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Enter Sir Hugh Evans, like a satyr ; MISTRESS
QUICKLY, and Pistol; ANNE PAGE, as the Fairy Queen, attended by her brother and others, dressed like fairies, with waxen tapers
on their heads. QUEEN. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white, You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night, You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny, Attend your office, and your quality. Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy o-yes. [toys.
Pist. Elves, list your names'; silence, you airy Cricket, to Windsor chimnies shalt thou leap : Where fires thou find'st unrak’d, and hearths
unswept, There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry:
Our radiant queen hates sluts, and sluttery.
shall die : I'll wink and couch: no man their works must
[Lies down upon his face. Eva. Where's Pede ?*—Go you, and where
you find a maid, That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said, Raise up
organs of her fantasy, Sleep she as sound as careless infancy; Put those as sleep, and think not on their sins, Pinch them, arms, legs, packs, shoulders, sides,
and shins. QUEEN. About, about ; Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out; Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room ;
(*) First folio, Bede.
a Enter Sir Hugh Evans, &c.) This stage-direction is chiefly made up from that in the early quarto. The folio has only, “ Enter fairins." The introduction of Pistol and Mistress Quickly in this scene, is to be accounted for on the supposition that the necessity of the theatre compelled the performers of these characters to take part among the fairies, and that the names thus got inserted in the print d copies.
b Queen.) There is nothing inconsistent in the prefix Quic. to these speeches in the quarto, because Mistress Quickly, or rather the actor who personated that character, was intended to "double" with it the Fairy Queen; but in the enlarged play, as Anne Page enacts the latter part, the prefis should certainly be "Queen." c You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,-) Warburton proposed,
with plausibility, to read, "Ouphen heirs," but see note (3), page d Queen. Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy 0-yes.
Pist Elces, list your names; silence, you airy tays.) “These two lines were certainly intended to rhyme together, as the preceding and subsequent couplets do; and accordingly, in the old editions, the final words of each line are printed ones and toyes. This therefore is a striking instance of the inconvenience which has arisen from modernizing the orthography of Shakespeare.”—TYRWHITT.
That it may stand till the perpetual doom,
Pinch him, fairies, mutually ; In state as wholesome, as in state 't is fit;
Pinch him for his villainy; Worthy the owner, and the owner it.
Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about, The several chairs of Order look you scour Till candles, and star-light, and moonshine be out. With juice of balm,“ and every precious flower : Each fair installment, coat, and several crest, During this song," the fairies pinch FalsTAFF. With loyal blazon, evermore be blest !
Doctor Caius comes one way, and steals And nightly, meadow-fairies, look, you sing,
away a fairy in green ; SLENDER another Like to the Garter's compass, in a ring :
way, and takes off a fairy in white ; and The expressure that it bears, green let it be,
FENTON comes, and steals away Anne PAGE. More fertile-fresh than all the field to see ;
A noise of hunting is made without. All And, Hony soit qui mal y pense, write,
the fairies run away:
FALSTAFF pulls off In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue, and white ; his buck's head, and rises. Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery, Buckled below fair knighthood’s bending knee: Enter Page, FORD, MIŞTRESS PAGE, and MisFairies use flowers for their charactery.
They lay hold on him.
PAGE. Nay, do not fly: I think, we have Of Herne the hunter, let us not forget.
watch’dd you now; Eva. Pray you, lock hand in hand; yourselves
Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn ? in order set:
Mrs. Page. I pray you, come ;
the And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns pe,
jest no higher :To guide our measure round apout the tree. Now, good sir John, how like you Windsor wives? Put, stay; I smell a man of middle earth.
these, husband ? do not these fair yokes Fal. Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy !
Become the forest better than the town ? lest he transform me to a piece of cheese !
*FORD. Now, sir, who's a cuckold now ? Pist. Vile worm, thou wast o’er-look'd even in Master Brook, Falstaff's a krave, a cuckoldly thy birth.
knave; here are his horns, master Brook : and, QUEEN. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end:
master Brook, he hath enjoyed nothing of Ford's If he be chaste, the flame will back descend,
but his buck-basket, his cudgel, and twenty pounds And turn him to no pain ; but if he start,
of money; which must be paid to master Brook ; It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.
his horses are arrested for it, master Brook. Pist. A trial, come!
Mrs. Ford. Sir John, we have had ill luck; Evå. Come, will this wood take fire ?
we could never meet. I will never take
for [They put the taper's to his fingers, and he starts.. my love again, but I will always count you my Fal. Oh, oh, oh!
deer. QUEEN. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire! FAL. I do begin to perceive that I am made an About him, fairies ; sing a scornful rhyme: And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time. Ford. Ay, and an ox too; both the proofs are
Fal. And these are not fairies? I was three or* SONG.
four times in the thought, they were not fairies : Fie on sinful fantasy!
and yet the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden Fie on lust and luxury !
surprise of my powers, drove the grossness of the Lust is but a bloody fire,
foppery into a received belief, in despite of the Kindled with unchaste desire,
teeth of all rhyme and reason, that they were Fed in heart, whose flames aspire,
fairies. See now, how wit may be made a JackAs thoughts do blow them, higher and higher. a-lent, when 'tis upon ill employment !
The several chairs of Order look you scour
With juice of balm,-) As Steevens has observed, it was an article of ancient luxury to rub tables, &i, with aromatic herbs. Thus, in (vid's “Baucis and Philemon," Metamorphoses viii.:-
-----"Mensamæquatam Mentha abstersere virenti." b O'er-look'd even in thy birth.] That is, bewitched. See note (a), page 416.
c During this song,--1 Much of this direction is derived from the quarto. The folio has none whatever.
d I think, we have watch'd you now;] That is, togeed you. The allusion, which seems to have been overlooked by all the
commentators, is to one of the methods employed to tame, or “ reclaim," hawks. It was customary when a hawk was first taken, for the falconers to sit up by turns and "watch" it; in other words, prevent it from sleeping, sometimes for three successive nights. Shakespeare has referred to the practice in the “ Taming of the Shrew," Act IV. Sc. 2 :
“ Another way I have to man my haggard,
To make her come, and know her keeper's call,
That is, to watch her,"
“My lord shall never rest,
Eva. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave This is enough to be the decay of lust and lateyour desires, and fairies will not pinse you.
walking, through the realm. FORD. Well said, fairy Hugh.
Mrs. Page. Why, sir John, do you think, Eva. And leave you your jealousies too, I pray though we would have thrust virtue out of our you.
hearts by the head and shoulders, and have given FORD. I will never mistrust wife again, till ourselves without scruple to hell, that ever the thou art able to woo her in good English.
devil could have made you our delight? FAL. Have I laid my brain in the sun, and FORD. What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax? dried it, that it wants matter to prevent so gross
Mrs. Page. A puffed man ? o'er-reaching as this ? Am I ridden with a Welsh Page. Old, cold, withered, and of intolerable goat too? Shall I have a coxcomb of frieże ? a 'tis entrails? time I were choked with a piece of toasted cheese. FORD. And one that is as slanderous as Satan Eva. Seese is not good to give putter; your
Page. And as poor as Job? pelly is all putter.
FORD. And as wicked as his wife? FAL. Seese and putter ! have I lived to stand Eva. And given to fornications, and to taverns, at the taunt of one that makes fritters of English ? and sack, and wine, and metheglins, and to
drinkings, and swearings, and starings, pribbles a A coxcomb of frieze?) A fool's cap made of frieze. Wales was celebrated for this description of cloth.
and prabbles ?
FAL. Well, I am your theme : you have the prisan, by gar, a boy; it is not Anne Page: by start of me; I am dejected; I am not able
gar, I am cozened. to answer the Welsh flannel: ignorance itself Mrs. Page. Why, did you take her in green
?* is a plummeta o’er me: use me as you will.
Caius. Ay, be gar, and 'tis a boy: be gar, I'll Ford. Marry, sir, we'll bring you to Windsor, raise all Windsor,
[E.cit Cairs. to one master Brook, that you have cozened of Fond. This is strange : who hath got the right money, to whom you should have been a pander: Anne ? over and above that you have suffered, I think, Page. My heart misgives me: here comes
money will be a biting affliction. master Fenton. Page. Yet be cheerful, knight : thou shalt eat a posset(2) to-night at my house ; where I will desire
Enter FENTON and ANNE. thee to laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee: tell her, master Slender hath married her daughter.
How now, master Fenton ? Mrs. Page. Doctors doubt that: if Anne Page
ANNE. Pardon, good father! good my mother, be my daughter, she is, by this, doctor Caius' wife.
Page. Now, mistress ! how chance you went not with master Slender ?
Mrs. Page. Why went you not with master Enter SLENDER.
doctor, maid? SLEN. Whoo, ho! ho ! father Page !
FENT. You do amaze her: hear the truth of it. Page. Son! how now ? how now, son ? have
You would have married her most shamefully, you despatched ?
Where there was no proportion held in love. SLEN. Despatched !-I'll make the best in
The truth is, she and I, long since contracted, Gloucestershire know on't ; would I were hanged,
Are now so sure, that nothing can dissolve la, else.
The offence is holy, that she hath committed : Page. Of what, son ?
And this deceit loses the name of craft, SLEN. I came yonder at Eton to marry mistress
Of disobedience, or unduteous title ; o
Since therein she doth evitate and shun Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy: if it had not been i’ th’ church, I would have swinged
A thousand irreligious cursed hours, him, or he should have swinged me. If I did not
Which forced marriage would have brought upon think it had been Anne Page, would I might never
her. stir, and 'tis a post-master's boy.
Ford. Stand not amaz’d: here is no remedy:Page. Upon my life then you
took the wrong
In love, the heavens themselves do guide the state; SLEN. What need
Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate. when I took a boy for a girl: if I had been
FAL. I am glad, though you have ta'en a special married to him, for all he was in woman's apparel,
stand (3) to strike at me, that your arrow hath I would not have had him.
glanced. Page. Why, this is your own folly. Did not I
PAGE. Well, what remedy ?(4) Fenton, heaven tell you, how you should know my daughter by her
give thee joy! garments ?
What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac'd. Slen. I went to her in white,* and cried, mum,
FAL. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer and she cried budget, as Anne and I had appointed;
are chas’d. and yet it was not Anne, but a post-master's boy.
Mrs. PAGE. Well, I will muse no further :Mrs. Page. Good George, be not angry: I
master Fenton, knew of your purpose ; turned my daughter into
Heaven give you many, many merry days ! green;+ and, indeed, she is now with the doctor at
Good husband, let us every one go home, the deanery, and there married.
And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire;
Let it be so.—Sir John,
To master Brook you yet shall hold your word ; Caius. Vere is mistress Page ? By gar, For he, tu-night, shall lie with mistress Ford. cozened; I ha' married un garçon, a boy ; un
(*) Old text, while.
(*) Old text, green.
(t) old text, white. a Ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me :) Farmer conjectured that plummet was a misprint for planet ; but the following passage, in Shirley's “Love in a Maze," Act IV. Sc. 2, supports the old reading :
Yongrave, how is't, man? what! art melancholy?
What hath hung plummets on thy nimble soul,
What sleepy rod hath charm'd thy mounting spirit?” b Amaze her :) Confound her by these questions.
c Unduteous title;) Mr. Collier's annotator reads, very speciously, "unduteous guile."
old foe, Sir Thomas Lucy, and it is conjecturable that the “ dozen white luces," which were borne by one branch of the Lucy family, may have implied the sal:-rater piše, and have been an older scutcheon than the “ three lucies hauriant" of the Warwickshire branch.
(1) SCENE I.—Sir Hugh.) The title of Sir was probably at one time applied to priests and curates without distinction, but subsequently became appropriated only to the inferior clergy, such as are called Realırs. It was no more than the translation of Dominus, the academical distinction of a Bachelor of Arts. Fuller, in his Church History, suys, there were formerly more Sirs than Knights in England, and adds, "Such priests as have the addition of Sir before their Christian name, were men not graduated in the university, being in orders, but not in degrees, whilst others entituled Masters had commenced in the arts."
(4) SCENE I.-I heard say, he was out-run on Cotsale.] The Cotswold hills in Gloucestershire, a large tract of fine turfed downs, were among the places famous in times of yore for rural games; but the sports here and elsewhere appear to have declined during the latter part of the six. teenth century, owing perhaps, to the rigorous puritanical crusa le carried on against all popular diversions. About the end of Elizabeth's reign, or, as some say, at the beginning of her successor's, they were revived, howerer, with increased spirit, through the exertions of Mr. Robert Dover, an attorney of Barton-on-the-Heath in Warwickshire, who instituted an annual celebration of rustic amusements, which he conducted in person; consisting of wrestling, leaping, pitching the bar, managing the pike, dancing and coursing the hare with greyhounds.
(5) SCENE I.--I have seen Sarkerson lonxe, tirent times ] Sackerson, so named in all likelihood after his keeper, was a famous bear belonging to the Paris bear-baiting Garlen on the Bankside ; and the allusions to him and Harry Hunks and George Stone, two contemporary beasts of prowess, by the old writers, sufficiently attest the popularity of this savage sport in former time :-
(2) SCENE I.-I vill make a Star-chamber matter of it.] The Court of Star Chamber, as it was familiarly called from the sitting being held en la chambre des estoyers, was the King's Council, the nature and extent of whose jurisdiction, even so early as the reign of Henry VII. when it was remodelled, were sufficiently extraordinary. The preamble of the Act relating to this Court, which was passed in the third of his reign, sets forth, that " the King, reinembering how by unlawful maintenances, giving of liveries, signs and tokens, and retaining by indentures, promises, oaths, writings or otherwise, embraceries of his subjects, untrue demeanings of Sheriffs, in making of pannels and other untrue returns, by taking of money by juries, by great riots and unlawful assemblies, the policy and good rule of this realm is almost subdued :" &c. &c. “whereby the laws of the land in execution may take little effect, to the increase of murder3, robberies, perjuries and unsureties of all men living," &c. For the reformation of which, it was now ordained that the chancellor, treasurer, and privy seal, or two of them, calling to them a bishop and a temporal lord, being of the Council, and the two Chief Justices, or in their absence, two other justices upon bill of information put to the Chancellor for the King, or any other, against any person for any misbehaviour above mentioned, have authority to call before them by writ or privy-seal, the offenders and others as it shall seem fit, by whom the truth may be known, and to examine and punish, after the form and effect of statutes thereof made, in like manner, a: ey ought to be punished, if they were convict after the due order of the law.
A tribunal, paramount as this, whose proceedings were summary, and whose punishments, though professedly in accordance with the laws, were administered with much more promptitude than those of the ordinary courts, soon acquired under the Tudors a formidable and dangerous authority,—an authority, as we know from history, which at length became tremendous, and ultimately led to its final abolition in the reign of Charles I.
The ridicule in the play is the making the rain and imbecile old Justice suppose his petty squabble with Falstaff of sufficient importance to be adjudicated by such a Court.
“ Publius, a student of the common law,
To Paris-garden doth himseli withdraw :-
Epigrams by Sir JOHN DAVIES, “Ile be sworne they tooke away a mastie dogge of mine by commission. Now I thinke on't, makes my teares stand in my eyes with grief. I had rather lost the dearest friend that ever I lay withal in my life. Be this light, never stir if hee fought not with great Sekerson foure hours to one, foremoste take up hindmoste, and tooke so many loares from him, that hee stervd him presently. So, at last, the dogg cood doe no more then a beare cood, and the beare being heavie with hunger you know, fell uppon the dogte, broke his backe, and the dogge nerer stird more."-dir Gyles Goosecuppe Knight, a Comedie presented by the Chil. of the Chappell, 1606.
(6) SCENE IV.-A Cain-coloured beard.] In the old tapestries and pictures, Cain and Judas were represented with yellowish-red beards. A conceit very frequently alluded to in early books :-" And let their beards be of Judas his own colour."
The Spanish Tragedy. Again, in “ The Insatiate Countess," by Marston :
“ I ever thought by his red beard he would prove a Judas."
(3) SCENE I.-The lace is the fresh fish ; the salt fish is an old coat.] Much has been written upon this perplexing passage to little purpose. It still remains, as dr. Knight terms it, "an heraldic puzzle.” There is, unquestionably, an allusion to the arms of Shakespeare's