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Page. I will not believe such a Cataian, though the priest o'the town commended him for a true man.
Ford. 'Twas a good fenfible fellow : 6 Well.
Mrs. Ford. How now, sweet Frank ? why art thou melancholy?
Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy. Get you Mrs. Ford. 'Faith, thou hast fome crotchets in thy head
-Will you go, mistress Page ? Mrs. Page. Have with you. You'll come to dinner, George-Look, who comes yonder : The shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.
[Afide to Mrs. FORD. 5 All the mystery of the term Cataian, for a liar, is only this. China was anciently called Cataia or Catbay, by the first adventurers that tra. velled thither; such as M. Paulo, and our Mandeville, who told such in. credible wonders of this new discovered empire (in which they have not been outdone even by the Jesuits themselves, who followed them,) that a notorious liar was usually called a Cataian. WARBURTON.
" This fellow has such an odd appearance, is so unlike a man civilized, and taught the duties of life, that I cannot credit him.” To be a foreigner was always in England, and I suppose every where else, a reason of difike. So Pistol calls Sir Hugh in the first act, a mountain foreigner; that is, a fellow uneducated, and of gross behaviour; and again in his anger calls Bardolph, Hungarian wigbt. JOHNSON.
I believe that neither of the commentators is in the right, but am far from profefling, with any great degree of confidence, that I am happier in mine own explanation. It is remarkable, that in Shakspeare, this ex. preffion--a true man, is always put in opposition (as it is in this instance) tome ibief. So, in Henry IV. P. I:
now the thieves have bound the true men." The Chinese (anciently called Cataians) are said to be the most dexterous of all the nimble-finger'd tribe ; and to this hour they deserve the same character. Pistol was known at Windsor to have a hand in picking Slender's pocket, and therefore might be called a Cataian with propriety, if my explanation be admitted.
That by a Cataian fome kind of sharper was meant, I infer from a pas. fage in Love and Honour, a play by Sir William D'Avenant, 1649.
STIEVENS. 6 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.
talk with you.
Enter Mistress QUICKLY.
Quick. Ay, forsooth; And, I pray, how does good mis. tress Anne: Mrs. Page. Go in with us, and see; we have an hour's
[Exeunt Mrs. PAGE, Mrs. FORD, and Mrs. QUICKLY. Page. How now, master Ford ? Ford. You heard what this knave told me; did you not? Page. Yes; and you heard what the other told me? Ford. Do you think there is truth in them?
Page. Hang 'em, llaves! 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 service.7
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 tharp 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 : 8 I cannot be thus fatisfied.
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 ?
Enter Hoft, and SHALLOW. Hoft. How now, bully-sook ? thou’rt a gentleman : cavalero-justice, I fay. Shal, I follow, mine hoft, I follow.-Good even, and
twenty, ? A rogue is a wanderer or vagabond, and, in its consequential fignification, a cbear. JOHNSON.
8 He seems to be an allusion to Shakspeare's favourite topick, the cuckold's borns. MALONI,
twenty, good master Page! Mafter. Page, will you go with us? we have sport in hand. Hoft. 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. Hoft. What say'st thou, bully-rook? [They go afide
Shal. Will you [to Page] go with us to behold it? My merry host 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 jester. Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.
Hift. Haft thou no suit against my knight, my guest-cavalier?
Förd. None, I proteft : but I'll give you a pottle of burnt sack to give me recourse to him, and tell him, my name is Brook; only for a jest.
Hf. My hand, bully : thou shalt have egress and regress; faid I well? and thy name shall be Brook : It is a merry knight.-Will you go on, hearts ? 9
Shal. Have with you, mine hoft.
Page. I have heard, the Frenchman hath good skill in his rapier.
Shal. Tut, fir, I could have told you more : In these times you ftand 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 fword,? I would have made you four tall fellows 3 skip like rats.
HA. 9 The merry Hoft has already saluted them feparately by titles of distince tion; he therefore probably now addresses them collectively by a general one-Will you go on, heroes ? or, as probably-Will you go on, 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, Bot, tom says, " Where are these bearts 9" My brave bearts, or my bearts, is a common word of encouragement. A beart of go'd expresies the more soft and amiable qualities, the mores aurei of Horace; and a beart of oak is a frequent encomium of rugged honesty. STEEVENS.
? Before the introduction of rapiers, the swords in use were of an enormous length, and sometimes railed with both hands. Shallow, with an old man's vanity, censures the innovation by which lighter weapons were introduced, tells what he could once have done with his lorg sword, and ridicules the terms and rules of the rapier. JOHNSON,
H.A. Here, boys, here, here! shall we wag?
;-I had rather hear them fcold than fight.
[Exeunt Hoit, SHALLOW, and Page. Ford. Though Page be a secure fool, and Itands fo firmly on his wife's frailty s yet I cannot put off my opinion so eafily: She was in his company at Page's house; and, what they made there, I know not. Well, I will look further into't. and I have a difyuise to found Falstaff: If I find her honest, I lose not my labour; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well
Enter FALSTAFF and Pistol.
Which It should seem from a passage in Nalh’s Life of Jacke Wilton, 1594, that rapiers were used in the reign of Henry VII: 16 At that time I was no common fquire, &c.—my rapier pendant like a round stick faltned in the tacklings, for skippers the better to climbe by.” Sig. C 4. RITSON.
3 A tull fellow, in the time of our author, meant a stout, bold, or courageous person. STEEVENS.
4 Thus all the copies. But Mr. Theobald has no conception how any man cou'd stand firmly on his wife's frailty. And why? Because he had no conception how he could stand upon it, without knowing what it was. But if I tell a stranger, that the bridge he is about to cross is rotten, and be believes it not, but will go on, may I not say, when I see him upon it, that he stands firmly on a rotten plank! Yet he has changed fruilly for feally, and the Oxford editor has followed him. But they took the phrase, to stand firmly on, to fignify to infift upor; whereas it fignifies to reft ujong which tie character of a secure fuol, given to him, th ws.
So that the common reading has an elegance that would be lost in the alteration.
WARBURTON. To stand on any thing, does signify to infift on it. The jealous Ford is the speaker, and all chaflity in women appears to him as frailty. He supposes Page therefore to infilt on that virtue as steady, which he him. self suspects to be without foundation. STEEVENS.
Si. e. has such perfect confidence in his unchaste wife. His wife's frailty is the same as his frail wife. So, in Antony and Cleojatra, we meet with death and boncur, for an honourable death. Malon E.
An obsolete phrase signifying--what they did there. MALONE. ? Dr. Grey supposcs Shakipeare to allude to an old proyerb, "" -The
Which I with sword will open.
should lay my countenance to pawn: I have grated upon my good friends for three reprieves for you and your coach-fellow, Nym; 9 or else you had look'd through the grate, like a geminy of baboons. I am damn'd in hell, for swearing to gentlemen my friends, you were good soldiers and tall fel. lows: and when mistress Bridget lost the handle of her fan,' I took't upon mine honour, thou hadt it not.
mayor of Northampton opens oysters with his dagger."-i, e. to keep them at a sufficient distance from his nose, that town being fourscore miles from the sea. STEEVENS.
8 This means, I will pay you again in stolen goods. WARBURTON.
I rather believe he means, that he will pay him by waiting on him for aothing. That equipage ever meant folen goods, I am yet to learn.
STEEVENS Dr. Warburton may be right; for I find equipage was one of the cant words of the time. In Davies' Papers Complaint, (a poem which has erroneously been ascribed to Danne) we have several of them :
“ Embellish, biandishinen., and equipage," Which words, he tells us in the margin, overmusb favour of wirlesse affiliation. FARMER.
Dr. Warburton's interpretation is, I think, right. Egripage indeed does not per se fignify folen goods, but such goods as Pistol promises to return, we may fairly suppose, would be stolen. Equipage, which, as Dr. Farmer observes, had been but newly introduced into our language, is defined by Bullokar in his English Expositor, 8vo. 1616 : “ Furniture, os provision for horsemanship, especially in triumphs or tournaments." Hence the modern use of this word. MALONE.
91. e, he, who draws along with you, who is joined with you in alt your knavery. So before, Page, speaking of Nym and Pistol, calls them a "s yoke of Falstaff's discarded men." MALONE.
" It should be remembered, that fans, in our author's time, were more coftly than they are at prosent, as well as of a different construction. They confifted of oftrich feathers (or others of equal length and flexibility,) which were stuck into handles. The richer sort of these were composed of gold, filver, or ivory of curious workmanship.
In the frontispiece to a play, called Englishmen for my Money, or 4 pleasant Comedy of a woman will bave ber Will, 1616, is a portrait of a lady with one of these fans, which, after all, may prove the best come mentary on the pariage. The three other specimens are taken from the Habiti Antichi el Moderni di tutto il Mondo, publiined at Venice, 1998, from the drawings of Titian, and Cesare Vecelli, his brother. This fashion