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Nym. He was gotten in drink: is not the humour


Fal. I am glad I am so acquit of this tinder-box:

his thefts were too open; his filching was like

an unskilful singer; he kept not time.


Nym. The good humour is to steal at a minute's 30


Pist. "Convey," the wise it call. "Steal!" foh! a

fico for the phrase !

Fal. Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.

Pist. Why, then, let kibes ensue.


26. conceited?] Nym's speech (in Q 1) after wield? is, "His mind is not heroic and there's the humour of it"; inserted by Theobald after conceited? 27. tinder-box] tinder Boy Q 1. 30. minute's] minim (Langton conj.), Singer.

25. gotten] begotten. An obsolete form, of which New Eng. Dict. has only two examples, this not being one. Ben Jonson uses it once. Compare A Merry Knack to Know a Knave (Haz. Dods. vi. 509): "when such a gallant as you were gotten.'

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26.] Steevens inserted here, after "conceited," the passage "His minde is not heroick, And there's the humour of it," from the Quarto, where it is Nym's remark after "wield." The words make the allusion contained in "gotten in drink" more explicit, an allusion which Steevens' line about the distaff would fully explain. It is a common piece of folklore, referred to by Falstaff in 2 Henry IV. IV. iii. 101, and stated positively in Beaumont and Fletcher's Woman Hater, II. i., and in Middleton's Phonix, II. iii. (Bullen's Middleton, i. 1556), 1607. Nym's humour has always pith in it, if it can be discovered.

27. tinder-box] Another reference to Bardolph's "flames o' fire." See "Scarlet," I. i. 177 (note). For "tinderbox," see Othello, 1. i. 141 (note).

30, 31. steal at a minute's rest] Probably Nym plays on the expression, "steal a minute's rest," or, as Malone

puts it, "when watchfulness reposes for a moment. Nym's humours are so involved. The expression was in use. Compare T. Brewer's prose Merry Devil of Edmonton (reprint of 1631 ed., p. 38), 1608: "Could by no means take a minute's rest for him." The alteration to minim is an unwarrantable, though ingenious, one.

32. Convey] a polite term for steal. So in Hugh Rhodes, Boke of Nurture (Furnivall's Babees Book, p. 77), 1577: "Wype cleane thy spone, I do thee reed, leave it not in the dish; Lay it downe before thy trenchoure, thereof be not afrayde; And take heede who takes it up, for feare it be convayde." Nares refers to Marston's What You Will. Conveyance has a similar use in 1 Henry VI. 1. iii. 2, and in Wily Beguiled (Haz. Dods. ix. 222) twice.

32, 33. a fico for the phrase] Sp. fig. A fig for it. Compare Henry V. III. vi. 60. The expression occurs in Guilpin's Skialetheia (1598), 68, 66 'a fico for the criticke spleene.' Ben Jonson has the word in Every Man in his Humour, II. (1598).

34, 35. out at heels. . ."kibes] Kibed heels, that is to say, chapped, or ulcer

Fal. There is no remedy; I must cony-catch; I must


Pist. Young ravens must have food.

Fal. Which of you know Ford of this town?

Pist. I ken the wight: he is of substance


Fal. My honest lads, I will tell you what I am


Pist. Two yards, and more. Fal. No quips now, Pistol!

ated heels, not improbably from bad foot wear, seem to have been extraordinarily common, amounting to a plague. With regard to foot wear compare the abundance of the proverbs (with allusions), "treading one's foot awry" and "knowing where the shoe pinches," and others. In the Index to Holland's Plinie (1601) there are twenty-two references to "kibed heels, how to be cured." Shakespeare refers to them again in Hamlet, v. i. 153, and in Lear, I. v. 9. See Craig's note at the latter passage in his edition of Lear. The passage in the text distinctly attributes them to bad boots. Holland never confounds kibes with "bloudiefalls and blistering chilblains." How far the translator follows Pliny need not be inquired into here. Sharpham makes the connection of heels and kibes proverbial: "If I come but once neere him, he sweeres I am lyke a kybe, always at his heeles," Cupid's Whirligig, Act VII., 1607. And Ben Jonson has the words, "bribes To make the heel forget it eer had kibes," Vision of Delight, 1617. Chilblains, a form of frost-bite, belong chiefly to youth, bad circulation, and winter. Kibes made no distinction.

36. cony-catch] See note, I. i. 128.

37. shift] In the Quarto the word is

Indeed, I am in the



"cheat." This meaning is well illustrated by Ben Jonson's Cavalero Shift, "a threadbare shark," in Every Man Out of his Humour. See Dramatis Persona of that play, and also Jonson's Epigram xii., on "Lieutenant Shift." It was especially applied to soldierimpostors, and belonged to their cheating ways. Nares has two good examples of "shifter, a Peele had a rogue character in his early play, Sir Clyomon (circa 1590), whom he named Subtle Shift. In Wheatley's edition of this play he gives, "To sharke or shift or cony-catch for money," Taylor's Works, 1630. A very wide mark.


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38. Young ravens must have food] Steevens says, "An adage. See Ray's Proverbs.' It is not in Ray. The nearest to it is, “Small birds must have meat." Shakespeare perhaps recalled Job xxxviii. 41, as he does in As You Like it, II. iii. Compare also Psalm cxlvii. 9: "He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry." But no doubt Pistol has in mind the more congenial sense of

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raven," a sharker, which must have been in use. See note at "bullyrook," line 2. This line is not in the Quarto, the surrounding dialogue is.

45. quips] In the Quarto the word is "'gibes."

waist two yards about; but I am now about no waste; I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to 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 49. carves] craves Q 3.

46, 47. waist . . . waste] Steevens quotes two examples of this standard pun, from Heywood (1562), and from Shirley's Wedding, 1629. Jonson has it in Discoveries, iii. (De mollibus): "There is nothing valiant or solid to be hoped for from such as are always kempt and perfumed . . . making the waist small, binding it with hoops, while the mind runs at waste." The expression waste-thrift" (spendthrift) occurs in Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle, i. 4.

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48. entertainment] Compare Wilkins, Miseries of Enforced Marriage (Haz. Dods. ix. 541), 1607: “I'll but prepare her heart for entertainment of your love." This seems to be the simple meaning here. Some commentators have found a special wanton


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49. she carves] i.e. she is an accomplished, courteous woman. Compare Love's Labour's Lost, v. ii. 323, 4, 5: "A' can carve too and lisp: why this is he That kissed his hand away in courtesy: This is the ape of form." The word is used here absolutely in a somewhat violent fashion, and there have been many comments. New Eng. Dict. accepts Schmidt's sense, "to show great courtesy and affability," and gives these two examples only. Dyce gives a number of examples illustrating his sense of the word, used, he thinks, "to describe some particular form of action-some sign of intelligence and favour." Carving was undoubtedly seized as favourable opportunity of encouraging a suitor by word, look, and deed; and all these allusions show that fashionable




hostesses adopted it as a recognised
mode of flirtation. Moreover, carving
was practically one of the fine arts.
The older books on the subject had laid
down the laws, and it was the etiquette
to practise them ostentatiously.
survey of the notes on this word reduces
a man to pulp, and New Eng. Dict. acts
as a delightful voider to take the refuse
away, here, as in many other cases.
Nevertheless, one or two passages (not
hitherto quoted) will show the wide
use of the term. In Choice, Chance,
and Change (by N. Breton), Grosart's
reprint, p. 59, 1606, occurs: "there
wanted no part of comfort that might
be found in Table kindness: as welcome,
carving, and drinking, and so forth.
But after dinner was done"- Brinsley
Nicholson sent Grosart a note to this
passage: "Carving is metaphorically
used as descriptive of such gestures of
deference, etc., as one used at that
time when carving for an honoured or
favoured person. He says (and I
agree) that several of Dyce's quotations
are not to the point. Compare Webster,
White Devil, 1612: “I did nothing
to displease him, I carved to him at
supper." In Fallace's delightful de-
scription of a courtier in Jonson's
Every Man Out, IV. i., his dainty
carving is specially mentioned.
words in the Quarto from "I spy"
("espy" Q 1) to "invitation
same, excepting that "leer" is mis-
written "lyre.' Compare also The
Two Noble Kinsmen, iv. 3: "Desire
to eat with her, carve her, drink to her,'
and see Skeat's note to his edition of
that play.

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behaviour, to be Englished rightly, is, "I am Sir
John Falstaff's."

Pist. He hath studied her will, and translated her

will, out of honesty into English.

Nym. The anchor is deep:


will that humour

Fal. Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her husband's purse: he hath a legion of angels.

Pist. As many devils entertain; and to her, boy, say I.



54. studied her will] Ff, Q 3, Globe; studied her well Q 1, Pope, Steevens, Craig. 54, 55. translated her will] Ff, Q 3 (omitted Q 1); translated her well Pope, Steevens, Craig; translated her Hanmer; studied her well and translated her will Grant White; studied her well and translated her ill Cambridge edd. conj. 59. he] she Q1; a legion] Pope; a legend Ff, Q3; legians Q1; legions Q 3, Capell, Steevens. 61. entertain] Ff, Q 3; attend her Q I.

52. Englished told in plain English. Compare Ben Jonson, Every Man Out of his Humour, Dram. Pers.: "A vain-glorious knight, over-englishing his travels, and wholly given to singularity."

54, 55. will... will] Pistol means, "he hath studied her natural disposition or bent of mind and translated it into carnal desire." For the various suggestions, see Collation above. The constant quibbling on the different meanings of "will" seem to render them unnecessary.

56. The anchor is deep] Farmer quotes a passage from Fennor's, Compter's Commonwealth, 1617, in which the words "anchor" and "deep" both occur, but it seems to be of no further aptness. What Nym says amounts to an acceptation of Falstaff's scheme; the plan is fixed firmly. But Nym has some other sense. Perhaps he jocularly calls Falstaff, with a possible reference to Sir John, a byname for a clergyman, an "anchor," i.e. hermit "the deep old

rascal." The word occurs in the second Quarto of Hamlet, III. ii. 229. There are worse and more far-fetched puns than this in Shakespeare. Hall uses the word also in Satires, IV. ii. 103 (1598). No wonder Nym asks, “will it pass?" Compare the following metaphorical use of the word: “Consider whether you will stoop to so poor a prey at least I should wish you would make account of it as ultimum refugium and the last anchor," Court and Times of James I., i. 89; Letter of Carleton, 1609. See below, line 90, note.

60. angels] coins worth ten shillings. 61. As many devils entertain] Pistol elaborates the "humour," many bad people have many, or have the use of many, angels (i.e. money). Steevens gets another meaning, and makes "entertain" an imperative to Falstaff, "do you entertain in your service as many devils as she hath angels," reading "she" with the Quarto. For "legions of devils," see note, II. ii. 312. Compare Nashe, Terrors of the Night (Gros. iii.

Nym. The humour rises; it is good: humour me

the angels.

Fal. I have writ me here a letter to her: and here 65 another to Page's wife, who even now gave me good eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious œillades; sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly. Pist. Then did the sun on dunghill shine.

68. aillades] illiads Ff, Q 3; eyelids Halliwell, Pope conj. guided F 2, 3, 4.

228), 1594: "A man that will entertaine them [spirits] must not pollute his bodie with any grosse carnall desires," etc.

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61. to her, boy] An expression of encouragement, perhaps from bear baiting. Compare Mucedorus, 1598: Spare her, Bremo; spare her, do not kill. Shall I spare her which never spared any? To it, Bremo, to it; essay again.' The speaker is "A wild man" in the act of murdering a beautiful virgin. And again, on page 381: "To it, Francis-to it, sister!" Both Quarto and Folio print the words as above, running with the text. They italicise the words, "I am, Sir John Falstaff's" (line 53). See also Beaumont and Fletcher, Knight of Burning Pestle, iii.: "To him, Ralph, to him! hold up the giant"; Wit without Money, iv.: "Now to her, sir, fear nothing"; and Merry Devil of Edmonton (Haz. Dods. x. 236), circa 1600: "To her again, mother."

63. humour] Shakespeare has used this word as a verb in Love's Labour's Lost, III. 13, and IV. ii. 52. And see II. i., "the humoured letter," in this play.

66, 67. gave me good eyes] looked at me lovingly. Compare Heywood's Proverbs, ed. Sharman, p. 109, 1546: "As he to her cast off a loving eye, So cast her husband like eye to his plate."


69. gilded]


68. aillades]"Eillade: an amorous looke, affectionate winke sheepe's eye (Cotgrave). The word occurs again in Lear, IV. v. Steevens referred to Greene's Disputation between a Hee Cony-catcher and a Shee Conycatcher, 1592. The passage is in Grosart's edition, x. 199: "What flatteries they use to bewitch . . . what amorous glances, what smirking Ocyliades, what cringing courtesies," etc.

68, 69. beam of her view] The Quarto has here, "who even now gave me good eies too, examined my exteriors with such a greedy intention with the beames of her beautie, that it seemed as she would a scorged me up like a burning_glasse." Compare the first lines of Sonnet xxxii. One of Watson's sonnets in A Centurie of Love (xxiii.) has this thought: "For when she first with seeming stately grace Bestowed on me a loving sweete regard, The beames which then proceeded from her face were such, as for the same I founde no worde, But needes perforce I must become content To mealt in minde till all my wittes were spent.'

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70. sun on dunghill shine] Wheatley refers to Lyly's Euphues, 1581, "The sun shineth upon the dunghill." Fuller, in Gnomologia, gives a proverb, "The sun is never the worse for shining on a dunghill." Falstaff shows to great disadvantage in receiving such insults from these base companions.

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