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The crest of youth against your dignity.

K. Hen. But I have sent for him to answer this;
And, for this cause, awhile we must neglect
Our holy purpose to Jerusalem.

Cousin, on Wednesday next our council we
Will hold at Windsor, so inform the lords:
But come yourself with speed to us again;
For more is to be said, and to be done,

Than out of anger can be uttered.2
West. I will, my liege.



The same.

Another Room in the Palace.

Enter HENRY Prince of Wales, and FALSTAFF.

Fal. Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad?




F. Len. Thou art sc fat-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.3 What a devil hast thou to do with the time of the day? unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, and clocks the tongues of bawds, and dials the signs of leapinghouses, and the blessed sun himself a fair hot wench in flame-colour'd taffata; I see no reason, why thou should'st be so superfluous to demand the time of the day.

Fal. Indeed, you come near me, now, Hal: for we, that take purses, go by the moon and seven stars; and

feet and her fethers. She plumeth when she pulleth fethers of anie foule and casteth them from her." Steevens.

2 Than out of anger can be uttered.] That is, "More is to be said than anger will suffer me to say: more than can issue from a mind disturbed like mine." Johnson.


to demand that truly which thou would'st truly know.] The Prince's objection to the question seems to be, that Falstaff had asked in the night what was the time of the day. Johnson.

This cannot be well received as the objection of the Prince; for presently after, the Prince himself says: "Good morrow, Ned," and Poins replies: "Good morrow, sweet lad." The truth may be, that when Shakspeare makes the Prince wish Poins a good morrow, he had forgot that the scene commenced at night.



not by Phoebus,he, that wandering knight so fair. And, I pray thee, sweet wag, when thou art king,-as, God save thy grace, (majesty, I should say; for grace thou wilt have none,)

P. Hen. What! none?

Fal. No, by my troth; not so much as will serve to be prologue to an egg and butter.

P. Hen. 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 called thieves of the day's beauty;5 let us be-Diana's fores

Phoebus,-he, that wandering knight so fair.] Falstaff starts the idea of Phabus, i. e. the sun; but deviates into an allusion to El Donzel del Febo, the knight of the sun in a Spanish romance translated (under the title of The Mirror of knighthood, &c.) during the age of Shakspeare. This illustrious personage was "most excellently faire," and a great wanderer, as those who travel after him throughout three thick volumes in 4to. will discover. Perhaps the words "that wandering knight so fair,” are part of some forgotten ballad on the subject of this marvellous hero's adventures. In Peele's Old Wives Tale, Com. 1595, Eumenides, the wandering knight, is a character. Steevens.


let not us, that are squires of the night's body, be called thieves of the day's beauty;] This conveys no manner of idea to me. How could they be called thieves of the day's beauty? They robbed by moonshine; they could not steal the fair day-light. Í have ventured to substitute booty: and this I take to be the meaning. Let us not be called thieves, the purloiners of that booty, which, to the proprietors, was the purchase of honest labour and industry by day. Theobald.

It is true, as Mr. Theobald has observed, that they could not steal the fair day-light; but I believe our poet by the expression, thieves of the day's beauty, meant only, let not us who are body squires to the night, i. e. adorn the night, be called a disgrace to the day. To take away the beauty of the day, may probably mean, to disgrace it. A squire of the body signified originally, the attendant on a knight; the person who bore his head-piece, spear, and shield.. It became afterwards the cant term for a pimp; and is so used in the second part of Decker's Honest Whore, 1630. Again, in The Witty Fair One, 1633, for a procuress: comes the squire of her mistress's body."


Falstaff, however, puns on the word knight. See the Curialia of Samuel Pegge, Esq. Part I, p. 100. Steevens.

There is also, I have no doubt, a pun on the word beauty, which in the western counties is pronounced nearly in the same manner as booty. See King Henry VI, P. III :

"So triumph thieves upon their conquer'd booty." Malone.

ters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon :7 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.

P. Hen. 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 snatched on Monday night, and most dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning; got with swearing-lay by ; and spent with crying-bring in:9 now, in as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder; and, by-and-by, in as high a flow as the ridge of the gallows.


Fal. By the Lord, thou say'st true, lad. And is not my hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?1

6 Diana's foresters, &c.]

"Exile and slander are justly me awarded,


My wife and heire lacke lands and lawful right; "And me their lord made dame Diana's knight."

So lamenteth Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, in The Mirror for Magistrates. Henderson.

We learn from Hall, that certain persons who appeared as foresters in a pageant exhibited in the reign of King Henry VIII, were called Diana's knights. Malone.

7 - minions of the moon:] Thus, as Dr. Farmer observes, Gamaliel Ratsey and his company "became servants to the moone, for the sunne was too hot for them." Steevens.


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got by swearing-lay by ;] i. e. swearing at the passengers they robbed, lay by your arms; or rather, lay by was a phrase that then signified stand still, addressed to those who were preparing to rush forward. But the Oxford editor kindly accommodates these old thieves with a new cant phrase, taken from Bagshot-heath or Finchley-common, of lug out. Warburton.

To lay by, is a phrase adopted from navigation, and signifies by slackening sail to become stationary. It occurs again in King Henry VIII:

"Even the billows of the sea

"Hung their heads, and then lay by." Steevens.

9 and spent with crying-bring in:] i. e. more wine.



And is not my hostess of the tavern &c.] We meet with the same kind of humour as is contained in this and the three following speeches, in The Mostellaria of Plautus, Act I, sc. ii:

"Jampridem ecastor frigidâ non lavi magis lubenter,`

"Nec unde me melius, mea Scapha, rear esse defœcatam. "Sca. Eventus rebus omnibus, velut horno messis magna


P. Hen. As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the castle.2 And is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of durance? 3

"Phi. Quid ea messis attinet ad meam lavationem?

"Sca. Nihilo plus, quam lavatio tua ad messim."

In the want of connection to what went before, probably consists the humour of the Prince's question. Steevens.

This kind of humour is often met with in old plays. In The Gallathea of Lyly, Phillida says: "It is a pitie that nature framed you not a woman.

"Gall. There is a tree in Tylos, &c.

"Phill. What a toy it is to tell me of that tree, being nothing to the purpose," &c.

Ben Jonson calls it a game at vapours. Farmer.

2 As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the castle.] Mr. Rowe took notice of a tradition, that this part of Falstaff was written originally under the name of Oldcastle. An ingenious correspondent hints to me, that the passage above quoted from our author, proves what Mr. Rowe tells us was a tradition. Old lad of the castle seems to have a reference to Oldcastle. Besides, if this had not been the fact, why, in the epilogue to The Second Part of King Henry IV, where our author promises to continue his story with sir John in it, should he say, "Where, for any thing I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already he be killed with your hard opinions: for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man." This looks like declining a point that had been made an objection to him. I'll give a farther matter in proof, which seems almost to fix the charge. I have read an old play, called The famous Victories of Henry the Fifth, containing the honourable Battle of Agincourt.-The action of this piece commences about the 14th year of King Henry the Fourth's reign, and ends with Henry the Fifth's marrying Princess Catharine of France. The scene opens with Prince Henry's robberies. Sir John Oldcastle is one of the gang, and called Jockie; and Ned and Gadshill are two other comrades.-From this old imperfect sketch, I have a suspicion, Shakspeare might form his two parts of King Henry IV, and his history of King Henry V, and consequently it is not improbable, that he might continue the mention of sir John Oldcastle, till some descendant of that family moved Queen Elizabeth to command him to change the name. Theobald.

my old lad of the castle.] This alludes to the name Shakspeare first gave to this buffoon character, which was sir John Oldcastle; and when he changed the name he forgot to strike out this expression that alluded to it. The reason of the change was this: one sir John Oldcastle having suffered in the time of Henry the Fifth for the opinions of Wickliffe, it gave offence, and therefore the poet altered it to Falstaff, and endeavours to remove the scandal in the epilogue to The Second Part of King


Fal. How now, how now, mad wag? what, in thy quips,

Henry IV. Fuller takes notice of this matter in his Church History::-"Stage-poets have themselves been very bold with, and others very merry at, the memory of sir John Oldcastle, whom they have fancied a boon companion, a jovial royster, and a coward to boot. The best is, sir John Falstaff hath relieved the memory of sir John Oldcastle, and of late is substituted buffoon in his place." Book IV, p. 168. But to be candid, I believe there was no malice in the matter. Shakspeare wanted a droll name to his character, and never considered whom it belonged to. We have a like instance in The Merry Wives of Windsor, where he calls his French quack, Caius, a name at that time very respectable, as belonging to an eminent and learned physician, one of the founders of Caius College in Cambridge. Warburton.

The propriety of this note the reader will find contested at the beginning of King Henry V. Sir John Oldcastle was not a character ever introduced by Shakspeare, nor did he ever occupy the` place of Falstaff. The play in which Oldcastle's name occurs, was not the work of our poet.

Old lad is likewise a familiar compellation to be found in some of our most ancient dramatick pieces. So, in The Trial of Treasure, 1567: "What, Inclination, old lad, art thou there? In the dedication to Gabriel Harvey's Hunt is up, &c. by T. Nash, 1598, old Dick of the castle is mentioned.

Again, in Pierce's Supererogation, or a New Praise of the Old Asse, 1593: " And here's a lusty ladd of the castell, that wil! binde beares, and ride golden asses to death." Steevens.

Old lad of the castle, is the same with Old lad of Castile, a Castilian. Meres reckons Oliver of the castle amongst his romances: and Gabriel Harvey tells us of " Old lads of the castell with their rapping babble."-roaring boys.-This is therefore no argument for Falstaff's appearing first under the name of Oldcastle. There is, however, a passage in a play called Amends for Ladies, by Field the player, 1618, which may seem to prove it, unless he confounded the different performances:

Did you never see

"The play where the fat knight, hight Oldcastle,

"Did tell you truly what this honour was?" Farmer. Fuller, besides the words cited in the note, has in his Worthies, p. 253, the following passage: "Sir John Oldcastle was first made a thrasonical puff, an emblem of mock valour, a make-sport in all plays, for a coward." Speed, likewise, in his Chronicle, edit. 2, p. 178, says: "The author of The Three Conversions (i. e. Parsons the Jesuit) hath made Oldcastle a ruffian, a robber, and a rebel, and his authority, taken from the stage players, is more befitting the pen of his slanderous report, than the credit of the judicious, being only grounded from the papist and the poet, of like conscience for lies, the one ever feigning, and the other ever falsify. ing the truth," Ritson,

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