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Of such contents, as you will wonder at;
The mirth whereof's so larded with my matter,
That neither fingly can be manifested,
Without the shew of both. Fat Sir John Falstaff
Hath a great Scene; the image of the jest
I'll shew you here at large. Hark, good mine Hoft;
Tonight at Herne's Oak, just 'twixt twelve and one,
Must my sweet Nan present the Fairy Queen;
The purpose why, is here; in which disguise,
While other jests are something rank on foot,
Her father hath commanded her to flip
Away with Slender, and with him at Eaton
Immediately to marry ; she hath consented.--Now,

Sir,
Her mother, ever strong against that match,
And firm for Doctor Caius, hath appointed
That he shall likewise shuffle her away,
(While other sports are talking of their minds ;)
And at the Deanry, 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 dress 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 bette eyote 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,
To pinch her by the hand, and on that token,
The maid hath given consent to go with him.
Hoft. Which means she to deceive? father or mo-

ther ? Fent. Both, my good Hoft, 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

to

And in the lawful name of marrying,
To give our hearts united ceremony;

Hoft. 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 ; Beside, I'll make a present recompence..

[Exeunt.

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Re-enter Falstaff and Mifrefs Quickly.
Fal.
PR

R’YTHEE, no more pratling ; 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:

Quic. I'll provide you a chain, and I'll do what I can to get you a pair of horns. (Exit Mrs. Quickly.

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

Enter Ford. 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. I will tell you ; he beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman ; for in the shape of a man, master Brook, I fear not Goliah with a weaver's beam; because I know also, life is a shuttle ; I am in hafte ; go along with me, I'll tell you all, master Brook. Since I

05

pluckt

pluckt geese, play'd truant, and whipt 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 to night I will be reveng'd, and I will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow ; ftrange things in hand, master Brook! follow.

Exeunt.

A CT V.

V. SC EN E I.

Windsor Park.

Enter Page, Shallow, and Slender.

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PA с Е.

' ' 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 become it well ; heav'n prosper our sport! no means evil but the devil, and we shall know him by his horns. Let’s away ; follow me, Exeunt.

one

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Enter Mifress Page, Mifress Ford and Caius. Mrs. Page. , R. Do&or, my daughter is in green;

your timetake her by the hand, away with her to the Deanry, and dis

patch

patch it quickly; go before into the Park ; we two must go together.

Caius. I know vat I have to do ; adieu. [Exit.

Mrs. Page. Fare you well, Sir. My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse of Falstaff, 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 Welch devil Evans ?

Mrs. Page. They are all couch'd in a pit hard by Herne's Oak, with obscur'd lights ; which, at the very instant of Falstaff's and our meeting, they will at once display to the night.

Mrs. Ford. That cannot chuse but amaze him.

Mrs. Page. If he be not amaz'd, 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 lewdfters, and theirlechery, Those, that betray them, do no treachery.

Mrs. Ford. The hour draws on; to the Oak, to the Oak.

[Exeunt. Enter 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.

(Exeunt.

S C Ε Ν Ε ΙΙΙ.

Enter Falstaff, with a Buck's head on.

Fal.THE Windfor bell hath ftruck twelve, the mi

hot

affist me! Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Europa ; love set on thy horns. Oh powerful love! that, in some respects, makes a beast a man ; in some

other,

other, a man a beast: You were also, Jupiter, a fwan, for the love of Leda: Oh, omnipotent love ! how near the God drew to the complexion of a goose? A fault done first in the form of a beast, - 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 fhall poor men do ? for me, I am here a Windsor stag, and the fatteft, I think, i'th' forest. Send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to pifs 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.

Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, sweet heart.

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 ? Mrs. Ford. Heav'n forgive our fins ! Fal. What should this be ? Mrs. Ford. Mrs. Page.

[The women run out. Fal. I think the devil will not have me damn'd, left the oil that is in me should set hell on fire; he never would else cross me thus.

SCENE

} Away, away.

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