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VOL. I. 
















Title-page— Group embodying the Snae before the 
Wall, of Anglers. Act II. Sc. I.'.: *n orisinal 
design by W. lUrnvjev. 


Gre»t Seal, te. of John...„ 

Coarame of Borghen and Artificers • 

Altar al St. Edmundsbury. Group of Pnests and 


Ornamental Border, from a MS. temp. King John... 


RoomofSUte •• """^"Vl"", 

Ceremony of creating a Knight m the Field of 

Baule - 

nxvsTEATioJcs or act I. 

SUTcr Groat of Henry VII 

" Three-farthin? Rose" of Elizabeth »9 

Richard I. and the Lion ^0 

King John " 

Queen Elinor 


. . M 

Anglers •• 

Marriage of Lewi* and Blanch ^' 


EngUih Vessels, from ancient MSS 32 

St George, from an old illumination S3 

Tents, from a MS. in Brit. Mua. (Royal, xvi. G C). S3 

Philip, King of France ^ 

Blanch of Castile 







n.I.r8TttATI05B OF ACT III. 

Ceremony of Excommonleatlon In the RotnUh 


Caalle of Falaiie 


The Prison — Hubert and Arthur 

The Smithy.—" I saw a smith stand with hi* 
hammer thus — " " 


Chairs, from ancient MSS. (Harl. 603, and Royal, 
xiv. c. 2) - 

Castle of Rouen 

Pomfret Castle •- 

William Lon?espee, Earl of Salisbury itrom hu 
Ertf:y in Salisbury Cathedral) M 

ViUiam Marshall, Earl of Pembroke (from hU 

Effigy in the Temple Church) 58 


Death of John at Swinstead Abbey 4» 

Monument of King John at Worcester 6* 


Cards, from original* of H66 87 

- 67 







Th. .. 

Anciml Can 
Hen- in. f- 
Th' . 

a"UB ■ " yMeliaduj- 
rr, from.A .il, xvi. G 6) 68 

i.ioUMS «8 

-it Seal ". W 


tween Lynn and Boston 70 

from " Fox'* Act* and 

ACT lU. 

The Battle, near Anglers 

The Field after the Battle " 


Death of John by poison. 


Lewis, Dauphin of France, from his Seal . 


The Muse of History, afier RAfFAKLLC . 






Title-page— Deposition Scene— Act IV. Scene I. :— 

an original design by W. H abtet "S 


Tournament. Kr.ights parading the Field prepa- 
ratory to entering the Lists 


Border composed of the Arm-. Shields, arid Bear- 
ings of the Characters. A' ' 

of John of Gaunt 'fr-^nii 


ley from his T 

and behind these, having ihoan.t 11 

thoicofBolingt.rokeand Aumerlc. i 

side are the Arms of Salisbury (at tl.e 

part) and Northumberland belcw; and t: 

oppo'Ue sM? are those of Surrey (aboTe) and 

Sot' ■ ' ' ' ' ■ 





P lace, I^ndon - 

—■■The King hath thrown 

;\TI05i or ACT I. 

.rd II...- 

.. . , C T.a: r.i-'. :'< 




The gold nr _ , , 

TheSaToy, ... . . c T .v r,.'. : . ... 

Portnit of Eleanor 1. ^'^ "' 

Woodstock. Duke ; - rooau- 

inaat in Westminster Abbey •• 







" • ■ .rd II., from a painting in the Je- 

)iilM:r, Westminster '01 

uncing sentence of banishment on 
, from an illumination in a MS. 

copy of iioU»art in the British Museum 103 

Willis In Gloucestershire, with View of Berkley 

CMtle 1<'4 

Portrait of John of Gaunt, from the MS. Froissart 

in the Britiih .Museum 113 

Portrait of KUmund of Langley, from the MS. 
Froissart in the British Museum 115 

Flint Castlt— Electing of Uichard II. and Boling- 

brokc. Scene JII - 116 

The Duke of York's Garden at Langley— The 

O.iccn, Gardener, &c 12't 


Tomhof Edward III. in Westminster Abbey 125 

•■ There the Antick sits ," from " Morti.s Ima- 

Rincs" • ^25 

Ancient View of Bristol, including the Church of 

Si .'.! ,,y, UcdclilTe 126 

M.-.tii,^- . f Uirh-idll. and Dolingbroke, from an 

illumin.Mion in the MS. Metrical History of 

RIcbaid 11. In the British Museum 128 


Exterior of Westminster Hall 129 

Richard surrendering the crown, from a drawing 

in the MS. Froissart in the British Museum.... 134 
Richard and Bolingbroke entering London, from 

an illumination in the Metrical History of 

Richard II 135 

Throwing the Gage, from the MS. Froissart in the 

British Museum 136 


A Street leading to the Tower— Meeting of Richard 

and his Queen 137 

Richard and Bolingbroke entering London 145 


The Groat of Richard II 146 

William of Colchester, Abbot of Westminster, from 

his tomb in Westminster Abbey 146 

Portrait of Richard II. in his armour, from an illu- 
mination in the MS. Metrical History 148 


Heading — composed of a Crown, Sceptre, Palmer's 
Staff, &c 149 

Fu'icral of Richard II., from the MS. Froissart in 
the British Museum 15S 


Tltlc-pajte: an original design by W. II ahvey 159 


Ilrnry of Monmouth in his youth. Froman illumi- 

nAtlon 161 

r.*tume of Gcntlcmnn, from Harl. MS. i.322 169 

Co«tunio of Ij»dy (Countess of Westmoreland). 
Froni the tomb In Staindrop Church, Durham . 169 

Holder, composed of the Arms, Shields, and Bear- 
Inits of the Characters therein named 170 


Hotspur denying hi* Prisoners 171 

View of Godshill 179 


Portrait of (Uil of Wvntnioreland. From the tomb 
In Staindrop Church, Durham 183 


Ancient Inn-yard 184 

Uooin in the Boar's Ilcnd jgs 


Old Cross at Charing 196 

Interior of a Room at Wark worth Castle 197 

Boar's Head 198 


View of Bangor 200 

Lady Moitimer singing 208 

Portrait of Owen, from his great Seal in 
the Archieologia 210 


Road near Coventry 211 

York 216 


Army before Shrewsbury 217 

Prince Henry and Falstaff—" Poor Jack, farewell " 224 


Cuckoo and Hedge Sparrow 226 


Title paRc : an original dculgn by W. Harveit 227 


Border. or>tin>"«od of the Arms of the Lords Bar- 
•t- NIowbrny; the Earls of 
!-• k ; and the Archbishop 
o( Vol. 230 


View of Warkworth Cosllc 231 

ACT 1. 

F.nln»nr« Towor nf Wft'Vworth Castle 2,32 

»'jut • h of St. Mich.iel, Com- 

1 f Justice 240 



V.Trious forms of ancient Spurs 211 

" Scaly Gauntlet" 241 

Paul's Walk 242 

Smithfield, in 16.51 243 

Three-man Beetle 243 

Portrait of Chief Justice Sir W. Gascoyne 244 

ACT ir. 

Street in London of the architecture of the period — 
FalstaiTand Chief Justice 245 

Intefior ol Boar's Head— Falstaff and Hostess 
Quickly 25S 



Fresco, from the wall of Grove House, Woodford 

Common, Ksscx 256 

Ancient U.ipicr, with inscription •.'57 

Broad Shilling of Edward VI 257 

ACT lU. 
FalstafT choosing; his Recruits 258 


Arthur's Show 264 

The ancient " Vice" 26S 

Tilt-yard, Westminster 266 

ACT rv. 

Gualtree Forest 267 

Three views of a Helmet of H95, showing the 
manner of opening and closing the Beaver 
and Visor 279 


An Armet and a Helmet, for the same purpo>e... VO 
Windsor Castle, in the sixteenth century 281 


llall in Shallow's House, showlnt; the domestic 

architecture of the period 2S3 

Hublic 1'l.ico near Wcstminater Ablwy, exhibiting 
the north transept as it existed at the poriud 216 

A l>ancer(from Hollard).,. 


Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John 201 


Group of Flasks, tie 29S 

" I saw young Harry — with his beaver on" 306 


Title-page : an original design by W. Harvet... 507 


Henry V. and his Court, from a MS. in Bonnet 

College Library, Cambridge 309 

Michael de la Pole, from monument in Havcr- 
aham Church, Notts 317 


Border composed of the Shields and Bearings of 
the Characters therein named, togetlicr with 
those of England at the top and of the Dou- 
phin at the bottom 3IS 


The Globe Theatre 319 


Room of State in the Palace 320 

Portrait of Henry V 320 


Ancient Gateway of Queen's College, Oxford 327 

Rich.ird 11. knighting Henry of Monmouth 328 

Archbishop Chicheley 330 

Southampton 331 


Room in the French King's Palace 332 

The Louvre, from a print by Delia Bella, 164C 339 


Swords and Crowns, from Hollnshed's Chronicle 310 

Esquimaux Dog 3'"' 

Whitsun Morri.i Dance •— 341 

Charles VI. of France 312 

The English Fleet 343 

Acr IIL 

Heights between Havre and Harflcur, fiom an 

original sketch Wl 

Street in Harflcur 343 


Rouen 344 

Distant View of Harflcur, from an original sketch SSfl 
Duke of Bourbon 35' 

Henry V. " walking from watch to watch," lie... 358 


Henry V. being ormed by his Esquires Si» 

Field of Agincourt 37J 


Fixed Candlestick 87> 

Sir Thomas ErpinRham 3'* 

Montocutc, Earl of Saliibury - 37* 


Entry of Henry V. into London 878 


Troyes 3^' 

Katharine "* 


Helmet, Shield, and Saddle, of Henry V 3M 


John (Sans IVur) Duke of Burgundy 3M 

Uabcllaof Bavaria, Queen of France 3M 


Infant Shakspere.— UoMxtr ~ ^^ 

Uanncrs used in the Battle of Aglncourt....-.~.« »• 


^ r ( 


.•f ' • ' ft 


. r1 

^ i >^ * ^ 

!■ r J 

Art HI. Scftii- I 

Histories. — Vol. I. 



State or the Text, and CnRoxoLocr, of Kiso Jonx. 

The Kiug John, of Shakspere, was fiivt printod in the folio collection of his i>ln>f«, in IG'23. Wo 
have followed tlie text of this edition almost literally ; antl in neaily every case where wo Lave found 
it necessary to deviate from that text (the exceptions being those pjwsages wliich are undoubtc.l 
corrections of merely typographical errors^ we have stated a reason for the doviution. Malouo hu> 
observed that " Kiug John is the only oiio of our poet's uncontested plays that is not entered in the 
books of the Stationers' Company." 

King John is one of the plays of Shakspere enumerated by Francis Meres, in 150S. We have 
carefully considered the reasons which have led Malone to fix the date of its composition as 1590, and 
Chalmers as 159S ; and wo cannot avoid regarding them as far from satisfactory. 

There can be no doubt, as we shall have to shew in detail, that Shaks]>ere'a Kiug John is 
founded on a former play. That play, which consists of two jiarts, is entitled " The Troubleaomo 
Raigne of John, King of Enghind, with the Discoverie of Kiug Richard C -' '■ - '^ ba*e «on, 
vulgarly named the Bastard Fauconbridge ; also the death of King John at > I Abbey."— 

This play was first priuted in 1591. The first edition has no author's name in the title page ; — 
the second, cf IGll, has, "Written by W. Sh." ;— and the third, of 1622, givos the name of 
" William Shakspeare." We think there can be little hesitation in affirming that the attempt 
to fix this play upon Shakspere was fraudulent ; yet Steevens, in his valuable collection of 
"Twenty of the Plays" that were printed in quarto, says, "the author (meaning Shakspere) 
seems to have been so thoroughly dissatisfied with this play as to have written it •■ ■ • entirely 
anew." Steevens afterwards receded from this opinion. Coleridge, too, in the cLl i which 

he attempted in 1802, spe.aks of the old King John as one of Shakspere's " transition-works — not 
his, yet of him." The Gennau critics concur in giving the original ' ' • ' ' Tieok 

holds that the play first priuted in the folio of 1023 is amnngst the i ^ tmIucaH 

before 1611 ; and that production, he considers, culled forth a new edition of tlio older play, which be 
determines to have been one of the earliest works of Shitk»iiere. Ulrici holds that ' The Troul>U'<i<>ino 
Reign of King John' was written very soon after the defeat of the Sfiauish Anuoila, which iji hIiowii 
by its zeal against Catholicism, which ho describea as fanatical, by its glowing patriotism and wnrliks 
feelings; and he also assigns it for the mast part to ShaksjK'ri'. But ho Ix'Iicves ihut the |M>ot hero 
wrought upon even an older production, or that it was written in compaui"ini<hip with tumur other 
dramatic author. We must, for our own part-*, hoM to the opinion that the <>ld ' Kinj^ John' not 
either " his or of him." 

Shakspere's son, Hamuet, died in August, 15l'0, at the i.;.' f twdvf. llcu'-o ' 'n, 

according to Malone, of the deep pathos of the grief of ' • i.-tiinco <>n the pr. .of 

.Vrthnr. We doubt this. The dramatic poetry of Shaksjwro wa« built ujion dc«i<er ami broftder 
foundations than his own personal feelings and ciperiences. His sense of individuality is entirely 
swallowed up in the perfectly distinct individuality of the manifold chaructcra which he ha« 
painted. From the first to the list of his plays, as far as wo can discover, wo have no " moodj 

B2 1 


of bU owTj mind,"— nothing of that quality which gives so deep an interest to the poetry of 
\Vord«worth and Hyron — and which Byron, with all his genius, could not throw aside in dramatic 
coriii-oMtiou. We are, for tliis reason, not disposed to regard the opinion of Maloue upon this 
point as of much importince. The conjecture is, however, recommended by its accordance with our 
nyinpathieM ; and it stinds, therefore, upon a different ground from that absurd notion that Shakspere 
drew Lear'M "dog-hearted daughters" with such irresistible truth, because he himself had felt the 
■baq) Bling of " filial ingratitude." 

If the domestic history of the poet will help us little in fixing a pi-ecise date for the composition 
of King John, wo apprehend that the public history of his times will not assist us in attaining 
thi.s object much more conclusively. A great armament was sent against Spain in 159G, under 
tho command of Essex and Lord Howard. "The fleet," says Southey,* "consisted of one hundred 
and fifty B.-iil ; seventeen of these were of the navy royal, eighteen men of war, and six store-ships, 
siiiipliod by tlie state ; tho rest were pinnaces, victuallers?, and transports : the force was 1,000 gentlemen 
volunteers, C,368 troops, and 6,772 seamen, exclusive of the Dutch. There were no hired troops in 
J iiy of tho queen's ships ; all were gentlemen volunteers, chosen by the commanders." Essex, in a 
letter to Bacon, speaking of the difficulty of his command, with reference to tho nature of his force, 
describes his followers as "the most tyrones, and almost all voluntaries." " In numbers and strength," 
continues Southey, " the armament was superior to any that this country had sent forth since the 
introduction of cannon." This expedition was directed, as the reader of English history knows, 
ng;»in8t Cadiz. It left Plymouth on the 3rd of June, 1596; and returned on the 8th of August; 
liaving efTucted its principal object, the destruction of the Spanish fleet. It is to this great armament 
that Mulono thinks Sli.akspero alludes, in the following lines in the second Act, where Chatillon 
describes to King Philip the expected approach of King John : — 

" all the unsettled humours of the land — 
Rash, inconsiderate, fiery, voluntaries. 
With ladies' faces, and fierce dragons' spleens, — 
Have sold their fortunes at their native homes, 
Bearing their birthrii,'hts proudly on their backs, 
To make a hazard of new fortunes here. 
In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits, 
Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er, 
Did never float upon the swelling tide, 
To do offence and scath in Christendom." 

Tlio ."tuppoecd coincidence is, a great armament, principally composed of voluntaries. Cut does 
Sh.-Ocxiicro speak of these voluntaries in a manner that would have been agreeable to an English 
rmlif^ncc ; or that, liowever just it might be, was in accordance with the public recognition of the 
r .ri.luct of tho nriny nt Cadiz? The "unsettled humours of tho land" — the "rash, iuccjnsiderate 
finry voluntarica" — tlio " birthrights on their backs" — the " offence and scath to Christendom," — are 
K"tiicwlmt oppo.icd to the sentiment expressed in the public prayer of thanksgiving, written by 
r.urlcigh, in which tho moderation of the troops in the hour of victory was solemnly recognised. 
" in thoflo days," says Southey, " was conducted in such a spirit, that for the troops not to have 
comtuittcd, Olid with tho sanction of their leaders, any outrage upon humanity, was deemed a point of 
r t*) thft commanders, and calling for an especial expression of gratitude to the Almighty." 
1 'ivo f>f this expedition, given in Hakluyt's Voyages, by Dr. Marbcck, who attended the 

I#or<l High Admiral, i.s not equally lionourable to the "voluntaries," as regards their respect for 
|,r..[-rty. Ho Hpoaks of tho " great pillage of the common soldiers " — " the goodly furniture that was 
ili..l..iii.-d liy the b.wcr people" — and " tho intemperate disorder of some of the rasher sort." Shakspere 
might hnvo known of this,— but would lie go out of his way to reprobate it ? If he had written this 
piny a few yonni later than 1506, he might have kept the expedition in his eye, and have described its 
" V .birif-iri. v^," without ofTenco to the popular or the courtly feeling. If ho had written it earlier than 
1. '.."■., h.' i..:,:ht have described "voluntaries" in general, from the many narratives of reckless military 
Ailvontiiro with which ho would bo familiar. 

'f" " "ision, according to Johnson, which fixes this date to 1596, or to the later date 

" • . -''e the evidence of Meres altogether, unless it be supposed that he assigned the 

old King John to Shnk-^perc Pandulph thus denounces John : — 

• Naval History, vol. iv. p. 39 


" And mciitorioiij ' '. !..iiitl be caM'd. 

CanonizeJ, anil ' .it a laiiil. 

Thai takei away bj au> »cciet courte 
Thy liatetul life." 

The pope publbliod a bull agaiust Elizabeth iu 159C ; — ontl iu 1002, the p«rp«tratori of tb« Qunpowdar 
ti-eadua were cauouized. Wo have, fortuuat«ly, a pruof that Sh4]up«r«, iu this ouw, abat«iu(^l fruiu 
any allusiou to the history of his own times. Id the old piny uf King Johu ho fouud tha fulluwin.; 
passage : — 

"I, Paudulph," &c. "pronouuco thee accursed, discharging every of thy aubjoctj of all duty and 
fealty th:it they do owe to thee, and parduu aud forgivcueos of niu to thoso or thrm whatsoever, which 
shall carry arms against thee, or murder thee." 

Chalmers carries the passion of mixing u{i ShakB]>cre'8 incidvut<i niid vxprc««ioui with {loMiug 

events, to a greater extent than Maluue or Johnson. According to him, the aiego of Aiigieni ia ■ 

type of the loss and recapture of Amiens, iu 15'.'7 ; the alt'-rcationn bctwcvu the !'• .ad 

Austria were to conduce to the unpopularity of the Arch«luko Albert : mi I lln- 

exhortation, — 

" Nought thall make ui rue, 
ir England to ittrlf do rrtt but true," 

had alluflion to the differences amongst the leading meu of the Court of Elisabeth, ariaing uut >•( iLe 

ambition of Essex.* 

For the purpose of fixing an exact date for the composition of this pby, wo apprehend that 

our re^iders will agree with us, that evidence such as this is not to bo toccivcd with ■■. • I'.cit 

belief. Indeed, looking broadly at all which hits been wTitteu upon the chronology of • <-•'* 

plays, with rcfeience to this particular species of evidence, namely, the allusion to passing events, 

we fear that, at the best, a great deal of labour has been bestowed for a very n It, 

The attempt, however, has been praiseworthy ; aud it has hiul the incidental go^' i . "X 

curiuus points connected with our histoiy and manners, that present themselves more forcibly to the 

mind in an isolated shape, than when forming a portion of any largo hibtorical iiarnitiou. Yet wo ore 

anxious to guAid against one misapprehension whith may have presented itself to tho minds of some 

of our readers, as it did to our own minds, when we fust be.-<towe\l attention upon tlio Urge cullcctiou 

of facts, or conjectures, that have regard to the chronological order of our poet's plays. I'roperly 

to understand the principle upon which Shak>pore work.-d, wo must ' • * suffer 

ourselves to believe that he was of that class of vulgar arti-t^ who nro p.-; . . 'Ut fur 

some temporarj' allusion (utterly worthless except in its relation to the exciUment which U produced 

by passing events), for the mean purpose of endeavouring to " .■<plit tho «iri of li «." If 

we should t.ike literally what has been told ujs a.s regards this play, without ex.^ !*■«««• 

upon which such opinions are founded,— that it had allusions, for instance, to the cX[wdiUon to Codia, 

to tho bull of the pope against Elizabeth, and to the factions of Essex,— wc might believe that the 

great poet, who, in his " Histories," sought 

" To raise our ancient ioverriK"* from their heaitc, 
Make kings hi5 subjccti, by exchanging ver»«; 
Enlivc their pale trunkf, that the present a«e 
Joy? in their Joys, and tremble* at their rage.'M 

was one of those waiters upon events who seized upon a fleeting popularity, by pre^ntin^ a mirror of 
the pott in which a distorted prttent might bo seen. But, rightly considered, the o! re 

to the passages of his own times are so few and no ob^.urv, that they are uf ' 't* 

one jot of his great merit, that " he was for all time." Ik- w;..*, i..d.-ed, m u "l 

the past, delighted, as Wonlsworth has beautifully boid in .lcliueatiuir his character of tho poet, " to 
contemplate similar volitions and pasaiom. as manif..-aU-<l in the .. of tho un.vcr^. an.I 

habitually impelled to create them where he does not find thetn.": k. . - • *^ thcnfore, whc.crcr 
it could be interfused with the permanent and unive,s..l, a rcficx of the present TJiu,, in the sge of 
Elizabeth, and in the ago of Victoria, his patriotism is an abiding and unchanging feeling ; and liss as 

; 'o"n^^S'Mis1rr'''s°h?ke%trr; and hi. Poem;, by i. M-. »• From the foUc ol 163, 
: Observations prefixed to the second edition of Lyncal Uallaus. 


little to Jo with the uuit-itions of the world as any other of the great elements of human thought 
with whi'.h bo deals. When the Bastard exclaims, — 

" This England never did, nor never shall, 
Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror, 
Uut when it first did help to wound itself. 
Come the three comers of the world in arms 
And vre shall shock them : " — 

we feci Huch lines had a peculiar propriety when they were uttered before an audience that might 
have bc-cu trembling at the present threats of a Spanish invasion, had they not been roused to 
defiance by the " lion-port " of their queen, and by the mightier power of that spirit of intellectual 
■up«riority which directed her councils, and, what was even more important, had entered into the 
apirit of her people's literature. But these noble lines were just as appropriate, dramatically, four 
hundred ycar.^ before they were written, as they are appropriate in their influence upon the spirit two 
hundred and fifty years after they were written. Frederick Schlegel has said of Shakspere, "the 
feeling by which he aecois to have been most connected with ordinary men is that of nationality." 
It is true that the nationality of Shakspere is always hearty and genial ; and even in the nationality 
of prejudice there are to be found very many of the qualities that make up the nationality of 
reflection. For this reason, therefore, the nationality of Shakspere may constitute a link between him 
and "ordinary men," wlio have not yet come to understand, for example, his large toleration, which 
would 8Gom, upon the surface, to be the antagonist principle of nationality. The time may arrive 
when true toleration and true nationality may shake hands. Coleridge has, in a few words, traced the 
ro»l course which the n.ationality of Shakspere may assist in working out, by the reconciliation of 
these seeming opposites : — " Patriotism is fequal to the sense of individuality reflected from every other 
individuaL There may come a higher virtue in both — just cosmopolitism. But this latter is not 
poMiiblo but by antecedence of the former." * 

There ia one other point connected with Shakspere's supposed subservience to passing events, which 
wo cannot dismiss without an expression of something more than a simple dissent. In reading the 
grand Bceuo of the fourth Act, between John and Hubert, where John says, — 

" It is the curse of kings to be attended 

By slaves, that take their humours for a warrant 
To break within the bloody house of life," — 

Itad we not a commentator at our elbow, we should see nothing but the exquisite skill of the poet, 
ia exhibiting tho cowardly meanness of John in shrinking from his own " warrant " when its 
execution had proved to be dangerous. This, forsooth, according to Warburton, " plainly hints at 
Daria^ju'n case, in the affair of Mary Queen of Scots ; " and Malone thinks " it is extremely probable 
that our author meant to pay his court to Elizabeth by this covert apology for her conduct to Mary." 
Apolo;;y T If Shakspere had been the idiot that these critics would represent him to have been, 
Pllizabcth would veiy soon have told him to keep to his stage, and not meddle with matters out of 
bin »i>hore;— for, imqucstionably, the excuse which John attempts to make, could it have been 
interpreted into an excuse for Elizabeth, would have had precisely the same effect with regard to 
> 'i which it produces with regard to John, — it would have made men despise as well as 

I one as tho other. As an example of the utter worthlessncss of this sort of conjecture, 

we may add, that Douce Bays, " may it not rather allude to the death of Essex ? " f Mr. Courteuay, 
in hiji " Siiakflperc's Historical Tlaya considered historically,"— which wo have noticed in the 
Ill„„.„.. . . (q ^p^ I.,— agrees with AVarburton and Malouc in their construction of this passage. 
*''■• ' y •" ""t. however, a blind follower of the opinions of other critics, but has theories of 

hi* own tipon «uch matters. One of these conjectures upon Shakspere's omission of the event of 
■ " ^[ Ma-jna Charta, is at least amusing : " How shall we account for Shakspere's 
MX incident so essential in 'the life and reign of King John?' It had occurred to 
me, especially when considering the omission of all reference to popular topics, that as Shakspere 
'!*■'■• ^'° 'night not wish to remind Queen Elizabeth, who set Magna Charta at nought 
- ... . -iting particular, of the solemn undertakings of her ancestors." Mr. Courtenay sub 

• r.itcrao- Rcmalni. vol. W. p. 161 ^ Illustrations, I. 406. 

in it 


sequently says, that uo gieat etresd was laid ujxin Magiii\ Charta, even 1 „ 

the days of Coke ; but that, neverthclees, '• Magna ChiirU oughtlo L*\ . , ,• ■ .{ 

the play." He says this, upon Coleridge's defuiitiou of an hijitorical pUy, which i^ «t th« bc«t. not to 
understand Coleridge. Colley Cibbor, in 1744. altiTe<l King J,.hii, and ho iwyH. iu ' i, that 

ho endeavoured " to make his play more like one than what he found it in Shnk-j . - •■» 

some magnificent scenes between John anil the |xip«'8 Duncio, full of tho inu«t ortho»l.n dci . 

of Rome and tho Pretender. He obUiined room for thoso by tho ulight leicrifico of Cuu«Uuic« auU iho 
Bastard. We have no doubt that upon tho same principle, an in.- ■ ■ ' rcr, iulo . ' ' 

spirit of " Historicid Plays considered hititoricailly " ehould Ihj iufii .o u» a i. 

founded upon ShiJtspere's, with Magna Charta at full length,— and if Arthur and Hubert woro 
sacrificed for this cud, a.-* well aa Constiuico and FanK-onbridgo, tho lovem of i>oelry ini^jht iitill turn to 
the obsolete old dramatist, — but tho student of historj' would bo aatiaficd by dramatic evidcuc*, aa 
well as by the authority of his primer, that 

" Maf^na Charta vre K'in'd from John, 

Which Harry Ihe Third put hit leal upon." 

The end and object of the drama, and of tho Sli .' ' • n . . • ,.^| 

'' law of unity, which has its fuundation-s, not in ti. _ r« 

iteelf, the unity of feeling."* In Shakspcro's Kiug John thia olject is attained on comp' u 

Macbeth. The history at once directs and subserves the plot. Wo have ahewn tliiu (uii;, .u our 
Supplementary Notice ; and wo think, therefore, that tlie omisaion of Magna Lhartn iu Kiug John 
may find another solution than that which Mr. Courtcnuy's theorj' supplies. 

Sources of the ' Histoby ' of Kt»Q Joux 

Is tho "Historical Hlusti-ations" which wo have subjoiuc^l to each Act, we huvo followed oul th« 
real course of events iu tho life of Kiug John, as far as npj.caro<l to ua i. ' " .!.o 

dramatic truth of the poet, as sustaiueil by, or as deviating fruni, the hist'.. '•• 

But to undersUiud the Shaksperean drama, from this oxampla,— to aeo th« pnopricty of what H 
adopted, aud what it laid aside, — wo must look into lujis authentic materials of ^ 

very imjKjrfect m.-\teriala which the poet found in the auuali.iti with which ho •• -, -o 

tho conventional "history" of tho stage that Sh:dtjipero built hi* play. It ia . !« now, cicv|4 

on very general i)rinciplcs, to determine why a j>oet, who had tho authentic mat«riaU of hutory b«for» 
him, and iJossessed beyond all mon tho power of moulding thoso ma' ; ' ' : • * -, 

dramatic action, into the most complete and beautiful forms, ahould have i" , 

vigour and maturity of his intellect, to a general adherence to th« oourao of that ooovent^ooal 
di-amatic history. But so it is. The King John of Shak.«poro is not the Kuij,' J' : •• 

which Shakspere had unquestionably studied ; it is not tho Kiug John of hia own i;.. -r. - , - -< 

ofi" the trammels which a rigid adoption of tho facta of those hwtoriaia would have im|MMc<l upoQ 
him ; but it is the King John, in the conduct of the story, in tho juxtaposition of tb. *, •*»«! 

iu the catastrophe,— iu tho historical truth, and in the hi-itorical crripr,— of t! .>ood«d 

him some few yeai-s. This, unquestionably, w.w not an accident. It waa not v •«»•• 

of the word, is called a plagiarism. It was a submiaaion of hia own origiuaJ iiowon ujwu 

tho feelings imd u'.jderstandings of hia audience, t<» tl: *^ 

The history of John had been familiar to them for a'. ..:..... i- . . i, "•■ 

out of the' rudest days of th9 drama, and had !«. :i I in tho period of iU ©ompMrnllT* 

refinement, which immediately preceded ShA-^iHsrc. Tho old pUy of King John wa., in all likalihood, 

a vigorous graft upon the truuk of an oUler i>lay, whuh " " ' '" " '" ' ■"** 

moralities and historical plays,"— that of ' Kyu^o J..h.iii,' l.v '^ 

of Edward VI. Shakspere, then, had to chooao between forty yova of atago tradition, and li.. 
employment of new materials. He took, up^m principle, wLu ho f.,«ind n«dy U, \u» hand. Dot 

of the transformations of classical or orieuUl f.''. i" -'-h « ■'-' lif- i» lm.«f«-'l ioU> 

• Coleridge's Literary Utmalna, toI. II., \ 1. 


*ij old bvdy, can equal tLU astoniaLing example of the lifecoufeniug power of a geniua such as 
ShakapcioH. Whoever really wiahea thoroughly to understand the resources which Shakspere 
p.Ms«*f.i, ill the creation of characters, in the conduct of a story, and the employment of language, 
will do well, again and again, to compare the old play of King John, and the King John of our 


Iklc'it " jHigcaut " of ' Kyuge Johan ' lus been published in the series by the Camden Society, under 
the jiidiciouii cditorbhip of Mr. J. P. Collier. This performance, which is in two parts, has been printed 
from iLo original manuscript in the library of the Duke of Devonshire. Supposing it to be written 
about the middle of the sixteenth century, it presents a more remarkable example even than 
" Howlcglaa," or "Hick Scomer" (of which an account is given in Percy's agreeable Essay on the 
Origin of the Eugliah Stage),* of the extremely low state of the drama only forty years before the 
Umo of Shakupcrc. Here ia a play written by a bishop ; and yet the dirty ribaldry which is put into 
the mouthii of some of the characters is beyond all description, and quite impossible to be exhibited 
by ouy cxamplo iu these p.iges. We say nothing of the almost utter absence of any poetical feeling, — 
of tho dull monotony of the versification,— of the tediousness of the dialogue, — of the inartificial 
conduct of tho story. These matters were not greatly amended till a veiy short period before 
Shakspere came to " reform them altogether." Our object in mentioning this play is to shew that the 
King John upon which Shakspere built, was, in some degree, constructed upon the 'Kynge Johan' of 
Itale ; and that a Iraditiouai-y King John had thus possessed the stage for nearly half a century before 
the period when Shak.Hpcre wrote his King John. We must, however, avail ourselves of an extract 
from Mr. Collier's Introduction to the play of Bale : — 

" The design of tho two plays of ' Kynge Johan ' was to promote and confirm the Reformation, of 
which, after his conversion. Bale was one of tho most strenuous and unscrupulous supporters. This 
design ho ozccuttiil in a manner until then, I apprehend, unknown. He took some of the leading and 
impular event* of tho reign of King John, his disputes with the pope, the suffering of his kingdom 
under tl>e interdict, his subsequent submission to Rome, and his imputed death by poison from the 
b^uds of a monk of Swiudtead Abbey, and applied them to the circumstances of the country in the 
latter jKirt of tho roigu of Henry VIII. * * * * This early application of historical events, of itself, 
M a alngulnr circunistanco, but it is the more remarkable when wc recollect that we have no drama iu 
our langiingo of ih t date, iu which personages connected with, and engaged in, our public affairs are 
iutrodticL'd. In ' Kynge Johan ' wo have not only the monarch himself, who figures very prominently 
until his dc^ilh, but I'opo Innocent, Cardinal Pandul^jhus, Stephen Laugton, Simon of Swynsett (or 
Swiustcad), and a monk called Raymundus ; besides abstract impersonations, such as England, who is 
•tated to bo a widow, Imperial M.-\jc.sty, who is supposed to take the reins of government after the 
death of King John, Nobility, Clergy, Civil Order, Treason, Verity, and Sedition, who may be said to 
'^ the Vice, or Jeatcr, of tho piece. Tlius wo have many of the elements of historical plays, such as 
they were acte<l at our public theatres forty or fifty years afterwards, as well as some of the ordinary 
niAteriAl* of tho old moralitiea, which were exploded by the introduction of real or 
imaginary charocturs on tho scone. Bale's play, therefore, occupies an intermediate place between 
moralities and historical plays, and it is tho only known existing specimen of that species of compo- 
iiition of no early a date." 

That the * Kyngo Johan' of tho furious Protestant bishop was known to the writer of the King 
John of 1591, wo have little doubt. Our space will not allow us to point out the internal evidences of 
this; but one minute but remarkable similarity may be mentioned. When John arrives at Swiustead 
Abbey, tho monks, in both plays, invito him to their treacherous repast by the cry of " Wassail." In 
the play of Dole wo have no inci<lents whatever beyond the contests between John and the pope, — 
tho nurrender of tho crown to Pandulph, — aud the poisoning of John by a monk at Swinstead Abbey. 
Tho action goes ou very haltingly : — but not so the wordy war of tKe speakers. A vocabulary of 
choice trrms of abuse, faiiiiliiirly used in the times of the Reformation, might be constructed out of 
Utia curious performance. Hero tho play of 1591 is wonderfully reformed ;— and we have a diversified 
action, ill wl. " " (,.,ry of Arthur and Constance, and the wars aud truces in Anjou, are brought to 
relicTo tho ■ ;i of papal domination and monkish treachery. The intolerance of Bale against 

the Kumi«h church is tho most fierce and rampant exhibition of passion that ever assumed the ill- 

• neliqUM of Engliih Poetry, vol. 1. 


.■vworteJ garb of religious zeal. lu the JoLu of 151*1 wo L.ivo uouo of tLia violence; but llio writer 
has exhibited a sceue of ribaldry, iu the iucidcut of Fnuicoubridgo huutiug out tho " uiigolt" of tho 
monka ; fur ho makea him find a nuo couoealed in a holy man's chest. Thia, no doubt, would b« a 
popular scene. Shidispero has not a word of it. Mr. Campbell, to our surpri»e, thinks that Shakupctt! 
might have retained " that scene in tho old play where Fuulconbridgc, in fulfillinj.; King John's 
injunction to plunder the religious houses, finds a young smooth-skinned nun in a chest where the 
abbot's treasures were supposed to be deposited."* When did ever "^' ' ' id his u ' to 

fix a stigma upon huge classes of mankind, in deference to pi)pul,i . ^ ' One <.'• ■■t 

remarkable characteristics of Shakspere's John, as opposed to tho grossnosa of Bale, and the ribaldry 
of his immediate predecessor, is tho utter absence of all invectiTO or sarcasm ng:un»t iho Homi>h 
church, apart from the attempt of the pope to extort a submission from tho lluglish king. IIcr«, 
indeed, we have his nationality in full power; — but how different is that from fostering hatreds 
between two classes of one people. 

It may amuse such of our readers as have not access to tho play of Bale, or to tho King John of 
1591, to tiee an example of the different modes iu which the two writers truut tho same subject — tho 
surrender of the crown to Pondulph : — 


•■ P. This o» tward remorse that ye show here evj di-nt 
Vs a grett 1} kelyhood and token of amendment. 
How say ye, Kynge Johan, can je fynd now in yowr haft 
To obaye Holy Cbyrch and peve owcr yowr froward part J 

K. J. Were yt so possyble to hold the enmyes backo. 
That my swete Ynglaiid pcrysh not in this sheppcwrackc. 

P. Possyble quoth hel yea, they shuld go b.ikc in dcdc. 
And tlier grct aniiyse to sonic other quarters leadc, 
Or elles tliey have not so many good blcssyng* now, 
Hut as many cursyngs they sliall have, I make God avowe. 
I promyse yow, sur, ye shall have specyall favcr 
Yf ye wyll submyt yowr sylfc to Holy Chyrch here. 

• • • • • 

K. J. 1 liave cast in my mynde the great displeasures of 

The dayngcrs, the losses, the dccayes, both iiere and farrc; 
The burnynge of towni-s, the tl.row)nge down of buyld- 

IH'structyon of come and rattell with other thjnges ; 
Dcfyljnge of niaydc», and shedynge of Christen blood. 
With such lyke outrages, ncylhar honest, true, nor good. 
These thyngcs consydervd, I am ciimpclled thys hourc 
To resignc up here both crownc and rcgall poure. 

• • • • • 

K. J. Here I submyt me to Pope Innocent the Ihrcd, 
Dyssyering mercy of hys holy fathcrhed. 

/'. Geve up the crowne than, yt shal be the better for yc : 
He wyll unto yow the more favorable be." 


" ramlulph. John, now I see thy hearty pcniletire, 
I rew and pitty thy distrcst cttale : 
One way Is left to reroncilc thy sclfe, 
And oncly one whicli I shall shew to th*«. 
Thou must surrender to the sea of Home 
Tliy crowne and dLidem, then shall the pops 
Defend thee from (h'inTs^ion of Iliy fix-s. 
And where hi» ' r • 

And set thy sii. 

Then sliall he . .ludowue. 

That seeke the .. 

John. From bad to wortc, or 1 must lu«»« my rraliue, 
(Jr giuc my crowne f»r !■< : i; re vnlo Home: 
A uiiseric more pieic .c dart* 

That breake ftom !- Mini tv.w, r 

What, shall It. ^"^ ' 

No : with II.U L- -., .. «■• 

What newes with tlice f 

• • • • • 

jr. J. How now lord Caxdlnsl. whsfs ytnii bMl sditMsl 

Thc<c : :• • •- - ■ • - ' •"', 

By I 

O Joli;i, IU. I.- - , *i .ctJ souk. 

And like to I.u: e. 

So are thy • ' ■" "'■•■"' 

Well may . 

The vulc»r »«i:: 

CarH. K Joi . l<Mr4 vow, 

This • ) '^*"<^ '• 

Uut > '• . 

And nothing shall bo tiMUuwt l« ay ilsto." 

We would willingly fumbh several similar paralleU between the King John of 15»1. and the Klnf 
John of Shakspcre, if our space would permit, and if the general reader would not bo lik.l/ l« «r.r, 
of such minute criticism. But wo may, without ri«k, select two n.. Tho first eihi'-.U the 

different mode in which the two writers treat tho character of the .... In tho pUj e-f l.ia bo w 

a bold, mouthing bully, who talks in " Erclcs vein," and somewhat rem-uds cm of " Aaaent PUtol. 
There is not a particle in this character of tho imprvsaiblo gaiety, -th ^ 

sarcasm— the laughing words accompanying tho stem deeds- which .^ ■- - ^ 

Shakspere. We purposely have .elected a short parallel extract; but tl.. i . -..•« furiiuli a key to 
the principle upon which a dull cluuacter is mrnlo brilliant. Our i«^t ha- let in the .^ 

prodigious animal gpirils, without any great intellectual refinement, (how dlff.nmt frv.m i. ^ , 

uiwn the heavy clod that he found ready to his h:ind :— 

• Remark* on Life and History of Shak.pere. prefiied lo Moioo's edition. 1W8. 



■' Lym. Methlnks that Ilictiards pride and Ilidiards fall, 
Should be a pmldent t' affrtglit you all. 

B<ut. What words are these r how do my sinews shake? 
Vly falheri foe clad In my fathers ipoylc, 
A thoutaiiU furict kiiiille wiili reuetiRe, 
Tlii ' l.ei'pcs a consistorie, 

Sc 1 A brand of hate : 

How O/tU A r In mine earcs — 

DcUv not PI,, J villninc straight, 

Di iiij.tchlcssc monument 

Tl. / U ore the sauages, 

Bate UeaiiSh-rooiii, coward, pcaiant, worse than a threshing 

• laue, 
What inak'ft thou with the trophle of a king?" 


" Aust. Peace! 

Snsl. Hear the crier. 

Ausl. What the devil art thou ? 

JBasl. One that will play the devil, sir, with you, 
An 'a may catch your liide and you alone. 
You are the hare of whom the iiroverb goes, 
Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard. 
I 'II smoke your skin-coat, an I catch you right; 
Sirrah, look to't; i' faith, I will, i' faith. 

Slttncli. O, well did he become that lion's robe, 
That did disrobe the lion of that robe ! 

Bast. It lies as sightly on the back of him. 
As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass : — 
But, ass, I '1! take that burden from your hack: 
Or lay on that shall make your shoulders crack." 

Tho Rccond extmct wo shall make, is for the purpose of exhibiting the modes in which a writer of 
onliiiary powers, and one of surpassing grace and tenderness, as well as of matchless energy, has dealt 
with tho samo pa-saion under the same circumstances. The situation in each play is where Arthur 
cxhurta hia motlier to be content, after the marriage between Lewis and Blanch, and the consequent 
peace between John and Philip : — 


",('/ Milin.. I' 1, these droopinR languishments 

AU •■ our awkward haps: 

" ' - I thcic cuents, 

T" aiii >:i auaile U bitter pcntiucness : 
Srjioin will cli 'II •■ -I'l.i go our present grccfe 
Majr chanxR v .iiJ alt to our rclccfe. 

Comtl. Ah b-.. , ; , ,^,,rcs 1 sec arc farrc too grcenu 
To hiok Into the bottom of thcic carm. 
Hul I, who »ee the poyie wciKhcth downc 
Thjr wcate, my with, and all the willing meancs, 
Wherewith thjr furtnne and thy fame should mount. 
What lojr, what eaic, rest can lodge in me, 
With whom all hojie and hap dnc disagree? 

An. Yrt lailiiM lo.irct, and cares, and solemn shewcs, 
Italhcr than hclpc.i, hcapc vp more worke for woes. 

Comtl. If any power will hcarc a widovvcs plaint, 
ThM from • woundid soulc Implores reucnge : 
Sm.1 f«!l ronlnsrinn t-i Infect this clime, 


lire the traitors breath, 


' liriimn,) 




r. too, 

To ' 

liiy fo-inans pride: 


a* he if, 

ll« takn ■ itii 

damnv'J brat. 

A'l 1 n ..'r:.r I, 

, ly nccre, 

thy hirth-daycs gift 

1' 'olc tho match. 

An.! ■ 

II out thine ownc, 


rfull cares : 


. ihiiftlcBi course. 

I.» .,.,.a 

■III • .11. r part, 

rio; iiiirt ol 

the lliirstio earth. 

Orowni; tu A iQuc-gamc and a bridall fcoit .'" 


" Arl. I do beseech you, madam, be content. 

Const. If thou, that bid'st me be content, wert grim, 
Usiy, and sland'rous to thy mother's womb, 
Full of unpleasing blots and sightless stains. 
Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious, 
Patch'd with foul moles" and eyc-ofTcnding marks, 
I would not care, I then would be content; 
For then I should not love thee ; no, nor thou 
Become thy great birth, nor deserve a crown. 
But thou art fair; and at thy birth, dear boy. 
Nature and fortune join'd to make thee great : 
Of Nature's gift thou may'st with lilies boast. 
And with the half-blown rose : but fortune, O ! 
She is corrupted, chaug'd, and won from thee; 
She adulterates hovirly with thy uncle John ; 
And with her golden hand hath jiluck'd on France 
To tread down fair respect of sovereignty. 
And made his majesty the bawd to theirs. 
France i.s a liaw<l to fortune, and king John ; 
That strumpet fortune, that usurping John : — 
Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn? 
Envenom him with words ; or get thee gone. 
And leave those wees alone, which I alone 
Am bound to under-bear. 

Sal. Pardon me, madam, 

1 may not go without you to tlie kings. 

Const. Thou may'st, thou shall, I will not go with thee : 
I will instruct my sorrows to be proud : 
For grief is proud and makes his owner stoop. 
To me, and to the slate of my great grief. 
Let kings assemble; for my grief's so great 
That no supporter but the huge firm earth 
Can hold it up : here I and sorrows sit ; 
Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it." 

Scenes and Costumes. , 

l!» IhU play tho nccne of tho fitMt Act is in John's palace in England. Of a Room of State of 
John'ii |.rrio<l. Mr. r-ynt-.T has fumisbod a sketch. The view of Atigiers in i\ct II. is from an old 
prinl. Tho i>ri.ion iu Act IV. in from a drawing, by Mr. Poynter, of a vaulted strong-room of the 
time. Of Swinatcvl Abl«?y there arc no remains, nor is any representation preserved that we cau 
Hbc-.Tor. Mr. Poyntcr'a sketch cxltibits ft conventual building of the period, with the orchard and its 
o]uract«riatic fiflh-pond. 


The authorities for the costume of the historical play of King Johu ar,, chieHy th« monumeutnj 
effigies and seals of the priucipij sovereigns au-l nobles therein mei,ti..noJ. lllumimit,..! '• . 

exact period are unknown to U8. All that we liavo seen of tho twelfth uiul thirU-emh ce,/ . 
to bo either of an earlier or later date than tho mgn of John. Tho nearest to hi* time, .pprciitiy u 
one In tho Sloano Collection, Brit Mus.. marked U>75. Fortunate! ,-. however, there a,e flw 
personages in the play beneath tho rank of th...„ for whose b^biU wo have tho n,o«t uu.,ue.U..,.a».lo 
models in the authorities above alluded to, and written descriptions or allusion, will furainh uh with 
the most e^seutial i«rt of tho information i-equiml. Tho on..melled cup said to haT« Uhm. prccnle.! 
by King John to the Corporation of Lynn, and from the figures on which tho ch ' f hi. 

reign has hitherto been designed, is now, by a critical oxaminatiun of tlK.-ie very u , „„,. 

parisou of their dress with that depicted in MSS. of at least a century later, proved to bo of tho Ume 
of Edward II. or III. Wo subjoin a group in which the dress of tho burghem and artificers u 
collected from the authorities nearest to the period. 


V ■ '-^ 


Tho efBgy of King John iu Worcester cathedr.d, which, by tho ozamtnation o. 0— ^-.^■ ■■f tli« 
monarch, was proved to present a fac-similo of tho royal robes in which he wm in*. tu 

a fine specimen of tho royal costume of the perioil, A full robo or suiwrtunic of cnuuK^n dtkuutiJi, 
embroidered with gold, and descending to the mid log. is girdled round •' . - .1 - ' '.^u b^ll 

studded with jewels, having a long end pendent in front. An under ti '.i^scrnJ. 

to the ankles, and a mantle of the same magnificent stufT, lin«<l with groeu illk, d«p«sds from bb 
shoulders; the hose are red, the shoes black, over which nn> f " " " ' V.or 

cloth, of a lijjht blue colour, striped with gricn and yellow 01 , tb« 

supertunic have borders of gold studded with jewels. The bock, of the glorat wan aUo Jvwclled. 

A kneeling effigy of Philip Augustus, engraved in Jr , shows t ' ;<» 

existing at tho same time iu Franco and Kiighuid. Tho in i -' i-««i 

attired in t'.ic Rime m:umor, viz., in the tunic, supertunic, an . •boa., 

of materials more or less rich according to tho nieaus or fancy of tho wenrer i reirvt, and 

gold and silver ti-tsuc.'i, with <• My furs ■ ' ' ' ' ' - u» 

documents of the period. A gar Ue«l a !■. 'h 

blouse), appears to have been a sort of supcrtuuio or aurcoat in vogue about this timo ; aiiil in wialOT 
it is said to have been lined with fur. The ci'' " 'of 

door exercise, had a capuchon to it, and was rallcxl ... ., _ .'. ~ - h) 

Mr. Strutt respecting this garment. In his Ilonla Aii(,'ol Cyuan, vol. U., p. <J7, ho .Utca IhU " wbaa 
King John made Thomas Sturmey a knight, he Mut a : Toro to 1 rt 

to make the following preparations: — "A scarlet ro' 1 •.••»« ;— .r., ...■!<, tad 

another robe of green, or buniet, with a cap and plume 1, lic." i i ; m . ixl.w ni 







aro " capi a<I pluua," a caiw, or cloak, for raiuy weatber. (Vide Excerj.ta Historica. Loudon : Beutley, 

1S33. p. 3&3.J 

The capucb .n, or hood, with which this gar:ueut was furnished, appears to have been the usual 
covering for the head ; but hats and caps, the former of the shape of the classical Petasus, and the 
latt«r Boructimea of the Phryginu form, and sometimes flat and round like the Scotch bonnet, are 
occMioDilly met with during the twelfth century. The beaux, however, during John's reign, curled 
and criitpcd their hair with irons, and bound only a slight fillet round the head, seldom wearing caps, 
in order that their locks might be seen and admired. The beard was closely shaven, but John and 
the Dublc« of his piurty are said to have worn both beard and moustache out of contempt for the 
dLscoQtcntod Buroua. The fashion of gartering up the long hose, or Norman chausses, sandal-wiso 
prevailed amoDgst all claBses ; and when, on the legs of persons of rank, these bandages are seen of 
guld BtufT, the effect is very gorgeous and jiicturesque. 

The drcat of the ladies may best bo understood from an examination of the eflSgies of Elinor, 
Queen of Huury II., and of Isabella, Queen of King John, and the figure of Blanch of Castile on her 
grvat Bcal. Although these personages are represented in what may be called royal costume, the 
gcDcral drcsa differed nothing in form, however it might in material. It consisted of one long full 
robe or gown, girdk-d round the waist, and high in the neck, Avith long tight sleeves to the wrist (in 
the Sloono MS. above mentioned the hanging cuffs in fashion about forty years earlier appear upon 
one figure) ; the collar Bometimes fastened with a brooch ; the head bound by a band or fillet of 
juwcIb, ami covered with the wimple or veil. To the gudle was appended, occasionally^ a small pouch 
or ■ ro. The wipa was used in travelling, and in winter pelisses (Felices, pelissons) richly furred 

[wl. ■■ name] were worn under it. 

King John onicrs a grey pelisson with nine bai's oi fur to be made for the Queen. Short boots, as 
well oa ahoct, were woni by the ladies. The King orders four pair of women's boots, one of them to 
Ikj frctaiiu dc fjiria (embroidered with circles), but the robe, or gown, was worn so long that little more 
llum the Ujja of the toes aro seen in illuminations or efiSgies of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, 
and the colour is gcDerally black, though there can be no doubt they were occasionally of cloth of 
gold or silver richly embroidered. 

Gloves do not appear to have been generally worn by females ; but, as marks of nobility, when they 
wore worn they were jewelled on the back. 

The mantle and robe or tunic, of the effigy of Queen Elinor, are embroidered all over with 
goMcu crcaceutH. This may have been some family badge, as the crescent and star are seen on the 
great aool of Richard I., and that monarch is taid to have possessed a mantle nearly covered with half 
luoonji and orbs of shining silver. 

The umour of the time consisted of a haubei-k and chausses made of leather, covered with iron- 
rings net up e<lgewi«o in regular rows, and firudy stitched upon it, or with small overlapping scales of 
metal like the Lorica squamata of the Romans. 

The hauberk Iwd a cnpuchon attached to it, which could bo pulled over the head or thrown 
b«ck at plcaauro. Under this wa-s sometimes worn a close iron skull-cap, and at others the hood 
iUclf WM Bunnouiited by a " chapel de fer," or a largo cylindrical helmet, flattened at top, the face 
boiog defended by a i)crforatod plato or grating, called the "aventaile" {avant taille), fastened by 
■crcwa or hinges to the helmet. A variety of specimens of this early vizored head-piece may be 
•ecn on the BcnU of the C'ouuta of Inlanders in Olivarius Vredius' History; and the seal of Prince 
Louia of Fmnco (one of the pcr/io;iages of this play) exhibits a large and most clumsy helmet 
of thia description. The neal of King John presents us with a figure of the monarch wearing 
over his armour the military surcoat as yet undistinguished by armorial blazonry. On his head 
ia cither a cylindrical helmet, without the avent;iile, or a cap of cloth or fur. It is difficult, from 
ihn BUtc of the iinprcjtsiona, to decide which. He bears the knightly shield, assuming at this period 
thr triangular or heater shape, but exceedingly curved or embowcd, and emblazoned with the 
ll»ro« liona, or lr'>p\rd.i, pas.'t.'iut regardant, in i>ale, which are first seen on the shield of his brother, 
RichArd I. 

"Tho : ■ uviA period wna the goad or pryck spur, without a rowel. The principal weapons 

o' ^^c - •: the lanco, the sword, and the battle-axe. The shape of the sword may be best 

aacertAiDcd from the effigy of King John, who holds one in his hand ; the pommel is diamond shaped, 
and has an oval cavity in the centre for a jewel 

KTXG jonx. 

The common BolJiery fought with bills, long nnd crosi* bows, Hlingx, club:*, nn>l n viiriely of rucle 
but terrific weapons, such :i8 scythes fastened to polea (the fnlcnBtrum), nn<l a surt of Bpear, witli a 
hook on ono side, called the guisarmo. The nrbnlast, or oroBs bow, is Bnid to hftve beoii invmitid in 
tho previous reigu, but AVace mentions it as having boon known to tho Normans Wfuro tho CoiKpnnt. 
Engines of war, called the niangonell niul the petraria, for throwing heavy sIoqch, are niontiontsl by 
Quliel. Britto in his Phillippeis, 1. 7. 

Iiitorea grossos petraria inittit ab intus 
Assiduc Inpides msnguncllusquu iiiinorci. 

And iu the close rolls of John is an order, dated 2d April, 1208, to the Bailiff of Porcheater, lo 
cause machines for flinging stones, called petrariro and mangonelli, to bo made for the King's service, 
and to let Drogo do Dieppe and his companions have iron and other thingK necessary for ninkinj; of 
them. Philip sent to his son Louis a military engine, called the malvoisine (bad neighbour), t) batter 
tho walls of Dover Castle. 

The costume of the following personages of the drama will bo found in their porti-ait^, which are 
introduced intii tho Historical Illustration accompanying enrh act: — King John, Qiioen Klinor, King 
Philip, Prince Lewis, Blanch of Castile, Salisbury, Pembroke, Henry III. Wo have, however, 
endeavoured to give a general impression of the military and priestly oostumo of the i>eriod, in 
the following group, which refers to the oath taken by the Engliah b:in>n8 interchangeably with 
Prince Lewis and his knij^hts, 

•' Upon tlie allar at St, EiliuunJsbury.' 




i '/". 




Kino Joii.s. 

I'aiscK llENiiY, his son; nflerwarils Kin?; Henry III. 

AuTiiuu, Duke of Bretagnc, son of Getrrey, Uite Duke 

of Brctngne, llie elder brother nf Kin^ Joliii. 
William Maresiiall, Earl of Pembroke. 
Ckifbky Fitz-Peteu, Karl of Essex, cAic/j/ix/iV/Voi/ 

of England. 
W iLi.iAM LosGswoRD, Earl of Salisbury. 
ItoDKnx Bigot, Earl of Norfolk. 
IluiiEKT DE BuiiGii, chamberlflin to the King. 
Koni.KT Faulcondridge, son of sir Robert Faulcon- 

ritlLlP Faulcondridgf., his half-brother, bastard son 

to Kiuji Kichard the First. 
Jami-s GuiiNEY, servant to Lady Fauleoiibridge. 
rKTRR of Vonifret, a prophet. 
I'll I LIP, King of France. 
1 , K w 1 "i , th e Da uplt i n . 
,\uciiDUKE at Austria. 
Cardinal Pakduip-'i, Me Pope's Icyate 
Mklun, a French lord. 
CiiATiLLOK, ambassaior from France to King John. 

Elinor, the widow of King Henry II., and mother of 

King Jolin. 
I'oNSTAKCE, mother to Artliur. 
Blanch, daughter to Alplionsc, King of CastUe, and 

niece to King Jolin. 
l.ndy Faulcondkidoe, mother to the Bastard C7i'i 

Robert Faulconbridgc. 

Lords, Ladies, Citizens of Angiers, Sheriff, Heralds, 
Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and othir Allendanit. 



>U. ^. 

v\; vv '.\\vvi 

'! i /I////, i l/t 

i\. >?pB*" 




^^ \ 




SCENE I.— Northampton. A Room of State in 
the Palace. 

Enter King John, Queek Eunor, Pembiioile, 
Essex, SAXisBtriiT, and others, tcith Cuatillojj. 

King John. Now say, Chatillon, what would 

France with us ? 
Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the king of 
In my behaviour," to the majesty, 
The borrowed majesty of England here. 

'Eli. A strange beginning; — borrow'd majesty ! 
K. John. Silence, good mother ; hear the em- 
Chat. Philip of France, in right and true 
Of thy deceased brother Getfrcy's son, 
Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful ckim 
To this fair island, and the territories ; 

» Behaviour. Haviour, behaviour, is the manner of 
having, the conduct. Where, then, U tlie difficulty wliich 
this expression has raised up .' Tlie king of France spe.ik.i, 
in the conduct of his arabass.idor, to " the borrow'd m.ije»ty 
of England ; " — a necessary explanation of the ipeech of 
Chatillon, which John would have resented upon the 
speaker himself, had he not in his '-behaviour" exjiresjcd 
the intentions of bis sovereign. 

loll I nine, Maine . 

D.M . >l. 

Which sways usurpiusly these 5<?vcral titles ; 
And put the Mill ' ' - h&nJ, 

niy nephew and : ;. 

AT. John. What follows if wc disallow of thin? 
Chat. The proud control of fierce and bloody 
To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld. 
K. John. Here have we war for war, and blood 
for blood, 
Coutrolnient for controlment : so answer France. 
Chat. Tlien take my king's defiance from my 
The farthest limit of my embassy. 
K. John. Bear mine to him, and so depart in 
peace : 
Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France ; 
For ere thou canst report I will be there, 
The thunder of my cannon shall be heard :' 
So, hence ! Be thou the tnimpct of our wrath, 
And sullen presage of your own decay. 
An honourable conduct let him have : — 
Pembroke, look to 't : Farewell, Ciiatillon. 

[Exeunt CuATlLLON and PEMBROKB. 


Act I] 


[Scene I. 

Eli. W]iat now, my son ? have I not ever said, 
How that ambitious Constance vroulcl not cease, 
T " ' ' ! '. • 'Vl France, and all the world, 
I .1 nartv of her son? 

Tbia might have been prevented, and made 

Willi very easy arguments of love ; 
Wliicli now the manage* of two kingdoms must 
With fearful bloody issue arbitrate. 
A'. JoAh. Our strong possession, and our right, 

for us. 
EU. Your strong possession much more than 
your right ; 
Or else it must go wrong with you and me : 
80 much my conscience whispers in your ear ; 
\Vhich none but Heaven, and you, and I, shall 

Efi/er //if Sheriff ry Northamptonshire, 7c/io 
whispers Essex. 

EsBfx. Jfy liege, here is the strangest contro- 
(>»mc from the country to be judged by you, 
That e'er I heard : Shall I produce the men ? 

A'. John. Let them approach. — [^Exii Sherifi'. 
Our abbeys, and our priories, shall pay 

Re-fnter Sheriff, //•//// Robekt Faulconbridge, 
and PuiLip, /;/* bastard Brother. 

This expedition's charge. — What men are you ? Your faithful subject I, a gentleman, 
Bom in Northamptonshire ; and eldest son/ 
As I suppose, to Robert Fuulconbridge ; 
A soldier, by the honour-giving hand 
Of C<Eur-de-Lion, knighted in the field.- 

A'. ./'/////. What art tiiou ? 

lloli. Thf son and heir to that same Fa\ilcon- 

A'. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir ? 
You came not of one mother then, it seems. 

Jiiift. Most certain of one motlier, mighty king, 
That is well known : and, as I think, one father : 
But, for the certain knowledge of that truth, 
I put you o'er to heaven, and to my mother ; 
Of that I doubt, as all men's eliiliirou may. 

Kli. Out on thee, rude man ! thou dost shame 
thy mother, 
And wound hrr honour with this diffidence. 

Bail. I, madam ? no, I have no reason for it ; 
Tlmt is my brother's plea, and none of mine ; 

•.ViT". ^^v In Sli,V,:..-rn. .l,r .„„. mc.ininfr as 
"" I to a state, is 

"1'' i r , . , ; Antonio, 

" He whom next thyself 
Of aU the world I lov'd, and to him put 
The mmmagt of mjr ttatc." 

The which if he can prove, 'a pops me out 
At least from fair five hundred pound a-year : 
Heaven guard my mother's honour, and my land! 

K. John. A good blunt fellow : — Why, being 
younger bom, 
Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance ? 

Bast. I know not why, except to get the land. 
But once he slander'd me with bastardy : 
But whe'r " I be as true begot, or no, 
That still I lay upon my mother's head ; 
But, that I am as well begot, my liege, 
(Fair fall the bones that took the pains for me !) 
Compare our faces, and be judge yourself. 
If old sir Robert did beget us both, 
And were our father, and this son, like him ; — ■ 

old sir E-obcrt, father, on my. knee 

1 give Heaven thanks I was not like to thee. 

K. John. Why, what a madcap hath Heaven 
lent us here ! 

Eli. He hath a trick^ of Cceur-de-Lion's face ; 
The accent of his tongue affecteth him : 
Do you not read some tokens of my son 
In the large composition of this man ? 

K. John. Mine eye hath well examined his 
And finds them perfect Richard. Sirrah, speak, 
What doth move you to claim your brother's land: 

Bast. Because he hath a half-face, like my 
With that half-face*' would he have all my land : 
A half-faced groat^ five hundred pound a-year ! 

Bob. My gracious liege, when that mv fathei 
Your brother did employ my father much : — 

Bast. Well, sir, by this you cannot get ray land: 
Your tale must be how he employ 'd my mother. 

Bob. And once dispatch'd him in an embassy 
To Germany, there, with tliC emperor, 
To treat of high affairs touching that time : 
Th' advantage of his absence took the king. 

» h'fie'r. To prevent confusion, we give lliis word as a 
contraction of tlie nher of the ori^'inal, whicli has the mean- 
ing of whether, but does not appear to have been written as 
a contraction either by Shakspere or his contemporaries. 

•> Trick, hire and elsewhere in Shakspere, means pecu- 
liarity. Cluster remembers the " trick" of Lear's voice; — 
Helen, thinking of Bertram, speaks 

" Of every line and trick of his sweet f..vour;" 

FalstafF notes the " villainous lri(k" of the prince's eye. In 
all these cases trick seems to imply habitual manner. In 
tliis view it is not difficult to trace up the expression to the 
Bame common source as trick in its ordinary acceptation ; 
as, habitual manner, artificial habit, artifice, entanglement; 
from tricare. Wordsworth has the Shaksperean use of 
"trick" in the Excursion (book i.):— 

" Her infant babe 
Had from its mother caught the trick of grief, 
And sigh'd among its playthings." 

e That half-face is a correction by Theobald, which ap- 
pears just, the first folio giving "half that face." For an 
explanation of half-face, see Illustrations. 

Act I] 



And in the mean time sojoaru'd at my fatlier's; 
Where how he did previul, I shame to s[)('ak : 
But truth is truth; hirge lengths of seas and 

Iktsvecu my father and my motlier lay, — 
As I have heard my father speak himself, — 
When this same lusty yentleman was gut. 
Upon his death-bed he by will bcqucath'd 
His lands to mc ; and look it, on his death, 
That this, my mother's sou, was none of his; 
And, if he were, he came into the world 
Full fourteen weeks before the eourse of time. 
Then, good my liege, let mc have wliat is mine, 
My father's huid, as was my father's will. 

A'. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate; 
Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him : 
* And, if she did play false, the fault was her's ; 
Whieh fault lies on the hazards of all husbands 
That marry wives. Tell me, how if my brother, 
Who, as you say, took pains to get this son, 
Had of your father elaim'd this son for his ? 
In sooth, good friend, your father might have kept 
This calf, bred from his cow, from all the world; 
lu sooth, he might : then, if he were my brother's. 
My brother might not claim him ; nor your father. 
Being none of his, refuse him : This concludes : 
My mother's son did get your father's heir; 
Your father's heir must have your father's land. 

Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no force, 
To dispossess that child wliich is not his ? 

Bait. Of no more force to dispossess mc, air, 
Than wa.s his will to get mc, as I think. 

Eli. Whether hadst thou rather be a Faul- 
And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land ; 
Or the reputed son of Coeur-dc-Lion, 
Lord of thy presence," and no land beside ? 

Bast. Madam, an if my brother had niy shape, 
And I had his, sir Robert his,'' like him ? 
And if my legs were two such riding-rods ; 
My arms such eel-skins stuff'd ; my face so thin. 
That in mine car I durst not stick a rose, 
Lest men should say, Look, where three-far- 
things goes;* 
And, to his shape," were heir to all this land, 

■ Pretence maj' here mean "priority of \n3CC," prri'anci; 
As the son of Coeur-de-Liun, FaulconbridRe would take rank 
without liis land. Warburton judged it meant "master of 
thyself." If thi» interpretation be correct, the passafjc 
may have suggested the lines in Sir Henry Wotton's song 
on a " Happy Life," 

" Lord of himself, though not of lar.ds, 
And having nothing yet hath all." 

*> Sir Robert his. This is the old form of the penltivc, 
such as all who have looked inio a legal instrument know. 
The original has "Sir Roberts his,'' which Mr. Lctisom 
considers a double genitive. 

c To hit tliape— in addition to his shape. 

Histories. —Vol. I. C 

'Would 1 might never stir from off this place, 
I would give it every f<Mit to have this face; 
It would not be sii- Nob* in any ease. 

A'//. I like thee well : Wilt thou fonukv thy 
Bequeath thy land to him, and follow me? 
1 am a soldier, ;uul nnw hound to France. 

Bast. Brother, take jou my huul, 1 '11 {i\ke 
my chance : 
Your face hath got live hundred i)ound a-year ; 
Yet sell your face for live pence, and 't is dear. 
Madam, I'll follow you unto the death. 
lili. Nay, I woidd have you go before mc 

Bast. Our country manners give our betters 

A'. Ju/iH. AVhat is thy name ? 
Bast. Philip, my liege ; so is my name begun ; 
Philip, good old sir Hobert's wife's eldest son. 
A'. Jo/i>i. From henceforth bc;u- his name 
whose form thou bearest : 
Kneel thou down Piiilip, but arise more great ; 
Ari-sp. sir Richard, and Plantagcnct.* 

Bast. Brother, by the mother's side, give mc 
your hand ; 
!My father gave me honour, yours gave land : 
Now blessed be the hour, by night or day. 
When I was got, sir Robert was away. 
L7i. The very si)irif of Piantapciict ! 
I am thy grandame, Jtichard ; call me so. 
Bast. Madam, by chance, but not by Inith • 
What thoui;h? 
Something alxiut, a little from the right. 

In at the window,*" or else o'er the hatch ; 
Who dares not stir by day nm ' ' dit ; 

And have is have, however ; 
Near or far off, well won is still well shot ; 
And 1 am I, howc'er 1 was Ix-g^it. 

A'. Jo/iu. Go, Faulcoubridgc ; now hast thou 
thy desire, 
A landless knight makes thcc a huidcd squire. — 
Come, madam, and come, Richard; we must 

For France, for France; for it is more than 
Bast. Brotiicr, adieu ; Good fortune come to 
thee ! 
For thou was got i* the way of honesty. 

[^lixeuitl all but the Bastard. 

a We have given the text of the folio—" II would not be 
Sir Xob."— not ' / would not be." " This face," he sayt, 
"would not be Sir Kob." Nob is now, and was in Shaks- 
pcre's lime, a cant word for tlie head. 

>> In at the window, fee. Thc5C were expres- 
sions, which, by analogy with irregular modes of entering a 
house, had reference to cases such as that of Faulcon- 
bridge's, which he gently tenns " a Utile from the right." 


ACT I.] 



A foot of Louour better than I was; 

I'.ut many a many foot of land the worse. 

Well, now can 1 make any Joan a lady. 

Good den," sir Kichard,— God-a-mercy, fellow ; 

And if his name be George, 1 '11 call him Peter : 

For new-made honour dotii forget men's names j 

T is t<xj nsijective, juid too sociable, 

For your conversion.'' Now your traveller, 

ilc and hi.s tooth-pick* at my worship's mess. 

Ami when my knigiitly stomaeli is sufDc'd, 

Why then I suck my teeth, and catechise 

My picked man of countries:" My dear sir, 

(I'liu.s, leaning on my elbow, I begin,) 

1 shall bescecli you— That is question now; 

\nd then comes answer like an Absey<i book : 

O, sir, says answer, at your best command; 

At your employment ; at your service, sir : 

No, sir, says question, I, sweet sir, at yours : 

And 80, ere answer knows what question would, 

Saving in dialogue of compliment ; 

And talking of the Alps and Apennines, 

The Pyrcuean, and the river Po, 

It draws toward supper in conclusion so. 

But this is worshipful society. 

And fits the mounting spirit like myself : 

For he is but a bastard to the time, 

That doth not smack of observation; 

(And so am I, whether I smack, or no ;) 

And not alone in hal)it and device, 

P'.xtcrior form, outward accoutrement ; 

Hut from the inward motion to deliver 

Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth : 

Which, though I will not practise to deceive. 

Yet to avoid deceit I mean to learn ; 

For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising. — 

Kut who comes in such haste, in riding robes ? 

What woman-post is this? hath she no husband, 

'Ihat will take pains to blow a horn before her? 

Enter iMdj Faulconbridge, and James 


' ) me ! it is my mother : — How now, good lady ? 
\Vhat brings you here to court so hastily ? 

» Onad ien—ffnA cvcninf;— ^oor/ t'en. 

' ' '"II. Thl» Is tlie reading of Ihc folio, but was 

• ' 'PC lo conccriinif. The ll.istard, wlicse "new 

" ■ ' i" a convcr«ion, — a clianKC of condition, — 

» rrmomftfr men's n.inics (opposed, by inipli- 

' '* '■'" respective (punctilious, di.Hcrinii- 

' 1 for one of his newly ,itt.-iini^d rank. 
■Irir,. "The travelled fool," " the 

I 'K,'" of the modern fable, is the 

'' *•" " To pick," is the same as 

' 't is n metaphor derived from 

' iUK their feathers. "He is too 

{'■ . — » -led," occurs in Love's Labour's 


4 A^r^ f->~t. «hr common name for the first, or A, 1), C, 
^' 1 i»a» generally included in these 

' reference In tlic text to "question " 


Lady F. "Where is that slave, tliy brother ? 
where is he ? 
That holds in cliase mine honour up and down ? 
BasL My brother Robert? old sir Robert's 
son ? 
Colbrand the giant,' that same mighty man ? 
Is it sir Robert's son, that you seek so ? 

Ladj/ F. Sir Robert's sou ! Ay, thou uni-c- 
verend boy, 
Sir Robert's sou: Why scorn'st thou at sir 

Robert ? 
He is sir Robert's son ; and so art tliou. 

Basl. James Gumey, wilt thou give us leave 

a while ? 
Gzir. Good leave, good Pliilip. 
Bast. Philip ? — sparrow ! "■ — James, 

There 's toys abroad ; anon I '11 tell thee more, 

\_Ea:U Gpeney. 
Madam, 1 was not old sir Robei't's son ; 
Sir Robert might have eat his part in mc 
Upon Good-friday, and ne'er broke his fast : 
Sir Robert could do well ; Marry — to confess — 
Could he get me ? Sir Robert could not do it ; 
V^G know his handy -work: — Therefore, good 

To whom am I beholden for these limbs ? 
Sir Robert never holp to make this leg. 
Lady F. Hast thou conspired with thy brother 
Tliat for thine own gain sliould'st defend mine 

honour ? 
What means this scorn, thou most untoward 
knave ? 
Bast. Knight, knight, good mother,— Basi- 
What 1 I am dubb'd ; I have it on my shoulder. 
i But, mother, I am not sii- Robert's son ; 
i I have disclaira'd sir Robert and my laud; 
Legitimation, name, and all is gone : 
Then, good my mother, let me know my father ; 
Some proper man, I hope ; "Wlio Mas it, mother ? 
Lad!/ F. Hast thou denied thyself a Faulcon- 

bridgc ? 
Basl. As faithfully as I deny tlie devil. 
iMdy F. King Richard Cceiu'-de-Lion was tliy 
father : 
By long and vehement suit I was seduc'd 
To make room for him in my husband's bed. 

" Pliilip t — sparrotv. The sparrow was called Philip, — • 
I)erhaps from his note, out of which Catullus, in his elej,'y 
on Lesbia's sparrow, formed a verb, pipilabat. When (iurney 
calls the bastard "good Philip," the new "Sir Kichard" 
tosses o(T the name with conteiiii)t— "sparrow I" He then 
puts aside James, with " anon I '11 tell tlice more." 

b Jifisilisco-like. Basilisco is a character in a play of 
Shakspere's time, Soliman and Perseda, from which Tyr- 
whitt quotes a passage which may have suggested the 
words of the Bastard. The oaths of Basilisco becsme pro- 
verbial. Busilisco is mentioned by Nash in IS'JCi. 

AlT I ] 

Kl\r, .TOUX. 

rSrimt L 

Heaven! lay not my tnn my ckiigi," 

That art the issue uf im ...— - -...e, 

Whieh was so strongly urg'd, past my defence. 

Bast. Now, by this light, were I to get ag-ain, 
Madfun, 1 would not wish a better father. 
Some sins do bear their privilege on earth, 
And so doth yours : your fault was not your folly : 
Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose, — 

coi-y. » : 
the cukU 

We have rcitorej the rrmJinR of the old 
< to uiniore in Shak9i>i-ic'> manner than 

" HeaTen Uy not my Uantgmtion to my charge, 
Thou art the iMue of my dear offence," &c. 

La<ly Ps'il'-onbrvl;'" i* i>ot invoking Heaven to pardon her 
tr.i ' •• • ■ 

lajuv 'Ji li . 1 ': ; ■ ,' » >.i r .*..«.'-■ it L I 111 f^t 1 1 1 . .i.^ .4.. .1. .^- >.» j .x 

cales any intention of upbraiding hii mother. 

A^ :ee 

Tho aw less* lion could not wage the Hght, 
Nor keep his ; from Uichard's hami ' 

lie, that j)crfjiii is of their hearts, 

May cosily win a . Ay^ my mother, 

With all my heart i thank thee for my father ! 
WhoUvcsaii' ' ' •■ ' " 'well 

When I was ^; . i 
Come, lady, I will shew thee to my kin , 

And they ^hall s.iy, when Richard mc Ixgut, 
If thou hadst ^aid him nay, it h.-ul been sin : 

Who says it was, he lies ; I say, 't was not. 


-> .lr/<'ii,— the oppoitleof awfUl: not liuplriac aw*. 


Sc. I. p. 16.—" 'Til too respective and too sociable 
For your eonrertion." 

'■ "T is too respective and too sociable 
For your diteriion."— Collier. 

Ci.mrrrtioH is a misprint of the folio, according to Mr. 
r«llier It was common, he says, to entertain "picked 

men of countries " fur the dittnlon of the eotn^ny at the 

(if}.'... ..f ft .. K. t\...r fir.*, r. *.:.. It... f». .).).. ..1 .t.... I.. . « II. p 


ia too : 

made huuuur. 



' ScENK I. — " The thunder of my cannon shall be 

We hnvo the same anclironism in Hamlet and 
ill Macbeth. It is Hcarcely necessary to tell our 
readers th:it K'"ip'*^^'^*^'^ ^^'"^^ invented about a 
century later than the time of John, <ind that the 
firdt battle-field in which cixnnon were used ia 
Commonly supposed to have been that of Creasy. 
And yet the dramatic poet could not have well 
avoided this literal violation of propriety, both 
hero and in the second Act, when he talks of 
" bullets wr.ipp'd in fire." He uses terms which 
were familiar to his audience, to present a pai'- 
ticular image to their senses. Had he, instead of 
cannon, spoken of the mangoncll and the petraiia, 
— the stone flinging machines of the time of John, 
— he would have addressed himself to the very 
few who might have appreciated his exactness ; 
but his words would have fallen dead upon the 
ears of the many. Wo have other anachronisms 
in this play, which we may as well dismiss at 
once, in connexion with the assertion of the prin- 
ciple upon which they are to be defended. In 
Act I. wo have the '"half-faced groat" of Henr3' 
VII. and the "three-farthing rose" of Elizabeth. 
The mention of these coins conveys a peculiar 
image, which must have been rejected if the poet 
had been bound by the same rules that govern an 
nnti'juarj'. So in the fifth Act, where the Dauphin 
nays ho luia " the best cards for the game," — the 
poet hafl to choose between the adoption of an 
allusion full of spirit and perfectly intelligible, or 
the mibstitution of some prosaic and feeble form 
of Hjwech, that might have had the poor merit 
of not anticipating the use of playing cards in 
Kuropo, by about a century and a half. Wo are 
not aware of any other passage in this play which nfTorded ''the learned" an opportunity (which 
they have not lost in speaking of these pa-ssages) of 
propounding the necessity of constructing a work 
of art upon the same principles of exactness that 
go to produce a perfect Chronological Table. 

* 3cE5E I. — " A sohlirr, hy the honour-f/ivhiy hand 
0/ Caurdc/Jon kniyh'ed in the field." 

The desifirn nfc Uio pnd of Act I. supplies, better 

' I. a notionof the remai-kable 

' ; a battle-knight. The gene- 

■ttnn of the figures is fron a vignette in 

"Voyages I'ittore.-iques et Romantiques 

dans I'ancienuo France ; " which represents Philip 

Auscuatus conferring knighthood on the Prince 

Arthur of thia play. The costume of the persona 

reprcaentcd in our design ia from the first and 


second seals of Pilchard I.,- from the tombs of 
Essex, Pembroke, and Salisbury,— and from the 
Sloane MS., No. 1975. St. Palaye, in his Memoirs 
of Chivalry, say.s, " In warfare there was scarcely 
any important event which was not preceded or 
followed by a creation of knights. * * * Knight- 
hood was confeiTcd, on such occasions, in a man- 
ner at once expeditious and military. The soldier 
presented his sword, either by the cross or the 
guard, to the prince or the general from whom he 
was to receive the accolade — this was all the cere- 
monial."* It was in this manner, — in the absence 
of those processions and banquets that accom- 
panied the investiture of knighthood during peace, 
— that four hundred and sixty-seven French gentle- 
men were made knights at the battle of Rosebeck, 
in 1382; and five hundred before the battle of 
Azincour, 1415.t Our English chroniclers tell us 
that, in 1339, the armies of Edward III. and 
Philip of France, having approached near to each 
other, arranged themselves in order of battle, and 
fourteen gentlemen were knighted ; but the armies 
separated without coming to an engagement, and 
a hare happening to pass between the two hosts, 
some merriment was produced, and the knights 
were called the knights of the hare. J This is an 
example of the custom of knighting before a 
battle. At a later period wo have an instance of 
knighting after a fight. Henry VIII., after the 
battle of Spurs, in 1514, made Sir John Pechye 
Banneret and John Carrii Knight, both of them 
having done great service in the encounter.§ 
When the " honour-giving hand" of the first 
Richard created Robert Faulconbridge a knight 
" in the field," we are not told by the poet 
whether it was for the encouragement of valour 
or for the reward of service. But in Cymbeline 
we have an example of bestowing of the honour 
as the guerdon of bravery. The king, after the 
battle with the Romans, commands Belarius, 
Guiderius, and Arviragus, thus : — 

" Bow your knees: 

Arise my kniglUs of the battle; I create you 

Companions to our person." 

8 Scene I. — " A half-faced groat." 

The half-face is the profile ;— and the allusion 
had probably become proverbial, for it occurs also 
in a play, " The Downfall of Robert Earl of Hun- 
tington," 1601,— 

" You lialf-fac'd groat, you thick-cheek'd chitty-face." 

The profile of the sovereign is given in one or two 

• St. Palaye, eil. Paris, 1750, vol i. 
1 Baker's Chronicle. 

t Ibid. 
5 Ibid. 


ff our early coins; but Henry VII. was the first 
king who made au extensive isbue of coins with the 

The : is & eopy of Ui6 •' half 

■1 . I oat " of lu;ii \ » 1 1. 

• ScEXE I.—" Loot, u-Aeir tkrt*fart\ing» yofu" 

Tlie thivc f;trh-nr ^-Ivrr r:"''(>' f>f Klizabeth wm, 
lu the v.v y thin;— «nd 

thus the .^-- . ... •■•f.v r.ix^ ^o 

thin." " It WM once the irton 

(Anatomy of >' i - i ly^, u. -n. ►. .. i. uxwera 
in the e.-u- ; " the thin face and the rouo 

in the ear, taken tugcrther, were to be avoided — 

"Lett men should say. Lo-jk. where thrffCirtbingigoe* ;"— 

f'-T the three-farthing piece was not only thin, and 

therefore might be associated with the " thin fiice,'" 

but it bore a rose which as.-' > > , ' ' 

in the ear. This coin wx- 

thiiigrose," and the following lo u copy uf it . — 

* SCEXE I.— "Arise Sir Richard, and Plantagenet." 

Shakspere, with poetical propriety, confers upon 

the bastard the surname by which tl: ' ':ouac 

of Anjou was popularly known. PI • waj 

not the fai ' 

been besto 

broom in his bonnet — the J'ianla ffcmitla. 

' ScFvn I— " iVow your (ranlltr, 

He and his tooth-pick." 

One of the characteriijtica of the " picked ma: 
of countries'' was the use of a to"*' • ■ ^- • •• ' ■•- •' 
Englishman who adhered tohisi 
"suck" his teeth. It : 
■ages to show that the ' 
foreiijn frivolity. Ga- 
bury, and Shirley, h.iv 

^ ScE.\B I.—" Colbrand the yiani.' 

In Drayton's Polyolbion, the twelfth 
Lave a long and sonorous description of ' 
battle between Colbrand the DanUh gian* 
of Warwick. — which the general reader 

ID Soutbey'a Si>'^*ni<'"< ■ an' ■•f ulii.-h the fol- 
lowing extract w notion: 

" after, when tb« Dane*, who nettr ««afW4 wtr. 

Ai «a* not to b« maich'd by aojr mortal «l(lit : 

r • • ■ ■ 

Then ro'fbmi-i fr C-r Psm rarrr fort^ In Irr'Til ndi 
Come with tlieir couair;'* maxcli, aa ihtj U> Mart tkaaU 


ehamptowi llien advaae* 

. . \. 

Then with (uch ei^er blowi each olbar llwt ponoe. 

iha grawui. 

' KIi btmin. 

>. t < - !• II 1 : . wi 1 


•• un foot*, (or bone micbt Im«t« 

t«d round many ■ b- 
4." A curiotia ape- 



logendri of Sir Guy and Sir Bevis, from a black 
letter quarto of the middle of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, ia given in Capell's " School of Shakespeare." 

• Scene I. — " The awless lion could not wage the 

Nar keep his princely heart from Richard's 

The reputation for indomitable courage, and pro- 
digious physical strength, of Kichard I., transferred 
this story from romance to history. Kastall gives 
it in his Chronicle; "It is sayd that a lyon wa.? 
put to Kyugo llicharde, beynge in prison, to have 
devoured him, and when the lyon was gapynge, he 
put his uruie in his moutho, and pulled the lyou 
by the h.'irte bo hard, that he slew the lyon, and 
tlierefore some say he is called Ryebarde Cure de 
Lyon ; but some say he is called Cure de Lyon, 
because of his boldenesse and hardy stomake." 
Our readers may compare this with the following 
extract from the old Jletrical Romance of Richard 
Cceur do Lion : * — 

" The jioct tells ua, that Richard, in his return 
from the Holy Land, having been discovered in 
the habit of 'a jialmer in Almayne,' and appre- 
hended asaspy, was by the king thrown into prison. 
Wanlrewe, the king's son, hearing of Richard's 
great strength, desires the jailor to let him have a 
sight of hi.'! prisoners. Richard being the fore- 
most, Wardrewo a;Hk3 him, ' if he dare stand a 
buffet from lii.s liand?' and that on tlie morrow 
In sliall return him another. Richard consents, 
and receives a blow that staggers him. On the 
morrow, liaving previously waxed his hand.s, he 
waits his antiigonist's arrival. Wardrewe accord- 
ingly, proceeds the story, ' lield forth as a trewe 
man,' and Ricliard gave him such a blow on the 

• I'crcy's Ilcliqucs, vol. iii. Introduction. 

cheek, as broke his jaw-bone, and killed him on the 
spot. The king, to revenge the death of his son, 
orders, by the advice of one Eldrede, that a lion 
kept purposely from food, shall be turned loose 
upon Richard. But the king's daughter- having 
fallen in love with him, tells him of her fathei"'s 
resolution, and at his request procures him forty 
ells of white silk ' kerchers : ' and here the des- 
cription of the combat begins : — 

'The kever-chefes lie toke on honde, 
And aboute his arnie he wonde; 
And tliought in that ylke while, 
To flee the lyon with some gyle. 
And syngle in a kyrtyll he stode, 
And abode the lyon fyers and wode, 
With that came the jaylcre, 
And other men that wyth him were, 
And the lyon them amonge; 
His pawes were stiff and stronge. 
The chamber dore they undone, 
And the lyon to them is gone. 
Rycharde sayd, Hclpe, Lorde Jesu' 
The lyon made to him venu, 
And woldc hym have all to rente : 
Kynge Richarde besyde hym glente. 
The lyon on the breste hym spurned, 
That aboule he tourncd. 
The lyon was hongry and niegre, 
And bette his tayle to be egre ; 
He loked aboute as he were madde; 
Abrode he all his pawes spradde. 
He cryed lowde, and yaned wyde. 
Kynge Rycharde bethought hym that tyde 
What hym was best, and to hym sterte, 
In at the throte his honde he gerte, 
And hente out the lierte with his honde, 
Lounge and all that he there fonde. 
The lyon fell deed to the grounde: 
Rycharde felt no wem ne woutide. 
He fell on his knees on that place. 
And thanked Jesu of his grace.'" 

"---"--^ ' . " - „f." * 


Il would appear acarcely necessary to entreat 
the reader to bear in mind, — before we plice in 
apposition the events which these scenes bring 
before us, and the facts of history, i)roperly so 
called, —that the " Hi.'^tones " of "Shakspere are 
Dramatic Poems. And yet, unless this circum- 
Btjince be watchfully regarded, we shall fall into 
the error of setting up one form of truth in con- 
tradiction to, and not in illustration of, another form 
of truth. It appears to us a worse than useless 
employment to be running jtarallels between the 
poet and the chronicler, for the purpose of shewing 
that for the literal facts of hisUjry the poet is not 
BO safe a teacher as the chronicler. In this somewhat 
prosaic spirit, a gentleman of ability and research 
wrote a series of essays that undertook to solve 
two problems, — " What were Shakspere's author- 
ities for his history, and how far has he dep;irtcd 
from them ? And whether the plays may bo ^;iven 
to our youth a.s properly historicil." * The writer 
of these essays decides the latter question in the 
negative, and maintiiins that these pieces are 
" quite unsuitable as a medium of instruction to 
the English youth ; " — and his great object is, 
therefore, to contradict, by a body of minntu 
proofs, the assertion of A. W. Schlogel, with 
regard to plays, that " the principal traitn in 
every event are given with so much correctness, 
their apparent causes and their secret motives are 
given with so much penetration, that we may 
therein study history, so t<j speak, after nature, 
without fearing that such lively images should 
ever be efiFaced from our minds." Schle^'el njipears 
to us to have hit the true cause why the yuth 
of England have been said to take their hi.-^tory 
from Shakspere. The " lively images " of the jjoct 

* Shakspere's Historical Plays considered historically. 
Uy the liight Hon. T. P. Courtcnay. 

present a general truth much more completely 
than the tedious narratives of the iinnali«t. Tlio 
ten English " histories " of Shak-ik.To — " the 
magnificent dramatic I-Jpojn'f, of which the sepamto 
pieces are ditl'erent cantos" — stuid in the fiani« 
relation to the contemporary historinns of tl>o 
events they deal with, a.s r landacni>o does in a map. 
Mr. Courtenay says, " Let it bo well undcrst<Kxi 
that if in ony case I derofjato from Sli.i'- 
an historian, it is .as an liiMtorinn oidv." 
the in which Mr. tV 

"historian," — by which hen. ^ 

past events with the moat accurate <>l>B*n'nnccii of 
time and place, and with the most dili^mt 
bahincing of conflicting testimony — Shak)ti>cr«j 

has no pretensions to h<- - ' 1. The jirinciplo, 

therefore, of viewing S: ^ In-tory thnu^^li 

another medium than ut Iwm art, ami |>r>- 
nouncing, upon this view, that hin'iri' vil pliiyg 
cannot bo given to our youth as " hi«- 

torioal," is nearly aa absurd as it ■ c to 

dorof^ato from the merits of Mr. Tiinicr'a bonutiful 
drawings of coast ncenery, by maintaining and 
proving that the draugiitoinaii hiul not acvumtcly 

of ctich Uiy Rud 
to our niiiidii, • 

laid down the relative 

promontory. It wouM 

grejitcr midtiko to o^nfounl tliO : 

of the landscnjKj |Hunt<T anil t to subject the ))>'ct t.i thi' 

sliould govern the chninulcr. i ,, . . , 

the po«t, a higher truth than tiio litonl, ovnlrml 

in spitfl of, or r.ithcr in combination with, hia 

minute vi<ilation* of accurncy ; wo may iu tho 

iwi't bctt«-r stu'ly history, " »o to ii|>c(tk, afl.<T 

nature," than in tho annaliiit, — borAiiiut tlm f t 

ma-iseH aU'l 
in tho or: 

min<l, a-i wcil n« in the ' . ho 

bestows upon them, to tho !.. hich 

hu a clearr sccse of fitness and proportion than 



the laws of a dry chronology. But, at any rate, 
tLe Btructure of au historical drama and of an 
historical uamitive are bo essentially different, 
that the oflBcea of the poet and the historian must 
never be confounded. It is not to derogate from 
the poet to eay that he is not an historian ; — ifc 
will be to elevate Shak.spere when we compare his 
j)oetical truth with the truth of history. "We 
have no wish that he had been more exact and 

The moving cause of the main action in the play 
of King John is put before us in the very first lines. 
Chatillon, the amba-ssador of France, thus demands 
of John the resignation of his crown : — 
" Philip of France, in right and true behalf 

Of thy deceased brotlicr Geffrey's son, 

Arthur Planlagenet, lays lawful claim 

To »hi< fair iiland, and the territories ; 

To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine." 

In the year II 90, when Arthur was only two years 
old, hi-i uncle, llichard Cocur-de-Lion, contracted 
him in maiTiage with the daughter of Tancred, 
king of Sicily. The good will of Richard towards 
Arthur, on this occasion, might be in part secured 
by a dowi-j- of twenty thousand golden oncie which 
the Sicilian king ] aid in advance to him; but, 
at any i-ate, the infant duke of Britanny was 
recogni.fed in this deed, by Richard, as "our most 
dear nephew, and heir, if by chance we should 
die without issue."* When Richard did die, 
without is-sue, 1199, Arthur and his mother 
Constance, who was really the duchess regnant of 
Britanny, were on friendly terms with him, 
fdthough in 1197 Richard had wasted Britanny 
with fire and sword ; but John produced a testa- 
ment by which Richard gave him the crown. 
The adherents of John, however, did not rely upon 
this iuHtrument; and, if we may credit Matthew 
Paris, John took the brightest gem of the house 
of Anjou, the crown of England, upon the principle 
of election. His claim was recognised also in 

• See Daru, ilistoire de Bretasne, tome i. p. 381. 

Normandy. Maine, Touraine, nud Anjou, on the 
other hand, declared for Arthur ; and at Anglers 
the young j^rince was proclaimed King of England. 
As Duke of Britanny Arthur held his dominion 
as a vassal of France ; — but Constance, who knew 
the value of a powerful j^rotector for her son, 
offex-ed to Philip Augustus of France, that Arthur 
should do homage not only for Britanny, but also 
for Normandy, Maine, Anjou, Touraine, and Poitou. 
Philip encouragei the pretensions of Arthur to 
the provinces of which he had offered homage, 
and he met his young vassal at Mans, where he 
received his oath, bestowed on him knighthood, 
and took him with him to Paris. 

We may assume this point of the history of 
Arthur as determining the period when Shakspere's 
play of King John commences. 

The hostility of Elinor to Constance is mani- 
fested in the first Scene : — 

" What now, my son ! have I not ever said, 
How that ambitious Constance would not cease, 
Till she had kindled France, and all the world, 
Upon the riyht and party of her son ? " 

Holinshed assigns the reason for this enmity : — 
" Surely Queen Elinor, the king's mother, wa3 
sore against her nephew Arthur, rather moved 
thereto by envy conceived against his mother, 
than upon any just occasion given in the behalf 
of the child ; for that she saw if he were king 
how his mother Constance would look to beai' 
most rule within the realm of England, till her 
son should come to lawful age to govern of 

Philip the bastard, whose character infuses so 
much life and spirit into these scenes, is thus 
noticed in Holinshed ; nor is there any other 
mention of him : — " The same year also (the first 
of John), Philip, bastard .son to King Richard, to 
whom his f ither had given the castle and honour 
of Coynack, killed the Viscount of Lymoges, in 
revenge of his father's death, who was slain (as ye 
have heard) in besieging the castle of Chains 


•3 J 




















SCENE T. — France. Before the Walls o/'iVngicrs. 

Enter on one side, the Archduke op Austria, 
and Forces; on the other, Philip, Kiiiff of 
France, and Forces ; Lkwis, Constance, 
Arthur, and Attendants. 

Ijcw. Before Angiers well met, brave Austria. 
Arthur, that great fore-runner of thy blood, 
Kichard, that robb'd the lion of his heart, 
And fought the holy wars in Palestine, 
By this brave duke came early to Ids grave : 
And, for amends to his posterity, 
At our importance* hither is he come, 
To spread his colours, boy, in thy ht-half ; 
And to rebuke the usurpation 
Of thy unnatural uncle, English Joliu ; 
Embrace him, love him, irive him welcome 

Arth. God shall forgive you Cceur-dc-lion's 

The rather, that you give his offspring life, 
Shadowing their right under your wings of war : 
T give you welcome with a powerless hand, 
But witli a heart full of unstained love : 
Welcome before the gates of Angiers, duke. 

» Importance, importunity. 

Letr. A noble boy ! Wiio would not do (hrc 

right ? 
Aitit. Upon thy cheek lay I this ri-.-ilons llsg, 
As seal to this indenture of my love ; 
That to my home I will no more return, 
Till Angiers, and the right thou hitst in Fmneo, 
Together with that pale, that whitc-fac'd shore, 
Wiose foot spurns bark the ocean's ronrinp t ides, 
And coops from otlier lands her i.sjanders, 
Even till that England, hedg'd in with the nniii, 
That watcr-wallcd bulwark, still secure 
And confident from foreign |)urposcs, 
Even till that utmost corner of the west 
Salute thcc for her king : till then, fair lioy, 
Will I not think of home, but follow arms. 
Const. O, take his mother's thanks, a widow's 
Till your strong hand shall help to give him 

To make a more requital to your love. 

Auat. The peace of heaven n theirs that lift 
their swords 
In such a just and charitable war. 

A'. Phi. Well then, to work ; otir cannon shall 
be bent 
Against the brows of this resisting town. 
Ciill for our chicfcst wen of discipline, 




[Scene L 

To cull the plots of best advantftccs ; 
^Vc '11 lay before tbis town our royal bones, 
Wade to' the market-place in Frenchmen's blood, 
Bat we will make it subject to this boy. 

Con.sL Stay for an answer to your embassy. 
Lest uuadvis'd you stain your swords with blood : 
^ry Lord ChatiUon may from England bring 
That right in peace, which here we urge in 

And then we shall repent each drop of blood. 
That hot rash haste so indirectly shed. 

Enier CnA.TiLLON. 

K. Phi. A wonder, lady !— lo, upon thy wish, 
Our messenger Chatillon is an-ived. — 
Wliat England says, say briefly, gentle lord, 
We coldly pause for thee ; ChatiUon, speak. 

Chat. Then turn your forces from this paltry 
And stir them up against a mightier task. 
England, impatient of your just demands, 
Ilath put himself in arms ; the adverse winds. 
Whose leisure I have staid, have given him time 
To land his legions all as soon as I : 
His marches arc expedient" to this town. 
His forces strong, his soldiers confident. 
With him along is come the mother-queen. 
An Atf?, stirring him to blood and strife ; 
AVith her her niece the lady Blanch of Spain ; 
With them a bastard of the king's deceased : 
And all the unsettled humours of the land, — 
llaah, inconsiderate, fiery, voluntaries. 
With ladies' faces and fierce dragons' spleens, — 
Have sold their fortunes at their native homes, 
Bearing their birthrights proudly on their backs. 
To make a hazard of new fortunes here. 
In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spiiits. 
Than now the English bottoms' have waft o'er, 
Did never float upon the swelling tide, 
To do offence and scath in Christendom. 
Tlie interruption of their churlish drums 

[Brums beat. 
Cuts off more circumstance : they are at hand. 
To parley, or to figlit ; therefore, prepare. 

A'. Phi. How much unlook'd-for is this cxpe. 
dition ! 

Auit. By how much unexpected, by so much 
Wc must awake endeavour for defence ; 
For courngc mounteth with occasion : 
I^t them be welcome then, wc are prcpar'd. 

It . 

this w. - 
truth, h 

rt properly means, 'that (liscnRaffos 

Ticnti.' To set at liberty the fuut 

■-•'rlirf. Sh.nk!iperc always uses 

-n with its rterivation ; as, in 

It may be called Isanjed. 

Enter King John, Elinor, Blanch, the Bastard, 
Pembroke, and Forces. 

K. John. Peace be to France ; if France in 
peace permit 
Our just and lineal entrance to our own ! 
If not, bleed France, and peace ascend to heaven ! 
Whiles we, God's wrathful agent, do correct 
Their proud contempt that beat his peace to 
K. Phi. Peace be to England ; if that war return 
From France to England, there to live in peace ! 
England we love ; and, for that England's sake. 
With burden of our armour here we sweat : 
This toil of ours should be a work of thine ; 
But tliou from loving England art so far, 
That thou hast under-wrought his lawful king. 
Cut off the sequence of posterity. 
Outfaced infant state, and done a rape 
Upon the maiden virtue of the crown. 
Look here upon thy brother Geffrey's face ; — 
These eyes, these brows, were moulded out of his: 
This little abstract doth contain that large. 
Which died in Geffrey ; and the hand of time 
Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume. 
That Geffrey was thy elder brother born. 
And this his son ; England was Geffrey's right. 
And this is Geffrey's," in the name of God. 
How comes it then, that thou art call'd a king, 
When living blood doth in these temples beat. 
Which owe the crown that thou o'ermasterest ? 

A''. John. From whom bast thou this great 
commission, France, 
To draw my answer from thy articles ? 

K. Phi. From that supernal judge, that stirs 
good thoughts 
In any breast of strong authority, 
To look into the blots and stains of right. 
That judge hath made me guardian to this boy : 
Under whose warrant, I impeach thy wrong ; 
And, by whose help, I mean to chastise it. 

K, John. Alack, thou dost usurp authority. 

K. Phi. Excuse ; it is to beat usuqnng down. 

Eli. Who is it thou dost call usurper, France ? 

Const. Let me make answer ; — thy usurping 

•"» And this t.( Geffrey's. We have restored the punctua- 
tion of the original, 

" And this is Geflfrcy's, in the name of God." 
Perhaps we should read, according to Jlonck Mason, " And 
his is Geffrey's." In either case, it appears to us that Kiuf,' 
Philip makes a solemn asseveration tliat this (Arthur) is 
Geffrey'.s son and successor, or that " Geffrey's right " is his 
(Arthur's)— in the name of God; asserting the principle ol 
legitimacy, by divine ordinance. As the sentence is com- 
monly given, 

" In the name of God, 
How comes it then,"&c., 
Philip is only employing an unmeaning oatb. 

A(T II.] 

KTXG jonx. 

[SCE«S I. 

Eli. Out, insolent ! thy bastard shall be king ; 
That thou may'st be a queen, and check the 
world ! 

Const. My bed was ever to thy son as true, 
As thine was to thy husband : and this boy 
Liker in feature to his futiicr Gtfl'rev, 
Than thou and John, in manners being as like 
As raiu to water, or devil to his dam. 
My boy a bastard ! By my soul, I think, 
Ilis father never was so true begot; 
It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother. 

Eli. Tlierc 's a good mother, boy, that blots 
thy father. 

CoHit. There 's a good grandainc, boy, that 
would blot thee. 

Aiist. Peace ! 

Bast. Hear the crier. 

Just. Wliat the devil art thou ? 

Bast. One that will play the devil, sir, with 


An 'a may catch your hide and you alone. 
You are the hare of whom the proverb goes, 
"\Miose valour plucks dead lions by the beard. 
1 '11 smoke your skin-coat, an I catch you right ; 
Sirrah, look to 't ; i' faith, I will, i' faith. 

Blanch. 0, well did he become that lion's robe. 
That did disrobe the lion of that robe ! 

Ba.%f. It lies as sightly on the back of him, 
As great Alcides' shoes ^ upon an ass : — 
But, ass, I '11 take that burden from your back ; 
Or lay on that shall make your shoulders crack. 

Aust. What cracker is this same, that deafs 
our ears 
With this abundance of superfluous breath ? 
King, — Lewis,' determine what we shall do 

Lew. Women and fools, break off your con- 
King John, this is the very sum of all, — 
England and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Elaine, 
In right of Arthur do I claim of thee : 
Wilt thou resign them, and lay down thy arms ? 

K. John. My life as soon : — I do defy thee, 
,\rthur of Brclagnc, yield thee to my hand ; 
And, out of my dear love, I '11 give thee more 
Than e'er the coward hand of France can win : 
Submit thee, boy. 

Eli. Come to thy grandame, child. 

Const. Do, child, go to it' grandame, child ; 
Give grandame kingdom, and it' grandame will 

» King, — Lttch. We have here restored the oriK>n>l 
reading. Austria is impatient of the " supcrfluouj breath " 
of the bastard, and appeals to Philip and the D.iuptiin — 
" King,— Lewis, determine." "King" is usually omitted, 
and the line given to Philip. 

Give it a plum, a cherry, and n fig : 
There's a gootl grandaiiK 

Arlh. Good my iiiotlicr, \km\- ' 

I would that I were low hiid in my grave ; 
I am not worth this cod that 's made for mc. 
Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he 

Const. Now shame uimju you, whe'r she docs, 
or no! 
His grandamc's wrongs, and not his mothcr'a 

Draw those heaven-moving pearls from his j)Oor 

Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee ; 
Ay, with these crjstal beads heaven shall be 

To do him justice, and revenge on you. 

Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and 

earth ! 
Const. Thou monstrous injure r of hcuvcu ami 
earth ! 
Call not me slanderer ; thou, and thine, usurp 
llio dominations, royalties, and riglits 
Of this oppressed boy : This is thy eldc-st son's son, 
lufortunate in nothmg but in thee ; 
Thy sins are visited in this poor child ; 
The canon of the law is laid on him, 
Being but the second generation 
Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb. 
A'. John. Bedlam, have done. 
Const. I have but this to s-tv. — 

That he 's not only plagued for her sin, 
But God hath made her sin and her the plague 
On tliib removed issue, i)lagued for her 
And with her plague; her sin his injury. 
Her injury the beadle to her sin ;• 
All punish'd in the person of this child, 
And all for her ; .\ plague upon her ! 

Eli. Thou unadvised scold, I can produce 
A will, that bars the title of thy .son. 

Const. Av, who doubts that ? a will ! a wicked 
w'ill ; 
A woman's will; a canker'd grandamc's will ! 
A'. Phi. Peace, bdy ; pause, or be more tem- 
perate : 
It ill Ix'seems this j)re.sciicc, to cry aim 
To these ill-tuned repetition.^. 
Some trumpet summon hither to the walls 
These men of Angicrs ; let ua hear Ihcm speak, 
Whose title they admit, Arthur's or John's. 

Trumpet sonitds. Enter Citizens upon the walls, 
at. VTho is it, that liath w.ini'd us to the 

a We adopt ihe punrtuation of Mr. White'* edition and 
that of the Cambridge, both being the reading of Mr. Itoby 


Act II. 1 


[SctNE I. 

K. Phi. 'T is France for Englaiul 

K. John. England, for itself : 

You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects. 

K. Phi. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's 
Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle. 

K.John. For our advantage ;— Therefore, 
licar us first. 
These flags of France, that arc advanced here 
Before the eye and prospect of your town. 
Have hither mareh'd to your endamagement : 
The cannons have their bowels full of wrath ; 
And ready mounted are they, to spit forth 
Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls ; 
All preparation for a bloody siege 
And merciless proceeding, by these French, 
Confronts" your city's eyes, your winking gates ; 
And but for our approach, those sleeping 

That as a waist do girdle you about, 
By the compulsion of their ordnance 
By this time from their fixed beds of lime 
Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made 
For bloody power to rush upon yoiu" peace. 
But, on the sight of us, your lawful king, 
AVho painfully, with much expedient march, 
Have brought a countercheck before your gates, 
To save unscratch'd your city's threaten'd 

checks, — 
Bcliold, the French, amaz'd, vouchsafe a parle : 
And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd iu fire. 
To make a shaking fever in your walls, 
They shoot but calm words, folded up in smoke, 
To make a faithless error in your cars : 
Which trust accordingly, kind citizens. 
And let us in. Your king,'' whose labour'd spirits, 
Forwearicd ' in this action of swift speed, 
Craves harbourage within your city walls. 

A'. Phi. "When I have said, make answer to 
us both. 
IjO, in this right hand, whose protection 
Is most divinely vow'd upon the right 
Of liim it holds, stands young Plautagenet, 
Son to the elder brotiier of this man. 
And king o'er him, and all that he enjoys : 

■* Cnnfronla ijnur cili/'s ci/r.i. The original edition has 
eomfiirl ynur cily't ryes, wliicli is, in part, a misprint, 
alChniiKli cnmforl mij^lit lie useil by Jolin in irony. The 
Inter ccliiinns read, confront, after Rowe. Prpparation is 
here the nominative, and tlierofore we use confronts. 

>> Ynur king. 8:c. In the old reading " your kin(,' " is the 
nominative to "craves." In some modern editions we read 
" And let ns in, your kin;,'; whose laboured spirits, 
Forwearicd in lliis action of swift speed, 
Crate harbourage," &c. 
c Foruearitd. It is to bi- observed that forwcani and 
ircory arc the s.ame, and that forwearicd niav be used, not 
a* a participle requiring an auxiliary verb, but as a verb 
neuter. "Our spirits wearied in this action "would be 
correct, even in modern construction. 


For this down-troddcu equity, we tread 

In warlike march these greens before your town ; 

Being no further enemy to you. 

Than the constraint of hospitable zeal, 

In the relief of this oppressed child, 

Religiously provokes. Be pleased then 

To pay that duty, which you truly owe. 

To him that owes'' it— namely, this young prince : 

And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear. 

Save in aspect, have all offence seal'd up ; 

Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent 

Aminst th' invulnerable clouds of heaven ; 

And, with a blessed and unvex'd retire, 

With unhaek'd swords, and helmets all un- 

We will bear home that lusty blood again, 
Which here we came to spout against your town, 
And leave your children, wives, and you, in 

But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer, 
'T is not the rounder'' of your old-fae'd walls 
Can hide you from our messengers of war. 
Though ail these English, and their discipline. 
Were harbour'd in their rude circumference. 
Then, tell us, shall your city call us lord. 
In that behalf which we have challeug'd it ? 
Or shall we give the signal to our rage, 
And stalk in blood to our possession ? 

Cii. In brief, we are the king of England's 
subjects ; 
For him, and in his right, we hold this town. 
K. John. Acknowledge then the king, and 

let me in. 
at. That can we not : but he that proves the 
To him will we prove loyal ; till that time. 
Have we ramm'd up our gates against the world. 
K. John. Doth not the crown of England 
prove the king ? 
And if not that, I bring you witnesses. 
Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's 
breed, — 
Bast. Bastards, and else. 
K. John. To verify our title with their lives. 
K. Phi. As many, and as well-born bloods as 

those, — 
Bast. Some bastards too. 
K. Phi. Stand in his face, to contradict his 

at. Till you compound whose right is 
We, for the worthiest, hold the right from both. 

a Oa'<?j— owns. 

b Jiounder. This is the English of the original. The 
modern editions have turned tlic ■word into the French 
roundure. Mr. Wliite says rounder is only the phonetic 

Act II.] 


K. John. Then God forgive the sin of all those 
That to their evcrlustuig residence, 
Before the dew of evcuiug fall, shall llLct, 
In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king! 
A. Phi. Anicn, amen!— Mount chevaliers! 

to arms ! 
Bast. St. George,^ that swiiidg'd the dragon, 
and e'er since 
Sits on his horseback,' at mine hostess' duor, 
Teach us some fence ?— Sirrah, were I at home. 
At your dcu, sin-ah, {to Avstiua.] with your 

I 'd set an ox-hcad to your lion's hide, 
And make a monster of you. 

■^ttst. Peace ; no more. 

Bast. O, tremble; for you hear the lion roar. 
A'. John. Up higher to the plain; where we'll 
set forth, 
In best appointment, all our regiments. 
Bast. Speed then, to take advantage of the 

A'. P/ii. It shall be so; — [to Lewis.] and at 
the other hill 
Command the rest to stand.— God, and our right ! 


SCENE II.— The same. 

Aliiriimx and Excursions; then a Retreat . Enter 
a French Herald, with Trumpets, to the Gates. 

F. Her. You men of Anglers, open wide your 
And let young Arthur, duke of Bretagnc, in ; 
\Vho, by the hand of France, this day hath made 
Much work for tears in many an English mother, 
^Vhose sons lie scatter'd on the bleeding ground ; 
Many a wido\v's husband groveling lies. 
Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth ; 
And victory, with little loss, doth play 
Upon the dancing banners of the French; 
Who are at hand, triumphantly display'd, 
To enter conquerors, and to proclaim 
:Vrthur of Bretague, Enghind's king, and yours ! 

Enter an English Ilcrald, icith Trumpets. 

E. Her. Rejoice, you men of Anglers, ring 

your bells ; 
King John, your king and England's, doth 

Commander of this hot malicious day ! 

* Slt$ on his horieback. Shakapero miirht have found an 

example for the expression in North's I" ' ' ^ 

favourite books; "lie commanded 1. 

their bands to the field, and he hiu, ... , ,,. .• 


[Sctre ir. 

Their n incurs that imu-eh'd hence so Mher- 

iiilher reliiru all gilt witii Frenchmen's blood ; 
There stuck no plume in any English crest, 
That is removed by a staff of Fninee ; 
Our colours do return iu those sonic hands 
That did display them when Ave first march'd 

forth ; 
And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen,* como 
Our lu«ity Eiigli-ih, all witli purpled hnnds, 
Dyed in the dying slaughter of their foes : 
Open your gates, and give the victors way. 
Hubert.* Heralds, from olT our towero we 

might behold, 
From first to last, the onset and retire 
Of both your armies ; whose cquidity 
By our best eyes cannot be censured : 
Blood hath bought blood, and blows have an- 

swer'd blows ; 
Strength match'd with strength, and jiowcr 

confronted |)ower: 
Both are alike ; and bcith alike we like. 
One must prove greatest : v hilc they weigh so 

A7e hold our town for neither; yet for both. 

Enter, at one side. King Jou.v, tcilh his Power ; 
Eldjor, Blancu, and the Bastard; at the 
other, Kino Piiili?, Lkwis, Austbia, and 


K. John. France, hast thou yet more blocxl lo 

cast away ? 
Say, shall the current of our right roam on,*" 
"Whose ])assngc, vex'd with thy ii. '' it, 
Shall leave his native channel, an.i .11 

With course disturb'd even thy confining shores, 
Unless thou let his silver water keep 
A j)caceful progress to the ocean? 
K. Phi. England, thou hast not saved one 

drop of blood, 
In this hot trial, more than wc of France ; 
Rather, lost more : And by this hand I swear, 

//.,; . , / lA :ti,. ..I 

- .f 

Act Jobn iBf I to Hubert, 

It mirbt V hh 


nor t!.^ -.. 


" thjr Toluntarjr oath 

■t oath " M • Clticrn of Anirlrra 
rxprniion. Wc, Ibereforr, 


• v,l 




[Scene II. 

That swajs the earth this climate overlooks, 
Ik-forc we will lay clown our just-borne arms, 
Wc '11 put thee down, 'gainst whom these arms 

we bear. 
Or add a royal number to tlic dead ; 
(iracing the scroll, that tells of this war's loss. 
With slaughter coupled to the name of kings. 

Basl. Ha, majesty ! how high tliy glory towers, 
When tlie rich blood of kings is set on fire ! 
O, now doth death line his dead chaps wath steel ; 
The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs ; 
And now he feasts, mousing'' the flesh of men, 
in undetermin'd differences of kings. 
Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus ? 
Cry, havoc, kuigs ! back to the stained field, 
You equal potents, fiery-kindled spirits ! 
Then let confusion of one part confirm 
Tlie other's peace; till then, blows, blood, and 
death ! 

A'. John. Whose party do the townsmen vet 
admit ? 

K. Fhi. Speak, citizens, for England ; mIio 's 
your khig ? 

Hubert. The king of England, when we know 
the king. 

A'. Phi. Know him in us, that here hold up 
his right. 

A'. John. In us, that are our own great deputy, 
And bear possession of our person here ; 
Lord of our presence. Anglers, and of you. 

Uubert. A greater power than we denies all 
this ; 
And, till it be undoubted, we do lock 
Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates, 
Kings, of our fear ■,'^ untU our fears, resolv'd. 
Be by some certain king purg'd and dcpos'd. 

•^ Mnuting. This figurative and cliaracteristic expression 
III the oricinnl was rendered by Pope into the prosaic mouth- 
ing, which, up to our Pictorial edition, usurped its place. 
We restored the reading, which is iiov/ generally adopted. 

*> Kiiiyi, of our /car. The change of this passage is 
nmoni;st the most remarkable of the examples which this 
play furnishes of the unsatisfactory nature of conjectural 
emendation. Warburton and Johnson, disregarding the 
orifciiial, »ay, " Kings are our fears." Malone adopts 
lyrwhitt's conjecture — " King'd of our fears;" — and so the 
pa»».i»,'c runs in most modern editions. If the safe rule of 
endeavouring to understand the existing text, in preference 
to guessing wliat the author ouglit to have written, had 
been adopted in this and hundreds of other cases, we should 
.have been spared volumes of commentary. The two kings 
)iercm|itorily demand the citizens of Anglers to acknow- 
ledge the respective rights of each, — Kngland for himself, 
France for Arthur. The citizens, by the mouth of Hubert, 

" A greater power than wc denies all this." 
Their quarrel is undecided — the arbitrement of Heaven is 

" And, till it be undoubted, we do lock 
Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates, 
Kings, of our fear," 
on account of our fear, or through our fear, or by our fear, 
we hold our former scruple, kings, 

" until our fears, resolv'd. 
Be by some certain king purg'd and depos'd." 


BasL By heaven, these scroyles'^ of Anglers 

flout you, kings ; 
And stand securely on their battlements, 
As in a theatre, whence they gape and point 
At y(nir industrious scenes and acts of death. 
Your royal presences be rul'd by me ; 
Do like the mutines of Jerusalem,* 
Be friends a while, and both conjointly bend 
Yoiu- sharpest deeds of malice on this town : 
By east and west let France and England mount 
Thcii- battering cannon charged to the mouths ; 
Till their soul-fearing'' clamom-s have brawl' d 

The flinty ribs of tins contemptuous city : 
I 'd play incessantly upon these jades. 
Even till unfeneed desolation 
Leave them as naked as the vulgar air. 
That done, dissever your united strengths. 
And part youi- mingled colours once agam ; 
Turn face to face, and bloody point to point : 
Then, in a moment, fortune sliall cull forth 
Out of one side her happy minion ; 
To whom in favour she shall give the day. 
And kiss him with a glorious victory. 
How like you this wild counsel, mighty states ? 
Smacks it not something of the policy ? 

JC John. Now, by the sky that hangs above 

our heads, 
1 like it well ;— France, shall we knit our powers. 
And lay this Anglers even with the ground ; 
Then, after, fight who shall be king of it ? 

£ast. An if thou hast the mettle of a king, 
Bemg wroug'd, as wc are, by this peevish town, 
Turn thou the mouth of thy artUlcry, 
As we will ours, against these saucy walls : 
And when that we have dash'd them to the 


Through and by had the same meaning, for examples of 
which see Tooke's Diversions of Purloy (vol. i. p. 379) ; and 
so had by and o/— as " he was tempted of the devil," in our 
translation of the Bible ; and as in Gower, 

" But that arte couth thei not fynde 
0/ which Ulisscs was deceived." 
* Scroylcs; from Lcs Escrouelles, the king's evil, 
b Soui-fearing. To fear is ofien used by the old writers 
in the sense of to maJce afraid. Thus, in Sir Thomas 
Elyot's Governor, " the good husband" setteth up " shailea 
to f,ar away birds." In Norlli's Plutarch, Pyrrhus " think- 
ing to fear" Fabricius, suddenly produces an elephant. 
Shakspere has several examiiles : Antony says, 

" Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails." 
Angelo, in Measure for Measure, would 

" Make a scarecrow of the law, 
Setting it up to fear the birds of prey." 
But this active sense of the verb fear is not its exclusive 
meaning in Shakspere ; and in the Taming of the Shrew, 
he exhibits its common use as well in the neuter as in the 
active acceptation : — 

" Pet. Now, for my life, Hortensio /cars hia widow. 
Wid. Then never trust me if I be afeard. 
Pel. You are very sensible, and yet you miss my sense; 
I meant Hortensio is afeard cf you." 

Act II. 


ISitvt. II 

Why, then defy each otlier : ami, pell-mcU, 
Make work upon ourselves, for heaven, or hell. 
K. Fhi. Let it be so: — Sav, wlun; will vou 

assault P 
A'. John. Wc from the west will seuil dc- 
luto this eify's bosom. 
Auil. 1 from the north. 

A'. Phi. Our thunder from the south, 

Shall raiu their drift of bullets on tiiis town. 
Bast. O prudent discipline! From north to 
south ; 
Austria and Trauce shoot iu each other's mouth : 

1 '11 atir them to it : — Come, awav, away ! 

Hubert. Hear us, great kings : vouchsafe a 
while to stay, 
And I shall shew you peace, and fair-faced 

league ; 
"Win you this city without stroke or wound ; 
Rescue those breathiug lives to die in beds. 
That here come sacrifices for the field : 
Persever not, but hear me, mighty kings. 

A'. John. Speak on, with favour; we are bent 

to hear. 
Hubert. That daughter there of Spain, the 
lady Blanch, 
Is near to England ; Look upon the years 
Of Lewis the Dauphb, and that lovely maid : 
If lusty love should go in quest of beauty. 
Where should he find it fairer than in Blanch ? 
If zealous love should go in search of virtue, 
"Where should he find it purer than in Blanc'i ? 
If love ambitious sought a match of birth, 
Wiose veins bound richer blood than lady 

Blanch ? 
Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth. 
Is the young Dauphin every way complete ; 
If not complete of,' say, he is not she; 
And she again wants nothing, to name want, 
If want it be not, that she is not he : 
He is the half part of a blessed man. 
Left to be fiuishcd by > ' '• c;^ 
And she a fair divided I <•, 

Whose fulness of perfection lies in liim. 
O, two such silver currents, when they join, 
Do glorify the banks that bound them in : 
And two such shores to two such streams made 

Two such controlling bounds shall you be, 

» Complete of. So the original, llanmcr changed ttiit 
reading to, 

" If not complete, O iay, he is not »he," 
which it to substitute the language of the eighteenth cen- 
tury for that of the sixteenth. 

t The ongiual read* ai «A<— evidently > misprint. 

To these two princes, if you marrj- thtni. 
This union sh:dl do more than battery can, 
To our f:i!>t-<;loscd gtttcs ; fur, at this uiatcli, 
AVith swifttr splet-n than powder am enforce. 
The mouth of passage shall we fling wide ope, 
And give you entrance; but, without thii 

The sea cnragcil is not half so deaf, 

i; •' • • 

M . ._, :.,... If 

In mortal fury half so j)crcinptory. 
As we to keep this city. 

Bast. litre 's a stay,' 

That shakes the rotten earcxse of old drath 
Out of his rags ! Here's a large mouth, indeed, 
That spits forth death, and mountains, rock.% 

and se;is ; 
Talks as familiarly of roaring lion."*, 
As maids of thirtwn do of pm ! 

What cannoneer begot this luii i ? 

He speaks plain caimon, fire, and smoke, and 

bounce ; 
He gives the bastinado with his tongue ; 
Our ears are cudgeld ; not a word of his. 
But buffets better than a fist of France : 
Zounds! I was never so 1 ' 'A with words, 
Since I first call'd my bro' her, daJ. 

Eli. Sou, list to this conjunction, make this 

match ; 
Give with our niece a dowry brgc enough : 
For by this knot thou sludt so surely tic 
Thy now unsur'd assurance to the crown, 
That ynn green h- ' " ' ■ • mhj to ripe 
The bloom that ju ;■ fruit. 

I see a yielding in the hwks of France ; 
Mark, how they whisper : urge thctn, while 

their souls 
Arc capable of this ambition ; 
Lest zeal, now melted,'' by the windy breath 

a llere'i n it.n/. TJii« Utile word hm pr^liier^ Urfc 

ertfici^m. ' '• 

llrrlc-t vc, ' • 

|l ■:\ 1-, « I. It ,ViiU;i'» • 


-;■- ' 11 , r,- .t 

t; '• 

words. 1: 

it " rifyr f 

Of son 1 

tu •' ■ <lt " *■ •** — i.irt^ 

jl^Uitficc: It tiM IW. lii ct'inj'ift- 

ijr brcAth 


Act II ] 


[Scene 11. 

Of soft petitiDDS, pity, and remorse. 
Cool and congeal again to what it was. 

Uuhert. Why answer not the double majesties 
This friendly treaty of our threaten'd town ? 
K. Phi. Speak England fii'st, that hath been 
forward first 
To speak unto this eity : What say you ? 
K. John. If that the Dauphin there, thy 
prinecly son, 
Can in this book of beauty read, I love, 
Ilcr dowry shall weigli equal with a queen : 
For Anjou, and fair Tourainc, jMaine, Poicticrs, 
And all that we upon this side the sea 
(Except this city now by us besieg'dj 
Find liable to our crown and dignity, 
Shall gild her bridal bed ; and make her rich 
In titles, honours, and promotions. 
As she in beauty, education, blood, 
Holds hand with any princess of the world. 
K. Phi. AVhat say'st thou, boy ? look in the 

lady's face. 
Lew. I do, my lord, and in her eye I find 
A wonder, or a wondrous raii-acle, 
Tlic shadow of myself form'd in her eye ; 
Which, being but the sliadow of your son, 
Becomes a suu, and makes your sou a shadow : 
I do protest, I never lov'd myself, 
Till now iufixcd I beheld myself. 
Drawn im the flattering table of her eye. 

[IFhispen tcilh Blanch. 
Bast. Drawn in the flattering tabic of her 

eye !— 
Ilang'd in the frowning wrinkle of her brow ! — 
And quartcr'd in her heart !— he doth espy 
Himself love's traitor : This is pity now, 
That hang'd, and drawn, and quartcr'd, there 

shoidd be. 
In such a love, so vile a lout as he. 

Blanch. Aly ujicle's will, in this respect, is 
If he sec aught in you, that makes him like, 
That anything he sees, which moves his liking, 
1 can with case translate it to my will ; 
Or, if you will, to speak more properly, 
I will enforce it easily to my love. 
Further I will not flatter you, my lord, 
That all I sec in you is worthy love. 
Than this,— that nothing do I see in you, 
Tliough churlish thoughts themselves should be 

your jiulge. 
That I can find should merit any hate. 

A'. John. "Wliat say these young ones ? What 

say you, my niece ? 
Blanch. Tliat she is bound in honoui- still 
to do 


Wliat you in wisdom still " vouchsafe to say. 
K. John. Speak then, prince Dauphin; can 

you love this lady ? 
Leic. Nay, ask me if I can refrain from love ; 
For I do love her most unfeignedly. 
K. John. Then do I give Yolquessen, Tou- 
raine, Maine, 
Poicticrs, and Anjou, these five provinces. 
With her to thee ; and this addition more. 
Full thirty thousand marks of English coin. 
Philip of France, if thou be pleas'd withal, 
Command thy son and daughter to join hands. 
K. Phi. It likes us well. Young princes, 

close your hands. 
Aust. And your lips too ; for, I am well as- 
That I did so, when I was first assur'd.'^ 

K. Phi. Now, citizens of Anglers, ope your 
Let in that amity whicli you have made ; 
For at saint JNIary's chapel, presently, 
The rites of marriage shall be solemniz'd. 
Is not the lady Constance in this troop ? 
I know, she is not ; for this match, made up. 
Her presence woidd have interrupted much : 
V^''here is siie and her son ? tell me, who knows. 
Lew. She is sad and passionate ° at yoiu' 

highness' tent.'' 
A'. Phi. And, by my faith, this league, that 
we have made. 
Will give her sadness very little cm-e. 
Brother of England, how may we content 
Tills Avidow lady ? In her right we came ; 
Which we, God knows, have tui-n'd another way, 
To our own vantage. 

K. John. We will heal up all. 

For we'll create young Arthui- duke of Bretagne, 
And earl of Uichmond ; — and this rich fair town 
We ^ make him lord of.— Call the lady Con- 
stance ; 
Some speedy messenger bid her repaii- 
To our solemnity : I trust we shall. 
If not fill up the measure of her will, 
Yet in some jneasure satisfy her so. 
That we shall stop her exclamation. 
Go we, ns well as haste will suffer us. 
To this uidook'd-for unprepared pomp. 

[Exeunt all but the Bastard. — The Citi- 
zens retire from the walls. 
Bast. Mad AAorld ! mad kings ! mad compo- 
sition ! 

•"» still vouchsafe to sat/. Tliis Is the reading cf the 
b First assur'd — affianced, 
c Passionate— g'wen up to grief. 
d IVe. Some editions h;ive We'll. 

ACT n.) 



John, to stop Arthur's title in the whoh-, 

Ilath wilHngly ilepartcd with :\ part : 

.Vml Frauec, whose arniuiu" couscicuce buckled 

Whom zeal and charity brought to the tield, 
;Vs God's own soldier, rounded in the ear 
With that same purpose-ch;uiger, tiiat sly devil; 
That broker that still breaks the pate of faith ; 
That daily bre;dc-vow ; he that wins of all. 
Of kiugs, of beggars, old uieii, yciuug men, 

maids ; — 
Who having no external thing to lose 
But the word maid, cheats the poor nmid of that ; 
That smooth-faced gentlema--, tickling connno- 

Commodity, the bias of the world ; •• 
The world, who of itself is peised " well, 

» Commodity — interest. 

b Bias of tilt world. Tlie allusion to the biat in a 6oir/ u 
very happily kept up. The world is of itself well-balanced — 
fit to run even ; but the bias interest, the sway of motion, 

" Makes it take head from all indifferency." 
In " Cupid's Whirli^iu- " (1607) we have " O, the world is 
like a bias bowl, ami it runs all on the rich u-'en's sides," 

« PeUed — poised. 

Made to run even ; upon even ground ; 

Till this ndvant;ige, this vile dmwinjf bin*. 

This sway of motion, this commodity. 

Mokes it take head from all iudiffereucy, 

From all direction, puriM>sf, course, intent: 

Anil this same bi;LS, tlii.s eouuii" ' '■ 

This bawd, tliis bnikcr, this :ill .: wonl, 

Clapp'd on the outward eye of tieklo Franco, 

llath drawn him fmm 1 ' " rmin'd aid, 

From a rcsolv'd and h- n. 

To a most base and vile-coneludcd i)eacc. — 

And why mil I on this commodity ? 

But for because he hath not woo'd me yet : 

Not that I have the power to clutch my hand. 

When his fair angels would s;dute my palm : 

But for my hand, as unattcmpted yet. 

Like a poor beggar, raileth on tlu; rich. 

Well, whiles 1 am a beggar, I will niil. 

And say, — there is no sin but to be rich ; 

And being rich, my virtue then shall b«-, 

To say, — there is no vice but beggary : 

Since kings break fait it upon couiinfKlity, 

Gain, be my lord ! for I will worship thee ! [Fail. 

■ '■'-^>^'^^§^^,,, 



4 >^ 






^ Scene I. — " A braver choice of dawitless spirits, 
Than now the English bottoms have wa/t o'er, 
Did never Jloat upon the sweUinrj tide!' 

The troops of William the Conqueror are said 
to have been borne to the invasion of England 
upon several thousand barks. Henry II. embarked 
his forces for the conquest of Ireland in four hun- 
dred vessels. In both these periods the craft 
must have been mere boats. But when Richaz-d 
carried, his soldiers to the Holy Land, his arma- 
ment consisted of many large ships. " The whole 
fleet set sail for Acre. As a rapid current carried 
it through the straits of Messina, it presented 
a beautiful and imposing appearance, that called 
forth the involuntary admiration of the peo- 
ple of either shore, — the Sicilians saying that so 
gallant an armament had never before been seen 
there, and never would be seen again. The size 

and beauty of the ships seem to have excited this 
admiration not less than their number. The flag 
of England floated over fifty-three galleys, thir- 
teen dromoues, 'mightj' great ships with triple 
sails,' one hundred carikes or busses, and many 
smaller craft."* This brilliant navy for the most 
part consisted of merchant vessels, collected from 
all the ports of the kingdom, each of which was 
bound, when required by the king, to furnish him 
with a certain number. John had -a few galleys of 
his own. The fii'st gi-eat naval victory of England, 
that of the Damme, or of the Sluys, was won in 
the reign of John, in 1213. The following repre- 
sentation of " English bottoms " is composed from 
several authorities, viz. : — Cotton MS. Claudius D. 
2, temp. Henry I. ; MS. at Beunet Coll. Cambridge, 
(engraved in Strutt's Manners) temp. Henry III. ; 
and Royal MS. 2 B. vii. temp. Edwanl I. 

* Pictorial History of England, vol. i. p 194. 




' ScEXE I.—" .13 gicat Alcides' ahots upon an au." 

The ass wiis to urar the shoes, anil not t«» boiir 
them upon his back, iis Theobald suppoHoil, luid 
theroforo wouM reml sfioics. The "tihooa of Hii- 
culea" were as coinnicnly uUuJeil to in our I'hl 
poets, as the ex pede Herculna was a fainilinr allu- 
sioa of the learned. 

' Scene I.—" St. George,— that sic'mdgd," Ac 

IIow exceedingly characteristic is this speech of 
the Bastiird ! " Saint George " was the great war- 
cry of Richard ; — but the universal humourist lets 
down the dignity of the champion in a moment, 
by an association with the hostess's sign. The 
author of Wavcrley employs this device precisely 
with the same poetical effect, when Galium Heg 
comi>ares Waverley with his target to " the bra' 
Highlander tats painted on the board afore the 
mickle change-house they ca' Luckie Middlemass's." 
— We give a serious portrait of St. George, from 

an ohl illumination, that the painters may go right 
in future, who desire to make the saint, 

" Sit on liis horseback at mine hostess' door." 

* ScE.NE 11— " And, Ule ajutly hoop of hunlmen. 


Oar lusly English, all vith purpled handt." 

'I'lio oM KnglisU euAtum of the priuci|wl ukmi 
of the hunt " Uiking asiiay of the deer," fumishetl 
this image, and the corrvupuudent one in Juliu* 
t"ies;ir : 

I*4r(toii nil", Juuii* : hrrr w.i»t '. 
Itrrc ilul'it thou fall, and hrrc t 
Sxgn'A in thy upoll, and crimion'd lu ili) ktUc. ' 



Old Turbervillo gives us the f thin 

custom : "Our oiiler is, that the ; , chief, 

if so i)li';i.s<j them, .io aliL,'lit, ami t.ikc a^iny of tho 
deer, with a sharp knife, tli-- which i» done in Uiiii 
manner— the deer U^ing laid upon bia back, tho 
princn, chief, or such as they t\ • ■ :■■• •■, . ^^, 
it, and the chief huntsman, k: n 

prince, doth hold the tleer by tin.- : Iq 

the prince, or chief, do cut a nlit li :« 

brisket of the deer." It would n.t : ■ v 

effect this operation without tho"i>urp. 
and Johnson's suggestion that it was " one of the 
savage practices of the chase, for all to sUiiu their 
hands in tho blood of tho deer, as n trophy," is 
UQcalled for. 

* Scene II.—" The mutines of Jerusalem." 

The' union of the various factions in Jerusalem, 
when besieged by Titus, is here nlludiil to. Maluno 
gives a particular passage from tho " I^itter Time* 
of the Jews' Commonwealth," trnuslateil from the 
Hebrew of .Joseph R'li Oorion, which ho thinks 
suggestetl tho jiaasago to our poet. 

• Scene II. — " Slie it sad and pauionate, at your 
highness' tent." 

The following representation of tents is fr^ra 
illuminations in Koyal MS. 16, Q C, " L"Uist«jim 
des Roya de France." 



The events of nearly two yoai-s are crowded 
into the rapid movcmcuts of this act. And yet, 
except in one cii'curastance, the general historical 
truth is to he found in the poet. That circum- 
stance is the bringing of Austria upon the scene, 
with the assertion that — ■ 

" Richard, that robb'd the lion of his heart, 
And fought the holy wars in Palestine, 
By this brave duke came early to his grave." 

Leopold, the brutal and crafty gaoler of the lion- 
heart, died some five years before Richard fell by 
u wound from a cross-bow, before the castle of the 
Viscount Lymoges ; one of his vassals in Limou- 
sin — 

" An arblastcr with a quurrcl him shot, 
As he about the castell went to spie."* 

In the third Act Constance exclaims, "0, Lymoges, 
Austria," making the two enemies of Eichard 
a-s one. In the old play of King John we have 
the same confusion of dates and persons : for 
tliere " the bastard chaseth Lymoges the Austrich 
duke, and maketh him leave the lyon's skin." It 
wna unquestionably a principle with Shakspere 
not to disturb the conventional opinions of his 
.'ludicnce by greatly changing the plots with which 
they were familiar. He knew full well, from his 
chronicles, that the injuries which Austria had 
heaped upon Richard could no longer be revenged 
by JJicluwd's son,— and that the quarrel of Faul- 
conbridgo wa.swith a meaner enemy, the Viscount 
Lymoges. But he adopted the conduct of the 
Htory in the old play ; for he would have lost 
nuich by 8i\crificing the " lion's skin" of the subtle 
duke t>. an historical fact, with which his audience 
wiw not, familiar. We have adverted to this prin- 
ciple more at length in the Introductory Notice. 
With the exception, then, of this positive violation 
of accuracy, we have, in this Act, a vivid dramatic 
picture of the general aspect of affairs in the con- 
test between John and Philip. We have not, 


• llardyng'g Chronicle. 

indeed, the exhibition of the slow course of those 
l-)erpetually shifting manoeuvres which marked the 
policy of the wily king of France towards the 
itnhappy boy whom he one day protected and 
another day abandoned ; we have the fair promises 
kept and broken in the space of a few hours. Let 
us, however, very briefly trace the real course of 

Philip of France had been twenty years upon 
the throne when John leapt ipto the dominion of 
Richard, to whom he had been a rebel and a traitor, 
when the hero of the Holy Land was waging the 
mistaken fight of chivalry and of Christendom. 
Philip was one of the most remarkable examples 
that history presents of the constant opposition 
that is carried on, and for the most part success- 
fully, of cunning against force. Surrounded as 
Philip was by turbulent allies and fierce enemies, 
he perpetually reminds us, in his windings and 
doublings, of his even more crafty successor, Louis 
XL Arthur was a puppet in the hands of Philip, 
to be set up or knocked down, as Philip desired 
to bully or to cajole John out of the territories of 
the hoiise of Anjou. In the possession of Arthur's 
person he had a hostage whom he might put for- 
ward as an ally, or degrade as a prisoner ; — and, in 
the same spirit, when ho seized upon a fortress in 
the name of Arthur, he demohshed it, that h« 
might lose no opportunity of destroying a barrier 
to the extension of his own frontier. The peace 
which Shakspere rejiresents, and correctly, as 
being established by the marriage of Blanch and 
Lewis, was one of several truces and treaties of 
amity that took place in the two or three first 
years of John's reign. The treaty of the 22nd 
May, in the year 1200, between these two kings, 
agreed that, with the exception of Blanch's dowry, 
John should remain in possession of all the do- 
minions of his brother Richard ;— for Arthur was 
to hold, even his own Britanny, as a vassal of John. 
It is affirmed, that by a secret article of this 
treaty Philip was to inherit the continental uoiui 
nions thus confirmed to John, if he, John, died 
without children. 


At the time of the treaty of 1200, Constance, 
the mother of Arthur, w;i8 alivo. As wo have 
sail!, she was roiguiuj^ cluchoss of liritaimy, in her 
own right. If we may judge of her character from 
the chroniclers she w;i3 weak ivnil seUish — ilcsertin'.; 
the bed of her second hu.shand, and marrying the 
Lord Guy do Touars, — at a time when tlio for- 
tune, and perhaps the life of her son, by (ictfrey, 
depended upon the singleness of her affection for 
him. But it is exceedingly difficult to speak upon 
these points ; and there is, at any rate, little doubt 
that her second husband treiited her with neglect 
and cruelty. 

The surpassing beauty of the maternal love of 
tho Constiinco of Shakspere will, it ia probable, 
destroy all other associations witli tl: terof 

Constance. We have no record that < ■• waH 

not a most devoted mothr to her eldest burn ; and 
in that age, when divorces were iis common amongst 
the royal and the noble as other breaches of faith, 
we are not entitled to believe that her third mar- 
riage was incompatible with her passionate love for 
the heir of eo m.any hope.s, — her heart-breaking 
devotion to her betrayed and forsaken sou, — and 
her natunil belief, that 

" Since the birth of Cain, the first male child, 
To him that did but yesterday suspire, 
There was not such a gracious creature born." 

The fate of Constance was not altogether incou- 

Bistont witli Shakiiporo'ii delineation of tho lieikit. 
broken mother. She died in 120l. Hut .Vrlhiir 
was not then John'n captive, — ulthoiigh all \i\n 
high hopes were limited to Hritaiiny. 

Tho treaty of marriage bet,',,.ii Lewi* and 
Blanch is thus described by 1! — 

"So King John returuod b.k' ^ i. .. Vork) and 
sailed ngviii into Normandy, becuiHc tlio variaueo 
ctill dei 11 him and tho King of 

I'Vanco. 1 'b" A*'e!i*i"ii 'Iav in thin 

second year ot li •'» 

comimmicatioii >.■ I'l 

Lislo Dandelie, whme, ihmlly, ihey eoncUulo<l an 
agreement, with a marriage to bo had betwixt 
Lewis tho sou iff Kin4 Philip, and the iuily Blanch, 
daughter to Alfonso King of Ctwtil.', tli' ' •'; ,,f 

thit name, and niecn to King John 1 -T 


dowry ot thirty tliousand marka — ttic m 

by .lohn of certiiin posacssiouB— tho {■ of 

Ajigiers — and tho bestowal of Britanny and the 
earldom of Richmond upon Arthur.— John, how 
ever, retained much of what the poet haa rccitc<l 
as being abaiuloned by him. " Tho lady lil.inch " 
was not personally con.senting to this treaty, for it 
was stipulated that " the foresaid Blanch chouM \<n 
conveyed into Franco to her husband, with all 


V vv; 


SCENE l.—T/ie same. The Ercnch King'*- 

Enter Constance, Arthur, and, Salisbury. 

Const. Gone to be married ! gone to swear a 

peace ! 
False blood to false blood joiii'd! Gone to be 

friends ! 
Shall Lewis have BlanehP aad Blaneh those 

proviuccs ? 
It is not so ; thou hast misspoke, misheard ; 
Be well advis'd, tell o'er thy tale again : 
It cannot be ; thou dost but say, 't is so : 
I trust I may not trust thcc ; for thy word 
Is but the vain breath of a common man ; 
Believe me, I do not believe thcc, man; 
I have a king's oath to the contrary. 
Thoii shalt be pimish'd for thus frighting me. 
For 1 am sick, and capable of fears ; 
Oppress'd with wrongs, and therefore full of 

fears ; 
A widow, husbandless, subject to fears ; 
A woman, naturally born to fears ; 
And though thou now confess thou didst but jest 
With my vex'd spirits, T cannot take a truce. 
But they will quake and tremble all this day. 
Wliat dost thou mean by shaking of thy head ? 
Why dost thou look so sadly on my son ? 
What means that hand upon that breast of thine ? 
Why holds thine eye that lamentable rheum, 


Like a proud river peering o'er his bounds ? 
Be these sad signs coufii'mers of thy words ? 
Then speak again ; not all thy former tale. 
But tliis one word, whether thy tale be true. 

Sal. As true, as, I believe, you think them 
That give you cause to prove my saying true. 

Const. 0, if thou teach me to believe this 
Teach thou this sorrow how to make me die ; 
And let belief and life encounter so. 
As doth the fury of two desperate men, 
Which, in the very meeting, fall, and die. — 
Lewis marry Blanch ! 0, boy, then where art 

France friend with England ! what becomes of 

me? — 
Fellow, be gone : I cannot brook thy sight ; 
This news hath made thee a most ugly man. 

Sal. What other harm have I, good lady, done, 
But spoke the harm that is by olhers done? 

Const, Which harm within itself so heinous is. 
As it makes harmful all that speak of it. 

Arlli. I do beseech you, madam, be content. 

Const, If tliou, that bidd'st me be content, wert 
Ugly, and sland'rous to thy mother's womb, 
Full of unplcasing blots and sightless ^ stains, 

a Siyhlles». The opposite of sightly. 

Act 111.] 


[^iJkiM \. 

Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious,* 
I'atcli'd with foul uiolcs and cycoffcuding marks, 
I woukl not cure, I then would be conkiit ; 
For then I should not love thcc ; uo, nor thou 
J^ecomc thy great birth, nor deserve a crown. 
But thou art fair ; and at tliy buth, dear buy. 
Nature and fortune joiu'd to make thee great : 
Of Nature's gifts thou may'st with lilies boast. 
And with the half-blown rose : but fortune, O ! 
She is corrupted, chang'd, and won from thee ; 
She adulterates hourly with thy uncle John; 
And with her golden hand hath pluek'd on 

To tread down fair respect of sovereignty, 
And made his majesty the bawd to theirs. 
France is a bawd to fortune, and king John ; 
That strumpet fortune, that usurping John : — 
Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn ? 
Envenom him with words ; or get thee gone, 
And leave those woes alone, which 1 alone 
Am bound to under-bear. 

Sal. Pardon me, madam, 

I may not go without you to the kings. 

Cons/. Thou may'st, thou shalt, I will not go 
with thcc : 
1 will instruct my sorrows to be proud : 
For grief is proud, and m.ikes his o\TOer stoop.'' 
To me, and to the state of my great grief, 
Let kings assemble ; for my grief's so great 
That no supporter but the huge firm earth 
Can hold it up : here 1 and sorrows sit ; 
Ilerc is my throne, bid kings come bow to it. 

l^S/ie throics herself on the ground. 

Enter KiXG JoiiN, King Philip, Lewis, 
Blanch, Elinor, Bastard, Austria, and 

K. Phi. 'Ti.s true, fair daughter; and this 
blessed day, 

o Prodigious. Preternatural. 

b Stoop. What ij called an " emendation '' by Hanmer 
still holds its place. Malone rejects it; Mr. Dyce adopts 


" For grief is proud, and inikeit his owner itout." 
The mcanini; of the passage appears to u« briefly thus ; 
Constance refuses to ko with Sali&bury to llic kin);<— she 
will instruct her sorrows to be proud; fur (irief is proud in 
spirit, even while it bows down the body of lt» owner. Tlie 
commentators substitute and defend the word "<rjii<" be- 
cause thev received ilnnp in the sentc of suhuii^sinn. Con- 
stance continues the fine image throughout her speech: 

"To me, and to the slate of my great grief, 
Let kings assemble ; " 
here grief is " proud." 

" Here I and sorrows sit; " 
here grief •' makes his owner stoop ; " and leaves the physi- 
cal power "no supporter but the huRC firm earth." A 
valued friend, for who^c opinion we have the highest regard, 

has no doubt that itonp is tlie word, but that t' •• -iv 

makes its. owner stoop to i7 — to grief. lie i 

nncf join!) an<l .issiinilates the two clauses ol 

instead of contrasting and separating thcin. At any mle, 

we cannot but choose to abide by the restoration. ' 

Ever in France shall be kept festival : 
To solemn' '' lay, the glorious sun 
Stays in li . , luul plays llie alchyniist; 

Turning, with splendour of his precious eye, 
Tlic ni ' ' "\ er.rth to glittcri! 

The)' . : .r^ tliat brings this i:.>, . t 
Siiall never see it but a holyday. 

Const. A wicked day, and not n hulyduy I — 

[/(■--••• • 
AMiat hath tliis day deserv'd? what hath it il 
That it in golden letters should be set. 
Among the high tides, in the kalendar? 
Nay, ratlier, turn this day out of the week; 
This day of shame, oppression, peigury : 
Or, if it nmst stand still, let wives with child 
Pray, that their burdens may not fall thiis day. 
Lest that their hopes prodigiously bo cruss'd : 
But on * this day, let seamen fear no wrack ; 
No bargains break, that are not this ilay made : 
This day, all things begun come to ill end ; 
Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change I 
A'. Phi. By heaven, lady, you shall have no 
To curse the fair proceedings of this day. 
Have I not pawn'd to you my nuijrsty ? 

Const. You have beguil'd me with a counter- 
Resembling majesty ; which, being touch'd, and 

Proves valueless : You Arc forsworn, forsworn ; 
You came in amis to spill mine enemies' blood, 
But now in arms you ^' ' i it with yours : 

The grapi)ling vigour a i frown of war 

Is cold, in amity and painted |K*acc, 
And our oppression hath made up t' ' ■• : — 

Arm, ami, you heavens, against l!..., ,-.jur'd 

kings ! 
A widow cries ; be husband to mc, heavens ! 
Let not the houra of this ungodly day 
"Wear out the day in peace ; but, ere sunset, 
; Set armed discord 'twixt these jterjur'd kings ! 
Hear me, 0, hear me ! Lady Constance, peace. 

Const. War ! war ! no peace ! peace is (o mc 
a war. 
O Lymoges! O Austria! thou dost shame 
That bloody spoil : Thou slave, thou wretch, thou 

coward ; 
Thou little val- V - ' ■ •:"-•' 
Thou ever str. i side! 

Thou fortune's champion, thai dost never fight 
l?ut when her humoron ' ' ' by 

To t<:i<li t!.<. —.ifcty ! t , , /ir'd loo. 

• Ititl on— <xcept on. 


Act III.] 


fSCENK 1. 

And sooth'st up greatness. What a fool art 

A ramping fool ; to brag, and stamp, and swear, 
Upon my party ! Thou cold-blooded slave, 
Hast thou not spoke like tlumder on my side ? 
Been sworn my soldier ? Bidding me depend 
Upon tliy stars, thy fortune, and thy strength ? 
And dost thou now fall over to my foes ? 
Thou wear a lion's hide ! doff it for shame, 
And bang a calf 's-skin on those recreant limljs. 
Aiisi. O, that a man should speat those words 

to me ! 
Basl. And hang a calf 's-skin on those recreant 

ylust. Thou dar'st not sav so, villain, for thy 

BasL And hang a calf 's-skin on those recreant 

K. John. We like not this ; thou dost forget 

Enter Pandulph. 

K. Phi. Here comes the holy legate of the 

Patid. Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven !— 
To tliee, King John, my holy errand is. 
I, Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal. 
And from Pope Innocent the legate here, 
Do, in his name, religiously demand, 
Wliy tliou against the church, our holy mother. 
So wilfully dost spurn; and, force perforce. 
Keep Stephen Langton, elioscn arelibishop 
Of Canterbury, from that holy see ? 
This, in our 'foresaid holy father's name. 
Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee. 

K. John. What earthly name to interrogatories 
Can task the free breath of a sacred king ? 
Tliou canst not, cardinal, devise a name 
So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous. 
To charge me to an answer, as the pope. 
Tell liira this talc ; and from the mouili of Eng- 
Add thus much more,— That no Italian priest 
Shall tithe or toll in our dominions; 
But as we under heaven are supreme head. 
So, under him, tliat great supremacy. 
Whore we do reign, we will alone uphold. 
Without the assistance of a mortal hand : 
So tell tlie pope ; all reverence set apart. 
To him, and his usurp'd authority. 

K. Phi. Brother of England, you blaspheme 
in this. 

A'. John. Though you, and all the kings of 

Ai-e led so grossly by this meddling priest. 
Dreading the curse that money may buy out ; 
And, by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust, 
Piu-chase corrupted pardon of a man, 
Wlio, in that sale, sells pardon from himself; 
Though you, and all the rest, so grossly led, 
This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish ; 
Yet I, alone, alone do me oppose 
Against the pope, and count bis friends my 

Pand. Then by the lawful power that I have. 
Thou shalt stand cui-s'd, and excommunicate : 
And blessed shall he be, that doth revolt 
From his allegiance to an heretic ; 
And meritorious shall that hand be call'd. 
Canonized, and worshipp'd as a saint, 
That takes away by any secret course 
Thy hateful life. 

Const. O, lawful let it be. 

That I have room with Home"' to curse a while! 
Good father cardinal, cry thou, amen. 
To my keen curses : for, without my wrong, 
There is no tongue hath power to curse him right. 

Pa)id, There 's law and warrant, lady, for my 

Const. And for mine too ; when law can do no 
Let it be lawful, that law bar no wrong ; 
Law cannot give my cbild his kingdom here ; 
For he that holds his kingdom holds the law : 
Therefore, since law itself is perfect wrong, 
liow can the law forbid my tongue to curse ? 

Pand. Philip of France, on peril of a curse. 
Let go the hand of that arch-heretic ; 
And raise the power of France upon liis head. 
Unless he do submit himself to Rome. 

Eli. Look'st thou pale, France ? do not let go 
thy hand. 

Const. Look to that, devil ! lest that France 
And, by disjoining hands, hell lose a soul. 

Aust. King Philip, listen to the cardinal. 

And hang a calf 's-skin on his recreant 

Well, ruffian, 1 must pocket up these 




Your breeches best may carry them. 

K. John. Philip, what say'st thou to the car- 
dinal ? 

Const. What should he say, but as the car- 
dinal ? 

Room with Jlnme. Rome was formerly pronounced 
rooOT,— and Shakspere indulges in a play upon word*, even 
when the utterer is stronfly moved. 

Act III] 



Lew. Bethink you, father ; for the difference 
Is, purchase of a heavy curse from Rome, 
Or the light loss of England for a friend : 
Forego tlie easier. 

Blanch. That's the curse of Konie. 

Const. Lewis, stand fast ; the devil tempts 
thee here, 
In likeness of a new untrimined bride. 
Blanch. The lady Ck)nstancc speaks not from 
her faith. 
But from her need. 

Const. O, if tliou grant my need, 

\7hich onlv lives but by the death <jf faith. 
That need must needs infer this principle, — 
That faith would live again by death of need ; 
O, then, tread down my need, and f;uth mounts 

Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down. 
jr. John. Tlic king is mov'd, and answers not 

to this. 
Const. 0, be removed from him, and answer 

Aust. Do so, king Philip ; hang no more in 

Bast. Hang nothing but a caK's-skin, most 

sweet lout. 
A'. Thi. I am perplex 'd, and know not what 

to say. 
Pand. What canst thou say, but will perplex 
thee more, 
1 f thou stand excommunicate, and curs'd ? 
K. Phi. Good reverend father, make my per- 
son yours, 
And tell me how you would bestow yourself. 
This royal hand and mine are newly knit : 
Ajid the conjunction of our inward souls 
Married in league, coupled and link'd together 
With all religious strength of sacred vows. 
The latest breath that gave the sound of words 
Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love, 
Between our kingdoms, and our royal selves ; 
And even before this truce, but new before, — 
No longer than we well could wash our hand.**. 
To clap this royal bargain up of peace, — 
Heaven knows, they were besmear'd and over- 
stain' d 
With slaughter's pencil ; where revenge did paint 
The fearful difference of incensed kings : 
And shall these hands, so lately purg'd of blood. 
So newly join'd in love, so strong in botli, 
Unyoke this seizure, and this kind regreet P 
Play fast and loose with faith ? so jest with heaven. 
Make such unconstant children of ourselves, 
.\s now again to snatch our palm from palm ; 
Unswear faith sworn ; and on the marriage bod 

Of smiling peace to march a blootly liosl, 
And make a riot on the gentle brow 
Of true sincerity ? O, holy sir, 
My reverend father, let it not bo so : 
Out of your gnice, devise, ordain, int|>o?<c 
Some gentle order; and then «< ' " ' *• bicss'd 
To do your plea.sure, and coiilin is. 

Pand. All form is formless, order ordcrle.<«!8, 
Save what is opposite to Kntrl.ind's love. 
Therefore, to arms ! be champion of our church ! 
Or let the church, our mother, breathe her curse, 
A mother's curse, on her revolting son. 
France, thou mny'st hold a serpent by the tongue, 
A chased lion * by the mortal paw, 
.\ fasting tiger safer by the tooth. 
Than keep in peace that hand wiiich thou 

hold. , 
K. Phi. I may disjoin my hand, but not my 

Pand. So niak'st thou faith an enemy to 

faith ; 
And, like a civil war, set'st oath to oath, 
Thy tongue against thy tongue. O, let thy vow 
First made to heaven, first be to heaven j)er- 

form'd ; 
That is, to be tlie champion of our church ! 
What since thou swor'st is sworn against thyself, 
Ajid may not be performed by tliyself : 
For that which thou hast sworn to do amiss 
Is not amiss when it is truly done ; 
And being not done, where doing tends to ill, 
ITie truth is then most done not doing it : 
The better act of puq)0ses mistook 
Is, to mistake again ; though indirect. 
Yet indirection thereby grows direct. 
And falsehood falsehood cures; as fire cools fiie, 
Within the scorched veins of one new bum'd. 
It is religion that doth make vows kept ; 
But thou hast sworn against religion 
By what thou swear'st agaijust the thing thou 

swear'st ; 
And mak'st an oatli the surety for thy truth 
Against an oath : The truth thou art unsure 

■ .i ckatnl lioti. W\- h.^vc vent- 
chani^**. The nri-*in3l "n r 



a coi...... ■. ... 

m»y mean li 
••chafed." J 
>cnti us a P' 


ehajr 1, .11. 1 ^... ■. .. .1 , ■ 
cnc« in quoting Henry ^ 

• of 

■• wuuid rraii 
..f an * ple- 
at bmj. Tb* 
fittt rdttort. 

Upon the d«j. 
nut even here the 

\n Ihal hi :i." 

It prove* : ,;ht ra*4 

ekated : (be conlukiu;. ..a-iug from tbc uic ufU-t lODfy, *« 

like ao/. 


Act III.J 


[Scene il 

To swear, swears only^ not to be forsworn; 
Else, what a mockery should it be to swear ? 
But thou dost swear only to be forsworn ; 
And most forswoni, to keep what thou dost 

Therefore, thy later vows, against thy first. 
Is in tliyself rebellion to thyself : 
And better conquest never cau'st thou make, 
Than arm thy constant and thy nobler parts 
Against these giddy loose suggestions : 
Upon which better part our prayers come in. 
If thou vouchsafe them : but, if not, then know, 
The peril of cur curses light on tlicc 
So heavy, as thou shalt not shake them off. 
But, in despair, die under their black weight. 

Aust. Rebellion, flat rebellion ! 

Bast. Wiirtnotbe? 

Will not a calf 's-skiu stop that mouth of thme ? 

Lew. Father, to arms ! 

Blanch. Upon thy wedding-day ? 

Against the blood that thou hast married ? 
What, shall our feast be kept with slaughter'd 

Shall braying trumpets, and loud churlish drums, 
Clamours of liell, be measures ^ to our pomp ! 
O husband, hear me !— ah, alack, how new 
Is husband in my mouth ! — even for that name. 
Which till this time my tongue did ne'er pro- 
Upon my knee I beg, go not to arms 
Against mine uncle. 

Const. 0, upon my knee, 

^lade hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee, 
Thou virtuous Dauphin, alter not the doom 
Fore-thought by heaven. 

Blanch. Now shall I see thy love. What mo- 
tive may 
Be stronger with thee than the name of wife ? 

Const. That which upholdeth him that thee 
His honour: 0, thine honour, Lewis, thine 
honour ! 

Lew. I muse, your majesty doth seem so cold. 
When such profound respects do pull you on. 

' Swears onlij. The entire speech of Pandulph is full of 
verbal subtleties, which render the intricate reasoning more 
Intricate. The poet unque-itionably meant to produce this 
ctfcct. We have restored the reading of one of the most 
diflicult passages: 

" The truth tliou art unsure 
" To swear, swears only not to be forsworn." 
KcTcral modem editions read swear. '-1 he meaning seems 
to \)c this : — the truth — that is, the trolh, for which you 
have made an o.ith the surety, a^-iinst tby former oath to 
licnvcn — this troth, which it was unsure to swear — which 
you violate your surety in swearing — has only been sworn — 
»wcar« only— not to be forsworn; but it is sworn against a 
former oath, which is more binding, because it was an oath 
to religion — to the principle upon which all oaths are made. 
b Measures - io\emn dances. 


Fand. I will denounce a curse upon his head. 
K. Phi. Thou shalt not need : — England, I 

will fall from thee. 
Const. fair return of banish'd majesty ! 
Eli. foul revolt of French inconstancy ! 
K. John. France, thou shalt rue this hour 

Mithiu this hour. 
Bast. Old time the clock-setter, that bald 
sexton time. 
Is it as he will ? well then, France shall rue. 
Blanch. The sun's o'ercast with blood: Fair 
day adieu 1 
Which is the side that I must go withal ? 
I am with both : each army hath a hand ; 
And, in their rage, I having hold of both, 
They whirl asunder, and dismember me. 
Husband, I cannot pray that thou may'st win ; 
Uncle, I needs must pray that thou may'st lose ; 
Father, I may not wish the fortune thine ; 
Grandame, I will not wish thy wishes thrive : 
^Vhoever wins, on that side shall I lose ; 
Assui-ed loss, before the match be play'd. 

Lew. Lady, with me; with me thy fortune 

Blanch. There where my fortune lives, there 

my life dies. 
K. John. Cousin, go draw our puissance toge- 
ther. — [Evit Bastard. 
France, 1 am burn'd up with inflaming wrath ; 
A rage whose heat hath this condition, 
That nothing can allay, nothing but blood. 
The blood, and dearest-valued blood, of France. 
K Phi. Thy rage shall burn thee up, and 
thou shalt turn 
To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire : 
Look to thyself, thou art in jeopardy. 

K. John. No more than he that tb-eats. — To 
arms let 's hie ! \ Exeunt. 

SCENE \l.—The same. Plains near Anglers. 

Alarums ; E-tcursions. Enter the Bastard, with 
Austria's Head. 

Bast. Now, by my life, this day grows won- 
drous hot ; 
Some airy devil hovers in the sky, 
And pours down mischief. Austria's liead, lie 

there ; 
While Philip breathes. 

Enter King John, Arthur, and Hubert. 

K. John. Hubert, keep this boy :— Philip, 
make U|) : 
My mother is assailed in our lent, 
And ta'en, I fear. 

Ac- III J 


[Sec tc III 

Bast. My lord, I rescued her ; 

Tier highness is in safety, fear you not ; 
But on, my licgc ; for very little piiins 
Will bring this labour to a happy end. [^Exeuitt. 

SCEXE \\\.— The same. 

Jlarums ; Excursions ; llflnal. Di/cr King 
John, Elinou, Autuur, (Ae Bastard, Uuueut, 
ami Lords. 

A'. John. So shaH it be; your grace shall stay 
behind, [To Elinor. 

So strongly guarded. — Cousin, look not sad : 

[To AuTiiriL 
Thy grandanie loves thee ; and thy uncle will 
As dear be to tiice as thy father was. 

JrlA. O, this will make my mother die with 

A'. Jo/i/i. Cousin, [io the Bastaid.] away for 
England ; haste before : 
And, ere our coming, see thou shake the bags 
Of hoarding abbots ; imprison'd angels 
ISet thou • at liberty ; the fat ribs of peace 
Must by the hungry now be fed upon : 
Use our commission in his utmost force. 

Bast. Bell, book, and candle shall not drive 
me back,' 
When gold and silver becks me to come on. 
I leave your highness :— Grandame, I will pray 
(If ever I remember to be holy,) 
For your fair safety ; so I kiss your hand. 
Eli. Farewell, gentle cousin. 
a: John. Coz, farewell. 

[Exit Bastard. 
Eli. Come hither, little kinsman; hark, a 
word. [She tides Arthuh aside. 

K. John. Come hither, Ilubcrt. my gentle 
We owe thee much ; within this wall of flesh 
There is a soul counts thee her creditor, 
And with advantage means to pay thy love : 
And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath 
Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished. 
Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say,— 
But I will fit it with some better tune.'' 
By heaven, Hubert, I am almost asham'd 
To say what good respect 1 have of tlu-c. 
Hub. I am much boundcn to your majesty. 
A'. John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to 
say so yet : 

» Set thou. Theobald introduced Ihou. 

!■ Better tune. The oM copy rea.U tune. Pope corrected 
this to time. VVc are bv no iiuani sure th.-it the chanRc wa» 
called for. The "tunc" with which John cxprc»!.c« bU 
wUlingnes. "to fit "the thing he had to "y .I" »]^'"* = - 
he now only cives fiattury and a promise. -Ihc lime lor 
saying "the thing" is discussed inlhc subsctiucnt portion 
of John's speech. 

But thou shall have : and creep time ne'er so 

Yet it shall come for mo to do thee gtjod. 
I had a thing to say,— But let it go : 
The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day, 
Attended witli the pleasures of the world, 
Is all too wanton and loo full of gawds, 
To give me audience : — If tlii; uiidiiight bell 
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth, 
Sound on ' into the drowsy race of night ; 
If this same were a church-yard where wc stand. 
And thou 1 ! with a tilou^and wrongs; 

Or if that ^ , lit, nulancholy. 

Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy, thick, 
(Wliich, eke, runs tickling up and down the 

Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes, 
And strain their checks to idle merimeut, 
A jiassion hateful to my purposes ;) 
Or if that thou could'st sec me without eyes, 
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply 
Without a tongue, using conceit alone, 
Without eyes, ears, and harmfid sound of wortls ; 
Then, in despite of brooded watchful day, 
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts : 
But ah, I will not :— Yet I love thee well ; 
And, by my troth, I think, thou lov'st me well. 

Hub. So well, that what you bid me undertake, 
Though that my death were adjunct to my act, 
By heaven, 1 would do it. 

A'. John. Do not I know thou would'st? 

Good Ilubcrt, Ilubcrt, Hubert, throw thine eye 
On yon young boy : 1 'il tell thee what, my friend, 
He is a very serpent in my way ; 
And wheresoe'er this foot of mine doth tread 

» Sound on. So the orlRinal. But on and one " 
apelt alike; and therefore the pn'tacr niu»t be .' 
by other principled than that of lidcliiy to the tc»t .1 . 
is the more poetical, 

" Sound on into the drowsy rare of nii;ht," 
or "sound one!" Shakspcre. It appears 10 us. has made 

idea "f lime prec ' ' ' "' 

the .\dditionof "■ 

to which form of ^. . 

bell " sounding "on. Into" (or unto. l« : 

convertil.ivl tl.r- 'r '-.v.y m:»rrh. r.irr, 


was all 

the •' t' 


a;i ' 


first scfTiccs o( itic djt) an. 

Mattins >nd I. 

Prime, C A.M. 
It Is added, "if !h- omrf of<1»1«"flnl«h»d bv danhrrak. 
as Is fit. let • i • ' t 

them wait f ' 

Prime." It ; 

tl,,. . •-•- ..... : ... ' ■ •- 

tl .«« (not ou) botU in the early 4U»jl«« aiiJ 


Act III.] 


[Scene IT. 

lie lies before me : Dost tliou understand me ? 
Thou art his keeper. 

Jfuh. And I '11 keep him so, 

That lie shall not offend your majesty. 

A'. John. Death. 

Hub. ]My lord ? 

K. John. A grave. 

flub. He shall not live. 

K. John. Enough. 

I could be merry now : Hubert, I love thee. 
Well, I 'U not say what 1 intend for thee : 

llemcmber. Madam, fare you well : 

I '11 send those powers o'er to youi- majesty. 

Eli. ]My blessing go witli thee ! 

K. John. For England, cousin, go : 

Hubert shall be your man, attend on you 
With all true duty. — On toward Calais, ho ! 


SCENE lY—TAe same. The French King's 


Enter King Philip, Lewis, Pandulph, and 


K. I'hi. So, by a roaring tempest on the flood, 
A whole armado of convicted " sail 
Is scatter'd and disjoiu'd from fellowship. 

Pand. Coiu-age and comfort ! all shall yet go 

K. Phi. What can go well, when we have run 
so ill ? 
Are we not beaten ? Is not Anglers lost ? 
Arthur ta'en prisoner ? divers dear friends slain ? 
And bloody England into England gone, 
O'crbearing intcrriintion, spite of France ? 

Lew. What he hatli won that hath he fortified ; 
So hot a speed with such advice dispos'd. 
Such temperate order in so fierce a cause, 
Dotli want example : Who hatli read, or licard, 
Of any kindred action like to this ? 

K. Phi. Well could I bear tliat England had 
this praise, 
So we could find some pattern of our shame. 

Enter Const.\nce. 

Look, who comes here ! a grave unto a soul ; 
llokling the eternal spirit, against her will. 
In the vile prison of afllicted In-cath : — 
1 pr'ythcc, lady, go away with me. 

Conj<t. Lo, now ! now see the issue of your 

peace ! 
A'. Phi. Patience, good lady ! comfort, gentle 

Constance ! 
Const. No, I defy all counsel, all redress 

» CoFicicJerf— overpowered. Mr. Dyce suggests convecled, 
from the Latin convectut. 


But that which ends all counsel, true redress. 
Death, death, amiable lovely death ! 
Thou odoriferous stench ! sound rottenness ! 
Arise forth from the couch of lasting night. 
Thou hate and terror to prosperity, 
And I will kiss thy detestable bones ; 
And put my cyc-balls in thy vaulty brows ; 
And ring these fingers with thy household worms; 
And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust. 
And be a carrion monster like thyself : 
Come, grin on me ; and I will tliink thou smil'st. 
And buss thee as thy wife ! Misery's love, 
0, come to me ! 

K. Phi. fair aflliction, peace ! 

Const. No, no, I will not, having breath to 
0, that my tongue were in the thunder's mouth ! 
Then with a passion would I shake the world ; 
And rouse from sleep that fcU anatomy. 
Which cannot hear a lady's feeble voice. 
Which seoms a modern " invocation. 
Panel. Lady, you utter madness, and not 

Const. Thou art not'' holy to belie me so ; 
I am not mad : this hair I tear is mine ; 
My name is Constance ; I was GcflYey's wife ; 
Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost : 
I am not mad ; — I would to heaven, I were ! 
For then 't is like I should forget myself : 
0, if I could, what gi-ief should I forget !— 
Preach some philosophy to make me mad. 
And thou shalt be eanoniz'd, cardinal ; 
For, being not mad but sensible of grief, 
My reasonable part produces reason 
How I may be deliver'd of these m'ocs, 
And teaches me to kill or hang myself : 
If I were mad, I should forget my son ; 
Or macUy think a babe of clouts were he : 
I am not mad ; too well, too well I feel 
The different plague of each calamity. 

K. Phi. Bind up those tresses : 0, what love 
I note 
In the fair multitude of those her hairs ! 
Where but by chance a silver drop hath fallen. 
Even to that drop ten thousand wiry friends 
Do glue themselves in sociable grief; 
Like true, inseparable, faitliful loves, 
Sticking together in calamity. 

.1 Wo give the reading of tlie origiual. Tlius, in the 
Merchant of Venice, 

" Full of wise saws and modern instances." 
I5ut the sentence is weak, and a slight eliange would make 
it powerful. We may read " a mother's invocation " with 
littlf. -violence 10 the text; moder's(ihe old spelling) might 
have "been easily mistaken for modern. 

b Not is wanting in the original. 




Const. To England, if yoii will. 
K. Phi. Bind up ynur h;iiis. 

Const. Yes, that I will ; and wherefore will 1 
I tore them from Iheir bonda; anil ericd aloud, 

that these h;mds could so redeem my son, 
As they have given these hairs their liberty ! 
But now I even envy at their liberty, 

And will again commit them to their bonds 
Because my poor child is a prisoner 
And, father cardinal, 1 have he:ird you say. 
That we shall sec and know our friends in 

heaven : 
If that be true, I shall see my boy again ; 
For, since the birth of Cain, the first mule child, 
To him that did but yesterday suspire, 
There was not such a gracious creature born. 
But now will canker sorrow cat my bud. 
And chase the native beauty from his check. 
And he will look as hollow as a ghost ; 
As dim and meagre as an ague's lit : 
And so he '11 die ; and, rising so again, 
When I shall meet iJ.n in the court of heaven 

1 shall not know him : therefore never, never 
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more. 

Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief. 
Const. He talks to me that never had a son. 
K. Phi. You arc as fond of grief, as of your 

Const. Grief tills the room up of my absent 
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with mc. 
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words. 
Remembers me of all his gracious parts, 
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form ; 
Then, have I reason to be fond of grief. 
Fare you well : had you such a loss as I, 
I could give better comfort than you do.— 
I will not keep this form upon my head, 

\_Tearin^ off her head-dress. 
When there is such disorder in my wit. 
O lord ! ray boy, my Arthur, my fair son ! 
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world ! 
My widow-comfurt, and my sorrows' cure ! {Exit. 
K. Phi. I fear some outrage, and I '11 follow 
her. V'^''- 

Lew. There 's nothing in this world can make 
me joy : 
Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale. 
Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man ; 
And bitter shame hath spoil'd the sweet world's 

That it yields naught but shame and bitterness. 

» Siretl irnrtJ't latle. Pope made thU correction from the 
" twcct word's taatc ' of the oriKiOAl. 

Pand. Before the curing of a strong distitKc, 
Even in the instant of repair and licalth, 
The fit is strongest ; evils, that take leave, 
On their departure most of all »hcw evil : 
^^'hat have you lost by losing of this day .■* 

Jytc. All days of glory, joy, and happiness. 

Pand. If you had won it, certainly, you hiul. 
No, no : when fortune means to men most guod, 
She looks upon them witii a tl ~ " ■ • f. 
Tis stiaugc to think how nui. . liath 

In this which he aecounfs so clearly won: 
Are you not griev'd that Arthur is his pritonerf 

Lew. As heartily as he is glad he iiath him. 

Pand. Your mind is all as youthful as your 
Now hciu- mc spade, with a prophetic spirit ; 
For even the breath of what I mean to speak 
Shall blow each dust, each straw, each little rub, 
Out of the path whieii shall directly lead 
Thy foot to England's throne ; and, therefore, 

John hath seiz'd Arthur ; and it cannot be, 
That, whiles warm life plays in that infant's veins, 
The misplac'd John should entertain an hour. 
One minute, nay, one quiet breatli of rest : 
A sceptre, snatch 'd with an unruly hand. 
Must be as boisterously maintain'd as goin'd : 
And he that stands upon a slir ' >" 

Makes nice of no vile hold to - ,■ 

That John may stand tlicn Arlliur needs must 

fall ; 
So be it, for it cannot be but so. 

Lew. But what shall I gain by young Arthur*! 
fall ? 

Pand. You, in the right of lady Blanch your 
May then make all the claim that Arthur did. 

Lew. And lose it, life and all, a.s Arthur did. 

Piitid. How green you are, and froh in this 
old world ! 
John lays you plots ; the times conspire with 

For he that steeps his safety in true blood 
Shall find but bloody ^ • 

Thi.H act, so evilly b«')n.. . ;...: lu-arts 

Of all his p< oi)le, and invzc up their waI, 
That none so small advantage KJiall .step f(»rth. 
Toe! ' < ' :• •' -ill it ; 

No I ' *>■> 

No scope of nature,* no distempcr'd day, 

conTcjr til 
natuie U 

S.,:iir i,f ll,* n.oiirrn rdllloB* read, 

Tbc »rtip* 

ira \n tia lo 

. fir ot 

Act hi.] 



No common wind, no customed event. 
But they will pluck away his natural cause, 
And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs. 
Abortives, presages, and tongues of heaven, 
Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John. 
Lew. May be, he will not touch young 

Arthur's life. 
But hold himself safe in his prisonment. 
Paii'l. 0, sir, when he shall hear of your 

If that young Arthur be not gone already, 
Even at that news he dies : and then the hearts 
Of all his people shall revolt from him, 
iVnd kiss the lips of unacquainted change ; 
And pick strong matter of revolt, and wrath, 
Out of the bloody fingers' ends of John. 
Methinks, I sec this hurly all on foot ; 
And, 0, what better matter breeds for you, 

things wiU be called " abortives." A scope is wliat is seen 
— accordini; to its derivation — as a phenomenon is what 
appears. Tliey are the same thing. 

Than I havenam'd ! — The bastard Eauleonbridge 
Is now in England, ransacking the church. 
Offending charity : If but a dozen French 
Were there in arms, they would be as a call * 
To train ten thousand English to their side ; 
Or, as a little snow tumbled about. 
Anon becomes a mountain. O noble Dauphin, 
Go with me to the king : 'T is wonderful. 
What may be wrought out of their discontent, 
Now that their souls are topfull of offence. 
For England go ; I will whet on the king. 
Lew. Strong reasons make strange ^ actions : 
Let us go ; 
If you say ay, the king will not say no. 


a A call. The caged birds which lure the wild ones to the 
net are termed by fowlers " ca/^birds." The imatje in the 
text is more probably derived from a term of falconry. 

b Strange. So the reading of the first folio. It has been 
generally altered into strong. The old reading restored 
gives us a deep observation instead of an epigrammatic one. 
Strong reasons make, that is, justify, a large deviation from 
common courses. 


Sc. II. p. "10. — " Some airy devil hovers in the sky." 

" ^ome fiery devil hovers in the sXy."— Collier. 

The first folio has aicry devil. Fiery, says Mr. Collier, 
we may feel confident, was the word of the poet, and which 
i.H 80 consistent with the context. Mr. Collier adds, " Percy 
quotes Burton's ' Anatomy of Melancholy,' where, among 
other tilings, it is said, 'Jlory spirits or devils, are such as 
commonly work by blazing stars,' &c." We venture to 
think that .Mr. Collier carries his advocacy too far when he 

quotes what Burton says of "fiery devils," and there stops, 
although Percy continues the quotation : — "Aerial spirits, 
or devils, are such as keep quarter most part in the air; 
cause many tempests, thunder and lightning; tear oaks; 
fire steeples; strike men and beasts; make it rain stones, 
as in I.ivy's time." We turn to liurton, and find in another 
place, where he says of this class that pour down mischief, 
"Paul to the Ephesians calls them forms of the air." 
Shakspero knew this curious learning from the Schoolmen ; 
but the Corrector knew nothing about it. 



» SCENE in.—- Bell, hook; and candle shall not 
drive VK back." 

TuE form of excoiinmiuication iu tho Romish 
church was familiar to Chaucer : 

" For cicrkes say we shallin be fain 
For their llveloil to sweve and $wii)kc, 
And then rit;ht nought us gcve again, 
Neither to eat ne yet to drink ; 
Thei move by law, as Oiat thei sain, 
Us curie and dnmpnc to hcllis brink ; 
And thui thei puttin us to pain 
With candles queint and bellis clink." 

In another p.issage of tJie same ])oein, the Man- 
ciples' talc, we have tho '• cicrkes, " who 

" Christis people proudly curse 
With brode boke and braying bell." 

But the most minute and altosclher curious de- 
scription of the ceremony of excommuniaUion, is 
in Bishop Bale's " Kynge Johan," which we have 
described in our " lutroductoiy Notice." In that 
"page.ant" Pandulph denounces John in the fol- 
lowing fashion : — 

" For as moch as kyng Johan doth Holy Church so handle, 
Here I do curse hyrn wyth erosse, boke, bell and candle. 
Lyke as this same roode turneth now from me his face. 
So God I requyre to sequester hym of his grace. 
As this boke doth speare by my worke mannuall, 
1 wyll God to close uppe from hym his bencfyttts a".l. 
As this butnyng flame goth from this candle in syght, 
1 wyll God to put hym from his etemall lyght. 

I uke hym from "r'M, and after the sound of this 1*11, 
Uolh IxHiy and >nwlc I geie h;m tu the devyll uf hell. 
I take from hym baplym, wiii. tlie olhrr tacianirntei 
AnUsuIfeiacrsof the churche, botnc amber da)« andlcnir*. 
Here I take from hym botbc 1 '• 'on. 

Masse uf the wundcs, with s< >. 

Here I take from h)m holy wnui .md l,"lj Lri' c, 
And never wyll them lo slande h)ni in any stcd." 

In Fox we have tho ceremony of excommunication 
minutely deUiiled ; — tho hinhop, and cK-r.-y, ninl all 
tho sovend Hurt.s of frian* in the cathedral, — tho 
cross bomo before tliem with three wax tu|>c-i-a 
lighted, njid the eager jjopulnco uH«eiiibletl. A 
priest, all iu white, mounts tlio ptilpit, and then 
begins tho tleuunciatiim. Those who arc ciirioua 
as to this formula, may consult Fox, or Stryjie ; 
and they will agree with Corpoi-al Trim that the 
"soldiers iu Flanders" swore nothing like this. 
The climax of the curbing w;i.-i when each taper 
Wiis extinguished, with tho pious prayer tliat tho 
souls of the " malefactors and schismatics " nught 
be given " over utterly to the j>ower of the fiend, 
as this candle is now quench'd and put out" 
Henry VIII, in 1533, abolished tho General Sen- 
tence or Curse, which wns read in the churcheit 
four times a year. (See I'ictoriiil History of 
England, vol. ii. p. 71C.) This singular custom of 
an intolerant age may be better representetl by a 
picture than by worsts. Our has here hap- 
pily neutralized the revoltiug part of tho scene by 
the admixture of tho ludicrous. 


After the peace of 1200, Arthur remained under 
the care of Iving Philip, in fear, as it is said, of the 
treachery of John. But the peace was broken 
within two years. John, whose passions were ever 
his betrayers, seized upou the wife of the Count 
do la Marche, Isabelhi of Angouleme, and married 
her, although his wife Avisa, to whom he had been 
married ten years, was living. The injured Count 
headed an insurrection in Aquitaine ; which Philip 
secretly encouraged. John was, however, cour- 
teously entertained by his crafty rival in Paris. 
But, upon his return to England, Philip openly 
succoured the insurgents ; once more brought the 
unhapi)y Arthur upon the scene; and made him 
raise the banner of war against his powerful unule. 
With a Kiiiall force he marched against the town 
of Mirebeau, near Poictiers, where his grandmother 
Elinor was stationed, as " Regent of those parts." 

Some of the chroniclers affirm that Elinor was 
captured ; but, says Holinshed, " others write far 
more truly, that she was not taken, but escaped 
into a tower, within the which she was straitly 
besieged." John, who was in Normandy, being 
apprised of the danger of his mother, " used such 
diligence that he was upon his enemies' necks ere 
they could understand anything of his coming." 
On the night of the 31st July, 1202, John ob- 
tained possession of the town by treachery, and 
Arthur was taken in his bed. The Count de la 
Marche, and the other leaders, were captured, and 
were treated with extreme cruelty and indignity. 
Arthur was conveyed to the Castle of Falaise. 
The interdict of John, by Rome, for refusing to 
admit Steiihen Langton to the Archbishopric of 
Canterbury, did not take place till five years after 
these events. 



ACT iV. 

SCENE I.— Northamploa. A Room in the 
Enter Hubert and Two Atteudauts. 
Hub. Heat me these irons hot ; and, look 
thou stand 
^Vithin the arras : when I strike my foot 
Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth. 
And bind the boy, which you shall find witli nic. 
Fast to the chair : be heedful : hence, and watch. 
1 Attend. I hope your warrant will bear out 

the deed. 
Hub. Uncleanly scruples ! Fear not you : look 
to 't. — [JExeunt Attendants. 

Young lad, come forth ; I have to say with you. 

Enter Akthur. 

ArtA. Good morrow, Hubert. 

Hub. Good morrow, little prince. 

Art/i. As little prince (having so great a title 
To be more prince,) as may be. — You are sad. 

Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier. 

ArlA. Mercy on me ! 

Methinks, nobody should be sad but I : 
Y'et, I remember, when I was in France, 
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night, 
Only for wantonness. By my Christendom,' 
So I were out of prison, and krpt shcop, 
I should be as merry as the day is long ; 
And so I would be Iicre, but that I doubt 

» Chriitendom. Arthur prettily assevcratci by the liapfU- 
mal office— by his christening. The word i< unci in thii 
sense In " All's Well that Ends Well ; " and it Is found In 
Gowcr. — 

" A light, as thou(;h it was a sonne 
From heaven, into the place come. 
Where that he toke his chritlaidomc." 

fltSTOniFS.— VuL. I. 


My uncle practises more harm (o mc : 
He is afraid of me, and I of him : 
Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son? 
No, indeed, is 't not ; And I would to heaven 
I were your son, so you would love me, IIuIk-iI. 
Hub. If I tidk to him. with his innocent prato 
He wUl awake my mercy, wliich I' " " 
Therefore I will bo siiddrM. niui li.^ ..... 

Arlh. Arc you sick, Hubert? you look pnlc 
to-day : 
lu sooth, I would you were a little sick ; 
That I migiit sit idl night, and watcli with you : 
I warrant I love you more than you do me. 
Hub. His woids do take i)ossession of my 
bosom. — 
Read here, young Arthur. [SAein'tiy a pa/x'r. 
How now, foolish rhcinn ! [Amdr. 

Turning dispiteous torture out of door ! 
I be brief; le.<it rr.^'ilution drop 
Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears. 
Can you not raul it ? is it not fair writ ? 

ArtA. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect : 
Must you with hot irons bum out both mine eyo ? 
Hub. Young boy, I must. 
ArfA. And will you ? 

Hub. AM ' 

ArtA. Have you the heart ? When _ i 

did but okc, 
1 kmt my band-kcrchcr about your brows,* 

* If III! Irrchfi- Til ■ >i><-"In«" of ll.o otL;:!.!! i« It. 


rctc!i:I) j; Sl.Alu,<cie'* (Ujr. 


Act IV.J 


[Scene I. 

(The best I had, a princess wrought it me,) 
And I did never ask it you again : 
And with my hand at raidniglit held your head ; 
And, liive the watchful minutes to the hour, 
Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time ; 
Saying, What lack you ? and. Where lies your 

grief P 
Or, What good love may I perform for you ? 
Many a poor man's son would have lain still, 
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you ; 
But you at your sick service had a prince. 
Nay, you nay think my love was crafty love. 
And call it, cunning ; do, an if you will : 
If heaven be pleas'd that you must use me ill, 
■Why, then you must. — WiU you put out mine 

'riiesc eyes, that never did, nor never shall. 
So much as frown on you ? 

Huh, I liave sworn to do it ; 

And with hot irons must I burn them out. 

Arlk. Ah, none, but in this iron age, would do 
The iron of itself, though heat* red-hot. 
Approaching near these eyes, would drink my 

And quench liis fiery indignation. 
Even in the matter of mine innocence ; 
Nay, after that, consume away in rust, 
But for containing fire to harm mine eye. 
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron ? 
An if an angel should have come to me, 
And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes, 
I would not have believ'd him.'' No tongue but 
Hubert's — 

///'/;. Come forth. [Stamps. 

Re-enter Attendants, with Cords, Irons, &c. 

Do as I bid you do. 
Arlh. 0, save me, Hubert, save me ! my eyes 
are out. 
Even witli the fierce looks of these bloody men. 
Huh. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him 

Arth. Alas, what need you be so boist'rous- 
rough ? 

» Ileal, used as a participle, as in our translation of 
the Bible: " He commanded that they should heat the fur- 
nace one seven times more than it was wont to be heal." — 

•> / would tint have believ'd him. So the reading of the 
original. In some modern editions we have 

" I would not have believ'd no tongue hut Hubert's." 
The double negative is quite Justifiable here; but the rejec- 
tion of Aim weakens the line ; and, as usual, may be traced 
to the ear of Steevens, which regarded what he called a 
redundant syllable as a foul weed in the garden of poetry. 
Shakspere made abundant work for his unsparing hoe. As 
we have pointed the passage. Arthur begins a fresh sentence, 
which is interrupted by Hubert stamping. He is about to 
say, " No tongue but Hubert's " would have made me be- 
lieve it. 


I will not struggle, I wiU stand stone-still. 

For heaven* sake, Hubert, let me not be bound ! 

Nay, hear me, Hubert ! drive these men away, 

And I will sit as quiet as a lamb ; 

I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word. 

Nor look upon the iron angerly : 

Thrust but these men away, and I '11 forgive you. 

Whatever torment you do put me to. 

Hub. Go, stand within ; let me alone with 

1 Attend. I am best pleas'd to be from such a 
deed. [Exeunt Attendants. 

Arth. Alas! I then have chid away my 
friend ; 
He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart : — 
Let him come back, that his compassion may 
Give life to yours. 

Hub. Come, boy, prepare yourself. 

Arth. Is there no remedy ? 

Hub. None, but to lose your eyes. 

Arth. heaven !— that there were but a mote 
in yours, 
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair. 
Any annoyance in that precious sense ! 
Then, feeling what small things are boist'rous 

Your vile intent must needs seem horrible. 

Hub. Is this your promise ? go to, hold your 

Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of 


Must needs want pleading for a pan- of eyes : 
Let me not hold my tongue ; let me not, Hubert ! 
Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue. 
So I may keep mine eyes. O, spare mine eyes ; 
Though to no use, but still to look on you ! 
Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold, 
And would not harm me. 

Huh. I can heat it, boy. 

Arth. No, in good sooth ; the fire is dead with 
Being create for comfort, to be us'd 
In undeserv'd extremes : See else yourself ; 
There is no malice in this burning coal ;'' 
The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out. 
And strew'd repentant ashes on his head. 

Hub. But witli my breath I can revive it, boy. 

Arth. And if you do, you will but make it 
And glow with shame of your proceedings, 

Hubert : 
Nay, it, perchance, will sparkle in your eyes ; 

" Heaven. So the original. 

b In this burning coal. Dr. Orey, whose remarks are 
generally just as well as learned, would read, 

'" There is no malice burning in this coal. 

A(T IV.] 


(8cs«B rr. 

And, like a dog that is compell'd to fight. 
Snatch at his master that doth tarro' him on. 
All things that you should use to do me wrong 
Deny their office : only you do lack 
That mercy which tierce lire aud iron extends, 
Creatures of uote for mercy-lackiug uses. 

Hub. Well, see to live ; I will not touch thine 
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes : 
Yet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy, 
With this same very iron to burn them out. 

Jrlh. O, now you look like Hubert ! all this 
You were disguised. 

Hub. Peace : no more. Adieu ; 

Your uncle must not know but you are dead : 
1 '11 fill these dn.'ijt^d ?[)ies with false reports. 
And, pretty eliiUl, sleep doubtless, and secure, 
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world. 
Will not oflFend thee. 

Arth. heaven ! — I thank you, Hubert. 

Hub. Silence ; no more : Go closely in with 
Much danger do I undergo for thee. [Kreunt. 

SCENE IL— The same. A Eoom of Stale in 

the Palace. 
Enter KlXG JoHy, crowned ; PEilBnoKE, Salis- 

BxniT, and other Lords 


The King takes his 

K. John. Here once again we sit, once again 
And look'd upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes. 

Pern. This once again, but that your highness 
Was once superfluous : you were crown'd before. 
And that high royalty was ne'er pluck'd off; 
The faiths of men ne'er stained with revolt ; 
Fresh expectation troubled not the laud. 
With any long'd-for change, or better state. 

Sal. Therefore, to be posscss'd with double 
To guard a title** that was rich before, 
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily. 
To throw a perfume or *' • •" let. 
To smooth the ice, or her hue 

Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light 

» Tarre. TooVe derives tliU from a Saxon word, mfaninif 
— ^ . . 1 .1 . . % i_ — f_...«.kK ... 

has only reference to 


border or ed|cin|r of 

• linit Injury. The 

rd in Love'* Lv 

fo exajperate. Olhe"- 
tlie eii«t.'m of exciti; 
b Guard a tUlt. 1 
aparment — the boundarj — iiic .; 
mai'Tier in which Shakspcre u- 
bour"-; Lost explains i- here : ^ 

"Oh. rhyriK-s are ^'innls on wanton Cupid'i ho^e. 
The edgiiigi were pentra'.y ornamented, and bccime smart 
trimmin?*. In the passage before us the same meaning U 

" To gtiarJ a title that was rich ^>tfoK.' 


To seek the beauteous eye of li. nen lo iMiuisli 
Is wasteful, and ridiculous e.\ 

Pern. 15ut that your royal pleasure umst Le 

This act IS as an nnctpnt talc new told ; 
Ami. in the last ; -. troublesome, 

Heing in ' • 

.S//. I . .ted face 

Of plain old form is much di.^fiK^lrcd ; 
.\nd, like a , •• • ■ 

It makes the _ _ eh about 

Startles and frights consideration ; 

Makes sound opinion siel. e(t il. 

For putting on so new a l.,-:.;„. .. . ,-^ . 

Pern. Wheu workuieu strive to d'> brttrr than 

They do ■• ' •' ' ' " Mxu»^m>9 : 

And, oft. lit 

Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse ; 
As patches, set upon a little breach. 
Discredit more in hiding of the fault, 
Than did the fault before it was so patch'd. 
Sal. To this effect, before you were new- 

We breath'd our counsel : but it plcas'd your 

To overbear it ; and wc are all well plcas'd, 
Since all aud every part of what wc would. 
Doth make a stand at what your highness will. 
K. John. Some reasons of this double coro- 
I have posscss'd you with, and think thcni 

strong ; 
Aud more, more strong (when lesser i- " ^ 

fear,) • 
I shall indue you with : Meantime, hut ;i-k 

What you would have reform'd tl- ' ' ^' 

And well shall you perceive how ^■ 
I will both hear and grant you your requests. 
Peni. Then I, (as one that am the tongue of 

To sound the purposes of all their hearts,) 
Both for myself and them, (b '1, 

Your safety, for t' ' '• " ' 

B<'nd their best 

Th' enfranchisement of Arthur ; 

Dot': •' - ■ -' 

To 1 

If, what in rest you have '' in right jou hold, 

» mrm Inter it mf f€«r. The foUo rw4». " tt*ii \t*tt 
i« my f'»r." 
b If wkal im rtU ton JUr«. 8lc«Tcn< would re»l rrof. 

Hrjl It. " 

n. To '■ ■ 
wbidi every re«d«r of our oU sir^nii!.- po,!» m ;it '" 


Act IV. ] 



To break within tlie bloody house of life ; 
And, on the winking of authority, 
To understand a hiw; to know the meaning 
C)f dangerous majesty, when, perchance, it 

More upon humour than advis'd respect. 
Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what 

I did. 
K. John. O, when the last account 'twixt 
heaven and earth 
Is to be made, tlien shall this hand and seal 
Witness against us to damnation ! 
How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds 
Makes ill deeds done ! " Had'st thou not been by, 
A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd, 
Quoted, and sign'd, to do a deed of shame, 
This murder had not come into my mind : 
But, taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect, 
rinding thee fit for bloody villainy, 
Apt, liable, to be employ'd in danger, 
I faintly broke with thcc of Arthur's death ; 
And thou, to be endeared to a king, 
Made it no conscience to destroy a prince. 
Hub. My lord, — 

K. John. Hadst thou but shook thy licad, or 
made a pause, 
"VV'hen I spake darkly what I purposed. 
Or tura'd an eye of doubt upon my face. 
As bid ** me tell my tale in express words. 
Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me 

break off, 
And those thy fears might have wrought fears 

in me: 
But thou didst understand me by my signs. 
And didst in signs again parley with sin ; 
Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent. 
And, consequently, thy rude hand to act 
The deed, which both our tongues held vile to 

Out of my siglit, and never see me more ! 
My nobles leave me ; and my state is brav'd, 
Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers : 
Nay, in the body of this flcslily land, 
This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath, 
Hostility and civil tumult reigns 
Between my conscience and my cousin's death. 

Hub. Arm you against your other enemies, 
I '11 make a peace between your soul and you. 
Young Arthur is alive : This hand of mine 
Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand. 
Not painted with the crimson spots of blood. 
\Vithin tiiis bosom never enter'd yet 
The dreadful motion of a murd'rous thought ; 
< '^''•" •""-"'; ve"iurccl upon a transposition. Tlie ori-inal 

b At Ai'/— elliptically for as lo bid. 

And you have slander'd nature in my form, 

Which, howsoever rude exteriorly. 

Is yet the cover of a fairer mind 

Than to be butcher of an innocent child. 

K. John. Doth Arthm" live ? 0, haste thee to 
the peers. 
Throw this report on their incensed rage, 
Aud make them tame to their obedience 1 
Forgive the comment that my passion made 
Upon thy feature ; for my rage was blind, 
And fold imaginary eyes of blood 
Presented thee more hideous than thou art. 
0, answer not ; but to my closet bring 
The angry lords, with all expedient haste : 
I conjure thee but slowly ; run more fast. 


SCENE III.— :Z'7/e same. Before the Castle. 
Enter Authtje, on the Walls. 

Arth. The wall is high ; and yet will I leap 

down : — 
Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not ! — 
There 's few, or none, do know me ; if they did, 
This ship-boy's semblance hath disguis'd me 

I am afraid ; aud yet I '11 venture it. 
If I get down, and do not break my limbs, 
I '11 find a thousand shifts to get away : 
As good to die and go, as die and stay. 

{Leaps down. 
me I my uncle's spirit is m these stones :— 
Heaven take my soul, aud England keep my 

bones I [Lies. 

Enter Pembkoke, Salisbuuy, and Bigot. 

Sal. Lords, I will meet him at Saint Ed- 
muiid's-Bury ; 
It is our safety, and wc must embrace 
This gentle offer of the perilous time. 

Pm. Who brought that letter from the car- 
dinal ? 
Sal. The count Melun, a noble lord of 
France ; 
Whose private with me, of the Dauphin's love. 
Is much more general than these lines import. 
Big. To-morrow morning let us meet him 

Sal. Or rather then set forward : for 't will be 
Two long days' journey, lords, or e'er we meet.* 

Enter the Bastard. 
Bast. Once more to-day well m.ct, distemper'd 
lords ! 
The king, by me, requests your presence straight. 

» Or e'er we meet -before we meet. So in Ecclesiastes, 
•' or ever tlie silver cord be loosed." 

An IV.] 

KING JullX. 

(ScEKr III. 

Sal. Tlic kiui^ hath disposscss'd himself of us. 
We Nvill not liuc his ihiu bcstaiucJ cloak 
"With our pure honours, nor attend the foot 
Tliat leaves the print of blood wherce'r it 

walks : 
Jleturn, and tell him so ; wc know the worst. Whate'er you think, goo<l words, I 

think, were best. 
Sal. Our griefs, and not our nuinucrs, \,-amm\ 

Bast. But there is little reason in your grief; 
Therefore, 'i were rc;ison you had uiaiuiors now. 
Pern. Sir, sir, iuipatience hath his privilege. 
Ihul. 'Tistnie; to hurt Lis master, no uiiui 

Sal. This is the jjrison : "WTiat is he lies here P 

[Seeiiiff AuTiiuii. 
Pern. death, made proud with pure and 
princely beauty ! 
The earth had not a hole to hide this deed. 
Sal. Murther, as hutuig what himself hath 
Doth lay it open, to urge ou revenge. 

Biff. Or, when he doom'd this beauty to a 
Found it too preeious-priueely for a grave. 
Sal. Sir Richard, what think you? You have 
Or have you read, or heard ? or could you think ? 
Or do you almost think, although you see. 
That you do see ? could thought, without this 

Form such another ? This is the very top. 
The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest, 
Of murthcr's arms: this is the bloodiest shame, 
llie wildest savagery, the vilest stroke. 
That ever wall-ey'd wrath, or staring rage, 
Presented to the tears of soft remorse. 

Pern. All niui'thers past do stand cxeus'd in 
And this so sole, and so unmatchable, 
Sluill give a holiness, a purity. 
To the yet-unbcgottcn sin of times ; 
And prove a deadly bl'jodshcd but a jest, 
Exampled by this heinous spectacle. 

Bast. It is a damned and a bloody work ; 
The graceless action of a heavy hand, 
If that it be the work of any hand. 

Sal. If that it be the work of any hand? — 
Wc had a kind of light what would ensue : 

> Xo man ehf. So the Duke of Dcronthire'c ropy of the 
folio. The ordiiinr}' copiei, A'o man'i eUe. Mr. CoUter 
pointed this out. 

•> You hare brhdd. The third ' rvAding 

which is generally adopitd, of " ); I." We 

retain that of the original, whirh .nii- i Vou •«« 

—or havr you oi.Iv read, nr lii.irl '. Y rnuit be 

io startled that you may doubt " you lia\ ■_ . ^. ' 

It is the shameful nork of. Hubert's hand ; 

The pruct' ■• ! the purjxise, of the king. — 

From \\h .nee I furbiil my >uul, 

Kneeling Ulorc this ruiu of sweet life 
Audi. ' • • • .ellencc 

The ii. .....: 

Never to tuste the pleasures of the world. 

Never to be infected with 

Nor eon\er>aut with case .,-, 

Till I have set a glory tot' 

By giving it the worship of revenge. 

Peiii. Hiij. Uur souls religiously coniirm tnj 

Enter Hu BEKT. 
Hub. Lords, I am hut with hastr in scrkin? 

Arthur dolii live ; the 1 • 

Sal. O, he is bold, ai.u 

Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get tlr 
Hub. I am no villain. 
Sil. Must I rob the law ? 

[Jjraiciiiff hit *tr> , ! 
Bast. Your sword is bright, sir; put it up 

Sal. Not till I sheath it in a murtherer's .skiu. 
Uub. Stand back, lord Salisbury, stand back, 
I say ; 
By heaven, 1 think, my sword's ;.< ^1, ,ri, i-t 

yours : 
I would not have you, lord, for. 
Nor tempt the danger of my tru. • 
Lest I, by marking of your ns^*, f 
Your worth, your greatness, and m' 

Biff. Out, dunghill! dar'st thou brnM- .» iii>blc- 

man ? 
Hub. Not for my life : but yet I dare defend 
My innocent life ivj : emperor. 

Sal. Thou art a r. 

Hub. l)o not prove me so ; 

Yet, I am none : \V iiosc tongue soc'cr speaks 

Not truly sjR'aks; who siK.-ak.< not tnily, lift*. 
Pern. Cut him to pieces. 
Bast. K ' 

Sal. Stand by, or I ^h;. 

Butt. Tliou wcrt better guii luc uevii, ^.Ui,*.- 
bury : 
If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot. 
Or teach t! 

I'll strike' ; , •■ 

Or I'll so : i and jour t' 

Tliat you shall think the dc\il i 

Biff. What will thou do, rcii>'«ii' i i-iu'^u- 
bridge ? 


Act IV. 


LSCKNE lit. 

To break witbin the bloody house of life ; 
And, on the wiaking of authority, 
To understand a law; to know the meaning 
Of dangerous majesty, when, percliance, it 

A[ore ui)on humour than advis'd respect. 
Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what 

I did. 
K. John. O, when the last account 'twixt 
heaven and earth 
Is to be made, tlien shall this hand and seal 
Witness against us to damnation ! 
How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds 
Makes ill deeds done ! " Had'st thou not been by, 
A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd. 
Quoted, and sign"d, to do a deed of shame. 
This murder had not come into my mmd : 
But, taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect, 
Finding thee fit for bloody villainy. 
Apt, liable, to be employ'd in danger, 
I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death ; 
And thou, to be endeared to a king, 
Made it no conscience to destroy a prince. 
Hub. My lord,— 

K. John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or 
made a pause, 
A\'hen I spake darkly what I purposed. 
Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face. 
As bid ^ me tell my tale in express words. 
Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me 

break off. 
And those thy fears might have wrought fears 

in me: 
But thou didst understand me by my signs. 
And didst in signs again parley with sin ; 
Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent. 
And, consequently, thy rude hand to act 
T'lie deed, which both our tongues held vile to 

(Jut of my siglit, and never see me more ! 
Aly i.oblcs leave me ; and my state is ])rav'd. 
Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers : 
Nay, in the body of this fleshly land. 
This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath, 
llostility and civil tumult reigns 
Between my conscience and my cousin's death. 

llnb. Arm you against your other enemies, 
I '11 make a peace between your soul and you. 
Young Arthur is alive : This hand of mine 
Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand. 
Not painted with the crimson spots of blood. 
Within this bosom never cnter'd yet 
The dreadful motion of a murd'rous thought ; 

' •ur<-d upon a transposition. The oriL-inal 


!;:^cd'' V ,'^,;l:;:::;-;;-'^"'t''-">i«'>t apply to^o^i 

b Ai ii'i— elliptically for as to bid. 


And you have slauder'd nature in my form, 

Which, howsoever rude exteriorly. 

Is yet the cover of a fairer mind 

Than to be butcher of an innocent child. 

K. John. Doth Arthur live ? 0, haste thee to 
the peers. 
Throw this report on their incensed rage. 
And make them tame to their obedience ! 
Forgive tlie comment that my passion made 
Upon thy feature; for my rage was blmd. 
And foul imaginary eyes of blood 
Presented thee more hideous than thou art. 
0, answer not ; but to my closet bring 
The angry lords, with all expedient haste : 
I conjure thee but slowly \ run more fast. 


SCE'NE Wl.—The same. Before the Castle. 

Enter AuTmiu, on the Walls. 

Arth. The wall is high ; and yet will I leap 
down : — 
Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not ! — 
TJiere 's few, or none, do know me ; if they did, 
Tliis ship-boy's semblance hath disguis'd me 

I am afraid; and yet I'll venture it. 
If I get down, and do not break my limbs, 
I '11 fbd a thousand shifts to get away : 
[ As good to die and go, as die and stay. 

[Leaps down. 
me ! my uncle's spirit is in these stones :— 
Heaven take my soul, and England keep my 
tones ! \pies. 

Enter Pembroke, Salisbury, a^id Bigot. 

Ral. Lords, I will meet him at Saint Ed- 
mund's-Bury ; 
It is our safety, and we must embrace 
This gentle offer of the perilous time. 

Pem. Who brought that letter from the car- 
dinal ? 
Sal. The count Mclun, a noble lord of 
France ; 
Whose private with me, of the Dauphin's love. 
Is much more general than these lines import. 
Big. To-morrow morning let us meet him 

Sal. Or rather then set forward : for 't wiU be 
Two long days' journey, lords, or e'er we meet.* 

Enter the Bastard. 
Bad. Once more to-day well met, distcmper'd 
lords ! 
The king, by me, requests your presence straight. 

» Or e'er «•<> OTcci-hcfore «e meet. So in Ecclesiastes, 
•' or aer the silver cord be loosed." 

Aci IV.] 


[ScESi: III. 

Sal. Tlie king Lath disposscss'd himself of us. 
We will not line his ihiu bestaiucd cloak 
"With our pure honours, nor attend the foot 
That leaves the print of blood wheree'r it 

walks : 
Return, and tell him so ; we know the worst. 
Bast. \Vhate'er you think, gf>od words, I 

think, were best. 
Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, rejison 

Bast. But there is little reason iu your grief; 
Therefore, 't were reason you had manners now. 
Pern. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege. 
Bait. 'Tis true ; to hurt his m;ister, no man 

Sal. This is the jjrison : "WTiat is he lies here ? 

[Seei/iff Artuoh. 
Fea. death, made proud with pure and 
princely beauty ! 
The earth had not a hole to hide this deed. 
Sal. Miirther, as hating what himself hath 
Doth lay it open, to urge on revenge. 

Bi//. Or, when he doom'd this beauty to a 
Found it too precious-princely for a grave. 
Sal. Sir Richard, what think you ? You have 
beheld. *> 
Or have you read, or heard ? or could you think ? 
Or do you almost think, although you see. 
That you do sec ? could thought, without this 

Form such another ? This is the very top. 
The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest. 
Of miuther's arms : this is the bloodiest shame. 
The wildest savagery, the vilest stroke. 
That ever wall-e/d wrath, or staring rage, 
Presented to the tears of soft remorse. 

Pevi. All murthers past do stand excus'd in 
And this so sole, and so unmatchable. 
Shall give a holiness, a purity. 
To the yet-unbegotten sin of times ; 
And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest, 
Exampled by this heinous spectacle. 

Bast. It is a damned and a bloody work ; 
The graceless action of a heas^ hand. 
If that it be the work of any hand. 

Sal. If that it be the work of any hand ? — 
We had a kind of light what would ensue : 

» Xo man elie. So the Duke of Dcvon»hire's ropy of the 
folio. The ordinary copies, So man't eUe. Mr.' Collier 
pointed this out. 

i> You hare hrheld. The third folio gives the reading 
which is generally adopted, of " Hare you beheld." We 
retain that of the original, which appears to mean — You see 
— or have you read, or heard? Yi ur senses must be 
so startled that you may doubt " you have beheld." 

It is the shameful work of. Hubert's hand ; 
The practice, and the purpose, of the king . — 
From whose obedience I forbid my soul. 
Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life 
.\nd breathing to his breathless excellence 
The incense of a vow, a holy vow. 
Never to taste the pleasures of the world, 
Never to be infected with deliglit. 
Nor conversant with ease and idleness. 
Till I have set a glory to this hand. 
By giving it the worship of revenge. 

Pern. Big. Our souls religiously conlirm thy 

Enter Hubert. 

Hub. Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking 
Arthur dolh live ; the king hath sent for you. 

Sal. O, he is bold, and blushes not at death : — 
Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone! 
Hub. I am no villain. 
Sal. Must I rob the law ? 

[Draiciiiff bis sirorrl. 
Bait. Your sword is bright, sir; put it up 

Sal. Not till I sheath it in a murtherer's skin. 
Hub. Stand back, lord Salisbury, stand back, 
I say ; 
By heaven, I think, my sword's as sharp aa 

yours : 
I wotdd not have you, lord, forget yourself. 
Nor tempt the danger of my true defence ; 
Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget 
Your worth, your greatness, and nobility. 

Bi//. Out, dunghill! dar'st thou brave a noble- 
man ? 
Hub. Not for my life : but yet I dare defend 
My innocent life agtiinst an emperor. 
Sal. Thou art a murtherer. 
Hub. Do not prove me so ; 

Yet, I am none : Wliose tongue soe'cr speaks 

Not truly speaks ; who speaks not truly, lies. 
Pern. Cut him to pieces. 
Bast. Keep the peace, I say. 

Sal. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulcon- 

Bast. Thou wert better gall tlie devil. Sails* 
bury : 
If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot, 
Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame, 
I '11 strike thee dead. Put up thy sword bctime ; 
Or I 'U so maul you and your toasting-iron. 
That you shall think the devil is come from hell. 
Bi//. What wilt thou do, renowned Faulcon- 
bridee ? 


Act IV.) 


[Scene III 

Second a villain and a murderer ? 

Hub. Lord Bigot, I am none. 

Big. "Wlio kill'd this prince ? 

Hub. 'T is not an hour since I left him well : 
I lionour'd him, I lov'd him ; and will weep 
Mj date of life out, for his sweet life's loss. 

Sal. Trust not those 

waters of his 



For vOlainy is not without such rheum ; 
And he, long traded in it, makes it seem 
Like rivers of remorse and innocency. 
Away, with me, all you whose souls abhor 
The nuclcanly savours of a slaughter-house ; 
]"or I am stifled with this smell of sin. 
Big. Away, toward Bury, to the Dauphin 
there ! 
There, tell the king, he may inquire us 
out. SJLxeiint Lords. 

Ilcrc's a good world! — Knew you of 
this fair work? 
Beyond the infinite and boundless reach 
Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death. 
Art thou damn'd, Hubert. 
Hub. Do but hear me, sir. 

Bast. Ha! I '11 tell thee what ; 
Thou 'rt damn'd as black — nay, nothing is so 

black ; 
Thou art more deep damn'd than prince Lucifer : 
There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell 
.iVs tliou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child. 
Hub. Upon my soul, — 
Bast. If thou didst but consent 

To this most cruel act, do but despair. 
And, if thou want'st a cord, the smallest thread 
That ever spider twisted from her womb 

Will serve to strangle thee ; & rush will be 

A beam to hang thee on; or wouldst thou 

drown thyself. 
Put but a little water in a spoon, 
And it shall be, as all the ocean. 
Enough to stifle such a villain up. — 
I do suspect thee very grievously. 

Hub. If I in act, consent, or sin of thought, 
Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath 
WTiich was embounded in this beauteous clay. 
Let hell want pains enough to tortui-e me ! 
I left him well. 

Bast. Go, bear him in thine arms. — 

I am amaz'd, methinks ; and lose my way 
Among the thorns and dangers of this world. — 
How easy dost thou take all England up ! 
From forth this morsel of dead royalty. 
The life, the right, and truth of all this realm 
Is fled to heaven ; and England now is left 
To tug and scamble, and to part by the teeth 
The unowed interest of proud-swelling state. 
Now, for the bare-pick'd bone of majesty 
Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest. 
And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace : 
Now powers from home, and discontents al 

Meet in one line ; and vast confusion waits. 
As doth a raven on a sick-fallen beast. 
The imminent decay of wrested pomp. 
Now happy he, whose cloak and cincture can 
Hold out this tempest. Bear away that child. 
And follow me with speed ; I '11 to the king : 
A thousand businesses are brief in hand, 
And heaven itself doth frown upon the land. 


\ .,■ -• 




' Scene 1.— • Fuft to the chair." 

Chatrs of the period are of many sizes ami 
fjvshions. They may, however, be classed muler 
three generic fonns : — 1. Those constnicted in 
iraitiition of jiarts of animals an<l chimenis, 
evidently of classic orijin. 2. Open frame-work 
scats, made, apparently, of metal, reeds, or canes. 

8. Tlic common high-backed oliaii- which 'm felill to 
bo f lund in our cottages, but without decoration. 
The first and second forms are exhibited in the 
following wood cut, of which thnt of cla-s 1 is 
tiikon from Roval MS. xiv. c. 2 ; —and that of 
2 from Hail. MS. 603. Tho figure is fn.m the 
Sloane MS. 1975. 


It is unquestionably to "be deplored that the 
gieatest writers of imagination have sometimes 
embodied events not only unsupported by the facts 
of history, but utterly opposed to them. Wo are 
not speaking of those deviations from the actual 
Buccessiou of events, — those omissions of minor 
particular?, — those groupings of characters who 
were really never brought together, — which the 
poet knowingly abandons himself to, that he may 
accomplish the great purposes of his art, the first 
of which, in a drama cspe ially, is tmity of action. 
Such a license has Sbiksi.ere taken in King John, 
and who can doubt that, poetically, he was right ? 
But there is a limit even to the masteiy of the 
poet, when he is dealing with the broad truths of 
history; for the poetical truth would be destroyed 
if the historical truth were utterly disregarded. 
For example, if the grand Bcenes in this Act, 

between Arthur and Hubert, and between Hi'bei t 
and John, were entirely contradicted bj* the trutli 
of historj', there would be an abatement even of 
the irresistible power of these ni.if ' ' -cnes. 

Had the i)roper historians led us to : no 

attempt was made to deprive Arthur it his Ki:,'Iit 
— that his death was not the result of tho dark 
suspicious and cowardly fears of his undo— that 
the manner of this death was so clear thnt he who 
held him captive was absolved from all suspicion 
of treacherj', — then tho poet wo»dd indeed have 
left an impres.'^ion on the mind which even tho 
hi.storicd truth could with difficulty have over- 
come ; but he would not have left that complete 
and overwhelming impression of the reality of his 
scenes — he could not have produced our implicit 
belief in the sad story, as he tells it, of Arthur 
of Britanny, — he cuuld not have rendered it 



jn'.poEsible for any oue to recui- to that story, who 
haa read this Act of King John, and not think of 
the dark prison where the iron was hot and the 
executioner ready, but where nature, speaking in 
words such as none but the greatest poet of nature 
could have furnished, made the fire and the iron 
" deny their office," and the executioner leave the 
poor boy, for a while, to "sleep doubtless and 
i^ecure." Fortunate is it that we have no recoi-ds 
to hold up which should say that Shakspere built 
this immortal scene upon a rotten foundation. 
The stoi-j", as told by Holinshed, is deeply in- 
teresting ; and we cannot read it without feeling 
how skilfully the poet has followed it : — 

" It is said that King John caused his nejihew 
Arthur to be brought before him at Falaise, and 
there went about to persuade him all that he 
could to forsake his friendship and alliance with 
the French king, and to lean and stick to him his 
natural uncle. But Arthur, like one that wanted 
good counsel, and abounding too much in his own 
wilful opinion, made a presumptuous answer, not 
only denying so to do, but also commanding King 
John to restore unto him the realms of England, 
with all those other lands and possessions which 
King Kichard had in his hand at the hour of his 
death. For sith the same appertaineth to him by 
right of inheritance, he assured him, except 
restitution were made the sooner, he should not 
long continue quiet. King John being sore moved 
by sudi words thus uttered by his nephew, 
appointed (as before is said) that he should be 
Btraitly kept in prison, as first in Falaise, and 
after at Roan, within the new castle there. 

" Shortly after King John coming over into 
England Vaused himself to be crowned again at 
Canterbury, by th^e hands of Hubert, the arch- 
bishop there, on the fourteenth of April, and 
then went back again into Normandy, where, 
immediately upon his arrival, a rumour was 
spread through all France, of the death of his 
nephew Arthur. True it is that great suit was 
ninde to have Arthur set at liberty, as well bj^ the 
French King, as by William de Miches, a valiant 
baron of Poitou, and divers other noblemen of 
the liritains, who, when they could not prevail in 
their suit, they banded themselves together, and 
joining in confederacy with Robert Earlof Alanson, 
the Viaco\int Beaumont, William de Fulgiers, and 
other, they began to levy ehai-p wars against King 
John in divers jilaces, insomuch (as it was thought) 
that so long as Arthur lived, there would be no 
quiet in those parts : whereupon it was reported, 
that King John, through per.^uasion of his coun- 
sellors, appointed certain persons to go into Falaise, 
■where Arthur was kept in prison, under the charge 
of Hubert de Burgh, and there to put out the 
young gentleman's eyes. 

" But through such resistance as he made against 
one of the tormentors th;it came to execute the 
king's command (for the other rather forsook their 
prince and country, than they would consent to 
obey the king's authority therein) and such 
Inniental.le words as he uttered, Hubert de Burgh 
did pre-nerve him from that injury, not doubting 
but rather to have thanks than displeasure at the 
king's h.inds, for delivering him of such infamy 
08 would have redounded unto his highnes.s, if the 
young gentleman had been so cni'.Uy dealt withal 

For he considered, that King John had resolved 
upon this point only in his heat and fury (which 
moveth men to undertake many an inconvenient 
enterprise, unbeseeming the person of a common 
man, much more reproachful to a prince, all men 
in that mood being more foolish and furious, and 
prone to accomplish the perverse conceits of their 
ill possessed heart-^ ; as one saith right well. 

pronus in irara 

Stultoium est animu.s, facilfe excandescit et audet 
Omne scelus, quoties conccpta bile tuniescit), 

and that afterwards, upon better advisement, he^ 
•would both repent himself so to have commanded, 
and give them small thank that shovild see it put 
in execution. Howbeit, to satisfy his mind for 
the time, and to stay the rage of the Britains, he 
caused it to be bruted abroad through the country, 
that the king's commandment was fulfilled, and 
that Arthur also, through sorrow and grief, was 
departed out of this life. For the space of fifteen 
days this rumour incessantly ran through both 
the realms of England and France, and there was 
ringiug for him through towns and villages, as it 
had been for his funerals. It was also bruted, 
that his body was buried in the monastery of Saint 
Andrews of the Cisteaux order. 

"But when the Britains were nothing pacified, 
but rather kindled more vehemently to work all 
the mischief they could devise, in i-evenge of 
their sovereign's death, there was no remedy but 
to signify abroad again, that Arthur was as yet 
living, and in health. Now when the king heard 
the truth of all this mattei-, he was nothing 
displeased for that his commandment was not 
executed, sith there were divers of his captains 
which uttered in plain words, that he should not 
find knights to keep his castles, if he dealt so 
cruelly with his nephew. For if it chanced any 
of them to be taken by the King of France, or 
other their adversaries, they should be sure to 
taste of the like cup. But now touching the 
manner in very deed of the end of this Arthur, 
writers make sundry reports. Nevertheless certain 
it is, that in the year next ensuing, he was removed 
from Falaise unto the castle or tower of Roan, 
out of the which there was not any that would 
confess that ever he saw him go alive. Some 
have written, that as be essayed to have escaped 
out of prison, and proving to climb over the walls 
of the castle, he fell into the river of Seine, and 
so \vas drowned. Other write, that thi-ough very 
grief and languor he pined away and died of natural 
sickness. But some affirm that King John secretly 
caused him to be murdered and made away, so as 
it is not thoroughly agreed upon, in what sort he 
finished his days ; but verily King John was had 
in great suspicion, whether worthily or not, the 
Lord knoweth." 

Wisely has the old chronicler said, " verily 
King .Tohn was had in great suspicion, whether 
worthily or not, the Lord knoweth ;" and wisely 
has Shakspere taken the least offensive mode of 
Arthur's death, which was to be found noticed 
in the obscure records of those times. It is, 
all things considered, most probable that Arthur 
peri.shed at Rouen. The darkest of the stories 
connected with his death is that which makes 
him, on the night of the 3rd April, 120:', awakened 
from his sleep, and led to the foot of the ca-stle 


('f Rouen, wLich the Sciue washed. Tliere, K.iy 
the French historians, he entered u boat, iu which 
Bate John, and Peter de Maulac, his esquire. 
Terror took possession of the unhappy boy, and 
he threw hiiaself at his uncle's feet; — but Joliu 

came to do, or to wi* ■ 1 

with his own hand )i' -■ 

deep waters of the river received the body ui hi< 




In Act III. the dramatic action exhibits to us 
the "holy legate of the pope " breaking the peace 
between John aud Philip, demanding of John 
" Why thou against the church, our holy mother. 
So wilfully dost spurn ; and, force per force. 
Keep Stephen Langton, chosen archbishop 
Of Canterbur)-, from that holy see ! " 
The great quarrel between John and the pope, 
with reference to the election of Stephen LaiiRtou, 
did not take place till 1'20", about six years after 
Arthur was tivken prisoner at Mirebeau. Pandulph 
was not sent into France " to practise with the 
French king" against John, till lUll; and the 
invasion of En,'iand by the Dauphm (which is 
suguested by Pundulph as likely lo be supported 
by the indignation of the Engli.^h on the death of 
ArthurN, did not tike place till 121(5, the ye.-vr of 
John's death. The jwet ha.'* Kapt over all those 
barriers of time which would havo impeded the 
direct march of his own poetiwd history, tole- 
ridge has well explaine<l the principle of t*'":— 
" The historj- of onr ancient kings,— tne event* of 
their reigus I mean.- ' ' - in the sky ;- 

whatever the real int. -. '^nd however 

great, they .-eem close to ■• ^^*= "^"7 

the eventa-strike us and . ' our eye. bttle 

modified bv the difference of dates. An 1 
drama is. therefore, a collection of events b. .n _ 

from historv. but connected together in respect of 
cause and time, p..eti.:illy and by dramatic fiction 
Again : " The eveuu tliciM-^olv«a are luimrtterial, 
otherwise than i.s the cl-lhing .and ii.n ' n 

of the spirit that is working within, li- '«. 

the unity resulting frotii succession i^ •», 

but is supplied bv a unity of a higher < ■ n 

connects the events by reference to the workers, 

. «, and pre- 

gives a re.isou for them in t' 
senta men in their causative ( 

The reader may, pcrha[>H, bo 
example of th'* in un; ■• ••' " ' < ' 
the chii.iii'l. •<, wluii ■ 
truth are in vu»t>on. \> 
of Peter of Ponifr>-» •in i 
moons, from Hi' 

" There was i;. 
an hermit whose name w 
York, a man in great rep .. 
people, because that either 
spirit of pr. : ' 
having souu 

CUStomed to teli \v 1, . 

This Peter, about tl 

had told the king, that .it ' 

ceusion it should come to ; 

be cast out of his kin^'dyui 

himself to suffer death for if 

not prove true. Heixnipoii 

prison ^ ' 

him pr 

damuge uulo K 

commandment, ' 

the town of Warham, ai. 

with his »on. • * 

hiul much wrong t' 


rii ; 


th.1t ho wa 

affirm. <hi- 

moved King John the soouer to agree with Ui« 

• Literary RenuUis, vol. 11. p. IfiO, I. 




• vo 

i?nn n21^. hn R*>p. 15) 



ii soma 

.. ., or else 

. he w«Ji *c- 

t pMt, 








pope, ro=e tLroiigb the words of the said hermit, 
that did put Huch a fear of some great mishap in 
his heart, which should grow through the disloyalty 
of his people, that it made him yield the sooner." 
"About the month of December, there were 
Been in the Province of York five moons, one in 

the east, the second in the west, the third in the 
north, the fourth in the south, and the fifth, as it 
were, set in the middest of the other, having 
many stars about it, and went five or six times in- 
compassing the othei-, as it were the space of one 
hour, and shortly after vauished av/ay." 

NVe subjoin the portraits of two of tiie " angry 
lorls" who figure in this Act. S.disbury and 
Tembroke are eipccially mentioned by Holiushed 
ns having revolted from John, and joined Lewis. 
The portrait of William Longespee, Earl of Salis- 

bury — the son of Henry II. by Rosamond do 
Clifford, is from his effigy in Salisbury C:ithedral. 
That of William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke— the 
" llector regis et regni " in the next reign — is from 
his effigy in the Temple church. 


V = ■^/:. ^. 





SCENE I. T/ie same. A Room in the Palace. 

Enter King Joun, Pandulpu with the Crown, 
and Atteudimts. 

A". John. Thus have I yielded up into your 
The circle of my glory. 

Paud. Take again 

[^Giving Joiix the crown. 
From this my hand, as holding of the pope, 
Your sovereign greatness and authority. 

A'. John. Now keep your holy word : go meet 
the French ; 
And from his holiness use all your power 
To stop their marches, 'fore we are inQam'd. 
Our discontented counties * do revolt ; 
Our people quarrel with obedience ; 
Swearing allegiance, and the love of soul, 
To stranger blood, to foreign royalty. 
This inundation of misteiiip»-r'd iiuinour 
Rests by you only to be qualified. 
Then pause not ; for the present liiuc 's so sick. 
That present medicine must be ministcr'd. 
Or overthrow incurable ensues. 

Pand. It was my breath that blew this tem- 
pest up, 
Upon your stubborn usage of the pope : 
But, since you are a gentle couvertitc,'' 

nobles. The reader will remember the 
in Uonito and Juliet ; and County Guy, In 

" Counties 

County Paris . 

Sir Walter Scott's ballad. 

<> Co«cfr<i<e— convert; — reclaimed to the authority of 

"holy church." 

My tongue shall hush again this storm of Mar, 
And iikJcc fair weather in your blustering 

On this Ascension-day, remember well. 
Upon your oatli of service to the pope. 
Go I to make the French lav d' \vn their nmis. 

K. John. Is this Asecusion-day ? Did not the 

Say, that before Ascension-day at noon, 
My crown I should give off? Even so I 

have : 
I did suppose it should be on constraint ; 
But, heaven be thank'd, it is but voluntary. 

Enter the Bastard. 

Butt. All Kent hath yielded ; nothing there 
holds out 
But Dover ea.slle : j ' ' ' 
Like a kind liubt, li i ■ . . wcra: 

Your noblc5 will not hear you. but ore gone 
To offer service to • 

And wild amazcnic;.: ,j and down 

The little number of your doubtful friends. 
A'. John. Would not ray lorda return to mo 
After they heard young Arthur wa» alirc ? 
Batt. They found him daui, and cast bto the 
streets ; 
An empty casket, where tlic jewel of life 
By some damn'd Imnd was robb'd and ta'cn 


AiT v.] 


[Scene II. 

A'. John, lliat villain Hubert told rac he did 

Bast. So, on my soul, lie did, for aught he 
I5ut wherefore do you droop ? why look you sad ? 
Be great in act, as you have been in thought ; 
Let not the world see fear, and sad distrust, 
Govern the motion of a kingly eye : 
Be stii-ring as the time ; be fire with fire ; 
Threaten the threat'ner, and outface the brow 
Of bragging horror : so shall inferior eyes. 
That borrow their behaviours from the great, 
Grow great by your example, and put on 
The dauntless spirit of resolution. 
Away ; and glister like the god of war, 
When he intendeth to become the field : 
Shew boldness and aspiring confidence. 
What, shall they seek the lion in his den, 
And fright him there? and make him tremble 

there ? 
O, let it not be said ! — ^Forage, and run 
To meet displeasure further from the doors ; 
And grapple with him, ere he come so nigh. 
K. John. The legate of the pope hath been 
with me. 
And I have made a happy peace with him ; 
And he hath promis'd to dismiss the powers 
Led by the Dauphin. 


inglorious leasrue ! 

Shall we, upon the footing of our land. 
Send fair-play orders, and make compromise. 
Insinuation, parley, and base truce. 
To arms invasive ? shall a beardless boy, 
A coekcr'd silken wanton, brave our fields, 
And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil. 
Mocking the air with colours idly spread. 
And find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms : 
Perciiancc, the cardinal cannot make your 

peace ; 
Or if he do, let it at least be said. 
They saw we had a purpose of defence. 
A'. John. Uavc thou the ordering of this pre- 
sent time. 
Bast. Away then, with good courage ; yet I 
Our party may well meet a prouder foe. 


SCENE n.— A Plain, m/r St. Edmund's-Bury. 

filter in arms, Lewis, Salisbury, Melux, 
Pembroke, Bigot, and Soldiers. 

/>». My lord Melun, let this be copied out. 
And keep it safe for our remembrance : 
Uctnm the precedent to these lords again ; 

That, having our fair order written down, 
Both they, and we, perusing o'er these notes, 
]\ray know wliercfore we took the sacrament. 
And keep our faiths firm and inviolable. 

Sal. Upon our sides it never shall be broken. 
And, noble Daiiphin, albeit we swear 
A voluntary zeal, and nnurg'd faith, 
To your proceedings ; yet, believe me, prince, 
I am not glad that such a sore of time 
Should seek a plaster by eoutcnm'd revolt, 
And heal the inveterate canker of one wound. 
By making many. 0, it grieves my soul. 
That I must di'aw this metal from my side 
To be a widow-maker ; O, and there, 
T^Tiere honourable rescue, and defence. 
Cries out upon the name of Salisbury : 
But such is the infection of the time. 
That, for the health and physic of our right, 
We cannot deal but with the very hand 
Of stern injustice and confused wrong. — 
And is't not pity, my grieved friends. 
That we, the sons and children of this isle, 
Were born to see so sad an hour as this : 
Wherein we step after a stranger, "^ march 
Upon her gentle bosom, and fill u]) 
Her enemies' ranks, (I must withdraw and weep 
Upon the spot of this enforced cause,) 
To grace the gentry of a land remote, 
And follow unacquainted colours here ? 
What, here? — O nation, that thou could'st re- 
move ! 
That Neptune's arras, who clippeth thee about. 
Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself. 
And grapple thee ^ unto a pagan shore ; 
Where these two ehristiau armies might combine 
The blood of malice in a vein of league. 
And not to-spend " it so unneighbourly ! 

Lew. A noble temper dost thou shew in this j 
And great affections, wrestling in thy bosom, 
Do make an earthquake of nobility. 
0, what a noble combat hast thou fought. 
Between compulsion, and a brave respect ! 
Let me wipe off this honourable dew. 
That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks : 
]\Iy heart hath melted at a lady's tears. 
Being an ordinary inundation; 
But this effusion of such manly drops. 
This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul, 

" After a stranr/nr. We give the punctuation of tlie 
original. Jlodern editions read 

" Wherein we step after a stranger march 
Upon her gentle besom," 
making .slmnqer an adjective, 
b Grapple ihce. 'Hie original reads " cripple thee." 
c To-spand. To. in the original, stands as the sign pf 
the infinitive. Steevcns thinks it a prefi.x, in comhinatioii 
with spend ; as in the Merry Wives of 'Windsor, 

" And fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean knight." 



Act V 


[Srirnr |(. 

Startles mine eyes, aucl makes mc more ama/.'il 
Tliiin had I sccu the vanity top of heaven 
I'igur'd quite o'er with burning meteors. 
Lift up thy brow, renowned Sidishury, 
And with a great heart heave away this storm : 
Commend these waters to those baby eyes. 
That never saw the giant world enrag'd; 
Nor met with fortune other than at feasts, 
Full warm of blood, of mirth, of gossiping : 
Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy liand as ' 

Into the purse of rieli prosperity, 
As Lewis himself: — so, nobles, shall you nil, 
That knit your sinews to the strength of mine. ' 

Enfer PANDULni, attended. 

And even there, raethinks, an angel spake : 
Look, where the holy legate comes apace, 
To give us warrant from the hand of heaven ; 
And on our actions set the name of right. 
With holy breath. 

Pand. Hail, noble prince of France ! 

The next is this, — king John hath reconcil'd 
Himself to Rome ; his spirit is come in. 
That so stood out against the holy church, 
The great metropolis and see of Rome : 
Therefore thy thrcat'ning colours now wind up, 
And tame the savage spirit of wild war ; 
That, like a lion fostcr'd up at hand, 
It may lie gently at the foot of peace, 
And be no further hannful than in show. 

Lew. Your grace shall pardon me, 1 will not 
back ; 
I am too high-boruto be propertied. 
To be a secondary at control. 
Or useful serving-man, and instrument, 
To any sovereign state throughout tlic world. 
Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars 
Between this chastis'd kingdom and myself, 
And brought in matter that should feed this (ire ; 
And now 't is far too huge to be blown out 
With that same weak wind whic-h enkindled it. 
You taught me how to know the face of right. 
Acquainted mc with interest to this land. 
Yea, thrust this enterprise into my heart ; 
.\nd come you now to tell mc, John hath made 
His peace with Rome? What is that pe.arc to 

I, by the honour of my marria^e-bod. 
After young Y\j:thur. claim this land for mine ; 
.\nd, now it is half-conqncr'd, must I back 
Because that John hath made his peace with 

Rome ? 
Am T Rome's slave ? What penny hath Rome 

AVhat n>cn provided, what munition scut, 
To underprop this action ? is 'I not I 
That undergo this ohiir|^ ? who else but I, 

And such as to nr- ' ■ ' ' ! •, 

Sweat in tills bu lin this war!* 

Have 1 not heard tht-sc islanders shout out, 

Vir,- h- ■ I ■ ^ - ?' 

Have I 1. ^ lie,' 

To win this mutch play'd for a crown P 
And shall I now !,'ive o'er thi 
No, no, on my soul, it never :.. ;■ 

l*iui<t. You look but on the outside of ihit 

U-w. Outside or inside, I w-" ■ 
Till my attempt so luudi be . 
As to my ample hope was promised 

Before I drew (' '. 

And cuU'd thesi. . . , world, 

To outlook conquest, tuid to win renown 
Even in the jaws of danger and < ; — 

[y ,„, ,^ . soundt. 
"Wliat lusty trumpet tluis doth summon its ? 

Enter the Bastaud, attended. 

Bast. According to the fair play of the world, 
Let me have amliencc. I am sent to speak : 
My holy lord of Milan, from the king 
I come, to learn how you have dealt with him ; 
And, as you answer, Id' ' ^o\yc 

And warrant limited uni 

Pand. The Danphin is too wilful-op|>osilc, 
And will not tc <; 

Ho llatly says, \.^ *• 

Bast. By all the blood that ever fury brcath'd, 
The youth says well :— Now hear our English 

king ; 
For thus his royalty doth speak in n>c. 
He is prepar'd ; and reason too he should : 
This apish and ' 
This harness'd i , 

This unhair'd'' sauciucss, and boyish troops. 
The king doth smile at 
To whip this dwarllsh w .... 
From out the circle of his l« 
That hand, which had the sir. i.^^Ui, c^ca at your 

To cudgel you, and make you take iho hatch ; 
To dive, like buckets, in cfn 
To crouch in litter of your »i.i"i< i-i.iu..- , 

" Bamk'd Hetr <omi#-Prob«bIjr mU'4 along Ihdf bn.Vfc 
A puiagt In Ihe old King John •ppc«« to l»»»e »ttCgMl«A 

"•'*" i« of Tb*-n«l« 

Echo space : 
5 TaAair'rf-nnbMfdMi. Tb» or.|tio»l re«d« ■■A#<fr< 


Act v.] 


[Scene IV 

To lie, like pawns, lock'd up iu chests and 

trunks ; 
To hug with swine ; to seek sweet safety out 
In vaults and prisons ; and to thrill, and shake, 
Even at the crying of your nation's crow," 
Tiiinking this voice an armed Euglishman ; — 
Shall that victorious hand be feebled here. 
That in your chambers gave you chastisement ? 
No : Know, the gallant monarch is in arms ; 
And like an eagle o'er his aiery towers. 
To souse annoyance that comes near his nest. — 
And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts, 
You bloody Neroes, ripping up the M-omb 
Of our dear mother England, blush for shame : 
For your own ladies, and pale-visag'd maids, 
Like Amazons, come tripping after di-ums; 
Their thimbles into armed gauntlets change. 
Their neelds to lances, and their gentle hearts 
To fierce and bloody inclination. 

Iaio. There end thy brave, and turn thy face 
in peace ; 
^\'e grant thou canst outscold us : fare thee 

well ; 
Wc hold our time too precious to be spent 
With such a brabblcr. 

Fund. Give me leave to speak. 

Bast. Ko, I wUl speak. 

Lew. We will attend to neither. — 

Strike up the drums ; and let the tongue of war 
Plead for oui- interest, and our being here. 

Bast. Indeed, your drums, being beaten, will 
cry out ; 
And so shall you, being beaten : Do but start 
An echo with the clamour of thy drum. 
And even at hand a drum is ready brac'd. 
That sliall reverberate all as loud as thine ; 
Sound but another, and another shall. 
As loud as thine, rattle the welkin's ear. 
And mock the deep-mouth'd thunder : for at 

(Not trusting to this halting legate here. 
Whom he hath iis'd rather for sport than need, ) 
Is warlike John ; and in his forelicad sits 
A bare-ribb'd death, whose office is this day 
To feast upon whole thousands of the French. 

Lew. Strike up our drums, to find this danger 

Baxt. And thou shalt find it, Dauphin, do not 
doubt. [Eveufit. 

» Ercn nt llin cryinj vf your luilion's crow. Mr. Collier's 
MS. Corrector has 

" Even at the crowing of your nation's cock." 
Douce nndcrstoodthe passase in the original as the crowinR 
of a cock, "sniltia meaninjf botli a cock and a Frenchman." 
The'-arnieU Englishman' might imitate the cock insult- 


SCENE lU.—T/ie same. A Field of Battle. 
Alarums. Bnter King John atid Hubekt. 

K. John. How goes the day -with us ? 0, tell 

me, Hubert. 
Hub. Badly, I fear : How fares your majesty ? 
K. John. This fever, that bath troubled me 

so long. 
Lies heavy on me ; O, my heart is sick ! 

Enter a Messenger. 
Mess. My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faul- 
Desires your majesty to leave the field. 
And send him word by me which way you go. 
K. John. Tell him, towards Swinstead, to the 

abbey there. 
Mess. Be of good comfort ; for the great 
That was expected by the Dauphin here. 
Are wrack'd three nights ago on Goodwin 

This news was brought to Bichard but even 

now : 
The French fight coldly, and retire themselves. 
K. John. Ah me ! this tyrant fever burns me 
And wUl not let me welcome this good news. 
Set on towards Swinstead: to my litter straight;^ 
Weakness possesseth me, and I am faint. 


SCENE \y[.—The same. Another part of the 

Enter Salisbuey, Peiibuoke, Bigot, and others. 

Sal. I did not think the king so stored with 

Pem. Up once again; put spirit in the 
French : 
If they irdscan-y, we miscarry too. 

Sal. That misbegotten devil, Faulconbridge, 
In spite of spite, alone upholds the day. 

Pe)u. They say, king John, sore sick, hath 
left the field. 

Enter Melun, xoounded, and led by Soldiers. 

Mel. Lead me to the revolts of England here. 
Sal. When we were happy we had other 

Bern. It is the count !Melun. 
Sal. Wounded to death. 

Mel. Fly, noble English, you are bought and 
Unthread the rude eye^ of rebellion, 

* Vnlkread the rude eye. Theobald corrupted this pas- 
sage into " untread the rude way," he turned, by an easy 

Act v.] 


tSCBVl V. 

iVad. welcome home again discarded faith. 
Seek out kiug John, aud fall before hb feet ; 
For, if the French be lord* of this loud day, 
He means to recompense the piiins you take. 
By cutting oil" your heads : Thus hath he sworn, 
And I \rilh him, and many more with me, 
Upon the altar at Saint Edmuud's-Bury ;* 
Even on that altar where we swore to you 
Dear amity and everlasting love. 

Sal. May this be possible ? may this be true? 

Mel. Have I not hideous death within my 
Retaining but a quantity of life 
Which bleeds away, even as a form of wax 
Ilesolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire ? 
"\7hat in the world should make me now deceive, 
Since I must lose the use of all deceit ? 
"Why should I then be false ; since it is true 
That 1 must die here, and live hence by truth ? 
I say again, if Lew is do win the day, 
He is forsworn if e'er those eyes of yours 
Behold another day break in the east : 
But even this night,— whose black contagious 

Already smokes about the bummg crest 
Of the old, feeble, and day-wearied sun,— 
Even this ill night, your breathing shall expire ; 
Paying the fine of rated treachery, 
Even with a treacherous fine of all your lives. 
If Lewis by your assbtance win the day. 
Commend me to one Hubert, with your king ; 
The love of him, — and this respect besides, 
For that my grandsirc was an Englishman, — 
Awakes my conscience to confess all this. 
In lieu whereof, I pray you, bear me hence 
From forth the noise and rumour of the field ; 
Where I may think the remnant of my thoughts 
In peace, and part this body and my soul 
With contemplation and devout desires. 

Sal. We do believe thee,— And bcshrcw my 
But I do love the favour and the form 
Of this most fair occasion, by the which 

prore»», the poetry into prose. Malone, who zgnet in th? 
{Utorat^on of the pa«a?e, .ay. Shak.perr •' wm c>:ur„t,> 
Ihinkinp of the eve of a needle," and he calU Ihu. 
a humble tneUphor. Nothing, it appear* to u.. .- 
in poetry that eonTcys an image forcibly and dntr 
" the eye of a needle " bv the arpUcation of the ; 
become dignified. But the word thread perhaps n;rMj;; ■-- 
ricallv, is used to convey the meaning of passing through 
mythlng intricate, nanow, difficult. 

" They would not thread the gmtcs," 
in Coriolanus, and 

" One gains the thickets and one thrids the brake," 

in Dryden. have each the »ame meaning^ Mr. Collici'* 
MS. Corrector reads " unlread the road-irajf. 
a Lnrd. The original has Icrdi. 

HisToniFs.— Vol, T. V 

We will untrcad the steps of (bmned flight ; 
.\.iid, like a bated and retired flootl, 
leaving our nnkni'>s and irrejjtdur ctmrso, 
Stoop low within those bounds we have o'er- 

And calmly run on in ob«-dicnce, 
Even to our • - - • i :.._. John. 

My arm si I thcchmcc; 

For 1 do sec tiic cruel pangs of death 
llight in thine eye. — Away, my fricuda! New 

flight ; 
And happy newness, that intends old right. 

[ExeuHl, Uadi»^ o/MaiU.v. 

SCENE \.— Tht same. The French Camp. 
Enter Lewis and hit Train. 

lyfw. The sun of heaven, methought, WM 

loath to set, 
But stay'd, and made the western welkin blu^h, 
When Euglish measure backward their own 

ground * 
In faint retiic : O, bravely ' '^ 

Wicn with a volley of our : ', 

After such bloody toil, we bid good night ; 
And wound our tottering'" colours clearly up, 
Last in the field, and almost lords of it ! 

Eiil<rr a Messenger. 

Mess. AMiiTf^ !•; iriv prince, the Dauphin f 
l„o. Here -—What ncw» ? 

Mess. The count Mcluu is shiin ; the English 
By his persuasion, arc again fallen off: 
And your supply, which you have wish'd so long, 
Are cast away, and sunk, on Goodwin sands. 
Lew. Ah, "foul shrewd news !— Ikshrcw thy 
very heart ! 
I did not think to be so sad to-night, 
As this hath matlc n.<-.— Who was he, that 

KingTohn did fly, an h<jur or two 1« Ttc 
The stum' ' • • " •' ' ^' ' ' ''t our wiary powers ? 
Vfjf. W . it « true, my lord. 

Ijeie. Well; keep good quarter and good carv 

Tlic day t l)C up so soon as I, 

To try the fair ndvcnlurc of tomorrow, 


a Whf r.mflUk mn,*'t So the orlclnal.^ Rowe anu 


Act v.] 


[Scene VII. 

SCENE \1.—Jn open Place in the Neighbour- 
hood o/'Swinstead-Abbcy. 

Unter the Bastard and Hubert, meeting. 

Hub. Who 's there ? speak, ho ! speak quickly, 

or I shoot. 
Bml. A friend. — What art thou ? 
Uitb. Of the part of England. 

Bast. Whither dost thou go? 
Ilub. What 's that to thee ? Why may I not 
Of thmc affairs, as m-c11 as thou of mine ? 
Bast. Hubert, I think. 

Hub. Tiiou liast a perfect thought : 

I -nill, upon all hazards, Avell believe 
Thou art my friend, that know'st mv tongue so 

well : 
Who art thou ? 

Bast. ■\A"ho thou wilt : an if thou please, 

Thou may'st befriend mc so much, as to think 
I came one ^yay of the Plantagenets. 
Hub. Unkind remembrance ! thou, and eye- 
less night,'' 
Have done mc shame : — Brave soldier, pardon 

That any accent, breaking from thy tongue, 
Shoidd 'scape the true acquaintance of mine ear. 
Bast. Come, come; sans compliment, what 

news abroad ? 
Hub. Why, here walk T, in the black brow of 
To find you out. 

Bast. Brief, then ; and what 's the news ? 

Hub. O, my sweet sir, news litting to the 
Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible. 

Bast. Shew rae the very wound of this ill 
news ; 
I am no woman, I '11 not swoon at it. 

Hub. The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk : 
I left him almost speechless, and broke out » 
To acquaint you with this evil ; that you might 
The better arm you to the sudden time. 
Than if you had at leisure known of this. 

Bast. How did he take it ? who did taste to 

him ? 
Hub. A monk, I tell you; a resolved villain, 
Wliosc bowels suddenly burst out : the king 
Yet speaks, and, peradventure, may recover. 
Bast. Who didst thou leave to tend his 
majesty ? 

• EytUii night. The oriRinal reads endless. Shakspere 
!iM, in other passages, applied the epithet endless to night, 
but using nlfjht metaphorically. Here, where the meaning 
is literal, eyeless may "be preferred. The emendation was 
made by Thcob:\ld. 


Hub. Wlij, know you not ? the lords are all 

come back. 
And brouglit prince Henry in their company ; 
At whose request the king hath pardon'd them. 
And they are all about his majesty. 

Bast. Withliold thine indignation, mighty 

And tempt us not to bear above our power ! 
I '11 tell thee, Hubert, half my power this night. 
Passing these flats, are taken by the tide. 
These Lincoln washes have devoured them ; 
Myself, well mounted, hardly have escap'd. 
Away, before ! conduct me to the king ; 
I doubt he will be dead or ere I come. 


SCENE YIL— The Orchard of Sw'mdedidi- 

Enter Prince Henry, Saxisbury, and Bigot. 

P. Hen. It is too late ; the life of aU his blood 
Is toiich'd corruptibly ; and his pure brain 
(Wliieh some suppose the soul's frail dwelling- 
Doth, by the idle comments that it makes, 
Poretell the ending of mortality. 

Enter Pembroke. 
Pem. His highness yet doth speak ; and holds 
That being brought into the open air 
It would allay the burning quality 
Of that fell poison which assaileth him. 

P. Hen. Let him be brought into the orchard 
here. — 
Doth he still rage ? [Evit Bigot. . 

Pem. He is more patient 

Than Avhen you left him ; even now he sung. 
P. Hen. vanity of sickness ! fierce ex- 
In their continuance, will not feel themselves. 
Death, having prcy'd upon the outward parts, 
Leaves them invisible ; "■ and his siege is now 
Against the mind, the which he pricks and 

With many legions of strange fantasies ; 
Which, in their throng and press to that last hold, 
Confound themselves. 'T is strange, that death 

should sing. 
I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan, 
Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death j 
Ajid, from the organ-pipe of frailty, sings 
His soul and body to their lasting rest. 

^ Invisible- So tlie original. Some modern editors read 
insensible. The question occupies four pages of discussion 
in the commentators. The meaning of invisible is, we take 
it, unlooked at, disregarded. 

Act v.] 

KING jonx. 

tScBvr Ml. 

Sal. Be of good comfort, prince ; fur you arc 
To set a form upon that iudigcst,* 
AVTiich he hiitli left so shapeless and so rude. 

Jte-enfer Bigot and Attendants, tcAo bring in 
King John, in a Chair. 

K. John. Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow- 
room ; 
It would not out at windows, nor at doors. 
There is so hot a summer in my bosom. 
That all my bowels crumble up to dust : 
I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen 
Upon a parchment ; and against this lire 
Do I shrink up. 

P. Uen. How fares your majesty ? 

K. John. Poison'd,— ill-fare ;— dead, forsook, 
cast otr : 
And none of you wUl bid the winter come. 
To tlinist his icy fingers in my maw ; 
Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course 
Through my bum'd bosom; nor entreat the 

To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips, 
And comfort me with cold :— I do not ask you 

I beg cold comfort ; and you are so strait. 
And so ingrateful, you deny mc that. 
P. Uen. 0, that there were some virtue in 
my tears, 
Tliat might relieve you ! 

^'. John. The salt in them is hot. 

Witliin me is a hell ; and there the poison 
Is, as a fiend, confin'd to tyrannize 
On unreprievable condemned blood. 

Enter the B.kstakd. 

Bad. 0, 1 am scalded with my violent motion. 
And spleen of speed to see your majesty. 

A'. John. O cousin, thou art come to set mine 
eye : 
The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burnt ; 
.\jid all tiic shrouds, wherewith my life should 

;\jc turned to one thread, one little hair : 
•My heart hath one poor string to slay it by, 
\7hich holds but till thy news be utter'd ;' 
And then all tliis thou see'st is but a clod, 
^Vnd module of confounded royalty. 

'^ Jniigeii. Disordered, indiRestcd, state of affairs. The 
word is nionj commonly used as an adjective, as in the 
Sonnets : — 

" To make of monsters and things indif;est. 
Such chenibins as your sweet self resemble." 


; /■•''. Tiic Daupliiu is preparing hithcrward; 
W lii-n', heaven lie knows how wc shall aiiswci 

hiia : 
For, in a night, the best part of my jjowcr, 
iVs I upon advantiige did remove. 
Were in tlie washes, all unwarily. 
Dcvour'd by tl»e unexpected flood. 

yi'lf King r//>». 
.S'//. You brcjithc these dead news in a.s dead 
an car. — 
My liege ! jny lord !— But now a king,— now 
P. lien. Even so must I run on, and cvi-n so 
Wiat surety of tlic world, what hope, what stay, 
When this was now a king, and now is clay ! 

Bast. Art thou gone so ? I do but stay biliind. 
To do the office for thee of revenge ; 
And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven. 
As it on earth hath been thy servant still. 
Now, now, you stars, that move in your right 

Where be your powers ? Shew now your mended 

faiths ; 
And instantly return with mc again, 
To push destruction, and perpetual shame, 
Out of the weak door of our fainting land : 
Straight let us seek, or straight we shall bo 

sought ; 
The Dauplun rages at our very heels. 
Sal. It seems, you know not then so much as 
wc : 
The cardinal Pandulph is within at rest. 
Who half an hour since came from the Dauphin ; 
And brings from him such offers of our peace 
As wc with honour and respect may take. 
With purpose presently to leave this war. 

Bad. He will the rather do it, when lie sees 
Ourselves well sinewed to our defence. 

Sal. Nay, it is in a manner done already j 
For many carriages* he hath dispatch'd 
To the sea-side, and put 1 ' and quarrel 

To the disposing of the ' .: 

With whom yourself, myself, and other lords, 
If you think meet, this w will post 

To consummate this busiii. -- Mij-pily. 

Bast. Lot it be so : — And yoti, my noble 
With other prinr. '" * ' ' l,c .spar'd, 

Shall wait upon ^ 'nil. 

P. Uen. At Worcester must his body Ik; in- 
; terr'd ; 
For so he will'd it. 

Ba*t. Thither shall it then. 

-Vnd happily may j-our sweet self put on 


Acv v.] 


[ScEKE vn. 

The lineal state and glory of the land ! 
To whom, witli all submission, on my kucc, 
I do bequeath my faithful services 
And true subjection everlastingly. 

Sal. And the like tender of our love we make, 
To rest without a spot for evermore. _ 

P. Hen. I have a kind soul, that would give 
you thanks, 
And knows not how to do it, but with tears. 

Bast. 0, let us pay the time but needful woe, 

Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs.— 

This England never did, nor never shall, 

Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror. 

But when it first did help to wound itself. _ 

Now these her priuees are come home again, 

Come the three corners of the world in arms. 

And we shall shock them : Nought shall make 

us rue, 

If England to itself do rest but true. 

\ Exeunt. 



* Scene IF. — " //are I not here the best canU for the 

There is a general notion tlint cards wero in- 
vented for tho aaui.senient of Charles \'I. of 
France, who suflercil an almost cunstant ilopres- 
eion of spirits, nearly allied to insanity. Thi'i 
opinion was derived from an entry in an account- 
book of tho treasurer to that unhappy kinp, about 
1393, in which wo find " fifty-six sols of Paris 
given to Jacquemin Gringonneur, paiuter, for threo 
packs of cards, gilt and coloured, and of difiVrent 

Borts, for tlio diversion of his niajetity." From n 
pasMAgo di«covore<I in an old manuscript copy i>f 
tho Homanca of Jlrnanl If Coutn-fait, it ap].cars 
that cnrils wero known in Fmuce about 1341) ; ninl 
thero is no doubt that tlu-y were eoinnionly untsl 
in Fraiu'o ninl Spain, about tho cud of tin' f.iur- 
toonth fi iitury. Tho carliint printed cunin kiiown 
are thtise fnnn»ve»l by tho cuk'bmt«<l nrtint known 
OS "tho Master of lii'.tf ;" ami purtn of n pack, in 
most beautiful preservation, woro in tho }>aMe.ii>i<>u 
of Mr. TitBu, of tho Straml, who kindly permilt*il 
us to copy the foljuwiiij^ xjiecimeiu : — 

The following representation of a card-party is 
from " Le Roman dii Koy Meliadus," a valuable 
IttS., also meutioned in tho Note to " many car- 

'-"^/^Ji 1 


riagea ;" and tho drawing ia ougmvotl in " Sluj,^oi'3 
History of Playing-cards.'* 

■I \i: 



- Scene III.—" To my litter straight" 

Holinsbed relates, after Matthew Paris, tliat the 
kinj^ "was not able to ride, but wns fain to be car- 
ried in a litter, presently made of twigs, with a 
couch of straw under him, without any bed or 
pillow." 3Iatthew of Westminster informs us 
that John was conveyed from the abbey of Swiuc- 

shead, '' in lectic/l equestri" — the horse-litter. The 
following representation of one form of this litter 
is from a drawing in the MS. History of the Kings 
of France (Royal, 16 G. 6), written at the com- 
mencement of the fourteenth century. In the 
original the drawing appeals to represent Queen 
Crotilde, who in her last illness was carried to 
Tours, where she died. 

sScENE IV. — " Upmi the altar at St. Edrnwiid's-Burij." 

This celebrated altar is represented in our 
engraving at the end of the " Introductory Notice." 
The shrine is taken from Lydgate's Life of St. 
Edrnund, Harl. MS. 2278 ; the manner of taking 
the oath from an illumination in the Metrical Hist, 
of Richard II., representing the Earl of Northum- 
berland at Conway Castle, swearing on the gospels 
to secure safe conduct to Richard on his journey 
to London; Harl. MS., 1319; the costume from 
the effigies of Salisbury, Pembroke, and other 
contemporary monuments. 

* Scene VII. — " Many carriages." 

In vol XX. of the Archocologia, there is a history 
of carriages in England, by Mr. Markland, illus- 
trated by engravings — among which is the prin- 
cipal figure of the following engraving, copied 
from a very valuable MS. formerly in the Rox- 
burgh Library, entitled, " Le Boman du Roy 
Meliadus," written at the close of the fourteenth 
century. The elegant form of the wheel of this 
carriage (similar to what, in architecture, is called 
a Catherine wheel) deserves particular notice. The 
vehicles in the back-ground are taken from a 


^rj.'i.U t- 




cvirious Saxou MS. in the British Museum (Cotto- 
nian Lib. Clauiliiia B. 4), in which uiany viiriotics 
of wheel curria-^es are ileliiieated. 

The two-wheelod car in which the st.milanl is 
erecteil, i.s copied fronj a dr.iwin^ iu au early MS. 
History of the Kings of Franco (Koyal MS. 16 O. 
C, Brit Mus.). The standard there represented is 
of groat size, indeed so lar(;o that only some cou- 

trivanco Bimilar to that ftdi>]*od could have ion- 
di'n>d it nvailalile in the fiil 1. 

Tlio famous Battle of the Standanl. fouj^ht 113<<, 
derived its uiimo from one of tltexo remurkahlo 
stand.irds b«in« ert)ct«<! by the KngliHli army ; from 
the car of which the Binbop of Durham, j.revioui 
to the battle, road the prayer of abscdution. 


It is unnecessary for us to do more than refer 
our readers to Holinshed for an account of the 
long protracted di.spute between the Pope au<l 
John, which endeil in the mean subniis.iion which 
Shakspere h.n ho strikin^'ly recorded in the firr*t 
Scene of this Act. The chronicler also debiils the 
attempt which the I'ope made to dissiiade the 
French king from the invasion of Hugland, and 
the determination of the l)auphin to assert what 
ho called his ri;^ht to the throne The.He narratives 
are too lonir, and have too little of draniati<.- 
interest, to be hero given as ilhistratioiis of tlie_ 
poet. Wo subjoin, however, Huliu-thed'H account, 
which he gives on the authority of Matthew I'ari.s, 
of the disclosures of Melun, which determined the 
revolted lords to return to their obedience to John. 
But the story is very apocryphal :— 

"About the same time (1210, An. Reg. 18), or 
rather in the year last past, as some hold, it for- 
tuned that the Viscount of Melune, a Frenchman, 
fell sick at L'lndon, and perceiving that death wxi 
at hand, he called unto him certain of the English 
barons, which remained in the city, upon safe- 

guard thereof, and to them made this protcAtation ; 
' 1 lament (saith he) your destruction and de-iiil.i- 
tion at hand, bc-aiu'^o you are ignorant of the 
jK-rild hanv^'ing over your heads. For ihi-* und.T- 
Htand that Lewis, and with hiiii Hivtcen carU and 
barons of Fnuico, have HiM-ntlv hWi^rn (if it (.hall 
fortune him to conquer tins realm of Knghuid, 
and be crowned king) that ho will k'" ':•■■-'■ ".itil 
confine all those of the Kn;;li'«h i h 

now do serve under him, and i r • 

king) na triitors ami relH-ln, a: ••will 

ili.sp')s-iiv-ii all tli'-ir linri^,'i5 i>f ,< 

they U'lW iMJd iu Ku^land. \ :i 

he) you shall not have doubt i. which lio 

here ut the point of death, do u ;untnyuu, 

and take it ou the peril of my soul, that I, am one 
of those -• • " ' ' •• ' swoni ' ' -'" -ni Ihm 
thing. \V you to i r your 

yiiiv 1 ' ' you now 

.1 thii th; -h I hav« 

utten-d wnio you.' After this Bjicfcli was uttcrcl 
ho straightway s died. " 



The " Plain near St. Edmund's Bury," which is 
the locality of the pecond scene, and of the sub- 
sequent battle, is not mentioned iu the chronicles, 
nor is this locality defined in the original edition of 
this play. The modern editors have introduced it, 

most probably, from the circumstance of the 
Barons and the Dauphin having interchangeably 

" Upon tlie altar at St. Edmund's Bury.'' 

We subjoin an old view of the town : — 

Matthew Paris, and Matthew of Westminster, 
liavc minutely described the route taken by the 
king, previous to his death. "The country being 
wasted on each hand, the king passeth forward 
till he came to Wellestreme Sands, where, in 
passing the Washes, he lost a great part of his 
.irmy, with horses and carriages." * * * " Yet the 
king himself, and a few others, escaped the 
violence of the waters, by following a good guide." 
The Long Wash between Lynn and Boston, was 
formerly a morass, intersected by roads of Roman 

construction. The memory of the precise spot 
where John lost his baggage is still preserved in 
the name of a corner of a bank between Ci'oss 
Keys Wash and Lynn, called King's Corner. The 
poet, having another dramatic purpose in view, 
did not take that version of the king's death 
which ascribed his last illness to be the i-esult of 
anguish of mind occasioned by this ; but he 
supposes the accident to have befallen the forces 
under the Bastard. 

" Myself, ivell-mounteJ, liarilly have escaped." 

,\T. ;.ir '\>s* 

KTxr. .Toiix. 

Tha death of John, by poison ailiiunislero*! by 
a ini)uk, 13 thus described by Holinshed, upon the 
autborit}' of Ciixtou : — 

" — There be which have written th;it after he 
had Kist his aiiiiy, he came to the abbey of Swines- 
licad, iu Liucohishire, ami there uuderstaiidin^ the 
cheapnesaandphMity of corn, shewed himself ^^raitly 
displeased therewith ; as he that for the hatnvl which 
he bare to the English people, t hat ha<.l sotraitorotisly 
revolted from him unto his adversary Lewis, wished 

all misery to li^ht upon them, and thoronpon said in 
hisanijer, that bo would cause all kind of gniin to be 
at i\ fir hii^ber price ero ni:\ny day« »hoiild piiM. 
Wl lIl^>llktlKlthoJlnlhiIn^; ' "-wonln, 

beii. I with zeal for iho <s . i of his 

country, pave the kiufj poi*«.a in u iiip of ;de, 
whereof he first took the axsay, t» omiko tbe kiii>{ 
not to suspect the matter, ami ho they both diisl iu 
manner at one time." The following representation 
of the event ia from Fox'a Actu and Monument*:— 

The attempt of Lewis to posseaa himself of the 
English throne was maintained for two years; and 
the country was not freed from the French till 
after " peace wsia concluded on the eleventh day 
i.f September (1218), not far fmm SUuas." 

We have given, at the head of this Illustralion, 
the portniit of Henry III. from his great ncal ; 
and we subjoin that of the Dauphin, from hi* 
seal engraved iu the ArchoHJlogia. 


Dn. Johnson, in his preface to Shakspere, speaking of the division, by the players, of our author's 
workH into comedies, histories, and tragedies, thus defines what, he says, was the notion of a dramatic 
history in those times : " History was a series of actions, with no other than chronological succession, 
independent on each other, and without any tendency to introduce and regulate the conclusion." 
Again, speaking of the unities of the critics, he says of Shakspere : " His histories, being neither 
tragedies nor comedies, are not subject to aiiy of their laws; nothing more is necessary to all the 
praise which they expect, than that the changes of action be so prepared as to be understood, that 
the incidents be various and affecting, and the chai'acters consistent, natural, and distinct. No other 
unity is intended, and, therefore, none is to be sought. In his other works he has well enough 
preserved the uniti/ of action." Taking these observations together, as a general definition of the 
character of Shakspere's histories, we are constrained to say, that no opinion can be farther removed 
from the truth. So far from the " unity of action " not being regarded in Shakspere's histories, and 
being subservient to the "chronological succession," it rides over that succession, whenever the 
demands of the scene require "a unity of a higher order which connects the events by reference to 
the workers, gives a reason for them in the motives, and presents men in their causative character." * 
It is this principle which in Shakspere has given oSence, as we have shewn, to those who have not 
formed a higher notion of a historical play than that the series of actions should be the transcript of 
a chronicle, somewhat elevated, and somewhat modified, by the poetical form, but "without any 
tendency to introduce and regulate the conclusion." 

The great connecting link that binds together all the series of actions in the King John of 
Shakspere, — which refuses to hold any actious, or series of actions, which arise out of other causes, — 
is the fate of Arthur. From the first to the last scene, the hard struggles, and the cruel end of the 
young Duke of Brltanny, either lead to the action, or form a portion of it, or are the direct causes of 
au ulterior consequence. We must entreat the indulgence of our readers whilst we endeavour to 
establish this principle somewhat in detail. 

In the whole range of the Shaksperean drama there is no opening scene which more perfectly 
exhibits the effect which is jn-oduced by coming at once, and without the slightest preparation, to 
the main business of the piece : — 

" Now say, Chatillon. what would France with us ? " 

In three more lines the phrase " borrowed majesty," at once explains the position of John ; and 
immediately afterwards we come to the formal assertion by France of the "most lawful claim" of 
" Arthur Plantageuet," — 

• Coleridge's Literary Remains, vol. ii. p. 160 


" To tliU fair Ulaiiil, aiul the Icrrilurlrt ; 
To Irt-laml, l'oictlfr«, Aiijou, Touraine, Maini^ 

Aa rapid as the lightning of which John speaks is a lU-finiica given and returned. The nniboBMdor i« 
commanded to "depart in peace ; " the king's mother makes an im]>uriant referonco to the " ambition i 
Constance;" and John takes up the position for which ho atnigsjlcs to the end, — 

" Our strong ponitession, and our riithl, for u»." 

The scene of the Bastard is not an episode entirely cut off from tho umin ;i. tion of the piece ; hit 
loss of "land.*/* and his "new-made honour," were nccessnry to uttncli him to tho cuuno of John. 
The Bastaitl is the one partisan who never deserta Idm. 

Tho second Act brings us into tho very heart of tho conlliot on tho chiiia of Arthur. AVhnt 
a Gothic grandeur runs through the whole of these scenes ! Wo see the men of six ccuturiea ago, 
OS they played the game of their pei-sonal ambition — now swearing hollow fricndxhiiMi, now breathing 
stern denunciations ; — now alFecting comjMssion for tho weak and the suffering, now breaking faiih 
with tho orphan and tho mother ; — now 

" Gone to be married ! gone to sweu a peace 1 

now keeping the feast "with slaughtered men;" — now trembling at and now briiviug tho denuncia- 
tions of spiritual power;— and agreeing in nothing, but to bend "their shaqtest dee^ls of malice" on 
unoffending and peaceful citizens, unless the citizens have some " commodity " to offer wbicli khall 

draw them 

" To a most base and vile-concludcd peace." 

With what skill has SLikspere, whilst ho thus painted the spirit of the chivalrous times, — lofty 
in words, but sordid in acts, — given \is a running commentary which interprets the whole, in tho sar- 
casms of the Bastard ! But amidst all tho clatter of dignity whiih we find in tho 8i)i5echcfl 
of John, and Philip, and Lewis, and Austria, the real dignity of strong natund affections rises over the 
pomp and circumstance of regal ambition, with a force of contr.i«t which is little less than sublime. 
In the second Act, Constance is almost too much mixed up with tho dispute to let us cjuito feel that 
she is something very much higher than the " ambitious Constance," Yet even hero, how sweetly 
does the nature of Arthur rise up amongst these fierce broils, — conducted at tho sword's point with 
woi-ds that are as sharp aa sword?, — to assert tho supremacy of gentleness and mo«len»tion : — 

" Good my mother, peace! 
I would that I were low 1,-iid in my Rrave ; 
I am not worth this coil that 'b made for mc." 

This is the key note to the great scene of Arthur and Hubert in the fourth Act, But in tho mean 
time the maternal terror and anguish of Con.stance become the prominent object* ; and tho rival 
kings, the haughty prelate, the fierce knights, the yielding citizen.s, appear but as puppcta movo<l by 
destiny to force on the most bitter sorrows of that broken-hearted mother. Wo have hero tho tnio 
characteristic of the drama, as described by tho philosophical critic, — "fate and will in opp<j«ition to 
each other." Mrs. Jameson, in her very delightful work, " The Characteristics of Women," haa formed 
a most just and beautiful conception of tho character of Constance : — 

" That which strikes us as the principal attribute of Constance is poif<r— power of imagination, of 
will, of passion, of affection, of pride : the moral cuerRy, that faculty which ia principally czercuiod in 
self-control, and gives consistency to the rest, is deficient; or rather, to B]>oak more correctly, tho 
extraordinary development of sensibility and imagination, which lends to tho chamctor itJt rich i><>clic?il 
colouring, leaves the other qualities comparatively subordinate. Iknco it in that the whole couiplexioii 
of the character, notwithstanding it-s amazing grandeur, is ao exquisitely feminine. Tho wooknoM of 
the woman, who by the verj' con8ciou<<niss of that weakncws i^ ' ' up to dcuporation anil dofhuioo, 
tho fluctuations of temper and the burat.s of sublime pajwion, ti , tho iuiiMititnco, nn^l tho tt-.-vm, 

aro all most true to feminine nature. The energy of Coni*tanco not being baaed upon atrength of 
ch.aracter, rises and falls with the tide of passion. Her haughty spirit swell* ngaiuat rexi^tnnco, an-l \n 
excited into frenzy by sorrow and disappointment ; while neither from hrr towering jirido nor h.r 
strength of intellect, can she borrow patience to submit, or fortitude to endure." 

How exquisitely is this feminine nature exhibited when Constance aflecta to diabclicvo tho tale ol 
Salisbury that the kings are "gone to swear a peace;" or rather makea her word* struggle with her 

hidf belief, in very weaknesa-and desperation : — 



"Thou slialt be punish'tl for tliu"; frighting me, 
For I am sick, and capable of fears ; 
OiiiTess'd with wrongs, and therefore fall of fears ; 
A widow, husbandless, subject to fears ; 
A woman, naturally born to fears; 
And though thou now confess thou didst but jest 
With my vex'd spirits, I cannot take a truce, 
But they will quake and tremble all this day." 

Here is the timid, helpless womau, sick even at the shadows of coming events; but when the shadows 
become realities, the liaughty will, 

" Like a proud river peering o'er his bounds," 
asserts its supremacy in little matters which are yet within its control : — 

" Sal. Pardon me, madam, 

I may not go without you to the kings. 

" Const. Thou may'st, thou shalt, I will not go with thee : 
* * « * here I and sorrows sit; 
Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it." 

The pride of grief for a while triumphs over the grief itself:— 

" Arm, arm, you heavens, against these perjur'd kings! " 

She costs away all fear of consequences, and defies her false friends with word.'j that appear as irre- 
pressible as her tear-s. When Pandulph arrives upon the scene, she sees the change which his mission 
is to work, only through the medium of her own person;il wrongs : — 

" Good father cardinal, cry thou, amen. 

To my keen curses : for, without my wrong, 
There is no tongue hath power to curse him right." 

Reckless of what may follow, she, who formerly exhorted Philip, 

" Stay for an answer to your embassy. 
Lest unadvis'd you stain your swords with blood," 

is now ready to encounter all the perilous chances of another war, and to exhort Franco to fall off 
from England, even upon her knee " made hard with kneeling." This would appear like the intensity 
of solfiahness, did we not see the passion of the mother in every act and word. It is thus that the 
very weakness of Constance, — the impotent rage, the deceiving hope, — become clothed with the 
dignity that in ordinary cases belongs to patient suffering and reasonable expectations. Soon, 
however, this conflict of feeling, — almost as terrible as the " hysterica passio " of Lear, — is swallowed 
up in the mother's sense of her final bereavement : — 

" Grief fills the room up of my absent child. 
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me, 
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words. 
Remembers me of all his gracious parts, 
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form ; 
Then, have I reason to be fond of grief. 
Fare you well : had you such a loss as I, 
I could give better comfort than you do. 
* * « « 

O Lord 1 my boy, my Arthur, my fair son ! 
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world ! 
My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure ! " 

Matchless as is the art of the poet in these scenes; — matchless as an exhibition of maternal 
sorrow only, apart from the whirlwind of conflicting passions that are mixed up with that sorrow ; — 
matchless in this single point of view, when compared with the "Ilccuba" which antiquity has left 
us,* and of the " Merope " which the imitators of the Greek drama have attempted to revive ; — are 
we to believe that Shakspere intended that our hearts should sustain this laceration, and that the 
effects should pass aw.ty when Constance quits the .st.-ige ? Are wo to believe that he was satisfied 
that his " incidents should be various and affecting," but " independent on each other, and without 
any tendency to produce and regulate the conclusion"? Was there to be no "unity of feeling" 


In the Troades of Euripides. 


to sustain and elevate the action to the enJ f Was hi« tragedy to bo a mere dance of Fantoccini ? 

No, no. The remembninco of Constance can never be aepanited from the aftcr-Bcenes in which 

Arthur appears ; and at the very liat, when the poison hri.s done itu work upon the guilty kin^,', wo can 

scarcely help believing that the spirit of Constance hovers over him, and that the echo of the luother'* 

cries is even more insupportable than the "burn'd bosom" and the " p*r^hcd lipn." which neither hi» 

" kingdom's rivers" nor the "bleak winds" of the north can " comfort with cold.' 

Up to the concluding scene of the third Act wo have not learnt from Slmk.Mpero to huto John. We 

may thiuk him an usurper. Our best sympathies may bo with Arthur and his mother. Hut ho ia 

bold and confident, and some remnant of the indomitable spirit of the Plantageuets gives him a lofty 

and gallant bejiring. We are not even sure, from the first, that he had not something of junlico in his 

quarrel, even though his mother confidentiidly repudiates " his right." In the scene with raudul]>h 

we completely go with him. We have yet to know that he would one day crouch at the feet of the 

power that he now defies ; and he haa therefore all our voices when he tells the wily and aophisticid 


"Tbat no Italian priett 
Shall tithe or toll in our dominions." 

But the expression of oiu thoug?U that had long been lurking in the breast of John, sweeps away every 
feeling but that of hatred, and woi-se than hatred ; and we see nothing, hereafter, in the king, but the 
creeping, cowarilly assxssin, prompting the deed which he is afraid almost to name to himself, with the 
lowest flattery of his instrument, and shewing us, as it were, the sting which wounds, and the alaver 
which pollutes, of the venomous and loathsome reptile. The 

" Come liiiher, Ilubcit. O, ray gentle Hubert, 
We owe thcc much" — 


" By heaven, Hubert, I am almost asham'd 
To say what good respect I have of thee "^ 

make our flesh creep. The warrior and the king vanish. If Shakspere had not exercised hia con- 
summate art in making John move thus stealthily to his purpose of blood — if he had made the 
suggestion of Arthur's death what John afterwards pretended it wjts— "the winking of authority" — 
the " humour" 

" Of dangerous majesty, vrhen, perchance, it frowns," — 

we might have seen him hemmed in with revolted aubjecta and foreign invaders, with aomethiug like 

compassion. But this exhibition of low craft and desperate violence we can never forgive. 

At the end of the third Act, when Pandulph instigates the Dauphin to the invasion of England, the 

poet overleaps the historical succession of events by many years, and makes the expected death o( 

Arthur the motive of policy for the invasion. 

"The hearts 
or all his people shall revolt from liim. 
And kiss the lips of unacquainted change ; 
And pick stronu matter of revolt, and wrath, 
Out of the bloody fingers' ends of John." 

Here ia the link which holds together the dramatic action still entire ; and it wonderfully binda up all 
the succeeding events of the play. 

In the fourth Act the poet has put forth all his power of the pathetic in the same ultimate direction 
as in the grief of Constance. The theme is not now the afl"cction of a mother driven to frenty by the 
circumstances of trcacheroa'5 friends and victorious foes ; but it ia the irreairtiblo iwwcr of the very 
helplessnesa of her orphan boy, triumphing in its truth and artleaaneas over the evil nature of the 
man whom John had selected to destroy hia victim, aa one 

" Fit for bloody villainy, 
Apt, liable, to be employed in danger." 

It would be worse than idle to attempt any lengthened comment on that moat beautiful accno between 
Arthur and Hubert, which carries on the main action of this play. Hazlitt has truly said, " if any- 
thing ever was penned, heart-piercing, mixing the extremes of terror and pity, of that which ahock< 



and tliat wliich soothes the mind, it is this scene," When Hubert gives up his purpose, we do not the 

less feel that 

" The bloody fingers' ends of John' 

Iiave not been washed of their taint : — 

" Your uncle must not know but you are dead," 

tells us, at once, that no relenting of John's purpose had prompted the compassion of Hubert. 
Pleased, therefore, are we to see the retribution beginning. The murmurs of the peers at the " once 
again crown'd," — the lectures which Pembroke and Salisbury read to their sovereign, — are but the 
preludes to the demand for " the enfranchisement of Arthur." Then comes the dissembling of John, 

" We cannot hold mortality s strong hand," — 

and the bitter sarcasms of Salisbury and Pembroke : — 

" Indeed we fear'd his sickness was past cure. 
Indeed we heard how near his death he was, 
Before the child himself felt he was sick." 

" This must be answer'd " is as a knell in John's eai'3. Throughout this scene the king is prostrate 
before his nobles ; — it is the prostration of guilt without the energy which too often accompanies it. 
Contrast the scene with the unconquerable intellectual activity of Richard III., who never winces at 
reproach, seeing only the success of his crimes and not the crimes themselves, — as for example, his 
answer in the scene where his mother and the widow of Edward upbraid him with his murders, — 

" A flourish, trumpets ! strike alarums, drums ! 
Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women 
Rail on the Lord's anointed." 

The messenger appears from France : — the mother of John is dead ; — " Constance in a frenzy died ;" 
the "powers of Fi-ance " have arrived "under the Dauphin." Superstition is brought in to terrify 
still more the weak king, who is already tei'rified with " subject enemies " and " adverse foreigner.?." 
Tlie " prophet of Pomfret " and the " five moons " affright him as much as the consequences of 
"young Arthur'fl death." He turns upon Hubert in the extremity of his fears, and attempts to 
put upon his instrument all the guilt of that deed. Never was a more striking di.splay of the 
equivocations of conscience in a weak and guilty mind. Shakspere is here the true interpreter of 
the secret excuses of many a criminal, who would shift upon accessories the responsibility of the 
deviser of a wicked act, and make the attendant circumstances more powerful for evil than the 
internal suggestions. When the truth is avowed by Hubert, John does not rejoice that he has 
been spared the perpetration of a crime, but he is prompt enough to avail himself of his altered 
position :— 

" O haste thee to the peers." 

Again he crawls before Hubert. But the storm rolls on. 

The catastrophe of Arthur's death follows instantly upon the rejoicing of him who exclaimed, 
"Doth Arthur live?" in the hope to find a safety in his preservation upon the same selfish principle 
upon which he had formerly sought a security in his destruction. In a few simple lines we have the 
sad dramatic story of Arthur's end : — 

" The wall is high ; and yet will I leap down : — 
Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not! — 
There's few, or none, do know me; if they did. 
This ship-boy's semblance hath disguis'd me quite. 
I am afraid ; and yet I '11 venture it." 

How marvellously does Shakspere subject all his characters and situations to the empire of common 
sense ! The Arthur of the old play, after receiving his mortal hurt, makes a long ox-ation about his 
mother. The great dramatist carries on the now prevailing feeling of the audience by one pointed 
line : — 

" O me ! my uncle's spirit is in these stones." 

If any other recollection were wanting, these simple words would make us feel, that John was at 
surely the murderer of Arthur, wLeu the terrors of the boy drove him to an inconsiderate attempt 


to escape from hia prifion, as if the asaaasiu, aa some havo reprosoat«i1, ro<le with him in the dim 
twilight by the side of a cliff that overhung the sea, aiid suddenly hurleil the victim from hia honw 
into the engulphiug wave; — or aa if the kiii:; toiniitod him to descend from hia prison at Rouen at the 
mi<lnight hour, and, instead of giving him freedom, stilled his prayers for pity in the waters of tlio 
Seine. It ia thus that we know the anger of " the duitemj)ored lords" is a just auger, when, finding 
Arthur's body, they kneel before that " ruin of sweet life," and vow to it the " worship of revenge." 
The short scene between Salisbury, Pembroke, the BasUird, and Hubert, which imnuHliately succeeds, 
is as spirited and characteristic as anything in the play. Hero we see "the invincible knights of old," 
ia their most elevated character — fiery, impl.icable, arrogant, but still drawing their swords in tlio 
cause of right, when that cause was intelligible and undoubted. The character of I'aulc' ■ ' ' ' 
rises far above what wo might havo expected from the animal courage, ami the exuberant , 
Faulconbridge of the former Acts. The courage is indeed here, beyond all doubt : — 

" Thou vrert better gall the devil, Salisbury : 
If thou but frown on mc, or stir thy foot, 
Or teach thy hnsty spleen to do me sUarnp, 
I 'U strike thee dead." 

But we were scarcely prepared for the rush of tenderness and humanity that accompany the courage, 
as in the speech to Hubert : — 

'If thou didst but consent 
To this most cruel act, do but despair, 
And, if thou want'st a cord, the sniallcst tlircad 
That ever spider twisted from her womb 
Will serve to strangle thee j a rush will be 
A beam to hang thee on ; or wouldst thou drown thyself, 
Put but a little water in a spoon, 
.\nd it shall be, as all the ocean, 
Enough to stifle such a villain up." 

It is this instinctive justice in Faulconbridge, — this readiness to uplift the strong hxind in what he 

thinks a just quarrel, — this abandonment of consequences in the expression of hia opinions, — that 

commands our sympathies for him whenever he appears upon the scene. The motives upon which ho 

acts are entirely the antagonist motives by which John is moved. We h;ive, indeed, in .Sh.ikj'jxTO 

none of the essay-writing contrasts of smaller authors. We havo no asscrtcis of adverse principles 

made to play at seesaw, with reverence be it spoken, like the Moloch and Belial of Milton. But, after 

some reflection upon what we have read, wo feel that ho who le;ipt into Cocur de Lion's throne, and he 

who hath "a trick of Cocur de Lion's face," are as opposite as if they were the formal personifiailioiui 

of subtlety and candour, cowardice and courage, cruelty and kindliness. The fox and the lion are not 

more strongly contrasted than John and Faulconbridge ; and the poet did not make the contmst by 

accident. And yet with what incomparable management are John and the IJiistard held together as 

allies throughout these scenes. In the onset the Bastard receives honour from the hands of John, — 

and he is grateful. In the conclusion he sees his old patron, weak indeed and guilty, but Burroun<lcd 

with enemies, — and he will not be faithless. When John quails before the power of a spiritual 

tyrant, the Bastard stands by him in the place of a higher and a better nature. Ho knoWi the ihiugcrs 

that surround his king : — 

" .\ll Kent bath yielded ; nothing there holdi out 
Hut Dovci Castle; London hath rccciv'd, 
I.iko a kind host, the Dauphin and hi* powcri 
Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone 
To offer service to your enemy." 

But no dangers can daunt his resolution : — 

" Let not the world lec fear, and tad distnut, 
Govern the motion of a kingly eye : 
Be stirring as the time ; t>c Arc with An; 
fhreatcn the thrcatcncr, anit ',.■ brow 

Of bragging horror : to »h-\ll . •••. 

That borrow their bch.T. the great. 

Grow great by youi cxa i>ut on 

Tho dauntleu xpirit of reioiuliuii." 



The very necessity for these stirring words would shew us that from henceforth John is but a puppet 
without a will. The blight of Arthur's death is upon him; and he moves on to his own destiny, 
whilst Faulconbridf e defies or 6ghts with his enemies ; and his revolted lords, even while they swear 

" A voluntary zeal, and uiiurg'u faitli " 

to the invader, bewail their revolt, and lament 

" That, for the health and physic of our right, 
We cannot deal hut with the very hand 
Of stern injustice and confused wrong." 

But the great retribution still moves onward. The cause of England is triumphant ; " the lords are 
all come back ;" — but the king is " poisoned by a monk : " — 

" Poison'd, — ill fare;— dead, forsook, cast off: 
And none of you will bid the winter come. 
To thrust his icy fingers in my maw ; 
Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course 
Through my burn'd bosom ; nor entreat the north 
To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips. 
And comfort me with cold : —I do not ask you much, 
I beg cold comfort ; and you ara so strait 
And so ingrateful, you deny me that." 

The interval of fourteen years between the death of Arthur and the death of John is annihilated. 
Causes and consequences, separated in the proper history by long digressions and tedious episodes, are 
brought together. The attributed murder of Arthur lost John all the inheritances of the house of 
Anjou, and allowed the house of Capet to triumph in his overthrow. Out of this grew a larger 
ambition, and England was invaded. The death of Arthur and the events which marked the last days 
of John were separated in their cause and effect by time only, over which the poet leaps. It is said 
that a man who was on the point of drowning, saw, in an instant, all the events of his life in connexion 
with his approaching end. So sees the poet. It is his to bring the beginning.? and the ends of events 
into that real union and dcpcndance which even the philosophical historian may overlook in tracing 
their course. It is the poet's ofHce to j)reserve a unity of action ; it is the historian's to shew a 
consistency of progress. In the chroniclers we have manifold changes of fortune in the life of John 
after Arthur of Britanny has fallen. In Shakspere Arthur of Britanny is at once revenged. The 
heart-broken mother and her boy are not the only sufferers from double courses. The spirit of 
Constance is appeased by the fall of John. The Niobo of a Gothic age, wlio vainly sought to shield 
her child from as stern a destiny as that with which Apollo and Artemis pursued the daughter of 
Tantalus, may rest in peace ! 

IIiSTOBiES.— Vol. I. 



I *C.« * / 

[Tournnnieiit. Kniglits entering the Lists.] 



State of the Text, and Chronoloqt, op RrcnAUD 11. 

The Richard II. of Shakspere was entered at Stationers' Hall, August 29, 1597, by Andicw Wise ; 
l.y whom the first edition was published, in the same year, under the title of " The Tragedie of King 
Richard the Second. As it hath been publikely acted by the Right Houourablo the Lord 
Charaberlaine his servants." It is one of the plays enumerated as Shakspero's, by Francis Meres in 
1598. A second edition was printed by Wise, in 1598, which bears the name of " Williini 
Shake-speare " as the author. In 1608, an edition waa printed for Matthew Law, of which the copies 
in general bear this title : " The Tragedie of King Richard the Second, with new additions of the 
Parliament Sceane, and the deposing of King Richai'd. As it hath been lately acted by the kingea 
servantes, at the Globe, by William Shake-speare." A fourth edition, from the same publisher, 
appeared in 1615. The division of the Acts and Scenes was first made in the folio of 1623 ; and not, 
aa Steevens has stated, in i quarto of 1634. 

We thus see that one of the moat prominent scenes of the play, " The Parliament Scene and the 
deposing of King Richard," received " new additions" in 1608. In point of fact, oil that pait of the 
fourth Act in which Richard is introduced to make the surrender of his crown, comprising 154 lines, 
was never printed in the age of Elizabeth. The quarto of 1603 first gives this scene.* That quarto is, 
with very few exceptions, the text of the play as it now stands ; for it is remarkable that in the folio 
there are, here and there, lines which are in themselves beautiful and unexceptionable, amounting, in 
the whole, to about fifty, which are omitted. It is difficult to account for this ; for the omissions are 
not so important in qviantity, that the lines should bo left out to make room for the deposition-scene. 
The last stage copy was, probably, here used ; for one of the pxssages omitted is a speech of " a lord " 
without a name, in the parliament scene ; and the players were, perhap.s, desirous to save the 
introduction of a new character. We have indicated these alterations in our foot-notes. The text in, 
upon the whole, remarkably pure, and presents few difficulties. 

Whether this play were written just anterior to the period of it.s publication, or some three or four 
veara before, we have no distinct evidence. In the last edition of Mulone's Shakspere, in his C8.say on 
the chronological order of Shakspere's plays, he gives it the date of 1593. In former editions of the 
same essay, he considered it to be written in 1597. For neither of these conjectund dates does ho 
offer any argument or authority. George Chalmers would fix it in 1596, because the play itself hns 
some dozen lines upon Irish affairs; and Irish affairs much occupied the nation in 1596 ! This appears 
to us a somewhat absurd refinement upon the intention of the author ; for aa the fall of Richard was 
in some measure, occasioned by his absence in Ireland, it certainly does appear to us that some mention 
of Ireland was called for in this play, without any allusion being intended to the period of 1595, 
" when Tir Owen took the Queen's fort at Blackwater." 

• Mr. Grant "White holds that the speech of the Abbot, after the deposition »cenc fpage 133),—" \ woeful p.ig:eant have 
we here beheld,"— appearing in thequartoiof \.'>'J7 and 159S, implies that the deposition »cene had been previously written 
though not there printed ; for if the Abbot had not witnessed the deposition, he had not " beheld " a " woeful pageant." 
In that case the line must have been allowed to stand by mistake. 

G 81 


There is, however, a circumstance connected with the chronology of thia ^lay, which has been 
entirely overlooked by Malono and the other conamentators ; and which we approach with some 
hesitation, when we consider what labour they have bestowed in bringing to light parallel passages of 
the text of Shakspere, from the most obscure authors. The first four books of Daniel's " Civil 
WaiTes," three of which are almost wholly occupied with the story of Richard II., were first published 
in 1595. We have looked at this poem with some care, and we cannot avoid coming to the conclusion 
tha^ with reference to parts of the conduct of the story, and in a few modes of expression, each of 
which differ from the general narrative and the particular language of the chroniclers, thei-e are 
similarities betwixt Shakspere and Daniel, which would lead to the conclusion, either that the poem of 
Daniel was known to Shakspere, or the play of Shakspere was known to Daniel. We will slightly run 
over these similarities, and then, with much diffidence, offer a conclusion. 

In the first Scene of Kichard II. the king says, in regard to the appeal of Bolingbroke against 


" Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him, 
If he appeal the duke on ancient malice." 

Daniel adopts Froissart's version of the story, that Norfolk first accused Bolingbroke ; but Froissart 

has not a word of "ancient malice" — he simply makes the king exclaim, " Why say you these words 

— we will know it." Holinshed, when he makes Hereford first appeal Norfolk of treason, shews the 

king as hearing them both, and dismissing them with, — "no more— we have heard enough." Daniel 

thus gives the ecene : — 

" Hereof doth Norfolk presently take hold, 
And to the king the whole discourse relate : 
Who not conceiting it, as it was told, 
Jiut judging it proceeded out of hate," &c. 

In the fourth Scene of the second Act, the Welsh Captain thus describes the portents which shewed 

that " the king is dead :" — 

" The bay-trees in our country are all wither'd, 
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven ; 
The pale-fac'd moon looks bloody on the earth." 

Shakspere found the " bay-trees " in Holinshed : — " In this year, in a manner throughout all the realm 
of England, old bay-trees withered, and afterwards, contrary to all men's thinking, grew green again, — 
a strange sight, and supposed to import some unknown event." The other prodigies are in Daniel : — 

" Red fiery dragons in the air do fly, 

And burning meteors, pointed streaming lights, 
Bright stars in midst of day appear in sky." 

In the third Scene of the third Act, we have a particular expression, unnoticed by the commeutatori?, 
which finds a parallel in Daniel : — 

" Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' sons 
Shall ill become the flower of England's face;" 

in Daniel we have : — 

" Til' ungodly bloodshed that did so defile 
The beauty of the fields, and even did mar 
T/ie flower of thy chief pride, thou fairest Isle." 

Daniel had read Stow, although he might not have seen the "Metrical History ;" and he gives a 
minute description of the ambush of Northumberland between Conway and Flint. This poet has 
been called, and properly, by Drayton, 

" Too much historian in verse." 

Shakspere drew the distinction between poetry and history, and he, therefore, ^Ives us not this melo- 
dr.imatic episode. But the entry of Bi^lingbroko and Richard into London equally came within the 
l>rovince of history and poetry. Matchless and original as this description is in Shakspere, there ia 
something very similar in Daniel, which is not in the chroniclers : — 

" ile that in glory of his fortune sate, 

Admiring what he thought could never be. 
Did feel his blood within salute his state, 
And lift up his rejoicing soul, to see 


So many hands and hearti cooKratuIate 

TU" adv.-incvment of lib long-deilr'd degree , 
When, prodigal of thanks, in possini; by, 
lie re-salutes them all with cheerful eye. 

Behind him, all aloof, came pensive on 

The unri'garded kini; ; tliat drooping went 
Alone, and (but for epite) scarce look"d upon ; 

Judge, IT he did more envy, or lament. 
Sec what a wondrous work this day is done ; 

Which th' image of both fortunes doth pre» nt : 
In th' one, to shew the best of glories face ; 
In th' other, worse than wor»t of all disgrace." 

We have nientioued iu our Historical Illustration to Act V., that Dauiol, oa well as Shak^i-ere, 

niiikes the queen use the language of a woman. There was poetical truth i)i this, with aomo 

foundation iu historical exactness. Isabel, according to Froissart, hiid at eight old the jiort 

of a queen. But it la remarkable th;it two poets should have agreed in a circumstiuco which forms 

no part of the ordinary historical narration. Daniel makes the resignation of the crown by Richard 

fcike place in the Tower ; but he gives the scene the eamo pomp and ceremony with which Shakspcre 

has invested it at Westminster. In the speech of the Bishop of Carlisle wo have these words iu 

Shakspere : — 

" H'hat subject can givf sentence on his king t 

And who sits bore that ii not Richard's subject t" 

The words in Holinshed, from which the speech is said to be copied are these, " Tliero w;ia none 
amongst them worthy or Hieet to give judgment upon so noble a prince as King Uichard was, 
whom they had taken for their sovereign and liege lord, by the space of two-ond-twcnty years and 
more." In Daniel we have these words of the Bishop : — 

' ' Never shall this poor breath of mine consent, 
That he that two-and-twcnty years have reign'd 
As lawful lord and king by Just descent, 

Should here be judg'd, unheard, .ind unarroign'd ; 
By subject* too (Judges incompetent.") 

Lastly, in the death of Richard, Daniel, as well as Shakspere, follows the story that ho was 
barbarously murdered by Sir Piers of Exton. Shakspere puts these words into the mouth of the 
assassin : — 

" Didst thou not mark the king, what words he spake f 
Have I no friend aill rid me of this licing fear t " 

Holinshed has, " King Henry, sitting on a day at his table, sore sighing, said, ' Have I no fidthful 
friend which will deliver me of him whose life will be my death, and whoso death will bo the 
preservation of my life.' " Daniel shews Henry perturbed while Richard lived, — 

'• And wished that some would so his life esteem. 
As rid him of these fears wherein ho stood." 

Are these resemblances accidental ? We think not. Neither do we thiuk that the parallel posaagM 
are derived from common sources. Did Daniel copy Shakspere f Wo think not. He was of a 
mo<le8t and retiring nature, and would purposely have avoided provoking a compirison, c."i)ecially 
in the scene describing the entrance of Richard and Bolingbroke into London, in which ho hw put 
out his own strength, in bis own quiet manner. Shakspere, on the contrary, as it appears to us, 
took up Daniel's " Civil Warres," as he took up Hall's, or Holinshed's, or Frois-sart's " Chronicles," 
and tran.?fused into his play, perhaps unconsciously, a few of the circumstances and inwpcs that 
belonged to Daniel in his character of poet. Daniel's "Civil Warre.-*" wax, in truth, founded upon 
a false principle. It attempts an impossible mixture of the Poem and the Chronicle. — wanting the 
fire of the one and the accuracy of the other, — and this from the one cause, that Daniel's mind 
wanted the true poetical elevation. Believing, therefore, that Shakspero's Richard IL contains 
passages that might have been suggested by Daniel's " Civil Warres," we consider that the 
play was written at a very short period before its publication, in 1597. The exact date is really of 
very littla importance ; and we should not have dwelt upon it, had it not been pleasant to trace 
resemblances between contemporary poet.«, who were themselves persoiud fiiends. 



Sources of the Histouy ov Kichahd II. 

Tlie Richard II. of Shakspere is the Richard II. of real history. The events as they are detailed 
by the historians, in connexion with the use which Shakspere has made of those events, are 
pointed out in the Historical Illustrations to each Act. 

But there is a question whether, as the foundation of this drama, Shakspere worked upon any 
previous play. No copy of any such play exists. The character of Richard is so entire, — so 
thoroughly a whole, — that we can have little doubt in believing it to be a creation, and not a character 
adapted to the received dramatic notions of the poet's audience. But still there is every reason to 
suppose that there was another play of Richard II. — perhaps two others; and that one held 
possession of the stage long after Shakspere's exquisite production had been acted and published. 
There is a curious matter connected with the state history of Shakspere's own times, that has regard 
to the performance of some play of Richard II. On the afternoon previous to the insuiTection of the 
Earl of Essex, in February, 1601, Sir Gilly Merrick, one of his partisans, procured to be acted before 
a great compa7iy of those who were engaged in the conspiracy, " the play of deposing Richard II." 
The official j^amphlet of the declarations of the treasons of the Earl of Essex states, that when it was 
told Merrick, " by one of the players, that the play was old, and they should have loss in playing it, 
because few would come to it, there was forty shillings extraordinary given to play it; and so, there • 
upon, played it was." In the printed account of the arraignment of Merrick, it is said, that he ordered 
this play " to satisfy his eyes with a sight of that tragedy which he thouglit soon after his lord 
Bhould bring from the stage to the state." There is a passage in Camden's Annals which would 
appear to place it beyond a doubt, that the play so acted was an older play than that of Shakspere. It 
is tliere charged against Essex, that he procured, by money, the obsolete tragedy {exoletam tragcediam) 
of the abdication of Richard II. to be acted in a public theatre, before the conspiracy. Bacon 
hints at a systematic purpose of bringing Richard II. "upon the stage, and into print in Queen 
Elizabeth's tim*." Elizabeth herself, in a conversation with Lambarde, the historian of Kent, and 
keeper of the Records in the Tower, going over a pandect of the Rolls which Lambarde had prepared, 
coming to the reign of Richard II. said, " I am Richard II., know ye not that ? " Any allusion to 
Richard II., at that time, was the cause of great jealousy. Haywarde, in 1599, very narrowly 
escaped a state prosecution, for his " First Part of the Life and Reign of King Henry IV." This 
book was the deposition of Richard II. put " into print," to which Bacon alludes. It appears to us 
that, without further evidence, there can be no doubt that the play acted before the partisans of the 
Earl of Essex was not the play of Shakspei-e. The deposition-scene, we know, professed to be 
added to the edition of 1C08. The play which Merrick ordered was, in ICOl, called an obsolete 
play. Further, would Shakspere have continued in favour with Elizabeth, had he been the author 
of a play whose performance gave such deep offence ? 

But we have now further evidence that there was an old play of Richard II., which essentially 
differed from Shakspere's play. Mr. Collier, whose researches have thrown so much light upon the 
stage in general, and upon Shakspere's life in particular, has published some very curious extracts 
from a manuscript in the Bodleian Library, which describe, from the observations of a play-goer in 
the time of James I., a play of Richard II., essentially different in its scenes from the play 
of Shakspere. Dr. Symon Forman, who was a sort of quack and astrologer, and who, being 
implicated in the conspiracy to murder Sir Thomas Overbury, had escaped public accusation by 
suddenly dying in IGll, kept "a book of plays and notes thereof, for common policy;" by which 
"common poHcy"hc means — for maxims of pi'udence. His first entry is entitled "in Richard II., 
at the Globe, 1611, the 30 of April, Thursday." From the extract which we shall take the liberty 
of giving from Mr. Collier's book, it will be seen, that at Shakspere's own theatre, the Globe, 
a Richard II. was performed, which was, unquestionably, not his Richard II. 

" Remember tlicrein liow Jack Straw, by his overmuch boldness, not being politic nor suspecting anything, was suddenly, 
.It Smithfield bars, stabbed by Walworth, tlie l\[ayor of London, and so he and his whole aiiny was overthrown. Therefore, 
in such case, or the like, never admit any party without a bar between, for a man cannot be too wise, nor keep himself too 

" Also remember how the Duke of Gloccster, the Earl of Arundel, Oxford, and others, crossing the king in his humour 
about the Duke of Erland (Ireland) and Bushy, were glad to fly and raise a host of men ; and being in his castle, how the 


Kl.Xii lilClLVliD II. 

Duke of Erland came by niglit to btlray liim, with llircc hundred meuj but, havInR privy waming thereof, kept his pntet 
fast, and would not sunVr the enemy to enter, which went back again willi a fly in hit ear, and after wai slain by the Karl 
of Arundel in the battle. 

" Remember, also, when the Duke (i.e. of Glocester)and Arundel came to London with their army, King Richard came 
forth to them and met them, and gave them fair words, and promised them pardon, and that all should b« well. If the; 
would discharge their army : upon whose promises and fair speeches thry did it ; and after, the king bid them all to a ban- 
quet, and so betrayed them and cut ofT their heads, &.-C., because they had not his pardon under his hand and seal before, 
but his word. 

" Remember therein also, how ttic Duke of Lancaster privily contrived all villainy to set them all together by the eart, 
ancl to make the nobility to envy the king, and niisllko him and his government; by which means ho made bis own ton king, 
which was Henry Bolingbrokc. 

" Uemcmbcr, also, how the Duke of Lancaster a» a wise man whether himself should ever be king, and he told him 
no, but his son should be a king: and when he had told him, he hanged him up for his labour, berausc he should not bruit 
abroad, or speak thereof to others. This was a policy in the commonwealth's opinion, but I sa) it was a villain's part, and a 
Judas' kiss, to hang the for telling him the truth. Beware, by this ex.imple, of n-ibKuuii uikI tluir fair wnnU, and say 
little to them, lest they do the like to thee for thy good will."* 

From Formau'a account of thia play, it will bo seen that it embraces the earlier period of RicbarJ 
II., contaiuing the iu.surrectiou of Jack Straw. It seems viry doubtful whether it inclinles the close 
of the reigu. We have a talk for "policy" about the Duke of Laucaster's (Qauut'rt) machinations; 
but nothing about Henry Bolingbroke. ^Yere there two playa of Richard II., of which wo know 
nothing— the obsolete play of the deposition, which Merrick caused to bo acted in IGOl, and the play 
containing Jack Straw, which Fonnan noted in 1011 ? 


Of the architectural drawings by Mr. Poynter, the room in the Pidace, Act I., is imaginary, but it 
presents an example of the architectural style of the period. The interior is represented as tapestried, 
with the well-known cognizances of Richard II., the sun and the white hart. The garden at Langley, 
Aet III., and the street leading to the Tower, Act V., are also imaginary. The exterior of 
Westminster-hall, Act IV., requires a particular description. New Palace Yard dates from tho 
building of Westminster-hall by William Rufus, aud was so called in contradistinction to the court of 
the original palace of Edward the Confessor, or Old Palace Yiird. Hollar has left a view of Now 
Palace Yard, dated 1647. It was at that time surrounded by housei', but many of its earlier features 
were preserved, and the engraving affords a key to explain several authentic particulars as to ita 
condition two centuries and a half earlier, of which a restoration is here attempted. 

In the reign of Richard II., New Palace Yard appears to have been inclosed to the north and west, 
and partly to the south, by a stone wall, the remainder of its circumference being occupied by tho 
palace buildings. The gateway represented by Hollar, as the west side, was built by Richard III., but 
it probably occupied the place of au older gateway, which is, therefore, shewn in the restoration. Tho 
tower on the north side was erected in the reigu of Edward I., with the proceeds of a fine laid upon 
Sir Ralph Hengham, Chief Justice of the King's Bench, for altering a record. It appears in Hollar's 
engraving in a very mutilated state, with modern quoin stones ; but as it bonrs evi<lcnt marks of 
having been altered in the fourteenth centurj-, it is restored to what may reaaonably bo supposed it« 
appearance at that period. In this tower a clock was afterwards placed, and it was known aa " the 
Clock Tower" dowu to its demolition, about 1715. On the same side was an opening into a lane 
lea<liug to the water, recently represented by the pass-ige into Bridge-street ; and the memory of tho 
Clock Tower, and its origin, was preserved in the sun diul on the north side of New Palace Yard, and ita 
motto "Discite justitiam moniti." Tho gateway at the south-west angle led to Old Palace Yard, by 
St. Margaret's-lane. A mass of useful and interesting iufonnation on tho subject of the ancient, 
will be found in " Smith's Antiquities of Westminster." Westminster-hall was erected by Richanl, 
and finished in 1399. Tho first business of tho meeting of Parliantent in tho edifice which tho king 
had caused to be built out of his exactions of tho wealth of hia subjects, was to proceed to hia 

The compositions by Mr. Buss, namely, tho lists at Coventry, Act I. ; the meeting of Richard and 
Bolingbroke, Act III.; and the entry of Bolingbroke and Richard into London, Act V., are designed 
with a strict adherence to the costume of the period, 

• New Particulars regarding the works of Shakipearc: 1636. 




For the male costume of this play we are overwhelmed with authorities. Not only do we possess 
elaborately-executed portraits and monumental effigies of Richard, and the greater number of the 
other historical personages, but the time is particularly rich in illuminated manuscripts, and in 
anecdotes illustrative of the dress and armour of the people at large. 

The poems of Chaucer and the chronicles of Froissart are full of information on these points ; and 
in the Harleian Collection of MSS. there is the well known and invaluable Metrical History of the 
deposition of Richard II., by a gentleman of the household of Charles the VI. of France, and who 
attended Richard during the whole of the period he describes.* The MS. is liberally illustrated by 
miniatures exhibiting all the principal scenes of that eventful story, and containing portraits, of the 
dress at least, of Richard II., Bolingbroke, the Earls of Northumberland, Westmoreland, Exeter, 
Salisbury, the Bishop of Carlisle, &c. &c. 

This circumstance is the more fortunate, as, although we possess numberless illuminated copies of 
Froissart, all that have come under our notice have been executed as late, at least, as the commence- 
ment of the reign of our Henry VI., and, consequently, present us with the dress and armour of 
another century. AVe take this opportunity of impressing this fact upon the minds of our readers, by 
at once refen-ing them to the cuts in this play, taken from an illuminated copy of Froissart, and 
representing the quarrel and combat between the Earls of Hereford and Norfolk, and Richard II. 
surrendering his crown to Bolingbroke, by comparison of which, with those from the Metrical Historj"-, 
they will perceive the difference in the fashions of the times, and avoid confounding the former with 
those which ai-e given as undoubted authorities for the costume of this play. 

The foppery of dress prevailing during the reign of Richard II. is the universal theme of satire and 
reprobation amongst the poets and historians of the day ; and York, in the first Scene of the second 
Act of this play, speaks with perfect truth of our "apish nation" limping in base imitation after the 
"fashions in proud Italy," or wherever "the world thrusts forth a vanity;" a passage which Dr. 
Johnson has presumed, of course, to be a mistake of Shakspere, or, rather, a wilful anachronism cf 
the man who gave "to all nations the customs of England, and to all ages the manners of his own !" 
Richard himself was (as the Rev. Mr. Webb has remarked in his description of the Metrical History 
aforesaid — Archrcologia, vol. xx.) the greatest fop of his day.f He had a coat estimated at thirty thousand 
marks, the value of which must chiefly have arisen from the quantity of precious stones with which it 
was embroidered, such being one of the many extravagant fashions of the timc.J Those of working 
letters and mottoes on the dresses, and cutting the edges of the mantles, hoods, &c. into the shape of 
leaves and other devices, will be seen by referring to the portrait of Richard in the Jerusalem Chamber 
at Westminster, and the illuminations of the Metrical History. Bolingbroke, in the miniatures of that 
work, is i-eprescnted in mourning for his father. When he entered London with the captive Richard 
in his train, he was dressed, according to Froissart, in a short jack, or jacket, of cloth of gold, "a la 
fachon d'Almayne." 

Of John of Gaunt we are told that he wore his garments "not wide," and yet they became him 
" full well." In the Cotton MS., marked D G, he is represented granting the claims at the coronation 
of Richard II., as Lord High Steward of England. He is attired in a long party-coloured robe, one 
half white, the other blue, such being the family colours of the House of Lancaster. White and red 
were, however, assumed by Richard II. as his livery colours, and, as such, worn by the courtiers and 
citizens on state occasions. 

The sleeves of John of Gaunt's robe, it will be observed, are tight, and reach to the wrist, after the 
old iofihion of Edward the III.'s time : but bearing out the words of the old poet before quoted, who 
praises him for not giving way to the extravagances of his nephew's court ; Chaucer, the Monk of 
Evoshiim, and the author of an anonymous work, cited by Camden, and called " the Eulogium," all 
complaio of the large, long, and wide sleeves, reaching almost to the feet, which even the servants 
wore in imitation of their masters. 

Iho shoes had excessively long pikes, sometimes crooked upwards, and then called crackowef 

• See Hi.itorical Illustrations to Act III. 

1 ^K*' ^'""'^ "^ Evesham describes him as extravagantly splendid in his entertainments and drcsS. 
I The statute passed in prohibition of such vanities calls these dresses " apparel broider'd of stone." 


(probably from Ci-acow, in Pohind), aiul, accoi\liug to tlio author of the Eulogium, occnsiounlly 
fastened to the knoes by chains of gold or silver. The chaperon, or hood, of this reign is of a most 
indescribable shape, and is sometimes worn over the capucium, or cowl. Single ostrich foathcr^ ai-o 
also seen occasionally in front of the hood, or cap. The hair was worn long in the neck and at the 
sides, and elderly persons ;ire generally represented with forked beanie. 

Tho decoration of the white hart, crowned and chained under a tree, was woj-n by all Richard's 
friends and i-etainers. In the wardrobe account of his twcnty-sccoud year is an entry of a bolt and 
sheath of a sword, of red velvet, embroidered with white harts crowned, and with robcmary bmnchea. 

The armour of this reign was nearly all of plate. A neck-piece of chain fusteued to tho baiicinet, 
and called the camail, and the indented edge of the chain-apron depending below the jupon, or 
Burcoat, being nearly all the mail visible. Tho jupon introduced during tho preceding reign wm a 
g-.irment of silk, or velvet, richly embroidered with the armorial bcnriugs of the wcanr, fitting tight to 
the shape, and confined over the hips by a magnificent girdle. (Vide that of tho Hlack Prince at 
Canterbury.) In the Metric;d Historj', however, Richard and his knights are represented iu loose 
surcoats, sometimes with sleeves, and embroidered all over with fanciful devices, the king's being 
golden ostrich feathers. The armour worn by Bolingbroke, when ho entered the lists at Coventiy, 
was manufactured expressly for him at Milan by order of Qaleazzo Visconti, to whom ho had written 
on the subject. 

The chronicler Hall (and Ilolinshed follows him), describing this event, asserts, but without quotmg 
his authority, that Bolingbroke's horse was caparisoned with blue and green velvet, embroidered all 
over with swims and antelopes (his badges and supporters), and that tho housings of the Uuko of 
Norfolk's charger were of crimson velvet, embroidered with silver lions (his paternal arms) and 
mulberry trees, a punning device, the family name being Mowbray. Tho vizor of the bascinct, or war 
helmet of this time, was of a singular shape, giving to the wearer almost tho appearance of having 
the head of a bird. A specimen is to be seen in the Tower of London, and a still more perfect one is 
in the armoury of Sir S. Meyrick, at Goodrich Court. 

No feathers, as yet, decorated the helmet unless they formed the heraldic crest of the family, and 
then only the tournament helmet. 

Of the female characters in the play, the Duchess of Gloster is the only one for whose dress wo 
have any precise authority ; and it is probable that she is represented on her monumental brass iu 
Westminster Abbey, which furnishes it, in the habit of a nun of Barking Abbey, to which place she 
retired after her husband's murder, and took the veil. The nuns of Barking, however, being of the 
order of St. Benedict, the dress, both in hue and form, would resemble the mourning habit of a 
widow of high rank at that period, which was quite conventual in its appearance, even to tho barbe, or 
plaited chin-cloth. 

The general dress of ladies of quality, during the reign of Richard II., consisted of tho kirtle, a sort 
of low bodied gown, with long tight sleeves, and made to fit very close to the figure, over which was 
worn a singularly-shaped sleeveless gown, or robe, with a veiy full skirt and train, tho front and edges 
generally trimmed with ermine, or other rich furs, and giving the appearance of a tight spencer over a 
loose dress, instead of which it is, as nearly as possible, the exact revei-sc. 

Over this, on state occasions, was worn a long mantle, which, as well as the skirt of the gown, or 
robe, was frequently embroidered with armorial bearings. LeithieuUier, in his observations on 
Sepulchral Monument."!, has remarked, that, in such cafce.s, tho arms on the mantle are alw.nys these of 
the husband, and the others those of the lady's own family. 

The hair was worn in a gold fret, or caul, of net-work, surmounted by a cli.nplct, or garland, of 
goldsmith's work, a coronet, or a veil, accortling to tho fancy or rank of tho waircr. Tho effigy of 
Anne of Bohemia, and the illuminated MS. entitled Liber Regalis, preoerred in Westmiuster Abbey, 
and executed in the time of Richard XL, may be considered tho beat authorities for the royiJ and 
noble female costume of tho perioiL 


I -At 

i '^ 

1^, ;• 

(Sl-kse I.] 


SCENK I. — London. A Room in the Palace. 

Enter Kichaud, attended; Jonx OF G.VUNT, 
and other Nobles, with him. 

K.Rich. Old Jolin of Gaunt, time-honour'd 
Ilast thou, according to thy oath' and band,' 
Brought hither Henry lIereford,»> tliy bold son ; 
Here to make good the boisterous late appeal, 
"Which then our leisure would not let us hear, 
Against, the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray ? 

Gaunt. I have, my liege. 

A'. Rich. Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded 
If he appeal the duke on ancient malice ; 

» Bind. Ban;/ and if 
sire of the verb ( i bind . 

B thinp is confined, and' i. > .. .. .1 ^j .- .^ 

strained, are one and tlu 

^Hereford. In the oM _ , l.* title i« !:eTi'T,i:!v 

and pronounced Jfr-rford. In Unrcyntjc' - 
i« always written Herford or Harford. I; 
ford, as a dissyllable, in Daniefs " Citilc Wii.-i*." 



- r>clt 

. : i-r- 

Or worthily as a good subject should. 
On some known ground of treachery in him ': 
Gaunt. As near as I could sift him on that 
On some apparent danger seen in him, 
Aim'd at your highness, — no inveterate malice. 
A'. Rich. Then call them to our presence ; 
face to face, 
And frowning brow to brow, 0' ' ■ ill hear 
The accuser, and the accused, Ir. ^ , ik : — 

[Exeunt tome Attendants. 
Hi^h-stomach'd arc they botli, and full of ire. 
In rage deaf as the .sci, liasty as fire. 

Re-tnter Attendants, vi/A Bouxcbroke and 


/>(//, " irs of lia]ii>y days bcfal 

My gru cign, my most loving licgc ! 

N&r. Each day still better other's happiness ; 
Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap, 
Add an immortal title to vour crown ! 


Act J.] 


[Scene 1. 

A''. Rich. We tliauk j-ou both ; yet one but 
flatters us, 
As well appeareth by the cause you come;" 
Namely, to appeal each other of high treason. — 
Cousin of Ilereford, what dost thou object 
Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray ? 
Bollntj. First, (heaven be the record to my 

speech !) 
In the devotion of a cubjcct's ^ove. 
Tendering the precious safety of my prince. 
And free from other misbegotten hate, 
Come I appeUant to this princely presence. 
Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee. 
And mark my greeting well ; for what I speak, 
My body shall make good upon this earth. 
Or my divine soul answer it in heaven. 
Thou art a traitor, and a miscreant ; 
Too good to be so, and too bad to live ; 
Since, the more fair- and crystal is the sky. 
The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly. 
Once more, the more to aggravate the note, 
"With a foul traitor's name stuff I thy throat ; 
And wish, (so please my sovereign,) ere I move, 
"What my tongue speaks, my right-drawn sword 

may pro\e. 
Nor. Let not my cold words here accuse my 

'T is not the trial of a woman's war. 
The bitter clamour of two eager tongues. 
Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain. : 
The blood is hot that must be cool'd for this. 
Yet can I not of such tame patience boast. 
As to be hush'd, and nought at all to say : 
Fii'st, the fair reverence of your highness curbs 

From giving reins and spurs to my free speech ; 
Which else would post, until it had returu'd 
Tlicsc terms of treason doubled'' down his throat. 
Setting aside his high blood's royalty, 
And let him be no kinsman to my liege, 
I do defy him, and I spit at him ; 
Call him a slanderous coward, and a villain : 
Which to maintain, I would allow him odds ; 
And meet him, were I tied to run a-foot 
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps, 
Or any other ground inhabitable"^ 
Wherever Englishman durst set his foot. 
IMeau time, let this defend my loyalty, — • 
By all mv hopes, most falsely doth he lie. 

' VoM come. On which you come ; or you come on. The 
omission, in such a case, of the preposition is not unusual. 

I) Duubld. In folio of 1C23, and first quarto of 1597, 
doubly ; doubled is tlie reailinR of the quarto 1615. 

' Inhdhilnhle. Uninhabitable, unhabitable. Jonson,and 
Taylor the Water poet, both use the word in this sense, 
strictly according to its Latin derivation. Rut the Norman 
orifiin of much of our language warrants this use. Habit- 
able, and its converse, present no difficulty to a Frenchman. 

Bollng. Pale trembling coward, tlicre I throw 
my gage. 
Disclaiming here the kindred of the king ; 
xind lay aside ray high blood's royalty. 
Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except : 
If guilty di'cad hath left thee so much strength. 
As to take up mine honour's pawn, then stoop -, 
By that, and all the rites of knighthood else. 
Will I make good against thee, arm to arm. 
What I have spoke, or thou canst worse devise." 
Nor. I take it up ; and by that sword I swear. 
Which gently laid my knighthood on my shoulder, 
I '11 answer thee in any fair degree. 
Or chivalrous design of knightly trial : 
And, when I mount, alive may I not light. 
If I be traitor, or unjustly fight ! 

K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mow- 
bray's charge ? 
It must be great, that can inherit us*" 
So much as of a thought of ill in him, 
Boling. Look, what I speak' my life shall 
prove it true ; — • 
Tiiat Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand 

In name of leudings for your highness' soldiers ; 
The which he hath detain'd for lewd*^ employ- 
Like a false traitor, and injm-ious villain. 
Besides I say, and ^vill in battle prove, — 
Or here, or elsewhere, to the furthest verge 
That ever was survey'd by English eye, — 
That all the treasons, for these eighteen years 
Complotted and contrived in this land. 
Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and 

Further I say, — and further will maintain 
Upon his bad life, to make all this good, — 
That he did plot the duke of Gloster's death ; 
Suggest" his soon-believing adversaries ; 
And, consequently, like a traitor coward, 
Sluic'd out his innocent soul through streams of 

blood : 
Wliich blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries. 
Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth. 
To me, for justice and rough chastisement ; 

" So the quarto of 1597. The first folio reads, 

" What I have spoken, or thou canst devise." 

b Inherit us. To inherit was not only used in ihe sense of 
to inherit as an heir, but in that of to receive generally. It 
is here used for to cause to receive, in the same way that tc 
possess is cither used for to have, or to cause to have. 

c Speak. So the lirst quarto, and most modern editions; 
said in the folio. 

d Lewd, in its early signification, means misled, deluded; 
and thence it came to stand, as here, for wicked. The laity 
— " the body of the Christian people," as Gibbon calls them — 
were designated as Ictcede by the clergy. (See Tooke, v. ii. 
p. 38.3.) 

Suffged. Prompt. 

Act I.] 


[S(r«-B r. 

And, by the glonuus worth of my dcsceut, 
This arm shall do it, or this hfe he spcut. 

K. Rich. How hijjh a pitch his resolution 


Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this ? 

Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face. 
And bid his ears a little while be deaf, 
Till I have told this slander of his blood, 
IIow God, and good men, hate so foul a liar. 
K. Itu'h. Mowbray, imparti:d are our eyes 

and cars : 
Were he my brothf^r, nay, our* kingdom's heir, 
{\s he is but my father's brother's son,) 
Now by my sceptre's awe I make a vow. 
Such neichlwur neaniess to our sacred l)lood 
Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize 
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul : 
He is our sul)jcct, Mowbray, so art thou ; 
Free speech, and fearless, I to thee allow. 
Nor. Then, Bolingbroke,' as low as to thy 

Through the false passage of thy throat, thou 

liest ! 
Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais 
Disburs'd I duly to his highness' soldiers : 
The other part reserv'd I by consent ; 
For that my sovereign liege was in my debt, 
Upon remainder of a dear account. 
Since last I went to France to fetch his queen : 
Now swallow down that lie. — For Gloster's 

death, — 
I slew him not ; but to my own disgrace. 
Neglected my sworn duty in that case. 
For you, my noble lord of Lancaster, 
The honourable father to my foe, 
Once I did lay** an ambush for your life, 
A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul : 
But, ere I last receiv'd the sacrament, 
I did confess it ; and exactly begg'd 
Your grace's pardon, and, I hope, I had it. 
This is my fault : As for the rest appeal'd. 
It issues from the rancour of a villain, 
A recreant and most degenerate traitor : 
"Which in myself I boldly will defend ; 
And interchangeably hurl down my gage 
Upon this overweening tn-itor's foot. 
To prove myself a loyal gentleman 
Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom : 
In haste whereof, most heartily I pray 
Your highness to assign our trial day. 
K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul'd 

by me; 

• Our kingdom't heir. Sothe folio. The earlier copies, my 
k:Tigdom':s heir. _ ,. , 

b An ambush. By error, correrled in our Library Wulon, 
we had in ambuth in the Pictorial. 

Let's purge this eholer without letting blood : 
This we prescribe, though no physician ; 
Deep malice nuikcs too deep incision : 
Forget, forgive ; conclude, and be agreed ; 
Our doctors say, this is no niduth to bleed.* 
Good uncle, h-t this lUil wIumt it begun ; 
AVc'U calm (he duke of Norfolk, you your son. 

Gaunt. To be a makc-j)eacc shall become my 
ago :— 
Throw down, my son, the duke of Norfolk's gngc. 

K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his. 

Gaunt. ^Vhen, Harry ? when ? * 

Obedience bids I should not bid again. 

K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down, we bid ; there 
is no boot.** 

Nor. Myself I throw, dread sovcreicm. nt (1 v 
foot : 
^fy life thou shalt command, but not my bhamc : 
The one my duty owes ; but my fair name, 
(Despite of death,) that lives upon my grave, 
To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have. 
I am disgrac'd, impcaeh'd, and baffled here ; 
Pierc'd to the soul with slander's vcnom'd spear; 
The which no balm can cure, but his heart-blood 
Which brcath'd this poison. 

A'. Rich. llagc must be withstood : 

Give me his gage : — Lions make leopards tame." 

Nor. Yea, but not change his ^ spots : take 
but my shanie, 
And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord, 
The purest treasure mortal times afFord, 
Is spotless reputation ; that away, 
Men are but gilded loam,* or painted clay. 
A jewel in a ten-timcs-barr'd-up chest 
Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast, 
Mine honour is my life ; both grow in one ; 
Take honour from me, and my life is done : 
Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try ; 
In that I live, and for that w ill I die. 

A'. Rich. Cousin, throw down your gage; do 
you begin. 

• JTHfn, Harm .» whm f ll'hen, «o lucd, i» an cxpre«»ion 

or«mp.-»tirnrc, a<"inthcT-- ■ •i.-';. - .. --•• \m ^ "i .n. 

I »ay." Monck M.ison, 

luation, which is vcr> . >' 

Tenture to adopt it in Iho text.cunltarjr to all itteuU cui>i«a. 

It 1( tbii, 

" When. Il.nrrj- f ^^^lpn 
Obedience bids, I iliould niit liiil .i;:.iin." 

b So bonl. Bool, It here incd In 1 «cn«e of 

compeinK'.''>n- ThTi- U nn hnat, nr. -r »h»t Is 

pait,— I •• ii. 

e ij. --ejl of Norfolk wai 

So the 

in > , . • time oi 

plural nunil>CT, or from l. .uiat, llio 

alteration l>y Hope to thnr .^ • Hut In 

thi« case Mowbray quotes tlic vli) t.M o; Mciipturc— 

Jet xiii. 23. 

• Gi! ' '■ I- .. t_ .■-.,.•. i.,.„- -■■'! GOO,) these 

three i "',"*=- 


Ai/t I.] 


[SCEKE 11. 

Boluiff. 0, Heaven defend ray soul from such 

foul sin ! 
Sliall I seem crest-fallen m my father's sight ? 
Or with pale beggar fear impeach my height 
Before this outdar'd dastard ? Ere my tongue 
Sliall wound mine honour with such feeble 

Or sound so base a parlc, my teeth shall tear 
The slavish motive of recanting fear ; 
And spit it bleeding, in his high disgrace, 
Wlierc shame doth harbour, even in Mowbray's 

face. [Exit Gaunt. 

K. Rich. We were not born lo sue, but to 

command : 
Which since we cannot do to make you friends, 
Be ready, as your lives shall answer it. 
At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day ; 
There shall your swords and lances arbitrate 
The swelling difference of your settled hate ; 
Since we camiot atone you," you shall see '' 
Justice design " tlie victor's chivalry. 
Lord Marshal, command oui* officers at anns 
Be ready to direct these home-alarms. [Exeunt. 

SCENE II.— London. A Room in the DuJce 
of Lancaster's Palace.^ 

Enter Gaunt, and Ducbess of Giostee.'' 

Gaunt. Alas ! the '^ part I had in Gloster's 

Doth more solicit me, than youi" exclaims, 
To stir against the butchers of his life. 
But since correction lieth in those hands. 
Which made the fault that we carmot correct. 
Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven ; 
Who when he sees* the hours ripe on earth, 
Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads. 
Dtich. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper 

Hath love in thy old blood no living fire ? 
Edward's seven sons,'' whereof thyself art one, 
Were as seven phials of his sacred blood. 
Or seven fair branches springing from one root : 
Some of those seven are dried by nature's course. 
Some of those branches by the destinies cut : 
But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Glos- 

ter, — 
One phial full of Edward's sacred blood, 
One flourishing branch of his most royal root. 
Is crack' d, and aU the precious liquor spUt ; 

• Jlone you. Make you in concord — cause you to be al 

b You shall see. The folio and four of the old quartos 
have you; the first quarto has we. 
« Dciijn.-desiRn.ite— point out— exhibit — show by a token. 
'1 The pari I had, Sfc. My consanguinity to Gloster. 
« Thei/ see in all the old copies. 


Is hack'd down, and hi.s summer leaves aU 

By envy's hand, and murder's bloody axe. 
Ah, Gamit ! his blood was tliine ; that bed, that 

That mettle, that self-mould, that fashioned thee. 
Made him a man; and though thou liv'st and 

Yet art thou slain in him : thou dost consent 
In some large measure to thy father's death. 
In that thou seest thy wretched brother die. 
Who was the model of thy father's life, 
CaU it not patience. Gaunt, it is despau* : 
In suffering thus thy brother to be slaughter'd. 
Thou shew'st the naked pathway to thy life. 
Teaching stern mui'der how to butcher thee : 
That which in mean men we entitle patience 
Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts. 
AVhat shall I say ? to safeguard thine own life. 
The best way is to 'venge my Gloster's death. 
Gaunt. Heaven's is the quarrel ; for heaven's 

His deputy anointed in his sight. 
Hath caus'd his death : the which if wrongfully. 
Let heaven revenge ; for I may never lift 
An angry arm against his minister. 

Biich. Where then, alas ! may I complain 

Gaunt. To heaven, the widow's champion and 

I)uch. Why then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt 
Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold 
Oiu* cousin Hereford and fell ilowbray fight : 
0, sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear. 
That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast ! 
Or, if misfortune miss the first career. 
Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom,^ 
That they may break his foaming courser's back, 
And throw the rider headlong in the lists, 
A caitiff" recreant to my cousin Hereford ! 

" Vudcd. So all the old copies; modern editors leaA faded. 
But to rade seems to liave a stronger sense than to fadi', 
although fade was often written vade. Still we may trace the 
distinction. In the " Mirrour for Magistrates " we have, 

" The barren fields, which whilom flower'd as tliey would 
never vade." 
Tliis is clearly in the sense of fade. In Spenser we have, 
" However gay their blossom or their blade 
Do nourish now, they into dust shall vade." 
Here we have, as clearly, the sense to pass away, to vanish. 
But, after all, the old writers probably used the words 
without distinction; for doubtless tiiey are the same words. 

i> Complain mi/sflf. The verb is here the same as the 
French verb, se plaindre. 

c Caitiff. The original meaning of this word was, a pri- 
soner. Wickliffe has " he stigliynge an liigh ledde cailyfte 
eaityf" (captivity captive). As the captive anciently became 
a slave, the word gradually came to indicate a man in a ser- 
vile condition — a mean creature — a dishonest person. The 
history of language is often the history of opinion ; and it 
is not surprising that in the days of misused power, to be 
weak, and to be guilty, were synonymous. The French 
c/)c/;/had anciently the meaning of cnpiif. 

Acr I.] 



farewell, old Guuiit ; tliy sometimes brotlier's 

With Ler companion grief miist end her life. 

Gaunt. Sister, fiirewcU: I must to Coventi-y : 
As much good stay with thee, as go with me ! 

Duch. Yet one word more ; — Grief bouudcth 
where it falls, 
Not with the empty hollowucss, but weight : 
I take my leave before I have begun ; 
For sorrow ends not when it sccmcth done. 
Commend me to my brother, Edmund York. 
Lo, this is all : — Nay, yet depart not so ; 
Though this be all, do not so quickly go ; 
I shall remember more. Bid him — O, what ?— 
"With all good speed at Plashy visit me. 
^Vlack, and what shall good old York there see. 
But empty liulu'iiigs and unfumish'd walls," 
Unpeopled olliccs,"' untrodden stones? 
And what cheer " there for welcome but my 

groans ? 
Therefore commend lue ; let him not come there. 
To seek out sorrow that dwells every where : 
Desolate, desolate, will I hence, and die ; 
The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye. 


SCENE III. — Open Space near Coventry. 

Lists set out, and a Throne. Heralds, S<c 

Enter the Lord Mabshal " and AuitEioz.'- 

Mur. My lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford 

Aum. Yea, at all points ; and longs to enter in. 
Mar. The didce of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold. 
Stays but the summons of the appelLint's trumpet. 
Aum. Wliy then the champions are prepar'd, 
and stay 
For nothing but his majesty's approach. 

Flottruh of trumpets. Enter King Bichard, 
tcho takes his scat on his throne ; G.\UNT, and 
several Noblemen, tcho take their places. A 
trumpet is sounded, and aiuwered by another 
trumpet icithim. Then enter Norfolk, in ar- 
mour, preceded hy a Herald. 
K. Rich. !Marshal, demand of yonder champion 
The cause of his arrival heie in arms : 
Ask him his name ; and orderly proceed 
To swear him in the justice of his 
Mar. In God's name and the king's, say who 
thou art. 
And why thou com'st thus knightly f'l;id in arms : 

• Cheer. The q-iarto of 1597 reads cheer : the subsequent 
early edition;, bear. iSce Illustrations to Art I.) 

Against what m:m thou com'st, and what 's thy 

quiunl : 
Speak truly, on thy knighthood, and thine outh ; 
As so dcfi'ud theo heaven, and thy valour! 
Nor. Mv name is Tiiomas Mowbrav, duke of 

Norfolk ; 
Who hither come cnj,';iged by my oath, 
(Which heaven defend a knight sliould violate !) 
Both to defend my loyalty and truth 
To God, my king, and my succeeding issue," 
Against the duke of Hereford that ajipeals me ; 
And, by the grace of God, and this mine arm. 
To prove him, in defending of myself, 
A traitor to my God, my king, and mc : 
And, as I truly tiglit, defend me heaven! 

[lie takes his seal. 

Trumpet sounds. Enter BoLncGBUOKE, in ar- 
mour; preceded by a Herald. 

K. Rich. IMarslial, ask yonder knight in armj. 
Both who he is, and why he cometh liithcr 
Thus plated in habiliments of war; 
And fonnally according to our law 
Depose him in the justice of his cause. 

3far. What is thy name ? and wherefore 
com'st thou hither, 
Before King Richard, in his royal lists ? 
Against whom comest thou ? and what 's thy 

quarrel ? 
Speak like a true kniglit, so defend thee he;ivcn ! 

Bolinff. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and 
Am I ; who ready here do stand in arms. 
To prove, by heaven's grace, and my body's 

In lists, on Thomas >rowbray duke of Norfolk, 
That he's a traitor, foul and dangerous. 
To God of heaven, king Richard, and to me ; 
And, as I truly fight, defend me heaven ! 

Mar. On pain of death, no person be so bold, 
Or daring-hardy, as to touch the lists. 
Except the marshal, and such ofBccrs 
Appointed to direct these fair designs. 

Bolinij. Lord marshal, let mc kiss my sove- 
reign's hand, 
And bow my knee before liis majesty : 
For ^[owbray and myself arc like two men 
That vow a long and weary pilgrimage ; 

' The fir»t ' '.Inir from the t ■ i-ditloni,» " Ai« "i 'if-:" — Dn-ju'- ucofthc 

klnp. M a liiRhtr nnd 

finer mc.r .iiit« to drfend 

hU loyalty .n o nii God and to 

his kin(f. Tl. !."cn ruintd by his 

attain '■•'■■ "■ • ,..:.... , ; liI by his disgrace. 

Tht ', in Its noblest form, is in Hurkc's most 

path ■ ir'.-nt that he owed to the memory of th« son 

lie had loji the duty of vindicating himself from u -Just 
accusation. — Ltller lo Ihe Duke oj Rcif-jrd. 


Act I.] 



Then let us take a ceremonious leave, 
And loving farewell, of our several friends. 
Mar. The appellant in all duty greets your 
And craves to kiss your hand, and take his leave. 
K. Rich. We wUl descend, and fold him in 

om- anus. 
Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right. 
So be thy fortune in this royal fight ! 
Farewell, my blood ; which if to-day thou shed. 
Lament we may, but not revenge thee dead. 
Baling. 0, let no noble eye profane a tear 
For me, if I be gor'd with Mowbray's spear ; 
As confident as is the falcon's flight 

Against a bird do I mth Mowbray fight. 

My loviug lord, \to Loud Mabsiial] I take my 

leave of you ; 
Of you, my noble cousin, lord Aumerlc : — 
Not sick, although I have to do with death ; 
But lusty, young, and chccrly di'awing breath. 
Lo, as at English feasts, so I regi-ect 
The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet : 
thou, the earthly author of my blood, — 

[?b Gaunt. 
Whose youthful spirit, in me regenerate, 
Doth with a two-fold vigour lift me up 
To reach at victory above my head, — 
Add proof unto mine armour with thy prayers ; 
And with thy blessings steel my lance's point, 
That it may enter Mowbray's waxen coat," 
And furbish ^ new the name of John of Gaunt, 
Even in the lusty 'haviour of his son. 

Gaunt. Heaven in thy good cause make thee 

prosperous ! 
Be swift like lightning in the execution ; 
And let thy blows, doubly redoubled. 
Fall like amazing thunder on the casque 
Of thy adverse pernicious enemy : 
Rouse up tliy youthful blood, be valiant and 

BoUng. Mine inuocency, and Saint George to 

thrive. \IIe talccs his seat. 

Nor. [Rising.'] However heaven, or fortune, 

cast my lot, 
Tliere lives, or dies, true to king Richard's 

A loyal, just, and upright gentleman : 
Never did captive with a freer heart 
Cast off his chains of bondage, and embrace 
Ilis golden uncontroU'd enfranchisement, 

n'axtn coat. The original meaning of the noun wax, 
is that of something pliable, yielding. fVcik and wax have 
the same root. Mowbray's waxen coat, into which Holiiig- 
broke's lance's point may enter, is his frail and penetrable 
coat, or armour. 

b Furbish. Thus ths quarto of 1597 ; the folio furnish. 
To/urbith IS to polish. "Vo furnish to dress. 

More than my dancing soul doth celebrate 
This feast of batile with mine adversary. 
Most mighty liege, and my companion peers, 
Take from my mouth the wish of happy years : 
As gentle and as jocund, as to jest,'^ 
Go I to fight ; Truth hath a quiet breast. 

K. Rich. Farewell, my lord : securely I espy 
Vii'tue with valour couched in thine eye. 
Order the trial, marshal, and begin. 

\_The King and the Lords return to their seats. 

Mar. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and 
Beeeive tliy lance ; and God defend thy right ! 

Baling. [Rising.'] Strong as a tower in hope, I 
cry — amen. 

Mar. Go bear this lance [to an Officer.] to 
Thomas, duke of Norfolk. 

1 Her. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and 

Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself, 
On pain to be found false and recreant. 
To prove the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mow- 
A traitor to his God, his king, and him. 
And dares him to set forward to the fight. 

2 Her. Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, duke 

of Norfolk, 
On pain to be found false and recreant. 
Both to defend himself, and to approve 
Henry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, 
To God, his sovereign, and to him disloyal ; 
Courageously, and with a free desire. 
Attending but the signal to begin. 

Mar. Sound, trumpets ; and set forward, com- 
batants. [A charge sounded. 
Stay, the king hatli thrown his warder ^ down. 
K. Rich. Let them lay by their helmets and 
their spears. 
And both return back to their chairs again : 
Withdraw with us : and let the trumpets sound, 
WhUe we return these dukes wliat we decree. — 

[A long flourish. 
Draw near [To the Combatants. 

And list, what with our council we have done. 
For that our kingdom's earth should not be 

Witli that dear blood which it hath fostered ; 
And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect 
Of civil wounds plough'd up with neighbours' 
swords ; 

a To jest. A jest was sometimes used to signify a mask, 
or pageant. Thus, in the old play of Ilicronymo: — 
" He promised us, in honour of our guest. 
To grace our banquet with some pompous jest." 

To jest, therefore, in the sense in which Mowbray here uses 
it, is to play a part in a mask. 
•> Warder. I'he truncheon, or staff of command. 

ACT l.J 



[And for we think the eagle-wuiged pride 
Of sky aspiring and ambitious thoughts, 
With rival-hating envy, set on you* 
To wake our peace, which in our country's 

Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep ;] 
^Miich so rous'd up with boisterous untuu'd 

^ith harsh resounding trumpets' dreadful bray, 
And grating shock of wrathful iron arms, 
Might from our quiet confines fright fair peace, 
And make us wade even in our kindred's 

blood ; — 
Therefore, we banish you our territories : 
You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of death, •• 
Till twice five summers have cnrich'd our fields. 
Shall not regreet our fair dominions, 
But tread the stranger paths of banishment. 
Bolhig. Your will be done : This must my 

comfort be. 
That sun, that warms you here, shall shine 

on me ; 
And those his golden beams, to you nere lent. 
Shall point on me, and gild my banishment. 
A'. Rich. Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier 

^Vhich I with some unwillingness pronounce : 
The sly slow hours* shall not determinate 
The dateless limit of thy dear'^exde; — 
The hopeless word of, never to return, 
Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life. 
Nor. A heavy sentence, my most sovereign 

And all unlook'd for from your highness' mouth : 
A. dearer merit,* not so deep a maim 

» On tjou. Sn tlic old crpies. Pope and some subsequent 
e<Utur« rtad, you un. 

b Death. So tlie folio. The early quartos have lift. In 
Richard's sp*cch to Mowbray he u^e5 life in ihe same sense. 

c Sty stow Ihuri. So the old copies Pope would read 
Jly-sloic. Cliapniaii, in lii» translation of the ()ilys-ey, has 
••those sly hours." It would hardly be fair to think that 
Pope changed the text that he might have the credit of 
originality in the lollowint; line: — 

" All tig tlow things, with circumspective ejet." 

d Dear exile. The manner in which Shakspcrc uses the 
word dear, ofien presents a difficulty to the mmlcrn reader. 
Twen;y-live lines before this we have the ••dear blood" of 
the kinRdoin— the valued blood. We have now the " dear 
exile" of Norfolk— the harmful exile. Jlornc Tooke hat 
this cxplaaation : To der^ the old Enplish verb, from the 
.\nglo-i>axon ilt-r-ian, is to hurt,— to do mischief; and thence 
drarllt, meaning, which hurieth, dereth, or niaki-lh dear. 
But one of the most painful consfnueiices of mischief on a 
Urge scale, such as the mischief of a bad season, was dearth 
— the barrenness, the scarcity, produced by the hurtful 
agent. What was spared was thence called dear — precioiu 
— costly— greatly coveted— highly prized. Professor Craik 
points out, in his ' Philological Commentary on Julius 
Caesar,' that the Anglo-Saxon word answering »o precious 
or beloved, is deoran or dijran. to hold dear, to love. 

e A dearer merit. A more valued reward. Johnson says 
to deserve a merit is a phrase of wh ch he knows not any 
example. Shakspere here distinctly means to deserve » 
reward; for merit is strictly the patt or share earned or 

Histories. — Vol. I. H 

As to be cast forth in the common air. 
Have I descr^'cd at your highness' hanils. 
The language 1 have learn'd these forty ytars. 
My native English, now I must forego : 
And now my tongue's use is to me no more 
Than an unstriuged viol, or a harp ; 
Or Uke a cunning instrument c;is'd up, 
Or, being open, put into his hands 
That knows no touch U> tune the harntony. 
\Vithiu my mouth you have cngaol'd my tongua. 
Doubly portcullis'd with my teeth and lips; 
And dull, unfeeling, barren ignorance 
Is made my gaoler to attend on me. 
I am too old to fawn upon a nurse, 
Too far in years to be a pupil now ; 
AVhat is thy sentence then, but speechless death, 
AVliich robs my tongue from breathing native 
breath ? 

A'. liicA. It boots thee not to be compas- 
After our sentence, plaining comes too late. 

Nor. Then thus 1 turn me from my countrj's 


To dwell in solcnm shades of endless night. 


A'. Rich. Return again, and take an oath 
with thee. 
Lay on our royal sword your banish'd hands ; 
Swear by the duty that you owe to heaven, 
(Our part therein we banish'^ witii yourselves,) 
To keep the oath that we administer : — 
You never shall (so help you truth and heaven Ij 
Embrace each other's love in banishment ; 
Nor never look upon each other's face ; 
Nor never write, regreet, or reconcile 
This lowering tempest of your home-bred hale ; 
Nor never by advised purpose meet 
To plot, contrive, or complot any ill 
'Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land. 

Boliiit/. I swear. 

Nor. And I, to keep all this. 

Boliiifj. Norftjlk,— .so far as to iiiiiic enemy ;'• - 
By this time, had the king peniiilti-d ns, 
One of our souls liad wandcr'd in the air, 
Bani.-^h'd this fniil sc|»nicliro of our fli-^h, 
As now our flesh is banish'd from tliis land : 

pained. Prior, who wrote a century after Shakspere, uses 
the word III the same sense : — 

•• Those laurel-groves, the merits of thy youth, 
V hich thou from Mahomet did'st greatiy gain." 

a ( -.ate. Ihis is the only instance in which 

Shai. ' conip«»»ion»te in the sense of comjilnining, 

Thct^La-'i .-u^-, ■'•. 

b S<3 fnr. i ad so Jare : the second 

folio, io /orrf. J -■..., .. . . , .(.tation of " '- t'^-.ige 

seems to be Just: •■Norfolk, »o far 1 have ail'. ii.'l( 

to thee as to mine enemy, I now utter my lii ilU 

kindness and tenderness ; confess thy treasons. ' 


Act [.] 



Confess thy treasons ere tliou fly this realm ; 
Since thou hast far to go, bear not along 
The clogging burthen of a guilty soul. 

Nor. No, Bolingbroke ; if ever I were traitor, 
My name be blotted from the book of life. 
And I from heaven banish'd as from hence ! 
But what thou art, heaven, thou, and I do 

know J 
And all too soon, I fear, the king shall rue. 
Farewell, my liege : — Now no way can I stray ; 
Save back to England, all the world 's my way. 

K. Rich. Uncle, even in the glasses of thine 
I sec thy grieved heart ; thy sad aspect 
Hath from the number of his banish'd years 
Pluck'd four away : — Six frozen winters spent, 
Return \_To Boling.] with welcome liomc from 
Boling. How long a time lies in one little 
word ! 
Four lagging winters, and four wanton springs. 
End in a word : Such is the breath of kmgs. 
Gau7it. I thank my liege, that, in regard of 
He shortens four years of my son's exile ; 
But littic vantage shall I reap thereby ; 
For ere the six years that he liath to spend 
Can change their moons, and bring their times 

My oil-dried lamp, and time-bewastcd light. 
Shall be extinct with age and endless night ; 
My inch of taper will be burnt and done, 
And blindfold death not let me see my son. 
K. Rich. Why, uncle, thou hast many years 

to live. 
Gaunt. But not a minute, king, that thou 
canst give : 
Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sor- 
And pluck nights from me, but not lend a 

morrow : 
Thou canst liclp time to fuiTow me with age. 
But stop no wrinkle in liis pilgrimage ; 
Thy word is current with him for my deatn : 
But, dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath. 
K. Rich. Thy son is banish'd upon good 
Whereto thy tongue a party-verdict gave ; 
Why at our justice seem'd thou then to lower? 
Gaunt. Things sweet to ta.ste prove in di- 
gestion sour. 
You urg'd me as a judge ; but I had rather 
You would have bid me argue like a father : 
[0, had it been a stranger, not my child, 


To smooth his fault I should have been more 

mild : 
A partial slander sought I to avoid. 
And in the sentence my own life destroy'd.] '^ 
Alas, I look'd, when some of you should say, 
I was too strict, to make mine own away ; 
But you gave leave to mine unwilling tongue, 
Against my will, to do myself this wrong. 
K. Rich. Cousin, farewell : — and, uncle,/ bid 
him SO; 
Six years we banish him, and he shall go. 

[Flourish. E.teimt K. Kichakd and Trai7i. 
Aum. Cousin, farewell : what presence must 
not know, 
From where you do remam, let paper shew. 
3Tar. My lord, no leave take I; for I will 
As fai' as land wHl let me, by your side. 

Gaunt. 0, to what piu'pose dost thou hoard 
thy words, 
That thou return'st no greeting to thy friends ? 
Boling. I have too few to take my leave of 
When the tongue's oiBce should be prodigal 
To breathe the abundant dolour of the heart. 
Gaunt. Thy grief is but thy absence for a 

Boling. Joy absent, grief is present for that 

Gaunt. What is six winters ? they are quickly 

Boling. To men in joy ; but grief makes one 

hour ten. 
Gaunt. Call it a travel that thou tak'st for 

Boling. My heart will sigh, when I miscall it 
Which finds it an enforced pilgi-image. 

Gaunt. The sullen passage of thy weary 
Esteem a foil,'' wherein thou art to set 
The precious jewel of thy home-return. 

[Boling. Nay, rather, every tedious stride I 
Will but remember me, what a deal of world 
I wander from the jewels that I love. 
Must I not serve a long appreutieehood 
To foreign passages ; and in the end. 
Having my freedom, boast of nothing else 
But tliat I was a journeyman to grief ? 

Gaunt. AH places that the eye of heaven 

" Tliese four lines, enclosed in brackets, are omitted in the 

b Foil orfoijl, the thin plate or loaf of metal used in setting 

Act I.] 


rSCENF. l\ . 

Are to a wise man ports and happy havens : 

Teach thy necessity to reason thus ; 

There is no virtue like necessity. 

Think not, the king diil banish thee ; 

But thou the king : "Woe doth the heavier sit, 

Wliere it perceives it is but faintly borne. 

Go, say I scut thee forth to purchase honour, 

And not, the king exdcd thee : or suppose 

Devouring pestilence hangs iu our air, 

And thou art flying to a fresher elimc. 

Look, what thy soul holds dear, imagine it 

To lie that way thou go'st, not whence thou 

Suppose the singing birds, musicians ; 
The grass whereou thou tread'st, the presence 

strew'd ; 
The flowers, fair ladies ; and thy steps, no more 
Than a delightful measure or a dance : 
For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite 
The man that mocks at it, and sets it light."] 

BoUiij. 0, who can hold a lire in his hand, 
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus ? " 
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite. 
By bare imagination of a feast ? 
Or wallow naked in December snow, 
By thinking on fantastic summer's heat ? 
O, no ! the apprehension of the good 
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse : 
Fell sorrow's tooth doth never rankle more, 
Than when it bites but lanceth not the sore. 

Gaunt. Come, come, my son, I'll bring thee 
on thy way : 
Had I thy youth and cause, I would not stay. 

Baling. Then, England's ground, farewell ; 
sweet soil, adieu ; 
My mother, and my nurse, that bears me yet ! 
Where'er I wander, boast of this I can, 
Though bunish'd, yet a true-born Englishman. 


SCENE IV.— .-/ Room in the Xing'* Palace. 

Enter King Ilicn*RD, Bagot, and Green; 
AuiCERLE follow inff. 

K. Rich. We did observe. — Cousin Aumerle, 
IIow far brought you high Hereford on his way ? 
Aum. I brought high Hereford, if you call 
*. him so. 
But to the next highway, and there I left him. 
A'. Rich. And, say, what store of parting tears 
were shed ? 

•■> The twenty-six lines between brackets are omitted in 
tlie folio. They are in tlie first quarto of 1597, and arc 
continued in the sub^^'quect quartos (Sec Introductory 

H 2 

Aum. 'Faith none for nic,» except the north 

cast wind, 
Which then blew bitterly against our face, 
Awak'd the sleepy rheum; and sd, by chance, 
Did grace our hollow parting with a tear. 

A'. Rich. Wliat said our cousin when you 

parted with him ? 
Aum. Farewell : 
And, for my heart disdained that my tongne 
Should so j)rofane the word, that taught nic 

To counterfeit oppression of such grief, 
That word seem'd buried iu my sorrow's grave. 
Marry, would the word farewell liave Icngthen'd 

And added years to his short banishment, 
He should have had a volume of farcwelb ; 
But, since it would not, he had none of me. 
K. Rich. He is our eousua, cousin ; but 't is 

When time shall call him home from banishment, 
Whether our kinsman come to see his friends. 
Ourself and Bushy, Bagot here, and Green, 
Observed his courtship to the conunou people : — 
How he did seem to dive into their heai'ts. 
With humble and familiar courtesy ; 
"Wliat reverence he did throw away on slaves ; 
Wooing poor craftsmen with the craft of smiles. 
And patient underbcaring of his fortune. 
As 'twere to banish their aflects with him. 
OfiF goes his bonnet to an oyster-wench ; 
A brace of draymen bid — God speed him well, 
And had the tribute of his supple knee. 
With — Thanks, my countrymen, my loving 

friends ; 
As were our England iu reversion liis, 
.\nd he our subjects' next degree in hope. 

Green. Well, he is gone; and with him go 

these thoughts. 
Now for the rebels, which stand out in Ireland ; 
Expedient'' manage must be made, my liege, 
Ere further leisure yield them further means. 
For their advantage, and your highness' loss. 

K. Rich. Wc will ourself in person to this war. 
And, for our coffers, with too great a court. 
And liberal largess, are grown somewhat ligld, 
We are eufore'd to farm our royal realm ; 
The reveuuc whereof siiall furnish us 
For our affairs in hand : If that come short, 
Our substitute at home shall have blank charters ; 
Whereto, when they shall know what men are 


* y one for mt—none, on my part. 

•> EipedienI — prompt — tuitabic— discni^aged from cntan 
glements. (Sec note on King John, Act II. Scene I.) 


A.CT 1.] 


[Scene IV. 

They shaU subscribe them for large sums of 

And send them after to supply our wants ; 
For we will make for Ireland presently. 

Enter Bushy. 

Bushy, what news ? 

Bushi/. Old John of Gauut is grievous sick, 
my lord ; 
Suddenly taken ; and hath sent post haste, 
To entreat your majesty to visit him. 

K. Rich. Where lies he ? 

Bmhy. At Ely-house.' 

K. Rich. Now put it, heaven, in his phy- 
sician's mind. 
To help him to his grave immediately ! 
The lining of his coffers shall make coats 
To deck our soldiers for these Irish wars. 
Come, gentlemen, let 's all go visit him : 
Pray God, we may make haste, and come too 
late ! [_Exeiait. 

[Scene III.—" The king hatii tlirown his warder down."] 


' Scene I.- "Hast thou, according to thy oath and 
band t" 

The appeal of Herefonl against Mowbmy was 
to be decided by a " tiial l>y combat." This 
practice w:is very ancient, and traces of it are 
found in the fifth century. The "oath and band" 
of John of Gaunt were the pled//es that he gave 
for his son's appearance. Thus, in the Fairy 
Queen of Sjienser • — 

" These t)>rcc tliat liarJjr rliallcnge took in hand, 
For Caitactt with CambCl for lo light ; 
The (lay wa< let, that all might un(liT«tan(l, 
Anil filfdjei pawn'il, the same to keep aright.' 

' ScE.NE I. — " t'iijht thou8an<l nobUt." 

The following is a representation of the gold 
noble of Hichanl II. : — 

' SCENB I.—" Then, Boliurjlrolce." 

Henry of Lancaster wa.s not called Bolingbroke, 
or Hullingbrook, till he had ascended the throne. 
This name of Henry IV. was derived from his 
birth-place, Bolingbroke Castle, in Lincolnshire. 
The ld.-it remains of this ancient edifice crumbled 
over their base, in May, ISlo. (Gentleman's 
Magazine, vol. Isixv.) 

* Scene I. — " Our doctors say, this is no month 
to bleed." 

Malone says " this alludes to the almanacs of the 
time, when particular seasons were pointed out as 
the most propc-r times for being bled." In an 

English almanac fur 13SG — the earliest known 
(and which has boen printed, 1812) — we have full 
directions for blood-letting. (See Companion to 
the Almanac, 1839, p. 55.) 

* Scene II. -" Duke of Lancaster's Palace." 

The Savoy Palace, of which some remaiua 
existed within a few years, was situated near 
the Thames. The chapel, nearly four centuries 
old, was destroyed to the bare walls by fire, 
on July 7, 1804; but the Queen was graciously 
pleased to undertake its restoration. This was 
anciently the seat of Peter, Earl of Savoy, 
uncle to Eleanor, cjueen of Henry III. Upon his 


[The Sovojr.] 



death it devolved to the queen, who gave it to her 
eecond sou, Edmund, afterwards Earl of Laucaster. 
From that time the Savoy was taken as part and 
parcel of the earldom and honour of Lancaster, 
and was used as the London palace of the earls 
and dukes of that house. Jolin of Gaunt married 
Blanch, the daughter of Henry, the first duke of 
Lancaster. Blanch was a co-hciress with her 
sister Matilda to the vast estates of this duchy : 
and by tlie death of Matilda, without issue, he 
became subsequently possessed of all the property, 
in right of his wife, and was himself created Duke 
of Lancaster, In the preceding page we have 
given an ancient view of the Savoy, which was 
endowed as " The Hospital of the Savoy," by 
Henry VII. 

^' Scene \l.—" Duchesa of Gloster." 

The following is a portrait of Eleanor Bohun, 
widow of Thomas of Woodstock, Puke of Gloster. 
[See Introductory Notice.] 

'' Scene II. — " Edward's seven sons." 

The seven sons of the great Edward III. wore, 
1 . Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince ; 2. 
William of Hatfield ; 3. Lionel, Duke of Clarence ; 
4. John of Gaunt ; 5- Edmund of Langley, Duke 
of York ; 6. William of Windsor ; 7. Thomas of 
Woodstock, Duke of Gloster. 

3 Scene II. — " Be Mowhraifs sins so heavy in his 


Did not this fine description suggest the equally 
fine scene in Ivanhoe, where the guilty Templar 
falls without a blow ? 

^ Scene II. — " Unfurnished u-cdls" 

" The usual manner," says Percy, in his jireface 
to the Northumberland Household Book, " of 
hanging the rooms in the old castle.s, was only to 
cover the naked stone walls with tapestry, or arras, 
hung upon tenter-hooks, from which they were 
easily taken down upon every removal." 

" Scene II. — " Unpeopled offices." 

The offices were those parts of a great house, 
or castle, in which the vast train of servants lived 
and carried on their duties. They were not out- 
buildings, nor subterraneous, but on the ground- 
floor within the house. The " unpeopled offices," 
therefore, of the Duchess of Gloster's desolate 
mansion, would present, no sound of life, nor 
"cheer for welcome." 

" Scene III.— "Lord marshal" 

Mowbray was himself earl marshal of England ; 
but the Duke of Surrey officiated as marshal on 
this occasion. 

12 Scene III.—" Aumerle." 

The eldest son of the Duke of York was created 
Duke of Aumerle, or Albemarle, — a town in Nor- 
mandj'. He officiated as high constable at the lists 
of Coventry. 

1^ Scene III. — " Our part therein we lanisJi." 

The king here alludes to a disputed question 
amongst writers on public law:- — Is a banished 
man tied in his allegiance to the State which 
exiled him ? Richard requires them to swear by 
their duty to heaven ; for " our part " in your 
duty "we banish with yourselves." Hobbes and 
Puffendorf hold this opinion; — Cicero thought 

" Scene III. — " The frosty Caucasus." 

" In the language of the Calmuc Tartars, (Jhasu 
signifies snow," according to Mr. Wilford, in the 
sixth volume of Asiatic Researches. Tliero aro 
two papers in the Censura Literaria of Sir E. 
Brydges, which refute this notion of the origin 
of the name of Caucasus. — Vol. iv. p. 412 j vol. 
V. p. 87. 


QKichard U. Purirau lu ine Jerusalem CtiainbcrJ 


SnAKSPERE's " nistory" of Richard II. presents, 
in onep.irticular.n most remarkable contrast to that 
of King' John. In the King John, for the pur- 
pose of securing a dramatic unity of action, the 
chronological succession of events, as they occurred 
in the real history of the times, is constantly dis- 
regarded. In the Richard II. that chronological 
succession is as strictly a^lhcred to. The judgment 
of the poet is remarkably exhibited in these opposite 
modes of working. He had to mould a drama out of 
the disjointed m.iterials of the history of John, 
in which events, remote in the order of time, and 
apparently separated as to cause and consequence, 
should all conduce to the development of one great 
action — the persecution of Arthur by his uncle, and 
the retribution to which the fate of Arthur led. In 
the life of Richard 1 1., there were twoi^'rcat dramatic 
events, far separated intheorderof time, and having 
no connexion in their origin or consequences. The 
rebellion of Wat Tyler,in 13S1, might, in it8elf,have 
formed the subject of a drama not unworthy of the 
hand of Shakspere. It miijht have 8too<l as the 
"First Part" of the Life of Richard II. Indeed, it is 
probable, as we have shown in the Introductory 
Notice, that a play in which this event fonned a 
remarkable feature ilid exist. But the greater event 
of Richard's life wa.s the bani.ihir.ent and the revolt 
of Bolingbroke, which led to his own deposition and 
his death. This is the one event which Shak.-^pero 
has made the subject of the great drama before us. 
With a few very minute deviations from hLstory — 
deviations which are as nothing compared with the 

errors of the contemporary historian, Froissart— 
the scenes which this play presents, and the cha- 
racters which it dcvclcpcs, arc historically true to 
the letter. But what a wonderful vitality docs the 
truth acquire m our poet's hands. The harfl and 
formal abstractions of the old chroniclers — the 
figures that move about in ro1>es and armour, with- 
out presenting to us any distinct notions of thoir 
common human qualities, — here show themselvca 
to us as men like ourselves, — pai-tiking of like 
pa-ssions, and like weaknesses ; and, whilst they 
exhibit to us the natural triumph of iutellectii.J 
vigour and decision over frailty and irresolution, 
they claim our pity for the unfortunat<^, and our 
respect for the " faithful am<>n^^t the faithless." 
But in the Chronicles, Shak-pt-ro found the rudo 
outline ready to his h.ind, whii;-h lie was to fill tip 
with hi.s Hurp.ossing colouring. Then; nothing 
in the course of the real events to alter for the pur- 
poses of dramatic propriety. The historj' was full 
of the most stirring and picturesque circnmstAnccs; 
and the incidents came so thick and fast upon one 
another, that it was <i ; ry for the poet to leap 

over any h>iig iiitcr\ ••. 15. «lini;broke first 

appe.alcl Norf««lk of tn.i.-cn, in Jantiary, 1398. 
Richanl w;i.s deposed in S^'iiteinWr, ll'Ii'.t. 

The/r«^ *rme of this Act exhibit^ the course of 
the qiwrrel between Bolingbroko and Mowbray, as 
it procee<led, aft«>r Harry Hereford's " boisterous 
late appeal." We must ob.serve, that the lading- 
broke of Shakspere is called Duke of Hereford *or 
Earl of Derby, his former title) by all the old his- 



torians ; it beinj^ pretty clear that he was not dis- 
tinguished by the name of Bolingbroke till after 
he had assumed the crown. Drayton states this 
without any qualification. We must, however, 
follow the poet iu calling him Bolingbroke. It is 
somewhat difficult to understand the original cause 
of the quarrel between Bolingbroke and Norfolk. 
They were each elevated iu rank at the Christmas 
of 1398, i>robably with the view, on the part of 
Richard, to propitiate men of such power and 
energy. They were the ouly two who remained of 
the great lords who, twelve years before, had driven 
Richard's favourites from his court and kingdom, 
and had triumphantly asserted their resistance to 
his measures at the battle of Radcot Bridge. The 
Duke of Gloster, the uncle of the king, with whose 
party Bolingbroke and Norfolk had always been 
confederated, was murdered at Calais, in 1398. 
Bolingbroke, in the same year, had received a full 
pardon in parliament for his proceedings in 1386. 
" In this parliament, holden at Shi-ewsbury," says 
Holin.shed, " Henry Duke of Hereford accused 
Thomas Mowbray of certain words, which he 
should utter in talk, had betwixt them as they 
rode together lately before, betwixt London and 
Brainford, sounding highly to the king's dis- 
honour." Froissart (we quote from Lord Bemers' 
translation) gives a different version of the affair, 
and says — " On a day the Earl of Derby and the 
Earl Marshal communed together of divers matters ; 
at last, among other, they spake of the state of the 
king and of his council, such as he had about him, 
and believed them; so that, at the last, the Earl 
of Derby spake certain words which he thought for 
the best, wenynge that they should never have been 
called to rehearsal, which words were neither villain- 
ous nor outrageous." Froissart then goes on to 
make the Earl Marshal repeat these words to the 
king, and Derby to challenge him as a false traitor, 
after the breach of confidence. Shakspere has 
followed Holi;ished. The accusation of Bolingbroke 
against Norfolk was first made, according to this 
chronicler, at Shrewsbury ; and "there was a day 
appointed, about six weeks after, for the king to 
come unto Windsor, to hear and to take some order 
betwixt the two dukes which had thus appealed 
each other." The scene then proceeds in the 
essential matters very much as is exhibited by Shak- 
spere, except that the appellant and defendant 
each speak by the mouth of a knight that had 
"license to speak." Norfolk is accused of beiug 
a false and disloyal traitor — of appropriating eight 
thousand nobles, which he had received to pay the 
king's soldiers at Calais — of being the occasion of 
all the treason contrived in the realm for eighteen 
years — and, by his false suggestions and malicious 
counsels, having caused the Duke of Gloster to be 
murdered. Norfolk, in the answer by his knight, 
declares that Heniy of Lancaster hath " falsely and 
wickedly lied as a false and disloyal knight ; " and 
he then, in his own person, adds the explanation 
which Shakspore gives about the use of the money 
for Calais. The chronicler, however, makes him 
say not a word about Gloster's death ; but he con- 
fesses that he once " laid an ambush to have slain 
the Duke of Lancaster that there sitteth." The 
king once again requires them to be asked, if they 
would aorree and make peace together ; " but they 
both flatly answered that they would not ; and 

withal the Duke of Hereford cast down his gage, 
and the Duke of Norfolk took it up. The king, 
perceiving this demeanour betwixt them, sware by 
St. John Baptist, that he would never seek to make 
peace betwixt them again." The combat was then 
appointed to be done iit Coventry, " some say upon 
a Monday in August ; other, upon St. Lambert's 
day, being the 17th September; other, on the 11th 

The narrative of Holinshed upon which Shakspere 
has founded the third Scene of this Act is most 
picturesque. We see all the gorgeous ai-ray of 
chivalry, as it existed in an age of pageants, called 
forth with unusual magnificence upon an occasion 
of the gravest import. The old stage of Shakspere's 
time could exhibit none of this magnificence. The 
great company of men apparelled iu silksendall — 
the splendid coursers of the combatants, with their 
velvet housings — the king on his thi'one, surrounded 
by his peers and his ten thousand men in armour — 
all these were to be wholly imagined upon the 
ancient stage. Our poet, in his chorus to Henry 
V. thus addresses his audience : — 

" Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts ; 
Into a tliousand parts divide one man, 
And make imaginary puissance : 
Think, wlien we talk of liorses, that you see them 
Printing their proud hoofs i'the receiving earth." 

To assist our readers in seeing the " imaginary 
puissance " of the lists of Coventry, we subjoin 
Holinshed's description : — • 

" The Duke of Aumerle, that day, being high 
constable of England, and the Duke of Surry, mar- 
shal, placed themselves between them, well armed 
and appointed ; and when they saw their time, they 
first entered into the lists with a great company of 
men apiDarelled in silk sendall, embroidered with 
silver, both richly and curiously, every man having 
a tipped staff to keep the field in order. About 
the hour of prime came to the barriers of the lists, 
the Duke of Hereford, mounted on a white courser 
barded with green and blue velvet, embroidered 
sumptuously with swans and antelopes of gold- 
smith's work, armed at all points. The constable 
and marshal came to the barriers, demanding of 
him what he was, he answered ' I am Henry of 
Lancaster Duke of Hereford, which am come hither 
to do mine endeavour against Thomas Mowbray 
Duke of Norfolk, as a traitor untrue to God, the 
king, his realm, and me.' Then, incontinently, he 
sware upon the holy evangelists, that his quarrel 
was true and just, and upon that point he required 
to enter the lists. Then he put by his sword, which 
before he held naked in his hand, and, putting down 
his visor, made a cross on his horse, and with spear 
in hand entered into the lists, and descended from 
his horse, and set him down in a chair of gi-een 
velvet, at the one end of the lists, and there reposed 
himself, abiding the coming of his adversary. 

" Soon after him, entered into the field with 
great triumph, King Richard, accom[)anied with 
all the peers of the realm, and in his company was 
the Earl of St. Paul, which was come out of Franco 
in post to see this challenge performed. The king 
had there above ten thousand men in armour, least 
some fray or tumult might rise amongst his nobles, 
by quarrelling or partaking. When tlie king was 
set in his seat, which was richly hanged and 


adorned, a kin.^-Rt-nnna made open proclaiuation, 
prohibiting all men, in the name of the king, anil 
of the hij^h constable and marshal, to enterprise or 
attempt to apprt):ic'h, <>r touch any jKirt of the listta 
upon pain of dfuth, except such us ^vcre appointed 
to onlcr or marshal the field. The proclamation 
ended, aimther henild cried : ' BchoUl hero Henry 
of Lancaster Duke of llcreforil appellant, which is 
entered into the lists royal to do liia devoir against 
Thomas Mowbi-ay Duke of Norfolk defendant, upon 
pain to be found false and recreant.' 

" The duke of Norfolk hovered on horseback at 
theenti-ance of the lists, his horse being banled with 
crimson velvet, embroidered richly with lion* of 
silver and mulberry trees ; and when he had mnde 
his oath before the constable and manihal that hi.s 
quarrel was just and true, ho entered the field man- 
fully, saying aloud : * God aid him that hath the 
right,' and then he departed fn)m his horse, anil siite 
him down in his chuir, which was of crimson velvet, 
c\ii-tuued about with white and red damask. The 
lord marshal viewed their spears, to see that they 
were of equal length, and delivered the one spciir 
himself to the duke of Hereford, and sent the 
other unto the duke of Norfolk by a knight. 
Then the herald proclaimed that the ti-averses and 
chcirs of the champions should be removed, com- 
manding them on the king's behalf to mount on 
horseback, and address themselves to the battle 
and combat. 

" The duke of Hereford was quickly horsed, and 
dosed his beaver, and ca.«t his spear into the rest, 
and when the trumpet sounded, set forward cou- 

rageously townrtls his enemy, six or seven paces. 
The duke of Norfolk was not fully set forwni-»l, 
when the king cast down his warder, and th« 
hemld.<« criiil, ' Ho, ho ! ' Then the king caused 
their spears to be tjikcn from thfm,nnil commanded 
them to repair again to their chaii-s, where they 
rcniainetl two long houm, while the king and his 
council tloliiierately consuiteil wliiit order was bej»t 
to bo hail in so weighty a aume." 

The sentence of Richard upon liolingbroko and 
Norfolk was, in cfTect, the same m Shaksporo haji 
described it ; but the reiuisrtion of a portion of the 
tcnn of Holingbrokc's banihhmcnt did nut tdto 
place at the liHts of Coveiilrj". Froiss-irt cavH, that 
when IJolinijbroko'a <liiy of departure approached, 
he cjimo to Kltham, to tl»e king, who thus adilrcKseil 
him : — " As Ood help me, it right greatly dis- 
pleaaeth me the words that hath been between 
you and the earl marshal ; but the sentence that I 
have given is for the best, and for to n])]>ea.<<e there- 
by the peojile, who greatly murniurod on this mat- 
ter; wherefore, cousin, yet to case you somewhat 
of your pain, I my judgment from ton y«u- 
to six year. Cousin, take this aworth, and ordain 
you thereafter." The earl answered an<l said ; 
" Sir, I thank your grace, and when it shall please 
you, ye shall do me more grace." 

We subjoin a copy of the illumination of Richapl 
[ironouucing sentence of banishment, from the MS. 
Froissart, in the British Mu.seum. Thecostunjoin 
this and other engravings from the same source, is 
of a later period than that of Richanl II. 

; "^-^N 

[ScEKE III. — " There stands the Castle."j 


SCENE I. — London. A Room in Ely House. 

Gaunt on a couch ; the Dulce of York, and 
others standing by him. 

Gaunt. Will the king come ? that I may breathe 
my last 
In wholesome counsel to his unslaid youth. 
York. Vox not yourself, nor strive not with 
your breath ; 
For all in vain comes counsel to his ear. 
Gaunt. O, but they say, the tongues of dying 
Enforce attention, like deep harmony ; 
Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent 

in vain ; 
For they breathe tnith, that breathe their words 

in pain. 
He, that no more must say, is listcn'd more 
Than tlicy whom youth and ease have taught 
to glose ; 
More are men's ends mark'd, than their lives 
before ; 
The setting sun, and music at the close, 
A.S the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last, 

Writ in remembrance more than thing's Ion"; 

past -^ 
Though Richard my life's counsel would not 

My death's sad tale may yet undcaf his car. 
York. No; it is stopp'd with other flattering 

As praises of his state : then, there are found 
Lascivious metres ; to whose venom sound 
The open car of youth doth always listen : 
Report of fashions in proud Italy ; 
Whose manners still our tardy apish nation 
Limps after in base imitation. 
Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity, 
(So it be new, there 's no respect how vile,) 
That is not quickly buzz'd into his ears ? 
Tiien aU too late comes counsel to be heard. 
Where will doth u\utiny with wit's regard. 

ft We deviate from our first edition in now adoptinj; the 
ordinary reading of this passaRe, instead of preferring the 
change in the punctuation wliich was suggested by Monck 

" (As the last taste of sweets is sweetest) last." 

By this alteration the word last, at the end of the second 
line, is read as a verb, of which the iun and music form the 
nominative case. 

Act II] 


[Scene I. 

Direct not him, whose way himself will choose ; 

'Tis breath thou lack'st, and that breath wilt 
thou lose. 
Gaunt. Methiuks, I am a prophet uew iii- 

And thus, expiring, do foretell of him : 

His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last; 

For violent fires soou burn out themselves ; 

Small showers hist long, but sudden storms arc 
short ; 

He tires betimes, that spurs too fast betimes ; 

^Vith eager feeding food doih choke the feeder : 

Jjight vanity, insatiate cormorant, 

Consuming means, soou preys upon itself. 

Tills royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle, 

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, 

This other Eden, demi-paradise ; 

This fortress, built by nature for herself, 

Against infection* and the hand of war; 
This happy breed of men, this little world; 
Tliis precious stone set in the silver sea, 

Uliich serves it in the office of a wall, 

Or as a moat defensive to a house, 

/Vgainst the em-y of less happlsr lands ; 

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this 

This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings, 
Eear'd by their breed, and famous by their birth, 
Rcno\vned for their deeds as far from home, 
(Eor Christian service, and true chivalry,) 
As is the sepidehre in stubborn Jewry, 
Of the world's ransom, blessed Clary's son : 
This land of such dear 'souls, this dear dear land, 
Dear for her reputation through the world, 
Is now leas'd out (I die pronouncing it,) 

» Infeciion. All the ancient copies read ir.ftciion. In 
England's Parnassus (ICOO), where the p3S^ageis quoted, ve 
read intestion. Farmer suggested the substitution of infes- 
lion, which Moloiie has adopted, and which we tliought 
right to follow in our first edition. /. fectiim, in Sliakspere'g 
time, was used, as it is now, to expn ss the taint of some 
pernicious quality ; and was more particularly applied to 
that frightful distAse, the pl.ieue, to whose ravages London 
was annuallv subject. It appeared to us, therefurc, that to 
call England 

" Thit/ortrett, built by UAture for herself, 

would reqv. nation to an audience who were 

constantiy ravages of infection. 

"The silver sea. 

Which serves it in the office of a wall," 
was then unavailing to keep out •' the pc»tilencc which 
walketh in darkness." But, on the other hand, Entrland 
had t)een long free from foreign invasion. Infttliou is taken, 
by Maione, to be an abbreviation of inftitaticn, in the same 
way that, in Bishop Hall, accrplion is used for acceptation. 
Infestation appears to have designated tho5e violent incur- 
sions of an enemy — those annoying, joy-depriving (in-fetlut) 
ravages to which an unprotected frontier is peculiarly ex- 
posed; and from which the sea, "as a moat defensive to a 
house," shut out " this scepter'd isle." Still, infection, bring 
a word of which there can be no doubt of the meaning, is to 
be preferred, if wc can be content to receive (!■■ •!■ ^ •■ a 
limited sense— that the sea in some sort kept o- ■, 

though not absolutely. Perhaps an audience oi - i 

time might so understand it. in the same way that quaran- 
tine was trusted in to keep out the plague. 

Like to a tenement, or pelting* farm : 
England, bound in with the triumpliant sea, 
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege 
Of watery Ncjitune, is now bound in with shame, 
With inky bh)ts, and rotten parchment bonds; 
Tliat England, that was wont to conquer others, 
Ilath made a shamefid conquest of itself: 
All, would the scandal vanish with my life. 
How happy then were my ensuing death ! 

Enifr King Riciiaud and Quken ; Aimekxe, 


York. The king is come : deal mililly with his 

youth ; 

For young hut colts, being rag'd, do nigc the 


Queen. How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster? 

A'. Rich. "\V1iat comfort, man ? IIow is 't with 

aged Gaunt ? 
Gaunt. O, how that name befits my comi)0 
sit ion ! 
Old Gaunt, indeed ; and gaunt in being old : 
Witiiin me grief hath kept a tedious fast ; 
And who abstains from meat, that is not gaunt f 
For sleeping England long time have I watch'd ; 
Watching breeds leanness, leanness is all gaunt 
The pleasure that some fathers feed upon 
Is my strict fast, — I mean my children's looks; 
.£\iid, therein fasting, hast thou made me gimnt; 
Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave. 
Whose hollow womb inherits nought but bones. 
K. Rich. Can sick men play so nicely with 

their names ? 
Gaunt. No, misery makes sport to mock itself: 
Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me, 
I mock my name, great king, to flatter thee. 
K. Rich. Should dying men flatter with those 

that live ? 
Gaunt. No, no ; men living ilatter those that 



mea:. - ... ... ... , . . 

in this pa.<*agc, and ■•the p 

would leave no doubt as to i: 

pelting little town," aii<l "a l..;: 

people," in N'orth's " Plutarch. ' I 

fined to i- ■ ''lings. In .Mca>iire lur .Sii 

the fami' 

of I/car, 

! not " a 


■ 1 oiw 

.III- « c have 

would ne'er be quiet, 

I Ml . , , 1 1 I'll! •. . . ■ . ..1 • .liccr. 
Would Use his heaven fur thunder." 

Gabriel IT 
paU\i t> 
known, i 
trade. 1 
to .1 

have be 
had somi. 

altliu:ii;h \; 

<1 .-u 
■ wn 
' iTiay 
ma> have 


Act II.] 


[SCEKE 1. 

K. Rich. Thou, now a dying, say'st lliou flat- 

ter'st me. 
Gaunt. Oh ! no ; thou dicst, though I the 

sicker be. 
K. Rich. I am in health, I breathe, and see 

thee il]. 
Gaunt. Now, he that made me, knows I see 

thee ill ; 
111 in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill. 
Thy death-bed is no lesser than the land, 
Wherein thou licst in reputation sick : 
And thou, too careless patient as thou art, 
Coramitt'st thy anointed body to the cure 
Of those physicians that first wounded thee. 
A thousand llattercrs sit within thy crown, 
Whose compass is no bigger than thy head ; 
And yet, incaged in so small a verge. 
The waste is no whit lesser than tliy land. 
0, had thy grandsire, with a prophet's eye, 
Seen how his son's son should destroy his sons, 
From forth thy reach he would have laid thy 

Deposing thee before thou wert possessed, 
"Which art possess'd " now to depose thyself. 
Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world. 
It were a shame to let this land by lease : 
But, for thy world, enjoying but this land. 
Is it not more than shame to shame it so ? 
Landlord of England art thou, and not king : 
Thy state of law is bondslave to the law ; 


K. Rich. And thou'' a lunatic lean-witted 

Presuming on an ague's privilege, 
Dar'st with tliy frozen admonition 
Make pale our cheek ; chasing the royal blood, 
With fury, from his native residence. 
Now by my scat's right royal majesty, 
Wert thou not brother to great Edward's son. 
This tongue, that runs so roundly in thy head. 
Should run thy head from thy unrevercnd shoul- 
Gaunt. 0, spare me not, my brother Edward's 

For that I was liis fatlicr Edward's son ; 
That blood already, like tlie pelican. 
Hast tliou tapp'd out, and drunkcnly carous'd : 
My brother Gloster, plain well meaning soul, 
(Whom fair bcfal in licavcn 'mongst happy 

souls !) 
May be a precedent and witness good, 

■ Posseta'd. The second possess'd in this sentence is used 
in the same w.iy in wliich Maria speal^s of Malvolio, in 
Twelfth Ni?ht: — " He in, sure, possest, n.adann." 
*> So the folio. The first quarto reads thus : — 
" Gaunt. And thou— 

K. Rich. a lunatic lean-witted fool." 


That thou respect'st not spilling Edward's blood : 
Join with the present sickness tliat I have ; 
And thy unkiudness be like crooked age,* 
To crop at once a too-long wither'd flower. 
Live in thy shame, but die not sliame with 

thee !— 
These words hereafter thy tormentors be ! — 
Convey me to my bed, then to my grave : 
Love tliey to live, that love and honour have. 

[Erif, borne out by his Attendants. 
K. Rich. And let them die, that age and sul- 

Icns have ; 
For both hast thou, and both become the grave. 
York. I do beseech your majesty, impute his 

words ^ 
To wayward sickliness and age in him : 
He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear 
As Harry duke of Hereford, were he here. 
K. Rich. Ilight ; you say true : as Hereford's 

love, so his : 
As theirs, so mine ; and all be as it is. 

Enter Northumbekland. 

North. My liege, old Gaunt commends him to 
your majesty. 

K. Rich. What says he ? " 

North. Nay, nothing ; all is said : 

His tongue is now a stringless instrument ; 
Words, life, and all, old Lancaster hath spent. 

York. Be York the next that must be bank- 
rupt so ! 
Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe. 

E. Rich. The ripest ffuit first falls, and so 
doth he ; 
His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be : 
So much for that. Now for our Irish wars : 
We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns. 
Which live like venom, where no venom else 
But only they have privilege to live. 
And for these great affairs do ask some charge. 
Towards our assistance, we do seize to us 
The plate, coin, revenues, and moveables, 
Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possess'd. 

York. How long shall I be patient ? Ah, how 
Shall tender duty make me sulTi;r wrong ? 
Not Gloster's death, nor Hereford's banisliment. 
Nor Gaunl's rebukes, nor England's private 

Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke 

•"» Cranked age. It has heen suggested, that age here 
means Time; and that crooked af;e is not bending age, 
but Time armed with a crook, by which name a sickle was 
anciently called. The nnttiral meaning of the passage seemy 
to be, like bent old age, which crops the flower of life. 

b Stcevens struck out / do from this line. 

c Stcevens stuck in now, to make ten syllables of this line. 

Act II.] 


[SccK-s I. 

About his marriage, nor my own disgrace, 
Have ever made rac sour my patient clieck. 
Or bend one wriiiklc ou my sovereign's face. 
I am the last of noble Edward's sons. 
Of whom thy father, prince of Wales, was first ; 
In war, was never lion rag'd more fierce. 
In peace, was never gentle hunb more mild. 
Than was that young and princely gentleman : 
His face thou hast, for even so look'd he, 
AccouipUsh'd with the number of thy hours; 
But when he frowu'd it was against the French, 
And not against his friends ; his uuble hand 
Did win what he did spend, and spent not that 
Which his triumphant father's hand had won : 
Ilis hands were guilty of no kindred's blood. 
But bloody with the enemies of his kin. 
0, Richard ! York is too far gone with grief. 
Or else he never would compare between. 

K. Rich. Wiiy, uncle, what 's the matter ? 

York: O, my liege, 

Pardon me, if you please ; if not, I, pleas'd 
Not to be pardon' d, am content withal. 
Seek you to seize, and gripe into your hands, 
The royalties and rights of banish'd Hereford ? 
Is not Gaunt dead ? and doth not Hereford live ? 
Was not Gaunt just ? and is not Harry true ? 
Did not the one deserve to have an heir ? 
Is not his heir a well-deserving son ? 
Take Hereford's rights away, and take from time 
His charters, and his customary rights ; 
Let not to-morrow then ensue to-day ; 
Be not thyself, for how art thou a king, 
But by fair sequence and succession ? 
Now, afore God (God forbid, I say true !) 
If you do wrongfully seize Hereford's riglit, 
Call in the letters-patents that he hath 
By his attornies-gcneral to sue 
His livery,' and deny his offer'd homage. 
You pluck a thousand dangers on your head. 
You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts, 
And prick my tender patience to those thoughts 
Which honour and allegiance cannot think. 

A'. Rich. Think what you will ; we seize into 
our hands 
His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands. 

York. I '11 not be by the while : ^fy liege, 
farewell : 
What will ensue hereof there 's none can tell ; 
But by bad courses may be understood. 
That their events can never fall out good. [^Esil. 

K. Rich. Go, Bushy, to the earl of Wiltshire 
straight ; 
Bid him repair to us to Ely-house 
To see this business : To-morrow next 
We will for Ireland ; and 'tis time, I trow ; 

And Wo create, in absence of ourself. 
Our \iAc\c York lord governor of Enj^land, 
For he is just, and always lov'd us well. 
Come on, our queen : to-mcrrow must we part ; 
Be merry, for our time of stay is short. 

[Exeunt King, Quke.v, Bushy, Alsilio-e, 
GiiEEN, and Bagot. 
Xor/h. Well, lords, the duke of Lancaster is 

Ross. And living too ; for now his son is duke. 
Willo. Barely in title, not in revenue. 
North. Richly in both, if justice had her right. 
Rota. My heart is great ; but it must break 
with silence. 
Ere 't be disburdeu'd with a L'beral tongue. 
North. Nay, speak thy mind ; and let him 
ne'er speak more 
That speaks thy words ag-aiu to do thee harm 1 
Jf'illo. Tends that tiiou 'dst speak to the duke 
of Hereford ? 
If it be so, out with it boldly, man ; 
Quick is mine ear to hear of good towards him. 

Ros.<t. No good at all that I can do for him ; 
Unless you call it good to pity him. 
Bereft and gelded of his patrimony. 

North. Now, afore heaven, 't is shame such 
wrongs are borne. 
In him a royal prince, and many more 
Of noble blood in this declining huid. 
Tlie king is not himself, but basely led 
By flatterers ; and what they will inform. 
Merely in hate, 'gainst any of us all, 
Tliat will the king severely prosecute 
'Gauist us, our lives, our children, and our heirs. 
Ross. The eomnious hath he pill'd with 
grievous taxes, 
And quite lost their hearts:* the nobles hath he 

For ancient quaircls, and quite lost their hearts. 
Willo. And daily new exactions arc devis'd — 
As blanks, benevolences, ajid I wot not what ; 
But what, o' God's, name, doth become of this ? 
North. Wars have not wasted it, for warr'd he 
hath not. 
But basely yielded upon compromise 
That which his ancestors achieved with blows : 
More hath he .spent in peace, than they in wars. 
Rou. The earl of Willslure hath the realm in 

Willo. The king's grown bankrupt, like a 

broken man. 
North. Reproach and dissolution hangeth over 

* SlccTCDi (truck out quiU iroxa thij lioe, 


Act II.] 



Hoss. He hath not money for these Irish wars, 
His burdenous taxations notwithstanding, 
But by the robbing of the banish'd duke 

Korih. His noble kinsman 


most degenerate 


■ But, lordsj we hear this fearful tempest sing. 
Yet seek no shelter to avoid the storm : 
We see the wind sit sore upon om* sails, 
And yet we strike not,^ but secm-ely perish. 
Ross. We see the very wi'ack that we must 

suffer : 
And unavoided is the danger now. 
For suffering so the causes of our wrack. 
North. Not so ; even through the hollow eyes 

of death 
I spy life peering ; but I dare not say 
How near the tidings of our comfort is. 

Willo. Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou 

dost ours. 
Ross. Ee confident to speak, Northumberland : 
We three are but thyself; and, speakiug so. 
Thy words are but as thoughts; therefore, be 

North. Then tlius : — I have from Port le 

Blanc, a bay 
la Brittany, receiv'd intelligence. 
That Harry duke of Hereford, Reignold lord 

That late bi'oke from the duke of Exeter,^ 
His brother, archbishop late of Canterbury, 
Sir Thomas Erpiughara, sii" John llamston. 
Sir John Norbery, sir Bobert Waterton, and 

Francis Quoint, — 
All these, wcU furnished by the duke of Bretagne, 
With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war, 
Are making hither with all due expedience, 
And sliortly mean to touch our nortliern shore : 
Perhaps, they had ere this, but that they stay 
Tlie first departing of the king for Ireland. 
If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke, 
Imp out *^ our drooping country's broken wing. 
Redeem from brokiug pawn the blemish'd crown, 
Wipe off the dust that hides our sceptre's gilt, 
And make high majesty look like itself, 
Away with me in j)0bt to Kaveuspurg: 
But if you faint, as fearing to do so, 
Stay and be secret, and myself will go. 

Ross. To horse, to horse ! urge doubts to them 

that fear. 
Willo. Hold out my horse, and I will lii'st be 

there. [Exeunt. 

n strike not. To strike sail is to lower sail. 

n Wc print tliis line according to the old copies. Several 
editors liavc omitted Duke of. 

c Imp out. To imp a hawk was artificially to supply such 
wing feathers as were dropt or forced out by accident. To 
Imp is to engraft— to insert. 


SCENE ll.—T/ie same. A Room in the Palace. 

Enter Queen, Bushy, and Bagot. 

Bushy. Madam, your majesty s too much sad : 
You promis'd, when you parted with the king. 
To lay aside life-harming ^ heaviness. 
And entertain a cheerful disposition. 

Queen. To please the king, I did; to please 

I cunnot do it ; yet I know no cause 
AYhy I should welcome such a guest as grief. 
Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest 
As my sweet Richard : Yet, again, mcthinks. 
Some unborn sorrow, ripe in fortune's womb. 
Is coming towards me ; and my inward soul 
With nothing trembles : at something it grieves, 
!Morc than with parting from my lord the kiug. 
Bushy. Each substance of a grief hath twenty 

Which shew like grief itself, but are not so : 
For sorrow's eye, glazed Avith blinding tears. 
Divides one thing entii-e to many objects. 
Like perspectives,^ which, riglitly gaz'd upon. 
Shew nothing but confusion, — ey'd awry, 
Distinguish form : so your sweet majesty, 
Looking awry upon your lord's departure. 
Find shapes of griefs, more than himself, to 

Which, look'd on it as it is, is nought but shadows 
Of what it is not. Then, thrice-gracious queen, 
More than yoiu- lord's departure weep not; 

more 's not seen : 
Or if it be, 't is with false sorrow's eye. 
Which, for things true, weeps things imaginary. 
Queen. It may be so ; but yet my inward soul 
Persuades me it is otherwise : Howc'er it be, 
I cannot but be sad ; so heavy sad. 
As — -though, in thinking, on no thought I tiiiiik, — ^ 
Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink. 
Bushy. 'T is nothing but conceit, my gracious 

Queen. 'Tis nothing less: conceit is still dc- 

From some forefather grief; mine is not so; 
For nothing hath begot my something grief; 
Or something hath the nothing that I grieve ; 
'T is in reversion that I do possess ; 
But Avliat it is, that is not yet known ; what 
I cannot name; 'tis nameless woe, I wot. 

Enter Green. 

Green. Heaven save your majesty ! — and well 
met, gentlemen, 

n Life-harming. So the quarto of ITjO?. The folio, self- 
i) Original copies have on thinking. 

Act II.] 


[ScrxK II. 

I hope, the king is not yet shipped for Irchind. 
Queen. Why liop'st thou so ? 'tis better hope 
he is; 
For his designs crave haste, his haste good liope ; 
Then wherefore dost thou hope he is not shipp'd ? 
Gree/i. That he, our hope, might have retir'd 
his power, 
And driven into despair an enemy's hope, 
Who strongly hath set footing in this land : 
The banish'd Bolingbroke repeals himself. 
And with uplifted arms is safe arriv'd 
At Raveuspurg. 

Quee/i. Now God iu heaven forbid ! 

Green. 0, madam, 't is too true ; and that is 
woi-se, — 
The lord Northumberland, his young son Henry 

The lords of Ross, Beaumond, and Willoughby, 
A7ith all their powerful friends, arc fled to him. 
Bushy. Why have you not proclaimM Nor. 
And the rest of the revolted faction traitors ? 
Green. We have : whereupon the ciu-l oi Wor- 
Hath broke his staff, resigu'd his stewardship, 
And all the household servants fled with him 
To Bolingbroke. 

Queen. So, Green, thou art the midwife of my 
And Bolingbroke my sorrow's dismal heir : 
Now hath my soul brouglit forth her prodigy ; 
And I, a gasping new-delivered mother. 
Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow, joiii'd. 
Bushy. Despair not, madam. 
Queen. AVho shall hinder me ? 

I will despair, and be at enmity 
With cozening hope ; he is a flatterer, 
A parasite, a keeper-back of death, 
\nio gently would dissolve the bands of life, 
^V'^hich false hope lingers in extremity. 

E/ifer York. 

Green. Here comes the duke of York. 

Queen. With signs of war about his aged neck ; 
0, full of careful business are his looks ! 
For heaven's sake, speak comfortable words. 

lork. [Should I do so, I should belie my 
Comfort 's in heaven ; and we arc on the earth. 
Where nothing lives, but crosses, care, and grief. 
Your husband he is gone to save far off, 
Whilst others come to make him lose at home : 

" This line is wanting in the folio. 

Here am I left to underprop his land ; 
Who, weak with age, cannot support my.'^elf : 
Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made ; 
Now siiall he try his friends that flatter'd him. 

Enier a Servant. 

Sere. My lord, your son was gone before I 

yori: He was ? — Why, so !— go all whieli way 
it will ! 
The nobles they are fled, the commons they are 

And will, I foar, revolt on Hereford's side. — 
Sirrah, get thee to Flashy, to my sister Glostcr ; 
Bid her send me presently a thousand pound : 
Hold, take my ring. 
Sere. My lord, I had forgot to tell your lord- 
ship : 
To-day, I came by, and called there ; — 
But I shall grieve you to report tlie rest. 
Yori. What is it, knave ? 
Sere. An hour before I came, the duchess died. 
Yori: Heaven for his mercy ! what a tide of 
Comes rushing on this woeful laud at once ! 
I know not what to do : — I would to heaven, 
(So my untruth had not provok'd him to it,) 
The king had cut off my head with my brother's. 
"Wliat, are there posts despatch d for Ireland? — '' 
How shall we do for money fiu' these wars ? — 
Come, sister, — cousin, I would say : pray, pardon 

me. — 
Go, fellow, [/o ihe Servant.] get thee home, pro- 
vide some carts, 
And. bring away the armour that is there. — 

[ErU Servant. 
Gentlemen, will you go muster men ? if I know 
How, or which way, to order these affairs. 
Thus disorderly thrust into my hands. 
Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen ; — 
The one 's my sovereign, whom both my oath 
And duty bids defend ; the of lur np-nin 
Is my kinsman, whom the king hafh wrong'd, 
AVliom conscience and my kindred bids to right. 
Well, somewhat we must do. — Come, cousin, I'll 
Dispose of you : — Gentlemen, go muster up your 

a Stccvent rejected the second they are (torn thU line. 

b Tl.e first qu.irtc ' tt. 

e StcevensomiU;; Inour first edition we thought 

it right to SBjr " thai .■ ,,rin, ., ■: r,- t'., ,,ri.:m,'C», 

whicli arc very mini "Ut 

«ny authority frDtii ' ^ nccs 

between our text an<[ lliat of all tlic modern ii'aiunii, except 
Malone's'if |x?1. The iirinripln npni, wliich Stccvcns inva- 
riali . ;n a word, or words, 

whc r than ten syllables 

- ■ 'nr text lo wtiat 

'.c ; for every 
•. , , . , ;. led within the 


Act II.} 


[Scene 111. 

And meet me presently at Berkley-castle. 

I sliould to Plashy too ; 

But time will not permit : — All is uneven. 
And every thing is left at sis. and seven. 

\_ExeuHt York and Queen. 
Buxhi/. The wind sits fair for news to go to 
But none returns. For us to levy power, 
Proportionable to the enemy, 
Is all impossible. 

Green. Besides, our nearness to the king in 
Is near the hate of those love not the king. 
Bagot. And that's the wavering commons: for 
their love 
Lies in their purses ; and whoso empties them, 
By so much fills thcii" hearts with deadly hate. 
Bnslty. "Wherein the king stands generally 

Bagot. If judgment lie in them, then so do we, 
Because we ever have been near the king. 

Gnxn. AVcll, I "11 for refuge straight to Bristol 
castle ; 
The carl of '\f\"iltshirc is already there. 

Bushy. Thither will I with you: for little 
"Will the hateful commons perform for us ; 
Ilxcept, like cui-s, to tear us all in pieces. — 
Will you go along with us ? 

Bagot. No ; I will to Ireland to his majesty. 
Farewell : if lieart's presages be not vain, 
\Vc three here part, that ne'er shall meet again. 
Bushy. That's as York thrives to beat back 

Green. Alas, poor duke ! the task he under- 
Is numb'ring sands, and drinking oceans dry ; 
AVhcrc one on his side fights, thousands will fly. 
Farewell at once ; for once, for all, and ever. 
Bushy. Well, wc may meet again. 
Bagot. 1 fear me, never. 


SCENE 111.— The Wilds in Glostershire. 

Enter Boungbrok£ and Northumberland, 
with Forces. 

Boling. How far is it, my lord, to Berkley 

North. Believe me, noble lord, 

List thirty year.s, makes a merit of adoptinff "the text of 
Stoevens and Malone," which is, in point of fact, the text 
with all the corruptions of Steevens. Malone, when left to 
himself, and not working in conjunction with Steevens, knew 
better what was the duty of an editor. We have restored 
several minor readings without notice." 


I am a stranger here in Glostershii-e. 
These high wild hills, and rough uneven ways. 
Draw out our miles, and make them wearisome : 
And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar. 
Making the hard way sweet and delectable. 
But, I bethink me, what a weary way 
From Bavenspurg to Cotswold will be found 
In Ross and Willoughby, wanting yoiar com- 
pany ; 
"WTiich, I protest, hath very much beguil'd 
The tediousness and process of my travel : 
But theirs is sweeten'd Avith the hope to have 
The present benefit which I possess : 
And hope to joy,'' is little less in joy. 
Than hope enjoy 'd : by this the weary lords 
Shall make their way seem short ; as mine hatb 

By sight of what I have, your noble company. 
Boling. Of much less value is my company 
Than your good words. But who comes here ? 

Enter Harry Percy. 

North. It is my son, young Harry Percy, 
Sent from my brother Worcester, whenceso- 

ever. — 
Harry, how fares your uncle ? 

Percy. I had thought, my lord, to have learu'd 

his health of you. 
North. Why, is he not with the queen ? 
Percy. No, my good lord; he hath forsook 
the coiu't, 
Broken his staff of office, and dispers'd 
The houscliold of the king. 

North. AVhat was his reason ? 

He was not so resolv'd when we last spake 
Percy. Because your lordship was proclaimed 
But he, my lord, is gone to Bavenspui-g, 
To offer service to the duke of Hereford ; 
And sent me over by Berkley, to discover 
What power the duke of York had levied there j 
Then with direction to repair to Ravenspurg. 
North. Have you forgot the duke of Hereford, 

Percy. No, my good lord; for that is not 
"Which ne'er I did remember : to my knowledge, 
I never in my life did look on him. 

North. Then learn to know him uow; this ia 

the duke. 
Percy. !My gracious lord, I tender you my 

" To jctj is here used as a verb. 

Act no 



Sucli as it is, being tender, raw, and young ; 
WHiicb elder days shall ripen, and eoufirni 
To more approved service and desert. 
BoUmj. 1 tbaiik tbee, gentle Percy ; and be 

I count myself in notbing else so bappy 
As iu a soul renienib'ring my good friends ; 
And, as my fortune ripens with thy love. 
It shall be still thy true love's recompense : 
My heart this covenant makes, my hand thus 

seals it. 
North. How far is it to Berkley ? And what 

Keeps good old York there, with bis men of 

Percy. There stands the castle, by yon tuft 
of trees, 
Maun'd with three hundred men, as I have 

beard : 
.\nd in it arc the lords of York, Berkley, and 

Seymour ; 
None else of uame and noble estimate. 

Enter Boss and Willougiiby. 

North. Here come the lords of Boss and 
Bloody with spurring, fiery-red with baste. 
Boling. Welcome, my lords : I wot your love 
A banish'd traitor ; all my treasury 
Is yet but unfelt thanks, which, more enrich'd. 
Shall be your love and labour's recompense. 
Rosa. Your presence makes us rich, most 

noble lord. 
Willo. And far surmounts our labour to at- 
tain it. 
Boling. Evermore thanks, the exchequer of 
the poor ; 
Wliich, till my infant fortune comes to years. 
Stands for my bounty. But who comes here ? 

Enter Bekkley. 

North. It is my lord of Berkley, as I guess. 
Berk. My lord of Hereford, my message is 

to you. 
Boling. My lord, my answer is— to Lan- 
ca.ster : * 
I am come to seek that name in England : 
And I must find that title in vour tongue. 
Before I make reply to aught you say. 

Berk: Mistake me not, my lord ; 't is not my 

• To Lancaster. I do not answer to the name of Here- I 
ford — my answer is to the name of Lancaster. 

HiSToaiES.— Vou I. I 

To raze one title of your honour out : — 

To you, my lord, I come, (what lord you will,) 

From the most gracious' regent of this land, 

The duke of York ; to know, what pricks you on 

To take advantage of the absent time, 

And fright our native peace with self-born arms. 

Enter YoUK, attended. 

Boling. I shall not need transport my words 

by you ; 
Here comes his grace in person. — My noble 

uncle ! [Kneeh 

York. Shew me thy buiul)lc heart, and not 

thy knee, 
Wliose duty is deceivable and false. 
Boling. ^ly gracious uncle ! 
York. Tut," tut! 
Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle.'' 
I am no traitor's uncle; and that word, grace, 
In an ungracious mouth, is but profane. 
Whv have these banish'd and forbidden le{re 
Dar'd once to touch a dust of England's ground ' 
But then more why ; — why have they dar'd to 

So many miles upon her peaceful bosom, 
. Frighting her pale-fac'd villages with war. 
And ostentation of despised arms ? " 
Com'st thou because the anointed king is 

hence ? 
^Vby, foolish boy, the king is left bciiind. 
And in my loyal bosom lies his power. 
Were I but now the lord of such hot youth 
As when brave r.aunt, thy father, and myself, 
llcscucd tlic Black Prince, that young INfars of 

From forth the ranks of many thousand French, 
O, then, bow quickly should tiiis arm of mine. 
Now prisoner to the palsy, chastise tbee. 
And minister correction to thy fault ! 

Boling. My gracious uncle, let nur know my 

fault ; 
On what condition stands it, and wherein ? 
York. Even in condition of the worst de- 
In gross rebellion, and detested treason : 
Thou art a banisli'd man, and here art come, 
Before the expiration of thy time. 
In braving arms against thy sovereign. 

' Gracinut in the first qti.-irto; — yluriuiu in the folio. 

>> This is the reading of the tint quaito. Tlie folio reads, 

" Tilt, tut, grace me no grace, nor uncle me." 

In Rom?o an>l Juliet we have 

" Thank, me do thankingt, nor proud me no prouds." 

c DetpUed crr/u. The ostentation of arms which wt 


Act II.] 

KING ElCHAltD 11. 

[Scene IV 

Boli7i^. As I was bauisli'd, I was banisli'd 

ncreford : 
But as I come, I come for Lancaster. 
And, noble uncle, I beseech your grace, 
Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye : 
You are my father, for, metliinks in you 
I see old Gaunt alive ; 0, then, my father ! 
Will you permit that I shall stand condemn'd 
A wand'ring vagabond ; my rights and royalties 
PlukVl from my arms perforce, and given 

To upstart unthrifts ? Wherefore was I born ? 
If that my cousin kmg be king of England, 
It must be granted I am duke of Lancaster. 
You have a son, Aumerle, my noble kinsman ; 
Had you first died, and he been thus trod down, 
He should have found his uncle Gaunt a father, 
To rouse his wrongs, and chase them to the 

I am denied to sue my livery here, 
And yet my letters-patents give mc leave : 
My father's goods are all distrain' d, and sold ; 
And these, and all, are all amiss employ'd. 
What would you have mc do? I am a subject, 
.'Vnd challenge law : Attorneys are denied me ; 
And therefore personally I lay my claim 
To my inheritance of free descent. 

North. The noble duke hath been too much 

Ross. It stands your gi'ace upon, to do him 

IFillo. Base men by his endowments are made 

Yorl: My lords of England, let mc tell you 

I have had feeling of my cousin's wrongs. 
And labour'd all I could to do him right : 
l^ut in this kind to come, in braving arms. 
Be his own carver, and cut out his way. 
To find out right with wrong, — it may not be ; 
And you that do abet liim in tliis kind. 
Cherish rebellion, and arc rebels all. 
North. The noble duke hath Bworu his com- 
ing is 
But for his own : and, for the right of that, 
AVe all have strongly sworn to give him aid ; 
And let him ne'er see joy that breaks that 

York. Well, welt, I sec the issue of these 

arms ; 
I cannot mend it, I must needs confess. 
Because my power is weak, and all ill left : 
But, if I could, by him that gave mc life. 


I would attach you all, and make you stoop 
Unto the sovereign mercy of the king ; 
But, since I cannot, be it known to you, 
I do remain as neuter. So, fare you well ; — 
Unless you please to enter in the castle. 
And there repose you for this night. 

Boliiig. An offer, nnelc. that we will accept. 
But we must win your grace to go with us 
To Bristol castle ; which, they say, is held 
By Bushy, Bagot, and their complices, 
The caterpillars of the commonwealth. 
Which I have sworn to weed, and pluck away. 

Yorlc. It may be I will go with you : — but 
yet 1 11 pause ; 
For I am loth to break our country's laws. 
Nor friends, nor foes, to me welcome you are : 
Things past redress are now with me past care. 


SCENE IV.— ^ Camp in. Wales. 
Enter Salisbtjry and a Captain. 

Cap. My lord of Salisbury, we have staid ten 
And hardly kept our countrymen together. 
And yet we hear no tidings from the king ; 
Therefore m'c will disperse ourselves : farewell. 
Sal. Stay yet another day, thou trusty Welsh- 
man ; 
The king reposeth all his confidence 
In thee. 

Cap. 'T is thought the king is dead; we will 
not stay. 
The bay-trees in our country are all wither' d. 
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven ; 
The pale-fac'd moon looks bloody on the earth, 
And lean-look'd prophets whisper fearful change ; 
Rich men look sad, and rutfians dance and 

leap, — 
The one, in fear to lose what they enjoy. 
The other, to enjoy by rage and war : 
These signs forerun the death [or fall! of kings. — 
Farewell ; our countrymen arc gone and fled. 
As well assm''d Richard their king is dead. 

Sal. Ah, Richard ! with the eyes of heavy 
I see thy glory, like a shooting star. 
Fall to the base earth from the firmament ! 
Thy sun sets weeping in the lowly west. 
Witnessing storms to come, woe, and xuirest ; 
Thy friends are fled, to wait upon tliy foes ; 
And crossly to thy good all fortune goes. [Eail. 


' Scene I. — " His Uvenj." 

Maloxe gives the following esplanitiou of this 
pit'sago : — '"On the doath of every ikthou who 
JK'M I'y knight's service, the escheatoi- of the court 
ill which he died liiuniuoned a jury, who inquired 
what osUite ho died sei/.cd of, and of what age liis 
uest heir was. If ho was under age, ho became a 
ward of the king's ; but if ho was found to be of 
full age, he then had a ri;;ht to sue out a writ of 
ouster le main, — that is. his liirri/, — that the kim/'t 
hand mi'jht be taken off, and the land dclirfml to 
him." Jiolingbroke ajipoiiited attorneys to 
execute thi.'^ office for him, if his fatlier should 
die during the period of his banishment. 

• Scene I.—" That late broke from the Duke of 

Thomua. the son of the Earl of Arundel, was 

in the custody of the Puke of Kxctor, and eeeajw.' 
from his house — broke from liiiu. The description 
coulil not apply to " Kcignold, Coldiam ;" — 
and, therefore, Maiono hii.i intrrxluccd a line, which 
ho supposes, or something like it, to hive been 
neeiilentjilly omitted : — 

•' The $->n of Richard. F.url nf ArunJel, 
That late broke from the Duke of Kxctcr." 

* ScENK l].-~" Like pcrtpedtvet." 

These por.sjioctives were produced by cutting n 
board, so that it Hhould present a number of sidet, 
or llats, when looked at obliquely. To these sides, 
a print, or drawing, cut into parts, was ufFixcd ; so 
that looked at "awry" the whole jiicturo was »ecii 
— lookcil at direct — " riyhtlij paz'd upon" — i*. 
shewed '• nothing but confusion." Dr. I'lot, in 
his " History of Staffordihiro," describes thcao 
" poi-spcotives." 

Jiihn or Gaur.t.] 


John of Gaunt, who, in the first line of this 
play, is called, — 

" Old John cf Gaunt, time-honour'il Lancaster," 

was the fourth son of Edward III., by his Queen 
I'hilippa, He was called of (Jaiit or Cihcnt, from 
the place of his birth; — was bom in 1^40, and 
died in 1399. The circumstance of the king 
naming him a.s Old John of Gaunt, has many 
examples in the age of .Sliakspere. Spenser calls 
the Earl of Leicester an old man, though he w.os 
then not fifty ; Lord Huntingdon reprcHont.s 
Coligny as very old, th >iigh he died at fifty-three. 
There can be little doubt, we apprehend, that the 
average duration r.f human life has been much in- 
creased during the last two centuries; and, at that 

T 2 

period, raairiages were much earlier, so that it was 
not uncr>mmon for a man to bo at the head of n 
family Ijeforo In; wiis twenty. When John of 
Gaunt was fifty-ei;;lit (in the year of Holingbroke's Henfoid), Henry of Monmouth, 
his grandson, was eleven yeaiM old ; so tlint 
Dolingbroke, who wjis l>om in 1300, mnul have 
been a father at twenty one. Froi»««rt thus speaks 
of the death of John of (Jaunt :— "So it fell, that, 
about the feast of Christmas, Duke John of 
Lancaster, who livo<l in great diMple.-murc, what the King had b.-\ni.fhed his son out of the 
re.ilm for so little a cau-'c, and also because of the 
evil governing of tlie realm, by his iicfjhew. King 
Uichard ; (for he ».iw well if he long pcr.fcvercd, 
and were suflrere<l to continue, the rcilm was likely 
to be utterly lost — with these imaginations and 



other, the duke fell sick, whereou he died; whose 
death was greatly Borrowed of all his friends aud 

bhakspere found no authority iu the Chronicles 
for the fine death-scene of John of Gaunt ; but 
the principal circumstance for which he reproaches 
the king that England " is now leas'd out," — is 
distinctly supported. Fabian says, " In this 22nd 
year of King Richard, the common fame ran, that 
the king had lelten to farm the reahn unto Sir 
William Scrope, Earl of Wiltshire, and then 
treasui-er of England, to Sir John Bushey, Sir 
John Bagot, ind Sir Henry Green, Knights." 
The subsequent reproach of the confederated 
lords that 

" Daily new exactions are devis'd ; 
As blanks, benevolences," 

is also fully supported. The "blanks" were most 
ingenious instruments of pillage, ])rincipally de- 
vised for the oppi-ession of substantial aud wealthy 
citizens. For these blanks, they of London "were 
fain to seal, to their great charge, as in the end 
appeared. And the like charters were sent abroad 
into all shires within the realm, whereby great 
grudge and murmuring arose amongst the people ; 
for when they were so sealed, the king's officers 
wi'ote in the same what liked them, as well for 
charging the parties with payment of money, as 

The general condition of the countiy, while the 
commons were " pill'd," and the nobles " fiu'd," 
by Richard and his creatures, was, according to 
Froissart, most lamentable. We copy the passage, 
as it is highly characteristic of the manners of the 
times. The period thus described is that imme- 
diately before the departure of Richard for Ireland: 
— " The state generally of all men iu England began 
to murmur and to rise one against another, and 
ministering of justice was clean stopped up in all 
courts of England; whereof the valiant men and 
prelates, wlio loved rest and peace, aud were glad 
to pay their duties, were greatly abashed : for 
there rose in tlie realm compauies in divers routs, 
keeping the fields aud highways, so that merchants 
durst not ride abroad to exercise their merchan- 
dise for doubt of robbing : aud no man knew to 
whom to complain to do them right, reason, aud 
justice, whicli things were right prejudicial and 
displeasant to the good people of England, for it 
Wiis contrary to their accustomable usage ; for all 
people, labourers aud merchants in England, were 
wont to live in rest and peace, and to occupy their 
merchandise peaceably, and the labourers to labour 
their lands quietly ; aud then it was contrary, for 
when merchants rode from town to town with their 
merchandise, aud had either gold or silver in their 
purses, it was taken from them ; and from other 
men and labourers out of their houses these com- 
panions would take wheat, oats, beefs, muttons, 
porks, and the poor men durst speak no word. 
These evil deeds d.iily multiplied so, that great 
complaints and lamentations were made thereof 
throughout the realm, and the good people said, 
the time is changed upon us from good to evil, 
cvtT since the death of good King Edward the 
Tlnrd, in whose days justice was well kept and 
numstercd : in his days tliere was no man so 
hardy in England to take a hen or a chicken, or a 
sheep, without he had paid truly for it ; and now- 

a-days, all that we have is taken from us, aud yet 
we dare not speak; these things cannot long endure, 
but that England is likely to be lost without re- 
covery : we have a king now that will do nothing; 
he intendeth but to idleness, and to accomplish his 
pleasure, and by that he sheweth he careth not how 
every thing goeth, so he may have his will. It were 
time to provide for remedy, or else our enemies 
will rejoice and mock us." There is a remarkable 
corroboration of the state of cruel oppression in 
which the common people lived, furnished by a 
copy of the stipulations made by the Duke of 
Surrey, in 1398, on taking upon him the govern- 
ment of Ireland : " Item, That he, the lieutenant, 
may have, at sundry times, out of every parish, 
or every two parishes, in England, a man and his 
wife, at the cost of the king, in the land of Ireland, 
to inhabit the same land where it is wasted upon 
the marshes." (Cotton MS.) This compulsory 
colonization must have been most odious to the 
people, who knew that the "wild men" of Ireland, 
amongst whom they were to be j^laced, kept the 
Government in constant terror. 

The seizure of Bolingbroke's patrimony by Rich- 
ard, after the death of Gaunt, is thus described by 
Holinshed ; and Shakspere has most accurately 
followed the description as to its facts : " The 
death of this duke gave occasion of encreasing 
more hatred in the people of this i-ealm toward 
the king, for he seized into his hands all the goods 
that belonged to him, and also received all the 
rents and revenues of his lands, which ought to 
have descended nnto the Duke of Herefox'd, by 
lawful inheritance, in revoking his letters patents, 
which he had granted to him before, by virtue 
whereof he might make his attoi-nies general to 
sue livery for him, of any manner of inheritances 
or possessions that might fiom thenceforth fall 
unto him, and that his homage might be respited 
with making reasonable fine : whereby it was 
evident that the king meant his utter undoing." 
The private malice of Richard against his banished 
cousin — 

" The prevention of poor Bolingbroke, 
About his m.irriage " — 

is also detailed in the Chronicles. 

Fired with revenge by these aggressions, and 
encouraged by letters from the leading men of 
England — nobility, prelates,- magistrates, and 
rulers, as Holinshed describes them — promising 
him all their aid, power, and assistance, in "ex- 
pulsing" King Richard — Bolingbroke took the 
step which involved this land iu blood for nearly 
a century. He quitted Paris, and sailed from 
Port Blanc, in Lower Brittany, with very few men 
at arms, according to some accounts — with three 
thousand, according to others. This event took 
place about a fortnight after Richard had sailed 
for Ireland. His last remaining uncle, the Duke 
of York, had been left in the government of the 
kingdom. He was?, however, iinfitted for a post 
of so much difficulty and danger ; and Shakspere 
has well described his perplexities, upon hearing 
of the landing of Bolingbroke : — 

if I know 

How, or which way to order affairs, 
Thus disorderly thrust into my liands, 
Never believe me." 


J{e liiul been little accustomed to nffairs of state. 
Ilnrlyiig, in his Chronicle, thus ilescribjs him at 
an enrly perioil of hia life : — 

"Edmomle hyplit of Langlvy of i;ood chcre, 

GlaJ and niery ami of liis owiic ay lyvi-d 
Without wroiijr as chronicles have brcvcd. 
'VN'hen all the lordes to counccU and parlyamciit 
Went, he wolde to huiite, and also to hawekyng. 
All getityll dispone as to a lorde appent, 
He used aye, emd to the pore supportyiig." 

Froissart describes him as living at his own 
castlo with his people, interferiug not with what 
waa passing iu the country, but talking nil things 
as they happened. According to Holinshed. the 
army that he raised to oppose Bolinjbroke, " boldly 
prntesteil that they would not fight ng:unst the 
Duke of LKancaster, whom they knew to be evil 
dealt with." It seems to bo a'^reoil, on all hands, 
that Froissart, who makes Bolingbroko hind at 
Plymouth, and maivh direct to London, was 
incorrectly informed. Holinshed, upon the au- 
thority of "our English writers," says, "the Duke 
of Lancaster, after that he had coasted alongst the 
shore a certain time, and hiul got some intelligence 
how the people's minds were affected towards him, 
landed, about the beginning of July, in Yorkshire, 
at a j)laco sometimes called Ravenspur, betwixt 
Hull and Bridlington, and with him not past 
threescore persons, as some write : but he w;m so 
joyfully received of the lords, knights, and gentle- 

men of those parts, that he found moans (by their 
hel[>) forthwith t<) as.-emble a great niunber of 
people, that were willing to tjiko his jiart." The 
8uli.>equont ovouts, previous to the return of 
Uicharil, are most correctly delineated by our 
poet. Bolingbroke was joined by N'orthiuuberland 
and Harry I'erey, by Itoss and Wil!»>ughby. "Ho 
sware luitu thoho lorls that he woidd demaiul no 
more but the lau^ls were to him <le«efiideil 
by inheritance : t'uther, and in right of his 

wife." From 1' i, with a mighty army, Bo- 

lingbroko marched throu^-li the counties of Derby 
or Nottingham, Leicester, Warwick, ami Worcester; 
— "througli the countries oomiug by Evesham unto 
Berkley." The Duke of York ha>l marche<i towanis 
Wales to meet the king, U[>on his expected arrival 
from Irelan<l. Holinshed vaxn, ho " was receivoil 
into the Castle of Berkley, and there remained 
till the coming thither of the Duke of Lanciist>-r, 
whom when he perceived he was not able to 
resist, on the Sunday after tiio feast of St. James, 
which, aa that year came about, fell uixju a Friday, 
he came forth into the church that stood without 
the castle, and there communed with the Duko of 
Lan&ister On the morrow after, the fore- 
said dukes with their power went towards Bri.-itow, 
where (at their coming) they shewed themselves 
before the town and ciutle, being an huge multitudo 
of peoi)lo." The defection of the Welsh under 
Salisbury is detiiilcd in the writers of the period ; 
and so is the prodigy of the withered bay-tree« 

:ii. ) 

' ■ I ■' III! ' 'I'i 

'ji|;i'tIIii,; '1' 

•>f^^•*•^-wV,■^>:■;. ■-•4-,'r>-«/.:>-'^- .;,,^;!^-3r''Y«- ';;", 

[Scene III.—" Thus high at least."] 


SCENE I.— Bolingbrokc'.s Camp at Bristol.* 

Elder PjOungbroke, Yokk, Noktiiumbehlakd, 
Percy, WiLLOUcniiY, Ross : Officers behind, 
toilh Bushy and Gueen, prisoners. 

Jiolinf/. I'ring forth tlicse men. — 
Bushy, and Green, I will not vex your souls 
(Sinee presently your souls must part your 

"With too much urging your pernicious lives, 
For 't were no ehurity : yet, to washyour blood 
From off my hands, here, in the view of men, 
I will unfold some causes of your deaths. 
You have misled a prince, a royal king, 
A happy gentleman in blood and lineaments, 
l>y you unhappied and disfigur'd clean. 
You have, in manner, with your sinful hours. 
Made a divorce betwixt his queen and him ; 
Broke the possession of a royal bed, 
And stain'd the beauty of a fair queen's cheeks 
With tears drawn from her eyes by your foul 



Myself— a prince, by fortune of my birth ; 
Near to the king in blood ; and near in love. 
Till you did make him misinterpret me, — 
Have stoop'd my neck under your injuries. 
And sigh'd my English breath in foreign clouds. 
Eating the bitter bread of banishment : 
While you have fed upon my seignories, 
Dispark'd my parks," and fell'd my forest 

woods ; 
From mine own windows torn my household coat, 
llaz'd out my impress, leaving me no sign — 
Save men's opinions, and my living blood, — 
To shew the world I am a gentleman. 
This, and much more, much more than twice all 


«■ Dispark'd viyparks. To disafforest a forest, is to annul 
all the peculiar jirivilcpcs vhich heloiiB to it, ;in<l render it, 
with reference to tlie fifjhts of the owner or lord, and the 
])rivileBes of the tenants or vassnls, the same as that of ordi- 
nary land. Bolinj-'hroke, we presume, complains that when 
tlie favourites ol Kichanl had disparked his parks, they let 
out the property to common purposes of pasture or lill.ifje, 
and at the same time felled his woods ;— thus, not only 
feeding upon his seignories, but destroying their aiicieut 
beauty and propriety. 

Act HI] 



Condemns you to tho death :-- See them deli- 

vcr'd over 
To execution and the hand of death. 

Bushi/. More welcome is the stroke of death 
to me, 
Than Boliugbrokc toEnghmd. [Lords, farewell.j" 
Green. My comfort is, that heaven will take 
our souls, 
And plague injustice with the pains of hell. 
Boling. My lord Northumberland, see them 

\_Excunt Northumberland and others, 
irilh Prisoners. 
Uncle, you say, the queen is at your : 
For heaven's sake, fairly let her be entreated : 
Tell her, I send to her my kind connnends ; 
Take special care my greetings be deliver'd. 

York. A gentleman of mine I have despateh'd 
With letters of your love to her at large. 
Boling. Thanks, gentle uncle. — Come, lords, 
away ; 
To fight with Glendower and his complices ; 
Awhile to work, and, after, holiday. [Exeunt. 

SCENE \l.—The Coast of Wales. A Castle in 

Flourish : Drums and Trumpets. Enter King 
Ricu.\RD, Bishop OF C.uiLisLE,AuMEKLE,rt//f/ 

K. Rich. Barkloughly castle call you this at 

hand ? 
Aunt. Yea, my lord. How brooks your grace 
the air. 

After your late tossing on the breaking seas ? 
K. liich. Needs must I like it well ; I weep 
for joy, 

To stand upon my kingdom once again. 

Dear earth, I do solute thee with my hand, 

Though rebels wound thee with tlieir horses' 
hoofs : 

As a long parted mother with her child 

Plays fondly with her tears *" and smiles, in meet- 

So, weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth," 

» Lurds, farewell, is omitteil in the foiio. 
b The usual mode of icadiiifc thtse two beautiful lines U 
BS follows : 
" As a lonp-parted mother with her child 
Plays fondly with her tears, and smiles in meeting." 

Smilu,iniKi3 way, isa verb; but, by the transposition of the 
comma, it is read as a noun. The "long-parted mother" 
does not only play fondly with her tears, but withher sniilet 
also. Richard adds, 

" So, weeping, tmiliug, greet I thee, my earth." 

c The repeated u?e. by Richard, of the word earth, would 
seem to iuilicate that Shaksptre employs the word in the 

And do thee favour with my royal hanils. 
Feed not thy sovereign's foe, my gentle earth, 
Nor with thy sweets comfort his rav'nous sense : 
But let thy spiders, that suck up thy venom, 
And heavy-g:iited tnaiU, lie in their way; 
Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet 
AVhieh with usurping steps do trample thcc. 
Yield s»inging nellies to mine enemies : 
And when they from thy bosofli pluck a flower, 
Guard it, 1 pray thee, with a lurking adder. 
Whose double tongue may with a mortal touch 
Throw death upon thy sovereign's eiuiiiics. 
Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords ; 
This earth shall have a feeling, and these 

Prove armed soldiers, ere her native king 
Shall falter under foul rebellion's* arms. 

Bishop. Fear not, my lord; that Power that 

made you king 
Hath power to keep you king, in spite of all. 
[The means that heaven yields must be em- 

And not neglected ; else, if heaven woidd, 
And we will not, heaven's offer we refuse ; 
Tho proffcr'd means of succour and redress.] '' 
Aum. He means, my lord, that we arc too 

remiss ; 
Whilst Bolingbrokc, through our security, 
Grows strong and great, in substanee, and in 

A". liich. Discomfortablc cousin ! know'stthou 

That when the searching eye of heaven is 

Behind the globe, and lights' the lower world. 
Then thieves and robber? range abroad un- 
In murthers, and in outrage, boldly ** here ; 
But when, from under this terrestrial ball, 
Ho fires the proud tops of the eastern pines. 
And darts his light through every guilty hole. 
Then murthers, treasons, and detested sins, 

meaning of inheritance, — jvn«e«!on, — ••my kinyHom,*'— 
"dear earth." — ••my ■ Mr. 

Whiter, in his curious i r»n 

that Ih'- ■■.••-' ' ir is ..... ' 

harret, /.. .is it wim 

pcrton » , -^<•^, or 1« ■: 
spot of /.ifi<i,**or of earth, hrrtka. hrrun, ac." 

> ftebellion'i armi. So the qu«rto of 1 j97. The folio re- 

t> These four linct, enclosed in bracketi, arc omitted in 
the folio. 

e And liyhlt. All the old copies read tliat liyhlu Thai, 
as a rel:l'i^•-. 1>:ls tii<>l>.i1>j\ trarching lyt fir Its .inleccdciit ; 
but the limcult, whUst a slight mltcra- 

tion reii. 

d Boldln. 
ception of til' 
hv -■ ^ 

in .-, , ; -. ■. :•- -.- .: ■ ■• .■ ■-■ - ■ 

passage. ' 


Act in.] 


[Scene IL 

Tlie cloak of night being pluck'd from off tlieii- 

Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves ? 
So when this tliief, this traitor, Boliugbroke,— 
Who all this while hath revell'd in the night. 
Whilst we were wand'ring with the antipodes,— 
Shall see us rising in oiu- throne the east, 
His treasons will sit blushing in liis face. 
Not able to endure the sight of day. 
But, self-affrighted, tremble at his sin. 
Not all the water in the rough rude sea 
Can wash the balm from an anointed king : 
The breath of worldly men cannot depose 
The dc'ijuty elected by the Lord : 
For every man that Bolingbroke hath press'd, 
To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown, 
Heaven for his Richard hath in heavenly pay 
A glorious angel : then, if angels light. 
Weak men must fall ; for heaven still guards the 


Enter Salisbuhy. 

Welcome, my lord ; How far of lies your power ? 
Sal. Nor near, nor farther off, my gracious 
Than this weak arm: Discomfort guides my 

And bids me speak of nothing but despair. 
One day too late, 1 fear, my noble lord. 
Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth : 
O, call back yesterday, bid time return, 
And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting 

To-day, to-day, unhappy day, too late, 
O'erthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy 

state ; 
For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead. 
Arc gone to Bolingbroke, dispers'd, and fled. 
Jum. Comfort, my liege : why looks your 

grace so pale ? 
K. Rich. But now, the blood of twenty thou- 
sand men 
Did iriumph in my face, and they are fled ; 
And, till so much blood tliithcr come again, 
Have T not rea..on to look pale and dead ? 
All souls tliat will be safe fly from my side ; 
For time hath set a blot upon my pride. 

Jum. Comfort, my liege ; remember who you 

A'. Rich. I had forgot myself : Am 1 not 
Awake thou sluggard majesty ! thou sleepest. 
Is not the king's name forty thousand names ? 
Arm, arm, my name ! a puny subject strikes 
At thy great glory. — Tiook not to the ground, 

Ye favourites of a king. Are we not high ? 
High be our thoughts : I know, my uncle York 
Hath power enough to serve om- turn. But who 
Comes here ? 

Enter Scroop. 

Scroop. More health and happiness betide mj 

Than can my care-tun'd tongue deliver him. 
K. Rich. Mine ear is open, and my heart prc- 

par'd ; 
The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold. 
Say, is my kingdom lost ? why, 't was my care ; 
And what loss is it to be rid of care ? 
Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we ? 
Greater he shall not be ; if he serve God, 
We '11 serve him too, and be his fellow so. 
Revolt our subjects ? that we cannot mend; 
They break their faith to God, as well as lis : 
Cry, woe, destruction, ruin, loss, decay ; 
The worst is death, and death will have his 

Scroop. Glad am I that your higlmess is so 

To bear the tidings of calamity. 
Like an unseasonable stormy day. 
Which makes the silver rivers drown their 

As if the world were all dissolv'd to tears ; 
So high above his limits swells the rage 
Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land 
AVith hard briglit steel, and hearts harder than 

White beards have arm'd tlioir thin and hairless 

Against thy majesty ; and boys, with women's 

Strive to speak big, and clap their female joints 
la stiff unwieldly arms against thy crown : 
'J."'hy very beadsmen learn to bend their boM's 
Of double-falal yew against thy state ; 
Yea, distafi'-womeu manage rusty bills 
Against thy seat : both young and old rebel. 
And all goes worse than I have power to tell. 
A'. Rich. Too well, too well, thou tcll'st a tale 

so ill. 
Where is the earl of Wilt shire ? where is Bagot r 
What is become of Bushy ? where is Green ? 
That tliey have let the dangerous enemy 
Measure our confines with such peaceful steps ? 
If we prevail, their heads shall pay for it. 
I warrant they have made peace with Boling- 
Scroop. Peace have they made with him, in 
deed, my lord. 

»CT ni.] 


[ScsNt K. 

A'. Rich. O villains, viptrs, daiuuM w itliout 
n-demptioii ! 
Dogs, easily won to fawn oh any man ! 
Snakes, in my heart-blood warm'd, that sting my 

licart ! 
Three Judases, each one thrice worse than 

Judas ! 
Would they malcc pear-e ? terrible boll make wjir 
Upon tlieir spotted souls for this oirmee ! 

Scroop. Sweet love, I see, changing his pro- 
Turns to tiie sourest and most deadly bate : 
Again uncurse their souls ; their peace is nmde 
With heads, and not with hands : those whom 

you curse. 
Rave felt the worst of death's destroying wound, 
And lie fidl low, grav'd in the hollow ground. 
A urn. Is Bushy, Green, and the earl of Wilt- 
shire, dead? 
Scroop. Yea, all of them at Bristol lost their 

.////;;. Where is the duke my father with his 

power ? 
A'. Rich. No matter where. Of comfort no 
man speak : 
Let 's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs ; 
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes 
^Vrite sorrow on the bosom of the earth. 
Let 's choose executors, and talk of wills : 
And yet not so, — for what can we bequeath, 
Save our deposed bodies to the ground ? 
Our lands, our lives, and all, arc Bolingbroke's, 
And nothing can we call our own, but death ; 
And that small model" of the barren earth, 
^V^hich serves as paste and cover to our bones.'' 
For heaven's sake, let us sit upon the ground. 
And tell sad stories of the death of kings : — 
How some have been dcpos'd, some slain in war, 
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed :" 
Some poison'd by their wives, some sleeping 

kill'd ; 
All murther'd : — For within the hollow crown 
That rounds the mortal temples of a king. 
Keeps death bis court; and there the antic 

Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp, — ' 
Allowing him a breath, a little scene 

» Model. The word \s. probably, here used fir iomethinR 
formed or fasliioiied. The earth assume* the shape of tlie 
body which it covers. Douce seems to think it means only 
mcature, portion, or quantity,— a modicum. 

>> We copy a remark of Jolinsoii upon thij line, to shew 
what criticism upon Sh.ik»pere used to be, even in the 
hands of one of tlie ablest of modern writers: "A meta- 
phor, nut of the most sublime kind, taken from a pie." 

c Ghoili theij have rlepoied. Gliostg of those whom they 
have depos'd. This sort of ellipsis is very frequently used 
b/ our poet. 

To monarchize, be fear'd, juid kill with looks ; 
Infusing hiiu with .self and vain conceit, — 
As if this flesh, which walls about our life, 
Were brass inipregriable.—and, humour'd thus, 
Comes at the last, and with a little pin 
Bores through his castle widls, and— farewell 

king ! 
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood 
With solemn reverence ; throw away respect, 
Tradition, fonii, and ceremonious duty. 
For you h.ive but mistook me all this while : 
I live with bread like you, feel want, taste grief, 
Need friends: — Subjected thu.s. 
How can you say to me — I am a king? 

Car. My lord, wise men ne'er wail their ])rc- 
sent woes. 
But j)resently prevent the ways to wail. 
To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength. 
Gives, in your weakness, strength unto your 

[And so your follies tight against yourself.*] 
Fear, and be slain ; no worse can come, to fight : 
And fight and die, is death destroying death ; 
AYlicre fearing dyiui; pays death servile breath. 

Aum. My father hath a j)ower, inquire of him ; 
And learn to make a body of a limb. 

K. Rich. Thou chid'st me well :— Broud Bo- 
lingbroke, I come 
To change blows with thee for our day of doom- 
This ague-fit of fear is over-blown ; 
An easy task it is to win our own. 
Say, Scroop, where lies our nncle with his 

power ? 
Speak sweetly, man, although thy looks be sour. 

Scroop. Men judge by the complexion of the 

The state and inclination of the day : 
So may you by my dull and heavy eye ; 

My tongue hath but a heavier tale to say. 
I play the torturer, by small and small. 
To lengthen out the worst that must be spoken: — 
Your uncle York is join'd with Bolingbroke; 
And all your northern castles yielded up, 
And all your southern genUcmen in arms 
Upon his faction.** 

A'. Rich. Thou ha5t said enough. — 

Beshrew thee, cousin, which didst mc forth 

[To Al'MKItl.E. 
Of that sweet way I was in to despair ! 
T\liat say you now ? What comfort have we n(j-.v 
By heaven, I Ml bate liim everlastingly 
Tliat bids me be of comfort any more. 
Go to Flint castle ; there I 'U pine away ; 

• This line is omitted in tljc folio. 

b Faction. The first qjarto readt party. 


Act ill.] 


[SttNE III. 

A kiiig, woe's slave, shaU kingly woe obey. 
That power I have, discharge ; and let them go 
To ear the land'' that hath some hope to grow. 
For I have none : — Let no man speak again 
To alter tliis, for counsel is but vain. 

Atim. My liege, one word. 

K. Rich. He docs me double wrong 

That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue. 
Discharge my followers, let them hence. — Away, 
From Richard's night to Bolingbrokc's fair day. 


SCENE in.— "Wales. Before Flint Castle. 

IHider, Kitli drum and colours, Bolingbroke and 
Forces ; York, Northumberland, atid others. 

Bolitiff. So that by this intelligence we learn. 
The AVelshmen are dispers'd ; and Salisbury 
Is gone to meet the king, who lately landed. 
With some few private friends, upon this coast. 
North. The news is very fair and good, my 
lord ; 
Richard, not far from hence, hath hid his head. 
York. It v/ould beseem the lord Northumber- 
To say, king Richard : Alack the heavy day. 
When such a sacred kinij should iiide his head ! 
North. Your grace mistakes; only to be 
Left I his title out. 

York. The time hath been. 

Would you have been so brief with him, he woidd 
Have been so brief with you, to shorten you. 
For taking so the head,*" youi- whole head's 
Bolivfj. Mistake not, uncle, farther than you 

York. Take not, good cousin, farther than you 
Lest you rnis-take : The heavens are o'er your 
Boling. I know it, uncle; and oppose not 
Against their will. — But who comes here ? 

Enter Percy. 
Welcome, Harry;" what, will not this castle 
yield ? 

" 'Ear Vie /nnrf,— plouph the land. So in Sliakspere's 
dedication of " Venus and Adonis," to the Earl of Soulh- 
amptoii, " never alter ear so barren a land, for fear it yield 
me still .60 bad a harvest." Ear is the same as the Latin 
arare, to plough, to till. Arable is ear-able. 

'■ Taking no the head. Johnson thinks tliat to take the is to t.ike ur.iiue liberties. We incline to Donee's 
opinion, that the expression means to take away the 
sovcrei;;n's chief title. 

c }yclcome, Harry. In .Steevens, who followed Ilanmer, 
we must put up with the feeble Well, Ilarnj. 


Perci/. The castle royally is mauu'd, my lord. 
Against thy entrance. 

Boling. Royally ? 
"Why, it coutaius no king ? 

Perci/. Yes, ray good lord, 

It doth contain a king ; king Richard lies 
Within the limits of yon lime and stone : 
And with him the lord Aumerle, lord Salisljury 
Sir Stephen Scroop ; besides a clergyman 
Of holy reverence, who, I cannot learn. 

North. Oh! belike, it is the bishop of Car- 

Boling. Noble lord, [To Nortu. 

Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle : 
Through brazen trumpet send the breath of 

Into his ruin'd ears, and thus deliver. 
Hem-y Bolingbroke 

Upon his knees doth kiss king Richard's hand ; 
And sends allegiance, and true faith of heart. 
To his most royal person : hither come 
Even at his feet to lay my arms and power; 
Provided that, my banishment rcpeal'd. 
And lands restor'd again, be freely granted : 
If not, I 'U. use the advantage of my power. 
And lay the summer's dust with showers of 

Rain'd from the wounds of slaughter'd Eng- 
lishmen : 
The which, how far off from the mind of 

It is such crimson tempest should bedreuch 
The fresh green lap of fair king Richard's land. 
My stooping duty tenderly shall shew. 
Go, signify as much ; while here we march 
Upon the grassy carpet of this plain. 

[Northumberland advances to the castle, 
tcith a trumpet. 
Let's march without the noise of threat'niug 

Thiit from this castle's totter'd* battlements 
Our fair appointments may be well perus'd. 
Mctliinks, king Richard and myself should meet 
AVith no less terror than the elements 
Of fire and water, when their thund'ring shock ^ 
At meeting tears the cloudy checks of heaven. 
Be he the fire, I '11 be the yielding water : 
The rage be his, while on the earth I rain 

" Toller'd, for tottering, the passive for the active par- 

Ij Thundering shock. All the old copies, with one ex- 
ception, read smoke. The qunrto of 1507 has shock. The 
p.issage was written lonjr bL-fore the properties of electri- 
city were known; and the poet attributL-s, therefore, 
the thundeiing shock which " tears the cloudy cheeks 
of heaven," to the nieetinj; of " the elements of fire and 
water," — some obscure notion of the days of conjectural 

Act 1 1 1 . j 


[ScEvr III. 

My waters ; on ♦he earth, ami not on liiin. 
Marcli on, and mark king llieharJ how lie looks. 

A jkirle sounded, and a/isicered btf another truin- 
pet wilhiii. Ftourish. Enter on the lealls 
King KicifAUD, the Bishop op Cakusu:, 


York. See, see, king llichard doth himself ' 
appear, > 

As doth the blushing discontented sun, ' 

From out the fiery portal of the east ; i 

AVhen lie perceives the envious clouds arc hnit 
To dim his glory, and to stain the track 
Of his bright passage to the Occident." j 

Yet looks he like a king ; behold, his eye, | 

As bright as is the eagle's, lightens forth j 

Controling majesty ; Alack, alack, for woe, 
That any harm should stain so fair a show ! i 

K. Rich. We arc aniaz'd ; and thus long have 
we stood 
To watch the fearful bending of thy knee, 


Because we thought ourself thy lawful king : 
And if we be, how dare thy joints forget 
To pay their awful duty to our presence ? 
If we be not, shew us the hand of God 
That hath dismiss'd us from our stewardship ; 
For well we know, no hand of blood and bone 
Can gripe the sacred handle of our sceptre. 
Unless he do profane, steal, or usurp. 
And though you think, that all, as you have 

Have torn their souls, by turning them from us, 
And we are barren, and bereft of friends ; 
Yet know, — my master, God omnipotent, 
Is mustering in his clouds, on our behalf, 
Annies of pestilence ; and they shall strike 
Your children yet uubom, and uubegot. 
That lift your vassal hands against my head. 
And threat the glory of my precious crown. 
Tell Bolingbroke, (for yond', methinks, he is,) 
That every stride he makes upon my land. 
Is dangerous treason : He is come to ope 
The purple testament of bleeding war ;'> 
But ere the crown he looks for live in peace. 
Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers* sons 
Shall ill become the flower of England's face ; 

n Wariiurton held that, in the old copies, the six linct 
after Richard appears on the cattle walls were " abiurdly 
given to BullnLitirnke, who is made tu condemn hii own 
conduct and (ll>cul|) the- kii^^'s." 

t* There is a viry similar line in the first pait of Jcro- 
nimo, a play which, it is supposed, was producvil in 1388. 
(See Dodiley's Old Plays, edition 1S23. Vol. lii. p.-igc 'A.) 

"Then I unclasp the purple leaves of war." 

Whiter pointed this out in his " Specimen of a Commen- 
tary," in irai. 

Change the ' \ion of her maid-pale peace 

To scarlet ;: _, mn, and btdew 
Her pastures* grass with faithful English Ijlootl. 
North. The king of heaveu forbid, our lord 

the king 
Should so with civil and uncivil arms 
Bo rush'il upon! Thy thriee noble cousin, 
Harry Bolingbroke, doth humbly kiss thy haiul ; 
And by the honourable ttmib he swears, 
That stands upon your royid granilsire's bones ;' 
And by the roytdties of Iwth your blootis, 
Currents that spring fn inc indst gracious 

head ; 
And by the buried hand of wailiLr Gaunt ; 
And by the worth and honour of himself. 
Comprising all that may he swoni or said, — 
His coming hither hath no further scope. 
Than for his lineal royalties, and to bcir 
Enfranchisement immediate on lus kii' i > ; 
Which on thy royal party granted once. 
His glittering arms he will commend to rust. 
His barbed steeds to stables, and his lu:ii t 
To faithful service of your majesty. 
This swears he, as he is a prince, is just ; 
And, as I am a gentleman, I credit him. 

K. Rich. Northumberland, say, — thus the 

king returns ;— 
His noble cousin is right welcome hither ; 
And all the numl)er of his fair demands 
Shall be accomplish'd without contradiction : 
With all the gracious utterance thou hast, 
Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends. — 
We do debase ourself, cousin, do we not, 

{To Almkrle. 
To look so poorly, and to speak so fair ? 
Shall we call back Northumberland, and send 
Defiance to the traitor, and so die ? 

Aum. No, good my lord ; let 's fight with 

gentle words, 
Till time lend friends, and friends their helpfiJ 

K.Rich. O God! God! that .•'. r d.w 

tongue of mine. 
That laid tiic stntenec of dread luinislinicut 
On yon ])roud man, should take it off again 
With words of sooth!' O, that I were aa 

As is my grief, or 1< *' n my name I 
Or that I could for^ I have l>een ! 

Or not remember what I must l)c now ! 
Swell'st thou, pmud heart ? I '11 give thee scope 

to beat, 

• Wi" Words of luscnt— «t>uaf;in|:, jooMiap 

words. 1 its fir^t mcaninit. i* true or truth ; so tv 

tooihe it lu i.i^.ic M true; and tbcnco to assent,— I'nd 
further to propitiate. 


Act HI] 



Since foes have scope to beat both thee and 


Aum. Northumberland comes back from Bo- 

K. Tuck. What must the king do now ? Must 

he submit ? 
The king shall do it. Must he be depos'd ? 
The king shall be contented : Must he lose 
Tlie name of king ? o' God's name, let it go : 
I '11 give my jewels, for a set of beads ; 
!My gorgeous palace, for a hermitage ; 
iMy gay apparel, for an alms-man's gown ; 
My (igur'd goblets, for a dish of wood; 
My sceptre, for a palmer's walking-staff; 
!My subjects, for a pair of carved saints ; 
And my krge kingdom, for a little grave, 
A little little grave, an obscure grave : — 
Or I '11 be buried in the king's highway. 
Some way of common trade,* where subjects' 

May hourly trample on their sovereign's head : 
For on my licart they tread, now whilst I live ; 
And, buried once, why not upon my head ? 
Aumcrle, thou weep'st ; My tender-hearted 


We '11 make foid weather with despised tears ; 
Our sighs, and they, shall lodge the summer 

And make a dearth in this revolting land. 
Or shall we play the wantons with our woes. 
And make some pretty match with shedding 

tears ? 
As thus ; — To drop them still upon one place. 
Till they have fretted us a pair of graves 
Within the earth; and, therein laid, — There lies 
Two kinsmen, digg'd their graves with weeping 

eyes ? 
Would not this ill do well ?— Well, well, I see 
I talk but idly, and you mock at mc. — 
Most mighty prince, my lord Northumberland, 
What says king Bolingbroke ? will his majesty 
Give Kichard leave to live till Itichard die ? 
You make a leg, and Bolingbroke says — ay. 
North. My lord, in the base court'' he doth 
To speak with you ; may 't please you to come 
down ? 
K. Rich. Down, down, I come ; like glister- 
ing Phaeton, 

• Some way of common trade. Tlie early meddlinp edi- 
tors ch.inged trade into tread. The oriijinai moaning of 
trade is a course — a path traded or trodden continuously. 
The trade winds are not winds favourable to commerce, but 
winds hlowinj; in a repular course. Our modern usa^e of 
the word as intercourse for buyinp and soiling, is a secondary 
meaning cnpr.ifted upon the original meaning of habitual 
course or practice. 

•> Bate court — lower court — has cour. 

Wanting the manage of unruly jades. 

[North, retires to Boltng, 
In the base court ? Base coui-t, where kmgs grow 

To come at traitors' calls, and do them grace. 
In the base court ? Come down ? Down coui-t ! 

down king ! 
For night-owls shriek, where mounting larks 
should sing. [^Exeunt from above. 

Baling . What says his majesty ? 
North. Sorrow and grief of heart 

Makes him speak fondly, like a frantic man : 
Yet he is come. 

Enter King UicnARD, and his Attendants helotc. 

Baling. Stand all apart. 

And show fair duty to his majesty. 

My gracious lord. — {Kneeling. 

K. llich. Fair cousin, you debase your princely 
To make the base earth proud with kissing it : 
Me rather had my heart might feel your love. 
Than my unplcas'd eye see your courtesy. 
Up, cousin, up ; your heart is up, I know, 
Thus high at least, {touching his o^cn head.'] 
although your knee be low. 
Boling. iMy gracious lord, I come but for 

mine own. 
K. Rich. Your own is yours, and I am yours, 

and all. 
Boling. So far be mine, my most redoubled 
As my true service shall deserve yonr love. 
A" Rich. Well you desen^e : — They well de- 
sci-ve to have 
That know the strong'st and surest way to get. 
Uncle, give me your hand : nay, dry your eyes ; 
Tears shew their love, but want their remedies. — 
Cousin, I am too young to be your father. 
Though you are old enough to be my heir. 
What you will have, I '11 give, and willing too ; 
For do we must what force M'ill have us do. — 
Set on towards Loudon : — Cousin, is it so ? 
Boling. Yea, my good lord. 
K. Rich. Then I must not say no. 

{Flourish. Exeunt. 

SCENE rV.— Langley. The Duke of York's 

Enter the Queen and two Ladies. 

Queen. What sport shall we devise here in 
this garden. 
To drive away the heavy thought of care ? 

Act mi.) 


[Scesir IV. 

1 Lady. Madam, we '11 plav at bowls. 

Q,ueen. 'T will miike mc Ihiiik 

The world is full of rubs, and that my fortune 
Runs 'gainst tlie bias. 

1 Lady. Madam, we will dance. 

(^veen. My legs can keep no measure in de- 
^Vben my poor lieart no measure keeps in grief : 
Therefore, no dancing, girl ; some other sport. 

1 Lady. Madam, we '11 tell tales. 

(lueen. Of sorrow, or of joy ? * 

1 Lady. Of either, madam. 

(Ineen. Of neither, girl : 

For if of joy, being altogether wanting, 
It doth remember me the more of sorrow ; 
Or if of grief, being altotjethcr had. 
It adds more sorrow to my want of joy : 
For what I have, I need not to repeat ; 
And what I want, it boots not to complain. 

1 Lady. Madam, I'll sing. 

(lueen. 'T is well, that thou hast cause ; 

But thou should'st please me better would'st 
thou weep. 

1 Lady. I could weep, madam, would it do 
you good. 

Qtieen. And I could sing,'' would weepbg do 
me good, 
And never borrow any tear of thee. 
But stay, here come the gardeners : 
Let 's step into the shadow of these trees. — 

Enter a (Jardener and iico Ser\'ants. 

My wretchedness unto a row of pins, 
They '11 talk of state : for every one dntli so 
Against a change : Woe is forerun witli woe. 

[Queen and Ladies retire. 
Gard. Go, bind thou up yon' dangling apri- 

» of Morroio or of jny. All the old copies read of sorrow 
or of grief, which the context clearly shows to be an error. 
It was corrected by Pope. 

t> And 1 could $ing. Thus all the old copies; but Pope, 
haring corrected the error Ju't above, was sati^fled that 
another error existed, and changed <ini7to trerp. This read- 
\ng has been adopted in some «uJ ' ' rn. \Vc 

believe that the nri;:in*l was ri(?ht, . . ^ of the 

passage was mist.iWin The (|ui-cn, w .. . , . .. lantlyof 

her sorrow, it may be pr.'»uined does wcrp. or bctn 
weeping. The lady otli-r^tu slnjf, but the qia-cn di-«irr» sym- 
pathy : — " Thou should'st please me better would»t thou 
weep." The lady could weep, "would it do you good." The 
queen rejoins, 

" And I could sing, would weeping do me good." 

If my griefs were remored by reepinj. — it my tears could 
take aw.iy my sorrow, — I should be rcaiiy to ■linp, — 1 could 
sing, and then, my sorrows 1 '.I would "never 

borrow any tf,ir of thee" — no; to weep, as I did 

Just now. Mr. Grant White a^i , ;cading. 

e .tpricoekt. Our modern apricnt is from the French 
abricnt. But the name came with the fruit from Persia — 
bricoe ; and weprobably derived it from the Italian. Florio, 
in his New World of Words, has " UerricocoU — Apricnck- 

'Wliich, like unruly children, make their sire 
Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight : 
Give some siii" to the bending twigs. 

Go tlioii, and 1.;. . xccutiouer 
Cut off tite heads of too- fast-growing sprays, 
Tiiat look too lofty in our commonwealth : 
All must be even in our govcrmuent. 
You thus einploy'd, I will go root awuy 
The noisome weeds, that without profit suck 
The soil's ffrtility fnun wholesome flowers. 
1 Sere. AVliy should we, in tin- t-ompass of a 
Keep law, and form, and due projKJrtion, 
Shewing, as in a model, our firm estate ? 
When our sea-walled garden, the whole land. 
Is full of weeds ; lier fairest flowers ehok'd up, 
Her fruit-trees all unpmn'd, her hedges niin'il. 
Her knots disorder'd,' and her wlKilesonie lierljs 
Swarming with caterpillars ? 

Gard. Hold tliy peace : — 

I He that hath suiTer'd this disorder'd spring 
I Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf : 
I The weeds, that liis broad-spreading leaves did 
I shelter, 

That seem'd in eating liim to hold him up. 
Are pluck'd up, root and all, by Bolingbrokc ; 
I mean the earl of Wiltsliire, Bushy, Green. 
1 Serv. "What, are they dead? 
Gard. They are ; and Bolingbrokc 

Hath seiz'd the wasteful king.— Oh ! what pity 

is it. 
That he had not so trimm'd and drcss'd his land. 
As we this garden ! We at time of year 
Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit-trees ; 
Le^t, being over-proud with sap and blo<Hl, 
With too much riches it confound itself: 
Had he done so to great and growing men. 
They might have liv'd to bear, and lie to t.istc 
Their fruits of duty : superfluous branches 
We lop away, that bearing bouglis may live: 
Had he done so, liimsclf h;id borne the crown, 
Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown 
1 Serr. What, think you then, the king shall 

l>e depos'd ? 
Gard. Depress'il he is alrc.idy ; and depos'd, 
Tis doubt, he will be : Litters came hist night 
To a dear friend of the good duke of York'.s, 
That tell black tidings. 

Queen. O, I am press'd to death through 
want of speaking ! 

[Coming from her concealment. 

• Kiioh ditordrr'd. The symmetrical l>eds of a garden 
were the knots. (See Lore's Labuur's Lost, Illustrations of 
Act I.) 





Thou, old Adam's likeness, set to dress this 

How dares thy harsh-rude tongue sound this 

unpleasing news ? 
"VThat Eve, vhat serpent hath suggested thee 
To make a second fall of cursed man? 
"VYliy dost thou say king Richard is depos'd ? 
Dar'st thou, thou little better thing than earth. 
Divine his downfal ? Say where, when, and how, 
Cain'st thou by these ill-tidings ? speak, thou 

Gard. Pardon me, madam : little joy have T 
To breathe these news : yet what I say is tnie. 
King Richard, he is in the mighty hold 
Of Bolingbrokc ; their fortunes both are weigh'd : 
In your lord's scale is nothing hut himsc-lf. 
And some few vanities that make him light ; 
Rut in the balance of great 15olingbroke, 
Besides himself, are all the English peers, 
And with that odds he weighs king Bichard 


Post you to London, and you '11 find it so : 
I speak no more than every one doth know. 

Queen. Nimble mischance, that art so light of 
Doth not thy embassage belong to me, 
And am I last that knows it ? O, thou think'st 
To serve ine last, that I may longest keep 
Thy sorrow in my breast. Come, ladies, go, 
To meet at London London's king in woe. 
What, was I born to this ! that my sad look 
Should grace the triumph of great Bolingbrokc ? 
Gardener, for telling me this news of woe, 
I would the plants thou graft'st may never grow. 
\Exeurd Queen and Ladies. 

Gard. Poor queen ! so that thy state might 
be no worse, 
I would my skill were subject to thy curse. — 
Here did she drop a tear ; here, in this jilacc, 
I '11 set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace : 
Rue, even for ruth, here shortly shall be seen, 
In the reniembrance of a weeping queen. 

I Exeunt 

[.Scene I\', — Lnngley.] 

~~ ■•! i,ii<fr 

' .'I. • 

[iuiuti of Edward i II.j 


* Scene I. — " BoUnghroke's camp, at liriatol." 

We have given, on the next page, an ancient vie.v 
of liristol. lic'lcliffe Cliurch, which is tlic promi- 
nent objoct in the view, was couiplcteil in 1370. 

Scene II- 

-" There the antic sits 

S'.'offinf/ his slate, and grinning at his pomp," 

"We have given a fac-siinile from the seventh in 
the fine scries of wood-cuts, callcil Imagines murtiii. 
improperly attributed to Holbein. It i^ a wonder- 
ful composition ; and it is by no means improbable, 
as suggested by Douce, that the engravint; fur- 
nidhed Shakspere with the hint of the-e pplendid 

' Scene III. — " By tlie honourable tomb he swears, 
That stands upon your royal grandsire's bones." 

We present, above, a representation of the splen- 
did tomb of Edward III., in Westminster Abbey. 
The reverence in which the memory of this ilbn- 
trious king was held by his descendant-s, and by 
the people, made thi^ oath of peculiar polcninity. 
And yet Bolingbroke violated it in an oath-breaking 




Wo Lave hitherto traced the course of events in 
Shaksperc's History of Richard II. by the aid of tho 
Chronicles. Froissart was a contemporary of Richard ; 
and in the days of the king's prosperity had presented 
him with a book "fair eiilumined and written," of 
vehich, when the king demanded whereof it treated, 
the maker of histories " shewed him how it treated 
matters of love, whereof the king was glad, and looked 
in it, and re.vl it in many places, for he could speak 
and read French very well." Holiiished was, in an- 
other sense, a " maker of histories." He compiled, 
and that admirably well, from those who had written 
before him ; and he was properly Shakspero's great au- 
thority for the incidents which he dramatised. But 
wc have now to turn to one of the most remarkable 
documents that .-ifrords materials for the history of any 
period — tho narrative of .in eye-witness of what took 
place from the period when Richard, being in Ireland, 
received the news of Bolingbroke's landing, to the time 
■when tho king wsis utterly prostrate at tho feet of the 
man whom he had banished and plundered. All tho 
historians have been greatly indebted to this narrative. 
It is entitled, "Histoiredu Hoy crAngleterre Richard, 
Traictant particuliercment la Rebellion de ses subiectz 
ot prinse de sa personne. Composee par un gentle- 
hom'e Francois de marque, qui fut a la suite du diet 
Roy, avccq permission du Roy de France, 1399." The 
most beautiful, and, ajipareutly, the earliest copy of 
this manuscript is in tho British Museum. It contains 
sixteen illuminations, in which the identity of the por- 
traits and of tho costume is preserved throughout. 
It appears to have been tho property of Charles of 
Anjou, Count of Maine, and formed part of the Har- 
leian collection. Another manuscript of the same 

histoiy, which is in tho library at Lambeth, was that 
consulted and quoted by the eai-ly historians, and it is 
called, by Holinshed, " A French Pamphlet that be- 
longeth to Master John Dee : " the name of John Dee, 
with the date 1575, ajjpears in the last leaf. Tho 
author of the Metrical History informs us, in his title, 
that he was " Un gentilhom'e Francois de marque ; ' 
and, when brought before Bolingbrokc, the writer 
says of himself and his companion, " Tho herald told 
him, in the English language, that we were of 
France, and that the king had sent us wit j King 
Richard into Ireland for recreation, and to see the 
country." This manuscript has been re-published in 
tho twentieth volume of the Archwologia, with a 
most admirable translation, and notes alike distin- 
guished for their learning and good sense, by the 
• Rev. John Webb. 

Tho author of the Metrical History, with his com- 
panion, "in the year one thouaiind and four hundred 
save one, quitted Paris, full of joy ; " and, travelling 
late and early, reached London. He found that Ri- 
chard had set out, anxious to journey day and night. 
He followed him to Milford Haven, where "he 
waited ten days for the north-wind, and passed his 
time pleasantly amidst trumjiets and the sounds of 
minstrelsy." The king had proceeded to Watei-ford, 
whither the French knight at length followed him. 
Six days afterwards tho king took the field, with 
tho English, for Kilkenny, whence, after a fort- 
night's delay, he marched directly towards I\Iac-moro 
(the Irish chiefUiin) into the depths of tho deserts, 
who, with his wild men — Shakspere's " rough rug- 
headed kerns" — defied England and its powei-. 
The usual accompaniment of war was not want- 


ing on this occasion : — " Oi-dei-s were given by tlio 
king that oveiythinLC should bo set firo to," Noitlicr 
were tho patjc^ntrics of cliivalry, — the gilding of the 
horrors, — absent from this expedition. Henry of 
Monmouth, tho son of Bolingbroko, bcintfthon eleven 
yeai-s old, wa^s with tho king ; and KicliarJ. knighted 
him, making, at tho same time, eight or ton other 
knights. Tho English aimy appears tohavo sufl'orcd 
greatly from the want of provisions. A negotiation 
took place with Mac-more, which ended in nothing. 
The king's fi\co grow pale wth anger, and ho swaro, 
in great wrath, by St. Edward, that no, never, would 
ho depart from Ireland till, alive or dead, lio hail 
Mac-moro in his power. The want of provisions dis- 
lodg^ed the army anil drove them to Dublin, where, 
for six weeks, they lived "easj* of body as fish in 
Seine." No news came from England. Tlie winds 
were contrary. At last, "a b:\rgo arrived, which was 
the occa-sion of much sorrow." Thoso who came in 
her relateil to the king how Scroj>e was beheaded by 
Bolingbroko — how tho people had been stiired to in- 
surrection — how tho invader had taken towns and 
castles for his own. "It seemed to me," says tho 
French knight, "that the king's face at thi.s turned 
pale with anger, while he said, ' Como hither, friends. 
Good Lord, this man designs to deprive mo of my 
country.'" Richard consulted his council on a Satur- 
day, and they agreed to put to sea on the next 
Monday. Tho king, however, according to this 
writer, was deceived and betrayed by Aumerle, who 
persuaded him to remain himself, and send Salisbury 
to raise the Welch against Bolingbroko. The French 
knight and his compiinion departed with Salisbury, 
and landed at Conway. Salisbury raised, it seems, 
forty thousand men within four days. The earl kept 
them in tho field a fortnight ; but they then deserted 
him, as Shakspere has represented, because they 
heard "no tidings from the king." Ho "tarried 
eighteen days," says tho French knight, "after our 
departure from Ireland. It was very great folly." 

The Metrical History now proceeds to the events 
which followed tho landing of Richarfl ujjon tho 
Welch coast. "He did not stop there," s.ay3 tho 
history, "considering tho distress, comi)laints, and 
lamentations of the poor people, .and the mortal 
alarm of all. Then he resolved that, without saying 
a word, he would set out at midnight from his host, 
attended by a few jiersons, for ho would on no ac- 
count bo discovered. In that place he clad himself 
in another garb, like a poor priest of tho Minors 
(Franciscans), for the fear that he ha-l of beinff kno»vn 
of his foes.'. . , . Thus the king set out that very 
night, with only thirteen others, and arrived, by 
break of day, at Conway." Ho here met S.iliabury. 
"At the meeting of the king and the earl, instead of 
joy there was very great sorrow. Tears, lamentations, 
sighs, groans, and mourning, quickly broke forth. 
Truly it was a piteous sight to l«chold their looks and 
countenances, and woeful meeting. Tho carl's face 
was pale with watching. He reflated to the king his 
hard fate." Aumerle, the constable, according to 
this writer, basely went off with tho king's men — his 
last hope. "Tho king continued all sorrowful at 
Conway, where he had no more with him than two 
or three of his intimate friends, sad and distresscJ. 
Histories.— Vol. I. K 

Ituckonjng nobles and other i>orsons wo wcio 

but sixtoon in all." IVim Conway they went to 
Beaumaris, and thciioo to Ciinuirvon. " In his 
castles, to which he relin-.l, there was no furniture, 
nor had ho anything U> lie down upon but straw. 

Ucally, ho lay in this • ■ fir four or nix nights; 

for, in truth, not a i worth of viitimlK or 

anything else wiis to ' ' .,,<j. 

qucnco of this jKivirt . ny, 

Tho Metrical History then dcUiU, at ,li|o 

length, and with great spirit and cireuiui^iuti.uity, 
tho rem.arkablo incident of NorthumU>rhin.l tntnip- 
ping Richard ti Icavo Conway, so that lie might 
convoy him as his prisoner to Flint Castle. " Tliis is 
one of tho instances," jwiys ,Mr. Courtenay (Hhok- 
spore's Historical Plays considered Historically), "ni 
which a more minute knowle<lgo of history might 
have fumishcd Shakspere with somo goo«l sconoHund 
further discriminations of character." One wo(dd 
suppose, from this remark, that the account of the 
meeting between Northumberland and the king at 
Conway, and tho king's ngroemont, upon Northinn- 
berland's assurances of safety, U) go with him to 
Flint, was unrecorded by the chronicler whom Shak- 
sj?cre is known to have consulted. Holinshcd relates 
this affair with great distinctness ; and he moreover 
gives an account of the ambush described by the 
French knight. We must, therefore, conclude that 
Shakspere know his own business as a dnimatist in 
the omission of tho scene. The jMvssago is also given 
very fully in Stow ; and is versified bv Daniel in his 
"Civil WaiTCS." 

"In the castle of Flint," sjiys tho Metrical History, 
"King Richanl awaitod tho coming of the Diiko of 
Lancaster, who sot out from tho city of Chester on 
Tuesday, the 22nd of August, with tho whole of his 
force." King Richanl, "having heard ma&s, wont 
up upon tho walls of the ca.stlo, which are large and 
wide in tho inside, beholding tho Duko of I.Ai)avster 
as he came along the sea-shore with .all his host." 
Messengers came from Henry to Richanl, and an in- 
terview took place between them.>cro has 
made NorthumlierLand tho negotiator on this occa- 
sion, as ho really was at Conway. " Tlie king wofk* 
up again upon tho walls, and saw that tho anny was 
two bow-shots from tho castle ; then ho, together 
with thoso that wcro with him, began anew great 
lamentation." At length Lancaster entered tho 
castle. " Tlien they ma<le the king, who had dined 
in the donjon, como down to meet Duke Henry, »vho, 
as soon as he jjcrccived him nt a distance, bowed very 
low to the ground ; and, ns they approached each 
other, ho Ixiwed a second time, with his cap in hix 
band ; and then tho king took off iiis Ixinnet, und 
8[Mike first in this manner : ' Fair cousin of I^ncaJitcr, 
you bo right welcome." Then Duko Henry replicnl, 
bowing very low to the ground, ' My lord, I am oomo 
sooner than you sent for mo : the reason wherefore I 
will tell you. Tlio common re|x>rt of your i>eo)ili) is 
such, that you have, for tho space of twenty or two 
and twenty years, governed them very badly and 
very rigorously, and in so much that they are not 
well contented therewith. But if it {lease our Lord, 
I will help you to jjovem them better than they have 
been govenied in time past,' King Richard then 



answered him, ' Fair cousin, since it pleaseth you, it 
pleaseth us well.' And be assai-ed that these are the 
very words that they two spake together, without 
taking away or adding anything : for I heard and 
understood them very well." This version of the re- 
markable dialogue between Bolingbroke and Richard 
is not given by Holinshed, although he quotes all 
the substance of what had previously taken place 
between Northumberland and Richard "out of 
Master Dee's book." Holinshed thus desciibes the 
intei-view : — " I'orthwith as the duke got sight of the 
king, he shewed a reverend duty, as became him, in 
bowing his knee ; and, coming forward, did so like- 
wise the second and tliird time, till the king took him 

by the hand, and lift him up, saying, ' Dear cousin, 
ye are welcome.' The duke, humbly thanking him, 
said, ' My sovereign lord and king, the cause of my 
coming at this present, is (your honour saved) to 
have again restitution of my person, my lands, and 
heritage, through your favourable Ucense.' The king 
hereunto answered, ' Dear cousin, I am ready to ac- 
complish your wQI, so that ye may enjoy all that is 
your's, without exception.' " Shakspere's version of 
the scene appears to lie between the two extremes 
of Bolingbroke's defiance, as recoz-ded by the French 
knight, and copied by Stow ; and of his assumed 
humility, as described by Holinshed. 

[Meeting of Kichaid uud llulingbioke. llhimiuation -xiv., Melrical History.] 

[Exterior of Westminster Hall.] 


SCENE I.-LoudoiL Westminster HaU. The 
Lords spiriltial on (he rir/ht side of the throne ; 
the iMrds temporal on the left ; the Commons 


UMBERLAND, Percy, FiTZAVATEE,<7«o/^fr Lord, 
Bisjiop OF Carlisle;, Abhot of Westminster, 
and Attendants. OfBccrs behind with Bagot. 

Baling. Call forth Bagot. 
Now, Bagot, freely speak thy mind ; 
"Wliat thou dost know of noble Glostcr's death; 
Who wrought it with the king, and who pcr- 

The bloody oflBce of his timeless" end. 

Bagot. Then set before my face the lord 

Baling. Cousin, stiuid forth, and look upon 

that man. 
Bagat. My lord Aumerle, I know your daring 
Scorns to unsay what once it hath dciivcr'd. 
In that dead time when Gloster's death was 

I heard you say, — Is not my ann of length. 
That rcaeheth from the restful English court 

» Timelai. Untimely. 
K 2 

As far as Calais, to my uncle's head ? — 
Amongst much other talk, that very time, 
I heard you say, that you had ratlier refuse 
The offer of an hundred thousand crowns, 
Tiian Bolingbroke's return to Enghmd ; 
Adding withal, liow blest this land would be, 
In this your cousin's death. 

Aitm. Trinocs, and noljle lords, 

What answer shall I mak(; tu tliis ba,se man ? 
Shall I so much dishonour my fair stars, 
On equal terms to give him riiastiscment ? 
Either 1 must, or have mine honour soil'd 
With the attainder of his sl.ind'rous lips. 
There is my gage, tlio manual seal of death, 
That marks thee out for hell : I say, tlnm best, 
And will maintain what thou hast .said is false, 
In tiiy heart-blood, though being all too base 
To stain the temper of my knightly sword. 

Baling. Bagot, forbear, thou .slialt not taki- it 

Aum. Excepting Olio, I would he were the best 
In all this presence, that hath mov'd nic so. 

Fitz. If that thy valour stand ou sympatliics," 

» Sympithitt. 
lion. Aunivrlc I' 

o\ ■ 

is I. 

with, — 

f cliiill'ii(.'i- of n.ii'ot 

:.... .,,0 ittarii that prcMili'd 

•(it« superior. Filzwalcr, wlio 

. down hit giige with the retort, 

" If that thy valour stand on sympathies." 


Act IV.] 


[Scene 1. 

There is my gage, Auracrle, in gage to thiae : 
By that fair sun that shews me where thou 

I heard thee say, and vauntiugly thou spak'st it, 
That thou wert cause of noble Gloster's death. 
If thou deny'st it, twenty times thou liest ; 
And I will turn thy falsehood to thy heart, 
Where it was foi-ged, with my rapier's point."'' 
Aum. Thou clar'st not, coward, live to see the 

Fitz. Now, by my soul, I would it were this 

Aum. Fitzwater, thou art damn'd to hell for 

Perci/. Aumcrle, thou liest ; his honour is as 
In this appeal, as thou art all unjust : 
And, that thou art so, there I throw my gage. 
To prove it on thee to the extremest point 
Of mortal breathing ; seize it, if thou dar'st. 
ylum. And if I do not, may my hands rot 
And never brandish more revengeful steel 
Over the glittering helmet of my foe ! 

\_Lor(l. 1 task the earth'' to the like, forsworn 
Aumerle ; 
And spur thee on with full as many lies 
As may be holla'd in thy treacherous ear 
From sun to sun :'' there is my honour's pawn ; 
Engage it to the trial, if thou dar'st. 
Aum. Who sets me else ? by heaven, I '11 throw 
at all: 
I have a thousand spirits in one breast, 
To answer twenty thousand such as you.] "^ 
Surrei/. My lord Fitzwater, I do remember 
The very time Aumerle and you did talk. 

FUz. 'T is very true :° you were in presence 
And you can witness with me, this is true. 

■ Jtapier's point. The rapier was a weapon not known 
in llie time of Kieliaid. This Is an anaclironisni wliicli tlie 
commentators dwell on, hut which is justified upon the 
principle of employing terms which were familiar to an 

b Taxk the earth. This is the reading of the first quarto. 
The subsequent editions read take. When the lord threw 
down his gage, he task'd the earth, in the same way that 
Percy had done by throwinp down his gape. Johnson would 
read thy oath, instead of the earth. Whiter, although he 
does not suppose that there w\is a connexion between an 
oath and the earth, when tlie gage was thrown — or as War- 
ner has it in his Albion's England, when the glove was 
"terr'd" — yet points at an etymological afTinity between the 
Gothic niih (juramentum), and airtha (terra). 

c From sun to sun. The old copies read from sin to sin. 
The time appointed for the combats of chivalry was betwixt 
the rising and the setting sun. Shakspere, in Cymbeline, 
uses the phrase in this sense. 

d The challenge of the anonymous lord to Aumerle, and 
his answer (eight lines in brackets) are omitted in the folio. 
'Tis veri/ true. So the quarto of 1597. The folio reads, 
*■ My lord, 't is very true." 


Surrey. As false, by heaven, as heaven itself 
is true. 

Fitz. Surrey, thou liest. 

Surrey. Dishonourable boy ! 

That lie shall lie so heavy on my sword. 
That it shall render vengeance and revenge. 
Till thou the lie-giver, and that lie, do lie 
In earth as quiet as thy father's skull. 
In proof whereof, there is my honour's pawn > 
Engage it to the trial, if thou dar'st. 

Fitz. How fondly dost thou spur a forward 
horse ! 
If I dare eat, or di-ink, or breathe, or live, 
I dare meet Surrey in a wilderness, 
And spit upon him, whilst I say, he lies. 
And lies, and lies : there is my bond of faith, 
To tie thee to my strong correction. 
As I intend to thrive in this new world, 
Aumerle is guilty of my true appeal : 
Besides, I heard the banish'd Norfolk say 
That thou, Aumerle, didst send two of thy men 
To execute the noble duke at Calais. 

Aum. Some honest Christian trust me with a 
That Norfolk lies : here do I throw down this, 
If he may be repeal'd to try his honour. 

BoUng. These differences shall aU rest under 
Till Norfolk be repeal'd : repeal'd he shall be, 
KsA, though mine enemy, restor'd again 
To all his land and seiguories ; when he 's 

return' d 
Against Aumerle we will enforce his trial. 

Car. Tliat honourable day shall ne'er be seen. 
Many a time hath banish'd Norfolk fought 
For Jesu Christ ; in glorious Christian field 
Streaming the ensign of the Christian cross, 
Against black pagans, Turks, and Saracens : 
And, toil'd witli works of war, rctir'd himself 
To Italy ; and there, at Venice, gave 
Ilis body to that pleasant country's earth, i 
And liis pure soul unto his captain Christ, 
Uuder whose colours he had fought so long. 

Baling. Why, bishop, is Norfolk dead ? 

Car. As sure as I live, my lord. 

Baling. Sweet peace conduct his sweet soul 
to the bosom 
Of good old .Abraham !— Lords appellants. 
Your difTcrences shall all rest under gage. 
Till we assign you to your days of trial. 

Enter York, attended. 

York. Great duke of Lancaster, I come to 

Act IV.] 

KiNc. T:icirAijr> it. 

IScrNE 1. 

From pluine-pluck'cl Richard ; who with willing 

Adopts thee heir, and his high sceptre yields 
To the possession of thy royal hand : 
Ascend his tlirone, desccudiug now from him, — 
And long live Henry, of tii;it name the fourth! 
Baling. Ill God's name, 1 '11 ascend the regal 

Car. Marrv, Heaven forbid ! — 
Worst in this roy;d presence may I speak, 
Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth. 
Would God, that any in this noble presence 
Were enough noble to be upright judge 
Of noble Richard; then true noblesse ' would 
Learn him forbearance from so foul a wrong. 
What sul)ject can give sentence on his king? 
And who sits liere tiiat is not Richard's subject? 
Thieves are not judg'd but they are by to hear. 
Although apparent guilt be seen in them : 
And sliall the figure of God's majesty, 
His captain, steward, deputy elect, 
Anointed, crowned, planted many years, 
Be judg'd by subject and inferior breath. 
And he himself not present ? O, forfend'' it, God, 
That, in a Christian climate, souls refin'd 
Should shew so heinous, black, obscene a deed ! 
I speak to subjects, and a subject speaks, 
Stirr'd up 'oy heaven thus boldly for his king. 
My lord of Hereford here, whom you call king. 
Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford's king : 
And if you crown him, let me prophesy, — 
The blood of English sh;dl manure the ground. 
And future ages groan for this foul act ; 
Peace shidl go sleep with Turks and infidels, 
And, in this seat of peac:*, tumultuous wars 
Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound; 
Disorder, horror, fear, and mutiny. 
Shall here inhabit, and this land be call'd 
The field of Golgotha, and dead men's skulls. 
0, if you rear'' this house against this house, 
It will the woefuUest division prove 
That ever fell upon this cursed earth : 
Prevent it, resist it, and let it not be so, 
Lest child, child's children, cry against you — 
woe ! 
North. Well have you argued, sir; and, for 
your pains. 

• All tlie old copies, vrith the exception of the first quarto, 
read nobh-ntt$. The more antique word, nobUsit, i» now 
adopted by us. There is authurity for the l.^e of ncbli»»e 
in the sense of nob'.encss, in ben Jonson (Epigram, 1<j2): 

" But thou, whose noblesse keept one itature still." 

b Porfend. So the quarto of 1597. The folio, forbid. 
We clinjj to the less common word, as in Othello: — 

" No, heavens forfend, I would not kill thy soul." 

c Bear, in the folio ; in the quartos, raise. 

Of capital treason we arrest you here : 
My lord of AVest minster, be it your charge 
To keep him safely till his day of trial. 
May't please you, lords, to grant the commons* 
suit ? 
Boliuff. Fetch iiiilier Richard, that in common 
He may surrender ; so we sludl proceed 
W ithout suspicion. 
yorL-. I will be his conduct. [Z'W/. 

Boling. Lords, you that here are tinder our 
Procure your sureties for your d.i\ - <ii aii-)wcr : 
Little are we beholden to your love. 

\Ti} Caulisle. 
And little looked for at your helping hands. 

Re-enter York, tcith King Richard, and Officers 
bearing the crotcn, Jr. 

A'. Rich. Alack, why am I sent for to a king. 
Before I have shook olT the regal thoughts 
AMierewith I reign'd ? I hardly yet have learn'd 
To insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my knee : — 
Give sorrow leave a while to tutor me 
To this submission. Yet I well remember 
The favours* of these men: Were they not mine ? 
Did they not sometime cry, all hail ! to me ? 
So Judas did to Christ : but he, in twelve. 
Found truth in all, but one; T in twelve thou- 
sand, none. 
God save the king ! — Will no man say, amen ? 
Am I both priest and clerk ? well then, amen. 
God save the king ! although I be not he ; 
And yet, amen, if heaven do think him me. — 
To do what service am I sent for hither ? 

York-. To do that office, of thine own good will. 
Which tired majesty did make thee offer, — 
The resignation of thy state and crown 
To Henry Bolingbroke. 

K. Rich. Give me the crowu : — Here, cousin, 
seize the crown ; 
Here, cousin, on this side my hand; on that 

side thine.*' 
Now is this golden crr)wn like a deep well. 
That owes two buckets fillimr one another; 
The emptier ever dancing in the air. 
The other down, unseen, and full of water : 

t , .1. The qu%rto of ir>08, 

the V ...c passage appears, reads 

thus: — 

•' Oive me the crown. — Srixe the crown. 

Here, cousin, on this side my hand, and on that side yours." 

It appears to us that th-- •- •■•■ n of "here, cousin" i» 

Shak»p<rian; and ihat ' -s not show hi> u&ual 

Judgment in omitting " )< . j\," in the second line. 


Act IV.] 


[Scene I. 

Tliat bucket down, and full of tears, am I, 
Drinking my griefs, whilst you mount up on liigli. 

Boling. 1 thought you had been willing to 

K. Rich. My crown I am, but still my griefs 
arc mine : 
You may my glories and my state depose, 
But not my griefs ; still am I king of those. 

Boling. Part of your cares you give me with 
your crowu. 

K. Rich. Your cares set up do not pluck my 
cares down. 
My care is loss of care, by old care done ; 
Your care is gain of care, by new care won ; 
'I'he cares I give I have, though given away ; 
They tend the crown, yet still with me they stay. 

Boling. Are you contented to resign the 
crown ? 

K. Rich. Ay, no ;— no, ay ;— for I must no- 
thing be ; 
Therefore no, no, for I resign to thee. 
Now mark me how I will undo myself: — 
I give this heavy weight from off my head, 
And this unwieldy sceptre from my hand. 
The pride of kingly sway from out my heart ; 
With mine own tears I wash away my balm, 
With mine own hands I give away my crown. 
With mine own tongue deny my sacred state, 
With mine own breath release all duteous oaths : 
All pomp and majesty I do forswear; 
My manors, rents, revenues, I forego ; 
My acts, decrees, and statutes, I deny : 
• God pardon all oaths that are broke to me ! 
God keep all vows unbroke are made to thee ! 
Make me, that nothing have, with nothing griev'd ; 
And thou with all plcas'd, tliat hast all achicv'd ! 
Lonf mayst thou live in Richard's seat to sit. 
And soon lie Richard in an earthy pit ! 
God save king Henry unking'd Richard says, 
And send liim many years of sunshine days ! 
"VThat more remains ? 

North. No more, but that you read 

\OJfering a paper. 
These accusations, and these grievous crimes. 
Committed by your person, and your followers. 
Against the state and proGt of this laud ; 
That, by confessing them, the souls of men 
May deem that you are worthily depos'd. 

A'. Rich. Must I do so? and must I ravel out 
My weav'd-up follies ! Gentle Northumberland, 
If thy oiTcnces were upon record, 
Would it not shame thee, in so fair a troop, 
To read a lecture of them ? If thou would'st, 
There should'st thou find one heinous article. 
Containing the deposing of a king, 


And cracking the strong warrant of an oath, 
Mark'd with a blot, darnn'd in the book of hea- 
ven : — 
Nay, all of you, that stand and look upon me. 
Whilst that my wretchedness doth bait myself, 
Though some of you, with Pilate, wash your 

Shewing an outward pity ; yet you PUates 
Have here dcliver'd me to my sour cross, 
And water cannot wash away your sin. 

North. My lord, despatch; read o'er these 

K. Rich. Mine eyes are full of tears, I cannot 
And yet salt water bliuds them not so much, 
But they can see a sort "• of traitors here. 
Nay, if I turn mine eyes upon myself, 
I find myself a traitor with the rest : 
For I have given here my sovd's consent, 
To uudeck the pompous body of a king ; 
Make glory base, and sovereignty a slave ; 
Proud majesty a subject ; state a peasant. 

North. My lord, 

K. Rich. No lord of thine, thou haught, in- 
sulting man, 
Nor no man's lord ; I have no name, no title, — 
No, not that name was given me at the font, — 
But 't is usurp'd : — Alack the heavy day, 
That I have worn so many winters out, 
And know not now what name to call myself ! 
O, that I were a mockery king of snow, 
Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke, 
To melt myself away in water-drops ! — 
Good king, — great king, — (and yet not greatly 

An if my word be sterling yet in England, 
Let it command a mirror hither straight, 
That it may shew me what a face I have. 
Since it is bankmpt of his majesty. 
Boling. Go some of you, and fetch a looking- 
glass. \_Exit an Attendant. 
North. Read o'er this paper, while the glass 

doth come. 
K. Rich. Fiend! thou torment'st me ere I 

come to hell. 
Boling. Urge it no more, my lord Northum- 
North. The commons will not then be satisfied. 
K. Rich. They shall be satisfied : I '11 read 
When I do see the very book indeed 
Where all my sins are writ, and that 's myseK. 

« ^ jori— a compan}'. So in Richard III., 

" A sort of vagabonds, rascals, and runaways." 

Act IV.] 



Re-enter Atteiulaut, with a glafs. 

Give me that glass, and therein \nll I rcail. 

No deeper wrinkles yet ? Hath sorrow struck 

So many blows upon tin's face of mine, 

And made no deeper wounds ? — O, flattering glass, 

Like to my followers in prosperity, 

Thou dost beguile me ! Was this face the face 

That every day under his household roof 

Did keep ten thousand men? Was this the face 

That, like the sun, did make beholders wink ? 

Was this the face that fac'd so many follies, 

And was at last ontfac'd by Bolingbroke? 

A brittle glory shineth in this face : 

As brittle as the glory is the face ; 

\^Dasht's Iff f/ldsa againul Ihc ground. 
For there it is, cnick'd in an hundred shivers. 
Mark, silent king, the moral of this sport, — 
IIow soon my sorrow hath destroy 'd my face. 
Baling. The shadow of your sorrow hath de- 
The shadow of your face. 

K. Rich. Say that again. 

The shadow of my sorrow ? Ha ! let 's see :— 
T is very true, my grief lies all within ; 
And these externtd manners of laments" 
Are merely shadows to the unseen grief. 
That swells with silence in the tortiir'd soul ; 
There lies the substance : and I thank thee, king, 
For thy great bounty, that not only giv'st 
Me cause to wail, but tcachest me the way 
How to lament the cause. I '11 beg one boon, 
And then be gone, and trouble you no more. 
Shall I obtain it ? 

Baling. Name it, fair cousin. 

K. Rich. Fair cousm ? I am greater than a 
king ? 
For, when I was a king, my flatterers 

» Laments is the reading of the old copies. 

Were (hen but subjects ; being now a subject, 
I have a king here to my flatterer. 
Being so great, I have no need to beg. 
flollng. Yet ask. 
K. Rich. Audshrdl I have? 
Baling. You siuUi. 
A'. Rich. Tlicn give me leave to go. 
Bvting. Whither? 
A'. Rich. A\liitiier you will, so I were from 

ycmr sights. 
Baling. Go, some of you, convey him to the 

K. Rich. O, good ! Convey ? — Conveyers ' arc 
you all, 
That rise thus niudjly by a true king's fall. 
[^ICxcHnt K. Ku'iiARi), aohie Lords, unit a Guard. 
Baling. On Wednesday next, we solemnly set 
Our coronation : lords, prepare yourselves. 

[Ereunl all but the Abbot, Bishop of 
Carlisle, and Aumeule. 
Abbot. A woeful pageant have we here beheld. 
Car. The woe's to come; the children yet 
Shall feel this day as sliarj) to them as thorn. 
Aum. You holy clergymen, is there no plot 
To rid the realm of this pernicious blot ? 

Abbot. Before I freely speak my mind herein. 
You sludl not only take the sacrament 
To bury mine intents, but to elTect 
Whatever I shall happen to devise : — 
I see your brows are full of discontent, 
Your hearts of sorrow, and your eyes of tears ; 
Come home with me to supper ; 1 will lay 
A plot shall shew us all a merry day. {^Exeunt. 

• Conveijera. Conveyer wa.s sometimes used in nn 111 
8c«isc,— as a fraudulent approprinior of properly, n jucKler. 
In Tyndall's works we have " What tay ye of thi.s crafty 
conveyer, which fearetli not to juR^'le with tlie Holy Scrip- 
ture f " Pistol gives it as a soft name for stealing. — " Convey 
the wise it call." 


^ Scene I. — "Ami there, at Venice, gave 

Jlis boilij to thai pleasant country's earth." 

The remain.? of Thomas >rowbray were interred 
in St. Mark's Church, in Venice, a.U. 1399; but 
his ashe.^ were removeil to Eut;Iand in 1533. The 
slab which originally covered these remains, at 
the latter end of the seventeenth century stood 
under the gallery of the ducal palace; and the 

arms of Thoina.s Mowbray being very cl.iboratoly 
engraved upon it, the stone wa.i describi'il, by an 
Italian writer, in 1G82, a.>» a Venetian hi<r<>j;lyphic. 
By the iml'-fatiirablo impiiries of Mr. i(aw<lon 
Brown, an ICiiRlinh resiiliiig in Venice, 
this nio.Mt curioti.s monument w.-w InceJ, in 1839, 
to the po.«8f.-.^i.>n of a Htone-nin.ton, and removed 
to the cuatotly of Mr. Howard of Corby. 

IRichard surrendering the Crown. Illumination in Froissart.] 


The fourth Act of Shakspere's history of Richard 
II. opens with the assembly of Bolingbroko and the 
jjoers in Parliament. The entry of the triumphant 
Henry of Lancaster and the captive king into Lon- 
don, is reserved by the poet for the unequalled de- 
scription by York to his Duchess in the tifth Act. 
But, as we are following the course of real events, 
we will very briefly describe the jiroceedings between 
the surrender of Richard at Flint Castle and his 

After the interview between Richard and Boling- 
broko, the author of the Metrical History thus pro- 
ceeds : "The said Duko Henry called aloud with a 
stem and savage voice, ' Bring out the king's horses,' 
and then they brought him two little horses that were 
not worth forty francs. The king mounted one, and 
the Earl of Salisbury the other." Henry, with his 
captives, set out from Flint, and proceeded to Chester, 
where they staid three days. The duke then dis- 
missed many of his followers, saying that thirty or 
forty thousand men would be sufficient to take the 
king to London. At Lichfield, the unhappy Richard 
attempted to escape by night, lotting himself down 
into a garden through a window of his tower. The 
French knight goes on to record that a deputation 
arrived from London, to request Heni-y, on the part 
of the commons, to cut off the king's head ; to which 
request Henry replied, " Fair Sirs, it would be a ver^' 
great disgrace to us for ever if we should thus put him 
to death ; but we will bring him to London, and there 
he shall be judged by the Parliament." Proceeding 
by Coventry, Daventry, Northampton, Dunstable, and 
St. Albans, the army reached within si.\ miles of 
London. Here the cavalcade was met by the Mayor, 
accomf)anied by a very great number of the Commons. 
" They paid much greater respect," says the writer, 

"to Duke Henry than to the king, shouting with a 
loud and fearful voice, ' Long live the Duke of Lan- 
caster.'" Pdchai-d was taken, according to this 
relation, to Westminster. Henry, who entered the 
city at the hour of vespers, "alighted at St. Paul's, 
and went all armed before the High Altar to make his 
orisons. He returned by the tomb of his father, 
which is very nigh to the said altar, and there he wept 
very much, for he had never seen it since his father 
had been laid there." The personal narrative of 
the French knight here closes ; the remainder of 
his narrative being given on the faith of another 
pci-son, a clerk. From Westminster Richard was 
removed to the Tower. The Parliament, which 
began on the 13th September, drew up thirty-three 
"Articles objected to King Richard, whereby he 
was counted worthy to be deposed from his princi- 

The scone of fiery contention in Westminster Hall, 
with which this Act opens, follows the chroniclers 
very literally. Shakspere has, however, placed this 
remarkable exhibition of vindictive chai-ges and 
recriminations before the deposition of Richard. It 
took place after Henry's coronation. The protest 
of the Bishop of Carlisle, whom Holinshcd calls "a 
bold bishop and a faithful," also, according to most 
authorities, followed the deposition. It is stated 
to have been made on a request from the Commons 
that Richard might have "judgment decreed against 
him, so as the realm were not troubled by him." 
There is considerable doubt whether this speech 
was delivered at all. It does not appear that 
Richard ruade his resignation in Parliament, but 
that Northumberland and other peers, prelates and 
knights, with justices and notaries, attended the 
captive on the 29th September, 1399, in the chief 


chamber of tho king's lodging in tho Tower, whci-o 
he read aloud and subscribed the scix>ll of resignation, 
saying that, if it wero in his power, ho vvouKl that 
tho Duko of Lanaistor there present should Ih) his 
successor. These instniments wore road to tho 
Parliament tho day following. So Ilolinshod relates 
the story. Froissart. however, details the ceremonies 
of the surrender with more minuteness : " On a day 
the Duko of Lancaster, accomjianied with lonls, 
dukes, prelates, earls, barons, and knight-*, and of 
the notablest men of London, and of other gootl 
towns, rode to tho Tower, aiul there alightc<l. Then 
King Richard was brought into tho hall, aii|K\relled 
like a king in his robes of state, his sceptre in his 
hand, and his crown on his head ; then he stoo^l up 
alone, not holden nor .stayed by no man, and said 
aloud : ' I have been king of England, duko of 
Aquitaine, and loril of Ireland, about twenty-one 
years, which signiory, royalty, sceptre, crown, and 
heritage I clearly resign here to my cousin Henrj* of 
Lancaster ; and I desire him here, in this ojkmi 
presence, in ontcnng of the siuno jiossession, to take 
this sceptre : ' and so delivered it to the duke, who 

took it." Tlicro can bo no doubt that this apparently 
willing resignation, which his enemies said was 
made oven with a merry countenance, was extorted 
from Kichurd by tiio fear of cleath. Northumberland 
openly prochumod this when he i-ebelled agtiinst 
Henry. In a very curious manuscript in the liliniry 
of tho king of Fninco, from which copious oxtnicts 
arc given m Mr. Webb's notes to tho Metrical History, 
there is a det;ulod account of a meeting between 
Richard and liolingbroko in tho Tower, at whicli 
York and Aumerlo were present, — where tlio king, 
in a most violent rage, says, " 1 anj king, an<l will 
still continuo kmg, in spito of all my enemies." 
Shakspere has most skilfully portrayed this naturd 
struggle of the will of tho unhajiin' man, ag-aiiist tho 
necessity by which ho was overwhelmed. Tho dejK)- 
sition scene shews us, — as faithfully as tho glass 
which the p'let introlucos exhibits tho jK'rson of tho 
king, — the vacillations of a naturo irresolute and 
yielding, but clinging to tho phantom of j)ower when 
the sui)stanco had passed away. There- c:in bo no 
doubt that Shakspere-'s portniit of Richard II. isns 
historically true as it is jKHStiadly 


Uicliard anc; Buliniibrolie .irrived at I.oikI.jii lUuininslioii \v., Melric»1 Hutory.] 


The chroniclers have shewn us the fierce, and, as 
we should call them in modem times, the brutal con- 
tests of the peers in the first ParUamcnt of Henry 
IV. But another view is presented to us in a most 
curious record of the days of Ilichard, which shows 
us a Parliament that moi-e nearly ajjjjroaclies to our 
notions of an assembly of men called together for 
the public good, but not forgetting their private 
interests in their peaceful moods ; and deporting 
themselves as men do who have mighty questions 
to deliberate upon, but who bring to that deliberation 
the sloth, the j^etty feelings, and the other individual 
characteristics that remind us that great legislators 
are sometimes small men. The Camden Society, 
which is doing for litei-aturo the very reverse of 
what the Roxburgh Club did — which is making 
unpublished and rare Tracts accessible to all men, 
instead of gaining a petty reputation by render- 
ing scarce things known, and then causing them to 
bo scarcer, — has published an " Alliterative Poem on 
the Deposition of King Richard II." This most 
curious production is printed from a manuscript in 
the Public Library at Cambridge. There seems to 
be no doubt that the poem was written about the 
time when Richard fell into the hands of his enemies : 
— the first lines represent the author as being in- 
formed that "Henrri was entrid on the est half" of 
the kingdom, while Richard " werrid be west on the 
wildo Yrisshe." The author of the poem appears 
to have been a pai-tisan of Bolingbroke ; — the ti-an- 
Bcriber was of the opposite faction ; — and to tliis 
circumstance we owe the loss of the more important 
part of the original composition ; — for he broke off 
abruptlj' in the description of Richard's sei-vile 
ParUament, — the Parliament that, giving a colour to 

his exactions and despotic exercise of authority, led 
to the great revolvition which ended in his deposition. 
Of this famous Parliament, the following is a part of 
the description to which we have alluded : — 

" .'Vncl somme slombrid and slepte, and said but a lite; 
And somme mafllid witli the moutli, and nyst what they 

mcnt ; 
And somme had )iire, and helde ther-with evere, 
And wolde no flforther a IFoot, ffor ffer of her maistris ; 
And somme were so soleync, and sad of her wittis, 
That er they come to the clos a-combred they were, 
That thei the conclucioun than constrewe ne couthe 
No burne of tlie benche, of borowe nother cllis, 
So blynde and so ballid and bare was the reson ; 
And somme were so tfers at the ffrist come, 
That tliey benfe on a bouet, and bare a topte saile 
A-ffor the wynde ffresshely, to make a good ffare." 

We venture upon a free prose translation of the old 
English : — 

"And some slumbered and slept, and said but a 
little ; and some stammered with the mouth, and 
knew not what they meant ; and some were paid, 
and held to that, and woukl no further a-foot, for 
fear of their masters ; and some were so sullen and 
grave in their wits, that before they came to the 
close they were so much encumbered, that their 
conclusions could be construed by no baron of the 
bench, nor by no one else of the borough, — so blind, 
and so bald, and so bare was their reason. And 
some were so fierce at the first coming, that they 
were bent on a bout, and bare a topsail afore the 
wind freshly, to make a good fare." — Unchangeable 
human nature I 

!'■!'' '., *;' ' ■■• ) '-i-fe' Jc\K ' 



[Scene I.— Throv/ing the Gage. Illumination in Froissart.] 

[SCSSE 1.] 


SCENE I.— Loudon. A Street leading to the 

Enter Queen and Ladies. 

Queen. Tliis way the king will come ; this b 
the way 
To Julius Ciesar's ill-crccled • tower, 
To whose flint bosom my condemned lord 
Is doom'd a prisoner by proud Bolingbrokc : 
llcre let us rest, if this rebellious earth 
llave any resting for her tnie king's queen. 

Enter King Ricuard and Guards. 

But soft, but see, or rather do not see, 

My fair rose wither : Yet look up ; behold ; 

ITiat you in pity may dissolve to dew, 

And wash him fresh again with true-love tears. 

Ah, thou, the model where old Troy did stand ;•> 

• Ill-erected — erected for evil. 

*> The queen, in a series of bold metaphors, compares 

Thou map of honour ; thou King Richard's tomb, 
And not king Richard; tiiou most beauteous 

inn, • 
Wliy should hard-favour'd grief be lodg'd in thee, 
When triumph is become an alehouse guest ? 
A'. liic/i. Join not witli grief, fair woman, do 

not so. 
To make my end too sudden : learn, good soul. 
To think our former state a happy dream ; 
From wliich awak'd, the trutii of what wc arc 

her " condemned lord" to a ruin, or a mere outw.ird form of 
grcatncK. He is " the ni'Klrl where old Troy did stand" — 
the repri'scnt.ition of the waste on which the most renowned 
city of antirjuity once 6tood. 

» Inn. Wc drulit wlicthcr the word It here used as Fal- 
slaffiisesit — " Shall I not tnko mine case in mine inn f" 
An inn was oripinally a dwcllinR— a place of cover or pro- 
tection. We have utill the Inn« of Court ; Lord Hiayhrooke's 
seat in Essex, commonly called Audley-End, is, probably, 
Audley-inn. When the queen opposes the term a/e-Aou*« 
to inn, she certainly does not mean, as Monrk Mason thinks, 
to discriminate between two classes of houses of entertain, 
ment, but between a public-house and a " beauteous man- 


Act v.] 



Shews us but this : I am sworn brother," sweet, 

To grim necessity ; and he and I 

Will keep a league till death. Hie thee to 

And cloister thee in some religious house : 
Our holy lives must win a new M'orld's crown, 
"VVTiich our profane hours here have stricken 

Queen. What, is my Richard both in shape 

and mind 
Transform 'd, and wcaken'd? Hath Bolingbroke 
Depos'd thine intellect ? Hath he been in thy 

licart ? 
The lion, dying, thrusteth forth his paw, 
And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage 
To be o'crpower'd ;•• and wilt thou, pupil-like. 
Take thy correction mildly ? kiss the rod ; 
And fawn on rage with base humility, 
AVhich art a lion, and a king of beasts ? 

A'. Rich. A king of beasts, indeed; if aught 

but beasts, 
I had been still a happy king of men. 
Grood sometime queen, prepare thee hence for 

France : 
Think, I am dead ; and tliat even liere thou 

As from my death-bed, my last living leave. 
In winter's tedious nights, sit by the fire 
With good old folks ; and let them toll thee tales 
Of woeful, ages, long ago betid : 
And, ere thou bid good night, to quit their grief, 
Tell thou the lamentable fall of mo. 
And send the hearers weeping to their beds. 
For why, the senseless brands will sympathize 
The heavy accent of thy moving tongue. 
And, in compassion, weep the fire out : 
And some will mourn in ashes, some coal-black. 
For the deposing of a rightful king. 

Enter Nortuujiberland, attended. 

North. My lord, the mind of Bolingbroke is 
chang'd ; 
You must to Poaifrct, not unto the Tower. 
And, madam, there is order ta'en for you ; 
With all swift speed you must away to France. 

K. Rich. Northumberland, thou ladder where- 
The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne, 
Tlie time shall not bo many hours of age 
More than it is, ere foid sin, gathering head. 
Shall break into corruption : thou shdt think. 
Though he divide the realm, and give thee half, 

a Sworn brother. Militarj' adventurers were sometimes 
leacued to share each otliers" fortunes— to divide their plun- 
der, and even their honours. They were then /ra/res jurati 
— sworn brolliers. 


It is too little, helping him to all : 

And he shall think, that thou, which know'st 

the way 
To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again. 
Being ne'er so little urg'd another way. 
To pluck him headlong from the usui-ped throne. 
The love of wicked friends converts to fear ; 
That fear, to hate ; and hate turns one, or both. 
To worthy danger, and deserved death. 
North. My guilt be on my head, and there 
an end. 
Take leave, and part ; for you must part forth- 
K. Rich. Doubly divorc'd? — Bad men, ye 
A twofold marriage; 'twixt my crown and 

And then betvdxt me and my married wife. 
Let me unkiss the oath 'twixt thee and me ; 
And yet not so, for with a kiss 't was made." 
Bart us, Northumberland ; I towards the north, 
Where shivering cold and sickness pines the 

clime ; 
My queen '' to France ; from whence, set forth 

in pomp, 
She came adorned hither like sweet JMay, 
Sent back like Hallowmas, ° or short'st of day. 
Queen. And must we be divided? must we 

part ? 
K. Rich. Ay, hand from hand, my love, and 

heart from heart. 
Qtieen. Banish us both, and send the king 

with me. 
North. That were some love, but little policy. 
Queen. Then whither he goes thither let 

me go. 
K. Rich. So two, together weeping, make 
one woe. 
Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here ; 
Better far off, than near, be ne'er the near'."^ 
Go, count thy way with sighs ; I mine with 
Queen. So longest way shall have the longest 

K. Rich. Twice for one step I'll groan, the 
way being short, 
And piece the way out with a heavy heart. 
Come, come, in wooing sorrow let 's be brief, 
Since, wedding it, there is such length in grief. 

' The kiss was a establislied form of the ancient cere- 
mony of affian-iintr. 'See Illustrations of Two Gentlemen of 
Verona, Act II. Scene II.) 

b Queen. So the folio. The quartos wife. 

c Hallnwmits. The first of November,— opposed to 
" sweet May." 

d Ne'er ihenear. Some deem this a proverbial expression, 
meaning not nearer to good. It appears to us here to meac 
" never the nearer." 

ACT v.] 


[ScEXE ri- 

One kiss sh;\ll stop our mouths, and duiubly part; 
Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart. 

yJhey kis$. 
Queen. Give me mine own again; 'twere no 
good part, 
To take on me to keep, and kill thy heart. 

\KUs again. 
So, now I have mine own ag:un, begone, 
That I may strive to kill it with a groan. 
K. Rich. We make woe wanton witli this 
fond delay ; 
Once more, adieu ; the rest let sorrow say. 


SCENE U.—The same. A Room in the Duke 
of York'* Palace. 

Enter York and his Duchess.' 

Duch. My lord, you told me you would tell 

the rest. 
When weeping made you break the story oflf 
Of our two cousins coming into London. 
Fori. Where did I leave ? 
Duch. At that sad stop, my lord, 

Where rude misgovem'd hands, from windows' 

Threw dust and rubbish on king Richard's head. 
TorL ITicn, as I said, the duke, great Bo- 

Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed, 
"Which his aspiring rider seem'd to know. 
With slow, but stately pace, kept on his course. 
While all tongues cried — God save thee, Boling- 

broke ! 
You would have thought the very windows 

So many greedy looks of young and old 
Through casements darted their desiring eyes 
Upon his mage; and that all the walls, 
With painted imagery, had said at once, — 
Jesu preserve thee ! welcome, Bolingbroke ! 
"WliUst he, from one side to the other tumi)ig, 
Bare-headed, lower than his proud steed's neck, 
Bespake them thus, — I thank you, countrymen : 
And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along. 
Duch. Alas, poor Richard ! where rides he 

the whilst ? 
Vort. As in a theatre, the eyes of men, 
After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage, 
Are idly bent on him that enters next, 
Thinking his prattle to be tedious : 
Even so, or with much more contempt, men's 

Did scowl on Richard ; no man cried, God save 


No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home : 
But dust was thrown upon his sacred head ; 
Which witli such gentle sorrow he shook off, 
His face still combating with tears and smiles. 
The badges of iiis grief and patience. 
That had not God, for some strong purpose, 

The hearts of men, they must perforce have 

And barbarism itself have pitied him.* 
But heaven hath a hand in these events ; 
To whose high will we bound our calm contents. 
To Bolingbroke arc we sworn subjects now. 
Whose state and honour I for aye allow. 
Efiter AVMERCE. 

Durh. Here comes my son Aumerle. 

TorJt. Aumerle that was ; '' 

But that is lost, for being Richard's friend. 
And, madam, you must call him Rutland now : 
I am in parliament pledge for his truth, 
And lasting fealty to the new-made king. 

Duch. Welcome, my son : Who are the violets 
That strew the green lap of the new-come spring ? 

Jum. Madam, I know not, nor I greatly care 
God knows, I had as lief be none, as one. 

Tor/c. Well, bear you wcU in this new spring 
of time, 
Lest you be eropp'd before you come to prime. 
Wliat news from Oxford ? hold those justs and 
triumphs ? 

Jum. For aught I know, my lord, they do. 

Fori: You will be there, I know. 

Aum. If God prevent it not ; 1 purpose so. 

TorJt. What seal is that that hangs without 
thy bosom ? " 
Yea, look'st thou pale ? let me sec the writing. 

Aum. My lord, 't is nothing. 

Ifork. No matter then who sees it : 

I will be satisfied,— let me see the writing. 

Aum. I do beseech your grace to pardon mc; 
It is a matter of small consequence. 
Which for some reasons I would not have seen. 

}'orA: Which for some reasons, sir, I mean 
to sec. 
I fear, I fc:ir, — 

• It is pleasant, in rcadinif what h^% bwn written upon 
Shak»pere. to me«t occaiionally with thi? Fr-iisl rriliri«in ol 
one who underntiinds him. Dr)den, ' f thi< rele- 

brated pa»»aRp, »ay». " The paintinp cription is 

so lively, aivl the words so moving, ih.ii i inic ncarce read 
anything comimrable to it in any other languare." 

b Aumerle that tea*. Aumerle was deprived of hit 
dukedom by nn act nf Henry's fir«t Parliameiit ; but waf 
suffered to retained his earldom of Rutland. 

c The seal was formerly not impressed on the deed it sell 
but attached to it by a slip of parchment. The Great Sea' 
is applied in a similar manner at the present day. 


ACT v.] 



Buck. What should you fear ? 

'T is nothing but some bond, that he is entcr'd 

For gay apparel, 'gainst the tiiumph day. 

York. Bound to himself ? what doth he with 
a bond 
That he is bound to ? Wife, thou art a fool. — 
Boy, let me see the wiiting. 

Aum. T do beseech you, pardon me; I may 

not shew it. 
York. I wUl be satisfied ; let me see it, I say. 
\_Snatches it, and reads. 
Treason ! foul treason ! — villain ! traitor ! slave ! 
Duch. What is the matter, my lord ? 
York. Ho ! who is within there ? [Enter a 
Servant.] Saddle my horse. 
Heaven for his mercy ! what treachery is here ! 
Duch. Why, what is it, my lord ? 
York. Give me my boots, I sayj saddle my 
horse : — 
Now by my honour, by my life, my troth, 
I ^^'ill appeach the villain. [Exit Servant. 

Duch. What's the matter ? 

York. Peace, fooUsh woman. 
Duch. I will not peace : — What is the matter, 

Aum. Good mother, be content ; it is no moi'e 
Than my poor life must answer. 

Duch. Thy life answer ? 

Re-enter Servant, tvith boots. 

York. Bring me my boots, I will unto the 

Duch. Strike liim, Aumerlc. — Poor boy, thou 
art arnaz'd : 
Hence, villain : never more come in my sight. — 

[I'o the Servant. 

York. Give me my boots, I say. 

Duch. Why, York, what wilt thou do ? 
Wilt thou not liidc the trespass of thine own ? 
Have we more sons ? or are we like to have ? 
Is not my teeming date drunk up with time ? 
And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age. 
And rob mc of a happy mother's name ? 
Is he not like thee ? is he not thiuc own ? 

York. Thou fond mad woman, 
Wilt tliou conceal this dark conspiracy ? 
A dozen of them here have ta'en the sacrament. 
And interchangeably set down their hands. 
To kill the kmg at Oxford. 

Duch. He shall be none ; 

We '11 keep him here : Then wliat is that to liim ? 

York. A.\vay, 
Fond woman ! were he twenty times my sou 
I would appeach him. 

Duch. Hadst thou groan'd for him. 

As I have done, thou'dst be more pitiful. 
But now I know thy mind ; thou dost suspect 
That I have been disloyal to thy bed, 
And that he is a bastard, not thy son : 
Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind 
He is as like thee as a man may be. 
Not like to me, or any of my kin. 
And yet I love him. 

York. Make way, unruly woman. 


Duch. After, Aumerle ; mount thee upon his 
horse ; 
Spur, post; and get before him to the king, 
And beg tby pardon ere he do accuse thee. 
I '11 not be long behind ; though I be old : 
I doubt not but to ride as fast as York : 
And never will I rise up from the ground, 
TiU Bolingbroke have pardou'd thee : Away ; 
Begone. [E.reunt. 

SCENE lU.— Windsor. A Room in the Castle. 

Enter Bolingbkoke, as King; Percy, and 
other Lords. 

Doling. Cuu no man tell of my unthrifty son ?- 
'T is fuJl three months since I did see him last : 
If any plague hang over us, 't is he. 
I would to Heaven, my lords, he might be 

found : 
Inquire at London, 'mongst the taverns there. 
For there, they say, he daily doth frequent. 
With unrestrained loose companions — 
Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes. 
And beat our watch, and rob our passengers ; 
"While he, young, wanton, and effeminate boy," 
Takes on the point of honour, to support 
So dissolute a crew. 

Percy. My lord, some two days since I saw 
the prince, 
And told him of these triumphs held at Oxford. 

Doling. And what said the gallant ? 

Percy. His answer was, — he would uuto the 
And from the common'st creature pluck a glove. 
And wear it as a favour ; and with that 
He would unhorse the lustiest chtdlcnger. 

Doling. As dissolute as desperate: yet, through 
I sec some sparkles of a better hope,'' 

a }Vhile he. This is Pope's alteration of the original 

JVhich he. 
i> In the folio tliese lines stand thus : — 
" I see some sparks of better hope ; which elder days 
May happily bring forth. Hut who comes here ? " 

The usual reading is certainly an improvement ; and several 

of the quartos have sparkles. 

Act v.] 


[Scene III 

Which elder days may happily bring forth. 
But who couies here ? 

Enter AuilERLE, hastily. 

Ahui, Where is the king? 

Baling. What means 

Our cousin, that he stares and looks so wildly ? ' 
Aum. God save your grace. I do beseech 
your majesty, 
To have some conference with your grace alone. 
Baling. Withdraw yourselves, and leave us 
here alone. [Exeu/il Percy awl Lords. 
What is the matter with our cousin now ? 
Jum. For ever may my knees grow to the 
earth, [Kneels. 

My tongue cleave to ray roof within my mouth, 
Unless a pardon, ere I rise, or speak. 

Baling. Intended, or committed, was this 
fault ? 
If on the first, how heinous ere it be. 
To win thy after-love, I pardon thee. 

Aum. Then give me leave that I may turn 
the key, 
That no man enter till my tale be done. 
Baling. Have thy desire. 

[AuMERLE locks the doar. 
York. [Within^ My liege, beware ; look to 
thyself ; 
Thou hast a traitor in thy presence there. 

Baling. Villain, I '11 make thee safe. [^Drawing. 
Aum. Stay thy revengeful hand ; 
Thou hast no cause to fear. 

York. [Tf'ilhin.'] Open the door, secure, fool- 
hardy king ; 
Shall I, for love, speak treason to thy face ? 
Open the door, or I will break it open. 

[BoLiNGBROKE opens the daor. 

Enter York. 

Baling. What is the matter, uncle ? speak ; 
Recover breath ; tell us how near is danger. 
That we may arm us to encounter it. 

York. Peruse this writing here, and thou 
shalt know 
ITie treason that mv haste forbids me shew. 

Aum. Remember, as thou rcad'st, thy pro- 
mise past :•. 
I do repent me ; read not my name there. 
My heart is not confederate with my hand. 

York. It was, villain, ere thy hand did set it 
down. — 
I tore it from the traitor's bosom, king ; 
Fear, and not love, begets his penitence : 
Forget to pity him, lest thy pity prove 
A serpent that will sting thee to the heart. 

Baling. O heinous, strong, and bold con- 
spiracy ! 

loyal father of a treacherous son ! 

Thou sheer,' immaculate, and silver fountain. 
From whence this stream through muddy pas- 
Hath held his current, and dcfil'd himself! 
Thy overflow of good converts to bad ; 
And thy abundant goodness shall excuse 
This deadly blot in thy digressuig son. 

York. So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd ; 
And he shall spend mine honour with his shame. 
As thriftless sons tlicir scraping father's gold. 
Mine honour lives when his dishonour dies. 
Or my sham'd life in his dishonour lies ; 
Thou kill'st me in Ids life ; giving him breath. 
The traitor lives, the true man's put to death. 

Duch. [Jf'ithin.] What ho, my liege ! for 
heaven's sake let me in. 

Baling. What shrill-voie'd suppliant makes 
this eager cry ? 

Duch. A woman, and thine aunt, great king ; 
't is I. 
Speak with me, pity me, open the door : 
A beggar begs that never begg'd before. 

Baling. Our scene b alter'd, — from a serious 
And now chang*d to The Beggar and the King. 
My dangerous cousin, let your mother in ; 

1 know she 's come to pray for your foul sin. 

York. If thou do pardon, whosoever pray. 
More sins, for this forgiveness, prosper may. 
This fester'd joint cut off, the rest rests sound; 
This, let alone, will all the rest confound. 

Enter DuCHESS. 

Duch. O king, believe not this hard-hearted 
man ; 
Love, loving not itself, none other can. 

York. Thou frantic woman, what dost thou 
make here ? 
Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear? 
Duch. Sweet York, be patient. Hear me, 
gentle liege. [Kmels. 

Baling. Rise up, good aunt. 
Durh. Not yet, I thee beseech : 

For ever will I walk upon my knees,'' 

» Sheer rr---' - —iratcd, unmingled, free from admix 
tore— and • 

i> Walk 'j^ ires. Thin is the reading of the first 

quarto. The folio has kneel upon my knees, which is a 
redundancy. We say to icalk upon our hands and feet; 
and why not then upon our knees? Tu walk is figuratively 
used for to move generally. Thus, in Spenser, 

'• From every coast that heaven tcalkt about." 
In our poet's 128th sonnet, addressing a lady playing on the 
virginal, he speaks of the keys of the instrument as 
" Those dancing chips, 
O'er whom tby fingers iraik with gentle gait." 


Act v.] 


[Scene JV 

And never see day that the happy sees. 
Till thou give joy ; until thou bid me joy, 
By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy. 

Aum. Unto my mother's prayers 1 bend my 
knee. \_Kiieels. 

York. Against them both my true joints 

bended be. [Kneels. 

[HI may'st thou thrive if thou grant any grace !]^ 

Duck. Pleads he in earnest? look upon his 
His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest ; 
His words eome from his mouth, ours from our 

breast : 
He prays but faintly, and would be denied ; '' 
We pray with heart, and soul, and all beside : 
His weary joints v.ould gladly rise, I know ; 
Our knees shall kneel till to the ground they 

grow : 
His prayers are full of false hypocrisy; 
Ours of tme zeal and deep integrity. 
Our prayers do out-pray his; then let them have 
That mercy, whicli true prayers ought to have. 

Baling. Good auijt, stand up. 

Buck. Nay, do not say — stand up ; 

But pardon, first ; and afterwards, stand up. 
An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach, 
Pardon — sliould be the first word of thy speech. 
I never long'd to hear a word till now ; 
Say — pardon, king -. let pity teacli thee how : 
The word is short, but not so short as sweet ; 
No word like pardon for kings' mouths so 

York. Speak it in French, king: say, par- 
donnez moy. 

Buck. Dost thou teach pardon pardon to 
destroy ? 
Ah, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord, 
That sett'st the word itself against the word ! 
Speak, pardon, as 'tis current in our land : 
The chopping French ° we do not understand. 
Thine eye begins to speak, set thy tongue there : 
Or, in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear ; 
That, hearing liow our plaints and prayers do 

Pity may move thee pardon to rehearse. 

' This line is not in the folio. 

•' Blair, in his Lectures on Rhetoric, compares this argu- 
ment to a pas.sape in Cicero, where the orator maintains that 
the coldness of Marcus Callidius, in making an accusation 
of an attempt to poison him, was a proof that the charge was 
false. " An tu, M. Callidi, nisi fingeres, sic ageresf " 

« Chopping French. Chopping is here used in the sense 
of changmg, which is derived from cheaping, tralTicking. 
We still say a chopping wind. Malone, we apprehend, 
mistakes when he explains the word hy jabbering. York 
exhorts the king instead of saying fiarrfon to szy pardonncz 
moi^— excuse me. The duchess will have pardon as " 'tis 
current in our land." The chopping French— the French 
which changes the meaning of words— which sets "the 
word itself against the word," she says, " we do not under- 
stand." ' 


Bolwg. Good aunt, stand up. 

Buck. I do not sue to stand, 

Pardon is aU the suit I have in hand. 

Boling. I pardon liiin, as heaven shall par- 
don me. 

Bucli. O happy vantage of a kneeling knee ! 
Yet am I sick for fear : speak it again ; 
"Twice saying pardon doth not pardon twain. 
But makes one pardon strong. 

Boling. With all my heart 

I pardon him. 

Burh. A god ou earth thou art. 

Boling. But for our trusty brother-in-law,^ 
and the abbot, 
With all the rest of that consorted crew. 
Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels 
Good uncle, help to order several powers 
To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are : 
They shall not Live within this world, I swear. 
But I will have them, if I once know where. 
Uncle, farewell, — and cousin too, adieu : 
Your mother well hath pray'd, and prove jou 

Bvch. Come, my old son; — I pray Heaven'' 
make thee new. [E.vetint. 


Enter Exton and a SeiTant. 

Exton. Didst thou not mark the king, what 
words he spake ? 
" Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear ? " 
Was it not so ? 

Scrv. Those were his very words. 

Exton. "Have I no friend?" quoth he: he 
spake it twice. 
And urg'd it twice together ; did he not ? 
Serv. He did. 

Exton. And, speaking it, he wistly ^ look'd on 
As who should say, — I would thou wert the 

" Heaven. This is the last passage of the play in which 
we have substituted, according to the authority of the folio 
of 162."), the word Ilenven for God. It is to be observed that 
the editors of the folio have retained the name of the Most 
High when it is used in a peculiarly emphatic, or reverential 
manner, and have not made the change to Heaven indis- 
criminately. The substitution of this word, in most cases, 
was made in obedience to a statute of James the First; 
(3 Jac. I. c. 21,) and it appears to us that in many recent 
instances good taste has not been exercised in restoring the 
readings of the earliest copies, which were issued at a time 
when the habits of society sanctioned the habitual and 
therefore light employment of the Sacred Name. We have 
no desire to Bowdlcrise Shakspere, but, on the other hand, 
it is desirable to avoid, if possible, giving offence to the 

b Wistly. So the old copies. Wistly is constantly used 
by the writers of Shakspere's time, — by Urayton, for ex- 
ample, — 

" But when more wistly they did her behold." 

ACT v.] 



That would clivoroe this terror from my heart ; 
Meaning the king at Pomfret. Conio, let 's go ; 
I am the king's fiieiid, aud will rid his foe. 


SCENE v.— Pomfret. He Di>)i(/eon of the 

Enter King Hichaud. 

A'. Rich. I have been studying how I niav 

This prison, where I live, unto the world : 
Aud, fur because the world is populous, 
And here is not a creature but myself, 
I cannot do it ; — yet 1 '11 hammer it out. 
^[y brain 1 '11 prove the female to my soul ; 
^ly soul, the father : and these two beget 
A generation of still-breeding thoughts, 
And these same thoughts people this little 

world ; '^ 
lu humours like the people of this world. 
For no thought is contented. The better 

sort, — 
As thoughts of things divine, — are intermix'd 
\Vith scruples, and do set the Word itself 
Against the Word '' 

As thus, — Come, little ones ; and then ag-aiu, — 
It is as hard to come, as for a camel 
To thread the postern of a needle's eye. 
Tlioughts tending to ambition they do plot 
Unlikely wonders : how these vain weak nails 
May tear a passage through the flinty ribs 
Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls ; 
And, for they cannot, die in their own pride. 
Thousrhts tending to content flatter themselves 
That they are not the first of fortune's slaves, 
Nor shall not be the last ; like silly beggars. 
Who, sitting in the stocks, refuge theii* shame, 
Tliat many have, and others must sit there : 
And in this thought they find a kind of ease, 
Bearing their own misfortunes on the back 
Of such as have before endur'd the like. 
Thus play I, in one person, many people. 
And none contented : Sometimes am I king ; 
Then treason makes mc wish myself a beggar, 

« Thit lltHe world. "The little world of man," as in 
Lear. Shakspere licre u<es the philosophy which is thus 
described by KaU-i^h : — " Bec.iuse in the little frame of man's 
body there is a representation of the universal, and (by 
allusion) a kind of participation of all the parts there, there- 
fore was man r.llcd microcosmot, or the little world." — 
(Hulory of the Iforld ) 

b We (live the reading of the first quarto. The folio has 
" Ihe failh itself apainst the/ai7A." We must remark that, 
in the third scene of this Act the Duchess uses precisely 
the same expression ; " sett'st the word itself Bgnintt 
the word : " the sense of llie word there being, as will be 
seen, altogether different. 

Histories. — Vol. I. L 

And so I am ; Then crushing penury 
Persuades me I belter when a king; 
Then am I king'd again : aud Ijy-and-by, 
Think that I am uuking'd by 13olingl)rokc, 
And straight am nothing: — But, whate'er I am. 
Nor I, nor any man, that but man is, 
With nothing shall be pleas'd till he be eas'd 
With being nothing. Music do I hem- ? [Muki'c. 
Ila, ha! keep time : — How sour sweet music is, 
AVheu time is broke, and no proportion kept! 
So is it in the music of men's lives. 
And here have I the daintiness of ear. 
To cheek time broke in a disorder'd string; 
But, for the concord of my state and time, 
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke. 
I wasted time, and now doth time waste mc. 
For now hatii time made me his numli'ring 

clock : 
;My thoughts are minutes ; and, with sighs, they 

Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward 

Whereto my finger, like a dial's point. 
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears." 
Now, sir, the sounds that tell what hour it is, 
Arc clamorous groans, lliat strike upon my 

Which is the bell: So sighs, and tears, and 

Shew minutes, times, and hours : — but my time 
Runs posting on in Bolingbroke's proud joy. 
While I stand fooling here, his Jack o' the 

This music mads me, let it sound no more ; 
For, though it have holpc madmen to their 

In me it seems it will make wise men mad. 
Yet blessing on his heart that gives it mc ! 
For 't is a sign of love ; and love to Kichard 
Is a strange brooch" in this all-hating world. 

• It is somewhat difficult to follow this reading. Hichard 
says. Time has made him a numbering clock. A clock and 
a watch were fonni-rly the same instruments ; a cl'>ck so 
called because it clicketh— a watch so called because it 
marks the watchei, the ancient divisions of the d.iy. Coni- 
parmg, then, himself to such an instrument, he says, his 
thouglits— that is, tick thoir «atclics on (unto) hisi-yes, 
which an- the outward iiart of the instiununt- the dial plate 
on which the hour* are numlxTeil, — whercio his linger, the 
dial's point, is pointing. These analojjies may appear forced, 
andsomewhatiihscurr: hntif mii«t he observed that through- 
out the character of ! made hmi indulge 
in those freaks of i ' belotig to weak- 
ness of character, i.-^i-e -uii;.' ij' :i;.ii . .N'otic-.) 

*> Jack u' the clock. \n aiitoiiiati:n. such .is formerly 
constituted one of the wonders of London, before St. 
Uunstau's Church in Klect Street; but which the ruthless 
hand of improvement has now swept away. 

c A ilrange brooch. The bronch, a valuable ornament, 
was, it seems, out of fashion in Shakspere's time. In All 'e 
Well that Ends Well, we have, " the brooch and the tooth- 
pick which wear not now." Ix)ve to Kichard is, therefore, 
called a strange brooch, a thing of value out of fashion. 


Act v.] 



Enter Groom. 

Groom. Hail, royal prince ! 
K. Rich. Tiianks, noble peer ; 

The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear.^ 
What art thou ? and how comest thou hither, 
Where no man ever comes, but that sad dog ^ 
That brings me food, to make misfortune live ? 
Groom. I was a poor groom of thy stable, 
Wlicn thou wert king ; who, travelling towards 

With much ado, at length have gotten leave 
To look upon my sometimes royal mastei-'s face. 
0, how it yearn'd my heart, when I beheld. 
In London streets that coronation day. 
When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary ! 
That horse that thou so often hast bestrid ; 
Tlmt liorse that I so carefully have dress'd ! 
K. Rich. Rode he on Barbary ? Tell me, gen- 
tle friend, 
IIow went he under him ? 

Groom. So proudly as if he had disdain'd the 

K. Rich. So ])roud that Bolingbroke was on 
his back ! 
That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand ; 
This hand lialh made him proud with clapping 

Would he not stumble ? Would he not fall down, 
(Since pride must have a fall,) and break the neck 
Of that proud man that did usurp his back ? 
Forgiveness, horse ! why do I rail on thee. 
Since thou, created to be aw'd by man. 
Wast born to bear ? 1 was not made a horse ; 
And yet I bear a burden like an ass, 
Spur-gall'd, and tir'd by jauncing'' Bolingbroke. 

Enter Keeper, with a dish. 

Keep. Fellow, give place; here is no longer 

stay. [To the Groom. 

K. Rich. ]f thou love me 't is time thou wert 

OrooYA. What my tongue dares not that my 

heart shall say. \Exit. 

Keep. ]\ly lord, will 't please you to fall to ? 
K. Rich. Taste of it lirst, as thou art wont 

to do. 
Keep. My lord, I dare not; Sir Pierce of 
Exton, who lately came from the king, commands 
the contrary. 

» Sad dog. Sad is here used in tlie sense of grave, 

o a spur-palled 



b Jaitncing. Kichard compares himself to a spur-pal 
beast that Boiinabroke rides. — Jauncing — ^jaunting — h 
tiedly movinp, Dolingbroke. It is possible, however, tl 
it may be a contraction oC joyauncing. 

K. Rich. The devil take Henry of Lancaster, 
and thee ! 
Patience is si ale, and I am weary of it. 

[Beats the Keeper. 
Keep. Help, help, help ! 

Enter Exton, and Servants, armed. 

K. Rich. How now ? what means death in this 
rude assault ? 
^' illain, thine own hand yields thy death's instru- 

[Snatching a weapon, and killing one. 
Go thou, and fill another room in hell. 
[He kills another, then Exton strikes him down. 
That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire. 
That staggers thus my person. — Exton, thy fierce 

Hath with the king's blood stained the king's 

own land. 
Mount, mount, my soul ! thy seat is up on high ; 
Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to 
die. [Dies. 

Exton. As full of valour as of royal blood : 
Both have I spilt ; 0, would the deed were good ! 
For now the devil, that told me I did well. 
Says that this deed is chronicled in hell. 
This dead king to the living king I '11 bear, 
lake hence the rest, and give them burial here. 


SCENE VI.— Windsor. A Rcom in the Castle. 

Flourish. Enter Bolingbroke and York with 
Lords and Attendants. 

Boling. Kind uncle York, the latest news we 
Is, that the rebels have eousum'd with fii-e 
Our town of Cicester in Glostershire ; 
But whether they be ta'cn, or slain, we hear not. 


Welcome, my lord : what is the news ? 

North. First, to thy sacred state wish 1 all 
The next news is, — I have to London sent 
The heads of Salisbury, Spencer, Blunt, and Kent : 
The manner of their taking may appear 
At large discoursed in this paper here. 

[Presenting a paper. 
Boling. We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy 
pains ; 
And to thy worth will add riglit worthy gains. 

Enter Fitzwater. 

Fitz. My lord, I have from Oxford sent to 


Act v.] 



The heads of Brocas, and Sir Beunct Snol)' ; 
Two of tlic dangerous consorted traitors 
That sought at Oxford thy dire (uorthrow. 
Buliiii/. Tiiy pains, l-'itzwatcr, sliall not bo 
forgot ; 
Right noble is thy merit, well I wot. 

Enter Pkrcy, with the Bishop op Caiilisle. 

Percj/. The grand conspirator, abbot of AVest- 
With clog of conscience and sour nu-laueholy. 
Hath yielded up his body to the grave ;* 
But here is Carlisle living, to abide 
Thy kingly doom, and sentence of his pride. 

BoUng. Carlisle, this is your doom : — 
Choose out some secret place, some reverend 

More than thou hast, and with it joy thy life ; 
So, as thou liv'st in peace, die free from strife : 
For though mine enemy thou hast ever been, 
High sparks of honour in thee have I seen. 

Enter Exton, xcith Attendants bearhifi a coffin. 
Exton. Great king, within this coffin I present 
Tiiy buried fear ; herein all breathless lies 

The mightiest of thy greatest enemies, 
Kiehard of Bordeaux, by me hither brought. 
Hilling. Exton, I lliank ti»ec not ; for tliou hast 

A deed of slander, with thy fatal hand, 
Upon my head, and all this famous land. 

Exton. Emm your own mouth, my lord, did I 

this deed. 
Holing. They love not poison that do poison 

Nor do I thee ; thougli I did \\\>\\ him dead, 
I hate the murtherer, love him muithered. 
The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labour. 
But neither my good word, nor jjrincely favour : 
With Cain go wander through the shade of night, 
And never shew thy head by day nor light. 
Lords, I protest, my soul is full of woe 
That blood should sprinkle me to mak(! me grow : 
Come, mourn with me for that I do lament, 
And put on sullen black, incontinent ; 
I'll make a voyage to the Ht)ly land, 
To wash this blood off from my guilty hand : — 
March sadly after ; grace my mourning here. 
In weeping after this untimely bier. 


[SCZSK 11. York's Dcicription. " Then, a< I kaid."J 

L 2 



' Scene II. — Duchess of YorJc. 

The mother of Aumerle died in 1394. 
of Lfingley was subsequently married. 


Scene III. — "Can no man tell of my unthrifty son." 

Shakspere has here laid the connexion between 
this play and that of Henry IV., by a dramatic 
relation of the real events of history. Henry of 
Monmouth was at this time only twelve years old. 
Richard had taken him with his army to Ireland ; 
liad knighted him ; and had kept him as a hostage 
when he knew of Bolingbx-oke's invasion. 

' Scene III. — "Our trusty brother-in-laiv." 

John, Duke of Exeter (own brother to Eichard 
II.) who married Elizabeth, the sister of Boling- 

* Scene V. — " The cheapest of us is ten (jroats too 
We subjoin a representation of the groat of 
Richard IT. 

' Scene W.—" Hath yielded up his body to the 

William de Colchester, Abbot of Westminster, 
according to Holinshcd's Chronicle, which Shak- 
spere followed, died about this time. The relation 
is not correct. He out-lived Henry IV. The por- 
trait, which we give below, is from his tomb in 
Westminster Abbey. 


We have avoided any previous illustration of the 
history and chai-actor of Richai-d's queen, reserving a 
short notice for this Act, in which she occupies so 
interesting a position. Richard was twice married. 
His first wife, who was called the good Queen Aiuio, 
died in 13l>4. His second wife, the nuocn of this 
play, was Isabel, eldest daughter of Charles VI., of 
Franco. Wlien Richanl espoused her, on the Slst 
of October, 1396, she was but eight years old. The 
alliance with France gave the greatest dissatisfaction 
in England, and was one amongst the many causes 
of Richard's almost general unpopularity. Froissart 
mentions Richard's obstinacy in this matter with 
great naivete : " It is not pleasant to the realm of 
England that he should marry with Franco, and it 
hath been showed him that the daughter of Franco 
is over young, and that this five or six year she shall 
not bo able to keep him company ; thereto ho hath 
, answered and saith, that she shall grow right well in 
age." Isabel was espoused at Paris, by proxy. 
Froissart says, "as I was informed, it was a goodly 
sight to see her behaviour : for all that she was but 
young, right pleasantly she bare the port of a queen." 
Isabel lived at Windsor, mider the care of Lady de 
Coucy : but this lady was dismissed for her csti-ava- 
gancc, and an Englishwoman, Lady Mortimer, suc- 
ceeded her in the charge. It appears from the 
Metrical History that Richard was very much at- 
tached to her. In his lamentations in Conway Castle 
he uses these passionate expressions : "My mistress 
and my consort ! accursed be the man, little doth he 
love us, who thus shamefully separatcth us two. I 
am djring of grief because of it. My fair sister, my 
lady, and my sole desire. Since I am robbed of the 
pleasxire of beholding thee, such pain and affliction 
oppresscth my whole heart, that, ofccntimes, I am 
hard upon despair. Alas ! Isabel, rightful daughter 
of France, you were wont to bo my joy, my hope, and 
my consolation ; I now plainly see, that through the 
great violence of fortune, which hath slain many a 
man, I must wrongfnlly bo removed from you." 
When we observe, that Froissart describes the girl 
of eight years old, as deporting herself right plea- 
santly as a queen, and read of tho lamentations of 
Richard for their separation, as described by one who 
witnessed them, we may consider that there was an 
historical as well as a dramatic propriety in the cha- 
racter which Shakspore has drawn of her. In tho 
garden scene at Langley wo have scarcely more ele- 
vation of character than might belong to a precocioas 
girl. In one part, however, of tho last scene with 
Richard, wo have tho majesty of tho high-minded 
woman ; 

" What, is my Richard both In sh^pe and mind 
Transform'd and weakcn'd? Hath Dolingbrokc 
Depos'd thine Intellect r Hath he been in thy heart f " 

The poet, however, had an undoubted right to mould 
his materials to his own purpose. Daniel, in his 
descriptive Poem of the Ci^-il Wars, which approaches 
to the accuracy of a chronicle, makes " tho young 
aflfected queen " a much more prominent personage 
than Shakspcro does. These are her words, as she 

witnesses the pi-ocession of Richanl and Bolingbroke 
in im.igiuary situation altogether : — 

"And yet, dear lord, though thy ungrateful land 
Hath left thecthuii; yet I will tike ihy part. 

I do remain the same, under thy hand; 
Thou still doth rule the kini;dom of my heart : 

If all be lost, that government doth stand ; 
And that shall never from thy rule depart : 

And, BO thou be, I care not how thou be : 

Let greatness go, so It go without tbe«." 

Poor Isabel was sent back to Franco ; and theit) 
she became, a second time, the victim of a state al- 
liance, being married to tho eldest son of tho Duke of 
Orleans, who was only nine years old. Her younger 
sister became tho wife of our Henry V. 

The writer of the Metrical History appears to havo 
conceived a violent suspicion of Aumerlo and of all 
his proceedings. Ho represents him as the treafh- 
erous cause of Richard's detention in IrcLind ; and, 
in tho conspiracy of tho Abbot of Westminster and 
tho other lords, he is described as basely becoming 
privy to theu' designs, that he might betray them to 
Henry IV. Shakspere's version of the story is tho 
more dramatic one, which is given by Holinshed. 

" This Earl of Rutland departing before from West- 
minster, to sec his father the Duke of York, as he 
sat at dinner had his counterpart of the indenture of 
the confederacy in his bosom. The father, espying 
it, would needs see what it was : and though tho son 
humbly denied to shew it, the father being more 
earnest to see it, by force took it out of his bosom, 
and, porcei\-ing tho contents thereof, in a great rage 
caused his horses to be saddled out of hand, and 
spitefully reproving his son of treason, for whom ho 
was become surety and mainpernour for his good 
bearing in open parliament, he incontinently mounted 
on horseback to ride towards Windsor to tho king, 
to declare to him the mahcious intent of his son and 
his accomplices. The Earl of Rutland, seeing in what 
danger he stood, took his horse and rode another way 
to Windsor, in post, so that he got thither before his 
father, and when ho was alighted at tho castlo-gatc, 
he caused tho gates to bo shut, saying, that ho must 
needs deliver the keys to the king. When he came 
before the king's presence, ho kneeled down on his 
knees, beseeching him of mercy and forgiveness, .and 
declaring the whole matter unto him in onler as 
every thing had passed ; obtained panion ; and there- 
with camo his father, and, being let in, delivered tho 
indenture which he had taken from hLs son, unto tho 
king ; who thereby i>crceiving hLs son'.s words to be 
true, change<l his puri>oso for his going to Oxford, 
and disjKitchcd messengers forth to signify unto tho 
Earl of Northuinbcrhind his high consUblo, and to 
tho Earl of Westmoreland his high marshal, and to 
others hi i friend.M, of all tho doubtful danger 

and i>cril ii-dy." 

The death of Itichard the Second, is ono of those 
historical mysteries which, i>erhaps, will never be 
cleared up. Tho story which Shakspore has adopted, 
of his assa.'^sination by Sir Piers of Exton and his 
followers, was related by Caxton in his addition to 
Hygden's Polycronicon ; was copied by Fabyan, and, 



of course, foundits way into Holinshed. The honest 
old compiler, however, notices the other stories — that 
he died either by compulsoi-y famine or by voluntary 
pining. Caxton borrowed his account, it is supposed, 
from a French manuscript in the royal Ubrary at 
Paris, written by a partisan of Richard. In his 
Chronicle, printed two years before the additions to 
the Poli/crotiicon, Caxton takes no notice of the story 
of tlie assassination by Sir Piers of Exton ; but says 
" He was enfamincd unto the death by liis keeper, 
. . . j'et much people in England, and in other 
lands, said, that he was alive many year after his 
death." It is a remarkable confirmation of the 
belief that Richard did not die by the wounds of a 
battle-axe, that when his tomb was opened in West- 
minster Abbey, some years since, his skull was found 
uninjured. Thomas of Walsingham, who was living 
at tl;e time of Richard's death, relates that the un- 
happy captive voluntarily starved himself. His bodj' 
Ji'as removed to the Tower, where it was pubUcly 
exhibited. The story of his voluntary starvation is, 
however, doubtful ; that of his violent assassination 
seems altogether apocryphal. In an important docu- 
ment, whose publication we owe to Sir Henry Ellis — 
the manifesto of the Percies against Henry the 
Fourth, issued just before the battle of Shrewsbury 
— Henry is distinctly charged with having caused 
Richard to perish from hunger, thii-st, and cold, after 
fifteen days and nights of sufferings unheard of among 
Christians. Two years afterwards Archbishop Scroop 
repeats the charge ; but he adds, what unquestion- 
ably weakens its force, " ut, vid(jaritcr dicitur." There 
is cue other story which has fonned the subject of a 

very curious controversy, but which it would be out 
of place here to detail — that espoused by Mr. Tytler 
— that Richard escaped, and lived nineteen years in 
Scotland. The various arguments for and against 
this incredible tale may be found in a paper, by the 
late amiable and accomplished Lord Dover, read 
before the Royal Society of Literatm-e. The con- 
flicting evidence as to the causes of Richard's death 
in Pomfret Castle is veiy ably detaUed by Mr. Amyot, 
in the 20th volume of the Archaeologia. The prison- 
scene in Shakspere ■will, perhaps, more than any 
accredited relation, continue to influence the popular 
belief; and j^et, on the other hand, wc have the 
beautiful passage in Gray's Bard, to support the less 
dramatic story : — 

" Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows, 
AVhile proudly riding o'er the azure realm, 
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes; 

Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm ; 
Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's spray, 
That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey. 

Fill high the sparkling bowl. 

The rich repast prepare. 

Heft of a crown, he yet may share the feast : 

Close hy the regal chair 

Fell thirst and famine scowl 

A baleful smile upon their baffled guest." 

The body of Richard was brought to London ; and, 
being publicly exposed, was removed to Langley for 
interment. Henry V., who appears always to havo 
cherished a generous regard for the memory of the 
unfortunate king, caused it to bo removed in great 
state to Westminster Abbey. 

[FuneraJ of Richard II. Illumiuation in Froissart.] 

[•• I'll gire myJewfU for a set of besdi."— Act HI. Sc. 3.] 


We Bcarcely know bow to approach this drama, even for the purpose of a simple analysis. Wo 
arc almost afraid to trust our own admiration, when we turn to the cold criticism by which 
opiuion in this countrj- has been wont to be governed. We have been told, that it cannot " be said 
much to affect the passions or enlarge the understauding."* It may be so. And yet, we think, 
it might somewhat "affect the pa-ssions,- "for " gorgcoas tragedy" hath here put on her " scojiter'd 
pall," and if she bring not Terror in her train. Pity, at least, claims the sad story for her own. And 
yet it may somewhat " enlarge the underdtauding,"— for thou^-h it abound not in those souteutiuus 
niuralitica which may fitly adoru " a theme at school," it lays bare more than one human bosom with 
a most searching anatomy ; and, in the moral and intellectual strength and weakness of humanity, 
which it discloees with a.s much precision as the scalpel reveals to the student of our physical nature 
the symptoms of health or discxse, may we read the i)roxiraato aud final causes of this world's 
success or loss, 8;ifety or danger, honour or disgrace, elevation or niiu. And then, moreover, 
the profound truths which, haiihidden to the carelessj^ader, are to be drawn out from this drama, 
are contained in such a splendid frame-work of the picturesipjo and the poetical, that the setting 
of the jewel almost distracts our attention from the jewel itself. Wo are here plunged into tho 
midst of the fierce passions and the gorgeous pageantries of the antique time. We not only enter 
the halls and galleries, where is hung 

" Arniourj' of 'he invincible knights of old," — 
but we see the beaver closed, and the spear in rest :— under cuii-asscs are hearts knockiug 
against the steel with almost more mortal rage : — the banners wave, tho trumpets sound — 
heralds and marshals are ready to salute the victor- but the absolute king caj<ls down his wanler, 
and the anticipated triumjih of one proud champion must end in the unmerited di.-gnico of both. 
The transition is easy from the tourney to the battlefield. A nation mubt bleed that a subject may 
be avenge<l. A crown is to be played for, though 

" Tumultuous wart 
Shall kin with kin, and kind with kind confound." 
The luxurious lord, 

"That every day under hit household roof 
Did keep ten thousand men," 

perishes in a dungeon; — the crafty uauqu'r sits upf)n his throne, but it is uudcrinincd liy the h;itrc'l/i 
even of those who placed him on it. Here ia, indcetl, " a kingdom for a stage." And has tho 
greatest of poets dealt with such a subject, without affecting tho passions, or enlarging tho under- 
standing ? No. No. Away with this. We icill trust our own admiration. 

It is a sincere pleasure to us to introduce our remarks upon the Richard II. by some acute aud 

■ Johnson. 



juat observations upon Shakspere's historical plays in general from a French source. The following 
passage is from the forty-ninth volume of the " Dictionnaire de la Conversation et de la Lecture." 
Paris, 1838.) The article bears the signature of Philarete Chasles : — 

" This poet, so often sneered at as a frantic and barbarous writer, is, above all, remarkable for 
a judgment so high, so firm, so uncompromising, that one is almost tempted to impeach his coldness, 
and to find in this impassible observer something that may be almost called cruel towards the 
human i-ace. In the historical pieces of Shakspere, the picturesque, rapid, and vehement genius 
which produced them, seems to bow before the superior law of a judgment almost ironical 
in its clear-sightedness. Sensibility to impressions, the ardent force of imagination, the eloquence 
of passion — these brilliant gifts of nature, which would seem destined to draw a poet beyond all 
limits, are subordinated in this extraordinary intelligence to a calm and almost deriding sagacity, 
which pardons nothing and forgets nothing. Thus, the dramas of which we speak are painful 
as real history, ^schylus exhibits to us Fate hovering over the world ; Calderon opens to us heaven 
and hell as the last words of the enigma of life ; Voltaire renders his drama an instrument for 
asserting his own peculiar doctrines; — but Shakspere seeks Jtis Fate in the hearts of men, and when 
he makes us see them so capricious, so bewildered, so irresolute, he teaches us to contemplate, 
without surprise, the untoward events and sudden changes of fortune. lu the purely poetical dx'amas 
to which this great poet has given so much verisimilitude, we console ourselves in believing that 
the evils which he paints are imaginary, and that their ti'uth is but general. But the dramatic 
chronicles which Shakspere has sketched are altogether real. There we behold irrevocable evils— 
we see the scenes that the world has seen, and the horrors that it has sufiered. The more the 
details that accompany these events are irresistible in their truth, the more they grieve us. The 
more the author is impartial, the more he wounds and overpowers us. This employment of his 
marvellous talent is in reality a profound satire upon what wo are, upon what we shall be, upon 
what we were." 

It in this wonderful subjection of the i^oetical power to the higher law of truth — to the poetical 
truth, which is the highest truth, comprehending and expounding the historical truth — which must 
furnish the clue to the proper understanding of the drama of Richard II. It appears to us, that 
when the poet first undertook 

" to ope 

The purple testament of bleeding war," — 

to unfold the roll of the causes and consequences of that usurpation of the house of Lancaster which 
plunged three or four generations of Englishmen in bloodshed and misery — he approached the subject 
with an inflexibility of purpose as totally removed as it was possible to be from the levity of 
a partisan. There were to be weighed in one scale the follies, the weaknesses, the crimes of 
Richard — the injuries of Bolingbroke — the insults which the capricious despotism of the king had 
heaped upon his nobles— the exactions under which the peojile gi'oaned — the real merits and the 
popular attributes of him who came to redress and to repair. In the other scale were to be placed, 
the afflictions of fallen greatness — the revenge and treachery by which the fall was produced — the 
heart-burnings and suspicions which accompany every great revolution — the struggles for power which 
ensue when the established and legitimate authority is thrust from its seat. — All these phases, 
personal and political, of a deposition and an usurpation, Shak-spere hjvs exhibited with that 
marvellous impartiality which the French >vriter whom we have quoted has well described. The 
pohtical impartiality is so remarkable that, during the time of Elizabeth, the deposition scene 
was neither acted nor printed, lest it should give occasion to the enemies of legitimate succession 
to find examples for the dejioHiug of a monarch. Going forward into the spirit of another age, during 
the administration of Walpole, the play, in 1733, had an unusual success, principally because it 
contained many passages which seemed to point to the then supposed corruption of the court ; and, 
on this occasion, a letter published in the " Craftsman," in which many lines of the play were 
thus applied to the political topics of the times, was the subject of state prosecution. The states- 
men of Elizabeth and of George II. wei-e thus wiually in fear of the popular tendencies of this 
history. On the-other hand, when Richard, speakmg dramatically in his own person, says, — 

" Not all the water in the rough rude sea 
Can wash the balm from an anointed king; 


The breath of worliUy men cannot depose 
The deputy elected by the Lord," — 

Dr. Johnson rejoicingly Kiys, — " Here is the doctriuo of inckfeasiblo right expressed in the strongest 
terms ; but our poet did not learn it in tho reign of Jiimex, to which it is now the pnictico of all 
Avriters whoso opinions aro regulated by foahion or interest, to iinpiito the original of every tenet 
which they have been t^iught to think false or foolish." Again, when tho Bishop of Carlisle, in tho 
deposition scene, exclaims, 

' And shall the figure of God's majesty, 

His captain, steward, deputy elect, 

.\nointcd, crowned, planted many years, 

111- judg'd by subject and inferior breath. 

And he himself not present !" . 

Johnson remarks, " Here is another proof that our author did not Icam in King James' court uis 
eUvaied nottotu of the right of kings. I know not any flatterer of the Stuarts who has cxprcsscil this 
doctrine in much stronger terms." Steevens adds that Shak.ipere found the Kpeech in Holinshed, nnd 
that " the politics of the historian were tho politics of the poet." The contrary aspects which thii» 
play has thus presented to those who were political partisans is a most remarkable testimony to Shak- 
apcre's political impartiality. He appears to us as if ho, "apart, sat on a hill retired," elevated far 
above the temporary opinions of his own age, or of succeeding ages. His business is with universal 
humanity, and not with a fragment of it. He is, indeed, the poet of a nation in his glowing and genial 
patriotism, but never the poet of a party. Perhaps, the most eloquent speech in this play is that of 
Qaunt, beginning — 

" This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle." 

It ia full of euch praise of our country as, taken apait from the conclusion, might too much pamper 
the pride of a proud nation. But the profound impartiality of the master-mind comes in at the close 
of this splendid description, to shew us that all these glories must be founded upon just government. 

It is in the same lofty spirit of impartiality which governs the general sentiments of this drama, 
that Shakspere has conceived the mixed character of Richard. Sir Joshua Reynolds in his admirable 
Discourses — (a series of compositions which present the example of high criticism upon the art of 
painting, when the true principles of criticism upon poetry were neglected or misunderstood) — haa 
properly reprobated " the difBculty as well as danger, in an endeavour to concentrate in a single 
subject those various powers, which, rising from different points, naturally move in different direc- 
tions." He says, with reference to this subject, "Art has its boundaries, though imagination haa none." 
Here is the great line of distinction between poetry and painting. Painting must concentrate all ita 
power upon the representation of one action, one expression, in the same person. The range of poetry 
is as boundless as the diversities of character in the same individual. Sir Joshua Reynolds haa, how- 
ever, pro|)erly laughed at those principles of criticism which would even limit the narrow range of 
pictorial expression to conventional, and therefore hackneyed, forms. He quotes a passage from Du 
Piles, as an example of tho attempt of a false school of criticism to substitute the "pompous and 
laboured insolence of grandeur" for that dignity which, "seeming to be natural and inherent, draws 
spontaneous reverence." "If you draw persons of high character and dignity" (says Du Piles), "they 
ought to be drawn in such an attitude, that the portraits must seem to speak to ua of themselves, and, 
as it were, to say to us, 'Stop, take notice of me, I am that invincil>lo king, surrounded by Majesty :' 
'I am that valiant commander who struck terror everj'whero : ' 'I am that great minister, who knew 
all the springs of politics :' ' I am that magistrate of consummate wisdom and probity.'" Now, this 
is absurd enough as regards the painter; but, absurd ha it is, in its limited apjilication, it is precisely 
the same sort of reasoning that the French critics in the time of Voltaire, and the Kuglish who caught 
the infection of their school, applied to the higher range of tho art of Shaksporc. Tho criticism of 
Dr. Johnson, for example, ui>on the character of Richard II. is, for the most part, a aorics of auch 
mistakes. He misinterprets Shakspere'a delineation of Richard, upon a preconceived theory of his 
own. Thus he says, in a note to the aecond scene in the third Act, where Richard for a moment 
appears resigned, 

" To bear the tidings of calamity," 

" It seems to be the design of the poet to raise Rich.ird to esteem in his fill, and, consequently, to 



interest tlie reader in his favour. He gives him only passive fortitude, the virtue of a confessor, rather 
than of a king. In his prosperity we saw him imperious and oppressive ; but in his distress he is 
wise, patient, and pious." Now this is precisely the reverse of Shakspere's representation of Richard. 
Instead of passive fortitude, we have passionate weakness ; and it is that very weakness upon which 
our pity is founded. Having mistaken Shakspere's purpose in the delineation of Richard in his fall, 
this able but sometimes prejudiced writer, flounders on in a series of carping objections to the lan- 
guage which Richard uses. After Richard has said, 

" Or I'll be buried in the king's highway, 
Some way of common trade, where subjects' feet 
May hourly trample on their sovereign's head," 

he flies off into a series of pretty imaginings, and ends thus, 

" Well, well, I see 

I talk but idly, and you mock at me." 

Now in nothing is the exquisite tact of the poet more shewn than in these riots of the imagination in 
the unhappy king, whose mind was altogether prostrate before the cool and calculating intellect of 
Boliugbroke. But Johnson, quite in the Du Piles' style, here says, "Shakspere is very apt to deviate 
from the pathetic to the ridiculous. Had the speech of Richard ended at this line (' May hourly 
trample on their sovereign's head'), it had exhibited the natural language of submissive misery, con- 
forming its intention to the present fortune, and calmly ending its purposes in death." Now, it is 
most certain that Shakspere had no intention to exhibit "the natural language of submissive misery." 
Such a purpose would have been utterly foreign to the great ideal truth of his conception of Richard's 
character. Again, in the interview with the queen, when Richard says, — 

" Tell thou the lamentable fall of me. 
And send the hearers weeping to their beds. 
For why, the senseless brands will sympathize," &c. 

Johnson observes, " the poet should have ended this speech with the foregoing line, and hare spared 
liis childish prattle about the fire." ilr. Monck Mason very innocently remarks upon this comment of 
Johnson, " This is certainly childish prattle, but it is of the same stamp with the other speeches of 
Richard after the lauding of Bolingbroke, which are a strange medley of sense and puerility." Of 
course they are so. There are probably no passages of criticism upon Shakspere that more forcibly 
point out to us, than these of Johnson and his followers do, the absurdity of trying a poet by laws 
which he had of purpose cast off and spurned. Had Johnson been applying his test of excellence to 
the conventional kings and heroes of the French stage, and of the English stage of his own day, he 
might have been nearer the truth. But Shakspere undertook to shew us, not only a fallen king, but a 
fallen man. Richard stands before us in the nakedness of humanity, stript of the artificial power 
which made his strength. The props are cut away upon which he leaned. He is, 

" in shape and mind. 

Transform'd and weaken'd,"— 

humbled to the lot of the commonest slave, to 

" feel want, taste grief, 

Need friends." 

This is the Richard of our poet. Is it not the Richard of history ? We must trespass upon the 
patience of the reader while wo run through the play, that we may properly note the dependance of 
its events upon its characters. 

Froissart has given us the key to two of the most remarkable and seemingly opposite traits of 
Richard's mind, — cunning and credulity. Speaking of his devising the death of his uncle of 
Glostcr, Froissart says, "King Richard of England noted well these said words?, the which was 
shewed him in secretness; and like an imaginative prince as he was, within a season after that his 
uncles of Lancaster and of York were departed out of the court, then the king took more hardiness 
on him." Lord Berners, the translator of Froissart, alway."} uses "imaginative" in the sense of 
deviceful, crafty,— following his original. As to the king's credulity, the same accurate observer, 
who knew the characters of his own days well, thus speaks : — " King Richard of England had a 
condition that if he loved a man, he would make him so great, aud so near him, that it was 
marvel to consider, and no man durst speak to the contrary; and also he would lightly believe 
ioover than any other Tcing of remembrance before him." Upon these historical truths is 


SJiakspere'a Richard, in the first scenes of this drama,- the absolute Richanl,— founded But with 
what skill haa SLakspere indicated the evil parts of Uichurd'u character— just as much as, and no luoro 
than is sufficient to qualify our pity for his f.dl. We loam from Gaunt that Richard waa the ro:d 
cause of Gloster's death ;— the matter is once mention©.!, and there an end. We ourselves see his 
arbitrary boarini; in the V>anishment of Bolingbroke and Norfolk ;— his moral cowardice in rcjuirinK an 
oath for his own siifcty from the two enemies that ho was at that moment oppressing ; his meanness in 
taunting Gaunt with his " party- verdict " as to his si>n*B banishment; his levity in mitigating the 
sentence after it had been solemnly delivered. After this scene wo have an exhibition of his cold- 
heartetl rapacity in wishing for the death of Gaunt ; — 

■- Now put It, Heaven, in hit phyiiclan'i mind 
To help liim to his gi.x\t immediately I 
The lining of hii cofTert thall make coat* 
To deck our soldiers for these Irish wars." 

This prepares us for the just repro.iches of his dying uncle, in the next Act;— when the dissembling 
king is moved from his craft to an exhibition of childish passion towanl the stern but now powerless 
Gaunt, before whom he had trembled till he saw him on a death-bed. The 

" make pale our check," 

was not a random expression. The king again speaks in this 'way, when he heart of the defection 
of the Welch under Salisbm-y : — 

" Have I not reason to look pale and dead I " 

Richard, who was of a iiiddy complexion, exhibited in his cheeks the internal workings of fear or rage. 
This was a part of his weakness of character. The writer of the " Metrical History " twice notices 
the peculiarity. When the king received a defying message from the Irish chieftain, the French 
knight, who w;is present, says : " This speech was not agreeable to the king ; it appeared to mo tLit 
his face grew pale with anger." When he heard of the landing of Bolingbroke, the writer again says : 
" It seemed to me, that the king's face at this turned pale with anger." Richard's indignation at the 
reproaches of Gaunt is, at once, brutal and childish : 

" And let them die that age and (ullens have." 

Then comes the &ual act of des[>otism, which was to be his ruin : — 

" We do seize to us 
The plate, coin, revenues, and moveables, 
Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand pojsesj'd." 

Ho is amazed that York is indignant at this outrage. He is deaf to the prophetic denunciation, 

" You pluck a thousand dangers on your head." 

Still, Sh-ikspere keeps us from the point to which he might have led us, of unmitigated contempt 

towards Richard ; — to make us hate him was no part of his purpose. We know that the charges of the 

.liscontented nobles against him are just; — we almost wish success to their enterprise;— but we are 

most skilfully held back from discovering so much of Richard's character as would have disqualified us 

from sympathising in his fall. It is highly probable, too, that Shaksjiero abstained from piiintiiig the 

actual king as an object t'j be despised, while he stood as " the symbolic, or rcpreecntativL', on which all 

genial law, no less than patriotism, depends."* The poet does not hesitate, when the time is past for 

reverencing the king, or compassionating the man, to speak of Richard, by the mouth of Henry IV., 

with that contempt which his weakness and his frivolities would naturally excite : — 

" The skippinK kinR, he ambled up and down 
With shallow Jesters, and raih bavin wits. 
Soon kindled and soon burn'd : carded his slate; 
Mingled his royalty with capcrinir fools; 
Had his great name profaned with their scorns ; 
And gave his countenance, against his name. 
To laugh at gibing Iwys," kc. — (Henry IV. Part I.I 

There is nothing of this bitter satu-o put in the mouths of any of the speakers in Richard II.; ana 

the poetical reason for this appears obvious. Yet it is i>erfectly true, historically, that Richard 

"carded his state," by indiscriminately mixing with all sorts of favourites, who used the most 

degrading freedoms towards him. 

• Coleridge. 



Bolingbroke (then Henry IV.) tlius describes himself to his son :— 

" And then I stole all courtesy from heaven, 
And dress'd myself in such humility, 
That I did pluck allegiance from men's hearts. 
Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths, 
Even in the presence of the crowned king." 

The Bolingbroke who, in Henry IV., is thus retrospectively painted, is the Bolingbroke in action in 

Richard II. The king 

" Observ'd his courtship to the common people." 

When he returns from banishment, in arms agaibst his unjnst lord, he wins Northumberland by his 

powers of pleasing : — 

" And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar." 

Mark, too, his professions to the " gentle Percy : " — 

" I count myself in nothing else so happy. 
As in a soul remembering my good friends." 

When York accuses him of 

" Gross rebellion and detested treason," 

how temperate, and yet how convincing is his defence. York remains with him — he " cannot mend 

it." But Bolingbroke, with all his humility to his uncle, and all his courtesy to his friends, abates 

not a jot of his determination to be supreme. He announces this in no under-tones — he has no 

confidences about his ultimate intentions ; — but we feel that he has determined to sit on the throne, 

even while he says, 

" I am a subject, 
And challenge law." 

He is, in fact, the king, when he consigns Bushy and Green to the scaffold. He speaks not as one of a 
council — he neither vindicates nor alludes to his authority. He addresses the victims as the one 
interpreter of the law ; and he especially dwells upon his own personal wrongs : 

" See them deliver'd over 
To execution and the hand of death." 
Most skilfully does this violent and uncompromising exertion of authority prepare us for what is to 

We are arrived at those wonderful scenes which, to our minds, may be classed amongst the very 
highest creations of art — even of the art of Shakspere. " Bavkloughly Castle " is " at hand." — Richard 
stands upon his " kingdom once again." Around him are armed bands ready to strip him of his crown 
and life. Does he step upon his "earth " with the self-confiding port of one who will hold it against 
all foes ? The conventional dignity of the king cannot conceal the intellectual weakness of the man ; 
and we see that he must lose his "gentle earth" for ever. His sensibility — his plastic imagination— 
his effeminacy, even when strongly moved to love or to hatred — his reliance upon his office more than 
his own head and heai-t— doom him to an overthrow. How surpassingly characteristic are the lines in 
which he addresses his "earth" as if it were a thing of life — a favourite that he could honour and 
cherish— a friend that would adopt and cling to his cause — a partisan that could throw a shield over 

him, and defend him from hi.-3 enemies :— 

" So weeping, smiling, greet I tlice, my earth, 

And do thee favour with my royal hands. — 

Feed not tliy sovereign's foe, my gentle earth," &c. 
Ho feels that this is a "senseless conjuration;" but when Aumcrle ventures to say, "we are too 
remiss," he reproaches his " discomfortable cousin," by pointing out to him the heavenly aid that a 
king might expect. His is not the holy confidence of a high-minded chieftain, nor the pious submission 
of a humble believer. He, indeed, says, — 

" For every man that Bolingbroke hathpress'd 

To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown, 

God, for his Richard, hath in heavenly pay 

A glorious angel." 
But when Salisbury announces that the " WeLshmen " arc dispersed, Richard, in a moment, forgets the 
" angels " who will guard the right. His cheek pales at the evil tidings. After a pause, and upon the 
exhortation of his friends, his "sluggard majesty" awakes; — the man still sleeps. How artificial and 

externally-sustained ia his confidence : — 

" Arm, arm, my name I a puny subject strikes 
At thy great glory. Look not to the ground 
Ye favourites of a king." 
Scroop arrives; — and Richard avows that he is prepared for the worst. His fortitude is but a 


passing support. He ilisaimulutos with hiiusclf ; for, in aii instAiit, ho flies off into a burst of torriflo 
passion nt the supposed treachery of his luiuions. Aiimi-ili-, when thoir unhappy end is exphiiued, 
like a man of sense casts about for other resources : — 

" Where !i the duke, my father, with hia power! " 
But Richard abandons himself to his despair, in that moat solemn speech, which is at once so touching 
with reference to the speaker, and so profoundly true in its geuer.d upplicatioii. 

" No matter where ; of comfort no iiiso speak." 
His grief has now evaporated in words : — 

" Tliij nguir-fit of fear is OTer-blonn ; 
An easy t.i!>k it is to win uur own. 
Say, Scroop, where lies our uncle with hit power f " 
Scroop's reply is decisive : — 

" Your uncle York hath Join'd with DolinKbroke " 

Richanl is positively relieved by knowing the climax of his misfortunes. The nlternntions of hop© 
and fear were too much for his indecision. He is forced upon a course, and ho is almost Iwppy in hia 

wealcness : — ,. ijp,i,rew thte, cousin, wlilch ilicUt leod me forth 

Of that twfel way I was In to despair ! 
Wliat soy you now f What comfort have we now » 
By heaven, I'll liatc him cverla>tiii),'ly 
That bids me be of comfort any more." 

Shakspere has painted indecision of character in Hamlet — but what a difference is there between the 
indecision of Hamlet and of Richard ! The depth of Hamlet's philosophy engulfn his powers of 
action;— the reflective strength of his intellect destroys the energy of his \vill : — Richard is irresolute 
and inert, abandoning himself to every new impression, because his faculties, though beautiful in parts, 
have no principle of cohesion ; — judgment, the key-stone of the arch, is wanting. 

Bolingbroke is arrived before Flint Castle. Mr. Courtenay says, "By placing the negotiation 
with Northumberland at Flint, Shakspere loses the opportunity of describing the disappointment of 
the king, when he found himself, on his progress to join Henry at Flint, a prisoner to Northum- 
berland, who had concealed the force by which he was accompanied."* A Mr. Goodhall, of 
Manchester, in 1772, gave us a new Richard II., "altered from Shakspere, and the stylo imitiitcd." 
We are constrained to say, that such criticism as we have extracted, and such imitfttions of style as 
that of Mr. Goodhall, are entirely on a par. Shakspere wanted not the additional sceuo nf North-, 
umberland's treachery to eke out the story of Richard's fall. He was too sagacious to make on 
audience think that Richard might have surmounted his diflBcuUies but for an accident. It was 
his business to shew what was es-seutially true (though one episode of the truth might be wanting), 
that Bolingbroke was coming upon him with steps as certain rb that of a rising tide towards the 
shivering tenant of a naked sea-rock. What was still more important, it was his aim to exhibit the 
overthrow of Richard, and the upraising of Bolingbroke, as the natural result of the collision of two 
such minds meeting in mortal conflict. The mighty physical force which Bolingbroke subdued to his 
purpose was called forth by his astute and foreseeing intellect : every movement of this wary chief 
— perhaps even from the hour when he resolved to aipeal Norfolk — was a consequence from a 
calculated cause. On the other hand, Richard threw away every instrument of defence ; — the " one 
day too late," with which Salisbury reproaches him — which delay was the fruit of his personal 
weakness and vacillation — shews that it was impos-sible to 8;ive him. Had he escapetl from Conway, 
after being reduced to the extremities of poverty and suffering, in comjjany with a few wretched 
followers, he must have rushed, from his utter want of the ability to corry through a consistent plan, 
into the toils of Bolingbroke. Shakspere, as we must repeat, painted events whilst be painted 
characters. Look at Bolingbroke's bearing when York reproaches Northumberland for not saying, 
'" King Richard;" — look at his decision when ho learns the king is at Flint; — look at his subtlety in 

the message to the king : — 

" Harry Bolingbroke 

Un both his knees doth kiss king Richard's hand : " 

Compare the affected humility of his professions with the red, though subdued, haughtiness of his 

threats — 

" If not. I'll use the advantage of my power." 

He marches "without the noise of threafning drum;" but he marches as a conqueror upon an 

undefended citadel On the one hand, wo have power without menaces ; on the other, mei)a.\;«i 

without power. How loftily Richard asserts to Northumberland the terrors which ore in atcro— 

• " Shakspere'* Historical Plays historically considered." 



tho " armies of pestilence " which are to defend his " precious crown.'' But how submissively he 

replies to the message of Bolingbroke : — 

" Tl\iis the king returns — 
His noble cousin is right welcome liither — 
Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends." 

Marvellously i.s the picture of the struggles of irresolution still coloured : — 

" Shall we call hack Northumherland, and send 
Defiance to the traitor, and so die?" 

Beautiful is the transition to his habitual weakness — to his extreme sensibility to evils, and the 

shadows of evils — to the consolation which finds relief in the exaggeration of its own sufferings, and 

in the bewilderments of imagination which carry even the sense of suffering into the regions of fancy. 

We have already seen that this has been thought " deviating from the pathetic to the ridiculous." Be 

it BO. We are content to accept this and similar passages in the character of Richard, as exponents of 

that feeling which made him lie at the feet of Bolingbroke, fascinated as the bird at the eye of the 

serpent : — 

" For do we must, what force will have us do." 

This is the destiny of tragedy ; — but it is a destiny with foregoing causes — its seeds are sown in the 
varying constitution of the human mind : — and thus it may be said, even without a contradiction, that 
a Bolingbroke governs destiny, a Richard yields to it. 

We pas.^ over the charming repose-scene of the Garden — in which the poet, who in this drama has 
avoided all dialogues of manners, brings in "old Adam's likeness," to shew us how the vicissitudes of 
state are felt and understood by the practical philosophy of the humblest of the people. We jiass 
over, too, the details of the quarrel scene, in Westminster-hall, merely remarking, that those who say, 
as Johnson has said, — "this play is extracted from the Chronicle of Holiushed, in which manj' 
passages may be found which Shakspere has, tvith very little alteration, transplanted into his scenes," — 
that they would have done well to have printed the passages of the Chronicle and of the parallel scenes 
aide by side. This scene i.s one to which the remark refers. Will our readers excuse us giving them 
half-a-dozen lines, as a specimen of this " very little alteration ? " 


' The Lord Fitzwater herewith rose up, and said to the 
king, that where the Duke of Aumerle excuseth himself 
of the Duke of Gloucester's death, I say (quoth he) that 
he was the very cause of his death; and so he appealed him 
of treason, offering, by throwing down his hood as a gage, 
to prove it with his body." 


' If that thy valour stand on sympathies, 
There is my gage, Aumerle, in gage to thine : 
By that fair sun which shews me where thou stand's!, 
I heard thee say, and vauntingly thou spak'st it, 
That thou wert cause of noble Gloster's death. 
If thou deny'st it, twenty times thou liest; 
And I will turn thy falsehood to thy heart, 
Where it was forged, with my rapier's point." 

We have long borne with these misrepresentations of what Shakspere took from the Chronicles, — and 

what Shakspere took from Plutarch. The sculptor who gives us the highest conception of an 

individual, idealized into something higher than the actual man ; — (Koubiliac, for example, when he 

figured that sublime image of Newton, in which the upward eye, and the finger upon the prism, tell 

us of tho great discoverer of the laws of gravity and of light) — the sculptor has to collect something 

from authentic records of the features, and of the character of the subject he has to represent. Tho 

Chronicles might, in the same way, give Shak.spere the general idea of his historical Englishmen, as 

Plutarch of his Romans. But it was for the poet to mould and fashion these outlines into the vital and 

imperi.shable shapes in which we find them. This is creation — not alteration. 

Richard is again on the stage. Is there a jot in the deposition scene that is not perfectly true to his 

previous character ? As to Bolingbroke's consistency there cannot be a doubt, even with the most 

hasty reader. The king's dallying with the resignation of the crown — the prolonged talk, to parry, as 

it were, the inevitable act, — the "ay, no; no, ay;" — the natural indignation at Northumberland's 

unnecessary harshness ; — the exquisite tenderness of self-shrinking abasement, running off into poetry, 

" too deep for tears :" — 

" O, that I were a mockery king of snow. 
Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke, 
To melt myself away in water drops ;" — 

and, lastly, the calling for the mirror, and the real explanation of all his apparent affectation of 

disquietude ; — 

" These external manners of lament. 
Are merely shadows to the unseen grief 
That swells with silence in the tortur'd soul : " 



who but Sliakspere couM h-nvc given U3 these womlerful tinlu of one human mind — so varj-ing and 

yet so hanuonious — eo forcible and yot bo delicate — without l>eiiig betniyed into something different 

from his own unity of conception T In the parting teene with the queen, we have still the 

same unerring consistency. We are told, " the interview of 8«'i)anition between her and her 

wretched husband is remarkable for its poverty and tameness." • The poet who wmto the parting 

scene between Juliet and her Montague, bad, we presume, the command of his instrumeutH ; ami 

though, taken .«op.-vrately from what is .arouml them, there may bo differences in the degree of beauty 

in these imrting scenes, they are each dramatically beautiful, in the highest sense of the terra. 

Shakspere never went from his proper path to produce a beauty that waa out of place. And yet 

who can read these lines, and dare to talk of " poverty an<l tameness :" — 

" In winter'* tedious nights, sit by the fire 
With good old folki, and let them tell thee talei 
Of woeful agei long apo betid ; 
And, ere thou bid Rood nlijht, to quit their griefs. 
Tell thou the lamentable fall of me, 
And send the hearers weopinx to their bed»." 

We are told, as wo have already noticed, that this speech e.nds with "childish prattle." Remember, 

Richard II. is speaking. — l.-i-stly, we come to the prison scene. The soliloquy is Richanl nil over. 

There is not a sentence in it that does not tell of a mind deeply reflective in its inisfiutunes, Init 

wanting the guide to all sound reflection, — the power of going out of himself, under the conduct of a 

loftier rea-ion than could endure to dwell upon the merely personal. His frlf-consciousneft (t<> uso the 

wortl in a German sense) intensifies, but lowers, every thought. And then the beautiful little episode 

of " Roan Barbary," and Richard's all-absorbing application to himself of the story of the " poor groom 

of the stable." Froissart tells a tale, how Richard waa "forsaken bj' his favourite greyhoimd, whiih 

fawns on the earl." The quaint historian, as well as the great dramatist who transfused the incident, 

knew the avenues to the human heart Steevens thinks the story of Roan Barbary might have been 

of Shakspere's own invention, but informs us, that " Froissart relates a yet more silly talt I " Even to the 

death, Richard is historically as well as poetically true. His sudden valour is shewn as the consequence 

of pa-ssionate excitement The prose manuscrij't in the library of the King of Fnmce, to which we 

have alluded in the Historical Illustrations, eihibita a somewhat similar accne, when I>ancastcr, 

York, Aumerle, and others, went to him in the Tower, to confer upon his resignation : "The king, in 

great wrath, walked about the room ; and at length broke out into passionate e.tclamations and 

appeals to heaven ; called them false traitors, and offered to fight any four of them." The 

Chronicles which Shakspere might consult were somewhat meagi-e, and might gain much by the 

addition of the records of this eventful reign which modem researches have discovered. If we 

compare evtry account, we must say, that the Richard II. of Shakspere is rigidly the true Richard. 

The poet is the truest historian in all that belongs to the higher attributes of historj-. 

But with this surpassing dramatic truth in the Richard II., perhai)S, after all, the moRt wonderful 

thing in the whole play— that which makes it so exclusively and entirely Shaksperian— is the 

evolvemeut of the truth under the poetical form. The character of Richard, especially, ia entirely 

aubordinated to the poetical conception of it;— to something higher than the historical propriety, 

yet, including all that historical propriety, and calling it forth under the most striking aspects. All 

the vacillations and weaknesses of the king, in the hands of an artist like .Shakspere, arc re-produced 

with the most natural and vivid colours; ao aa to display their own characteristic effects, in 

combination with the principle of poetical beauty, which carries them into a higher region than the 

perfect command over the elements of strong individuaUzation c.>uM alone pr.xluce. For ex.uni.le, 

when Richard says, — 

" O, thst I were a mockery king or •now, 
Standing before the sun of Bollncbroke ! " 
we see in a moment how this speech belongs to the shrinking an<l ovcrpowere.l mind of the tinii.l 
voluptuary, who could form no notion of power, apart from iU external 8uppfjrt«. I5iit then, 
aeparated from the character, how exquisitely beautiful is it in itaclf ! Byron, in his finest drama 
of Sardannpalus, has given us an entirely different conception of a voluptuarj" overpowered by 
misfortune; and though he has said, speaking of his ideal <.f his own dramatic poem— "You will 
find all this very unlike Shakspere, and so much the better in one sense, for I look upon him to be 
the worst of models, though the most extraordinary of writers"— it ia to us very doubtful if Sarda- 
uapalus would have been written, had not the Richard II. of Shakspere offered the temptation to 

• Skottowe's Life of Shakspere, vol. I. p. Ml. 



pull the bow of Ulysses in tbe direction of another mark. The characters exhibit very remarkable 
contrasts. Sardanapalus becomes a hero when the king is in danger ; — Richard, when the sceptre 
is struck out of his hands, forgets that his ancestors won the sceptre by the sword. The one is the 
sensualist of misdirected native energy, who casts off his sensuality when the passion for enjoyment 
is swallowed up in the higher excitement of rash and sudden daring ; — the other is the sensualist of 
artificial power, whose luxury consists in pomp without enjoyment, and who loses the sense of 
gratification, when the factitious supports of his pride are cut away from him. Richard, wlio 
should have been a troubadour, has become a weak and irresolute voluptuary through the corrup- 
tions of a throne; — Sardanapalus, who might have been a conqueror, retains a natural heroism that 
a throne cannot wholly corrupt. But here we stop. Sardanapalus is a beautiful poem, but the 
characters, and especially the chief character, come before us as something shadowy, and not of 
earth. Richard II. possesses all the higher attributes of poetry, — but the characters, and especially 
the leading character, are of flesh and blood like ourselves. 

And why is it, when we have looked beneath the surface, at this matchless poetical delineation 
of Richard, and find the absolute king capricious, rapacious, cunning, — and the fallen king 
irresolute, effeminate, intellectually prostrate, — why is it, when we see that our Shakspere herein 
never intended to present to us the image of "a good man straggling with adversity," — and 
conceived a being the farthest removed from the ideal that another mighty poet proposed to himself 
as an example of heroism, when he described his own fortitude — 

" I argue not 

Against heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot 

Of heart or hope, but still bear up and steer 

Right onward" — 

why ia it that Richard II. still commands our tears — even our sympathies ? It is this : — His very 
infirmities make him creep into our affections — for they are so nearly allied to the beautiful parts 
of his character, that, if the little leaven had been absent, he might have been a ruler to kneel 
before, and a man to love. We see, then, how thin is the partition between the highest and the 
lowliest parts of our nature— and we love Richard even for his faults, — for they are those of 
our common humanity. - Inferior poets might have given us Bolingbroke the lordly tyrant, and 
Richard the fallen hero. We might have had the struggle for the kingdom painted with all the 
glowing colours with which, according to the authorities which once governed opinion, a poet was 
bound to I'cpresent the crimes of an u.surper and the virtues of a legitimate king ; or, if the poet had 
despised the usual current of authority, he might have made the usurper one who had cast aside 
all selfish and unpatriotic principles, and the legitimate king an unmitigated oppressor, whose fall 
would have been hailed as the triumph of injured humanity. Impartial Shakspere ! How many 
of the deepest lessons of toleration and justice have we not learned from thy wisdom, in combination 
with thy power ? If the power of thy poetry could have been separated from the truth of thy 
philosophy, h-^w much would the world have still wanted to help it forward in the course of gentleness 
and peace ! 

.<V i 




! . I 

r. 1 <\ 



. / . 

.J ■ 

-yVf III 

•. ,( 





UlbTOKI£S. — Vol. 1. 


; I 

(Henry of Monmouth.] 



State op the Text, and Chronology. 

The first edition of Henry IV., Part I., appeared in 1598, under the following title: "The History 
of Henrie the Fourth ; with the Biittell .it Shrcwsburic, betwcono the King and Lord Henry Percy, 
sumamed Henrie Hotspur of the North. With the Humourous Conceits of Sir John Falfitalfe. 
Printed by P. S. for Andrew Wise." Five other edition.^ were printe<l before the folio of IC'23. In 
the second edition of 1599, Falgtaffe is put for PaUtalfe. The first edition of Henry IV., Part II., 
appeared in 1600, under the following title: "The Second Part of Henrie the Fourth, continuing 
to his Death, and Coronation of Heniy the Fift. With the Humours of Sir John Fal.stiiffe, and 
swaggering Pistoll. As it hath been sundrie times publikely acted by the Ri|:,'ht Honoumblo the 
Lord Chamberlaiue his Servants. Written by William Shakspeare. Printed by V. S. for Andrew 
Wise and William Aspley." Another edition w;x8 is-sued the same ye;ir, by the same publisherd, 
for the purpose of supplying the omis^^ion of the first scene of the third act. No subsequent 
edition appeared till the folio of 1C23. The text of the folio, from which wo print, does not 
materially difTer from the original quartos, in the First Part. In the Second Part there are large 
additions, and those some very impoi-tant passiiges, in the folio. In both Parts, not a few of 
the expressions which were thought profane, especiiilly some of tho ejaculations of Falstaff, hav^ 
in the folio, been softened or expunged. Wo do not think that tho wit has been in tho slightest 
degree injured by this process. This cliuss of Viiriations we have not deemed it ncces-sary to point 
out in detail : but all other material diflferences between the quartos and the folio are indicated in 

our foot notes. 

The First Part of King Henry IV. was entered in tho bo<jks of the Stationers' Company in 1597. 
Chalmers, for several reasons which we think altogether unimportant, believes it to have been written 
in 1596. The Second Part was entered in the Stationers' books in 1600. Francis Meres, in 1598, 
enumerated Henry IV. amongst Shakspere's tragedies. He mii^ht, or he might not, have referred to 
both parts. Tiie Second Part was probably written in 1598 ; for the foUowing passage is found in 
[ j Ben Jonson's " Every Man out of his Humour," first acted in 1599 : 

" Sari. What's he, gentle Mons. Brisk? Not that gentleman. 
Fatt. No lady ; this is a kinsman to Juttict Silence." 

M2 1«1 


Sources of the "History" of Henry IV. 

Dr. Johnson has correctly remarked that Shakspere " apparently designed a regular connexion 
of these dramatic histories, from Richard the Second to Henry the Fifth ; " and he further says, 
" These two plays (Heury IV., the first and second parts) will appear to every reader, who shall 
peruse them without ambition of critical discoveries, to be so connected that the second is merely 
a sequel to the fir.>t ; to be two, only because they are too long to be one." This essential 
connexion of the two parts renders it necessary that our Introductory Notice should embrace both 
pLiys ; and that the same principle should also govern our Supplementary Notice. Shakspere, 
indeed, found the stage in possession of a rude drama, " The Famous Victories of Henry V.," upon 
the foundation of which he constructed not only his two parts of Henry IV., but his Henry V. 
That old play was acted prior to 15S8 ; Tarleton, a celebrated comic actor who played the clown 
in it, having died in that year. It was entered on the Stationers' books in 1594, and was 
performed by Henslowe's company in 1595. Mr. Collier thinks it was written soon after 1580. It 
is, in many respects, satisfactory that this veiy extraordinary performance has been preserved. 
None of the old dramas exhibit in a more striking light the marvellous reformation which 
Shakspere, more than all his contemporaries, prodticed in the dramatic amusements of the ago of 
Elizabeth. We have shewn how immeasurably superior the King John of our poet is to the King 
John of 1591, upon which it was founded. But even that play, feeble and coarse as it is, is of a 
fur higher character, as a work of art, than " The Famous Victories of Henry V.," of which the 
comic parts are low buffoonery, without the slightest wit, and the tragic monotonous stupidity, 
without a particle of poetry. And yet Shakspere built upon this thing, and for a very satisfactory 
reason — the people were familiar with it. It is highly probable that in many more cases than we 
are acquainted with, Shakspere adopted the same principle. A gentleman whose name, were we at 
liberty to publish it, would stamp the highest value upon his opinions, writes to us, " I begin to 
doubt whether we have a single play that is altogether by that master-hand." In the instance of 
"The I'^amous Victories," some improvements might have been made upon the original when it was 
acted in 1595; for it seems almost impossible that an audience, who were then familiar with 
Shakspere, could have tolerated such a mass of ribaldry and dulness. We can, however, only judge 
of Shakspere's obligations to that play from the copy which has come down to us. By examining 
this old play somewhat in detail, we shall have an opportunity of touching upon several controverted 
points, such as the historical truth of Shakspei-e's delineation of Prince Henry, and the supposed 
originals of his character of Falstaff. 

In " The Famous Victories," we are introduced to the ■' young Prince ' in the opening scene. 
His companions are ' Ned,' ' Tom,' and ' Sir John Oldcastle,' who bears the familiar name of 
' Jockey.' They have been committing a robbery upon the king's receivers ; and Jockey informs 
the prince that his (the prince's) man hath robbed a poor carrier. The plunder of the receivers 
amounts to a thousand pounds; and the prince worthily says, "As I am a true gentleman I will 
liave the half of this spent to-night." He shews his gentility by calling the receivers villains and 
rascals. The royal amusements in the old tavern in Eastcheap are thus described by a boy of the 
tavern : "This night, about two hours ago, there came the young prince, and three or four more of 
his companions, and called for wine good store, and then they sent for a noise of mu.sicians, and 
were very merry for the space of an hour : then, whether their music liked them or not, or 
whether they had drunk too much wine or no, I cannot tell, but our pots flew against the walls, and 
then they drew their swords, and went into the streets and fought, and some took one p.-xrt, and 
some took another." The prince is sent to the "counter" by the Lord Mayor. 'Gadshill,' the 
prince's man, who robbed the c.trrier, is taken before the Lord Chief Justice ; and the j'oung prince, 
who seems to have got out of the counter as suddenly as he got in, rescues the thief, after the 
following fashion : — 

Jlennj. Why then belike you mean to hang my man. 
Judge. I am sorry that it falls out so. 
Henry. Why, my Lord, I pray ye who am I ? 

Judge. An please your Grace, you are my lord the young Prince, our King that shall be after the decease of our 
SovtreiRn Lord King Henry the Fourth, wliom God grant long to reign. 
Jlenry. You say true, my Lord : And you will hang my man. 
Judge. An like your Grace, I must needs do justice. 


Henry. Teli me, my Lord, shall I have ray man X 

Judge. I cannot, my Lord. 

Hmry. But will you not let him gof 

Judge. I am sorry ihal his case is too ill. 

Henrij. Tush, case me no casings, shall 1 have my man? 

Judge. I cannot, nor I may not, my Lord. 

Henry. Nay, and 1 shall not, say, and then I am an>wereil. 

Judge. No. 

Henry. No, then I will have him. [lie gire$ him a box on thi- mr. 

\ed. Gog's woundi, my Lord, shall I cut off his head f " 

The scene ends with the Chief Justice committing Henry to the Fleet. In a subsequent scene 
with Oldcastle, Ned, and Tom, we have a passage which has evidently suggested a part of the 
dialogue betwixt the prince and FaUtaff. 


"Henry. — Here's such ado now a-days, here's prison- " FaUt. I pt'ytlice, sweet wag, shall there be gallows 

Ing, here's hanging, whipping, and the devil and all: but ] standing in England when thou art kingf and resolution 
I tell you, sirs, when I am king, we will have no such thing, thus fobbed as it is with the rusty curb of old father antick 
but, my lads, if the old king my father were dead, we would the lawf Do not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief, 
be all kings. | Henry. No, thou slialt. 

Oldcattte. He is a good old man. God take him to his \ Falsi. Shall If O rare, I '11 be a brave Judge, 
mercy the sooner. 

Henry. But Ned, so soon as I am king, the first thing I 
will do, shall be to put my Lord Chief Justice out of office, 
and thou shalt be my Lord Chief Justice of England. 

Ked. Shall I be Lord Chief Justice f By Gog's wounds 
I '11 be the bravest Lord Chief Justice that ever waa in 

The ruflBan prince of the old play goes on in the same low strain : — " That fellow that will stand by 
the way side courageously, with his sword and buckler, and take a purse, — that fellow, give him 
commendations." " But whither are ye going now '? " quoth Ned. " To the court," answers th« 

true gentleman of a prince, " For I hear say my father lies very sick The breath shall be 

no sooner out of his mouth but I will clap the crown on my head." To the court he goes, and there 
the bully becomes a hypocrite. " Ah, Harry, now thrice unhappy Harry. But what shall I do ? 
I will go take me tj some solitary place, and there lament my sinful life, and when I have done I 
will lay me down and die." The great scene in the Second Part of Heury IV., 

' I never thought to hear you speak again," 

is founded, probably, upon a passage in Holinshed ; but there is a similar scene in " The Famous 

Victories." It is, perhaps, the highest attempt in the whole play. The blank verse of this old 

play is blank verse only to the eye. 

And now that we have seen what the popular notion of the conqueror of Agincourt was at the 

period when Shakspere began to write, and, perhaps, indeed, up to the time when he gave us his 

own idea of Henry of Monmouth — when we have seen that, for some teu years at least, the Henry of 

the stage was an ill-bred, unredeemed blackguard, without a single sparkle of a " better hope " 

surrounded by companions of the very lowest habits, thieves and cut-throats, — when we sec him, 

not seduced from the gravity of his station by an irrepressible love of fun, kept alive by the 

wit of his principal associate, but given up only to drinking and debauchery, to throwing of pots, and 

brawls in the streets, — when we see not a single gleam of that " sun," 

" \\~\\o doth permit the base contagious cloutfa. 
To smother up his beauty from the world ; " — 

and when we know that nearly all the historians, up to the time of Shakspere, took pretty much 
the same view of Henry's character, — we may, perhaps, be astonished to be told that .Sljakspore » 
fascinating representation of Henry of Monmouth, " as an historical portrait, is not only unlike the 
original, but misleading and unjust iu essential points of character."* Misleading and unjust ! 
We admire, and even honour Mr. Tyler's enthusi.asm in the vindication of his favourite hero from 
every charge of early impurity. In the nature of things it was impossible that Henry of 
Monmouth, — in many particulars so far above his ago in literature, in accomplishments, in real 
magnanimity of character,— should have been the low profligate which nearly s21 the ancient 
historians represent him to have been. But Mr. Tyler, instead of blaming Shakspere for the view 

• Henr)- of Moiunouth, by J. EndcU T)Ier, B.D., vol. I. page 355. 



which he took of Henry's character^ — instead of calling upon us " to allow it no weight in the scale 
of evidence ; " — instead of informing us that the poet's descriptions are " wholly untenable when 
tested by facts, and irreconcilable with what history places beyond doubt ; " — instead of attempting 
to shake our belief in Shakspere's general truth, by minute comparisons of particular passages with 
real dates, trj'ing the poet by a test altogether out of the province of poetry ; — instead of telling us 
that the great dramatist's imagination worked " only on the vague traditions of a sudden change for 
the better in the prince, immediately on his accession ; " — instead of all this, Mr. Tyler ought to 
have called our attention to the fact that Shakspere was the only man of his age who rejected the 
imperfect evidence of all the historians as to the character of Henry of Monmouth, and noblj' 
vindicated him even from his own biographers, and, v/hat was of more importance, from the 
coarser traditions embodied in a popular drama of Shakspere's own day. It is not our business to 
enter into a discussion whether the early life of Henry was entirely blameless, as Mr. Tyler would 
prove. This is a question which, as far as an editor of Shakspere is concerned, may be classed with 
a somewhat similar question of the character of Richard III., as argued in Walpole's " Historic 
Doubts." But the real question for us to consider is this, — what were the opinions of all the 
historians up to Shakspere's own time ? Mr. Tyler himself says, " Before Shakspere's day, the 
reports adopted by our historiographers had fully justified him in his representations of Henry's 
early courses." But we contend that Shakspere did not rest upon the historiographers ; — he did not 
give credence to the vulgar traditions; — he did not believe in the story of Henry's sudden 
conversion; — he did not make him the low profligate of the old play, or of the older Chronicles. 
We are very much accustomed to say, speaking of Shakspere's historical plays, that he follows 
Holinshed. He does so, indeed, when the truth of the historian is not incompatible with the higher 
poetical truth of his own conceptions. Now, what says Holinshed about Henry V. : " After that he 
was invested king, and had received the crown, he determined with himself to put upon him 
the shajie of a new man — turning insolency and wildness into gravity and soberness. And 
whereas he had passed bis youth in wanton pastime and riotous misorder, with a sort of mis- 
governed mates, and unthrifty play-fecrs, he now banished them from his presence." Holinshed 
wrote this in 1577 ; but did he invent this character ? Thomas Elmham, a contemporary of Henry V., 
who wrote his life, distinctly tells us of his passing the bounds of modesty, and, " when not engaged 
in military exercises, he also indulged in other excesses, which unrestrained youth is apt to fall 
into." Of Henry's sudden convci'sion this author also tells the story ; and he dates it from his 
father's death bed. Otterburn, another contemporary of Henry, gives us also the story of his 
sudden conversion : — " repents mutatus est in virum alterum." Hardyng, another contemporary, and 
an adherent of the house of Lancaster, says — 

" The lio\ir he was crowned and anoint 
lie changed was of all his old condition ; " 

or, as he says in the argument to this chapter of his Chronicle, " he was changed from all vices, 
unto virtuous life." Walsingham, a fourth contemporary, speaking of a heavy fall of snow on the 
9th April, the day of his coronation, says, " that some interpreted this unseasonable weather to be 
a happy omen ; as if he would cause the snow and frost of vices to fall away in his reign, and the 
serene fruit of virtues to spring up. That it might be truly said by his subjects, ' Lo, the winter 
is past, the rain is over and gone.' Who, indeed, as soon as he was invested with the ensigns of 
royalty, was suddenly changed into a new man, behaving with propriety, modesty and gravity, and 
shewing a desire to practise every kind of virtue." There is a ballad of Henry IV.'s time addressed 
to Prince Henry and his brothers, to dissuade them from spending time in "youthed folily." 
Caxton, who wrote in the time of Edward IV., says, " Here is to be noted that the King Henry V. 
was a noble prince after he was king and crowned ; howbeit before in his youth he had been wild, 
reckless, and spared nothing of his lusts nor desires, but accomplished them after his liking." 
Fabyan is even more severe : — " This man before the death of his father applied himself to all vice 
and insolency." The story of Henry insulting the Lord Chief Justice, and being by him committed 
to prison, was first told by Sir Thomas Elyot, in 15-34, in his book entitled "The Governor;" and 
he sets out by saying " The most renowned Prince King Henry V., late King of England, during 
the life of his father, was noted to be fierce and of wanton courage." His servant, according to this 
story, was arraigned for felony, and the prince " incensed by light persons about him, in furious 


rage came hastily to the bar." According to Sir Thomas Elyot, the prince did not strike the 
jiul^e; but "being set all iu a fury, all chafe.l, in a terrible maunor came up to the place of 
judgment, men thinking that he woidd have slain the judge." Holiushed makes the blow to have 
been inflicted. Stow, whose Chronicle wsxa publishe*! in 15S0, givea us a much more uaturd 
vci-sion of the prince's robberies than that of the old play :— He makes them to have been wanton 
frolics, followed by restitution. Lastly, Hall collects and repeats all the ohargos against Henry 
of the eailier historians. In a word, there is not one solitary writer up to the time of Shakspere 
that entertained any doubt that, — 

" His addiction was to (oiirsos vain; 

Ilia companies unlettered, rude, and shall^n , 

His liours filled up with riuts, bnnquets, spo:ts." 

This passage in Henry V., which is introduced by the Archbishop to iK-iglitou his pniises of the 
king by contrast with his former state, is tho severest passage which Shakspere has against the 
early character of the prince. It is stronger than his father's reproof, in the third Act of the first 
Part But where is tho "insolency" of Holinshed— the "all vices" of H;irdyu:^— the " t; pared 
nothing of his lusts and desires " of Caxton ? Let it be observed, too, how careful Shakspere has 
been to make the common tradition of Henry's almost miraculous convcraiou rest only upon the 
opinion of others. The Archbishop indeed says, — 

" never Hydra-headed wilfulness 

So soon did lose his scat, and all at once 
As in this king." 

But the prince, in the very first scene in which he appears, thus apostrophizes his companions : — 

" I know you all, and will awhile uphold 
The unyok'd humour of your idleness." 

Even in the Richard II., when Henry IV. speaks of his " unthrifty son," we are prepared, not for 
the coarse profligate of the old play, but for a high couraged and reckless boy, ofifending iu the very 
wantonness of his hot blood, which despises conventional forms and opinions : — 

" A'i dissolute us desperate ; yet, through both, 
1 see son-.e sparkles of a better hope." 

IJut it Is not from the representations of others that we must form our opinion of the character of 
the Trince of Shakspere. He is, indeed, the " mad-cap Prince of Wales," 

" that dalTd the world aside," 

but he is not the " sword and buckler Prince of Wales," that Hotspur would have " poisoned v. ith 
a pot of ale." He is a gentleman ; a companion, indeed, of loose revellers, but one who infinitely 
prefers the excitement of their wit to their dissipation. How graceful too, and how utterly devoid 
of meanness an I hypocrisy, is his apology to his father for his faults ! How gallantly he passes from 
the revels at the Boar's Head to the preparations for the battle field ! How just are his praises of 
Hotspur I How modest his c'nailenge ! 

" I have a truant been to chivalry." 

What a key to hi? re;U kindness of heart and good nature is his apostrophe to FalstafT; - 

" I'oor Jack, farewell! 

I could have better spar'd n better msn ! " 

How magnanimous is his pleading for the life of the Douglas ! Never throughout tho two play.a 
is there a single cxjireasion of uufilial feeling towanls his father. "My hcait bleeds itiwanlly," 
says the Prince of Shakspere, " that my father is so sick." The low profligate of the old play srye, 
" I Et^nd tipon thorns till the crown be on my head." The king's description of liis son in Shalwperc 
is truly in accordance with the poet's delineation of his character : — 

" He hath a tear for pity, .ind a liand 
Open as d.iy for melting charity; 
Yet notwithstanding, being inccns'd, hc'i flint; 
As humourous as winter." 

And yet, according to Mr. Tyler, Shakspere has done injustice to Henry cf Monnouth. When in 
Richard II. Bolingbroke speaks of his "unthrifty son," Mr. Tyler informs us that the toy waa 
oidy twelve years and a half old. "At the veri/ time," says Mr. Tyler, "when, according to tho 


poet's representation, Henry IV. uttered this lamentation (Part I. Act I. Scene I.) expressive of 
deep present sorrow at the reckless misdoings of his son, and of anticipations of worse, that very 
Bon was doing his duty valiantly and mercifully in Wales." Again, according to Mr. Tyler, the 
noble scene between Ilenr}' and his father in the third Act of the First Part was not the real truth 
— Henry was not then in London; — and from a letter of Henry to his council we find that the 
king had received "most satisfactory accounts of this very dear and well-beloved son the prince, 
which gave him very great pleasure." Mr. Tyler remarks upon this letter, "It is as though 
history were designed on set pui-pose, and by especial commission, to counteract the bewitching 
fictions of the poet." For our own parts we have a love of Henry, as Shakspere evidently himself 
had ; but we have derived that love more from " the bewitching fictions " of the poet, than 
from what we leam from history apart from the poet. With every i-espect for Mr. Tyler's excellent 
intentions, we are inclined to think that Shakspere has elevated the chai'acter of Henry, not 
only far above the calumnies of the old Chroniclers, which, we believe, were gross exaggerations, 
but has paiuted him much more amiable, and just, and merciful than wc find him in the original 
documents which Mr. Tyler has rendered popular. Mr. Tyler has printed a letter of Prince Henry 
to the council, written in 1401, and describing his proceedings in Wales against Owen Glendower. 
It contains the following passages : — " So we caused the whole place to be set on fire, and many 
other houses around it, belonging to his tenants. And then we went straight to his other place 

there we burnt a fine lodge in his park, and the whole country round 

And cei-tain of our people sallied forth, and took a gentleman of high degree 

he was put to death ; and several of his companions, who were taken the same day, met with the 
Kime fate. We then proceeded to the commote of Edionyon, in Merionethshire, and there laid 
waste a fine and populous countiy." Our ta.stes may be wrong ; but we would rather hold in our 
afiections " the mad-cap Prince of Wales " at the Boar's Head, " of all humours, that have shewed 
themselves humours, since the old days of goodman Adam," than adulterate the poetical idea with 
the documentary history of a precocious boy, burning, wasting, and slaying ; or, as Mr. Tyler says, 
"doing his duty valiantly." There is sometimes a higher truth even than documentary truth. 
The burnings and slayiugs of Henry of Monmouth must be judged of according to the .spirit of his 
age. Had the great dramatist represented these things, he would, indeed, have done injustice to 
Henry in his individual character. We believe that he most wisely vindicated his hero from the 
written and traditionary calumnies that had gathered round his name, not by shewing him, as he 
did Prince John of Laucastei', a "sober blooded boy," but by divesting his dissipation of the 
gros.sness which up to his time had surrounded it ; and by exhibiting the misdirected energy of an 
acute and active mind, instead of the violent excesses and the fierce passions that had anciently 
been attributed to him. The praiseworthy attempt of Mr. Tjder to prove that thei-e was no solid 
historical ground for Henry's early profligacy, is founded \ipon a very ingenious treatise, full of 
antiquarian research, by Mr. Alexander Luders.* That gentleman, as it appears to us, has left the 
question pretty much where he found it. He has, however, taken a right view of what our poet 
did for the character of Henry : " Shakspere seemed to struggle against believing the current 
Btories of misconduct as much as he could, that he might not let the prince down to their level." 

In the play of " The Famous Victories of Henry V." we have, as already mentioned, the 
character of 'Sir John Oldcastle.' This iiersonage, like all the other companions of the prince in 
that play, is a low worthless follow, without a single spark of wit or humour to relieve his grovelling 
profligacy. But he is also a very insignificant character, with less stage business than even 'Ned' 
and 'Tom.' Derieke, the clown, is, indeed, the leading character throughout this play. Altogether 
Oldcastle has only thirty lines put in his mouth in the whole piece. We have no allusion to his 
being fat ; we hear nothing of his gluttony. Malone, however, calls this Sir John Oldcastle " a 
pampered glutton." The question which we have here to consider is, whether this Oldcastle, or Jockey, 
suggested to Shak.spcre his FalstafT. Wc cannot discover the very slightest similarity; although 
Malone, with less caution than usual, decidedly says, " Shakspere appears evidently to have caught 
the idea of the character of Falstaff from a wretched play, entitled The Famous Victories of King 
Henry V." But Malone is arguing for the support of a favourite theory. Howe has noticed a tradition 
that Falstafl" was written originally under the name of Oldcastle. This oi^iuion would receive some 

• "An Essay on the Character of Henry V. wlicn Prince of Vales." 1813. 


conBrmation from the fact tlmt Shuk>n»ero bus ti-ansfened other names from the oUl pliij', Ned, GaJg- 
hill, — and why not, then, OUlcastle ? The jirinco in one place calls Falstiff " my ol<l liul of the 
castle :" but this may be otherwise explained. The Sir John Oldcastle of history. Lord Cobham, was. 
as is well known, one of the most strennous stipporters of the Ueformation of Wickliffe ; and hence it 
has been argued that the original name of Shakspere's fat knight wan offensive to zealous protcstAnts 
in the time of Elizabeth, and was accordingly changed to tliat of Falataff. Malouo holds a contrary 
opinion to this belief, and prefers to make Shakspere catch the idea of the chiuncter of Falstaff from 
the old play, instead of holding that he took the name alaie. We are inclined to think, with Ritson, 
that Shakspere took the name withruit receiving the slightest hint of the chai-acter. In our opinion, 
there was either another play besides " The Famous Victories " in which the name of Oldcastle was 
introduced, or the remarks of contemporary writers applied to Shakspere's Falstnff, who had 
originally borne the name of Oldcastle. The following passage is from Fuller's Church History : 
"Stage poets have themselves been very bold with, and others very merry at, the memory of Sir 
John Oldcastle, whom they have fancied a boon companion, a jovial royster, and a coward to boot. 
The best is, Sir John Falstiiff hath relieved the memory of Sir John Oldcastle, and of late is 
substited buffoon in his place." This description of Fuller cannot apply to the Sir John Oldcastle 
of "The Famous Victories." The dull dog of that play is neither a jovial companion, nor a coward 
to boot. The prologue to the old play of Sir John Oldcastle, printed in 1600, has these lines : — 

'• It is no pamper'd glutton we present, 
Xor aged counsellor to youthful sin, 
But one whose virtue shone above the rest, 
A valiant martyr, and a virtuous peer." 

Whether or not Shakspere's Falstaff was originally called Oldcastle, he was, after the character was 
fairly established as Falstaff, anxious to vindicate himself from the charge that he had attempted to 
represent the Oldcastle of history. In the epilogue to the second Part of Henry IV. we find this 
passage :— " For anything I know, Falsttff shall die of a sweat, unless already he be killed with 
your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man." It is remarkable, 
however, that as late as 1611, or perhaps later, in a comedy by Nathaniel Field, called "Amends 
for Ladies," FalsUff's description of honour is mentioned by one of the ch.aracters as if it had been 
delivered by Sir John Oldcastle. 

But another controversy has ari.«en out of the substitution of Falstaff for ()ldca.stle. Fuller is 
once more the complainant against Shakspere. In his " Worthies," speaking of Sir John Fastolff, 
he B-iys, " The stiige has been over bold with his memory, making him a Thrasonical puff, and 
emblem of mock valour.— True it is. Sir John Oldcastle did first bear the brunt of the one, King 

made the makesport in all plays for a coward Now as I am glad that Sir John 

Oldcastle is put out, so I am sorry that Sir John Fastolfe is put in Nor is our 

comedian excusable by some alteration of his name, writing him Sir John FalsUife (and making 
him the property and pleasure of King Henry V. to abu.-e), seeing the vicinity of sounds intrench 
on the memory of that worthy knight." The charge against Shakspere of libelling the memory of 
Sir John Fastolff is repeated by other writers, as we find in a very curious note under the article 
Fastolff in Kippis's edition of_ the Biographia Britanuica. Our readers, who are perhaps already 
weary of the subject, will be satisfied with the following verj' Pcnsible remarks of Oldys, the writer 
of that note : — 

" Upon whom does the horsing of a dead corpse on FalstafT^ back reflect f whose honour suffers, 
in his being forced by the unexpected surprise of his armed plunderers to surrender his treasure? 
whose policy is impeached by his creeping into a bucking-basket to avoid the storms of a jealous 
husband ? whose reputation suffers by his being buffeted in the disguise of an old witch, or fortune- 
teller, of Brentford? or whose valour is to be called in question, because he cannot avoi<l being 
tormented by a swarm of little fairies in Windsor Fore.-it ? If the good name of Fast<jlff, or any other 
man of honour, had ever been maliciously doomed to be sacrificed to durable disgrace or exposure, 
in the character of Falataff, it would have been founded upon some important, some significant 
transactions, some instances of fl.-igitious and irreputable misconduct, not such odd, droll, inconsi- 
derable circumstances as these, the harmle.-s issue of pleavint wit and humour, or delightful union 
of nature and fancy ; all so vbibly devised of the comic strain, so designed only for innocent 



merriment and diversion, without any personal reflection on this great man, or any other, that we 
believe there is no real character to be read of in all history, that can be justly disparaged by any 
application, discernibly intended, of this imaginary one in poetry." 


TuE fiishions of the reign of Richard II. underwent little if any variation during that of 
Henry IV., as our engravings and descriptions of the monumental effigies and other portraits of the 
prineij)al historical personages introduced in the two parts of this play will shew. 

To begin with the king; the efSgy of Henry, in Canterbury Cathedral, is one of the most mag- 
nificent of the series of royal monuments. The king is represented in his robes of state, consisting 
of a long tunic, with pocket holes richly embroidered, as ai-e also the borders of the sleeves. Over 
his shoulders is a cape which descends in front low enough to cover the girdle. The inner tunic 
has a rolling collar sitting close up into the neck. The mantle, with a broad edging of embroidery, 
is connected not only by cords and tassels, but by a splendidly jewelled band, passing over the chest. 
The face has beard and moustaches, but no hair is visible on the head, it being cropped all round 
excessively short, — a fa.shion which commenced towards the close of this reign. The crown is very 
large and most tastefully ornamented, and may have been a faithful representation of the "great 
Han-y Crown," which was broken up by Heniy V., and pawned in pieces, A. D. 1415, to raise 
monies for the expenses of the French war. 

Of Henry Prince of Wales, there are two representations. One in a copy of Occleve's Poems 
in the Royal Collection, Brit. Mus., marked 17 D 6, in which the poet is depicted presenting a copy 
of his " Regimine Pi-incipis " to the prince, who is dressed in a pink robe, and wears a peculiarly 
shaped coronet on his head. The other is a painting by Vertiie, copied from some other illuminated 
MS. of Occleve's Poems, also representing that Poet oiTering a book to the prince. This painting 
was formerly in the possession of Mr. Douce, whose splendid collection of prints, drawings, MSS., 
&c., went to the Bodleian Library at Oxford. The prince is therein habited in a long blue robe, 
with the extravagantly long sweeping-sleeves of the period, lined with ermine, and escalloped at 
the edges. His coronet is without the high pinnacles which distinguish it in the former i-epresenta- 

The decoration of the collar SS. first appears during this reign; but of the derivation we have 
still no precise information. The most plausible conjecture is that it was formed of the repetition 
of the initial letter of Henry IV.'s word or device, " Souveraine ; " which appears also to have 
been that of his father, John of Gaunt. The collar of Esses is seen round the neck of Joan of 
Navarre, Heni-y's queen, who lies beside him at Canterbury; and the canopy of the monument is 
powdered with the letter S, intermingled with the eagle volant and ci'owned, which in this reign was 
usually appended to the collar of SS. That of Queen Joan had formerly such a pendant, but it is 
now broken off". A great gold collar, called of Ilkington, is mentioned, in llymer's Foedera, as 
having been a personal jewel of Ileniy V. while Prince of Wales. It was richly adorned with rubies, 
s.apphires, and pearls, and pawned for £500 to the Bishop of Worcester, in 1415. To the prince also 
belonged a sword, the sheath of which was garnished with ostrich feathers, in goldsmith's work, or 
embroidery. Such dresses and decorations would, of course, be worn by Prince Henry only on state 
occasions. In his revels at the Boar's Head, he would wear only the dress of a private gentleman ; 
and for the general dress of the time the best authorities are the illuminations in the MSS. mai-ked 
Digby, 283, in the Bodleian Lib. Oxford, and No. 2332, in the Harkiau Collect. Brit. Mus., which 
latter is a curious little calendar of the year 1411, every month being headed with the representation 
of a personage following some occupation or amusement, indicative of its peculiarities, and afibrding 
a most authentic specimen of the habit of the period. Of Prince John of Lancaster we know no 
representation until after he became Duke of Bedford. Nor are we aware of any portrait of Thomas 
Duke of Clarence or Prince Humphrey of Gloster at this period. The Earls of Westmoreland 
and Northumberland have been already presented, in their civil dresses, to our readers with the 

* The description of the^Sntiiics will appear in Part 11. 


play of Richard II. ; but wo give the former, in complete unuour, from his effigy in Staindrop 
Church, Durham, as an illustration of the military costume of this reign. The bascinet is 
ornamented with a splendid border and filkt of goldsmith's work and jewellery. The jupon, 
emblazoned with the arms of Neville, confined over the hips by an equally magnificent military 
girdle. With the difiference of the armorial bearings, such would be the appointments of every 
knight in the field, from the sovereign downwards, the king's bascinet, or those of the knight » 
armed in imitation of the king, being surrounded by a crown instead of a jewelled band, or fillet. 

The seal of Owen Glendower, as rrinco of Wales, exhibits that fumoua personage, on one side, 
in his robes of state, and, on the other, in complete armour, with his tilting helmet and crest, 
encircled by a coronet. 

Sir William Gascoigne, Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench, is represented in his judicial 
costume on his monument in Ilarwood Church, Yorkshire. 

For the dress of Falst.vlV and his companions the MSS. before mentioned must be con8ult«<l. 
For the proper costume of the Ladies Northumberland, Tercy, and Mortimer, we should point to the 
effigy of the Countess of Westmoreland, in Staindrop Church, Durham; and for that of Dame Quickly 
and Doll Tearsheet, to the descriptions of Chaucer and the illuminated iMSl^J. of the i)erit'd 

[Costume of Gentleuion. Ilarl. .MS., 23'3i.] 

[CoKtume or Lady. Counteta of WcttnioreUnd. J 

^j^ m:^ 

IScEMe 111.—" I remember, when the fialit was done."] 


SCENE I. — London. A Room in the Palace. 

Enter King IIenuy, Westmorel.vnd, Sir 
Walter Blunt, and others. 

K. Hen. So shaken as we arc, so wan with 
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant, 
And breathe short-winded accents of new bi oUs 
To be comnienc'd in strouds" afar remote. 
No more the thirsty entrance'' of tliis soil 

• SIrondt — strands — shores. 

b Bnlrance. In the variorum editions of Shakspere, ex- 
cept Malone's of 1821, we have the following correction of 
I he text: — 

" No more the thirsty Erinmjt of this soil." 
Thlslnpenious rt-adinK was suggested by Monck Mason, and 
adopted by Sti'cven<, in dcliancc " of such as rcstr.iio theni- 
selves within the bounds of timid conjecture." Krinnyn, 
according to Monck Mason, is the Fury of Discord. He gives 
examples of the u^e of the name from Virgil, I.ucan, and 
Statius. We will add anolhcrexample from Ovid (Ep. vi.):— 
" Sed tristis Erinnys 
Prstulit infaustas sanguinolenta faces." 
nut such a change is beside the proper duty of an editor, 
whose business is r.ot to attempt the improvifment of his 
author, but to explain w he has written. Entrance could 
not be a misprint for Erinnyt ;— the words could not be con- 
founded by a transcriber; — nor could the ear mistake the 
one for the other. The first conjvctureof Stcevens that the 
word was rnlranU came within the proper line of editorial 
emendation ; — the suggestion of Douce, entraili, is not far 
beyond it. But why is the original text to be disturbed at 


" No iDore the thirsty entrance of this soil 
Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood," 

Shall daub her lips with her own children's bl(K)d, 
No more shall trenching war cliaaiu'l her iiulds; 
Nor bruise her flowrets with the armed hoofs 
Of hostile paces : those opposed eyes, 
'Wliicli, like the meteors of a troubled heaven, 
All of one nature, of one substance bred, 
Did lately meet in the intestine shock. 
And furious close of civil butchery, 
Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming ranks, 
!March all one way ; and be no more oppos'd 
Against acquaintance, kindred, and allies : 

is somewhat obscure ; hut the obscurity is perfectly in the 
manner of Shakspere, and in great pnit aiises frnm tiie bold- 
ness of the metapliiir. Entrance is put for mouth: and if 
we were to read — No more the thirsty mouth of this earth 
shall daub her lips with the blood nf licr own children — we 
should lind little more difliculty than with the pais.ige in 
Genesis, which was ])r<iliably in Shakspire's niiml when he 
wrote the line: — " And now art thou curted from tliccorM, 
which hath nprned lirr mnuth to receire lliij hrollier's blood 
from thy hand." The Icrins entrance ami mouth are con- 
vertible even now — as the mouth of a river, for the entrance 
of a river. 

Or, suppose the word tur/ace stood in the place of rn- 
tranee, — for as tlic surface is the outward part >o is the 
entrance — the difhculty is lessened. " No mure this soil 
•hall daub her lips'"— is clear; — " no more the thirsty sur- 
face of this soil shall daub her lips" is c(|Ually clear. The 
only dilhculty, then, is in taking ' eiitr<incc ' to mean 'sur- 
face.' A correspondent of the present editor suggests 
criiniiiet; and there is authority for this in a line of the old 
King John, with reference to ' blood ' — 

■(.'losing the crannies of the thirsty earth,' 
(which passage liad In-en previously {oiiited out by Malone). 
We should l>e inclined to prefer crnnnict. did not entrance 
give a perfectly clear meaning if we receive it in the sense 
of mouth. .,.. 

Act I.] 



Tlie edge of war, like an ill-sbcathed kuifc,^ 
No more shall cut his master. Therefore, friends. 
As far as to the sepulchre of Christ, 
(Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross 
We are impressed and engag'd to fight,) 
Forthwith a power of English shall we levy;*^ 
Whose arms were moulded in tlieir mothers' womb 
To chase these pagans, in those holy fields. 
Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet, 
Which, fourteen himdi-ed years ago, were nail'd, 
For our advantage, on the bitter cross. 
But this our pLU-pose is a twelvemonth old. 
And bootless 't is to tell you — we will go ; 
Therefore we meet not now -.^ — Then let me hear 
Of you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland, 
Wliat yesternight our council did decree, 
In forwarding this dear expedience. 

WesL My liege, this haste was hot in question, 
And many limits" of the charge set down 
But yesternight : when, all athwart, there came 
A post from Wales, loaden with heavy news ; 
Whose worst was, — that the noljle Mortimer, 
Leadbg the men of Herefordshire to fight 
Against the irregular and wild Glendower, 
Was by the rude hands of that AVelshman taken, 
And a thousand of his people butchered : 
Upon whose dead corpse there was such misuse, 
Such beastly, shameless transformation, 
By those Welshwomen done,'' as may not be, 
AVithout much shame, re-told or spoken of. 
K. Hen. It seems, then, that the tidings of this 
Brake off our business for the Holy Land. 
jresL This, match'd with other like, my gra- 
cious lord. 
Far more uneven and unwelcome news 
Came from the north, and thus it did report : " 
On Holy-rood day, the gallant Hotspur there. 
Young Han-y Percy, and brave Archibald, 

•1 Lcui/. Gifford (Hen Jonson, v., 138) lias properly re- 
buked the rash disposition of Steevens to meddle with the 
text, in a remark upon the passap;c before us. Steevenssays, 
to leey a power as far as to the sepulchre of Christ is an ex- 
pression quite unexampled, if not corrupt; and he proposes 
to read tend. "The expression is neither unexampled nor 
corrupt," says Gifford, " but Kood autliorized En),'lish. One 
instance of it is before me : ' Scipio, before he Irvied his force 
to the walles of Carthage, gave liis soldiers the print of the 
citio in a cake to be devoured.' Gosson's School of Abuse, 

b Therefore we meet not now. We do not meet now on 
that account. 

<•■ Limits. To limit is to define— and therefore the limits 
of the charge may be the calculations, the estimates. 

•1 Welshn'omen, fyc. The story is told in Walsingham, 
and may be found in Andrews' History of Great Britain, 
vol. i., part ii., p. 4. 

Our reading of this passage is that of the folio, and some 
of the quartos. The first quarto, which has been followed 
in most modern editions, is thus: — 

" This, match'd with other, did, my gricious lord; 
For more uneven and unwelcome news 
Came from the north, ami thus it did luporl." 


That ever-valiant and approved Scot, 

At Holmedon met. 

Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour ; 

As by discharge of tlieir artillery. 

And shape of likelihood, the news was told ; 

For he that brought them, in the very heat 

And pride of their contention did take horse, 

Uncertain of the issue any way. 

K. Hen. Here is a dear and true-industrious 
Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse, 
Stain'd with the variation of each soil 
Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours ; 
And he hath brousyht us smooth and welcome 

news : 
The earl of Douglas is discomfited ; 
Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knightsj 
Balk'd" in their own blood, did sir Walter see 
On Holmedon's plains : Of prisoners, Hotspur 

Mordake earl of Fife, and eldest son 
To beaten Douglas ; and the earl of Athol, 
Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith. 
And is not this an honourable spoil ? 
A gallant prize ? ha, cousin, is it not ? 

West. In faith. 
It is a conquest for a prince to boast of. 

K. Hen. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and 
mak'st me sin 
In envy that my lord Northumberland 
Should be the father of so blest a son : 
A son, who is the theme of honom-'s tongue ; 
Amongst a grove, the very straightest plant ; 
Who is sweet fortune's minion, and her pride : 
Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him. 
See riot and dishonour stain the brow 
Of my young Harry. 0, that it could be prov'd, 
That some night-tripping fairy had exchang'd 
In cradle-clothes our children wliere they lay. 
And eall'd mine Percy, his Plantagenet ! 
Then would I have his Harry, and he mine. 
But let him from my thoughts : — Wliat think 

you coz'. 
Of this young Percy's pride ? the prisoners, 
"Wliich lie in this adventure hath surpris'd, 
To his own use he keeps ; and sends me word, 
I shall have none but Mordake carl of Fife. 
IFest. This is his uncle's teaching, this is 

!> Balk'd. To balk is to raise into ridges, — as in Min- 
shew — " to balke, or make a balk in earing of land." Thus, 
the ten thousand bold Scots, balk'd in their own blood, are ' 
the .slain heaped up — the " hills ol dead " of Pope's transla- 
tion of the Iliad. Some conjecture the passage ought to be 
" bak'd in their own blood," — as in Ileywood's Iron Age, 
" Troilus lies emhak'd 
In his cold blood." 

Act I.] 


[Stivr. II 

Malevolent to you in all ;ispects ; 

Wliich mrikcs him prune himself, anil Ijiistlo up 

The crest of youth against your dignity. 

A'. Hen. But I have sent for him to answer 
And, for this cause, awhile we must neglect 
Our holy purpose to Jerusalem. 
Cousin, ou Wednesday next our council wc 
Will hold at Windsor ; and so inform the lords ; 
But come yourself with speed to us ;ig-.iin ; 
For more is to be said, and to be done. 
Than out of anger can be uttered. 

IVeat. I will, my liege. [Exeuiil. 

SCENE II. — Loudon. An Apartment of the 

Enter Henry, Prince of Waxes, and Faistah; 

Fal. Now, Hid, what time o' day is it, lad ? 

P. Hen. Thou art so fat-witted, witli drink- 
ing of old sack, and unbuttoning thee after 
supper, and sleeping upon benches after noon, 
that thou hast forgotten to demand that truly 
which thou would'st truly know. What a devil 
hast thou to do with the time of the day ? unless 
hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, 
and clocks the tongues of bawds, and dials the 
signs of leaping houses, and the blessed sun 
himself a fair hut wench in flame colour'd taffata ; 
I see no reason why thou should 'st be so super- 
flous to demand the time of the day. 

Fal. Indeed, you come near me, now, Hal : 
for we, that take purses, go by the moon and 
seven stars; and not by Piicebus,— he, that 
wanderering knight so fair.' And, I prithee, 
sweet wag, when thou art king, — as, God save 
thy grace, (majesty, I should say ; for grace thou 
wilt have none,) 

P. Hen. What ! none ? 

Fal. No, by my troth ; not so much as will 
serve to be prologue to an t^^ and butter. 

P. Hen. Well, how then ? come, roundly, 

Fal. Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art 
king, let not us that are squires of the night's 
body be called thieves of the day's beauty;* let 
us be Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the shade, 
minions of the moon : And let men say, we be 
men of good government ; being governed as the 
sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress tiie 
moon, under whose countenance wc steal. 

P. Hen. Thou say'st well ; and it holds well 

• Day'i beauty — perhaps beauli/ is meant to be pro- 
Doanccd booty, as it i* sometimes provincialljr. 

too : for the fortune of us, that are the moon's 
men, doth ebb aiul flow like the sea ; being 
governed as the Sfi\ is by the moon. As for 
proof." Now, a purse of gold most resolutely 
snatched on Monday night, and most dissolutely 
spent on Tuesday morning; got with swearing — 
lay by ;'' and spent with crying — bring in :" now, 
in as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder ; and, 
by and by, in as high a flow as the ridge of the 

Fal. Thou say'st true, lad. And is not my 
hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench ? 

P. Hen. As the honey of Hybla, my old lad 
of the castle.'' And is not a bull' jcrkiu a most 
sweet robe of durance ?' 

Fal. How now, how now, mad wag ? what, 
in thy quips and thy quiddities ? what a plague 
have I to do with a buff jerkin? 

P. Hen. Why, what a pox have I to do with 
my hostess of the tavern ? 

Fal. Well, thou hast called her to a reckoning 
many a time and oft. 

P. Hen. Did I ever call for thee to pay thy 

Fal. No ; I 'II give thee thy due, thou hast 
paid all there. 

P. Hen. Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my 
coin would stretch ; and where it would not I 
have used my credit. 

Fal. Yea, and so used it, that were it not here 
apparent that thou art heir apparent, — But, I 
prithee, sweet wag, shall there be gallows stand- 
ing in England when thou art king ? and reso- 
lution thus fobbed as it is, with the rusty curb of 
old father antick the law? Do not thou when 
thou art king hang a thief. 

P. Hen. No; thou slialt. 

Fal. ShaU I? O rare! I'll be a brave 

P. Hen. Thou judgest false already; I mean, 
thou shalt have the hanging of the thieves, and 
so become a rare hangman. 

Fal. Well, Hal, well; and in some sort it 

•■» At for proof. Wc point this according to the punctua- 
tion of tlic old copies. 

•> 7,(1//''.'/— slop. Ti'l.iy by, in tinvifr.ition, U to slacken sail. 

c Bring in— the call to the drawers fur more wine. 

<I Old tail of the cattle. I-id of the castle was a somewhat 

common term in Shak'.jiore's tiinc, and is found in several 

cnntemyinmrv writiT-. F.irmer savs it meant lad of Ciittile 

■ ■ •• ■ ■ . with 

f ■ It Sir 

J I ' „- |. ,,,>..,.;.,. .... i ... I'alslaO". 

(See I ■ Notice.) 

o j{ , . - nice. The buffjrrkin, the coat of ox-skin, ~ 
{bceuf) was worn by sheriff's oflicirs. It was a robe of 
durance, an "everlasting (carment," as in the Comedy of 
Errors ;— but it was also a robe of " durance " in a sense that 
would not furnish an agreeable .issoriation to one who was 
always in debt and danger, as FalstaiT was. 


Act I.] 



jumps with my humour, as well as waiting in 
the court, I can tell you. 

P. Hen. lor obtaining of suits ? 

Fal. Yea, for obtaining of suits : whereof the 
hangman hath no lean wardrobe. I am as 
melancholy as a gib cat,* or a lugged bear. 

F. Ilea. Or an old lion ; or a lover's lute. 

Fal. Yea, or the drone of a Lincobshire bag- 

P. Hen. What say'st thou to a hare, or the 
melancholy of Moor-ditch ?3 

Fal. Thou hast the most unsavoury similes ; 
and art, indeed, the most comparative, rascallest, 
sweet young prince. But Ilal, I prithee trouble 
me no more with vanity. I would thou and I 
knew where a commodity of good names were 
to be bought ! An old lord of the council rated 
me the other day in the street about you, sir ; 
but I marked him not : and yet he talked very 
wisely ; but I regarded liiui not : and yet he 
talked wisely, and in the street too. 

P. Hen. Thou did'st well ; for wisdom cries 
out in the streets, and no man regards it. 

Fal. O, thou hast damnable iteration:'* and 
art, indeed, able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast 
done much harm unto me, Hal, — God forgive 
thee for it ! Before I knew thee, Hal, I knew 
nothing ; and now I am, if a man should speak 
truly, little better tlian one of the wicked. I 
must give over this life, and I will give it over; 
an I do not, I am a villain ; I '11 be damned fcr 
never a king's son in Christendom. 

P. Hen. Where shall we take a purse to- 
morrow, Jack ? 

Fal. Where thou wilt, lad, I '11 make one ; an 
I do not, call me villain and bafCe me. 

P. Hen. I sec a good amendment of life in 
thee; from praying to purse-taking. 

Enter PoiNS, at a distance. 

Fal. Wiiy, Hal, 't is my vocation, Hal ; 't is 
no sin for a man to labour in his vocation. 
Poins ! — Now shall we know if Gadshill have 
set a watch." O, if men were to be saved by 

* Gib cat. Gib and Tib were old English names for a 
male cat. We have Tybalt called " king of cats " in Romeo 
and Juliet. Tybert is the cat in Reynard the I'ox. Chaucer, 
in the Komaunt of the Rose, gives " Gibbe." as the transla- 
tion of '• Thibert," the cat. TJie name appears to have been 
applied to an old male cat, whose gravity approaches to the 
character of melancholy. 

*> Ileralion — repetition— not mere citation as some have 
thousiht. FalstafT does not complain only of Hal's quoting 
a i-criptural text, but that he has been retorting and d««tort- 
ing the meaning of his words throughcut the scene. For 
example, Falsiaff talks of the sitn and moon — the Prince 
retorts with the tea and moon ;— FalstafT uses hanging in one 
(•en&e, — the Prince in another; — so of judging ; and so in the 
passage which at last provokes Falstaff's complaint. 

c Setaualch. The folio reatls thus; the quartos set a 

merit, what hole in hell were hot enough for 
him? This is the most omnipotent villain that 
ever cried Stand, to a true man. 

P. Hen. Good morrow, Ned. 

Poins. Good morrow, sweet Hal. "Wliat says 
monsieur Remorse ? What says sir John Sack- 
and-Sugar ? ^ Jack, how agrees the devil and 
thee about thy soul, that thou soldest him on 
Good-Priday last, for a cup of Madeii-a and a 
cold capon's leg ? 

P. Hen. Sir John stands to his word, — the 
devil shall have his bargain; for he was never 
yet a breaker of proverbs, — he will give the 
devil his due. 

Poins. Then art thou damn'd for keeping thy 
word with the devil. 

P. Hen. Else he had been damn'd for cozen- 
ing the devil. 

Points. But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow 
morning, by four o'clock, early at Gadshill : * 
There are pilgrims going to Canterbury with 
rich offerings, and traders riding to London with 
fat purses : I have visors for you all, you have 
horses for yourselves ; Gadshill lies to-night in 
Rochester ; I have bespoke supper to-morrow in 
Eastcheap ; we may do it as secure as sleep : H 
you will go, I will stuff your purses full of 
crowns ; if you will not, tarry at home and be 

Fal. Hear ye,'"' Yedward ; if I tarry at home 
and go not, I '11 hang you for going. 

PoiKs. You will, chops ? 

Fal. Hal, wilt thou make one ? 

P. Hen. Who, I rob ? I a thief? not T, by 
my faith. 

Fal. There 's neither honesty, manhood, nor 
good fellowship in thee, nor thou camest not of 
the blood royal, if thou darest not stand for ten 

P. Hen. Well, then, once in my days, I 'U be 
a mad-cap. 

Fal. Why that 's well said. 

P. Hen. Well, come what will, I '11 tarry at 

Fal. I 'U be a traitor then, when thou art kmg. 

mutch. Steevens says, " as no walch is afterwards set I 
suppose match is the true reading." To "set a match" 
appears, from a passage in Ben Jonson, to be to " make an 
appointment." But Gadshill, it seems to us, was in commu- 
nication with tlie chamberlain of the Rochester inn ; and 
this chamberlain, who was to have a share in the "pur- 
chase," was the watch or spy that Gadshill had set. When 
Gadshill meets FalstafT and Poins he is received with " O, 
'tis our setter." 

* Hear ye. This, which is the reading of the old editions, 
was once changed into the feeble Hear me. "Hear ye '" id 
the same as " Hark ye." 

>> Ten shillings was the value of the royal. Hence Fal* 
staff's quibble. 






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Act I.] 


[SCENZ 111. 

P. Eeti. I care not. 

PoiHS. Sir John, I prithee, leave the prince 
and mo alouc ; 1 will lay him down such reasons 
for this adventure that he shall go. 

Fal. Well, inay'st thou have the spirit of per- 
suasion and he the ears of profiting, that what 
thou spc:xkcst may move and what he hears may 
be believed, that the true prince may (for re- 
creation sake) prove a false thief ; for the poor 
abuses of the time want countenance. Fare- 
well : You shall Cnd me in Eastclicap. 

P. Hen. Farewell, thou latter spring ! Fare- 
well All-hallown summer !* [Exii FALST.\rF. 

Poins. Now, my good sweet houey lord, ride 
with us to-morrow ; I have a jest to execute, 
that I cannot manage alone. Falstaff, Bardolph, 
Peto, and Gatlshill,'> shall rob those men that we 
iiave already way-laid ; yourself and I will not 
be there : and when they have the booty, if you 
and I do not rob them, cut this head from my 

P. Hen. But how shall we part with them in 
setting forth ? 

Poins. Why, wc will set forth before or after 
them, and appoint them a place of meeting, 
wherein it is at oiu: pleasure to fad : and then 
will they adventure upon the exploit themselves : 
which they shall have no sooner achieved, but 
we '11 set upon them. 

P. Hen. Ay, but 'tis like that they will know 
us, by our horses, by our habits, and by every 
other appointment, to be ourselves. 

Poins. Tut ! oui' horses they shall not see, I'll 
tic them in the wood ; our visors wc will change, 
after wc leave them ; and, sirrah,*^ I have cases of 
buckram for the nonce,'' to immask our noted 
outward garments. 

P. Hrn. But, I doubt they will be too hard 
for us. 

Poins. ATell, for two of them, I know them 
to be as true-bred cowards as ever turned back ; 
and for the third, if he fight longer than he sees 

» Atl-hatlovin lumnirr — Summer in Novcnil)cr— on tlu- 
r.rstnf which month is the feast of All-hailowa, or.MISiint^. 

^ Falilaf, SlC. In the old copies wc read, " Falstnff, 
Uarreij, Ronil, and Gad«hill." Harvey and Rossil were, 
most probably, the n.inics of actors, fur Bardolph and Peto 
were two of the four robbers. {See Act II.) The correction 
was made by Theob.ild. 

<: Sirrah, in (hit and otlicr passages is used familiarly, 
and even »hi'' '■• i-' "•' . ■...t,.r,ir,in,.,:.!v. The word is 
supposed to ' which et)mo- 

loRj •(frees " ~ aion of the term. 

•' For the nunci-. UilTord's explanaiiun of thi« phrase, 
(which i< also the interpretation of Lord Ilailcs) is undoubt- 
edly 111' " F-'T the nnnce is simply /or Ihe unce — 
for thf 1 question, whatever it be. • • • The 
progre>> .,; ..... . \prt»iion is distinctly marked in our early 

writers. — 'a ones' — "an ancs ' — 'for the ones' — ' for the 
nanci" — ' for the nones ' — 'fur the nonce.'" dUn JoIl^ou's 
Works, iii., 218.) 

reason I'll forswear arms. Tlie virtue of this 
jest \vill be, the incomprehensible lies that this 
fat rogue will tell us, when wc meet at supper : 
how thirty, at least, he fought with ; what wards, 
what blows, what extremities he endured ; and 
in the reproof of this lies the jest, 

P. Hen. "Well, I'll go with thee; provide us 
all things necessary and meet me. To-morrow 
night* in Eastclicap, there I'll sup. Farewell. 

Poins. Farewell, my lord. \^K.iit Poins. 

P. Hen. 1 knowyouall, and will awhile ujdiold 
Tiie 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 lie please again to be himself, 
Being wanted, lie may lie more wondcr'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 

And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents. 
So, when this loose behaviour I throw ofi". 
And pay the debt I never promised. 
By how much better than my word I am 
By so much shall I falsify men's hopes -^ 
And like bright metal on a sullen ground, 
^ly 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 ofTeiid to make offence a skill; 
lledecming time when men think least 1 will. 


SCENE III.— London. A Room in ifie 

Enter King Henry, Nortiiumheiilanp, Won- 
CESTEK, HoTSPUK, Sir Walter Blunt, and 

K. lien. My blood hath been too culd and 
Unapt to stir at these indignities. 
And you have found me; for, accordingly, 
You trea«^l upon my patience: but, be sure, 

* Tomorroic •■! 1 1 '^'i-cvens thinks wc should read /rv- 
nijAJ. for the r Id Ik.- comni.ttrd at fipur in the 

momine. Hut ' is Ihinkin;; lisn of the exjiloil at 

(iivlshill than of " the vutuc of this Jest — when we meet at 
supper," — aftrr the rolihrry. Perhaps some intermediate 
place of II ■ ! of by the Prince; — but he 

breaks off liead full of the supper ' to- 

morrow ni.;i.i. v.i i..i>.. > I iiiurcd to point the pass.igc in 
this sense. 

b Ilnprt — expectations. Thus, the Tanner of Tamwnilh 
said to Edward IV., " I hope I ihall be hanged to-morrow." 


Acr I.] 


[Scene III. 

I 'will from henceforth rather be myself. 
Mighty, and to be fear'd, than my condition;''' 
Which hatli been smooth as oil, soft as young 

And therefore lost that title of respect 
Wliich the proud soul ne'er pays but to the proud. 
War. Our house, my sovereign licgc, little 

The scourge of greatness to be used on it ; 
And that same greatness too which oui- oayh 

Have holp to make so portly. 
North. My lord, — 

K. Hen. "Worcester, get thee gone, for I do see 
Danger and disobedience in thine eye : 
0, sir, your presence is too bold and peremp- 

_ tory,>'_ 
And majesty might never yet endure 
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. — 


You were about to speak. [_To Nokth. 

North. Yea, mv good lord. 

Those prisoners in your highness' name de- 
Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took, . 
Were, as he says, not with such strength denied 
As is dcliver'd to your majesty : 
Either envy, therefore, or misprision'' 
Is guilty of tliis fault, and not my son. 

Hot. My liege, I did deny no prisoners. 
But, I remember, when the fight was done, 
"Wlien I was dry with rage and extreme toil. 
Breathless aud faint, leaning upon my sword, 
Came there a certain lord, neat, and trimly 

Fresh as a bridegroom ; and his chin, new rcap'd, 
Shcw'd hkc a stubblc-land at harvest-home; 
He was perfumed like a milliner ; 
And 'twixt his finger and liis lliumb he held 
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon 

" Condition — temper of mind . 

b We print thesu three lints as in tlie old copies. Stee- 
vcns, who was followed in the current editions, tampered 
with them thus: — 

" Worcester, get thee pone, for I sec danger, 
And disobedience in tliinc eye : O, sir, 
Your presence is too hold <ind peremptory." 

■■- Frontier. Steevens says " frontier was anciently used 
foT forehead ;" but assuredly it is not so used here. What 
means " the moody forehead of a brow ? " Capell, wlio has 
been unwisely ncRlected, through his general obscurity, tells 
us that " frontier is a metaphorical expression, highly proper, 
implying— arm'd to oppose: opposition to the will of a master 
being as plainly indicated by .such a 'brow' as the king is 
describing, as war by a town or town's frontier, furnished 
ag-iinst invasion." (Notes and various Headings, vol. i. 
p. 153.) " ' 

<1 Miiprision. So the quartos. The folio reads 
" Who cither through envy or misprision." 

He gave his nose, and took 't away again ; 

Who, therewith angry, when it next came there, 

Took it in snuff:"' and still he smil'd and talk'd ; 

And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by 

He call'd them untaught knaves, unmannerly, 

To bring a slovenly unhaudsome corse 

Betwixt the wind and his nobility. 

With many holiday and lady terms 

He question'd me ; among the rest, demanded 

My prisoners, in your majesty's behalf. 

I then, all smarting, with my wounds being 

To be so pester'd 'with a popinjay. 
Out of my grief and my impatience 
Answer'd neglectingly, I know not what ; 
He should, or should not ; — for he made me 

To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet. 
And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman 
Of guns, and driuns, and wounds, (God save the 

mark !) 
And tcUiug me, the sovereign'st thing on earth 
Was parmaceti for an inward bruise ; 
And that it was great pity, so it was, 
That villainous saltpetre sliould be digg'd 
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth. 
Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd 
So cowardly ; aud but for these vile giuis 
He would himself have been a soldier. 
This bald unjointed chat of his, my lord, 
I answer'd indirectly,'' as I said ; 
And, I beseech you, let not this report 
Come current for an accusation, 
Betwixt my love and youi- high majesty. 

Blunt. The circumstance consider' d, good my 

Wliatevcr Harry Percy then had said 
To such a person, and in such a place, 
At such a time, with aU the rest re-told, 
May reasonably die, and never rise 
To do him wrong, or any way impeach 
What then lie said, so he unsay it now. 

K. Hfn. Why, yet he dotli deny his prisoners ; 
But with proviso, and exception, 
Tliat wo, at our own charge, shall ransom straight 
His brotlicr-iu-law, the foolish Alortimcr ; 
'^'\^lo, in my soul, hath wilfully betray'd 
The lives of those that he did lead to figlit 
Against the great magician, damn'd Gleudowcr ; 
Whose daughter, as we licar, the carl of March 
Hath lately married. Shall our coffers then 
Be emptied, to redeem a traitor home ? 

a Stniff. Aromatic powders were used as snuff long before 
the introduction of tobacco. 

1) / answered indirectl//. So the qunrtos. The folio 
"made me to answer indirectly." 

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Act I.) 



Sliall we buy treason ? and indent wiih feres," 
'\\'beu tlicy Lave lost and foil'iitcd themselves ? 
No, on the barren mountains let him starve ; 
For I shall never hold that man my friend 
Whose tongue sliall ask me for one penny cost 
To rausom home revolted Mortimer. 

UoL Kcvolted Mortimer ! 
He never did fall urt", my sovereign liege, 
But by the elianee of war; — To prove that true 
Needs no more but one tongue for all those 

. wounds. 
Those mouthed wounds, whicli valiantly he took, 
AVhen on the gentle Severn's sedgy bank. 
In single opposition, hand to hand, 
lie did confound the best part of an hour 
In changing hardiment with great Glcndower : 
Three times they breath'd, and three times did 

they drink. 
Upon agreement, of swift Severn's flood ; 
Who then, affrighted with their bloody looks, ^ 
Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds. 
And hid his crisp head in the hollow bank 
Blood-stained with these valiant combatants. 
Never did base and rotten policy '' 
Colour her working with such deadly wounds ; 
Nor never could the noble Mortimer 
Receive so many, and all willingly : 
Then let him not be slander'd with revolt. 
A'. Hen. Thou dost belie hiui, Percy, thou 
dost belie him, 
He never did encounter with Glcndower ; 
I tell thee, 

He durst as well have met the devil alone. 
As Owen Glcndower for an enemy. 
Art thou not asham'd ? But, sirrah, henceforth 
Let mc not hear you speak of ^lortimcr : 
Send me your prisoners with the speediest means, 
Or you shall hear in such a kind from me 
As will displease you. — My lord Northumber- 
We license your departure with your son : — 
Send us your prisoners, or you '11 hear of it. 

[Exeunt KiNG Henrt, Blunt, and Train. 
Hot. And if the devil come and roar for them 
I will not send them :— I will after straight, 
And tell him so ; for I wiU case my heart, 
:\ithough it be with hazard of my head. 
North. What, drunk with cholcr? stay, luid 
pause awhile ; 
Here comes yoor uncle. 

• PertM. The usual readinp is feart. We have explained 
our reasons for the change in Ihe lUustrationa to this Act. 

*> Base and rotten policg. This is the reading of the folio 
— the quartos, bare. Bare policy, MoncV Mason well ob- 
serves, 13 no policy -at alU 

N 2 

Re-enter WORCESTER. 

Hot. Speak of Mortimer ? 

'Zounds, I will speak of him ; and let my soul 
Want mercy, if I do not join with him : 
In his behalf'' 1 '11 empty :dl tluse veins, 
And shed my dear blood drop by drop i' the dubt. 
But I will lift the do\Vn-trod Mortimer 
As liiirh i' the air as this unthankful king, 
As this ingratc and eanker'd Bolingbioke. 

North. Brother, the king hath made your 
nephew mad. [To Worckstkk. 

Wor. Who struck this heat up, alter I was 
gone ? 

Hot. He will, forsooth, have all my prisoners ; 
And when I urg'd the ransom once again 
Of my wife's brother, then his cheek look'd 

And on my face he turn'd an eye of death. 
Trembling even at the name of ^Mortimer. 

Wor. I cannot blame him : AVas he not pro- 
By Richard that dead is, the next of blood ? 

North. He was : I heard the proclamation : 
And then it was, when the unhappy king 
(Whose wrongs in us God pardon !) did set forth 
Upon his Irish expedition ; 
From whence he, intercepted, did return 
To be depos'd, and shortly murthered. 

Wor. And for whose death, we in the world's 
wide mouth 
Live scandaliz'd, and foully spoken of. 

Hot. But, soft, I pray you ; Did king Richard 
Proclaim my brother Mortimer 
Heir to the crown ? 

North. He did ; myself did hear it. 

Hot. Nay, then I cannot blame his cousin 
That wish'd him on the barren mountains starv'd. 
But shall it be that you, that set the crown 
Upon the head of this forgetful man, 
And, for his sake, wear the detested blot 
Of murd'rous subornation, shall it be, 
That you a world of curses undergo. 
Being the agents, or base second mean-'. 
The cords, liie ladder, or the hangman rather? 
0, pardon,** if that I descend so low, 
To shew the line and the predicament 
Wherein you range under this subtle king. 
Shall it, for shame, be spoken in these days. 
Or Gil up chronicles in time to come. 
That men of your nobility and power 

» In hu briialf. This is the reading of the folio;— Ihe 
quartos, t/ea, on hit part. 

b 0, pardon, if. So the folio and some of the quartos; — 
the first quarto, and that of 1C04, 0, pardon me. 


Act I.] 


[Scene III. 

Did 'gage them both in an unjust behalf, — 
As both of you, God pardon it ! have done,— 
To put down Richard, tliat sweet lovely rose. 
And plant this thorn, this canker," Bolingbroke ? 
And shall it, in more shame, be further spoken. 
That you are fool'd, discarded, and shook off 
By him for whom these shames ye underwent ? 
No ; yet time serves, wherein you may redeem 
Your bauish'd honours, and restore yourselves 
Into the good thoughts of the world again : 
Revenge the jeering and disdain'd contempt 
Of this proud king; who studies, day and 

To answer all the debt he owes unto you. 
Even with the bloody payment of your deaths. 
Therefore, I say, 

Wor. Peace, cousin, say no more ; 

And now I will unclasp a secret book. 
And to your quick-conceiving discontents 
I '11 read you matter deep and dangerous. 
As full of peril, and advent'rous spiiit. 
As to o'er-walk a current, roaring loud, 
On the unsteadfast footing of a spear. 

Uot. If he fall in, good night : — or sink or 
swim : — 
Send danger from the east unto the west. 
So honour cross it from the north to south. 
And let them grapple ; — the blood more stirs 
To rouse a lion than to start a hare. 

North. Imagination of some great exploit 
Drives him beyond the bounds of patience. 

Hot. By heaven, methinks, it were an easy 
To pluck bright honour from the pale-fac'd 

moon ; 
Or dive into the bottom of the deep. 
Whore futhoin-linc could never touch the ground, 
And pluck up drowned honour by the locks ; 
So he, that doth redeem her thence, might 

"Without corrival, all her dignities : 
But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship ! 

JFor. He apprehends a world of figures here. 
But not the form of what he should attend. — 
Good cousin, give me audience for a while. 
And list to me. '' 

Hot. I cry you mercy. 

Wor. Those same noble Scots, 
That arc your prisoners, 

Hot. I 'U keep them all ; 

By heaven, he shall not have a Scot of them ; 

» Thii canker. The canker is the doR-rose — the rose of 
the hcdfje, not of thi- iranlen. Tn Much Ado about Nothing 
^e have, "I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose 
in hij grace." 

i> And list to me. This short line is found in tho folio, 
but not in the quartos. 


No, if a Scot would save his soul he shall uot : 
I '11 keep them, by this hand. 

Wor. You start away. 

And lend no ear unto my purposes. — 
Those prisoners you shall keep. 

Hot. Nay, I will ; that 's flat :— 

lie said he would not ransom Mortimer ; 
Forbad my tongue to speak of Mortimer ; 
But I will find him when he lies asleep, 
And in his ear I '11 holla— Mortimer ! 

I '11 have a starling shall be taught to speak 
Nothing but Mortimer, and give it him. 
To keep his anger still in motion. 

Wor. Hear you. 

Cousin ; a word. 

Hot. All studies here 1 solemnly defy. 
Save how to gall and pinch this Boliugbroke : 
And that same sword-and-buckler prince of 

But that I think his father loves him not, 
And would be glad he met with some mischance, 
I 'd have him poison'd with a pot of ale. 

Wor. Farewell, kinsman ! I will talk to you, 
WTien you are better temper'd to attend. 

North. WTiy, what a wasp-tongue ^ and impa- 
tient fool 
Art thou, to break into this woman's mood ; 
Tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own ! 

Hot. WTiy look you, I am whipp'd and 
scourg'd with rods. 
Nettled, and stung with pismires, when I hear 
Of this vile poHtician, Boliugbroke. 
In Richard's time, — What do you call the 

place ? — 
A plague upon 't ! — it is in Gloucestershire ; — 
'T was where the mad-cap duke liis uncle kept ; 
His uncle York ; — where I first bow'd my knee 
Unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke, 
When you and he came back from Ravenspurg. 

North. At Berkley castle. 

Hot. You say true : 

Why, what a candy deal of courtesy 
This fawning greyhound then did proffer me ! 
Look, — when his infant fortum came to age, 
And, — gentle Harry Percg, — and, kind cousin, — 

O, the devil take such cozeners ! God forgive 

me ! 

Good uncle, tell your talc, for I have done. 

Wor. Nay, if you have not, to 't again ; 
W^e '11 stay your leisure. 

a Wasp-tongue, irni/j-s/wnj, which finds a place inmost 
editions, is the reading of the first quarto. Steevens says 
Sh.iksperc knew the sting of a wasp was not situated in its 
mouth; — Malone properly replies — "it means only having 
a tongue as peevish and mischievous as a wasp." 

Act I] 


[ScesE in. 

Hot. I liave (lone, in sootli. 

Wor. Then once more to your Scottish pri- 
Deliver them up without their ransom straight, 
And make the Douglas* son your only mean 
For powers in Scotland ; which, for divers 

AVTiich I shall scud you written, be assur'd 
Will easily be granted. — You, my lord, 

[Jt* Northumberland. 
Your son in Scotland being thus employ'd. 
Shall secretly into the bosom creep 
Of that same noble prelate, well bclov'd. 
The archbishop. 

Hut. Of York, is "t not ? 
Wur. True ; who bears hard 
Ilis brother's death at Bristol, tiic lord Scroop. 
I speak not this in estimation* 
As what I think might be, but what I know 
Is ruminated, plotted, and set down ; 
And only stays but to behold the face 
Of that occasion that shall bring it on. 

Ilot. I smell it. 
Upon ray life it will do wond'rous well. 

North. Before the game's afoot thou still 

lett'st slip."" 
Hot. Why, it cannot choose but be a noble 
plot : — 
And then the power of Scotland and of York, — 

» A'l/imaJion— conjecture. 

b Leit'tt slip. The i;reyliound U held in blips, and is 
loosened when " the game's a-foot." 

To join witli Mortimer, ha ? 

Jf'or. And so they shalL 

Ifot. In faith, it is exceedingly well aim'd. 

JFor. And 't is no little reason bids us speed. 
To save our heads by raising of a head : 
Tor, bear ourselves as even as we can, 
The king will always think him in our debt ; 
And think we think ourselves unsatislied, 
Till he hath found a time to pay us home. 
And see already, how he doth begin 
To make us strangers to his looks of love. 

Hot. lie does, he does ; we '11 be reveng'd on 

Jf'or. Cousin, farewell ; — No further go in this. 
Than I by letters shall direct your course 
When time is ri]ie, which will be suddenly," 
I '11 steal to Glendower, and lord Mortimer ; 
Where you and Douglas, and oiir powers at once, 
(As I will fashion it,) shall happily meet. 
To bear our fortunes in our own strong arms. 
Which now we hold at much uncertainty. 

North. Farewell, good brother : we shall 
thrive, I trust. 

Hot. Uncle, adieu : — 0, let the hours be short. 
Till fields and blows and groans applaud our 



" Suddenly. We make the sentence here end, as in the 
first folio. The niodi-rn editors read, 

" No further go in this 
Than I by letters shall direct your course. 
When time Is ripo," S:c. 

[ScEXK 1 1.— Oacbhill. •■ Early at Gartshill."] 


' Scene 11. — " Phalus, — he, tJiat wandenng hniyht 
80 fair." 

The "wandering knigbt so fair" was the Knight 
of the Sun, who, when Don Quixote disputed with 
the Curate which was the better knight, Palmerin 
of England or Aniadis de Gaul, was maintained by 
master Nicolas, the barber-surgeon, to be that 
knight to whom "none ever came up." The ad- 
ventures of the Knight of the Sun were trans- 
lated into English in 1585; and the renowned 
worthy is described in the romance not only as a 
prodigious "wanderer" but as "most excellently 
fair." FalstafT's allusion to the romance would 
be well understood by many of Shakspere's 
audience ; nor would they object to the sun being 
represented as a wanderer, according to the long- 
received tlieory which the discoveries of Copernik 
had scarcely then shaken. Douce thinks the 
allusion was to a sph-itual romance, translated from 
the French, V)y the name of the Wandering Knight ; 
and which may have suggested to Buuyan the idea 
of his Pilgrim's Progress. 

' SoENE IL — "TAe drone of a Lincolnshire hagpijie." 

Steevens is of opinion that the drone of a Lincoln- 
shire bagpipe is here used, metaphorically, for the 
croak of tlie frog in the marshes. Malone, by an 
apt quotation, has shewn that a bagpipe was peculiar 
to Lincolnshire. The following passage is ft-om 
"A Nest of Ninnies. By Robert Armin." (1608):— 

"At a Christmas time, when great logs furnish 
the hall fire ; when brawne is in season, and indeed 
all reveling is regarded ; this gallant knight kept 
open house for all commers, were beefe, beere, and 
bread was no niggard. Amongst all the pleasures 
provided, a noyse of minstrells and a Lincolnshire 
hagpipc was prepared : the minstrells for tha great 
chamber, the bagpipe for the hall; the minstrells 
to servo up the knight's meate, and the bagpipe for 
the common dauncing." 

' Scene II.—" The melancholy of Moor-ditch." 

Moor-ditch, a part of the ditch surrounding the 
city of London, between Bishopsgate and Cripple- 
gate, was not only stinking, poisonous, muddy, 
black, a.s described by Thomas Decker, in 1606, 
but it was bounded by an unwholesome and 
impassable morass ; so that the citizen.s, who had 
many beautiful suburban fields, regai-ded this 
quarter as amongst the melancholy places in which 
pestilence continually lurked, and which they 
naturally shunned. 

♦ Scene \\.—" Sir John Sachand-Sugar." 

The favourite potation of Falstaff— "a good 
eherris-sack" — which, with the genial knight, 
"ft-scends mc into the brain; dries me there all 
the foolish, and dull, p.nd crudy vapours which en- 

vironit; makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive, 
full of nimble, fiery, and delectable shapes," — has 
had a somewhat different effect upon certain 
expounders of its virtues. The solemn disputa- 
tions which the world has seen upon the nature of 
"sherris-sack"— whether it was sweet or dry — 
whether it was Sherry or Malaga —whether the 
name sack was derived from sec, because it was 
dry, or from secco, because it was sold in a bag — 
why Falstaff drank it with sugar, and why he 
eschewed lime in it — have wasted much learned 
ink ; and, like many other controversies, the ques- 
tions which have agitated the disputants seem to bo 
left pretty much in their original obscurity. It 
may be sufficient to refer to Dr. Drake (Shakspero 
and his Times, vol. ii. p. 130) for the main argu- 
ment, on one side, that "sherris-sack" was not our 
Sherry, but was a siveet wine ; and to Archdeacon 
Nares (Glossary, art. Sack) on the other hand, that 
" sherris-sack " was undoubtedly the same wine 
which we now call Sheny, a wine of the dry or 
rough kind. There appears only one thing quite 
certain in the controversy, — that the English in 
the tirne of Elizabeth were accustomed to put 
sugar in their vnnes ; and this fact rests upon the 
authority of Paul Hentzuer and Fynes Moryson. 

'Scene II. — "Uut, my lads, my lads, to-morrow 
morning, ly four o'clock, early at Gadshill." 

"We have given a view of Gadshill, which appears 
to have been a place notorious for robberies before 
the time of Shakspere ; — for Steevens discovered 
an entry of the date of 1558, in the books of the 
Stationers' Company, of a Ballad entitled " The 
Robbery at Gadshill." But Sir Henry Ellis, of 
the British Museum, (to whom the public is in- 
debted for the discovery and publication of many 
curious historical documents, and to whom we are 
under many personal obligations for valuable 
suggestions as to the conduct of this edition of 
Shakspere), communicated to Mr. Boswell a narra- 
tive in the hand-writiug of Sir Roger Manwood, 
Chief Baron of the Exchequer, dated 3d July, 
1590, which shews that Gadshill was at that period 
the resort of a band of robbers of more than usual 
daring. The Chief Baron, it seems, indicted 
'certain malefactors' upon suspicion of the rob- 
beries; and this document contains a narrative 
of his proceedings. The robbers were, it seems^ 
like Falstaff's companions, mounted, and wore 
visors; and the unhappy travellers whom they 
plundered are, in the narrative, called " true men." 
Wo cannot afford space for more than one para- 
grafjh from this paper, which is printed at length 
in Boswell's edition of Malone's Shakspere, vol. 
xvi., page 432 : — " In the course of that Michael- 
mas Term, I being at London, many robberies 
were done in the by-ways at Gadeshill on the 
west part of Rochester, and at Chatham Down on 
the east part cf Rochester, by horse thieves, with 
such fat and lusty horses as were not like hackney 
horses nor far journeying horses; and one of them 

KING iiEOTiY n\— PiUrr i. 

sometimes w ■^nring r\ vizanl grey beard, he was by 
common n i>i>rt iu the country called Justice (irey 
Beard ; and i.» niau durst tmvel that way without 
great company." 

' Scene III.—" IFAo then affrighted," &c. 

Theauthorof "^-l Dialoyiieon Ttislf,"'[H>2, .spoiik- 
ingof this px-is-ngo, says, — "Had notShaksporo been 
perverted by wrong t;isto and imitation, ho could 
never have produced such lines as those. Nature 
could never have pointed out to him that a river 
was. capable of cowardice, or that it was consistent 
with the character of a gentlemim such as Pei-ey, 
to sjxy the thing that was not." We like, now and 
then, to shew our re.aders what was the standard 
(if criticism, combining the qualities df pe»-tnes3 
and dullness, in the early days of George III. 
Johnson alludes, wo believe, to this criticism 
(which we have dragged from its obscurity) when 
he explains that "Severn is here not the flood, but 
the tutelary power of the flood." We presume, 
according to the author of the Dialogue on Taste, 
that Milton said the thing that was not, when he 
described Sabrina, another tutelary power of the 
Severn, lising " attended by water nymphs," and 
singing that exquisite lay 

" By the rusliy-fringed bank. 
Where grows the willow and the osier dank. 
My sliding chariot stays." 

I* Scene III. — " Indent with feres." 
The old copies all read 

" Shall we buy treason? and indent with fearcs. 
When they have lost and forfeited themselves ? " 

The modem copies invariably read " indent with 
fears." To "indent" is to agree — to sign an 
indenture — to make a contract. When the king 
corapLains that Hotspur still doth deny his prisoners, 
unless Mortimer is ransom'd "at our own charge," 
he oska " shall we buy treason ? " — shall we pay 
the ransom of Mortimer to Glendower, when they 
both are revolted — both allied in treason against 
me, by a fimily compact ? But what are the fean 
with which the king refuses to indent, 

" When they have lost and forfeited themselves X' 

How can a contract be made with 'fears'? how can 
' fears ' forfeit themselves ? The earlier com- 
mentators say that ' fears ' may be used in the 
active sense for ' terrors ; ' or tbat ' fears ' may be 
substituted for 'fearful jteople' — f<jr 'd:xstards,' 
who iiave lost or forfeited themselves. Mr. Colli-'r 
says that "indent with fears," means "subscribe 
an indenture as if under apprehension." Mr. 
Dyce has " not the smallest doubt that feara 
U equivalent to objects of fear." We have ven- 
tured, without any support from preceding edi- 
tors, to substitute the word ftres, in sound tho 
same as the received reading. Xfcre, ^s is known 
to all students of our early poetry, is a companion. 
In "The Ancient Fragment of the Marriage of Sir 
Gawaine," (Percy's Reliqueo, vol. iii.) we have, 

" ^^'hat when lords go with their/rfrei, she laid, 
Both to the ale and wine." 

If ferea, then, were to be taken in the general 

sense of companions, brethren, associates, — and 
in this iKirtioidar c.iso applied to (Jlondower and 
Mortimer who have become fellows, colleagues, 
confederates, — wo should have a very fair reading 
— certainly a superior irading to fears. But in 
tho passage before us, wo are inclined to think, 
feres has a meaning beyoud that merely of mates 
or Companions, which is tho familiar u»ige ; — a 
moaning whieh wtts very likely to present itself to 
Shakspero, from his undoubted acqnaintuico with 
legiU phrases and customs connected with tenures. 
The word /e re, ftere, phea; or phcar, as it is variously 
written, is derived from the Saxon fera, or yefcra, 
a companion ; but it is precisely from the same 
species of derivation that we obtiin tho word 
vassal. Tlw faulal lassats have been supposed to 
have had their origin in the comitis, {companions,) 
attending each of the German chiefs in war ; and 
the word vas.sal itself, following its derivation from 
the German yescll, means a helper or subordinate 
associate. Wo believe, then, that the king, in the 
passage before us, alludes to Mortimer and Glen- 
dower as his revolted vassals — they are/ero-, with 
whom the king refuses to "indent," 

"When they have lost and forfeited themselves." 

But in this line and a half we have two other 
technic;"d words, indent and forfiiled. A deed is, 
in law, either an indenture or a deed poll. An 
indenture is a deed between two parties, — a deed 
poll is the declai-ation of one party. The king, 
then, refuses to put himself upon equal t«rms 
with Mortimer and Glendower — to indent with 
those who are his feres, his vassals. But these 
vassals aie further not in a condition to make a 
contract with their lord, — they have forfeited 
thenosclves — by their treason they have incurred 
the forfeiture of their fees, or fiefs. And this 
brings us to the connexion which appears to us 
to subsist between the words /ce and fere. Lands 
held under the feudal obligation to a superior lord 
were held in fee. We have an example, in Skelton's 
Lament upon the Earl of Northumberland : — 

" More specially barons, and those knygtes bold. 
And all other gentilmen with hym entertencd 
In fee, as menyall men of his housold. 
Whom he as lord worshcply manteyiied." 

Here, the companions of the earl, the feres, were 
entertained in fee. We are not awaro of any 
English example which would .show that the 
holders in^fc were called /<■ re* ; — lut in Scotland, 
whilst an estate held by a vassal umler a .superior 
is a Feit,tho possessor of such an estite is a Pruar. 
Tho ditferent names which have originated in tho 
feudal system, for tho estate and the tntant, tho 
one name arises out of tho other, stand thus : 

Feud Fcud-arj'. 

Feod Fcod-ary — Fcod-ar. 

Feoff Fcoff-cc. 

Feu Feu-ar. 

Fee Fe-erc — Phe-cr — Phc-are — Fcrr. 

To these wonls we may probably have to add our 
word Peer, tho origin of which it is usual to ascribe 
to the Latin par. But it appears to us that it is 
tho same word as Pheer, That peer wa« anciently 
used In the sense c>f companion may be proved by 
the following quotation from Wiclif 's Translation 



of the Bible: (Matthew, chap, ii., v. 16.) "It 13 
lyk to children sittyuge iu chepyuge that crieu to 
her pccris." Our authorized translation of the 
Bible gives us the .same passage as follows : " It 
is like unto children sitting in the markets, and 
calling unto their fellows." We see, then, that 
gescll, comes, count, fellow, iner, and fere, are all 
equivalent to vassal, in the sense of companion. 
But it is more than possible, that the fere, phetr, 
or j^cer, were companions subject to a superior, and 
endowed by him with grants of land iu fee — the 
only mode by which, in the early feudal times, any 
of the associates, followers, fellow.^, companions, 
of the chief could be maintained. A remarkable 
illustration of our belief that Peer and Fere were 
cognate term.s, — and that a Fere or Fear was one 
holding of the Crown in Fee, — i.s furnished by the 
title which the famous John Napier attached to his 
name. At the end of the Dedication to his " Plain 
Discovery of the whole Revelation of St. John," 
— in the edition of 1615, Napier signs himself 

" Peer of Marchistowu." Mr. Mark Napier, in the 
Life of his great ancestor, (1S34) says that the 
true signature is " Fear of Marchistowu," and that 
"Fear" means that he was invested with the Fee 
of his paternal Barony. "Peer" might have been 
a printer's or transcriber's substitution for " Fear ;" 
— or "Fear" might have been rejected by Napier 
for the more common word " Peer." Such a 
change took place in a pa.ssage in Titus Audronicus. 
Whilst the only quarto edition of that play, and 
the first folio, describe (Act IV.) Tarquin as a 
feere, the word subsequently became changed to 
Peer, and was restored by Tyrwhitt. If the critical 
student will not accept feres or felres, in the sense 
of vassals, there is the word feodars, which might 
be easily misprinted feares, and which gives a clear 
meaning, and accords with the rhythm of the line. 
For the use of this term, iu the sense of those hold- 
ing /eocfc, Marston is an authoi'ity in the drama : — 
" For seventeen kings were CMl\\:igc feoilnrs." 

' Wonder of Women.' 


The events which form the action of the first 
part of Heniy IV. are included within a period of 
ten months. The battle of Holmedon, or Homildon, 
the result of which the king communicates in the 
first scene, was fought on the 14th September, 
1402, and the battle of Shrewsbur}', with which 
the fifth act closes, took place on the 21st July, 

After the defeat of Hepburn of Hales, by the 
Earl of March, at Nesbit Moor, in 1402, Archibald 
Earl Douglas, the Douglas of this play, " sore 
displeased in his mind for this overthrow, pro- 
cured a commission to invade England." So writes 
Holinshed. The Douglas with an army of ten 
thousand men advanced as far as Newcastle, but 
finding no army to oppose him, he retreated loaded 
with plunder, and satisfied with the devastation 
he had committed and the terror he had produced. 
The king at this time was vainly chasing Glen- 
dower up and down his mountains ; but the Earl 
of Northumberland and his son Hotspur gathered 
a powerful army, and intercepted Douglas on his 
return to Scotland. This army awaited the Scots 
near Milfield, in the north of Northumberland, and 
Douglas, upon arriving in sight of his enemy, took 
up a strong post upon Homildon Hill. The English 
weapon, the long bow, decided the contest, for the 
Scots fell almost without fight. The dospei'ate 
valour of two Scotch knights, Swinton and Gordon, 
forma the subject of Sir Walter Scott's spirited 
dramatic sketch of Halidon Hill. But he has 
transferred the incidents of Holmedon to another 
scene and another pei-iod. "For who," he says, 
" would again venture to introduce upon the scene 
the celebrated Hotspur." Shakspere took the names 
of the prisoners at Holmedon from Holinshed : but 
from some confusion in the Chi'onicler's recital, ho 
ha.s made Mordake, Earl of Fife, the eldest son of 
Douglas, when in truth he was the son of the 
Duke of Albany, Governor of Scotland ; and he 
has omitted Douglas himself, who was the chief of 
the prisoners. There is a dramatic pi'opriety in 

our poet making Sir Walter P>lunt, "the dear and 
true industrious friend" of the king, bring the 
" smooth and welcome !iews" of this great victory ; 
and in this he is neither borne out nor contradicted 
by the Chronicles. An entry, however, has been 
found in the Pell Rolls, of a grant of forty pound ; 
yearly " To Nicholas Merbury for other good ser- 
vices, as also because the same Nicholas was the first 
person who reported for a certainty to the said lord 
the king, the good, agreeable, and acceptable news 
of the success of the late expedition at Holmedon, 
near Wollor." [Wooler.] 

Holinshed thus describes the oi-igin of the quarrel 
between the Percies and the king : — 

" Henry Earl of Northumberland, with his 
brother Thomas Earl of Worcester, and his son, 
the Lord Henry Percy, surnamed Hotspur, which 
were to King Henry, in the beginning of his reign, 
both faithful friends and earnest aiders, began now 
to envy his wealth and felicity; and especially 
they were grieved because the king demanded of 
the earl and his son such Scottish prisoners as were 
taken at Homeldon and Nesbit : for of all the 
captives which were taken in the conflicts fought 
in those two places, there was delivered to the 
king's possession only Mordake Earl of Fife, the 
Duke of Albany's son, though the king did divers 
and sundry times require deliverance of the residue, 
and that with great threatenings : wherewith the 
Percies being sore offended, for that they claimed 
them as their own proper pi-isouers, and their 
peculiar pi-izes, by the council of the Lord Thomas 
Percy, Earl of Worcester, whose study was ever 
(as some write) to procure malice and set things 
in a broil, came to the king unto Windsor (upon 
a purpose to prove him), and there required of 
him that, either by ransom or otherwise, he would 
cause to be delivered out of prison Edmund Mor- 
timer, Earl of March, their cousin german, whom 
(as they i-eported) Owen Glendower kept in filthy 
prison, shackled with irons, only for that he took 
ills part, and was to him faithful and true. 


w • • "Tlio kiiiT. when ho had stiulioil oil 
the matter, ma-le iinswor that tlio Earl of March 
waa not token prisoner for his cause, nor in his 
Bervice, but wilHiigly suffered himself to be taken, 
because he would not withsUmd the attempts of 
Owen Glendower and his complices, therefore ho 
would neither r.uisom him, nor release him. 

" The Percicd with tins answer and fi-iudulent 
excuse weins not a little fumed, insjmuch that 
Henry Hotspur said openly : Ik-hold, the heir of 
the realm is robbed of his right, and yet the njb- 
l>er with his own will not redeem him. So in this 
fury the I'ercies departed, nundiup; nothing more 
than to ilejiose Kinj; Henry from the high type of 
his royalty, and to place in his seat their cou.fin 
Kdmund Karl of March, whom they did not only 
deliver out of captivity, but also (to the high dis- 
pleasure of King Henry) entered in Icivguo with 
the afoi*e.-5aid Owen Glend<)Wer." 

The refusal of Henry IV. to ransom Mortimer, 
or to allow him to bo ransomed, proceeded from a 
not nnnatuntl jealousy ; but the prisoner of Glen- 

dower was not " the heir of the re.ilm," as Ho- 
liushed represents, but Sir Kdmutnl Mortimer, the 
uncle of the young Earl of March, whom Henry 
kept in close custody, because he had a prior claim 
to tiie crown by Buccession. Sir Edmund Mor- 
timer was the " brother-in-law" to Hotspur, who 
had marrie.l his sister. Siiakspero hiis, of cnui-so, 
followed Hi'linshed in cinfounding Sir Edmund 
Mortimer with the Ivul of March ;— but those 
from whom uccui-acy is required have fallen into 
the same error tis the old Chronicler, — amongst 
others Hapin and Hutne. A desp;»tch of tlic king 
to his council sLites, " The rebels have tiken my 
beloved cousin, Esmon Mortymer." Edmund, 
Earl of March, waa at this period only lea years 
olil, and a sUite prisoner. 

The Earl of Westmoreland, who appears through- 
out this ]day as one of the most faithful adherents 
of the king, was a partisan of Bolin'.,'broke from 
his first landing. Wo shall find him in the secmd 
jiart of Henry IV., actively engaged in supprcasing 
the insurrection in Yorkshire. 

[Ancient Inn- Yard. — Scene I.] 


SCENE I.— Rochester. An Inn Yard. 
Enter a Carrier, with a lantern in his hand. 

1 Car. Heigh ho ! An't be not four by the 
day, I '11 be hanged : Charles' wain"* is over the 
new cliimney, and yet oiir horse not packed. 
What, ostler ! 

Ost. [JFithin.'] Anon, anon. 

1 Ciir. I prithee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle, put 
a few flocks in tlie point ; the poor jade is wrung 
iu the withers out of all cess.'' 

Unter another Carrier. 

2 Car. Peas and beans are as dank here as a 
dog, and this is the next way to give poor jades 
the bots : this house is turned upside down since 
Robin ostler died. 

■» Charles' wain. The cliurl's wain— the countryman's 
waggon. The popular name for tlie constellation of the 
Great Dear. 

h Out of all cess. Ex-cew-ively. The French sans ccsse 
i9 supposed by Cotgrave to be the same as out of all 

1 Car. Poor fellow ! never joyed since the 
price of oats rose ; ' it was the death of him. 

2 Car. I think tliis is the most villainous house 
in all London road for fleas : I am stung like a 

1 Car. Like a tench ? by the mass, there is 
ne'er a king iu Christendom could be better bit 
than I have been since the first cock. 

2 Car. Why, you will allow us ne'er a Jordan, 
and then we leak in your chimney ; and your 
chamber-lie breeds fleas like a loach. 

1 Car. Wliat, ostler ! come away, and be 
hanged, come away. 

2 Car. I have a gammon of bacon, and two 
razes of ginger," to be delivered as far as Charing 

1 Car. 'Odsbody ! the turkies in my pannier 
are quite stari'cd. — Wliat, ostler ! — A plague on 
thee! hast thou never an eye in thy head? 

a Raxes of ginger. Mr. Grant White says "a raze of 
ginger, according to Theobald, was a package, and must be 
distinguished from a race, which was merely a root." See 
Ilakluyt, vol. iii. p. i<J3. 

Act ir.j 


[Scene 11. 

canst not \n 't wore not as good n deed as 
drink to break the jnitc of tlieo, 1 a:u a very 
villain. — Come, and be lumged :— Hast no faith 
in thee ?. 

K.f,r nADSHlLL. 

Oil I*. Ciouil iiiurruv,, larritTs. What 's o'clock' 
1 Cur. I think it bo two o'clock." 
Gads. I prithee, lend vac thy lantern, to sec 
my gelding in the stable. 

1 Oir. Nay, soft, T pniy ye ; I know a trick 
worth two of that. 

Gai/i. I prithee, lend me thine. 

2 fi»r. Ay, when ' ranst tell?'' — Lend me thy 
lantern, quotli a? marry, I 'II see tliec hanged 

Oatfs. Sirrah carrier, what time do you mean 
to come to London ? 

2 Car. Time enough to go to lied with a can- 
dle, I warrant thee. — Come, neighbour Mugs, 
we *11 call up the gentlemen ; they will along with 
company, for they have great charge. 

[Ereu/it Carriers. 

Gaifs. What, ho ! chamberlain ! 

CAam. [}n(/iin.] At hand, quoth pick-purse. 

Ginh. That 's even as fair as — at hand, quoth 
the eliainborlaia : for thou variest no more from 
picking of purses, than giving direction doth 
from labouring ; thou lay'st the plot how. 

i^fiier Chamberlain. 

CAam. Good-morrow, master Gadshill. It 
holds current that I told you yesternight : There 's 
a franklin in the wiLl of Kent' hath brought 
three hundred marks with him in gold : I heard 
him tell it to one of his company, last night at 
supper; a kind of auditor ; one that liath abun- 
dance of charges too, God knows what. They 
are up already, and call for eggs and butter : 
'ITicy will away presently. 

Gads. Sirrah, if they meet not with saint Ni- 
cholas' clerks •> I '11 give thee this neck. 

CAam. No, I '11 none of it : I prithee, keep 
tliat for the hangman ; for I know thou worship'st 
saint Nicholas as truly as a man of falsehood 

Gad4. Wliat talkest thou to me of the hang- 
man ? if I hang, I '11 make a fat pair of gallows : 
for if I bang old sir John bangs with me ; and 

k Tro o'ctuek. The r.irrirr U decciring Gadahill. Ha 
hu Ju»t «3td it l» f"'ir oVI-wit. 

b /fy, 1 . ■ \ ■ ■ ' 'i we «l«o 

Gtid m I: t to tlic 

c .c reuld of Kent. 

thou knowest he 's no starveling. Tut ! there are 
other Trojans that thou dreamest not of,tiie which, 
for sport sake, are content to do the profession 
some grace ; that would, if matters should be 
looked into, for their own credit sake make all 
wiiole. I am joined with no fool-laud-rakers, 
no long-slalT, six[)enny strikers ; * none of these 
mad, mustaehio purple-hued malt-worms : '' but 
with nobility and tnuiquillity ; burgomasters and 
great oneycrs ; " such as can hold in ; such as 
will strike sooner than speak, mid speak sooner 
than drink, and drink sooner than pray : And 
yet I lie ; for ihey pray continu:dly to tiuir 
saint, the commonwealth ; or, rather, not pray 
to her, but prey on her; for they ride up and 
dowii on her, and make her their btx)ts. 

CAttm. What, the commonwealth their boots ? 
will she hold out water in foul way ? 

Gadt. She will, she will ; justice hath liquored 
her. We steal as in a castle, cock-sure; we 
have the receipt of fern-seed,^ we walk invisible. 

CAam. Nay, by my faith ; I think rather you 
arc more beholding to the night than to feni- 
seed, for your walking invisible. 

Gad.*. Give me thy hand : thou shalt have n 
share in our purchase,'' as I am a true man. 

CAam. Nay, rather let mc have it, as you are 
a false thief. 

6'a«/.». Go too ; Homo is a common name to all 
men. Bid the ostler bring my gelding out of the 
stable. Farewell, ye muddy knave. [Exeunt. 

SCENE n.—rhe lioad by Gadshill. 
Enter Prince IIenuy ^i//»/roiNs. 

Poin-i. Come, shelter, shelter ; I have rcmovea 
FalstafTs horse, and he frets like a gummed 

P. lien. Stand close. 

Enter Faustavf. 

Fal. Poius ! Poins, and be hanged ! Poins ! 
r. Urn. Peace, yc fat-kidncyed rascal ; What 
a brawling dost thou keep ! 

• Sixftn»t ilriMtrt,—fe»j footjiadi— robbcri for lis- 

b Mall-trormt— -. 

e f),„,^, ]• ■ ;i th!« cutoff t—<n:«(rrt or 



<i I'MTfhlU'. 1 

tb« **aie kind u 

« *\tLnf, wbirh 

for a theft, of 
ud II.. Act IV.) 




Act II.] 


lSrEN£ n. 

Fal. VVliere 's Poins, Hal ? 
P. Tlcn. He is walked up to the top of the 
liill ; I 'JI go seek biiii. [^Pietcnds to seek Poins. 

Fal. I am accursed to rob in tliat tliief's com- 
pany: the rascal hath removed my horse, and 
tied him I know not Avhere. If I travel but 
four foot by the squire "" further afoot, I shall 
break my wind. Well, I doubt not but to die a 
fair death for all this, jf I 'scape hanging for 
killing that rogue. I have forsworn his company 
hourly any time these two-and-twcnty years ; and 
yet I am bev^itched with the rogue's company. 
If the rascal have not given me medicines to 
make me love him, I '11 be hanged ; it could not 
be else ; I have drunk medicines. — Poins ! — 
Hal 1 — A plague upon you both ! — Bardolph ! — 
Peto ! — I '11 starve, ere I '11 rob a foot further. 
An 't were not as good a deed as drink, to turn 
true man, and leave these rogues, I am the 
veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth. 
Eight yards of uneven ground is threescore and 
ten miles afoot with me ; and the stony-hearted 
villains know it well euougli : A plague upon't, 
when thieves cannot be true one to another ! 
[^Thei/ 2ohistle.'] AVhew ! — A plague light upon 
you all ! Give me my horse, you rogues ; give 
me rav horse, and be hano:ed. 

P. Uen. Peace, ye fat-guts ! lie down ; lay 
thine ear close to the ground, and list if thou 
canst hear the tread of travellers. 

Fal. Have you any levers to Kft me up again, 
bcmg down ? 'Sblood, I '11 not bear mine omi 
flesh so far afoot again, for all the coin in thy 
father's exchequer. What a plague mean ye to 
colt '' me thus ? 

P. lleii. Thou liest, thou art not eolted, thou 
art uncolted. 

Fal. I prithee, good prince Hal, help me to 
my horse, good king's son. 

P. lieu. Out, you rogue ! shall I be your 
ostler r 

Fal. Go, hang thyself in thine own heir-appa- 
rent garters ! If 1 be ta'en, I '11 peach for this. 
An I have not ballads made on you all, and sung 
to filthy tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison : 
WHicn a jest is so forward, and afoot too, — I 
hate it. 

Enter Gadsiiill, Eaiidolpii, a>id Peto. 

Gads. Stand. 

Fal. So I do, against my will. 
Poins. 0, 't is our setter: I know his voice; 
Bardolph, what news ? 

» By the tguire—'by tht rule. 
>> To coll— to trick. 

3 86 

Gads. Case ye, case ye ; on with your visors ; 
there 's money of the king's coming down the 
hill ; 't is going to the king's exchequer. 

Fal. You lie, you rogue; 'tis going to ihe 
king's tavern. 

Gads. There 's enough to make us all. 

Fal. To be hanged. 

P. Uen. You four shall front them in the 
narrow lane ; Ned and I will walk lower : if they 
'scape from your encounter then they light 
on us. 

Pelo. How mauy be there of them. 

Gads. Some eight, or ten. 

Fal. Zounds ! will they not rob us ? 

P. Hen. What, a coward, sir John Paunch ? 

Fal. Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your 
grandfather : but yet no coward, Hal. 

P. ffe?i. We '11 leave that to the proof. 

Poins. Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind 
the hedge; when thou need'st him, there thou 
shalt find him. Farewell, and stand fast. 

Fal. Now cannot I strike him, if I should be 

P. Hen, Ned, where are our disguises ? 

Poi)is. Here, hard by ; stand close. 

[Exeufit P. Henry tf«c? Poins. 

Fal. Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, 
say I ; every man to his business. 

Enter Travellers. 

1 Trav. Come, neighbour ; the boy shall lead 
our horses down the hill: we '11 walk afoot awhile, 
and ease our legs. 

Thieves. Stand. 

Trav. Jesu bless us ! 

Fal. Strike ; down with them ; cut Ihc villains' 
throats : Ah ! whoreson caterpillars ! baeon-fed 
knaves ! they hate us youth : down with them ; 
fleece them. 

1 Trav. O, we arc undone, both we and ours, 
for ever. 

Fal. Hang ye, gorbellied knaves ; Are ye un- 
done ? No, yc fat chu(rs ;* I would your store 
were here ! On, bacons, on ! What, ye knaves, 
young men must live : You are grand-jurors arc 
ye ? We '11 jure ye, i' faith. 

[Here they rob and bind the tj-avcll&rs.^ 
Exeunt Falstaff, BAiiDOLrii, and the 

a Chuffs. The wo d chuff seems to mean a swollen 
pampered glutton. 

ti I'liis is tlie old stage direction, as is the longer one is 
the ne.\t column, "As they are sharing," &c. 

Act IIj 



Re-enler Pbisce IIknry and Poixs. 

P. Her.. The thieves have bouiul the true 
men : * Now could thou and I rob the thieves, 
and go merrily to Londou, it would be argument 
for a week, luugliter for a month, and a good 
jest for ever. 

Poins. Stand close, I hear them coming. 

Be-enUr Thieves. 

Fell, Come, my masters, let us share, and then 
to horse before day. An the prince and Poins 
be not two arrant cowards, there 's no equity 
stirring: there's no more valour in that Poins 
than in a wild duck. 

P. Hen. Your money. [Rushing out upon them. 
Poins. Villains. 
[As they are sharing, the PiilNCE and PoiKS 
set upon them; they all run away; and 
Falstaff, after a Lluic or tiro, runs away 
too, leacinj the booty behind them.'\^ 
P. Uen. Got with much ease. Now merrily 
to horse : 
The thieves are scatter'd, and possess'd with 

So strongly, that they dare not meet each 

other ; 
Each takes his fellow for an officer. 
Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to death. 
And lards the lean earth as he walks along : 
Wcr 't not for laughing, I sliould pity him. 


Poins. How the rogue roar'd ! 

SCENE III.— Warkworth. 

A Room in the 

Enter HoTSPUR, reading a letter. 

' But, for mine own part, my lord, I 

could be well contented to be there, in respect of 
the love T hear your house.' — He could be eon- 
tented, — Why is he not then? In respect of the 
love he bears our house : — ^lie shews in this, he 
loves his own bam better than he loves our 
house. Let me see some more. 'The purpose 
you undertake is dangerous ; ' — VTh^, that 's cer- 
tain; 'tis dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to 
drink: but I tell you, my lord fool, out of this 
nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety. 
' The purpose you undertake is dangerous ; the 
friends you have named uncertain; the time 

itself unsorted; and your whole plot too light 
for the counterpoise of so great an opposition.' — 
Say you so, say you so ? I say unto you again, 
you are a sh;dlow, cowardly hind, and you lie. 
^V'hat a lack-brain is this? I protest, our plot 
is as good a plot as ever was laid ; our friends 
true and constant: a good plot, good friends, 
and full of expectation : an excellent plot, very 
good friends. A\'iiat a frosty-spirited rogue is 
this? Why, my lord of York commends the 
plot and the general course of the action. By 
this hand, if I were now by this rascal I could 
brain him with his lady's fan. Is there not my 
father, my uncle, and myself? lord Edmund 
Mortimer, my lord of York, and Owen Glen- 
dower ? Is there not, besides, the Douglas ? Have 
I not all their letters, to meet me in arms by the 
ninth of the next month ? and are they not, 
some of them, set forward already? What a 
pagan rascal is this ! an infidel ! Ua ! you shall 
sec now, in very sincerity of fear and cold heart. 
Mill he to the king and lay open all our proceed- 
ings. 0, 1 could divide myself and go to buffets, 
for moving such a dish of skimmed milk with so 
honourable an action ! Hang him ! Let him tell 
the king : We are prepared : I will set forward 


Enter Lady Percy. 

How now, Kate ? I must leave you withm these 

two hours. 
Lady. 0, my good lord, why are you thus 

For what offence have I, this fortnight, been 
A bauish'd woman from my Harry's bed ? 
Tell me, sweet lord, what is't that takes from 

Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep ? 
Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth ; 
And start so often when thou sitt'st alone ? 
AVhy hast tliou lost tlic fresh blood in thy 

cheeks ; 
And given my treasures, and my rights of thee. 
To thick-ey'd musing and curs'd melancholy ? 
In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watch'd, 
And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars : 
Speak tcnns of manage to thy bounding steed ; 
Crv, Courage ! — to the field ! And thou hast 

Of sallies and retires ; ' of trenches, tents ; 
, Of palisadocs, frontiers,'' parapets ; 

» True men. See narrative of robberiei at Gadsbill 
(Illustrations to .\ct I.). 

b Falstaff staying behind after the rest have run awar, 
and giving a blow or two, is clearly not represented as an 
absolute coward. 


' Retires— nimi^. 

<> Frontirri. A frontier is something standing in front. 
Thus the fronlirr of a territory is the part opposed to, front 
iri(f, another territory ;— and in this way a fort is a frontier, 
a5 in this passage. 


Act II.] 


[Scene IV. 

Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin ; " 

Of prisoners' ransom, and of soldiers slain, 

And all the cuiTcut " of a heady fight. 

Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war, 

And thus hath so bestin-'d thee in thy sleep, 

That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow, 

Like bubbles in a late disturbed stream : 

And in thy face strange motions have appear'd. 

Such as we see when men restrain their breath 

On some great sudden haste. '' 0, what portents 

arc these ? 
Some heavy business hath my lord in hand, 
And I must know it, else he loves me not. 
Hot. What, ho ! is Gilliams with the packet 


Enter Servant. 

Sen. He is, my lord, an horn- ago.<= 

Rot. Hath Butler brought those horses from 
the sheriff? 

Serv. One horse, my lord, he brought even now. 

Hot. What horse? a roan, a crop-ear, is it 
not ? 

Seri}. It is, my lord. 

Hot. That roan shall be my tlu-one. 

Well, I will back him straight : Eaperance !'^-^ 
Bid Butler lead him forth into the park. 

[Exit Servant. 

Ladi/. But hear you, my lord. 

Hot. What say'st thou, my lady ? 

Lady. What is it carries you away ? 

Hot. ^Vhy, my horse, my love, my horse. 

Lady. Out you mad-headed ape ! 
A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen 
As you arc toss'd witli. In sooth 
I'll know your business, Harry, that I will. 
I fear, my brother Mortimer doth stir 
About his title ; and hath sent for you, 
To line his enterprise : But if you go — 

Hot. So far afoot, I shall be weary, love. 

T^df/. Come, come, you paraquito, answer me 
Directly to this question that I shall ask." 
In faith, I '11 break tliy little finger, Harry, 
An if thou wilt not teU me all things tnie. 

Hot. Away, 
Away, you trifler ! — liOvc ? — I love thee not, 

'^ Current. So tlie folio. Some editions read 'currents, occurrents, occurrences. But surely " the current of a 
heady figlit," — the course, the rush, presents no diiricuUy. 

•> haste. So the folio and several quartos; the lirst 
quarto, }tcst. 

c Ago. So the quartos. The folio agonc, which makes 
an unpleasant jinj»le with the gone of the preceding line. 

'1 Espcriince. Tliis is the motto of the Percy family. 
Hotspur pictures himself on his roan, — his throne — and 
leading on his men with the family war-cry. The passage 
is Ecnerally printed Esperancc; but not so in the old edi- 
tions. Esperanct is here a word of fcmr syllables, as in the 
second scene of the fourth Act;— Shakspere knowing that 
in French metre the e final always forms a syllable. 

'SItallask. So the folio. Severalof the quartos omit sAa//. 

I care not for thee, Kate : this is no world 
To play Vidth niammets °' and to tilt with lips : 
We must have bloody noses and crack'd crowns, 
And pass them current too. — Gods me, my 

horse ! — 
What say'st thou, Kate? what would'st thou 
have with me ? 

Lady. Do you not love me? do you not, in- 
Well, do not then ; for, since you love me not, 
I will not love myself. Do you not love me ? 
Nay, tell me, if you speak in jest, or no. 

Hot. Come, Avilt thou see me ride ? 
And when I am a horseback, I will swear 
I love thee infinitely. But hark you, Kate ; 
I must not have you henceforth question me 
Whither I go, nor reason whereabout : 
Whither I must, I must ; and, to conclude. 
This evening must I leave you, gentle Kate. 
I know you wise ; but yet no further wise 
Than Harry Percy's wife : constant you are. 
But yet a woman : and for secresy, 
No lady closer ; for I will believe 
Thou wilt not utter what thou dost not know ; 
And so far will I trust thee, gentle Kate ! 

Lady. How ! so far ? 

Hot. Not an inch further. But hark you, 
Whither I go thither shall you go too ; 
To-day will I set forth, to-morrow you. — 
Will this content you, Kate ? 

Lady. It niust of force. 


SCENE IV.— Eastehcap. A Room in the Boar'i 
Head Tavern.' 

Enter Prince Henry and Poins. 

P. Hen. Ned, prithee, come out of that fat 
room, and lend me thy hand to laugh a little. 

Poins. Where hast been, Hal ? 

P. Hen. With three or four- loggerheads, 
amongst three or four score hogsheads. I have 
sounded the very base string of humility. Sirrah, 
I am sworn brother to a leash of drawers ; and 
can call them all by their christian names, as 
— Tom, Dick, and Francis.* They take it already 
upon their salvation, that, though I be but prince 
of Wales, yet I am the king of coiu-te§y ; and tell 
me flatly I am no proud Jack, like Ealstaff; but 
a Corinthian, a lad of mettle, a good boy, and 
when I am king of England, I shall command 

* Mammets — puppets. 

Act II ) 



all the good lads in Eastcheap. They call ilriuk- 
iug deep, dyiug searlet : uud when you breathe 
in your watering," they cry — hem ! aiid bid you 
play it off. To conclude, I am so good a pro- 
ficient in cue quarter of an hour, that I can 
drink witli auy tinker in his own language 
during my life. I tell tlico, Ned, thou hast lost 
much honour that thou wert not witli mc in this 
action. But, sweet Ned, — to sweeten which 
name of Ned, I give thee this pennyworth of 
sugar,'' clapped even now into my hand by 
an under-skinker ; one that never spake other 
English in his life, t\xna.—Eif//i( shillings and 
sixpeiu-e, and You are icelcomc ; with this shrill 
addition, — Anon, anon, sir! Score a pint of 
bastard in the Half-moon, or so. But, Ned, 
to drive away time till FalstafT come, I pritliec 
do thou stand in some by-room, while I question 
my puny drawer to what end he gave me the 
sugar; and do thou never leave calling Francis, 
that his tale to me may be nothing but— anon. 
Step aside, and I '11 shew thee a precedent. 

Veins. Francis ! 

P. Ren. ITiou art perfect. 

Poins. Frauds ! \E.iit Poixs. 

Enter Francis. 

Tran. Anon, anon, sir. — Look down into the 
Pomegrauate, Ralph. 

P. lien. Come hither, Francis. 

Fran. My lord. 

P. lien. How long hast thou to serve, Francis ? 

Yran. Forsooth, five years, and as much as 

Poins. [Jnthin.] Francis! 

Fran. Anon, anon, sir. 

P. lien. Five years ! by 'rlady, a long 
for the cliuking of pewter. But, Francis, d:irest 
thou be so valiant as to play the coward with 
thy indenture, and shew it a fair pair of heeb, 
and run from it ? 

Fran. lord, sir, I '11 be sworn upon aU the 
books in England I could find in my heart — 

Poins. [inthi/i.] Francis! 

Fran. Anon, anon, sir. 

P. Ue/i. How old art thou, Francis ? 

Fran. Let mc sec, — About Michaelmas next 
I shall be — 

Poins. [jnthin.] Francis ! 

Fran. Anon, sir. — Pray vou stay a little, my 

■ Breathe in four tratrring. To tsVc bre»tli when you arc 
drinking. To tcnlrr w.u a common word for, to drink, m 
wc still say to u-ater a hors*. Some mechanics have still 
their icaleriny lime in I lie afternoon. 

b Penmyicorth of sugar — to sweeten the wine. (Sec llltis- 
tritions to Act I.) 

P. llai. Nay, but hark you, Francis : For the 
sugar thou gavcst mc, — 'tw;is a peuuy worth, 
was 't not ? 

Fran. O lord, sir ! I would it had been two. 

P. Ifen. I will give thee for it a thousand 
pound : jisk me when thou wilt and thou shalt 
have it. 

Poins. [Within.] Francis! 

Fran. Anon, anon. 

P. Hen. Anon, Francis ? No, Francis : but to- 
morrow, Francis ; or, Francis, on Thursday ; or, 
indeed, Francis, when thou wilt. But, Francis, — 

Fran. My lord ? 

P. Jlt'fi. AVilt thou rob this leathern jerkin, 
crjstal button, nott-pated,* agate-riug, puke- 
stocking,'' caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish- 
pouch, — 

Fran. lord, sir, who do you mean ? 

P. Hen. Wliv then, vour brown bastard is 
your only drink : for, look you, Francis, your 
white canvas doublet will sully : iu B;u-bary, 
sir, it cannot come to so much. 

Fran. What sir ? 

Poins. [Within.'] Francis ! 

P. Hen. Away, you rogue ; Dost thou not 
hear them call ? 

[Here they both cull him ; the Drawer stands 
antazcd, not hioicin// tchich tray to go 

Enter Vintner. 

Vint. "What ! stand'st thou still and hcar'si 
such a calling? Look to the guests within. 

[Exit FllAN. 

My lord, old sir John, with half a dozen more, 
are at the door ; Shall I let them in ? 

P. //'■«. Let them alone awhile, and then 
open the door. [Exit Vintner.] Poins ! 

Re-enter Poixs. 

Poins. Anon, anon, sir. 

P. Hen. Sirrah, Ftdstaff, and the rest of the 
thieves arc at the door. Shall wc be mcrrj- ? 

Poins. As merry as crickets, my lad. But 
hark ye ; What cunning match have you made 
with this jest of the drawer ? come, w hat 's the 
issue ? 

P. Uen. I am now of all humours that have 
shewed themselves humoors, since the old days 

■ yotl-r^liti — with the hair cut close. A word of con- 
tciT ■ -o the roumlhcad of the next half cenmry. 

' Pukr, puce, is a sober brown colour. 

Tl •' '' -' '-ra^a person whose 

dr- nite to those of the 

pay : :.-,...:.;.... .. ■,. The Caddii garter 

the garter of ferret, matches the puce stocking. 


Act II.] 

ki:n^g henry iv.— part i. 


of goodman Adam, to tlic pupil age^ of this pre- 
sent twelve o'elock at midnight. \_Re-entf;r 
Fkakcis wUfi wine.'] What 's o'clock, Francis ? 

Fran. Anon, anon, sir. 

P. Hen. That ever this feUow should have 
fewer words than a parrot, and yet the son of 
a woman ! llis industry is — up-stairs, and 
down-stairs ; his eloquence, the parcel of a 
reckoning. I am not yet of Percy's mind, the 
Hotspur of the north; he that kills me some 
six or seven dozen of Scots at a breakfpst, 
washes his hands, and says to his wife, — 'I'ye 
upon this quiet life! I want M'ork.' '0 my 
sweet Harry,' says she, 'how many hast thou 
killed to-day ? ' ' Give my roan horse a drencli,' 
says he; and answers, 'Some fourteen' — an 
hour after ; ' a trifle, a trifle.' I prithee, caU in 
FalstalT : I '11 play Percy, and that damned brawn 
shall play dame Mortimer his wife, liivo says 
the drunkard. Call in ribs, call in tallow. 

Elder FALSTAi'jf, Gadshill, Bardolph, and 

Poms. Welcome, Jack. Where hast thou 
been ? 

Fal. A plague of aU cowards, I say, and a 
vengeance too ! marry, and amen ! — Give me a 
cup of sack, boy. — Ere I lead this life long, 
I '11 sew nether-stocks, and mend them, and foot 
them too. A plague of all cowards ! — Give me 
a cup of sack, rogue. — Is there no virtue extant ? 

\_He drinks. 

P. lien. Didst thou never see Titan kiss a 
dish of butter (pitiful-hearted Titan) that melted 
at the sweet talc of the sun ? If thou didst, then 
behold that compound.'' 

Fal. You rogue, liere 's lime in this sack too. 
There is nothing but roguery to be found in 
villainous man : Yet a coward is worse than a 
cup of sack with lime in it : a villainous coward. 
— Go thy way.s, old Jack ; die when thou wilt, if 
manhood, good manhood, be not forgot upon the 
face of the cartb, then am I a shotten herring. 
There live not three good men unhanged in 
England ; and one of them is fat, and grows old : 

» Vufiil age — tfie jroaiiB time of this present niitlnight, 
conlrastcil with the old days of goodman Adam. liacon, 
on tlic contrary, makes tlie present time the old days, and 
the days of Adam the pupil a{,'e, of the world. 

•> Didsl Ihnu never see Titan, Sfc. We have three mortal 
paRcs of commentary on this passage in the variorum edi- 
tions. We adopt Warbnrton's reading, which appears to 
present no diinculty: "Didst thou never see Titan kiss a 
dish of butter that melted at the sweet talc of the sun." 
" Pitiful hearted Titan " is parenthetical. The first quarto 
reads " at the sweet tale of the son's "—the folio "of the sun." 
r.ilstaffis the " compound," that looks like a dish of butter 
in the sun. 


God help the while ! a bad world, I say ! I 
would I were a weaver ; I could sing psalms or 
any thing:* A plague of all cowards, I say stUl. 

P. Hen. How now, woolsack ? what mutter 

Fal. A king's son ! If I do not beat thee out 
of thy kingdom with a dagger of lath,'' and drive 
all thy subjects afore thee like a flock of wild 
geese, I'U never wear hair on my face more. 
You prince of Wales ! 

P. Hen. Why, you whoreson round man ! 
what 's the matter r 

Fal. Axe you not a coward ? answer me to 
that ; and Poins there ? 

Poins. 'Zouuds, ye fat paunch, an ye call me 
coward, I 'U stab thee. 

Fal. I call thee coward ! I'll see thee damned 
ere I call thee coward : but I would give a 
thousand pound I could run as fast as thou 
canst. You arc straight enough in the shoulders, 
you care not who sees your back ; Call you that 
backing of your friends ? A plague upon such 
backing ! give me them that will face me. 
Give me a cup of sack : — I am a rogue if I 
drunk to-day. 

P. Hen. O villain ! thy lips are scarce wiped 
since thou drunk'st last. 

Fal. All 's one for that. A plague on all cow- 
ards, still say I. \_He drinks. 

P. Hen. mat 's the matter ? 

Fal. What 's the matter ? there be four of us 
here have ta'en a thousand pound this morning. 

P. Hen. Where is it. Jack ? where is it ? 

Fal. Wliere is it ? taken from us it is : a 
hundred upon poor four us. 

P. Hen. What, a hundred, man ? 

Fal. I am a rogue if I were not at half-sword 
with a dozen of them two hours together. I 
have 'scaped by miracle. I am eight times thrust 
through the doublet ; four through the hose ; 
my buckler cut through and through ; my sword 
hacked like a hand-saw, ecce sicjmtm. I never 
dealt better since I was a man : all would not 
do. A plague of all cowards ! — Let them speak : 
if they speak more or less than truth they are 
villains, and the sons of darkness. 

P. Hen. Speak, sirs ; how was it ? 

Gads. We four set upon some dozen, — 

a This is the reading of the early quartos. The correc- 
tions in the folio malce a lar^e concession to a more de- 
corous system of morals, which some deemed puritanical. 
For example, in tliis passage we have " all manner of 

I' Daggrr nf lath. The Vice in the old Moralities was thus 
armed, as described in Twelfth Night. The modern Ilarle- 
([uin, who is the lineal descendant of the Vice, retains the 

Acr II.] 



Fal. Sixteen, at least, my lord. 

Gads. And bound them. 

Peto. No, no, they were not bound. 

Fal. You rogue, they were bound, every man 
cf them ; or I am a Jew else, an Ebrcw Jew. 

Gads. As we were sharintr, some six or seven 
fresh men set upon us, — 

/'(//. And unbound the rest, and then come 
in the other. 

P. Hen. What, fought he with them all? 

Fdl. All ? I know not wliat ye call all ; but 
if I fought not with flfty of them I am a bunch 
of radish : if there were not two or three and 
fifty upon poor old Jack, then am I no two-legged 

P. Hen. Pray Heaven you have not murdered 
some of them." 

Fal. Nay, that 's past praying for : I have pep- 
pered two of them : two, I am sure, I have i>aid : 
two rogues in buckram suits. I tell thee what, 
Hal, — if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call 
me horse. Thou knowest my old ward;— here 
I lay, and thus I bore my point. Four rogues 
in buckram let drive at me, 

P. Hen. What, four ? thou said'st but two, 
even now. 

Fal. Four, Hal ; I told thee four. 

Poi/is. Ay, ay, he said four. 

Fal. These four came all a-front, and mainly 
thrust at me. I made me no more ado, but took 
all their seven points in my target, thus. 

P. Hen. Seven ? why there were but four, 
even now. 

Fal. In buckram. 

Poi/is. Ay, four, in buckram suits. 

Fal. Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else. 

P. Hen. Prithee, let him alone ; we shall have 
more anon. 

Fal. Dost thou hear me, Hal ? 

P. Hen. Ay, and mark thee too, Jack. 

Fal. Do so, for it is worth the listening to. 
These nine in buckram, that I told thee of, — 

P. Hen. So, two more already. 

Fal. Their points being broken, — 

Poins. Down fell their hose. 

Fal. Began to give me ground : But I fol- 
lowed me close, came in foot and hand; and 
with a thought seven of the eleven I paid. 

P. Hen. O monstrous ! eleven buckram men 
grown out of two ! 

Fal. But, a.s the devil would have it, three 
misbegotten knaves in Kendal green*" came at 

» Tliij line belonRs to the Prince in the early quartos ; 
Poins vrai lubsiituted in the folio. It seems more correct 
that Poins should not intrtpo-e. 

b Kendal green was the livery of Robin ilootl. 

HisTOBiES— Vol. I. O 

my back, and let drive at me; — for it was 
so dark, 11 :J, that thou could'st not see thy 

P. Hen. 'lliesc lies are like the father that 
begets them ; gross as a mountain, open, p;d- 
pable. Why, thou clay-brained guts ; thou 
knotty-pated fool : thou whoreson, obscene, 
greasy tallow-ketch," — 

Fal. What, art thou mad? art thou mad? is 
not the tnith the truth ? 

P. Hen. Why, how could'st thou know these 
men in Kendal green, when it was so dark tiiou 
could'st not see thy hand ? come tell us youi 
reason ; what sayest thou to this ? 

Poins. Come, your reason, Jack, your reason. 

Fal. What, upon compulsion ? No ; were I at 
the strappado,' or all the racks in the world, I 
would not tell you on compulsion. Give you a 
reason on compulsion ! if reasons were as plenty 
as blackberries I would give no man a reason 
upon compulsion, I. 

P. Hen. I '11 be no longer guilty of this sin ; 
this sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horse- 
back-breaker, this huge hill of flesh ;— 

Fal. Away, you starveling, you elf-skin, you 
dried neat's-tongue, bull's pizzle, you stock-fisii, 
—0, for breath to utter what is like thee !— you 
tailor's yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile 
standing tuck ; 

P. Hen. Well, breathe a while, and then to 
it again : and when tiiou hast tired thyself in 
base comparisons, hear me speak but this. 

Poins. Mark, Jack. 

P. Hen. We two saw you four set on four, 
and bound them, and were masters of their 
wealth. — Mark now, how a plain talc shall put 
you down. — Then did we two set on you four : 
and, with a word, out-faced you from your prize, 
and have it ; yea, and can show it you here in 
the house :— and, Fidstaff, you carried your guts 
away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and 
roared for mercy, and still ran and roared, as 
ever I heard bull-calf. What a slave art thou 
to hack thy sword as thou hast done ; and then 
say, it was in fight ! What trick, what device, 
1 what starting-hole, canst thou now find out, to 

hide thee from this open and apparent shame ? 
1 Poins. Come, let's hear, Jack; What trick 
hast thou now ? 

a ff-r }. \v. It,.. ,.'.1 rnplcs read calrh. A ketrh it a tub 

n i' no unapt roniparUon for FaUtaff. 

Soi- ■<-li. and Dr. Percy says that a 

ktech of Uiiio'* i> tlic fat of an ox rolled up in a lu^np. Catch 
and ketch apprar to have bet-n formerly spelt the same. Our 
musical rafcA is kftch in Beaumont and Fletcher. Kitch 
and eaik arc each derived from the French caiiie. 


Act n.J 


[Scene IV. 

Fal. Ey the Lord, I kuew ye as well as he 
that made ye. Wliy, hear ye, my masters : Was 
it for me to kill tlie heir apparent? Should I 
turn upon the true prince ? Why, thou knowest 
I am as valiant as Hercules : but beware instinct ; 
the lion will not touch the true prince. Instinct 
is a great matter; I was a coward on instinct. 
I shall think the better of myself, and thee, 
during my life; I for a valiant lion, and thou 
for a true prince. But, lads, I am glad you have 

the money. Hostess, clap to the doors ; watch 

to-night, pray to-morrow. — Gallants, lads, boys, 
hearts of gold, all the titles of good fellowship 
come to you ! What, shall we be merry ? shall 
we have a play extempore ? 

P. Hen. Content ; — and the argument shall 
be, thv running away. 

Fal. Ah ! no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest 

Enter Hostess. 

Host. My lord the prince, — 

P. Hen. How now, my lady the hostess ? 
what say'st thou to me ? 

Hoat. .Marry, my lord, there is a nobleman of 
the court at door, would speak with you: he 
says he comes from j-our father. 

P. Hen. Give him as much as will make him 
a royal man, and send him back again to my 

Fal. What manner of mau is he ? 

Host. An old man. 

Fal. What doth gravity out of his bed at 
midnight ?— Shall I give him liis answer ? 

P. Hen. Prithee, do. Jack. 

Fal. 'Faith, and [ '11 send him packing. [Exit. 

P. Hen. Tsow, sirs ; by 'r lady, you fought fair ; 
— so did you, Peto ; — so did you, Bardolph : you 
are lions too, you ran away upon instinct, you 
will not touch the true prince ; no, — fye ! 

Bard. 'Faith, I ran when I saw others run. 

P. Hen. Tell me now in earnest, how came 
FalstafF's sword so hacked ? 

Peto. Why, he hacked it with his dagger; 
and said, he. -would swear tmth out of England, 
but he would make you believe it was done in 
fight ; and persuaded us to do the like. 

Bard. Yea, and to tickle our noses with 
spear-grass, to make them bleed ; and then to 
beslubber our garments with it, and swear it was 
the blood of true men. I did that I did not 
this seven years before, I blushed to hear his 
monstrous devices. 

P. Hen. O villain, thou stolest a cup of sack 
eighteen years ago, and wart taken with the 

manner,* and ever since thou hast blush'd extem- 
pore : Thou hadst fire and sword on thy side, 
aud yet thou rann'st away ; What instinct hadst 
tliou for it ? 

Bard. My lord, do you see these meteors ? 
do you behold these exhalations ? 

P. Hen. I do. 

Bard. What tliink you they portend ? 

P. Hen. Hot livers and cold purses. 

Bard. Choler, my lord, if rightly taken. 

P. Hen. Ko, if rightly taken, halter. 

Re-enter Falst-Iitf. 

Here comes lean Jack, here comes bare-bone. 
How now, my sweet creature of bombast ? How 
long is 't ago. Jack, since thou sawest thine own 
knee ? 

Fal. My own knee? when I was about thy 
years, Hal, I was not an eagle's talon in the 
waist : I could have crept into any alderman's 
thumb-i'ing : A plague of sighing and grief ! it 
blows a man up like a bladder. There's vil- 
lainous news abroad: here was sir John Braey 
from your father ; you must to the coiu't in the 
morning. That same mad fellow of the North, 
Percy ; and he of Wales, that gave Amaimon 
the bastinado,^" and made Lucifer cuckold, and 
swore the devil his true liegeman upon the cross 
of a Welsh hook.^' — What, a plague, call you 
him ? 

Foins. O, Gleudower. 

Fal. Owen, Owen ; the same ; — and his son- 
in-law, Mortimer ; and old Nortlmmberland ; 
and that sprightly Scot of Scots, Douglas, that 
runs a'hoi'seback up a hill pci-peudicular. 

P. Hen. He that rides at high speed, and 
with his pistol kiUs a sparrow flying. 

Fal. You have hit it. 

P. Hen. So did he never the sparrow. 

Fal. Well, that rascal hath good mettle in 
him : he wUl not run. 

P. Hen. Why, what a rascal art thou then, 
to praise liim so for running. 

Fal. A'horseback, 'ye cuckoo ! but, afoot, he 
■will not budge a foot. 

P. Hen. Yes, Jack, upon instinct. 

Fal. I grant ye, upon iustinct. Well, he is 
there too, and one Mordake, and a thousand 
blue-caps more : Worcester is stolen away by 
uiglit; thy father's beard is turned white with 
the news ; you may buy land now as cheap as 
stinking mackerel. 

* Taken tvilh the manner — taken with a stolen thing in 
liand. (See Love's Labour's Lost, Act \. Scene I.) 

Act 11] 

KLXG iiE^iJY IV.— PAirr r. 

[ScENi; IV. 

F. lien. Then 'tis like, if there come ;i hot 
June, and this civil buUctiug hold, we bhall buy 
niiudouheads as they buy hob-uads, by the hun- 

Fal. By the mass, lad, thou say'st ti-ue ; it is 
like we bhall have good trading that way. — But, 
tell nic, Hal, art thou not horribly afcard, thou 
being heir apparent ? Could the world pick thee 
out three such enemies again, as that fiend 
Douglas, that spirit Percy, and that devil Glen- 
dowcr ? Art thou not horribly afraid ? doth not 
thy blood thrill at it ? 

P. lien. Not a wliit, i' faith ; I lack some of 
thy instinct. 

Fal. Well, thou wilt be horribly chid to-mor- 
row, when thou comcst to thy father : if thou do 
luve me, practise an answer. 

P. Hen. Do thou stand for my father, and 
examine me upon the particulars of my life. 

Fal. Shall 1? content: — This chair shall be 
my state, this dagger my sceptre, and this 
cushion my crown. 

P. Hen. Thy state is taken for a joint-stool, 
thy golden sceptre for a leaden dagger, and thy 
precious rich crown for a pitiful bald crown ! 

Fal. Well, an the fire of grace be not quite 
out of thee, now shalt thou be moved. — Give 
me a cup of sack, to make mine eyes look red, 
that it may be thought I have wept ; for I must 
speak in passion, and I will do it in king Cam- 
byses' veiu. . 

P. Hen. Well, here is my leg. 

Fal. And here is my speech: — Stand aside, 

Host. This is excellent sport, i' faith. 

Fal. AVeep not, sweet queen, for tricklmg 
tears are vain. 

Host. O the father, how he holds his counte- 
nance ! 

Fal. For God's sake, lords, convey my tristful 
For tears do stop the flood-gates of her eyes. 

Host. O rare ! he doth it as like one of these 
harlotry players as ever I see. 

Fal. Peace, good pint-pot ; peace, good tickle- 
brain. — Uarry, I do not only marvel where thou 
spendest thy time, but also how thou art accom- 
panied : for though the camomile, the more it 
is trodden the faster it grows, yet youth, the 
more it is wasted the sooner it wears. That thou 
art my son, I have partly thy mother's word, 
partly my own opinion ; but chiefly, a villainous 
trick of thine eye, and a foolish hanging of thy 
nether lip, that doth warrant me. If then thou 
be son to me, here lies the point ; — Why, being 

O 2 

son to iiu', art thou so pointed at? Shall the 
blessed sun of heaviii \novt a michcr," and cat 
blackberries ? a question not to be asked. Shall 
the son of England prove a thief, and lake i)urses ? 
a question to be asked. There is a thing, liarry, 
which thou hast often heard of, and it is known 
to many in our land by the name of pitch : this 
pitch, as ancient writers do report, doth defile ; 
so 'doth the company thou keepcst : for, Harry, 
now I do not speak to thee in drink, but in tears ; 
not in plc;isurc, but in passion ; not in words only, 
but iu woes also: — And yet there is a virtuous 
man, whom I have often noted iu thy company, 
but I know not his name. 

P. Hen. What maimer of man, an it like 
your majesty ? 

Fal. A good portly man, i' faith, and a cor- 
pidcnt ; of a cheerful look, a pleasing eye, and 
a most noble carriage; and, as I think, his age 
some fifty, or, by'r-lady, inclining to threescore ; 
and now I remember me, his name is Falsi afi": 
if that man should be lewdly given, he deceivcth 
me; for. Hairy, I sec virtue in his looks. If 
then the tree may be known by the fruit, as the 
fruit by the tree, then, peremi)torily I speak it, 
there is virtue in that F:dstaff": him keep with, 
the rest banish. And tell me now, thou naughty 
varlet, tell me, where hast thou been tliis 
month ? 

P. lien. Dost thou speak like a king? Do 
thou stand for me, and I'll jilay my father. 

Fal. Depose me ? if thou dost it half so 
gi'avely, so majestically, both in word and matter, 
hang me up by the heels for a rabbit-sucker, or 
a poulter's hare. 

P. lien. Well, here I am set. 

Fal. And here I stand : — judge, my masters. 

P. llru. Now, Harry ? whence come you ? 

Fal. My noble lord, from Eastcheap. 

P. Hen. The complaints I hear of thee arc 

Fal. 'Sblood, my lord, they arc false : — nay, 
I '11 tickle ye for a young prince, i' fiuth. 

P. Hen. Swearcst thou, ungracious boy ? 
henceforth ne'er look on mc. Thou art violently 
carried away from grace : there is a devil haunts 
thee, iu the likeness of a fat old man : a tun of 
man is thy companion. Why dost thou converse 
with that trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch 
of beastliness, that swoln parcel of dropsies, that 
huge bombard of sack, that slufl'ed cloak -ba;; of 
guts, that roasted Manningtrec ox with the pud- 
ding in bis belly, that reverend vice, that grey 
iniquity, that father rufiBan, that vanity in years I 

' ilhhcr — truant. 


Act II.] 


[Scene IV 

Wherein is he gocd, but to taste sack and drink 
it ? wherein neat and cleanly, but to carve a 
capon and eat it ? wherein cunning, "" but in craft ? 
wherein crafty, but in villainy ? wherein vil- 
lainous, but in all tilings ? wherein worthy, but 
in nothing ? 

Fed. I would your grace would take me with 
you.*" Whom means your grace ? 

P. Hen. That villainous abominable misleader 
of youth, Ealstaff, that old white-bearded 

Fal. My lord, the man 1 know. 

F. lien. I know, thou dost. 

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 yoiu- 
reverence,) a whoremaster, that I utterly deny. 
If sack and sugar be a fault, Heaven help the 
wicked ! ]f to be old and merry be a sin, then 
many an old host that 1 know is damned : if to 
be fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kinc 
are to be loved. No, my good lord; banish 
Peto, banish Baruolph, banish Poins : but for 
sweet Jack Palstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true 
Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and there- 
fore more valiant, being as he is, old Jack Fal- 
staff, banish not him thy Harry's company ; 
banish not him thy Harry's company; banish 
plump Jack, and banish all the world. 

F. lien. I do, 1 will. \_A knocking heard. 

{Exeunt Hostess, Francis, and Bardolpii, 

He-enter Bardolph, running. 

Bard. 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 raucii to say in the behalf of that 

Re-enter Hostess, liastily. 

Uost. 0, my lord, my lord ! 

Fal. Heigh, heigh ! the devil rides upon a 
Cddle-stick : What 's the matter ? 

Host. The sheriff and all the watch are at the 
door : they arc come to search the house ; Shall 
I let them in ? 

Fal. Dost thou hear, Hal ? never call a true 
piece of gold a counterfeit : thou art essentially 
mad, without seeming so. 

• Cnntniig—^VxXM. 

km Jvnnr'",! "''^ ■'"'"• ^ """nion expression for let nic 
Knw jour nieaning. 


P. Hen. And thou a natural coward, without 

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 shall as soon be 
strangled with a halter as another. 

P. Hen. Go, hide thee behind the arras; '2— 
the rest walk up above. Now, my masters, for 
a true face, and good conscience. 

Fal. Both which I have had : but their date 
is out, and therefore I '11 hide rac. 

[E.veunt all but the Prince and Peto. 

F. lien. Call in the sheriff. 

Enter Sheriff and Carrier. 

Now, master sheriff; Mliat's your will with 
Sher. First, pardon me, my lord. A hue and 
Hath followed certain men unto lliis house. 
P. lien. What men ? 

Sher. One of them is well known, my gracious 
lord ; 
A gross fat man. 

Car. As fat as butter. 

P. Hen. The man, I do assure you, is not 
here ; 
For I myself at this time have employ 'd him. 
And, sheriff, I will 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 entreat you leave the house. 
Sher. I will, my lord : There are two gentle- 
Have in this robbery lost three hundred marks. 
P. Hen. It may be so : if he have robb'd these 
He shall be answerable ; and, so, farewell. 
Sher. Good night, my noble lord. 
P. Hen. I think it is good morrow ; Is it 

not ? 
Sher. Indeed, my lord, I think it be two 
o'clock. [Exennt Sheriff and Carrier. 
P. Hen. This oily rascal is known as well as 
Paul's. Go, call him forth. 

Fdo. Falstaff! — fast asleep behind the arras, 
and snorting like a horse. 

P. Hen. Hark, how hard he fetches breath : 
Search his pockets. [Peto searchcs.'\ What hast 
thou found ? 

Peto. Nothing but papers, my lord. 

P. Hen. Let's see what be they: read them. 

Act II ] 


[Scene IV. 

Telo. Item, A capon, 2s. 2d. 
Item, Sauce, 4d. 
Item, Sack, two giilloiis, 5s. Sil. 
Item, Anchovies, and sack after siiitper, 2s. Od. 
Item, bread, a hallpcnny. Ob." 

P. lleii. O monstrous! but one half-pcimy- 
worth of bread to this intolerable deal of sack ! 
— What there is else, kcej) close ; we 'II read it 
at more advantage : there let him sleep till day. 
I '11 to the court in the morning: we must all to 
the wars, and thy place shall be houcuniblc. 1 '11 

» Ob. The old mode of writing a lialfpenny. Hut we 
must give rxpre!>>ioii tu lliu ineanin);, or the passage would 
bo uiiiiKtrllijilble on the nioUein sla>;e. 

procuic this fat rogue a charge of foot ; and, 1 
know, his death will be a march of twelve-score." 
The money shall be paid back again with advan- 
tage. Be with me betimes in the morning; anil 
so good morrow, Peto. 

Piiu. Good morrow, good my lord. \_Exei(nt}' 

» Ttrrlte icure. The roiiimoii jihraiieology for twelve 
Hcore yards. We have in the Merry Wives of Wind>or. 
"This boy will carry a letter twenty niilea, as easily as a 
cannon will shoot point bl.uik twelve score." 

l> In the old coi)ies the dialogue about the contents of 
Falstall's pocket is between the Prince and Peto. Johnt-on 
tran>ferred the dialogue lo I'uins, sa)ing — " Poins has the 
Prince's conlidence, and is a man of courage — they all re- 
tired but Poins, who, wiih the Prince, haying only robbed llie 
robbers, had no neeil to conceal himstlf from the travelleis." 

[ScL.NC IV. — Uuoinin the Buar'i llettii.J 


Scene I. — '^ Never joyed since the price of oats 

In 1596 the pi-ice of grain was exceedingly liigli, 
" by colour of the unseasonableness of this sum- 
mer ; " and Elizabeth issued a Proclamation against 
Ingrossers. This play was undoubtedly written 
about 159G ; and Shakspcre had most probably the 
scarcity in his mind when he made the dear oats 
kill poor " Robin ostler." 

2 Scene I. — "Slung Mice a tench." 

The second carrier appears to have had some 
popiilar knowledge of the natm-al history of fishes. 
The tench which is stung, and the loach which 
breeds fleas, appear to be allusions to the fact that 
fish, at particular seasons, are infested with vermin. 
The particular charge against fleas, of troubling 

fish as they do lodgers " within victualling houses 
and inns," is gravely set forth in riulemon Hol- 
land's translation of Pliny. 

^ Scene I. — Oharinr/ Cross. 

Charing was anciently a village detached from 
London ; and Charing Cross was erected on the 
last spot where the body of Eleanor, the queen of 
Edward I., rested, in the road to Westminster. The 
cross was pulled down by the populace in 1643, 
through that intolerant fury against what were 
called superstitious edifices which has destroyed 
so many beautiful monuments of art in this coun- 
try and in Scotland. We subjoin a view of 
Charing Cross, from an old drawing in the Ci'owle 
Collection, Brit. Mus. 

' SfENE I.—" Wc have the receipt of fern seed:' 

The nucients believed that fern had no seed. In 
Holland's translation of Pliny we find, " Of fern be 
two kui.U, and they bear neither flower nor seed." 

The seed of the fern is so small as to escape the 
sight ; and thus, although our ancestors believed 
tha,t the plant bore seed, tiiey held that it was only 
visible to those who sought for it under peculiar 
influences. It was on St. John's Eve that the ferr. 


seed was hekl to become visible, and that at the 
precise moment of the birth of the eaint. Its pos- 
Eessiou, it was further held, conferred invisibility. 
Fletcher, in " The Fair Maid of the Inn," says 

" Had you Gyges' ring, 
Or the herb that givei invUibility ? " 

* Sce:(B III. — Warhcortk. A Room in the Cattle. 

The following enjravins; represents a p^rt of the 
interior that is remaining of Warkworth Castle, 
the ancient seat of the Percies. In the second 
part we shall furnish an exterior view, and a de- 
scription, of this celebrated building. 


* Scene III. — '• 0/ bcuilidts, of cannon, culrerin." 

Douce, in a note on this passage, supposes the 
names of ordnance, such as basili-sk ancl culverin, 
to be derived from the names of sorpents. He tells 
tw that a ba-silisk carried a ball W':i.,-hiir^ two hun- 
dre*! pounds. Neith-r I) 'Moe nor ot' len- 

tators have noticed a i.:\-^i::je in Hi De- 

scription of Etigland, which contains " the names of 
our greatest ordinance," — and where the basilisk, 
the cannon, and the culverin, are fully describe<l. 
The basilisk, the largest of all, we'ighed 9000 
pounds, and carried a ball of 60 pounds; — the 
cannon weighed 700o potmds, and also carried a 
ball of 60 p.junris — <'"!t this weight of ball would 
apf>ear to be a nr -and the culverin weighed 

4000 pounds, a:. d a ball of 13 pound:*. 

Harrison gives a wondrous account of a great gun^ 

compared with which the English bisilisk must 
have been a pocket-pistol : " The Turk had one 
; ' ' Orbon, a Dane, the caster of his 

■•'iiiKl not be drawn to the siege 
oi t t by seventy yokes of oxen 

and ' !i." 

' ScEKK IV. — Eas/chdip. A Room in the Boar's 
J/ead Taccrn. 

" ^Vho knows not Eastcheap and the Boar's 
Head ? Have we not all been there, time out of 
mind? And is it not a more real as well as no- 
torious thing to us than the London Tavern, or the 
Crown nnil Anch^^r, or the Hummuni?", or White's, 
or What's his names, or any other of your con- 
temporarj- and fhetiiig taps?" Wo quote this 
[i- -i^'e from Lei;,'li Hunt's delightful 'Indicator.' 
Mi. Hunt, we take it, is si)eaking of the endearing 
a«sociati<ma of the Boar's Head — not of a real 
' k and stone tavern. But GoMsniith. it woidd 
r, had sat in the Boar's Head of Shakspere. 
\\ c quote the following from his E.-.says : — 

'■ Such were the reflections that naturally arose 
'.\ }.i!o I sit at the Boar's Head tavern, still kept at 
E i-tcheap. Here, by a pleasant fire, in the very 
room where old Sir John Falstafif cracked his jokes, 
in the very chair which was sometimes honoured 
by Prince Henry, and sometimes polluted by his 
immoral merry companions, I sat and ruminated 
on the follies of youth ; wished to be young again, 
but was resolved to make the best of life while it 
lasted, and now and then compared past and pre- 
sent times together. I considered n)yse!f asthe only 
living representative of the old knight, and trans- 
ported my imagination back to the times when the 
prince and he gave life to the revel, and made even 
debaucherj- not disgusting. The r(.x)m al-o con- 
spired to throw my reflections back into antiquity : 
the oak floor, the Gothic windows, and the j^m- 
derous chimney-piece, had long withstood the tooth 
of time." 

Alas ! the nal Boar's Head was destroyed in the 
great fire of London ; and its successor, that rose 
up out of the ruins, has been swei»t away with 
the old London Bridge, to which '• ' j\- 

bour. We can no longer make a j ii 

to the second Boar's Head. " The eari e 

of this place," says Mr. Brayley in his L ', 

*' occurs in the testament of William Warden, who, 
in the reign of Richard II., gave ' all that his tene- 
ment, called the Boar's Head, Eastcheap, to a 
college of priests or chaplains, founded by Sir 
William W'alworth, Lord Mayor, in the adjoining 
church of St. Michael, Crooked Lane.' " 

In an enumeration of taverns, in an old black 
letter poem, we find the 

" Bore's Head, necre London Stone." 

"The Boar's Head, in Southwark," is noticed in 
one of the Pa.^tun Letters, written in the time of 
Henry VI. Shak.<{)erc found "the Old Tavern in 
Eastcheap " in the anonymous play described ia 
our Introductorj- Notice. 

But of the original Boar's Head there remains a 
very inter nee authentic 

nlic. At in its authen- 

ticity with as i: 'lartinus Scriblorus 

believed in 1. In Whitechapel, 

some years since, there was a hillock called the 



Mouut, traditionally supposed to have been formed 
out of the rubbish of the great fire of 1666. Upon 
the clearing away of that Mount an oaken carving 
of a Boar'.s Head, in a frame-work formed of two 
boars' tusks, was found in a half- burned state. 
The diameter of this curious relic was four inches 
and a half. On the back of the carving was a date 
1568; and a name, which, by a comparison with 
some record.?, coiTesponded with the name of the 

tavernkeeper in that year. It is supposed that tli'.s 
curious and very spirited carving was suspended in 
the tavern. The original was exhibited at the 
London Institution, and afterwards caine into ths 
possession of Mr. Windus, of Stamford Hill. 

We have been enabled to give a faithful sketch 
of this carving, from the drawing of a lady who 
unites the knowledge of an antiquary to the taste 
of an artist. 

8 ScE.VE l'V.—"Tom, Dick, and Francis." 

We learn from Dekker's " Gull's Horn Book," 
1609, that to be familiar with drawers, and to know 
their names, was an accomplisliment of gallants 
Bome ten or twelve years after Shakspere wrote 
thi.s play. " Your first compliment shall be to 
grow most inwardly acquainted with the drawers; 
to learn their names, as Jack, and Will, and Tom." 

^ Scene IV. — "At the strappado." 

Douce has described this cruel punishment, 
which did not consist in tlie infliction of blows by 
a strap, but was effected by drawing up the victim 
by a rope and pulleys, and dropping him suddenly 
down, for the purpose of dislocating his shoulder. 
"The good old times" were remarkable for the 
ingenuity with which man tormented man. 

'" Scene IV. — "lie of Wales, that f/avc Amaimon 
the bastinado." 

Amaimon, according to Scot, in his " Discovery 

of Witchcraft," was a spirit who might bo bound 
at certain hours of the day and night. He was a 
fit subject, therefore, for Glendower to exercise hia 
magic upon. 

" Scene IV.— « A Welsh hooJc." 

This weapon appears to have been a pike with a 
hook placed at some distance below its point, like 
some of the ancient partisans. 

'2 Scene IV. — " Behind the arras."' 

Dr. Johnson seems to think that the bulk of 
Falstaff rendered it difficult to conceal him behind 
the arras ; but the arras or tapestry, which was 
originally hung on hooks, was afterwards set on 
frames at some distance from the walls. There 
are many passages in Shakspere, and in other plays 
of his time, wliicli shew that the space between 
the arras and the wall was large enough even for 
the conneolment of Falstaff. 


TI T S T Tv I r A L T L L U S T R A T T C* N S. 

The character «i Hotspur hrts been (Imwn l>y 
Shakspere witli the boKlest jieueil. N<-ithiii>^ c:in 
be more free and vigorous than this remarkable 
portrait. Of the likonesa we are as certain as 
when we b'ok at the Charles V. of Titian, or the 
Lord Str.iBoiil of Vandyke. But it is too young, 
Kiy the critics. The ])oet, in the first scone, say 
they, ouj;ht not to have called him "younp; Harry 
Percy," for he wa-s some th rty-five years old at the 
battle of Hohnedon; and the wish of the king, 

" that it could be prov'J 
That some night-tripping fairy hail cxchanR'J, 
In cradle-clothes, our children where they lay. 
And cali'd mine Percy, his Plantagenct," 

was a very absurd wish, and such a chanj^e was 
quite beyond the power of a "night-tripping fairy," 
for Percy was born about 130(3, and Henry of 
Monmouth some twenty years later. Kvcrything 
in its place. We desire the utmost e.\ in 
matters where exactness is required. Let History 
proper give us her dates to the very cl.iy and hour; 
but let Poetry be allowed to break the bauds by 
which she would be earth-bound. When Shak- 
spere shews us the ambitious, irascible, self-willed, 
sarcastic, but high-minded and noble Hotspur, 
and places in contrast with him the thoughtless, 
good-tempered, yielding, witty, but brave and 
chivalrous Henry, we have no desire to be con- 
stantly reminded that characters so alike in the 
energyof youth have been incorrectly approximated 
in their ages by the poet. Fluellen had, no doubt, 
very coirect notions " as touching the direction of 
the military discipline ;" but when he bestowed 
upon Captain Macmorris "a few disputations," in 
the way of argument and friendly communication, 
when the town was besieged and the trumpet called 
to the breach, we think the capt;iiu was perfectly 
justified in telling the worthy Welshman that it 
was " no time to discourse." 

Sir Henry Percy received his souhrlqiid of Hot- 
,Bpur from the Scots, with whom he was engaged 

in perpetual forays and battles. The old ballad of 
the Battle of Otterbourne tells us, 

" lie lia.t hyn a m.-ir'h-ninii aU hyi dayes. 
And kepte Ilarwyke upnn Twcde." 

He was " first armed when the caatle of Berwick 
wius taken by the Scots," in 1.378, when he wa.i 
twelve years old ; and from that time till the 
battle of Holniedon, his sjnir was never cold. No- 
thing can be more historically true than the prince's 
description of Hotspur — " he that kills nie some 
six or seven dozen of Scots at a breakf;, washes his 
hands, and says to his wife, ' Fye upon this quiet 
life ! I want work.' ' O my sweet Harry," says (she, 
'how many h.ust thou killed to-d.iy?' 'Give my 
roan horse a drench,' says he, aivl answers. ' Some 
fourteen,' an hour after ; ' a trifle, a trille.' " The 
abstraction of Hotspur —the ' some fourteen, — an 
hour after,' — has been repeated by our poet in the 
beautiful scene between Hotspur and his lady, in 
this Act : — 

" Some heavy business hath my lord in hand. 
And I must know it, else he lores me not." 

The servant has been called and dismissed ; the 
lady has uttered her reproof ; a battle has been 
fought in Hotspur's imagination, before he answers 

Away, you trifler! 

Love ? — I love Ihcc not. 

This little trait in Hotspur's character might be 
traditionary ; and so might be the 

"speaking thick, whicli Nature made his blemish." 

At any rate, these circumstmces are singularly 
characteristic. So also is Hotspiir's con tern i)t of 
poetry, in opposition to Glendower, whose mind i.s 
essentially poetical. Such are the magical touches 
by which Shakspere created the imperishable like- 
nesses of his historic.ll personage-^ He seized upon 
a general truth, and made it more striking and 
permanent by inve.stinj it with the ideal. 



SCENE I.— Bangor. A Room in the Arch- 
deacon's House. 
Enter IIotspuk, Worcester, Mortimer, and 

2[ort. These promises arc fair, the parties 
And our induction" full of prosperous hope. 
Hot. Lord Mortimer, — and cousin Glon- 
dowcr, — 

Will you sit down ? 

And, uncle Worcester :— A plague upon it ! 
[ have forgot the map. 

Glcnd. No, here it is. 

Sit, cousin, Percy ; sit, good cousin Hotspur : 
For hy that name as oft as Lancaster 
Doth speak of you, his check looks pale, and, 

A rising sigh, he wishcth you in heaven. 

ft Induction. Stecvens properly says that an Induction 
was anriently something introductory to a play; but he 
adds, somewhat absurdly, that Sliaksperc's attendance on 
the theatre mipht have familiarized him to tlie conception 
of the word. In the sense in which Sliakspere here uses the 
word it is synonymous with inlroditction — a leading in, a 
heginninp; and this meaning would have hfcn perfectly 
familiar to such a master of "the tongue " as Sliakspere 
was, without any theatrical associations. An example of 
his discrimination in language is offered to us in Richard 

" Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous, 
Hy drunken prophesies, libels, and dreams." 
Here the word is used in its metaphysical sense oi deductions 
from farts or propositions, and not in the sense of introduc- 
tion, as in the passage before us, which Steevens infers. 


Hot. And you in liell, as oft as he hears Owen 
Glendowcr spoke of 

Glend. I cannot blame him : at my nativity, 
Tlic front of heaven was full of fiery shapes, 
01' burning cressets;^ and, at my birth. 
The frame and huge foundation of the earth 
Shak'd like a coward. 

Hot. Why, so it would have done at the same 
season, if your mother's cat had but kitten'd, 
though yourself had ne'er been born. 

Glend. I say, the earth did shake when I was 

Hot. And ] say, the earth was not of my 
If you suppose, as fearing you it shook. 

Glend. The heavens were all on fire, the earth 
did tremble. 

Hot. O, then the earth shook to see the 
heavens on fire. 
And not in fear of your nativity. 
Diseased nature oftentimes breaks forth 
In strange erupt ions : oft the teeming earth 
Is with a kind of eolick pinch'd and vcx'd 
By the imprisoning of unruly wind 
Within her womb; which, for enlargement 

Shakes the old beldame earth, and topples* down 
Steeples, and moss-grown towers. At your birth, 

ft Topples. So the quartos; /H?«i/es in the folio. 




Our grandam earth, having this distcmpcraturc, 
III passion shook. 

Glend. Cousin, of many men 

I do not bear tlicse crossings. Give nic leave 
To tell you ouec again,— that at my birth, 
The front of heaven was full of (iery shapes ; 
The goats ran from the mountains,'- and the herds 
Were strangely clamorous to the frighted fielils. 
These signs have mark'd me extraordinary ; 
And all tlic courses of my life do shew 
I am not in the roll of common uu-n. 
Where is he* living,— elipp'd in with the sea 
That chides the banks of Kngland, Scotland, 


Which calls nic pupil, or hath read to me ? 
And l)ring him out, that is but woman's son. 
Can trace me in the tedious ways of art, 
And hold me pace in deep experiments. 

Hut. I think there's no man speaks belter 
Welsh: I'll to dinner. 
Moit. Peace, ceusin Percy: you will make 

him mad. 
Glend. I can call spirits from the vasty deep. 
Hot. Why, so can I ; or so can any man : 
But will they come, when you do call for them ? 
Glend. "Why, I can teach thee, cousin, to 
The devil. 
Uol. And I can teach thee, coz, to shame the 
By telling truth; Tell tnith, and shame the 

devil. — 
If thou have power to raise him, bring him 

And I '11 be sworn I have power to shame him 

O, while you live, tell truth, and shame the 
Mori. Come, come. 
No more of this unprofitable chat. 

Gtenil. Three times hath Iknry Bolingbroke 
made head 
Against mv power: thrice from the banks of 

And siuidy-bottom'd Severn, have I sent him, 
Bootless home, and weather-beaten back. 

Hot. Home without boots, and in foul weather 
How 'scapes he agues, in the devil's name ? 
Glend. Come, here's the map ; Shall wc divide 
our right, 
According to our three-fold order ta'en ? 
Mort. The archdeacon hath divided it 
Into three limits, very equally : 

* lie tiring In the fint three quartoi ; the folio, Ihf. 

England, from Trent and Severn hitherto. 

By south and east, is to my part nssign'd : 

All westward, Wales beyond the Severn shore, 

And all the fertile land within that bound. 

To Owen Glemlower : — and, dear coz, to you 

The remnant northward, lying off from Trent. 

And our indentures tripartite arc drawn : 

Which being sealed interchangeably, 

(.V business that this night may execute,) 

To-morrow, cousin Percy, you, ami I, 

And my good lord of Worcester, will set forth, 

To meet your father, and the Scottish power, 

As is appointed us, at Shrewsbury. 

^fy father Glcndower is not ready yet, 

Nor shall we need his help these fourteen days: — 

Within that space, [lo Glend.] you may have 

drawn together 
Your tenants, friends, and neighbouring gentle- 
Glend. A shorter time shall send mc to you, 
And in my conduct shall your ladies come : 
From whom you now must steal, and take no 

leave ; 
For there will be a world of water shed. 
Upon the parting of your wives and you. 

IloL Methinks, my moiety," north from Bur- 
ton here. 
In quantity equals not one of yours : 
See how this river comes me cranking'' in, 
And cuts me, from the best of all my land, 
A huge half-moon, a monstrous cantlc" out. 
I '11 have the current in this place d.imm'd up ; 
And here the smug and silver Trent shall run 
In a new channel, fair and evenly : 
It shall not wind with such a deep indent. 
To rob mc of so rich a bottom here. 

Glend. Not wind ? it shall, it must ; you sec 

it doth. 
iforf. Yea, 
But mark how he bears his course, and runs mc 

With like advantage on the other side; 
Gelding the opposed continent as much 
As on the other side it takes from you. 

Wor. Yea, but a little charge will trench him 

• .V"iV/y. llotupur rnlU hii third share a "moldy." 
l^;u diTJilc» hi< kinjrilom in'o ihrc |>.irl«, nnd jrct Uloilcr 
tnlk« of citht-r ' .k-.lir.Mlon to the 

Ilape of Lucre y " in tlic »cnRe of 

.I small part of . i i'" which wc lind in 

tiKidtrn dc<d.'. v or half part " — would 

ihcw that it .1: . •!>• part,— oliiirwue Ihu 

explaiialinn it iiu|>crttuoui. 

b Crankiny, — ht-ndini;. 

c Canttf, a conirr, accordinff to lomc ctyr.iologiili, — a 
portion, or parcel, accordinK to othcri. 


Act in.] 


[Scene 1. 

And oil tliis north side win this cape of land ; 
And then he runs straight and even. 

IIol. I 'Jl have it so ; a little charge will do it. 

Glend. I will not have it alter'd. 

Hot. Will not you ? 

Glend. No, nor you shall not. 

Hot. Who shall say me nay ? 

Glend. Why, that will I. 

Hot. Let me not understand you then. 

Speak it in Welsh. 

Glend. I can speak English, lord, as well as 
For I was train'd up in the English court : 
Where, being but young, I framed to the harp 
Many an English ditty, lovely well. 
And gave the tongue'' a helpful ornament ; 
A virtue that was never seen in you. 

Hot. Marry, and I'm glad oft with all niy 
heart : 
1 had ratlier be a kitten and cry mew, 
Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers ; 
I had rather hear a brazen candlestick '' tum'd. 
Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree ; 
And that would set my teeth nothing on edge. 
Nothing so much as mincing poetry; 
'Tis like the forc'd gait of a shufHing nag. 

Glend. Come, you shall have Trent turn'd. 

Hot. I do not care : I '11 give thrice so much 
To any well-deserving friend : 
But in the way of bargain, mark ye me, 
I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair. 
Are the indentures drawn ? shall we be gone ? 

Glend. The moon shines fair, you may away 
by night : 
I '11 haste the writer," and, withal, 
Break M"ith your wives of your departure hence : 
I am afraid my daughter will run mad. 
So much she dotcth on her Mortimer. {Exit. 

Mori. Eye, cousin Percy ! how you cross my 
father ! 

Hot. I cannot choose : sometimes he angers 
With telling me of the moldwarp and the ant, 
Of the dreamer Merlin, and his prophecies ; 
And of a dragon and a fmlcss fish, 
A clip-wing'd griffin, and a moultcn raven, 
A couching lion, and a ramping cat. 
And such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff 
As puts me from my faith. I tell you what, — 
He held me, last night, at least nine hours, 

a The tongue — the English language, according to John- 

b Candletliek. So the folios; the quartos canstick, which 
Is not an uncommon word in the old poets. 

•-" / •// hdsic the writer. So all the old copies. The earlier 
modern editors ivad " I'll ,;, and haste the writer." 

In reckoning up the several devils' names 
That were his lackeys : I cried, hum, — and well, 

—go to,— 
But mark'd him not a word. 0, he 's as tedious 
As is a tired horse, a railing wife ; 
Worse than a smoky house : — I had rather live 
With cheese and garlick in a windmill, far. 
Than feed on cates, and have him talk to me, 
In any summer-house in Christendom. 

Mort. In faith, he is a worthy gentleman ; 
Exceedingly well read, and protited 
In strange concealments ; valiant as a lion, 
And wond'rous affable ; and as bountiful 
As mines of India. ShaU I tell you, cousin ? 
lie holds your temper in a high respect. 
And cui'bs himself even of his natural scope, 
When you do cross his humour ; 'faith, he does : 
I warrant you that man is not alive 
Might so have tempted him as you have done, 
Witliout the taste of danger and reproof; 
But do not use it oft, let me entreat you. 

JFor. In faith, my lord, you are too wilful- 
blame ; 
And since your coming hither, have done enough 
To put him quite beside his patience. 
You must needs learn, lord, to amend this fault. 
Though sometimes it shew greatness, courage, 

blood, — 
And that 's the dearest grace it renders you, — 
Yet oftentimes it doth present harsh rage, 
Defect of manners, want of government. 
Pride, haughtiness, opinion, and disdain : 
The least of whicli, haunting a nobleman, 
Loseth men's hearts; and leaves behind a stain 
Upon the beauty of all parts besides. 
Beguiling them of commendation. 

Hot. Well, I am school'd ; good manners be 
your speed ! 
Here come our wives, and let us take our leave. 

lie-enter Glendoavku, /cil/i the Ladies. 

Mort. This is the deadly spite that angers 
me, — 
My wife can speak no English, I no Welsh. 
Glend. My daughter weeps ; she will not 
part with you, 
She '11 be a soldier too, she '11 to the wars. 
Mort. Good father, tell her, — that she, and 
my aunt Percy, 
Shall follow in your conduct speedily. 

[Glendower speaki to his dmiqhter in Welsh, 
and she answers him in the same. 

Glend. She 's desperate here ; a peevish self- 
will'd harlotry, 

Act 11 1.1 



Oue that no persuasion' can do good upon. 

[Zrt^/y M. spetii-3 to Mortimer /// Welsh. 

Mori. I understand thv looks: that pretty 
Which thou pourest down from these swelling 

I am too perfect in ; and, but for shame, 
In such a parley should I answer thee. 

\_Im(1i/ M. ipfaks. 
I understand thy kisses, and thou mine. 
And that 's a feeling disputation : 
But I will never be a truant, love, 
Till I h.-\vc leam'd thv lanjruaffc : for thv tongue 
Makes Welsh as sweet as ditties highly jjeiiu'd, 
Sung by a fair queen in a summer's bower. 
With ravishing divii^ion, to her lute. 

Gleit'l. Nay, if thou melt, then will she nin 
mad. [jCa^y M. speaks again. 

Mori. O, I am ignorance itself in this. 

Gleiid. She bids you on the wanton rushes' 
lay you down,'' 
And rest your gentle head upon her lap. 
And she will sin? the song that plcaseth you, 
And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep. 
Charming your blood with pleasing heaviness ; 
Making such difference betwixt wake and sleep. 
As is the difference betwixt day and night. 
The hour before the heavenly-hamess'd team 
Begins his golden progress in the east. 

Mort. With all my heart I '11 sit and hear her 


By that time will our book,* I think, be drawn. 

Glend. T)o so ; 
And those musicians that shall play to you. 
Hang in the air a thousand leagues from hence ; 
And straight they shall be here : sit, and attend. 

Hot. Come, Kate, thou art perfect in lying 
down ; Come, quick, quick ; that I may lay my 
head in thy lap. 

Lady P. Go, ye giddy goose. 

Glexdower speaks some Welsh words, and then 
the Music plays. 

Hot. Now I perceive, the devil understands 
Welsh ; 
And 't is no marvel, he 's so humorous. 
By 'r-lady, he 's a good musician. 

Lady P. llien would you be nothing but 
musical ; for you are altogether governed by 
humours. Lie still, ye thief, and hear the 
lady sing in Welsh. 

' Tkat no pfTtmation. All the old copies retain tXat. 
b All the old copies give* tht* AS one line. Stcevens reads 
" She bid* you 
Upon the winton toshes l«y you down." 

I Hot. I had rather hear Lady, my brach, how' 
in Irish. 

I^idy P. Would's* have thv head broken ? 
I Hot. No. 

iMdy P. Then be sfill. 

If'jf. Neither ; 't is a woman's fault. 

Lady P. Now God help thcL- ! 
I Hot. To the Welsh la,1ys bed. 

L/dy P. What 's that r 

Hot. Peace ! she sings. 

J Welsh SONG, simg by I^idy M. 

Hot. Come, Kate, 1 '11 have your song too. 

I-ady P. Not mine, in good .sooth. 

Hot. Not yours, in good sooth ! 'Heart, you 
swear like a comfit -maker's wife ! Not you, in 
good sooth ; and, .Vs tnic as I live ; and. As 
God shall mend me ; and. As sure as day : 
And giv'st such sarcenet surety for thy oaths. 
As if thou never walk'dst further than Fiiisbury. 
Swear me, Kate, like a lady, as thou art, 
A good mouth-filling oath ; and leave in sooth. 
And such protest of peppcrgiiigerbread,' 
To velvet-guards,* and Sunday-citizens. 
Come, sing. 

Lady P. I will not sing. 

Hot. 'Tis the next way to turn tailor, or be 
redbreast teacher.' An the indentures be drawn, 
I'll away within these two hours; and so come 
in when ye will. [^EtH. 

Glend. Come, come, lord Mortimer; you are 
as slow, 
As hot lord Percy is on fire to go. 
By this our book 's drawn ; wc '11 but seal, and 

To horse immediately. 

Mort. With all my heart. 


SCENE II. — London. A Room in the Palace. 

Enter KiNG IIenry, Pktxce op Wales, 
and Lords. 

A'. Hen. Lords, give us leave ; the Prince of 

Wales and I 
Must have some private conference : •» But be 

near at hand. 
For we shall presently have need of you. — 

{Exeunt Lords 
I know not whether God will have it so, 
For some displeasing service I have done, 
That, in his secret dfKim, out of my blood 
He '11 breed revcngemrnt and a scourge for me • 

b 1 

ad — ?p ce ffinircrbread. 
' ce. So all the old copte*. 



Acr III.] 


[Scene II. 

But thou dost, hi thy passages of life. 

Make rac believe, that thou art only mark'd 

For the liot vengeance and the rod of heaven. 

To punish my mis-treadings. TeU me else, 

Could such inordinate and low desires, 

Such poor, such bare, such lewd, such mean 

Such barren pleasures, nide society, 
As thou art match'd withal and grafted to, 
Accompany the greatness of thy blood, 
And hold their level with thy princely heart ? 
P. lien. So please your majesty, I would I 
Quit all offences with as clear excuse. 
As well as, I am doubtless, I can purge 
^fyself of many I am charg'd withal : 
Yet such extenuation let me beg. 
As, in reproof^ of many tales devis'd, — 
Wliich oft tlie ear of greatness needs must hear, — 
By smiling pick-thanks and base newsmongers, 
I may, for some things true, wherein my youth 
Hath faulty wander'd and irregular, 
Find pardon on my true submission. 

K. Hen. God pardon thee ! — yet let me won- 
der, Harry, 
At tliy affections, which do hold a wing 
Quite from the flight of all thy anccstoi's. 
Thy place in council thou hast rudely lost. 
Which by thy younger brother is supplied ; 
And art almost an alien to the hearts 
Of aU the court and princes of my blood : 
Tlic hope and expectation of thy time 
Is ruin d ; and the soul of every man 
Prophetically does forethink thy fall. 
Had I so lavish of my presence been, 
So eommon-hackney'd in the eyes of men. 
So stale and cheap to vulgar company. 
Opinion, that did lielp me to the crown. 
Had still kept loyal to possession ; 
And left me in reputeless banishment, 
A fellow of no mark, nor likelihood. 
By being seldom seen, I could not stir 
]5ut, like a comet, I was wondcr'd at : 
That men would tell their children, — This is he ; 
Others would say, — ^Whcre? which is Boling- 

brokc ? 
And then I stole all courtesy from heaven. 
And drcss'd myself in such humility. 
That I did pluck allegiance from men's hearts. 
Loud shouts and salutations from their mouths, 
Even in the presence of the crowned king. 
Thus I did keep my person fresh, and new ; 
My presence, like a robe pontifical, 


" /fc;)roo/— disproof. 

Ne'er seen, but wonder'd at : and so my state, 

Seldom, but sumptuous, shewed like a feast ; 

And won, by rareness, such solemnity. 

The skipping king, he ambled up and down 

With shallow jesters and rash bavin"' wits. 

Soon kindled and soon buru'd : carded ^ his state ; 

Mingled his royalty with carping " fools, 

Had his great name profaned with their scorns r 

And gave his countenance, against his name. 

To laugh at gibing boys, and stand the push 

Of every beardless vahi comparative : 

Grow a companion to the common streets. 

Enfeoff 'd himself to popularity : 

That being daily swallow'd by men's eyes, 

I'hey surfeited with honey, and began 

To loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a litilc 

More than a little is by much too much. 

So, when he had occasion to be seen, 

He was but as the cuckoo is in June, 

Heard, not regarded ; seen, but with such eyes, 

As, sick and blunted with community, 

Aff(n'd no extraordinary gaze. 

Such as is bent on sun-like majesty 

When it shines seldom in admiring eyes : 

But rather drows'd, and hung their eyelids down, 

Slept in liis face, and rcnder'd such aspect 

As cloudy men use to their adversaries ; 

Being with his presence glutted, gorg'd, and full. 

And in that very line, Harry, staudest thou : 

For thou hast lost thy princely privilege 

With vile participation ; not an eye 

But is a-weary of thy common sight, 

Save mine, which hath desir'd to see thee more ; 

Which now doth that I would not have it do. 

Make blind itself with foolish tenderness. 

P. Hen. I shall hereafter, my thrice-graeious 
Be more myself. 

A'. lien. For all the world. 

As thou art to this hour, was Richard then 
When I from France set foot at Ravenspurg ; 
And even as I was then is Percy now. 
Now by my sec])tre, and my soul to boot. 
He hath more worthy interest to the state, 
Than thou, the shadow of succession : 
For, of no right, nor colour like to right, 
He doth All fields with harness in the reahu : 

* lUniii. Bavin is brushwood, used Tor kindling fires. 

b Curded. It is possible that Henry simply means that 
" the skipping kin;? " discarded his state. Tint in the .sense 
in which Shelton, in his tr.inslation of Don Quixote, uses 
tlie word — "it is necessary that this book he carded and 
purfjed of certain ba^e things" — we may consider that 
Ilicliard fretted away liis state, as the ?<;oo2-carJcr makes the 
lock attenuated hy continual tearing. 

c Carping. So the folio, and all the quartos except that 
of 159S, which reads caprinrj. Carping was formerly used 
in the sense of jesting. 

Act 111.] 


rsctM HI. 

Turus head against the lion's armed jaws ; 
Ami, beiug no more in debt to vcars than thou, 
Leads ancient lords and reverend bishops ou, 
To bloody battles, and to bruising arms. 
What neverdviug honour hath he got 
Agtiiust renowned Douglas ; whose higlj deeds, 
Whose hot iueursions, and great name iu arms. 
Mollis from all soldiers chief majority. 
And military title capital, 
Through aU the kingdoms that acknowledge 

Clirist ! 
Tlurice hath this Hotspur Mars in swathing 

Thb infant warrior iu his enterprises 
Discomtited great Dougl:»s ; ta'eu him once, 
Eidarged hiu), :uid made a friend of him, 
To fill the mouth of deep defiance up, 
And shake the peace and safety of our throne. 
And what sav you to this ? Perev, Northumber 

The archbishop's grace of York, Douglas, Mor- 
Capitulate' against us, and are up. 
But wherefore do I tell these news to thee ? 
WTiy, Harrj-, do I tell thee of my foes. 
Which art my near'st and dearest enemy ? 
Thou that art like enough, — through vassal fear. 
Base inclination, and the start of spleen, — 
To fight against me, uuder Percy's pay. 
To dog his heeb, and court'sy at his frowns. 
To shew how much thou art degenerate. 

P. lien. Do not think so, you shall not find it 
so ; 
And God forgive them that so much have sway'd 
Your majesty's good thoughts away from me ! 
I will redeem all this on Percy's head. 
And, in the closing of some glorious day. 
Be bold to tell you that I am your son ; 
^Yhen I will wear a garment all of blood. 
And stain my favours'* in a bloody mask, 
^Vhich, wash'd away, shall scour my shame 

with it. 
And that shall be the day, when'er it lights. 
That this same child of honour and renown. 
This gallant Uotspur, this all-praised knight, 
And your unthought-of llarry, chance to meet : 
For every honour sitting on liis helm, 
'Would they were multitudes ; and ou my head 
My shames redoubled ! for the time will come. 
That I shall make this northern jouth exchange 
His glorious deeds for my indignities. 

a Capitutale — to settle the headt of an agreement, 
h Farourt — features. So in Richard II. 
" Yet I well remember 
The farouri of these men." 

Percy is but my factor, good my lord. 
To engross up glorious deeds ou my behalf ; 
And 1 will cull him to so strict account. 
That he shall render every glory up. 
Yea, even tht ' ' ■ - 'of his tinie, 

Or I will tear in his heait. 

This, iu the name of God, 1 promise here : 
The which if He be jileas'd I shall perform, 
I do beseech your majesty, may salve 
The long-grown wounds of my intenipcrdncc : 
If not, the end of life cancels all bands ; 
And I will die a hundred thousand deaths. 
Ere break the smallest parcel of tliis vow. 
A'. J/' II. A hundred tliousand rebels die iu 

this :— 
Thou shalt have charge, and sovereign trust, 


Enter Blcst. 

How now, good Blunt ? thy looks are full of 
Blunt. So hath the business that 1 come to 
speak of. 
Lord Mortimer of Scotland hath sent word, — 
That Douglas, and the English rebels, met. 
The eleventh of this month, at Shrewsbury : 
A mighty and a fearful head they are, 
If promises be kept on every hand. 
As ever offered foul play in a state. 

K. Hen. The earl of AVcstmoreland set forth 
to-day ; 
With him my son, lord John of Laiic:islcr ; 
For this advertisement is five days old : — 
Ou Wednesday next, llarry, thou shalt set for- 
ward ; 
Ou Thursday, we ourselves will march : 
Our meeting is BriJgnorth : and, Harry, you 
Shall march through Gloslershire ; by which ac- 
Our business valued, some twelve days hence 
Our general forces at Bridgnorth shall meet. 
Our hands are full of business : let 's away ; 
Advantage feeds him fat, while men delay. 


SCENE III.— Eastcheap. ./ lioom in the 
Boar's Head Tavern. 

Enter Y.KisiKS? and Babdolpii. 

Fal. Bardolpb, am I not fallen away vilely 
since this last action? do I not bate? do I not 
dwindle ? Why, my skin hangs about me like 
an old lady's loose gown ; I am wither'd like an 
old apple-John. Well, 1 '11 repent, and that sud- 



Act III.] 


[Scene III. 

denly, while I am in some liking ;'' I sball be out 
of heart sliortly, and then I shall have no strength 
to repent. An I have not forgotten what the 
inside of a cliurch is made of, I am a pepper- 
corn, a brewer's horse : the inside of a chui-eh ! 
Company, villainous company, hath been the 
spoil of me. 

Bard. Sir John, you are so fretful, you cannot 
live long. 

Fal. Why, there is it : — come, sing me a 
bawdy song; make me meiTy. I was as vir- 
tuously given as a gentleman need to be ; vii'tuous 
enough : swore little ; diced, not above seven 
times a week ; went to a bawdy-house, not above 
once in a quarter — of an hour ; paid money that 
I borrowed, three or foui' times ; lived well, and 
in good compass : and now 1 live out of all order, 
out of all compass. 

Bard. Why you arc so fat, sir John, that you 
must needs be out of all compass; out of all 
reasonable compass, sir John. 

Fal. Do thou amend tliy face, and I 'U amend 
my life : Thou art our admiral, thou bearest the 
lantern in the poop, — but 't is in the nose of thee ; 
thou art the knight of the burning lamp. 

Bard. Why, sir John, my face does you no 

Fal. No, I '11 be sworn ; I make as good use 
of it as many a man doth of a death's head, or a 
memento mori: I never see iliy face but I think 
upon hcll-firc, and Dives that lived in purple; 
for there he is in his robes, burning, burning. If 
tiiou wert any way given to virtue, I would swear 
by thy face; my oath should be, By this fire: 
but thou art altogether given over; and wert 
indeed, but for the light in thy face, the son of 
\itter darkness. Wiien thou rann'st up Gadshill 
in the night to catch my horse, if I did not think 
thou been an ifjnis faluns, or a ball of 
wildfire, there 's no purchase in money. O, thou 
art a perpetual triumph, an everlasting bonfii-e- 
iight ! Thou hast saved me a thousand marks in 
links and torches, walking with thee in the night 
betwixt tavern and tavern : but the sack that 
thou hast drunk me would have bought me lights 
as good cheap, at the dearest chandler's in Eu- 
rope. I have maintained that salamander of 
yours with fire, any time this two and thirty 
years ; Heaven reward me for it ! 

Bard. 'Sblood, I would my face were in your 
belly ! 

Fal. God-a-mercy ! so should I be sure to be 

» In tome likint) — in some substance. 

Enter Hostess. 

How now, dame Partlet the hen ? have you in- 
quii'cd yet who picked my pocket ? 

Host. ^\"hy, sir John ! what do you think, sir 
John ? do you think I keep thieves in my house ? 
I have searched, I have inquu'ed, so has my hus- 
band, mau by man, boy by boy, servant by 
servaut : the tithe of a hair was never lost in my 
house before. 

Fal. You lie, hostess ; Bardolph was shaved, 
and lost many a hair: and I'll be sworn my 
pocket was picked : Go to, you are a woman, go. 

Host. Who, 1? I defy thee: I was never 
called so in mine own house before. 

Fal. Go to, I know you well enough. 

Host. No, sir John ; you do not know me, sir 
John : T know you, su- John : you owe me money, 
sir John, and now you pick a quarrel to beguile 
me of it : I bought you a dozen of shirts to your 

Fal. Dowlas, filthy dowlas : I have given them 
away to bakers' wives, and they have made bol- 
ters of them. 

Host. Now, as I am a true woman, hoUand of 
eight shillings au ell.'^ lou owe money here 
besides, sir John, for your diet, and by-drinkiugs, 
and money lent you, four and twenty pound. 

Fal. He had his part of it ; let him pay. 

Host. He? alas, he is poor; he hath nothing. 

Fal. How ! poor ? look upon his face ; What 
call you rich ? let them coin his nose, let them 
coin his cheeks ; I '11 not pay a denier. What, 
will you make a younker of me ? shall I not take 
mine ease in mine inn, but I shall have my 
pocket pi(!kcd ? I have lost a seal-ring of my 
grandfather's, worth forty mark. 

Host. I have heard the prince tell him, I know 
not how oft, that that ring was copper. 

Fal. How ! the prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup ; 
and, if he were here, I would cudgel him like a 
dog, if he would say so. 

Enter Prince Heney and Peto, marching. 
Ealstavt meets the PRiNCii:, phii/lnff on Ids 
truncheon, like a fife. 

Fal. How now, lad ? is the wind in that door, 
i' faith ? must we all march ? 

Bard. Yea, two and two, Newgate-fashion. 

Host. My lord, I pray you, hear me. 

P. Hen. What sayest thou, mistress Quickly ? 
How does thy husband ? I love him well, he is 
an honest man. 

Host. Good my lord, hear me. 

Fal. Prithee, let her alone and list to me. 

Act III ] 


(Scene 111 

P. Tien. What srivcst tliou, Jack ? 

/•'//. Tlie otlicr night I fi 11 asleep here behind 
the arras, and liad u;y pocket ; icked : this house 
is turned bawdy-house, they pick pockets. 

1\ Ih'it. "What didst tliou lose, Jack ? 

Ful. Wilt tliou believe me, Hal? three or four 
bonds of forty pound a-piece, and a seal-ring of 
iiiy grandfather's. 

P. lien. A triJle, sonic eight-penny matter. 

Hod. So I told him, my lord ; and I said I 
heard your grace say so : And, my lord, he 
speaks most vilely of you, like a foul-mouthed 
man :is he is ; and siud he would cudgel you. 

P. lien. What ! he did not ? 

lIo$l. There 's neither faith, truth, nor woman- 
hood in mc else. 

Fill. There 's no more faith in thee than in a 
stewed prune ; nor no more truth in thee than in 
21 drawn fox ; and for womanhood, maid MarLan 
may be the deputy's wile of the ward to thee. 
Gro, you thing, go. 

Iloit. Say, what thing ? what thing ? 

Fal. What thing ? why, a thing to thank Hea- 
ven on. 

Host. I am no thing to thank Heaven on, I 
would thou shouldst know it ; I am an honest 
man's wife : and, setting tliy knighthood aside, 
thou art a knave to call me so. 

Fal. Settiug thy womanhood aside, thou art a 
l)east to say otherwise. 
, Host. Say, what beast, thou knave thou ? 
' Fal. What beast? why an otter. 

P. lien. An otter, sir John ! why an otter ? 

Fal. Why ? she 's neither fish nor flesh ; a man 
knows not where to have her. 

Hod. Thou art an unjust man in saying so; 
thou or any man knows where to have me, thou 
knave thou ! 

P. lien. Thou say est true, hostess ; and he 
slanders thee most grossly. 

Hod. So he doth you, my lord ; and said this 
other day, you ought him a thousand pound. 

P. Hen. Sirrah, do I owe you a thousand 
pound ? 

Fal. A thousand pound, Hal ? a million : thy 
love is worth a million; thou owest mc thy 

Htd. Nay, my lord, he called you Jack, and 
said he would cudgel you. 
. Fal. Did I, Bardolph ? 

Banl. Indeed, sir John, you said so. 

Fal. Yea ; if he said my ring was copper. 

P. //'•//. I say, 't is copper : Darest thou be as 
good as thy word now ? 

FaL Why, Hal, thou kuowest as thou art but 
Histories. — Vol. I. P 

a man, I dare : but as thou art a prince, I fear 
thee, as I fear the roaring of the lion's whelp. 

P. Hen. And why not as the lion? 

Fui. The king himself is to be feared as the 
lion : Dost thuu think I '11 fear thee as I fear thy 
father? nay, an I do, let my girdle break ! 

P. Hen. O, if it should, how would thy guts 
fall about thy knees ! But, sirrah, there 's no room 
for faith, trutli, nor honesty, in this bosom of 
thine; it is all fdled up with guts and midrifl*. 
Charge an honest woman with picking thy 
pocket ! Why, thou whoreson, impudent, cm- 
bossed" rascal, if there were anything in thy 
pocket but tavern reckonings, memorandums of 
bawdy-houses, and one poor penny -wort li of 
sug:u"-candy, to make thee long-winded ; if tiiy 
pocket were enriched with any other injuries but 
these, I am a villain. And yet you will stand 
to it, you will not pocket up wrong : Art thou 
not ashamed ? 

Fal. Dost thou hear, Hal ? thou knowest, in 
the state of innocency, Adam fell ; and what 
should poor Jack Falstaff do, in the days of vil- 
lainy ? Thou seest I have more flesh than another 
man ; and therefore more frailty. You confess, 
then, you picked my pocket ? 

P. Hen. It appears so by the story. 

Fal. Hostess, I forgive thee : Go, make ready 
breakfast ; love thy husband, look to thy servants, 
cherish thy guests: thou shalt find mc tractable 
to any honest reason : thou seest I am pacified. 
— Still ? — Nay, prithee, be gone. [Exit Hostess. 
Now, Hal, to the news at court : For the rob- 
bery, lad, — How is that answered ? 

P. Hen. 0, my sweet beef, I must still be 
good angel to thee : — The money is paid back 

Fal. 0, I do not like that paying back, 't is a 
double labour. 

P. Hen. I am good friends with my father, 
and may do anything. 

Fal. Rob me the exchequer the first tiling thou 
doest, and do it with unwaslu'd hands too. 

Hard. Do, my lord. 

P. Hen. I have procured thee. Jack, a charge 
of foot. 

Fal. I would it had been of horse. AMierc 
shall I find one that can steal well ? O, for a 
fine tliief, of the age of two and twenty, or 
thereabouts ! I am heinously unprovided. ^Vcll, 
God be thanked for these rebels, they offend 
none but the virtuous ; I laud them, I praise 

« Kmbosied. Swollen, puffed up. In we have 
" embossed carbuncle." 


Ac7 ;rr.] 


[Scene III. 

P. Hen. Bardolph. 

Bard. ^ly lord. 

P. Hen. Go bear tliis letter to lord John of 
To my brother John ; this to my lord of West- 

morehiud. — 
Go, Pcfo, to horse, to horse; for thou and T 
Have thirty miles to ride yet ere dinner time. 
Jaelc, rjicet mc to-morrow i' the Tcmplc-hall : 
At two o'clock i'the afternoon : 

There shalt thou know thy charge ; and there 

Money, and order for their furniture. 
The land is burning ; Percy stands on high ; 
And eitlier they, or Me, must lower lie. 

[Evew/t Pkince, Peto, and Bahdolph. 
FaL Rare words ! brave world ! Hostess, my 
breakfast ; come : — 
0, I could wish this tavern were my drum. 


ISCENK T. -Liifly Moitimcr singing.] 


' ScKNE I.—" Burning cresud." 

TiiE crcBset-light set upon beacons and watch- 
towere, or carried upon a pole. It was a square 
or circular fi-amework of iron, having open ribs or 
hoops, in whiih pitched ropes or othen combustible 
materials wore bin ii.-.l. We have seen one upon 
the ancient tower of Hadley Church, near Baniet; 
and we could not help fancying that it might 
liave blazed oiit when the Lancnstiiana and the 
Yorkists fought over the undulating ground from 
St. Alban's to Rarnet Common, where the men of 
Kent un.ler Wanvick ma<le their last despei-ate 
stand. It was last lighted in the rebellion of 

' Scene I.—" Tlie goats ran from the mountains" &c. 

Malone quotes a passage from an account of an 
earthquake in CaUmia, to slmw that Shak.spere"s 
description of the effects of one of the rarer pheno- 
mena of nature was literally true : " There was a 
blow a.s if nil the artillery in the world had been 
discharged at once ; the sea retired from the town 
above two miles ; the birds flew about astonished ; 
the cattle in the fields ran cri/lng." 

'Scene I.— ' Wanton rushis." 

A pa.ssage in Eulleyn's "Bulwarke," 1*579, tells 
us iho use of rushes: "Rushes that grow upon 
dry grounds be good to strew in halls, chambers, 
an(| galleries, to walk upon ; defending apparel, as 
trains of gowns and kirtk-s, from dust." 

* Scene I.—" Our look." 
Book means charter, or deed. We find the word 

bokcland in our cnrly history. Whiter (Etymo- 
logical Dictionary, v.jI. iii , p. 153) says, the term 
Book is referred to any piece of paper, or materials, 
written on, which may form a Roll, however 
minute it may be ; and this may assi-t our lawyers 
in deciding upon those jmints which have turned 
on the original sense annexed to the word Book." 

' RcFKE I.—" Velvet guards." 

The velvet guard>! — edges of velvet — seem to 
have been a distinguishing peculiaiity of the dress 
of the London city-wives. Fynes Aforyson says, 
"at public meetings the alilermen of London wear 
scarlet gowns, and their wives a close gown of 
scarlet, with ^((a)(/« of black velvet." 

" Scene L— " 'Tis the next way to turn tailor," dc. 

Weavera and tailors were remarkable for singing 
at their work. Hotspur commen<ls his wife that 
she will not, by singing, become like a tiilor or a 
teacher of piping birds. Malvolio says, "Do you 
make an alehouse of my lady's house, that ye 
squeak out your cozier's catch sV A cozier was 
one who sews. 

' Scene lU.—" Holland of eight shillings an ell." 

In this ago of power-looms we are apt to forget 
the high price of clothing in old times, and t<i 
think that the hostess was iraposini,' upon Falstaff 
when she charge<l tlie holland of his shirt.s at 
eight shillings an ell. Stubbes, in his "Anatomy 
of Abuses," tells us that the meanest shirt cost a 
crown, — and some as much as ten pounds 


Owen Olendoweii— the " damned Glendower' 
of the king — the " great Glendower" of Hotspur — 
"he of Wales," that "swore the devil his true 
liegeman" of Falstaff, w;ia amongst the nioHt 
bold and enterprising of the warriors of his age. 
The immediate cause of his outbreak a;;ai! the 
power of Henry IV. was a quarrel with Lonl Cirey 
of Kijthyn, on the occasion of which the parlia- 
ment of Henry seems to have treated Owen with 
injustice ; but there can be no doubt that the 
great object of his ambition was to restore the in- 
dependence of Wales. In the guerilla warfare 
which he wnged .igainst Henry he was eminently 
successful, and his boast in this drama is historically 
true, that, 

P 2 

" Three times hath Henry Ilolinplirokc made hc.iil 
Against my power: thrice from the banki of Wye, 
And »andy-bi>ttomM Severn, h.ive I sent him, 
nootlc59 home, and we.ither-beaten hick." 

Shakspero has, indeed, seized, with wonderftd 
exactness, upf)n all the (Matures of his history and 
character, and of the popular Bupoi-xtitions con- 
nected with him. Tliey all belongdl to the region 
■of poetry. Glendower says. 

- " at my nativity. 

The front of heaven wa* full of fiery shapes." 

The old Chroniclers say, "the same night he was 
bom all his father's horses were foimd to stand in 
blood up to their bellies." His pretensions as a 



magician, which Shakppere has most beautifully 
connected with his enthusiastic and poetical tem- 
perament, made him a greater object of fear than 
even his undoubted skill and valour. "When the 
king pursued him into his mountains, Owen, as 
Holiushed relates, " conveyed himself out of the 
way iuto his known lurking places, and, as was 
thought, through art magic ho caused such foul 
weather of winds, tempest, rain, snow, and hail, 
to be raised for the annoyance of the king's army, 
that the like had not been heard of." His tedious 
stories to Hotspur, 

-" of the moldwarp and the ant, 

Of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies j 
And of a dragon and a finless fish, 
A clip-wing'd griffin, and a moulten raven, 
A couching lion, and a ramping cat," 

were old Welsh prophecies which the people in 
general, and very likely Glendower himself, de- 
voutly believed. According to Holiushed, it was 
upon the faith of one of tho»e prophecies in 
particular that the tripartite indenture of ]\[or- 
timer, Hotspur, and Okndower, was executed. 
" This was done (as some have said) through a 
foolish credit given to a vain prophecy, as though 

King Henry was the moldwarp, cursed of God's 
own moutli, and they three were the dragon, the 
lion, and the wolf, which should divide this realm 
between them." Glendower might probably have 

" Believed the magic wonders which he sang," 

but he was no vulgar enthusiast. He was " trained 
up in the English court," as he describes himself, 
and he was probably '• exceedingly well read," as 
Mortimer describes him, for he had been a barrister 
of the Middle Temple. When the parliament, who 
rudely dismissed his petition against Lord Grey of 
Ruthyn, refused to listen to " bare-footed black- 
guards," it cau scarcely be wondered that he should 
have raised the standard of rebellion. The Welsh 
from all parts of England, even the students of 
Oxford, crowded home to fight under the banners of 
an independent Prince of Wales. Had Glendower 
joined the Percies before the battle of Shrewsbury, 
which he was most probably unable to do, he 
might for a time have ruled a kingdom, instead of 
perishing in wretchedness and obscurity, after 
year.* of unavailing contest. 

" Lingering from sad Salopia's field, 
Keft of his aid the Percy fell." 

[Portrait of Owen Glendower from hia great seal, engraved in the Archaiologla.] 




t } 

Z. j >. ' >' » — 

II- ,. 

r. '■ 


■■^. ."•'^^*^=i^: 

[Scene II. — Road near Covfiitry., 


SCENE l.—T/te llebd Camp near Shrewsbury. 

Enter Hotspur, Worcester, and Douglas. 

Uot. Well said, my noble Scot : If speaking 
In this fine ago, were not thought flattery. 
Such attribution should the Douglas have. 
As not a soldier of this season's stamp 
Should go so general current through the world. 
By heaven, I cannot flatter ; I defy 
The tongues of soothers ; but a braver place 
In my heart's love hath no man than yourself : 
Nay, task nic to my M'ord ; a[)[)rove mc, lord. 

Duttj. Thou art the king of honour : 
No man so potent breathes upon tiie ground, 
But I will beard him. 

Uot. Do so, and 't is well : — 

Enter a Messenger, with letters. 

What letters hast thou there ? — I can but thank 

Mess. These letters come from your father, — 
Hot. Letters from him ! why conies he uot 

himself ? 
Mess. He cannot come, my lord ; he 's grievous 

Eot. 'Zouncls ! how has he the leisure to be 


, In such a jubtljng time ? Who leads iiis power:' 
I Under whose governmeut conic they along P 
I Mess. His Icttcre bear liis mind, not I, uiy 
Wor. I pritiiee tell mc, dotli he keep his bed ? 
Mess. He did, my lord, four days ere I set 
forth ; 
And at the time of my departure thence, 
He was much fcar'd by his physicians. 

Wor. I would the state of time had first been 
Ere he by sickness had been visited : 
His health was never better worth tlian now. 
Hot. Sick now ! droop now ! this sickness 
doth infect 
nic very life-blood of our enterprise : 
'T is catcliiug hither, even to our camp. 
He writes mc here, — that inward sickness — 
And that his friends by deputation could uot 
So soon be drawn; nor did he think it meet 
To lay so dangerous and dear a (rust 
On any soul rcraov'd, but on his own. 
Yet dolh he give us bold advertisement, — 
That with oar small conjunction we should on. 
To see how fortune is disnos'd fo us : 

* A'o/ /, mij lord, llie f>»)io reads not I liit mind; — tliP 
earliest qiiarto, not I mi mind. The present U the received 
reading, upon the correction of Capell. 


Act 1\.] 


[?CEKt 1. 

For, as he writes, there is no quailing now; 
Because the king is certainly possess'd 
Of all our purposes. What say you to it ? 

If'or. Your father's sickness is a maim to us. 

Hot. A perilous gash, a very limb lopp'd 
And yet, in faith, 't is not ; his present want 
Seems more than we shall find it : — Were it 

To set the exact wealth of all our states 
All at one cast ? to set so rich a main 
On the nice hazard of one doubtful hour ? 
It were not good : for therein should we read'' 
The very bottom and the soul of hope ; 
The very list, the very utmost bound 
Of all our fortunes. 

Douff. 'Faith, and so we should ; 

Wlicre now remains a sweet reversion : 
We may boldly spend upon the hope of what 
Is to come in : 
A comfort of retirement lives in this. — 

Uot. A rendezvous, a home to fly unto. 
If that the devil and mischance look big 
Upon the maidenhead of our affairs. 

Wor. But yet I would your father had been 
The quality and air'' of our attempt 
Brooks no division : It will be thought 
By some, that know not why he is away, 
That wisdom, loyalty, and mere dislike 
Of our proceedings kept the earl from hence ; 
And think, how such an apprehension 
May turn the tide of fearful faction. 
And breed a kind of question in our cause : 
For, well you know, wc of the offering side " 
Must keep aloof from strict arbitrement ; 
And stop all sight-holes, every loop, from whence 
Tlic eye of reason may pry in upon us : 
This absence of your father draws a cui-tain. 
That shews tlic ignorant a kind of fear 
Before not dreamt of. 

* Read. By rcceivinf? this word in its literal and secon- 
dary meaning the commcntarors have been mucli perplexed 
«itli tills iiassaKc. Steevens says "sight beinp necessarj' to 
reading, lo rend is here used, in Shaks])'-Te's licentious lan- 
piia;;e, for In sec." This is really most marvellous ignorance 
of our i)rirailive English ; in which to discover is a meaning 
of the word read as well understood as its peculiar meaning 
with regard to written language. "Arcde my riddle" is 
scarcely obsolete. 

'• Air. The folio heirc — the first quarto haire. 
the modern editions of Macbeth we have 


" The crown does sear mine eye-balls : and thy air, 
Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first." 

Now in the folio the air in this passage also is spelt haire. 
It seems to us that the correction is as much called for in 
the text icfore us as in Macbeth; although " hair" is re- 
tamed in most modern editions. Worcester considers that 
not only th : qualilij but the appearance of their attempt 
" brooks no division.' Air was suggested bv Boswell. 
c Offering tje/c— assailing side. 

Hot. You strain too far. 

I, rather, of his absence make this use ; — 
It lends a lustre, and more great opinion, 
A larger dare to our great enterprise, 
Than if the earl were here : for men must think 
If wc, without his Iielp, can make a head 
To push against the kingdom, with his help 
We shall o'erturu it topsy-turvy down. 
Yet all goes well, yet all our joints are whole. 

Douff. As heart can think : there is not such 
a word 
Spoke of in Scotland as this term of fear.'' 

Enter Sir Bichaed Vernon. 

Hot. My cousin Vernon! welcome, by my 

Vcr. Pray God, my news be worth a welcome, 
The carl of Westmoreland, seven thousand 

Is marcliing hitherwards ; with him, prince John. 

Hot. No harm : What more ? 

Vcr. And further, I have loarn'd. 

The king himself in person hath set forth. 
Or hitherwards intended speedUy, 
With strong and mighty preparation. 

Hot. He shall be welcome too. Where is his 
The nimble-footed mad-cap prince of Wales, 
And his comrades, that daiT'd the world aside, 
And bid it pass ? 

Ver. All furnisli'd, all in arms : 

All plumed, hkc cstridgcs that with the wind 
Bated, — like eagles having lately bath'd;'' 
Glittering in golden coats, like images ; 
As full of spirit as the month of May, 

" Term of fear. So the first quarto; the folio dream oj 

1' This passage lias always been given thus, since the 
time of Johnson : 

" All furiiish'd, all in arms, 
-Ml plum'd like estrid^'es that jving the wind ; 
Hated like eagles having lately batli'd." 

Johnson substituted inng for with, the ancient reading. But 
the passage thus changed has become even more perplexed 
and contradictory. We have ventured to restore wilh, and 
to change the ])unctuation. Tlie meaning appears to us to 
be this : — the prince and his comrades all furnish'd, all in 
arms, are plumed like estridges {falcons, not ostriches) that 
ivilh the wind bated, — (to bate is to swoop upon the quarry, 
a term of falconry)— like eagles having lately bath'd. Their 
plumes, their caparisons, are as smooth as the unruflled 
feathers of the hawk that flies with the wind upon his prey; 
— as brilliant as the eagles thathave just di])ped their wings 
in the crystal waters of the mountain tarn. The Cambridge 
Editors say — " the phrase ' wing the wind,' seems to apply 
to ostriches (for such is unquestionably the meaning of 
'estridges ') less than to any other birds." We have said 
that estridges arc falcons, and we support our opinion by a 
passage in which Shakspere, describing Love, being " frighted 
out of fear," 

" The dove will peck the estridge; " 
unquestionably the falcon and not the ostrich is here 



[SCIKE 11. 

:\jid gorgeous as the suu at midsummer ; 
AVantoa as youthful goats, wild as young bulls. 
I saw young Iliurv, with his beaver on," 
His euisses ou his thighs, gallantly arm'd. 
Rise from the ground like fcather'd Mercury, 
And vaulted with such case into his seat 
As if an angel dropjj'd down from the clouds. 
To turn and wind a fiery Tcgasus, 
And witch the world with noble horsemanship. 
Uul. No more, no more ; worse thiui the sun 
in ^larch. 
This praise doth nourish agues. Let them come ; 
They come like sacrifices in their trim, 
iVnd to the fire-ey'd maid of smoky war, 
All hot, and bleeding, will we ofTer them : 
The mailed Mars shall ou his altar sit. 
Up to the cars iu blood. I am on fire, 
To liear this rich reprisal is so nigh. 
And yet not ours : — Come, let me take my horse,'' 
Who is to bear me, like a thunderbolt, 
.\gainst the bosom of the prince of Wales : 
Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse, 
Meet, and ne'er part, till one drop down a 

corse. — 
0, that Gleudowcr were come ! 

J^er. There is more news : 

I leam'd in Worcester, as I rode along. 
He cannot draw his power this fourteen days. 
Doug. That *s the worst tidbgs that I hear of 

Wor. Ay, by my faith, that bears a frosty 

Hot. What may the king's whole battle reach 

unto ? 
Ver. To thirty thousand. 
IIol. Forty let it be ; 

My father and Glcndowcr being both away, 
The powers of us may serve so great a day. 
Come, let us take *■■ a muster speedily : 
Doomsday is near ; die all, die merrily. 

Doug. Talk not of dying ; I am out of fear 
Of death, or death's hand, for this one half year. 


» Benter. Tliis. wliich is a part of the lu-Iinct, In often 
uicd to express a helmet generally. It is so used in Richard 

" What is my bearer easier than it was." 
But in the folIowinR passape from Henry IV., I'art II., wo 
liave the word used fur a part of the helmet, as it also is in 

" Their armed slaves in charf^c, their bcnrrr$ down." 

•> Take mil hone — is the rending of the folio. The first 
two quartos have tatte. The word was used (but rarely) in 
the sense of try. 

« Take. All the old copies read "lake a muster;" — 
modern editions " mate a niu«tcr." Hotspur cajrcrly inquires 
as to the numher of the king's forces, — and thin desires to 
take an account — a muster-roll — of his own. He would not 
wish to moA-e a muster — to .isscmble his trcops— to collect 
them together— for they were all with him ; but he desires 
to know the exact number of "the powers of Ui" whiili 
are to oppose the king's " thirty thousand." 

SCENE II — A public lioad near Coventry. 

Filler Ealstafp and Baudolpu. 

Fal. Bardolph, get thee before to Coventry ; 
fill me a bottle of sack ; our soldiers shall maieii 
through: we '11 to Sutton-Cop-hill' to-night. 

Jitird. Will you give me money, eajjlain i* 

Fal. Lay out, lay out. 

Hard. This bottle makes an angel. 

Fal. An if it do take it for thy labour ; and if 
it make twenty take them all, I '11 answer the 
coinage. Bid my lieutenant Peto meet mo at 
the town's cud. 

Bard. I will, captain : farewell. [ZlriV. 

Fal. If I be not ashamed of my soldiers I am 
a soueed gurnet. I have misused the king's 
press damnably. I have got, in exchange of a 
hundred and fifty soldiers, three hundred and 
odd pounds. I press me none but good house- 
holders, yeomen's sons : inquire me out con- 
tracted bachelors, such as had been asked twice 
on the bans ; such a commodity of warm slaves 
as had as lief hear the denl as a drum ; such as 
fear the report of a caliver worse than a struck 
fowl, or a hurt wild-duck. I pressed me none 
but such toasts and butter,'' with hearts in their 
bellies no bigger than pins' heads, and they 
have bought out their sen'iccs ; and now my 
whole charge consists of ancients, corporals, 
lieutenants, gentlemen of companies, slaves as 
ragged as Lazarus in the painted cloth, where 
the glutton's dogs licked his sores : and such a.s, 
indeed, were never soldiers ; but discarded unjust 
serving-men, younger sons to younger brothers, 
revolted tapsters, and ostlers trade-fallen; the 
cankers of a calm world and a long peace ; ten 
times more dishonourable ragged than an old 
faced" ancient : and such have I, to fill up the 
rooms of them that have bought out their ser- 
vices, that you wouhl think that I had a hun- 
dred and fifty tattered prodigals, lately come 
from swine-keeping, from eating draft' and husks. 
A mad fellow met mc on the way, and told me 
I had unloaded all the gibbets, and pressed the 
dead bodies. No eye hath seen such scare- 
crows. 1 '11 not march through Coventry with 
them, that's flat;— Nay, niul the villains march 
wide betwixt the legs, as if they had gyves ou ; 

» Sullun Cop-hill. So all the olil copies rend. Tlic 

V.iriorum edition*, "Sutton Coldneld." We restored tlio 

old reading in our first edition. Colfield was suggested by 

Hanmcr, but the Cnmbridgc editor! adopt " Co'Ql," as a 

{ ciintraction of Culdlield. 

1> Toasts anil liullrr. .\rcording to I'ynes Moryson, the 
I " lyonddncrs, nnii all williin the sound of Dow bell, are ir 
' reproach called cocknics, and ralert of bullercd loajlt." 
c Old faced. An old, patched up standard. 

' 213 

Act IV.] 


[Scene IU. 

for, indeed, I Lad the most of them out of prison. 
There 's but a shirt and a half in all my com- 
pany ; and the half-shirt is two napkins tacked 
together, and thrown over the shoulders like a 
herald's eoat without sleeves ; and the shirt, to 
say tlic truth, stolen from my host at Saint Al- 
ban's, or the red-nose uinkecper of Daveutry : 
But that 's all one ; they '11 hud linen enough on 
every hedge. 

Enter Peince Henry and Westmoreland. 

P. Uen. How now, blown Jack ? liow now, 
quilt ? 

Fal. What, Hal ? how now, mad wag ? what 
a devU dost tliou in Warwickshire ? — My good 
lord of Westmoreland, I cry you mercy ; I 
thought your honour had already been at 

West. 'Faith, sir John, 't is more than time 
that I were there, and you too ; but my ])0wcrs 
arc there already : The king, I can tell you, 
looks for us all ; we must away all to-night." 

Fal. Tut, never fear me ; I am as vigilant as 
a cat to steal cream. 

P. lien. I think to steal cream indeed ; for thy 
theft hath already made thee butter. But tell me. 
Jack ; Whose fellows are these that come after? 

b'al. Mine, Hal, mine. 

P. Hen. I did never see such pitiful rascals. 

Fal. Tut, tut; good enough to toss:^ food for 
powder, food for powder ; they 'U fill a pit as well 
as better : tush, man, mortal men, mortal men. 

West. Ay, but, sir John, mcthinks they are 
exceeding poor and bare ; too beggarly. 

Fal. 'Eaitli, for their poverty, I know not 
where they had that : and for their bareness, I 
am sure they never learned that of me. 

P. lien. No, I '11 be sworn ; unless you call 
three fingers on the ribs, bare. But, sirrah, 
make liastc : Percy is already in the field. 

Fal. What, is tlic king encamped ? 

West. He is, sir Jolin; I fear we shall stay 
too long. 

Fal. Well, 
To the latter end of a fray, and the bcguming 

of a feast, 
Fits a dull fighter, and a keen guest. [JExeunt. 

SCENE m. — The lichel Camp near Shrewsbury. 

Fnter Hotspur, Worcester, Douglas, and 

Bot. We '11 fight with him to-night. 

'^To-nigM. So the folio. The qu.irtos riH nia///. 
* roij— toss upon a pike. 


Wor. It may not be. 

Long. You give him then advantage. 
Ver. Not a whit. 

Hot. Why say you so ? looks he not for sup- 


Ver. So do we. 

Hot. His is certain, ours is doubtful. 

Wor. Good cousin, be advis'd ; stir not to- 

Ver. Do not, my lord. 

I)ov.(j. You do not counsel well ; 

You speak it out of fear and cold heart. 

Ver. Do me no slander, Douglas : by my life, 
(And I dare M'ell maintain it with my life,) 
If well-respeeted honour bid me on, 
I hold as little counsel with weak fear 
As you, my lord, or any Scot that this day 

lives : — ^ 
Let it be seen to-morrow in the battle 
Which of us fears. 

Bong. Yea, or to-night. 

Ver. Content. 

Hot. To-night, say I. 

Ver. Come, come, it may not be. 

I wonder much, being men of such great lead- 
ing as you are,** 
That you foresee not what impediments 
Drag back oui' expedition : Certain horse 
Of my cousin Vernon's are not yet come up : 
Your uncle Worcester's horse came but to-day ; 
And now their pride and mettle is asleep, 
Their courage with hard labour tame and dull. 
That not a horse is half the lialf of himself. 

Hot. So are tlie horses of the enemy 
In general, journey-bated, and brought low ; 
The better part of ours are full of rest. 

Wor. The number of the king execedeth ours : 
For God's sake, cousin, stay till all come in. 

\The trumpet sounds a parley. 

Enter Sir Walter Blunt. 

Blunt. I come with gracious ofi'ers from the 
If you vouchsafe nic hearing and respect. 

Hot. Welcome, sir Walter Blunt ; And 'would 
to God 
You were of our determination ! 
Some of us love you well : and even those some 
Envy your gi-eat deservings and good name. 
Because you are not of our quality,'' 
But stand against us like an enemy. 

1 Thn day lives. So all tlic old copies. Some inodrrn 
editions omitted this day. 

•' As yon are. These words, which nre in all the old 
copies, were also omitted in some modern editions. 

c Quality — of tlie same kind with us. 

Act IV.] 



Blunt. :\sA Heaven defend but still I should 

stand so, 
So long as, out of limit and true rule. 
You stand against anointed majesty ! 
But to my charge. — The king liath sent to know 
The nature of your griefs; and wliereupun 
You conjure from the breast of eivil peaee 
Sueh bold hostility, teaching liis duteous land 
Audacious cruelty : If that the king 
llave any way your good ileserts forgot, 
Which he coufesscth to be manifold. 
He bids you name your griefs ;" and, with all 

You shall have your desires, with interest ; 
And pardon absolute for yourself, and these. 
Herein mi>led by your suggestion. 

Hot. The king is kind ; and, well we know, 

the king 
Knows at what time to promise, when to pay. 
My fatlier, and my uncle, and myself. 
Did give him that same royiUty he wears : 
^\jid, — when he was not six and twenty strong. 
Sick in the world's regard, wretched and low, 
A poor unminded outlaw sneaking home, — 
My father gave him welcome to the shore : 
And, — when he heard him swear and vow to 

He came but to be duke of Lancaster, 
To sue his livery,'' and beg his peace ; 
With tears of iunoecney, and terms of zeal, — 
My father, in kind heart and pity mov'd. 
Swore him assistance, and perform'd it too. 
Now, when the lords and barons of the realm 
Perceiv'd Northumberkmd did lean to him. 
The more and less came in with cap and knee ; 
Met him in boroughs, cities, villages ; 
Attended him on bridges, stood in lanes. 
Laid gifts before him, proffer'd him their oaths. 
Grave him their heirs ; as pages follow'd him. 
Even at the heels, in golden multitudes. 
He presently, — as greatness knows itself, — 
Steps me a little higher than his vow 
Made to my father, while his blood was poor, 
Upon the naked shore at llavenspurg ; 
And now, forsooth, takes on him to reform 
Some certain edicts, and some strait decrees, 
That lay too heavy on the commonwealth : 
Cries out upon abuses, seems to weep 
Over his country's wrongs ; and, l)y this face. 
This seeming brow of justice, did he win 
The hearts of all that he did angle for. 
Proceeded further ; cut me off the heads 
Of all the favourites, that the absent king 

' Griefs — grievances. 

b Hit lirery. See Richard II., lUustrationi of .\ct 11. 

In deptutation left behind him here, 
AV'iieu he was jjersonal in the Irish war. 

Uliiiil. Tut, 1 caine not to hear this. 

llut. Then, to the point. 

In short time after, he depos'd the king ; 
Soon after that, depriv'd him of his Ufc ; 
And, in the neck of that, tiusk'd * the whole state : 
To make that worse, sufler'd ]xi^ kiitsnuui March 
(Who is, if every owmr wire well plai'd. 
Indeed his king,) to be engiig'd '' iu Wales. 
There without ransom to lie forft-ited : 
Disgrac'd me in my happy victories ; 
Sought to entrap me Ijy intclligenee ; 
Hated my uncle from the council-board; 
In rage dismiss'd my father from the court ; 
Broke oath on oath, committed wrong on wrong : 
And, in conclusion, drove us to seek out 
This head of safety ; and, withal, to pry 
Into his title, the which we find 
Too iudiiect for long continuance. 

Blutif. Shall I return this answer to the king ? 

Hot. Kot so, sir Walter; we'll withdraw 
Go to the king ; and let there be impawn'd 
Some surety for a safe return again. 
And in the morning early shall my uncle 
Bring him our purposes : and so farewell. 

Blunt. I would yon would accept of grace 
and love. 

Hot. And't may be, so we shall. 

Blunt. Tray heaven you do ! 


SCENE IV.— York. ./ Room in the Arch- 
bishop'* House. 

Enter the Archbishop o/* York, and a Geiy.leman. 

Arch. Hie, good sir Michael ; bear this scaled 
With winged haste, to the lord marshal ; 
This to my cousin Scroop ; and :dl the rest 
To whom they are directed : if you knew 
How much they do import, you would make 

Gent. My good lord, 
I guess their tenor. 

Arch. Like en(mgh you do. 

To-morrow, good sir Michael, is a day 
Wherein the fortune of ten thousand men 
Must 'bide the touch : For, sir, at Shrewsbury, 

» Ttuk'l. A ti»x "- •.... ...iK T /„.; 

b Engay'd. So tl lU corrrcttti it 10 

eneag'd. To be fny ^^ ■ ■, uve retained as a 


e Brirf—A letter. Brere U the old woT'' tot ttie klnpS 
writ or letter, to the •heriff 


Act IV.] 


[SCilNE IV. 

As I am truly given to imdcrstaiid, 
The kiug, with mighty and quick-raised power, 
Meets with lord Harry, and I fear, sir Mi- 
chael, — 
What with the sickness of Northumberland, 
(Whose power was in the first proportion,) 
And what with Owen Glcndower's absence 

(Who with them was a rated sinew " too. 
And comes not in, o'er-ruled by prophecies,) — 
I fear the power of Percy is too weak 
To wage an instant trial with the king. 

Gent. ^Vhy, my good lord, you need not fear ; 
there's Douglas, 
And lord Mortimer. 
Arch. No, Mortimer is not there. 

Gent. But there is Mordakc, Ycrnon, lord 
Harry Percy, 
And there's my lord of Worcester; and a head 

» A rated sinew. So tlic quartos; the folio rated firmly. 

Of gallant warriors, noble gentlemen. 

Arch. And so there is : but yet the king- Lai b 

The special head of all the land together ; — 
The prince of Wales, lord John of Lancaster, 
The noble Westmoreland, and warlike Blunt ; 
And many more corrivals, and dear men 
Of estimation and command in arms. 

Gent. Doubt not, my lord, lie shall be well 

Arch. I hope no less, yet needful 't is to fear ; 
And, to prevent the worst, sir ]\Iichacl, speed : 
For, if lord Percy thrive not, ere the kiug 
Dismiss his power, he means to visit us. 
For he hath heard of oui' confederacy. 
And 'tis but wisdom to make strong against 

Therefore, make haste : I must go write again 
To other friends ; and so farewell, sir Michael. 

\_E.rcuHt severally. 





-T^^'^rik .. 


[Ariny before Shrew sburj.. 


SCENE l.—T/ie King'* Camp near Shrewsbury. 

Enier KiXG Henrt, PiiiNCE Henry, Prince 

John of Lancaster, Sir Waltek Blunt, and 

Sir John F^u^taff. 

A'. Hen. How bloodily the suu begins to peer 
Above yon busky* liill ! * the day looks pale 
At his distemperaturc. 

J'. Hen. The southern wind 

Doth play the trumpet to his purposes ; 
And, by his hollow whjstling in the leaves. 
Foretells a tempest and a blustering day. 

A'. Hen. Then with the loscj"* let it sym- 
pathize ; 
For nothing can seem foul to those that win. 

Trumpet. Enter "Worcester and Vernon. 

How now, my lord of Worcester ? 't is not well, 
Tiiat you and I should meet upon such terms 
As now we meet : You have dceeiv'd our trust ; 

« Dusky — bf.»l.y, wojily. 

And made us dofi our easy robes of peace, 
To crush our old limbs in ungentle steel : 
This is not well, my lord, this is not well. 
What say you to it ? will you ag-ain unknil 
This churlish knot of all-abhorred war ? 
And move in that (jbedicnt orb ag-ain, 
Where you did give a fair and milnral light ; 
And be no more an cxhal'd meteor, 
A prodisry of fear, and a portent 
Of bruaehed mischief to the uulwrn times? 

IFor. Hear me, my liege :' 
For mine own part, I ■ " ' '1 contcul 
To entertain the lag-t : 
AVith quiet hours ; for, I do protest, 
I have not sought the day of this dislike. 

A'. Jfen. You have not souglit it ! how rnnir-. 
it then? 

/>//. Rebellion lay in his way and he found il. 

/'. IfcH. Feacc, chcwct,' peace. 


of • rJialtcrinit bird— ccr- 
of minced meal 

ACT v.] 


[Scem; 1. 

TFor. It plcas'd your majesty, to turn your 
Of favour from myself, aud nil onr liousc ; 
And yet I must remember you, my lord, 
Wc Avere the first and dearest of your friends. 
For you, my staff of office did I break 
Jn Richard's lime ; and posted day and night 
To meet you ou the way, and kiss your hand, 
When yet you were in place aud in account 
Nothing so strong and fortunate as I. 
It was myself, my brother, and his son. 
That brought you home, and boldly did outdare 
The danger of the tune : You swore to us, — 
And you did swear that oath at Doncaster, — 
That you did nothing purpose 'gainst the state ; 
Nor claim no further than your ucw-fall'u right, 
The seat of Gaunt, dukedom of Lancaster : 
To this we swarc our aid. But, in short space. 
It rain'd down fortune showering on your head ; 
And such a flood of greatness fell on you, — 
What with our help ; what with the absent king ; 
What with the injuries of a wanton time; 
The seeming sufferances that you had borne ; 
A-ud the coutraiious winds, that held the king 
So long in his unlucky Irish wars. 
That all in England did repute him dead, — ■ 
And, from this swarm of fair advantages. 
You took occasion to be quickly woo'd 
To gripe the general sway into your hand -. 
Forgot your oath to us at Doncaster ; 
And, being fed by us, you used us so 
As that ungentle guU*^ the cuckoo's bird 
Uscth the sparrow :^ did oppress our nest; 
Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk. 
That even our love durst not come near your 

For fear of swallowing ; but with nimble Ming 
Wc were cuforc'd, for safety sake, to fly 
Out of your sight, and raise this present head : 
Whereby wc stand opposed by such means 
As you yourself have forg'd against yourself; 
By unkind usage, dangerous countenance. 
And violation of all faith and troth 
Sworn to us in your younger enterprise. 

A'. Flen. These things, indeed, you have arti- 
Proclaim'd at market-crosses, read in churches, 
To face the garment of rebellion 
With some fine colour, that may please the eye 

" Gull. Mr. Grant Wliitc points out that in Wilbraliam's 
Cheshire Glossarj-, " aU nestling birds in quite an unfledged 
state are caUcd gttlls in that county." Die callow cuckoo, 
who finally turns out the sparrows, is an "ungentle gull." 
The word may have a special meaning referring to the 
rorncily of the " cuckoo's bird " — as the seagull is supposed 
to be so called from rjulo — gulosus. 

b Arliciilnte'l— exhibited in articles. 

Of fickle changelings and poor discontents. 
Which gape, aud rub the elbow, at the news 
Of hurlybiuly innovation : 
Aud never yet did insurrection want 
Such water-colours to impaint his cause ; 
Nor moody beggars, starving for a time 
Of pcUmell havock and confusion. 

P.IIcii. In both our armies there is manv a 

Shall pay full dearly for this encounter. 
If once tliey join in trial. Tell your nephew. 
The prince of Wales doth join with all the 

In praise of Henry Percy : By my hopes, — 
This present enterprise set off his head, — • 
I do not think a braver gentleman, 
]\Iore active-valiant, or more valiant-young, 
More daring, or more bold, is now alive. 
To grace this latter age with noble deeds. 
For my part, I may speak it to my shame, 
I have a truant been to chivalry ; 
And so, I hear, he doth account mc too : 
Yet this before my father's majesty, — 
I am content that he shall take the odds 
Of his great name and estimation ; 
And will, to save the blood ou either side. 
Try fortune with him in a single fight. 

K. Hen. Aud, prince of Wales, so dare we 

venture thee. 
Albeit, considerations infinite 
Do make against it : — No, good Worcester, no. 
We love our people well ; even those we love, 
That are misled upon your cousin's part : 
Aud, will they take the offer of our grace, 
Both he, and they, and you, yea, every man, 
Shall be my friend again, aud I '11 be his : 
So tell your cousin, and bring me word 
What he will do :— But if he will not yield. 
Rebuke and diead correction wait on us. 
And they shall do their office. So, be gone ; 
We will not now be troubled with reply : 
We offer fair, take it advisedly. 

[Exeunt WoiiCESTEK and "Vernon. 
. P. Hen. It will not be accepted, ou my life : 
The Douglas aud the Hotspur both together 
Arc confident tngainst tlie world in arms. 

7v'. Hen. Hence, therefore, every leader to hif 

charge ; 
For, on their answer, will we set on them : 
And God befriend us, as our cause is just ! 

\_E.vetuit King, Blunt, and Pkince John, 
Fal. Hal, if thou see me down in. the battle, 
and bestride me, so ; 't is a point of friendship. 

P. Hen. Nothing but a colossus can do tlice 
that friendship. Say thy prayers, and favewelL 

Act v.] 


[Scisc II. 

Fal. I would it were bed-time, Ual, aud all 

P. Hen. Why, thou owest lleaven a death. 


Fal. 'Tis not due yet; I would be loath to 
pay him before his day. What need I be so 
forward with him that calls not on me ? Well, 
*t is no matter ; Honour pricks me on. Yea, 
but how if honour prick me olT when I come 
on? how then ? Can honour set to a leg ? No. 
Or an arm ? No. Or take away the grief of a 
wound ? No. Honour hath no skill in surcrery 
then? No. What is honour ? A word. What is 
that word, honour ? * Air. A trim reckoning ! — 
\\lio hath it ? He that ilied o' Wednesday. Doth 
he feel it ? No. Doth he hear it ? No. Is it 
insensible then? Yea, to the dead. But will it 
not live with the living ? No. Wliy ? Detraction 
will not suffer it : — therefore, I '11 none of it : 
Honour is a mere scutcheon, and so ends my 
catechism. [Exit. 

SCENE U.— 77;e Rebel Camp. 
Enter WoRCESTEB, and Verkox. 

fFor. O, no, my nephew must not know, sir 
The liberal kind offer of the king. 

Ver. 'T were best he did. 

Wor. Then are we all undone. 

It is not possible, it cannot be. 
The king would keep his word in loving us : 
He will suspect us still, and find a time 
To punish this offence in other faults : 
Suspicion,** all our lives," shall be stuck full of 

eyes : 
For treason is but trusted like the fox ; 
^Vho, ne'er so tame, so cherish' d, aud lock'd up, 
Will have a wild trick of his ancestors. 
Look how we can, or sad, or merrily. 
Interpretation will misquote our looks ; 
/Vnd we shall feed like oxen at a stall, 
The better cherish'd still the nearer deatlu 
My nephew's trespass may be well forgot. 
It hath the excuse of youth, and heat of 

And an adopted name of privilege, — 
A hare-brain'd Hotspur, govern'd by a spleen : 
All his offences live upon my head. 

» The earliest quarto re?Js — "What i« in that word, 
honour ? AVhat is that honour \ " We follow the folio and 
the latter quartoj. The addition of the lirst quarto teems 

b Suspicion — all the old copies read zuppoiUion. 
All OUT lives. So the old copies. 

And on his father's ; — we did train him on ; 
And, hi ■ ''-•'.:'■ u>, 

^\'(', a.> r ;ul. 

Therefore, good cousin, let not Hurry know. 
In any easo, the offer of the king. 

Ver. Deliver what you w ill, I '11 say 't is so. 
Here comes your cousin. 

Knler liuTsruii 

\s ; and Ulliccrs and 

Uut. My unci- ■ - ' rn u : Dclivtr up 
My lord of Wt - ul. — Uuclc, what niws ? 

Wor. The king will bid you biittle presently. 

Doiif/. Dify him by the lord of W' " uid. 

Hot. Lord Douglas, go you and ti.. .. 

Douf/. Marry, and shall, and very willi 


Wor. There is no seeming mercy in the king. 

Hot. Did you beg any ? God forbid ! 

Wor. I told him gently of our grievances, 
Of his oath-breaking; which he mended thus, — 
By now forswearing that he is forsworn : 
He calls us rebels, traitors ; and ^vill scourge 
With haughty arms this hateful name in us. 

Re-enter Docglas. 

Doug. \Ta\, gentlemen ; to arms ! for I have 
A brave defiance in King Henry's leeth, 
ibid Westmoreland, that was engag'd,*" did bear 


^\Tiieh Cinnot chose but bring him quickly on. 
Wor. The Prince of Wales stepp'd forth 
before the king, 

.Ynd, nephew, ehalleng'd you to single fight. 
Hot. 0, 'would the quarrel lay upon our 
heads ; 

And that no man might draw short breath to- 

But I and' Harry Monmouth! Til me, IcU 

Howshew'd his tasking ? ' sccm'd it in contempt ? 
Fer. No, by my soul ; I never iu my life 

Did hear a challenge urg'd more modestly, 

Unless a brother should a brother dare 

To gentle cxer ' 

He gave you ai. . ■ ; 

Trimm'd up your praises with a princely tongue ; 

Spoke your di' Ic; 

M-^'-— ■•■•, - .•■'J9«. 

]j. praise, valued with you: 

.\nd, which became him like a prince indeed, 

• Talking. So 
k engay'tl—h*. 

. irto. The folio talking. 

Act v.] 


IscENE in. 

He made a lilushing cital of liimsolf ; 

And chid his truant youth witli such a grace 

As if he master'd there a double spirit, 

Of tcacliing, and of learning, instantly. 

Tlicre did he pause. But let me tell the world, — 

If he outlive the envy of this day, 

England did never owe so sweet a hope, 

So much misconstrued in his wantonness. 

1I(jt. Cousin, I think, thou art enamoured 
Upon his follies ; never did I hear 
Of any prince so v.- ild at liberty : ^ 
But, be he as he will, yet once ere night 
I will embrace him with a soldier's arm, 
That he shall shrink under my coiu'tesy. 
Arm, arm, with speed : And, fellows, soldiers, 

Better consider what you have to do, 
Than I, that have not well the gift of tongue, 
Can lift your blood up with persuasion. 

Enter a Messenger. 

"Mess. My lord, here are letters for yon. 

Hot. I cannot read them now. — 
gentlemen, the time of life is short ; 
To spend tliat shortness basely v/erc too long. 
If life did ride upon a dial's point, 
Still ending at the arrival of an liour. 
And if we live, we live to tread on kings ; 
If die, brave death, when princes die with us ! 
Now for our consciences, — the arms are fair, 
\Vhcn the intent for bearing them is just. 

Enter another Messenger. 

Mess. My lord, prepare ; the king comes on 

Hot. I thank him, that he cuts me from my 

For I profess not talking; only this, — 
Ijct each man do his best : and here I draw a 

AVhose worthy temper 1 intend to stain'' 
With the best blood that I can meet withal 
In the adventure of this perilous day. 

ft Al lihertij. Tlie reading of tlie old editions, except tlie 
first four quartos, which give a liberlie. We cannot think 
that Johnson's interj'retation is correct: — "of any prince 
that played such pranks, and was not confined as a mad- 
man." Hotspur means to say that he never knew of any 
prince so wild of his own unrestrained will. Capel suggested 
a lihertine, which some have adopted. 

'' We find the word ivorlhy only in the folio. We have 
many other examples in this pby of lines such as the 
precedinft— having' twelve syllables; and it appears to us 
that all the editorial attempts to get rid of what are called 
the redundant syllables are sad perversions of ingenuity, 
which emasculate the text, and destroy the intentions of tlie 
author. To those who think that the earlier commentators 
have, in what they call settling the text, freed it from 

Now, — Esperancc ! '^ — Percy ! — and set on. — 

Sound all the lofty instruments of war, 

And by that music let us all embrace : 

For, heaven to earth, some of us never shall 

A second time do such a courtesy. 

[_Tke trumpets sound. They embrace, mid, exeunt, 

SCENE 111.— Flam near Shrewsbury. 

E.xcursions, and parties fighting. Alarmn to 
the battle. Then enter Dougl.\s and Blitnt, 

Blunt. "What is thy name, that in the battle 
Thou crossest me? Wliat honour dost thou 

Upon my head ? 

JJnng. Know then, my name is Douglas ; 

And I do haunt thee in the battle thus, 
Because some tell me that thou art a king. 
Blunt. They tell thee tnie. 
Doug. The k)rd of Stafford dear to-day halh 
Thy likeness ; for, instead of thee, king Harry, 
This sword hath ended him : so shall it thee. 
Unless thou yield thee as a prisoner. 
Blunt. I was not born to yield, thou haughty 
Scot ; ^ 
And thou sluilt find a king that will revenge 
Lord Stafford's death. 

[Thei/ fight, and Blunt is slain. 

Enter Hotspur. 

Hot. Douglas, hadst thou fonglit at Holme- 
don thus, 
I never had triiimph'd upon a Scot. 

Dong. All 's done, all 's won ; here breathless 
lies the king. 

Hot. Where? 

7^0?/^. Here. 

the corruptions of the players, we would commend a careful 
examination of the following lines : — 

" He hath wrong'd my sister, still he is my brother; 

He hath wrong'd his people, still he is their sovereign." 

" In the exercise of your inquisitive function." 

The lines are Byron's, and have been corrupted neither by 
players nor printers. When will sinie new Steevens come 
with his " squire" and his numeration-table, and oblige us 

My sister he hath wrong'd, he is my brother — 
His people he hath wrong'd, he is tlieir king — 
In the discharge of your inquiring function? 

" E.ipcrancc. See Note to Act II. Sc. III. 
b So the folio. Quarto?, 

" I was not born a yielder, thou proud Scot.'' 

A.T V 1 


(SceNF IV. 

ITot. This, Doui»!as ? no, I know this face 
full well :' 
A gallant knight he was, his name was Blunt ; 
Somblubly furuish'd like the king himself. 

Douff. A fool go with thy soul, whither it 



V borrow'J title hast thou bought too dear. 
Why didst thou tell nic that thou wcrt a king ? 

Hot. The king hath many niarchin? in his 

Doug. Now, by my sword, I will kill all his 
coats ; 
I '11 murder all his wardrobe, piece by piece, 
Until I meet the king. 

Hot. Up and away ; 

Our soldiers stand fidl fairly for the day. [Exeunt. 

Other Alarums. Enter Falst.\.ff. 

Fat. Though I could 'scape shot-free at Lon- 
don, I fear the shot here : here 's no scoring, but 
upon the pate. — Soft ! who are you ? Sir ^^' alter 
Blunt ; — there 's honour for you : Here 's no 
vanity ! I am as hot as molten load, and as 
hcavv too : Heaven keep lead out of me ! I need 
no more weight than mine own bowels. — I have 
led my raggamuflBns where they are peppered: 
there 's not three of my hundred and fifty left 
alive ; and they are for the town's end, to beg 
during life. But who comes here ? 

Enter Pbixce Henry. 

P. Hen. What, stand'st iiiou idle here ? lend 
me thy sword : 
Many a nobleman lies stark and stiff 
Under the hoofs of vaunting enemies, 
■\VTiose deaths arc unrcvcng'd : Prithee, lend nic 
thy sword. 

Fdl. O Hal, I prithee, give me leave to breathe 
awhile. — Turk Gregory*' never did such deeds in 
anns as I have done this day. I have paid Percy, 
I have made him sure. 

P. Hen. Ho is, indeed : and linng to kill thee. 
I prithee, lend me tiiy sword. 

Fat. Nay, Hal, if Percy be alive thou getfst 
not my sword; but take my pistol, if thou wilt. 

P. Hen. Give it me : What, is it in the case ? 

Fat. Ay, Hal ; 't is hot, 't is hot ; there 's that 
will sack a city. 

[The PuiNCE drairs out a Ijottle rf sack. 

P. Hen. What, is't a time to jest and dally 
now ? [Throvs it at him, and exit. 

Fat. If Percy be alive I '11 pierce liim, if he 

a A fool. The early copies reatl, .Ih.fiol! 
b Turk Grtgory. Pop« Gregory llie Seve nlh. 

do come in my way, so : ' if he do not, if I come 

] in his willingly, let him make a carbonado'' of me. 

, I like not such griiniing honour as sir Walter 

hath : Give me life : which if I can save, so ; i( 

not, honour comes unlocked for, and there 's an 

' end. [Exit. 

SCENE l\ .—Another part of the Field. 

Alarums, Excursions. Enter the KiSO, Prince 
Henky, Prince John, and Westmoreland. 

A'. Hen. I prithee, 
Harry, withdraw thyself ; thou bleed'st too much ; 
— Lord John of Lancaster go you with him. 

P. John. Not I, my lord, unless I did bleed 

P. Hen I beseech your majesty, make up. 
Lest your retirement do amaze your friends. 

K. Hen. I will do so : — 
My lord of AVestmoreland lead him to his tent. 

TFenf. Come, my lord, I will lead you to 
your tent. 

P. Heti. Lead me, my lord ? I do not need 
your help : 
And heaven forbid a shallow scratch sliould drive 
The prince of Wales from such a field as this , 
"Where stain'd nobility lies trodden on, 
And rebels' arms triumph in massacres ! 

P. John. We breathe too long : — Come, cousi.i 
Our duty this way lies ; for God's sake come. 
[Exeunt PuiNCE JoHN aW Westmoukt-and. 

P. Hen. By heaven thou hast deceiv'd mc, 
I did not think thee lord of such a spirit : 
Before, 1 lov'd thee as a brother, John ; 
But now, I do respect thee as my soul. 

K. Hni. 1 saw him hold lord Percy at the 
With lustier maintenance than I did look for 
Of such an ungrown warrior. 

P. Hen. O, this boy 

Lends metal to us all. [Exit. 

Alarums. Enter Douglas. 

Doug. Another King! they grow like Hydras' 
heails : 

Wc h:ivr 
lh.-it flu- 

• // Prr 

cf thi« p.i 

action of 1 . •• ■ r ;• 

hit sword '^ 

poet wa« ! ■'" 

a ierioui ct7TTioioi:y— ■■ Firrey 4 i^itttfa»<iu oculum rrgtt 
Scotorum " Why not? 

b Carbonado— A rasher on the eeah, acconling to Cot- 


Act v.] 


[ScnsF IV. 

I am (lie Douglas, fatal to all those 

That wear lliose colours on them. — What art 

Tliat counterfcit'st the person of a king ? 

K. Hen. The king hhnsclf ; who, Douglas, 
grieves at heart. 
So many of his shadows thou hast met 
And not the very king. I have two boys 
Seek Percy, and thyself, about the field: 
But seeing thou fall'st on me so luckily, 
I will assay thee ; so defend thyself. 

Doitff. I fear thou art another counterfeit ; 
And yet, in faith, thou bcar'st thee like a king : 
But mine, I am sure, thou art, w'hoc'er thou be. 
And thus I win thee. 

[Tliri/ fifjhl ; the KiNG beinj in danger, enter 
PiiiNCE Henry. 
P. Hen. Hold up thy head, vile Scot, or thou 
art like 
Never to hold it up again ! the spirits 
Of valiant Shirley, Stafford, Blunt, are in my 

arms : 
It is the prince of Wales that threatens thee ; 
"VYho never proraiseth but he means to pay. 

\Theij fu/ht ; DQVGhA.sJlie3. 
Cheerly, my lord ; How fares youi- grace ? — 
Sir Nicholas Gawsey hath for succour sent, ' 
And so hath Clifton ; I Tl to Clifton straight. 

K. Hen. Stay, and brcatlic awhile : 
Thou hast redcem'd thy lost opinion ; '^ 
And shew'd thou mak'st some tender of my life. 
In this fair rescue thou hast brought to mc. 
F. Hen. heaven ! they did mc too much 
That ever said I hearken'd for your death. 
If it were so, I might have let alone 
The insidting hand of Douglas over you ; 
Which would have been as speedy in your end. 
As all the poisonous potions in the world. 
And sav'd the treacherous labour of your son. 
K. Hen. Makeup to Clifton, I '11 to sir Nicholas 
Gawsey. lE.vit King Henry. 

Enter Hotspur. 

Hot. If I mistake not, thou art Harry Mon- 
P. Hen. Thou speak' st as if I would deny my 

Hoi. My name is Harry Percy. 
P. Hen. Wliy, then I see 

.-V very valiant rebel of that name. 
I am the prince of Wales ; and think not, Percy, 


Opinion — reputation. 

To share witli mc in glory any more : 
Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere ; 
Nor can one England brook a double reign, 
Of Harry Percy and the prince of Wales. 

Hot. Nor shall it, Harry, for the hour is come 
To end the one of us ; And would to Heaven, 
Thy name in arms were now as great as mine ! 

P. Hen. I '11 make it greater, ere I part from 
thee ; 
And all the budding honours on thy crest 
I 'U crop, to make a garland for my head. 

Hot. I can no longer brook thy vanities. 


Enter Falstaef. 

Fill. Well said, Hal ! to it, Hal !— Nay, you 
shall find no boy's play here, I can tell you. 

Enter Douglas; he fifjlita with Palstaef, irho 
falls down as if he tcere dead, and exit Doug- 
las. Hotspur is wounded, and falls. 

Hot. 0, Harry, thou hast robb'd me of my 

youth : 
I better brook the loss of brittle life 
Than those protid titles thou hast won of me ; 
They wound my thoughts worse tliau thy sword 

my Hesh : — 
But tuouglit 's the slave of life, and life time's 

fool ; 
And time, that takes survey of all the world, 
Must have a stop. O, I could prophesy, 
But that the eartJiy and cold hand of death 
Lies on my tongue : — No, Percy, thou art dust. 

And food for \l)ies. 

F. Hen. For worms, brave Percy : Fare thee 

well, great heart ! — 
Ill-weav'd ambition, how much art thou shrunk ! 
When that this body did contain a spirit, 
A kingdom for it was too small a bound ; 
But now, two paces of the vilest earth 
Is room enough : — This earth, that bears thee 

Bears not alive so stout a gentleman. 
If thou wcrt sensible of courtesy, 
I should not make so great "■ a shew of zeal : — 
But let my favours hide thy mangled face ; 
And, even in thy behalf, I '11 thank myself 
For doing these fair rites of tenderness. 
Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven ! 
Thy ignomy sleep with thee in the grave, 
But not remember'd in thy epitaph ! — 

\He sees Falstaff on the ground. 

" Great. So the folio, and all the quartos except the 
first, wliich reads dear. 

Act V.) 


[Scene V. 

What ! old accquaintancc ! could not all this flesh 
Keep in a little life ? Poor J:\ek, farewell ! 
I could have better spar'd a better man. 
0, I should have a heavy miss of thee. 
If I were much in love with vanity. 
Death hath not struck so fat a deer to-day, 
Tliough many dearer, in this bloody fray : — 
Embowell'd will I see thee by and by : 
Tdl then, in blood by noble Percy lie. [Ej-i/. 
Fill, lliisi/i// sloich/.'] Embowelled ! if thou em- 
bowel rac to-day, I '11 give you leave to powder 
me and eat me to-morrow. 'Sblood, 't was lime 
to counterfeit, or that hot termagant Scot had 
paid me scot and lot too. Counterfeit ? I Uc, I 
am no counterfeit : To die is to be a counterfeit ; 
for he is but the counterfeit of a man who hath 
not the life of a man : but to counterfeit dvimr, 
when a man thereby livcth, is to be no counter- 
feit, but the true and perfect image of life indeed. 
The better part of valour is discretion ; in the 
which better part I have saved my life. 'Zounds, 
I am afraid of this gunpowder Percy, though he 
be dead : How, if he should counterfeit too, and 
rise ? I am afraid he would prove the better 
counterfeit. Therefore I '11 make him sure : yea, 
and I '11 swear I killed him. Why may not he 
rise, as well as I ? Nothing confutes me but eyes, 
and nobody sees me. Therefore sirrah, [stub- 
bing him?\ with a new wound in your thigh,^ 
come vou along with me. 

[Takes Hotspur on his bach. 

Re-enter Prince Henry and Prince John. 

P. Hen. Come, brother John, full bravely hast 
thou flesh'd 
Thy maiden sword. 

P. John. But, soft ! who have we 1 ore ? 

Did you not tell me this fat man was dcady 

P. lien. I did; I saw hiui dead, breathless 
and bleeding, 
On the ground. 

Art thou alive ? or is it phantasy 
That plays upon our eyesight? I prithee, 

We will not trust our eyes without our cars : — 
Thou art not what thou seem'st. 

Fal. No, that 's certain ; I am not a double 
man : but if I be not Jack Falst:iff then am I a 
Jack. There is Percy : \l.hrowing the body ilown.^ 
if your father will do me any honour, so ; if not, 
let him kill the next Percy himself. I look to be 
either earl or duke, I can assure you. 

P. Hen. Why, Percy I killed myself, and saw 
thee dead. 

Fal. Didst thou ?— Lord, lord, how the world 

Hlstories —Vol. I. Q 

is given to lying ! — I grant you I was down, and 
out of breath ; and so was he : but we rose both 
at an instant, and fought a long hour by Shrews- 
bury clock. If I may be bcUeved, so; if not, 
let them that should reward valour bear the bin 
upon their own heads. I '11 take it uikjii my 
death, I gave him this wound in the thigh: if 
the man were alive, and would deny it, 1 would 
make him eat a j)iece of my sword. 

P. John. This Is til,' stniiiL'cst \.i\- \\y.A (•'•■r I 

P. lien. This is the strangest ftllovN, brollar 
Come, bring your luggage nobly on your back : 
For my part, if a lie may do thee grace, 
I '11 gdd it with the happiest terms I liavc. 

[./ retreat is sounded. 
The trumpet sounds retreat, the day is ours. 
Come brother, let 's to the highest of the field. 
To see Mhat friends are living, who are dead. 
[Exeunt Prince Henry and Prince John. 

Fal. I '11 follow, as they say, for reward. He 
that rewards mc Heaven reward him ! If I do 
grow great, I '11 grow less ; for I '11 purge, and 
leave sack, and live cleanly, as a nobleman 
should do. 

[Exit bearing off the bodj/. 

SCENE \ .—Another part oj the Field. 

The trumpets sound. Enter King IIenrv, 
Prince Henry, Prince John, We.stmork- 
L\ND, and others, with ^Vokcester and \ 1l.i> 
KON, prisoners. 

K. Hen. Thus ever did rebellion find rebuke. 
Ill-spirited Worcester ! did wc not send grace. 
Pardon, and terms of love to all of vou? 
And wouldst thou turn our offers contrary ? 
Misuse the tenor of thy kinsman's trust ? 
Three knights upon our party slain to-day, 
A noble earl, and many a creature else. 
Had been alive this hour, 
If, hke a christian, thou hadst truly Iwrnc 
Betwixt our armies true iud ' 

ll'ur. What I have done i 'v urgd injj 

And I cjiibraec thi.s fortune p.iticntly, 
Since not to be avoided it falls on mc. 

A'. Hen. Bear Worcester to the death, and 
Venion too : 
Other offenders we will pause upon. — 

[Exeunt Worcester and Verno.v, guarded. 

How goes the field ? 


Act v.] 


[Scene T, 

P. Ucn. The noble Scot, lord Douglas, wlicu 
lie saw 
The fortune of the day quite turn'd from him, 
Tiie noble Percy slain, and all his men 
Upon the foot of fear, lied with the rest ; 
And, falling from a hill, he was so bruis'd 
That the pui'suers took him. At my tent 
Tlic Douglas is ; and I bcseeeh your gi-ace 
I may dispose of him. 

K. Hen. With all my heart. 

P. lien. Then, brother John of Lancaster, to 
This honourable bounty shall belong : 
Go to the Douglas, and deliver him 
Up to his pleasure, ransomless, and free : 
His valour, shewn upon our crests to-day, 

Hath taught us how to cherish such high deeds. 
Even in the bosom of our adversaries. 
K. Hen. Then this remains, — that we divids 
our 2)ower. 
You, son John, and my cousin Westmoreland, 
Towards York shall bend yon, with your dearest 

To meet Northumberland and the prelate Scroop, 
Who, as we hear, are busily in arms : 
Myself, and you son Harry, will towards Wales, 
To fight with Glendowcr and the earl of March, 
Rebellion in this land shall lose his sway. 
Meeting the cheek of such another day : 
Aud since this business so fair is done, 
Let us not leave till all our own be won. 


[ScKNE IV.— 'Poor Jack, farewell."] 



' Scene I.—" Budy hill." 

Till- liill which rises over the l>attlc-fielcl ii&ir 
Shrewsbury, is callea Haughiuoud hill. Mr. Bhtko- 
way says that Shakspere h;v.s described the grouiul 
as aceunitely aa if bo bad surveyed it. " It still 
merits the appellation of a bosky hill." 

' Scene I.—" As that ungentle gidl the cuckoo a bird 
Useth the spairow," d:c. 

Shakopere was a uaturalist in the very best sense 
of the won!. He watched the great iihenoinena 
of nature, the economy of the animal creiition, and 
the peculiarities of inanimate exi.stence ; and ho 
eet these down with almost undeviating exactness, 
in the language of the highest poetry. Before 
White, and Jenncr, and Montagu bad described the 
remarkable proceedings of the cuckoo, Shakspere 
hero described them, as we believe from what ho 
liimself saw. But let us analyze this description : 

" being fed by us, you used us so 

As that ungentle gull the cuckoo's bird 
Useth the sparrow." 

Pliny was the only scientific writer upon natural 
history that was open t<> Shak.spere. We are no 
believers, as our readers may have collected, in the 
common o]>inion of Shak.spere's want of learning ; 
and we hold, therefore, that he might have read 
Pliny in Latin, as we thinl> he read other books. 
The first English translation of Pliny, that of 
Philemon Holland, wag not published till 1601 ; 
this play was printed in 1598. Now, the descrip- 
tion of the cuckoo in Pliny is, in many respects, 
very different from the desciiption before us in 
Shaksf)ere. '• They always," says the IJoman natu- 
ralist, " lay in other birds' nests, and most of all 
in the stock dove's." In a subsequent part of the 
same pas.*age, Pliny mentions the titUng's nest, but 
not a word of the sparroics. It was reserved Ifor 
very modem naturalists to find that the hedge- 
sparrow's nest was a favourite choice of the old 
cuckoo. Dr. Jenner, in 1787, .says, "J -jxamined 
the nest of a hedge-span-ow, which thou contained 
a cuckoo and three hedge-spaiTow's eggs." Colonel 
Montagu also found a cuckoo, " when a few days 
old, in a hedge-sparrow's nest, in a garden close to 
a cottage." H:id Shalcspere not obsei-ved for him- 
self, or, at any rate, not noted the original obser- 
vations of others, and had taken his description 
from Pliny, he would, in all probability have men- 
tioned the stock dove or the titling. In Lear we 
have the " hedgesjiarrow." But let us see further — 
" did oppress our nest." 

The word oppress is singulaily descriptive of the 
operations of the " ungentle gull." The great bulk 
of the cuckoo, in the small nest of tlio hedge- 
sparrow, first crushes the proper nestlings; and 
the instinct of the intruder renders it necessary 
that they should be got rid of. The common 
belief, derived from the extreme voracity of the 
cuckoo, (to which we think Shakspere alludes when | 
he calls it a gull— gulo) has led to an opinion, that 
it eats the young nestlings. Pliny says, expressly, 
that it devours them. How remarkable is it, then, 
that Shakspere does not allude to this belief ! He 

Q 2 

makes Worcester sinjply accuse Henry, that ha 
''did oppress our nest." Had Shakspere's natural 
history not been more accurate than the jjopular 
belief, ho wotdd havo made Wor..e«ter reproach 
the king with actually destroying the proper t«iiant.'} 
of the nest. The Percics were tlieii ready to accuse 
him of the murder of Richard. We, of course, 
do not attempt to itssert that Shak»[)ere knew the 
]>reci.'<e mode in which the cuckoo geta rid of ita 
cohabitants. This was fii-st made known by Dr. 
Jenner. But, although Shidcspero might not havo 
known this most curious fact, tlie words, "did 
opi)rcss our nest " are not inconsistent with the 
knowledge. The very generality of the is 
some proof that ho did not receive the vulgar 
story of the cuckoo eating his fellow-nestlings. 
The term, '• oppress our nest," is also singularly 
borne out by the observations of modern natu- 
ral ista; for nests in which a cuckoo ha-s been 
hatched have been found so crushed and llattoned, 
that it has been almost impo.ssible to deteimiuo 
the species to which they belonged. 

" Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk, 
That even our love durst not come iicar your sight, 
For fear of swallowing ; but with nimble wing, 
We were enforc'd, for safety sake, to lly 
Out of your sight." 

We have here an approach to the inaccuracy of the 
I old naturalists. Pliny, having made the cuckoo 
devour the other nestlings, says, that tiie mother 
at last shares the same fate, for " the young cuckoo 
being once fledged and ready to ll\'' abroad, is so 
bold as to seize on the old titling, and to c;it her 
up that hatched her." t'ven Liunaus has the 
same story. But Shakspere, in so beautifully 
canying on the parallel between the cuckoo and 
the king, does not imply that the grown cuckoo 
swallowed the sparrow, but that the sparrow, 
timorous of "so great a bulk, " kept aloof from her 
nest, " dtn-sl not come iie&v fur fear of swallowing." 
The extreme avidity of the bird for food is here 
only indicated ; and Shakspere might himself have 
seen the large fledged " gull" eagerly thrusting 
forward its open mouth, while the sparrow fluttei-ed 
about the nest, where even its " love durst not 
come near." This extr.iordinary voracity of the 
young cuckoo has been ascertained beyond a doubt ; 
but that it should bo carniV'Tous is perfectly im- 
po.ssible : for its bill is only adapted f<Sr feeding on 
caterpillars and other soft substances. But that 
its in.satiable apj)etitc makes it appirently violent, 
and, of course, an object of terror to a smidl bird, 
we have the evidence of that accurate observer, 
Mr. White of Selbonie. He saw " a young cuckoo 
hatched -in the nest of a titlark; it was become 
vastly too big for its nest, appearing 

■ To have stretched its wings t>cyond the little nest,' 

and was very fierce and pugnacious, pursuing my 
fint;er, as I te.-ised it, for many feet from the nest, 
sparring and buffeting with it* wings like a game 
cock- The dujio of a dam appeared at a distance, 
hovering about with meat in her mouth, and 
expressing the greatest solicitude." In the pasB.ige 
before ua Shakspere, it appears to us, speaks from 



hi.s knowledge. But ho has also expressed the 

popular belief by the mouth of the fool in Lear :— 

For you trow, nuncle, 

Tlie liedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long 

That it had its head bit off by its young." 

3 Scene IV.—" With a new ivound in your thigh." 

The old Chroniclers tell us that one of the fol 
lowers of AVilliam the Conqueror coinmitted a 
similar outrage upon the body of Harold. 

[Cuckoo and Hedge-sparrow.] 


" Kino Henry," says Holinshcd, "advertised of 
the i)rocceding.'3 of the Perciea, forthwith gathered 
aV'out him such power as he might make, atid 
jiasscd forward with such speed that he was in 
sight of his enemies lying in camp uear to Shrews- 
bury before they were in doubt of any such thing." 
The Pcrcies, according to the Chronicler, sent to 
the king the celebrated manifesto which is con- 
t lined in Hardyng's Chronicle. The substauce of 
the chaigc^ contained in this manifesto are repeated 
in Hotspur's speech to Sir Walter Blunt in the 
fourth Act. The interview of Worcester with the 
king, and its result, are thus described by Holinshed: 
" It was reported for a truth tliat now when the 
king had condescended unto all that was reasonable 
at his hands to be required, and seemed to humble 
himself more than was meet for his esfcite, the 
Earl of Worcester, upon his return to his nephew, 
made relation clean contrary to that the king had 
Baid :"— 

" O, no, my nephew must not know, Sir Richard,— 
The liberal kind offer of the king." 
Li the Chroniclers, Hotspur exhorts the troops ; 

Shakspere clothes the exhortation with his own 
poetical spirit. 

" Now,— Esperanc6!— Percy !— and set on,"— 
is found in the Chroniclers :— " The adversaries 
cried Espcmncc, Percy" The dtiuger of the king, 
and the circumstance of others being caparisoned 
like him, are also mentioned by Holinshed. 

The prowess of Prince Henry in this his first 
great battle is thus described by Holinshed : " The 
Prince that day holp his father like a lusty young 
gentleman, for although he was hurt in the face 
with an arrow, so that divers noble men that were 
about him would have conveyed him forth of the 
field, yet he would in no wise suffer them so to do, 
lest his departure from his men might haply have 
stricken some fear into their hearts ; and so, with- 
out regard of his hurt, he continued with his men, 
and never ceased, either to fight where the battle 
was most hottest, or to encourage his men where 
it seemed most need." 

- The personal triumph of Henry over Hotspur 
is a dramatic creation, perfectly warranted by the 
ob.scurity in which the Chronicleis leave the matter. 

n> ';j«'»*y'<fti 




■&^^ — 


Scenes in Parts I. and II. of King ITknry IV. 

Part I. — GatlsJiIll, is from a somewhat distant sketch of this spot. Ancient Inn Yard. The 
open galleries niul the external stair, of the Inn Yard of this period, require no dOTcription. Room 
in the Boar's Head. Thif>, of coiii-so, is an imaginary representation, but illustrative of '' '.[. 

lecture of the period. Bangor, Coventry, Yuil-, and Slireicshury, are from the earliest auth' : t 

could be found. 

Part II. — The general view of Warlcicorth Castle is from several old priuts. The Entrance Toicer 
of this Castle is from an original sketch, and represents no more than actually exists, excopt the 
restoration of the battlements. The Street Tieio (Act I.) is illustrative of the architecture of the 
period ; and the scene being supposed to be in the immediate neighbourhood of East-Che.ip, the 
Charch of St. Michael, Comhill, is introduced, as it existed at the period represented, on the authority 
of an old drawing engraved in the '• Londina lUustrata." This tower was taken down in 1J'21. The 
other street-views in Loudon are strictly illustrative of the time. The view " near Westmin.ster 
Abbey" represents the North Transept of the Church, which was the principal entrance at this period, 
the western portion of the church being unfinished. From the reign of Edward I., when the navo 
was advanced to the third arch beyond the transept, little was done until the reign of Ifenrj' V., and 
the west front was only completed by Abbot Esteney, who died in 1480. Like most of our aucitnt 
churches situated in towns, Westminster Abbey was closely pressed \ipon by the surrounding housca, 
until cleared by the hand of modern improvement. 

The view of Winds'/r (Act IV.) is from Fox's Acts and Monuments, 15tl2. Gualtree Forest is 
imaginary. The Ifall in Shalloic's house is a composition following the domestic architecture of th*' 

IWaikworlh Castle. J 


Warkwortli. Before Nortlmniberland'* Castle. 

Enter Rumour, painted full of tongues?' 

Rum. Open your ears : For which of you will 
Tlic vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks ? 
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 bnguagc 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 : 
And who but Rumour, who but only I, 
Make fearful musters, and ])repar'd defence, 
Whilst the big year, swoH'n with some oilier 

Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war. 
And no such matter ? Rumour is a pipe 
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures ; 

^ Painted full of longuft. Tliis direction for the npptM- 
ance of Rumour is found only in the quarto of IGOO. The 
direction explains tlie sixth line : 

" Upon my tongues continual slanders ride." 

Rumour appears to have been exhibited in a similar manner 
in the Masques prcccdinf; Shaksptre's lime, and subsf- 
qucntly. Of the speech of Humour Ur. Johnson says " it is 
wholly useless." The object of the poet was evidently to 
connect this Part of Henry IV. with the first I'arl. 

And of so easy and so plain a stop 

Tiiat the blunt monster with unr(ninted heads. 

The still-discordant wavering nuillitude, 

Can play upon it. Bat what need I thus 

iNfy well-known body to anatomi/e 

Among my household ? Why is Rumour ht-rc ? 

I run bcfure king Harry's victory ; 

Who, in a bloody field by Shrcwsbun.-, 

Hath beaten down young Hotspur, and his 

Quenching the flame of bold rebellion 
Even with the rel)els' blood. lUit what mean I 
To speak so true at first ? iiiy office is 
To noise abroad, — that Harry Monmouth fell 
Under the wrath of noble Hotspur's sword ; 
And that the king before the Douglas' mgc 
Stoop'd his anointed lu-atl as low as death. 
This have I rumour'd through the j)oasant towns 
Between the* royal field of Shrew.tbury 
And this worm-eaten liolil of ragged st<me,* 
Where Hotspur's father, old Northumberland, 
Lits enifty-sick : the p)sts come tiring on. 
And not a man of them brings other news 
Than they have leam'd of me : From Rumour's 

They bring smooth comforts false, worse than 

true wrongs. [/,'.nV. 

Th€. So the folio. 

Quarto, thai. 


A % -^xiii-'M 

[r.ntrance Tower of UaiAWortli Castlc.l 


SCENE l.—T/ie same. 

The Porter before the Gale; Enter Loud 

L. Bard. Who keeps the gate hero, ho ? — 
Where is the earl ? 

Fort. What shall I say you are ? 

Z. Bard. Tell tliou the carl, 

That the lonl Bardolpli doth attend him here. 

Fort. His lordship is walk'd forth into the 
Please it your honour, knock but at the gate, 
And he himself will answer. 

Bnter Noiithum:berla.nd, 

L. Bard. Here comes the carl. 

North. What news, lord Bardolph ? every 

minute now 


Should be (he father of some stratagem:* 
The times arc wild ; contention, like a horse 
Full of higli feeding, madly hath broke loose. 
And bcai's down all before him. 

L. Bard. Noble earl, 

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 Blunts 
Kill'd by the hand of Douglas: young prince 

And Westmoreland, and Stafford, fled the field ; 

'^stratagem — some military movement, according to the 
Greek derivation of the word ; — some enter]>rise ; — some 
decisive act on one part or the other, resulting from the wild 
times of contention. 

A.T ri 


fScB .-S I. 

And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk sir 

Is prisoner to your sou : O, sueh a day, 
So fought, so follow'd, and so fiiirly won, 
Came not, till now, to dignify the times. 
Since Ca'^ar's fortunes ! 

North. How is tliis dcriv'd? 

Saw yo>i the field ? came you from Shrewsbury ? 
L. Jiiird. I spake with one, my lord, that 
came from thence ; 
A gentleman well bred, and of good name. 
That freely rendcr'd me tiiese news for true. 
North. Here comes my servant, Tnivers, 
whom I sent 
On Tuesday last to listen after news. 

/,. /?.//•(/. My lord, I over-rode him on the 
way ; 
And he is furnished with no certainties. 
More than he hajdy may retail from me. 

Enter TR-iiVEUS. 

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

Trat. My lord, sir John Umfre^ilc tuni'd me 
With joyful tidings ; and, being better hors'd, 
Out-rode me. After him came, spurring hard, 
A gentleman almost forspent " with speed. 
That stopp'd by rae to breathe his bloodied 

horse : 
He ask'd the way to Chester ; and of him 
I did demand what news from Shrewsbury. 
Ue told me, that rebellion had ill •» luck, 
And that young Ilany Percy's spur was cold : 
With that, he gave his able horse the head. 
And, bending forward, struck his armed heels 
Against the panting sides of his poor jade 
Up to the rowel-head ; ^ and starting so, 
He seem'd in running to devour the way. 
Staying no longer question. 

North. Ha ! Again. 

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

L. Bard. My lord, I '11 tell you what ;— 

If my young lord your son have not the day, 
Upon mine honour, for a silken point 
I '11 give my barony : never talk of it. 

North. Why should the gentleman that rode 
by Travers, 

• Foriptni. For, a? a prefix to a verb, il used to (five it 
intensity. Foncearied, in Kinp John, and furiprnl, here, 
mean Kcaried out, outtpent. The prefix, according to Tookc, 
is identical with/orM. 

•> III. So the folio. The quarto, hai. 

Give then such instances of lo?s ? 
' /.. Hard. Who, he ? 

He was some hilding' fellow, that had stolen 
The horse he rode on ; and, upon my life, 
Spake at adventure.*' Look, here comes more 


Fut<r MoRTO.N'. 

North. Yea, this man's brow, like to a titlc- 
Foretells the nature of a tragic volume: 
So looks the strond whereon the imperious 

Hath left a witnes^i'd usurpation. 
Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury ? 

Mor. I ran from Slirewsburj', my noble lord ; 
WHiere hateful death put on his ugliest mask, 
To fright our party. 

North. How doth my son, and brother ? 

Thou tremblest ; and the whiteness in thy cheek 
Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand. 
Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless. 
So dull, so dead in look, so woe begone,'' 
Drew Priam's cui'tain in the dead of night, 
And would have told him, half his Troy was 

bum'd : 
15ut Priam found the fire, ere he his tongue. 
And I my Percy's death, ere thou report'st it. 
This thou would'st say, — Your son did thus, and 

Your brother thus : so fought the noble Douglas : 
Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds : 
But in the end, to stop mine car indeed, 
Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise, 
Ending with — brother, son, and all are dead. 

Mor. Douglas is living, and your brother, yet : 
But, for my lord your son, 

North. ' Why, he is dead. 

See, what a ready tongue suspicion hath ! 
He that but fears the thing he would not know, 
Hath, by instinct, knowledge from others' eyes, 
That wiiat he'd is chanced. Yet si)eak, 

Morton ; 
Tell thou thy carl his divination lies ; 

' iniding. An ezpreolon of contempt for a cowarJIjr, 
ipIritlcM person. Some derive it from the Anglo-Saxon, 
hyldan, to bend : — fmm whirh kiUiing.hirrting. Wc find it 
icveral limes i: '-t caili Juliet ft AiWi»j. 

In Hinr>- V. w ••." 

^ Adrenlurt. ;>■> u.. !■ ;,■.. . ..^ common reading i«, o/o 

e TilU-leaf. Poem* of l.inicnt— cleries, in the rc'lrlrled 
•cnse of the word — were ■ .1 hlaclc title p.-VRC. 

i n'oebtyone. Dr. Ben! .mentary on Milton 

ii more liuKhti-r-provokint; than inoit Jcst-txiokt, thought 
tnis paisage corrupt, and proposed to read, 

" So dull, ao dead in look, t'calepon 
Drew I'riara'i curtain.*' Sre. 


Act I.l 


[SriKK I. 

And I will take it as a sweet disgrace. 

And make thee rich for doing me such wrong. 

iJ/c/r. You are too great to be by mc gainsaid : 
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 : 
1 hou shak'st tliy head ; and hold'st it fear,* or 

To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so : 
The tongue od'ends not that reports his death : 
And he doth sin that doth belie the dead ; 
Not he, whicli says the dead is not alive. 
Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news 
llath but a losing office ; and his tongue 
Sounds ever after as a sullen l)cll, 
Ileniember'd knolling a departing friend.'' 

L. Banl. I cannot think, my lord, your son 

is dead. 
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. 
Rendering faint quittance, wearied and out- 
breath' d. 
To Henry Mijiimouth ; whose swift wrath beat 

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 tlie 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 ciiforeeinent, flies with greatest speed ; 
So tlid our men, heavy in Hotspur's loss, 
Lend to this weight such lightness with their 

That arrows fled not swifter tovrard their aim. 
Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety. 
Fly from the field : Then was that noble Wor- 
Too soon ta'en prisoner : aiid that furious Scot, 
The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring sword 
Had three times slain the appearance of the 

" Tear — danper; matter or occasion of fear. 
^ Drparlinri friend. Malone tlioufjlit tliat dcpartinp; was 
here Used for departed. In Sliakspere'-s 7lst sonnet we liave, 
" No longer mourn for me wlien I am dead, 
Than you sliall hear tlie surly sullen hell 
Give warning to the world tliat I am fled." 
Hut the ancient custom was for the hell to ring for the 
deparliny soul— not for the soul that had lied. Hence ii was 
railed llie pasting hell. 


'Gan vail his stomach, and did grace the shame 
Of those that turn'd their backs ; and, in his 

Stumbling in fear, was took. The sum of all 
Is, that the king hath won ; and hath sent out 
A speedy power to encounter you, ray lord, 
Under the conduct of young Lancaster, 
And Westmoreland : this is the news at full. 
North. For this I shall have time enough to 

In poison there is i)hysic ; and these news, 
Having being well that would have made me sick. 
Being sick, have in some measure made me well : 
And as the wretch, whose fever-weakcn'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, 
Weakcn'd with grief, being now enrag'd with 

_ grief,^ 
Are thrice themselves : hence, therefore, thou 

nice " crutch ; 
A scaly gauntlet * now, with joints of steel, 
Must glove this hand : and hence, thou sickly 

Thou art a guard too wanton for the head 
Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to hit. 
Now bind my brows with iron : And approach 
The ragged'st *' hour that time and spite dare 

To frown upon the enrag'd Northumberland ! 
Let heav'n kiss earth ! Now let not Nature's 

Keep the wild flood confin'd ! let order die ! 
And let the 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, caeli heart being set 
On bloody courses, the rude scene may end. 
And darkness be the burier of the dead ! 

Tra. This strained passioa doth you wrong, 

my lord." 
/-. Bard. Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from 

your honour. 

" JiucUln. This word, which Iierc means to hcml, is used 
precisely in the same sifjnilication in the i)ieseut day, when 
applied to a horse, whose "weaken'd joints, like stren;^lhless 
hinges," are said to hitcl(li\ It was oljliginjilv pointed out 
to us by Mr. W. T. S. Kaimbach that, when the light spars 
of a ship under sail, yielding to t!ie pressure of the wind, 
bend, they are said to hurkli: 

l> Griff. In this line l\\t: 'grief is put for bodily 
pain; the second for mental sorrow. 

c Nice — weak. 

•' Itayi/eil'sl. Theobald, and other editors, changed this 
to ruffyed'st. We find the epithet several times in Sliakspere. 
In this play we have: 

" A rai/ijed and fore-stall'd remission." 
It means something broken, torn, wanting consistency and 

o This line is not in the folio. It is found in the quarto, 
where it is given to Umfrevile, who is not in the scene. 

Act I.] 


[Scsite II. 

Mor. The lives of all your loviug complices 
Lean ou yoiir health ; the which, if you give o'er 
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 uiidkC head. It was your presurmise, 
That in the dole of blows your son might drop : 
You knew he walk'd o'er pcrib, ou an edge, 
More likely to fall in than to get o'er : 
You were advis'd his Hcsh was capable 
Of wounds, and scars; and that his forward 

Would lift liim where most trade of danger 

rang'd : 
Yet did you say, — Gro forth ; and none of this, 
Though strongly ajjprchended, could restrain 
The stitT-borne action: AVhat hath then befallen. 
Or what hath this bold enterprise brought forth, 
More than that being which was like to be?" 
L. Bard. Wo all that arc engaged to this 

Knew that we vcntur'd on such dangerous seas. 
That if we wrought out life 'twas ten to one : 
And yet we vcntur'd, for the gain propos'd 
Chok'd the respect of likely peril fcar'd ; 
And, since we are o'erset, venture again. 
Come, we will all put forth ; body, and goods. 
Mor. 'T is more than time : And, my most 

noble lord, 
I hear for certain, and do speak tiie truth : 
The gentle archbishop of York is up. 
With well-appointed powers ; he is a man 
W[\o with a double surety binds his followers. 
My lord your son had only but the corpse, 
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 tlieir spirits and 

This word, rebellion, it had froze them up, 
As fish arc in a pond : But now the bbhop 
Turns insurrection to religion : 
Suppos'd sincere and holy in his thoutrhts. 
He's follow'd both with body and witli mind ; 
And doth enlarge his rising with the blood 
Of fair king Richard, scraj.'d from Tomfret 

stones : 
Derives from heaven his quarrel, and liis cause ; 
Tells them, he doth bestride a bleeding land, 
Gaspuig for life under great Bolingbrokc ; 

tt The preceding fourteen iines were first printed in the 

And more ami less* do flock to follow him.'' 
Nurth. I knew of this before ; but, to speak 

Tills present grief liad wip'd it from iny niiud. 
Uo in with me; and counsel every uiau 
The aptest way for safety and revenge : 
Get posts and letters, tuid make friends with 

speed ; 
Never so few, nor' never yet more need. 

SCENE II.— Loudon. A Hired. 

Enter Sir Jonx Falstafi', icith his I'agc Uaring 
his stcord and Luckier. 

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

rutjc. lie said, sir, the water itself was a good 
healthy water : but for the party that owed it 
he miglit have more diseases tlian he knew for. 

Fill. ]^Ieu of all sorts tidce a jiride to gird"* at 
me. The brain of this foolish-compounded clay, 
man, is not able to invent' anything that tends 
to laughter, more than I invent, or is invented 
on me : I am not oidy witty in myself, but the 
cause that wit is in other men. I do here walk 
before thee, like a sow that hath o'erwhelmed 
all her litter but one. If the prince put tiiee 
into my service for any other reason than to set 
me off, whv Ihen I have no judgment. Thou 
whoreson mandrake, tiiou 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 eliin is not yet fledged. I 
will sooner iiave a beard grow in the palm of my 
liand, than he shall get one ou his check ; yet 
he will not stick to say, his face is a face-royal: 
Heaven may finisii it wlieu he will, it is not a 
liair amiss yet : be may keep it still at a face- 

« ,ir->rr nnd Utt — (.Tcatcr and If •« — (rTi'.>t nml iinill. 

•• The iirccrilintc Iwcntyonc line* wcrr first ]<rinlrd lnth« 

f Kor. So the folio— the quarto anJ. 

<1 Gird. To (!ird, 1* to tmite, tnd ttjciuc ii.ri.i|ilioiicalljr 
to jeer, to ncoff ■(. 

f ' ' ^ •! •• „\,\ rdilioiii. Hrcd changed it to r*nl, 

wli lion. 

I ' I romparc* hl« little p«(fe to an •jrale, Tttt 

hi* diiiiiiiutivi-i>.rtt. In (he tame manner queen Mab, in 
"Komco and Juliet," cornea, 

■• In ihape no biRifcr than an a(tatc-ilonc." 

Rut - ■-■ • ■• TTc bUo oftrn " rut or (graven with »oroc 

f„ri; ■' thtm, namely, •>( famous mcn> hcad«." 

So VI. = 1 ,. !.n New World of Words, under the word 



Act 1.] 


[Scene fi. 

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 Domhlcdon about the satin for my short 
cloak and slops ? 

Tage. He said, sir, you should procure him 
better assurance than Bardolph : he would not 
take his bond and youi's ; he liked not the secu- 

Fal. Let him be damned like the glutton ! 
may his tongue be hotter ! — A whoreson Achi- 
tophel ! a rascally yea-forsooth knave ! to bear a 
gentleman in hand, and then stand upon secu- 
rity ! The whoreson smooth-pates do now wear 
uothmg but high shoes, and bunches of keys 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 true knight, and he sends 
rne security. Well, he may sleep in security; 
for he hath the horn of abundance, and tlie 
lightness of his wife shines througli it : and yet 
cannot he sec, though he have his own lantern 
to light him. Where 's Bardol])h ? 

Vage. He 's gone into Smithficld, to buy your 
worship a horse. 

Fal. I bought him in Paul's,^ and he'll buy 
me a horse in Smithficld:^ if I could get mc a 
wife in the stews, I were manned, horsed, and 

Enter the Lord Chiep Justice, and an 

Fage. Sir, here comes the nobleman that com- 
mitted the prince for striking him about Bai'- 

Fal. Wait close, I will not see him. 

Ch. .TusL What 's he that goes tlicrc ? 

Allen. Falstaff, an't please your lordship. 

Ch. Jnsl. He that was in question for the 
robbery ? 

Allen. 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 

Ch. Just. Wiat, to York ? Call him back 

Allen. Sir John Falstaff ! 

Fill. Boy, tell him I am deaf. 

■■" Taking up. Buying upon credit. 

Page. You must speak louder, my master is 

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

Allen. Sir John, 

Fal. What! a young knave, and beg! Is 
there not wars ? is there not employment ? Doth 
not the king lack subjects? do not the rebels 
want soldiers ? Thougli it be a shame to be on 
any side but one, it is worse shame to beg than 
to be on the worst side, were it worse than the 
name of rebellion can tell how to make it. 

Allen. You mistake me, sir. 

Fal. Why, sir, did I say you were an honest 
man? setting my knighthood and my soldier- 
ship aside, I had lied in my throat if I had said 

Allen. 1 pray you, sir, then set your knight- 
hood 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 mc so! I lay 
aside that which grows to me ! If thou gett'st 
any leave of me, hang me ; if thou takest leave, 
thou wert better be hanged : You Inmt counter,'' 
hence ! avaunt ! 

Allen. Sir, my lord would speak with you. 

Ch. J/ist. Sir John Falstaff, a word with you. 

Fal. My good lord ! — Give yoiu- lordsliip 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, hath 
yet some smack of age in you, some relish of 
the saltncss of time ; and I most humbly be- 
seech your lordship to have a reverend care of 
your health. 

Ch. Jiisl. Sir John, I sent for you before your 
expedition to Shrewsbury. 

Fal. If it please your lordship, I hear his 
majesty is returned with some discomfort from 

Ch. Just. I talk not of his majesty : — You 
woidd 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 1 take it, a kind of 

.1 Jbud counter. The liound that runs counlrr Imnta 
upon a ■wrong scent— "on the false trail." (Hamlet.) Fal- 
staff either tells the attendant "you hunt counter;" — you 
hunt the wrong way; or calls hini a " liunt counter," — 
which also might imply that the attendant was a hailifF s 
follower— a " counter-rat," as sir Thomas Overbury has it 

Act I.) 



lethargy ; u sleeping of the blood, a whoreson 

Ch. Ji(s(. AMiat tell you me of it ? be it as it 

Fill. It hath its original from niueh grief; 
from study, and perturbation of the brain; I 
have read the cause of his effects in Galen; it 
is a kind of deafness. 

Ch. Just. I tliiuk you are fallen into the dis- 
ease ; for you hear not what I say to you. 

Fill. Very well, my lord, very well : rather, 
an 't please you, it is the disease of not Ibtening, 
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 be your physician. 

Fal. I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so 
patient : your lordsliip 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 scrapie itself. 

Ch. Ju.sL I sent for you, when there were 
matters against you for youi" life, to come speak 
with me. 

Fal. As I was then advised by my learned 
counsel in the laws of this land service, I did not 

Ch. Ji/of. "Well, the truth is, sii" John, you live 
in great infamy. 

Fal. He that buckles him in my belt cannot 
live in less. 

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

Fal. I would it were otherwise ; I would my 
means were greater and my waist slenderer. 

Ch. Just. You have misled the youthful prince. 

Fal. The young prince hatli misled me : I am 
the fellow '' with the great belly, and he my dog. 

Ch. Just. Well, I am loth to gall a new- 
healed wound ; your day's service at Shrewsbury 
hath a little gilded over your night's exploit on 
Gadshill : you may thank the unquiet time for 
your quiet o'erposting that action. 

Fal. My lord ? 

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

Fal. To wake a wolf is as bad as to smell a fox. 

Ch. Just. "Wliat ! you arc as a candle, the better 
part burnt out. 

Fal. A wassel candle, my lord ; all tallow : it" 

» Tiagling. In this siicech we give the reading of llie 

b The fellow, Sfc. This Is probably an allusion to some 
well-known beggar of Sbakspere's day. I 

I did say of wax, my growth would approve the 

Ch. Just. Tlierc is not a white hair on your 
face but shoidd have his effect of gni\itv. 

Fal. His effect of gravy, gravy, gravy. 

Ch. Just. You follow tlie young prince up and 
down, like his evil angel* 

Fal. Not so, my lord ; your ill angel is light ; 
but, I hope, he that looks upon me will take nic 
without weighing : and yet, in some respects, I 
grant, I cannot go, I cannot tell : •' Virtue is of so 
little regard in these coster-monger tmies," that 
true valour is turned bcar-hird : Pi is 

made a tapster, and iiath his quick \vi' i iu 

giving reckonings : all the other gifts npperli- 
uent to man, as the malice of this age shapes 
them, ai'e not worth a gooseberry. You, tliat 
are old, consider not the capacities of us that arc 
yoimg: you measure the heat of our Uvcrs with 
the bittciTiess of your galls : and we that are iu 
the vaward of our ycutli, I must confess, arc 
wags too. 

Ch. Just. Do vou set do\\'n vour name iu the 
scroll of youth, that arc written down old with 
all the characters of age ? Have you not a moist 
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 bla^tcd with antiquity ? and will 
you vet call yourself young? Pye, fyr. fvr. sir 

Fal. My lord, I was bom about three ol liic 
clock iu the afternoon, with a white head, and 


„ . :.<d 

J ill. Wlien 
1 10 the coin 


a Evil anijel. Eril is the ri 
quarto. Theobald says, " if t! 
stair could not have made tlji 
he lias done in his reply." r. 
tliat the humour of the ev ■ ! 
by FalslalTs chanjii' of t! 
lie says "an ill angel is • . 
called an angel. 

b I cannot tell. Johnson int-r^ff* fhU-I c«nm>l pMi 
current. Gifford objects ' V** 

the expression, which \* '■ 
inont and Fletcher, lias ii'.i- '■ '.• ■ ■ • 

"Tcllifrr-.' ..■••■- '■'"■• Tinu < nf jxttv trafflr, whrn qti* 
litics are i " 

tlieiicc a < • ' 

as it docs nuw, a >ii: 
d Wil tinnte. Sin 
beer. Hi- 
tity of ma . ^ 
cxprtMtii'n ill 1: 
aUo a dirrit r^ 
Wc can ^ea^cely. i- 
f.ikrn (.'enrrally : bii' 


• 9 

■ < 




Act l.J 


[Scek:; in. 

something a round bclly.^ For my voice, I have 
lost it witli hollaing, and singing of anthems. 
To approve my youth farther, I will not : the 
truth is, I am only old in judgment and under- 
standing ; and he that will caper with me for a 
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. I have 
checked hun 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. 

Ch. Just. AV'ell, the king hath severed you and 
prince Harry : I hear, you are going with lord 
Jolui of Lancaster, against the archbishop and 
the Earl of Northumberland. 

Fal. Yes ; 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 I take but two shirts out with mc, 
and I meau not to sweat extraordinarily ; if it 
be a hot day, and I brandish anything 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 alway yet the trick of our 
Englibh 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 mc rest. I 
would to God my name were not so terrible to 
the enemy as it is. I were better to be eaten to 
deatli with rust, than to be scoured to nothiug 
with perpetual motion.''] 

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

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

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

\Exi'u)it Chief Justice and Attendant. 

Fal. If I do, fdlip me witli a three-man beetle.^ 
A. man ca)\ iio more separate age and eovctous- 

' Mij lord, Sfc. The quarto reads, " My lord, I was l)orii 
about three of the clock in the afternoon, with a white head," 
&c. The folio omits " about three of the clock in tlie after- 
noon." The point of Falstaff's reply is, that two of the marks 
of aRc which the Chief Justice objects to him were natural 
to him —he was horn with them ; and this the reading of the 
folio retains; but the fjrave mention of the 
particular is characteristic. 

b The passage between brackets is omitted in the 


ness, 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. Sii-? 

Fal. Wliat money is in my pui'se ? 

Page. Seven groats and two-pence. 

Fal. I can get no remedy against this con- 
sumption of the purse : borrowing only lingers 
and lingers it out, but the disease is incurable. 
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. [E.vU Page.] A pox of this 
gout ! or, a gout of this p ox ! for the one, or the 
other, plays the rogue with my great toe. It is 
no matter, if I do halt ; I have tlie wars for my 
colour, and my pension shall seem the niorc 
reasonable : A good wit will make use of any- 
thing ; I will turn diseases to commodity. 


SCENE 111. — York. A Room in the Arch- 
bishop's Palace. 

Enter the Archbishop of YouK, the Lord Hast- 
ings, Mowbray, and Lord Bardolph. 

Arch. Thus have you heard our cause, and 
know our means ; 
And, my most noble friends, I pray you all. 
Speak plainly your opinions of our hopes : 
And first, lord marshal, what say you to it ? 

Mowij. I well allow the occasion of our arms ; 
But gladly would be better satisfied 
How, in our means, we should advance ourselves 
To look with forehead bold and big enough 
Upon the power and puissance of the king. 

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

L. Bard. The question then, lord IListings, 
standeth thus ; 
Whether our present five and twenty thoiisand 
May hold \\\) head without Northumberland. 

Ilast. With him, wc may. 

L. Bard. Ay, marry, there 's the point ; 

But if without hiin we be thought too feeble, 
My judgment is, wc should not step too far 
Till we had his assistance by the hand : 
For, in a theme so bloody-fae'd as tliis, 
Conjectui'c, expectation, and surmise 

Act I.j 



Of aids incertaiu, should not be admitted." 
.Irch. 'Tis very true, lord Bardolph; for, 

It was youn,^' Hotspur's case at Shrewsbury. 
Z. Bard, it was, iny lord ; who liu'd himself 

with hope, 
Eating tlie air on promise of supply, 
Fluttering himself with project of a power 
Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts : 
.\uclso, with great imagination, 
I'ropcr to madmen, led his powers to death, 
Aiid, winking, leap'd into destruction. 
Hast. But, by your leave, it never yet did 

To lay down likelihoods, and forms of hope. 
L. Bard. Yes ; — if this present quality of 

war, — 
(Indeed the instant action, a cause on foot,) 
Lives so in hope,'' as in an early spring 
We see the appearing buds ; which, to prove 

Hope gives not so much warrant as despair 
That frosts will bite them. When wc mean to 

We first survey the plot, then draw the model ; 
And when wc see the figure of the house, 
Then must we rate the cost of the erection : 
Which if wc fiud outweighs ability, 
^Vllut do we then, but draw anew the model 
In fewer offices; or, at least, desist 
To build at all? Much more, in this great 

(Which is, almost, to pluck a kingdom down 
:Vnd set another up,) should we survey 
The plot of situation, and the model ; 
Consent upon a sure foundation ; 
Question surveyors ; know our o\ra estate. 
How able such a work to undergo. 
To wcigli against his opposite ; or else," 
Wc fortify in paper, and in figures, 
Usinir the names of men instead of men : 
Like one that draws the model of a house 
15cyond his power to build it ; who, half through, 
Gives o'er, and leaves his part-created cost 

■ The four lines here ending were added in the folio. 

b I'm, Sjc. The orilinary reading of this passage ii aa 
follows : — 

'• Yes, in this present quality of war;— 
Indeed the instant action, (a cause on foot,) 
Lives so in hope," &c. 
Mwlem editors have chanped the if of the oriKinal into \n, 
and pointed the passage accordingly. They have thus made 
that unintelligible which, with care in the punctuation, 
presents iittle difficulty. As wc read iho pa»s.ige the mean- 
ing is this:— Hastings has said that it never yet did hurt 
to lay down forms of hope. Dardolpli replies yc, (it docs 
hurt) i/ the present condition of our war,— i/ the instant 
ttatc of our action and cause on foot — lives only in such 
hope, as the premature buds of an early spring. 

c The twenty lines here ending were added in the folio. 

UisroRiEs — Vol. I. 


A naked subject to the weeping clouds, 
And waste for churlish winter's tyranny. 

llast. firant, that our hopes (^ct likely of fair 
Should be still-born, and that we now josscss'd 
Tiie utmost man of expectation ; 
I think we are a body strong enough. 
Even as wc are, to equal with the king. 

L. Bard. What ! is the king but five and 

twenty thousand ? 
Uast. To us no more ; nay, not so much, lord 
For his divisions, as the times do brawl, 
Are in three heads ; one power against the 

And one against Glendower; perforce, a third 
Must take up us : So is the uufirm king 
In three divided ; and his coffers sound 
With hollow poverty and emptiness. 

Arch. That he should draw hb several 
strengths together. 
And come against us in full puissance, 
Need not be dreaded. 

East. If he should do so, 

He leaves his back unarm'd, the French and 

Baying him at the heels : never fear that. 

L. Bard. Who, is it like, should lead his forces 

hither ? 
Had. The duke of Lancaster, and AWst more- 
land : 
Against the Welsh, himself and Harry Mon- 
mouth : 
But who is substituted 'gainst the French, 
I have no certain notice. 

Arch. Let us on ; 

And publish the occasion of our arms. 
The commonwealth is sick of their own choice, 
Their over-greedy love liatli surfeited : 
An habitation giddy and unsure 
Hath he that buildetii on the vulgar he^irt. 
O thou fond many ! with wliat loud applauhc 
Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Boling- 

Before he was what thou woidd'st have him be ? 
And being now trimm'd iii tliiiie own desires. 
Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him, 
Tliat thou provok'st thyself to cast him up. 
So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge 
Thy glutton bosom of the royal Richard ; 
And now thou would'st eat thy dead vomit up, 
And howl'st to fiud it ? What trust is in these 

Tlifv that when Ilicliard liv'd would have him 


Act 1.] 


[Scene III. 

t\Te now become enamonr'd on his gra^•c : 
Thou, that threw'st iipou his goodly liead, 
When llirough proud London he came sighing 


After the admired heels of Bolingbroke, 
Cry'st now, ' O earth, yield us that king again 
And take thou this ! 
curst ! 

O thoughts of men ac- 

Past, and to come, seem best ; things present, 


Mowb. Shall we go draw our numbers, and 

set on ? 
Hast. We arc time's subjects, and time bids 


be gone. 

" The -whole of this spec-ch of the Archbishop was added 

in thr folio. 


Sc. III. p. 239. — " How able such a work to undergo, 
To weigh against his opposite." 
" How able such a work to undergo. 
A careful lender siimi what force he lirhiys 
To weigh against his opposite." — Cottier. 
The line in italic is introduced for the first time in Mr. 
Collier's M.S. Corrections: it is a "new connecting line," 
he says. We say it is a new disconnecting line. In the 
long speech of Lord Bardolph is there a point dropped? Is 
there not the most perfect carrying out of one idea, the 
comparison of building a house and building a kingdom? 
What would an actor do with this speech, who had no 

great reverence for his author? He would break the long 
sentence into two sentences, without much care; so that 
he got a new start. And so has our "Corrector" done. 
He puts a full stop after " nnderrjo," and thrusts in this 
line, — 

" A careful leader sums what force he brings 
To weigh against his opposite." 
"To weigh against his opposite," is to weigh against the 
king's strength opposite ; and, in the speech which imme- 
diately follows, Hastings says, — 

" I think we are a body strong enough. 
Even as we are, to equal with the king." 

[.Scene II.—" Wait close, I will not sec him.-'J 


1 Induction. — " Upon my tongues," etc. 

Some scattered epithets iu Chaucer's " House of 
Fiuuo" might have supjilied Shakspore with hints 
for this dcscriptiou of Humour. Tlio parallel, 
however, is uot very close. A much uearer 
i-esembiance is found in a celebrated p;vss;ige iu 
the fourth Book of Vii-gil's yEneid. Drydeii'a 
translation is, as usual, spirited ; — 

" Millions of opening mouths to fame belong; 
And every mouth is furnish'd with .i tongue : 
And round with listening enrs the flying plague is hung. 
She filU the pc.nccful universe with cries; 
No slunibt-rs ever close her wakeful eyes. 
By day from lofty towers her head she shews : 
And spreads, through trembling crowds, disastrous news : 
With court-inforraers' haunts, and royal spies, 
This done relates, not done sbe feigns, and mingles truth 
with lies." 

' Induction. — " T!tis icom-eatm hold of raffed 

ITie views which we have given of Warkworth 
Castle may render any lengthened description unue- 
cerisary. When Leland wrote his Itinerary in the 
time of Henry VI 11., this castle was described, as 
" well may utoyued and largo." Grose Siiys, " when 
entire it was far from being destitute of strength, 
yet its appearance does not excite the idea of one 
of th'jse rugged fortresses destined solely for war." 
Warkworth was auciently the seat and barony of 
the Claverings ; and was bestowed upon Henry 
Percy, the ance-itor of the earls of Northumberland, 
by Eilward 111., and, after several temporary 
forfeitures, hiis remained iu the Percy family 
from the twelfth year of Edward IV. " It is uot 
certainly known when this castle was built : from 
the circuiudtunce of the Percy arms being put up 
in several parts of the building, some have sup- 
posed tiiat it was erected by that family ; but by a 
slight in.spection, it is eiusily jicrceived that they 
have been inserted into the walls at an after period. 
This i.^ clearly proved by one of them having fallen 
out, and the place where it was lised appears to be 
cut iu the wall, about six inches deep. The doors, 
the windows, and everything about the place, attest 
that it had been built at a more early period." 
(Historical ivnd Descriptive View of Northumber- 
land. Newcastle. 1811). 

' Scene I. — " [/p to the rowel-head." 

Johnson, in a note upon thi.s passage, aays, " I 
think that I have observed in old i>rintH the roiccl 
of those times to have been only a single spike." 
The commentator here fell into an error, which 
the lexicographer L-vs avoided. A spiu* with a 
single point is not a rowel spur. Wo 6nd the 
distinction in Froi-isiirt : " Then the king wiw 
apparelled like a prelate of the church, with a 
cope of red silk, and a pair of spurs, with a point 
without a rowel." The word ' rowel ' is derived 
from roue, a wheel ; .and thus it signifies a moveable 

R 2 

circle, and is applied to a bridle, and to annour,pjB 
well as to spurs. Johnson, in his Dictionary, 
defines ' rowel ' as " the points of a spur turning 
on an axis," and gives this very ptiasago iu Shnkspere 
as iui illustration. The following are representa- 
tions of various forms of ancient spurs. 

" Ruwel &pnr, as it appears in ilium, to I.ydgatv'i Pocmi. 
Harl. MS. 2278. (15th centuo). 

b Brass ditto, e.irly p.irt of Henry VI. 

c Ditto, niidille of Henry VI. 

J Iron long-spiked rowel tpur — temp. Edward IV. 

o Spur found in Towtun Field, inscribed with the follow- 
ing motto : — 

" En loi.-il amour tout mon cocr." Archicologiii, II. 

f Long necked bniss spur— temp. Henry VII. 

K Steel spur— temp. Henry VIII 

>• Iron ditto— temp. Klizabeth. 

* Scene I. — " Scaly gauntlet." 

The following represents the long gauntlet of the 
time of Elizabeth— the only gauntlet that could b« 
properly called " scaly." 




5 ScENK II. — " / bought him in PauVs," &c. 

Falstafif alludes to a proverbial saying, which is 
thus given in Burton's 'Anatomy of Melancholy:' 
" he that marries a wife out of a suspected inn or 
ale-house, buys a horse in Smithfield, and hires a 
servant in Paul's, as the diverb * is, shall likely 
have a jade to his horse, a knave for his man, an 
arrant lionest woman to his wife." The middle 
aisle of the old cathedral of St. Paul's was the 
resort of idlers, gamesters, and persons in general 
who lived by their wits. Ben Jonson calls his 
Captain Bobadill, "a Paul's man." But Paul's 
was also ft sort of exchange ; and announcements 
were fixed upon the pillars that corresponded with 
the newspaper advertisements of modern times. 
The " masterless serving-man " set up " his bill in 
Paul's," as well as the tradesman who called 
attention to his wares. These advertisements 
were denominated Si quisses, Paul's was also the 
resort of newsmongers and politicians ; and some- 
times was the scene of more important conferences 
than arose out of the gossip of the day. Bishop 

* Burton is the only English author who uses this word 
in the meaning' of an antithetical saying. (See Richardson's 

Carleton tells us that Babington's and Ballard's 
conspiracy was "conferred upon in Paul's Church." 
Osborne, in his Memoirs of James I., states, that 
Paul's was the resort of " the piiucipal gentry, 
lords, courtiers, and men of all professions." The 
spendthrifts resorted there for protection against 
tlieir creditors ; a part of the cathedral being 
l^rivileged from arrest : " There you may spend 
your legs in winter a whole afternoon ; converse, 
plot, laugh, and talk anything ; at your creditor, 
even to his face ; and in the evening, even by lamp- 
light, steal out." (Dekker's Gull's Horn Book. 
1609). In Bishop Earle'a Microcosmography (1 628) 
we have an exceedingly amusing description of all 
the general features of Paul's walk, of which the 
following passage will convey a notion of the style : 
— " It is a heap of stones and men, with a vast 
confusion of languages ; and, were the steeple not 
sanctified, nothing liker Babel. The noise in it is 
like that of bees, a strange humming or buzz, 
mixt of walking, tongues, and feet. It is a kind 
of still roar, or loud whisper. It is the great ex- 
change of all discourse, and no business whatsoever 
but is here stirring and a-foot. It is the synod of 
all pates politick, jointed and laid together in the 
most serious posture ; and they are not half so 
busy at the parliament." 

[Paul's Walk.] 


8 ScESE II.— '-.1 horse in Snilt/i^Hihl." 

Tho in:irtyr fiii'S of SniitliGeld are burutout; 
but its iincieiit lonowu :ia being: the worst horee 
market iu Eiiglaud loiii; survived. lluiMiuga are 
much more quickly chungcd thivu customs; aud 

thus tho external part of Smithfield as it was cau 
scarcely be recogni.sed ; while ho who very re- 
cently walked through that arena of dirt and 
blackguardism on Friday afternoon, might still 
recognise a very fitting iiluco for the purchaiie of 
a sorry jndo by a modern ISardolph. 


T »' -^ *- 

-/-• «"7-^* 

[SniithOeld, ISS^j 

7 Scene II.—" A three man beetle" 

Tliis light instrument for the fdlipingof Fal.^t-\ff, an inftruim-nt nsed for driving piles, wielded 
by three men, u-iing it.s one .short luid two long 

handles. Tlio following representation w.xs given 
in Stccvcns'a edition — ono of tho few exnniplex 
offered by the Shak.sperc comniontntoi-H of illnn- 
trations a<ldro-:.sed to the eye. 



It would appear, from these Rcono.'t, if wo did 
not make duo allowance for the princijile that "tho 
historical ilrama is the concentnition of history,"* 
that the rising of Northumlu'rhind, in connexion 
with S<-riiop and Mowbrr.y, took pI.-K^e immediately 
after the b.\ttle of Shrewsbury. The crafty carl, 

■ Oulwer's Preface to Richelieu. 

however. Hubmitted liimseif to tho more folitir 
king, and wafl re.-torol to Komo of hifl honours in 
tho parliament of 140|. Hin revolt wa* in H05. 
IIolinHhod thua describes tho progreM of the con- 
spiracy : — 

" Whilst Jiurh doinc* wore in hand botwixt tho 
English and I'leneh, tho king wn.s minded to have 
gone into Wales ngainot tho Welsh rebels, tiiat 



under their chieftain, Owen Gleudower, ceased 
not to do much uiischief still against the English 
subjects. But, at the same time, to his further 
disciuieting, there was a conspiracy put in practice 
against him at home by the Earl of Northumber- 
land, who had conspired with Richard Scrope 
Archbishop of York, Thomas Mowbray Earl Mar- 
shal, sou to Thomas Duke of Norfolk, who for 
the quarrel betwixt him and King Henry had been 
banished (as before ye have heard), the lords 
Hastings, Fauconbridge, Berdolfe, and diverse 
others. It was appointed that they should meet 
all together with their whole power, upon Yorkes- 
wold, at a day assigned, and that the Earl of 
Northumberland should be chieftain, promising 
to bring \vith him a great number of Scots. The 
archbishop, accompanied with the Earl Marshal, 
devised curtain articles of such matters as it was 
supposed that not only the comtnonalty of the 
realm, but also the nobility, found themselves 
aggrieved with : which articles they showed first 
imto such of ilieir adherents as were near about 
them, and after sent them aVjroad to their friends 
further off, assuring them that for redress of such 
oppressions they would shed the last drop of 
blood in their bodies, if need were. The arch- 
bishop, not meauiug to stay after he saw himself 
accoiiipuiiiod with a great number of men, that 
came flocking to York to take his part in this 
quarrel, forthwith discovered his enterprise, caus- 
ing the articles aforesaid to be set up in the public 
streets of the city of York, and upon the gates of 
the monasteries, that each man might understand 
the cause that moved him to rise in arms against the 
king, the reforming whereof did not yet appertain 
unto him. Hereupon knights, esquii'es, gentlemen. 

yeomen, and other of the commons, assembled 
together in great number^, and the archbishop 
coming forbh amongst them, clad in armour, 
encouraged, exhorted, and by all means he could, 
jiricked them forth to take the enterprise in hand, 
and thus not only all the citizens of York, but all 
other in the countries about, that were able to 
bear weapon, came to the archbishop and to the 
Earl Marshal. Indeed the respect that men had 
to the archbishop, caused them to like the better 
of the cause, since the gravity of his age, his 
integrity of life, and incomparable learning, with 
the reverend aspect of his amiable personage, 
moved all men to have him in no small estimation." 
The Lord Chief Justice, introduced in this scene, 
— and who appears more prominently in the fifth 
Act, — was Sir William Gascoyne, Chief Justice of 
the King's Bench. " He died," says Steevens, 
"December 17, 1413, and was buried in Harwood 
Church, in Yorkshire." Fuller states, upon the 
authority of an inscription on his tomb, that he 
died on Sunday, December 17, 1412. This is, 
however, contradictory, for the 17th December of 
that year, did not fall on a Sunday, The assertion 
of Fuller, however, gave occasion to one of the 
chai'ges against Shakspere of having brought per- 
sons upon the scene who had ceased to exist, — 
the chief Justice, say the literal critics, died 
before the accession of Henry V. The point, to 
our minds, is not worth discussing ; but it may be 
satisfactory to some to know that Shakspere was 
here perfectly accurate. The llev. Mr. Tyler his 
discovered a will of the Chief Justice, made in 
1419. The following portrait is from the efligy on 
his tomb : — 


[ScESE I.— "Now the LorU lighten thee ! thou art a great fool I "J 


SCENE I.— London. ./ Sheet. 

Enter Hostess; Faxg, and hU Boy, mth her ; 
and ^^KBJE following. 

Host. Master Fang, have you entered tlie 
action ? 

FuHff. It is entered. 

Uusl. Where's your yeoman ? " Is it a lusty 
yeoman ? will he stand to 't ? 

Fan/j. Sirrah, wlicre's Snare? 

Host. Ay, ay ; good Master Snare ! '' 

Snare. Here, here. 

Fan^. Snare, we must arrest sir John Falstaff. 

Host. Ay, good master Snare ; I have entered 
him and all. 

» Yeoman. The bailifT* follower waa called a icr^o^t'} 

l» MastfT Snart. We print the pa<s.-i!;c a< in the oriRina!. 
In our iirst edition wl- altered the punrtuation according to 
a suggestion of Capcll ri-;idiiig — 

" Ay, ay; good I lua&ter Suaie ! " 

Snare. It may chance cost some of us cur 
lives ; he will stab. 

Host. Alas the day ! take heed of him ; he 
stabbed mc in nunc own house, and that most 
beastly: in go(jd faith, he cju-es not what mi.s- 
chief he doth, if his weapon be out : he will foin 
like any devil ; he will spare neither nuui, 
woman, nor child. 

Fttit/f. If I can close with him I care not for 
his thrust. 

Host. No, nor I neither : I '11 be at your 

FtiNtj. If I but fist him once; if he come but 
within my vice; — 

Jlust. I am undone with his going ; I warrant 
he i^ an infinitive thing upon my score: — Good 
master Fang, hold him sure; — good master 
Snare, lot him not 'scajK?. He comes continu- 
Hiitly to ricfonirr, (saving your manhoods,) to 
buy a saddle ; and he is indited to dinner to the 



[Scene 1. 

lubbar's head in Lumbert-street, to master 
Smooth's the silkman : I pray \e, since my exiou 
is entered, and my case so openly known to the 
world, let him be brought in to his answer. A 
Iiundred mark is a long one '^ for a poor lone 
woman to boar : and I have borne, and borne, 
and borne ; and have been fnbbcd oft", and fubbed 
off, from tliis day to that day, that it is a shame 
to be thought on. There is no honesty in such 
dealing; unless a woman should be made an 
ass, and a beast, to bear every knave's wrong. 

Enier Sir John F.vLSTAFr, J'age, and Bardolph, 

Yonder he comes ; and that arrant malmsey- 
nose'^ Bardolph with him. Do your offices, do 
your offices, master Fang, and master Snare ; do 
me, do me, do me your offices. 

Fal. How now? whose mare 's dead ? what's 
the matter ? 

Fa>!^. Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of 
mistress Quickly. 

Fal. Away, varlets ! — Draw, Bardolph ; cut 
me off the villain's head ; throw the quean in 
the channel. 

JIoiL Throw me in the channel ? I '11 throw 
thee there. Wilt thou? wilt thou? thou bas- 
tardly rogue ! — Murder, murder ! O thou honey- 
suckle "^ villain ! wilt thou kill God's officers, and 
the king's ? thou honey-seed rogue ! thou art a 
honey-seed ; a man queller, and a woman quellcr. 

Fal. Keep them off, Bardolph. 

Fa//r/. A rescue ! a rescue ! 

HosL Good people, bring a rescue. Thou 
wilt not ? thou wilt not ? do, do, thou rogue ! do, 
thou hemp-seed ! 

Fal. Away, you scullion ! you rampallian ! 
you fustilariau ! I '11 tickle ^ your catastrophe. 

Fnler the Loud Chief Justice, attended. 

Ch. Just. Wliat 's the matter ? keep the peace 
here, ho ! 

Host. Good my lord, be good to me ! I beseech 
you, stand to me ! 

Ch. Just. How now, sir John ? what, arc you 
brawling here ? 
Doth this become your place, your time, and 
business ? 

" Long one. So the old copies. Theobald's reading is 
long loan. Jiut the dclit was hardly a loan ; it was a score. 
Sir John had eaten the widow out of house and home; she 
therefore says that a hundred mark is a long one— a long 
mark — a long reckoning or score. 

b Malmsey-nose. So the folio. In tlie quarto malmsey- 
noac knave. 

c Jfonei/auckle. Supposed to be Mistress Quickly's cor- 
ruption of homicidal. In the same way hoitcy-sccd for 

<> Tickle. In folio luck 

You should have been well on your way to 

Stand from him, fellow. Wherefore hang'bt 
uj)ou him ? 

Host. 0, my most worshipful lord, an 't please 
your grace, I am a poor widow of Eastcheap, 
and he is arrested at my suit. 

C/i. Just. For what simi ? 

Host. It is more than for some, my lord; 
it is for all, all I have : he hath eaten me out of 
house and home ; lie hath put all my substance 
into that fat belly of his : — but I will have some 
of it out again, or I '11 ride thee o'nights, like the 

Fal. I think I am as like to ride the mare, if 
I have any vantage of ground to get up. 

C//. Just. How comes this, sir John ? Fye ! 
what man of good temper would endure this 
tempest of exclamation ? Are you not ashamed 
to enforce a poor widow to so rough a course to 
come by her own ? 

Fal. Wliat is the gross sum that I owe thee ? 

Host. * Marry, if thou wert an honest man, 
thyself and the money too. Thou didst swear 
to me tipon a parcel-gilt "■ goblet, sitting in my 
Dolphin-chaniber, at the round table, by a sea- 
coal fire, on Wednesday in Wliitsun-weck, when 
the prince broke thy head for liking his father'' 
to a singing-man of Windsor ; thou didst swear 
to me then, as I was washing thy wound, to 
marry me, and make me my lady thy wife. 
Canst thou deny it ? Did not goodwife Koech, 
the butcher's wife, come in then, and call rne 
gossip Quickly ? coming in to borrow a mess of 
vinegar; telling us, she had a good dish of 
prawns ; whereby thou didst desire to eat some ; 
whei'cby I told thcc they were ill for a green 
wound ? And didst not thou, when she was gone 
down stairs, desire me to be no more so fami- 
liarity with such poor people ; saying, that ere 
long they should call mo madam ? And didst 
thou not kiss me, and bid me fetch thee thirty 
shillings? I put thee now to thy book-oath ; 
deny it, if thou canst. 

Fal. My lord, this is a poor mad soul : and 
she says, up and down the town, that her eldest 
son is like you : she hath been in good case, 
and, the truth is, poverty hath distraolcd her. 
But for these foolish officers, I beseech you, I 
may have redress against them. 

C/i. Just. Sir John, sir John, I am well ac- 
quainted with your manner of wrenching the 

" Parcel gill. Partially gilt, or what is now technically 
called partygill. 
'> Liking his falher. The folio reads, likening bin. 

Aci 11.) 

KlEii HENIiY IV.— PAirr II. 


true cause the false way. It is not a confident 
brow, nor the throng of words that conic with 
such more than impudent sauciness from you, 
can thrust me from a level consideration. I 
know you have practised upon the easy-yielding 
si)irit of this woman. 

Jlosf. Yes, in troth, my lord. 

Ci. Just. Prithee, peace : — Pay her the debt 
you owe her, and unpay the villainy you have 
done her; the one you may do v.ith sterling 
money, and the other with current repentance. 

Fal. My lord, I will not ujulergo this sneap 
without reply. You call honourable boldness, 
impudent sauciness : if a man will eourt'sy and 
say nothing, he is virtuous : No, my lord, my 
humble duty remembered, I will not be your 
suitor. I say to you, I do desire deliverance 
from these officers, being upon hasty employ- 
ment in the king's allairs.- 

C/i. Just. You speak as having power to do 
wit)ng: but answer in the effect of your repu- 
tation, mid satisfy the poor wouian. 

Fal. Come hither, hostess. {Taking her aside. 

Enter GowEU. 

Ch. Just. Now, master Gower : Wiat news ? 

Gow. The king, my lord, and Ileury prince 
of Wales 
Are near at hand: the rest the paper tells. 

Fal. As I am a gentleman ; 

Host. Nay, you said so before. 

Fill. As I am a gentleman; Come, no 

more words of it. 

Host. By this heavenly ground I tread on, I 
must be fain to pawn both my pLite and the 
tapestry of my dining-ehambers. 

Fal. Glasses, glasses,' is the only drinking; 
and for thy walls,— a pretty slight drollery, or 
the story of the prodigal, or the German hunting 
in water- work,^ is worth a thousand of these bed- 
hangings, and these fly-bitten tapestries. Let 
it be ten poimd if thou canst. Come, if it were 
not for thy humours, there is not a better wench 
in EngUind. Go, wash thy face, and draw thy 
action : Come, thou not be in this humour 
with me. Come, I know thou wast set ou to 

Host. Prithee, sir John, let it be but twenty 
nobles. I loath to pawn my plate, in good 
earnest, la. 

Fat. Let it alone ; I '11 make other shift : you'll 
be a fool still. 

Ilust. Well, you shall have it, though T pawn 
my gown. I hope you'll conic to supper: 
You'll pay me all together? 

Fal. Will 1 live? — Go, with her, with her; 
[/o B.vUDOLPii.] hook on, hook on. 

Host. Will you liavc Doll Tear-sheet meet 
you at supper? 

Fal. No more words, let's have her. 

[Fxeu/it Hostess, B.kudolpu, Officers, 
rnid Page. 

Cli. Just. I have heard better news. 

Fal. ^\\mt 's the news, my good lord ? 

C/i. Just. "Wlierc lay the king last night ? 

Gow. At Basingstoke, my lord. 

Fal. I hope, my lord, rll 'swell : What is the 
news, my lord ? 

Ch. Just. Come all his forces baek ? 

Gow. No ; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred 
Arc piarcli'd up to my lord of Lancaster, 
Against Northumberland and the arehliishop. 

Fal. Comes the king back from Wales, my 
noble lord ? 

Ch. Just. You shall have letters of me pre- 
sently : 
Come, go along with me, good master Gowcr. 

Fal. My lord '; 

Ch. Just. What's the matter? 

Fal. iMaster Gower, shall I entreat you with 
me to dinner ? 

Gow. I must wait upon my good lord here ; 
I thank you, good sir John. 

Ch. Just. Sir John, you loiter here too long, 
being you are to fake soldiers up in counties as 
you go. 

Fal. Will you sup with me, master Gowcr? 

Ch. Just. What foolish master taught you 
these manncre, sir John ? 

Fal. Master Gower, if they become mc not, 
he was a fool that taught them me. — This is the 
right fencing grace, my lord ; lap for tap, and 
so part fair. 

Ch. Just. Now the lord lighten thee! thou 
art a great fool. [Exeunt 

SCEN E n .— The tame. Another Street. 

Enter I'liiscE IlExnr and Poixs. 

P. Hen. Trust me, I am exceeding woju-y. 

I'oinn. Is it come to that? 1 hail thought 
weariness dtirst wA have att.nrhrdone of so high 

P. Hot. 'faith it dotli me; though it diseo- 
lours the complexion of my greatness to acknow- 
ledge it. Doth it not shew vilely in mc to desire 
small beer ? 


Act II.] 



Poins. "Why, a prince sliould not be so loosely 
studied as to remember so weak a composition. 

P. IIoi,. Bclilce then my appetite was not 
princely got ; for, in troth, I do now remember 
the poor creature, small beer. But, indeed, 
these humble considerations make me out of 
love with my greatness. What a disgrace is it to 
me to remember thy name ? or to know thy face 
to-morrow ? or to take note how many pair of 
silk stockings thou hast ; viz. these, and those 
that were thy peach-colour'd ones ? or to bear 
the inventory of tliy shirts ; as, one for super- 
fluity, and one oi her for use ? — but that, the 
tennis court-keeper knows better than I; for it 
is a low ebb of linen with thee, when thou keep'st 
not racket there ; as thou hast not d(me a great 
while, because the rest of thy low-countries liave 
made a shift to eat up thy liolland.-'' 

Poins. How ill it follows, after you have la- 
boured so hard you should talk so idly ? Tell 
me, how many good young princes would do so, 
tlieir fathers lying so sick as yours is ? 

P. Hen. Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins ? 

Poins. Yes ; and let it be an excellent good 

P. lien. It shall serve among wits of no higher 
breeding tlian thine. 

Poi)is. Go to ; I stand the push of your one 
thing that you will tell. 

P. Hen. Why, I tell thee,— it is not meet 
that I should be sad, now my father is sick : 
albeit I could tell to thee, (as to one it pleases 
me, for fault of a better, to call my friend,) I 
could be sad, and sad indeed too. 

Poins. Very hardly upon such a subject. 

P. Hen. By this hand, thou think'st me as 
far in the devil's book, as thou and Talstaff, for 
obduracy and persistency : Let the end try the 
man. But I tell thee, my heart bleeds inwardly, 
that my father is so sick : and keeping such vile 
com[)any as tliou art hath in reason taken from 
mc all ostentation of sorrow. 

Poins. Tlie reason ? 

P. Hen. What would'st thou think of me if I 
should weep ? 

Poins. I would think thee a most princely 

P. Hen. It woidd be every man's thouglit: 
and thou art a blessed fellow to think as every 
man thinks ; never a man's thought in the world 
keeps tlic road-way better tlian thine : every man 
would tliink me an hypocrite indeed. And what 
accitcs your most worshipful thouglit to think so ? 

Poins, Why, because you have been so lewd, 
and so much engraffed to Falstaff. 


P. Hen. And to thee. 

Poins. Nay, I am well spoken of ; I can hear 
it with my own ears : the worst that they can 
say of me is, that I am a second brother, and 
that I am a proper fellow of my hands ; and 
those two tlungs, I confess, I cannot help. 
Look, look, here comes Bardolph. 

P. Hen. And the boy that 1 gaveTalstaff : he 
had him from me christian : and see, if the fat 
villain have not transformed him ape. 

Tinter Bakdolpii and Page. 

Bard. Save your grace ! 

P. Hen. And yours, most noble Bardolph ! 

Bard. Come, you pernicious ass, \to the Page.] 
you basiiful fool, must you be blushing? where- 
fore blush you now ? What a maidenly man at 
arms are you become ! Is it such a matter to 
get a pottle-pot's maidenhead ? 

Page. He called me even now, my lord, 
through a red lattice, and I could discern no 
part of his face from the window : at last, I spied 
his eyes ; and, methought, he had made two 
holes in the ale-wife's new petticoat, and peeped 

P. Hen. Hath not the boy profited ? 

Bard. Away, you whoreson, upright rabbit, 
away ! 

Page. Away, you rascally Althea's dream, 
away ! 

P. Hen. Instruct us, boy : What dream, boy ? 

Page. Marry, my lord, Althea dreamed she 
was delivered of a fire-brand ; and therefore I 
call him her dream.'' 

P. Hen. A crown's worth of good interpreta- 
tion. — There it is, boy. {Gives him money. 

Poins. 0, that this good blossom could be 
kept from cankers ! — Well, there is sixpence to 
preserve thee. 

Bard. If you do not make him be hanged 
among you, the gallows shall be vv'rouged. 

P. Hen. And how doth tliy master, Bardolph ? 

Bard. WcD, my good lord. He heard of 
your grace's coming to town; there's a letter 
for you. 

"• (col. 1. ) In this speech of Prince Henry there is a passage 
in the quarto which is omitted in the folio. We have not 
restored it, as it ai)pears to ns more profane than witty. 

b Allhea ilreamcil, &c. Dr. Johnson says, " Shakspere is 
here mistaken in his mylliolnKy, and lias confounded .Al- 
thea's firebrand with Hecuba's." In the second part of 
Henry VI. we have mention of 

" The fatal brand Althea burned 

Unto the prince's heart of Calydon." 

Shakspere, then, was actpiainted with the right story of 
Althea. Might lie not, of purpose, make the precocious, 
impudent page, who had been drinking at the liouse with 
the red lattice window, a'.tenipt a joke out of liis /;<((/■ know- 
ledge ? Or did the poet here make a slip ? 

\CT II.] 


[SCKKR tit. 

Poi/is. Delivered with good respect. And how 
doth the martlemas," voiir master ':* 

Burd. In bodily hcidth, sir? 

Poius. Marry, the iinniortal part needs a phy- 
sician : but that moves not hiin ; though that be 
sick, it dies not. 

P. Hen. I do allow this wen to be as familiar 
with me :\s my dog : ;md he holds his place ; for, 
look you, how he writes. 

Poi/is. IReads.] John F;dstaff, kniglit, 

Every man must know that, as oft as he has 
occasion to name him.'^elf. Even like those that 
are kin to the king ; for they never priek their 
tinger, but they say, 'There is some of the 
king's blood spilt :' ' llow comes that ? ' says he, 
that takes upon him not to conceive : the answer 
is as ready as a borrower's cap ;'' ' I am the king's 
l)Oor cousin, sii*. ' 

P. Hen. Nay, they will be kin to us, but they 
will fetch it from Japhet. But to the letter : — 

Puiiis. ' Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son 
of the king, nearest his father, Harry prince of 
Wales, greeting.' — ^Vliy, this is a certificate. 

P. Hen. Peace ! 

Poius. ' I will imitate the honourable Romans" 
in brevity : ' — sure he means brevity in breath ; 
short-winded. — ' I commend me to thee, I com- 
mend thee, and I leave thee. Be not too 
familiar with Poins ; for he misuses thy favours 
80 much, that he swears thou art to marry Ids 
sister Nell. Ikpeut at idle times as thou ma/st, 
and so farewell. 

Thine, by yea and no, (which is as 
much as to say, as thou uscst him,) 
Jack Fidstatr, with my familiars; 
John, with my brothers and sisters; 
and sir John with all Europe.' 
My lord, 1 %vill steep this letter in sack, and 
make him eat it. 

P. Hen. That's to make him eat twenty of his 
words. But do you use me thus, Ned ? must I 
marry your sister ? 

Poiiu. May the wench have no worse fortune ! 
but I never said so. 

P. Hen. Well, thus we play the fools with the 
time ; and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds 
and mock us. Is your master here in Loudon ? 

» Marll-meu. The feast of St. MMtin, the lUh uf No- 
vember. Poins calli FaUtafT the mortlemas, bccauic hii 
year of life is running out. 

<> Borrower's cap. The old topic* read borrowtd cap. 
Warburton supgistcd the emendation. A borrower's cap U 
always at hand, ready to be doff'd to tlic Icnilcr. 

c HomaitM. So the old copies. Warburton nad Roman, 
thinking the allusion was to Drulus or Cxs^r. C'aprll 
observes, " The matter in question i^ — epiitulary Irrtity, 
and in p.irticular the fonns of addressing, in which the 
Romans were most concise : many not remote from Sir 
John's / commend me to thee, &c , are found in all their 

Bard. Yes, my lord. 

P. Hen. Where sups he ? doth the old boar 
feed in the old frank ?* 

Biird. At the old place, my lord ; in East- 

V. HiH. What company? 

Pacje. Ephesians, my lord ; of the old church. 

P. Hen. Sup any women with him ? 

Paffc, None, my lord, but old misf ress Quickly, 
and mistress Doll Tear-sheet. 

P. Hen. What ])agan may that be ? 

Page. A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kins- 
woman of my master's. 

P. Hen. Even such kin as the parish heifers 
are to the town bull. Shall we steal upon them, 
Ned, at supper ? 

Poins. I am your shadow, my lord ; I'll follow 

P. Hen. Sirrah, you boy, — and Bardolph ; — 
no word to your master that I am yet in town : 
There 's for your silence. 

Bard. I have no tongue, sir. 

Paffe. And for mine, sir, — I will govern it. 

P. Hen. Fare ye well ; go. [Exeiinl Bau- 
DOLPii and Page.] — This Doll Tear-sheet should 
be some road. 

Poins. I warrant you, as common as the way 
between Saint Alban's and London. 

P. Hen. How might we see Falstaff bestow 
himself to-night in his true colours, and not our- 
selves be seen ? 

Puins. Put on two leather jerkins and aprons, 
and wait upon him at his table like drawers. 

P. Hen. From a god to a bull? a heavy de- 
clension l^ it was Jove's case. From a prince to 
a prentice ? a low trans fonii at ion ! that shall be 
mine : for, in every thing, the purjjose must 
weigh with the folly. Follow me, Ned. 


SCENE IIP— Warkworth. Be/ore ike C<tstle. 

Enter NoRTiiuamKiiLAND, Lady NoBTiiUM- 
1JKIIL.VND, and Ijudy Pkkcy. 

iSorth. I prithee, loving wife, and gentle 
Give even way unto my rough afTntrs : 
Put not you on the visage of the limes, 
.Vnd be, like them, to Percy trotiblesomc. 

Lady N. I have given over, I will s]>cak no 

a f", ,j.iZ Tm f:.TiV i. t.i rr.iin In fif.n- .-•..! I'.in ^ 

fraii' .In 

of 1, ii.Td 

>' . So the folio. The quarto detcention. 


Act II.] 


[Scene IV. 

Do what you will ; your wisdom be your guide. 
North. Alas, sweet wife, my honour is at 

pawn ; 
And, but my going, nothing can redeem it. 
Lady. P. 0, yet, for Heaven's sake, go not to 

these wars ! 
The time was, father, that you broke your word. 
When you were more endeared to it than now ; 
When your own Percy, when my heart's dear 

Threw many a northward look, to see his father 
Bring up his powers ; but he did long in vain. 
Who then persuaded you to stay at home ? 
There were two honours lost; yours, and your 

For yours, may heavenly glory brighten it ! 
For his, it stuck upon him, as the sun 
In the grey vault of heaven: and, by his light, 
Did all the chivalry of England move 
To do brave acis ; he was, indeed, the glass 
Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves. 
He had no legs that praetis'd not his gait : 
And speaking thick, mIucIi Natui-e made his 

Became the accents of the valiant ; 
For those that could speak low, and tardily. 
Would turn their own perfection to abuse. 
To seem like him : So that, in speech, in gait. 
In diet, in affections of delight, 
In military rales, humours of blood. 
He was the mark and glass, copy and book. 
That fashion'd others. And him, — O wondrous 

him ! 
miracle of men ! — ^liim did you leave, 
(Second to none, unscconded by you,) 
To look upon the hideous god of war 
In disadvantage ; to abide a field, 
Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur's name 
Did seem defensible : — so you left him : 
Never, O never, do his ghost the wrong, 
To hold your honour more precise and nice 
With otiiers, than with him ; let them alone ; 
The m.arshal and the archbishop are strong : 
Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers. 
To-day might I, hanging on Hotspur's neck, 
Have talk'd of Monmouth's grave.'' 

North. Beshrew your heart, 

Fair daughter ! you do draw my spirits from me^ 
AVith new lamenting ancient oversights. 
But I must go, and meet with danger there ; 
Or it will seek me in another place. 
And tind me worse provided. 

iMdi/. N. 0, fly to Scotland, 

• Monmnuth's grnre. The twenty-two lines here emling 
Were first printed in the folio. 


Till that the nobles, and the armed commons. 
Have of their puissance made a little taste. 
Lady. P. If they get ground and vantage of 

the king, 
Then join you with them, like a rib of steel. 
To make strength stronger; but, for all oui 

First let them try themsolves : So did your 

He was so suffer'd ; so came I a widow ; 
And never shall have length of life enough, 
To rain upon remembrance with mine eyes. 
That it may grow and sprout as high as heaven, 
For recordation to my noble husband. 

North. Come, come, go in with me : 't is with 

my mind. 
As with the tide swell'd up unto his height, 
That makes a still-stand, running ncitlier way. 
Fain would I go to meet the archbishop. 
But many thousand reasons hold me back : 
I will resolve for Scotland ; there am I, 
Till time and vantage crave my company. 


SCENE IV.— London. A Room in the Boar's 
Head Tavern, in Eastcheap. 

Enter Two Drawers. 

1 Draw. Wliat hast thou brought there? 
apple- Johns? thou know'st sir John cannot 
endure an apple-John. 

2 DraiP. Thou sayest true : The prince once 
set a disli of apple-Johns before him, and told 
him, there were five more sir Johns : and, put- 
ting off his hat, said, ' I will now take my leave 
of these six dry, round, old, withered knights.* 
It angered him to the heart : but he hath forgot 

1 Draw. Why then, cover, and set them down : 
And see if thou canst find out Sneak's noise ; " 
mistress Tear-sheet would fain have some music. 
Dispatch :— The room where they supped is too 
hot ; they'll come in straight. 

2 Draio. Sirrah, here will be the prince, and 
master Poins anon : and they will put on two of 
our jerkins and aprons; and sir John must not 
know of it : Bardolph hath brought word. 

1 Draw. By the mass, here will be old utis -.^ 
It will be an excellent stratagem. 

" Sneak's noise. A noise of musicians is a hand. 

b Old ulis. Utis is the octave of a festival; and so the 
word passed into the mpaninf; of merriment generally. Old 
does not here mean anrient, but extreme, very good — a sense 
in which it is often used by Shakspere, and the writers o» 
his lime. 

Act II ) 



2 Draw. 1 "11 see if 1 can find out Sneak. 


Eiitfr Hostess and Doll Tkau-sheet. 

lloxt. I'fuith, sweet heart, methinks now you 
are ill an cxcclleut good terapcrality : your pul- 
sidge beats as extraordinarily as heart would 
desire ; and your colour, I warrant you, is as 
red as any rose : But you have drunk too much 
canaries ; and that 's a marvellous searching 
wine, and it perfumes the blood ere we can say, 
— What 's this ? How do you now ? 

Boll. Better than I was. Ilcni. 

Host. Why, that was well said; a good heart's 
worth gold. Look, here comes sir John. 


Enter FalSTAFF, singing. 

When Arthur first in court— 

« Worthy king. The ballad, of which FaUtaffhcre sinfcs 
a snatch, may l)e found in Percy's " Reliques," vol. i. It 
commences thus : 

" When Arthur first in court began. 
And was approved kinp. 
By force of armes (jrcat victorys wannc. 
And conquest home did bring." 

b Calm. The hostess means qiinlm. 

c Your brooches. Sec. Falstalf is here again singing a 
scrap of an old ballad: (Percy's Ueliques, vol. L) 

" A kirtle, and a mantle, 
This boy had him upon. 
With brooches, rin^s, and owches 
Full daintily b'.'Jonc." 

Empty the Jordan. — 

And was a worthy king: a 

[Exit Drawer.] How now, mistress Doll? 

Ilojst. Sick of a calm ; ^ yea, good sooth. 

Fal. So is all her sect ; if they be once iu a 
calm, they are sick. 

Doll. You muddy rascal, is that all the com- 
fort you give me ? 

Fal. You make fat rascals, mistress Dull. 

Doll. I make them ! gluttony and diseases 
make them ; I make them not. 

Fal. If the cook help to make the gluttony, 
you help to make the diseases, Doll : ■we catch 
of you, Doll, we catch of you ; grant Hi it, my 
poor virtue, grant that. 

Loll. Ay, marrv ; our chains aud our jewels. 


■your brooches, pcail;, and owches c 

— for to serve bravely is to come halting off, 
you know : To come off the breech with his pike | 
bent bravely, aud to surgery bravely ; to ven- 
ture upon the charged chambers bravely : — 

[Dull. Hang yourself, you muddy conger, 
hang yourself !] 

Ilod. By my troth, this is the old fashion; 
you two never meet, but you fall to some dis- 

cord : you arc both, in good troth, as rheumatic 
as two dry toasts; you cannot one bear with 
another's coufirmities. What the good-year! 
one must bear, and that must be you : [/«< Doll.] 
you are the weaker vessel, as they say, the emp- 
tier vessel. 

Doll. Cun a weak empty vessel bear such a 
huge full hogshead ? there 's a whole merchant's 
venture of Buurdeaux stuff in him; you have 
not seen a hulk better stuffed iu the hold. — 
Come, I '11 be friends with thee. Jack — thou art 
going to the wars : and whether I shall ever see 
thee again, or no, there is nobody cares.' 

Re-enter Drawer. 

Draw. Sir, ancient'' Pistol 's below, and would 
speak with you. 

Doll. Hang him, swaggering rascal ! let him 
not come hither : it is the fuul mouth'dst rogue 
in England. 

Host. If he swagger, let hiin not come here : 
no, by my faith ; I must live amongst my neigh- 
bours ; I '11 no swaggerers : I am iu good name 
and fame with the very best : — Shut the door; — 
there comes no swaggerers here ; I have not 
lived all this while, to have swaggering now : — 
shut the door, I pray you. 

Fal. Dost thou hear, hostess ? 

Host. Pray you, pacify yourself, sir John; 
there comes no swa^crers here. 

/•>//. Dost thdu hoar? it is mine ancient. 

Host. Tilly-fuUy," sir John, never tell mc ; 
your ancient swaggerer comes not in my doors. 
I was before master Tisiek, the deputy, the otlier 
day ; and, as he said to me, — it was no longer 
ago than Wednesday last, — 'Neighbour Quickly,' 
says he;— master Dumb, our minister, was by 
then ; — ' Neighbour Quickly,' says he, ' receive 
those that arc civil ; fur,' saith he, 'you are in an 
ill name;' — now lie said so, I can tell whereupon; 
' for,' says he, 'you are an honest woman, and 
well thought on ; therefore take heed what guests 
you receive : Ileceive,' says he, ' no swaggering 
companions.' There comes none here; — you 

• It wa> tu^'h'rstcd to us l>y Dr. Maijinn that the*« 
linra arc metrical; tlmt Doll, (allini; in with the musual 
vein of Falstalf, prupitUUet him with • little exirmpue 
I lyric :— 

" Come, I'll be friends with tliec, Jack; 
Thou art noinK to th- irnrs, 
And whether I sh.^! thee again, 

Or no, there is n •" 

b Ancirnl. The anciint ii ■ 'I. the ensign ; and 

so thr bearer nf the cn.iffn ancient. lago U 

0th • •• 

c ; or r.%ther Tillty-ralley. 

i, s.,1'1 i "ic lady of Sir Thom.ii 

More. 1 -urc; though it ii sup 

posed to : . hunting cry. 


Act II.] 


[Scene IV. 

would bless you to hear what he said :— no, I '11 
no swaggerers, 

Fal. He 's no swaggerer, hostess ; a tame 
cheater,* he; you may stroke him as gently as 
a puppy greyhound : he wiU not swagger with a 
Barbury hen, if her feathers tui'n back in any 
shew of resistance. — Call him up, drawer. 

Host. Cheater, call you him ? I will bar no 
honest man my house, nor no cheater : But I do 
not love swaggering ; by my trotli, I am the 
worse when one says — swagger: feel, masters, 
how I sluikc; look you, I warrant you. 

Boll. So you do, liostcss. 

Host. Do I ? yea, in very truth, do 1, an 
't were an aspen leaf : I cannot abide swaggerers. 

Unter Pistol, Baudolph, and Page. 

Fist. Save you, sir John ! 

Fal. Welcome, ancient Pistol. Here, Pistol, I 
charge you with a cup of sack : do you discharge 
upon mine hostess. 

Fist. I will discharge upon her, sir John, with 
two bullets. 

Fal. She is pistol-proof, sir ; you shall hardly 
offend her. 

Host. Come, I '11 drink no proc)fs, nor no bul- 
lets : I '11 drink no more than wiU do me good, 
for no man's pleasui-e, I. 

Fist. Then to you, mistress Dorothy ; I wiU 
charge you. 

Loll. Charge me? I scorn you, sciu'vy com- 
panion. Wliat ! you poor, base, rascally, cheat- 
ing, lack-linen mate ! Away, you mouldy rogue 
away ! I am meat for your master. 

Fist. I know you, mistress Dorothy. 

Boll. Away, you cut-pvirse rascal ! you fdthy 
bung, away ! by this wine, I '11 thrust my knife 
in your mouldy chaps, if you pby the saucy 
cuttle with me. Away, you bottle-ale rascal ! 
you basket-hilt stale juggler, you! — Siuec when, 
I pray you, sir ?— "What, with two points on your 
shoulder ? much I'' 

Fist. I will murder your ruff for this. 

[Fal. No more, Pistol ; I would not have you 
go off here : discharge yourself of our company. 

Host. No, good captain Pistol; not hero, 
sweet captain. 

_ " Cheater. The singular origin of this word i.s indicated 
in a passage of the Merry Wives of Windsor: "I will be 
cheaters to them both, and they shall he exchequers tome." 
The olVicers that manage the escheats of the ciown were 
escheator.i; and from the oppression and extortion which 
lliey too commonly exercised in the discharge of their 
olTices, came the word to cheat. The hostess, in her reply, 
utideratands the name cheater in its olficial meaning: "i 
will b ir no honest man my house, nor no cheater." 
" Much. An expression of contempt. 

Doll. Captain! thou abominable damned 
cheatei', art thou not ashamed to be called cap- 
tain ? If captains were of my mind, they would 
truncheon you out, for taking their names upon 
you before you have earned them. You a cap- 
tain, you slave ! for what ? for tearing a poor 
whore's ruff in a bawdy-house ? — He a captain ! 
Hang him, rogue ! He lives upon mouldy stewed 
prunes and dried cakes. A captain ! these vil- 
lains will make the word captain as odious as 
the word occupy ;" which was an excellent good 
word before it was ill sorted : therefore captains 
had need look to it. 

Bard. Pray thee, go down, good ancient. 

Fal. Hark thee hither, mistress DoU. 

Fist. Not I : tell thee what, corporal Bardolph ; 
— I could tear her : — I 'U be revenged on her. 

Fat/e. Pray thee, go down. 

Fist. I'll see her damned first; — to Pluto's 
damned lake, to the infernal deep, with Erebus 
and tortures vUe also. Hold hook and line, say 
I. Down ! down, dogs ! down faitors ! Have 
we not Hiren here ? 

Host. Good captain Peescl, be quiet ; it is 
very late. I beseek you now, aggravate youi 

Fist. These be good humours, indeed ! Shall 
And hollow pamper' d jades of Asia, 
Which cannot go but thirty mUes a day. 
Compare with Cajsars and with Cannibals, 
And Trojan Greeks ? nay, rather damn them with 
King Cerberus ; and let the welkin roar. 
Shall we fall foul for toys ? 

Host. By my troth, captain, these arc very 
bitter words. 

Bard. Be gone, good ancient ; this will grow 
to a brawl anon. 

Fist. Die men, like dogs; give crowns like 
pins ; Have we not Hiren here ? 

Host. On my word, ca])tain ; there 's none 
such here. "Wluit the good-year 1 do you think 
I would deny her ? I pray be quiet. 

Fist. Then, feed and be fat, my fair Calipolis : 
Come, give me some sack. 

Sifortmia me tormcnta, spornto we confenfa. — ^ 
Fear we broadsides ? no, let the fiend give fire : 

a The folio mereiy has — " A captain ! these villains wi".! 
make the word odious." We give the text of the quarto. 

'' Hollow pamper'd jades, &c. Pistol's fustian speeches 
.•ire made U]) from scraps of old plays. The following lines 
are in Marlow's Tamburlaine (1590) : — 

" Holla, you pamper'd jades of Asia, 
What ! can you draw but twenty miles a day?" 

t Cannibals. Pistol, whose learning is upon a par with 
dame Quickly's, means Ilannibals. It is curious cnoiigli 
that the Italian of this worthy, a few lines farther on, wai 
corrected, in sober earnest, by Sir Thomas Ilanmer 

Act II. 


[SctNE IV. 

Give me some sack ; — and, sweetheart, lie thou ; 

there. [Z//yi//y dotcn his sicord. 

Come we to full points here ; and are et cetera % 
nothing ? 

Fal. Pistol, I would be quiet. 

put. Sweet knight, I kiss thy neif:' What! 
we have seen the seven stars. 

Doll. Tlirust him down stairs; I cannot en- 
dure such a fuslian rascal. 

put. Thrust him down stairs ! know we not 
Galloway nags ? 

Fal. Quoit him do\™, Bardolph, like a shovc- 
groat shilling : * nay, if he do nothing but speak 
uuihiug, he shall be nothing here. 

Bard. Come, get you down stairs. 

put. "What ! shall we have incision ? shall wc 

imbrue ? [Snatching up his sicord. 

Then death rock me asleep, abridge my doleful 

days ! 
Why then, let grievous, ghastly, gaping wounds 
Untwine the sisters thice ! Come, Atropos, 1 

Host. Here 's goodly stuff toward ! 

Fal. Give me my rapier, boy. 

Doll. I prithee. Jack, I prithee, do not draw. 

Fal. Get you down stairs. 

[Draiciiig, and dririiig Pistol out. 

Host. Here 's a goodly tumult ! I'll forswear 
keeping house, afore I '11 be in these tirrits and 
frights. So ; murder, I warrant now. Alas^ 
alas ! put up your naked weapons, put up your 
naked weapons. [Exeunt Pistol and Bahdolpk. 

Doll. I prithee, Jack, be quiet ; the rascal is 
gone. All, you whoreson little valiant villain, 

Host. Are you not hurt i' the groin? methought, 
he made a shrewd thiust at your belly. 

Re-enter Bardolph. 

Fal. Have you turned him out of doors ? 

Bard. Yes, sir. The rascal's drunk : you have 
hurt liim, sir, in the shoulder. 

Fal. A rascal ! to brave nie ! 

Doll. :\Ji, you sweet little rogue, you! Alas, 
poor ape, how thou sweat'st ! Come, let me wipe 
thy face ; come on, you whoreson chops : — Ah, 
rogue! I love thee. Thou art as valorous as 
Hector of Troy, worth five of Agamemnon, and 
ten times better than the nine worthies. Ah, 
villain ! 

Fal. A rascally slave ! 1 will toss the rogue iu 
a bbnkct. 

Doll. Do, if thou darest for thy heart : if thou 
dost, 1 '11 canvas thee between a pair of sheets. 

Enter Music. 

Piiffe. The music is come, sir. 

/)//. Let them play ;— Play, sirs. — Sit on my 
knee, Doll. A rascal l)ragging slave ! the rogue 
fled frou\ me like quicksilver. 

Doll. And thou foUoweilst him like a church. 
Thou whorescm little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig,' 
when wilt thou leave fighting o' days, and foiniug 
0* nights, and begin to patch up thine old body 
for heaven ? 

Enter behind, Prince Henry and PoiNS, dis- 
guised like Drawers. 

Fal. Peace, good Doll ! do not speak like a 
death's head : do not bid me remember miuc 

Doll. Sii-rah, what humour is the prince of ? 

Fal. A good shallow young fellow : he would 
have made a good pantler, he would have chipped 
bread well. 

Doll. They say Poins hath a good \vit. 

Fal. He a good wit ? hang him, baboon ! his as thick as Tewksbury mustard ; there is no 
more conceit in him than is in a mallet." 

Doll. Why doth the prince love him so then ? 

Fal: Because their legs are both of a bigness : 
and he plays at quoits well ; and eats conger and 
fennel ; and drinks off candles' ends for llap- 
dragons ; and rides the wild mare ^ with the 
boys ; and jumps upon joint-stools ; and swears 
with a good grace ; and wears his boot very 
smooth, like unto the sign of the leg ; and breeds 
no bate with telling of discreet stories ; and such 
other gambol facidtics he hath, that shew a weak 
mind and an able body, for the which the priucc 
admits him: for the prince himself is such 
another ; the weight of a hair will turn the scales 
betweeu their avoirdupois. 

P. Ilcn. Would not this nave of a wheel have 
his cars cut off ? 

Poins. Let us beat him before Ids whore. 

P. Hen. Look, if the williercd elder hath not 
his poll chawed like a parrot. 

Poins. Is it not strange that desire should so 
many years outlive performance ? 

Fal. Kiss mc, Doll. 

P. Hen. Saturn and Venus this year in con- 
junction ; what says the almanac to that ? 

Poins. And, look, whether the fiery Trigon, 

» Seif. Fist. So in M 
M]r>, "Give Tiie thy n- 
word Ktif, or neite, is ti... 

1. Bottom 
!.■• The 

• Mntlet. MaHard. 
I> RidcM the tri.'J mare. 

Plays at tee-saw. 


Act II.] 



his maUj be uot lisping to liis master's old tables ; 
Lis note-book, his coansel-kceper. 

Fal. Thou dost give me flattering busses. 

Doll. Nay, truly ; I kiss thee with a most 
constant heart. 

Fal. I am old, I am old. 

Doll. 1 love thee better than 1 love e'er a 
scurvy young boy of them all. 

Fal. What stuff wilt thou have a kirtle of ? I 
shall receive money on Thursday ; thou shalt 
have a cap to-morrow. A merry song, come: 
it grows late, we will to bed. Thou Avilt forget 
me, when I am gone. 

Doll. By my troth thou 'It set me a weeping, 
if thou sayest so : prove that I ever dress myself 
handsome till thy return. Well, hearken the 

Fal. Some sack, Francis. 

P. Hen. Foins. Anon, anon, sir. {^Advancing. 

Fal. Ila ! a bastard son of the king's ? — And 
art not thou Poins his brother ? 

P. Hen. Why, thou globe of sinful continents, 
what a life dost thou lead ? 

Fal. A better than thou ; I am a gentleman, 
thou art a drawer. 

P. lien. Very true, sii* : and I come to di'aw 
you out by the ears. 

Hod. 0, the lord preserve thy good grace ! by 
my troth, welcome to London. — Now Heaven 
bless that sweet face of thine 1 What, are you 
come from Wales ? 

Fal. Thou whoreson mad compound of ma- 
jesty, — by this light flesh and corrupt blood, thou 
art welcome. \_Leaninf/ hk luind upon Doll. 

Doll. How ! you fat fool, I scorn you. 

Foins. My lord, he will drive you out of your 
revenge, and turn all to a merriment, if you take 
not the heat. 

F. Hen. You whoreson candlc-minc, you, how 
vilely did you speak of me even now, before this 
honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman! 

Host. Blessing on your good heart ! and so 
she is, by my troth. 

Fal. Didst thou hear me ? 

P. Hen. Yes ; and you knew me, as you did 
when you ran away by Gadshill : you knew I 
was at your back ; and spoke it on purpose, to 
try my patience. 

Fal. No, no, no, not so ; I did not think thou 
wast within hearing. 

P. Hen. I shall cbive you then to confess the 
wilful abuse ; and then I know how to handle 

Fal. No abuse, Hal, on mine honour; no 


P. Hen. Not to dispraise me ; and call me 
pantler, and brcad-chipper, and I know not what ? 

Fal. No abuse, Hal. 

Poins. No abuse ! 

Fal. No abuse, Ned, in the world ; honest Ned, 
none. I dispraised him before the wicked, that 
the wicked might not fall in love with him : — 
in vvhich doing, I have done the part of a care- 
ful friend, and a true subject, and thy father is to 
give me thanks for it. No abuse, Hal ; — none, 
Ned, none;— no, boys, none. 

P. Hen. See now, whether pure fear, and en- 
tire cowardice, doth not make thee wrong this 
virtuous gentlewoman to close with us ? Is she 
of the wicked ? Is thine hostess here of the 
wicked ? or is the boy of the wicked ? Or honest 
Bardolph, whose zeal burns in his nose, of the 
wicked ? 

Poins. Answer, tliou dead elm, answer. 

Fal. The fiend hath pricked down Bardolph, 
irrecoverable; and his face is Lucifer's privy- 
kitchen, where he doth nothing but roast malt- 
worms. Eor the boy, — there is a good angel 
about him ; but the devil outbids him too. 

P. He7i. For the women, — 

Fal. For one of them, — she is in heU already, 
and bui-ns, poor soul ! For the other, — I owe her 
money ; and whether she be damned for that, I 
know not. 

Host. No, I warrant you. 

Fal. No, I think thou art uot ; I think, thou 
art quit for that : MaiTy, there is another indict 
ment upon thee, for suffering flesh to be eaten in 
thy house, contrary to the law; for the which, I 
think, thou wilt howl. 

Host. All victuallers do so : what is a joint of 
mutton or two in a whole Lent ? 

P. Hen. You, gentlewoman, — 

Doll. What says your grace ? 

Fal. His grace says that which his flesh rebels 

Host. Who knocks so loud at door ? look to 
the door, there, Francis. 

Enter Peto. 

P. Hen. Pcto, how now ? what news? 

Peto. The king your father is at AVcstminster ; 
And there are twenty weak and wearied posts 
Come from the north : aud, as I came along, 
I met, and overtook, a dozen captains, 
Bare-headed, sweating, knocking at the taverns. 
And asking every one for sir John Falstaff. 

P. Hen. By heaven, Poins, I feel me much to 

Act II. 1 


(Scene I V 

So idly to profane the precious time ; 
When tempest of commotion, like tlic soiitli, 
Borue with black vapour, lioth bcfjiu to mtlt, 
Aucl drop ui)0u our bare unarmed heads. 
Give me my sword, and cloak : — Falstaff, good 


{Exeunt riiiNCK IIenky, Tuins, PtTO, 
and BAiiDuLra. 
/'(//. Now comes in the sweetest ujorscl of the 
night, and v>c must hence, and leave it unpicked. 
{KnocktHj heard.] Mure knocking at the door ! 

Re-eider Bardolpii. 

Row now ? what 's the matter ? 

Biird. You must away to court, sir, presently ; 
.\ dozen captains stay at door for you. 

/'<//. Pay the musicians, sirrah. \To the Page.] 
— Farewell, hostess ; — farewell, Doll. — You see, 
my good wenches, how men of merit arc sought 

after: the undeserver may sleep, when the man 
of action is called on. Farewell, g<Hid wenches: 
If 1 be iinl sint a\\;iy post I will see you again 
ere I go. 

DoH. I eauuot sptidc ; — If my la art be not 
ready to btir^' ^'■'1 -\\'-< .hick, have a care 
of thyself. 

Fill. Farewell, farewell 

[tlvemit F.M.-MMt " ' / livKiHjLpn. 

Iloft. \W\\, fare thee well : I have known 
thee these twenty-nine years, come pcascod 
time ; but an honeslcr and truerheurted man, — 
Well, fare thee well. 

Bard. {Witliiu.'] Mistress Tear-sheet. 

//.W. What's the matter? 

Bard. Iff'it/ihi.] Bid mistress Tear-sheet come 
to my master. 

I font. O run, Doll, run ; nin, good Dull. 



[SC£«K I.— "Sitting in luy dolphin lUdmber, at Uic round t^iblc, l-y « »ea-c-iJ fl^."J 

IIisTOBlES. — Vol 1. 




I Sotse I.— " Marry, 'if thou u-ert an honest man"d:c. 
Coleridge, in his celebrated Essay on Method, 
has given this speech of the Hostess, — 

" Fermenting o'er with frothy circumstance," 
as an example of "the absence of method, ^vhich 
characterizes the uneducated, occasioned by an 
habitual submission of the understanding to mere 
events and images as such, and independent of any 
power in the mind to classify or appropriate them. 
The general accompaniments of time and place 
are the only relations which persons of this class 
appear to regard in their statements." Our great 
philosophical critic, however, most truly adds, 
that in this speech of Sirs. Quickly, " the poor 
soul's thoughts and sentences are more closely 
interlinked than the truth of nature would have 
required, but that the connexions and sequence, 
which the habit of method can alone give, have in 
this instance a substitute in the fusion of passion." 

" Scene I. — " / do desire delirerance," tL-c. 

Falstaff claimed the protection legally called 
quid profccturus. (See Coke upon Littleton, 130 a.) 
This is one of the many examples of Shakspere's 
somewhat intimate acquaintance with legal forms 
and phra-ses. 

* Scene I. — " Glasses, glasses." 

In Lodge's Illustrations of British History (vol. 
ii. page 2.51, edition 1791) there is a letter from 
the Earl of Shrew.'?bury to Thomas Bawdewyn, 
which the editor inserts on account of the fol- 
lowing curious postcript : "I wold have you bye 
me qlasses to drink in : Send me word what olde 

plat yeldes the ounce, for I wyll nott leva me a 
cuppe of sylvare to drink in butt I wyll see the 
next terme my creditors payde." Whether the 
earl sold his plate, and by his example mad-i 
" glasses " fashionable—'- the only drinking "—we 
are not informed. 

* Scene I. — " The German hunting in water-worJc .'* 

In the Gentleman's Magazine, 1833, page 393, is 
a paper which throws considerable light upon the 
mode of decorating houses in Shakspere's time. 
Steevens speaks of "the German hunting" as a 
painted cloth brought from Holland, considering it 
to be the same mode of hanging rooms with 
drapery as that alluded to in this play. Act III. — 
" as ragged as Lazarus in the painted cloth." But 
it appears that the German hunting in ivafer-wwh 
was a. fresco painting. Upon Woodford Common, 
in Essex.there stood, as late as the autumn of 1832, 
an old house called Grove House, traditionally 
believed to have been a hunting lodge of Robert 
Devereux Earl of Essex. This, however, may be 
doubted. One of the apartments in this old house 
was called the ball-room, and in this room were 
twelve fresco paintings, exhibiting as many subjects 
of rural life. Six of these paintings were tolei-ably 
perfect, but the others were in great part obliterated 
by a coat of white-wash. The only memorials that 
have been preserved of these very curious repre- 
sentations have been kindly exhibited to us. They 
are a series of very faithful drawings, by the ac- 
complished lady to whom we are also indebted for 
the copy of the Boar's Head in Henry IV. Part I. 
The following is a fac-simile of one of the most 
elaborate of these frescoes, which bears the initials 
D. M. C. and the date 1617. 

[Fresco from Grove House.] 


» ScEXE IV.—" Slfovtiina," dr. 

Tluro is little doubt, when Pistol exclaims, 
"Have we not Hir ii here?" that, however the 
Hostess may mist;\ke him, he alludes to his sword. 
King Arthur's sword was called lion. Do\tco has 
been enabletl to supjily a very curious illustration 
of this jiassage, by having met with an old rapier 
on which these lines arc inscribed : — 

" Si fortune me tourmente, 
I.'esperance me contenfe." 

This ia precisely tho meaning of Pistol's bad 
Itilian ; and Douce therefore very ingeniously 
conjectures that Pistol, iinmin<lfiil of the Hostess's 
interruption, goes on spouting the inscription u]ion 
his 8wor<l. Douco has given an engraving of this 
rapier, which wo copy : — 

^ Scene IV. — '• .1 shove-groat shilling." 

Bardolph was to quoit Pistol down stairs ns 
quickly as the smooth shilling — the shove-groat — 
flies along the board. Ben Jonson, in the same 
allusion to quickness, says, " made it run as 
smooth off the tongue as a ahovc-i/roat shilling." 
Shove-groat, in a statute of the 33rd of Henry 
VIII., is called a ncio game; and it was also called 
olide-groat, — slide-board, — slide-thrift, and slip- 
thrift. The game Wiis no doubt originally played 
with the silver groat. The broad shilling of Edward 
VI. cjvme afterwards to be used in this game, which 
in all probability varied little from shoi-el-hoard . 
Master Slender, in the Merry Wives of Windsor, 

had his pocket picked of " two Edward shovel- 
boards, that cost him two and two pence a piece." 
Slenders costly shillings were probably lucky ones. 

7 Scene IV. — " Bartholomeir loar-pig.'" 

A roasted pig in Bartholomew fair was a dainty 
to which Ben Jonson has several allusions ; and 
thus it is used as a term of endearment to Falstaff. 
Davenant has some lines on the subject, which are 
quoted by Gifford : — 

" Now London's Jfayor on saddle new, 
Rides to the fair of Bartleniew; 
lie twirls his chain and looketh big, 
As if to fright the head of pig. 
That gaping lies on every stall. " 

[Uroac*. Shilling of Edward VI 

1 *fliii- 

I --^^j-P 

[Falstaff choosing liis llecuiits.] 


SCENE I.— A Room iii the ralace. 

Enter King Henuy, with a Page. 

K. lien. Go, call the curls of Siirroy and of 

Warwick ; 
But, ere they come, Lid tliem o'er-read these 

iViid well consider of them : Make good speed. 

\_Exit Page. 
How many thousand of my poorest subjects 
Arc at this hour asleep ! O sleep, O gentle sleep, 
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee. 
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down. 
And steep my senses in forgetfulness ? 
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs, 
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee. 
And hiish'd with buzzing night-flies to thy 

slumber ; 
Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great, 
Under the canopies of costly state. 
And lull'd with sounds of sweetest melody ? 
O thou dull god, why Host thou with the vile. 
In lotithsome beds ; and leav'st the kingly couch, 
A watch-case, or a common 'larum-bell ? " 

» A iiatch-case, &c. The metaphor here may he taken 
thus: — The khiRly couch, the phice of repose for tlie kiiiK. 
being deserted by sleep, is as the case or box in wliicli the 
wakeful centinel is sheltered: it is also as a common 'laruin 

Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast 

Seal up the ship boy's eyes, and rock bis brains 

In cradle of the rude imperious surge, 

And in the visitation of the winds. 

Who take the ruffian billows by the top, 

Corling their monstrous Leads, and hanging 

With deaf 'ning clamours in the slippery clouds," 
That, with the hurly,'' death itself awakes ? 

bell which is to rouse a sleeping population upon the ap- 
proach of danger. But a 'larum, an alarum, an alarm, was 
also called a ivatch. In an ancient inventory cited by Strutt, 
there is the following article: " a laiiine, or wiilch of iron, in 
an iron case, with two leaden plummets." I?y this laume, 
or watch of iron, we are to understand the instrument which 
we now call an alarum — a machine atiaclied to a clock so as 
to ring at a certain hour. It is didicult to say whitlier 
Shakspere means by the " watch-case" the hnx of a centinel, 
and by tlie " common 'larum bell," the alarm bell which is 
rung out in cases of danger; or whether tl»e " watch-case " is 
the covering of an instrument which gives motion to tlie bell 
of an alarum. It is possible, in either case, that the or in 
the line is a misprint, for which by or fur might be substi- 
tuted ; and then the comparison would not be double; but 
the kingly couch would be as unfavourable to shep as the 
case or box of him who watches bi/ the alarm bell of a gar- 
rison ; or as the covering of a watch, for an alarm bell. 

» Clouil.i. Some editors have proposed to read shroudt. 
A line in Julius Ca;sar makes Shakspere's meaning clearer; 

" I have seen 

'ill' ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam 
To be exalted with the threatening clouds." 
Ij Ilurltj. Loud noise. Some say from the French, Hurler, 
to yell. Hurling, however, means a disturbance, a commo- 
tion; and we have it used in this sense in tlie Paston Letters. 
Ilurlij, therefore, in the sense of noise, may be a consequen- 
tial meaning from the hurlinij, which implies noise. 

Act in.] 


[Scene I. 

Caii'bt thou, O partial sleep ! give thy repose 
To the wet sea-boy iii an hour so rude ; 
Aud, in the ealnicst and most stillest uij^ht, 
With all applianees and means to boot. 
Deny it to a king ? Then, happy low-lie- 
down ! * 
Uneasy lies the head that wears a cro\n). 

Enter Warwick and Suukey. 

Jf'ar. Many good morrows to your majesty ! 

A'. Hen. Is it good monow, lords ? 

IFur. 'T is one o'clock, aud past. 

A'. Ilea. Why then, good morrow to you all, 
my lords. 
Have you read o'er the letters that I scut you ? 

War. AVe have, my liege. 

A'. Hen. Then you perceive, the body of our 
How fold it is ; what rank diseases grow. 
And with what danger, near the heart of it. 

War. It is but as a body yet distemper' d,"" 
Wliich to his former strength may be restor'd. 
With good advice and little medicine: 
My lord Northumberland will soon be cool'd. 

K. Hen. heaven ! that one might read the 
book of fate ; 
Aud see the revolution of the times 
Make mountains level, and the continent 
(Weary of solid Grmness,) melt itself 
Into the sea ! and, other times, to sec 
The beachy girdle of the ocean 
Too wide for Neptune's hips ; how chances 

And changes fill the cup of alteration 
With divers liquors ! [O, if this were seen. 
The happiest youth, viewing his progress 

What perils past, what crosses to ensue, 
Would shut the book, and sit him down and 

'T is not ten years gone, 

Sinr- ^■' ' ' 1 Northumberland, great friends. 
Did I ^ r, and, in two years after. 

Were they at wars : It is but eight years, since 

• Then, hnppy loir-lie-down. W.-irlurtuii'i correction of 
'• happy, lowly riowii," which John 1, wu some- 

whAl bold. We have adoplfil a re.-i'; nling on the 

punctuation, which is luggcsted by CoUiid^c, and we add 
hi» retnirk nn this pas.*age : " I know of no arffument by 
whirl le any one to be "f my irpininn, or rather of 

my f. yet I cannot help feeing that ' Happy low- 

lie-dov.,, . ,- i.;hcr a proverbial cxprts^ion, or the burthen 
of some old snnp. and means, ' Happy the man, who lays 
himself down on his straw bed or chaff pallet on the ground 
or floor!'" 

b DUIempered, is used as indicating a state of ill-healtb, 
somewhat milder the rank diseates of which the king 

c These four lines, not in the folio, arc found in the 
quarto of ICOO. 

This Percy was the man nearest my soul ; 
Who like a brother toil'd in my affairs. 
And laid his love and life under my foot ; 
Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard, 
Gave him defiance. But which of you was by, 
(You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember,) 

\_To AVauwick. 
AVhen Kiehard, — with his eye brimfid of teal's, 
Then clieck'd and rated by NorthumlKrlaud, — 
Did speak these words, now prov'd a prophecy ? 
' Northumberland, thou ladder, by the which 
My cousin Bolingbrokc ascends my throne ; ' — 
Though then, hravtu know«, I had no such in- 

But that necessity so bow'd the state. 
That I and greatness were com pell il to kiss • — 
' The time shall come,' thus did he follow it, 
'The time will come, that foul sin, gathering 

Shall break into corruption :'— so went on, 
Toretelling this same time's condition. 
And the division of our amity. 

War. There is a history in all men's lives, 
Figuring the nature of the times deceas'd : 
The which obscrv'd, a man may prophesy. 
With a near aim, of the main chance of things 
As yet not come to life ; which in their seeds, 
And weak beginnings, lie intrcasured. 
Such things become the hatch and brood of lime ; 
And, by tlic necessary form of this. 
King Kiehard might create a perfect guess. 
That great Northumberland, theu false to him. 
Would, of that seed, grow to a greater falseness ; 
Which should not find a ground to root upon, 
Unless on you. 

A'. Hen. Are these tilings then necessities ? 
Then let us meet them like necessities : 
And that same word even now cries out on us ; 
They say, tiie bishop aud Northumberland 
Are fifty thousand strong. 

War. It cannot be, my lord ; 

Rumour duth d(>\ible, like the voice and echo. 
The numbers of the fuar'd : Please it your grace 
To go to bed ; upon my life, my lord, 
The powers that you already have sent forth. 
Shall bring this prize in very easily. 
To comfort you the more, I have recciv'd 
A certain instance that Glcndower is dead. 
Your majesty hath been this fortnight ill ; 
And these unseason'd hours, perforce, must add 
Unto your sickness. • 

A'. Hen. I will take your counsel : 

And, were these inward wars once out of hand, 

j We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land. 

I [^Exeunt. 


ACT 111.] 


[3CZK£ II. 

SCEXE U.—Cour( before Justice Shallow'^ 
Uouse in Gloucestershire. 

I^nter Shallow a}id Silence, meeting ; Mouldy, 
Shadow, Wart, Feeble, Bull-calf, and 
Servants behind. 

aiial. Come on, come on, come on ; give me 
your liand, sir, give nie your baud, sir : an early 
stirrer, by the rood. And how doth my good 
cousin Silence? 

Sil. Good morrow, good cousin Shallow. 
Shut. And how doth my cousin, youi" bed- 
fellow ? and your fairest daughter, and mine, my 
god-daughter Ellen ? 

Sit. Alas, a black ouzel, cousin Shallow. 
Shal. By yea and nay, sii-, I dare say my cousin 
William is become a good scholar: He is at 
Oxford, still, is he not ? 

Sil. Indeed, sir ; to my cost. 
Shal. He must then to the inns of court 
shortly : I was once of Clement's-inn ; where, I 
think, they will talk of mad Shallow yet. 

Sil. You were called lusty Shallow, then, 

Shal. By the mass, I was called anything; 
and I would have done anything, indeed,' and 
roundly too. There w^is I, and little John Doit 
of Staffordshire, and black George Bare, and 
Francis Pickbonc, and Will Squcle a Cotswold 
man, — you had not four such swinge-bucklers in 
all the inns of court again : and, I may say to 
you, we knew where the bona-robas were ; and 
had the best of them all at commandment. Then 
was Jack Falstaff, now Sir John, a boy ; and page 
to Thomas Mowbray, duke of Isorfolk. 

Sil. This sir John, cousin, that comes hither 
anon about soldiers? 

Shal. The same Sir John, the very same. I 
saw him break Skogan's head' at the coiu-t gate, 
when he was a crack, not thus liigh : and the 
very same day did I fight with one Sampson 
Stockfish, a fruiterer, behind Gray's-inn. 0, 
the mad days that I have spent ! and to see how 
many of mine old acquaintance are dead ! 
Sd. We shall all follow, cousin. 
Shal. Certain, 'tis certain ; very sure, very 
sure: death, as tin Psalmist saith, is certain to 
all ; all shall die. How a good yoke of bullocks 
at Stamford fair ? 

Sil. Truly, cousin, I was not there. 
Shal. Death is certam.— Is old Double of your 
town living yet ? 
Sil. Dead, sir. 

Shul. Dead!— See, see !— he drew a good 
bow ; And dead !— he shot a fine shoot :— John 

of Gaunt loved him well, and betted much money 
on his head. Dead ! — he would have clapped 
i' the clout at twelve score f and carried you a 
forehand shaft at fourteen aud fourteen and a 
half, that it would have done a man's heart good 
to see. — How a score of ewes now ? 

Sil. Thereafter as they be : a score of good 
ewes may be worth ten pounds. - 

Shal. And is old Double dead ? 

Bnter Bahdolph, and one with him. 

Sil. Here come two of sir John Falstaff's men, 
as I think. 

Bard. Good morrow, honest gentlemen : I 
beseech you, which is Justice Shallow ? 

Shal. I am Robert Shallow, sir ; a poor esquire 
of this county, and one of the king's justices of 
llie peace : What is your good pleasure with 
me ? 

Bard. My captain, sir, commends him to you : 
my captain, sir John Falstaff : a tall gentleman, 
and a most gallant leader. 

Shal. He greets me well, sir. I knew him a 
good backsword man : How doth the good 
knight ? may I ask how my lady his wife doth ? 

JBard. Sir, pardon ; a soldier is better accom- 
modated than with a wife. 

Shal. It is well said, in faith, sir ; and it is 
well said indeed too. Better accommodated ! — it 
is good ; yea, indeed is it : good plu'ases are 
surely, and ever were, very commendable. Ac- 
commodated ! — it comes of accommodo : very 
good ; a good phrase. 

Bard. Pardon, sir: I have heard the word. 
Phrase, call you it ? By this day, I know not 
the phrase : but I will maintain the word with 
my sword to be a soldier-like word, aud a w^ord 
of exceeding good connnand.-'' Aceommodated ; 
That is, when a man is, as they say, accommo- 
dated : or, when a man is, — being, — whereby, — 
he may be thought to be accommodated ; which 
is an excellent thing. 

Enter Falstaff. 

Shal. It is very just : — Look, here comes good 
sir John. — Give me yoiu- good hand, give me 
your worship's good hand : Trast me, you look 
well, and bear your years very well : welcome, 
good sir John. 

" Twelve score. Yards Is here understood, and subse- 
quently at fourteen means at fourteen score yards. Douce 
says that " none but a most extraordinary archtr would be 
able to hit a mark at twelve score." This'careful antiquary 
overlooked the fact, that by statute (33 Hen. VIII. ch. 9) 
every person above seventeen years of age was subject to 
fine if he shot at a less distance than twelve score yards. 

Alt hi.] 


[Scxxs ir. 

Fal. I am glad to see you well, good master 
Robert Shallow :— Master Sure-card, as I tliiuk. 

Shal. No, sir Johu; it is my cousm Silence, 
in commission with me. 

Fal. Good master Silence, it well belits you 
should be of the peace. 

Sil. Your good worship is welcome. 

Tal. Fye ! this is hot weather. — Gentlemen, 
have you ])rovided me here half a dozen of suf- 
ficient mcu ? 

Shal. Marry, have we, sir. Will you sit ? 

Fal. Let me see them, 1 beseech you. 

Shal. "Where's the roll? where 's the roll? 
where 's the roll ? — Let me see, let me sec, lit me 
see. So, so, so, so: Yea, marry, sir:— llalph 
Mouldy : — let them appear as I call ; let them 
do so, let them do so. — Let me see; Where is 
Mouldy ? 

Moul. Here, if it please you. 

Shal. "What think you, sir John? a good 
limbed fellow : young, strong, and of good 

Fal. Is thy name Mouldy ? 

Moul. Yea, if it please you. 

Fal. 'T is the more time thou wert used. 

Shal. Ha, ha, ha ! most excellent, i' faith ! 
things that are mouldy lack use : Very singular 
good ! — Well said, sir John ; very well said. 

Fal. Prick him. \To Shallow. 

Moul. I was pricked well enough before, if 
you could have let mc idone : my old dame will 
be undone now, for one to do her husbandry, 
and her drudgery : you need not to have pricked 
me ; there ai"e other men fitter to go out than I. 

Fal. Go to; peace, Mouldy, you shall go. 
Mouldy, it is time you were spent. 

Moul. Spent ! 

Shal. Peace, fellow, peace ; stand aside ; Know 
you where you are ? — For the other, sir John : — 
let mc sec ; — Simon Shadow ! 

Fal. Ay, marry, let mc have him to sit under : 
he 's like to be a cold soldier. 

Shal. ^yiure's Shadow? 

Shad. Here, sir. 

Fal. Shadow, whose son art thou ? 

Shad. My mothers son, sir. 

Fal. Thy mother's son ! like enough ; and thy 
father's shadow : so the son cf the feiiwdr is tlic 
shadow of the male : It is often so, indeed ; but 
not of the father's substance. 

Shal. Do you like liim, sir John ? 

Fal. Shadow will serve for summer, — prick 
him ; — for we have a number of shadows to fill 
uj) the mnstcr-lxjok. 

Shal. Thomas Wart ! 

Fal. WTiere'she? 

Wart. Here, sir. 

Fal. Is thy name Wai-t ? 

Wart. Yea, sir. 

Fal. Thou art a very ragged wart. 

Shal. Shall I prlrV ' ' !)\\n, sir Juhn. 

Fal. It were siij ■ ; for his apiiarel is 

built upon his back, and the whole frame stands 
upon pins : jirick him no more. 

Shal. Ha, ha, ha! — you can do it, sir; you 
can do it : I commend you well. — Francis Feeble ! 

F''c. Here, sir. 

Fal. ■\^'liat trade art thou. Feeble ? 

Fi\'. A woman's tailor, sir. 

Shal. Shall I prick him, sir ? 

Fal. You may: but if lie had been a man's 
tailor, he would have pricked you. — Wilt thou 
make as many holes in an enemy's battle, as thou 
hast done in a woman's petticoat ! 

Fee. I will do my good will, sir ; you can have 
no more. 

Fal. WeU said, good woman's tailor! well 
said, courageous Feeble ! Thou wilt be as vahimt 
as the Mratiiful dove, or most magnanimous 
mouse. — Prick the woman's tailor weU, master 
Shallow ; deep, master Shallow. 

Fee. I would Wart might have gone, sir. 

Fal. I would thou wert a man's tailor; thi/ 
thou might'st mend him, and make him fit to go. 
I cannot put him to a private soldier, that is the 
leader of so many thousands : Let that sulDcc, 
most forcible Feeble. 

Fee. It shall suflBce, sir. 

Fal. I am bound to thee, reverend Feeble — 
Wlio is the next ? 

Shal. Peter Bidl-ealf of the green ! 

Fal. Yea, marry, let us sec Bidl-calf. 

Bull. Here, sir. 

Fal. Trust me, a likely fellow !— Come prick 
me Bull-calf till he roar again. 

Bull. O, good my lord ca|)tain, — 

Fal. Wliat, dost thou roar before thou art 
pricked ? 

Bull. O, sir I I am a diseased man. 

Fal. What disease hast thou ? 

Bull. A whoreson cold, sir ; a cough, sir ; 
whicli I caught with ringing in the king's affiurs, 
upon his coronation day, sir. 

Fal. Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a 
go\ni; we will have away thy cold; and I will 
take sueli order, that thy friends shall ring for 
thcc. — Is here all ? 

Shal. There is two more called* than vour 

only hav. 

liToposes to omit iico: as fiva 
c number required is four 


Act 111.] 


[Scene II. 

number; you must have but four here, sk;— 
and so, I pray you go in with me to dinner. 

Tal. Come, I will go drink with you, but I 
cannot taiTy dinner. I am glad to see you, in 
good troth, master Shallow. 

Shal. O, sir John, do you remember since we 
lay all night in the windmill in St. George's 

Tal. No more of that, good master Shallow, 
no more of that. 

Shal. Ha, it was a men-y night. And is Jane 
Nightwork alive ? 

Fal. She lives, master Shallow. 

Shal. She never could aAvay with me."' 

Tal. Never, never : she would always say she 
could not abide master Shallow. 

Shal. By the mass, I could auger her to the 
heart. She was then a bona-roba. Doth she 
hold her own well ? 

Tal. Old, old, master Shallow. 

Shal. Nay, she must be old ; she cannot choose 
but be old ; certain, she 's old ; and had llobin 
jSightwork by old Nightwork, before I came to 
Clement's inn. 

Sil. That 's fifty -live years ago. 

Shal. Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen 
that that this knight and I have seen !— Ha, sir 
John, said I well ? 

Tal. We have heard the chimes at midnight, 
master Shallow. 

Shal. That wc have, that we have, that we 
have; in faith, sir John, we have; our watch- 
word was ' Rem, hoys ! '—Come, let 's to dinner ; 
come, let 's to dinner : — O, the days that we have 
Been! — Come, come. 

[Txeitnt Falstaff, Shallow, and Silence. 

Bull. Good master corporate Bardolph, stand 
my friend ; and here is four Harry ten shillings 
in French cro\\-ns for you. In very truth, sir, I 
had as lief be lianged, sir, as go : and yet, for 
mine o\ni part, sir, I do not care : but, rather, 
because I am unwilling, and, for mine own part, 
liave a desire to stay with my friends ; else, su-, 
I did not care, for mhie own part, so much. 

Bard. Go to ; stand aside. 

MoJil. And good master corporal captain, for 
my old dame's sake, stand my friend : she has 
nobody to do anything about her, when I am 

' She neier, ^c. This is still a common colloquial ex- 
pression ; but it was not obsolete or inelegant in the time of 
Locke, who, in the "Conduct of the Understanding," sajs, 
" with those alone he converses, and can away with no com- 
l)any whose discourse goes beyond what claret or dissolute- 
ness inspires." This expression of dislike was familiar to 
all the writers of Shakspere's time. In Ben Jonsnn, (I?ar- 
tholomew Fair) wc have, "I could never away with that 
ttUT-nccked generation." 


gone; and she is old, and cannot help herself: 
you shall have forty, sir.* 

Bard. Go to ; stand aside. 

i'Ve. I care not ; — a man can die but ouce : 
We owe a death; — I will never bear a base 
mmd :■ — if it be my destiny, so ; if it be not, so : 
No man 's too good to serve his prince ; and, let 
it go which way it will, he that dies this year is 
quit for the next. 

Bard. Well said ; thou art a good fellow. 

Tee. Nay, I '11 bear no base mind. 

Re-enter Falstaff, ajid Justices. 

Tal. Come, sir, which men shall I liave ? 

Shal. Four of which you please. 

Bard. Sir, a word with you: — I have three 
pound to free Mouldy and Bull-calf. 

Tal. Go to ; well. 

Shal. Come, sir John, wliich four will you 
have ? 

Tal. Do you choose for me. 

Shal, Marry then,— Mouldy, Bull-calf, Feeble, 
and Shadow. 

Tal. Mouldy, and Bull-calf :— For you, Mouldy, 
stay at home till you arc past service ;^ and, 
for your part, Bidl-calf grow till you come unto 
it ; I will none of you. 

Shal. Sir John, sir John, do not yourself 
wrong ; they are your likeliest men, and I woiUd 
liave you served with the best. 

Tal. Will you tell me, master Shallow, how to 
clioose a man? Care I for the limb, the thewes, 
the stature, bulk, and big assemblance of a man ! 
Give me the spirit, master Shallow. — Here's 
AVart : — you sec what a ragged appearance it is : 
he shall charge you, and discharge you, with the 
motion of a pewterer's hammer ; come off, and 
on, swifter than he that gibbets-on the brewer's 
bucket. And this same half-faced fcUow, Sha- 
dow, — give me this man; he presents no mark 
to the enemy; the foe-man may with as great 
aim level at the edge of a penknife : And, for a 
retreat, — how swiftly will this Feeble, the wo- 
man's tailor, run off? 0, give me the spare 
men, and spare me the great ones. Put me a 
caliver" into Wart's hand, Bardolph. 

" Fnrli/, sir. 15ull-calf had bribed Bardolph with "four 
Harry ten shillings." Mouldy says, "you shall have forty, 
sir" — the same sum— forty shillings. Capell ingeniously 
proposes to read, four, too, sir. 

!> Till you arc past service. So the old copies. Tyrwhift 
changed the text into, stay at home still; you are past ser- 
vice ;—hy which change he very happily contrived to spoil 
the antithesis. 

c Caliver. The caliver was .smaller than the musket, 
and was fired without a rest. Wait, the " little, lean, old, 
chapped" fellow, was armed with alight piece, which he was 
able to manage. 

Act III.] 


[Scene II, 

Bard. Hold, Wart, traverse ; thus, thus, thu.s. 

Fill. Come, niauagc me your culiver. So: — 
very well : — go to : — very good : — exceeding 
good. — 0, give me always a little, lean, old, 
chapped, bald shot.— Well said. Wart ; tliou 'rt 
a good scab : hold, there 's a tester for thee. 

Shal. He is not his craft's-master, he doth not 
do it right. I remember at Mile-end green, 
(when I lay at Clement's imi, — I was then Sir 
Diigonet in Arthur's show,)* there was a little 
quiver' fellow, and he would manage you his 
piece thus : and he would about, and about, and 
come you in, and come you in : rah, iah, tali, 
would he say ; bounce, woidd he say ; and away 
again would he go, and again would he cume : — 
1 shall never see sucii a fellow. 

Fal. These fellows will do well, master Shal- 
low. — Farewell, master Silence; I will not use 
many words with you: — Fare you well, gentlc- 
mcu both : I thank you : I must a dozen mile 
to-night. — Bardolpli, give tlic soldiers coats. 

Shal. Sir John, heaven bless you, and prosper 
your affairs, and send us peace ! As you return, 
visit my house ; let our old acquaintance be re- 
newed : peradventure, I will witli you to the 

Fal. I would you would, master Shallow. 

Shal. Go to ; I have spoke at a word. Fare 
you well. \_Excuiil Sn.\LLOW and Silkxce. 

Fal. Fare you well, gentle gentlemen. On, 
Barduiph ; lead the men away. \_Fxeuiit V>\i\- 
DOLi'H, Recruits, ijr] As I return, I will fetch 
off tliesc justices : I do see the bottom of justice 
Shallow. How subject wc old meu are to this 
vice of lying! Tiiis same starved justice hath 
done nothing but prate to me of the v.iiJuess of 

a Quitcr, nimble. 

his youth, and the feats he hath done about 
Turubull-strcet ; and every third word a lie, duer 
paid to the hearer than the Turk's tribute. 1 do 
renu^mber him at Clement's-inn, like a man 
made after supper of a cheese-i)aring : wlicn he 
was naked, he was, for all the world, like a 
forked radish, witli a head fantastically carved 
upon it with a knife : he was so forlorn, that his 
dimensions to any thick sight \?ere invincible :* 
he was the very genius of famine ; he came ever 
in the rear-ward of the fa.sliion; [and sung those 
tunes to the ovcr-scutelicd huswifcs that he 
heard the carmen whistle, and swarc they were 
his fancies, or his good-niglits.] — And now is this 
Vice's dagger* become a squire; and talks as 
familiarly of John of Gaunt as if he had been 
sworn brother to him ; and I '11 be sworn he 
never saw him but once in the Tilt-yard ;'' and 
then he burst his head, for crowding among the 
marshal's na n. I saw it ; and told John of 
Gaunt lie beat his own name ; for you might 
iiave truss'd him, and all liis a](parel, into an 
eel-skin ; the case of a treble hautboy was a man- 
sion for nim," a court ; and now hath he land 
and beeves. Well; I will l)c acquainted with 
him, if I return ; and it shall go hard, but I will 
make him a pliilosopher's two stones'" to mc : If 
the young dace be a bait for the old pike, I see 
no reason, in the law of nature, but I m;iy snaj) 
at him. Let time shape, and there an end. 


• Inrinrihle. Stcevens and others read inrisihir. Ma- 
'one propcil) lielil to Iticolil rr.iilin);, and so did Ca|ii-ll iH-fore 
liitii. The; is— liis diiiicn.sions were such that r 
lliick sight could mit master thi'in. 

b Tico tiniiis. The alrhenii.Hls had two stones,— or, as i? 
expressed by Churchyard, "a .stone for (jold," and "a stone 
for health." Hut Falstair perhaps means, tliat Shiliow 
■should bo worth two phih>'i!'pt:er'» stoms to liini /.achRry 
Jackson would read, " a philosophui's true stons.' 


^ScEN2 II, — " Slogan's head." 

Who was Skogan ? has produced as fierce a con- 
troversy, if not 80 elaborate, as, Who wrote ' Icon 
Basilike ' ? It seems there were two Skogans ; the 

" A fine gentleman, and master of arts, 
Of Henry the Fourth's time, that macio disguises 
For the king's sons, and writ in ballad-royal 
Daintily well." 
This was Henry Skogau, usunlly called moral Sko- 
giin ; and Ben Jon.son's brief description of him, 
given above, will, no doubt, be sufBcient for our 
readers. The other was John Skogan, of the time 
of Edward IV., who is thus described by Holin- 
ahed : — " A learned gentleman, and student for a 
time in Oxford, of a j^leasant wit, and bent to 
merry devises, in respect whereof he was called 
into the court, where, giving himself to his natural 
inclination of mu-th and pleasant pastime, he played 
many sporting parts, although not in such uncivil 
manner as hath been of him reported." Shakspere, 
say the commentators, committed an anachronism, 
in describing; Skogan the jester as having hu head 
broken by Falstaff. No doubt. All that Shak- 
spere meant to convey was, the name of a bufifoon, 
whose freedoms w^ere thus punished ; and the jests 
of Skogan, the Joe !Miller of Shakspere's time, was 
a book with which the poet's audience would be 

' Scene II. — " A score of good ewes may he worth 
teii pounds." 

" Shakspere," says Dr. Griy, " seems to have 
been unacquainted with the v.ilue of money, and 
the prices of sheep, and other cattle, at the latter 
end of the reign of King Henry the Fourth." 

That is true. In 1411, the price of a sheep is 
stated at Is. lOd., but in Shakspere's own time, the 
price varies from C.s. Sd. to 15iS. The local and 
temporary allusions throughout Shakspere, of 
course, refer to matters of his own day. 

' Scene II. — " A soldier-like ivord." 

Ben Jouson, in his " Discoveries," (a valuable 
collection of his miscellaneous remarks,) says, "You 
are not to cast a ring for the perfumed terms of the 
time, as accommodation, complement, spirit, &c., 
but use them properly in their place, as others." 
Every age has its " ]ierfumed terms," — words that 
originate in fashionable society, and descend to the 
vulgar like cast-off clothes. Shakspere could not 
render accommodate more ridiculous than to put it 
into the mouth of Bardolph, and make that worthy 
maintain it "to be a soldier-like word, and a word 
of exceeding good command." Jonson, in 'Every 
Man in his Humour,' gives us an example of the 
fantastic use of the word : — "Hostess, accommodate 
us with another bed-staff here quickly. Lend us 
another bed-staff — the woman does not understand 
the words of action." 

* Scene II. — " I remcmJjcr at Mile-cnd green {wlicn 
I lay at ClemenCs inn), I ivas then Sir Dagonct 
in Arthur's shoio, there was," &c. 

This jjassage was formerly pointed thus : — " I 
remember at Mile-end green, (when I lay at Cle- 
ment's inn, I wa.s then Sir Dagonct in Arthur's 
show,) there was," &c. It was considered by the 
editors, and by Warton especially, that Arthur's 
show was acted at Clement's inn, of which society 
Shallow was a member. It has, however, been 
found that a society for the exercise of archery, 
calling themselves Prince Arthur's Knights, existed 



in SLakspeio's time. This society, according to 
Uichanl Mulcaster, master of St. Paul's School (iu 
a tract publisbeil in liiSl auJ 15S7), was billed, 
* The Friindly and I'rauk Fi-llow.sliip of Priuce 
Arthur's Knights iu and a'Kuit tlioCityof London.* 
That the mcuibcrs of tho society jiersoiiatoil cha- 
racters in the romance of Arthur we leiirn from tlie 
same tract ; for the author meutious Master Hu;^h 
Otiley as Sir Lauucelot, and Master Thomas Smith 
as Prince Arthur himself Justice Shallow, might, 
therefore, very properly persouato Sir l'ai;onet, 
King Arthur'.-', fool; who, in the Mwti- iV Arthur, 
" seems to be introduced like a Shrovetide cock, 
for the .sake ot being buUetedimd abused by every 
one." (GifTord.) 'I'licre is a proof of the ancient 
flourishing existence of ' The Fellowship of Priuce 
Arthur's Knights,' to be found iu the following 
passage of an old book, which gives a description 
of " a great show and shooting " in 15S3. " Tlio 
prince of famous memory, King Henry the Eighth, 
having read in the chronicles of Kn^land, and 
seen in his own time, how armies mixed with good 
archers have evermore so g-.dled the enemy that it 
hath been great cause of the victory, ho being one 
day at Mile-end, when Prince Arthur and his 
knights were there shooting, did gi-eatly commend 
the game, and allowed thereof, lauding them to 
their encoui-agement." It appears also, from an 
exceedingly rare tract on this society of Prince 

Arthur (1583), that King Henry VIII. confirmed 
by charter to tho citizens of London tho "famous 
onler of Knights of Prince Arthur's Kound Table, or 
society : like as in hii life lime, when he saw a good 
archer indeed, he chose him, and ordained such a 
one for a knii^iit of the siimo order." Henry YIII., 
like many other tyrants, was sometimes jilea-sed to 
bo jocose and familiar with his subjects ; and in 
this spirit, ho not only j)atronizcd the Knights of 
the Round Table, but created a celebnifeil archer 
of tho name of Barlo, Duke of Shureditch. Tho 
dukedom, it seem.s, was hereditary ; and iu 1583, 
the successor to the original duko had a Jiaion 
Stirro^) in his court. Prince an<l the duke 
were on the most friendly terms ; andadepuUition 
from his highness, upon the day of Prince Arthur'a 
shooting in 1583, presented a buck of that season 
" to Prince Arthur, who was at his tent, which was 
at Mile-end green." The preceding rei)re8eutation 
of Arthur's show at Jlilc-end, is composed j>rin- 
cipally from descriptions in the mre tract we have 
alread}' mentioned : — ' Auncient order, societie and 
imitie laudable of Prince Arthnreaud hiskni^ditly 
armoury of the Hound Table, with a threefold as- 
sertion friendly in favour ami furtherance of Kn- 
glish Archery at this day. 15S3, 4to. ; by Richnrd 
llobinson ;' — and from ' The Bowman's Glory,' by 
William Wood. 

• Scene II.— " jTAw Vice's dayjer." 

In Harsenet's ' Declaration of Popish Impos- 
ture b,' 1C03, (quoted in Malone's History of the 

Stage, Boswcll, iii. 27), we have the following de- 
scription of the Vice : " It was a pretty part in the 
old church-plays, when the nimble Vice would skip 



uj) nimbly like a jack-an-apes into the devil'a neck, 
and ride the devil a course, and belabour him with 
his wooden dagt<cr, till he made him I'oar, whereat 
the people would laugh to see the devil so Vice- 
haunted." Upon this description Mr. Buss's design 
of the Vice is founded. The costume is that 
usually assigned to this personage — the long pet- 
ticoat guarded with lace, the cap with ass's ears, 

and the dagger of lath (see Henry IV. Part I. page 
190). The origin of the name Vice is involved iii 
considerable obscurity. The subject is highly in- 
teresting, but we may more conveniently examine 
it under the passage in l\ing Richard III. :- - 

" Tims like the formal Vice, Iniquity, 
I moralize two meanincrs in one word.'' 

_ "^ -'--it*- ^-:*1^-^^'-^£-'^?'fe — -.'^-;'i -.^\ %^^ir^^^ '=\ ~.,r r 

[Tilt-yard, WestminsUr.J 

"Scene II.—" Tilt-yard:' 

In Aggas's Map