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blank twelve score. He pieces-out his wife's inclination; he gives her folly motion, and advantage and now she's going to my wife, and Falstaff's boy with her. A man may hear this shower sing in the wind!'-and Falstaff's boy with her!Good plots!-they are laid; and our revolted wives share damnation together. Well; I will take him, then torture my wife, pluck the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure and wilful Actæon; and to these violent proceedings all my neighbours shall cry aim." [Clock strikes.] The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me search; there I shall find Falstaff: I shall be rather praised for this, than mocked; for it is as positive as the earth is firm,' that Falstaff is there: I will



7 A man may hear this shower sing in the wind!] This phrase has already occurred in The Tempest, Act II. sc. ii: “I hear it sing in the wind." STEEVENS.

8—so seeming mistress Page,] Seeming is specious. So, in K. Lear:

"If ought within that little seeming substance." Again, in Measure for Measure, Act I. sc. iv:


Act II.


Hence shall we see,

"If power change purpose, what our seemers be."


shall cry aim.] i. e. shall encourage. So, in K. John,



"It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim

"To these ill-tuned repetitions."

The phrase, as I have already observed, is taken from archery., See note on the last scene of the preceding act, where Dr. Warburton would read-cry aim, instead of" cry'd game."

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SHAL. PAGE, &c. Well met, master Ford.

FORD. Trust me, a good knot: I have good cheer at home; and, I pray you, all go with me.

SHAL. I must excuse myself, master Ford. SLEN. And so must I, sir; we have appointed to dine with mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for more money than I'll speak of.

SHAL. We have lingered2 about a match between Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.

SLEN. I hope, I have your good will, father Page.

PAGE. You have, master Slender; I stand wholly for you:-but my wife, master doctor, is for you altogether.

CAIUS. Ay, by gar; and de maid is love-a me; my nursh-a Quickly tell me so mush.

HOST. What say you to young master Fenton ? he capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he speaks holyday,3 he smells April

We have lingered-] They have not lingered very long. The match was proposed by Sir Hugh but the day before.


Shallow represents the affair as having been long in hand, that he may better excuse himself and Slender from accepting Ford's invitation on the day when it was to be concluded.



·he writes verses, he speaks holyday,] i. e. in an highflown, fustian-style. It was called a holy-day style, from the old custom of acting their farces of the mysteries and moralities, which were turgid and bombast, on holy-days. So, in Much

and May: he will carry't, he will carry't; 'tis in his buttons; he will carry't.

Ado about Nothing: "I cannot woo in festival terms." And again, in The Merchant of Venice:

"Thou spend'st such high-day wit in praising him."


I suspect that Dr. Warburton's supposition that this phrase is derived from the season of acting the old mysteries, is but an holyday hypothesis; and have preserved his note only for the sake of the passages he quotes. Fenton is not represented as a

talker of bombast.

He speaks holiday, I believe, means only, his language is more curious and affectedly chosen than that used by ordinary MALONE.


So, in King Henry IV: P. I:

"With many holiday and lady terms." STEEVENS.

To speak holyday must mean to speak out of the common road, superior to the vulgar; alluding to the better dress worn on such days. RITSON.

•he smells April and May:] This was the phraseology of the time; not "he smells of April," &c. So, in Measure for Measure: " he would mouth with a beggar of fifty, though she smelt brown bread and garlick." MALONE.

'tis in his buttons ;] Alluding to an ancient custom among the country fellows, of trying whether they should succeed with their mistresses, by carrying the batchelor's buttons (a plant of the Lychnis kind, whose flowers resemble a coat button in form,) in their pockets. And they judged of their good or bad success by their growing, or their not growing there. SMITH.

Greene mentions these batchelor's buttons in his Quip for an upstart Courtier: "I saw the batchelor's buttons, whose virtue is, to make wanton maidens weep, when they have worn them forty weeks under their aprons," &c.

The same expression occurs in Heywood's Fair Maid of the West, 1631:

"He wears batchelor's buttons, does he not?" Again, in The Constant Maid, by Shirley, 1640: "I am a batchelor.

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pray, let me be one of your buttons still then.” Again, in A Fair Quarrel, by Middleton and Rowley, 1617: "I'll wear my batchelor's buttons still.”


PAGE. Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman is of no having: he kept company with the wild Prince and Poins; he is of too high a region, he knows too much. No, he shall not knit a knot in his fortunes with the finger of my substance: if he take her, let him take her simply; the wealth I have waits on my consent, and my consent goes not that way.

FORD. I beseech you, heartily, some of you go home with me to dinner: besides your cheer, you shall have sport; I will show you a monster. Master doctor, you shall go ;-so shall you, master Page; and you, sir Hugh. ;-and

SHAL. Well, fare you well:-we shall have the freer wooing at master Page's.

[Exeunt SHALLOW and SLENDer.

CAIUS. Go home, John Rugby; I come anon.

[Exit RUGBY.

HOST. Farewell, my hearts: I will to my knight Falstaff, and drink canary with him.


[Exit Host.

FORD. [Aside.] I think, I shall drink in pipe


Again, in A Woman never vex'd, comedy, by Rowley, 1632: and rest on Venus' violets; shew her "A dozen of batchelors' buttons, boy."

Go, go

Again, in Westward Hoe, 1606: "Here's my husband, and no batchelor's buttons are at his doublet." STEEVENS.


of no having:] Having is the same as estate or forJOHNSON.

So, in Macbeth:

"Of noble having, and of royal hope."

Again, Twelfth Night:


My having is not much;

"I'll make division of my present with you:
"Hold, there is half my coffer." STEEVENS.

wine first with him; I'll make him dance." Will you go, gentles?

7 Host. Farewell, my hearts: I will to my honest knight Falstaff, and drink canary with him.

Ford. [Aside.] I think, I shall drink in pipe-wine first with him; I'll make him dance.] To drink in pipe-wine is a phrase which I cannot understand. May we not suppose that Shakspeare rather wrote, I think I shall drink HORN-PIPE wine first with him: I'll make him dance?

Canary is the name of a dance, as well as of a wine. Ford lays hold of both senses; but, for an obvious reason, makes the dance a horn-pipe. It has been already remarked, that Shakspeare has frequent allusions to a cuckold's horns. TYRWhitt. So, in Pasquil's Night-cap, 1612, p. 118:

"It is great comfort to a cuckold's chance

"That many thousands doe the Hornepipe dance."

STEEVENS. Pipe is known to be a vessel of wine, now containing two hogsheads. Pipe-wine is therefore wine, not from the bottle, but the pipe; and the jest consists in the ambiguity of the word, which signifies both a cask of wine, and a musical instrument.


The jest here lies in a mere play of words. "I'll give him pipe-wine, which shall make him dance." Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786. STEEVENS.

The phrase," to drink in pipe-wine"-always seemed to me a very strange one, till I met with the following passage in King James's first speech to his parliament, in 1604; by which it appears that "to drink in" was the phraseology of the time: —who either, being old, have retained their first drunken-in liquor," &c. MALONE.

I have seen the phrase often in books of Shakspeare's_time, but neglected to mark down the passages. One of them I have lately recovered: "If he goe to the taverne they will not onely make him paie for the wine, but for all he drinks in besides." Greene's Ghost haunting Conicatchers, 1602, Sign. B 4.-The following also, though of somewhat later authority, will confirm Mr. Malone's observation: "A player acting upon a stage a man killed; but being troubled with an extream cold, as he was lying upon the stage fell a coughing; the people laughing, he rushed up, ran off the stage, saying, thus it is for a man to drink in porridg, for then he will be sure to cough in his grave." Jocabella, or a Cabinet of Conceits, by Robert Chamberlaine, 1640, N° 84. REED.

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