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1 Serv. I hope not; I had as lief bear so searched a hollow walnut for his wife's leman. much lead.
Satisfy me once more ; once more search with me.
Mrs Ford. What hoa, mistress Page ! come Enter FORD, Page, Shallow, Caius, and Sir you, and the old woman, down; my husband Hugh EVANS.
will come into the chamber. Ford. Ay, but if it prove true, master Page, Ford. Old woman! What old woman's that? have you any way then to unfool me again ?-Set Mrs Ford. Why, it is my maid's aunt of down the basket, villain ; somebody call my Brentford. wife : -You, youth in a basket, come out Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening here !—0, you panderly rascals! there's a knot, quean! Have I not forbid her my house ? She a ging, a pack, a conspiracy against me: Now comes of errands, does she? We are simple men; shall the devil be shamed. "What! wife, I say! we do not know what's brought to pass under come, come forth; behold what honest clothes the profession of fortune-telling. She works by you send forth to the bleaching.
charms, by spells, by the figure, and such dauPage. Why, this passes ! Master Ford, you bery as this is; beyond our element: we know are not to go loose any longer; you must be nothing. -Come down, you witch, you hag pinioned.
you ; come down, I say. Eva. Why, this is lunatics ! this is mad as a Mrs Ford. Nay, good, sweet husband ;mad dog!
good gentlemen, let him not strike the old wo Shal. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well ; man. indeed.
Enter Falstaff in women's clothes, led by Enter Mrs FORD.
Mrs PAGE. Ford. So say I too, sir.--Come hither, mis Mrs Page. Come, mother Prat, come, give me tress Ford ; mistress Ford, the honest woman, your hand. the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that Ford. I'll prat her : -Out of my door, hath the jealous fool to her husband ! I suspect you witch ! (beats him] you rag, you baggage, without cause, mistress, do I?
you polecat, you ronyon? out ! out! Il conMrs Ford. Heaven be my witness, you do, if jure you, I'll fortune-tell you. [Exit Falstaff you suspect me in any dishonesty.
Mrs Page. Are you not ashamed ? I think, Ford. Well said, brazen-face; hold it out.- you have killed the poor woman. Come forth, sirrah.
Mrs Ford. Nay, he will do it :-'Tis a good[Pulls the clothes out of the basket. ly credit for you. Page. This passes !
Ford. Hang her, witch ! Mrs Ford. Are you not ashamed ? let the Eva. By yea and no, I think the 'oman is a clothes alone.
witch indeed: I like not when a 'oman has a Ford. I shall find you anon.
great peard ; I spy a great peard under her mufa Eva. 'Tis unreasonable! Will
fler. your wife's clothes? Come away.
Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen ? I beseech Ford. Empty the basket, I say.
you, follow ; see but the issue of my jealousy : Mrs Ford. Why, man, why,
if I cry out thus upon no trail, never trust me Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there was when I open again. one conveyed out of my house yesterday in this Page. Let's
obey his humour a little farther : basket: Why may not he be there again? In Come, gentlemen. my house I am sure he is: my intelligence is [Ereunt Page, Ford, Shallow, and Evans. true; my jealousy is reasonable: Pluck me out Mrs Page. Trust me, he beat him most pitiall the linen.
fully: Mrs Ford. If you find a man there, he shall Mrs Ford. Nay, by the mass, that he did not ; die a flea's death.
he beat him most unpitifully, methought. Page. Here's no man.
Mrs Page. I'll have the cudgel hallowed, and Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, master hang o'er the altar ; it hath done meritorious
this wrongs you. Eva. Master Ford, you must pray, and not Mrs Ford. What think you ? May we, with follow the imaginations of your own heart: this the warrant of womanhood, and the witness of is jealousies.
a good conscience, pursue him with any farther Ford. Well, he's not here I seek for.
revenge? Page. No, nor no where else, but in your Mrs Page. The spirit of wantonness is, sure, brain.
scared out of him ; if the devil have him not in Ford. Help to search.my house this one time: fee simple, with fine and recovery, he will never, if I find not what I seek, show no colour for my I think, in the way of waste, attempt us again. extremity, let me for ever be your table-sport; Mrs Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how let them say of me, As jealous as Ford, that I we have served him?
Mrs Page. Yes, by all means ; if it be but Page. So think I too. to scrape the figures out of your husband's brains. Mrs Ford. Devise but how you'll use him, If they can find in their hearts, the poor unvir
when he comes, tuous fat knight shall be any farther afflicted, And let us two devise to bring him thither. me two will still be the ministers.
Mrs Page. There is an old tale goes, that Mrs Ford. I'll warrant, they'll have him pub Herne the hunter, lickly shamed : and, methinks, there would be sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest, no period to the jest, should he not be publickly Doth all the winter time, at still midnight, shamed.
Walk round about an oak with great ragg'd Mrs Page. Come, to the forge with it then,
horns; shape it: I would not have things cool. And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cata
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes SCENE III.-A room in the Garter Inn,
In a most hideous and dreadful manner :
You have heard of such a spirit; and well you Bard. Sir, the Germans desire to have three know, of your horses: the duke himself will be to- The superstitious idle-headed eld morrow at court, and they are going to meet him. Received, and did deliver to our age,
Host. What duke should that be, comes so This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth, secretly? I hear not of him in the court : Let Page. Why, yet there want not many, that me speak with the gentlemen; they speak Eng
do fear lish?
In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak: Bard. Ay, sir; I'll call them to you.
But what of this ? Host. They shall have my horses; but I'll Mrs Ford. Marry, this is our device; make them pay, I'll sauce them: they have had That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us, my houses a week at command; I have turned Disguised like Herne, with huge horns on his away my other guests : they must come off; I'll head. sauce them: Come.
[Ereunt. Page. Well, let it not be doubted but he'll
come, SCENE IV.-A room in Ford's house. And in this shape : When you have brought
him thither, Enter Page, FORD, Mrs Page, Mrs FORD, and What shall be done with him ? what is your Sir Hugh Evans.
plot? Eva. 'Tis one of the pest discretions of a 'oman Mrs Page. That likewise have we thought as ever I did look upon.
upon, and thus : Page. And did he send you both these letters Nan Page my daughter, and my little son, at an instant ?
And three or four more of their growth, we'll Mrs Page. Within a quarter of an hour.
dress Ford. Pardon me, wife: Henceforth do what Like urchins, ouphes, and fairies, green and thou wilt ;
white, I rather will suspect the sun with cold, With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads, Than thee with wantonness: now doth thy ho- | And rattles in their hands; upon a sudden, nour stand
As Falstaff, she, and I, are newly met, In him, that was of late an heretick,
Let them from forth a saw-pit rush at once As firm as faith.
With some diffused song; upon their sight, Page. 'Tis well, 'tis well; no more.
We two in great amazedness will fly: Be not as extreme in submission,
Then let them all encircle him about, As in offence;
And, fairy-like, to pinch the unclean knight; But let our plot go forward: let our wives And ask him, why, that hour of fairy revel, Yet once again, to make us public sport, In their so secret paths he dares to tread, Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow, In shape profane. Where we may take him, and disgrace him for it. Mrs Ford. And till he tell the truth, Ford. There is no better way than that they Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound, spoke of.
And burn him with their tapers. Page. How! to send him word they'll meet Mrs Page. The truth being known, him in the park at midnight! fie, fie; he'll ne We'll all present ourselves ; dis-horn the spirit,
And mock him home to Windsor, Eva. You say, he has been thrown into the Ford. The children must rivers; and has been grievously peaten, as an old Be practis'd well to this, or they'll ne'er do't. Poman : methinks, there should be terrors in him, Eva. I will teach the children their behaviours; that he should not come ; methinks, his flesh is and I will be like a jack-an-apes also, to burn punished, he shall have no desires.
the knight with my taber.
Ford. That will be excellent.
I'll go buy
Sim. Pray you, sir, was't not the wise woman them vizards.
of Brentford ? Mrs Page, My Nan shall be the queen of all Fal. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell: What the fairies,
would you with her? Finely attired in a robe of white.
Sim. My master, sir, my master Slender, sent Page. That silk will I go buy ;-and in that to her, seeing her go thorough the streets, to time
know, sir, whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled Shall master Slender steal my Nan away,
him of a chain, had the chain, or no.
[Aside. Fal. I spake with the old woman about it. And marry her at Eton.-Go, send to Falstaff Sim. And what
says she, I pray, sir? straight.
Fal. Marry, she says, that the very same Ford. Nay, I'll to him again in name of man, that beguiled master Slender of his chain, Brook :
cozened him of it. He'll tell me all his purpose : Sure, he'll come. Sim. I would, I could have spoken with the Mrs Page. Fear not you that. Go, get us woman herself; I had other things to have spoproperties,
ken with her too, from him. And tricking for our fairies.
Fal. What are they? let us know. Eva. Let us about it: It is admirable plea Host. Ay, come; quick. sures, and fery honest knaveries.
Sim. I may not conceal them, sir. [Exeunt Page, Ford, and Evans. Fal. Conceal them, or thou diest. Mrs Page. Go, mistress Ford,
Sim. Why, sir, they were nothing but about Send Quickly to sir John, to know his mind. mistress Anne Page: to know, if it were my
[Erit Mrs Ford. master's fortune to have her, or no. I'll to the doctor; he hath my good will,
Fal. 'Tis, 'tis his fortune. And none but he, to marry with Nan Page. Sim. What, sir? That Slender, though weli landed, is an idiot ; Fal. To have her,-or no: Go; say, the woAnd he my husband best of all affects :
man told me so. The doctor is well money'd, and his friends Sim. May I be so bold to say so, sir? Potent at court: he, none but he, shall have her, Fal. Ay, sir Tike; who more bold ? Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave Sim. I thank your worship: I shall make my her.
[Exit. master glad with these tidings. [Exit Simple.
Host. Thou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, sir SCENE V.-A room in the Garter Inn. John: Was there a wise woman with thee?
Fal. Ay, that there was, mine host; one, that Enter Host and SIMPLE.
hath taught me more wit than ever I learned Host. What would'st thou have, boor? what, before in my life: and I paid nothing for it nei. thick-skin? speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, ther, but was paid for my learning. quick, snap. Sim. Marry, sir, I come to speak with sir
Enter BARDOLPH. John Falstaff from master Slender.
Host. There's his chamber, his house, his Bard. Out, alas, sir! cozenage! mere cozencastle, his standing-bed, and truckle-bed; 'tis painted about with the story of the prodigal, Host. Where be my horses? speak well of fresh and new: Go, knock and call; he'll speak them, varletto. like an Anthropophaginian unto thee: Knock, I Bard. Run away with the cozeners: for so say.
soon as I came beyond Eton, they threw me off, Sim. There's an old woman, a fat woman, from behind one of them, in a slough of mire ; gone up into his chamber; I'll be so bold as and set spurs, and away, like three German de stay, sir, till she come down: I come to speak vils, three doctor Faustuses. with her, indeed.
Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, Host. Ha! a fat woman! the knight may be villain : do not say, they be fled ; Germans are robbed : I'll call.-Bully knight! Bully sir honest men, John! speak from thy lungs military: Art thou there? it is thine host, thine Ephesian, calls.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans. Fal. [Above.] How now, mine host ?
Host. Here's a Bohemian Tartar tarries the Eva. Where is mine host ? coming down of thy fat woman : Let her de Host. What is the matter, sir? scend, bully, let her descend; my chambers are Eva. Have a care of your entertainments: honourable : Fye! privacy? fye!
there is a friend of mine come to town, tells Enter Falstaff.
me, there is three cousin germans, that has co
zened all the hosts of Reading, of Maidenhead, Fal. There was, mine host, an old fat woman of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell you even now with me; but she's gone.
for good-will, look you: you are wise, and full
of gibes and vlouting-stogs; and 'tis not conve Fent. Yet hear me speak : Assist me in my nient you should be cozened: Fare you well.
A hundred pound in gold, more than your loss.
Host. I will hear you, master Fenton; and I Caius. Vere is mine host de Jarterre ? will, at the least, keep your counsel.
Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, and Fent. From time to time I have acquainted doubtful dilemma.
you Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat: But it is tell. With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page; a me, dat you make grand preparation for a duke Who, mutually, hath answer'd
affection de Jarmany: by my trot, dere is no duke, dat (So far forth as herself might be her chooser,) de court is know to come: I tell you for good Èven to my wish: I have a letter from her vill: adieu.
[Erit. Of such contents as you will wonder at; Host. Hue and cry, villain, go:-assist me, The mirth whereof so larded with my matter, knight; I am undone :-fly, run, hue and cry, That neither, singly, can be manifested, villain! I am undone!
Without the show of both ;-wherein fat Fal[Ereunt Host and Bardolph. staff Fal. I would, all the world might be cozen Hath a great scene: the image of the jest ed; for I have been cozened, and beaten too. If
Showing the letter. it should come to the ear of the court, how I I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine have been transformed, and how my transform
host: ation bath been washed and cudgelled, they To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, and
one, liquor fishermen's boots with me; I warrant, Must my sweet Nan present the fairy queen; they would whip me with their fine wits, till í The purpose why, is here; in which disguise, were as crest-fallen as a dried pear. I never While other jests are something rank on foot, prospered since I forswore myself at primero. Her father hath commanded her to slip Well, if my wind were but long enough to say Away with Slender, and with him at Eton my prayers, I would repent.
Immediately to marry: she hath consented :
Her mother, even strong against that match, Now! whence come you?
And firm for doctor Caius, hath appointed Quick. From the two parties, forsooth. That he shall likewise shuffle her away, Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam While other sports are tasking of their minds, the other, and so they shall be both bestowed ! And at the deanery, where a priest attends, I have suffered more for their sakes, more, than Straight marry her : to this her mother's plot the villainous inconstancy of man's disposition is She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath able to bear.
Made promise to the doctor ;-Now, thus it rests; Quick. And have not they suffered ? Yes, I Her father means she shall be all in white; warrant ; speciously one of them; mistress Ford, And in that habit, when Slender sees his time good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you To take her by the hand, and bid her
go, cannot see a white spot about her.
She shall go with him :-her mother hath in« Fal. What tell'st thou me of black and blue?
tended, I was beaten myself into all the colours of the The better to denote her to the doctor, rainbow; and I was like to be apprehended for (For they must all be mask'd and vizarded,) the witch of Brentford; but that my admirable That, quaint in green, she shall be loose enrob’d, dexterity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of With ribbands pendant, flaring 'bout her head; an old woman, delivered me, the knave constable And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe, had set me i'the stocks, i' the common stocks, To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token, for a witch.
The maid hath given consent to go with him. Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your Host. Which means she to deceive ? father or chamber :
: you shall hear how things go; and, I mother? Warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will Fent. Both, my good host, to go along with me: say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado here is And here it rests,-that you'll procure the vicar to bring you together! Sure, one of you does To stay for me at church, 'twixt twelve and one, not
serve heaven well, that you are so crossed. And, in the lawful name of marrying,
Host. Well, husband your device ; I'll to the SCENE VI.-Another room in the Garter Inn.
Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest. Enter Fenton and Host.
Fent. So shall I evermore be bound to thee; Host. Master Fenton, talk not to me; my Besides, I'll make a present recompense. mind is heavy, I will give over all.
No man means evil but the devil, and we shall SCENE I.-A room in the Garter Inn. know him by his horns. Let's away; follow
[Exeunt. Enter FALSTAFF and Mrs QUICKLY, Fal. Pr’ythee, no more prattling ;-go
SCENE III.-The street in Windsor. hold: this is the third time; I hope, good luck lies in odd numbers. Away, go ; they say, there
Enter Mrs Page, Mrs FORD, and Dr Cairs. is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, Mrs Page. Master doctor, my daughter is in chance, or death.—Away.
green : when you see your time, take her by the Quick. I'll provide you a chain ; and I'll do hand, away with her to the deanery, and despatch what I can to get you a pair of horns.
it quickly: Go before into the park; we two Fal. Away, I say ; time wears : hold up your must go together. head, and mince.
[Erit Mrs Quickly. Caius. I know vat I have to do ; adieu.
Mrs Page. Fare you well, sir. [Erit Caius.] Enter FORD.
- My husband will not rejoice so much at the How now, master Brook? Master Brook, the abuse of Falstaff, as he will chafe at the doctor's matter will be known to-night, or never. Be marrying my daughter : but 'tis no matter ; you in the park about midnight, at Herne's oak, better a little chiding, than a great deal of heartand you shall see wonders.
break. Ford. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as Mrs Ford. Where is Nan now, and her troop you told me you had appointed?
of fairies ? and the Welch devil, Hugh? Fal. I went to her, master Brook, as you see, Mrs Page. They are all couched in a pit hard like a poor old man: but I came from her, mas- by Herne's oak, with obscured lights; which, ter Brook, like a poor old woman.
at the very instant of Falstaff's and our meeting, knave, her husband, hath the finest mad devil | they will at once display to the night. of jealousy in him, master Brook, that ever go Mrs Ford. That cannot choose but amaze verned frenzy. I will tell you.—He beat me him. grievously, in the shape of a woman ; for in the Mrs Page. If he be not amazed, he will be shape of man, master Brook, I fear not Goliath mocked ; if he be amazed, he will every way be with a weaver's beam ; because I know also, life mocked. is a shuttle. I am in haste; go along with me; Mrs Ford. We'll betray him finely. I'll tell you all, master Brook. Since I plucked Mrs Page. Against such lewdsters, and their geese, played truant, and whipped top, I knew
lechery, not what it was to be beaten, till lately. Fol- Those that betray them do no treachery. low me: I'll tell you strange things of this Mrs Ford. The hour draws on; to the oak, knave Ford ; on whom to-night I will be reven- to the oak !
[Ereunt. ged, and I will deliver his wife into your hand. - Follow; strange things in hand, master Brook !
SCENE IV.-Windsor Park. follow.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans, and Fairies. SCENE II.-Windsor Park.
Eva. Trib, trib, fairies ; come ; and remem
ber your parts : be pold, I pray you ; follow me Enter Page, Shallow, and SLENDER.
into the pit; and when I give you the watchPage. Come, come; we'll couch i' the castle- | 'ords, do as I pid you ; come come ; trib, trib. ditch, till we see the light of our fairies.- Re
[Ereunt. member, son Slender, my daughter.
Slen. Ay, forsooth; I have spoke with her, SCENE V.-Another part of the Park. and we have a nay-word, how to know one another. I come to her in white, and cry, mum ;
Enter Falstaff disguised, with a buck's head on. she cries, budget ; and by that we know one Fal. The Windsor bell hath struck twelve ; another.
the minute draws on: Now, the hot-blooded Shal. That's good too: but what needs either gods assist me :-Remember, Jove, thou wast a your mum, or her budget? the white will deci- bull for thy Europa ; love set on thy horns.pher her well enough.—It hath struck ten o' 0, powerful love ! that, in some respects, makes clock.
a beast a man ; in some other, a man a beast. Page. The night is dark ; light and spirits You were also, Jupiter, a swan, for the love of will become it well. Heaven prosper our sport ! | Leda ;-0, omnipotent love ! how near the god