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HELENA.

He;

Helena.

Which is the Frenchman ?
Diana.
That with the plume: 'tis a most gallant fellow!
I would he loved his wife: if he were honester,
He were much goodlier :-Is't not a handsome gentleman ?.

Helena. I like him well.

Diana. 'Tis pity he is not honest: Yond's that same knave,
That leads him to these places; were I his lady,
I'd poison that vile rascal.
Helena.

Which is he?
Diana. That Jack-an-apes with scarfs: Why is he melancholy?
Helena. Perchance he's hurt i'the battle.
Parolles. Lose our drum! well.
Mariana. He's shrewdly vex'd at something: Look, he has spied us.
Widow. Marry, hang you!
Mariana. And your courtesy for a ring-carrier !

[Exeunt BERTRAM, PAROLLES, Officers,

and Soldiers. Widow. The troop is past: Come, pilgrim, I will bring you Where

you

shall host: of enjoin'd penitents There's four or five to great Saint Jaques bound, Already at

my

house. Helena.

I humbly thank

you:
Please it this matron, and this gentle maid,
To eat with us to-night, the charge, and thanking,
Shall be for mo; and to requite you further,
I will bestow some precepts on this virgin,
Worthy the note.
Both.

We'll take your offer kindly.

All's WELL THAT Ends WELL.-Act III. Scene V.

HÉLÈ N E.

Hélène. Où est le Français ?

Diane. Celui que vous voyez avec un panache. C'est un brave guerrier. Pourquoi faut-il qu'il n'aime pas sa femme! S'il était plus rangé, il serait bien plus aimable.—N'est-ce pas que c'est un bien bel homme.

Hélène. Je le trouve fort bien.

Diane. C'est dommage qu'il soit si peu rangé.Montrant Parole.) Voilà le mauvais sujet qui l'entraîne à mal faire; si j'étais sa femme, j'empoisonnerais le scélérat.

Hélène. Où est-il ?

Diane. C'est ce magot en écharpe: je voudrais bien savoir ce qui lui donne un air si piteux.

Hélène. Peut-être a-t-il été blessé dans le combat.
Parole. Perdre notre tambour! allons.

Marianne. Il faut qu'il y ait quelque chose qui le vexe singulièrement: voyez;

il nous a reconnues. La Veuve. (Faisant la révérence.) La peste l'étouffe!

Marianne. C'est bien la peine de faire la révérence à un entremetteur !

[Bertrand et Parole s'éloignent avec les soldats. La Veuve. Les troupes sont passées; venez, pélerine; je vais vous mener à votre logement; vous y trouverez quatre ou cinq pénitents qui ont entrepis le pélerinage du grand saint Jacques.

Hélène. Recevez mes humbles remercîments; si cette dame et cette jeune fille veulent me faire l'honneur de souper ce soir avec nous, je prends sur moi les frais et la reconnaissance; pour m'acquitter mieux encore envers vous, je me charge de donner à cette jeune personne quelques conseils utiles.

Toutes Deux. Nous acceptons votre offre avec plaisir.

TOUT EST BIEN QUI Finit BIEN.— Acte III. Scène V.

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MRS. FORD-MRS. PAGE-ANNE PAGE.

“We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do,

Wives may be merry, and yet honest too." The two Merry Wives of Windsor certainly belong to the class of representative women. Shakspeare has invested them with characters which cannot be misunderstood; because they are so universally met with. Mrs. Ford seems to be possessed of a very vigilant husband, always looking out for laches on her part; and she appears just as prepared for any emergency which may arise, by the exercise of her woman's wit. Mrs. Page, on the other hand, has unlimited licence granted her by her husband, and has, besides, a serious matter in hand, which engrosses all her attention; to wit, the

settlement of ANNE, her daughter, in life. Anne has three suitors, SLENDER, Dr. Caius, and FENTON, to whom, against the wish of her parents, she is deeply attached. FALSTAFF becomes a fitting object for the exercise of the tormenting power of these worthy dames. Quite unaware of the dangers into which he may fall, he ventures to address letters of affection to both Mrs. PagE and Mrs. FORD. Comparing notes thus together, they determine to be revenged on the “dissembling Knight;" and by employing Mrs. QUICKLY, he is persuaded to visit Mrs. FORD. Meanwhile, her husband, having "fantastical humours and jealousies,” disguises himself, and is so introduced to FALSTAFF, as "one Master Brook.” By this means, he learns from the Knight himself, all that has passed, and that is to come, in reference to Mrs. FORD.

The interview of FALSTAFF and the merry wives; the incidents which followed, in getting the Knight unharmed from Ford's house, and the vain search of the latter for the object of his rage and jealousy, are depicted with great humour.

The peccadilloes into which FALSTAFF falls, with Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page, at last afford means by which Fenton gains his beloved ANNE. FALSTAFF, although twice punished for his duplicity towards the merry wives of Windsor, ventures into another trap laid by them. At their request, disguised as HERNE THE HUNTER, he repairs to Windsor forest, and is surprised by fairies, of whom Anne is the Queen. SLENDER and Caius have each seized the opportunity, in hopes of running away with Anne; her parents having respectively favoured their chances, by giving them secret signs by which they are to recognise her during the attack on FALSTAFF. She and FENTON, however, have dressed boys, and given them these signs, so that SLENDER and CAIUS run away with one each, under the idea that they have gained Anne. Fenton and Anne, however, taking advantage of their mistake, repair unobserved to the church, and are accordingly married.

The return of SLENDER and Caius, who, when too late, have found out their error, is followed by that of Anne and her lover. Fenton, in presence of all, boldly declares

“The truth is, she and I, long since contracted,

Are now so sure, that nothing can dissolve us.” And Page, most philosophically concluding “what cannot be eschewed must be embrac'd,” induces all parties to become reconciled, not excepting that Knighterrant FALSTAFF; every one being satisfied that “all's well that ends well.”

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