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wild Prince and Poins. He is of too high a region, he knows too much. No, he fhall not knit a knot in his fortunes with the finger of my fubftance. If he take her, let him take her fimply; the wealth I have waits on my confent, and my confent goes not that
Ford. I befeech you, heartily, fome of you go home with me to dinner; befides your cheer, you fhall have fport; I will fhew you a monfter. Mr. Doctor, you fhall go; fo fhall you, Mr. Page; and you, Sir Hugh.
Shal. Well, fare you well, we fhall have the freer wooing at Mr. Page's.
Caius. Go home, John Rugby, I come anon.
Hoft, Farewel, my hearts; I will to my honeft Knight Falstaff, and drink Canary with him.
Ford. [Afide.] I think, I fhall drink in Pipe-wine firft with him: I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles?
All. Have with you, to fee this monster.
Changes to Ford's Houfe.
Enter Mrs. Ford, Mrs. Page, and Servants with a basket.
Mrs. Ford.HAT, John! what, Robert!
Mrs. Ford. I warrant.. What, Robin, I say.
Mrs. Ford. Here, fet it down.
Mrs. Page. Give your men the charge, we must be brief.
Mrs. Ford. Marry, as I told you before, John and Robert, be ready here hard by in the brew-house, and when I fuddenly call on you, come forth, and without
any pause or staggering take this basket on your fhoulders; that done, trudge with it in all hafte, and carry it among the whitfters in Datchet-Mead, and there empty it in the muddy ditch clofe by the Thames fide.
Mrs. Page. You will do it?
Mrs. Ford. I ha' told them over and over; they lack no direction. Be gone, and come when you are call'd. [Exeunt Servants.
Mrs. Page. Here comes little Robin.
Mrs. Ford. How now, my Eyas-musket', what news with you?
Rob. My mafter Sir John is come in at your backdoor, mistress Ford, and requests your company.
Mrs. Page. You little Jack-a-lent, have you been true to us?
Rob. Ay, I'll be fworn: my mafter knows not of your being here, and hath threaten'd to put me into everlasting liberty, if I tell you of it; for he fwears, he'll turn me away.
Mrs. Page. Thou'rt a good boy; this fecrecy of thine shall be a tailor to thee, and fhall make thee a new doublet and hofe. I'll go hide me.
Mrs. Ford. Do fo; go tell thy mafter, I am alone; miftrefs Page, remember you your cue. [Exit Robin. Mrs. Page. I warrant thee; if I do not act it, hifs [Exit Mrs. Page.
niais, un niais.- Mufket figni-
7 How now, my Eyas mufket,] Eyas is a young unfledg'd hawk. I fuppofe from the Italian Niafo, which originally fignified any young bird taken from the neft unfledg'd, afterwards, a young hawk. The French, from hence, took their niais, and used it in both thofe fignifications; to whick they added a third, metaphorically a filly fellow ; un garçon fort
Mrs. Ford. Go to then; we'll ufe this unwholfome humidity, this grofs watry pumpion him, to know turtles from jays.
Fal. Have I caught thee, my heav'nly jewel? why, now let me die! for I have liv'd long enough: this is the period of my ambition: O this bleffed hour!
Mrs. Ford. Ofweet Sir John!
Fal. Miftrefs Ford, I cannot cog; I cannot prate, miftrefs Ford. Now fhall I fin in my wifh; I would, thy husband were dead; I'll fpeak it before the best lord, I would make thee my lady.
Mrs. Ford. I your lady, Sir John? alas, I fhould be a pitiful lady.
Fal. Let the Court of France fhew me fuch another; I fee how thine eye would emulate the diamond: thou hast the right arched bent of the brow, that becomes the fhip tire, the tire-valiant, or any Venetian attire.
that becomes the hiptire, the tire-VALIANT, or any Venetian attire.] The old Quarto reads, Tire-vellet, and the old Folio reads, Or any tire of Venetian admittance. So that the true reading of the whole is this, That becomes the ship tire, the tireVALIANT, or any 'tire of Venetian admittance. The fpeaker tells his mistress, fhe had a face that would become all the headdreffes in fashion. The hip-tire was an open head-drefs, with a kind of fcarf depending from behind. Its name of hip tire was, I prefume, from its giving the wearer fome refemblance of a fhip (as Shakespeare fays) in all
Mrs. Ford. A plain kerchief, Sir John; my brows become nothing elfe, nor that well neither.
Fal. Thou art a tyrant to fay fo; thou would'st make an absolute Courtier; and the firm fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy gate, in a femi-circled farthingale. I fee what thou wert; if fortune thy foe were not, nature is thy friend: come, thou canst not hide it.
Mrs. Ford. Believe me, there's no fuch thing in me.
Fal. What made me love thee? let that perfuade thee, there's fomething extraordinary in thee. Come, I cannot cog, and fay, thou art this and that, like amany of thofe lifping haw-thorn buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and fmell like Bucklers-Bury
This was an image familiar with the poets of that time. Thus Beaumont and Fletcher, in their play of Wit without money, She Spreads fattens as the King's frips do canvas every where, he may space her mifen; &c. This will direct us to reform the following word of tire valiant, which I fufpect to be corrupt, valiant being a very incongruous epithet for a woman's headdrefs. I fuppofe Shakespeare wrote tire-vailant. As the hip-tire was an open head drefs, fo the tirevailant was a clofe one; in which the head and breaft were covered as with a vail. And thefe were, in fact, the two different headdreffes then in fashion, as we may fee by the pictures of that time. One of which was fo open, that the whole neck, breafts and fhoulders, were open'd to view: the other, fo fecurely inclosed in kerchiefs, &c. that nothing could be feen above the eyes or below
or any Venetian attire.] This is a wrong reading, as ap
pears from the impropriety of the word attire here used for a woman's head drefs: whereas it fignifies the dress of any part. We fhould read therefore, Or any 'tire of Venetian admittance. For the word attire, reduced by the Aphærefis, to 'tire, takes a new fignification, and means only the head-drefs. Hence Tire-woman, for a dreffer of the head. As to the meaning of the latter part of the fentence, this may be feen by a paraphrafe of the whole fpeech.
Your face is fo good, fays the fpeaker, that it would become any head dress worn at court, either the open or the close, or indeed any rich and fafhionable one worth adorning with Venetian point, or which will admit to be adorned. [Of Venetian admittance.] The fafhionable lace, at that time, was Venetian point. WARBURTON.
This note is plaufible, except in the explanation of Venetian admittance: but I am afraid this whole fyftem of dress is unfupported by evidence.
in fimpling time; I cannot: but I love thee, none but thee; and thou deferveft it.
Mrs. Ford. Do not betray me, Sir; I fear, you love miftrefs Page.
Fal. Thou might'ft as well fay, I love to walk by the Counter-gate, which is as hateful to me as the reek of a lime-kiln.
Mrs. Ford. Well, heav'n knows how I love you, and you shall one day find it.
Fal. Keep in that mind; I'll deferve it.
Mrs. Ford. Nay, I muft tell you, fo you do; or elfe I could not be in that mind,
Rob. [within.] Mistress Ford, mistress Ford, here's miftrefs Page at the door, fweating, and blowing, and looking wildly, and would needs fpeak with you prefently.
Fal. She fhall not fee me; I will enfconce me be hind the arras.
Mrs. Ford. Pray you, do fo; fhe's a very tattling [Falstaff hides himself,
Enter miftrefs Page.
What's the matter? how now?
Mrs. Page. O miftrefs Ford, what have you done? you're fham'd, y'are overthrown, you are undone for
Mrs. Ford. What's the matter, good miftrefs Page? Mrs. Page. O well-a-day, miftrefs Ford, having an honeft man to your husband, to give him fuch caufe of fufpicion !
Mrs. Ford. What cause of fufpicion?
Mrs. Page. What caufe of fufpicion ?-out upon you!-how am I miftook in you?
Mrs. Ford. Why, alas! what's the matter?