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So minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years, die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be Pass'd over, to the end they were created,
not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
shotten herring. There live not three good men unAh! what a life were this! how sweet ! how lovely! hanged in England ; and one of them is fat, and grows Gives not the hawthorn-bush a sweeter shade
old. God help the while !--a bad world, I say! I To shepherds looking on their silly sheep,
would I were a weaver ; I could sing all manner of Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy
songs. A plague of all cowards, I say still! To kings that fear their subjects' treachery !
P. Henry. Now now, wool-sack ? --- what mutter O yes, it doth, a thousandfold it doth. And to conclude, the shepherd's homely curds,
Fal. A king's son! If I do not beat thee out of His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle,
thy kingdom with a danger of lath, and drive all thy His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade,
subjects afore thee like a flock of wild geese, I'll All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,
never wear hair on my face more. You Prince of Is far beyond a prince's delicates ;
Wales ! His viands sparkling in a golden cup,
P. Henry. Why, you whoreson round man !-what's His body couched in a curious bed,
the matter? When care, mistrust, and treason wait on him.
Fal. Are you not a coward ?--answer me to that; Henry VI. and Poins there?
[7o Poins. P. Henry. Ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward,
I'll stab thee. [The Vicissitudes of Life.]
Pal. I call thee coward ! I'll see thee damn'd ere
I call thee coward ; but I would give a thousand So farewell to the little good you bear me.
pound I could run as fast as thou canst. You are Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness !
strait enough in the shoulders; you care not who sees This is the state of man : To-day he puts forth
your back. Call you that backing of your friends! The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms,
A plague upon such backing !--give me them that And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;
will face me. Give me a cup of sack ; I am a rogue, The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
if I drunk to-day. And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
P. llenry. O villain! thy lips are scarce wiped since Ilis greatness is a ripening, nips his root,
thou drunk'st last. And then he falls as I do. I have ventur'd,
Pal. All's one for that. A plague of all cowards, Like little wanton boys, that swim on bladders,
still say I!
[lle drinks. These many summers in a sea of glory;
P. llenry. What's the matter? But far berond my depth : my high-blown pride
Ful, What's the matter?-here be four of us have At length broke under me; and now has left me,
ta'en a thousand pound this morning. Weary and old with service, to the mercy
P. Henry. Where is it, Jack ?--where is it? Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
Ful. Where is it?-taken from us it is: a hundred Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye!
upon poor four of us. I feel my heart new open'd. O, how wretched
P. Henry. What, a hundred, man? Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours ! Pal. I am a rogue, if I were not at half-sword with There is, betwist that smile we would aspire to,
a dozen of them two hours together, I have 'scap'd by That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
miracle. I am cight times thrust through the doubMore pants and fears than wars or women have;
let, four through the hose, my buckler cut through And, when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
and through, my sword hacked like a hand-saw, ecce Never to hope again.
signum. I never dealt better since I was a man. All Henry VIII.
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. [Fals:aff's Cowardice and Boasting.]
P. llenry. Speak, sirs. How was it? (Falstaff, who is represented as a monster of fat, a sensualist, Gads. We four set upon some dozenand a coward, yet is rendered tolerable by his humour, had Pal. Sixteen, at least, my lord. accompanied Prince Henry and some other dissolute companions Gads. And bound them. on a predatory expedition to Gad's Hill, where they first robbed | Peto. No, no, they were not bound. a few travellers, and afterwards the Prince and Poins set upon
Fal. You rogue, they were bound, every man of Falstaff and others of the party in the dark, and made them them: or I am a Jew else, an Ebrew Jew. take to flight. The following scene takes place afterwards in
Gads. As we were sharing, some six or seven fresh their favourite London haunt, the Boar's Head Tavern in East.
men set upon us--cheap.)
Fal. And unbound the rest, and then came in the To Prince HENRY and Poins, enter FALSTAFF, GADSHILL,
other. BARDOLPH, and PETO.
P. Henry. What! fought you with them all!
Fal. All? I know not what you call all; but if I Poins. Welcome, Jack. Where hast thou been ? fought not with fifty of them, I am a bunch of radish;
Pal. A plague of all cowards, I say, and a ven- | if there were not two or three and fifty upon poor geance too ! - marry, and amen! Give me a cupold Jack, then am I no two-legged creature. of sack, boy. Ere I lead this life long, I'll sow Poins. Pray hcaven, you have not murdered some nether stocks, and mend them, and foot them too. of them. A plague of all cowards! Give me a cup of sack, Pal. Nay, that's past praying for; I have peppered rogue. Is there no virtue extant ? (He drinks. two of them : two, I am sure, I have paid ; two
P. Henry. Didst thou never see Titan kiss a dish of rogues in buckram suits. I tell thee what, Hal--if butter ? pitiful-hearted Titan, that melted at the l I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call me horue. Thou sweet tale of the sun?- if thou didst, then behold that know'st my old ward ; here I lay, and thus I bore my compound.
point. Four rogues in buckram let drive at me Ful. You rogue, here's lime in this sack too. There | P. Henry. What ! four ?-thou saidst but two even is nothing but roguery to be found in villanous man. now. Yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime | Pal. Four, Hal ; I told thee four. in it--a-villanous coward. Go thy ways, old Jack ;l Poins. Ay, ay, he said four.
Pal. These four came all-afront, and mainly thrust lion, and thou, for a true prince. But, lads, I am at me. I made me no more ado, but took all their glad you have the money. Hostess, clap to the doors; seven points in my target, thus.
watch to-night, pray to-inorrow. Gallants, lads, boys, P. Ilenry. Seven ?—why, there were but four even hearts of gold, all the titles of good fellowship come now.
to you! What! shall we be merry ?-shall we have a Pal. In buckram.
play extempore ! Poins. Ay, four in buckram suits.
P. Henry. Content ; and the argument shall be Fal. Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else. thy running away.
P. Henry. Prythee, let him alone; we shall have Fal. Ah ! no more of that, Hal, an thou lov'st me. more anon,
First Part of Henry IV. Fal. Dost thou hear me, Hal! P. Henry. Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.
Fal. Do so, for it is worth the list'ning to. These [Falstaff arrested by his hostess, Dame Quickly.] nine in buckram, that I told thee of —
TO FALSTAFF and Hostess, with BARDOLPH and two Sheriff's P. Henry. So, two more already.
Officers, enter the Chief Justice, attended.
Ch. Just. What's the matter ? keep the peace here, Fal. Began to give me ground. But I follow'd me ho! close, came-in foot and hand; and with a thought, ...
Host. Good, my lord, be good to me! I beseech you, seven of the eleven I paid.
stand to me! P. IIenry. O monstrous !- eleven buckram men
Ch. Just. How now, Sir John ! what, are you brawl. grown out of two!
ing here ! Fal. But, as the devil would have it, three mis
Doth this become your place, your time, and business? begotten knaves, in Kendal green, came at my back,
| You should have been well on your way to York. and let drive at mo: for it was so dark. Hálthat Stand from him, fellow! Wherefore hang'st thou on thou couldst not see thy hand.
him! P. Henry. These lies are like the father that begets
Host. O my most worshipful lord, an't please your them; gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, grace, I am a poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is thou clay-brain'd guts; thou knotty-pated fool; thou
arrested at my suit. whoreson, obscene, greasy tallow-keech
Ch. Just. For what sum ? Fal. What, art thou mad ?-art thou mad is not
Host. It is more than for some, my lord; it is for the truth the truth !
| all, all I have. He hath eaten me out of house P. IIenry. Why, how couldst thou know these men
and home; he hath put all my substance into that in Kendal green, when it was so dark thou couldst at belly of his : but I will have some of it out again, not see thy hand ? Come, tell us your reason? What
or I'll ride thee o' nights, like the mare. say'st thou to this!
Fal. I think I am as like to ride the mare, if I Poins. Come, your reason, Jack, your reason.
| have any vantage of ground to get up. Ful. What, uron compulsion ? No; were I at the Ch. Just. How comes this, Sir John ! Fie! what strappado, or all the racks in the world, I would not man of good temper would endure this tempest of tell you on compulsion. Give you a reason on com- exclam
m. exclamation ! Are you not ashamed to enforce a pulsion !-if reasons were as plenty as blackberries, I
poor widow to so rough a course to come by her own! would give no man a reason upon compulsion, 1—
Fal. What is the gross sum that I owe thee? P. Henry. I'll be no longer guilty of this sin; this
Host. Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horse back and the money too. Thou didst swear to me upon & breaker, this huge hill of flesh !
Fal. Away, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried neat's tongue, you stock-fish. O for breath to utter what is like thee !-you tailor's yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck ;
P. llery. Well, breathe a while, and then to it again; and when thou hast tired thyself in base comparisons, hear me speak but this.
Poins. Mark, Jack.
P. IIenry. We two saw you four set on four; you bound them, and were masters of their wealth. Mark now, how a plain tale shall put you down. Then did we two set on you four; and, with a word, outfaced you from your prize, and have it; yea, and can show it you here in the house ; and, Falstatt, you carried your guts away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roared for inercy, and still ran and roared, as ever A Goblet from the Boar's-Head Tavern, supposed to I heard bull-calf. What a slave art thou, to hack
be that alluded to by Dame Quickly. thy sword as thou hast done, and then say it was in fight! What trick, what device, what starting hole, parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in my Dolphin-chamber, at canst thou now find out, to hide thee froin this open the round table, by a sea-coal fire, on Wednesday in and apparent shame?
| Whitsun-week, when the prince broke thy head for Poins. Come, let's hear, Jack; what trick hast thou likening his father to a singing-man of Windsor ; now?
thou didst swear to me then, as I was washing thy Fal. By the Lord, I knew ye as well as he that wound, to marry me, and make me my lady, thy wife. made ye. Why, hear ye, my masters. Was it for Canst thou deny it? Did not goodwife Keech, the me to kill the heir-apparent ?- should I turn upon butcher's wife, come in then, and call me gossip the true prince? Why, thou know'st I am as valiant Quickly ? coming in to borrow a mess of vinegar, as Hercules; but beware instinct ; the lion will not telling us she had a good dish of prawns; whereby touch the true prince. Instinct is a great matter ; I thou didst desire to eat some; whereby I told thce. was a coward on instinct. I shall think the better they were ill for a green wound 1 And didst thou not, of myself, and thee, during niy life ; I, for a valiant when she was gone down stairs, desire me to be no
more so familiarity with such poor people; saying, Clerkenwell, and, as his opponents afterwards rethat ere long they should call me madam! And didst minded him, failed completely as an actor. At the thou not kiss me, and bid me fetch thee thirty shil-same time, he was engaged in writing for the stage, lings ! I put thee now to thy book-oath ; deny it, if either by himself or conjointly with others. He thou canst.
Pal. 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 distracted her.
Ch. Just. You speak as having power to do wrong ;
Enter a MESSENGER.
Pal. As I am a gentleman-
Fal. 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 plate and the tapestry of my dining-chambers.
Pal. 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 flybitten tapestries. Let it be ten pound, if thou canst. Come, if it were not for thy humours, there is not a better wench in England. Go, wash thy face, and draw thy action. Come, thou must not be in this quarrelled with another performer, and on their humour with me ; do'st not know me? Come, come, fighting a duel with swords, Jonson had the misforI know thou wast set on to this.
tune to kill his antagonist, and was severely wounded Host. Pray thee, Sir John, let it be but twenty himself. He was committed to prison on a charge nobles ; I am loath to pawn my plate, in good ear- of murder, but was released without a trial. On renest, la!
gaining his liberty, he commenced writing for the Pal. Let it alone ; l'll make other shift : you'll be stage, and produced, in 1596, his Every Man in his a fool still.
Humour. The scene was laid in Italy, but the chaHost. Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my
racters and manners depicted in the piece were Enggown. I hope you'll come to supper !
lish, and Jonson afterwards recast the whole, and il. Will I livel-Go with her, with her ; hook | transferred the scene to England. In its revised on, book on.
[To the officers. form, Every Man in his Humour' was brought out Second Part of Henry IV. at the Globe Theatre in 1598, and Shakspeare was
one of the performers in the play. He had himself
produced some of his finest comedies by this time, BEN JONSON.
but Jonson was no imitator of his great rival, who
blended a spirit of poetical romance with his comic The second name in the dramatic literature of this sketches, and made no attempt to delineate the doperiod has been generally assigned to BEN Jonson, mestic manners of his countrymen. Jonson opened though some may be disposed to claim it for the a new walk in the drama: he felt his strength, and more Shakspearian genius of Beaumont and Fletcher. the public cheered him on with its plaudits. Queen Jonson was born ten years after Shakspeare-in Elizabeth patronised the new poet, and ever after1574-and appeared as a writer for the stage in wards he was a man of mark and likelihood.' In his twentieth year. His early life was full of hard-1599, appeared his Every Man out of his Humour, a ship and vicissitude. His father, a clergyman in less able performance than its predecessor, Cynthia's Westminster (a member of a Scottish family from Revels and the Poetaster followed, and the fierce Annandale), died before the poet's birth, and his rivalry and contention which clouded Jonson's aftermother marrying again to a bricklayer, Ben was life seem to have begun about this time. He had brought from Westminster school and put to the attacked Marston and Dekker, two of his brother same employment. Disliking the occupation of his dramatists, in the ‘Poetaster.' Dekker replied with father-in-law, he enlisted as a soldier, and served in spirit in his 'Satiromastix,' and Ben was silent for two the Low Countries. He is reported to have killed years, living upon one Townsend, and scorning the one of the enemy in single combat, in the view of world,' as is recorded in the diary of a contemporary. both armies, and to have otherwise distinguished In 1603, he tried · if tragedy had a more kind aspect,' himself for his youthful bravery. As a poet, Jonson and produced his classic drama of Sejanus. Shortly afterwards reverted with pride to his conduct as a after the accession of King James, a comedy called soldier. On his return to England, he entered St Eastward Iloe, was written conjointly by Jonson, John's college, Cambridge; but his stay there must Chapman, and Marston. Some passages in this piece have been short-probably on account of his reflected on the Scottish nation, and the matter was straitened circumstances -- for, about the age of represented to the king by one of his courtiers (Sir twenty, he is found married, and an actor in Lon-James Murray) in so strong a light, that the authors don. Ben made his debut at a low theatre near were thrown into prison, and threatened with the loss of their ears and noses. They were not tried; and sayings and deeds often to the worst; oppressed when Ben was set at liberty, he gave an entertain- with fantasy, which bath ever mastered his reason, ment to his friends (Selden and Camden being of a general disease in many poets.' the numter): his mother was present on this joyous This character, it must be confessed, is far from occasion, and she produced a paper of poison, which being a flattering one; and probably it was, unconshe said she intended to have given her son in his sciously, overcharged, owing to the recluse habits liquor, rather than he should submit to personal and staid demeanour of Drummond. We believe it, mutilation and disgrace, and another close which she however, to be substantially correct. Inured to intended afterwards to have taken herself. The old hardships and to a free boisterous life in his early lady must, as Whalley remarks, have been more of days, Jonson seems to have contracted a roughness in antique Roman than a Briton. Jonson's own of manner, and habits of intemperance, which never onduct in this aflair was noble and spirited. He wholly left him. Priding himself immoderately had no considerable share in the composition of the on his classical acquirements, he was apt to slight piece, and was, besides, in such favour, that he would ' and condemn his less learned associates ; while the not have been molested ; but this did not satisfy conflict between his limited means and his love of him,' says Gifford; and he, therefore, with a high social pleasures, rendered him too often severe and sense of honour, voluntarily accompanied his two saturnine in his temper. Whatever he did was done friends to prison, determined to share their fate.' with labour, and hence was highly prizedd. His conWe cannot now ascertain what was the mighty temporaries seemed fond of mortifying his pride, and satire that moved the patriotic indignation of James; he was often at war with actors and authors. With it was doubtless softened before publication ; but in the celebrated Inigo Jones, who was joined with him some copies of Eastward Hoe' (1605), there is a pas. in the preparation of the Court Masques, Jonson sage in which the Scots are said to be dispersed over waged a long and bitter feud, in which both parties the face of the whole earth ;' and the dramatist sar- were to blame. When his better nature prevailed, castically adds, But as for them, there are no greater and exorcised the demon of envy or spleen, Jonson friends to Englishmen and England, when they are was capable of a generous warmth of friendship, and out on't, in the world, than they are ; and for my part, of just discrimination of genius and character. Ilis I would a hundred thousand of them were there literary reputation, his love of conviviauty, and his (in Virginia), for we are all one countrymen now, high colloquial powers, rendered his society much you know, and we should find ten times more com- courted, and he became the centre of a band of wits fort of them there than we do here. The offended and revellers. Sir Walter Raleigh founded a club, nationality of James must have been laid to rest by known to all posterity as the Mermaid Cluh, at which the subsequent adulation of Jonson in his Court Jonson, Shakspeare, Beaumont and Fletcher, and Masques, for he culogised the vain and feeble mo- other poets, exercised themselves with 'wit-combats' narch as one that would raise the glory of England more bright and genial than their wine. One of the more than Elizabeth." Jonson's three great comedies, favourite haunts of these bright-minded men was Volpone, or the For, Epicene, or the Silent Iloman, the Falcon Tavern, near the theatre in Bunkside, ani the Alchemist, were his next serious labours ; Southwark, of which a sketch has been preserved. his second classical tragedy, Catiline, appeared in The latter days of Jonson were dark and painful. 1611. llis fame had now reached its highest eleva- | Attacks of palsy confined him to his house, and luis tion ; but he produced several other comedies, and a necessities compelled him to write for the stage when vast number of court entertainments, ere his star his pen had lost its vigour, and wanted the charm began sensibly to decline. In 1619, he received the of novelty. In 1630, he produced his comedy, the appointment of poet laureate, with a pension of a New Inn, which was unsuccessful on the stage. The hundred merks. The same year Jonson made a king sent him a present of £100, and raised his journey on foot to Scotland, where he had many laureate pension to the same sum per annum, adding friends. Ile was well received by the Scottish gentry, a yearly tierce of canary wine. Next year, however, and was so pleased with the country, that he media we find Jonson, in an Epistle Mendicant, soliciting tated a poem, or drama, on the beauties of Loch- assistance from the lord-treasurer. lle continued lomond. The last of his visits was made to Drum- writing to the last. Dryden has styled the latter mond of llawthornden, with whom he lived three works of Jonson his dotages; some are certainly wecks, and Drummond kept notes of his conversa- | unworthy of him, but the Sad Shepherd, which he tion, which, in a subsequent age, were communicated left unfinished, exhibits the poetical fancy of a youthto the world. In conclusion, Drummond entered on ful composition. Ile died in 1637, and was buried his journal the following character of Ben himself:- in Westminster Abbey, where a square stone, mark
'Ile is a great lover and praiser of himself; a con- ing the spot where the poet's body was disposed temner and scorner of others ; given rather to lose a vertically, was long afterwards shown, inscribed friend than a jest; jealous of every word and action only with the words, “O RARE BEN JONSON!' of those about him, especially after drink, which is
As a proof of his enthusiastic temperament, it is mentioned, one of the elements in which he liveth ; a dissembler
that Jonson drank out the full cup of wine at the communion of ill parts which reign in him ; a bragger of some
table, in token of his reconciliation with the church of Eng. good that he wanteth; thinketh nothing well but
land. what either he himself or some of his friends and
* Many were the wit-combats betwixt Shakspeare and Ben countrymen hath said or done ; he is passionately
Jonson, which two I behold like a Spanish great galleon and kind and angry ; careless either to gain or keep; | an English man of-war : Master Jonson, like the former, was vindictive, but, if well answered, at himself; for any built far higber in learning; solid, but slow in his performances. religion, as being versed in both :t interpreteth best Shakspeare, with the English man-of war. lesser in bulk, but
lighter in sailing, could turn with all tides, tack about and take * An account of these entertainmente, as essentially con- | advantage of all winds, by the quickness of his wit and invennected with English literature, is given at the close of this tion.'- Fuller's Worthics. article.
Besides the Mermaid, Jonson was a great frequenter of a club + Drummond here alludes to Jonson having been at one called the Apollo, at the Old Devil Tavern, Temple Bar, for period of his life a Roman Catholic. When in prison, after which he wrote rules-Leges Conririales-and penned a welcome killing the actor, a priest converted him to the church of Rome, over the door of the room to all those who approved of the and he continued a member of it for twelve years. At the ex. • true Phæbian liquor.' Ben's rules, it must be said, discountepiration of that time, he returned to the Protestant communion. nanced excess.