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Mrs. Page. Alas! what noise?
Mrs. Ford. Heaven forgive our sins!
Fal. What should this be?
Mrs. Ford.

[They run of Mrs. Page.

Fal. I think, the devil will not have me damned, lest 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. QUICKLY,

and PISTOL ; ANNE PAGL, as the Fairy Queen, attended
by her brother and others, dressed like fairies, with
waxen tapers on their heads.

Quick. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,
You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night,
You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,
Attend your office, and your quality.2.

And wordre ye not though I sey wodlemanly, for it is a poynt of a wodemannys crafte. And though it be wele fittyng to an hunter to kun do it, yet natheles it longeth more to a wotemannys crafte,” &c. A woodman's calling is not very accurately defined by any author I have met with. Steevens.

-1 You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,] But why orphan-heirs? Destiny, whom they succeeded, was yet in being. Doubtless the poet wrote:

You ouphen heirs of fixed destiny." i. e. you elves, who minister, and succeed in some of the works of destiny. They are called in this play, both before and afterwards, ouphes ; here ouphen; en being the plural termination of Saxon nouns. For the word is from the Saxon Alrenne, lamiæ, dæmones. Or it may be understood to be an adjective, as wooden, woollen, golden, &c. Warburton.

Dr. Warburton corrects orphan to ouphen; and not without plausibility, as the word ouphes occurs both before and after. wards. But, I fancy, in acquiescence to the vulgar doctrine, the address in this line is to a part of the troop, as mortals by birth, but adopted by the fairies: orphans in respect of their real parents, and now only dependent on destiny herself. A few lines from Spenser will sufficiently illustrate this passage:

“ The man whom heavens have ordaynd to bee

“The spouse of Britomart is Arthegall.
“ He wonneth in the land of Fuyeree,

Yet is no Fary borne, ne sib at all
To elfes, but sprong of seed terrestriall,

“ And whilome by false Faries stolen away,
“ Whiles yet in infant cradle he did crall,” &c.

Edit. 1590, B. III, st. 26. Farmer.

Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy o-yes.

Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.) Cricket, to Windsor chimnies shalt thou leap: Where fires thou find'st unrak'd, and hearths unswept, There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry: 5 Our radient queen hates sluts, and sluttery.

Fal. They are fairies; he, that speaks to them, shall die: I'll wink and couch: No man their works must eye.

[Lies down upon his face. Eva. Where's Bede ?6—Go you, and where you find

a maid, That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said, Raise

UP the organs of her fantasy,? Sleep she as sound as careless infancy;


Dr. Warburton objects to their being heirs to Destiny, who was still in being. But Shakspeare, I believe, uses heirs, with his usual laxity, for children. So, to inherit, is used in the sense of to possess. Malone.

quality.) i. e. fellowship. See The Tempest: “ Ariel, and all his quality.Stekvens.

3 Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy o-yes. Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.] These two lines were certainly intended to rhyme together, as the preceding and subsequent couplets do; and accordingly, in the old editions, the final words of each line are printed, oyes and toyes. This, therefore, is a striking instance of the inconvenience, which has arisen from modernizing the orthography of Shakspeare.

Tyrwhitt. * Where fires thou find'st unrak’d,] i. e. unmade up, by cover. ing them with ashes, so that they may be found alight in the morning. This phrase is still current in several of our midland counties. So, in Chapman's version of the sixteenth Book of Homer's Odyssey:

still rake up all thy fire
« In fair cool words:” Steevens.

as bilberry:] The bilberry is the whortleberry. Fairies were always supposed to have a strong aversion to sluttery. Thus, in the old song of Robin Good-Fellow. See Dr. Percy's Reliques, &c. Vol. III:

“ When house or hearth doth sluttish lye,

“ I pinch the maidens black and blue,” &c. Steevens. 6 Eva. Where is Bede? &c.] Thus the first folio. The quartos--Peal.-.-It is remarkable that, throughout this metrical business, Sir Hugh appears to crop his Welch pronunciation, though he resumes it as soon as he speaks in his own character. As Falstaft, however, supposes him to be a Welch Fairy, his


But those as sleep, and think not on their sins,
Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides and


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peculiarity of utterance must have been preserved on the stage, though it be not distinguished in the printed copies. Steevens.


you, and where you find a maid,Raise up the organs of her fantasy;] The sense of this speech is—that she, who had perforined her religious duties, should be secure against the illusion of fancy; and have her sleep, like that of infancy, undisturbed by disordered dreams. This was then the popular opinion, that evil spirits had a power over the fancy; and, by that means, could inspire wicked dreams into those who, on their going to sleep, had not recommended themselves to the protection of heaven. So, Shakspeare makes Imogen, on her lying down, say:

From fairies, and the tempters of the night,

Guar) one, beseech ye.!As this is the sense, let us see how the common reading expresses it:

“ Raise up the organs of her fantasy; i. e. inflame her imagination with sensual ideas; which is just the contrary to what the poet would have the speaker say. We cannot therefore but conclude he wrote:

Rein up the organs of her fantasy; i. e. curb them, that she be no more disturbed by irregular imaginations, than children in their sleep. For he adds immediately:

Sleep she as sound as careless infancy.
To give the rein, being just the contrary to rein up. The
same thought he has again in Macbeth:

Merciful powers!
“ Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature
“ Gives way to in repose.”

This is highly plausible; and yet, raise up the organs of her
fantasy, may mean, elevate her ideas above sensuality, exalt thein
to the noblest contemplation.

Mr. Malone supposes the sense of the passage, collectively taken, to be as follows:

Go you, and wherever you find a maid asleep, that hath thrice prayed to the Deity, though, in consequence of her inno. cence, she sleep as soundiy as an infant, elevate her fancy, and amuse her tranquil mind with some delightful vision; but those whom you find asleep, without having previously thought on their sins, and prayed to heaven for forgiveness, pinch, &c. It should be remembered that those persons who sleep very soundly, seldom dream. Hence the injunction to “ raise up the organs of her fantasy,” “ Sleep she,” &c, i. e. though she sleep as sound, &c.

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Quick. About, about;
Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out:
Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room;?
That it may stand till the perpetual doom,
In state as wholesome' as in state 'tis fit;
Worthy the owner, and the owner it.9
The several chairs of order look you scour
With juice of balm,' and every precious flower:
Each fair instalment, coat, and several crest,
With loyal blazon, evermore be blest!

The fantasies with which the mind of the virtuous maiden is to be amused, are the reverse of those with which Oberon dis. turbs Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream :

“ There sleeps Titania ;-
"With the juice of this I 'll streak her eyes,

“ And make her full of hateful fantasies.Dr. Warburton, who appears to me to have totally misunder. stood this passage, reads-Rein up, &c. in which he has been followed, in my opinion too hastily, by the subsequent editors.

Malore. 7 on every sacred room ;] See Chaucer's Cant. Tales, v. 3482, edit. Tyrwhitt: “ On four halves of the hous aboute," &c. Malone.

8 In state as wholesome,] Wholesome here signifies integer. He wishes the castle may stand in its present state of perfection, which the following words plainly show:

- as in state 'tis fit. Warburton. 9 Worthy the owner, and the owner it.] And cannot be the true reading. The context will not allow it; and his court to Queen Elizabeth directs us to another:

as the owner it. For, sure, he had more address than to content himself with wishing a thing to be, which his complaisance must suppose actually was, namely, the worth of the owner. Warburton.

Surely this change is unnecessary. The fairy wishes that the castle and its owner, till the day of doom, may be worthy of each other. Queen Elizabeth's worth was not clevolvable, as we have seen by the conduct of her foolish successor. The prayer of the fairy is therefore suficiently reasonable and intelligible without alteration. Sieevens. 1 The several chairs of order look you scour

With juice of bulm, &c.] It was an article of our ancient luxury, to rub tables, &c. with aromatic herbs. Thus, in the Story of Baucis ani Philemon, Ovid. Met. VIII:


equatam Mentha abstersere virent.” Pliny informs us, that the Romans did the same, to drive away evil spirits. Steevens.

And nightly, meadow-fairies, look you sing,
Like to the Garter's compass, in a ring:
The expressure that it bears, green let it be,
More fertile-fresh than all the field to see;
And, Hony soit qui mal y pense, write,
In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue, and white ;
Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery,2
Buckled below fair knight-hood’s bending knee:
Fairies use flowers for their charactery: 3


2 In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue, and white;

Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery,] These lines are most miserably corrupted. In the words—Flowers purple, blue and white--the purple is left uncompared. To remedy this, the editors, who seem to have been sensible of the imperfection of the comparison, read and rich embroidery; that is, according to them, as the blue and white flowers are compared to sapplıire and pearl, the purple is compared to rich embroidery. Thus, instead of mending one false step, they have made two, by bringing sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery, under one predicament. The lines were wrote thus by the poet:

In emerald tufts, flowers purfled, blue, and white;

Like sapphire, pearl, in rich embroidery. i. e. let there be blue and white flowers worked on the green. sward, like sapphire and pearl in rich embroidery. To pursle, is to over-lay with tinsel, gold thread, &c. so our ancestors called a certain lace of this kind of work a purfling-lace. 'Tis from the French pourfiler. So, Spenser:

she was yclad,
“ All in a silken camus, lilly white,

* Purfled upon, with many a folded plight.” The change of and into in, in the second verse, is necessary. For flowers worked, or purfled in the grass, were not like sapphire and pearl simply, but sapphire and pearl in embroidery. How the corrupt reading and was introduced into the text, we have shown above. Warburton.

Whoever is convinced by Dr. Warburton's note, will show he has very little studied the manner of his author, whose splendid incorrectness in this instance, as in some others, is surely preferable to the insipid regularity proposed in its room. Steevens

charactery.] For the matter with which they make letters. Johnson. So, in Julius Cæsar :

“ All the charactery of my sad brows." i. e. all that seems to be written on them. Again, in Ovid's Banquet of Sence, by Chapman, 1595:

“ Wherein was writ in sable charectry.Steevens. Bullokar, in bis English Expositor improved by R. Browne, 12mo. says that charactery is “ a writing by characters in strange marks."

In 1588 was printed—“ Charactery, an arte of shorte,


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