A Room in the Garter Inn.


Pal. Prythee, no more prattling;-go.

-I'll hold:P This is the third time; I hope, good luck lies in odd numbers. Away, go; they say, 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 say; time wears: hold up your head, and mince.

[Exit Mrs. Quick.

Enter FORD. How now, master Brook? Master Brook, the matter will be known to night, or never. Be you in the Park about midnight, at Herne's oak, and


shall see wonders.

Ford. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me you had appointed?

Fal. I went to her, master Brook, as you see, like a poor old man: but I came from her, master Brook, like a poor old woman. That same knave, Ford her husband, hath the finest mad devil of jealousy in him, master Brook, that ever governed frenzy. I will tell you.--He beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of man, master Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaver's beam; because I know also, life is a



I'll hold:] I suppose he means—I'll keep the appoint.

Or he may mean-I'll believe. So, in K Henry VIII: "Did you not of late days hear,” &c.-“ Yes, but held it not."

Steevens. they say, there is divinity in odd numbers,] Alluding to the Roman adage

numero deus impare gaudet. Virgil, Ecl. viii. Steevens.

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 stride." Steevens.


shuttle. I am in haste; go along with me; I'll tell you all, master Brook. Since I plucked geese,l 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, master Brook! follow.

[Exeunt. SCENE II.

Windsor Park.

Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. Page. Come, come; we 'll couch i’ the castle-ditch, till we see the light of our fairies.-Remember, son Slender, my daughter.

Slen. Ay, forsooth; 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; she cries, budget ;3 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 struck ten o'clock.

Page. The night is dark; light and spirits will become it well. Heaven prosper our sport! No man means evil but the devil,* and we shall know him by his horns. Let 's away; follow me.




Since I plucked geese,] To střip a living goose of its feathers, was formerly an act of puerile barbarity. Steevens.

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

mum; she cries, budget;] These words appear to have been in common use before the time of our author.

“ And now if a man call them to accomptes, and aske the cause of all these their tragical and cruel doings, he shall have a short answer with mum budget, except they will peradventure -allege this,” &c. Oration against the unlawful Insurrections of the Protestants, bl. 1. 8vo. 1615, sig. C 8. Reed.

No man means evil but the devil,] This is a double blunder; for some, of whom this was spoke, were women. We should read then, NO ONE means. Warburton,

There is no blunder. In the ancient interludes and moralities, the beings of supreme power, excellence, or depravity, are occasionally styled men. So, in Much Ado about Nothing, Dog



The Street in Windsor.

Enter Mrs. Page, Mrs. FORD, and Dr. CAIUS. Mrs. Page. Master doctor, my daughter is in green: when you see your time, take her by the hand, away with her to the deanery, and despatch it quickly: Go before into the park; we too must go together. Caius. I know vat I have to do; Adieu.

Irs. Page. Fare you well, sir. [Exit Caius.] My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse of Falstaff, as he will chafe at the doctor's marrying my daughter: but ’tis no matter; better a little chiding, than a great deal of heart-break.

Mrs. Ford. Where is Nan now, and her troop of fairies? and the Welch devil, Hugh ?5

Mrs. Page. They are all couclied in a pit hard by Herne's oak,6 with obscured lights; which, at the very


berry says:

God's a good man.” Again, in an Epitaph, part of which has been borrowed as an absurd one, by Mr. Pope and his associates, who were not very well acquainted with ancient phraseology:

“ Do all we can,
“ Death is a man

“ That never spareth none." Again, in Jeronimo, or The First Part of the Spanish Tragedy, 1605: “ You 're the last man I thought on, sare the devil.Steevens.

and the Welch devil, Hugh?] The former impressions read--the Welch devil, Herne? But Falstaff was to represent Herne, and he was no Welchman. Where was the attention or sagacity of our editors, not to observe that Mrs. Ford is inquiring for (Sir Hugh] Evans by the name of the Weleh devil. Dr. Thirlby likewise discovered the blunder of this passage.

Theobald. I suppose only the letter H. was set slown 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.


[ocr errors]

instant of Falstaff's and our meeting, they will at once display to the knight.

Mrs. Ford. That cannot choose but amaze him.

Mrs. Page. If he be not amazed, he will be mocked; if he be amazed, he will every way be mocked.

Mrs. Ford. We 'll betray him finely.
Mrs. Page. Against such lewdsters, and their lechery,
Those that betray them do no treachery.

Mrs. Ford. The hour draws on; To the oak, to the pak!


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Eva. Trib, trib, fairies; come; and remember your parts: be pold, I pray you; follow me into the pit; and when I give the watcl-'ords, do as I pid you; Come, come; trib, trib.


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Enter FALSTAFF disguised, with a buck's head on.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Fal. The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the minute draws on: Now, the hot-blooded gods assist me: Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Europa; love set on thy horns.- 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;- 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?

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?

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

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.

[Embracing her. 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, 8 and my horns I bequeath your husbands. Am I a woodman?! ha! Speak I like Herne the hunter?-- Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience ; he makes restitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome?

[Noise within.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]



is of

San der

9 Divide me like a bribe-buck,li. e. (as Mr. Theobald observes) a buck sent for a bribe. He adds, that the old copies, mistakingly, read-brib’d-buck. Steevens.

Cartwright, in his Love's Convert, has an expression somewhat similar: “ Put off your mercer with your fee-buck for that season.”

M. Mason. my shoulders for the fellow of this walk,] Who the fellow is, or why he keeps his shoulders for him, I do not understand.

Fohnson. A walk is that district in a forest, to which the jurisdiction of a particular keeper extends. So, in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592: Tell me, forester, under whom maintainest thou thy walke?

Malone. To the keeper the shoulders and humbles belong as a perquisite. 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 Holinshed, 1586, Vol. I, p. 204: “ The keeper, by a customhath the skin, head, umbles, chine and shoulders."

Steevens, - a woodman?] A woodman (says Mr. Reed, in a note on Measure for Measure, Act IV, sc. iii,) was an attendant on the officer, called Forester. 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 object of his pursuit.

In its primitive sense I find it employed in an ancient MS. entitled The Boke of Huntyng, that is cleped Mayster of Game :



War the birt real line


« VorigeDoorgaan »