Page images

Flu. Ay, leeks is goot:-Hold you, there is a groat to heal your pate.

Pist. Me a groat?

Flu. Yes, verily, and in truth, you shall take it; or I have another leek in my pocket, which you shall eat.

Pist. I take thy groat, in earnest of revenge.

Flu. If I owe you any thing, I will pay you in cudgels; you shall be a woodmonger, and buy nothing of me but cudgels. God be wi' you, and keep you, and heal your pate.

[Exit. Pist. All hell shall stir for this.

Gow. Go, go; you are a counterfeit cowardly knave. Will


mock at an ancient tradition,begun upon an honourable respect, and worn as a memorable trophy of predeceased valour,—and dare not avouch in

your deeds


words? I have seen you gleeking 4 and galling at this gentleman twice or thrice. You thought, because he could not speak English in the native garb, he could not therefore handle an English cudgel: you find it otherwise; and, henceforth, let a Welsh correction teach you a good English condition5. Fare

[Exit. Pist. Doth fortune play the huswife with me now? News have I, that my Nell is dead i’the spital Of malady of France; And there my rendezvous is quite cut off. Old I do wax; and from my weary

limbs Honour is cudgeld. Well, bawd will I turn, And something lean to cutpurse of quick hand.

ye well.

4 Gleeking is scoffing, sneering. Vide Midsummer Night's Dream, Act iii. Sc. 1, p. 257.

5 i.e. disposition.

6 Huswife, for jilt, or hussy, as we have it still in vulgar speech.

To England will I steal, and there I'll steal:
And patches will I get unto these scars,


got them in the Gallia wars. [Exit7.

And swear,


Troyes in Champagne. An Apartment in the

French King's Palace.
Enter, at one Door, KING HENRY, BEDFORD,

LAND, and other Lords; at another the French
RINE, Lords, Ladies, &c. the Duke of BUR-
GUNDY, and his Train.
K. Hen. Peace to this meeting, wherefore we

are met1!

Unto our brother France,and to our sister,
Health and fair time of day:-joy and good wishes
To our most fair and princely cousin Katharine;
And (as a branch and member of this royalty,
By whom this great assembly is contriv'd),
We do salute you, duke of Burgundy :-
And, princes French, and peers, health to you all!

Fr. King. Right joyous are we to behold your face,
Most worthy brother England; fairly met:-
So are you, princes English, every one.

? [Exit.] ‘The comic scenes of these plays are now at an end, and all the comic personages are now dismissed. Falstaff and Mrs. Quickly are dead; Nym and Bardolph are hanged; Gadshill was lost immediately after the robbery; Poins and Peto have vanished since, one knows not how; and Pistol is now beaten into obscurity. I believe every reader regrets their departure.'-Johnson.

Peace to this meeting, wherefore we are met! Peace, for which we are here met, be to this meeting. Here, Johnson thought, that the Chorus should have been prefixed, and tbe fifth act begin.

Q. Isa. So happy be the issue, brother England,
Of this good day, and of this gracious meeting,
As we are now glad to behold your eyes;

which hitherto have borne in them
Against the French, that met them in their bent,
The fatal balls of murdering basilisks?:
The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,
Have lost their quality; and that this day
Shall change all griefs, and quarrels, into love.

K. Hen. To cry amen to that, thus we appear.
Q. Isa. You English princes all, I do salute you.

Bur. My duty to you both, on equal love, Great kings of France and England! That I have

labour'd With all my wits, my pains, and strong endeavours, To bring your most imperial majesties Unto this bar 3 and royal interview, Your mightiness on both parts best can witness. Since then my office hath so far prevaild, That, face to face, and royal eye to eye, You have congreeted; let it not disgrace me, If I demand, before this royal view, What rub, or what impediment, there is, Why that the naked, poor, and mangled peace, Dear nurse of arts, plenties, and joyful births, Should not, in this best garden of the world,

2 The basilisk was a serpent which, it was anciently supposed, could destroy the object of his vengeance by merely looking at it. Thus in the Winter's Tale :

• Make me not sighted like the basilisk.' It was also a great gun; and the allusion here is double.

3 • This bar;' that is, this barrier, this place of congress. The Chronicles represent a former interview in a field near Melun, with a barre or barrier of separation between the pavilions of the French and English ; but the treaty was then broken off. It was now renewed at Troyes, but the scene of conference was St. Peter's church in that town, a place inconvenient for Shakspeare's action; his editors have therefore laid it in a palace.



Our fertile France, put up her lovely visage?
Alas! she hath from France too long been chas'd;
And all her husbandry doth lie on heaps,
Corrupting in its own fertility.
Her vine, the merry cheerer of the heart,
Unpruned dies: her hedges even-pleached, -
Like prisoners wildly overgrown with hair,
Put forth disorder'd twigs: her fallow leas
The darnel, hemlock, and rank fumitory,
Doth root upon; while that the coulter rusts,
That should deracinate * such savagery:
The even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth
The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,
Wanting the scythe, all uncorrected, rank,
Conceives by idleness; and nothing teems,
But hateful docks, rough thistles, kecksies, burs,
Losing both beauty and utility.
And as our vineyards, fallows, meads, and hedges,
Defective in their natures", grow to wildness;
Even so our houses, and ourselves, and children,
Have lost, or do not learn, for want of time,
The sciences that should become our country;


-as soldiers will,
That nothing do but meditate on blood,
To swearing and stern looks, diffus'do attire,

4 To deracinate is to force up by the roots.

5 • Defective in their natures.' It has been proposed to read nurtures, i.e. culture, as I think, very plausibly. But Steevens concurs in Upton's opinion, that change is unnecessary.

Sua deficiunt natura: They were not defective in their crescive nature, for they grew to wildness; but they were defective in their proper and favourable nature, which was to bring forth food for man.'

6 Diffused attire. I have observed, in a note on The Merry Wives of Windsor, Activ. Sc. 4, that diffuse was used for obscure, confused. I find, from Florio's Dictionary, that diffused, or defused, were used for confused. Diffused attire is therefore disordered or dishevelled attire. Thus in Beaumont and Fletcher's Nice Valour, Act iii.:- Enter the passionate Lord, rudely and

And every thing that seems unnatural.
Which to reduce into our former favour?,
You are assembled: and my speech entreats,
That I may know the let, why gentle peace
Should not expel these inconveniences,
And bless us with her former qualities.
K. Hen. If, duke of Burgundy, you would the

Whose want gives growth to the imperfections


have cited, you must buy that peace
With full accord to all our just demands;
Whose tenours and particular effects
You have, enscheduld briefly, in your

Bur. The king hath heard them; to the which,as yet,
There is no answer made.
K. Hen.

Well then, the peace, Which

you before so urg’d, lies in his answer. F. King. I have but with a cursorary eye O'erglanc'd the articles: pleaseth your grace To appoint some of your council presently To sit with us once more, with better heed To resurvey them, we will, suddenly, Pass our accept, and peremptory answer8. carelessly appareld, unbraced and untrussed;' who is thus addressed :

• Think upon love, which makes all creatures handsome, Seemly for eyesight! go not so diffusedly :

There are great ladies purpose, sir, to visit you.' 7 Favour here means comeliness of appearance. We still say well or ill favoured for well or ill looking. Thus in Othello :

nor should I know him, Were he in favour as in humour alter'd.' 8 Pass our accept, and peremptory answer. To pass here signifies ‘ to finish, end, or agree upon the acceptance which we shall give them, and return our peremptory answer.' Thus in the Taming of a Shrew:

* To pass assurance of a dower;' is to agree upon a settlement. • To passe over; to passe, to finish or agree upon some businesse

Transigo.'-- Baret.

or matter,

« PreviousContinue »