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Enter Falstaff, singing.
Host. Sick of a calm :' yea, good sooth.
Fal. So is all her sect;an they be once in a calm, they are sick.
8 When Arthur firs in court-] The entire ballad is published in
“ When Arthur first in court began,
“ And was approved king." Malone.
Seat is, I believe, right. Falstaff may mean all of her profession.
“ Sil. I am none of that feat.
“ Can. Thy loving feet is an ancient feat, and an honour-
Since the foregoing quotation was given, I have found feet fo
- Modesty was made
“ Made nature a blest founder."
“ Who, for that these barons so wrought a llaunder to her feet,
In Middleton's Mad World my Masters, 1608, (as Dr. Farmer
Dol. You muddy rascal, is that all the comfort you give me?
FAL. You make fat rascals, mistress Doll.
Dol. I make them! gluttony and diseases make them; I make them not.
Fal. If the cook help to make the gluttony, you help to make the diseases, Doll: we catch of you, Doll, we catch of you; grant that, my poor
Dol. Ay, marry; our chains, and our jewels. Fal. Your brooches, pearls, and owches;—for to
cunning for our feet to counterfeit fick, that are always full of fits, when we are well.” I have therefore no doubt that feet was licentiously used by our author, and his contemporaries, for sex.
MALONE. I believe feet is here used in its usual sense, and not for sex. Falstaff means to say, that all courtezans, when their trade is at a stand, are apt to be sick. Douce.
3 You make fat rascals,] Falstaff alludes to a phrase of the forest. Lean deer are called rascal deer. He tells her she calls him wrong, being fat he cannot be a rascal. JOHNSON.
So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Peftle: “ The heavy hart, the blowing buck, the rascal, and the pricket." Again, in The Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599:
“ What take you ?-Deer.—You'll ne'er strike rascal ?" Again, in Quarles's Virgin Widow, 1656:
and have known a rascal from a fat deer.” Rascall, (says Puttenham, p. 150,) is properly the hunting terme given to young deere, leane and out of seafon, and not to people." Steevens.
To grow fat and bloated, is one of the consequences of the venereal disease; and to that Falstaff probably alludes. There are other allusions in the following speeches, to the same disorder.
M. Mason. 4 Your brooches, pearls, and owches;] Brooches were chains of gold that women wore formerly about their necks.
Owches were bosses of gold set with diamonds. Pope.
I believe Falstaff gives these splendid names as we give that of carbuncle, to something very different from gems and ornaments : but the partage deserves not a laborious research. JOHNSON.
serve bravely, is to come halting off, you know: To come off the breach with his pike bent bravely, and to surgery bravely; to venture upon the charg'd chambers: bravely :
Brooches were, literally, clasps, or buckles, ornamented with gems. See note on Antony and Cleopatra, Act. IV. sc. xiii.
Mr. Pope has rightly interpreted owches in their original sense. So, in Nath's Lenten Stuff, &c. 1599;
-three scarfs, bracelets, chains, and ouches.' It appears likewise from a passage in the ancient satire called Cocke Lorelles Bote, printed by Wynkyn de Worde, that the makers of these ornaments were called owchers:
“ Owchers, skynners, and cutlers." Dugdale, p. 234, in his account of the will of T. de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, in the time of King Edward III. says: “ his jewels be thus disposed: to his daughter Stafford, an ouche called the eagle, which the prince gave him; to his daughter Alice, his next best ouche."
Your brooches, pearls, and owches, is, however, a line in an old song, but I forget where I met with it. Dr. Johnson's conjecture may be supported by a passage in The Widow's Tears, a comedy, by Chapman, 1612:
many aches in his bones, as there are ouches in his skin.” Again, in The Duke's Mistress, by Shirley, 1638, Valerio speaking of a lady's nose, says:
" It has a comely length, and is well studded
STEEVENS. appears from Stubbes's Anatomie of Abuses, 1595, that awches were worn by women in their hair, in Shakspeare's time. Dr. Johnson's conjecture, however, may be supported by the following passage in Maroccus Exftaticus, 1595: “Let him pass for a churle, and wear his mistress's favours, viz. rubies and precious stones, on his nose, &c; and this et cetera shall, if you will, be the perfecteft p- that ever grew in Shoreditch or Southwarke.” MALONE.
5 -the charg'd chambers-] To understand this quibble, it is necessary to say, that a chamber signifies not only an apartment, but a piece of ordnance. So, in The Fleire, a comedy, 1610:
- he has taught my ladies to make fireworks; they can deal in chambers already, as well as all the gunners that make them Aly off with a train at Lambeth, when the mayor and aldermen land at Westminster.” Again, in The Puritan, 1605:
- only your chambers are licensed to play upon you, and drabs enow to give fire to them,”
Dor. Hang yourself, you muddy conger, hang yourself!
Host. By my troth, this is the old fashion; you two never meet, but you fall to some discord: you are both, in good troth, as rheumatick' as two dry toasts ;6 you cannot one bear with another's confirmities. What the good-year!' one must bear, and that must be you: [To Doll.] you are the weaker vessel, as they say, the emptier veffel.
Doc. Can a weak empty vessel bear such a huge full hogshead? there's a whole merchant's venture of Bourdeaux stuff in him; you have not seen a
A chamber is likewise that part in a mine where the powder is lodged. STEEVENS.
Chambers are very small pieces of ordnance which are yet used in London, on what are called rejoicing days, and were sometimes used in our author's theatre on particular occafions. See King Henry VII. Act I. sc. iii. MALONE.
5- rheumatick-] She would say splenetic. HANMER.
I believe she means what she says. So, in Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour:
“ Cob. Why I have my rewme, and can be angry.” Again, in our author's King Henry V :
“ He did in some sort handle women; but then he was rhestmatick," &c.
Rheumatic, in the cant language of the times, fignified capricious, humoursome. In this sense it appears to be used in many other old plays. STEEVENS.
The word fcorbutico (as an ingenious friend observes to me) is used in the same manner in Italian, to signify a peevith ill-tempered man. MALONE.
Dr. Farmer observes, that Sir Tho. Elyout in his Caftell of Helth, 1572, speaking of different complexions has the following remark: " Where cold with moisture prevaileth, that body is called fleumatick." STEEVENS.
as two dry toasts;] Which cannot meet but they grate one another. JOHNSON.
-good-year!] Mrs. Quickly's blunder for goujere, i. e. morbus Gallicus. See Vol III. p. 349, n. 7. STEEVENS,
hulk better stuff'd in the hold.Come, I'll be friends with thee, Jack: thou art going to the wars; and whether I shall ever see thee again, or no, there is nobody cares.
Draw. Sir, ancient Pistol's & below, and would speak with you.
Dol. Hang him, swaggering rascal ! let him not come hither: it is the foul-mouth'dít rogue in England.
Host. If he swagger, let him not come here: no, by my faith; I must live amongst my neighbours; I'll no swaggerers: I am in good name and fame with the very best :—Shut the door ;-there comes no swaggerers here: I have not lived all this while, to have swaggering now :-shut the door, I pray you.
FAL. Dost thou hear, hostess ?-
Host. Pray you, pacify yourself, fir John; there comes no swaggerers here.
Fal. Dost thou hear? it is mine ancient.
Host. Tilly-fally,“ sir John, never tell me; your ancient swaggerer comes not in my doors. I was before master Tifick, the deputy, the other day;
8 — ancient Piftol -] is the same as ensign Piftol. Falstaff was captain, Peto lieutenant, and Pistol ensign, or ancient.
JOHNSON. 9 - there comes no swaggerers here.) A swaggerer was a roaring, bullying, blustering, fighting fellow. So, in Greene's Tu Quoque, a comedy, by Cooke, 1614: " I will game with a gamfter, drinke with a drunkard, be ciuill with a citizen, fight with a fwaggerer, and drabb with a whoore-master.” Ritson
Tilly-fally,] See Vol. IV. p. 60, n. 4. MALONE.