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have your distemper in this kind, for the wealth of Windsor Caftle.
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 defires among five thousand, and five hundred too.
Caius. By gar, I fee '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 me.
Page. Let's go in, gentlemen ; but, trust me, we'll mock 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 hoft.
Caius. Dat is good; by gar, vit all my heart,
Eva. A loufy knave; to have his gibes, and his mockeries.
[Exeunt. SCENE IV.
A Room in Page's Houfe.
Anne. Alas ! how then ?
Why, thou must be thyself.
I seek 9. This dirty restoration was made by Mr. Theobald. Evans's appli. cation of the doctor's words is not in the folio. STEEVENS,
I seek to heal it only by his wealth :
Anne. May be, he tells you true.
Gentle master Fenton,
[They converse apart. Enter SHALLOW, SLENDER, and Mrs. QUICKLY. Shal. Break their talk, mistress Quickly; my kinsman fall speak for himself.
Slen. I'll make a shaft or a bolt on't : 3 flid, '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. M3
Quick. 2 Some light may be given to those who shall endeavour to calculate the increase of English wealth, by observing, that Latymer, in the time of Edward VI. mentions it as a proof of his father's prosperity, That though but a yeoman, be gave bis daugbters five pounds eacb for ber portion. At the latter end of Elizabeth, seven hundred pounds were such a temptation to courtship, as made all other motives fufpected. Congreve makes twelve thousand pounds more than a counterbalance to the affectation of Belinda. No poet will now fly his favourite character at less than fifty thousand.
Johnson. 3 To make a bolt or a shaft of a thing is enumerated by Ray, amongst others, in his collection of proverbial phrases. REED.
The Maft was such an arrow as skilful archers employed. The bolt in this proverb means, I think, the fool's bolt. MALONE.
A Shaft was a general term for an arrow. A bolt was a thick short one, with a knob at the end of it. It was only employed to thoot birds' with, and was commonly called a “ bird-bols." STEEVENS.
Quick, Hark ye; master Slender would speak a word with you.
Anne. I come to him. - This is my father's choice. O, what a world of vile ill-favour'd faults Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year! [Aide
Quiek. And how does good master Fenton ? Pray you, a word with you.
Shal. She's coming ; to her, coz. O boy, thou hadít a father! Slen. I had a father, mistress Anne
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 Glocestershire.
Shal. He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.
Slen. Ay, that I will, come cut and long-tail,4 under the degree of a squire.
Shal. 4 i. e. come foor, or ricb, to offer himself as my rival. The following is said to be the origin of the phrase. According to the forest laws, the dog of a man, who had no right to the privilege of chace, was obliged to cut, or law his dog among other modes of disabling him, by depriving him of his tail. A dog so cut was called a cut, or curt-tail, and by contraction cur. Cut and long-tail therefore fignified the dog of a clown, and the dog of a gentleman. STEEVENS.
I can see no meaning in this phrase. Slender promises to make his mistress a gentle woman, and probably means to say, he will deck her in a gown of the court.cut, and with a long train or tail. SIR J. HAWKINS.
This phrase is often found in old plays, and seldom, if ever, with any variation. The change therefore proposed by Sir John Hawkins cannot be received, without great violence to the text. Whenever the words occur, they always bear the same meaning, and that meaning is obvious enough without any explanation. The origin of the phrase may however admit of some dispute, and it is by no means certain that the account of it, here adopted by Mr. Steevens from Dr. Johnson, is well-founded, That there ever existed such a mode of disqualifying dogs by the laws of the forest, as is here afferted, cannot be acknowledged without evidence, and no authority is quoted to prove that such a custom at any time prevailed. The writers on this subject are totally filent, as far as they have come to my knowledge. Manwood, who wrote on the Forest Laws be. fore they were entirely disused, mentions expeditation or cutting off three claws of the fore-foot, as the only manner of lawing dogs ; and with his
Shal. He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.
Anne. Good mafter Shallow, let him woo for himself.
for it ; thank
for that good comfort. She calls you, coz: I ll leave you.
Anne. Now, master Slender.
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 fickly creature, I give heaven praise.
Anne. I mean, master Slender, what would you with me?
Slen. Truly, for miné 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! 5 They
you how thing's go, better than I can : You your father ; here lie coines.
Enter Page, and Mistress PAGE.
-Love him, daughter
Why, account, the Charter of the Forest seems to agree. Were I to offer a conjecture, I thould suppose that the phrase originally referred to hörses, which might be denominated cut and long tail, as they were curtailed of this part of their bodies, or allowed to enjoy its full growth; and this might be practised according to the difference of their value, or the uses to which they were put. In this view, cut and long tail would include the whole species of horses good and bad. In support of this opinion it may be added, that formerly a cut was a word of reproach in vulgar cell qpial abuse, and I believe is never to be found applied to horses, except to those of the worst kind. After all, if any authority can be produced to countenance Dr. Johnson's explanation, I shall be very ready to retract every thing that is here said. REED.
The last conversacion I had the honour to enjoy with Sir William Blackstone, was on this subject ; and by a series of accurate references to the whole collection of ancient Forest Laws, he convinced me of our repeated error, expeditation and genuscifion, being the only established and technical modes ever used for disabling the canine species. Part of the tails of spaniels indeed are generally cut off (ornamenti gratiâ) while rhey are puppies, so that (admitting a loose description) every kind of dog is comprehended in the phrase of cut and long-tail, and every rank of people in the same expreffion, if metaphorically used. STEEVENS.
§ A proverbial expression. STRIVEN S.
Why, how now! what does master Fenton here?
house : I told you, fir, my daughter is dispos'd of.
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
Anne. Good mother, do not marry me to 'yon fool.
Anne. Alas, I had rather be fet quick i' the earth,
Fenton, I will not be your friend, nor enemy : My daughter will I question how she loves you, And as I find her, so am I affected ; "Till then, farewell, fir :-She mult needs go in; Her father will be angry. [Exeunt Mrs. Page and ANNE.
Fent. Farewell, gentle mistress; farewell, Nan.
Quick. This is my doing now;-Nay, said I, will you caft away your child on a fool, and a physician ? 7 Look on master Fenton :- this is my doing.
Fent. 6 This is a common proverb in the southern counties. COLLINS. ? I should read-fool or a physician, meaning Slender and Caius.
Johnson. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads according to Dr. Johnson's conjecture. This may be right. Or my Dame Quickly may allude to the proverb,
an of forty is either a fool or a physicias; but the afierts her mafter to be both. FARMER.