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FAL. Thou art a traitor? to say so: thou would'st make an absolute courtier; and the firm fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy gait, in a semi-circled farthingale. I see what thou wert, if fortune thy foe were not; nature is thy

8 friend: 9 Come, thou canst not hide it.



In how much request the Venetian tyre formerly was held, appears from Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, 1624: _“let her have the Spanish gate, (gait) the Venetian tire, Italian complements and endowments.” MALONE.

May not the tire valiant be so called from the air of boldness and confidence which it might give the wearer? A certain court divine. (who can hardly be called a courtly one) in a sermon preached before King James the First, thus speaks of the ladies' head dresses : “ Oh what a wonder it is to see a ship under saile with her tacklings and her masts, and her tops and top gallants, with her upper decks and her nether decks, and so bedeckt with her streames, flags and ensigns, and I know not what; yea but a world of wonders it is to see a woman created in God's image, so miscreate oft times and deformed with her French, her Spanish and her foolish fashions, that he that made her, when he looks upon her, shall hardly know her, with her plumes, her fans, and a silken vizard, with a ruffe, like a saile; yea, a ruffe like a rainbow, with a feather in her cap, like a flag in her top, to tell (I thinke) which way the wind will blow.The MERCHANT ROYALL, a sermon preached at Whitehall before the King's Majestie, at the nuptialls of Lord Hay and his Lady, Twelfth-day, 1607, 4to. 1615. Again," - it' is proverbially

. said, that far fetcht and deare bought is fittest for ladies ; as now-a-daies what groweth at home is base and homely; and what every one eates is meate for dogs; and we'e must have bread from one countrie, and drinke from another; and wee must have meate from Spaine, and sauce out of Italy; and if wee weare any thing, it must be pure Venetian, Roman, or barbarian; but the fashion of all must be French:” Ibid. Reed.

a traitor --] i. e. to thy own merit. STEEVENS. The folio reads--thou art a tyrant, &c. but the reading of the quarto appears to me far better. Malone:

fortune thy foe ] “ was the beginning of an old ballad, in which were enumerated all the misfortunes that fall upon mankind, through the caprice of fortune.” See note on



MRS. FORD. Believe me, there's no such thing

in me.

FAL. What made me love thee? let that persuade thee, there's something extraordinary in thee. Come, I cannot cog, and say, thou art this and that, like a many of these lisping haw-thorn buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklers-bury' in simple-time; I cannot: but I love thee; ? none but thee; and thou deservest it.


The Custom of the Country, Act I. sc. i. by Mr. Theobald ; who
observes, that this ballad is mentioned again in a comedy by
John Tatham, printed in 1660, called The Rump, or Mirror of
the Times, wherein a Frenchman is introduced at the bonfire
made for the burning of the rumps, and, catching hold of
Priscilla, will oblige her to dance, and orders the musick to
play Fortune my Foe. See also, Lingua, Vol. V. Dodsley's Col-
lection, p. 188; and T'om Essence, 1677, p. 37. Mr. Ritson ob-
serves, that “ the tune is the identical air now known by the
song of Death and the Lady, to which the metrical lamentations
of extraordinary criminals have been usually chanted for upwards
of these two hundred years.” REED.
The first stanza of this popular ballad was as follows:

Fortune, my foe, why dost thou frown on me?
And will my fortune never better be?
“ Wilt thou, I say, for ever breed my pain,

“ And wilt thou not restore my joys again?” MALONE. This ballad is also mentioned by Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 576: * What shall we do in such a case ?” sing Fortune, my foe?STEEVENS.

nature is thy friend :) Is, which is not in the old copy, was introduced by Mr. Pope. MALONE.

like Buckler's-bury &c.] Brockler's-bury, in the time of Shakspeare, was chiefly inhabited by druggists, who sold all kinds of herbs, green as well as dry.

dry. Steevens. I cannot cog, and say, thoù art this and that, like a many of these lisping haw-thorn buds;-- I cannot : but I love thee';] So, in Wily Beguild, 1606 :

“ I cannot play the dissembler,
* And woo my love with courting ambages,



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you; and

Mrs. FORD. Do not betray me, sir ; I fear, you love mistress Page. FAL. Thou might'st as well say, I love to walk

I by the Counter-gate; which is as hateful to me as the reek of a lime-kiln. MRS. FORD. Well, heaven knows, how I love

you shall one day find it. FAL. Keep in that mind; I'll deserve it.

Mrs. FORD. Nay, I must tell you, so you do ; or else I could not be in that mind.

RoB. [within.] Mistress Ford, mistress Ford ! here's mistress Page at the door, sweating, and blowing, and looking wildly, and would needs speak with you presently.

FAL. She shall not see me; I will ensconce me behind the arras.

MRS. FORD. Pray you, do so; she's a very tattling woman.- [Falstaff hides himself.


Enter Mistress Page and Robin.

What's the matter? how now?




“ Like one whose love hangs on his smooth tongue's end;
“ But in a word I tell the sum of my desires,
“ I love faire Lelia.” MALONE.

as hateful to me as the reek of a lime-kiln.] Our poet has a similar image in Coriolanus :

whose breath I hate,
66 As reek o'the rotten fens." STEEVENS.

behind the arras.] The spaces left between the walls and the wooden frames on which arras was hung, were not more commodious to our ancestors than to the authors of their ancient dramatic pieces. Borachio in Much Ado about Nothing, and Polonius in Hamlet, also avail themselves of this convenient




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MRS. PAGE. O mistress Ford, what have you done? You're shamed, you are overthrown, you are undone for ever.

Mrs. FORD. What's the matter, good mistress Page?

Mrs. PAGE. O well-a-day, mistress Ford! hav. ing an honest man to your husband, to give him such cause of suspicion !

Mrs. Ford. What cause of suspicion ?

Mrs. PAGE. What cause of suspicion ?-Out upon you! how am I mistook in you?

MRS. FORD. Why, alas ! what's the matter?

MRS. PAGE. Your husband's coming hither, woman, with all the officers in Windsor, to search for a gentleman, that, he says, is here now in the house, by your consent, to take an ill advantage of his absence : You are undone.

Mrs. Ford. Speak louder. :—[ Aside.]—'Tis not so, I hope.

Mrs. PAGE. Pray heaven it be not so, that you have such a man here; but 'tis most certain your husband's coming with half Windsor at his heels, to search for such a one. I come before to tell

you know yourself clear, why I am glad of it: but if

have a friend here, convey, convey

him out. 'Be not amazed; call all your senses to
you ; defend your reputation, or bid farewell to
your good life for ever.

MRS. FORD. What shall I do?- There is a gentleman, my dear friend ; and I fear not mine own

you: If


Speak louder.] i. e. that Falstaff, who is retired, may hear. This passage is only found in the two elder quartos. Steevens.

shame, so much as his peril: I had rather than a thousand pound, he were out of the house.

MRS. PAGE. For shame, never stand you had rather, and you had rather; your husband's here at

: ; hand, bethink you of some conveyance: in the house you cannot hide him.-0, how have you de

ceived me!-Look, here is a basket; if he be of any reasonable stature, he may creep in here; and throw foul linen upon him, as if it were going to bucking: Or, it is whiting-time, send him by your two men to Datchet mead.

MRS. FORD. He's too big to go in there: What shall I do?

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Re-enter FALTAPF.


FAL. Let me see't, let me see't ! O let me see't! I'll in, I'll in ;--follow your friend's counsel ;I'll in.

MRS. PAGE. What! sir John Falstaff! Are these your letters, knight?

FAL. I love thee, and none but thee;' help me away: let me creep in here; I'll never

[He goes into the basket; they cover him

with foul linen. Mrs. PAGE. Help to cover your master, boy : Call your men, mistress Ford :-You dissembling knight!



-whiting-time,] Bleaching time; spring. The season when “ maidens bleach their summer smocks.” Holt WHITE.

- and none but thee ;] These words, which are characteristick, and spoken to Mrs. Page aside, deserve to be restored from the old quarto. He had used the same words before to Mrs. Ford. MALONE.

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