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many : by my trot, dere is no duke, dat the court is know to come ; I tell you for good vill : adieu.

[Erit. Host. Hue and cry, villain, go :-assist me, knight; I am undone :-fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone!

[Exeunt Host and BARDOLPH. Fal. I would, all the world might be cozened; for I have been cozened and beaten too. If it should come to the ear of the court, how I have been transformed, and how my transformation hath been washed and cudgeled, they would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermen's boots with me; I warrant, they would whip me with their fine wits, till I were as crest-fallen as a dried pear. I never prospered since I foreswore myself at Primero. Well, if my wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent.

Enter Mrs. QUICKLY. Now! whence come you?

Quick. From the two parties, forsooth.

Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the other, and so they shall be both bestowed! I have suffered more for their sakes, more, than the villainous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to bear.

Quick. And have not they suffered? Yes, I warwant; speciously one of them; mistress Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you

cannot see a white spot about her. Fal. What tell'st thou, i

me of black and blue? I was beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow, and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of Brentford ; but that my admirable dexterity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of an old woman, deliver'd me, the knave constable had set me i' the stocks, i’ the common stocks, for a witch. Quick. Sir, let me speak with you

6 A game at cards,

in ber : you shall hear how things go ; and, I warrant,

content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado here is to bring you together! Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well, that you are so crossed.

Fal. Come up into my chamber. [Exeunt.

your cham

to your


Another Room in the Garter Inn.

Enter FENTON and Host.

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

pose, And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee A hundred pound in gold, more than your loss.

. Host. I will hear you, master Fenton; and I will, at the least, keep your counsel.

Fent. From time to time I have acquainted you
With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page;
Who, mutually, hath answer'd my affection
(So far forth as herself might be her chooser,)
Even to my wish : I have a letter from her
Of such contents as you will wonder at;

The mirth whereof so larded with my matter,
That neither, singly, can be manifested,
Without the show of both ;-wherein fat Falstaff
Hath a great scene : the image of the jest

[Showing the letter,
I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine host:
To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and one,
Must my sweet Nan present the fairy queen;
The purpose why, is here;7 in which disguise,
While other jests are something rank on foot,
Her father hath commanded her to slip
Away with Slender, and with him at Eton
Immediately to marry : she hath consented :
Now, sir,
Her mother, even strong against that match,
And firm for doctor Caius, hath appointed
That he shall likewise shuffle her

away, While other sports are tasking of their minds, And at the deanery, where a priest attends, Straight marry her : to this her mother's plot She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath Made promise to the doctor ;-Now, thus it rests: Her father means she shall be all in white; And in that habit, when Slender sees his time To take her by the hand, and bid her go, She shall go with him :-her mother hath intended, The better to denote her to the doctor, (For they must all be mask'd and vizarded,) That, quaint' in green, she shall be loose enrob’d, With ribbands pendant, flaring 'bout her head; And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe,

7 In the letter.

8 Fantastically.

To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token,
The maid hath given consent to go with him.
Host. Which means she to deceive? father or

Fent. Both, my good host, to go along with me:
And here it rests,—that you'll procure the yicar
To stay for me at church, 'twixt twelve and one,
And, in the lawful name of marrying,
To give our hearts united ceremony.

Host. Well, husband your device; I'll to the vicar: Bring you the maid,


shall not lack a priest. Fent. So shall I evermore be bound to thee; Besides, I'll make a present recompense. [Exeunt.


SCENE I, A Room in the Garter Inn.


Fal. Pr'ythee, no more prattling ;-go. I'll hold:9 This is the third time; I hope, good luck lies in odd numbers. Away, go ; they say, there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death.-Away.

Quick. I'll provide you a chain ; and I'll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.

Fal. Away, I say; time wears : hold up your head, and mince.

[Exit Mrs. QUICKLY.

Enter FORD. How now, master Brook? Master Brook, the matter

9 Keep to the time.

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like a poor

will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the Park about midnight, at Herne's oak, and you shall see wonders.

Ford. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me you had appointed ?

Fal. I went to her, master Brook, as you see, like a poor old man: but I came from her, master Brook,

old woman. That same knave, Ford her husband, hath the finest mad devil of jealousy in him, master Brook, that ever governed frenzy. I will tell you. He beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of man, master Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaver's beam; because I know also, life is a shuttle. I am in haste; -go along with 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 band.- Follow : Strange things in hand, master Brook! follow.




Windsor Park.

Enter Page, SHALLOW, and SLENDER.
Page. Come, come; we'll couch i' the castleditch,
till we see the light of our fairies.-Remember, son
Slender, my daughter.

Slen. Ay, forsooth; I have spoke with her, and

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