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Eve. It is that fery verson for all the 'orld, as just as you will defire ; and feven hundred pounds of monies, and gold, and silver, is her grandfire, upon his death's-bed, (Got deliver to a joyful resurrections !) give, when she is able to overtake seventeen years
it were a goot motion, if we leave our pribbles and prabbles, and defire a marriage between master Abraham, and mistress Anne Page.
Shal. Did her grandfire leave her feven hundred pound?
Shal. I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.
Era. Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is good gifts.
Shal. Well, let us fee honest master Page: Is Falftaff there?
Eva. Shall I tell you a lie? I do defpife a liar, as I do despise one that is false; or, as I despise one that is not true. The knight, fir John, is there ; and, 'I beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will peat the door (knocks] for master Page. What, hoa! Got pless your house here!
Enter PAGE. Page. Who's there?
Eva. Here is Got's pleffing, and your friend, and justice Shallow : and here young master Slender ; that, peradventures, shall tell you another tale, if matters grow to your likings.
Page. I am glad to see your worships well: I thank you for my venison, master Shallow,
Shal. Mafter Page, I am glad to see you; Much good do it your good heart? I wilh'd your venison better; it was ilt kill'd :- How doth good mistress Page ?-and I love you always with my heart, la ; with my heart. Page. Sir, I thank you.
Shal. fense, for, “ little, as well as low," but fimply for weak, slender, feminine ; and the only pleasantry of the passage seems to be, that poor Slender should characterise his mistress by a general quality belonging to her whole sex.
MALONIA A small voice is a life and melodious voice.
When female characters were filled by boys, to speak small likea woman must have been a valuable qualification. HOLT WHITE.
Shal. Sir, I thank you ; by yea and no, I do.
Slen. How does your fallow greyhound, fir? I heard say, he was out-run on Cotfale,
Page. It could not be judg'd, fir.
Shal. That he will not;~'tis your fault, 'tis your fault::Si 'Tis a good dog,
Page. 4 He means Cotswold, in Gloucestershire. In the beginning of the reign of James the First, by permission of the king, one Dover, a publick-spirited attorney of Barton on the Heath, in Warwickshire, Instituted on the hills of Coffwold an annual celebration of games, can listing of rural sports and: exercises. There he constantly conducted in person, well mounted, and: accoutred in a suit of his majesty's old cloaths; and they were frequented: above forty years by the nobility and gentry for fixty miles round, till the grand rebellion abolished every liberal establishment. I have seen a very (carce book, entitled, “ Anwalia Dubrerfia. Ufon the yearby celebration of Mr. Robert Dover's Olympick games upon Confovold bills," &c. London, 1636, 400. There are recommendatory verte's prefixed, written by Dray -ton, Jonson, Randolph, and many others, the most eminent wits of the times. The games, as appears from a curious frontispiece, were, chieflys. wrestling, leaping, pitching the bar, handling the pike, dancing of women, various kinds of hunting, and particularly courting the hare with grey-hounds.. Hence also we see the meaning of another passage, where Fala taff, or-Shallow, calls a stout fellow a Cotswoldman. Buc from what ishere faid, an inference of another kind may be drawn, respecting the age
A meager and imperfect ficetch of this comedy was printed? in 1502. Afterwards Shakspeare new-wrote it entirely. This allufon: therefore to the Cotfivold games, not founded till the reign of James the First, ascertains a period of time beyond which our author must have made the additions to his original rough draft, or, in other words, composed the present comedy, James the First came to the crown in the year 160%. And we will suppose that two or three more years at least mast have pasiedi before these games could have been effe&ually established. I would there føre, at the earliest date this play about the year 3607. T. WARTON. The Annalia Dibronjia confifts entirely of recommendatory, verseso
Douce. The Cotswold hills in Gloucestershire are a large tract of downs, famous. for their fine turf, and therefore excellent for coursing. lubelieve there. is no village of that naráe. BLACKSTONE..
5 Perhaps Shallow means to say, that it is a known failing of Page's. not to confess that his dog has been out-run.. Or, the meaning may be, 'tis-your misfortune that ie was out run on Gotswold; be is, however, a good dog. MALONE. Perhaps Shallow addresses there words to Slender, and means to tell himia
of the play.
office between you.
Page. A cur, fir.
Shal. Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog ; Can there be more said he is good, and fair.- Is fir John Falstaff here?
Page. Sir, he is within ; and I would I could do a good
Shal. If it be confess'd, it is not redre's'd; is not that so, master Page? He hath wrong'd. me ;-indeed, he hath ;=at a word, he hath ;--believe me ;-Robert Shallow, Esquire, faith, he is wrong'd.
Page. Here comes fir John.
PISTOL. Fal. Now, master Shallow ; you'll complain of me to the king?
Shal. Knight, you have beaten my men, kill'd my deer, and broke open my lodge.6
Fal. But not kiss'd your keeper's daughter?
Fal. I will answer it straight ;-I have done all this: That is now answer'd.
Shal. The Council shall know this.
Fal. 'Twere better for you, if it were known in counsel : 1 you'll be laugh'd at.
Eva. " it was bis fault to undervalue a dog whose inferiority in the chase was not ascertained.” STEIVINS. 6 This probably alludes to some real incident, at that time well known.
JOHNSON. So probably Falstaff's answer. FARMER.
7 The old copies read-'I were better for you, if 'were known in coun. cil. Perhaps it is an abrupt ipeech, and must be read thus :-"Twere bet. ser for youn---if 'were knokon in council, you'll be laugbd at. 'Twere bete ser for you, is, I believe, a menace. JOHNSON.
Some of the modern editors arbitrarily read if 'twere not known in council, but I believe Falstaff quibbles between council and counfei. The latter fignifies fecrecy. STEEVENS. Ms. Rition suppofes the present reading to be just,, and quite in Falstaff's.
Eva. Pauca verba, fir John; good worts.,
Fal. Good worts! good cabbage. -Slender, I broke your head;. What matter have you againft me ?
Slen. Marry, fir, I have matter in my head against you ;; and against your coney-catching rasca's, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and inade me. drunk, and afterwards pick'd my pocket..
Bar. You Banbury cheese! 2.
Eva. Peace : I pray you! Now let us underftand : There
Page. We three to hear it, and enlit between them..
Eva, Fery goot : I will make a.prief of it in my notes book; and we will afterwards.'ork upon the cause, with. as. great discreetly as we can..
Evaz insolent sneering manner.
" It would be much bettergi indeed, to have : it known in the council, where you would only be laugh'd at REED.
The fpeiling of the old quarto ( counfly) as well as the general purport of the passage, fully confirms Mr. Steevens's interpretation. MALONE..
8 Worts was the ancient name of all the cabbage kind. STREVEN S.
9 A corey-catcber was, in the time of Elizabeth, a common name for a : ebeat or sharper.' Green, one of the first among us who made a trade of. writing pam.phlets, published A Detection of obe Frauds and Fricks of ConeyGatibers and Couzeners. JOHNSON.
2 This is faid in allusion to the thin carcase of Slender. STIEV EN 3. 3 This is the name of a spirit or familiar, in the old story book of Sir Fubu Fauftus, or Jobu Fauft:,to whom our author afterwards alludes, Ad II. sc. ii. * Piftol means to call Slender a very uely fellow. STLEVENS..
4 Dr. Farmer (see a former note,) would transfer the Latin words to Evans. But the old copy, I think, is right. Pistol, in K. Henry V. uses; the same language. In che fame, scene Nym twice uses the word fokuso
Eva. The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, He hears with ear? Why, it is affectations.
Fal. Piftol, did you pick maiter Slender's purse ?
Slen. Ay, by thefe gloves, did he, (or I would I might never coine in mine own great chamber, again elfe, of seven groats in mill-fixpences, and two Edward shovel-boards, that cost me two shilling and two pence a-piece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
Fal. s Sir Hugh is justified in his cenfure of this passage by Pecham, who in his Garden of Eloquence, 1577, places this very mode of expression under the article pleonasmus. HENDERSON.
6 It appears from a pallage in Sir William Davenant's Newes from Plia mouth, that these mill'd-fixpences were used by way of counters to cast up money :
A few mild. fixpences, with which « My pui fer casts accompt.”. STEEVENS. ? One of those pieces of metal is mentioned in Middleton's comedy of Fbe Roaring Girl, 1611: away fid I my ma,, like a povel-board shilling; " &c.
STEEVENS. “ Edward Shovel-boards," were the broad shillings of Edw. VI. Taylor, the water-poet, in his Trauçt of Twelve-fence, makes him complain :
the unthrift every day
“ They had worne it off, as they have done my nose." Ardin a note he tells us : « Edw. shillings for the most part are used at shouve-board,” FARMER.
in the Seco: d Part of K. Isenry IV. Falstaff says, “ Quoit him down, Bardolph, like a srove-groat filling." This confirms Farmer's opinion, that pieces of coin were used for that purpose. M. MASON.
The following extract, for the notice of which I am indebted to Dr. Farmer, will ascertain the species of coin mentioned in the text. 61 must here take notice before I entirely quit the fubject of these fast-mena tioned shillings, that I have also seen some other pieces of good filver, greatly reli mbling the same, and of the same date 1547, that have been so much thicker as to weigh about balf an ounce, together with some others that have weighed an ounce.” Folkes's Table nf English filver Coins, p. 32. The former of these were probably what cost Maiter Slender two chillings and two-pence a-pièce.
It appears, that the game of shovel-board was played with the shillings of Edward VI. in Shajivell's time; for in his Mifer, Act 1/1. sc. i. Cheatly says, “ She persuaded him to play with hazard at Backgammon, and he has already lo:t his Edward shillings that he kept for Sbovel-board,