Sidor som bilder

Fal. Is this true, Pistol?
Eva. No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
Pist. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner !—Sir John,

and master mine,
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo :s
Word of denial in thy labras here;

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That Slender means the broad foilling of one of our kings, appears from comparing these words with the corresponding pafiage in the old quarto: " Ay by this handkerchief did he ;-iwo faire Phovel-board shillings, besides seven groats in mill fixpences.”

How twenty eight pence could be loft in mill-fexpences, Slender, however, has not explained to us. Malone.

s I combat challenge of this latten bilbo :] Piftol, seeing Slender such a flim, puny wight, would intimate, that he is as thin as a 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.

MALONE. The farcasm intended is, that Slender had neither courage nor trength, as a latten fword has neither edge nor substance.

Heath. Latten may fignify no more than as thin as a lath. The word in fome counties is still pronounced as if there was no b in it: and Ray, in his Dictionary of North Country Words, affirms it to be spelt lat 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 means therefore, I believe, no more than a blade as thin as a lath-a vice's dagger.

Theobald, however, is right in his affertion that latten was a metal. So Turbervile, in his Book of Falconry, 1575: - you muft set her a latten bafon, or a vessel of stone or earth." Again, in Old Fortunatus, 1600: “ Whether it were lead or latten that hafp'd down those winking casements, I know not.” Again, in she old metrical Romance of Syr Bevis of Hampton, bl. 1. no date :

• Windowes of latin were set with glaffe." Latten is till a common word for tin in the North,

STEEVENS. I believe Theobald has given the true sense of latten, though he is wrong in fuppofing, that the allusion is to Slender's thinnes. It is rather to his fofiness or weakness. TYRWHITT.

6 Word of denial in thy labras here ;] I suppose it should rather


be read :

Word of denial : froth and scum, thou liest.

Slen. By these gloves, then 'twas he.

Nym. Be avis'd, fir, and pass good humours: I will say, marry trap, with you, if you run the nuthook's humour 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 afs.

Fal. What say you, Scarlet and John?'

Bard. Why, fir, for my part, I say, the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five fentences.

Eva. It is his five senses: fie, what the igno

rance is!



Word of denial in my labras hear;" that is, hear the word of denial in my lips. Thou l'A. Johnson.

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

STEEVENS. There are few words in the old copies more frequently misprinted than the word bear.

Thy lips,” however, is certainly right, as appears from the old quarto : " I do retort the lie even in the gorge, thy gorge, thy gorge." MALONE.

- marry trap,] When a man was caught in his own ftrata. gem, I suppose the exclamation of insult was marry, trap!

JOHNSON. 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 booking moveables out at windows, in a note on K. Henry IV. STEEVENS.

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 Henry IV.





BARd. And being fap, fir, was, as they say, cashier'd; and so conclusions pass'd the careires.

Slen. Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but 'tis no matter : I'll ne'er be drunk whilft I live again, but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick:

* 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 Shakspeare's vulgarisms.

Dr. Farmer, indeed, observes, that to fib is to beat; so that being fap 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 fo derived, because Slender mistook it for Latin. The mistake, indeed, is an argument to the contrary, as it shows his ignorance in that language. Fap however, certainly means drunk, as appears from the glossaries. Douce.

3 - careires.] I believe this strange word is nothing but the French cariere; and the expression means, that the commor bounds of good behaviour were 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 Dircourses, 1589, 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.” ain, in Har rington's translation of Ariosto, book xxxviii. stanza 35: To stop, to start, to pass carier, to bound.”

STEEVENS. Bardolph means to say, “ and fo in the end he reeld about with a circuitous motion, like a horse, passing a carier.To pass a carier was the technical term. So, in Nashe's Have with you to Saffron Walden, &c. 1596: "- her hottest fury may be resembled to the paffing of a brave cariere by a Pegasus."

We find the term again used in K. Henry V. in the same manner as in the passage before us : “ – The king is a good king, but ke pales some humours and cariers.Malone. Vol. III.




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 me, that is a virtuous mind.

FAL. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.

Enter Mistress Anne Page with wine ; Mistress FORD

and Mistress Page following. 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. [kisling ber.

PAGE. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome: Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner; come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness. [Exeunt all but Shal. SLENDER and EVANS.

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

my book of Songs and Sonnets here :) It cannot be suppofed 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 1567, 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 affifted him in paying his addresses to Anne Page. Malone.

Under the title mentioned by Slender, Churchyard very evidently points out this book in an enumeration of his own pieces

, prefixed to a collection of verse and profe, called Churchyard's Challenge, 4to. 1593: " -- and many things in the booke of fonges and fonets printed then, were of my making.” By then he means “ in Queene Maries raigne;" for Surrey was first published in 1557.


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

Sim. Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas laft, a fortnight afore Michaelmas ? 6

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 fir Hugh here ;-Do you understand me ?

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

Shal. Nay, but understand me.
Slen. So I do, sir.

Eva. Give ear to his motions, mafter Slender: I will description the matter to you, if you be cam pacity of it.


5 - 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. l. 4to. 1586, Sign. H 4. See quotation in note to Much ado about Nothing, A& II. sc. i. Reed.

upon Allhallowmas laft, a fortnight afore Michaelmas ? ] Sure, Simple's a little out in his reckoning. Allhallowmas is almoft 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 simpleft creatures (nay, even natusals) 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-Saint's day, i. e. eleven days, both inclufive. THEOBALD.

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

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