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`P. Hen. I'll make it greater, ere I part from thee; And all the budding honours on thy crest
I'll crop, to make a garland for my head.
Hot. I can no longer brook thy vanities. [They fight. Enter FALSTAFF.
Fal. Well said, Hal! to it, Hal!-Nay, you shall find no boy's play here, I can tell you.
Enter DOUGLAS; he fights with FALSTAFF, who falls down as if he were dead, and exit DOUGLAS. HOTSPUR is wounded, and falls.
Hot. O, Harry, thou hast robb'd me of my youth:6 I better brook the loss of brittle life,
Than those proud titles thou hast won of me;
They wound my thoughts, worse than thy sword my flesh:
But thought's the slave of life," and life time's fool;
60, Harry, thou hast robb'd me of my youth:] Shakspeare has chosen to make Hotspur fall by the hand of the Prince of Wales; but there is, I believe, no authority for the fact. Holinshed says, "The king slew that day with his own hand six and thirty persons of his enemies. The other [i. e. troops] of his party, encouraged by his doings, fought valiantly, and slew the Lord Percy, called Henry Hotspur." Speed says Percy was killed by an unknown hand. Malone.
7 But thought's the slave of life,] So, in Hamlet:
"Purpose is but the slave to memory??
those proud titles thou hast won of me;
They wound my thoughts,
'But thought's the slave of life, and life time's fool;
Must have a stop.] Hotspur in his last moments endeavours to console himself. The glory of the prince wounds his thoughts; but thought, being dependent on life, must cease with it, and will soon be at an end. Life, on which thought depends, is itself of no great value, being the fool and sport of time; of time, which with all its dominion over sublunary things, must itself at last be stopped. Johnson.
Hotspur alludes to the Fool in our ancient farces, or the representations commonly called Death's Dance, &c. The same allusion occurs in Measure for Measure, and Love's Labour's Lost.
But that the earthy and cold hand of death
Lies on my tongue :-No, Percy, thou art dust,
And food for
P. Hen. For worms, brave Percy: Fare thee well, great heart!
Ill-weav'd ambition, how much art thou shrunk!'
A kingdom for it was too small a bound;1
Is room enough:-This earth, that bears thee dead, 2
If thou wert sensible of courtesy,
I should not make so dear a show3 of zeal:-
The same expression is to be found in our author's 106th Sonnet:
"Love 's not Time's fool." Malone.
9 Ill-weav'd ambition, &c.] A metaphor taken from cloth, which shrinks when it is ill-weaved, when its texture is loose. Johnson. 1 A kingdom for it was too small a bound; &c.]
"Carminibus confide bonis-jacet ecce Tibullus;
Johnson. that bears thee dead,] The most authentick copy, the quarto of 1598, and the folio, have-the dead. The true reading is found in a quarto of no authority or value, 1639; but it is here clearly right. Malone.
3 so dear a show] Thus the first and best quarto. All the subsequent copies have-so great &c. Malone.
4 But let my favours hide thy mangled face;] We should readfavour, face, or countenance. He is stooping down here to kiss Hotspur. Warburton.
He rather covers his face with a scarf, to hide the ghastliness of death. Johnson.
See p. 277, n. 9.
ignomy] So the word ignominy was formerly written. Thus, in Troilus and Cressida, Act V, sc. iii:
"Hence broker lacquey! ignomy and shame," &c. Reed. Again, in Lord Cromwell, 1602:
"With scandalous ignomy and slanderous speeches."
But not remember'd in thy epitaph!
[He sees FALSTAFF on the ground.
What! old acquaintance! could not all this flesh
I could have better spar'd a better man.
Fal. [rising slowly] Embowelled! if thou embowel me to-day, I'll give you leave to powder me, and eat me too, to-morrow. 'Sblood, 'twas time to counterfeit, or that hot termagant Scot had paid me scot and lot too. Counterfeit? I lie, 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 dying, when a man thereby liveth, is to be no counterfeit, 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
—so fat a deer -] There is in these lines a very natural mixture of the serious and ludicrous, produced by the view of Percy and Falstaff. I wish all play on words had been for borne.
I find the same quibble in The Two Angry Women of Abington,
"Life is as dear in deer, as 'tis in men." Again, in A Maidenhead well lost, 1632, a comedy, by Heywood: "There's no deer so dear to him, but he will kill it."
Fat is the reading of the first quarto, 1598, the most authentick impression of this play, and of the folio. The other quartos have fair. Malone.
So fat a deer, seems to be the better reading, for Turbervile, in The Terms of the Ages of all Beasts of Venerie and Chase, observes: You shall say by anie deare, a great deare, and not a fayre deare, unless it be a rowe, which in the fifth year is called a fayre rowe-bucke." Tollet.
many dearer,] Many of greater value. Johnson.
to powder me,] To powder is to salt. Johnson.
counterfeit. Therefore I'll make him sure: yea, and I'll swear I killed him. Why may not he rise, as well as I? Nothing confutes me but eyes, and nobody sees me. Therefore, sirrah, [stabbing him] with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with me.
[Takes HOT. on his back.
Re-enter Prince HENRY and Prince JOHN.
P. Hen. Come, brother John, full bravely hast thou
Thy maiden sword.
But, soft! whom have we here?
Did you not tell me, this fat man was dead?
P. Hen. I did; I saw him dead, breathless and bleeding Upon the ground. 9.
Art thou alive? or is it phantasy
That plays upon our eyesight? I pr'ythee, speak;
Fal. No, that 's certain; I am not a double man:1 but if I be not Jack Falstaff, then am I a Jack. There is Percy: [throwing the body down] 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 this world 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 Shrewsbury clock. If I may be believed, so; if not, let them, that should reward valour, bear the sin upon their own heads. I'll take it upon my death, gave him this wound in the thigh:2 if the man were
i -a double man: :] That is, I am not Falstaff and Percy together, though having Percy on my back, I seem double. Johnson. Dryden has adopted this phrase in his Indian Emperor:
"I kill'd a double man; the one half lay
"Upon the ground, the other ran away." Steevens.
Igave him this wound in the thigh:] The very learned Lord Lyttelton observes, that Shakspeare has applied an action to Falstaff, which William of Malmsbury tells us was really done
alive, and would deny it, I would make him eat a piece of my sword.
P. John. This is the strangest tale that e'er I heard. P. Hen. This is the strangest fellow, brother John.Come, bring your luggage nobly on your back: For my part, if a lie may do thee grace, I'll gild it with the happiest terms I have.
LA Retreat is sounded.
The trumpet sounds retreat, the day is ours.
[Exeunt Prince HEN. and Prince JOHN. Fal. I'll follow, as they say, for reward. He that rewards me, God reward him! If I do grow great, I'll grow less; for I 'll purge, and leave sack, and live cleanly, as a nobleman should do. [Exit, bearing off the Body.
Another Part of the Field.
The Trumpets sound. Enter King HENRY, Prince HEN-
K. Hen. Thus ever did rebellion find rebuke. 3.
by one of the Conqueror's knights to the body of King Harold. I do not however believe that Lord Lyttelton supposed Shakspeare to have read this old Monk. The story is told likewise by Matthew Paris and Matthew of Westminster; and by many of the English Chroniclers, Stowe, Speed, &c. &c. Farmer.
3 Thus ever did rebellion find rebuke ] Thomas Churchyard, in a catalogue of his own printed works, prefixed to his Challenge, 1593, informs us, that he had published "a booke called A Rebuke to Rebellion [dedicated] to the good old Earle of Bedford."