Page images


Speak plainly your opinions of our hopes :-
And first, lord marshal, what say you to it?

Mowb. I well allow the occasion of our arms;
But gladly would be better satisfied,
How, in our meaņs, we should advance ourselves
To look with forehead bold and big enough
Upon the power and puissance of the king.

Hast. Qur 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 barns
With an incensed fire of injuries.

Bard. The question then, lord Hastings, standelh
Whether our present five-and-twenty thousand
May hold up head without Northumberland.
Hast. With him, we may.

Ăy, marry; there's the point: But if without him we be thought too feeble, My judgment is, we should not step too far Till we had his assistance by the hand: For, in a theme so bloody-fac'd as this, Conjecture, expectation, and surmise Of aids uncertain, should not be admitted.

Arch. 'Tis very true, lord Bardolph; for, indeed, It was young Hotspur's case at Shrewsbury.

Bard. It was, my lord; who lind himself with hope, Eating the air on promise of supply, Flattering himself with project of a power Mucli smaller than the smallest of his thoughts : And so, with great imagination, Proper to madmen, led his powers to death, And, winking, leap'd into destruction.

Hast. But, by your leave, it never yet did hurt,
To lay down likelihoods, and forms of hope.

Bard. Yes, in 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 fruit,
Hope gives not so much warrant, as despair,


That frosts will bite them. When we mean to build,
We first survey the plot, then draw the model;
And when we see the figure of the house,
Then must we rate the cost of the erection :
Which if we find outweighs ability,
What do we then, but draw anew the model
In fewer offices; or, at least, desist
To build at all? Much more, in this great work
(Which is, almost, to pluck a kingdom down,
And set another up), should we survey
The plot of situation, and the model;
Consent upon a sure foundation;
Question surveyors; know our own estate,
How able such a work to undergo,
To weigh against his opposite; or else,
We fortify in paper, and in figures,
Using the names of men, inslead of men :
Like one, that draws the model of a house
Beyond his power to build it; who, half through,
Gives o'er, and leaves his part-created cost
A naked subject to the weeping clouds,
And waste for churlish winter's tyranny.

Hast. Grant, that our hopes (yet likely of fair birth),
Should be still-born, and that we now possess'd
The utmost man of expectation;
I think, we are a body strong enough,
Even as we are, to equal with the king.
Bard. What is the king but five-and-twenty thou-

sand? Hast. To us, no more; nay, not so much, lord Bar

dolph. For his divisions, as the times do brawl, Are in three heads: one power against the French, And ove against Glendower; perforce, a third Must take up us : So is the unfirm king In three divided; and his coffers sound With hollow poverty and emptiness. Arch. That he should draw his several strengths

together, And come against us in full puissance, Need not be dreaded.

[ocr errors]


If he should do so,
He leaves his back onarm’d, the French and Welsh
Baying him at the heels: never fear that.

Bard. Who, is it like, should lead his forces hither?

Hust. The duke of Lancaster, and Westmoreland:
Against the Welsh, himself, and Harry Monmouth:
But who is substituted 'gainst the French,
I have no certain notice.

Let us on:
And publish the occasion of our arms.
The commonwealth is sick of their own choice,
Their over-greedy love hath surfeited :-
An habitation giddy and unsure
Hath he, that buildeth on the vulgar heart.
O thou fond many! with what loud applause
Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke,
Before he was what thou wouldst have hiin be?
And being now trimm'd in thine own desires,
Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him,
That 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 wouldst eat thy dead vomit up,
And howl'st to find it. What trust is in these times?
They that, when Richard liv'd, would have him die,
Are now become enamour'd on his grave:
Thou, that threw'st dust upon his goodly head,
When through proud London he came sighing on
After the admired heels of Bolingbroke,
Cry’st now, 0 earth, yield us thut king again,
And take thou this! O thoughts of men accurst!
Past, and to come, seem best; things present, worst.

Mowb. Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on?
Hast. We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.


[ocr errors]

Enter Hostess; Fang, and his Boy, with her; ana

SNARE following:
Host. Master Fang, have you entered the action?
Fang. It is entered.

Host. Where is your yeoman? Is it a lusty yeoman? will a'stand to't?

Fang. Sirrah, where's Snare ?
Host. O lord, ay; good master Snare.
Snare. Here, here.
Fang. Snare, we must arrest sir John Falstaff.

Host. Yea, good master Snare; I have entered him and all.

Snare. It may chance cost some of us our lives, for he will stab.

Host. Alas the day! take heed of him; he stabbed me in mine own house, and that most beastly: in good faith, a'cares not what mischief he doth, if his weapon be out: he will foin like any devil; he will spare neither man, woman, nor child.

[ocr errors]

Fang. If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.

Host. No, nor I neither: I'll be at your elbow.

Fang. An I but fist him once; an a'come but within my vice;

Host. I am undone by his going; I warrant you, he's an infinitive thing upon my score :-Good master Fang, hold him sure;—good master Snare, let him not 'scape. He comes continually to Pie-corner (saving your manhoods), to buy a saddle; and he's indited to dinner to the Lubbar's Headin Lumbert-street, to master Smooth's the silkman: I pray ye, since my, on is entered, and my case so openly known to the world, let him be brought in to his answer. A hundred mark is a long loan for a poor lone woman to bear: and I have borne, and borne, and borne; and have been fubbed off, and fubbed off, and fubbed off, from this 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.-Enter Sir John FALSTAFF, Page, and BARDOLPH. Yonder he comes; and that arrant malmsey-nose knave, Bardolph, with him. Do your offices, do your offices, master Fang, and master Snare; do

do me Fal. How now? whose mare's dead? what's the matter?

Fang. Sir John, I arrest you at the soit of mistress Quickly.

Fal. Away, varlets !-Draw, Bardolph; cut me off the villain's bead; throw the quean in the channel.

Host. Throw me in the channel? I'll throw thee in the channel. Wilt thou? wilt thou? thou bastardly rogue !-Murder, murder! O thou honeysuckle villain! wilt thou kill God's officers, and the king's? O thou honey-seed rogue! thou art a honey-seed; à manqueller, and a woman-queller.

Fal. Keep them oft, Bardolph.
Fang. A rescue! a rescue!
Host. Good people, bring a rescue or two.-Thous

do me, me,

your offices.

« PreviousContinue »