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as I came beyond Eton, they threw me off, from SCENE VI. Another Room in the Garter Inn. behind one of them, in a sl agh of mire; and set
Enter Fenton and Host. spurs, and away, like three German devils, three Doctor Faustuses.
Host. Master Fenton, talk not to me; my mind Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, vil- is heavy, I will give over ali. lain : do not say, they be fled; Germans are honest Fent. Yet hear me speak: Assist me in my
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 Er. Where is mine host ?
will, at the least, keep your counsel. Host. What is the matter, sir ?
Fent. From time to time I have acquainted you Eva. Have a care of your entertainments: there with the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page; is a friend of mine come to town, tells me, there Who, mutually, hath answered my affection
a is three cousin Germans, that has cozened all the (So far forth as herself might be her chooser,) hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, Even to my wish: I have a letter from her of horses and money. I tell you for a good-will
, of such contents as you will wonder at; look you: you are wise, and full of gibes and The mirth whereof so larded with my matter, vlouting-stogs; and 'tis not convenient you should That neither, singly, can be manifested, be cozened: Fare you well.
(Exit. 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; Caius. Vere is mine Host de Jarterre ?
To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, and
one, doubtful dilemma.
Must my sweet Nan present the fairy queen, Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat: but it is tell-a The purpose why, is here ;? in which disguise, me, dat you make grand preparation for a duke de While other jests are something rank on Tool, Jarmany : by my trot, dere is no duke, dat de Her father hath commanded her to slip court is know to come; I tell you for good vill: Away with Slender, and with him at Eton adieu.
(Eril. Immediately to marry: she hath consented : Host. Hue and cry, villain, go :-assist me, Now, sir, knight; I am undone : --fy, run, hue and cry, vil. Her mother, even strong against that match, lain! I'am undone! (Exeunt Host and Bardolph. And firm for doctor Caius, hath appointed
Ful. I would, all the world might be cozened ; That he shall likewise shuttle her away, for I have been cozen'd and beaten too. If it should While other sports are tasking of their minds, come to the ear of the court, how I have been And at the deanery, where a priest attends, transformed, and how my transformation hath been Straight marry her to this her mother's plot washed and cudgelled, they would melt me out of She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fisherinen's boots Made promise to the doctor ;-Now, thus it rests. with me; I warrant, they would whip me with Her father means she shall be all in white; their finc wits, till I were as crest-fallen as a dried And in that habit, when Slender sees his time pear. I never prospered since I forswore myself to take her by the hand, and bid her go, at Primero, 'Well, if my wind were but long She shall go with him :-her mother hath intended, enough to say my prayers, I would repent.- The better to denote her to the doctor,
(For they must all be mask'd and vizarded,) Enter Mrs. Quickly.
That, quaint in green, she shall be loose enrob'd, Now! whence come you?
With ribbands pendant, Aaring 'bout her head; Quick. From the two parties, forsooth.
And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe, Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token, other, and so they shall be both bestowed! I have The maid hath given consent to go with him.
Host. Which means she to deceive ? father or suffered more for their sakes, more, than the vil
mother? lanous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to bear.
Fent. Both, my good host, to go along with me: Quick. And have not they suffered? Yes, I
And here it rests,--that you'll procure the vicar warrant; speciously one of them; mistress Ford, And, in the lawful name of marrying,
To stay for me at church, 'lwixt twelve and one, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you can. To
give our hearts united ceremony. not see a white spot about her. Fal. What tell'st thou me of black and blue? I
Host. Well, husband your device; I'll to the
vicar; was beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow, and I was like to be apprehended for the Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest. witch of Brentford; but that my admirable dex
Feni. So shall I evermore be bound to thee; terity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of an old Besides, I'll make a present recompense. (Ereunt. woman, deliver'd me, the knave constable had set me the stocks, i' the common stocks, for a witch.
Quick. Sir, 'let me speak with you in your chanıber: you shall hear how things go; and, 1
ACT V. warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado here is to SCENE I. A Room in the Garter Inn. Enter bring you together! Sure, one of you does not
Falstaff and Mrs. Quickly. Herve heaven well, that you are so crossed. Fal. Come up intu my chamber. (Exeunt. Fal. Pry'thee, no more pratiling ;-go.- -1 (1) A game at cards.
(2) In the letter. (3) Fantastically
hola This is the third time; I hope good luck the very instant of Falstaff's and our meeting, they lies in odd numbers. Away, go; they say, there will at once display to the night. is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, Mrs. Ford. That cannot choose but amaze him. chance, or death.--Away.
Mrs. Page. If he be nol amazed, he will be Quick. I'll provide you a chain; and I'll do mocked; if he be amazed, he will every way be what I can to get you a pair of horns.
mocked. Ful. Away, 1 say; time wears; hold up your Mrs. Ford. We'll betray him finely. nead, and mince. (Exit Mrs. Quickly. Mrs. Page. Against such lewdsters, and theis
lechery, Enter Ford.
Those that betray them do no treachery:
Mrs. Ford. The hour draws on: To the oak, How now, master Brook? Master Brook, the mat-to the oak.
(Excent. ter will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the Park about midnighi, ai Herne's oak, and you SCENE IV.-Windsor Park. Enler Sir Hugh shall see wonders.
Evans, and Fairies. Ford. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me you had appointed ?
Eva. Trib, trib, fairies; come; and remember Fal. I went to her, master Brook, as you see, your parts: be pold, ! pray you; follow me into like a poor old man: but I came from her, master the pit; and when I give the watch-ords, do as I Brook, like a poor old woman. That same knave, pid you: Cime, come; trib, trib. (Exeunt. l'ord her husband, hath the finest mad devil of halousy in him, master Brook, that ever governed SCENE. Another part of the Park. Enter phrensy. I will tell you. He beat me grievously, Falstaff lisguised, with a buck's head on. in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of man, master Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaver's minute draws on: Now, the hot-blooded gods assist
Fal. The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the beam; because I know also, life is a shuttle. I am .n hasie, go along with me; I'll tell you all, mas-me!-Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy er Brook. Since I plucked' geese, played truant, Europa ; love set on thy horns.- powerful love and whipped top, I knew not what it was to be that, in some respects, makes a beast a man; in beaten, till lately. Follow me: I'll tell you strange some other, a man a beast. - You were also, Jupiter, things of this knave Ford : on whom to-night I will
a swan, for the love of Leda; 0, omnipotent be revenged, and I will deliver his wife into your
love! how near the god drew to the complexion of hand. ---Follow: Strange things in hand, master a goose ! -A fault done first in the form of a beast; Brook! follow.
1-0 Jove, a beastly fault! and then another fault
in the semblance of a lowl; think on't, Jove; a SCENE II.-Windsor Park. Enter Page, Shal- foul fault.-When gods have hot backs, what shall low, and Slender.
poor men do? For me, I am here a Windsor stag ;
and the fattest, I think, i' the forest : send me a Page. Come, come; we'll couch i' the castle- cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss ditch, till we see the light of our fairies.--Remem- my tallow! Who comes here? my doe ? ver, son Slender, my daughter. Slen. Ay, forsooth; I have spoke with her, and
Enter Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page. we have a nay-word, how to know one another. I come to her in white, and cry, mum; she cries, my male deer ?
Mrs. Ford. Sir John ? art thou there, my deer? budgel; and by that we know one another.
Fal. My doe, with the black scut? Let the sky Shal. That's good too: But what needs either rain potatoes, let it thunder to the tune of Green your mum, or her budget? the white will decipher Sleeves, hail 'kissing comfits, and snow eringoes; her well enough. It hath struck ten o'clock. Page. The night is dark; light and spirits will shelter me here.
let there come a tempest of provocation, I will become it well. Heaven prosper our sport! No
Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, man means evil but the devil, and we shall know sweetheart. him by his horns. Let's away; follow me. Fal. Divide me like a bribc-buck, eacha haunch:
(Exeunt. I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the SCENE III.-The Street in Windsor. Enter husbands. Am I a woodman? ha ! Speak I'like
fellowd of this walk, and my horns I bequeath your Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Dr. Caius.
Herne the hunter ?-Why, now is Cupid a child of
conscience; he makes restitution. As I am a true Mrs. Page. Master doctor, my daughter is in
(.Noise within. green : when you see your time, take her by the
Mrs. Page. Alas! what noise ? hand, away with her to the deanery, and despatch| Mrs. Ford. Heaven forgive our sins! t quickly: Go before into the park; we two must' Fal. What should this be? go together.
Mrs. Ford. Caius. I know vat I have to do; Adieu.
Away, away. Mrs. Page. Fare you well, sir.
(They run of (Exit Caius.] My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse lest the oil that is in me should tet hell on fire: he
Fal. I think, the devil will not nave me damned or Falstaff, as he will chale at the doctor's marry would never else cross mc thus. ing my daughter: but 'tis no matter ; better a litlle chiding, than a grcat deal of heart-break. Enter Sir Hugh Evans, like a satyr; Mrs. Quickly
Mrs. Ford, Where is Nan now, and her troop and Pistol ; Anne Page, is the Fairy Queen, at of fairies ? and the Welsh devil, Hugh?
tended by her brother and others, dressed like Mrs. Page. They are all couched in a pıt hard fairies, with waxen lapers on their heais. by Herne's onk, with obscured lights; which, at
Quick. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white, (1) Keep to the time. (2) Watch-word.
(3) Keeper of the foresta
You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night, Lust is but . Uloody fire,
Kindled with unchaste desire,
Fed in heart; whose flames aspire, Crier Hobgoblin, inake the fairy o-yes.
As thoughts do blou then, higher and higher. Pist. Elves, list your names ; silence, you airy Pinch him, fairies, mutually; toys.
Pinch him for his villany; Crickel, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou lear: Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him aboul Where fires thou find'st unrak'd, and hearths un- Till candles, and star-light, and moonshine, be oul
swept, There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry :: Our radiant queen hates sluts, and sluttery.
During this song, the fairies pinch Falstaff. DocFal. They are fairies; he, that speaks to them, in green; Slender another way, and takes off
lor Caius comes one way, and steals away a fairy shall die. I'll wink and couch: No man their works must eye.
fairy in while ; and Fenton comes, and steals
away Mrs. Anne Page. A noise of hunting is (Lies doron upon his face. made within. All the fairies run away. Falstad Era. Where's Pede ?-Go you, and where you pulls off his buck's head, and rises.
find a maid, That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said, Raise up the organs of her fantasy,
Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, and M-. Foro. Sleep she as sound as careless infancy;
They lay hold on him. But those as sleep, and think not on their sins, Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides, Page. Nay, do not fly: I think, we have watchid and shins.
you now; Quick. About, about;
Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn? Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out:
Mrs. Page. I pray you, come; hold up the jest Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room ; Now, good sir John, how like you Windsor wives?
no higher ;-That it may stand till the perpetual doom, In state as wholesome, as in stale 'tis fit;
See you these, husband ? do not these fair yokes• Worthy the owner, and the owner it.
Become the forest better than the town? The several chairs of order look you scour
Ford. Now, sir, who's a cuckold now ?-Master With juice of balm, and every precious flower :
Brook, Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldly knave; here Each fair instalment, coat, and several crest,
are his horns, master Brook: And, master Brook, With loyal blazon, evermore be blest !
he hath enjoyed nothing of Ford's but his buck And nightly, meadow-fairies, look, you sing,
basket, his cudgel, and twenty pounds of money, Like to the Garter's compass, in a ring:
which must be paid to master Brook; his horses The expressure that it bears, green let it be,
are arrested for it, master Brook. More fertile-fresh than all the field to see;
Mrs. Ford. Sir John, we have had ill luck; we And, Hony soil qui mal y pense, write,
could never meet. I will never take you for my In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue, and white;
love again, but I will always count you my deer. Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery,
Fal. I do begin to perceive that I am made ar. Buckled below fair knighthood's bending knee : Fairies use flowers for their charactery.
Ford. Ay, and an ox too; both the proofs are Away; disperse: But, till 'tis one o'clock,
extant. Our dance of custom, round about the oak
Fal. And these are not fairies? I was three or Of Herne the hunter, let us not forget.
four times in the thought, they were not fairies : Eva. Pray you, lock hand in hand; yourselves and yet the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surin order set:
prise of my powers, drove the grossness of the fopAnd twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be,
pery into a received belief, in despite of the teeth To guide our measure round about the tree. of all rhyme and reason, that they were fairies. But, stay; I smell a man of middle earth. See now, how, wit may be made a Jack-a-lent,
Ful. Heavens desend me from that Welch fairy, when 'tis upon ill employment! lest he transform me to a piece of cheese!
Eva. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave Pist. Vile worm, thou wast o'er-look'd even in your desires, and fairies will not pinse you. thy birth.
Ford. Well said, fairy Hugh. Quick. With trial-fire touch me his finger end :
Eva. And leave you your jealousies too, I pray If he be chaste, the flame will back descend,
you. And turn him to no pain; but if he start,
Ford. I will never mistrust my wife again, till It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.
thou art able to woo her in good English. Pist. A trial, come.
Fal. Have I laid my brain in the sun, and dricd Era.
Come, will this wood take fire ? it, that it wants matter to prevent so gross o'er. (They burn him with their tapers. too? Shall I have a coxcomb of frize ?: 'tis time
reaching as this? Am I ridden with a Welch goal Fal. Oh, oh, oh! Quick. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire! I were choaked with a piece of toasted cheese. About him, fairies; sing a scornful rhyme:
Eva, Seese is not good to give putter; your And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time.
pelly is all putter. Eva. It is right ; indeed he is full of lecheries and
Fal. Seese and putter! Have I lived to stand at niquity.
the launt of one that makes fritters of English ? SONG,
This is enough to be the decay of lust and late
walking, through the realm. Fie on sinful fantasy!
Mrs. Page. Why, sir John, do you think, though Fie on list and lurury !
we would have thrust virtue out of our hearts by !!) Fellowship. (2) Whortleberry.
(4) Horns which Falstaff had. 31 The letters
(5) A fool's cap of Welch materials.
the head and shoulders, and have given ourselves cozened; I ha' married un garçon, a boy; un pe. without scruple to hell, that ever the devil could san, by gar, a boy; it is noi Anne Page: by gar, . have made you our delight ?
am cozened. Ford. What, a hodge-pudding ? a bag of flax ? Mrs. Page. Why, did you take her in green? Mrs. Page. A puffed man?
Caius. Ay, be gar, and 'lis a boy: be gar, IT: Page. Old, cold, withered, and of intolerable raise all Windsor.
(Eril Caius, entrails.
Ford. This is strange: Who hath got the right Ford. And one that is as slanderous as Satan? Anne ? Page. And as poor as Job ?
Page. My heart misgives me : Here comes mas Ford. And as wicked as his wife?
ter Fenton. Eva. And given to fornications, and to taverns, ard sack, and wine, and metheglins, and to drink
Enter Fenton and Anne Page. ings, and swearings, and starings, pribbles and prabbles ?
How now master Fenton ? Fal. Well, I am your theme: you have the start Anne. Pardon, good father! good my mother of me; I am dejected; I am not able to answer pardon! the Welch flannel; ignorance itself is a plummet Page. Now, mistress ? how chance you went o'er me: use me as you will.
not with master Slender ? Ford. Marry, sir, we'll bring you to Windsor, Mrs. Page. Why went you not with master docto one master Brook, that you have cozened of lor, maid ? money, to whom you should have been a pander: Fent. You du amaze' her: Hear the truth of it. over and above that you have suffered, I think, to You would have married her most shamefully, repay that money will be a biting affliction. Where there was no proportion held in love. Nrs. Ford. Nay, husband, let that go to make The truth is, she and I, long since contracted, amends :
Are now so sure that nothing can dissolve us. Forgive that sum, and so we'll all be friends. The offence is holy, that she hath committed : Ford. Well, here's my hand; all's forgiven at And this deceit loses the name of craft, last,
or disobedience, or unduteous titie; Page. Yet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt eat a Since therein she doth evitates and shun possct to-night at my house; where I will desire A thousand irreligious cursed hours, thee to laugh at iny wife, that'now laughs at thee: Which forced marriage would have brought upon Tell her, master Slender hath married her daughter.
her. Mrs. Page. Doctors doubt that: Il' Anne Page Ford. Stand not amaz'd: here is no remedy:be my daughter, she is, by this, doctor Cajus' wife. In love, the heavens themselves do guide the state;
(Aside. Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.
Fal. I ain glad, though you have ta’en a special Enter Slender.
stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced. Slen. Whoo, ho! ho! father Page !
Puge. Well, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give
thce joy! Page. Son ! how now ? how now, son ? have you What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac'd. despatched ?
Fal. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are Slen. Despatched-I'll make the best in Gloces
chas'd. tershire know on't; would I were hanged, la, else. Eva. I will dance and eat plumbs at your wedPage. Or what, son ?
ding. Slen. I came yonder at Eton to marry mistress Mrs. Page. Well, I will muse no further :Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy: If it had not been i' the church, I would have swinged Heaven give you many, many merry days'
Master Fenton, him, or he should have swinged me. If I did not Good husband, let us every one go home, think it had been Anne Page, would I might never And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire ; stir, and 'tis a post-master's boy.
Sir John and all." Page. Upon my life then, you took the wrong. Ford,
Let it be so:-Sir John, Slen. What need you tell me that? I think so, To master Brook you yet shall hold your word; when I took a boy for a girl: If I had been mar: For he, to-night, shall lic with Mrs. Ford. ried to him, for all he was in woman's apparel, I
(Erennt. would not have had him.
Page. Why, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you, how you should know my daughter by her garments ?
Slen. I went to her in white, and cry'd nuum, and she cry'd budget, as Anne and I had appointed; or this play there is a tradition preserved by Mr. and yet it was not Anne, but a post-master's boy. 'Rowe, that it was written at the command of
Eva. Jeshu! Master Slender, cannot you see Queen Elizabeth, who was so delighted with the but marry poys ?
character of Falstaff, that she wished it to be difPage, 0, lam vexed at heart: What shall I do? Tused through more plays; but suspecting that it Mrs. Page. Good George, be not angry: I might pall by. continued uniformity, directed the knew of your purpose; turned my daughter into poet to diversify his manner, by showing him in green; and, indeed, she is now with the doctor at love. No task is harder than that of writing to the the deanery, and there married.
ideas of another. Shakspeare knew what the queen,
is the story be true, seems not to have known, that Enter Caius,
by any real passion of tenderness, the selfish crafl,
the careless jollity, and the lazy luxury of Falstaff, Caius. Vere is mistress Page? By gar, I am must have suffered so much abatement, that little
of his former cast would have remained. Falstati (1) Confound her by your questions. (2) Avoid. Icould not love, but by ceasing to be Falstaff. He could only counterfeit love, and his professions of forming ridiculous characters can confer praise could be prompted, not by the hope of pleasure, only on him who originally discurered it, for it rebut of money. Thus the poet approached as near quires not much of either wit or judgment; its as he could to the work enjoined him; yet having success must be derived almost wholly from the perhaps in the former plays completed his own player, but its power in a skilful mouth, even he idea, seems not to have been able to give Falstaff|ihat despises it, is unable to resist. all his foriner power of entertainment.
The conduct of this drama is deficient; the acThis comedy is remarkable for the variety and tion begins and ends often, before the conclusion, number of the personages, who exhibit more cha- and the different parts might change places with acters appropriated and discriminated, than pero out inconvenience ; but its general power, that haps can be found in any other play.
power by which all works of genius shall finally Whether Shakspeare was the first that produced be tried, is such, that perhaps it never yet had upon the English stage the effect of language dis- reader or spertator who did not think it too soon lorted and depraved by provincial or foreign pro- at the end. nunciation, I cannot certainly decide. This model