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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.1 [Exit Mrs. QUICKLY.
How now, master Brook! Master Brook, the matter will be known to-night or never. about midnight, at Herne's oak, wonders.
Be you in the Park and you shall see
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, like a poor 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 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 nay-word, 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
1 Walk (mincingly.)
become it well. Heaven prosper our sport!
means evil but the devil, and we shall know him by his horns. Let's away; follow me.
SCENE III.-The Street in Windsor.
Enter Mrs. 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 dispatch it quickly. Go before into the park: we two must go together.
Caius. I know vat I have to do.
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 't is 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 Welch devil, Evans ?1
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.
Mrs. Page. Against such lewdsters, and their
Those that betray them do no treachery.
Mrs. Ford. The hour draws on: to the oak, to the oak!
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.
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 Hugh in f. e.
me !-remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Europa; love set on thy horns.-O 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: O, omnipotent love! how near the god drew to the complexion of a goose !—A fault done first in the form of a beast ;—O 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?
Fal. What should this be?
[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.
Queen. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,
1 Buck sent for a bribe.
You moonshine revellers, and shades of night,
Attend your office, and your quality.
Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy o-yes.
Pist. Elves, list your names: silence, you airy toys! Cricket, to Windsor chimneys when thoust leapt,1 Where fires thou find'st unrak'd, and hearths unswept, There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry:
Our radiant queen hates sluts, and sluttery.
Fal. They are fairies; he, that speaks to them, [To himself." I'll wink and couch. No man their works must eye. [Lies down upon his face. Eva. Where's Bead?-Go you, and where you find
That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
Sleep she as sound as careless infancy;
But those that sleep, and think not on their sins,
Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out:
In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue, and white;
Eva. Lock hand in hand; yourselves in order set; 1 shalt thou leap. 2 Not in f. e. 3 raise in f. e. 4 as in f. e.
And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be,
Fal. Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy, lest he transform me to a piece of cheese! [To himself.1 Pist. Vile worm, thou wast o'er-look'd even in thy birth.
Queen. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end :
It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.
Pist. A trial! come.
Fal. Oh, oh, oh!
Come, will this wood take fire ?
[They burn him with their tapers.
Queen. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire!
And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time."
Fie on sinful fantasy!
Fie on lust and luxury!
Kindled with unchaste desire,
Fed in heart; whose flames aspire,
As thoughts do blow them higher and higher.
Pinch him, fairies, mutually ;
Pinch him for his villainy;
Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about, Till candles, and star-light, and moon-shine be out. 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 ANNE PAGE. noise of hunting is made within. All the fairies ru¡ away. FALSTAFF pulls off his buck's head, and rises. Enter PAGE, FORD, Mrs. PAGE, and Mrs. FORD. They lay hold of him.
Page. Nay, do not fly: I think, we have match'a
Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn?
1 Not in f. e. 2 Bewitched. 3 Malone adds, from the quarto :Eva. It is right, indeed, he is full of lecheries and iniquity.