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Mrs. Page. What?- thou lieft!-Sir Alice Ford! These knights will hack; and so thou should't not alter the article of thy gentry":

Mrs. Ford. We burn day-light 6 :-here, read, read; -perceive how I might be knighted.--I shall think the worse of fat men, as long as I have an eye to make difference of men's liking : And yet he would not swear ; prais'd women's modesty: and gave such orderly and well-behaved reproof to all uncomeliness, that I would have sworn his disposition would have gone to the truth of his words: but they do no more adhere, and keep place together, than the hundredth psalm to the tune of Green

$ What?-hou lieft! Sir Alice Ford ! These knights, will hack; and so tlou shouldst nci alter ibe article of thy gentry.) It is not impossible that Shakspeare meant by bese knight will back-these knights will soon become backney'd characters. So many knights were made about the time this play was amplified (for the pafiage is neither in the copy 1602, nor 1619,' that such a stroke of satire might not have been unjuftly thrown in. STEEVENS.

These knights will back, (that is, become cheap and vulgar,) and therefore she advises her friend not to fully her gentry by becoming one. The whole of this discourse about knighthood is added since the first edition of this play [in 1602); and therefore I fufpcét this is an oblique reflection on the prodigality of James I. in bestowing these ho. nours. BLACKSTONE.

Sir W. Blackstone supposes that the order of Baronets (created in 1611) was likewise alluded to. I have omitted that part of his note, because it appears to me highly probable that our author amplified the play before us at an earlier period. See An Artempt to ascertain ibe order of Sbakspeare's plays, ante, Article, Merry Wives of Windsor.

Between the time of King James's arrival at Berwick in April 1603, and the ad of May, he made two hundred and thirty-seven knights; and in the July following between three and four hundred. It is probable that the play before us was enlarged in that or the subsequent year, when this stroke of satire must have been highly relished by the audience.

By " these knights will hack" may have been meant, --There unworthy knights of the present day will be degraded by having their spurs back'd 01F; the punishment (as Dr. Johnson has oblerved) of a recreant or undeserving knight.. MALONE

o We burn day.ligbe:) i. c. we are waiting time in idle talk, when we ought to read the letter; resembling those, who waste candles by burning them in the day-time. So, in Romeo and Juliet (the quotation is Mr. Steevens's) : “We waste our lights in vain, like lamps by day,” MALONE.

Sleeves,

Pift. With liver burning hot : Prevent, or go thoa, Like Sir Actæon he, with Ring-wood at thy heels 0, odious is the name !

Ford. What name, Sir?

Pift. The horn, I say : Farewel. Take heed ; have open eye; for thieves do foot by night: Take heed, ere summer comes, or cuckoo-birds do fing. Away, fir corporal Nym.Believe it, Page; he speaks sense?. [Exit PISTOL.

Ford. I will be patient ; I will find out this.

Nym. And this is true ; [to Page.) I like not the humour of lying. He hath wrong'd me in some humours: I should have borne the humour'd letter to her ; but I have a sword, and it shall bite upon my necessity. He loves your wife; there's the hort and the long. My name is corporal Nym; I speak, and I avouch. 'Tis true :my name is Nym, and Falstaff loves

your

wife.- Adieu ! I love not the humour of bread and cheese ; and there's the humour of it. Adieu.

[Exit Nym. than the other; and therefore I have followed the modern editors in picferring it. MALONE,

5 Ford, perpend.] This is perhaps a ridicule on a passage in the old comedy of Cambyses :

“ My fapient words, I say, perpend." Again : “My quxen, perper.d what I pronounce." Shakspeare has put the same word into the mouth of Polonius. STIEV.

? Believe it, Page; be speaks sense.) Dr. Johnson thought that the preceding word, “ Nym”, was a deri of the speaker, and that these words belonged to him. Mr. Steevens's note thews that he was mistaken. Dr. Farmer would read Believe it Page, he speaks ; j.e. Page, believes what he says. MALONE.

Ford and Pistol, Page and Nym, enter in pairs, each pair in separate conversation ; and while Pistol is informing Ford of Falstaf's defign upon his wife, Nym is, during that time, talking aside to Page, and giving information of the like plot against bim.-When Piitol has finished, he calls out to Nym to come away; but seeing that he and Page are fill in close debate, he goes off alune, first afturing Page, he may depend on the truth of Nym's story. Believe it, Page Nym then proceeds to tell the remainder of his tale out aloud. And ibis is true &c. STEEV.

8 1 bave a fevord, and is shall bite upon my necesity.) Nym, to gain credit, fays, that he is above the mean office of carrying love-letters ; he has trubler means of living; bekas a frord, and upor bis neceffity, that is, ertes bis nced drives bim to unlawful expedients, his sword jball dift. Jornsen.

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Page. The humour of it?, quoth ’a! here's a fellow frights humour out of his wits.

Ford. I will seek out Falstaff.
Page. I never heard such a drawling, affecting rogue.
Ford. If I do find it, well.

Page. I will not believe such a Cataian', though the priest o' the town commended him for a true man.

9. The humour of ir,] The following epigram, taken from an old collection without date, but apparently printed before the year 1600, will best account for Nym's frequent repetition of the word bumour. Epig. 27.

Ake HUMORS what a feather he doth weare,
It is his bumour (by the Lord) he'll sweare ;
Or what he doth with such a horse-taile locke,
Or why upon a whore he spends his stocke,
He hath a bumour doth determine fo :
Why in the stop-throte fashion he doch goe,
With scarfe about his necke, hat without band,
It is his humour. Sweet fir, understand,
What cause his purse is so extreame distrest
That oftentimes is scarcely penny-bleft;
Only a bumour. If you question, why
His tongue is ne'er unfurnish'd with a lye, -
It is his bumour too he doth protest :
Or why with serjeants he is so opprest,
That like to ghosts they haunt him ev'rie day;
A rascal bumour doth not love to pay.
Object why bootes and spurres are itill in season,
His bumour answers, bumour is his reason.
If you perceive his wits in wetting shrunke,
It cometh of a bumour to be drunke.
When you behold his lookes pale, thin, and poore,
The occasion is, his bumour and a whoore :
And every thing that he doth undertake,

It is a veine, for senceless bumour's fake. STEEVENS.
1 I will not believe such a Cataian,] A Cataian (from Calaia or
Carbay, the ancient name of China) seems to have been a cant term of
reproach in our author's time, denoting a sharper. Mr. Theobald
thinks it meant a boaster; Dr.Warburton a liar," from those who told
incredible wonders of this new-discovered empire :" Dr. johnson's ex-
planation is --" This fellow hath such an odd appearance, is so unlike
a man civilized and taught the duties of life, that I cannot credit him
on any testimony of his veracity.–To be a foreigner (he adds) was al-
ways in England, and I suppote every where else, a reason of dislike.”-
Mr. Steevens, with more probability, supposes it to mean a thief;
“ the Chinese, (anciently called Cataians) being faid to be the moft
dextrous of all the nimble-fingered tribe." MALONE,
VOL. I.

Ford.

home, go.

Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow *: Well.
Page. How now, Meg?
Mrs. Page. Whither go you, George?-Hark you.

Mrs. Ferd. How now, sweet Frank? why art thou inelancholy?

Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy.-Get you

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. [4.de to Mrs. Ford.

Enter MiArels QUICKLY. Mrs. Ford. Troft me, I thought on her : The'll fit it. Mrs. Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne?

Quick. Ay, forsooth; And, I pray, how does good mi. stress Anne ? Mrs. Page. Go in with us, and see; we have an hour's

[Exeunt Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Mrs. Quickly. Page. How now, master Ford ?

Ford. You heard what this knave told me ; did you not?

Page. Yes; And you heard what the other told me? Ford. Do you think there is truth in them?

Page. Hang 'em, flaves! 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 3.

Ford. Were they his men ?
Page. Marry, were they.

Ford. I like it never the better for that. Does he lie at the Garter?

talk with you.

2 'Twas a good sensible fellow :] This, and the two preceding speeches of Ford, are spoken to himself, and have no connection with the sentiments of Page, who is likewise making his comment on what had pafled, without attention to Ford. STEEVENS.

3 Very rogues, now they be out of service.] A rogue is a wanderer or vagaburid, and, in its confequential signification, a cbeat. Johnson.

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Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyage toward my wife, I would turn her loose to him ; and what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lie

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 4 : I cannot be thus satisfied.

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 Hoft, and SHALLOW. Hoft. How, now, bully-rook? thou’rt a gentleman : 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.

Hoft. Tell him, cavalero-justice ; tell him, bully-rook?

Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought, between fir Hugh the Welch priest, and Caius the French doctor.

Ford. Good mine host o' the Garter, a word with you.
Hoft. What say'at thou, bully-rook? [They go afide.

Shal. Will you [10 Page] go with us to behold it? My merry host hath had the measuring of their weapons ; and, I think, hath appointed them contrary places : for, believe me, I hear, the parson is no jeiter. Hark, I will tell you what our sport ħall be.

Hoft. Hast thou no suit against my knight, my guestcavalier?

Ford. None, I protest : but I'll give you a pottle of burnt fack to give me recourse to him, and tell him, my name is Brooks ; only for a jeft.

Hoft. My hand, bully: thou shalt have egress and re4. I would bave norbing lie on my bead :) Here seems to be an allusion to Shakspeare's favourite topick, the cuckold's horns. MALONI.

s- and tell bim, my name is Brook ;] The folio reads-Broom. The kuename was recovered from the quarto by Mr, Theobald. MALONE.

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