« ForrigeFortsett »
Speak I like Herne the hunter ?—Why, now is
Mrs. PAGE. Alas! what noise ?
Away, away. [They run off. FAL. I think, the devil will not have me damned, lest the oil that is in me should set hell on fire; he would never else cross me thus.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans, like a satyr; Mrs. Quick
Ly, and Pistol; Anne Page, as the Fairy Queen, · attended by her brother and others, dressed like
fairies, with waxen tapers on their heads *. · Quick. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white, You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night,
1615, p. 46. It is here, however, used in a wanton sense, for one who chooses female game as the objects of his pursuit.
In its primitive sense I find it employed in an ancient MS. entitled The Boke of Huntyng, that is cleped Mayster of Game : “ And wondre ye not though I sey wodemanly, for it is a poynt of a wodemannys crafte. And though it be wele fittyng to an hunter to kun do it, yet natheles it longeth more to a wodemannys crafte,” &c. A woodman's calling is not very accurately defined by any author I have met with. Steevens.
4 This stage-direction I have formed on that of the old quarto, corrected by such circumstances as the poet introduced when he new-modelled his play. In the folio there is no direction whatsoever. Mrs. Quickly and Pistol seem to have been but ill suited to the delivery of the speeches here attributed to them ; nor are either of those personages named by Ford in a former scene, where the intended plot against Falstaff is mentioned. . It is highly probable, (as a modern editor has observed,) that the performer who had represented Pistol, was afterwards, from necessity, employed among the fairies; and that his name thus crept into the copies. He here represents Puck, a part which in the old quarto is given to Sir Hugh. The introduction of Mrs. Quickly, however, cannot be accounted for in the same manner; for in the first sketch in
You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,
quarto, she is particularly described as the Queen of the Fairies ; a part which our author afterwards allotted to Anne Page. MALONE.
's You ORPHAN-heirs of fixed destiny,] But why orphan-heirs ? Destiny, whom they succeeded, was yet in being. Doubtless the poet wrote:
“You ouphen heirs of fixed destiny." i. e. you elves, who minister, and succeed in some of the works of destiny. They are called in this play, both before and afterwards, ouphes; here ouphen ; en being the plural termination of Saxon nouns. For the word is from the Saxon Alnenne, lamiæ, dæmones. Or it may be understood to be an adjective, as wooden, woollen, golden, &c. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton corrects orphan to ouphen; and not without plausibility, as the word ouphes occurs both before and afterwards. But, I fancy, in acquiescence to the vulgar doctrine, the address in this line is to a part of the troop, as mortals by birth, but adopted by the fairies : orphans in respect of their real parents and now only dependent on destiny herself. A few lines from Spenser will sufficiently illustrate this passage:
“ The man whom heavens have ordaynd to bee
“The spouse of Britomart is Arthegall.
“ Yet is no Fary borne, ne sib at all
" And whilome by false Faries stolen away,
Edit. 1590. b. iii. st. 26. FARMER. Dr. Warburton objects to their being heirs to Destiny, who was still in being. But Shakspeare, I believe, uses heirs, with his usual laxity, for children. So, to inherit is used in the sense of to possess. MALONE.
6 — quality.) i. e. fellowship. See The Tempest: “ Ariel, and all his quality.” Steevens. 7 Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy 0-yes.
Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.] These two lines were certainly intended to rhyme together, as the preceding and subsequent couplets do; and accordingly, in the old editions, the final words of each line are printed, oyes and toyes. Cricket, to Windsor chimnies shalt thou leap: Where fires thou find'st unrak'd, and hearths un
swept, There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry' : Our radient queen hates sluts, and sluttery. FAL. They are fairies; he, that speaks to them,
shall die : I'll wink and couch : No man their works must eye.
[Lies down upon his face. Eva. Where's Pede'?—Go you, and where you
find a maid, That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said, Raise up the organs of her fantasy ?, Sleep she as sound as careless infancy; This, therefore, is a striking instance of the inconvenience, which has arisen from modernizing the orthography of Shakspeare.
TYRWHITT. 8 Where fires thou find'st unrak'ı,] i. e. unmade up, by covering them with fuel, so that they may be found alight in the morning. This phrase is still current in several of our midland counties. So, in Chapman's version of the sixteenth book of Homer's Odyssey :
'"- still rake up all thy fire
“ In fair cool words :-" Steevens. 9 - as BILBERRY:] The bilberry is the whortleberry. Fairies were always supposed to have a strong aversion to sluttery. Thus, in the old song of Robin Good-Fellow. See Dr. Percy's Reliques, &c. vol. iii. :
“ When house or hearth doth sluttish lye,
“I pinch the maidens black and blue," &c. Steevens. i Evans. Where's Bede? &c.] Thus the first folio. The quartos-Pead.-It is remarkable that, throughout this metrical business, Sir Hugh appears to drop his Welch pronunciation, though he resumes it as soon as he speaks in his own character. As Falstaff, however, supposes him to be a Welch Fairy, his peculiarity of utterance must have been preserved on the stage, though it be not distinguished in the printed copies. STEEVENS. 2 — Go you, and where you find a maid,
Raise up the organs of her fantasy ;] The sense of this speech is—that she, who had performed her religious duties, should be secure against the illusion of fancy; and have her sleep, like that of infancy, undisturbed by disordered dreams. This was then the popular opinion, that evil spirits had a power over the
But those as sleep, and think not on their sins, Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides, and
shins. fancy; and, by that means, could inspire wicked dreams into those who, on their going to sleep, had not recommended themselves to the protection of heaven. So Shakspeare makes Imogen, on her lying down, say :
" From fairies, and the tempters of the night,
“ Guard me, beseech ye!" As this is the sense, let us see how the common reading expresses it :
“ Raise up the organs of her fantasy;" i. e. inflame her imagination with sensual ideas; which is just the contrary to what the poet would have the speaker say. We cannot therefore but conclude he wrote:
“ Rein up the organs of her fantasy;" i. e, curb them, that she be no more disturbed by irregular ima-' ginations, than children in their sleep. For he adds immediately:
“ Sleep she as sound as careless infancy.” So, in The Tempest :
.“ Do not give dalliance
“ Too much the rein." And, in Measure for Measure :
“I give my sensual race the rein." To give the rein, being just the contrary to rein up. The same thought he has again in Macbeth :
“ — Merciful powers !
“ Gives way to in repose.” WARBURTON. This is highly plausible; and yet,“ raise up the organs of her fantasy,” may mean, “elerate her ideas above sensuality, exalt, them to the noblest contemplation.'
Mr. Malone supposes the sense of the passage, collectively taken, to be as follows. Steevens.
Go you, and wherever you find a maid asleep, that hath thrice prayed to the Deity, though, in consequence of her innocence, she sleep as soundly as an infant, elevate her fancy, and amuse her tranquil mind with some delightful vision ; but those whom you find asleep, without having previously thought on their sins, and prayed to heaven for forgiveness, pinch, &c. It should be remem-. bered that those persons who sleep very soundly, seldom dream. Hence the injunction to “raise up the organs of her fantasy, Sleep she," &c. i. e. though she sleep as sound, &c.
The fantasies with which the mind of the virtuous maiden is to be amused, are the reverse of those with which Oberon disturbs Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream :
Quick. About, about ; Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out: Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred
room®; That it may stand till the perpetual doom, In state as wholesome 4, as in state 'tis fit ; Worthy the owner, and the owner it'. The several chairs of order look you scour With juice of balm, and every precious flower :
« There sleeps Titania;
“ And make her full of hateful fantasies.” Dr. Warburton, who appears to me to have totally misunderstood this passage, reads-Rein up, &c, in which he has been followed, in my opinion too hastily, by the subsequent editors.
Malone. 3- on every sacred room ;] See Chaucer's Cant. Tales, v. 3482, edit. Tyrwhitt : “ On four halves of the hous aboute," &c. Malone. · + In state as wholesome,] Wholesome here signifies integer. He wishes the castle may stand in its present state of perfection, which the following words plainly show :
“ - as in state 'tis fit." WARBURTON. s Worthy the owner, and the owner it.] And cannot be the true reading. The context will not allow it; and his court to Queen Elizabeth directs us to another:
“ as the owner it." For, sure, he had more address than to content himself with wishing a thing to be, which his complaisance must suppose actually was, namely, the worth of the owner. WARBURTON.
Surely this change is unnecessary. The fairy wishes that the castle and its owner, till the day of doom, may be worthy of each other. Queen Elizabeth's worth was not devolvable, as we have seen by the conduct of her foolish successor. The prayer of the fairy is therefore sufficiently reasonable and intelligible without alteration. Steevens. 6 The several chairs of order look you scour
With juice of balm, &c.] It was an article of our ancient luxury, to rub tables, &c. with aromatic herbs. Thus, in the Story of Baucis and Philemon, Ovid. Met. viii.:
- mensam -