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FORD. That will be excellent. I'll go buy them vizards.
MRS. PAGE. My Nan fhall be the queen of all the fairies,
Finely attired in a robe of white.
PAGE. That filk will I go buy ;-and in that time3 Shall mafter Slender steal my Nan away, [Afide. And marry her at Eton. Go, fend to Falstaff ftraight.
FORD. Nay, I'll to him again in name of Brook: He'll tell me all his purpose: Sure, he'll come. MRS. PAGE. Fear not you that: Go, get us properties,'
And tricking for our fairies."
EVA. Let us about it: It is admirable pleasures, and fery honest knaveries.
[Exeunt PAGE, FORD, and EVANS.
Churchyard for Queen Elizabeth at Norwich: "And thefe boyes, &c. were to play by a deuife and degrees the Phayries, and to daunce (as neere as could be ymagined) like the Phayries. Their attire, and comming fo ftrangely out, I know made the Queenes highneffe fmyle and laugh withall, &c. I ledde the yong foolishe Phayries a daunce, &c. and as I heard faid, it was well taken." STEEVENS.
8 That filk will I go buy ;-and in that time-] Mr. Theobald, referring that time to the time of buying the filk, alters it to tire. But there is no need of any change; that time evidently relating to the time of the mask with which Falftaff was to be entertained, and which makes the whole fubject of this dialogue. Therefore the common reading is right. WARBURTON.
9 -properties,] Properties are little incidental neceffaries to a theatre, exclufive of fcenes and dreffes. So, in The Taming of a Shrew: " -a fhoulder of mutton for a property." See A MidSummer Night's Dream, Act I. fc. ii. STEEVENS.
tricking for our fairies.] To trick, is to drefs out. So,
"Not trick'd and frounc'd as fhe was wont,
"With the Attic boy to hunt;
"But kerchief'd in a homely cloud." STEEVENS,
MRS. PAGE. Go, mistress Ford,
A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter Hoft and SIMPLE.
HOST. What would't thou have, boor? what, thick-fkin? fpeak, breathe, difcufs; brief, fhort, quick, fnap.
SIM. Marry, fir, I come to speak with fir John Falstaff from mafter Slender,
Host. There's his chamber, his house, his caftle, his standing-bed, and truckle-bed; 'tis painted
what, thick-fkin?] I meet with this term of abuse in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, Book VI. chap. 30:
That he, fo foul a thick-skin, should so fair a lady catch."
fanding-bed, and truckle-bed;] The ufual furniture of chambers in that time was a ftanding-bed, under which was a trochle, truckle, or running bed. In the ftanding-bed lay the mafter, and in the truckle bed the fervant. So, in Hall's Account of a Servile Tutor:
"He lieth in the truckle-bed,
"While his young matter lieth o'er his head." JOHNSON. So, in The Return from Parnaffus, 1606:
"When I lay in a trundle-bed under my tutor."
about with the story of the prodigal, fresh and new: Go, knock and call; he'll speak like an Anthropophaginians unto thee: Knock, I fay.
SIMP. There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone up into his chamber; I'll be fo bold as ftay, fir, till she come down: I come to speak with her, indeed.
Host. Ha! a fat woman! the knight may be robbed: I'll call.-Bully knight! Bully fir John! fpeak from thy lungs military: Art thou there? it is thine hoft, thine Ephefian," calls.
FAL. [above.] How now, mine host?
Host. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of thy fat woman: Let her defcend, bully, let her defcend; my chambers are honourable: Fie! privacy? fie!
And here the tutor has the upper bed. Again, in Heywood's Royal King, &c. 1637:"-fhew these gentlemen into a clofe room with a ftanding-bed in't, and a truckle too." STEEVENS. -Anthropophaginian-] i. e. a cannibal. See Othello, A&t I. fc. iii. It is here ufed as a founding word to astonish Simple. Ephefian, which follows, has no other meaning. STEEVENS. thine Ephefian,] This was a cant term of the time. So, in K. Henry IV. P. II. A& II. fc. ii. "P. Henry. What company? Page. Ephefians, my lord, of the old church." See the note there. MALONE.
7 - Bohemian-Tartar-] The French call a Bohemian what we call a Gypfey; but I believe the Hoft means nothing more than, by a wild appellation, to infinuate that Simple makes a strange appearance. JOHNSON.
In Germany there were feveral companies of vagabonds, &c. called Tartars and Zigens. "Thefe were the fame in my opinion,' fays Mezeray," as thofe the French call Bohemians, and the English Gypfies." Bulteel's Tranflation of Mezeray's Hiftory of France, under the year 1417. TOLLET.
FAL. There was, mine hoft, an old fat woman even now with me; but she's gone.
SIMP. Pray you, fir, was't not the wife woman of Brentford?
FAL.Ay, marry was it, muscle-fhell; What would you with her?
SIMP. My master, fir, my master Slender, fent to her, feeing her go thorough the streets, to know, fir, whether one Nym, fir, that beguiled him of a chain, had the chain, or no.
FAL. I fpake with the old woman about it.
FAL. Marry, fhe fays, that the very fame man, that beguiled mafter Slender of his chain, cozen'd him of it.
SIMP. I would, I could have spoken with the woman herself; I had other things to have spoken with her too, from him.
FAL. What are they? let us know.
SIMP. I may not conceal them, fir.
wife woman of Brentford?] In our author's time female dealers in palmiftry and fortune-telling were ufually denominated wife women. So the perfon from whom Heywood's play of The Wife Woman of Hogsden, 1638, takes its title, is employed in anfwering many fuch questions as are the objects of Simple's enquiry. REED.
This appellation occurs alfo in our Verfion of the Bible: "Her wife ladies anfwered her, yea fhe returned anfwer to herself." Judges v. 29. STEEVENS.
9 mufcle-fbell;] He calls poor Simple muscle-fhell, because he stands with his mouth open. JOHNSON.
Simp. I may not conceal them, fir.
Fal. Conceal them, or thou dieft.] In both these inftances, Dr. Farmer thinks we should read-reveal. STEEVENS.
SIMP. Why, fir, they were nothing but about mistress Anne Page; to know, if it were my mafter's fortune to have her, or no.
FAL. 'Tis, 'tis his fortune.
SIMP. What, fir?
FAL. To have her,—or no: Go; fay, the woman told me fo.
SIMP. May I be fo bold to say so, fir?
SIMP. I thank your worship: I shall make my master glad with these tidings. [Exit SIMPLE.
Host. Thou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, fir John: Was there a wife woman with thee?
FAL. Ay, that there was, mine hoft; one, that hath taught me more wit than ever I learn'd before in my life and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning.'
Simp. I may, &c.] In the old copy this fpeech is given to Falftaff. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. I mention this error, because it justifies other fimilar corrections that have been made. MALONE. 3 Ay, fir Tike; who more bold?] In the first edition, it stands: "I Tike, who more bolde." And should plainly be read here, Ay, fir Tike, &c. FARMER.
The folio reads-Ay, fir, like, &c. 4 -clerkly,] i. e. fcholar-like. of Verona, Act II. fc. i:
So, in The Two Gentlemen
-'tis very clerkly done." STEEVENS.
5-I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning.] He alludes to the beating which he had just received. The fame play on words occurs in Cymbeline, A&V: " -forry you have paid too much, and forry that you are paid too much."
To pay, in our author's time, often fignified to beat. So, in King Henry IV. P. I. “ feven of the eleven I paid." MALONE.