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SCENE I. A Room in Ford's House. Mrs. Ford. He will seek there on my word.

Neither press, coffer, chest, trunk, well, vault, but Enter FALSTAFF and Mrs. FORD.

he hath an abstract for the remembrance of such Fal. Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up places, and goes to them by his note: There is no my sufferance: I see you are obsequious in your hiding you in the house. love, and I profess requital to a hair's breadth; not Fal. I'll go out then. only, mistress Ford, in the simple office of love, but Mrs. Page. If you go out in your own semin all the accoutrement, complement, and ceremony blance, you die, sir John. Unless you go out disof it. But are you sure of your husband now? guised.

Mrs. Ford. He's a birding, sweet sir John. Mrs. Ford. How might we disguise him? Mrs. Page. [Within.) What hoa, gossip Ford ! Mrs. Page. Alas the day, I know not. There what hoa!

is no woman's gown big enough for him; otherMrs. Ford. Step into the chamber, sir John. wise, he might put on a hat, a muffler, and a ker.

(Erit FalstAFF, chief, and so escape. Enter Mrs. PAGE.

Fal. Good hearts, devise something: any extreMrs. Page. How now, sweetheart? who's at mity rather than a mischief. home beside yourself?

Mrs. Ford. My maid's aunt, the fat woman of Mrs. Ford. Why, none but mine own people.

Brentford, has a gown above. Mrs. Page. Indeed ?

Mrs. Page. On my word, it will serve him ; Mrs. Ford. No, certainly; - speak louder. (Aside. she's as big as he is : and there's her thrum'd hat

, Mrs. Page. Truly, I am so glad you have nobody and her muffler too : Run up, sir John. here.

Mrs. Ford. Go, go, sweet sir Jolin : mistress Mrs. Ford. Why?

Page and I will look some linen for your head. Mrs. Page. Why, woman, your husband is in

Mrs. Page. Quick, quick; we'll come dress you his own lunes 9 again : he so takes on yonder with straight: put on the gown the while. [Erit Falstair. my husband; so rails against all married mankind;

Mrs. Ford. I would my husband would meet him so curses all Eve's daughters, of what complexion in this shape : he cannot abide the old woman of soever; and so buffets himself on the forehead, cry- Brentford; he swears she's a witch : forbade her ing Peer out, peer out! that any madness I ever my house, and hath threatened to beat her. yet beheld seemed but tameness, civility, and pa

Mrs. Page. Heaven guide him to thy husband's tience, to this his distemper he is in now : I am cudgel ; and the devil guide his cudgel afterwards ! glad the fat knight is not here.

Mrs. Ford. But is my husband coming ? Mrs. Ford. Why, does he talk of him?

Mrs. Page. Ay, in good sadness is he; and talks Mrs. Page. Of none but him; and swears, he of the basket too, howsoever he hath had intelliwas carried out, the last time he searched for him gence. in a basket : protests to my husband he is now

Mrs. Ford. We'll try that ; for I'll appoint my here; and hath drawn him and the rest of their men to carry the basket again, to meet him at the company from their sport, to make another experi- door with it, as they did last time. ment of his suspicion : but I am glad the knight is

Mrs. Page. Nay, but he'll be here presently; not here ; now he shall see his own foolery.


dress him like the witch of Brentford. Mrs. Ford. How near is he, mistress Page ?

Mrs. Ford. I'll first direct my men, what they Mrs. Page. Hard by; at street end; he will be shall do with the basket. Go up, I'll bring linen here anon.

for him straight. Mrs. Ford. I am undone !- the knight is here.

Mrs. Page. Hang him, dishonest varlet! we canMrs. Page. Why, then you are utterly shamed, not misuse him enough. and he's but a dead man. What a woman are you?

We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do, - Away with him, away with him ; better shame

Wives may be merry, and yet honest too. (Esi. than murder.

Re-enter Mrs. Ford, with two servants. Mrs. Ford. Which way should he go? how should I bestow him ? Shall I put him into the

Mrs. Ford. Go, sirs, take the basket again on basket again?

your shoulders; your master is hard at door; if he Re-enter FALSTAFF.

bid you set it down, obey him: quickly, dispatch. Fal. No, I'll come no more i' the basket : May 1 Serv. Come, come, take it up. I not go out ere he come?

2 Serv. Pray heaven, it be not full of the knight Mrs. Page. Alas, three of master Ford's bro- again. thers watch the door with pistols, that none shall 1 Serv. I hope not; I had as lief bear so much issue out; otherwise you might slip away ere he lead.

But what make you here?
Fal. Whall shall I do? — I'll creep up into the

Enter Ford, Page, Shallow, Carus, and Sir

Hugh Evans. chimney. Mrs. Ford. There they always use to discharge you any way then to unfool me again ? - Set down




Ford. Ay, but if it prove true, master Page, have their birding pieces: creep into the kiln-hole. Fal. Where is it?

the basket, villain : Somebody call my wife
You, youth in a basket, come out here! - 0, you
panderly rascals! there's a knot, a gang, a pack, a

9 Mad fits.

conspiracy against me: Now shall the devil bel Ford. I'll prat her: — out of my door, you shamedWhat! wife, I say ! come, come forth; witch! (beats him.] you rag, you baggage, you behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleach-pole-cat, you ronyon!? out ! out! I'll conjure you, ing.

I'll fortune-tell you.

(Erit FAL. Page. Why, this passes! Master Ford, you are not Mrs. Page. Are you not ashamed? I think you to go loose any longer; you must be pinioned. have kill'd the poor woman.

Eva. Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad Mrs. Ford, Nay, he will do it: - 'Tis a goodly dog!

credit for you. Shal. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well; in Ford. Hang her, witch ! deed.

Eva. By yea and no, I think, the 'oman is a witch Enter Mrs. FORD.

indeed : I like not when a 'oman has a great peard; Ford. So say I too, sir. - Come hither, mistress

I spy a great peard under her muffler. Ford; mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest

Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen ? I beseech wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool | you, follow ; see but the issue of my jealousy: if I to her husband! - I suspect without cause, mistress,

cry out thus upon no trails, never trust me when I do I?

open again. Mrs. Ford. Heaven be my witness, you do, if you

Page. Let's obey his humour a little further : suspect me in any dishonesty.

Come, gentlemen. Ford. Well said, brazen-face; hold it out.

[Éreunt Page, FORD, SHALLOW, and Evans. Come forth, sirrah.

Mrs Page. Trust me, he beat him most pitifully. (Pulls the clothes out of the basket. l;

1. Mrs. Ford. Nay, by the mass, that he did not; Page. This passes !

he beat himn most unpitifully, methought. Mrs. Ford. Are you not ashamed ? let the clothes

Mrs. Page. I'll have the cudgel hallowed ; it hath alone.

done meritorious service. Ford. I shall find you anon.

Mrs. Ford. What think you ? May we, with the Eva. 'Tis unreasonable! Come away.

warrant of womanhood, and the witness of a good Ford. Empty the basket, I say.

conscience, pursue him with any further revenge? Mrs. Ford. Why, man, why, —

Mrs. Page. The spirit of wantonness is, sure, Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there was one scared out of him; if the devil have him not in feeconveyed out of my house yesterday in this basket : simple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I Why may not he be there again? In my house I am think, attempt us again. sure he is : my intelligence is true; my jealousy is

Mrs. Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how we reasonable : Pluck me out all the linen.

have served him ? Mrs. Ford. If you find a man there, he shall die Mrs. Page. Yes, by all means; if it be but to a flea's death.

scrape the figures out of your husband's brains. If Page. Here's no man.

they can find in their hearts, the poor unvirtuous Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, master Ford; | fat knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will this wrongs you.

still be the ministers. Eva. Master Ford, you must pray, and not fol. Mrs. Ford. "I'll warrant, they'll have bim publow the imaginations of your own heart: this is | lickly shamed : and, methinks, there would be no jealousies.

period to the jest, should he not be publickly Ford. Well, he's not here I seek for

shamed. Page. No, nor no where else, but in your brain. Mrs. Page. Come, to the forge with it then, shape

Ford. Help to search my house this one time : it: I would not have things cool. (Ereunt. if I find not what I seek, show no colour for my extremity, let me for ever be your table-sport; let

SCENE II. - A Room in the Garter Inn. them say of me, As jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow walnut for his wife's leman.' Satisfy me once

Enter Host and BARDOLPH. more; once more search with me.

Bard. Sir, the Germans desire to have three of Mrs. Ford. What hoa, mistress Page! come you, your horses: the duke himself will be to-morrow at and the old woman down; my husband will come court, and they are going to meet him. into the chamber.

Host. What duke should that be, comes so seFord. Old woman! What old woman's that? cretly? I hear not of him in the court : Let me Mrs. Ford. Why, it is my maid's aunt of Brentford. speak with the gentlemen ; they speak English ?

Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! || Bard. Ay, sir ; I'll call them to you. Have I not forbid her my house? She comes of er- Host. They shall have my horses; but I'll make rands, does she? We are simple men ; we do not them pay, I'll sauce them : they have had my houses know what's brought to pass under the profession a week at command; I have turned away my other of fortune-telling. She works by charms, by spells, guests: they must come off; I'll sauce them : Come. by the figure, and such daubery as this is; beyond

[Exeunt. our element: we know nothing. — Come down,

SCENE III. – A Room in Ford's House. you witch, you hag you; come down, I say. Mrs. Ford. Nay, good, sweet husband; — good

Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and gentlemen, let bim not strike the old woman.

Sir Hugh Evans. Enter Falstaff in woman's clothes, led by Mrs. Eva. 'Tis one of the pest discretions of a 'oman

as ever I did look upon. Mrs. Page. Come, mother Pratt, come, give me

Page. And did he send you both these letters at your hand.

an instant ? | Lover.

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Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour.

Mrs. Page.

The truth being known, Ford. Pardon me, wife: Henceforth do what We'll all present ourselves; dis-horn the spirit, thou wilt ;

And mock him home to Windsor. I rather will suspect the sun with cold,


The children must Than thee with wantonness : now doth thy honour Be practised well to this, or they'll ne'er do't. stand,

Eva. I will teach the children their behaviours; In him that was of late an heretick,

and I will be like a jack-an-apes also, to burn the As firm as faith.

knight with my taber. Page.

'Tis well, 'tis well; no more. Ford. That will be excellent. I'll go buy them Be not as extreme in submission,

vizards. As in offence ;

Mrs. Page. My Nan shall be the queen of all the But let our plot go forward : let our wives

fairies, Yet once again, to make us publick sport,

Finely attired in a robe of white. Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,

Page. That silk will I go buy ; - and in that time Where we may take him, and disgrace him for it. Shall master Slender steal my Nan away, { Aside. Ford. There is no better way than that they And marry her at Eton. Go, send to Falstaff spoke of.

straight. Page. How! to send him word they'll meet him Ford. Nay, I'll to him again in name of Brook : in the park at midnight ! fie, fie! he'll never come. He'll tell me all his purpose : Sure, he'll come

Evu You say, he has been thrown in the rivers ; Mrs. Page. Fear not you that : Go, get us proand has been grievously peaten, as an old 'oman ::

perties, methinks, there should be terrors in him, that he And tricking for our fairies. should not come.

Eva. Let us about it: It is admirable pleasures, Page. So think I too.

and fery honest knaveries. Mrs. Ford. Devise but how you'll use him when

[Exeunt Page, FORD, and Evans. he comes,

Mrs. Page. Go, mistress Ford,
And let us two devise to bring him thither. Send quickly to sir John, to know his mind.
Mrs. Page. There is an old tale goes, that Herne

(Erit Mrs. FORD the hunter,

I'll to the doctor; he hath my good will, Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest, And none but he, to marry with Nan Page. Doth all the winter time, at still midnight, That Slender, though well landed, is an idiot; Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd norns; And he my husband best of all affects : And there he blasts the tree, and takes + the cattle; The doctor is well money'd, and his friends And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a Potent at court; he, none but he, shall have her, chain

Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave her. In a most hideous and dreadful manner :

[Exit. You have heard of such a spirit; and well you know, The superstitious idle-headed eld 5

SCENE IV. A Room in the Garter Inn. Received, and did deliver to our age, This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.

Enter Host and SIMPLE. Page. Why, yet there want not many, that do fear

Host. What would'st thou have, boor? what, In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak :

thick-skin? speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, But what of this?

quick, snap. Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device;

Sim. Marry, sir, I come to speak with sir John That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us, Falstaff from master Slender. Disguis'd like Herne, with huge horns on his head.

Host. There's his chamber, his house, his castle, Page. Well, let it not be doubted but he'll come, his standing-bed, and truckle-bed ; 'tis painted about And in this shape: When you have brought him with the story of the prodigal, fresh and new: Go, thither,

knock and call; he'll speak like an AnthropophaWhat shall be done with him ? what is your plot ? ginian 7 unto thee : Knock, I say. Mrs. Page. That likewise have we thought upon, Sim. There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone and thus :

up into his chamber; I'll be so bold as stay, sir, Nan Page my daughter, and my little son,

till she come down : I come to speak with her, inAnd three or four more of their growth, we'll dress deed. Like urchins, ouphes, and fairies, green and white, Host. Ha! a fat woman! the knight may be With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads, robbed : I'll call. - Bully knight! Buły sir John! And rattles in their hands; upon a sudden,

speak from thy lungs military : Art thou there? it As Falstaff, she, and I, are newly met,

is thine host, thine Ephesian, calls. Let them from forth a saw-pit rush at once

Fal. (above.] How now, mine host? With some diffused song ; upon their sight,

Host. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the comWe two in great amazedness will fly :

ing down of thy fat woman : Let her descend, bully, Then let them all encircle him about,

let her descend; my chambers are honourable: Fye! And, fairy-like, to pinch the unclean knight;

privacy! fye! And ask him, why, that hour of fairy-revel, In their so sacred paths he dares to tread,

Enter FALSTAFF. In shape prophane.

Ful. There was, mine host, an old fat woman Mrs. Ford. And till he tell the truth, even now with ine; but she's gone. Let the supposed fairies, pinch him sound,

Sim. Pray you, sir, was't not the wise woman of And burn him with their tapers.

Brentford ? 4 Strikes. 6 Elf, hobgoblin

7 A cannibal.

5 Old age.

Fal. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell; What Host. Hue and cry, villain, go : - assist me, would you with her ?

knight; I am undone : - fly, run, hue and cry, Sim. My master, sir, my master Slender, sent to / villain! I am undone! her, seeing her go through the streets, to know, sir,

[Exeunt Host and BARDOLPH. whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain, Fal. I would, all the world might be cozened; had the chain, or no.

for I have been cozened and beaten too. If it Fal. I spake with the old woman about it. should come to the ear of the court, how I have Sim. And what says she, I pray, sir?

been transformed, and how my transformation hath Fal. Marry, she says, that the very same man, been washed and cudgeled, they would melt me that beguiled master Slender of his chain, cozened out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermen's hiin of it.

boots with me; I warrant, they would whip me Sim. I would, I could have spoken with the with their fine wits, till I were as crest-fallen as a woman herself; I had other things to have spoken dried pear. I never prospered since I foreswore with her too, from him.

myself at Primero. 9 Well, if my wind were but Fal. What are they? let us know,

long enough to say my prayers, I would repent. — Host. Ay, come; quick. Sim. I may not conceal them, sir.

Enter Mrs. Quickly. Fal. Conceal them, or thou diest.

Now! whence come you? Sim. Why, sir, they were nothing but about Quick. From the two parties, forsooth. mistress Anne Page; to know, if it were my mas Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the ter's fortune to have her, or no.

other, and so they shall be both bestowed ! I have Fal. "Tis, 'tis his fortune.

suffered more for their sakes, more, than the vil. Sim. What, sir?

lainous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to Fal. To have her, - or no: Go; say, the woman bear, told me so.

Quick. And have not they suffered ? Yes, I warSim. May I be so bold to say so, sir?

rant; speciously one of them: mistress Ford, good Fal. Ay, sir Tike; who more bold?

heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot Sim. I thank your worship: I shall make my see a white spot about her. master glad with these tidings. (Erit SIMPLE. Fal. What tell'st thou me of black and blue? I

Host. Thou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, sir was beaten myself into all the colours of the rainiJohn. Was there a wise woman with thee? bow, and I was like to be apprehended for the

Fal. Ay, that there was, mine host; one, that witch of Brentford; but that my admirable dexhath taught me more wit than ever I learned before terity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of an in my life : and I paid nothing for it neither, but old woman, deliver'd me, the knave constable had was paid for my learning.

set me i' the stocks, i' the common stocks, for a Enter BardoLPH.


Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamBard. Out, alas, sir! cozenage ! mere cozenage! ber : you shall hear how things go; and, I warrant,

Hust. Where be my borses ? speak well of them, to your content. Here is a letter will say soinevarletto.

what. Good hearts, what ado here is to bring you Bard. Run away with the cozeners: for so soon together! Sure one of you does not serve heaven as I came beyond Eton, they threw me off, from well, that you are so crossed. behind one of them, in a slough of mire ; and set Fal. Come up into my chamber.

Fal. Come up into my chamber. (Exeunt. spurs, and away, like three German devils, three Doctor Faustuses.

SCENE V. - Another Room in the Garter Inn. Hist. They are gone but to meet the duke, vil. Jain. do not say, they be filed; Germans are honest

Enter FENTON and Host. men.

Host. Master Fenton, talk not to me; my mind Enter Sir Hugh Evans.

is heavy, I will give over all. Eva. Where is mine host ?

Fent. Yet hear me speak : Assist me in my purHost. What is the matter, sir ?

pose, Eva. Have a care of your entertainments : there And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee is a friend of mine come to town, tells me, there is A hundred pound in gold, more than your loss. three couzin germans, that has cozened all the Host. I will hear you, master Fenton; and I will, hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, at the least, keep your counsel. of horses and money. I tell you for good-will, look Fent. From time to time I have acquainted you you : you are wise, and full of gibes and vlouting. With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page ; stogs; and 'tis not convenient you should be co- Who, mutually, hath answered my affection zened: Fare you well.

(Erit. (So far forth as herself might be her chooser),

Even to my wish: I have a letter from her
Enter Doctor Calus.

Of such contents as you will wonder at;
Caius. Vere is mine Host de Jarterre ?

The mirth whereof so larded with my matter, Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, and That neither, singly, can be manifested, doubtful dilemma.

Without the show of both ; — wherein fat Falstaff Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat : but it is tell-a me,

Hath a great scene : the image of the jest dat you make grand preparation for a duke de Jur

(Showing the letter many : by my trot, dere is no duke, dat the court | I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine host is know to come; I tell you for good vill : Adieu. | Tonight at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and one.

(Exů. & Scholar like.

9 A game at cards,

Must my sweet Nan present the fairy queen ; The better to denote her to the doctor
The purpose why, is here; in which disguise, (For they must all be mask'd and vizarded),
While other jests are something rank on foot, That, quaint in green, she shall be loose enrob'd,
Her father hath commanded her to slip

With ribands pendant, flaring 'bout her head ; Away with Slender, and with him at Eton

And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe, Immediately to marry: she hath consented : To pinch her by the hand, and on that token, Now, sir,

The maid hath given consent to go with him. Her mother, ever strong against that match,

Host. Which means she to deceive? father And firm for doctor Caius, hath appointed

mother? That he shall likewise shuffle her away,

Fent. Both, my good host, to go along with me While other sports are tasking of their minds, And here it rests, that you'll procure the vicar And at the deanery, where a priest attends, To stay for me at church, 'twixt twelve and one, Straight marry her: to this her mother's plot And, in the lawful name of marrying, She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath

To give our hearts united ceremony. Made promise to the doctor ; – Now, thus it rests ; Host. Well, husband your device; I'll to th Her father means she shall be all in white;

vicar : And in that habit, when Slender sees his time Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest. To take her by the hand, and bid her go,

Feni. So shall I evermore be bound to thee; She shall go with him : - her mother hath intended, 1 Besides, I'll make a present recompense. (Exeun


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SCENE I. - A Room in the Garter Inn. Slen. Ay, forsooth ; I have spoke with her, an

we have a nay-word , how to know one another. Enter FALSTAFF and Mrs. QUICKLY.

come to her in white, and cry mum; she cri Fal. Pr'ythee, no more prattling; -go. - I'll budget ; and by that we know one another. hold 1: This is the third time; I hope, good luck Shal. That's good too : But what needs eith lies in odd numbers. Away, go; they say, there is your mum or her budget ? the white will deciph divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, her well enough. — It hath struck ten o'clock. or death. Away.

Page. The night is dark; light and spirits wi Quick. I'll provide you a chain; and I'll do what become it well. Heaven prosper our sport ! N I can to get you a pair of horns.

man means evil but the devil, and we shall kno Fal. Away, I say; time wears : hold up your him by his horns. Let's away; follow me. head, and mince. (Exit Mrs. Quickly.

[Ereun Enter FORD.

SCENE III. The Street in Windsor. How now, master Brook? master Brook, the matter will be known to-night, or never. Be you in

Enter Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Dr. Caius. the Park about midnight, at Herne's oak, and you shall see wonders.

Mrs. Page. Master doctor, my daughter is i Ford. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you green : when you see your time, take her by t! told me you had appointed ?

hand, away with her to the deanery, and despatx Fal. I went to her, master Brook, as you see, it quickly: Go before into the park ; we two mu like a poor old man : but I came from her, master go together. Brook, like a poor old woman. That same knave, Caius. I know vat I have to do; Adieu. Ford, her husband, hath the finest mad devil of Mrs. Page. Fare you well, sir. jealousy in him, master Brook, that ever governed My husband will not rejoice so much at the abus frenzy. I will tell you. — He beat me grievously, of Falstaff, as he will chafe at the doctor's marryin in the shape of a woman ; for in the shape of man, my daughter : but 'tis no matter ; better a littl master Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaver's chiding, than a great deal of heart-break. beam ; because I know also, life is a shuttle.

Mrs. Ford. Where is Nan now, and her troo in haste; go along with me; I'll tell you all, master of fairies ? and the Welsh devil, Hugh? Brook. Since I plucked geese, played truant, and Mrs. Page. They are all couched in a pit har whipped top, I knew not what it was to be beaten, by Herne's oak, with obscured lights : which at th till lately. Follow me: I'll tell you strange things very instant of Falstaff's and our meeting, they wi of this knave Ford : on whom to-night I will be at once display to the night. revenged, and I will deliver his ife into your hand. Mrs. Ford. That cannot choose but amaze him.

Follow : Strange things in hand, master Brook ! Mrs. Page. If he be not amazed, he will ! follow.

[Exeunt. mocked ; if he be amazed, he will every way !

mocked. SCENE II. - Windsor Park.

Mrs. Ford. We'll betray him finely. Enter Page, Shallow, and SLENDER, Mrs. Page. Those who betray him do no treach Page. Come, come; we'll couch i' the castle

ery. ditch, till we see the light of our fairies. - Re

Mrs. Ford. The hour draws on; To the oak, 1

the oak! member, son Slender, my daughter.

(Excur ! Keep to the time.


[Erit Carus

I am

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