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I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine host:
To-night at Herne's oak, juft 'twixt twelve and one,
Muft my sweet Nan present the fairy queen;
The purpose why, is here; in which disguise,
While other jefts are something rank on foot,
Her father hath commanded her to flip
Away with Slender, and with him at Eton
Immediately to marry: fhe hath confented:
Now, fir,

Her mother, even strong against that match,
And firm for doctor Caius, hath appointed
That he shall likewife fhuffle her away,
While other sports are tasking of their minds,*
And at the deanery, where a prieft attends,
Straight marry her: to this her mother's plot
She, feemingly obedient, likewise hath
Made promise to the doctor :-Now, thus it rests:
Her father means fhe fhall be all in white;
And in that habit, when Slender fees 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 ufe, of hanging out painted reprefentations of fhows.

So, in Buffy d'Ambois :


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Kept onely to show men for goddeffe money: "That falfe hagge often paints him in her cloth

"Ten times more monftrous than he is in troth." HENLEY.

is here;] i. e. in the letter. STEEVENS.

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

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like a monfter

9 —even ftrong against that match,] Thus the old copies. The modern editors read-ever, but perhaps without neceffity. Even ftrong, is as ftrong, with a fimilar degree of ftrength. So, in Hamlet, even chriftian" is fellow chriftian. STEEVENS.


talking of their minds,] So, in K. Henry V :
fome things of weight

"That task our thoughts concerning us and France."


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The better to denote her to the doctor,
(For they must all be mask'd and vizarded,)
That, quaint in green, fhe fhall be loose enrob'd,
With ribbands pendant, flaring 'bout her head;
And when the doctor fpies his vantage ripe,
To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token,
The maid hath given confent to go with him.

HOST. Which means the to deceive? father or mother?

3 to denote -] In the Mfs. of our author's agen and u were formed fo very much alike, that they are fcarcely diftinguishable. Hence it was, that in the old copies of these plays one of thefe letters is frequently put for the other. From the cause affigned, or from an accidental inverfion of the letter n at the prefs, the firft folio in the prefent inftance reads-deuote, u being conftantly employed in that copy inftead of v. The fame mistake has happened in feveral other places. Thus, in Much ado about Nothing, 1623, we find, he is turu'd orthographer," inftead of turn'd. Again, in Othello:-" to the contemplation, mark, and deuotement of her parts," instead of denotement. Again, in King John: This expeditious charge, instead of expedition's. Again, ibid: involuerable for invulnerable. Again, in Hamlet, 1605, we meet with this very word put by an error of the prefs for denote:

"Together with all forms, modes, fhapes of grief,
"That can deuote me truly."

The prefent emendation, which was fuggefted by Mr. Steevens, is fully fupported by a fubfequent paffage quoted by him :-" the white will decipher her well enough." MALONE.

quaint in green,]

may mean fantastically dreft in green. So, in Milton's Mafque at Ludlow Caftle: left the place,


"And my quaint habits, breed aftonishment." Quaintnefs, however, was anciently used to fignify gracefulness. So, in Greene's Dialogue between a He and She Coney-catcher, 1592: "I began to think what a handsome man he was, and wished that he would come and take a night's lodging with me, fitting in a dump to think of the quaintness of his perfonage." In The Twe Gentlemen of Verona, Act III. fc. i. quaintly is used for ingeniously: - a ladder quaintly made of cords." STEEVENS. In Daniel's Sonnets, 1594, it is ufed for fantaflick. "Prayers prevail not with a quaint difdayne." MALONE.


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FENT. Both, my good hoft, to go along with me:
And here it refts,-that you'll procure the vicar
To stay for me at church, 'twixt twelve and one,
And, in the lawful name of marrying,
To give our hearts united ceremony.

HOST. Well, husband your device; I'll to the


Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.
FENT. So fhall I evermore be bound to thee;
Befides, I'll make a prefent recompence. [Exeunt.


A Room in the Garter Inn.



FAL. Pr'ythee, no more prattling ;-go. -I'll hold: This is the third time; I hope, good luck lies in odd numbers. Away, go; they fay, there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death.-Away.


QUICK. I'll provide you a chain; and I'll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.

FAL. Away, I fay; time wears: hold up your head, and mince." [Exit Mrs. QUICKLY.

S 5 — I'll hold :] I fuppofe he means-I'll keep the appointment. STEEVENS.


- they fay, there is divinity in odd numbers,] Alluding to the Roman adage—

numero deus impare gaudet. Virgil, Ecl. viii.

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7 - hold up your head, and mince.] To mince is to walk with affected delicacy. So, in The Merchant of Venice:

turn two mincing steps "Into a manly ftride."


Enter FORD.

How now, mafter Brook? Master Brook, the matter will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the Park about midnight, at Herne's oak, and you fhall fee wonders.

FORD. Went you not to her yesterday, fir, as you told me you had appointed?

FAL. I went to her, mafter Brook, as you fee, like a poor old man: but I came from her, master Brook, like a poor old woman. That fame knave, Ford her husband, hath the finest mad devil of jealousy in him, mafter Brook, that ever govern'd frenzy. I will tell you.-He beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of man, mafter Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaver's beam; because I know also, life is a fhuttle. I am in hafte; go along with me; I'll tell you all, mafter Brook. Since I plucked geefe,' played truant, and whipped top, I knew not what it was to be beaten, till lately. Follow me: I'll tell you strange things of this knave Ford; on whom to-night I will be revenged, and I will deliver his wife into your hand.-Follow: Strange things in hand, mafter Brook! follow. [Exeunt.

4 because I know alfo, life is a fhuttle.] An allufion to the fixth verfe of the feventh chapter of the Book of Job: "My days are fwifter than a weaver's fhuttle," &c. STEEVENS.


Since I plucked geefe,] To ftrip a living goofe of his feathers, was formerly an act of puerile barbarity. STEEVENS.

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Windfor Park.


PAGE. Come, come; we'll couch i' the castleditch, till we see the light of our fairies.-Remember, fon Slender, my daughter."

SLEN. Ay, forfooth; I have spoke with her, and we have a nay-word,' how to know one another. I come to her in white, and cry, mum; fhe 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 ftruck ten o'clock.

PAGE. The night is dark; light and fpirits will become it well. Heaven profper our fport! No man means evil but the devil, and we fhall know him by his horns. Let's away; follow me. [Exeunt.

6-my daughter.] The word daughter was inadvertently omitted in the first folio. The emendation was made by the editor of the fecond. MALONE.

-a nay-word,] i. e. a watch-word. Mrs. Quickly has already used it in this fenfe. STEEVENS.

-mum; he cries, budget;] These words appear to have been in common ufe before the time of our author. "And now if a man call them to accomptes, and aîke the cause of al these their tragical and cruel doings, he fhall have a fhort anfwer with mum budget, except they will peradventure allege this," &c. Oration against the unlawful infurrections of the Proteftants, bl. 1. 8vo. 1615, Sign. C 8. REED.


No man means evil but the devil,] This is a double blunder; for fome, of whom this was fpoke, were women. We should read then, No onɛ means. WARBURTON.

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