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And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee
A hundred pound in gold, more than your loss.

Host. I will hear you, master Fenton; and I will, at the least, keep your counsel.

Fént. From time to time I have acquainted you
With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page;
Who, mutually, hath answered my affection
(So far forth as herself might be her chooser)
Even to my wish: I have a letter from her
Of such contents as you will wonder at;
The mirth whereof so larded with my matter,
That neither, singly, can be manifested,
Without the show of both; — wherein fat Falstaff
Hath a great scene: the image of the jest

[Showing the letter.
I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine host :
To-night 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 slip
Away with Slender, and with him at Eton
Immediately to marry: she hath consented.
Now, sir,
Her mother, even strong against that match,
And firm for doctor Caius, hath appointed
That he shall likewise shuffle her away,
While other sports are tasking of their minds,
And at the deanery, 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 habit, 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 better to denote her to the doctor,
(For they must all be masked and vizarded,)
That, quaint in green she shall be loose enrobed,
With ribands pendent, 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.

Host. Which means she to deceive? father, or mother?

Fent. Both, my good host, 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, in the lawful name of marrying,
To give our hearts united ceremony.

Host. 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; Besides, I'll make a present recompense.

[Exeunt.

ACT V.

SCENE I. A Room in the Garter Inn.

Enter FALSTAFF and MRS. QUICKLY. Fal. Pr’ythee, no more prattling;-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.

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 mince.

[Exit Mrs. QUICKLY.

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 governed 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 plucked geese, played truant, and whipped 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 revenged, and I will deliver his wife into your hand. — Follow: Strange things in hand, master Brook! follow.

[Ereunt.

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Enter Page, SHALLow, and SLENDER. 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.

[Exeunt.

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My

Enter Mrs. PAGE, MRS. FORD, and Dr. Caius. 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 despatch 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.] 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 Welsh devil, Hugh?

Mrs. Page. They are all couched in a pit hard by Herne's oak, with obscured 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 amaze him.

Mrs. Page. If he be not amazed, he will be mocked ; if he be amazed, he will every way be mocked.

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 oak!

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV. Windsor Park.

Enter Sir Hugh 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. 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; - 0 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?

Enter MRS. FORD and MRS. 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.

[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! [Noise within.

Mrs. Page. Alas! What noise ?
Mrs. Ford. Heaven forgive our sins !
Fal. What should this be?
Mrs. Ford.

[They run off.

Mrs. Page.

} Away, away!

Fal. I think, the devil will not have me damned, 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; MRS. QUICKLY, and

PISTOL; ANNE Page, as the Fairy Queen, attended by her brothers and others, dressed like fairies, with waxen tapers on their heads.

Quick. Fairies, black, gray, green, and white,
You moonshine revellers, and shades of night,
You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,
Attend your office, and your quality.
Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy o-yes.

Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.
Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap:
Where fires thou find'st unraked, 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.
Eva. Where's Pede?-Go you, and where you find a maid,
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.

Quick. 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 state 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 several crest,
With loyal blazon, evermore be blest !
And nightly, meadow-fairies, look you sing,
Like to the Garter's compass, in a ring:
The expressure that it bears, green let it be,
More fertile-fresh than all the field to see;
And Hony soit qui mal y pense 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 charactery.

}

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