Phelps, Charles E. Falstaff and Equity: An Interpretation. Originally published: Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1902. xvi, 201 pp. Reprinted 2002 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN-13: 9781584772309; ISBN-10: 1584772301. Hardcover. New. $18.95 * "Judge Phelps of Baltimore has done a very pretty piece of legal and literary work in this volume. The text is Falstaff's remark in the Gadshill scene: `An the Prince and the Poins be not two arrant cowards, there's no equity stirring." All the commentators have passed this over, assuming, it seems, that the meaning is only `there's no such thing as justice in the world.' Certainly the words will bear that meaning. But it is a flat remark for Falstaff to make, if that is all. Is it not really pointed by some special allusion? Putting that question to himself as a good Shakespeare reader, Judge Phelps, as a good lawyer, answers it by looking to what was happening in the Courts just before the first part of Henry IV was produced. That was some time in 1597, probably near the end of the year. It turns out that equity was stirring very much in 1596-7.": F.P., Law Quarterly Review 17: 322-323 cited in Marke, A Catalogue of the Law Collection at New York University (1953) 1143.
Book number 33682