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Quic. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber; hear how things go, and, I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado is here to bring you together ! sure, one of you does not serve heav'n well, that you are so cross’d. Fal. Come up into my chamber.

[Exeunt.

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Enter Fenton, and Host.
Hoft. Master Fenton, talk not to me, my mind is heavy, I will
give over all.

Fent. Yet hear me speak; assist me in my purpose,
And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee
A hundred pound in gold more than your loss.

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

Fent. From time to time I have acquainted you
With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page,
Who, mutually, hath answer’d

my affection,
(So far forth as herself might be her chooser)
Ev'n to my wish. I have a letter from her
Of such contents, as you will wonder at;
The mirth whereof's so larded with my matter,
That neither singly can be manifested,
Without the show of both. Fat sir John Falstaff
Hath a great scene; the image of the jest
I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine hoft;
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 Eaton
Immediately to marry; she hath consented. — Now, sir,
Her mother, ever strong against that match,
Vol. I.

And

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And form for doctor Caius, hath appointed
That he shall likewise shuffle her

away,
While other sports are talking 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 refts
Her father means she shall be all in white;
And in that dress when Slender fees his time
To take her by the hand, and bid her go,
She shall go with him. -- Her mother hath intended,
The better to devote her to the doctor,
(For they must all be mask'd and vizarded)
That, quaint in green, she shall be loose enrob’d,
With ribbands-pendent, Aaring 'bout her head;
And when the doctor fpies his vantage ripe
To pinch her by the hand, upon that token
The maid hath given consent to go with him.

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

Fent. Both, my good hoft, 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.

Hoft. 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; Beside, I'll make a present recompence.

[Exeunt.

S CE N E XII. Re-enter Falstaff, and mistress Quickly. Fal. Pr’ythee, no more pratling; go, I'll hold. This is the third time; I hope, good luck lyes in odd numbers; away, go; they fay, there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death; away.

told me you

Quic. I'll provide you a chain, and I'll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.

[Exit Mrs. Quickly. Fal. Away, I say; time wears: hold up your head, and mince.

Enter Ford. How now, master Brook? master Brook, the matter will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the park about mid-night at Herne's oak, and

you

shall see wonders.
Ford. Went you not to her yesterday, fir, as you told
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

poor

old 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 a man, master Brook, I fear not Goliah 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 geefe, play'd truant, and whipt top, I knew not what 'twas 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.

[Exeunt.

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woman.

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ACT V. SCENE I.

Windfor-Park.
Enter Page, Shallow, and Slender.

PAGE.
NOME, come; we'll couch i'th'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

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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: heav'n prosper our sport ! No one means evil but the devil, and we shall know him by his horns. Let's away; follow me.

[Exeunt. SCENE II. Enter mistress Page, mistress Ford, and Caius. Mrs. Page. Master doctor, my daughter is in green : when you

fee 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.

[Exit. Mrs. Page. Fare you well, sir. My 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 Welch devil Evans ?

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 amaze him.

Mrs. Page. If he be not amaz’d he will be mock’d; if he be amaz’d he will be mock'd.

Mrs. Ford. We'll betray him finely.
Mrs. Page. Against such lewdsters, and their techery,
Those that betray them do no treachery.
Mrs. Ford. The hour draws on; to the oak, to the oak. [Exeunt.

Enter Evans, and Fairies.
Eva. Trib, trib, fairies; come, and remember your parts : be

pold

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.

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Enter Falstaff, with a buck's head on.
Fal. The Windfor bell hath struck twelve; the minute draws
on: now the hot-blooded gods affist 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'th' forest. Send
me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss my
tallow? who comes here? my doe?

Enter mistress Ford, and mistress 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-Jeeves; hail kissing-comfits, and snow eringoes; let there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.

Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, sweet heart.

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. Heav’n forgive our sins !
Fal. What should this be?

Mrs.

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