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(1) SCENE II.-An apartment in a Tavern.] According to the modern editions, the action of this scene takes place in a room of the king's palace. Now, not to dwell upon the improbability of the prince of Wales surrounding himself with licentious companions, and planning a vulgar robbery in such a place, we are compelled to infer that ho was not in the practice of making the court his home. In the last Act of “Richard II.” King Henry asks :
" Can no man tell of my unthrifty son?
'Tis full three months since I did see him last." And in a subsequent scene in the present play, when Falstaff personates the monarch, one of his inquiries, founded upon his knowledge of the prince's habits, is
-"Where hast thou been this month ?"
3 Jac. I. c. 21. AN ACTE TO RESTRAIN THE ABUSES
OF PLAYERS, (1605-6.) For the preventing and avoyding of the greate Abuse of the Holy Name of God in Stageplayes, Interludes Maygames Showes and such like ;-Be it enacted by our Soveraigne Lorde the Kings Majesty, and by the Lories Spirituall and Temporall, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authoritie of the same, That if at any tyme or tymes, after the end of this present Session of Parliament any person or persons doe or shall in any Stage play Interlude Shewe Maygame or Pageant jest. ingly or prophanely speake or use the holy Name of God or of Christ Jesus, or of the Holy Ghoste or of the Trinitie, which are not to be spoken but with feare and reverence, shall forfeite for everie such Offence by hym or them comitted Tenne Pounde, the one Moytie thereof to the Kings Majestie his Heires and Successors, the other Moytie thereof to hym or them that will sue for the same in any Courte of Recordle at Westminster, wherein no Essoigne Proteccion or Wager of Lawe shalbe allowed.
(2) SCENE II.-Or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.) Steevens acutely conceived that the “ drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe,” meant the dull croak of a frog, one of the native minstrels of that fenny county ; but it is more credible that Lincolnshire was celebrated for the making or playing on this instrument. In “A Nest of Ninnies,” by Robert Armin, 1608, a Lincolnshire bagpipe is mentioned in a way to show it was familiarly known :“At a Christmas time, when great logs furnish the hallfire-when brawne is in season, and, indeede, all reveling is regarded, this gallant knight kept open house for all commers, where beefe, beere, and bread was no niggard. Amongst all the pleasures prouided, a noyse of minstrells and a Lincolnshire bagpipe was prepared—the minstrels for the great chamber, the bagpipe for the hall--the minstrells to serue vp the knight's meat, and the bagpipe for the common dauncing.”
(3) SCENE II.---The melancholy of Moor-ditch.] Moorditch was a part of the great ditch or moat, which, with the well-known wall, surrounded and formed the defence of London. This ditch was begun in 1211, and finished in 1213. That portion of it known as Moor-ditch, extending from the Postern called Moorgate, to Bishopsgate, was cleansed and widened in 1595 ; but Stowe relates that it soon filled again, and, flanked as it was on the one side with miserable dwellings, and on the other by an unwholesome and sometimes impassable morass, it is easy to understand how the sombre, melancholy aspect of this filthy stream should have become proverbial. Taylor in his “ Pennylesse Pilgrimage,” 1618, says-“Walking thus downe the street, (my body being tyred with trauell, and my mind attyred with moody, muddy, Moore-ditch melancholly,") &c.
(5) SCENE II.--Gadshill.] This place, which is on the Kentish road near Rochester, appears at one time to have enjoyed the same kind of unenviable notoriety which rendered Shooters Hill and Hounslow Heath the terror of travellers in later days. So early as 1558, a ballad was entered on the books of the Stationers' Company, entitled The Robbery at Gaulshill, and there is still extant among the Lansdowne Manuscripts in the British Museum a circumstantial narrative in the handwriting of Sir Roger Manwood, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, dated July 30, 1590, of the exploits of a daring gang of robbers, who at that period infested Gadshill and its vicinity. We extmet a portion of this curious account; the whole of which may be seen in Boswell's edition of Malone's Shakespeare, vol. xvi. p. 432.
“In October, at begynninge of last Mychaelmas Terme, iij or iiij robberyes done at Gadeshill by certen foote theres, vppon hughe and crye, one of the Theves named Hachfeild flying and squatted in a bushe, was broughte to me, and vppon examynacion findinge a purse and things about him suspiciouse, and his cause of being there and his flyinge and other circumstances very suspiciouse, I commytted him to the Jayle, and he ys of that robberye indyted.
“In the course of that Michaelmas Terme, I being at London, many robberyes weare done in the hye wayes at Gadeshill on the west parte of Rochester, and at Chatham downe on the east parte of Rochester, by horse theves, with suche fatt and lustye horses, as weare not lyke hackney borsses, nor farr jorneying horsses, and one of them some. tyme wearing a vizarde greye bearde (by reason that to the persons robbed, the Theves did use to mynister an othe that there should bee no hue and crye made after, and also did gyve a watche woorde for the parties robbed, the better to escape other of their theves companye devyded vppon the hyghe-wayo,) he was by common report in the country called Justice Greye Bearde ; and no man durst travell that waye without great companye.
“ After the end of that Mychaelmas Terme, iij or jij gentn. from London rydinge home towardes Canterburye,
(4) SCENE II.- Wisd:m cries out in the streets.] In the first folio, this scriptural expression is omitted, in compliance, it has been thought, with the Act 3 Jac. I.; but that Act, which we append, was restricted to preventing the profane use of the sacred names. The numberless omissions of phrases like the above, as well as “hy my faith,' “by my troth," “ by the mass,” &c. &c. in the folio, must therefore be attributed not to the Act of Parliament in question, but to the increasing influence of the Puritans.
at the west end of Gadeshill, weare overtaken by v or vj horsemen all in clokes vpp about their faces, and fellowe lyke all, and none lyke servants or waytinge on the other, and swiftly ridinge by them gatt to the east end of Gadeshill, and there turned about all their horsses on the faces of the trewe men, wherby they became in feare ; but by chanse one of the trewe men did knowe this Curtall to bee one of the v or vj swift ryders, and after some speache betwene them of the manyfold robberyes there done and that by company of this Curtall, that gentleman hoped to have the more saffetye from robbing. This Curtall with the other v or vj swifte ryders, rode awaye to Rochester before, and the trewe men coming afterwards neere Rochester they did mete this Curtall retorning op horsebacke, rydinge towards Gadeshill againe ; and after they had passed Rochester, in Chatham streete, at a Smyths fordge they did see the reste of the swyft ryders tarying about shoing of their horsses, and then the trewe men doubted to be set vppon at Chatham downe, but their company being the greater, they passed without troble to Sittingborne that nyghte where they harde of robberyes daylye done at Chatham downe and Gadeshill, and that this Curtall with v or vj other as lustye companyons, and well horssed, much havnted the innes and typlinge howses at Raynham, Sittingborne, and Rochester, with liberall expences.”
In another memorandum belonging to the same collection, which relates to similar depredations in other parts of the country, we find the word match, used precisely as in “Ratsey's Ghost,” (see note b, p. 513) to signify the plot, or scheme of a robbery, showing that the “sét a match” of the quartos is the true reading, and the “ set a watch” of the folio, a misprint :
". There maner of robbinge is to robbe in suche companies as afore saide if the matche soe require, and sometimes doo devide themselves and robbe three or fower together onelie, in a companie.”
(1) SCENE I. breeds eas like a loach.] The efforts of critics who gravely labour to establish the pertinence and integrity of such comparisons as these, are as profitable, to adopt a characteristic simile of Gifford's, as the milking he-goats in a sieve. When the obtuse carrier tells us that his horse provender is as dank as a dog-that chamber-lie breeds fleas like a loach, and that he himself is stung like a tench and as well bitten as a king, he means no more, than that the peas and beans are very damp, that chamber. lie breeds many fleas, and that he is severely stung. So, when the immortal Mrs. Quickly declares Sir John and his Dulcinea to be “as rheumatic as two dried toasts," she intends only to convey, what she wants language to describe in words, or imagination to portray properly by figure, that they are inordinately quarrelsome. An appropriate and congruous resemblance would be as inappropriate and incongruous in such mouths, as forcible and well chosen phraseology. The Water Poet, John Taylor, has very happily derided such inapposite similitudes : -"But many pretty ridiculous aspersions are cast upon Doggos, so that it would make a Dogge laugh to heare and understand them. As I have heard a Man say, I am as hot as a Dogge, or as cold as a Dogge, I sweate like a Dogge, (when a Dogge never sweates) as drunke as a Dogge, hee swore like a Dogge, and one told a man once That his Wife was not to be believ'd for she would lye like a Dogge,” &c. -A Dogge of Warre, 1630.
(2) SCENE J.--Thou lay'st the plot, hou.] The collusion between the Chamberlains and Ostlers, and the " Gentle
This, indeed, is put beyond all question by Minsheu's explanation of “ Outeparters." “ Some are of opinion, that those which are tearmed outparters, are at this day called out-putters, and are such as set matches for the robbing any man or house; as by discovering which way he rideth or goeth, or where the house is weakest and fittest to be entred."
(6) Scene II.- Redeeming time, when men think least 1 will.] We had purposed in this scene, to say a few words on the contrast presented by the traditional character of the prince, familiarized as it is to us by the delightful fancies of the poet, and that ascribed to him by Mr. Luders and Mr. Tyler, the historians, who have laboured so zealously to exculpate him from the imputation of youthful riot and dishonour; but, upon reflection, prefer reserving our observations until Henry appears as King of England.
(7) SCENE III.-His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer.] Every historian, from Walsingham to Sharon Turner, has fallen into the error of confounding Sir Edmund Mortimer with his nephew, Edmund Earl of March, who at this period was a boy not more than ten years of age, and in custody of the king at Windsor.
Sir Edmund Mortimer was taken prisoner by Owen Glendower, at the battle fought June 12, 1402, near Melienydd in Radnorshire ; became devotedly attached to the Welsh chieftain, and married his daughter. By this connexion, Owen shortly after obtained another accession to his power and influence in the person of Hotspur, who, incensed, it was thought, at the king's refusal to ransom his brother-in-law (for Hotspur had married Mortimer's sister), suddenly revolted from his side, and allied himself to the cause of his old opponent, Glendower.
men of the Road," in old times, is often referred to in works of the period. In Harrison's “Description of England,” (Holinshed, Vol. I. p. 246,) there is an interesting account of old English Inns, wherein the villainy of tapsters, drawers, chamberlains, and ostlers, forms a prominent topic :-"Those townes that we call thorowfaires have great and sumptuous innes builded in them, for the receiving of such travellers and strangers as pass to and fro. The manner of harbouring wherein, is not like to that of some other countries, in which the host or good man of the house doth chalenge a lordlie authoritie over his ghests, but cleane otherwise, sith everie man may use his inne as his owne house in England, and have for his monie how great or little varietee of vittels, and what other service himselfe shall thinke expedient to call for. Our innes are also verie well furnished with naperie, bedding and tapisterie, especiallie with naperie ; for beside the linnen used at the tables which is commonlie washed dailie, is such and so much as belongeth unto the estate and calling of the ghest. Ech commer is sure to lie in cleane sheets, wherein no man hath been lodged since they came from the landresse, or out of the water wherein they wore last washed. If the traveller have an horsse, his bed doth cost him nothing, but if he go on foot he is sure to paie a penie for the same; but whether he be horsseman or footman, if his chamber be once appointed he may carie the kaie with him, as of his own house so long as he lodgeth there. If he loose oughte whilest he abideth in the inne, the host is bound by a generall custome to restore the damage, so that there is no greater securitie anie
summer Eve—June 231—fasting, and in silence; but the attempt to secure it is reported to have been very frequently unsuccessful, for the minute seed fell spontaneously with. out being caught, and often disappeared altogether, when apparently in safe keeping. Ben Jonson makes Ferret refer to the latent virtue of this seed in “The New Inn," Act I. Sc. 6:
where for travellers than in the gretest ins of England. There horsses in like sort are walked, dressed, and looked unto by certain hostelers or hired servants, appointed at the charges of the goodman of the house, who in hope of extraordinarie reward will deale verie deligentlie after outward appeerance in this their function and calling. Herein neverthelesse are manie of them blameworthic, in that they doo not onelie deceive the beast oftentimes of his allowance by sundrie meanes, except their owners looke well to them, but also make such packs with slipper merchants which hunt after preie (for what place is sure from evill and wicked persons) that manie an honest man is spoiled of his goods as he travelleth to and fro, in which feat also the counsells of the tapsters or drawers of drink, and chamberleins is not seldome behind or wanting. Certes I beleeve not that chapman or traveller in England is robbed by the waie without the knowledge of some of them, for when he commeth into the inne and alighteth from his horsse, the hostler forthwith is verie busie to take downe his budget or capcase in the yard from his sadle bow, which he poiseth slilie in his hand to feele the weight thereof: or if he misse of this pitch, when the ghest hath taken up his chamber, the chamberleine that looketh to the making of the beds, will be sure to remove it from the place where the owner hath set it as if it were to set it more convenientlie some where else, whereby he getteth an inkling whether it be monie or other short wares and thereof giveth warning to such od ghests as hant the house and are of his confederacie, to the utter undoing of manie an honest yeoman as he journieth by the waie. The tapster in like sort for his part doth marke his behaviour, and what plentie of monie he draweth when he paieth the shot, to the like end : so that it shall be an hard matter to escape all their subtile practises. Some thinke it a gay matter to commit their budgets at their comming to the goodman of the house : but thereby they oft bewraie themselves. For albeit their monie be safe for the time that it is in his hands (for you shall not heare that a man is robbed in his inne) yet after their departure the host can make no warrantize of the same, sith his protection extendeth no further than the gate of his owne house : and there cannot be a surer token unto such as prie and watch for those booties, than to see anie ghest deliver his capcase in such manner.
Beside the bestowing invisibility, there seem to hare been other qualities attributed to this seed, even by scientific persons, in the 17th century, of which John Par. kinson, in his “ Theater of Plants," 1610, speaks as follows:-" The seede which this and the female Ferne doe beare, and to be gathered onely on Midsommer eve at night, with I know not what conjuring words,-is superstitiously held by divers, not onely Mountebankes and Quacksalvers, but by other learned men, (yet it cannot be said but by those that are too superstitiously addicted,) to be of some secret hidden vertue, but I cannot finde it exprest what it should be : for Bauhinus, in his Synonimies upon Vutthiolus, saith these tales are neither fabulous nor superstitious." It must be observed that the “conjuring words mentioned in this extract constitute Shakespeare's " receipt of fern-seed” as being the formula and directions with which it was to be effectually gathered.
(3) SCENE 1.—Great oneyers.] For oneyers of the ancient text, Pope proposed oneraires,—trustees or commissioners; Theobald, Moneyers ; Capell, Mynheers ; Malone, Onyers, that is, public accountants; and Hanmer,
Of all these conjectures we prefer the last, not merely because it better suits the context than any of the others, but because one having, as we believe, of old, the pronunciation of orn, a sound it still retains in only, (or onelie, as it was once written, ) oneyers might easily have been misprinted for owners.
(5) SCENE IV.-The Boar's Head Tavern.] Were it practicable to obtain original and pertinent illustrations of the famous Boar's Head Tavern of Shakespeare, there would be little difficulty in composing an interesting article on the subject. But all that is really known, or that is likely to be known relating to the edifice, has been repeatedly told ; and its story belongs rather to poetical and speculative history, than to antiquarian or topographical research. Yet the name and the locality were familiar in connexion, so early as the end of the fourteenth century, when William Warden gave “all that his tenement called *the Boar’s Head,' in East Cheap," towards the support of certain priests serving a chapel founded by Sir William Walworth, in the adjoining church of St. Michael, Crooked Lane.
There is no existing evidence to prove, whether any part of those premises were at that time a tavern; though there is a strong probability, even arising out of their peculiar designation, that they might have been one of many places established in the vicinity for the sale of provisions ready dressed. The practice of appropriating such dealers to this particular part of London dates from a very early period, for Fitz-Stephen tells us that "the followers of the several trades, the vendors of various commodities, and the labourers of every kind, are daily to be found in their proper and distinct places, according to their employments. This statement refers to the close of the twelfth century, at which time there stood on the river. bank at Billingsgate a very extensive tavern or provision store, that being then the common landing-place for all passengers who came to London by water. Fitz-Stephen says of it, that no number so great of soldiers or travellers could enter the city, or leave it, at any hour of the day or night, but that all might be supplied with food. The restaurants of ancient London afterwards spread themselves to the north and west of their original locality, until they formed part of the East-Cheap, or market ; so called in contradistinction to the Stocks Market and West-Cheap. In this place, the shops of cooks were interspersed with those of the butchers; the contiguous “Poultry” supplied the capons for which Falstaff ran into debt with Mrs. Quickly; and fish and wine were easily procurable from Billingsgate, and the ships lying near.
So early as the reign of Henry V. Lydgate celebrated the fame of East-Cheap, as being pre-eminent for good cheer, a reputation it seems to have maintained throughout the sixteenth century. It is remarked by Stow, in one of those many incidental passages in which he has preserved traces of ancient manners, not to be found
(4) SCENE I.— We have the receipt of fern-seed, we walk invisible.] This superstition appears to have originated partly in an imperfect knowledge of the natural history of the fern, and partly in obscure traditions, which represented the seed of that plant as possessed of many occult virtues. The first cause of error is attributable to Pliny, who says, that “there are two kinds of fern, which bear neither flower nor seed ;” and hence it was supposed that, as it was produced by invisible seed, such persons as could by any means possess themselves of it would partake of its qualities, and also become invisible. Gerard, in his “Great Herbal,” published in 1597, explained this phenomenon by stating fern to be “one of those plants which have their seede on the back of the leafe, so small as to escape the sighte. Those who perceived that ferne was propagated by semination, and yet could never see the seede, were much at a losse for a solution of the difficultie; and, as wonder always endeavours to augmente itself, they ascribed to ferne-seede many strange properties, some of which the rusticke vergins have not yet forgotten or exploded.” To make these marvellous powers available, the seed was to be gathered at noon, or at midnight, on Mid
elsewhere, that—"When friends did meete, and were disposed to be merrie, they wente not to dine or sup in tavernes, but to the cooke's, where they called for what they liked : which they always found readie dressed, and at a reasonable rate.” There is on contemporaneous record a curious anecdote of an affray on this spot, at one of these houses of public entertainment, in which two of the sons of Henry IV. were actually concerned ; and it might very well suggest to a sagacious dramatist, the idea of transferring their revelries to Prince Henry, Falstaff, Mrs. Quickly, and the Boar's Head. The disturbance in ques. tion took place June 23d, 1410, the Eve of St. John the Baptist, when, says Stow, “Thomas and John, the king's sonnes, being at London in East Cheape, at supper, after midnight, a great debate happened between their men and men of the court, till the Maior and Sheriffes with other citizens ceased the same."
In the sixteenth century these premises had become established as a tavern, and in the tract entitled “Newes
ACT III. ACT V.
(1) SCENE I.
I can speak English, lord, as well as you :
For I was train'd up in the English court.] The brave but ill-fated Owen Glendower, who contrived for twelve years to sustain a desultory warfare against the English, often so successfully that his enemies were fain to attribute their defeats to supernatural agency, was descended from Llewellin ap Jorwarth Droyndon, Prince of Wales, and was called Owen-ap-Gryffyth Vaughan. He is said to have inherited a large estate, and to have taken his surname from a lordship of his property, called Glyndourdwy. When a youth, he was sent to London for his education, where he entered himself of the Temple, and subsequently became an esquire of the body to Richard the Second, and was one of the very few who faithfully adhered to the fallen monarch up to the moment when he was captured at Flint Castle.
Mr. Tyler, who, in his History of Henry of Monmouth, has paid a' just tribute to the unconquerable courage and untiring perseverance of this remarkable man, thus touchingly alludes to the termination of his chequered career. “Owyn Glyndowr failed, and he was denounced as a rebel and a traitor. But had the issue of the 'sorry fight' of Shrewsbury been otherwise than it was ; had Hotspur so devised and digested, and matured his plan of operations, as to have enabled Owyn with his forces to join heart and hand in that hard-fought field ; had Bolingbroke and his son fallen on that fatal day ;-instead of lingering among his native mountains, as a fugitive and a branded felon, bereft of his lands, his friends, his children, and his wife, waiting only for the blow of death to terminate his earthly sufferings, and, when the blow fell, leaving no memorial behind him to mark either the time or place of his release, -Owyn Glendowr might have been recognised even by England, as he actually had been by France, in the character of an independent sovereign ; and his people might have celebrated his name as the avenger of his country's wrongs, the scourge of her oppressors, and the restorer of her independence.
"The anticipations of his own bard, Gryffydd Llydd, might have been amply realized :
"Strike then your harps, ye Cambrian bards!
The song of triumph best rewards
from Bartholomew Fair" the house is mentioned as "the Bore's Head neere London-stone." It continued in the same occupation during the next century and a half. In Mr. J. H. Burn's Descriptive Catalogue of the collection of Tradesmen's Tokens at Guildhall, there are notices of two which were issued from the Boar's Head Tavern, in Great East Cheap, and the same work contains also several interesting memorials relating to the house. One of these tokens is anterior to the Great Fire of 1666, which completely destroyed the whole premises. They were reerected two years afterwards, and a carving of the sign in stone, bearing the date with the initials J. T., was inserted between the windows of the first and second floor. The building was subsequently divided into two houses, at which time it probably ceased to be a tavern, and the sign remained in its original situation between them. In 1831, however, the premises were taken down for the London Bridge improvements, and the carved Boar's Head was removed to the Corporation Museum at Guildhall.
Dominion, honour, pleasure, praise,
(2) SCENE II.
A hundred thousand rebels die in this.] The interview between the King and Prince Henry, upon which the present Scene is founded, was brought about by the anxiety of the latter to disabuse his father of a suspicion which he had been led to entertain, that the prince aspired to the throne, and is thus related by Holinshed; after narrating that the prince came to the court accompanied by many noblemen and others his friends, whom he had commanded to attend him no farther than to the fire in Westminster Hall, and that he himself was then admitted to the presence of his father, the chronicle proceeds :
“ The prince, kneeling downe before his father, said : Most redoubted and sovereigne lord and father, I am at this time come to your presence as your liege man, and as your naturall sonne, in all things to be at your commandement. And where I understand you have in suspicion my demeanour against your grace, you know verie well, that if I knew any man within this realme of whom you should stand in feare, my dutie were to punish that person, thereby to remove that griefe from your heart. Then how much more ought I to suffer death, to ease your grace of that greefe which you have of me, being your natural sonne and liege man: and to that end I have this daie made myselfe readie by confession and receiving of the sacrament. And therefore I beseech you, most redoubted lord and deare father, for the honour of God, to ease your heart of all such suspicion as you have of me, and to dispatch me heere before your knees with this same dagger [and withall delivered unto the king his dagger in all humble reverence, adding further, that his life was not so deare to him that he wished to live one daie with his displeasure), and therefore, in thus ridding me out of life, and yourselfe from all suspicion, here, in presence of these lords, and before God at the daie of the generall judgement, I faithfullie protest clearlie to forgive you.
“The king moved herewith, cast from him the dagger, and imbracing the prince, kissed him, and with shedding teares confessed, that in deed he had him partlie in suspicion, though now (as he perceived) not with just cause, and therefore from thenceforth no mis-report should cause him
to have him in mistrust, and this he promised of his honour. So by his great wisedome was the wrongfull suspicion which his father had conceived against him removed, and he restored to his favour. And further, where he could not but grievously complaine of them that had slandered him so greatlie, to the defacing not onelie of his honor, but also putting him in danger of his life, he humblie besought the king that they might answer their unjust accusation ; and in case they were found to have forged such matters upon a malicious purpose, that then they might suffer some punishment for their faults, though not to the full of that they hau deserved.”—HOLINSHED, (1402)
(3) SCENE III.- Now, as I am a true roman, holland of eight shillings an ell.] Dame Quickly has been suspected
(1) SCENE II.
O, no, my nephew must not know, sir Richard,
The liberal and kind offer of the king.] There is unquestioned evidence to show that the king made advances for the purpose of averting this conflict. He sent both the Abbot of Shrewsbury and the Clerk of the Privy Seal to Hotspurs camp with offers of pardon if his opponents would return to their allegiance. Hotspur is represented as being much moved by this unexpected act of grace, and to have dispatched his uncle, the Earl of Worcester, to negotiate. This nobleman, however, is reported to have addressed the king with such bitterness, and so to have misinterpreted the conversation between them, that both sides resolved to put their cause to the issue of a battle.
(2) SCENE IV.-Stay, and breathe awhile.] “The prince that daie holpe his father like a lustie yong gentleman :
of exaggerating the price of her holland, since, according to this estimate, and making due allowance for the difference in the value of money between her time and ours, each shirt of Falstaff's must have cost as much as would now suffice to clothe a man handsomely from head to foot. But Shakespeare was thinking only of the price of linen in his day; and, at eight shillings an ell, the expense of each shirt would have been about five pounds,-a sum not considered particularly extravagant for this article of apparel in the 16th century; for what says Stubbes upon the subject in his “ Anatomie of Abuses”?—“In so much as I have heard of shirtes that have cost some ten shillinges, some twentie, some fortie, some five pound, some twentie pobles, and (which is horrible to heare,) some ten pound apeece, yea, the meanest shirte that commonly is worne of any, doest cost a crowne or a noble at the least; and yet that is scarcely thought fine enough for the simplest person."
for although he was hurt in the face with an arrow, so that diverse noble men that were about him, would hare conveied him foorth of the field, yet he would not suffer them so to do, least his departure from amongst his men might happilie have striken some feare into their harts; and so without regard of his hurt, he continued with his men, and never ceassed either to fight where the battell was most hot, or to incourage his men where it seemed most need. This battell lasted three long houres, with indifferent fortune on both parts, till at length, the king crieng saint George victorie, brake the arraie of his enemies and adventured so farre that (as some write) the earl Douglas strake him downe, and at that instant, slue Sir Walter Blunt and three other, apparelled in the king's sute and clothing, saieng : I marvell to see so many kings thus suddenlie arise one in the necke of an other. The king in deed was raised, and did that daie manie a noble feat of armes, for as it is written, he slue that daie with his owne hands six and thirtie ersons of his enimies.”