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in a basket : protests to my husband, he is now here; shall do with the basket. Go up, I'll bring linen and hath drawn him and the rest of their company for him straight.
[Erit. from their sport, to make another experiment of his Mrs. Page. Hang him, dishonest varlet! we cansuspicion ; but I am glad the knight is not here; not misuse him enough. now he shall see his own foolery.
We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do, Mrs. Ford. How near is he, mistress Page ? Wives may be merry, and yet honest too :
Mrs. Page. Hard by; at street end; he will be We do not act, that often jest and laugh ; here anon.
'Tis old but true, Still swine eat all the draff. [Exit. Mrs. Ford. I am undone ! the knigh“ is here. Mrs. Page. Why then you are utterly ashamed,
Re-enter Mrs. Ford, with two Servants. and he's but a dead man. What a woman are you? Mrs. Ford. Go, sirs, take the basket again on Away with him, away with him ; better shame
your shoulders ; your master is hard at door; if he than murder.
bid you set it down, obey him: quickly, despatch. Mrs. Ford. Which way should he go? how
[Erit. should I bestow him ? Shall I put him into the 1 Serv. Come, come, take it up. basket again?
2 Serv. Pray heaven, it be not full of the knight Re-enter FALSTAFF.
1 Serv. I hope not; I had as lief bear so much Fal. No, I'll come no more i’ the basket : May lead. I not go out ere he come ?
Mrs. Page. Alas, three of master Ford's bro- Enter Ford, Page, SHALLOW, Caius, and Sir thers watch the door with pistols, that none shall
Hugh Evans. issue out; otherwise you might slip away ere he
Ford. Ay, but if it prove true, master Page,
down the basket, villain : - Somebody call my wife: chimney.
You, youth in a basket, come out here! -0, Mrs. Ford. There they always used to discharge you panderly rascals! there's a knot, a ging, a their birding pieces : Creep into the kiln-hole.
pack, a conspiracy against me: Now shall the devil Fal. Where is it?
be shamed. What! wife, I say! come, come Mrs. Ford. He will seek there, on my word. Neither press, coffer, chest, trunk, well, vault
, but forth; behold what honest clothes you send forth to
bleaching he hath an abstract for the remembrance of such
Page. Why, this passes ! Master Ford, you are places, and goes to them by his note : There is no
not to go loose any longer; you must be pinioned. hiding you in the house.
Evu. Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad Fal. I'll go out then.
dog! Mrs. Page. If you go out in your own semblance,
hal. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well ; inyou die, sir John. Unless you go out disguised,
deed. Mrs. Ford. How might we disguise him? Mrs. Page. Alas the day, I know not. There is
Enter Mrs. Ford. no woman's gown big enough for him; otherwise, he Ford. So say I too, sir. Come hither, mistress might put on a hat, a muffler, and a kerchief, and Ford; mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest so escape.
wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous Fal. Good hearts, devise something : any extre- fool to her husband ! - I suspect without cause, mity, rather than a mischief.
mistress, do I ? Mrs. Ford. My maid's aunt, the fat woman of Mrs. Ford. Heaven be my witness, you do, if you Brentford, has a gown above.
suspect me in any dishonesty. Mrs. Page. On my word, it will serve him; she's Ford. Well said, brazen-face; hold it out. as big as he is : and there's her thrum'd hat, and come forth, sirrah. her muffler too: Run up, sir John.
[Pulls the clothes out of the basket. Mrs. Ford. Go, go, sweet sir John: mistress Page. This passes ! Page and I, will look some linen for your head. Mrs. Ford. Are you not ashamed? let the clothes
Mrs. Page. Quick, quick ; we'll come dress you alone. straight : put on the gown the while.
Ford. I shall find you anon.
(Erit FalstAFF. Eva. "Tis unreasonable ! Will you take up your Mrs. Ford. I would, my husband would meet wife's clothes ? Come away. him in this shape: he cannot abide the old woman Ford. Empty the basket, I say. of Brentford; he swears, she's a witch ; forbade her Mrs. Ford. Why, man, why, my house, and hath threatened to beat her.
Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there was one Mrs. Page. Heaven guide him to thy husband's conveyed out of my house yesterday in this basket : cudgel ; and the devil guide his cudgel afterwards! Why may not he be there again? In my house I
Mrs. Ford. But is my husband coming ? am sure he is : my intelligence is true; my jealousy
Mrs. Page. Ay, in good sadness, is he ; and he is reasonable: Pluck me out all the linen. talks of the basket too, howsoever he hath had in- Mrs. Ford. If you find a man there, he shall die telligence.
a flea's death. Mrs. Ford. We'll try that; for I'll appoint my Paye. Here's no man. men to carry the basket again, to meet him at the Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, master door with it, as they did last time.
Ford ; this wrongs you. Asrs. Page. Nay, but he'll be here presently : Eva. Master Ford, you must pray, and not follet's go dress him like the witch of Brentford. low the imaginations of your own heart: this is
Mrs. Ford. I'll first direct my men, what they | jealousies.
Ford. Well, he's not here I seek for.
Mrs. Page. Come, to the forge with it then, Page. No, nor no where else, but in your brain shape it : I would not have things cool. (Exeunt.
Ford. Help to search my house this one time: if I Sed not what I seek, show no colour for my ex- SCENE III. · A Room in the Garter Inn. trenity, let me for ever be your table-sport ; let
Enter Host and BARDOLPH. them say of me, As jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow walnut for his wife's leman. Satisfy me Bard. Sir, the Germans desire to have three of once more ; once more search with me.
your horses: the duke himself will be to-morrow at Mrs. Ford. What hoa, mistress Page! come you, court, and they are going to meet him. and the old woman, down; my husband will come
Host. What duke should that be, comes so seinto the chamber.
cretly? I hear not of him in the court : Let me Ford. Old woman! What old woman's that? speak with the gentlemen; they speak English ?
Mrs. Ford. Why, it is my maid's aunt of Brent- Bard. Ay, sir ; I'll call them to you. ford.
Host. They shall have my horses; but I'll make Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! them pay, I'll sauce them : they have had my houses Have I not forbid her my house? She comes of a week at command ; I have turned away my other errands, does she? We are simple men; we do guests: they must come off'; I'll sauce them: Come. not know what's brought to pass under the profes
[Excunt. sion of fortune-telling. She works by charms, by spells, by the figure, and such daubery as this is; SCENE IV. - A Room in Ford's House. beyond our element: we know nothing. Come down, you witch, you
Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and you ; come down I say.
Sir Hugh Evans. Mrs. Ford. Nay, good, sweet husband ; - good gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.
Eva. 'Tis one of the pest discretions of a 'oman
as ever I did look upon. Enter Falstaff in women's clothes, led by Mrs. Page.
Page. And did he send you both these letters at Mrs. Page. Come, mother Prat, come, give me an instant ? your hand.
Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour. Ford. I'll prat her : Out of my door, you
Ford. Pardon me, wife: Henceforth do what witch, (beats him.) you rag, you baggage, you pole
thou wilt ; cat, you ronyon! out! out! I'll conjure you, I'll I rather will suspect the sun with cold, fortune-tell you.
[Erit Falstaff. Than thee with wantonness : now doth thy honour Mrs. Page. Are you not ashamed ? I think, you
stand, have killed the poor woman.
In him that was of late an heretick, Mrs. Ford. Nay, he will do it :- 'Tis a goodly As firm as faith. credit for you.
'Tis well, 'tis well ; no more. Ford. Hang her, witch!
Be not as extreme in submission, Ew. By yea and no, I think, the 'oman is a As in offence; witch indeed : I like not when a 'oman has a great But iet our plot go forward: let our wives peard; I spy a great peard under her muffler. Yet once again, to make us publick sport,
Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen ? I beseech you, Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow, follow ; see but the issue of my jealousy: if I cry Where we may take him, and disgrace him for it. out thus upon no trail, never trust me when I open Ford. There is no better way than that they wgain.
spoke of. Page. Let's obey his humour a little further : Page. How! to send him word they'll meet him Come, gentlemen.
in the park at midnight; fie, fie; he'll never come. (Ereunt Page, Ford, Shallow, and Evans. Eva. You say, he has been thrown into the rivers; Mrs. Page. Trust me, he beat him most pitifully. and has been grievously peaten, as an old 'oman;
Mrs. Ford. Nay, by the mass, that he did not ; methinks, there should be terrors in him, that he he beat him most unpitifully, methought.
should not come; methinks, his flesh is punished, Mrs. Page. I'll have the cudgel hallowed, and he shall have no desires. hung o'er the altar; it hath done meritorious ser- Page. So think I too. vice.
Mrs. Ford. Devise but how you'll use him when Mrs. Ford. What think you ? May we, with the
he comes, warrant of womanhood, and the witness of a good | And let us two devise to bring him thither. conscience, pursue him with any further revenge? Mrs. Page. There is an old tale goes, that Herne Mrs. Page. The spirit of wantonness is, sure,
the hunter, scared out of him; if the devil have him not in fee- Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest, simple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I Doth all the winter time, at still midnight, think, in the way of waste, attempt us again. Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns;
Mrs. Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how we And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle ; nave served him ?
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and stakes a Mrs. Page. Yes, by all means; if it be but to
chain scrape the figures out of your husband's brains. If In a most hideous and dreadful manner : they can find in their hearts, the poor unvirtuous fat You have heard of such a spirit ; and well you know, knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will still The superstitious idle-headed eld be the ministers.
Received, and did deliver to our age, Mrs. Ford. I'll warrant, they'll have him pub- This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth. liekly shamed: and, methinks, there would be no pe- Page. Why, yet there want not many, that do riod to the jest, should he not be publickly shamed.
In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak: Sim. Marry, sir, I come to speak with sir John But what of this?
Falstaff from master Slender. Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device;
Host. There's his chamber, his house, his castle, That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us,
his standing-bed, and truckle-hed; 'tis painted about Disguised like Herne, with huge horns on his head. with the story of the prodigal, fresh and new: Go,
Page. Well, let it not be doubted but he'll come, knock and call; he'll speak like an AnthropophaAnd in this shape : When you have brought him ginian unto thee: Knock, I say. thither,
Sim. There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone What shall be done with him ? what is your plot ? up into his chamber; I'll be so bold as stay, sir, Mrs. Page. That likewise have we thought upon, till she come down ; I come to speak with her, and thus :
indeed. Nan Page my daughter, and my little son,
Host. Ha! a fat wonian! the knight may be And three or four more of their growth, we'll dress robbed : I'll call. — Bully knight! Bully sir John ! Like urchins, ouphes, and fairies, green and white, speak from thy lungs military : Art thou there? it With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads, is thine host, thine Ephesian, calls. And rattles in their hands; upon a sudden,
Fal. (above.) How now, mine host ? As Falstaff, she, and I, are newly met,
Host. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the comLet them from forth a saw-pit rush at once
ing down of thy fat woman ; Let her descend, bully, With some diffused song ; upon their sight, let her descend; my chambers are honourable : We two in great amazedness will Ay:
Fye! privacy? fye!
Fal. There was, mine host, an old fat woman, In their so sacred paths he dares to tread, In shape profane.
even now with me; but she's gone. Mrs. Ford. And till he tell the truth,
Sim. Pray you, sir, was't not the wise woman of
Fal. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell; What
would you with her ? We'll all present ourselves; dis-horn the spirit,
Sim. My master, sir, my master Slender, sent to And mock him home to Windsor.
her, seeing her go thorough the streets, to know, Ford.
The children must
sir, whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a
chain, had the chain, or no. Be practised well to this, or they'll ne'er do't. Eva. I will teach the children their behaviours;
Fal. I spake with the old woman about it.
Sim. And what says she, I pray, sir ? and I will be like a jack-an-apes also, to burn the knight with my taber.
Fal. Marry, she says, that the very same man, Ford. That will be excellent. I'll go buy them
that beguiled master Slender of his chain, cozened
him of it. vizards. Mrs. Page. My Nan shall be the queen of all
Sim. I would, I could have spoken with the the fairies,
woman herself; I had other things to have spoken Finely attired in a robe of white.
with her too, from him. Page. That silk will I go buy; — and in that time
Fal. What are they ? let us know, Shall master Slender steal my Nan away, [Aside.
Host. Ay, come ; quick. And marry her at Eton. Go, send to Falstaff
Sim. I may not conceal them, sir.
Fal. Conceal them, or thou diest. straight. Ford. Nay, I'll to him again, in name of Brook;
Sim. Why, sir, they were nothing but about
mistress Anne Page; to know if it were my masHe'll tell me all his purpose : Sure, he'll come.
ter's fortune to have her, or no. Vrs. Page. Fear not you that : Go, get us pro
Fal. 'Tis, 'tis his fortune.
Sim. What, sir?
Fal. To have her, - or no: Go; say, the woman and fery honest knaveries. [Ereunt Page, Ford, and Evans.
Sim. May I be so bold to say so, sir ? Mrs. Page. Go, mistress Ford,
Fal. Ay, sir Tike; who more bold ? Send quickly to Sir John, to know his mind.
Sim. I thank your worship : I shall make my mas(Erit Mrs. FORD. ter glad with these tidings.
(Erit SIMPLE. l'll to the doctor; he hath my good will,
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 And he my husband best of all affects :
hath taught me more wit than ever I learned before The doctor is well money'd, and his friends
in my life: and I paid nothing for it neither, but Potent at court; he, none but he, shall have her,
was paid for my learning. Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave her.
[Erit. SCENE V. - A Room in the Garter Inn.
Bard. Out, alas, sir! cozenage! meer cozenage
Host. Where be my horses? speak well of them, Enter Host and SIMPLE.
varletto. Host. What would'st thou have, boor? what, Bard. Run away with the cozeners : for so soon thick-skin? speak, breathe, discuss; brivs short, as I came beyond Eton, they threw me off, from
behind one of them, in 2 slough of mi:e; and set
spurs, and away, like three German devils, three | together! Sure, one of you does not serve heaven Doctor Faustuses.
well, that you are so crossed. Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, vil- Fal. Come up into
chamber. [Eseunt. lain : do not say, they be filed; Germans are honest
SCENE VI. - Another Room in the Garter Inn. Enter Sir Hugh EVANS
Enter FENTON and Host. Er. Where is mine host ?
Host. Master Fenton, talk not to me; my mind Host. What is the matter, sir?
is heavy, I will give over all. Era. Have a care of your entertainments: there Fent. Yet hear me speak : Assist me in my puris a friend of mine come to town, tells me, there
pose, is three couzin germans, that has cozened all the And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, A hundred pound in gold, more than your loss. of horses and money. I tell you for good-will, Host. I will hear you, master Fenton; and I look you: you are wise, and full of gibes and will, at the least, keep your counsel. vlouting-stogs; and 'tis not convenient you should Fent. From time to time I have acquainted you he cozened : Fare you well.
[Exit. 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,) Caius. Vere is mine Host de Jarterre ?
Even to my wish : I have a letter from her Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, and Of such contents as you will wonder at ; doubtful dilemma.
The mirth whereof so larded with my matter, Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat : But it is tell-a That neither, singly, can be manifested, me, dat you make grand preparation for a duke Without the show of both; - wherein fat Falstaff de Jarmany: by my trot, dere is no duke, dat de Hath a great scene : the image of the jest court is know to come: I tell you for good vill :
(Showing the letter. adieu.
[Exit. I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine host : Host. Hue and cry, villain, go : assist me, To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and knight; I am undone : Aly, run, hue and cry, vil
one, lain! I am undone !
Must my sweet Nan present the fairy queen : (Ereuni Host and BARDOLPH. The purpose why, is here ; in which disguise, Fal. I would, all the world might be cozened; for While other jests are something rank on foot, I have been cozened, and beaten too. If it should Her father hath commanded her to slip come to the ear of the court, how I have been Away with Slender, and with him at Eton transformed, and how my transformation hath been Immediately to marry: she hath consented : washed and cudgeled, they would melt me out of Now, sir, my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermen's boots Her mother, even strong against that match, with me; I warrant, they would whip me with their And firm for doctor Caius, hath appointed fine wits, till I were as crest-fallen as a dried pear. That he shall likewise shuffle her away, I never prospered since I forswore myself at pri- While other sports are tasking of their minds, mera. Well, if my wind were but long enough to And at the deanery, where a priest attends, say my prayers, I would repent.
Straight marry her : to this her mother's plot
She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath
Made promise to the doctor; — Now thus it rests : Now! whence come you?
Her father means she shall be all in white; Quick. From the two parties, forsooth.
And in that habit, when Slender sees his time Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the To take her by the hand, and bid her go, other, and so they shall be both bestowed! I have She shall go with him : her mother hath intended, suffered more for their sakes, more, than the vil- The better to denote her to the doctor, lainous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to (For they must all be mask'd and vizarded,)
That, quaint in green, she shall be loose enrob’d, Quick. And have not they suffered ? Yes, I war- With ribbands pendant, flaring 'bout her head ; rant; speciously one of them; mistress Ford, good | And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe, heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token, a white spot about her.
The maid hath given consent to go with him. Fal. What tell'st thou me of black and blue ? Host. Which means she to deceive ? father or I was beaten myself into all the colours of the
mother? rainbow; and I was like to be apprehended for the Fent. Both, my good host, to go along with me: witch of Brentford ; but that my admirable dex- And here it rests, – that you'll procure the vicar terity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of an To stay for me at church, 'twixt twelve and one, deliver'd
the knave constable had | And, in the lawful name of marrying, set me i' the stocks, i' the common stocks, for a To give our hearts united ceremony. witch.
Host. Well, husband your device ; I'll to the Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your cham
vicar: ber : you shall hear how things go; and, I warrant, Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest. to your content. Here is a letter will say some- Fent. So shall I ever more be bound to thee; what. Good hearts
, what ado here is to bring you Besides, I'll make a present recompense. (Creunt.
SCENE I. A Room in the Garter Inn. Urs. Page. Fare you well, sir. (Erit Caius. Enter Falstaff and Mrs. QUICKLY.
My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse
of Falstaff, as he will chafe at the doctor's marrying Fal. Pr’ythee, no more prattling :-go. I'll my daughter : but 'tis no matter ; better a little hold: This is the third time; I hope, good luck chiding, than a great deal of heart-break. lies in odd numbers. Away, go; they say, there is Mrs. Ford. Where is Nan now, and her troop of divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, fairies ? and the Welch devil, Hugh ? · Away.
Mrs Page. They are all couched in a pit hard Quick. I'll provide you a chain : and I'll do what by Herne's oak, with obscured lights; which, at I can to get you a pair of horns.
the very instant of Falstaff's and our meeting, they Fal. Away, I say; time wears : hold up your will at once display to the night. head, and mince.
[Erit Mrs. Quickly. Mrs. Ford. That cannot choose but amaze him, Enter Ford.
Mrs. Page. If he be not arnazed, he will be mocked;
if he be amazed, he will every way be How now, master Brook? Master Brook, the mocked. matter will be known to-night, or never.
Mrs. Ford. We'll betray him finely. in the Park about midnight, at Herne's oak, and
Mrs. Page. Against such lewdsters, and their you shall see wonders.
lechery, Ford. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you Those that betray them do no treachery. told me you had appointed ?
Mrs. Ford. The hour draws on ; To the oak, to Fal. I went to her, master Brook, as you see, the oak !
[Ereunt. like a poor old man: but I came from her, master Brook, like a poor old woman. That same knave,
SCENE IV. -Windsor Park. Ford her husband, hath the finest mad devil of jealousy in him, master Brook, that ever governed
Enter Sir Hugh Evans, and Fairies. frenzy. I will tell you.
- He beat me grievously, Eva. Trib, trib, fairies ; come; and remember in the shape of a woman ; for in the shape of man, your parts: be pold, I pray you ; follow me into master Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaver's the pit ; and when I give the watch-'ords, do as I beam ; because I know also, life is a shuttle. I am pid you ; Come, come; trib, trib. (Ereunt. in haste; go along with me; I'll tell you all, master Brook. Since I pluck'd geese, play'd truant, and SCENE V. - Another part of the Park. whipp'd top, I knew not what it was to be beaten, till lately. Follow me : I'll tell you strange things
Enter Falstaff disguised, with a buck's head on. of this knave Ford : on whom to-night I will be re- Fal. The Windsor bell bath struck twelve; the venged, and I will deliver his wife into your hand. minute draws on: Now, the hot-blooded gods assist Follow : Strange things in hand, master Brook ! - Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy follow.
[Exeunt. Europa; love set on thy horns. - O powerful love!
that, in some respects, makes a beast a man ; in SCENE II. - Windsor Park.
some other, a man a beast. —You were also, Jupiter,
a swan, for the love of Leda : - 0, omnipotent Enter Page, Shallow, and SLENDER.
love ! how near the god drew to the complexion of Page. Corne, come; we'll couch i' the castle
a goose ? A fault done first in the form of a beast; ditch, till we see the light of our fairies. — Remem-- 0 Jove, a beastly fault! and then another fault ber, son Slender, my daughter.
in the semblance of a fowl; think on't, Jove ; a Slen. Ay, forsooth ; I have spoke with her, and foul fault. - When gods have hot backs, what shall we have a nay-word, how to know one another. poor men do? For me, I am here a Windsortstag ; I come to her in white, and cry, mum; she cries and the fattest, I think, i' the forest : Send me a budget; and by that we know one another.
cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss Shal. That's good too: but what needs either my tallow? Who comes here ? my doe? your mum, or her budget ? the white will decipher her well enough. - It hath struck ten o'clock.
Enter Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page. Page. The night is dark ; light and spirits will Mrs. Ford. Sir John ? art thou there, my deer? become it well. Heaven, prosper our sport ! No my male deer ? man means evil but the devil, and we shall know him Fal. My doe with the black scut? — Let the sky by his horus. Let's away; follow me. [Exeunt. rain potatoes ; let it thunder to the tune of Green
Sleeves ; hail kiscing-comfits, and snow eringoes; SCENE III. The Street in Windsor. let there come a tempest of provocation, I will
shelter me here. Enter Mrs. PagE, Mrs. Ford, and Dr. Caius.
Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, Mrs. Pige. Master Doctor, my daughter is in sweetheart. green : when you sce your time, take her by the Fal. Divide me like a bribe-buck, each a baunch: hand, away with her to the deanery, and despatch I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the it quickly: Go before into the park; we two must fellow of this walk, and my horns I bequeath your go ir gether.
husbands. Am I a woodman ? lia! Speak I like Cuius. I know vat I have to do; Adieu.
Hlerne the hunter ? Why, now is Cupid a child of