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debt. But a good conscience will make any possible satisfaction, and so will I. All the gentlewomen here have forgiven me: if the gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree with the gentlewomen, which was never seen before in such an assembly.
One word more, I beseech you. If you be not too much cloyed with fat meat, our humble author will continue the story, with Sir John in it, and make you merry with fair Katharine of France : where, for anything I know, Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already 'a be killed with your hard opinions; for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man. My tongue is weary ;
my legs are too, I will bid you good night; and so kneel down before you; but, indeed, to pray for the queen.
Induc. p. 23. Rumour, painted full of tongues.Rumour frequently figured in Elizabethan pageants. In A Masque on St. Stephen's Night 1614, by Thomas Campion, Rumour appears “ in a skin coat full of winged tongues.” (Cf. ` Pastime of Pleasure,' Stephen Hawes.) The idea was derived from Virgil's description of Fama, Æneid, IV. 173, &c. (See too Chaucer's House of Fame.)
I. i. p. 33. To feed contention in a lingering act. - Upon which civil war drags out a long period of indeterminate strife.
I. i. p. 35. Doth enlarge his rising, &c.-Foments the popular desire of avenging Richard's death, for the sake of increasing his supporters.
I. ii. p. 37. • Yea-forsooth' knave.-Alluding to the mild oaths of the trading citizens. (Cf. Hotspur's disdain of his wife's mild expletives, 1 Henry IV., III. i. pp. 104-5.)
I. ii. p. 38. Paul's.-St. Paul's was a rendezvous for all kinds of social and business purposes, ' advertisements were fixed up there, bargains made, servants hired, and politics discussed '-(Nares).
I. ii. p. 38. The Lord Chief Justice.-This was Sir William Gascoigne.
I. ii. p. 41. Punish by the heels.–Send to prison.
I. ii. p. 43. I cannot go : I cannot tell.—Quibbling allusions to light coinage ; 'I cannot pass current : cannot count as good money.'
I. ii. p. 44. Spit white.-A sign of health, and also of thirst-the latter sense would appeal most to Falstaff. I. iii. p. 48. Flattering himself
thoughts. - Imagining himself to have command of forces which, at
his lowest estimate, far outnumbered the troops actually at his disposal.
I. iii. p. 48. Yes, if this present quality of war, indeed, &c.—This passage has been variously amended, but with no certain success. Monck Mason substituted 'induced’ for the Folio reading “indeed.' Malone's correction of the Folio punctuation has been generally accepted, and the passage is thus paraphrased by Grant White : Yes, in this present quality, function, or business of war, it is harmful to lay down likelihoods, &c. Indeed, this very action or affair - a cause on foot - is no more hopeful, &c.”
I. ii. p. 49. Against the French.-Probably alluding to the French force of 12,000 men which landed at Milford Haven in 1405 and advanced to the aid of Glendower at Worcester, but ultimately retreated westward.
I. iii. p. 50. The Duke of Lancaster.-Prince John of Lancaster. The title never really belonged to Prince John ; he became Duke of Bedford on the accession of his brother, Prince Henry, to the throne.
II. i. p. 53. The Lubber's Head in Lumbert Street. The ‘Libbard's (Leopard’s) Head' in Lombard Street.
II. i. p. 54. Whose mare's dead ?-A proverbial phrase for ‘What has happened ?'
II. i. p. 58. Gower.-This is probably intended for the poet Gower, a devoted adherent of King Henry IV.
II. i. p. 58. Glasses is the only drinking. – The fashion of drinking out of glass in preference to silver or gold-chased vessels is attested by Harrison in his Description of England, 1587.
II. i. p. 58. German hunting.–Wild-boar hunting, the chief German sport, was a favourite subject in washdrawings for wall-decorations.
II. ii. p. 61. Discolours the complexion of my greatness.—Puts me to a blush that ill-befits my noble rank.
II. ii. p. 64. Red lattice.-A tavern was commonly distinguished by red lattices (alluding to the colour of Bardolph's face).
II. i. p. 65. Althea.—The page confuses Althea, mother of Meleager, who cast into the fire the “fatal
upon the preservation of which her son's life depended, with Hecuba, who, before the birth of Paris, dreamt she would bear a fire-brand.
II. ii. p. 71. For all our loves,-For the love we all bear to you.
II. iv. p. 73. When Arthur first in court.-Falstaff is humming snatches of the ballad entitled 'Sir Launcelot du Lake,' reprinted in Percy's Reliques.
II. iv. p. 78. Have we not Hiren here ?—Probably a quotation from George Peele's lost tragedy, The Turkish Mahomet and the Fair Greek Hiren (i.e. Irene '). Pistol probably applies the name Hiren to his sword, from phonetic association with “ iron."
II. iv. p. 79. Hollow pamper'd jades of Asia, &c. -A humorous perversion of two lines from Marlowe's Tamburlaine' :
“ Holla, yo pamper'd jades of Asia,
What, can ye draw but twenty miles a day ?" II. iv. p. 79. Feed and be fat, my fair Calipolis. -A burlesque version of two passages from an old play, The Battle of Alcazar, by George Peele. One, where Muley Mahomet, coming to his wife with lion's flesh on the point of his sword, bids her
“ Feed then and faint not, my fair Calipolis," and subsequently where he says:
“ Feed and be fat, that we may meet the foe." II. iv. p. 79. Si fortune me tormente, &c.-A corrup; tion of Si fortuna me tormenta, il sperare me contenta' (Hanmer's reconstruction of Pistol's version)-If fortune torments me, hope contents me.' A motto found in French as well as Italian, engraved on old sword-blades.
II. iv. p. 80. Then, death, rock me asleep. The opening of a song attributed to Anne Boleyn.
II. iv. p. 80. The Sisters Three.-The three Fates, one of whom, Atropos, wielded the abhorred shears' which cut the thread of human life.
II. iv. p. 83. Sign of the leg.–The bootmaker's trade sign. II. iv. p. 83.
Rides the wild mare.-Plays at see-saw. II. iv. p. 83. The fiery Trigon.-Alluding to the astrological division of the Zodiac into four trigons,' one of which consisted of the three fiery signs (Aries, Loo, and Sagittarius); applied to Bardolph of the 'fiery countenance.
II. iv. p. 87. Contrary to the law,—The contemporary dramatists frequently allude to the small success of the repeated statutes passed during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I., forbidding the sale of flesh in Lent.
III. i. pp. 89-94.—This scene was omitted in Quarto I.
III. i. p. 92. Cousin Nevil. The title Earl of War. wick belonged at this time to the family of Beauchamp, and did not pass to the Nevilles until Henry VI.'s reign.
III. i. p. 93. The necessary form of this. The form which the instance before us necessarily assumed, the inevitable conclusion of this observation.
III. ii. p. 94. Justice Shallow. This character probably serves to ridicule Shakspere's old enemy, Sir Thomas Lucy, of Charlecote. (Cf. The Merry Wives of Windsor, especially the reference to the dozen white luces' (I. i. p. 18), the coat-of-arms of Sir Thomas Lucy.) But see Mrs. C. C. Stopes's book on Shakespeare's Warwickshire Contemporaries, 1907 p. 33, in which she denies that Shallow refers in any way to Sir Thomas Lucy.
III. ii. p. 95. Page to Sir Thomas Mowbray.This is one of the few points of evidence that Falstaff was originally called Oldcastle ; Sir John Oldcastle was actually in his youth page to the Duke of Norfolk.