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Be not as extreme in submission,
Ev A. You say, he has been thrown in the rivers ; and has been grievously peaten, as an old 'oman: methinks, there should be terrors in him, that he should not come; methinks, his flesh is punish'd, he shall have no desires.
Page. So think I too.
And let us two devise to bring him thither.
that Herne the hunter, Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest, Doth all the winter time, at still midnight, Walk round about an oak, with great ragg’d horns; And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle ;
8 and takes the carile;] To take, in Shakspeare, signifies to feize or strike with a disease, to blaft. So, in Lear:
Strike her young bones, “ Ye taking airs, with lameness." JOHNSON. So, in Markham's Treatise of Horses, 1595, chap. 8: “ Of a horse that is taken. A horse that is bereft of his feeling, mooving or styrring, is said to be taken, and in footh so he is, in that he is arrested by so villainous a disease; yet fome farriors, not well understanding the ground of the disease, confter the word token, to
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes à
chain In a most hideous and dreadful manner: You have heard of such a spirit; and well you know, The superstitious idle-headed eldo Receiv'd, and did deliver to our age, This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.
PAGE. Why, yet there want not many, that do fear In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak: But what of this ?
Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device; That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us, Disguis'd like Herne, with huge horns on his head.:
PAGE. Well, let it not be doubted but he'll come, And in this thape: When you have brought him
thither, What shall be done with him ? what is your plot? Mrs. Page. That likewise have we thought upon,
and thus :
be striken by some planet or evil-spirit, which is false,” &c. Thus our poet :
No planets strike, no fairy takes." TOLLET. idle-headed eld—] Eld seems to be used here, for what poet
calls in Macbeth—the olden time. It is employed in Meejare for Measure, to express age and decrepitude :
doth beg the alms “ Of palsied eld.” Steevens. I rather imagine it is used here for old persons. MALONE.
* Disguis'd like Herne, with huge horns on bis head.) This line, which is not in the folio, was properly restored from the old quarto by Mr. Theobald. He at the same time introduced another « We'll send him word to meet us in the field,"_which is clearly unnecessary, and indeed improper; for the word field relates to two preceding lines of the quarto, which have not been introduced:
Now, for that Falstaff has been so deceiv'd,
Nan Page my daughter, and my little son,
, And three or four more of their growth, we'll dress Like urchins, ouphes,' and fairies, green and white, With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads, And rattles in their hands; upon a sudden, As Falstaff, she, and I, are newly met, Let them from forth a saw-pit rush at once With some diffused song ; * upon their sight, We two in great amazedness will ny : Then let them all encircle him about, And, fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean knight ;s
s- urchins, cuphes,] The primitive fignification of urchin is a hedge-hog. In this sense it is used in The Tempest. Hence it comes to fignify any thing little and dwarfish. Ouph is the Teutonick word for a fairy or goblin. STEEVENS,
* With some diffused fong :) A diffused fong signifies a song that ftrikes out into wild sentiments beyond the bounds of nature, such as those whose subject is fairy land. WARBURTON.
Diffused may mean confused. So, in Stowe's Chronicle, p. 553 : “ Rice quoth he, (i. e. Cardinal Wolsey,) speak you Welch to him: I doubt not but thy speech shall be more diffuse to him, than his French shall be to thee.” Tollet.
By diffufed fong, Shakspeare may mean fuch unconnected ditties as mad people sing. Kent, in K. Lear, when he has determined to assume an appearance foreign to his own, declares his resolution to diffuse his speech, i. e. to give it a wild and irregular turn.
STEEVENS. With some diffused fong :] i. e. wild, irregular, discordant. That this was the meaning of the word, I have hown in a note on another play by a passage from one of Greene's pamphlets, in which he calls a dress of which the different parts were made after the fashions of different countries, " a diffused attire.” MALONE.
s And, fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean knight;] This use of to in composition with verbs, is very common in Gower and Chaucer, but must have been rather antiquated in the time of Shakspeare. See, Gower, De Confeffione Amantis, B. IV. fol. 7:
“ All to-tore is myn araie.” And Chaucer, Reeve's Tale, 1169:
“ mouth and nose to-broke." The construction will otherwise be very hard. TYRWHITT,
And ask him, why, that hour of fairy revel,
Mrs. Ford. And till he tell the truth,
The truth being known,
The children must Be practis'd well to this, or they'll ne'er do't.
Ev a. I will teach the children their behaviours; and I will be like a jack-an-apes also,' to burn the knight with my taber.
I add a few more instances, to show that this use of the prepofition 10 was not entirely antiquated in the time of our author. So, in Spenser's Faery Queen, B.IV. c. 7:
“ With briers and bushes all to-rent and scratched." Again, B. V. c. 8:
“ With locks all loose, and raiment all to-tore." Again, B. V. c.9:
“ Made of strange stuffe, but all to-worne and ragged,
“ And underneath the breech was all 10-torne and jagged." Again, in The Three Lords of London, 1590:
“ The post at which he runs, and all to-burns it.” Again, in Arden of Feversham, 1592:
“ Watchet sattin doublet, all to-torn.” Steevens. The editor of Gawin Douglas's Translation of the Æneid, fol. Edinb. 1710, observes in his General Rules for the Understanding the Language, that to prefixed, in antient writers, has little or no significancy, but with all put before it, fignifies altogether. Since, Milton has “ were all to-suffled.” See Comus, v. 380. Warton's edit. It is not likely that this practice was become antiquated in the time of Shakspeare, as Mr. Tyrwhitt supposes. Holt White.
6-pinch him found,] i. e. soundly. The adjective used as an adverb. The modern editors read--round. STEEVENS.
7 I will teach the children their behaviours; and I will be like a jack-an-apes also,] The idea of this stratagem, &c. might have been adopted from part of the entertainment prepared by Thomas
FORD. That will be excellent. I'll go buy them
Page. That filk will I go buy ;-and in that time
Eva. Let us about it: It is admirable pleasures, and fery honeft knaveries.
[Exeunt Page, FORD, and Evans.
Churchyard for Queen Elizabeth at Norwich: “ And these boyes, &c. were to play by a deuife and degrees the Phayries, and to daunce (as neere as could be ymagined) like the Phayries. Their attire, and comming so strangely out, I know made the Queenes highnesse smyle and laugh withall, &c. I ledde the yong foolishe Phayries a daunce, &c. and as I heard faid, it was well taken.” Stevens.
8 That filk will I go buy ;-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 evidently relating to the time of the mask with which Falstaff was to be entertained, and which makes the whole subject of this dialogue. Therefore the common reading is right. WARBURTON.
-properties,] Properties are little incidental necessaries to a theatre, exclusive of scenes and dresses. So, in The Taming of a Shrew: «
-a shoulder of mutton for a property.” See A Mida fummer Night's Dream, Act I. fc. ii. STEEVENS.
tricking for our fairies.] To trick, is to dress out. So, in Milton :
« Not trick'd and frounc'd as she was wont,