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the window at last I spied his eyes; and methought

he had made two holes in the ale-wife's new petticoat
and so peeped through.

Prince. Has not the boy profited?


Bard. Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away! Page. Away, you rascally Althaa's dream, away! Prince. Instruct us, boy; what dream, boy? Page. Marry, my lord, Althæa dreamed she was delivered of a fire-brand; and therefore I call him her 85 dream.

Prince. A crown's worth of good interpretation: there 'tis, boy.

Poins. O, that this good blossom could be kept from cankers! Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee. Bard. An you do not make him hanged among you, the gallows shall have wrong.

78. new] om. Q; new red Collier MS. 79. so] om. Ff. Ff. 81. rabbit] rabble Q. 84. Althea] Althear Q. 89. good] om. Q. 91. An] Capell; And Q; If Ff. Ff. 92. have wrong] be wrong'd Ff.

Enforced Marriage, III. Harrison (Description of England, II. xii) says that country houses of old time "did use much lattice." Now, however, he remarks," lattices are grown into less use, because glass is come to be



within a very little so good cheap, if not better than the other."

78. new] Collier MS. reads new red. 80. profited] become proficient; cf. Merry Wives, IV. i. 16. "To profit " is frequently used ironically, as in the text; cf. Wilkins, Miseries of Enforced Marriage, III: "he profits well; but the worst is, he will not swear yet," and J. Cooke, How to Choose, etc., III. iii.

84, 85. Althea . . . fire-rand] The page confounds Althea's dream with that of Hecuba. The latter, before the birth of Paris, dreamed that she was delivered of a fire-brand; see Ovid, Heroides, xvi. 45, 46, and Peele, The Tale of Troy, 41-48. Accurate reference is made to Hecuba s dream in Troilus and Cressida, 11. ii. 1IC, and to Althaa's "fatal brand" in 2 Henry VI. I. i. 235, 236. The Moræ appeared to Althea after the birth of her son, Meleager, and announced to her that Meleager would die when a log of wood on



80. Has] Hath 88. 'tis] it is Ff. hanged] be hang'd

the hearth was consumed by the flame. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, viii. 260-547.

87. crown] A gold crown was coined by Henry VIII. in 1526 in imitation of the French Crown of the Sun of Louis XII. or Francis I. Crowns in silver were in circulation from the reign of Edward VI. The crown was current for 58. 90. cankers] canker-worms, as in Hamlet, 1. iii. 39.

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90. sixpence thee] An allusion to the cross beneath the shield on Elizabethan sixpences. Cf. U. Fulwell, Like Will to Like (Haz. Dods., iii. 346): "Not a cross of money to bless me have I," and Brome, The Damoiselle, Iv. i: "Blesse me .. and not without a Crosse Of a faire Silver sixpence." For the gifts of money to the Page, cf. Beaumont and Fletcher, The Scornful Lady, 1. i, and J. Shirley, The Gamester, Iv. i: " Hay. [to Page] .. Here, cherish thy wit [Gives Page money]." From the Conquest to the reign of Edward VI. all silver coins had a cross on the reverse. Edward III.'s Noble bore a cross with a circumscription, "Jesus, autem, transiens per medium illorum ibat," a charm against thieves and enemies. The sixpence was first coined in the reign of Edward VI.


Prince. And how doth thy master, Bardolph ?

Bard. Well, my lord. He heard of your grace's coming to town: there's a letter for you.

Poins. Delivered with good respect. And how doth the martlemas, your master?

Bard. In bodily health, sir.

Poins. Marry, the immortal part needs a physician; but


that moves not him: though that be sick, it dies not. 100 Prince. I do allow this wen to be as familiar with me as my dog; and he holds his place; for look you how he writes.

Poins. "John Falstaff, knight,"-every man must know that, as oft as he has occasion to name himself: 105

94. lord] good Lord Ff. 96. Poins.] Poin. F 1; Prin. Ff 2-4. 102. how] 104. Poins.] Ed.; Poins. [Reads] Cambridge; Poynes. Q; Poin. 105. has] hath Ff.

om. Ff. Letter. Ff.

96. with... respect] An ironical reference to the unceremonious way in which Bardolph delivers the letter. Cf. Beaumont and Fletcher, A King and No King, III. ii: "What a complement he delivers it [a speech] with !"

97. martlemas] Martinmas or St. Martin's summer, the fine season that comes about the date of the feast of St. Martin (Nov. 11); hence, perhaps, humorously applied to a hale and sprightly elderly gentleman. For the association of ideas, cf. 1 Henry IV. I. ii. 157: "the latter spring!" in its application to Falstaff; Ford and Dekker, The Sun's Darling, iv: “Autumn. . . . in my selfe I do contain another teaming Spring"; and Rowley, Dekker and Ford, The Witch of Edmonton, Prol.: "as the year doth with his plenty bring As well a latter as a former Spring." Clarke suggested that the allusion may be to Martinmas beef, i.e. beef salted at Martinmas for winter use (see Macaulay, Hist. Engl., 1. i. 315). Cf. 1 Henry IV. 111. iii. 178: 'my sweet beef"; Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, vi: "Martin Martlemasbeef"; and Ridgley, Pract. Physick, 329: "Martlemas flesh a year old, tosted and dried."

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IOI. wen] tumour; "swollen excrescence of a man" (Johnson). Cf. Beaumont and Fletcher, The SeaVoyage, III. i: "the great Wen," and Glapthorne, The Hollander, v. i.

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104. John... knight"] Poins i, not, I think, reading from the letter, but referring, with a quibble, to the Prince's words, "look you how he writes." Poins, playing upon the word "write" in the sense "write oneself," anticipates that Falstaff will "write" or describe himself in (the subscription to) the letter as "John Falstaff, knight." Poins's anticipation-which is based upon the observation: "every man must know that, as oft as he has occasion to name himself "-is substantially realized with the reading of the letter which begins at line 113: "Sir John Falstaff, knight." The stagedirection "Letter" of F has, I think, been misplaced through the conjectural citation, "John Falstaff, knight," having been taken for a quotation from the letter. For "write," write or describe oneself, cf. 1. ii. 25 ante, "writ man"; Sir T. Smith, De Rep. Angl. (1583), 1. 23: "in matters of lawe... if one were a knight they would write him (for example sake) Sir John Finch knight, so if he be an esquier, John Finch esquier or gentleman "; and Massinger, The Duke of Milan, v. ii: "whose owner writ not lord."

104, 105. every ... himself] Some knights, at least, appear to have been vain of the handle to their names. See Field, A Woman is a Weathercock, 1. ii: "I would you would bid me be covered; I am a knight," and ib. 11 iii.

even like those that are kin to the king; for they
never prick their finger but they say, "There's some
of the king's blood spilt." "How comes that?" says
he, that takes upon him not to conceive.

The answer

is as ready as a borrower's cap, "I am the king's poor 110 cousin, sir." Prince. Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it

from Japhet. But to the letter [Reads] "Sir John
Falstaff, knight, to the son of the king, nearest his
father, Harry Prince of Wales, greeting."

Poins. Why, this is a certificate.

Prince. Peace! [Reads] "I will imitate the honourable
Romans in brevity: "

Ff 1-3.

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107. There's] there is Ff. 108, 109. that?... conceive.] that? (says conceive) F4; that (saies he) conceive Q; that (saves he) conceive? 110. borrower's] Theobald (Warburton); borowed Q; borrowed Ff. 112, or] but Ff. 113. to] om. Q. 113. [Reads] Ed.; Poins. [Reads] Hanmer; om. Q, Ff. 116. Poins. Why] Ed.; Why Hanmer; Poynes. Why Q; Poin. Why Ff. 117. [Reads] Ed.; Poins. [Reads] Cambridge; om. Q, Ff. 118. Romans in] Romanes in Q; Romaines in Ff 1, 2; Roman's or Roman in 's Anon. conj. ap. Cambridge.

107, 108. some ... .. blood] Cf. Massinger, Maid of Honour, 1. i: "He hath some drops Of the king's blood running in his veins, derived Some ten degrees off," and a passage, suggested by Poins's speech, in J. Shirley, The Ball, Iv. iii.

109. takes . . . him] makes believe, as in Troilus and Cressida, 1. ii. 151.

110. borrower's cap] Craig refers to 1 Henry IV. IV. iii. 68, and Coriolanus, II. i. 77, 78. A closer parallel occurs in Timon of Athens, II. i. 18, 19, where a debtor, of whom payment is required, is described as excusing himself: "and the cap Plays in the right hand, thus." The emendation borrower's we owe to Warburton.

112. fetch it] trace their relationship to the king by deriving their lineage, Cf. Othello, I. ii. 21.


113. from Japhet] Christian in Pilgrim's Progress, says, "I came of the race of Japhet." Divines and early ethnologists traced the descent of the peoples of European stock from Japhet. See Genesis, x. 5.

113. letter [Reads] The present text follows Q and Ff in giving the reading of the letter to the Prince. Hanmer, misled, I think, by a misplaced

stage-direction "Letter" at line 104 in Ff, read, there and here, Poins [Reads], and has been generally followed by modern editors.

115. greeting] So, in Lyly, Euphues and his England (Bond, ii. 140), Philautus' letter to Camilla begins "To


Camilla, greeting." Falstaff's letter is in euphuistic vein, and may be compared with the examples of the epistolary art in Lyly's romance.

116. Poins. Why] Hanmer, and modern editors generally, omit Poins.

116. certificate] i.e. couched in the formal language of a document in which something is certified. The word Occurs frequently in the sense "a servant's discharge."

117, 118. "I . . . brevity" :] Cambridge and modern editors in general follow Hanmer in reading Poins. [Reads] "I will... brevity.' followed Q and Ff in continuing "I will... brevity to the Prince.

I have

118. Romans in brevity] An allusion to the "brief compendious manner of speech," which Plutarch says Brutus affected, and which Shakespeare may have regarded as characteristic of the Romans generally. Cf. Lingua (Haz. Dods., ix. 393): "with more than

Poins. He sure means brevity in breath, short-winded. Prince. [Reads] "I commend me to thee, I commend 120 thee, and I leave thee. Be not too familiar with Poins; for he misuses thy favours so much, that he swears thou art to marry his sister Nell.

Repent at

idle times as thou mayest; and so, farewell.
"Thine, by yea and no, which is as much as to 125
say, as thou usest him, JACK FALSTAFF
with my familiars, JOHN with my brothers
and sisters, and SIR JOHN with all Europe.

Poins. My lord, I'll steep this letter in sack, and make

him eat it.


119. Poins. He sure] Ed.; he sure Cambridge; Poynes. He sure Q; Poin. Sure he Ff. 120. Prince [Reads] Ed.; om. Q, Ff. 128. sisters] Sister Ff,

127. familiars] family Q. 129. Poins. My lord, I'll] Ed.; Poynes. My Lord, Ile Q; My Lord, I will Ff; My lord, I'll Cambridge.

Laconicâ brevitate." Warburton's emendation Roman may be right, the reference being then, probably, to Cæsar's famous dispatch after Zela, "Veni, vidi, vici."

119. Poins. He sure] Modern editors generally read [in brevity";] he sure. The present text follows the reading of Q, Poynes. He sure. Ff reads Poin. Sure he.

120. Prince. "I] I have ventured to rectify an obvious inadvertence in Q, by restoring "Prince." As the text of Q stands, two successive speeches are given to Poins. Ff attempted to correct this error by omitting Poins at line 129.

120. I. . . commend thee] A kind of epistolary common form, as in Lodge and Greene, A Looking Glasse, etc., II. iii: "Ile commend me to you with heartie commendations." Cf. Kyd, Soliman and Perseda, 11. ii.

121. leave thee] Hanmer read love thee.

. . times] Cf.

123, 124. Repent All's Well, 1. i. 231, 232. 124. mayest] canst. 124. and so, farewell] So Lyly, Euphues and his England, Dedic. To the Ladies: "And so humbly I bid you farewell."

125. by yea and no] Cf. May, The Heir, II. i: "Yours or not, Philocles." "By yea and no," or "by yea and nay," was a Puritan expletive; see J. Cooke, How a Man May Choose, etc., III. iii:

"Brother, by yea and nay," where a
Puritan lady is the speaker; and T.
Heywood, If You Know Not Me, Part
II. (Pearson, i. 271 and 273).

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125-126. Thine. . . him] Cf. Jonson, Every Man out of his Humour, III. ii, where Fungoso subscribes himself Yours, if his own," and Sordido comments "How's this! Yours, if his own!... belike this is some new kind of subscription the gallants use." 126. as thou

him] Cf. All's Well, 1. i. 230, and Dekker, Old Fortunatus (Pearson, i. 163): "as you vse me, marke those words well, as you vse me.'

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127. familiars] intimate friends, as in Love's Labour's Lost, v. i. 104.

129. Poins. My] Poins. [Poynes. Q] is omitted in Ff, and generally modern editions.


129, 130. I'll... it.] Many instances occur in the drama of a person being compelled actually to eat a letter or other document. Harpool, in Sir John Oldcastle, II. i, compels the Sumner to eat the process the latter has come to serve on Sir John: "Har. you shall eat more than your own word; for I'll make you eat all the words in the process.' See also Greene, George a Greene, I. ii, where George at the point of a dagger forces Mannering to swallow the seals attached to his commission from the Earl of Kendal. Cf. also Jonson, Catiline, v. iv.

Prince. That's to make him eat twenty of his words. But do you use me thus, Ned? must I marry your sister?

Poins. God send the wench no worse fortune! But I never said so.

Prince. Well, thus we play the fools with the time; and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us. Is your master here in London?

Bard. Yea, my lord.


Prince. Where sups he? doth the old boar feed in the old 140 frank?

Bard. At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.

Prince. What company?

134. God... wench] May the Wench haue Ff. Fool Ff 3, 4.


139. Yea] Yes Ff.


131. eat his words] Cf. Dekker and Webster, Westward Hoe, v. i: "the other makes a man to eat his own words." Warburton asks: "Why just twenty [words], when the letter contained above eight times twenty?" "Twenty" is used for an indefinite number, as in Jonson, A Tale of a Tub, IV. iv: "Tub. Let's have a word aside. Awd. Yes, twenty words"; and R. Corbet, A Proper New Ballad: "twenty thanks." In Jonson, The Sad Shepherd, 1. ii, Æglamour says, with reference to a song of sixteen lines: 46 you should have twenty [kisses]; For every line, here, one." Cf. the use of "four" in 1 Henry IV. 11. ii. 12, and of "a dozen" in 11. iv. 350 post.

134. God send... fortune] A common saying. Cf. Chapman, The Widow's Tears, III. ii: "Hymen send the boy no worse fortune," i.e. than a marriage with Laodice; and J. Cooke, Greene's Tu Quoque (Haz. Dods., xi. 194): "I pray God send her no worse husband, nor he no worse wife."

136. play the fools] So in Jonson, The Alchemist, IV. iv: "did you never see me play the Fool?"

137. the spirits. . . mock us] Perhaps adapted from Psalms, ii. 4: "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision." A parody of euphuism is probably intended in the Prince's speech; the expression "the wise" is a favourite with Lyly, and the antithesis of "fools" and

136. fools] Foole F 2; 140. boar] boare Q; Bore Ff.


"the wise" is in his manner. Lyly, Euphues, Anatomy of Wyt, Preface: "I submit myselt to the judgment of the wise, and I little esteem the censure of fools." Chapman, The Widow's Tears, 1. i: "the design lies hidden in the breasts of the wise.”

140, 141. doth old frank] An allusion to the Boar's-head Tavern in Great Eastcheap. This tavern occupied the space between an alley and St. Michael's Lane, which led do n to Thames Street. Frank, a pen for hogs, sty. Cotgrave: "A franke, or stie to feed, and fatten hogs in." New Eng. Dict. cites Bulleyn, Def. agst. Sickness (1562), 67, and Crabb, Technol. Dict.: "Frank, a place to feed boars in." Cf. Richard III. 1. iii. 314. For the allusion to Falstaff, cf. II. iv. 225, 226 post.

142. At the ... Eastcheap] at the Boar's-head Tavern in Eastcheap. Another tavern of the same name was situated in Knightrider's Street. East Cheap received its name from the market there; Cheapside was known as West Cheap. "This Eastcheap," writes J. Stow (Svrvay of London, 1598) "is now a flesh market of butchers there dwelling on both sides of the" The situation of Eastcheap is described by Ordish: "Standing on Fish Street Hill, and looking north, Great Eastcheap is on our left, and on our right is Little Eastcheap" (Shakespeare's London).

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