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Poins. Falstaff!!—fast asleep behind the arras, and snorting like a horse.
P. Hen. Hark how hard he fetches breath: Search his pockets. [Poins searches.] What haft thou found?
Poins. Nothing but papers, my lord.
Poins. Item, A capon, 29. 2d.
s Poins. Falstaff! &c.] This speech, in the old copies, is given to Peto. It has been transferred to Poins on the suggestion of Dr. Johnson. Pero is again printed elsewhere for Poins in this play, probably from a P. only being used in the MS. “ What had Peto done, (Dr. Johnson observes,) to be trusted with the plot againit Falstaff? Poins has the Prince's confidence, and is a man of courage. This alteration clears the whole difficulty ; they all retired but Poins, who, with the Prince, having only robbed the robbers, had no need to conceal himself from the travellers.” Malone.
o_ Sack, two gallons, 55. 8d.] It appears from Peacham's Worth of a Penny, that fack was not many years after Shakspeare's death, about two shillings a quart. If therefore our author had followed his usual practice of attributing to former ages the modes of his own, the charge would have been here 16s. Perhaps he set down the price at random. He has, however, as a learned friend observes to me, fallen into an anachronism, in furnishing his tavern in Eastcheap with sack in the time of King Henry IV. “ The vintners sold no other facks, muscadels, malmfies, bastards, alicants, nor any other wines but white and claret, till the 33d year of King Henry VIII. 1543, and then was old Parr 60 years of age. All those sweet wines were sold till that time at the apothecary's, for no other use but for medicines.” Taylor's Life of Thomas i'arr, 4to. Lond. 1635. “ If therefore Falstaff got drunk with sack 140 years before the above date, it could not have been at Mrs. Quickly's.”
For this information I am indebted to the Reverend Dr. Stock, the accurate and learned editor of Demofthenes.
Since this note was written, I have learnt from a passage in Florio's Firf Fruites, 1578, with which I was furnished by the late
Item, Anchovies, and fack after supper, 2s.6d.
P. Hen. O monstrous! but one half-pennyworth of bread to this intolerable deal of sack !-What there is else, keep close; we'll read it at more advantage: there let him sleep till day. I'll to the court in the morning : we must all to the wars, and thy place shall be honourable. I'll procure this fat rogue a charge of foot; and, I know, his death will be a march of twelve-score. The money shall
Reverend Mr. Bowle, that fack was at that time but sixpence a quart. " Claret wine, red and white, is sold for five pence the quart, and facke for fixpence : muscadel and malmsey for eight.” Twenty years afterwards fack had probably risen to eight pence or cight pence halfpenny a quart, so that our author's computation is very exact. MALONE.
5- I know, his death will be a march of twelve-score.] i. e. It will kill him to march so far as twelve-score yards. Johnson. Ben Jonson uses the same expression in his Sejanus :
* That look'd for falutations twelve-score off," Again, in West ward Hoe, 1606:
“ I'll get me twelve-score off, and give aim.”
--- not one word near it;
STEEVBNS. That is, twelve score feet; the Prince quibbles on the word foot, which signifies a measure, and the infantry of an army. I cannot conceive why Johnson supposes that he means twelve score yards; he might as well extend it to twelve score miles. M. MASON.
Dr. Johnson fupposed that “ twelve score” meant twelve score, yards, because that was the common phraseology of the time. When archers talked of sending a shaft fourteen score, they meant fourteen score yards. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor : “ This boy will carry a letter twenty miles, as easily as a cannon will shoot point-blank iwelve score." See also King Henry IV. P. II. I have therefore great doubts whether the cquivoque pointed out by Mr, Mason was intended. If not, Mr. Pope's interpretation [twelvescore foot] is wrong, and Dr. Johnson's right. MALONE,
be paid back again with advantage. Be with me betimes in the morning; and so good morrow, Poins.
Poins. Good morrow, good my lord. [Exeunt.
ACT III. SCENE I. Bangor. A Room in the Archdeacon's House. Enter Hotspur, Worcester, MORTIMER, and
MORT. These promises are fair, the parties sure, And our induction full of prosperous hope.
Hor. Lord Mortimer,-and cousin Glendower, Will you sit down? And, 'uncle Worcester :- A plague upon it? I have forgot the map. GLEND.
No, here it is. Sit, cousin Percy; fit, good cousin Hotspur: For by that name as oft as Lancaster Doth speak of you, his cheek looks pale; and, with A rising sigh, he wisheth you in heaven.
Twelve-score always means so many yards and not feet. There is not the smallest reason to suppose that Shakspeare meant any quibble. Douce. o induction--] That is, entrance; beginning.
JOHNSON, An induction was anciently something introductory to a play. Such is the business of the Tinker previous to the performance of The Taming of a Shrew. Shakspeare often uses the word, which his attendance on the theatres might have familiarized to his conception. Thus, in King Richard III:
“ Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous." STEEVENS.
Hor. And you in hell, as often as he hears
GLEND. I cannot blame him: at my nativity,
Why, so it would have done
9 at my nativity, &c.] Most of these prodigies appear to have been invented by Shakspeare. Holinshed says only: “ Strange wonders happened at the nativity of this man; for the same night he was born, all his father's horses in the stable were found to stand in blood up to their bellies.” Steevens.
In the year 1402, a blazing star appeared, which the Welsh bards represented as portending good fortune to Owen Glendower. Shakspeare had probably read an account of this star in some chronicle, and transferred its appearance to the time of Owen's nativity.
MALONE. 8 Of burning cressets;] A creffet was a great light set upon a beacon, light-house, or watch tower: from the French word croissette, a little cross, because the beacons had anciently crosses on the top of them. HANMER.
The same word occurs in Histriomastir, or the Player whipt, 1610:
" Come Crellida, my crellet-light,
“ Thy face doth shine both day and night.” In the reign of Elizabeth, Holinshed says: “ The countie Pala. tine of Rhene was conveied by cresset-light, and torch-light, to Sir T. Gresham's house in Bishopsgate-street.” Again, in The stately Moral of the Three Lords of London, 1590:
« Watches in armour, triumphs, creflet-lights.” The cresset-lights were lights fixed on a moveable frame or cross, like a turnstile, and were carried on poles, in processions. I have seen them represented in an ancient print from Van Velde. See also a wooden cut in Vol. VII. p. 146. STEVENS,
Hot. And I say, the earth was not of my If you suppose, as fearing you it shook. Glend. The heavens were all on fire, the earth
did tremble. Hor. O, then the earth shook to see the heavens
on fire, And not in fear of your nativity. Diseased nature oftentimes breaks forth In strange eruptions : oft the teeming earth Is with a kind of cholick pinch'd and vex'd By the imprisoning of unruly wind Within her womb; which, for enlargement striving, Shakes the old beldame earth, and topples down
Difeafed nature ] The poet has here taken, from the perverseness and contrariousness of Hotspur's temper, an opportunity of raising his character, by a very rational and philosophical confutation of superstitious error. JOHNSON. 2 — oft the teeming earth
Is with a kind of cholick pinch'd and vex'd
Shakes the old beldame earth,] So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :
“ As when the wind, imprison'd in the ground,
“ Which with cold terrours doth men's minds confound.” The same thought is found in Spenser's Faery Queen, B. III. c. ix :
- like as a boyfl'rous wind, “ Which in th' earth's hollow caves hath long been hid, “ And, shut up fast within her prisons blind, “ Makes the huge element against her kind “ To move, and tremble, as it were aghaft, • Untill that it an issue forth may find; “ Then forth it breakes; and with his furious blast
“ Confounds both land and seas, and skyes doth overcast.” Co also in Drayton's Legend of Pierce Gaveston, 1594:
“ As when within the soft and spongie soyle