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ILLUSTRATIONS

TO THE

SECOND VOLUME.

MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

PAGE

18

1. Concealment of Falstaff in the basket, from a Painting by

Peters. Frontispiece. 2. Anne Page, Slender, and Simple.-Smirke. 3. Caius, Mrs. Quickly, Simple, and Rugby:-Ditto. 4. Mrs. Page and Mrs. Ford comparing letters.-Peters. 5. Mrs. Page, Mrs. Quickly, Evans, and William.-Smirke. 6. Falstaff as the old woman' of Brentford.-Durno. 7. Falstaff between Mrs. Page and Mrs. Ford.—Smirke. 8. Falstaff, with a buck's head on, Fairies, &c.--Ditto.

26 34

89

97

116 119

MEASURE FOR MEASURE.

158

179

9. Escalus, Elbow, Froth, Clown, &c.-Smirke. 10. Angelo and Isabella.—Ditto. 11. Abhorson, Clown, and Provost.–Ditto. 12. Duke in a friar's habit, Angelo, &c.-Kirk.

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243

COMEDY OF ERRORS.

263

13. Storm at sea; Ægeon and infants drowning.–Wheatley.
14. Antipholus of Ephesus, Dromio, &c.—Ditto.
15. Scene before the Priory.-Rigaud.

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333

MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

SHAK

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HISTORICAL NOTICE

OF THE

MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

An old translation of Il Pecorone, by Giovanni Florentino, is supposed to have furnished Shakspeare with some of the incidents of this comedy.

Mr. Rowe informs us, that Queen Elizabeth was so well pleased with the admirable character of Falstaff in the two parts of Henry IV. that she commanded our author to continue it for one play more, and to show him in love; a task, which he is said to have completed in a fortnight, to the admiration of his royal patroness, who was afterwards very well pleased at the representation. This information, it is probable, came originally from Dryden, who, from his intimacy with Sir William Davenant, had an opportunity of learning many particulars concerning Shakspeare. Mr. Chalmers has endeavored to set aside the general tradition relative to this comedy, but does not appear to have succeeded.

Speaking of this play, Dr. Johnson remarks, that no task 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 must have suffered so much abatement, that little of his former cast would have remained. Falstaff could not love but

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