Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

When Richard, with his eye brimful of tears,
Then check'd and rated by Northumberland,
Did speak these words, now proved a prophecy?
Northumberland, thou ladder by the which
My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne ;
Though then, God knows, I had no such intent,
But that necessity so bow'd the state
That I and greatness were compell’d to kiss :
The time shall come, thus did he follow it,
The time will come, that foul sin, gathering head,
Shall break into corruption : so went on,
Foretelling this same time's condition
And the division of our amity.

War. There is a history in all men's lives,
Figuring the nature of the times deceased ;
The which observed, a man may prophesy,
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life, which in their seeds
And weak beginnings lie intreasured.
Such things become the hatch and brood of time,
And by the necessary form of this
King Richard might create a perfect guess
That great Northumberland, then false to him,
Would of that seed grow to a greater falseness;
Which should not find a ground to root upon,
Unless on you.

King. Are these things then necessities? Then let us meet them like necessities : And that same word even now cries out on us : They say the bishop and Northumberland

lord;

The powers

Are fifty thousand strong.
WAR.

It cannot be, my Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo, The numbers of the fear’d. Please it your grace To go to bed. Upon my soul, my lord,

that

you already have sent forth
Shall bring this prize in very easily.
To comfort

you
the
more,

I have received
A certain instance that Glendower is dead.
Your majesty hath been this fortnight ill,
And these unseason'd hours perforce must add
Unto
your

sickness. KING.

I will take

your counsel : And were these inward wars once out of hand, We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II. Gloucestershire. Before JUSTICE SHALLow's house. Enter Shallow and Silence, meeting ; Moulde,

Shadow, Wart, FEEBLE, BULLCALF, a Servant or two with them.

Shal. Come on, come on, come on, sir ; give me your hand, sir, give me your hand, sir : an early stirrer, by the rood! And how doth my good cousin Silence ?

Sil. Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.

Shal. And how doth my cousin, your bedfellow, and your fairest daughter and mine, my goddaughter Ellen?

SHAL. By yea

and

was

Sil. Alas, a black ousel, cousin Shallow !

nay, sir, I dare

say my cousin William is become a good scholar: he is at Oxford still, is he not?

Sil. Indeed, sir, to my cost.

Shal. A’must, then, to the inns o' court shortly. I was once of Clement's Inn, where I think they will talk of mad Shallow yet.

Sil. You were called lusty Shallow then, cousin. Shal. By the mass,

I called

any thing; and I would have done any thing indeed too, and roundly too. There was I, and little John Doit of Staffordshire, and black George Barnes, and Francis Pickbone, and Will Squele, a Cotswold man; you had not four such swinge-bucklers in all the inns o' court again : and I may say to you, we knew where the bona-robas were and had the best of them all at commandment.

Then was Jack Falstaff, now Sir John, a boy, and page to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.

Sil. This Sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon about soldiers ?

Shal. The samé Sir John, the very same. I see him break Skogan's head at the court-gate, when a' was a crack not thus high : and the very same day did I fight with one Sampson Stockfish, a fruiterer, behind Gray's Inn. Jesu, Jesu, the mad days that I have spent! and to see how many of my old acquaintance are dead !

Sil. We shall all follow, cousin.

Shal. Certain, 'tis certain; very sure, very sure: death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all; all shall die. How a good yoke of bullocks at Stamford fair ?

Sil. By my troth, I was not there.
SHAL. Death is certain. Is old Double of

your town living yet?

Sil. Dead, sir.

Shal. Jesu, Jesu, dead! a' drew a good bow ; and dead! a' shot a fine shoot: John a Gaunt loved him well, and betted much money on his head. Dead ! a' would have clapped i' the clout at twelve score; and carried you a forehand shaft a fourteen and fourteen and a half, that it would have done a man's heart good to see.

How a score of ewes now?

Sil. Thereafter as they be: a score of good ewes may be worth ten pounds.

SHAL. And is old Double dead ?

Sil. Here come two of Sir John Falstaff's men, as I think.

Enter BARDOLPH and one with him. BARD. Good morrow, honest gentlemen: I beseech you,

which is Justice Shallow ? SHAL. I am Robert Shallow, sir; a poor esquire of this county, and one of the king's justices of the peace : what is your good pleasure with me?

Bard. My captain, sir, commends him to you ; my captain, Sir John Falstaff, a tall gentleman, by heaven, and a most gallant leader.

Shal. He greets me well, sir. I knew him a

good backsword man. How doth the good knight? may I ask how my lady his wife doth ?

Bard. Sir, pardon; a soldier is better accommodated than with a wife.

SHAL. It is well said, in faith, sir; and it is well said indeed too. Better accommodated! it is good; yea, indeed, is it: good phrases are surely, and ever were, very commendable. Accommodated ! it comes of accommodo : very good; a good phrase.

Bard. Pardon me, sir; I have heard the word. Phrase call you it? by this good day, I know not the phrase; but I will maintain the word with my sword to be a soldier-like word, and a word of exceeding good command, by heaven. Accommodated; that is, when a man is, as they say, accommodated; or when a man is, being, whereby a' may be thought to be accommodated; which is an excellent thing. Shal. It is very just.

Enter FalsTAFF. Look, here comes good Sir John. Give me your good hand, give me your worship's good hand : by my troth, you like well and bear your years very well: welcome, good Sir John.

Fal. I am glad to see you well, good Master Robert Shallow : Master Surecard, as I think ?

SHAL. No, Sir John; it is my cousin Silence, in commission with me.

Fal. Good Master Silence, it well befits you should be of the peace.

Sil. Your good worship is welcome.

« PoprzedniaDalej »