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Ford. Ay, and an ox too: both the proofs are ex


Fal. And these are not fairies? I was three or four times in the thought, they were not fairies; and yet the guiltinefs of my mind, the fudden furprize of my powers, drove the grofsnefs of the foppery into a receiv'd belief, in defpight of the teeth of all rhime and reason, that they were fairies. See now, how wit may be made a jack-a-lent, when 'tis upon ill imploy


Eva. Sir John Falstaff, ferve Got, and leave your defires, and fairies will not pinfe you.

Ford. Well faid, fairy Hugh.

Eva. And leave you your jealoufies too, I pray you. Ford. I will never mistruft my wife again, 'till thou art able to woo her in good English.

Fal. Have I laid my brain in the fun and dry'd it, that it wants matter to prevent fo grofs o'er-reaching as this? am I ridden with a Welch goat too? fhall I have a coxcomb of frize? 'tis time, I were choak'd with a piece of toafted cheese.

Eva. Seefe is not good to give putter; your pelly is all putter.

Fal. Seefe and putter? have I liv'd to stand in the taunt of one, that makes fritters of English? this is enough to be the decay of luft and late-walking, through the Realm.

Mrs. Page. Why, Sir John, do you think, though we would have thruft virtue out of our hearts by the head and shoulders, and have given ourselves without fcruple to hell, that ever the devil could have made you our delight?

Ford. What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax?
Mrs. Page. A puft man?

Page. Old, cold, wither'd, and of intolerable en


Ford. And one that is as flanderous as Satan?
Page. And as poor as Job?


Ford. And as wicked as his wife?

Eva. And given to fornications, and to taverns, and facks, and wines, and metheglins, and to drinkings, and fwearings, and starings, pribbles and prabbles?

Fal. Well, I am your theme; you have the start of me; I am dejected; I am not able to anfwer the Welch flannel; 'ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me; ufe me as you will.

Ford. Marry, Sir, we'll bring you to Windsor to one Mr. Brook, that you have cozen'd of mony, to whom you should have been a pander: over and above that you have fuffer'd, I think, to repay that mony will be a biting affliction.


Mrs. Ford. Nay, husband, let That go to make


Forgive that Sum, and fo we'll all be Friends.

Ford. Well, here's my hand; all's forgiven at laft. Page. Yet be cheerful, Knight; thou fhalt eat a poffet to night at my houfe, where I will defire thee to laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee. Tell her, Mr. Slender hath marry'd her daughter.


Mrs. Page. Doctors doubt that; if Anne Page be my daughter, the is, by this, Doctor Caius' wife.

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ment, I prefumte, was by the Players. Sir John Falstaff is fufficiently punish'd, in being difappointed and expofed. The Expectation of his being profecuted for the twenty Pounds, gives the Conclufion too tragical a Turn. Befides, it is poetical Justice that Ford fhould fuftain this Lofs, as a Fine for his unreasonable Jealoufy. THEOBALD.

3 The two plots are excellently connected, and the tranfition very artfully made in this fpeech.


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Slen. What hoe! hoe! father Page:

Page. Son, how now? how now, fon, have you dispatch'd?

Slen. Difpatch'd? I'll make the best in Gloucestershire know on't; would I were hang'd la, else.

Page. Of what, fon?

Slen. I came yonder at Eaton to marry mistress Anne Page, and he's a great lubberly boy. If it had not been i'th' church, I would have fwing'd him, or he fhould have fwing'd me. If I did not think it had been Anne Page, would I might never stir, and 'tis a postmaster's boy.

Page. Upon my life, then you took the wrong.

Slen. What need you tell me that? I think fo, when I took a boy for a girl: if I had been marry'd to him, for all he was in woman's apparel, I would not have had him.

Page. Why, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you, how you should know my daughter by her garments?

Slen. I went to her in white and cry'd mum, and the cry'd budget, as Anne and I had appointed; and yet it was not Anne, but a post-master's boy.

Eva. Jefhu! Mafter Slender, cannot you fee but marry boys?

Page. O, I am vext at heart. What shall I do?

Mrs. Page. Good George, be not angry; I knew of your purpose, turn'd my daughter into green, and, indeed, he is now with the Doctor at the Deanry, and there married.


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Caius. Ver is miftrefs Page? by gar, I am cozen'd; I ha' marry'd one garfoon, a boy; one peasant, by gar; a boy; it is not Anne Page; by gar, I am cozen'd. Mrs. Page. Why? did you not take her in green? Caius. Ay, be gar, and 'tis a boy; be gar, I'll raise all Windfor.

Ford. This is ftrange! who hath got the right Anne?
Page. My heart mifgives me; here comes Mr. Fenton,

Enter Fenton, and Anne Page,

How now, Mr. Fenton?

Anne. Pardon, good father; good my mother, par


Page. Now, miftrefs, how chance you went not with Mr. Slender?

Mrs. Page. Why went you not with Mr. Doctor, maid?

Fent. You do amaze her: Hear the truth of it.
You would have marry'd her most shamefully,
Where there was no proportion held in love:
The truth is, he and I, long fince contracted,
Are now fo fure, that nothing can diffolve us.
Th' offence is holy, that the hath committed;
And this deceit lofes the name of craft,
Of difobedience, or unduteous title;
Since therein the doth evitate and fhun
A thousand irreligious curfed hours,

Which forced marriage would have brought upon her.
Ford. Stand not amaz'd, here is no remedy
In love, the heav'ns themfelves do guide the ftate;
Mony buys lands, and wives are fold by fate.


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Fal. I am glad, tho' you have ta'en a fpecial Stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanc'd.

* Page. Well, what remedy? Fenton, heav'n give thee joy!

What cannot be efchew'd, must be embrac'd.

Eva. I will alfo dance and eat plums at your Wedding.

Fal. When night-dogs run, all forts of deer are chac’d.

Mrs. Page. Well, I will mufe no further. Mr.

Heav'n give you many, many merry days!
Good husband, let us every one go home,
And laugh this fport o'er by a country fire,
Sir John and all.

Ford. Let it be fo:-Sir John,

To mafter Brook you yet fhall hold your word;
For he, to-night, fhall lye with miftrefs Ford.

*In the firft fketch of this play, which, as Mr. Pope obferves, is much inferiour to the latter performance, the only fenti

[Exeunt omnes.

ment of which I regret the omiffion occurs at this critical time, when Fenton brings in his wife, there is this dialogue.

Mrs. Ford. Come, Miftrefs Page, I must be bold with you, 'Tis pity to part love that is so true.

Mrs. Page. [afide.] Although that I have miffed in my intent, Yet I am glad my husband's match is croffed.

Here, Fenton, take her.

Eva. Come, Mafter Page, you must needs agree.

Ford. I'faith, Sir, come, you fee your wife is pleased.

Page. I cannot tell, and yet my heart is eafed;

And yet it doth me good the doctor missed.

Come bither, Fenton, and come hither, Daughter.


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