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As Falstaff, she, and I, are newly met,
Let them from forth a saw.pit rush at once
With some diffused 6 song; upon their sight,
We two in great amazedness will fly:
Then let them all encircle him about,
And, fairy-like, to-pinch7 the unclean knight;
And ask him, why, that hour of fairy revel,
In their so sacred paths he dares to tread,
In shape profane.

Mrs. Ford. And till he tell the truth,
Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound 8,
And burn him with their tapers.
Mrs. Page.

The truth being known,
We'll all present ourselves; dis-horn the spirit,
And mock him home to Windsor.

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, And marry her at Eton. [Aside.] Go, send to Fal

staff straight.

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6 Some diffused song, appears to mean some obscure strange song. In Cavendish's Life of Wolsey the word occurs in this


"speak you Welsh to him: I doubt not but thy speech shall be more diffuse to him, than his French shall be to thee." Cotgrave explains diffused by the French diffus, espars, OBSCURE, and in Cooper's Dictionary , 1584, I find obscurum interpreted "obscure, difficult, DIFFUSE, hard to understand. Skelton uses diffuse several times for strange or obscure; for instance, in the Crown of Laurel:

“Perseus pressed forth with problems diffuse." ? To-pinch : to has here an augmentative sense, like be has since had : all was generally prefixed, Spencer has all to-torn, all to-rent, &c. and Miltou in Comus all to-ruffled.

8 Sound, for soundly, the adjective used as an adverb.

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Ford. Nay, I'll to him again in name of Brook: He'll tell me all his purpose: Sure, he'll come. Mrs. Page. Fear not you that: Go, get us pro

perties, And tricking for our fairies.

Eva. Let us about it: It is admirable pleasures, and fery honest knaveries.

(Exeunt Page, FORD, and Evans. Mrs. Page. Go, mistress Ford, Send quickly to Sir John, to know his mind.

[Erit MRS. FORD. I'll to the doctor; he hath my good will, And none but he, to marry with Nan Page. That Slender, though well landed, is an idiot ; And he my husband best of all affects : The doctor is well money'd, and his friends Potent at court; he, none but he, shall have her, Though twenty thousand worthier come to crare her.


SCENE V. A Room in the Garter Inn.

Enter Host and SIMPLE. Host. What wouldst thou have, boor? what, 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-bed1; 'tis painted about with the story of the prodigal, fresh and new: Go, knock and call; he'll speak like an Anthropophaginian2 unto thee: Knock, I say.

Properties are little incidental necessaries to a theatre: trickmong is dress or ornament.

The usual furniture of chambers, at that time, was standing. bed, under which was a trochle , truckle , or running bed : from trochlea, a low, wheel or castor. 10 the standing bed lay the master, in the truckle the servant.

2 i. e. a cannibal: mine bost uses these fustian words to asto. nish Simple.

Sim. There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone up into his chamber; I'll be so bold as 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! in 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: Fye! privacy? fye!


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Enter FALSTAFF. 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 3; What would you with her ?

Sim. My master, sir, my master Slender, sent to her, seeing her go thorough 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. Sim. And what says she, I pray;

sir ? Fal. Marry, she says, that the very same man that beguiled master Slender 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. Ful. What are they? let us know. Host. Ay, come; quick. Sim. I may not conceal them, sir. Fal. Conceal them, or thou diest.

a He calls poor Simple muscle-shell, because he stands with his

mouth open.

Sim. Why, sir, they were nothing but about mistress Anne Page; to know if it were my master'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 4, 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 5 for my learning

Enter BARDOLPH. Bard. Out, alas, sir! cozenage! mere cozenage! Host. Where be my horses? speak well of them, varletto.

Bard. Run away with the cozeners: for so soon as I came beyond Eton, they threw me off, from behind one of them, in a slough of mire; and set spurs, and away, like three German devils, three Doctor Faustuses.

Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, villain : do not say, they be fled; Germans are honest men.

Enter Sir Hugh Evans.
Eva. Where is mine host?
Host. What is the matter, sir ?

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


4 i. e. scholar-like.

5. To pay, in Slakspeare's time, signified to beat; in which sense it is still not uncommon in familiar language: Seven of the eloveu I paid,' says Falstaff, iu Henry IV. Part. I.

you well.


how to come; I tell you for

of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell you for good-will, look you: you are vise, and full of gibes and clouting-stogs; and it is not convenient you should be cozened: Fare

(Exit. DOCTOR CAIUS. Caius. Vere is mine Host de Jarterre.

Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, and doubtful dilemna.

Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat: but it is tell-a me, dat you make grand preparations 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: adieu.

[Erit. Host. Hue and cry, villain, go:-assist me, knight; I am undone :--fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone!

Ereunt Host and BARDOLPH. Fal. I would all the world might be cózened; 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 cudgeled, 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 crestfallen as a dried pear. I never prospered since I forswore myself at Primero 6. 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. Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the other, and so they shall be both bestowed! I have suffered more for their sakes, more than the villanous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to bear.

6 Primero was the fashionable game at cards in Skakspeare's. time.

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