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that he is in 2 Henry IV. and Henry V.

He is a braggadocio, full of windy words, and the style is identical in all cases. Even his words are repeated from one play to another on one occasion. See note at II. i. III.

Wheatley gives a curious coincidence from Willis's Current Notes, May 1856, p. 44: "In the muster-roll of artillerymen serving under Humphrey Fitz-Allan, Earl of Arundel, at the siege of St. Laurens des Mortier, dated Nov. 11, 1435, appear the names of R. Bardoulff and Will Pistail." This is a pair of foreigners. Bardolph (see next paragraph) is an old German name, and the other is probably French. Shakespeare may have taken his name Pistol from Soliman and Perseda, with a slight and suitable alteration from "Piston" to "Pistol." The play was very popular, on account of the character "Basilisco, a vainglorious knight," who is mentioned by Shakespeare in King John, and by Nashe: "Such a vaine Basilisco, and Captaine Crackstone," Have with you to Saffron Walden (Grosart, iii. 158), 1596. Nashe's "Crackstone" is his variant of Piston. Nashe's passage goes on with the words "swarmeth in vile Canniball words," not a bad reminder of Pistol (2 Henry IV. II. iv. 180). Nashe is of course referring to his enemy Gabriel Harvey. Soliman and Perseda was entered at Stationers' Hall, 1592, but probably written several years earlier. Nashe's remark implies that Piston was a more martial character on the stage than the play as we have it (Haz. Dods. v.) shows him. He uses very few stage terms, but he carries "high men and low men." He is more a fool than a braggart. Basilisco is the more thrasonical of the two. Johnson gives Pistol the credit of being perhaps "the model of all the

bullies that have yet appeared upon the English stage." For Pistol's future relationship to Mrs. Quickly, see my remarks above on that character. Pistol's legitimate disappearance from the play is dealt with in the Caius-Evans plot.

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Bardolph has the distinction of being the only character in all three historical plays, and also in Merry Wives. Mrs. Quickly has a similar position, but it is spurious. Bardolph is Falstaff's oldest companion since the days of the Boar's Head. There is somewhat to be said in favour of Bardolph, although he was executed for "stealing a pix' -even that was perhaps a record offence. We have this on Pistol's authority, and "when Pistol lies . . ." the results are unspeakable. In the Merry Wives, when Bardolph is dismissed, he shows himself above the rest by seeking an honest employment. In Henry V., he defies Pistol, the coward, and draws upon him. And in 2 Henry IV. we are given to understand that the prince took his part against the Lord Chief Justice upon a memorable occasion. But what attracts one to him is not merely the longevity of his stage career, but his loyalty to Falstaff. When he hears that "Falstaff he is dead," Bardolph says, "Would I were with him, whersome'er he is, either in heaven or in hell." He buries all his shortcomings with this sentiment.

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When Slender accuses Falstaff's "cony-catching rascals Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol" of picking his pocket (I. i. 128), Bardolph's name is omitted in the Quarto text. He seems to have had only a secondary part in the transaction. Bardolph, moreover, has nothing to do with the letters, or the revenge.

Bardolph had been thirty-two years in Falstaff's service

in 1 Henry IV. In 2 Henry IV. he is a corporal, and receives courtesy from Shallow. In Henry V. he rises higher still and falls altogether. His red nose appears in

all the plays.

Bardolph has no knowledge of any of the stratagems around him. When he ushers in "Brook" to Falstaff, he doesn't know it is Ford or any one in disguise.

He is true to his old master. And when the horse-stealing takes place, Bardolph is not in that business-he is true to the Host, his master. Falstaff bought Bardolph in Paul's, and he made a good purchase. Halliwell says, "George Bardolphe and William Fluellen were fellow-townsmen of Shakespeare's at Stratford." (Note at Henry V. II. i., Clar. Press.) So the name was familiar.


mystical remarks are "The anchor is deep "

Corporal Nym is introduced to us first in the Merry Wives. From his military title we may suppose he was picked up by Falstaff in the Yorkshire campaign of 2 Henry IV., where, however, he is not mentioned. He reappears in Henry V., where his purport is still the same -mockery of the fashionable and absurd use of the word "humour." Several of his minor characteristics attended to in my notes. But his not always capable of interpretation. remains unsolved. As examples of the "idiosyncrasies of the commentator-mind," perhaps I may be pardoned if I mention a few of the more far-fetched suggestions that occurred to me. Anchor means "hermit," with a jocular allusion to "Sir John," a clergyman. "The deep old rascal!" The word was in use at this time. See note, where I have allowed this idea to stand. Anchor is a reference to Drayton's river Anker, mentioned very

strikingly in his Idea before this play; by the shores of which his mistress dwelt. The Anker figures again in Drayton's Polyolbion. Brown Brown (of Tavistock) refers to Drayton as the poet by the Anker in Britannia's Pastorals. Shakespeare was indebted to Drayton in one or two of his sonnets. Anchor is suitable to Falstaff, typified as a sea of fat, into whom this anchor has sunk deeply. Falstaff is a sea on his own showing, when he drops a plummet into himself in the last scene. Falstaff in 1 Henry IV. I. ii. is a moon's man, governed, as the sea is, by the moon. Nym meant something. Johnson thought we should read "author." And anchor was a Dutch word (vide Nares) signifying a drinking vessel.

Justice Shallow has been dealt with to some extent already in the "Lucy" tradition (2). When Falstaff visited Shallow in Gloucestershire, in 2 Henry IV. v. iii., it was for the purpose of borrowing a thousand pounds from him (IV. iv.). At the end of that play Shallow would have been glad to get five hundred for it. In Merry Wives he looks upon it, we may assume, as a bad debt for the present, since he says nothing about it; or he may have been paid, and that may account for Falstaff's poverty. When did the deer-stealing episode occur? Some time, we can suppose (it is all supposition), after Falstaff's banishment, when, perhaps, he endeavoured to obtain a little more assistance from the Justice, and failing in that, poached his venison, for which the injured man pursues him down to Windsor.

Justice Shallow is wholly uninteresting in Merry Wives, except in so far as he belongs to tradition, and is one of the very few demonstrable personal allusions or vehicles

for allusions in Shakespeare. He is of interest, of course, because he is the Shallow of 2 Henry IV., where he is a more prominent character. He refers to his former self in Merry Wives in three places (I. i. 40; II. iii. 46; and II. i. 231), where he boasts of his old long-sword prowess. Falstaff never draws him out in Merry Wives, as he did so admirably in the previous play; they are now on very different terms. We have merely a vain garrulous old man, boastful of his long pedigree and little brief authority. He fills a space in the plot in a purely unnecessary episode with Falstaff, which is introduced for a purpose, and he serves as a prop and an introduction for Slender, otherwise he would hardly be missed. In a note at II. iii. 46 I have quoted an interesting parallel to Shallow's "skip like rats."

(9) The Merry Wives is written entirely, it may be said, in prose. We may add this, perhaps, to the rest of the evidence in favour of a rapid production, since even Shakespeare himself would probably need more leisure for a higher class of effusion. Taking a brief look over the characters, it appears at once that poetry, if it were there, should centre upon Fenton and Anne Page. The other characters are fitter for prose. Fenton and Anne are, however, kept in the background, for the purpose of the play is merriment-rollicking, riotous mirth-gear that was gotten for a holiday, not poetry. There is nothing serious in the play. But there is a beautiful picture of country life, and a delineation of simple, everyday, unsophisticated people, full-blooded and up to anything in the nature of fun that make this play a treasured possession, for which we could better afford to part with, perhaps, half of the author's other works, admittedly superior though several

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