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Page. No, nor no where else but in your brain.

Ford. Help to search my house this one time: if I find not what I seek, fhew no colour for my extremity, let me for ever be your table-sport ; let them fay of me, As jealous as Ford, that search'd a hollow wall-nut for his wife's leman'. Satisfy me once more, once more search with me.

Mrs. Ford. What hoa, mistress Page ! come you, and the old woman down; my husband will come into the chamber.

Ford. Old woman ! what old woman's that?

Mrs. Ford. Why, it is my maid's aunt of Brentford.

Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not forbid her my house? She comes of errands, does she? We are fimple men; we do not know what's brought to pass under the profession of fortune-telling. She works by charme!, by spells, by the figure, and such daubery • as this is: beyond our clement : we know nothing. - Come down, you witch; you hag you, come down, I say.

Mis. Ford. Nay, good, sweet husband;-good gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.

Enter Falstaff in women's cloaths, led by Mrs. Pege. Mrs. - Page. Come, mother Prat, come, give me

your hand.

Ford. I'll prat her:-Out of my doors, you witch! [Beats him.] you hag, you baggage, you poulcat,


his wife's leman.) Leman, i.e. lover, is derived from izof, Dutch, beloved, and man. STEEVENS.

3 She works by charms, &c.] Concerning fome old woman of Brentford, there are several ballads ; among the rest, Julian of Brentford's last Will and Teftament, 1599. STEEVENS.

-fuch daubery] Dauberies are disguises. So, in K. Lear, Edgar fays: “ I cannot darb it further." STEEVENS.



you s ronyon! out! out! I'll conjure you, I'll for tune-tell you.

Exit Fal. Mrs. Page. Are you not asham'd! I think, you have kill'd the poor woman.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, he will do it: 'Tis a goodly crédit for you.

Ford. Hang her, witch!

Eva. By yea and no, I think, the 'oman is a witch indeed : I like not when a 'omans has a great peardo; ? I spy a great peard under his muffler.

Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen ? I beseech you, follow ; see but the issue of my jealousy: if I cry out thus upon no trail, never trust me when I open again.

stronyon ! -] Ronyon, applied to a woman, means, as far as can be traced, much the same with scall or fiab spoken of a man. Johnson. So, in Macbeth :

“ Aroint thee witch, the rump-fed ronyon cries." From Rogneux, Fr. So again : “ The roynish clown,” in As you like it. STEEVENS.

a great peard ;--] One of the marks of a supposed witch, was a beard. So in Macbeth:


should be women,
" And yet your beards forbid me to interpret

" That you are so.”
Again, in the Duke's Mistress, 1638 :

a chin, without all controversy, good “ To go a fishing with; a witches beard on't.”

STEEVENS. I Spy a great peard under his mufier.] As the second stratagem, by which Falstaff escapes, is much the groffer of the two, I wish it had been practised firit. It is very unlikely that Ford, having been 10 deceived before, and knowing that he had been de. ceived, would suffer him to escape in so flight a disguise.

Johnson. out thus upon no trail,-) The expression is taken from the hunters. Trail is the scent left by the passage of the game. TO

cry out, is to open or bark. Johnson.
So, in Hamlet:

“ How chearfully on the false trail they cry:
“ Oh this is counter, ye false Danith dogs!SEEVEN,




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Page. Let's obey his humour a little further: Comé, gentlemen.

[Exeunt. Mrs. Page. Trust me, he beat him most pitifully.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, by the mass, that he did not; he beat him most unpitisully, methought.

Mrs. Page. I'll have the cudgel hallow'd, and hung o'er the altar; it hath done meritorious service.

Mrs. Ford. What think you may we, with the warrant of woman-hood, and the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any further revenge?

Mrs. Page. The spirit of wantonness is, sure, scar'd out of him; if the devil have him not in fee-fimple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I think, in the way of waste, attempt us again!

Mrs. Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how we have served him?

Mrs. Page. Yea, by all means; if it be but to scrape the figures out of your husband's brains. If they can find in their hearts, the poor unvirtuous fat knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will be still the ministers.

Mrs. Ford. I'll warrant, they'll have him publickly sham’d: and, methinks, there would be no period! to the jest, should he not be publickly sham’d.

Mrs. Page. Come, to the forge with it then, shape it: I would not have things cool. [Exeunt.

9 in the way of waste, attempt us again.] i. e. he will not make further attempts to ruin us, by corrupting our virtue, and destroying our reputation STEEVENS.

-no period - ] Shakespeare seems, by no period, to mean, no proper catastrophe. Of this Hanmer was so well persuaded, that he thinks it necessary to read -no right period. STEEVENS,

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Enter Hoft and Bardolph. Bard. Sir, the Germans desire to have three of your horses: the duke himself will be to-morrow at court, and they are going to meet him.

Host. What duke Thould that be, comes so secretly? I hear not of him in the court : let me speak with the gentlemen; they speak English ?

Bard. Sir, I'll call them to you.
Hoft. They shall have my horses; but I'll make

I'll sauce them : they have had my houses a week at command; I have turn'd away my other guests: ? they must come off; I'll sauce them; come.

(Exeunt. SCENE

them pay,


they muf? come off ;-] This never can be our poet's or his hoft's meaning. To come off being, in other terms, to go lieta free. We must read, compt nt, i.e. clear their reckoning.

WARBURTON. To come off, signifies, in our author, sometimes, to be uttered with Spirit and volubility. In this place it seems to mean what is in our time expressed by to come dosun, to pay liberally and readily. Theie accidental and colloquial senses are the disgrace of language, and the plague of commentators. Johnson.

To come off, is, to pay. In this sense it is used by Mafinger, in The Unnatural Combat, act IV. sc. ii. where a wench, demanding money

of the father to keep his bastard, says: Will you come off, firş" Again, in Decker's If this be not a good Play the Devil is ia ii, 1612:

" Do not your gallants come off roundly then?" Again, in Heywood's If you know not me you knoze Nobody, 16::, p. z: and then it he will not come off, carry him to the compter.” Again, in A Trick to catch the Old One, 1616:

“ Hark in thine ear :-will he come off think'it thou, and pay my

debts ?” Again, in the Return from Parnasus, 1606: “ It is his meaning I should come off."

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Ford's house. Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Sir

Hugh Evans. Eva. 'Tis one of the best discretions of a 'omans as ever I did look upon.

Page. And did he send you both these letters at an instant ?

Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour.
Ford. Pardon me, wife : Henceforth do what thou

3 I rather will suspect the fun with cold,

Than Again, in The Widow, by B. Jonson, Fletcher, and Middleton, 1652: “ I am forty dollars better for that: an 'twould come off quicker 'twere nere a whit the worse for me." Again, in A merye Feft of a Man called Howleglas, bl. 1. no date : “ Therefore come off lightly, and geve me my mony;"

STEEVENS. “ They must come off, says mine host; I'll sauce them.” This passage has exercised the critics. It is altered by Dr. Warburton; but there is no corruption, and Mr. Steevens has rightly interpreted it. The quotation however from Mafinger, which is referred to likewise by Mr. Edwards in his Canons of Criticism, scarcely satisfied Mr. Heath, and still less the last editor, who gives us, “ They must not come off.” It is strange that any one conversant in old language, should hesitate at this phrase. Take another quotation or two, that the difficulty may be effectually removed for the fuIn John Heywood's play of the Four P's, the pedlar says:

• If you be willing to buy, " Lay down money, conie of quickly." In The Widow, by Jonion, Fletcher, and Middleton, "if he will come off roundly, he'll set him free too.” And, again, in Fennor's Comptor's Commonwealth : except I would come off roundly, I should be bar'd of that priviledge," "&c. Farmer. The phrase is used by Chaucer, Friar's Tale, 338. edit. Urry:

& Come off, and let me riden hastily,
“ Give me twelve pence; I may no longer tarie.”

TYRWHITT. 3. I rather will fufpect the fun with cold,) Thus the modern editions. The old ones read -- with gold, which may mean, I ra



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