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set me i' the stocks, i' the common stocks, for a witch.
Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber: you shall hear how things go; and I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado here is to bring you together! Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well,“ that you are so cross d.
Fal. Come up into my chamber. [Exeunt.
Another Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FENTON and Hoft. Host. Master Fenton, talk not to me; my mind is heavy, I will give over all.
Fent. Yet hear me speak : Allist mein my purpose, And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee
ing witches. The text must certainly be restor'd a word woman, a crazy, frantick woman; one too wild, and lilly, and unmeaning, to have either the malice, or mischievous subtlety of a witch in her.
THEOBALD. This emendation is received by Sir Thomas Hanmer, but rejected by Dr. Warburton. To me it appears reasonable enough.
JOHNSON. I am not certain that this change is necessary. Falstaff, by counterfeiting such weakness and infirmity, as would naturally be pitied in an old woman, averted the punishment to which he would otherwise have been subjected, on the fuppofition that he was a witch. Steevens.
The reading of the old copy is fully supported by what Falstaff says afterwards to Ford : “ I went to her, Master Brook, as you fee, like a poor old man; but I came from her, Master Brook, like poor
old woman.” MALONE. 2 Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well, &c.] The great fault of this play is the frequency of expressions so profane, that no ne. cessity of preserving character can justify them. There are laws of higher authority than those of criticism. Johnson.
A hundred pound in gold, more than your lofs.
Host. I will hear you, master Fenton; and I will, at the least, keep your counsel.
Fent. From time to time I have acquainted you With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page ; Who, mutually, hath answer'd my affection (So far forth as herself might be her chooser,) Even to my wish: I have a letter from her Of such contents as you will wonder at; The mirth whereof; fo larded with my matter, That neither, singly, can be manifested, Without the show of both ;-wherein fat Falstaff Hath a great scene:* the image of the jests
[Sbowing the letter.
3 The mirth whereof ] Thus the old copy. Mr. Pope and all the subsequent editors read—The mirth whereaf's fo larded, &c. but the old reading is the true one, and the phraseology that of Shakspeare's age, Whereof was formerly used as we now use thereof; “ – the mirth thereof being so larded," &c. So, in Mount Tabor, er Private Exercises of a Penitent Sinner, 8vo. 1639: “ In the mean time (they] closely conveyed under the cloaths wherewithal he was covered, a vizard, like a swine's snout, upon his face, with three wire chains fastened thereunto, the other end whereof being holden severally by those three ladies; who fall to finging again, &c.
wherein fat Falfaff
“ Without the show of both : fat Falstaff," &c. I have supplied the word that was probably omitted at the press, from the early quarto, where, in the corresponding place, we find
“ Wherein fat Falstaff hath a mighty scare (scene]." The editor of the second folio, to supply the metre, arbitrarily reads “ Without the shew of both :-fat Sir John Falstaff-,"
MALONE. the image of the jeft-] Image is reprefentation. So, in K. Richard III:
" And liv'd by looking on his images." Again, in Menfure for Measure :-" The image of it gives nie content already,” Steevens.
I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine host:
These words allude to a custom still in use, of hanging out painted representations of fhows. So, in Bully d'Ambois :
like a monster Kept onely to show men for goddesse money : “ That false hagge often paints him in her cloth « Ten times more monstrous than he is in troth.” HENLEY.
is here ;] i. e. in the letter. Steevens. & While other jests are something rank on foot,] i. e. while they are hotly pursuing other merriment of their own. STEEVENS.
9 - even strong again that match) Thus the old copies. The modern editors read-ever, but perhaps without necessity. Even strong, is as ftrong, with a similar degree of Arength. So, in Hamlet,
even christian” is fellow christian. STEEVENS.
some things of weight
The better to denote; her to the doctor,
to denote -] In the Mfs. of our author's age and were formed so very much alike, that they are scarcely distinguishable. Hence it was, that in the old copies of these plays one of these letters is frequently put for the other. From the cause assigned, or from an accidental inversion of the letter n at the press, the firft folio in the present instance reads—deuote, u being constantly employed in that copy inftead of v. The same mistake has happened in several other places. Thus, in Much ado about Nothing, 1623, we find, “ he is turu'd orthographer," inftead of turn'd. Again, in Othello :-" to the contemplation, mark, and deuotement of her parts," instead of denotement. Again, in King John: This expeditious charge, instead of expedition's. Again, ibid: involuerable for invulnerable. Again, in Hamlet, 1605, we meet with this very word put by an error of the press for denote :
• Together with all forms, modes, shapes of grief,
“ That can deuote me truly.” The present emendation, which was suggested by Mr. Steevens, is fully supported by a subsequent paffage quoted by him :-" the white will decipher her well enough." MALONE.
quaint in green,] may mean fantastically drest in green. So, in Milton's Masque at Ludlow Castle :
“ And my quaint habits, breed astonishment.” Quaintness, however, was anciently used to signify gracefulness
. So, in Greene's Dialogue between a He and She Coney-catcher, 1592: “ I began to think what a handsome man he was, and wished that he would come and take a night's lodging with me, fitting in a dump to think of the quaintness of his personage." In The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act III. sc. i. quaintly is used for ingeniously:
a ladder quaintly made of cords.” STEEVENS. In Daniel's Sonnets, 1594, it is used for fantastick.
Prayers prevail not with a quaint disdayne. MALOVE.
left the place,
Fent. Both, my good hoft, to go along with me: And here it rests,—that you'll procure the vicar To stay for me at church, 'twixt twelve and one, And, in the lawful name of marrying, To give our hearts united ceremony. Host. Well, husband your device; I'll to the
vicar: Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.
Fent. So shall I evermore be bound to thee; Besides, I'll make a present recompence. [Exeunt,
Enter Falstaff and Mrs. QUICKLY. FAL. Pr’ythee, no more prattling ;-go. I'll hold :This is the third time; I hope, good luck lies in odd numbers. Away, go; they say, there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death.-Away.
Quick. I'll provide you a chain; and I'll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.
Fal. Away, I say; time wears : hold up your head, and mince.?
[Exit Mrs. QUICKLY.
5- I'll hold :) I suppose he means I'll keep the appointment. STEEVENS.
they say, there is divinity in odd numbers,] Alluding to the Roman adagenumero deus impare gandet. Virgil, Ecl. viii.
STEEVENS. hold up your head, and mince.] To mince is to walk with affected delicacy. So, in The Merchant of Venice :
turn two mincing steps