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Qu'ay j' oublie? dere is fome fimples in my closet, dat I will not for the varld I fhall leave behind,
Quic, Ah me! he'll find the young man there, and ' be mad.
Caius. O diable, diable! vat is in my clofet? villaine, Larron! Rugby, my rapier.
[Pulls Simple out of the closet.
Caius. Vat fhall de honeft man do in my closet? dere is no honeft man dat fhall come in my closet.
Quic. I beseech you, be not fo flegmatick; hear the truth of it. He came of an errand to me from parfon Hugh.
Sim. Ay, forfooth, to defire her to———
Caius. Peace-a your tongue :-fpeak-a your tale, Sim. To defire this honelt gentlewoman, your maid, to speak a good word to miftrefs Ann Page for my mafter in the way of marriage,
Quic. This is all, indeed-la; but I'll never put my finger in the fire, and need not.
Caius. Sir Hugh fend-a you? Rugby, baillez me fome paper: tarry you a little while.
Quic. I am glad he is fo quiet: if he had been thoroughly moved, you fhould have heard him fo loud, and fo melancholy:-but notwithstanding, man, I'll do for your mafter what good I can and the very yea and the no is, the French Doctor my mafter. I may call him my mafter, look you, for I keep his house; and I wafh, wring, brew, bake, fcour, dress meat and drink, make the beds, and do all myself.
Sim. 'Tis a great charge to come under one body's hand.
Quic. Are you avis'd o' that? you fhall find it a great charge: aud to be up early, and down late:
but notwithstanding (to tell you in your ear, I would have no words of it) my mafter himself is in. love with mistress Ann Page: but, notwithstanding that, I know Ann's mind-that's neither here nor there.
Caius. You jack'nape, give-a dis letter to Sir Hugh; by gar, it is a fhallenge: I vill cut his throat in de park, and I vill teach a fcurvy jack-a-nape prieft to meddle or make:you may be gone; it is not good you tarry here: by gar, I will cut all his two stones; by gar, he shall not have a ftone to trow at his dog. [Exit Simple.
Quic. Alas, he fpeaks but for his friend. Caius. It is no matter'a for dat: do you not tell-a me, dat I fhall have Ann Page for myfelf? by gar, I vill kill de jack prieft; and I have appointed mine hoft of de farterre to measure our weapon: by gar, I vill myself have Ann Page.
Quic. Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well: we muft give folks leave to prate; what, the goujere!
Caius. Rugby, come to the court vit me;-by gar, if I have not Ann Page, I fhall turn your head out of my door:follow my heels, Rugby.
[Ex. Caius and Rugby.
Quic. You fhall have An fools-head of your own. No, I know Ann's mind for that: never a woman in Windfor knows more of Ann's mind than I do; nor can do more than I do with her, I thank heaven. Fent. [Within.] Who's within there, hoa?
Quic. Who's there, I trow? come near the house, I pray you.
Enter Mr. Fenton.
Fent. How now, good woman; how doft thou? Quic. The better that it pleases your good worship to aík.
Fent. What news? how does pretty miftrefs Ann? Quic, In truth, Sir, and fhe is pretty, and honeft, and
and gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you that by the way, I praife heaven for it.
Fent. Shall I do any good, think'ft thou? fhall I not lose my fuit?
Quic. Troth, Sir, all is in his hands above: but notwithstanding, master Fenton, I'll be fworn on a book, fhe loves you :-have not your worship a wart above your eye?
Fent. Yes, marry, have I; what of that?
Quic. Well, thereby hangs a tale; good faith, it is fuch another Nan; but, I detest, an honest maid as ever broke bread :-we had an hour's talk of that wart-I fhall never laugh but in that maid's company!-But, indeed, fhe is given too much to allicholly and mufing: but for you-Well-go
Fent. Well, I fhall fee her to-day hold, there's money for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if thou feeft her before me, commend me
Quic. Will I? ay, faith, that we will: and I will tell your worship more of the wart the next time we have confidence; and of other wooers.
Fent. Well, farewell; I am in great hafte now.
[Exit. Quic. Farewell to your worship.-Truly, an honest gentleman; but Ann loves him not; I know Ann's mind as well as another does.-Out upon't! what have I forgot? [Exit.
Before Page's house.
Enter Miftrefs Page with a letter.
HAT, have I 'fcap'd love-letters in the holyday-time of my beauty, and am I now a fubject for them? Let me fee:
Afk me no reason why I love you; for though love ufe reafon for his precifian, he admits him not for his counsellor: you are not young, no more am I; go to then, there's fympathy: you are merry, so am I; ba! ha! then there's more fympathy: you love fack, and fo do I; would you defire better fympathy? let it fuffice thee, miftrefs Page (at the leaft if the love of a foldier can fuffice) that I love thee. I will not fay, pity me, 'tis not a foldier-like phrafe; but I fay, love me: By me
though love ufe reafon for his precifian, he admits him not for his counsellor :-] This is obfcure; but the meaning is, though love permit reafon to tell what is fit to be done, he feldom follows its advice.-By precifian, is meant one who pretends to a more than ordinary degree of virtue and fanctity. On which account they gave this name to the puritans of that time. So Ofborne-Conform their mode, words, and looks to these PRECISIANS. And Maine, in his City Match,
-I did commend
"A great PRECISIAN to her for her woman."
—precisian,—] Of this word I do not fee any meaning that is very appofite to the prefent intention. Perhaps Falstaff faid, Though love ufe reafon as his physician, he admits him not for his counsellor. This will be plain fenfe. Afk not the reason of my love; the bufinefs of reafon is not to affift love, but to cure it. There may however be this meaning in the present reading. Though love, when he would fubmit to regulation, may use reafon as his precifian, or director in nice cafes, yet when he is only eager to attain his end, he takes not reason for bis counfellor. JOHNSON.
Thine own true knight,
What a Herod of Jewry is this? O wicked, wicked world! one that is well nigh worn to pieces with age, to shew himself a young gallant! What an unweigh'd behaviour has this Flemish drunkard pick'd (with the devil's name) out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner affay me? Why, he hath not been thrice in my company! What should I fay to him? I was then frugal of my mirth-heaven forgive me! Why, I'll exhibit 3 a bill in the parliament for the putting down of men. How fhall I be
2 ——I was then frugal of my mirth, &c.] By breaking this fpeech into exclamations, the text may ftand; but I once thought it must be read, If I was not then frugal of my mirth. JOHNSON.
—a bill in the parliament for the putting down of men.—] What, Mrs. Page put down the whole fpecies, Unius ob noxam, for a fingle offender's trefpafs? Don't be fo unreasonable in your anger. But 'tis a falfe charge against you. I am perfuaded, a fhort monofyllable is dropped out, which, once reftored, would qualify the matter. We must neceffarily readfor the putting down of fat men. Mrs. Ford fays in the very enfuing fcene, I shall think the worse of fat men, as long as I have an eye, &c. And in the old quartos, Mrs. Page, fo foon as fhe has read the letter, fays, Well, I fall truft fat men the worse, while I live, for his fake: and he is called the fat, knight, the greasy knight, by the women, throughout the play. THEOв. -I'll exhibit a bill in parliament for putting down of MEN.] Mr. Theobald fays, we must neceffarily read-for putting down of fat men. But how is the matter mended? or the thought made lefs ridiculous? Shakespeare wrote for the putting down of MUM, i. e. the fattening liquor fo called. So Fletcher in his Wild Goofe Chace: "What a cold I have over my flomach, "would I had fome MUM." This is truly humorous, and agrees with the character fhe had juft before given him of Flemijn drunkard. But the greateft confirmation of this conjecture is the allufion the words, in queftion, bear to a matter then pub-.