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You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,
Pist. Elves, list your names : silence, you airy toys !
Fal. They are fairies; he, that speaks to them, shall die: I'll wink and couch. No man their works must eye.
[Lies doron upon his face. Eva. Where's Bead'?—Go you, and where you find a
of her fantasy,
Queen. About, about !
where all the speeches hitherto given to Mrs. Quickly are assigned to “Queen." Mr. Singer adopts the same course, but leaves it to be supposed that he was himself the author of the important emendation. That be was capable of making it, we could have believed; but we could not believe, that he would be so shortsighted as thus, by implication even, to appropriate what was notoriously the property of others. The alteration was never dreamed of till 1843.
• Cricket, to Windsor chimneys WHEN THOU'ST LEAPT] The text has always hitherto been,
"Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap;" and nobody has suspected a decided corruption, by which, at all events, the rhyme has been lost. For the indisputable change we are indebted to the corr. fo. 1632. Mr. Singer states that he had made the correction of “ "leapt for leap “ long since :” we do not dispute it; but it is, we believe, a fact that it is not contained in his first edition, nor in any edition, until three years after the appearance of our Vol. of “ Notes and Emendations," where it occurs on p. 39.
1 Where's BEAD?] Spelt Bede in the folios, and Pead in the 4tos. Probably the name was chosen to indicate the smallness of the fairy : Malone gave the name Pede, without assigning any reason. There is no such name among those of the fairies in “The Mad Pranks and Merry Jests of Robin Goodfellow,” printed by the Percy Society, from the unique edition of 1628, at Bridgewater House, where they are thus enumerated :
“ Pinch and Patch, Goll and Grim * * *
Sib and Tib. Lick and Lull.”—p. 38. “ Bead " is spelt Pead in the 4tos, perhaps to indicate Sir Hugh's mispronunciation; but there is no other specimen of his Welsh dialect in this particular part of the comedy
In state as wholesome, as in state 'tis fit;
Eva. Pray you, lock hand in hand: yourselves in order
And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be,
Fal. Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy, lest he transform me to a piece of cheese!
Pist. Vile worm, thou wast o'er-look'd', even in thy birth.
Queen. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end :
Pist. A trial! come.
Come, will this wood take fire ?
[They burn him with their tapers. Fal. Oh, oh, oh! Queen. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire !
I smell a man of MIDDLE EARTH.] The globe was frequently called "middle earth" by Gower, Gawin Douglas, and subsequent writers. When Fal. staff just afterwards prays to be defended from “ that Welsh fairy," he must havo formed his judgment from the tone of Sir Hugh's voice, or from mispronunciation pot indicated in the old folios.
thou wast O'ER-LOOK'D,] Steevens bere incautiously informs us that “o'er-look'd is slighted;" but see Vol. ii. p. 306, where it is shown that it means enchanted or bewitched.
About him, fairies, sing a scornful rhyme;
SONG, by one.
During this song, the fairies pinch FALSTAFF: Doctor Caius
comes one way, and steals away u 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 within. All the fairies run away. FALSTAFF pulls off his buck's head, and rises'.
Enter PAGE, FORD, Mrs. PAGE, and Mrs. FORD. They lay hold
Page. Nay, do not fly: I think, we have watch'd you now. Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn ?
still pinch bim to your time.] After this line Malone, and others before him, added the following, assigned to Evans in the 4tos. “ It is right, indeed, he is full of lecheries and iniquity." It is to be observed that in the 4tos. the Welsh dialect of Sir Hugh is preserved, and from what Falstaff says, it ought to have been so in the folios. The whole scene varies considerably in the 4tos.
s Fie on sinful fantasy !] Robert Greene, in his “Groatsworth of Wit," 1592, (where be calls Shakespeare " the only Shake-scene in a country ") has a song beginning, “ Fie, fie on blind fancy!" Sign. Cb, edit. 1617.
Chorus.] The corr. fo. 16:32 informs us that the first six lines were sung by a single voice, and that the four last, lines formed the “Chorus."
? Falstaff pulls off bis buck's head, and rises.] Theobald states that he inBerted this stage-direction from the 4tos : be ought to have added that he corrected and varied it: in the 4to, 1602, it runs in the-e words,—“Here they pinch bim and sing about him, and the Doctor comes one way, and steals away a boy in red; and Slender another way, be takes a boy in green; and Fenton steals Mistress Anne, being in white. And a noise of hunting is made within, and all the fairies run away. Falstaff pulls off his buck's head, and rises up."
Mrs. Page. I pray you come; hold up the jest no higher.-
Ford. Now, sir, who's a cuckold now P-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 bad ill luck;
could meet. I will never take you for my love again, but I will always count you my deer.
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.
how wit.may be made a Jack-a-lent, when 'tis upon ill employment !
Eca. 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 frize'? 'Tis 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
- a coscomb of FRIZE?] i. e. A fool's cap (says Steevens) made out of Welsh materials : Wales was famous for frize. In the Prompt. Parvul. "fryze or fryzed cloth" is called pannus villatus: Way's edit. for the Camden Society, 1843, p. 179. Seo also Vol. iii.
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 dejected; I am not able to answer the Welsh flannel. Ignorance itself is a plummet o’er me: use me as you will.
Ford. Marry, sir, we'll bring you to Windsor, to one master Brook, that you have cozened of money,
you should have been a pander; over and above that you
have suffered, I think, to repay that money will be a biting affliction'.
Page. Yet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt eat a posset tonight at
house ; where I will desire thee to laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee. Tell her, master Slender hath married her daughter.
Mrs. Page. Doctors doubt that: if Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this, doctor Caius' wife. [Aside.
Enter SLENDER, crying. Slen. Whoo, ho ! ho ! father Page ! Page. Son, how now! how now, son ! have you dispatched ?
Slen. Dispatched !—I'll make the best in Gloucestershire know on't; would I were hanged, la, else.
Page. Of what, son ?
• What, & HODGB-pudding ?) We do not venture to alter the old copy here, but the corr. fo. 1632 instructs us to read “ hog-padding" instead of “ hodgepudding.” Hodge-pudding" is not in our day very intelligible, but a “ hogspadding in the provinces is made of the entrails, stuffed with flour, spice, and other savoury materials.
to repay that money will be a biting affliction.] Here the 4tos. add what may be worth giving in a note :
“Mrs. Ford. Nay, husband, let that go to make amends : Forgive that sum, and so we'll all be friends.
Ford. Well, here is my band: all's forgiven at last.