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Yet did you say,—Go forth; and none of this,
More than that being which was like to be a ?
Knew that we ventur'd on such dangerous seas,
Come, we will all put forth ; body, and goods.
I hear for certain, and do speak the truth,-
And more and less 6 do flock to follow him.
This present grief had wip'd it from my mind.
The aptest way for safety and revenge :
• The preceding fourteen lines were first printed in the folio.
More and less-greater and less great and small.
SCENE II.-London. A Street.
Enter Sir John FALSTAFF, with his Page bearing his sword and buckler. Fal. Sirrab, you giant, what says the doctor to my water ? PAGE. He said, sir, the water itself was a good healthy water; but, for the party
that owed it, he might have more diseases than he knew for. FAL. Men of all sorts take a pride to girda at me. The brain of this foolish.
compounded clay, man, is not able to invent anything that tends to laughter, more than I invent, or is invented on me: I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men. I do here walk before thee, like a sow that hath o'erwhelmed all her litter but one. If the prince put thee into my service for any other reason than to set me off, why then I have no judgment. Thou whoreson mandrake, thou art fitter to be worn in my cap, than to wait at my heels. I was never manned with an agatec till now; but I will set you neither in gold nor silver, but in vile apparel, and send you back again to your master, for a jewel; the juvenal, the prince your master, whose chin is not yet fledged. I will sooner have a beard grow in the palm of my hand, than he shall get one on his cheek; yet he will not stick to say, his face is a face-royal: Heaven may finish it when he will, it is not a hair amiss yet: he may keep it still asd a face-royal, for a barber shall never earn sixpence out of it; and yet he will be crowing, as if he had writ man ever since his father was a bachelor. He may keep his own grace, but he is almost out of mine, I can assure him. What said master Domble
don about the satin for my short cloak and slops ? PAGE. He said, sir, you should procure bim better assurance than Bardolph: he
would not take his bond and yours; he liked not the security. Fal. Let him be damned like the glutton! may his tongue be hotter!—a whore
son Achitophel ! a rascally yea-forsooth knave! to bear a gentleman in hand, and then stand upon security! The whoreson smooth-pates do now wear nothing but high shoes, and bunches of keys at their girdles; and if a man is thorough with them in honest taking upę, then they must stand upon security. I had as lief they would put ratsbane in my mouth, as offer to stop it with security. I looked he should have sent me two-and-twenty yards of satin, as I am true knight, and he sends me security. Well, he may
. Gird. To gird is to smite, and thence metaphorically to jeer, to scoff at.
Invent. So the old editions; the common reading is vent. • Agate. Falstaff compares his little page to an agate, for his diminutiveness. In the same manner Queen Mab, in 'Romeo and Juliet,' comes,
“In shape no bigger than an agate stone." But agate-stones were also often “cut or graven with some forms and images in them, namely, of famous men's heads." So says Florio, in his · New World of Words,' under the word formaglio.
"As. The old copies read, at.
sleep in security; for he hath the horn of abundance, and the lightness of his wife shines through it: and yet cannot be see, though he have his own
lantern to light him. Where's Bardolph ? PAGE. He's gone into Smithfield, to buy your worship a horse. FAL. I bought him in Paul's', and he 'll buy me a horse in Smithfield 6: if I could get me a wife in the stews, I were manned, horsed, and wived.
Enter the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE and an Attendant. PAGE. Sir, here comes the nobleman that committed the prince for striking him
about Bardolph. FAL. Wait close, I will not see him. CH. Just. What's he that goes there? ATTEN. Falstaff, an 't please your lordship. CH. Just. He that was in question for the robbery? ATTEN. He, my lord: but he hath since done good service at Shrewsbury; and,
as I hear, is now going with some charge to the lord John of Lancaster. Ch. Jost. What, to York? Call him back again. ATTEN. Sir John Falstaff! FAL. Boy, tell him I am deaf. PAGE. You must speak louder, my master is deaf. CH. Just. I am sure he is, to the hearing of anything good. Go, pluck him by
the elbow; I must speak with him. ATTEN. Sir John, Fal. What! a young krave, and beg! Is there not wars ? is there not employ
ment? Doth not the king lack subjects ? do not the rebels want soldiers ? Though it be a shame to be on any side but one, it is worse shame to beg than to be on the worst side, were it worse than the name of rebellion can
tell how to make it. ATTEN. You mistake me, sir. FAL. Why, sir, did I say you were an honest man ? setting my knighthood and
my soldiership aside, I had lied in my throat if I had said so. ATTEN. I pray you, sir, then set your knighthood and your soldiership aside; and
give me leave to tell you, you lie in your throat, if you say I am any other
than an honest man. Fal. I give thee leave to tell me so! I lay aside that which grows to me! If
thou gett'st any leave of me, hang me; if thou takest leave, thou wert better
be banged: You hunt countera ; hence! avaunt! ATTEN. Sir, my lord would speak with you. Ch. Just. Sir John Falstaff, a word with you. Fal. My good lord !--Give your lordship good time of day. I am glad to see
your lordship abroad: I heard say your lordship was sick: I hope your lordship
• Hunt counter. The hound that runs counter hunts upon a wrong scent>" on the false trail." (Hamlet.') Falstaff either tells the attendant "you hunt counter"—you hunt the wrong way; or calls him a “hunt-counter,"—which also might imply that the attendant was a bailiff's follower—"counter-rat," as Sir Thomas Overbury has it.
goes abroad by advice. Your lordship, though not clean past your youth, hath yet some smack of age in you, some relish of the saltness of time; and I most humbly beseech your lordship to have a reverend care of your
health. CH. Just. Sir John, I sent for you before your expedition to Shrewsbury. Fal. If it please your lordship, I hear his majesty is returned with some dis
mfort from your lordship.on before your
CA. Just. I talk not of his majesty :-You would not come when I sent for you. Fal. And I hear, moreover, his highness is fallen into this same whoreson
apoplexy. Ch. Just. Well, heaven mend him! I pray, let me speak with you. FAL. This apoplexy is, as I take it, a kind of lethargy; a sleeping of the blood,
a whoreson tinglinga. CH. Just. What tell you me of it? be it as it is. FAL. It hath its original from much grief; from study, and perturbation of the
brain; I have read the cause of his effects in Galeo; it is a kind of deaf.
ness. C#. Just. I think you are fallen into the disease ; for you hear not what I say
to you. Fal. Very well, my lord, very well : rather, an 't please you, it is the disease
of not listening, the malady of not marking, that I am troubled witbal. CR. JUST. To punish you by the heels would amend the attention of your ears ;
and I care not if I be your physician. Fal I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient: your lordship may
minister the potion of imprisonment to me, in respect of poverty; but how I should be your patient to follow your prescriptions, the wise may make some
dram of a scruple, or, indeed, a scruple itself. CH. Just. I sent for you, when there were matters against you for your life, to
come speak with me. FAL. As I was then advised by my learned counsel in the laws of this land-service,
I did not come. CA. Just. Well, the truth is, Sir John, you live in great infamy. Fal. He that buckles him in my belt cannot live in less. CH. Just. Your means are very slender, and your waste great. FAL. I would it were otherwise; I would my means were greater, and my waist
slenderer. CH. Just. You have misled the youthful prince. FAL. The young prince bath misled me: I am the fellowb with the great belly,
and he my dog. CH. Just. Well, I am loth to gall a new-healed wound; your day's service at
Shrewsbury hath a little gilded over your night's exploit on Gadshill : you may thank the unquiet time for your quiet o'erposting that action.
• Tingling. In this speech we give the reading of the folio. • The fellore, &c. This is probably an allusion to some well-known beggar of Shakspere's day.
Fal. My lord ?
approve the truth.
take me without weighing: and yet, in some respects, I grant, I cannot go, I
the vaward of our youth, I must confess, are wags too. Ch. Just. Do you set down your name in the scroll of youth, that are written
down old with all the characters of age? Have you not a moist eye? a dry hand? a yellow cheek? a white beard ? a decreasing leg? an increasing belly? Is not your voice broken? your wind short? your chin double? your wit singled? and every part about you blasted with antiquity ? and will you yet call yourself young? Fie, fie, fie, sir John !
• Evil angel. Eril is the reading of the folio; ill of the quarto. Theobald says, “ If this were the true reading, Falstaff could not have made the witty and humorous evasion he has done in his reply.” It may be answered, however, that the humour of the evasion is perhaps rather heightened by Falstaff's change of the epithet from evil to ill. When he says "an ill angel is light,” his allusion is to the coin called an angel.
I cannot tell. Johnson interprets this, I cannot pass current. Gifford objects to this interpretation, saying that the expression, which is frequent in Ben Jonson and Beaumont and Fletcher, has here only its common colloquial meaning.
• Costermonger's times-times of petty traffic, when qualities are rated by money's worth. A costard is an apple;—thence a costard-monger ;-and so the word came to imply, as it does now, a small huckstering dealer. In the quarto and folio we have coster-monger's; Shakspere sometimes uses a substantive adjectively, but the modern editors have considered this to be a rule of his phraseology, which it is not.
d Wit single. Single may be taken for small, according to Steevens, who gives us the example of single beer for small beer. But this use of the word has reference to the quantity of malt consumed in the production of the beer. The expression in 'Romeo and Juliet,' “ O single-soled jest!" has also a direct reference to the thinness of Romeo's pump. We can scarcely, therefore, say that single means small, taken generally; but the Chief Justice, it appears to us, has lost something of his characteristic gravity, and has become infected by him who was not only witty himself, but the cause of wit in others; and he thus opposes the single wit to the double chin; and also suggests the real character of wit. All wit is to a certain extent double, it has the obvious meaning, and the more recondite meaning which makes the point. Single wit is very much the same as pointless wit. It is to be observed that in the folio “ your chin double” is omitted typographical error, we have little doubt.