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į Eva. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your defires, and fairies will not pinse you.

Ford. Well said, fairy Hugh.
Eva. And leave your jealousies also, I pray you.

Ford. I will never mistrust my wife again, till thou art able to woo her in good English.

Fal. Have I lay'd my brain in the sun, and dried it, that it wants matter to prevent fo gross o'er-reaching as this ? Am I ridden with a Welch goat too? shall I have a coxcomb of frize'? 'tis time I were choak'd with a piece of toasted cheese.

Eva. Seese is not good to give putter; your pelly is all putter. ::

Ful. Seese and putter! have I liv'd to stand in the taunt of one that makes fritters of English? this is enough to be the decay of lust and late-walking, through the realm. i

Mrs. Page. Why, fir 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 ?
Mrs. Page. A pufi'd man?

Page. Old, cold, wither'd, and of intolerable en. trails?

Ford. And one that is as Nanderous as Satan?
Page. And as poor as Job?
Ford. And as wicked as his wife?

Again, in Ben Jonson's Tale of a Tub:

on an Ath-wednesday, ( Where thou didit itand six wecks the fack o' Lent, r. ( For boys to hurl three throu's a penny at thee.” STEEV.

-a coxcomb of frize?- i. e, a fool's cap made out of Welch materials. Wales was famous for this cloth. So, in K. Edward *I. 1599: “ Enter Lluellin, alias prince of Wales, &c. with

fwords and bucklers, and frieze jerkins." Again : “ Enter Sufsex, &c. with a mantle of frieze.' "--my boy shall weare a. mantle of this country's weaving, to keep him warm." STEEVENS.

Eva. And given to fornications, and to taverns, and facks, and wines, 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 Welch 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 cozen'd of money, to whom you should have been a pandar : over and above that you have suffer'd, I think, to repay that money will be a biting affliction. 3 Mrs. Ford. Nay, husband, let that go to make

amends : Forgive that sum, and so we'll all be friends.

Ford. - the Welch flannel;-] The very word is derived from a Welch one, so that it is almost unnecessary to add that Aannel was originally the manufacture of Wales. In the old play of King Edward I. 1599: “ Enter Hugh ap David, Guenthian his wench in flannel, and Jacke his novice.” Again :

“ Here's a wholesome Welch wench,

“ Lapt in her flannel, as warm as wool.” Steevens. 2-ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me:---] Though this be perhaps not unintelligible, yet it is an odd way of confeiling his dejection. I should wish to read:

ignorance itself has a plume o' me: That is, I am 1o depresled, that ignorance itself plucks me, and decks itself with the spoils of my weakness. Of the present reading, which is probably right, the meaning may be, I am so enfeebled, that ignorance itself weighs me down and oppresses me. Johnson.

"Ignorance itself, says Falstaff, is a plummet o'er me." If any alteration be necessary, I think, “ Ignorance itself is a planet o'er me," would have a chance to be right. Thus Bobadil excuses his cowardice: “ Sure I was struck with a planet, for I had no power to touch my weapon.FARMER.

Dr. Farmer might have supported his conjecture by a passage in K. Henry VI. where queen Margaret says, that Suffolk's face :

o u ld like a wandring planet over me." STEEVENS. Perhaps Falstaff's meaning may be this : “ Ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me: i. e. above me ;" ignorance itself is not so low as I am, by the length of a plummet-line. TyrwhITT.

3 Mrs. Ford. Nay, husband,-) This and the following little speech I have inserted from the old quartos. The retrenchment,

Ford. Well, here's my hand; all's forgiven at last. I Page. Yet be cheerful, knight : thou shalt eat a

poffet to-night at my house ; where I will desire thee to laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee: Tell her, 'master Slender hath married her daughter. her machine hanno ansam. 11 · Mrs. Page. Doctors doubt that; if Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this, doctor Caius' wife.

[Aside. Enter Slender. Slen. Whoo, ho! ho! father Page!

Page. Son! how now ? how now, fon? have you dispatch'd ?

Slen. Dispatch'd! --I'll make the best in Glocestershire know on't; would I were hang'd, la, else.

Page. Of what, fon?"

Slen. I came yonder at Eaton to marry mistress Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy: If it had not been i' the church, I would have swing'd him, or he should have swing'd me. If I did not think it had been Anne Page, would I might never stir, ånd 'tis a post-master's boy.

Page. Upon my life then you took the wrong.

Slen. What need you tell me that? I think so, when I took a boy for a girl: If I had been married to him, for all he was in woman's apparel, I would not have had him.

Page. Why, this is your own folly ; Did not I tell you, how you should know my daughter by her garments ?

Slen. I went to her in white, and cry'd, mum, and

I presume, was by the players. Sir John Falstaff is sufficiently pu. nimed, in being disappointed and exposed. The expectation of his being prosecuted for the twenty pounds, gives the conclufion too tragical a turn. Besides, it is poetical justice that Ford should fustain this lois, as a fine for his unreasonable jealousy. THEOR.

4 laugh at my wife, - ] The two plots are excellentiy con- . nected, and the transition very artfully inade in this speech.

JOHNSON.
VOL. I.
Bb

thc

Eva. Jethu ? me but a poft-mal appointed; and

she cry'd budget, as Anne and I had appointed ; and yet it was not Anne, but a post-master's boy.

Eva. Jeshu! Master Slender, cannot you see but marry boys + ?

Page. O, I am vex'd at heart: What shall I do?

Mrs. Page. Good George, be not angry : I knew of your purpose ; turn'd my daughter into green ; and, indeed, ihe is now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married.

Enter Caius. Caius. Vere is mistress Page? By gar, I am cozen'd; I ha' married un garçon, a boy ; un paisan, by gar, a boy ; it is not Anne Page : by gar, I am cozen'd.

Mrs. Page. Why, did you not take her in green?

Caius. Ay, be gar, and 'tis a boy: be gar, I'll raise all Windsor.

[Exit Caius. Ford. This is strange: Who hath got the right Anne?

Page. My heart misgives me : Here comes master Fenton.

Enter Fenton, and Anne Page. How now, master Fenton ?

Anne. Pardon, good father! good my mother, pardon!

Page. Now, mistress ? how chance you went not with master Slender ?

Mrs. Page. Why went you not with master doctor, maid ? .

Fent. You do amaze her; Hear the truth of it.
You would have married her most shamefully,
Where there was no proportion held in love.
The truth is, She and I, long since contracted,
Are now so sure, that nothing can dissolve us.
The offence is holy, that she hath committed :
And this deceit loses the name of craft,

s m arry boys?] This and the next speech are likewise re. Rorations from the old quarto. STEEVENS.

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Of disobedience, or unduteous title;
Since therein she doth evitate and shun
A thousand irreligious cursed hours,
Which forced marriage would have brought upon her.

Ford. Stand not amaz'd : here is no remedy :-
In love, the heavens themselves do guide the state ;
Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.

Fal. I am glad, though you have ta’en a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanc'd. o Page. Well, what remedy ? Fenton, heaven give

thee joy! What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac'd.

Eva. I will dance and eat plums at your wedding.

Fal. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chạcod. Mrs. Page. Well, I will muse no further:--Master

Fenton,
Heaven give you many, many merry days!
Good husband, let us every one go home,
And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire ;
Sir John and all.

Ford. Let it be so :- Sir John,
To master Brook you yet shall hold your word;
For he, to-night, shall lye with mistress Ford.

Exeunt omnes.

O Page. Well, what remedy? - In the first sketch of this play, which, as Mr. Pope observes, is much inferior to the latter performance, the only sentiment of which I regret the omission, occurs at this critical time. When Fenton brings in his wife, there is this dialogue,

Mrs. Ford. Come, mistress Page, I must be bold with you, 'Tis pity to part love that is so true.

Mrs. Page. [Aside] Although that I have miss'd in my intent, Yet I am glad my husband's match is cross'd.

-Here Fenton, take her.
Eva. Come, master Page, you must needs agree.
Ford. lfaith, fir, come, you see your wife is pleasd.

Page. I cannot tell, and yet my heart is eas'd;
And yet it doth me good the doctor miss'd.
Come bitber, Fenton, and come hither, daughter.

Or

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