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Fal. How now, how now, mad wag? what, in thy quips and thy quiddities ? what a plague have I to do with a buff-jerkin?
P. Henry. Why, what a pox have I to do with my hostess of the tavern ?
Fal. Well, thou hast called her to a reckoning many a time and oft.
P. Henry. Did I ever call thee to pay thy part?
Fal. No; I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all there.
P. Henry. Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch; and where it would not, I have us’d
Fal. Yea, and so us’d it, that were it not here apparent, that thou art heir apparent-But, I pr’ythee, sweet wag, shall there be a gallows ftanding in England, when thou art king; and resolution thus fobb’d as it is, with the ruity curb of old father antic, the law? Do not thou, when thou art a king, hang a thief.
P. Henry. No: thou shalt.
Fal. Shall I ? O rare! By the Lord, I'll be a brave judge.
a passage which leads me to believe that a robe or fuit of durance was some kind of lasting stuff, such as we call at present, everlajiing. A debtor, cajoling the officer who had just taken him up, says,
“ Where did'st thou buy this buff? Let me not live “ but I will give thee a good suit of durance. Wilt thou take
iny bond,” &c. Again, in The Devil's Charter, 1607, “ Varlet of velvet, ,
my moccado villain, old heart of durance, my ftrip'd canvas “ fhoulders, and my perpetuana pander.” STKEVENS.
- I'll be a brave judge. This thought, like many others, is taken from the old play of Henry V.
Hen. 5. “ Ned, as foon as I am king, the first thing I will do “ fhall be to put my lord chief justice out of office ; and thou " fhalt be my lord chief justice of England.”
Ned. “ Shall I be lord chief juilice? by gogs wounds, I'll be " the bravest lord chief justice that ever was in England.”
P. Henry. Thou judgest false already : I mean, thou shalt have the hanging of the thieves, and so become a rare hangman.
Fal. Well, Hal, well; and in some sort it jumps with my
humour, as well as waiting in the court, I
you. P. Henry. 2 For obtaining of suits ?
Fal. Yea, for obtaining of suits ; whereof the hangman hath no lean wardrobe. 'Sblood, I am as melancholy as 3 a gib-cat, or a lugg'd bear.
P. Henry. Or an old lion, or a lover's lute.
P. Henry. What say'st thou to 4 a hare, or 5 the melancholy of Moor-ditch?
2 For obtaining of fuits ?-) Suit, spoken of one that attends at court, means a petition ; used with respect to the hangman, means the cloaths of the offender. JOHNSON.
- a gib-cat —] A gib-cat means, i know not why, an old cat. JOENSON.
A gib-cat is the common term in Northamptonshire, and all adjacent counties, to express a he-cat. In some part of England he is called a ram-cat. In Shropshire, where a tup is the term for a ram, the male cat is called a tup-cat. Percy.
As melancholy as a gib'd cat is a proverb enumerated among others in Ray's Collection. STEEVENS.
4- a hare,-) A hare may be considered as melancholy, because she is upon her form always solitary; and, according to the phyfic of the times, the flesh of it was supposed to generate melancholy. JOHNSON.
s — the melancholy of Moor-ditch?] This I do not understand, unless it may allude to the croaking of frogs. JOHNSON.
I rather believe this to have been said in allusion to its fituation in respect of Moor-gate, the prison, and Bedlam the hospital. It appears likewise from Stowe's Survey, that a broad ditch called Deep-ditch formerly parted the hospital from Moorfields ; and what has a more melancholy appearance than ftagnant water?
In the old play of Nobody and Somebody, 1598, the clown says, “ I'll bring the Thames through the middle of the city,
empty Moor-ditch at my own charge, and build up Paul's steeple without a collection.”
Fal. Thou hast the most unfavoury fimilies; and art, indeed, 6 the most comparative, rascalliest, sweet young prince-But, Hal, I pr’ythee, trouble me no more with vanity. I would to God, thou and I knew where a commodity of good names were to be bought: an old lord of the council rated me the other day in the street about you, Sir; but I mark'd him not, and yet he talk'd very wisely; but I regarded him not, and yet he talk'd wisely ; and in the street too.
P. Henry. Thou did’st well; for wisdom cries out in the streets, and no man regards it.
Fal. 70, thou hast damnable iteration ; and art, indeed, able to corrupt a faint. Thou hast done much harm unto me, Hal; God forgive thee for it! Before I knew thee, Hal, I knew nothing; and now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give it over; by the lord, an I do not, I am a villain. I'll be damn’d for never a king's fon in Christendom.
P. Henry. Where shall we take a purse to-morrow, Jack?
So again, in A Woman never vex'd, com. by Rowley, 1632. “ I fall see thee in Ludgate again shortly.”
" Thou lyest “ again, 'twill be at Moor-gate, beldame, where I shall see thee “ in the ditch, dancing in a cucking-stool.” STEEVENS.
the most comparative —] Sir T. Hanmer, and Dr. Warburton after him, read, incomparative, I suppose for incomparable, or peerlejs ; but comparative here means quick at comparisons, or fruitful in fimilies, and is properly introduced.
JOHNSON. This epithet is used again, in act 3. sc. 2. of this play, and apparently in the same sense :
stand the push “ Of every beardless vain comparative." STEEVENS. 10, thou haft, &c.] For iteration Sir T. Hanmer and Dr. Warburton read attraction, of which the meaning is certainly more apparent ; but an editor is not always to change what he does not understand. In the last speech a text is very indecently, and abusively applied, to which Falstaff answers, thou hast damnable iteration, or, a wicked trick of repeating and applying holy texts. This I think is the meaning. JOHNSON,
Fal. Where thou wilt, lad; I'll make one: an I do not, call me villain, and baffle me.
P. Henry. I see a good amendment of life in thee ; from praying, to purse-taking.
Fal. S Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal; 'tis no sin for a man to labour in his vocation. Poins ! Now shall we know, if Gadshill have set a match. O, if men were to be fav’d by merit, what hole in hell were hot enough for him?
Enter Poins. This is the most omnipotent villain, that ever cry’d, Stand, to a true man.
8 In former editions : Fal. Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal ; 'tis no fin for a man to labour in his vocation.
Enter Poins. Poins. Now shall we know, if Gadhill have set a match.] Mr. Pope has given us one signal observation in his preface to our author's works. “ Throughout his plays,” says he,“ had all “ the speeches been printed without the very names of the per“ fons, I believe one might have applied them with certainty
to every speaker.” But how fallible the most sufficient critic may be, the passage in controversy is a main instance. As fignala blunder has escaped all the editors here, as any through the whole set of plays. Will any one persuade me, Shakespeare could be guilty of fuch an inconsistency, as to make Poins at his firit entrance want news of Gadshill, and immediately after to be able to give a full account of him ? —No; Falstaff, seeing Poins at hand, turns the stream of his discourse from the prince, and fuys, " Now shall we know, whether Gadhill has set a “ match for us;" and then immediately falls into railing and invectives against Poins. How admirably is this in character for Falstaff! And Poins, who knew well his abusive manner, feems in part to overhear him: and foon as he has returned the prince's falutation, cries, by way of answer, “ What says “ Monheur Remorse? What says Sir Jack Sack-and-Sugar?"
THEOBALD. Mr. Thcobald has fastened on an observation made by Mr. Pope, hyperbolical enough, but not contradicted by the erroneous reading in this place, the speech, like a thousand others, not being so characteristic as to be infallibly applied to the freaker. Theobald's triumph over the other editors might have been abated by a confefsion, that the first edition gave him at least a glimpse of the emendation, JOHNSON,
P. Henry. Good morrow, Ned.
Poins. Good morrow, sweet Hal. What says Monsieur Remorse? What says Sir John Sack-and-Sugar? Jack! how agree the devil and thou about thy foul, that thou foldest him on Good-friday last, for a cup of Madeira, and a cold capon's leg?
P. Henry. Sir John stands to his word, the devil shall have his bargain, for he was never yet a breaker of proverbs, He will give the devil bis due.
Poins. Then thou art damn’d for keeping thy word with the devil.
P. Henry. Else he had been damn'd for cozening the devil.
Poins. But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four o'clock, early at Gadshill: there are pilgrims going to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders riding to London with fat purses. I have vi. fors for you all; you have horses for yourselves : Gadshill lies to-night at Rochester; I have bespoke supper to-morrow night in East-cheap : we may do it, as secure as Neeep: if you
your purses full of crowns; if you will not, tarry at home, and be hang'd.
Fal. Hear ye, Yedward; if I tarry at home, and go not, I'll hang you for going.
Poins. You will, chops ?
P. Henry. Who, I rob? I a thief? not I, by my faith.
Fal. There is neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee, nor thou cam’st not of the blood royal, o if thou dar'ít not cry, stand, for ten shillings.
P. Henry. Well then, once in my days I'll be a madcap.
9 - if thou dar'ft not cry, ftand, &c.] The present reading may perhaps be right; but I think it neceffary to remark, that all the old editions read, if thou darft not fiand for ten shillings.