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ACT V PIST. A trial, come.

Sc. V


Come, will this wood take fire?
[They burn him with their tapers.

FAL. O! O! O!
QUEEN. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire!
About him, Fairies: sing a scornful rhyme;
And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time.


Fye on sinful fantasy!
Fye on lust and luxury!

Lust is but a bloody fire,1

Kindled with unchaste desire,

Fed in heart; whose flames aspire,

As thoughts do blow them, higher and higher.
Pinch him, Fairies, mutually;

Pinch him for his villainy;

Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about,
Till candles, and starlight, and moonshine be out.



During this
song, the Fairies pinch FALSTAFF. DOCTOR
CAIUS comes one way, and steals away a Fairy in
green; SLENDER another way, and takes off a Fairy
in white; and FENTON comes, and steals away
MISTRESS ANNE PAGE. A noise of hunting is made
within. All the Fairies run away. FALSTAFF pulls
off his buck's head, and rises.

They lay hold on him.

PAGE. Nay, do not fly: I think, we have watch'd2 you


Will none but Herne the Hunter serve your turn?
MRS. PAGE. I pray you, come: hold up the jest no


Now, good Sir John, how like you Windsor wives?

See you these, husband? do not these fair yokes 3
Become the Forest better than the Town?



FORD. Now, Sir, who's a cuckold now ?-Master Brook,
Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldy knave; here are his

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horns, Master Brook. And, Master Brook, he hath
enjoy'd nothing of Ford's but his buck-basket, his
cudgel, and twenty pounds of money, which must be
paid to Master Brook: his horses are arrested for it,
Master Brook.

MRS. FORD. Sir John, we have had ill luck, we could
never meet. I will never take you for my love again,
but I will always count you my deer.

FAL. I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass.
FORD. Ay, and an ox too: both the proofs are extant. 120
FAL. And these are not Fairies? I was three or four
times in the thought they were not Fairies: and yet
the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surprise of my
powers, drove the grossness of the foppery into a receiv'd
belief, in despite of the teeth of all rhyme and reason,
that they were Fairies. See now, how wit may be made
a Jack-a-lent, when 'tis upon ill employment!
EVANS. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your
desires, and Fairies will not pinse you.

FORD. Well said, Fairy Hugh.


EVANS. And leave you your jealousies too, I pray you. FORD. I will never mistrust my wife again till thou art able to woo her in good English.

FAL. Have I laid my brain in the sun, and dried it, that it wants matter to prevent so gross o'er-reaching as this? Am I ridden with a Welsh goat too? Shall I have a coxcomb1 of frize? "Tis time I were chok'd with a piece of toasted cheese.

EVANS. Seese is not good to give putter: your pelly is all putter.


FAL. Seese and putter! Have I liv'd to stand at the taunt of one that makes fritters of English? This is enough to be the decay of lust and late-walking through the realm.

MRS. PAGE. Why, Sir John, do you think, though we would have thrust virtue out of our hearts by the head and shoulders, and have given ourselves without scruple to Hell, that ever the Devil could have made you our delight?

FORD. What, a hodge-pudding?2 a bag of flax?



Sc. V

1 fool's cap.


2 medley, haggis.

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MRS. PAGE. A puff'd man?

PAGE. Old, cold, wither'd, and of intolerable entrails?
FORD. And one that is as slanderous as Satan?
PAGE. And as poor as Job?

FORD. And as wicked as his wife?

EVANS. And given to fornications and to taverns, and sack and wine and metheglins, and to drinkings, and swearings and starings, pribbles and prabbles?

FAL. Well, I am your theme: you have the start of me; I am dejected; I am not able to answer the Welsh flannel; ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me: use me as you will.


FORD. Marry, Sir, we'll bring you to Windsor, to one Master Brook, that you have cozen'd of money, to whom you should have been a pander: over and above that you have suffer'd, I think to repay that money will be a biting affliction.

PAGE. Yet be cheerful, Knight: thou shalt eat a posset to-night at my house; where I will desire thee to laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee. Tell her, Master Slender hath married her daughter.


MRS. PAGE. Doctors doubt that. If Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this, Doctor Caius' wife.


SLEN. Whoo! ho! ho! father Page.


PAGE. Son! how now? how now, son? have you dis-

SLEN. Dispatch'd!-I'll make the best in Gloucester-
shire know on 't; would I were hang'd, la, else!
PAGE. Of what, son?


SLEN. I came yonder at Eton to marry Mistress Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy. If it had not been i' th' church, I would have swinged him, or he should have swinged me. If I did not think it had been Anne Page, would I might never stir, and 'tis a post-master's boy.

PAGE. Upon my life then you took the wrong.

SLEN. What need you tell me that? I think so, when
I took a boy for a girl. If I had been married to


him, for all he was in woman's apparel, I would not have had him. PAGE. Why, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you, how you should know my daughter by her garments? SLEN. I went to her in white, and cried mum, and she cried budget, as Anne and I had appointed; and yet it was not Anne, but a post-master's boy.

MRS. PAGE. Good George, be not angry: I knew of your purpose; turn'd my daughter into green; and, indeed, she is now with the Doctor at the Deanery, and there married.

Enter CAIUS.


CAIUS. Vere is Mistress Page? By gar, I am cozen'd: I
ha' married oon garsoon, a boy; oon pesant, by gar, a
boy; it is not Anne Page: by gar, I am cozen'd.
MRS. PAGE. Why, did you take her in green?
CAIUS. Ay, by gar, and 'tis a boy; by gar, I'll raise all
[Exit CAIUS.

FORD. This is strange! Who hath got the right Anne?
PAGE. My heart misgives me. Here comes Master



How now, Master Fenton ?


ANNE. Pardon, good father! Good my mother, pardon!
PAGE. Now, Mistress? how chance you went not with
Master Slender?

MRS. PAGE. Why went you not with Master Doctor,


FENT. You do amaze her. Hear the truth of it.

You would have married her most shamefully,
Where there was no proportion held in love.
The truth is, she and I, long since contracted,
Are now so sure that nothing can dissolve us.
The offence is holy that she hath committed:
And this deceit loses the name of craft,
Of disobedience, or unduteous guile;
Since therein she doth evitate and shun



Sc. V

A thousand irreligious, cursed hours,

Which forced marriage would have brought upon


Sc. V

FORD. Stand not amaz'd: here is no remedy!

In love, the Heavens themselves do guide the state;
Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.

FAL. I am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand1 to
strike at me, that your arrow hath glanc'd.

PAGE. Well, what remedy? Fenton, Heaven give thee

What cannot be eschew'd must be embrac❜d.
FAL. When night-dogs3 run, all sorts of deer are chas'd.
EVANS. I will dance and eat plums at your wedding.
MRS. PAGE. Well, I will muse no further.

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To Master Brook you yet shall hold your word;
For he to-night shall lie with Mistress Ford.





1 shooting-place.

3 with bolt or shaft.

3 poachers' hounds.

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