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about thy soul, that thou soldest him on Goodfriday last, for a cup of Madeira, and a cold capon's leg?
sugar with sack appear extraordinary, when it is known that it was a very common practice in our author's time to put sugar into all wines. “ Clownes and vulgar men (says Fynes Moryson) only use large drinking of beere or ale, “but gentlemen garrawse only in wine, with which they mix sugar, which I never observed in any other place or kingdom to be used for that purpose. And because the taste of the English is thus delighted with sweetness, the wines in taverns (for I speak not of merchantes' or gentlemen's cellers) are commonly mixed at the filling thereof, to make them pleasant." Itin. 1617, Part III. p. 152. See also Mr. Tyrwhitt's Chaucer, vol. iv. p. 308 : “ Among the orders of the royal household in 1604 is the following : [MSS. Harl. 392, fol. 162.] · And whereas in tymes past, Spanish wines, called Sacke, were little or no whitt used in our courte, --we now understanding that it is now used in common drink,' &c. Sack
was, I believe, often mulled in our author's time. See a note, post, on the words, “ If sack and sugar be a sin," &c. See also Blount's Glossography: “ Mulled Sack, (Vinum mollitum) because softened and made mild by burning, and a mixture of sugar.”
Since this note was written, I have found reason to believe that Falstaff's Sack was the dry Spanish wine which we call Mountain Malaga. A passage in Via Recta ad Vitam Longam, by Thomas Venner, Dr. of Physicke in Bathe, 4to. 1622, seems to ascertain
“ Sacke is completely hot in the third degree, and of thin parts, and therefore it doth vehemently and quickly heat the body.
-Some affect to drink sack with sugar, and some without, and upon no other grounds, as I thinke, but as it is best pleasing to their palates. I will speake what I deeme thereof.-Sack, taken by itself, is very hot and very penetrative; being taken with sugar, the heat is both somewhat allayed, and the penetrative quality thereof also retarded."
The author afterwards thus speaks of the wine which we now denominate Sack, and which was then called Canary : Canarie-wine, which beareth the name of the islands from whence it is brought, is of some termed a sacke, with this adjunct, sweete ; but yet very improperly, for it differeth not only from sacke in sweetness and pleasantness of taste, but also in colour and consistence, for it is not so white in colour as sack, nor so thin in substance; wherefore it is more nutritive than sack, and less penetrative.-White wine, Rhenish wine, &c.--do in six or seven moneths, or within, according to the smallness of them, attaine unto the height of their goodness, especially the smaller sort of P. Hen. Sir John stands to his word, the devil shall have his bargain; for he was never yet a breaker of proverbs, he will give the devil his due.
Poins. Then art thou damned for keeping thy word with the devil.
P. Hen. Else he had been damned for cozening the devil.
Poins. But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four o'clock, early at Gadshill: There are pilgrims going to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders riding to London with fat purses : I have visors for you all, you have horses for yourselves ; Gadshill lies to-night in Rochester ; I have bespoke supper to-morrow night in Eastcheap; we may do it as secure as sleep: If you will go, I will stuff your purses full of crowns; if you will not, tarry at home, and be hanged.
Fal. Hear me, Yedward; if I tarry at home, and go not, I'll hang you for going.
Poins. You will, chops ?
P. Hen. Who, I rob ? I a thief? not I, by my faith.
Fal. There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee, nor thou camest not of the blood royal, if thou darest not stand for ten shillings
them. But the stronger sort of wines, as sack, muskadell, malinsey, are best when they are two or three years old.”
From hence, therefore, it is clear, that the wine usually called sack in that age was thinner than Canary, and was a strong lightcoloured dry wine ; vin sec ; and that it was a Spanish wine is ascertained by the order quoted by Mr. Tyrwhitt, and by several ancient books. Cole, in his Dict. 1679, renders sack hy Vinum Hispanicum ; and Sherwood in his English and French Dict. 1650, by Vin d'Espagne. MALONB.
- if thou darest not stand, &c.] The modern reading (cry stand) may perhaps be right; but I think it necessary to remark,
P. Hen. Well, then once in my days I'll be a mad-cap.
FAL. Why, that's well said.
P. Hen. Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home.
Fal. By the Lord, I'll be a traitor then, when thou art king.
P. Hen. I care not.
Poins. Sir John, I prythee, leave the prince and me alone; I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure, that he shall go.
Fal. Well, may’st thou have the spirit of persuasion, and he the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may move, and what he hears may be believed, that the true prince may (for recreation sake,) prove a false thief; for the poor abuses of the time want countenance. Farewell : You shall find me in Eastcheap.
P. Hen. Farewell, thou latter spring * ! Farewell, All-hallown summer 5!
that all the old editions read" if thou dar'st not stand for ten shillings." JOHNSON.
Falstaff is quibbling on the word royal. The real or royal was of the value of ten shillings. Almost the same jest occurs in a subsequent scene. The quibble, however, is lost, except the old reading be preserved. Cry, stand, will not support it.
STEEVENS. 4 - Thou latter spring !] Old copies--the latter. Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE.
- All-HALLOWN summer!] All-hallows, is All-hallowntide, or All-saints' day, which is the first of November. We have still a church in London, which is absurdly styled St. Allhallows, as if a word which was formed to express the community of saints, could be appropriated to any particular one of the number. In the Play of the Four P's, 1569, this mistake (which might have been a common one,) is pleasantly exposed :
" Pard. Friends, here you shall see, even anone, “ Of All-hallows the blessed jaw-bone,
“ Kiss it hardly, with good devotion,” &c. The characters in this scene are striving who should produce
Poins. Now, my good sweet honey lord, ride with us to-morrow; I have a jest to execute, that I cannot manage alone. Falstaff, Bardolph, Peto, and Gadshill, shall rob those men that we have already way-laid; yourself, and I, will not be there: and when they have the booty, if you and I do not rob them, cut this head from my shoulders.
P. Hen. But how shall we part with them in setting forth ?
Poins. Why, we will set forth before or after them, and appoint them a place of meeting, wherein it is at our pleasure to fail ; and then will they adventure upon the exploit themselves : which they shall have no sooner achieved, but we'll set upon them.
P. Hen. Ay, but, 'tis like, that they will know us, by our horses, by our habits, and by every other appointment, to be ourselves.
the greatest falsehood, and very probably in their attempts to excel each other, have out-lied even the Romish Kalendar,
Shakspeare's allusion is designed to ridicule an old man with youthful passions. So, in the second part of this play: “ -- the Martlemas your master." STEEVENS. 6 Falstaff
, BARDOLPH, Pero, and Gadshill,] In former editions-Falstaff, Harvey, Rossil, and Gadshill. Thus have we two persons named, as characters in this play, that were never among the dramatis personæ. But let us see who they were that committed this robbery. In the second Act we come to a scene of the highway. Falstaff, wanting his horse, calls out on Hal, Poins, Bardolph, and Peto. Presently Gadshill joins them, with intelligence of travellers being at hand; upon which the Prince says, “ You four shall front 'em in a narrow lane, Ned Poins and I will walk lower.” So that the four to be concerned are Falstaff, Bardolph, Peto, and Gadshill. Accordingly, the robbery is comitted; and the Prince and Poins afterwards rob them four. In the Boar's-Head tavern, the Prince rallies Peto and Bardolph for their running away, who confess the charge. Is it not plain now that Bardolph and Peto were two of the four robbers? And who then can doubt, but Harvey and Rossil were the names of the actors ? THEOBALD,
Poins. Tut! our horses they shall not see, I'll tie them in the wood; our visors we will change, after we leave them; and, sirrah?, I have cases of buckram for the nonces, to immask our noted outward garments.
P. Hen. But, I doubt, they will be too hard for us.
Porns. Well, for two of them, I know them to be as true bred cowards as ever turned back; and for the third, if he fight longer than he sees reason, I'll forswear arms. The virtue of this jest will be, the incomprehensible lies that this same fat rogue will tell us, when we meet at supper: how thirty, at least, he fought with; what wards, what blows, what extremities he endured; and, in the reproof of this, lies the jest.
7-sirrah,] Sirrah, in our author's time, as appears from this and many other passages, was not always a word of disrespect. See vol. xi. p. 212, n. 5. MALONE.
It is scarcely used as a term of respect, when addressed by the king to Hotspur, p. 218. STEEVENS.
for the nonce,] That is, as I conceive, for the occasion. This phrase, which was very frequently, though not always very precisely, used by our old writers, I suppose to have been originally a corruption of corrupt Latin. From pro-nunc,
suppose, came for the nunc, and so for the nonce ; just as from ad-nunc
The Spanish entonces has been formed in the same manner from in-tunc. TYRWHITT.
The nonce (says Sir David Dalrymple, Lord Hailes, in a letter to Mr. Malone) I understand to be the once ; the letter ne is inserted to prevent the elision: Mr. Gifford has given the same explanation, B. Jonson's Works, vol. iii. p. 218. For various other etymologies, see Todd's edition of Johnson's Dictionary. Possibly it may have been derived from nones or noon, a term which Johnson informs us our ancestors applied to their chief meal. We still say in low language, that a man comes in puddingtime, meaning opportunely. Boswell.
“For the nonce" is an expression in daily use amongst the common people in Suffolk, to signify on purpose ; for the turn.
HENLEY. reproof -] Reproof is confutation. JOHNSON.