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fresh and new: go, knock and call; he'll speak like an Anthropophcginian 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, indeed..

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: fie! privacy ? fie!

Enter FALSTAFF. FAL. There was, mine Host, an old fat woman even now with me; but she's gone.

SIM. Pray you, sir, was ’t not the wise woman of Brentford ?
FAL. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell ;a what would you with her ?

SIM. My master, sir, my master Slender, sent to her, seeing her go through the streets, to know, sir, whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain, had the chain, or no.

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.b
HOST. 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. T is, 't is his fortune.
SIM. What, sir?
FAL. To have her,-or no: go; say, the woman told me so..
SIM. May I be bold to say so, sir?
FAL. Ay, sir Tike ; who more bold ?c

SIM. I thank your worship: I shall make my master glad with these tidings.


furnished with a standing bedstead, on which the superior reposed, and a truckle (from trochlia, a castor) or running one for the attendant. In the day-time, the latter, which was much lower than the standing bed, was wheeled under it, to afford more room in the apartment.

* Muscle-shell ;] “He calls him Muscle-shell, because he stands with his mouth open.”—JOHNSON.

*b I may not conceal them, sir.] The old text gives this speech, to Falstaff. For conceal, in both instances, Dr. Farmer proposes to read reveal ; that is, to quench the little humour intended, which all depends on Slender's blunder, and the Host's jocular repetition of it. '

& Ay, sir Tike; who more bold?) The folio reads, “ Av, sir, like who more bold :" but the reading in the text is supported by the quarto, which has, Ay, Tike, &c. Tike meaning clown, or clodpole.


Host. Thou art clerkly, 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.a

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.

Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, villain : do not say, they be fled; Germans are honest men.

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 couzin germans, that has cozened all the hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Coleprook, of horses and money.(4) I tell you for good-will, look you: you are wise, and full of gipes and vlouting stogs; and 't is not convenient you should pe cozened: fare 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 preparation for a duke de Jarmany: by my trot, dere is no dake, dat de court is know to come : I tell you for good vill : adieu.

[Erit. Host. Hue and cry, villain, go !-assist me, knight; I am undone : -fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone!

[Exit Host and BARDOLPH. FAL. I would, all the world might be cozened; for I have been cozened, 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 with me; I warrant, they would whip me with their fine wits, till I were as crestfallen as a dried pear. I never prospered since I foreswore myself at primero.

- I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning.) He quibbles on the meaning of paid : one sense of to pay formerly being to beat.

b I never prospered since I foreswore myself at primero.] Shakespeare has nothing more profoundly characteristic of an old sinner, than this and the analogous reflection of Mistress Quickly upon the failure of their schemes :-"Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well, that you are so crossed.”

Well, if my wind were but long enough to say my prayers,a I would repent.

Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY. 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 villainous 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, delivered me, the knave constable had set me i th’ stocks, i th' common stocks, for a witch.

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. Good hearts, what ado here is to bring you together! Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well, that you are so crossed. FAL. Come up into my chamber.


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 purpose,
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 (So far forth as herself might be her chooser), 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 [Showing the letter. I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine Host: To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and one,

(*) First folio omits, wherein.
* To say my prayers,–] These words are from the quarto.

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 Èton
Immediately to marry: she hath consented. Now, sir,
Her mother, even a 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
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 mother?

FENT. Both, my good Host, to go along with me:
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.

Host. Well, husband your device ; I'll to the vicar:
Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.

FENT. So shall I evermore be bound to thee; Besides, I'll make a present recompense.



SCENE I.-A Room in the Garter Inn.

Enter FALSTAFF and MISTRESS QUICKLY. FAL. Prythee, no more prattling ;-90. I'll hold: this is the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers. Away, go; they

(*) Old text, devote. . Even strong-] Equally strong. But as the quarto reads " still against," it may be doubted whether “even" is not a misprint for ever.

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 head, and mince.b


Enter FORD. How now, master Brook? Master Brook, the matter will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the park about midnight, at Herne's oak, (1) and you shall see wonders.

FORD. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me you had appointed ?

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 jealousy 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' th’ castle-ditch, till we see the light of our fairies. Remember, son Slender, my daughter. *

SLEN. Ay, forsooth; I have spoke with her, and we have a nayword, 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 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.

(*) First folio omits, daughter. There is divinity in odd numbers, -] - "numero deus impare gaudet."

VIRGIL, Eclogue viii. b And mince.) To mince meant to walk with affected modesty. € A nay-word; -] That is, a watch-word.

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