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ACT IV. SCENE 1.4
Enter Mrs. Page, Mrs. QUICKLY, and William.
Mrs. Page. Is he at master Ford's already, think'st thou ?
QUICK. Sure, he is by this; or will be presently: but truly, he is very courageous mad, about his throwing into the water. Mistress Ford desires you to come suddenly.
Mrs. PAGE. I'll be with her by and by; I'll but bring my young man here to school: Look, where his master comes ; 'tis a playing-day, I see.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans. How now, fir Hugh? no school to-day?
Eva. No; master Slender is let the boys leave to play.
Quick. Blessing of his heart !
appears fo fond of, as that of cuckold's horns. Scarcely a light character is introduced that does not endeavour to produce merri. ment by some allusion to horned husbands. As he wrote his plays for the stage rather than the press, he perhaps reviewed them fél. dom, and did not observe this repetition; or finding the jest, however frequent, still successful, did not think correction necessary.
JOHNSON. 4 This is a very trifling scene, of no use to the plot, and I should think of no great delight to the audience; but shakspeare best knew what would pleafe. JOHNSON.
We may suppose this scene to have been a very entertaining one to the audience for which it was written. Many of the old plays exhibit pedants instructing their scholars. Martton has a very long one in his What you Will, between a schoolmatter, and Holofernes, Nathaniel, &c. his pupils. The title of this play was perhaps borrowed by Shakspeare, to join to that of Twelfth Night. What you Will appeared in 1607. Twelfth Night was firit printed in 1623.
profits nothing in the world at his book; I pray you, ask him some questions in his accidence.
Eva. Come hither, William ; hold up your head;
Mrs. Page. Come on, firrah; hold up your head; answer your master, be not afraid.
Eva. William, how many numbers is in nouns?
Quick. Truly I thought there had been one number more; because they say, od's nouns.
Eva. Peace your tatlings. What is fair, William?
Quick. Poulcats! there are fairer things than poulcats, sure.
Eva. You are a very fimplicity 'oman; I pray you, peace. What is Lapis, William ?
WILL. A stone.
Eva. No, it is Lapis; I pray you remember in your prain.
Eva. That is a good William. What is he, William, that does lend articles ?
Will. Articles are borrowed of the pronoun; and be thus declined, Singulariter, nominativo, bil, bec, boc.
Ev A. Nominativo, hig, hag, hog ;-pray you, mark: genitivo, hujus : Well, what is your accusative case?
Will. Accusativo, hinc.
Eva. I pray you, have your remembrance, child; Accufativo, bing, bang, bog.
Quick. Hang hog is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.
EVA. Leave your prabbles, o’man. What is the focative case, William ?
WILL. 0—vocativo, O.
Quick. You do ill to teach the child such words: he teaches him to hick and to hack,' which they'll do fast enough of themselves; and to call horum: -fie upon you!
EVA. 'Oman, art thou lunatics? haft thou no understandings for thy cases, and the numbers of the genders ? Thou art as foolish christian creatures, as I would desires.
Mrs. Page. Pr’ythee, hold thy peace.
Eva. Shew me now, William, some declensions of your pronouns.
5 horum, harum, horum.] Taylor, the water-poet, has borrowed this jeft, such as it is, in his character of a strumpet :
“ And come to horum, harum, whorum, then
to hick and to hack,] Sir William Blackstone thought that this, in Dame Quickly's language, signifies “ to stammer or helitate, as boys do in saying their lessons ;” but Mr. Steevens, with more probability, supposes that it fignifies, in her dialect, to do mischief. Malone,
Will. Forsooth, I have forgot.
Eva. It is ki, kæ, cod; if you forget your kies, your kas,' and your cods, you must be preeches. Go your ways, and play, go.
Mrs. Page. He is a better scholar, than I thought he was.
Eva. He is a good sprag memory. Farewell, mistress Page.
Mrs. Page. Adieu, good fir Hugh. [Exit Sir Hugh.] Get you home, boy.-Come, we stay too long
[Exeunt, Ş CENE II. A Room in Ford's House.
Enter Falstaff and Mrs. Ford. FAL. Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up my sufferance: I fee, you are obsequious in your love, and I profess requital to a hair's breadth ; not
your kies, your kæs, &c.] All this ribaldry is likewise found in Taylor the water-poet. See fol, edit. p. 106.
STEEVENS. - you must be preeches.] Sir Hugh means to fay—you must he breech'd, i. e. flogg'd. To breech is to flog. So, in The Taming of the Shrewi
“ I am no breeching scholar in the schools." Again, in The Humorous Lieutenant, By Beaumont and Fletcher :
Cry like a breech'd boy, not eat a bit.” STEEVENS.
Sprag -] I am told that this word is ftill used by the common people in the neighbourhood of Bath, where it signifies rrady, alert, sprightly, and is pronounced as if it was written-sprack.
STEEVENS. A spackt lad or wench, says Ray, is apt to learn, ingenious. REED.
9 - your forrow hath eaten up my sufferance: I fee, you are obsequious in your love,] So, in Hamlet :
for some term “ To do obsequious forrow." The epithet obsequious refers, in both instances, to the seriousness with which obfequies, or funeral ceremonies, are performed. STEEVENS,
only, mistress Ford, in the simple office of love, but in all the accoutrement, complement, and ceremony of it. But are you sure of your husband now?
Mrs. FORD. He's a birding, sweet fir John.
Mrs. Page. [Within.] What hoa, gossip Ford! what hoa ! Mrs. Ford. Step into the chamber, sir John.
[Exit FalstAFP. Enter Mrs. Page. Mrs. Page. How now, sweetheart? who's at home besides yourself?
Mrs. FORD. Why, none but mine own people.
Mrs. Page. Truly, I am so glad you have nobody here.
Mrs. FORD. Why?
Mrs. PAGE. Why, woman, your husband is in his old lunes again : he so takes on yonder with my husband; fo rails against all married mankind; so curses all Eve's daughters, of what complexion soever; and so buffets himself on the forehead, crying, Peer-out, peer-out !+ that any madness, I
lunes - ) i. e. lunacy, frenzy. See a note on The Winter's Tale, Act II. sc. ii. The folio, reads-lines, instead of lunes. The elder quartos-his old vaine again. STEVENS.
The correction was made by Mr. Theobald. MALONE.
3 he fo takes on -] To take on, which is now used for ta grieve, seems to be used by our author for to rage. Perhaps it was applied to any passion. JOHNSON.
It is used by Nath in Pierce Penniless his Supplication to the Devil, 1592, in the same fense: “ Some will take on like a madman, if they fee a pig come to the table.” MALONE.
4- Peer-sut !] That is, appear horns. Shakspeare is at his old lunes. JOHNSON.