Sidor som bilder

Caius, I cannot tell vat is dat : But it is tell-a me, dat you make grand preparation for a duke de Jarmany: by my trot, dere is no duke, dat the court is know to come: I tell you for good vill : adieu.

[Exit. Host. Hue and cry,villain, go :-afsift me, knight; I am undone :-fly, run, hue and cry, villain ! I am undone!

[Exeunt Hoft and BARDOLPH, FAL. I would, all the world might be cozen'd; for I have been cozen'd, and beaten too. If it should come to the ear of the court, how I have been transform'd, and how my transformation hath been wash'd and cudgeld, they would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermen's boots with me; I warrant, they would whip me with their fine wits, till I were as crest-fallen as a dried pear. I never prosper'd fince I foreswore myself at Primero.? Well, if my wind were but

crest-fallen as a dried pear.] To ascertain the propriety of this fimilitude, it may be observed that pears, when they are dried, become flat, and lose the erect and oblong form that, in their natural ftate, diftinguifhes them from apples. STEVENS,

7 - Primero.] A game at cards. JOHNSON.

Primero was in Shakspeare's time the fashionable game. In the Earl of Northumberland's letters about the powder plot, Jofc. Percy was playing at Primero on Sunday, when his uncle, the con{pirator, called on him

at Essex House. This game is again mentioned in our author's Henry VIII. PERCY.

Primero and Primavista, two games of cards. Primum et primum vifum, that is, first, and forft feene, becaufe he that can fhow such an order of cardes, wins the game." See Minsheu's Dict, 1617.

REED. In the Sydney Papers, Vol. II. p. 83, is the following account of an altercation that happened between our poet's generous patron, and one Willoughby, at this game: “ The quarrel of my lord Southampton to Ambrose Willoughby grew upon this: That he, with Sir Walter Rawley and Mr. Parker, being at Primero in the presence-chamber, the queen was gone to bed ; and he being there, as squire of the body, desired him to give over. Soon after he long enough to say my prayers, I would repent.

Enter Mrs. QUICKLY. Now! whence come you?

Quick. From the two parties, forsooth.

Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the other, and so they shall be both bestow'd! I have suffer'd more for their fakes, more, than the villainous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to bear.

Quick. And have not they suffer’d? Yes, I warrant; speciously one of them; mistress Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a white spot about her.

FAL. What tell'st thou me of black and blue? I was beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow; and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of Brentford; but that my admirable dexterity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of an old woman, deliver'd me, the knave constable had

spoke to them againe, that if they would not leave, he would call in the guard to pull down the bord; which Sir Walter Rawley seeing, put up his money, and went his wayes; but my lord Southampton took exceptions at hym, and told hym, he would remember yt: and so finding hym between the Tennis-Court wall and the garden, strooke him; and Willoughby pulld of some of his lockes." This happened in the beginning of 1598. MALONE.

The manner of playing at this game may be seen in an Epigram quoted in Dadsley's Collection of old Plays, Vol. V. p. 168, edit. 1780. See also Vol. X. p. 368, and Vol. XII. p. 396. REED.

to say my prayers,] These words were restored from the carly quarto by Mr. Pope. They were probably omitted in the folio on account of the Stat. 3 Jac. I. ch. 21. Malone.

action of an old woman,) What! was it any dexterity of wit in Sir John Falftaff to counterfeit the action of an old woman, in order to escape being apprehended for a witch? Surely, one would imagine, this was the readiest means to bring him into such a scrape : for none but old women have ever been fuspected of be.


set me i' the stocks, i' the common stocks, for a witch.

Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber: you shall hear how things go; and I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado here is to bring you together! Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well,“ that you are so cross d.

Fal. Come up into my chamber. [Exeunt.


Another Room in the Garter Inn.

Enter FENTON and Hoft. Host. Master Fenton, talk not to me; my mind is heavy, I will give over all.

Fent. Yet hear me speak : Allist mein my purpose, And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee

ing witches. The text must certainly be restor'd a word woman, a crazy, frantick woman; one too wild, and lilly, and unmeaning, to have either the malice, or mischievous subtlety of a witch in her.

THEOBALD. This emendation is received by Sir Thomas Hanmer, but rejected by Dr. Warburton. To me it appears reasonable enough.

JOHNSON. I am not certain that this change is necessary. Falstaff, by counterfeiting such weakness and infirmity, as would naturally be pitied in an old woman, averted the punishment to which he would otherwise have been subjected, on the fuppofition that he was a witch. Steevens.

The reading of the old copy is fully supported by what Falstaff says afterwards to Ford : “ I went to her, Master Brook, as you fee, like a poor old man; but I came from her, Master Brook, like poor

old woman.” MALONE. 2 Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well, &c.] The great fault of this play is the frequency of expressions so profane, that no ne. cessity of preserving character can justify them. There are laws of higher authority than those of criticism. Johnson.


A hundred pound in gold, more than your lofs.

Host. I will hear you, master Fenton; and I will, at the least, keep your counsel.

Fent. From time to time I have acquainted you With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page ; Who, mutually, hath answer'd my affection (So far forth as herself might be her chooser,) Even to my wish: I have a letter from her Of such contents as you will wonder at; The mirth whereof; fo larded with my matter, That neither, singly, can be manifested, Without the show of both ;-wherein fat Falstaff Hath a great scene:* the image of the jests

[Sbowing the letter.

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3 The mirth whereof ] Thus the old copy. Mr. Pope and all the subsequent editors read—The mirth whereaf's fo larded, &c. but the old reading is the true one, and the phraseology that of Shakspeare's age, Whereof was formerly used as we now use thereof; “ – the mirth thereof being so larded," &c. So, in Mount Tabor, er Private Exercises of a Penitent Sinner, 8vo. 1639: “ In the mean time (they] closely conveyed under the cloaths wherewithal he was covered, a vizard, like a swine's snout, upon his face, with three wire chains fastened thereunto, the other end whereof being holden severally by those three ladies; who fall to finging again, &c.


wherein fat Falfaff
Hath a great scene :) The first folio reads :

“ Without the show of both : fat Falstaff," &c. I have supplied the word that was probably omitted at the press, from the early quarto, where, in the corresponding place, we find

Wherein fat Falstaff hath a mighty scare (scene]." The editor of the second folio, to supply the metre, arbitrarily reads “ Without the shew of both :-fat Sir John Falstaff-,"

MALONE. the image of the jeft-] Image is reprefentation. So, in K. Richard III:

" And liv'd by looking on his images." Again, in Menfure for Measure :-" The image of it gives nie content already,” Steevens.

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Must my

I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine hoft: To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and one,

sweet Nan present the fairy queen; The purpose why, is here ;? in which disguise, While other jests are something rank on foot, Her father hath commanded her to Nip Away with Slender, and with him at Eton Immediately to marry: she hath consented : Now, fir, Her mother, even strong against that match, And firm for doctor Caius, hath appointed That he shall likewise shuffle her away, While other sports are tasking of their minds," And at the deanery, where a priest attends, Straight marry her: to this her mother's plot She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath Made promise to the doctor :-Now, thus it rests : Her father means she shall be all in white; And in that habit, when Slender sees his time To take her by the hand, and bid her go, She shall go with him :-her mother hath intended,


These words allude to a custom ftill in use, of hanging out painted representations of shows. So, in Busy d'Ambois :

like a monfter
“ Kept onely to show men for goddesse money
That false hagge often paints him in her cloth

• Ten times more monstrous than he is in troth.” Henley. 7 is here;] i. e. in the letter. Steevens.

& While other jests are fomething rank on foot,] i. e. while they are hotly pursuing other merriment of their own. STEEVENS.

9.- even strong againft that match,] Thus the old copies. The modern editors read-ever, but perhaps without necessity. Even strong, is as ftrong, with a fimilar degree of strength. So, in Hamlet,

even christian” is fellow christian. STEEVENS.
talking of their minds,] So, in K. Henry V :

some things of weight
" That task our thoughts concerning us and France."


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