Page images
PDF
EPUB

Enter prince Henry and Poins. Fal. Peace, good Doll, do not speak 7 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 chipp'd bread well.

Dol. They say, Poins has a good wit.

Fal. He a good wit ? hang hiin, baboon!—his wit is as thick as 8 Tewksbury mustard, there is no more conceit in him, than is in a mallet.

Dol. Why doth the prince love him so then?

Fal. Because their legs are both of a bigness; and he plays at quoits well, and 9 eats conger and fennel ;

and

[ocr errors]

7 - like a death's bead;] It appears from the following pas. fage in Marston's Dutch Courtezan, 1605, that it was the custom for the bawds of that age to wear a death's head in a ring, very probably with the comnon motto, memento mori. Cocledemoy, speaking of some of these, says, —" as for their death, how

can it be bad, since their wickedness is always before their

eyes, and a death's head most commonly on their middle “ finger.” Again, in Mallinger's Old Law," fell fome of

my cloaths to buy thee a death's head and put upon thy mid“ dle finger : your least considering bawds do so much.”

STEEVENS. 8 Tewksbury muftard, &c.] Tewksbury is a market-town in the county of Gloucester, formerly noted for muttard-balls made there, and sent into other parts. Dr. Gray.

- eats conger and fennel; and drinks off candles' ends, &c.] These qualifications I do not understand. Johnson.

Conger with fennel was formerly regarded as a provocative. It is mentioned by B. Jonson in his Bartholomew-Fair," like a long lac'd conger with green fennel in the joll of it.”

The qualification that follows ; viz. that of swallowing candles ends by way of flap-dragons, seems to indicate no more than that the prince loved him, because he was always ready to do any thing for his amusement, however absurd or unnatural. Nash, in Pierce Pennyless his Supplication to the Devil, advises hard drinkers,—" to have some fooing horne to pull on so their wine, as a rather on the coals, or a red herring; or to " ftir it about with a candle's end to make it taite better,” &c.

9

and drinks off candles' ends for flap-dragons; and rides the wild mare with the boys; 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 : and such other gambol faculties he hath, that shew a weak mind and an able body, for the which the prince admits him: for the prince himself is such another, the weight of an hair will turn the scales between their averdupois.

P. Henry. Would not this nave of a wheel have his ears cut off ?

Poins. Let us beat him before his whore.

P. Henry. Look, if the wither'd elder hath not his poll claw'd like a parrot.

Poins. Is it not strange, that desire should so many years out-live performance ? Fal. Kiss

me,

Doll.

In Rowley's Match at Midnight, 1633, a captain fays, that his “ corporal was lately choak'd at Delf by swallowing a flap dragon."

So in Shirley's Confiant Maid, 1640,-" or he might spit fap-dragons from his fire of fack, to light us."

Again, in TEKNOTAMIA; or, The Marriages of the Arts, 1618, --" like a flap-dragon, or a piece of bread sop'd in aqua vitæ, " and fet a fire."

Again, in Marston's Dutch Courtezan, 1605, — “ have I not 's been drunk to your health, swallow'd flap-dragons, eat

glasses, drank urine, stab'd arms, and done all the offices of “ protested gallantry for your fake ?"

So in the Christian turn'd Turk, 1612, —"as familiarly as

pikes do gudgeons, and with as much facility as Dutchmen “ swallow flap-dragons." STEEVENS.

A fiap-dragon is some small combustible body, fired at one end, and put afloat in a glass of liquor. It is an act of topers' dexterity to toss off the glass in such a manner as to prevent the Aup-dragon from doing mischief. Johnson.

discreet stories :-) We should read indiscreet. WARB.

nave of a wheel - ] Nave and knave are easily reconciled, but why nave of a wheel? I suppose from his roundness. He was called round man in contempt before. JOHNSON,

P. Henry. P. Henry. - Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction ! what says the almanack to that? 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.

Poins. And, look, whether the fiery Trigon, his man, be not 3 lisping to his master's old tables; his note-book, his counsel-keeper ?

Fal. Thou dost give me Aattering busfes.

Dol. By my troth, 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 thou have a kirtle of? I shall receive money on Thursday. Thou shalt have a cap to-morrow. A merry song, come :-it grows late, we will to bed. Thou wilt forget me when I am gone.

Dol. By my troth, thou wilt set me a weeping if thou say'st fo. Prove, that ever I dress myself handsome till thy return. Well, hearken the end.

Fal. Some sack, Francis.
P. Henry. Poins. Anon, anon, Sir.

Fal. 4 Ha! a bastard son of the king's ! and art not thou Poins his brother?

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

2 Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction ! ] This was indeed a prodigy. The astrologers, says Ficinus, remark, that Saturn and Venus are never conjoined. JOHNSON.

3-lifping to his master's old tables, &c.] We should read, clasping too his master's old tables, &c. i. e. embracing his master's calt-off whore, and now his bawd [his note-book, his counselkeeper). We have the same phrase again in Cymbeline,

You clasp young Cupid's tables.' WARBURTON. This emendation is very specious. I think it right. JOHNS.

I believe the old reading to be the true one. Bardolph was very probably drunk, and might lijp a little in his courtship.

STEEVENS. 4 Ha! a bastard, &c.] The improbability of this scene is scarcely balanced by the humour. JOHNSON.

Fal.

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

P. Henry. Very true, Sir; and I come to draw you out by the ears.

Hojt. Oh, the Lord preserve thy good grace! Welcome to London.-Now heaven bless that sweet face of thine! What, are you come from Wales ?

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

[Leaning bis band upon Dol. Dol. How! you 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. Henry. You whorson 5 candle-mine, you; how vilely did you speak of me even now, before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman ?

Hoft. Blelling on your good heart, and so she is,

by my troth.

Fal. Didst thou hear me ?

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

Fal. No abuse, Hal, on my honour; no abuse.

P. Henry. No! to dispraise me, and call me pantler, and bread chipper, and I know not what!

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

I disprais'd him before the wicked, that the

none.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

P. Henry. 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 prick'd down Bardolph irrecoverable; 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 out-bids him too.

P. Henry. For the women

Fal. For one of them, she is in hell already, 6 and burns, poor soul! For the other, I owe her money ; and whether she be damn'd for that, I know not.

Hoft. 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; for the which, I think, thou wilt howl.

Hoft. All victuallers do so. What is a joint of mutton or two in a whole Lent?

P. Henry. You, gentlewoman-
Dol. What says your grace

? Fal. His grace says that which his Aesh rebels against.

and burns, poor foul!] This is Sir T. Hanmer's reading. Undoubtedly' right. The other editions had, she is in bell already, and burns poor fuuls. The venereal disease was called in these times brennynge or burning. Johnson.

« PreviousContinue »