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Enter Sir Hugh Evans, like a satyr; Mrs. QUICK
LY, and Pistol; Anne Page, as the fairy queen, attended by her brother and others, dressed like fairies, with waren tapers on their heads.
Quick. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,
Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.
swept, There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry: Our radiant queen hates sluts, and sluttery. 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 Bede ?—Go you, and where you
find a maid, That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said, Raise
organs of her fantasy, Sleep she as sound as careless infancy; But those as sleep, and think not on their sins, Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides, and
shins. Quick. About, about; Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out:
Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room ;
order set :
Fal. Heavens defend me from that Welch fairy ! lest he transform me to a piece of cheese! Pist. Vile worm, thou wast o'er-look'd even in
Quick. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end :
Pist. A trial, come.
[They burn him with their tapers. Fal. Oh, oh, oh!
Quick. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire !
Eva. It is right; indeed he is full of lecheries and iniquity.
Fie on sinful fantasy!
Kindled with unchaste desire,
Pinch him for his villainy;
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
you now; Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn? Mrs. Page. I pray you, come;
hold up the jest no higher :Now, good sir John, how like you Windsor wives ? See you these, husband ? do not these fair yokes Become the forest better than the town?
Ford. Now, sir, wł '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 buck-basket, his cudgel, and twenty pounds of money; which must be paid to master Brook; his horses are arrested for it, master Brook.
Mrs. Ford. 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 extant.
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 surprize of my powers, drove the grossness of the foppery into a receiv'd belief, in despite of the teeth of all rhime and reason, that they were fairies. See now, how wit may be made a Jack-a-lent 105, when 'tis upon ill employment !
Eva. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your desires, and fairies will not pinse you.
Ford. Well said, fairy Hugh.
Eva. And leave you your jealousies too, I pray you.
Ford. I will never mistrust my wife again, till thou art able to woo her in good English.
Fal. Have I lay'd 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 Welch 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 lust and 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?