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The eleventh of this month, at Shrewsbury:
Eastcheap. A Room in the Boar's Head Tavern.
Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH. Fal. Bardolph, am I not fallen away vilely since this last action ? do I not bate ? do I not dwindle ? Why, my skin hangs about me like an old lady's loose gown”; I am wither'd like an old apple-John. Well, I'll repent, and that suddenly, while I am in
4 Advantage feeds him fat,] i. e. feeds himself. Malone.
“ Who, for twice seven years, hath esteemed him
" In a dun night-gown of his own loose skin." Malone.
some liking 6; I shall be out of heart shortly, and then I shall have no strength to repent. An I have not forgotten what the inside of a church is made of, I am a pepper-corn, a brewer's horse ?: the inside
0 - while I am in some LIKING ;) While I have some flesh, some substance. We have had well-liking in the same sense in Love's Labour's Lost, vol. iv. p. 418: “ Well liking wits they have; gross, gross ; fat, fat."
MALONE. So, in the Book of Job, xxxix. 4 : “ — their young ones are in good liking." Thus also P. Holland, in his translation of the eleventh book of Pliny's Natural History : “ — when they be well liking, the heart hath a kind of fat in the utmost tip thereof."
STEEVENS. 7-a brewer's horse :) I suppose a brewer's horse was apt to be lean with hard work. Johnson.
A brewer's horse does not, perhaps, mean a dray-horse, but the cross-beam on which beer-barrels are carried into cellars, &c. The allusion may be to the taper form of this machine.
A brewer's horse, however, is mentioned in Aristippus, or The Jovial Philosopher, 1630: “ — to think Helicon a barrel of beer, is as great a sin as to call Pegasus a brewer's horse.”
STEEVENS. The commentators seem not to be aware, that, in assertions of this sort, Falstaff does not mean to point out any similitude to his own condition, but, on the contrary, some striking dissimilitude. He says here, “I am a pepper-corn, a brewer's horse;" just as in Act II. Sc. IV. he asserts the truth of several parts of his narrative, on pain of being considered as “ a rogue-a Jew-an Ebrew Jew-a bunch of raddish-a horse." TYRWHITT.
That Falstaff was unlike a brewer's horse, may be collected from a conundrum which I found in The Devil's Cabinet Opened : • What is the difference between a drunkard and a brewer's horse ? Because the one carries all his liquor on his back, and the other in his belly?” But malt-horse, which is the same thing, was a common term of reproach in our author's time. So, in the Comedy of Errors, vol. iv. p. 192 :
“Mome, mall-horse, capon, coxcomb, idiot, patch." So, in Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour, Gifford's edit. vol. i. p. 36:
** Why he has no more judgment than a malt-horse.” Again, in Bartholomew Fair, vol. iv. p. 431 : " I did not tell you of his fables, l, no, no, I am a dull malt-horse, I, I know nothing.” BOSWELL.
of a church 8! Company, villainous company, hath been the spoil of me.
BARD. Sir John, you are so fretful, you cannot ive long.
FAL. Why, there is it :-come, sing me a bawdy song; make me merry. I was as virtuously given, as a gentleman need to be; virtuous enough: swore little ; diced, not above seven times a week; went to a bawdy-house not above once in a quarter-of an hour; paid money that I borrowed, three or four times; lived well, and in good compass : and now I live out of all order, out of all compass.
BARD. Why, you are so fat, sir John, that you must needs be out of all compass; out of all reasonable compass, sir John.
Fal. Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life : Thou art our admiral”, thou bearest the lantern in the poop,mbut 'tis in the nose of thee; thou art the knight of the burning lamp?.
8 the inside of a church!) The latter words (“the inside of a church !") were, I suspect, repeated by the mistake of the compositor. Or Falstaff may be here only repeating his former words." The inside of a church!"-without any connection with the words immediately preceding. My first conjecture appears to me the most probable. MALONE.
9- Thou art our admiral, &c.] Decker, in his Wonderful Yeare, 1603, has the same thought. He is describing the Host of a country inn : “ An antiquary might have pickt rare matter out of his nose.—The Hamburghers offered I know not how many dollars for his companie in an East-Indian voyage, to have stoode a nightes in the Poope of their Admirall, onely to save the charges of candles.” Steevens.
This appears to have been a very old joke. So, in A Dialogue both pleasaunt and pietifull, &c. by Wm. Bulleyne, 1564: “Marie, this friar, though he did rise to the quere by darcke night, he needed no candell, his nose was so redd and brighte ; and although he had but little money in store in his purse, yet his nose and cheeks were well set with curral and rubies." Malone.
1- the knight of the burning lamp.] This is a natural picture. Every man who feels in himself the pain of deformity,
Bard. Why, sir John, my face does you no
harm. FAL. No, I'll be sworn; I make as good use of it as many a man doth of a death's head, or a memento mori: I never see thy face, but I think upon hell-fire, and Dives that lived in purple; for there he is in his robes, burning, burning. If thou wert any way given to virtue, I would swear by thy face ; my oath should be, By this fire ? : but thou art altogether given over ; and wert indeed, but for the light in thy face, the son of utter darkness. When thou ran'st up Gads-hill in the night to catch my horse, if I did not think thou had'st been an ignis fatuus, or a ball of wildfire, there's no purchase in money. O, thou art a perpetual triumph, an everlasting bonfire-light! Thou hast saved me a thousand marks in links and torches, walking with
however, like this merry knight, he may affect to make sport with it among those whom it is his interest to please, is ready to revenge any hint of contempt upon one whom he can use with freedom. Johnson.
The “knight of the burning lamp,” and the “knight of the burning pestle," are both names invented with a design to ridicule the titles of heroes in ancient romances. STEEVENS,
2 - By this fire :] Here the quartos 1599 and 1608 very profanely add :-" that's God's angel.” This passage is perhaps alluded to in Histriomastrix, 1610, where Asinius says : “ By this candle (which is none of God's angels) I remember you started back at sprite and fame.” Mr. Henley, however, observes, that “ by the extrusion of the words now omitted, the intended antithesis is lost.” Steevens.
3- thou art a perpetual TRIUMPH,] So, in King Henry VI, Part III.:
“ And what now rests but that we spend the time
“ Such as befit the pleasures of the court."
thee in the night betwixt tavern and tavern: but the sack that thou hast drunk me, would have bought me lights as good cheap', at the dearest chandler's in Europe. I have maintained that salamander of yours with fire, any time this two and thirty years; Heaven reward me for it !
Bard. 'Sblood, I would my face were in your belly.
sage stands in need of no explanation ; but I cannot help seizing the opportunity to mention that in Shakspeare's time, (long before the streets were illuminated with lamps,) candles and lanthorns to let, were cried about London. So, in Decker's Satiromastix: “ — dost roar? thou hast a good rouncival voice to cry lantern and candle light." Again, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, among the Cries of London :
“ Lanthorn and candlelight here,
“ Thus go the cries,” &c. Again, in King Edward IV. 1626 :
“ No more calling of lanthorn and candlelight.” Again, in Pierce Pennyless's Supplication to the Devil, 1595: “ It is said that you went up and down London, crying like a lantern and candleman." STEEVENS.
5- good cheap,] Cheap is market, and good cheap therefore is a bon marché. Johnson. So, in Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, 1599 :
“ If this weather hold, we shall have hay good cheap.” Again, in the anonymous play of King Henry V.:
"Perhaps thou may'st agree better cheap now.” And again, in these two proverbs :
" They buy good cheap that bring nothing home.”
Cheap (as Dr. Johnson has observed) is undoubtedly an old word for market. So, in the ancient metrical romance of Syr Bevys of Hampton, bl. l. no date :
“ Tyll he came to the chepe
“ There he founde many men of a hepe." From this word, East-cheap, Chep-stow, Cheap-side, &c. are derived; indeed a passage that follows in Syr Berys may seem to fix the derivation of the latter :
“ So many men was dead,