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thing, which the poet has given us,—the self, and what remains is bestial.—My repucruelty which follows the perfidy :
tation, Iago, my reputation.” “ As I am an
honest man, “Strike up our drums, pursue the scatter'd
I thought you had received
some bodily wound; there is more offence in stray.”
that than in reputation. Reputation is an To our minds, after this dramatic picture, we idle and most false imposition.” This is)
s percan well dispense with any didactic explana- fectly equivalent to Falstaff's “Can honour set tions. The simple question of Mowbray to a leg? ... Honour is a mere scutcheon.” (which is evaded)
Falstaff's assault, too, upon the dead Percy “ Is this proceeding just and honourable?”— is exactly in the same spirit, and so are the
lie and the boast which follow the exploit : is quite enough to show the dullest that the “I'll take it upon my death, I gave him this poet did “take the side of virtue.”
wound in the thigh : if the man were alive, The scene, in the first act of the Second and would deny it
, I would make him eat a Part, between Falstaff and the Lord Chief
piece of my sword.” Shakspere has drawn a Justice, takes us back to the field of Shrews- liar, a braggart, and a coward in Parolles *. bury :
He has also in the play before us, and in “ Attendant. Falstaff, an 't please your lord Henry V., given us Pistol, a braggart and ship.
a coward. But how essentially different are Ch. Justice. He that was in question for the both these characters from Falstaff. And robbery?
yet Johnson, with a singular want of disAttendant. He, my lord: but he hath since crimination in one who relished Falstaff done good service at Shrewsbury; and, as I hear,
so highly, says, “Parolles has many of the is now going with some charge to the lord John
lineaments of Falstaff.” Helena, in ‘All's of Lancaster.”
Well that Ends Well,' thus truly describes We have seen Falstaff, in his progress to Parolles :that battle-field, an unscrupulous extortioner,
“I know him a notorious liar, degrading his public authority by making it the instrument for his private purposes : “I
Think him a great way fool, solely a coward.” have misused the king's press damnably. I Parolles is a braggadocio who puts himself have got, in exchange of a hundred and fifty into a difficulty by undertaking an adventure soldiers, three hundred and odd pounds." for which he has not the requisite courage, We have seen his deportment in the battle: and then in his double cowardice endeavours “I have led my ragamuffins where they are to lie himself out of the scrape. How enpeppered ;"—this is not cowardice. We have tirely different is this from Falstaff ! He seen him in the heat of the fight jesting and volunteers no prodigious feat from which he dallying with his bottle of sack :—this is not shrinks. He exercises his accustomed sacowardice. Himself is his best expositor : gacity to make the most of his situation by “I like not such grinning honour as Sir the side of the dead Percy : “Nothing conWalter bath : Give me life : which if I can futes me but eyes, and nobody sees me;" save, so: if not, honour comes unlooked for, and when the lie is told,—“We rose both at and there's an end.” Again : “The better an instant, and fought a long hour by part of valour is discretion ; in the which Shrewsbury clock,”-it is precisely of the better part, I have saved my life.” What is same character as the “incomprehensible this but the absence of that higher quality lies” about the men in buckram ;-someof the mind, be it a principle or a feeling, thing that the utterer and the hearers canwhich constitutes the heroic character- not exactly distinguish for jest or earnest. the poetry of action ? We find the absence The Prince thus receives the story :of this quality in Iago, as well as in Falstaff. Look at his reply to Cassio's lament:
“This is the strangest fellow, brother John." “I have lost the immortal part, sir, of my
* All's Well that Ends Well.'
Again, look at Pistol swallowing the leek, in 'Henry V.,' and Pistol kicked down stairs by “ Ch. Just. Sir John Falstaff, a word with you. Falstaff, in this play,—and note the dif- Fal. My good lord !--Give your lordship good ference between “a counterfeit cowardly time of day. I am glad to see your lordship knave and Falstaff. The truth is, all these abroad: I heard say your lordship was sick: I generalities about Falstaff, and false com
hope your lordship goes abroad by advice. Your parisons arising out of the generalities, are
lordship, though not clean past your youth, hath popular mistakes too hastily received into yet some smack of age in you, some relish of the There is infinitely more truth in lordship to have a reverend care of your health.
saltness of time; and I most humbly beseech your Mackenzie's parallel between Falstaff and Ch. Fust
. Sir John, 1 sent for you before your Richard III. than 'in Johnson's comparison expedition to Shrewsbury. of Falstaff with Parolles. “Both," says
Fal. If it please your lordship, I hear his Mackenzie,“ are men of the world ; both majesty is returned with some discomfort from possess that sagacity and understanding Wales. which is fitted for its purposes; both despise Ch. Just. I talk not of his majesty :-You those refined feelings, those motives of deli- | would not come when I sent for you. cacy, those restraints of virtue, which might Fal. And I hear, moreover, his highness is obstruct the course they have marked out fallen into this same whoreson apoplexy. for themselves.
Both use the weak- Ch. Just. Well, heaven mend him! I pray, nesses of others, as skilful players at a game let me speak with you. do the ignorance of their opponents ; they
Fal. This apoplexy is, as I take it, a kind of enjoy the advantage, not only without self-lethargy; a sleeping of the blood, a whoreson reproach, but with the pride of superiority.
tingling Indeed, so much does Richard in
Ch. Just. What tell you me of it? be it as it is.
Fal. It hath its original from much grief; the higher walk of villainy resemble Falstaff in the lower region of roguery and dissipa- have read the cause of his effects in Galen ; it is
from study, and perturbation of the brain : I tion, that it were not difficult to show, in
a kind of deafness. the dialogue of the two characters, however
Ch. Just. I think you are fallen into the dissimilar in situation, many passages and disease ; for you hear not what I say to you.” expressions in a style of remarkable resemblance.” Mackenzie has given us no ex- Buck. My lord, I claim the gift, my due ample of the remarkable resemblance of pas- by promise, sages and expressions; and, indeed, after a
For which your honour and your faith is careful comparison, we doubt whether such pawn'd; resemblances of“ expression ” do exist. But The earldom of Hereford, and the moveables, what is more to the purpose, and more in
Which you have promised I shall possess. confirmation of Mackenzie's theory, Falstaff K. Rich. Stanley, look to your wife; if she and Richard, throughout their career, display convey the same “alacrity of spirit,” the same "cheer
Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it. of mind,” the same readiness in meeting dif
Buck. What says your highness to my just
request? ficulties, the same determination to surmount
K. Rich. I do remember me,-Henry the them. One parallel, and that a very remark
Sixth able one, will sufficiently illustrate this. The
Did prophesy that Richmond should be king, first scene between the Lord Chief Justice
When Richmond was a little peevish boy. and Falstaff,—that scene of matchless impu
A king perhaps dence and self-reliance,-and the scene where
Buck. My lord Richard evades Buckingham's claim to the K. Rich. How chance, the prophet could earldom of Hereford, are as similar as the not at that time difference of circumstances will allow them
Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him? to be. We give the parallel passages :
Buck. My lord, your promise for the earl**Lounger,' No. 69.
K. Rich. Richmond !—When last I was at | Justice is half moved to laugh at him and Exeter,
with him. We have already spoken of the The mayor in courtesy show'd me the castle, fascination which he exercised over the mind And called it-Rouge-mont: at which name I of the prince; and even when Harry is in started;
many respects a changed man- 1-when he has Because a bard of Ireland told me once,
shown us the heroical side of his characterI should not live long after I saw Richmond.
we still learn that he has been so much enBuck. My lord,
graffed to Falstaff.” The dominion which he K. Rich. Ay, what's o'clock?
exercised over all his associates he exercises Buck. I am thus bold to put your grace in mind
over every reader of Shakspere. We are Of what you promised me.
never weary of him ; we can never hate him ; K. Rich.
Well, but what's o'clock? we doubt if we can despise him ; we are half Buck. Upon the stroke of ten.
angry with the prince for casting him off ; K. Rich.
Well, let it strike.” we are quite sure that there was no occasion Falstaff again not unfrequently reminds to send him to the Fleet ; when we hear in us of Iago. We have already noticed this 'Henry V,' that the “king has killed his resemblance in one particular. The humor- | heart,” we are certain that, with all his ous rogue and the sarcastic villain are equally selfishness, there were many kind and loving unscrupulous in their attacks
feelings about that heart, which neglect and perty of others. Falstaff making the Hostess desertion would deeply touch ; and when at withdraw the action and lend him more last we see him, in poor Dame Quickly's de money, and Iago's advice to Roderigo, “Put scription of his deathbed, “fumble with the money in thy purse,” supply an obvious ex- sheets, and play with flowers, and smile upon ample. Falstaff, in his schemes upon Jus- his fingers' ends,” we involuntarily exclaim,
“Poor Jack, farewell.” of roguery If
We must now recall the attention of our bait for the old pike, I see no reason, in the readers to the principle with which we set law of nature, but I may snap at him.” out, that the great dramatic action of these Iago thinks it would be a disgrace to his plays is the change of character in the Prince own intellectual superiority if he did not of Wales. In the first part we have seen his plunder his dupe :
levities cast away, when his ambition called “ Thus do I ever make my fool my purse:
upon him to answer the reproofs of his father For I mine own gain'd knowledge should pro- by heroic actions : fane,
“ And, in the closing of some glorious day, If I would time expend with such a snipe, Be bold to tell you that I am your son.” But for my sport and profit."
Years pass on after the battle of Shrewsbury ; Falstaff, however, is not all knave, as
and the Prince has not entirely cast aside his Richard and Iago are each all villain. Richard habits. The duty of meeting the insurrecand Iago are creatures of antipathies ; Fal- tion under Scroop is not committed to him. staff is a creature of sympathies. There is we find him in London, playing the fool with something genial even in his knavery. With the time, but yet “sad” looking forward to Dame Quickly and Doll, with Bardolph and higher things ; “let the end try the man." the Page, his good humour is irresistible : His sense of duty is, however, roused into his followers evidently love him. The instant action at the news from the north :Hostess speaks their thoughts :—“Well, fare
“By Heaven, Poins, I feel me much to blame, thee well: I have known thee these twenty
So idly to profane the precious time; nine years come peascod-time; but an
When tempest of commotion, like the south, honester and truer-hearted man- -Well, fare
Borne with black vapour, doth begin to melt, thee well.” He extracts Shallow's money And drop upon our bare unarmed heads. from his purse as much by his sociality as Give me my sword and cloak :-Falstaff, good his cunning. Even the grave Lord Chief night.”
tice Shallow, hugs himself in the very philo“ F
The Prince and Falstaff never again meet in | We are approaching that final scene when fellowship. Falstaff goes to the wars ; and the reformation of the Prince is to be fully he throws a spirit into those scenes of accomplished in the spectacle of his father's treachery and bloodshed which we look for deathbed. The King has swooned. The in vain amidst the policy of Westmoreland prince enters gaily:and the solemnity of John of Lancaster.
“How now! rain within doors, and none abroad! In Falstaff and his recruits we see the under
How doth the king?" current of all warfare—the things of com
But his gaiety is presently subdued : mon life that are mixed up with great and fearful events
the ludicrous by the side of “I will sit and watch here by the king.” the tragic. The scene of Falstaff choosing The French critic (a very unfit representahis recruits—the corruption of Bardolph tive of the present state of opinion in France the defence of that corruption by his most
as to the merits of Shakspere) gives us the impudent captain—the amazement of the following most egregious description of the justices—the different tempers with which the recruits meet their lot-furnish altoge- He calls out-misses his crown-commands
scene which follows :—“The King wakes. ther one of the richest realities of this un
the Prince to come to him and overwhelms equalled drama. We here see how war, and him with reproaches for that impatience especially civil war, presses upon the com
to seize upon his inheritance which will not forts even of the lowliest : “My old dame wait even till his father's body is cold. will be undone now for one to do her hus- Henry, with an hypocrisy worse than the bandry.” Is he who won the crown by civil action which he would defend, pretends only tumult, and who wears it uneasily as the to have taken away the crown through inconsequence of his usurpation—is he hap- dignation that it had shortened the days of pier than the peasant who is dragged from his father !” This is to read poetry in a his hut to fight in a cause which he neither literal spirit. We commend the fourth scene cares for nor understands ? Beautifully of the fourth act (Part II.) to our readers, has Shakspere shown us what happiness without another remark that may weaken Bolingbroke gained by the deposition of the force of M. Paul Duport's objections. Richard :
Through that great trial which has for “How many thousand of my poorest subjects awhile softened and purified the hearts of Are at this honr asleep! O sleep, O gentle most men—the death of a father-has Henry sleep,
passed. But he has also put on the state of Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
a king. He has done so amidst the rememThat thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids brances and fears of his brothers and addown,
visers : And steep my senses in forgetfulness?"
“You all look strangely on me.” Henry is a politic and wise king; but he is
The scene with the Lord Chief Justice ena melancholy man. The conduct of the
sues,—written with all Shakspere's rhetorical Prince still lies heavy at his heart, and his
power. Henry has solemnly taken up his grief
position “Stretches itself beyond the hour of death,”
“The tide of blood in me in dread of the “rotten times” that would Hath proudly flow'd in vanity, till now: ensue when the Prince's riot hath no curb.
Now doth it turn, and ebb back to the sea.” The King too is “much ill ;”
It is in this solemn assurance, publicly made “ The incessant care and labour of his mind
upon the first occasion of meeting his subHath wrought the mure, that should confine jects, that we must rest the absolute and init in,
evitable necessity of Henry's harshness to So thin, that life looks through, and will Falstaff. The poet has most skilfully conbreak out."
trived to bring out the worst parts of Fal
staff's character when he learns the death of The very struggle, in this moment of trial, Henry IV.-his presumption-his rapacity which the king had between his old habits -his evil determinations : "Let us take any and affections and his new duties, demands man's horses ;—the laws of England are at this harshness. We understand from Prince my commandment. Happy are they which John that, though Falstaff is taken to the have been my friends ; and woe to my lord Fleet, he is not to be utterly deserted :chief justice.” When he plants himself in the way of the coronation procession to
“ He hath intent, his wonted followers “leer” upon the King—when he exclaims Shall all be very well provided for; “God save thy grace, king Hal,”—Henry
But all are banish’d, till their conversations was compelled to assert his consistency by
Appear more wise and modest to the world.” his severity. Warburton has truly observed that, in his homily to Falstaff, Henry makes The dramatic action is complete. Henry of a trip, and is sliding into his old habit of Monmouth has passed through the dangerlaughing at Falstaff's bulk :
ous trial of learning the great lessons of
humanity amidst men with whom his follies “ know, the grave doth gape made him an equal. The stains of this conFor thee thrice wider than for other men.”
tact were on the surface. His heart was He saw the rising smile, and the smothered first elevated by ambition—then purified by retort, upon Falstaff's lip,—and he checks sorrow-and so him with
“ Consideration like an angel came, “Reply not to me with a fool-born jest; And whipp'd th' offending Adam out of him.”
Presume not that I am the thing I was.”
KING HENRY V. · HENRY V.' was first printed in 1600, under feature of the structure, under other combithe following title :— The Chronicle History nations, with such marvellous skill, that no of Henry the Fift, with his battell fought unity of principle is violated, and the whole at Agin Court in France. Together with has the effect of a restoration in which the auntient Pistoll.' This copy, which differs new and the old are undistinguishable. The most materially from the text of the folio, was alterations are so manifestly those of the reprinted in 1602, and again in 1608. The author working upon his first sketch, that quarto of 1600 runs only to 1800 lines; we are erly at a loss to conceive upon whilst the lines in the folio edition amount what principle some of our editorial preto 3500. Not only is the play thus augmented decessors have reconciled the differences by the additions of the choruses and new upon the easy theory of a surreptitious copy. scenes, but there is scarcely a speech, from A passage in the chorus to the fifth act the first scene to the last, which is not ela- proves, beyond doubt, that the choruses borated. In this elaboration the old mate formed a part of the performance in 1599 ; rials are very carefully used up; but they but this does not prove that there was not are so thoroughly refitted and dovetailed an earlier performance without the choruses. with what is new, that the operation can The first quarto was printed in 1600, after only be compared to the work of a skilful the choruses were brought upon the stage ; architect, who, having an ancient mansion but, because they are not found in that first to enlarge and beautify, with a strict regard quarto, it is asserted that the copy from to its original character, preserves every | which that edition was printed was “not a