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castle, his standing-bed, and truckle-bed ;* 'tis FAL. Ay, sir Tike; who more bold ? painted about with the story of the prodigal, fresh Sim. I thank your worship: I shall make my and new: go, knock and call; he'll speak like an master glad with these tidings. [Exit SIMPLE. Anthropophaginian unto thee; knock, I say. Host. Thou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, sir
SIM. There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone John: was there a wise woman with thee? up into his chamber ; I'll be so bold as stay, sir, FAL. Ay, that there was, mine Host ; one, that till she come down : I come to speak with her, hath taught me more wit than ever I learned indeed.
before in my life: and I paid nothing for it Host. Ha! a fat woman ! the knight may be neither, but was paid for my learning." robbed : I'll call.—Bully knight! Bully sir John ! speak from thy lungs military: art thou there?
Enter BARDOLPH. it is thine host, thine Ephesian, calls. FAL. [above.] How now, mine Host?
BARD. Out, alas, sir! cozenage! mere cozenage! Host. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the Host. Where be my horses ? speak well of coming down of thy fat woman : let her descend, them, varletto. bully, let her descend ; my chambers are honour
BARD. Run away with the cozeners : for so soon able : fie! privacy ? fie!
as I came beyond Eton, they threw me off, from behind one of them, in a slough of mire; and set
spurs, and away, like three German devils, three Enter FALSTAFF.
Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, Fal. There was, mine Host, an old fat woman
villain : do not say, they be fled; Germans are even now with me; but she's gone.
honest men. Sim. Pray you, sir, was’t not the wise woman of Brentford ?
Enter Sir Hugh Evans.
Eva. Where is mine Host? Sim. My master, sir, my master Slender, sent Host. What is the matter, sir ? to her, seeing her go through the streets, know, Eva. Have a care of your entertainments : sir, whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a there is a friend of mine come to town, tells me, chain, had the chain, or no.
there is three couzin germans, that has cozened all Fal. I spake with the old woman about it. the hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of ColeSim. And what says she. I
prook, of horses and money.(4) I tell you for goodFal. Marry, she says, that the very same man, will, look you: you are wise, and full of gipes and that beguiled master Slender of his chain, cozened
vlouting stogs ; and 't is not convenient you should him of it.
pe cozened: fare
[Exit. Sim. I would, I could have spoken with the woman herself; I had other things to have spoken
Enter Doctor Caius. with her too, from him. Fal. What are they? let us know.
Caius. Vere is mine Host de Jarterre ? Host. Ay, come; quick!
Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, and Sim. I may not conceal them, sir."
doubtful dilemma. Host. Conceal them, or thou diest !
Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat: but it is tell-a Sim. Why, sir, they were nothing but about me, dat you make grand preparation for a duke mistress Anne Page ; to know, if it were my de Jarmany : by my trot, dere is no duke, dat de master's fortune to have her, or no.
court is know to come: I tell you for good vill: FAL. ”T is, 'tis his fortune.
Erit. Sim. What, sir ?
Host. Hue and cry, villain, go assist me, FAL. To have her,—or no: go; say,
knight; I am undone :—fily, run, hue and cry, told me so.
villain ! I am undone ! Sim. May I be bold to say so, sir ?
[Exit Host and BARDOLPH.
pray, sir ?
A His standing-bed, and truckle-bed ;) In the poet's time, chambers were usually furnished with a standing bedstead, on which the superior reposed, and a truckle (from trochlia, a castor) or running one for the attendant. In the day-time, the latter, which was much lower than the standing bed, was wheeled under it, to afford more roor in the apartinent.
b Muscle-shell ;) “ He calls him Muscle-shell, because he stands with his mouth open."-JOHNSON,
c I may not conceal them, sir.) The old text gives this speech to Falsta tf. For conceal, in both instances, Dr. Farmer proposes
to read rereal; that is, to quench the little humour intended, which all depends on Slender's blunder, and the Host's jocular repetition of it.
d Ay, sir Tike; who more bold !) The folio reads, “ Ar, sir. like who more bold.” but the reading in the text is supported by the quarto, which has, Ay, Tike, &c. Tike meaning clor, or clodpole.
e I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning. I He quibbles on the meaning of paid: one sense of to pay formerly being to beat.
FAL. I would, all the world might be cozened ; With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page; for I have been coze
zened, and beaten too. If it Who, mutually, hath answer'd my affection should come to the ear of the court, how I have (So far forth as herself might be her chooser), been transformed, and how my transformation hath Even to my wish : I have a letter from her been washed and cudgeled, they would melt me Of such contents as you will wonder at ; out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermen's The mirth whereof so larded with my matter, boots with me; I warrant, they would whip me That neither, singly, can be manifested, with their fine wits, till I were as crestfallen as a Without the show of both ;—wherein * fat Falstaff dried
pear. I never prospered since I foreswore Hath a great scene: the image of the jest myself at primero." Well, if my wind were but
[Showing the letter. long enough to say my prayers, I would repent.-- I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY.
To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and one, Now! whence come you ?
Must my sweet Nan present the fairy queen ; Quick. From the two parties, forsooth.
The purpose why, is here ; in which disguise, Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the
While other jests are something rank on foot, other, and so they shall be both bestowed ! I have
Her father hath commanded her to slip suffered more for their sakes, more, than the
Away with Slender, and with him at Eton villainous inconstancy of man's disposition is able Immediately to marry: she hath consented. Now, to bear. Quick. And have not they suffered ? Yes, I
Her mother, eveno strong against that match,
And firm for doctor Caius, hath appointed warrant; speciously one of them; mistress Ford,
That he shall likewise shuffle her away, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a white spot about her.
While other sports are tasking of their minds, FAL. What tell'st thou me of black and blue ?
And at the deanery, where a priest attends, I was beaten myself into all the colours of the
Straight marry her : to this her mother's plot rainbow; and I was like to be apprehended for the
She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath witch of Brentford; but that my admirable dexte
Made promise to the doctor.—Now, thus it rests : rity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of an old
Her father means she shall be all in white; woman, delivered me, the knave constable had set
And in that habit, when Slender sees his time me i' th' stocks, i'th' common stocks, for a witch.
To take her by the hand, and bid her go, Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your
She shall go with him :-her mother hath intended, chamber: shall hear how things go, and, I
The better to denotet her to the doctor, you warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado here is to
That, quaint in green, she shall be loose enrob'd, bring you together ! Sure, one of you does not
With ribands pendant, flaring 'bout her head;
And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe, serve heaven well, that you are so crossed. Fal. Come into up
To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token, chamber. my
The maid hath given consent to go with him.
Host. Which means she to deceive ? father or SCENE VI:-Another Room in the Garter Inn. mother?
Fent. Both, my good Host, to go along with Enter FENTON and Host. Host, Master Fenton, talk not to me; my And here it rests,—that you'll procure the vicar mind is heavy, I will give over all.
To stay for me at church, 'twixt twelve and one, Fent. Yet hear me speak : assist me in my And, in the lawful name of marrying, purpose,
To give our hearts united ceremony. And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee
Host. Well, husband your device; I'll to the A hundred pound in gold, more than your loss.
vicar: Host. I will hear you, master Fenton ; and I Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest. wilt, at the least, keep your counsel.
FENT. So shall I evermore be bound to thee; FENT. From time to time I have acquainted Besides, I'll make a present recompense. you
& I never prospered since I foreswore myself at primero.) Shakespeare has nothing more profoundly characteristic of an oid sinner, than this ard the analogous reflection of Mistress Quickly upon the failure of their schemes :-“Sure, one of you does not seive heaven well, that you are so crossed."
(*) First folio omits, wherein. (t) Old text, devote. b To say my prayers,-) These words are from the quarto.
c Even strong-1 Equally strong. But as the quarto reads "still against," it may be doubted whether "even” is not a mis. print for ever.
Enter FALSTAFF and MISTRESS QUICKLY, jealousy in him, master Brook, that ever governed Fal. Pr’ythee, no more prattling ;-go.
frenzy. I will tell you. He beat me grievously, hold: this is the third time; I hope good luck lies
in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of man, in odd numbers. Away, go; they say, there is
master Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaver's divinity in odd numbers,“ either in nativity, chance, beam; because I know also, life is a shuttle. I or death.— Away.
am in haste; go along with me; I'll tell you all,
master Brook. Since I plucked geese, played QUICK. I'll provide you a chain ; and I'll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.
truant, and whipped top, I knew not what it was Fal. Away, I say ; time wears: hold up your
to be beaten, till lately. Follow me: I'll tell you head, and mince. [Exit MISTRESS QUICKLY. 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, Enter Ford. master Brook! follow.
[Exeunt. How now, master Brook? Master Brook, the matter will be known to-night, or never. Be you
SCENE II.-Windsor Park. in the Park about midnight, at Herne's oak,(1) and you shall see wonders.
Enter Page, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. FORD. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me you had appointed ?
PAGE. Come, come; we'll couch i th' castleFAL. I went to her, master Brook, as you see, ditch, till we see the light of our fairies. Remember,
old man: but I came from her, master son Slender, my daughter. * Brook, like a poor old woman. That same knave, SLEN. Ay, forsooth; I have spoke with her, Ford her husband, hath the finest mad devil of and we have a nay-word, how to know one another.
like a poor
a There is divinity in odd numbers, -]
VIRGIL, Eclogue viii.
(*) First folio omits, daughter. b And mince.) To mince meant to walk with affected modesty.
c A nay-word,-) That is, a watch-word.
I come to her in white, and cry mum ; she cries,
SCENE V.-Another part of the Park. your mum, or her budget ? the white will decipher her well enough.—It hath struck ten o'clock. Enter Falstaff disguised, with a buck's head on.
PAGE. The night is dark ; light and spirits will become it well. Heaven prosper our sport ! No
FAL. The Windsor bell hath struck twelve ; man means evil but the devil, and we shall know
the minute draws on : now, the hot-blooded gods
assist me. him by his horns. Let's away; follow me.
Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for [Exeunt.
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, SCENE III.—The Street in Windsor.
Jupiter, a swan, for the love of Leda; 0, omniEnter MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS Ford, and potent love! how near the god drew to the comDr. Caius.
plexion of a goose! A fault donc first in the form
of a beast ; 0 Jove, a beastly fault! and then Mes. Page. Master doctor, my daughter is in another fault in the semblance of a fowl; think green : when you see your time, take her by the
on't, Jove; a foul fault! When gods have hot hand, away with her to the deanery, and despatch
backs, what shall poor men do? For me, I am it quickly : go before into the park; we two must here a Windsor stag; and the fattest, I think, i' go together.
th’ forest : send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who Caius. I know vat I have to do; adieu.
can blame me to piss my tallow? Who comes here? Mrs. PAGE. Fare you well, sir. [E.rit Caius.] 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 Enter MISTRESS Ford and MISTRESS PAGE. 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. FORD. Sir John ? art thou there, my
deer? Mrs. Page. They are all couched in a pit hard
my hy Herne's oak, with obscured lights ; which, at
Fal. My doe with the black scut ?—Let the the very instant of Falstaff's and our meeting,
sky rain potatoes ; let it thunder to the tune of they will at once display to the night.
Green Sleeves ; bail kissing-comfits, and snow Mrs. FORD. That cannot choose but amaze
eringoes ; let there come a tempest of provocation, him.
I will shelter me here.
[Embracing her. Mrs. Page. If he be not amazed, he will be
Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come wit) me, mocked ; if he be amazed, he will every way be
Fal. Divide me like a brib’d-buck, each MRS. FORD. We'll betray him finely.
haunch: I will keep my sides to myself, my Mrs. Page. Against such lewdsters, and their
shoulders for the fellow of this walk," and my lechery,
horns I bequeath your husbands. Am I a woodThose that betray them do no treachery.
man ? ha! Speak I like Herne the hunter ? Mrs. Ford. The hour draws on; to the oak,
Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience ; he to the oak !
MRS. PAGE. Alas! what noise ?
Mrs. Ford. Heaven forgive our sins !
Fal. What should this be?
MRS. FORD. Eva. Trib, trib, fairies; come; and remember Mrs. Page.
Away! away! [They run off. your parts : be pold, I pray you ; follow me into Fal. I think, the devil will not have me the pit; and when I give the watch-'ords, do as I damned, lest the oil that is in me should set hell pid you. Come, come; trib, trib. [Exeunt. on fire; he would never else cross me thus.
(*) Old copy, Herne. My shoulders for the fellow of this walk,--] By fellow of this walk is meant the forester, to whom it was customary, on the " breaking up" of a deer, to present one or both of the shoulders. For the process, we must refer the reader to the ** Booke of Hunting," by the venerable Dame Juliana Berners,
" And the right shoulder, where so ever he be,
Bere it to the foster, for that is his fee." Or to Turberville's “Booke of Hunting," 1575, where the distribution is prescribed with all the exactness so important a ceremony deserved.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans, like a satyr ; MISTRESS
Our radiant queen hates sluts, and sluttery. QUICKLY, and PISTOL; ANNE Page, as the Fal. They are fairies ; he that speaks to them, Fairy Queen, attended her brother and
shall die : others, dressed like fairies, with waxen tapers
I'll wink and couch: no man their works must on their heads. a
[Lies down upon his face.
Eva. Where's Pede ?*—Go you, and where QUEEN. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,
you find a maid, You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night, That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said, You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,
organs of her fantasy, Attend your office, and your quality.
Sleep she as sound as careless infancy ; Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy 0-yes. [toys. Put those as sleep, and think not on their sins,
Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy Pinch them, arms, legs, packs, shoulders, sides, Cricket, to Windsor chimnies shalt thou leap :
and shins. Where fires thou find'st unrak'd, and hearths QUEEN. About, about; unswept,
Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out; There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry: Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room ;
(*) First folio, Bede.
a Enter Sir Hugh Evans, &c.) This stage-direction is chiefly made up from that in the early quarto. The folio has only, "Enter fuirics." The introduction of Pistol and Mistress Quickly in this scene, is to be accounted for on the supposition that the necessity of the theatre compelled the performers of these characters to take part among the fairies, and that the names thus got inserted in the printed copies.
b QUEEN. There is nothing inconsistent in the prefix Quic. to
with plausibility, to read, “Ouphen heirs," but see note (3), page
Pist Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.)