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you. He beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of man, master Brook, I fear not Goliah with a weaver's beam; because I know also, life is a shuttle. I am 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. SCENE II.-Windsor Park.
Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. Page. Come, come; we'll couch i' the castle ditch, till we see the light of our fairies.-Remember, son Slender, my daughter.
Slen. Ay, forsooth; I have spoke with her, and we have a nayword,* 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.
[Exeunt. SCENE III.-The Street in Windsor. Enter Mes. 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.
[Exeunt. * Watch-word.
SCENE IV.-Windsor Park.
Enter Sir HUGH EVANS and FAIRIES. Eva. Trib, trib, fairies; come; and remember your parts; be pold, I pray you; follow me into the pit; and when I give the watch-ords, do as I pid you; Come, come; trib, trib. [Exeunt.
SCENE V.-Another part of the Park. Enter FALSTAFF disguised, with a buck's head on. Fal. The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the minute draws on: Now, the hot-blooded_gods assist me:-Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Europa; love set on thy horns.-0 powerful love ! that, in some respects, makes a beast a man: in some other, a man a beast.--You were also, Jupiter, a swan, for the love of Leda; 0, omnipotent love! how near the god drew to the complexion of a goose ?-A fault done first in the form of a beast;-0 Jove, a beastly fault! and then another fault in the semblance of a fowl; think on't, Jove; a foul fault.-When gods have hot backs, what shall poor men do? For me, I am here a Windsor stag; and the fattest, I think, i' the forest : send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss my tallow? Who comes here ? my doe?
Enter MRS. FORD and MRS. PAGE. Mrs. Ford. Sir John ? art thou there, my deer? my male deer?
Fal. My doe with the black scut?-Let the sky rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green Sleeves ; hail kissing-comfits, and snow eringoes; let there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.
[Embracing her. Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, sweetheart..
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. Ford. Heaven forgive our sins ! Fal. What should this be ? Mrs. Page. $
[They run off. Fal. I think, the devil will not have me damned, lest the oil that is in me should set hell on fire; 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, You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night,
* Keeper of the forest.
Mrs. Ford. } Away, away.
You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,
Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.
Fal. They are fairies; he that speaks to them shall die:
[Lies down upon his face.
Quick. About, about:
Eva. Pray you, lock hand in hand: yourselves in order set;
Fal. Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy ! lest he transform me to a piece of cheese!
Pist. Vile worm, thou wast o'erlook'd even in thy birth, ..
Quick. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end:
Pist. A trial, come.
Eva. Come, will this wood take fire ?
[They burn him with their tapers. Fal. Oh, oh, oh!
Quick. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire !
Kindled with unchaste desire,
Pinch him for his villany;”
Till candles and starlight and moonshine be out..
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 :-
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 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.
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.
* Horns which Falstaff had.
Eva. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your desires, and fairies will not pinse you.
Ford. Well said, fairy Hugh.
ay you. 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'er-reaching 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 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?
Ford. What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax ?
Eva. And given to fornications, and to taverns, and sacks, and wines, 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 afiliction.
Mrs. Ford. Nay, husband, let that go to make amends : Forgive that sum, and so we'll all be friends.
Ford. Well, here's my hand; all's forgiven at last.
Page. Yet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt eat a posset tonight at my house; where I will desire thee to laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee: Tell her, master Slender hath married her daughter.
Mrs. Page. Doctors doubt that: If Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this, doctor Caius' wife.
[Aside. Enter SLENDER. Slen. Whoo, ho! ho ! father Page. Page. Son ! how now ? how now, son ? have you despatched ?
Slen. Despatched-I'll make the best in Gloucestershire know on't; would I were hanged, la, else. · Page. Of what, son ? Slen. I came yonder at Eton to marry mistress Anne Page
* A fool's cap of Welsh materials.