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Fal. Why, that's well said. - P. Henry. Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home.
Fal. By the lord, I'll be a traitor then, when thou art king.
P. Henry. I care not.
Poins. Sir John, I pr’ythee, leave the prince and me alone ; I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure, that he shall go.
Fal. Well, may'st thou have the spirit of persuasion, and he the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may move, and what he hears may be believed ; that the true prince may (for recreation-sake) prove a false thief ; for the poor abuses of the time want countenance. Farewell, you shall find me in East-cheap.
P. Henry. Farewell, thou latter spring! Farewell, all-hallown summer!
[Exit Falstaff. Poins. Now, my good sweet hony lord, ride with us to-morrow. I have a jest to execute, that I cannot manage alone. Falstaff, Bardolph, Peto, and Gadshill, shall rob those men that we have already way-laid; yourself and I will not be there : and when
i In former editions : Falstaff, Harvey, Rossil, and Gadshill, shall rob these men that we have already evay-laid;] Thus we have two persons named, as characters in this play, that never were among the dramatis perfona. But let us see who they were that committed this robbery. In the second act we come to a scene of the highway. Falitaff, wanting his horse, calls out on Hal, Poins, Bardolph, and Peto. Presently Gadshill joins them, with intelligence of travellers being at hand ; upon which the prince says, You four fhail front 'em in a narrow lane, Ned Poins and I will walk lower. So that the four to be concerned are Falstaff, Bardolph, Peto, and Gadfill. Accordingly, the robbery is committed ; and the prince and Poins afterwards rob these four. In the Boar'shead tavern, the prince rallies Peto and Bardolph for their running away ; who confess the charge. Is it not plain that Bardolph and Peto were two of the four robbers? And who then can doubt, but Harvey and Roslil were the names of the actors. THEOBALD.
they have the booty, if you and I do not rob thein, cut this head from off my shoulders.
P. Henry. But how shall we part with them in fete ting forth ?
Poins. Why, we will set forth before or after them, and appoint them a place of meeting, wherein it is at our pleasure to fail ; and then will they adventure upon the exploit themselves : which they shall have no sooner atchieved, but we'll set upon them.
P. Henry. Ay, but, 'tis like, they will know us by our horses, by our habits, and by every other appointment, to be ourselves.
Poins. Tut! our horses they shall not fee; I'll tie them in the wood ; our visors we will change after we leave them ; and, firrah, I have cases of buckram 2 for the nonce, to immask our noted outward garments.
P. Henry. But, I doubt, they will be too hard for us.
Poins. Well, for two of them, I know them to be as true-bred cowards as ever turn'd back, and for the third, if he fights longer than he sees reason, I'll forswear arms. The virtue of this jest will be, the incomprehensible lies that this same fat rogue will tell us when we meet at supper : how thirty, at least, he fought with ; what wards, what blows, what extremities he endured ; and, in the 3 reproof of this, lies the jest.
P. Henry. Well, I'll go with thee; provide us all things necessary, and meet me to-morrow night in East-cheap; there I'll sup. Farewell.
? – for the nonce, ] That is, as I conceive, for the occasion. This phrase, which was very frequently, though not always very precisely, used by our old writers, I suppose to have been originally a corruption of corrupt Latin. From pro-nunc, I suppose, came for the nunc, and so for the nonce; just as from ad-nunc came Q-non. The Spanish entonces has been formed in the same manner from in-tunc. T.T. - reproof -] Reproof is confutation. JOHNSON.
Poins. Farewell, my lord.
[Exit Poins. · P. Henry. I know you all, and will a while uphold The unyok'd humour of your idleness : Yet herein will I imitate the sun; . Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world, That, when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at, By breaking through the foul and ugly mists Of vapours, that did seem to strangle him. If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work ; · But, when they seldom come, they wish’d-for come, And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents. So, when this loose behaviour I throw off, And pay the debt I never promised, By how much better than my word I am, By so much 4 shall I falsify mens' hopes ; And, like bright metal on a sullen ground, My reformation, glittering o'er my fault, Shall shew more goodly, and attract more eyes, Than that which hath no foil to set it off. I'll so offend, to make offence a skill; Redeeming time, when men think least I will. (Exit.
4 - mall I falsify mens' hopes;] Just the contrary. We Mould read fears. WARBURTON.
To falsify hope is to exceed hope, to give much where men hoped for little.
This speech is very artfully introduced to keep the prince from appearing vile in the opinion of the audience ;: it prepares them for his future reformation; and, what is yet more valuable, exhibits a natural picture of a great mind offering excuses to itself, and palliating those follies which it can neither justify nor forsake. JOHNSON.
K. Hen perate, bese indignities accordingly
An apartment in the palace. Enter King Henry, Northumberland, Worcester, Hot
Spur, Sir Walter Blunt, and others. K. Henry. My blood hath been too cold and tem
perate, Unapt to stir at these indignities; And you have found me ; for, accordingly You tread upon my patience : but, be sure, 5 I will from henceforth rather be myself, Mighty, and to be fear'd, than my condition ; Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down, And therefore lost that title of respect, Which the proud soul ne'er pays, but to the proud.
Wor. Our houfe, my sovereign liege, little deserves The scourge of greatness to be used on it;
s I will from henceforth rather be myself,
Mighty, and to be fear’d, than my condition ;] i. e. I will from henceforth rather put on the character that becomes me, and exert the resentment of an injured king, than still continue in the inactivity and mildness of my natural disposition. And this sentiment he has well expresled, save that by his usual licence, he puts the word condition for difpofition; which use of terms dira pleasing our Oxford Editor, as it frequently does, he, in a loss for the meaning, substitutes in for than,
Mighty and to be fear'd in my condition. So that by condition, in this reading, must be meant ftation, office. But it cannot be predicated of station and office, "6 that “it is smooth as oil, foft as young down;" which shews that condition must needs be licentiously used for difpofition, as we said before. WARBURTON.
The commentator has well explained the sense which was not very difficult, but is mistaken in supposing the use of condition licentious. Shakespeare uses it very frequently for temper of mind, and in this sense the vulgar till say a good or ill-con.litioned man, JOHNSON.
Een Jonson uses it in the same sense, in The New Inn, act 1. sc. 6.
“ You cannot think me of that coarse condition
• To envy you any thing." STEEVENS. Vol. V.
And And that same greatness too, which our own hands Have holp to make so portly.
North. My lord,
K. Henry. Worcester, get thee gone, for I do fee Danger and disobedience in thine eye : O Sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory; And majesty might never yet endure 6 The moody frontier of a servant brow. You have good leave to leave us. When we need Your use and counsel, we shall send for you.
[Exit Worcester. You were about to speak. [To Northumberland.
North. Yes, my good lord.
Hot. My liege, I did deny no prisoners :
6 The moody frontier - ] This is nonsense. We should read frontlı, i.e. forehead. WARBURTON.
Frontlet does not signify forehead, but a bandage round the head. Frontier was anciently used for forehead. So Stubbs, in his Anatomy Of Alufes, 1595. “ Then on the edges of their “ bolher d hair, which itandesh cretied round their frontiers, “ and marging over their faces,” &c. STEVENS. ? at barveft-honic.] That is, at a time of feftivity.
JOHNSON. 8 A pouncit-box,- ) A small box for mulk or other per