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And there he blasts the tree, and takes 89 the cattle;
Page. Why, yet there want not many, that do fear
Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device; That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us, 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 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, ouphes, 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 diffused 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,
Mrs. Ford. And till he tell the truth,
The truth being known,
The children must Be practis'd well to this, or they'll ne'er do't.
Era. 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. Mrs. Page. My Nan shall be the queen of all the
fairies, Finely attired in a robe of white.
Page. That silk will I go buy ;-—and in that time 91 Shall master Slender steal my Nan away, [ Aside. And marry her at Eton.—Go, send to Falstaff
straight. 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 92 for our fairies.
Era. Let us about it: It is admirable pleasures, and fery honest knaveries.
[Exeunt Page, Ford, and Evans.
Mrs. Page. Go, mistress Ford,
[Erit Mrs. Ford.
A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter Host and SIMPLE.
Host. What would'st thou have, boor? what, thick-skin ? speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick, snap
Sim. Marry, sir, I come to speak with sir John Falstaff from master Slender.
Host. There's his chamber, his house, his castle, his standing-bed, and truckle-bed99; ’tis painted about with the story of the prodigal, fresh and new : Go, knock and call; he'll speak like an Anthropophaginian 94 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 rob
bed: 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!
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 ; What would you with her ?
Sim. My master, sir, my master Slender, sent to her, seeing her go thorough 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.
that beguiled master Slender of his chain, cozen'd 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.
Sim. I may not conceal them, sir.
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. 'Tis, 'tis his fortune.
Fal. To have her,-or no: Go; say, the woman told me so.
Sim. May I be so bold to say so, sir ?
Sim. I thank your worship: I shall make my master glad with these tidings.
[Exit Simple. 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 learn'd before in my life: and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning.
Bard. Out, alas, sir! cozenage! meer 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 95.
Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, vil