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which must be paid to master Brook: his horses are arrested for it, master Brook.

Mrs. Ford. Sir John, we have had ill luck; we could never meet. I will never take you for my love again, but I will always count you my deer.

Fal. I do begin to perceive that I am made

an ass.

Ford. Ay, and an ox too; both the proofs are


Fal. And these are not fairies? I was three or four times in the thought, they were not fairies: and yet the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surprise of my powers, drove the grossness of the foppery into a receiv'd belief, in despite of the teeth of all rhyme and reason, that they were fairies. See now, how wit may be made a Jack-a-lent, when 'tis upon ill employment!

Eva. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your desires, and fairies will not pinse you.

Ford. Well said, fairy Hugh.

Eva. And leave you your jealousies too, I pray


Ford. I will never mistrust my wife again, till thou art able to woo her in good English.

Fal. Have I laid my brain in the sun, and dried it, that it wants matter to prevent so gross o'erreaching as this? Am I ridden with a Welch goat too? Shall I have a coxcomb of frize? 16 "Tis time I were chok'd with a piece of toasted cheese.

Eva. Seese is not good to give putter: your pelly is all putter.

Fal. Seese and putter! Have I lived to stand at the taunt of one that makes fritters of English?

16 That is, a fool s cap made out of Welch materials. Wales was famous for this cloth.

This is enough to be the decay of lust and late walking through the realm.

Mrs. Page. Why, Sir John, do you think, though we would have thrust virtue out of our hearts by the head and shoulders, and have given ourselves without scruple to hell, that ever the devil could have made you our delight?

Ford. What! a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax? Mrs. Page. A puff''d man?

Page. Old, cold, wither'd, and of intolerable entrails?

Ford. And one that is as slanderous as Satan? Page. And as poor as Job?

Ford. And as wicked as his wife?

Eva. And given to fornications, and to taverns, and sack, and wine, and metheglins, and to drinkings, and swearings, and starings, pribbles and prabbles?

Fal. Well, I am your theme: you have the start of me; I am dejected; I am not able to answer the Welch flannel: Ignorance itself is a plummet o'er


me: use me as you will.

Ford. Marry, sir, we'll bring you to Windsor, to one master Brook, that you have cozen'd of money, to whom you should have been a pander: over and above that you have suffer'd, I think, to repay that money will be a biting affliction. 19

17 The very word flannel is derived from a Welch one, and it is almost unnecessary to add that it was originally the manufac ture of Wales.

18 Ignorance itself weighs me down, and oppresses me.

19 After this speech the following is usually added from the


"Mrs. Ford. Nay, husband, let that go to make amends:

Forgive that sum, and so we'll all be friends.

Ford. Well, here's my hand; all's forgiven at last."

Those who have taken this from the quartos have not told us why they left out some other matter that is equally there.


Page. Yet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt eat a posset to-night at my house; where I will desire thee to laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee: Tell her, master Slender hath married her daughter.

Mrs. Page. [Aside.] Doctors doubt that: If Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this, doctor Caius' wife.


Slen. Whoo! ho! ho! father Page!

Page. Son! how now? how now, son? have you despatch'd?

Slen. Despatch'd! - I'll make the best in Gloucestershire know on't; would I were hang'd, la, else. Page. Of what, son?

Slen. I came yonder at Eton to marry mistress Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy. If it had not been i' the church, I would have swing'd him, or he should have swing'd me. If I did not think it had been Anne Page, would I might never stir; and 'tis a post-master's boy.

. Page. Upon my life, then, you took the wrong. Slen. What need you tell me that? I think so, when I took a boy for a girl: If I had been married to him, for all he was in woman's apparel, I 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 cried "mum," and she cried "budget," as Anne and I had appointed; and yet it was not Anne, but a post-inaster's boy.20

20 Here, again, we commonly have the following thrust in from the quartos:

"Era. Jeshu! master Slender, cannot you see but marry boys?

Page. O, I am vex'd at heart! What shall I do ?"


Mrs. Page. Good George, be not angry: I knew of your purpose; turn'd my daughter into green; and, indeed, she is now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married.

Enter CAIUS.

I am

Caius. Vere is mistress Page? By gar, cozened: I ha' married un garçon, a boy; un paisan, by gar, a boy; it is not Anne Page: by gar, I am cozened.

Mrs. Page. Why, did you take her in green? Caius. Ay, be gar, and 'tis a boy: be gar, I'll raise all Windsor. [Exit CAIUS. Ford. This is strange! Who hath got the right Anne ?

Page. My heart misgives me: Here comes master Fenton.


How now, master Fenton ?

Anne. Pardon, good father! good my mother, pardon !

Page. Now, mistress! how chance you went not with master Slender?

Mrs. Page. Why went you not with master doctor, maid?

Fent. You do amaze 21 her: Hear the truth of it. You would have married her most shamefully, Where there was no proportion held in love. The truth is, she and I, long since contracted, Are now so sure that nothing can dissolve us. The offence is holy that she hath committed: And this deceit loses the name of craft,

Confound her by your questions.

Of disobedience, or unduteous guile;

Since therein she doth evitate 22 and shun
A thousand irreligious cursed hours,
Which forced marriage would have brought upon her.


Ford. Stand not amaz'd: here is no remedy. In love, the heavens themselves do guide the state: Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.

Fal. I am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanc'd. Page. Well, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give

thee joy!

What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac'd.

Fal. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chas'd.23

Mrs. Page. Well, I will muse no further: -master Fenton,

Heaven give you many, many merry days!
Good husband, let us every one go home,
And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire;
Sir John and all.


Let it be so: Sir John,

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To master Brook you yet shall hold your word; For he to-night shall lie with mistress Ford. [Exeunt.

22 Avoid.

23 Here, too, we commonly have a line added from the quartos "Eva. I will dance and eat plums at your wedding."

It is questionable whether these passages, evidently either not written by the Poet, or else thrown out in the revisal, ought to have a place even in the notes.


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