« VorigeDoorgaan »
But that the earthy and cold hand of death * Lies on my tongue:—No, Percy, thou art dust,
And food for [Dies.
P. Hen. For worms, brave Percy. Fare thee*
well, great heart!— Ill-weav'd ambition, how much art thou shrunk! When that this body did contain a spirit, A kingdom for it was too small a bound; But now, two paces of the vilest earth Is room enough. This earth, that bears thee
dead, Bears not alive so stout a gentleman. If thou wert sensible of courtesy, I should not make so dear, a show of zeal: But let my favours hide thy mangled face, And, even in thy behalf, I'll thank myself For doing these fair rites of tenderness. Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven! Thy ignomy1' sleep with thee in the grave, But not remember'd in thy epitaph!
[He sees Falstaff on the ground. What! old acquaintance! could not all this flesh Keep in a little life? Poor Jack, farewell! I could have better spar'd a better man. O, I should have a heavy miss of thee, If I were much in love with vanity. Death hath not struck so fat a deer to-day, Though many dearer, in this bloody fray: Embowell'd will I see thee by and by; Till then, in blood by noble Percy lie. [Exit.
Fax. [Rising slowly,] Embowelled! if thou embowel me to-day, I'll give you leave to powder" me, and eat me too, to-morrow. 'Sblood,J 'twas time to counterfeit, or that hot termagant Scot had paid me scot and lot too. Counterfeit? I lie,§ lam no counterfeit: to die, is to be a counterfeit; for he is but the counterfeit of a man, who hath not the life of a man: but to counterfeit dying, when a man thereby liveth, is to be no counterfeit, but the true and perfect image of life indeed. The better part of valour is, discretion; in the which better part, I have saved my life. 'Zounds, || I am afraid of this gunpowder Percy, though he be dead. How if he should counterfeit too, and rise? By my faith,H I am afraid, he would prove the better counterfeit. Therefore I 'll make him sure: yea, and I'll swear I killed him. Why may not he rise, as well as I? Nothing confutes me but eyes, and nobody sees me: therefore, sirrah, [Stabbing him.) with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with" me. [Takes Hotspur on his back.
(•) First folio omits, thee. (f) First folio, great.
(t) Pint folio omits, 'Sbtood. if) First folio omits, I tie. (||) First folio omits, 'Zounds, (f) First folio omits, By my faith. (**) First folio omits, with.
» Butthat the earthy and cold hand of death—] The folio reads, the earth and the cold hand, &c, b Thy iguomv -1 This abridgement of ignominy is not un
Re-enter Prince Henry and Prince Joes.
P. Hen. Come, brother John; full bravely hast thou flesh'd Thy maiden sword.
P. John. But, soft! whom * have we here? Did you not tell me this fat man was dead?
P. Hen. I did; I saw him dead,
Breathless and bleeding on the ground.
Art thou alive? or is it fantasy
That plays upon our eyesight? I pt'yuiM,
speak; We will not trust our eyes, without our ears:— Thou art not what thou seem'st.
Fax. No, that's certain; I am not a double man: but if I be not Jack Falstaff, then and > Jack. There is Percy: [Throwing the body down.] if your father will do me any honour, so; if not, let him kill the next Percy himself. I look to be either earl or duke, I can assure you.
P. Hen. Why, Percy I killed myself, and saw thee dead.
Fax. Didst thou?—Lord, Lord, how hist world is given to lying !—I grant you, I was down, and out of breath; and so was he: but we rose both at an instant, and fought a long hour by Shrewsbury clock. If I may be believed, so; if not, let them, that should reward valour, bear the sin upon their own heads. I'll take it upon J my death, I gave him this wound in the thigh: if the man were alive, and would deny it, 'zounds !§ I would make him eat a piece of my sword.
P. John. This is the strangest tale that e'er I heard.
P. Hen. This is the strangest fellow, brother
Come, bring your luggage nobly on your back:
[A retreat is sounded.
[Exeunt Prince Henry and Prince John.
Fax. I'll follow, as they say, for reward. He that rewards me, God, reward him V If I do grow great," I'll grow less; for I'll purge, and leave sack, and live cleanly, as a nobleman should do.
[Exit, bearing of the body. SCENE X.—Another part of the Field.
(*) First folio, who. (f) First folio, the.
(}) First folio, on. (j) First folio omits, '**—&■
(||) First folio, trumpett sound. (?) First folio, Hcare*.
(**) First folio adds, again.
frequent with our early writers.
, c To powder me,—] To powder, was to salt, and we still retain the word in powdered beef.
The trumpets sound. Enter King Henry, Prince Henry, Prince John, "westmoreland, and others, with Worcester and Vernon, prisoners.
K. Hen. Thus ever did rebellion find rebuke.—
Ill-spirited Worcester! did not we * send grace,
[Exeunt Worcester and Vernon guarded.
The fortune of the day quite turu'd from him,
X. Hen. With all my heart.
P. Hen. Then, brother John of Lancaster, to
This honourable bounty shall belong:
Go to the Douglas, and deliver him
Up to his pleasure, ransomless, and free:
His valour, shown upon our crests to-day,
Hath taught as how to cherish such high deeds,
Even in the bosom of our adversaries."
K. Hex. Then this remains,—that we divide our power.— You, son John, and my cousin Westmoreland, Towards York shall bend you, with your dearest
speed, To meet Northumberland, and the prelate Scroop, Who, as we hear, are busily in arms: Myself,—and you, son Harry,—will towards Wales, To fight with Glendower. and the earl of March. Rebellion in this land shall lose his sway,* Meeting the check of such another day: And since this business so fair is done. Let us not leave till all our own be won.
(*) First folio, way.
"I thank your grace for this high courtesy,
(1) SCENE II.—/I « apartment in a Turern.] According to the modern editions, the action of this scene takes placo in a room of the kind's palace. Now, not to dwell upon the improbability of the prince of Wales surrounding himself with licentious companions, and planning a vulgar robbery in such a place, we are compelled to infer that he was not in the practice of making the court his home. In the last Act of "Richard II." King Henry asks:—
"Can no man tell of my unthrifty son I
'Tis full three month* since I did see him last."
And in a subsequent sccno in the present play, when Falstaff personates the monarch, one of his inquiries, founded uimn his knowledge of the prince's habits, is—" Where hast thou been this month!"
(2) SCENE II.— Or the drone of a Lincolnshire oagpi/ie.] Stecvens acutely conceived that the "drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipo," meant the dull croaJc of a froij, one of the native minstrels of that fenny county; but it is more credible that Lincolnshire was celebrated for tho making or playing on this instrument. In "A Nest of Ninnies," by Robert Armin, 1008, a Lincolnshire bagpipe is mentioned in a way to show it was familiarly known :— "At a Christmas time, when great logs furnish the hallfire—-when brawne is in season, and, indeede, all reveling is regarded, this gallant knight kept open house for all commers, where beefe, beere, and bread was no niggard. Amongst all the pleasures prouided, a noyse of minstrells and a Lincolnshire bagpipe was prepare*!—the minstrels for the great chamber, the bagpipe for the hall—the minstrells to serue vp the knight's meat, and tho bagpipe for the common daunclng."
(3) Scene II.—The melancholy of Moor-ditch.] Moorditch was a part of the great ditch or moat, which, with tho well-known wall, surrounded and formed the defence of London. This ditch was begun in 1211, and finished in 1213. That portion of it known as Moor-ditch, extending from the Postern called Moorgate, to Bishopsgate, was cleansed and widened in 1595; but Stowe relates that it soon filled a<rain, and, flanked as it was on the one side with miserable dwellings, and on the other by an unwholesome and sometimes impassable morass, it is easy to understand how the sombre, melancholy aspect of this filthy stream should have become proverbial. Taylor in his "Pennylesse Pilgrimage," 1618, says—"Walking thus downe the street, (my body being tyred with trauell, and my mind attyred with moody, muddy, Moore-ditch meluncholly") &e.
(4) Scene II.— Wisd m cries out in the streets.] In the first fobo, this scriptural expression is omitted, in compliance, it has been thought, with the Act 3 Jac. I.; but that Act, which we append, was restricted to preventing the profane use of the sacred names. The numberless omissions of phrases like tho above, as well as "by mv faith," "by my troth," "by tho mass," &«. &c. in the folio, must therefore be attributed not to the Act of Parliament in question, but to the increasing influence of the Puritans.
3 Jac. I. c. 21. An Acte To Restrain The Aboses Of Players, (1605-6.)
For tho preventing and avoyding of the great* AtTM*? of the Holy Name of God in Stageplayes, InterludeMaygames Shewes and such like ;—Be it enacted by our Soveraigno Lorde the Kings Majesty, and by the Lories Spiritual 1 and Temporal], and Commons in thi3 preset Parliament assembled, and by the authoritie of the same. That if at any ty me or tymes, after the end of this present Session of Parliament any person or persons doe or shall i« any Stage play Interlude Showe Maygame or Pageant jestingly or prophanely speake or use the holy Name of Gal or of Christ Jesus, or of the Holy Ghoste or of the Trmitie. which are not to be spoken but with feare and reverent*, shall forfeit* for everie such Offence by hym or them comittcd Tenne Pounde, the one Moytie thereof to the Kinp Majestie his Heires and Successors, the other Movti? thereof to hym or them that will sue for the same in air Courto of Recorde at Westminster, wherein no Essoutk Protection or Wager of Lawe shalbe allowed.
(5) Scene II.—Oailshill.] This place, which is on it; Kentish road near Rochester, appears at one time to hat? enjoyed the same kind of unenviable notoriety which rendered Shooters Hill and Hounslow Heath tie terror travellers in later days. So early as 1558, a ballad «s entered on the books of the Stationers' Company. entitW The Robbery at Ondthill, and there is still extant amori the Lansdowne Manuscripts in the British Museum a circumstantial narrative in the handwriting of Sir Bare-' Manwood, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, dated July 3c. 1590, of the exploits of a daring gang of robbers, whoa: that period infested Gadshill and its vicinity. We eitrt' a portion of this curious account; the whole of wrack may lie seen in Boswell's edition of Malone's Shakespean vol. xvi. p. 432.
"In October, at begynninge of last Mychaelmas Terw. iij oriiij robberyes done at Gadeshill by certen foote there* ■ vppon hughe and crye, ono of the Theves named Haehfc^ flying and squatted in a bushe, was brought© to me. vppon examynacion findingc a purse and things about bi susniciouse, and his cause of being there and his fivto and other circumstances very suspiciouse, I romrflytt*"-' him to the Jayle, and ho ys of that robberye indytei
"In the course of that Michaelmas Terme, I ban?'' London, many robberyes weare done in the hye way"* Gadeshill on the west parte of Rochester, and at Chatte downe on tho east parte of Rochester, by horse there*. *r~ suche fatt and lustye horses, as weare not lvke hackfc? horsscs, nor fair jomeving horsses, and one of them Mktymo wearing a vizardo greye bearde (by reason tba to the persons robbed, the Theves did use to mynister» othe that there should bee no hue and crye made artfj. and also did gyve a watche woorde for the parties rohbw the better to escape other of their theves comf*1^ devyded vppon the hyghe-waye,) he was by common rfp,r< in the country called Justice Greye Bearde; and to durst travell that waye without great companye.
"After the end of that Mychaelmas Tenne, iij « %gentn. from London rydingo home towardes Canterbury"
at the west end of Gadeshill, weare overtaken by v or vj horsemen all in clokes vpp aliout their faces, and fellowe lyke all, and none lyke servants or waytinge on the other, and swiftly ridinge by them gatt to the east end of Gadeshill, and there turned about all their horsses on the faces of the trewe men, wherby they became in feare; but by chanse one of the trewe men did knowe this Curtail to bee one of the v or vj swift ryders, and after some speache betwene them of the manvfold robberyes there done and that bv company of this Curtail, that gentleman hoped to have the more saffetye from robbing. This Curtail with the other v or vj swifte ryders, rode awaye to Rochester before, and the trewe men coming afterwards neere Rochester they did mete this Curtail retorning on horsebacke, rydinge towards Gadeshill againe; and after they had passed Rochester, in Chatham strecte, at a Smyths fordge they did see the reste of the swyft ryders tarying about shoing of their horsses, and then the trewe men doubted to be set vppon at Chatham downe, but their company being the greater, they passed without troble to Sittingborne that nyghte where they harde of robberyes daylye done at Chatham downe and Gadeshill, and that this Curtail with v or vj other as lustye companions, and well horssed, much havnted the innes and typlinge howses at Raynham, Sttingborne, and Rochester, with liberal] expenees."
In another memorandum belonging to the same collection, which relates to similar depredations in other parts of the country, we find the word match, used precisely as in "Ratsey's Ghost," (see note b, p. 513) to signify the plot, or scheme of a robbery, showing that the "set a match" of the quartos is the true reading, and the "set a watch" of the folio, a misprint:—
'•There maner of robbinge is to robbe in suche companies as afore saide if the matche soe require, and sometimes doe devide themselves and robbe three or fower together tmelie, in a companie."
This, indeed, is put beyond all question by Minsheu's explanation of " Outeparters." "Some are "of opinion, that those which are tearmed outparters, are at this day called out-putters, and are such as set matches for the robbing any man or house; as by discovering which way he rideth or goeth, or where the house is weakest and fittest to be entred."
(6) SCENE II.—Redeeming time, vehen men think least I Kill.] We had purposed in this scene, to say a few words on the contrast presented by the traditional character of the prince, familiarized as it is to us by the delightful fancies of the poet, and that ascribed to him by Mr. Luders and Mr. Tyler, the historians, who have laboured so zealously to exculpate him from the imputation of youthful riot and dishonour; but, upon reflection, prefer reserving our observations until Henry appears as King of England.
(7) Scene lll.—Hisbrotnerin-lair, the.foolish Mortimer.} Every historian, from Walsingham to Sharon Turner, has fallen into the error of confounding Sir Edmund Mortimer with his nephew, Edmund Earl of March, who at this period was a boy not more than ten years of age, and in custody of the king at Windsor.
Sir Edmund Mortimer was taken prisoner by Owen Glendower, at tho battle fought June 12, 1402, near Melienydd in Radnorshire; became devotedly attached to the Welsh chieftain, and married his daughter. By this connexion, Owen shortly after obtained another accession to his power and influence in the person of Hotspur, who, incensed, it was thought, at the king's refusal to ransom his brother-in-law (for Hotspur had married Mortimer's sister), suddenly revolted from his side, and allied himself to the cause of his old opponent, Glendower.
(1) Scexk L breeds fleas like a loach.] The efforts
of critics who gravely labour to establish the pertinence and integrity of such comparisons as these, are as profitable, to adopt a characteristic simile of Gifford's, as the milking he-goats in a sieve. When the obtuse carrier tells us that his home provender is as dank as a dwf—that chamber-lie t-rceds jUns like a loach, and that he himself is stung like o tench and as veil bitten as a king, he means no more, than that the peas and beans are very damp, that chamberlie breeds many fleas, and that he is severely stung. So, »hen the immortal Mrs. Quickly declares Sir John and his DoJcinea to be "as rheumatic as two dried toasts," she intends only to convey, what she wants language to describe in words, or imagination to portray properly by Synre, that they are inordinately quarrelsome. An appropriate and congruous resemblance would be as inappropriate and incongruous in such mouths, as forcible and well chosen phraseology. The Water Poet, John Taylor, has very happily derided such inapposite similitudes:—"But many pretty ridiculous aspersions are cast upon Dogges, so tkat it would make a Dogge laugh to heare and understand them. A* I have heard a Man say, I am as hot as a Dogjre, or as cold as a Dogge, I swoate like a Dogge, 'when a Dogge never sweates) as drunko as a Dogge, hee •wore like a Dogge, and one told a man once That his Wife was not to be belicv'd for she would lye like a Dogge," &c. —A l**/ffe of Warre, 1630.
(2) Scene I.—Thou laifst the plot, how.] The collusion between the Chamberlains and Ostlers, and the "Gentle
men of the Road," in old times, is often referred to in works of the i>eriod. In Harrison's "Description of England," (Holinshed, Vol. I. p. 246,) there is an interesting account of old English Inns, wherein the villainy of tapsters, drawers, chamberlains, and ostlers, forms a prominent topic :—" Those townes that we call thorowfaires have great and sumptuous innes builded in them, for the receiving of such travellers and strangers as pass to and fro. Tho manner of harbouring wherein, is not like to that of some other countries, in which the host or good man of the house doth chalenge a lordlie authoritie ovor his ghests, but cleane otherwise, sith everie man may use his inne as his owno house in England, and have for his monie how great or little variotee of vittels, and what other service himselfe shall thinke exi>edient to call for. Our innes are also verie well furnished with naperie, bedding and tapisterie, cspeciallie with na[>erie; for beside the linnen used at the tables which is commonlie washed dailie, is such and so much as belongeth unto the ostate and calling of the ghest. Ech commer is sure to lie in cleane sheets, wherein no man hath been lodged since they came from the landresse, or out of the water wherein they were last washed. If tho traveller have an horssc, his bed doth cost him nothing, but if he go on foot he is sure to paie a penie for tho same; but whether he be horsscman or footman, if his chamber be once appointed ho may cario tho kaie with him, as of his own house.so long as he lodgeth there. If he loose oughte whilestho abideth in tho inne, the host is bound by a generall custome to restore the damage, so that there is no greater securitie anio
where for travellers than in the pretest ins of England. There horsses in like sort are walked, dressed, and looked unto by certain hostelers or hired servants, appointed at the charges of the goodman of the house, who in hope of extraordinarie reward will deale verie deligentlie after outward appearance in this their function and calling. Herein neverthclesse are manie of them blameworthie, in that they doo not onelie deceive the beast oftentimes of his allowance by aundrie meanes, except their owners looke well to them, but also make such packs with slipper merchants which hunt ufter preie (for what place is safe from evill and wicked persons) that manio an honest man is spoiled of his goods as he travelleth to and fro, in which feat also the counsells of the tapsters or drawers of drink, and chambcrioins is not seldomo behind or wanting. Certes I bclecve not that chapman or traveller in England is robbed by the waio without the knowledge of some of them, for when he commeth into the inno and alighteth from his horsse. the hostler forthwith is verie busie to take downe his budget or capcase in the yard from his saddle bow, which he poiseth slilie in his hand to feele the weight thereof: or if he misuse of this pitch, when the ghost hath taken up his chamber, the chamberlcine that luoketh to the making of the boils, will be sure to remove it from the place where the owner hath set it as if it were to set it more conveuientlie some where else, whereby he getteth an inkling whether it be monie or other short wares and thereof giveth warning to such od ghosts as hant the house and arc of his confederacie, to the utter undoing of manie an honest yeoman as he journieth by the waie. The tapster in like sort, for his part doth marks his behaviour, and what plontie of monie he draweth when he paieth the shot, to the like end: so that it shall be an hard matter to escape all their subtile practises. Some thinke it a gay matter to commit their budgets at their comming to the goodman of the house: but thereby they oft bewraie themselves. For albeit their monie be safe for the time that it is in his hands (for you shall not heare that a man is robbed in his inne) yet after their departure the host can make nowarrantize of the same, sith his protection extendeth no further than the gate of his own house: and there cannot be a surer token unto such as prie and watch for those booties, than to see anie ghest deliver his capcase in such manner."
(3) SCENE I.—Great oneyers.] For oneyers of the ancient text, Pope proposed onerairer,—trustees or commissioners; Theobald, Moiicyers; Capell, Mynheers; Malone, onyers, that is, public accountants; and Haniner, owners. Of all these conjectures we prefer the last, not merely because it better suits the context than any of the others, but because one having, as we believe, of old, the pronunciation of otrn, a sound it still retains in only, (or onelie. as it was once written,) oneyers might easily have been misprinted for owner*.
(4) Scene I.— We share the receipt of fern-seed, we walk iuvUiUe.] ' This superstition appears to have originated partly in an imperfect knowledge of the natural history of the fern, and partly in obscure traditions, which represented the seed of that plant as possessed of many occult virtues. The first cause of error is attributable to Pliny, who says, that "there are two kinds of fern, which bear neither flower nor seed ; " and hence it was supposed that, as it was produced by invisible seed, such persons a,s could by any means possess themselves of it would partake of its qualities, and also become invisible. Gerard, in his "Great Herbal," published in 1597, explained this phenomenon by stating fern to be "one of those plants which have their seeds on the back of the leafe, so small as to escape the sighte. Those who perceived that feme was propagated by semination, and yet could never see the seeds, were much at a loss for a solution of the difficultie; and, as wonder always endeavours to augmente itself, they ascribed to ferne-seede manv strange properties, some of which tho rusticke vergins have not yet forgotten or exploded." To make these marvellous powers available, the seed was to be gathered at noon, or at midnight, on Mid
summer Eve—June 23d—fasting, and in silence; but the attempt to secure it is reported to have been very frequently unsuccessful, for the minute seed fell spontaneously without being caught, and often disappeared altogether, when apparently in safe keeping. Ben Jonson makes Ferret refer to the latent virtue of this seed in "The New Inn." Act I. Sc. 6 :—
•• I had
No medicine, sir, to go invisible,
Beside the bestowing invisibility, there seem to hare been other qualities attributed to this seed, even by scientific persons, in the 17th century, of which John Parkinson, in his "Theater of Plants," 1640, speaks as follows :—" The seeds which this and the female Feme doe beare, and to be gathered onely on Midsommer eve at night, with I know not what conjuring words,—is superstitiously hold by divers, not onely Mountelmnkes and Quacksalvers, but by other learned men, (yet it cannot be said but by those that are too superstitiously addicted,) to be of some secret hidden vertuo, but I cannot finde it exprcst what it should lie: for Iln>ihi)ttis, in his >SV«o/»suits upon M'itthiohtt, saith these tales are neither fabulous nor superstitious." It must be observed that the "ronjtirinp irordj" mentioned in this extract constitute Shakespeare's "r- ••,/■' of fern-seed" as being the formula and directions with which it was to be effectually gathered.
(5) Scene IV.—Tht Boar's Head Tavern.] Were it practicable to obtain original and pertinent illustration* of the famous Boar's Head Tavern of Shakespeare, there would be little difficulty in composing an interesting article on the subject. But all that is really known, or that is likely to be known relating to the edifice, has been repeatedly told ; and its story belongs rather to poetical and speculative history, than to antiquarian or topographic*! research. Yet the name and the locality were familiar in connexion, so early as the end of the fourteenth century, when William Warden gave "all that his tenement called 'the Boar's Head,' in East Cheap," towards the support of certain priests serving a chapel founded by Sir William Walworth, in the adjoining church of St. Michael, Crooked L:me.
There is no existing evidence to prove, whether any part of those premises were at that time a tavern; though there is a strong probability, even arising out of their peculiar designation, that they might have been one of many places established in the vicinity for the sale of provisions ready dressed. The practice" of appropriating such dealers to this particular part of London dates from a very early period, for Fitz-Stephen tells us that 'the followers of the several trades, the vendors of various commodities, and the labourers of every kind, are daily to be found in their proper and distinct places, according to their employments." This statement refers to the close of the twelfth century, at which time there stood on the river bank at Billingsgate a very extensive tavern or provision store, that being then the common landing-place for all passengers who came to London by water. Fiti-Stephen says of it, that no number so great of soldiers or travellercould enter the city, or leave it, at any hour of the day or night, but that all might be supplied with food. The re staurants of ancient London afterwards spread themselves to the north and west of their original locality, until they formed part of the East-Cheap, or market : "so called in contradistinction to the Stocks Market and West-Cheap In this place, the shops of cooks were interspersed with those of the butchers ; the contiguous " Poultry" supplied the capons for which Falstaff ran into debt" with XI r^ Quickly; and fish and wine were easily procurable from Billingsgate, and the ships lying near.
So early as the reign of Henry V. Lydgate celebrated the fame of East-Cheap, as being pre-eminent for good cheer, a reputation it seems to have maintained throughout the sixteenth century. It is remarked by Stow, in one of those many incidental passages in which bo Las preserved traces of ancient manners, not to be fo>ir..i