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Page. Why, yet there want not many, that do fear In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak: But what of this?
Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device; That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us, Disguis'd like Herne, with huge horns on his head. Page. Well, let it not be doubted but he'll come, And in this shape: When you have brought him thither,
What shall be done with him? what is your plot? Mrs. Page. That likewise have we thought upon, and thus:
Nan Page my daughter, and my little son,
And till he tell the truth, Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound,3
And burn him with their tapers.
The truth being known, We'll all present ourselves; dis-horn the spirit, And mock him home to Windsor.
Ford. The children must Be practised well to this, or they'll ne'er do't. Eva. I will teach the children their behaviours; and I will be like a jack-an-apes also, to burn the knight with my taber.
Ford. That will be excellent. I'll go buy them vizards.
Mrs. Page. My Nan shall be the queen of all the fairies,
Finely attired in a robe of white.
Page. That silk will I go buy ;-and in that time Shall master Slender steal my Nan away, [Aside. And marry her at Eton.- Go, send to Falstaff
Ford. Nay, I'll to him again in name of Brook: He'll tell me all his purpose: sure he'll come.
thick-skin? speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick, snap.
Sim. Marry, sir, I come to speak with sir John Falstaff from master Slender.
Host. There's his chamber, his house, his castle, his standing-bed, and truckle-bed; 'tis painted about with the story of the prodigal, fresh and new: Go, knock and call; he'll speak like an Anthropophaginians unto thee: Knock, I say.
Sim. There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone up into his chamber ; I'll be so bold as to stay, sir, till she come down: I come to speak with her, indeed.
Host. Ha! a fat woman! the knight may be robbed: I'll call.-Bully knight! Bully sir John! speak from thy lungs military: Art thou there? it is thine host, thine Ephesian, calls.
Fal. [Above.] How now, mine host?
Host. Here's a Bohemian Tartar tarries the coming down of thy fat woman: Let her descend, bully, let her descend: my chambers are honourable: Fie! privacy? fie!
Fal. There was, mine host, an old fat woman even now with me; but she's gone.
Sim. Pray you, sir, was't not the wise woman of Brentford?
Fal. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell; What would you with her?
Sim. My master, sir, my master Slender, sent to her, seeing her go through the streets, to know, sir, whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain, had the chain, or no.
Fal. I spake with the old woman about it.
Fal. Marry, she says, that the very same man, that beguiled master Šlender of his chain, cozened him of it.
Sim. I would, I could have spoken with the woman herself; I had other things to have spoken with her too, from him.
Fal. What are they? let us know.
Sim. Why, sir, they were nothing but about
Mrs. Page. Fear not you that: Go, get us pro-mistress Anne Page; to know, if it were my mas
And tricking for our fairies.
Eva. Let us about it: It is admirable pleasures,
and fery honest knaveries.
[Exeunt Page, Ford, and Evans.
SCENE V-A room in the Garter Inn. Enter
Host. What would'st thou have, boor? what,
(1) Elfs, hobgoblins. (2) Wild, discordant. (3) Soundly. (4) Necessaries. (5) Cannibal.
ter's fortune to have her, or no.
Fal. "Tis, 'tis his fortune.
Sim. What, sir?
Fal. To have her, or no: Go; say, the woman
told me so.
Sim. May I be so bold to say so, sir? Fal. Ay, sir Tike; who more bold? Sim. I thank your worship: I shall make my master glad with these tidings. [Exit Simple. Host. Thou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, sir John: Was there a wise woman with thee?
Fal. Ay, that there was, mine host; one that hath taught me more wit than ever I learned before in my life and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning.
MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.
Enter Fenton and Host.
as I came beyond Eton, they threw me off, from SCENE VI.—Another Room in the Garter Inn.
Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, villain: do not say, they be fled; Germans are honest
Enter Sir Hugh Evans.
Eca. Where is mine host?
Eva. Have a care of your entertainments: there is a friend of mine come to town, tells me, there is three cousin Germans, that has cozened all the hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell you for a good-will, look you: you are wise, and full of gibes and vlouting-stogs; and 'tis not convenient you should [Exit. be cozened: Fare you well.
Enter Doctor Caius.
Caius. Vere is mine Host de Jarterre?
Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, and
Catus. I cannot tell vat is dat : but it is tell-a me, dat you make grand preparation for a duke de Jarmany: by my trot, dere is no duke, dat the court is know to come; I tell you for good vill [Exit. adieu. Host. Hue and cry, villain, go:-assist me, knight; I am undone :-fly, run, hue and cry, lain! I am undone! [Exeunt Host and Bardolph. Fal. I would, all the world might be cozened; for I have been cozen'd and beaten too. If it should come to the ear of the court, how I have been transformed, and how my transformation hath been washed and cudgelled, they would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermen's boots with me; I warrant, they would whip me with their fine wits, till I were as crest-fallen as a dried never prospered since I forswore myself at Primero. Well, if my wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent.—
Enter Mrs. Quickly.
Now! whence come you?
Quick. From the two parties, forsooth.
Quick. And have not they suffered? Yes, I
Fal. What tell'st thou me of black and blue?
Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your
(1) A game at cards.
Host. Master Fenton, talk not to me; my mind
And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee
Fent. From time to time I have acquainted you
Her mother, even strong against that match,
The better to denote her to the doctor,
Fent. Both, my good host, to go along with me:
Host. Well, husband your device; I'll to the
Fent. So shall I evermore be bound to thee; Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest. Besides, I'll make a present recompense. [Exeunt.
hold: This is the third time; I hope, good luck || the very instant of Falstaff's and our meeting, they lies in odd numbers. Away, go; they say, there will at once display to the night. is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death.--Away.
Quick. I'll provide you a chain; and I'll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.
Fal. Away, I say; time wears: hold up your head, and mince. [Exit Mrs. Quickly.
How now, master Brook? Master Brook, the mat-
Mrs. Ford. That cannot choose but amaze him. mocked; if he be amazed, he will every way be Mrs. Page. If he be not amazed, he will be mocked.
Mrs. Ford. We'll betray him finely.
Those that betray them do no treachery.
the Park about midnight, at Herne's oak, and you SCENE IV-Windsor Park. Enter Sir Hugh shall see wonders.
Ford. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me you had appointed?
Evans, and Fairies.
your parts: be pold, I pray you; follow me into Eva. Trib, trib, fairies; come; and remember the pit; and when I give the watch-'ords, do as I pid you: Come, come; trib, trib. [Exeunt.
Fal. I went to her, master Brook, as you see, like a poor old man: but I came from her, master Brook, like a poor old woman. That same knave, Ford her husband, hath the finest mad devil of jealousy in him, master Brook, that ever governed SCENE V-Another part of the Park. Enter phrensy. I will tell you.-He beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of Falstaff disguised, with a buck's head on. man, master Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaFal. The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the ver's beam; because I know also, life is a shuttle. minute draws on: Now, the hot-blooded gods assist I am in haste; go along with me; I'll tell you all,me-Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy master Brook. Since I plucked geese, played Europa; love set on thy horns.-O powerful love! truant, and whipped top, I knew not what it was that, in some respects, makes a beast a man; in to be beaten, till lately. Follow me: I'll tell you some other, a man a beast.-You were also, Jupiter, strange things of this knave Ford: on whom to-a swan, for the love of Leda;--O, omnipotent night I will be revenged, and I will deliver his love! how near the god drew to the complexion of wife into your hand.-Follow: Strange things in a goose!-A fault done first in the form of a beast; hand, master Brook! follow. [Exeunt. Jove, a beastly fault! and then another fault in the semblance of a fowl; think on't, Jove; a
SCENE II.—Windsor Park. Enter Page, Shal-foul fault. When gods have hot backs, what shall
low, and Slender.
poor men do? For me, I am here a Windsor stag; and the fattest, I think, i' the forest: send me a
Page. Come, come; we'll couch i' the castle-cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss ditch, till we see the light of our fairies.--Remem-my tallow? Who comes here? my doe? ber, son Slender, my daughter.
Slen. Ay, forsooth; I have spoke with her, and we have a nay-word,2 how to know one another. I come to her in white, and cry, mum; she cries, budget; and by that we know one another.
Shal. That's good too: But what needs either your mum, or her budget? the white will decipher her well enough.-It hath struck ten o'clock.
Page. The night is dark; light and spirits will become it well. Heaven prosper our sport! No man means evil but the devil, and we shall know him by his horns. Let's away; follow me.
Enter Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page.
Mrs. Ford. Sir John? art thou there, my deer? my male deer?
Fal. My doe with the black scut?-Let the sky rain potatoes, let it thunder to the tune of Green Sleeves, hail kissing-comfits, and snow eringoes; let there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here. Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, [Embracing her. sweetheart.
Fal. Divide me like a bribe-buck, each a haunch: I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellows of this walk, and my horns I bequeath your husbands. Am I a woodman? ha! Speak Herne the hunter?-Why, now is Cupid a child of like conscience; he makes restitution. As I am a true inspirit, welcome! [Noise within.
[Exeunt. SCENE III-The Street in Windsor. Enter Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Dr. Caius. Mrs. Page. Master doctor, my daughter is green when you see your time, take her by the hand, away with her to the deanery, and despatch it quickly: Go before into the park; we two must go together.
Mrs. Page. Alas! what noise?
[They run off.
Caius. I know vat I have to do; Adicu. Mrs. Page. Fare you well, sir. [Exit Caius.] My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse of Falstaff, as he will chafe at the doctor's marry-would never else cross me thus. ing my daughter: but 'tis no matter; better a little chiding, than a great deal of heart-break.
lest the oil that is in me should set hell on fire; he Fal. I think, the devil will not have me damned,
Mrs. Ford. Where is Nan now, and her troop of fairies? and the Welsh devil, Hugh?
Mrs. Page. They are all couched in a pit hard by Herne's oak, with obscured lights; which, at
(1) Keep to the time. (2) Watch-word.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans, like a satyr ; Mrs. Quickly
(3) Keeper of the forest.
You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night,
Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.
Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap:
Lust is but a bloody fire,
Kindled with unchaste desire,
As thoughts do blow them, higher and higher.
Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about,
Where fires thou find'st unrak'd, and hearths un-Till candles, and star-light, and moonshine, be out.
There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry :2
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,
Quick. About, about;
Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out:
And nightly, meadow-fairies, look, you sing,
And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be,
Fal. Heavens defend me from that Welch fairy,
Quick. With trial-fire touch me his finger end:
Pist, A trial, come. Eva.
Come, will this wood take fire?
Fal. Oh, oh, oh!
During this song, the fairies pinch Falstaff. Doc-
Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, and Mrs. Ford.
Page. Nay, do not fly: I think, we have watch'd
Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn?
Now, good sir John, how like you Windsor wives?
Ford. Now, sir, who's a cuckold now ?-Master Brook, Falstafl's a knave, a cuckoldly knave; hera are his horns, master Brook: And, master Brook, he hath enjoyed nothing of Ford's but his buckbasket, his cudgel, and twenty pounds of money; which must be paid to master Brook; his horsea are arrested for it, master Brook.
Mrs. Ford. Sir John, we have had ill luck; we I will never take you for my could never meet. love again, but I will always count you my deer. Fal. do begin to perceive that I am made an
Ford. Ay, and an ox too; both the proofs are
Fal. And these are not fairies? I was three or four times in the thought, they were not fairies: and yet the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surprise of my powers, drove the grossness of the foppery into a received belief, in despite of the teeth of all rhyme and reason, that they were fairies. See now, how wit may be made a Jack-a-lent, when 'tis upon ill employment!
Eva. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your desires, and fairies will not pinse you. Ford. Well said, fairy Hugh.
Eva. And leave you your jealousies too, I pray
Ford. I will never mistrust my wife again, till thou art able to woo her in good English.
Fal. Have I laid my brain in the sun, and dried it, that it wants matter to prevent so gross o'erreaching as this? Am I ridden with a Welch goat too? Shall I have a coxcomb of frize ?5 'tis time I were choaked with a piece of toasted cheese. Eva. Seese is not good to give putter; your pelly is all putter.
Fal. Seese and putter! Have I lived to stand at the taunt of one that makes fritters of English? This is enough to be the decay of lust and latewalking, through the realm.
Mrs. Page. Why, sir John, do you think, though we would have thrust virtue out of our hearts by
(4) Horns which Falstaff had.
(5) A fool's cap of Welch materials.
the head and shoulders, and have given ourselves  cozened; ha' married un garçon, a boy; un paiwithout scruple to hell, that ever the devil could|| san, by gar, a boy; it is not Anne Page: by gar, I have made you our delight?
Ford. What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax?
Page. Old, cold, withered, and of intolerable entrails.
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
Ford. And one that is as slanderous as Satan? Anne?
Ford. And as wicked as his wife?
Eva. And given to fornications, and to taverns, and sack, and wine, and metheglins, and to drinkings, and swearings, and starings, pribbles and prabbles?
Fal. Well, I am your theme: you have the start of me; I am dejected; I am not able to answer the Welch flannel; ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me: use me as you will.
Ford. Marry, sir, we'll bring you to Windsor, to one master Brook, that you have cozened of money, to whom you should have been a pander: over and above that you have suffered, I think, to repay that money will be a biting affliction. Mrs. Ford. Nay, husband, let that go to make amends:
Forgive that sum, and so we'll all be friends. Ford. Well, here's my hand; all's forgiven at last.
Page. Yet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt eat a posset to-night at my house; where I will desire thee to laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee: Tell her, master Slender hath married her daughter. Mrs. Page. Doctors doubt that: If Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this, doctor Caius' wife. [Aside.
Slen. Whoo, ho! ho! father Page! Page. Son! how now? how now, son? have you despatched?
Slen. Despatched-I'll make the best in Glocestershire know on't; would I were hanged, la, else. Page. Of what, son?
Slen. I came yonder at Eton to marry mistress Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy: If it had not been i' the church, I would have swinged him, or he should have swinged me. If I did not think it had been Anne Page, would I might never stir, and 'tis a post-master's boy.
Page. Upon my life then, you took the wrong. Slen. What need you tell me that? I think so, when I took a boy for a girl: If I had been married to him, for all he was in woman's apparel, I would not have had him.
Page. Why, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you, how you should know my daughter by her garments?
Slen. I went to her in white, and cry'd mum, and she cry'd budget, as Anne and I had appointed; and yet it was not Anne, but a post-master's boy. Eva. Jeshu! Master Slender, cannot you see but marry poys?
Page. O, I'am vexed at heart: What shall I do? Mrs. Page. Good George, be not angry: I knew of your purpose; turned my daughter into green; and, indeed, she is now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married.
Caius. Vere is mistress Page? By gar, I am (1) Confound her by your questions. (2) Avoid.
Page. My heart misgives me : Here comes master Fenton.
Enter Fenton and Anne Page.
How now, master 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 doctor, maid?
Fent. You do amaze1 her: Hear the truth of it.
Ford. Stand not amaz'd: here is no remedy :In love, the heavens themselves do guide the state; Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.
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 What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac❜d. give thee joy! Fal. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chas'd.
Eva. I will dance and eat plumbs at your wed-
Mrs. Page. Well, I will muse no further:-
Let it be so :-Sir John,