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Fal. The rogues slighted me into the river with as little Temorse as they would have drown'd a bitch's blind puppies, fifteen i' the litter.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

Sir John Falstaff.

Fenton.

Shallow, a country Justice.

Slender, cousin to Shallow.

Mr. Ford, two gentlemen dwelling at Windsor. Mr. Pages

William Page, a bag, son to M

Sir High Evans, n Welch paren
Dr. Caps French physician.

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Mrs. Anne Page, her daughter, in love with Fenton.

Mrs. Quickly, servant to Dr. Caius.

Servants to Page, Ford, &c.

SCENE, Windsor; and the parts adjacent.

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Fal. The

Act III. Scene V.

rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorse as they would have drown'd a bitch's blind puppies, fifteen i' the litter.

OBSERVATIONS

ON

THE FABLE AND COMPOSITION

OF THE

MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

A FEW of the incidents in this comedy might have been taken from some old translation of Il Pecorone by Giovanni Fiorentino. I have lately met with the same story in a very contemptible performance, intitled, The fortunate, the deceived, and the unfortunate Lovers. Of this book, as I am told, there are several impressions; but that in which I read it, was published in 1632, quarto. A somewhat similar story occurs in Piacevoli Notti di Straparola, Nott 4. Fav. 4a.

This comedy was first entered at Stationers' Hall, Jan. 18, 1601, by John Busby. STEEVENS.

.

The adventures of Falstaff in this play seem to have been taken from the story of The Lovers of Pisa, in an old piece, called "Tarleton's Newes out of Purgatorie." Mr. Capell pretended to much knowledge of this sort; and I am sorry that it proved to be only pretension.

Mr. Warton observes, in a note to the last Oxford edition, that the play was probably not written, as we now have it, before 1607, at the earliest. I agree with my very ingenious friend in this supposition, but yet the argument here produced for it may not be conclusive. Slender observes to master Page, that his greyhound was out-run on Cotsale [Cotswold-Hills in Gloucestershire]; and Mr. Warton thinks, that the games, established there by Captain Dover in the beginning of K. James's reign, are alluded to.-But perhaps,

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