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Fal. "T is, 't is his fortune,
Sim. I thank your worship : I shall make my master glad with these tidings.
[Exit Sım. Host. Thou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, sir John: Was there a wise woman with thee?
Fal. Ay, that there was, mine host; one that hath taught me more wit than ever I learned before in my life; and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning
Host. Where be my horses ? speak well of them, varletto.
Bard. Run away with the cozeners : for so soon 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 doctor Faustuses.
Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, villain ; do not say they be fled; Germans are honest men.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans.
Eva. Have a care of your entertainments : there is a friend of mine come to town, tells me there is three couzin germans, that has cozened all the hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell you for good-will, look you : you are wise, and full of gibes and vlouting-stogs ; and 't is not convenient you should be cozened : Fare you well. [Exit.
Enter Dor. Caius.
Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, and doubt ful dilemma.
Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat: But it is tell-a me, dat you make grand preparation for a duke de Jarmany : by my trot, dere is no duke dat de court is know to come: I tell you for good vill : adieu. [Exit.
Host. Hue and cry, villain, go :-assist me, knight; I am undone: fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone!
[Exeunt Host and Bard. Fal. I would all the world might be cozened; for I have been cozened and beaten too. If it should come to the ear of the court, how I have been transformed, and how my transformation hath been washed and cudgelled, they would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermen's boots with me. I warrant, they would whip me with their fine wits, till I were as crest-fallen as a dried pear. I never prospered since I forswore myself at primero. Well, if my wind were hut long enough to say my prayers, I would repent.“
Enter MistrESS QUICKLY. Now! whence come you?
Quick. From the two parties, forsooth.
Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the other, and so they shall be both bestowed! I have suffered more for their sakes, more, than the villainous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to bear.
Quick. And have not they suffered? Yes, I warrant ; speciously one of them; mistress Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a white spot about her.
Fal. What tell'st thou me of black and blue? I was beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow ; and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of Brentford ;
but that my admirable dexterity of wit, my counter-
chamber : you shall hear how things go; and, I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado here is to bring you together! Sure, one of you does not serve Heaven well that you are so crossed.
Fal. Come up into my chamber. [Exeunt.
SCENE VI.-Another Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FENTON and Host. Host. 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 pounds in gold, more than your loss.
Host. 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,) 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 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
Host. Which means she to deceive? father or mother?
Fent. Both, my good host, to go along with me:
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.
SCENE I.-Å Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter Falstaff and Mrs. QUICKLY. Fal. Prithee, 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 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 plucked geese, played truant, and whipped top, I knew not what