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life: and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning. 2
Host. Where be my horses? speak well of them, varletto.
Bard. Run away with the cozeners: for so soon as I came beyond Eton, they threw me off from behind one of them, in a slough of mire; and set spurs, and
away, like three German devils, three Doctor Faustuses. 3
Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, villain: do not say, they be fled; Germans are honest men.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans.
Eva. Have a care of your entertainments: there is a friend of mine come to town, tells me, there is three cousin germans, that has cozened all the hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell yor for good-will, look you: you are wise, and full of gibes and vlouting-stogs; and’tis not convenient you should be cozened : Fare you well.
[Exit. Enter Doctor Caius. Caius. Vere is mine Host de Jarterre?
Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, and doubt. ful dilemma.
Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat: But it is tell-a me, dat you make grand preparation for a duke de Jarmany: by my trot, dere is no duke, dat de court is know to come: I tell you for good vill: adieu.
I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learn. ing:] He alludes to the heating which he had just received. The same play on words occurs in Cymbeline, Act V:“
- sorry you have paid too much, and sorry that you are paid too much.”
Steevens. To pay, in our author's time, often signified to beat. So, in King Henry IV, P. I: “ -- seven of the eleven I paid.” Malone.
like three German devils, three Doctor Faustuses.] John Faust, commonly called Doctor Faustus, was a German.
Marlowe's play on this subject had sufficiently familiarized Bardolph's simile to our author's audience. Steevens.
Host. Hue and cry, villain, go:-assist me, knight; I am undone :-fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone!
[Exeunt Host and Bard. Fal. I would, all the world might be cozened; for I have been cozened, and beaten too. If it should come to the ear of the court, how I have been transformed, and how my transformation hath been washed and cudgeled, they would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermen's boots with me; I warrant, they would whip me with their fine wits, till I were as crestfallen as a dried pear.4 I never prospered since I foreswore myself at primero.5 Well, if my wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent.
Enter Mistress QUICKLY.
Quick. From the two parties, forsooth.
crest-fallen as a dried pear.] To ascertain the propriety of this similitude, it may be observed that pears, when they are dried, become flat, and lose the erect and oblong form that, in their natural state, distinguishes them from apples. Steevens.
-primero.] A game at cards. Johnson. Primero was in Shakspeare's time the fashionable game. In the Earl of Northumberland's letters about the powder plot, Josc. Percy was playing at primero on Sunday when his uncle, the conspirator, called on him at Essex House. This game is again mentioned in our author's Henry VIII. Percy.
“ Primero and primavista, two games of cards. Primum et primum visum, that is, first, and first seene, because he that can show such an order of cardes, wins the game.” See Minsheu's Dict. 1617. Reed.
In the Sydney Papers, Vol. II, p. 83, is the following account of an altercation that happened between our poet's generous patron, and one Willoughby, at this
:-" The quarrel of my lord Southampton to Ambrose Willoughby grew upon this: That he, with Sir Walter Rawley and Mr. Parker, being at pri. mero in the presence-chamber, the queen was gone to bed; and he being there, as squire of the body, desired him to give over. Soon after he spoke to them againe, that if they would not leave, he would call in the guard to pull down the bord; which Sir Walter Rawley seeing, put up his money, and went his wayes; but
my Lord Southampton took exceptions at hym, and told hym, he would remember yt: and so finding hym between the Tennis-Court wall and the garden, strooke him; and Willoughby pullid of some of his lockes.” This happened in the beginning of 1598. Malone.
The manner of playing at this game may be seen in an Epi.
Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the other, and so they shall be both bestowed! I have suffered more for their sakes, more, than the villainous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to bear.
Quick. And have not they suffered? Yes, I warrant; speciously one of them; mistress Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a white spot about her.
Fal. What tell'st thou me of black and blue? I was beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow; and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of Brentford; but that my admirable dexterity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of an old woman,6 deliver'd me, the knave constable had set me i' the stocks, i'the common stocks, for a witch.
Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber: you shall hear how things go; and, I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado here is to bring you together! Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well,? that you are so crossed. Fal. Come
gtam quoted in Dodsley's Collection of O!d Plays, Vol. V, edit. 1780. See also Vol. X, p. 368, and Vol. XII, p. 396. Reed.
action of an old woman.] What! was it any dexterity of wit in Sir John Falstaff to counterfeit the action of an old woman, in order to escape being apprehended for a witch? Surely, one would imagine, this was the readiest means to bring him into such a scrape: for none but old women have ever been sus. pected of being witches. The text must certainly be restored a wood woman, a crazy, frantic woman; one too wild, and silly, and unmeaning, to have either the malice or mischievous subtle. ty of a witch in her. Theobald.
This emendation is received by Sir Thomas Hanmer, but re. jected by Dr. Warburton. To me it appears reasonable enough.
Johnson. I am not certain that this change is necessary. Falstaff, by counterfeiting such weakness and infirmity, as would naturally be pitied in an old woman, averted the punishment to which he would otherwise have been subjected, on the supposition that he was a witch. Steevens.
The reading of the old copy is fully supported by what Falstaff says afterwards to Ford: “I went to her, Master Brook, as you see, like a poor old man; but I came from her, Master Brook, like a poor old woman.” Malone.
7 Sure, 09:e of you does not serve heaven well, &c.] The great
Another Room in the Garter Inn,
Enter FENTON and Host. Host. Master Fenton, talk not to me; my mind is heavy, I will give over all.
Fent. Yet hear me speak: Assist me in my purpose, And, as I am a gentleman, I 'll give thee A hundred pound in gold, more than your loss.
Host. I will hear you, master Fenton; and I will, at the least, keep your counsel.
Fent. From time to time I have acquainted you
[ Showing the letter.
fault of this play is the frequency of expressions so profane, that no necessity of preserving character can justify thein. There are laws of higher authority than those of criticism. Johnson.
Š The mirth whereof-] Thus the old copy. Mr. Pope and all the subsequent editors read— The mirth whereof 's so larded, &c. but the old reading is the true one, and the phraseology that of Shakspeare's age. Whereof was formerly used as we now use thereof; “ – the mirth thereof being so larded,” &c. So, in Mount Tabor, or Private Exercises of a Penitent Sinner, 8vo. 1639: " In the mean time [they] closely conveyed under the cloaths wherewithal he was covered, a vizard, like a swine's snout, upon his face, with three wire chains fastened thereunto, the other end whereof being holden severally by those three ladies; who fall to singing again,” &c. Malone.
the image of the jest —] Image is representation. So, in K. Richard III:
“ And liv'd by looking on his images.” Again, in Measure for Measure:-“The image of it gives me content already.” Steevens.
These words allude to a custom still in use, of hanging out painted representations of shows.
Enter Mrs. Ford and Mrs. PAGE. Mrs. Ford. Sir John? art thou there, my deer? my male deer?
Fal. My doe with the black scut?—Let the sky rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green Sleeves; haii kissing-comfits, and snow eringoes; let there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.
[Embracing her. Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, sweetheart.
Fal. Divide me like a bribe-buck,? each a haunch: I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow of this walk, and my horns I bequeath your husbands. Am I a woodman?! ha! Speak I like Herne the hunter?- Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience ; he makes restitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome?
[. Noise within.
9 Divide me like a bribe-buck,li. e. (as Mr. Theobald observes) a buck sent for a bribe. He adds, that the old copies, mistakingly, real-brib'd-buck. Steevens.
Cartwright, in his Love's Convert, has an expression somewhat similar: “ Put off your mercer with your fee-buck for that season.”
M. Mason. - my shoulders for the fellow of this walk,] Who the fellow is, or why he keeps his shoulders for him, I do not understand.
Fohnson. A walk is that district in a forest, to which the jurisdiction of a particular keeper extends. So, in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592: “ Tell me, forester, under whom maintainest thou thy walke?”
Malone. To the keeper the shoulilers and humbles belong as a perquisite.
Grey. So, in Friar Bacon, and Friar Bungay, 1599;
“ Butter and cheese, and humbles of a deer,
“Such as poor keepers have within their lodge.” Again, in Holinshed, 1586, Vol. I, p. 204: “ The keeper, by a custom-hath the skin, head, umbles, chine and shoulders."
Steevens, - a woodman?] A woodman (says Mr. Reed, in a note on Measure for Measure, Act IV, sc. iii,) was an attendant on the officer, called Forester. See Manwood on the Forest Laws, 4to. 1615, p. 46. It is here, however, used in a wanton sense, for one who chooses female game as the object of his pursuit.
In its primitive sense I find it employed in an ancient MS. entitled The Boke of Huntyng, that is cleped Mayster of Game.