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ted from the folio, as appears by Page's reply. Herne is
some diffused song :- - vague, obscure. We use diffuse' with somewhat the same signification nowadays.
to-pinch": - The preposition 'to' was used as an augmentative commo: ly enough by our early writers. and in that trim":- - The original has "time," which Warburton, Malone, Collier, Knight, and others, strangely retain. Theobald proposed tire.' Page is speaking only of the silk which he is to buy, and it is also quite in Shakespeare's manner that he should nearly repeat his wife's word "attire." It is to be remarked, too, that he is continually reminding Slender of this dress in which and by which he is to find Anne. Finally, in the corresponding passage of the quarto, when Mrs. Ford asks, "Who will buy the silkes to tyre the boyes?" Page replies, referring, it will be seen, only to the tire, and not the time:
"That will I do, and in a robe of white
Ile cloath my daughter, and aduertise Slender
"Sim. I may not conceal them, sir." erroneously assigned to Falstaff in the folio.
This speech is
Ay, sir: like who more bold?" This, the text of the folio, has been generally changed to, Ay, Sir Tike:' &c., because the former has been found obscure, and the quarto gives "I, tike," &c. But the original text seems to be a vulgar colloquialism, quite characteristic of Shakespeare's day, for Who is like to be more bold?' and the quarto is more likely than the folio to be in error.
three Doctor Faustuses":- The Devil & Dr. Faustus - the first publishing firm were known as well
in Shakespeare's time as they are now.
· primero":— game at cards.
to say my prayers": These words are found only in the quarto; but as they were plainly stricken out by the Master of the Revels, (for otherwise Falstaff's "wind" could have nothing to do with his repentance,) they are restored to the text, unbracketed.
"Without the shew of both;
- fat Falstaff”: -- - This is the text of the folio wherein the pause elegantly supplies the place of the missing foot. But 'Wherein,' having been found at the beginning of a line in the corresponding passage of the quarto, was inserted by Malone, who gave "wherein fat Falstaff," and has been very generally followed. The second folio 66 gave, - fat Sir John Falstaff."
"Her mother ever strong :: - The folio has "even strong," an error which Rowe corrected, as Steevens did "deuote" for denote,' twelve lines below.
"Remember, son Slender, my [daughter.]": has neither word nor point after "my." The second folio supplies the word in the text, which is very probably that which the author wrote; but Slender's "her in the next speech, he being Slender, might quite possibly refer to Anne, even although her father did not actually mention her.
the Welsh devil, Hugh":- - In the folio, "Herne," which manifest error Theobald corrected.
who can blame me to piss my tallow'
technical phrase. See Ray's Proverbs. "He has piss'd his tallow. This is spoken of bucks who grow lean after rutting time, and may be applied to men.'
"My doe with the black scut” : — Travestie, p. 104. Ed. 1664.
- See Cotton's Virgile
"And likewise there was finely put
A cushion underneath her scut.
66 — potatoes — kissing-comfits—eringoes":- - Shakespeare may have meant the sweet potato, which was known in England long before the common potato; but both, as well as the eringo root, were considered aphrodisiac. Kissing comfits were perfumed for the breath's sake.
like a brib'd buck
: So the original, which until now has been changed to "bribe buck." But, as Mr. Singer has pointed out, a brib'd buck was a buck cut up to be given away in portions, from the old French bribes, 'portions or fragments of meat to be given away.'
the fellow of this walk":
- The park-keeper, who had the shoulders of the buck as his perquisite.
"Mrs. QUICKLY, as the Fairy Queen":· :- The folio has no stage direction here. This is substantially that of the quarto, which brings Mrs. Quickly in as the Fairy Queen. In both quarto and folio, too, the speeches of the Fairy Queen are assigned to her by the prefixes "Qui." and "Quic." It has, nevertheless, been the invariable custom, since Malone's time, to bring in Anne Page as the Fairy Queen, though, at the same time, the speeches of that character in the pageant were left in the mouth of Mrs. Quickly. This inconsistency was avoided by Mr. Collier, at the suggestion of the Rev. Mr. Harness, by giving these speeches to Mistress Anne; and he has been followed by Messrs. Verplanck, Halliwell, Hudson, and Singer. Malone's reason for making Anne the Queen is, that "our author" (by the lips of her father and mother) had "allotted" the part to her; and Mr. Harness and Mr. Collier, finding the speeches of the Queen unsuited to Mrs. Quickly, suppose that the prefixes "Qui." and "Quic." are errors for Qu.' as the abbreviation of Queen.' To set aside the last suggestion first, it is improbable to the verge of impossibility, that Qui. and Quic. should be invariably misprinted for Qu., in both quarto and folo, and especially as there was a new MS. for the latter; and as to the inconsistency of the Fairy Queen's speeches with Mrs. Quickly's character, so are the speeches assigned to Pistol and Sir Hugh inconsistent with their characters. But that is of no consequence, for they were all assuming parts, and speaking what was written for them; and they played in loose disguises and with masks, as we learn from Fenton's speech to the Host, Act. IV. Sc. 6. Malone's ground for the change is strangely selected; because the determination of Page and Mrs. Page, that their daughter should play the Fairy Queen, is exactly the reason why she did not play it; for, as she assures her lover in her letter, of which he gives the Host an abstract, she meant to deceive both, and she did so. She, Fenton, and Mrs. Quickly arranged that matter easily; and she neither wore green or white, nor played the Fairy Queen.
"You orphan heirs of fixed destiny."
This passage is thought very obscure; even Mr. Keightly
confessing, in his Fairy Mythology, that he finds it unintelligible, "after all" (this "after" should be remembered) "that the commentators have written about it." Mr Verplanck supposes it to be corrupted. Warburton, acting on such a supposition, proposed "ouphen-heirs," (from 'ouphe,' a sort of fairy,) and he has been followed, among others, by Singer and Hudson. Malone supposes that Shakespeare "uses heirs, with his usual laxity, for children," and Mr. Halliwell agrees with him. But Warburton made all the trouble by his remark why orphan-heirs? Destiny to whom they succeeded was in being," — which has tinged all subsequent reflections upon the passage. The fairies, however, were not Destiny's heirs or children, but the inheritors of a fixed destiny. Freed from human vicissitudes and deprived of human aspirations, a fixed destiny was the estate to which they were beirs, not the being to whom they succeeded. Fairies were supposed to be mortal, both in soul and body, and to care much for mortal children and little for their own.
to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap :- - Mr. Collier's folio has "when thou'st leapt;" and Mr. Singer does not scruple to cumber the line with an extra foot, and read, "shalt thou having leapt," — saying that "the rhyme requires leapt." But 'swept,' 'leapt,' 'heap'd,' &c., were pronounced alike in Shakespeare's day. Thus in Coriolanus, Act II. Sc. 3:
"The dust on antique time would lie unswept
And mountainous error be too highly heap'd." The wanting t is of too little consequence to justify a mutilation of the authentic text even if it and this pronunciation of 'unswept' were not confirmed by the corresponding passage in the quarto which is also in rhyme.
"And when you finde a slut that lies a sleepe,
And all her dishes foule and roome unswept." "Where's Bead?" - In the folios, "Bede;" in the quartos, "Pead." See Introduction.
"Rein up the organs of her fantasy."
The folio has "raise up," which many editors retain, and would have to mean, elevate her fantasy,' - the only meaning it can have except stimulate.' But the first of these interpretations gives the line a sense entirely at variance with the context, because dreams of whatever character are, and have ever been, considered incompatible with sound sleep; and the second is inconsistent with the spirit of the Scene, which is directed to the repression of "unchaste desire."Fantasy' here does not mean 'fancy,' except somewhat in the sense of the song, "Tell me, where
is fancy bred?" Its meaning may be found in the first line of the Fairies' Song, only a few lines below, which explanation by the author, the editors seem to have passed over. Of such fantasy, Shakespeare often speaks, as reined, or unreined: as for instance, Measure for Measure, Act II. Sc. 4:
"And now I give my sensual race the rein."
Can there be a doubt that the allusion is to some of the
or that Warburton was right in suggesting the word in the text?
qui mal y pense
- This word "pense" must be pronounced as a dissyllable; the e as iner,' and very lightly touched. See the Note on Act I. Sc. 4, p. 311. thou wast o'er-look'd": - by a witch; and so
pinch him to your time": Malone here added a speech which the quarto assigns to Evans. "It is right, he is full of lecheries and iniquity." See Introduction.
[During this song, &c.]": - This stage direction is substantially from the quarto.
"Do not these fairy oaks" :- Mrs. Page refers, of course, to the branching antlers which Falstaff has just pulled off, which might well be called 'fairy oaks,' especially under the circumstances, and which both husbands doubtless thought became the forest better than the town, i. e., the heads of citizens. There has been much discussion upon the passage, in consequence of a misprint in the first folio, which, by one of the commonest errors of the printing office (such as made the masses them asses') gives "faire yoakes" for 'fairey oakes.' ('Fairy' was spelled in all manner of ways: Milton spells it faiery' in Vac. Ex., 1. 60.) This the second folio changed to "faire okes," which reading has been adopted by many editors; but it does not account for the y in the original. Malone, Singer, Knight, Collier, Hudson, and Halliwell read fair yokes,' though the last named confesses that "it is rather difficult to account for the application of the term," and such of the others as do not pass over the difficulty in silence, endeavor to make out the required similarity by telling us that the yokes of horses and oxen in olden time, the bows of which rose above the beam or collar, resembled horns. Yes, short, smooth horns like those of neat cattle, but not high branching antlers, which, from their resemblance to trees, are called, bois in French. Besides, although oaks