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Enter Mrs. Ford and Mrs. PAGE.
Mrs. Ford. Sir John? art thou there, my deer? my male deer?
Fal. My doe with the black scut?—Let the sky rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green Sleeves; hail kissing-comfits, and snow eringoes; let there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.
with small sustenance.—The red mushroome helpeth well to make them pyle their greace, they are then in so vehement heate,” &c.
FARMER. In Ray's Collektion of Proverbs, the phrase is yet further explained: “ He has piss’d his tallow. This is spoken of bucks who grow lean after rutting-time, and may be applied to men.”
The phrase, however, is of French extraction. Jacques de Fouilloux in his quarto volume entitled La Venerie, also tells us that ftags in rutting time live chiefly on large red mushrooms, “ qui aident fort à leur faire pisser le suif.” STEVENS.
7 Let the sky rain potatoes ;-hail kissing-comfits, and snow eringoes ; let there come a tempest of provocation,) Potatoes, when they were first introduced in England, were supposed to be strong provocatives. See Mr. Collins's note on a passage in Troilus and Cref fida, A& V. sc. ii.
Killing-comfits were sugar-plums, perfum'd to make the breath sweet.
Monsieur Le Grand D’Ausfi in his Hifoire de la vie privée des Français, Vol. II. p. 273. observes—“ Il y avait aussi de petits drageoirs qu'on portait en poche pour avoir, dans le jour, de quoi se parfumer la bouche." So, also in Webster's Duchess of Malfy, 1623 :
Sure your pistol holds
Nothing but perfuines or killing comfits.” In Swernan Arraign’d, 1620, these confections are calle'-" killing-causes.” “ Their very breath is sophisticated with arnber-pellets, and killing-causes.” Again, in A Very Woman, by Maflinger :
“ Comfits of ambergris to help our kisses.” For eating these, queen Mab may be said, in Romeo and Juliet, to plague their lips with blisters.
Eringoes, like potatoes, were esteemed to be stimulatives. So, (says the late Mr. Henderson,) in Drayton's Polyolbion : Vol. III.
Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, sweetheart.
Fal. Divide me like a bribe-buck, each a haunch: I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow of this walk,' and my horns I bequeath
“ Whose root th' eringo is, the reines that doth inflame,
“ So strongly to performe the Cytherean game." But Shakspeare, very probably, had the following artificial tempeft in his thoughts, when he put the words on which this note is founded, into the mouth of Falftaff.
Holinshed informs us, that in the year 1583, for the entertainment of prince Alasco, was performed “a verie statelie tragedie named Dido, wherein the queen's banket (with Æneas' narration of the destruction of 'Troie) was lively described in a marchpaine patterne,--the tempeft wherein it bailed /mall confeits, rained rosewater, and fnew an artificial kind of frow, all ftrange, marvellous and abundant."
Brantome also, describing an earlier feast given by the Vidam of Chartres, says" Au dessert, il y eut un orage artificiel qui, pendant une demie heure entiere, fit tomber une pluie d'eaux odorantes, & un grêle de dragées." STEEVENS.
1 Divide me like a bribe-buck,] i.e. (as Mr. Theobald observes) a buck fent for a bribe. He adds, that the old copies, miftakingly, read-brib’d-buck. Steevens.
Cartwright, in his Love's Convert, has an expreffion somewhat similar: “ Put off your mercer with your fee-buck for that season.”
M. Mason. 3 — my shoulders to the fellow of this walk,] Who the fellow is, or why he keeps his shoulders for him, I do not understand.
JOHNSON. A walk is that distri&t in a forest, to which the jurisdiction of a particular keeper extends. So, in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592 : “ Tell me, forefter, under whom maintainest thou thy walke' MALONE. To the keeper the shoulders and humbles belong as a perquifite.
GREY. So, in Friar Bacon, and Friar Bungay, 1599
“ Butter and cheese, and humbles of a deer,
Such as poor keepers have within their lodge." Again, in Holinihed, 1586, Vol. I. p. 204: “ The keeper, by a cuitomhath the skin, head, umbles, chine and shoulders."
your husbands. Am I a woodman?ha! Speak I like Herne the hunter?- Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience, he makes reftitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome!
[Noise within. Mrs. PAGE. Alas! what noise? Mrs. Ford. Heaven forgive our sins! FAL. What should this be? Mrs. Ford. MRS. Pace: }Away, away.
. [They run off Fal. I think, the devil will not have me damn'd, left the oil that is in me should set hell on fire; he would never else cross me thus.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans, like a satyr; Mrs. QUICK
LY, and Pistol; Anne Page, as the Fairy Queen, attended by her brother and others, dressed like fairies, with waxen tapers on their heads.s
Quick. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white, You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night,
a woodman?] A woodman (says Mr. Reed in a note on Measure for Measure, A& IV. sc. iii.) was an attendant on the officer, called Forrester. See Manwood on the Forest Laws, 4to. 1615, p. 46. It is here, however, used in a wanton sense, for one who chooses female game as the objects of his pursuit.
In its primitive fense I find it employed in an ancient MS. entitled The boke of huntyng, that is cleped Mayfler of Game : “ And wondre ye not though I sey wodemanly, for it is a poynt of a wode. mannys crafte. And though it be wele fittyng to an hunter to kun do it, yet natheles it longeth more to a wodemanny's crafte," &c. A woodman's calling is not very accurately defined, by any author I have met with. STEVENS.
5 This stage-direction I have formed on that of the old quarto, corrected by such circumstances as the poet introduced when he new-modelled his play. In the folio there is no direction whatsoever. Mrs. Quickly and Pistol seem to have been but ill suited to the delivery of the speeches here attributed to them; nor are either
You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,
of those personages named by Ford in a former scene, where the intended plot against Falstaff is mentioned. It is highly probable, (as a modern editor has observed,) that the performer who had represented Pistol, was afterwards, from necessity, employed among the fairies; and that his name thus crept into the copies. He here represents Puck, a part which in the old quarto is given to Sir Hugh. The introduction of Mrs. Quickly, however, cannot be accounted for in the same manner; for in the first sketch in quarto, she is particularly described as the Queen of the Fairies; a part which our author afterwards allotted to Anne Page. MALONE.
6 You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,] But why orphan-beirs ? Deftiny, whom they succeeded, was yet in being. Doubtiess the poet
“ You ouphen heirs of fixed destiny,”. i. e. you elves, who minifter, and succeed in some of the works of destiny. They are called, in this play, both before and afterwards, ouphes'; here ouphen; en being the plural termination of Saxon nouns. For the word is from the Saxon Alpenne, lamiæ, da mones. Or it may be understood to be an adjective, as wooden, woollen, golden, &c. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton corrects orphan to ouphen; and not without plausibility, as the word cuphes occurs both before and afterwards. But, I fancy, in acquiescence to the vulgar doctrine, the address in this line is to a part of the troop, as mortals by birth, but adopted by the fairies : orphans in respect of their real parents, and now only dependent on destiny herself. A few lines from Spenser will sufficiently illustrate this passage :
“ The man whom heavens have ordaynd to bee
“ The spouse of Britomart is Arthegall.
" Yet is no Fary horne, ne sib at all
And whilome by false Faries stolen away,
Edit. 1590. B. III. st. 26. FARMER. Dr. Warburton objects to their being heirs to Destiny, who was ftill in being. But Shakspeare, I believe, uses heirs, with his usual laxity, for children. So, to inherit is used in the sense of to polleji.
MALONE. quality.] i. e. fellowfhip. See The Tempeft: “ Ariel, and all his quality." STEEVENS.
Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy o-yes.
[Lies down upon his face. Ev A. Where's Bede? 3-Go you, and where you
find a maid, That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
8 Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy 0-yes.
Pift. Elves, lift your names; filence, you airy toys.] These two lines were certainly intended to rhime together, as the preceding and subsequent couplets do; and accordingly, in the old editions, the final words of each line are printed, oyes and toyes. This, therefore, is a striking instance of the inconvenience, which has arisen from modernizing the orthography of Shakspeare.
Tyrwhitt. 9 Where fires thou find's unrak’d,] i. e. unmade up, by covering them with fuel, so that they may be found alight in the morning. This phrase is still current in several of our midland counties.
STEEVENS, as bilberry :] The bilberry is the whortleberry. Fairies were always supposed to have a strong averfion to sluttery. Thus, in the old song of Robin Good-Fellow. See Dr. Percy's Reliques, &c. Vol. III:
“ When house or hearth doth sluttish lye,
STEEVENS. 3 Evans. Where's Bede? &c.] Thus the first folio. The quartosPead. It is remarkable that, throughout this metrical business, Sir Hugh appears to drop his Welch pronunciation, though he resúmes it as soon as he speaks in his own character. As Falitaff, however, supposes him to be a Welch Fairy, his peculiarity of utterance must have been preserved on the stage, though it be not distinguished in the printed copies. Steevens.