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Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow : Well.
Mrs. Page. Whither go you, George?-Hark you.
Mrs. Ford. How now, sweet Frank? why art thou melancholy?
Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy.Get you home, go.
Mrs. FORD. 'Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head now.-Will you go, mistress Page?
Mrs. Page. Have with you.-You'll come to dinner, George?-Look, who comes yonder: she shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.
[ Afide to Mrs. Ford. Enter Mistress QUICKLY. Mrs. Ford. Trust me, I thought on her : she'll fit it.
Mrs. Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne?
Quick. Ay, forsooth; And, I pray, how does good mistress Anne?
" When the great By is drawn,
“ As any diftreft gallant of them all." Cathaia is mentioned in The Tamer Tamed, of Beaumont and Fletcher :
“ I'll wish you in the Indies, or Cathaia." The tricks of the Cataians are hinted at in one of the old black letter hiftories of that country; and again in a dramatick performance, called the Pedler's Prophecy, 1595:
in the east part of Inde,
STEEVE 3 'Twas a good fenfible fellow:] This, and the two preceding speeches of Ford, are spoken to himself, and have no connection with the sentiments of Page, who is likewise making his comment on what had passed, without attention to Ford. STEEVENS,
Mrs. Page. Go in with us, and see; we have an hour's talk with you.
[Exeunt Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Mrs.
Page.Yes; And you heard what the other told me?
Page. Hang 'em, slaves! I do not think the knight would offer it: but these that accuse him in his intent towards our wives, are a yoke of his discarded men; very rogues, now they be out of fervice.
Ford. Were they his men?
FORD. I like it never the better for that.-Does he lie at the Garter?
Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyage towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lie on my head.
FORD. I do not misdoubt my wife; but I would be loth to turn them together: A man may be too confident: I would have nothing lie on my head: I cannot be thus satisfied.
Page. Look, where my ranting host of the Garter comes: there is either liquor in his pate, or money in his purse, when he looks so merrily.-How now, mine host?
- very rogues, now they be out of service.] A rogue is a wanderer or vagabond, and, in its confequential fignification, a cheat.
Johnson. 3 - I would have nothing lie on my bead:] Here seems to be an allufion to Shakspeare's favourite topick, the cuckold's horns. MALONE
Enter Host, and Shallow.
Host. How now, bully-rook? thou’rt a gentleman: cavalero-justice, I say.
Shal. I follow, mine host, I follow.-Good even, and twenty, good master Page! Master Page, will you go with us? we have sport in hand.
Host. Tell him, cavalero-justice; tell him, bully-rook.
Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought, between fir Hugh the Welch priest, and Caius the French doctor.
FORD. Good mine host o’the Garter, a word with you. Host. What say'st thou, bully-rook?
[They go aside. Shal. Will you [to Page] go with us to behold it? My merry hoft hath had the measuring of their weapons ; and, I think, he hath appointed them contrary places : for, believe me, I hear, the parson is no jefter. Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.
Host. Haft thou no suit against my knight, my guest-cavalier ?
Ford. None, I protest : but I'll give you a pottle of burnt fack to give me recourse to him, and tell him, my name is Brook; only for a jest.
cavalero-justice,] This cant term occurs in The Stately Moral of three Ladies of London, 1590;
“ Then know, Castilian cavaleros, this.” There is also a book printed in 1599, called, A countercuffe gives to Martin Junior; by the venturous, hardie, and renowned Pajquil of Englande, CAVALIERO. STEEVENS.
and tell him, my name is Brook ;] Thus both the old quartos; and thus most certainly the poet wrote. We need nu
Host. My hand, bully: thou shalt have egress and regress; said I well ? and thy name shall be Brook: It is a merry knight.-Will you go on, hearts ??
Shal. Have with you, mine hoft.
Page. I have heard, the Frenchman hath good skill in his rapier.
better evidence than the pun
makes on the name, when Brook sends him some burnt fack.
Such Brooks are welcome to me, that overflow fuch liquor. The players, in their edition, altered the name to Broom.
THEOBALD. 7.-— will you go on, hearts ?] For this substitution of an intelligible for an unintelligible word, I am answerable.—The old reading is-an-heirs. See the following notes. Steevens.
We should read, Will you go on, Heris? i. e. Will you go on, master? Heris, an old Scotch word for master. WARBURTON.
The merry Hoft has already faluted them separately by titles of distinction; he therefore probably now addresses them collectively by a general one-Will you go on, heroes ? or, as probably-Will you go on, hearts? He calls Dr. Caius Heart of Elder; and adds, in a subsequent scene of this play, Farewell my hearts. Again, in The Midsummer Night's Dream, Bottom says, - Where are these bearts.” My brave hearts, or my bold hearts, is a common word of encouragement. A heart of gold expresses the more soft and amiable qualities, the mores aurei of Horace; and a heart of oak is a frequent encomium of rugged honesty. Sir T. Hanmer reads-Mynbeers. Steevens.
There can be no doubt that this passage is corrupt. Perhaps we Thould read_Will you go and hear us ? So, in the next page_“I had rather hear them scold than fight.” Malone, 8
in his rapier.] In the old quarto here follow these words: Shal. I tell you what, master Page; I believe the doctor is no jefter; he'll lay it one [on]; for though we be justices and doctors and churchmen, yet we are the sons of women, malter Page.
Page. True, master Shallow.
Page. Mafter Shallow, you yourself have been a great fighter, though now a man of peace.
Part of this dialogue is found afterwards in the third scene of the present act; but it seems more proper here, to introduce what Shallow says of the prowess of his youth. MALONE.
SHAL. Tut, fir, I could have told you more: In these times you stand on distance, your passes, stoccadoes, and I know not what: 'tis the heart, master Page; 'tis here, 'tis here. I have seen the time, with my long sword, I would have made you four tall fellows skip like rats.
my long sword,] Before the introduction of rapiers, the swords in use were of an enormous length, and sometimes raised with both hands. Shallow, with an old man's vanity, cenfures the innovation by which lighter weapons were introduced, tells what he could once have done with his long frord, and ridicules the terms and rules of the rapier. JOHNSON.
The two-handed sword is mentioned in the ancient Interlude of Nature, bl. l. no date :
“ Somtyme he serveth me at borde,
“ Somtyme he bereth my two-hand sword.” See a note to The First Part of K. Henry IV. A& II.
STEEVENS. Dr. Johnson's explanation of the long sword is certainly right; for the early quarto reads--my two-band sword; fo that they appear to have been fynonymous.
Carleton, in his' Thankful Remembrance of God's Mercy, 1625, speaking of the treachery of one Rowland York, in betraying the town of Deventer to the Spaniards in 1587, says: “ he was a Londoner, famous among the cutters in his time, for bringing in a new kind of fight— to run the point of the rapier into a man's body. This manner of fight be brought forft into England, with great admiration of his audacioufness : when in England before that time, the use was, with little bucklers, and with broad fuords, to strike, and not to thrust; and it was accounted unmanly to trike under the girdle."
The Continuator of Stowe's Annals, p. 1024, edit. 1631, supposes the rapier to have been introduced somewhat sooner, viz. about the 20th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, (1578) at which time, he says, Sword and Bucklers began to be difused. Shakspeare has here been guilty of a great anachronism in making Shallow ridicule the terms of the rapier in the time of Henry IV. an hundred and seventy years before it was used in England. MALONE.
It should seem from a paffage in Nash's Life of Jacke Wilsen, 1594, that rapiers were used in the reign of Henry VIII: “At that time I was no common squire, &c.—my rapier pendant like a round ftick fastned in the tacklings, for skippers the better to climbe by." Sig. C 4. Ritson.