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the door-keeper, inquiring who they were, was told that “ Ford disguised.”—The husband becoming the unthey were three very necessary men, Ford, Broome, known confidant of the object of his suspicions, is the and Fenton. The name in the play which Pope re leading idea of one of the tales of Straparola, the Italstored to · Brook' was then Broome.”
ian novelist, (Le tredeci piaceroli notti,) which had been * Will you go, MYNHEERS ?”—The folio reading is
translated by Tarlton, in 1590. Shakespeare had unAn-heires, which is evidently a misprint for something
questionably read this story in some shape, as he has else, and the quartos afford no light. Various emend
used several of the incidents, and some passages of the
dialogue seem to have been suggested by expressions ations, as " cavalieres,” “on hearts,” and “hear us," have been conjectured. The one adopted in the text
in the tale. But the main story and characters have seems most likely to have been the one thus mistaken,
no similitude. Such use of literary materials no more and is in the Poet's manner, just as he calls Shallow
detracts from the general originality of an author, than " cavalero."
the use of facts drawn from history or from actual ob
servation. “— with my long sword." —Before the introduction A similar confidence of the young lover to his aged of rapiers, the swords in use were of an enormous rival, is the chief source of comic interest in Moliere's length, and sometimes raised with both hands. Shal
Ecole des Femmes, which the critics have received as low, with an old man's vanity, censures the innovation, his own invention, (as it probably was,) while he was by which lighter weapons were introduced, tells what assailed for having borrowed some other incidents from he could once have done with his long suord, and ridi
a novel of his contemporary, Scaron. cules the terms and rules of the rapier.-JOHNSON.
6 — and flying what pursues.”—This couplet is “ – stands so firmly on his wife's frailty”—A phrase printed in Italic, and marked with inverted commas in equivalent to saying, “ has such perfect confidence in the folio, 1623 : it is probably a quotation, although the his frail wife.”
writer of it has not been discovered. SCENE II.
6 — and I will aggravate his styLE.”-Style is a
phrase from the Herald's office. Falstaff means, that « FAL. I will not lend thee a penny."
he will add more tilles to those he already enjoys. So, The passage in the quarto is thus :
in Heywood's “Golden Age," 1611 :
I will create lords of a greater style.'
Again, in Spenser's “Faery Queen,”–
"As to abandon that which doth contain The editors could not be satisfied to receive the answer Your honour's stile, that is, your warlike shield.' STEVENS. of Pistol, “ Why then the world's mine oyster,” etc., without retaining the weaker passage, “I will retort
SCENE III. the sum in equipage."-KNIGHT. Yet Falstaff's answer seems to require Pistols re
thy stock, thy reverse, thy distance, thy mon
tant.”—These, and others that precede them, are Annewal of his demand. I think that the author, in enlarging and improving the play, added the two lines,
glicised terms of the fencing-school. and that by some mistake of his own, or of the copyist “Thou art a CASTALiAN," etc.—The Host ridicules or printer, they were thought to be meant not as an the Doctor through his ignorance of English. He is a addition, but to be substituted. All the editors except “ heart of elder,” the elder being filled with soft pith : Knight and Colier have therefore retained the line. he is a Castilian, that name being an opprobrious de
Equipage is mentioned by Davies as one of the new signation for the Spaniards, whom the English of Elizaaffeciations of that age, and Bulokar, (English Exposi
beth's time hated as much as their descendants were tion, 1616,) defines it to mean horse furniture, espe
accustomed to hate the French.-KNIGHT. cially for occasions of parade: this we may suppose “ Cried game"-So all the old copies, including the Pistol meant to “ convey."
first imperfect sketch. Warburton proposed to read “ – lost the handle of her fan”—The fans of Eliza cry aim, a phrase of archery, but figuratively used for beth's days were far more costly than those of modern assisting, encouraging, in any thing, as the one who date. The fan itself was composed of ostrich or other cries “ Aim !" did the archer. The Host thus says, valuable feathers, and the handles were usually silver “ Consent, approve; did I not say well ?” “Cry aim” or gold, and sometimes inlaid with jewels.
is used in this sense in the next act. Much learning
has been expended in support of this reading. Those “ A short knife and a THRONG.”-i. e. a crowd, in which you can use your “ short knife" in cutting purses.
who retain the original cry'd game suppose that the
Host addresses Dr. Caius by this as a name. He calls Some editors have injuriously substituted “thong” for
him “ heart of elder.” Cry'd game, says Stevens, is a throng.
professed buck. But, says Knight, surely Anne Page “ – to your manor of PICKT-HATCH”-A low neigh “ at a farm-house, a feasting” is the game which the bourhood in the east of London. “I proceeded toward host has cried. The meaning would be perfectly obPickt-hatch, intending to beginne there first, which, as vious were we to read, Cried I game ? I may fitly name it, is the very skirts of all brothel Mr. Halliwell, one of the most learned old-English houses.”—The Black Booke; by T. M.
scholars of his day, confesses, in his laté curious edition 6 — your RED-LATTICE phrases”-i. e. your public
of the original sketch of this play, that he cannot clear house language: public-houses were distinguished by
up the obscurity. The fact seems to be that the phrase red lattices.
having been merely colloquial, and not preserved in
books, is so obsolete that the meaning can only be “ — she leads a very FRAMPOLD life with him.”
guessed at. Frampold is a very common word in authors of the time, but variously spelled: it usually means veratious,
ACT III.-SCENE I. or uneasy, as here. It is still used in Norfolk.
« To shallow rirers," etc.—The verses here sung by 6 — of all lores" —By all means. This pretty an
the doleful duellist are taken (with some variations) tique phrase is now obsolete. We have it in OTHELLO:
from the beautiful old ballad, supposed to be written “ The general so likes your music, that he desires you,
by Marlowe, “Come live with me, and be my love," of all loves, to make no more noise with it."
and exceedingly popular in Shakespeare's age. The “ – and, in any case, have a nayword,”—i. e. bye- line interposed with them, “When as I sat in Babyunord, or watchword. It occurs again in act v. scene 2. lon,” forms part of the ancient version of the 137th
Psalm, and may be supposed to force itself on the recol gave his daughters five pounds each for her portion." lection of Sir Hugh, from his professional habits. At the end of Elizabeth's reign, seven hundred pounds
formed such a temptation to courtship, as made all other SCENE II.
motives suspected. Congreve makes twelve thousand “ – all my neighbours shall cry Aim.”—To cry aim, of Belinda. No poet will now fly his favourite charac
pounds more than a counterbalance to the affectation in archery, was to encourage the archers by crying out ter at less than fifty thousand.—Johnson. Aim when they were about to shoot. Hence it came to be used for to applaud or encourage, in a general
« Pll make a shaft or a bolt on’t” –The phrase is sense. Thus, in King John, act ii. scene 1.
proverbial—I shall produce some effect, much or litik. • It ill beseems this presence to cry aim
A shaft was a long sharp arrow; a bolt, a short thick To these ill-tuned repetitions.'
SINGER. one, used only for birds, and thence called a bird-bolt. “ — he speaks holyday”—That is, a holiday style; as “ — come cut and long-tail.”—A common old phrase, much superior to the common, as is a holiday to an expressive of dogs of every kind, which Slender applies ordinary working day. “He smells April and May” to persons. The commentators are very learned on the is the ancient phraseology for of April and May, as origin of the phrase. may be observed in Shakespeare's own use elsewhere.
“ — happy man be his dole!”—This is a proverbial 'tis in his buttons.”—The general explanation expression of frequent occurrence. The apparent sig. is, this is an allusion to the custom of wearing the nification here is : “ happiness be his portion who sue. flower called bachelor's buttons. Mr. Knight, however, ceeds best,” but the general meaning of the phrase says that a similar phrase, “ It does not lie in your may be interpreted : “Let his portion or lot be happy breeches," means—It is not within your compass : man.” Dole is the past participle and past tense of “ 'tis in his buttons” therefore means—he's the man to the A. S. verb Dælan, to deal, to divide, to distribute.do it; his buttons hold the man. This is certainly a SINGER. much more probable interpretation, and the context
SCENE V. appears not only to warrant but almost require that explanation.---HALLIWELL.
6 — would have drowned a BLIND BITCH's puppies." – “— I shall drink in PIPE-wine first with him”—That So every old copy, meaning, of course, the blind puppies is, in wine from the pipe. From the words that follow
of a bitch; modern editors, in a refinement of correct(“I'll make him dance,") it appears that Ford intends
ness, which does not allow for a colloquial expression, a quibble on the word, by referring it to the musical
have thought it necessary to alter the lext to a “ biteh's instrument. “Drink in" is the old phrase for “ drink
blind puppies.” Falstaff was not in a state of mind to of.”
study extreme accuracy in his phraseology. SCENE III. " — among the whitSTERS”-A launder is still called a whitster; but the whitsters in that day were probably similar to the blanchisseuses of the Seine, and washed, like them, in cold running waters.
“How now, my EYAS-MUSKET”—The musket is the small sparrow-hawk; the eyas is a general name for a very young hawk; the first of five several names by which it is called in its first year. Spenser has a pretty image connected with the eyas :
- youthful gay,
His newly-budded pinions to essay.'
(Buck-basket.) 6- on an Ash-Wednesday, When thou didst stand six weeks the Jack o' Lent, For boys to hurl three rows a penny at thee.'
ACT IV.-SCENE II. “ Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel ?”—The
« Peer-out, peer-out !"--Shakespeare refers to a sport song in Sidney's “ Astrophel and Stella” begins thus :
of children, who thus call on a snail to push forth his Have I caught my heavenly jewel
horns : Teaching sleep most fair to be!'
Peer-out, peer-out, peer-out of your hole, “ – if fortune thy foe were not, nature thy friend.” —
Or else I'll beat you as black as a coal.' So the old copies, which, thus pointed, need no change. “ – there's her thrum'd hat, and her muffler too", We must understand being after “nature.”
Coarse hats were made of the end of a weaver's warp,
which is called the thrum. The muffler was used to 6 — and smell like Bucklersbury in simple-time.”Simples were herbs, which were sold at the many
cover the lower part of the face. apothecaries' shops in Bucklersbury.
“ – full of Knight”–So the folio of 1623. The sec
ond folio has “ full of the knight,” which is the re“ I will ensconce me behind the arras”—The allusions to this convenient mode of concealment are frequent
ceived reading. The article would destroy the wit. in Shakespeare and other writers of the period. There
The servant uses “ knight" as he would say lead. was a vacant place between the walls and the wooden “ Youth in a basket.”—So the folio; but Malone frames on which the arras was hung.
introduced, from the quartos, “ You, youth in a basket,
come out here!" which forms part of a subsequent SCENE IV.
speech by Ford there, and is no portion of what he says “ — thy father's wealth”--Some light may be given
when first he meets the loaded servants. The reading to those who shall endeavour to calculate the increase
of the folio is natural and intelligible.—COLLIER. of English wealth, by observing, that Latymer, the “ -- for his wife's LEMAN”-i. e. lover: it was aptime of Edward VI. mentions it as a proof of his plied to women as well as men—more frequently to the father's prosperity, “That though but a yeoman, he former.
in fee simple, with fine and recovery”—This is one of the many examples of Shakespeare's legal knowledge. Ritson says, “fee-simple is the largest estate, and fine and recovery the strongest assurance, known to English law."
SCENE IV. 6 — and TAKES the cattle”_Infects with disease. As, in HAMLET, “no fancy takes.” “ Disguis'd like Herne, with huge horns on his head.”
This line is not in the folio; but it is certainly wanted. The passage in the quarto in which this line occurs is a remarkable example of the care with which the first sketch has been improved :
• Hear my device.
For to allright fat Falstaffe in the woods.' « With some DIFFUSED song.”—Diffused is used here, and elsewhere, in the sense of confused, or unintelligible. Palsgrave, in his Eccl. de la Langue Franc, 1530, and Cooper, in his Dictionary, 1584, explain “ diffuse” as * hard to be understood.”
“ — TO-Pinch the unclean knight.”—To thus prefixed to the verb, was an old Anglo-Saxon idiom, frequent in Chaucer, Gower, and used by Spenser. It has an augmentative sense, as well-pinched, thoroughly-pinched. It is oftenest used with all prefixed, as “al-to broke his skull,” in the English Bible; completely broke his skull.
SCENE V. si - the WISE WOMAN of Brentford.”_Scott, in his Discovery of Witchcraft, says—"At this day it is indifferent to say in the English tongue, She is a witch, or she is a wise woman."
“ Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell”—Simple probably follows up his question relating to the awful old woman, with a look of open-mouthed eagerness; and Falstaff, whom nothing of the ludicrous escapes, calls him "muscle-shell” froin that circumstance.
“ Ay, sir TIKE”-A word still used in Yorkshire and Scotland, there retaining its ancient sense, of a large dog of some common breed, as a shepherd's dog. Burns marks the distinction, and shows Falstaff's meaning, by making one of his twa dogs “o high degree,” and the other, who is of humbler breed, “a gash and faithful tyke."
“ – three Doctor Faustuses.”—Popular audiences had become acquainted with Dr. Faustus, the German necromancer, both from the often-printed popular storybook of his life, and from Marlowe's play, which had been constantly acted from about the year 1590.
ACT V.-SCENE V. “ Diride me like a BRIBE-BUCK.
"_6A buck," says Theobald, “ sent for a bride.” The old copies read brib'd-buck; and to bribe, of old, meant to steal. See Way's “ Promptorium;" therefore,“ a brib’d-buck” may be a stolen buck.
Malone, in Chalmers's edition of his text, reads, “ bride-buck," i. e. a buck sent for a bridal feast or present, which is ingenious, and may be right.
“ You ORPHAN-HEIRS of fixed destiny”—On this obseure line, the later editors have thrown no light, nor can I, beyond giving the substance of the older comments and opinions. Perhaps this part of the text
is corrupt. Warburton plausibly proposes to read ouphen-heirs, i. e. you elves, who minister and succeed in some of the works of destiny. Dr. Farmer supposes the term to be addressed to a " part of the troop, as mortals by birth, but adopted by the fairies; orphans, in respect of their real parents, and now only dependent on destiny herself.” Shakespeare uses the word heirs in the sense of children, By “ouphen-heirs of fixed destiny,” he might therefore mean, “fairy children, who execute the decrees of destiny."
“ Raise up the organs of her fantasy." That is, let her who has performed her religious duties be secure against the grosser illusions of fancy; have her sleep, like that of infancy, free from disordered dreams. It was supposed that invisible beings had the power of disturbing with dreams, or otherwise annoying, those who had not prayed ere they slept. Imogen exclaims
"To your protection I commend me, gods!
Guard me, beseech ye! “ Honi soit qui mal y PENSE"_“ Pense” is a dissyl. lable, as the final e, though not accented, was anciently sounded, especially in Norman-French, though I should think with an obscure sound, more like uh than the accented French e.
“ I smell a man of middle earlh."-By this term is merely meant a mortal man, in contradistinction to a spirit of the earth or of the air, such as a fairy or gnome. It was in use in the north of Scotland a century since, and appears borrowed from the Saxon Middan Eard.-SINGER.
still pinch him to your time”—Theobald and Malone here insert a speech from the quarto : “ It is right; indeed he is full of lecheries and iniquity.” Theobald says “this speech is very much in character for Sir Hugh.” He forgets that the real actors of the comedy are here speaking in assumed characters. Pistol has a speech or two; but all traces of Pistol's own character are suppressed. The entire scene is elevated into pure poetry in the amended edition, and none of the coarseness of the original is retained. For example, in the quarto, Sir Hugh says,
• Where's Pede?
But such whose nose looks blue and red.'
these fair yokes.”—The extremities of yokes for oxen as still used in several counties of England, bend upwards, and rising very high, in shape resemble horns. In Cotgrave's Dictionary, voce JUELLES, we have “ Arched or yoked vines; vines so under-propped or fashioned that one may go under the middle of them.” See also Hutton's Latin, Greek, and English Lexicon, 1585, in voce JUGUM; “ a thing made with forkes. like a gallowes, a frame whereon vines are joyned."
ignorance itself is a PLUMMET o'er me”-Johnson would read plume ; Dr. Farmer planet. Tyrwhitt's explanation of the old reading is satisfactory to meIgnorance is not so low as I am by a plummet or plumb-line's length.
“ — to repay that money will be a biting affliction.”— Here the quartos add what is worth giving in a note, though it should not be inserted in the text, as in some editions, since the author in his corrected edition rejected it, and substituted the speeches of Page and his wife :
• Mrs. Ford. Nay, husband, let that go to make amends: Forgive that sum, and so we'll all be friends.
Ford. Well, bere's my hand: all's forgiven at last.
THE verses sung by Sir Hugh are from a beautiful pastoral, formerly attributed to Shakespeare, and printed in an earlier edition of his sonnets, 1599. It was then accompanied by an answer signed Ignoto. Walton, in his “Compleat Angler," has inserted both, describing the first as “that smooth song which was made by Kit Marlowe, and an answer to it by Sir Walter Raleigh, in his younger days." Whether the pastoral be Shakespeare's or Marlowe's, both it and the answer are what Walton calls them, “old-fashioned poetry, but choicely good ;” and we therefore think, with Dr. Johnson, that “the reader will not be displeased to find them here:”
THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE.
Shall on an ivory table be