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in his old lunes again : he so takes on yonder tress Page and I will look some linen for your with my husband ; so rails against all married head. mankind ; so curses all Eve's daughters, of Mrs. Page. Quick, quick! we'll come dress what complexion soever; and so buffets him- you straight : put on the gown the while. self on the forehead, crying, “ Peer out, Peer

[Exit Falstaff. out!" that any madness I ever yet beheld Mrs. Ford. I would my husband would seemed but tameness, civility, and patience, to meet him in this shape : he cannot abide the this his distemper he is in now. I am glad the old woman of Brentford ; he swears she's a fat knight is not here.

witch ; forbade her my house, and hath Mrs. Ford. Why, does he talk of him? threatened to beat her.

Mrs. Page. Of none but him; and swears Mrs. Page. Heaven guide him to thy hushe was carried out, the last time he searched band's cudgel, and the devil guide his cudgel for him, in a basket : protests to my husband afterwards! he is now here ; and hath drawn him and the Mrs. Ford. But is my husband coming ? rest of their company from their sport to make Mrs. Page. Ay, in good sadness, is he; and another experiment of his suspicion. But I talks of the basket too, howsoever he hath had am glad the knight is not here : now he shall intelligence. see his own foolery.

Mrs. Fort. We'll try that ; for I'll appoint Mrs. Ford. How near is he, mistress Page? my men to carry the basket again, to meet him

Mrs. Page. Hard by ; at street end : he at the door with it, as they did last time. will be here anon.

[here. Alrs. Page. Nay, but he'll be here presently: Mrs. Ford. I am undone !-the knight is let's go dress him like the witch of Brentford.

Mrs. Page. Why then, you are utterly Mrs. Ford. I'll first direct my men what shamed, and he's but a dead man. What a they shall do with the basket. Go up; I'll woman are you! Away with him, away with bring linen for him straight.

(Exit. him ! better shame, than murder.

Mrs. Page. Hang him, dishonest varlet ! Ifrs. Ford. Which way should he go? how we cannot misuse him enough.

[do, should I bestow him ? Shall I put him into We'll leave a proof, by that which we will the basket again?

Wives may be merry, and yet honest too : Re-enter Falstaff.

We do not act, that often jest and laugh ; Fal. No, I'll come no more i' the basket. 'Tis old, but true, -"Still swine eat all the May I not go out ere he comes ?

draff."

(Exit. Sfrs. Page. Alas! three of master Ford's Re-enter Mrs. Ford, with two Servants. brothers watch the door with pistols, that none Mrs. Ford. Go, sirs, take the basket again shall issue out; otherwise you might slip away on your shoulders : your master is hard at ere he came. But what make you here? door ; if he bid you set it down, obey him : Fal. What shall I do?-I'll creep up into quickly, despatch.

[Exit. the chimney.

1 Serv. Come, come, take it up. [again. Mrs. Ford. There they always use to dis- 2 Scrv. Pray heaven, it be not full of knight charge their birding pieces. Creep into the I Serv. I hope not; I had as lief bear so Liin-hole.

much lead. Fal. Where is it?

Enter Ford, Page, Shallow, Caius, and Mrs. Ford, He will seek there, on my word.

Sir Hugh Evans. Neither press, coffer, chest, trunk, well, vault, Ford. Ay, but if it prove true, master Page, bat he hath an abstract for the remembrance have you any way then to unfool me again? of such places, and goes to them by his note :|--Set down the basket, villains !—Somebody there is no biding you in the house.

call my wife.-Youth in a basket !-O you Fal. I'll go out, then.

panderly rascals! there's a knot, a ging, a Mrs. Page. If you go out in your own sem- pack, a conspiracy against me : now shall the blance, you die, Sir John. Unless you go out devil be shamed, -What, wise, I say !-Come, disguised,

come forth !--Behold what honest clothes you Mrs. Ford. How might we disguise him? sent forth to bleaching. Mrs. Page. Alas the day! I know not. Page. Why, this passes ! Master Ford, you There is no woman's gown big enough for are not to go loose any longer; you must be him; otherwise, he might put on a hat, a pinioned. muffler, and a kerchief, and so escape.

Eva. Why, this is lunatics ! this is mad as Pai. Good hearts, devise something : any a mad dog extremity, rather than a mischief.

Shal. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well ; Mrs. Ford. My maid's aunt, the fat woman indeed. of Brentford, has a gown above.

Ford. So say I too, sir.-Re-enter Mrs. Mrs. Page. On my word, it will serve him ; Ford.] Come hither, mistress Ford, the honest she's as big as he is : and there's her thrummed woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, hat, and her muffler too.-Run up, Sir John. that hath the jealous fool to her husband !- I

Mrs. Ford, Go, go, sweet Sir John : mis-l suspect without cause, mistress, do I?

Mrs. Ford. Heaven be my witness, you do, Mrs. Ford. Nay, he will do it.—'Tis a if you suspect me in any dishonesty.

goodly credit for you. Ford. Well said, brazen-lace ! hold it out. Ford. Hang her, witch ! -Come forth, sirrah.

Eva. By yea and no, I think the 'oman is [Pulls the clothes out of the basket. a witch indeed : I like not when a 'oman has Page. This passes ! (clothes alone. a great peard ; I spy a great peard under her Mrs. Ford. Are you not ashamed ? let the muffler. Ford. I shall find you anon.

Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen? I beEva. 'Tis unreasonable! Will you take up seech you, follow : see but the issue of my your wife's clothes? Come away.

jealousy. If I cry out thus upon 10 trail, Ford. Empty the basket, I say !

never trust me when I open again. Mrs. Ford. Why, man, why,

Page. Let's obey his humour a little farther : Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there come, gentlemen. (Exeunt Ford, Page, was one conveyed out of my house yesterday

Shallow, Caius, and Evans. in this basket: why may he not be there again? Mrs. Page. Trust me, he beat him most In my house I am sure he is; my intelligence pitifully. is true ; my jealousy is reasonable.--Pluck me Mrs. Ford. Nay, by the mass, that he did out all the linen.

not ; he beat him most unpitifully, methought. Mrs. Ford. If you find a man there, he Mrs. Paige. I'll have the cudgel hallowed, shall die a flea's death.

and hung o'er the altar; it hath done meriPage. Here's no man.

torious service. Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, master Mrs. Ford. What think you? May we, Ford ; this wrongs you.

with the warrant of womanhood, and the Eva. Master Ford, you must pray, and not witness of a good conscience, pursue him with follow the imaginations of your own heart : any farther revenge? this is jealousies.

Mrs. Page. The spirit of wantonness is, Ford. Well, 's not he I seek for. sure, scared out of him : if the devil have him

Page. No, nor nowhere else, but in your not in fee-simple, with fine and recovery, he brain.

will never, I think, in the way of waste, atFord. Help to search my house this one tempt us again. time : if I find not what I seek, show no Mrs. Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how colour for my extremity ; let me for ever be we have served him ? your table-sport ; let them say of me, Alrs. Page. Yes, by all means; if it be but jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow walnut to scrape the figures out of your husband's for his wife's leman.” Satisfy me once more; brains. If they can find in their hearts the once more search with me.

poor unvirtuous fat knight shall be any farther Mrs. Ford. What ho, mistress Page ! come afflicted, we two will still be the ministers. you and the old woman down; my husband Mrs. Ford. I'll warrant, they'll have him will come into the chamber.

publicly shamed ; and methinksthere would be Ford. Old woman! what old woman's that? no period to the jest, should he not be publicly

Mrs. Ford. Why, it is my maid's aunt of shamed. Brentford.

Alrs. Page. Come, to the forge with it, Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening then; shape it: I would not have things cool. quean! Have I not forbid her my house?

[Exeunt. She comes of errands, does she? We are simple men; we do not know what's brought SCENE III.-A Room in the Garter Inn. to pass under the profession of fortune-telling.

Enter Host and Bardolph. She works by charms, by spells, by the figure, and such daubery as this is ; beyond our ele- Bard. Sir, the Germans desire to have three ment: we know nothing.-Come down, you of your horses : the duke himself will be towitch, you hag, you ; come down, I say ! morrow at court, and they are going to meet

Mrs. Ford. Nay, good, sweet husband, - him. good gentlemen, let him not strike the old Host. What duke should that be, comes so woman.

secretly? I hear not of him in the court. Let Enter Falstaff in women's clothes, led by me speak with the gentlemen; they speak Mrs. Page.

English ? Mrs. Page. Come, mother Pratt ; come, Bard. Ay, sir; I'll call them to you. give me your hand.

Host. They shall have my horses ; but I'll Ford. I'll “prat" her.-[Beats him.j Out make them pay; I'll sauce them : they have of my door, you witch, you rag, you baggage, had my house a week at command ; I have you polecat, you ronyon! out, out! I'll con- turned away my other guests: they must come jure you, I'll fortune-tell you. [Exit Falstaff. off ; I'll sauce them. Come. [Exeunt.

Mrs. Page. Are you not ashamed? I think you have killed the poor woman.

"As

Mrs. Page. That likewise have we thought SCENE IV.-A Room in Ford's House.

upon, and thus : Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, Nan Page my daughter, and my little son, and Sir Hugh Evans.

And three or four more of their growth, we'll Eva. 'Tis one of the pest discretions of a dress

(white, 'oman as ever I did look upon.

Like urchins, ouphes, and fairies, green and Page. And did he send you both these letters With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads, at an instant?

And rattles in their hands. Upon a sudden, Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour. As Falstaff, she, and I, are newly met, Ford. Pardon me, wife. Henceforth do Let them from forth a saw-pit rush at once what thou wilt ;

With some diffused song: upon their sight, I rather will suspect the sun with cold We two in great amazedness will fly : Than thee with wantonness : now doth thy Then, let them all encircle him about, honour stand,

And, fairy-like, to pinch the unclean knight ; In him that was of late a heretic,

And ask him, why, that hour of fairy revel, As firm as faith.

In their so sacred paths he dares to tread Page. 'Tis well, 'tis well ; no more : In shape profane. Be not as extreme in submission

Mrs. Ford. And till he tell the truth, As in offence.

Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound, But let our plot go forward : let our wives And burn him with their tapers. Yet once again, to make us public sport,

Mrs. Page. The truth being known, Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow, We'll all present ourselves, dis-horn the spirit, Where we may take him and disgrace him for it. And mock him home to Windsor. Ford. There is no better way than that they Ford.

The children must spoke of.

Be practis'd well to this, or they'll ne'er do't. Page. How! to send him word they'll meet Eva. I will teach the children their behim in the park at midnight ? fie, fie ! he'll haviours ; I will be like a jack-an-apes also, to never come.

burn the knight with my taber. Eva. You say, he has been thrown into the Ford. That will be excellent. I'll go buy rivers, and has been grievously peaten as an them vizards. old 'oman: methinks there should be terrors Mrs. Page. My Nan shall be the queen of in him, that he should not come ; methinks all the fairies, his flesh is punished, he shall have no desires. Finely attired in a robe of white. Page. So think I too.

Page. That silk will I go buy :-Aside) Mrs. Ford. Devise but how you'll use him and in that time when he comes,

Shall master Slender steal my Nan away, And let us two devise to bring him thither. And marry her at Eton.—[ To them.] Go, send Mrs. Page. There is an old tale goes, that to Falstaff straight.

(Brook : Herne the hunter,

Ford. Nay, I'll to him again in name of Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest, He'll tell me all his purpose. Sure, he'll come. Doth all the winter time, at still midnight, Mrs. Page. Fear not you that. Go, get us Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd And tricking for our fairies. properties, horns ;

[cattle, Eva. Let us about it : it is admirable pleaAnd there he blasts the trees, and takes the sures, and fery honest knaveries. And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes

[Exeunt Page, Ford, and Evans. a chain

Mrs. Page. Go, mistress Ford, In a most hideous and dreadful manner. Send Quickly to Sir John, to know his mind. You have heard of such a spirit ; and well you

[Exit Mrs. Ford. know

I'll to the doctor : he hath my good will, The superstitious idle-headed eld

And none but he, to marry with Nan Page. Receiv'd, and did deliver to our age, That Slender, though well landed, is an idiot ; This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth. And him my husband best of all affects. Page. Why, yet there want not many, that The doctor is well money'd, and his friends do fear

Potent at court: he, none but he, shall have In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak. her, But what of this?

Though twenty thousand worthier come to Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device :

crave her.

(Exit. That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us, Disguis'd like Herne, with huge horns on his SCENE V.-A Room in the Garter Inn. head.

(come,

Enter Host and Simple. Page. Well, let it not be doubted but he'll And in this shape : when you have brought Host. What wouldst thou have, boor? him thither,

(plot? what, thick-skin ? speak, breathe, discuss ; What shall be done with him ? what is your I brief, short, quick, snap.

Sim. Marry, sir, I come to speak with Sir Bard. Run away, with the cozeners : for so John Falstaff from master Slender.

soon as I came beyond Eton, they threw me Host. There's his chamber, his house, his off, from behind one of them, in a slough of castle, his standing-bed, and truckle-bed : 'tis mire ; and set spurs and away, like three painted about with the story of the prodigal, German devils, three Doctor Faustuses. fresh and new. Go, knock and call ; we'll Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, speak like an Anthropophaginian unto thee : villain : do not say they be fled : Germans are knock, I say.

honest men. Sim. There's an old woman, a fat woman,

Enter Sir Hugh Evans. gone up into his chamber : I'll be so bold as Eva. Where is mine host? stay, sir, till she come down ; I come to speak Host. What is the matter, sir? with her, indeed.

Eva. Have a care of your entertainments : Host. Ha ! a fat woman? the knight may there is a friend of mine come to town, tells be robbed : I'll call. --Bully knight ! Bully Sir me, there is three cousin germans, that has John! speak from thy lungs military: art thou cozened all the hosts of Readings, of Maidenthere ? it is thine host

, thine Ephesian, calls. head, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I Fal. [Above.] How now, mine host ! tell you for good-will, look you : you are wise,

Host. Here's a Bohemian Tartar tarries the and full of gibes and vlouting-stogs, and 'tis coming down of thy fat woman. Let her de- not convenient you should be cozened. Fare scend, bully, let her descend ; my chambers you well.

[Exit. are honourable : fie! privacy ? fie!

Enter Doctor Caius.
Enter Falstaff.

Caius. Vere is mine host de Jarretiere? Fal. There was, mine host, an old fat Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, woman even now with me; but she's gone. and doubtful dilemma.

Sim. Pray you, sir, was't not the wise Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat ; but it is tellwoman of Brentford ?

a-me, dat you make grand preparation for a Fal. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell : what duke de Jarmany: by my trot, dere is no duke would you with her?

dat de court is know to come. I tell you for Sim. My master, sir, master Slender, sent good vill : adieu.

[Exit. to her, seeing her go through the streets, to Host. Hue and cry, villain! go.-Assist me, know, sir, whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled knight.-I am undone !--Fly, run, hue and him of a chain, had the chain or no.

cry, villain !-I am undone ! Fal. I spake with the old woman about it.

(Exeunt Host and Bardolph. Sim. And what says she, I pray, sir? Fal. I would all the world might be cozened;

Fal. Marry, she says that the very same for I have been cozened, and beaten too. If man, that beguiled master Slender of his it should come to the ear of the court how I chain, cozened him of it.

have been transformed, and how my transformSim. I would I could have spoken with the ation hath been washed and cudgelled, they woman herself ; I had other things to have would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, spoken with her, too, from him.

and liquor fishermen's boots with me: I warFal. What are they? let us know. rant, they would whip me with their fine wits, Host. Ay, come ; quick.

till I were as crest-fallen as a dried pear. Sim. I may not conceal them, sir. never prospered since I forswore myself at Host. Conceal them, or thou diest. primero. Well, if my wind were but long

Sim. Why, sir, they were nothing but about enough to say my prayers, I would repent. mistress Anne Page ; to know, if it were my

Enter Mistress Quickly. master's fortune to have her, or no.

Now, whence come you? Fal. "Tis, 'tis his fortune.

Quick. From the two parties, forsooth. Sim. What, sir? (woman told me so. Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam Ful. To have her,--or no. Go; say the the other ! and so they shall be both bestowed. Sim. May I be bold to say so, sir ?

I have suffered more for their sakes, more than Fil. Ay, Sir Tike, who more bold? the villainous inconstancy of man's disposition

Sim. I thank your worship : I shall make is able to bear. my master glad with these tidings. Exit. Quick. And have not they suffered ? Yes,

Host. Thou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, I warrant ; speciously one of them: mistress Sir John. Was there a wise woman with thee? Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue,

Fal. Ay, that there was, mine host ; one that you cannot see a white spot about her. that hath taught me more wit than ever I learned Fal. What tellest thou me of black and before in my life; and I paid nothing for it blue? I was beaten myself into all the colours neither, but was paid for my learning.

of the rainbow ; and I was like to be appreEnter Bardolph.

hended for the witch of Brentford : but that Bard. Out, alas, sir! cozenage, mere my admirable dexterity of wit, my countercozenage !

[them, varletto. reiting the action of an old woman, delivered Host. Where be my horses ? speak well of me, the knave constable had set me i the stocks, i the common stocks, for a witch. Host. Which means she to deceive, father Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your or mother?

(me: chamber : you shall hear how things go ; and, Fent. Both, my good host, to go along with I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter And here it rests, -that you'll procure the vicar will say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado To stay for me at church'twixi twelve and one, here is to bring you together! Sure, one of And, in the lawful name of marrying, you does not serve heaven well, that you are To give our hearts united ceremony. (vicar : SO crossed.

Host. Well, husband your device: I'll to the Fal. Come up into my chamber. (Exeunt. Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest. SCENE VI.-Another Room in the Garter Inn. Besides, I'll make a present recompense.

Fent. So shall I evermore be bound to thee; Enter Fenton and Host.

(Exeunt. Host. Master Fenton, talk not to me; my mind is heavy : I will give over all. Fent. Yet hear me speak. Assist me in

ACT V. my purpose.

SCENE I.-A Room in the Garter Inn. And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee

Enter Falstaff and Mrs. Quickly. A hundred pound in gold more than your loss.

Host. I will hear you, master Fenton; and Fal. Pr'ythee, no more prattling :-go : I will, at the least, keep your counsel. [you I'll hold. This is the third time ; I hope good

Fent. From time to time I have acquainted luck lies in odd numbers. Away, go. They With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page ; say there is divinity in odd rumbers, either in Who, mutually, hath answer'd my affection nativity, chance, or death.--Away. (So far forth as herself might be her chooser) Quick. I'll provide you a chain ; and I'll do Even to my wish. I have a letter from her what I can to get you a pair of horns. Of such contents as you will wonder at ; Fal. Away, I say ; time wears : hold up The mirth whereof so larded with my matter, your head and mince. [Exit Mrs. Quickly. That neither, singly, can be manifested,

Enter Ford. Without the show of both ;--wherein fat Fal- How now, master Brook! Master Brook, the staff

matter will be known to-night, or never. Be Hath a great scene: the image of the jest you in the park about midnight, at Herne's

[Pointing to the Letter. oak, and you shall see wonders. I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine Ford. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, host :

[one, as you told me you had appointed ? To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and Fal. I went to her, master Brook, as you Must my sweet Nan present the fairy queen; see, like a poor old man: but I came from The purpose why, is here : (Pointing to her, master Brook, like a poor old woman. Letter.] in which disguise,

That same knave Ford, her husband, hath the While other jests are something rank on foot, finest mad devil of jealousy in him, master Her father hath commanded her to slip Brook, that ever governed frenzy :-I will tell Away with Slender, and with him at Eton you :-he beat me grievously, in the shape of Immediately to marry : she hath consented. a woman ; for in the shape of a man, master Now, Sir,

Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaver's Her mother, even strong against that match, beam; because I know also, life is a shuttle. I ård firm for Dr. Caius, hath appointed am in haste; go along with me: I'll tell you That he shall likewise shuffle her away,

all, master Brook. Since I plucked geese, While other sports are tasking of their minds, played truant, and whipped top, I knew not And at the deanery, where a priest attends, what it was to be beaten, till lately. Follow Straight marry her : to this her mother's plot me : I'll tell you strange things of this knave She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath (rests: Ford ; on whom to-night I will be revenged, Made promise to the doctor :-Now, thus it and I will deliver his wife into your hand. Her father means she shall be all in white ; Follow :-Strange things in hand, master And in that habit, when Slender sees his time Brook :- follow.

[Exeunt. To take her by the hand, and bid her go,

SCENE II.--Windsor Park. She shall go with him : her mother hath intended,

Enter Page, Shallow, and Slender. The better to denote her to the doctor,

Page. Come, come: we'll couch i' the castle(For they must all be mask'd and vizarded,) ditch, till we see the light of our fairies.-ReThat, quaint in green, she shall be loose en- member, son Slender, my daughter. rob'd,

Slen. Ay, forsooth; I have spoke with her, With ribands pendent, flaring 'bout her head ; and we have a nay-word, how to know one And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe, another. I come to her in white, and cry, To pinch her by the hand, and on that token, · Mum ;" she cries" Budget ; and by that The maid hath given consent to go with him. I we know one another.

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