worthy, but in nothing?

Fal. I would, your grace would take me with you ; 8 Whoin means your grace?

(3) Rabbet-sucker, is, I suppose, a sucking rabset. The jest is in compar. ing himself to something thin and little. So z poulterer's hare ; a hare hung up by the wind legs without a skin, is long and slender. JOHNS.

[4] The wooden receptacle into which the meai is bolted. STEEV. (5) A bombard is a barrel. STEEV. (6) The Vice, Iniquity, and Vanity, were personages exhibited in the old morities. MAL.

[7] Cunning was not yet debased to a bad meaning ; it signified knowing, or skilful. JOHNS.

[8] i. e. go no faster than I can follow. Let me know your meaning,


P. Her. That villainous abominable misleader of youth, Falstaff, that old white-bearded satan.

Fal. My lord, the man I know.
P. Hen. I know, thou dost.

Fal. But to say, I know more harm in him than in myself, were to say more than I know. That he is old, (the more the pity,) his white hairs do witness it: but that he is (saving your reverence,) a whoremaster', that I utterly deny. If sack and sugar be a fault, God help the wicked ! If to be old and merry be a sin, then many an old host that I know, is damned : if to be fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kine are to be loved. No, my good lord; Banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins : but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more valiant, being as he is, old Jack Falstaff, banish not him thy Harry's company, banish not him thy Harry's company ; banish plump Jack, and banish all the world. P. Hen. I do, I will.

[4 knocking heard. [Exeunt Hoste88, FRANCIS, and BARDOLPH.

Re-enter BARDOLPH, running: Bard. O, my lord, my lord ; the sheriff, with a most monstrous watch, is at the door.

Fal. Out, you rogue! play out the play: I have much to say in the behalf of that Falstaff.

Re-enter Hostess, hastily. Host. O Jesu, my lord, my lord !Fal. Heigh, heigh! the devil rides upon a fiddlestick : What's the matter:

Host. The sheriff and all the watch are at the door : they are come to search the house ; shall I let them in

Fal. Dost thou hear, Hal ? never call a true piece of gold, a counterfeit : thou art essentially mad, without seeming so.

P. Hen. And thou a natural coward, without instinct.

Fal. I deny your major ; if you will deny the sheriff, So ;' if not, let him enter: if I become not a cart as well as another man, a plague on my bringing up! I hope, I shall as soon be strangled with a halter, as another.

P. Hen. Go, hide thee behind the arras ;-the rest

[1] Falstaff clearly intends a quibble between the principal officer of a corporation, now called a mayor, to whom the sheriff is generally next in rank, and one of the parts of a logical proposition. RITSON.

walk up above.Now, my masters, for a true face, and good conscience.

Fal. Both which I have had : but their date is out, and therefore I'll hide me.

[Exeunt all but the Prince and POINS. P. Hen. Call in the sheriff.

Enter Sheriff and Carrier.
Now, master sheriff ; what's your will with me?
Sher. First, pardon me, my lord.

A hue and cry
Hath follow'd certain men unto this house.

P. Hen. What men ?

Sher. One of them is well known, my gracious lord ; A gross fat man.

Car. As fat as butter.

P. Hen. The man, I go assure you, is not here ;?
For I myself at this time have employ'd him.
And, sheriff, I will engage my word to thee,
That I will, by to-morrow dinner-time,
Send him to answer thee, or any man,
For any thing he shall be charg'd withal :
And so let me entreat you leave the house.

Sher. I will, my lord : There are two gentlemen
Have in this robbery lost three hundred marks.

P. Hen. It may be so : if he have robb’d these men,
He shall be answerable ; and so, farewell.

Sher. Good night, my noble lord.
P. Hen. I think it is good morrow; is it not ?
Sher. Indeed, my lord, I think it be two o'clock.

[Exeunt Sheriff and Carrier. P. Hen. This oily rascal is known as well as Paul's. Go, call him forth.

Poins. Falstaff !-fast asleep behind the arras, and snorting like a horse.

P. Hen. Hark, how hard he fetches breath: Search his pockets. [Poins searches.] What hast thou found

Poins. Nothing but papers, my lord.
P. Hen. Let's see what they be : read them.

Poins. Item, A capon, 2s. 2d.
Item, Sauce, 4d.
Item, Sack, two gallons, 5s. 8d.

[2] Every reader must regret that Shakspeare would not give himself the “rouble to furnish Prince Henry with some more pardonable excuse ; without obliging him to have recourse to an absolute, falsehood, and that too uttered under the sanction of so strong an assurance.


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