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And if my legs were too such riding-rods;
goes ! And, to? his shape, were heir to all this land, 'Would, I might never stir from off this place, I'd give it every foot to have this face ; I would not be sir Nobo in any case. Eli. I like thee well. Wilt thou forsake thy
Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me thither.
Bast. Philip, my liege; so is my name begun; Philip, good old sir Robert's wife's eldest son. K. John. From henceforth bear his name whose
form thou bear'st. Kneel thou down, Philip, but arise 4 more great : Arise, sir Richard, and Plantagenet.5 Bast. Brother, by the mother's side, give me your
hand; My father gave me honor, yours gave land.
1 Queen Elizabeth coined threepenny, threehalfpenny, and threefarthing pieces; these pieces all had her head on the obverse, and some of them a rose on the reverse. Being of silver, they were extremely thin ; and hence the allusion. The roses stuck in the ear, or in a lock near it, were generally of riband; but Burton says that it was once the fashion to stick real flowers in the ear. Some gallants had their ears bored, and wore their mistresses' silken shoestrings in them. 2 To his shape, i. e. in addition to it.
3 Robert. 4 The old copy reads rise.
5 Plantagenet was not a family name, but a nickname, by which a grandson of Geoffrey, the first earl of Anjou, was distinguished, from his wearing a broomstalk in his bonnet.
Now blessed be the hour by night or day,
Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet !-
though? Something about, a little from the right,
In at the window, or else o'er the hatch : 1 Who dares not stir by day, must walk by night ;
And have is have, however men do catch. Near or far off, well won is still well shot; And I am I, howe'er I was begot. K. John. Go, Faulconbridge; now hast thou thy
desire; A landless knight makes thee a landed squire.Come, madam, and come, Richard ; we must speed For France, for France ; for it is more than need.
Bast. Brother, adieu. Good fortune come to thee! For thou wast got i' the way of honesty.
[Exeunt all but the Bastard. A foot of honor better than I was; But many a many foot of land the worse. Well, now can I make any Joan a lady.Good den,sir Richard, God-a-mercy, fellow ;And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter: For new-made honor doth forget men's names ; 'Tis too respective, and too sociable, For your conversion. Now your traveller, He and his toothpick at my worship's mess ; 6
rother, adice; for it is mi we must se
i These expressions were common in the time of Shakspeare for being born out of wedlock.
2 Good evening.
3 Respective does not here mean respectful, as the commentators have explained it, but considerative, regardfül.
4 Change of condition.
5 It is said, in All's Well that Ends Well, that " a traveller is a good thing after dinner.” In that age of newly-excited curiosity, one of the entertainments at great tables seems to have been the discourse of a traveller. To use a toothpick seems to have been one of the characteristics of a travelled man who affected foreign fashions.
6 " At my worship's mess” means at that part of the table where I, as a knight, shall be placed.—“ Your worship" was the regular address to a knight or esquire, in Shakspeare's time, as your honor” was to a lord.
VOL. III. 35
And when my knightly stomach is sufficed,
Enter LADY FAULCONBRIDGE and JAMES GURNEY.
O me! it is my mother.—How now, good lady?
1 My picked man of countries may be equivalent to my travelled fop: picked generally signified affected, overnice, or curious in dress.
2 An ABC or absey-book, as it was then called, is a catechism.
3 i. e. he is accounted but a mean man, in the present age, who does not show by his dress, deportment, and talk, that he has travelled and made observations in foreign countries.
Lady F. Where is that slave, thy brother? Where
is he, That holds in chase mine honor up and down?
Bast. My brother Robert ? old sir Robert's son ? Colbrand the giant,' that same mighty man? Is it sir Robert's son, that you seek so ? Lady F. Sir Robert's son! ay, thou unreverend
boy, Sir Robert's son! Why scorn'st thou at sir Robert ? He is sir Robert's son ; and so art thou. Bast. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave
awhile ? Gur. Good leave, good Philip. Bast.
Philip ?-sparrow !2_James, There's toys abroad ;3 anon I'll tell thee more.
[Exit GURNEY. Madam, I was not old sir Robert's son; Sir Robert might have eat his part in me Upon Good Friday, and ne'er broke his fast. Sir Robert could do well; marry, (to confess !) Could he get me ? Sir Robert could not do it; We know his handy-work.—Therefore, good mother, To whom am I beholden for these limbs ? Sir Robert never holp to make this leg.
Lady F. Hast thou conspired with thy brother too, That for thine own gain shouldst defend mine
honor ? What means this scorn, thou most untoward knave ?
Bast. Knight, knight, good mother,—Basilisco-like.*
i Colbrand was a Danish giant, whom Guy of Warwick discomfited in the presence of king Athelstan. The History of Guy was a popular book in the Poet's age. Drayton has described the combat very pompously in his Polyolbion.
2 The Bastard means “ Philip! Do you take me for a sparrow?” The sparrow was called Philip from its note, which was supposed to have some resemblance to that word, “phip phip the sparrows as they fly.”—Lyly's Mother Bombie.
3 i. e. rumors, idle reports.
4 This is a piece of satire on the stupid, old drama of Soliman and Perseda, printed in 1599, which had probably become the butt for stage sarcasm. In this piece there is a bragging, cowardly knight called Basilisco. His pretension to valor is so blown and seen through, that Piston, a buffoon servant in the play, jumps upon his back, and will not disengage him till he makes Basilisco swear upon his dagger to the contents, and in the terms he dictates; thus:
What! I am dubbed; I have it on my shoulder.
Lady F. Hast thou denied thyself a Faulconbridge ?
Bast. Now, by this light, were I to get again,
Bas. O, I swear, I swear.
1 Shakspeare alludes to the fabulous history of king Richard I. which says that he derived his appellation of Caur-de-lion from having plucked out a lion's heart, to whose fury he had been exposed by the duke of Austria for having slain his son with a blow of his fist. The story is related in several of the old chronicles, as well as in the old metrical romance.