Imágenes de páginas

in Eng

toasts; you cannot one bear with another's confirmities. What the good-year! one must bear, and that must be you: [To Doll.] you are the weaker vessel, as they say, the emptier vessel.

Dol. Can a weak empty vessel bear such a huge full hogshead ? there's a whole merchant's venture of Bourdeaux stuff in him: you have not seen a hulk better stuffed in the hold.—Come, I'll be friends with thee, Jack : thou art going to the wars; and whether I shall ever see thee again, or no, there is nobody cares.

Re-enter Drawer. Draw. Sir, ancient 10 Pistol's below, and would speak with you.

Dol. Hang him, swaggering rascal! let him not come hither : it is the foul-mouth’dst

rogue land.

Host. If he swagger, let him not come here; no, by my faith; I must live amongst my neighbours ; I'll no swaggerers: I am in good name and fame with the very best :-Shut the door ;—there comes no swaggerers here: I have not lived all this while to have swaggering now :-shut the door, I pray you.

Fal. Dost thou hear, hostess ?

Host. 'Pray you, pacify yourself, Sir John; there comes no swaggerers

here. Every Man in his Humour, Cob says, “Nay, I have my rheum, and I can be angry as well as another.' To which 'Cash replies, * Thy rheum, Cob! thy humour, thy humour; thou mistak'st.' But Daniel, in the Queen's Arcadia, Act iii. Sc. 1, uses it also for spleen :

in faith, I have found out a trick That will perpetually so feed their rheums.' 10 That is,' he that carrieth the colours' to a company of foot soldiers, an ensign bearer.'-Philips. Falstaff was captain, Peto lieutenant, and Pistol ensign. I have met with the word in old MSS. written ansine.

« But now,

Fal. Dost thou hear? it is mine ancient.

Host. Tilly-fally, Sir John, never tell me; your ancient swaggerer comes not in


doors. I was before master Tisick 11, the deputy, the other day; and, as he said to me,- it was no longer ago than Wednesday last,- Neighbour Quickly, says he ;master Dumb, our minister, was by then ;— Neighbour Quickly, says he, receive those that are civil; for, saith he, you are in an ill name ;--now he said so, I can tell whereupon; for, says he, you are an honest woman, and well thought on; therefore take heed what guests you receive: Receive, says he, swaggering companions. -There comes none here; -you would bless


to hear what he said :no, I'll no swaggerers.

Fal. He's no swaggerer, hostess; a tame cheater1?, he; you may stroke him as gently as a puppy greyhound : he will not swagger with a Barbary hen, if her feathers turn back in any show of resistance.Call him


drawer. Host. Cheater, call you him ? I will bar no honest man my house, nor no cheater 13: But I do not love


11 The names of Master Tisick and Master Dumb are ludicrously intended to denote that the deputy was pursy and shortwinded; the minister one of those who preached only the homilies set forth by authority. The puritans nicknamed them Damb-dogs, and the opprobrious epithet continued in use as late as the reign of King Charles II. See Burnet's Own Times, vol. i.

p. 395.


12 A cheater sometimes meant an unfair gamester. But tame cheater seems to have meant a rogue in general here, as well as in The Fair Maid of the Inn, by Beaumont and Fletcher :

and will be drawn into the net

By this decoy duck, this tame cheater.' It is there applied to the cheating mountebank Forbesco. Florio interprets farbo ' a cheater, a cunnie-catcher, a setter, a cross biter.

13 The humour consists in Mrs. Quickly's mistaking a cheater for an escheator, or officer of the exchequer. Greene, in his

I warrant you.

an aspen

swaggering; by my troth, I am the worse, when one says-swagger: feel, masters, how I shake; look you,

Dol. So you do, hostess.
Host. Do I?


in very truth, do I, an 'twere leaf: I cannot abide swaggerers. Enter Pistol, BARDOLPH, and Page. Pist. 'Save you, Sir John !

Fal. Welcome, ancient Pistol. Here, Pistol, I charge you with a cup of sack: do you discharge upon mine hostess.

Pist. I will discharge upon her, Sir John, with two bullets.

Fal. She is pistol-proof, sir; you shall hardly offend her.

Host. Come, I'll drink no proofs, nor no bullets : I'll drink no more than will do me good, for no man's pleasure, I.

Pist. Then to you, mistress Dorothy; I will charge you.

Dol. Charge me? I scorn you, scurvy companion. What! you poor, base, rascally, cheating, lacklinen mate! Away, you mouldy rogue; away! I am meat for

Pist. I know you, mistress Dorothy.

your master.

Mihil Munchaunce, has the following passage, which gives the origin of the phrase: :-- They call their art by a new found name as cheating, themselves cheators, and the dice cheters: borrowing the term from among our lawyers, with whom all such casuals as fall to the lord, at the holding of his leets, as waifes, straies, and such like, be called chetes, and are accustomably to be escheated to the lord's use.' Lord Coke, in his Charge at Norwich, 1607, puns upon the equivoque:- But if you will be content to let the escheator alone, and not look into his actions, he will be contented by deceiving you to change his name, taking unto himself the two last syllables only, with the es left out, and so turn cheater.

Dol. Away, you cut-purse rascal! you filthy bung 14, away! by this wine, I'll thrust my knife in your mouldy chaps, an you play the saucy cuttle with me. Away, you bottle-ale rascal!


baskethilt stale juggler, you !-Since when, I pray you, sir ?— What, with two points 15 on your shoulder? much 16 !

Pist. I will murder your ruff for this.

Fal. No more, Pistol; I would not have you go off here: discharge yourself of our company, Pistol.

Host. No, good captain Pistol; not here, sweet captain.

Dol. Captain! thou abominable damned cheater, art thou not ashamed to be called-captain? If captains were of my mind, they would truncheon you out, for taking their names upon you before you have earned them. You a captain, you slave! for what? for tearing a poor whore's ruff in a bawdyhouse?-Hea captain! Hang him, rogue! He lives upon mouldy stewed prunes, and dried cakes 17. A

14 To nip a bung, in the cant of thievery, was to cut a purse. * Bung is now used for a pocket, heretofore for a purse.'-Belman of London, 1610. Doll means to call him pick pocket. Cuttle, and cuttle-bung, were also cant terms for the knife used by cutpurses. These terms are therefore used by metonymy for a thief.

15 Laces, marks of his commission. 16 An expression of disdain.

17 There is a personage of the same stamp with Pistol in A Woman's a Weathercock, by Nat. Field, 1612, who is thus described :

'Thou unspeakable rascal, thou a soldier !
That with thy slops and cat-a-mountain face,
Thy blather-chaps, and thy robustious words,
Fright'st the poor whore, and terribly dost exact
A weekly subsidy, twelve pence a piece,
Whereon thou livest; and on my conscience

Thou snap'st besides with cheats and cutpurses.' · Mouldy stewed prunes and dried cakes' are put for the refuse of brothels.

[ocr errors]

captain! these villains will make the word captain as odious as the word occupy

18. which was an excellent good word before it was ill-şorted; therefore captains had need look to it.

Bard. ʼPray thee, go down, good ancient.
Fal. Hark thee hither, mistress Doll.

Pist. Not I: tell thee what, corporal Bardolph; -I could tear her :—I'll be revenged on her.

Page. 'Pray thee, go down.

Pist. Ill see her damned first;—to Pluto's damned lake, to the infernal deep, with Erebus and tortures vile also. Hold hook and line, say I. Down! down, dogs ! down, faitors 19! Have we not Hiren here 20 ?

Host. Good captain Peesel, be quiet; it is very late, i'faith : I beseek you now, aggravate your choler. Pist. These be good humours, indeed! Shall

packhorses, And hollow pamper’d jades of Asia, Which cannot go but thirty miles a day,

18 This word had been perverted to an obscene meaning. An occupant was also a term for a woman of the town, and an occupier meant a wencher. Ben Jonson, in his Discoveries, says :—Many, out of their own obscene apprehensions, refuse proper and fit words, as occupy, nature,' &c.

19 Traitors, rascals.

20 Shakspeare has put into the mouth of Pistol a tissue of absurd and fustian passages from many ridiculous old plays. Part of this speech is parodied from The Battle of Alcazar, 1594. Have we not Hiren here, is probably a line from a play of George Peele's, called The Turkish Mahomet and Hiren the fair Greek. It is often used ludicrously by subsequent dramatists. Hiren, from its resemblance to siren, was used for a seducing woman, and consequently for a courtesan. Pistol, in his rants, twice brings in the same words, but apparently meaning to give his sword the name of Hiren. Mrs. Quickly, with admirable simplicity, supposes him to ask for a woman.

21 This is a parody of the lines addressed by Tamberlane to the captive princes who draw his chariot, in Marlowe's Tambarlaine, 1590.

« AnteriorContinuar »