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How now, fir John? quoth I: what, man! be of good cheer. So 'a cried out-God, God, God!
a scene in a tavern where they drink at parting), and this direction crept into the text from the margin. Greenfield was the name of the property-man in that time, who furnished implements, &c. for the actors, A table of Greenfield's. Pope.
So reasonable an account of this blunder, Mr. Theobald could not acquiesce in. He thought a table of Greenfield's, part of the text, only corrupted, and that it should be read, he' babbled of green fields, because men do so in the ravings of a calenture. But he did not consider how ill this agrees with the nature of the knight's illness, who was now in no babbling humour; and so far from wanting cooling in green fields, that his feet were very cold, and he just expiring. WARBURTON.
Upon this passage Mr. Theobald has a note that fills a page, which I omit in pity to my readers, since he only endeavours to prove, what I think every reader perceives to be true, that at this time no table could be wanted. Mr. Pope, in an appendix to his own edition in 12mo, seems to admit Theobald's emendation, which we would have allowed to be uncommonly happy, had we not been prejudiced against it by Mr. Pope's first note, with which, as it excites merriment, we are loath to part. JOHNSON.
Had the former editors been apprized, that table, in our author, fignifies a pocket-book, I believe they would have retained it with the following alteration :--for his nose was as sharp as a pen upon a table of green fells. On table books, filver or steel pens, very sharp-pointed, were formerly and still are fixed to the backs or
Mother Quickly compares Falstaff's nose (which in dying persons grows thin and sharp) to one of those pens, very properly, and she meant probably to have said, on a table-book with a jhagreen cover or shagreen table; but, in her usual blundering way, she calls it a table of green fells, or a table covered with green-lkin; which the blundering transcriber turned into green-fields; and our editors have turned the prettiest blunder in Shakipeare, quite out of doors. Smith.
Dr. Warburton objects to Theobald's emendation, on the ground of the nature of Falstaff's illness; “ who was so far from babbling, or wanting cooling in green fields, that his feet were cold, and he was just expiring But his disorder had been a “
burning quotidian tertian.” It is, I think, a much stronger objection, that the word Table, with a capital letter, (for so it appears in the old copy,) is very unlikely to have been printed instead of babbled. This reading, is, however, preferable to any that has been yet proposed.
three or four times : now I, to comfort him, bid him, 'a should not think of God; I hoped, there was no need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet: So, 'a bade me lay more clothes on his feet: I put my hand into the bed, and felt them, and they were as cold as any stone; then I felt to his knees, and so upward, and upward, and all was as cold as any stone."
On this difficult passage I had once a conjecture. It was, that the word table is right, and that the corrupted word is and, which may have been misprinted for in; a mistake that has happened else. where in these plays: and thus the passage will run-and his noje was as sharp as a pen in a table of green fields.--A pen may have been used for a pinfold, and a table for a picture. See Vol. VI. p. 193, n. 9.
The pointed fakes of which pinfolds are sometimes formed, were perhaps in the poet's thoughts. MALONE.
It has been observed (particularly by the superstition of women,) of people near death, when they are delirious by a fever, that they talk of removing; as it has of those in a calenture, that they have their heads run on green fields. THEOBALD.
nozu I, to comfort him, bid him, 'a should not think of God;] Perhaps Shakspeare was indebted to the following story in Wits, fits, and Fancies, &c. 1595, for this very characteristick exhortation: “ A gentlewoman fearing to be drowned, faid, now Jesu receive our foules! Soft, mistress, answered the waterman; I trow, we are not come to that palle ver.” MALONE.
? cold as any stone.] Such is the end of Falstaff, from whom Shakspeare had promised us in his epilogue to K. Henry IV. that we should receive more entertainment. It happened to Shakspeare, as to other writers, to have his imagination crowded with a cu. multuary confusion of images, which, while they were yet unsorted and unexamined, seemed sufficient to furnish a long train of incidents, and a new variety of merriment; but which, when he was to produce them to view, shrunk suddenly from him, or could not be accommodated to his general design. That he once designed to have brought Falstaff on the scene again, we know from himself; but whether he could contrive no train of adventures suitable to his character, or could match him with no companions likely to quicken his humour, or could open no new vein of pleasantry, and was afraid to continue the same strain left it should not find the same reception, he has here, for ever discarded hiin, and made hafte to despatch him, perhaps for the same reason for
Nrm. They say, he cried out of fack.
Bor. Yes, that 'a did; and said, they were deyils incarnate.
Quick. 'A could never abide carnation ;8 'twas a colour he never lik’d.
Bor. ’A said once, the devil would have him about women.
Quick. 'A did in some sort, indeed, handle women : but then he was rheumatick;9 and talk'd of the whore of Babylon.
Bor. Do you not remember, 'a saw a flea stick upon Bardolph's nose; and 'a said, it was a black soul burning in hell-fire?
BARD. Well, the fuel is gone, that maintain'd that fire: that's all the riches I got in his service.
Nrm. Shall we shog off? the king will be gone from Southampton.
which Addison killed Sir Roger, that no other hand might attempt to exhibit him.
Let meaner authors learn from this example, that it is dangerous to sell the bear which is yet not hunted; to promise to the publick what they have not written.
This disappointment probably inclined Queen Elizabeth to command the poet to produce him once again, and to show him in love or courtship. This was, indeed, a new source of humour, and produced a new play from the former characters.
JOHNSON. 8 - incarnate.-carnation;] Mrs. Quickly blunders, miftaking the word incarnate for a colour. In Questions of Love, 1566, we have, “ Yelowe, pale, redde, blue, whyte, graye, and incarnaie.” HENDERSON.
- rheumatick ;] This word is elsewhere used by our author for peevish, or splenerick, as fcorbutico is in Italian. Mrs. Quickly however probably means lunatick. MALONE.
Pist. Come, let's away.-My love, give me thy
lips. Look to my chattels, and my moveables: Let senses rule;o the word is, Pitch and pay; Trust none; For oaths are straws, men's faiths are wafer-cakes,
? Let fenfes rule;) I think this is wrong, but how to reform it I do not see. Perhaps we may read:
Let sense us rule, Piftol is taking leave of his wife, and giving her advice as he kisses her; he sees her rather weeping than attending, and, supposing that in her heart she is ftill longing to go with him part of the way, he cries, Let sense us rule, that is, let us not give way to foolis fondness, but be ruled by our better understanding. He then continues his directions for her conduct in his absence.
JOHNSON. Let senses rule evidently means, let prudence govern you: conduct yourself sensibly; and it agrees with what precedes and what follows. Mr. M. Mason would read, “ Let sentences rule;" by which he means sayings, or proverbs; and accordingly (says he) Pistol gives us a string of them in the remainder of his speech.
Steevens. Pitch and pay;] The caution was a very proper one to Mrs. Quickly, who had suffered before, by letting Falstaff run in her debt. The fame expression occurs in Blurt Master Conftable, 1602 :
“ I will commit you, fignior, to my house; but will you pitch and pay, or will your worship runSo again, in Herod and Antipater, 1622:
- he that will purchase this,
Susan, when the first bore sway,
STEEVENS. Old Tusser, in his description of Norwich, tells us it is
“ A city trim-
“ That pitch and paie, or keepe their daye.”
One of the old laws of Blackwell-hall was, that a penny be paid by the owner of every bale of cloth for pitching.”
And hold-fast is the only dog, my duck;
Bor. And that is but unwholesome food, they say.
[Kiling her. Nru. I cannot kiss, that is the humour of it; but adieu.
Pist. Let housewifery appear; keep close," I thee command. Quick. Farewell; adieu.
4 And hold-fast is the only dog,] Alluding to the proverbial saying," Brag is a good dog, but holdfaft is a better." "Douce. s Therefore, caveto be thy counsellor.] The old quartos read :
Therefore Cophetua be thy counsellor. STEEVENS.
-clear thy crystals.] Dry thine eyes: but I think it may better mean, in this place, wash thy glassés. Johnsox.
The first explanation is certainly the true one. So, in The Gentleman Uber, by Chapman, 1602 :
an old wife's eye “ Is a blue chryftal full of forcery." Again, in A Match at Midnight, 1633 :
ten thousand Cupids
Methought, fat playing on that pair of chryftals." Again, in The Double Marriage, by Beaumont and Fletcher i
seep, you sweet glasses, “ An everlasting sumber close those chryftals.!” Again, in Coriolanus, Act III. sc. ii:
the glasses of my fight.” The old quartos 1600 and 1608 read:
Clear up thy chryfials. STEEVENS. i-kiep clofe,] The quartos 1600 and 1608 read :
keep fast thy buggle boe; which certainly is not nonsense, as the same expression is used by Shirley, in his Gentleman of Venice:
the courtisans of Venice,