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cheater — “A tame,” 2 HENRY IV., ii. 4. 92. The context, I think, shows that when Falstaff applies to Pistol these words (cheater properly signifying “one who plays with false dice”), he means no more than “a poor spiritless or harmless rascal.” (Here Steevens quotes the following passage from Mihil Mumchance, etc. [a tract which has been inconsiderately attributed to Greene]:“They [those who played with false dice] call their art by a new-found name, as cheating, themselves cheators, and the dice cheters, borrowing the term from among our lawyers, with whom all such casuals as fall to the lord at the holding of his leets, as waifes, straies, and such like, be called chetes, and are accustomably said to be escheted to the lord's use.” Steevens also cites from Beaumont and Fletcher'sFair Maid of the Inn, act iv. sc. 2,“and will be drawn into the net by this decoy-duck, this tame cheater,” —where tame cheater is evidently a cant phrase.)

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