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of your purpose; turned my daughter into green; and, indeed, she is now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married.
Enter Caius. Carus. Vere is mistress Page? By gar, I am cozened; I ha’ married un garçon, a boy ; un paisan, by gar, a boy; it is not Anne Page: by gar, I am cozened.
Mrs. Page. Why, did you take her in green?
Caius. Ay, be gar, and 'tis a boy : be gar, I'll raise all Windsor.
[Exit Caius. Ford. This is strange: Who hath got the right Anne?
Page. My heart misgives me : Here comes master Fenton.
Enter Fenton and Anne Page, How now, mafter Fenton ? Anne. Pardon, good father! good my mother,
pardon! Page. Now, mistress? how chance you went not with master Slender?
Mrs. Page. Why went you not with master doc
Fent. You do amaze her;s Hear the truth of it. You would have married her most shamefully, Where there was no proportion held in love. The truth is, She and I, long since contracted, Are now so sure, that nothing can dissolve us. The offence is holy, that she hath committed :
-amaze her;] i. e. confound her by your questions, So, in Cymbeline, A& IV. sc. iii: “ I am amaz’d with matter.” Steevens.
And this deceit loses the name of craft,
FAL. I am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced. Page. Well, what remedy? Fenton,' heaven give
thee joy! What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac’d. Fal. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are
chas'd. Eva. I will dance and eat plums at your wed- .
5 Page. Well, what remedy?] In the first sketch of this play, which, as Mr. Pope observes, is much inferior to the latter perfornance, the only sentiment of which I regret the omission, occurs at this critical time. When Fenton brings in his wife, there is this dialogue.
Mrs. Ford. Come, Mrs. Page, I must be bold with you. 'Tis pity to part love that is so true.
Mrs. Page. [Aside.] Although that I have mifs'd in my intent,
Here Fenton, take her.
your wife is pleas'd.
all sorts of deer are chas’d.] Young and old, does as well as bucks. He allades to Fenton's having just run down Anne Page.
MALONE. ? I will dance and eat plums at your wedding.) I have no doubt but this line, fupposed to be spoken by Evans, is misplaced, and Thould come in after that spoken by Falstaff, which being intended
Mrs. Page. Well, I will muse no further :-Ma
Ford. Let it be so:—Sir John,
to rhime with the laft line of Page's speech, should immediately
What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac'd.
I have availed myself of Mr. M. Mason's very judicious remark, which had also been made by Mr. Malone, who observes that Evans's fpeech—“ I will dance," &c. was restored from the first quarto by Mr. Pope. Steevens,
& Of this play there is a tradition preserved by Mr. Rowe, that it was written at the command of queen Elizabeth, who was so delighted with the character of Falstaff, that he wished it to be diffused through more plays ; but suspecting that it might pall by continued uniformity, directed the poet to diversify his manner, by sewing him in love. No talk is harder than that of writing to the ideas of another. Shakspeare knew what the queen, if the story be true, seems not to have known, that by any real passion of tenderness, the selfish craft, the careless jollity, and the lazy luxury of Falstaff mutt have suffered so much abatement, that little of his former caft would have remained. Falstaff could not love, but by ceasing to be Falstaff. He could only counterfeit love, and his professions could be prompted, not by the hope of pleasure, but of money. Thus the poet approached as near as he could to the work enjoined him; yet having perhaps in the former plays completed his own idea, seems not to have been able to give Falstaff all his former power of entertainment.
This comedy is remarkable for the variety and number of the personages, who exhibit more characters appropriated and discriminated, than perhaps can be found in any other play.
Whether Shakspeare was the first that produced upon the English itage the effect of language distorted and depraved by provincial or foreign pronunciation, I cannot certainly decide.* This mode of forming ridiculous characters can confer praise only on him who originally discovered it, for it requires not much of either wit or judgement: its success must be derived almost wholly from the player, but its power in a skilful mouth, even he that despises it, is unable to refift.
The conduct of this drama is deficient; the action begins and ends often, before the conclusion, and the different parts might change places without inconvenience ; but its general power, that power by which all works of genius shall finally be tried, is such, that perhaps it never yet had reader or spectator who did not think it too soon at the end. JOHNSON.
The story of The Two Lovers of Pisa, from which (as Dr. Farmer has observed) Falstaff's adventures in this play seem to have been taken, is thus related in Tarleton's Nerwes out of Purgatorie, bl. 1. no date. [Entered in the Stationers' Books, June 16, 1590.]
“ . In Pisa, a famous cittie of Italye, there lived a gentleman of good linage and lands, feared as well for his wealth, as honoured for his vertue; but indeed well thought on for both : yet the better for his riches. This gentleman had one onelye davghter called Margaret, who for her beauty was liked of all, and desired of many: but neither might their sutes, nor her own preuaile about her father's resolution, who was determyned not to marrye her, but to such a man as should be able in abundance to maintain the excellency of her beauty. Diuers young gentlemen proffered large feoffments, but in vaine : a maide Thee must bee still: till at last an olde doctor in the towne, that professed phisicke, became a sutor to her; who was a welcome man to her father, in that he was one of the welthieft men in all Pisa. A tall strippling he was, and a proper youth, his age about fourescore; his head as white as milke, wherein for offence fake there was left neuer a tooth: but it is no matter; what he wanted in person he had in the purse; which the poore gentlewoman little regarded, wishing rather to tie herself to one that might fit her content, though they liued meanely, then to him with all the wealth in Italye. But shee was yong and forest to follow her fathers direction, who vpon large couenants was content his daughter should marry with the doctor, and whether the like him or no, the match was made vp, and in short time she was
In The Tbree Ladies of London, 1584, is the character of an Italian mer. chant, very strongly marked by foreign pronunciation. Dr. Dodypoll, in the comedy which bears his name, is, like Caius, a French phyfician. This piece appeared at least a year before The Merry Wives of Windsor. The hero of it speaks such another jargon as the antagonist of Sir Hugh, and like him is cheated of his mistress. In several other pieces, more ancient than the earliest of Shakspeare's, provincial characters are introduced. STEEVENS.
married. The poore wench was bound to the stake, and had not onely an old impotent man, but one that was so jealous, as none might enter into his house without suspicion, nor she doo any thing without blame: the least glance, the smallest countenance, any smile, was a manifest instance to him, that thee thought of others better than himselfe; thys he himselfe lived in a hell, and tormented his wife in as ill perplexitie. At last it chaunced, that a young gentleman of the citie comming by her house, and seeing her looke out at her window, noting her rare and excellent proportion, fell in loue with her, and that so extreamelye, as his passion had no means till her fauour might mittigate his heartficke content. The young man that was ignorant in amorous matters, and had neuer beene vsed to courte anye gentlewoman, thought to reueale his paflions to fome one freend, that might give him counfaile for the winning of her loue; and thinking experience was the surest mailter, on a daye seeing the olde doctor walking in the churche, (that was Margarets husband,) little knowing who he was, he thought this the fitteft man to whom he might discouer his passions, for that hee was olde and knewe much, and was a phisition that with his drugges might help him forward in his purposes : so that seeing the old man walke solitary, he icinde vnto him, and after a curteous salute, tolde him he was to impart a matter of great import vnto him; wherein if hee would not onely be secrete, but endeauour to pleasure him, his pains should be euery way to the full considered. You must imagine, gentleman, quoth Mutio, for so was the doctors name, that men of our profession are no blabs, but hold their secrets in their hearts' bottome; and therefore reueale what you please, it shall not onely be concealed, but cured ; if either my art or counsaile may do it." Upon this Lionello, (so was the young gentleman called,) told and discourst vnto him from point to point how he was falne in loue with a gentlewoman that was married to one of his profession; discouered her dwelling and the house; and for that he was vnacquainted with the woman, and a man litile experienced in loue matters, he required his favour to further him with his aduise. Mutio at this motion was ftung to the hart, knowing it was his wife hee was fallen in loue withal : yet to conceale the matter, and to experience his wiue's chastity, and that if The plaide false, he might be reuengde on them both, he dissembled the matter, and answered, that he knewe the woman very well, and commended her highly; but saide, she had a churle to her husband, and therefore he thought shee would bee the more tractable: trie her man, quoth hee; fainte hart neuer woonne fair lady; and if shee will not bee brought to the bent of your bowe, I will provide such a potion as shall dispatch all to your owne content; and to giue you further inftructions for opportunitie, knowe that her husband is foorth euery afternoone from three till fixe.