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Pist. The plain song is most just ; for humours
do abound; Knocks go and come; God's vassals drop and die;
And sword and shield,
In bloody field,
Doth win immortal fame.
If wishes would prevail with me”,
But thither would I hie. Boy. As duly, but not as truly, as bird doth sing on bough.
Enter FlueLLEN 6. Flu. Got's plood !-Up to the preaches", you rascals ! will you not up to the preaches ?
[Driving them forward. in Ireland, where much of the language of the age of Elizabeth is yet retained.
See also the Life of Jack Wilton, by Thomas Nashe, 4to. 1594 : “ Memorandum, everie one of you after the perusal of this pamphlet is to provide him a case of ponyards, that if you come in companie with any man which shall dispraise it, you may straight give him the stockado.” MALONE.
4 If wishes, &c.] This passage I have replaced from the first folio, which is the only authentick copy of this play. These lines, which perhaps are part of a song, Mr. Pope did not like, and therefore changed them in conformity to the imperfect play in quarto, and was followed by the succeeding editors. For prevail I should read avail. Johnson. As duly, &c.] This speech I have restored from the folio.
STEEVENS. This should be printed as verse, being perhaps the remainder of Pistol's song. Douce,
6 - Fluellen.] This is only the Welsh pronunciation of Lluellyn. Thus also Flloyd instead of Lloyd. STEEVENS.
? - Up to the PREACHES, &c.] Thus the quarto, with only the difference of breaches instead of preaches. Modern editors have been very liberal of their Welsh dialect. The folio reads,"Up to the breach, you dogges, avaunt, you cullions." STEEVENS.
Prst. Be merciful, great duke “, to men of
mould'! Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage! Abate thy rage, great duke ! Good bawcock, bate thy rage!, use lenity, sweet
chuck! Nym. These be good humours !--your honour wins bad humours'.
[Exeunt Nym, Pistol, and BARDOLPH,
followed by FLUELLEN,
8 Be merciful, GREAT DUKE,] That is, great commander. So, in Harrington's Orlando Furioso, 1591 :
" And as herself the dame of Carthage kill'd,
" When as the Trojan duke did her forsake -—". The Trojan duke is only a translation of dur Trojanus. So also in many of our old poems, Duke Theseus, Duke Hannibal, &c. See vol. v. p. 176, n. 6. In Pistol's mouth the word has here peculiar propriety.
The author of Remarks, &c. on the last edition of Shakspeare, [Mr. Ritson,] says, that “in the folio it is the Duke of Exeter, and not Fluellen, who enters (here), and to whom Pistol addresses himself.” It is sufficient to say, that in the only folio of any authority, that of 1623, this is not the case. When the King retired before the entry of Bardolph, &c. the Duke of Exeter certainly accompanied him, with Bedford, Gloster, &c. though in the folio the word Exeunt is accidentally omitted. In the quarto, before the entry of Bardolph, Fluellen, &c. we find Exit Omnes.
In the quarto, Nym, on Fluellen's treating him so roughly, says, “ Abate thy rage, sweet knight." Had these words been preserved, I suppose this Remarker would have contended, that Nym's address was not to the honest Welshman, but to old Sir Thomas Erpingham.
I should not have taken the trouble to refute this unfounded remark, had I not feared that my readers, in consequence of the above-mentioned misrepresentation of the state of the old copy, might be led to suppose that some arbitrary alteration had here been made in the text. Malone. Sylvester, in his Dubartas, terms Moses “a great duke."
BOSWELL. 9- to men of Mould !) To men of earth, to poor mortal men.
JOHNSON So, in the Countess of Pembroke's Yvychurch : " At length man was made of mould, by crafty Prometheus."
Boy. As young as I am, I have observed these three swashers. I am boy to them all three: but all they three ?, though they would serve me, could not be man to me; for, indeed, three such anticks do not amount to a man. For Bardolph,-he is white-livered, and red-faced; by the means whereof, 'a faces it out, but fights not. For Pistol,—he hath a killing tongue, and a quiet sword; by the means whereof 'a breaks words, and keeps whole weapons. For Nym,-he hath heard, that men of few words are the best men'; and therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest ’a should be thought a coward: but his few bad words are match'd with as few good deeds ; for 'a never broke any man's head but his own; and that was against a post when he was drunk. They will steal any thing, and call it, purchase 4. Bardolph stole a lute-case; bore it twelve leagues, and sold it for three halfpence. Nym, and Bardolph, are sworn brothers in filching; and in Calais they stole a fire-shovel : I knew, by that piece of service, the men would carry coals 5.
1 wins bad humours.] In a former scene Nym says, “the king hath run bad humours on the knight.” We should therefore perhaps read runs here also. But there is little certainty in any conjecture concerning the dialect of Nym or Pistol.
Malone. 2 — but all they three,] We should read, I think, "all the three.” Malone. “ They three,” is a vulgarism, to this day in constant use.
STEVENS. 3 — Best men ;] That is, bravest ; so in the next lines, good deeds are brave actions. Johnson.
4 They will steal any thing, and call it, — PURCHASE.] This was the cant term used for money gained by cheating, as we learn from Greene's Art of Coneycatching. Boswell.
s — the men would carry coals.] It appears that, in Shakspeare's age, to carry coals, was, I know not why, to endure af. fronts. So, in Romeo and Juliet, one serving-man asks another whether he will carry coals. Johnson.
See note on Romeo and Juliet, Act I. Sc. I.
They would have me as familiar with men's pockets, as their gloves or their handkerchiefs: which makes much against my manhood, if I should take from another's pocket, to put into mine ; for it is plain pocketing up of wrongs. I must leave them, and seek some better service: their villainy goes against my weak stomach, and therefore I must cast it up.
[Exit Boy. Re-enter Fluellen, Gower following. Gow. Captain Fluellen, you must come presently to the mines; the duke of Gloster would speak with you.
Flu. To the mines ! tell you the duke, it is not so good to come to the mines: For, look you, the mines is not according to the disciplines of the war; the concavities of it is not sufficient; for, look you, th' athversary (you may discuss unto the duke, look you) is dight himself four yards under the countermines“; by Cheshu, I think, 'a will plow up all, if there is not better directions.
Gow. The duke of Gloster, to whom the order of the siege is given, is altogether directed by an Irishman; a very valiant gentleman, i' faith,
Flu. It is captain Macmorris, is it not ?
Flu. By Cheshu, he is an ass, as in the 'orld : I will verify as much in his peard: he has no more directions in the true disciplines of the wars, look you, of the Roman disciplines, than is a puppy-dog.
Cant phrases are the ephemerons of literature. In the quartos, 1600 and 1608, the passage stands thus : “ I knew by that they meant to carry coales." STEEVENS.
s is dight himself four yards under the COUNTERMINES :} Fluellen means, that the enemy had digged himself countermines four yards under the mines. Johnson. 6 will plow up all,] That is, he will blow up all.
Enter MACMORRIS and Jamy, at a distance. Gow. Here 'a comes; and the Scots captain, captain Jamy, with him.
Flu. Captain Jamy is a marvellous falorous gentleman, that is certain ; and of great expedition, and knowledge, in the ancient wars, upon my particular knowledge of his directions : by Cheshu, he will maintain his argument as well as any military man in the 'orld, in the disciplines of the pristine wars of the Romans.
Jamy. I say, gud-day, captain Fluellen.
Flu. God-den to your worship, goot captain Jamy.
Gow. How, now, captain Macmorris ? have you quit the mines ? have the pioneers given o'er ?
Mac. By Chrish la, tish ill done : the work ish give over, the trumpet sound the retreat. By my hand, I swear, and by my father's soul, the work ish ill done; it ish give over : I would have blowed up the town, so Chrish save me, la, in an hour. O, tish ill done, tish ill done ; by my hand, tish ill done!
Flu. Captain Macmorris, I peseech you now will you voutsafe me, look you, a few disputations with you, as partly touching or concerning the disciplines of the war, the Roman wars, in the way of argument, look you, and friendly communication; partly, to satisfy my opinion, and partly, for the satisfaction, look you, of my mind, as touching the direction of the military discipline; that is the point.
Jamy. It sall be very gud, gud feith, gud captains bath: and I sall quit you' with gud leve, as I may pick occasion ; that sall I, marry.
7- I sall auit you —] That is, I shall, with your permission,