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Mrs. Page. They are all couched in a pit hard by Herne’s oak,“ with obscured lights; which, at the very instant of Falstaff's and our meeting, they will at once display to the night.
Mrs. FORD. That cannot choose but amaze him.
Mrs. PAGE. If he be not amazed, he will be mockd; if he be amazed, he will every way be mock’d.
Mrs. Ford. We'll betray him finely.
Mrs. Ford. The hour draws on; To the oak, to the oak !
S CEN E IV.
Enter Sir Hugh EVANS, and Fairies.
Eva. Trib, trib, fairies; come; and remember your parts : be pold, I pray you ; follow me into the pit; and when I give the watch-'ords, do as I pid you; Come, come; trib, trib. [Exeunt.
I suppose only the letter H. was set down in the MS; and therefore, instead of Hugh (which seems to be the true reading, the editors substituted Herne. STEEVENS. So, afterwards : “ Well said, fairy Hugh.” Malone.
in a pit hard by Herne's oak,] An oak, which may be that alluded to by Shakspeare, is still standing close to a pit in Windsor forest. It is yet shown as the oak of Herne. STEEVENS. SCENE V.
Another part of the Park.
Enter Falstaff disguised, with a buck's bead on.
Fal. The Windfor bell hath ftruck twelve; the minute draws on: Now, the hot-blooded gods affift me !—Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Europa ; love set on thy horns.-O powerful love! that, in some respects, makes a beast a man ; in some other, a man a beast. — You were also, Jupiter, a swan, for the love of Leda ;-0, omnipotent love! how near the god drew to the complexion of a goose?-A fault done first in the form of a beast ;O Jove, a beastly fault! and then another fault in the semblance of a fowl; think on't, Jove; a foul fault.-When gods have hot backs, what shall poor men do?s For me, I am here a Windsor stag; and the fattest, I think, i' the forest : Send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss my tallow?' Who comes here? my doe?
When gods have hot backs, what shall poor men do?] Shakfpeare had perhaps in his thoughts the argument which Cherea employed in a similar fituation. Ter. Eun. A& III. sc. v:
Quia confimilem luserat “Jam olim ille ludum, impendio magis animus gaudebat mihi « Deum fefe in hominem convertisse, atque per alienas tegulas “ Venisse clanculum per impluvium, fucum factum mulieri. “ At quem deum ? qui templa cæli summa funitu concutit. Ego homuncio hoc non facerem ? Ego vero illud ita feci, ac
lubens.” A translation of Terence was published in 1598.
The same thought is found in Lily's Eupbues, 1580: “ I think in those days love was well ratified on earth, when luft was so full authorized by the gods in heaven.” MALONE. 6
Send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss my tallow?] This, I find, is technical. In Turberville's Booke of Hunting, 1575: “ During the time of their rut, the harts live
Enter Mrs. Ford and Mrs. PAGE.
Mrs. Ford. Sir John? art thou there, my deer? my male deer?
Fal. My doe with the black scut?—Let the sky rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green Sleeves; hail kissing-comfits, and snow eringoes; let there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.
with small sustenance.—The red mushroome helpeth well to make them pyle their greace, they are then in so vehement heate,” &c.
FARMER. In Ray's Collektion of Proverbs, the phrase is yet further explained: “ He has piss’d his tallow. This is spoken of bucks who grow lean after rutting-time, and may be applied to men.”
The phrase, however, is of French extraction. Jacques de Fouilloux in his quarto volume entitled La Venerie, also tells us that ftags in rutting time live chiefly on large red mushrooms, “ qui aident fort à leur faire pisser le suif.” STEVENS.
7 Let the sky rain potatoes ;-hail kissing-comfits, and snow eringoes ; let there come a tempest of provocation,) Potatoes, when they were first introduced in England, were supposed to be strong provocatives. See Mr. Collins's note on a passage in Troilus and Cref fida, A& V. sc. ii.
Killing-comfits were sugar-plums, perfum'd to make the breath sweet.
Monsieur Le Grand D’Ausfi in his Hifoire de la vie privée des Français, Vol. II. p. 273. observes—“ Il y avait aussi de petits drageoirs qu'on portait en poche pour avoir, dans le jour, de quoi se parfumer la bouche." So, also in Webster's Duchess of Malfy, 1623 :
Sure your pistol holds
Nothing but perfuines or killing comfits.” In Swernan Arraign’d, 1620, these confections are calle'-" killing-causes.” “ Their very breath is sophisticated with arnber-pellets, and killing-causes.” Again, in A Very Woman, by Maflinger :
“ Comfits of ambergris to help our kisses.” For eating these, queen Mab may be said, in Romeo and Juliet, to plague their lips with blisters.
Eringoes, like potatoes, were esteemed to be stimulatives. So, (says the late Mr. Henderson,) in Drayton's Polyolbion : Vol. III.
Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, sweetheart.
Fal. Divide me like a bribe-buck, each a haunch: I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow of this walk,' and my horns I bequeath
“ Whose root th' eringo is, the reines that doth inflame,
“ So strongly to performe the Cytherean game." But Shakspeare, very probably, had the following artificial tempeft in his thoughts, when he put the words on which this note is founded, into the mouth of Falftaff.
Holinshed informs us, that in the year 1583, for the entertainment of prince Alasco, was performed “a verie statelie tragedie named Dido, wherein the queen's banket (with Æneas' narration of the destruction of 'Troie) was lively described in a marchpaine patterne,--the tempeft wherein it bailed /mall confeits, rained rosewater, and fnew an artificial kind of frow, all ftrange, marvellous and abundant."
Brantome also, describing an earlier feast given by the Vidam of Chartres, says" Au dessert, il y eut un orage artificiel qui, pendant une demie heure entiere, fit tomber une pluie d'eaux odorantes, & un grêle de dragées." STEEVENS.
1 Divide me like a bribe-buck,] i.e. (as Mr. Theobald observes) a buck fent for a bribe. He adds, that the old copies, miftakingly, read-brib’d-buck. Steevens.
Cartwright, in his Love's Convert, has an expreffion somewhat similar: “ Put off your mercer with your fee-buck for that season.”
M. Mason. 3 — my shoulders to the fellow of this walk,] Who the fellow is, or why he keeps his shoulders for him, I do not understand.
JOHNSON. A walk is that distri&t in a forest, to which the jurisdiction of a particular keeper extends. So, in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592 : “ Tell me, forefter, under whom maintainest thou thy walke' MALONE. To the keeper the shoulders and humbles belong as a perquifite.
GREY. So, in Friar Bacon, and Friar Bungay, 1599
“ Butter and cheese, and humbles of a deer,
Such as poor keepers have within their lodge." Again, in Holinihed, 1586, Vol. I. p. 204: “ The keeper, by a cuitomhath the skin, head, umbles, chine and shoulders."
your husbands. Am I a woodman?ha! Speak I like Herne the hunter?- Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience, he makes reftitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome!
[Noise within. Mrs. PAGE. Alas! what noise? Mrs. Ford. Heaven forgive our sins! FAL. What should this be? Mrs. Ford. MRS. Pace: }Away, away.
. [They run off Fal. I think, the devil will not have me damn'd, left the oil that is in me should set hell on fire; he would never else cross me thus.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans, like a satyr; Mrs. QUICK
LY, and Pistol; Anne Page, as the Fairy Queen, attended by her brother and others, dressed like fairies, with waxen tapers on their heads.s
Quick. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white, You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night,
a woodman?] A woodman (says Mr. Reed in a note on Measure for Measure, A& IV. sc. iii.) was an attendant on the officer, called Forrester. See Manwood on the Forest Laws, 4to. 1615, p. 46. It is here, however, used in a wanton sense, for one who chooses female game as the objects of his pursuit.
In its primitive fense I find it employed in an ancient MS. entitled The boke of huntyng, that is cleped Mayfler of Game : “ And wondre ye not though I sey wodemanly, for it is a poynt of a wode. mannys crafte. And though it be wele fittyng to an hunter to kun do it, yet natheles it longeth more to a wodemanny's crafte," &c. A woodman's calling is not very accurately defined, by any author I have met with. STEVENS.
5 This stage-direction I have formed on that of the old quarto, corrected by such circumstances as the poet introduced when he new-modelled his play. In the folio there is no direction whatsoever. Mrs. Quickly and Pistol seem to have been but ill suited to the delivery of the speeches here attributed to them; nor are either