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Sc. I


SCENE I. A Room in the Garter.


FAL. Pr'ythee, no more prattling! Go. I'll hold.1 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

Enter FORD.

Master Brook, the matter

How now, Master Brook?

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 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 pluck'd geese, play'd truant, and whipp'd 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 reveng'd, and I will deliver his wife into your hand.— Follow. Strange things in hand, Master Brook! Follow.


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Sc. II

SCENE II. Windsor Park.


PAGE. Come, come; we'll couch 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 decipher 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 means evil but the Devil, and we shall know him by his horns. Let's away; follow me.

SCENE III. The Street in Windsor.



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 dispatch 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 Fal-
staff 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 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 choose but amaze1 him.

1 confuse.

MRS. PAGE. If he be not amaz'd, he will be mock'd; if ACT V

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



SCENE IV. Windsor Park.

Enter SIR HUGH EVANS and 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, 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 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?


MRS. FORD. Sir John? Art thou there, my deer? My male deer?


FAL. My doe with the black scut?-Let the sky rain 1 grow lean, like a rutting hart.

Sc. V


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!


MRS. PAGE. Alas! What noise?


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[Noise within.


[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; MISTRESS QUICKLY and PISTOL; ANNE PAGE, as the Fairy Queen, attended by her Brother and others, dressed like Fairies, with waxen tapers on their heads.

QUEEN. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,

You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night,
You ouphen 5-heirs of fixed destiny,
Attend your office, and your quality.
Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy oyes.

PIST. Elves, list your names. Silence! you airy toys.
Cricket, to Windsor chimneys when thou 'st leapt,
Where fires thou find'st unrak'd, and hearths unswept,
There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry:
Our radiant Queen hates sluts and sluttery.


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

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Sc. V

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,

Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides, and shins.

QUEEN. About, about!

Search Windsor Castle, Elves, within and out:
Strew good luck, Ouphes, on every sacred room,
That it may stand till the perpetual doom

In seat as wholesome as in state 'tis fit,

Worthy the owner, and the owner it.
The several Chairs of Order look you scour
With juice of balm, and every precious flower.
Each fair instalment, coat, and sev'ral crest,
With loyal blazon evermore be blest!
And nightly, Meadow-Fairies, look you sing,
Like to the Garter's compass, in a ring:
Th' expressure that it bears, green let it be,
More fertile-fresh than all the field to see;
And Hony soit qui mal y pensë write

In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue, and white;
Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery,
Buckled below fair Knighthood's bending knee:
Fairies use flowers for their charáctery.
Away! disperse! But, till 'tis one o'clock,

Our dance of custom, round about the Oak

Of Herne the Hunter, let us not forget.



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 middle1 earth.


FAL. Heaven 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.
QUEEN. 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.

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