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Slen. And so must I, sir; we have appointed to dine with mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for more money than I'll speak of.

Shal. We have lingered about a match between Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.

Slen. I hope, I have your good will, father Page. Page. You have, master Slender; I stand wholly for you:--but my wife, master doctor, is for you altogether.

Caius. Ay, by gar; and demaid is love-a me; my nursh-a Quickly tell me so mush.

Host. What say you to young master Fenton? he capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he speaks holyday?, he smells April and May: he will carry't, he will carry't; 'tis in his buttons 3; he will carry't.

Page. Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman is of no having 4: he kept company with the wild Prince and Poins; he is of too bigh a region, he knows too much. No, he shall not knit a knot in his fortunes with the finger of my substance: if he take her, let him take her simply; the wealth I have waits on my consent, and my consent goes not that way.

Ford. I beseech you, heartily, some of you go home with me to dinner: besides your cheer, you shall have sport; I will show you a monster.Master doctor, you shall go;--so shall you, master Page; -And you, Sir Hugh.

3 To speak out of the cominon style, snperior to the vulgar, in allusion to the better dress worn on holidays. So in K. Henry IV. P. 1.

With many holiday and lady terms. * Aluding to an ancient custom among rustics, of trying whether they should succeed with their mistresses by carrying the flower called bachelor's buttons in their pockets. They judged of their good or bad success by their growing or not growing there. Hence, to wear bachelor's buttons, seeing to have grown into a phrase for being uumarried. 4 i. e. Fortune or possessions. So, in Twelfth Night:

-My having is not much ;
I'll inake division of my present with you:
Hold, there is half iny cotfer.'


Shal. Well, fare you well:- we shall have the freer wooing at master Page's.

[Exeunt SHALLOW and SLENDER. Caius. Go home, John Rugby; I come anon.

[Exit Rugby. Host. Farewell, my hearts: I will to my honest knight Falstaff, and drink canary with him.

[Erit Host. Ford. Aside.) I think, I shall drink. in pipewine5 first with him; I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles? All. Have with you, to see this monster.

[Ereunt. SCENE III. A Room in Ford's House.

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Enter MRS. FORD and Mrs. PAGE. Mrs. Ford. What, John! what, Robert! Mrs. Page. Quickly, quickly: Is the buckbasketMrs. Ford. I warrant:- What, Robin, I say.

Enter Servants with a basket. Mrs. Page. Come, come, come. Mrs. Ford. Here, set it down. Mrs. Page. Give your men the charge; we must be brief.

Mrs. Ford. Marry, as I told you before, John and Robert, be ready here hard by in the brewhouse; and when I suddenly call you, come forth, and (without any pause, or staggering) take this basket on your shoulders: that done, trudge with it in all haste, and carry it among the whitsters 1 in Datchet mead, and there empty it in the muddy ditch, close by the Thames' side.


5 Canary is the name of a dance as well as of a wine. Pipe-wine is wine, not from the bottle but the pipe or cask. The jest consists in the ambiguity of the word, which signifies both cask of wine and a musical instrument.--*I'll give him pipe wine, which will make him dance."

1 Bleachers of linen,

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Mrs. Page. You will do it? Mrs. Ford. I have told them orer and over; they lack no direction: Be gone, and come when you are called.

[Exeunt Servants. Mrs. Page. Here comes little Robin.

Enter Robin. Mrs. Ford. How now, my eyas-musket?? what news with you?

Rob. My master Sir John is come in at your backdoor, mistress Ford, and requests your company.

Mrs. Page. You little Jack-a-lents, have you been true to us?

Rob. Ay, I'll be sworn: My master knows not of your being here; and hath threatened to put me into everlasting liberty, if I tell you of it; for, he swears, he'll turn me away.

Mrs. Page. Thou art a good boy; this secrecy of thine shall be a tailor to thee, and shall make thee a new doublet and hose. I'll go hide me.

Mrs. Ford. Do so ;-Go tell thy master, I am alone. Mistress Page, remember you your cne.

[Exit Robin. Mrs. Page. I warrant thee; if I do not act it, hiss me.

[Erit Mrs. Page. Mrs. Ford. Go to then: we'll use this unwholesome humidity, this gross watry pumpion ;-we'll teach him to know turtles from jays 4.

Enter FALSTAFF. Fal. Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel 5 ? Why, now let me die, for I have lived long enough;

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2 Young sparrow-hawk, here used as a jocular terin for a small child.

3. A stuffed puppet thrown at throughout lent, as cocks were at shrovctide. So, in "The Weakest goes to the Wall,' 1600.

"A mere anatomy a Jack of Lent. 4 i. e. honest women from loose ones. The word Puita in Italian siguifies both a jay and a loose woman. So, in Cymbeline :

"some jay of Italy Whose mother was her painting,", &c. 3 This is the first live in the second soug of Sidney's Astrophes and Stella.

there is

this is the period of my ambition: 0 this blessed hour! Mrs. Ford. O sweet Sir John! Fal. Mistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate, mistress Ford. Now shall I sin in my wish: I would thy husband were dead: I'll speak it before the best lord, I would make thee my lady.

Mrs. Ford. I your lady, Sir John! alas, I should be a pitiful lady.

Fal. Let the court of France show me such another; I see how thine eye would emulate the diamond: Thou hast the right arched bent 6 of the brow, that becomes the ship-tire, the tire-valiant, or any tire of Venetian admittance?.

Mrs. Ford. A plain kerchief, Sir John: my brows become nothing else; nor that well neither.

Fal. By the lord, thou art a traitor to say so: thou wouldst make an absolute courtier; and the firm fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy gait, in a semi-circled farthingale. I see what thou wert, if fortune thy foe8 were not: nature is thy friend: Come, thou canst not hide it.

Mrs. Ford. Believe me, there's no such thing in me.

Fal. What made me love thee? let that persuade thee, there's something extraordinary in thee. Come, I cannot cog, and say thou art this and that, like a many of these lisping hawthorn buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklersbury' in simple-time; I cannot: but I love thee; none but thee; and thou deservest it.

6 First folio :-beauty.

? That is, any fanciful head-dress worn by the celebrated beauties of Venice, or approved by them.

In how much request the Venetian tire or a hed-dress was formerly held, appears from Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, 1624. "Let her have the Spanish gait, the Venetian tire, Italian complimentsa ad endow. ments. 8. Fortune the misfortunes that fall on mankind through the

foe is the beginning of a popular old ballad enumerating all caprice of Fortune. The tune was the same with that of Death and the Lady, to which the metrical lamentations of extraordinary criminals were chanted for two hundred years and more.

Mrs. Ford. Do not betray me, sir; I fear you love mistress Page.

Fal. Thou mightst as well say, I love to walk by the Counter 10-gate; whịch is: as hateful to me as the reek of a lime-kiln 11.

Mrs. Ford. Well, heaven knows how I love you; and you shall one day find it. Fal. Keep in that mind; I'll deserve it. Mrs. Ford. Nay, I must tell you, so you do; or else I could not be in that mind.

Rob. [within.] Mistress Ford, mistress Ford ! here's mistress Page at the door, sweating and blowing, and looking wildly, and would needs speak with you presently.

Fal. She shall not see me; I will ensconce me behind the arras 12, Mrs. Ford. Pray you,

tattling woman.

[FALSTAFF hides himself, Enter MISTRESS Page and ROBIN. What's the matter? how now?

Mrs. Page. O, mistress Ford, what have you done? You're shamed, you are overthrown, you are undone for ever.

Mrs. Ford. What's the matter, good mistress Page ?

do so;

she's a very

9 Formerly chiefly inhabited by druggists, who sold all kinds of herbs, green as well as dry.

10 The Counter, as a prison, was odious to Falstaff. 11 So, in Coriolanug

"Whose breath I hate

As reek o' the rottén feng." The name of this prison'was a fregnent subject of jocularity with our ancestors, Shakspeare has availed himself of it in the Comedy of Errors. My old acquaintance Baret records one pleasantly enough in his Alvearie, 1573.-"We saie merrily of him who hath been in the Counter or such like places of prison: He can sing his counter-tenor very well. And in anger we say, I will make you sing a counter-tenor for this geare: meaning imprisonment."


12 The spaces left between the walls and wooden franies on which the tapestry was hụng, were not more cominodious to our ancestors, than to the authors of ancient dramatic pieces.


10 *

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