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Fal. Bardolph, follow him ; a tapster is a good trade : An old cloak makes a new jerkin ; a wither'd servingman, a fresh tapster ? : Go; adieu. . Bard. It is a life that I have desir'd: I will thrive.
[Exit Bard. Pift. ' O base Gongarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?
Nym. He was gotten in drink : Is not the humour conceited ? His mind is not heroic, and there's the * humour of it.
Froth and live is sense, but a little forced; and to make it so we must suppose the Hoft could guess by his dexterity in frothing a pot to make it appear fuller than it was, how he would afterwards succeed in the world. Falstaff himself complains of limed fack.
STEEVENS. s a wither'd servingman, a fresh tapster :) This is not im. probably a parody on the old proverb-“ A broken apothecary, a new doctor.” See Ray's Proverbs, 3d edit. p. 2. STEEVENS.
30 bafe Gongarian wight! &c.] This is a parody on a line taken from one of the old bombast plays, beginning :
" O bafe Gongarian, wilt thou the diftaff wield ?" I had marked the partage down, but forgot to note the play.
The folio reads Hungarian.
Hungarian is likewise a cant term. So in the Merry Devil of Edmonton, 1626, the merry Hoft says, “ I have knights and coIonels in my house, and must tend the Hungarians." Again: “ Come ye Hungarian pilchers." Again, in Westward Hoe, 1607:
“ Play you louzy Hungarians." STEVENS. The Hungarians, when infidels, over-ran Germany and France, and would have invaded England, if they could have come to it, See Stowe, in the year 930, and Holinshed's Invasions of Ireland, p. 36. Hence their naine might become a proverb of baseness. Stowe's Chronicle, in the year 1492, and Leland's Collectanea, vol. i. p. 610, spell it Hongarian (which might be misprinted Gon: garian) and this is right according to their own etymology. Hone syars, i. e. domus suæ strenui defensoreś. TOLLET.
The word is Gongarian in the first edition, and should be continuéd, the better to fix the allusion. FARMER.
4 humour of it.] This speech is partly taken from the cora rected copy, and partly from the flight sketch in 1602. I mention it, that those who do not find it in either of the common old editions, may not suspect it to be spurious. STEEÑENS.
Ful. Fal. I am glad, I am so acquit of this tinderbox; his thefts were too open : his filching was like an unskilful singer, he kept not time.
Nym. The good humour is, to steals at a minute's reft.
Pift. Convey, the wise it calló : Steal! foh ; a fico for the phrase !
Fal. Well, firs, I am almost out at heels.
Fal. There is no remedy; I must cony-catch, I must shift.
Pift. ; Young ravens must have food.
Fal. My honest lads, I will tell you what I am
a t a minute's reft.] Our author probably wrote:
- at a minim's reft. LANGTON. This conjecture seems confirmed by a passage in Romeo and Julict: " rests his minim," &c. It may however mean, that, like a skilful harquebuzier, he takes a good aim, though he has rested his piece for a minute only. So in Daniel's Civil Wars, &c. b. vi:
“ To set up's reft to venture now for all.” STEEVENS At a minute's reft.] A minim was anciently, as the term imports, the shortest note in mufick. Its measure was afterwards, as it is now, as long as while two may be moderately counted. In Romeo and Juliet, act II. sc. iv. Mercutio says of Tibalt, that in fighting he rests his minim, one, two, and the third in your bosom. A minute contains fixty seconds, and is a long time for an action supposed to be instantaneous Nym means to say that the perfection of stealing is to do it in the shortest time possible.
SIR J. HAWKINS.
“ Syr, the horesones could not convaye clene;
Fal. Fal. No quips now, Pistol : Indeed, I am in the waist two yards about : but I am now : about no waste; I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford's wife; I spy entertainment in her; she discourses, the carves", she gives the leer of invitation : I can construe the action of her familiar stile; and the hardest voice of her behaviour, to be English'd rightly, is, I am fir John Falstaff's.
Pift. He hath study'd her will, and translated her will; out of honesty into English.
Nym. ' The anchor is deep : Will that humour pass?
Fal. 8 about no waste;- ) I find the same play on words in Heywood's Epigrams, 1562:
" Where am I least, husband ? quoth he, in the waist; " Which cometh of this, thou art vengeance strait lac'd. " Where am I biggest, wife? in the waite, quoth she,
66 For all is waste in you, as far as I see.”
“ He's a great man indeed;
" reasonable compass.” STEEVENS. > Mhe carves,] It should be remembered, that anciently the young of both sexes were instructed in carving, as a neceffary accomplishment. In 1508, Wynkyn de Worde published “A Boke of Kervinge." So in Love's Labour's Loft, Biron says of Boyct, the French courtier: “ — He can carve too, and lisp."
STEEVENS. "The anchor is deep: Will that humour pafs?] I see not what relation the anchor has to translation. Perhaps we may read, the author is deep; or perhaps the line is out of its place, and should be inserted lower after Falstaff has said,
Sail like my pinnace to those golden shores. It may be observed, that in the tracts of that time anchor and are thor could hardly be distinguished. JOHNSON.
The anchor is deep :) Dr. Jolmfon very acutely proposes
the author is deep.” He reads with the first copy," he hath study'd her well." —And from this equivocal word, Nym catches the idea of deepness. But it is almost impossible to ascertain the diction of this whimsical character : and I meet with a phrase in Fenner's Comptor's Commonevealth, 1617, which perhaps may lupport the old reading, “ Master Decker's Bellman of London, bath
Fal. Now, the report goes, she has all the rule of her husband's purse ; she hath a legion of angels.
Pift. As many devils entertain; and, To her, boy, say I.
Nym. The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.
Fal. I have writ me here a letter to her : and here another to Page's wife; who even now gave me good eyes too, examin'd my parts with most judicious 3 eyliads : sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.
Pift. Then did the fun on dung-hill shine.
set forth the vices of the time fo lively, that it is impossible the anchor of any other man's braine can found the sea of a more deepe and dreadful mischeefe.” FARMER.
- studied her will, and translated her will – is the reading of the first folio, 1623. The contested part of the passage may mean, His hopes are well founded. So in the Knight of the Burning Pefile, by B. and Fletcher :
66-Now my latest hope
66 And let it hold.” Translation is not used in its common acceptation, but means to explain, as one language is explained by another. So in Hamlet :
" these profound heaves “You must translate, 'tis fit we understand them." Again, in Troilus and Creffida: “ Did in great Ilion thus translate him to me."
STEEVENS. 2 As many devils entertain; &c.] The old quarto reads:
As many devils attend her! &c. STELVENS. I would read with the quarto-- As many devils attend ber! i. e. let as inany devils attend her. MUSGRAVE.
3 --eyliads:---] This word is differently spelt in all the copies. I suppose we should write oëillades, French. STEEYENS.
4 m e that humour.] What distinguishes the language of Nym from that of the other attend its on Falstaff, is the conitanc repetition of this phrase. In the time of Shakespeare such an atfcétation seems to have been sufficient to mark a character. In Sir Giles Goosecap, a play of which I have no earlier edition than that P R a
Fal. O, she did fo course-o'er my exteriors with such a greedy intention “, that the appetite of het eye did seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass ! Here's another letter to her : The bears the purse too; she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will be cheater to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West Indies, and I will trade to thein both. Go, bear thou this letter to mistress Page ; and thou this to mistress Ford : we will thrive, lads, we will thrive.
Pilt. Shall I fir Pandarus of Troy become, And by my side wear steel ? then, Lucifer take all!
Nym. I will run no base humour : here, take the humour letter; I will keep the haviour of reputation.
Fal. Hold, firrah, bear you these letters tightly S;
of 1606, the fame peculiarity is mentioned in the hero of the piece:
s his only reason for every thing is, that we are all mortal; then hath he another pretty phrase too, and that is, he will tickle the vanity of every thing." STEEVENS. s i ntention,] i. e. eagerness of delire. STEEVENS. o e is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty.] It the tradition be true (as I doubt not but it is) of this play being wrote at queen Elizabeth's command, this passage, perhaps, may furnith a probable conjecture that it could not appear till after the year 1598. The mention of Guiana, then so lately discovered to the English, was a very happy coinpliment to fir Walter Raleigh, who did not begin his expedition for South America till 1595, and re. turned from it in 1996, with an advantageous account of the great wealth of Guiana. Such an address of the poet was likely, I imagine, to have a proper impression on the people, when the intelligence of such a golden country was fresh in their minds, and gave them expectations of immense gain. THEOBALD.
? I cvill be cheater to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me ;- ] The same joke is intended here, as in The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, act II :
"-I will bar no honest man my house, nor no cheater."By which is meant Escheatour, an officer in the Exchequer, in no good repute with the common people. WARBURTON. tightly ;] Thus the folio; the 4to, rightly. STEEVENS.