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Enter FALSTAFF, with his PAGE bearing his sword and buckler.
Fal. Sirrah, 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 moe diseases than he knew for.
Fal. Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me: the brain of this foolish-compounded clay, man, is not able to
1. Sirrah, you giant] "Sirrah" is similarly used as a prefix to a designation of occupation in 1 Henry IV. II. i. 41: "Sirrah carrier." "You giant" is, of course, an ironical allusion to the diminutive stature of the Page. Cf. R. Tailor, The Hog Hath Lost His Pearl, iii: "Y. Lord W. Ho, you three-footand-a-half! Why, page, I say!" A page, in J. Shirley, The Gamester, IV. i, is described as "This inch and a half!" And, in Shakerley Marmion, The Antiquary, 1. i, Angelia, disguised as a page, is the subject of the question, "What pretty sparkle of humanity have we here?" Tiny pages were the fashion of the period. See Middleton, More Dissemblers Besides Women, v. i. I. what... water?] Allusions are frequent to the method of medical diagnosis referred to in the text. The value of the method is questioned_in Webster, Duchess of Malfi, 1.'ii. For scenes illustrating its practice, see The Return from Parnassus, II. i, and Fletcher, Monsieur Thomas, II. iv, where three physicians disagree in respect to the diagnosis of a case. Cf. also The Puritan, IV. i, and Lingua (Haz. Dods., ix. 357): "an urinal to carry his water to the physician.' N. Breton (The Good and the Badde, 1616) says of the "unlearned physician": "Upon the market day he is much haunted with urinals."
3. party] person. Now vulgar or facetious, but used by serious writers in the sixteenth century. Cf. Jonson, The Magnetic Lady, v. i: "You wrong'd the party," and G. Markham, The English Hus-wife: "compel the sick party to sweat." The word is used in the text, and elsewhere, where now we should say "the patient."
4. moe] more in number; see note to Henry IV. IV. iv. 31.
No 4. knew for] was aware of. corded in New Eng. Dict., but similar other example of "know for " is recombinations of a verb and the preposition "for are found. "Think for and "stand for" are still common among the illiterate. See also Middleviii. 75): "I, not so simple as they ton, Father Hubburds Tales (Bullen, laughed me for "; Jonson, Every Man out of his Humour, v. iv; and Beaumont and Fletcher, Wit Without Money, III. i: "your commendations are so studied for."
5. gird at] gibe at, as in Middleton, The Family of Love, II. iii: "men gird at the law."
invent any thing that tends to laughter, more than I
7. tends] intends Q.
10. overwhelmed] overwhelmd Q; o'rewhelm'd Ff. 15. agate] Johnson; agot Q, Ff. 17. vile] vilde Ff 1-3. 18. jewel,
13, 36. whoreson] horeson Q; horson Ff.
7. invent] Reed (1803) read vent.
13. mandrake] A plant, the forked root of which was supposed to resemble the human figure. Many superstitious
beliefs were associated with the mandrake. Its root was fabled to utter a groan when pulled up; see 2 Henry VI. III. ii. 310, and Jonson, The Sad Shepherd, 11. ii: "the sad mandrake Whose groans are deathful." Falstaff's allusion is to the mandrake's resemblance to a manikin.
14. to be... cap] For the thought, cf. Jonson, The Magnetic Lady, I. i: "the very man, the jewel Of all the you may wear him Here on your breast, or hang him in your ear," and The New Inn, 11. ii: "Bird of her ear, and she shall wear thee there, A Fly of gold, enamell'd," with an allusion to a character called Fly. Falstaff alludes, by implication, to the fashion of wearing a jewel in the hat, which came in towards the end of Elizabeth's reign. Feathers were neglected in favour of the jewelled hatband, which was frequently worn in the following reign unaccompanied by a plume (Planché, British Costumes, p. 304).
14-15. wait... heels] Cf. Chapman, Monsieur D'Olive, iv. ii: “D'Olive [to his Page]... twenty pounds annuity shall not purchase you from my heels!" 15. manned] provided with attendants, as in Chapman, Monsieur D'Olive,
III. i: "To be mand with one bare
15. agate] An allusion to the small figures, cut in agates, which were worn in rings and brooches. Cf. Romeo and Juliet, I. iv. 56: "no bigger than an agate-stone"; Much Ado, III. i. 65: "an agate very vilely cut" (an illnatured description of a man of low stature); Jonson, The New Inn, II. ii: "the Naples hat, With the Rome hatband, and the Florentine agat." The passage, from The New Inn suggests that the image of an agate may have been presented to Falstaff's fancy by the previous allusion to the page as "fitter to be worn in my cap," etc.
16. inset] set, as a jewel, in gold or silver. New Eng. Dict. cites one other example of "inset (from the seventeenth century). For the image suggested, cf. Dekker, Satiro-mastix (Pearson, i. 245): “Ide weare thee as à lewell set in golde."
17. vile] mean.
18. jewel] scil. a brooch; with a play on the figurative use of the word, as in Merry Wives, 111. iii. 45: heavenly jewel," where Falstaff is addressing Mrs. Ford, and, ironically, in The London Chanticleers, xi: “I am a pretty jewel to run away with her cabinet."
18. a jewel,-the juvenal] An indifferent pun, for which cf. J. Shirley, The Gentleman of Venice, III. iv: "are you the Jew, where be the jewels? Juvenal, youth, used jocularly as in
whose chin is not yet fledge.
I will sooner have a
beard grow in the palm of my hand than he shall get 20
21. on] off Q. 21. and] 23. at] as Ff 2-4.
19. fledge] fledg'd, Ff; fledged Cambridge.] &Q; om. Ff. 22. God] Heauen Ff. 23. 'tis] it is Ff.
25. he'll] he will Ff. 27. he's] he is Ff. 28. Master Dumbleton] M. Dombledon Ff; master Dommelton Q. 29. my slops] slops Ff.
Love's Labour's Lost, 1. ii. 8, and
19. fledge] fledged, covered with down. For fledge, cf. Jonson, A Tale of a Tub, Iv. iv: "you'll be flown Ere I be fledge," and T. Nabbes, The Bride, II. vi. O.E. unfligge, unfledged.
19-21. I will... cheek] For this gibe at the Prince's beardless youth, cf. Basilisco's description of Erastus, in Kyd, Soliman and Perseda, 1. iii: "a child Whose chin beares no impression of manhood, Not an hayre, not an excrement." Also Jonson, The Silent Woman, II. i, and Middleton, A Trick to Catch the Old One, 1. i: "a chin not worth a hair." "He that hath no beard is less than a man," says Beatrice in Much Ado, II. i. 39, 40. For "on" Collier conjectured of (Q off).
21. stick] hesitate, scruple. Munday and Chettle, Death of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, II. ii: They will not stick to swear," and Jonson, Sejanus, II. ii.
22. face-royal] Cf. Beaumont and Fletcher, A King and No King, 1. i: "if you had... reach'd him on the ear, you had made the blood-royal run about his head."
23. 'tis not a hair amiss] See Lodge and Greene, A Looking Glasse for London and England, 11. i, where Remilia, in praise of her own beauty, says: "Looke, Aluida, a haire stands not amisse." Remilia had just before asked: "My haires, surpasse they not
Apollos locks? Are not my Tresses curled with such art As loue delights to hide him in their faire ? " As the Prince had no hair on his face, not a hair on it was out of order.
23, 24. at a face-royal] A quibble on the senses "as a royal face," and "at the value of the king's face (cf. Love's Labour's Lost, v. ii. 614) on a royal," or rose-noble, a gold coin worth about ten shillings. As the Prince's beardless face would not cost him sixpence at a barber's, it would continue to be a faceroyal, being still worth ten shillings.
25. writ man] described himself, in legal instruments, etc., as being of full age. The heir, Pennyboy jun., in Jonson, The Staple of News, 1. i, refers to his twenty-first birthday as-" the day I do write man.' Cf. Middleton and Rowley, The Changeling, III. iv; and H. Shirley, The Martyr'd Souldier, Iv. ii: [he] may write Esquire if he list at the bottome of the paper."
27. grace mine] With a quibble on the use of "grace" in the title "your grace," and the sense "favour." Falstaff perpetrates a similar pun in 1 Henry IV. 1. ii. 17, 18.
28. Dumbleton] Malone's emendation, after a conjecture by Steevens. There is a Dumbleton Hill-a pleasant landmark, with which Shakespeare was, no doubt, familiar-on the road between Evesham and Tewkesbury. Steevens also suggested Double-done, and Mason Double-down.
29. short cloak] A short cloak scarcely reaching to the waist. Of the longer
Page. He said, sir, you should procure him better assurance than Bardolph: he would not take his band and yours; he liked not the security.
Fal. Let him be damned, like the glutton! pray God his
30. Page.] Boy Q (throughout scene). 31. band] bond Ff. sir John Q (passim).
33. Fal.] 33. pray God] may Ff. 34. Achitophel] Architophel 34, 35. rascally yea-forsooth knave !] Rascally-yea-forsooth-knaue, Ff; rascall: yea forsooth knaue, Q.
cloaks, some reached to the knee, and others trailed on the ground, "resembling gowns rather than cloaks" (Planché, British Costumes, p. 293).
29. slops] wide breeches, of the kind still worn by Dutch peasants. Fairholt (Costume in England, ii. 371) remarks that slops are mentioned by Chaucer, and that they were again introduced into England in the reign of Elizabeth. Planché (British Costumes, p. 288) says that these "large breeches or sloppes "became an "important and splendid part of apparel." Cf. Jonson, Alchemist, III. ii: "six great slops, Bigger than three Dutch hoys."
31. band] bond, as in 1 Henry IV. III. ii. 157 (see note), and Wilkins, Miseries of Enforced Marriage, 11: "draw him into bands for money." 32. liked... security] Cf. "I like your securities," in an ironic sense, in Jonson, The Magnetic Lady, Induction. 33. like the glutton] An allusion to the parable of a "certain rich man" (Dives) and Lazarus in S. Luke, xvi. 19-25. The parable was the subject of a ballad of Dives [Diverus] and Lazarus (Child, English Ballads, ii). See Fletcher, Monsieur Thomas, 1. iii, and The History of the tryall of Cheualry: "Dives burning in Sulphur," Donald Lupton (London and the Countrey carbonadoed, 1632) writes that in Alehouses" you shall see the history of Iudeth, Susanna, or Dives & Lazarus painted vpon the Wall." Cf. also 1 Henry IV. IV. ii. 25-27.
34. A... Achitophel] The similitude is, perhaps, elucidated by The tryall of Cheualry, 11. i: "a whorsô Architophel, a parasite, a rogue," an echo, probably, of the text. Of Achitophel we read in 2 Samuel, xvi. 23, that "the counsel... which he counselled
... was as if a man inquired at the oracle of God." And David said (2 Samuel, xv. 31): "O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahitophel into foolishness." Dryden, in Absalom and Achitophel, describes him as "the false Achitophel." Perhaps the allusion was suggested by Peele's presentment of the character of Achitophel in David and Bethsabe, where, for instance, Achitophel apostrophizes earth: "Ope, earth, and take thy miserable son Into the bowels of thy cursed womb: Once
thou didst spew him forth; Now for fell hunger suck him in again, And be his body poison to thy veins."
35. yea-forsooth] An allusion to the harmless expletives, like "yea" and "forsooth," used in place of oaths by the tradespeople in the city, who were generally Puritans. Cf. Cynthia's Revels, v. ii: "Citizen's Wife. Ay indeed, forsooth, madam, if 'twere in the city we would think foul scorn but we would, forsooth," and T. Heywood, If You Know Not Me, etc. (Pearson, i. 272): "He that with yea and nay makes all his sayings, Yet proues a Judas in his dealings." The Puritans received literally the scriptural injunction, "swear not but let your yea, be yea, and your nay, nay (James, Epistle, v. 12). Cf. 1 Henry ÏV. 111. i. 249-251, and note; Fletcher, Monsieur Thomas, 11. iii; and The Chances, II. iii.
35. bear... in hand] delude with false hopes, as in Jonson, The Fox, 1. i: "still bearing them in hand, Letting the cherry knock against their lips, And draw it by their mouths, and back again." Cf. Hamlet, 11. ii. 67; and Barry, Ram-Alley, II. i: "Yet will I bear some dozen more in hand, And make them all my gulls."
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 through with them in honest taking up, then they must stand upon security. I had as lieve they would put ratsbane in my mouth as offer to stop it with security. I looked a' should have sent me two and twenty yards of satin, as I am a true knight, and he sends me security. Well, he may sleep in security; for he hath the horn of 36. smooth-] smoothy- Q. 40. lieve] liue Q; lief Ff, Cambridge. a Q; hee (or he) Ff. 43. a true] true Ƒf.
36. stand upon] insist upon, demand, as in Jonson, The Devil is an Ass, III. i: "Ever the harpy now stands on a hundred pieces. Meer. Why, he must have them, if he will."
36. smooth-pates] An allusion to the short hair of city tradesmen. Men of fashion wore long hair; see Middleton, More Dissemblers Besides Women, I. iv: "I know many young gentlemen wear longer hair than their mistresses.' Long hair was anathema to the Puritans. Busy, the Puritan, in Jonson, Bartholomew Fair, III. denounces long hair as "an ensign of pride, a banner.' In J. Cooke, How a Man May Choose, etc., III. iii, a gentleman says of a Puritan lady: "ever somewhat did offend her sight, Either my double ruff or my long hair." Treatises were written in defence of short hair, or against the wearing of the hair long (cf. Captain Underwit, 11. i). Hentzner (Travels in England, 1598 [Rye]) remarked that the English "cut their hair close, on the middle of the head, letting it grow on either side." Harrison writes (Description of England): "our heads... sometimes are polled, sometimes curled, or suffered to grow at length, like a woman's locks, many times cut off, above or under the ears, round as by a wooden dish."
37. high_shoes] J. Hall, Virgidemiarum, IV. vi (1597), satirizes the effeminacy of the dandies who "tread on corked stilts a prisoner's pace"; Fairholt (Costume in England, i. 258) annotates "corked stilts as a kind of high shoe, called a moyle," citing J. Higgins, Junius' Nomenclator (1585): "Mulleus, a shooe with a high sole... now common among nice fellowes, a
moyle." See P. Stubbes, Anatomie of Abuses, 1595 (p. 31): "they haue Corked shoes .. which beare them vp two inches or more from the ground, whereof some be of white leather .. razed, carued, cut, and stitched a'l ouer with silk, and laid on with gold, siluer, and such like... to goe abroad in them as they are now used altogether, is rather a let... to a man than otherwise."
38. is through with] has arranged matters, come to an agreement, with. See New Eng. Dict., and Lonsdale Gloss. (1869): "To be through with any one, to complete a bargain with him."
39. taking up] obtaining money or goods on credit. Cf. Dekker and Webster, Northward Hoe, 11. i: "you shall upon your word take up so much with me: another time I'll run as far in your books " R. Edwards, Damon and Pithias (Haz. Dods., iv. 76), and Marston, What You Will, 1. i.
44. security] (a false) sense of security; cf. Richard II. III. ii. 34.
44-45. horn of abundance] The cornucopia is here identified with the cuckold's horn, as in Middleton, The Family of Love, II. i: "good doings in that that crowns so many citizens with the horns of abundance," and ib. v. i:
you ha' the horn of plenty for me, which you would derive unto me from the liberality of your bawdies." For the " cornucopia (the horn of the nymph Amalthea, set among the stars as the emblem of fruitfulness plenty), see Ovid, Metamorphoses, ix. 87. 88; Greene, Tritameron, Part II. (Grosart, iii. 133); and Ford and Dekker, The Sun's Darling, iv: