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Shal. Knight, you have beaten my men, kill'd my deer, and broke open my lodges.
Fal. But not kiss'd your keeper's daughter?
Fal. I will answer it straight ;-I have done all this :-That is now answer'd.
Shal. The Council shall know this. Fal. 'Twere better for you, if 'twere known in counfel : you'll be laugh'd at.
Evans. Pauca verba, fir John ; good worts.
Fal. Good worts! good cabbage?.-Slender, I broke your head; What matter have you against me?
Slen. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you ; and against your coney-catching rascals, Bar. dolph, Nym, and 'Pistol. They carried me
to the and broke open my lodge.] This probably alludes to some real incident, at that time well known. JOHNSON.
So probably Falltaft's answer. FARMER. 6 'T were better for you, if 'twere known in counsel : ) Falstaff quibbles between council and counsel. The latter fignifies secrecy. So, in Hamlet : “ The players cannot keep ccunsel, they'll tell all."
Falstaff's meaning seems to be 'twere better for you if it were known only in secrecy, i. e. among your friends. A more publick complaint would subject you to ridicule. Thus, in Chaucer's prologue to the Squieres Tale, v. 10305, late edit:
“ But wete ye what? in conseil be it seyde,
“ Me reweth fore I am unto hire teyde." STEEVENS. The spelling of the old quarto (counsel), as well as the general purport of the passage, fully confirms Mr. Stecvens's interpretation.* Sbal. Well, the Councel hall know it. Fal. "Twere better for you 'twere known in counsell. You'll be laugh'd at.”
In an office-book of Sir Heneage Finch, Treasurer of the Chambers to Queen Elizabeth, (a Ms. in the British Museum,) I observe that whenever the Privy Council is mentioned, the word is always spelt Counfel; so that the equivoque was less strained then than appears now. “Mum is Counseil, viz. filence,” is among Howel's Proverbial Sen.
See his Dict. folio, 1660. MALONE. 7 Good worts! good cabbage:] Worts was the ancient name of all the cabbage kind. STEEVENS.
coney.carcbing rascals,] A coney.catcher was, in the time of Elizabeth, a common name for a cheat or sharper. Green, one of the first among us who made a trade of writing pamphlets, published A Dee *Elion of ibe Frauds and Tricks of Coney-catcbers and Couzerers.
tavern, and made me crunk, and afterward pick'd by pocket
Bar. You Banbury cheefe'!
Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca; slice! that's my humour. Slen. Where's Simple, my man ?- can you tell, cousin ?
Evans. Peace: I pray you! Now let us understand: There is three umpires in this matter, as I understand: that is-master Page, fidelicet, maiter Page ; and there is myself, fidelicet, myself; and the three party is, lartly and finally, mine host of the Garter.
Page. We three, to hear it, and end it between them.
Evans. Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in my note-book; and we will afterwards ’ork upon the cause, with as great discreetly as we can.
Evans. The tevil and his tam ! what phrase is this, Ile bears with ear? Why, it is affectations.
Fal. Piftol, did you pick master Slender's purse?
Slen. Ay, by these gloves, did he, (or I would I might never come in mine own great chamber again else,) of
9 They carried me &c.] These words, which are necessary to introduce what Falstaff says afterwards, [“ Pistol, did you pick matter Slender's purse?"] I have restored from the early quarto. Of this circumstance, as the play is exhibited in the folio, Sir John could have no knowledge. MALONE.
I rou Banbury cheese! ] This is said in allusion to the thin carcase of Slender. STEEVENS.
2 How now, Mepboftopbilus?] This is the name of a spirit or familia , in the old itory book of Sir Toba Fauftus, or John Fauft: to whom oir author afterwards alludes. It was a cant phrase of abuse.
T. WARTON. 3 Slice, I say ; pauca, pauca!] Dr. Farmer (see a former note, p. 193, n. 6.) would transfer the Latin words to Evans. But the old copy, I think, is right. Piftol, in K. Herry V. ules the same language :
1- I will hold the quondam Quickly For the only me; and pauca, there's enough." In the same scene Nyın twice uses the word jolus. MALONE.
seven groats in mill-fixpences 4, and two Edward shovelboards's, that coit me two shilling and two pence a-piece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
- mill-fixpences,] It appears from a passage in Sir W. Davenant's News from Plimouth, that these milld. sixpences were used by way of counters to caft up money :
-A few mill'd fixpences, with which
- Edward Shovel-boards, ] He means the broad shillings of one of our kings, as appears from comparing these words with the corresponding pailage in the old quarto : “ Ay by this handkerchief did he ;-two faire Thovel-board shillings, besides seven groats in mill fixpences."
How twenty eight pence could be lost in mill-sixpences, Slender, however, has not explained to us. MALONE.
Edward Sbovel-boards are the broad shillings of Edward VI. Taylor, the water poet, makes him complain :
the unthrift every day
“ They had worne it off, as they have done my nose." And in a note he tells us : “ Edw. shillings for the most part are used at sboave-board." FARMER.
Dr. Farmer's note, and the authority he quotes, might, I think, pass vocensured, unless better proofs could be produced in opposition to them. They have, however, been objected to ; and we are positively told that Master Slender's “ Edward Shovel boards have undoubtedly been broad Shillings of Edward ebe Third." I believe the broad shillings of that monarch were never before heard of, as he undoubtedly did not coin any thillings whatever. The following extract, for the notice of which I am indebted to Dr. Farmer, will probably thew the species of coin mentioned in the text. “ I must here takc notice before I entirely quit the subject of these last-mentioned shillings [of Edward VI.) that I have also seen some other pieces of good silver, greatly resembling the same, and of the same date, 1547, that have been so much thicker as to weigh about half an ounce, together with some others that have weighed an ounce." Folkes's Table of English silver coins, p. 32. The former of these were probably what coft Master Slender two thillings and two pence a-piece. As to the point of chronology (to use the objector's own words on another occasion) it is not worth confideration. REED.
That Shakspeare should here (as in all his other plays) have attributed the cuttoms and manners of his own age to a preceding century, without any regard to chronology, cannot be a matter of surprise to any reader who is conversant with his compositions; nor is it to be wondered at, that the present unfounded objection should have been made by one, whose arguments in general, like those of our author's Gratiano,“ are
Fal. Is this true, Pistol ?
Slen. By these gloves, then 'twas he.
Nym. Be avis'd, Sir, and pass good humours: I will fay, marry traps, with you, if you run the nuthook's humour'on me ; that is the very note of it.
Slen. By this hat, then he in the red face had it : for though I cannot remember what I did when you made me drunk, yet I am not altogether an ass. two grains of wheat hid in two buhels of chaff'; you shall seck all day ere you find them, and, when you have them, they are not worth the Search.” MALONE.
6. I combat challerge of this latten bilboe :) Pistol, seeing Slender such a lim, puny weight, would intimate, that he is as thin as a plate of that compound metal, which is called lattın: and which was, as we are told, the old oricbalc. THEOBALD.
Latten is a mixed metal, made of copper and calamine. MALONI.
The larcasm intended is, that Slender had neither courage nor Arength, as a latten sword hath neither edge nor substance. HEATH.
I believe Theobald has given the true sense of larren, though he is wrong in supposing, that the allusion is to Slender's thinnefs. It is rather to his softness or weakness. TYRWHITT. 7 — in thy labras here ;] I suppose it should rather be read :
Word of denial in my labras hear; that is, bear the word of denial in my lips. Thou ly'A. JOHNSON.
We often talk of giving the lie in a man's icerb, or in his ebroote Pistol chooses to throw the word of denial in the lips of his adversary, and is supposed to point to them as he speaks. STEEVENS.
There are few words in the old copies more frequently misprinted than the word żear. “ Thy lips," however, is certainly right, as appears from the old quarto : “ I do retort the lie even in ihy gorge, thy gurge, thy gorge." MALONE.
- marry tiap,-) When a man was caught in his own stratagem, I suppose the exclamation of insult was marry, trap! JOHNSON.
9 – nurbork's bumour--] If you run the nutbook's bumour on me, is in plain English, If you say I am a Ibief. Enoukh is said on the subject of booking moveables out of windows, in a nute on K. Hurry 17.
Fal. What say you, Scarlet and John'?
Bard. Why, fir, for my part, I say, the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five sentences.
Evans. It is his five senses : fye, what the igno
Bard. And being fap?, fir, was, as they say, cashier'd; and so conclusions pass'd the careires 3.
Slen. Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but 'tis no matter : I'll ne'er be drunk whilft I live again, but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick: if I be drunk, I'll be drunk with those that have the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves.
Evans. So Got ’udge me, that is a virtuous mind?
Fal. You hear all these matters deny’d, gentlemen ; you hear it. Enter Mistress Anne Page with wine; Mistress Ford and
Mistress Page following. Page. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink within.
[Exit Anne Page. Slen. O heaven! this is mistress Anne Page. Page. How now, mistress Ford ?
Fal. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good mistress.
[killing her. Page: Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome :-Come,
Scarlet and John?] The names of two of Robin Hood's companions; but the humour consists in the allusion to Bardolph's red face; concerning which, see Henry IV. Part II. WARBURTON.
2 And being fap,-) I know not the exact meaning of this cant word, neither have I met with it in any of our old dramatick pieces, which have often proved the beít comments on Shakspeare's vulgarisms. -Dr. Farmer, indeed, observes, that to fib is to be beat; so that fap may mean being beaten, and cajhier'd, turned out of company. STEEV.
The word fap is probably made from vappa, a drunken fellow, or a good for nothing fellow, whose virtues are all exhaled. Slender in his answer seems to understand that Bardolph had made use of a Latin word. S. W.
3 - careires. ] I believe this strange word is nothing but the French cariere; and the expresion means, that the common bounds of good bebaviour were overpaped. JOHNSON.
Cariere is a term of the manege. It is, I believe, properly the ring or circle wherein managed hortes move. MALONE.