H́nh ảnh trang

men to carry the basket again, to meet him at the door with it, as they did last time.

MRS. PAGE. Nay, but he'll be here presently: let's go dress him like the witch of Brentford.

MRS. FORD. I'll first direct my men, what they shall do with the basket. Go up, I'll bring linen for him straight. [Exit. MRS. PAGE. Hang him, dishonest varlet! we cannot misuse him enough.'

We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do,
Wives may be merry, and yet honest too:
We do not act, that often jest and laugh;
'Tis old but true, Still swine eat all the draff.

Re-enter Mrs. FORD, with two Servants.



MRS. FORD. Go, sirs, take the basket again on your shoulders; your master is hard at door; if he bid you set it down, obey him: quickly, despatch.

1. SERV. Come, come, take it up.


2. SERV. Pray heaven, it be not full of the knight' again.


misuse him enough.] Him, which was accidentally emitted in the first folio, was inserted by the editor of the second. MALONE.


Still swine &c.] This is a proverbial sentence. See Ray's Collection. MALONE.


of the knight-] The only authentick copy, the first folio, reads" full of knight." The editor of the second-of the knight; I think, unnecessarily. We have just had—“ hard at door." MALONE.

At door, is a frequent provincial ellipsis. Full of knight is a phrase without example; and the present speaker (one of Ford's drudges) was not meant for a dealer in grotesque language. I therefore read with the second folio. STEEVENS.

1. SERV. I hope not; I had as lief bear so much lead.


FORD. Ay, but if it prove true, master Page, have you any way then to unfool me again?-Set down the basket, villain :-Somebody call my wife:

You, youth in a basket, come out here!-O, you panderly rascals! there's a knot, a ging, a pack, a conspiracy against me: Now shall the devil be shamed. What! wife, I say! come, come forth; behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching.

PAGE. Why, this passes! Master Ford, you are not to go loose any longer; you must be pinioned.

You, youth in a basket, come out here!] This reading I have adopted from the early quarto. The folio has only" Youth in a basket!" MALONE.


a ging,] Old copy-gin. Ging was the word intended by the poet, and was anciently used for gang. So, in Ben Jonson's New Inn, 1631:

"The secret is, I would not willingly

"See or be seen to any of this ging,


Especially the lady."

Again, in The Alchemist, 1610:

66 Sure he has got

"Some baudy picture to call all this ging;

"The friar and the boy, or the new motion," &c.


The second folio [1632] (so severely censured by Mr. Malone, and yet so often quoted by him as the source of emendations,) reads-ging. Milton, in his Smectymnuus, employs the same word: 66 -I am met with a whole ging of words and phrases not mine." See edit. 1753, Vol. I. p. 119. STEEVENS. this passes!]. The force of the phrase I did not understand, when a former impression of Shakspeare was prepared; and therefore gave these two words as part of an imperfect sen.

EVA. Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad dog!

SHAL. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well; indeed.

Enter Mrs. FORD.

FORD. So say I too, sir.-Come hither, mistress Ford; mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool to her husband!-I suspect without cause, mistress, do I?

MRS. FORD. Heaven be my witness, you do, if you suspect me in any dishonesty.

FORD. Well said, brazen-face; hold it out. Come forth, sirrah. [Pulls the clothes out of the basket. PAGE. This passes!

MRS. FORD. Are you not ashamed? let the clothes alone.

FORD. I shall find you anon.

EVA. 'Tis unreasonable! Will you take up your wife's clothes? Come away.

FORD. Empty the basket, I say.

MRS. FORD. Why, man, why,

FORD. Master Page, as I am a man, there was one conveyed out of my house yesterday in this

tence. One of the obsolete senses of the verb, to pass, is to go beyond bounds.

So, in Sir Clyomon, &c. Knight of the Golden Shield, 1599: "I have such a deal of substance here when Brian's men are slaine,

"That it passeth. O that I had while to stay!"

Again, in the translation of the Menæchmi, 1595: "This passeth! that I meet with none, but thus they vexe me with strange speeches." STEEVENS.

basket: Why may not he be there again? In my house I am sure he is: my intelligence is true; my jealousy is reasonable: "Pluck me out all the linen.

MRS. FORD. If you find a man there, he shall die a flea's death.

PAGE. Here's no man.

SHAL. By my fidelity, this is not well, master Ford; this wrongs you."

EVA. Master Ford, you must pray, and not follow the imaginations of your own heart: this is jealousies.

FORD. Well, he's not here I seek for.

PAGE. No, nor no where else, but in your brain. FORD. Help to search my house this one time: if I find not what I seek, show no colour for my extremity, let me for ever be your table-sport; let them say of me, As jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow walnut for his wife's leman. Satisfy me once more; once more search with me.


MRS. FORD. What hoa, mistress Page! come you, and the old woman, down; my husband will come into the chamber.

FORD. Old woman! What old woman's that? MRS. FORD. Why, it is my maid's aunt of Brentford.


this wrongs you.] This is below your character, unworthy of your understanding, injurious to your honour. So, in The Taming of the Shrew, Bianca, being ill treated by her rugged sister, says:

"You wrong me much, indeed you wrong yourself." JOHNSON.

his wife's leman.] Leman, i. e. lover, is derived from

leef, Dutch, beloved, and man. STEEVENS.

FORD. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not forbid her my house? She comes of errands, does she? We are simple men; we do not know what's brought to pass under the profession of fortune-telling. She works by charms, by spells, by the figure, and such daubery' as this is; beyond our element: we know nothing.- -Come down, you witch, you hag you; come down I say.

MRS. FORD. Nay, good, sweet husband;-good gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.

• She works by charms, &c.] Concerning some old woman of Brentford, there are several ballads; among the rest, Julian of Brentford's last Will and Testament, 1599. STEEVENS.

This without doubt was the person here alluded to; for in the early quarto Mrs. Ford says" my maid's aunt, Gillian of Brentford, hath a gown above." So, also, in Westward Hoe, a comedy, 1607: "I doubt that old hag, Gillian of Brentford, has bewitched me." MALONE.

Mr. Steevens, perhaps, has been misled by the vague expression of the Stationers' book. Iyl of Breyntford's Testament, to which he seems to allude, was written by Robert, and printed by William Copland, long before 1599. But this, the only publication, it is believed, concerning the above lady, at present known, is certainly no ballad. RITSON.

Julian of Brainford's Testament is mentioned by Laneham in his letter from Killingwoorth Castle, 1575, amongst many other works of established notoriety. HENLEY.


such daubery-] Dauberies are counterfeits; disguises. So, in King Lear, Edgar says: "I cannot daub it further." Again, in K. Richard III:

"So smooth he daub'd his vice with shew of virtue.”


Perhaps rather-such gross falshood, and imposition. In our author's time a dauber and a plasterer were synonymous. See Minsheu's DICT. in v. "To lay it on with a trowel" was a phrase of that time, applied to one who uttered a gross lie. MALONE. let him not strike the old woman.] Not, which was inadvertently omitted in the first folio, was supplied by the second. MALONE.


« TrướcTiếp tục »