E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
One of Falstaffs inferior officers. Falstaff calls him the knight of the burning lamp, because his nose was so red, and his face so full of meteors. He is a low-bred, drunken swaggerer, without principle, and poor as a church mouse. (Merry Wives; Henry IV., i., ii.)
We must have better assurance for Sir John than Bardolfs. We like not the security.Lord Macaulay.