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Mrs. Page. I'll have the cudgel hallow'd, and hung o'er the altar; it hath done meritorious fervice.

Mrs. Ford. What think you? may we, with the warrant of womanhood, and the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any further revenge?

Mrs. Page. The spirit of wantonnefs is, fure, fcar'd out of him; if the devil have him not in fee-simple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I think, in the way of wafte, attempt us again. Mrs. Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how we have served him? Mrs. Page. Yes, by all means; if it be but to scrape the figures. out of your husband's brain. If they can find in their hearts the poor unvirtuous fat knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will ftill be ministers.

Mrs. Ford. I'll warrant, they'll have him publickly fham'd; and, methinks, there would be no right period to the jest, should he not be publickly fham'd.

Mrs. Page. Come, to the forge with it then, shape it: I would not have things cool. [Exeunt.


Changes to the Garter-Inn.

Enter Hoft, and Bardolph.


IR, the German defires to have three of your horses; the duke himself will be to-morrow at court, and they are going to meet him.


Hoft. What duke should that be comes fo fecretly; I hear not of him in the court: let me speak with the gentlemen; they fpeak English?

Bard. Sir, I'll call them to you.

Hoft. They fhall have my horses, but I'll make them pay, I'll fauce them. They have had my house a week at command; I have turn'd away my other guests; they must count off; I'll fauce them; come. [Exeunt. SCENE

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Changes to Ford's house.

Enter Page, Ford, miftrefs Page, mistress Ford, and Evans.
IS one of the best discretions of a 'oman as ever I
did look upon.

a. "T'S

Page. And did he send you both these letters at an instant?
Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour.

Ford. Pardon me, wife. Henceforth do what thou wilt;
I rather will fufpect the fun with cold,

Than thee with wantonnefs; thy honour stands,

In him that was of late an heretick,

As firm as faith.

Page. 'Tis well, 'tis well; no more.
Be not as extreme in fubmiffion

As in offence, but let our plot go forward:
Let our wives once again, to make us fport,
Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,
Where we may take him, and disgrace him for it.

Ford. There is no better way than that they spoke of.

Page. How? to fend him word they'll meet him in the park at midnight? fie, fie; he'll never come.

Eva. You fay, he hath been thrown into the river; and has been grievously peaten, as an old 'oman; methinks, there should be terrors in him, that he should not come; methinks, his flesh is punish'd, he shall have no defires.

Page. So think I too.

Mrs. Ford. Devife but how you'll ufe him when he comes; And let us two devise to bring him thither.

Mrs. Page. There is an old tale goes, that Herne the hunter,
Sometime a keeper in our Windfor foreft,
Doth all the winter-time at ftill of midnight
Walk round about an oak, with ragged horns,

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And there he blasts the trees, and takes the cattle,

And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a moft hideous and dreadful manner.

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Page. Why, yet there want not many that do fear
In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak;
But what of this?

Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device,

That Falstaff at that oak fhall meet with us.
We'll fend him word to meet us in the field
Difguis'd like Herne with huge horns on his head.

Page. Well, let it not be doubted but he'll come,
And in this shape; when you have brought him thither,
What shall be done with him? what is your plot?

Mrs. Page. That likewise we have thought upon, and thus:
Nan Page, my daughter, and my little fon,

And three or four more of their growth, we'll dress
Like urchins, ouphes, and fairies, green and white,
With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads,
And rattles in their hands; upon a fudden,
As Falstaff, fhe, and I, are newly met,
Let them from forth a faw-pit rush at once
With fome diffused fong: upon their fight,
We two in great amazedness will fly;
Then let them all encircle him about,
And like to fairies pinch the unclean knight;
And ask him, why, that hour of fairy-revel,
In their fo facred paths he dares to tread
In shape profane?


Mrs. Ford. And 'till he tell the truth,
Let the supposed fairies pinch him round,
And burn him with their tapers.

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Mrs. Page. The truth being known,

We'll all present ourselves; difhorn the spirit,
And mock him home to Windfor.

Ford. The children muft

Be practis'd well to this, or they'll ne'er do't.

Eva. I will teach the children their behaviours; and I will be like a jack-a-napes alfo, to burn the knight with my taper. Ford. This will be excellent. I'll go buy them vizards. Mrs. Page. My Nan fhall be the queen of all the fairies; Finely attired in a robe of white.


Page. That filk will I go buy, and in that 'tire Shall mafter Slender fteal my Nan away, And marry her at Eaton. Go, fend to Falstaff straight. Ford. Nay, I'll to him again in the name of Brook; he'll tell me all his purpose. Sure, he'll come.

Mrs. Page. Fear not you that; go, get us properties, and tricking for your fairies.

Eva. Let us about it; it is admirable pleasures, and ferry honest knaveries. [Exeunt Page, Ford, and Evans.

Mrs. Page. Go, mistress Ford,

Send Quickly to fir John, to know his mind. [Exit. Mrs. Ford. I'll to the doctor; he hath my good will,

And none but he, to marry with Nan Page.
That Slender, though well landed, is an ideot;
And him my husband beft of all affects:

The doctor is well money'd, and his friends
Potent at court; he, none but he shall have her,

Though twenty thousand worthier came to crave her. [Exit.

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Simp. Marry, fir, I come to speak with fir John Falstaff from mafter Slender.

Hoft. There's his chamber, his house, his castle, his standingbed and truckle-bed; 'tis painted about with the ftory of the prodigal, fresh and new; go, knock and call; he'll speak like an anthropophaginian unto thee: knock, I fay.

Simp. There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone up into his chamber; I'll be fo bold as ftay, fir, 'till fhe come down; I come to speak with her, indeed.

Hoft. Ha! a fat woman? the knight may be robb'd: I'll call. Bully-knight! bully-fir John! speak from thy lungs military: art thou there? it is thine hoft, thine Ephefian calls.


Enter Falstaff.

Fal. How now, mine hoft?

Hoft. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of thy fat woman: let her descend, bully, let her defcend; my chambers are honourable. Fie, privacy? fie!

Fal. There was, mine host, an old fat woman even now with me; but she's gone.

Simp. Pray you, fir, was't not the wife woman of Brainford? Fal. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-fhell, what would you with her? Simp. My mafter, fir, my mafter Slender fent to her, seeing her go through the street, to know, fir, whether one Nym, fir, that beguil❜d him of a chain, had the chain or no.

Fal. I fpake with the old woman about it.

Simp. And what says she, I pray, fir?

Fal. Marry, fhe says, that the very fame man that beguil'd mafter Slender of his chain cozen'd him of it.

Simp. I would, I could have spoken with the woman herself;
I had other things to have spoken with her too from him.
Fal. What are they? let us know.
Hoft. Ay, come; quick.
Simp. I may not conceal them, fir?
Hoft. Conceal them, and thou dy'st.

He means to fay, thine Ephæftion.

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