H́nh ảnh trang

would have no words of it;) my master himself is in love with mistress Anne Page: but notwithstanding that, I know Anne's mind,—that's neither here nor there.

CAIUS. You jack'nape; give-a dis letter to Sir Hugh: by gar, it is a shallenge: I vill cut his troat in de park; and I vill teach a scurvy jack-a-nape priest to meddle or make:-you may be gone; it is not good you tarry here:-by gar, I vill cut all his two stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to trow at his dog. [Exit SIMPLE. QUICK. Alas, he speaks but for his friend. CAIUS. It is no matter-a for dat:-do not you tell-a me dat I shall have Anne Page for myself?by gar, I vill kill de Jack priest; and I have appointed mine host of de Jarterre to measure our weapon:-by gar, I vill myself have Anne Page.

QUICK. Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well: we must give folks leave to prate: What, the good-jer!2


CAIUS. Rugby, come to the court vit me ;-By

de Jack priest;] Jack, in our author's time, was a term of contempt: "So, saucy Jack," &c. See K. Henry IV. P. I. Act III. sc. iii: "The prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup ;" and Much Ado about Nothing, Act I. sc. i: "do you play the flouting Jack?" MALONE.

• What, the good-jer!] She means to say-" the goujere," i. e. morbus Gallicus. So, in K. Lear:

"The goujeres shall devour them."

See Hanmer's note, King Lear, Act V. sc. iii. STEEVENS.

Mrs. Quickly scarcely ever pronounces a hard word rightly. Good-jer and Good-year were in our author's time common corruptions of goujere; and in the books of that age the word is as often written one way as the other. MALONE.

gar, if I have not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my door :-Follow my heels, Rugby. [Exeunt CAIUS and RUGBY.

QUICK. You shall have An fools-head of your own. No, I know Anne's mind for that: never a woman in Windsor knows more of Anne's mind than I do; nor can do more than I do with her, I thank heaven.

FENT. [Within.] Who's within there, ho?

QUICK. Who's there, I trow? Come near the house, I pray you.


FENT. How now, good woman; how dost thou? QUICK. The better, that it pleases your good worship to ask.

FENT. What news? how does pretty mistress Anne?

QUICK. In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you that by the way; I praise heaven for it.

FENT. Shall I do any good, thinkest thou? Shall I not lose my suit?

QUICK. Troth, sir, all is in his hands above: but notwithstanding, master Fenton, I'll be sworn on

3 You shall have An fool's-head-] Mrs. Quickly, I believe, intends a quibble between Ann, sounded broad, and one, which was formerly sometimes pronounced on, or with nearly the same sound. In the Scottish dialect one is written, and I suppose pronounced, ane.-In 1603 was published " Ane verie excellent and delectable Treatise, intitulit Philotus," &c. MALONE.

a book, she loves you:-Have not your worship a wart above your eye?

FENT. Yes, marry, have I; what of that?

QUICK. Well, thereby hangs a tale ;-good faith, it is such another Nan;-but, I detest, an honest maid as ever broke bread:-We had an hour's talk of that wart;—I shall never laugh but in that maid's company!-But, indeed, she is given too much to allicholly' and musing: But for youWell, go to.

FENT. Well, I shall see her to-day: Hold, there's money for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if thou seest her before me, commend


QUICK. Will I? i'faith, that we will: and I will tell your worship more of the wart, the next time we have confidence; and of other wooers.

FENT. Well, farewell; I am in great haste now.

[Exit. QUICK. Farewell to your worship.-Truly, an honest gentleman; but Anne loves him not; for I know Anne's mind as well as another does:Out upon't! what have I forgot?"


✦ but, I detest,] She means-I protest. MALONE. The same intended mistake occurs in Measure for Measure, Act II. sc. i: "My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and your honour," &c.-" Dost thou detest her therefore?"


to allicholly-] And yet, in a former part of this very scene, Mrs. Quickly is made to utter the word-melancholy, without the least corruption of it. Such is the inconsistency of the first folio. STEEVENS.


Out upon't! what have I forgot?] This excuse for leaving the stage, is rather too near Dr. Caius's "Od's me! qu'ay j'oublié ?" in the former part of the scene. STEEVENS.


Before Page's House.

Enter Mistress PAGE, with a letter.

MRS. PAGE. What! have I 'scaped love-letters in the holy-day time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them? Let me see:


Ask me no reason why I love you; for though love use reason for his precisian, he admits him not for his counsellor: You are not young, no more am


though love use reason for his precisian, he admits him not for his counsellor :] This is obscure: but the meaning is, though love permit reason to tell what is fit to be done, he seldom follows its advice.-By precisian, is meant one who pretends to a more than ordinary degree of virtue and sanctity. On which account they gave this name to the puritans of that time. So Osborne-" Conform their mode, words, and looks, to these PRÉCISIANS." And Maine, in his City Match:

66 -I did commend

"A great PRECISIAN to her for her woman."


Of this word I do not see any meaning that is very apposite to the present intention. Perhaps Falstaff said, Though love use reason as his physician, he admits him not for his counsellor. This will be plain sense. Ask not the reason of my love; the business of reason is not to assist love, but to cure it. There may however be this meaning in the present reading. Though love, when he would submit to regulation, may use reason as his precisian, or director, in nice cases, yet when he is only eager to attain his end, he takes not reason for his counsellor.

JOHNSON. Dr. Johnson wishes to read physician; and this conjecture becomes almost a certainty from a line in our author's 147th


"My reason the physician to my love," &c. FARMER. The character of a precision seems to have been very generally ridiculed in the time of Shakspeare. So, in The Malcon

I; go to then, there's sympathy: you are merry, so am I; Ha! ha! then there's more sympathy: you love sack, and so do I; Would you desire better sympathy? Let it suffice thee, mistress Page, (at the least, if the love of a soldier can suffice,) that I love thee. I will not say, pity me, 'tis not a soldier-like phrase; but I say, love me. By me,

Thine own true knight,

By day or night,


Or any kind of light,

With all his might,

For thee to fight,

John Falstaff.

tent, 1604: "You must take her in the right vein then; as, when the sign is in Pisces, a fishmonger's wife is very sociable: in Cancer, a precisian's wife is very flexible."

Again, Dr. Faustus, 1604:

"I will set my countenance like a precisian."

Again, in Ben Jonson's Case is alter'd, 1609: "It is precisianism to alter that,

"With austere judgement, which is given by nature.”


If physician be the right reading, the meaning may be this: A lover uncertain as yet of success, never takes reason for his counsellor, but, when desperate, applies to him as his physician. MUSGRAVE.

• Thine own true knight,

By day or night,] This expression, ludicrously employed by Falstaff, is of Greek extraction, and means, at all times. So, in the twenty-second Iliad, 433:



Thus faithfully rendered by Mr. Wakefield:

"My Hector! night and day thy mother's joy." So likewise, in the third book of Gower, De Confessione


"The sonne cleped was Machayre,
"The daughter eke Canace hight,
"By daie bothe and eke by night."

Loud and still was another phrase of similar meaning.



« TrướcTiếp tục »