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That Falstaff at that oak fhall meet with us, We'll fend him word to meet us in the field, Difguis'd like Herne, with huge horns on his head.
Page, Well, let it not be doubted, but he'll come. And in this fhape when you have brought him thither, What shall be done with him? what is your plot? Mrs. Page. That likewife we have thought upon,
Nan Page (my daughter), and my little fon,.
And fairy-like to pinch the unclean knight;
Mrs. Ford. And 'till he tell the truth, Let the fuppofed fairies pinch him round, And burn him with their tapers.
Mrs. Page. The truth being known,
Shape, in which Falfaff was to be appointed to meet? For the women have not faid one word to afcertain it. This makes it more than fufpicious, the Defect in this Point must be owing to fome wife Retrenchment. The two intermediate Lines, which I have reftored from the old Quarto, are abfolutely neceffary, and clear up the matter. THEOBALD.
5 With fume diffused fang:) A
diffused fong fignifies a fong that ftrikes out into wild fentiments beyond the bounds of nature, fuch as those whofe fubject is fairy-land. WARBURTON.
And fairy like To pinch the unclean Knight;] The Grammar requires us to read, And fairy like Too, pinch the unclean Knight.
M m 4
And mock him home to Windfor.
Ford. The children muft
Be practis'd well to this, or they'll ne'er do't.
Eva. I will teach the children their behaviours; and I will be like a jack-an-apes alfo to burn the knight with my taper.
Ford. This will be excellent. I'll go buy them vizards.
Mrs. Page. My Nan fhall be the Queen of all the fairies; finely attired in a robe of white.
Page. That filk will I go buy. And in that time Shall Mr. Slender fteal my Nan away, Afide. And marry her at Eaton. Go, fend to Falstaff
Ford. Nay, I'll to him again in the name of Brook; he'll tell me all his purpofe. Sure, he'll come.
Mrs. Page. Fear not you that; go get us properties and tricking for our fairies.
Eva. Let us about it, it is admirable pleafures, and ferry honeft knaveries. [Ex. Page, Ford and Evans. Mrs. Page. Go, Mrs, Ford,
Send Quickly to Sir John to know his mind.
[Exit Mrs. Ford.
I'll to the doctor; he hath my good will,
7 That filk will I go by, and in that time Mr.Theobald referring that time to the time of buying the filk, alters it to tire. But there is no need of any change: That time evi
[Exit. dently relating to the time of the mask with which Falfaff was to be entertained, and which makes the whole fubject of this dialogue. Therefore the common reading is right. WARBURTON,
Changes to the Garter-Inn.
Euter Hoft and Simple.
HAT would't thou what,
Hoft.Whick-skin? fpeak, breathe, difcufs;
brief, fhort, quick, fnap.
Simp. Marry, Sir, I come to fpeak with Sir John Falstaff, from Mr. Slender.
Hoft. There's his chamber, his houfe, his castle, his ftanding-bed and truckle-bed; 'tis painted about with the ftory of the Prodigal, fresh and new; go, knock and call; he'll fpeak like an anthropophaginian unto thee: knock, I fay.
Simp. There's an old woman, a fat woman gone up into his chamber; I'll be fo bold as stay, Sir, 'till the come down: I come to speak with her, indeed.
Hoft. Ha! a fat woman? the Knight may be robb'd; I'll call. Bully-Knight! Bully-Sir John! speak from thy lungs military: art thou there? it is thine Hoft, thine Ephefian, calls.
Fal. How now, mine Hoft?
Hoft. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming
8 Standing-bed and truckle bed.] The ufual furniture of chambers in that time, was a ftanding-bed, under which was a trochle, truckle or running bed. In the ftanding-bed lay the malter, and in the truckle-bed the fervant. So in Hall's account of a fervile tutor:
He lieth in the truckle-bed
While his young mafter lieth o'er his head.
Bohemian-Tartar.] The French call a Bohemian what we call a Gypfey; but I believe the Hoft means nothing more than, by a wild appellation, to infinu ate that Simple makes a strange appearance.
down of thy fat woman: let her defcend, bully, let her defcend; my chambers are honourable. Fie, privacy? fie!
- Fal. There was, mine Hoft, an old fat woman even now with me, but fhe's gone.
Simp. Pray you, Sir, was't not the wife woman of Brainford?
Fal. Ay, marry was it, muffel-fhell', what would you with her?
Simp. My mafter, Sir, my mafter Slender, fent to her, feeing her go thro' the street, to know, Sir, whether one Nym, Sir, that beguil'd him of a chain, had the chain, or no.
Fal. I fpake with the old woman about it. Simp. And what fays fhe, I pray, Sir? Fal. Marry, the fays, that the very fame man, that beguil'd mafter Slender of his chain, cozen'd him of
Simp. I would, I could have spoken with the woman herself; I had other things to have fpoken with her too, from him.
Fal. What are they? let us know.
Simp. Why, Sir, they were nothing but about miftrefs Anne Page; to know, if it were my master's fortune to have her or no.
Simp. May I be fo bold to fay fo, Sir?
Fal. Tis, 'tis his fortune..'
Fal. To have her, or no go; fay, the woman told me fo.
Muel-fell. He calls poor Simple muffel-fhell, because he ftands with his mouth open.
Simp. Thank your worship: I fhall make my mafter
glad with these tidings.
[Exit Simples Hoft. Thou art clarkly; thou art clarkly, Sir John was there a wife woman with thee?
Fal. Ay, that there was, mine Hoft; one, that hath taught me more wit than ever I learned before in my life; and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning.
Bard. Out, alas, Sir, cozenage! meer scozenage! Hoft. Where be my horfes, speak well of them, varletto.
Bard. Run away with the cozeners; for fo foon as I came beyond Eaton, they threw me off from behind one of them in a flough of mire, and fet fpurs, and away, like three German devils, three Doctor Fauftus's.
Hoft. They are gone but to meet the Duke, villain; do not fay, they are fled; Germans are honeft men.
Caius. Ver' is mine Hoft de Jarterre?
Eva. Where is mine Hoft?
Hoft. What is the matter, Sir?
Eva. Have a care of your entertainments; there is a friend o'mine come to town, tells me, there is three cozen-jermans that has cozen'd all the Hofts of Reading, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, of horfes and mony. I tell you for good will, look you; you are wife, and full of gibes and vlouting-stocks, and 'tis not convenient you should be cozen'd; fare you well. [Exit.