Sidor som bilder

ture my wife, pluck the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming mistress Page,* divulge Page himself for a secure and wilful Actæon; and to these violent proceedings all my neighbours shall cry aim. [Clock firikes.] The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me search; there I shall find Falstaff: I shall be rather praised for this, than mocked; for it is as positive as the earth is firm, that Falstaff is there: I will


[ocr errors]

Enter Page, SHALLOW, SLENDER, Host, Sir Hugh

Evans, Caius and Rugby.
Shal. Page, &c. Well met, master Ford.

Ford. Trust me, a good knot: I have good cheer at home; and, I pray you,


with me.
Shal. I must excuse myself, master Ford.

Slen. And so must I, fir; we have appointed to dine with mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for more money than I'll speak of.

Shal. We have linger'd' about a match between


. _f seeming mistress Page,] Seeming is fpecious. So, in K. Lear:

“ If ought within that little seeming substance." Again, in Measure for Measure, Aét I. sc. iv:

Hence shall we see, “ If power change purpose, what our seemers be." STEEVENS.

-jhall cry aim.) i. e. shall encourage. So, in K. John, Act II. sc.i:

“ It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim

“ To these ill-tuned repetitions." The phrase, as I have already observed, is taken from archery. See note on the last scene of the preceding act, where Dr. Warburton would read—cry dim, instead of “cry'd game.” Steevens.

as the earth is firm,] So, in Macbeth :

- Thou sure firm-set earth.” MALONE. 5 We have linger'd-] They have not linger'd very long. The match was proposed by Sir Hugh but the day before. Johnson.

Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.

Slen. I hope, I have your good-will, father Page.

Page. You have, master Slender; I stand wholly for you :—but my wife, master doctor, is for you altogether.

Caius. Ay, by gar; and de maid is love-a me; my nursh-a Quickly tell me so mush.

Host. What say you to young master Fenton? he capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verfes, he speaks holiday, he smells April and May: he will carry't, he will carry't; 'tis in his buttons;' he will carry't.

Shallow represents the affair as having been long in hand, that he may better excuse himself and Slender from accepting Ford's invitation on the day when it was to be concluded. Steevens.

She writes verses, he speaks holiday,] i. e. in an highflown, fustian ile. It was called a holy-day file, from the old custom of acting their farces of the mysteries and moralities, which were turgid and bombaft, on holy-days. So, in Much Ado about Nothing : -" I cannot woo in festival terms." And again, in Tbe Merchant of Venice: “ Thou spend't such high-day wit in praisinghim."

WARBURTON. I suspect that Dr. Warburton's supposition that this phrase is derived from the season of acting the old mysteries, is but an bolsa day hypothesis; and have preserved his note only for the sake of the passages he quotes. Fenton is not represented as a talker of bombalt.

He Speaks holiday, I believe, means only, his language is more curious and affeEledly chosen than that used by ordinary men.

MALONE. So, in King Henry IV. P. I:

With many holiday and lady terms.” Steevens. To Speak holiday must mean to speak out of the common road, superior to the vulgar; alluding to the better dress worn on such days. RITSON.

6 he smells April and May:] This was the phraseology of the time; not “ he smells of April," &c. So, in Mcajure for

Page. Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman is of no having :8 he kept company with the wild prince and Poins; he is of too high a region, he knows too much. No, he shall not knit a knot in his fortunes with the finger of my

sub. stance: if he take her, let him take her simply; the wealth I have waits on my consent, and my consent goes not that way.

Measure :-- he would mouth with a beggar of fifty, though she Smelt brown bread and garlick.Malone.

7 'tis in his buttons ;) Alluding to an ancient custom among the country fellows, of trying whether they should fucceed with their mistresses, by carrying the batchelor's buttons (a plant of the Lychnis kind, whose flowers resemble a coat button in form) in their pockets. And they judged of their good or bad success by their growing, or their not growing there. Smith.

Greene mentions these batchelor's buttons in his Quip for an upstart Courtier :—“ I saw the batchelor's buttons, whose virtue is, to make wanton maidens weep, when they have worne them forty weeks under their aprons,

&c. The same expression occurs in Heywood's Fair Maid of the Weft, 1631 :

“ He wears batchelor's buttons, does he not ?" Again, in 7he Constant Maid, by Shirley, 1640:

“ I am a batchelor,

I pray, let me be one of your buttons still then." Again, in A Fair Quarrel, by Middleton and Rowley, 1617:

“ I'll wear my batchelor's buttons still.” Again, in A Woman never Vex'd, comedy, by Rowley, 1632:

Go, go and rest on Venus' violets; Thew her

“ A dozen of batchelors' buttons, boy." Again, in Weft ward Hoe, 1606: “ Here's my husband, and no batchelor's buttons are at his doublet.” Steevens. of no having :] Having is the same as efiate or fortune,

JOHNSON. So, in Macbeth:

“ Of noble having, and of royal hope." Again, Twelfth Night:

My having is not much ;
" I'll make division of my present with you :
“ Hold, there is half my coffer." STEVENS,

Ford. I beseech you, heartily, some of you go home with me to dinner: befides your cheer, you shall have sport; I will show you a monster. Master doctor, you shall go ;-[o fhall you, master Page ;—and you, Sir Hugh.

Shal. Well, fare you well :—we shall have the freer wooing at master Page's.

[Exeunt SHALLOW and SLENDER. Caius. Go home, John Rugby ; I come anon.

[Exit Rugby. Host. Farewell, my hearts: I will to my honest knight Falstaff, and drink canary with him.

[Exit Host. FORD. [ Aside.] I think, I shall drink in pipe-wine first with him; I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles?


9 Hoft. Farewell, my hearts: I will to my honeft knight Falsaf, and drink canary with him.

Ford. [Aside.] I think, I shall drink in pipe-wine firf with him; I'll make him dance.] To drink in pipe-wine is a phrase which i cannot understand. May we not suppose that Shakspeare rather wrote, I think I shall drink HORN-PIPE wine ferft with him: I'll make him dance ?

Canary is the name of a dance, as well as of a wine. Ford lays hold of both senses; but, for an obvious reason, makes the dance a horn-pipe. It has been already remarked, that Shakspeare has frequent allusions to a cuckold's horns. TYRWHITT. So, in Pasquil's Night-cap, 1612. p. 118:

" It is great comfort to a cuckold's chance
“ That many thousands doe the Hornepipe dance."

STEEVENS. Pipe is known to be a vessel of wine, now containing two hogsheads. Pipe-wine is therefore wine, not from the bottle, but the pipe; and the jest consists in the ambiguity of the word, which fignifies both a calk of wine, and a musical instrument. JOHNSON.

The jeft here lies in a mere play of words. I'll give him pipe wine, which shall make him dance," Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786. STEEVENS.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

All. Have with you, to see this monster.

[Exeunt. SCENE III.

A Room in Ford's House.

Enter Mrs. Ford and Mrs. PAGE.

Mrs. FORD. What, John! what, Robert !
Mrs. Pace. Quickly, quickly: Is the buck-

Mrs. Ford. I warrant :-What, Robin, I say.

Enter Servants with a Basket,
Mrs. Page. Come, come, come.
Mrs. Ford. Here, set it down.

Mrs. Page. Give your men thecharge; we must be brief.

Mrs. Ford. Marry, as I told you before, John, and Robert, be ready here hard by in the brewhouse; and when I suddenly call you, come forth,

The phrase, -" to drink in pipe-wine"-always seemed to me a very itrange one, till I met with the following passage in King James's first speech to his parliament, in 1604; by which it appears that “ to drink in" was the phraseology of the time : who cither, being old, have retained their first drunken-in liquor," &c.

MALONE. I have seen the phrase often in books of Shakspeare's time, but neglected to mark the passages. The following, however, though of somewhat later authority, will confirm Mr. Malone's observation. “ A player acting upon a stage a man killed; but being troubled with an extream cold, as he was lying upon the stage fell a coughing; the people laughing, he rushed up, ran off the stage, saying, thus it is for a man to drink in porridg, for then he will be sure to cough in his grave,” Jocabella, or a Cabinet of Conceits, by Ro. bert Chamberlaine, 1640, No 84. Reed.


« FöregåendeFortsätt »