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1 haue made them trudge Maister Page, | Pa. Come M. Ford, shall we to dinner? A tis the hart, the hart doth all: I

| I know these fellowes sticks in your minde. Haue seene the day, with my two hand sword For. No in good sadnesse not in mine: I would a made ynu foure tall Fencers

Yet for all this Ile try it further,
Scipped like Rattes.

I will not leaue it so:
Host. Here boyes, shall we wag, shallwe wag? Come M. Page, shall we to dinner?
Shal. Ha with you mine host.

Pa. With all my hart sir, Ile follow you. [Exit Host and Shallow.

[Exit omnes. Um eine Probe von dem Blankverse der ersten Quarto zu geben, folge hier die vierte Scene des dritten Aktes : Enter M. Fenton, Page, and Mistresse Quic. How say you this was my doings? Quickly.

I bid you speake to misteris Page. Fen. Tell me sweet Nan, how doest thou

Fen. Here nurse, theres a brace of angels yet resolue,

to drink, Stall foolish Slender haue thee to his wife?

Worke what thou canst for me, farwell. Or one as wise as he, the learned Doctor?

[Exit Fen. Shall such as they enioy thy muiden hart?

Quic. By my troth so I will, good hart. Thou knowst that I haue alwaies loued thee deare,

Pa. Come wife, you an I will in, weele And thou hast oft times swore the like to me.

leaue M. Steder An. Good M. Fenton, you mny assure

And my daughter to talke together. M. Shallow,

You may stay sir if you please. My hart is setled vpon none but you,

[Exit Page and his wife. Tis as my father and mother please :

Shal. Mary I thanke you for that: Get their consent, you quickly shall haue mine.

To her cousin, to her. Fen. Thy father thinks I loue thee for

Slen. Tfaith I know not what to say. his wealth,

An. .Now. M. Slender, whats your will? Tho I must needs confesse at first that drew me,

Slen. Godeso theres a Iest indeed: why But since thy vertues wiped that trash away,

misteris An, I loue thee Nan, and so deare is it set,

I neuer made wil yet: I thāk God I am wise That whilst I liue, I nere shall thee forget.

inough for that. Quic. Godes pitie here comes her father.

Shal. Fie cusse fie, thou art not right,

O thou hadst a father. Enter M. Page, his wife, M. Shallow,

Slen. I had a father misteris Anne, good and slender.

vncle Pa. M. Fenton I pray what make you here? Tell the Test how my father stole the goose out of You know my answere sir, shees not for you: The henloft. All this is nought, harke you Knowing my vow, to blame to vse me thus. mistresse Anne. Fen But heare me speake sir.

Shal. He will make you ioynter of three Pa. Pray sir get you gon: Como hither hundred pound a yeare, he shall make you a daughter,

gentlewoman. Sonne Slender let me speak with you.

Slend. I be God that I vill, come cut

(they whisper. and long taile, as good as any is in Glostershire, Quic. Speake to Misteris Page.

vnder the degree of a Squire. Ten. Pray misteris Page let me haue your An. O God how many grosse faults are hid, cosent

And couered in three hundred pound a yeare? Mis. Pa, Ifaith M. Fento tis as my hus Well M. Slender, within a day or two lle band please.

tell you more. For my part Ile neither hinder you, nor Slend. I thanke you good misteris Anne, further you.

| uncle I shall haue her.

Quic. M. Shallow, M. Page would pray Quic. Indeed I will, le speake what I you to come you, and you M. Slender, and

can for you, you mistris An.

But specially for M. Fenton: Slend. Well Nurse, if youle speake for | But specially of all for my Maister. me, Ile giue you more than Ile talke of. And indeed I will do what I can for them all [Exit omnes but Quickly.

three.

[Exit Ferner die vierte Scene des vierten Aktes : Enter Ford Page, their wiues, Shal- | The houre shalbe iust betweene twelue and one,

low, and slender. Syr Hu. And at that time we will meet him both: Ford. Well wife, heere take my hand, Then would I haue you present there at hand, upon my soule I loue thee dearer then I do with litle boyes disguised and dressed like my life, and joy I hnue so true and constant

Fayries, wife, my iealousie shall neuer more offend thee. For to affright fat Falstaffe in the woods. Mi. For. Sir I am glad, & that which | And then to make a period to the Test, I haue done,

Tell Falstaffe all, I thinke this will do best. Was nothing else but mirth and modestie. Pa. Tis excellent, and my daughter Anne, Pa. I misteris Ford, Falstaffe hath all Shall like a litle Fayrie be disguised. the griefe,

Mis Pa. And in that Maske lie make And in this knauerie my wife was the chiefe. Doctor steale my daughter An, fere my Mi. Pa. No knauery husband, it was husband knowes it, to carrie her to Church, honest mirth.

and marrie her. Hu. Indeed it was good pastimes & merri Mis. For. But who will buy the silkes ments.

to tyre the boyes? Mis. For. But sweete heart shall wee Pa. That will I do, and in a robe of white

leque olde Falstaffe so? Ile cloath my daughter, and aduertise Slender Mis. Pa. O by no meanes, send to him againe. To know her by that signe, and steale her Pa. I do not thinke heele come being so

thence. much deceiued.

And unknowne to my wife, shall marrie her. For. Let me alone, Ile to him once againe Hu. So kad vdge me the deuises is excellent. like Brooke, and know his mind whether heele I will also be there, and be like a lackanapes, come or not.

And pinch him most cruelly for his lecheries. Pa. There must be some plot laide, or Mis. Pa. Why then we are reuenged sufheele not come.

ficiently. Mis. Pa. Let vs alone for that. Heare i First he was carried and throwne in the Thames, my deuice.

Next beaten well, I am sure youle witnes that. Oft haue you heard since Horne the hunter dyed, Mi. For. Ile lay my life this makes him That women to affright their litle children,

nothing fat. Ses that he walkes in shape of a great stagge, Pa. Well lets about this stratagem, I long Now for that Falstaffe hath bene so deceiued. To see deceit deceiued, and wrong haue wrong. As that he dares not venture to the house, For. Well send to Falstaffe, and if he Weele send him word to meet vs in the field,

come thither, Disguised like Horne, with huge horns on his Twil make us smile and laugh one moneth head,

Logither. [Exit omnes. Die interessantesten Punkte zur Vergleichung bietet der Schluss des Stückes, der in der ersten Quarto so lautet: Enter Sir John, with a Bucks head They say there is good luck in odd numbers, vpon him

Ioue transformed himselfe into a buil, Fal. This is the third time, well Ile venter, And I am here a Stag, and I thinke the fattest In all Windsor forrest: well I stand here | All do something, none amis. For Horne the hunter, waiting my Does Hir. sir Hu. I smell a man of middlecomming.

earth. Enter Mistris Page, and Mistris Ford.

Fal. God blesse me from that wealch Fairie. Mis. Pa. Sir John, where are you?

Quic. Looke cuery one about this round, Fal. Art thou come my doe? what and And if that any here be found, thou too?

For his presumption in this place, Welcome Ladies.

Spare neither legge, arme, head, nor face. Mi. For. 11 sir Iohn, I see you will

Sir Hu. See I haue spied one by good luck, not faile,

His bodie man, his head a buck. Therefore you deserue far better then our loues; Fal. God send me good fortune now, and But it gricues me for your late crosses.

I care not. Fal. This makes amends for all,

Quic. Go strait, and do as I commaund,
Come diuide me betweene you, each a hanch, | And take a Taper in your hand,
For my horns Ile bequeath the to your husbands,

And set it to his fingers endes,
Do I speake like Horne the hunter, ha? And if you see it him offends,
Vis. Pa. God forgiue me, what noise is And that he starteth at the flame,
this?

Then is he mortall, know his name:
(There is a noise of hornes, the two If with an F. it doth begin,
women run away. Why then be shure he is full of sin.

About it then, and know the truth,
Enter sir Hugh like a Satyre, and

of this same metamorphised youth. boyes drest like Fayries, mistresse

Sir Ilu. Giue me the Tapers, I will try Quickly, like the Queene of Fayries:

And if that he loue venery. they sing a song about him, and

[They put the Tapers to his fingers, afterward speake.

and he starts. Quic. You Fayries that do haunt these

Sir Hu. It is right indeed, he is full of shady groues,

lecheries and iniquitie. Looke round about the wood if you can espie

Quic. A little distant from him stand, A mortall that doth haunt our sacred round:

And every one take hand in hand,
If such a one you can espie; giue him his due,

And compasse him within a ring,
And leaue not till you pinch him blacke and blew :
Giue them their charge Puck ere they part away.

First pinch him well, and after sing.
Sir. Hu. Come hither Peane, go to the

[Here they pinch him, and sing about countrie houses,

him, & the Doctor comes one And when you finde a slut that lies a sleepe,

way & steales away a boy in red. And all her dishes foule, and roome vnswept,

And Slender another way he takes With your long nailes pinch her till she crie,

a boy in greene: And Fenton And sweare to mend her sluttish huswiferie.

steales misteris Apne, being in Fai. I warrant you I will performe your will.

white. And a noyse of hunting Hr. Where is Pead? go you & see where

is made within: and all the FaiBrokers sleep,

ries runno away. Falstaffe pulles And for-eyed Seriants with their mase,

of bis bucks head, and rises up. Goe laie the Proctors in the street,

And enters M. Page, M. Ford, And pinch the lowsie Seriants face:

and their wiues, M. Shallow, Spare none of these when they are a bed,

Sir Hugh. But such whose nose Lookes plew and red. Fal. Horne the hunter quoth you: am I Quic. Away begon, his mind fulfill,

a ghost? And looke that none of you stand still.

Sblood the Fairies had made a ghost of me: Some do that thing, some do this,

What hunting at this time at night?

Ile lay my life the mad Prince of Wales ! For. Well here is my hand, alls forgiuen 18 stealing his fathers Deare. How now who haue

at last. We here, what is all Windsor stirring? Are Fal. It hath cost me well, you there?

I haue bene well pinched and washed. Shal. God saue you sir Iohn Falstaffe.

Enter the Doctor. Sir. Hu. God plesse you sir Iohn, God Mi. Pa. Now M. Doctor, sonne I hope plesse you.

you are. Pa. Why how now sir Iohn, what a pair Doct. Sonne begar you be de ville voman, of horns in your hand?

Begar I tinck to marry metres An, and begar Ford. Those hornes he ment to place vpon

Tis a whorson garson Iack boy. my head,

Mis. Pa. How a boy? And M. Brooke and he should be the men: Doct. I begar a boy. Why how now sir Iohn, why are you thus Pa. Nay be not angry wife, Ile tell thee amazed ?

true, We know the Fairies man that pinched you so, It was my plot to deceiue thee so: Your throwing in the Thames, your beating well, And by this time your daughter's married And whats to come sir Iohn, that can we tell. TO M. Slender, and see where he comes. Mi. Pa. Sir John tis thus, your dishonest

Enter Slender. meanes

Now sonne Slender, To call our credits into question,

Where's your bride? Did make vs vndertake to our best,

Slen. Bride, by Gods lyd I thinke theres To turne your leaud lust to a merry Test.

neuer a man in the worell hath that crosse Fal. Test, tis well, haue I liued to these yeares

fortune that I haue: begod I could cry for To be gulled now, now to be ridden?

verie anger. Why then these were not Fairies?

Pa. Why whats the matter sonne Slender? Mis. Pa. No sir Iohn but boyes.

Slen. Sonne, nay by God I am none of Fal. By the Lord I was twice or thrise

your son. in the mind

Pa. No, why so? They were not, and yet the grosnesse

Slen. Why so God saue me, tis a boy of the fopperie perswaded me they were.

I haue married. Well, and the fine wits of the Court heare this,

Pa. How a boy? why did you mistake Thayle so whip me with their keene Tests,

the word? That thayle melt me out like tallow,

Slen. No neither, for I came to her in Drop by drop out of my grease. Boyes !

red as you bad me, and I cried mum, and Sir Hu. I trust me boyes sir Iohn: and

hee cried budget, so well as cuer you heard, I was

and I haue married him. Also a Fairie that did helpe to pinch you.

Sir Hu. Jeshu M. Slender, cannot you Fal. I, tis well I am your May-pole,

see but marrie boyes? You haue the start of mee,

Pa. ( I am vext at hart, what shal I do? Am I ridden too with a wealch goate? With a peece of toasted cheese?

Enter Fenton and Anne.. Sir H 2. Butter is better than cheese sir Iohn, Mis, Pa. Here comes the man that hath You are all butter, butter,

deceiued us all: For. There is a further matter yet sįr Iohn, | How now daughter, where haue you bin? There's 20. pound you borrowed of M. Brooke An. At Church forsooth. Sir John,

Pa. At Church, what haue you done there? And it must be paid to M. Ford Sir John. Fen. Married to me, nay sir neuer storme, Mi. For. Nay husband let that go to Tis done sir now, and cannot be undone. muke amends,

Ford. Ifaith M. Page neuer chafe your Forgiue that sum, and so weele all be friends.

selfe,

She hath made her choise wheras her hart | And yet it doth me good the Doctor missed was fixt,

Come hither Fenton, and come hither daughter, Then tis in vaine for you to storme or fret. Go too, you might have stai'd for my good will Fal. I am glad yet then your arrow hath But since your choise is made of one you loue, glanced.

Here take her Fenton, & both happie proue. Mi. For. Come mistris Page, lle be bold Sir Hu. I will also dance f eat plums with you,

at your weddings. Tis pitie to part loue that is so true.

Ford. All parties pleased, now let us in Mis. Pa. Altho that I haue missed in my

to feast, intent,

And laugh at Slender, and the Doctors icast. Yet I am glad my husbands match was crossed, He hath got the maiden, each of you a boy Here M. Fenton, take her, and God giue thee ioy. To waite upon you, so God giue you ioy, Sir Hu. Come M. Page, you must needs And sir Iohn Falstaffe now shal you keep agree.

your word, Fo. I yfaith sir come, you see your wife For Brooke this night shall lye with mistris is wel pleased.

Ford. Pa. I cannot tel, and yet my hart's well eased,

(Exit omnes. Es ergiebt sich aus diesen Proben schon hinlänglich, dass die so verwahrloste und abweichende erste Quartoedition für die Kritik und Correctur des gangbaren Textes, dem sich natürlich nur die Folioausgabe zu Grunde legen lässt, nur ausnahmsweise Anhaltspunkte und Aushülfe gewährt, namentlich da, wo bei dem wahrscheinlich nach einem Bühnenmanuscripte des Blackfriarstheaters ziemlich nachlässig besorgten Drucke in der Folioausgabe einzelne durch den Zusammenhang geforderte Verse ausgefallen sind, welche sich zufällig in der Quarto finden. Im Uebrigen bietet bei der grossen Einfachheit und Klarheit der Sprache der Text der Merry Wives of Windsor wenig Schwierigkeiten, und die etwa nöthig werdenden Emendationen sind bereits von den früheren Commentatoren grösstentheils in sicherer und befriedigender Weise entdeckt und festgestellt.

Für die chronologische Bestimmung unseres Lustspiels ist einerseits zu erwägen, dass das Titelblatt der ersten Ausgabe von 1602 Nichts enthält, was auf eine erst kürzlich erfolgte Aufführung hindeutete, sondern nur besagt: as it hath been divers times acted, andrerseits, dass das Drama jedenfalls erst nach King Henry IV. First and Second Part, vielleicht auch erst nach King Henry V. oder gleichzeitig mit dem letztern Schauspiel verfasst sein kann; denn erst die ungemeine Popularität, welcher Falstaff und seine Gesellen aus jenen Dramen sich erfreuten, durfte für den Dichter, sei es nun auf eigenen Antrieb oder auf Anlass der Königin Elisabeth, ein Beweggrund gewesen sein, dieselben Figuren nun auch einmal in einem Lustspiel wieder vorzuführen, natürlich mit denjenigen Modificationen des Charakters, welche durch die gänzlich veränderten neuen Umgebungen und Situationen geboten schienen. Dass der Dichter aber keinen engeren Zusammenhang, abgesehen von dieser Reproduktion bekannter und beliebter Theaterfiguren, zwischen den Merry Wives of Windsor einerseits und den King Henry IV. und King Henry V. andrerseits

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