« AnteriorContinuar »
Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour. Ford. Pardon me, wife: Henceforth do what thou wilt;
I rather will suspect the sun with cold,
Mrs. Page. The truth being known, We'll all present ourselves; dis-horn the spirit, And mock him home to Windsor. Ford.
The children must
Than thee with wantonness: now doth thy honour Be practised well to this, or they'll ne'er do't.
As in offence;
But let our plot go forward: let our wives
Page. How! to send him word they'll meet him in the park at midnight! fie, fie! he'll never come. Eva. You say, he has been thrown in the rivers; and has been grievously peaten, as an old 'oman: methinks, there should be terrors in him, that he, should not come.
Page. So think I too.
Mrs. Ford. Devise but how you'll use him when he comes,
And let us two devise to bring him thither.
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest,
In a most hideous and dreadful manner:
Page. Why, yet there want not many, that do fear
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,
A Room in the Garter Inn.
Host. What would'st 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-bed; 'tis painted about with the story of the prodigal, fresh and new: Go, knock and call; he'll speak like an Anthropophaginian7 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 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: Fye! privacy! fye!
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?
7 A cannibal.
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 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.
Fal. What are they? let us know.
Sim. I may not conceal them, sir.
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, 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.
Bard. Out, alas, sir! cozenage! mere cozenage! Host. Where be my horses? speak well of them,
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
Enter Sir HUGH EVANS.
Eva. 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 couzin germans, that has cozened all the hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell you for good-will, look you: you are wise, and full of gibes and vloutingstogs; and 'tis not convenient you should be cozened: Fare you well. [Exit.
Host. Hue and cry, villain, go:knight; I am undone :- fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone !
[Exeunt Host and BARDOLPH. Fal. I would, all the world might be cozened; for I have been cozened 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 crest-fallen as a dried pear. I never prospered since I foreswore myself at Primero. 9 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 villainous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to bear.
Quick. And have not they suffered? Yes, I warrant; speciously one of them: mistress Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a white spot about her.
Fal. What tell'st thou me of black and blue? I was beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow, and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of Brentford; but that my admirable dexterity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of an old woman, deliver'd me, the knave constable had set me i' the stocks, i' the common stocks, for a witch.
Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber: you shall hear how things go; and, I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado here is to bring you together! Sure one of you does not serve heaven well, that you are so crossed.
Fal. Come up into my chamber.
Another Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FENTON and Host.
Host. Master Fenton, talk not to me; my mind is heavy, I will give over all.
Fent. Yet hear me speak: Assist me in my pur
And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee
Fent. From time to time I have acquainted you
[Showing the letter I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine host To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and one, 9 A game at cards.
Must my sweet Nan present the fairy queen;
Her mother, ever strong against that match,
Made promise to the doctor; - Now, thus it rests;
The better to denote her to the doctor
Fent. Both, my good host, to go along with me: And here it rests, that you'll procure the vicar To stay for me at church, 'twixt twelve and one, And, in the lawful name of marrying, To give our hearts united ceremony.
Host. Well, husband your device; I'll to the vicar:
Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest. Fent. So shall I evermore be bound to thee; Besides, I'll make a present recompense. [Exeunt.
- A Room in the Garter Inn.
How now, master Brook? master Brook, the matter will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the Park about midnight, at Herne's oak, and you shall see wonders.
Ford. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me you had appointed?
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 frenzy. I will tell you. — He beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of man, master Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaver's beam; because I know also, life is a shuttle. in haste; go along with me; I'll tell you all, master Brook. Since I plucked geese, played truant, and whipped top, I knew not what it was to be beaten, till lately. Follow me: I'll tell you strange things of this knave Ford: on whom to-night I will be revenged, and I will deliver his wife into your hand. - Follow: Strange things in hand, master Brook! follow. [Exeunt.
Slen. Ay, forsooth; I have spoke with her, and we have a nay-word, 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.
The Street in Windsor.
Enter Mrs. PAGE, Mrs. FORD, and Dr. CAIUS.
Mrs. Page. Master doctor, my daughter is in 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.
Caius. I know vat I have to do; Adieu.
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 marrying my daughter: but 'tis no matter; better a little chiding, than a great deal of heart-break.
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 the very instant of Falstaff's and our meeting, they will at once display to the night.
Mrs. Ford. That cannot choose but amaze him. Mrs. Page. If he be not amazed, he will be mocked; if he be amazed, he will every way be mocked.
Mrs. Ford. We'll betray him finely.
Mrs. Ford. The hour draws on; To the oak, to the oak! [Exeunt.
Keep to the time.
Enter Mrs. FORD and Mrs. Page.
Mrs. Ford. Sir John? art thou there, my deer? my male deer?
Fal. My doe?-Let the sky rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green Sleeves; hail kissingcomfits, and snow eringoes; I will shelter me here. [Embracing her. Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, sweet-heart.
Fal. Divide me like a bribe-buck, each a haunch: I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow of this walk, and my horns I bequeath your husbands. Am I a woodman? ha! Speak I like Herne the hunter?-Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience; he makes restitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome. [Noise within.
Mrs. Page. Alas! what noise?
Mrs. Page:} Away, away.
[They run off.
Fal. I think, the devil will not have me; he
would never else cross me thus.
Enter Sir HUGH EVANS, like a satyr; Mrs. QUICKLY 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,
Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.
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,
But those as sleep, and think not on their sins,
Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides, and
Quick. About, about;
Search Windsor Castle, elves, within and out:
Eva. Pray you, lock hand in hand; yourselves in order set:
And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be,
Fal. Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy! lest he transform me to a piece of cheese! Pist. Vile worm thou wast o'erlooked even in thy birth.
Quick. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end:
Eva. Come, will this wood take fire?
Fal. Oh, oh, oh!
Fye on sinful fantasy!
Kindled with unchaste desire,
Fed in heart; whose flames aspire,
As thoughts do blow them, higher and higher.
Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about,
[During this song, the fairies pinch Falstaff. Doctor Caius comes one way, and steals away a fairy in green; Slender another way, and takes off a fairy in white; and Fenton comes, and steals away Mrs. Anne Page. A noise of hunting is made within. All the fairies run away. Falstaff pulls off his buck's head, and rises.]
Enter PAGE, FORD, Mrs. PAGE, and Mrs. FORD. They lay hold on him.
Page. Nay, do not fly; I think we have watch'd
Now, good sir John, how like you Windsor wives? See you these, husband? do not these fair yokes 3 Become the forest better than the town?
Ford. Now, sir, who's a cuckold now?- Master Brook, Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldly knave; here are his horns, master Brook: And, master Brook, he hath enjoyed nothing of Ford's but his buckbasket, bis cudgel, and twenty pounds of money; which must be paid to master Brook; his horses are arrested for it, master Brook.
Mrs. Förd. Sir John, we have had ill luck: we could never meet. I will never take you for my love again, but I will always count you my deer. Fal. I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass. 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!
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,
Eva. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your when I took a boy for a girl: If I had been married 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 Welsh goat too? Shall I have a coxcomb of frize? 'tis time I were choked 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 late-walking, through the realm.
Mrs. Page. Why, sir John, do you think, though we would have thrust virtue out of our hearts by the head and shoulders, and have given ourselves without scruple to hell, that ever the devil could have made you our delight?
Ford. What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax?
Ford. And one that is as slanderous as Satan?
Ford. And as wicked as his wife?
Eva. And given 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 Welsh 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.
3 Horns which Falstaff had.
A fool's cap of Welsh materials.
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. Master Slender, cannot you see but marry boys?
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.
Mrs. Page. Why, did you take her in green? Caius. Ay, by gar, and 'tis a boy by gar, I'll raise all Windsor. [Exit CAIUS. Ford. This is strange: Who hath got the right Anne?
Page. My heart misgives me: Here comes 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,
Fent. You do amaze her: Hear the truth of it. You would have married her most shamefully, Where there was no proportion held in love. The truth is, she and I, long since contracted, Are now so sure, that nothing can dissolve us. The offence is holy, that she hath committed: And this deceit loses the name of craft, Of disobedience, or unduteous title;