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FAL. But to say, I know more harm of him than in myself, were to say more than I know. That he is old, (the more the pity,) his white hairs do witness it: but that he is (saving your reverence,) a whoremaster, that I utterly deny. If fack and sugar be a fault, God help the wicked! If to be old and merry be a sin, then many an old host that I know, is damn'd: if to be fat be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kine are to be loved. No, my good lord; banish Peto, banish Bardolph, banish Poins: but for sweet Jack Falstaff, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, and therefore more valiant, being as he is, old Jack Falstaff, ba
s If fack and sugar be a fault,] Sack with sugar was a favourite liquor in Shakspeare's time. In a letter describing Queen Elizabeth's entertainment at Killingworth castle, 1575, by R. L. [Langham] bl. I. 12 mo. the writer says, (p. 86,) * sipt I no more Jack and sugar than I do malmzey, I should not blush so much a dayz az I doo.” And in another place, describing a minítrel, who, being somewhat irascible, had been offended at the company, he adds: “ at last, by sum entreaty, and many fair woords, with fack and sugar, we sweeten him again.” P. 52.
In an old MS. book of the chamberlain's account belonging to the city of Worceíter, I also find the following article, which points out the origin of our word Jack, [Fr. fec.) viz. “ - Anno Eliz. xxxiiij.  Item, For a gallon of clarett wyne, and seck, and a pound of sugar, geven to fir John Russell, iiij.s.”_ This Sir John Russell, I believe, was their representative in parliament, or at least had prosecuted some fuit for them at the court.-In the same book is another article, which illustrates the history of the stage at that time, viz. “ A. Eliz. xxxiiij. Item, Bestowed upon the queen's trumpeters and players, iiij. Ib.”
Percy. This liquor is likewise mentioned in Monsieur Thomas, by Beaumont and Fletcher, 1639, and in The Wild Goose Chase of the same authors:
“ - You shall find us at the tavern,
“ Lamenting in fack and sugar for your losses.” Again, in Northward Hoe, 1607 :
“ I use not to be drunk with fack and sugar.” Steevens.
nish not him thy Harry's company, banish not him thy Harry's company; banish plump Jack, and banish all the world. P. Hen. I do, I will. [A knocking heard.
Exeunt Hostess, Francis, and BARDOLPH.
Re-enter Bardolph, running. Bard. O, my lord, my lord; the sheriff, with a most monstrous watch, is at the door. · Fal. Out, you rogue! play out the play: I have much to say in the behalf of that Falstaff.
Re-enter Hostess, hastily.
Fal. Heigh, heigh! the devil rides upon a fiddlestick:6 What's the matter?
Host. The sheriff and all the watch are at the door: they are come to search the house; Shall I let them in?
Fal. Doft thou hear, Hal? never call a true piece of gold, a counterfeit: thou art essentially mad,” without seeming so.
6 - a fiddle-stick:] I suppose this phrase is proverbial. It occurs in The Humorous Lieutenant of Beaumont and Fletcher :
for certain, gentlemen, “ The fiend rides on a fiddle-stick.” Steevens. 7 mad,] Old copies—made. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. I am not sure that I understand this speech. Perhaps Falstaff means to say,--We must now look to ourselves; never call that which is real danger, fictitious or imaginary. If you do, you are a madman, though you are not reckoned one. Should you admit the sheriff to enter here, you will deserve that appellation.—The firit words, however, “ Never call,” &c. may allude, not to real and imaginary danger, but to the subsequent words only, effential and Jeeming madness. MALONE.
P. Hen. And thou a natural coward, without instinct.
Fol. I deny your major: if you will deny the sheriff, so;& if not, let him enter: if I become not a cart as well as another man, a plague on my bringing up! I hope, I shall as soon be strangled with a halter, as another.
P. Hen. Go, hide thee behind the arras; 9—the
8 I deny your major: if you will deny the sheriff, so;] Falstaff clearly intends a quibble between the principal officer of a corporation, now called a mayor, to whom the sheriff is generally next in rank, and one of the parts of a logical proposition. Ritson.
To render this supposition probable, it should be proved that the mayor of a corporation was called in Shakspeare's time ma-jor.
That he was not called so at an earlier period, appears from several old books, among others from The History of Edward V. annexed to Hardynge's Chronicle, 1543, where we find the old spelling was maire : -" he beeyng at the haveryng at the bower, fent for the maire and aldermen of London.” Fol. 307, b.-If it shall be ob. jected, that afterwards the pronunciation was changed to ma-jor, the following couplet in Jordan's Poems (no date, but printed about 1661,) may serve to show that it is very unlikely that should have been the case, the pronunciation being at the Restoration the same as it is now :
and the major “ Shall juftle zealous Ifaac from the chaire." MALONE. Major is the Latin word, and occurs, with the requisite pronunciation, as a disfyllable, in King Henry VI. Part 1. (folio edition): '" Major, farewell; thou dost but what thou may'st.”
Ritson. 9- hide thee behind the arras ;] The bulk of Falstaff made him not the fittelt to be concealed behind the hangings, but every poet sacrifices something to the scenery. If Falstaff had not been hidden, he could not have been found asleep, nor had his pockets searched. Johnson.
When arras was first brought into England, it was suspended on small hooks driven into the bare walls of houses and caitles. But this practice was soon discontinued; for after the damp of the ftone or brickwork had been found to rot the tapeitry, it was fixed
reft walk up above. Now, my masters, for a true face, and good conscience.
Fal. Both which I have had: but their date is out, and therefore I'll hide me.
[Exeunt all but the Prince and Poins. P. Hen. Call in the sheriff.—
Enter Sheriff, and Carrier.
Now, master sheriff; what's your will with me? Sher. First, pardon me, my lord. A hue and
P. Hen. What men ?
lord ; *
on frames of wood at such a distance from the wall, as prevented the latter from being injurious to the former. In old houses there. fore, long before the time of Shakspeare, there were large spaces left between the arras and the walls, sufficient to contain even onę of Falstaff's bulk. Such are those which Fantome mentions in The Drummer. Again, in The Bird in a Cage, 1633:
« Does not the arras laugh at me? it Thakes methinks.
Again, in Northward Hoe, 1607: “ but softly as a gentleman courts a wench behind the arras.” Again, in King John, Act IV. sc. i:
“ Heat me these irons hot, and look thou stand
« Within the arras." In Much Ado about Nothing, Borachio says, “I whipp'd me behind the arras." Polonius is killed behind the arras. See likewise Holinshed, Vol. III. p. 594. See also my note on the second scene of the first Act of King Richard II. p. 204.
STEEVENS. So, in Brathwaite's Survey of Histories, 1614: “ Pyrrhus, to terrifie Fabius, commanded his guard to place an elephant behind ihe arras." MALONE.
a— my gracious lard;] We have here, I believe, another
A gross fat man.
As fat as butter.}
men Have in this robbery lost three hundred marks. P. Hen. It may be so: if he have robb’d these
Sher. Good night, my noble lord.
[Exeunt Sheriff and Carrier. P. Hen. This oily rascal is known as well as Paul's. Go, call him forth.
playhouse intrusion. Strike out the word gracious, and the metre becomes perfect;
P. Hen. What men?
STEEVENS. 3 As fat as butter.] I suppose our author, to complete the verse, originally wrote
A man as fat as butter. Steevens. 4 The man, I do assure you, is not here ;] Every reader muft re. gret that Shakspeare would not give himself the trouble to furnish prince Henry with some more pardonable excuse; without obliging him to have recourse to an absolute falsehood, and that too uttered under the sanction of so strong an assurance, STEEVENS.