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A great while
With hey, ho, &c.

the world begun,

But that's all one, our play is done;
And we'll strive to please you every day. [Exit.

This play is in the graver part elegant and eafy, and in fome of the lighter fcenes exquifitely humorous. Ague-cheek is drawn with great propriety, but his character is, in a great measure, that of natural fatuity, and is therefore not the proper prey of a fatirift. The foliloquy of Malvolio is truly comick; he

is betrayed to ridicule merely by his pride. The marriage of Olivia, and the fucceeding perplexity, though well enough contrived to divert on the ftage, wants credibility, and fails to produce the proper inftruction required in the drama, as it exhibits no juft picture of life.


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Sir Hugh Evans, a Welch Parfon.

Dr. Caius, a French Doctor.

Hoft of the Garter.



Robin, Page to Falstaff.

William Page, a Boy, Son to Mr. Page.

Simple, Servant to Slender.

Rugby, Servant to Dr. Caius.

Mrs. Page.

Mrs. Ford.

Mrs. Ann Page, Daughter to Mr. Page, in Love with


Mrs. Quickly, Servant to Dr. Caius.

Servants to Page, Ford, &c.

SCENE, Windfor; and the Parts adjacent.

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Enter Justice Shallow, Slender, and Sir Hugh Evans,

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IR Hugh, perfuade me not. I will make a StarChamber matter of it. If he were twenty Sir John Falstaffs, he fhall not abufe Robert Shallow, Efq;

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Slen. In the county of Gloucefter, juftice of peace,

and Coram.

Shal. Ay, coufin Slender, and Cuftalorum 2.

Slen. Ay, and Rato-lorum too; and a gentleman born, master parfon, who writes himself Armigero in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation; Armigero. Shal. Ay, that I do, and have done any time thefe three hundred years.

Slen. All his fucceffors, gone before him, have don't ; and all his ancestors, that come after him, may; they may give the dozen white luces in their Coat.

Shal. It is an old Coat.

Eva. The dozen white lowfes do become an old coat well; it agrees well, paffant; it is a familiar beast to man, and fignifies love.

Shal. The luce is the fresh fish, the falt-fifh is an old Coat.

Slen. I may quarter, coz.

Shal. You may by marrying.

Eva. It is marring, indeed, if he quarter it.

Shal. Not a whit.

Eva. Yes, per-lady; if he has a quarter of your coat, there is but three fkirts for yourself, in my fimple conjectures. But that is all one; if Sir John Faltaff have committed difparagements upon you, I am

fured, our Author finifh'd in a
Fortnight. But this must be
meant only of the first imperfect
Sketch of this Comedy, an old
Quarto Edition whereof I have
feen, printed in 1602; which
fays in the Title-page-
As it

hath been divers times acted both
before her Majefty and elsewhere.
2 Cuffalorum.] This is, I fup-
pofe, intended for a corruption
of Cuftos Rotulorum. The mif-
take was hardly defigned by
the Author, who, though he

gives Shallow folly enough,makes
him rather pedantick than illite
rate. If we read:

Shal. Ay, coufin Slender, and
Cuftos Rótulorum.
It follows naturally:

Slen. Ay, and Ratulorum too.
3 The luce, &c.] I fee no con-
fequence in this anfwer. Per-
haps we may read, the falt-fifh is
not an old coat. That is, the
fresh-fish is the coat of an ancient
family, and the falt-fil is the
coat of a merchant grown rich
by trading over the sea.


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