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rant of woman-hood, and the witness of a good consci-
ence, pursue him with

any
further
revenge

?
Mrs. Page. The spirit of wantonnels is, fure, scar'd
out of him ; if the devil have him not in fee-fimple, with
fine and recovery, he will never, I think, in the way of
wafte, attempt us again,

Mrs. Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how we have: served him

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

Mrs. Ford. I'll warrant, they'll have him publickly fam'd; and, methinks, there would be no period to the jest, should he not be publickly sham'd.

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

[Exeunto

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Bard.

Sh.

SCENE changes to the Garter-Inn.

Enter Hoft and Bardolph,
Bard. IR, the German desires to have three of your

horses; the Duke himself will be to-morrow at court, and they are going to meet him.

Hoft. What Duke should that be, comes fo fecretly 1.hear not of him in the court : let me speak with the gentlemen ; they speak English ?

Bard. Sir, I'll call them to you.

Hoft. They shall have my horses, but I'll make them pay, I'll fawce them. They have had my house a week at command ; I have turn'd away my other guests ; (15) they must compt off; I'll fawce them, come. [Exeunt.

(15) they muff come off ;] This can never be our Poet's, or his Hoft's Meaning i to come of, is, in other Terms, to go fcor-free; But these Germans had taken up the Hoft's House, and he was reos folved to make them pay for it. We must certainly, therefore, read, they must compt oft: i. e. they must pay off the Accompt, of je as we now fay, down with their Pences

Mr. Warburtoni

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SCENE changes to Ford's House.

Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Evans.

$

Eva.) Is one of the best discretions of 'oman, as ever I did look

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

Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour.

Ford. Pardon me, wife. Henceforth do what thou wilt;
I rather will suspect the fun with cold,
Than thee with wantonness; thy honour ftands,
In him that was of late an heretick,
As Grm as faith.

Page. 'Tis well, 'tis well; no more.
Be not as extreme in fubmiffion, as in offence;
But let our plot go forward : let our wives
Yet once again, to make us publick 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 hath been thrown into the river ; 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 punith’d, he shal! have no desires.

Page. So think I too.

Mrs. Ford. Devise but how you'll use him, when hecomes;
And let us two devise to bring him thither.

Mrs.Page. There is an old tale goes, that Herne the hunter,
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor foreft,
Doth all the winter-time at ftill of midnight
Walk round about an oak, with ragged horns ;
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle ;
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner..

You've heard of such a spirit; and well you know,
The fuperftitious idle-headed Eld
Receiv’d, 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;
But what of this ?

Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device, (16)
That Falsaf at that oak shall meet with us.
We'll send him word to meet us in the field,
Disguis'd 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 thither, What shall be done with him ? what is your plot?

Mrs.Page. That likewise we have 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 ratiles in their hands ; upon a sudden, - As Falstuf, she, and I, are newly met, Let them from forth a faw-pit rush at once With some diffused song : upon their fight, 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 facred paths he dares to tread In shape prophane!

(16) Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our Device, Tbat Falstaff at that Oak jhall meet with us.

Page. Well; let it not be doubted, but he'll come.

And in tbis Shape when you have brought him thither,] Thus this Paffage has been transmitted down to us, from the Time of the first Edition by the Players : But what was this Shape, in whicii Falstaff was to be appointed to meet! For the Women have not said one Word to ascertain it. This makes it more than fufpicious, the Defect in this point must be owing to some wise Retrenchment. The two intermediate Lines, which I have restored from the old Quarto, are absolutely necessary, and clear up the matter.

Mrs. Ford.

Mrs. Ford. And 'till he tell the truth,
Let the fopposed fairies pinch him round,
And burn bim with their tapers.

Mrs. Page. The truth being known,
We'll all present ourselves ; dil-horn the spirit,
And mock him home to Windfor.

Ford. The children must
Be practis'd 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. This 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 filk will I go buy, and in that tire Shall Mr. Slender steal my Nan away,

(Afide. And marry her at Eaton. Go, fend to Falftaf straight.

Ford. Nay, I'll to him again in the name of Brook ; he'll tell me all his purpose. Sure, he'll come.

Mrs. Page. Fear not you that; go get us properties and tricking for our fairies.

Eva. Let us about it, it is admirable pleasures, and ferry honest knaveries. [Exe. Page, Ford and Evans.

Mrs. Page. Go, Mrs. Ford,
Send Quickly to Sir John, to know his mind.

[Exit Mrs. Ford. I'll to the doctor ; he hath my good will, And none but he, to marry with Nan Page.

That Slender, tho'well landed, is an Ideot ;
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.
Tho' twenty thousand worthier came to crave her.

(Exit.

SCENE

ERA. W

1

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$CEN E changes to the Garter-Inn.

Enter Hoft and simple.
HAT would't thou have, toor? what,

thick-skin? 'speak, breathe, discuss; brief, {nort, quick, snap:

Simp. Marry, Sir, I come to speak with Sir John Falftaf, from Mr. Slender.

Hoft. There's his chamber, his house, his castle, his ftanding-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 anthropophaginian unto thee: knock, I say.

Simp. There's an old woman, a fat woman gone up into his chamber ; I'll be so bold as stay, Sir, 'till the come down: I come to speak with her, indeed.

Hof. Ha! a fat woman ? the knight may be robb’d: I'll call. Bully-Knight! Bully-Sir John! speak from thy lungs military : art thou there it is thine Host, thine Ephekan calls.

Falstaff, above.
Fal. How now, mine Hoft?

Hoft. Here's a Bobemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of thy fat woman; let her descend, bully, let her descend; my chambers are honourable. Pie, privacy ? fie !

Enter Falstaff. Fal. There was, mine Hoft, an old fat woman even now with me, but she's gone.

Simp. Pray you, Sir, was't not the wise woman of Brainford ?

Fal. Ay, marry was it, mussel-Shell, what would you with her ?

Simp. My master, Sir, my mafter Slender sent to her, feeing her go thro' the street, to know, Sir, whether one Nym, Sir, that beguild him of a chain, had the chain,

Fal

or no

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