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panderly rascals! there's a knot, a ging, a pack, a conspiracy against me: Now, shall the devil be shamed. What! wife, I say! come, come forth; behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching. Page. Why, this passes!2 Master Ford, you are not to go loose any longer; you must be pinioned. Eva. Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad dog!

Shal. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well; indeed.

Enter MRS. FORD.

Ford. So say I too, Sir.-Come hither, mistress Ford; mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool to her husband!-I suspect without cause, mistress, do I?

Mrs. Ford. Heaven be my witness, you do, if you suspect me in any dishonesty.

Ford. Well said, brazen-face; hold it out.Come forth, sirrah. [Pulls the clothes out of the basket. Page. This passes!

Mrs. Ford. Are you not ashamed? let the clothes alone.

you take up your

Ford. I shall find you anon. Eva. 'Tis unreasonable! Will wife's clothes? Come away. Ford. Empty the basket, I say. Mrs. Ford. Why, man, why? Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there was one conveved out of my house yesterday in this basket: Why may not he be there again? In my house I am sure he is: my intelligence is true; my jealousy is reasonable: Pluck me out all the linen. Mrs. Ford. If you find a man there, he shall die a flea's death.

Page. Here's no man.

Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, master Ford; this wrongs you.

Eva. Master Ford, you must pray, and not follow the imaginations of your own heart: this is jea


Ford. Well, he's not here I seek for.

Page. No, nor no where else, but in your brain. Ford. Help to search my house this one time; if I find not what I seek, show no colour for my extremity, let me for ever be your table-sport; let them say of me, As jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow walnut for his wife's leman.4 Satisfy me once more; once more search with me.

Mrs. Ford. What hoa, mistress Page! come you, and the old woman down; my husband will come into the chamber.

Ford. Old woman! What old woman is that? Mrs. Ford. Why, it is my maid's aunt of Brentford. Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not forbid her my house? She comes of errands, does she? We are simple men; we do not know what's brought to pass under the profession of fortune-telling. She works by charms, by spells, by the figure, and such daubery' as this is; beyond our element; we know nothing.Come down; you witch, you hag you; come down, I say.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, good, sweet husband;-good
gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.
Enter FALSTAFF in women's clothes, led by MRS.

Mrs. Page. Come, mother Pratt, come, give me your hand.

Ford. I'll prat her:2 -Out of my door, you wich! [beats him] you rag, you baggage, you pole1 Gang. 2 Surpasses, or goes beyond all bounds. 3. e. 'This is below your character, unworthy of you.' 4 Lover. 5 Falsehood, imposition. 6 Means much the same as scall or scab, from Rogneuse, Fr.

cat, you ronyon! out! out! I'll conjure you, I'll
fortune-tell you.
Mrs. Page. Are you not ashamed? I think you
have killed the poor woman.

7 Expressions taken from the chase. Trail is the scent left by the passage of the game. To cry out is to

open, or bark.

8 Ritson remarks that Shakspeare had been long enough in an attorney's office to know that fee-simple is the largest estate, and fine and recovery the strongest assurance, known to English Law.' How Mrs. Page

Mrs. Ford. Nay, he will do it ;-'Tis a goodly credit for you.

Ford. Hang her, witch!

witch indeed: I like not when a 'oman has a great Eva. By yea and no, I think, the 'oman is a peard; I spy a great peard under her muffler.

Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen? I beseech you, follow; see but the issue of my jealousy; if I cry out thus upon no trail, never trust me when I open again.

Come, gentlemen.
Page. Let's obey his humour a little further:

[Exeunt PAGE, FORD, SHALLOW, and EVANS. Mrs. Page. Trust me, he beat him most pitifully. Mrs. Ford. Nay, by the mass that he did not; he beat him most unpitifully, methought.

Mrs. Page. I'll have the cudgel hallowed, and hang o'er the altar; it hath done meritorious service. Mrs. Ford. What think you? May we, with the warrant of woman-hood, and the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any further revenge?



Mrs. Page. The spirit of wantonness is, sure, scared out of him; if the devil have him not in feesimple, with fine and recovery, he will never, think, in the way of waste, attempt us again. Mrs. Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how we have served him?

scrape the figures out of your husband's brains. If Mrs. Page. Yes, by all means; if it be but to they can find in their hearts, the poor unvirtuous fat knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will still be the ministers.

shamed: and, methinks, there would be no periodo
Mrs. Ford. I'll warrant they'll have him publicly
to the jest, should he not be publicly shamed.

it: I would not have things cool.
Mrs. Page. Come to the forge with it then, shape


SCENE III. A room in the Garter Inn. Enter

Bard. Sir, the Germans desire to have three of your horses: the duke himself will be to-morrow at court, and they are going to meet him.

Host. What duke should that be comes so secretly? I hear not of him in the court: Let me speak with the gentlemen; they speak English? Bard. Ay, sir, I'll call them to you.


Host. They shall have my horses; but I'll make them pay, I'll sauce them they have had my house a week at command; I have turned away my other guests: they must come off; I'll sauce them; Come. [Exeunt. SCENE IV. A Room in Ford's House. Enter PAGE, FORD, MRS. PAGE, MRS. FORD, and SIR HUGH EVANS.

Eva. 'Tis one of the pest discretions of a 'oman as ever I did look upon.

Page. And did he send you both these letters at an instant?

Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour.
Ford. Pardon me, wife: Henceforth do what thou

I rather will suspect the sun with cold,12
Than thee with wantonness: now doth thy honour

In him that was of late an heretic,
As firm as faith.

acquired her knowledge of these terms he has not in-
formed us.

9 This is another forensic expression. Mr. Steevens says that the meaning of the passage is," he will not make further attempts to ruin us by corrupting our virtue and destroying our reputation."

10 i. e. right period, or proper catastrophe.

11 To come off is to pay, to come down (as we now say,) with a sum of money. It is a phrase of frequent occurrence in old plays.

12 The reading in the text was Mr. Rowe's. The old copies read I rather will suspect the sun with gold',


'Tis well, 'tis well; no more.
Be not as extreme in submission,
As in offence;

But let our plot go forward: let our wives
Yet once again, to make us public sport,
Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,
Where we may take him, and disgrace him for it.
Ford. There is no better way than that they
spoke of.

Page. How! to send him word they'll meet him in the park at midnight! fie, fie; he'll never come. Eva. You say, he has been thrown into the rivers; and has been grievously peaten, as an old 'oman; methinks there should be terrors in him, that he should not come; methinks, his flesh is punished, he shall have no desires.

Page. So think I too.

Mrs. Ford. Devise but how you'll use him when he comes,

that Herne

And let us two devise to bring him thither.
Mrs. Page. There is an old tale goes,
the hunter,

Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest,
Doth all the winter time, at still midnight,
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns;
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle;
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a


In a most hideous and dreadful manner :

The truth being known,

Mrs. Page.
We'll all present ourselves; dis-horn the spirit,
And mock him home to Windsor.

The children must Be practised well to this, or they'll ne'er do't. Eva. I will teach the children their behaviours; and I will be like a Jack-an-apes also, to burn the knight with my taber.

Ford. That will be excellent. I'll go buy them vizards.

Mrs. Page. My Nan shall be the queen of all the fairies,

Finely attired in a robe of white.

Page. That silk will I go buy ;-and in that time
Shall master Slender steal my Nan away,
And marry her at Eton. [Aside.] Go, send to Fal-
staff straight.

Ford. Nay, I'll to him again in name of Brook:
He'll tell me all his purpose: Sure, he'll come.
Mrs. Page. Fear not you that: Go, get us pro-

And tricking for our fairies.

Eva. Let us about it: It is admirable pleasures, and fery honest knaveries.

[Exeunt PAGE, FORD, and EVANS.
Mrs. Page. Go, mistress Ford,
Send quickly to Sir John, to know his mind.
[Exit MRS. FORD.
I'll to the doctor; he hath my good will,

You have heard of such a spirit; and well you know, And none but he, to marry with Nan Page.
The supers tious idle-headed eld2
Received, and did deliver to our age,
This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.

Page. Why, yet there want not many, that do fear
In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak;3
But what of this?

Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device;
That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us,
Disguised like Herne, with huge horns on his head.
Page. Well, let it not be doubted but he'll come,
And in this shape: When you have brought him

What shall be done with him? what is your plot?
Mrs. Page. That likewise have we thought upon,
and thus:

Nan Page my daughter, and my little son,
And three or four more of their growth, we'll dress
Like urchins, ouphes, and fairies, green and white,
With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads,
And rattles in their hands; upon a sudden,
As Falstaff, she, and I, are newly met,
Let them from forth a saw-pit rush at once
With some diffused' song; upon their sight,
We two in great amazedness will fly :
Then let them all encircle him about,
And, fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean knight;
And ask him, why, that hour of fairy revel,
In their so sacred paths he dares to tread,
In shape profane.

Mrs. Ford.
And till he tell the truth,
Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound,"
And burn him with their tapers.

1 To take signifies to seize or strike with a disease,
to blast. So, in Lear, Act ii. Sc. 4:
Strike her young bones, ye taking airs, with lame-


And in Hamlet, Act. i. Sc. 1:

"No planets strike,

No fairy takes, no witch has power to charm." "Of a horse that is taken. A horse that is bereft of his feeling, moving, or stirring, is said to be taken, and in sooth so he is, in that he is arrested by so villanous a disease: yet some farriers, not well understanding the ground of the disease, conster the word taken to be stricken by some planet, or evil spirit, which is false." -C. vii. Markham on Horses, 1595. Thusalso in Hor. man's Vulgaria, 1519. "He is taken, or benomed. Attonitus est."

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4 Elf, hobgoblin.

5 Some diffused song, appears to mean some obscure

That Slender, though well landed, is an idiot;
And he my husband best of all affects:
The doctor is well money'd, and his friends
Potent at court; he, none but he, shall have her,
Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave her.


SCENE V. A Room in the Garter Inn. Enter HOST and SIMPLE.

Host. What would'st thou have, boor? what, thick-skin? speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick, snap.

Sim. Marry, sir, I come to speak with Sir John Falstaff from master Slender.

Host. There's his chamber, his house, his castle, his standing-bed, and truckle-bed; 'tis painted about with the story of the prodigal, fresh and new: Go, knock and call; he'll speak like an Anthropophaginian1o unto thee: Knock, I say.

Sim. There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone up into his chamber; I'll be so bold as stay, sir, till she come down: I come to speak with her, in


Host. Ha! a fat woman! the knight may be robbed: I'll call.-Bully knight! Bully Sir John! speak from thy lungs military: Art thou there? it is thine host, thine Ephesian, calls.

Fal. [above.] How now, mine host?

Host. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of thy fat woman: Let her descend, bully, let her descend; my chambers are honourable: Fye! privacy? fye!

occurs in this sense: "speak you Welsh to him: I doubt not but thy speech shall be more diffuse to him, than his French shall be to thee." Cotgrave explains diffused by the French diffus, espars, obscure, and in Cooper's Dictionary, 1594, I find obscurum interpreted obscure, difficult, diffusé, hard to understand. Skelton uses diffuse several times for strange or obscure; for instance, in the Crown of Laurel:

"Perseus pressed forth with problems diffuse." 6 To-pinch to has here an augmentative sense, like be has since had: all was generally prefixed, Spenser has all to-torn, all to-rent, &c. and Milton in Comus all to-ruled.

7 Sound, for soundly, the adjective used as an adverb. 8 Properties are little incidental necessaries to a thea. tre: tricking is dress or ornament.

9 The usual furniture of chambers, at that time, was a standing-bed, under which was a trochle, truckle, ot running bed: from trochlea, a low wheel or castor. In the standing bed lay the master, in the truckle the ser


10 i. e. a cannibal: mine host uses these fustian words strange song. In Cavendish's Life of Wolsey the word to astonish Simple.

Enter FALSTAFF. Fal. There was, mine host, an old fat woman even now with me; but she's Sim. Pray you, sir, was't not the wise woman of Brentford?


Fal. I would all the world might be cozened; for I have been cozen'd 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 cudgeled, they would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermen's boots me; I warrant they would whip me with their Sim. My master, sir, my master Slender, sent fine wits, till I were as crest-fallen as a dried pear. to her, seeing her go through the streets, to know, I never prospered since I forswore myself at Prisir, whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of amero. Well, if my wind were but long enough to chain, had the chain, or no. say my prayers, I would repent.

Fal. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell; What would you with her?

Fal. I spake with the old woman about it.
Sim. And what says she, I pray, sir?

Fal. Marry, she says, that the very same man that beguiled master Slender of his chain, cozened

him of it.

Sim. 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.
Host. Ay, come; quick.

Sim. I may not conceal them, sir.
Fal. Conceal them, or thou diest.

Sim. Why, sir, they were nothing but about mistress Anne Page; to know if it were my master's fortune to have her, or no.

Fal. 'Tis, 'tis his fortune.

Sim. What, sir?



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 villanous 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 counterfeiting the action of an old woman deliver'd me, the knave constable had set me i' the

Fal. To have her,-or no: Go; say, the woman stocks, i' the common stocks, for a witch. told me so.

Sim. May I be so bold to say so, sir?

Fal. Ay, Sir Tike; who more bold?

Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber; you shall hear how things go; and, I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Sim. I thank your worship: I shall make my Good hearts, what ado here is to bring you tomaster glad with these tidings. [Exit SIMPLE.gether! Sure, one of you does not serve heaven Host. Thou art clerkly,2 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


Bard. Out, alas, sir! cozenage! mere cozenage! 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.

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 pur

And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee
A hundred pound 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
Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, vil-(So far forth as herself might be her chooser,)
lain: do not say, they be fled; Germans are honest


Enter SIR HUGH EVANS. Eva. Where is mine host? Host. What is the matter, sir? Eva. Have a care of your entertainments: there is a friend of mine come to town, tells me, there is three cousin 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 it is not convenient you should be cozened: Fare [Exit.

you well.

Enter DOCTOR CAIUS. Caius. Vere is mine Host de Jarterre.

Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, and doubtful dilemma.

Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat : but it is tell-a me, dat you make grand preparations for a duke de Jarmany: by my trot, dere is no duke, dat the 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 BARDOLPH.

1 He calls poor Simple muscle-shell, because he stands with his mouth open. 2 i. e. Scholar-like.

3 To pay, in Shakspeare's time, signified to beat; in which sense it is still not uncommoйi in familiar lan

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:
[Showing the letter.
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 Eton
Immediately to marry: she hath consented:
Now, sir,

Her mother, even strong against that match,
And firm for doctor Caius, hath appointed
That he shall likewise shuffle her away,
While other sports are tasking 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 rests:
Her father means she shall be all in white;
And in that habit, when Slender sees his time
guage: Seven of the eleven I paid,' says Falstaff, in
Henry IV. Part 1.

4 Primero was the fashionable game at cards in Shakspeare's time.

In the letter.

To take her by the hand, and bid her go,
She shall go with him her mother hath intended,
The better to denote her to the doctor
(For they must all be mask'd and vizarded,)
That, quaint' in green she shall be loose enrob'd,
With ribands pendant, flaring 'bout her head;
And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe,
To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token,
The maid hath given consent to go with him.

Host. Which means she to deceive? father or

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. Heaven prosper our sport! No man means evil but the devil, and we shall know him by his horns. Let's away; follow me. [Exeunt. SCENE III. The Street in Windsor. Enter Mrs. PAGE, MRS. FORD, and Dr. CAIUS.

Mrs. Page. Master doctor, my daughter is in

Fent. Both, my good host, to go along with me:green; when you see your time, take her by the 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.

hand, away with her to the deanery, and despatch it quickly: Go before into the park; we two must go together.

Host. Well, husband your device; I'll to the


Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.
Fent. So shall I ever more be bound to thee;
Besides, I'll make a present recompense. [Exeunt.


Caius. I know vat I have to do; Adieu.

Mrs. Page. Fare you well, sir. [Exit CAIUS.] My husband will not rejoice so much at the aluse 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 Welsh devil, Hugh?

Mrs. Page. They are all couched in a pit hard by Herne's bak, with obscured lights; which at the very instant of Falstaff's and our meeting, they wil

SCENE I. A Room in the Garter Inn. Enter at once display to the night.


Fal. Pr'ythee, no more prattling ;-go.-
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
Enter FORD.

head and mince.3

How now, master Brook? Master Brook, the mat-
ter 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?

Mrs. Ford. That cannot choose but amaze Lim. Mrs. Page. If he be not amazed, he will be mocked; if he be amazed, he will every way be Mrs. Ford. We'll betray him finely.


Mrs. Page. Against such lewdsters, and their Those that betray them do no treachery. lechery,

Mrs. Ford. The hour draws on; To the oak, to the oak! [Exeunt.


Windsor Park. Enter SIR HUGH
EVANS and Fairies.

Eva. Tribh, trib, fairies; come; and remember
your parts: be 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.
SCENE V. Another part of the Park. Enter
FALSTAFF disguised, with a buck's hrad on.
Fal. The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the

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 jea-minute draws on: Now, the hot-bloeded gods assist lousy 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 Goliath 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 it was to be beaten, till lately. Follow me: I'll tell you 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, master Brook! follow. [Exeunt. SCENE II. Windsor Park. Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER.

Page. Come, come; we'll couch i'the castle-ditch, till we see the light of our fairies.-Remember, son Slender, my daughter.

Slen. Av, forsooth; I have spoke with her, and we have a nay-word how to know one another. I come to her in white, and cry, mum; she cries, budget; and by that we know one another.

1 Quant, here, may mean neatly, or elegantly, which were ancient acceptations of the word, and not fantastically: but either sense will suit.

2 Keep to the time.

3 i. e. walk: to mince signified to walk with affected delicacy.

An allusion to the Book of Job, c. vii. v. 6. My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle. 5 To strip a wild goose of its feathers was formerly an act of puerile barbarity.

6 Watchword.

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, Jupi ter, a swan, for the love of Leda;-0, cmnipctent 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' the forest: send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss my tallow ?* Who comes here? my doe?

Enter MRS. FORD and MRS. PAGE.

Mrs. Ford. Sir John? art thou there, my deer? my male deer?

Fal. My doe with the black scut?-Let the sky Sleeves; hail kissing-comfits, and snow eringoes; rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green let there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here. [Embracing her.

7 Page indirectly alludes to Falstaff, who was to have horns on his head.

8 This is technical. "During the time of their rut the harts live with small sustenance.-The red mushroome

helpeth well to make them pysse their greace they are then in so vehement heat."-Turberville's Book ej Hunting, 1575.

9 The sweet potato was used in England as a delica. cy long before the introduction of the common potato by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1586. It was imported in considerable quantities from Spain and the Canaries, and

Mrs. Ferd. Mistress Page is come with me, | And, Hony soit qui mal y pense, write,


Fal. Divide me like a bride-buck,' each a haunch:
I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the
flow 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. Heaven forgive our sins'
Fol. What should this be?

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Fal. I think, the devil will not have me damned, lest the oil that is in me should set hell on fire; he would never else cross me thus.

Enter SIR HUGH EVANS, like a satyr; MRS.
Fairy Queen, attended by her brother and others,
dressed like fairies, with waxen tapers on their heads.
Quick. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,
You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night,
You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,
Attend your office, and your quality."-
Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy o-yes.

Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.
Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap:
Where fires thou find'st unrak'd, and hearths un-


There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry:
Our radiant queen hates sluts, and sluttery.

Fal. They are fairies; he, that speaks to them,
shall dic:

fil wink and couch: No man their works must eye." [Lies down upon his face.

Eva. Where's Pede ?-Go you, and where you
find a maid,

That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
Raise up the organs of her fantasy,
Seep she as sound as careless infancy;

But those as sleep, and think not on their sins,
Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides,

and shins.

Quick. About, about;

Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out:
Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room;
That it may stand till the perpetual doom,
la state as wholesome, as in state 'tis fit;
Worthy the owner, and the owner it.
The several chairs of order look you scour

juice of balm, and every precious flower :" Each fair instalment, coat, and several crest, With loyal blazon, evermore be blest!

And nightly, meadow-fairies, look, you sing,
Lake to the Garter's compass, in a ring:
The expressure that it bears, green let it be,
More fertile-fresh than all the field to see;

was supposed to possess the power of restoring decayed
Vigour. The kissing-comfits were principally made of
these and eringo roots, and were perfumed to make the
treath sweet. Gerarde attributes the same virtues to
the common potato which he distinguishes as the Vir-
Cuan sort.

1 i. e. like a buck sent as a bribe. 2 The keeper. The shoulders of the buck were among his perquisites.

In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue and white;
Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery,
Buckled below fair knighthood's bending knee;
Fairies use flowers for their charactery.
Away; disperse: But, 'till 'tis one o'clock,
Our dance of custom, round about the oak
Of Herne the hunter, let us not forget.

Eva. Pray you, lock hand in hand; yourselves
in order set:

And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be,
To guide our measure round about the tree.
But, stay; I smell a man of middle earth.”
Fal. Heaven defend me from that Welsh fairy!
lest he transform me to a piece of cheese!
Pist. Vile worm, thou wast o'erlook'd1o even in
thy birth.

Quick. With trial fire touch me his finger-end :
If he be chaste, the flame will back descend,
And turn him to no pain; but if he start,
It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.
Pist. A trial, come.

Eva. Come, will this wood take fire?
[They burn him with their tapers.
Fal. Oh, oh, oh!

Quick. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire!
And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time.
About him fairies; sing a scornful rhyme:
Eva. It is right; indeed he is full of lecheries
and iniquity.


Fye on sinful fantasy!
Fye on lust and luxury!
Lust is but a bloody fire,
Kindled with unchaste desire.
Fed in heart; whose flames aspire,

As thoughts do blow them, higher and higher.
Pinch him, fairies, mutually;

Pinch him for his villany;

Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about,
Till candles, and star-light, and moonshine be out.
During this song, the fairies pinch Falstaff. Doctor

Caius comes one way, and steals away a fairy
in green; Slender another way, and takes off a
fairy in white; and Fenton comes, and steals away
Mrs. Anne Page. A noise of hunting is made
within. All the fairies run away. Falstaff pulls
off his buck's head, and rises.

They lay hold on him.

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no higher :

Now, good Sir John, how like you Windsor wives?
See you these, husband? do not these fair yokes11
Become the forest better than the town?

Pliny informs us that the Romans did so to drive away
evil spirits.

8Charactery, is a writing by characters, or by strange marks."-Bullokar's English Expositor, 12 mo. 1636.

9 By this term is merely meant a mortal man, in contradistinction to a spirit of the earth or of the air, such as a fairy or gnome. It was in use in the north of Scotland a century since, and appears borrowed from the Saxon Middan Eard.

The woodman was an attendant on the forester. It here however used in a wanton sense, for one who Chooses female game for the object of his pursuit. 4 The old copy reads orphan-heirs. Warburton reads phen, and not without plausibility; ouphes being 10 By o'er-looked is here meant bewitched by an evil entioned before and afterward. Malone thinks it eye, the word is used in that sense in Glanvilli Saddubeans mortals by birth, but adopted by the fairies: or- cismi Triumphatus, p. 95. Steevens erroneously inter2 in respect of their real parents, and now only de-prets it Slighted as soon as born.' See note on the dent on destiny herself.

$ Profession.

51.e. elevate her fancy, and amuse her tranquil mind th some delightful vision, though she sleep as soundas an infant.

7k was an article of ancient luxury to rub tables, &c. aromatic herbs. So, in the Baucis and Philemon f Ovid, Met. viii.


aequatam Mentha abstersere virenti.

Merchant of Venice, Act iii. Sc. 2.

"Beshrew your eyes,

They have o'er-looked me

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11 The extremities of yokes for oxen, as still used in several counties of England, bent upwards, and rising very high, in shape resemble horns. In Cotgrave's Dictionary, voce Jouelles, we have Arched or yoked vines; vines so under propped or fashioned that one may go under the middle of them. See also Hutton's Latin, Greek, and English Lexicon, 1585, in voce ju

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