« EdellinenJatka »
And come against us in full puissance,
Hast. If he should do so,
He leaves his back unarmed, the French and Welsh Baying him at the heels: never fear that.
Bard* Who, is it like, should lead his forces hither ?.
Hast. The duke of Lancaster,1 and Westmoreland; Against the Welsh, himself, and Harry Monmouth: But who is substituted 'gainst the French, I have no certain notice.
Arch. Let us on;2
And publish the occasion of our arms.
1 This is an anachronism. Prince John of Lancaster was not created a duke till the second year of the reign of his brother, king Henry V. At this time prince Henry was actually duke of Lancaster. Shakspeare was misled by Stowe, who, speaking of the first parliament of king Henry IV., says, "Then the king rose, and made his eldest Sonne prince of Wales, &c: his second sonne was there made duke of Lancaster." Annales, 1631.—He seems to have consulted Stowe (p. 323) between the times of finishing the last play and beginning of the present.
2 This speech first appeared in the folio.
And take thou this! O thoughts of men accurst! Past, and to come, seem best; things present, worst.
Mowb. Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on?
Hast. We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.
SCENE I. London. A Street.
Enter Hostess; Fang, and his boy, with her; and Snare, following.
Host. Master Fang, have you entered the action?
Fang. It is entered.
Host. Where is your yeoman ?* Is it a lusty yeoman? will a' stand to't?
Fang. Sirrah, where's Snare?
Host. O Lord, ay; good master Snare.
Snare. Here, here.
Fang. Snare, we must arrest sir John Falstaff.
Host. Yea, good master Snare; I have entered him and all.
Snare. It may chance cost some of us our lives, for he will stab.
Host. Alas the day! take heed of him; he stabbed me in mine own house, and that most beastly ; in good faith, a' cares not what mischief he doth., if his. weapon be out: he will foin like any devil; he will spare neither man, woman, nor child.
Fang. If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.
Host. No, nor I neither; I'll be at your elbow.
Fang. An I but fist him once; an a' come but within my vice ;2—
1 A bailiff's follower was formerly called a Serjeant's yeoman.
2 The quarto reads view. Vice is used for grasp or clutch. The Jlsi ia vulgarly called the vice in the west of England.
VOL. IV. 4
Host. I am undone by his going; I warrant you, he's an infinitive thing upon my score.—Good master Fang, hold him sure ;—good master Snare, let him not 'scape. He comes continually to Pie-corner (saving your manhoods) to buy a saddle; and he's indited to dinner to the lubbar's head in Lumbert-street, to master Smooth's the silkman. I pray ye, since my exion is entered, and my case so openly known to the world, let him be brought in to his answer. A hundred mark is a long loan1 for a poor lone woman to bear; and I have borne, and borne, and borne; and have been fobbed off, and fobbed off, and fobbed off, from this day to that day, that it is a shame to be thought on. There is no honesty in such dealing; unless a woman should be made an ass, and a beast, to bear every knave's wrong.
Enter Sir John Falstaff, Page, and Bardolph.
Yonder he comes; and that arrant malmsey-nose knave, Bardolph, with him. Do your offices, do your offices, master Fang, and master Snare; do me, do me, do me your offices.
Fal. How now? whose mare's dead? what's the matter?
Fang. Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of mistress Quickly.
Fal. Away, varlets!—Draw, Bardolph; cut me off the villain's head; throw the quean in the channel.
Host. Throw me in the channel? I'll throw thee in the channel. Wilt thou? wilt thou? thou bastardly rogue!—Murder, murder!—O thou honey-suckle2 villain! wilt thou kill God's officers, and the king's? O thou honey-seed2 rogue! thou art a honey-seed; a man-queller,3 and a woman-queller.
1 The old copies read "long one;" which Theobald supposed was a corruption of lone or loan. Mr. Douce thinks the alteration unnecessary; and that the hostess means to say that a hundred mark is a long score, or reckoning, for her to hear.
2 It is scarce necessary to remark that honey-suckle and honey-seed are dame Quickly's corruptions of homicidal and homicide.
3 To quell was anciently used for to kill.
Fal. Keep them off, Bardolph.
Fang. A rescue! a rescue!
Host. Good people, bring a rescue or two.—Thou wo't, wo't thou? thou wo't, wo't thou? do, do, thou rogue! do, thou hemp-seed!
Fal. Away, you scullion! you rampallian! you fus~ tilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.
Enter the Lord Chief Justice, attended.
Ch. Just. What's the matter? keep the peace here, ho!
Host. Good my lord, be good to me! I beseech you, stand to me!
Ch. Just. How now, sir John? what, are you brawling here? Doth this become your place, your time, and business.? You should have been well on your way to York-— Stand from him, fellow ; wherefore hang'st thou on him?
Host. O, my most worshipful lord, an't please your grace, I am a poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.
Ch. Just. For what sum?
Host. It is more than for some, my lord. It is for all, all I have; he hath eaten me out of house and home; he hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his;—but I will have some of it out again, or I'll ride thee o' nights, like the mare.
Fal. I think I am as like to ride the mare, if I have any vantage of ground to get up.
Ch. Just. How comes this, sir John? Fie! what man of good temper would endure this tempest of exclamation? Are you not ashamed to enforce a poor widow to so rough a course to come by her own?
Fal. What is the gross sum that I owe thee?
Host. Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself, and the money too. Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt* goblet, sitting in my Dolphin-chamber, at the round table, by a sea-coal fire, upon Wednesday in Wheeson-week,1 when the prince broke thy head for liking his father2 to a singing-man of Windsor; thou didst swear to me then, as I was washing thy wound, to marry me, and make me my lady thy wife. Canst thou deny it? Did not goodwife Keech, the butcher's wife, come in then, and call me gossip Quickly? coming in to borrow a mess of vinegar; telling us she had a good dish of prawns; whereby thou didst desire to eat some; whereby I told thee, they were ill for a green wound? And didst thou not, when she was gone down stairs, desire me to be no more so familiarity with such poor people; saying that ere long they should call me madam? And didst thou not kiss me, and bid me fetch thee thirty shillings? I put thee now to thy book-oath; deny it if thou canst.
1 Parcel-gilt is partly gilt, or gilt only in parts. Laneham, in his Letter from Kenilworth, describing a bride-cup, says, " It was formed of a sweet sucket barrel, a faire turned foot set to it, all seemly be-sylvered and parcel gilt."
Fal. My lord, this is a poor mad soul; and she says, up and down the town, that her eldest son is like you. She hath been in good case, and, the truth is, poverty hath distracted her. But for these foolish officers, 1 beseech you, I may have redress against them.
Ch. Just. Sir John, sir John, I am well acquainted with your manner of wrenching the true cause the false way. It is not a confident brow, nor the throng of words that come with such more than impudent sauciness from you, can thrust me from a level consideration. You have, as it appears to me, practised upon the easy-yielding spirit of this woman, and made her serve your uses both in purse and person.
Host. Yea, in troth, my lord.
Ch. Just. 'Pr'ythee, peace.—Pay her the debt you owe her, and unpay the villany you have done with her; the one you may do with sterling money, and the other with current repentance.
Fal. My lord, I will not undergo this sneap3 with
1 The folio reads Whitsun-week.
2 The folio has "for likening him to," &c.
3 Sneap is reproof, rebuke. Snip, snib, sneb, and snub, are different forms of the same word. To sneap was originally to check or pinch by frost.