Page images
PDF
EPUB

Haul'd thither by mechanick dirty hands.
Rouze up revenge from Ebon den, with fell Alesto's

snake,
For Dol is in. Pistol speaks nought but truth.

Fal. I will deliver her.

Pift. There roar'd the sea; and trumpet-clangour sounds.

SCENE VIII. The Trumpets found. Enter the King, and his train. Fal. God save thy Grace, King Hal, my royal Hal!

Pift. The heav'ns thee guard and keep, most royal imp of fame!

Fal. God save thee, my sweet boy!
King. My Lord Chief Justice; speak to that vain

man,

Ch. Just. Have you your wits? know you, what 'tis

you speak?

Fal. My King, my Jove, I speak to thee, my heart !

King. I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers: How ill white hairs become a fool and jester! I have long dream'd of such a kind of man, So surfeit-swellid, so old, and so * profane ; But, being awake, I do despise my dream. Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace ; Leave gormandizing. Know, the Grave doth gapes

For * Profane, in our authour, nities, schools his old companion often signifies love of talk with- for his follies with great severity: out the particular idea now given he assumes the air

of a preacher ; it. So in Othello, Is he not a bids him fall to his prayers, seek profane and very liberal counsellor. grace, and leave gormandizing.

Know, the Grave doth But that word unluckily prefentgape

ing him with a pleasant idea, he For thee, thrice wider than for cannot forbear pursuing it. Know,

the Grave doth gape for thee tbrice Reply not 10 me with a fool-born wider, &c. and is just falling

jeft; ] Nature is highly back into Hal, by an humourous touched in this paffage. The allusion to Falstaf's bulk; but king having maken of his va- he perceives it immediately, and

fearing

[ocr errors]

or her men.

Set on.

For thee, thrice wider than for other men.
Reply not to me with a fool-born jest,
Presume not, that I am the thing I was,
For heav'n doth know, so shall the world perceive,
Tha have turn'd away my former self,
will I those that kept me company.
When thou dost hear I am as I have been,
Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou walt,
The tutor and the feeder of my riots;
Till then I banith thee, on pain of death,
As I have done the rest of my mis-leaders,
Not to come near our person by ten miles. 6
For competence of life, I will allow yo.!,
That lack of means enforce you not to Evil;
And, as we hear you do reform yourselves,
We will according to your strengths and qualities
Give
you

advancement. Be't your charge, my Lord, To see perform’d the tenour of our word.

[Exit King, &c. fearing Sir Yoln should take the of exciting mirth, has nothing advantage of it, checks both him- in him that can be eiteemed, self and the knight, with

no great pain will be sufsered Reply not to me with a fool-born from the reflection that he is jeft;

compelled to live honettly, and and so resumes the thread of his maintained by the king, with a discourse, and goes moralizing promise of advancement when he on to the end of the chapter. ihall deserve it. Thus the poet copies nature with I think the poet more blame. great skill, and shews us how able for Poins, who is always apt men are to fall back into represented as joining some virtheir old customs, when the change tues with his vices, and is thereis not made by degrees, and fore treated by the prince with apbrought into a habit, but deter- parent distinction, yet he does nomined of at once on the motives thing in the time of action, and of honour, interest or reason. though after the bustle is over he

WARBURTON. is again a favourite, at last va6 Mr. Rowe observes, that nishes without notice. Shakes many readers lament to see Fal- Speare certainly loit him by heedJaff fo hardly used by his old leíiness, in the multiplicity of his friend.

But if it be considered characters, the variety of his acthat the fat knight has never tion, and his eagerness to end the uttered one sentiment of gene- play. rosity, and with all his power VOL, IV.

SCENE

A a

[blocks in formation]

Fal. Master Shallow, I owe you a thousand pound.

Shal. Ay, marry, Sir John, which I beseech you to let me have home with me,

Fal. That can hardly be, Mr. Shallow. Do not you grieve at this; I shall be sent for in private to him. Look you, he must seem thus to the world. Fear not your advancement, I will be the man yet that shall make you great.

Sbal. I cannot perceive how, unless you give me your doublet, and stuff me out with straw. I beseech you, good Sir John, let me have five hundred of my thousand.

Fal. Sir, I will be as good as my word. This, that you heard, was but a colour.

Shal. A colour, I fear, that you will die in, Sir Jobn.

Fal. Fear no colours. Go with me to dinner. Come, lieutenant Pistol; come, Bardolph. I shall be sent for soon at night.

Enter Chief Justice and Prince John. Ch. Juft. Go, carry Sir John Falstaff to the Fleet. * Take all his company along with him.

Fal. My Lord, my Lord,

Ch. Juft. I cannot now speak. I will hear you soon. -Take them away. Pist. Si fortuna me tormento, Spera me contento.

[Exeunt. * I do not fee why Falstaff is of fear, anger, and surprise in carried to the Fleet. We have ne him and his company, made å ver loft sight of him since his good scene to the eye ; and our dismission from the king; he authour, who wanted them no has committed no new fault, and longer on the stage, was glad to therefore incurred no punish- find this method of sweeping ment; but the different agitations them away.

[ocr errors]

Manent Lancaster, and Chief Justice.
Lan. I like this fair proceeding of the King's.
He hath intent, his wonted followers
Shall all be very well provided for;
But they are banish'd, till their conversations
Appear more wise and modest to the world.
Ch. Juft. And so they are.
Lan. The King hath call’d his Parliament; my Lord.
Cb. Juft. He hath.

Lan. I will lay odds, that ere this year expire,
We bear our civil swords and native fire
As far as France. I heard a bird so sing,
Whose musick, to my thinking, pleas’d the King.
Come, will you hence? *

(Exeunt. . I fancy every reader, when None of Shakespeare's plays are he ends this play, cries out with more read than the first and second Desdemona, O moj lame and im- parts of Henry the fourth. Perhaps potent conclusion! As this play no authour has ever in two plays was not, to our knowledge, di- afforded so mach delight. The vided into acts by the authour, great events are interesting, for the I could be content to conclude fate of kingdoms depends upon it with the death of Henry the them; the flighter occurrences fourth.

are diverting, and, except one or In that Jerusalem fall Harry two, fufficiently probable; the

dye. These scenes which incidents are multiplied with now make the fifth act of Henry wonderful fertility of invention, the fourth, might then be the and the characters diversified with firft of Henry the fifth; but the the utmofl nicety of discernment, truth is, that they do unite very and the profoundest skill in the commodiously to either play. nature of man. When these plays were repre

The prince, who is the hero sented, I believe they ended as both of the comick and tragick they are now ended in the books; part, is a young man of great abibut Shakespeare seems to have de- lities and violent passions, whose signed that the whole series of sentiments are right, though his action from the beginning of Rio actions are wrong; whose virtoes chard the second, to the end of are obscured by negligence, and Henry the fifth, should be con- whose understanding is dissipated Gdered by the reader as one by levity. In his idle hours he work, upon one plan, only broken is rather loose than wicked, and

parts by the neceffity of ex when the occasion forces out his hibition.

latent qualities, he is great with

out

Аа 2

out effort, and brave without tu- supercilious and haughty with mult. The trifler is roufed into common men, but to think his a hero, and the hero again re- interest of importance to the duke poses in the trifler. This cha. of Lancaster. Yet the man thus racter is great, original, and juft. corrupt, thus despicable, makes

Pierry is a rugged foldier, cho himself necessary to the prince lerick, and quarrelsome, and has that despises him, by the most only the foldier's virtues, gene- pleasing of all qualities, perperosity and courage.

tual gaiety, by an unfailing But Falstaff unimitated, un- power of exciting laughter,which imitable Falliaff, how shall I de- is the more freely indulged, as scribe thee? Thou compound of his wit is not of the splendid or sense and vice; of sense which may ambitious kind, but consists in be admired but not esteemed, of easy escapes and sallies of levity, vice which may be despised, but which make sport but raise no enhardly detested. Falstaff is a cha- vy. It must be observed that he is racter loaded with faults, and with stained with no enormous or santhose faults which naturally pro- guinary crimes, so that his licenduce contempt. He is a thief, and tiousness is not so offenfive but that a glutton, a coward, and a boalter, it may be borne for his mirth. always ready to cheat the weak, The moral to be drawn from and prey upon the poor; to ter- this representation is, that no man rify the timorous and insult the is more dangerous than he that defenceless. At once obsequious with a will to corrupt, hath the and malignant, he fatirises in power to please ; and that neither their absence those whom he lives wit nor honesty ought to think by flattering

He is familiar themselves safe with such a comwith the prince only as an agent panion when they fee Henry for of vice, but of this familiarity duced by Faltaf he is so proud as not only to be

EPI.

« PreviousContinue »