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THE FIRST PART OF
KING HENRY THE FOURTH.
BING HENRY THE FOORTH.
OWEN GLENDOWER. HENRY OF MONMOUTH, } his Song.
SIR RICHARD VERNON. JOHN OF LANCASTER,
SIR JOHN FALSTAFF.
LADY PERCY, Wife to Hotspur.
Mrs QUICKLY, Hostess in Eastcheap. Lords, Officers, Sheriff, Vintner, Chamberlain, Drawers, Carriers, Travellers, and
ACT I. SCENE I. London. A Room in the Palace.
King. So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
1 Of course entrance here means mouth, for what but a mouth should have lips! nor can I appreciate the difficulty which commentators have found in the expression. Several emendations have ben proposed, all of which may well be set aside by a simple reference to Genesis iv. 11: “And now art thou cursed from the erth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand."
March all one way, and be no more oppos’d
West. My liege, this haste was hot in question,
mois tout relea But yesternight; when, all athwart, there came A post from Wales loaden with heavy news; Whose worst was, that the noble Mortimer, Leading the men of Ilerefordshire to fight? Against th’ irregular and wild Glendower, Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken; A thousand of his people butchered, Upon whose dead corpse there was such misuse, Such beastly, shameless transformation, By those Welsh women done, as may not be Without much shame re-told or spoken of.
King. It seems, then, that the tidings of this broil Brake off our business for the Holy Land.
2 Levying an army to a place is only an elliptical form of expression, though some have thought the text corrupi. So, in Gosson's School of Abuse, 1587: “Scipio, before he leried his forces to the walls of Carthage, gave his soldiers the print of the city in a cake, to be devoured."
8 We meet not on that ques'ion now, or to consider that matter.
4 Ralph Neville, the present Earl of Westmoreland, married for his first wife Joan, daughter to John of Gaunt, by ('atharine Swynford, and therefore half-sister to King Henry the Fourth. . Cousin, in old English, bears much the same sense as kinsman in our time.
6 The Poet uses expedience and expedition interchangeably: likewise, erpedient and expeditious.
6 Limits of the charge are estimates of expense.
7 Hereford is a trisyllable; was always so pronounced in the Poet's timne, and is so still.
8 So in all the quartos: the folio has “ And a thousand." I prefer the former, b 'cause it makes the connection plainer between a thinsent people and wchose drod corpse. Of course being is understood before butchered, nid corpse is used as a collective noun.
West. This, match'd with other, did, my gracious lord;
King. Here is a dear and true-industrious friend,
West. In faith, It is a conquest for a prince to boast of. King. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and mak’st me sin that my
Lord Northumberland Should be the father to so blest a son:
9 Rood is an old word for cross: thus we have the expression, "The Duke that died on rovd." Holy-Rood day was the 14th of September. Hotspur is said to have been so called, because, from the age of twelve years, when he first began to bear arms, his “spur was never cold," he being continually at war with the Scots.
10 News was used indifferently as singular or plural; hence was and them in this case.
11 No circumstance could have been better chosen to mark the expedi. tion of Sir Walter.
12 Balk'd in their own blood is heaped, or laid on henps, in their own blood. A balk was a ridge or bank of earth standing up between two furrows; and to balk was to throw up the earth so as to form those heaps or banks.
13 This reads as if the Earl of Fife were the son of Douglas, whereas in fact he was son to the Duke of Albany, who was then regent or governor of Scotland, the king, his brother, being incapable of the office. The matter is thus given by Holinshed, printing and all: “ Of prisoners among other were these, Mordacke earle of Fife, son to the governour Archembald earle Dowglas, which in the fight lost one of his eies.” The Poet's mistake was evidently caused by the omnission of the (.) after governwur.
A son who is the theme of honour's tongue ;
Amongst a grove the very straightest plant ; oli Who is sweet Fortune's minion and her pride:
Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him,
What think you, coz,
West. This is his uncle's teaching, this is Worcester,
King. But I have sent for him to answer this;
SCENE II. The Same. An Apartment of Prince HENRY's.
Enter Prince HENRY and FalstAFF. Fal. Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad ? 'Prince. Thou art so fut-witted, with drinking of old sack, and unbuttoning thee after supper, and sleeping upon benches after noon, that thou hast forgotten to demand that truly which thou would'st truly know. What a devil hast thou to do with the time of the day ? Unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, and the blessed Sun himself a fair you hot wench in flame-colour'd taffeta, I see no reason why??bu thou should'st be so superfluous to demand the time of the day.
14 Among the naughty pranks which the ancient "night-tripping fairies" were supposed to enact, was that of stealing choice babies out of their cradles, and leaving interior specimens in their stead. Shakespeare has several a !usions to the roguish practice, as many other old writers also have. See A Milsummer-Night's Dream, ii. 1.
15 Perey had an exclusive right to these prisoners, except the Earl of Fife. By the law of arms, every man who had taken any captive, whose redemption did not exceed ten thousand crowns, had him to himself to acquit or ransom at his pleasure. But Percy could not refuse the Earl of Fife; for be, being a prince of the royal blood, Henry might justly claim him, by his acknowledged military prerogative
10 An astrological allusion. Worcester is represented as a malignant star that influenced the conduct of Hotspur. A hawk is said to prune herself when she picks off the loose feathers and smooths the rest. We now use plume in the same sense.
17 More is to be said than anger will suffer me to say.
Fal. Indeed you come near me now, Hal; for we that take purses go by the Moon and the seven stars, and not by Phæbus, - he, that wandering knight so fair. And I pr’ythee, sweet wag, when thou art King, -as, God save thy Grace,Majesty, I should say, for grace thou wilt have none,
Prince. What, none?
Fal. No, by my troth; not so much as will serve to be prologue to an egg and butter.? Prince. Well, how then? come, roundly, roundly.
Fal. Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art King, let not us that are squires of the night's body be call’d thieves of the day's beauty : 3 let us be Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the shaule, minions of the Moon; and let men say we be men of good government, being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress the Moon, under whose countenance we - steal.
Prince. Thou say’st well, and it holds well too; for the fortune of us that are the Moon's men doth ebb and flow like the sea, being governed, as the sea is, by the Moon.
As, for proof now: A purse of gold most resolutely snatch'd on Monday night, and most dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning; got with swearing Lay by, and spent with crying Bring in ;* now in as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder, and byand-by in as high a flow as the ridge of the gallows.
Fal. By the Lord, thou says't true, lad. And is not my Hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?
1 Falstaff, with great propriety, according to vulgar astronomy, calls the Sun a wandering knight. The words may be part of some forgotten ballal.
Not so much gracias will serve for saving grace befire meat. Eggs and butter appear to have been a favourite lunch. —- Roundly, in the next line, is speak plainly, or bluntly.
3 Falstaff is an inveterate player rpon words, as here between night and knight, beauty and booty. A squire of the boily origin illy meant an atiendant on a knight. - As to Biani's foresters, Hall the chronicler tells of a pageant exhibited in the reign of Henry VIII., wherein were certain persons called Diana's knights.
4 Lay by is a nautical phrase for to slacken sail, and is here used in the sense of bestill, or keep quiet, som thing like the phrase of our time, “ lie Iswand keep dark;” as in Henry VIII., Act iji, scene 1, Song: “Even the billows of the sea hung their heads, and then luy by." — Bring in was a call w the drawers to bring in more wine.