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shall know how I speed; and the conclusion shall be crowned with your enjoying her: Adieu. You shall have her master Brook: master Brook, you shall cuckold Ford.. [Exit.

Ford. Hum! ha! is this a vision? is this a dream? do I sleep? Master Ford, awake; awake, master Ford; there's a hole made in your best coat, master Ford. This 'tis to be married! this 'tis to have linen, and buck-baskets! Well, I will proclaim myself what I am: I will now take the lecher; he is at my house; he cannot 'scape me; 'tis impossible he should; he cannot creep into a half-penny purse, nor into a pepper-box; but, lest the devil that guides him should aid him, I will search impossible places. Though what I am I cannot avoid, yet to be what I would not, shall not make me tame: if I have horns to make one mad, let the proverb go with me, I'll be horn mad,3 [Exit.


The Street.

Enter Mrs. PAGE, Mrs. QUICKLY, and WILLIAM.

Mrs. Page. Is he at master Ford's already, think 'st thou?

"To-morrow for our march we are addrest."

Again, in Macbeth:


"But they did say their prayers, and address'd them
Again to sleep." Steevens.

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I'll be horn mad.] There is no image which our author appears so fond of, as that of cuckold's horns. Scarcely a light character is introduced that does not endeavour to produce merriment by some allusion to horned husbands. As he wrote his plays for the stage rather than the press, he perhaps reviewed them seldom, 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 please. Johnson.

We may suppose this scene to have been a very entertaining one to the audience for which it was written. Many of the oid plays exhibit pedants instructing their scholars. Marston has a very long one in his What you will, between a schoolmaster,

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.


How now, sir Hugh? no school to-day?

Eva. No; master Slender is let the boys leave to play.

Quick. Blessing of his heart!

Mrs. Page. Sir Hugh, my husband says, my son 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, sirrah; hold up your head; answer your master, be not afraid.

Eva. William, how many numbers is in nouns?
Will. Two.

Quick. Truly I thought there had been one number more; because they say od's nouns.

Eva. Peace your tattlings. What is fair, William? Will. Pulcher.

Quick. Poulcats! there are fairer things than poulcats,


Eva. You are a very simplicity 'oman; I pray you, peace. What is lapis, William?

Will. A stone.

Eva. And what is a stone, William.

Will. A pebble.

Eva. No, it is lapis; I pray you remember in your prain.

Will. Lapis.

Eva. That is a good William. What is he, William, that does lend articles?

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 first printed in 1623. Steevens.

Will. Articles are borrowed of the pronoun; and be thus declined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, hæc, hoc.

Eva. 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; Accusativo, hing, hang, hog..

Quick. Hang hog is Latin for bacon, I warrant you. Eva. Leave your prabbles, 'oman. What is the foca

tive case, William?

Will. O-vocativo, O.

Eva. Remember, William; focative is, caret.

Quick. And that's a good root.

Eva. 'Oman, forbear.

Mrs. Page. Peace.

Eva. What is your genitive case plural, William?
Will. Genitive case?

Eva. Ay.

Will. Genitive, horum, harum, horum.3

Quick. 'Vengeance of Jenny's case! fie on her!— never name her, child, if she be a whore.

Evu. For shame, 'oman.

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? hast 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'y thee, hold thy peace.

Eva. Shew me now, William, some declensions of your pronouns.


horum, harum, horum.] Taylor, the water-poet, has borrowed this jest, such as it is, in his character of a strumpet: "And come to horum, harum, whorum, then

"She proves a great proficient among men."


6 to hick and to hack,] Sir William Blackstone thought, that this, in Dame Quickly's language, signifies "to stammer or hesitate, as boys do in saying their lessons;" but Mr. Steevens, with more probability, supposes that it signifies, in her dialect, to do mischief. Malone.

Will. Forsooth, I have forgot.

Eva. It is ki, ka, cod; if you forget your kies, your kas, and your cods, you must be preeches. 8 Go your ways, and play, go.

Mrs. Page. He is a better scholar, than I thought he


Eva. He is a good sprag' memory. Farewel, mistress Page.

Mrs. Page. Adieu, good sir Hugh. [Exit Sir HUGH] Get you home, boy.-Come, we stay too long.



A Room in Ford's House.

Enter FALSTAFF and Mrs. FORD.

Fal. Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up my sufferance: I see, you are obsequious in your love,1 and I profess requital to a hair's breadth; not 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?


- your kies, your kas, &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 say-you must be breeched, i. e. flogged. To breech is to flog. So, in The Taming of the Shrew:


"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.


9 sprag] I am told that this word is still used by the common people in the neighbourhood of Bath, where it signifies ready, clert, sprightly, and is pronounced as if it was writtensprack. Steevers.

A spackt lad or wench, says Ray, is apt to learn, ingenious.

Reed. 1 — your sorrow hath eaten up my sufferance: I see, you are obsequious in your love,] So, in Hamlet:

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"To do obsequious sorrow."

The epithet obsequious refers, in both instances, to the seriousness with which obsequies, or funeral ceremonies, are performed.


Mrs. Ford. He's a birding, sweet sir John.

Mrs. Page. [Within] What hoa, gossip Ford! what hoa!

Mrs. Ford. Step into the chamber, sir John.

Enter Mrs: PAGE.

[Exit FAL.

Mrs. Page. How now, sweetheart? who's at home besides yourself?

Mrs Ford. Why, none but mine own people.
Mrs. Page. Indeed?

Mrs. Ford. No, certainly;-Speak louder. [Aside. 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 on2 yonder with my husband; so 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, freerout! that any madness, I ever yet beheld, seemed but tameness, civility, and patience, to this distemper he is in now: I am glad the fat knight is not here.

Mrs. Ford. Why, does he talk of him?

Mrs. Page. Of none but him; and swears, he was carried out, the last time he searched for him, in a basket: protests to my husband, he is now here; and hath drawn him and the rest of their company from their sport, to make another experiment of his suspicion: but I am glad the knight is not here; now he shall see his own foolery.


he so takes on ] To take on, which is now used for to grieve, seems to be used by our author for to rage. Perhaps it was applied to any passion. Johnson.

It is used by Nash in Pierce Penniless his Supplication to the Devil, 1592, in the same sense: "Some will take on like a madman, if they see a pig come to the table."

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Shakspeare is at his

Shakspeare here refers to the practice of children, when they call on a snail to push forth his horns:

"Peer out, peer out, peer out of your hole,

"Or else I'll beat you black as a coal." Henley.

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