Page images


P. Hen. I know you all, and will a while uphold | Were, as he says, not with such strength denied The unyok'd humour of your idleness :

As is deliver'd io your majesty : Yet herein will I imitate the sun;

Either envy, therefore, or misprision Who doth permit the base contagious clouds! Is guilty of this fault, and not my son. To smother up his beauty from the world,

Hol. My liege, I did deny no prisoners, That, when he please again to be himself, But, I remember, when the fight was done, Being wanted, he may be more wondered at, When I was dry with rage, and extreme toi, By breaking through the foul and ugly mists Breathless and fainh, leaning upon my sword, of vapours, that did seem to strangled him. Came there a certain lord, neal, trimly dress’d, If all the year were playing holidays,

Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin, new reap'd, To sport would be as tedious as to work ;

Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest home;" But, when they seldom come, they wish'd-for come, He was perfumed like a milliner : And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.

And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held So, when this loose behaviour I throw off,

A pouncet-box,' which cver and anon And pay the debt I never promised,

He gave his nose, and took't away again ;By how much better than my word I am,

Who, therewith angry, when it next came there, By so much shall I falsify men's hopes ;)

Took' it in snuff*:'--and still he smild, and talk; And, like bright metal on a sullen ground, And, as the soldiers bore dead bodies by, My reformation, glittering o'er my fault,

He call'd them—untaught knaves, anmannerly, Shall show more goodly, and attract more eyes, To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse Than that which hath no foil to set it off.

Betwixt the wind and his nobility. I'll so offend, to make offence a skill;

With many holiday and lady terms Redeeming time, when men think least I will.

He question'd me; among the rest demanded

[Erit. My prisoners, in your majesty's behalf. SCENE III. The same. Another Room in the To be so pester'd with a popinjay,"

I then, all smarting, with my wounds being cold, Palace. Enter King HENRY, NORTHUMBER- Out of my grief, and my impatience, LAND, Worcester, Hotspur, Sır WALTER Answer'd neglectingly, I know not what; Blunt, and others.

He should, or he should not;- for hemade me mad, K. Hen, My blood hath been too cold and tem- To see him shine so brisk, and smell 50 sweety perate,

And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman, Unapt to stir at these indignities,

of guns, and drums, and wounds (God save the And you have found me; for, accordingly,

mark!) You read upon my patience: but, be sure, And telling me the sovereign'st thing on earth I will from henceforth rather be myself,

Was parmaceti, for an inward bruise;' Mighty, and to be fear'd, than my condition, And that it was great pity, so it was, Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down, That villanous salt-petre should be digo'd And therefore lost that title of respect,


Out of the bowels of the harmless earth
Which the proud soul ne'er pays, but to the proud. Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
Wor. Our house, my sovereign liege, little de- So cowardly; and, but for these vile guns,

He would himself have been a soldier.
The scourge of greatness to be used on it; This bald unjointed, chat of his, my lord,
And that same greatness too which our own hands I answer'd indirectly as I said ;
Have holp to make so portly.

And, I beseech you, let not his report
North. My lord,

Come current for an accusation,
K. Hen. Worcester, get thce gone, for I do see Betwixt my love and your high majesty:
Danger and disobedience in thine eye:

Blunt. The circumstance consider'd, good my
O, sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory,

And majesty might never yet endure

Whatever Harry Percy then had said,
The moody frontiers of a servant brow.

To such a person, and in such a place,
You have good leave to leave is; when we need At such a time, with all the rest re-told,
Your use and counsel, we shall send for you. May reasonably die, and never rise

(Exit Worcester. To do him wrong, or any way impeach
You were about to speak.

(T. North. What then he said, so he unsay it now.

Yea, my good lord. K. Hen. Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners ;
Those prisoners in your highness' naine demanded, But with proviso, and exception, -
Which 'Harry Percy here at Holmedon took,

That we, at our own charge, shall rangor straight
I Full many a glorious morning have I seen,

His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer;**
Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,-
Anon permit the basesi clowls to ride

7 To completely understand this simile the reader
With ugly rack on his celestial face.'

should bear in mind that the courtier's beard, according Shakspeare's 33d Sonnel to the fashion in the poet's time, would not be cleely 2 Thus in Macbeth :

shaved, but shorn or trimmed, and would therefore "And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp.' show like a stubble land new reapd.

3 Hopes is used simply for expectations, no uncom 8. A box perforated with small holes, for carrying mon use of the word even at the present day.

perfumes ; quasi pounced-box, 4 So in King Richard II. :

9 Took it in snuff means no more than ones fed it up,
• The sullen passage of thy weary steps but there is a quibble on the phrase, which was equ.
Esteem a foil, wherein thou art to set

lent to taking huff at it, in familiar modern speech;
The precious jewel of thy home return.' be angry, to take offence; " To take in snuffe, Pigiat
5 Condition is used for nature, disposition, as wel ombra, Pigliar in mala parte. Torriano.
as estate or fortune. It is so interpreted by Philips) 10 A popinjay or popingay is a parrol.
in his World of Words. And we find it inost frequently 11 i.e. pain, dolor ventris is rendered belly-grief in
used in this sense by Shakspeare and his contempora. the old dictionaries.

12 So in Sir T. Overburie's Characters, 1616 (An Or
6 Frontier is said anciently to have meant forehead, dinarie Fencer, his wounds are seldom skin deepe
to prove which the following quotation has been ad-for an inward-bruise lambstones and sweete breads alt
duced from Stubbe's Anatomy of Abuses : Then on his only spermaceti.'
the edges of their bolster'd hair, which standeth ousted

13 Shakspeare has fallen into some contradictions
round their frontiers, and hangeth over their brow.' with regard to this Lord Mortimer. Before he makes
Mr. Nares has justly observed, that “this does not seem his personal appearance in the play, he is repeatedly
to explain the above passage, " The moody furehead of spoken of as Hotspur's brother-in-law. In Act II. Lady
a servant brow,” is not sense. Surely it may be better Percy expressly calls him her brother Morimer

. Ant 'interpreted the moody of threatening outíork ;' in yet when he enters in the chird Act, he calls Lady Per which sense frontier is und in Act ii. Sc

cy his aunt, which in fact she was and not his sister.



[ocr errors]

Who, on my soul, hath wilfully betray'd

North, Brother, the king hath made your nephew The lives of those that he did lead to fight


Against the great magician, darnn'd Glendower; Wor. Who struck this heat up, after I was gone ?
Whose daughter, as we hear, the eart of March Hot. He will, forsooth, have all my prisoners;
Hath lately married. Shall our coffers then And when I urg'd the ransom once again
Be emptied, to redeem a traitor home?

Of my wife's brother, then his cheek louk'd pale ;
Shall we buy treason ? and indent' with fears, And on my face he turn'd an eye of death,
When they have lost and forfeited themselves Trembling even at the name of Mortimer.
No, on the barren mountains let him starve ; Wor. I cannot blame him: Was he not pro.
For I shall never hold that man my friend,



claim'd, Whose congue shall ask me for one penny cost By Richard that dead is, the next of blood ? To ransom home revolted Mortimer.

North. He was; I heard the proclamation :
Hot. Revolted Mortimer!

And then it was, when the unhappy king
He never did fall off, my sovereign liege,

(Whose wrongs in us God pardon!) did set forth
But by the chance of war ;-To prove that true, Upon his Irish expedition ;
Needs no more but one tongue for all those wounds, From whence he, intercepted, did return
Those mouthed wounds, which valiantly he took, To be depos'd, and shortly, murdered.
When on the gentle Severn's sedgy bank,

Wor. And for whose death, we in the world's
In single opposition, hand to hand,

wide mouth
He did confound the best part of an hour Live scandaliz'd, and foully spoken of.
In changing hardiment with great Glendower: Hot. But, soft, I pray you ; Did King Richard
Three times they breath'd, and three times did they


Proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer
Upon agreement, of swift Severn's lood;

Heir to the crown?
Who, then affrighted with their bloody looks, North.

He did; myself did hear it.
Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds,

Hot. Nay, then I cannot blame his cousin king,
And hid his crisp head in the hollow bank, That wish'd him on the barren mountains starv'd.
Blood-stained with these valiam combatants. But shall it be, that you,—that set the crown
Never did bare* and rotten policy

Upon the head of this forgetful man;
Colour her working with such deadly wounds ; And, for his sake, wear the detested blot
Nor never could the noble Mortimer

Of murd'rous subornation,--shall it be,
Receive so many, and all willingly:

That you a world of curses undergo;
Then let him not be slander'd with revolt.

Being the agents, or base second means,
K. Hen. Thou dost belie him, Percy, thou dost The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather ?-
belie him;

O, pardon me, that I descend so low,
He never did encounter with Glendower;

To show the line, and the predicament,
I tell thee,

Wherein you range under this subtle king.
He durst as well have met the devil alone, Shall it, for shame, be spoken in these days,
As Owen Glendower for an enemy.

Or fill up chronicles in time to come,
Art thou not asham'd? But, sirrah, henceforth That men of your nobility and power,
Let me not hear you speak of Mortimer :

Did gage them both in an unjust behalf,
Send me your prisoners with the speediest means, As both of you, God pardon it! have done,-
Or you shall hear in such a kind from me To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
As will displease you.—My Lord Northumberland, And plant this thorn, this canker, Bolíngbroke ?
We license your departure with your son : And shall it, in more shame, be further spoken,
Send us your prisoners, or you'll hear of it. That you are fool'd, discarded, and shook off

[Exeunt King HENRY, Blunt, and Train. By him, for whom these shames ye underwent?
Hot.' And if the devil come and roar for them, No; yet time serves, wherein you may redeem
I will not send them;--I will after straight, Your banish'd honours, and restore yourselves
And tell him so; for I will ease my heart, Into the good thoughts of the world again :
Although it be with hazard of my head.

Revenge the jeering, and disdain'd' contempt,
North. What, drunk with choler ? stay, and pause of this proud king; who studies, day and night,

To answer all the debt he owes to you,
Here comes your uncle.

Even with the bloody payment of your deaths.

Therefore, I say,


Peace, cousin, say no more ;

Speak of Mortimer ? And now I will unclasp a secret book,
'Zounds, I will speak of him; and let my soul And to your quick-conceiving discontents
Want mercy, if I do not join with him:

I'll read you matter deep and dangerous ;
Yea, on his part, I'll empty all these veins, As full of peril, and advent'rous spirit,
And shed my dear blood drop by drop i' the dust, As to o'erwalk a current, roaring loud,
But I will lift the down-trod Mortimer

On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.
As high i' the air as this unthankful king,
As this ingrate and canker'd Bolingbroke.

5 Roger Mortimer, earl of March, was declared

heir apparent to the crown in 138.5 : but he was killed This inconsistency may be accounted for as follows ; it in Ireland in 1395. The person who was proclaimed appears from Dugdale and Sandford's account of the heir apparent by Richard 11. previous to his last voyage Mortimer family, that there were two ofthem taken pri- to Ireland, was Edmund Mortimer, son of Rnger, who soners al different times by Glendower, each of them was then but seven years old : he was not Lady Percy's bearing the name of Edmund; one being Edmund, brother, but her nephew. He was the undoubted heir eart of March, nephew to Lady Percy, and the proper to the crown after the death of Richard, Thomas Mortimer of this play; the other Sir Edmund Mortimer, Walsingham asserts that he married a daughter of Owen uncle to the former, and brother to Lady Percy. The Glendower, and the subsequent historians copied him, poel has confounded the two persons.

Sandford says that he married Aune Stafford, daughter I To indent with fears is to enter into compact with of Edmund earl of Stafford. Glendower's daughter was conpara.

* To make a covenant or to indeni with one. married to his antagonist Lord Grey of Ruthven. Ho. Paciscor,'-Baret.

linshed led Shakspeare into the error. This Edmund, 2 Shakspeare uses confound for spending or losing who is the Mortimer of the present play, was born in time.

1392, and consequently, at the time when this play is 3 Crisp is curled. Thus in Kyd's Cornelia, 1595:- supposed to commence, was little more than ten years O beauteous Tyber, with thine easy streams

old. The prince of Wales was not fifteen. That glide as smoothly as a Parthian shaft,

6 The canker-rose is the dog-rose, the flower of the
Turn not thy crispy tides, like silver curls,

Cynosbaton. So in Much Ado about Nothing :mad
Back to thy grass-green banks to weler me us."

rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his gi ,
4 Some of the quarto copies read dane

7 i. e. disdainful.

me !

Hol. If he fall in, good night :-or sink or swim; | Hot. Why, look you, I am whipp'd and scourg'd Send danger from the east unto the west,

with rods, So honour cross it from the north to south, Nettled, and stung with pismires, when I hear And let them grapple:-0! the blood more stirs, of this vile politician, Bolingbroke. To rouse a lion, than to start a hare.

In Richard's time,-What do you call the place ? North. Imagination of some great exploit A plague upon't it is in Gloucestershire ;Drives him beyond the bounds of patience. 'Twas where the mad-cap duke his uncle kept :

Hot. By heaven, methinks, it were an easy leap, His uncle York ;-where I first bow'd my knee To pluck bright honour from the pale-fac'd moon ; Unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke, Or dive into the bottom of the deep,

When you and he came back from Ravenspurg.
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground, Norih. At Berkley castle.
And pluck up drowned honour by the locks;

Hot. You say true : -
So he, that doth redeem her thence, might wear, Why, what a candy deal of courtesy
Without corrival, all her dignities:

This fawning greyhound then did proffer me !
But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship!?

Look,--when his infant fortune came to age, Wor. He apprehends a world of figures' here, And gentle Harry Percy,-and, kind cousin,But not the form of what he should attend.- 0, the devil take such cozeners !.

-God forgive Good cousin, give me audience for a while. Hot. I cry you mercy.

Good uncle, tell your tale, for I have done. Wor.

Those same noble Scots, Wor. Nay, if you have not, to't again;
That are your prisoners,-

We'll stay your leisure.
I'll keep them all ; Hot.

I have done, i'faith.
By heaven, he shall not have a Scot of them: Wor. Then once more to your Scottish prisoners.
No, if a Scot would save his soul, he shall not : Deliver them up without their ransom straight,
I'll keep them, by this hand.

And make the Douglas' son your only mean Wor.

You start away,

For powers in Scotland; which, for divers reasons, And lend no ear unto my purposes.

Which I shall send you written,-be assurd,
Those prisoners you shall keep.

Will easily be granted.—You, my lord, -
Nay, I will; that's flat :-

[To NORTHUMBERLAND. He said, he would not ransom Mortimer;

Your son in Scotland being thus employed,-
Forbad my tongue to speak of Mortimer; Shall secretly into the bosom creep,
But I will find him when he lies asleep,

Of that same noble prelate, well belov'd,
And in his ear I'll holla-Mortimer!

The archbishop. Nay,

Hot. Of York, is't not ? I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak

Wor. True ; who bears hard Nothing but Mortimer, and give it him,

His brother's death at Bristol, the Lord Scroop. To keep his anger still in motion.

I speak not this in estimation, Wor.

Hear you, As what I think might be, but what I know Cousin ; a word.

Is ruminated, plotted, and set down ; Hot. All studies here I solemnly defy, *. And only stays but to behold the face Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke : Of that occasion that shall bring it on. And that same sword-and-buckler prince of Hot. I smell it; upon my life, it will do well. Wales,

North. Before the game's a-foot, thou still let'st But that I think' his father loves him not,

slip.10 And would be glad hc met with some mischance, Hot. Why, it cannot choose but be a noble plot:I'd have him poison'd with a pot of ale.

And then the power of Scotland, and of York, Wor. Farewell, kinsman! I will talk to you, To join with Mortimer, ha ? When you are better temper'd to attend.

And so they shall. North. Why, what a wasp-tongue and impatient Hot. In faith, it is exceedingly well aim'd. fool

Wor. And 'tis no little reason bids us speed, Art thou, to break into this woman's mood; To save our heads by raising of a head ;li Tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own? For, bear ourselves as even as we can,

The king will always think him in our debt ;19

And think we think ourselves unsatisfied, 1 Warburton observes that Euripides has put the Till he hath found a time to pay us home. same sentiment into the mouth of Eleocles :- I will not, madam, disguise my thoughts ; I would scale heaven, I would descend to the very entrails of the earth, is so be called West Smithfield, was for many years called Ruf that by that price I could obtain a kingdom.'. Johnson fian's Hall, by reason it was the usual place for frayes says, "Though I am far from condemning this speech, and common fighting, during the time that sword and with Gildon and Theobald, as absolute madness, yet Ibucklers were in use ; when every serving man, from cannot find in it that profundity of reflection, and beauty the base to the best, carried a buckler at his back, which of allegory, which Warburton endeavoured to display. hung by the hilt or pomel of his sword. --Slowe's Sur. This sally of Hotspur may be, I think, soberly and ra. vey of London. tionally vindicated as the violent eruption of a mind in- 6 This is said in allusion to low pot-house company, flated with ambition and fired with resentment; as the with which the prince associated. boasted clamour of a man able to do much, and eager 7 The first quarto, 1599, reads wasp-slung, which to do more ; as the dark expression of indetermined Steevens thought the true reading. The quarto of 1599 thoughts. The passage from Euripides is surely not reads wasp-longue, which Malone strenuously contends allegorical ; you it is produced, and properly, as paral; for; and I think with Mr. Nares that he is right. He lel.'-In the Knight of the Burning Pestle, Beaumont and who is stung by wasps has a real cause for impatience ; Fletcher have put this rant into the mouth of Ralph the but waspish, which is often used by Shakspeare, is peo apprentice, who, like Bottom, appears to be fond oftulabt from temper; and wasp-longue therefore very acting parts to tear a cat in.

naturally means peluanitongue, which was exactly 2 Half-faced, which has puzzled the commentators, the accusation meant to be urged.' The folio altered it seems here meant to convey a contemptuous idea of unnecessarily to wasp-tongued. something imperfect. As in Nashe's Apology of Pierce 8 i. e. what a deal of candy courtesy. Pennilesse :- With all other ends or your half-faced 9 Conjecture. English.

10 This phrase is taken from hunting. To let slip is 3 Shapes created by his imagination.

to loose a greyhound. 4 To defy was sometimes used in the sense of to re. 11 A body of forces. nounce, reject, refuse, by Shakspeare and his cotem- 12 This is a natural description of the state of mind poraries.

between those that have conferred, and those that have 5 . Stoord and luckler prince' is here used as a term received obligations too great to be satisfied That of contempt. The following extracts will help us to the this would be the event or Northumberland's dis oyalty precise nieaning of the epithet :- This field, commonly I was predicted by King Richard in the former play


And see already, how he doth begin

quite starved. P_What, ostler ! -A plague on thee! To make us strangers to his looks of love. hast thou never an eye in thy head ? canst not hear ? Hot. He does, he does; we'll be reveng'd on An 'twere not as good a deed as drink, to break the him.

pate of thee, I am a very villain.--Come, and be Wor. Cousin,' farewell:-No further go in this, hangʻd :-Hast no faith in thee? Than I by letters shall direct your course. When time is ripe (which will be suddenly,)

Enter GADSHILL.10 I'll steal to Glendower, and Lord Mortimer; Gads. Good morrow, carriers. What's o'clock ? Where you and Douglas, and our powers at once

1 Car. I think it be two o'clock. (As I will fashion it,) shall happily meet,

Gads. I pr’ythee, lend me thy lantern, to see my To bear our fortunes in our own strong arms,

gelding in the stable. Which now we hold at much uncertainty;

1 Car. Nay, soft, I pray ye; I know a tric North. Farewell, good brother :-we shall thrive, worth two of that, i'faith I trust.

Gads. I pr’ythee, lend me thine. Hot. Uncle, adieu :--0, let the hours be short, 2 Car. Ay, when ? canst tell ?-Lend me thy Till fields, and blows, and groans applaud our lantern, quoth a ?-marry, I'll see thee hanged firsi. sport!

(Exeunt. Gads. "Sirrah carrier, what time do you mean to

come to London ? ACT II.

2 Car. Time enough to go to bed with a candle, SCENE I. Rochester. An Inn Yard. Enter a up the gentlemen ; they will along with company,

I warrant thee.-Come, neighbour Mugs, we'll call Carrier, with a lantern in his hand. for they have greai charge. (Exeunt Carriers. 1 Car. Heigh ho! An't be not four by the day, Gads. Whai, ho! chamberlain ! I'll be hanged: Charles' wain’ is over the new

Cham. (Within.) At hand, quoth pick-purse.". chimney, and yet our horse not packed. What,

Gads. That's even as fair as-at hand, quoth the ostler!

chamberlain : for thou variest no more from picking Ost. (Within.) Anon, anon.,

of purses, than giving direction doth from labour. I Cavi I pr’ythee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle, puting; thou lay'st ihe plot how.12 a few flocks in the point : the poor jade is wrung

Enter Chamberlain. in the withers out of all cess."

Cham. Good morrow, master Gadshill. It holds Enter another Carrier.

current, that I told you yesternight: There's a 2 Car. Pease and beans are as dank4 here as a franklin's in the wild of Kent, hath brought three dog, and that is the next way to give poor jades the hundred marks with him in gold: I heard him tell it bots :s this house is turned upside down, since to one of his company, last night at supper ; a Robin ostler died.

kind of auditor ; one that hath abundance of charge 1 Car. Poor fellow! never joyed since the price too, God knows what. They are up already, and of oats rose; it was the death of him.

call for eggs and butter : They will away presently. 2 Car. I think, this be the most villainous house Gads. Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint Nicho in all London road for fleas: I am stung like a las' clerks,?* I'll give thee this neck. tench.

Cham. No, I'll none of it: I pr’ythee, keep that 1 Car. Like a tench? by the mass, there is ne'er for the hangman; for, I know, thou worship'st Saint a king in Christendom could be better bit than I Nicholas as truly as a man of falsehood may. have been since the first cock.

Gads. What ialkest thou to me of the hangman ? 2 Car. Why, they will allow us ne'er a jorden, if I hang, I'll make a fat pair of gallows: for, if I and then we leak in your chimney; and your cham- hang, old Sir

John hangs with me; and, thou knowber-lie breeds fleas like a loach."

est, he's no starveling. Tut! there are other Tro1 Car. What, ostler! come away and be hanged, jans that thou dreamest not of, the which, for sport come away.

sake, are content to do the profession somo grace ; 2 Car. I have a gammon of bacon, and two ra- that would, if matters should be looked into, for zess of ginger, to be delivered as far as Charing their own credit sake, make all whole. I am joined Cross.

with no foot land-rakers, 's no long-staff, sixpenny i Car. 'Odsbody! the turkeys in my pannier are strikers ;16 none of these mad, mustachio, purple

1 This was a common address in Shakspeare's time occurred. Such a package was much more likely to be to nephews, nieces, and grand-children. See Holinshed, meant than a bale. * The poet perhaps intended to mark passim. Hotspur was Worcester's nephew.

the petty importance of the carrier's business. 2 Charles' wain was the vulgar name for the constel.

9 This is one of the poet's anachronisms. Turkeys lation called the great bear. It is a corruption of Charles

were not brought into England until the reign of Hen. or Churl's wain. Chorl is frequently used for a coun.


VIII. tryman in old books, from the Saxon ceorl.

10 Gadshill has his name from a place on the Kentish 3 Out of all cess' is 'out of all measure.' Excess. Road, where robberies were very frequent. A curious ively, præter modum. To cess, or assess, was to num- narrative of a gang, who appear to have infested that ber, muster, value, mrusure, or appraise.

neighbourhood in 1590, is printed from a MS. paper or 4 Dank is moist, wet, and consequently moudy. Sir Roger Manwood's in Boswell's Shakspeare, vol

ó Bols are wurms ; a disease to which horses are xvi. p. 431. very subject.

11 This is a proverbial phrase, frequently used in olu 6 Dr. Farmer thought tench a mistake for trout ; pro: plays. bably alluding to the red spots with which the trout is 12 Thus in the life and death of Gamaliel Ratsey, covered, having some resemblance to the spots on the 1605 : 'he dealt with the chamberlaine of the skin of a flea-bitten person.

house, to learn which way they went in the morning, 7 It appears from a passage in Holland's translation which the chamberlaine performed accordingly, and of Pliny's Nat. Hist. b. ix. c. xlvii. that anciently fishes that with great care and diligence, for he knew he were supposed to be insested with fleas. * Last of all should partake of their fortunes if they sped.' some fishes there be which of themselves are given to 13 A freeholder or yeoman, a man above a vassal or breed fleas and lice ; among which the chalcis, a kind villain, but not a gentleman. This was the Franklin of of turgot, is one.' Mason suggests that breeds fleas the age of Elizabeth. In earlier times he was a person as fast as a loach breeds loaches,' may be the meaning of much more dignity. See Canterbury Tales, v. 333, of the passage ; the loach being reckoned a peculiarly and Mr. Tyrwhill's note upon it. prolific fish.

14 In a note on The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 8 The commentators have puzzled themselves and ii. Sc. 1, is an account of the origin of this expression. their readers about this word razes : Theobald asserts

as applied to scholars ; and as Nicholas or old Nick is a that a rate is the Indian term for a bale. I have some.

cant name for the devil, so thieves are equivocallv cal. where seen the word used for a fraile, or liule rush based Saint Nicholas clerks. ket, such as figs, raisins, &c. are usually packed in;

15 Footpads. but I cannot now recall the book to memory in which it 16 A striker was a thief.


hued malt-worms: but with nobility, and tranquil. P. Hen. Peace, yo fat-gats ! lie down; lay the do lity ; burgomasters, and great oneyers ;' such as ear close to the ground, and list if thou canst heur can hold in; such as will strike sooner than speak, the tread of travellers. and speak sooner than drink, and drink sooner than Fal. Have you any lovers to lift me up again, pray: And yet I lie; for they pray continually to being down ? 'Sblood, I'll not bear mine owu flesh their saint, the commonwealth; or, rather, not pray so far afoot again, for all the coin in thy father's erto her, but prey on her; for they ride up and down chequer. What a plague mean ye to colti me thus ? on her, and make her their boots.?

P. Hen. Thou liest, thou art not colted, thou art Cham. What, the commonwealth their boots ? uncolted. will she hold out water in foul way?

Fal. I pr’ythee, good Prince Hal, help me to my Gads. She will, she will; justice hath liquored horse : good king's son. her. We steal as in a castle, cock-sure; we P. Hen. Out, you rogue! shall I be your osiler! have the receipt of fern-seed, we walk invisible. Fa. Go, hang thyself in thy own heir-apparent

Cham. Nay, by my faith, I think you are more garters! if I be ta’en, I'll peach for this. An I beholden to the night, than to fern-seed,' for your have not ballads made on you all, and sung to filthy walking invisible.

tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison: When a jest Gads. Give me thy hand : thou shalt have a share is so forward, and afoot too,-- hate 4. of our purchase, as I am a true man. Cham. Nay, rather let me have it, as you are a

Enter GADSHILL. false thief.

Gads. Stand.
Gads. Go to; Homo is a common name to all Fal. So I do, against my will

. men. Bid the Ostler bring my gelding out of the Poins. 0, 'tis our setter: I know his vino, stable. Farewell, you muddy knave. {Exeunt.

Enter BARDOLPR. SCENE II. The Road by Gadshill. Enter PRINCE

Bard. What news? HENRY, and Poins; BARDOLPH and Pero, at Gads. Case ye, case ye ; on with your vigor, some distance.

there's money of the king's coming down the bill; Poins, Come, shelter, shelter: I have removed 'tis going to the king's exchequer. Falstaff's horse, and he frets like a gummed velvet." Fal. You lie, you

rogue ; 'is going to the king's P. Hen. Stand close.

Gads. There's enough to make us all.

Fal. To be hanged.
Fal. Poins ! Poins, and be hanged ! Poins! P. Hen. Sirs, you four shall front them in the

P. Hen. Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal ; What a narrow lane ; Ned Poins and I will walk lower: i brawling dost thou keep?

they 'scape from your encounter, they light on this Fal. Where's Poins, Hal ?

Peto. How many be there of them?
P. Hen He is walked up to the top of the hill, Gads. Some eight, or ten.
I'll go seek him.

(Pretends to seek Porns. Fal. Zounds! will they not rob us? Fal. I am accursed to rob in that thief's com P. Hen. What, a coward, Sir John Paunch? pany: the rascal hath removed my horse, and tied Fal. Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, you him”I know not where. If I travel but four foot by grandfather ; but yet no coward, Hal. the squire further afoot, I shall break my wind. P. Hen. Well, we leave that to the proof. Well, I doubt not but to die a fair death for all

Poins. Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the this, if I'scape hanging for killing that rogue. 1 hedge; when thou needest him, there thou shaft have forsworn his company hourly, any time this find him. Farewell, and stand fast. two-and-twenty years, and yet I am bewitched with Fal. Now cannot I strike hirn, if I should be the rogue's company:

If the rascal have not given hanged. me medicines' to make me love him, I'll be hang'd; P. Hen. Ned, where are our disguises ? it could not be else; I have drunk medicines.- Poins. Here, hard by ; stand close. Poins !-Hal!-a plague upon you both!-Bar

(Ereunt P. Hen. and Porn. dolph !--Peto!-I'll starve, ere I'll rob a foot fur Fal. Now, my masters, happy man be his dole," ther. An 'twere not as good a deed as drink, lo say I ; every man to his business. turn true man, and leave these rogues, I am the veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth. Eight

Enter Travellers. yards of uneven ground, is threescore and ten miles 1 Trav. Come, neighbour; the boy shall lead afoot with me; and the stony-hearted villains know our horses down the hill: we'll walk afoot a while, it well enough: A plague upon't, when thieves can- and ease our legs. not be true to one another ! [They whistle.) Whew! Thieves. Stand. -A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you Trav. Jesu bless us ! rogues ; give me my horse, and be hang'd.

Fal. Strike; down with them; cut the villains'

throats : Ah! whoreson caterpillars! bacon-fed 1 Some of the commentators have been at great pains to conjecture what class of persons were meant by great 5. Fern-seed was supposed to have the power of red: oneyers. One proposed to read moneyers ; another myn. dering persons invisible: the seed of fern is itself invisi. heers ; and Malone coins a word, onyers, which he ble; therefore to find it was a magic operation, and in the says may mean a public accountant, from the term use it was supposed to communicate its own property. a-ni, used in the exchequer. The ludicrous nature of 6 Purchase was anciently understond in the sense of the appellations which Gadshill bestows upon his asso- gain, profit, whether legally or illegally obtained. The ciates might have sufficiently shown then that such at- commentators are wrong in saying ihat it meant stolen tempts must be sutile ; ( nobility and tranquillity, bur. goods. gomasters and great oneyers.' Johnson has judiciously 7 This allusion we often meet with in the old come explained it. Gadshill tells the chamberlain that he is dies. Thus in The Malecontent, 1604;-'I'll come joined with no mean wretches, but with “ burgomasters among

you, like gum into laffata, to fret, fret. Velvet and great ones," or, as he terms them in merriment by and taffata were sometimes stiffened with gum; but the a cant termination, great one-y-ers, or great one-eers, consequence was, that the stuff being thus hardened, as we say privateer, auctioneer, circuiteer.

quickly rubbed and fretted itself out. 2 A quibble upon boots and booty. Boot is profit, 8 i. e. the square or measure. A carpenter's rule advantage.

was called a square; from esquerre, Fr. 3 Alluding to boots in the preceding passage. In the 9 Alluding to the vulgar notion of lode.pondera. Merry Wives of Windsor, Falstaff says :—They would 10 To coli is to trick, fool, or deceive , perhaps from mek me out of my fat drop by drop, and liquor fisher. the wild tricks of a coli. men's boots with me.'

11 i. e. be his lot or portion happiness. This proper 4 As in a castle was a proverbial phrase for security. bial phrase has been already explained in the notes on Stevens has adduced several examples of its use in co- The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Taming or the temporary writers

Shrew, and Winter's Tale.

« PreviousContinue »