Imágenes de páginas

receive money on Thursday: thou shalt have a cap to-morrow. A merry song, come: it grows late, we'll to bed. Thou'lt forget me, when I am gone.

Dol. By my troth thou'lt set me a weeping, an thou sayest so: prove that ever I dress myself handsome till thy return. -Well, hearken the end.

Fal. Some sack, Francis.
P. Hen. Poins. Anon, anon, sir. [Advancing.

Fal. Ha! a bastard son of the king's ?-And art not thou Poins his brother ?

P. Hen. Why, thou globe of sinful continents, what a life dost thou lead ?

Fal. A better than thou; I am a gentleman, thou art a drawer.

P. Hen. Very true, sir: and I come to draw you out by the ears.

Host. O, the Lord preserve thy good grace! by my troth, welcome to London.-Now the Lord bless that sweet face of thine! ( Jesu, are you come from Wales ?

Fal. Thou whoreson mad compound of majesty, -by this light flesh and corrupt blood, thou art welcome.

[Leaning his hand upon DOLL Vasquine (says Cotgrave), a kirtle or petticoat.'

· Surcot, an upper kirtle or garment worn over a kirtle.' Also' cotte de femme, a kirtle.' And Chaucer, describing young dancing girls, translates from his original, The Romant de la Rose, 'Qui estoient en pure cottes.'

« In kirtles and none other weed.' Chaucer also uses kirtle for a tunic or sleeveless coat for a man. Florio explains Tonaca, 'a coate or jacket, or a sleeveless coate. Also a woman's petticoat or kirtle, an upper saveguard ;' and ' semicinto, halfe girt, a halfe kirtle,' and 'grembiale, an apron, a safeguard, a halfe-kirtle.' Cotgrave also translates 'un devant de robe, a kirtle or apron. Minsheu renders the Spanish word · Vasquina a woman's petticoat or kirtle.' And finally, Torriano defines grembiale, an apron, a fore-kirtle. All this dictionary learning may appear very ridiculous, but at least it has put an end to doubt, and I trust to disquisition also, upon the subject.

Dol. How!


fat fool, I scorn you. Poins. My lord, he will drive you out of your revenge, and turn all to a merriment, if you take not the heat.

P. Hen. You whoreson candle-mine, you, how vilely did you speak of me even now, before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman?

Host. ’Blessing o’your good heart! and so she is, by my troth.

Fal. Didst thou hear me?
P. Hen. Yes; and

you knew me, as you did when you ran away by Gads-hill: you knew, I was at your back; and spoke it on purpose, to try my patience.

Fal. No, no, no; not so; I did not think thou wast within hearing.

P. Hen. I shall drive you then to confess the wilful abuse; and then I know how to handle

you. Fal. No abuse, Hal, on mine honour; no abuse.

P. Hen. Not! to dispraise me; and call me pantler, and bread-chipper, and I know not what?

Fal. No abuse, Hal.
Poins. No abuse !
Fal. No abuse, Ned, in the world; honest Ned,

I dispraised him before the wicked, that the wicked might not fall in love with him :-in which doing, I have done the part of a careful friend, and a true subject, and thy father is to give me thanks for it. No abuse, Hal ;-none, Ned, none;—no, boys, none.

P. Hen. See now, whether pure fear, and entire cowardice, doth not make thee wrong this virtuous gentlewoman to close with us? Is she of the wicked? Is thine hostess here of the wicked? Or is the boy of the wicked? Or honest Bardolph, whose zeal burns in his nose, of the wicked ?

Poins. Answer, thou dead elm, answer.
Fal. The fiend hath pricked down Bardolph irre-


coverable; and his face is Lucifer's privy-kitchen, where he doth nothing but roast malt-worms. For the boy,—there is a good angel about him; but the devil outbids him too 39.

P. Hen. For the women,

Fal. For one of them,—she is in hell already, and burns, poor soul! For the other,—I owe her money; and whether she be damned for that, I know not.

Host. No, I warrant you.

Fal. No, I think thou art not; I think, thou art quit for that: Marry, there is another indictment upon thee, for suffering flesh to be eaten in thy house, contrary to the law 40; for the which, I think, thou wilt howl.

Host. All victuallers do so: What's a joint of mutton or two in a whole Lent?

P. Hen. You, gentlewoman,
Dol. What says your grace ?

Fal. His grace says that which his flesh rebels against.

Host. Who knocks so loud at door? look to the door there, Francis.

Enter PETO.
P. Hen. Peto, how now? what news?

Peto. The king your father is at Westminster;
And there are twenty weak and wearied posts,
Come from the north: and, as I came along,
I met, and overtook, a dozen captains,
Bare-headed, sweating, knocking at the taverns,
And asking every one for Sir John Falstaff.

39 The quarto reads' and the devil blinds him too.'

40 Baret defines a 'victualling house, a tavern where meate is eaten out of due season. By several statutes made in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James I. for the regulation and observance of fish days, victuallers were expressly forbidden to utter flesh in Lent. The brothels were formerly screened under the pretence of being victualling houses and taverns.

P.Hen. By heaven, Poins, I feel me much to blame, So idly to profane the precious time; When tempest of commotion, like the south Borne with black vapour, doth begin to melt, And drop upon our bare unarmed heads. Give me my sword, and cloak :

-Falstaff, good night. [Exeunt PRINCE HENRY, POINS, PETO,

and BARDOLPH. Fal. Now comes in the sweetest morsel of the night, and we must hence, and leave it unpick’d. [Knocking heard.] More knocking at the door?

Re-enter BARDOLPH. How now? what's the matter?

Bard. You must away to court, sir, presently; a dozen captains stay at door for you.

Fal. Pay the musicians, sirrah. [To the Page.]— Farewell, hostess ;-farewell, Doll.—You see, my good wenches, how men of merit are sought after: the undeserver may sleep, when the man of action is

Farewell, good wenches: If I be not sent away post, I will see you again ere I go.

Dol. I cannot speak;—if my heart be not ready to burst;— Well, sweet Jack, have a care of thyself. Fal. Farewell, farewell.

Ereunt FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH. Host. Well, fare thee well: I have known thee these twenty-nine years, come peascod-time; but an honester, and truer-hearted man, –Well, fare thee well.

Bard. [Within.] Mistress Tear-sheet,-
Host. What's the matter ?

Bard. [Within.] Bid mistress Tear-sheet come to my master. Host. O run, Doll, run; run, good Doll.


called on.


SCENE I. A Room in the Palace.
Enter KING HENRY in his Nightgown, with a Page.

K. Hen. Go, call the earls of Surrey and of War


But, ere they come, bid them o'er-read these letters,
And well consider of them: Make good speed.

[Exit Page.
How many thousand of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep!— sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber;
Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull'd with sounds of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile,
In loathsome beds; and leav'st the kingly couch,
A watch-casel, or a common 'larum bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast

up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge;
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,

1 A watch-case here may mean the case of a watch-light; but the following article, cited by Strutt in his Manners and Customs, vol. iii. p. 70, from an old inventory, may throw some light upon it: Item, a laume (larum) or WATCHE of iron, in an iron CASE, with two leaden plumets.'

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »