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Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way.

Slen. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.

Page. Come on, sir.

Anne. Not I, sir; pray you, keep on.

Slen. Truly, I will not go first; truly, la! I will not

do you that wrong.


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Evans. Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Caius' house which is the way: and there dwells one Mistress Quickly, which is in the manner of his nurse, or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, his washer, and his wringer.

Sim. Well, sir.

Evans. Nay, it is petter yet.

Give her this letter; for

it is a 'oman that altogether's acquaintance with
Mistress Anne Page: and the letter is, to desire
and require her to solicit your master's desires to

4. dry] try Q1, Dyce. 5. wringer] Theobald; ringer Ff, Q 3. gether's] Tyrwhitt conj., Steevens et seq.; altogethers Ff.

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8. alto

Enter Sir Hugh, etc.] The Quarto reads here "Enter Sir Hugh and Simple and one dinner."

3, 4. nurse] See III. ii. 66.

Mistress Anne Page. I pray you, be gone: I
will make an end of my dinner; there's pippins
and seese to come.


SCENE III.-A Room in the Garter Inn.

and ROBIN.

Fal. Mine host of the Garter!

Host. What says my bully-rook? speak scholarly and


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II, 12. pray you I will] Pray you do, I must not be absent at the grace. I will Q I. 13. seese] Dyce, Wheatley, Craig; cheese Ff, Q 3, Globe Cambridge; to come] behinde Q I.

Scene III.

2. bully-rook] bully Rook Q 1, F 1.

12, 13. pippins and seese] The proper finish to a meal. Apples ("they be very flative") were corrected by "digestive cheese." Compare Lingua, iv. 5 (Haz. Dods. ix. 424), 1607: "What do you come with roast meat after apples? away with it. Digestion, serve out cheese." In one of Jonson's best epigrams, Inviting a Friend to Supper, he says, Digestive cheese and fruit there sure will be." Evans, the Welshman, would be sure to recollect the cheese. See below, II. ii. 319, V. v. 148. Speaking of "the naturall disposicions of Welshmen" in 1542, Andrew Borde says: "I do love cawse boby [sic], good rosted chese," Boke of Knowledge. The Quarto reads "pepions and cheese behinde." Evans's remark about " grace "in the Quarto is also noteworthy.

Scene III.

1. Mine host of the Garter] See Introduction.

2. bully] A term of endearment, used

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(like "darling ") either as adjective or substantive. New Eng. Dict. gives an example from Bales' Three Lawes, 1538: "It is myne owne swete bullye,' a fragment of a song that afterwards became popular. The word is very common in this play and also in Midsummer Night's Dream. Elsewhere, until later, it is not often met with. Onion uses it in Jonson's Case is Altered 1. i. (p. 5196, Cuningham's Gifford), 1598: "Ay, bully, he is above." Jonson has also "bully Horace," Poetaster, v. i. (2546), 1601; "bully boys," Masque of Christmas; and "bully bird," New Inn, 11. ii. (3546). The song above is in Deloney's Thomas of Reading, 1590, with burthen, dialoguewise: "Yet will I still remaine to thee, Trang dilly do, Trang dilly, Thy friend and lover secretly. Woman-Thou art my owne sweet bully."

2. bully-rook] These words are not hyphened in the early editions. New Eng. Dict. deals with this expression as one word, but gives no help.


Fal. Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my


Host. Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag;

trot, trot.

Fal. I sit at ten pounds a week.

occurs in this play four times. The Host uses the term, also "bully Hercules," "bully Hector," and appears to use "Rook" as a style or title. I believe that Steevens was right in his suggestion that it was taken from the rooks at the game of chess. Douce rejects this on the authority of a meaning for "rook," dating 1680, which is apparently inapplicable. The rook was the castle, the duke, or the warder at chess, next in power to the queen. Douce's explanation of "rook," "a hectoring, cheating sharper," is quite untrue (as far as my reading goes) of this date. A rook was a simpleton-one easily gulled; and though I would not believe the Host deliberately called Falstaff so, he may have implied it. For surely the cap fits him, where he sits at £10 (about £150 of our money) a week? For the word, compare Chapman, May Day, iii. (ante 1611): "an arrant rook, by this light, a capable cheating stock, a man may carry him up and down by the ears like a pipkin.' And Middleton, Fair Quarrel, IV. i., 1617: Do not henceforth neglect your schooling, Master Chough. Chough. Call me rook, if I do, tutor. Trim. And The "raven" here is the plunderer, and the "rook" and raven" are similarly set side by side previously in Ben Jonson's Fox, I. i. (3466): "Rook go with you, raven (wrongly explained in the notes by Whalley). And in Jonson's Every Man in his Humour, I. iv.: "Hang him, rook! he! Why he has no more judgment than a malt horse," where Wheatley's note (ed. 1877, p. 147), "cheat or sharper," knocks the sense to pieces. And Ben again: "a gull, a rook, a shot-clog to make suppers

me raven.

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and be laughed at," Poetaster, 1. i. (2116), 1601. In Every Man Out of his Humour (1599), the word occurs twice for a foolish person, a fop: "that rook, that painted jay with such a deal of outside " (p. 936), and earlier, in the Induction (p. 67a). As for "bullyrook" as one word, New Eng. Dict. has no other example in this sense ("boon companion") till a century later, spelt "bully-rocks"; and in the sense of "hired ruffian" none till 1673. I can, however, adduce a parallel from Shirley, Witty Fair One, III. iv. (Dyce ed., i. 319): "suck in the spirit of sack, till we be delphick, and prophesy, my bully-rook" (1628). Wheatley quotes Coles's Lat.-Eng. Dict. (1677?): “A Bully Rook (Fellow) vir fortis et animosus." For a good example of "rook," meaning "dupe," see Wilkins's Miseries of Enforced Marriage, ii. (Haz. Dods. ix. 489), 1607: Now let me see how many rooks I have undone already this term,” etc. "My young bully" for "my young fellow" occurs a little lower down (p. 494) in the same play, which more than once throws light on Merry Wives.


6. Discard] Originally a gaming term. "When this valiant Brutus had thus discarded the kings and queens out of the pack," Harington, Met. of Ajax, rept. pp. 58, 59, 1596. "Discard" and "cashier," are new words in these senses, showing how up to date the Host is in his terms.

8. sit at] live at. Wheatley gives an apt illustration from The Man in the Moon telling Strange Fortunes, 1609: "frequent the ordinaries how they will moove how they sit at an unmerciful rent." When a certain Mounsieur, a baron, came from

Host. Thou'rt an

Pheezar. I

emperor, Cæsar, Keisar, and will entertain Bardolph ; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully


Fal. Do so, good mine host.

Host. I have spoke; let him follow. [To Bard.]


Let me see thee froth and lime: I am at a word; 15 follow.

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the French King to instruct King James's men in the French method of falconry in 1624, Chamberlain wrote: "he and his train stand the King in five and twenty or thirty pounds a day" (Court and Times of James I., ii. 446).

10. Pheezar] No doubt for Vizier. There are signs of Hakluyt in this play, or at any rate of the voyages of the time. See Falstaff's "Guiana," "East and West Indies," below in this scene. The word occurs in Shute, 1562 (Stanford's Dictionary). And in Hakluyt, II. i. p. 304: "Sinan Bassa, the cheefe Vizir" (1599). No sense has been made out of this word in the commentators' notes. See note below (II. i. 224) at "Anheires." The Quarto here has, "Cæsar, Phessir, and Kesar bully," a very harmonious jumble. It also gives us the proper reading "lime," adopted by Steevens, instead of the "live" of the Folio, in line 15.

will F 2, 3, 4.

[Exit. 15 lime]

man: yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime in it.” "Frothing refers to ale, and "lime to wine. In Jonson's Bart. Fair, II. i., Ursula tells her tapster, "Froth your cans well in the filling, at length, rogue, and jog your bottles o' the buttock" (161a). Mentions of "frothing" are frequent in this play-always referring to "bottleale. Warburton quotes from Sir Richard Hawkins' Voyages, p. 379: "Since the Spanish sacks have been common in our taverns, which for conservation are mingled with lime in the making, our nation complains of calentures, of the stone, the dropsy, and infinite other distempers, not heard of before this wine came into frequent "" Schmidt insists on the 66 use. live of the Ff, froth and live, "for frothing tankards make thriving tapsters." Compare several allusions to Froth's name, a character in Measure for Measure, in Act II. The passage quoted by Warburton is in the notes in Steevens' Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV. Steevens says gratuitously, lime was put in to 15. froth and lime] The Host in make it sparkle in the glass. But the Jonson's New Inn, II. ii., refers to putting in of lime to remove the sourfrothing: "whose horses may be ness was one of the tricks of the trade cosened, or what jugs, Filled up with in Pliny's time, and probably in all froth" (3536). For "lime" compare time. "The Africans use to mitigate 1 Henry IV. II. iv. 137: "here's and allay the tartnesse of their wines lime in this sack too: there is nothing with plaister, yea and in some parts but roguery to be found in villanous of their country with lime," Holland's

II. said I well] So in 2 Henry IV. III. ii. 227, “Ha, Sir John, said I well."

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Fal. Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good
trade: an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a
withered serving - man a fresh tapster.


Bard. It is a life that I have desired: I will


Pist. O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot


23. Hungarian] Ff, Q 3; Gongarian Q 1, Steevens.

Plinie, xiv. 19, 1601. And again "For as touching those wines which are medicined with marble, plastre and quicklime, what man is he (were he never SO healthie and strong) but he may be afraid well ynough to drinke thereof?" ibidem, xxiii. 1 (p. 153e).

15. at a word] i.e. I am a man of few words. So in 2 Henry IV. III. ii. 319: "I have spoke at a word. God keep you." The expression is common (see above, I. i. 109), but in connection elsewhere with an explanatory verb.

18. an old cloak makes] Compare Spanish Tragedy (Haz. Dods. v. 88), 1594: "Dost thou think to live, till his old doublet will make thee a new truss?"

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19. withered serving- man] Falstaff parodies the old proverb, "An old serving-man makes a young beggar." It is in George-a-Green; Thom's Early Prose Romances, chap. ii.; Webster's Northward Ho; Distracted Emperor (Bullen's Old Plays), etc. N. Breton, in Crossing of Proverbs, has another variation, "A young courtier, an old beggar. The earlier form was "Young saint, old devil."

23.] Steevens noted here: "This is a parody on a line taken from one of the old bombast plays, beginning, 'O base Gongarian, wilt thou the distaff wield?"" He goes on: "I have marked the passage down, but forgot to note the


[Exit Bardolph.

play." It is a desideratum, as it would simpify the allusion in line 25. Shakespeare, however, frequently refers to the spiritlessness, or effeminacy, of the tapster.

23. Hungarian] Gongarian, the Quarto reading, is incapable of explanation. A punning reference to discarded and disbanded soldiers who returned from the wars in Hungary about this time in a destitute condition. Hall notices them :

"So sharp and meagre that who should them see

Would sware they lately came

from Hungary."

The term occurs three times in The Merry Devil of Edmonton (circa 1600): "I have knights and colonels in my house and must tend the Hungarians," II. i. line 60; and in Webster's Westward Ho, v. iii., and other writers of this date. The joke received the sanction of the British Solomon: "Sir Francis Mitchell, who, being a very lean-faced fellow, and coming before his Majesty, his Majesty asked him what news from Bethlem Gabor, telling him he was an Hungarian and could not but know," Letter dated 1620-1621 in Court and Times of James I., ii. 242. There is no earlier example of the word in this sense. There are several parallel passages in this play and the Merry Devil. See Bohemian Tartar, IV. v. 21.

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