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Davy. Your worship! I'll be with you straight. [To Bardolph] A cup of wine, sir?


A cup of wine that's brisk and fine, [Singing.
And drink unto the leman mine;


And a merry heart lives long-a.

Fal. Well said, Master Silence.

Sil. An we shall be merry, now comes in the sweet o' the night.

Fal. Health and long life to you, Master Silence.


Fill the cup, and let it come;

I'll pledge you a mile to the bottom.

49. An.



44. To Bard.] Capell. 45-47. A cup. . . long-a.] first as verse by Rowe; as prose Q, Ff. merry,] Capell; And... merry, Q; If . . merry, Ff; And ... merry; Malone. 49. o' the] a' thQ; of the Ff. 52, 53. Fill... bottom.] as verse first by Capell; prose Q, Ff. 52. Singing.] Capell. 53. you a mile] you, were 't a mile Ff 3, 4.

45. brisk] "agreeably sharp to the taste," as opposed to "flat" or "stale." Greene, James the Fourth, 11. i: "a cup of neate and briske claret," and R. Davenport, A New Tricke to Cheat the Divell, I. i: “A cup of Nipsitate, briske and neate."

45. fine] clear. Jonson, Rules Tavern V: "Let our wines without mixture or stum be all fine."

46. the leman mine] For the use of the definite article with a possessive adjective, cf. Icel. unnustan mín, barnið mitt. The idiom is also usual in Norwegian and Swedish dialects. Leman, sweetheart, as in Greene, George a Greene, v. i: "George. I haue a louely Lemman, As bright of blee as is the siluer moone. Usually "leman " signified paramour. A.S. leōf, dear; mann, a man or woman.

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47. a... long-a] So in Beaumont and Fletcher, Knight of Burning Pestle, 1. iv: "he sings, and cries, 'A merry heart lives long-a '." Cf. The Weakest Goeth to the Wall, 1. ii: "Bunch. . . . on to my song, for a merry heart lives long ; and Everie Woman in her Humor, IV. i. A final -a, as in "long-a," is common in Elizabethan songs; it is used to provide an extra syllable at the end of a line, and is probably a relic of the ending -e in M.E. Cf. Winter's Tale, IV. iii. 326, 329 and 332; U. Fulwell, Like Will to Like (Haz. Dods., iii. 327); and The Maydes Metamorphosis:



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48. Well said] bravo! well-done! See note to 1 Henry IV. IV. i. I. 49. An merry,] Malone read And . merry; and suggests that the words that follow, "now night," are part of a song (a suggestion adopted by Rann); cf. Winter's Tale, IV. ii. 3, where Autolycus sings: "Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year."

49. now... ‚ night] Cf. 11. iv. 359 ante. With "the sweet o' the night," cf. "the sweet o' the year" in Winter's Tale, Iv. ii. 3, and "April . . . the sweet o' th' year" in Beaumont and Fletcher, A Wife for a Month, 11. i.

52. let it come] pass on the cup, "drink and pass on." So in 2 Henry VI. 11. iii. 66: "Let it come, i' faith, and I'll pledge you all"; Sir John Oldcastle, . ii: "Har. Fill, sweet Doll, I'll drink to thee. Doll. I pledge you, sir,


And I pray you let it come"; T. Heywood, The Fair Maid of the West (Pearson, ii. 267): Spencer.. Captaine, this health. Goodlack. Let it come"; Massinger, The Great Duke of Florence, Iv. ii.

53. pledge you] accept the love you offer and in pledge thereof drink from the cup. See 2 Henry VI. 11. iii. 67, where Horner's three neighbours drink to him in a cup of sack, a cup of charneco and a pot of good double beer, and Horner replies: "Let it come, i'

Shal. Honest Bardolph, welcome: if thou wantest any thing, and wilt not call, beshrew thy heart. Wel- 55 come, my little tiny thief [to the Page], and welcome indeed too. I'll drink to Master Bardolph, and to all the cavaleros about London.

Davy. I hope to see London once ere I die.

Bard. An I might see you there, Davy,—

Shal. By the mass, you'll crack a quart together, ha! will

you not, Master Bardolph ?

Bard. Yea, sir, in a pottle-pot.

Shal. By God's liggens, I thank thee: the knave will


61. By

56. tiny] tyne Ff. 56. to the Page] Capell. 58. the] om. F 4. 58. cavaleros] cavaleroes Johnson; cabileros Q; Cauileroes Ff. 60. An] Capell; And Q; If Ff. 60. Davy,-] Theobald; Dauy! Q; Dauie. Ff. the mass,] om. Ff. 61. together, ha!] Capell; together, ha Q; together? Ha, Ff. 63. Yea] Yes Ff. 64. By... liggens] om. Ff. faith, and I'll pledge you all "; and Julius Cæsar, IV. iii. 157-161.

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53. a mile... bottom] the whole cupful, were it a mile deep. Many such sayings were current; cf. J. Cooke, Greene's Tu Quoque (Haz. Dods., xi. 197): "I'll pledge whole sea, as they say "; T. Heywood, If You Know not Me, etc., Part II. (Pearson, i. 331): "I will I [pledge thee], were it as deepe as a well"; and Jonson, Every Man in his Humour, v. i: "I pledge master Doctor an 't were a sea to the bottom."

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56. little. thief] An adaptation of the phrase "little tiny page" in the Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard (Percy, Reliques, ed. Wheatley, iii. 68). A stanza from the ballad is quoted in Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas, iv. ii: "If this be true, thou little tyney page," etc. Another stanza is quoted in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, v. iii, and yet another in Bonduca, v. ii. "Tiny" is a north-country word; cf. Jonson, The Sad Shepherd, II. i: "Twa tiny urchins." Shakespeare seems to have taken the word from the ballad for he always couples it with "little," with which it is there associated.

58. cavaleros] gallants, usually in an ironical sense. I. T., Grim the Collier of Croydon, I. i: "Her service to Bellona turn'd stark ruffian! She'll be call'd Cavaliero Marian"; Nashe, Summer's Last Will (Haz. Dods, viii. 77): "he was a cavalier and a good fellow"; The tryall of Cheualry, I. i:

"Cavaliero Bowyer " ["such another swash-buckler lives not in the nyne quarters of the world"]; ib. v. ii: you pick-hatch Cavaliero petticotemonger.' See also Merry Wives, II. i. 201.


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61. crack] empty, drink. The London Chanticleers, v: "Budget... is as good at cracking a pot as any."

63. in a pottle-pot] Bardolph may mean "not one quart, but two quarts"; cf. Jonson, New Inn, IV. ii: "Tip. Come, let us take in fresco, here, one quart. Burst. Two quarts, my man of war, let's not be stinted," and Mayne, The City Match, 111. iii: "Quart. I shall be glad To give thanks for you, sir, in pottle-draughts.' Or the allusion may be to the practice in taverns of serving short measure; cf. Dekker, The Honest Whore, Part II. (Pearson, ii, 179): "How many times hast thou given Gentlemen a quart of wine in a gallon pot?" A gallon of wine was sometimes called for; see e.g. Field, Amends for Ladies, III. iv, where Bots, a roarer, calls for wine: "We'll have but a gallon apiece... Drawer. I beseech you let it be but pottles."

64. By... liggens] No other example of this oath is recorded. "Liggens " is perhaps a corruption of a diminutive "lidkins," from "lid," as in "God's lid" in Troilus and Cressida, 1. ii. 225, and in Middleton, Blurt, MasterConstable, 11. i; cf. "bodikins" from '[God's] body," and numerous oaths by parts of God's body.


stick by thee, I can assure thee that.

out; he is true bred.

Bard. And I'll stick by him, sir.

A' will not 65

Shal. Why, there spoke a king. Lack nothing: be

merry. [Knocking within.] Look who's at door
there, ho! who knocks?

Fal. Why, now you have done me right.


[Exit Davy. 70

[To Silence, seeing him take off a bumper. Do me right,


And dub me knight;


Is 't not so?


65. that. A'] that. He Ff; that a Q. 66. he is] a tis Q. 69. Knocking within.] One knockes at doore. Q (after line 67); om. Ff. 70. there, ho!] there ho, Q; there, ho: Ff. 70. Exit D.] Capell. 71. To... bumper.] Capell. 72. Sil.] Silens Q (passim). Q, Ff. 72. Singing.] Rowe.

75. Is't so ?] Ist so, Q; Is't? Ff 2-4.

65, 66 A'... not out] he will not fail or disappoint you; he'll not, for instance, shirk his drinks; cf. Antony and Cleopatra, II. vii. 35, 36: "Pom. A health to Lepidus! Lep. I'll ne'er out." Also Fletcher, Bonduca, II. iii: "But all agree [to die merrily], and I'll not out, boys," and Massinger, The Great Duke of Florence, iv. ii: "I will dance . . . too; will not out." The metaphor is from the chase; "will not out," according to Madden, "seems to mean that a well-bred hound will not leave the others who are on the scent. Young hounds when uncoupled from the older dogs have to be followed by riders and kept up" (Diary of Master William Silence, p. 54).

66. he is] So Ff; Boswell-Stone's conjectural emendation, a's (= he is) for Qa tis should, perhaps, be adopted.

66. true bred] So in Jonson, Bartholomew Fair, IV. iii: "guests o' the game, true bred." Cf. Middleton, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, IV. i.

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71. done me right] pledged me to my satisfaction, i.e. by drinking an equal quantity of wine. "Do me right was a technical expression in the art of drinking used in challenging a person to pledge. See Beaumont and Fletcher, Beggars Bush, 11. iii; Jonson, Every Man out of his Humour, v. iv: "2 Cup. Nay, do me right, sir. 1 Cup. So I do, in faith. 2 Cup. Good faith you do

72-74. Do... Samingo.] as prose 74. Samingo] Ff (italics); samingo Q.

not; mine was fuller "; Dekker, The Honest Whore, Part I. (Pearson, ii. 22): "Cast. Pledge him ... Fly. So: I ha done you right on my thumb naile " (a drinking custom explained in Nashe, Pierce Pennilesse, 1595); Chapman, The Widow's Tears, 1v. ii: "Ero... I'll pledge y' at twice. Lys. 'Tis well done; do me right"; Massinger, The Unnatural Combat, III. iii: 66 Beauf. jun. It [a toast] has gone round, sir. Malefort. Now you have done her right;" C. Cotton, The Scoffer Scoft (ed. 1715, p. 147): "do me right, pledge and twere Water."

72, 74. Do me. Samingo] A scrap from an old drinking song, one version of which is given in Nashe, Summer's Last Will (Haz. Dods., viii. 55). It there begins: "Monsieur Mingo for quaffing doth surpass," and ends :

"God Bacchus, do me right, And dub me knight Domingo." "Mounseer Mingo was an English translation of a French song set to music by Orlando di Lasso. A copy of the song from "Songs of 3, 4, and 5 parts, English and Latin Newly collected

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in the yeres 1655 and 1656" (MS. Mus. School f. 18 Bodleian Library, Oxford) is given by Miss Eleanor Brougham in Corn from Olde Fields. Another copy from a 1637 MS. partsong book compiled by Thomas Smith,

Fal. 'Tis so.

Sil Is 't so? Why then, say an old man can do somewhat.

Re-enter DAVY.

Davy. An 't please your worship, there's one Pistol come

from the court with news.

Fal. From the court! let him come in.



How now, Pistol!

Pist. Sir John, God save you!

Fal. What wind blew you hither, Pistol?

79. Re-enter D.] Capell.

82. Enter Pistol.] Q (after line 80), Ff.


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73. dub me knight] An illusion to the custom of conferring "knighthood" upon one of the company who has given proof of his prowess in drinking healths on his knees. See Nashe, Summer's Last Will (Haz. Dods., viii. 59): "Bacchus. Crouch, crouch on your knees, fool, when you pledge God Bacchus. [Here Will Summer drinks, and they sing about him, Bacchus begins.] All. [sing] God Bacchus, do him right, And dub him knight. Bacchus. Rise up, Sir Robert Toss-pot. [Here he dubs Will Summers with the black jack]." In Marston, Antonio and Mellida, Part II. V. I, Balurdo is dubbed "Knight of the golden harp" by Rossaline, who has played an accompaniment to the singing of, "Do me right and dub me knight, Balurdo." Malone cites A Yorkshire Tragedy, i: " They call it knighting in London when they drink upon their knees." To the custom of drinking upon the knees many references occur; see Jonson, Every Man out of his Humour, v. iv: "1 Cup. The Count

Frugale's health, sir? I'll pledge it on my knees, by this light. 2 Cup. I'll drink it on my knees, then, by the light"; and Dekker, The Honest Whore, Part II. (Pearson, ii. 162): "fall on your maribones and pledge this health, 'tis to my mistris."

74. Samingo] The form "Samingo" is perhaps due to the influence of the name of San Domingo, the patron saint of topers, or is perhaps merely the intoxicated Silence's mispronunciation of Domingo or Don Mingo.


77, 78. do somewhat] do something (as a toper), "do his share"'-a slang expression used in various contexts, often with a suggestion of riotousness or impropriety. Cf. Wily Beguiled (Haz. Dods.. ix. 223): 'tis well done! now I see thou canst do something' (said in reference to a conjuring trick); and Barry, Ram-Alley, II. : "0. Small. you shall be ladified and soon be got with child. What, do you think we old men can do nothing? Nabbes, Covent Garden, 1. i: "Yes

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thou hast seene me doe something ['paint the town red ']."

83. God save you] A familiar salutation; so in Roister Doister, II. ii: "God you save and see." Morose, in Jonson, The Silent Woman, v. i, wonders how these "common forms as God save you, and You are welcome are come to be a habit in our lives."

84. What wind . . . ?] Cf. Middleton, Michaelmas Term, Induct.: "It was a happy gale that blew him hither," and

Pist. Not the ill wind which blows no man to good. 85 Sweet knight, thou art now one of the greatest men in this realm.

Sil. By'r lady, I think a' be, but goodman Puff of


Pist. Puff!

Puff in thy teeth, most recreant coward base!
Sir John, I am thy Pistol and thy friend,
And helter-skelter have I rode to thee,

And tidings do I bring and lucky joys

And golden times and happy news of price.

Indeed Ff.



85. no man] none Ff. 87. this] the Ff. 88. By 'r lady] Birlady Q ; 90-95. Puff in ... price.] as verse first by Pope; prose Q, Ff. 91. in] ith Q. 92. And] om. Ff. Chapman, The Distracted Emperor, 1. See J. Heywood, Proverbs, 1. x: "Ye huswife, what wind bloweth ye hither this night?" Lodge and Greene, A Looking Glasse, etc., 1. iii; and Jonson, Every Man in his Humour, 11. iii. 85. the ill... good] An allusion to the proverb "An ill wind that bloweth no man to good, men say "(J. Heywood, Proverbs, 11. ix). Cf. Captain Underwit, II. ii; 3 Henry VI. 11. v. 55: "Ill blows the wind that profits nobody," where Hart quotes A Knack to know a Knave (Haz. Dods., vi. 528): "It is an ill wind bloweth no man to profit."

88, 89. but... Barson] save farmer Puff of Barson, or Barston, a village in Warwickshire, situated between Coventry and Solyhull, Silence, perhaps, understands "greatest" in the sense "greatest in girth." "Goodman" was the customary title prefixed to the names of yeomen and others under the rank of gentleman; see Massinger, The City Madam, IV. iv: "An honest country farmer, Goodman Humble"; Mucedorus (Haz. Dods., vii. 214) "goodman King of our parish." "These [yeomen]," writes Sir T. Smith, De Rep. Angl. (1583), “be not called masters, for that... pertaineth to gentlemen only: but to their sur names, men add goodman Goodman Luter, Goodman White." 90, 91. Puff ! . teeth] Compare Beaumont and Fletcher, Cupid's Revenge, Iv. iii: "Peach, oh disgrace! Peach in thy face, and do the worst thou canst!" As puffing was a swag

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gering humour, Pistol takes the mention of goodman Puff as a challenge to be met with a stern defiance, "Puff in thy teeth." In J. Cooke, Greene's Tu Quoque (Haz. Dods., xi. 198), a stagedirection runs "Enter a Swaggerer, puffing," whereon Rash exclaims" An excellent humour, i' faith." Later, when Spendall imitates the humour, "Puff, puff!" Swaggerer resents it, "Dost thou retort-in opposition stand?" See Jonson, Bartholomew Fair, v. iii: "Knock. This gallant has interrupting vapours, troublesome vapours; Whit, puff with him"; Barry, Ram-Alley, III. i: "Taffata [to Capt. Puff]... is this the fittest place Your captainship can find to puff in, ha ?” and ib. II. i: “Nay, sweet lieutenant, now forbear to puff"; Field, Amends for Ladies, III. iv: "Spill-blood [a swaggerer]. Puff! will your lordship take any tobacco?" and Field, A Woman is a Weathercock, 1. ii: "Sir John Worldly. No more puffing, Captain; Leave batteries with your breath." In thy teeth, in thy face; cf. Julius Cæsar, v. i. 64.


93. helter-skelter] in haste. gives, "Alla rinfusa, pellmell, helterskelter." Marston, Antonio and Mellida, Part II. IV. i: "helter skelter, All cocksure."

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