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rogues in buckram suits. I tell thee what, Hal, if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, and call me horse. Thou knowest my old ward; here I lay, and thus I bore my point. Four rogues in buckram let drive at me

PRINCE. What! four? Thou saidst but two even now.
FALSTAFF. Four, Hal; I told thee four.
Poins. Ay, ay, he said four.

Falstaff. These four came all a-front, and mainly 3 thrust at me. I made me no more ado, but took all their seven points in my target, thus.

Prince. Seven? why, there were but four even now.
FALSTAFF. In buckram?
Poins. Ay, four, in buckram suits.

FALSTAFF. Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.

PRINCE. Prithee, let him alone; we shall have more


Falstaff. Dost thou hear me, Hal?
Prince. Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.

Falstafr. Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These nine in buckram that I told thee of

PRINCE. So, two more already.

Falstaff. Their points being broken, began to give me ground: but I followed me close, came in foot and hand; and with a thought seven of the eleven I paid.6

PRINCE. Oh, monstrous ! eleven buckram men grown out of two!

I call me horse, abuse me.
2 a-front=in front.
3 mainly, with might and main.

4 target, shield.
5 these hilts, his sword.
e paid. Explain.

Falstaff. But three knaves in Kendal green came at my back, and let drive at me; for it was so dark, Hal, that thou couldst not see thy hand.

Prince. These lies are like the father that begets them; gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou clay-brained paunch, thou nott-pated a fool, thou greasy tallow-keech 3 –

FALSTAFF. What! art thou mad? art thou mad? is not the truth the truth?

PRINCE. Why, how couldst thou know these men in Kendal green, when it was so dark thou couldst not see thy hand? Come, tell us your reason; what sayest thou to this?

Poins. Come, your reason, Jack, your reason.

FALSTAFF. What, upon compulsion ? No; were I at the strappado,4 or all the racks in the world, I would not tell you on compulsion. Give you a reason on compulsion! if reasons were as plentiful as blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion, I.

Prince. I'll be no longer guilty of this sin: this sanguine 5 coward, this horseback-breaker, this huge hill of flesh

Falstaff. Away! you starveling, you eel-skin, you dried neat's tongue, you stock-fish! Oh for breath to


1 Kendal green. Kendal, in lump, in order to be carried to the Westmoreland, was celebrated for chandler. its manufacture of green cloth. strappado, a military punish

2 nott-pated, having the hair cut ment, whereby the joints were disshort round and round.

located. 8 tallow-keech. A keech of tal- 5 sanguine, full-blooded. See low is the fat of an ox or cow rolled Glossary. up by the butcher in a round 6 stock-fish, a dried cod.

utter what is like thee!— you tailor's yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing-tuck,'

Prince. 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.

Prince. 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 out-faced 2

you from your prize, and have it; yea, and can show it you here in the house. — And, Falstaff, you carried your paunch away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roared for mercy, and still ran and roared, as ever I heard bull-calf. What a slave art thou, to hack thy sword as thou hast done, and then say it was in fight! What trick, what device, what starting-hole, canst thou now find out to hide thee from this open and apparent shame?

Poins. Come, let's hear, Jack. What trick hast thou now?

Falstaff. Ha! ha! I knew ye as well as he that made ye. Why, hear ye, my masters: was it for me to kill the heir-apparent? Should I turn upon the true prince? Why, thou knowest I am as valiant as Hercules; but beware instinct: the lion will not touch the true prince; instinct is a great matter; I was a coward on instinct. I shall think the better of myself and thee during my life; I for a valiant lion, and thou for 1 tuck, a rapier; hence "stand


2 out-faced, frightened. ing-tuck,' a rapier set on end. 3 starting-hole, subterfuge.

a true prince. But, lads, I am glad you have the money. - Hostess, clap to the doors; watch to-night, pray to-morrow. — Gallants, lads, boys, hearts of gold, all the titles of good fellowship come to you! What ! Shall we be merry? Shall we have a play extempore ?

Prince. Content; and the argument shall be thy running away.

FALSTAFF. Ah! no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me.

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In the year 1608, while Shakespeare was still alive,and indeed had eight more years of life before him,there lived in Bread Street, London, one John Milton, who carried on the business of “scrivener " (lawstationer and notary-public) in a shop bearing the sign of the Spread Eagle.

Under the wings of this Spread Eagle, which seems to have shadowed a very comfortable, happy home, was born on the 9th of December, 1608, John Milton, the future author of Paradise Lost; receiving from his father literary tastes and a love for music, and from his mother a sweet yet lofty nature and the sad inheritance of weak eyes.

Having received his earliest education at home, he

1 argument, subject, theme.


2 Ah!... me.


was sent, when about twelve years old (1620), to St. Paul's School. Even then he showed a hunger and thirst after learning, which, as he says, “I seized with such eagerness, that from the twelfth year of my age I scarce ever went to bed before midnight.” Of his boyish exercises, two paraphrases of the Psalms have been preserved; and there are other indications that from very early years Milton's mind was seriously turned to poetry.

When sixteen years old he was admitted to Christ's College, Cambridge, where he resided for seven years. The delicate beauty of the student's face, and the rolling masses of silken auburn hair, parted in the middle, that framed its oval contour, excited the jeers of some rougher classmates, who called him “the lady of the college.” They might well have spared their mockery; for the blonde beauty was to outshine them all, and even then was showing signs of a wondrous genius in its dawn. In the winter of 1629, Milton's twentyfirst year, he composed his Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity, which, though not ranking with his greatest works, is enough to make the fame of any ordinary poet.

Having taken his degrees, he left Cambridge at the age of twenty-four (1632), and returned to his father's house, the elder Milton having meantime given up business, and retired to country life in the village of Horton, near London. Milton had been intended for the Church, but by the time he left college it was plain that this was not his calling; and his father, clearly discerning his son's remarkable talents, wisely refused

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