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Hoft. Ha! a fat woman ? the Knight may be robb'd: I'll call. Bully-Knight! bully-Sir John! speak from thy lungs military: art thou there? it is thine Hoft, thine Ephesian calls.

Falstaff, above.
Fal. How now, mine Host?

Hoft. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of thy fat woman : let her defcend, bully, let her descend; my chambers are honourable. Fy, privacy? fy.

Enter Falstaff. Fal. There was, mine Hoft, an old fat woman even now with me, but she's gone.

Simp. Pray you, Sir, was't not the wise woman of Brainford ?

Fal. Ay, marry was it, mussel-lhell, what would you with her?

Simp. My master, Sir, my master Slender sent to her, seeing her go thro’ the street, to know, Sir, whether one Nym, Sir, that beguild him of a chain, had the chain, or no.

Fal. I spake with the old woman about it.
Simp. And what says the, I pray,

Sir ?
Fal. Marry, she says, that the


same man, that beguild master 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, Sir. Fal. Conceal them, or thou dy'ft. Simp. Why, Sir, they were nothing but about mistress Ann Page; to know, if it were my master's fortune to have her or no.

Fal. 'Tis, 'tis his fortune.
Simp. What, Sir!

Fal. To have her, or no: go; say, the woman told me so.

Simp. May I be fo bold to say fo, Sir!
Fal. Ay, Sir; like who more bold.

Simp. I thank your worthip: I Mall make my master glad with these tidings.

(Exit Simple. Hoft. Thou art clarkly; thou art clarkiy, Sir Joon: was there a wise woman with thee?

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

Enter Bardolph.
Bard. Out, alas, Sir, cozenage! mere cożenage.

Hoft. Wherë be my horles? speak well of them, varletto.

Bard. Run away with the cożeners; for so soon as I Came beyond Eaton, they threw me off from behind one of them in a fough of mire, and set spars, and away ; like three German devils, :hree Doctor Fauftus's.

Hoft. They are gone but to meet the Duke, villain do not say they be fed ; Germans are honed men.

Enter Evans.
Eva. Where is mine Hoj?
Hift. What is the matter, Sir?

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 Hosts of Readings, of Maiden-head, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell you for good will, look you ; you are wise, and full of gibes and vlouting-stocks, and 'tis not convenient you should be cożen'd; fare you well. {Exit,

Enier Caius.
Caius. Ver' is mine Hof de Jarteer ?

Hoft. Here, malter Doctor, in perplexity and doubtful dilemma.

Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat; but it is tell-a-mé, dat you make a grand preparation for a Duke de Jamany; by my trot, der is no Duke, dat the court is know, to come : I tell you for good will; adieu. (Exit. VOL. I.


Hol. Hue and cry, villain, go! aflift me, Knight, I am undore; fiy, run, hue and cry! Villain, I am undone!

Exit. Fal. I would, all the world might be cozen'd, for [ have been cozened and beaten too. If it should come to the ear of the court, how I have been tiansformed, and how my trans'ormation 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 prosper'd since I forswore myself at Primero. Well, if my wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent..

Enter Mistress Quickly. Now. whence come you?

Quic. From the two parties, forsooth.

Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the other, and so they Mall be both bestow'd.' I have suffered more for their fakes, more than the villainous inconftancy of man's difpofition is able to bear.

Quic. And have not they suffer’d: yes, I warrant, speciously one of them; mifress Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a white pot about her.

Fal, What tell'At thou me of black and biue ? I was beaten, myself into all the colours of the rainbow and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of Brainford; but that my aunirable dexterity of wit, counterfeiting the (26) action of a wood woman,

(26) Action of an o!d woman,] This reading is no great compliment to the fagacity of our former Editors, who could content themSelves with words, without any regard to the reasoning. What! was it any, dexterity of wit in Sir Jobn Falstaff, to counterfeit the action of an old woman in order to escape being apprehended for a moitch Surely, one would imagine, this was the readiest means to bring him into such a scrape: for none but old women have ever been hyfpected of being duitches. The text muft certainly be restor'd, as I have corrected it, a wed woman; i. e. a crazy, frantick woman; "one too wild, and li ly, and unmeaning, to have either the malice, or michievous fubtlety of a witch in her. I have already explain'd, and prov'd the use of this term, in one of my notes on the Two Gentle men of Verona,


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deliver'd mé, theknave conftahle had set mei'th'ftocks, i'th'common ftocks for a witch.

Quic. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber; you

Thall hear how thing's go, and, I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado is here to bring you together! ture,


does not serve heav'n well, that you are se crossid. Fal. Come up into my chamber.

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

Fent. Yet hear me fpeak; affift me in my purpose, And, as I am a gentlemany. I'll give thee, A hundied

poun in gold more than your loss. Hoft. I will hear you, malter Fenton; and I will, ac the least, keep your counsel.

Feat. From time to time I have acquainted you With the dear love I bear to fair Ann Page; Who, mutually, hath answer'd my affection, (So far forth as herself might be her chuser) Ev'n to my wilh. 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 fingly can be manifested, Without the shew of both. Fat Sir John Falluj Hith a great scene; the image of the jeft PH Mew you here at large. Hark, good mine Hoft; To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and oder ! Must my sweet Nan present the fairy Queen; The purpose why, is here ; in which disguise, While other jests are something rank on foor, Her father hath commanded her to slip Away with Slender, and wilach consented.--Now, Sira

him at Eaton Immediately to marry;

Her mother, ever strong against that match,
And firm for Doctor Caius, hath' appointed
That he shall likewise thuffle her away,
While other sports are talking of their minds;

O 2


And at the Deanry, 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 the shall be all in white,
And in that dress when Slender sees his time
To take her by the hand, and bid her go,
She Mall go with him. Her mother hath intended,
T'he better to devote her to the Doctor,
(For they must all be mask'd and vizarded)
That, quaint in green, the shall be loose enrobid,
With ribbands-pendent, faring 'bout her head;
And when the Doctor (pies his vantage ripe,
To pinch her by the hand, and on that token,
The maid hath given consent to go with him.

Hoft. Which means the to deceiver 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 ; Befide, I'll make a present recompence.

[Exeunt. Re-enter Falstaff and Miftress Quickly. Fal. Pr’ythee, no more pratling; go, I'll hold. This is the third time; I hope, good luck lies in odd num. bers; away, go, they say, there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance or death; au ay.

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

bead and mince.

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


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