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ed prunes;1 and, by my troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?
Anne. I think, there are, sir; I heard them talked of.
Slen. I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel at it, as any man in England:--You are afraid, if you see the bear loose, are you not?
Anne. Ay, indeed, sir.
Slen. That's meat and drink to me now:2 I have seen Sackerson3 loose, twenty times; and have taken him by
Philip and Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, were frequent spectators of their skill and activity. Steevens.
1-three veneys for a dish, &c.].i. e. three French. Three different set-to's, bouts, (or hits, as Mr. Malone, perhaps more properly, explains the word) a technical term. So, in our author's Love's Labour's Lost: “a quick venew of wit.” Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster :-“ thou wouldst be loth to play half a dozen venies at Wasters with a good fellow for a broken head.” Again, in The Two Maids of More-clacke, 1609 : “This was a pass, 'twas fencer's play, and for the after veny, let me use my skill.” So, in The Famous History, &c. of Capt. Tho. Stukely, 1605: “ for forfeits and venneys given upon a wager at the ninth button of
doublet.” Again, in the MSS. mentioned in the preceding note, “ and at any prize whether it be maister's prize, &c. whosoever doth play agaynste the prizer, and doth strike his blowe and close with all, so that the prizer cannot strike his blowe after agayne, shall wynne no game for any veneje so given, althoughe it shold breake the prizer's head.” Steevens.
2 That's meat and drink to me now:] Decker has this proverbial phrase in his Satiromastix: “Yes faith, 'tis meat and drink to me.” Whalley.
Sackerson--] Seckarson is likewise the name of a bear in the old comedy of Sir Giles Goosecap. Steevens. '
Sacderson, or Sacarson, was the name of a bear that was exhibited in our author's time at Paris-Garden in Southwark. See an old collection of Epigrams [by sir John Davies] printed at Middlebourg (without date, but in or before 1598):
“ Publius, a student of the common law,
Leaving old Ployden, Dyer, and Broke, alone,
“ To see old Harry Hunkes and Sacarson.” Sacarson probably had his name from his keeper. So, in the Puritan, a comedy, 1607 : “How many dogs do you think I had upon me?
Almost as many as George Stone, the bear; three at once.” Malone
the chin; but I warrant you, the women have so cried and shriek'd at it, that it pass’d:4—but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are ill-favoured rough things.
Re-enter PAGE. Page. Come, gentle master Slender, come; we stay
Slen. I 'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.
Page. By cock and pye,5 you shall not choose, sir: come, come.
Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way.
Slen. Truly, I will not go first; truly, la: I will not do you that wrong. Anne.
pray, you, sir. Slen. I 'll rather be unmannerly, than troublesome: you do yourself wrong, indeed, la.
The same. Enter Sir Hugh Evans and SIMPLE. Eva. Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Caius' house, which is the way: and there dwells one mistress Quickly, which is in the manner of his nurse, or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry,6 his washer and his wringer.
Simp. Well, sir.
Eva. Nay, it is petter yet: -give her this letter; for it is a 'oman that altogether's acquaintances with
that it pass'd:] It pass’d, or this passes, was a way of speaking customary heretofore, to signify the excess, or extraordinary degree of any thing. The sentence completed would be, This passes all expression, or perhaps, This passes all things. We still use passing well, passing strange. Warburton.
5 By cock and pye,] This was a very popular adjuration, and occurs in many of our old dramatic pieces. See note on Act V, sc. i, K. Henry IV, P. II. Steevens.
or his laundry,] Sir Hugh means to say his launder. Thus, in Sidney's Arcadia, B. I. p. 44, edit. 1633: s not only will make him an Ainazon, but a launder, a spinner,” &c. Steevens.
- that altogether's acquaintance-) The old copy readsaltogethers acquaintance; but should not this be “that altogether's
mistress Anne Page: and the letter is, to desire and require her to solicit your master's desires to mistress Anne Page: I pray you, be gone; I will make an end of my dinner; there 's pippins and cheese to come. (Exeunt.
A Room in the Garter Inn. Enter Falstaff, Host, BARDOLPH, NYM, Pistol, and
ROBIN. Fal. Mine host of the garter,—
Host. What says my bully-rook?8 Speak scholarly, and wisely.
Fal. Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers.
Host. Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.
Fal. I sit at ten pounds a week.
Host. Thou 'rt an emperor, Cæsar, Keisar, 9 and Pheezar. 1 I will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector?
Fal. Do so, good mine host.
acquaintance," i. e. that is altogether acquainted? The English, I apprehend, would still be bad enough for Evans. Tyrwhitt. I have availed myself of this judicious remark. Steevens.
- my bully-rook ?] The spelling of this word is corrupted, and thereby its primitive meaning is lost. The old plays have generally bully-rook, which is right; and so it is exhibited by the folio edition of this comedy, as well as the 4to. 1619. The latter part of this compound title is taken from the rooks at the game of chess. Steevens.
Bully-rock seems to have been the reading of some editions : in others it is bully-rock. Mr. Steevens's explanation of it, as allud. ing to chess-men, is right. But Shakspeare might possibly have given it bully-rock, as rock is the true name of these men, which is softened or corrupted into rook. There is seemingly more humour in bully-rock. Whalley.
Keisar,] The preface to Stowe's Chronicle observes, that the Germans use the K for C, pronouncing Keysar, for Gesar, their general word for an emperor. Tollet.
and Pheezar.] Pheezar was a made word from pheeze. “ I'll pheeze you,” says Sly to the Hostess, in The Taming of the Shrew. Malone.
Host. I have spoke; let him follow: Let me see thee froth, and lime:2 I am at a word ; follow. [Exit Host.
Fal. Bardolph, follow him; a tapster is a good trade: An old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered servingman, a fresh tapster:3 Go; adieu. Bard. It is a life that I have desired; I will thrive.
[E.rit BARD. Pist. O base Gongarian wight!“ wilt thou the spigot wield?
Let me see thee froth, and lime:] Thus the quarto ; the folio reads--" and live.” This passage had passed thrcugh all the editions without suspicion of being corrupted; but the reading of the old quartos of 1602 and 1619, Let me see thee froth and lime, I take to be the true one. The Host calls for an imme. diate specimen of Bardolph's abilities as a tapster; and frothing beer and liming sack were tricks practised in the time of Shakspeare. The first was done by putting soap into the bottom of the tankard when they drew the beer; the other, by mixing lime with the sack (i. e. sherry) to make it sparkle in the glass. Froth and live is sense, but a little forced; and to make it so we must suppose the Host 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 sack.
Steevens. a withered servingman, a fresh tapster:] This is not improbably a parody on the old proverb--" A broken apothecary, a new doctor.” See Ray's Proverbs, 3d edit. p. 2. Steevens.
4 O base Gongarian wight! &c.] This is a parody on a line taken from one of the old bombast plays, beginning:
“O base Gongarian, wilt thou the distaff wield ?” I had marked the passage down, but forgot to note the play. The folio reads—Hungarian.
Hungarian is likewise a cant term. So, in The Merry Devil of Edmonton, 1608, the merry Host says, “ I have knights and colonels in my house, and must tend the Hungarians.” Again:
“ Come ye Hungarian pilchers.” Again, in Westward Hoe, 1607:
“ Play, you louzy Hungarians." Again, in News from Helt, brought by the Devil's Carier, by Thomas Decker, 1606: “ the leane-jaw'd Hungarian would not lay out a penny pot of sack for himself.” Steevens.
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. 56. Hence their name 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
Nym. He was gotten in drink: Is not the humour conceited? His mind is not heroic, and there's the humour of it. 5
Fal. I am glad, I am so acquit of this tinder box; his thefts were too open: his filching was like an unskilful singer, he kept not time.
Nym. The good humour is, to steal at a minute's rest.6
Pist. Convey, the wise it call:7 Steal! foh, a fico for the phrase! 8
Fuliet : "
Gongarian ;) and this is right according to their own etymology.
The word is Gongarian in the first edition, and should be continued, the better to fix the allusion. Farmer.
humnour of it.] This speech is partly taken from the corrected copy, and partly from the slight 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. Steevens. - at a minute's rest.] Our author probably wrote:
at a minim's rest.” Langton. This conjecture seems confirmed by a passage in Romeo and
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 rest to venture now for all.” Steevens. A minim was anciently, as the term imports, the shortest note in music. 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 sixty 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 7. Hawkins.
'Tis true (says Nym) Bardolph did not keep time; did not steal at the critical and cxact season, when he would probably be least obsero. ed. The true method is, to steal just at the instant when watchfulness is off its guard, and reposes but for a moment.
The reading proposed by Mr. Langton certainly corresponds more exactly with the preceding speech; but Shakspeare scarcely ever pursues his metaphors far. Malone.
7 Convey, the wise it call :] So, in the old morality of Hyche Scorner, bl. 1. no date :
Syr, the horesons could not convaye clene; “For an they could have carried by craft as I can.” &c. Steevens, a fico for the phrase!
] i. e. a fig for it. Pistol uses the same phraseology in King Henry V:
“ Die and be damn'd; and fico for thy friendship." Steevens,