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came beyond Eaton, they threw me off from behind one of them in a Nough of mire, and set spurs, and away; like three German devils, three Doctor Faustus's.

Hoft. They are gone but to meet the Duke ; villain, do not say they be filed; Germans are honest men.

Enter Evans.
Eva. Where is mine host?
Hoft. What is the matter, Sir?

Eva. Have a care of your entertainments; there is a friend o? mine come to town tells me there is three cozenjermans that has cozen'd all the hosts of Reading, of Maidenbead, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell you for good will, look you; you are wise, and full of gibes and vlouting-stocks, and 'tis not convenient you should be cozened; fare you well.

[Exit. Enter Caius. Caius. Ver is mine host de Jartere ? Hoft. Here, master Doctor, in perplexity and doubtful dilemma.

Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat ; but it is tell-a me, dat you make a grand preparation for a Duke de Jamany; by my trot, dere is no Duke, dat de court is know, to come: I tell you for good will ; adieu.

[Exit. Hoft. Hue and cry, villain, go; assist me, Knight, I am undone; Ay, run, hue and cry! villain, I am undone.

Exit. Fal. I would all the world might be cozen’d, 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 wash'd and cudgel'd, they would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermens boots with me. I warrant they would whip me with their fine wits, 'till I were as crest-faln as a dry'd pear. I never prosper'd since I forswore myself at Primero. Well, if my wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent. Now, whence come you?

SCENE

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Enter Mistress Quickly. Quic. From the two parties, forsooth.

Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the other, and so they shall be both bestow'd. I have suffer'd more for their lakes, more than the villainous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to bear.

Quic. And have not they suffer’d? yes, I warrant, fpeciously one of them; mistress Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a white spot about her.

Fal. What tell'ft thou me of black and blue? I was beaten my

self into all the colours of the rain-bow; and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of Brainford; but that my admirable dexterity of wit, counterfeiting the action of ra wode' woman, deliver'd me, the knave constable had set me i' th’ stocks, i'th' common stocks, for a witch.

Quic. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber, you Ihall hear how things go, and, I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado is here to bring you together! sure one of you does not ferve heav'n well, that you are so cross’d. Fal. Come up into my chamber.

(Exeunt. S CE N

N E XI.

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Enter Fenton and Host.
Hot. Master Fenton, talk not to me, my mind is heavy,
I will give over all.

Fent. Yet hear me speak; aslift me in my purpose,
And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee
A hundred pound in gold more than your loss.

Hoft. 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, 9 an old :. . old edit. Theob. emend.

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Who, mutually, hath answer'd my affection,
(So far forth as her self might be her chufer)
Ev'n to my wish. I have a letter from her
Of such contents, as you will wonder at;
The mirth whereof's so larded with my matter,
That neither singly can be manifested,
Without the shew of both. Fat Sir John Falstaff
Hath a great scene; the image of the jest
I'll shew you here at large. Hark, good mine host;
To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and one,
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 Eaton
Immediately to marry; she hath confented. --- Now, Sir,
Her other, ever 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 Deanry, 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 dress when Slender fees his time
To take her by the hand, and bid her go,
She shall go with him. --- Her mother hath intended,
The better to devote her to the Doctor,
(For they must all be mask'd and vizarded)
That, quaint in green, she shall be loose enrob’d,
With ribbands-pendant, faring 'bout her head;
And when the Doctor spies his vantage ripe
To pinch her by the hand, '/upon that token'
The maid hath giv'n consent to go with him.

Hoft. Which means she to deceive? father or mother?
Fent. Both, my good hoft, to go along with me;

And
I and on that token

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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.

Hoft. 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; Beside, I'll make a present recompence. [Exeunt.

S CE N E XII.

Re-enter Falstaff and Mistress Quickly. Fal. Pr'ythee, no more pratling; go, I'll hold. This is the third time; I hope good luck lyes in odd numbers ; away, go; they say there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death; away.

Quic. I'll provide you a chain, and I'll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.

[Exit Mrs. Quickly. Fal.' Away, I say, time wears: hold up your head and mince.

Enter Ford. How now, master Brook? master Brook, the matter will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the park about mid-night at Herne's oak, and you shall fee wonders.

Ford. Went you not to her yesterday, Sir, as you me you had appointed?

Fal. I went to her, master Brook, as you fee, 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 jealousie in him, master Brook, that ever govern'd frenzy. I will tell you, he beat me grievously in the shape of a woman, for in the shape of a man, master Brook, I fear not Goliah with a weaver's beam; because I know also life is a shuttle; I am in hafte; go along with me, I'll tell you all, master Brook. Since I pluckt geefe, play'd truant, and whipt top, I knew not what 'twas to be beaten, 'till lately. Follow me, I'll tell

told

you

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; strange things in hand, master Brook ; follow.

[Exeunt.

A CT V. SC E N E I.

Windsor-Park.

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Enter Page, Shallow and Slender.

PAGE. OME, come; we'll couch i' th' castle-ditch, 'till we see the light of our fairies. Remember, fon Slen

der, 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 budget? the white will decipher her well enough. It hath struck ten a-clock.

Page. The night is dark, light and spirits will become it well; heav'n prosper our sport! No i one' means evil but the devil, and we shall know him by his horns. Let's away; follow me.

(Exeunt.

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Enter Mistress Page, Mistress Ford and Caius. Mrs. Page. Mr. Doctor, my daughter is in greens 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. 2 man . . old edit, Warb. emend.

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