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finds the task more than enough for him, and Sir John himself must assist. Having driven out Pistol, therefore, Falstaff returns and resumes his seat muttering, “A rascal bragging slave; the rogue fled from me like quicksilver."
The greatest part of Falstaff's wit is expended on his associates, who, being for the most part men of the vilest character, present an ample target for his raillery. Of this target Bardolph's nose is the bull's-eye—“Thou art our admiral, thou bearest the lantern in the poop; but 'tis in the nose of thee. . . . I make as good use of it as many a man doth of a death's-head or a memento mori. I never see thy face but I think upon hell-fire and Dives that lived in purple, for there he is in his robes burning. . . . When thou rannest up Gadshill in the night to catch my horse, if I did not think thou hadst been an ignis fatuus or a ball of wild-fire, there's no purchase in money. O thou art a perpetual triumph, an everlasting bonfire-light. Thou hast saved me a thousand marks in links and torches walking with thee in the night betwixt tavern and tavern. But the sack thou hast drunk me would have bought me lights as good cheap at the dearest chandler's in Europe. I have maintained that salamander of yours with fire any time this two-and-thirty years.” And again—" The fiend hath pricked down Bardolph irrecoverably; and his face is Lucifer's privy-kitchen, where he doeth nothing but roast malt-worms.” Even after the old knight's death this man's nose is a source of jocularity, for when the hostess has made an end of relating the manner of Falstaff's going hence, telling how that“ his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a' babbled o'green fields,” and did“ fumble with the sheets, and play with the flowers, and smile upon his fingers' ends,” and the good woman “knew there was but one way," and how “he's in Arthur's bosom, if ever man went to Arthur's bosom,”—we have this posthumous witticism recorded by the boy—“Do you remember a' saw a flea stick upon Bardolph's nose, and a' said it was a black soul burning in hell-fire ? ”
No man could be better calculated to call forth Falstaff's contempt and scorn than Robert Shallow, esquire, a meagre, poor-spirited, tattling creature, turned by the wheel of fortune into a country justiceship with the possession of land and beeves. “I do see the bottom of Justice Shallow, ... every third word à lie duer paid to the hearer than the Turk's tribute. I do remember him at Clement's inn, like a man made after supper of a cheeseparing. When a' was naked, he was for all the world like a forked radish with a head fantastically carved upon it with a knife. . . . You might have thrust him and all his apparel into an eеlskin: the case of a treble hautboy were a mansion for him.” “If I were sawed into quantities, I should make four dozen of such bearded hermits' staves as Master Shallow.” “I have him already tempering between my finger and my thumb, and shortly will I seal him.” “I will devise matter enough out of this Shallow to keep Prince Henry in continual laughter the wearing out of six fashions. . . . Oh, you shall see him laugh till his face be like a wet cloak ill laid up."1 Both the factors in this latter simile are absurd : a face wrinkled by: laughter and retaining those wrinkles afterwards is no fit subject for poetry, any more than the creases in a wet garment; both are ridiculous.
Falstaff's recruits are thus made merry upon : “My whole charge consists of ancients, corporals, lieutenants, slaves as ragged as Lazarus in the painted cloth where the glutton's dogs licked his sores, and such indeed as were never soldiers but ... the cankers of a calm word and a long peace, ten times more dishonourable ragged than an old-faced ancient. You would think I had a hundred and fifty tattered prodigals lately come from swine-keeping, from eating draff and husks;” you would think I had“ unloaded all the gibbets and pressed the dead bodies: no eye hath
1 Compare with this Swift's de- with his face as it does with that of scription of the countenance of an Aeo- the sea, first blackening, then wrinklist while preaching to his disciples ling, and at last bursting it into a —“The wind in breaking forth deals foam.”—Tale of a Tub.
seen such scarecrows." His second detachment of reinforcements—Wart, Feeble, Bullcalf, Shadow, &c.—are thus rallied before Master Shallow: “Here's Wart; you see what a ragged appearance it is; a' shall charge you and discharge you with the motion of a pewterer's hammer ; come off and on swifter than he that gibbets on the brewer's bucket. And this same half-faced fellow, Shadow; give me this man; he presents no mark to the enemy: the foeman may with as great aim level at the edge of a penknife.”
With all this scorn and banter Falstaff does not spare himself, but is indeed sufficiently candid concerning his own peculiarities: “I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient.” I am a “tun of man, ... a wassail candle, all tallow;” and when carried in the name of foul clothes to Datchet lane, I was like a “barrel of būtcher's offal. . . . The rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorse as they would have drowned a bitch's blind puppies, fifteen in the litter, ... and I have a kind of alacrity in sinking," and had I been drowned and swelled by the water, I should have become “a mountain of mummy.” Afterwards his belly was as cold as if he had “swallowed snowballs for pills,” though ordinarily he is “as subject to heat as butter, a man of continual dissolution and thaw”— so much so, he says, that they might “liquor fishermen's boots with me.” After the exploit on Gadshill, he observes : “My skin hangs about me like an old lady's loose gown. I am withered like an old apple-John.” When told to lie down on the ground and listen for the tread of travellers, “Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down ?” he asks Prince Henry; and yet, he continues, “When I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle's talon in the waist.” The cause of all this wit is easily divined“A good sherris sack hath a twofold operation in it; it ascends me into the brain, ... makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble, fiery, and delectable shapes; which delivered o'er to the voice, the tongue, which is the birth, becomes excellent wit."
If the foregoing passages be analysed, it will, I think, be found, first, that wit, like poetry, is relative and consists of two factors, an illustrated subject and an illustrating object; secondly, that the ludicrous effect is produced in consequence of one of these factors being below the dignity of the other, or both being below the dignity of the occasion. If the subject be extended so as to include every species and description of humour, the same rule will, I think, be found still to assert itself.
IV. THE APPEARANCE OF BEAUTY VARIES INVERSELY WITH
THE APPEARANCE OF UTILITY.
BEAUTY is a relative term and implies two things—first, an objective quality of matter, and secondly, a subjective emotion of the mind. The objective quality consists in suggestiveness, the subjective emotion in admiration; and where either of these factors is wanting the other is wanting also—no beauty can be recognised and no admiration felt. Furthermore, beauty is never found independent of utility: utility is its basis, its support, its root; and, being removed, beauty dies and admiration ceases. Consequently, there can be no abstract beauty-no beauty pure and simple anywhere: while connected with utility we may admire and warmly laud, but with the cessation of utility our admiration is exhausted, and we feel the dawning symptoms of contempt. These principles, which relate to the nature and meaning of beauty and to the conditions of its existence, have been examined and tested in the foregoing chapters. We have now to prove that the quantity of beauty is regulated by a law no less stringent and complete than those we have dismissed; a law which shows that the appearance of beauty is inversely proportional to the appearance of utility—that where the beauty increases in any object the utility diminishes, and where the utility increases the beauty diminishes, and this, too, whether the object be naturally adorned or artificially ornamented : in other words, though beauty and utility exist only as they coexist, yet in regard to their amount