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you, follow; see but the issue of my jealousy: if I cry out thus upon no trail*, never trust me when I opent again.

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

[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 hung o'er the altar; it hath done meritorious service.

Mrs. Ford. What think you? May we, with the warrant of womanhood, 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, I think, in the way of waste, 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 brains. If they can find in their hearts, the poor unvirtuous fat knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will still be the ministers.

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

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

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A Room in the Garter Inn.

Enter Host and Bardolph.

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.


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,

Than thee with wantonness: now doth thy honour


In him that was of late an heretic,

As firm as faith.


'Tis well, 'tis well; no more.

Be not as éxtreme in submission,
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 bettcr 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 in 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,

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 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.

You have heard of such a spirit; and well you know, The superstitious idle-headed eldt

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

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In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak:

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 thi


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, ouples, 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 diffusedt 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.

Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound,

And till he tell the truth,

The truth being known,

And burn him with their tapers.

Mrs. Page..

We'll all present ourselves; dis-born 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.

* Elfs, hobgoblins. Wild, discordant. Soundly.

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


Finely attired in a robe of white..

Puge. That silk will I go buy;-and in that time Shall master Slender steal my Nan away,

[Aside. And marry her at Eton.Go, send to Falstaff


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 properties,

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,
And none but he, to marry with Nan Page.
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.



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