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Hoft. Here, boys, here, here! shall we wag?
Page. Have with you : I had rather hear them scold than fight. (Exeunt Host, Shallow, and Page.
Ford. Though Page be a secure fool, 8 and stand so firmly on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my opinion so easily. She was in his company at Page's house; and, what they made there, I know not. Well, I will look further into't: and I have a disguise to found Falstaff: if I find her honest, I lose not my labour; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestow'd.
8 and stand so firmly on his wife's frailty,- ) No, surely; Page stood tightly to the opinion of her honesty, and would not entertain a thought of her being frail. I have therefore ventured to substitute a word correspondent to the fense required; and one, which our poet frequently uses to signify conjugal faith. THEOBALD.
- stand so firmly on his wife's frailty,---] Thus all the copies. But Mr. Theobald had no conception how any man could stand firmly on his wife's frailty. “And why? Because he had no conception how he could stand upon it, without knowing what it was. But if I tell a stranger, that the bridge he is about to cross is rotten, and he believes it not, but will go on, may I not say, when I see him upon it, that he stands firmly on a rotten plank? Yet he has changed frailty for fealty, and the Oxford editor has followed him. But they took the phrase, to stand firmly on, to signify to infift upon; whereas it fignifies to reft upon, which the character of a secure fool, given to him, thews. So that the common reading has an elegance that would be lost in the alteration. WARBURTON.
S CE NE II.
Enter Felstaff and Pistol,
Pijt. Why then the world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open.— 9 I will retort the sum in equipage.
Fal. Not a penny. I have been content, Sir, you should lay my countenance to pawn: I have grated upon my good friends for three reprieves for you, and * your coach-fellow, Nym; or else you had look'd through the grate, like a geminy of baboons. I am damn'd in hell, for swearing to gentlemen, my friends, you were good soldiers, 2 and tall fellows: and when mistress Bridget 3 loft the handle of her fan, I took't upon mine honour, thou hadst it not.
9 - I will retort the fum in equipage. This is added from the old quarto of 1619, and means, I will pay you again in ftolen goods. WAR BURTON.
I rather believe he means, that he will pay him by waiting on him for nothing. That equipage ever meant stolen goods, I am yet to learn. STEEVENS.
your coach-fellow, Nym ; Thus the old copies. Coach-fellow has an obvious meaning, but the modern editors read, couch-fellow. The following passage from B. Jonson's Cynthia's Revels, may justify the reading I have chosen.“ —'Tis " the swaggering coach-horse Anaides, that draws with him 56 there.” STEEVENS.
2 --and tall fellows :- ) A tall fellow, in the time of our author, meant a fiout, bold, or courageous person. In A Discourse on Ujury, by Dr. Wilson, 1584, he says, “ Here in England, so he that can rob a man by the high-way, is called a tall fel“ low." Lord Bacon says, “ that bishop Fox caused his castle şi of Norham to be fortified, and manned it likewise with a “ very great number of tall foldiers.” In The Love of David and B21hobe, 1599, Joab enters in triumph, and says " Well “ done tall soldiers,” &c. So B. Jonson, in Every Man out of bis Humour :
o Is he so tall a mar ?" STEEVENS.
!ft the handle of her fan,-) It should be remembered, that fans, in our author's time, were more coitly than they are
Pist. Didst thou not share ? hadst thou not fifteen
Fal. Reason, you rogue, reason : think'st thou, I'll endanger my soul gratis? At a word, hang no more about me, I am no gibbet for you :-go. - 4 A short knife and a thong-to your manor of s Pickt-hatch, go-you'll not beaș a letter for me, you rogue !-you stand upon your honour !-Why, thou unconfinable baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the term of my honour precise. I, I, I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on the left hand, and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch; and yet you, rogue, will ensconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain looks, your
at present, as well as of a different construction. They confifted of ostrich feathers, or others of equal length and flexibility, which were stuck into handles, the richer fort of which were composed of gold, silver, or ivory of curious workmanfhip. One of these is mentioned in The Fleire, Com, 1610. " -The hath a fan with a short silver handle, about the length “ of a barber's fyringe.” Steevens.
4 - A short knife and a throng-) So Lear, “When cut“ purses come not to throngs.” WARBURTON.
Part of the employment given by Drayton, in The Mooncalf, to the Baboon, seems the same with this recommended by Falstaff :
He like a gypsy oftentimes would go,
Would shew the people tricks at fast and loose, Theobald has throng instead of thong. The latter seems right.
Greene, in his Life of Ned Browne, 1592, says, “ I had no es other fence but my short knife, and a paire of purse-strings.”
STEVENS. sPickt-batch,–] A noted place for thieves and pickpockets. TAEOBALD.
Piet-harch is frequently mentioned by contemporary writers. So in B. Jonson's Every Man in his Humour :
"From the Bordello it might come as well,
6 red Jattice phrases, and 7 your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour ! You will not do it, you!
Pift. I do relent; what wouldst thou more of man?
Enter Robin. Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you. Fal. Let her approach.
Enter Mistress Quickly.
Quic. I'll be sworn; as my mother was, the first hour I was born.
Fal. I do believe the swearer : what with me?
Fal. Two thousand, fair woman; and I'll vouchsafe thee the hearing.
Quic. There is one mistress Ford, Sir ;-I pray, come a little nearer this ways :- I myself dwell with master Doctor Caius.
Fal. Well on: mistress Ford, you say
Qụic. Your worship says very true : I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways.
o r ed lattice phrafes, ] Your ale-house conversation.
JOHNSON. Red lattice at the doors and windows, were formerly the external denotements of an ale-house. Hence the present cheguers, So in A Fine Companion, one of Shackerley Marmion's plays,
“ A waterman's widow at the sign of the red lattice in “ Southwark.” Steevens.
1 - your bold-BEATING oaths, -] We should read boldBEARING oaths, i. e. out-facing. WARBURTON.
A beating oath, is, I think, right; so we now say, in low language, a thwacking or swinging thing. Johnson.
Fal. Fal. I warrant thee, nobody hears ; - mine own people, mine own people.
Quic. Are they fo? heaven bless them, and make them his servants !
Fal. Well: mistress Ford ;--what of her ?
Quic. Why, Sir, she's a good creature. Lord, lord! your worship’s a wanton : well, heaven forgive you, and all of us, I pray !
Fal. Mistress Ford; come, mistress Ford
Quic. Marry, this is the short and the long of it; you have brought into such a 8 canaries, as 'tis wonderful. The best courtier of them all, when the court lay at Windsor, could never have brought her to such a canary. Yet there has been knights, and lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches; I warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift'; smelling so sweetly (all musk) and so rulling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and in such alligant terms, and in fuch wine and sugar of the best, and the fairest, that would have won any woman's heart; and, I warrant you, they could never get an eye-wink of her.I had myself twenty angels given me this morning; but I defy all angels (in any such forţ as they say) but in the way of honesty :-and I warrant you, they could never get her so much as sip on a cup with the proudest of them all : and yet there has been 9 earls, nay, which is more, pensioners; but, Į warrant you, all is one with her.
Nah, in bation. Jenough used in of a brisk liche
8 canaries,-) This is the name of a brisk light dance, and is therefore properly enough used in low language for any hurry or perturbation. JOHNSON.
So Naih, in Piece Pennyless his Supplication, 1595, says • A merchant's wife jets it as gingerly, as if she were dancing • the canaries :" and our author, in All's well, &c. “ Make “ you dance canary.” Steevens.
-earls, nay, which is more, pensioners ;-] This may be illustrated by a passage in Gervale Holles's Life of the First Earl of Clare. Biog. Brit. Art. HOLLES. “ I have heard the "earl of Clare say, that when he was pensioner to the queen,