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To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and one,
Her mother, even strong against that match,
Made promise to the doctor:-Now, thus it rests:
(For they must ail be mask'd and vizarded,)
Host. Which means she to deceive? father or mother?
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. [Exeunt.
SCENE I. A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF and Mrs. QUICKLY.
Fal. Pr'ythee, no more prattling-go.I'll hold: 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.
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 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 govern'd frenzy. 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.
T SCENE II. Windsor Park.
Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. Page. Come, come; we'll conch 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 decypher her well enough.-It hath struck ten o'clock.
Page. The night is dark; light and spirits will become it well. Heaven prosper our sport! No man Imeans evil but the devil, and we shall know him by his horns. Let's away; follow me. [Exeunt.
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 despatch it quickly: Go before into the park; we two must go together.
Caius. I know vat I have to do; adieu:
Mrs. Page. Fare you well, sir. [Exit Caius] My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse of Faistaff, as he will chafe at the doctor's marrying my daughter but 'tis 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 Welsh devil, Hugh?
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 mock'd; if he be amaz'd, he will every way be mock'd. Mrs. Ford. We'll betray him finely.
Mrs. Page. Against such lewdsters, and their lechery, 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 me!-Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Enropa; love set on thy horns. O powerful love! that in soine respects makes a beast a man; in some other, a man a beast.-You were also, Jupiter, a swan, for the love of Leda :-0, omnipotent love! how near the god drew to the complexion of a goose !-A fault done first in the form of a beast ;-0 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, sweet
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 trae spirit, welcome! Mrs. Page. Alas! what noise? [Noise within. Mrs. Ford. Heaven forgive our sins! Fal. What should this be?
Mrs. Page. Away, away.
[They run off.
Fal. I think, the devil will not have me damn'd, 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; ANNÉ PAGE, as the Fairy Queen, attended by her Brother and others, dressed like fairies, with waxen tapers on their heads.
Quick. 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 o-yes.
Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.
Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap:
Where fires thou find'st unrak'd, and hearths unswept,
Eva. Where's Bede ?-Go you, and where you find
That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
Raise up the organs of her fantasy,
Sleep she as sound as careless infancy;
But those as sleep, and think not on their sins,
Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out:
In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue and white;
Eva. Pray you lock hand in hand; yourselves in order set:
And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be,
Fal. Heaven's defend me from that Welsh fairy! lest he transform me to a piece of cheese!
Pist. Vile worm, thou wast o'erlook'd even in thy birth.
Quick. With trial-fire, touch me his finger-end: If he be chaste, the flame will back descend, And turn him to no pain; but if he start,
It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.
Pist. A trial, come.
Eva. Come, will this wood take fire?
Fal. Oh, oh, oh!
[They burn him with their tapers.
Quick. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire!
About him, fairies; sing a scornful rhyme:
And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time. Eva. It is right; indeed he is full of lecheries and iniquity.