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Mrs. Ford. Heaven make you better than your thoughts!
Eva. If there be any pody in the house, and in the chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses, heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgment !
Caius. By gar, nor I too: dere is no bodies.
Page. Fie, fie, master Ford! are you not ashamed ? What spirit, what devil suggests this imagination ? I would not have your distemper in this kind for the wealth of Windsor Castle.
Ford. 'Tis my fault, master Page: I suffer for it.
Eva. You suffer for a pad conscience : your wife is as honest a 'omans as I will desires among five thousand, and five hundred too.
I 'tis an honest woman. Ford. Well; I promised you a dinner.—Come, come, walk in the park: I pray you, pardon me; I will hereafter make known to you, why I have done this.—Come, wife ;-come, mistress Page: I pray you pardon me; pray heartily, pardon
Caius. By gar,
Page. Let's go in, gentlemen; but, trust me, we'll mo him. I do invite you to-morrow morning to my house to breakfast ; after, we'll a birding together : I have a fine hawk for the bush. Shall it be so ?
Ford. Any thing
Eva. I pray you now, remembrance to-morrow on the lousy knave, mine Host.
Caius. Dat is good; by gar, vit all my heart.
I shall make-a de tird.] “In your teeth : for shame!” adds the 4to, 1602. Malone, following the example of Theobald, introduced this passage as if it were derived from the folio, 1623 ; but it is not there found, and perhaps owed its origin to the actor of the part of Sir Hugh.
A Room in PAGE's House.
Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGE.
Fent. I see, I cannot get thy father's love;
Anne. Alas! how then ?
Why, thou must be thyself.
Anne. May be, he tells you true.
Fent. No, heaven so speed me in my time to come!
Gentle master Fenton,
[They talk apart.
Enter SHALLOW, SLENDER, and Mrs. QUICKLY. Shal. Break their talk, mistress Quickly, my kinsman shall speak for himself.
Slen. I'll make a shaft or a bolt on't. 'Slid, 'tis but venturing
Shal. Be not dismay'd.
Slen. No, she shall not dismay me: I care not for that,but that I am afeard.
Quick. Hark ye; master Slender would speak a word with you. Anne. I come to him.—This is
my father's choice. Oh ! what a world of vile ill-favour'd faults Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!
Quick. And how does good master Fenton? Pray you, a word with you.
Shal. She's coming; to her, coz. Oh boy! thou hadst a father.
Slen. I had a father, mistress Anne: my uncle can tell you good jests of him.—Pray you, uncle, tell mistress Anne the jest, how my father stole two geese out of a pen, good uncle.
Shal. Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.
Slen. Ay, that I do; as well as I love any woman in Gloucestershire.
Shal. He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.
Slen. Ay, that I will, come cut and long-tail', under the degree of a 'squire.
Shal. He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.
Anne. Good master Shallow, let him woo for himself.
Shal. Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good comfort. She calls you, coz: I'll leave you. [Stands back.
Anne. Now, master Slender.
come cut and long-tail, ) A phrase expressive of dogs of every kind; which Slender applies to persons precisely in the same way as by Pompey in Beaumont and Fletcher's “ Wit at several Weapons” (edit. Dyce, iv. p. 39). See also “ The Two Noble Kinsmen,” A. v. sc. 2 (edit. Dyce, xi. p. 423). All the editors of this play have been sorely put to it by a very simple misprint, when Theseus asks the Herald the names of the two heroes: the answer stands in the old copies,
“ We lieve they're call’d
Arcite and Palamon." The Rev. Mr. Dyce and others have been able to make nothing out of the two first words but With leave, Wi' leave, or We learn, when it is evident that We lieve was merely a printer's error for “ Believe,” elliptically used, just as in a subsequent scene (p. 370) where Emilia says,
“ Believe Their mother was a wondrous handsome woman," for “ I believe their mother,” &c. On p. 427 we have a repetition of the error of the folio, 1632, in Shakespeare's “All's Well that Ends Well," A. ii. sc. I, (Vol. ii. p. 552) viz. question for “questant:" the words of Theseus in “The Two No. ble Kinsmen,” A. v. sc. 3, ought not to be “ To crown the question's title," but,
“ the prize and garland
To crown the questant's title.” Mr. Dyce also prints“ prize” price; but he must have forgotten Shakespeare, when he allowed question to stand for “ questant."
Anne. What is your will ?
Slen. My will ? od's heartlings! that's a pretty jest, indeed. I ne'er made my will yet, I thank heaven; I am not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.
Anne. I mean, master Slender, what would you with me?
Slen. Truly, for mine own part, I would little or nothing with you. Your father, and my uncle, have made motions : if it be my luck, so; if not, happy man be his dole! They can tell you how things go, better than I can : you may ask your father; here he comes.
Enter PAGE and Mistress PAGE.
Page. Now, master Slender !-Love him, daughter Anne.-
Fent. Nay, master Page, be not impatient.
No, good master Fenton.-
[Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. Quick. Speak to mistress Page.
Fent. Good mistress Page, for that I love your daughter In such a righteous fashion as I do, Perforce, against all checks, rebukes, and manners, I must advance the colours of my love, And not retire: let me have your good will. Anne. Good mother, do not marry me to yond' fool.
. Mrs. Page. I mean it not; I seek you a better husband. Quick. That's my master, master doctor.
Anne. Alas! I had rather be set quick i' the earth,
if not, happy man be his doLE!) A proverbial expression, meaning "let his lot, or share, be that of a happy man.” For other instances of its application, see Vol. ii. p. 257, and Vol. iii. pp. 22. 348.
And as I find her, so am I affected.
Exeunt Mrs. PAGE and ANNE. Fent. Farewell, gentle mistress.Farewell, Nan.
Quick. This is my doing, now.–Nay, said I, will you cast away your child on a fool, and a physician ? look on master Fenton.—This is my doing.
Fent. I thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night' Give my sweet Nan this ring. There's for thy pains. [Exit.
Quick. Now, heaven send thee good fortune! A kind heart he hath: a woman would run through fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet I would my master had mistress Anne; or I would master Slender had her; or, in sooth, I would master Fenton had her. I will do what I can for them all three, for so I have promised, and I'll be as good as my word; but speciously for master Fenton. Well, I must of another errand to sir John Falstaff from my two mistresses : what a beast am I to slack it.
A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH.
Fal. Bardolph, I say !
Fal. Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in't. [Exit BARD.] Have I liv'd to be carried in a basket, like a barrow of butcher's offal, and to be thrown in the Thames? Well, if I be served such another trick, I'll have my brains ta’en out, and buttered, and give them to a dog for a new year's gift. The rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorse as they would have drowned a blind bitch's puppies ,
ONCE to-night] i. e. At some time to-night take an opportunity to give Nan this ring: see also“ Henry VIII.,” A. i. sc. 2, Vol. iv. p. 374. The most usual meaning of “ thus employed is “ once for all.”
a BLIND BITCH's puppies,] So every old copy, 4to. and folio, meaning, of course, the blind puppies of a bitch : some modern editors, in a sort of refinement of correctness, have thought it necessary to alter the text to a “ bitch's blind puppies.” Falstaff is not in a state of mind to study extreme accuracy in his phraseology; and it often happens, even in serious poetry, that an epithet belonging to one word is affixed to another.