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Fal. As it were, to ride day and night; and not to deliberate, not to remember, not to have patience to shift me.
Shal. It is most certain.
Fal. But to stand stained with travel, and sweating with desire to see him: thinking of nothing else; putting all affairs else in oblivion; as if there were nothing else to be done, but to see him.
Pist. 'Tis semper idem, for absque hoc nihil est: "Tis all in every part.3
Shal. 'Tis so, indeed.
Pist. My knight, I will inflame thy noble liver, And make thee rage.
Thy Doll, and Helen of thy noble thoughts,
Is in base durance, and contagious prison;
By most mechanical and dirty hand:—
Rouze up revenge from ebon den with fell Alecto's
For Doll is in; Pistol speaks nought but truth.
Fal. I will deliver her.
[Shouts within, and the Trumpets sound. Pist. There roar'd the sea, and trumpet-clangor
Enter the King and his Train, the Chief Justice among them.
Fal. God save thy grace, king Hal! my royal Hal!
Pist. The heavens thee guard and keep, most royal imp of fame !1
'Tis all in every part.] The sentence alluded to is:
'Tis all in all, and all in every part."
And so doubtless it should be read. 'Tis a common way of expressing one's approbation of a right measure to say, 'tis all in all. most royal imp of fame!] The word imp is perpetually used by ancient writers, for progeny.
Fal. God save thee, my sweet boy!
King. My lord chief justice, speak to that vain
Ch. Just. Have you your wits? know you what 'tis you speak?
Fal. My king! my Jove! I speak to thee, my
King. I know thee not, old man: Fall to thy
How ill white hairs become a fool, and jester!
For heaven doth know, so shall the world perceive,
profane!] In our author it often signifies love of talk, without the particular idea now given it.
6 hence,] i. e. henceforward, from this time, in the future.
7 Not to come near our person by ten mile.] Mr. Rowe observes, that many readers lament to see Falstaff so hardly used by his old friend. But if it be considered, that the fat knight has never uttered one sentiment of generosity, and with all his power of exciting mirth, has nothing in him that can be esteemed, no great pain will be suffered from the reflection that he is compelled to live honestly, and maintained by the king, with a promise of advancement when he shall deserve it.
For competence of life, I will allow you,
Give you advancement.-Be it your charge, my
To see perform'd the tenor of our word.
to let me have home with me.
Fal. That can hardly be, master Shallow. Do not you grieve at this; I shall be sent for in private to him: look you, he must seem thus to the world. Fear not your advancement; I will be the man yet, that shall make you great.
I think the poet more blameable for Poins, who is always represented as joining some virtues with his vices, and is therefore treated by the Prince with apparent distinction, yet he does nothing in the time of action; and though after the bustle is over, he is again a favourite, at last vanishes without notice. Shakspeare certainly lost him by heedlessness, in the multiplicity of his characters, the variety of his action, and his eagerness to end the play. JOHNSON.
This circumstance was originally mentioned by Hall, and is thus recorded by Holinshed, who was certainly Shakspeare's historian: "Immediately after that he was invested kyng, and had receyved the crowne, he determined with himselfe to putte upon him the shape of a new man, turning insolence and wildness into gravitie and sobernesse and whereas he had passed his youth in wanton pastime and riotous misorder, with a sorte of misgoverned mates, and unthriftie playfeers, he now banished them from his presence, (not unrewarded nor yet unpreferred,) inhibiting them upon a great payne, not once to approche, lodge or sojourne within ten miles of his courte or mansion: and in their places he elected and chose men of gravitie, witte, and hygh policie, by whose wise counsell he might at all times rule to his honoure ;-whereas if he should have reteined the other lustie companions aboute him, he doubted least they might have allured him into such lewde and lighte partes, as with them before tyme he had youthfully used."
Shal. I cannot perceive how; unless you give me your doublet, and stuff me out with straw. I beseech you, good sir John, let me have five hundred of my thousand.
Fal. Sir, I will be as good as my word: this that you heard, was but a colour.
Shal. A colour, I fear, that you will die in, sir John.
Fal. Fear no colours; go with me to dinner. Come, lieutenant Pistol ;-come, Bardolph :—I shall be sent for soon at night.
Re-enter Prince JOHN, the Chief Justice, Officers, &c.
Ch. Just. Go, carry sir John Falstaff to the Fleet;* Take all his company along with him.
Fal. My lord, my lord,—
Ch. Just. I cannot now speak: I will hear you
Take them away.
Pist. Si fortuna me tormenta, spero me contenta. [Exeunt FAL. SHAL. PIST. BARD. Page,
P. John. I like this fair proceeding of the king's: He hath intent, his wonted followers
Shall all be very well provided for;
But all are banish'd, till their conversations
Appear more wise and modest to the world.
Ch. Just. And so they are.
P. John. The king hath call'd his parliament, my lord.
to the Fleet;] I do not see why Falstaff is carried to the Fleet. We have never lost sight of him since his dismission from the King; he has committed no new fault, and therefore incurred no punishment; but the different agitations of fear, anger, and surprize in him and his company, made a good scene to the eye; and our author, who wanted them no longer on the stage, was glad to find this method of sweeping them away. JOHNSON.
Ch. Just. He hath.
P. John. I will lay odds,-that, ere this year
We bear our civil swords, and native fire,
As far as France: I heard a bird so sing,
9 I fancy every reader, when he ends this play, cries out with Desdemona, "O most lame and impotent conclusion!" As this play was not, to our knowledge, divided into Acts by the author, I could be content to conclude it with the death of Henry the Fourth:
"In that Jerusalem shall Harry die."
These scenes, which now make the fifth Act of Henry the Fourth, might then be the first of Henry the Fifth; but the truth is, that they do not unite very commodiously to either play. When these plays were represented, I believe they ended as they are now ended in the books; but Shakspeare seems to have designed that the whole series of action, from the beginning of Richard the Second, to the end of Henry the Fifth, should be considered by the reader as one work, upon one plan, only broken into parts by the necessity of exhibition.
None of Shakspeare's plays are more read than the First and Second Parts of Henry the Fourth. Perhaps no author has ever, in two plays, afforded so much delight. The great events are interesting, for the fate of kingdoms depends upon them; the slighter occurrences are diverting, and, except one or two, sufficiently probable; the incidents are multiplied with wonderful fertility of invention, and the characters diversified with the utmost nicety of discernment, and the profoundest skill in the nature of man.
The Prince, who is the hero both of the comick and tragick part, is a young man of great abilities and violent passions, whose sentiments are right, though his actions are wrong; whose virtues are obscured by negligence, and whose understanding is dissipated by levity. In his idle hours he is rather loose than wicked; and when the occasion forces out his latent qualities, he is great without effort, and brave without tumult. The trifler is roused into a hero, and the hero again reposes in the trifler. The character is great, original, and just.
Percy is a rugged soldier, cholerick and quarrelsome, and has only the soldier's virtues, generosity and courage.
But 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 de