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Host. Sick of a calm :yea, good sooth.
Fal. So is all her sect;? an they be once in a calm, they are sick.
Dol. You muddy rascal, is that all the comfort you give me?
Fal. You make fat rascals,3 mistress Doll.
1 Sick of a calm:] I suppose she means to say of a qualm.
Steevens. 2 So is all her sect;] I know not why sect is printed in all the copies; I believe sex is meant. Johnson.
Sect is, I believe, right. Falstaff may mean all of her profes. sion. In Mother Bombie, a comedy, 1594, the word is frequently used:
“ Sil. I am none of that sect. “Can. Thy loving sect is an ancient sect, and an honourable," &c. Since the foregoing quotation was given, I have found sect so often printed for sex in the old plays, that I suppose these words were anciently synonymous. Thus, in Marston's Insatiate Coun.
“ Deceives our sect of fame and chastity.” Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Valentinian:
Modesty was made
It is the holiest thing to look upon,
“ Made nature a blest founder.” Steevens. In Middleton's Mad World my Masters, 1608, (as Dr. Farmer has elsewhere observed) a courtezan says, “it is the easiest art and cunning for our sect to counterfeit sick, that are always full of fits, when we are well,” I have therefore no doubt that sect was licentiously used by our author, and his contemporaries, for sex.
Malone. I believe sect is here used in its usual sense, and not for sex. Falstaff means to say, that all courtezans, when their trade is at a stand, are apt to be sick. Douce.
3 You make fat rascals,] Falstaff alludes to a phrase of the fo. rest. Lean deer are called rascal deer. He tells her she calls him wrong, being fat he cannot be a rascal. Johnson.
So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle: “The heavy hart, the blowing buck, the rascal, and the pricket.” Again, in The Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599:
“ What take you?-Deer.-You H ne'er strike rascal ?" Again, in Quarles's Virgin Widow, 1656:
and have known a rascal from a fat deer.” Rascall, (says Puttenham, p. 150,) is properly the hunting terme given to young deere, leane and out of season, and not to people.” Steevens.
To grow fat and bloated is one of the consequences of the ve.
Dol. I make them! gluttony and diseases make them; I make them not.
Fal. If the cook help to make the gluttony, you help to make the diseases, Doll: we catch of you, Doll, we catch of you; grant that, my poor virtue, grant that.
Dol. Ay, marry; our chains, and our jewels.
Fal. Your brooches, pearls, and owches ;4-for to serve bravely, is to come halting off, you know: To come off the breach with his pike bent bravely, and to surgery bravely; to venture upon the charged chambers5 bravely:
nereal disease; and to that Falstaff probably alludes. There are other allusions, in the following speeches, to the same disorder.
M. Mason. 4 Your brooches, pearls, and owches;] Brooches were chains of gold that women wore formerly about their necks. Owches were bosses of gold set with diamonds. Pope.
I believe Falstaff gives these splendid names as we give that of carbuncle, to something very different from gems and ornaments: but the passage deserves not a laborious research.
Johnson. Brooches were, literally, clasps, or buckles, ornamented with gems. See note on Antony and Cleopatra, Act IV, sc. xiii.
Mr. Pope has rightly interpreted owches in their original sense. So, in Nash's Lenten Stuff, &c. 1599: “ three scarfs, braceiets, chains, and ouches. It appears likewise from a passage in the ancient satire called Cocke Lorelles Bote, printed by Wynkyn de Worde, that the makers of these ornaments we called owchers:
“ Owchers, skynners, and cutlers.” Dugdale, p. 234, in his Account of the Will of T. de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, in the time of Edward III, says: “ His jewels be thus disposed: to his daughter Stafford, an ouche called the eagle, which the prince gave him; to his daughter Alice, his next best ouche.” Steevens.
It appears from Stubbes's Anatomie of Abuses, 1595, that owches were worn by women in their hair in Shakspeare's time. Dr. Johnson's conjecture, however, may be supported by the following passage in Maroccus Exstaticus, 1595: “Let him pass for a churle, and wear his mistress's favours, viz. rubies and precious stones, on his nose, &c. and this et cetera shall, if you will, be the perfectest p— that ever grew in Shoreditch or Southwarke.” Malone.
the charged chambers -) To understand this quibble, it is necessary to say, that a chamber signifies not only an apartment, but a piece of ordnance.
A chamber is likewise that part in a mine where the powder is lodged. Steevens.
Dol. Hang yourself, you muddy conger, hang yourself!
Host. By my troth, this is the old fashion; you two never meet, but you fall to some discord: you are both, in good troth, as rheumatické as two dry toasts ;7 you cannot one bear with another's confirmities. What the good-year!8 one must bear, and that must be you: [to Dol.] you are the weaker vessel, as they say, the emptier vessel.
Dol. Can a weak empty vessel bear such a huge full hogshead? there 's a whole merchant's venture of Bourdeaux stuff in him; you have not seen a hulk better stuffed in the hold.- Come, I'll be friends with thee, Jack: thou art going to the wars; and whether I shall ever see thee again, or no, there is nobody cares.
Re-enter Drawer. Draw. Sir, ancient Pistol 'so below, and would speak
Chambers are very small pieces of ordnance which are yet used in London on what are called rejoicing days, and were sometimes used in our author's theatre on particular occasions. See King Henry VIII, Act I, sc. iii. Malone.
rheumatick – ] She would say splenetick. Hanmer. I believe she means what she says. So, in Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour:
“ Çob. Why I have my rewme, and can be angry." Again, in our author's King Henry V :“He did in some sort han. dle women; but then he was rheumatick," &c.
Rheumatick, in the cant language of the times, signified capri. cious, bumoursome. In this sense it appears to be used in many other old plays. Steevens.
The word scorbutico (as an ingenious friend observes to 163) is used in the same manner in Italian, to signify a peevish ill-tem. pered man. Malone.
Dr. Farmer observes, that Sir Thomas Elyott, in his Castell of Helth, 1572, speaking of different complexions, has the following remark: “Where cold with moisture prevaileth, that body is called fleumatick.” Steevens.
7 as two dry toasts ;] Which cannot meet but they grate one another. Johnson.
good-year!] Mrs. Quickly's blunder for goujere, i. e. morbus Gallicus. See Vol. III, p. 45, n. 9.
Steevens. ancient Pistol -] Is the same as ensign Pistol. Falstaff was captain, Peto lieutenant, and Pistol ensign, or ancient.
Dol. Hang him, swaggering rascal! let him not come hither: it is the foul mouth'dst rogue in England.
Host. If he swagger, let him not come here: no, by my faith; I must live amongst my neighbours; I'll no swaggerers: I am in good name and fame with the very best:-Shut the door; there comes no swaggerers here: I have not lived all this while, to have swaggering now: -shut the door, I pray you. Fal. Dost thou hear, hostess?
Host. Pray you, pacify yourself, sir John; there comes no swaggerers here. 1
Fal. Dost thou hear? it is mine ancient.
Host. Tilly-fally,2 sir John, never telt me; your ancient swaggerer comes not in my doors. I was before master Tisick, the deputy, the other day; and, as he said to me,“it was no longer ago than Wednesday last,Neighbour Quickly, says he;- master Dumb, our minister, was by then ;-Neighbour Quickly, says he, receive those that are civil; for, saith he, you are in an ill name; -now he said so, I can tell whereupon; for, says he, you are an honest woman, and well thought on; therefore take heed what guests you receive : Receive, says he, no swaggering companions.- - There comes none here;you would bless you to hear what he said: no, I'll no swaggerers.
Fal. He's no swaggerer, hostess; a tame cheater, 3
there comes 120 swaggerers here.] A swaggerer was a roaring, bullying, blustering, fighting fellow. So, in Greene's Tu Quoque, a comedy, by Cooke, 1614: “I will game with a gamster, drinke with a drunkard, be ciuill with a citizen, fight with a swaggerer, and drabb with a whoore-master.” Ritson. 2 Tilly-fally,] See Vol. III, p. 213, n. 7. Malone.
a tame cheater,] Gamester and cheater were, in Shakspeare's age, synonymous terms. Ben Jonson has an epigram on Captain Hazard, the cheater.
A tame cheater, however, as Mr. Whalley observes to me, ap. pears to be a cant phrase. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Fair Maid of the Inn:
and will be drawn into the net, “By this decoy-duck, this tame cheater." Greene, in his Mihil Mumchance, has the following passage:
They call their art by a new-found name, as cheating, thenselves cheators, and the dice cheters, borrowing the term from among our lawyers, with whom, all such casuals as fall to the
he; you may stroke him as gently as a puppy greyhound: he will not swagger with a Barbary hen, if her feathers iurn back in any show of resistance.-Call him up, drawer.
Host. Cheater, call you him? I will bar no honest man my house, nor no cheater:4 But I do not love swaggering; by my troth, I am the worse, when one saysswagger: feel, masters, how I shake; look you, I warrant you.
Dol. So you do, hostess.
Host. Do I? yea, in very truth, do I, an 'twere an as. pen leaf: I cannot abide swaggèrers.
Enter PISTOL, BARDOLPH, and Page. Pist. 'Save you, sir John!
Fal. Welcome, ancient Pistol. Here, Pistol, I charge you with a cup sack: do you discharge upon mine hostess.
Pist. I will discharge upon her, sir John, with two bullets.
lord at the holding of his lcets, as waifes, straies, and such like, he called chetes, and are accustomably said to be escheted to the lord's use.” So, likewise in Lord Coke's Charge at Norwich, 1607: “But if you will be content to let the escheator alone, and not looke into his actions, he will be contented by deceiving you to change his name, taking unto himselfe the two last syllables only, with the es left out, and so turn cheater.” Hence perhaps the derivation of the verb-to cheat, which I do not recollect to have met with among our most ancient writers. In The Bell-man of London, by T. Decker, 5th edit. 1640, the same derivation of ihe word is given: “Of all which lawes, the highest in place is the cheating law, or the art of winning money by false dyce. Those that practice this study call themselves cheaters, the dyce cheators, and the money which they purchase cheate; borrowing the terme from our common lawyers, with whom all such casuals as fall to the lord at the holding of his leetes, as waifes, straies, and such like, are said to be escheated to the lordes use, and are called cheates.” This account of the word is likewise given in A manifest Detection of Dice-play, printed by Vele, in the reign of Henry VIII.
Steevens. 4 I will bar no honest man my house, nor no cheater:] The humour of this consists in the woman's mistaking the title of cheater, (which our ancestors gave to him whom we now, with better manners, call a zamester,) for that officer of the exchequer called an escheator, well known to the common people of that time; and named, either corruptly or satirically, a cheater. Warburton.