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as Dr. Farmer has observed, gets but three | recruits. Perhaps our author himself is answerable for this slight inaccuracy. MALONE. Id. c. 2, 1. 25. “Stay at home till you are past service:"-MALONE.
Id. l. 32. the thews,] i. e. the muscular
Id. l. 40. —— foeman-] An obsolete term for an
caliver-] A caliver was less and lighter than a musquet, as is evident from its being fired without a rest.
Id. l. 44. traverse ;] An ancient term in military exercise.
Id. l. 53. -I was then sir Dagonet in Arthur's show,] Arthur's show, here supposed to have been presented at Clement's inn, was probably an interlude, or masque, which actually existed, and was very popular in Shakspeare's age: and seems to have been compiled from Mallery's Morte Arthur, or the History of King Arthur, then recently published, and the favourite and most fashionable romance. But some think Arthur's show was an exhibition of archery on Mile-end green.
Id. l. 53. - —a little quiver fellow,] Quiver is nimble, active, &c.
ld. l. 78. about Turnbull-street;] Turnbull
P. 50, c. 1, l. 6. "invincible ;"-MALONE.
Id. l. 61.—well-appointed—] i. e. completely
Id. l. 71.. guarded with rage,] Guarded is an
Id. c. 2, l. 10. - graves,] For graves Dr. War-
Id. l. 58. My brother general, &c.———
I make my quarrel in particular.] The sense is this "My brother general, the commonwealth, which ought to distribute its benefits equally, is become an enemy to those of his own house, to brothers born, by giving all to some, and others none; and this (says he) I make my quarrel or grievance that honours are unequally distributed;" the constant birth of male-contents, and the source of civil commotions. WARBURTON.
Other senses have been attempted by other commentators, but none more probable.
Id. l. 67. Construe the times to their necessities,] that is,-Judge of what is done in these times, according to the exigencies that over-rule us. 1. 71. Either from the king, &c.] Whether the faults of government be imputed to the time or the king, it appears not that you have, for your part, been injured either by the king or the time.
51, c. 1, l. 3. Their armed staves in charge,
-sights of steel,] i. e. the perforated part of their helmets, through which they could see to direct their aim.
l. 15. The earl of Hereford-] This is a mistake of our author's. He was duke of Hereford. | Id. l. 59.Id. 1. 62.
- substantial form;] that is, by a pardon of due form and legal validity.
awful banks again,] i. e. the proper limits of reverence.
Id. l. 76. —— consist upon,] Perhaps the meaning
Id. l. 11. Whose dangerous eyes may well be
let our trains, &c.] that is, our army on each part, that we may both see those that were to have opposed us.
Id. 1. 30. Fondly brought here, &c.] Fondly is foolishly.
Id. I. 35. Exeunt.] It cannot but raise some indignation to find this horrid violation of faith passed over thus slightly by the poet, without any note of censure or detestation. JOHNSON.
Id. 1. 64. The heat is past,] That is, the violence
Id. l. 51. stand my good lord,] i. e. stand my
Id. l. 52. I, in my condition.] Condition is,
perhaps, the same with temper of mind: or it may mean, 1, in my condition, i. e. in my place as commanding officer, who ought to represent things merely as they are, shall speak of you better than deserve. P. 53, e 1, 7 55..
-your dukedom.] He had
no dukedom. Id. 1. 57.- this same young sober-blooded boy doth not love me; nor a man cannot make him laugh;] Falstaff here speaks like a veteran in life. The young prince did not love him, and he despaired to gain his affection, for he could not make him laugh. Men only become friends by community of pleasures. He who cannot be softened into gaiety, cannot easily be melted into kindness.
Id. L. 59. to any proof,] i. e. any confirmed state of manhood The allusion is to armour hardened till it abides a certain trial. Id. 1. 68 · apprehensive,] i. e. quick to under
Id. l. 69. -forgetive.] Forgetive from forge; inventive, imaginative.
Id. c. 2, l. 8. - kept by a devil;] It was anciently supposed that all the mines of gold, &c. were guarded by evil spirits.
Id. 1. 8. - till sack commences it,] i. e. till sack gives it a beginning, brings it into action: or perhaps, Shakspeare alludes to the Cambridge Commencement; and in what follows to the Oxford Act; for by those different names our two universities have long distinguished the season, at which each of them gives to her respective students a complete authority to use those hoards of learning which have entitled them to their several degrees in arts, law, physie, and divinity.
Id. 1. 24. —— I have him already tempering, &c.] A very pleasant allusion to the old use of sealing with soft wax.
Id. l. 34. Our navy is address'd,] i. e. Our navy is ready, prepared
Id. l. 64. if he be observ'd:] i e. if he has respectful attention shown to him.
humorous as winter,] That is, changeable as the weather of a winter's day. Id. l. 69 -congealed in the spring of day.] Alluding to the opinion of some philosophers, that the vapours being congealed in the air by cold (which is most intense towards the morning), and being afterwards rarified and let loose by the warmth of the sun, occasion those sudden and impetuons gusts of wind which are called flaws. WARBURTON.
P. 54, c. 1, l. 2. Mingled with venom of suggestion.] Though their blood be inflamed by the temptations to which youth is peculiarly subject.
Id. 1. 5. rash gunpowder,] Rash is quick, violent, sudden. This representation of the prince is a natural picture of a young man, whose passions are yet too strong for his virtues. JOHNSON.
Id. 1. 24 — his affections-] His passions; his inordinate desires.
Id. 1. 40. Tis seldom, when the bee, &c.] As the bee having once placed her comb in a carcase, stays by her honey, so he that has once taken pleasure in bad company, will continue to associate with those that have the art of pleasing him. JOHNSON.
Id. 1. 51. in his particular.] His is used for its, very frequently in the old plays.
Id c. 2, l. 6. Hath wrought the mure, &c.] i. e. the wall.
Id. l. 13. The river hath thrice flow'd] This is historically true. It happened on the 12th of October, 1411.
Id. 1. 25. Unless some dull-] Dull signifies melancholy, gentle, soothing, or, producing dullness or heaviness; and consequently sleep. Id.1 28. Set me the crown upon my pillow here.] It was the custom in France to place the crown on the king's pillow when he is dying. Id. l. 52. the ports-] Are the gates of slumber. Ports is the ancient military term for gates, and is yet used in this sense in Scotland.
Id. l. 55 -homely biggin,] A kind of cap, at present worn only by children; but so called from the cap worn by the Beguines, an order of nuns.
Id. 1. 68 this golden rigol-] Rigol means a circle.'
P. 55 c.1,7. 34-tolling-] Tolling is taking toll. Id. 1. 39. Yield his engrossments-] His accumulatious.
Id. 1. 42. determin'd] i. e. ended; it is still used in this sense in legal conveyances. Id. 1. 68seat'd up my expectation:] Thou hast confirmed my opinion.
Id. c. 2, l. 51.--in medicine portable:] There has long prevailed an opinion that a solution of gold has great medicinal virtues, and that the incorruptibility of gold might be communicated to the body impregnated with it. Id. 1. 78 soil-] is spot, dirt, turpitude, reproach.
P. 56, c. 1, l. 4. ·
supposed peace:] Counter
feited, imagined, not real.
Id. l. 4.
--all these bold fears.] Fear is here used in the active sense, for that which causes fear.
Id. 1. 8.
Changes the mode:] Mode is the form or state of things. 1. 8 for what in me was purchas'd,] Purchas'd, in this place, signifies acquired by unjust and indirect methods. Purchase, in Shakspeare, frequently means stolen goods, or goods dishonestly obtained.
Id. I. 10. -successively.] By order of succession. Every usurper snatches a claim of hereditary right as soon as he can.
Id. l. 20. To lead out many to the Holy Land ;] The sense is: of those who assisted my usurpation, some I have cut of, and many I intended to lead abroad. This journey to the Holy Land, of which the king very frequently revives the mention, had two motives, religion and policy. He durst not wear the ill-gotten crown without expiation, but in the act of expiation he contrives to make his wickedness successful. JOHNSON.
Id. 1. 28. How I came, &c.] This is a true picture of a mind divided between heaven and earth. He prays for the prosperity of guilt while he deprecates its punishment. JOHNSON.
Id. 1. 73. those precepts cannot be served:] Precept is a justice's warrant. To the offices which Falstaff gives Davy in the following
scene, may be added that of justice's clerk. Davy has almost as many employments as Scrub in The Stratagem.
P. 56, c. 2, l. 3. - - Let it be cast,] that is, cast up, computed.
la. i. 47.
-bearded hermit's staves-] He had before called him the starved justice. His want of Hesh is a standing jest.
Id. l. 57.. -near their master;] i. e. admitted to their master's confidence.
Id. 1. 66. two actions,] There is something humorous in making a spendthrift compute time by the operation of an action for debt. Id. l. 69. — fellow that never had the ache-] that is a young fellow, one whose disposition to merriment time and pain have not yet impaired.
P. 57, c 2, l. 56. - not the Turkish court;] Not the court where the prince that mounts the throne puts his brothers to death. Id. c. 2, l. 4. Was this easy?] that is, was this not grievous?] Shakspeare has easy in this sense elsewhere. JOHNSON.
Id. 1. 21. To trip the course of law.] to defeat the progress of justice; a metaphor taken from the act of tripping a runner. Id. 1. 24. And mock your workings in a second body] To treat with contempt your acts executed by a representative.
Id. 1. 28. and propose a son:] i. e. image to yourself a son, contrive for a moment to think you have one.
Id. I. 33.. in your state,] in your regal character and office, not with the passion of a man interested, but with the impartiality of a legislator. JOHNSON.
Jd. 1. 50.. -remembrance,] that is, admonition. Id. 1. 58. My father is gone wild-] The meaning
is-My wild dispositions having ceased on my father's death, and being now as it were buried in his tomb, he and wildness are interred in the same grave.
Id. l. 60. with his spirit sadly I survive,] Sadly is the same as soberly, seriously, gravely. Sad is opposed to wild. JOHNSON. Id. l. 67. -- the state of floods,] i. e. dignity of floods, or of the ocean.
P. 58, c. 1, 1. 25.- - and females dear, &c.] This very natural character of Justice Silence is not sufficiently observed. He would scarcely speak a word before, and now there is no possibility of stopping his mouth.
Id. l. 35. -proface! Italian from profaccia; a cant term in Italy, that is, much good may it do you.
Id. l. 36. The heart's all.] That is, the intention with which the entertainment is given. The humour consists in making Davy act as master of the house. JOHNSON.
Id. l. 40. "wife has all ;"-MALONE.
monly denominated russetine, in Devonshire, is
Id. 1. 68. cavaleroes-] This was the term by which an airy, splendid, irregular fellow was distinguished. The soldiers of king Charles were called cavaliers from the gaiety which they affected fin opposition to the sour faction of the parliament.
Id. c. 2, l. 5. Do me right,] To do a man right, and to do him reason, were formerly the usual expressions in pledging healths. He who drank a bumper, expected that a humper should be drank to his toast.
Id. l. 6. And dub me knight:] It was the custom of the good fellows of Shakspeare's days to drink a very large draught of wine, and sometimes a less palatable potation, on their knees, to the health of their mistress. He who performed this exploit was dubb'd a knight for the evening
Id. 1. 7. Samingo.] Samingo, that is, San Domingo, as some of the commentators have rightly observed. But what is the meaning and propriety of the name here, has not yet been shown.
Id. 1. 23.. but goodman Puff of Barson.] A little before, William Visor of Woncot is mentioned. Woodmancot and Barton (says Mr. Edwards's MSS.), which I suppose are these two places, and are represented to be in the neighbourhood of Justice Shallow, are both of them in Berkeley hundred in Glostershire. This, I imagine, was done to disguise the satire a little: for Sir Thomas Lucy, who, by the coat of arms he bears, must be the real Justice Shallow, lived at Charlecot, near Stratford, in Warwickshire. STEEVENS.
Id. l. 46. Bezonian? A term of reproach, frequent in the writers contemporary with our poet. Bisognoso, a needy person; thence metaphorically, a base scoundrel.
Id. l. 54.
-fig me, like
The bragging Spaniard.] To fig, in Spanish, higas dar, is to insult by putting the thumb between the fore and middle finger. From this Spanish custom we yet say in contempt, "a fig for you." JOHNSON.
1. 56. Fal. What! is the old king dead?
Pist As nail in door:] This proverbial expression is oftener used than understood. The door nail is the nail on which in ancient doors the knocker strikes. It is therefore used as a comparison to any one irrecoverably dead, one who has fallen (as Virgil says) multa morte, i. e. with abundant death, such as reiteration of strokes on the head would naturally produce.
Id. l. 38. More rushes, &c.] It has been already observed, that at ceremonial entertainments, it was the custom to strew the floor with rushes. Chambers, and indeed all apartments usually inhabited, were formerly strewed in this manner. As our ancestors rarely washed their floors, disguises of uncleanliness became necessary things.
Id. l. 69. - 'Tis all in every part.] The sentence alluded to is:
"Tis all in all, and all in every part.", And so doubtless it should be read. 'Tis a
common way of expressing one's approbation of a right measure to say, 'tis all in all. P 59, c.2, 1. 15. most royal imp of fame!] The word imp is perpetually used by ancient writers for progeny.
Id. l. 25. profane;] In our author it often sig
the eye; and our author, who wanted them no longer on the stage, was glad to find this method of sweeping them away. JOHNSON. EPILOGUE
nifies love of talk, without the particular idea P. 60, c.1, 4. 13. This epilogue was merely occasional
now given it.
Id. 1. 27. hence,] i. e. henceforward, from this time, in the future.
Id. l. 40. Not to come near our person by ten mile.] Mr. Rowe observes, that many readers lament to see Falstaff so hardly used by his old friend. But if it be considered, that the fat knight has never uttered one sentiment of generosity, and with all his power of exciting mirth, has nothing in him that can be esteemed, no great pain will be suffered from the reflection that he is compelled to live honestly, and maintained by the king, with a promise of advancement when he shall deserve it.
I think the poet more blameable for Poins, who is always represented as joining some virtues with his vices, and is therefore treated by the prince with apparent distinction, yet he does nothing in the time of action: and though after the bustle is over, he is again a favourite, at last vanishes without notice. Shakspeare certainly lost him by heedlessness, in the multiplicity of his characters, the variety of his action, and his eagerness to end the play. JOHNSON.
This circumstance was originally mentioned by Hall, and is thus recorded by Holinshed, who was certainly Shakspeare's historian: "Immediately after that he was invested kyng, and had receyved the crowne, he determined with himselfe to putte upon him the shape of a new man, turning insolence and wildness into gravitie and sobernesse: and whereas he had passed his youth in wanton pastime and riotous misorder, with a sorte of misgoverned mates, and untnrieftie playfeers, he now banished them trom his presence, [not unrewarded nor yet unpreferred inhibiting them upon a great payne, not once to approche, lodge, or sojourne within ten miles of his courte or mansion: and in their places he elected and chose men of gravitie, witte, and hygh policie, by whose wise counsell he might at all times rule to his honoure:-whereas if he should have reteined the other lustie companions aboute him, he doubted least they might have allured him into such lewde and lighte partes, as with them before tyme he had youthfully used." Id. 1. 70. to the Fleet;] I do not see why Falstaff is carried to the Fleet. We have never lost sight of him since his dismission from the king; he has committed no new fault, and therefore incurred no punishment; but the different agitations of fear, anger, and surprize in him and his company, made a good scene to
and alludes to some theatrical transaction. JOHNSON.
c. 2, l. 11. All the gentlewomen, &c.] The trick of influencing one part of the audience by the favour of the other, has been played already in the epilogue to As You Like It. JOHNSON.
1. 22. - where, for any thing I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already he be killed with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man.] Shakspeare, I think, meant to say, that "Falstaff may perhaps die of his debaucheries in France," (having mentioned Falstaff's death, he then, with his usual license, uses the word in a metaphorical sense, adding)-" unless he be already killed by the hard and unjust opinions" of those who imagined that the knight's character (like his predecessor) was intended as a ridicule on Sir John Oldcastle, the good Lord Cobham. This our author disclaims, reminding the audience that there can be no ground for such a supposition. I call them (says he) hard and unjust opinions, "for Sir John Oldcastle was no debauchee, but a protestant martyr, and our Falstaff is not the man;" i. e. is no representation of him, has no allusion whatsoever to him.
Shakspeare seems to have been pained by some report that his inimitable character, like the despicable buffoon of the old play of Henry V., whose dress and figure resembled that of Falstaff, was meant to throw an imputation on the memory of Lord Cobham; which, in the reign of so zealous a friend in the Protestant cause as Elizabeth, would not have been easily pardoned at court. Our author, had he been so inclined (which we have no ground for supposing), was much too wise to have ever directed any ridicule at the great martyr for that cause which was so warmly espoused by his queen and patroness. The former ridiculous representations of Sir John Oldcastle on the stage were undoubtedly produced by papists, and probably often exhibited, in inferior theatres, to crowded audiences, between the years 1580 and 1590. MALONE.
1. 25.--to pray for the queen.] It was the custom of the old players at the end of the performance, to pray for their patrons.
Almost all the ancient interludes I have met with conclude with some solemn prayer for the king or queen, house of commons, &c. Hence, perhaps, the Vivant Rex & Regina, at the bottom of our modern play-bills. STEEVENS.