SHAKSPEARE is supposed to have written this play in 1598. Its action comprehends a period of nine years, com mencing with Hotspur's death, 1403, and terminating with the coronation of Henry V. 1412-13. Many of th tragic scenes in this second portion of the history are forcible and pathetic; but the comedy is of a much looser and more indecent character, than any in the preceding part. Shallow is an odd though pleasing por trait of a brainless magistrate; and a character, it is to be feared, not peculiar to Glostershire only. In thu exhibiting his worship to the ridicule of an audience, Shakspeare amply revenged himself on his old War. wickshire prosecutor. On the character of Falstaff, as exhibited in the two plays, Dr. Johnson makes the following admirable remarks: "Falstaff! unimitated, unimitable Falstaff, how shall I describe thee; thou compound of sense and vice; of sense which may be admired, but not esteemed; of vice which may be despised, but hardly detested. Falstaff is a character loaded with faults, and with those faults which naturally produce contempt. He is a thief and a glutton, a coward and a boaster; always ready to cheat the weak, and prey upon the poor; to terrify the timorous, and insult the defenceless. At once obsequious and malignant, he satirizes in their absence those whom he lives by flattering. He is familiar with the prince, only as an agent of vice; but of this familiarity he is so proud, as not only to be supercilious and haughty with common men, but to think his interest of importance to the Duke of Lancaster. Yet the man thus corrupt, thus despicable, makes himself necessary to the prince that despises him, by the most pleasing of all qualities, perpetual gaity; by an unfailing power of exciting laughter, which is the more freely indulged, as his wit is not of the splendid or ambitious kind, but consists in easy scapes and sallies of levity, which make sport, but raise no envy. It must be observed, that he is stained with no enormous or sanguinary crimes, so that his licentiousness is not so offensive but that it may be borne for his mirth."

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Warkworth.-Before Northumberland's


I, from the orient to the drooping west, Making the wind my post horse, still unfold The acts commenced on this ball of earth : Upon my tongues continual slanders ride; The which in every language I pronounce, Stuffing the ears of men with false reports. I speak of peace, while covert enmity, Under the smile of safety wounds the world: The vent of hearing, when loud Rumour speaks ? | And who but Rumour, who but only 1,

Enter RUMOUR, painted full of Tongues. Rum. Open your ears; For which of you will stop

Make fearful musters and prepar'd defence ; Whilst the big year, swoll'n with some other


Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war,
And no such matter? Rumour is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures;
And of so easy and so plain a stop,
That the blunt mouster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wavering multitude,
Can play upon it. But what need I thus

My well known body to anatomize

Among my household? Why is Rumour here ? I run before king Harry's victory;

Who, in a bloody field by Shrewsbury,

North. Here comes my servant, Travers

whom I sent

On Tuesday last to listen after news.

Bard. My lord, I over-rode him on the way; And he is furnish'd with no certainties, More than he haply may retain from me. Enter TRAVERS.

North. Now, Travers, what good tidings come with you?

Tra. My lord, Sir John Umfrevile turn'd me


With joyful tidings; and, being better hors'd,
Out-rode me. After him, came spurring hard,

Hath beaten down young Hotspur, and his A gentleman almost forspent with speed,


Quenching the flame of bold rebellion

Even with the rebel's blood. But what mean I
To speak so true at first? my office is
To noise abroad,-that Harry Monmouth fell
Under the wrath of noble Hotspur's sword;
And that the king before the Douglas' rage
Stoop'd his anointed head as low as death.
This have I rumour'd through the peasant


Between that royal field of Shrewsbury
And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone,
Where Hotspur's father, old Northumberland,
Lies crafty-sick: the posts come tiring on,
And not a man of them brings other news
Than they have learn'd of me; From Rumour's

They bring smooth comforts false, worse than
true wrongs.


SCENE 1.-The same -The PORTER before
the Gate; Enter Lord BARDOLPH.
Bard. Who keeps the gate here, ho?—
Where is the earl ?

Port. What shall I say you are?
Bard. Tell thou the earl,

That the lord Bardolph doth attend him here. Port. His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard;

Please it your honour, knock but at the gate,
And he himself will answer.


Bard. Here comes the earl.

That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied

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Said he, young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
Of Hotspur, coldspur? that rebellion
Had met ill-luck!

Bard. My lord, I'll tell you what ;—
If my young lord your son have not the day,
Upon mine honour, for a silken point
I'll give my barony: never talk of it.

North. Why should the gentleman, that rode by Travers,

Give then such instances of loss?
Bard. Who, he?

The horse he rode on; and, upon my life,
He was some hilding fellow, that had stol'n
Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes




North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a title


Fortells the nature of a tragic volume:

So looks the strond, wheron the imperious flood Hath left a witness'd usurpation. +-

Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?

Mor. I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord; Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask,

North. What news, lord Bardolph ? every To fright our party.

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I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.
North. Good, an heaven will!
Bard. As good as heart can wish :-
The king is almost wounded to the death;
And, in the fortune of my lord your son,
Prince Harry slain outright; and both the

Kill'd by the band of Douglas: young prince

And Westmoreland, and Stafford, fled the field;
And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk Sir John,
Is prisoner to your son: O such a day,
So fought, so follow'd, and so fairly won,
Came not, till now, to dignify the times,
Since Cæsar's fortunes!

North. How is this deriv'd?

Saw you the field? came you from Shrewsbury? Bard. I spake with one, my lord, that came from thence;

A gentleman well bred, and of good naine,
That freely render'd me these news for true.

Northumberland castle.

↑ Important or dreadful event.

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And I will take it as a sweet disgrace,

And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.

The ragged'st hour that time and spite dare bring,

Mor. You are too great to be by me gain-To said:

Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.
North. Yet, for all this, say not that Percy's

I see a strange confession in thine eye:
Thou shak'st thy head, and hold'st it fear or sin,
To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so:
The tongue offends not, that reports his death:
And he doth sin, that doth belie the dead;
Not he, which says the dead is not alive.
Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
Hath but a losing office; and his tongue
Sounds ever after as a sullen bell,
Remember'd knolling a departing friend.
Bard. I cannot think, my lord, your son is


Mor. I am sorry I should force you to believe

'That, which I would to heaven I had not seen: But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state, Rend'ring faint quittance, wearied and out


To Harry Monmouth: whose swift wrath beat down

The never-daunted Percy to the earth,

From whence with life he never more sprung


In few, his death (whose spirit lent a fire
Even to the dullest peasant in his camp,)
Being bruited once, took fire and heat away
From the best temper'd courage in his troops:
For from his metal was his party steel'd;
Which once in him abated, all the rest
Turn'd on themselves, like dull and heavy lead.
And as the thing that's heavy in itself,
Upon enforcement, flies with greatest speed;
So did our men, heavy in Hotspur's loss,
Lend to this weight such lightness with their

That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim,
Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety,
Fly from the field: Then was that noble Wor-

Too soon ta'en prisoner: and that furious Scot,
The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring

Had three times slain the appearance of the

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In poison there is physic; and these news,
Having been well, that would have made me

Being sick, have in some measure made me well:
And as the wretch whose fever-weaken'd joints,
Like strengthless hinges, buckle under life,
Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire

Out of his keeper's arms; even so my limbs,
Weaken'd with grief, being now enrag'd with

Are thrice themselves: hence therefore, thou
nice || crutch;

A scaly gauntlet now, with joints of steel,
Must glove this hand: aud hence, thou sickly

Thou art a guard too wanton for the head,
Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to


Now bind my brows with iron; and approach

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frown upon the enrag'd Northumberland! Let heaven kiss earth! Now let not nature's hand

Keep the wild flood confin'd! let order die !
And let this world no longer be a stage,
To feed contention in a lingering act;
But let one spirit of the first-born Cain
Reign in all bosoms, that each heart being set
On bloody courses, the rude scene may eud,
And darkness be the burier of the dead!

Tra. This strained passion doth you wrong,
my lord.

Bard. Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from

your honour.

Mor. The lives of all your loving complices Lean on your health; the which, if you give


To stormy passion, must perforce decay.
You cast the event of war, my noble lord,
And summ'd the account of chance, before you
Let us make head.
That in the dole

It was your presurmise,

of blows your son might

You knew he walk'd o'er perils, on an edge,
More likely to fall in, than to get o'er:
You were advis'd, his flesh was capable
Of wounds, and scars; and that his forward

Would lift him where most trade of danger

Yet did you say,-Go forth; and none of this,
Though strongly apprehended, could restrain
The stiff-borne action: What hath then be-


Or what hath this hold enterprize brought forth,
More than that being which was like to be?
Bard. We all, that are engaged to this loss,
we ventur'd on such dangerous
Knew that
That, if we wrought out life, 'twas ten to one:
And yet we ventur'd, for the gain propos'd
Chok'd the respect of likely peril fear'd ;
And, since we are o'erset, venture again.
Come, we will all put forth; body and goods.
Mor. 'Tis more than time: And, my most

noble lord,

I hear for certain, and do speak the truth,--
The gentle archbishop of York is up,
With well-appointed powers; he is a man,
Who with a double surety binds his followers.
My lord your son had only but the corps,
But shadows, and the shows of men, to fight:
For that same word, rebellion, did divide
The action of their bodies from their souls;
And they did fight with queasiness, constrain'd,
As men drink potions; that their weapons only
Seem'd on our side, but for their spirits and


This word, rebellion, it had froze them up,
As fish are in a pond: But now the bishop
Turns insurrection to religion:
Suppos'd sincere and holy in his thoughts,
He's follow'd both with body and with mind;
And doth enlarge his rising with the blood
of fair king Richard, scrap'd from Pomfiet

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SCENE II.-London.-A Street.

Enter Sir JOHN FALSTAFF, with his PAGE bearing his Sword and Buckler.

Fal. Sirrah, you giant, what says the doctor to my water?

Page. He said, Sir, the water itself was a good healthy water: but, for the party that owed it, he might have more diseases than he knew for.

Fal. Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me: The brain of this foolish-compounded clay, man, is not able to vent any thing that tends to laughter, more than I invent, or is invented on me: I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men. I do here walk before thee, like a sow, that hath overwhelmed all her litter but one. If the prince put thee into my service for any other reason than to set me off, why then I have no judgment. Thou whoreson mandrake, thou art fitter to be worn in my cap, than to wait at my heels. I was never manned with an agate till now but I will set you neither in gold nor silver, but in vile apparel, and send you back again to your master, for a jewel; the juvenal, the prince your master, whose chin is not yet fledged. I will sooner have a beard grow in the palm of my hand, than he shall get one on his cheek and yet he will not stick to say, his face is a face-royal: God may finish it when he will, it is not a hair amiss yet: he may keep it still as a face-royal, for a barber shall never earn sixpence out of it; and yet he will be crowing, as if he had writ man ever since his father was a bachelor. He may keep his own grace, but he is almost out of mine. I can assure him.What said master Dumbleton about the satin for my short cloak and slops?

Page. He said, Sir, you should procure him better assurance than Bardolph: he would not take his bond and your's; he liked not the security.

Atten. He, my lord: but he hath since done good service at Shrewsbury; and as I hear, is now going with some charge to the lord John of Lancaster.

Ch. Just. What, to York? Call him back again.

Attend. Sir John Falstaff!

Fal. Boy, tell him, I am deaf.

Page. You must speak louder, my master is deaf.

Ch. Just. I am sure he is, to the hearing of any thing good.-Go, pluck him by the elbow; I must speak with him.

Attend. Sir John,-

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Atten. You mistake me, Sir.

Fal. Why, Sir, did I say you were an honest man? setting my knighthood and my soldiership aside, I had lied in my throat if I had said so.

Atten. I pray you, Sir, then set your knighthood and your soldiership aside; and give me leave to tell you, you lie in your throat, if you say I am any other than an honest man.

Fal. I give thee leave to tell me so! I lay aside that which grows to me! If thou get'st any leave of me, hang me: if thou takest leave, thou wert better be hauged: You hunt-counter, hence! avaunt!

Atten. Sir, my lord would speak with you. Ch. Just. Sir John Falstaff, a word with you. Ful. My good lord!-God give your lordship good time of day. I am glad to see your lordship abroad: I heard say, your lordship was sick; I hope your lordship goes abroad by advice. Your lordship, though not clean past your youth, Fal. Let him be damned like a glutton! may hath yet some smack of age in you, some relish his tongue be hotter -A whoreson Achitophel! of the saltness of time; and I most humbly bea rascally yea-forsooth knave! to bear a gen-seech your lordship, to have a reverend care of tleman in hand, and then stand upon security ! your health. -The whoreson smooth-pates do now wear Ch. Just. Sir John, I sent for you before your nothing but high shoes, and bunches of keys expedition to Shrewsbury. at their girdles; and if a man is thorough with them in honest taking up, then they must stand -upon security. I had as lief they would put ratsbane in my mouth, as offer to stop it with security. I looked he should have sent me two and twenty yards of satin, as I am a true knight, and he sends me security. Well, he may sleep in security; for he hath the horn of abundance, and the lightness of his wife shines through it and yet cannot he see, though he have his own lantern to light him.--Where's Bardolph ?

Page. He's gone into Smithfield, to buy your worship a horse.

Fal. I bought him in Paul's, and he'll buy me a horse in Smithfield: an I could get me but a wife in the stews, I were manned, horsed, and wived

Enter the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE ¶ and an

Page. Sir, here comes the nobleman that committed the prince for striking him about Bardolph.

Fal. Wait close, I will not see him.
Ch. Just. What's he that goes there?
Atten. Falstaff, an't please your lordship.
Ch. Just. He that was in question for the

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Fa. Ant please your lordship, I hear his majesty is returned with some discomfort from


Ch. Just. I talk not' of his majesty :- You would not come when I sent for you. Fal. And I hear moreover, his highness is fallen into this same whoreson apoplexy.

Ch. Just. Well, heaven mend him! I pray, let me speak with you.

Fal. This apoplexy is, as I take it, a kind of lethargy, an't please your lordship; a kind of sleeping in the blood, a whoreson tingling.

Ch. Just. What tell you me of it? be it as

it is.

from study, and perturbation of the brain: I Fal. It hath its original from much grief: have read the cause of his effects in Galeu; it is a kind of deafness.

Ch. Just. I think, you are fallen into the disease; for you hear not what I say to you.

Fal. Very well, my lord, very well: rather, an't please you, it is the disease of not listening, the malady of not marking, that I am troubled


Ch. Just. To punish you by the heels, would amend the attention of your ears; and I care not, if I do become your physician.

Fal. I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient your lordship may minister the potion of imprisonment to me, in respect of poverty; but how I should be your patient to follow your prescriptions, the wise may make some dram of a scruple, or, indeed, a scruple itself.


Ch. Just. I sent for you, when there were] John of Lancaster, against the archbishop and matters against you for your life, to come speak the earl of Northumberland. with me.

Fal. As I was then advised by my learned counsel in the laws of this land-service, I did

not come.

Ch. Just. Well, the truth is, Sir John, live in great infamy.

Fal. He that buckles him in my belt, not live in less.



Ch. Just. Your means are very slender, and your waste is great.


Fal. I would it were otherwise; I would means were greater, and my waist slenderer. Ch. Just. You have misled the youthful prince.

Fal. The young prince hath misled me: 1 am the fellow with the great belly, and he my dog. Ch. Just. Well, I am loath to gail a newhealed wound; your day's service at Shrewsbury hath a little gilded over your night's exploit on Gads-hill: you may thank the unquiet time for your quiet o'er-posting that action. Fal. My lord?

Ch. Just. But since all is well, keep it so: wake not a sleeping wolf.

Ful. To wake a wolf, is as bad as to smell a fox.

Ch. Just. What! you are as a candle, the ter part burnt out.

Fal. Yea; I thank your pretty sweet wit for it. But look you pray, all you that kiss my lady peace at home, that our armies join not in a hot day! for, by the Lord I take but two shirts out with me, and I mean not to sweat extraordinarily if it be a hot day, an I brandish any thing but my bottle, I would I might never spit white again. There is not a dangerous action can peep out his head, but I am thrust upon it: Well, I cannot last ever: But it was always yet the trick of our English nation, if they have a good thing, to make it too common. If you will needs say, I am an old man, you should give me rest. I would to God, my name were not so terrible to the enemy as it is. I were better to be eaten to death with rust, than to be scoured to nothing with perpetual motion.

Ch. Just. Well, be honest, be honest; And God bless your expedition!

Fal. Will your lordship lend me a thousand pound, to furnish me forth?

Ch. Just. Not a penny, not a penny; you are too impatient to bear crosses. Fare you well: Commend me to my cousin Westmoreland.

Exeunt CHIEF JUSTICE and ATTENDANT. Fal. If I do, fillip me with a three-man beetle. -A man can no more separate age and bet-covetousness, than he can part young limbs and lechery but the gout galls the one, and the pox pinches the other; and so both the degrees prevent my curses.-Boy!-Page. Sir?

Fal. A wassel candle, my lord; all tallow: if I did say of wax, ny growth would approve the truth.

Ch. Just. There is not a white hair on your face, but should have his effect of gravity. Fal. His effect of gravy, gravy, gravy. Ch. Just. You follow the young prince and down, like his ill angel.


Fal. What money is in my purse?
Page. Seven groats and twopence.

Fal. I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse: borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is incurable. is-Go, bear this letter to my lord of Lancaster; this to the prince; this to the earl of Westmoreland; and this to old mistress Ursula, whom I have weekly sworn to marry since I perceived the first white hair on my chin: About it; you know where to find me. [Exit PAGE.] A pox of this gout! or, a gout of this pox! for the one or the other plays the rogue with my great toe. It is no matter, if I do halt; I have the wars for my colour, and my pension shall seem the more reasonable: A good wit will make use of any thing; I will turn diseases to commodity.

Fal. Not so, my lord; your ill angel light; but, I hope, he that looks upon me, will take me without weighing: and yet, in some respects, I grant, I cannot go, I cannot tell Virtue is of so little regard in these costermonger times, that true valour is turned bear-herd: Pregnancy is made a tapster, and hath his quick wit wasted in giving reckonings: all the other gifts appertinent to man, as the malice of this age shapes them, are not worth a gooseberry. You, that are old, consider not the capacities of us that are young you measure the heat of our livers with the bitterness of your galls and we that are in the vaward of our youth, I must confess, are wags too.

Ch. Just. Do you set down your name in the scroll of youth, that are written down old with all the characters of age? Have you not a inoist eye? a dry hand? a yellow cheek? a white beard? a decreasing leg? an increasing belly? Is not your voice broken? your wind short? your chin double? your wit single? and every part about you blasted with antiquity? and will you yet call yourself young? Fie, fie, fie, Sir John!

Fal. My lord, I was born about three of the clock in the afternoon, with a white head, and something a round belly. For my voice,-I have lost it with hollaing, and singing of anthems. To approve my youth further, I will not: the truth is, I am only old in judgment and understanding; and he that will caper with me for 2 thousand marks, let him lend me the money, and have at him. For the box o'the car that the prince gave you,-he gave it like a rude prince, and you took it like a sensible lord. have checked him for it; and the young lion repents: marry, not in ashes and sackcloth; but in new silk and old sack.

Ch. Just. Well, heaven send the prince a better companion!

Fal. Heaven send the companion a better prince! I cannot rid my hands of him.


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Hast. Our present musters grow upon the
To five and twenty thousand men of choice ;
And our supplies live largely in the hope
Of great Northumberland, whose bosom burns
With an incensed fire of injuries.

Bard. The question then, lord Hastings,
standeth thus:-

Whether our present five and twenty thou

May hold up head without Northumberland.
Hast. With him, we inay.

A large wooden hammer so heavy as to require
↑ Anticipate.

Ch. Just. Well, the king hath severed you and
Prince Harry: I hear you are going with lord, three men to wield it.

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