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Page. 2 The bumour of it, quoth a'! here's a fel. low, frights humour out of its wits.
Ford. I will seek out Falstaff.
Page. I never heard such a drawling, affecting rogue,
Ford. If I do find it, well.
Page. 3 I will not believe such a Cataian, though the priest o' the town commended him for a true man. Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow :-well.
Enter 2 The humour of it, ] The following epigram, taken from an old collection without date, but apparently printed before the year 1600, will beft account for Nym's frequent repetition of the word humour.
It is a veine, for fenceless humour's sake. STEEVENS. 3 I will not believe fucb a Caraian,- ) Mr. Theobald has here a pleasant note, as usual. “ This is a piece of satire “ that did not want its force at the time of this play's appear“ ing; though the history on which it is grounded is become " obiclete." And then tells a long story of Martin Frobilher
Enter Mistress Page and Mistress Ford. Page. How now, Meg? Mrs. Page. Whither go you, George?-Hark you.
Mrs. Ford. How now, sweet Frank? why art thou melancholy?
attempting the north-west passage, and bringing home a black stone, as he thought, full of gold ore: that it proved not so, and that therefore Cataians and Frobishers became by-words for vain boasters.-- The whole is an idle dream. All the mystery of the term Cataian, for a liar, is only this. China was anciently called Cataia or Cathay, by the first adventurers that travelled thither; such as M. Paulo, and our Mandeville, who told such incredible wonders of this new discovered empire (in which they have not been outdone even by the Jesuits themfelves, who followed them) that a notorious liar was usually called a Cataian. WARBURTON
Mr. Theobald and Dr. Warburton have both told their stories with confidence, I am afraid, very disproportionate to any evidence that can be produced. That Cataian was a word of hatred or contempt is plain, but that it signified a boaster or a liar has not been proved. Sir Toby, in Twelfth Night, says of the Lady Olivia to her maid, “ thy Lady's a Cataian;" but there is no reason to think he means to call her liar. Besides, Page intends to give Ford a reason why Pistol should not be credited. He therefore does not say, I would not believe such a liar: for that he is a liar is yet to be made probable: but he says, I would not believe such a Cataian on any testimony of his veracity. That is, “ This fellow has such an odd appearance ; " is so unlike a man civilized, and taught the duties of life, " that I cannot credit him.” To be a foreigner was always in England, and I suppose every where else, a reason of dislike, So Pistol calls Slender in the first act, a mountain forcigner ; that is, a fellow uneducated, and of gross behaviour; and again in his anger calls Bardolph, Hungarian wight. JOHNSON,
I believe that neither of the commentators are in the right, hut am far from profesling, with any great degree of confidence, that I am happier in my own explanation. It is remarkable, that in Shakespeare, this expresion--a true man is always put in opposition (as it is in this instance) to-a thief. So in Hen. IV. Part I.
" — now the thieves have bound the true men.” The Chinese (anciently called Catarans) are said to be the molt dextrous of all the nimble-fingeid tribe. Pistol was known
Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy.-Get you home, go.
Mrs. Ford. Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head now.– Will you go, mistress Page ?
Mrs. Page. Have with you.You'll come to dinner, George? -Look, who comes yonder : she shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.
[Aside to Mrs. Ford.
Enter Mistress Quickly. Mrs. Ford. Trust me, I thought on her: she'll fit it. Mrs. Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne?
Quic. Ay, forsooth; and, I pray, how does good mistress Anne?
Mrs. Page. Go in with us, and fee; we have an hour's talk with you.
[Ex. Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Mrs. Quickly. Page. How now, master Ford ? Ford. You heard what this knave told me; did
Page. Yes; and you heard what the other told me? Ford. Do you think there is truth in them?
Page. Hang 'em, Naves! I do not think the knight would offer it : but these that accuse him in his intent towards our wives, are a yoke of his discarded men; * very rogues, now they be out of service.
at Windsor to have had a hand in picking Slender's pocket, and therefore might be called a Cataian with propriety, if my explanation be admitted. From the use Sir Toby Belch makes of the word, little can be inferred with any certainty. Sir Toby is drunk, calls Malvolio by the name of an old song, and talks, in short, nonsense. Cathuia is mentioned in The Tamer Tamet, of B. and Fletcher.
“ I'll with you in the Indies, or Cathaia." The tricks of the Cetaians are hinted at in one of the old bi. letter histories of that country. STEEVENS.
4 Very regues, now they be out of service.] A rogue is a wanderer or vagabond, and, in its consequential fignification, a cbeat. JOHNSON.
Ford. Were they his men ?
Ford. I like it never the better for that.-Does he lie at the Garter?
Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend his voyage towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him ; and what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lie on my head.
Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife; but I would be loth to turn them together : a man may be too confident: I would have nothing lie on my head : I cannot be thus fatisfied.
Page. Look, where my ranting Host of the Garter comes : there is either liquor in his pate, or money in his purse, when he looks so merrily. How, now, mine Hoft ?
Enter Hot and Shallow. Hoft. How, now, bully Rock ? thou’rt a gentle. man: cavalero-justice, I say.
Shal. I follow, mine Hoft, I follow.—Good even, and twenty, good master Page! Master Page, will you go with us ? we have sport in hand.
Host. Tell him, cavalero-justice; tell him, bully Rock ?
Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir Hugh the Welch priest, and Caius the French doctor.
Ford. Good mine Host o'the Garter, a word with you. Hojt. What fay'st thou, bully Rock ?
[They go a little aside. Shal. [To Page. Will you go with us to behold it? My merry Hoit hath had the measuring of their weapons; and, I think, he hath appointed them contrary places : for, believe me, I hear, the parson is no jester. Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be..
Host. Haft thou no suit against my knight, my guest-cavalier?
Ford. None, I protest : but I'll give you a pottle of burnt fack to give me recourse to him, s and tell him, my name is Brook; only for a jeit.
Host. My hand, bully. Thou shalt have egress and regress; said I weil ? ënd thy name ihail be Brook. It is a merry knight.– 6 Will you go an-heirs ?
Shal. Have with you, mine hoit.
Page, I have heard, the Frenchman hath good fkill in his rapier.
Shal. Tut, Sir, I could have told you more. In these times you stand on distance, your passes, ftoccado's, and I know not what. 'Tis the heart, master Page ; 'tis here, 'tis here. I have seen the time with my 7 long sword, I would have made you four tall fellows skip like rats.
s—and tell him, my name is Brook ;- ] Thus both the old quartos; and thus moft certainly the poet wrote. We need no better evidence than the pun that Falstaff anon makes on the name, when Brook sends him some burnt fack.
Such Brooks are welcome to me, that overflow with such liquor. The players, in their editions, altered the name to Broom.
THEOBALD. 6- Will you go AN HEIRS?] This nonsense is spoken to Shallow. We thould read, Will you go on, HERIS? i. e. Will you go on, master. Heris, an old Scotch word for master.
WARBURTON. The merry Hoft has already faluted them separately by titles of distinction ; he therefore probably now addresses them col. lectively by a general one-Will you go on, heroes ? or, as probably-Will you go on, hearts } He calls Dr. Caius Heart of Eldor; and adds, in a subsequent scene of this play, Farewell, my hearts. Hanmer reads-Mynheers. My brave hearts, or my bold hearts, is a common word of encouragement. A beart of gold expresses the more soft and amiable qualities, the Meres aurçi of Horace; and a beart of oak is a frequent encomium of fugged honeity. STEEVENS.
? -my long sword, m ] Not long before the introduction of rapiers, the swords in use were of an enormous length, and fometimes raised with both hands. Shallow, with an old man's vanity, censures the innovation by which lighter weapons were introduced, tells what he could once have done with his lung sword, and ridicules the terms and rules of the rapier. JOHNSON.
See a note to the Firsi Part of K. Hen. IV. p. 283. STEE: