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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.
all the hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell you for good will, look you: you are wise and full of gibes and vlouting-stogs, and 'tis not convenient you should be cozened. Fare you well, Exit.
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: fie! privacy? fie!
Fal. What are they? let us know.
Sim. I may not conceal them, sir.
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 bold to say so, sir?
Fal. Ay, that there was, mine host; one that hath taught me more wit than ever I before in my life and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning.
Bard. Out, alas, sir! cozenage, mere cozenage!
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.
Enter Sir HUGH EVANS.
Evans. Have a care of your entertainments: there is a friend of mine come to town, tells me there is three cozen-germans that has cozened
Enter Doctor CAIUS.
Caius. Vere is mine host de Jartiere? Host. Here, Master doctor, in perplexity and doubtful dilemma.
Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat; but it is tell a me dat you make grand preparation for a Duke de Jarmany: by my trot, dere is no duke dat de court is know to come. I tell you for good vill: adieu. Exit. 91
Host. Hue and cry, villain! go. Assist me, knight; I am undone. Fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone!
Exeunt IIost 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 cudgelled, 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 crestfallen as a dried pear. I never prospered since I forswore myself at primero. Well, if my wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent.
Host. I will hear you, Master Fenton; and I will at the least keep your counsel. Fent. From time to time I have acquainted
With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page ;
To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and
Must my sweet Nan present the Fairy Queen; 20
Her mother, ever strong against that match
Fent. Both, my good host, to go along with me: And here it rests, that you'll procure the vicar 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, you shall not lack a priest. Fent. So shall I evermore be bound to thee; Besides, I'll make a present recompense.
How now, Master Brook! Master Brook, the matter 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 yon 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, beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman; I will tell you: he that ever governed frenzy. 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 me; I'll tell you all, Master Brook. Since I plucked geese, played truant, and whipped top, I knew not what 'twas to be beaten till lately. Follow me: I'll tell you strange things of this knave Ford, on whom tonight I will be revenged, and I will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow. Strange things in hand, Master Brook! Follow. Exeunt.
mocked; if he be amazed, he will every way be Enter Sir HUGH EVANS, like a Satyr; ANNE mocked.
PAGE, as the Fairy Queen, attended by her Brother and Others, dressed like Fairies, with waxen tapers on their heads.
Mrs. Ford. We'll betray him finely.
Mrs. Page. Against such lewdsters and their lechery,
Those that betray them do no treachery.
SCENE IV.-Windsor Park.
Enter Sir HUGH EVANS disguised, and others as Fairies.
Evans. 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 as Herne, 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. 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 fonl 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 Mistress FORD and Mistress 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! 33 No'se within.
Mrs. Page. Alas! what noise?
Mrs. Ford, Mrs. Page. Away, away!
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.
Anne. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white, You moonshine revellers, and shades of night, You orphan heirs of fixed destiny, Attend your office and your quality. Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy oyes.
Hobgoblin. Elves, list your names: silence, you airy toys!
Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt leap 't: Where fires thou find'st unrak'd and hearths unswept,
There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry :
Fal. They are fairies; he that speaks to them shall die:
I'll wink and couch: no man their works must eye. Lies down upon his face. Evans. Where's Bede? Go you, and where you find a maid
That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
Anne. About, about!
Search Windsor Castle, elves, within and out:
Evans. Pray you, lock hand in hand; yourselves in order set;
And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be, To guide our measure round about the tree. But, stay; I smell a man of middle-earth.
Fal. Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy, lest he transform me to a piece of cheese! Hobgoblin. Vile worm, thou wast o'erlook'd even in thy birth.
Anne. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end :
Come, will this wood take fire?
Fal. Oh, oh, oh!
Anne. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire! About him, fairies, sing a scornful rime;
And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time.
Fed in heart, whose flames aspire
Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about, Till candles and star-light and moonshine 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. A noise of hunting is heard within. All the Fairies run away. FALSTAFF pulls off his buck's head, and rises. Enter PAGE, FORD, Mistress PAGE, and Mistress FORD. They lay hold on him.
Page. Nay, do not fly: I think we have watch'd
Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn? Mrs. Page. I pray you, come, hold up the jest no higher.
Now, good Sir John, how like you Windsor wives?
See you these, husband? do not these fair yokes Become the forest better than the town?
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. 120
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
Ford. Ay, and an ox too; both the proofs
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 rime and reason, that they were fairies. See now how wit may be made a Jack-a-Lent, when 'tis upon ill employment!
Evans. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your desires, and fairies will not pinse you.
Ford. Well said, fairy Hugh.
Evans. And leave you your jealousies too, I pray 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'erreaching 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.
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?
Evans. Seese is not good to give putter: your pelly is all putter. 150
Fal. 'Seese' and 'putter'! have I lived to stand at the taunt of one that makes fritters of
Ford. What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax? Mrs. Page. A puffed man?
Page. Old, cold, withered, and of intolerable entrails?
Ford. And one that is as slanderous as Satan?
Evans. And given to fornications, and to taverns, and sack and wine 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 pandar: over and above that you have suffered, I think to repay that money will be a biting affliction. Mrs. Ford. Nay husband, let that go to make amends;
Slen. I came yonder at Eton to marry Mistress Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy: if it had not been i' the church, I would have swinged him, or he should have swinged me. If I did not think it had been Anne Page, would I might never stir! and 'tis a postmaster's boy. 200
Page. Upon my life, then, you took the wrong. Slen. What need you tell me that? I think so, when I took a boy for a girl: if I had been married to him, for all he was in woman's apparel, I would not have had him.
Page. Why, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you how you should know my daughter by her garments?
Slen. I went to her in white, and cried 'mum,' and she cried budget,' as Anne and I had appointed; and yet it was not Anne, but a postmaster's boy.
Mrs. Page. Good George, be not angry: I knew of your purpose; turned my daughter into green; and indeed, she is now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married.
Enter Doctor CAIUS.
Caius. Vere is Mistress Page? By gar, cozened; I ha' married un garçon, a boy; un paysan, by gar, a boy; it is not Anne Page: by gar, I am cozened.
THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.
Mrs. Page. Why, did you take her in green? Caius. Ay, by gar, and 'tis a boy by gar, I'll raise all Windsor. Exit.
Ford. This is strange. Who hath got the right Anne?
Page. My heart misgives me here comes Master Fenton.
The offence is holy that she hath committed, 240
A thousand irreligious cursed hours,
Ford. Stand not amaz'd: here is no remedy: Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate. In love the heavens themselves do guide thestate:
Fal. I am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced. Page. Well, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give thee joy!
Heaven give you many, many merry days! Good husband, let us every one go home, And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire; Sir John and all.
What cannot be eschew'd must be embrac'd. Fal. When night-dogs run all sorts of deer are chas'd.
Mrs. Page. Well, I will muse no further. Master Fenton,
Ford. Let it be so. Sir John, To Master Brook you yet shall hold your word; For he to-night shall lie with Mistress Ford. 60 Excunt.
ELBOW, a simple Constable.
POMPEY, Servant to Mistress Overdone.
MISTRESS OVERDONE, a Bawd.
Lords, Officers, Citizens, Boy, and Attendants.