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Pist. Convey, the wise it call :9 Steal! foh; a fico for the phrase!
FAL. Well, firs, I am almoft out at heels.
Fal. There is no remedy; I must coney-catch; I must shift.
Pist. Young ravens must have food.3
FAL. My honeft lads, I will tell you what I am about.
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;+ I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to
The reading proposed by Mr. Langton certainly corresponds more exactly with the preceding speech; but Shakspeare scarcely ever pursues his metaphors far. MALONE.
9 Convey, the wife 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.
STEEVENS. -a fico for the phrase!] i. e. a fig for it. Pistol uses the fame phraseology in King Henry V : “ Die and be damn’d; and fico for thy friendhip.”
STEEVENS. 3 Young ravens must have food.] An adage. See Ray's Proverbs.
STEEVENS. about no waste;] I find the same play on words in Heywood's Epigrams, 1562 :
• Where am I leaft, husband ? quoth he, in the waift;
“ For all is waste in you, as far as I see."
“ He's a great man indeed;
“ Something given to the waft, for he lives within no reasonable compass." STEEVENS.
make love to Ford's wife; I spy entertainment in her; she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation: I can construe the action of her familiar style ; and the hardest voice of her behaviour, to be English'd rightly, is, I am fir John Falstaff's.
Pist. He hath study'd her well, and translated her well; out of honesty into English.
Nrm. The anchor is deep:? Will that humour
5 fhe carves,] It should be remembered, that anciently the young
of both sexes were instructed in carving, as a necessary accomplishment. In 1508, Wynkyn de Worde
published " A Boke
A of Kerving.”. So, in Love's Labour's Loft, Biron says of Boyet, the French courtier: “ - He can carve too, and lisp." STEEVENS, 6
- study'd her well, and translated her well;] Thus the firft 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, fignat. 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."
Stevens ? 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 Falftaff has said,
“ Sail like my pinnace to those golden shores."
be observed, that in the hands of that time anchor and are zhor could hardly be distinguished. JOHNSON.
“ The anchor is deep," may mean—his bopes are well founded. So, in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, by Beaumont and Fletcher:
Now my latest hope,
“ 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 1958 a ballad, intitled " Hold the ancer fast," is entered on the books of the Stationers' Company. STEEVENS,
FAL. Now, the report goes, she has all the rule of her husband's purse ; she hath legions of angels."
Pist. As many devils entertain ; 8 and, To ber, boy, say I.
Nrm. 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 :' sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly."
Dr. Johnson very acutely proposes “ the author is deep." He reads with the first copy, “ he hath ftudied her well."--And from this equivocal word, Nym catches the idea of deepness. But it is almost impossible to ascertain the diction of this whimsical character: and I meet with a phrase in Fenner's Comptor's Commonwealth, 1617, which may perhaps support the old reading : “ 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.”
FARMIR. Nym, I believe, only means to say, the scheme for debauching Ford's wife is deep;-well laid. MALONE.
she hath legions of angels.] Thus the old quarto. The folio reads—" he hath a legend of angels.” STEEVENS.
8 As devils entertain ;] i. e, do you retain in your fervice as many devils as she has angels. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :
“ Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant." This is the reading of the folio. Malone. The old quarto reads :
“ As many devils attend her!” &c. STEEVENS. 9 - eliads :) This word is differently spelt in all the copies. It occurs again, in King Lear, Act IV. sc. v:
“ She gave strange wiliads, and most speaking looks,
" To noble Edmund.” I suppose we hould write oëillades, French. Steevens.
sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.] 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.
Pist. Then did the fun on dung-hill shine.;
FAL. O, she did so course o'er my exteriors with such a greedy intention, 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. I will be cheater to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me;? they shall be my East and West Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go,
3 Then did the fun on dung-hill fine.] So, in Lyly's Euphues, 1581:
“ The sun fhineth upon the dunghill." Holt White.
that humour.] What diftinguishes the language of Nym from that of the other attendants on Falstaff, is the constant repe. tition of this phrase. In the time of Shakspeare such an affectation seems to have been fufficient to mark a character. In Sir Giles Goofecap, a play of which I have no earlier edition than that of 1606, the fame 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 tickla the vanity of every thing." Steevens.
intention,] i. e. eagerness of desire. 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 1598. The mention of Guiana, then so lately discovered to the English, was a very happy compliment to fir Walter Raleigh, who did not begin his expedition for South America till 1595, and returned from it in 1596, with an advantageous account 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. THEOBALD.
7 I will be cheater to them both, and they hall be exchequers to me;] The same joke is intended here, as in The Second part of Henry the Fourth, Act II:
I 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. Vol. III.
bear thou this letter to mistress Page; and thou this to mistress Ford: we will thrive, lads, we will thrive.
Pist. Shall I fir Pandarus of Troy become, And by my side wear steel ? then, Lucifer take all !
Nrm. I will run no base humour: here, take the humour letter; I will keep the 'haviour of reputation. Fal. Hold, firrah, (to Rob.] bear you these let
ters tightly; Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hail-stones, go; Trudge, plod, away, o’the hoof; seek shelter, pack!
-bear you these letters tightly;] i. e. cleverly, adroitly. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, Antony, putting on his armour, says,
My queen’s a squire
“ More tight at this, than thou.” MALONE. No phrase is fo common in the eastern counties of this kingdom, and particularly in Suffolk, as good tightly, for briskly and effeétually.
Henley. 9 - my pinnace] A pinnace seems anciently to have fignified a small vessel, or floop, attending on a larger. So, in Rowley’s When you see me you know me, 1613:
was lately sent “ With threescore fail of ships and pinnaces." Again, in Muleases the Turk, 1610:
“ Our life is but a failing to our death
Through the world's ocean: it makes no matter then, “ Whether we put into the world's vaft fea
“ Shipp'd in a pinnace, or an argofy." At present it fignifies only a man of war's boat.
A paffage similar to this of Shakspeare occurs in The Humourous Lieutenant, by Beaumont and Fletcher :
this small pinnace “ Sball fail for gold.” Steevens. A pinnace is a small vessel with a square stern, having fails and oars, and carrying three mafts; chiefly used (says Rolt, in his Dictionary of Commerce,) as a scout for intelligence, and for landing of men. MALONE.