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mand that truly which thou would'st truly know 3. What a devil halt thou to do with the time of the day! unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, and clocks the tongues of bawds, and dials the signs of leapinghouses, and the blessed sun himself a fair hot wench in fiame-coloured taffata ; I see no reason, why thou should'st be so superfluous to demand the time of the day.
Fal. Indeed, you come near me now, Hal: for we, that take purses, go by the moon and seven stars; and not by Phebus, he, that wandering knight so fair 4. And, I pray thee, sweet wag, when thou art king,-as, God fave thy grace, (majesty, I should say; for grace thou wilt have none,)
P. Hen. What! none ?
Fal. No, by my troth; not so much as will serve to be prologue to an egg and butter.
P. Hen. Well, how then ? come, roundly, roundly. Fal. Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art king, let not us, that are squires of the night's body, be call'd thieves of the day's beauty '; let us be
3 - to demand tbat truly which thou would'A truly know.) The prince's objection to the question seems to be, that Falstaff bad asked in the nigbe what was the time of day. JOHNSON.
This cannot be well received as the objection of the prince ; for prelently after, the prince himself says: “ Good morrow, Ned," and Poins replies: “ Good morrow, sweet lad." The truth may be, that when Shakspeare makes the Prince with Poins a good morrow, he had forgot that the scene commenced at night. STEEVENS.
* Phæbus,-he, that wandering knigbe s fair.) Falstaff starts the idea of Phæbus, i. e. the fun; but deviates into an allusion to El Donzel del Febo, the knight of the fun, in a Spanish romance translated (under the title of the Mirror of Knighthood, &c.) during the age of Shakspeare. This illustrious personage was “ most excellently faire,” and a great wanderer, as those who travel after him through three thick volumes in quarto, will discover. Perhaps the words “ that wandering knight so fair “ are part of some forgotten ballad, the subject of this marvellous hero's adventures. In Peele's 0.d Wives Tale, Com. 1595, Eumenedes, ebe wandering knigbt, is a character. STEEVENS.
5- let not us, that are squires of tbe nigbt's body, be called obieves of sbe day's beauty ; ] I believe our poet by the expression, thieves of ibe day's beauty, meant only, let not us, who are body Squires to tbe night, 1. t. adorn the night, be called a disgrace re ibe day. To take away
Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon: And let men say, we be men of good government; being govern'd as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress thc moon, under whose countenance we-steal.
P. Hen. Thou say'st well; and it holds well too: for the fortune of us, that are the moon's men, doth ebb and flow like the sea : being govern'd as the sea is, by the moon. As, for proof, now: A purse of gold molt resolutely snatch'd on Monday night, and most diffolutely spent on Tuesday morning; got with swearing-lay by? ; and spent with crying-bring in: now, in as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder; and, by and by, in as high a flow as the ridge of the gallows.
Fal. By the lord, thou say'st true, lad. And is not my hostess of the tavern a most sweet wencho?
P. Hen. the beauty of the day, may probably mean, to disgrace it. A Squire of the body fignified originally, the attendant on a knight; the perfon who bore his head-piece, spear, and field. It became afterwards the cant term for a pimp; and is so used in the second part of Decker's Honeft Whore, 1630. Again in the Witry Fair One, 1633, for a procuress : “ Here comes the squire of her mistress's body.” Falstaff, bow. ever, puns upon the word knight. See Curialia of Samuel Pegge Esqr. Part I. p. 100.
STEEVENS. 6 - Diana's forefters,–] We learn from Hall, that certain persons who appeared as forefters in a pageant exhibited in the reign of King Henry VIII. were called Diana's knights. MALONE.
7. – Swearing-lay by;] i. e. swearing at the passengers hey robbed, lay by your arms; or rather lay by was a phrase that then signified fland fill , addressed to those who were preparing to rush forward. Ware.
and spent with crying, bring in : ] i. e. more wine. Malone.
And is not mine bofless of the tavern &c.] We meet with the fame kind of humour as is contained in this and the three following speeches, in the Mostellaria of Plautus, A&. I. sc. ii.
“ Jampridem ecastor frigidâ non lavi magis lubenter,
“ Nec unde me melius, mea Scapha, rear effe defæcatam.
In the want of connection to what went before, probably consists the humour of the prince's question. STEEVEN S.
This kind of humour is often met with in old plays. In the Gallaebea of Lilly, Phillida says, “ It is a pittie that nature framed you not
P. Hen. As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the caitle'. And is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of durance ??
Fal. " Gall. There is a tree in Tylos, &c. “ Pbill. What a toy it is to tell me of that tree, being nothing to the purpose, &c." Ben Jonson calls it a game at vapours. FARMER.
! As obe buney of Hybla, my old lad of the castle.] Sir John Oldcastle was not a character ever introduced by Shakspeare, nor did he ever occupy the place of Falstaff. The play, in which Oldcaftle's name occurs, was not the work of our poet.-old lad is a familiar compellation to be found in some of our most ancient dramatick pieces. So, in the Trial of Treasure, 1567: “What, Inclination, old lad art thou there !” In the dedication to Gabriel Harvey's Hunt is up &c. by T. Nash, 1598, old Dick of the castle is mentioned. Again, in Pierce's Supererogation, or a New Praise of tbe Old Affe, 1593:
" and here's a lufty ladd of the castell, that will binde beares, and ride golden affes to death." STEEVENS.
Old lad of tbe castle, is the same with Old lad of Caffile, a Castilian.
“ Did you never see
« Did tell you truly what this bonour was?" FARMER.
From the following passage in Tbe Meeting of Gollants at an Ordinaire, or tbe Walkes in Powles, quarto, 1604, it appears that Sir John Oldcastle was represented on the stage as a very fat man (certainly not in the play printed with that title in 1600):--- Now, figniors, how like you mine host? did I not tell you he was a madde round knave and a merrie one too ? and if you chaunce to talke of faste Sir John Oldcastle, he will tell you, he was his great grand
Fal. How now, how now, mad wag! what, in thy quips, and thy quiddities? what a plague have I to do with a buff jerkin?
P. Hen. father, and not much unlike him in pauneb."-The hoft, who is here described, returns to the gallants, and entertains them with telling them stories. After his first tale, he says: “ Nay gallants, I'll fit you, and now I will serve in another, as good as vinegar and pepper to your roast beefe."-Signor Kickshawe replies: " Let's have it, let's taste on it, mine hoft, my noble fat actor."
The cause of all the confusion relative to these two characters, and of the tradition mentioned by Mr. Rowe, that our author changed the name from Oldcaftle to Falstaff, (to which I do not give the imallest credit,) seems to have been this. Shakspeare appears evidently to have caught the idea of the character of Falftaft from a wretched play en. titled The famous Viktories of King Henry V. (which had been ex. hibited before 1589,) in which Henry prince of Wales is a principal character. He is accompanied in his revels and his robberies by Sir John Oldeafie, (“ a pamper'd glutton, and a debauchee," as he is called in a piece of that age,) who appears to be the character alluded to in the paliage above quoted from The Meeting of Gallanis, &c. To this character undoubtedly it is that Fuller alludes in his Cburch History, 1656, when he says, “ Stage poets have themselves been very bold with, and others very merry at, the memory of Sir John Oldcaftle, whom they have fancied a boon companion, a jovial royster, and a coward to boot." Speed in his Hißory, which was first published in 1611, alludes both to this “ boon companion” of the anonymous K. Henry V. and to the Sir John Oldcastle exhibited in a play of the same name, which was printed in 1600 : “ The author of the Tbree Conversions hath made Oldcafle a ruffian, a robber, and a rebel, and his authority taken from the ji age players.". Oldcastle is represented as a rebel in the play last mentioned alone ; in the former play as “ a ruffian and a robber."
Shakspeare probably never intended to ridicule the real Sir John Oldcastle, lord Cobham, in any respeet ; but thought proper to make Falftaff, in imitation of his proto-type, the Oldcattle of the old King Henry V. a mad round knave also. From the first appearance of our author's King Henry IV. the old play in which Sir John Oldcastle had been exhibited, (which was printed in 1598,) was probably never performed. Hence, I conceive, it is, that Fuller says, “ Sir John Falstaff has relieved the memory of Sir John Oldcastle, and of late is subjiiTuted buffoon in his place ;" which being misunderstood, probably gave rise to the story, that Shakspeare changed the name of his character.
A pasage in his Wortbies, folio, 1662, p. 253, Thews his meaning ftill more clearly; and will serve at the same time to point out the source of the mistakes on this subject." Sir John Fastolfe, knight, was a native of this county (Norfolk]. To avouch bim by many arguments valiant, is to maintain that the sun is bright; though, fince,
P. Hen. Why, what a pox have I to do with my hostess of the tavern?
Fal. the stage has been over-bold with h's memory, making him a Thralenical puff, and emblem of mock valour.- True it is, Sir John Oldwafle did forf bear the brunt of the one, being made the makesport in al plays for a coward. It is easily known out of what purse this Hack peony came. The papists railing on him for a heretick; and therefore he must be also a coward : though indeed he was a man of arms, every inch of him, and as valiant as any of his age.
« Now as I am glad that Sir Joba Oldcastle is put out, so I am sorry that Sir Joba Faftelfe is pue in, to relieve his memory in this base service; to be the anvil for every dull wit to strike upon. Nor is our czedian excusable by some alteration of his name, writing him Sir John Falftafe, (and making him the property and pleasure of King Henry V. to abuse,) seeing the vicinity of sounds intrench on the memory of that worthy knight."
Here we see the affertion is, not that Sir John Oldeafle did firx bear the brunt in Sbakspeare's play, but in all plays, that is, on the itage in general, before Shakipeare's character had appeared ; owing to the malevolence of papists, of which religion it is plain Fuller supposed the writers of those plays in which Oldcaftie was exhibited, to have been ; nor does he complain of Shakspeare's altering the name of his character from Oldcaftle to Falstaff, but of the metathesis of Foftolfe to Falstaff. Yet I have no doubt that the words above cited, “ put out" and "put in," and “ by some alteration of bis name,” that these words alone, mirunderstood, gave rise to the misapprehension that has prevailed fince the time of Mr Rowe, relative to this matter. For what is the plain meaning of Fuller's words ? " Sir John Fattolfe was in truth a very brave man, though he is now represented on the stage as a cowardly braggart. Before be was thus ridiculed, Sir John Oldcastle, being hated by the papists, was exhibited by popish writers, in all plays, as a coward. Since the new character of Falstaff has appeared, Oldcastle has no longer borne the brunt, has no longer been the object of ridicule : but, as on the one hand I am glad that “ his memory has been re. lieved,” that the plays in which he was represented have been expelled from the scene, so on the other, I am sorry that so respectable a character as Sir John Fastolfe has been brought on it, and “ substituted buffoon in his place”; for however our comick poet (Shakspeare] may bave hoped to escape ćenfure by a'tering the name from Fastolfe to Fala staff, he is certainly culpable, since some imputation must neceflarily fall on the brave knight of Norfolk from the fimilitude of the founds.”
Falftaff thus having grown out of, and immediately succeeding, the other character, (the Oldcastle of the old K. Henry V.) having one or two features in comma with him, and being bably represented in the same dress, and with the same fictitious belly, as his predecessor, the two names might have been indiscriminately used by Field and others, without any miitake, or intention to deceive. Perhaps, behind the scenes, in con