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Follow me, I'll tell you strange things of this knave Ford, on whom to night I will be reveng'd, and I will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow ; ftrange things in hand, master Brook! follow,
we see the light of our fairies. Remember, son Slender, my daughter.
Slen. Ay, 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.
Shal. That's good too; but what needs either your mum, or her burger? 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; heav'n prosper our sport ! No man means evil but the devil, and we shall know him by his horns. Let's away ; follow me.
[Exeunt, Enter Mistress Page, Mistress Ford and Caius. Mrs. Pagr. Mr. Doctor, my daughter is in green; when you see your time, take her by the hand, away with her to the Deanry, and dispatch it quickly; go before into the Park; we two must go together.
Caius. I know vat I have to do'; adieu. [Exit.
Mrs. Page. Fare you well, Sir. My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse of Falstaff, as he will chafe at the Doctor's marrying my daughter; but 'tis.
no mater : better, a little chiding, than a great deal of heart-break.
Mrs. Ford. Where is Nan now, and her troop of fairies, (18) and the Welch devil, Evans ?
Mrs. Page. They are all couch'd in a pit hard by Herne's Oak, with obscur'd lights; which, at the very inftant of Falsaf's and our meeting, they will at once display to the knight.
Mrs. Ford. That cannot chuse but amaze him.
Mrs. Page. If he be pot amaz'd, he will be mock'd; if he be amaz'd, he will every way be mock'd.
Mrs. Ford. We'll betray him finely,
Mrs. Puge. Against such lewdfters and their lechery, Those, that betray them, do no treachery.
Mrs. Fird. The hour draws on; to the Oak, to the Oak.
[Exeunt. Enter Evans and Fairies. Eva. Trib, trib, fairies; come, and remember your parts : be bold, 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. Enter Falstaff, with a Buck's bead on. Fal. The Windfor bell hath struck twelve, the minute draws on; now, the hot blooded Gods affist me! Remember, Jove, thou waft a bull for thy Europa; love fet 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, Jupiter, a fwan for the love of Leda :
(18) And ebe Welch Devil Herne?] Thus all the Impressions have blunder'd after each other ; but Falfiaff was to represent Herne, and he was no Welcbmin Where was the Attentinn, or Sagacity of our Editors, not to observe that Mrs. Ford is inquiring for Evans, by the Name of the Welch Devil? The Miss take of the Word Herne getting into the Text, might easily happen by the Inadvertence of Transcribers, who threw their Eyes too hastily on the succeeding Line, where the Word again
Dr. Thirlby likewise discover'd the Blunder of this Passage.
Oh, omnipotent love! how near the God drew to the complexion of a goose? A fault done first in the form of a beaft, - 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, wliat shall poor, men do? for me, I am here a Windfor stag, and the fatteft, I think, i'ch' foreft. Send me a cool ruto time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss my tallow who comes here ? my Doe?
Enter Mifress Ford and MiAress Page. Mrs. Ford. Sir John? art thou there, my deer my male-deer?
Fal. My doe with the black scut? let the ky rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Greew-Sleeves ;) hail kiffing-comfits, and snow eringoes ; let there come a tempeft of provocation, I will shelter me here.
Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, sweet heart.
Fal. (19) Divide me like a bribe-buck, each a haunch; I will keep my fides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow of this walk, and my horns 1 bequeath your husbands. Am I a woodman, ha? Speak I like Herne the hunter? why, now is Cupid a child of confcience, he makes reftitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome!
(Noise within. Mrs. Page. Alas! what noise? Mrs. Ford. Heav'n forgive our fins ! Fal. What should this be? Mrs. Fard. . S
[The women run'out. Fal. I think the devil will not have me damnd, left the oil that is in me should set hell on fire; he never would else cross me chus,
(19) Divide me like f brib'J-Buck,] Thus all the old Copies, miitakingly: It must be bribc-buck; i, ē. a Buck sent for a Bribe.
Enter Sir Hugh like a Satyr; Quickly, and others, drek
like Fairies, with Tapers.
Quic. Fairies, black, gray, green, and white,
shades of night,
Eva. Elves, list your names ; filence, you airy toys.
Fal. They're fairies; he, that speaks to them, shall die. I'll wink and couch ; no man their works muft eye.
[Lyes down upon bis fuce.
Quic. About, about;
(20) You Orphan heirs of] Why, Orpban beirs? Destiny, to which they ow'd their Original, and to whom they were heirs, was yet in Being sure: therefore they could not be callid Orphans. Doubtless, the Poet wrote:
You Ouphen heirs of fixed Deftiny. i. e. You Elves, that succeed to, and minister in, some of the Works of Destiny. They are callid both before and after, in this Play, Oufhs; here, Oupben: for en is the Saxon Termination of plural Nouns.
Each fair Instalment-Coat and sev'ral Crest,
Fal. Heav'ns defend me from that Welch fairy, left he transform me to a piece of cheese!
Eva. Vild worm, thou waft o'er-look'd ev'n in thy birth.
Quic. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end;
[They burn him with their tapers, and pinch him. Come, will this wood take fire.
Fal. Oh, oh, oh!
Quic. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire; About him, fairies, fing a scornful rhime : And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time.
Eva. (21) It is right, indeed, he is full of leacheries and iniquity.
(21) Eva. It is right, indeed:) This short Speech, which is - very much in Character for Sir Hugh, I have inserted from the old Quarto.