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FAL. Thou dost give me flattering busses.

DOL. Nay, truly; I kiss thee with a most constant heart.

FAL. I am old, I am old.

DOL. I love thee better than I love e'er a scurvy young boy of them all.


FAL. What stuff wilt have a kirtle of? I shall

secrets; and so also was Dame Quickly. I have therefore not the least suspicion of any corruption in the text. Lisping is, in our author's dialect, making love, or, in modern language, saying soft things. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Falstaff apologises to Mrs. Ford for his concise address to her, by saying, " "I cannot cog, and say this and that, like a many of these lisping hawthorn-buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and smell like Buckler's-bury in simple-time; I cannot; but I love thee;" &c. MALone.


a kirtle of?] I know not exactly what a kirtle is. The following passages may serve to show that it was something different from a gown: "How unkindly she takes the matter, and cannot be reconciled with less than a gown or a kirtle of silk." Greene's Art of Legerdemain, &c. 1612. Again, in one of Stanyhurst's poems, 1582:

"This gowne your lovemate, that kirtle costlye she craveth."

Bale, in his Actes of English Votaries, says, that Roger earl of Shrewsbury sent "to Clunyake in France, for the kyrtle of holy Hugh the abbot." Perhaps kirtle, in its common acceptation, means a petticoat. "Half a dozen taffata gowns or sattin kirtles." Cynthia's Revels, by Ben Jonson.

Stubbes mentions kirtles, but is not precise in his description of them. Dr. Farmer supposes them to be the same as safe-guards

or riding-hoods.

In A lytell Treatyse for to lerne Englysshe and Frensshe, emprynted at Westminster, by Wynken de Worde, we find " kyrtell" explained by the word "ung corset." STEevens.


A kirtle, I believe, meant a long cloak. Minsheu describes it as an upper or exterior garment, worn over another; what in French is called a garde-robe. See his Dict. 1617. The latter word is explained by Cotgrave thus: "A cloth or cloak worn or cast over a garment to keep it from dust, rain," &c. That writer, however, supposes kirtle and petticoat to be synony

receive money on Thursday: thou shalt have a cap to-morrow. A merry song, come: it grows late, we'll to bed. Thou'lt forget me, when I am gone.

mous; for he renders the word vasquine thus: "A kirtle or petticoat;" and surcot he calls " an upper kirtle, or a garment worn over a kirtle."

When, therefore, a kirtle is mentioned simply, perhaps a petticoat is meant; when an upper kirtle is spoken of, a long cloak or mantle is probably intended; and I imagine a halfkirtle, which occurs in a subsequent scene in this play, meant a short cloak, half the length of the upper kirtle. The term half-kirtle seems inconsistent with Dr. Farmer's idea; as does Milton's use of the word in his Masque," the flowery-kirtled Naiades."

Stubbes, in his Anatomie of Abuses, 1595, describes a kirtle as distinct from both a gown and a petticoat. After having described the gowns usually worn at that time, he proceeds thus: "-then have thei petticots of the best clothe, of scarlette, grograine, taffatie, or silke, &c. But of whatsoever their petticoats be, yet must they have kirtles, (for so they call them,) either of silke, velvet, grograine, taffatie, satten or scarlet, bordered with gardes, lace," &c. I suppose he means a mantle or long cloak.

So also, in The First Part of the Contention of the Two Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, 1600: "Marry, he that will lustily stand to it, shall go with me, and take up these commodities following: item, a gown, a kirtle, a petticoat, and a smock."


My interpretation of kirtle is confirmed by Barret's Alvearie, 1580, who renders kirtle, by subminia, cyclas, palla, pallula, Xhaiva, surcot.-Subminia Cole interprets in his Latin Dictionary, 1697, "A kirtle, a light red coat." Cyclas, " a kirtle, a cimarr."-Palla, 66 a woman's long gown; a veil that covers the head."-Pallula, " a short kirtle."-Læna, Irish rugge, a freeze cassock, a rough hairy gaberdine." From hence it appears, that a woman's kirtle, or rather upper-kirtle, (as distinguished from a petticoat, which was sometimes called a kirtle,) was a long mantle which reached to the ground, with a head to it that entirely covered the face; and it was, perhaps, usually red. A half-kirtle was a similar garment, reaching only somewhat lower than the waist. See Florio's Italian Dict. 1598: "Semicinto. A garment coming lower than the belly; also half-girt, as we may say a halfkirtle." MALONE.

DOL. By my troth thou❜lt set me a weeping, an thou sayest so: prove that ever I dress myself handsome till thy return.Well, hearken the end. FAL. Some sack, Francis.

P. HEN. POINS. Anon, anon, sir." [Advancing. FAL. Ha! a bastard son of the king's?5-And art not thou Poins his brother? 6

P. HEN. Why, thou globe of sinful continents, what a life dost thou lead?

FAL. A better than thou; I am a gentleman, thou art a drawer.

P. HEN. Very true, sir; and I come to draw you out by the ears.

HOST. O, the Lord preserve thy good grace! by my troth, welcome to London.-Now the Lord bless that sweet face of thine! O Jesu, are you come from Wales?

FAL. Thou whoreson mad compound of majesty, -by this light flesh and corrupt blood, thou art welcome. [Leaning his hand upon DOLL.

DOL. How! you fat fool, I scorn you.

POINS. My lord, he will drive you out of your revenge, and turn all to a merriment, if you take not the heat."

Anon, anon, sir.] The usual answer of drawers at this period. So, in The Discoverie of the Knights of the Poste, 1597: "wherefore hee calling, the drawer presently answered with a shrill voyce, anon, anon, sir." REED.

5 Ha! a bastard &c.] The improbability of this scene is scarcely balanced by the humour. JOHNSON.


Poins his brother?] i. e. Poins's brother, or brother to Poins; a vulgar corruption of the genitive case. RITSON.


-if you take not the heat.] Alluding, I suppose, to the proverb," Strike while the iron is hot." So again, in King Lear: "We must do something, and i'the heat." STEEVENS.

P. HEN. You whoreson candle-mine, you, how vilely did you speak of me even now, before this honest, virtuous, civil gentlewoman?

HOST. 'Blessing o' your good heart! and so she is, by my troth.

FAL. Didst thou hear me?

P. HEN. Yes; and you knew me, as you did when you ran away by Gads-hill: you knew, I was at your back; and spoke it on purpose, to try my patience.

FAL. No, no, no; not so; I did not think, thou wast within hearing.

P. HEN. I shall drive you then to confess the wilful abuse; and then I know how to handle you.

FAL. No abuse, Hal, on mine honour; no abuse.

P. HEN. Not! to dispraise me; and call mepantler, and bread-chipper, and I know not what? FAL. No abuse, Hal.

POINS. No abuse!

FAL. No abuse, Ned, in the world; honest Ned, none. I dispraised him before the wicked, that the wicked might not fall in love with him :-in which doing, I have done the part of a careful friend, and a true subject, and thy father is to give me thanks

candle-mine,] Thou inexhaustible magazine of tallow.


9 Not! to dispraise me;] The Prince means to say, "What! is it not abuse to dispraise me," &c. Some of the modern editors read-No! &c. but, I think, without necessity. So, in Coriolanus:

"Com. He'll never hear him.

"Sic. Not?"

There also Not has been rejected by the modern editors, and No inserted in its place. MALOne.

for it. No abuse, Hal;-none, Ned, none;-no, boys, none.

P. HEN. See now, whether pure fear, and entire cowardice, doth not make thee wrong this virtuous gentlewoman to close with us? Is she of the wicked? Is thine hostess here of the wicked? Or is the boy of the wicked? Or honest Bardolph, whose zeal burns in his nose, of the wicked?

POINS. Answer, thou dead elm, answer.

FAL. The fiend hath pricked down Bardolph irrecoverable; and his face is Lucifer's privykitchen, where he doth nothing but roast maltworms. For the boy, there is a good angel about him; but the devil outbids him too.1

P. HEN. For the women,

FAL. For one of them,-she is in hell already, and burns, poor soul !2 For the other, I owe her money; and whether she be damned for that, I know not.

HOST. No, I warrant you.

FAL. No, I think thou art not; I think, thou art quit for that: Marry, there is another indictment upon thee, for suffering flesh to be eaten in thy house, contrary to the law; for the which, I think, thou wilt howl.



outbids him too.] Thus the folio. The quarto readsblinds him too; and perhaps it is right. MALONE.


and burns, poor soul!] This is Sir T. Hanmer's reading. Undoubtedly right. The other editions had-she is in hell already, and burns poor souls. The venereal disease was called, in those times, the brennynge, or burning. JOHNSON.


-for suffering flesh to be eaten &c.] By several statutes made in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. for the regulation and observance of fish-days, victuallers were expressly forbidden to utter flesh in Lent, and to these Falstaff alludes. I conceive

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