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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 most hideous and dreadful manner.

You've heard of fuch a fpirit, and well you know
The fuperftitious idle-headed eld

Receiv'd, and did deliver to our age

This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.

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 shall meet with us.
We'll fend him word to meet us in the field
Disguis'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 saw-pit rush at once
With fome diffused fong: upon their fight,
We two in great amazedness will fly;

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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 fhape profane?

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

a Diffused here means wild, irregular, extravagant.


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 neʼer 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 steal 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 best 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.




The Garter-Inn.

Enter Hoft, and Simple.

HAT wouldst thou have, boor? what, thick-fkin?

speak, breathe, difcufs; brief, short, quick, fnap.

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

Hoft. There's his chamber, his houfe, his caftle, his ftandingbed and truckle-bed; 'tis painted about with the story of the prodigal, fresh and new; go, knock and call; he'll speak like an anthropophaginian unto thee: knock, I say.

Simp. There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone up into his chamber; I'll be fo bold as stay, 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! fpeak from thy lungs military: art thou there? it is thine hoft, thine Ephefian calls.

Enter Falftaff.

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 descend; 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 master 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, she 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.

Simp. Why, fir, 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.

Simp. What, fir?

Fal. To have her, or no: go; fay, the woman told me fo. Simp. May I be fo bold to fay fo, fir?

Hoft. Ay, fir; like who more bold.

Simp. I thank your worship: I fhall make my master glad with these tidings.

[Exit Simple. Hoft. Thou art clerkly; thou art clerkly, fir John: was there a wife woman with thee?

Fal. Ay, that there was, mine host, one that hath taught me more wit than ever I learn'd before in my life; and I pay'd nothing for it neither, but was pay'd for my learning.


Enter Bardolph.

Bard. Out, alas, fir, cozenage! meer cozenage! Hoft. Where be my horfes? fpeak well of them, varletto. Bard. Run away with the cozeners; for fo foon as I came beyond Eaton, they threw me off from behind one of them in flough of mire, and set spurs, and away; like three German devils, three doctor Fauftus's.

Hoft. They are gone but to meet the duke; villain, do not Lay they be fled; Germans are honest men.

Enter Evans.

Eva. Where is mine hoft?

Hoft. What is the matter, fir?

Eva Have a care of your entertainments; there is a friend o mine come to town tells me there is three cozen-jermans that has cozen'd all the hofts of Reading, of Maiden-head, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell you for good will, look you; you are wife, and full of gibes and vlouting-stocks, and 'tis not convenient you fhould be cozened; fare you well. [Exit.


Enter Caius.

Caius. Ver is mine hoft de jartere?

Hoft. Here, mafter doctor, in perplexity, and doubtful dilemma. Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat; but it is tell-a me, dat you make a grand preparation for a duke de Jamany; by my trot, dere no duke, dat de court is know, to come: I tell you for good will; adieu. [Exit. Hoft. Hue and cry, villain, go; affift me, knight, I am undone; fly, run, hue and cry, villain; I am undone. [Exit.

Fal. I would, all the world might be cozen'd, 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 wash'd and cudgel'd, they would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermens boots with me. I warrant, they would whip me with their fine wits, 'till I were as crest-faln as a dry'd pear. I never profper'd fince I forfwore myself at Primero. Well, if my wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent. Now, whence come you?


Enter mistress Quickly.

Quic. From the two parties, forfooth.

Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the other, and so they shall be both bestow'd! I have fuffer'd more for their fakes, more than the villanous inconstancy of man's difpofition is able to bear.

Quic. And have they not fuffer'd? yes, I warrant, fpeciously one of them; mistress Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot fee a white fpot about her.

Fal. What tell'ft thou me of black and blue? I was beaten myself into all the colours of the rain-bow; and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of Brainford; but that my admirable dexterity of wit, counterfeiting the action of a wode woman, deliver'd me, the knave constable had fet me i' th' stocks, i' th' common stocks, for a witch.

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