« EdellinenJatka »
My lord, I will steep this letter in fack, and make him eat it.
P. Hen. That's to make him eat twenty of his words. But do you use me thus, Ned? must I marry your sister ?
Poins. May the wench have no worse fortune! but I never faid so.
P. HEN. Well, thus we play the fools with the time; and the spirits of the wise fit in the clouds, and mock us.—Is your master here in London?
Bard. Yes, my lord.
P. Hen. Where sups he? doth the old boar feed. in the old frank?
Bard. At the old place, my lord; in Eastcheap.
4 That's to make him eat twenty of his words.] Why just twenty, when the letter contained above eight times twenty? We should read plenty; and in this word the joke, as slender as it is, confifts.
WARBURTON. It is not surely uncommon to put a certain number for an uncertain one. Thus, in The Tempest, Miranda talks of playing “ for a score of kingdoms." Busby, in King Richard II. observes, that “ each substance of a grief has twenty shadows.” In Julius Cæfar, Cæsar says that the slave's hand“ did burn like twenty torches.” In King Lear we meet with “ twenty filly ducking observants." and, “ not a nose among twenty."
Robert Green, the pamphleteer, indeed, obliged an apparitor to eat his citation, wax and all. In the play of Sir John Oldcaftle, the Sumner is compelled to do the like; and says on the occasion, “ I'll eat my word.” Harpoole replies, “ I meane you shall eat more than your own word, *“ I'll make you eate all the words in the processe." STEEVENS.
s- frank?] Frank is sty. Pope.
6 Ephesians,] Ephesian was a term in the cant of these times, of which I know not the precise notion: it was, perhaps, a toper. So, the Hoit, in The Merry Wives of Windsor : " It is thine host, chine Ephesian calls." Johnson.
P. Hen. Sup any women with him?
Page. None, my lord, but old mistress Quickly, and mistress Doll Tear-sheet."
P. Hen. What pagan may that be?
PAGE. A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinfwoman of my master's.
P. Hen. Even such kin, as the parish heifers are to the town bull. Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?
Poins. I am your shadow, my lord; I'll follow you.
P. Hen. Sirrah, you boy,--and Bardolph ;-no word to your master, that I am yet come to town: There's for your silence,
BARD. I have no tongue, fir.
P. Hen. Fare ye well; go. [Exeunt BARDOLPH and Page.)- This Doll Tear-sheet should be some road.
Poins. I warrant you, as common as the way between saint Alban's and London.
7 Doll Tear-sheet.] Shakspeare might have taken the hint for this name from the following passage in The Playe of Robyn Hoode, very proper to be played in Maye games, bl. l. no date:
“ She is a trul of trust, to serve a frier at his luft,
EVENS. & What pagan may that ber] Pagan seems to have been a cant term, implying irregularity either of birth or manners. So, in The Captain, a comedy by Beaumont and Fletcher:
“ Three little children, one of them was mine;
“ Upon my conscience the other two were pagans." In the City Madam of Maffinger it is used (as here) for a prostitute: "
in all these places
P. Hen. How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-night in his true colours, and not ourselves be seen?
Poins. Put on two leather jerkins,' and aprons, and wait upon him at his table as drawers.
P. Hen. From a god to a bull? a heavy descenfion!it was Jove's case. From a prince to a prentice? a low transformation! that shall be mine: for, in every thing, the purpose must weigh with the folly. Follow me, Ned. [Exeunt.
" Put on two leather jerkins,] This was a plot very unlikely to fucceed where the prince and the drawers were all known; but it produces merriment, which our author found more useful than probability. Johnson.
Johnson forgets that all the family were in the secret, except Falstaff; and that the Prince and Poins were disguised.
M. Mason. But how does this circumstance meet with Dr. Johnson's objection? The improbability arises from Falstaff's being perfectly well acquainted with all the waiters in the house; and however disguised the Prince and Poins might be, or whatever aid they might derive from the landlord and his servants, they could not in fact pass for the old attendants, with whose person, voice, and manner, Falstaff was well acquainted. Accordingly he discovers the Prince as soon as ever he speaks. However, Shakspeare's chief object was to gain an opportunity for Falstaff to abuse the Prince and Poins, while they remain at the back part of the stage in their disguises: a jeu de theatre which he practised in other plays, and which always gains applause. MALONE.
2- a heavy descension!] Defcenfion is the reading of the first edition.
Mr. Upton proposes that we should read thus by transposition : From a god to a bull ? a low transformation !— from a prince to a prentice a heavy declension! This reading is elegant, and perhaps right. Johnson.
The folio reads-declension. MALONE.
Warkworth. Before the Cafle. Enter NorthuMBERLAND, Lady NortHUMBERLAND,
and Lady Percy. North. I pray thee, loving wife, and gentle
daughter, Give even way unto my rough affairs : Put not you on the visage of the times, And be, like them, to Percy troublesome. LADY N. I have given over, I will speak no
more: Do what you will; your wisdom be your guide.
NORTH. Alas, sweet wife, my honour is at pawn; And, but my going, nothing can redeem it. LADY P. O, yet, for God's sake, go not to these
wars! The time was, father, that you broke your word, When you were more endear'd to it than now; When your own Percy, when my heart's dear Harry, Threw many a northward lock, to see his father Bring up his powers; but he did long in vain.“ Who then persuaded you to stay at home?
4 Threw many a northward look, to see his father
Bring up his powers; but he did long in vain.] Mr. Theobald very elegantly conjectures that the poet wrote,
but he did look in vain. Statius, in the tenth Book of his Thebaid, has the same thought :
“ - fruftra de colle Lycæi
There were two honours loft; yours, and your
s In the grey vault of heaven:] So, in one of our author's poems to his mistress:
“ And truly, not the morning fun of heaven
STEEVENS. He had no legs, &c.] The twenty-two following lines are of those added by Shakspeare after his first edition. Pope.
They were first printed in the folio, 1623. Malone. 7 And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish,
Became the accents of the valiant;] Speaking thick is, Speaking faft, crowding one word on another. So, in Cymbeline :
“ fay, and speak thick,
« Love's counsellor should fill the bores of hearing " « Became the accents of the valiant" is, “ came to be affected by them," a sense which (as Mr. M. Mason observes) is confirmed by the lines immediately succeeding;
“ For those that could speak low, and tardily,
“ To seem like him: The opposition designed by the adverb tardily, also serves to fup. port my explanation of the epithet thick. STEEVENS.