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to her in white, and cry, mum; she cries, budget; and by that we know one another. Shal. That's good too; but what needs either
your mum, or her budget? the white will decipher her well enough. It hath struck ten o'clock.
Page. The night is dark, light and spirits will become it well; heav'n prosper our sport! No man means evil but the devil, and we shall know him by his horns. Let's away; follow me.
[Exeunt. Enter Miftress Page, Mistrefs Ford and Caius. Mrs. Page. Mr. Doctor, my daughter is in green ; when you see your time, take her by the hand, away with her to the Deanary, and dispatch it quickly; go before into the Park; we two must go together.
Caius. I know vat I have to do; adieu. [Exit,
Mrs. Page. Fare you well, Sir. My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse of Falstaff, as he will chafe at the Doctor's marrying my daughter ; but 'tis no matter; better a little chiding, than a great deal of heart-break.
Mrs. Ford. Where is Nan now, and her troop of fairies, (27) and the Welch devil Evans ?
Mrs. Page. They are all couch'd in a pit hard by Herne's oak, with obscur'd lights; which, at the very instant of Falstaff's and our Meeting, they will at once display to the night.
Mrs. Ford. That cannot chuse but amaze him.
Mrs. Page. If he be not amaz’d, he will be mock'd; if he be amaz’d, he will every way be mock'd.
Mrs. Ford. We'll betray him finely.
(27) And the Welch Devil Herne ?] Thus all the Impressions have blunder'd after each other ; but Falstaff was to represent Herne, and he was no Welchman. Where was the Attention, or Sagacity, of our Editors, not to observe that Mrs. Ford is inquiring for Evans by the Name of the Welch Devil ? The Mistake, of the Word Herno getting into the Text, might easily happen by the Inadvertence of Transcribers, who threw their Eyes too hastily on the succeeding Line, where the Word again occurs. Dr. Thirlby likewise discover'd the Blunder of this Pafsage.
Mrs. Page. Against such lewdsters, and their lechery, Those, that betray them, do no treachery.
Mrs. Ford. The hour draws on; to the oak, to the oak.
(Exeunt. Enter Evans and Fairies.
Eva. Trib, trib, fairies; come, and remember your parts: be pold, I pray you; follow me into the pit; and when I give the watch-'ords, do as I pid you : come, come; trib, trib.
[Exeunt. Enter Falstaff, with a Buck's head on. Fal. The Windfor bell hath ftruck twelve, the minute draws on; now the hot-blooded Gods affift me! Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Europa; love set on thy horns. Oh powerful love! 'that, in some respects, makes a beast a man; in some other, a man a beast: You were also, Jupiter, a swan, for the love of Leda : oh, omnipotent love! how near the God drew to the complexion of a goose? A fault donc first in the form of a beast, -- 0 Jove, a beastly fault; and then another fault in the semblance of a fowl:think on’t, Jove, a foul fault. When Gods have hot backs, what shall poor men do? for me, I am here a Windfor itag, and the fattest, I think, i'th’ forest. Send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss my tallow? who comes here? my Doe?
Enter Mistress Ford and Mistress Page. Mrs. Ford. Sir John? art thou there, my deer? my male-deer?
Fal. My doe with the black scut ? let the sky rain potatoes ; let it thunder to the tune of Green-Sleeves; hail kisling-comfits, and snow eringoes ; let there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.
Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, sweet heart.
Fal. (28) Divide me like a bribe-buck, each a haunch; I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fel low of this walk, and my horns í bequeath your hul . bands. Am I a woodman, ha? Speak I like Herne the hunter ? why, now is Cupid a child of conscience, he makes restitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome!
[Noise within. Mrs. Page. Alas! what noise? Mrs. Ford. Heav'n forgive our sins! Fal. What should this be? Mrs. Ford. Mrs. Page. Away, away,
[The women run Opt. Fal. I think, the devil will not have me damn'd, left the oil that is in me should set hell on fire; he never would else cross me thus.
Enter Sir Hugh like a Satyr; Quickly, and others, drejt
like Fairies, with Tapers.
Eva. Elves, list your names; filence, you airy toys.
(28) Divide me like a brib'd-Buck,] Thus all the old Copies, mil takingly : It must be, bribe-buck; i. e. a Buck sent for a Bribe. I made the Correction in my SHAKESPEARE Restorid; and Mr. Pope has reform'd the Passage by it, in his last Edition.
(29) You orphan-heirs of] Why, Orphan-beirs? Destiny, to which they ow'd their Original, and to whom they were heirs, was yet in Ben ing sure : therefore they could not be callid Orphans. Doubtless, the Poet wrote ;
You Ouphen-heirs of fixed Destiny. i. e. You Elves, that succeed to, and minister in, some of the Works of Destiny. They are call'd both before and after, in this Play, Ouphs; here, Ouphen : for en is either the Saxon Termination of plural Nouns; (the Word it self being from the Saxon Alfenne, lamie, demones ;) or the Termination of an Adjective, form'd from a Noun; as wooden, woollen, golden, brasın, &c.
There pinch the maids as blew as bilbery.
Fal. They're fairies; he, that speaks to them, shall die. I'll wink and couch; no man their works must eye.
[Lyes down upon his Face. Eva. Where's Pede? go you, and where you find a
(30) and the Owner it.] And cannot be the true Reading, both because the Grammar of the Sentence will not allow it, and his Court to Queen Elizabeth directs to another Reading :
- as the Owner it. for, sure, he would not with a Thing, which his Complaisance and Ad. dress must suppose actually was; viz. the Worth of the Owner.
Of Herne, the hunter, let us not forget.
Fal. Heav'ns defend me from that Welch fairy, left he transform me to a piece of cheese!
Eva.Vild worm, thou wast o'er-look'd ev'n in thy birth,
Quic. With tryal-fire touch me his finger-end;
[They burn him with their tapers, and pinch bim. Come, will this wood take fire?
Fal. Oh, oh, oh!
Quic. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire ;
Eva. (31) It is right, indeed, he is full of leacheries and iniquity.
The S O N G.
Fed in heart whose flames aspire,
Pinch bim, fairies, mutually ;
Pinch bim for his villany :
'Till candles, and star-light, and moon-shine be out.
comes one way, and steals away a Boy in green; Slender,
(31) Eva. It is right, indeed: ] This short Speech, which is very much in Character for Sir Hugh, I have inserted from the old Quarto.
(32) During this Song,] This Direction I thought proper to insert from the old Quarto's, as it is necessary to explain what is in Adion on the Scene ; and on which a Part of the Catastrophe of the Fable depends.'