Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

part, I have not a case of livesa: the humour of it is too hot, that is the

very plain-song of it.

PIST. The plain song is most just; for humours do abound;

Knocks go and come; God's vassals drop and die;

And sword and shield,

In bloody field,

Doth win immortal fame.

Boy. 'Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would give all my fame for

[blocks in formation]

FLU. Up to the preach, you dogs! avaunt, you cullions.

PIST. Be merciful, great duke, to men of mould!
Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage!

Abate thy rage, great duke!

[Driving them forward.

Good bawcock, bate thy rage! use lenity, sweet chuck!

NYм. These be good humours!-your honour wins bad humours.

[Exeunt NYM, PISTOL, and BARDOLPH, followed by FLUELLEN. Boy. As young as I am, I have observed these three swashers. I am boy to them all three but all they three, though they would serve me, could not be man to me; for, indeed, three such antics do not amount to a man. For Bardolph, he is white-livered, and red-faced; by the means whereof 'a faces it out, but fights not. For Pistol, he hath a killing tongue and a quiet sword; by the means whereof 'a breaks words, and keeps whole weapons.

A case of lives-several lives; as a case of pistols"-"a case of poniards"-expressions in use in Elizabeth's time.

In the quarto the passage is thus: "Boy. Would I were in London, I'd give all my honour for a pot of ale." Nym has just said, ""T is honour, and there's the humour of it." The whole scene is greatly changed and enlarged in the folio. The Boy's speech, as it now stands, would seem more appropriate to Nym or Bardolph.

e

• Pistol's snatch of an old song is printed as prose in the folio. The passage does not occur in the quartos. Douce suggested that the words of the Boy were the close of the ditty, and we have followed his recommendation to print them as verse If bough is read bigh, we have rhyme. The Saxon verb bigan, to bend, would give us bigh, as bugan gives us bough;—and we have still bight to express a bend, such as that of the elbow.

a Fluellen is Llewellyn.

• The scene is completely remodelled in the folio, and yet some editors here give us two lines of the quarto, entirely different.

f Great duke. In Pistol's fustian use of the word duke it is not necessary to show that the word was properly applied to a commander-dur.

For Nym, he hath heard that men of few words are the best men; and therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest 'a should be thought a coward: but his few bad words are match'd with as few good deeds; for 'a never broke any man's head but his own, and that was against a post, when he was drunk. They will steal anything, and call it-purchase. Bardolph stole a lute-case; bore it twelve leagues, and sold it for three half-pence. Nym and Bardolph are sworn brothers in filching, and in Calais they stole a fire-shovel: I knew, by that piece of service, the men would carry coals". They would have me as familiar with men's pockets, as their gloves or their handkerchers: which makes much against my manhood, if I should take from another's pocket, to put into mine; for it is plain pocketing up of wrongs. I must leave them, and seek some better service: their villainy goes against my weak stomach, and therefore I must cast it up. · [Exit Boy.

Re-enter FLUELLEN, GOWER following.

Gow. Captain Fluellen, you must come presently to the mines; the duke of Gloster would speak with you.

FLU. To the mines! tell you the duke it is not so good to come to the mines: For, look you, the mines is not according to the disciplines of the war; the concavities of it is not sufficient; for, look you, th' athversary (you may discuss unto the duke, look you) is digged himself four yards under the countermines; by Cheshu, I think 'a will plow up all, if there is not better directions.

Gow. The duke of Gloster, to whom the order of the siege is given, is altogether directed by an Irishman; a very valiant gentleman, i' faith.

FLU. It is captain Macmorris, is it not?

Gow. I think it be.

FLU. By Cheshu, he is an ass as in the 'orld: I will verify as much in his peard: he has no more directions in the true disciplines of the wars, look you, of the Roman disciplines, than is a puppy-dog.

Enter MACMORRIS and JAMY, at a distanced.

Gow. Here 'a comes; and the Scots captain, captain Jamy, with him. FLU. Captain Jamy is a marvellous falorous gentleman, that is certain; and of great expedition, and knowledge, in the ancient wars, upon my particular knowledge of his directions: by Cheshu, he will maintain his argument as

Grey suggests that Shakspere derived the name of Nym from nim, an old English word signifying to filch. Thus in Hudibras,—

"Blank-schemes, to discover nimmers.”

See 'Romeo and Juliet;' Illustrations of Act I.

Johnson says,

"Fluellen means that the enemy had digged himself countermines four yards under the mines." But why not take Fluellen literally? why not countermines under countermines? and then the enemy "will plow up all."

d Macmorris and Jamy do not appear at all in the quartos.

well as any military man in the 'orld, in the disciplines of the pristine wars of the Romans.

JAMY. I say, gud-day, captain Fluellen.

FLU. God-den to your worship, goot Captain Jamy.

Gow. How now, captain Macmorris? have you quit the mines? have the pioneers given o'er?

MAC. By Chrish la, tish ill done: the work ish give over, the trumpet sound the retreat. By my hand I swear, and my father's soul, the work ish ill done; it ish give over; I would have blowed up the town, so Chrish save me, la, in an hour. O, tish ill done, tish ill done; by my hand, tish ill done! FLU. Captain Macmorris, I peseech you now, will you voutsafe me, look you, a few disputations with you, as partly touching or concerning the disciplines of the war, the Roman wars, in the way of argument, look you, and friendly communication; partly to satisfy my opinion, and partly for the satisfaction, look you, of my mind, as touching the direction of the military discipline? that is the point.

JAMY. It sall be vary gud, gud feith, gud captains bath; and I sall quit you with gud leve, as I may pick occasion, that sall I, marry.

MAC. It is no time to discourse, so Chrish save me; the day is hot, and the weather, and the wars, and the king, and the dukes: it is no time to discourse. The town is beseeched, and the trumpet calls us to the breach; and we talk, and, by Chrish, do nothing: 't is shame for us all: so God sa' me, 't is shame to stand still; it is shame, by my hand: and there is throats to be cut, and works to be done; and there ish nothing done, so Chrish sa' me, la.

JAMY. By the mess, ere these eyes of mine take themselves to slumber, aile do gude service, or aile ligge i' the grund for it; ay, or go to death; and aile pay it as valorously as I may, that sal I surely do, that is the breff and the long: Mary, I wad full fain heard some question 'tween you tway. FLU. Captain Macmorris, I think, look you, under your correction, there is not many of your nation

MAC. Of my nation? What ish my nation? What ish my nation? Who talks of my nation, ish a villain, and a bastard, and a knave, and a rascal'. FLU. Look you, if you take the matter otherwise than is meant, captain Macmorris, peradventure I shall think you do not use me with that affability as in discretion you ought to use me, look you; being as goot a man as yourself, both in the disciplines of wars, and in the derivation of my birth, and in other particularities.

[blocks in formation]

Upon the suggestion of a friend we have made a transposition here. The ordinary reading, as it appears in the folio, is, line by line,

"Of my nation? What ish my nation? Ish a

villain, and a bastard, and a knave, and a rascal. What
ish my nation? Who talks of my nation?

This is evidently one of the mistakes that often occur in printing. The second and third lines changed places, and the "Ish a" of the first line should have been at the end of what is printed as the third, whilst "What" of the second line should have gone at the end of the first.

MAC. I do not know you so good a man as myself: so Chrish save me, I will

cut off your

head.

Gow. Gentlemen both, you will mistake each other.
JAMY. Au! that 's a foul fault.

Gow. The town sounds a parley.

[A parley sounded.

FLU. Captain Macmorris, when there is more better opportunity to be required, look you, I will be so bold as to tell you, I know the disciplines of war; and there is an end.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.—The same. Before the gates of Harfleur.

The Governor and some Citizens on the walls; the English Forces below. Enter KING HENRY and his Train.

K. HEN. How yet resolves the governor of the town?

This is the latest parle we will admit:

Therefore, to our best mercy give yourselves;

Or, like to men proud of destruction,

Defy us to our worst: for, as I am a soldier,

(A name that, in my thoughts, becomes me best,) If I begin the battery once again,

I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur

Till in her ashes she lie buried.

The gates of mercy shall be all shut up;
And the flesh'd soldier, rough and hard of heart,
In liberty of bloody hand shall range

With conscience wide as hell; mowing like grass
Your fresh-fair virgins and your flowering infants.
What is it then to me, if impious war,
Array'd in flames, like to the prince of fiends,
Do, with his smirch'd complexion, all fell feats
Enlink'd to waste and desolation?

What is 't to me, when you yourselves are cause,
If your pure maidens fall into the hand

Of hot and forcing violation?

What rein can hold licentious wickedness

When down the hill he holds his fierce career?
We may as bootless spend our vain command
Upon the enraged soldiers in their spoil,

As send precepts to the Leviathan

To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur,
Take pity of your town, and of your people,
Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command;
Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace

O'erblows the filthy and contagious clouds
Of headly a murther, spoil, and villainy.
If not, why, in a moment, look to see
The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand
Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters;
Your fathers taken by the silver beards,

And their most reverend heads dash'd to the walls;
Your naked infants spitted upon pikes;

Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confus'd
Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry
At Herod's bloody-hunting slaughtermen".
What say you? will you yield, and this avoid?
Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroyed?
Gov. Our expectation hath this day an end:

The dauphin, whom of succours we entreated,
Returns us—that his powers are yet not ready
To raise so great a siege. Therefore, great king,
We yield our town and lives to thy soft mercy :
Enter our gates; dispose of us and ours;
For we no longer are defensible.

K. HEN. Open your gates.-Come, uncle Exeter,
Go you and enter Harfleur; there remain,
And fortify it strongly 'gainst the French:
Use mercy to them all. For us, dear uncle,-
The winter coming on, and sickness growing
Upon our soldiers, we will retire to Calais.
To-night in Harfleur will we be your guest;
To-morrow for the march are we address'd.

[Flourish. The KING, &c., enter the town.

SCENE IV.-Rouen. A Room in the Palace.

Enter KATHARINE and ALICE.

KATH. 13 Alice, tu as esté en Angleterre, et tu parles bien le language.

ALICE. Un peu, madame.

KATH. Je te prie, m'enseignez; il faut que j'apprenne à parler. Comment appelez vous la main, en Anglois?

Headly. So the folio. The modern reading is deadly. Headly has the force of headstrong,rash, passionate; and applies to "spoil" as well as murther. It is the "blind soldier" who commits these "headly" acts.

This most striking description of the horrors of the sack of a besieged city, beginning at "And the flesh'd soldier," and ending with this line, first appears in the folio.

The French of the folio is printed with tolerable correctness. That of the quartos is most amusingly corrupt. Comment appelez vous is given in that of 1608 in three several ways:Coman sae palla vou; coman sa pella vow; and coman se pella vou.

« AnteriorContinua »