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vice, that grey iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years? Wherein is he good, but to taste fack and drink it? wherein neat and cleanly, but to carve a capon and eat it ? wherein 9 cunning, but in craft? wherein crafty but in villainy? wherein villainous, but in all things ? wherein worthy, but in nothing?
Fal. I would your grace would take me with you. Whom means your grace ?
P. Henry. That villainous abominable mis-leader of youth, Falstaff, that old white-bearded Satan.
Fal. My lord, the man I know.
Fal. But to say, I know more harm in him than in myself, were to say more than I know. That he is old (the more the pity) his white hairs do witness it: but that he is (saving your reverence) a whoremaster, that I utterly deny. ? If sack and sugar be a fault, God help the wicked! If to be old and merry be a sin, then many an old host that I know is damn’d. If to be fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kine are to be lov’d. No, my good lord;
9- cunning, -] Cunning was not yet debased to a bad meaning: it signified knowing, or skilful. JOHNSON.
'- take me with you.] That is, go no falter than I can follow you. Let me know your meaning. Johnson.
? If sack and sugar be a fault, &c.] Sack and sugar was a favourite liquor in Shakespeare's time. In a letter describing queen Elizabeth's entertainment at Killingworth-castle, 1575, by R. L. (Langham) bl. l. 12mo, the writer says (p. 86.) " fipt I no more fak and suger than I do Malmzey, I should “ not blush so much a dayz az I doo.” And in another place, describing a minstrell, who, being somewhat irascible, had been offended by the company, he adds, “ at last, by sum en“ treaty, and many fair woords, with fak and suger, we sweeten “ him again.” p. 52. Percy.
This liquor is likewise mentioned in The Wild Goose Chase of B. and Fletcher :
“ You shall find us in the tavern,
banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins; but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more va. liant, being as he is, old Jack Falstaff, banish not him thy Harry's company; banish plump Jack, and banish all the world. P. Henry. I do, I will.
[Knocking; and Hostess and Bardolph go out.
Re-enter Bardolph running. Bar. O, my lord, my lord, the sheriff with a most monstrous watch is at the door.
Fal. Out; you rogue! - Play out the play: I have much to say in behalf of that Falstaff.
Re-enter the Hostess.
Fal. Heigh, heigh! the devil rides upon a fiddlestick: what's the matter?
Hoft. The sheriff and all the watch are at the door: they are come to search the house. Shall I let them
Fal. Dost thou hear, Hal? never call a true piece of gold a counterfeit; thou art essentially mad, without seeming so.
P. Henry. And thou a natural coward, without instinct.
Fal. I deny your major. If you will deny the sheriff, so; if not, let him enter. If I become not a cart as well as another man, a plague on my bringing up! I hope I Mall as soon be strangled with a halter as another. P. Henry. Go, 3 hide thee behind the arras ; the rest
3 hide thee behind the arras ;- ] The bulk of Falstaff made him not the fittest to be concealed behind the hangings, but every poet sacrifices something to the scenery; if Falttaf
walk up above. Now, my masters, for'a true face, and a good conscience.
Fal. Both which I have had ; but their date is out, and therefore I'll hide me.
[Exeunt Falstaff, Bardolph, Gads-hill, and Peto;
maneni Prince and Poins. P. Henry. Call in the sheriff
Enter Sheriff and Carrier. · Now, master sheriff, what is your will with me?
Sher. First, pardon me, my lord.—A hue and cry Hath follow'd certain men unto this house.
P. Henry. What men ?
Sher. One of them is well known, my gracious lord, A gross fat man.
Car. As far as butter.
P. Henry. 4 The man, I do assure you, is not here, For I myself at this time have employ'd him. And, sheriff, I engage my word to thee, That I will, by to-morrow dinner time, Send him to answer thee, or any man, For any thing he shall be charg'd withal : And so let me intreat you leave the house.
Sher. I will, my lord. There are two gentlemen Have in this robbery lost three hundred marks.
P. Henry. It may be fo: if he have robb’d these men, He shall be answerable; and fo, farewell.
had not been hidden he could not have been found alleep, nor had his pockets searched. JOHNSON.
In old houses there were always large spaces left between the arras and the walls, sufficient to contain even one of Falfaff's bulk. Such are those which Fantome mentions in The Drummer. STEVENS.
4 The man, I do assure you, is not here,] Every reader must regret that Shakespeare would not give himself the trouble to furnish prince Henry with some more pardonable excuse for the absence of Falstaff, than by obliging him to have recourse to an absolute fallhood, and that too uttered under the fanction of so strong an assurance. STEEVENS. T4
Sher. Good night, my noble lord.
[Exit. P. Henry. This oily rascal is known as well as Paul's; 5 Go, call him forth.
Poins. Falstaff!- fast asleep behind the arras, and scorting like a horse.
P. Henry. Hark, how hard he fetches breath. Search his pockets.
[He searches his pockets, and finds certain papers. What halt thou found?
Poins. Nothing but papers, my lord.
Poins. Item, a capon, 25. 2d.
P. Henry. O monstrous ! but one halfpenny-worth of bread to this intolerable deal of fack? What there is else, keep close; we'll read it at more advantage: there let him feep till day. I'll to the court in the
s Go, call him forth.] The scenery here is somewhat perplexed. When the sheriff came, the whole gang retired, and Falstaff was hidden. As soon as the sheriff is sent away, the prince orders Falttaff to be called: by whom? by Peto. But why had not Peto gone up stairs with the reft? and if he had, why did not the rest come down with him ? The conversation that follows between the prince and Peto, seems to be apart from the others.
I cannot but suspect that for Peto we should read Poins : what had Peto done, that his place thould be honourable, or that he should be trusted with the plot against Falstaff? Poins has the prince's confidence, and is a man of courage.
This alteration clears the whole difficulty: they all retired but Poins, who, with the prince, having only robbed the robbers, had no need to conceal himself from the travellers. We may therefore boldly change the scenical direction thus, Exeunt, Falstaff, Bardolph, Gads-hill, and Peto; manent the Prince and Poins. JOHNSON.
morning: we must all to the wars, and thy place shall be honourable. I'll procure this fat rogue a charge of foot; and 6 I know his death will be a march of twelvescore. The money shall be paid back again, with advantage. Be with me betimes in the morning; and so good morrow, Poins.
Poins. Good morrow, good my lord. [Exeunt.
ACT III. SCENE I.
The archdeacon of Bangor's house in Wales.
Enter Hotspur, Worcester, lord Mortimer, and Owen
MORTIMER. THESE promises are fair, the parties sure, 1 And our 7 induction full of prosperous hope.
Hot. Lord Mortimer, and cousin Glendower;
Glend. No, here it is.
o I know his death will be a march of twelvescore. i. e. It will kill him to march so far as twelvescore yards.
JOHNSON. Ben Jonson uses the same expression in his Sejanus : “ That look'd for salutations twelvescore off.”
Sreevens. ?- induction ] That is, entrance; beginning