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\ ' - 

O (o O 

v. 5" 



VOL. V. 

* MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.] A few of the incidents 
in this comedy might have been taken from an old translation of 
// Pecorone by Giovanni Fiorentino. I have lately met with the 
same story in a very contemptible performance, intitled, The 
fortunate, the deceived, and the unfortunate Lovers. Of this 
book, as I am told, there are several impressions ; but that in 
which I read it was published in 1032, quarto. A somewhat 
similar story occurs in Piacevoli Notti di Straparola, Nott. -l a . 
Fav. 4*. 

This comedy was first entered at Stationers' Hall, Jan. 18, 
l6'0i, by John Busby. STEEVENS. 

This play should be read between K. Henry IV. and K. 
Henry V. JOHNSON. 

A passage in the first sketch of The Merry Wives of Windsor 
shews, I think, that it ought rather to be read between The 
First and The Second Part of King Henry IV. in the latter of 
which young Henry becomes king. In the last act, Falstaff 

Herne the hunter, quoth you ? am I a ghost ? 

'Sblood, the fairies hath made a ghost of me. 

v\ hat, hunting at this time of night ! 

Pie lay my life the mad prince of Wales 

Is stealing his father's deare." 

and in this pl-.iy, as it now appears, Mr. Page discountenances 
the addresses of Fenton to his daughter, because " he keeps 
company with the wild prince, and with Poins." 

The Fiakafes Tale of Brainford in WESTWARD FOR 
SMH.LT ;, a book which Shakspeare appears to have read, (having 
borrowed from it apart of the fable of Cymbeline,) probably led 
him to lay the scene of Falstaff's love adventures at Wind or. 
It begins thus : " In Windsor not long agoe dwelt a sumpter- 
nuiu, who had to wife u very faire but wanton creature, over 
whom, not without c:ra.-e, he was something jealous ; yet had 
he never any proof of her inconstancy." 

The reader who is cuno:i* in such matters may find the story 
of The Lcs.-efK o/" Pisa, mentioned by Dr. Farmer in the fol- 
lowing note, at the end of this play. MALONE. 

The adventures of Fahtaff in this play seem to have been 
taken from the story of TLs Lover* of Pi. a, in an old piece, 
call-d Tarleton's AVjw, out of Purpatorie. Mr. Ca;>ell pre- 
tended to much knowledge of "this soit , and I am sorry that it 
proved to be only pretension. 

Mr. Warton observes, in a note to the last Oxford edition, 
that the play was probably not written, as we now have it, be- 
fore 1007, at the earliest. I agree with my very ingenious 

B 2 

friend in this supposition, but yet the argument here produced 
for it may not be conclusive. Slender observes to master Page, 
that his greyhound was out-run on Cotsnle [Cotswold-Hills in 
Gloucestershire] ; and Mr. Warton thinks, that the games, 
established there by Captain Dover in the beginning of K. 
James's reign, are alluded to. But, perhaps, though the Cap- 
tain be celebrated in the Annalia Dubrensia as the founder of 
them, he might be the reviver only, or some way contribute to 
make them more famous ; for in The Second Part of Henry IV. 
100O, Justice Shallow reckons among the Swinge-bucklers, " Will 
Squecle, a Cotsole man" 

In the first edition of the imperfect play, Sir Hugh Evans is 
called on the title-page, the Welch Knight ; and yet there are 
some persons who still affect to believe, that all our author's 
plays were originally published by himself. FARMER. 

Dr, Farmer's opinion, is well supported by " An Eclogue on 
the noble Assemblies revived on Cotswold Hills, by Mr. Robert 
Dover." See Randolph's Poems, printed at Oxford, 4to. 1038, 
p. 114. The hills of Cotswold, in Gloucestershire, are mentioned 
in K. Richard II. Act II. sc. iii. and by Drayton, in his Poly- 
olbion, song 14. STEEVENS. 

Queen Elizabeth was so well pleased with the admirable cha- 
racter of Falstaff in The Two Parts of Henry IV. that, as Mr. 
Rowe informs us, she commanded Shakspeare to continue it for 
one play more, and to shew him in love. To this command we 
owe The Merry Wives of Windsor ; which, Mr. Gildon says, 
[Remarks on Shakspeare's Plays, 8vo. 1/10,] he was very well 
assured our author finished in a fortnight. But this must be 
meant only of the first imperfect sketch of this comedy. An 
old quarto edition which I have seen, printed in 1O02, says, in 
the title-page, A.", it hath been divers times acted before her 
majesty, and elsewhere. This, which we have here, was altered 
and improved by the author almost in every speech. POPE. 

Mr. Gildon has likewise told us, " that our author's house at 
Stratford bordered on the Church-yard, and that he wrote the 
scene of the Ghott in Hamlet there." But neither for this, or 
the assertion that the play before us was written in a fortnight, 
does he quote any authority. The latter circumstance was first 
mentioned by Mr. Dennis. " This comedy," says he, in his 
Epistle Dedicatory to The Comical Gallant, (an alteration of the 
present play,) 17<J2, "was written at her [Queen Elizabeth's] 
command, and by her direction, and she was so eager to see it 
acted, that she commanded it to be finished in fourteen days; 
and was afterwards, as tradition tells us, very well pleased at 

the representation." The information, it is probable, came ori- 
ginally from Dryden, who from his intimacy with Sir William 
Davenant had an opportunity of learning many particulars con- 
cerning our author. 

At what period Shakspeare new-modelled The Merry Wives 
of Windsor is unknown. I believe it was enlarged in 1603. 
See some conjectures on the subject in the Attempt to ascertain 
the Order of his Plays, Vol. II. MALONE. 

It is not generally known, that the first edition of The Merry 
Wives of Windsor, in its present state, is in the valuable folio, 
printed 1023, from whence the quarto of the same play, dated 
1630, was evidently copied. The two earlier quartos, 1602 and 
1619, only exhibit this comedy as it was originally written, and 
are so far curious, as they contain Shakspeare's first conceptions 
in forming a drama, which is the most complete specimen of his 
comick powers. T. WARTON. 


Sir John Falstaff. 


Shallow, a country Justice. 

Slender, cousin to Shallow. 

^ / p ' > two gentlemen dwelling at Windsor. 

William Page, a boy, son to Mr. Page. 

Sir Hugh Evans, a Welch parson. 

Dr. Caius, a French physician. 

Host of the Garter Inn. 

Bardolph, 1 

Pistol, > followers o/Talstaff. 

Nym, j l 

Robin, page to Falstaff. 

Simple, servant to Slender. 

Rugby, servant to Dr. Cains. 

Mrs. Ford. 

Mrs. Page. 

Mrs. Anne Page, her daughter ', in love with Fenton. 

Mrs. Quickly, servant to Dr. Caius. 

Servants to Page, Ford, 8$c. 
SCENE, Windsor j and the parts adjacent. 





Windsor. Before Page's House. 

Enter Justice SHALLOW, SLENDER, and Sir HUGH 


SHAL. Sir Hugh, 1 persuade me not ; I will make 
a Star-chamber matter of it : 2 if he were twenty sir 

1 Sir Hugh,'] This is the first, of sundry instances in our 
poet, where a parson is called Sir. Upon which it may be ob- 
served, that anciently it was the common designation both of 
one in holy orders and a knight. Fuller, somewhere in his 
Church History says, that anciently there were in England more 
sirs than knights ; and so lately as temp. W. & Mar. in a depo- 
sition in the Exchequer in a case of tythcs, the witness speak- 
ing of the curate, whom he remembered, styles him, Sir Giles. 
Vide Gibson's View of the State of the Churches of Door, 
Home-Lacy, &c. p. 36. SIR J. HAWKINS. 

Sir is the designation of a Bachelor of Arts in the Universities 
of Cambridge and Dublin ; but is there always annexed to the 
surname ; Sir Evans, c. In consequence, however, of this, 
all the inferior Clergy in England were distinguished by this title 
affixed to their Christian names for many centuries. Hence our 
author's Sir Hugh in the present play, Sir Topas in Twelfth 
Night, Sir Oliver in As you tike it, &c. MALONE. 


John FalstafPs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, 

SLEN. In the county of Gloster, justice of peace, 
and cor am. 

SHAL. Ay, cousin Slender, and Cust-alorum? 

Sir seems to have been a title formerly appropriated to such of 
the inferior clergy as were only Readers of the service, and not 
admitted to be preachers, and therefore were held in the lowest 
estimation ; as appears from a remarkable passage in Machell's 
MS. Collections for the History of Westmoreland and Cumberland, 
in six volumes, folio, preserved in the Dean and Chapter's library 
at Carlisle. The reverend Thomas Machell, author of the Col- 
lections, lived temp. Car. II. Speaking of the little chapel of 
Martindale in the mountains of Westmoreland and Cumberland, 
the writer says, " There is little remarkable in or about it, but 
a neat chapel-yard, which by the peculiar * Riclmrd Berket 
care of the old Reader, Sir Richard * is kept T> i ?p f / 
clean, and as neat as a bowling-green." **& ' 

" Within the limits of myne own memory 
all Readers in chapels were called Sirs,-\- and of old have been 
writ so ; whence, I suppose, such of the laity as received the 
noble order of knighthood being called Sirs too, for distinction 
sake had Knight writ after them ; which had been superfluous, 
if the title Sir had been peculiar to them. But now this Sir 
Richard is the only Knight Templar (if I may so call him) that 
retains the old style, which in other places is much laid aside, 
and grown out of use." PERCY. 

See Mr. Douce's observations on the title " Sir," (as given to 
Ecclesiasticks, ) at the end of Act V. The length of this curious 
memoir obliges me to disjoin it from the page to which it natu- 
rally belongs. STEEVENS. 

* a Star-chamber matter of it :] Ben Jonson intimates, 

that the Star-chamber had a right to take cognizance of such 
matters. See the Magnetic Lady, Act III. sc. iv : 

" There is a court above, of the Star-chamber, 
" To punish routs and riots" STEEVENS. 
3 Cust-alorum.~\ This is, I suppose, intended for a corrup- 
tion of Gustos Rotulorum. The mistake was hardly designed by 

f* In the margin is a MS. note seemingly in the hand-writing of Bp. 
Nicolson, who gave these volumes to the library : 

" Since I can remember there was not a reader in any chapel but was 
called Sir." 

sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 9 

SLEN. Ay, and ratolorum too ; and a gentleman 
born, master parson ; who writes himself armigero ; 4 
in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, ar- 

SHAL. Ay, that we do; 5 and have done 6 any time 
these three hundred years. 

SLEN. All his successors, gone before him, have 
done't ; and all his ancestors, that come after him, 
may: they may give the dozen white luces in their 

SHAL. It is an old coat. 

the author, who, though he gives Shallow folly enough, makes 
him rather pedantic than illiterate. If we read : 

" Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and Gustos Rotulorum." 
It follows naturally: 

" Slen. Ay, and Ratolorum too" JOHNSON. 

I think with Dr. Johnson, that this blunder could scarcely be 
intended. Shallow, we know, had been bred to the law at 
Clement's Inn. But I would rather read custos only ; then 
Slender adds naturally, " Ay, and rotulorum too." He had 
heard the words custos rotulorum, and supposes them to mean 
different offices. FARMER. 

Perhaps Shakspeare might have intended to ridicule the abbre- 
viations sometimes used in writs and other legal instruments, with 
which his Justice might have been acquainted. In the old copy 
the word is printed Cust-alorum, as it is now exhibited in the 
text. If, however, this was intended, it should be Cust-ulorum ; 
and, it must be owned, abbreviation by cutting off the beginning 
of a word is not authorized by any precedent, except what we 
may suppose to have existed in Shallow's imagination. MALONE. 

4 -who "writes himself armigero ;] Slender had seen the 

Justice's attestations, signed " jurat' coram me, Roberto Shal- 
low, Armigero ;" and therefore takes the ablative for the nomi- 
native case of Armiger. STEEVENS. 

* Ay, that we do ;] The old copy reads " that I do" 
The present emendation was suggested to me by Dr. Fanner. 


6 and have done ] i. e. all the Shallows have done. 

Shakspeare has many expressions equally licentious. MALONE. 


EVA. The dozen white louses do become an old 
coat well ; 7 it agrees well, passant : it is a familiar 
beast to man, and signifies love. 

SHAL. The luce is the fresh fish ; the salt fish is 
an old coat. 8 

7 The doZen "white louses do become an old coat well ; c.] 
So, in The Penniless Parliament of thread-bare Poets, 1608: 
'* But amongst all other decrees and statutes by us here set downe, 
wee ordaine and commaund, that three thinges (if they be not 
parted) ever to continue in perpetual! amitie, that is, a Louse in 
an olde doublet, a painted cloth in a painter's shop, and a foole 
and his bable." STEEVENS. 

8 The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.~\ That 
is, thefreshjish is the coat of an ancient family, and the saltjish 
is the coat of a merchant grown rich by trading over the sea. 


I am not satisfied with any thing that has been offered on this 
difficult passage. All that Mr. Smith told us was a mere gratis 
dictum. [His note, being worthless, is here omitted.] I can- 
not find that saltjish were ever really borne in heraldry. I fancy 
the latter part of the speech should be given to Sir Hugh, who is 
at cross purposes with the Justice. Shallow had said just before, 
the coat is an old one ; and now, that it is the luce, the fresh 
fish. No, replies the parson, it cannot be old and fresh too 
" the salt Jis/i is an old coat.'' I give this with rather the more 
confidence, as a similar mistake has happened a little lower in 
the scene, " Slice, I say !" cries out Corporal Nym, " Pauca, 
pauca : Slice ! that's my humour." There can be no doubt, 
but pauca, pauca, should be spoken by Evans. 

Again, a little before this, the copies give us : 

" Slender. You'll not confess, you'll not confess. 

" Shallow. That he wiliuot 'tis your fault, 'tis your fault: 
'tis a good dog." 

Surely it should be thus : 

" Shallow. You'll not confess, you'll not confess. 

" Slender. That he will not. 

" Shallow. 'Tis your fault, 'tis your fault,'* &c. FARMER. 

This fugitive scrap of Latin, pauca, &c. is used in several old 
pieces, by characters who have no more of literature about them 
than Nym. So, Skinke, in Look about you, icCO: 
" But pauca verba, Skinke." 

Again, in Every Man in his Humour, where it is called the 
ienchers' phrase. STEEVENS. 

sc.i. OF WINDSOR. n 

SLEN. I may quarter, coz ? 
SHAL. You may, by marrying. 

Shakspeare seems to frolick here in his heraldry, with a design 
not to be easily understood. In Leland's Collectanea, Vol. I. 
P. II. p. 6l 5, the arms of Geffrey de Lucy are " de gouletf 
poudre a croisil dor a treis luz dor." Can the poet mean to 
quibble upon the word poudre, that is, powdred, which signi- 
fies salted ; or strewed and sprinkled with any thing ? In Mea- 
sure for Measure, Lucio says " Ever your fresh whore and your 
poivder'd bawd." TOLLET. 

The luce is a pike or jack : So, in Chaucer's ProL of the 
Cant. Tales, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. pp. 351, 352: 

" Full many a fair partrich hadde he in mewe, 
" And many a breme, and many a luce in stewe." 
In Feme's Blazon of Gentry, 1586, quarto, the arms of the 
Lucy family are represented as an instance, that " signs of the 
coat should something agree with the name. It is the coat of 
Geffray Lord Lucy. He did bear gules, three lucies hariant, 

Mr. William Oldys, ( Norroy King at Arms, and well known 
from the share he had in compiling the Biographia Britannica, 
among the collections which he left for a Life of Shakspeare,) 
observes that " there was a very aged gentleman living in the 
neighbourhood of Stratford, (where he died fifty years since,) 
who had not only heard, from several old people in that town, 
of Shakspeare's ti-ansgression, but could remember the first 
stanza of the bitter ballad, which, repeating to one of his ac- 
quaintance, he preserved it in writing ; and here it is, neither 
better nor worse, but faithfully transcribed from the copy which 
his relation very courteously communicated to me." 
" A parliement member, a justice of peace, 
" At home a poor scare-crowe, at London an asse, 
" If lowsie is Lucy, as some volke miscalle it, 
" Then Lucy is lowsie whatever befall it : 
" He thinks himself greate, 
" Yet an asse in his state, 
" We allow by his ears but with asses to mate. 
" If Lucy is lowsie, as some volke miscalle it, 
" Sing lowsie Lucy, whatever befall it." 
" Contemptible as this performance must now appear, at the 
time when it was written it might have had sufficient power to 
irritate a vain, weak, and vindictive magistrate ; especially as it 
was affixed to several of his park-gates, and consequently pub- 


EVA. It is marring, indeed, if he quarter it. 
SHAL. Not a whit. 

EVA. Yes, py'r-lady; if he has a quarter of your 
coat, there is but three skirts for yourself, in my 
simple conjectures: but this is all one: If sir John 
FalstafF have committed disparagements unto you, 
I am of the church, and will be glad to do my be- 

lished among his neighbours. It may be remarked likewise, 
that the jingle on which it turns, occurs in the first scene of 
The Merry Wives of Windsor" 

I may add, that the veracity of the late Mr. Oldys has never 
yet been impeached ; and it is not very probable that a ballad 
should be forged, from which an undiscovered wag could derive 
no triumph over antiquarian credulity. STEEVENS. 

The luce is the fresh fish ; the salt fish is an old coat.'] Our 
author here alludes to the arms of Sir Thomas Lucy, who is said 
to have prosecuted him in the younger part of his life for a mis- 
demesnor, and who is supposed to be pointed at under the cha- 
racter of Justice Shallow. The text, however, by some care- 
lessness of the printer or transcriber, has been so corrupted, that 
the passage, as it stands at present, seems inexplicable. Dr. Far- 
mer's regulation appears to me highly probable ; and in further 
support of it, it may be observed, that some other speeches, 
beside those he has mentioned, are misplaced in a subsequent 
part of this scene, as exhibited in the first folio. MALONE. 

Perhaps we have not yet conceived the humour of Master 
Shallow. Slender has observed, that the family might give a 
dozen white Luces in their coat ; to which the Justice adds, 
" It is an old one." This produces the Parson's blunder, and 
Shallow's correction. " The Luce is not the Louse but the Pike, 
the fresh Jish of that name. Indeed our Coat is old, as I said, 
and the fish cannot be fresh ; and therefore we bear the white, 
i. e. the pickled or salt fish." 

In the Northumberland Household Book, we meet with 
" nine barrels of white herringe for a hole yere, 4. 1O. 0:" and 
Mr. Pennant in the additions to his London says, " By the very 
high price of the Pike, it is probable that this fish had not yet 
been introduced into our ponds, but was imported as a luxury, 

It will be still clearer if we read " tlio 1 salt fish in an old 
coat." FARMER. 

sc.i. OF WINDSOR. 13 

nevolence, to make atonements and compromises 
between you. 

SHAL. The Council shall hear it ; it is a riot. 9 

EVA. It is not meet the Council hear a riot ; 
there is no fear of Got in a riot : the Council, look 
you, shall desire to hear the fear of Got, and not 
to hear a riot ; take your vizaments in that. 1 

SHAL. Ha! o* my life, if I were young again, 
the sword should end it. 

EVA. It is petter that friends is the sword, and 
end it: and there is also another device in my prain, 
which, peradventure, prings goot discretions with 
it : There is Anne Page, which is daughter to mas- 
ter George Page, 2 which is pretty virginity. 

9 The Council shall hear it ; it is a riot."] By the Council is 
only meant the court of Star-chamber, composed chiefly of the 
king's council sitting in Camera stellatd, which took cognizance 
of atrocious riots. In the old quarto, " the council shall know- 
it," follows immediately after " I'll make a Star-chamber matter 
of it." BLACKSTONE. 

So, in Sir John Harrington's Epigrams, 1018 : 
" No marvel, men of such a sumptuous dyet 
" Were brought into the Star-chamber for a ryot" 


See Stat. 13. Henry IV. c. 7- GREY. 

1 your vizaments in that."] Advisement is now an obsolete 

word. I meet with it in the ancient morality of Every Man: 

" That I may amend me with good advysement." 
Again : 

" I shall smite without any advysement." 
Again : 

" To do with good advysement and delyberacyon." 
It is often used by Spenser in his Faery Queen. So, B. II. c.g: 
" Perhaps my succour and advizement meete." STEEVENS. 

s which is daughter to master George Page.] The old copy 

reads Thomas Page. STEEVENS. 

The whole set of editions have negligently blundered one after 
another in Page's Christian name in this place ; though Mrs. Page 
tails him George afterwards in at least six several passages. 



SLEN. Mistress Anne Page ? She has brown hair, 
and speaks small like a woman. 3 

EVA. It is that fery verson for all the 'orld, as 
just as you will desire ; and seven hundred pounds 
of monies, and gold, and silver, is her grandsire, 
upon his death's-bed, (Got deliver to a joyful re- 
surrections ! ) give, when she is able to overtake 

3 speaks small like a woman,"] This is from the folio of 

1623, and is the true reading. He admires her for the sweetness 
of h(3r voice. But the expression is highly humorous, as uiaking 
her speaking small like a woman one of her marks of distinction ; 
and the ambiguity of small, which signifies little as well as low, 
makes the expression still more pleasant. WARBURTON. 

Thus, Lear, speaking of Cordelia : 

" Her voice was ever soft, 

" Gentle and low : an excellent thing in woman." 


Dr. Warburton has found more pleasantry here than I believe 
was intended. Small was, I think, not used, as he supposes, in 
an ambiguous sense, for " little, as well as low,'' but simply for 
weak, slender, feminine- and the only pleasantry of the passage 
seems to be, that poor Slender should characterise his mistress 
by a general quality belonging to her whole sex. In A Midsummer 
Nig/it's Dream, Quince tells Flute, who objects to pla- ing a 
woman's part, " You shall play it in a mask, and you may speak 
as small as you will." MALONE. 

A small voice is a soft and melodious voice. Chaucer uses the 
word in that sense, in The Flower and the Leaf, Spoght's edit, 
p. t)l 1 : 

" The company answered all, 
" With voice sweet entuned, and so small, 
" That me thought it the sweetest melody." 
Again, in Fairfax's Godfrey of Bidloigne, 1. 15, St. 62: 
" She warbled forth a treble small, 
" And with sweet lookes, her sweet songs enterlaced." 
When female characters were filled by boys, to speak small 
like a woman must have been a valuable qualification. So, in 
Marston's What you will: " I was solicited to graunt him leave 
to play the lady in comedies presented by children ; but I knew 
his voice was too ymall, and his stature too low. Sing a treble, 
Holofernes ; a very small sweet voice I'le assure you." 


5C-. /. OF WINDSOR. 15 

seventeen years old : it were a goot motion, if we 
leave our pribbles and prabbles, and desire a mar- 
riage between master Abraham, and mistress Anne 

SHAL. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred 
pound ? 4 

EVA. Ay, and her father is make her a petter 

SHAL. I know the young gentlewoman ; she has 
good gifts. 

EVA. Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, 
is good gifts. 

SHAL. Well, let us see honest master Page : Is 
Falstaff there? 

EVA. Shall I tell you a lie ? I do despise a liar, as 
I do despise one that is false j or, as I despise one 

4 Shal. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound? 
I know the young gentlewoman; &c.J These two speeches are 
by mistake given to Slender in the first folio, the only authentick 
copy of this play. From the foregoing words it appears that 
Shallow is the person here addressed ; and on a marriage being 
proposed for his kinsman, he very naturally enquires concerning 
the lady's fortune. Slender should seem not to know what they 
are talking about ; (except that he just hears the name of Anne 
Page, and breaks out into a foolish elogium on her;) for after- 
wards Shallow says to him, " Coz, there is, as it were, a ten- 
der, a kind of tender, made afar off by Sir Hugh here ; do you 
understand me :" to which Slender replies " if it be so," &c. 
The tender, therefore, we see, had been made to Shallow, and 
not to Slender, the former of which names should be prefixed to 
the two speeches before us. 

In this play, as exhibited in the first folio> many of the speeches 
are given to characters to whom they do not belong. Printers, 
to save trouble, keep the names of the speakers in each scene 
ready composed, and are very liable to mistakes, when two 
names begin (as in the present instance) with the same letter, 
and are nearly of the same length. The present regulation wa* 
suggested by Mr. Capell. 


that is not true. The knight, sir John, is there ; 
and, I beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. 
I will peat the door [knocks'] for master Page. 
What, hoa ! Got pless your house here ! 

Enter PAGE. 

PAGE. Who's there ? 

EVA. Here is Got's plessing, and your friend, 
and justice Shallow: and here young master Slen- 
der ; that, peradventures, shall tell you another 
tale, if matters grow to your likings. 

PAGE. I am glad to see your worships well : I 
thank you for my venison, master Shallow. 

SHAL. Master Page, I am glad to see you; Much 
good do it your good heart ! I wished your venison 
better ; it was ill kilPd : How doth good mistress 
Page ? and I love you 5 always with my heart, la; 
with my heart. 

PAGE. Sir, I thank you. 

SHAL. Sir, I thank you ; by yea and no, I do. 

PAGE. I am glad to see you, good master Slender. 

SLEN. How does your fallow greyhound, sir ? I 
heard say, he was out-run on Cotsale. 6 

4 / love you ] Thus the 4to. l6lQ. The folio" I 

thank you ." Dr. Farmer prefers the first of these readings, 
which I have therefore placed in the text. STEEVENS. 

6 Hotv does your fallow greyhound, sir ? I heard say, he was 
out-run on Cotsale.] He means Cotsivold, in Gloucestershire. In 
the beginning of the reign of James the First, by permission 
of the king, one Dover, a public-spirited attorney of Barton 
on the Heath, in Warwickshire, instituted on the hills of Cots- 
tuold an annual celebration of games, consisting of rural sports 
and exercises. These he constantly conducted in person, well 
mounted, and accoutred in a suit of his majesty's old clothes ; 
and they were frequented above forty years by the nobility and 

sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 17 

PAGE. It could not be judg'd, sir. 
SLEN. You'll not confess, you'll not confess. 
SHAL. That he will not: 'tis your fault, 'tis- 
your fault : 8 'Tis a good dog. 

gentry for sixty miles round, till the" grand rebellion abolished 
every liberal establishment. I have seen a very scarce book, 
entitled, " Annalia Dubrensia. Upon the yearly celebration of 
Mr. Robert Dover's Olympick games upon Cotswold hills," &c. 
London, 1 636, 4 to. There are recommendatory verses prefixed, 
written by Drayton, Jonson, Randolph, and many others, the 
most eminent wits of the times. The games, as appears from 
a curious frontispiece, were, chiefly, wrestling, leaping, pitching 
the bar, handling the pike, dancing of women, various kinds of 
hunting, and particularly coursing the hare with greyhounds. 
Hence also we see the meaning of another passage, where Fal- 
staff, or Shallow, calls a stout fellow a Cotswold-man. But, from 
what is here said, an inference of another kind may be drawn, 
respecting the age of the play. A meager and imperfect sketch 
of this comedy was printed in 1(502. Afterwards Shakspeare 
new-wrote it entirely. This allusion therefore to the Cotswold 
games, not founded till the reign of James the First, ascertains 
a period of time beyond which our author must have made the 
additions to his original rough draft, or, in other words, com- 
posed the present comedy. James the First came to the crown 
in the year 1003. And we will suppose that tsvo or three more 
years at least must have passed before these games could have 
been effectually established. I would therefore, at the earliest, 
date this play about the year 1607. T. WARTON. 

The Annalia Dubrensia consists entirely of recommendatory 
verses. DOUCE. 

The Cotswold hills in Gloucestershire are a large tract of downs, 
famous for their fine turf, and therefore excellent for coursing. 
I believe there is no village of that name. BLACKSTONE. 

8 'tis your fault, 'tis your fault :] Of these words, 

which are addressed to Page, the sense is not very clear. Per- 
haps Shallow means to say, that it is a known failing of Page's 
not to confess that his dog has been out-run. Or, the meaning 
may be, 'tis your misfortune that he was out-run on Cotswold ; 
he is, however, a good dog. So perhaps the word is used after- 
wards by Ford, speaking of his jealousy: 

" 'Tis my fault, master Page ; I suffer for it." MALONJE. 

VOL. V. C 


PAGE. A cur, sir. 

SHAL. Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog ; Can 
.there be more said ? he is good, and fair. Is sir 
John Falstaff here ? 

PAGE. Sir, he is within ; and I would I could do 
a good office between you. 

EVA. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak. 
SHAL. He hath wrong'd me, master Page. 
PAGE. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it. 

SHAL. If it be confessed, it is not redress'd ; is 
not that so, master Page ? He hath wrong'd me ; 
indeed, he hath ; at a word, he hath ; believe 
me ; Robert Shallow, Esquire, saith,he is wrong'd. 

PAGE. Here comes sir John. 


FAL. Now, master Shallow ; you'll complain of 
me to the king ? 

SHAL. Knight you have beaten my men, killed 
my deer, and broke open my lodge. 9 

FAL. But not kiss'd your keeper's daughter ? 
SHAL. Tut, a pin ! this shall be answer 'd. 

FAL. I will answer it straight ; I have done all 
this : That is now answer'd. 

SHAL. The Council shall know this. 

Perhaps Shallow addresses these words to Slender, and means 
to tell him, " it was his fault to undervalue a dog whose infe- 
riority in the chase was not ascertained." STEEVENS. 

9 and broke open my lodge.~\ This probably alludes to 

some real incident, at that time well known. JOHNSON. 

So probably Falstaff's answer. FARMER. 

sc.i. OF WINDSOR. 19 

FAL. 'Twere better for you, if it were known in 
counsel : 1 you'll be laugh'd at. 

EVA. Pauca verba, sir John, good worts. 

' Twere better for you, if it "were known in counsel :] The 
old copies read ' Twere better for you, if 'twere known in 
council. Perhaps it is an abrupt speech, and must be read 
thus : ' Twere better for you if "'twere known in council, 
you II be laugh'd at. 'Twere better for you, is, I believe, a 
menace. JOHNSON. 

Some of the modern editors arbitrarily read if 'twere not 
known in council: but I believe Falbtaff quibbles between 
council and counsel. The latter signifies secrecy. So, in Hamlet : 

" The players cannot keep counsel, they'll tell all." 
Falstaff's meaning seems to be 'twere better for you if it 
were known only in secrecy, i. e. among your friends. A more 
publick complaint would subject you to ridicule. 

Thus, in Chaucer's Prologue to the Squires Tale, v. 10,305, 
Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit : 

" But wete ye what ? in conseil be it seyde, 
" Me reweth sore I am unto hire teyde." 
Again, in the ancient MS. Romance of the Soiudon of Baby- 
loyne, p. 3g : 

" And saide, sir, for alle loves 
" Lete me thy prisoneres seen, 
" I wole thee gife both goolde and glov'eS, 
" And shall it been.'' 
Again, in Gammer Gurton's Needle, last edit. p. 29? 

" But first for you in council, I have a word or twaine." 


Mr. Ritson supposes the present reading to be just, and quite 
in Falstaff s insolent sneering manner. " It would be much 
better, indeed, to have it known in the council, where you 
would only be laughed at." REED. 

The spelling of the old quarto, (counsel,] as well as the general 
purport of the passage, fully confirms Mr. Steevens's interpreta- 
tion. " Shal. Well, the Council shall know it. Fal. 'Twere 
better for you 'twere known in counsell. You'll be laugh't at." 

In an office-book of Sir Heneage Finch, Treasurer of the 
Chambers to Quern Elizabeth, (a MS. in the British Museum,) 
I observe that whenever the Privy Council is mentioned, the 
word is always spelt Counsel; so that the equivoque was less 
strained then than it appears now. 

C 2 


FAL. Good worts ! good cabbage. 2 Slender, I 
broke your head ; What matter have you against 
me ? 

SLEN. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head 
against you ; and against your coney-catching ras- 
cals, 3 Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried 
me to the tavern, and made me drunk, and after- 
wards picked my pocket. 4 

BARD. You Banbury cheese ! 5 

" Mum is Counsell, \\z. silence" is among Howel's Proverbial 
Sentences. See his DICT. folio, 1660. MALONE. 

2 Good worts ! good cabbage.] Worts was the ancient name 
of all the cabbage kind. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Va- 
lentinian : 

" Planting of tvorts and onions, any thing." 
Again, in Tho. Lupton's Seventh Booke of Notable Thinges, 

4to. bl. 1. " then anoint the burned place therwith, and lay 

a uioort leafe upon it," &c. STEEVENS. 

3 coney-catching rascals,] A coney-calclier was, in the 

time of Elizabeth, a common name for a cheat or sharper. 
Green, one of the first among us who made a trade of writing 
pamphlets, published A Detection of the Frauds and Tricks of 
Coney-catchers and Couzeners. JOHNSON. 

So, in Decker's Satiromastix : 

" Thou shalt not coney-catch me for five pounds." 


* They carried me, &c.] These words, which are necessary 
to introduce whajfc Falstatf says afterwards, [" Pistol, did you 
pick master Slender's purse ?"] I have restored from the early 
quarto. Of this circumstance, as the play is exhibited in the 
folio, Sir John could have no knowledge. MALONE. 

We might suppose that Falstaff was already acquainted with 
this robbery, and had received his share of it, as in the case of 
the handle of mistress Bridget's fan, Act II. sc. ii. His question, 
therefore, may be said to arise at once from conscious guilt and 
pretended ignorance. 1 have, however, adopted Mr. Malone's 
restoration. STEEVENS. 

5 You Banbury cheese /] This is said in allusion to the thin 
carcase of Slender. The same thought occurs in Jack Drum's 
Entertainment, 1001 : " Put off your cloathes, and you are 

sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 21 

SLEN. Ay, it is no matter. 

PIST. How now, Mephostophilus ? 6 

SLEN. Ay, it is no matter. 

NYM. Slice, I say ! pauca., pauca ; 7 slice ! that's 
my humour. 8 

like a Banbury cheese, nothing but paring." So Heywood, in 

his collection of epigrams : 

*' I never saw Banbury cheese thick enough, 

" But I have oft seen Essex cheese quick enough." 


6 Hotu now, Mephostophilus?] This is the name of a spirit 
or familiar, in the old story book of Sir John Faustus, or John 
Faust : to whom our author afterwards alludes, Act II. sc. ii. 
That it was a cant phrase of abuse, appears from the old comedy 
cited above, called A pleasant Comedy of the Gentle Craft, 
Signat. H 3. " Away you Islington whitepot ; hence you hop- 
per-arse, you barley-pudding full of maggots, you broiled car- 
bonado : avaunt, avaunt, Mephostophilus." In the same vein, 
Bardolph here also calls Slender, " You Banbury cheese." 


Pistol means to call Slender a very ugly fellow. So, in Nosce 
te, (Humors) by Richard Turner, 1607 : 

" O face, no face hath our Theophilus, 
" But the right forme of Mephostophilus. 
" I know 'twould serve, and yet I am no wizard, 
" To play the Devil i'the vault without a vizard." 
Again, in The Muses Looking Glass, 1638: " We want not 
you to play Mephostophilus. A pretty natural vizard !" 


7 Slice, I say! pauca, pauca;] Dr. Farmer (see a former 
note, p. 10, n. 8,) would transfer the Latin words to Evans. 
But the old copy, I think, is right. Pistol, in K. Henry V. uses 
the same language : 

" 1 will hold the quondam Quickly 

" For the only she ; and pauca, there's enough.'* 
In the same scene Nym twice uses the word solus. MALONE. 

8 that's my humour."] So, in an ancient MS. play, en- 
titled The Second Maiden's Tragedy: 

" 1 love not to disquiet ghosts, sir, 

" Of any people living; that's my humour, sir." 
See a following note, Act II. sc. i. STEEVENS-, 


SLEN. Where's Simple, my man ? can you tell, 
cousin ? 

EVA. Peace : I pray you ! Now let us under- 
stand : There is three umpires in this matter, as I 
understand : that is master Page^delicet, master 
Page ; and there is myself, Jidelicet, myself; and 
the three party is, lastly and finally, mine host of 
the Garter. 

PAGE. We three, to hear it, and end it between 

EVA. Fery goot : I will make a prief of it in my 
note-book ; and we will afterwards 'ork upon the 
cause, with as great discreetly as we can. 

FAL. Pistol, 

PIST. He hears with ears. 

EVA. The tevil and his tam ! what phrase is this, 9 
He hears with ear ? Why, it is affectations. 

FAL. Pistol, did you pick master Slender's purse ? 

SLEN. Ay, by these gloves, did he, (or I would 
I might never come in mine own great chamber 
again else,) of seven groats in mill-sixpences, 1 and 
two Edward shovel-boards, 2 that cost me two shil- 

9 ivhat phrase is this, &c.] Sir Hugh is justified in his 

censure of this passage by Peacham, who in his Garden of Elo- 
quence, 15/7, places this very mode of expression under the 
article Pleonasmus. HENDERSON. 

1 mz7/-sixpences,] It appears from a passage in Sir 

William Davenant s Netves from Plimouth, that these mill six- 
pences were used by way of counters to cast up money : 

" A few milVd sixpences, with which 

" My purser casts accompt." STEEVENS. 

* Edward shovel-boards,] One of these pieces of metal is 

mentioned in Middleton's comedy of The Roaring Girl, ItJll : 

" away slid 1 my man, like a shovel-board shilling," &c. 



ling and two pence a-piece of Yead Miller, by these 


" Edivard shovel-boards," were the broad shillings ofEdw. VI. 
Taylor, the water-poet, in his Trauel of Twelve-pence y makes 
him complain : 

" the unthrift every day 

" With my face downwards do at shoave-board play; 
" That had I had a beard, you may suppose, 
" They had worne it off, as they have done my nose." 
And in a note he tells us : " Edw. shillings for the most part 
are used at shoave-board." FARMER. 

In the Second Part of K. Henry IV. Falstaff says, " Quoit him 
down, Bardolph, like a shove-groat shilling" This confirms Far- 
mer's opinion, that pieces of coin were used for that purpose. 


The following extract, for the notice of which I am indebted 
to Dr. Farmer, will ascertain the species of coin mentioned in 
the text. " 1 must here take notice before I entirely quit the 
subject of these last-mentioned shillings, that I have also seen 
some other pieces of good silver, greatly resembling the same, 
and of the same date 1547, tnat have been so much thicker as 
to weigh about half an ounce, together with some others that 
have weighed an ounce.'' Folkes's Table of English Silver Coins, 
p. 32. The former of these were probably what cost Master 
Slender two shillings and two-pence a-piece. REED. 

It appears, that the game of shovel-board was played with the 
shillings of Edivard VI. in Shadwell's time ; for in his Miser, 
Act III. sc. i. Cheatly says, " She persuaded him to play with 
hazard at backgammon, and he has already lost his Edward shil- 
lings that he kept for Shovel-board, and was pulling out broad 
pieces (that have not seen the sun these many years) when I 
came away." 

In Shadwell's Lancashire Witches, Vol. III. p. 232, the game 
is called Shztffle-board. It is still played; and I lately heard a 
man ask another to go into an alehouse in the Broad Sanctuary, 
Westminster, to play at it. DOUCE. 

That Slender means the broad shilling of one of our kings, 
appears from comparing these words with the corresponding 
passage in the old quarto : " Ay by this handkerchief did he ; 
two faire shovel-board shillings, besides seven groats in mill six- 

How twenty eight pence could be lost in mill-sixpences, 
Slender, however, has not explained to us. MALONE. 


FAL. Is this true, Pistol ? 

EVA. No ; it is false, if it is a pick-purse. 

FIST. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner ! Sir John 

and master mine, 
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo: 3 

J t> 
Word of denial in thy labras here ; 4 

Word of denial : froth and scum, thou liest. 

3 1 combat challenge of this latten bilbo .] Pistol, seeing Slender 
such a slim, puny wight, would intimate, that he is as thin as 9 
plate of that compound metal, which is called latten : and which 
was, as we are told, the old orichalc. THEOBALD. 

Latten is a mixed metal, made of copper and calamine. 


The sarcasm intended is, that Slender had neither courage nor 
strength, as a latten sword has neither edge nor substance. 


Latten may signify no more than as thin as a lath. The word 
in some counties is still pronounced as if there was no h in it; 
and Ray, in his Dictionary of North Country Words, affirms it to 
be spelt lot in the North of England. 

Falstaff threatens, in another play, to drive prince Henry out 
of his kingdom with a dagger of lath. A latten bilboe mean* 
therefore, I believe, no more than a blade as thin as a la,th~~c[, 
vice's dagger. 

Theobald, however, is right in his assertion that latten was a 
metal. So Tui'bervile, in his book of Falconry, 1575 : " you 
must set her a latten bason, or a vessel of stone or earth." 
Again, in Old Fortunatus, 1600: " Whether it were lead or 
latten that hasp'd down those winking casements, I know not." 
Again, in the old metrical Romance of Syr Bevis of 'Hampton, 
bl. 1. no date : 

" Windowes of latin were set with glasse.'* 

Latten is still a common word for tin in the North. STEE YENS. 

I believe Theobald has given the true sense of latten, though 
he is wrong in supposing, that the allusion is to Slender's thin- 
ness. It is rather to his softness or weakness. TYRWHITT. 

4 Word of denial in thy labras here ;] I suppose it should 
rather be read : 

" Word of denial in my labras hear ;" 
That is, hear the word of denial in my lips. Thou ly'st. 


ac. i. OF WINDSOR. 25 

SLEN. By these gloves, then 'twas he. 

NYM. Be advised, sir, and pass good humours : 
I will say, marry trap? with you, if you run the 
nuthook's humour 6 on me ; that is the very note 
of it. 

SLEN. By this hat, then he in the red face had 
it : for though I cannot remember what I did when 
you made me drunk, yet I am not altogether an 


FAL. What say you, Scarlet and John ? 7 

BARD. Why, sir, for my part, I say, the gen- 
tleman had drunk himself out of his five sen- 

EVA. It is his five senses : fie, what the igno- 
ranee is ! 

We often talk of giving the lie in a man's teeth, or in hi* 
throat. Pistol chooses to throw the word of denial in the lips of 
his adversary, and is supposed to point to them as he speaks. 


There are few words in the old copies more frequently mis- 
printed than the word hear. " Thy lips," however, is certainly 
right, as appears from the old quarto : " I do retort the lie even 
in thy gorge, thy gorge, thy gorge." MALONE. 

* marry trap,"] When a man was caught in his owa 

stratagem, I suppose the exclamation of insult was marry, 
trap ! JOHNSON. 

6 nuthook's humour ] Nuthook is the reading of the 

folio. The quarto reads, base humour. 

If you run the nuthook's humour on me, is, in plain English, 
if you say I am a thief. Enough is said on the subject of 
hooking moveables out at windows, in a note on K. Henry IV. 


7 Scarlet and John ?~\ The names of two of Robin 

Hood's companions ; but the humour consists in the allusion to 
Bardolph's red face; concerning which, see The Second Part of 


BARD. And being fap, 8 sir, was, as they say, 
cashier'd ; and so conclusions pass'd the careires. 9 

SLEN. Ay, you spake in Latin then too ; but 'tis 
no matter : I'll ne'er be drunk whilst I live again, 

6 And being fap,] I know not the exact meaning of this cant 
word, neither have I met with it in any of our old dramatic 
pieces, which have often proved the best comments on Shak- 
speare's vulgarisms. 

Dr. Farmer, indeed, observes, that to Jib is to beat; so that 
being Jap may mean being beaten; and cashiered, turned out of 
company. STEEVENS. 

The word fap, is probably made from vappa, a drunken fellow, 
or a good-for-nothing fellow, whose virtues are all exhaled. 
Slender, in his answer, seems to understand that Bardolph had 
made use of a Latin word: " Ay, you spake in Latin then too;" 
as Pistol had just before. S. W. 

It is not probable that any cant term is from the Latin ; nor 
that the word in question was so derived, because Slender mis- 
took it for Latin. The mistake, indeed, is an argument to the 
contrary, as it shows his ignorance in that language. Fap, how- 
ever, certainly means drunk, as appears from the glossaries. 


9 careires.] I believe this strange word is nothing but 
the French cariere ; and the expression means, that the common 
bounds of good behaviour are overpassed. JOHNSON. 

To pass the cariere was a military phrase, or rather perhaps a 
term of the manege. I find it in one of Sir John Smythe's Dis- 
courses, 15SQ, where, speaking of horses wounded, he says 
" they, after the first shrink at the entering of the bullet, doo 
pass their carriere,as though they had verie little hurt." Again, 
in Harrington's translation of Ariosto, b. xxxviii. stanza 35 : 

*' To stop, to start, to pass carter, to bound." STEEVENS. 

Bardolph means to say, " and so in the end he reel'd about 
with a circuitous motion, like a horse, passing a carier." To 
pass a carier was a technical term. So, in Nashe's Have with 

you to Saffron Walden, &c. 15p6: " her hottest fury may 

be resembled to \hepassing of a brave cariere by a Pegasus." 

We find the term again used in K. Henry V. in the same man- 
ner as in the passage before us : " The king is a good king, but 
he passes some humours and carters." MALONE. 

sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 27 

but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick : 
if I be drunk, I'll be drunk with those that have 
the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves. 

EVA. So Got 'udge m'e, that is a virtuous mind. 

FAL. You hear all these matters denied, gentle- 
men ; you hear it. 

Enter Mistress ANNE PAGE with wine; Mistress 
FORD and Mistress PAGEfollowing. 

PAGE. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in ; we'll 
drink within. [Exit ANNE PAGE. 

SLEN. O heaven ! this is mistress Anne Page. 
PAGE. How now, mistress Ford ? 

FAL. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very 
well met: by your leave,good mistress, [kissing her. 

PAGE. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome: 

Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner ; 
come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all 

[Exeunt all but SHAL. SLENDER and EVANS. 

SLEN. I had rather than forty shillings, I had my 
book of Songs and Sonnets here : ] 

1 my book of Songs and Sonnets here ] It cannot be 

supposed that poor Slender was himself a poet. He probably 
means the Poems of Lord Surrey and others, which were very 
popular in the age of Queen Elizabeth. They were printed in 
1507, with this title: " Songes and Sonnettes, written by the 
Right Honourable Lord Henry Howard, late Earle of Surrey, 
and others." 

Slender laments that he has not this fashionable book about 
him, supposing it might have assisted him in paying his addresses 
to Anne Page. MALONE. 

Under the title mentioned by Slender, Churchyard very evi- 
dently points out this book in an enumeration of his own pieces, 
prefixed to a collection of verse and prose, called Churchyard's 


Enter SIMPLE. 

How now, Simple ! Where have you been ? I must 
wait on myself, must I ? You have not The Book 
of Riddles* about you, have you ? 

SIM. Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it 
to Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas last, a fort- 
night afore Michaelmas ? 3 

SHAL. Come, coz ; come, coz ; we stay for you. 
A word with you, coz : marry, this, coz ; There 
is, as 'twere, a tender, a kind of tender, made afar 
off by sir Hugh here ; Do you understand me ? 

SLEN. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable ; if 
it be so, I shall do that that is reason. 

SHAL. Nay, but understand me. 

Challenge, 4to. 15Q3 : " and many things in the booke of 

songes and sonets printed then, were of my making." By then 
he means " in Queene Maries raigne ;" for Surrey was first 
published in 155/. STEEVENS. 

* The Book of Riddles ] This appears to have been a 

popular book, and is enumerated with others in The English 
Courtier, and Country Gentleman, bl. 1. 4to. 1586, Sign. H 4. 
See quotation in note to Much Ado about Nothing, Act II. sc. i. 


3 upon Allhallotvmas last, a fortnight afore Michael- 
mas ?~] Sure, Simple's a little out in his reckoning. Allhallow- 
tnas is almost five weeks after Michaelmas. But may it not be 
urged, it is designed Simple should appear thus ignorant, to 
keep up the character ? I think not. The simplest creatures 
(nay, even naturals,) generally are very precise in the knowledge 
of festivals, and marking how the seasons run: and therefore 
I have ventured to suspect our poet wrote Martlemas, as the 
vulgar call it: which is near a fortnight after All-Saints day, 
i. e. eleven days, both inclusive. THEOBALD. 

This correction, thus seriously and wisely enforced, is received 
by Sir Thomas Hanmer ; but probably Shakspeare intended to 
blunder. JOHNSON. 

sc. T. OF WINDSOR. 29 

SLEN. So I do, sir. 

EVA. Give ear to his motions, master Slender : 
I will description the matter to you, if you be ca- 
pacity of it. 

SLEN. Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says : 
I pray you, pardon me ; he's a justice of peace in 
his country, simple though I stand here. 

EVA. But this is not the question ; the question 
is concerning your marriage. 

SHAL. Ay, there's the point, sir. 

EVA. Marry, is it ; the very point of it ; to mis- 
tress Anne Page. 

SLEN. Why, if it be so, I will marry her, upon 
any reasonable demands. 

EVA. But can you affection the 'oman ? Let us 
command to know that of your mouth, or of your 
lips ; for divers philosophers hold, that the lips is 
parcel of the mouth ; 4 Therefore, precisely, can 
you carry your good will to the maid ? 

4 the lips is parcel of the mouth ;] Thus the old copies. 

The modern editors read " parcel of the mind." 

To be parcel of any thing, is an expression that often occurs 
in the old plays. 

So, in Decker's Satiromastix : 

" And make damnation parcel of your oath." 
Again, in Tam&urlaine, I5go: 

" To make it parcel of my empery." 

This passage, however, might have been designed as a ridicule 
on another, in John Lyly's Midas, 1592: 

" Pet. What lips hath she ? 

" Li. Tush ! Lips are no part of the head, only made for a 
double-leaf door for the mouth." STEEVENS. 

The word parcel, in this place, seems to be used in the same 
sense as it was both formerly and at present in conveyances. 
" Part, parcel, or member of any estate," are formal words still 
to be found in various deeds. REED. 


SHAL. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love 

SLEN. I hope, sir, I will do, as it shall become 
one that would do reason. 

EVA. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies, you must 
speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires 
towards her. 

SHAL. That you must : Will you, upon good 
dowry, marry her ? 

SLEN. I will do a greater thing than that, upon 
your request, cousin, in any reason. 

SHAL. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet 
coz ; what I do, is to pleasure you, coz : Can you 
love the maid ? 

SLEN. I will marry her, sir, at your request; but 
if there be no great love in the beginning, yet 
heaven may decrease it upon better acquaintance, 
when we are married, and have more occasion to 
know one another : I hope, upon familiarity will 
grow more contempt : 5 but if you say, marry her, 
I will marry her, that I am freely dissolved, and 

5 I hope upon familiarity tvill grow more contempt :] 

The old copy reads content. STEEVENS. 

Certainly, the editors in their sagacity have murdered a jest 
here. It is designed, no doubt, that Slender should say decrease, 
instead of increase; and dissolved and dissolutely, instead of 
resolved and resolutely: but to make him say, on the present 
occasion, that upon iamiliarity will grow more content, instead 
of contempt, is disarming the sentiment of all its salt and hu- 
mour, an'd disappointing the audience of a reasonable cause for 
laughter. THEOBALD. 

Theobald's conjecture may be supported by the same inten- 
tional blunder in Love's Labour's Lost: 

" Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching me.'* 


sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 31 

EVA. It is a fery discretion answer; save, the fain" 
is in the 'ort dissolutely : the 'ort is, according to 
our meaning, resolutely ; his meaning is good. 

SHAL. Ay, I think my cousin meant well. 
SLEN. Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la. 

Re-enter ANNE PAGE. 

SHAL. Here comes fair mistress Anne : Would 
I were young, for your sake, mistress Anne ! 

ANNE. The dinner is on the table ; my father 
desires your worships' company. 

SHAL. I will wait on him, fair mistress Anne. 

EVA. Od's plessed will ! I will not be absence at 
the grace. 

\_Exeunt SHALLOW and Sir H. EVANS. 

ANNE. Will't please your worship to come in, sir? 

SLEN. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily j I am 
very well. 

ANNE. The dinner attends you, sir. 

SLEN. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth : 
Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go, wait upon 
my cousin Shallow : 6 [_Exit SIMPLE.] A justice 
of peace sometime may be beholden to his friend 
for a man: I keep but three men and a boy yet, 7 

6 Anne. The dinner attends you, sir. 

Slen. Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go, 'wait upon my 
cousin Shallot:] This passage shews that it was formerly the 
custom in England, as it is now in France, for persons to be 
attended at dinner by their own servants, wherever they dined. 


7 I keep but three men and a boy yet^\ As great a fool as 

the poet has made Slender, it appears, by his boasting of his 
wealth, hi* breeding and his courage, that he knew how to win 


till my mother be dead : But what though ? yet I 
live like a poor gentleman born. 

ANNE. I may not go in without your worship : 
they will not sit, till you come. 

SLEN. Pfaith, I'll eat nothing ; I thank you as 
much as though I did. 

ANNE. I pray you, sir, walk in. 

SLEN. I had rather walk here, I thank you : I 
bruised my shin the other day with playing at sword 
and dagger with a master of fence, 8 three veneys 

a woman. This is a fine instance of Shakspeare's knowledge of 
nature. WARBURTON. 

8 a master of fence,] Master of defence, on this occa- 
sion, does not simply mean a professor of the art of fencing, 
but a person who had taken his master's degree in it. I learn 
from one of the Sloanian MSS. (now in the British Museum, 
No. 2530, xxvi. D. ) which seems to be the fragment of a register 
formerly belonging to some of our schools where the " Noble 
Science of Defence," was taught from the year 1568 to 1583, 
that in this art there were three degrees, viz. a Master's, a Pro- 
vost's and a Scholar's. For each of these a prize was played, 
as exercises are kept in universities for similar purposes. The 
weapons they used were the axe, the pike, rapier and target, 
rapier and cloke, two swords, the two-hand sword, the bastard 
sword, the dagger and staff, the sword and buckler, the rapier 
and dagger, &c. The places where they exercised were com- 
monly theatres, halls, or other enclosures sufficient to contain 
a ^number of spectators; as Ely-Place in Holborn, the Bell Savage 
on Ludgate-Hill, the Curtain in Hollywell, the Gray Friars 
within Newgate, Hampton Court, the Bull in Bishopsgate- 
Street, the Clink, Duke's Place, Salisbury-Court, Bridewell, 
the Artillery Garden, c. &c. &c. Among those who distin- 
guished themselves in this science, I find Tarlton the Comedian, 
who " was allowed a master" the 23d of October, 1587 [I sup- 
pose, either as grand compounder, or by mandamus], he being 
" ordinary grome of her majesties chamber," and Robert Greene, 
who " plaide his maister's prize at Leadenhall with three wea- 
pons," &c. The book from which these extracts are made, is 
a singular curiosity, as it contains the oaths, customs, regula- 

sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 33 

for a dish of stewed prunes ; 9 and, by my troth, I 
cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do 
your dogs bark so ? be there bears i* the town ? 

ANNE. I think, there are, sir ; I heard them 
talked of. 

SLEN. I love the sport well ; but I shall as soon 
quarrel at it, as any man in England : You are 
afraid, if you see the bear loose, are you not ? 

ANNE. Ay, indeed, sir. 

SLEN. That's meat and drink to me now : l I 
have seen Sackerson 2 loose, twenty times ; and 

tions, prizes, summonses, &c. of this once fashionable society. 
K. Henri) VIII. K. Edward VI. Philip and Mary, and Queen 
Elizabeth, were frequent spectators of their skill and activity. 


9 three veneys/or a dish &c."] i. e. three venues, French. 

Three different set-to's, bouts, (or hits, as Mr. Malone, perhaps 
.more properly, explains the word,) a technical term. So, in 
our author's Love's Labours Lout : " a quick renew of wit." 
Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Phi/aster : " thou wouldst 
be loth to play half a dozen venies at Wasters with a good fellow 
for a broken head." Again, in The Two Maids of More-clacke, 
1609: " This was a pass, 'twas fencer's play, and for the after 
veny, let me use my skill." So, in The Famous History, &c. 

of Capt. Tho. Stukely, 1005 : " for forfeits and venneys 

given upon a wager at the ninth button of your doublet." 

Again, in the MSS. mentioned in the preceding note, " and 
at any prize whether it be maister's prize, &c. whosoever doth 
play agaynste the prizer, and doth strike his blowe and close 
with all, so that the prizer cannot strike his blowe after agayne, 
shall wynne no game for any veneyc so given, althoughe it shold 
breake the prizer's head." STEEVENS. 

1 That's meat and drink to me now .] Decker has this pro- 
verbial phrase in his Satiromastix : " Yes faith, 'tis meat and 
drink to me" WH ALLEY. 

Sackerson ] Seckarson is likewise the name of a 

bear in the old comedy of Sir Giles Goosecap. STEEVENS. 

Sackerson, or Sacarson, was the name of a bear that was 
exhibited in our author's time at Paris-Garden in Southwark. 

VOL. V. D 


have taken him by the chain : but, I warrant you, 
the women have so cried and shriek* d at it, that it 
pass'd : 3 but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em ; 
they are very ill-favoured rough things. 

Re-enter PAGE. 

PAGE. Come, gentle master Slender, come ; we 
stay for you. 

SLEW. I'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir. 

PAGE. By cock and pye, 4 you shall not choose, 
sir : come, come. 

SLEN. Nay, pray you, lead the way. 
PAGE. Come on, sir. 

SLEN. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first. 
ANNE. Not I, sir ; pray you, keep on. 

SLEN. Truly, I will not go first ; truly, la : I 
will not do you that wrong. 

See an old collection of Epigrams [by Sir John Davies] printed 
at Middlebourg (without date, but in or before 15p8:) 
" Publius, a student of the common law, 
" To Paris-garden doth himself withdraw ; 
" Leaving old Ployden, Dyer, and Broke, alone, 
" To see old Harry Hunkes and Sacarson" 
Sacarson probably had his name from his keeper. So, in the 
Puritan, a comedy, 1607 : " How many dogs do you think 
I had upon me ? Almost as many as George Stone, the bear ; 
three at once." MALONE. 

3 that it pass'd :] It pass'd, or this passes, was a way 

of speaking customary heretofore, to signify the excess, or ex- 
traordinary degree of any thing. The sentence completed 
would be, This passes all expression, or perhaps, This passes all 
things. We still use passing well, passing strange. 


4 By cock and pye, ~\ This was a very popular adjuration, and 
occurs in many or' our old dramatic pieces. See note on Act V. 
sc. i. K. Henry IV. P. II. SXEEVENS. 

so. ii. OF WINDSOR. 35 

ANNE. I pray you, sir. 

SLEN. I'll rather be unmannerly, than trouble- 
some : you do yourself wrong, indeed, la. [Exeunt. 


The same. 

EVA. Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Cams' 
house, which is the way: and there dwells one 
mistress Quickly, which is in the manner of his 
nurse, or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, 5 
his washer, and his wringer. 

SIMP. Well, sir. 

EVA. Nay, it is petter yet : give her this 

letter ; for it is a 'oman that altogether's acquaint- 
ance 6 with mistress Anne Page : and the letter is, 
to desire and require her to solicit your master's 
desires to mistress Anne Page : I pray you, be 
gone ; I will make an end of my dinner ; there's 
pippins and cheese to come. [Exeunt. 

5 or his laundry,] Sir Hugh means to say his launder. 

Thus, in Sidney's Arcadia, B. I. p. 44, edit. 1633 : " not 

only will make him an Amazon, but a launder, a spinner," &c. 


6 that altogether's acquaintance ] The old copy 

reads altogethers acquaintance ; but should not this be " that 
altogether's acquaintance," i. e. that is altogether acquainted? 
The English, I apprehend, would still be bad enough for Evans. 


I have availed myself of this judicious remark. STEEVENS. 

n 2 



A Room in the Garter Inn. 

and ROBIN. 

FAL. Mine host of the Garter, 

HOST. What says my bully-rook ? 7 Speak schol- 
larly, and wisely. 

FAL. Truly, mine host, I must turn away some 
of my followers. 

HOST. Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let 
them wag ; trot, trot. 

FAL. I sit at ten pounds a week. 

HOST. Thou J rt an emperor, Caesar, Keisar, 8 and 
Pheezar. 9 I will entertain Bardolph ; he shall draw, 
he shall tap : said I well, 1 bully Hector ? 

7 my bully-rook?] The spelling of this word is cor- 

rupted, and thereby its primitive meaning is lost. The old plays 
have generally bully-rook, which is right ; and so it is exhibited 
by the folio edition of this comedy, as well as the 4to. l6l9- 
The latter part of this compound title is taken from the rooks at 
the game of chess. STEEVENS. 

Bully-rook seems to have been the reading of some editions : 
in others it is bully-roc^-. Mr. Steevens's explanation of it, 
as alluding to chess-men, is right. But Shakspeare might pos- 
sibly have given it bully-rock, as rock is the true name of these 
men, which is softened or corrupted into rook. There is seem- 
ingly more humour in bully-roc^. WHALLEY. 

8 Keisar,] The preface to Stowe's Chronicle observes, 

that the Germans use the K for C, pronouncing Keysar, for 
Caesar, their general word for an emperor. TOLLET. 

9 and Pheezar.] Pheezar was a made word from pheeze. 

" I'll pkeeze you," says Sly to the Hostess, in The Taming of 
the Shrew. MALONE. 

1 said I tvell,~] The learned editor of the Canterbury 

sc.m. OF WINDSOR. 37 

FAL. Do so, good mine host. 

HOST. I have spoke ; let him follow : Let me see 
thee froth, and lime : 2 I am at a word ; follow. 

{Exit Host. 

FAL. Bardolph, follow him ; a tapster is a good 
trade: An old cloak makes a new jerkin; a wi- 
thered servingman, a fresh tapster : 3 Go ; adieu. 

BARD. It is a life that I have desired ; I will 
thrive. [Exit BARD. 

Tales of 'Chaucer ; in 5 vols. 8vo. 1775> observes, that this phrase 
is given to the host in the Pardonere's Prologue : 

" Said I not ivel? I cannot speke in terme :" v. 12,246. 
and adds, " it may be sufficient with the other circumstances of 
general resemblance, to make us believe that Shakspeare, when 
he drew that character, had not forgotten his Chaucer." The 
same gentleman has since informed me, that the passage is not 
found in any of the ancient printed editions, but only in the MSS. 


I imagine this phrase must have reached our author in some 
other way ; for I suspect he did not devote much time to the 
perusal of old MSS. MALONE. 

* Let me see thee froth, and lime :] Thus the quarto ; 

the folio reads " and live." This passage had passed through 
all the editions without suspicion of being corrupted ; but the 
reading of the old quartos of 1602 and 101 9, Let me see thee 

frotli and lime, I take to be the true one. The Host calls for 
an immediate specimen of Bardolph's abilities as a tapster ; and 

frothing beer and liming sack were tricks practised in the time 
of Shakspeare. The first was done by putting soap into the 
bottom of the tankard when they drew the beer; the other, by 
mixing lime with the sack (i. e. sherry) to make it sparkle in the 
glass. Froth and live is sense, but a little forced ; and to make 
it so we must suppose the Host could guess by his dexterity in 
frothing a pot to make it appear fuller than it was, how he would 
afterwards succeed in the world. Falstaff himself complains of 
limed sack. STEEVENS. 

3 a 'withered servingman, a fresh tapster :] This is not 

improbably a parody on the old proverb " A broken apothe- 
cary, a new doctor." See Ray's Proverbs, 3d edit. p. 2. 



PIST. O base Gongarian wight ! 4 wilt thou the 
spigot wield ? 

NYM. He was gotten in drink : Is not the hu- 
mour conceited ? His mind is not heroick, and 
there's the humour of it. 5 

FAL. I am glad, I am so acquit of this tinder- 
box ; his thefts were too open : his filching was 
like an unskilful singer, he kept not time. 

* O base Gongarian fright ! &c.~\ This is a parody on a line 
taken from one of the old bombast plays, beginning : 

" O base Gongarian, wilt thou the distaff wield?" 
I had marked the passage down, but forgot to note the play. 
The folio reads Hungarian. 

Hungarian is likewise a cant term. So, in The Merry Devil 
of Edmonton, 1608, the merry Host says, " I have knights and 
colonels in my house, and must tend the Hungarians." 
Again : 

" Come ye Hungarian pilchers." 
Again, in Westward Hoe, 1607 : 

" Play, you louzy Hungarians." 
Again, in News from Hell, brought by the Devil's Carrier, 

by Thomas Decker, 1005: ** the leane-jaw'd Hungarian 

would not lay out a penny pot of sack for himself." 


The Hungarians, when infidels, over-ran Germany and 
France, and would have invaded England, if they could have 
come to it. See Stowe, in the year Q30, and Holinshed's in- 
vasions of Ireland, p. 56. Hence their name might become a 
proverb of baseness. Stowe's Chronicle, in the year l-4y2, and 
Leland's Collectanea, Vol. I. p. 6lO, spell it Hongarian (which 
might be misprinted Gongarian ;) and this is right according 
to their own etymology. Hongyars, i. e. domus suae strenui 
defensores. TOLLET. 

The word is Gongarian in the first edition, and should be con- 
tinued, the better to fix the allusion. FARMER. 

4 humour of 'it. ,] This speech is partly taken from the 

corrected copy, and partly from the slight sketch in 1(X)2. I 
mention it, that those who do not find it in either of the com- 
mon old editions, may not suspect it to be spurious. 


sc. m. OF WINDSOR. 3 

NYM. The good humour is, to steal at a mi- 
nute's rest. 6 

PIST. Convey, the wise it call : 7 Steal ! foh j a 
fico for the phrase ! 8 

FAL. Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels. 

PIST. Why, then* let kibes ensue. 

* at a minute's rest.] Our author probably wrote : 

" at a minim's rest." LANGTON. 

This conjecture seems confirmed by a passage in Romeo and 

Juliet .' " rests his minim," &c. It may, however, mean, 

that, like a skilful harquebuzier, he takes a good aim, though 
he has rested his piece for a minute only. 

So, in Daniel's Civil Wars, &c B. VI : 

" To set up's rest to venture now for all." STEEVENS. 

A minim was anciently, as the term imports, the shortest 
note in musick. Its measure was afterwards, as it is now, as 
long as while two may be moderately counted. In Romeo and 
Juliet, Act II. sc. iv. Mercutio says of Tibalt, that in fighting 
he " rests his minim, one, two, and the third in your bosom." 
A minute contains sixty seconds, and is a long time for an 
action supposed to be instantaneous. Nym means to say, that 
the perfection of stealing is to do it in the shortest time possible. 


' Tis true ( says Nym ) Bardolph did not keep time ; did not 
steal at the critical and exact season, when he would probably 
be least observed. The true method is, to steal just at the 
instant when watchfulness is off" its guard, and reposes but for a 

The reading proposed by Mr. Langton certainly corresponds 
more exactly with the preceding speech ; but Shakspeare scarcely 
ever pursues his metaphors far. MALONE. 

7 Convey, the wise it call:'] So, in the old morality of Hycke 
Scorner, bl. 1. no date : 

" Syr, the horesons could not convaye clene ; 
" For an they could have carried by craft as I can," &c. 


8 a fico for the phrase /] i. e. a jig for it. Pistol uses the 

same phraseology in King Henry V : 

" Die and be damn'd ; andfao for thy friendship." 



FAL. There is no remedy ; I must coney-catch; 
I must shift. 

PIST. Young ravens must have food. 9 

FAL. Which of you know Ford of this town ? 

PIST. I ken the wight ; he is of substance good. 

FAL. My honest lads, I will tell you what I am 

PIST. Two yards, and more. 

FAL. No quips now, Pistol ; Indeed I am in the 
waist two yards about : but I am now about no 
waste ; l I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to 
make love to Ford's wife ; I spy entertainment in 
her ; she discourses, she carves, 2 she gives the leer 
of invitation : I can construe the action of her fa- 
miliar style ; and the hardest voice of her behaviour, 
to be English'd rightly, is, / am sir John Falstaff's. 

PIST. He hath studied her well, and translated 
her well ; 3 out of honesty into English. 

9 Young ravens must have jbod.~\ An adage. See Ray's 
-Proverbs. STEEVENS. 

1 about no waste ;] I find the same play on words in 

Heywood's Epigrams, 1502: 

" Where am I least husband ? quoth he, in the waist; 
*' Which comt'th of this, thou art vengeance strait lac'd. 
" Where am I biggest, wife ? in the waste, quoth she, 
" For all is waste in you, as far as I see." 
And again, in The Wedding, a comedy, by Shirley, 1629: 
" He's a great man indeed ; 

** Something given to the wast, for he lives within no reason- 
able compass." STEEVENS. 

s she carves,] It should be remembered, that anciently 

the young of both sexes were instructed in carving, as a neces- 
sary accomplishment. In 1508, Wynkyn de Worde published 
" A Boke of KeroingS* So, in Love's Labour's Lout, Biron says 
of Boyety the French courtier : " He can carve too, and lisp." 


3 studied her well, and translated her well ;] Thus the 

sc. in. OF WINDSOR. 41 

NYM. The anchor is deep : 4 Will that humour 
pass ? 

first quarto. The folio, 1623, reads "studied her will, and 
translated her will." Mr. Malone observes, that there is a similar 
corruption in the folio copy of King Lear. In the quarto, 1608, 
signat. B, we find " since what I well intend;" instead of which 
the folio exhibits " since what I will intend," &c. 

Translation is not used in its common acceptation, but means to 
explain, as one language is explained by another. So, in Hamlet : 

" these profound heaves 

" You must translate ; 'tis fit we understand them." 
Again, in Troilus and Cressida : 

" Did in great Ilion thus translate him to me." 


4 The anchor is deep :] I see not what relation the anchor 
has to translation. Perhaps we may read the author is deep; 
or perhaps the line is out of its place, and should be inserted 
lower, after Falstaff has said : 

" Sail like my pinnace to those golden shores." 

It may be observed, that in the hands of that time anchor and 
author could hardly be distinguished. JOHNSON. 

" The anchor is deep," may mean his hopes are well-founded. 
So, in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, by Beaumont and 
Fletcher : 

" Now my latest hope, 

" Forsake me not, but fling thy anchor out, 

" And let it hold !" 
Again, as Mr. M. Mason observes, in Fletcher's Woman-Hater: 

" Farewell, my hopes ; my anchor now is broken." 
In the year 1558 a ballad, intitled " Hold the ancer fast," is 
entered on the books of the Stationers' Company. STEEVENS. 

Dr. Johnson very acutely proposes " the author is deep." He 
reads with the first cop) r , " he hath studied her well." And 
from this equivocal word, Nym catches the idea of deepness. 
But it is almost impossible to ascertain the diction of this whim- 
sical character : and I meet with a phrase in Fenner 's Comptor's 
Commonwealth, l6l7> which may perhaps support the old read- 
ing: " Master Decker's Bellman of London, hath set forth the 
vices of the time so lively, that it is impossible the anchor of any 
other man's braine could sound the sea of a more deepe and 
dreadful mischeefe." FAUMKR. 

Nym, I believe, only means to say, the scheme for debauching 
Ford's wife is deep ; well laid. MALONE. 


FAL. Now, the report goes, she has all the rule of 
her husband's purse ; she hath legions of angels. 5 

PIST. As many devils entertain ; 6 and, To her, 
boy, say I. 

NYM. The humour rises ; it is good : humour me 
the angels. 

FAL. I have writ me here a letter to her : and 
here another to Page's wife ; who even now gave 
me good eyes too, examin'd my parts with most 
judicious eyliads : 7 sometimes the beam of her view 
gilded my toot, sometimes my portly belly. 8 

PIST. Then did the sun on dung-hill shine. 9 
NYM. I thank thee for that humour. 1 

* she hath legions of angels.] Thus the old quarto. 

The folio reads " he hath a legend of angels." STEEVENS. 

6 As many devils entertain ;] i. e. do you retain in your ser- 
vice as many devils as she has angels. So, in The Tivo Gentlemen 
of Verona : 

" Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant." 

This is the reading of the folio. M ALONE. 

The old quarto reads : 

" As many devils attend her .'" &c. STEEVENS. 

r eyliads :] This word is differently spelt in all the- 

copies. It occurs again, in King Lear, Act IV. sc. v: 

" She gave strange ceiliads, and most speaking looks, 

" To noble Edmund." 
I suppose we should write oeillades, French. STEEVENS. 

8 sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, some- 
times my portly beUy.] So, in our author's 20th Sonnet : 

" An eye more bright than their's, less false in rolling, 
" Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth." MALONE. 

d Then did the sun on dung-hill shine.] So, in Lyly's Euphucs, 

" The sun shineth upon the dunghill." HOLT WHITK. 

1 that humour.] What distinguishes the language of 

Nym from that of the other attendants on Falstaff, is the con- 
stant repetition of this phrase. In the time of Shakspeare such 

sc. m. OF WINDSOR. 4S 

FAL. O, she did so course o'er my exteriors with 
such a greedy intention, 2 that the appetite of her 
eye did seem to scorch me up like a burning glass ! 
Here's another letter to her : she bears the purse 
too; she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. 3 
I will be cheater to them both, and they shall be 
exchequers to me; 4 they shall be my East and West 
Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go, bear 
thou this letter to mistress Page ; and thou this to 
mistress Ford : we will thrive, lads, we will thrive. 

an affectation seems to have been sufficient to mark a character. 
In Sir Giles Goosecap, a play of which I have no earlier edition 
than that of l6o6, the same peculiarity is mentioned in the hero 
of the piece : " his only reason for every thing is, that we are 
all mortal; then hath he another pretty phrase too, and that is, 
he will tickle the vanity of every thing." STEEVENS. 

* intention,'] i. e. eagerness of desire. So, in Chapman's 

translation of Homer's Address to the Sun : 

" Even to horror bright, 

" A blaze burns from his golden burgonet ; 
" Which to behold, exceeds the sharpest set 
" Of any eye's intention. STEEVENS. 

she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty.'] If 

the tradition be true (as I doubt not but it is) of this play being 
wrote at Queen Elizabeth's command, this passage, perhaps, may 
furnish a probable conjecture that it could not appear till after 
the year 15p8. The mention of Guiana, then so lately discovered 
to the English, was a very happy compliment to Sir Walter Ra- 
leigh, who did not begin his expedition for South America till 
1595, and returned from it in 15g6, with an advantageous ac- 
count of the great wealth of Guiana. Such an address of the 
poet was likely, I imagine, to have a proper impression on the 
people, when the intelligence of such a golden country was fresh 
in their minds, and gave them expectations of immense gain. 


4 I will be cheater to them both, and they shall be exchequer* 
to me ;] The same joke is intended here, as in The Second Par/ 
of Henry the Fourth, Act II: 

" 1 will bar no honest man my house, nor no cheater." 

By which is meant Escheatour, an officer in the Exchequer, in 
no good repute with the common people. WARBURTON. 


PIST. Shall I sir Pandarus of Troy become, 
And by my side wear steel ? then, Lucifer take all ! 

NYM. I will run no base humour : here, take the 
humour letter ; I will keep the 'haviour of reputa- 

FAL. Hold, sirrah, [to ROB.] bear you these 

letters tightly; 5 

Sail like my pinnace 6 to these golden shores. 
Rogues, hence, avaunt ! vanish like hail-stones, go; 
Trudge, plod, away, o' the hoof; seek shelter, 


* bear you these letters tightly ;] i. e. cleverly, adroitly. 

So, in Antony and Cleopatra, Antony, putting on his armour, 

" My queen's a squire 

" More tight at this, than thou." MALONE. 

No phrase is so common in the eastern counties of this king- 
dom, and particularly in Suffolk, as good tightly, for briskly and 
effectually. HENLEY. 

It is used in this sense in Don Sebastian, by Dryden, Act II. 
so. ii. " tightly, I say, go tightly to your business." REED. 

' my pinnace ] A pinnace seems anciently to have 

signified a small vessel, or sloop, attending on a larger. So, in 
llowley's When you see me you know me, 1613 : 
" was lately sent 

" With threescore sail of ships and pinnaces,'" 
Again, in Muleasscs the Turk, l6lO: 

" Our life is but a sailing to our death 

" Through the world's ocean : it makes no matter then, 

" Whether we put into the world's vast sea 

" Shipp'd in a. pinnace, or an argo.ry." 
At present it signifies only a man of war's boat. 

A passage similar to this of Shakspeare occurs in The 
Humourous Lieutenant, by Beaumont and Fletcher : 

*' this small pinnace 

" Shall sail for gold' 1 STEEVENS. 

A pinnace is a small vessel with a square stern, having sails 
and oars, and carrying three masts; chiefly used (says Holt, in 
his Dictionary of Commerce,} as a scout for intelligence, and for 
landing of men. MALONE. 

sc. in. OF WINDSOR. 45 

FalstaiF will learn the humour of this age, 7 
French thrift, you rogues; my self, and skirted page. 
\_Eoceunt FALSTAFF and ROBIN. 

PIST. Let vultures gripe thy guts ! 8 for gourd, 

and fullam holds, 
And high and low beguile the rich and poor: 9 

7 the humour of this age,~] Thus the 4to. 1619: The 

folio reads the honor of the age. STEEVENS. 

8 Let vultures gripe thy guts /] This hemistich is a burlesque 
on a passage in Tamburlaine, or The Scythian Shepherd, of 
which play a more particular account is given in one of the notes 
to Henry IV. P. II. Act. II. sc. iv. STEEVENS. 

I suppose the following is the passage intended to be ridiculed : 

" " and now doth ghastly death 

" With greedy talents [talons] gripe my bleeding heart, 
" And like a harper [harpy] tyers on my life." 
Again, ibid: 

" Griping our bowels with retorted thoughts." MALONE. 

9 for gourd, and fullam holds, 

And high and low beguile the rich and poor:~\ Fullam is a 
cant term for false dice, high and low. Torriano, in his Italian 
Dictionary, interprets Pise by false dice, high and low men, high 
fullams and low fullams. Jonson, in his Every Man out of his 
Humour, quibbles upon this cant term : " Who, he serve ? He 
keeps high men and low men, he has a fair living at Fullam." 
As for gourd, or rather gord, it was another instrument of gam- 
ing, as appears from Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady: 

" And thy dry bones can reach at nothing now, but CORDS or 

nine-pins." WARBURTON. 

In The London Prodigal I find the following enumeration of 
false dice : " I bequeath two bale of false dice, videlicit, high 
men and low men, f idioms, stop cater-traies, and other bones of 

Green, in his Art of Juggling, &c. 1012, says, " What should 
I say more of false dice, offultoms, high men, lowe men, gourds, 
and brizled dice, graviers, demies, and contraries ?" 

Again, in The Bellman of London, by Decker, 5th edit. 1640; 
among the false dice are enumerated, " a bale offullams." " A 
bale of gordes, with as many high-men as low-men for passage." 


Gourds were probably dice in which a secret cavity had been 


Tester I'll have in pouch, when thou shalt lack, 
Base Phrygian Turk ! 

NYM. I have operations in my head, 1 which be 
humours of revenge. 

PIST. Wilt thou revenge ? 
NYM. By welkin, and her star ! 
PIST. With wit, or steel ? 
NYM. With both the humours, I : 
I will discuss the humour of this love to Page. 2 

PIST. And I to Ford shall eke unfold, 

How Falstaff, varlet vile, 
His dove will prove, his gold will hold, 
And his soft couch defile. 

made ; jullams, those which had been loaded with a small bit of 
lead. High men and loio men, which were likewise cant terms, 
explain themselves. High numbers on the dice, at hazard, are 
from five to twelve, inclusive ; loiv, from aces to four. MALONE. 

High and low men were false dice, which, being chiefly made 
at Fidham, were thence called " high and low Fulhams." The 
high Fulhams were the numbers, 4, 5, and 6. See the manner 
in which these dice were made, in The Complete Gamester, 
p. 12, edit. 1676, 12mo. DOUCE. 

1 in my head,~] These words, which are omitted in the 

folio, were recovered by Mr. Pope from the early quarto. 


* / iKill discuss the humour of this love to Page.] The folio 
reads : " to Ford;" but the very reverse of this happens. 
See Act II. where Nym makes the discovery to Page, and not 
to Ford, as here promised ; and Pistol, on the other hand, to 
Ford, and not to Page. Shakspeare is frequently guilty of these 
little forgetfulnesses. STEEVENS. 

The folio reads to Ford; and in the next line and I to 
Page, &c. But the reverse of this (as Mr. Steevens has ob- 
served) happens in Act II. where Nym makes the discovery to 
Page, and Pistol to Ford. I have therefore corrected the text 
from the old quarto, where Nym declares he will make the dis- 
covery to Page ; and Pistol says, " And I to Ford will likewise 
tell ." MALONE. 

sc. in. OF WINDSOR. 47 

NYM. My humour shall not cool : I will incense 
Page 3 to deal with poison ; I will possess him with 
yellowness, 4 for the revolt of mien 5 is dangerous : 
that is my true humour. 

PIST. Thou art the Mars of malcontents : I se- 
cond thee ; troop on. \_Exeunt. 

3 1 will incense Page, &c.] So, in K. Henry VIII: 

" - 1 have 

" Incens'd the lords of the council, that he is 

" A most arch heretic ." 

In both passages, to incense has the same meaning as to insti- 
gate. STEEVENS. 

4 yellowness,] Yellowness is jealousy. JOHNSON. 

So, in Law Tricks, &c. 1608 : 

" If you have me you must not put on yellows." 
Again, in The Arraignment of Paris, 1584 : 
Flora well, perdie, 

paint her yellow for her jealousy." STEEVENS. 

3 - the revolt of mien ] The revolt of mine is the old read- 
ing. Revolt of mien, is change of countenance, one of the effects 
he has just been ascribing to jealousy. STEEVENS. 

This Mr. Steevens truly observes to be the old reading, and 
it is authority enough for the revolt of mien in modern ortho- 
graphy. " Know you that fellow that walketh there ? says 
Eliot, 1593 he is an alchymist by his mine, and hath multiplied 
all to moonshine." FARMER. 

Nym means, I think, to say, that kind of change in the com- 
plexion, which is caused by jealousy, renders the person possessed 
by such a passion dangerous; consequently Ford will be likely 
to revenge himself on Falstaff, and I shall be gratified. I believe 
our author wrote that revolt, &c. though I have not disturbed 
the text ye and yt in the MSS. of his time were easily con- 
founded. MALONE. 



A Room in Dr. Caius's House. 


QUICK. What ; John Rugby ! I pray thee, go 
to the casement, and see if you can see my master, 
master Doctor Caius, coming : if he do, i'faith, and 
find any body in the house, here will be an old 
abusing of God's patience, and the king's English. 

RUG. I'll go watch. \_~Exit RUGBY. 

QUICK. Go ; and we'll have a posset for't soon at 
night, in faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire. 7 
An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant shall 
come in house withal ; and, I warrant you, no tell- 
tale, nor no breed-bate: 8 his worst fault is, that he is 
given to prayer ; he is something peevish that way : 9 

Rugby.'] This domestic of Dr. Caius received his name 

from a town in Warwickshire. STEEVENS. 

7 at the latter end, &c.] That is, when my master is in 

bed. JOHNSON. 

8 no breed-bate :] Bate is an obsolete word, signifying 

strife, contention. So, in the Countess of Pembroke's Antonius, 
15Q5 : 

" Shall ever civil bate 
" Gnaw and devour our state?" 
Again, in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540: 

" We shall not fall at bate, or stryve for this matter." 
Stanyhurst, in his translation of Virgil, 1582, calls Erinnys a 
make-bate. STEFVENS. 

9 he is something peevish that 'way:'] Peevish is foolish. 

So, in Cymbeline, Act II: " he's strange and peevish." 


I believe, this is one of dame Quickly's blunders, and that she 
means precise. MALONE. 

sc. iv. OF WINDSOR. 49 

but nobody but has his fault ; but let that pass. 
Peter Simple, you say your name is ? 

SIM. Ay, for fault of a better. 

QUICK. And master Slender's your master ? 

SIM. Ay, forsooth. 

QUICK. Does he not wear a great round beard, 1 
like a glover's paring-knife ? 

SIM. No, forsooth : he hath but a little wee face, 2 
with a little yellow beard; a Cain-coloured beard. 3 

a great round beard, &c.] See a note on K. Henry V. 

Act III. sc. vi : " And what a beard of the general's cut," &c. 


a little wee face,] Wee, in the northern dialect, signi- 
fies very little. Thus, in the Scottish proverb that apologizes 
for a little woman's marriage with a big man : " A wee mouse 
will creep under a mickle cornstack." COLLINS. 

So, in Heywood's Fair Maid of the West, a comedy, 1031 : 
" He was nothing so tall as I ; but a little wee man, and some- 
what hutch-back'd." 

Again, in The Wisdom of Doctor Dodi/poll, 1600: 
" Some two miles, and a -wee bit, sir." 

Wee is derived from weenig, Dutch. On the authority of the 
4to, 1619, we might be led to read ivhey-face : " Somewhat 
of a weakly man, and has as it were a to^ey-coloured beard." 
Macbeth calls one of the messengers ivkey-face. STEEVENS. 

Little wee is certainly the right reading ; it implies something 
extremely diminutive, and is a very common vulgar idiom in the 
North. Wee alone, has only the signification of little. Thus 
Cleveland : 

" A Yorkshire wee lit, longer than a mile." 

The proverb is a mile and a wee bit ; i. e. about a league and 
a half. RITSOX. 

3 a Cam-coloured beard.] Cain and Judas, in the tapes- 
tries and pictures of old, were represented with yellow beards. 


Theobald's conjecture may be countenanced by a parallel 
expression in an old play called Blurt Master Constable, or, 
Tk<: Spaniard's Night- Walk, 1602: 

VOL. v. i: 


QUICK. A softly-sprighted man, is he not ? 

SIM. Ay, forsooth : but he is as tall a man of his 
hands, 4 as any is between this and his head ; he 
hath fought with a warrener. 

" over all, 

" A goodly, long, thick, Abraham-colour' 'd beard." 
Again, in Soliman and Perseda, 1599, Basilisco says : 

" where is the eldest son of Priam, 

" That Abraham-colour' d Trojan ?" 

I am not, however, certain, but that Abraham may be a cor- 
ruption of auburn. 

So, in Reynolds's God's Revenge against Murder, Book IV. 
Hist. Id. " Harcourt had a light auburn beard, which (like a 
country gentleman) he wore negligently after the oval cut." 
Again, in The Spanish Tragedy, \ 6'03 : 

" And let their beards be of Judas his own colour." 
Again, in A Christian turned Turk, l6l2 : 

" That's he in the Judas beard." 
Again, in The Insatiate Countess, l6l3: 

" I ever thought by his red beard he would prove a Judas." 
In an age, when but a small part of the nation could read, 
Ideas were frequently borrowed from representations in painting 
or tapestry. A cane-colour'd beard, however, [the reading of 
the quarto,] might signify a beard of the colour of cane, i. e. 
a sickly yellow ; for st raw-colour 'd beards are mentioned in 
A Midsummer Night's Dream. STEEVENS. 

The words of the quarto, a tvAey-colour'd beard, strongly 
favour this reading ; for 'whey and cane are nearly of the same 
colour. MALONE. 

The new edition of Leland's Collectanea, Vol. V. p. 295, as- 
serts, that painters constantly represented Judas the traytor with 
a red head. Dr. Plot's Oxfordshire, p. 153, says the same. This 
conceit is thought to have arisen in England, from our ancient 
grudge to the red-haired Danes. TOLLET. 

See my quotation in King Henry VIII. Act V. sc. ii. 


as tall a man of his hands,'] Perhaps this is an allu- 
sion to the jockey measure, so many hands high, used by grooms 
when speaking of horses. Tall, in our author's time, signified 
not only height of stature, but stoutness of body. The ambi- 
guity of the phras^seems intended. PERCY. 


QUICK. How say you ? O, I should remember 
him ; Does he not hold up his head, as it were ? 
and strut in his gait ? 

SIM. Yes, indeed, does he. 

QUICK. Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse 
fortune ! Tell master parson Evans, I will do what 
I can for your master : Anne is a good girl, and I 

Re-enter RUGBY. 

RUG. Out, alas ! here comes my master. 

QUICK. We shall all be shent : 5 Run in here, 
good young man ; go into this closet. \_Shuts SIM- 
PLE in the closet.'] He will not stay long. What, 
John Rugby! John, what, John, I say ! Go, John, 

Whatever be the origin of this phrase, it is very ancient, 
being used by Gower : 

" A worthie knight was of his honde, 

" There was none suche in all the londe." 

De Confessions Amantis, lib. v. fol. 118. b. 


The tall man of the old dramatick writers, was a man of a 
bold, intrepid disposition, and inclined to quarrel ; such as is 
described by Steevens in the second scene of the third act of 
this play. M. MASON. 

" A tall man of his hands" sometimes meant quick-handed, 
active ; and as Simple is here commending his master for his 
gymnastick abilities, perhaps the phrase is here used in that 
sense. See Florio's Italian Dictionary, 15p8, in v. " Manesco. 
Nimble or quick-handed; a tall man of his hands." MALONE. 

s We shall all be shent :] i. e. Scolded, roughly treated. 
So, in the old Interlude of Nature, bl. 1. no date : 

'* 1 can tell thee one thyng, 

" In fayth you wyll be shent.'' 

Again, in Chapman's version of the twenty-third book of 
Homer's Odyssey: 

" such acts still were shent, 

" As simply in themselves, as in th' event," Srrrvrxs. 


go enquire for my master ; I doubt, he be not 
well, that he comes not home : and down, down, 
adown-a, 6 &c. [Sings. 

Enter Doctor CAIUS/ 

CAIUS. Vat is you sing ? I do not like dese toys ; 
Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un boitier 
verd ; 8 a box, a green-a box ; Do intend vat I 
speak ? a green-a box. 

and doivn, down, adown-a, &c.] To deceive her 

master, she sings as if at her work. SIR J. HAWKINS. 

This appears to have been the burden of some song then well 
known. In Every Woman in her Humour, 1609, sign. E 1, 
one of the characters says, " Hey good boies ! i'faith now a 
three man's song, or the old dovme adoune : well, things must 
be as they may ; fil's the other quart : muskadine .with an egg 
is fine ; there's a time for all things, bonos nochios." REED. 

7 Enter Doctor Caius.] It has been thought strange that our 
author should take the name of Caius [an eminent physician 
who flourished in the reign of Elizabeth, and founder of Caius 
College in our university] for his Frenchman in this comedy ; 
but Shakspeare was little acquainted with literary history ; and 
without doubt, from this unusual name, supposed him to have 
been a foreign quack. Add to this, that the doctor was handed 
down as a kind of Rosicrucian : Mr. Ames had in MS. one of 
the " Secret Writings of Dr. Caius." FARMER. 

This character of Dr. Caius might have been drawn from the 
life ; as in Jackc of Dover's Quest ofEnquiric, l6O4, (perhaps 
a republication, ) a story called The Foole of Winsor begins thus : 
*' Upon a time there was in Winsor a certain simple outlandishe 
doctor ofphysicke belonging to the deane," &c. STEEVENS. 

8 un boitier verd;~\ Boitier in French signifies a case of 

.surgeon's instruments. GREY. 

1 believe it rather means a box of salve, or case to hold sim- 
ples, for which Caius professes to seek. The same word, some- 
what curtailed, is used by Chaucer, in The Pardoneres Prologue, 
v. 12,241 : 

" And every boist ful of thy letuarie." 

sc. iv. OF WINDSOR. 53 

QUICK. Ay, forsooth, I'll fetch it you. I am glad 
he went not in himself : if he had found the young 
man, he would have been horn-mad. [Aside. 

CAIUS. Fe, fe fe, fe! ma Jot, il fait fort chaud. 
Je m'en vais d la Cour, la grand affaire. 

QUICK. Is it this, sir ? 

CAIUS. Ouy; mette le au mon pocket ; Depeche, 
quickly : Vere is dat knave Rugby ? 

QUICK. What, John Rugby ! John ! 
HUG. Here, sir. 

CAIUS. You are John Rugby, and you are Jack 
Rugby : Come, take-a your rapier, and come after 
my heel to de court. 

RUG. 'Tis ready, sir, here in the porch. 

CAIUS. By my trot, I tarry too long : Od's me ! 
Qu'ayj'oubUe ? dere is some simples in my closet, 
dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind. 

QUICK. Ah me ! he'll find the young man there, 
and be mad. 

CAIUS. O diable ! diable ! vat is in my closet ? 
Villainy ! larron ! [Putting SIMPLE out.'} Rugby, 
my rapier. 

QUICK. Good master, be content. 
CAIUS. Verefore shall I be content-a ? 
QUICK. The young man is an honest man. 

CAIUS. Vat shall the honest man do in my closet ? 
dere is no honest dat shall come in my closet. 

Again, in The Skynners* Play, in the Chester Collection of 
Mysteries, MS. Harl. p. 14.9, Mary Magdalen says : 
" To balme his bodye that is so brighte, 
" Boyste here have I brought." STEEVENS. 


QUICK. I beseech you, be not so flegmatick ; hear 
the truth of it : He came of an errand to me from 
parson Hugh. 

CAWS. Veil. 

SIM. Ay, forsooth, to desire her to 

QUICK. Peace, I pray you. 

CAWS. Peace-a your tongue : Speak-a your tale. 

SIM. To desire this honest gentlewoman, your 
maid, to speak a good word to mistress Anne Page 
for my master, in the way of marriage. 

QUICK. This is all, indeed, la; but I'll ne'er put 
my finger in the fire, and need not. 

CAIUS. Sir Hugh send-a you ? Rugby, baillez 
me some paper : Tarry you a little-a while. [ Writes. 

QUICK. I am glad he is so quiet : if he had been 
thoroughly moved, you should have heard him so 
loud, and so melancholy ; But notwithstanding, 
man, I'll do your master what good I can : and the 
very yea and the no is, the French Doctor, my 
master, I may call him my master, look you, for 
I keep his house ; and I wash, wring, brew, bake, 
scour, dress meat and drink, 9 make the beds, and 
do all myself; 

SIM. 'Tis a great charge, to come under one 
body's hand. 

QUICK. Are you avis'd o'that? you shall find it 
a great charge : and to be up early and down late ; 
but notwithstanding, (to tell you in your ear ; I 

dress meat and drink,] Dr. Warburton thought the 

word drink ought to be expunged ; but by drink Dame Quickly 
might have intended potage and soup, of which her master 
may be supposed to have been as fond as the rest of his coun- 
trymen. MALONE. 

sc. iv. OF WINDSOR. 55 

would have no words of it ;) my master himself is 
in love with mistress Anne Page : but notwithstand- 
ing that, I know Anne's mind, that's neither 
here nor there. 

CAIUS. You jack'nape ; give-a dis letter to Sir 
Hugh: by gar, it is a shallenge: I vill cut his troat 
in de park ; and I vill teach a scurvy jack-a-nape 
priest to meddle or make: you may be gone; it is 
not good you tarry here : by gar, I vill cut all his 
two stones ; by gar, he shall not have a stone to 
trow at his dog. \_Exit SIMPLE. 

QUICK. Alas, he speaks but for his friend. 

CAIUS. It is no matter-a for dat : do not you 
tell-a me dat I shall have Anne Page for myself? 
by gar, I vill kill de Jack priest ; l and I have ap- 
pointed mine host of de Jarterre to measure our 
weapon : by gar, I vill myself have Anne Page. 

QUICK. Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be 
well : we must give folks leave to prate : What, the 
good-jer ! 2 

CAIUS. Rugby, come to the court vit me ; By 

1 de Jack priest ;] Jack, in our author's time, was a 

term of contempt: " So, saucy Jack," &c. See K. Henry IV. 
P. I. Act III. sc. iii : " The prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup ;" and 
Much Ado about Nothing, Act I. sc. i : " do you play the 
flouting Jack ?" MALONE. 

2 What, the good-jer !] She means to say " the goujere," 
i. e. morbus Gallicus. So, in K. Lear : 

" The gotijeres shall devour them." 
See Hanmer's note, King Lear, Act V. sc, iii. STEEVENS. 

Mrs. Quickly scarcely ever pronounces a hard word rightly. 
Good-jer and Good-year were in our author's time common cor- 
ruptions of goujere ; and in the books of that age the word is 
as often written one way as the other. MALONE. 


gar, if I have not Anne Page, I shall turn your 
head out of my door : Follow my heels, Rugby. 

\_Exeunt CAIUS and RUGBY. 

QUICK. You shall have An fools-head 3 of your 
own. No, I know Anne's mind for that : never a 
woman in Windsor knows more of Anne's mind 
than I do; nor can do more than I do with her, I 
thank heaven. 

FENT. [Within.~\ Who's within there, ho ? 

QUICK. Who's there, I trow? Come near the 
house, I pray you. 

Enter FENTON. 

FENT. How now, good woman ; how dost thou ? 

QUICK. The better, that it pleases your good 
worship to ask. 

FENT. What news ? how does pretty mistress 
Anne ? 

QUICK. In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, 
and gentle ; and one that is your friend, I can tell 
you that by the way ; I praise heaven for it. 

FENT. Shall I do any good, thinkest thou ? Shall 
I not lose my suit ? 

QUICK. Troth, sir, all is in his hands above: but 
notwithstanding, master Fenton, I'll be sworn on 

s You shall have An fooT 's-hcad ] Mrs. Quickly, I believe, 
intends a quibble between Ann, sounded broad, and one, which 
was formerly sometimes pronounced on, or with nearly the same 
sound. In the Scottish dialect one is written, and 1 suppose 
pronounced, ane. In 1 603 was published " Ane verie excellent 
and delectable Treatise, intitulit Philotus" &c. MALONE. 

sc. iv. OF WINDSOR. 57 

a book, she loves you : Have not your worship a 
wart above your eye ? 

FENT. Yes, marry, have I ; what of that ? 

QUICK. Well, thereby hangs a tale ; good faith, 
it is such another Nan ; but, I detest, 4 an honest 
maid as ever broke bread : We had an hour's talk 
of that wart ; I shall never laugh but in that 
maid's company ! But, indeed, she is given too 
much to allicholly 5 and musing : But for you 
Well, go to. 

FENT. Well, I shall see her to-day: Hold, 
there's money for thee ; let me have thy voice in 
my behalf: if thou seest her before me, commend 

QUICK. Will I ? i'faith, that we will : and I will 
tell your worship more of the wart, the next time 
we have confidence ; and of other wooers. 

FENT. Well, farewell ; I am in great haste now. 


QUICK. Farewell to your worship. Truly, an 
honest gentleman ; but Anne loves him not ; for 
I know Anne's mind as well as another does : 
Out upon't ! what have I forgot ? 6 [Exit. 

4 but, I detest,] She means I protest. MALONE. 

The same intended mistake occurs in Measure for Measure, 
Act II. sc. i : " My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and 
your honour," &c. " Dost thou detest her therefore ?" 


to allicholly ] And yet, in a former part of this very 
scene, Mrs. Quickly is made to utter the word melancholy, 
without the least corruption of it. Such is the inconsistency of 
the first folio. STEEVENS. 

6 Out npon't ! uhat hare I forgot ?~\ This excuse for 

leaving the stage, is rather too near Dr. Caius's " Od's me ! 
f l u ' a y j'oublie ?" in the former part of the scene. STEEVENS. 



Before Page's House. 
Enter Mistress PAGE, with a letter. 

MRS. PAGE^ What ! have I 'scaped love-letters 
in the holy-day time of my beauty, and am I now 
a subject for them ? Let me see : [Reads. 

Ask me no reason why I love you ; for though 

love use reason for his precisian, he admits him not 

for his counsellor : 7 You are not young , no more am 

7 though love use reason for Ms precisian, he admits him 

not for his counsellor .-] This is obscure : but the meaning is, 
though love permit reason to tell "what is Jit to be done, he seldom 
follows its advice. By precisian, is meant one who pretends to 
a more than ordinary degree of virtue and sanctity. On which 
account they gave this name to the puritans of that time. So 
Osborne " Conform their mode, words, and looks, to these 
PRECISIANS." And Maine, in his City Match : 

" 1 did commend 

" A great PRECISIAN to her for her woman." 


Of this word I do not see any meaning that is very apposite 
to the present intention. Perhaps Falstaff said, Though love use 
reason as his physician, he admits him not for his counsellor. 
This will he plain sense. Ask not the reason of my love ; the 
business of reason is not to assist love, but to cure it. There 
may however be this meaning in the present reading. Though 
love, when he would submit to regulation, may use reason as his 
prec; r 'an, or director, in nice cases, yet when he is only eager 
to attain his end, he takes not reason for his counsellor. 


Dr. Johnson wishes to read physician ; and this conjecture 
becomes almost a certainty from a line in our author's 14 7th 
sonnet : 

" My reason the physician to my love," &c. FARMER. 

The dviracUu- of a precisian seems to have been very gene- 
rally ridiculed in the time of Shakspeare. So, in The Malcon- 

sc. /. OF WINDSOR. 59 

/; go to then, there's sympathy: you are merry, so 
am I; Ha! ha! then there 9 s more sympathy: you 
love sack, and so do I; Would you desire better 
sympathy ? Let it suffice thee, mistress Page, (at the 
least, if the love of a soldier can suffice^) that I love 
thee. I will not say, pity me, 'tis not a soldier-like 
phrase ; but I say, love me. By me, 

Thine own true knight, 

By day or night, 8 

Or any kind of light, 

With all his might, 

For thee tojight, John Falstaff. 

tent, 1604 : " You must take her in the right vein then; as, 
when the sign is in Pisces, a fishmonger's wife is very sociable : 
in Cancer, a precisian's wife is very flexible." 
Again, Dr. Fanstus, 1604 : 

" I will set my countenance like a precisian." 1 ' 
Again, in Ben Jonson's Case is altered, lOOQ : 
" It is precisianism to alter that, 
" With austere judgement, which is given by nature." 


If physician be the right reading, the meaning may be this : 
A lover uncertain as yet of success, never takes reason for his 
counsellor, but, when desperate, applies to him as his physician. 


8 Thine oivn true knight, 

By day or night,'} This expression, ludicrously employed by 
Falstaff, is of Greek extraction, and means, at all times. So, in 
the twenty-second Iliad, 433 : 


Thus faithfully rendered by Mr. Wakefield : 

" My Hector! night and day thy mother's joy." 
So likewise, in the third book of Gower, De Confession? 
Amantis ; 

" The sonne cleped was Machayre, 
" The daughter eke Canace hight, 
" By daie bothe and eke by night." 
Loud and still was another phrase of similar meaning. 



What a Herod of Jewry is this? O wicked,wicked, 
world! one that is well nigh worn to pieces with 
age, to show himself a young gallant! What an 
unweighed behaviour 9 hath this Flemish drunkard 1 
picked (with the devil's name) out of my conversa- 
tion, that he dares in this manner assay me ? Why, 
he hath not been thrice in my company ! What 
should I say to him ? I was then frugal of my 
mirth: 2 heaven forgive me! Why, I'll exhibit 
a bill in the parliament for the putting down 
of men. 3 How shall I be revenged on him ? for 

What an untvcighed behaviour &c.] Thus the folio 1023. 

It has been suggested to me, that we should read one. 


1 Flemish drunkard ] It is not without reason that 

this term of reproach is here used. Sir John Smythe in Cer- 
tain Discourses, &c. 4to. 15QO, says, that the habit of drinking 
to excess was introduced into England from the Low Countries 
" by some of our such men of warre within these very few 
years : whereof it is come to passe that now-a-dayes there are 
very fewc feastes where our said men of warre are present, 
but that they do invite and procure all the companie, of what 
calling soever the}' be, to carowsing and quaffing ; and, because 
they tvill not be denied their challenges, they, with many new 
conges, ceremonies, and reverences, drinke to the health and 
prosperitie of princes ; to the health of counsellors, and unto 
the health of their greatest friends both at home and abroad : 
in which exercise they never cease till they be deade drunke, or, 
as the Flemings say, Doot dronken." He adds, " And this afore- 
said detestable vice hath within these six or seven yeares taken 
wonderful roote amongest our English nation, that in times past 
was wont to be of all other nations of Christendome one of the 
soberest." REED. 

* / iva/t then frugal of my mirth .-] By breaking this 

speech into exclamations, the text may stand ; but I once thought 
it must be read, If I was not then frugal of my mirth, &c. 


3 for the putting down of men.] The word which 

seems to have been inadvertently omitted in the folio, was 
restored by Mr. Theobald from the quarto, where the corre- 

sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 61 

revenged I will be, as sure as his guts are made of 

spending speech runs thus : " Well, I shall trust fat men the 
worse, while I live, for his sake. O God; that I knew how to 
be revenged of him !" Dr. Johnson, however, thinks that the 
insertion is unnecessary, as " Mrs. Page might naturally enough, 
in the first heat of her anger, rail at the sex for the fault of 
one." But the authority of the original sketch in quarto, and 
Mrs. Page's frequent mention of the size of her lover in the 
play as it now stands, in my opinion fully warrant the correction 
that has been made. Our author well knew that bills are 
brought into parliament for some purpose that at least appears 
practicable. Mrs. Page therefore in her passion might exhibit 
a bill for the putting down or destroying men of a particular 
description ; but Shakspeare would never have made her threaten 
to introduce a bill to effect an impossibility, viz. the extermina- 
tion of the whole species. 

There is no error more frequent at the press than the omission 
of words. In a sheet of this work now before me [Mr. Malone 
means his own edition] there was an out, (as it is termed in 
the printing-house,) that is, a passage omitted, of no less than 
ten lines. In every sheet some words are at first omitted. 

The expression, putting down, is a common phrase of our 
municipal law. MALONE. 

I believe this passage has hitherto been misunderstood, and 
therefore continue to read with the folio, which omits the epithet 

The putting down of men, may only signify the humiliation 
of them, the bringing them to shame. So, in Twelfth Night, 
Malvolio says of the Clown " I saw him, the other day, put 
down by an ordinary fool ;'* i. e. confounded. Again, in Love's 
Labour's Lost " How the ladies and I have put him down!" 
Again, in Much Ado about Nothing " You have^z^ him down, 
lady, you have put him down." Again, in Burton's Anatomy 
of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 482 " Lucullus' wardrobe is put 
down by our ordinary citizens.'' 

I cannot help thinking that the extermination of all men 
would be as practicable a design of parliament, as the putting 
down of those whose only offence was embonpoint. 

I persist in this opinion, even though I have before me (in 
support of Mr. Malone's argument) the famous print from P. 
Brueghel, representing the Lean Cooks expelling the Fat ones. 



Enter Mistress FORD. 

MRS. FORD. Mistress Page ! trust me, I was 
going to your house. 

MRS. PAGE. And, trust me, I was coming to 
you. You look very ill. 

MRS. FORD. Nay, I'll ne'er believe that ; I have 
to show to the contrary. 

MRS. PAGE. 'Faith, but you do, in my mind. 

MRS. FORD. Well, I do then ; yet, I say, I could 
show you to the contrary : O, mistress Page, give 
me some counsel ! 

MRS. PAGE. What's the matter, woman ? 

MRS. FORD. O woman, if it were not for one 
trifling respect, I could come to such honour ! 

MRS. PAGE. Hang the trifle, woman ; take the 

honour : What is it ? dispense with trifles j 

what is it ? 

MRS. FORD. If I would but go to hell for an 
eternal moment, or so, I could be knighted. 

MRS. PAGE. What ? thou liest ! Sir Alice 

Ford ! These knights will hack ; and so thou 

shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry. 4 

4 What? thou liest! Sir Alice Ford! These knights tvill 
hack ; and so Ihou shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry.] 
I read thus These knights we'll hack, and so thou shouldst not 
alter the article of thy gentry. The punishment of a recreant, 
or undeserving knight, was to hack off his spurs : the meaning 
therefore is ; it is not worth the while of a gentlewoman to be 
made a knight, for we'll degrade all these knights in a little 
time, by the usual form of hacking off their spurs, and thou, if 
thou art knighted, shalt be hacked with the rest. JOHNSON. 

Sir T. Hanmer says, to hack, means to turn hackney, or pro- 
stitute. I suppose he means These knights will degrade them- 
selves, so that she will acquire no honour by being connected with 

sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 6S 

MRS. FORD. We burn day-light: 5 here, read, 
read ; perceive how I might be knighted. I shall 

It is not, however, impossible that Shakspeare meant by 
these knights will hack these knights will soon become hack- 
neyed characters. So many knights were made about the time 
this play was amplified (for the passage is neither in the copy 

1602, nor 1619,) that such a stroke of satire might not have 
been unjustly thrown in. In Hans Beer Pot's Invisible Comedy, 
1618, is a long piece of ridicule on the same occurrence : 

" Twas strange to see what knighthood once would do : 

" Stir great men up to lead a martial life 

" To gain this honour and this dignity. 

" But now, alas ! 'tis grown ridiculous, 

" Since bought with money, sold for basest prize, 

" That some refuse it who are counted wise." STEEVENS. 

These knights will hack (that is, become cheap or vulgar, ) 
and therefore she advises her friend not to sully her gentry by 
becoming one. The whole of this discourse about knighthood 
is added since the first edition of this play [in 1602] ; and there- 
fore I suspect this is an oblique reflection on the prodigality of 
James I. in bestowing these honours, and erecting in ifill a new 
order of knighthood, called Baronets ; which few of the ancient 
gentry would condescend to accept. See Sir Henry Spelman's 
epigram on them, Gloss, p. 76, which ends thus : 

" dum cauponare recusant 

" Ex vera geniti nobilitate viri ; 
" Interea e caulis hie prorepit, ille tabernis, 

" Et modo fit dominus, qui modo servus erat." 
See another stroke at them in Othello, Act III. sc. iv. 


Sir W. Blackstone supposes that the order of Baronets (created 
in 161 1 ) was likewise alluded to. But it appears to me highly 
probable that our author amplified the play before us at an earlier 
period. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's 
Plays, Vol. II. Article, Merry Wives of Windsor. 

Between the time of King James's arrival at Berwick in April 

1603, and the 2d of May, he made two hundred and thirty-seven 
knights ; and in the July following between three and four hun- 
dred. It is probable that the play before us was enlarged in that 
or the subsequent year, when this stroke of satire must have been 
highly relished by the audience. MALONE. 

4 We burn day-light;] i.e. we have more proof than we want. 
The same proverbial phrase occurs in The Spanish Tragedy: 


think the worse of fat men, as long as I have an 
eye to make difference of men's liking : 6 And yet 
he would not swear; praised women's modesty: and 
gave such orderly and well-behaved reproof to all 
uncomeliness, that I would have sworn his disposi- 
tion would have gone to the truth of his words : 
but they do no more adhere and keep place toge- 
ther than the hundredth psalm to the tune of Green 
sleeves. 7 What tempest, I trow, threw this whale. 

" Hicr. Light me your torches." 
" Pedro. Then we burn day-light" 

Again, in Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio uses the same expres- 
sion, and then explains it : 

" We 'waste our lights in vain like lamps by day." 


I think, the meaning rather is, we are wasting time in idle talk, 
when we ought to read the letter; resembling those who waste 
candles by burning them in the day-time. MALONE. 

6 men's liking :] i. e. men's condition of body. Thus in 

the Book of Job: " Their young ones are in goodliMng." Fal- 
staffalso, in King Henri/ IF. says " I'll repent while I am in 
some liking." 

Again, in A Courtlie Controversie of Cupid's Cautels, &c. 
translated out of French, &c. by H. W. [Henry Wotton] 4to. 
15/8, p. 20 : " Your fresh colour and good liking testifieth, that 
melancholy consumeth not your bodie." STEEVENS. 

7 Green sleeves.'] This song was entered on the books of 

the Stationers' Company in September, ] 580 : " Licensed unto 
Richard Jones, a newe northerne dittye of the Lady Green 
Sleeves." Again, " Licensed unto Edward White, a ballad, 
beinge the Lady Green Sleeves, answered to Jenkyn hir friend." 
Again, in the same month and year : " Green Sleeves moralized 
to the Scripture," &c. Again, to Edward White : 

" Green Sleeves and countenaunce. 

" In countenaunce is Green Sleeves.'" 
Again : " A new Northern Song of Green Sleeves, beginning, 

" The bonniest lass in all the land." 

Again, in February 15SO: "A reprehension against Greene 
Sleeves, by W T . Elderton." From a passage in The Loyal Siibject, 
by Beaumont and Fletcher, it should seem that the original was 
a wanton ditty : 

sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 65 

with so many tuns of oil in his belly, ashore at 
Windsor ? How shall I be revenged on him ? I 
think, the best way were to entertain him with 
hope, till the wicked fire of lust have melted him 
in his own grease. 8 Did you ever hear the like ? 

MRS. PAGE. Letter for letter; but that the name 
of Page and Ford differs ! To thy great comfort 
in this mystery of ill opinions, here's the twin-bro- 
ther of thy letter : but let thine inherit first ; for, I 
protest, mine never shall. I warrant, he hath a 
thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for 
different names, (sure more,) and these are of the 
second edition : He will print them out of doubt; 
for he cares not what he puts into the press, 9 when 
he would put us two. I had rather be a giantess, 
and lie under mount Pelion. 1 Well, I will find you 
twenty lascivious turtles, ere one chaste man. 

" And set our credits to the tune of Greene Sleeves." 
But whatever the ballad was, it seems to have been very po- 
pular. August, 1581, was entered at Stationers' Hall, " A new 
ballad, entitled : 

" Greene Sleeves is worn away, 

" Yellow sleeves come to decaie, 

" Black sleeves I hold in despite, 

" But white sleeves is my delight." 

Mention of the same tune is made again in the fourth act of 
this play. STEEVENS. 

8 melted him in his oivn grease.] So Chaucer, in his Wif 

of Bathes Prologue, 6oQQ: 

" That in his owen grese I made him frie." STEEVENS. 

9 press,] Press is used ambiguously, for a press to print, 

and a press to squeeze. JOHXSON. 

1 / had rather be a giantess, and lie under mount Pelion.'] 
Mr. Warton judiciously observes, that in consequence of English 
versions from Greek and Roman authors, an inundation of clas- 
sical pedantry very soon infected our poetry, and that perpetual 
allusions to ancient fable were introduced, as in the present in- 

VOL. V. F 


MRS. FORD. Why, this is the very same ; the 
very hand, the very words : What doth he think 
of us ? 

MRS. PAGE. Nay, I know not : It makes me 
almost ready to wrangle with mine own honesty. 
I'll entertain myself like one that I am not ac- 
quainted withal ; for, sure, unless he know some 
strain in me, 2 that I know not myself, he would 
never have boarded me in this fury. 

MRS. FORD. Boarding, call you it ? I'll be sure 
to keep him above deck. 

MRS. PAGE. So will" I; if he come under my 
hatches, I'll never to sea again. Let's be revenged 
on him : let's appoint him a meeting ; give him a 
show of comfort in his suit ; and lead him on with 
a fine-baited delay, till he hath pawn'd his horses to 
mine Host of the Garter. 

MRS. FORD. Nay, I will consent to act any vil- 
lainy against him, that may not sully the chariness 
of our honesty. 3 O, that my husband saw this let- 
ter ! 4 it would give eternal food to his jealousy. 

stance, without the least regard to propriety ; for Mrs. Page was 
not intended, in any degree, to be a learned or an affected lady. 


2 some strain in me,~\ Thus the old copies. The modern 

editors read " some stain in me," but, I think, unnecessarily. 
A similar expression occurs in The Winter's Tale: 

" With what encounter so uncurrent have I 

" Strain'd to appear thus ?" 
And again, in Timon: 

" a noble nature 

" May catch a wrench." STEEVENS. 

the chariness of our honesty.~] i.e. the caution which 

ought to attend on it. STEEVENS. 

4 0, that my husband satu this letter /] Surely Mrs. Ford 
does not wish to excite the jealousy of which she complains. 

sc. /. OF WINDSOR. 67 

MRS. PAGE. Why, look, where he comes ; and 
my good man too : he's as far from jealousy, as I 
am from giving him cause ; and that, I hope, is 
an unmeasurable distance. 

MBS. FORD. You are the happier woman. 

MRS. PAGE. Let's consult together against this 
greasy knight : Come hither. \_They retire. 


FORD. Well, I hope, it be not so. 

PIST. Hope is a curtail dog 5 in some affairs : 
Sir John affects thy wife. 

FORD. Why, sir, my wife is not young. 

PIST. He wooes both high and low, both rich 

and poor, 

Both young and old, one with another, Ford ; 
He loves thy gally-mawfry j 6 Ford, perpend. 7 

I think we should read O, if my husband, <Src. and thus the 
copy, 1619 : " O Lord, if my husband should see the letter ! 
i'faith, this would even give edge to his jealousie." STEEVENS. 

5 curtail dog ] That is, a dog that misses his game. 

The tail is counted necessary to the agility of a greyhound. 


curtail dog ] That is, a dog of small value ; what we 

now call a cur. MALONE. 

6 gally-mawfry;'} i.e. a medley. So, in The Winter's 

Tale: " They have a dance, which the wenches say is a. galli- 
maufry of gambols." Pistol ludicrously uses it for a woman. 
Thus, in A Woman never vex'd, 1032: 

" Let us show ourselves gallants or gatti-maiifries" 


The first folio has the gallymaufry. Thy was introduced by 
the editor of the second. The gallymawfry may be right : He 
loves a medley ; all sorts of women, high and low, c, Ford's 
reply, " Love my wife !" may refer to what Pistol had said be- 
fore: " Sir John affects thy 'wife." Thy gallymawfry sounds, 

F 2 


FORD. Love my wife ? 

FIST. With liver burning hot : 8 Prevent, or go 


Like sir Actaeon he, with Ring-wood at thy heels : 
O, odious is the name ! 

FORD. What name, sir ? 

PIST. The horn, I say : Farewel. 
Take heed ; have open eye ; for thieves do foot by 

night : 
Take heed, ere summer comes, or cuckoo birds 

do sing. !l 

Away, sir corporal Nym. 

Believe it, Page ; he speaks sense. 1 \_Exit PISTOL. 

however, more like Pistol's language than the other ; and there- 
fore I have followed the modern editors in preferring it. 


7 Ford, perpend.] This is perhaps a ridicule on a pomp- 
ous word too often used in the old play of Cambyses : 

" My sapient words I say perpend." 
Again : 

" My queen perpend what I pronounce." 
Shakspeare has put the same word into the mouth of Polonius. 


Pistol again uses it in K. Henry V.; so does the Clown in 
Twelfth Night: I do not believe, therefore, that any ridicule was 
here aimed at Preston, the author of Cambyses. MALONE. 

8 With liver burning hot:'} So, in Much Ado about Nothing: 

" If ever love had interest in his liver." 

The liver was anciently supposed to be the inspirer of amorous 
passions. Thus, in an old Latin distich : 

" Cor ardet, pulmo loquitur , Jel commovet iras ; 

" Splen rider e Jhcit, cogit amare jecur. STEEVENS. 

9 . cuckoo-birds do sing.} Such is the reading of the folio. 

The quartos, l6'02, and 1619, read when cuckoo-birds appear. 
The modern editors when cuckoo-birds affright. For this last 
reading I find no authority. STEEVENS. 

1 Away, sir corporal Nym. 

Believe it, Page; he speaks sense. ~\ Nyro, I bclievCj is out of 
place, and we should read thus : 

sc. T. OF WINDSOR. 69 

FORD. I will be patient ; I will find out this. 

NYM. And this is true ; [to PAGE.] I like not the 
humour of lying. He hath wronged me in some 
humours : I should have borne the humoured letter 
to her ; but I have a sword, and it shall bite upon 
my necessity. He loves your wife; 2 there's the 
short and the long. My name is corporal Nym ; 
I speak, and I avouch. 'Tis true : my name is 
Nym, and Falstaff loves your wife. Adieu ! I love 
not the humour of bread and cheese ; and there's 
the humour of it. Adieu. [Exit NYM. 

Away, sir corporal. 
Nym. Believe it, Page; he speaks sense. JOHNSON. 

Perhaps Dr. Johnson is mistaken in his conjecture. He seems 
not to have been aware of the manner in which the author 
meant this scene should be represented. Ford and Pistol, Page 
and Nym, enter in pairs, each pair in separate conversation; 
and while Pistol is informing Ford of Falstaff's design upon his 
wife, Nym is, during that time, talking aside to Page, and giv- 
ing information of the like plot against him. When Pistol has 
finished, he calls out to Nym to come away; but seeing that he 
and Page are still in close debate, he goes off' alone, first assuring 
Page, he may depend on the truth of Nym's story. Believe it, 
Page, &c. Nym then proceeds to tell the remainder of his tale 
out aloud. And this is true, &c. A little further on in this 
scene, Ford says to Page, You heard what this knave (i.e. Pistol) 
told me, &c. Page replies, Yes; And you heard "what the other 
( i. e. Nym ) told me. STEEVENS. 

Believe it, Page ; he speaks sense.'} Thus has the passage been 
hitherto printed, says Dr. Farmer ; but surely we should read 
Believe it, Page, he speaks ; which means no more than Page, 
believe what he says. This sense is expressed not only in the 
manner peculiar to Pistol, but to the grammar of the times. 


9 I have a siuord, and it shall bite upon my necessity. He 
loves your nife; &c.] Nym, to gain credit, says, that he is above 
the mean office of carrying love-letters ; he has nobler means of 
living ; he has a sword, and upon his necessity, that is, when his 
need drives him to unlawful expedients, his sword shall bite. 



PAGE. The humour of it, 3 quoth 'a ! here's a fel- 
low frights humour out of his wits. 

FORD. I will seek out Falstaff. 

PAGE. I never heard such a drawling, affecting 

FORD. If I do find it, well. 

PAGE. I will not believe such a Cataian, 4 though 

3 The humour of it^\ The following epigram, taken from 
Humor's Ordinarie, ivhere a Man may bee verie merrie and 
exceeding ixell used for his Sixpence, quarto, 1607, will best 
account for Nym's frequent repetition of the word humour. 
Epig. 27 : 

" Aske HUMORS what a feather he doth weare, 

" It is his humour (by the Lord) he'll sweare ; 

" Or what he doth with such a horse-taile locke, 

*' Or why upon a whore he spendes his stocke, 

" He hath a humour doth determine so : 

" Why in the stop-throte fashion he doth goe, 

" With scarfe about his necke, hat without band, 

" It is his humour. Sweet sir, understand, 

" What cause his purse is so extreame distrest 

" That oftentimes is scarcely penny-blest; 

" Only a humour. If you question, why 

" His tongue is ne'er unftirnish'd with a lye, 

" It is his humour too he doth protest: 

" Or why with sergeants he is so opprest, 

" That like to ghosts they haunt him ev'rie day ; 

" A rascal humour doth not love to pay. 

" Object why bootes and spurres are still in season, 

" His humour answers, humour is his reason. 

" If you perceive his wits in wetting shrunke, 

" It cometh of a humour to be drunke. 

" When you behold his lookes pale, thin, and poore, 

" The occasion is, his humour and a whoore : 

" And every thing that he doth undertake, 

" It is a veine, for senceless humour's sake." STEEVENS. 

* I iicill not believe such a Cataian,] All the mystery of the 
term Cataian, for a liar, is only this. China was anciently 
called Cataia or Cathay, by the first adventurers that travelled 
thither; such as M. Paulo, and our Mandeville, who told such 
incredible wonders of this new discovered empire, (in which 
they have not been outdone even by the Jesuits themselves, who 

sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 71 

the priest o* the town commended him for a true 

FORD. *Twas a good sensible fellow : 5 Well. 

followed them,) that a notorious liar was usually called a 
Cataian. WARBURTON. 

" This fellow has such an odd appearance, is so unlike a man 
civilized, and taught the duties of life, that I cannot credit 
him." To be a foreigner was always in England, and I suppose 
every where else, a reason of dislike. So, Pistol calls Sir Hugh, 
in the first act, a mountain foreigner ; that is, a fellow unedu- 
cated, and of gross behaviour ; and again in his anger calls 
Bardolph, Hungarian wight. JOHXSON. 

I believe that neither of the commentators is in the right, but 
am far from professing, with any great degree of confidence, 
that I am happier in my own explanation. It is remarkable, 
that in Shakspeare, this expression a true man, is always put 
in opposition (as it is in this instance) to a thief. So, in 
Henry IF. P. I: 

" now the thieves have bound the true men." 

The Chinese (anciently called Catalans] are said to be the 
most dextrous of all the nimble-fingered tribe ; and to this hour 
they deserve the same character. Pistol was known at Windsor 
to have had a hand in picking Slender's pocket, and therefore 
might be called Catalan with propriety, if my explanation be 

That by a Catalan some kind of sharper was meant, I infer 
from the following passage in Love and Honour, a play by Sir 
William D'Avenant, 1649 : 

" Hang him, bold Cataian, he indites finely, 
" And will live as well by sending short epistles, 
" Or by the sad "whisper at your gamester's ear, 
" When the great By is draAvn, 
" As any distrest gallant of them all." 

Cathaia is mentioned in The Tamer Tamed, of Beaumont 
and Fletcher: 

" I'll wish you in the Indies, or Cathaia." 
The tricks of the Catalans are hinted at in one of the old 
black letter histories of that country ; and again in a dramatick 
performance, called The Pcdler's Prophecy, 15Q5 : 

" in the east part of Inde, 

" Through seas and floods, they work all thievish.' 1 


' Twas a good sensible fellow .-] This, and the two pre- 
ceding speeches of Ford, are spoken to himself, and have no 


PAGE. How now, Meg ? 

MRS. PAGE. Whither go you, George ? Hark 

MRS. FORD. How now, sweet Frank ? why art 
thou melancholy ? 

FORD. I melancholy ! I am not melancholy. 
Get you home, go. 

MRS. FORD. 'Faith, thou hast some crotchets in 
thy head now. Will you go, mistress Page ? 

MRS. PAGE. Have with you. You'll come to 
dinner, George ? Look, who comes yonder : she 
shall be our messenger to this paltry knight. 

[Aside to Mrs. FORD. 

Enter Mistress QUICKLY. 

MRS. FORD. Trust me, I thought on her : she'll 
fit it. 

MRS. PAGE. You are come to see my daughter 
Anne ? 

QUICK. Ay, forsooth ; And, I pray, how does 
good mistress Anne ? 

MRS. PAGE. Go in with us, and see ; we have 
an hour's talk with you. 

[Exeunt Mrs. PAGE, Mrs. FORD, and Mrs. 

PAGE. How now, master Ford ? 

FORD. You heard what this knave told me j did 
you not ? 

PAGE. Yes ; And you heard what the other 
told me ? 

connection with the sentiments of Page, who is likewise making 
his comment on what had passed, without attention to Ford. 


so. i. OF WINDSOR. 73 

FORD. Do you think there is truth in them ? 

PAGE. Hang 'em, slaves ; I do not think the 
knight would offer it : but these that accuse him 
in his intent towards our wives, are a yoke of his 
discarded men ; very rogues, now they be out of 
service. 6 

FORD. Were they his men ? 
PAGE. Marry, were they. 

FORD. I like it never the better for that. Does 
he lie at the Garter ? 

PAGE. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend 
this voyage towards my wife, I would turn her 
loose to him ; and what he gets more of her than 
sharp words, let it lie on my head. 

FORD. I do not misdoubt my wife ; but I would 
be loath to turn them together : A man may be 
too confident : I would have nothing lie on my 
head : 7 I cannot be thus satisfied. 

PAGE. Look, where my ranting host of the Gar- 
ter comes : there is either liquor in his pate, or 
money in his purse, when he looks so merrily. 
How now, mine host? 

Enter Host, and SHALLOW. 

HOST. How now, bully-rook ? thou'rt a gentle- 
man : cavalero-justice, 8 I say. 

6 very rogues, now they be out of service.'] A rogue is 

a wanderer or vagabond, and, in its consequential signification, 
a cheat. JOHNSON. 

7 1 would have nothing lie on my head :~\ Here seems 

to be an allusion to Shakspeare's favourite topick, the cuckold's 
horns. M ALONE. 

8 cavalero-justice,'] This cant term occurs in The 

Stately Moral of Three Ladies of London, 15QO: 

" Then know, Castilian cavalcros, this." 


SHAL. I follow, mine host, I follow. Good even, 
and twenty, good master Page ! Master Page, will 
you go with us ? we have sport in hand. 

HOST. Tell him, cavalero-justice ; tell him, bul- 

SHAL. Sir, there is a fray to be fought, between 
sir Hugh the Welch priest, and Caius the French 

FORD. Good mine host o* the Garter, a word 
with you. 

HOST. What say'st thou, bully-rook ? 

[ They go aside. 

SHAL. Will you \_to PAGE] go with us to behold 
it ? My merry host hath had the measuring of their 
weapons ; and, I think, he hath appointed them 
contrary places : for, believe me, I hear, the par- 
son is no jester. Hark, I will tell you what our 
sport shall be. 

HOST. Hast thou no suit against my knight, my 
guest-cavalier ? 

FORD. None, I protest : but I'll give you a pottle 
of burnt sack to give me recourse to him, and tell 
him, my name is Brook ; only for a jest. 

HOST. My hand, bully : thou shalt have egress 
and regress j said I well ? and thy name shall be 

There is also a book printed in 159P, called, A Countercuffe 
given to Martin Junior ; by the venturous, hardie, and re- 
nowned Pasqidl qfEnglande, CAVALIERO. STEEVENS. 

9 and tell Mm, my name is Brook;] Thus both the 

old quartos ; and thus most certainly the poet wrote. We 
need no better evidence than the pun that Falstaff anon makes 
on the name, when Brook sends him some burnt sack : Such 
Brooks are welcome to me, that overflow such liquor. The 
players, in their edition, altered the name to Broom. 


sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 75 

Brook : It is a merry knight. Will you go on, 
hearts . ?1 

-. SHAL. Have with you, mine host. 

PAGE. I have heard, the Frenchman hath good 
skill in his rapier. 2 

SHAL. Tut, sir, I could have told you more : In 
these times you stand on distance, your passes, stoc- 

1 "will you go on, hearts ?] For this substitution of 

an intelligible for an unintelligible word, I am answerable. 
The old reading is an-heirs. See the following notes. 


We should read, Will you go ON, HERTS ? i. e. Will you 
go on, master ? Heris, an old Scotch word for master. 


The merry Host has already saluted them separately by titles of 
distinction ; he therefore probably now addresses them collec- 
tively by a general one Will you go on, heroes ? or, as pro- 
bably, Will you go on, hearts f He calls Dr. Caius Heart of 
Elder ; and adds, in a subsequent scene of this play, Farewell 
my hearts. Again, in The Midsummer Night's Dream, Bot- 
tom says, " Where are these hearts?" My brave hearts^ 

or my bold hearts, is a common word of encouragement. A 
heart of gold expresses the more soft and amiable qualities, the 
mores aurei of Horace ; and a heart of oak is a frequent enco- 
mium of rugged honesty. Sir T. Hanmer reads Mynheers. 


There can be no doubt that this passage is corrupt. Perhaps 
we should read Will you go and hear us? So, in the next 
page " I had rather hear them scold than fight." MALONE. 

* in his rapier.] In the old quarto here follow these 

words : 

" Shal. I tell you what, master Page ; I believe the doctor is 
no jester ; he'll lay it one [on] ; for though we be justices and 
doctors and churchmen, yet we are the sons of women, master 

" Page. True, master Shallow. 

" Shal. It will be found so, master Page. 

** Page. Master Shallow, you yourself have been a great 
fighter, though now a man of peace." 

Part of this dialogue is found afterwards in the third scene of 
the present act ; but it seems more proper here, to introduce 
what Shallow says of the prowess of his youth. MALONE. 


cadoes, and I know not what : 'tis the heart, master 
Page ; 'tis here, 'tis here. I have seen the time, 
with my long sword, 3 I would have made you four 
tall fellows 4 skip like rats. 

3 my long sword,"] Before the introduction of rapiers, 

the swords in use were of an enormous length, and sometimes 
raised with both hands. Shallow, with an old man's vanity, 
censures the innovation by which lighter weapons were intro- 
duced, tells what he could once have done with his long sword, 
and ridicules the terms and rules of the rapier. JOHNSON. 

The two-handed sword is mentioned in the ancient Interlude 
of Nature, bl. 1. no date: 

" Somtyme he serveth me at borde, 

" Somtyme he bereth my two-hand sword." 

See a note to The First Part of K. Henry IV. Act II. 

J o 


Dr. Johnson's explanation of the long sword is certainly 
right ; for the early quarto reads my two-hand sword ; so 
that they appear to have been synonymous. 

Carleton, in his Thankful Remembrance of God's Mercy, 
1625, speaking of the treachery of one Rowland York, in be- 
traying the town of Deventer to the Spaniards in 1587, says : 
*' he was a Londoner, famous among the cutters in his time, for 
bringing in a new kind of fight to run the point of the rapier 
into a man's body. This manner of fight he brought first into 
England, with great admiration of his audaciousness : when in 
England before that time, the use was, with little bucklers, and 
with broad swords, to strike, and not to thrust ; and it was ac- 
counted unmanly to strike under the girdle." 

The Continuator of Stowe's Annals, p. 1024, edit. 1031, sup- 
poses the rapier to have been introduced somewhat sooner, viz. 
about the 20th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, [1578] 
at which time, he says, Sword and Bucklers began to be dis- 
used. Shakspeare has here been guilty of a great anachronism 
in making Shallow ridicule the terms of the rapier in the time 
of Henry IV. an hundred and seventy years before it was used 
in England. MALONE. 

It should seem from a passage in Nash's Life ofJacke Wilton, 
1594, that rapiers were used in the reign of Henry VIII. 
'* At that time I was no common squire, &c. my rapier pen- 
dant like a round stick fastned in the tacklings, for skippers the 
better to climbe by." Sig. C 4. RITSON. 

4 toll fellows ] A tall fellow, in the time of our author, 

meant a stout, bold, or courageous person. In A Discourse on 

sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 77 

HOST. Here, boys, here, here ! shall we wag ? 

PAGE. Have with you : I had rather hear them 
scold than fight. 

[Exeunt Host, SHALLOW, and PAGE. 

FORD. Though Page be a secure fool, and stands 
so firmly on his wife's frailty, 5 yet I cannot put off 
my opinion so easily : She was in his company at 
Page's house ; and, what they made there, 6 1 know 

Usury, by Dr. Wilson, 1584, he says, " Here in England, he 
that can. rob a man on the high-way, is called a tall fellotu." 
Lord Bacon says, " that Bishop Fox caused his castle of Norham 
to be fortified, and manned it likewise with a very great number 
of tall soldiers" 

The elder quarto reads tall fencers. STEEVENS. 

5 stands so Jirmly on his 'wife's frailty^] Thus all the 

copies. But Mr. Theobald has no conception how any man could 
stand firmly on his wife's frailty. And why ? Because he had 
no conception how he could stand upon it, without knowing 
what it was. But if I tell a stranger, that the bridge he is about 
to cross is rotten, and he believes it not, but will go on, may 
I not say, when I see him upon it, that he stands firmly on a 
rotten plank ? Yet he has changed frailty for fealty, and the 
Oxford editor has followed him. But they took the phrase, to 
stand Jirmly on, to signify 1*9 insist upon ; whereas it signifies to 
rest upon, which the character of a secure fool, given to him, 
shews. So that the common reading has an elegance that would 
be lost in the alteration. WARBURTON. 

To stand on any thing, does signify to insist on it. So, in 
Hey wood's Rape of Lucrece, 1630: " All captains, and stand 
upon the honesty of your wives." Again, in Warner's Albion's 
England, 1002, Book VI. chap. 30: 

" For stoutly on their honesties doe wylie harlots stand?* 

The jealous Ford is the speaker, and all chastity in women 
appears to him as frailty. He supposes Page therefore to insist 
on that virtue as steady, which he himself suspects to be without 
foundation. STEEVENS. 

and stands so Jirmly on his loife^s frailty^] i. e. has such 

perfect confidence in his unchaste wife. His wife's frailty is the 
same as his frail wife. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, we meet 
with death and honour, for an honourable death. MALONE. 

and, ivhat they made there,"] An obsolete phrase 

signifying what they did there. MALONE. 


not. Well, I will look further into't : and I have 
a disguise to sound Falstaff : If I find her honest, 
I lose not my labour. ; if she be otherwise, 'tis 
labour well bestowed. \_Roclt. 


A Room in the Garter Inn. 

FAL. I will not lend thee a penny. 

PIST. Why, then the world's mine oyster, 7 
Which I with sword will open. 
I will retort the sum in equipage. 8 

So, in As you like it, Act I. sc. i : 

'* Now, sir, what make you here ?" STEEVENS. 

7 the world's mine oyster, &fc.~\ Dr. Grey supposes 

Shakspeare to allude to an old proverb, " The mayor of North- 
ampton opens oysters with his dagger," i. e. to keep them at a 
sufficient distance from his nose, that town being fourscore miles 
from the sea. STEEVENS. 

8 / 'will retort the sum in equipage.] This is added from the 
old quarto of 1619, and means, 1 will pay you again in stolen 
goods. WARBURTON. 

I rather believe he means, that he will pay him by waiting on 
him for nothing. So, in Love's Pilgrimage, by Beaumont and 
Fletcher : 

" And boy, be you my guide, 
" For I will make a full descent in equipage" 
That equipage ever meant stolen goods, I am yet to learn. 


Dr. Warburton may be right ; for I find equipage was one of 
the cant words of the time. In Davies' Papers Complaint, 
(a poem which has erroneously been ascribed to Donne,) we 
have several of them : 

" Embellish, blandishment, and equipage." 

Which words, he tells us in the margin, overmuch savour of 
ivltlesse affectation. FARMER. 

Dr. Warburton's interpretation is, I think, right. Equipage 
indeed docs not per se signify stolen goods, but such goods as 

sc. n. OF WINDSOR. 79 

FAL. Not a penny. I have been content, sir, 
you should lay my countenance to pawn : I have 
grated upon my good friends for three reprieves for 
you and your coach-fellow, Nym ; >J or else you had 
looked through the grate, like a geminy of baboons. 
I am damned in hell, for swearing to gentlemen my 
friends, you were good soldiers, and tall fellows r 1 
and when mistress Bridget lost the handle of her 
fan, 2 1 took't upon mine honour, thou hadst it not. 

Pistol promises to return, we may fairly suppose, would be stolen. 
Eguipage, which, as Dr. Farmer observes, had been but newly 
introduced into our language, is defined by Bullokar in his 
English Expositor, 8vo. l6l6': " Furniture, or provision for 
horsemanship, especially in triumphs or tournaments." Hence 
the modern use of this word. MALONE. 

9 your coach-fellow, Nym ;~\ Thus the old copies. 

Coach-fellow has an obvious meaning; but the modern editors 
read, couch-fellow. The following passage from Ben Jonson's 
Cynthia's Revels may justify the reading I have chosen : " 'Tis 
the swaggering coach-horse Anaides, that draws ivitk him there." 
Again, in Monsieur D' Olive, l6oQ: "Are you he my page 
here makes choice of to be his fellow coach-horse ? Again, in 
A true Narrative of the Entertainment of his Royal Majestic, 
from the Time of his Departure from Edinburgh, till his Re- 
ceiving in London, &c. 1603 : " a base pilfering theefe was 
taken, who plaid the cutpurse in the court : his fellow was ill 
mist, for no doubt he had a walking-mate : they drew together 
like coach-horses, and it is pitie they did not hang together." 
Again, in Every Woman in her Humour, 160Q: 
" For wit, ye may be coached together." 
Again, in 10th Book of Chapman's Translation of Homer: 
" their chariot horse, as they coachfellows were." 


your coach-fellow, Nym ;] i.e. he, who draws along 

with you ; who is joined with you in all your knavery. So be- 
fore, Page, speaking of Nym and Pistol, calls them a " yoke of 
Falstaff's discarded men." MALONE. 

1 tall fellows :] See p. 70. STEEVEXS. 

2 lost the handle ofherfan,~\ It should be remembered, 

that fans, in our author's time, were more costly than they are 
at present, as well as of a different construction. They con- 




PIST. Didst thou not share ? hadst thou not fif- 
teen pence ? 

sisted of ostrich feathers (or others of equal length and flexi- 
bility, ) which were stuck into handles. The richer sort of these 
were composed of gold, silver, or ivory of curious workman- 
ship. One of them is mentioned in The Fleire, Com. t6lO: 
** she hath a fan with a short silver handle, about the length 
of a barber's syringe." Again, in Love and Honour, by Sir 
W. D'Avenant, 1649 : " All your plate, Vasco, is the silver 
handle of your old prisoner's Jan." Again, in Marston's III. 
Satyre, edit. 1,598 : 

" How can he keepe a lazie waiting man, 
" And buy a hoode and silver-handled fan 
" With fortie pound ?" 

In the frontispiece to a play, called Englishmen for my Money, 
or A pleasant Comedy of a Woman will have her Will, l6l(5, 
is a portrait of a lady with one of these fans, which, after all, 
may prove the best commentary on the passage. The three 
other specimens are taken from the Habiti Antichi et Moderni 
di tutto il Hondo, published at Venice, 1598, from the draw- 
ings of Titian, and Cesare Vecelli, his brother. This fashion 
was perhaps imported from Italy, together with many others, 
in the reign of King Henry VIII. if not in that of King 
Richard II. 



i FAL. Reason, you rogue, reason : Think'stthou, 
I'll endanger my soul gratis ? At a word, hang no 
more about me, I am no gibbet for you : go. A 
short knife and a throng ; 3 to your manor of 
Pickt-hatch, 4 go. You'll not bear a letter for me, 
you rogue ! you stand upon your honour ! Why, 

Thus also Marston, in The Scourge of Villanie, Lib. III. 
sat. 8 : 

" Another, he 

" Her silver-handled fan would gladly be.'* 
.And in other places. And Bishop Hall, in his Satires, pub- 
lished 15Q7, Lib. V. sat. iv : 

" Whiles one piece pays her idle waiting manne, 

" Or buys a hoode, or silver-handled fanne." 
In the Sidney papers, published by Collins, a fan is presented 
to Queen Elizabeth for a new year's gift, the handle of which 
was studded with diamonds. T. WARTON. 

3 A short knife and a throng;] So, Lear : " When cut- 

.purses come not to throngs." WARBURTON. 

Part of the employment given by Drayton, in The Mooncalf, 
to the Baboon, seems the same with this recommended by Fal- 

" He like a gypsey oftentimes would go, 
" All kinds of gibberish he hath learn'd to know : 
" And with a stick, a short string, and a noose, 
" Would show the people tricks at fast and loose." 
Theobald has throng instead of thong. The latter seems right. 


Greene, in his Life of Ned Broiune, 1592, says : " I had no 
other fence but my short knife, and a paire of purse-strings." 


Mr. Dennis reads thong; which has been followed, I think, 
, improperly, by some of the modern editors. 

Sir Thomas Overbury's Characters, l6l6, furnish us with a 
confirmation of the reading of the old copies : " The eye of this 
wolf is as quick in his head as a cutpurse in a throng." 


4 Pickt-hatch,'\ Is frequently mentioned by contem- 
porary writers. So, in Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Hu- 

mour : 

" From the Bordello it might come as well, 
" The Spital, or Pict-hatch." 
VOL. V. G 


thou unconfinable baseness, it is as much as I can 
do, to keep the terms of my honour precise. I, I, 

Again, in Randolph's Muses Looking-glass, 1638 : 

" the Lordship of Turnbufl, 

" Which with ray Pict-hatch Grange, and Shore-ditch 

farm," &c. 
Plot-hatch was in Turnbull-strcet : 

" your whore doth live 

" In Pict-hatch, Turnbull-street." 

Amends for Ladies, a Comedy, by N. Field, 16*18. 
The derivation of the word Pict-hatch may perhaps be dis- 
covered from the following passage in Cupid's Whirligig, 1607 : 
*' Set some picks upon your hatch, and, I pray, profess to 
keep a bawdy-house." Perhaps the unseasonable and obstre- 
perous irruptions of the gallants of that age, might render such 
a precaution necessary. So, in Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609: 
" if in our youths we could pick up some pretty estate, 'twere 
not amiss to keep our door hatch'd." STEEVENS. 

Pict-hatch was a cant name of some part of the town noted 
for bawdy-houses ; as appears from the following passage in 
Marston's Scourge for Villanie, Lib. III. sat. x : 
u Looke, who yon doth go ; 
" The meager letcher lewd Luxurio. 
" No newe edition of drabbes comes out, 
" But seen and allow'd by Luxurio's snout. 
** Did ever any man ere heare him talke 
" But of Pick-hatch, or of some Shoreditch baulke, 
" Aretine's filth," &c. 

Sir T. Hanmer says, that this was " a noted harbour for 
thieves and pickpockets," who certainly were proper compa- 
nions for a man of Pistol's profession. But Falstaff here more 
immediately means to ridicule another of his friend's vices ; 
and there is some humour in calling Pistol's favourite brothel, 
his manor of Pickt-hatch. Marston has another allusion to 
Pickt-hatch or Pick-hatch, which confirms this illustration : 

" His old cynick dad 

" Hath forc'd him cleane forsake his Pick-hatch drab." 
Lib. I. sat. iii. T. WARTON. 

Again, in Ben Jonson's Epig. XII. on Lieutenant Shift : 
" Shift, here in town, not meanest among squires 
" That haunt Pickt-hatch, Mersh Lambeth, and White 

\gaia, in The Blacke Booke, 16*04, 4to. Lucifer says : " I 

c. //. OF WINDSOR. S3 

I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on 
the left hand, and hiding mine honour in my ne- 
cessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch ; 
and yet you, rogue, will ensconce your rags, 5 your 
cat-a-mountain looks, your red-lattice phrases, and 

proceeded towards PicJct-hatch, intending to beginne their first, 
which (as I may fitly name it) is the very skirts of all Brothel 
houses." DOUCE. 

5 ensconce your rags, &c.] A sconce is a petty fortifi- 
cation. To ensconce, therefore, is to protect as with a fort. The 
word occurs again in K. Henry IV. P. I. STEEVENS. 

6 red-lattice phrases,] Your ale-house conversation. 


Red lattice at the doors and windows, were formerly the ex- 
ternal denotements of an ale-house. So, in A Fine Companion, 
one of Shackerley Marmion's plays : " A waterman's widow at 
the sign of the red lattice in Southwark." Again, in Arden of 
Fever sham, 1502: 

" his sign pulled down, and his lattice born away." 

Again, in The Miseries ofinforc'd Marriage, 1607 : 

" tis treason to the red lattice, enemy to the sign- 

Hence the present chequers. Perhaps the reader will express 
some surprize, when he is told that shops, with the sign of the 
chequers, were common among the Romans. See a view of 
the left-hand street of Pompeii, (No. 9,) presented by Sir Wil- 
liam Hamilton, (together with several others, equally curious,) 
to the Antiquary Society. STEEVENS. 

The following passage in Braithwaite's Strapadojbr the Divell, 
l6l5, confirms Mr. Steevens's observation: " To the true dis- 
coverer of secrets, Monsieur Bacchus, master-gunner of the 
pottle-pot ordnance, prime-founder of red lattices," &c. 

In King Henry IV. P. II. Falstaff's page, speaking of Bar- 
dolph, says, "he called me even now, my lord, 'through a red 
lattice, and I could see no part of his face from the window." 


This designation of an ale-house is not altogether lost, though 
the original meaning of the word is, the sign being converted 
into a green lettuce ; of which an instance occurs in Brownlow 
Street, Holborn. In' The Last Will and Testament of Lawrence 
Lucifer, the old Baichiler of Limbo, at the end of the " Blacke 
Booke," 1604, 4to. is the following passage : " watched 


your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your 
honour ! You will not do it, you ? 

PIST. I do relent ; What would' st thou more of 
man ? 

Enter ROBIN. 

ROB. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you. 
FAL. Let her approach. 

Enter Mistress QUICKLY. 

QUICK. Give your worship good-morrow. 
FAL. Good-morrow, good wife. 
QUICK. Not so, an't please your worship. 
FAL. Good maid, then. 

QUICK. I'll be sworn ; as my mother was, the 
first hour I was born. 

FAL. I do believe the swearer : What with me ? 

QUICK. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word 
or two ? 

FAL. Two thousand, fair woman ; and I'll vouch- 
fafe thee the hearing. 

QUICK. There is one mistress Ford, sir ; I pray, 
come a little nearer this ways : I myself dwell 
with master doctor Caius. 

FAL. Well, on : Mistress Ford, you say, 

QUICK. Your worship says very true : I pray 
your worship, come a little nearer this ways. 

FAL. I warrant thee, nobody hears ; mine own 
people, mine own people. 

sometimes ten houres together in an ale-house, ever and anon, 
peeping forth, and sampling thy nose with the red Lattis" 


&. 11: OF WINDSOR. 85 

QUICK. Are they so ? Heaven bless them, and 
make them his servants ! 

FAL. Well : Mistress Ford ; what of her ? 

QUICK. Why, sir, she's a good creature. Lord, 
lord ! your worship's a wanton : Well, heaven for- 
give you, and all of us, I pray ! 

FAL. Mistress Ford ; come, mistress Ford, 

QUICK. Marry, this is the short and the long of 
it ; you have brought her into such a canaries, 7 as 
'tis wonderful. The best courtier of them all, when 
the court lay at Windsor, 8 could never have brought 
her to such' a canary. Yet there has been knights, 
and lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches ; I 
warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, 
gift after gift ; smelling so sweetly, (all musk,) and 
so rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold ; and in 
such alligant terms ; and in such wine and sugar of 
the best, and the fairest, that would have won any 
woman's heart ; and, I warrant you, they could 
never get an eye-wink of her. I had myself 
twenty angels given me this morning : but I defy 
all angels, (in any such sort, as they say,) but in the 
way of honesty : and, I warrant you, they could 
never get her so much as sip on a cup with the 
proudest of them all : and yet there has been earls, 

7 canaries,] This is the name of a brisk light dance, 

and therefore is properly enough used in low language for any 
hurry or perturbation. JOHNSON. 

So, Nash, in Pierce Pennyless his Supplication, 1595, says: 
" A merchant's wife jets it as gingerly, as if she were dancing 
the canaries" It is highly probable, however, that canaries is 
only a mistake of Mrs. Quickly's for quandaries ; and yet the 
Clown, in As you like it, says, " we that are true lovers, run 
into strange capers" STEEVENS. 

* lay at Windsor,'] i. e. resided there. MALONE. 


nay, which is more* pensioners ; 9 but, I warrant 
you, all is one with her. 

FAL. But what says she to me ? be brief, my 
good she J^ercury. 

QUICK. Marry, she hath received your lettei* ; for 
the which she thanks you a thousand times : and 
she gives you to notify, that her husband will be 
absence from his house between ten and eleven. 

FAL. Ten and eleven ? 

QUICK. Ay, forsooth ; and then you may come 
and see the picture, she says, that you wot of j 1 
master Ford, her husband, will be from home. 

9 earls, nay, 'which is more, pensioners ;"} Thfs may 

be illustrated by a passage in Gervase Holles's Life of the First 
Earl of Clare, Biog. Brit. Art. HOLLES : " I have heard the Earl 
of Clare say, that when he was pensioner to the queen, he did 
not know a worse man of the whole band than himself; and 
that all the world knew he had then an inheritance of 40001. 
a year." TYRWHITT. 

Barrett, in his Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580, says, 
that a pensioner was " a gentleman about his prince, alwaie re- 
die, with his speare." STEEVENS. 

Pensioners were Gentlemen of the band of Pensioners. " In 
the month of December," [1539] says Stowe, Annals, p. 9/3, 
edit. 1(J05, " were appointed to waite on the king's person fifty 
Gentlemen, called Pensioners, or Speares, like as they were in 
the first yeare of the king ; unto whom was assigned the summe 
of fiftie pounds, yerely, for the maintenance of themselves, and 
everie man two horses, or one horse and a gelding of service." 
Their dress was remarkably splendid, and therefore likely to 
attract the notice of Mrs. Quickly. Hence, [as both Mr. Stee- 
vens and Mr. T. Warton have observed,] in A Midsummer 
Nighfs, our author has selected from all the tribes of 
flowers the golden-coated cowslips to be pensioners to the Fairy 
Queen : 

" The cowslips tall her pensioners be, 

" In their gold coats spots you see ;" &c. MALONE. 

1 you wot of;"] To ivot is to know. Obsolete. So, in 

King Henry VIII : " "wot you what I found?" STEEVENS. 

ac. u. OF WINDSOR, 87 

Alas ! the sweet woman leads an ill life with him; 
he's a very jealousy man ; she leads a very frampold 2 
life with him, good heart. 

FAL. Ten and eleven : Woman, commend me 
to her ; I will not fail her. 

, QUICK. Why, you say well: But I have another 
messenger to your worship : Mistress Page hath her 
hearty commendations to you too ; and let me tell 
you in your ear, she's as fartuous a civil modest 
wife, and one (I tell you) that will not miss you 
morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, 
whoe'er be the other : and she bade me tell your 
worship, that her husband is seldom from home ; 
but, she hopes, there will come a time. I never 
knew a woman so dote upon a man; surely, I think 
you have charms, la ; yes, in truth. 

* frampold ] This word I have never seen elsewhere, 

except in Dr. Hacket*s Life of Archbishop Williams, where a 
frampul man signifies a peevish troublesome fellow. JOHNSON. 

In The Roaring Girl, a comedy, l6ll, I meet with a word, 
which, though differently spelt, appears to be the same : 

" Lax. Coachman. 

" Coach. Anon, sir! 

" Lax. Are we fitted with good phrampell jades?" 

Ray, among his South and East country words, observes, that 
frampald, or frampard, signifies fretful, peevish, cross, froivard. 
Asfroivard (he adds) comes from from ; so may frampard. 

Nash, in his Praise of the Red Herring, 1599, speaking of 
Leander, says : " the churlish frampold waves gave him his 
belly full of fish-broth." 

Again, in The Inner Temple Masque, by Middleton, ]6]0: 
" 'tis soframpole, the puritans will never yield to it." Again, 
in The Blind Beggar of Bethnal-Green, by John Day: " I think 
the fellow's frampell," &c. And, in Beaumont and Fletcher's 
Wit at several Weapons : 

tf Is Pompey grown so malapert, soframpel?" 


Thus, in The Isle of Gulls " What a goodyer aile you mo- 
ther ? are youframpull? know you not your own daughter?" 



FAL. Not I, I assure thee ; setting the attrao 
tion of my good parts aside, I have no other 

QUICK. Blessing on your heart for't ! 

FAL. But, I pray thee, tell me this : has Ford's 
wife, and Page's wife, acquainted each other how 
they love me ? 

QUICK. That were a jest, indeed! they have not 
so little grace, I hope: that were a trick, indeed! 
But mistress Page would desire you to send her your 
little page, of all loves; 3 her husband has a mar- 
vellous infection to the little page : and, truly, 
master Page is an honest man. Never a wife in 
Windsor leads a better life than she does ; do what 
she will, say what she will, take all, pay all, go to 
bed when she list, rise when she list, all is as she 
will ; and, truly, she deserves it : for if there be 
a kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must 
send her your page ; no remedy. 

FAL. Why, I will. 

QUICK. Nay, but do so then : and, look you, he 
may come and go between you both ; and, in any 

3 to send her your little page, of all loves ;] Of all loves, 

is an adjuration only, and signifies no more than if she had said, 
desires you to send him by all means. 

It is used in Decker's Honest Whore, P. I. 1(335: " con- 
juring his wife, of all loves, to prepare cheer fitting," &c. 
Again, in Holinshed's Chronicle, p. J064 : " Mrs. Arden desired 
him, of all loves, to come backe againe." Again, in Othello, 
Act III : " the general so likes your musick, that he desires 
you, of all loves, to make no more noise with it." 

A similar phrase occurs in a Letter from Gilbert Talbot to the 
Earl of Shrewsbury. See Lodge's Illustrations, &c. Vol. II. 
101 : " I earnestly desyred him, of all frendshipp, to tell me 
whether he had harde any thing to y e contrary." Again, ibid. 
41 He charged me, of all love, that I should kepe this secrete." 


sc. n. OF WINDSOR. 89 

case, have a nay-word, 4 that you may know one 
another's mind, and the boy never need to under- 
stand any thing ; for 'tis not good that children 
should know any wickedness: old folks, you know, 
have discretion, as they say, and know the world. 

FAL. Fare thee well : commend me to them 
both : there's my purse ; I am yet thy debtor. 
Boy, go along with this woman. This news dis- 
tracts me ! \_Exeunt QUICKLY and ROBIN. 

FIST. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers : 5 
Clap on more sails ; pursue, up with your fights j c 

4 a nay-ivord,] i. e. a ivatch-tuord. So, in a subsequent 

scene : " We have a nay-ivord to know one another," &c. 


s This punk is one of Cupid's carriers : ] Punk is a plausible 
reading, yet absurd on examination. For are not all punks 
Cupid's carriers ? Shakspeare certainly wrote : 

" This PINK is one of Cupid's carriers : 

And then the sense is proper, and the metaphor, which is all 
the way taken from the marine, entire. A pink is a vessel of 
the small craft, employed as a carrier (and so called) for mer- 
chants. Fletcher uses the word in his Tamer Tamed : 
" This PINK, this painted foist, this cockle-boat." 


So, in The Ladies' Privilege, 1640 : " These gentlemen 
know better to cut a caper than a cable, or board a pink in the 
bordells, than a pinnace at sea." A small salmon is called a 

Dr. Farmer, however, observes, that the word punk has been 
unnecessarily altered to pink. In Ben Jonson's Bartholomew 
Fair, Justice Overdo says of the pig-woman : " She hath been 
before me, punk, pinnace, and bawd, any time these two and 
twenty-years." STEEVENS. 

6 up "with your fights ;] So again, in Fletcher's Tamer 

Tamed : 

" To hang \\evjights out, and defy me, friends ! 

" A well-known man of war." 

As to the wordjights, both in the text and in the quotation, 
it was then, and, for aught I know, may be now, a common 
sea-term. Sir Richard Hawkins, in his Voyages, p. Go, says : 


Give fire ; she is my prize, or ocean whelm them 
all ! [Exit PISTOL. 

" For once we cleared her deck ; and had we been able to have 
spared but a dozen men, doubtless we had done with her what 
we would ; for she had no close FIGHTS," i. e. if I understand 
it right, no small arms. So that by fights is meant any manner 
of defence, either small arms or cannon. So, Dryden, in his 
tragedy of Amboyna : 

" Up with your FIGHTS, 

" And your nettings prepare," &c. WARBURTON. 

The quotation from Dryden might at least have raised a sus- 
picion that fights were neither small arms, nor cannon. Fights 
and nettings are properly joined. Fights, I find, are clothes 
hung round the ship to conceal the men from the enemy ; and 
close-fights are bulk-heads, or any other shelter that the fabrick 
cf a ship affords. JOHNSON. 

So, in Heywood and Rowley's comedy, called Fortune by 
Land and Sea : " display'd their ensigns, up 'with all their 
Jeights, their matches in their cocks,'* &c. Again, in The 
Christian turned Turk, 1()12: " Lace the netting, and let down 
the fights, make ready the shot," &c. Again, in The Fair Maid 
of the West, l6t: 

" Then now up ivith your fights, and let your ensigns, 
" Blest with St. George's cross, play with the winds." 
Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Valentinian : 

** while I were able to endure a tempest, 

" And bear my fights out bravely, till my tackle 

" Whistled i' th'^wind." 

This passage may receive an additional and perhaps a some- 
what different illustration from John Smith's Sea-Grammar, 
4to. 1627. In p. 58 he says: " But if you see your chase strip 
himself into fighting sailes, that is, to put out his colours in the 
poope, his flag in the maine top, his streamers or pendants at 
the end of his yards' arms, &c. provide yourself to fight." 
Again, p. 60 : " Thus they use to strip themselves into their 
short sailes, or fighting sailes, which is only the fore sail, the 
maine and fore top sailes, because the rest should not be fired or 
spoiled ; besides they would be troublesome to handle, hinder 
our sights and the using of our armes : he makes ready his 
close fights fore and aft." In a former passage, p. 58, he has 
said that " a ship's close fights are small ledges of wood laid 
crosse one another, like the grates of iron in a prison's window, 

sc. n. OF WINDSOR. 91 

FAL. Say'st thou so, old Jack ? go thy ways ; 
I'll make more of thy old body than I have done. 
Will they yet look after thee ? Wilt thou, after the 
expence of so much money, be now a gainer? Good 
body, I thank thee: Let them say, 'tis grossly done; 
so it be fairly done, no matter. 


BARD. Sir John, there's one master Brook below 
would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with 
you ; and hath sent your worship a morning's 
draught of sack. 7 

betwixt the maine mast and the fore mast, and are called grat- 
ings or nettings," &c. STEEVKNS. 

7 one master Brook beloiu ivould fain speak with you y 

and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a 
morning's draught of sack.] It seems to hare been a common 
custom at taverns, in our author's time, to send presents of wine 
from one room to another, either as a memorial of friendship, 
or (as in the present instance) by way of introduction to ac- 
quaintance. Of the existence of this practice the following 
anecdote of Ben Jonson and Bishop Corbet furnishes a proof: 
" Ben Jonson was at a tavern, and in comes Bishop Corbet (but 
not so then) into the next room. Ben Jonson calls for a quart 
of ratv wine, and gives it to the tapster. ' Sirrah, says he, 
carry this to the gentleman in the next chamber, and tell him, 
I sacrifice my service to him.' The fellow did, and in those 
words. * Friend,' says Dr. Corbet, * I thank him for his love ; but 
'pr'ythee tell him from me that he is mistaken ; for .sacrifices are 
always burnt." Merry Passages and Jeasts, MSS. Harl. 6395. 


This practice was continued as late as the Restoration. In 
the Parliamentary History, Vol. XXII. p. 1 14, we have the fol- 
lowing passage from Dr. Price's Life of General Monk: " I came 
to the Three Tuns before Guildhall, where the general had 
quartered two nights before. I entered the tavern with a ser- 
vant and portmanteau, and asked for a room, which I had scarce 
got into but ixine followed me as a present from some citizens, 
desiring leave to drink thsir morning's draught with me." 



: FAL. Brook, is his name ? 
SARD. Ay, sir. 

FAL. Call him in ; [Exit BARDOLPH.] Such 
Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow such 
liquor. Ah ! ha ! mistress Ford and mistress Page, 
have I encompassed you? go to; via! 9 

Re-enter BARDOLPH, with FORD disguised. 

FORD. Bless you, sir. 

FAL. And you, sir : Would you speak with me ? 

FORD. I make bold, to press with so little pre- 
paration upon you. 

FAL. You're welcome ; What's your will ? Give 
us leave, drawer. \_Exit BARDOLPH. 

FORD. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent 
much ; my name is Brook. 

FAL. Good master Brook, I desire more ac- 
quaintance of you. 

FORD. Good sir John, I sue for yours : not to 
charge you ; 9 for I must let you understand, I 
think myself in better plight for a lender than you 
are : the which hath something embolden'd me to 

go to ; via !] This cant phrase of exultation or de- 

fiance, is common in the old plays. So, in Blurt Master Con- 
stable : 

" Via for fate ! Fortune, lo ! this is all." STEEVENS. 

Markham uses this word as one of the vocal helps necessary 
for reviving a horse's spirits in galloping large rings, when he 
grows slothful. Hence this cant phrase (perhaps from the Ita- 
lian, via, ) may be used on other occasions to quicken or pluck 
up courage. TOLLET. 

9 not to charge you;] That is, not with a purpose of put- 
ting you to expence, or being burthensome. JOHNSON. 

sc. //. OF WINDSOR. 93 

this unseasoned intrusion ; for they say, if money 
go before, all ways do lie open. 

FAL. Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on. 

FORD. Troth, and I have a bag of money here 
troubles me : if you will help me to bear it, sir 
John, take all, or half, for easing me of the car- 

FAL. Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be 
your porter. 

FORD. I will tell you, sir, if you will give me the 

FAL. Speak, good master Brook ; I shall be glad 
to be your servant. 

FORD. Sir, I hear you are a scholar, I will be 

brief with you ; and you have been a man long 

known to me, though I had never so good means, 
as desire, to make myself acquainted with you. I 
shall discover a thing to you, wherein I must very 
much lay open mine own imperfection : but, good 
sir John, as you have one eye upon my follies, as 
you hear them unfolded, turn another into the re- 
gister of your own ; that I may pass with a reproof 
the easier, sith 'you yourself know, how easy it is 
to be such an offender. 

FAL. Very well, sir ; proceed. 

FORD. There is a gentlewoman in this town, her 
husband's name is Ford. 

FAL. Well, sir. 

FORD. I have long loved her, and, I protest to 
you, bestowed much on her ; followed her with a 
doting observance; engrossed opportunities to meet 
her; fee'd every slight occasion, that could but 

1 sith ] i. e. since. STEEVENS. 


niggardly give me sight of her ; not only bought 
many presents to give her, but have given largely 
to many, to know what she would have given : 
briefly, I have pursued her, as love hath pursued 
me; which hath been, on the wing of all occasions. 
But whatsoever I have merited, either in my mind, 
or in my means, meed, 2 I am sure, I have received 
none ; unless experience be a jewel : that I have 
purchased at an infinite rate ^ and that hath taught 
me to say this : 

Love like a shadow Jlies, when substance love 

Pursuing that thatjlies, andjlying what pur- 
sues. 3 

FAL. Have you received no promise of satisfac- 
tion at her hands ? 

s meed,"] i. e. reward. So Spenser : 

" A rosy garland was the victor's meed" 
Again, in our author's Tzuo Gentlemen of Verona : 

" Vouchsafe me for my meed but one fair look." 


3 Love like a shadow jlies, token substance love pursues; 
Pursuing that that Jlies, andjlying what pursues.] These 

lines have much the air of a quotation, but I know not whether 

they belong to any contemporary writer. In Florio's Second 

Fruites, 15pl, I find the following verses: 
" Di donne e, et sempre fu natura, 
" Odiar chi 1'ama, e chi non 1'ama cura." 

Again : 

" Sono simili a crocodilli 

" Chi per prender Thuomo, piangono, e preso la devorano, 

" Chi le fugge sequono, e chi le seque fuggono." 

T hus translated by Florio : 

" they are like crocodiles, 

" They weep to winne, and wonne they cause to die, 
" Follow men jftying, and men following fly!* MA LONE. 

Thus also in a Sonnet by Queen Elizabeth, preserved in the 
Ashmole Museum : 

." My care is like my shaddowe in the sunne, 

" Follows me Jliinge, faes when I pursue it." STEEVENS. 

fc. n. OF WINDSOR. 95 

FORD. Never. 

FAL. Have you importuned her to such a pur- 
pose ? 

FORD. Never. 

FAL. Of what quality was your love then ? 

FORD. Like a fair house, built upon another man's 
ground ; so that I have lost my edifice, by mistak- 
ing the place where I erected it. 

FAL. To what purpose have you unfolded this 
to me? 

FORD. When I have told you that, I have told 
you all. Some say, that, though she appear honest 
to me, yet, in other places, she enlargeth her mirth 
so far, that there is shrewd construction made of 
her. Now, sir John, here is the heart of my pur- 
pose : You are a gentleman of excellent breeding, 
admirable discourse, of great admittance, 4 authen- 
tick in your place and person, generally allowed 5 
for your many war-like, court-like, and learned pre- 

FAL. O, sir ! 

FORD. Believe it, for you know it : There is 
money ; spend it, spend it ; spend more ; spend all 
I have ; only give me so much of your time in 
exchange or it, as to lay an amiable siege G to the 

4 of great admittance,"] i. e. admitted into all, or the 

greatest companies. STEEVENS. 

* generally allowed ] Allowed is approved. So, in King 


" if your sweet sway 

" Alloiu obedience," &c. STEEVENS. 

6 to lay an amiable siege ] i. e. a siege of love. So, in 

Romeo and Juliet.' 

" the siege of loving terms." MALONE, 


honesty of this Ford's wife: use your art of wooing, 
win her to consent to you ; if any man may, you 
may as soon as any. 

FAL. Would it apply well to the vehemency of 
your affection, that I should win what you would 
enjoy ? Methinks, you prescribe to yourself very 

FORD. O, understand my drift! she dwells so 
securely on the excellency of her honour, that the 
folly 01 my soul dares n ot present itself ; she is too 
bright to be looked against. 7 Now, could I come 
to her with any detection in my hand, my desires 
had instance and argument 8 to commend them- 
selves ; I could drive her then from the ward of 
her purity, 9 her reputation, her marriage vow, and 
a thousand other her defences, which now are too 
strongly embattled against me : What say you to't, 
sir John ? 

FAL. Master Brook, I will first make bold with 
your money ; next, give me your hand ; and last, 
as I am a gentleman, you shall, if you will, enjoy 
Ford's wife. 

7 She is too bright to be looked against.'] 

" Nimium lubricus aspici." Hor. MALONE. 

8 instance and argument ] Instance is example. 


9 the ward of her purity,] i. e. The defence of it. 


What Ford means to say is, that if he could once detect her 
in a crime, he should then be able to drive her from those de- 
fences with which she would otherwise ward off his addresses, 
such as her purity, her reputation, her marriage vow, &c. 

So, in The Winter's Tale, Hermione, speaking of Polixenes, 
says to Leontes : 

" Tell him, you're sure 

" All in Bohemia's well," &c. " Say this to him, 
" He's beat from his best ward." M. MASON, 

sc. n. OF WINDSOR. 97 

FORD. O good sir ! 

FAL. Master Brook, I say you shall. 

FORD. "Want no money, sir John, you shall want 

FAL. Want no mistress Ford, master Brook, you 
shall want none. I shall be with her, (I may tell 
you,) by her own appointment ; even as you came 
in to me, her assistant, or go-between, parted from 
me : I say, I shall be with her between ten and 
eleven ; for at that time the jealous rascally knave, 
her husband, will be forth. Come you to me at 
night ; you shall know how I speed. 

FORD. I am blest in your acquaintance. Do you 
know Ford, sir ? 

FAL. Hang him, poor cuckoldly knave ! I know 
him not : yet I wrong him, to call him poor ; they 
say, the jealous wittolly knave hath masses of mo- 
ney ; for the which his wife seems to me well-fa- 
voured. I will use her as the key of the cuckoldly 
rogue's coffer ; and there's my harvest-home. 

FORD. I would you knew Ford, sir 5 that you 
might avoid him, if you saw him. 

FAL. Hang him, mechanical salt-butter rogue ! 
I will stare him out of his wits ; I will awe him 
with my cudgel : it shall hang like a meteor o'er 
the cuckold's horns : master Brook, thou shalt 
know, I will predominate o'er the peasant, and 
thou shalt lie with his wife. Come to me soon at 
night : Ford's a knave, and I will aggravate his 
stile ; l thou, master Brook, shalt know him for a 
knave and cuckold : come to me soon at night. 


1 and I 'will aggravate his stile ;] Stile is a phrase 

from the Herald's office. Falstaff means, that he ivill add 

VOL. V. H 


FORD. What a damned Epicurean rascal is this ! 
My heart is ready to crack with impatience. 
Who says, this is improvident jealousy r My wife 
hath sent to him, the hour is fixed, the match is 
made. Would any man have thought this ? See 
the hell of having a false woman ! my bed shall be 
abused, my coffers ransacked, my reputation gnawn 
at ; and I shall not only receive this villainous 
wrong, but stand under the adoption of abominable 
terms, and by him that does me this wrong. 
Terms ! names ! Amaimon sounds well ; Luci- 
fer, well ; Barbason, 2 well ; yet they are devils' 
additions, the names of fiends: but cuckold! 
wittol- cuckold ! 3 the devil himself hath not such a 
name. Page is an ass, a secure ass ; he will trust 
his wife, he will not be jealous : I will rather trust 
a Fleming with my butter, parson Hugh the 

more titles to those he already enjoys. So, in Heywood's Golden 

Age, 161 1 : 

" I will create lords of a, greater style." 

Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. V. c. 2 : 

" As to abandon that which doth contain 

" Your honour's stile, that is, your warlike shield." 


2 Amaimon Barbason,'} The reader who is curious to 

know any particulars concerning these daemons, may find them 
in Reginald Scott's Inventarie of the Names, Shapes, Powers, 
Governments, and Effects of Devils and Spirits, of their several 
Segnories and Degrees : a strange Discourse worth the reading, 
p. 3/7, &c. From hence it appears that Amaimon was king of 
the East, and Barbatos a great countie or earle. Randte 
Holme, however, in his Academy of Armory and Blazon, 
B. II. ch. 1, informs us, that " Amaymon is the chief whose 
dominion is on the north part of the infernal gulph ; and thai 
Barbatos is like a Sagittarius, and hath 30 legions under him." 


3 wittol-cuckold /] One who knows his wife's false- 
hood, and is contented with it : from uittan, Sax. |p know. 


so. ii. OF WINDSOR. 99 

Welchman with my cheese, an Irishman with my 
aqua-vitae bottle, 4 or a thief to walk my ambling 
gelding, than my wife with herself: then she plots, 
then she ruminates, then she devises : and what 
they think in their hearts they may effect, they will 
break their hearts but they will effect. Heaven be 
praised for my jealousy ! Eleven o'clock 5 the hour; 
I will prevent this, detect my wife, be revenged 
on FalstafF, and laugh at Page. I will about it ; 
better three hours too soon, than a minute too 
late. Fie, fie, fie ! cuckold ! cuckold ! cuckold ! 


4 an Irishman 'with my aqua-vitae bottle,'] Heywood, 

in his Challenge for Beauty, liJ3ti, mentions the love of aqua- 
vitts as characteristiek of the Irish : 

" The Briton he metheglin quaffs, 
" The Irish aqua-vitae" 

The Irish aqua-vitae, I believe, was not brandy, but usque- 
baugh, for which Ireland has been long celebrated. MALONE. 

Dericke, in The Image of Ireland, 1581, Sign. F 2, mentions 
Uskebeaghe, and in a note explains it to mean aqua vita. REED. 

s Eleven o'clock ] Ford should rather have said ten 

o'clock: the time was between ten and eleven; and his im- 
patient suspicion was not likely to stay beyond the time. 


It was necessary for the plot that he should mistake the hour, 
and come too late. M. MASON. 

It is necessary for the business of the piece that Falstaff should 
be at Ford's house before his return. Hence our author made 
him name the later hour. See Act III. sc. ii: " The clock gives 
me my cue ; there / shall Jind Falstajf.' 1 ' When he says 
above, " I shall prevent this" he means, not the meeting, but 
his wife's effecting her purpose. 

H 2 



Windsor Park. 
Enter CAIUS and RUGBY. 

CAIUS. Jack Rugby ! 

RUG. Sir. 

CAIUS. Vat is de clock, Jack ? 

RUG. 'Tis past the hour, sir, that sir Hugh pro- 
mised to meet. 

CAIUS. By gar, he has save his soul, dat he is no 
come ; he has pray his Pible veil, dat he is no 
come : by gar, Jack Rugby, he is dead already, if 
he be come. 

RUG. He is wise, sir ; he knew, your worship 
would kill him, if he came. 

CAIUS. By gar, de herring is no dead, so as I vill 
kill him. Take your rapier, Jack ; I vill tell you 
how I vill kill him. 

RUG. Alas, sir, I cannot fence. 
CAIUS. Villainy, take your rapier. 
RUG. Forbear ; here's company. 

Enter Host, SHALLOW, SLENDER, and PAGE. 

HOST. 'Bless thee, bully doctor. 
SHAL. 'Save you, master doctor Caius. 
PAGE. Now, good master doctor ! 
SHAL. Give you good-morrow, sir. 
CAIUS. Vat be all you, one, two, tree, four, come 

'ac. m. OF WINDSOR. 101 

HOST. To see thee fight, to see thee foin, 6 to see 
thee traverse, to see thee here, to see thee there ; 
to see thee pass thy punto, thy stock, 7 thy reverse, 
thy distance, thy montant. Is he dead, my Ethi- 
opian? is he dead, my Francisco? 8 ha, bully! 
What says my ^Esculapius ? my Galen ? my heart 
of elder? 9 ha! is he dead, bully Stale? 1 is he 
dead ? 

CAIUS. By gar, he is de coward Jack priest of 
the vorld ; he is not show his face. 

6 to see thee foin,] To foin, I believe, was the ancient 

term for making a thrust in fencing, or tilting. So, in The 
Wise Woman of Hogsdon, 1638: 

" I had my wards, andfoins, and quarter-blows.*' 
Again, in The Devil's Charter, l60/; 

" suppose my duellist 

" Should falsify thefoine upon me thus, 

" Here will I take him." 

Spenser, in his Fairy Queen, often uses the -word foin. So, 
in B. II. c. 8 : 

" And strook andfoyn'd, and lashed outrageously." 
Again, in Holinshed, p. 833: " First six foines with hand- 
speares," &c. STEEVENS. 

7 thy stock,] Stock is a corruption of stocata, Ital. from 

which language the technical terms that follow are likewise 
adopted. STEEVENS. 

8 my Francisco ?] He means, my Frenchman. The 

quarto reads my Francoyes. MALONE. 

9 my heart of elder?] It should be remembered, to 

make this joke relish, that the elder tree has no heart. I suppose 
this expression was made use of in opposition to the common 
one, heart of oak. STEEVENS. 

1 bully Stale ?] The reason why Caius is called bully 

Stale, and afterwards Urinal, must be sufficiently obvious to 
every reader, and especially to those whose credulity and weak- 
ness have enrolled them among the patients of the present Ger- 
man empiric, who calls himself Doctor Alexander Mayersbach. 



HOST. Thou art a Castilian 2 king, Urinal! Hector 
of Greece, my boy ! 

i Castilian ] Sir T. Hanmer reads Cardalian, as 
used corruptedly for Cceur de Lion. JOHNSON. 

Castilian and Ethiopian, like Catalan, appear in our author's 
time to have been cant terms. I have met with them in more 
than one of the old comedies. So, in a description of the Ar- 
mada introduced in the Stately Moral of the Three Lords of 
L&ndon, 15tO: 

" To carry, as it were, a careless regard of these Castilians, 
and their accustomed bravado.'* 

Again : 

" To parley with the proud Caxtilians" 

I suppose Castilian was the cant term for Spaniard in general. 


I believe this was a popular slur upon the Spaniards, who were 
held in great contempt after the business of the Armada. Thus 
we have a Treatise Parcenetical, wherein is shewed the right 
Way to resist the Castilian King; and a sonnet prefixed to Lea's 

Answer to the Untruths published in Spain, in glorie of their sup- 
posed Victory atchieved against our E/iglish Navie, begins: 

" Thou fond Castilian king!" and so in other places. 


Dr. Farmer's observation is just. Don Philip the Second 
affected the title of King of Spain ; but the realms of Spain 
would not agree to it, and only styled him King of Castile and 
Leon, &c. and so he wrote himself. His cruelty and ambitious 
views upon other states rendered him universally detested. 
The Castilians, being descended chiefly from Jews and Moors, 
were deemed to be of a malign and perverse disposition ; and 
hence, perhaps, the term Castilian became opprobious. I have 
extracted this note from an old pamphL't, called The Spanish 
Pilgrime, which I have reason to suppose is the same discourse 
with the Treatise Parcenctical, mentioned by Dr. Fanner. 


Dr. Farmer, I believe, is right- The Host, who, availing 
himself of the poor Doctor's ignorance of Knglish phraseology, 
applies to him all kinds of opprobrious terms, here means to call 
him a coward, < So, in The Three Lord; of London, l-t)O: 

" My lordes, what means these gallantes to porforme ? 

" Come these Cartillian cowards but to brave ? 

'" Do all these mountains move, to breed a mouse ?" 

*?. ///. OF WINDSOR. 203 

CAIUS. I pray you, bear vitness that me have 
stay six or seven, two, tree hours for hinij and he 
is no come. 

SHAL. He is the wiser man, master doctor : he 
is a curer of souls, and you a curer of bodies ; 
if you should fight, you go against the hair 3 of 
your professions ; is it not true, master Page ? 

PAGE. Master Shallow, you have yourself been 
a great fighter, though now a man or peace. 

SHAL. Bodykins, master Page, though I now be 
old, and of the peace, if I see a sword out, my 
finger itches to make one : though we are justices, 
and doctors, and churchmen, master Page, we have 
some salt of our youth in us ; we are the sons of 
women, master Page. 

PAGE. 'Tis true, master Shallow. 

SHAL. It will be found so, master Page. Master 
doctor Cains, I am come to fetch you home. I am 
sworn of the peace ; you have showed yourself a 
wise physician, and sir Hugh hath shown himself 
a wise and patient churchman : you must go with 
me, master doctor. 

There may, however, be also an allusion to his profession, as 
a water-cfz tier. 

I know not whether we should not rather point Thou art a 
Castilian, king-urinal ! &c. 

In K. Henry VIII. Wolsey is called count- cardinal. 


3 against ihe hair Sfc.~] This phrase is proverbial, and 

is taken from stroking the hair of animals a contrary way to that 
in which it grows. So, in T. Churchyard's Discourse of Re- 
bellion, &c. 1570: 

" You shoote amis when boe is drawen to eare, 
" And brush the cloth full sore against the heare" 
We now say against the grain. STEEVENS. 


HOST. Pardon, guest justice : A word, monsieur 
Muck- water. 4 

4 Muck-water."] The old copy reads mock-water. 


The Host means, I believe, to reflect on the inspection of 
urine, which made a considerable part of practical physick in 
that time ; yet I do not well see the meaning of mock-water. 


Dr. Farmer judiciously proposes to read muck-water, i. e. 
the drain of a dunghill. 

Henry Cornelius Agrippa, of the Vanitie and Uncertainty of 
Arts and Sciences, Englished by James Sanford, Gent. bl. 1. 4to. 
1569, might have furnished Shakspeare with a sufficient hint for 
the compound term muck-water, as applied to Dr. Caius. Dr. 
Farmer's emendation is completely countenanced by the same 
work, p. 145 : 

" Furthermore, Phisitians oftentimes be contagious by reason 
of urine," &c. but the rest of the passage (in which the names 
of Esculapius, Hippocrates, &c. are ludicrously introduced) is 
too indelicate to be laid before the reader. STEEVENS. 

Muck-ivater, as explained by Dr. Farmer, is mentioned in 
Evelyn's Philosophical Discourse on Earth, 16/6, p. l60. REED. 

A word, monsieur Muck-water.] The second of these words 
was recovered from the early quarto by Mr. Theobald. Some 
years ago I suspected that mock-water, which appears to me to 
afford no meaning, was corrupt, and that the author wrote 
Malce-water. I have since observed that the words mock and 
make are often confounded in the old copies, and have therefore 
now more confidence in my conjecture. It is observable that 
the Host, availing himself of the Doctor's ignorance of English, 
annexes to the terms that he uses a sense directly opposite to 
their real import. Thus, the poor Frenchman is made to be- 
lieve, thnt, " he will clapper-claw thee tightly," signifies, " he 
will make thee amends.' 1 '' Again, when he proposes to be his 
friend, he tells him, " for this I will be thy adversary toward 
Anne Page." So also, instead of " heart of oak," he calls him 
*' heart of elder." In the same way, he informs him that Make- 
water means " valour." In the old play called The Life and 
Death of Lord Cromwell, l602, a female of this name is men* 
tioned. MALONE. 

I have inserted Dr. Farmer's emendation in my text. Where 
is the humour or propriety of calling a Physician Make-water? 
It is surely a term of general application. STEEVENS. 

sc. m. OF WINDSOR. 105 

CAIUS. Muck-vater ! vat is dat ? 

HOST. Muck- water, in our English tongue, is 
valour, bully. 

CAIUS. By gar, then I have as much muck-vater 

as de Englishman : Scurvy jack-dog priest ! by 

gar, me vill cut his ears. 

HOST. He will clapper-claw 5 thee tightly, bully. 
CAIUS. Clapper-de-claw ! vat is dat ? 
HOST. That is, he will make thee amends. 

CAIUS. By gar, me do look, he shall clapper-de- 
claw me ; for, by gar, me vill have it. 

HOST. And I will provoke him to't, or let him 

CAIUS. Me tank you for dat. 

HOST. And moreover, bully, But first, master 
guest, and master Page, and eke cavalero Slender, 
go you through the town to Frogmore. 

\_Aside to them. 

PAGE. Sir Hugh is there, is he ? 

HOST. He is there : see what humour he is in ; 
and I will bring the doctor about by the fields : 
will it do well ? 

SHAL. We will do it. 

PAGE. SHAL. and SLEN. Adieu, good master 
doctor. \_Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW and SLENDER. 

CAIUS. By gar, me vill kill de priest ; for he speak 
for a jack-an-ape to Anne Page. 

HOST. Let him die : but, first, sheath thy impa- 

4 clapper-claw ] This word occurs also in Tom Tyler 

and his Wife, bl. 1. 

" Wife. I would clapper-claw thy bones." STEEVENS. 


tience ; throw cold water on thy choler : 6 go abtiut 
the fields with me through Frogmore ; I will bring 
thee where mistress Anne Page is, at a farm-house 
a feasting ; and thou shall woo her : Cry'd game, 
said I well ? 7 

* throw cold water on thy choler :] So, in Hamlet .- 

" Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper 
" Sprinkle cool patience/' STEEVENS. 

* cry'd game, said I well?] Mr. Theobald alters this 

nonsense to try'd game; that is, to nonsense of a worse com- 
plexion. Shakspeare wrote and pointed thus, crhr AIM, said I 
tvell? i. e. consent to it, approve of it. Have not I made a good 
proposal ? for to cry aim signifies to consent to, or approve of 
any thing. So, again in this play : And to these violent pro- 
ceedings all my neighbours shall ciiy AIM, i. e. approve them. 
And again, in King John, Act II. sc. ii : 

" It ill becomes this presence to cry aim 

" To these ill-tuned repetitions." 

i. e. to approve of, or encourage them. The phrase was taken, 
originally, from archery. When any one had challenged another 
to shoot at the butts, (the perpetual diversion, as well as exer- 
cise, of that time,) the standers-by used to say one to the other, 
Cry aim, i. e. accept the challenge. Thus Beaumont and 
Fletcher, in The Fair Maid of the Inn, Act V. make the t)uke 

" must I cry AIME 

" To this unheard of insolence?'' 

i. e. encourage it, and agree to the request of the duel, which 
one of his subjects had insolently demanded against the other. 
But here it is remarkable, that the senseless editors, not know- 
ing what to make of the phrase, Cry aim, read it thus : 

" must I cry AI-ME;" 

a's if it was a note of interjection. So again, Massinger, in hie 
Guardian : 

" I will CRY AIM, and in another room 

" Determine of my vengeance." 

And again, in his Renegadd: 

" to play the pander 

" To the viceroy's loose embraces, and cry aim, 

" While he by force or flattery," &c. 

But the Oxford editor transforms it to Cock o* the Game ; and 
his improvements of Shakspeare's language abound with these 

ac. in. OF WINDSOR. 107 

CAIUS. By gar, me tank you for dat : by gar, I 
love you j and I shall procure-a you de good guest, 

modern elegances of speech, such as mynheers, bull-baitings, 

Dr. Warburton is right in his explanation of cry aim, and in 
supposing that the phrase was taken from archery ; but is cer- 
tainly wrong in the particular practice which he assigns for the 
original of it. It seems to have been the office of the aim-crier, 
to give notice to the archer when he was within a proper dis- 
tance of his mark, or in a direct line with it, and to point out why 
he failed to strike it. So, in All's lost by Lust, lti33 : 

" He gives me aim, I am three bows too short ; 

" I'll come up nearer next time." 
Again, in Vittoria Corombona, I0'i2: 

" I'll give aim to you, 

" And tell how near you shoot.'' 

Again, in The Spanish Gipsie, by Rowley and Middleton, 
ifi.'iS : " Though I am no great mark in respect of a huge butt, 
yet I can tell you, great bobbers have shot at me, and shot golden 
arrows ; but I myself gave aim, thus : wide, four bows ; short, 
three and a half;" &c. Again, in Green's Tu Qnoquc, (no date) 
" We'll stand by, and give aim, and holoo if you hit the clout." 
Again, in Jarvis Markham's English Arcadia, i;>07: "Thou 
smiling aim-crier at princes' fall." Again, ibid. " while her 
own creatures, like aim criers, beheld her mischance with no- 
thing but lip-pity." In Ames's Typographical Antiquities, p. 402, 
a book is mentioned, called " Aymefor Finsburie Archers, or an 
Alphabetical Table of the name of every Mark in the same 
Fields, with their true Distances, both by the Map and the Di- 
mensuration of the Line, &c. l>9t." Shakspeare uses the phrase 
again, in The Two Gentlemen of' Verona, scene the last, where 
it undoubtedly means to encourage : 

" Behold her that gave aim to all thy vows." 
So, in The Palsgrave, by W. Smith, 1615 : 

" Shame to us all, if we give aim to that." 
Again, in The Revenger's Tragedy, 1OO7: 

" A mother to give aim to her own daughter !" 
Again, in Fenton's Tragical Discourses, bl. 1. 1 567 : " Stand- 
yng rather in his window to cryc ayme, than helpyng any waye 
to part the fraye," p. lt)5. b. 

The original and literal meaning of this expression may be 
ascertained from some of the foregoing examples, and its figu- 
rative one from the rest ; for, as Dr. Warburton observes, it can 


de earl, de knight, de lords, de gentlemen, my pa- 

HOST. For the which, I will be thy adversary 
towards Anne Page ; said I well ? 

CAIUS. By gar, 'tis good ; veil said. 
HOST. Let us wag then. 

CAIUS. Come at my heels, Jack Rugby. 


mean nothing in these latter instances, but to content to, approve, 
or encourage. It is not, however, the reading of Shakspeare in 
the passage before us, and, therefore, we must strive to produce 
some sense from the words which we find there cry'd game. 

We yet say, in colloquial language, that such a one is game 
or game to the back. There is surely no need of blaming Theo- 
bald's emendation with such severity. Cry'd game might mean, 
in those days, a professed buck, one who was as well known by 
the report of his gallantry, as he could have been by proclamation. 
Thus, in Troilus and Cressida : 

" On whose bright crest, fame, with her loud'st O-yes, 

" Cries, this is he." 
Again, in All's tvell that ends tvell, Act II. sc. i : 

" find what you seek, 

" That fame may cry you loud.''' 
Again, in Ford's Lover's Melancholy, 1629 : 

" A gull, an arrant gull by proclamation." 
Again, in King Lear: " A proclaimed prize." Again, in 
Troilus and Cressida: 

" Thou art proclaimed a fool, I think." 

Cock of the Game, however, is not, as Dr. Warburton pro- 
nounces it, a modern elegancy of speech, for it is found in War- 
ner's Albion's England, 1602, B. XII. c. 74 : " This cocke of 
game, and (as might seeme) this hen of that same fether." 
Again, in The Martial Maid, by Beaumont and Fletcher : 

" O craven chicken of a cock o' tli 1 game!" 
And in many other places. STEEVENS. 

ACT in. OF WINDSOR. 109 


A Field near Frogmore. 


EVA. I pray you now, good master Slender's 
serving-man, and friend Simple by your name, 
which way have you looked for master Caius, that 
calls himself Doctor ofPhysick? 

SIM. Marry, sir, the city-ward, 8 the park-ward, 
every way ; old Windsor way, and every way but 
the town way. 

EVA. I most fehemently desire you, you will also 
look that way. 

SIM. I will, sir. 

EVA. 'Pless my soul ! how full of cholers I am, 
and trempling of mind ! I shall be glad, if he 
have deceived me : how melancholies I am ! I 
will knog his urinals about his knave's costard, 
when I have good opportunities for the J ork : 
'pless my soul ! [Sings. 

8 ' i the city- ward,] The old editions read the Pittie- 
ivard, the modern editors the Pitty-txiary. There is noAV no 
place that answers to either name at Windsor. The author 
might possibly have written (as I have printed) the City-near d, 
i. e. towards London. 

In the Itinerarium, however, of William de Worcestre, p. 251, 
the following account of distances in the city of Bristol occurs : 
** Via de Pyttey a Pyttey-yate, porta vocata Nether Pittey, usque 
antiquam portam Pyttey usque viam ducentem ad Wynch-strete 
continet 140 gressus," &c. &c. The word Pittey, therefore, 
which seems unintelligible to us, might anciently have had an 
obvious meaning. STE EVENS. 


To shallow rivers, 9 to whose Jails 
Melodious birds sing madrigals; 

9 To shallow rivers, &c.] This is part of a beautiful little poem 
of the author's ; which poem, and the answer to it, the reader 
will not be displeased to find here. 


" Come live with me, and be my love, 
" And we will all the pleasures prove 
" That hills and vallk s, dale and field, 
" And all the craggy mountains yield. 
" There will we sit upon the rocks, 
" And see the shepherds feed their flocks, 
" By shallow rivers, to whose falls 
" Melodious birds smg madrigals: 
" There will I make thee beds of roses 
" With a thousand fragrant posies, 
*' A cap of flowers, and a kirtle 
" Imbroider d all with leaves of myrtle; 
" A gown made of the finest wool, 
" Which from our pretty lambs we pull ; 
" Fair lined slippers for the cold, 
" With buckles of the purest gold ; 
" A belt of straw, and ivy buds, 
" With coral clasps, and amber studs : 
" And if these pleasures may thee move, 
" Come live with me, and be my love. 
" Thy silver dishes for thy meat, 
" As precious as the gods do eat, 
** Shall on an ivory table be 
" Prepared each day for thee and me. 
" The shepherd swains shall dance and sing, 
" For thy delight each May morning: 
" If these delights thy mind may move, 
" Then live with me, and be my love."* 


" If that the world and love were young, 
*' And truth in every shepherd's tongue, 

' The conclusion of this and the following poem seem to have furnished 
Vliltou with the hint for the last lines both of his Allegro and Pcnserow. 



There will we make our peds of roses, 
And a thousand fragrant posies. 
To shallow 

'-* These pretty pleasures might me move 

" To live with thee, and be thy love. 

'* But time drives flocks from field to fold, 

" When rivers rage, and rocks grow cold, 

" And Philomel hecometh, dumb, 

" And all complain of cares to come : 

" The flowers do fade, and wanton fields 

" To wayward winter reckoning yields. 

" A honey tongue, a heart of gall, 

" Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall. 

'.' Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses, 

" Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies, 

" Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten, 

*' In folly ripe, in reason rotten. 

" Thy belt of straw, and ivy buds, 

" Thy coral clasps, and amber studs ; 

" All these in me no means can move 

" To come to thee, and be thy love. 

" What should we talk of dainties then, 

" Of better meat than's fit for men ? 

" These are but vain : that's only good 

" Which God hath bless'd, and sent for food. 

" But could youth last, and love still breed, 

" Had joys no date, and age no need ; 

" Then these delights my mind might move 

" To live with thee, and be thy love." 

These two poems, which Dr. Warburton gives to Shakspeare, 
are, by writers nearer that time, disposed of, one to Marlow, the 
other to Raleigh. They are read in different copies with great 
variations. JOHNSON. 

In England's Helicon, a collection of love-verses printed in 
Shakspeare's life-time, viz. in quarto, 16OO, the first of them 
is given to Marlowe, the second to Ignoto ; and Dr. Percy, in 
the first volume of his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, ob- 
serves, that there is good reason to believe that (not Shakspeare, 
but) Christopher Marlowe wrote the song, and Sir Walter Ra- 
leigh the Nymph's Reply ; for so we are positively assured by 
Isaac Walton, a writer of some credit, who has inserted them 
both in his Compleat Angler, under the character of " That 


'Mercy on me ! I have a great dispositions to cry. 

smooth song which was made by Kit Marlowe, now at least fifty 

gjars ago ; and an answer to it, which was made by Sir Walter 
aleigh in his younger days Old fashioned poetry, but 

choicely good." See The Reliques, &c. Vol. I. p. 218, 221, 
third edit. 

In Shakspeare's sonnets, printed by Jaggard, 1599, this poem 
was imperfectly published, and attributed to Shakspeare. Mr. 
Malone, however, observes, that " What seems to ascertain it 
to be Marlowe's, is, that one of the lines is found (and not as a 
quotation) in a play of his The Jew of Malta; which, though 
not printed till 1633, must have been written before 1593, as he 
died in that year:" 

" Thou in those groves, by Dis above, 

" Shalt live with me, and be my love." STEEVENS. 

Evans in his panick mis-recites the lines, which in the original 
run thus : 

" There will we sit upon the rocks, 

" And see the shepherds feed their flocks, 

" By shallow rivers, to whose falls 

** Melodious birds sing madrigals : 

*' There will / make thee beds of roses 

" With a thousand fragrant posies," &c. 
In the modern editions the verses sung by Sir Hugh have 
been corrected, I think, improperly. His mis-recitals were 
certainly intended. He sings on the present occasion, to shew 
that he is not afraid. So Bottom, in A Midsummer Night's 
Dream; " I will walk up and down here, and I will sing, that 
they shall hear, I am not afraid." MALONE. 

A late editor has observed that Evans in his panick sings, like 
Bottom, to shew he is not afraid. It is rather to keep up his 
spirits ; as he sings in Simple's absence, when he has " a great 
dispositions to cry." RITSON. 

The tune to which the former was sung, I have lately dis- 
covered in a MS. as old as Shakspeare's time, and it is as 
follows : 

sc. /. 



Melodious birds sing madrigals; 
When as I sat in Pabylon} 
And a thousand vagram posies. 
To shallow 

Come live with me and be my 

love, and we will all the plea-sures prove 

p r 1 1 r n 

that hills and val - lies, dale and field, and 

crag - gy 

moun - tains yield. 


1 When as I sat in Pahylon, ] This line is from the old ver- 
sion of the 137th Psalm: 

" When ice did sit in Babylon, 

" The rivers round about, 
" Then, in remembrance of Sion, 
" The tears for grief burst out." 

The word rivers, in the second line, may be supposed to have 
been brought to Sir Hugh's thoughts by the line of Marlowe's 
madrigal that he has just repeated ; and in his fright he blends 
the sacred and prophane song together. The old quarto has 
" There lived a man in Babylon;" which was the first line of 
an old song, mentioned in Twelfth Night: but the other line i; 
more in character. MA LONE. 


SIM. Yonder he is coming, this way, sir Hugh. 
EVA. Pie's welcome : 

To sfiallow rivers, to whose Jails 

Heaven prosper the right ! What weapons is he ? 

SIM. No weapons, sir : There comes my master, 
master Shallow, and another gentleman from Frog- 
more, over the stile, this way. 

EVA. Pray you, give me my gown ; or else keep 
it in your arms. 


SHAL. How now, master parson ? Good-morrow, 
good sir Hugh. Keep a gamester from the dice, 
and a good student from his book, and it is won- 

SLEN. Ah, sweet Anne Page ! 

PAGE. Save you, good sir Hugh ! 

EVA. 'Pless you from his mercy sake, all of you ! 

SHAL. What ! the sword and the word ! do you 
study them both, master parson ? 

PAGE. And youthful still, in your doublet and 
hose, this raw rheumatick day ? 

EVA. There is reasons and causes for it. 

PAGE. We are come to you, to do a good office, 
master parson. 

EVA. Fery well: What is it ? 

PAGE. Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, 
who belike, having received wrong by some person, 
is at most odds with his own gravity and patience, 
that ever you saw. 

sc.i. OF WINDSOR. 115 

SHAL. I have lived fourscore years, and upward ; 2 
I never heard a man of his place, gravity, and learn- 
ing, so wide of his own respect. 

EVA. What is he ? 

PAGE. I think you know him ; master doctor 
Caius, the renowned French physician. 

EVA. Got's will, and his passion of my heart ! I 

8 1 have lived fourscore years, and uptvard;] We must cer- 
tainly read threescore. In The Second Part of K. Henry IV. 
during FalstafPs interview with Master Shallow, in his way to 
York, which Shakspeare has evidently chosen to fix in 1412, 
(though the Archbishop's insurrection actually happened in 
1405,) Silence observes that it was then fifty-Jive yearn since 
the latter went to Clement's Inn ; so that, supposing him to have 
begun his studies at sixteen, he would be born in 1341, and, 
consequently, be a very few years older than John of Gaunt, 
who, we may recollect, broke his head in the tilt-yard. But, 
besides this little difference in age, John of Gaunt at eighteen 
or nineteen would be above six feet high, and poor Shallow, 
with all his apparel, might have been trussed into an eelskin. 
Dr. Johnson was of opinion that the present play ought to be 
read between the First and Second Part of Henry IV. an ar- 
rangement liable to objections which that learned and eminent 
critick would have found it very difficult, if not altogether im- 
possible, to surmount. But, let it be placed where it may, the 
scene is clearly laid between 1402, when Shallow would be 
sixty one, and 1412, when he had the meeting with Falstaff: 
Though one would not, to be sure, from what passes upon that 
occasion, imagine the parties had been together so lately at 
Windsor ; much less that the Knight had ever beaten his wor- 
ship's keepers, kill'd his deer, and broke open his lodge. The 
alteration now proposed, however, is in all events necessary j 
and the rather so, as Falstaff must be nearly of the same age 
with Shallow, and fourscore seems a little too late in life for 
a man of his kidney to be making love to, and even supposing 
himself admired by, two at a time, travelling in a buck-basket, 
thrown into a river, going to the wars, and making prisoners. 
Indeed, he has luckily put the matter out of all doubt, by 
telling us, in The First Part of K. Henry IV. that his age was 
" &omejffiy t or, by'r lady, inclining to threescore." Rixso*f. 

T 9 


had as lief you would tell me of a mess of por- 

PAGE. Why? 

EVA. He has no more knowledge in Hibocrates 
and Galen, and he is a knave besides ; a cowardly 
knave, as you would desires to be acquainted withal. 

PAGE. I warrant you, he's the man should fight 
with him. 

SLEN. O, sweet Anne Page ! 

SHAL. It appears so, by his weapons : Keep 
them asunder ; here comes doctor Caius. 

Enter Host, CAIUS, and RUGBY. 

PAGE. Nay, good master parson, keep in your 

SHAL. So do you, good master doctor. 

HOST. Disarm them, and let them question ; let 
them keep their limbs whole, and hack our 

CAIUS. I pray you, let-a me speak a word vit your 
ear : Verefore vill you not meet a-me ? 

EVA. Pray you, use your patience : In good time. 

CAIUS. By gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog, 
John ape. 

'EvA. Pray you, let us not be laughing-stogs to 
other men's humours ; I desire you in friendship, 
and I will one way or other make you amends : I 
will knogyour urinals about yourknave'scogscomb, 
for missing your meetings and appointments. 3 

3 for missing your meetings and appointments^] These 

words, which are not in the folio, were recovered from the 
quarto, by Mr. Pope. MALONE. 

5r./. OF WINDSOR. 117 

CAIUS. Diable! Jack Rugby, mine Host de 
Jarterre, have I not stay for him, to kill him? have 
I not, at de place I did appoint ? 

EVA. As I am a Christians soul, now, look you, 
this is the place appointed ; I'll be judgement by 
mine host of the Garter. 

HOST. Peace, I say, Guallia and Gaul, French 
and Welch ; 4 soul-curer and body-curer. 

CAIUS. Ay, dat is very good ! excellent ! 

HOST. Peace, I say ; hear mine host of the Gar- 
ter. Am I politick ? am I subtle ? am I a Machi- 
avel ? Shall I lose my doctor ? no ; he gives me the 
potions, and the motions. Shall I lose my parson ? 
my priest ? my sir Hugh ? no ; he gives me the pro- 
verbs and the no-verbs. Give me thy hand, ter- 

restial ; so : Give me thy hand, celestial ; so. 

Boys of art, I have deceived you both ; I have di- 
rected you to wrong places : your hearts are mighty, 
your skins are whole, and let burnt sack be the 
issue. Come, lay their swords to pawn : Follow 
me, lad of peace ; follow, follow, follow. 

SHAL. Trust me, a mad host : Follow, gentle- 
men, follow. 

SLEN. O, sweet Anne Page ! 

and Host. 

4 Peace, I say, Guallia and Gaul, French and Welch ;] Sir 
Thomas Hanmer reads Gallia and Wallia : but it is objected 
that Wallia is not easily corrupted into Gaul, Possibly the word 
was written Guallia. FARMER. 

Thus, in K. Henry VL P. II. Gualtier for Walter. 


The quarto, 1602, confirms Dr. Farmer's conjecture. It 
scads Peace I say, Gaixle and Gaivlia, French and Welch, &c. 



CAIUS. Ha! do I perceive dat ? have you make-a 
de sot of us? 5 ha, ha! 

EVA. This is well ; he has made us his vlouting- 
stog. I desire you, that we may be friends ; and 
let us knog our prains together, to be revenge on 
this same scall, scurvy, 6 cogging companion, the 
host of the Garter. 

CAIUS. By gar, vit all my heart ; he promise to 
bring me vere is Anne Page : by gar, he deceive 
me too. 

^ EVA. Well, I will smite his noddles : Pray you, 
follow. \_Exeunt. 


The Street in Windsor. 
Enter Mistress PAGE and ROBIN. 

MRS. PAGE. Nay, keep your way, little gallant ; 
you were wont to be a follower, but now you are a 
leader : Whether had you rather, lead mine eyes, 
or eye your master's heels ? 

* make-a de sot of us ?] Sot, in French, signifies afoot. 


6 scall, scurvy^] Scall was an old word of reproach, as 

scab was afterwards. 

Chaucer imprecates on his scrivener: 

" Under thy longe lockes mayest thou have the scaUe" 


Scall, as Dr. Johnson interprets it, is a scab breaking out in 
the hair, and approaching nearly to the leprosy. It is used by 
other writers of Shakspeare's time. You will find what was to 
be done by persons afflicted with it, by looking into Leviticus, 
13 ch, v. 30, 31, and seqq. WH ALLEY. 

sc. ii. OF WINDSOR. 119 

ROB. I had rather, forsooth, go before you like 
a man, than follow him like a dwarf. 

MRS. PAGE. O you are a flattering boy j now, 
I see, you'll be a courtier. 

Enter FORD. 

FORD. "Well met, mistress Page : Whither go 
you ? 

MRS. PAGE. Truly, sir, to see your wife : Is she 
at home ? 

FORD. Ay ; and as idle as she may hang toge- 
ther, for want of company : I think, if your hus- 
bands were dead, you two would marry. 

MRS. PAGE. Be sure of that, two other hus- 

FORD. Where had you this pretty weather-cock ? 

MRS. PAGE. I cannot tell what the dickens his 
name is my husband had him of: What do you 
call your knight's name, sirrah ? 

ROB. Sir John Falstaff. 
FORD. Sir John Falstaff! 

MRS. PAGE. He, he ; I can never hit on's name. 
There is such a league between my good man 
and he ! Is your wife at home, indeed ? 

FORD. Indeed, she is. 

MRS. PAGE. By your leave, sir ; I am sick, till 
I see her. \_Exeunt Mrs. PAGE and ROBIN. 

FORD. Has Page any brains ? hath he any eyes ? 
hath he any thinking ? Sure, they sleep ; he hath 
no use of them. Why, this boy will carry a letter 
twenty miles, as easy as a cannon will shoot point- 


blank twelve score. He pieces-out his wife's in- 
clination ; he gives her folly motion, and advan- 
tage : and now she's going to my wife, and Fal- 
stafFs boy with her. A man may hear this shower 
sing in the wind! 7 and FalstafPs boy with her! 
Good plots ! they are laid ; and our revolted wives 
share damnation together. Well ; I will take him, 
then torture my wife, pluck the borrowed veil of 
modesty from the so seeming mistress Page, 8 divulge 
Page himself for a secure and wilful Actason ; and 
to these violent proceedings all my neighbours shall 
cry aim. 9 [Clock strikes."] The clock gives me my 
cue, and my assurance bids me search; there I 
shall find Falstaff: I shall be rather praised for this, 
than mocked ; for it is as positive as the earth is 
firm, 1 that Falstaff is there: I will go. 

7 A man may hear this shoiver sing in the wind !] This phrase 
has already occurred in The Tempest, Act II. sc. ii : "I hear it 
sing in the wind. 1 " STEEVENS. 

8 so seeming mistress Page,] Seeming is specious. So, in 

K. Lear: 

" If ought within that little seeming substance." 
Again, in Measure for Measure, Act I. sc. iv : 

" Hence shall we see, 

" If power change purpose, what our seemers be." 


9 shall cry aim.] i. e. shall encourage. So, in A'. John, 

Act II. sc. i : 

" It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim 
" To these ill-tuned repetitions." 

The phrase, as I have already observed, is taken from archery. 
See note on the last scene of the preceding act, where Dr. War- 
burton would read cry aim, instead of " cry'd game." 


1 os the earth is firm,] So, in Macbeth : 

" Thou sure and^/mw-set earth ." MALONE. 

sc. n. OF WINDSOR. 121 


SHAL. PAGE, &c. Well met, master Ford. 

FORD. Trust me, a good knot : I have good cheer 
at home ; and, I pray you, all go with me. 

SHAL. I must excuse myself, master Ford. 

SLEN. And so must I, sir ; we have appointed 
to dine with mistress Anne, and I would not break 
with her for more money than I'll speak of. 

SHAL. We have lingered 2 about a match between 
Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and this day 
we shall have our answer. 

SLEN. I hope, I have your good will, father 

PAGE. You have, master Slender ; I stand wholly 
for you : but my wife, master doctor, is for you 

CAIUS. Ay, by gar ; and de maid is love-a me ; 
my nursh-a Quickly tell me so mush. 

HOST. What say you to young master Fenton ? 
he capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he 
writes verses, he speaks holyday, 3 he smells April 

2 We have lingered ] They have not lingered very long. 
The match was proposed by Sir Hugh but the day before. 


Shallow represents the affair as having been long in hand, 
that he may better excuse himself and Slender from accepting 
Ford's invitation on the day when it was to be concluded. 


3 he tvrites verses, he speaks holyday,] i. e. in an high- 
flown, fustian -style. It was called a holy-day style, from the 
old custom of acting their farces of the mysteries and moralities, 
which were turgid and bombast, on holy-days. So, in Muck 


and May : 4 he will carry't, he will carry't ; 'tis 
his buttons 5 5 he will carry't. 

Ado about Nothing : " I cannot woo m festival terms." And 
again, in The Merchant of Venice : 

" Thau spend'st such high-day tail in praising him." 


I suspect that Dr. Warburton's supposition that this phrase is 
derived from the season of acting the old mysteries, is but an 
holyday hypothesis ; and have preserved his note only for the 
sake of the passages he quotes. Fenton is not represented as a 
talker of bombast. 

He speaks holiday, I believe, means only, his language is 
more curious and affectedly chosen than that used by ordinary 
men. MALONE. 

So, in Kins Henry IV: P. I : 

" With many holiday and lady terms." STEEVENS. 

To speak holyday must mean to speak out of the common 
road, superior to the vulgar ; alluding to the better dress worn 
on such days. RITSON. 

4 he smells April and May :] This was the phraseology 

of the time ; not " he smells of April," &c. So, in Measure 

for Measure: " he would mouth with a beggar of fifty, though 
she smelt brown bread and garlick" MALONE. 

5 'tis in his buttons;] Alluding to an ancient custom 

among the country fellows, of trying whether they should suc- 
ceed with their mistresses, by carrying the batchelor's buttons 
(a plant of the Lychnis kind, whose flowers resemble a coat 
button in form,) in their pockets. And they judged of their 
good or bad success by their growing, or their not growing 
there, SMITH. 

Greene mentions these batchelor's buttons in his Quip for an 
upstart Courtier: " I saw the batchelor's buttons, whose virtue 
is, to make wanton maidens weep, when they have worn them 
forty weeks under their aprons," &c. 

The same expression occurs in Heywood's Fair Maid of the 
West, 1631: 

" He wears batchelor's buttons, does he not ?" 
Again, in The Constant Maid, by Shirley, 1640: 

" I am a batchelor. 

" I pray, let me be one of your buttons still then." 
Again, in A Fair Quarrel, by Middleton and Rowley, 1(517 

" I'll wear my batchelor's buttons still." 

sc. n. OF WINDSOR. 123 

PAGE. Not by my consent, I promise you. The 
gentleman is of no having : c he kept company 
with the wild Prince and Poins ; he is of too high 
a region, he knows too much. No, he shall not 
knit a knot in his fortunes with the finger of my 
substance : if he take her, let him take her simply ; 
the wealth I have waits on my consent, and my 
consent goes not that way. 

FORD. I beseech you, heartily, some of you go 
home with me to dinner : besides your cheer, you 
shall have sport ; I will show you a monster. 
Master doctor, you shall go ; so shall you, master 
Page ; and you, sir Hugh. 

SHAL. Well, fare you well : we shall have the 
freer wooing at master Page's. 


CAIUS. Go home, John Rugby ; I come anon. 

[Exit RUGBY. 

HOST. Farewell, my hearts : I will to my honest 
knight Falstaff, and drink canary with him. 

[Exit Host. 

FORD. [Aside.^\ I think, I shall drink in pipe- 

Again, in A Woman never vex'd, comedy, by Rowley, 16*32 : 
" Go, go and rest on Venus' violets ; shew her 
" A dozen of batchelors' buttons, boy." 
Again, in Westward Hoe, 1606: " Here's my husband, and 

no batchelors buttons are at his doublet." STEEVENS. 

6 of no having:] Having is the same as estate or for- 
tune. JOHNSON. 

So, in Macbeth: 

" Of noble having, and of royal hope." 
Again, Twelfth Night: 

" My having is not much ; 

" I'll make division of my present with you : 
*' Hold, there is half my coffer." STEEVENS. 


wine first with him j I'll make him dance. 7 Will 
you go, gentles ? 

7 Host. Farewell, my hearts: I tuill to my honest knight 
Falstajf, and drink canary with him. 

Ford. [Aside.] / think, I shall drink in pipe-tuinejirst tnith 
him ; Til make him dance.~\ To dririk in pipe-tome is a phrase 
which I cannot understand. May we not suppose that Shak- 
speare rather wrote, / think I shall drink HORN-PIPE wine first 
faith him : Til make him dance ? 

Canary is the name of a dance, as well as of a tuine. Ford 
lays hold of both senses ; but, for an obvious reason, makes the 
dance a horn-pipe. It has been already remarked, that Shak- 
speare has frequent allusions to a cuckold's horns. TYRWHITT. 

So, in PasquiVs Night-cap, l6l2, p. 118: 

" It is great comfort to a cuckold's chance 

" That many thousands doe the Home-pipe dance" 


Pipe is known to be a vessel of wine, now containing two 
hogsheads. Pzpe-wine is therefore wine, not from the bottle, 
but the pipe ; and the jest consists in the ambiguity of the word, 
which signifies both a cask of wine, and a musical instrument. 


The jest here lies in a mere play of words. " I'll give him 
pipe-wine, which shall make him dance." Edinburgh Magazine, 
Nov. 1/86. STEEVENS. 

The phrase, " to drink in pipe-wine" always seemed to me 
a very strange one, till I met with the following passage in King 
James's first speech to his parliament, in ido-t ; by which it ap- 
pears that " to drink in" was the phraseology of the time : 
" who either, being old, have retained their first drunken-z'w 
liquor," &c. MALONE. 

I have seen the phrase often in books of Shakspeare's time, 
but neglected to mark down the passages. One of them I have 
lately recovered : " If he goe to the taverne they will not onely 
make him paie for the wine, but for all he drinks in besides." 
Greene's Ghost haunting Conicatchers, 1602, Sign. B 4. The 
following also, though of somewhat later authority, will confirm 
Mr. Malone's observation : " A player acting upon a stage a 
man killed ; but being troubled with an extream cold, as he 
was lying upon the stage fell a coughing ; the people laughing, 
he rushed up, ran off' the stage, saying, thus it is for a man to 
drink in. porriclg, for then he will be sure to cough in his grave." 
Jocabcl/a, or a Cabinet of Conceits, by Robert Chamberlaine, 
10-10, N 81. REED. 

sc. m. OF WINDSOR. 125 

ALL. Have with you, to see this monster. 



A Room in Ford's House. 

Enter Mrs. FORD and Mrs. PAGE. 

MRS. FORD. What, John ! what, Robert ! 

MRS. PAGE. Quickly, quickly : Is the buck- 

MRS. FORD. I warrant : What, Robin, I say. 

Enter Servants with a Basket. 

MRS. PAGE. Come, come, come. 
MRS. FORD. Here, set it down. 

MRS. PAGE. Give your men the charge ; we 
must be brief. 

MRS. FORD. Marry, as I told you before, John, 
and Robert, be ready here hard by in the brew- 
house ; and when I suddenly call you, come forth, 
and (without any pause, or staggering,) take this 
basket on your shoulders : that done, trudge with 
it in all haste, and carry it among the whitsters * 
in Datchet mead, and there empty it in the muddy 
ditch, close by the Thames side. 

MRS. PAGE. You will do it ? 

MRS. FORD. I have told them over and over ; 
they lack no direction : Be gone, and come when 
you are called. [Exeunt Servants. 

* the txhitstcrs ] i. e. the blanchers of linen. 



MRS. PAGE. Here comes little Robin. 

Enter ROBIN. 

MRS. FORD. How now, my eyas-musket ? 9 what 
news with you ? 

ROB. My master sir John is come in at your 
back-door, mistress Ford ; and requests your com- 

MRS. PAGE. You little Jack-a-lent, 1 have you 
been true to us ? 

9 Hoio now, my eyas-musket?] Eyas is a young unfledg'd 
hawk ; I suppose from the Italian Niaso, which originally signi- 
fied any young bird taken from the nest unfledg'd, afterwards a 
young hawk. The French, from hence, took their niais, and 
used it in both those significations ; to which they added a third, 
metaphorically, a silly fellow ; un gargon fort niais, un niais. 
Musket signifies a sparrow hatvk, or the smallest species of 
hawks. This too is from the Italian Muschetto, a small hawk, 
as appears from the original signification of the word, namely, 
a troublesome stinging fly. So that the humour of calling the 
tittle page an eyas-musket is very intelligible. WARBURTON. 

So, in Greene's Card of Fancy, 1608 : " no hawk so 
haggard but will stoop to the lure : no niesse so ramage but will 
be reclaimed to the lunes." Eyas-musket is the same as infant 
Lilliputian. Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I. c. xi. 
st. 34 : 

" youthful gay, 

" Like eyas-hauke, up mounts unto the skies, 

" His newly budded pinions to essay." 

In The Booke of Haukyng, &c. commonly called The Book 
of St. Albans, bl. 1. no date, is the following derivation of the 
word ; but whether true or erroneous is not for me to deter- 
mine : " An hauk is called an eyesse from her eyen. For an 
hauke that is brought up under a'bussarde or puttock, as many 
ben, have watry eyen," &c. STEEVENS. 

1 Jack-a-lent, ~] A Jack o' lent was a puppet thrown at 

in Lent, like shrove-cocks. So, in The Weakest goes to the 
Wall, 16OO: 

" A mere anatomy, a Jack of Lent" 

$c. in. OF WINDSOR. 127 

ROB. Ay, I'll be sworn : My master knows not 
of your being here ; and hath threatened to put 
me into everlasting liberty, if I tell you of it j for, 
he swears, he'll turn me away. 

MRS. PAGE. Thou'rt a good boy ; this secrecy 
of thine shall be a tailor to thee, and shall make 
thee a new doublet and hose. I'll go hide me. 

MRS. FORD. Do so : Go tell thy master, I am 
alone. Mistress Page, remember you your cue. 

[Exit ROBIN. 

MRS. PAGE. I warrant thee ; if I do not act it, 
hiss me. [Exit Mrs. PAGE. 

MRS. FORD. Go to then ; we'll use this unwhole- 
some humidity, this gross watry pumpion ; we'll 
teach him to know turtles from jays. 2 


FAL. Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel?" 
Why, now let me die, for I have lived long 
enough ; 4 this is the period of my ambition : O 
this blessed hour ! 

Again, in The Four Prentices of London, 1615 : 

" Now you old Jack of Lent, six weeks and upwards." 
Again, in Greene's Tu Quoque : " for if a boy, that is 
throwing at his Jack o* Lent, chance to hit me on the shins," 
&c. See a note on the last scene of this comedy. STEEVENS. 

* from jays.] So, in Cymbeline: 

" some jay of Italy, 

" Whose mother was her painting," &c. STEEVENS. 

3 Have I caught my heavenly jewel?'] This is the first line 
of the second song in Sidney's Astrophel and Stella. TOLLET. 

4 . Why, now let me die, for I have lived long enough /] 
This sentiment, which is of sacred origin, is here indecently in- 
troduced. It appears again, with somewhat less of profaneness, 
in The Winter's Tale, Act IV. and in Othello, Act II. 



MRS. FORD. O sweet sir John ! 

FAL. Mistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot 
prate, mistress Ford. Now shall I sin in my wish : 
I would thy husband were dead ; I'll speak it be- 
fore the best lord, I would make thee my lady. 

MRS. FORD. I your lady, sir John ! alas, I should 
be a pitiful lady. 

FAL. Let the court of France show me such 
another ; I see how thine eye would emulate the 
diamond : Thou hast the right arched bent 5 of the 
brow, that becomes the ship-tire, the tire-valiant, 
or any tire of Venetian admittance. 6 

5 arched bent ] Thus the quartos 1602, and 1619. 

The folio reads arched beauty. STEEVENS. 

The reading of the quarto is supported by a passage in An- 
tony and Cleopatra : 

" Eternity was in our lips and eyes, 
" Bliss in our brows-bent." MALONE. 

6 that becomes the ship-tire, the ZzVe-valiant, or any tire 

of Venetian admittance.] Instead of Venetian admittance, the 
old quarto reads " or any Venetian attire." STEEVENS. 

The old quarto reads tire-vellet, and the old folio reads 
or any tire of Venetian admittance. So that the true reading of 
the whole is this, that becomes the ship-tire, the tire- VALIANT, 
or any tire of Venetian admittance. The speaker tells his mis- 
tress, she had a face that would become all the head dresses in 
fashion. The ship-tire was an open head dress, with a kind of 
scarf depending from behind. Its name of ship-tire was, I pre- 
sume, from its giving the wearer some resemblance of a ship 
(as Shakspeare says) in all her trim: with all her pendants out, 
and flags and streamers flying. 

This was an image familiar with the poets of that time. 
Thus Beaumont and Fletcher, in their play of Wit without 
Money : " She spreads sattens as the king's ships do canvas 
every where ; she may space her misen," c. This will direct 
us to reform the following word of tire-valiant, which I sus- 
pect to be corrupt, valiant being a very incongruous epithet 
for a woman's head dress. I suppose Shakspeare wrote lire- 
cailant. As the ship-tire was an open head dress, so the tire- 

sc. m. OF WINDSOR. 129 

MRS. FORD. A plain kerchief, sir John : my 
brows become nothing else ; nor that well neither. 

valiant was a close one, in which the head and breast were 
covered as with a veil. And these were, in fact, the two dif- 
ferent head dresses then in fashion, as we may see by the pic- 
tures of that time. One of which was so open, that the whole 
neck, breasts, and shoulders, were opened to view : the other, 
so securely inclosed in kerchiefs, &c. that nothing could be seen 
above the eyes, or below the chin. WARBURTON. 

In the fifth act, Fenton mentions that his mistress is to meet 

" With ribbons pendant flaring 'bout her head." 
This, probably, was what is here called the ship-tire. 


the ^re-valiant,] I would read tire volant. Stubbes, 

who describes most minutely every article of female dress, has 
mentioned none of these terms, but speaks of vails depending 
from the top of the head, and flying behind in loose folds. 
The word volant was in use before the age of Shakspeare. 
I find it in Wilfride Holme's Fall and evil Successe of Rebellion, 
1537 : 

" high volant in any thing divine." 

Tire-vellet, which is the reading of the old quarto, may be 
printed, as Mr. Toilet observes, by mistake, for tire-velvet. 
We know that velvet-hoods were worn in the age of Shak- 
speare. STEEVENS. 

Among the presents sent by the Queen of Spain to the Queen 
of England, in April l6oJ, was a velvet cap with gold buttons. 
Catharine's cap, in The Taming of the Shreiv, is likewise of 

Tire-volant, however, I believe with Mr. Steevens, was the 
poet's word. " Their heads (says Nashe in 15Q4) with their 
top and top-gallant lawne baby-caps, and snow-resembled silver 
curlings, they make a plain puppet-stuge of. Their breasts 
they embuske up on hie, and their round roseate buds they 
immodestly lay forth, to shew, at their hands there is fruit to 
be hoped," Christ's Tears over Jerusalc?ii, 4to. 15Q4. MALONE. 

of Venetian admittance.] i.e. of a fashion received or 

admitted from Venice. So, in Westward Hoe, 1606, by Decker 
and Webster : " now she's in that Italian head-tire you sent 
her." Dr. Farmer proposes to read " of Venetian remittance." 


FAL. Thou art a traitor 7 to say so : thou would'st 
make an absolute courtier ; and the firm fixture of 
thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy 
gait, in a semi-circled farthingale. I see what thou 
wert, if fortune thy foe 8 were not ; nature is thy 
friend : 9 Come, thou canst not hide it. 

In how much request the Venetian tyre formerly was held, 
appears from Burton's Anatomy of 'Melancholy, 1624 : " let 
her have the Spanish gate, [gait'] the Venetian tire, Italian 
complements and endowments." M ALONE. 

May not the tire valiant be so called from the air of boldness 
and confidence which it might give the wearer ? A certain court 
divine (who can hardly be called a courtly one) in a sermon 
preached before King James the First, thus speaks of the ladies' 
head dresses : " Oh what a wonder it is to see a ship under saile 
with her tacklings and her masts, and her tops and top gallants, 
with her upper decks and her nether decks, and so bedeckt with 
her streames, flags and ensigns, and I know not what ; yea but 
a world of wonders it is to see a woman created in God's image, 
so miscreate oft times and deformed with her French, her Spanish 
and her foolish fashions, that he that made her, when he look* 
upon her, shall hardly know her, with her plumes, her fans, 
and a silken vizard, with a ruffe, like a saile ; yea, a ruffe like 
a rainbow, with a feather in her cap, like a flag in her top, 
to tell (1 thinke) which way the uind will bloiv." The MER- 
CHANT ROYALL, a sermon preached at Whitehall before the 
King's Majestie, at the nuptialls of Lord Hay and his Lady, 
Twelfth-day, 1607, 4to. loi5. Again," it is proverbially 
said, that far fetcht and deare bought is fittest for ladies ; as 
now-a-daies what groweth at home is base and homely ; and 
what every one eates is meate for dogs ; and wee must have 
bread from one countrie, and drinke from another ; and wee 
must have meate from Spaine, and sauce out of Italy ; and if 
wee weare any thing, it must be pure Venetian, Roman, or 
barbarian ; but the fashion of all must be French." Ibid. REED. 

a traitor ] i. e. to thy own merit. STEEVENS. 

The folio reads thou art a tyrant, &c. but the reading ot 
the quarto appears to me far better. MALONE. 

fortune thy foe ] "was the beginning of an old 
ballad, in which were enumerated all the misfortunes that fall 
ipon mankind, through the caprice of fortune." See note on 

sc. m. OF WINDSOR. 131 

MRS. FORD. Believe me, there's no such thing 
in me. 

FAL. What made me love thee? let that per- 
suade thee, there's something extraordinary in thee. 
Come, I cannot cog, and say, thou art this and 
that, like a many of these lisping haw-thorn buds, 
that come like women in men's apparel, and smell 
like Bucklers-bury 1 in simple-time ; I cannot : but 
I love thee ; 2 none but thee ; arid thou deservest it. 

The Custom of the Country, Act I. sc. i. by Mr. Theobald ; who 
observes, that this ballad is mentioned again in a comedy by 
John Tatham, printed in 1660, called The Rump, or Mirror of 
the Times, wherein a Frenchman is introduced at the bonfire 
made for the burning of the rumps, and, catching hold of 
Priscilla, will oblige her to dance, and orders the musick to 
play Fortune my Foe. See also, Lingua, Vol.. V. Dodsle3''s Col- 
lection, p. 188 ; and Tom Essence, 1077, p. 37- Mr. Ritson ob- 
serves, that " the tune is the identical air now known by the 
song of Death and the Lady, to which the metrical lamentations 
of extraordinary criminals have been usually chanted for upwards 
bf these two hundred years." REED. 

The first stanza of this popular ballad was as follows : 
" Fortune, my foe, why dost thou frown on me ? 
" And will my fortune never better be ? 
" Wilt thou, I sa} r , for ever breed my pain, 
" And wilt thou not restore my joys again?" MALONE. 

.This ballad is also mentioned by Burton, in his Anatomy of 
Melancholy, edit. 1032, p. 57(j: "What shall we do in such 
a case ?" sing " Fortune, my joe?" STEEVENS. 

9 nature is thy friend :] Is, which is not in the old 

copy, was introduced by Mr. Pope. MALONE. 

1 like Buckler's-bury fyc.~] Buckler' s-bury, in the time 

of Shakspeare, was chiefly inhabited by druggists, who sold all 
kinds of herbs, green as well as dry. STEEVENS. 

* / cannot cog, and say, thou art this and that, like a 

many of these lisping haw-thorn buds, / cannot : but I love 
*heei\ So, in Wily BeguiVd, 1006' : 
" I cannot play the dissembler, 
" And woo my Jove with courting ambages, 


S. FORD. Do not betray me, sir ; I fear, you 
love mistress Page. 

FAL. Thou might'st as well say, I love to walk 
by the Counter-gate ; which is as hateful to me as 
the reek of a lime-kiln. 3 

MRS. FORD. Well, heaven knows, how I love 
you ; and you shall one day find it. 

FAL. Keep in that mind ; I'll deserve it. 

MRS. FORD. Nay, I must tell you, so you do ; 
or else I could not be in that mind. 

ROB. \within.~] Mistress Ford, mistress Ford ! 
here's mistress Page at the door, sweating, and 
blowing, and looking wildly, and would needs 
speak with you presently. 

FAL, She shall not see me ; I will ensconce me 
behind the arras. 4 

MRS. FORD. Pray you, do so ; she's a very 
tattling woman. [FALSTAFF hides himself. 

Enter Mistress PAGE and ROBIN. 
What's the matter ? how now ? 

" Like one whose love hangs on his smooth tongue's end . 
" But in a word I tell the sum of my desires, 
" I love faire Lelia." . MALONE. 

as hateful to me as the reek of a lime-kiln,] Our poet 

has a similar image in Coriolanus : 

11 whose breath I hate, 

" As reek o'the rotten fens." STEEVENS. 

4 behind the arras.] The spaces left between the walls 

and the wooden frames on which arras was hung, were not 
more commodious to our ancestors than to the authors of their 
ancient dramatic pieces. Borachio in Much Ado about Nothing, 
and Polonius in Hamlet, also avail themselves of this convenient 
recess, STK.EVE.NS, 

sc. in. OF WINDSOR. 133 

MRS. PAGE. O mistress Ford, what have you 
done ? You're shamed, you are overthrown, you 
are undone for ever. 

MRS. FORD. What's the matter, good mistress 
Page ? 

MRS. PAGE. O well-a-day, mistress Ford ! hav- 
ing an honest man to your husband, to give him 
such cause of suspicion ! 

MRS. FORD. What cause of suspicion ? 

MRS. PAGE. What cause of suspicion ? Out 
upon you ! how am I mistook in you ? 

MRS. FORD. Why, alas ! what's the matter ? 

MRS. PAGE. Your husband's coming hither, wo- 
man, with all the officers in Windsor, to search for 
a gentleman, that, he says, is here now in the 
house, by your consent, to take an ill advantage 
of his absence : You are undone. 

MRS. FORD. Speak louder. 5 [_Aside.~\ J Tis not 
so, I hope. 

MRS. PAGE. Pray heaven it be not so, that you 
have such a man here ; but 'tis most certain your 
husband's coming with half Windsor at his heels, 
to search for such a one. I come before to tell 
you : If you know yourself clear, why I am glad of 
it : but if you have a friend here, convey, convey 
him out. Be not amazed ; call all your senses to 
you ; defend your reputation, or bid farewell to 
your good life for ever. 

MRS. FORD. What shall I do ? There is a gen- 
tleman, my dear friend ; and I fear not mine own 

* Speak louder,'] i. e. that Falstaff, who is retired, may hear. 
This passage is only found in the two elder quartos. STEEVENS. 


shame, so much as his peril : I had rather than a 
thousand pound, he were out of the house. 

MRS. PAGE. For shame, never stand you had 
rather, and you had rather ; your husband's here at 
hand, bethink you of some conveyance : in the 
house you cannot hide him. O, how have you de- 
ceived me ! Look, here is a basket ; if he be of 
any reasonable stature, he may creep in here ; and 
throw foul linen upon him, as if it were going to 
bucking: Or, it is- whiting-time, 6 send him by 
your two men to Datchet mead. 

MRS. FORD. He's too big to go in there : What 
shall I do? 

Re-enter FALTAFF. 

FAL. Let me see't, let me see't ! O let me see't ! 
I'll in, I'll in ; follow your friend's counsel j - 
I'll in. 

MRS. PAGE. What ! sir John FalstafY! Are these 
your letters, knight ? 

FAL. I love thee, and none but thee ; 7 help me 
away : let me creep in here ; I'll never 

[He goes into the basket ; they cover hini 
with foul linen. 

MRS. PAGE. Help to cover your master, boy : 
Call your men, mistress Ford : You dissembling 
knight ! 

6 whiting-time,] Bleaching time; spring. The season 

when " maidens bleach their summer smocks." HOLT WHITE. 

and none but thee ;] These words, which are charac- 
teristick, and spoken to Mrs. Page aside, deserve to be restored 
from the old quarto. He had used the same words before to 
Mrs. Ford. MALONE. 

sc.m. OF WINDSOR. 135 

MRS. FORD. What, John, Robert, John ! [Exit 
ROBIN. Re-enter Servants.] Go take up these 
clothes here, quickly ; Where's the cowl-staff? 8 
look, how you drumble : 9 carry them to the laun- 
dress in Datchet mead ; l quickly, come. 

* the cowl-staff'?'] Is a staff used for carrying a large tub 

or basket with two handles. In Essex the word cowl is yet used 
for a tub. MALONE, 

This word occurs also in Philemon Holland's translation of 
the seventh Book of Pliny's Natural History, ch. 56 : " The 
first battell that ever was fought, was between the Africans and 
-Egyptians ; and the same performed by bastions, clubs and 
coulstaves, which they call Phalangce." STEEVENS. 

9 how you drumble :] The reverend Mr. Lambe, the 

editor of the ancient metrical history of the Battle of Floddon, 
observes, that look how you drumble, means how conjused 
you are ; and that in the North, drumbled ale is muddy, dis- 
turbed ale. Thus, a Scottish proverb in Ray's collection : 
" It is good fishing in drumbling waters." 

Again, in Have with you to Saffron Walden, or Gabriel 
Harvey's Hunt is up, this word occurs : " gray-beard drum- 
bling over a discourse." Again : " your fly in a boxe is but 
a drumble-bee in comparison of it." Again : " this drumbling 
course." STEEVENS. 

To drumble, in Devonshire, signifies to mutter in a sullen and 
inarticulate voice. No other sense of the word will either ex- 
plain this interrogation, or the passages adduced in Mr. Stee- 
vens's note. To drumble and drone are often used in connection. 


A drumble drone, in the western dialect, signifies a drone or 
humble-bee. Mrs. Page may therefore mean How lazy and 
stupid you are ! be more alert. MALONE. 

1 carry them to the laundress in Datchet mead ;] Mr. 

Dennis objects, with some degree of reason, to the probability 
of the circumstance of FalstafF's being carried to Datchet mead, 
and thrown into the Thames. " It is not likely (he observes) 
that Falstaff would suffer himself to be carried in the basket as 
far as Datchet mead, which is half a mile from Windsor, and 
it is plain that they could not carry him, if he made any resist- 
ance." MALONE. 


Enter FORD, PAGE, CAIUS, and Sir HUGH 

FORD. Pray you, come near : if I suspect without 
cause, why then make sport at me, then let me be 
your jest; I deserve it. How now? whither bear 
you this ? 

SERV. To the laundress, forsooth. 

MRS. FORD. Why, what have you to do whither 
they bear it ? You were best meddle with buck- 

FORD. Buck ? I would I could wash myself of the 
buck ! Buck, buck, buck ? Ay, buck ; I warrant 
you, buck; and of the season too; it shall appear. 1 
\JLxeunt Servants with the basket.'] Gentlemen, I 
have dreamed to-night; I'll tell you my dream, 
Here, here, here be my keys : ascend my chambers, 
search, seek, find out : I'll warrant, we'll unkennel 

it shall appear."] Ford seems to allude to the cuckold's 

horns. So afterwards: " and so buffets himself on the fore- 
head, crying, peer out, peer out." Of the season is a phrase of 
the forest. MALONE. 

Mr. Malone points the passage thus : " Ay, buck ; I warrant 
you, buck, and of the season too ; it shall appear." I am satis- 
fied with the old punctuation. In The Rape of Lucrece, our poet 
makes his heroine compare herself to an." unseasonable doe ;" and, 
in Blunt's Customs of Manors, p. 168, is the same phrase employ- 
ed by Ford : " A bukke delivered him of seyssone, by the wood- 
master and keepers of Needwoode." STEEVENS. 

So, in a letter written by Queene Catharine, in 1526, 
Howard's Collection, Vol. I. p. 212: " We will and command 
you, that ye delyver or cause to be delyvered unto our trusty 
and well-beloved John Creusse one buck of season." " The 
season of the hynd or doe (says Manwood) doth begin at Holy- 
rood-day, and lasteth till Candelmas." Forest Laws, 15QS. 


sa m. OF WINDSOR. 137 

the fox : Let me stop this way first : So, now 
uncape. 9 

PAGE. Good master Ford, be contented : you 
wrong yourself too much. 

FORD. True, master Page. Up, gentlemen ; you 
shall see sport anon : follow me, gentlemen. [Exit. 

EVA. This is fery fantastical humours, and jea- 

CAWS. By gar, 'tis no de fashion of France : it 
is not jealous in France. 

PAGE. Nay, follow him, gentlemen ; see the issue 
of his search. [Exeunt EVANS, PAGE, and CAIUS. 

MRS. PAGE. Is there not a double excellency in 
this ? 

2 So, nova uncape.] So the folio of 1623 reads, and 

rightly. It is a term in fox-hunting, which signifies to dig out 
the fox when earthed. And here is as much as to say, take out 
the foul linen under which the adulterer lies hid. The Oxford 
editor reads uncouple, out of pure love to an emendation. 


Dr. Warburton seems to have forgot that the linen was already 
carried away. The allusion in the foregoing sentence is to the 
stopping every hole at which a fox could enter, before they un- 
cape or turn him out of the bag in which he was brought. I 
suppose every one has heard of a bag-fox. STEEVENS. 

Warburton, in his note on this passage, not only forgets that 
the foul linen had been carried away, but he also forgets that 
Ford did not at that time know that Falstaff had been hid under 
it ; and Steevens forgets that they had not FalstafF in their pos- 
session, as hunters have a bag-fox, but were to find out where 
he was hid. They were not to chase him, but to rouze him. I 
therefore believe that Hanmer's amendment is right, and that we 
ought to read uncouple. Ford, like a good sportsman, first 
stops the earths, and then uncouples the hounds. M. MASON. 

Mr. M. Mason also seems to forget that Ford at least thought 
he had Falstaff secure in his house, as in a bag, and therefore 
speaks of him in terms applicable to a bag-fox. STEEVENS. 


MRS. FORD. I know not which pleases me better, 
that my husband is deceived, or sir John. 

MRS. PAGE. What a taking was he in, when 
your husband asked who was in the basket ! 3 

MRS. FORD. I am half afraid he will have need 
of washing ; so throwing him into the water will 
do him a benefit. 

MRS. PAGE. Hang him, dishonest rascal ! I would 
all of the same strain were in the same distress. 

MRS. FORD. I think, my husband hath some spe- 
cial suspicion of FalstafPs being here ; for I never 
saw him so gross in his jealousy till now. 

MRS. PAGE. I will lay a plot to try that : And 
we will yet have more tricks with Falstaff: his dis- 
solute disease will scarce obey this medicine. 

MRS. FORD. Shall we send that foolish carrion, 4 
mistress Quickly, to him, and excuse his throwing 
into the water ; and give him another hope, to be- 
tray him to another punishment ? 

MRS. PAGE. We'll do it ; let him be sent for 
to-morrow eight o'clock, to have amends. 

3 who luas in the basket /] We should read what was 

in the basket : for though in fact Ford has asked no such ques- 
tion, he could never suspect there was either man or woman in 
it. The propriety of this emendation is manifest from a subse- 
quent passage, where Falstaff tells Master Brook " the jealous 
knave asked them once or twice "what they had in their basket." 


4 that foolish carrion,"] The old copy hasfoolishion 

carrion. The correction was made by the editor of the second 
folio. MALONE. 

sc.m. OF WINDSOR. 139 

Re-enter FORD, PAGE, CAIUS, and Sir HUGH 

FORD. I cannot find him : may be the knave 
bragged of that he could not compass. 

MRS. PAGE. Heard you that ? 

MRS. FORD. Ay, ay, peace: 5 You use me well, 
master Ford, do you I 

FORD. Ay, I do so. 

MRS. FORD. Heaven make you better than your 
thoughts ! 

FORD. Amen. 

MRS. PAGE. You do yourself mighty wrong, 
master Ford. 

FORD. Ay, ay ; I must bear it. 

EVA. If there be any pody in the house, and in 
the chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses, 
heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgement! 

CAIUS. By gar, nor I too ; dere is no bodies. 

PAGE. Fie, fie, master Ford! are you not ashamed? 
What spirit, what devil suggests this imagination? 
I would not have your distemper in this kind, for 
the wealth of Windsor Castle. 

FORD. 'Tis my fault, master Page : I suffer for it. 

F.VA. You suffer for a pad conscience : your wife 
is as honest a 'omans, as I will desires among five 
thousand, and five hundred too. 

5 Ay, ay, peace .-] These words were recovered from the 
early quarto by Mr. Theobald. But in his and the other modern 
editions, /, the old spelling of the affirmative particle, has inad- 
vertently been retained. MALCWE. 


CAIUS. By gar, I see 'tis an honest woman. 

FORD. Well; I promised you a dinner : Come, 
come, walk in the park : I pray you, pardon me ; 
I will hereafter make known to you, why I have 
done this. Come, wife ; come, mistress Page ; I 
pray you pardon me ; pray heartily, pardon me. 

PAGE. Let's go in, gentlemen ; but, trust me, 
we'll mock him. I do invite you to-morrow morn- 
ing to my house to breakfast ; after, we'll a birding 
together ; I have a fine hawk for the bush : Shall 
it be so ? 

FORD. Any thing. 

EVA. If there is one, I shall make two in the 

CAIUS. If there be one or two, I shall make-a 
de turd. 

EVA. In your teeth : G for shame. 
FORD. Pray you go, master Page. 

EVA. I pray you now, remembrance to-morrow 
on the lousy knave, mine host. 

CAIUS. Dat is good ; by gar, vit all my heart. 

EVA. A lousy knave ; to have his gibes, and his 
mockeries. \_Exeunt. 

6 In your teeth :] This dirty restoration was made by Mr. 
Theobald. Evans's application of the doctor's words is not in 
the folio. STEEVENS. 

K. iv. OF WINDSOR. 141 


A Room in Page's House. 
Enter FENTON and Mistress ANNE PAGE. 

FENT. I see, I cannot get thy father's love ; 
Therefore, no more turn me to him, sweet Nan. 

ANNE. Alas ! how then ? 

FENT. Why, thou must be thyself. 

He doth object, I am too great of birth ; 
And that, my state being gall'd with my expence, 
I seek to heal it only by his wealth : 

Besides these, other bars he lays before me, 

My riots past, my wild societies ; 
And tells me, 'tis a thing impossible 
I should love thee, but as a property. 

ANNE. May be, he tells you true. 

FENT. No, heaven so speed me in my time to 

come ! 

Albeit, I will confess, thy father's wealth 7 
Was the first motive that I woo'd thee, Anne : 
Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value 
Than stamps in gold, or sums in sealed bags ; 
And 'tis the very riches of thyself 
That now I aim at. 

father's wealth ] Some light may be given to those 

who shall endeavour to calculate the increase of English wealth, 
by observing, that Latymer, in the time of Edward VI. mentions 
it as a proof of his father's prosperity, That though but a yeoman, 
he gave his daughters jive pounds each for her portion. At the 
latter end of Elizabeth, seven hundred pounds were such a temp- 
tation to courtship, as made all other motives suspected. Con- 
greve makes twelve thousand pounds more than a counterbalance 
to the affectation of Belinda. No poet will now fly his favourite 
character at less than fifty thousand. JOHNSON, 


ANNE. Gentle master Fenton, 

Yet seek my father's love : still seek it, sir : 
If opportunity and humblest suit 
Cannot attain it, why then. Hark you hither. 

\_They converse apart. 


SHAL. Break their talk, mistress Quickly ; my 
kinsman shall speak for himself. 

SLEN. I'll make a shaft or a bolt on't : 8 slid, 'tis 
but venturing. 

SHAL. Be not disiiiay'd. 

SLEN. No, she shall not dismay me : I care not 
for that, but that I am afeard. 

QUICK. Hark ye ; master Slender would speak 
a word with you. 

ANNE. I come tohim. This is my father's choice. 
O, what a world of vile ill-favour' d faults 
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year! 


8 I'll Wake a shaft or a bolt on't:'] To make a bolt or a shaft 
:>f a thin^ is enumerated by Ray, amongst others, in his col- 
lection of proverbial phrases. Ray's Proverbs, p. 179, edit. 1742. 

So, in a letter from James Howell, dated 19 Aug. 1623 : 
" The prince is preparing for his journey. I shall to it again 
closely when he is gone, or make a shaft or bolt of it." HoivelVs 
Letters, p. 1-Jd, edit. 17/H. REED. 

The shaft was such an arrow as skilful archers employed. 
The bolt in this proverb means, I think, the/oo/'s bolt. 


A shaft was a general term for ah arrow. A bolt was a thick 
short one, with a knob at the end of it. It was only employed 
to shoot birds with, and was commonly called a " b\rd-bo/t." 
The word occurs again in Much Ado about Nothing, 
Labour's Lost, and Twelfth Night, 

sc. iv. OF WINDSOR. 143 

QUICK. And how does good master Fenton ? Pray 
you, a word with you. 

SHAL. She's coming ; to her, coz. O boy, thou 
hadst a father ! 

SLEN. I had a father, mistress Anne ; my uncle 
can tell you good jests of him : Pray you, uncle, 
tell mistress Anne the jest, how my father stole 
two geese out of a pen, good uncle. 

SHAL. Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you. 

SLEN. Ay, that I do ; as well as I love any wo- 
man in Glocestershire. 

SHAL. He will maintain you like a gentlewoman. 

SLEN. Ay, that I will, come cut and long-tail, 9 
under the degree of a 'squire. 

- come cut and long-tail,] i. e. come poor, or rick, to 

offer himself as my rival. The following is said to be the origin 
of the phrase : According to the forest laws, the dog of a man, 
who had no right to the privilege of chace, vras obliged to cut, 
or latv his dog among other modes of disabling him, by de- 
priving him of his tail. A dog so cut was called a cut, or curt- 
tail, and by contraction cur. Cut and long-tail therefore signi- 
fied the dog of a clown, and the dog of a gentleman. 

Again, in The First Part of the Eighth Liberal Science, entitled 
Ars Adulandi, &c. devised and compiled by Ulpiari Fuhcel, 
1576: " yea, even their very dogs, Rug, Rig, and Risbie, 
yea, cut and long-taile, they shall be welcome." STEEVENS. 

come cut and long-tail,] I can see no meaning in this 

phrase. Slender promises to make his mistress a gentlewoman, 
and probably means to say, he will deck her in a gown of the 
court-cut, and with a long train or tail. In the comedy of 
Eastward Hoe, is this passage : " The one must be ladyfied for- 
sooth, and be attired just to the court cut and long tayle ;" which 
seems to justify our reading Court cut. and long tail. 


come cut and long-tail,] This phrase is often found in 

old plays, and seldom, if ever, with any variation. The change 
therefore proposed by Sir John Hawkins cannot be received, 
without great violence to the text. Whenever the words occur, 
they always bear the same meaning, and that meaning is ob- 


SHAL. He will make you a hundred and fifty 
pounds jointure. 

ANNE. Good master Shallow, let him woo for 

vious enough without any explanation. The origin of the phrase 
may however admit of some dispute, and it is by no means cer- 
tain that the account of it, here adopted by Mr. Steevens from 
Dr. Johnson, is well-founded. That there ever existed such 
a mode of disqualifying dogs by the laws of the forest, as is 
here asserted, cannot be acknowledged without evidence, and 
no authority is quoted to prove that such a custom at any time 
prevailed. The writers on this subject are totally silent, as far 
as they have come to my knowledge. Manivood, who wrote 
on the Forest Laws before they were entirely disused, mentions 
expeditation or cutting off three claws of the fore-foot, as the 
only manner of lawing dogs ; and with his account, the Charter 
of the Forest seems to agree. Were I to offer a conjecture, I 
should suppose that the phrase originally referred to horses, 
which might be denominated cut and long tail, as they were 
curtailed of this part of their bodies, or allowed to enjoy its 
full growth ; and this might be practised according to the 
difference of their value, 'or the uses to which they were put. 
In this view, cut and long tail would include the whole species 
of horses good and bad. In support of this opinion it may be 
added, that formerly a cut was a word of reproach in vulgar 
colloquial abuse, and I believe is never to be found applied to 
horses, except to those of the worst kind. After all, if any 
authority can be produced to countenance Dr. Johnson's expla- 
nation, I shall be ready to retract every thing that is here said. 
See also a note on The Match at Midnight, Dodsley's Collection 
of Old Plays, Vol. VII. p. -124, edit. 1780. REED. 

The last conversation I had the honour to enjoy with Sir 
William Blackstone, was on this subject; and by a series of 
accurate references to the whole collection of ancient Forest 
Laws, he convinced me of our repeated error, expeditation and 
genuscission, being the only established and technical modes 
ever used for disabling the canine species. Part of the tails of 
spaniels, indeed, are generally cut off (ornamenti gratia} while 
they are puppies, so that (admitting a loose description) every 
kind of dog is comprehended in the phrase of cut and long-tail, 
and every rank of people in the same expression, if metaphori- 
cally used, STEKVJSNS, 

sc>. iv. OF WINDSOR. 145 

SHAL. Marry, I thank you for it ; I thank you 
for that good comfort. She calls you, coz : I'll 
leave you. 

ANNE. Now, master Slender. 
SLEN. Now, good mistress Anne. 
ANNE. What is your will ? 

SLEN. My will ? od's heartlings, that's a pretty 
jest, indeed! I ne'er made my will yet, I thank 
heaven ; I am not such a sickly creature, I give 
heaven praise. 

ANNE. I mean, master Slender, what would you 
with me ? 

SLEN. Truly, for mine own part, I would little 
or nothing with you : Your father, and my uncle, 
have made motions : if it be my luck, so : if not, 
happy man be his dole ! l They can tell you how 
things go, better than I can : You may ask your 
father ; here he comes. 

Enter PAGE, and Mistress PAGE. 

PAGE. Now, master Slender : Love him, daugh- 
ter Anne. 

Why, how now ! what does master Fenton here ? 
You wrong me, sir, thus still to haunt my house : 
I told you, sir, my daughter is dispos'd of. 

FENT. Nay, master Page, be not impatient. 

MRS, PAGE. Good master Fenton, come not to 

my child. 

PAGE. She is no match for you. 
FENT. Sir, will you hear me ? 

1 happy man be Ms dole /] A proverbial expression. See 

Ray's Collection, p. 116, edit. 1737. STEEVENS. 

VOL. V. L 


PAGE. No, good master Fenton. 

Come, master Shallow ; come, son Slender ; in : 

Knowing my mind, you wrong me, master Fenton. 


QUICK. Speak to mistress Page. 

FENT. Good mistress Page, for that I love your 


In such a righteous fashion as I do, 
Perforce, against all checks, rebukes, and manners, 
I must advance the colours of my love, 2 
And not retire : Let me have your good will. 

ANNE. Good mother, do not marry me to yond* 

MRS. PAGE. I mean it not ; I seek you a better 

QUICK. That's my master, master doctor. 

ANNE. Alas, I had rather be set quick i' the earth, 
And bowl'd to death with turnips. 3 

MRS. PAGE. Come, trouble not yourself: Good 

master Fenton, 

I will not be your friend, nor enemy : 
My daughter will I question how she loves you, 
And as I find her, so am I affected ; 
'Till then, farewell, sir : She must needs go in ; 
Her father will be angry. 

\_Exeunt Mrs. PAGE and ANNE, 

* I must advance the colours of my love,"] The same metaphor 
occurs in Romeo and Juliet : 

" And death's pale Jlag is not advanced there." 


be set quick i' the earth, 

And bowl'd to death tvith turnips.~\ This is a common pro- 
verb in the southern counties. I find almost the same expression 
in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair: " Would I had been set in 
the ground^ all but the head of me, and had my brains bovot'd at.'* 


sc. iv. OF WINDSOR. 147 

FENT. Farewell, gentle mistress ; farewell, Nan. 4 

QUICK. This is my doing now ; Nay, said I, 
will you cast away your child on a fool, and a 
physician ? 3 Look on master Fenton : this is my 

FENT. I thank thee ; and I pray thee, once to- 
night 6 

4 Fareuell, gentle mistress ; foretuell, Nan.~\ Mistress is here 
used as a trissyllable. MALONE. 

If mistress can be pronounced as a trissyllable, the line will 
still be uncommonly defective in harmony. Perhaps a mono- 
syllable has been omitted, and we should read 

" Farewell, my gentle mistress ; farewell, Nan." 


* fool, and a physician ?] I should read -fool or a phy- 
sician, meaning Slender and Caius. JOHNSON. 

Sir Thomas Hanmer reads according to Dr. Johnson's conjec- 
ture. This may be right. Or my Dame Quickly may allude to 
the proverb, a man of forty is either a fool or a physician , but 
she asserts her master to be both. FARMER. 

So, in Microcosmxs, a masque by Nabbes, 1637: 

" Choler. Phlegm's a. fool. 

" Melan. Or & physician" 
Again, in A Maidenhead well lost, 1632 : 

" No matter whether I be a. fool or a physician" 
Mr. Dennis, of irascible memory, who altered this play, and 
brought it on the stage, in the year 1/02, under the title of The 
Comical Gallant, (when, thanks to the alterer, it was fairly 
damned,) has introduced the proverb at which Mrs. Quickly's 
allusion appears to be pointed. STEEVENS. 

I believe the old copy is right, and that Mrs. Quickly means 
to insinuate that she had addressed at the same time both Mr. 
and Mrs. Page on the subject of their daughter's marriage, one 
of whom favoured Slender, and the other Caius : " on a fool 
or a physician," would be more accurate, but and is sufficiently 
suitable to Dame Quickly, referenda singula singulis. 

Thus : " You two are going to throw away your daughter on 
a fool and a physician ; you, sir, on the former, and you, madam, 
on the latter." MALONE. 

' once to-night ] i. e. sometime to-nicht. So, in a 

L 2 


Give my sweet Nan this ring: There's for thy 
pains. [Exit. 

QUICK. Now heaven send thee good fortune! A 
kind heart he hath : a woman would run through 
fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet, I 
would my master had mistress Anne ; or I would 
master Slender had her; or, in sooth, I would 
master Fenton had her : I will do what I can for 
them all three ; for so I have promised, and I'll be 
as good as my word ; but speciously 7 for master 
Fenton. Well, I must of another errand to sir 
John Falstaff from my two mistresses j What a 
beast am I to slack it ? 8 [Exit. 


A Room in the Garter Inn. 

FAL. Bardolph, I say, 
BARD. Here, sir. 

FAL. Go fetch me a quart of sack ; put a toast 
in't. [Exit BARD.] Have I lived to be carried in 
a basket, like a barrow of butcher's offal ; and to 

letter from the sixth Earl of Northumberland; (quoted in the 
notes on the household book of the fifth earl of that name:) 
" notwithstanding I trust to be able ons to set up a chapell off 
myne owne." Again, in Ben Jonson's Silent Woman : " Well, 
I'll try if he will be appeased with a leg or an arm ; if not, you 
must die once." i. e. at some time or other. STEEVENS. 

7 speciously ] She means to say specially. STEEVENS. 

8 to slack itT] i. e. neglect. So, in King Lear: " jf 

then they chanced to slack you, we would control them." 


sc. v. OF WINDSOR. 149 

be thrown into the Thames ? Well, if I be served 
such another trick, I'll have my brains ta'en out, 
and buttered, and give them to a dog for a new 
years gift. The rogues slighted me into the river 
with as little remorse as they would have drowned a 
bitch's blind puppies, 9 fifteen i' the litter : and you 
may know by my size, that I have a kind of ala- 
crity in sinking ; if the bottom were as deep as hell, 
I should down. I had been drowned, but that the 
shore was shelvy and shallow; a death that I abhor; 
for the water swells a man ; and what a thing 
should I have been, when I had been swelled ! I 
should have been a mountain of mummy. 

Re-enter BARDOLPH, with the wine. 

BARD. Here's mistress Quickly, sir, to speak 
with you. 

FAL. Come, let me pour in some sack to the 
Thames water ; for my belly's as cold, as if I had 
swallowed snow-balls for pills to cool the reins. 
Call her in. 

BARD. Come in, woman. 

' a bitch's blind puppies,"] The old copy reads" a blind 

bitch's puppies.'" STEEVENS. 

I have ventured to transpose the adjective here, against the 
authority of the printed copies. I know, in horses, a colt from 
a blind stallion loses much of the value it might otherwise have ; 
but are puppies ever drowned the sooner, for coming from a blind 
bitch? The author certainly wrote, as they would have drowned a 
bitch's blind puppies. THEOBALD. 

The transposition may be justified from the following passage 
in The Two Gentlemen of Verona : " one that I saved from 
drowning, when three or four of his blind brothers and sisters 
went to it." STEEVENS. 


Enter Mrs. QUICKLY. 

QUICK. By your leave ; I cry you mercy : Give 
your worship good-morrow. 

FAL. Take away these chalices : Go brew me a 
pottle of sack finely. 

BARD. With eggs, sir ? 

FAL. Simple of itself ; Fll no pullet-sperm in my 
brewage. \_Exit BARDOLPH.] How now ? 

QUICK. Marry, sir, I come to your worship from 
mistress Ford. 

FAL. Mistress Ford ! I have had ford enough : 
I was thrown into the ford : I have my belly full 

" J J 

or ford. 

QUICK. Alas the day ! good heart, that was not 
her fault : she does so take on with her men j they 
mistook their erection. 

FAL. So did I mine, to build upon a foolish wo- 
man's promise. 

QUICK. Well, she laments, sir, for it, that it 
would yearn your heart to see it. Her husband 
goes this morning a birding ; she desires you once 
more to come to her between eight and nine : I 
must carry her word quickly: she'll make you 
amends, I warrant you. 

FAL. Well, I will visit her : Tell her so ; and bid 
her think, what a man is : let her consider his 
frailty, and then judge of my merit. 

QUICK. I will tell her. 

FAL. Do so. Between nine and ten, say'st thou? 

QUICK. Eight and nine, sir. 

FAL. Well, be gone : I will not miss her. 

sc. r. OF WINDSOR. 

QUICK. Peace be with you, sir ! 

FAL. I marvel, I hear not of master Brook ; he 
sent me word to stay within : I like his money well. 
O, here he comes. 

Enter FORD. 

FORD. Bless you, sir ! 

FAL. Now, master Brook ? you come to know 
what hath passed between me and Ford's wife ? 

FORD. That, indeed, sir John, is my business. 

FAL. Master Brook, I will not lie to you ; I was 
at her house the hour she appointed me. 

FORD. And how sped you, sir . ?1 

FAL. Very ill-favouredly, master Brook. 

FORD. How so, sir ? Did she change her deter- 
mination ? 

FAL. No, master Brook ; but the peaking cor- 
nuto her husband, master Brook, dwelling in a con- 
tinual 'larum of jealousy, comes me in the instant 
of our encounter, after we had embraced, kissed, 
protested, and, as it were, spoke the prologue of 
our comedy ; and at his heels a rabble of his com- 
panions, thither provoked and instigated by his 
distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for 
his wife's love. 

FORD. What, while you were there ? 
FAL. While I was there. 

FORD. And did he search for you, and could not 
find you ? 

1 - how sped you, sir ?] The word Aotc I have restored 
from the old quarto. MALONE. 


FAL. You shall hear. As good luck would have 
it, comes in one mistress Page ; gives intelligence 
of Ford's approach ; and, by her invention, and 
Ford's wife's distraction, they conveyed me into a 
buck-basket. 2 

FORD. A buck-basket ! 

FAL. By the Lord, a buck-basket : 3 rammed me 
in with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, 
and greasy napkins ; that, master Brook, there was 
the rankest compound of villainous smell, that ever 
offended nostril. 

FORD. And how long lay you there ? 

FAL. Nay, you shall hear, master Brook, what I 
have suffered to bring this woman to evil for your 
good. Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple 
of Ford's knaves, his hinds, were called forth by 
their mistress, to carry me in the name of foul 
clothes to Datchet-lane : they took me on their 
shoulders ; met the jealous knave their master in 

* and, by her invention, and Ford's "wife's distraction, 

they conveyed me into a buck-basket, ,] As it does not appear that 
his being convey 'd into the buck-basket was owing to the sup- 
posed distraction of Mistress Ford, I have no doubt but we should 
read * and Ford's wife's direction" which was the fact. 


8 By the Lord, a luck-lasket :] Thus the old quarto. The 
editor of the first folio, to avoid the penalty of the statute of 
King James I. reads Yes, &c. and the editor of the second, 
which has been followed by the moderns, has made FalstafF 
desert his own character, and assume the language of a Puritan. 


The second folio reads yea; and I cannot discover why this 
affirmative should be considered as a mark of puritanism. Yea, 
at the time our comedy appeared, was in as frequent use as 
yes ; and is certainly put by Shakspeare into the mouths of many 
of his characters whose manners are widely distant from those of 
canting purists. STEEVENS. 

sc. v. OF WINDSOR. 153 

the door ; who asked them once or twice what they 
had in their basket: 4 I quaked for fear, lest the 
lunatic knave would have searched it ; but fate, or- 
daining he should be a cuckold, held his hand. 
Well ; on went he for a search, and away went I 
for foul clothes. But mark the sequel, master 
Brook : I suffered the pangs of three several 
deaths: 5 first, an intolerable fright, to be detected 
with 6 a jealous rotten bell-wether: next, to be com- 
passed, like a good bilbo, 7 in the circumference of a 
peck, 8 hilt to point, heel to head: and then, to be 

4 ivhat they had in their basket :"} So, before : " Whafc 
a taking was he in, when your husband ask'd who was in the 
basket!" but Ford had asked no such question. Our author 
seems seldom to have revised his plays. MALONE. 

Falstaff, in the present instance, may purposely exaggerate 
his alarms, that he may thereby enhance his merit with Ford, 
at whose purse his designs are ultimately levelled. STEEVENS. 

4 several deaths .-] Thus the folio and the most correct 

of the quartos. The first quarto reads egregious deaths. 


6 detected with ] Thus the old copies. With was 

sometimes used for of. So, a little after : 

" I sooner will suspect the sun with cold." 
Detected of a jealous, &c. would have been the common 
grammar of the times. The modern editors read by. 


7 bilbo,'] A bilbo is a Spanish blade, of which the excel- 
lence is flexibleness and elasticity. JOHNSON. 

Bilbo, from Bilboa, a city of Biscay, where the best blades 
are made. STEEVENS. 

8 of a peck,] Thus the folio. The old quarto reads of 

a pack ; and perhaps rightly. Pedlar's packs are sometimes of 
such a size as to admit of Falstaff's description ; but who but a 
Lilliputian could be " compassed in a. peck?" MALONE. 

Falstaff designedly exaggerates the inconveniences of his 
situation. When he tells us, that formerly he " was not an 
eagle's talon in the waist, and could have crept through an 
alderman's thumb-ring," are we to suppose he has a literal 


stopped in, like a strong distillation, with stinking 
clothes that fretted in their own grease : think of 
that, a man of my kidney, 9 think of that ; that 
am as subject to heat, as butter; a man of continual 
dissolution andthaw; itwas a miracle,to'scape suffo- 
cation. And in the height of this bath, when I was 
more thanhalf stewed in grease,like a Dutch dish,to 
be thrown intothe Thames, and cooled, glowing hot, 
in that surge, like a horse shoe ; think of that, 
hissing hot, think of that, master Brook. 

FORD. In good sadness, sir, I am sorry that for 
my sake you have suffered all this. My suit then 
is desperate ; you'll undertake her no more. 

FAL. Master Brook, I will be thrown into ^Etna, 
as I have been into Thames, ere I will leave her 
thus. Her husband is this morning gone a bird- 
ing : I have received from her another embassy of 
meeting ; 'twixt eight and nine is the hour, master 

FORD. 'Tis past eight already, sir. 

FAL. Is it? I will then address me 1 to my ap- 

meaning? and may not some future critick enquire of us 
whether we ever saw any pedlar's pack of such a size as would 
contain a person of Falstatf's bulk ? 

Besides ; to try the flexibility of swords, it might have been 
usual to incurvate them within a wooden circuit like that of a 
peck measure ; but who would have thought of making the same 
experiment within a pedlar's pack ? STEE YENS. 

9 kidney,] Kidney in this phrase now signifies kind or 

qualities, but Falstaif means, a man whose kidnies are as fat as 
mine. JOHNSON. 

1 address me ] i. e. make myself ready. So, in Kin% 

Henry V ; 

" To-morrow for our march we are addrest" 
Again, in Macbeth : 

" But they did say their prayers, and address' d them 

" Again to sleep." STEEVENS. 

sc. v. OF WINDSOR. 155 

pointment. Come to me at your convenient lei- 
sure, and you shall know how I speed ; and the 
conclusion shall be crowned with your enjoying 
her : Adieu. You shall have her, master Brook ; 
master Brook, you shall cuckold Ford. [Exit. 

FORD. Hum ! ha ! is this a vision ? is this a 
dream ? do I sleep ? Master Ford, awake ; awake, 
master Ford; there's a hole made in your best coat, 
master Ford. This 'tis to be married ! this 'tis to 
have linen, and buck-baskets ! Well, I will pro- 
claim myself what I am : I will now take the 
lecher ; he is at my house : he cannot 'scape me ; 
'tis impossible he should ; he cannot creep into a 
halfpenny purse, nor into a pepper-box : but, lest 
the devil that guides him should aid him, I will 
search impossible places. Though what I am I 
cannot avoid, yet to be what I would not, shall 
not make me tame : if I have horns to make one 
mad, let the proverb go with me, I'll be horn 
mad. 2 [Exit. 

* /'// be horn mad.] There is no image which our author 

appears so fond of, as that of cuckold's horns. Scarcely a light 
character is introduced that does not endeavour to produce mer- 
riment by some allusion to horned husbands. As he wrote his 
plays for the stage rather than the press, he perhaps reviewed 
them seldom, and did not observe this repetition ; or finding the 
jest, however frequent, still successful, did not think correction 
necessary. JOHNSON. 



The Street. 
Enter Mrs. PAGE, Mrs. QUICKLY, owe? WILLIAM. 

MRS. PAGE. Is he at master Ford's already, 
think'st thou ? 

QUICK. Sure, he is by this ; or will be presently : 
but truly, he is very courageous mad, about his 
throwing into the water. Mistress Ford desires 
you to come suddenly. 

MRS. PAGE. I'll be with her by and by ; I'll but 
bring my young man here to school : Look, where 
his master comes j 'tis a playing-day, I see. 

Enter Sir HUGH EVANS. 
How now, sir Hugh ? no school to-day ? 

EVA. No j master Slender is let the boys leave 
to play. 

QUICK. Blessing of his heart ! 

MRS. PAGE. Sir Hugh, my husband says, my 

s This is a very trifling scene, of no use to the plot, and I 
should think of no great delight to the audience ; but Shakspeare 
best knew what would please. JOHNSON. 

We may suppose this scene to have been a very entertaining 
one to the audience for which it was written. Many of the old 
plays exhibit pedants instructing their scholars. Marston has 
a very long one in his What you ivill, between a schoolmaster, 
and Holofernes, Nathaniel, &c. his pupils. The title of this 
play was perhaps borrowed by Shakspeare, to join to that of 
Twelfth Night. What you "will appeared in l6'07- Twelfth 
Night was first printed in 1623. STEEVENS. 

sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 157 

son profits nothing in the world at his book ; I 
pray you, ask him some questions in his accidence. 

EVA. Come hither, William ; hold up your 
head ; come. 

MRS. PAGE. Come on, sirrah ; hold up your 
head ; answer your master, be not afraid. 

EVA. William, how many numbers is in nouns ? 
WILL. Two. 

QUICK. Truly, I thought there had been one 
number more ; because they say, od's nouns. 

EVA. Peace your tattlings. What is fair, 
William ? 

. WILL. Putcher. 

QUICK. Poulcats ! there are fairer things than 
poulcats, sure. 

EVA. You are a very simplicity 'oman ; I pray 
you, peace. What is lapis, William ? 

WILL. A stone. 

EVA. And what is a stone, William ? 

WILL. A pebble. 

EVA. No, it is lapis ; I pray you remember in 
your prain. 

WILL. Lapis. 

EVA. That is good William. What is he, Wil- 
liam, that does lend articles ? 

WILL. Articles are borrowed of the pronoun ; 
and be thus declined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic 9 
hcec, hoc. 

EVA. Nominativo, hig, hag, hog; pray you, 
mark : genitivo, hnjus : Well, what is your accusa- 
tive case ? 

WILL. Accusative, hinc. 


EVA. I pray you, have your remembrance, 

child ; Accusative, king, hang, hog. 

QUICK. Hang hog is Latin for bacon, I warrant 

EVA. Leave your prabbles, 'oman. What is the 
focative case, William ? 

WILL. O vocativo, O. 

EVA. Remember, William ; focative is, caret. 

QUICK. And that's a good root. 

EVA. 'Oman, forbear. 

MRS. PAGE. Peace. 

EVA. What is your genitive case plural, William ? 

WILL. Genitive case ? 

EVA. Ay. 

WILL. Genitive, horum, harum, horum* 

QUICK. 'Vengeance of Jenny's case ! fie on her ! 
never name her, child, if she be a whore. 

EVA. For shame, 'oman. 

QUICK. You do ill to teach the child such words : 
he teaches him to hick and to hack, 5 which they'll 
do fast enough of themselves ; and to call horum : 
fie upon you ! 

EVA. 'Oman, art thou lunatics ? hast thou no 
understandings for thy cases, and the numbers of 

4 horum, harum, horum.'} Taylor, the water-poet, has 

borrowed this jest, such as it is, in his character of a strumpet : 
" And comes to horum, harum, whorum, then 
" She proves a great proficient among men." STEEVENS. 

s to flick and to hack,] Sir William Blackstone thought, 

that this, in Dame Quickly's language, signifies " to stammer 
or hesitate, as boys do in saying their lessons ;" but Mr. Stee- 
vens, with more probability, supposes that it signifies, in her 
dialect, to do mischief. MALONE. 

sc. i. OF WINDSOR. 159 

the genders ? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures 
as I would desires. 

MRS. PAGE. Pr'ythee hold thy peace. 

EVA. Shew me now, William, some declensions 
of your pronouns. 

WILL. Forsooth, I have forgot. 

EVA. It is /', Jcce, cod ; if you forget your fries, 
your kcesf and your cods, you must be preeches. 7 
Go your ways, and play, go. 

MRS. PAGE. He is a better scholar, than I 
thought he was. 

EVA. He is a good sprag 8 memory. Farewell, 
mistress Page. 

MRS. PAGE. Adieu, good sir Hugh. [Exit Sir 
HUGH.] Get you home, boy. Come, we stay too 
long. [Exeunt. 


your kies, your has, &c.] All this ribaldry is likewise 

found in Taylor the water-poet. See fol. edit. p. 1O6. 


7 you must be preeches.] Sir Hugh means to say you 

must be breeched, i. e. flogged. To breech is to Jlog. So, in 
The Taming of the Shrew : 

" I am no breeching scholar in the schools." 
Again, in The Humorous Lieutenant, by Beaumont apd Fletcher : 

" Cry like a breeched boy, not eat a bit." STEEVENS. 

* sprag ] I am told that this word is still used by the 

common people in the neighbourhood of Bath, where it signifies 
ready, alert, sprightly, and is pronounced as if it was written 
sprack. STEEVENS. 

A spackt lad or wench, says Ray, is apt to learn, ingenious. 




A Room in Ford's House. 
Enter FALSTAFF and Mrs. FORD. 

FAL. Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up 
my sufferance : I see, you are obsequious in your 
love, 9 and I profess requital to a hair's breadth ; 
not only, mistress Ford, in the simple office of love, 
but in all the accoutrement, complement, and cere- 
mony of it. But are you sure of your husband now ? 

MRS. FORD. He's a birding, sweet sir John. 

MRS. PAGE. \_Within.~\ What hoa, gossip Ford! 
what hoa ! 

MRS. FORD. Step into the chamber, sir John. 


Enter Mrs. PAGE. 

MRS. PAGE. How now, sweetheart ? who's at 
home besides yourself? 

MRS. FORD. Why, none but mine own people. 
MRS. PAGE. Indeed? 

MRS. FORD. No, certainly ; Speak louder. 


MRS. PAGE. Truly, I am so glad you have 
nobody here. 

your sorrow hath eaten up my svfferance : I see, you 

are obsequious in your love t ~] So, in Hamlet : 

" for some term 

" To do obsequious sorrow." 

The epithet obsequious refers, in both instances, to the seri- 
ousness with which obsequies, or funeral ceremonies, are per- 
formed. STEEVENS. 

sc. n. OF WINDSOR. 161 

MRS. FORD. Why ? 

MRS. PAGE. Why, woman, your husband is in 
his old lunes ' again : he so takes on 2 yonder with 
my husband ; so rails against all married mankind ; 
so curses all Eve's daughters, of what complexion 
soever ; and so buffets himself on the forehead, 
crying, Peer-out, peer out! 3 that any madness, I 
ever yet beheld, seemed but tameness, civility, 
and patience, to this his distemper he is in now : I 
am glad the fat knight is not here. 

MRS. FORD. Why, does he talk of him ? 

MRS. PAGE. Of none but him ; and swears, he 
was carried out, the last time he searched for him, 
in a basket : protests to my husband, he is now 
here ; and hath drawn him and the rest of their- 
company from their sport, to make another expe- 
riment of his suspicion : but I am glad the knight 
is not here ; now he shall see his own foolery. 

MRS. FORD. How near is he, mistress Page ? 

1 lunes ] I. e. lunacy, frenzy. See a note on The 

Winter's Tale, Act II. sc. ii. The folio reads lines instead of 
lunes. The elder quartos his old vaine again. STEEVENS. 

The correction was made by Mr. Theobald. MALONE. 

* he so takes on ] To take on, which is now used for 

to grieve, seems to be used by our author for to rage. Perhaps 
it was applied to any passion. JOHNSON. 

It is used by Nash in Pierce Penniless his Supplication to the 
Devil, 1592, in the same sense : " Some will take on like a 
madman, if they see a pig come to the table." MALONE. 

3 Peer-out /] That is, appear horns. Shakspeare is at 

his old lunes. JOHNSON. 

Shakspeare here refers to the practice of children, when they 
call on a snail to push forth his horns : 

" Peer out, peer out, peer out of your hole, 

" Or else I'll beat you black us a coal." HENLEY. 

VOL. V. M 


MRS. PAGE. Hard by j at street end ; he will 
be here anon. 

MRS. FORD. I am undone ! the knight is here. 

MRS. PAGE. Why, then you are utterly shamed, 
and he's but a dead man. What a woman are 
you ? Away with him, away with him ; better 
shame than murder. 

MRS. FORD. Which way should he go ? how 
should I bestow him ? Shall I put him into the 
basket again ? 

Re-enter FALSTAFF. 

FAL. No, I'll come no more i' the basket : May 
I not go out, ere he come ? 

MRS. PAGE. Alas, three of master Ford's bro- 
thers watch the door with pistols, 4 that none shall 
issue out ; otherwise you might slip away ere he 
came. But what make you here ? 5 

FAL. What shall I do ? I'll creep up into the 

MRS. FORD. There they always use to discharge 
their birding-pieces : Creep into the kiln-hole. 6 

4 watch the door tvith pistols,] This is one of Shak- 

speare's anachronisms. DOUCE. 

Thus, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Thaliard says : 

" if I 

" Can get him once within my pistol's length," &c. 
and Thaliard was one of the courtiers of Antiochus the third, 
who reigned 200 years before Christ ; a period rather too early 
for the use of pistols. STEEVENS. 

* But what make you here ?"} i. e. 'what do you here ? 


The same phrase occurs in the first scene of As you like it : 
* Now, sir! what make you here? STEEVENS. 

' creep into the kiln-hole."] I suspect, these words be- 

sc. ii. OF WINDSOR. 163 

FAL. Where is it ? 

MRS. FORD. He will seek there, on my word. 
Neither press, coffer, chest, trunk, well, vault, but 
he hath an abstract 7 for the remembrance of such 
places, and goes to them by his note : There is no 
hiding you in the house. 

FAL. I'll go out then. 

MRS. PAGE. If you go 8 out in your own sem- 
blance, you die, sir John. Unless you go out dis- 

MRS. FORD. How might we disguise him ? 

MRS. PAGE. Alas the day, I know not. There 
is no woman's gown big enough for him ; other- 
wise, he might put on a hat, a muffler, and a ker- 
chief, and so escape. 

FAL. Good hearts, devise something : any ex- 
tremity, rather than a mischief. 

MRS. FORD. My maid's aunt, the fat woman of 
Brentford, has a gown above. 

MRS. PAGE. On my word, it will serve him ; 

long to Mrs. Page. See Mrs. Ford's next speech. That, how- 
ever, may be a second thought ; a correction of her former pro- 
posal : but the other supposition is more probable. MALONE. 

7 an abstract ] i. e. a list, an inventory. STEEVENS. 

Rather, a short note or description. So, in Hamlet : 
" The abstract, and brief chronicle of the times." 


* Mrs. Page. If you go &c.] In the first folio, by the mis- 
take of the compositor, the name of Mrs. Ford is prefixed to 
this speech and the next. For the correction now made I am 
answerable. The editor of the second folio put the two speeches 
together, and gave them both to Mrs. Ford. The threat of 
danger from without ascertains the first to belong to Mrs. Page. 
See her speech on Falstaff's re-entrance. MALONE. 

M 2 


she's as big as he is : and there's her thram'd hat, 
and her muffler too : 9 Run up, sir John. 

MRS. FORD. Go, go, sweet sir John : mistress 
Page, and I, will look some linen for your head. 

MRS. PAGE. Quick, quick ; we'll come dress 
you straight : put on the gown the while. 

\_Eacit FALSTAFF. 

MRS. FORD. I would, my husband would meet 
him in this shape : he cannot abide the old woman 
of Brentford ; he swears, she's a witch ; forbade 
her my house, and hath threatened to beat her. 

MRS. PAGE. Heaven guide him to thy husband's 
cudgel ; and the devil guide his cudgel afterwards ! 

MRS. FORD. But is my husband coming ? 

MRS. PAGE. Ay, in good sadness, is he ; and 
talks of the basket too, howsoever he hath had in- 

MRS. FORD. We'll try that ; for I'll appoint my 

9 ' ' her thrum'd hat, and her muffler too :] The thrum 
is the end of a weaver's warp, and, we may suppose, was used 
for the purpose of making coarse hats. So, in A Midsummer 
Night's Dream : 

" O fates, come, come, 
" Cut thread and thrum." 

A mttffler was some part of dress that covered the face. So, 
in The Coblcr's Prophecy r , 15.Q4: 

" Now is she bare fac'd to be seen : strait on her 

MuJJler goes." 

Again, in Laneham's account of Queen Elizabeth's entertain- 
ment at Kenelworth castle, 1575: " his mother lent him a 
nu mnfflar for a napkin, that was tyed to hiz gyrdl for lozyng." 


The muffler was a part of female attire, which only covered 
the lower half of the face. DOUCE. 

A thrum'd hat was made of very coarse woollen cloth. Sec 
Minsheu's Dicx. 1617, in v. Thrum'd is, formed of thrums. 


sc. IT. OF WINDSOR. 165 

men to carry the basket again, to meet him at the 
door with it, as they did last time. 

MRS. PAGE. Nay, but he'll be here presently : 
let's go dress him like the witch of Brentford. 

MRS. FORD. I'll first direct my men, what they 
shall do with the basket. Go up, I'll bring linen 
for him straight. \JLxit. 

MRS. PAGE. Hang him, dishonest varlet! we 
cannot misuse him enough. 1 

We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do, 
Wives may be merry, and yet honest too : 
W'e do not act, that often jest and laugh j 
'Tis old but true, Still swine eat all the draff. 2 

Re-enter Mrs. FORD, with two Servants. 

MRS. FORD. Go, sirs, take the basket again on 
your shoulders ; your master is hard at door ; if he 
bid you set it down, obey him : quickly, despatch. 


1. SERV. Come, come, take it up. 

2. SERV. Pray heaven, it be not full of the 
knight 3 again. 

1 - misuse him enough."] Him, which was accidentally 
emitted in the first folio, was inserted by the editor of the 
second. MALONE. 

1 - - Still siuinc &c.] This is a proverbial sentence. See 
Ray's Collection. MALONE. 

3 - of the knight ] The only authentick copy, the first 
folio, reads " full of knight.'" The editor of the second of 
the knight ; I think, unnecessarily. We have just had " hard 
at door." MALONE. 

At door, is a frequent provincial ellipsis. Full of knight is 
a phrase without example ; and the present speaker (one of 
Ford's drudges) was not meant for a dealer in grotesque Ian- : 
guage. I therefore read with the second folio. STEEVENS. 


1. SERV. I hope not ; I had as lief bear so much 


FORD. Ay, but if it prove true, master Page, 
have you any way then to unfool me again ? Set 
down the basket, villain : Somebody call my wife : 

You, youth in a basket, come out here ! 4 O, 

you panderly rascals ! there's a knot, a ging, 5 a 
pack, a conspiracy against me : Now shall the 
devil be shamed. What ! wife, I say ! come, come 
forth ; behold what honest clothes you send forth 
to bleaching. 

PAGE. Why, this passes ! 6 Master Ford, you are 
not to go loose any longer ; you must be pinioned. 

4 You, youth in a basket, come out here /] This reading I have 
adopted from the early quarto. The folio has only " Youth in 
a basket!" MALONE. 

6 a ging,] Old copy gin. Ging was the word in- 
tended by the poet, and was anciently used for gang. So, in 
Ben Jonson's New Inn y 1631 : 

The secret is, I would not willingly 

See or be seen to any of this ging, 

Especially the lady." 
Again, in The Alchemist, 1610: 

Sure he has got 

Some baudy picture to call all this ging ; 

The friar and the boy, or the new motion," &c. 


The second folio [1632] (so severely censured by Mr. Ma- 
lone, and yet so often quoted by him as the source of emen- 
dations,) reads ging. Milton, in his Smectymnuus, employs 
the same word : " I am met with a whole ging of words and 
phrases not mine." See edit. 1/53, Vol. I. p. iicj. STEEVENS. 

6 this passes !] The force of the phrase I did not under- 
stand, when a former impression of Shakspeare was prepared ; 
and therefore gave these two v/ords as part of an imperfect sen 

sc. ii. OF WINDSOR. 167 

EVA. Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a 
mad dog ! 

SHAL. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well j 

Enter Mrs. FORD. 

FORD. So say I too, sir. Come hither, mistress 
Ford ; mistress Ford, the honest woman, the mo- 
dest wife, the virtuous creature, that hath thejea- 
lous fool to her husband! I suspect without 
cause, mistress, do I ? 

MRS. FORD. Heaven be my witness, you do, if 
you suspect me in any dishonesty. 

FORD. Well said, brazen-face ; hold it out. 

Come forth, sirrah. \_Pulls the clothes out of the basket. 

PAGE. This passes ! 

MRS. FORD. Are you not ashamed? let the 
clothes alone. 

FORD. I shall find you anon. 

EVA. J Tis unreasonable ! Will you take up your 
wife's clothes ? Come away. 

FORD. Empty the basket, I say. 
MRS. FORD. Why, man, why, 
FORD. Master Page, as I am a man, there was 
one conveyed out of my house yesterday in this 

tence. One of the obsolete senses of the verb, to pass, is to go 
beyond bounds. 

So, in Sir Clyomon, fyc. Knight of the Golden Shield, 15gp: 
" I have such a deal of substance here when Brian's men 

are slaine, 

" That it passeth. O that I had while to stay !" 
Again, in the translation of the Men&chmi, \5Q5 : " This 
passeth ! that I meet with none, but thus they vexe me with 
strange speeches." STEEVENS. 


basket : Why may not he be there again ? In my 
house I am sure he is : my intelligence is true ; 
my jealousy is reasonable: Pluck me out all the 

MRS. FORD. If you find a man there, he shall 
die a flea's death. 

PAGE. Here's no man. 

SHAL. By my fidelity, this is not well, master 
Ford ; this wrongs you. 7 

EVA. Master Ford^ you must pray, and not fol- 
low the imaginations of your own heart : this is 

FORD. Well, he's not here I seek for. 
,.' PAGE. No, nor no where else, but in your brain. 

FORD. Help to search my house this one time : 
if I find not what I seek, show no colour for my 
extremity, let me for ever be your table-sport ; let 
them say of me, As jealous as Ford, that searched 
a hollow walnut for his wife's leman. 8 Satisfy me 
once more ; once more search with me. 

MRS. FORD. What hoa, mistress Page ! come 
you, and the old woman, down ; my husband will 
come into the chamber. 

FORD. Old woman ! What old woman's that ? 

MRS. FORD. Why, it is my maid's aunt of 

' 7 this wrongs you."] This is below your character, un- 
worthy of your understanding, injurious to your honour. So, 
in The Taming of the Shreiv, . Bianca, being ill treated by her 
rugged sister, says : 

" You tvrong me much, indeed you wrong yourself." 


' his wife's leman.] Leman, i. e. lover t is derived from 
leef, Dutch, beloved, and man. STEEVENS, 

sc. n. OF WINDSOR. 169 

FORD. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean ! 
Have I not forbid her my house ? She comes of 
errands, does she ? We are simple men ; we do not 
know what's brought to pass under the profession 
of fortune-telling. She works by charms, 9 by spells, 
by the figure, and such daubery l as this is ; beyond 

our element : we know nothing. Come down, 

you witch, you hag you ; come down I say. 

MRS. FORD. Nay, good, sweet husband ; good 
gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman. 2 

9 She works by charms, &c.] Concerning some old woman of 
Brentford, there are several ballads ; among the rest, Julian of 
Brentford's last Will and Testament, 1599. STEEVENS. 

This without doubt was the person here alluded to ; for in 
the early quarto Mrs. Ford says " my maid's aunt, Gillian of 
Brentford, hath a gown above." So, also, in Westward Hoe, a 
comedy, 1607 : " I doubt that old hag,Gillian of Brentford, has 
bewitched me." MALONE. 

Mr. Steevens, perhaps, has been misled by the vague expres- 
sion of the Stationers' book. It/I of Breynfford 's Testament, to 
which he seems to allude, was written by Robert, and printed by 
William Copland, long before 1599. But this, the only publica- 
tion, it is believed, concerning the above lady, at present known, 
is certainly no ballad. RITSON. 

Julian of Brainford* s Testament is mentioned by Laneham in 
his letter from Killingwoorth Castle, 1575, amongst many other 
works of established notoriety. HENLEY. 

1 such daubery ] Dauber ies are counterfeits; disguises. 

So, in King Lear, Edgar says : " I cannot daub it further." 
Again, in K. Richard III: 

" So smooth he dauVd his vice with shew of virtue." 


Perhaps rather such gross falshood, and imposition. In our 
author's time a dauber and a plastererwere synonymous. See Min- 
sheu's DICT. in v. " To lay it on with a trowel" was a phrase 
of that time, applied to one who uttered a gross lie. MALONE. 

4 let him not strike the old woman.] Not, which was in- 
advertently omitted in the first folio, was supplied by the second. 



Enter FALSTAFF in 'women's clothes, led by Mrs. 


MRS. PAGE. Come, mother Prat, come, give me 
your hand. 

FORD. I'll prat her : Out of my door, you 

witch ! [beats hint] you rag, 3 you baggage, you 
polecat, you ronyon! 11 out! out! I'll conjure you, 
I'll fortune-tell you. \_Rxit FALSTAFF. 

MRS. PAGE. Are you not ashamed ? I think, 
you have killed the poor woman. 

MRS. FORD. Nay, he will do it : 'Tis a goodly 
credit for you. 

FORD. Hang her, witch ! 

EVA. By yea and no, I think, the 'ornan is a 
witch indeed: I like not when a 'oman has a great 
peard j I spy a great peard under her muffler. 6 

3 you rag,] This opprobrious term is again used in Timon 

of Athens: " thy father, that poor rag ." Mr. Rowe un- 
necessarily dismissed this word, and introduced hag in its place. 


* ronyon!~\ Ronyon, applied to a woman, means, as far as 
can be traced, much the same with scall or scab spoken of a man. 

From Rogneux, Fr. So, in Macbeth: 

" Aroint thee, witch, the rump-fed ronyon cries." 
Again, in As you like it: " the roynish clown." STEEVENS. 

5 1 spy a great peard under her muffler.] One of the 

marks of a supposed witch was a beard. 
So, in The Duke's Mistress, 1638 : 

" a chin, without all controversy, good 

" To go a fishing with ; a witches beard on't." 
See also Macbeth, Act I. sc. iii. 

The muffler (as I have learnt since our last sheet was worked 
off) was a thin piece of linen that covered the lips and chin. 
See the figures of two market-women, at the bottom of G. 

sc. ii. OF WINDSOR. 171 

FORD. Will you follow, gentlemen ? I beseech 
you, follow; see but the issue of my jealousy: if I 
cry out thus upon no trail, 6 never trust me when I 
open again. 

PAGE. Let's obey his humour a little further : 
Come, gentlemen. 


MRS. PAGE. Trust me, he beat him most piti- 

MRS. FORD. Nay, by the mass, that he did not ; 
he beat him most unpitifully, methought. 

MRS. PAGE. I'll have the cudgel hallowed, and 
hang o'er the altar j it hath done meritorious ser- 

MRS. FORD. What think you ? May we, with 
the warrant of womanhood, and the witness of a 
good conscience, pursue him with any further re- 

venge ? 

Hoefnagle's curious plate of Nonsuch, in Braunii Civitates Or- 
bis Terrarum ; Part V. Plate I. See likewise the bottom of the 
view of Shrewsbury, &c. ibid. Part VI. Plate II. where the fe- 
male peasant seems to wear the same article of dress. See also 
a country-woman at the corner of Speed's map of England. 


As the second stratagem, by which Falstaff escapes, is much 
the grosser of the two, I wish it had been practised first. It is 
very unlikely that Ford, having been so deceived before, and 
knowing that he had been deceived, would suffer him to escape 
in so slight a disguise. JOHNSON. 

6 cry out thus upon no trail,] The expression is taken 

from the hunters. Trail is the scent left by the passage of the 
game. To cry out, is to open or bark. JOHNSON. 

So, in Hamlet: 

" How cheerfully on the false trail they cry: 
" Oh ! this is counter, ye false Danish dogs /" 



MRS. PAGE. The spirit of wantonness is, sure, 
scared out of him ; if the devil have him not in 
fee simple, with fine and recovery, 7 he will never, 
I think, in the way of w r aste, attempt us again. 8 

MRS. FORD. Shall we tell our husbands how we 
have served him ? 

MRS. PAGE. Yes, by all means ; if it be but to 
scrape the figures out of your husband's brains. If 
they can find in their hearts, the poor unvirtuous 
fat knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will 
still be the ministers. 

MRS. FORD. I'll warrant, they'll have him pub- 
lickly shamed : and, methinks, there would be no 
period 9 to the jest, should he not be publickly 

MRS. PAGE. Come, to the forge with it then, 
shape it : I would not have things cool. [Exeunt. 

7 if the devil have him not in fee-simple, ivith fine and 

recovery,] Our author had been long enough in an attorney's 
office, to learn that fee-simple is the largest estate, andjine and 
recovery the strongest assurance, known to English law. 


* in the txay o/ 1 waste attempt us again."] i. e. he will not 

make further attempts to ruin us, by corrupting our virtue, and 
destroying our reputation. STEEVENS. 

9 no period ] Shakspeare seems, by no period, to mean, 

no proper catastrophe. Of this Hanmer was so well persuaded, 
that he thinks it necessary to read no right period. STEEVENS. 

Our author often uses period, for end or conclusion. So, in 
iehard HI: 
" O, let me make the period to my curse." MALOKE. 

King Richard III; 

sc. m, OF WINDSOR. 173 


A Room in the Garter Inn. 

BARD. Sir, the Germans desire to have three of 
your horses : the duke himself will be to-morrow 
at court, and they are going to meet him. 

HOST. What duke should that be, comes so se- 
cretly ? I hear not of him in the court : Let me 
speak with the gentlemen ; they speak English ? 

BARD. Ay, sir ; I'll call them to you. 1 

HOST. They shall have my horses ; but 1*11 make 
them pay, I'll sauce them : they have had my 
houses a week at command ; I have turned away 
my other guests : they must come off; 2 I'll sauce 
them : Come. \JExeunt. 

Pll call them to you.] Old copy I'll call him. Cor- 

rected in the third folio. MALONE. 

* they must come off;] To come off, is, to pay. In 

this sense it is used by Massinger, in The Unnatural Combat, 
Act IV. sc. ii. where a wench, demanding money of the father 
to keep his bastard, says: " Will you come off, sir?" Again, 
in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, 
1612 : 

" Do not your gallants come off roundly then ?" 
Again, in Heywood's If you knoiv not me you know Nobody, 
1633, p. 2: " and then if he will not come off", carry him 
to the compter." Again, in A Trick to catch the Old One, 

" Hark in thine ear : will he come off, think'st thou, and 

pay my debts ?" 

Again, in The Return from Parnassus, 1606: 
" It is his meaning I should come off." 

Again, in The Widow, by Ben Jonson, Fletcher, and Mid- 
dletoa, 1652 : " I am forty dollars better for that : an 'twould 



A Room in Ford's House. 

Enter PAGE, FORD, Mrs. PAGE, Mrs. FORD, and 

EVA. 'Tis one of the pest discretions of a 'oman 
as ever I did look upon. 

PAGE. And did he send you both these letters 
at an instant ? 

MRS. PAGE. Within a quarter of an hour. 

come o^quicker, 'twere nere a whit the worse for me." Again, 
in A merye Jest of a Man called Houleglas, bl. 1. no date : 
" Therefore come of lightly, and geve me my mony." 


" They must come off", (says mine host,) I'll sauce them." 
This passage has exercised the criticks. It is altered by Dr. 
Warburton ; but there is no corruption, and Mr. Steevens has 
rightly interpreted it. The quotation, however, from Massin- 
ger, which is referred to likewise by Mr. Edwards in his Canons 
of Criticism, scarcely satisfied Mr. Heath, and still less Mr. 
Capell, who gives us, " They must not come off." It is strange 
that any one, conversant in old language, should hesitate at this 
phrase. Take another quotation or two, that the difficulty may 
be effectually removed for the future. In John Heywood's play 
of The Four P's, the pedlar says : 

" If you be willing to buy, 

" Lay down money, come off' quickly." 

In The Widow, by Jonson, Fletcher, and Middleton : " if 
he will come off roundly, he'll set him free too." And again, 
in Fennor's Comptor's Commonwealth : " except I would 
come o^roundly, I should be bar'd of that privilcdge," &c. 


The phrase is used by Chaucer, Friar's Talc, 338 edit. 

" Come o$"and let me riden hastily, 

" Give me twelve pence ; I may no longer tarie." 


sc.iv. OF WINDSOR. 175 

FORD. Pardon me, wife : Henceforth do what 

thou wilt ; 

I rather will suspect the sun with cold, 3 
Than thee with wantonness : now doth thy honour 


In him that was of late an heretick, 
As firm as faith. 

PAGE. 'Tis well, 'tis well ; no more. 

Be not as extreme in submission, 
As in offence ; 

But let our plot go forward : let our wives 
Yet once again, to make us publick sport, 
Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow, 
Where we may take him, and disgrace him for it. 

FORD. There is no better way than that they 
spoke of. 

PAGE. How! to send him word they'll meet 
him in the park at midnight ! fie, fie ; he'll never 

EVA. You say, he has been thrown in the 

s / rather tvill suspect the sun tvith cold,] Thus the modern 
editions. The old ones read with gold, which may mean, I 
rather will suspect the sun can be a thief, or be corrupted by a 
bribe, than thy honour can be betrayed to wantonness. Mr. 
Rowe silently made the change, which succeeding editors have 
as silently adopted. A thought of a similar kind occurs in 
Henry IV. P. I : 

" Shall the blessed sun of heaven prove a micherT* 

I have not, however, displaced Mr. Rowe's emendation ; as a 
zeal to preserve old readings, without distinction, may sometimes 
prove as injurious to our author's reputation, as a desire to intro- 
duce new ones, without attention to the quaintness of phraseology 
then in use. STEEVENS. 

So, in Westward for Smelts, a pamphlet which Shakspeare 
certainly had read : " I answere in the behalfe of one, who is as 
free from disloyaltie, as is the swine from darkness, or the fire 
from COLD." A husband is speaking of his wife. MALONE. 


rivers ; and has been grievously peaten, as an old 
'oman: methinks, there should be terrors in him, 
that he should not come ; methinks, his flesh is 
punished, he shall have no desires. 

PAGE. So think I too. 

MRS. FORD. Devise but how you'll use him when 

he comes, 
And let us two devise to bring him thither. 

MRS. PAGE. There is an old tale goes, that 

Herne the hunter, 

Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest, 
Doth all the winter time, at still midnight, 
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns ; 
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle ; * 
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a 


In a most hideous and dreadful manner : 
You have heard of such a spirit; and well you know, 
The superstitious idle-headed eld 5 

4 and takes the cattle;] To take, in Shakspeare, signifies 

to seize or strike with a disease, to blast. So, in Lear : 

" Strike her young bones, 

" Ye taking airs, with lameness." JOHNSON. 

So, in Markham's Treatise of Horses, 15Q5, chap. 8 : "Of 
a horse that is taken. A horse that is bereft of his feeling, 
mooving or styrring, is said to be taken, and in sooth so he is, 
in that he is arrested by so villainous a disease ; yet some far- 
riors, not well understanding the ground of the disease, conster 
the word taken, to be stricken by some planet or evil-spirit, which 
is false," &c. Thus our poet : 

" No planets strike, no fairy takes." TOLLET. 

4 idle-headed eld ] Eld seems to be used here, for what 

our poet calls in Macbeth the olden time. It is employed in 
Measure for Measure, to express age and decrepitude : 

" doth beg the alms 

" Of palsied eld." STEEVENS. 

I rather imagine it is used here for old persons. MALQNE. 

sc. iv. OF WINDSOR. 177 

Received, and did deliver to our age, 
This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth. 

PAGE. Why, yet there want not many, that do fear 
In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak : 
But what of this ? 

MRS. FORD. Marry, this is our device ; 
That Falstaffat that oak shall meet with us, 
Disguised like Herne, with huge horns on his head. 6 

PAGE. Well, let it not be doubted but he'll come, 
And in this shape : When you have brought him 

What shall be done with him ? what is your plot ? 

MRS. PAGE. That likewise have we thought 

upon, and thus : 

Nan Page my daughter, and my little son, 
And three or four more of their growth, we'll dress 
Like urchins, ouphes, 7 and fairies, green and white, 
With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads, 
And rattles in their hands ; upon a sudden, 
As Falstaff, she, and I, are newly met, 
Let them from forth a saw-pit rush at once 

6 Disguised like Herne, iuith huge horns on his head.] This 
line, which is not in the folio, was properly restored from the 
old quarto by Mr. Theobald. He at the same time introduced 
another : " We'll send him word to meet us in the field ;" which 
is clearly unnecessary, and indeed improper : for the wor&jield 
relates to two preceding lines of the quarto, which have not 
been introduced : 

" Now, for that Falstaff has been so deceiv'd, 
" As that he dares not meet us in the house, 
" We'll send him word to meet us in \hejield" 


7 urchins, ouphes,"] The primitive signification of urchin 

is a hedge-hog. In this sense it is used in The Tempest. Hence 
it comes to signify any thing little and dwarfish. Ouph is the 
Teutonick word for & fairy or goblin. STEEVENS. 

VOL. V. 


With some diffused song ; 8 upon their sight, 
We two in great amazedness will fly : 
Then let them all encircle him about, 
And, fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean knight ; * 

8 With some diffused song ;] A diffused song signifies a song 
that strikes out into wild sentiments beyond the bounds of na- 
ture, such as those whose subject is fairy land. WARBURTON. 

Diffused may mean confused. So, in Stowe's Chronicle, 
p. 553: "Rice quoth he, (i. e. Cardinal Wolsey,) speak you 
Welch to him: I doubt not but thy speech shall be more diffuse 
to him, than his French shall be to thqe." TOLLET. 

By diffused song, Shakspeare may mean such unconnected 
ditties as mad people sing. Kent, in K. Lear, when he has 
determined to assume an appearance foreign to his own, declares 
his resolution to diffuse his speech, i. e. to give it a wild and 
irregular turn. STEEVENS. 

With some diffused song ;~\ i. e. wild, irregular, discordant. 
That this was the meaning of the word, I have shown in a note 
on another play by a passage from one of Greene's pamphlets, 
in which he calls a dress of which the different parts were made 
after the fashions of different countries, " a diffused attire." 


9 And, fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean knight ;] This use 
of to in composition with verbs, is very common in Gower and 
Chaucer, but must have been rather antiquated in the time of 
Shakspeare. See Gower, De Cotifessione Amantis, B. IV. 
fol. 7 : 

" All to-tore is myn araie." 
And Chaucer, Reeve's Tale, 1169: 

" mouth and nose to-broke" 

The construction will otherwise be very hard. TYRWHITT. 

I add a few more instances, to show that this use of the pre- 
position to was not entirely antiquated in the time of our author. 
So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. IV. c. 7 : 

" With briers and bushes all to-rent and scratched." 
Again, B. V. c. 8 : 

" With locks all loose, and raiment all to-tore." 
Again, B. V. c. : 

" Made of strange stuffe, but all to-uiorne and ragged, 

" And underneath the breech was all to-torne and jagged." 
Again, in The Three Lords of London, 15QO: 

" The post at which he runs, and all to-burns it." 

sc. iv. OF WINDSOR. 179 

And ask him, why, that hour of fairy revel, 
In their so sacred paths he dares to tread, 
In shape profane. 

MRS. FORD. And till he tell the truth, 
Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound, 1 
And burn him with their tapers. 

MRS. PAGE. The truth being known, 

We'll all present ourselves ; dis-horn the spirit, 
And mock him home to Windsor. 

FORD. The children must 

Be practised well to this, or they'll ne'er do't. 

EVA. I will teach the children their behaviours ; 
and I will be like a jack-an-apes also, 2 to burn the 
knight with my taber. 

Again, in Philemon Holland's Translation of the 10th Book 
of Pliny's Nat. Hist. ch. 74 : " shee againe to be quit with 
them, will all to-pinch and nip both the fox and her cubs." 


The editor of Gawin Douglas's Translation of the 
fol. Edinb. 1/10, observes, in his General Rules for the Under- 
standing the Language, that to prefixed, in ancient writers, has 
little or no significancy, but with all put before it, signifies 
altogether. Since, Milton has " were all to-ruffled." See 
Comus, v. 38O. Warton's edit. It is not likely that this prac- 
tice was become antiquated in the time of Shakspeare, as Mr. 
Tyrwhitt supposes. HOLT WHITE. 

1 - pinch him sound,] i. e. soundly. The adjective used 
as an adverb. The modern editors read round. STEEVENS. 

8 / vcill teach the children their behaviours; and I will be 
like a jack-an-apes also,] The idea of this stratagem, &c. might 
have been adopted from part of the entertainment prepared by 
Thomas Churchyard for Queen Elizabeth at Norwich : " And 
these boyes, &c. were to play by a deuise and degrees the 
Phayries, and to daunce (as neere as could be ymagined) like 
the Phayries. Their attire, and comming so strangely out, I 
know made the Queenes highnesse smyle and laugh withall, &c. 
/ ledde the yongfoolishe Phayries a daunce, &c. and as I heard 
said, it was well taken." STEEVENS. 

N 2 


FORD. That will be excellent. I'll go buy them 

MRS. PAGE. My Nan shall be the queen of all 

the fairies, 
Finely attired in a robe of white. 

PAGE. That silk will I go buy ; and in that 

time 3 
Shall master Slender steal my Nan away, \_Aside. 

And marry her at Eton. Go, send to Falstaff 


FORD. Nay, I'll to him again in name of Brook : 
He'll tell me all his purpose : Sure, he'll come. 

MRS. PAGE. Fear not you that : Go, get us pro- 
perties, 4 
And tricking for our fairies. 5 

EVA. Let us about it : It is admirable pleasures, 
and fery honest knaveries. 

\_Exeunt PAGE, FORD, and EVANS. 

MRS. PAGE. Go, mistress Ford, 
Send Quickly to sir John, to know his mind. 

[Exit Mrs. FORD. 

3 ' That silk will I go buy ; and in that time ] Mr. 
Theobald, referring that time to the time of buying the silk, 
alters it to tire. But there is no need of any change ; that time 
evidently relating to the time of the mask with which Falstaff 
was to be entertained, and which makes the whole subject of 
this dialogue. Therefore the common reading is right. 


4 properties^ Properties are little incidental necessaries 

to a theatre, exclusive of scenes and dresses. So, in The Taming 
of a Shreiu : " a shoulder of mutton for & property" See 
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act I. sc. ii. STEEVENS. 

5 tricking for our fairies ^\ To trick, is to dress out. 

So, in Milton: 

" Not frisk* d and frounc'd as she was wont, 

" With th& Attic boy to hunt; 

" But kerchief d in a homely cloud." STEEVENS. 

sc. v. OF WINDSOR. 181 

I'll to the doctor ; he hath my good will, 
And none but he, to marry with Nan Page. 
That Slender, though well landed, is an idiot ; 
And he my husband best of all affects : 
The doctor is well money'd, and his friends 
Potent at court ; he, none but he, shall have her, 
Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave 
her. [Exit. 


A Room in the Garter Inn. 
Enter Host and SIMPLE. 

HOST. What would'st thou have, boor ? what, 
thick-skin ? 6 speak, breathe, discuss j brief, short, 
quick, snap. 

SIM. Marry, sir, I come to speak with sir John 
FalstafF from master Slender. 

HOST. There's his chamber, his house, his castle, 
his standing-bed, and truckle-bed ; 7 'tis painted 

6 what, thick-skin ?] I meet with this term of abuse in 

Warner's Albion's England, 1602, Book VI. chap. 30 : 

" That he, so foul a thick-skin, should so fair a lady catch." 
The eleventh Book, however, of Pliny's Nat. Hist. (I shall 
quote from P. Holland's Translation, lo'Ol, p. 346,) will best 
explain the meaning of this term of obloquy : " men also, 
who are thicks skinned, be more grosse of sence and under- 
standing," &c. STEEVENS. 

7 standing-bed, and truckle-bed ;] The usual furniture 

of chambers in that time was a standing-bed, under which was 
a trochle, truckle, or running bed. In the standing-bed lay the 
master, and in the truckle bed the servant. So, in Hall's Ac- 
count of a Servile Tutor : 

" He lieth in the truckle-bed, 

" While his young master lieth o'er his head." JOHNSON. 


about with the story of the prodigal, fresh and 
new : Go, knock and call ; he'll speak like an An- 
thropophaginian 8 unto thee : Knock, I say. 

SIM. There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone 
up into his chamber ; I'll be so bold as stay, sir, 
till she come down : I come to speak with her, 

HOST. Ha ! a fat woman ! the knight may be 
robbed : I'll call. Bully knight ! Bully sir John ! 
speak from thy lungs military : Art thou there ? it 
is thine host, thine Ephesian, 9 calls. 

FAL. \_above.~] How now, mine host ? 
HOST. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar 1 tarries the 
coming down of thy fat woman : Let her descend, 

So, in The Returnjrom Parnassus, 1606: 

" When I lay in a trundle-bed under my tutor." 

And here the tutor has the upper bed. Again, in Heywood's 
Royal King, &c. 1637 : " shew these gentlemen into a close 
room with a standing-bed in't, and a truckle too." STEEVENS. 

9 Anthropophaginian ] i. e. a cannibal. See Othello, 

Act I. sc. iii. It is here used as a sounding word to astonish 
Simple. Ephesian, which follows, has no other meaning. 


9 thine Ephesian,] This was a cant term of the time. 

So, in K. Henry IV. P. II. Act II. sc. ii : " P. Henry. What 
company? Page. Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.'* 
See the note there. MALONE. 

Hanmer supposes Ephesian to be a designed blunder for 
Ephcestion. STEEVENS. 

1 Bohemian-Tartar ] The French call a Bohemian 

what we call a Gypsey ; but I believe the Host means nothing 
more than, by a wild appellation, to insinuate that Simple make* 
a strange appearance. JOHNSON. 

In Germany there were several companies of vagabonds, &c. 
called Tartars and Zigens. " These were the same in my 
opinion," says Mezeray, " as those the French call Bohemians, 
and the English Gypsies." Bulteel's Translation of Mezeray's 
History of France, under the year 141/. TOLLET. 

sc. v. OF WINDSOR. 183 

bully, let her descend ; my chambers are honour- 
able : Fye ! privacy ? fye ! 


FAL. There was, mine host, an old fat woman 
even now with me ; but she's gone. 

SIM. Pray you, sir, was't not the wise woman of 
Brentford? 2 

FAL. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell; 3 What 
would you with her ? 

SIM. My master, sir, my master Slender, sent to 
her, seeing her go thorough the streets, to know, 
sir, whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a 
chain, had the chain, or no. 

FAL. I spake with the old woman about it. 
SIM. And what says she, I pray, sir ? 

FAL. Marry, she says, that the very same man, 
that beguiled master Slender of his chain, cozened 
him of it. 

SIM. I would, I could have spoken with the 
woman herself; I had other things to have spoken 
with her too, from him. 

FAL. What are they ? let us know. 

* " wise woman of Brentford ?~\ In our author's time female 
dealers in palmistry and fortune-telling were usually denominated 
wise women. So the person from whom Hey wood's play of The 
Wise Woman of Hogsden, 1038, takes its title, is employed in 
answering many such questions as are the objects of Simple's en- 
quiry. REED. 

This appellation occurs also in our version of the Bible: 
" Her wise ladies answered her, yea she returned answer to her- 
self." Judges, v. 29. STEEVENS. 

3 muscle-shell;'} He calls poor Simple muscle-shell, be- 
cause he stands with his mouth open. JOHNSON. 


HOST. Ay, come ; quick. 

SIM. I may not conceal them, sir. 

FAL. Conceal them, or thou diest. 4 

SIM. Why, sir, they were nothing but about 
mistress Anne Page ; to know, if it were my mas- 
ter's fortune to have her, or no. 

FAL. J Tis, 'tis his fortune. 
SIM. What, sir ? 

FAL. To have her, or no : Go ; say, the woman 
told me so. 

SIM. May I be so bold to say so, sir ? 
FAL. Ay, sir Tike ; who more bold ? 5 

SIM. I thank your worship : I shall make my 
master glad with these tidings. \_Exit SIMPLE. 

HOST. Thou art clerkly, 6 thou art clerkly, sir 
John : Was there a wise woman with thee ? 

FAL. Ay, that there was, mine host ; one, that 
hath taught me more wit than ever I learned before 

4 Simp. / may not conceal them, sir. 

Fal. Conceal them, or thou diest.~\ In both these instances 
Dr. Farmer thinks we should read reveal. STEEVENS. 

Simp. / may &c.] In the old copy this speech is given to 
Falstaff. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. I mention this error, be- 
cause it justifies other similar corrections that have been made. 


* Ay, sir Tike; tvho more bold?~\ In the first edition, it 
stands : " I Tike, who more bolde." And should plainly be 
read here, Ay, sir Tike, &c. FARMER. 

The folio reads Ay, sir, like, &c. MALONE. 

6 clerkly,'] i. e. scholar-like. So, in Sidney's Arcadia, 

Lib. Ill : 

" Lanquet, the shepheard best swift Ister knew 
" For clearkly reed," &c. 

Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act II. sc. i : 
" 'tis very clerkly done." STEEVENS, 

sc.:7. OF WINDSOR. 185 

in my life : and I paid nothing for it neither, but 
was paid for my learning. 7 


BARD. Out, alas, sir ! cozenage ! meer cozenage 1 
HOST. Where be my horses ? speak well of them, 

BARD. Run away with the cozeners : for so soon 
as I came beyond Eton, they threw me off, from 
behind one of them, in a slough of mire ; and set 
spurs, and away, like three German devils, three 
Doctor Faustuses. 8 

HOST. They are gone but to meet the duke, 
villain : do not say, they be fled ; Germans are 
honest men. 

Enter Sir HUGH EVANS. 

EVA. Where is mine host ? 
HOST. What is the matter, sir ? 

EVA. Have a care of your entertainments : there 
is a friend of mine come to town, tells me, there 
is three couzin germans, that has cozened all the 

7 1 paid nothing for it neither, but taas paid for my 

learning.'} He alludes to the beating which he had just re- 
ceived. The same play on words occurs in Cymbeline, Act V: 
" sorry you have paid too much, and sorry that you are paid 
too much." STEEVEMS. 

To pay, in our author's time, often signified to beat. So, 
in King Henry IV. P. I : " seven of the eleven I paid." 


8 like three German devils, three Doctor Faustuses.] 

John Faust, commonly called Doctor Faustus, was a German. 

Marlow's play on this subject had sufficiently familiarized 
Bardolph's simile to our author's audience. STEEVENS. 


hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, 
of horses and money. I tell you for good-will, 
look you: you are wise, and full of gibes and 
vlouting-stogs ; and 'tis not convenient you should 
be cozened : Fare you well. [Exit. 

Enter Doctor CAIUS. 

CAIUS. Vere is mine Host de Jarterre ? 

HOST. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, and 
doubtful dilemma. 

CAIUS. I cannot tell vat is dat : But it is tell-a 
me, dat you make grand preparation for a duke de 
Jarmany: by my trot, dere is no duke, dat de court 
is know to come : I tell you for good vill : adieu. 


HOST. Hue and cry, villain, go : assist me, 
knight ; I am undone : fly, run, hue and cry, 
villain ! I am undone ! 

[Exeunt Host and BARDOLPH. 

FAL. I would, all the world might be cozened ; 
for I have been cozened, and beaten too. If it 
should come to the ear of the court, how I have 
been transformed, and how r my transformation hath 
been washed and cudgeled, they would melt me out 
of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermen's 
boots with me ; I warrant, they would whip me 
with their fine wits, till I were as crest-fallen as a 
dried pear. 9 I never prospered since I foreswore 

9 crest-fallen as a dried pear.] To ascertain the pro- 
priety of this similitude, it may be observed that pears, when 
they are dried, become flat, and lose the erect and oblong form 
that, in their natural state, distinguishes them from apples. 


sc. v. OF WINDSOR. 187 

myself at primero. 1 Well, if my wind were but 
long enough to say my prayers, 2 1 would repent. 

Enter Mistress QUICKLY. 

Now ! whence come you ? 

QUICK. From the two parties, forsooth. 

FAL. The devil take one party, and his dam the 
other, and so they shall be both bestowed ! I have 

1 primero.] A game at cards. JOHNSON. 

Primero was in Shakspeare's time the fashionable game. In 
the Earl of Northumberland's letters about the powder plot, 
Jose. Percy was playing at primero on Sunday, when his uncle, 
the conspirator, called on him at Essex House. This game is 
again mentioned in our author's Henry VIII. PERCY. 

" Primero and primavista, two games of cards. Primum et 
primum visum, that is, first, and first scene, because he that can 
show such an order of cardes, wins the game." See Minsheu's 
DICT. 1617. REED. 

In the Sydney Papers, Vol. II. p. 83, is the following account 
of an altercation that happened between our poet's generous 
patron, and one Willoughby, at this game : " The quarrel of 
my Lord Southampton to Ambrose Willoughby grew upon this: 
That he, with Sir Walter Rawley and Mr. Parker, being at pri- 
mero in the presence-chamber, the queen was gone to bed; and 
he being there, as squire of the body, desired him to give over. 
Soon after he spoke to them againe, that if they would not leave, 
he would call in the guard to pull down the bord ; which Sir 
Walter Rawley seeing, put up his money, and went his wayes ; 
but my Lord Southampton took exceptions at hym, and told 
hym, he would remember yt : and so finding hym between the 
Tennis-Court wall and the garden, strooke him ; and W T illoughby 
pull'd of some of his lockes." This happened in the beginning 
of 1508. MALONE. 

The manner of playing at this game may be seen in an Epi- 
gram quoted in Dodsley 's Collection of Old Plays, Vol. V. p. 1 t>8, 
edit. 1/SO. See also Vol. X. p. 368, and Vol. XII. p. 396. REED. 

2 to say my prayers^] These words were restored from 

the early quarto by Mr. Pope. They were probably omitted in 
the folio on account of the Stat 3 Jac. I. ch. 21. MALONE. 


suffered more for their sakes, more, than the vil- 
lainous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to 

QUICK. And have not they suffered ? Yes, I war- 
rant; speciously one of them ; mistress Ford, good 
heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot 
see a white spot about her. 

FAL. What tell'st thou me of black and blue ? 
I was beaten myself into all the colours of the 
rainbow ; and I was like to be apprehended for the 
witch of Brentford; but that my admirable dex- 
terity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of an 
old woman, 3 deliver'd me, the knave constable had 
set me i 5 the stocks, i* the common stocks, for a 

QUICK. Sir, let me speak with you in your cham- 
ber : you shall hear how things go ; and, I war- 

3 action of an old woman,'] What ! was it any dexterity 

of wit in Sir John Falstaff to counterfeit the action of an old 
woman, in order to escape being apprehended for a witch? 
Surely, one would imagine, this was the readiest means to bring 
him into such a scrape : for none but old women have ever been 
suspected of being ivitches. The text must certainly be restored 
a ivood woman, a crazy, frantick woman; one too wild, and 
silly, and unmeaning, to have either the malice or mischievous 
subtlety of a witch in her. THEOBALD. 

This emendation is received by Sir Thomas Hanmer, but re- 
jected by Dr. Warburton. To me it appears reasonable enough. 


I am not certain that this change is necessary. Falstaff, by 
counterfeiting such weakness and infirmity, as would naturally 
be pitied in an old woman, averted the punishment to which he 
would otherwise have been subjected, on the supposition that he 
was a witch. STEEVENS. 

The reading of the old copy is fully supported by what Fal- 
Btaff says afterwards to Ford : " I went to her, Master Brook, 
as you see, like a poor old man ; but I came from her, Master 
Brook, like a poor old woman." MALONE. 

so. vi. OF WINDSOR. 189 

rant, to your content. Here is a letter will say 
somewhat. Good hearts, what ado here is to bring 
you together ! Sure, one of you does not serve 
heaven well, 4 that you are so crossed. 

FAL. Come up into my chamber. [Exeunt. 


Another Room in the Garter Inn. 
Enter FENTON and Host. 

HOST. Master Fenton, talk not to me ; my mind 
is heavy, I will give over all. 

JF!EA T :r.Yethearmespeak: Assistme in my purpose, 
And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee 
A hundred pound in gold, more than your loss. 

HOST. I will hear you, master Fenton ; and I 
will, at the least, keep your counsel. 

FENT. From time to time I have acquainted you 
With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page ; 
Who, mutually, hath answer'd my affection 
(So far forth as herself might be her chooser,) 
Even to my wish : I have a letter from her 
Of such contents as you will wonder at ; 
The mirth whereof 5 so larded with my matter, 

4 Sure, one of you does not serve heaven tvell, &c.] The 
great fault of this play is the frequency of expressions so pro- 
fane, that no necessity of preserving character can justify them. 
There are laws of higher authority than those of criticism. 


3 The mirth whereof ] Thus the old copy. Mr. Pope and 
all the subsequent editors read The mirth ivhereqf's so larded, 
&c. but the old reading is the true one, and the phraseology that 


That neither, singly, can be manifested, 
Without the show of both ; wherein fat Falstaff 
Hath a great scene : 6 the image of the jest 7 

[Showing the letter. 

I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine host: 
To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and one, 
Must my sweet Nan present the fairy queen ; 
The purpose why, is here ; 8 in which disguise, 

of Shakspeare's age. Whereof was formerly used as we now use 
thereof; " the mirth thereof being so larded," &c. So, in 
Mount Tabor, or Private Exercises of a Penitent Sinner, 8vo. 
J63Q: " In the mean time [they] closely conveyed under the 
cloaths wherewithal he was covered, a vizard, like a swine'g 
snout, upon his face, with three wire chains fastened thereunto, 
the other end 'whereof being holden severally by those three 
ladies ; who fall to singing again," &c. MALONE. 

6 \vhereinfat Falstajf 

Hath a great scene :] The first folio reads : 

" Without the show of both : fat Falstaff," &c. 
I have supplied the word that was probably omitted at the 
press, from the early quarto, where, in the corresponding place, 
we find * 

" Wherein fat Falstaff hath a mighty scare \scene~\" 
The editor of the second folio, to supply the metre, arbitrarily 

" Without the shew of both : fat Sir John Falstaff." 


7 the image of the jest ] Image is representation. So, 

in K. Richard III : 

" And liv'd by looking on his images.'" 

Again, in Measure for Measure : " The image of it gives 
me content already." STEEVENS. 

These words allude to a custom still in use, of hanging out 
painted representations of shows. 
So, in Bussy d'Ambois: 

" like a monster 

" Kept onely to show men for goddesse money : 
" That false hagge often paints him in her cloth 
" Ten times more monstrous than he is in troth." 


* is here ,-] i. e. in the letter. STEEVENS. 

sc. vi. OF WINDSOR. 191 

While other jests are something rank on foot, 9 

Her father hath commanded her to slip 

Away with Slender, and with him at Eton 

Immediately to marry : she hath consented : 

Now, sir, 

Her mother, even strong against that match, 1 

And firm for doctor Caius, hath appointed 

That he shall likewise shuffle her away, 

While other sports are tasking of their minds, 8 

And at the deanery, where a priest attends, 

Straight marry her : to this her mother's plot 

She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath 

Made promise to the doctor ; Now, thus it rests: 

Her father means she shall be all in white ; 

And in that habit, when Slender sees his time 

To take her by the hand, and bid her go, 

She shall go with him : her mother hath intended, 

The better to denote 3 her to the doctor, 

9 While other jests are something rank on footj] i. e. while 
they are hotly pursuing other merriment of their own. 


1 even strong against that match,"] Thus the old copies. 

The modern editors read ever, but perhaps without necessity. 
Even strong, is as strong, "with a similar degree of strength. 
So, in Hamlet, " even Christian" isjelloiv Christian. 


~ tasking of their minds,'] So, in K. Henry V : 

" some things of weight 

" That task our thoughts concerning us and France." 


' to denote ] In the MSS. of our author's age n and 

u were formed so very much alike, that they are scarcely dis- 
tinguishable. Hence it was, that in the old copies of these plays 
one of these letters is frequently put for the other. From the 
cause assigned, or from an accidental inversion of the letter n at 
the press, the first folio in the present instance reads denote, 
u being constantly employed in that copy instead of v. The 
same mistake has happened in several other places. Thus, in 


(For they must all be mask'd and vizarded,) 
That, quaint in green, 4 she shall be loose enrob'd, 
With ribbands pendant, flaring 'bout her head ; 
And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe, 
To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token, 
The maid hath given consent to go with him. 

HOST. Which means she to deceive ? father or 
mother ? 

PENT. Both, my good host, to go along with me : 
And here it rests, that you'll procure the vicar 
To stay for me at church, 'twixt twelve and one, 
And, in the lawful name of marrying, 
To give our hearts united ceremony. 

Much Ado about Nothing, 1623, we find, " he is turu'd ortho- 
grapher," instead of turned. Again, in Othello: " to the con- 
templation, mark, and denotement of her parts," instead of de- 
notement. Again, in King John : This expeditious charge, in- 
stead of expedition's. Again, ibid: involuerable for invulnerable. 
Again, in Hamlet, 1005, we meet with this very word put by art 
error of the press for denote: 

" Together with all forms, modes, shapes of grief, 

" That can deuote me truly." 

The present emendation, which was suggested by Mr. Stee- 
vens, is fully supported by a subsequent passage, quoted by him : 
" the white will decipher her well enough." MALONE. 

4 quaint in green,~\ may mean fantastically drest in 

green. So, in Milton's Masque at Ludlow Castle: 

" lest the place, 

" And my quaint habits, breed astonishment." 
Quaintness, however, was anciently used to signify graceful- 
ness. So, in Greene's Dialogue between a He and She Coney- 
Catcher, 1592 : " I began to think what a handsome man he 
was, and wished that he would come and take a night's lodging 
with me, sitting in a dump to think of the quaintness of his 
personage." In The Tuo Gentlemen of Verona, Act III. sc. i. 
quaintly is used for ingeniously: 

" a ladder quaintly made of cords." STEEVENS. 

In Daniel's Sonnets, 15Q4, it is used for fantastick: 

" Prayers prevail not with a quaint disdayne." MALONE. 


HOST. Well, husband your device ; I'll to the 

vicar : 
Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest. 

PENT. So shall I evermore be bound to thee ; 
Besides, I'll make a present recompense. \_Exeuni. 


A Room in the Garter Inn. 

FAL. Pr'ythee, no more prattling ; go. I'll 

hold : 5 This is the third time ; I hope, good luck 
lies in odd numbers. Away, go ; they say, there is 
divinity in odd numbers, 6 either in nativity, chance, 
or death* Away. 

QUICK. I'll provide you a chain ; and I'll do 
what I can to get you a pair of horns. 

FAL. Away, I say; time wears: hold up your 
head, and mince. 7 [Exit Mrs. QUICKLY. 

1 Til hold :] I suppose he means I'll keep the appoint- 
ment. Or he may mean I'll believe. So, in K. Henry VIII: 
" Did you not of late days hear," &c. " Yes, but held it not." 


6 they say, there is divinity in odd numbers,] Alluding 

to the Roman adage 

numero dens impare gaudet. Virgil, Eel. viii. 


7 hold up your head, and mince.] To mince is to walk 

with affected delicacy. So, in The Merchant of Venice : 

turn two mincing steps 

" Into a manly stride." STEEVENS. 
VOL. V. O 


Enter FORD. 

How now, master Brook ? Master Brook, the 
matter will be known to-night, or never. Be you 
in the Park about midnight, at Herne's oak, and 
you shall see wonders. 

FORD. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as 
you told me you had appointed ? 

FAL. I went to her, master Brook, as you see, 
like a poor old man : but I came from her, master 
Brook, like a poor old woman. That same knave, 
Ford her husband, hath the finest mad devil of 
jealousy in him, master Brook, that ever governed 
frenzy. I will tell you. He beat me grievously, 
in the shape of a woman ; for in the shape of man, 
master Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaver's 
beam ; because I know also, life is a shuttle. 8 I am 
in haste ; go along with me ; I'll tell you all, mas- 
ter Brook. Since I plucked geese, played truant, 
and whipped top, I knew not what it was to be 
beaten, till lately. Follow me : I'll tell you strange 
things of this knave Ford : on whom to-night I 
will be revenged, and I will deliver his wife into 
your hand. Follow : Strange things in hand, 
master Brook ! follow. \_Exeunt. 

9 because I knoiv also, life is a shuttle.] An allusion to 

the sixth verse of the seventh chapter of the Book of Job : " My 
days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle," &c. STEEVENS. 

9 Since /plucked geese,] To strip a living goose of his 

feathers, was formerly an act of puerile barbarity. STEEVENS. 

sc. ir. OF WINDSOR. 195 


Windsor Park. 

PAGE. Come, come ; we'll couch i* the castle- 
ditch, till we see the light of our fairies. Remem- 
ber, son Slender, my daughter. 1 

SLEN. Ay, forsooth ; I have spoke with her, and 
we have a nay-word, 2 how to know one another. 
I come to her in white, and cry, mum ; she cries, 
budget ; 3 and by that we know one another. 

SHAL. That's good too : but what needs either 
your mum, or her budget? the white will decipher 
her well enough. It hath struck ten o'clock. 

PAGE. The night is dark ; light and spirits will 
become it well. Heaven prosper our sport ! No 
man means evil but the devil, 4 and we shall know 
him by his horns. Let's away ; follow me. 


1 -???^ daughter.] The word daughter was inadvertently 

omitted in the first folio. The emendation was made by the 
editor of the second. MALONE. 

2 a nay-tun rd,~\ i.e. a watch-word. Mrs. Quickly has 

already used it in this sense. STEEVEXS. 

3 mum ; she cries, budget ;] These words appear to have 

l>een in common use before the time of our author. " And now 
if a man call them to accomptes, and aske the cause of al these 
their tragical and cruel doings, he shall have a short answer with 
mum budget, except they will peradventure allege this," &c. 
Oration against the unlawful Insurrections of the Protestants, 
bl. 1. 8vo. 1(515, sign. C 8. REED. 

4 No man means evil but the devil,] This is a double 

blunder ; for some, of whom this was spoke, were women. 
We should read then, No ONE means. WARBURTON. 

o 2 



The Street in Windsor. 
Enter Mrs. PAGE, Mrs. FORD, and Dr. CAIUS. 

MRS. PAGE. Master doctor, my daughter is in 

freen : when you see your time, take her by the 
and, away with her to the deanery, and despatch 
it quickly : Go before into the park ; we two must 
go together. 

CAIUS. I know vat I have to do ; Adieu. 

MRS. PAGE. Fare you well, sir. \_Exit CAIUS.] 
My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse 
of Falstaff, as he will chafe at the doctor's marry- 
ing my daughter : but 'tis no matter ; better a 
little chiding, than a great deal of heart-break. 

MRS. FORD. Where is Nan now, and her troop 
of fairies ? and the Welch devil, Hugh ? 3 

There is no blunder. In the ancient interludes and moralities, 
the beings of supreme power, excellence, or depravity, are oc- 
casionally styled men. So, in Much Ado about Nothing, Dog- 
berry says : " God's a good man" Again, in an Epitaph, part 
of which has been borrowed as an absurd one, by Mr. Pope and 
his associates, who were not very well acquainted with ancient 
phraseology : 

" Do all we can, 
** Death is a man 

" That never spareth none." 

Again, in Jeronimo, or The First Part of the Spanish Tragedy, 

*' You're the last man I thought on, save the devil." 


s - and the Welch devil, Hugh?] The former impressions 
read the Welch devil, Herne ? But Falstaff was to represent 
Herne, and he was no Welchman. Where was the attention 
or sagacity of our editors, not to observe that Mrs. Ford is en- 

sc. m OF WINDSOR. 197 

MRS. PAGE. They are all couched in a pit hard 
by Herne's oak, 6 with obscured lights ; which, at 
the very instant of FalstafPs and our meeting, they 
will at once display to the night. 

MRS. FORD. That cannot choose but amaze him. 

MRS. PAGE. If he be not amazed, he will be 
mocked ; if he be amazed, he will every way be 

MRS. FORD. We'll betray him finely. 

MRS. PAGE. Against such lewdsters, and their 

Those that betray them do no treachery. 

MRS. FORD. The hour draws on ; To the oak, 
to the oak ! \JExeunt. 


Windsor Park. 

Enter Sir HUGH EVANS, and Fairies. 

EVA. Trib, trib, fairies ; come j and remember 
your parts : be pold, I pray you ; follow me into 
the pit ; and when I give the watch-'ords, do as I 
pid you ; Come, come j trib, trib. [Exeunt. 

quiring for [Sir Hugh~\ Evans by the name of the Welch devil ? 
Dr. Thirlby likewise discovered the blunder of this passage. 


I suppose only the letter H. was set down in the MS. and 
therefore, instead of Hugh, (which seems to be the true read- 
ing,) the editors substituted Herne. STEEVENS. 

So, afterwards : " Well said, fairy Hugh." MALONE. 

6 in a pit hard by Herne's oak,] An oak, which may 

be that alluded to by Shakspeare, is still standing close to a pit in 
Windsor forest. It is yet shown as the oak of Herne. STEEVENS. 



j!\ . ,: . 

Another part of the Park. 
Enter FAL STAFF disguised, with a buck's head on. 

FAL. The Windsor bell hath struck twelve ; the 
minute draws on : Now, the hot-blooded gods assist 
me : Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy 
Europa ; love set on thy horns. O powerful love ! 
that, in some respects, makes a beast a man ; in 
some other, a man a beast. You were also, Jupiter, 
a swan, for the love of Leda ;- O, omnipotent 
love ! how near the god drew to the complexion of 
a goose ? A fault done first in the form of a 
beast ; O Jove, a beastly fault ! and then another 
fault in the semblance of a fowl ; think on't, Jove ; 
a foul fault. When gods have hot backs, what 
shall poor men do ? 7 For me, I am here a Wind- 
sor stag ; and the fattest, I think, i' the forest : Send 
me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to 
piss my tallow ? 8 Who comes here ? my doe ? 

7 When gods have hot backs, what shall poor men do ?~\ 

Shakspeare had perhaps in his thoughts the argument which 
Cherea employed in a similar situation. Ter. Eun. Act III. sc. v : 

" Quia consimilem luserat 

* Jam olim ille ludum, impendio magis animus gaudebat mihi 

* Deum sese in hominem convertisse, atque per alienas tegulas 
' Venisse clanculum per impluvium, fucum factum mulieri. 

' At quern deum ? qui templa cculi summa sonitu concutit. 

* Ego homuncio hoc nonjaccrem ? Ego vero illud ita feci, ac 


A translation of Terence was published in 15Q8. 

The same thought is found in Lyly's Euphues, 1580: " I 
think in those days love was well ratified on earth, when lust 
was so full authorized by the gods in heaven." MALONE. 

8 Send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to 

piss my tallow ?] This, I find, is technical. In Turberville's 

s(\ v. OF WINDSOR. 199 

Enter Mrs. FORD and Mrs. PAGE. 

MRS. FORD. Sir John ? art thou there, my deer ? 
my male deer ? 

FAL. My doe with the black scut ? Let the sky 
rain potatoes ; let it thunder to the tune of Green 
Sleeves ; hail kissing-comfits, and snow eringoes ; 
let there Come a tempest of provocation, 9 I will 
shelter me here. [Embracing her. 

Booke of Hunting, 1575: " During the time of their rut, the 
harts live with small sustenance. The red mushroome helpeth 
well to make them pysse their greace, they are then in so vehe- 
ment heate," &c. FARMER. 

In Ray's Collection of Proverbs, the phrase is yet further ex- 
plained : " He has piss'd his tallow. This is spoken of bucks 
who grow lean after rutting-time, and may be applied to men." 

The phrase, however, is of French extraction. Jacques de 
Fouilloux in his quarto volume entitled La Venerie, also tells us 
that stags in rutting time live chiefly on large red mushrooms, 
" qui aident fort a leur faire pisser le suif." STEEVENS. 

9 Let the sky rain potatoes ; hail kissing-comfits, and snotv 
eringoes; let there come a tempest of provocation.] Potatoes, 
when they were first introduced in England, were supposed to 
be strong provocatives. See Mr. Collins's note on a passage in 
Troilus and Cressida, Act V. sc. ii. 

Kissing-comfits were sugar-plums, perfumed to make the 
breath sweet. 

Monsieur Le Grand D'Aussi, in his Histoire de la vie privee 
des Franqais, Vol. II. p. 2/3, observes " II y avait aussi de 
petits drageoirs qu'on portait en poche pour avoir, dans le jour, 
de quoi se parfumer la boucfie" 

So, also in Webster's Duchess ofMalfy, 1623 : 

" Sure your pistol holds 

" Nothing but perfumes or kissing coinfits." 

In Swetnan Arraigned, 1620, these confections are called- 
" kissing-causes." " Their very breath is sophisticated with 
amber-pellets, and kissing-causes.^ 

Again, in A Very Woman, by Massinger : 

" Comfits of ambergris to help our kisses." 

For eating these, Queen Mab may be- said, in Romeo and 
Juliet, to plagite their lips with blister^. <j 


MRS. FORD. Mistress Page is come with me ? 

FAL. Divide me like a bribe-buck, 1 each a 
haunch : I will keep my sides to myself, my shoul- 
ders for the fellow of this walk, 2 and my horns I 

Eringoes, like potatoes, were esteemed to be stimulatives.. 
So, (says the late Mr. Henderson,) in Drayton's Polyolbion: 
" Whose root th' eringo is, the reines that doth inflame, 
" So strongly to performe the Cytherean game.'* 

But Shakspeare, very probably, had the following artificial 
tempest in his thoughts, when he put the words on which this 
note is founded into the mouth of Falstaff. 

Holinshed informs us, that in the year 1583, for the enter- 
tainment of Prince Alasco, was performed " a verie statelie tra- 
gedie named Dido, wherein the queen's banket (with ^Eneas' 
narration of the destruction of Troie) was lively described in a 
rnarchpaine patterne, the tempest wherein it hailed small con- 
fectSy rained rose-water, and sneiv an artificial kind of snow, 
all etrange, marvellous and abundant." 

Brantome also, describing an earlier feast given by the Vidam 
of Chartres, says " Au dessert, il y cut un orage artijiciel qui, 
pendant une demie heure entiere, fit tomber une pluie d'eaux 
odorantes, & un grele de dragees." STEEVENS. 

1 Divide me like a bribe-buck,] i. e. (as Mr. Theobald ob- 
serves,) a buck sent for a bribe. He adds, that the old copies, 
mistakingly, read brib'd-buck. STEEVENS. 

Cartwright, in his Love's Convert, has an expression some- 
what similar : 

" Put off your mercer with y our fee-buck for that season." 


8 my shoulders for the fellow of this walk,] Who the 

fellow is, or why he keeps his shoulders for him, I do not un- 
derstand. JOHNSON. 

A walk is that district in a forest, to which the jurisdiction of 
a particular keeper extends. So, in Lodge's Rosalynde, 15Q2 : 
" Tell me, forester, under whom maintainest thou thy ivalke?" 


To the keeper the shoulders and humbles belong as a perquisite. 

So, in Friar Bacon, and Friar Bungay, 15QQ : 

" Butter and cheese, and humbles of a deer, . 
" Such as poor keepers have within their lodge." 

sc. y. OF WINDSOR. 201 

bequeath your husbands. Am I a woodman ? 3 ha ! 
Speak I like Herne the hunter ? Why, now is 
Cupid a child of conscience ; he makes restitution. 
As I am a true spirit, welcome ! [Noise within. 

MRS. PAGE. Alas ! what noise ? 
MRS. FORD. Heaven forgive our sins ! 
FAL. What should this be ? 


__ > Away, away. [They run off. 


FAL. I think, the devil will not have me damned, 
lest the oil that is in me should set hell on fire ; 
he would never else cross me thus. 

Again, in Holinshed, 1586, Vol. I. p. 204 : " The keeper, by 

a custom hath the skin, head, umbles, chine and shoulders" 


! a ivoodmanf] A woodman (says Mr. Reed, in a note 

on Measure for Measure, Act IV. sc. iii.) was an attendant on 
the officer, called Forrester. See Manwood on 'the Forest Latvs t 
4to. l6l5, p. 46. It is here, however, used in a wanton sense, 
for one who chooses female game as the objects of his 

In its primitive 'sense I find it employed in an ancient MS. 
entitled The Boke of Htmtyng, that is cleped Mayster of Game: 
" And wondre ye not though I sey wodemanly, for it is a poynt 
of a ivodemannys crafte. And though it be wele fittyng to an 
hunter to kun do it, yet natheles it longeth more to a tvodeman- 
nys crafte," &c. A woodman's calling is not very accurately 
defined by any author I have met with. STEEVENS. 


Enter Sir HUGH EVANS, like a satyr; Mrs. 
Fairy Queen, attended by her brotfier and others, 
dressed like fairies, with waxen tapers on their 

QUICK. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white, 
You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night, 
You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny, 5 
Attend your office, and your quality. 6 

4 This stage-direction I have formed on that of the old quarto, 
corrected by such circumstances as the poet introduced when he 
new-modelled his play. In the folio there is no direction what- 
soever. Mrs. Quickly and Pistol seem to have been but ill suited 
to the delivery of the speeches here attributed to them ; nor are 
either of those personages named by Ford in a former scene, 
where the intended plot against Falstaff is mentioned. It is 
highly probable, (as a modern editor has observed,) that the 
performer who had represented Pistol, was afterwards, from 
necessity, employed among the fairies ; and that his name thus 
crept into the copies. He here represents Puck, a part which 
in the old quarto is given to Sir Hugh. The introduction of 
Mrs. Quickly, however, cannot be accounted for in the same 
manner; for in the first sketch in quarto, she is particularly 
described as the Queen of the Fairies ; a part which our author 
afterwards allotted to Anne Page. MALONE. 

5 You orphan-heirs ofjixed destiny,] But why orphan-heirs ? 
Destiny, whom they succeeded, was yet in being. Doubtless 
the poet wrote : 

" You ouphen heirs ofjixed destiny" 

i. e. you elves, who minister, and succeed in some of the works 
of destiny. They are called in this play, both before and after- 
wards, ouphes; here ouplien; en being the plural termination of 
Saxon nouns. For the word is from the Saxon Alrienne, lamue, 
dcemones. Or it may be understood to be an adjective, as wooden, 
woollen, golden, &c. WARBURTON. 

Dr. Warburton corrects orphan to ouphen; and not without 
plausibility, as the word ouphes occurs both before and after- 
wards. But, I fancy, in acquiescence to the vulgar doctrine, 
the address in this line is to a part of the troop, as mortals by 
birth, but adopted by the fairies : orphans in respect of their 

sc. r. OF WINDSOR. 203 

Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy o-yes. 

PIST. Elves, list your names ; silence, you airy 
toys. 7 

Cricket, to Windsor chimnies shalt thou leap : 
Where fires thou find'st unrak'd, 8 and hearths un- 


There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry : 9 
Our radiant queen hates sluts, and sluttery. 

real parents, and now only dependent on destiny herself. A few 
lines from Spenser will sufficiently illustrate this passage : 
" The man whom heavens have ordaynd to bee 

" The spouse of Britomart is ArthegalL 
" He wonneth in the land of Fayeree, 

" Yet is no Fary borne, ne sib at all 
" To elfes, but sprong of seed terrestriall, 

" And whilome by false Paries stolen away, 
" Whiles yet in infant cradle he did crall," &c. 

Edit. 1590. B. III. st. 26. FARMER. 

Dr. Warburton objects to their being heirs to Destiny, who 
was still in being. But Shakspeare, I believe, uses heirs, with 
his usual laxity, for children. So, to inherit is used in the sense 
of to possess. MALONE. 

quality.'] i. e. fellowship. See The Tempest : " Ariel, 

and all his quality." STEEVENS. 

7 Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy o-yes. 

Pist. Elves, list your names ; silence, you airy toys.~\ These 
two lines were certainly intended to rhyme together, as the pre- 
ceding and subsequent couplets do ; and accordingly, in the old 
editions, the final words of each line are printed, oyes and toyes. 
This, therefore, is a striking instance of the inconvenience, which 
has arisen from modernizing the orthography of Shakspeare. 


8 Where fires thou find'st unrak'd,3 i. e. unmade up, by co- 
vering them with fuel, so- that they may be found alight in the 
morning. This phrase is still current in several of our midland 
counties. So, in Chapman's version of the sixteenth Book of 
Homer's Odyssey : 

" still rake up all thy fire 

" In fair cool words : " STEEVENS. 

as bilberry :] The bilberry is the whortleberry. Fai- 


FAL. They are fairies ; he, that speaks to them, 

shall die : 

I'll wink and couch : No man their works must eye. 

[_Lies down upon his face. 

EVA. Where's Bede ? ! Go you, and where you 

find a maid, 

That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said, 
Raise up the organs of her fantasy, 2 
Sleep she as sound as careless infancy ; 

ries were always supposed to have a strong aversion to sluttery. 

Thus, in the old song of Robin Good-Fellow. See Dr. Percy's 

Reliques, &c. Vol. Ill : 

" When house or hearth doth sluttish lye, 
" I pinch the maidens black and blue," &c, 


1 Evans. Where's Bede ? #c.] Thus the first folio. The 
quartos Pead. It is remarkable that, throughout this metrical 
business, Sir Hugh appears to drop his Welch pronunciation, 
though he resumes it as soon as he speaks in his own character. 
As Falstaff, however, supposes him to be a Welch Fairy, his 
peculiarity of utterance must have been preserved on the stage, 
though it be not distinguished in the printed copies. STEEVENS. 

8 Go you, and where you find a maid, 

Raise up the organs of her fantasy ;] The sense of this speech 
is that she, who had performed her religious duties, should be 
secure against the illusion of fancy ; and have her slepp, like that 
of infancy, undisturbed by disordered dreams. This was then 
the popular opinion, that evil spirits had a power over the fancy; 
and, by that means, could inspire wicked dreams into those who, 
on their going to sleep, had not recommended themselves to the 
protection of heaven. So Shakspeare makes Imogen, on her ly- 
ing down, say : 

" From fairies, and the tempters of the night, 

" Guard me, beseech ye!" 

As this is the sense, let us see how the common reading ex- 
presses it: 

Raise up the organs of her fantasy ; 

i. e. inflame her imagination with sensual ideas ; which is just 
the contrary to what the poet would have the speaker say. We 
cannot therefore but conclude he wrote : 

REIN up the organs of her fantasy ; 

sc. r. OF WINDSOR, 205 

But those as sleep, and think not on their sins, 
Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides, and 

QUICK. About, about ; 
Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out : 

i. e. curb them, tka^she be no more disturbed by irregular ima- 
ginations, than children in their sleep. For he adds immediately : 

Sleep she as sound as careless infancy. 
So, in The Tempest: 

" Do not give dalliance 

ct Too much the rein." 
And, in Measure for Measure: 

" I give my sensual race the rein." 

To give the rein, being just the contrary to rein up. The srone 
thought he has again in Macbeth: 

" Merciful powers ! 

" Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature 

" Gives way to in repose." WARBURTON. 

This is highly plausible ; and yet, raise up the organs of her 
fantasy, may mean, elevate her ideas above sensuality, exalt them 
to the noblest contemplation. 

Mr. Malone supposes the sense of the passage, collectively 
taken, to be as follows. STEEVENS. 

Go you, and wherever you find a maid asleep, that hath 
thrice prayed to the Deity, though, in consequence of her inno- 
cence, she sleep as soundly as an infant, elevate her fancy, and 
amuse her tranquil mind with some delightful vision ; but those 
whom you find asleep, without having previously thought on 
their sins, and prayed to heaven for forgiveness, pinch, &c. It 
should be remembered that those persons who sleep very soundly, 
seldom dream. Hence the injunction to " raise up the organs 
of her fantasy,'' " Sleep she," &c. i. e. though she sleep as 
sound, &c. 

The fantasies with which the mind of the virtuous maiden is 
to be amused, are the reverse of those with which Oberon dis- 
turbs Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream : 
" There sleeps Titania ; 
" With the juice of this I'll streak her eyes, 
" And make her full of hateful fantasies" 

Dr. Warburton, who appears to me to have totally misunder- 
stood this pavssage, reads Rein up, &c. in which he has been 
followed, in my opinion too hastily, by the subsequent editors. 



Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room ; 3 
That it may stand till the perpetual doom, 
In state as wholesome, 4 as in state 'tis fit ; 
Worthy the owner, and the owner it. 5 
The several chairs of order look you scour 
With juice of balm, 6 and every precious flower : 
Each fair instalment, coat, and several crest, 
With loyal blazon, evermore be blest ! 
And nightly, meadow-fairies, look, you sing, 
Like to the Garter's compass, in a ring : 
The expressure that it bears, green let it be, 
More fertile-fresh than all the field to see ; 

on every sacred room ;] See Chaucer's Cant. Tales, 

v. 3482, edit. Tyrwhitt: " On four halves of the hous aboute," 
&c. MALONE. 

4 In state as wholesome,] Wholesome here signifies integer. 
He wishes the castle may stand in its present state of perfection, 
which the following words plainly show : 

as in state 'tis Jit. WARBURTON. 

* Worthy the otvner, and the oiKner it.'] And cannot be the 
true reading. The context will not allow it ; and his court to 
Queen Elizabeth directs us to another: 
as the owner it. 

For, sure, he had more address than to content himself with 
wishing a thing to be, which his complaisance must suppose 
actually was, namely, the worth of the owner. WARBURTOX. 

Surely this change is unnecessary. The fairy wishes that the 
castle and its owner, till the day of doom, may be worthy of each 
other. Queen Elizabeth's" worth was not devolvable, as we have 
seen by the conduct of her foolish successor. The prayer of the 
fairy is therefore sufficiently reasonable and intelligible without 
alteration. STEEVENS. 

6 The several chairs of order look you scour 

With juice of balm, &c.] It was an article of our ancient 
luxury, to rub tables, &c. with aromatic herbs. Thus, in the 
Story of Baucis and Philemon, Ovid. Met. VIII : 
" mensam 

aequatam Meniha abstersere virenti." 

Pliny informs us, that the Romans did the same, to drive away 
evil spirits. STEEVENS. 

sc. v. OF WINDSOR. 207 

And, Hony soit qui mat y pense, write, 
In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue, and white ; 
Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery, 7 
Buckled below fair knight-hood's bending knee 
Fairies use flowers for their charactery. 8 

te ; 

7 In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue> and "white; 

Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery,] These lines are 
most miserably corrupted. In the words Flowers purple, blue 
and white the purple is left uncompared. To remedy this, the 
editors, who seem to have been sensible of the imperfection of 
the comparison, read AND rich embroidery ; that is, according 
to them, as the blue and white flowers are compared to sapphire 
and pearl, the purple is compared to rich embroidery. Thus, 
instead of mending one false step, they have made two, by; 
bringing sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery, under one pre- 
dicament. The lines were wrote thus by the poet : 

In emerald titfts, Jlowers purfled, blue, and white; 

Like sapphire, pearl, in rich embroidery. 

i. e. let there be blue and white flowers worked on the green- 
sward, like sapphire and pearl in rich embroidery. To purfle, 
is to over-lay with tinsel, gold thread, &c. so our ancestors called 
a certain lace of this kind of work a purfling-lace. 'Tis from the 
French pourfiler. So, Spenser : 

" she was yclad, 

" All in a silken camus, lilly white, 

" Purjied upon, with many a folded plight." 
The change of and into in, in the second verse, is necessary. 
For flowers worked, or purfte.d in the grass, were not like sap- 
phire and pearl simply, but sapphire and pearl in embroidery. 
How the corrupt reading and was introduced into the text, we 
have shown above. WARBURTON. 

Whoever is convinced by Dr. Warburton's note, will show he 
has very little studied the manner of his author, whose splendid 
incorrectness in this instance, as in some others, is surely pre- 
ferable to the insipid regularity proposed in its room. STEEVENS. 

8 character^.'] For the matter with which they make 

letters. JOHNSON*. 

So, in Julius Caesar : 

" All the character^ of my sad brows." 
i. e. all that seems to be written on them. 

Again, in Ovid's Banquet of Sence, by Chapman, 15)5 : 
'* Wherein was writ in sable charcctry." STKEVEVS. 


Away ; disperse : But, till 'tis one o'clock, 
Our dance of custom, round about the oak 
Of Herne the hunter, let us not forget. 

EVA. Pray you, lock hand in hand ; 9 yourselves 

in order set : 

And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be, 
To guide our measure round about the tree. 
But, stay ; I smell a man of middle earth. l 

Bullokar, in his English Expositor improved by R. Browne, 
12mo. says that character y is *' a writing by characters in 
strange marks." In 1588 was printed " Character^, an arte 
of shorte, swift, and secrete writing, by character. Invented 
by Timothie Brighte, Doctor of Phisike." This seems to have 
been the first book upon short-hand writing printed in England. 


9 lock hand in hand ;] The metre requires us to read 

" lock hand.s." Thus Milton, who perhaps had this passage in 
his mind, when he makes Comus say : 

" Come, knit hands, and beat the ground 
" In a light fantastic round." STEEVENS. 

1 of middle earth.] Spirits are supposed to inhabit the 

ethereal regions, and fairies to dwell under ground ; men there- 
fore are in a middle station. JOHNSON. 

So, in the ancient metrical romance of Syr Guy of Warwick , 
bl. 1. no date : 

" And win the fayrest mayde of middle erde." 
Again, in Govver, DC Confessions Amantis, fol. 26 : 
" Adam, for pride lost his price 
" In my dell crth:' 

Again, in the MSS. called William and the Werwolf, in the 
library of King's College, Cambridge, p. 15 : 

" And saide God that madest man, and all middcl 


Ruddiman, the learned compiler of the Glossary to Gawin 
Douglas's Translation of the TEncid, affords the following illus- 
tration of this contested phrase : " It is yet in use in the North 
of Scotland among old people, by which we understand this 
earth in which we live, in opposition to the grave : Thus they 
say, There's no man in middle erd in aide to do it, i. e. no man 
alive, or on this earth, and so it is used by our author. But 
the reason is not so easy to come by ; perhaps it is because they 

sc. v. OF WINDSOR. 209 

FAL. Heavens defend me from that Welch 
fairy ! lest he transform me to a piece of cheese ! 

PIST. Vile worm, 2 thou wast o'er-look'd even in 
thy birth. 3 

QUICK. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end : 4 
If he be chaste, the flame will back descend, 
And turn him to no pain ; 5 but if he start, 
It is the flesh of a corrupted heart. 

look upon this life as a middle state (as it is) between Heaven 
and Hell, which last is frequently taken for the grave. Or that 
life is as it were a middle betwixt non-entity, before we are 
born, and death, when we go hence and are no more seen ; as 
life is called a coming into the world, and death a going out of 
it." Again, among the Addenda to the Glossary aforesaid : 
" Myddil erd is borrowed from the A. S. MIDDAN-EARD, MID- 


MIDDAN-EARD, microcosmus" STEEVENS. 

The author of The Remarks says, the phrase signifies neither 
more nor less, than the edrth or world, from its imaginary 
situation in the midst or middle of the Ptolemaic system, and 
has not the least reference to either spirits, or fairies. REED. 

2 Vile worm,'] The old copy reads vild. That vild, which 
so often occurs in these plays, was not an error of the press, but 
the old spelling and the pronunciation of the time, appears 
from these lines of Heywood, in his Pleasant Dialogues and 
Dramas, l6'3/ : 

" EARTH. What goddess, or how sti/l'd? 

" AGE. Age, am I call'd. 

" EARTH. Hence false virago vild.'" MALONE. 

3 o'er-look'd even in thy birth.'] i. e. slighted as soon as 

born. STEEVENS. 

* With trial-Jlre &c.] So, Beaumont and Fletcher, in The 
Faithful Shepherdess : 

" In this flame his finger thrust, 

" Which will burn him if he lust ; 

" But if not, away will turn, 

" As loth unspotted flesh to burn." STEEVENS. 

4 And turn him to no pain ;] This appears to have been the 
common phraseology of our author's time. So again, in The 
Tempest : 

VOL. V. P 


PIST. A trial, come. 

EVA. Come, will this wood take fire ? 

[They burn him with their tapers. 

FAL. Oh, oh, oh ! 

QUICK. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire! 
About him, fairies ; sing a scornful rhyme : 
And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time. 

EVA. It is right 5 indeed 6 he is full of lecheries 
and iniquity. 

SONG. I've on sinful fantasy ! 

1< ye on lust and luxury ! 7 
Lust is but a bloody fire* 
Kindled with unchaste desire, 

" O, my heart bleeds, 

" To think of the teen that I have turned you to." 

Again, in K. Henry VI. P. Ill : 

" Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make, 
" For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects, 
" And all the trouble thou hast turned me to" 
Of this line there is no trace in the original play, on which 

the Third Part of K. Henry VI. was formed. MALONE. 

6 Eva. It is right; indeed &c.] This short speech, which 
is very much in character for Sir Hugh, I have inserted from 
the old quarto, I01;> THEOBALD. 

I have not discarded Mr. Theobald's insertion, though per- 
haps the propriety of it is questionable. STEEVENS. 

7 and luxury !] Ltixunj is here used for incontinence. 

So, in King Lear : " To't luxury, pell-mell, for I lack sol- 
diers." STEEVENS. 

8 Lust is but a bloody fire,] A bloody Jire, means a Jlre in 
the blood. In The Second Part of Henry IV. Act IV. the same 
expression occurs : 

" Led on by bloody youth," &c. 
i. e. sanguine youth. STEEVENS. 

In Sonnets by H. C. [Henry Constable,] 1504, we find the 
same image : 

sc.r. OF WINDSOR. 211 

Fed in heart; whose flames aspire, 

As thoughts do blow them, higher and higher. 

Pinch him, fairies, mutually ; 

Pinch him for his villainy ; 
Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about, 
Till candles, and star-light, and moonshine be out. 

During this song, 9 the fairies pinch Falstaff. 1 Doc- 
tor Caius comes one way, and steals away a fairy 
in green ; Slender another way, and takes off a 
fairy in white; and Fenton comes, and steals 
away Mrs. Anne Page. A noise of hunting is 
made within. All the fairies run away. Fal- 
staff pulls off his buck's head, and rises. 

Enter PAGE, FORD, Mrs. PAGE, and Mrs. FORD. 
They lay hold on him. 

PAGE. Nay, do not fly : I think, we have 

watch'd you now j 
Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn ? 

MRS. PAGE. I pray you, come ; hold up the jest 

no higher : 
Now, good sir John, how like you Windsor wives? 


Lust is ajire, that for an hour or tvvaine 
Giveth a scorching blaze, and then he dies ; 
Love a continual furnace doth maintaine," &c. 
o, in The Tempest : 

the strongest oaths are straw 
To thejire i' the blood." MALONE. 

9 During this song,"] This direction I thought proper to in- 
sert from the old quartos. THEOBALD. 

1 the fairies pinch Falstaff.] So, in Lyly's Endymion, 

15Q1 : "The fairies dance, and, with a song, pinch him." 
And, in his Maid's Metamorphosis, l6CO, they threaten the 
same punishment. STEEVENS. 

P 2 


See you these, husband ? do not these fair yokes 
Become the forest better than the town ? 2 

FORD. Now, sir, who's a cuckold now ? Master 
Brook, Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldly knave ; here 
are his horns, master Brook : And, master Brook, 
he hath enjoyed nothing of Ford's but his buck- 
basket, his cudgel, and twenty pounds of money ; 
which must be paid to master Brook ; 3 his horses 
are arrested for it, master Brook. 

4 See you these, husband? do not these fair yokes 

Become the forest better than the toivn ?] Mrs. Page's 
meaning is this. Seeing the horns ( the types of cuckoldom ) in 
Falstaff's hands, she asks her husband, whether those yokes are 
not more proper in the forest than in the to'wn ; i. e. than in his 
own family. THEOBALD. 

The editor of the second folio changed yoaks to oaks. 


Perhaps, only the printer of the second folio is to blame, for 
the omission of the letter y. STEEVENS. 

I am confident that oaks is the right reading. I agree with 
Theobald that the words, " See you these, husband?" relate to 
the buck's horns ; but what resemblance is there between the 
horns of a buck and a yoak ? \\ hat connection is there between 
a yoak and a forest ? Why, none ; whereas, on the other hand, 
the connection between a forest and an oak is evident ; nor is 
the resemblance less evident between a tree and the branches of 
a buck's horns ; they are indeed called branches from that very 
resemblance ; and the horns of a deer are called in French les 
bois. Though horns are types of cuckoldom, yoaks are not ; 
and surely the types of cuckoldom, whatever they may be, are 
more proper for a town than for a forest. I am surprised that 
the subsequent editors should have adopted an amendment, 
which makes the passage nonsense. M. MASON. 

I have inserted Mr. M. Mason's note, because he appears to 
think it brings conviction with it. Perhaps, however, (as Dr. 
Farmer observes to me,) he was not aware that the extremities 
of yokes for cattle, as still used in several counties of England, 
bend upwards, and rising very high, in shape resemble horns. 


3 to master Brook ;] We ought rather to read with the 
old quarto "which must be paid to master Ford;" for as 

sc. v. OF WINDSOR. 213 

MRS. FORD. Sir John, we have had ill luck ; we 
could never meet. I will never take you for my 
love again, but I will always count you my deer. 

FAL. I do begin to perceive that I am made an 

FORD. Ay, and an ox too ; both the proofs are 

FAL. And these are not fairies ? I was three or 
four times in the thought, they were not fairies : 
and yet the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden sur- 
prize of my powers, drove the grossness of the fop- 
pery into a received belief, in despite of the teeth 
of all rhyme and reason, that they were fairies. 
See now, how wit may be made a Jack-a-lent, 4 
when 'tis upon ill employment ! 

EVA. Sir John FalstaiT, serve Got, and leave 
your desires, and fairies will not pinse you. 

Ford, to mortify Falstaff, addresses him throughout his speech 
by the name of Brook, the describing himself by the same name 
creates a confusion. A modern editor plausibly enough reads 
" which must be paid too, Master Brook ;" but the tirst sketch 
shows that to is right ; for the sentence, as it stands in the 
quarto, will not admit too. MALONE. 

how ivit may be made a Jack-a-lent,] A Jack o' Lent 

appears to have been some puppet which was thrown at in Lent, 
like Shrove-tide cocks. 

So, in the old comedy of Lady Alimony, l6'5Q : 

" throwing cudgels 

" At Jack-a-lents, or Shrove-cocks." 
Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Tamer Tamed : 

_ _ if I forfeit, 

" Make me a Jack o' Lent, and break my shins 

" For untagg'd points, and counters." 

Again, in Ben Jonson's Tale of a Tub : 

" on an Ash-Wednesday, 

" Where thou didst stand six weeks the Jack o' Lent, 

*' For boys to hurl three throws a penny at thee." 



FORD. Well said, fairy Hugh. 

EVA. And leave you your jealousies too, I pray 

FORD. I will neyer mistrust my wife again, till 
thou art able to woo her in good English. 

FAL. Have I laid my brain in the sun, and 
dried it, that it wants matter to prevent so gross 
o'er-reaching as this ? Am I ridden with a Welch 
goat too ? Shall I have a coxcomb of frize ? 5 
'tis time I were choked with a piece of toasted 

EVA. Seese is not good to give putter ; your 
pelly is all putter. 

FAL. Seese and putter ! have I lived to stand at 
the taunt of one that makes fritters of English ? 
This is enough to be the decay of lust and late- 
walking, through the realm. 

MRS. PAGE. Why, sir John, do you think, 
though we would have thrust virtue out of our 
hearts by the head and shoulders, and have given 
ourselves without scruple to hell, that ever the 
devil could have made you our delight ? 

FORD. What, a hodge-pudding ? a bag of flax ? 
MRS. PAGE. A puffed man ? 

PAGE. Old, cold, withered, and of intolerable 
entrails ? 

FORD, And one that is as slanderous as Satan ? 

* a coxcomb of frize ?] i. e. a fool's cap made out of 

Welch materials. Wales was famous for this cloth. So, in A'. 
Edward I, l/K)t): "Enter Lluellin, alias Prince of Wales, &c. 
with swords ami bucklers, -and frieze jerkins." Again: " Enter 
Sussex, c. with a mantle oi' frieze." " my boy shall weare 
a mantle of this country's weaving, to keep him warm." 


sc. v. OF WINDSOR. 215 

PAGE. And as poor as Job ? 
FORD. And as wicked as his wife ?" 

EVA. And given to fornications, and to taverns, 
and sack, and wine, and methegliris, and to drink- 
ings, and swearings, and starings, phbbles and 
prabbles ? 

FAL. Well, I am your theme: you have the start 
of me ; I am dejected ; I am not able to answer 
the Welch flannel : 6 ignorance itself is a plummet 
o'er me : 7 use me as you will. 

6 the Welch flannel ;] The very word is derived from a 

Welch one, so that it is almost unnecessary to add that Jiannel 
was originally the manufacture of Wales. In the old play of 
K. Edward I. \5jy: " Enter Hugh ap David, Guenthian his 
wench mflannel, and Jack his novice." 

Again : 

" Here's a wholesome Welch wench, 

" Lapt in her flannel, as warm as wool." STEEVENS. 

7 ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me :~\ Though this 

be perhaps not unintelligible, yet it is an odd way of confessing 
his dejection. I should wish to read : 

ignorance itself h&& a plume o' me. 

That is, I am so depressed, that ignorance itself plucks me, 
and decks itself with the spoils of my weakne&s. Of the pre- 
sent reading, which is probably right, the meaning may be, I 
am so enfeebled, that ignorance itself weighs me down and 
oppresses me. JOHNSON. 

" Ignorance itself, says Falstaff, is a plummet o'er me.'* If 
any alteration be necessary, I think, " Ignorance itself is a 
planet o'er me," would have a chance to be right. Thus Boba- 
dil excuses his cowardice: " Sure I was struck v\ ith a. planet, 
for I had no power to touch my weapon.'" FARMER. 

As Mr. M. Mason observes, there is a passage in this very 
play which tends to support Dr. Farmer's amendment. 

" I will awe him with my cudgel: it shall hang like a meteor 
o'er the cuckold's horns : Master Brook, thou shalt know, I 
will predominate over the peasant." 

Dr. Farmer might also have countenanced his conjecture by 


FORD. Marry, sir, we'll bring you to Windsor, to 
one master Brook, that you have cozened of money, 
to whom you should have been a pander : over and 
above that you have suffered, I think, to repay that 
money will be a biting affliction. 

MRS. FORD. Nay, husband, 8 let that go to make 

amends : 
Forgive that sum, and so we'll all be friends. 

FORD. Well, here's my hand ; all's forgiven at 

PAGE. Yet be cheerful, knight : thou shalt eat 
a posset to-night at my house ; where I will desire 
thee to laugh at my wife, 9 that now laughs at 

a passage in K. Henry VI. where Queen Margaret says, that 
Suffolk's face 

" rul'd like a wandering planet over me." 


Perhaps Falstaff's meaning may be this : " Ignorance itself is 
a plummet o'er me : i. e. above me ;" ignorance itself is not so 
low as I am, by the length of a, plummet line. TYRWHITT. 

Ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me i. e. serves to point 
out my obliquities. This is said in consequence of Evans's last 
speech. The allusion is to the examination of a carpenter's 
work by the plummet held over it ; of which Hue Sir Hugh is 
here represented as the lead. HENLEY. 

I am satisfied with the old reading. MALONE. 

8 Mrs. Ford. A T oy, husband,'] This and the following little 
speech I have inserted from the old quartos. The retrenchment, 
I presume, was by the players. Sir John Falstaff is sufficiently 
punished, in being disappointed and exposed. The expectation 
of his being prosecuted for the twenty pounds, gives the con- 
clusion too tragical a turn. Besides, it is poetical justice that 
Ford should sustain this loss, as a fine for his unreasonable jea- 
lousy. THEOBALD. 

9 laugh at my luife,'] The two plots are excellently 

connected, and the transition very artfully made in this speech. 


sc. v. OF WINDSOR. 217 

thee : Tell her, master Slender hath married her 

MRS. PAGE. Doctors doubt that: If Anne Page 
be my daughter, she is, by this, doctor Caius' wife. 



SLEN. Whoo, ho ! ho ! father Page ! 

PAGE. Son ! how now ? how now, son ? have 
you despatched ? 

SLEN. Despatched ! I'll make the best in Glo- 
cestershire know on't ; would I were hanged, la, 

PAGE. Of what, son ?. 

SLEN. I came yonder at Eton to marry mistress 
Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy : If it 
had not been i' the church, I would have swinged 
him, or he should have swinged me. If I did not 
think it had been Anne Page, would I might never 
stir, and 'tis a post-master's boy. 

PAGE. Upon my life then you took the wrong. 

SLEN. What need you tell me that? I think so, 
when I took a boy for a girl : If I had been mar- 
ried to him, for all he was in woman's apparel, I 
would not have had him. 

PAGE. Why, this is your own folly. Did not I 
tell you, how you should know my daughter by 
her garments ? 

SLEN. I went to her in white, 1 and cry'd, mum, 

in white,] The old copy, by the inadvertence of 
either the author or transcriber, reads in green ; and in the 
two subsequent speeches of Mrs. Page, instead of green we find 
white. The corrections, which are fully justified by what has 
preceded, (see p. 191,) were made by Mr. Pope. MALONE. 


and she cryed budget, as Anne and I had ap- 
pointed ; and yet it was not Anne, but a post- 
master's boy. 

EVA. Jeshu! Master Slender, cannot you see 
but marry boys ? 2 

PAGE. O, I am vexed at heart : What shall I 

MRS. PAGE. Good George, be not angry: I 
knew of your purpose ; turned my daughter into 
green ; and, indeed, she is now with the doctor at 
the deanery, and there married. 

Enter CAIUS. 

CAWS. Vere is mistress Page ? By gar, I am 
cozened ; I ha' married un garpon, a boy ; un pal- 
san, by gar, a boy; it is not Anne Page: by gar, 
I am cozened. 

MRS. PAGE. Why, did you take her in green ? 

CAIUS. Ay, be gar, and 'tis a boy : be gar, I'll 
raise all Windsor. {Exit CAIUS. 

FORD. This is strange : Who hath got the right 
Anne ? 

PAGE. My heart misgives me : Here comes 
master Fenton. 


How now, master Fenton ? 

ANNE. Pardon, good father ! good my mother, 
pardon ! 

9 marry boys ?] Tin's and the next speech are likewise 

restorations from the old quarto. STEEVENS, 

sc. v. OF WINDSOR. 219 

PAGE. Now, mistress ? how chance you went 
not with master Slender ? 

MRS. PAGE. Why went you not with master 
doctor, maid ? 

FENT. You do amaze her : 3 Hear the truth of it. 
You would have married her most shamefully, 
Where there was no proportion held in love. 
The truth is, She and I, long since contracted, 
Are now so sure, that nothing can dissolve us. 
The offence is holy, that she hath committed : 
And this deceit loses the name of craft, 
Of disobedience, or unduteous title ; 
Since therein she doth evitate and shun 
A thousand irreligious cursed hours, 
Which forced marriage would have brought upon 

FORD. Stand not ainaz'd: here is no remedy: 
In love, the heavens themselves do guide the state ; 
Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate. 

FAL. I am glad, though you have ta'en a special 
stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced. 

PAGE. Well, what remedy? 4 Fenton, heaven 
give thee joy ! 

amaze her ;] i. e. confound her by your questions. 

So, in Cymbeline, Act IV. sc. iii : 
" I am amaz'd with matter." 

Again, in Goulart's Memorable Histories, c. 4to. 1607 : " I 
have seene two men (the father and the sonne) have their bodies 
so amazed and deaded with thunder," &c. STEEVENS. 

4 Page. Well, what remedy ?~\ In the first sketch of this play, 
which, as Mr. Pope observes, is much inferior to the latter per- 
formance, the only sentiment of which I regret the omission, 
occurs at this critical time. When Fenton brings in his wife, 
there is this dialogue : 

Mrs. Ford. Come, Mrs. Page, I must be bold with you. 
'Tis pity to part love that is so true. 


What cannot be eschew'd, must be embraced. 

FAL. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are 
chas'd. 6 

EVA. I will dance and eat plums at your wed- 
ding. 6 

MRS. PAGE. Well, I will muse no further: 

Master Fenton, 

Heaven give you many, many merry days ! 
Good husband, let us every one go home, 
And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire ; 
Sir John and all. 

FORD. Let it be so : Sir John, 

Mrs. Page. [Aside.] Although that I have miss'd in my intent, 
Yet I am glad my husband's match is crossed. 
Here Fenton, take her. 

Eva. Come, master Page, you must needs agree. 

Ford. /' faith, sir, come, you see your tvifc is pleas' d. 

Page. / cannot tell, and yet my heart is eas'd; 
And yet it doth me good the doctor missed. 
Come hither, Fenton, and come hither daughter. JOHNSON. 

5 all sorts of deer are chas'd."] Young and old, does as 

well as bucks. He alludes to Teuton's having just rim doivn 
Anne Page. MALONE. 

6 / mill dance and eat plums at your wedding.'] I have no 
doubt but this line, supposed to be spoken by Evans, is mis- 
placed, and should come in after that spoken by FalstatF, which 
being intended to rhyme with the last line of Page's speech, 
should immediately follow it ; and then the passage will run 
thus : 

Page. Well, what remedy ? Fenton, Heaven give thee joy ! 
What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac'd. 

Fal. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chas'd. 

Evans. I will dance and eat plums, &c. M. MASON. 

I have availed myself of Mr. M. Mason's very judicious re- 
mark, which had also been made by Mr. Malone, who observes 
that Evans's speech " I will dance," c. was restored from the 
first quarto by Mr. Pope. STEEVENS. 

sc. v. OF WINDSOR. 221 

To master Brook you yet shall hold your word ; 
For he, to-night, shall lie with mistress Ford. 7 


7 Of this play there is a tradition preserved by Mr. Rowe, 
that it was written at the command of Queen Elizabeth, who 
was so delighted with the character of Falstaff, that she wished 
It to be,diffused through more plays; but suspecting that it might 
pall by continued uniformity, directed the poet to diversify his 
manner, by shewing him in love. No task is harder than that 
of writing to the ideas of another. Shakspeare knew what the 
Queen, if the story be true, seems not to have known that by 
any real passion of tenderness, the selfish craft, the careless jol- 
lity, and the lazy luxury of Falstaff must have suffered so much 
abatement, that little of his former cast would have remained. 
Falstaff could not love, but by ceasing to be Falstaff. He could 
only counterfeit love, and his professions could be prompted, 
not by the hope of pleasure, but of money. Thus the poet 
approached as near as he could to the work enjoined him ; yet 
having perhaps in the former plays completed his own idea, 
seems not to have been able to give Falstaff all his former power 
of entertainment. 

This comedy is remarkable for the variety and number of the 
personages, who exhibit more characters appropriated and dis- 
criminated, than perhaps can be found in any other play. 

Whether Shakspeare was the first that produced upon the 
English stage the effect of language distorted and depraved by 
provincial or foreign pronunciation, I cannot certainly decide.* 
This mode of forming ridiculous characters can confer praise 
only on him who originally discovered it, for it requires not 
much of either wit or judgement : its success must be derived 
almost wholly from the player, but its power in a skilful mouth, 
even he that despises it, is unable to resist. 

The conduct of this drama is deficient ; the action begins and 
ends often, before the conclusion, and the different parts might 
change places without inconvenience ; but its general power, 
that power by which all works of genius shall finally be tried, 
is such, that perhaps it never yet had reader or spectator who 
did not think it too soon at the end. JOHNSON. 

* In The Three Ladies of London, 1584, is the character of an Italian 
merchant, very strongly marked by foreign pronunciation. Dr. Dodi/poll, 
in the comedy which bears his name, is, like Caius, a French physician. 
This piece appeared at least a year before The Merry Wives of Windsor. 
The hero of it speaks such another jargon as the antagonist of Sir Hugh, and 
like him is cheated of his mistress. In several other pieces, more ancient 
ihan the earliest of Shakspeare's, provincial characters are introduced. 



The story of The Tivo Lovers of Pisa, from which (as Dr. 
Farmer has observed) Falstaff's adventures in this play seem to 
have been taken, is thus related in Tarletnn's Newes out of Pur - 
gatorie, bl. 1. no date. [Entered in the Stationers' Books, June 
16, 1590.3 

" In Pisa, a famous cittie of Italye, there liued a gentleman 
of good linage and lands, feared as well for his wealth, as ho- 
noured for his virtue ; but indeed well thought on for both : yet 
the better for his riches. This gentleman had one onelye daugh- 
ter called Margaret, who for her beauty was liked of all, and 
desired of many : but neither might their sutes, nor her own 
preuaile about her father's resolution, who was determyned not 
to marrye her, but to such a man as should be able in abundance 
to maintain the excellency of her beauty. Diuers young gen- 
tlemen proffered large feoffments, but in vaine : a maide shee 
muse bee still : till at last an olde doctor in the towne, thai, pro- 
fessed phisicke, became a sutor to her, who was a welcome man 
to her father, in that he was one of the welthiest men in all 
Pisa. A tall strippling he was, and a proper youth, his age about 
fourescore ; his head as white as milke, wherein for offence sake 
there was left neuer a tooth : but it is no matter ; what he 
wanted in person he had in the purse ; which the poore gentle- 
woman little regarded, wishing rather to tie herself to one that 
might fit her content, though they liued meanely, then to him 
with all the wealth in Italye. But shee was yong and forest to 
follow her father's direction, who vpon large couenants was con- 
tent his daughter should marry with the doctor, and whether 
she like him or no, the match was made vp, and in short time 
she was married. The poore wench was bound to the stake, 
and had not onely an old impotent man, but one that was so 
jealous, as none might enter into his house without suspicion, 
nor she doo any thing without blame : the least glance, the 
smallest countenance, any smile, was a manifest instance to him, 
that shee thought of others better than himselfe ; thvs he him- 
selfe liued in a hell, and tormented his wife in as ill perplexitie. 
At last it chaunced, that a young gentleman of the citie 
comming by her house, and seeing her looke out at her window, 
noting her rare and excellent proportion, fell in loue with her, 
and that so extreamelye, as his passion had no means till her 
fauour might mittigate his heartsicke content. The young man 
that was ignorant in amorous matters, and had neuer been vsed 
to courte anye gentlewoman, thought to reueale his passions to 
some one freend, that might give him counsaile for the winning 
of her loue ; and thinking experience was the surest maister, on 
a daye seeing the olde doctor walking in the churche, (that was 
Margarets husband,) little knowing who he was, he thought 


this the fittest man to whom he might discouer h's passions, for 
that hee was olde and knewe much, and was a physition that 
with his drugges might help him forward in his purposes: so 
that seeing the old man walke solitary, he ioinde vnto him, and 
after a curteous salute, told him he was to impart a matter of 
great import vnto him ; wherein if hee would not onely be 
secrete, but endeauour to pleasure him, his pains should be 
euery way to the full considered. You must imagine, gentle- 
man, quoth Mutio, for so was the doctors name, that men of 
our profession are no blabs, but hold their secrets in their hearts' 
bottome ; and therefore reueale what you please, it shall not 
onely be concealed, but cured ; if either my art or counsaile may 
do it. Upon this Lionello, (so was the young gentleman called,) 
told and discourst vnto him from point to point how he was 
falne in loue with a gentlewoman that was married to one of 
his profession ; discouered her dwelling and the house ; and for 
that he was vnacquainted with the woman, and a man little 
experienced in lone matters, he required his favour to further 
him with his aduise. Mutio at this motion was stung to the 
hart, knowing it was his wife hee was fallen in love withal : 
yet to conceale the matter, and to experience his wiue's chastity, 
and that if she plaide false, he might be reuenged on them 
both, he dissembled the matter, and answered, that he knewe 
the woman very well, and commended her highly ; but saide, 
she had a churle to her husband, and therefore he thought shee 
would bee the more tractable : trie her man, quoth hee ; fainte 
hart neuer vvoonne fair lady; and if shee will not bee brought 
to the bent of your bowe, I will provide such a potion as shall 
dispatch all to your owne content ; and to giue you further in- 
structions for opportunitie, knowe that her husband is foorth 
euery afternoone from three till sixe. Thus farre I have ad- 
uised you, because I pitty your passions as my selfe being once 
a louer : but now I charge thee, reueale it to none whomsoever, 
lest it doo disparage my credit, to meddle in amorous matters. 
The young gentleman not onely promised all carefull secrecy, 
but gaue him harty thanks for his good counsel!, promising to 
meete him there the next day, and tell him what newes. Then 
hee left the old man, who was almost mad for feare his wife 
should any way play false. He saw by experience, braue men 
came to besiege the castle, and seeing it was in a woman's cus- 
todie, and had so weake a gouernor as himselfe, he doubted it 
would in time be deliuered up : which feare made him almost 
franticke, yet he driude of the time in great torment, till he 
might heare from his riual. Lionello, he hastes him home, and 
sutes him in his brauer} e, and goes down towards the house of 
Mutio, where he sees her at her windowe, whom he courted 


with a passionate looke, with such an humble salute, as she? 
might perceiue how the gentleman was affectionate. Margaretta 
looking earnestly upon him, and noting the perfection of his 
proportion, accounted him in her eye the flower of all Pisa ; 
thinkte herselfe fortunate if she might haue him for her freend, 
to supply those defaultes that she found in Mutio. Sundry times 
that afternoone he past by her window, and he cast not vp more 
louing lookes, then he receiued gratious fauours : which did so 
incourage him, that the next daye betweene three and sixe hee 
went to her house, and knocking at the doore, desired to speake 
with the mistris of the house, who hearing by her maid's de- 
scription what he was, commaunded him to come in, where she 
interteined him with all curtesie. 

" The youth that neuer before had giuen the attempt to couet 
a ladye, began his exordium with a blushe ; and yet went for- 
ward so well, that he discourst vnto her howe he loued her, and 
that if it might please her so to accept of his seruice, as of a 
freende euer vowde in all duetye to bee at her commaunde, the 
care of her honour should bee deerer to him then his life, and 
hee would bee ready to prise her discontent with his bloud at 
all times. 

" The gentlewoman was a little coye, but before they part 
they concluded that the next day at foure of the clock hee 
should come thither and eate a pound of cherries, which was 
resolued on with a succado des labras ; and so with a loath 
to depart they took their leaues. Lionello, as joyfull a man as 
might be, hyed him to the church to meete his olde doctor, 
where hee found him in his olde walke. What newes, syr, 
quoth Mutio ? How have you sped ? Even as I can wishe, quoth 
Lionello ; for I haue been with my mistresse, and haue found 
her so tractable, that I hope to make the old peasant her husband 
look broad-hedded by a pair of browantlers. How deepe this 
strooke into Mutio's hart, let them imagine that can conjecture 
what ielousie is ; insomuch that the olde doctor askte, when 
should be the time : marry, quoth Lionello, to morrow at foure 
of the clocke in the afternoone; and then maister doctor, quoth 
hee, will I dub the olde squire knight of the forked order. 

" Thus they past on in chat, till it, grew late ; and then Ly- 
onello went home to his lodging, and Mutio to his house, couer- 
ing all his sorrowes with a merrye countenance, with full re- 
solution to revenge them both the next day with extremitie. 
He past the night as patiently as he could, and the next day 
after dinner awaye hee went, watching when it should bee four 
of the clocke. At the houre justly came Lyonello, and was 
intertained with all curtesie : but scarse had they kisf , ere the 
maide cried out to her mistresse that her maister was at the 


doore ; for he hasted, knowing that a home was but a litle while 
in grafting. Margaret at this alarum was amazed, and yet for 
a shifte chopt Lyonello into a great driefatte full of feathers, and 
sat her downe close to her woorke : by that came Mutio in 
blowing ; and as though he came to looke somewhat in haste, 
called for the keyes of his chambers, and looked in euery place, 
searching so narrowlye in eurye corner of the hduse, that he 
left not the very priuie vnsearcht. Seeing he could not finde 
him, hee saide nothing, but fayning himself not well at ease, 
stayde at home, so that poore Lionello was faine to staye in the 
drifatte till the old churle was in bed with his wife : and then 
the maide let him out at a backe doore, who went home with a 
flea in his eare to his lodging. 

" Well, the next daye he went again to meete his doctor, 
whome hee found in his woonted walke. What news, quoth 
Mutio ? How have you sped ? * A poxe of the old slaue, 
quoth Lionello, I was no sooner in, and had giuen my mistresse 
one kisse, but the iealous asse was at the door ; the maide spied 
him, and, cryed, her maister : so that the poore gentlewoman 
for very shifte, was faine to put me in a driefatte of feathers that 
stoode in an olde chamber, and there I was faine to tarrie while 
he was in bed and asleepe, and then the maide let me out, and 
I departed. 

" But it is no matter ; 'twas but a chaunce ; and I hope to 
crye quittance with him ere it be long. As how, quoth Mutio? 
Marry thus, quoth Lionello : she sent me woord by her maide 
this daye, that upon Thursday next the old churle suppeth with 
a patient of his a mile out of Pisa, and then I feare not but to 
quitte him for all. It is well, quoth Mutio ; fortune bee your 
freende. I thank you, quoth Lionello ; and so after a little more 
prattle they departed. 

" To be shorte, Thursday came ; and about sixe of the clocke 
foorth goes Mutio, no further than a freendes house of his, from 
whence hee might descrye who went into his house. Straight 
he sawe Lionello enter in ; and after goes hee, insomuch that 
hee was scarselye sitten downe, before the mayde cryed out 
againe, my maister comes. The good wife that before had pro- 
vided for afterclaps, had found out a priuie place between two 
seelings of a plauncher, and there she thrust Lionello ; and her 
husband came sweting. What news, quoth shee, drives you 
home againe so soone, husband ? Marrye, sweete wife, ( quoth 
he,) a fearfull dreame that I had this night, which came to my 
remembrance ; and that was this : Methought there was a 
villeine that came secretly into my house with a naked poinard 

*Sec- The Merry Hives of Windsor, p. 151. 
VOL. V. Q 


in his hand, and hid himselfe ; but I could not finde the place : 
with that mine nose bled, and I came backe ; and by the grace 
of God I will seek euery corner in the house for the quiet of my 
miride. Marry I pray you doo, husband, quoth shee. With that 
he lockt in all the doors, and began to search euery chamber, 
euery hole, euery chest, euery tub, the very well ; he stabd 
every featherbed through, and made hauocke, like a mad man, 
which made him thinke all was in vaine, and hee began to blame 
his eies that thought they saw that which they did not. Upon 
this he reste halfe lunaticke, and all night he was very wakefull ; 
that towards the morning he fell into a dead sleepe, and then 
was Lionello conueighed away. 

" In the morning when Mutio wakened, hee thought how by 
no means hee should bee able to take Lyonello tardy ; yet he 
laid in his head a most dangerous plot, and that was this. Wife, 
quoth he, I must the next Monday ride to Vycensa to visit an 
olde patient of mine ; till my returne, which will be some ten 
dayes, I will have thee stay at our little graunge house in the 
countrey. Marry very weil content, husband, quoth she : with 
that he kist her, and was verye pleasant, as though he had sus- 
pected nothing, and away he flinges to the church, where he 
meetes Lionello. What sir, quoth he, what newes? Is your 
mistresse yours in possession ? No, a plague of the old slaue, 
quoth he: I think he is either a witch, or els woorkes by 
magick : for I can no sooner enter in the doors, but he is at my 
backe, and so he was again yesternight ; for I was not warm in 
my seat before the maide cried, my maister comes ; and then 
was the poore soule faine to conueigh me between two seelings 
of a chamber in a fit place for the purpose : wher I laught 
hartely to myself, too see how he sought euery corner, ransackt 
euery tub, and stabd every featherbed, but in vaine ; I was 
safe enough till the morning, and then when he was fast asleepe, 
I lept out. Fortune frowns on you, quoth Mutio : Ay, but I 
hope, quoth Lionello, this is the last time, and now shee will 
begin to smile ; for on Monday next he rides to Vicensa, and 
his wyfe lyes at a grange house a little of the towne, and there 
in his absence I will revenge all forepassed misfortunes. God 
send it be so, quoth Mutio ; and took his leaue. These two 
louers longed for Monday, and at last it came. Early in the 
morning Mutio horst himselfe, and his wife, his maide, and a 
man, and no more, and away he rides to his grange house; 
where after he had brok his fast he took his leaue, and away 
towards Vicensa. He rode not far ere by a false way he re- 
turned into a thicket, and there with a company of cuntry pea- 
sants lay in an ambuscade to take the young gentleman. In the 
afternoon comes Lionello gallopping; and as soon as he came 


within sight of the house, he sent back his horse by his boy, & 
went easily afoot, and there at the very entry was entertained 
by Margaret, who led him up y e staires, and conuaid him into 
her bedchamber, saying he was welcome into so mean a cot- 
tage : but quoth she, now I hope fortune shal not envy the pu- 
rity of our loues. Alas, alas, mistris (cried the maid,) heer is 
my maister, and 100 men with him, with bils and staues. We 
are betraid, quoth Lionel, and I am but a dead man. Feare 
not, quoth she, but follow me ; and straight she carried him 
downe into a lowe parlor, where stoode an old rotten chest full 
of writinges. She put him into that, and couered him with old 
papers and euidences, and went to the gate to meet her husband. 
Why signior Mutio, what means this hurly burly, quoth she ? 
Vile and shamelesse strumpet as thou art, thou shalt know by 
and by, quoth he. Where is thy loue ? All we haue watcht 
him, & seen him enter in : now quoth he, shal neither thy tub 
of feathers nor thy seeling serue, for perish he shall with fire, 
or els fall into my hands. Doo thy worst, iealous foole, quoth 
she ; I ask thee no fauour. With that in a rage he beset the 
house round, and then set fire on it. Oh ! in what a perplexitie 
was poore Lionello, that was shut in a chest, and the fire about 
his eares ? And how was Margaret passionat, that knew her 
louer in such danger ? Yet she made light of the matter, and 
as one in a rage called her maid to her and said : Come on, 
wench ; seeing thy maister mad with iealousie hath set the house 
and al my liuing on fire, I will be reuenged vpon him ; help me 
heer to lift this old chest where all his writings and deeds are ; 
let that burne first ; and assoon as I see that on fire, I will walk 
towards my freends : for the old foole wil be beggard, and I will 
refuse him. Mutio that knew al his obligations and statutes lay 
there, puld her back, and bad two of his men carry the chest 
into the feeld, and see it were safe ; himself standing by and 
seeing his house burnd downe, sticke and stone. Then quieted 
in his minde he went home with his wife, and began to flatter 
her, thinking assuredly y l he had burnd her paramour ; causing 
his chest to be carried in a cart to his house at Pisa. Margaret 
impatient went to her mothers, and complained to her and to 
her brethren of the iealousie of her husband ; who maintained 
her it be true, and desired but a daies respite to proue it. Wei, 
hee was bidden to supper the next night at her mothers, she 
thinking to make her daughter and him freends againe. In the 
meane time he to his woonted walk in the church, there 
prater expectationem he found Lionello walking. Wondring at 
this, he straight enquires, what news ? What newes, maister 
doctor, quoth he, and he fell in a great laughing : in faith yes- 
terday I scapt a scowring ; for, syrrah, I went to the grange 


house, where I was appointed to come, and I was no sooner 
gotten vp the chamber, but the magicall villeine her husband 
beset the house with bils and staues, and that he might be sure 
no seeling nor corner should shrowde me, he set the house on 
fire, and so burnt it to the ground. Why, quoth Mutio, and 
how did you escape ? Alas, quoth he, wel fare a woman's wit ! 
She conueighed me into an old cheste full of writings, which 
she knew her husband durst not burne ; and so was I saued and 
brought to Pisa, and yesternight by her maide let home to my 
lodging. This, quoth he, is the pleasantest iest that ever I heard ; 
and vpon this I haue a sute to you. I am this night bidden foorth 
to supper ; you shall be my guest ; onelye I will craue so much 
favour, as after supper for a pleasant sporte to make relation 
what successe you haue had in your loues. For that I will not 
sticke, quothe he ; and so he carried Lionello to his mother-in- 
lawes house with him, and discoursed to his wiues brethren 
who he was, and how at supper he would disclose the whole 
matter : for quoth he, he knowes not that I am Margarets hus- 
band. At this all the brethren bad him welcome, & so did the 
mother too ; and Margaret she was kept out of sight. Supper- 
time being come, they fell to their victals, and Lionello was 
carrowst vnto by Mutio, who was very pleasant, to draw him to 
a merry humor, that he might to the ful discourse the effect 
& fortunes of his loue. Supper being ended, Mutio requested 
him to tel to the gentleman what had hapned between him & 
his mistresse. Lionello with a smiling countenance began to 
describe his mistresse, the house and street where she dwelt, 
how he fell in loue with her, and how he vsed the counsell of 
this doctor, who in al his affaires was his secretarye. Margaret 
heard all this with a greate feare ; & when he came at the last 
point she caused a cup of wine to be giuen him by one of her 
sisters wherein was a ring that he had giuen Margaret. As he 
had told how he escapt burning, and was ready to confirm all 
for a troth, the gentlewoman drunke to him ; who taking the 
cup, and seeing the ring, hauing a quick wit and a reaching 
head, spide the fetch, and perceiued that all this while this was 
his loners husband, to whome he had reuealed these escapes. 
At this drinking y e wine, and swallowing the ring into his 
mouth, he went forward : Gentlemen, quoth he, how like you 
of my loues and my fortunes ? Wel, quoth the gentlemen ; 
I pray you is it true ? As true, quoth he, as if I would be so 
simple as to reueal what I did to Margaret's husband : for know 
you, 1 gentlemen, that I knew this Mutio to be her husband 
whom I notified to be my louer ; and for y l he was generally 
known through Pisa to be a iealous fool, therefore with these 
tales I brought him into this paradice, which indeed are follies 


of mine own braine : for trust me, by the faith of a gentleman, 
I neuer spake to the woman, wai never in her companye, nei- 
ther doo I know her if I see her. At this they all fell in a 
laughing at Mutio, who was ashamed that Lionello had so scoft 
him : but all was well, they were made friends ; but the iesi 
went so to his hart, that he shortly after died, and Lionello en- 
ioyed the ladye : and for that they two were the death of the old 
man, now are they plagued in purgatory, and he whips them 
with nettles." 

It is observable that in the foregoing novel (which, I believe, 
Shakspeare had read,) there is no trace of the buck-basket. 
In the first tale of The Fortunate, the Deceived, and the Un- 
fortunate Lovers, (of which I have an edition printed in 1(584, 
but the novels it contains had probably appeared in English in 
our author's time, ) a young student of Bologne is taught by an 
old doctor how to make love ; and his first essay is practised on 
his instructors wife. The jealous husband having tracked his 
pupil to his house, enters unexpectedly, fully persuaded that he 
should detect the lady and her lover together ; but the gallant is 
protected from his fury by being concealed under a heap of 
linen half-dried ; and afterwards informs him, (not knowing that 
his tutor was likewise his mistress's husband,) what a lucky 
escape he had. It is therefore, I think, highly probable that 
Shakspeare had read both stories. MALONE. 

Sir Hugh Evans.] See p. 7> and 8. 

The question whether priests were formerly knights in con- 
sequence of being called Sir, still remains to be decided. Ex- 
amples that those of the loiver class were so called are very 
numerous ; and hence it may be fairly inferred that they at least 
were not knights, nor is there perhaps a single instance of the 
order of knighthood being conferred upon ecclesiastics of any 

Having casually, however, met with a note in Dyer's Reports, 
which seems at first view not only to contain some authority 
for the custom of knighting priests by Abbots, in consequence 
of a charter granted to the Abbot of Reading for that purpose, 
but likewise the opinion of two learned judges, founded there- 
upon, that priests mere anciently knights, I have been induced 
to enter a little more fully upon this discussion, and to examine 
the validity of those opinions. The extract from Dyer is a 
marginal note in p. 2l6. B. in the following words: " Trin. 
3 Jac. Blanc le Roy Holcroft and Gibbons, cas Popham dit que 
il ad vieiu un ancient charter grant al Abbot de Reading per 
Roy cT Angliterre, a fair knight, sur que son conceit Jiiit que 
I' Abbot fait, ecclesiastical persons, knights, d'ittonque come a 


luy le nosmes de Sir John and Sir Will, que est done at ascuu 
Clerks a cestjourfuit derive quel opinion Coke Attorney-Gene- 
ral applaud disont que Jueront milites ccelestes Sf milites ter- 
restres." It is proper to mention here that all the reports 
have been diligently searched for this case of Holcraft and Gib- 
bons, in hopes of finding some further illustration, but without 

The charter then above-mentioned appears upon further en- 
quiry to have beea the foundation charter of Reading Abbey, 
and to have been granted by Henry I. in 1125. The words of 
it referred to by Chief Justice Popham, and upon which he 
founded his opinion, are as follow : " Nee facial milites nisi 
in sacra veste Christi, in qua pamulos suscipere modeste caveat. 
Maturos autem seu discretos tarn clericos quam laicos provide 
suscipiat" This passage is likewise cited by Selden in his notes 
upon Eadmer, p. 206, and to illustrate the word " clericos" he 
refers to Mathew Paris for an account of a priest called John 
Gatesdene, who was created a knight by Henry III. but not until 
after he had resigned all his benefices, " as he ought to have 
done," says the historian, who in another place relating the dis- 
grace of Peter de Rivallis, Treasurer to Henry III. (See p. 405, 
edit. 1040,) has clearly shown how incompatible it was that the 
clergy should bear arms, as the profession of a knight required ; 
and as a further proof may be added the well known story, 
related by the same historian, of Richard I. and the warlike 
Bishop of Beauvais. I conceive then that the word " clericos" 
refers to such of the clergy who should apply for the order of 
knighthood under the usual restriction of quitting their former 
profession ; and from Selden's note upon the passage it may be 
collected that this was his own opinion ; or it may possibly 
allude to those particular knights who were considered as religi- 
ous or ecclesiastical, such as the knights of the order of St. John 
of Jerusalem, &c. concerning whom see Ashmole's Order of the 
Garter, p. 49, 51. 

With respect to the custom of ecclesiastics conferring the 
order of knighthood, it certainly prevailed in this country before 
the conquest, as appears from Ingulphus, and was extremely 
disliked by the Normans ; and therefore at a council held at 
Westminster in the third year of Henry I. it was ordained, 
" Ne Ablates Jaciant milites.'* See Eadmeri Hist. 68. and 
Selden's note, p. 207. However it appears that notwithstand- 
ing this prohibition, which may at the same time serve to show 
the great improbability that the order of knighthood was con- 
ferred upon ecclesiastics, some of the ceremonies of the creation 
of knights still continued to be performed by Abbots, as the 
taking the sword from the altar, &c. which may be seen at large 


in Selden's Titles of Honoujp, Part II. chap. v. and Dugd. 
Warw. 531, and accordingly this charter, which is dated twenty, 
three years after the council at Westminster, amongst other 
things directs the Abbot, " Nee facial milites nisi in sacra vestc 
Christi," &c. Lord Coke's acquiescence in Popham's opinion 
is founded upon a similar misconception, and his quaint remark 
" que Jueront milites ccelestes &; milites terrestres," can only 
excite a smile. The marginal quotation from Fuller's Church 
History, B. VI. p. 352. " Moe Sirs than knights" referred to 
in a former note by Sir J. Hawkins, certainly means " that 
these Sirs were not knights," and Fuller accounts for the title by 
supposing them ungraduated priests. 

Before I dismiss this comment upon the opinions of the 
learned judges, I am bound to observe that Popham's opinion 
is also referred to, but in a very careless manner, in Godbold's 
Reports, p. 399, in these words : " Popham once Chief Justice 
of this court said that he had seen a commission directed unto a 
bishop to knight all the parsons within his diocese, and that was 
the cause that they were called Sir John, Sir Thomas, and so 
they continued to be called until the reign of Elizabeth." The 
idea of knighting all the parsons in a diocese is too ludicrous to 
need a serious refutation ; and the inaccuracy of the assertion, 
that the title Sir lasted till the reign of Elizabeth, thereby imply- 
ing that it then ceased, is sufficiently obvious, not only from the 
words of Popham in the other quotation " que est done al ascuns 
clerks cestjour y " but from the proof given by Sir John Hawkins 
of its existence at a much later period. 

Having thus, I trust, refuted the opinion that the title of Sir 
was given to priests in consequence of their being knights, I shall 
venture to account for it in another manner. 

This custom then was most probably borrowed from the 
French, amongst whom the title Domnus is often appropriated 
to ecclesiastics, more particularly to the Benedictines, Carthu- 
sians, and Cistercians. It appears to have been originally a title 
of honour and respect, and was perhaps at first, in this kingdom 
as in France, applied to particular orders, and became afterwards 
general as well among the secular as the regular clergy. The 
reason of preferring Domnus to Dominus was, that the latter 
belonged to the supreme Being, and the other was considered as 
a subordinate title, according to an old verse: 

" Ccelestem Domimim, terrestrem dicito Domnur.i." 
Hence, Dom, Damp, Dan, Sire, and, lastly, Sir ; for autho- 
rities are not wanting to show that all these titles were given to 
ecclesiastics: but I shall forbear to produce them, having, I fear, 
already trespassed too far upon the readers patience with this 
long note. DOUCE. 

232 MERRY WIVES, Sec. 

" And sundry other Heathen nations had their Priests instead 
of Princes, as Kings to gouerne, as Presbiter lohn is at this 
present : and to this day the high Courts of Parliament in 
England do consist by ancient custome of calling to that honor-, 
able Court of the- Lords spirituall and temporal!, vnderstood by 
the Lords spirituall, the Archbishops and Bishops, as the most 
ancient inuested Barrons (and some of them Earles and others 
Graces) of this land, & therefore alwaies first in place next 
vnder our Soueraigne King, Queene, Emperor & Empresse, 
Lord & Lady (for there is no difference of sexe in Regall 
Maiesty.) This being so, and that by the lawes Armoriall, 
Ciuill, and of armes, a Priest in his place in ciuill conversation 
is alwayes before any Esquire, as being a Knights fellow by 
his holy orders: & the third of the three syrs, which only were 
in request of old (no Barren, Vicount, Earle nor Marquesse be- 
ing then in vse) to wit, Sir King, Sir Knight, and SIR Priest ; 
this word Dominus in Latine being a nowne substantive com- 
mon to them all, as Dominus meus Rex, Dominus meus Joab, 
DOMINUS Sacerdos: and afterwards when honors began to take 
their subordination one vnder another, & titles of princely dig- 
nity to be hereditarie to succeeding posterity (which hapned 
vpon the fall of the Romane Empire) then Dominus was in 
Latine applied to all noble & generous harts, euen from the 
King to the meanest Priest or temporall person of gentle bloud, 
coate-armor perfect, & ancetry. But Sir in English was re- 
straind to these foure, Sir Knight, SIR Priest, Sir Graduate, & 
in common speech Sir Esquire : so as alwayes since distinction 
of titles were, SIR Priest was euer the second. And, if a Priest 
or Graduate be a Doctor of Diuinity or Preacher allowed, then 
is his place before any ordinary Knight ; if higher aduanced 
authorised, then doth his place allow him a congiewith esteeme 
to be had of him accordingly." 

A Decacordon of Ten Qvodlibeticatt Questions concerning 
Religion and State, fyc, Neivly imprinted, l602,p. 53. 





* TWELFTH-NIGHT.] There is great reason to believe, that 
the serious part of this Comedy is founded on some old transla- 
tion of the seventh history in the fourth volume of Belleforest's 
Histoires Tragigues. Belleforest took the story, as usual, from 
Bandello. The comic scenes appear to have been entirely the 
production of Shakspeare. It is not impossible, however, that 
the circumstances of the Duke sending his Page to plead his 
cause with the Lady, and of the Lady's falling in love with the 
Page, &c. might be borrowed from the Fifth Eglog of Barnaby 
Googe, published with his other original Poems in 1563 : 

" A worthy Knyght dyd love her longe, 

" And for her sake dyd feale 
" The panges of love, that happen styl 

" By frowning fortune's wheale. 
" He had a Page, Valerius named, 

" Whom so muche he dyd truste, 
" That all the secrets of his hart 

" To hym declare he muste. 
** And made hym all the onely meanes 

" To sue for his redresse, 
" And to entreate for grace to her 

" That caused his distresse. 
" She 'whan asjirst she saw his page 

" Was straight with hym iji love, 
" That nothynge coulde Valerius Jace 

" From Claudia's mynde remove. 
*' By hym was Faustus often harde, 

" By hym his sutes toke place, 
" By hym he often dyd aspyre 

" To se his Ladyes face. 
" This passed well, tyll at the length 

" Valerius sore did sewe, 
" With many teares besechynge her 

" His mayster's gryefe to rewe. 
" And tolde her that yf she wolde not 

" Release his mayster's payne, 
"He never wolde attempte her more 

" Nor se her ones agayne," &c. 

Thus also concludes the first scene of the third act of the play 
before us : 

" And so adieu, good madam ; never more 
" Will I my master's tears to you deplore," &c. 
I offer no apology for the length of the foregoing extract, the 
book from which it is taken, being so uncommon, that only one 
copy, except that in my own possession, has hitherto occurred. 
Even Dr. Farmer, the late Rev. T. Warton, Mr. Reed, and 

Mr. Malone, were unacquainted with this Collection of Googe's 

August 6, l607 a Comedy called What you will, (which is the 
second title of this play,) was entered at Stationers' Hall by 
Tho. Thorpe. I believe, however, it was Marston's play with 
that name. Ben Jonson, who takes every opportunity to find 
fault with Shakspeare, seems to ridicule the conduct of Twelfth 
Night in his Every Man out of his Humour, at the end of Act 
III. sc. vi. where he makes Mitis say, " That the argument of 
his comedy might have been of some other nature, as of a duke 
to be in love with a countess, and that countess to be in love 
with the duke's son, and the son in love with the lady's waiting 
maid : some such cross wooing, with a clown to their serving man, 
better than be thus near and familiarly allied to the time." 


I suppose this comedy to have been written in 1014. If how- 
ever the foregoing passage was levelled at Twelfth-Night, my 
speculation falls to the ground. See An Attempt to ascertain the 
Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. II. MALONE. 


Orsino, duke of Illyria. 

Sebastian, a young gentleman, brother to Viola. 
Antonio, a sea captain, friend to Sebastian. 
A sea captain, friend to Viola. 

P ' 9 gentlemen attending on the duke. 

Sir Toby Belch, uncle of Olivia. 
Sir Andrew Ague-cheek. 
Malvolio, steward to Olivia. 

smants to Olivia - 

Olivia, a rich countess. 
Viola, in love with the duke. 
Maria, Olivia's woman. 

Lords, Priests, Sailors, Officers, Musicians, and 
other Attendants. 

SCENE, a city in Illyria j and the sea-coast near it. 





An Apartment in the Duke's Palace. 
Enter DUKE, CURIO, Lords ; Musicians attending. 

DUKE. If musick be the food of love, play on. 
Give me excess of it ; that, surfeiting, 1 

The appetite may sicken, and so die. 

That strain again; it had a dying fall : 2 

1 Give me excess of it ; that, surfeiting, &c.] So, in The Two 
Gentlemen of Verona : 

" And now excess of it will make me surfeit." 


! That strain again; it had a dying fall: 
0, it came o'er my ear like the siveet south. 
That breathes upon a bank of violets, 

Stealing, and giving odour.] Milton, in his Paradise Lost, 
B. IV. has very successfully introduced the same image : 

" now gentle gales, 

" Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense 

" Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole 

" Those balmy spoils." STEEVENS. 

That strain again; it had a dying fall:] Hence Pope, in hi* 
Ode on Saint Cecilia's Dai/: 


O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south, 3 
That breathes upon a bank of violets, 4 
Stealing, and giving odour. Enough ; no more ; 
.'Tis not so sweet now, as it was before. 
O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou ! 
That, notwithstanding thy capacity 
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there, 
Of what validity and pitch soever, 5 
But falls into abatement and low price, 

" The strains decay, 
" And melt away, 
" In a dying, dying fall" 

Again, Thomson, m his Spring, v. 722, speaking of the 
nightingale : 

" Still at every dying Jail 

" Takes up the lamentable strain." HOLT WHITE. 

3 the sweet south,] The old copy reads sweet sound, 

which Mr. Rowe changed into wind, and Mr. Pope into south. 
The thought might have been borrowed from Sidney's Arcadia, 

Lib. I : " more sweet than a gentle South-west wind, which 

comes creeping over flowery fields,'' &c. This work was pub- 
lished in 1590. STEEVENS. 

I see no reason for disturbing the text of the old copy, which 
reads Sound. The wind, from whatever quarter, would pro- 
duce a sound in breathing on the violets, or else the simile is 
false. Besides, sound is a better relative to the antecedent, 
strain. DOUCE. 

4 That breathes upon a bank of violets,] Here Shakspeare 
makes the south steal odour from the violet. In his QQth Sonnet, 
the violet is made the thief: 

" The forward violet thus did I chide : 

" Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that 

" If not from my love's breath i 1 " MALONE. 

3 Of what validity and pitch soever,'] Validity is here used for 
value. MALONE. 

So, in King Lear: 

" No less in space, validity, and pleasure." STEEVENS. 

sc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. 239 

Even in a minute ! so full of shapes is fancy, 
That it alone is high-fantastical. 6 

CUR. Will you go hunt, my lord ? 

DUKE. What, Curio? 

CUR. The hart. 

DUKE. Why, so I do, the noblest that I have : 
O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first, 
Methought, she purg'd the air of pestilence ; 
That instant was I turn'd into a hart ; 
And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds, 
E'er since pursue me. 7 How now? what news 
from her ? 

6 That it alone is high-fantastical.] High-fantastical, means 
fantastical to the height. 

So, in All's 'well that ends well : 
" My high-repented blames 
" Dear sovereign, pardon me." STEEVENS. 

7 That instant tvas I turned into a hart; 
And my desires, like Jell and cruel hounds, 

E'er since pursue me.] This image evidently alludes to the 
story of Acteon, by which Shakspeare seems to think men 
cautioned against too great familiarity with forbidden beauty. 
Acteon, who saw Diana naked, and was torn to pieces by his 
hounds, represents a man, who indulging his eyes, or his 
imagination, with the view of a woman that he cannot gain, has 
his heart torn with incessant longing. An interpretation far 
more elegant and natural than that of Sir Francis Bacon, who, 
in his Wisdom of the Ancients, supposes this story to warn us 
against enquiring into the secrets of princes, by shewing, that 
those who know that which for reasons of state is to be con- 
cealed, will be detected and destroyed by their own servants. 


This thought, (as I learn from an anonymous writer in the 
Gentleman's Magazine,} is borrowed from the fifth sonnet of 
Daniel : 

" Whilst youth and error led my wand'ring mind, 

" And sette my thoughts in needles waies to range, 
" All unawares, a goddesse chaste I finde, 
" (Diana like) to worke my suddaine change. 



VAL. So please my lord, I might not be ad- 

But from her handmaid do return this answer : 
The element itself, till seven years heat, 8 
Shall not behold her face at ample view ; 
But, like a cloistress, she will veiled walk, 
And water once a day her chamber round 
With eye-offending brine : all this, to season 
A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh, 
And lasting, in her sad remembrance. 

DUKE. O, she, that hath a heart of that fine 

To pay this debt of love but to a brother, 

** For her no sooner had mine eye bewraid, 

" But with disdaine to see mee in that place, 
" With fairest hand the sweet unkindest maid 

" Casts water-cold disdaine upon my face : 
" Which turned my sport into a hart's despaire, 

" Which still is chac'd, ivhile I have any breath, 
" By mine own thoughts, sette on me by my fair e; 

" My thoughts, like hounds, pursue me to my death. 
" Those that I foster'd of mine own accord, 
" Are made by her to murder thus theyr lord." 
See Daniel's Delia fy Rosamond, augmented, 1504. 


8 The element itself, till seven years heat,] Heat for heated* 
The air, till it shall have been warmed by seven revolutions of the 
sun, shall not, &c. So, in King John: 

" The iron of itself, though heat red hot ." 
Again, in Macbeth: 

" And this report 

" Hath so exasperate the king ." MALONE. 

Again, in Chapman's version of the nineteenth Odyssey: 

" When the sun was set, 

" And darkness rose, they slept till days fire het 
" Th' enlighten'd earth." STEEVENS. 

sc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. 241 

How will she love, when the rich golden shaft, 
Hath kill'd the flock of all affections 9 else 
That live in her ! l when liver, brain, and heart, 
These sovereign thrones, 3 are all supplied, and 

(Her sweet perfections,) 3 with one self king! 4 

9 the flock of all affections ] So, in Sidney's Arca- 
dia ; " has the Jlock of unspeakable virtues." STEEVENS. 

1 O, she, that hath a heart of that fine frame. 
To pay this debt of love but to a brother, 
How will she love, when the rich golden shaft 
Hath kill'd the Jlock of all affections else 
That line in her /] Dr. Hurd observes, that Simo, in the 
Andrian of Terence, reasons on his son's concern for Chrysis 
in the same manner : 

" Nonnunquam conlacrumabat : placuit turn id mihi. 

" Sic cogitabam : hie parvse consuetudinis 

" Causa mortem hujus tarn fert familiariter : 

" Quid si ipse amasset ? quid mihi hie faciet patri ?" 


* These sovereign thrones^] We should read three sovereign 
thrones. This is exactly in the manner of Shakspeare. So, 
afterwards, in. this play : Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions f 
and spirit, do give thee fivefold blazon. WAUBURTON. 

3 (Her siioeet perfections,)] Liver, brain, and heart, are ad- 
mitted in poetry as the residence of passions, judgement, and sen- 
timents. These are what Shakspeare calls, her sweet perfections, 
though he has not very clearly expressed what he might design 
to have said. STEEVENS. 

4 with one self king!"] Thus the original copy. The 
editor of the second folio, who in many instances appears to 
have been equally ignorant of our author's language and metre, 
reads self-same king ; a reading, which all the subsequent edi- 
tors have adopted. The verse is not defective. Perfections is 
here used as a quadrisyllable. So, in a subsequent scene : 

" Methinks I feel this youth's perfections." 
Self-king means self-same king ; one and the same king. So, 
ift King Richard II : 

11 that se^-mould that fashion'd thee, 

" Made him a man." MALONE. 

VOL. V. R 


Away before me to sweet beds of flowers ; 
Love-thoughts lie rich, when canopied with bowers. 



The Sea-coast. 
Enter VioLA, 5 Captain, and Sailors. 

Vio. What country, friends, is this ? 

CAP. Illyria, lady. c 

Vio. And what should I do in Illyria ? 
My brother he is in Elysium. 7 
Perchance, he is not drown'd : What think you, 
sailors ? 

In my opinion, the reading of the second folio ought to be 
adopted, as it improves both the language and the metre. 

Malone has proved, that in Richard II. the word self is used 
to signify same ; but there it is a licentious expression. Once 
more he accuses the editor of the second folio as ignorant of 
Shakspeare's language and metre. It is surely rather hardy in 
a commentator, at the close of the ] 8th century, to pronounce 
that an editor in 1632, but 16 years after the death of Shak- 
speare, was totally ignorant of his language and metre ; and it 
happens unfortunately, that in both the passages on which Mr. 
Malone has preferred this accusation, the second folio is clearly 
a correction of the first, which is the case with some other pas- 
sages in this very play. M. MASON. 

s Enter Viola,"] Viola is the name of a lady in the fifth book 
of Goiver de Confessione Amantis. STEEVENS. 

Illyria, lady.'] The old copy reads " This is Illyria, lady." 
But I have omitted the two first words, which violate the metre, 
without improvement of the sense. STEEVENS. 

in Illyria ? 

My brother he is in Elysium.] There is seemingly a play 
upon the words Illyria and Elysium. DOUCE. 

'sc. J/. WHAT YOU WILL. 243 

CAP. It is perchance, that you yourself were 

Vio. O my poor brother ! and so, perchance, 
may he be. 

CAP. True, madam : and, to comfort you with 


Assure yourself, after our ship did split, 
When you, and that poor number saved with you/ 
Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother, 
Most provident in peril, bind himself 
(Courage and hope both teaching him the practice) 
To a strong mast, that lived upon the sea ; 
Where, like Arion on the dolphin's back, 
I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves, 
So long as I could see. 

Vio. For saying so, there's gold : 

Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope, 
Whereto thy speech serves for authority, 
The like of him. Know'st thou this country ? 

CAP. Ay, madam, well ; for I was bred and born, 
Not three hours travel from this very place. 

Vio. Who governs here ? 

CAP. A noble duke, in nature, 

As in his name. 9 

Vio. What is his name ? 

CAP. Orsino. 

9 and that poor number saved nith you,"] We should 

rather read this poor number. The old copy has those. The 
sailors who were saved, enter with the captain. MALOXE. 

9 A noble duke, in nature, 

As in his name.'] I know not whether the nobility of the 
name is comprised in duke, or in Orsino, which is, I think, the 
name of a great Italian family. JOHNSON'. 

R 2 


Vio. Orsino ! I have heard my father name him : 
He was a bachelor then. 

CAP. And so is now, 

Or was so very late : for but a month 
Ago I went from hence ; and then 'twas fresh 
In murmur, (as, you know, what great ones do, 
The less will prattle of,) that he did seek 
The love of fair Olivia. 

Vio. What's she ? 

CAP. A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count 
That died some twelvemonth since ; then leaving 


In the protection of his son, her brother, 
Who shortly also died : for whose dear love, 
They say, she hath abjur'd the company 
And sight of men. 

Vio. O, that I served that lady : l 

And might not be delivered to the world, 2 
Till I had made mine own occasion mellow, 
What my estate is. 

1 They say, she hath abjured the company 
And sight of men. 
O, that I served that lady : J 
The old copy reads : 

They say she hath abjured the sight 
And company of men. 
O, that I served that lady ; 

By the change I have made in the ordo verborum, the metre of 
three lines is regulated, and an anticlimax prevented. STEEVENS. 

* And might not be delivered to the world,] I wish I might 
not be made public to the world, with regard to the state of my 
birth and fortune, till I have gained a ripe opportunity for my 

Viola seems to have formed a very deep design with very little 
premeditation : she is thrown by shipwreck on an unknown coast, 
hears that the prince is a bachelor, and resolves to supplant the 
lady whom he courts. JOHNSON. 

se. n. WHAT YOU WILL. 245 

CAP. That were hard to compass j 

Because she will admit no kind of suit, 
No, not the duke's. 

Vio. There is a fair behaviour in thee, captain ; 
And though that nature with a beauteous wall 
Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee 
I will believe, thou hast a mind that suits 
With this thy fair and outward character. 
I pray thee, and I'll pay thee bounteously, 
Conceal me what I am ; and be my aid 
For such disguise as, haply, shall become 
The form of my intent. I'll serve this duke ; 3 
Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him, 4 
It may be worth thy pains ; for I can sing, 

Pll serve this duke ;] Viola is an excellent schemer, 

never at a loss ; if she cannot serve the lady, she will serve the 
duke. JOHNSON. 

4 Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him^\ This plan of 
Viola's was not pursued, as it would have been inconsistent with 
the plot of the play. She was presented to the duke as a page, 
but not as a eunuch. M. MASON. 

The use of Evirati, in the same manner as at present, seems 
to have been well known at the time this play was written, about 

1600. BURNEY. 

When the practice of castration (which originated certainly 
in the east) was first adopted, solely for the purpose of improving 
the voice, I have not been able to learn. The first regular opera, 
as Dr. Barney observes to me, was performed at Florence in 
l600: " till about )635, musical dramas were only performed 
ocsasionally in the palaces of princes, and consequently before 
that time eunuchs could not abound. The first eunuch that was 
suffered to sing in the Pope's chapel, was in the year 1600." 

So early, however, as l(>0-t, eunuchs are mentioned by one 
of our poet's contemporaries, as excelling in singing : 

" Yes, I can sing, fool, if you'll bear the burthen ; and I cart 
play upon instruments scurvily, as gentlemen do. O that I had 
been gelded ! I should then have been a fat fool for a chamber, 
a squeaking fool for a tavern, and a private fool for all the 
ladie*.'* The Malcontent, by J. Marston, 1604. MALONE. 


And speak to him in many sorts of musick, 
That will allow me very worth his service. 5 
What else may hap, to time I will commit ; 
Only shape thou thy silence to my wit. 

CAP.. Be you his eunuch, and your mute I'll be : 
When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see ! 

Vio. I thank thee : Lead me on, \_Exeunt. 


A Room in Olivia's House. 
Enter Sir TOBY BELCH, and MARIA. 

SIR To. What a plague means my niece, to take 
the death of her brother thus ? I am sure, care's 
an enemy to life. 

MAR. By my troth, sir Toby, you must come in 
earlier o'nights ; your cousin, my lady, takes great 
exceptions to your ill hours. 

SIR To. Why, let her except before excepted. 6 

MAR. Ay, but you must confine yourself within 
the modest limits of order. 

SIR To. Confine ? I'll confine myself no finer 
than I am : these clothes are good enough to drink 
in, and so be these boots too ; an they be not, let 
them hang themselves in their own straps. 

* That tvill allow me ] To alloiu is to approve. So, in 
King Lear, Act II. sc. iv : 

" if your sweet sway 

" Alloiv obedience " STEEVENS. 

6 let her except before excepted. A ludicrous use of the 

formal law phrase. FARMER. 


MAR. That quaffing and drinking will undo you: 
I heard my lady talk of it yesterday; and of a foolish 
knight, that you brought in one night here, to be 
her wooer. 

SIR To. Who ? Sir Andrew Ague-cheek ? 
MAR. Ay, he. 

SIR To. He's as tall a man 7 as any's in Illyria. 
MAR. What's that to the purpose ? 

SIR To. Why, he has three thousand ducats a 

MAR. Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these 
ducats ; he's a very fool, and a prodigal. 

SIR To. Fye, that you'll say so ! he plays o' the 
viol-de-gambo, 8 and speaks three or four languages 

as tall a man ] Tall means stout, courageous. So, in 

Wily Beguiled: 

" Ay, and he is a tall Jettfftxt, and a man of his hands 

Again : 

" If he do not prove himself as tall a man as he." 


8 viol-de-gambo,] The viol-de-gambo seems, in our au- 
thor's time, to have been a very fashionable instrument. In The 
Return from Parnassus, 160J, it is mentioned, with its proper 
derivation : 

" Her viol-de-gambo is her best content, 

" For 'twixt her legs she holds her instrument." 


So, in the Induction to the Mai-content, 1604: 

" come sit between my legs here. 

" No indeed, cousin ; the audience will then take me for a 
viol-de-gambo, and think that you play upon me." 

In the old dramatic writers, frequent mention is made of a 
case (>f viols, consisting of a viol-de-gambo, the tenor and the 

See Sir John Hawkins's Hist, of Mustek, Vol. IV. p. 32, n. 338, 
wherein is a description of a case more properly termed a chest 
#f viols. STEEVENS. 


word for word without book, and hath all the good 
gifts of nature. 

MAR. He hath, indeed, almost natural : 9 for, 
besides that he's a fool, he's a great quarreller ; 
and, but that he hath the gift of a coward to allay 
the gust he hath in quarrelling, 'tis thought among 
the prudent, he would quickly have the gift of a 

SIR To. By this hand, they are scoundrels, and 
substractors, that say so of him. Who are they ? 

MAR. They that add moreover, he's drunk 
nightly in your company. 

SIR To. With drinking healths to my niece ; I'll 
drink to her, as long as there is a passage in my 
throat, and drink in Illyria : He's a coward, and a 
coystril, 1 that will not drink to my niece, till his 
brains turn o' the toe like a parish-top. 2 What, 

' He hath indeed, almost natural:] Mr. Upton proposes to 
regulate this passage differently : 

He hath indeed, all, most natural. M ALONE. 

1 a coysiril,'] i. e. a coward cock. It may, however, be 

a Iceystril, or a bastard hawk ; a kind of stone-hawk. So, in 
Arden of Fever sham, 15p2: 

" as dear 

" As ever coystril bought so little sport." STEEVENS. 

A coysiril is a paltry groom, one only fit to carry arms, but 
not to use them. So, in Holinshed's Description of England, 
Vol. I. p. 162 : " Costerels, or bearers of the armes of barons or 
knights." Vol. III. p. 248 : " So that a knight with his esquire 
and coistrell with his two horses." P. 2/2 : " women lackies, 
and coisterels, are considered as the unwarlike attendants on an 
army." So again, in p. 127, and 217 of his History of Scotland. 
For its etymology, see Constille and Coustillier m Cotgrave's 
Dictionary. TOLLET. 

2 like a parish-top.] This is one of the customs now 

laid aside. A large top was formerly kept in every village, to 
be whipped in frosty weather, that the peasants may be kept 
warm by exercise, and out of mischief, while they could not 

sc. m. WHAT YOU WILL. 249 

wench ? Castiliano vulgo ; 3 for here comes Sir 
Andrew Ague-face. 

work. The same comparison is brought forward in the Night 
Walker of Fletcher : 

" And dances like a town-top, and reels and hobbles." 


" To sleep like a town-top" is a proverbial expression. A top 
is said to sleep, when it turns round with great velocity, and 
makes a smooth humming noise. BLACKSTONE. 

3 Castiliano vulgo ;] We should read volto. In English, 
put on your Castilian countenance ; that is, your grave, solemn 
looks. WARBURTON. 

Castiliano vulgo;] I meet with the word Castilian and Cas- 
tilians in several of the old comedies. It is difficult to assign any 
peculiar propriety to it, unless it was adopted immediately after 
the defeat of the Armada, and became a cant term capriciously 
expressive of jollity or contempt. The Host, in The Merry 
Wives of Windsor, calls Caius a Castilian-king Urinal; and in 
The Merry Devil of Edmonton, one of the characters says : " Ha ! 
my Castilian dialogues !" In an old comedy called Look about 
you, l600, it is joined with another toper's exclamation very fre- 
quent in Shakspeare : 

" And Rivo will he cry, and Castile too." 
So again, in Marlowe's Jew of Malta, 1033 : 

" Hey, Rivo Castiliano, man's a man." 
Again, in The Stately Moral of the Three Lords of London, 15<)0: 

" Three Cavalicro's Castilianos here," &c. 
Cotgrave, however, informs us, that Castille not only signifies 
the noblest part of Spain, but contention, debate, brabling, alter- 
cation. Us sont en Castille, There is a jarre betwixt them ; and 
prendre la Castille pour autruy : To undertake another man's 
quarrel. STEEVENS. 

Mr. Steevens has not attempted to explain vulgo, nor perhaps 
can the proper explanation be given, unless some incidental ap- 
plication of it may be found in connection with Castiliano, where 
the context defines its meaning. Sir Toby here, having just 
declared that he would persist in drinking the health of his niece, 
as long as there was a passage in his throat, and drink in Illyria, 
at the sight of Sir Andrew, demands of Maria, with a banter, 
Castiliano vulgo. What this was, may be probably inferred from 
a speech in The Shoemaker's Holiday, 4to. 1(310: " Away, 
firke, scorer thy throat, thou shalt wash it with Gastilian licuor." 




SIR AND. Sir Toby Belch ! how now, Sir Toby 
Belch ? 

SIR To. Sweet Sir Andrew ! 

SIR AND. Bless you, fair shrew. 

MAR. And you too, sir. 

SIR To. Accost, Sir Andrew, accost. 4 

SIR AND. What's that ? 

SIR To. My niece's chamber-maid. 

SIR AND. Good mistress Accost, I desire better 

MAR. My name is Mary, sir. 

SIR AND. Good Mistress Mary Accost, 

SIR To. You mistake, knight : accost, is, front 
her, board her, 5 woo her, assail her. 

4 Accost, sir Andrew, accost.] To accost, had a signification 
in our author's time that the word now seems to have lost. In 
the second part of The English Dictionary, by H. C. 1 t>55, in 
which the reader " who is desirous of a more refined and elegant 
speech," is furnished with hard words, " to draw near," is ex- 
plained thus: " To accost, appropriate, appropinquate." See 
also Cotgrave's Diet, in verb, accoster. MALONE. 

3 board her,'] " I hinted that bourd was the better read- 
ing. Mr. Steevens supposed it should then be bourd ivith her ; 
but to the authorities which I have quoted for that reading in 
Jonson, Catiline, Act I. PC. iv. we may add the following: 
" I'll bourd him straight; how now Cornelio?" 

All Fools, Act V. sc. i. 

" He brings in a parasite that flowteth, and bourdeth them 
thus." Nash's Lenten Stitff, 15pg. 

" I can bourd when I see occasion." 

'Tis Pity she's a Whore, p. 38. WHALLEY. 

I am still unconvinced that board (the naval term) is not the 
proper reading. It is sufficiently familiar to our author in other 
places. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II. sc. i : WHAT YOU WILL. 251 

SIR AND. By my troth, I would not undertake 
her in this company. Is that the meaning of 
accost ? 

MAR. Fare you well, gentlemen. 

SIR To. An thou let part so, sir Andrew, 'would 
thou might'st never draw sword again. 

SIR AND. An you part so, mistress, I would I 
might never draw sword again. Fair lady, do you 
think you have fools in hand ? 

MAR. Sir, I have not you by the hand. 

SIR AND. Marry, but you shall have ; and here's 
my hand. 

MAR. Now, sir, thought is free: 6 I pray you, 
bring your hand to the buttery-bar, and let it 

SIR AND. Wherefore, sweet heart ? what's your 
metaphor ? 

" unless he knew some strain in me, that I know not 

myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury. 

" Mrs. Ford. Boarding, call you it ? I'll be sure to keep him 
above deck," c. &c. STEEVENS. 

Probably board her may mean no more than salute her, 
speak to her, &c. Sir Kenelm Digby, in his Treatise of Bodies, 
1O-13, fo. Paris, p. 253, speaking of a blind man, says: " He 
would at the first aboard of a stranger, as soone as he spoke to 
him, frame a right apprehension of his stature, bulke, and 
manner of making." REED. 

To board is certainly to accost, or address. So, in the History 
of Celestina the Faire, \5Q: " whereat Alderine somewhat 
displeased for she would verie faine have knowne who he was, 
boorded him thus." RITSON. 

Fair lady, do you think you have fools in hand ! 

Mar. A'ote, sir, thought is free :] There is the same 
pleasantry in Lyly's Euphnes, 1581: " None ( quoth she) can 
judge of wit but they that have it; why then (quoth he) doest 
ihou think me a fool? Thought is free, my Lord, quoth she." 



MAR. It's dry, sir. 7 

SIR AND. Why, I think so ; I am not such an 
ass, but I can keep my hand dry. But what's your 

MAR. A dry jest, sir. 

SIR AND. Are you full of them ? 

MAR. Ay, sir ; I have them at my fingers' ends: 
marry, now I let go your hand, I am barren. 

\_Exit MARIA. 

SIR To. O knight, thou lack'st a cup of canary: 
When did I see thee so put down ? 

SIR AND. Never in your life, I think ; unless 
you see canary put me down : Methinks, some- 
times I have no more wit than a Christian, or an 
ordinary man has : but I am a great eater of beef, 
and, I believe, that does harm to my wit. 

T Jf's dry, sir.'] What is the jest of dry hand, I know not 
any better than Sir Andrew. It may possibly mean, a hand 
with no money in it ; or, according to the rules of physiognomy, 
she may intend to insinuate, that it is not a lover's hand, a 
moist hand being vulgarly accounted a sign of an amorous 
constitution. JOHNSON. 

So, in Monsieur D' Olive, 160(5: " But to say you had a dull 
eye, a sharp nose (the visible marks of a shrew) ; a dry hand, 
which is the sign of a bad liver, as he said you were, being 
toward a husband too ; this was intolerable.'* 

Again, in Decker's Honest Whore, 1635 : " Of all dry-Jtsted 
knights, I cannot abide that he should touch me." Again, in 
West-ward Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1606: " Let her marry 
a man of a melancholy complexion, she shall not be much trou- 
bled by him. My husband has a hand as dry as his brains," &c. 
The Chief Justice likewise, in The Second Part of K. Henry IV. 
enumerates a dry hand among the characteristicks of debility 
and age. Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, Charmian says : 
" if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot 
scratch mine ear." All these passages will serve to confirm Dr. 
Johnson's latter supposition. STEEVENS. 

sc. ui. WHAT YOU WILL. 253 

SIR To. No question. 

SIR AND. An I thought that, I'd forswear it. 
I'll ride home to-morrow, sir Toby. 

SIR To. Pourquoy^ my dear knight ? 

SIR AND. What is pourquoy ? do or not do ? I 
would I had bestowed that time in the tongues, 
that I have in fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting: 
O, had I but followed the arts ! 

SIR To. Then hadst thou had an excellent head 
of hair. 

SIR AND. Why, would that have mended my 
hair ? 

SIR To. Past question; for thou seest, it will 
not curl by nature. tt 

SIR AND. But it becomes me well enough, does't 

SIR To. Excellent ; it hangs like flax on a 
distaff; and I hope to see a housewife take thee 
between her legs, and spin it off. 

SIR AND. 'Faith, I'll home to-morrow, Sir Toby: 
your niece will not be seen ; or, if she be, it's four 
to one she'll none of me : the count himself, here 
hard by, wooes her. 

SIR To. She'll none o* the count; she'll not match 
above her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit; 
I have heard her swear it. Tut, there's life in't, 

SIR AND. I'll stay a month longer. I am a fellow 
o' the strangest mind i' the world ; I delight in 
masques and revels sometimes altogether. 

* it will not curl by nature.] The old copy reads cool 

my nature. The emendation was made by Theobald. STESVENS. 


SIR To. Art thou good at these kick-shaws, 
knight ? 

SIR AND. As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he 
be, under the degree of my betters ; and yet I will 
not compare with an old man. 9 

SIR To. What is thy excellence in a galliard, 
knight ? 

SIR AND. 'Faith, I can cut a caper. 
SIR To. And I can cut the mutton to't. 

SIR AND. And, I think, I have the back-trick, 
simply as strong as any man in Illyria. 

SIR To. Wherefore are these things hid? where- 
fore have these gifts a curtain before them ? are 
they like to take dust, like mistress Mall's picture? 1 

9 -and yet I mill not compare tvith an old man."] This is 

intended, as a satire on that common vanity of old men, in pre- 
ferring their own times, and the past generation, to the present. 


This stroke of pretended satire but ill accords with the cha- 
racter of th6 foolish knight. Ague-cheek, though willing enough 
to arrogate to himself such experience as is commonly the ac- 
quisition of age, is yet careful to exempt his person from being 
compared with its bodily weakness. In short, he would say 
with Falstaff: " I am old in nothing but my understanding.''' 

1 mistress Mall's picture ?~\ The real name of the wo- 
man whom I suppose to have been meant by Sir Toby, was 
Mary Frith. The appellation by which she was generally 
known, was Mall Cutpurse. She was at once an hermaphro- 
dite, a prostitute, a bawd, a bully, a thief, a receiver of stolen 
goods, &c.. &c. On the books of the Stationers' Company, 
August l6'lO, is entered " A Booke called the IVladde Prancks 
of Merry Matt of the Bankside, with her Walks in Man's Ap- 
parel, and to what Purpose. Written by John Day." Middle- 
ton and Decker wrote a comedy, of which she is the heroine. 
In this, they have given a. very flattering representation of her, 
as they observe in their preface, that " it is the excellency of a 
writer, to leave things better thtm he finds them." 

sc. m. WHAT YOU WILL. 

why dost thou not go to church in a galliard, and 
come home in a coranto ? My very walk should be 

The title of this piece is The Roaring Girl, or Moll Cut" 
purse ; as it hath been lately acted on the Fortune Stage, by 
the Prince his Players, l6j 1. The frontispiece to it contains a 
full length of her in man's clothes, smoaking tobacco. Na- 
thaniel Field, in his Amends for Ladies, (another comedy, 
l6l8,) gives the following character of her : 
Hence lewd impudent, 

I know not what to term thee ; man or woman ; 
For nature, shaming to acknowledge thee 
For either, hath produc'd thee to the world 
Without a sex : Some say, that thou art woman ; 
Others, a man : to many thou art both , 

Woman and man ; but I think rather neither ; 
Or, man, or horse, as Centaurs old were feign'd." 
A life of this woman was likewise published, 12mo. in l662 r 
with her portrait before it in a male habit ; an ape, a lion, and 
an eagle by her. As this extraordinary personage appears to 
have partook of both sexes, the curtain which Sir Toby men- 
tions would not have been unnecessarily drawn before such a 
picture of her as might have been exhibited in an age, of which 
neither too much delicacy or decency was the characteristick, 


In our author's time, I believe, curtains were frequently hung 
before pictures of any value. So, in Vittoria Corombona, a 
tragedy, by Webster, 1612: 

" I yet but draw the curtain ; now to your picture." 


See a further account of this woman in Dodsley's Collection 
of Old Plays, edit. 1780, Vol. VI. p. 1. Vol. XII. p. 3g8. 


Mary Frith was born in 158-4, and died in l6.1p. In a MSl 
letter in the British Museum, from John Chamberlain to Mr. 
Carleton, dated Feb. 11, 1011-12, the following account is 
given of this woman's doing penance: " This last Sunday Molt 
Cutpurse, a notorious baggage that used to go in man's apparel, 
and challenged the field of diverse gallants, was brought to the 
same place, [St. Paul's Cross,] where she wept bitterly, and 
seemed very penitent ; but it is since doubted she was maudlin 
drunk, being discovered to have tippel'd of three quarts of sack 
before she came to her penance. She had the daintiest preacher 
or ghostly father that ever I saw in the pulpit, one Radcliffe of 


a jig ; I would not so much as make water, but in 
a sink-a-pace. 2 What dost thou mean ? is it a 
world to hide virtues in ? I did think, by the ex- 
cellent constitution of thy leg, it was formed under 
the star of a galliard. 

SIR AND. Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent 
well in a flame-coloured stock. 3 Shall we set about 
some revels ? 

Brazen-Nose College in Oxford, a likelier man to have led the 
revels in some inn of court, than to be where he was. But the 
best is, he did extreme badly, and so wearied the audience, that 
the best part went away, and the rest tarried rather to hear 
Moll Cutpurse than him." MALONE. 

It is for the sake of correcting a mistake of Dr. Grey, that 
I observe this is the character alluded to in the second of the 
following lines ; and not Mary Carleton, the German Princess, 
as he has very erroneously and unaccountably imagined : 
" A bold virago stout and tall, 
" As Joan of France, or English Mall." 

Hudibras, P. I. c. iii. 

The latter of these lines is borrowed by Swift in his Baucis and 
Philemon. RITSON. 

* a sink-a-pace.] i. e. a cinque-pace ; the name of a 

dance, the measures whereof are regulated by the number five. 
The word occurs elsewhere in our author. SIR J. HAWKINS. 

So, in Sir John Harrington's Anatomic of the Metamorphosed 
Ajax : " the last verse disordered their mouthes, and was like 
a tricke of xvn in a sin&apace" STEEVENS. 

3 flame-coloured stock.] The old copy reads a damned 

coloured stock. Stockings were in Shakspeare's time called stocks. 
So, in Jack Drum's Entertainment, 1(501 : 

" Or would my silk stock should lose his gloss else." 
Again, in one of Heywood's Epigrams, 1502: 

" Thy upper stocks, be they stuft with silke or flocks, 
" Never become thee like a nether paire of stocks." 
The same solicitude concerning the furniture of the legs makes 
part of master Stephen's character in Every Man in his Humour* 
" I think my leg would show well in a silk hose." 


The emendation was made by Mr. Pope. MALONE. 

ic. ir. WHAT YOU WILL. 

U What Shall wfc do elg ? Were We ftdt 
born under Taurus ? 

/& ^JV^D. Taurus ? that's Sides and heart. 1 

SIR To. No, sir ; it is legs and thighs. Let me 
see thee caper : ha ! higher : ha, ha ! excellent 1 


A Room in the Duke's Palace^ 
Enter VALENTINE, and VIOLA in man's attire. 

VAL. If the duke continue these favours towards 
you, Cesario, you are like to be much advanced ; 
he hath known you but three days, and already 
you are no stranger. 

Vio. You either fear his humour, or my negli- 
gence, that you call in question the continuance 
of his love : Is he inconstant, sir, in his favours ? 

VAL. No, believe me. 

Enter DUKE, CURIO, and Attendants. 

Vio. I thank you. Here comes the count. 

DUKE. Who saw Cesario, ho? 

Vio. On your attendance, my lord ; here. 

DUKE. Stand you awhile aloof. Cesario, 
Thou know'st no less but all j I have unclasp'd 

4 Taurus ? that's sides and heart. "} Alluding to tfce medical 
astrology still preserved in almanacks, which refers the affectidns 
of particular parts of the body to the predominance of- particular 
constellations. JOHNSON. 

VOL. V. S 


To thee the book even of my secret soul : 5 
Therefore, good youth, address thy gait unto her j 
Be not deny'd access, stand at her doors, 
And tell them, there thy fixed foot shall grow, 
Till thou have audience. 

Vio. Sure, my noble lord, 

If she be so abandon'd to her sorrow 
As it is spoke, she never will admit me. 

DUKE. Be clamorous, and leap all civil bounds, 
Rather than make unprofited return. 

Vio. Say, I do speak with her, my lord j What 
then ? 

DUKE. O, then unfold the passion of my love, 
Surprise her with discourse of my dear faith : 
It shall become thee well to act my woes ; 
She will attend it better in thy youth, 
Than in a nuncio of more grave aspect. 

Vio. I think not so, my lord. 

DUKE. Dear lad, believe it ; 

For they shall yet belie thy happy years, 
That say, thou art a man : Diana's lip 
Is not more smooth, and rubious ; thy small pipe 
Is as the maiden's organ, shrill, and sound, 
And all is semblative a woman's part. 6 
I know, thy constellation is right apt 
For this affair : Some four, or five, attend him ; 
All, if you will; for I myself am best, 
When least in company : Prosper well in this, 

* 1 have unclasp'd 

To thee the book even of my secret soul;'] So, in The First 
Part ofK. Henry IV: 

" And now I will unclasp a secret book" STEEVENS. 

* a woman's part.] That is, thy proper part in a play 

would be a woman's. Women were then personated by boys. 


sc. v. WHAT YOU WILL. 259 

And thou shalt live as freely as thy lord, 
To call his fortunes thine. 

Vio. . I'll do my best, 

To woo your lady : yet, \_Aside.~] a barful strife ! ' 
Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife. 



A Room in Olivia's House. 

Enter MARIA, and Clown. 8 

MAR. Nay, either tell me where thou hast been, 
or I will not open my lips, so wide as a bristle 
may enter, in way of thy excuse : my lady will 
hang thee for thy absence. 

CLO. Let her hang me : he, that is well hanged 
in this world, needs to fear no colours. 9 

7 a barful strife /] i. e. a contest full of impediments. 


8 Clown.'] As this is the first Clown who makes his appear- 
ance in the plays of our author, it may not be amiss, from a pas- 
sage in Tarleton's News out of 'Purgatory, to point out one of 
the ancient dresses appropriated to the character : " I saw one 
attired in russet, with a button'd cap on his head, a bag by his 
side, and a strong bat in his hand ; so artificially attired for a 
clowne, as I began to call Tarleton's woonted shape to remem- 
brance." STEEVENS. 

Such perhaps was the dress of the Clown in this comedy, in 
All's well that ends well, &c. The Clown, however, in Measure 
Jbr Measure, (as an anonymous writer has observed,) is only the 
tapster of a brothel, and probably was not so apparelled. 


-fear no colours.] This expression frequently occurs in 

the old plays. So, in Ben Jonson's Sejanus. The persons con- 
versing are Sejanus, and Eudemus the physician to the Princes* 
Livia : 

S 2 


MAR. Make that good. 

CLO. He shall see none to fear. 

MAR. A good lenten answer : l I can tell thee 
where that saying was born, of, I fear no colours. 

CLO. Where, good mistress Mary ? 

MAR. In the wars ; and that may you be bold 
to say in your foolery. 

CLO. Well, God give them wisdom, that have 
it ; and those that are fools, let them use their 

MAR. Yet you will be hanged, for being so long 
absent : or, to be turned away ; 2 is not that as good 
as a hanging to you ? 

CLO. Many a good hanging prevents a bad 
marriage j and, for turning away, let summer bear 
it out. 3 

" Sej. You minister to a royal lady then ? 

" End. She is, my lord, and fair. 

" Sej. That's understood 
*' Of all their sex, who are or would be so ; 
" A.nd those that would be, physick soon can make 'era : 
" For those that are, their beauties^ar no colours." 
Again, in The Two angry Women qfAbingdon, 1599: 

" are you disposed, sir ? 

" Yes indeed : \fear no colours ; change sides, Richard." 


1 -- lenten answer :] A lean, or as we now call it, a dry, 

answer. JOHNSON. 

Surely a lenten answer, rather means a short and spare one, 
like the commons in Lent. So^ in Hamlet : " what lenten 
entertainment the players shall receive from you." STEEVENS. 

* or, to be turned away ;~\ The editor of the second 

folio omitted the word to, in which he has been followed by 
all subsequent editors. MALONE. 

3 and, for turning away, let summer bear it oul.~\ This 

seems to be a pun from the nearness in the pronunciation of 
turning away and turning of whey. 

sc. v. WHAT YOU WILL. 261 

MAR. You are resolute then ? 

CLO. Not so neither ; but I am resolved on two 

MAR. That, if one break, 4 the other will hold ; 
or, if both break, your gaskins fall. 

CLO. Apt, in good faith ; very apt ! Well, go 
thy way ; if sir Toby would leave drinking, thou 
wert as witty a piece of Eve's flesh as any in 

MAR. Peace, you rogue, no more o' that ; here 
comes my lady : make your excuse wisely, you 
were best. [Exit. 

I found this observation among some papers of the late Dr. 
Letherland, for the perusal of which, I am happy to have an 
opportunity of returning my particular thanks to Mr. Glover, 
the author of Medea and Leonidas, by whom, before, I had 
been obliged only in common with the rest of the world. 

I am yet of opinion that this note, however specious, is wrong, 
the literal meaning being easy and apposite. For turning away, 
let summer bear it out. It is common for unsettled and vagrant 
gerving-men, to grow negligent of their business towards sum- 
mer ; and the sense of the passage is : " If I am turned away t 
the advantages of the approaching summer will bear out, or sup- 
port all the inconveniencief, of dismission ; for I shall find em- 
ployment in every field) and lodging under every hedge" 


4 if one (point) break,} Points were metal hooks, 

fastened to the hose or breeches, (which hud then no opening or 
buttons,) and going into straps or eyes fixed to the doublet, and 
thereby keeping the hose from falling down. BLACKSTONE. 

So, in King Henry IV. P. I : " Their points being broken, 
down fell their hose." Again, in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" mingle eyes 

" With one that ties his points?" STBKVENS. 



CLO. Wit, and't be thy will, put me into good 
fooling ! Those wits, that think they have thee, do 
very oft prove fools ; and I, that am sure I lack 
thee, may pass for a wise man : For what says 
Quinapalus ? Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit. 5 
God bless thee, lady ! 

OLI. Take the fool away. 

CLO. Do you not hear, fellows ? Take away the 

OLI. Go to, you're a dry fool ; I'll no more of 
you : besides, you grow dishonest. 

CLO. Two faults, madonna, 6 that drink and good 
counsel will amend : for give the dry fool drink, 
then is the fool not dry ; bid the dishonest man. 
mend himself; if he mend, he is no longer dis- 
honest ; if he cannot, let the botcher mend him : 
Any thing, that's mended, is but patched : 7 virtue, 
that transgresses, is but patched with sin ; and sin, 
that amends, is but patched with virtue : If that 
this simple syllogism will serve, so ; if it will not, 
What remedy ? As there is no true cuckold but 
calamity, so beauty's a flower: the lady bade take 
away the fool ; therefore, I say again, take her away. 

OLI. Sir, I bade them take away you. 

* - Better a witty fool, than a foolish u>zY.] Hall, in his 

Chronicle, speaking of the death of Sir Thomas More, says : 
" that he knows not whether to call him & foolish "wise man, or 
a wise foolish man.'" JOHNSON. 

6 madonna,'] Ital. mistress, dame. So, La madonna, 

by way of pre-eminence, the Blessed Virgin. STEEVENS. 

7 Any thing, that's mended, is but patched:] Alluding to 

the patched or particoloured garment of the fool. MALONE. 

sc. v. WHAT YOU \VILL. 263 

CLO. Misprision in the highest degree 1 Lady, 
Cucullus non facit monachum ; that's as much as 
to say, I wear not motley in my brain. Good 
madonna, give me leave to prove you a fool. 

OLI. Can you do it ? 

CLO. Dexteriously, good madonna. 

OLI. Make your proof. 

CLO. I must catechize you for it, madonna 5 
Good my mouse of virtue, answer me. 

OLI. Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I'll 
'bide your proof. 

CLO. Good madonna, why mourn'st thou ? 
OLI. Good fool, for my brother's death. 
CLO. I think, his soul is in hell, madonna. 
OLI. I know his soul is in heaven, fool. 

CLO. The more fool you, madonna, to mourn for 
your brother's soul being in heaven. Take away 
the fool, gentlemen. 

OLI. What think you of this fool, Malvolio? 
doth he not mend ? 

MAL. Yes ; and shall do, till the pangs of death 
shake him : Infirmity, that decays the wise, doth 
ever make the better fool. 

CLO. God send you, sir, a speedy infirmity, for 
the better encreasing your folly! Sir Toby will be 
sworn, that I am no fox ; but he will not pass his 
word for two-pence that you are no fool. 

OLI. How say you to that, Malvolio ? 

MAL. I marvel your ladyship takes delight in 
such a barren rascal ; I saw him put down the other 
day with an ordinary fool, that has no more brain 
than a stone. Look you now, he's out of his guard 
already j unless you laugh and minister occasion 


to him, he. is gagged I protest, I take these wise 
men, that crow so at these set kind of fools, no 
better than the fools' zanies, 

OLI. O, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and 
taste with a distempered appetite. To be generous, 
guiltless, and of free dis,positiqp, is to take those 
things for bird-bolts, that you deem can.non-bul- 
lets : There is no slander in an allowed fool, though 
he do nothing but rail j nor no railing in a known 
discreet man, though he do nothing but reprove. 

CLO. Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for 
thou speakest well of fools ! 9 

MAE. Madam, there is at the ga.te a young gen- 
tleman, much desires to speak with you. 

OLI. From the count Orsino, is it ? 

MAR. I know not, madam j 'tis a fair young 
man, and well attended. 

8 T-^r no, fatter than the fools'- zanies.] i. e, fools' l>au.Ues t 
which had upon the top of them the head ofajbot. DOUCE. 

9 Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou speakest 
fjaeH of fools /] This is a stupid blunder. We should read, tuith 
pleasing, i. e. with eloquence, make thee a gracious and power- 
ful speaker, for Mercury was the god of orators as well as cheats. 
But the first editors, who did not understand the phrase, endue 
thee with pleasing, made this foolish correction ; more excusable, 
however, than the last editor's, who, when this emendation was 
pointed out to him, would make on,e of his own ; and so, in his 
Oxford edition, reads, with learning ; without troubling himself 
|Q satisfy the readey how. th,e first editor ahould blunder in a 
jjjOKl so, easy to be understood as, learning, though they weU 
might in the word pleasing^ a^s it is us.ed in thi.s place. 


1 think the present reading more humorous : May Mercury 
theeto &, since tkou hest i&fovou* of fools I JOHNSON. 

*. F. WHAT YOU WILL. 265 

OLI. Who of my people hold him in delay? 
MAR. Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman. 

OLI. Fetch him off, I pray you ; he speaks no- 
thing but madman : Fye on him ! \_Exit MARIA.] 
Go you, Malvolio : if it be a suit from the count, 
I am sick, or not at home ; what you will, to dis- 
miss it. \JExit MALVOLIO.] Now you see, sir, how 
your fooling grows old, and people dislike it. 

CLO. Thou hast spoke for us, madonna, as if thy 
eldest son should be a fool : whose skull Jove cram 
with brains, for here he comes, one of thy kin, has 
a most weak pia mater.* 

Enter Sir TOBY BELCH. 

OLI. By mine honour, half drunk. What is he 
at the gate, cousin ? 

SIR To. A gentleman. 

OLI. A gentleman ? What gentleman ? 

SIR To. J Tis a gentleman here 2 A plague 
o'these pickle-herrings ! How now, sot ? 

1 a most toeai pia mater."} The pia mater is the mem- 
brane that immediately covers the substance of the brain. So, 
in Philemon Holland's Translation of Pliny's Natural History, 
Book XXIV. chap. 8: '* the fine pellicle called pia mater, 
which lappeth and. enfoldeth the braine." Edit. 1601, p. 185. 


* 'Tw a gentleman here ] He had before said it was a gen- 
tleman. He was asked, what gentleman? and he makes this 
reply ; which, it is plain, is corrupt, and should be read thus : 

'Tis a gentleman-heir. 

i.e. some lady's eldest son just come out of the nursery; for this 
was the appearance Viola made in men's clothes. See the cha- 
racter Malvolio. draws of him presently after. WARBURTON. 

Can any thing be plainer than that Sir Toby was going to 
describe the gentleman, but was interrupted by the effects of his 
fickle^herring ? I would print it as an imperfect sentence. Mr. 
Edwards has the same observation. SXBEYISS. 


CLO. Good sir Toby, 

OLI. Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early 
by this lethargy ? 

SIR To. Lechery ! I defy lechery : There's one 
at the gate. 

OLI. Ay, marry ; what is he ? 

SIR To. Let him be the devil, an he will, I care 
not : give me faith, say I. Well, it's all one. \_Rxit. 

OLI. What's a drunken man like, fool ? 

CLO. Like a drown'd man, a fool, and a mad- 
man : one draught above heat 3 makes him a fool ; 
the second mads him ; and a third drowns him. 

OLI. Go thou and seek the coroner, and let him 
sit o' my coz ; for he's in the third degree of drink, 
he's drown'd : go, look after him. 

CLO. He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool 
shall look to the madman. [Exit Clown. 

Re-enter MALVOLIO. 

MAL. Madam, yond young fellow swears he will 
speak with you. I told him you were sick ; he 
takes on him to understand so much, and therefore 
comes to speak with you: I told him you were 
asleep; he seems to have a fore-knowledge of that 
too, and therefore comes to speak with you. What 
is to be said to him, lady? he's fortified against any 

OLI. Tell him, he shall not speak with me. 

Mr. Steevens's interpretation may be right : yet Dr. Warbur- 
ton's reading is not so strange, as it has been represented. In 
Broome's Jovial Creiu, Scentwell says to the gypsies: " We 
must find a young gentlewoman-heir among you." FARMER. 

3 above heat ] i e. above the state of being warm in a 

proper degree. STEEVENS. 

sc. r. WHAT YOU WILL. 267 

MAL. He has been told so ; and he says, he'll 
stand at your door like a sheriff's post, 4 and be the 
supporter of a bench, but he'll speak with you. 

OLI. What kind of man is he ? 
MAL. Why, of man kind. 
OLI. What manner of man ? 

MAL. Of very ill manner j he'll speak with you, 
will you, or no. 

OLI. Of what personage, and years, is he ? 

MAL. Not yet old enough for a man, nor young 
enough for a boy ; as a squash is before 'tis a 
peascod, or a codling when 'tis almost an apple : 6 

4 stand at your door like a sheriff's post,] It was the 

custom for that officer to have large posts set up at his door, as 
an indication of his office : the original of which was, that the 
king's proclamations, and other public acts, might be affixed 
thereon, by way of publication. So, Jonson's Every Man out of 
his Humour: 

" put off 

" To the Lord Chancellor's tomb, or the Shrives posts." 
So again, in the old play called Lingua : 

" Knows he how to become a scarlet gown? hath he a pair of 
fresh posts at his door ?" WARBURTON. 

Dr. Letherland was of opinion, that " by this post is meant a 
post to mount a horse from, a horse-block, which, by the custom 
of the city, is still placed at the sheriff's door." 

In the Contention for Honour and Riches, a masque by Shir- 
ley, 1633, one of the competitors swears : 

" By the Shrive* s post,' 1 &c. 

Again, in A Woman never vex'd, com. by Rowley, 1632: 
" If e'er I live to see thee sheriff' of London, 
" I'll gild thy painted posts cum privilegio." STEEVENS. 

4 or a codling tvhen 'tis almost an apple :] A codling 

anciently meant an immature apple. So, in Ben Jonson's Ac- 
chemist : 

" Who is it, Dol ? 
" A fine young quodling" 

The fruit at present styled a codling, was unknown to our 
gardens in the time of Shakspeare. STJEEVENS. 


'tis with him e'en standing water, 6 between boy and 
man. He is very well-favoured, and he speaks very 
shrewishly ; one would think, his mother's milk 
were scarce out of him. 

OLI. Let him approach: Call in my gentle- 

MAL. Gentlewoman, my lady calls. \JExlt. 

Re-enter MARIA. 

OLI. Give me my veil : come, throw it o'er my 

face ; 
We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy. 

Enter VIOLA. 

Vio. The honourable lady of the house, which 
is she ? 

OLI. Speak to me, I shall answer for her ; Your 

Vio. Most radiant, exquisite, and unmatchable 
beauty, I pray you, tell me, if this be the lady of 
the house, for I never saw her : I would be loath to 
cast away my speech ; for, besides that it is excel- 
lently well penn'd, I have taken great pains to con 
it. Good beauties, let me sustain no scorn ; I am 
very comptible, 7 even to the least sinister usage. 

6 *f is tuitk him e'en standing water,'] The old copy has 

.in. The emendation was made by Mr. Steevens. In the first 
folio e'en and in are very frequently confounded. MA LONE. 

7 / am very comptible,] Comptible for ready to call to 

account. WARBURTON. 

Viola seems to mean just the contrary. She begs she may not 
be treated with scorn, because she is very submissive, even to 
lighter marks of reprehension. STEEVENS. 

ac. r. WHAT YOU WILL. 269 

OLI. Whence came you, sir ? 

Vio. I can say little more than I have studied, 
and that question's out of my part. Good gentle 
one, give me modest assurance, if you be the lady 
of the house, that I may proceed in my speech. 

OLI. Are you a comedian ? 

Vio. No, my profound heart : and yet, by the 
very fangs of malice, I swear, I am not that I play. 
Are you the lady of the house ? 

OLI. If I do not usurp myself, I am. 

Vio. Most certain, if you are she, you do usurp 
yourself; for what is yours to bestow, is not yours 
to reserve. But this is from my commission : I 
will on with my speech in your praise, and then 
shew you the heart of my message. 

OLI. Come to what is important in't : I forgive 
you the praise. 

Vio. Alas, I took great pains to study it, and 
'tis poetical. 

OLI. It is the more like to be feigned ; I pray 
you, keep it in. I heard, you were saucy at my 

fates ; and allowed your approach, rather to won- 
er at you than to hear you. If you be not mad, 
be gone ; if you have reason, be brief: 8 'tis not 
that time of moon with me, to make one in so 
skipping 9 a dialogue. 

8 If you be not mad, be gone ; if you have reason, 6e 

brief:'] The sense evidently requires that we should read : 

" If you be mad, be gone," <Src. 

For the words be mad, in the first part of the sentence^ are op- 
posed to reason m the second. M. MASON. 

9 skipping ] Wild, frolick, mad. JOHNSON. 

So, in JL Henry IV. P. I : 

" Thfr skipping king> he ambled up and down," &c. 



MAR. Will you hoist sail, sir? here lies your 

Vio. No, good swabber ; I am to hull here 1 a 
little longer. Some mollification for your giant, 2 
sweet lady. 

OLI. Tell me your mind. 
Vio. I am a messenger. 3 

Again, in The Merchant of Venice: 

" take pain 

" To allay, with some cold drops of modesty, 
" Thy skipping spirit." MALONE. 

1 / am to hull here ] To hull means to drive to and fr 

upon the water, without sails or rudder. So, in Philemon Hol- 
land's translation of the pth Book of Pliny's Natural History, 
1601, p. 239: " fell to be drowsie and sleepie, and hulled to 
and fro with the waves, as if it had beene half dead." Again, in 
The Noble Soldier, 1634 : 

" That all these mischiefs hull with flagging sail." 


1 some mollification for your giant,"] Ladies, in romance, 
are guarded by giants, who repel all improper or troublesome 
advances. Viola, seeing the waiting-maid so eager to oppose her 
message, intreats Olivia to pacify her giant. JOHNSON. 

Viola likewise alludes to the diminutive size of Maria, who 
is called on subsequent occasions, little villain, youngest wren of 
nine, &c. STEEVJENS. 

So, Falstaff to his page : 

" Sirrah, you giant," &c. K. Henry IV. P. II. Act I. 


3 Oli. Tell me your mind. 

Vio. I am a messenger.'] These words (which in the old copy 
are part of Viola's last speech) must be divided between the two 

Viola growing troublesome, Olivia would dismiss her, and 
therefore cuts her short with this command, Tell me your mind. 
The other, taking advantage of the ambiguity of the word 
mind, which signifies either business or inclination, replies as if 
she had used it in the latter sense, I am a messenger. 



OLL Sure, you have some hideous matter to 
deliver, when the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak 
your office. 

Vio. It alone concerns your ear. I bring no 
overture of war, no taxation of homage ; I hold the 
olive in my hand : my words are as full of peace 
as matter. 

OLI. Yet you began rudely. What are you? 
what would you ? 

Vio. The rudeness, that hath appear'd in me, 
have I learn J d from my entertainment. What I 
am, and what I would, are as secret as maiden- 
head : to your ears, divinity j to any other's, pro- 

OLI. Give us the place alone : we will hear this 
divinity. [Exit MARIA.] Now, sir, what is your 
text ? 

Vio. Most sweet lady, 

OLI. A comfortable doctrine, and much may be 
said of it. Where lies your text ? 

Vio. In Orsino's bosom. 

OLI. In his bosom ? In what chapter of his 
bosom ? 

Vio. To answer by the method, in the first of 
his heart. 

OLI. O, I have read it ; it is heresy. Have you 
no more to say ? 

Vio. Good madam, let me see your face. 
OLI. Have you any commission from your lord 
to negociate with my face ? you are now out of 

As a messenger, she was not to speak her own mind, but that 
of her employer. M. MASON. 


your text : but We will draw the curtain, and shew 
you the picture. Look you, sir, such a one as I 
was this present : Is't not well done ? 4 [ Unveiling, 

Vio. Excellently done, if God did all. 

OLI. 'Tis in grain, sir 5 'twill endure wind and 

4 - LiGok you, sir, Such ft on# tts /was this present: Is't 
not well done ?~] This is nonsense. The change of was to wear, 
I think, clears all up, and gives the expression an air of gallantry. 
Viola presses to see Olivia's face : The other at length pulls off 
her veil, and says : We will draw the curtain, and shew you tht 
picture. I wear this complexion to-day, I may wear another 
to-morrow ; jocularly intimating, that she painted. The other, 
vext at the jest, says, * Excellently done, if God did all.*' 
Perhaps, it may be true, what you say in jest; otherwise 
'tis an excellent face. 'Tis in grain, &c. replies Olivia. 


I am not satisfied with this emendation. We may read, 
" Such a one I was. This presence, is't not well done?" i. e. 
this mien, is it not happily represented ? Similar phraseology 
occurs in Othello : " This fortification, shall we see it?" 

This passage is nonsense as it stands, and ftecessarily requires 
some amendment. That proposed by Warburfon Would make 
sense of it ; but then the allusion to a picture would be dropped, 
which began in th preceding part of the speech, and is- carried 
on through -those that follow. If we read presents instead of 
present, this allusion will be preserved, and the meaning will be 
clear, I harve no d<?ubt but the line should fun thus : 

** Look you, sir, such as once I was, this presents." 
Presents means represents. So Hamlet calls the pictures he shews 
his" mother: 

'* The counterfeit presentment of two- brothers." 
She had said before " But we will draw the curtain^ and shew 
you the picture;" artd concludes with asking him, if it was well 
done. The same idea occurs in Troifaz and Greteida, whtere 
Pandarus, taking off her veil, says>: 

" Come draw this curtain, and let us see your picture." 


I suspect, the author intended that Olivia shouW agairv cover 
Her face with her veil, before "she speak* these words. 

sc. v. WHAT YOU WILL. 273 

F/o. 'Tis beauty truly blent, 5 whose red and white 
Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on : 
Lady, you are the cruel'st she alive, 
If you will lead these graces to the grave, 
And leave the world no copy. 6 

OLI. O, sir, I will not be so hard-hearted; I will 
give out divers schedules of my beauty : It shall 
be inventoried ; and every particle, and utensil, 
labelled to my will : as, item, two lips indifferent 

5 'Tis beauty truly blent,] i. e. blended, mixed together. 
Blent is the ancient participle of the verb to blend. So, in A 
Looking Glass for London and England, 1617 : 

" the beautiful encrease 

" Is wholly blent." 
Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I. c. 6 : 

" for having blent 

" My name with guile, and traiterous intent." 


6 If you tvill lead these graces to the grave, 

And leave the ivorld no copy.] How much more elegantly 
is this thought expressed by Shakspeare, than by Beaumont and 
Fletcher in their Philaster : 

" I grieve such virtue should be laid in earth, 

" Without an heir.'" 
Shakspeare has copied himself in his llth Sonnet : 

" She carv'd thee for her seal, and meant thereby 

" Thou should'st print more, nor let that copy die." 
Again, in the 3d Sonnet : 

" Die single, and thine image dies with thee." 


Again, in his Qth Sonnet: 

" Ah ! if thou issueless shalt hap to die, 
" The world will hail thee like a makeless wife ; 
" The world will be thy widow, and still weep 
" That thou no form of thee hast left behind.'''' 
Again, in the 13th Sonnet: 

" O that you were yourself! but, love, you are 
" No longer yours than you yourself here live : 
" Against this coming end you should prepare, 
" And your siveet semblance to some other give." 


VOL. V. T 


red; item, two grey eyes, with lids to them ; item, 
one neck, one chin, and so forth. Were you sent 
hither to 'praise me ? 7 

Vio. I see you what you are : you are too proud j 
But, if you were the devil, you are fair. 
My lord and master loves you j O, such love 
Could be but recompens'd, though you were 

The nonpareil of beauty! 

OLI. How does he love me? 

Vio. With adorations, with fertile tears, 8 
With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.* 

7 to 'praise me?} i.e. to appraise, or appretiate me. 

The foregoing words, schedules, and inventoried, shew, I think, 
that this is the meaning. So again, in Cymbeline : " I could 
then have looked on him without the help of admiration ; 
though the catalogue of his endowments had been tabled by his 
side, and I to peruse him by items.'" MALONE. 

Malone's conjecture is ingenious, and I should have thought 
it the true reading, if the foregoing words, schedule and inven- 
toried, had been used by Viola: but as it is Olivia herself who 
.makes use of them, I believe the old reading is right, though 
Steevens has adopted that of Malone. Viola has extolled her 
beauty so highly, that Olivia asks, whether she was sent there 
on purpose to praise her. M. MASON. 

9 with fertile tears,"] With, which is not in the old copy, 

was added by Mr. Pope to supply the metre. Tears is here 
used as a dissyllable, likejftre, hour, siuear, &c. " With adora- 
tion's fertile tears," i. e. with the copious tears that unbounded 
and adoring love pours forth. MALONE. 

To read tears as a dissyllable [i.e. t-ars] at the end of a verse, 
is what no ancient examples have authorised, and no human ears 
can endure. STEEVENS. 

9 With groans that thunder love, "with sighs of \ftre.~] This 
line is worthy of Dryden's Almanzor, and, if not said in 
mockery of amorous hyperboles, might be regarded as a ridicule 
on a passage in Chapman's translation of the first book of Homer, 

" Jove thunder* d out a sigh ," 

sc. r. WHAT YOU WILL. 275 

OLI. Your lord does know my mind, I cannot 

love him : 

Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble, 
Of great estate, of fresli and stainless youth ; 
In voices well divulg'd, 1 free, learn'd, and valiant, 
And, in dimension, and the shape of nature, 
A gracious person : but yet I cannot love him ; 
He might have took his answer long ago. 

Vio. If I did love you in my master's flame, 
With such a suffering, such a deadly life, 
In your denial I would find no sense, 
I would not understand it. 

OLI. Why, what would you? 

Vio. Make me a willow cabin at your gate, 
And call upon my soul within the house ; 
Write loyal cantons of contemned love, 2 
And sing them loud even in the dead of night ; 

Or, on another in Lodge's Rosalynde, 15Q2: 
" The winds of my deepe sighes 
" That thunder still for noughts," &c. STEEVENS. 

So, in our author's Lover's Complaint : 

" O, that forc'd thunder from his heart did fly!" 


1 In voices well divulg'd,] Well spoken of by the world, 


So, in Timon : 

" Is this the Athenian minion, tvhom the ivorld 
" Voic'd 50 regardfully ?" STEEVENS. 

* Write loyal cantons of contemned love,~\ The old copy has 
cantons ; which Mr. Capell, who appears to have been entirely 
unacquainted with our ancient language, has changed into 
canzons. There is no need of alteration. Canton was used for 
canto in our author's time. So, in The London Prodigal, a 
comedy, 1605: " What-do-you-call-him has it there in his third 
canton" Again, in Heywood's Preface to Britaynes Troy, 
1609: " in the judicial perusal of these few cantons, 1 ' &c. 


T 2 


Holla your name to the reverberate hills, 3 
And make the babbling gossip of the air 4 
Cry out, Olivia! O, you should not rest 
Between the elements of air and earth, 
But you should pity me. 

OLI. You might do much : What is your pa- 
rentage ? 

Vio. Above my fortunes, yet my state is well : 
I am a gentleman. 

OLI. Get you to your lord ; 

I cannot love him : let him send no more ; 
Unless, perchance, you come to me again, 
To tell me how he takes it. Fare you well : 
I thank you for your pains : spend this for me. 

Vio. I am no fee'dpost, 5 lady: keep your purse; 
My master, not myself, lacks recompense. 
Love make his heart of flint, that you shall love ; 
And let your fervour, like my master's, be 
Plac'd in contempt ! Farewell, fair cruelty. [Exit. 

OLI. What is your parentage ? 

3 Holla your name to the reverberate kills,] I have corrected, 
reverberant. THEOBALD. 

Mr. Upton well observes, that Shakspeare frequently uses the 
adjective passive, actively. Theobald's emendation is therefore 
unnecessary. B. Jonson, in one of his masques at court, says : 

" which skill, Pythagoras 

" First taught to men by a reverberate glass." 


Johnson, in his Dictionary, adopted Theobald's correction. 
But the following line from T. Heywood's Troja Britannica, 
1609, canto xi. st. 9, shows that the original text should be pre- 
served : 

" Give shrill reverberat echoes and rebounds." 


4 the babbling gossip of the air ] I A most beautiful ex- 
pression for an echo. DOUCE. 

* I am no fee' 'd post,] Post, in our author's time, signified a 
messenger. MALONE. 

sc. v. WHAT YOU WILL. 277 

Above my fortunes , yet my state is well : 

I am a gentleman. I'll be sworn thou art ; 

Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions, and 

Do give thee five-fold blazon : Not too fast : 

soft! soft! 

Unless the master were the man. 6 How now? 
Even so quickly may one catch the plague ? 
Methinks, I feel this youth's perfections, 
With an invisible and subtle stealth, 
To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be. 
What, ho, Malvolio ! 

Re-enter MALVOLIO. 

MAL. Here, madam, at your service. 

OLI. Run after that same peevish messenger, 
The county's man: 7 he left this ring behind him, 
Would I, or not ; tell him, I'll none of it. 
Desire him not to flatter with his lord, 8 
Nor hold him up with hopes ; I am not for him : 
If that the youth will come this way to-morrow, 
I'll give him reasons for't. Hie thee, Malvolio. 

6 soft ! soft ! 

Unless the master were the man."] Unless the dignity of the 
master were added to the merit of the servant, I shall go too 
far, and disgrace myself. Let me stop in time. MALONE. 

Perhaps she means to check herself by observing, This is 
unbecoming forwardness on my part, unless I were as much in 
love with the master as I am with the man. STEEVENS. 

7 The county's man .-] County and count in old language were 
synonymous. The old copy has countes, which may be right : 
the Saxon genitive case. MALONE. 

8 tojlatter with his lord,'] This was the phraseology of 

the time. So, in King Richard II: 

" Shall dying men flatter with those that live." 
Many more instances might be added. MALONE. 


MAL. Madam, I will. [Exit. 

OLI. I do I know not what : and fear to find 
Mine eye 9 too great a flatterer for my mind. 
Fate, shew thy force : Ourselves we do not owe ;* 
What is decreed, must be j and be this so! [Exit. 

9 Mine eye &c.] I believe the meaning is ; I am not mistress 
of my own actions ; I am afraid that my eyes betray me, and 
flatter the youth without my consent, with discoveries of love. 


Johnson's explanation of this passage is evidently wrong. It 
would be strange indeed if Olivia should say, that she feared 
her eyes would betray her passion, and flatter the youth, without 
her consent, with a discovery of her love, after she had actually 
sent him a ring, which must have discovered her passion more 
strongly, and was sent for that very purpose. The true mean- 
ing appears to me to be thus : Shejears that her eyes had formed 
So flattering an idea ofCesario, that she should not have strength 
of mind sufficient to resist the impression. She has just before 

" Methinks, I feel this youth's perfections, 

" With an invisible and subtle stealth, 

" To creep in at mine eyes." 
Which confirms my explanation of this passage. M. MASON. 

I think the meaning is, I fear that my eyes will seduce my 
understanding ; that I am indulging a passion for this beautiful 
youth, which my reason cannot approve. MALONE. 

1 Ourselves ue do not owe ;] i. e. we are not our own 

masters. We cannot govern ourselves. So, in Macbeth : 

" the disposition that I owe ;" i. e. own, possess. 




The Sea-coast. 

ANT. Will you stay no longer? nor will you 
not, that I go with you ? 

SEB. By your patience, no : my stars shine 
darkly over me ; the malignancy of my fate might, 
perhaps, distemper yours ; therefore I shall crave 
of you your leave, that I may bear my evils alone : 
It were a bad recompense for your love, to lay 
any of them on you. 

ANT. Let me yet know of you, whither you are 

SEB. No, 'sooth, sir ; my determinate voyage is 
mere extravagancy. But I perceive in you so ex- 
cellent a touch of modesty, that you will not extort 
from me what I am willing to keep in ; therefore 
it charges me in manners the rather to express my- 
self. 2 You must know of me then, Antonio, my 
name is Sebastian, which I called Rodorigo ; my 
father was that Sebastian of Messaline, 3 whom I 
know, you have heard of: he left behind him, 
myself, and a sister, both born in an hour. If the 

* to express myself] That is, to reveal myself. 


3 Messaline,"] Sir Thomas Hanmer very judiciously 

offers to read Metelin, an island in the Archipelago ; but Shak- 
speare knew little of geography, and was not at all solicitous 
about orthographical nicety. The same mistake occurs in the 
concluding scene of the play : 

" Of Messaline; Sebastian was my father." STEE VENS. 


heavens had been pleased, 'would we had so 
ended ! but, you, sir, altered that ; for, some hour 
before you took me from the breach of the sea, 4 
was my sister drowned. 

ANT. Alas, the day ! 

SEB. A lady, sir, though it was said she much 
resembled me, was yet of many accounted beau- 
tiful : but, though I could not, with such estimable 
wonder, 5 overfar believe that, yet thus far I will 
boldly publish her, she bore a mind that envy 
could not but call fair : she is drowned already, 
sir, with salt water, though I seem to drown her 
remembrance again with more. 

ANT. Pardon me, sir, your bad entertainment. 
SEB. O, good Antonio, forgive me your trouble. 

ANT. If you will not murder me for my love, 
let me be your servant. 

SEB. If you will not undo what you have done, 

* the breach of the sea,] i. e. what we now call the 

breaking of the sea. In Pericles it is styled " the rupture of 
the sea.'* STEEVENS. 

* tvith such estimable wonder,] These words Dr. War- 
burton calls an interpolation of the players, but what did the 
players gain by it ? they may be sometimes guilty of a joke 
without the concurrence of the poet, but they never lengthen 
a speech only to make it longer. Shakspeare often confounds 
the active and passive adjectives. Estimable wonder is esteeming 
wonder, or wonder and esteem. The meaning is, that he could 
not venture to think so highly as others of his sister. JOHNSON. 

Thus Milton uses unexpressive notes, for unexpressiMe, in his 
Hymn on the Nativity. MALONE, 

6 she is drowned already, sir, with salt water,"] There 

is a resemblance between this and another false thought in 

Hamlet : 

" Too much ofwaler hast thou, poor Ophelia, 
*' And therefore I forbid my tears''' STEEVENS. 

sc. ii. WHAT YOU WILL. 281 

that is, kill him whom you have recovered, desire 
it not. Fare ye well at once : my bosom is full 
of kindness ; and I am yet so near the manners of 
my mother, 7 that upon the least occasion more, 
mine eyes will tell tales of me. I am bound to the 
count Orsino's court : farewell. [Exit. 

ANT. The gentleness of all the gods go with 

thee ! 

I have many enemies in Orsino's court, 
Else would I very shortly see thee there : 
But, come what may, I do adore thee so, 
That danger shall seem sport, and I will go. [Exit. 


A Street. 
Enter VIOLA ; MALV OLIO following. 

MAL. Were not you even now with the countess 
Olivia ? 

Vio. Even now, sir ; on a moderate pace I have 
since arrived but hither. 

MAL. She returns this ring to you, sir ; you 
might have saved me my pains, to have taken it 
away yourself. She adds moreover, that you should 
put your lord into a desperate assurance she will 
none of him : And one thing more ; that you be 
never so hardy to come again in his affairs, unless it 
be to report your lord's taking of this. Receive it so. 8 

7 I am yet so near the manners of my mother,] So, in King 
Henry V. Act IV. sc. vi : 

" And all my mother came into my eyes.'* MALONE. 

8 Receive it so.] One of the modern editors reads, with some 
probability, receive it, sir. But the present reading is suffi- 
ciently intelligible. MALONE. 


Vio. She took the ring of me ; I'll none of it. 9 

MAL. Come, sir, you peevishly threw it to her ; 
and her will is, it should be so returned : if it be 
worth stooping for, there it lies in your eye ; if not, 
be it his that finds it. [Exit. 

Vio. I left no ring with her : What means this 

lady ? 
Fortune forbid, my outside have not charm'd her ! 

" Receive it so," is, understand it so. Thus, in the third 
Act of this play, Olivia says to Viola : 
*' To one of your receiving 
" Enough is shewn ." STEEVENS. 

9 She took the ring of me ; Pll none ofitJ] This passage has 
been hitherto thus pointed ; which renders it, as it appears to 
me, quite unintelligible. The following punctuation : 

She took the ring of me ! /'// none of it, 

was suggested by an ingenious friend, and certainly renders the 
line less exceptionable : yet I cannot but think there is some 
corruption in the text. Had our author intended such a mode 
of speech, he would probably have written : 

She took a ring of me ! Pll none of it. 

Malvolio's answer seems to intimate that Viola had said she 
had not given any ring. We ought, therefore, perhaps to read : 

She took no ring of me ! /'// none of it. 

So afterwards : " I lett no ring with her." Viola expressly de- 
nies her having given Olivia any ring. How then can she assert, 
as she is made to do by the old regulation of the passage, that 
the lady had received one from her ? 

Since I wrote the above, it has occurred to me that the latter 
part of the line may have been corrupt, as well as the former : 
our author might have written : 

She took this ring of me ! SheV/ none of it ! 
So before: " he left this ring; tell him, I'll none of it." 
And afterwards: "None of my lord's ring!" Viola maybe 
supposed to repeat the substance of what Malvolio has said. 
Our author is seldom studious on such occasions to use the very 
words he had before employed. MA LONE. 

I do not perceive the necessity of the change recommended. 
Viola finding the ring sent after her, accompanied by a fiction, 
is prepared to meet it with another. This lady, as Dr. Johnson 
has observed, is an excellent schemer ; she is never at a loss, or 
taken unprepared. STEEVENS. 

sc. ii. WHAT YOU WILL. 283 

She made good view of me ; indeed, so much, 
That, sure, 1 methought, her eyes had lost her 

tongue, 2 

For she did speak in starts distractedly. 
She loves me, sure ; the cunning of her passion 
Invites me in this churlish messenger. 
None of my lord's ring ! why, he sent her none. 
I am the man ; If it be so, (as 'tis,) 
Poor lady, she were better love a dream. 
Disguise, I see, thou art a wickedness, 
Wherein the pregnant enemy 3 does much. 
How easy is it, for the proper-false 
In women's waxen hearts to set their forms ! 4 

1 That, sure,] Sure, which is wanting in the old copy, was 
added, to complete the metre, by the editor of the second folio. 
Sure, in the present instance, is not very likely to have been the 
word omitted in the first copy, being found in the next line but 
one. MALONE. 

8 her eyes had lost her tongue,'] We say a man loses 

his company when they go one way and he goes another. So, 
Olivia's tongue lost her eyes ; her tongue was talking of the 
duke, and her eyes gazing on his messenger. JOHNSON. 

It rather means that the very fixed and eager view she took 
of Viola, perverted the use of her tongue, and made her talk 
distractedly. This construction of the verb lost, is also much 
in Shakspeare's manner. DOUCE. 

' the pregnant enemy ] Is, I believe, the dexterous 

fiend, or enemy of mankind. JOHNSON. 

Pregnant is certainly dexterous, or ready. So, in Hamlet : 
" How pregnant sometimes his replies are !" STEEVENS. 

* How easy is it, for the proper-false 

In women's waxen hearts to set their forms f] This is ob- 
scure. The meaning is, how easy is disguise to women .' how 
easily does their own falsehood, contained in their waxen 
changeable hearts, enable them to assume deceitful appear- 
ances ! The two next lines are perhaps transposed, and should 
be read thus : 

For such as we are made, if such we be, 

Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we. JOHNSON. 


Alas, our frailty 5 is the cause, not we ; 
For, such as we are made of, such we be. 6 

I am not certain that this explanation is just. Viola has been 
condemning those who disguise themselves, because Olivia had 
fallen in love with a specious appearance. How easy is it, she 
adds, for those who are at once proper (i. e.fair in their appear- 
ance) a,i\A false (i. e. deceitful) to make an impression on the 
easy hearts of women ? The proper-false is certainly a less 
elegant expression than the fair deceiver, but seems to mean the 
same thing. A proper man, was the ancient phrase for a hand- 
some man : 

" This Ludovico is a proper man." Othello. 
To set their farms, means, to plant their images, i. e. to make an 
impression on their easy minds. Mr. Tyrwhitt concurs with me 
in this interpretation. STEEVENS. 

This passage, according to Johnson's explanation of it, is so 
severe a satire upon women, that it is unnatural to suppose that 
Shakspeare should put it in the mouth of one of the sex, espe- 
cially a young one. Nor do I think that the words can possibly 
express the sense which he contends for. Steevens's explana- 
tion appears to be the true one. The word proper certainly 
means handsome ; and Viola's reflection, how easy it was for 
those who are handsome and deceitful to make an impression on 
the waxen hearts of women, is a natural sentiment for a girl to 
utter who was herself in love. An expression similar to that of 
proper-false, occurs afterwards in this very play, where Antonio 
says : 

" Virtue is beauty, but the beauteous-evil 

" Are empty trunks o'er flourished by the devil." 


Mr. Steevens's explanation is undoubtedly the true one. So, 
in our author's Rape of Lucrece: 

' men have marble, women -waxen minds, 

1 And therefore are they form'd as marble will ; 
' The weak oppress' d, the impression of strange kinds 
1 Is form'd in them by force, by fraud, or skill : 
' Then call them not the authors of their ill ." 
Again, in Measure far Measure: 

Nay, call us ten times frail, 

For we are soft as our complexions are, 

And credulous to false prints" MALONE. 

our frailty ] The old copy reads O frailty. 


sc. ii. WHAT YOU WILL. 285 

How will this fadge ? 7 My master loves her dearly ; 

And I, poor monster, fond as much on him j 

And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me : 

What will become of this ! As I am man, 

My state is desperate for my master's love ; 

As I am woman, now alas the day ! 

What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe ? 

O time, thou must untangle this, not I j 

It is too hard a knot for me to untie. [Exit. 

The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. 


For, suck as tve are made of, suck tve be.~] The old copy 
reads made if. Mr. Tyrwhitt observes, that " instead of trans- 
posing these lines according to Dr. Johnson's conjecture," he 
is inclined to read the latter as I have printed it. So, in The 
Tempest : 

" we are such stuff 

" As dreams are made of." STEEVENS. 

1 have no doubt that Mr. Tyrwhitt's conjecture is right. Of 
and if are frequently confounded in the old copies. Thus in the 
folio, l63'2, King John, p. 6: " Lord of our presence, Angiers, 
and //'you." [instead of of you.'] 

Again, of Is printed instead of if, Merchant of Venice, 1623 : 

" Mine own I would say, but, of mine, then yours." 
In As you like it, we have a line constructed nearly like the 
present, as now corrected : 

" Who such a one as she, such is her neighbour." 


7 How will this fadge ?] To fadge, is to suit, to Jit, to go with. 
So, in Decker's comedy of Old Fortunatus, ] 600 : 

" I shall never fadge with the humour, because I cannot 

So, in Mother Bombie, 15Q4 : 

" I'll have thy advice, and if it fadge, thou shalt eat." 

" But how will it fadge in the end?" 

" All tlusfadges well." 

" We are about a matter of legerdemain, how will this 

" in good time it fudges.' 1 STEEVENS. 



A Room in Olivia's House. 


SIR To. Approach, sir Andrew: not to be a-bed 
after midnight, is to be up betimes ; and diluculo 
surgere, 8 thou know'st, 

SIR AND. Nay, by my troth, I know not: but 
I know, to be up late, is to be up late. 

SIR To. A false conclusion ; I hate it as an un- 
filled can : To be up after midnight, and to go to 
bed then, is early; so that, to go to bed after 
midnight, is to go to bed betimes. Do not our 
lives consist of the four elements ? 9 

SIR AND. 'Faith, so they say ; but, I think, it 
rather consists of eating and drinking. 1 

8 diluculo surgere,~\ saluberrimum est. This adage our 

author found in Lilly's Grammar, p. 51. MALONE. 

9 Do not our lives consist of the four elements ?] So, in 

our author's 45th Sonnet : 

" My life being made of four, with two alone 
" Sinks down to death," &c. 

So also, in King Henry V : " He Is pure air and fire ; and 
the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him." 

Again, in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" I am fire and air ; my other elements 
" I give to baser life." STEEVENS. 

1 / think, it rather consists of eating and drinking."] A 

ridicule on the medical theory of that time, which supposed 
health to consist in the just temperament and balance of the four 
elements in the human frame. WARBURTON. 

Homer, Iliad IX. concurs in opinion with Sir Andrew: 

" strength consists in spirits and in blood, 

" And those are ow'd to generous wine and food." 


sc. m. WHAT YOU WILL. 287 

SIR To. Thou art a scholar ; let us therefore eat 
and drink. Marian, I say ! a stoop 3 of wine ! 

Enter Clown. 

SIR AND. Here comes the fool, i'faith. 

CLO. How now, my hearts ? Did you never see 
the picture of we three ? 3 

SIR To. Welcome, ass. Now let's have a catch. 

SIR AND. By my troth, the fool has an excellent 
breast. 4 I had rather than forty shillings I had 

* a stoop ] A stoop, cadus, a j-toppa, Belgis, stoop. 

Ray's Proverbs, p. 111. In Hexham's Lotv Dutch Dictionary, 
16QO, a gallon is explained by een kanne van twee stoopen. A 
stoop, however, seems to have been something more than half 
a gallon. In A Catalogue of the Rarities in the Anatomy Hall 
at Ley den, printed there, 4to. 1701, is " The bladder of a man 
containing four stoop (which is something above TWO English 
gallons) of water." REED. 

3 Did you never see the picture of we three ?] An allusion 

to an old print, sometimes pasted on the wall of a country 
ale-house, representing TWO, but under which the spectator 

" We three are asses." HENLEY. 

I believe Shakspeare had in his thoughts a common sign, in 
which two wooden heads art? exhibited, with this inscription 
under it ; " We three, loggerheads be." The spectator or reader 
is supposed to make the third. The Clown means to insinuate, 
that Sir Toby and Sir Andrew had as good a title to the name 
of fool as himself. MALONE. 

4 By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast.] Breast, 

voice. Breath has been here proposed : but many instances 
may be brought to justify the old reading beyond a doubt. In 
the statutes of Stoke-College, founded by Archbishop Parker, 
1535, Strype's Parker, p. 9 : " Which said queristers, after their 
breasts are changed," &c. that is, after their voices are broken. 
In Fiddes's Life ofWolsey, Append, p. 128: Singing-men well- 
IreastedC' In Tusser's Hmbandrie, p. 155, edit. P. Short: 
" The better brest, the lesser rest, 
" To serve the queer now there now heere." 


such a leg ; and so sweet a breath to sing, as the 
fool has. In sooth, thou wast in very gracious 
fooling last night, when thou spokest of Pigrogro- 
mitus, of the Vapians passing the equinoctial of 
Queubus ; 'twas very good, i'faith. I sent thee 
sixpence jfor thy leman ; Hadst it ? 5 

Tusser, in this piece, called The Author's Life, tells us, that 
he was a choir-boy in the collegiate chapel of Wallingford 
Castle ; and that, on account of the excellence of his voice, 
he was successively removed to various choirs. T. WARTON. 

B. Jonson uses the word breast in the same manner, in his 
Masque of Gypsies, p. 623, edit. 1692. In an old play called 
The Four P's, written by J. Hey wood, 15(X), is this passage : 

" Poticary. I pray you, tell me, can you sing ? 

" Pedler. Sir, I have some sight in singing. 

" Poticary. But is your breast any thing sweet ? 

" Pedler. Whatever my breast be, my voice is meet." 
I suppose this cant term to have been current among the 
musicians of the age. All professions have in some degree their 
jargon ; and the remoter they are from liberal science, and the 
less consequential to the general interests of life, the more they 
strive to hide themselves behind affected terms and barbarous 
phraseology. STEEVENS. 

6 / sent thee sixpence for thy leman ; hadst it?~\ The old 

copy reads lemon. But the Clown was neither pantler, nor 
butler. The poet's word was certainly mistaken by the ignorance 
of the printer. I have restored leman, i. e. I sent thee six- 
pence to spend on thy mistress. THEOBALD. 

I receive Theobald's emendation, because it throws a light on 
the obscurity of the following speech. 

Leman is frequently used by the ancient writers, and Spenser 
in particular. So again, in The Noble Soldier, 1634 : 
" Fright him as he's embracing his new leman.''' 

The money was given him for his leman, i. e. his mistress. 
We have still " Lemon-street," in Goodman's-fields. He says 
he did impeticoat the gratuity, i. e. he gave it to his petticoat 
companion; for (says he) Malvolio's nose is no tvhipstock, i. e. 
Malvolio may smell out our connection, but his suspicion will 
not prove the instrument of our punishment. My mistress has 
a white hand, and the myrmidons are no bottle-ate houses, i. e. 
my mistress is handsome, but the houses kept by officers of jus- 

sc. in. WHAT YOU WILL. 289 

CLO. I did impeticos thy gratillity ; 6 for Mal- 
volio's nose is no whipstock : My lady has a white 
hand, and the Myrmidons are no bottle-ale 

tice are no places to make merry and entertain her at. Such 
may be the meaning of this whimsical speech. A whipstock is, 
I believe, the handle of a whip, round which a strap of leather 
is usually twisted, and is sometimes put for the whip itself. So, 
in Albumazar, 1(5 15 : 

" out, Carter, 

" Hence dirty whipstock " 
Again, in The Two angry Women qfAbingdon, 159Q: 

" the coach-man sit! 

" His duty is before you to stand, 

" Having a lusty whipstock in his hand." 
This word occurs again in Jeronymo, 1 605 : 

" Bought you a whistle and a whipstock too." STEEVENS. 

8 / did impeticos thy gratillity ;] This, Sir T. Hanmer tells 
us, is the same with impocket thy gratuity. He is undoubtedly 
right ; but we must read / did impetticoat thy gratuity. The 
fools were kept in long coats, to which the allusion is made. 
There is yet much in this dialogue which I do not understand. 


Figure 12, in the plate of the Morris-dancers, at the end of 
K. Henry IV. P. I. sufficiently proves that petticoats were not 
always a part of the dress of fools or jesters, though they were 
of ideots, for a reason which I avoid to offer. STEEVENS. 

It is a very gross mistake to imagine that this character was 
habited like an ideot. Neither he nor Touchstone, though they 
wear a particoloured dress, has either coxcomb or bauble, nor is 
by any means to be confounded with the Fool in King Lear, 
nor even, I think, with the one in All's well that ends well. 
A Dissertation on the Fools of Shakspeare, a character he has 
most judiciously varied and discriminated, would be a valuable 
addition to the notes on his plays. RITSON. 

The old copy reads " I did impeticos thy gratillity." The 
meaning, I think, is, I did impetticoat or impocket thy gratuity 
but the reading of the old copy should not, in my opinion, be 
here disturbed. The Clown uses the same kind of fantastick 
language elsewhere in this scene. Neither Pigrogromitiis, nor 
the Vapians would object to it. MALONE. 

VOL. V. U 


SIR AND. Excellent ! Why, this is the best fool- 
ing, when all is done. Now, a song. 

SIR To. Come on ; there is six-pence for you : 
let's have a song. 

SIR AND. There's a testril of me too : if one 
knight give a 

CLO. Would you have a love-song, or a song of 
good life ? 7 

SIR To. A love-song, a love-song. 

SIR AND. Ay, ay ; I care not for good life. 


CLO. O mistress mine, 'where are you roaming ? 
O, stay and hear ; your true love's coming , 

That can sing both high and low : 
Trip no further, pretty sweeting; 
Journeys end in lovers' meeting, 

Every wise man's son doth /mow. 

SIR AND. Excellent good, i'faith ! 
SIR To. Good, good. 

CLO. What is love ? 'tis not hereafter ; 

Present mirth hath present laughter ; 

7 of good life ?] I do not suppose that by a song of 

good life, the Clown means a song of a moral turn ; though 
Sir Andrew answers to it in that signification. Good life, I be- 
lieve, is harmless mirth and jollity. It may be a Gallicism : 
we call a jolly fellow a bon vivant. STEEVENS. 

From the opposition of the words in the Clown's question, 
J incline to think that good life is here used in its usual accepta- 
tion. In The Merry Wives of Windsor, these words are used 
for a virtuous character : 

" Defend your reputation, or farewell to your good life 
for ever." MALONE. 

sc. in. WHAT YOU WILL. 291 

What's to come, is still unsure : 
In delay there lies no plenty ; 8 
Then come kiss me, sweet-and-tiscenty? 

Youth's a stuff will not endure, x 

SIR AND. A mellifluous voice, as I am true 

SIR To. A contagious breath. 

SIR AND. Very sweet and contagious, i'faith. 

SIR To. To hear by the nose, it is dulcet in 
contagion. But shall we make the welkin dance l 

8 In delay there lies no plenty ;"] No man will ever be worth 
much, who delays the advantages offered by the present hour, 
in hopes that the future will offer more. So, in K. Richard III. 
Act IV. sc. iii: 

" Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary/' 
Again, in K. Henry VI. P. I : 

" Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends." 
Again, in a Scots proverb : " After a delay comes a let.'* See 
Kelly's Collection, p. 52. STEEVENS. 

9 Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,] This line is ob- 
scure ; we might read : 

Come, a kiss then, sweet and twenty. 

Yet I know not whether the present reading be not right, for in 
some counties sweet and twenty, whatever be the meaning, is 
a phrase of endearment. JOHNSON. 

So, in Wit of a Woman, l6O4: 

" Sweet and twenty : all sweet and sweet." 

Again, in The Life and Death of the Merry Devil of Ed- 
monton, &c. by T. B. 1631: " his little wanton wagtailes, 
his sweet and twenties, his pretty pinckineyd pigsnies, &c. a? 
he himself used commonly to call them." STEEVENS. 

Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor : 
" Good even, and twenty." MALONE. 

1 make the welkin dance ] That is, drink till the sky 

seems to turn round. JOHNSON. 

So, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act II. sc. vii: 
" Cup us till the world go round." 

U 2 


indeed ? Shall we rouse the night-owl in a catch, 
that will draw three souls out of one weaver ? * 
shall we do that ? 

Six AND. An you love me, let's do't : I am dog 
at a catch. 

Again, Mr. Pope : 

" Ridotta sips and dances, till she see 

" The doubling lustres dance as fast as she." STEEVENS. 

* draiu three souls out of one weaver ?] Our author re- 
presents weavers as much given to harmony in his time. I have 
shewn the cause of it elsewhere. The expression of the power of 
musick is familiar with our author. Much Ado about Nothing : 
" Now is his soul ravished. Is it not strange that sheep's-guts 
should hale souls out of men's bodies ?" Why, he says, three 
souls, is because he is speaking of a catch of three parts ; and 
the peripatetic philosophy, then in vogue, very liberally gave 
every man three souls. The 'vegetative or plastic, the animal, 
and the rational. To this, too, Jonson alludes, in his Poetaster : 
" What, will I turn shark upon my friends ? or my friends' 
friends ? I scorn it with my three souls." By the mention of 
these three, therefore, we may suppose it was Shakspeare's pur- 
pose, to hint to us those surprizing effects of musick, which the 
ancients speak of, when they tell us of Amphion, who moved 
stones and trees ; Orpheus and Arion, who tamed savage beasts / 
and Timotheus, who governed, as he pleased, the passions of his 
human auditors. So noble an observation has our author con- 
veyed in the ribaldry of this buffoon character. WARBURTON. 

In a popular book of the time, Carew's translation of Huarte's 
Trial of Wits, 15Q4, there is a curious chapter concerning the 
three souls, " vegetative, sensitive, and reasonable. 1 ' FARMER. 

I doubt whether our author intended any allusion to this 
division of souls. In The Tempest, we have " trebles thee 
o'er;" i. e. makes thee thrice as great as thou wert before. In 
the same manner, I believe, he here only means to describe Sir 
Toby's catch as so harmonious, that it would hale the soul out 
of a weaver (the warmest lover of a song) thrice over ; or in 
other words, give him thrice more delight than it would give 
another man. Dr. Warburton's supposition that there is an 
allusion to the catch being in three parts, appears to me one of 
his unfounded refinements. MALONE. 

sc. in. WHAT YOU WILL. 293 

CLO. By'r lady, sir, and some dogs will catch 

SIR AND. Most certain : let our catch be, Thou 

CLO. Hold tliy peace, thou knave, knight? I 
shall be constrained in't to call thee knave, knight. 

SIR AND. 'Tis not the first time I have con- 
strain'd one to call me knave. Begin, fool ; it 
begins, Hold thy peace. 

CLO. I shall never begin, if I hold my peace. 

SIR AND. Good, i'faith ! Come, begin. 

\Tliey sing a catch. 3 

3 They sing a catch.] This catch is lost. JOHNSON. 

A catch is a species of vocal harmony to be sung by three or 
more persons ; and is so contrived, that though each sings pre- 
cisely the same notes as his fellows, yet by beginning at stated 
periods of time from each other, there results from the per- 
formance a harmony of as many parts as there are singers. 
Compositions of this kind are, in strictness, called Canons in 
the unison ; and as properly, Catches, when the words in the 
different parts are made to catch or answer each other. One of 
the most remarkable examples of a true catch is that of Purcel, 
Lefs live good honest lives, in which, immediately after one 
person has uttered these words, " What need we fear the 
Pope?" another in the course of his singing fills up a rest which 
the first makes, with the words " the devil." 

The catch above-mentioned to be sung by Sir Toby, Sir 
Andrew, and the Clown, from the hints given of it, appears to 
be so contrived as that each of the singers calls the other knave 
in turn ; and for this the Clown means to apologize to the 
knight, when he says, that he shall be constrained to call him 
knave. I have here subjoined the very catch, with the musical 
notes to which it was sung in the time of Shakspeare, and at 
the original performance of this comedy : 


Enter MARIA. 

MAR. What a catterwauling do you keep here'! 
If my lady have not called up her steward, Mal- 
volio, and bid him turn you out of doors, never 
trust me. 

SIR To. My lady's a Catalan, 4 we are politici- 
ans ; Malvolio's a Peg-a- Ramsey, 5 and Three merry 

A 3 voc. 

f* r, 



\ s 

b 1* 



--, c . 

^- v w 


Hold thy peace and I pree thee hold thy peace 


\ 1 







I . 

Thou knave, thou knave : hold thy peace thou knave. 

The evidence of its authenticity is as follows : There is ex- 
tant a book entitled, " PAMMELIA, Muskkes Miscellanie, 
or mixed Varietie of pleasant Roundelays and delightful Catches 
of 3, 4, 5, t>, /, 8, y, 10 Parts in one." Of this book there are 
at least two editions, the second printed in IdlS. In iGop, a 
second part of this work was published with the title of DEU- 
TEROMELIA, and in this book is contained the catch above 
given. SIR J. HAWKINS. 

4 a Catalan,] It is in vain to seek the precise meaning 

of this term of reproach. I have already attempted to explain 
it in a note on The Merry Wives of Windsor. I find it used 
again in Love and Honour, by Sir W. D'Avenant, l64g : 
" Hang him, bold Catalan." STEEVENS. 

a Peg-a-Ramsey,~\ In Durfey's Pills to purge Melan- 
choly, is a very obscene old song, entitled Peg-a-Ramsey. See 
also Ward's Lives of the Professors ofGresham College, p. 207. 


Nash mentions Peg of Ramsey among several other ballads, 




men be we. G Am not I consanguineous ? am I not 

viz. Rogero, Basilino, Turkelony, All the Flowers of the Broom, 
Pepper is blacky Green Sleeves, Peggie Ramsie. It appears from 
the same author, that it was likewise a dance performed to the 
music of a song of that name. STEEVENS. 

Peggy Ramsey is the name of some old song ; the following is 
the tune to it : 

Peggy Ramsey. 

-^ J 



n C 



8 Three merry men &c.] Three merry men be we, is likewise a 
fragment of some old song, which I find repeated in Westward 
Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1007, and by Beaumont and 
Fletcher, in The Knight of the Burning Pestle: 
" Three merry men 
" And three merry men 
" And three merry men be we" 
Again, in The Bloody Brother, of the same authors: 
Three merry boys, and three merry boys, 
And three merry boys are we, 
As ever did sing, three parts in a string, 
All under the triple tree." 


in Ram Alley, or Merry TricJcs, l6ll : 
And three merry men, and three merry men, 
And three merry men be we a." STEEVENS. 

This is a conclusion common to many old songs. One of the 
most humorous that I can recollect, is the following : 

" The wise men were but seaven, nor more shall be for 

me ; 
" The muses were but nine, the worthies three times 

three ; 

*' And three merry boyes, and three merry boyes, and 
three merry boyes are wee. 


of her blood ? Tilly-valley, lady ! 7 There dwelt a 
man in Babylon, lady, lady !* \_Singing. 

" The vertues they were seVen, and three the greater 

" The Caesars they were twelve, and the fatal sisters 

" And three merry girles, and three merry girles, and 

three merry girles are wee." 

There are ale-houses in some of the villages in this kingdom, 
that have the sign of The Three Merry Boys ; there was one at 
Highgate in my memory. SIR J. HAWKINS. 

Three merry men be tve, may, perhaps, have been taken origin- 
ally from the song of Robin Hood and the Tanner. Old Ballads, 
Vol. I. p. 89 : 

" Then Robin Hood took them by the hands, 

" With a hey, &c. 
" And danced about the oak-tree; 
" For three merry men, and three merry men, 
" And three merry men be ice." TYRWHITT. 

But perhaps the following, in The Old Wiues Tale, by George 
Peele, 1595, may be the original. Anticke, one of the charao 

ters, says : " let us rehearse the old proverb, 

" Three merrie men, and three merrie men, 

" And three merrie men be wee ; 
" I in the wood, and thou on the ground, 

" And Jack sleepes in the tree." STEEVENS. 

See An Antidote against Melancholy, made up in Pills, com" 
pounded of Witty Ballads, Jovial Songs, and Merry Catches, 
4to. 1661, p. 69. REED. 

7 Tilley -valley, lady!~\ Tilly-valley was an interjection of con- 
tempt, which Sir Thomas More's lady is recorded to have had 
very often in her mouth. JOHNSON. 

Tilly-valley is used as an interjection of contempt in the old 
play of Sir John Oldcastle ; and is likewise a character in a 
comedy intituled Lady Alimony. TiUie-vallie may be a corrup- 
tion of the Roman word (without a precise meaning, but in- 
dicative of contempt,) Titivilitium. See the Casina of Plautus, 
2.5.39. STEEVENS. 

Tilly-valley is a hunting phrase borrowed from the French. In 
the Venerie de Jacques Fouilloux, 1585, 4to. fo. 12, the follow- 
ing cry is mentioned: " Ty a hillaut & vallecy ;" and is set to 
music in pp. 49 and 50. DOUCE. 

sc. m. WHAT YOU WILL. 297 

CLO. Beshrew me, the knight's in admirable 

SIR AND. Ay, he does well enough, if he be dis- 
posed, and so do I too ; he does it with a better 
grace, but I do it more natural. 

SIR To. O, the twelfth day of December, 


* There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady !] The ballad of 
Susanna, from whence this line [There dwelt &c.] is taken, was 
licensed by T. Colwell, in 1502, under the title of The goodly 
and constant Wyfe Susanna. There is likewise a play on this 
subject. T. WARTON. 

There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady,] Maria's use of the 
word lady brings the ballad to Sir Toby's remembrance : Lady, 
lady, is the burthen, and should be printed as such. My very 
ingenious friend, Dr. Percy, has given a stanza of it in his 
Heliques of Ancient Poetry, Vol. I. p. 204. Just the same may 
be said, where Mercutio applies it, in Romeo and Juliet, Act II. 
sc. iv. FARMER. 

I found what I once supposed to be a part of this song, in 
Mi's lost by Lust, a tragedy by William Rowley, 1633: 
' There was a nobleman of Spain, lady, lady, 
' That went abroad, and came not again 
' To his poor lady. 

' Oh, cruel age, when one brother, lady, lady, 
' Shall scorn to look upon another 
* Of his poor lady." STEEVENS. 

This song, or, at least, one with the same burthen, is alluded 
to in Ben Jonson's Magnetic Lady, Vol. IV. p. 449 : 

" Com. As true it is, lady, lady i' the song." TYRWHITT. 

The oldest song that I have seen with this burthen is in the 
old Morality, entitled The Trial of Treasure, 4to. 156?. The 
following is one of the stanzas : 

" Helene may not compared be, 

" Nor Cressida that was so bright, 
" These cannot stain the shine of thee, 

" Nor yet Minerva of great might; 
" Thou passest Venus far away, 

" Lady, lady; 

" Love thee I will, both night and day, 
" My dere lady." MALONE, 


MAR. For the love o'God, peace. 


MAL. My masters, are you mad? or what are 
you ? Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty, but 
to gabble like tinkers at this time of night ? Do ye 
make an alehouse of my lady's house, that ye squeak 
out your coziers' catches 9 without any mitigation 
or remorse of voice ? Is there no respect of place, 
persons, nor time, in you ? 

SIR To. We did keep time, sir, in our catches. 
Sneck up ! l 

9 coziers' catches ] A cozier is a tailor, from coudre to 

sew, part, cousu, Fr. JOHNSON. 

Our author has again alluded to their love of vocal harmony 
in King Henry IV. P.I: 

" Lady. I will not sing. 

" Plot. 'Tis the next way to turn tailor, or be redbreast 


A cozier, it appears from Minshieu, signified a botcher, or 
mender of old clothes, and also a cobler. Here it means the 
former. MALONE. 

Minshieu tells us, that cozier is a cobler or sowter : and, in 
Northamptonshire, the waxed thread which a cobler uses in 
mending shoes, we call a codger* 's end. WH ALLEY. 

A coziers' end is still used in Devonshire for a cobler's end. 


1 Sneck up .'] The modern editors seem to have regarded this 
unintelligible phrase as the designation of a hiccup. It is however 
used in Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle, 
as it should seem, on another occasion : " Let thy father go 
sneck up, he shall never come between a pair of sheets with me 
again while he lives." 

Again, in the same play : " Give him his money, George, and 
let him go sneck up." Again, in Wily Beguiled: " An if my 
mistress would be ruled by him, Sophos might go snick up." 
Again, in The Two angry Women of Abingdon, l-Spp : " if 
they be not, let them go snick up" Again, in Heywood's Fair 
Maid of the West, 1631, Blurt Master Constable, no date, &c. 

sc. m. WHAT YOU WILL. 299 

MAL. Sir Toby, I must be round with you. My 
lady bade me tell you, that, though she harbours 
you as her kinsman, she's nothing allied to your 
disorders. If you can separate yourself and your 
misdemeanors, you are welcome to the house ; if 
not, an it would please you to take leave of her, 
she is very willing to bid you farewell. 

SIR To. Farewell, dear heart? since I must needs 
be gone. 

MAR. Nay, good sir Toby. 

CLO. His eyes do shew his days are almost 


MAL. Is't even so ? 
SIR To. But I mil never die. 
CLO. Sir Toby, there you lie. 
MAL. This is much credit to you. 
SIR To. Shall I bid him go ? [Singing. 

CLO. What an if you do? 
SIR To. Shall I bid him go, and spare not? 
CLO. O no, no, no, no, you dare not. 

Perhaps in the two former of these instances, the words may 
be corrupted. In King Henry IV. P. I. Falstatf says: " The 
Prince is a Jack, a Sneak-cup," i. e. one who takes his glass in 
a sneaking manner. I think we might safely read sneak-cup, at 
least, in Sir Toby's reply to Malvolio. I should not however 
omit to mention that meek the door is a north country expression 
for latch the door. 

Mr. Malone and others observe, that from the manner in 
which this cant phrase is employed in our ancient comedies, it 
seems to have been synonymous to the modern expression Go 
hang yourself. STEEVENS. 

* Farewell, dear heart, &c.] This entire song, with some 
variations, is published by Dr. Percy, in the first volume of his 
Rcliques of Ancient English Poetry. STEEVENS. 


SIR To. Out o'time? sir, ye lie. 3 Art any more 
than a steward ? Dost thou think, because thou art 
virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale ? 4 

CLO. Yes, by Saint Anne ; and ginger shall be 
hot i'the mouth too. 

SIR To. Thou'rt i'the right. Go, sir, rub your 
chain with crums : 5 A stoop of wine, Maria! 

3 Out o'time ? sir, ye lie.] The old copy has " out o'tune." 
We should read, " out of time," as his speech evidently refers 
to what Malvolio said before : 

* Have you no respect for place or time in you ? 
" Sir Toby. We did keep time, sir, in our catches." 


The same correction, I find, had been silently made by Theo- 
bald, and was adopted by the three subsequent editors. Sir 
Toby is here repeating with indignation Malvolio's words. 

In the MSS. of our author's age, tune and time are often 
quite undistinguishable ; the second stroke of the u seeming to 
be the first stroke of the m, or vice versa. Hence, in Macbeth, 
Act IV. sc. ult. edit. 1623, we have " This time goes manly," 
instead of " This tune goes manly." MALONE. 

4 Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be nn 
more cakes and ale ?~\ It was the custom on holidays and saints' 
days to make cakes in honour of the day. The Puritans called 
this, superstition ; and in the next page Maria says, that Mal- 
volio is sometimes a kind of Puritan. See Quarlous's Account of 
Rabbi Busy, Act I. sc. iii. in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. 


* rub your chain tvith crums .] That stewards anciently 

wore a chain, as a mark of superiority over other servants, may 
be proved from the following passage in The Martial Maid of 
Beaumont and Fletcher : 

" Dost thou think I shall become the steward's chair ? Will 
not these slender haunches shew well in a chain?"- 
Again : 

" Pia. Is your chain right ? 
" Bob. It is both right and just, sir ; 
" For though I am a steward, I did get it 
'* With no man's wrong." 
The best method of cleaning any gilt plate, is by rubbing it 

sc. m. WHAT YOU WILL. 301 

MAL. Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady's 
favour at any thing more than contempt, you 
would not give means for this uncivil rule; 6 she 
shall know of it, by this hand. [Exit. 

MAR. Go shake your ears. 

SIR AND. 'Twere as good a deed as to drink 
when a man's a hungry, to challenge him to the 
field ; and then to break promise with him, and 
make a fool of him. 

crums. Nash, in his piece entitled Have tuitk you to 
Saffron Walden, 15Q5, taxes Gabriel Harvey with " having 
stolen a nobleman's steward's chain, at his lord's installing at 

To conclude with the most apposite instance of all. See 
Webster's Dutchess of Malfy, 1623: 

" Yea, and the chippings of the buttery fly after him, to 
sooner his gold chain. 1 '' STEEVENS. 

rule;'] Rule is method of life; so misrule is tumult 

and riot. JOHNSON. 

Rule, on this occasion, is something less than common method 
of life. It occasionally means the arrangement or conduct of 
a. festival or merry-making, as well as behaviour in general. So, 
in the 27th song of Drayton's Polyolbion : 

" Cast in a gallant round about the hearth they go, 
" And at each pause they kiss ; was never seen such rule 
" In any place but here, at bon-fire, or at yeule." 
Again, in Hey wood's English Traveller, 1 633 : 

" What guests we harbour, and what rule we keep." 
Again, in Ben Jonson's Tale of a Tub: 

" And set him in the stocks for his ill ride." 
In this last instance it signifies behaviour. 

There was formerly an officer belonging to the court, called 
Lord of Misrule. So, in Decker's Satiromastix : " I have some 
cousin-germans at court shall beget you the reversion of the 
master of the king's revels, or else be lord of his Misrule now 
at Christmas." Again, in The Return from Parnassus, l600: 
" We are fully bent to be lords of Misrule in the world's wild 
heath." In the country, at all periods of festivity, and in the 
inns of court at their Revels, an officer of the same kind was 
elected. STEEVENS. 


SIR To. Do't, knight; I'll write thee a challenge ; 
or I'll deliver thy indignation to him by word of 

MAR. Sweet sir Toby, be patient for to-night ; 
since the youth of the count's was to-day with my 
lady, she is much out of quiet. For monsieur Mal- 
volio, let me alone with him : if I do not gull him 
into a nayword, 7 and make him a common recrea- 
tion, do not think I have wit enough to lie straight 
in my bed : I know, I can do it. 

SIR To. Possess us, 8 possess us ; tell us some- 
thing of him. 

MAR. Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of Pu- 

SIR AND. O, if I thought that, I'd beat him like 
a dog. 

SIR To. What, for being a Puritan ? thy exqui- 
site reason, dear knight ? 

SIR AND. I have no exquisite reason for't, but 
I have reason good enough. 

MAR. The devil a Puritan that he is, or any 
thing constantly but a time pleaser ; an affectioned 
ass, 9 that cons state without book, and utters it by 

7 a nayword,] A nayword is what has been since called 

a byetvord, a kind of proverbial reproach. STEEVEXS. 

8 Possess us,'} That is, inform us, tell us, make us masters of 
the matter. JOHNSON. 

So, in The Merchant of Venice, Shylock says : 

" I have possessed your grace of what I purpose." 


9 an affectioned ass,'] Affectioned means affected. In 

this sense, I believe, it is used in Hamlet : " no matter 

in it that could indite the author of affection," i. e. affectation. 



great swarths : l the best persuaded of himself, so 
crammed, as he thinks, with excellencies, that it 
is his ground of faith, that all, that look on him, 
love him ; and on that vice in him will my revenge 
find notable cause to work. 

SIR To. What wilt thou do ? 

MAR. I will drop in his way some obscure epistles 
of love ; wherein, by the colour of his beard, the 
shape of his leg, the manner of his gait, the ex- 
pressure of his eye, forehead, and complexion, he 
shall find himself most feelingly personated : I can 
write very like my lady, your niece ; on a forgotten 
matter we can hardly make distinction of our 

SIR To. Excellent ! I smell a device. 
SIR AND. I have't in my nose too. 

SIR To. He shall think, by the letters that thou 
wilt drop, that they come from my niece, and that 
she is in love with him. 

MAR. My purpose is, indeed, a horse of that 

SIR AND. And your horse now would make him 
an ass. 2 

MAR. Ass, I doubt not. 

1 great swarths :] A swarth is as much grass or corn as 

a mower cuts down at one stroke of his scythe. Thus Pope, in. 
his version of the 18th Iliad: 

" Here stretch'd in ranks the levell'd swarths are found." 


1 Sir And. And your horse note &c.~\ This conceit, though bad 
enough, shews too quick an apprehension for Sir Andrew. It 
should be given, I believe, to Sir Toby ; as well as the next 
short speech : " 0, 'twill be admirable." Sir Andrew does not 
usually give his own judgement on any thing, till he has heard 
that of some other person. TYRWHITT. 


SIR AND. O, 'twill be admirable. 

MAL. Sport royal, I warrant you : I know, my 
physick will work with him. I will plant you two, 
and let the fool make a third, where he shall find the 
letter; observe his construction of it. For this night, 
to bed, arid dream on the event. Farewell. [Exit. 

SIR To. Good night, Penthesilea, 3 

SIR AND. Before me, she's a good wench. 

SIR To. She's a beagle, true-bred, and one that 
adores me ; What o' that ? 

SIR AND. I was adored once too. 

SIR To. Let's to bed, knight. Thou hadst need 
send for more money. 

SIR AND. If I cannot recover your niece, I am 
a foul way out. 

SIR To. Send for money, knight; 4 if thou hast 
her not i'the end, call me Cut. 5 

3 Penthesilea.'] i. e. Amazon. STEEVENS. 

4 Send for money, knight ;] Sir Toby, in this instance, ex- 
hibits a trait of lago : " Put money in thy purse." STEEVENS. 

* call me Cut.] So, in A Woman's a Weathercock, 1012: 

" If I help you not to that as cheap as any man in England, cull 
me Cut" 

Again, in The Two angry Women of Abirigdon, 15QQ : 
" I'll meet you there ; if I do not, call me Cut" 

This term of contempt, perhaps, signifies only call me 
gelding. STEEVENS. 

call me Cut.] i. e. call me horse. So, Falstaff in King 

Henry IV. P. I : " spit in my face, call me horse." That 
this was the meaning of this expression is ascertained by a pas- 
sage in The Two Noble Kinsmen : 

" He'll buy me a white Cut forth for to ride." 

Again, in Sir John Oldcastle, l6'OO: " But master, pray ye, 
let me ride upon Cut." Curtal, which occurs in another of our 
author's plays, (i. e. a horse, whose tail has been docked,) and 
Cut, were probably synonymous. MALONE. 

so. ir. WHAT YOU WILL. 305 

SIR AND. If I do not, never trust me, take- it 
how you will. 

SIR To. Come, come ; I'll go burn some sack, 
'tis too late to go to bed now : come, knight ; 
come, knight. \_Exeunt. 


A Room in the Duke's Palace. 
Enter DUKE, VIOLA, CURIO, and others. 

DUKE. Give me some musick: Now, good 

morrow, friends : 

Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song, 
That old and antique song we heard last night ; 
Methought, it did relieve my passion much ; 
More than light airs and recollected 9 terms, 

Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times : < 

Come, but one verse. 

CUE. He is not here, so please your lordship, 
that should sing it. 

DUKE. Who was it ? 

CUR. Feste, the jester, my lord ; a fool, that the 
lady Olivia's father took much delight in : he is 
about the house. 

recollected ] Studied. WARBURTON. 

1 rather think, that recollected signifies, more nearly to its 
primitive sense, recalled, repeated, and alludes to the practice 
of' composers, who often prolong the song by repetitions. 


Thus in Strada's Imitation of Claudian : 

" et se 

" Multiplicat relegens ." STEEVENS, 
VOL. V. X 


DUKE. Seek him out, and play the tune the whrle. 

\_Exit CURIO. Munich. 
Come hither, boy ; If ever thou shalt love, 
In the sweet pangs of it, remember me : 
For, such as I am, all true lovers are ; 
Unstaid and skittish in all motions else, 
Save, in the constant image of the creature 
That is belov'd. How dost thou like this tune ? 

Vio. It gives a very echo to the seat 
Where Love is thron'd. 7 

DUKE. Thou dost speak masterly : 
My life upon't, young though thou art, thine eye 
Hath stay'd upon some favour that it loves ; 
Hath it not, boy ? 

Vio. A little, by your favour. 8 

DUKE. What kind of woman is't ? 

Vio. Of your complexion. 

DUKE. She is not worth thee then. What years, 
i'faith ? 

Vio. About your years, my lord. 

to the seat 

Where Love is throrfd.'] i. e. to the heart. So, in Rome* 
and Juliet : 

" My bosom's lord [i. e. Love'] sits lightly on his throne" 
Again, in Othello : 

" Yield up, O Love, thy crown, and hearted throne ." 
So before, in the first act of this play : 

" when liver, brain, and heart, 

" These sovereign thrones, are all supplied and fill'd 
" (Her sweet perfections) with one self-king." 
The meaning is, (as Mr. Heath has observed,) " It is so con- 
sonant to the emotions of the heart, that they echo it back again." 


' favour.] The worA favour ambiguously used. 


Favour, in the preceding speech, signifies countenance. 


sc. ir. WHAT YOU WILL. 307 

DUKE. Too old, by heaven ; Let still the woman 


An elder than herself; so wears she to him, 
So sways she level in her husband's heart. 
For, boy, however we do praise ourselves, 
Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm, 
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,* 
Than women's are. 

Vio. I think it well, my lord. 

DUKE. Then let thy love be younger than thyself, 
Or thy affection cannot hold the bent : 
For women are as roses ; whose fair flower, 
Being once displayed, doth fall that very hour. 

Vio. And so they are : alas, that they are so ; 
To die, even when they to perfection grow ! 

Re-enter CURIO, and Clown. 

DUKE. O fellow, come, the song we had last 

night : 

Mark it, Cesario ; it is old, and plain : 
The spinsters and the knitters in the sun, 

9 lost and worn,] Though lost and worn may mean lost 

and worn out, yet lost and won being, I think, better, these two 
words coming usually and naturally together, and the alteration 
being very slight, I would so read in this place with Sir T. Han- 
mer. JOHNSON. 

The text is undoubtedly right, and worn signifies, consumed, 
worn out. So Lord Surrey, in one of his Sonnets, describing 
the spring, says : 

" Winter is worn, that was the flowers bale." 
Again, in King Henry VI. P. II : 

" These few days' wonder will be quickly worn," 
Again, in The Winter's Tale : 

" and but infirmity, 

" Which waits upon worn times ." MALONE. 

X 2 


And the free 1 maids, that weave their thread with 


Do use to chaunt it ; it is silly sooth, 3 
And dallies with the innocence of love, 3 
Like the old age. 4 

CLO. Are you ready, sir ? 

DUKE. Ay ; pr'ythee, sing. [Mustek. 

1 ' free ] Is, perhaps, vacant, unengaged, easy in mind. 


1 rather think, that free means here not having yet surren- 
dered their liberty to man ; unmarried. MALOHE. 

Is notfree, unreserved, uncontrolled by the restraints of female 
delicacy, forward, and such as sing plain songs ? HENLEY. 

The precise meaning of this epithet cannot very easily be 
pointed out. As Mr. Warton observes, on another occasion, 
"fair and free" are words often paired together in metrical 
romances. Chaucer, Drayton, Ben Jonson, and many other 
poets, employ the epithet free, with little certainty of meaning. 
Free, in the instance before us, may commodiously signify, art- 
less, free from art, uninfluenced by artificial manners, undirected 
by false refinement in their choice of ditties. STEEVENS. 

2 silly sooth,'] It is plain, simple truth. JOHNSON. 

3 And dallies faith the innocence of love,'] To dally is to play, 
to trifle. So, Act III : " They that dally nicely with words." 
Again, in Sivetnam Arraigned, l6'20: 

he void of fear 

*' Dallied with danger ." 

Again, in Sir W. D'Avenant's Albovine, l62p: 

" Why dost thou dally thus with feeble motion ?" 


4 the old age.] The old age is the ages past, the times of 

simplicity. JOHNSON. 

sc. iv. WHAT YOU WILL. 309 


CLO. Come away, come away, death, 
And in sad cypress let me be laid /* 

Fly away,Jty away," breath ; 
I am slain by a fair cruel maid. 
My shroud of white, stuck all with ye 9 

O, prepare it; 

My part of death no one SQ tru& 
Did share it. 1 

Not a flower, not a flower sweet, 
On my black coffin let there be strown ; 

Not a friend, not a friend greet 
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be'thrown: 
A thousand thousand sighs to save, 

Lay me, O, where 
Sad true lover* ne'er Jind my grave. 
To weep there. 

* And in sad cypress let me le laid ;] i. c. in a shroud of 
rypress or Cyprus. Thus Autolyeus, in The Winter '$ Tale: 

" Lawn as white as driven snow, 

" Cyprus black as e'er was crow." 

There was both black and white Cyprus, as there is still black 
and white crape ; and ancient shrouds were always made of the 
latter. STEEVENS. 

6 Fly away, fly away,] The old copy reads Fie away. The 
emendation is Mr. Howe's. MALONE. 

7 My part of death no one so true 

Did share it.] Though death is a part in which every one 
acts his share, yet of all these actors no one is so true as I. 


8 Sad true lover ] Mr. Pope rejected the word sad, and 
other modern editors have unnecessarily changed true lover to- 
true love. By making never one syllable the metre is preserved. 
Since this note was written, I have observed that lover is else* 
where used by our poet as a word of one syllable. So, hi A 
Midsummer Night's Dream : 

" Te up my favor's tongue ; bring him in. silently.*' 


DUKE. There's for thy pains. 

CLO. No pains, sir; I take pleasure in singing, sir. 

DUKE. 1*11 pay thy pleasure then. 

CLO. Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid, one 
time or another. 

DUKE. Give me now leave to leave thee. 

CLO. Now, the melancholy god protect thee ; 
and the tailor make thy doublet of changeable 
taffata, for thy mind is a very opal! 9 I would 
have men of such constancy put to sea, that their 
business might be every thing, andtheir intent every 
where ; l for that's it, that always makes a good 
voyage of nothing. Farewell. [Exit Clown. 

Again, in King Henry VIII : 

" Is held no great good lover of th' archbishop's.'* 
There is perhaps, therefore, no need of abbreviating the word 
never in this line. M ALONE. 

In the instance produced from A Midsummer Night's Dream, 
I suppose lover to be a misprint for love ; and in K. Henry VIII. 
I know not why it should be considered as a monosyllable. 


9 a very opal !] A precious stone of almost all colours. 


So, Milton, describing the walls of heaven : 

" With opal tow'rs, and battlements adorn'd." 
The opal is a gem which varies its appearance as it is viewed 
in different lights. Thus, in The Muses' Elizium, by Drayton : 
" With opals more than any one 
" We'll deck thine altar fuller, 
" For that of every precious stone 

" It doth retain some colour." 

" In the opal, (says P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural 
History, B. XXXVII. c. t>,) you shall see the burning fire of the 
carbuncle or rubie, the glorious purple of the amethyst, the 
green sea of the erneraud, and all glittering together mixed after 
an incredible manner.'' STEEVENS. 

1 that their business might be every thing, and their 

intent every -where /] Both the preservation of the antithesis, 

x. iv. WHAT YOU WILL. 31 1 

DUKE. Let all the rest give place. 

[Exeunt CURIO and Attendants. 
Once more, Cesario, 

Get thee to yon* same sovereign cruelty : 
Tell her, my love, more noble than the world, 
Prizes not quantity of dirty lands ; 
The parts that fortune hath bestow* d upon her, 
Tell her, I hold as giddily as fortune ; 
But 'tis that miracle, and queen of gems, 
That nature pranks her in, 2 attracts my soul. 

and the recovery of the sense, require we should read, and 
their intent no uhere. Because a man who suffers himself to run 
with every wind, and so makes his business every where, cannot 
be said to have any intent ; for that word signifies a determina- 
tion of the mind to something. Besides, the conclusion of mak- 
ing a good voyage of nothing, directs to this emendation. 


An intent every where, is much the same as an intent no where, 
as it hath no one particular place more in view than another. 


The present reading is preferable to Warburton's amendment. 
We cannot accuse a man of inconstancy who has no intents at 
all, though we may the man whose intents are every where; that 
is, are continually varying. M. MASON. 

* But "'tis that miracle, and queen of gems, 

That nature pranks her in,] What is that miracle, and queen 
of gems ? we are not told in this reading. Besides, what is meant 
by nature pranking her in a miracle? We should read: 
" But 'tis that miracle, and queen of gems, 

" That nature pranks, her mind, 

i. e. what attracts my soul, is not her fortune, but her mind, that 
miracle and queen of gems that nature pranks, i. e. sets out, 
adorns. WARBURTON. 

The miracle and queen of gems is her beauty, which the 
commentator might have found without so emphatical an en- 
quiry. As to her mind, he that should be captious would say, 
that though it may be formed by nature, it must be pranked by 

Shakspeare does not say that nature pranks her in a miracle^ 


Vio. But, if she cannot love you, sir ? 
DUKE. I cannot be so answer'd. 3 

Vio. 'Sooth, but you must. 

Say, that some lady, as, perhaps, there is, 
Hath for your love as great a pang of heart 
As you have for Olivia : you cannot love her ; 
You tell her so; Must she not then be answer'd? 

DUKE. There is no woman's sides, 
Can bide the beating of so strong a passion 
As love doth give my heart : no woman's heart 
So big, to hold so much ; they lack retention. 
Alas, their love may be calPd appetite, 
No motion of the liver, but the palate, 
That suffer surfeit, cloyment, and revolt ; 4 
But mine is all as hungry as the sea, 5 
And can digest as much : make no compare 

but in the miracle of gems, that is, in a gem miraculously beauti- 
ful. JOHNSON. 

To prank is to deck out, to adorn. See Lye's Etymologicon, 


So, in The Waiter's Tale: 

" and me, 

" Most goddess-like, pranlSd up ." STEEVENS. 

3 I cannot be so ansiver > d."\ The folio reads It cannot be, &c. 
The correction by Sir Thomas Hanmer. STEEVENS. 

4 Alas, their love may be calVd appetite, &c. 

That suffer surfeit, cloyment, and revolt;'] The duke has 
changed his opinion of women very suddenly. It was but a few 
minutes before that lie said they had more constancy in love than 
men. M. MASON. 

Mr. Mason would read suffers ; but there is no need of 
change. Suffer is governed by women, implied under the 
words, " their love." The love of women, fyc. tvho suffer. 


* as hungry as the sea,~\ So, in Coriolanus : 

" Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach 
" Fillip the stars ." STEEVENS. 

sc. iv. WHAT YOU WILL. sis 

Between that love a woman can bear me, 
And that I owe Olivia. 

Vio. Ay, but I know, 

DUKE. What dost thou know ? 

Fio. Too well what love women to men may 

owe : 

In faith, they are as true of heart as we. 
My father had a daughter lov'd a man, 
As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman, 
I should your lordship. 

DUKE. And what's her history? 

Vio. A blank, my lord: She never told her love, 
But let concealment, like a worm i'the bud, 6 
Feed on her damask cheek : she pin'd in thought j 7 
And, with a green and yellow melancholy, 

6 like a worm i'the bud,] So, in the 5th Sonnet of Shak- 

speare : 

" Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose, 
" Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name." 


Again, in our author's Rape ofLucrece : 

" Why should the 'worm intrude the maiden bud?" 
Again, in King Richard II: 

" But now will canker sorrow eat my bud, 

" And chase the native beauty from his cheek" 


7 she pin'd in thought ;] Thought formerly signified 

melancholy. So, in Hamlet .- 

" Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought" 
Again, in The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, 1562 : 

" The cause of this her death was inward care and 
thought" MALONE. 

Mr. Malone says, thought means melancholy. But why wrest 
from this word its plain and usual acceptation, and make Shak- 
speare guilty of tautology ? for in the very next line he uses 
" melancholy." DOUCE. 


She sat like patience on a monument, 
Smiling at grief. 8 Was not this love, indeed? 

' She sat like patience on a monument, 

Smiling at grief J\ Mr. Theobald supposes this might possibly 
be borrowed from Chaucer : 

" And her besidis wonder discreetlie 

" Dame pacience ysitting there I fonde 

" With face' pale, upon a hill of sonde." 

And adds : " If he was indebted, however, for the first rude 
draught, how amply has he repaid that debt, in heightening the 
picture ! How much does the green and yellow melancholy 
transcend the old bard's pale face ; the monument his hill of 
sand."--I hope this critic does not imagine Shakspeare meant 
to give us a picture of the face of patience, by his green and 
yellow melancholy; because, ne says, it transcends the pale face 
of patience given us by Chaucer. To throw patience into a fit 
of melancholy, would be indeed very extraordinary. The green 
and yellow then belonged not to patience, but to her who sat 
like patience. To give patience a pale face was proper : and 
had Shakspeare described her, he had done it as Chaucer did. 
But Shakspeare is speaking of a marble statue of patience; 
Chaucer of patience herself. And the two representations of 
her, are in quite different views. Our poet, speaking of a 
despairing lover, judiciously compares her to patience exercised 
on the death of friends and relations ; which affords him the 
beautiful picture of patience on a monument. The old bard, 
speaking of patience herself directly, and not by comparison, as 
judiciously draws her in that circumstance where she is most 
exercised, and has occasion for all her virtue ; that is to say, 
under the losses of shipwreck. And now we see why she is 
represented as sitting on a hill of sand, to design the scene to 
be the sea-shore. It is finely imagined ; and one of the noble 
simplicities of that admirable poet. But the critic thought, in 
good earnest, that Chaucer's invention was so barren, and his 
imagination so beggarly, that he was not able to be at the charge 
of a monument for his goddess, but left her, like a stroller, 
sunning herself upon a heap of sand. WARBURTON. 

This celebrated image was not improbably first sketched out 
in the old play of Pericles. I think, Shakspeare's hand may be 
sometimes seen in the latter part of it, and there only : 

** thou [Marina~\ dost look 

" Like Patience, gazing on kings' graves, and smiling 

" Extremity out of act." FARMER. 

sc. iv. WHAT YOU WILL. 315 

We men may say more, swear more: but, indeed, 
Our shows are more than will ; for still we prove 
Much in our vows, but little in our love. 

So, in our author's Rape ofLucrece: 

*' So mild, that Patience seem'd to scorn his woes." 
In the passage in the text, our author perhaps meant to per- 
sonify GRIEF as well as PATIENCE ; for we can scarcely under- 
stand " at grief" to mean " in grief," as no statuary could, I 
imagine, form a countenance in which smiles and grief should be 
at once expressed. Shakspeare might have borrowed his imagery 
from some ancient monument on which these two figures were 

The following lines in The Winter's Tale seem to countenance 
such an idea : 

" I doubt not then, but innocence shall make 

" False accusation blush, and TYRANNY 

" Tremble at PATIENCE." 
Again, in King Richard III: 

" like dumb statues, or unbreathing stones, 

" Star'd on each other, and look'd deadly pale." 
In King Lear, we again meet with two personages introduced 
in the text : 

" Patience and Sorrow strove, 

" Who should express her goodliest." 
Again, in Cymbeline, the same kind of imagery may be traced : 

" nobly he yokes 

" A smiling with a sigh. 

" 1 do note 

" That Grief and Patience, rooted in him both, 

" Mingle their spurs together." 

I am aware that Homer's fotxpuflev ysAacraou, and a passage in 

" My plenteous joys 

" Wanton in fullness, seek to hide themselves 

" In drops of sorrow " 

may be urged against this interpretation : but it should be re- 
membered, that in these instances it is joy which bursts into 
tears. There is no instance, I believe, either in poetry or real 
life, of sorrow smiling in anguish. In pain indeed the case is 
different : the suffering Indian having been known to smile in 
the midst of torture. But, however this may be, the sculptor 
and the painter are confined to one point of time, and cannot 
exhibit successive movements in the countenance. 

DUKE. But died thy sister of her love, my boy ? 

Dr. Percy, however, thinks j that "grief may here mean 
grievance, in which sense it is used in Dr. Powel's History of 
Wales, quarto, p. 356 : " Of the wrongs and griefs done to the 
noblemen at Stratolyn," #e> In the original, (printed at the 
end of Wynne's History of Wales, OQtavo,) it is gravamina, 
i. e. grievances. The ward is often used by QU? author in the 
same sense, (So, in King Henry IV, P. \: 
the king hath sent to know 

" The nature of your griefs ;}' 
ver, I believe, in the singular i 

but never, I believe, in the singular nuraJber, 

In support of what has been suggested, the authority of Mr. 
Howe may be adduced, for in his life of Shakspeare he has thus 
exhibited this passage : 

" She not like Patience on a monument, 

" Smiling at Grief.*' 

In the observations now submitted to the reader, I had once 
some confidence, nor am I yet convinced that the objection 
founded on the particle at, and on the difficulty, if not impossi- 
bility, of a sculptor forming such a figure as these words are 
commonly supposed to describe, is without foundation. I have 
therefore retained my note ; yet I must acknowledge, that the 
following lines in King Richard II. which have lately occurred 
to me, render my theory somewhat doubtful, though they do 
not overturn it : 

" His face still combating with tears and smiles, 

" The badges of his grief and. patience." 

Here we have the same idea as that in the text ; and perhaps 
Shakspeare never considered whether it could be exhibited in 

I have expressed a doubt whether the word grief was em- 
ployed in the singular number, in the sense of grievance. \ have 
lately observed that our author has himself used it in that sense 
in King Henry IF. P. II : 

" an inch of any ground 

" To build a grief on." 
Dr. Percy's interpretation, therefore, may be the true one. 


I am unwilling to suppose a monumental image of Patience 
was ever confronted by an emblematical figure of Grief, on 
purpose that one might sit and smile at the other ; because such 
a representation might be considered as a satire on human 
insensibility. When Patience smiles, it is to express a Christian 
triumph over the common cause of sorrow, a cause, of which 

ac. m WHAT YOU WILL. si 7 

Vio. I am all the daughters of my father's house, 
And all the brothers too ; 9 and yet I know not : 
Sir, shall I to this lady ? 

the sarcophagus, near her station, ought very sufficiently to 
remind her. True Patience, when it is her cue to smile over 
calamity, knows her office "without a prompter ; knows that 
stubborn lamentation displays a will most incorrect to heaven ; 
and therefore appears content with one of its severest dispensa- 
tions, the loss of a relation or a friend. Ancient tombs, indeed, 
(if we must construe grief into grievance, and Shakspeare has 
certainly used the former word for the latter, ) frequently exhibit 
cumbent figures of the deceased, and over these an image of 
Patience, without impropriety, might express a smile of com- 
placence : 

" Her meek hands folded on her modest breast, 
" With calm submission lift the adoring eye 
" Even to the storm that wrecks her." 

After all, however, I believe the Homeric elucidation of the 
passage to be the true one. Tyrant poetry often imposes such 
complicated tasks as painting and sculpture must fail to execute. 
I cannot help adding, that, to smile at grief, is as justifiable an 
expression as to rejoice at prosperity, or repine at ill fortune. 
It is not necessary we should suppose the good or bad event, in 
either instance, is an object visible, except to the eye of imagi- 
nation. STEEVENS. 

She sat like patience on a monument, 

Smiling at grief .} So, in Middleton's Witch, Act iv. sc. iii: 
" She does not love me now, but painefully 
" Like one that's forc'd to smile upon a grief" DOUCE. 

9 I am all the daughters of my father's house, 

And all the brother.'; too ;] This was the most artful answer 
that could be given. The question was of such a nature, that 
to have declined the appearance of a direct answer, rnubt have 
raised suspicion. This has the appearance of a t'irect answer, 
that the si+ter died of her love; she (who parsed for a man) 
saying, she was all the daughters of her iataer's h rase. 


Such another equivoque occurs m Lyly's GalaiJiea, 15Q2: 

" my father had but one daughter, and therefore I could 

have no sister." STEEVENS. 


DUKE. Ay, that's the theme. 

To her in haste ; give her this jewel ; say, 
My love can give no place, bide no denay. 1 



Olivia's Garden, 


SIR To. Come thy ways, signior Fabian. 

FAS. Nay, I'll. come ; if I lose a scruple of this 
sport, let me be boiled to death with melancholy. 

SIR To. Would' st thou not be glad to have the 
niggardly rascally sheep-biter come by some nota- 
ble shame ? 

FAS. I would exult, man : you know, he brought 
me out of favour with my lady, about a bear-bait- 
ing here. 

SIR To. To anger him, we'll have the bear 
again ; and we will fool him black and blue : 
Shall we not, sir Andrew ? 

SIR AND. An we do not, it is pity of our lives. 

1 bide no denay.] Denay, is denial. To denay is an 

antiquated verb sometimes used by Holinshed. So, p. 620 : 
" the state of a cardinal which was naied and denoted him." 
Again, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, B. II. ch. 10: 

" thus did say 

" The thing, friend Battus, you demand, not gladly I 
denay." STEEVENS. 

sc. v. WHAT YOU WILL. 319 

Enter MARIA. 

SIR To. Here comes the little villain : How 
now, my nettle of India ? 2 

* my nettle of India ?~\ The poet must here mean a 

zoophite, called the Urtica Marina, abounding in the Indian 

" Quoe tacta totius corporis pruritum quendam excitat, unde 
nomen urticce est sortita." 

Wolfgangi Franzii Hist. Animal, 1665, p. 620. 

" Urticce marince omnes pruritum quendam movent, et acri- 
monia sua venerem extinctam et sopitam excitant." 

Johnstoni Hist. Nat. de Exang. Aquat. p. 56. 

Perhaps the same plant is alluded to by Greene in his Card 
of Fancy, lt)08: "the flower of India, pleasant to be seen, 
but whoso smelleth to it, feelet h present smart.' 1 Again, in his 
Mamillia, 15Q3 : " Consider, the herb of India is of pleasant 
smell, but whoso cometh to it,feeleth present smart." Again, 
in P. Holland's translation of the pth Book of Pliny's Natural 
History : " As for those nettles, there be of them that in the 
night raunge to and fro, and likewise change their colour. 
Leaves they carry of a fleshy substance, and of flesh they feed. 
Their qualities is to raise an itching smart." Maria had certainly 
excited a congenial sensation in Sir Toby. The folio, 1623, 
reads mettle of India, which may mean, my girl of gold, my 
precious girl. The change, however, which I have not dis- 
turbed, was made by the editor of the folio, 1632, who, in 
many instances, appears to have regulated his text from more 
authentic copies of our author's plays than were in the posses- 
sion of their first collective publishers. STEEVENS. 

my metal of India fj So, in K. Henry IV. P. I : Lads, 

boys, hearts of gold," &c. 
Again, ibidem : 

" and as bountiful 

" As mines of India." 
Again, in K. Henry VIII : 

To-day the French 

" All clinquant, all in gold, like heathen gods, 
" Shone down the English ; and to-morrow they 
*' Made Britain India ; every man that stood, 
" Shew'd like a mine." 


MAR. Get ye all three into the box-tree : Mal- 
volio's coming down this walk ; he has been yonder 
i'the sun, practising behaviour to his own shadow, 
this half hour : observe him, for the love of mock- 
ery ; for, I know, this letter will make a contem- 
plative ideot of him. Close, in the name of jesting ! 
[ The men hide the n^selves. ,] Lie thou there ; [throws 
down a letter.^ for here comes the trout that must 
be caught with tickling. 3 [Exit MARIA. 


MAL. 'Tis but fortune ; all is fortune. Maria 
once told me, she did affect me : and I have heard 
herself come thus near, that, should she fancy, it 
should be one of my complexion. Besides, she uses 

So Lyly, in his Euphues and his England, 1580 : " I saw that 
India bringeth gold, but England bringeth goodness." 

Again, in Wily Beguil'd, 1 606 : " Come, my heart of gold, 
let's have a dance at the making up of this match." The per- 
son there addressed, as in Twelfth-Night, is a woman. The 
old copy has mettle. The two words are very frequently con- 
founded in the early editions of our author's plays. The editor 
of the second folio arbitrarily changed the word to nettle ; which 
all the subsequent editors have adopted. MALONE. 

Nettle of India, which Steevens has ingeniously explained, 
certainly better corresponds with Sir Toby's description of Ma- 
ria here comes the little villain. The nettle oj India is the 
plant that produces what is called cow-itch,, a substance only 
used for the purpose of tormenting, by its itching quality. 


3 here comes the trout that must be caught <with tickling.] 

Cogan, in his Haven of Health, I?>g5, will prove an able com- 
mentator on this passage : '* This fish of nature loveth flatterie : 
for, being in the water, it will suffer it selfe to be rubbed and 
clawed, and so to be taken. Whose example I would wish no 
maides to follow, least they repent afterclaps." STEEVENS. 

sc. v. WHAT YOU WILL. 321 

me with a more exalted respect, than any one else 
that follows her. What should I think on't ? 

SIR To. Here's an over- weening rogue ! 

FAB. O, peace ! Contemplation makes a rare 
turkey-cock of him ; how he jets 4 under his ad- 
vanced plumes ! 

SIR AND. 'Slight, I could so beat the rogue : 

SIR To. Peace, I say. 

MAL. To be count Malvolio ; 

SIR To. Ah, rogue ! 

SIR AND. Pistol him, pistol him. 

SIR To. Peace, peace ! 

MAL. There is example for't ; the lady of the 
strachy 5 married the yeoman of the wardrobe. 

he jets ] To jet is to strut, to agitate the bod> 
by a proud motion. So, in Arden ofFeversham, 15Q2: 

" Is now become the steward of the house, 

" And bravely jets it in a silken gown." 
Again, in Bussy D'Ambois, 1607 : 

" To jet in others' plumes so haughtily." STE^VE^S. 

5 - the lady of the strachy ] We should read Trachy, 
i.e. Thrace; for so the old English writers called it. Mande- 
ville says : " As Trachye and Maccdoigne, of the ivhich Alhan- 
dre ivas kyng." It was common to use the article the before 
names of places ; and this was no improper instance, where the 
scene was in Illyria. WAKBUHTOX. 

What we should read is hard to say. Here is an allusion to 
some old story which I have not yet discovered. JOHNSON. 

Slraccio (see Torriano's and Altieri's Dictionaries) signifies 
clouts and tatters; and Torriano, in his Grammar, at the end of 
his Dictionary, says that straccio was pronounced stratchi. So 
that it is probable that Shakspeare's meaning was this, that the 
lady of the queen's wardrobe had married a yeoman of the king's, 
who was vastly inferior to her. SMITH. 

Such is Mr. Smith's note ; but it does not appear that stmcJiu 
VOL. V. Y 


SIR AND. Fie on him, Jezebel ! 

was ever an English word, nor will the meaning given it by the 
Italians be of any use on the present occasion. 

Perhaps a letter has been misplaced, and we ought to read 
starchy j i. e. the room in which linen underwent the once most 
complicated operation of starching. I do not know that such a 
word exists ; and yet it would not be unanalogically formed from 
the substantive starch. In Harsnct's Declaration, ld03, we 
meet with " a yeoman of the sprucery ;" i. e. wardrobe ; and 
in the Northumberland Household- Book, nursery is spelt nurcy. 
Starchy, therefore, for starchery, may be admitted. In Romeo 
and Juliet, the place where paste was made is called the pastry. 
The lady who had the care of the linen may be significantly 
opposed to the yeoman, i. e. an inferior officer of the wardrobe. 
While the Jive different coloured starches were worn, such a 
term might have been current. In the year 1564, a Dutch 
woman professed to teach this art to our fair country-women. 
" Her usual price (says Stowe) was four or five pounds to teach 
them how to starch, and twenty shillings how to seeth starch" 
The alteration was suggested to me by a typographical error in 
The World toss'd at Tennis, no date, by Middleton and Rowley ; 
where straches is printed for starches. I cannot fairly be accused 
of having dealt much in conjectural emendation, and therefore 
feel the less reluctance to hazard a guess on this desperate pas- 
sage. STEEVENS. 

The place in which candles were kept, was formerly called 
the chandry ; and in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, a ginger- 
bread woman is called lady of the basket. The great objection 
to this emendation is, that from the starchy to the wardrobe is 
not what Shakspeare calls a very " heavy declension." In the 
old copy the word is printed in Italicks as the name of a place 
Sir achy. 

The yeoman of the wardrobe is not an arbitrary term, but was 
the proper designation of the wardrobe-keeper, in Shakspeare's 
time. See Florio's Italian Dictionary, I 598 : " Vestiario, a ward- 
robe-keeper, or a yeoman of a ivardrobe." 

The story which our poet had in view is perhaps alluded to 

by Lyly in Euphues and his England, 15SO: " assuring 

myself there was a certain season when women are to be won ; 
in the which moments they have neither will to deny, nor wit 
to mistrust. Such a time I have read a young gentleman found 
to obtain ihe love of the Dutchess of Milaine: such a time I 
have heard th?.t a poor yeoman chose, to get the fairest lady iw 
Mantua." MAI.ON&. 

sc. r. WHAT YOU WILL. 323 

FAB. O, peace ! now he's deeply in ; look, how- 
imagination blows him. 

MAL. Having been three months married to her, 
sitting in my state, 7 

SIR To. O, for a stone-bow, 8 to hit him in the 

MAL. Calling my officers about me, in my 
branched velvet gown ; having come from a day- 
bed, 9 where I left Olivia sleeping : 

SIR To. Fire and brimstone ! 

blows him."] i. e. puffs him up. So, in Antony and 
Cleopatra : 

" on her breast 

" There is a vent of blood, and something blown." 


' my state, ] A state, in ancient language, signifies a 
chair with a canopy over it. So, in K. Henry IV. P. I : 
" This chair shall be my state.' 1 '' STEEVENS. 

8 stone-how,'] That is, a cross-bow, a bow which shoots 

stones. JOHNSON. 

This instrument is mentioned again in Marston's Dutch Cour- 
tesan, 1005: '* whoever will hit the mark of profit, must, 

like those who shoot in stone-bows, wink with one eye." Again, 
in Beaumont and Fletcher's King and no King: 

" children will shortly take him 

" For a wall, and set their stone-bows in his forehead." 


9 come from a day-bed,] i. e. a couch. Spenser, in the 

first Canto of the third Book of his Fairy Queen, has dropped a 
stroke of satire on this lazy fashion : 

" So was that chamber clad in goodly wize, 

" And round about it many beds were dight, 

" As xvhilome was the antique worldes guize, 

" Some for untimely ease, some for delight." STEEVENS. 

Estifania, in Ride a Wife and have a Wife, Act I. says, in an- 
swer to Perez : 

" This place will fit our talk ; 'tis fitter far, sir : 
" Above there are day-beds, and such temptation* 
" I dare not trust, sir." REED. 

Y 2 


FAS. O, peace, peace ! 

MAL. And then to have the humour of state : 
and after a demure travel of regard, telling them, 
I know my place, as I would they should do theirs, 
to ask for my kinsman Toby : 

SIR To. Bolts and shackles ! 

FAS. O, peace, peace, peace ! now, now. 

MAL. Seven of my people, with an obedient 
start, make out for him : I frown the while ; and, 
perchance, wind up my watch, 1 or play with some 
rich jewel. 2 Toby approaches ; court' sies there 
to me : 3 

1 - ivi-nd up my watch,] In our author's time watches were 
very uncommon. When Guy Faux was taken, it was urged as 
a circumstance of suspicion that a watch was found upon him. 


Again, in an ancient MS. play, entitled The Second Maiden's 
Tragedy, written between the years l6lO and l6l 1 : 

" Like one that has a ivatckc of curious making ; 
" Thinking to be more cunning than the workman, 
" Never gives over tamp'ring with the wheels, 
" 'Till either spring be weaken'd, balance bow'd, 
" Or some wrong pin put in, and so spoils all." 
In the Antipodes, a comedy, l6'38, are the following passages : 
your project against 

" The multiplicity of 
Again : 

" - when every puny clerk can carry 

" The time o' th' day in his breeches." 
Again, in The Alchemist: 

" And I had lent my ivatch last night to one 

" That dines to-day at the sheriff's." STEEVENS. 

Pocket-watches were brought from Germany into England, 
about the year 1580- MALONE. 

? - or play inith some rich jewel.] The old copy lias 
" Or play with my some rich jewel." MALONE. 

The reading of the old copy, however quaint and affected, 
may signify and play with some rich jewel of my OIVH, some 
ornament appended to my person. He is entertaining himself 
ides? of future magnificence. STEEVENS. 

sc. r. WHAT YOU WILL. 325 

SIR To. Shall this fellow live ? 

FAB. Though our silence be drawn from us with 
cars, 4 yet peace. 

3 court'sies there to me:] From this passage one might 

suspect that the manner of paying respect, which is now con- 
fined to females, was equally used by the other sex. It is pro- 
bable, however, that the word court'sy was employed to express 
acts of civility and reverence by either men or women indiscri- 
minately. In an extract from the Black Book of Warwick, 
Bibliotheca Topographica Brilannica, p. 4, it is said, " The 
pulpett being sett at the nether end of the Earle of Warwick's 
tombe in the said quier, the table was placed where the altar 
had bene. At the coming into the quier my lord made loive 
curtesie to the French king's armes." Again, in the Book of 
Kervynge and Sewyngc, printed by Wynkyn de Worde, sign. A. 
mi : " And whan your Soverayne is set, loke your towell be 
about your necke, then make your soverayne curtesy, then un- 
cover your brede and set it by the sake, and laye your napkyn, 
knyfe, and spone afore hym, then kneel on your knee," &c. 
These directions are to male servants. Lord Herbert of Cher- 
bury, in his Life, speaking of dancing, recommends that accom- 
plishment to youth, " that he may know how to come in and go 
out of a room where company is, how to make courtesies hand- 
somely, according to the several degrees of persons he shall en- 
counter." REED. 

4 Though our silence be dr avion from us with cars,] i. e. though 
it is the greatest pain to us to keep silence. WARBUIITON. 

I believe the true reading is: " Though our silence be drawn 
from us with carts, yet peace. In The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 
one of the Clowns says : " I have a mistress, but who that is, a 
team of horses shall \\otpluckfrom me." So, in this play : " Oxen 
and wainropes will not bring them together." JOHXSON. 

The old reading is cars, as I have printed it. It is well known 
that cars and carts have the same meaning. 

A somewhat similar passage occurs in the old play of King 

Leir, 1605 : " ten tcame of horses shall not draw me away, 

till I have full and whole possession." 

" King. I, but one teume and a cart will serve the turne." 


If I were to suggest a word in the place of cars, which I think 
is a corruption, it should be cables. It may be worth remarking. 


MAL. I extend my hand to him thus, quenching 
my familiar smile with an austere regard of control : 

SIR To. And does not Toby take you a blow 
o'the lips then ? 

MAL. Saying, Cousin Toby, my fortunes halving 
cast me on your niece, give me this prerogative of 
speech : 

SIR To. What, what ? 

MAL. You must amend your drunkenness. 

SIR To. Out, scab ! 

FAB. Nay, patience, or we break the sinews of 
our plot. 

perhaps, that the leading ideas of Malvolio, in his humour of 
state, bear a strong resemblance to those of Alnaschar, in The 
Arabian Nights' Entertainments. Some of the expressions too 
are very similar. TYRWHITT. 

Many Arabian fictions had found their way into obscure Latin 
and French books, and from thence into English ones, long 
before any professed version of The Arabian Nights' 1 Entertain- 
ments had appeared. I meet with a story similar to that of 
Alnaschar, in The Dialoges of Creatures Moralysed, bl. 1. no 
date, but probably printed abroad : " It is but ibly to hope to 
moche of vanyteys. Whereof it is tolde in iablys that a lady 
uppon a tyme delyucred to her mayderi a galon of mylke to sell 
at a cite. And by the waye as she sate and resticl her by a dyche 
side, she began to thinke y l with y e money of thy mylke she 
wolde bye an henne, the which shulde bring forth chckyns, and 
whan they were growyn to hennys she wolde sell them and by 
piggis, and eschaunge them into shepe, and the shepe into oxen; 
and so whan she was come to richesse she sholde be maried right 
worshipfully vnto sonic worthy man, and thus she reioycid. And 
whan she was thus merueloutly comfortid, : rauished inwardely 
in her secrete solace thinkynge with howc great ioye she shuld 
be leddc towarde the churche with her husbond on horsebacke, 
she sayde to her self, (TOO wee, goo wee, sodaynelye she smote 
the grounde with her fote, myndynge to spurre the horse : but 
her fote slyppcd and she fell in the dyche, and there lave all her 
mylke ; and so she was farre from her purpose, and neuer had 
that she hopid to haue." Dial. 100, LL. ii. b. STVT.VKNS. 

K. r. WHAT YOU WILL. 327 

MAL. Besides, you 'waste the treasure of your 
time with a foolish knight ; 

SIR AND. That's me, I warrant you. 
MAL. One Sir Andrew : 

SIR AND. I knew, 'twas I ; for many do call me 

MAL. What employment have we here ? 5 

\_Taking up the letter. 

FAB. Now is the woodcock near the gin. 

SIR To. O, peace ! and the spirit of humours 
intimate reading aloud to him ! 

MAL. By my life, this is my lady's hand : these 
be her very C's, her C7's, and her T's ; and thus 
makes she her great P's. 6 It is, in contempt of 
question, her hand. 

* What employment have ice here ?~\ A phrase of that time, 
equivalent to our common speech What's to do here. 


6 her great P's.] In the direction of the letter which 

Malvolio reads, there is neither a C, nor a P, to be found. 


I am afraid some very coarse and vulgar appellations are meant 
to be alluded to by these capital letters. BLACKSTONE. 

This was perhaps an oversight in Shakspeare ; or rather, for 
the sake of the allusion hinted at in the preceding note, he 
chose not to attend to the words of the direction. It is remark- 
able, that in the repetition of the passages in letters, which 
have been produced in a former part of a play, he very often 
makes his characters deviate from the words before used, though 
they have the paper itself in their hands, and though they ap- 
pear to recite, not the substance, but the very words. So, in 
AWs ivell that ends well, Act V. Helen says : 

" here's your letter ; This it says : 

" When from my finger you can get this ring, 
" And are by me with child;' 1 '' 

yet in Act III. sc. ii. she reads this very letter aloud ; and there 
the words are different, and in plain prose : " When thou canst 
get the ring upon my finger, which never shall come off, and 


SIR AND. Her (?s, her U's, and her T's : Why 

that ? 

MAL. \_reads} To the unknown beloved, this, and 
my good wishes : her very phrases ! By your leave, 
wax. Soft ! 7 and the impressure her Lucrece, 
with which she uses to seal: 'tis my lady: To whom 
should this be ? 

FAS. This wins him, liver and all. 

MAL. [reads'] Jove knows, I love : 

But who ? 
Lips do not move, 
No man must know. 

shew me a child begotten of thy body," &c. Had she spoken 
In either case from memory, the deviation might easily be ac- 
counted for ; but in both these places, she reads the words from 
Bertram's letter. MALONE. 

From the usual custom of Shakspeare's age, we may easily 
suppose the whole direction to have run thus : " To the Un- 
known belov'd, this, and my good wishes, with Care Present. 5 ' 


7 By your leave, wax. Soft!] It was the custom in 

our poet's time to seal letters with soft wax, which retained its 
softness for a good while. The wax used at present would have 
been hardened long before Malvolio picked up this letter. See 
Your Five Gallants, a comedy, by Middleton : " Fetch a penny- 
worth of soft ivax to seal letters." So, Falstaff, in K. Henry IV. 
P. II : "I have him already tempering between my finger and 
my thumb, and shortly will I seal with him." MALONE. 

I do not suppose that Soft ! has any reference to the wax ; 
but is merely an exclamation equivalent to Softly ! i. e. be not 
in too much haste. Thus, in The Merchant of Venice, Act IV. 
sc. i : " Soft ! no haste." Again, in Troilus and Cressida ; 
" Farewel. Yet soft!" 

I may also observe, that though it was anciently the custom 
(as it still is) to seal certain legal instruments with soft and pliable 
wax, familiar letters (of which I have seen specimens from the 
time of K. Henry VI. to K. James I.) were secured with wax 
as glossy and firm as that employed in the present year. 


sc. v. WHAT YOU WILL. 329 

No man must know. What follows ? the numbers 
altered ! No man must know : If this should be 
thee, Malvolio? 

SIR To. Marry, hang thee, brock! 8 

MAL. I may command, where I adore : 

But silence, like a Lucrece knife, 
With bloodless stroke my heart doth gore ; 
M, O, A, I, doth sway my life. 

FAB. A fustian riddle ! 
SIR To. Excellent wench, say I. 
MAL. M, O, A, I, doth sway my life. 9 Nay, but 
first, let me see, let me see, let me see. 

FAB. What a dish of poison has she dressed him ! 

SIR To. And with what wing the stanny el Checks 
at it! 

8 brock .'] i. e. badger. He uses the word as a term of 

contempt, as if he had said, hang thee, cur ! Out filth ! to stink 
like a brock being proverbial. RITSON. 

Marry, hang thee, brock !] i. e. Marry, hang thee, thou vain, 
conceited coxcomb, thou over-weening rogue ! 

Brock, which properly signifies a badger, was used in this 
sense in Shakspeare's time. So, in The merrie conceited Jests of 
George Peele, 4to. 1657 : " This self-conceited brock had George 
invited," &c. MALONE. 

9 doth sivay my lifcJ\ This phrase is seriously employed 

in As you like it, Act [II. sc. ii : 

" Thy huntress name, that my full life doth sway." 


1 stannyel ] The name of a kind of hawk is very 

judiciously put here for a stallion, by Sir Thomas Hanmer. 


To check, says Latham, in his book of Falconry, is, " when 
crows, rooks, pies, or other birds, coming in view of the hawk, 
she forsaketh her natural flight, to fly at them." The stannyel 
is the common stone-hawk, which inhabits old buildings and 
rocks ; in the north called stanchil. I have this information from 
Mr. Lambe's notes on the ancient metrical history of the battle 
of Floddon. STEEVENS. 


MAL. / may command where I adore. Why, she 
may command me ; I serve her, she is my lady. 
Why, this is evident to any formal capacity. 2 There 
is no obstruction in this ; And the end, What 
should that alphabetical position portend? if I could 
make that resemble something in me, Softly ! 
M, O, A, I. 

SIR To. O, ay ! make up that : he is now at a 
cold scent. 

FAB. Sowter 3 will cry upon't, for all this, though 
it be as rank as a fox. 4 

MAL. M, Malvolio ; M, why, that begins 
my name. 

FAS. Did not I say, he would work it out ? the 
cur is excellent at faults. 

* formal capacity.'] i. e. any one in his senses, any one 

whose capacity is not dis-arranged, or out of form. So, in The 
Comedy of Errors : 

" Make of him a. formal man again." 
Again, in Measure, for Measure ; 

" These informal women." STEEVENS. 

3 Soivter ] Soiuter is here, I suppose, the name of a hound. 
Soivterly, however, is often employed as a term of abuse. So, 
in Like Will to Like, &c. 158/ : 

" You souterly knaves, show youallyour manners at once?" 
A soivter was a cobler. So, in Greene's Card of Fancy, 1008 : 
" If Apelles, that cunning painter, suffer the greasy sowter to 
take a view of his curious work," &c. STEEVENS. 

I believe the meaning is This fellow will, notwithanding, 
catch at and be duped by our device, though the cheat is so gross 
that any one else would find it out. Our author, as usual, forgets 
to make his simile answer on both sides ; for it is not to be won- 
dered at that a hound should cry or give his tongue, if the scent 
be as rank as a fox. MALONE. 

4 as rank as a fox.'] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, " not 

as rank." The other editions, though it be as rank, &c. 


sc. v. WHAT YOU WILL. 331 

MAL. M, But then there is no consonancy in 
the sequel; that suffers under probation: A should 
follow, but O does. 

FAB. And O shall end, I hope. 5 

SIR To. Ay, or I'll cudgel him, and make him 
cry, O. 

MAL. And then / comes behind ; 

FAS. Ay, an you had any eye behind you, you 
might see more detraction at your heels, than for- 
tunes before you. 

MAL. M, O, A, /; This simulation is not as the 
former : and yet, to crush this a little, it would 
bow to me, for every one of these letters are in my 
name. Soft ; here follows prose. If this Jail into 
thy handy revolve. In my stars I am above thee; but 
be not afraid of greatness: Some are horn great, 6 
some achieve greatness, and some have greatness 
thrust upon them. Thy fates open their hands ; let 
thy blood and spirit embrace them. And, to inure 
thyself to what thou art like to be, cast thy humble 
slough, and appear fresh. Be opposite 1 with a kins- 

s And O shall end, I hope.'] By O is here meant what we now 
call a hempen collar. JOHNSON. 

I believe he means only, it shall end in sighing, in disappoint- 
ment. So, in Romeo and Juliet : 

" Why should you fall into so deep an O?" 
Again, in Decker's Honest Whore, second part, l6SO : " the 
brick house of castigation, the school where they pronounce no 
letter well, but O/" Again, in Hymen's Triumph, by Daniel, 

" Like to an 0, the character of woe." STEEVENS. 

are born great,'] The old copy reads are become 
great. The alteration by Mr. Rowe. STEEVENS. 

It is justified by a subsequent passage in which the clown re- 
cites from memory the words of this letter. MALONE. 

7 Be opposite ] That is, be adverse, hostile. An opposite, 
in the language of our,author's age, meant an adversary. See a 


man, surly with servants : let thy tongue tang argu- 
ments of state ; put thyself into the trick of singu- 
larity : She thus advises thee, that sighs for thee. 
Remember who commended thy yellow stockings ; 8 
and wished to see thee ever cross-gartered : 9 / say, re- 

note on K. Richard III. Act V. sc. iv. To be opposite with was 
the phraseology of the time. So, in Sir T. Overbury's Cha- 
racter of a Precisian, ]0l6: " He will be sure to be in oppo- 
sition tioith the papist," &c. MALONE. 

* - yellow stockings y] Before the civil wars, yellow stock- 
ings were much worn. So, in D'Avenant's play, called The 
Wits, Act IV. p. 20S. Works fol. 1673 : 

" You said, my girl, Mary Queasie by name, did find your 
uncle's yellow stockings in a porringer ; nay, and you said she 
stole them." PERCY. 

So, Middleton and Rowley in their masque entitled The 
World toss'd at Tennis, no date, where the five different-coloured 
starches are introduced as striving for superiority, Yellow starch 
says to white : 

" - since she cannot 

" Wear her own linen yellow, yet she shows 

" Her love to't, and makes him wear yellow hose." 
Again, in Decker's Match me in London, 1631 : 

" - because you wear 

" A kind of yellow stocking." 

Again, in his Honest Whore, second part, 1(530 : " What 
stockings have you put on this morning, madam ? if they be not 
yellow, change them." The yeomen attending the Earl of 
Arundel, Lord Windsor, and Mr. Fulke Greville, who assisted 
at an entertainment performed before Queen Elizabeth, on the 
Monday and Tuesday in Whitsun-week, 1581, were dressed in 
yellow worsted stockings. The book from which I gather this 
information was published by Henry Goklwell, gent, in the same 
year. STEEVENS. 

cross-gartered:] So, in The Lover's Melancholy, 

" As rare an old youth as ever walk'd cross-gartered.' 1 '' 
Again, in A Woman's a Weathercock, 1012 : 

" Yet let me say and swear, in a cross-garter, 
" Pauls never shew'd to eyes a lovelier quarter." 
Very rich garters were anciently worn below the knee. So, 
in Warner's Albion's England, B. IX. ch. 47 : 

" Garters of listes ; but now of silk, some edged deep 
with gold." 

sc. v. WHAT YOU WILL. 333 

7nember. Go to ; thou art made, if thou desircst to 

be so ; if not, let me see thee a steward still, the 

fellow of servants, and not worthy to touch for tune's 

t fingers. Farewell. She that would alter services 

with, thee, 

The fortunate-unhappy. 

Day-light and champian discovers not more : ' this 
is open. I will be proud, I will read politick au- 
thors, I will baffle Sir Toby, I will wash off gross 
acquaintance, I will be point-de-vice, the very man. 2 

It appears, however, that the ancient Puritans affected this 
fashion. Thus, Barton Holyday, speaking of the ill success of 
his TEXNOFAMIA, says: 

" Had there appear'd some sharp cross-garter' 'd man 

" Whom their loud laugh might nick-name Puritan ; 

" Cas'd up in factions breeches, and small ruffe ; 

" That hates the surplice, and defies the. cuffe. 

" Then," &c. 

In a former scene Malvolio was said to be an affecter of puri- 
tanism. STEEVENS. 

1 The fortunate-unhappy. 

Day-fight and champian discovers not more :~\ We should 
read " The fortunate, and happy." Day-light and champian 
discovers not more : i. e. broad day and an open country cannot 
make things plainer. WARBURTON. 

The folio, which is the only ancient copy of this play, reads, 
the fortunate-unhappy, and so I have printed it. The fortunate' 
unhappy is the subscription of the letter. STEEVENS. 

* 7 tr?'// be point-de-vice, the very man.'] This phrase is 

of French extraction a points-devisez. Chaucer uses it in the 
Romaunt of the Rose : 

" Her nose was wrought at point-device." 
i. e. with the utmost possible exactness. 
Again, in A'. Edward I. 1599 : 

" That we may have our garments point- device." 
Kastril, in The Alchemist, calls his sister Punk-device : and again, 
in The Tale of a Tub, Act III. sc. vii : 

" and if the dapper priest 

" Be but as cunning point in his devise, 

" As I was in my lie.'' STEKVENS. 


I do not now fool myself, to let imagination jade 
me ; for every reason excites to this, that my lady 
loves me. She did commend my yellow stockings 
of late, she did praise my leg being cross-gartered ; 
and in this she manifests herself to my love, and, 
with a kind of injunction, drives me to these habits 
of her liking. I thank my stars, I am happy. 
I will be strange, stout, in yellow stockings, and 
cross-gartered, even with the swiftness of putting 
on. Jove, and my stars be praised ! Here is yet 
a postscript. Thou canst not choose but know who 
I am. If thou entertainest my love, let it appear in 
thy smiling ; thy smiles become thee well : therefore 
in my presence still smile , dear my sweet, I pr'ythee. 
Jove, I thank thee. I will smile ; I will do every 
thing that thou wilt have me. [Exit. 

FAB. I will not give my part of this sport for a 
pension of thousands to be paid from the Sophy/' 

SIR To. I could marry this wench for this device : 
SIR AND. So could I too. 

SIR To. And ask no other dowry with her, but 
such another jest. 

Enter MARIA. 

SIR AND. Nor I neither. 
FAB. Here comes my noble gull-catcher. 
SIR To. Wilt thou set thy foot o* my neck ? 
SIR AND. Or o* mine either ? 

3 a pension of thousands to be paid from the Sophy. ~\ 

Alluding, as Dr. Farmer observes, to Sir Robert Shirley, who 
was just returned in the character of embassadorfrom the Sophy. 
He boasted of the great rewards he had received, and lived in 
London with the utmost splendor. STEEVENS. 

sc. v. WHAT YOU WILL. 335 

SIR To. Shall I play my freedom at tray-trip, 4 
and become thy bond-slave ? 

SIR AND. I'faith, or I either. 

SIR To. Why, thou hast put him in such a 
dream, that when the image of it leaves him, he 
must run mad. 

MAR. Nay, but say true; does it work upon him ? 

4 tray-trip,'] Tray-trip is mentioned in Beaumont and 

Fletcher's Scornful Lady, l6l6: 

" Reproving him at tray-trip, sir, for swearing." 

Again, in Glapthorne's Wit in a Constable, 1640 : " mean 

time, you may play at tray-trip or cockall, for black-puddings." 
" My watch are above, 'at trea-trip, for a black-pud- 
ding," &c. 
Again : 

" With lanthorn on stall, at trea-trip we play, 

" For ale, cheese, and pudding, till it be day," &c. 


The following passage might incline one to believe that tray- 
trip was the name of some game at tables, or draughts : " There 
is great danger of being taken sleepers at tray-trip, if the king 
sweep suddenly." Cecil's Correspondence, Lett. X. p. 136. Ben 
Jonson joins tray-trip \vit\imum-chance. Alchemist, Act V. sc. iv: 
" Nor play with costar-mongers at mum-chance, tray- 
trip" TYRWHITT. 

The truth of Mr. Tyrwhitt's conjecture will be established by 
the following extract from Machiavel's Dogge, a satire, 4to. 

" But leaving cardes, lett's goe to dice awhile, 

" To passage, treitrippe, hazarde, or mum-chance, 
" But sublili males will simple minds beguile, 

" And blincle their eyes with many a blinking glaunce : 
" Oh, cogges and stoppes, and such like devilish trickes, 
" Full many a purse of golde and silver pickes. 

" And therefore first, for hazard hee that list, 
" And passeth not, puts many to a blancke : 

" And trippe without a treye makes had I wist 
" To sitt and mourne among the sleeper's ranke : 

" And for mumchance, how ere the chance doe fall, 

" You must be mum, for fear of marring all." RKFO. 


SIR To. Like aqua-vitae 5 with a midwife. 

MAR. If you will then seethe fruits of the sport, 
mark his first approach before my lady : he will 
come to her in yellow stockings, and 'tis a colour 
she abhors ; and cross-gartered, a fashion she de- 
tests ; 6 and he will smile upon her, which will now 
be so unsuitable to her disposition, being addicted 
to a melancholy as she is, that it cannot but turn 
him into a notable contempt : if you will see it, 
follow me. 

SIR To. To the gates of Tartar, thou most ex- 
cellent devil of wit ! 

SIR AND. I'll make one too. [Exeunt. 


Olivia's Garden. 
Enter VIOLA, and Clown with a tabor. 

Vio. Save thee, friend, and thy musick : Dost 
thou live by thy tabor ? 

CLO. No, sir, I live by the church. 7 

3 aqua-viice ] Is the old name of strong maters. 


6 cross-gartered, a fashion she detests ;] Sir Thomas 

Overbury, in his character of a footman without gards on his 
coat, presents him as more upright than any cronsc-gartered 
gentleman-usher. FARMER. 

by thy tabor ? 

Clo. No, sir, I live ly the church.'] The Clown, I suppose, 
wilfully mistakes Viola's meaning, and answers, as if he had 
been asked whether he lived by the sign of the tabor, the an 
cient designation of a music shop. STEEVENS. 

sc. /. WHAT YOU WILL. 337 

Vio. Art thou a churchman ? 

CLO. No such matter, sir ; I do live by the 
church : for I do live at my house, and my house 
doth stand by the church. 

Vio. So thou may'st say, the king lies by a beg- 
gar, 8 if a beggar dwell near him : or, the church 
stands by thy tabor,if thy tabor stand by the church. 

CLO. You have said, sir. To see this age ! 
A sentence is but a cheveril glove 9 to a good wit; 
How quickly the wrong side may be turned out- 
ward ! 

Vio. Nay, that's certain ; they, that dally nicely 
with words, may quickly make them wanton. 

CLO. I would therefore, my sister had had no 
name, sir. 

Vio. Why, man ? 

CLO. Why, sir, her name's a word ; and to dally 
with that word, might make my sister wanton: 
But, indeed, words are very rascals, since bonds 
disgraced them. 

Vio. Thy reason, man ? 

CLO. Troth, sir, I can yield you none without 

It was likewise the sign of an eating-house kept by Tarleton, 
the celebrated clown or fool of the theatre before our author's 
time, who is exhibited in a print prefixed to his Jests, quarto, 
l6ll, with a tabor. Perhaps in imitation of him the subsequent 
stage-clowns usually appeared with one. MALONE. 

8 the king lies by a beggar,'] Lies here, as in many other 

places in old books, signifies dn-clls, sojourns. See King 
Henry IV. P. II. Act III. sc. ii. MALONE. 

9 a cheveril glove ] i. e. a glove made of kid leather : 

chcvreau, Fr. So, in Romeo and Juliet : " a wit of cheveril ." 
Again, in a proverb in Ray's Collection: " He hath a conscience 
like a cheverel's skin." STEEVENS. 

VOL. V. 


words ; and words are grown so false, I am loath 
to prove reason with them. 

Vio. I warrant, thou art a merry fellow, and 
carest for nothing. 

CLO. Not so, sir, I do care for something : but 
in my conscience, sir, I do not care for you ; if 
that be to care for nothing, sir, I would it would 
make you invisible. 

Vio. Art not thou the lady Olivia's fool ? 

CLO. No, indeed, sir; the lady Olivia has no 
folly : she will keep no fool, sir, till she be married ; 
and fools are as like husbands, as pilchards are to 
herrings, the husband's the bigger ; I am, indeed, 
not her fool, but her corrupter of words. 

Vio. I saw thee late at the count Orsino's. 

CLO. Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb, like 
the sun ; it shines every where. I would be sorry, 
sir, but the fool should be as oft with your master, 
as with my mistress : I think, I saw your wisdom 

Vio. Nay, an thou pass upon me, I'll no more 
with thee. Hold, there's expences for thee. 

CLO. Now Jove, in his next commodity of hair, 
send thee a beard ! 

Vio. By my troth, I'll tell thee; I am almost sick 
for one ; though I would not have it grow on my 
chin. Is thy lady within ? 

CLO. Would not a pair of these have bred, sir? 1 

1 have bred, sir?~\ I believe our author wrote have 

breed, sir. The Clown is not speaking of what a pair might 
hare done, had they been kept together, but what they may do 
hereafter in his possession ; and therefore covertly solicits another 
piece from Viola, on the suggestion that one was useleoa to him, 

ifc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. 339 

Vio. Yes, being kept together, and put to use. 

CLO. I would play lord Pandarus 2 of Phrygia, 
sir, to bring a Cressida to this Troilus. 

Vio. I understand you, sir ; 'tis well begg'd. 

CLO. The matter, I hope, is not great, sir, beg- 

Eing but a beggar ; Cressida was a beggar. 3 My 
idy is within, sir. I will construe to them whence 
you come ; who you are, and w r hat you would, are 
out of my welkin : I might say, element ; but the 
word is over-worn. \_Exit. 

Vio. This fellow's wise enough to play the fool j 
And, to do that well, craves a kind of wit : 
He must observe their mood on whom he jests, 
The quality of persons, and the time ; 
And, like the haggard, 4 check at every feather 

without another to breed out of, Viola's answer corresponds 
with this train of argument : she does not say " if they had 
been kept together," &c. but, " being kept together," i. e. Yes, 
they txul breed, if you keep them together. Our poet has the 

same image in his Venus and Adonis: 

" Foul cank'ring rust the hidden treasure frets, 
" But gold, that's put to use, more gold begets.'''' 


lord Pandarus ] See our author's play of Troilus and 

Cressida. JOHNSOX. 

3 Cressida ivas a beggar.] 

" great penurye 

" Thou suffer shalt, and as a Jjeggar dye." 

Chaucer's Testament of Crcseyde. 
Cressida is the person spoken of. MALONE. 

Again, ibid: 

" Thus shalt thou go begging from nous to hous, 
" With cuppe and clappir, like a Lazarous." 


4 the haggard,"] The hawk called the haggard, if not 

well trained and watched, will fly after every bird without dis- 
tinction. STEEVENS. 

z 2 


That comes before his eye. This is a practice, 

As full of labour as a wise man's art : 

For folly, that he wisely shows, is fit ; 

But wise men, folly-fallen, 5 quite taint their wit. 


SIR To. Save you, gentleman. 
Vio. And you, sir. 
SIR AND. Dieu vous garde, monsieur. 
Vio. Et vous aussi; votre serviteur. 

The meaning may be, that he must catch every opportunity, 
as the wild hawk strikes every bird. But perhaps it might be 
read more properly : 

Not like the haggard. 

He must choose persons and times, and observe tempers ; he 
must fly at proper game, like the trained hawk, and not fly at 
large like the unreclaimed haggard, to seize all that comes in hi* 
way. JOHNSON. 

4 But -wise men,fo!ly-a\len,~\ Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, folly 
shewn. JOHNSON. 

The first folio reads, But wise men's folly fnlnc, quite taiut 
their wit. From whence I should conjecture', that Shakspearc 
possibly wrote : 

But wise men, folly -fallen, quite laiiit their wit. 
i. e. wise men, fallen into folly. TYIIWHITT. 

The sense is : But wise men's folly, when it is once fallen into 
extravagance, overpowers their discretion. HEATH. 

I explain it thus : The folly which he shews with proper 
adaptation to persons and times, is Jit, has its propriety, and 
therefore produces no censure; but the folly of wise men, when 
\\, falls or happens, taints their wit, destroys the reputation of 
their judgment, JOHNSON. 

I have adopted Mr. Tyrwhitt's judicious emendation. 


sc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. 341 

SIR AND. I hope, sir, you are; and I am 

yours 6 

SIR To. Will you encounter the house ? my 
niece is desirous you should enter, if your trade 
be to her. 

Vio. I am bound to your niece, sir : I mean, she 
is the list 7 of my voyage. 

6 Sir To. Save you, gentleman. 
Vio. And you, sir. 
Sir And. Dieu vous garde, monsieur. 
Vio. Et vous aussi ; votre serviteur. 

Sir And. / hope, sir, you are ; and I am yours.] Thus the 
old copy. STEEVENS. 

I have ventured to make the two knights change speeches in 
this dialogue with Viola ; and, I think, not without good reason. 
It were a preposterous forgetfulness in the poet, and out of all 
probability, to make Sir Andrew not only speak French, but un- 
derstand what is said to him in it, who in the first Act did not 
know the English of pourquoi. THEOBALD. 

Mr. Theobald thinks it absurd that Sir Andrew, who did not 
know the meaning of pourquoi in the first Act, should here speak 
and understand French ; and therefore has given three of Sir 
Andrew's speeches to Sir Toby, and vice versa, in which he has 
been copied by the subsequent editors, as it seems to me, with- 
out necessity. The words, " Save you, gentleman, " which 
he has taken from Sir Toby, and given to Sir Andrew, are again 
used by Sir Toby in a subsequent scene ; a circumstance which 
renders it the more probable that they were intended to be at- 
tributed to him here also. 

With respect to the improbability that Sir Andrew should 
understand French here, after having betrayed his ignorance of 
that language in a former scene, it appears from a subsequent 
passage that he was a picker up of phrases, and might have 
learned by rote from Sir Toby the few French words here 
spoken. If we are to believe Sir Toby, Sir Andrew " could 
speak three or four languages word for word without book." 


* the list ] is the bound, limit, farthest point. 



SIR To. Taste your legs, sir, 8 put them to motion. 

Vio. My legs do better understand me, sir, than 
I understand what you mean by bidding me taste 
my legs. 

SIR To. I mean, to go, sir, to enter. 

Vio. I will answer you with gait and entrance : 
But we are prevented. 9 

Enter OLIVIA and MARIA. 

Most excellent accomplished lady, the heavens rain 
odours on you ! 

SIR AND. That youth's a rare courtier ! Rain 
odours! well. 

Vio. My matter hath no voice, lady, but to your 
own most pregnant and vouchsafed ear. 1 

SIR AND. Odours, pregnant? and vouchsafed: 
I'll get 'em all three ready. 2 

8 Taste your legs, sir, &c.] Perhaps this expression was em- 
ployed to ridicule the fantastic use of a verb, which is many 
times as quaintly introduced in the old pieces, as in this play, 
and in The True Tragedies of Marius and Scilla, l5Qi : 

" A climbing tow'r that did not taste the wind." 
Again, in Chapman's version of the 21st Odyssey: 

" he now began 

" To taste the bow, the sharp shaft took, tugg'd hard." 
In the Frogs of Aristophanes, however, a similar expression 
occurs, v. 4ti5 : " TEU2AI rt)f ftvpa,;-" i.e. taste the door, 
knock gently at it. STEEVENS. 

9 prevented.] i. e. our purpose is anticipated. So, in the 

llpth Psalm: 

" Mine eyes prevent the night-watches." STEEVENS. 

1 most pregnant and vouchsafed ear.] Pregnant for ready ; 

as in Measure for Measure, Act I. sc. i. STEEVENS. 

Vouchsafed for vouchsafing, MALONE. 

8 all three ready.] The old copy has all three already. 

Mr. Malone reads " all three all ready." STEEVENS. 

sc. /. WHAT YOU WILL. 343 

OLL Let the garden door be shut, and leave me 
to my hearing. 

[Exeunt Sir TOBY, Sir ANDREW, and MARIA. 
Give me your hand, sir. 

Vio. My duty, madam, and most humble service. 

OLI. What is your name ? 

Vio. Cesario is your servant's name, fair princess. 

OLI. My servant, sir ! 'Twas never merry world, 
Since lowly feigning was call'd compliment : 
You are servant to the count Orsino, youth. 

Vio. And he is yours, and his must needs be 

yours; " 
Your servant's servant is your servant, madam. 

OLI. For him, I think not on him : for his 


'Would they were blanks, rather than fill'd with 
me ! 

Vio. Madam, I come to whet your gentle 

On his behalf: 

OLI. O, by your leave, I pray you ; 

I bade you never speak again of him : 
But, would you undertake another suit, 
I had rather hear you to solicit that, 
Than musick from the spheres. 

Vio. Dear lady, 

The editor of the third folio reformed the passage by reading 
only ready. But omissions ought always to be avoided if pos- 
sible. The repetition of the word all is not improper in the 
mouth of Sir Andrew. MALONE. 

Prceferatur lectio brevior, is a well known rule of criticism ; 
and in the present instance I most willingly follow it, omitting 
the useless repetition all. STEEVENS. 


OLI. Give me leave, I beseech you : 3 I did send, 
After the last enchantment you did here, 4 

3 1 beseech you ;] The first folio reads " 'beseech you." 


This ellipsis occurs so frequently in our author's plays, that 
I do not suspect any omission here. The editor of the third 
folio reads / beseech you ; which supplies the syllable wanting, 
but hurts the metre. MALONE. 

I read with the third folio ; not perceiving how the metre is 
injured by the insertion of the vowel 7. STEEVENS. 

4 " you did here,] The old copy reads heare. 


Nonsense. Read and point it thus : 

After the last enchantment you did here, 

i. e. after the enchantment your presence worked in my affec- 
tions. WARBURTON. 

The present reading is no more nonsense than the emendation. 


Warburton's amendment, the reading, " you did here" 
though it may not perhaps be absolutely necessary to make 
sense of the passage, is evidently right. Olivia could not speak 
of her sending him a ring, as a matter he did not know except 
by hearsay; for the ring was absolutely delivered to him. It 
would, besides, be impossible to know what Olivia meant by 
the last enchantment, if she had not explained it herself, by 
saying " the last enchantment you did here." There is not, 
perhaps, a passage in Shakspeare, where so great an improve- 
ment of the sense is gained by changing a single letter. 


The two words are very frequently confounded in the old 
editions of our author's plays, and the other books of that age. 
See the last line of A". Richard III. quarto, l6'l3,: 

" That she may live heare, God say amen." 
Again, in The Tempest, folio, lfj'23, p. 3, 1. 10: 

" Heare, cease more questions." 
Again, in Love's Labour's Lost, 16"23, p. 13Q : 

" Let us complain to them what fools were heare" 
Again, in All's tuell that ends well, 1023, p. 23Q: 

" That hugs his kicksey-wicksey heare at home." 
Again, in Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, Vol. I. p. 205 : 

" to my utmost knowledge, heare is simple truth 

and verity." 

sc\ i. WHAT YOU WILL. 345 

A ring in chase of you ; so did I abuse 
Myself, my servant, and, I fear me, you : 
Under your hard construction must I sit, 
To force that on you, in a shameful cunning, 
Which you knew none of yours : What might you 

think ? 

Have you not set mine honour at the stake, 
And baited it with all the unmuzzled thoughts 
That tyrannous heart can think ? To one of your 

receiving 3 

Enough is shown ; a Cyprus, 6 not a bosom, 
Hides my poor heart: So let me hear you speak. 7 

Vio. I pity you. 

OLI. That's a degree to love. 

Vio. No, not a grise ; 8 for 'tis a vulgar proof, 9 
That very oft we pity enemies. 

I could add twenty other instances, were they necessary. 
Throughout the first edition of our author's Rape of Lucrece, 
1594, which was probably printed under his own inspection, 
the word we now spell here, is constantly written heare. 

Let me add, that Viola had not simply heard that a ring had 
been sent (if even such an expression as " After the last en- 
chantment, you did heare," were admissible;) she had seen and 
talked with the bearer of it. MALONE. 

s To one of your receiving ] i. e. to one of your ready ap- 
prehension. She considers him as an arch page. WAUBURTOX. 

See page 281, n. 8. STEEVEXS. 

a Cyprus,'] is a transparent stuff. JOHXSOX. 

7 Hides my poor heart : So let me hear you spea/i.'] The 
word hear is used in this line, like tear, dear, swear, &c. as 
a dissyllable. The editor of the second folio, to supply what he 
imagined to be a defect in the metre, reads Hides my poor 
heart; and all the subsequent editors have adopted his interpo- 
lation. MALOXE. 

1 have retained the pathetic and necessary epithet poor. The 
line would be barbarously dissonant without it. STEEVENS. 

a grise ;~\ is a step, sometimes written greese, from 

degres, French. JOHNSON. 


OLI. Why, then, methinks, 'tis time to smile 
again : 

world, how apt the poor are to be proud ! 
If one should be a prey, how much the better 
To fall before the lion, than the wolf? 

[Clock strikes. 

The clock upbraids me with the waste of time. 
Be not afraid, good youth, I will not have you : 
And yet, when wit and youth is come to harvest, 
Your wife is like to reap a proper man : 
There lies your way, due west. 

Vio. Then westward-hoe: 1 

Grace, and good disposition 'tend your ladyship ! 
You'll nothing, madam, to my lord by me ? 

OLI. Stay: 

1 pr'ythee, tell me, what thou think'st of me. 

Vio. That you do think, you are not what you 

OLI. If I think so, I think the same of you. 
Vio. Then think you right ; I am not what I am. 
OLI. I would, you were as I would have you be! 

Vio. Would it be better, madam, than I am, 
I wish it might ; for now I am your fool. 

OLI. O, what a deal of scorn looks beautiful 

So, in Othello : 

" Which, as a grise or step, may help these lovers." 


9 'tis a vulgar proof,] That is, it is a common proof. 

The experience of every day shews that, &c. MALONE. 

1 Then westward-hoe:] This is the name of a comedy by 
T. Decker, i6()/. He was assisted in it by Webster, and it 
was acted with great success by the children of Paul's, on whom 
Shakspeare has bestowed such notice in Hamlet, that we may be 
sure they were rivals to the company patronized by himself. 


sc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. 347 

In the contempt and anger of his lip ! 2 

A murd'rous guilt shows not itself more soon 

Than love that would seem hid: love's nightisnoon. 

Cesario, by the roses of the spring, 

By maidhood, honour, truth, and every thing, 

I love thee so, that, maugre 3 all thy pride, 

Nor wit, nor reason, can my passion hide. 

Do not extort thy reasons from this clause, 

For, that I woo, thou therefore hast no cause : 

But, rather, reason thus with reason fetter : 

Love sought is good, but given unsought, is better. 

Vio. By innocence I swear, and by my youth, 
I have one heart, one bosom, and one truth, 
And that no woman has ; 4 nor never none 
Shall mistress be of it, save I alone. 5 
And so adieu, good madam ; never more 
Will I my master's tears to you deplore. 

OLI. Yet come again : for thou, perhaps, may'st 

That heart, which now abhors, to like his love. 


* O, ivhat a deal of scorn looks beautiful 

In the contempt and anger of his lip /] So, in our author's 
Venus and Adonis : 

" Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes." 


3 maugre ] i. e. in spite of. So, in David and Beth- 

sabe, 1 599 : 

" Maugre the sons of Amraon and of Syria." STEEVENS. 

4 And that no woman has ;] And that heart and bosom I have 
never yielded to any woman. JOHNSON. 

* sare I alone.'] These three words Sir Thomas Hanmer 

gives to Olivia probably enough. JOHNSON. 


A Room in Olivia's House. 

and FABIAN. 

SIR AND. Na, faith, I'll not stay a jot longer. 
SIR To. Thy reason, dear venom, give thy reason. 

FAB. You must needs yield your reason, sir 

SIR AND. Marry, I saw your niece do more fa- 
vours to the count's serving man, than ever she 
bestowed upon me ; I saw't i'the orchard. 

SIR To. Did she see thee the while, old boy ? 
tell me that. 

SIR AND. As plain as I see you now. 

FAS. This was a great argument of love in her 
toward you. 

SIR AND. 'Slight ! will you make an ass o' me ? 

FAS. I will prove it legitimate, sir, upon the 
oaths of judgment and reason. 

SIR To. And they have been grand jury-men, 
since before Noah was a sailor. 

FAS. She did show favour to the youth in your 
sight, only to exasperate you, to awake your dor- 
mouse valour, to put fire in your heart, and brim- 
stone in your liver : You should then have accosted 
her j and with some excellent jests, fire-new from 
the mint, you should have banged the youth into 

6 Did she see thee the while,'] Thee is wanting in the old 
copy. It was supplied by Mr. Kowe. MALONE. 

sc. ii. WHAT YOU WILL. 349 

dumbness. This was looked for at your hand, and 
this was baulked : the double gilt of this opportu- 
nity you let time wash off, and you are now sailed 
into the north of my lady's opinion ; where you 
will hang like an icicle on a Dutchman's beard, 
unless you do redeem it by some laudable attempt, 
either of valour, or policy. 

SIR AND. And't be any way, it must be with 
valour j for policy I hate : I had as lief be a 
Brownist, 7 as a politician. 

SIR To. Why then, build me thy fortunes upon 
the basis of valour. Challenge me the count's 
youth to fight with him ; hurt him in eleven places ; 
my niece shall take note of it : and assure thyself, 
there is no love-broker in the world can more 
prevail in man's commendation with woman, than 
report of valour. 

7 as lief be a Brownist,] The Brownists were so called 

from Mr. Robert Browne, a noted separatist in Queen Eliza- 
beth's reign. [See Strype's Annals of Queen Elizabeth, Vol. III. 
p. 1 5, 16, &c.J In his life of Whitgift, p. 323, he informs us, 
that Browne, in the year 15 89, " went off from the separation, 
and came into the communion of the church." 

This Browne was descended from an ancient and honourable 
family in Rutlandshire ; his grandfather Francis had a charter 
granted him by K. Henry VIII. and confirmed by act of parlia- 
ment ; giving him leave " to put on his hat in the presence of 
the king, or his heirs, or any lord spiritual or temporal in the 
land, and not to put it off", but for his own ease and pleasure." 

Neal's History of New-England, Vol. I. p. 58. GREY. 

The Brownists seem, in the time of our author, to have been 
the constant objects of popular satire. In the old comedy of 
Ham- Alley, 161 1, is the following stroke at them : 

" of a new sect, and the good professors will, like the 

Brownist, frequent gravel-pits shortly, for they use woods and 
obscure holes already." 

Again, in Love and Honour, by Sir W. D'Avenant: 
" Go kiss her : by this hand, a Brownist is 
" More amorous- ." STEEVENS. 


FAS. There is no way but this, sir Andrew. 

SIR AND. Will either of you bear me a challenge 
to him ? 

SIR To. Go, write it in a martial hand ; be curst 8 
and brief; it is no matter how witty, so it be elo- 
quent, and full of invention : taunt him with the 
licence of ink : if thou thou'st him some thrice, 9 it 

8 in a martial hand ; be curst ] Martial hand, seems 

to be a careless scrawl, such as shewed the writer to neglect 
ceremony. Curst, is petulant, crabbed. A curst cur, is a dog 
that with little provocation snarls and bites. JOHNSON. 

9 taunt him with the licence of ink : if thou thou'st him 

some thrice,'] There is no doubt, I think, but this passage is 
one of those in which our author intended to shew his respect 
for Sir Walter Raleigh, and a detestation of the virulence of his 
prosecutors. The words quoted, seem to me directly levelled 
at the Attorney-General Coke, who, in the trial of Sir Walter, 
attacked him with all the following indecent expressions : 
" All that he did was by thy instigation, thou viper ;Jbr I thou 
thee, thou traytor .'" (Here, by the way, are the poet's three 
thou's. ) " You are an odious man.'" " Is he base? I return 
it into thy throat, on his behalf." " O damnable atheist.' 1 '' 
" Thou art a monster ; thou hast an English face, but a Spanish 
heart" " Thou hast a Spanish heart, and thyself art a spider 
of hell." " Go to, I will lay thee on thy back for the con- 

jident'st traytor that ever came at a bar," &c. Is not here all 
the licence of tongue, which the poet satirically prescribes to 
Sir Andrew's ink ? And how mean an opinion Shakspeare had 
of these petulant invectives, is pretty evident from his close of 
this speech : " Let there be gall enough in thy ink ; though 
thou write it with a goose-pen, no matter." A keener lash at 
the attorney for a fool, than all the contumelies the attorney 
threw at the prisoner, as a supposed traytor ! THEOBALD. 

The same expression occurs in Shirley's Opportunity, 1(540: 
" Does he thou me ? 

" How would he domineer, an he were duke !" 
The resentment of our author, as Dr. Farmer observes to me, 
might likewise have been excited by the contemptuous manner 
in which Lord Coke has spoken of players, and the severity he 
was always willing to exert against them. Thus, in his Sj)eech 
and Charge at Norwich, with a Discoverie. of the Abuses and 
Cornqrtion of Officers. Nath. Butter, 4to. 1007: "Because 

ac. n. WHAT YOU WILL. 351 

shall not be amiss ; and as many lies as will lie in 
thy sheet of paper, although the sheet were big 
enough for the bed of Ware in England, 9 set 'em 
down ; go, about it. Let there be gall enough in 
thy ink ; though thou write with a goose-pen, no 
matter : About it. 

SIR AND. Where shall I find you ? 

SIR To. We'll call thee at the cubiculo : * Go. 

\_Exit Sir ANDREW. 

FAB. This is a dear manakin to you, sir Toby. 

SIR To. I have been dear to him, lad ; some 
two thousand strong, or so. 

I must hast unto an end, I will request that you will carefully 
put in execution the statute against vagrants ; since the making 
whereof I have found fewer theeves, and the gaole less pestered 
than before. 

" The abuse of stage-players wherewith I find the country 
much troubled, may easily be reformed ; they having no com- 
mission to play in any place without leave : and therefore, if by 
your willingnesse they be not entertained, you may soone be rid 
of them." STEEVENS. 

Though I think it probable Lord Coke might have been in 
Shakspeare's mind when he wrote the above passage, yet it is 
by no means certain. It ought to be observed, that the conduct 
of that great lawyer, bad as it was on this occasion, received 
too much countenance from the practice of his predecessors, 
both at the bar and on the bench. The State Trials will shew, 
to the disgrace of the profession, that many other criminals were 
THOU'D by their prosecutors and judges, besides Sir Walter 
Raleigh. In Knox's History of the Reformation, are eighteen 
articles exhibited against Master George Wischarde, 1 546, every 
one of which begins THOU false heretick, and sometimes with 
the addition of thief , traitor, runagate, &c. REED. 

9 the bed of Ware in England.! This enormous piece of 

furniture which, as well as the bells of St. Bennet's, cannot be 
said to be introduced with much propriety in Illyria, is still ex- 
isting, and as much an object of curiosity as it was two centuries 
ago. It is also mentioned at the conclusion of Decker and 
Webster's Norlhtvard Hoe, 1<X)/. REED. 

1 at the cubiculo:} I believe we should read at thy 

cubiculo. MALOXE. 


FAS. We shall have a rare letter from him : but 
you'll not deliver it. 

SIR To. Never trust me then ; and by all means 
stir on the youth to an answer. I think, oxen and 
wainropes cannot hale them together. For An- 
drew, if he were opened, and you find so much 
blood in his liver as will clog the foot of a flea, I'll 
eat the rest of the anatomy. 

FAS. And his opposite, 2 the youth, bears in his 
visage no great presage of cruelty. 

Enter MARIA. 

SIR To. Look, where the youngest wren of nine 
comes. 3 

MAR. If you desire the spleen, and will laugh 
yourselves into stitches, follow me : yon' gull Mal- 
volio is turned heathen, a very renegado ; for there 
is no Christian, that means to be saved by believing 
rightly, can ever believe such impossible passages 
of grossness. He's in yellow stockings. 

* And Ms opposite,] Opposite in our author's time was used 
as a substantive, and synonymous to adversary. MALONE. 

3 Look, ivhere the youngest wren of nine comes.] The women's 
parts were then acted by boys, sometimes so low in stature, that 
there was occasion to obviate the impropriety by such kind of 
oblique apologies. WARBURTON. 

The icren generally lays nine or ten eggs at a time, and the 
last hatched of all birds are usually the smallest and weakest of 
the whole brood. 

So, in A Dialogue of the Phoenix, &c. by R. Chester, l6oi : 

" The little wren that many young ones brings." 
Again, in A mery Play betwene Johan the Husband, Tyb his 
Wyfe, &c. fol. Rastel, 1533 : 

" Syr, that is the lest care I have qfnyne" 
The old copy, however, reads " wren of mine.'' STEEVENS. 

Again, in Sir Philip Sidney's Ourania, a poem, by N. Breton, 

" The titmouse, and the multiplying 'wren.'" 
The correction was made by Mr. Theobald. MALONE. 

x. m. WHAT YOU WILL. 353 

SIR To. And cross-gartered ? 

MAR. Most villainously; like a pedant that keeps 
a school i'the church. I have dogged him, like his 
murderer : He does obey every point of the letter 
that I dropped to betray him. He does'smile his 
face into more lines, than are in the new map, with 
the augmentation of the Indies: 4 you have not seen 
such a thing as 'tis ; I can hardly forbear hurling 
things at him. I know, my lady will strike him j a 
if she do, he'll smile, and take't for a great favour. 

SIR To. Come, bring us, bring us where he is. 



A Street. 

SEE. I would not, by my will, have troubled you; 
But, since you make your pleasure of your pains, 
I will no further chide you. 

ANT. I could not stay behind you ; my desire, 
More sharp than filed steel, did spur me forth; 
And not all love to see you, (though so much, 
As might have drawn one to a longer voyage,) 

4 He does smile his face into more lines, than are in the new 
map, with the augmentation of the Indies :] A clear allusion to 
to a Map engraved for Linschoten's Voyages, an English trans- 
lation of which was published in 1598. This Map is multilineal 
in the extreme, and is the first in which the Eastern Islands are 
included. STEEVENS. 

5 I knoiv, my lady "will strike him;~\ We may suppose, that in 
an age when ladies struck their servants, the box on the ear 
which Queen Elizabeth is said to have given to the Earl of Essex, 
was not regarded as a transgression against the rules of common 
behaviour. STEEVENS. 

VOL. V. A A 


But jealousy what might befall your travel, 
Being skilless in these parts ; which to a stranger, 
Unguided, and unfriended, often prove 
Rough and unhospitable : My willing love, 
The rather by these arguments of fear, 
Set forth in your pursuit. 

SEE. My kind Antonio, 

I can no other answer make, but, thanks, 
And thanks, and ever thanks : Often good turns 6 
Are shuffled off with such uncurrent pay : 
But, were my worth, 7 as is my conscience, firm, 

6 And thanks, and ever thanks : Often good turns ] The old 
copy reads 

"Andthankes: and euer oft good turnes ." STEEVENS. 

The second line is too short by a whole foot. Then, who 
ever heard of this goodly double adverb, ever-qft, which seems 
to have as much propriety as always- sometimes? As I have 
restored the passage, it is very much in our author's manner and 
mode of expression. So, in Cymbeline : 

" Since when I have been debtor to you for courtesies, which 
I will be ever to pay, and yet pay still" 
Again, in All's tuell that ends well . 

" And let me buy your friendly help thus far, 
" Which I will over-pay, and pay again 
" When I have found it." THEOBALD. 

I have changed the punctuation. Such liberties every edftfcr 
has occasionally taken. Theobald has completed the line, as 
follows : 

" And thanks and ever thanks, and oft good turns." 


I would read : And thanks again, and ever. TOLLET. 

Mr. Theobald added the word and [and oft, &c.] unneces- 
sarily. Turns was, I have no doubt, used as a dissyllable. 


1 wish my ingenious coadjutor had produced some instance of 
the word 'turns, used as a dissyllable. I am unable to do it ; 
and therefore have not scrupled to read often instead of oft, to 
complete the measure. STEEVENS. 

7 But, tvere my worth,] Worth in this place means wealth or 
fortune. So, in The Winter's Tale: 

ac. in. WHAT YOU WILL. 

You should find better dealing. What's to do ? 
Shall we go see the reliques of this town ? 8 

ANT. To-morrow, sir ; best, first, go see your 

SEE. I am not weary, and 'tis long to night ; 
I pray you, let us satisfy our eyes 
With the memorials, and the things of fame, 
That do renown this city. 

ANT. 'Would, you'd pardon me ; 

I do not without danger walk these streets : 
Once, in a sea-fight, 'gainst the Count his gallies, 9 
I did some service ; of such note, indeed, 
That, were I ta'en here, it would scarce be answer'd. 

SEE. Belike, you slew great number of his people. 

ANT. The offence is not of such a bloody nature; 
Albeit the quality of the time, and quarrel, 
Might well have given us bloody argument. 
It might have since been answer'd in repaying 
What we took from them ; which, for traffick's sake, 

" and he boasts himself 

" To have a worthy feeding." 
Again, in Ben Jonson's Cynthia's Revels : 

" Such as the satyrist paints truly forth, 

" That only to his crimes owes all his ivortli.'"' 


8 the reliques of this town ?~\ I suppose, Sebastian means, 

the reliques of saints, or the remains of ancient fabricks. 


These words are explained by what follows : 
" Let us satisfy our eyes 

" With the memorials, and the things of fame, 
" That do renown this city. 1 ! MA LONE. 

9 the Count his galli?$,~\ I suspect our author wrote 

county's gallies, i. e. the gallies of the county, or count ; and 
that the transcriber's ear deceived him. However, as the pre- 
sent reading is conformable to the mistaken grammatical usage 
of the time, I have not disturbed the text. MALONE. 

A A 2 


Most of our city did : only myself stood out : 
For which, if I be lapsed in this place, 
I shall pay dear. 

SEE. Do not then walk too open. 

ANT. It doth not fit me. Hold, sir, here's my 

purse ; 

In the south suburbs, at the Elephant, 
Is best to lodge : I will bespeak our diet, 
Whiles you beguile the time, and feed your know- 
With viewing of the town; there shall you have me. 

SEE. Why I your purse ? 

ANT. Haply, your eye shall light upon some toy 
You have desire to purchase ; and your store, 
I think, is not for idle markets, sir. 

SJEB. I'll be your purse-bearer, and leave you for 
An hour. 

ANT. To the Elephant. 
SER, I do remember. 



Olivia's Garden. 
Enter OLIVIA and MARIA. 

Oil. I have sent after him: He says, he'll come; 1 
How shall I feast him ? what bestow on him ? 2 

1 He says, he'll come ;] i. e. I suppose now, or admit 

now, he says, he'll come. WAUBURTON. 

* 'what bestow on him ?] The old copy reads " bestow 

n/him," a vulgar corruption of on. STEEVENS. 

Of, is very commonly, in the North, still used for on. 


sr. TV. WHAT YOU WILL. 357 

For youth is bought more oft, than begg'd, or bor- 

I speak too loud. 

Where is Malvolio ? he is sad, and civil, 3 

And suits well for a servant with my fortunes ; 

Where is Malvolio ? 

MAR. He's coming, madam ; 

But in strange manner. He is sure possessed. 4 

OLI. Why, what's the matter ? does he rave ? 

MAR. No, madam, 

He does nothing but smile : your ladyship 
Were best have guard about you, if he come ; 5 
For, sure, the man is tainted in his wits. 

OLI. Go call him hither. I'm as mad as he, 
If sad and merry madness equal be. 

3 sad, and civil,] Civil, in this instance, and some 

others, means only, grave, decent, or solemn. So, in As you 
like it : 

" Tongues I'll hang on every tree, 

" That shall civil sayings show ." 
See note on that passage, Act III. sc. ii. 

Again, in Decker's Villanies discovered by Lanthorne and 
Candlelight, &c. l6l6: " If before she ruffled in silkes, now is 
she more civilly attired than a mid-wife." Again " civilly 
suited, that they might carry about them some badge of a 
scholler." Again, in David Rowland's translation of Lazarillo 
de Tormes, 1586: " he throwing his cloake ouer his leaft 
shoulder very civilly,' 1 '' &c. STEEVENS. 

4 But in strange manner. He is sure possessed."] The old 
copy reads 

" But in very strange manner. He is sure possess'd, 


For the sake of metre, I have omitted the unnecessary words 
very, and madam. STEEVENS. 

s Were best have guard about you, if he come ;] The old copy, 
redundantly, and without addition to the sense, reads 

" Were best to have some guard," &c. STEEVENS. 



How now, Malvolio ? 

MAL. Sweet lady, ho, ho. [SmilesfantasticaUy. 

OLI. Smil'st thou ? 
I sent for thee upon a sad occasion. 

MAL. Sad, lady? I could be sad: This does make 
some obstruction in the blood, this cross-gartering ; 
But what of that, if it please the eye of one, it is 
with me as the very true sonnet is : Please one, and 
please all. 

OLI. Why, how dost thou, man ? what is the 
matter with thee ? 

MAL. Not black in my mind, though yellow in 
my legs : It did come to his hands, and commands 
shall be executed. I think, we do know the sweet 
Roman hand. 

OLI. Wilt thou go to bed, Malvolio ? 

MAL. To bed ? ay, sweet-heart ; and I'll come 
to thee. 

OLI. God comfort thee ! Why dost thou smile 
so, and kiss thy hand so oft ? 6 

MAR. How do you, Malvolio ? 

MAL. At your request ? Yes j Nightingales an- 
swer daws. 

6 kiss thy hand so oft ?] This fantastical custom is taken 

notice of by Barnaby Riche, in Faults and nothing but Faults, 
4to. 1606, p. 6: " and these Flotners ofCourtesie, as they are 
full of affectation, so are they no less formall in their speeches, 
full of fustian phrases, many times delivering such sentences, 
as do betray and lay open their masters' ignorance : and they 
are so frequent ivith the kisse on the hand, that word shall not 
passe their mouthes, till they have clapt their fingers over their 
lippes." REED. 

sc. iv. WHAT YOU WILL. 359 

MAR. Why appear you with this ridiculous bold- 
ness before my lady ? 

MAL. Be not afraid of greatness: *Twas well 

OLI. What meanest thou by that, Malvolio ? 

MAL. Some are born great, 

OLI. Ha? 

MAL. Some achieve greatness, 

OLI. What say'st thou ? 

MAL. And some have greatness thrust upon them. 

OLI. Heaven restore thee ! 

MAL. Remember, who commended thy yellow 
stockings ; 

OLI. Thy yellow stockings ? 

MAL. And wished to see thee cross-gartered. 

OLI. Cross-gartered? 

MAL. Go to : thou art made, if thou desirest to 
be so ; 

OLI. Am I made ? 

MAL. If not, let me see thee a servant still. 

OLI. Why, this is very midsummer madness. 7 

Enter Servant. 

SER. Madam, the young gentleman of the 
count Orsino's is returned ; I could hardly entreat 
him back : he attends your ladyship's pleasure. 

7 midsummer madness.'] Hot weather often hurts the 
brain, which is, I suppose, alluded to here. JOHNSON. 

' Tis midsummer moon with you, is a proverb in Ray's Collec- 
tion ; signifying, you are mad. STEEVENS. 


OLI. I'll come to him. [Exit Servant.] Good 
Maria, let this fellow be looked to. Where's my 
cousin Toby? Let some of my people have a 
special care of him ; I would not have him mis- 
carry for the half of my dowry. 

[Exeunt OLIVIA and MARIA. 

MAL. Oh, ho ! do you come near me now ? no 
worse man than sir Toby to look to me ? This 
concurs directly with the letter : she sends him on 
purpose, that I may appear stubborn to him ; for 
she incites me to that in the letter. Cast thy hum- 
ble slough^ says she ; be opposite with a kinsman, 8 
surly with servants, let thy tongue tang 9 with 
arguments of state, put thyself into the trick of 
singularity ;- - and, consequently, sets down the 
manner how; as, a sad face, a reverend carriage, a 
slow tongue, in the habit of some sir of note, and 
so forth. I have limed her; 1 but it is Jove's 
doing, and Jove make me thankful ! And, when 
she went away now, Let this fellow be looked to : 
Fellow ! 2 not Malvolio, nor after my degree, but 
fellow. Why, every thing adheres together; that 

8 - be opposite "Mith a kinsman,'] Opposite, here, as in 
many other places, means adverse, hostile. MALONE. 

So, in King Lear : 

" Thou wast not bound to answer 

" An unknown opposite. 1 ' STEEVENS. 

- let thy tongue tang, &c.] Here the old copy reads 
longer ; but it should be tang, as I have corrected it from the 
letter which Malvolio reads in a former scene. STEEVENS. 

The second folio reads tang. TYRWHITT. 

1 / have limed her ;~] I have entangled or caught her, as a 
bird is caught with birdlime. JOHNSON. 

* Fellow .'] This word, which originally signified companion, 
was not yet totally degraded to its present meaning ; and Mal- 
volio takes it in the favourable sense. JOHNSON. 

sc. TV. WHAT YOU WILL. 361 

no dram of a scruple, no scruple of a scruple, no 
obstacle, no incredulous or unsafe circumstance, 
What can be said ? Nothing, that can be, can 
come between me and the full prospect of my 
hopes. Well, Jove, not I, is the doer of this, and 
he is to be thanked. 

Re-enter MARIA, with Sir TOBY BELCH, and 

SIR To. Which way is he, in the name of 
sanctity ? If all the devils in hell be drawn in 
little, and Legion himself possessed him, yet I'll 
speak to him. 

FAS. Here he is, here he is : How is't with 
you, sir ? how is't with you, man ? 

MAL. Go off; I discard you ; let me enjoy my 
private ; go off. 

MAR. Lo, how hollow the fiend speaks within 
him ! did not I tell you ? Sir Toby, my lady prays 
you to have a care of him. 

MAL. Ah, ha ! does she so ? 

SIR To. Go to, go to ; peace, peace, we must 
deal gently with him ; let me alone. How do you, 
Malvolio ? how is't with you ? What, man ! defy 
the devil : consider, he's an enemy to mankind. 3 

MAL. Do you know what you say ? 

MAR. La you, an you speak ill of the devil, 
how he takes it at heart ! Pray God, he be not be- 
witched ! 

FAS. Carry his water to the wise woman. 

enemy to mankind."] So, in Macbeth : 

" mine eternal jewel, 

" Given to the common enemy of man" <$rc. STE EVENS. 


MAR. Marry, and it shall be done to-morrow 
morning, if I live. My lady would not lose him 
for more than I'll say. 

MAL. How now, mistress ? 
MAR. Olord! 

SIR To. Pr'ythee, hold thy peace ; this is not 
the way : Do you not see, you move him ? let me 
alone with him. 

FAS. No way but gentleness ; gently, gently : 
the fiend is rough, and will not be roughly used. 

SIR To. Why, how now, my bawcock ? how dost 
thou, chuck ? 

MAL. Sir? 

SIR To. Ay, Biddy, come with me. What, 
man! 'tis not for gravity to play at cherry -pit 4 
with Satan : Hang him, foul collier ! 5 

MAR. Get him to say his prayers ; good sir 
Toby, get him to pray. 

MAL. My prayers, minx ? 

4 . cherry-pit ] Cherry-pit is pitching cherry-stones into 
a little hole. Nash, speaking of the paint on ladies' faces, says: 
" You may play at cherry-pit in their cheeks." So, in a comedy 
called The Isle of Gulls, 1606: " if she were here, I would 
have a bout at cobnut or cherry-pit.'' 1 Again, in The Witch of 
Edmonton : " I have lov'd a witch ever since I play'd at cherry- 
pit." STEEVENS. 

5 Hang him, foul collier !] Collier was, in our author's time, a 
term of the highest reproach. So great were the impositions 
practised by the venders of coals, that R. Greene, at the con- 
clusion of his Notable Discovery of Cozenage, 1502, has published 
what he calls, A pleasant Discovery of the Cosenage of Colliers. 


The devil is called Collier for his blackness : Like Will to like, 
quoth the Devil to the Collier. JOHNSON. 

sc. iv. WHAT YOU WILL. 363 

MAR. No, I warrant you, he will not hear of 

MAL. Go, hang yourselves all ! you are idle 
shallow things : I am not of your element ; you 
shall know more hereafter. \JE*xit. 

SIR To. Is't possible ? 

FAB. If this were played upon a stage now, I 
could condemn it as an improbable fiction. 

SIR To. His very genius hath taken the infection 
of the device, man. 

MAR. Nay, pursue him now; lest the device 
take air, and taint. 

FAB. Why, we shall make him mad, indeed. 
MAR. The house will be the quieter. 

SIR To. Come, we'll have him in a dark room, 
and bound. My niece is already in the belief that 
he is mad ; we may carry it thus, for our pleasure, 
and his penance, till our very pastime, tired out of 
breath, prompt us to have mercy on him : at which 
time, we will bring the device to the bar, and crowa 
thee for a finder of madmen. 6 But see, but see. 

-a folder of madmen."] This is, I think, an allusion to 
the iKitcli-jinders, who were very busy. JOHNSON. 

If there be any doubt whether a culprit is become non compos 
mentis, after indictment, conviction, or judgment, the matter is 
tried by a jury; and if he be found either an ideot or lunatick t 
the lenity of the English law will not permit him, in the first 
case, to be tried, in the second, to receive judgment, or in the 
third, to be executed. In other cases also inquests are held for 
the finding of madmen. MALONE, 

Finders of madmen must have been those who acted under the 
writ De lunatico inquirendo ; in virtue whereof they found the 
man mad. It does not appear that a finder of madmen was ever 
a profession, which was most certainly the case with 
Jinders. RITSON. 



FAS. More matter for a May morning. 7 

SIR AND. Here's the challenge, read it ; I war- 
rant, there's vinegar and pepper in't. 

FAB. Is't so sawcy ? 

SIR AND. Ay, is it, I warrant him : do but read. 

SIR To. Give me. [reads.'] Youth, whatsoever 
thou art, thou art but a scurvy fellow. 

FAB. Good, and valiant. 

SIR To. Wonder not, nor admire not in thy mind, 
tyhy I do call thee so, Jbr I will show thee no reason 

FAB. A good note : that keeps you from the 
blow of the law. 

SIR To. Thou comest to the lady Olivia, and in 
my sight she uses thee kindly: but thou liest in thy 
throat, that is not the matter I challenge thee for. 

FAB. Very brief, and exceeding good sense-less. 

SIR To. / mil way -lay thee going home; where 
if it be thy chance to kill me, 

FAB. Good. 

SIR To. Thou kilkst me like a rogue and a 

FAB. Still you keep o'the windy side of the law r : 

SIR To. Fare thee well ; And God have mercy 

7 More matter for a May morning.] It, was usual on the first 
of May to exhibit metrical interludes of the comic kind, as well 
as the morris-dance, of which a plate is given at the end of The 
First Part of King Henry IV. with Mr. Toilet's observations 
en it. STEEVEKS. 

sc. iv. WHAT YOU WILL. 365 

upon one of our souls ! He may have mercy upon 
mine ; 8 but my hope is better, and so look to thyself. 
Thy friend, as thou usest him, and thy sworn enemy. 

SIR To. If this letter move him not, his legs 
cannot : 1*11 give't him. 

MAR. You may have very fit occasion for't ; he 
is now in some commerce with my lady, and will 
by and by depart. 

SIR To. Go, sir Andrew ; scout me for him at 
the corner of the orchard, like a bum-bailiff: so 
soon as ever thou seest him, draw ; and, as thou 
drawest, swear horrible ; 9 for it comes to pass oft, 
that a terrible oath, with a swaggering accent 
sharply twanged off, gives manhood more approba- 
tion than ever proof itself would have earned him. 

SIR AND. Nay, let me alone for swearing. [Exit. 

SIR To. Now will not I deliver his letter: for the 
behaviour of the young gentleman gives him out to 

8 He may have mercy upon mine ;] We may read He may 
have mercy upon thine, but my hope is better. Yet the passage 
may well enough stand without alteration. 

It were much to be wished that Shakspeare, in this, and some 
other passages, had not ventured so near profaneness. JOHNSON. 

The present reading is more humorous than that suggested 
by Johnson. The man on whose soul he hopes that God will 
have mercy, is the one that he supposes will fall in the combat : 
but Sir Andrew hopes to escape unhurt, and to have no present 
occasion for that blessing. 

The same idea occurs in Henry V. where Mrs. Quickly, 
giving an account of poor Falstaff's dissolution, says : " Now 
I, to comfort him, bid him not think of God ; I hoped there was 
no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet." 


9 swear horrible :] Adjectives are often used by our 

author and his contemporaries, adverbially. MALONE. 


be of good capacity and breeding j his employment 
between his lord and my niece confirms no less ; 
therefore this letter, being so excellently ignorant, 
will breed no terror in the youth, he will find it 
comes from a clodpole. But, sir, I will deliver his 
challenge by word of mouth ; set upon Ague-cheek 
a notable report of valour ; and drive the gentle- 
man, (as, I know, his youth will aptly receive it,) 
into a most hideous opinion of his rage, skill, fury, 
and impetuosity. This will so fright them both, 
that they will kill one another by the look, like 

Enter OLIVIA and VIOLA. 

FAB. Here he comes with your niece : give them 
way, till he take leave, and presently after him. 

SIR To. I will meditate the while upon some 
horrid message for a challenge. 

[Exeunt Sir TOBY, FABIAN, and MARIA. 

OLI. I have said too much unto a heart of stone, 
And laid mine honour too unchary out : l 
There's something in me, that reproves my fault ; 
But such a headstrong potent fault it is, 
That it but mocks reproof. 

Vio. With the same 'haviour that your passion 

Go on my master's griefs. 

OLI. Here, wear this jewel for me, 2 'tis my 
picture ; 

1 too unchary out :"j The old copy reads ont. The 

emendation is Mr. Theobald's. MA LONE. 

4 ivear this jewel for me,~\ Jewel does not properly 

signify a single gem, but any precious ornament or superfluity. 


sc. iv. WHAT YOU WILL. 367 

Refuse it not, it hath no tongue to vex you : 
And, I beseech you, come again to-morrow. 
What shall you ask of me, that I'll deny ; 
That honour, sav'd, may upon asking give ? 

Vio. Nothing but this, your true love for my 

OLI. How with mine honour may I give him that 
Which I have given to you ? 

Vio. I will acquit you. 

OLI. Well, come again to-morrow: Fare thee 

A fiend, like thee, might bear my soul to hell. [_Exit. 

Re-enter Sir TOBY BELCH, and FABIAN. 

SIR To. Gentleman, God save thee. 
Vio. And you, sir. 

SIR To. That defence thou hast, betake thee to't: 
of what nature the wrongs are thou hast done him, 
I know not ; but thy intercepter, 3 full of despight, 
bloody as the hunter, attends thee at the orchard 
end: dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, 
for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly. 

Vio. You mistake, sir ; I am sure, no man hath 
any quarrel to me ; my remembrance is very free 
and clear from any image of offence done to any 

So, in Markham's Arcadia, l6o/ : " She gave him a very 
fine jewel, wherein was set a most rich diamond." See also 
Mr. T. Warton's History of English Poetry, Vol. I. p. 121. 


3 thy intercepter,] Thus the old copy. Most of the 

modern editors read interpreter. STEEVENS. 


SIR To. You'll find it otherwise, I assure you : 
therefore, if you hold your life at any price, betake 
you to your guard ; for your opposite hath in him 
what youth, strength, skill, and wrath, can furnish 
man withal. 

Vio. I pray you, sir, what is he ? 

SIR To. He is knight, dubbed witli unhacked 
rapier, and on carpet consideration j 4 but he is a 

* He is knight, dubbed with unhacked rapier, and on carpet 
consideration;] That is, he is no soldier by profession, not a 
knight banneret, dubbed in the field of battle, but, on carpet con- 
sideration, at a festivity, or on some peaceable occasion, when 
knights receive their dignity kneeling, not on the ground, as in 
war, but on a carpet. This is, I believe, the original of the con- 
temptuous term a carpet knight, who was naturally held in scorn 
by the men of war. JOHNSON. 

In Francis Markham's Booke of Honour, fo. 1625, p. ?1, we 
have the following account of Carpet Knights: " Next unto 
these (i. e. those he distinguishes by the title of Dunghill or 
Truck Knights] in degree, but not in qualitie, (for these are 
truly for the most part vertuous and worthie) is that rank of 
Knights which are called Carpet Knights, being men who are 
by the prince's grace and favour made knights at home and in 
the time of peace by the imposition or laying on of the king's 
sword, having by some special service done to the common- 
wealth, or for some other particular virtues made known to the" 
soveraigne, as also for the dignitie of their births, and in recom- 
pence of noble and famous actions done by their ancestors, 
deserved this great title and dignitie." He then enumerates 
the several orders of men on whom this honour was" usually 
conferred; and adds " those of the vulgar or common sort are 
called Carpet Knights, because (for the most part) they receive 
their honour from the king's hand in the court, and upon car- 
pets, and such like ornaments belonging to the king's state and 
greatnesse ; which howsoever a curious envie may wrest to an ill 
sense, yet questionlesse there is no shadow of disgrace belonging 
unto it, for it is an honour as perfect as any honour whatsoever, 
and the services and merits for which it is received, as worthy 
and well deserving both of the king and country, as that which 
hath wounds and scarres for his witnesse." REED. 

sc.iv. WHAT YOU WILL. 369 

devil in private brawl : souls and bodies hath he 
divorced three ; and his incensement at this mo- 
ment is so implacable, that satisfaction can be none 
but by pangs of death and sepulchre: hob, nob, 5 is 
his word ; give't, or take't. 

Greene uses the term Carpet-knights, in contempt of those 
of whom he is speaking ; and, in The Dowiifal of Robert Earl 
of Huntington, 16OJ , it is employed for the same purpose : 

" soldiers, come away : 

" This Carpet-knight sits carping at our scars." 
In Barrett's Alvearie, 1580 : " those which do not exercise 
themselves with some honest affaires, but serve abhominable and 
filthy idleness, are, as we use to call them, Carpet-knightes." 
B. ante O. Again, among Sir John Harrington's Epigrams, 
B. IV. Ep. 6, Of Merit and Demerit : 

" That captaines in those days were not regarded, 

" That only Carpet-knights were well rewarded." 
The old copy reads unhatch'd rapier; but a passage in 
King Henry IV. P. I. may serve to confirm the reading in the 
text: "How came Falstaff's sword so hack'd"? Why, he 
hacked it with his dagger." STEEVEXS. 

with unhatch'd rapier,'] The modern editors read 

^mhack y d. It appears from Cotgrave's Dictionary in v. hacker, 
[to hack, hew, &c.] that to hatch the hilt of a sword, was a 
technical term. Perhaps we ought to read with an hatched 
rapier, i. e. with a rapier, the hilt of which was richly engraved 
and ornamented. Our author, however, might have used un- 
hatch'd in the sense of unhack'd ; and therefore I have made no 
change. MALONE. 

6 hob, nob,] This adverb is corrupted from hap ne hap ; 

as would ne would, will ne will ; that is, let it happen or not ; 
and signifies at random, at the mercy of chance. See Johnson's 
Dictionary. So, in Lyly's EupJmet, and his England, 4to. bl. 1. 
1580: " Thus Philautus determined, hab nab, to send his let- 
ters," &c. STEEVEKS. 

Is not this the origin of our hob nob, or challenge to drink a 
glass of wine at dinner ? The phrase occurs in Ben Jonson's 
Tale of a Tub : 
" I put it 

" Ev'n to your worship's bitterment, nab :iab. 
" I shall have a chance o'the dice for't, I hope," 

VOL. V. B B 


Vio. I will return again 'into the house, and de- 
sire some conduct of the lady. I am no fighter. I 
have heard of some kind of men, that put quarrels 
purposely on others, to taste their valour : belike, 
this is a man of that quirk. 

SIR To. Sir, no ; his indignation derives itself 
out of a very competent injury ; therefore, get you 
on, and give him his desire. Back you shall not to 
the house, unless you undertake that with me, 
which with as much safety you might answer him : 
therefore, on, or strip your sword stark naked ; for 
meddle 6 you must, that's certain, or forswear to 
wear iron about you. 

Vio. This is as uncivil, as strange. I beseech 
you, do me this courteous office, as to know of 
the knight what my offence to him is ; it is some- 
thing of my negligence, nothing of my purpose. 

SIR To. I will do so. Signior Fabian, stay you 
by this gentleman till my return. [Exit Sir TOBY. 

Vio. Pray you, sir, do you know of this matter? 

FAS. I know, the knight is incensed against you, 
even to a mortal arbitrement j but nothing of the 
circumstance more. 

Vio. I beseech you, what manner of man is he? 

FAB. Nothing of that wonderful promise, to 
read him by his form, as you are like to find him 
in the proof of his valour. He is, indeed, sir, the 

So, in Holinshed's Hist, of Ireland: " The citizens in their 
rage shot habbe or nabbe, at random." MALONE. 

meddle ] Is here perhaps used in the same sense as 

the French melee. STEEVENS. 

Afterwards, Sir Andrew says " Pox on't, I'll not meddle 
ith him." The vulgar yet say, " I'll neither meddle nor make 

.!% T * * 


with it.*' MALONE. 

sc. TV. WHAT YOU WILL. 371 

most skilful, bloody, and fatal opposite that you 
could possibly have found in any part of Illyria : 
Will you walk towards him ? 1 will make your 
peace with him, if I can. 

Vio. I shall be much bound to you for't : I am 
one, that would rather go with sir priest, than sir 
knight : I care not who knows so much of my 
mettle. \_Exeunt. 

Re-enter Sir TOBY, with Sir ANDREW. 

SIR To. Why, man, he's a very devil; 7 I have 
not seen such a virago. 8 I had a pass with him, 
rapier, scabbard, and all, and he gives me the 
stuck-in, 9 with such a mortal motion, that it is 

7 Why, man, he's a very devil ; &c.] Shakspeare might have 
caught a hint for this scene from Ben Jonson's Silent Woman, 
which was printed in 1609. The behaviour of Viola and Ague- 
cheek appears to have been formed on that of Sir John Daw 
and Sir Amorous La Foole. STEEVENS. 

8 / have not seen such a virago.] Virago cannot be properly 
used here, unless we suppose Sir Toby to mean, I never saw one 
that had so much the look of woman with the prowess of man. 


The old copy reads -firago. A virago always means a female 
warrior, or, in low language, a scold, or turbulent woman. In 
Heywood's Golden Age, 1011, Jupiter enters "like a nymph or 
virago y" and says, " I may pass for a bona-roba, a rounceval, a 
virago, or a good manly lass." If Shakspeare (who knew Viola 
to be a woman, though Sir Toby did not,) has made no blunder, 
Dr. Johnson has supplied the only obvious meaning of the word. 
Firago may however be a ludicrous term of Shakspeare's coin- 

Why may not the meaning be more simple, " I have never 
seen the most furious woman so obstreperous and violent as he 
is?" MALONE. 

9 the stuck ] The stuck is a corrupted abbreviation 

of the stoccata, an Italian term in fencing. So, in The Return 
from PanwKsnK, 1606: (l Here's a fellow, Judicio, that carried 

B B 2 


inevitable ; and on the answer, he pays you 1 as 
surely as your feet hit the ground they step on : 
They say, he has been fencer to the Sophy. 

SIR AND. Pox on't, I'll not meddle with him. 

SIR To. Ay, but he will not now be pacified : 
Fabian can scarce hold him yonder. 

SIR AND. Plague on't ; an I thought he had 
been valiant, and so cunning in fence, I'd have 
seen him damned ere I'd have challenged him. Let 
him let the matter slip, and I'll give him my horse, 
grey Capilet. 

SIR To. I'll make the motion : Stand here, make 
a good show on't ; this shall end without the per- 
dition of souls : Marry, I'll ride your horse as well 
as I ride you. \_Aside. 

Re-enter FABIAN and VIOLA. 

I have his horse \_to FAB.] to take up the quarrel; 
I have persuaded him, the youth's a devil. 

FAB. He is as horribly conceited of him; 2 and 
pants, and looks pale, as if a bear were at his 

the deadly stock in his pen." Again, in Marston's Mai-content, 
1604: " The close stock, O mortal," &c. Again, in Antonio's 
Revenge, 1602: 

" I would pass on him with a mortal stock" STEEVENS. 

Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor : 

" thy stock, thy reverse, thy montant." MALONE. 

1 he pays you ] i. e. hits you, does for you. Thus, 
Falstaff, in The First Part of King Henry IV : "I followed me 
close, and, with a thought, seven of the eleven I paid.'' 


2 He is as horribly conceited of him ;] That is, he has as 
horrid an idea or conception of him. MALONE. 

sc. iv. WHAT YOU WILL. 373 

SIR To. There's no remedy, sir ; he will fight 
with you for his oath sake : marry, he hath better 
bethought him of his quarrel, and he finds that 
now scarce to be worth talking of: therefore draw, 
for the supportance of his vow ; he protests, he 
will not hurt you. 

Vio. Pray God defend me ! A little thing would 
make me tell them how much I lack of a man. 


FAB. Give ground, if you see him furious. 

SIR To. Come, sir Andrew, there's no remedy; 
the gentleman will, for his honour's sake, have one 
bout with you: he cannot by the duello 3 avoid it: 
but he has promised me, as he is a gentleman and 
a soldier, he will not hurt you. Come on j to't. 

SIR AND. Pray God, he keep his oath! [Draws. 


Vio. I do assure you, 'tis against my will. [Draws. 

ANT. Put up your sword ; If this young gen- 

Have done offence, I take the fault on me ; 
If you offend him, I for him defy you. [Drawing. 

SIR To. You, sir ? why, what are you ? 

ANT. One, sir, that for his love dares yet do more 
Than you have heard him brag to you he will. 

SIR To. Nay, if you be an undertaker, 4 I am 
for you. [Draws. 

3 by the duello ] i. e. by the laws of the duello, which, 

in Shakspeare's time, were settled with the utmost nicety. 


4 Nay, if you be an undertaker,] But why was an under- 
taker so offensive a character ? I believe this is a touch upon 
'he times, which may help to determine the date of this pla\ r . 


Enter two Officers. 

FAS. O good sir Toby, hold; here come the 

SIR To. I'll be with you anon. [_To ANTONIO. 

Vio. Pray, sir, put up your sword, if you please. 

[To Sir ANDREW. 

SIR AND. Marry, will I, sir ; and, for that I 
promised you, I'll be as good as my word : He will 
bear you easily, and reins well. 

1 OFF. This is the man ; do thy office. 

2 OFF. Antonio, I arrest thee at the suit 
Of count Orsino. 

ANT. You do mistake me, sir. 

At the meeting of the parliament in 1 6] 4, there appears to have 
been a very general persuasion, or jealousy at least, that the King 
hud been induced to call a parliament at that time, by certain 
persons, who had undertaken, through their influence in the 
House of Commons, to carry things according to his Majesty's 
wishes. These persons were immediately stigmatized with the 
invidious name of undertakers ; and the idea was so unpopular, 
th-it the King thought it necessary, in Uvo set speeches, to deny 
positively (how truly is another question) that there had been 
any such undertaking. Parl. hist. Vol. V. p. 277, and 286. 
Sir Francis Facou aleo (then attorney-general) made an artful, 
apologetical speech in the House of Commons upon the same 
subject; ivhen the house (according to the title of the speech) 
laas in great heat, and much trouHed about the undertakers. 
Bacon's Works, Vol. II. p. 235, 4to edit. TYRWHITT. 

Undertakers were persons employed by the King's purveyors 
to take up provisions for the royal household, and were no doubt 
exceedingly odious. But still, I think, the speaker intends a 
quibble; the simple meaning of the word being one who under- 
takes, or takes up the quarrel or business of another. RITSON. 

I am of Ilitson's opinion, that by an undertaker Sir Toby 
means a man who takes upon himself the quarrel of another. 
Mr. Tyrwhirt s explanation is too learned to be just, and was 
probably suggested by his official situation. M. MASON, 

sc. iv. WHAT YOU WILL. 375 

1 OFF. No, sir, no jot; I know your favour well, 
Though now you have no sea-cap on your head. 
Take him away ; he knows, I know him well. 

ANT. I must obey. This comes with seeking 


But there's no remedy ; I shall answer it. 
What will you do ? Now my necessity 
Makes me to ask you for my purse: It grieves me 
Much more, for what I cannot do for you, 
Than what befalls myself. You stand amaz'd ; 
But be of comfort. 

2 OFF. Come, sir, away. 

ANT. I must entreat of you some of that money. 

Vio. What money, sir ? 

For the fair kindness you have show'd me here, 
And, part, being prompted by your present trouble, 
Out of my lean and low ability 
I'll lend you something : my having is not much ; 
I'll make division of my present with you : 
Hold, there is half my coffer. 

ANT. Will you deny me now ? 

Is't possible, that my deserts to you 
Can lack persuasion ? Do not tempt my misery, 
Lest that it make me so unsound a man, 
As to upbraid you with those kindnesses 
That I have done for you. 

Vio. I know of none ; 

Nor know I you by voice, or any feature : 
I hate ingratitude more in a man, 
Than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness, 
Or any taint of vice, whose strong corruption 
Inhabits our frail blood. 

ANT. O heavens themselves ! 

2 OFF. Come, sir, I pray you, go. 


ANT. Let me speak a little. This youth that 

you see here, 
I snatch'd one half out of the jaws of death ; 

Relieved him with such sanctity of love, 

And to his image, which, methought, did promise 
Most venerable worth, did I devotion. 

1 OFF. What's that to us ? The time goes by ; 

ANT. But, O, how vile an idol proves this god ! 
Thou hast, Sebastian, done good feature shame. 
In nature there's no blemish, but the mind ; 
None can be calPd deform'd, but the unkind : 
Virtue is beauty ; but the beauteous-evil 
Are empty trunks, o'erflourish'd by the devil. 5 

1 OFF. The man grows mad ; away with him. 
Come, come, sir. 

ANT. Lead me on. 

\_Exeunt Officers, with ANTONIO, 

Vio. Methinks, his words do from such passion 


That he believes himself; so do not I. 6 

s o 1 erflouristt d by the devil.~] In the time of Shakspeare, 
trunks, which are now deposited in lumber-rooms, or other ob- 
scure places, were part of the furniture of apartments in which 
company was received. I have seen more than one of these, as 
old as the time of our poet. They were richly ornamented on 
the tops and sides with scroll-work, emblematical devices, c. 
and were elevated on feet. Shakspeare has the same expression 
in Measure, for Measure: 

" your title to him 

" Doth flourish the deceit ." STEEVENS. 

Again, in his Goth Sonnet: 

" Time doth transfix \hc flourish set on youth." 


so do not /.] This, I believe, means, I do not yet be- 
lieve myself, when, from this accident, I gather hope of my 
brother's life. JOHNSON. 

sc. iv. WHAT YOU WILL. 377 

Prove true, imagination, O, prove true, 
That I, dear brother, be now ta'en for you ! 

SIR To. Come hither, knight; come hither, 
Fabian ; we'll whisper o'er a couplet or two of 
most sage saws. 

Vio. He nam'd Sebastian ; I my brother know 
Yet living in my glass ; 7 even such, and so, 
In favour was my brother ; and he went 
Still in this fashion, colour, ornament, 
For him I imitate : O, if it prove, 
Tempests are kind, and salt waves fresh in love! 


SIR To. A very dishofiest paltry boy, and more 
a coward than a hare : his dishonesty appears, in 
leaving his friend here in necessity, and denying 
him ; and for his cowardship, ask Fabian. 

FAS. A coward, a most devout coward, religious 
in it. 

SiRAND.'Slid, I'll after him again, and beat him. 

SIR To. Do, cuff him soundly, but never draw 
thy sword. 

SIR AND. An I do not, [Exit. 

FAB. Come, let's see the event. 
SIR To. I dare lay any money, 'twill be nothing 
yet. [Exeunt. 

7 / my brother know 

Yet living in my glass ;] I suppose Viola means As often 
as I behold myself in my glass, I think I .see mi/ brother alive; 
i. e. I acknowledge that his resemblance survives in the reflection 
of my own figure. STEEVENS. 



The Street before Olivia's House. 
Enter SEBASTIAN and Clown. 

CLO. Will you make me believe, that I am not 
sent for you ? 

SEE. Go to, go to, thou art a foolish fellow ; 
Let me be clear of thee. 

CLO. Well held out, i'faith ! No, I do not know 
you ; nor I am not sent to you by my lady, to bid 
you come speak with her ; nor your name is not 
master Cesario ; nor this is not my nose neither. 
Nothing, that is so, is so. 

SEB. I pr'ythee, vent thy folly somewhere else ; 
Thou know'st not me. 

CLO. Vent my folly ! He has heard that word of 
some great man, and now applies it to a fool. 8 
Vent my folly ! I am afraid this great lubber, 9 the 
world, will prove a cockney. 1 I pr'ythee now, 
ungird thy strangeness, and tell me what I shall 

8 Vent my folly! He has heard that 'word of some great man, 
&c.] This affected word seems to have been in use in Shak- 
speare's time. In Melvil's Memoirs, p. 198, we have " My 
Lord Lindsay vented himself that he was one of the number," 
&c. REED. 

9 / am afraid this great lubber, ~\ That is, affectation and fop- 
pery will overspread the world. JOHNSON. 

1 prove a cockney.] So, in A Knight's Conjuring, by 

Decker : " - 'tis not their fault, but our mothers', our 
cockering mothers, who for their labour make us to be called 
Cockneys," &c. STEEVENS. 

sc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. 379 

vent to my lady ; Shall I vent to her, that thou 
art coming ? 

SEB. I pr'ythee, foolish Greek, 2 depart from me; 
There's money for thee ; if you tarry longer, 
I shall give worse payment. 

CLO. By my troth, thou hast an open hand : 
These wise men, that give fools money, get them- 
selves a good report after fourteen years' purchase. 3 

3 I pr'ythee, foolish Greek,] Greek, was as much as to say 
bawd or pander. He understood the Clown to be acting in that 
office. A bawdy-house was called Corinth, and the frequenters 
of it Corinthians, which words occur frequently in Shakspeare, 
especially in Timon of Athens, and Henry IV. Yet the Oxford 
editor alters it to Geek. WARBURTON. 

Can our author have alluded to St. Paul's epistle to the 
Romans, c. i. v. 23 ? 

" to the Greeks foolishness.'' 1 STEEVENS. 

3 get themselves a good report after fourteen years' pur- 
chase.] This seems to carry a piece of satire upon monopolies, 
the crying grievance of that time. The grants generally were 
for fourteen years ; and the petitions being referred to a com- 
mittee, it was suspected that money gained favourable reports 
from thence. WARBURTON. 

Perhaps fourteen years' purchase was, in Shakspeare's time, 
the highest price for laud. Lord Bacon's Essay on Usury men- 
tions sixteen years purchase. " I will not give more than ac- 
cording toff teen years purchase, said a dying usurer to a clergy- 
man, who advised him to study for a purchase of the kingdom 
of heaven." TOLLET. 

Mr. Heath thinks the meaning is, " purchase a good report 
[or character] at a very extravagant price." MALONE. 

Dr. Warburton's conjecture that there is here a reference to 
monopolies, is, I believe, unfounded. Mr. Toilet and Mr. 
Heath are probably right. Sir Josiah Child, in his Discourse on 
Trade, says, " certainly anno l(j'21, the current price of lands 
in England was twelve years purchase ; and so I have been as- 
sured by many ancient men whom I have questioned particularly 
as to this matter ; and I find it. so by purchases made about 
that time by my own relations and acquaintance." Sir Thomas 
Culpepper, senior, who wrote in 1621, affirms, " that land was 
then at twelve years purchase." REED. 


Enter Sir ANDREW, Sir TOBY, and FABIAN. 

SIR AND. Now, sir, have I met you again ? 
there's for you. [Striking SEBASTIAN. 

SEB. Why, there's for thee, and there, and there : 
Are all the people mad ? [Beating Sir ANDREW. 

SIR To. Hold, sir, or I'll throw your dagger 
o'er the house. 

CLO. This will I tell my lady straight : I would 
not be in some of your coats for two-pence. 

[Exit Clown. 

SIR To. Come on, sir ; hold. 

[Holding SEBASTIAN. 

SIR AND. Nay, let him alone, I'll go another 
way to work with him ; I'll have an action of 
battery against him, if there be any law in Illyria : 
though I struck him first, yet it's no matter for 

SEB. Let go thy hand. 

SIR To. Come, sir, I will not let you go. Come, 
my young soldier, put up your iron : you are well 
fleshed ; come on. 

SEB. I will be free from thee. What wouldst 

thou now ? 

If thou dar'st tempt me further, draw thy sword. 


SIR To. What, what ? Nay, then I must have 
an ounce or two of this malapert blood from you. 


Enter OLIVIA. 

OLI. Hold, Toby ; on thy life, I charge thee, 

SIR To. Madam ? 

sc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. 381 

OLI. Will it be ever thus ? Ungracious wretch, 
Fit for the mountains, and the barbarous caves, 
Where manners ne'er were preach'd ! out of my 
sight ! 

Be not offended, dear Cesario : 

Rudesby, be gone ! I pr'ythee, gentle friend, 

\_Exeunt Sir TOBY, Sir ANDREW, and 


Let thy fair wisdom, not thy passion, sway 
In this uncivil and unjust extent 4 
Against thy peace. Go with me to my house ; 
And hear thou there how many fruitless pranks 
This ruffian hath botch'd up, 5 that thou thereby 
May'st smile at this : thou shalt not choose but go ; 
Do not deny : Beshrew his soul for me, 
He started one poor heart of mine in thee. 6 

4 In this uncivil and unjust extent ] Extent is, in law, a 
writ of execution, whereby goods are seized for the King. It 
is therefore taken here for violence in general. JOHNSON. 

4 This ruffian hath botch'd up,] A coarse expression for 
made up, as a bad tailor is called a botcher, and to botch is to 
make clumsily. JOHNSON. 

Dr. Johnson is certainly right. A similar expression occurs 
in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" if you'll patch a quarrel, 

" As matter whole you've not to make it with." 
Again, in King Henri/ V : 

" Do botch and bungle up damnation." STEEVENS. 

6 He started one poor heart of mine in thee.~\ I know not 
whether here be not an ambiguity intended between heart and 
hart. The sense however is easy enough. He that offends 
thee, attacks one of my hearts ; or, as the ancients expressed it, 
half my heart. JOHNSON. 

The equivoque suggested by Dr. Johnson was, I have no 
doubt, intended. Heart in our author's time was frequently 
written hart ; and Shakspeare delights in playing on these words. 



SEE. What relish is in this? 7 how runs the 

stream ? 

Or I am mad, or else this is a dream : 
Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep ; 
If it be thus to dream, still let me sleep ! 

OLL Nay, come, I pr'ythee : 'Would thou'dst 
be rul'd by me ! 

SEB. Madam, I will. 

OLL O, say so, and so be ! 



A Room in Olivia's House. 
Enter MARIA and Clown. 

MAE. Nay, I pr'ythee, put on this gown, and 
this beard ; make him believe, thou art sir Topas 8 
the curate ; do it quickly : I'll call sir Toby the 
whilst. \_Rxit MARIA. 

CLO. Well, I'll put it on, and I will dissemble 
myself" in't ; and I would I were the first that ever 
dissembled in such a gown. I am not fat enough 

7 What relish is in this?'} How does this taste? What 
judgment am I to make of it ? JOHNSON. 

8 sir Topas ] The name of Sir Topas is taken from 
Chaucer. STEEVENS. 

9 ' / tvill dissemble myself ] i. e. disguise myself. 


Shakspeare has here stumbled on a Latinism : Thus Ovid, 
speaking of Achilles : 

" Veste virum longa dissimulatus erat." STEEVENS. 

sc. IT. WHAT YOU WILL. 383 

to become the function well ; 1 nor lean enough to 
be thought a good student : but to be said, an 
honest man, and a good housekeeper, goes as 
fairly, as to say, a careful man, and a great scho- 
lar. 2 The competitors enter. 3 

Enter Sir TOBY BELCH and MARIA. 

SIR To. Jove bless thee, master parson. 

CLO. Bonos dies, sir Toby : for as the old hermit 
of Prague, 4 that never saw pen and ink, very wit- 
tily said to a niece of king Gorboduc, That, that 
is, is : 5 so I, being master parson, am master par- 
son ; For what is that, but that ? and is, but is ? 

1 / am not fat enough to become the function well ,] The 
old copy reads tall enough : but this cannot be right. The 
word wanted should be part of the description of a careful man. 
I should have no objection to read -pale TYRWHITT. 

Not tall enough, perhaps means not of sufficient height to 
overlook a pulpit. Dr. Farmer would read, fat instead of tall, 
the former of these epithets, in his opinion, being referable to 
the following words a good housekeeper. STEEVENS. 

* as to say, a careful man, and a great scholar."] This 

refers to what went before : / am not tall enough to become the 
function tvell, nor lean enough to be thought a good student : 
it is plain then Shakspeare wrote : as to say a graceful man, 
i. e. comely. To this the Oxford editor says, recte. 


A careful man, I believe, means a man who has such a regard 
for his character, as to intitle him to ordination. STEEVENS. 

3 The competitors enter.] That is, the confederates or asso- 
ciates. The word competitor is used in the same sense in 
Richard III. and in the Two Gentlemen of Verona. M. MASON. 

4 the old hermit of Prague,] This refers to a real per- 
sonage. STEEVENS. 

4 very wittily said That, that is, is:] This is a very 

humorous banter 01 the rules established in the schools, that all 
reasonings are ex prtecognitis fy pneconcessis, which lay the 


SIR To. To him, sir Topas. 

CLO. What, hoa, I say, Peace in this prison ! 

SIR To. The knave counterfeits well ; a good 

MAL. [_in an inner chamber.^ Who calls there ? 

CLO. Sir Topas, the curate, who comes to visit 
Malvolio the lunatick. 

MAL. Sir Topas, sir Topas, good sir Topas, go 
to my lady. 

CLO. Out, hyperbolical fiend ! how vexest thou 
this man ? talkest thou nothing but of ladies ? 

SIR To. Well said, master parson. 

MAL. Sir Topas, never was man thus wronged : 
good sir Topas, do not think I am mad ; they 
have laid me here in hideous darkness. 

CLO. Fye, thou dishonest Sathan ! I call thee by 
the most modest terms ; for I am one of those 
gentle ones, that will use the devil himself with 
courtesy : Say'st thou, that house 6 is dark? 

MAL. As hell, sir Topas. 

CLO. Why, it hath bay-windows 7 transparent as 

foundation of every science in these maxims, whatsoever is, is ; 
and it is impossible for the same thing to be and not to be ; with 
much trifling of the like kind. WARBURTOX. 

6 that house ] That mansion, in which you are now 

confined. The Clown gives this pompous appellation to the 
small room in which Malvolio, we may suppose, was confined, 
to exasperate him. The word it in the Clown's next speech 
plainly means Malvolio's chamber, and confirms this interpreta- 
tion. MALONE. 

7 it hath bay-windows ] A b(iy-lx>indotx> is the same 

as a bow-window ; a window in a recess, or bay. See A. Wood's 
Life, published by T. Hearne, 1/30, p. 548 and 553. The fol- 
lowing instances may likewise support the supposition : 

sc. ii. WHAT YOU WILL. 385 

barricadoes, and the clear stones 8 towards the 
south-north are as lustrous as ebony ; and yet 
complainest thou of obstruction ? 

MAL. I am not mad, sir Topas ; I say to you, 
this house is dark. 

CLO. Madman, thou errest : I say, there is no 
darkness, but ignorance ; in which thou art more 
puzzled, than the Egyptians in their fog. 

MAL. I say, this house is as dark as ignorance, 
though ignorance were as dark as hell ; and I say, 
there was never man thus abused : I am no more 
mad than you are j make the trial of it in any con- 
stant question. 9 

Cynthia's Revels, by Ben Jonson, 1600: 

" retired myself into a bay-window, iJ &c. 

Again, in Stowe's Chronicle of King Henry IV : 

" As Tho. Montague rested him at a bay-window, a gun was. 
levell'd," &c. 

Again, in Middleton's Women beware Women : 
" Tis a sweet recreation for a gentlewoman 
" To stand in a bay-window, and see gallants." 
Chaucer, in The Assemblie of Ladies, mentions bay-windows. 
Again, in King Henry the Sixth's Directions for building the 
Hall at King's College, Cambridge : " on every side thereof 
a baie-window.'* STEEVENS. 

See Minsheu's DICT. in v : "A bay-window, because it is 
builded in manner of a baie or rode for shippes, that is, round. 
L. Cavcefenestrce. G. Une fenestre sortanthors de la maison." 


8 the clear stones ] The old copy has stores. The 
emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. 


And yet, says Mr. Malone, the second folio is not worth three 
shillings. STEEVENS. 

9 constant question.'] A settled, a determinate, a regular 

question. JOHNSON. 

Rather, in any regular conversation, for so generally Shak- 
speare uses the word question. MALONE. 

VOL. V. C C 


CLO. What is the opinion of Pythagoras, con- 
cerning wild-fowl ? 

MAL. That the soul of our grandam might haply 
inhabit a bird. 

CLO. What thinkest thou of his opinion ? 

MAL. I think nobly of the soul, and no way ap- 
prove his opinion. 

CLO. Fare thee well : Remain thou still in dark- 
ness : thou shalt hold the opinion of Pythagoras, 
ere I will allow of thy wits ; and fear to kill a 
woodcock, 1 lest thou dispossess the soul of thy 
grandam. Fare thee well. 

MAL. Sir Topas, sir Topas, 

SIR To. My most exquisite sir Topas ! 

CLO. Nay, I am for all waters. 2 

1 to kill a woodcock,] The Clown mentions a 'wood- 
cock particularly, because that bird was supposed to have very 
little brains, and therefore was a proper ancestor for a man out 
of his wits. MALONE. 

* Nay, I am for all waters.] A phrase taken from the actor's 
ability of making the audience cry either with mirth or grief. 


I rather think this expression borrowed from sportsmen, and 
relating to the qualifications of a complete spaniel. JOHNSON. 

A cloak for all kinds of knavery ; taken from the Italian pro- 
verb, Tu hai mantilla da ogni acqua. SMITH. 

Nay, I am for all waters.'] I can turn my hand to any thing; 
I can assume any character I please ; like a fish, I can swim 
equally well in all waters. Montaigne, speaking of Aristotle, 
says, that " he hath an oar in every water, and meddleth with 
all things." Florio's translation, ]603. In Florio's Second 
Fruites, I5pl, I find an expression more nearly resembling that 
of the text: "I am a knight for all saddles" The equivoque 
suggested in the following note may, however, have been also 
in our author's thoughts. MALONE. 

The word water, as used by jewellers, denotes the colour and 
the lustre of diamonds, and from thence is applied, though with 

ac. ii. WHAT YOU WILL. 387 

MAR. Thou might'st have done this without 
thy beard, and gown ; he sees thee not. 

SIR To. To him in thine own voice, and bring 
me word how thou findest him : I would, we were 
well rid of this knavery. If he may be conveni- 
ently delivered, I would he were ; for I am now so 
far in offence with my niece, that I cannot pursue 
with any safety this sport to the upshot. Come 
by and by to my chamber. 

[Exeunt Sir TOBY and MARIA. 

CLO. Hey Robin, jolly Robin? 

Tell me how thy lady does. [Singing. 

less propriety, to the colour and hue of other precious stones. 
I think that Shakspeare, in this place, alludes to this sense of 
the word water, not to those adopted either by Johnson or 
Warburton. The Clown is complimented by Sir Toby, for 
personating Sir Topas so exquisitely ; to which he replies, that 
he can put on all colours, alluding to the word Topaz, which 
is the name of a jewel, and was also that of the Curate. 


Mr. Henley has adopted the same idea ; and adds, that " the 
Clown in his reply plays upon the name of Topas, and intimates 
that he could sustain as well the character of another person, let 
him be called by what gem he might." STEEVENS. 

3 Hey Robin, jolly Robin,"] This song should certainly begin : 
" Hey, jolly Robin, tell to me 

" How does thy lady do ? 
" My lady is unkind, perdy. 

" Alas f why is she so ?" FARMER. 

This ingenious emendation is now superseded by the proper 
readings of the old song itself, which is now printed from what 
appears the most ancient of Dr. Harrington's poetical MSS. 
The first stanza appears to be defective, and it should seem that 
a line is wanting, unless the four first words were lengthened in 
the tune. PERCY. 

The song, thus published, runs as follows : 
" A Robyn, 

Jolly Robyn, 

" Tell me how thy leman doeth, 
" And thou shalt knowe of myn. 

c c 2 


MAL. Fool, 

CLO. My lady is unkind, perdy. 

MAL. Fool, 

CLO. Alas, why is she so ? 

MAL. Fool, I say ; 

CLO. She loves another Who calls, ha ? 

MAL. Good fool, as ever thou wilt deserve well 
at my hand, help me to a candle, and pen, ink, 
and paper ; as I am a gentleman, I will live to be 
thankful to thee for't. 

CLO. Master Malvolio ! 
MAL. Ay, good fool. 

CLO. Alas, sir, how fell you besides your five 
wits ? 4 

" My lady is unkynde perde." 

" Alack ! why is she so ? 
" She loveth an other better than me ; 

'* And yet she will say no." &c. &c. 

See Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, fourth edit. 
Vol. I. p. 194. 

I hope to be excused if I add, that I do not immediately 
perceive how the copy of a song so metrically imperfect as the 
foregoing, can be permitted to extinguish the emendation pro- 
posed by Dr. Farmer. STEEVENS. 

This song seems to be alluded to in the following passage of 
The Merchandises of Popish Priests, 4to. 1629, sign. F 2 : 
" There is no one so lively and jolly as St. Mathurine. I can 
best describe you this arch singer, by such common phrase as we 
use of him whom we see very lively and pleasantly disposed, we 
say this, His head is full of jolly Robbing." REED. 

4 your five wits ?] Thus the jive senses were anciently 

called. So, in King Lear, Edgar says : 

" Bless thyjwe wits ! Tom's a cold.'* 

Again, in the old Morality of Every Man : " And remember, 
beaute,fyve tvittes, strength, and dyscrecyon." STEEVENS. 

The "wits, Dr. Johnson somewhere observes, were reckoned 
five, in analogy to the five senses. From Stephen Hawes's poem 

sc. if. WHAT YOU WILL. 389 

MAL. Fool, there was never man so notoriously 
abused : I am as well in my wits, fool, as thou art. 

CLO. But as well ? then you are mad, indeed, if 
you be no better in your wits than a fool. 

MAL. They have here propertied me ; 5 keep me 
in darkness, send ministers to me, asses, and do all 
they can to face me out of my wits. 

CLO. Advise you what you say ; the minister is 
here. Malvolio, Malvolio, thy wits the heavens 
restore ! endeavour thyself to sleep, and leave thy 
vain bibble babble. 

MAL. Sir Topas, 

CLO. Maintain no words with him, 6 good fel- 
low. Who, I, sir ? not I, sir. God b'wi'you, good 
sir Topas. Marry, amen. I will, sir, I will. 

MAL. Fool, fool, fool, I say, 

CLO. Alas, sir, be patient. What say you, sir ? 
I am shent 7 for speaking to you. 

called Graunde Amoure, ch. xxiv. edit. 1554, it appears that the 
Jive wits were " common wit, imagination, fantasy, estima- 
tion, and memory." Wit in our author's time was the general 
term for the intellectual power. MA LONE. 

* propertied me ;] They have taken possession of me, 

as of a man unable to look to himself. JOHNSON. 

6 Maintain no words with him,] Here the Clown in the 
dark acts two persons, and counterfeits, by variation of voice, 
a dialogue between himself and Sir Topas. I will, sir, I will, 
is spoken after a pause, as if, in the mean time, Sir Topas had 
whispered. JOHNSON. 

7 / am shent 8$c.~\ i. e. scolded, reproved. So, in Ascham's 
Report and Discourse : " A wonderfull follie in a great man 
himselfe, and some piece of miserie in a whole commonwealth, 
where fooles chiefly and flatterers may speak freely what they 
will ; and wise men, and good men shall commonly be shent if 
they speak what they should." See also note on Hamlet, Act III, 
sc. ii. REED. 


MAL. Good fool, help me to some light, and 
some paper ; I tell thee, I am as well in my wits, 
as any man in Illyria. 

CLO. Well-a-day, that you were, sir ! 

MAL. By this hand, I am : Good fool, some ink, 
paper, and light, and convey what I will set down 
to my lady ; it shall advantage thee more than ever 
the bearing of letter did. 

CLO. I will help you to't. But tell me true, are 
you not mad indeed ? or do you but counterfeit ? 8 

MAL. Believe me, I am not ; I tell thee true. 

CLO. Nay, I'll ne'er believe a madman, till I 
see his brains. I will fetch you light, and paper, 
and ink. 

8 tell me true, are you not mad indeed 1 ? or do you but 

counterfeit?'] If he was not mad, what did he counterfeit by 
declaring that he was not mad ? The fool, who meant to insult 
him, I think, asks, are you mad, or do you but counterfeit ? 
That is, yon look like a madman, you talk like a madman. Is 
your madness real, or have you any secret design in it ? This, 
to a man in poor Malvoho's state, was a severe taunt. JOHNSON. 

The meaning of this passage appears to me to be this. Mal- 
volio had assured the Clown that he was as well in his senses as 
any man in Illyria ; and the Clown in reply, asks him this pro- 
voking question : " Is it true that you are really not mad ?" that 
is, that you are really in your right senses, or do you only pre- 
tend to be so ? M. MASON. 

Dr. Johnson, in my apprehension, misinterprets the words, 
" do you but counterfeit ?" They surely mean, " do you but 
counterfeit madness, or, in other words, " assume the appearance 
of a madman, though not one." Our author ought, I think, 
to have written, either, " are you mad indeed, or do you but 
counterfeit ?" or else, " are you not not mad indeed, and do 
you but counterfeit?" But I do not suspect any corruption ; for 
the last I have no doubt was what he meant, though he has not 
expressed his meaning accurately. He is often careless in such 
minute matters. Mr. Mason's interpretation removes the diffi- 
culty ; but, considering the words that immediately precede, is 
very harsh, and appears to be inadmissible. MAJLONE, 

sc. ii. WHAT YOU WILL. 391 

MAL. Fool, I'll requite it in the highest degree : 
I pr'ythee, be gone. 

CLO. / am gone, sir, 

And anon, sir, 
Pll be with you again, 
In a trice, 
Like to the old vice, 9 
Your need to sustain / 

Who with dagger of lath, 
In his rage and his wrath, 

Cries, ah, ha ! to the devil : 
Like a mad lad, 
Pare thy nails, dad, 

Adieu, goodman drivel. 1 [Exit. 

* Like to the old vice,] The vice was the fool of the old 
moralities. Some traces of this character are still preserved in 
puppet-shows, and by country mummers. JOHNSON. 

This character was always acted in a mask ; it probably had 
its name from the old French word vis, for which they now use 
visage, though they still retain it in vis d vis, which is, literally, 
face to face. STEEVENS. 

1 Adieu, goodman drivel.] This last line has neither rhyme 
nor meaning. I cannot but suspect that the fool translates 
Malvolio's name, and says : 

Adieu, goodman mean-evil. JOHNSON. 

We have here another old catch ; apparently, I think, not of 
Shakspeare. I am therefore willing to receive the common 
reading of the last line : 

Adieu, goodman drivel. 

The name of Malvolio seems to have been formed by an acci- 
dental transposition in the word, Malivolo. 

I know not whether a part of the preceding line should not 
be thrown into a question, " pare thy nails, dad ?" 

In Henry V. we again meet with " this roaring devil i'th' old 
play ; every one may pare his nails with a wooden dagger." 


In the old translation of the Men&climi, 1595, Menaechmus 
says to Peniculus : " Away, filthie mad drivell, away ! I will 



Olivia's Garden. 

SEB. This is the air ; that is the glorious sun ; 
This pearl she gave me, I do feel't, and see't : 
And though 'tis wonder that enwraps me thus, 
Yet 'tis not madness. Where's Antonio then ? 
I could not find him at the Elephant : 

talk no longer with thee." As I cannot suppose the author of 
this ballad designed that devil should be the corresponding 
rhyme to devil, I read with Dr. Farmer, drivel. STEEVENS. 

I believe, with Johnson, that this is an allusion to Malvolio'' s 
name, but not in his reading, which destroys the metre. We 
should read 

Adieu, good mean-evil : 
that is, good Malvolio, literally translated. M. MASON. 

The last two lines of this song have, I think, been misunder- 
stood. They are not addressed in the first instance to Malvolio, 
but are quoted by the Clown, as the words, ah, ha ! are, as 
the usual address in the old Moralities to the Devil. I do not 
therefore suspect any corruption in the words " goodman Devil.' 1 '' 
We have in The Merry Wives of Windsor : " No man means 
evil but the devil ;" and in Much Ado about Nothing, " God's 
a good man." 

The compound, good-man, is again used adjectively, and as 
a word of contempt, in King Lear : " Part (says Edmund to 
Kent and the Steward). " With you, (replies Kent,) good-man 
boy, if you please." 

The reason why the Vice exhorts the Devil to pare his nails, 
is, because the Devil was supposed from choice to keep his nails 
always unpared, and therefore to pare them was an affront. 
So, in Camden's Remaines, l6l5 : 

" I will follow mine own minde and mine old trade ; 
** Who shall let me ? the divel's nailes are unparde." 


sc. in. , WHAT YOU WILL. 393 

Yet there he was ; and there I found this credit, 
That he did range the town to seek me out. 2 

* Yet there he tvas ; and there I found this credit, 

That he did range &c.] i. e. I found it justified, credibly 
vouched. Whether the word credit will easily carry this mean- 
ing, I am doubtful. The expression seems obscure ; and though 
I have not disturbed the text, I very much suspect that the poet 
wrote : 

and there I found this credent. 

He uses the same term again in the very same sense in The 
Winter's Tale: 

" Then 'tis very credent, 

" Thou may'st cojoin with something, and thou dost," &c. 


Credit, for account, information. The Oxford editor roundly 
alters it to current; as he does almost every word that Shak- 
speare uses in an anomalous signification. WARBURTON. 

Theobald proposes to read credent, but credent does not signify 
justified or vouched; it means probable only, as appears from 
the passage he himself has quoted. Warburton says, that credit 
means account or information ; but as I know no instance of the 
word's being used in that acceptation, I believe we should read, 
credited instead of credit. M. MASON. 

Credent is creditable, not questionable. So, in Measure for 
Pleasure, Angelo says : 

" For my authority bears a credent bulk." STEEVENS. 

Perhaps credit is here used for credited. So, in the first scene 
of this play, heat for heated ; and in Hamlet, hoist for hoisted. 


After all, I believe the word credit, to have been rightly 
understood by Dr. Warburton, though he has given no example 
in support of his interpretation. 

Dr. Robertson, speaking of some memorandums included in 
the Letters to Mary Queen of Scots, observes, that they were 
not " the credit of the bearer ;" i. e. points, concerning which 
the Queen had given him verbal instructions, or information. 

Credit therefore might have been the prevalent term for oral 

Again, in Mr. Whitaker's Vindication of the same Queen, 
Vol. II. p. 145: " these are expressly understood from the 
makers of the letters themselves, when they produced them at 
York to be * the credit gifin to the berar.' This mode of re- 
ferring to the credit of a bearer was no uncommon one in those 


His counsel now might do me golden service : 
For though my soul disputes well with my sense, 
That this may be some error, but no madness, 
Yet doth this accident and flood of fortune 
So far exceed all instance, all discourse, 3 
That I am ready to distrust mine eyes, 
And wrangle with my reason, that persuades me 
To any other trust, 4 but that I am mad, 
Or else the lady's mad ; yet, if 'twere so, 
She could not sway her house, command her fol- 

Take, and give back, affairs, and their despatch, 
With such a smooth, discreet, and stable bearing, 
As, I perceive, she does : there's something in't, 
That is deceivable. 5 But here comes the lady. 6 


Enter OLIVIA and a Priest. 

OLI. Blame not this haste of mine : If you mean 

Now go with me, and with this holy man, 

In this sense also it occurs in the fragment of a Letter from 
the Earl of Shrewsbury to Queen Elizabeth. See Lodge's 
Illustrations, &c. Vol. II. p. 129: " and because Mr. Beale 
hys credyt ys w lh yo r Ma te to make accompt of hyr ansure, and 
delyngs the Freche have had here, I leave all to hys reporte." 

See also Letter XXXIII in the Paston Collection, Vol. II. 
p. 41, in which credence appears to have the same meaning. 
Again, ibid. p. 331. STEEVENS. 

3 all instance, all discourse,] Discourse, for reason. 

Instance is example. JOHNSON. 

4 To any other trust,] To any other belief, or confidence, to 
any other fixed opinion. JOHNSON. 

* deceivable.1 Our author licentiously uses this word for 

deceptions. MALONE. 

6 That is deceivable. But here comes the lady."] The old copy 
reads : 

" But here the lady comes." STEEVENS. 

sc. m. WHAT YOU WILL. 395 

Into the chantry by : 7 there, before him, 
And underneath that consecrated roof, 
Plight me the full assurance of your faith ; 
That my most jealous and too doubtful soul 
May live at peace : He shall conceal it, 
Whiles 8 you are willing it shall come to note j 
What time we will our celebration keep 
According to my birth. What do you say ? 

SEE. 1*11 follow this good man, and go with you; 
And, having sworn truth, 9 ever will be true. 

OLI. Then lead the way, good father ; And 

heavens so shine, 1 
That they may fairly note this act of mine ! 


7 Into the chantry by :] Chantries (says Cowel, in his Law 
Dictionary, ) are usually little chapels, or particular altars, in some 
cathedral or parochial church ; and endowed with revenues for 
the maintenance of one or more priests, whose office it is to sing 
masses for the souls of their founders, &c. STEEVENS. 

8 Whiles ] is until. This word is still so used in the north- 
ern countries. It is, I think, used in this sense in the preface to 
the Accidence. JOHNSON. 

Almost throughout the old copies of Shakspeare, whiles is 
given us instead of "while. Mr. Rowe, the first reformer of his 
spelling, made the change. STEEVENS. 

It is used in this sense in Tarleton's Netnes out of Purgatorie. 
See the novel at the end of The Merry Wives of Windsor. 


9 truth,] Truth is fidelity. JOHNSON. 

heavens so shine, &c.] Alluding perhaps to a super- 

stitious supposition, the memory of which is still preserved in a 
proverbial saying : " Happy is the bride upon whom the sun shines, 
end blessed the corpse upon ivhich the rainfalls" STEEVENS. 



The Street before Olivia's House. 

Enter Clown and FABIAN. 

FAB. Now, as thou lovest me, let me see his 

CLO. Good master Fabian, grant me another 

FAS. Any thing. 

CLO. Do not desire to see this letter. 

FAS. That is, to give a dog, and, in recompense, 
desire my dog again. 

Enter DUKE, VIOLA, and Attendants. 

DUKE. Belong you to the lady Olivia, friends ? 
CLO. Ay, sir ; we are some of her trappings. 

DUKE. I know thee well j How dost thou, my 
good fellow ? 

CLO. Truly, sir, the better for my foes, and the 
worse for my friends. 

DUKE. Just the contrary ; the better for thy 

CLO. No, sir, the worse. 
DUKE. How can that be ? 

CLO. Marry, sir.; they praise me, and make an 
ass of me ; now my foes tell me plainly I am an ass : 
so that by my foes, sir, I profit in the knowledge of 
myself 5 and by my friends I am abused : so that, 

sc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. S97 

conclusions to be as kisses, if your four negatives 
make your two affirmatives, 2 why, then the worse 
for my friends, and the better for my foes. 

DUKE. Why, this is excellent. 

CLO. By my troth, sir, no ; though it please you 
to be one of my friends. 

DUKE. Thou shalt not be the worse for me ; 
there's gold. 

CLO. But that it would be double-dealing, sir, I 
would you could make it another. 

DUKE. O, you give me ill counsel. 

CLO. Put your grace in your pocket, sir, for this 
once, and let your flesh and blood obey it. 

DUKE. Well, I will be so much a sinner to be a 
double dealer ; there's another. 

CLO. Primo, secundo, tertio, is a good play; 
and the old saying is, the third pays for all : the 
triplex, sir, is a good tripping measure ; or the 
bells of St. Bennet, sir, may put you in mind; 3 
One, two, three. 

* conclusions to be as kisses, if your four negatives make 

your two affirmatives,] One cannot but wonder, that this passage 
should have perplexed the commentators. In Marlowe's Lust's 
Dominion, the Queen says to the Moor : 
" Come, let's kisse." 

Moor. " Away, away." 

Queen. " No, no, sayes, 7; and twice away, sayes stay." 

Sir Philip Sidney has enlarged upon this thought in the sixty- 
third stanza of his Astrophel and Stella. FARMER. 

3 or the bells of St. Bennet, sir, may put you in mind ;] 

That is, if the other arguments I have used are not sufficient, the 
bells of St. Bennet, &c. MALONE. 

We should read " as the bells of St. Bennet," &c. instead of 
or. M. MASON. 

When in this play Shakspeare mentioned the bed of Ware, he 


DUKE. You can fool no more money out of me 
at this throw : if you will let your lady know, I am 
here to speak with her, and bring her along with 
you, it may awake my bounty further. 

CLO. Marry, sir, lullaby to your bounty, till I 
come again. I go, sir ; but I would not have you 
to think, that my desire of having is the sin of 
covetousness : but, as you say, sir, let your bounty 
take a nap, I will awake it anon. [Exit Clown. 

Enter ANTONIO and Officers. 

Vio. Here comes the man, sir, that did rescue 

DUKE. That face of his I do remember wellj 
Yet, when I saw it last, it was besmear'd 
As black as Vulcan, in the smoke of war : 
A bawbling vessel was he captain of, 
For shallow draught, and bulk, unprizable ; 

recollected that the scene was In Illyria, and added, in England; 
but his sense of the same impropriety could not restrain him from 
the bells of St. Bennet. JOHNSON. 

Shakspeare's improprieties and anachronisms are surely venial 
in comparison with those of contemporary writers. Lodge, in 
his True Tragedies of Marius and Sytta, 1594-, has mentioned 
the razors of Palermo and St. Paul's steeple, and has introduced 
a Frenchman, named Don Pedro, who, in consideration of re- 
ceiving forty crowns, undertakes to poison Marius. Stanyhurst, 
the translator of four books of Virgil, in 1582, compares Cho- 
rcebus to a bedlamite, says, that old Priam girded on his sword 
Morglay ; and makes Dido tell .<Eneas, that she should have 
been contented had she been brought to bed even of a cockney : 

** Saltern si qua mihi de te suscepta fuisset 

" Ante fugam soboles ." 

** yf yeet soom progenye from me 

" Had crawl'd, by thee father'd, yf a cockney dandiprat 
hopthumb." STEEVENS. 

sc. /. WHAT YOU WILL. 399 

With which such scathful 4 grapple did he make 
With the most noble bottom of our fleet, 
That very envy, and the tongue of loss, 
Cry'd fame and honour on him. What's the 
matter ? 

1 OFF. Orsino, this is that Antonio, 
That took the Phoenix, and her fraught, from 

Candy ; 

And this is he, that did the Tiger board, 
When your young nephew Titus lost his leg : 
Here in the streets, desperate of shame, and state, 5 
In private brabble did we apprehend him. 

Vio. He did me kindness, sir ; drew on my side; 
But, in conclusion, put strange speech upon me, 
I know not what 'twas, but distraction. 

DUKE. Notable pirate ! thou salt-water thief! 
What foolish boldness broughtthee to their mercies, 
WTiom thou, in terms so bloody, and so dear, 6 
Hast made thine enemies ? 

ANT. Orsino, noble sir, 

Be pleas'd that I shake off these names you give me j 
Antonio never yet was thief, or pirate, 
Though, I confess, on base and ground enough, 
Orsino's enemy. A witchcraft drew me hither : 
That most ingrateful boy there, by your side, 
From the rude sea's enrag'd and foamy mouth 

* scathful ] i. e. mischievous, destructive. So, ia 

Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, l6l2 : 

" He mickle scath hath done me." 
Again, in The Pinner of Wakefield, ISQQ: 

" That ofFereth scath unto the town of Wakefield.'* 


s desperate of shame, and state,'] Unattentive to his cha- 
racter or his condition, like a desperate man. JOHNSON. 

6 - and so dear,] Dear is immediate, consequential. So, in. 
Hamlet : 

" Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven," &c. 



Did I redeem ; a wreck past hope he was : 

His life I gave him, and did thereto add 

My love, without retention, or restraint, 

All his in dedication : for his sake, 

Did I expose myself, pure for his love, 

Into the danger of this adverse town ; 

Drew to defend him, when he was beset : 

Where being apprehended, his false cunning, 

(Not meaning to partake with me in danger,) 

Taught him to face me out of his acquaintance, 

And grew a twenty-years-removed thing, 

While one would wink; denied me mine own purse,. 

Which I had recommended to his use 

Not half an hour before. 

Vio. How can this be ? 

DUKE. When came he to this town ? 

ANT. To-day, my lord ; and for three months 


(No interim, not a minute's vacancy,) 
Both day and night did we keep company. 

Enter OLIVIA and Attendants. 

DUKE. Here comes the countess; now heaven 

walks on earth. 

But for thee, fellow,fellow, 7 thy words are madness : 
Three months this youth hath tended upon me ; 
But more of that anon. Take him aside. 

OLI. What would my lord, but that he may not 


Wherein Olivia may seem serviceable ? 
Cesario, you do not keep promise with me. 

7 Bui for thce, fellow, fellow, thy tvords are madness:"] Thus 
this line has been printed in all the editions; but surely we 
should read, 

But for thee, fellow, thy words are madness, HARRIS. 

sc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. 401 

Vio. Madam? 

DUKE. Gracious Olivia, 

OLI. What do you say, Cesario ? Good my 


Fio. My lord would speak, my duty hushes me. 

OLI. If it be aught to the old tune, my lord, 
It is as fat and fulsome 7 to mine ear, 
As howling after musick. 

DUKE. Still so cruel ? 

OLI. Still so constant, lord. 

DUKE. What ! to perverseness? you uncivil lady, 
To whose ingrate and unauspicious altars 
My soul the faithfull'st offerings hath breath'd out, 
That e'er devotion tendered ! What shall I do ? 

OLI. Even what it please my lord, that shall be- 
come him. 

DUKE. Why should I not, had I the heart to 

do it, 

Like to the Egyptian thief, at point of death, 
Kill what I love ; 8 a savage jealousy, 

7 as fat and fulsome ] Fat means dull ; so we say a 

fat-headed fellow ~,fat likewise means gross, and is sometimes 

used for obscene. JOHNSON. 

8 Why should I not, had I the heart to do it, 
Like to the Egyptian thief, at point of death, 

Kill what I love;] In this simile, a particular story is pre- 
supposed, which ought to be known to show the justness and 
propriety of the comparison. It is taken from Heliodorus's 
jEthiopics, to which our author was indebted for the allusion. 
This Egyptian thief was Thyamis, who was a native of Mem- 
phis, and at the head of a band of robbers. Theagenes and 
Chariclea falling into their hands, Thyamis fell desperately in 
love with the lady, and would have married her. Soon after, 
a stronger body of robbers coming down upon Tiiyamis's party, 
he was in such fears for his mistress, that he had her shut into a 
cave with his treasure. It was customary with those barbarians, 

VOL. V, D D 


That sometime savours nobly ? But hear me this : 
Since you to non-regardance cast my faith, 
And that I partly know the instrument 
That screws me from my true place 9 in your favour, 
Live you, the marble-breasted tyrant, still ; 
But this your minion, whom, I know, you love, 
And whom, by heaven I swear, I tender dearly, 
Him will I tear out of that cruel eye, 
Where he sits crowned in his master's spite. 
Come boy, with me j my thoughts are ripe in mis- 

Til sacrifice the lamb that I do love, 
To spite a raven's heart within a dove. [Going. 

Vio. And I, most jocund, apt, and willingly, 
To do you rest, a thousand deaths would die. 


OLI. Where goes Cesario ? 

Vio. After him I love, 

More than I love these eyes, more than my life, 
More, by all mores, than e'er I shall love wife : 
If I do feign, you witnesses above, 
Punish my life, for tainting of my love ! 

OLI. Ah me, detested ! how am I beguil'd ! 

Vio. Who does beguile you ? who does do you 
wrong ? 

when they despaired of their otvn safety, Jlrst to make away 
ivith those tvhom they held dear, and desired for companions in 
the next life. Thyamis, therefore, benetted round with his 
enemies, raging with love, jealousy, and anger, went to his 
cave ; and calling aloud in the Egyptian tongue, so soon as he 
heard himself answered towards the cave's mouth by a Grecian, 
making to the person by the direction of her voice, he caught 
her by the hair with his left hand, and (supposing her to be 
Chariclea) with his right hand plunged his sword into her breast. 


* That screws me from my true place ] So, in Macbeth .* 
" But screio your courage to the sticking-place." 


sc. /. WHAT YOU WILL. 403 

OLI. Hast thou forgot thyself ? Is it so long? 
Call forth the holy father. [Exit an Attendant. 

DUKE. Come away. [To VIOLA. 

OLI. Whither my lord? Cesario, husband, stay. 

DUKE. Husband? 

OLI. Ay, husband; Can he that deny? 

DUKE. Her husband, sirrah? 

Vio. No, my lord, not I. 

OLI. Alas, it is the baseness of thy fear, 
That makes thee strangle thy propriety : l 
Fear not, Cesario, take thy fortunes up ; 
Be that thou know'st thou art, and then thou art 
As great as that thou fear'st. O, welcome, father! 

He-enter Attendant and Priest. 

Father, I charge thee, by thy reverence, 
Here to unfold (though lately we intended 
To keep in darkness, what occasion now 
Reveals before 'tis ripe,) what thou dost know, 
Hath newly past between this youth and me. 

PRIEST. A contract of eternal bond of love, 2 
Confirmed by mutual joinder of your hands, 
Attested by the holy close of lips, 

1 strangle thy propriety :] Suppress, or disown thy pro- 
perty. MALONE. 

So, in Macbeth : 

" And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp." 


s A contract of eternal bond of love,] So, in A Midsummer 
Night's Dream: 

" The sealing day between my love and me, 
" For everlasting bond of fellowship" MALONE. 

D D 2 


Strengthen'd by interchangement of your rings ; 3 
And all the ceremony of this compact 
Seal'd in my function, by my testimony : 
Since when, my watch hath told me, toward my 

I have travelled but two hours. 

DUKE. O, thou dissembling cub ! what wilt 

thou be, 

When time hath sow'd a grizzle on thy case ? 4 
Or will not else thy craft so quickly grow, 
That thine own trip shall be thine overthrow ? 
Farewell, and take her ; but direct thy feet, 
Where thou and I henceforth may never meet. 

Vio. My lord, I do protest, 

OLI. O, do not swear ; 

Hold little faith, though thou hast too much fear. 

interchangement of your rings ;~j In our ancient mar- 
riage ceremony, the man received as well as gave a ring. This 
custom is exemplified by the following circumstance in Thomas 
Lupton's First BooJce of Notable Things, 4. bl. 1 : " If a marryed 
man bee let or hyndered through mchauntment, sorcery, or 
witchcraft, from the acte of generation, let him make water 
through his maryage ring, and he shall be loosed from the 
same, and their doinges shall have no further power in him." 


4 case ?~\ Case is a word used contemptuously for skin. 
We yet talk of a fox-case, meaning the stuffed skin of a fox. 


So, in Gary's Present State of England, 1626: " Queen 
Elizabeth asked a knight named Young, how he liked a com- 
pany of brave ladies ? He answered, as I like my silver-haired 
conies at home : the cases are far better than the bodies." 


The same story perhaps was not unknown to Burton, who, 
in his Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 480, has the 
following passage : " For generally, as with rich furred conies, 
their cases are farre better than their bodies," &c. STEEVENS. 

sc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. 4O5 

Enter Sir ANDREW AGUE-CHEEK, with his head 

SIR AND. For the love of God, a surgeon; send 
one presently to Sir Toby. 

OLI. What's the matter ? 

SIR AND. He has broke my head across, and has 
given sir Toby a bloody coxcomb too : for the love 
of God, your help : I had rather than forty pound, 
I were at home. 

OLI. Who has done this, sir Andrew ? 

SIR AND. The count's gentleman, one Cesario : 
we took him for a coward, but he's the very devil 

DUKE. My gentleman, Cesario ? 

SIR AND. Od's lifelings, here he is : You broke 
my head for nothing ; and that that I did, I was 
set on to do't by sir Toby. 

Vio. Why do you speak to me? I never hurt you: 
You drew your sword upon me, without cause ; 
But I bespake you fair, and hurt you not. 

SIR AND. If a bloody coxcomb be a hurt, you 
have hurt me j I think, you set nothing by a bloody 

Enter Sir TOBY BELCH, drunk, led ly the Clown. 

Here comes sir Toby halting, you shall hear more: 
but if he had not been in drink, he would have 
tickled you othergates than he did. 

DUKE. How now, gentleman ? how is't with 

SIR To. That's all one ; he has hurt me, and 


there's the end on't. Sot, did'st see Dick surgeon, 

CLO. O he's drunk, sir Toby, an hour agone j 
his eyes were set at eight i'the morning. 

SIR To. Then he's a rogue. After a passy-mea- 
sure, or a pavin, 5 I hate a drunken rogue. 

* Then he's a rogue. After a pas&y-measure, or a pavin, &c.] 
The old copy reads " and a passy measures panyn." As the u 
in this word is reversed, the modern editors have been contented 
to read " past-measure painim." 

A passy-measure pavin may, however, mean a pavin danced 
out of time. Sir Toby might call the surgeon by this title, be- 
cause he was drunk at a time when he should have been sober, 
and in a condition to attend on the wounded knight. 

This dance, called the pavyn, is mentioned by Beaumont and 
Fletcher, in The Mad Lover : 

" I'll pipe* him such a pavan" 

And, in Stephen Gosson's School of Abuse, containing a pleasant 
invective against poets, pipers, &c. 15/p, it is enumerated as 
follows, among other dances : 

" Dumps, pavins, galliards, measures, fancyes, or newe 


I do not, at last, see how the sense will completely quadrate on 
the present occasion. Sir W. D'Avenant, in one of' his inter- 
ludes, mentions " a doleful pavin." In The Cardinal, by 
Shirley, l6'52: " Who then shall dance the pavin with Osorio?" 
Again, in 'Tis Pity she's a Whore, by ford, 1633 : " I have 
seen an ass and a mule trot the Spanish pavin with a better 
grace." Lastly, in ShadwelPs Virtuoso, 16/6 : " A grave pavin 
or aluiain, at which the bJack Tarantula only moved; it danced 
to it with a kind of grave motion much like the benchers at the 
revels." STEEVENS. 

Bailey's Dictionary says, pavan is the lowest sort of instru- 
mental music ; and when this play was written, the pavin and 
the passamezzo might be in vogue only with the vulgar, as with 
Falstaff and Doll Tearsheet; and hence Sir Toby may mean 
he is a rogue, and a mean low fellow. TOLLET. 

Ben Jonson also mentions the pavin, and calls it a Spanish 
dance, Alchemist, p. 97, [Whalley's edition] ; but it seems to 
come originally from Padua, and should rather be written 
pa-cane, as a corruption of paduana. A dance of that name 

sc. /. WHAT YOU WILL. 407 

OLL Away with him: Who hath made this ha- 
vock with them ? 

(saltatio paduana) occurs in an old writer, quoted by the 
annotator on Rabelais, B. V. c. 30. 

Passy measures is undoubtedly a corruption, but I know not 
how it should be rectified. TYRWHITT. 

The pavan, from pavo a peacock, is a grave and majestick 
dance. The method of dancing it was anciently by gentlemen 
dressed with a cap and sword, by those of the long robe in their 
gowns, by princes in their mantles, and by ladies in gowns with 
long trains, the motion whereof in the dance resembled that of 
a peacock's tail. This dance is supposed to have been invented 
by the Spaniards, and its figure is given with the characters for 
the step, in the Orchesographia of Thoinet Arbeau. Every 
pavin has its galliard, a lighter kind of air, made out of the 
former. The courant, the jig, and the hornpipe, are sufficiently 
known at this day. 

Of the passamezzo little is to be said, except that it was a 
favourite air in the days of Queen Elizabeth. Ligon, in his 
History of Barbadoes, mentions a passamezzo galliard, which in 
the year l6'47> a Padre in that island played to him on the lute; 
the very same, he says, with an air of that kind which in Shak- 
speare's play of Henry IV. was originally played to Sir John Fal- 
staff and Doll Tearsheet, by Sneak, the musician, there named. 
This little anecdote Ligon might have by tradition; but his con- 
clusion, that because it was played in a dramatic representation 
of the history of Henry IV. it must be so ancient as his time, is 
very idle and injudicious. Passy-measure is therefore undoubt- 
edly a corruption from passamezzo. SIR J. HAWKINS. 

With the help of Sir John Hawkins's explanation of passy- 
measure, 1 think I now see the meaning of this passage. The 
second folio reads after a passy measures pavin. So that I 
should imagine the following regulation of the whole speech 
would not be far from the truth : 

Then he's a rogue. After a passy -measure or a pavin, I hate a 
drunken rogue, i. e. next to a passy measure or a pavin, &c. It 
is in character, that Sir Toby should express a strong dislike of 
serious dances, such as the passamezzo and the pavan are described 
to be. TYRWHITT. 

From what has been stated, I think, it is manifest that Sir 
Toby means only by this quaint expression, that the surgeon is 
a rogue, and a grave solemn coxcomb. It is one of Shakspeare's 


SIR AND. I'll help you, sir Toby, because we'll 
be dressed together. 

SIR To. Will you help an ass-head, and a cox- 
comb, and a knave ? a thin-faced knave, a gull ? 6 

OLI. Get him to bed, and let his hurt be look'd 

\_Exeunt Clown, Sir TOBY, and Sir ANDREW. 


SEB. I am sorry, madam, I have hurt^your kins- 
man ; 
But, had it been the brother of my blood, 

unrivalled excellencies, that his characters are always consistent. 
Even in drunkenness they preserve the traits which distinguished 
them when sober. Sir Toby, in the first Act of this play, shewed 
himself well acquainted with the various kinds of the dance. 

The editor of the second folio, who, when he does not under- 
stand any passage, generally cuts the knot, instead of untying 
it, arbitrarily reads " after a passy-measures pavyn I hate a 
drunken rogue." In the same manner, in the preceding speech, 
not thinking " an hour agone" good English, he reads " O 
he's drunk, Sir Toby, above an hour agone." There is scarcely 
a page of that copy in which similar interpolations may not be 
found. MALONE. 

I have followed Mr. Tyrwhitt's regulation, which appears to 
be well founded on one of the many judicious corrections that 
stamp a value on the second folio. STEEVENS. 

6 an ass-head, and a coxcomb, &c.] I believe, Sir 

Toby means to apply all these epithets either to the surgeon or 
Sebastian ; and have pointed the passage accordingly. It has 
been hitherto printed, " Will you help an ass-head," c. but 
why should Sir Toby thus unmercifully abuse himself? 


As I cannot help thinking that Sir Toby, out of humour with 
himself, means to discharge these reproaches on the officious Sir 
Andrew, who also needs the surgeon's help, I have left the pas- 
sage as I found it. Mr. Malone points it thus : " Will you help? 
An ass-head," &c. ! STEEVENS. 

sc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. 409 

I must have done no less, with wit, and safety. 
You throw a strange regard upon me, and 
By that I do perceive it hath offended you ; 
Pardon me, sweet one, even for the vows 
We made each other but so late ago. 

DUKE. One face, one voice, one habit, and two 

persons ; 
A natural perspective, 7 that is, and is not. 

SEE. Antonio, O my dear Antonio ! 
How have the hours rack'd and tortur'd me, 
Since I have lost thee. 

ANT. Sebastian are you ? 

7 A natural perspective,] A perspective seems to be taken 
for shows exhibited through a glass with such lights as make the 
pictures appear really protuberant. The Duke therefore says, 
that nature has here exhibited such a show, where shadows seem 
realities ; where that which is not appears like that which is. 


I apprehend this may be explained by a quotation from a 
duodecimo book called Humane Industry, l66l, p. 76 and 77 : 
" It is a pretty art that in a pleated paper and table furrowed 
or indented, men make one picture to represent several faces 
that being viewed from one place or standing, did shew the 
head of a Spaniard, and from another, the head of an ass." 
" A picture of a chancellor of France presented to the common 
beholder a multitude of little faces ; but if one did look on it 
through a perspective, there appeared only the single pourtraic- 
ture of the chancellor himself." Thus that, which is, is not, or 
in a different position appears like another thing. This seems 
also to explain a passage in King Henry V. Act V. sc. ii : " Yes, 
my lord, you see them perspectively, the cities turned into u 
maid." TOLLET. 

I believe Shakspeare meant nothing more by this natural per- 
spective, than a reflection from a glass or mirror. M. MASON. 

Perspective certainly means a glass used for optical delusion, 
or a glass generally. In Franck's Northern Memoirs, p. lo, 
Theophilus, one of the discoursers, says " he that reads his 
own heart without a perspective, reads all the world." The 
book was written in 16'58. DOUCE. 


SEB. Fear'st thou that, Antonio ? 

ANT. How have you made division of yourself ? 
An apple, cleft in two, is not more twin 
Than these two creatures. Which is Sebastian ? 

OLI. Most wonderful ! 

SEB. Do I stand there ? I never had a brother : 
Nor can there be that deity in my nature, 
Of here and every where. I had a sister, 
Whom the blind waves and surges have devoured : 
Of charity, 8 what kin are you to me? [To VIOLA. 
What countryman ? what name ? what parentage ? 

Vio. Of Messaline : Sebastian was my father ; 
Such a Sebastian was my brother too, 
So went he suited to his watery tomb : 
If spirits can assume both form and suit 
You come to fright us. 

SEB. A spirit I am, indeed ; 

But am in that dimension grossly clad, 
Which from the womb I did participate. 
W T ere you a woman, as the rest goes even, 
I should my tears let fall upon your cheek, 
And say Thrice welcome, drowned Viola ! 

Vio. My father had a mole upon his brow. 

SEB. And so had mine. 

Vio. And died that day when Viola from her birth 
Had number* d thirteen years. 

SEB. O, that record is lively in my soul ! 
He finished, indeed, his mortal act, 
That day that made my sister thirteen years. 

8 Of charity,] i. e. out of charity, tell me, &c. So, in The 
Taming of the Shreiv: 

" Now, let him speak ; 'tis charity, to show," &c. 


sc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. 411 

Fro. If nothing lets to make us happy both, 
But this my masculine usurp'd attire, 
Do not embrace me, till each circumstance 
Of place, time, fortune, do cohere, and jump, 
That I am Viola : which to confirm, 
1*11 bring you to a captain in this town, 
Where lie my maiden weeds ; by whose gentle help 
I was preserv'd, to serve this noble count : 
All the occurrence 9 of my fortune since 
Hath been between this lady, and this lord. 

SEB. So comes it, lady, you have been mistook : 


But nature to her bias drew in that. 
You would have been contracted to a maid ; 
Nor are you therein, by my life, deceiv'd, 
You are betroth'd both to a maid and man. 

DUKE. Be not amaz'd; right noble is his blood. 
If this be so, as yet the glass seems true, 
I shall have share in this most happy wreck : 
Boy, thou hast said to me a thousand times, 

Thou never should'st love woman like to me. 

Vio. And all those sayings will I over-swear j 
And all those swearings keep as true in soul, 
As doth that orbed continent the fire 
That severs day from night. 

DUKE. Give me thy hand ; 

And let me see thee in thy woman's weeds. 

F/o.The captain,that did bring me first on shore, 
Hath my maid's garments : he, upon some action, 
Is now in durance ; at Malvolio's suit, 
A gentleman, and follower of my lady's. 

9 occurrence ] I believe our author wrote occurrenis. 



OLI. He shall enlarge him: Fetch Malvolio 

hither : 

And yet, alas, now I remember me, 
They say, poor gentleman, he's much distract. 

Re-enter Clown, with a letter. 

A most extracting frenzy 1 of mine own 
From my remembrance clearly banish'd his. 
How does he, sirrah ? 

CLO. Truly, madam, he holds Belzebub at the 
stave's end, as well as a man in his case may do : 
he has here writ a letter to you, I should have 
given it you to-day morning ; but as a madman's 
epistles are no gospels, so it skills not much, when 
they are delivered. 

OLI. Open it, and read it. 

CLO. Look then to be well edified, when the fool 
delivers the madman : By the Lord, madam, 

OLI. How now ! art thou mad ? 

CLO. No, madam, I do but read madness : an 
your ladyship will have it as it ought to be, you 
must allow 

1 A most extracting frenzy ] i. e. a frenzy that drew me 
away from every thing but its own object. WARBUHTON. 

So, William de Wyrcester, speaking of King Henry VI. says : 
" subito cecidit in gravem injirmitatem capitis, ita quod ex- 
tractus d mente videbatur." STEEVENS. 

I formerly supposed that Shakspeare wrote distracting; but 
have since met with a passage in The Historic of Hamblet, bl. 1. 
1608, sig. C 2, that seems to support the reading of the old 
copy : " to try if men of great account be extract out of their 
wits." MA LONE. 

* you must allow vox.] I am by no means certain that 

I understand this passage, which, indeed, the author of The 

sc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. 41 s 

OLI. Pr'ythee, read i'thy right wits. 

CLO. So I do, madonna ; but to read his right 
wits, 3 is to read thus : therefore perpend, my prin- 
cess, and give ear. 

OLI. Read it you, sirrah. [To FABIAN. 

FAB. [reads.] By the Lord, madam, you wrong 
me, and the world shall know it: though you have 
put me into darkness, and given your drunken cousin 
rule over me, yet have I the benefit of my senses as 
well as your ladyship. I have your own letter that 
induced me to the semblance I put on; with the 
which I doubt not but to do myself much right, or 
you much shame. Think of me as you please. I 
leave my duty a little unthought of, and speak out of 
my injury. The madly-used Malvolio. 

OLI. Did he write this ? 

CLO. Ay, madam. 

DUKE. This savours not much of distraction. 

Revised pronounces to have no meaning. I suppose the Clown 
begins reading the letter in some fantastical manner, on which 
Olivia asks him, if he is mad. No, madam, says he, / do but 
barely deliver the sense of this madman's epistle; if you would 
have it read as it ought to be, that is, with such a frantic accent 
and gesture as a madman would read it, you must allow vox, 
i. e. you must furnish the reader with a voice, or, in other words, 
read it yourself. But Mr. Malone's explanation, I think, is pre- 
ferable to mine. STEEVENS. 

The Clown, we may presume, had begun to read the letter in 
a very loud tone, and probably with extravagant gesticulation. 
Being reprimanded by his mistress, he justifies himself by saying, 
If you would have it read in character, as such a mud epistle 
ought to be read, you must permit me to assume a frantick tone. 


3 but to read his right wits,'] To represent his present 

state of mind, is to read a madman's letter, as I now do, like a 
madman. JOHNSON. 


OLI. See him deliver J d, Fabian; bring him hither. 

[Exit FABIAN. 
My lord, so please you, these things further thought 


To think me as well a sister as a wife, 
One day shall crown the alliance on't,so please you, 4 
Here at my house, and at my proper cost. 

DUKE. Madam, I am most apt to embrace your 

Your master quits you; [To VIOLA.] and, for your 

service done him, 

So much against the mettle of your sex, 5 
So far beneath your soft and tender breeding, 
And since you calTd me master for so long, 
Here is my hand ; you shall from this time be 
Your master's mistress. 

OLI. A sister ? you are she. 

Re-enter FABIAN, with MALVOLIO. 
DUKE. Is this the madman ? 

* One day shall croivn the alliance on't, so please you,] Th? 
word ow'f, in this place, is mere nonsense. I doubt not the poet 
wrote : 

" an't, so please you." HEATH. 

Tliis is well conjectured ; but on't may relate to the double 
character of sister and wife. JOHNSON. 

5 So muck against the mettle of your sex,~\ So much against 
the weak frame and constitution of woman. Mettle is used by 
our author in many other places for spirit ; and as spirit may be 
either high or low, mettle seems here to signify natural timidity^ 
or deficiency of spirit. Shakspeare has taken the same licence in 
All's ivell that ends well: 

" 'Tis only title thou disdain'st in her ." 
i. e. the tnant of title. Again, in King Richard III: 

" The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant's life %** 
that is, the remission of the forfeit. MALONE. 

sc. i. WHAT YOU WILL. 

OLI. Ay, my lord, this same : 

How now, Malvolio ? 

MAL. Madam, you have done me wrong, 

Notorious wrong. 

OLI. Have I, Malvolio ? no. 

MAL. Lady, you have. Pray you, peruse that 

letter : 

You must not now deny it is your hand, 
Write from it, if you can, in hand, or phrase ; 
Or say, 'tis not your seal, nor your invention : 
You can say none of this : Well, grant it then, 
And tell me, in the modesty of honour, 
Why you have given me sucn clear lights of favour ; 
Bade me come smiling, and cross-garter'd to you, 
To put on yellow stockings, and to frown 
Upon sir Toby, and the lighter 6 people : 
And, acting this in an obedient hope, 
Why have you suffered me to be imprison'd, 
Kept in a dark house, visited by the priest, 
And made the most notorious geek, 7 and gull, 
That e'er invention play'd on ? tell me why. 

OLI. Alas, Malvolio, this is not my writing, 

* lighter ] People of less dignity or importance. 


7 geek,"] A fool. JOHNSON. 

So, in the vision at the conclusion of Cymbeline: 
" And to become the geek and scorn 

" Of th' other's villainy." 

Again, in Ane verie excellent and delectabill Treatise intittdit 
PHILOTUS, &c. 1603 : 

" Thocht he be auld, my joy, quhat reck, 
" When he is gane give him ane geek, 
" And take another be the neck." 
Again : 

" The carle that hecht sa weill to treat you, 
" I think sail get ane geek" STEEVENS. 


Though, I confess, much like the character : 

But, out of question, 'tis Maria's hand. 

And now I do bethink me, it was she 

First told me, thou wast mad; then cam'st in 

smiling, 8 

And in such forms which here were presuppos'd 9 
Upon thee in the letter. Pr'ythee, be content : 
This practice hath most shrewdly pass'd upon thee; 
But, when we know the grounds and authors of it, 
Thou shalt be both the plaintiff and the judge 
Of thine own cause. 

FAS. Good madam, hear me speak ; 

And let no quarrel, nor no brawl to come, 
Taint the condition of this present hour, 
Which I have wonder'd at. In hope it shall not, 
Most freely I confess, myself, and Toby, 
Set this device against Malvolio here, 
Upon some stubborn and uncourteous parts 
We had conceiv'd against him : l Maria writ 
The letter, at sir Toby's great importance ; 2 

8 then earnest in smiling,'] i. e. then, that thou cam'st in 

smiling. MALONE. 

I believe the lady means only what she has clearly expressed : 
" then thou earnest in smiling;" not that she had been 
informed of this circumstance by Maria. Maria's account, in 
short, was justified by the subsequent appearance of Malvolio. 


* here were presuppos'd ] Presupposed, for imposed. 


Presupposed rather seems to mean previously pointed out for 
thy imitation ; or such as it was supposed thou would'st assume 
after thou hadst read the letter. The supposition was previous. 
to the act. STEEVENS. 

1 Upon some stubborn and uncourteous parts 

We had conceiv'd against him :] Surely we should rather 
read conceiv'd in him. TYRWHITT. 

* at sir Toby's great importance ;] Importance is impor- 

tunacy, importunement. STEEVENS, 

sc. T. WHAT YOU WILL. 417 

In recompense whereof, he hath married her. 
How with a sportful malice it was follow'd, 
May rather pluck on laughter than revenge ; 
If that the injuries be justly weigh' d, 
That have on both sides past. 

OLI. Alas, poor fool ! 3 how have they baffled 
thee ! 4 

CLO. Why, some are born great, some achieve 
greatness, and some have greatness thrown upon 
them. I was one, sir, in this interlude j one sir 
Topas, sir ; but that's all one : By the Lord, fool, 
I am not mad ; But do you remember ? Madam? 
'why laugh you at such a barren rascal? an you 
smile not, he y s gagg'd : And thus the whirligig of 
time brings in his revenges. 

MAL. I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you. 


OLI. He hath been most notoriously abus'd. 

DUKE. Pursue him, andentreathimtoapeace: 6 
He hath not told us of the captain yet ; 

3 Alas, poor fool /] See notes on King Lear, Act V. sc. iii. 


4 how have they baffled thee !] See Mr. Toilet's note 

on a passage in the first scene of the first Act of King Richard II: 

" I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffled here." 


* But do you remember? Madam,"] The old copy points 
this passage erroneously : " But do you remember, madam," &c. 
I have followed the regulation proposed in the subsequent note. 


As the Clown is speaking to Malvolio, and not to Olivia, 
I think this passage should be regulated thus but do you- 
remember? Madam, why laugh you, &c. TYRWHITT. 

6 and entreat him to a peace :] Thus, in Fletcher's 

Ttvo Noble Kinsmen : 

" Go take her, 

" And fluently per suade her to a peace. 91 STEEVBXS. 

VOL. V. E E 


When that is known and golden time com vents, 7 
A solemn combination sfeaii be made 
Of our dear souls Mean time, sweet sister, 
We will not part from hence. Cesario, come ; 
For so you shall be, while yew are a man ; 
But, when in other habits you are seen, 
Orsino's mistress, and his fancy's queen. [Exeunt. 


CLO. When theft I was and n little tiny boyf 
With hey^ ho, he wind and the rain, 
A foolish thing was but a toy. 
For the ram it raineth every day. 

7 convents,] Perhaps we should read consents. To 
convent, however, is to assemble ; and therefore, the count may 
mean, when the happy hour calls us again together. STEEVENS. 

convents ,] i. e. shall serve, agree, t>e convenient. 


* When that J VMS and ,a -fettle tiny boy, &c.] Here again 
we have an old song, scarcely worth correction. 'Gainst knaves 
and thieves .must evidently he, against knave and thief. When 
I was a boy, my folly and mischievous actions were little re- 
garded ; .but when I came to manhood, men shut their gates 
against me, as a knave and a thief. 

Sir Thomas Hanmer rightly reduces the subsequent Tvords, 
beds and heads, to the singular number ; and a little alteration 
is still wanting at the beginning of some of the stanzas. 

Mr. Steevens observes in a note at the end of Much Ado about 
Nothing, that the play had formerly passed xtnder the name 'rtf 
Benedict and Beatrix. It 'seems 'to have been the court-fashion 
to alter the titles. A very ingenious lady, with whom I have 
the honour to be acquainted, Mrs. Askew, of Queen's Square, 
lias a 'fine copy of the second folio edition of Shakspeare, which 
formerly belonged to King Charles I. and was a present from 
him to Sir Thomas Herbert. Sir Thomas has altered five titles 
in the list of the plays, to " Benedick and Beatrice, Pyramus 
and Thisby, Rosalinde, Mr. Paroles, and Malvolio." 

It is lamentable to see how far party and prejudice will carry 
the wisest men, even against their own practice and opinions. 

sc. /. WHAT YOU WILL. 419 

But wiien I came to man's estate, 
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 

'Gainst knave and thief men shut their gate,, 
For the rain it raineth every day. 

But wfien I came, alas ! to wive, 
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 

By swaggering could I never thrive, 
For the rain it raineth every day. 

But when I came unto my bed, 

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 

With toss-pots still had drunken head, 
For the rain it raineth every day. 

A great while .ago the world begun, 
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 

But that's all one, our play is done, 
And we'll strive to please you every day. 


Milton, in his E;fcevojtAa<r7& censures King Charles for reading 
" one whom (says he) we well knew was -the closet companion 
of his solitudes, William Shakspeare." FARMER. 

I have followed the regulations proposed by Sir T. Hanmer 
and Dr. Farmer ; and consequently, instead of knaves, thieves, 
bed.?, and heads, have printed " knave, thief," &c. 

Dr. Farmer might have observed, that the alterations of the 
titles are in his Majesty's own hand-writing, materially differing 
from Sir Thomas Herbert's, of which the same volume affords 
more than one specimen. I learn from another manuscript note 
in it, that John Loivine acted King Henry VIII. and John 
Taylor the part of Hamlet. The book is now in my possession. 

To the concluding remark of Dr. Farmer, may be added the 
following passage from An Appeal to all rational Men concerning 
King Charles's Trial, by John Cooke, l6'49 : " Had he but 
studied scripture half so much as Ben Jonson or Shakspeare, he 
might have learnt that when Amaziah was settled in the king- 
dom, he suddenly did justice upon those servants which killed 

420 TWELFTH-NIGHT : &c. 

his father Joash," &c. With this quotation I was furnished by 
Mr. Malone. 

A quarto volume of plays attributed to Shakspeare, with the 
cypher of King Charles II. on the back of it, is preserved in 
Mr. Garrick's collection. 

Though we are well convinced that Shakspeare has written 
slight ballads for the sake of discriminating characters more 
strongly, or for other necessary purposes, in the course of his 
mixed dramas, it is scarce credible, that after he had cleared his 
stage, he should exhibit his Clown afresh, and with so poor a 
recommendation as this song, which is utterly unconnected with 
the subject of the preceding comedy. I do not therefore he- 
sitate to call the nonsensical ditty before us, some buffoon 
actor's composition, which was accidentally tacked to the 
Prompter's copy of Twelfth-Night, having been casually sub- 
joined to it for the diversion, or at the call, of the lowest order 
of spectators. In the year 1766, I saw the late Mr. Weston 
summoned out and obliged to sing Johnny Pringle and his Pig, 
after the performance of Voltaire's Mahvmet, at the Theatre 
Royal in Drury-Lane. STEEVENS. 

The copy of the second folio of Shakspeare, which formerly 
belonged to King Charles, and mentioned in the preceding notes, 
is now in the library of his present Majesty, who has corrected a 
mistake of Dr. Farmer's, relative to Sir Thomas Herbert, inad- 
vertently admitted by Mr. Steevens, but here omitted. REED. 

This play is in the graver part elegant and easy, and in some 
of the lighter scenes exquisitely humorous. Ague-cheek is 
drawn with great propriety, but his character is, in a great 
measure, that of natural fatuity, and is therefore not the proper 
prey of a satirist. The soliloquy of Malvolio is truly comic ; 
tie is betrayed to ridicule merely by his pride. The marriage 
of Olivia, and the succeeding perplexity, though well enough 
contrived to divert on the stage, wants credibility, and fails to 
produce the proper instruction required in the drama, as it ex- 
hibits no just picture of life. JOHNSON. 


T. r>V!V)i). Loirihrtrd-stre 
Wtiitefriar, London. 


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