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Fang. Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.
Host. Yea, good Master Snare; I have entered him and

Snare. It may chance cost some of us our lives, for he
will stab.


Host. Alas the day! take heed of him; he stabbed me in
mine own house, and that most beastly: in good
faith, he cares not what mischief he does, if his 15
weapon be out: he will foin like any devil; he will
spare neither man, woman, nor child.

Fang. If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.
Host. No, nor I neither: I'll be at your elbow.

Fang. An I but fist him once;


9. Yea] I Ff. II. for] om. Ff. most beastly in good faith, Q; and a cares Q. 15. does] doth Ff. 20. an a'] Malone; and a Q; if he Ff. view. Q.

an a' come but within my 20

14, 15. and that . . . faith,] Steevens; that most beastly: Ff. 15. he cares] 20. An I] Capell; And IQ; If I Ff.

II, 12. Snare. It . . stab] Sergeants and yeomen seem to have dreaded an encounter with gallants wearing arms; they were sometimes bastinadoed, too, by the offenders whom they were feed to apprehend. See The Puritan, III. iv. And cf. ib.: "Raven. The best is, Sariant, if he be a true Scholler, he weares no weapon, I thinke. Puttock. No, no, he weares no weapon. Raven. Masse, I am right glad of that: 'tas put me in better heart."

II. chance] possibly. For the adverbial use of the verb "chance," cf. Troilus and Cressida, 1. i. 28.

14. most beastly] So in Fletcher, Monsieur Thomas, v. ii: "I am abus'd most damnably, most beastly." Malone read most beastly in good faith.

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15, 17. he cares not .. child] Cf. Everie Woman in her Humor, Iv. i: "Cittie wife. . . . faith you courtiers are mad fellowes, you care not in your humors to stab man or woman that standes in your way, but in the end your kindenes appeares."

15, 16. if...out] Cf. Beaumont and Fletcher, The Scornful Lady, III. i: "their things are out... Jesus they foin at one another."

16. foin] thrust with a sword. Craig quotes Huloet: "Foyne or to give a foyne: punctum dare." Cf. Merry

21. vice,-] vice;- Capell; vice. Ff;

Wives, 11. iii. 24, and Much Ado, v. i. 84. Also T. Heywood, The WiseWoman of Hogsdon, IV. i: "I had my wards, and foynes.' O.F. foine, an eel-spear; L. fuscina, a trident.

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17. spare... child] Cf. Massinger and Field, The Fatal Dowry, iv. i: "this soldier beats man, woman, and child." "Man, woman, or child" was legal common form; see Sir T. Smith, De Rep. Angl. ii. 21: "if anie man, woman, or child, be violently slain," and again, "whosoeuer he be, man, woman, or childe."

18. close] A metaphor from fencing. G. Silver, Bref Instructions (Matthey, p. 97): "yf he will cloze wt you, then yo may take the grype of him safly at his comynge in "; and ib. p. 101: "The mannr of certaine gryps and Clozes to be used at ye single short sword fyght," etc.

20. An... once] Cf. The Puritan, III. iv: "Ravenshaw [an Officer]. Nay, if I clutch him once, let me alone to drag him, if he be stiff-necked."

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Host. I am undone by his going; I warrant you, he's an
infinitive thing upon my score.
Good Master Fang,

hold him sure: good Master Snare, let him not
scape. A' comes continuantly to Pie-corner-saving 25
your manhoods-to buy a saddle; and he is indited
to dinner to the Lubber's-head in Lumbert street, to

22. by] with Ff. 22. you] om. Ff. he Ff. 25. continuantly] continually Q. bars Ff. 27. Lumbert] Lombard Ff.

22. going] i.e. going off without paying what he owes.


23. infinitive]" infinite," "endless." 25. continuantly] Mrs. Quickly means, I think, "incontinently," immediately. Middleton and Dekker, The Roaring Girl, Iv. ii: "Goshawk comes hither incontinently"; Middleton, Blunt, Master-Constable, II. ii: "most incontinently," i.e. immediately. New Eng. Dict. explains "continuantly" as a perversion of "continuately,' stantly, but there is no apparent reason why Falstaff should "come constantly" to Pie-corner in order to buy a saddle; the point is that he is, to the knowledge of Mrs. Quickly, on his way to Piecorner, and may therefore be expected to come upon the scene immediately. The situation of Pie-corner is indicated in Stow's Survay of London (ed. 1598, p. 304): "Then Cocke Lane out of Smithfield, ouer against Pye Corner."

25, 26. saving your manhoods] without offence to your manhood, a conventional apology, apparently, for mentioning an unpleasant subject, especially where a woman is the speaker. Cf. Lodge and Greene A Looking Glasse for London and England, 1. iii: "Marry, sir, sirreuerence of your manhood," where the speaker is apologising for an indelicate reference to a woman. Elsewhere in Shakespeare the expression is only used by Fluellen (Henry V. IV. viii. 34). The allusion in the text is to the native offensiveness of Pie-corner to refined noses and ears. See Massinger, The City Madam, 1. i: "Fie on them! they smell of Fleet-lane and Pie-corner,' and The London Chanticleers, xi: "If thou art taken with 'um [ballads], thou may'st be condemned to make as many wry mouths as the squealing owner

22. he's] he is Ff. 25. A'] a Q; 27. Lubber's] Lubbers Q; Lub

did, when he last strained and vomited 'um out at Smithfield or Pye Corner." Also T. Randolph, An Answer to Ben Jonson's Ode: "let 'em them [dainties] refuse, For some Pye-Corner Muse." Pie-corner reeked with odours from the cooks' stalls there; see Jonson, The Alchemist, 1. i: "at Pie-corner, Taking your meals of steam in, from cooks' stalls," and Bartholomew Fair, 1. i; Field, Amends for Ladies, III. iv. etc. Stow says that Pie-corner was called of such a signe, sometimes a fayre Inne for receipte of Trauellers, but now deuided into Tenements" (Svrvay of London, ed. 1598, p. 305).

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26. buy a saddle] A reference is made in Jonson, Bartholomew Fair, I. i, to "the coach-makers. . . in Smithfield."


26. indited] Mrs. Quickly's perversion of " "invited." Ff 3, 4 read invited; but cf. Sir Gyles Goosecap, 1. ii: “Goos. [a foolish knight] . . . "ile indite your La. to supper one of these mornings," and Dekker, Satiro-mastix (Pearson, i. 223): "Sir Vaughan [a Welshman]. I indite you all together."

27. Lubber's-head] Mrs. Quickly's blunder for "Libbard's-head." The sign was appropriate to a silkman's establishment. Sherwood: "A Libbards head (on the knees or elbowes of old fashioned garments)"; cf. Love's Labour's Lost, v. ii. 549. Libbard (cf. Mayne, City Match, Iv. v) is an old form of "leopard."

27. Lumbert street] Lombard street. Stow (Svrvay, ed. 1598, p. 156) says that Lombard street was "so called of the Longobards, and other merchantes

assembling there twise euery day, which manner continued vntill... the yeare 1568."


Master Smooth's the silkman: I pray ye, since my
exion is entered and my case so openly known to
the world, let him be brought in to his answer. A
hundred mark is a long one for a poor lone woman
to bear and I have borne, and borne, and borne;
and have been fubbed off, and fubbed off, and fubbed
off, from this day to that day, that it is a shame to
be thought on. There is no honesty in such dealing; 35
unless a woman should be made an ass and a beast,
to bear every knave's wrong.
Yonder he comes;
and that arrant malmsey-nose knave, Bardolph, with
him. Do your offices, do your offices: Master Fang
and Master Snare, do me, do me, do me your offices. 40

29. exion] action Ff 3, 4. 31. hundred 100, Ff.

33, 34. and fubbed.


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off] and fubbed off Ff.


28. Smooth] A name suggested by "smooth " plausible, oily"; cf. 2 Henry VI. III. i. 65, and Timon of Athens, III. vi. 105. Fletcher, The Faithful Shepherdess, 1. iii: "smooth tongue." So to "smooth," to be smooth and plausible in speech, as in P. Stubbes, Anatomie of Abuses: "to flatter and smooth."

30. brought in] sc. into court. The expression "bring in" is used of introducing an action in a court of law.

30. to his answer] to answer the matter, to clear himself; cf. 2 Henry VI. II. i. 203: "Call these offenders to their answers."


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30, 31. A hundred . . . one] A hundred marks is "a long mark, i.e. a long score or reckoning " (Douce and Craig). For " Theobald read Lone (= loan), Collier (ed. 2) score (Collier MS.), and Grant White ow'n (=owin', owing); Jackson conjectured owe, and Nicholson oni or ony or onè. Theobald's Lone supplies a pun (with "lone" in "lone woman"), but it has been objected to it that the debt was not wholly for money lent. As " one was pronounced like "own" (see Jonson, Catiline, I. i), perhaps a pun may be intended on "one" and "ow'n," owin' or "money owing." Mrs. Quickly may, too, be thinking of the expression "my own," " your own," as in Pearson's Heywood, i. 329: "you shall haue your own [money] with advant

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33. been] bin Q, Ff.

age." For
"mark" (= marks), cf.
Middleton, Anything for a Quiet Life,
v. ii: "five mark." The mark was a
money of account of the value of 138.
4d.; it was in legal use, in stating the
amount of a fine, as late as 1770.

31. lone woman] widow, as in Middleton, Michaelmas Term, 1. i: "Poor Walter Gruel . . . has laid his life, and left me a lone woman; I have not one husband in all the world," and Jonson, The Alchemist, 1. i.

32. borne.. and borne] Cf. Field, Amends for Ladies, 1. i: "A woman may bear and bear, till her back burst,' and Chapman, Monsieur D'Olive, v. i: "bid me not forbear! A woman may bear and bear, and be never the better thought on."

33. fubbed off] fobbed off, put off with false promises or excuses. Fletcher, The Chances, III. v: "never fool Was so fubb'd off as I am," and Massinger, The Unnatural Combat, 111. i.

38. malmsey-nose] See T. Heywood, The Fair Maid of the West, Part I. III. i: "by your nose sir you should loue a cup of malmsey." Onions quotes Dict. of Canting Crew (c. 1700): 'Malmesey,' a jolly, red nose.' Malmsey was a strong sweet wine, for which see Love's Labour's Lost, v. ii. 234.

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39. your offices] your duty; cf. Twelfth Night, . iv. 363: “First Off.... do thy office. Sec. Off. Antonio, I arrest thee at the suit of Count Orsino."


Fal. How now! whose mare's dead? what's the matter?
Fang. Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of Mistress


Fal. Away, varlets! Draw, Bardolph: cut me off the villain's head: throw the quean in the channel. Host. Throw me in the channel! I'll throw thee in the channel. Wilt thou? wilt thou? thou bastardly rogue! Murder, murder! Ah, thou honey-suckle villain wilt thou kill God's officers and the king's? Ah, thou honey-seed rogue! thou art a honey-seed, 50 a man-queller, and a woman-queller.

41. Enter...] Enter sir Iohn, and Bardolfe, and the boy. Q; Enter Falstaffe and Bardolfe. Ff (after wrong, in line 37). 42. Sir John] om. Q. Mistress Quickly.] mistris, quickly. Q; mistris Quickly. Q (Steev.). thee in the channel] thee there Ff. O Ff.

41. whose mare's dead ?] what's the matter, what 's all the hubbub about? A proverbial saying referring to some now forgotten tale or anecdote. It is found in Bankes' Bay-horse in a Trance, 1595 (Percy Soc. ed. p. 5): "Holla, Marocco, whose mare is dead that you are thus melancholy?" and Brome, The Love-sick Court, IV. i: "How now! whose mare's dead, Garrula? Take thy bottle And turn that into tears." Cf. the saying, "The man shall have his mare again," i.e. all will come right in the end, as in MidsummerNight's Dream, 111. ii. 463, and Fletcher, The Chances, III. iv. See also A Warning for Faire Women, Induction (1599). An analogous expression,

"whose cow has calved?" what's the matter, what's the excitement about? occurs in Jonson, Every Man in his Humour, Iv. i: "Dow.... this is no tavern to vent your exploits in. Wel. How now; whose COW has calved?"

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42, 43. arrest you... Quickly] So in Lyly, Mother Bombie, IV. ii: "Hee arests you at my suite," and in J. Cooke, Greene's Tu Quoque (Haz. Dods., xi. 244).

44. varlets] sergeants and their yeomen. Jonson, Every Man in his Humour, IV. ix: "one o' the varlets o' the city, a serjeant." Also H. Shirley, The Martyr'd Souldier, v. i: "I was

48. Ah,] a Q; O Ff.

42, 43. 46, 47. 50. Ah,] a Q;

first a Varlet, then a Bum-baily, now an under Jailor."

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45. quean] shrew, scold. So in A Yorkshire Tragedy, I. v: "you prating, sturdy quean? I'll break your clamour with your neck," and Nice Wanton (Haz. Dods., ii. 179): curst a quean, She would out-scold the devil's dame." Also Jonson, Every Man in his Humour, v. i: "A bitter quean."

45. channel] kennel, gutter. Jonson, Every Man out of his Humour, v. iv: "the basest filth, or mud that runs in the channel," and S. Rowley, The Noble Souldier, Iv. ii.

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Host. Good people, bring a rescue or two.

Thou wot,

wot thou? thou wot, wot ta? do, do, thou rogue! do, 55 thou hemp-seed!

Page. Away, you scullion! you rampallian! you fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

53. Fang] Offic. Q.


54. rescue or two.] reskew or two. Q; rescu (or rescue.) Ff. 54, 55. Thou wot wot ta?] Cambridge (wo 't); thou not, wot thou, thou wot, wot ta, Q; Thou wilt not? thou wilt not? Ff 57. Page.] Pag. F 2; Boy Q; Fal. Ff 3, 4; Cambridge. 58. fustilarian] fustillirian (or fustilirian) Ff. 58. tickle] tucke (or tuck) Ff.

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mother," and Speed's History of Great
Britaine (1611), p. 300.
Quell," to
slay, occurs in Midsummer-Night's
Dream, v. i. 294, and "quell," murder,
in Macbeth, 1. vii. 72. A.S. cwellan,
to kill.
"Man-killer" occurs in Brome,
The Sparagus Garden, Iv. iv, and A
Jovial Crew, 1. i: "a man-killer, and
hang'd for 't."

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53. A rescue !] "To make a rescue was the technical term for the forcible taking of a person out of legal custody (cf. Comedy of Errors, Iv. iv. 113). "Rescue was the word of call to sympathisers to assist in resisting an arrest. The cry must frequently have been heard in streets and taverns. Cf., e.g. Barry, Ram-Alley, III. i: "Officer. I arrest you, sir. W. Small. Rescue, Rescue! Fang's exclamation "A rescue!" seems to refer to Bardolph's intervention, if, indeed, Fang in his fright is not himself calling upon all within hearing to come to the rescue of Falstaff or of the officers themselves. Mrs. Quickly apparently takes Fang's cry to be a call for help, which she repeats in the familiar phrase "bring a rescue. This should mean, "bring friends to the rescue of the man about to be arrested," as e.g. in Barry, RamAlley, III. i: "do you bring A rescue, goodman knight?" It is almost inconceivable that Mrs. Quickly, with her experience of the life of the tavern, could misapply a phrase so familiar as "bring a rescue "unless on the hypothesis that she is so excited that she does not know what she is saying. The hypothesis is supported by the absurdity of the addition "or two," which is omitted in Ff.

Ball, iv. i: "thou wo't stop a breach." Cf. "wut," wilt, in Middleton, Blurt, Master-Constable, II. iii, and Dekker and Webster, Westward Hoe, II. ii: "wut thou"; "woot," wilt, in Hamlet, v. i. 297; and "wo'," will, in Chapman and Shirley, Chabot, Admiral of France, I. ii: "I wo' not.'

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56. hemp-seed]"gallows-bird." The allusion is to the material of the hangman's rope. Cf. Dekker, The Honest Whore, Part II. (Pearson, ii. 171): "why should I eate hempe-seed at the Hangmans thirteene-pence halfe-penny Ordinary, and haue this whore laugh at me as I swing?" and 2 Henry VI. iv. vii. 94.

57. scullion] A general term of abuse, as in The Birth of Merlin, 11. i: "Witch, scullion, hag!"

57. rampallian] ruffian; a term of reproach usually applied to men, and rarely used in reference to women. Cf. Davenport, A New Tricke to Cheat the Divell, 1. ii: "Yes, so there be no whores in Company, But rather than feast where they shall domineere, And bold Rampalian like, sweare and drinke drunke, Ile feede on Cheese, and Onions." For other examples see Nashe, Four Letters Confuted (Grosart, ii. 253); G. Harvey, Pierce's Supererogation (Grosart, ii. 229); and J. Cooke, Greene's Tu Quoque (Haz. Dods., xi. 197).

58. fustilarian] A factitious word, perhaps to be connected with (1) L. fustis, a cudgel (Steevens), with an allusion to the cudgel of the beadle; or (2) "fustian (Schmidt); or (3) "fusty" (Malone and Nares). fusty' frowzy, cf. Mucedorus 54. wot] wilt, as in J. Shirley, The (Haz. Dods., vii. 234): "I'll face her



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