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was consequently very strong and tenacious. Fluellen is therefore, almost vain of being a Welchman; and is particularly delighted to think that King Henry had been born in Monmouth.
O'tis a gallant king!
Aye, he was born in Monmouth, Captain Gower.
2. As the Welch, when independent, were not always, or rather, were very seldom united under one government, they were engaged in frequent hostility, both with their eastern neighbours, and among them-. selves. Thus very often employed in warfare, they were under the necessity of exercising and cultivating the warlike virtues ; and were therefore valiant, resolute, and intrepid. Fluellen, accordingly, behaves with great courage, at the siege of Barfleur: and by those who know his character, is so esteemed. "I have seen you," says Captain Gower to one on whom Fluellen had bestowed some proper chastisement, "I have "seen you gleeking and galling at this gen"tleman twice or thrice. You thought, be"cause he could not speak English ae the
"native garb, he could not therefore han"dle an English cudgel: you find it other"wise; and henceforth, let a Welch correc"tion teach you a good English condition."
3. The hostility in which the Welch were often engaged with their more powerful neighbours, was that of defence. But the defenders in such circumstances, conceiving themselves injured, are more violently exasperated against their aggressors, and are therefore thrown into a state of keener irritation. If this irritation be frequent, it becomes habitual, and forms a corresponding temper; so that its subject is not only liable to frequent anger, but becomes characteristically irritable. This is still more the case, in a state of intestine or domestic animosity; for then, as among equals, the injuries and resentments are mutual. The Welch also, inferior to the English, and perhaps conscious of it; yet unwilling to be thought so, or to make the acknowledgment, were fearful of allowing any appearance, or of submitting to any treatment, that might argue their inferiority. Inexperienced also, and unacquainted with the world, as it is
called, they knew not exactly what things were to be resented, and what disregarded ; and thus apt to construe unfavourably what might have proceeded from no evil intention, they became somewhat jealous, and inclined to resent, not only real, but imaginary insult. Swift says, that "a cleanly person is one of nasty ideas;" so also some irritable persons are either conscious of being weak, or suspicious of being thought so. Irritability therefore, constituted an ingredient in the Welch national character, as well as in that perhaps of some other Celtic nations; and Captain Fluellen, attached to Wales, and very valiant, is also irascible.
For I do know Fluellen valiant,
And touch'd with choler, hot as gun-powder,
He wears a leek on St. David's day; and makes Pistol, who is represented as a blustering and pompous coward, and who had laughed at him for his leek, after beating him, swallow it.
Pistol. Base Trojan, thou shalt die.
Fluellen. You say very true, sealed knavę, when
God's will is. I will desire you to live in the mean time, and eat your victuals. Come, there is sauce for it. (Beating him again.) You called me yesterday Mountain Squire, but I will make you, to-day, a squire of low degree. I pray you, fall to; (beating him again)—if you can mock a leek, you can eat a leek.
4. Inexperienced, and not acquainted with the dissimulation, which unfortunately is too often the concomitant of an improved state of society, persons such as we now describe, are not inclined to value themselves for other merit than they possess, or to require any higher consideration than they deserve. Truly honourable; assuming no haughty, arrogant, or consequential deportment to disguise insignificance, they transfer their own ingenuousness to other persons; they think that all men are like themselves; and where they see pretensions to merit, they believe them genuine; and where a claim is made on their admiration, they readily acquiesce. Thus their honest candour betrays them into a faulty simplicity; and to a credulity so easily imposed upon, as to render them sometimes ridiculous. Pistol, who conceals his demerits under pompous
and loud pretensions, makes a parade of his valour; and Fluellen, giving him full credit for his assumed importance, believes him, till he learns the contrary, to be really valiant.
Fluellen. There is an antient Lieutenant there: I think in my conscience he is as valiant a man as Mark Antony, &c.
Gower. What is he called?
Fluellen. He is called antient Pistol.
Gower. Why this is an arrant counterfeit rascal: I remember him now: a cut-purse.
Fluellen. I'll assure you now, he uttered as prave words at the pridge as you shall see in a summer's day.
5. But though not boastful or vain-glorious, persons like Fluellen may occasionally take credit, and value themselves for such improvement as they have been desirous, and studious of obtaining. Strongly impressed with the difference between the literate and illiterate, as soon as they are sensible of inferiority, and feel their mind opening with the love of learning and knowledge, they endeavour to remedy their defect, and make proficiency in their pursuit. Delighted with what they acquire, pleased with the