Page images

And three or four more of their growth, we'll dress
Like urchins, ouphes, 8 and fairies, green and white,
With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads,
And rattles in their hands; upon a sudden,
As Falstaff, she, and I, are newly met,
Let them from forth a saw-pit rush at once
With some diffused 9 song; upon their sight,
We two in great amazedness will fly:
Then let them all encircle him about,
And, fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean knight;
And ask him, why, that hour of fairy revel,
In their so sacred paths he dares to tread,
In shape prophane.

Mrs. Ford. And till he tell the truth,
Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound,
And burn him with their tapers.
Mrs. Page.

The truth being known,
We'll all present ourselves; dis-horn the spirit,
And mock him home to Windsor.

The children must Be practised well to this, or they'll ne'er do't.

Eva. I will teach the children their behaviours ; and I will be like a jack-an-apes also, to burn the knight with my taber.

Ford. That will be excellent. I'll go buy them vizards. Mrs. Page. My Nan shall be the queen of all the

fairies, Finely attired in a robe of white.

Page. That silk will I go buy ;-and in that time Shall master Slender steal



8 Elf, hobgoblin.


9 Wild, discordant,



And marry her at Eton.—Go, send to Falstaff

straight. Ford. Nay, I'll to him again in name of Brook: He'll tell me all his purpose : Sure, he'll come. Mrs. Page. Fear not you that: Go, get us pro

perties, And tricking for our fairies.

Era. Let us about it: It is admirable pleasures, and fery honest knaveries.

[Exeunt PAGE, FORD, and EVANS, Mrs. Page. Go, mistress Ford, Send quickly to sir John, to know his mind.

[Exit Mrs. FORD. I'll to the doctor; he hath my good will, And none but he, to marry with Nan Page. That Slender, though well landed, is an idiot ; And he my husband best of all affects : The doctor is well money'd, and his friends Potent at court; he, none but he, shall have her, Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave her.



A Room in the Garter Inn.

Enter Host and SIMPLE. Host. What would'st thou have, boor? what, thick-skin? speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick, snap.

Sim. Marry, sir, I come to speak with sir John Falstaff from master Slender.

2 Necessaries.

Host. There's his chamber, his house, his castle, his standing-bed, and truckle-bed; 'tis painted about with the story of the prodigal, fresh and new: Go, knock and call; he'll speak like an Anthropophaginian 3 unto thee: Knock, I say:

Sim. There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone up into his chambér ; I'll be so bold as stay, sir, till she come down: I come to speak with her, indeed.

Host. Ha! a fat woman! the knight may be robbed : I'll call.-Bully knight! Bully sir John! speak from thy lungs military: Art thou there? it is thine host, thine Ephesian, calls.

Fal. [above.] How now, mine host?

Host. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of thy fat woman: Let her descend, bully, let her descend; my chambers are honourable : Fye! privacy? fye!

Enter FALSTAFF. Fal. There was, mine host, an old fat woman even now with me; but she's gone.

Sim. Pray you, sir, was't not the wise 4 woman of Brentford ?

Fal. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell; What would you

with her ? Sim. My master, sir, my master Slender, sent to her, seeing her go thorough the streets, to know, sir, whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain, had the chain, or no.

3 A cannibal.

4 Cunning woman, a fortune-teller.

Fal. I spake with the old woman about it.
Sim. And what

she, I

sir ? Fal. Marry, she says, that the very same man, that beguiled master Slender of his chain, cozened him of it.

Sim. I would, I could have spoken with the woman herself; I had other things to have spoken with her too, from him.

Fal. What are they ? let us know.
Host. Ay, come; quick.
Sim. I may not conceal them, sir.
Fal. Conceal them, or thou diest.

Sim. Why, sir, they were nothing but about mistress Anne Page; to know, if it were my master's fortune to have her, or no.

Fal. 'Tis, 'tis his fortune.
Sim. What, sir ?
Fal. To have her,-or no: Go; say, the woman
told me so.

Sim. May I be so bold to say so, sir?
Fal. Ay, sir Tike; who more bold?

Sim. I thank your worship: I shall make my master glad with these tidings.

[Exit SIMPLE. Host. Thou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, sir John: Was there a wise woman with thee?

Fal. Ay, that there was, mine host; one, that hath taught me more wit than ever I learned before in my life: and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning.

S Scholar like.


Bard. Out, alas, sir! cozenage! meer cozenage!

Host. Where be my horses? speak well of them varletto.

Bard. Run away with the cozeners : for so soon as I came beyond Eton, they threw me off, from behind one of them, in a slough of mire; and set spurs, and away, like three German devils, three Doctor Faustuses.

Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, villain: do not say, they be fled; Germans are honest men.


Eva. Where is mine host?
Host. What is the matter, sir?

Eva. Have a care of your entertainments: there is a friend of mine come to town, tells me, there is three couzin germans, that has cozened all the hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell you for good-will, look you are wise, and full of gibes and vlouting-stogs; and 'tis not convenient you should be cozened : Fare you well.


Enter Doctor CAIUS.

Caius. Vere is mine Host de Jarterre,

Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, and doubtful dilemma.

Cajus. I cannot tell vat is dat: but it is tell-a me, dat you make grand preparation for a duke de Jar

« PreviousContinue »