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Compare with Cæsars, and with Cannibals 22,
Host. By my troth, captain, these are very bitter words. Bard. Be gone, good ancient : this will grow
to a brawl anon.
Pist. Die men, like dogs; give crowns like pins; Have we not Hiren here?
Host. O’my word, captain, there's none such here. What the good-year! do you think, I would deny her? for God's sake, be quiet.
Pist. Then, feed and be fat, my fair Calipolis 23: Come, give's some sack.
Si fortuna me tormenta, sperato me contenta 24. Fear we broadsides ? no, let the fiend give fire: Give me some sack;—and, sweetheart, lie thou there.
[Laying down his sword. Come we to full points here; and are et ceteras
nothing 25 ? Fal. Pistol, I would be quiet.
22 A blunder for Hannibal.
23 This is again a burlesque upon a line in The Battle of Alcazar, in wbich Muley Mahomet enters to his wife with lion's flesh on his sword :
• Feed then and faint not, my faire Callypolis.' And again in the same play :
• Hold thee, Calipolis ; feed and faint no more.'
• Feed and be fat, that we may meet the foe.' The line is burlesqued in several old plays.
24 Pistol is supposed to read this motto on bis sword; by singular chance Mr. Douce picked up an old rapier with the same motto in French:
Si fortune me tourmente, l'espérance me contente. A representation is given of it in his Illustrations, vol. i. p. 453.
25 That is, Shall we stop here, and have no further entertainment? VOL. V.
Pist. Sweet knight, I kiss thy neifoo! What! we have seen the seven stars.
Dol. Thrust him down stairs; I cannot endure such a fustian rascal.
Pist. Thrust him down stairs ! know we not Galloway nags 27?
Fal. Quoit 28 him down, Bardolph, like a shovegroat shilling: nay, if he do nothing but speak nothing, he shall be nothing here.
Bard. Come, get you down stairs.
[Snatching up his sword. Then death rock me asleep, abridge my doleful days! Why, then, let grievous, ghastly, gaping wounds Untwine the sisters three! Come, Atropos, I say 29!
Host. Here's goodly stuff toward !
[Drawing, and driving PISTOL out. 26 Neif is used by Shakspeare for fist. It is a north country word, to be found in Ray's Collection. Thus in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Bottom says, 'Give me thy neif, Monsieur Mustard-seed.' And Ben Jonson, in his Poetaster, ' Reach me thy neif.'
27 Common hackneys.
28 i. e. pitch him down. The shove-groat shillings were such broad shillings of King Edward VI. as Slender calls Edward shovel-boards, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act i. Sc. 1.
29 Pistol makes use of fragments of old ballads as well as old plays :
• O death, rock me on slepe,
Bring me on quiet rest, is an ancient song, attributed to Anne Boleyn. There is another in the Gorgious Gallery of Gallant Inventions, 1578, which has furnished him with some of his rhodomontade :
• I hate this loathsome life,
Host. Here's a goodly tumult! I'll forswear keeping house, afore I'll be in these tirrits and frights. So; murder, I warrant you. Alas, alas! put up your naked weapons, put up your naked
weapons. [Exeunt Pistol and BARDOLPH. Dol. I pray thee, Jack, be quiet; the rascal is gone. Ah, you whoreson little valiant villain, you.
Host. Are you not hurt i'the groin ? methought, he made a shrewd thrust at your belly.
Bard. Yes, sir. The rascal's drunk : you have hurt him, sir, in the shoulder.
Fal. A rascal! to brave me!
Dol. Ah, you sweet little rogue, you! Alas, poor ape, how thou sweat'st! Come, let me wipe thy face;
-come on, you whoreson chops :-—Ah, rogue ! i'faith, I love thee. Thou art as valorous as Hector of Troy, worth five of Agamemnon, and ten times better than the nine worthies. Ah, villain !
Fal. A rascally slave! I will toss the rogue in a blanket.
Dol. Do, if thou darest for thy heart: if thou dost, I'll canvass thee between a pair of sheets.
Enter Musick. Page. The musick is come, sir.
Fal. Let them play ;-Play, sirs ;-Sit on my knee, Doll. A rascal bragging slave! the rogue fied from me like quicksilver.
Dol. I'faith, and thou followedst him like a church. Thou whoreson little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig 30,
30 Doll says this in coaxing playful ridicule of Falstaff's enormous balk. Roasted pigs were formerly among the chief attractions of Bartholomew fair; they were sold, piping hot, in booths and op stalls, and were ostentatiously displayed to excite the appetite of passengers. It was a common subject of allusion,
when wilt thou leave fighting o’days, and foining o’nights, and begin to patch up thine old body for heaven?
Enter behind PRINCE HENRY and Poins, dis
guised like Drawers. Fal. Peace, good Doll! do not speak like a death's head: do not bid me remember mine end.
Dol. Sirrah, what humour is the prince of ?
Fal. A good shallow young fellow: he would have made a good pantler, he would have chipped bread well.
Dol. They say, Poins has a good wit.
Fal. He a good wit?' hang him, baboon ! his wit is as thick as Tewksbury mustard; there is no more conceit in him, than is in a mallet.
Dol. Why does the prince love him so then?
Fal. Because their legs are both of a bigness: and he plays at quoits well; and eats, conger and fennel 31; and drinks off candles' ends for flap-dragons 32 : and rides the wild mare with the boys 33; and jumps upon joint-stools; and swears with a good grace; and wears his boot very smooth, like unto the sign of the leg: and breeds no bate with telling of discreet stories 34 ; and such other gambol faculties he hath, that show a weak mind and an
31 Fennel was generally esteemed an inflammatory herb, and therefore to eat conger and fennel was to eat two high and hot things together. Fennel was also regarded as an emblem of fiattery.
32 The flap-dragon was some small combustible material swallowed alight in a glass of liquor : a candle's end formed a very formidable and disagreeable flap-dragon, and to swallow it was consequently among the gallants considered an act of merit, or of gallantry, when done in honour of the toper's mistress.
33 Riding the wild mare is another name for the childish sport of see-saw, or what the French call bascule and balançoire.
34 Mr. Douce thinks Falstaff's meaning to be that Poins excites no censure by telling his companions modest stories, or, in plain English, that he tells them nothing but immodest ones.
able body, for the which the prince admits him : for the prince himself is such another; the weight of a hair will turn the scales between their avoirdupois.
P. Aen. Would not this nave of a wheel 35 have his ears cut off ?
Poins. Let's beat him before his whore.
P. Hen. Look, if the withered elder hath not his poll clawed like a parrot.
Poins. Is it not strange, that desire should so many years outlive performance ?
Fal. Kiss me, Doll.
P. Hen. Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction 36! what says the almanack to that?
Poins. And, look, whether the fiery Trigon 37, man, be not lisping to his master's old tables, his note-book, his counsel-keeper.
Fal. Thou dost give me flattering busses.
Dol. Nay, truly: I kiss thee with a most constant heart.
Fal. I am old, I am old.
Dol. I love thee better than I love e'er a scurvy young boy of them all.
Fal. What stuff wilt have a kirtle 38 of? I shall
35 Falstaff is humorously called nave of a wheel, from his rotundity of figure. The equivoque between nave and knave is obvious.
36 This was indeed a prodigy. The astrologers, says Ficinus, remark that Saturn and Venus are never conjoined.
37 Trigon or triangle, a term in the old judicial astrology. They called it a fiery trigon when the three upper planets met in a fiery sign; which was thought to denote rage and contention.
38 Few words, as Mr. Gifford observes, have occasioned such controversy among the commentators as kirtle. These familiar terms frequently are the most baffling to the antiquary, for being in general use they were clearly understood by our ancestors, and are not therefore accurately defined in the dictionaries. A kirtle, from the Saxon cýntel, to gird, was undoubtedly a petticoat, which sometimes had a body without sleeves attached to it.