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SCENE III.-The Street in Windsor.
Enter MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS 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 two must go together. CAIUS. I know vat I have to do; adieu.
Mrs. 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 't is 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 Welsh devil, Hugh ?*
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 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 oak! [Ereunt.
SCENE IV.-Windsor Park.
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.
SCENE V.-Another part of the Park.
Enter FALSTAFF disguised, with a buck's head on. 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. 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; 0 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' th forest :
(*) Old copy, Herne.
send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss my tallow? Who comes here ? my doe?
Enter MISTRESS FORD and MISTRESS 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 brib’d-buck, each a haunch: I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow of this walk, 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; ho makes restitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome!
[Noise without. MRS. PAGE. Alas! what noise ? MRS. FORD. Heaven forgive our sins ! FAL. What should this be? MRS. FORD.
[They run off 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; MISTRESS QUICKLY, and
PISTOL; ANNE PAGE, as the Fairy Queen, attended by her brother
and others, dressed like fairies, with waren tapers on their heads. QUEEN. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white, You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night, You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,d Attend your office, and your quality. Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy o-yes.
Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.
Mrs. Pate: } Away! away!
* My shoulders for the fellow of this walk,- ] By fellow of this wall is meant the forester, to whom it was customary, on the “ breaking up” of a deer, to present one or both of the shoulders. For the process, we must refer the reader to the “Booke of Hunting,” by the venerable Dame Juliana Berners, who says:
“ And the right shoulder, where so ever he be,
Bere it to the foster, for that is his fee.” Or to Turberville's “Booke of Hunting,” 1575, where the distribution is prescribed with all the exactness so important a ceremony deserved.
6 Enter Sir Hugh Evans, &c.] This stage-direction is chiefly made up from that in the early quarto. The folio has only, “ Enter fairies.” The introduction of Pistol and Mistress Quickly in this scene, is to be accounted for on the supposition that the necessity of the theatre compelled the performers of these characters to take part among the fuiries, and that the names thus got inserted in the printed copies.
« Queen.) There is nothing inconsistent in the prefix Quic. to these speeches in the quarto, because Mistress Quickly, or rather the actor who personated that character, was intended to “double" with it the Fairy Queen; but in the enlarged play, as Anne Page enacts the latter part, the prefix should certainly be “Queen.”
You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,–] Warburton proposed, with plausibility, to read, “ Ouphen heirs,” but see note (*), p. 86.
Queen. 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
Cricket, to Windsor chimnies shalt thou leap:
FAL. They are fairies; he that speaks to them, shall die:
[Lies down upon his face.
QUEEN. About, about;
, and rich embroidery,
Eva. Pray you, lock hand in hand; yourselves in order set:
FAL. Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy! lest he transform me to a piece of cheese!
(*) First folio, Bede. 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 Shakespeare.”—TYRWHITT.
The several chairs of Order look you scour
With juice of balm,-] As Steevens has observed, it was an article of ancient luxury to rub tables, &c. with aromatic herbs. Thus, in Ovid's “Baucis and Philemon,” Metamorphoses viii. :
“Mensamæquatam Mentha abstersere virenti."
Pist. Vile worm, thou wast o'er-look'da even in thy birth.
QUEEN. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end :
Pist. A trial, come!
[They put the tapers to his fingers, and he starts. FAL. Oh, oh, oh!
QUEEN. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire !
Pinch him for his villainy ;
Till candles, and star-light, and moonshine be out.
one way, and steals away a fairy in green; SLENDER another way, and takes off a fairy in white ; and FENTON comes, and steals away ANNE PAGE. A noise of hunting is made without. All the fairies run away. FALSTAFF pulls of his buck's head, and rises.
Enter PAGE, FORD, MISTRESS PAGE, and MISTRESS FORD. They lay
hold on him. PAGE. Nay, do not fly: I think, we have watch'd you now; Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn?
• 0'er-looked even in thy birth.] That is, bewitched. See note (-), Vol. I., 582.
b During this song,–] Much of this direction is derived from the quarto. The folio has none whatever.
• I think, we have watch'd you now ;] That is, tamed you. The allusion, which seems to have been overlooked by all the commentators, is to one of the methods employed to tame, or “reclaim,” hawks. It was customary when a hawk was first taken, for the falconers to sit up by turns and "watch” it; in other words, prevent it from sleeping, sometimes for three successive nights. Shakespeare has referred to the practice in the “ Taming of the Shrew," Act IV. Sc. 2:
“ Another way I have to man my haggard,
To make her come, and know her keeper's call,
That is, to watch her,". And again in “Othello,” Act III. Sc. 3 :
-“My lord shall never rest, I'll watch him tame."
MRS. PAGE. I pray you, come; hold up the jest no higher :-
FORD. Now, sir, who's a cuckold now ?- Master Brook, Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldly knave; here are his horns, master Brook : and, master Brook, he hath enjoyed nothing of Ford's but his buck-basket, his cudgel, and twenty pounds of money; which must be paid to master Brook; his horses are arrested for it, master Brook.
MRS. FORD. Sir John, we have had ill luck; we could never meet. I will never take you for my love again, but I will always count you
Fal. I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass.
Fal. And these are not fairies? I was three or four times in the thought, they were not fairies: and yet the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surprise of my powers, drove the grossness of the foppery into a received belief, in despite of the teeth of all rhyme and reason, that they were fairies. See now, how wit may be made a Jack-a-lent, when it is upon ill employment !
Eva. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your desires, and fairies will not pinse you.
FORD. Well said, fairy Hugh.
FORD. I will never mistrust my wife again, till thou art able to woo her in good English.
Fal. Have I laid my brain in the sun, and dried it, that it wants matter to prevent so gross o'er-reaching as this ? Am I ridden with a Welsh goat too? Shall I have a coxcomb of frieze ?a 't is time I were choked with a piece of toasted cheese.
Eva. Seese is not good to give putter; your pelly is all putter.
FAL. Seese and putter! have I lived to stand at the taunt of one that makes fritters of English? This is enough to be the decay of lust and late-walking, through the realm.
Mrs. PAGE. Why, sir John, do you think, though we would have thrust virtue out of our hearts by the head and shoulders, and have given ourselves without scruple to hell, that ever the devil could have made you our delight?
Ford. What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax ?
Eva. And given to fornications, and to taverns, and sack, and wine, and metheglins, and to drinkings, and swearings, and starings, pribbles and prabbles ?
FAL. Well, I am your theme: you have the start of me; I am
· A coxcomb of frieze ?] A fool's cap made of frieze. Wales was celebrated for this description of cloth.