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Enter Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page.
Mrs. Ford. Sir John? art thou there, my deer? my male deer?
Fal. My doe with the black scut?-Let the sky rain potatoes, let it thunder to the tune of Green Sleeves, hail kissing-comfits, and snow eringoes; let there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here. [Embracing her. Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, sweet. heart.
Fal. Divide me like a bribe-buck, each'a haunch: I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow of this walk, and my horns I bequeath your husbands. Am I a woodman? ha! Speak I like Herne the hunter?-Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience; he makes restitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome!
Mrs. Page. Alas! what noise?
Mrs. Ford. Heaven forgive our sins!
Fal. What should this be?
[They run off.
Fal. I think, the devil will not have me damned, lest the oil that is in me should set hell on fire; he would never else cross me thus.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans, like a satyr; Mrs. Quickly and Pistol; Anne Page, as the Fairy Queen, attended by her brother and others, dressed like fairies, with waren tapers on their heads.
Quick. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white, You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night, You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,
• Keeper of the forest.
Attend your office, and your quality.
Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy
Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap: Where fires thou find'st unrak'd, and hearths un swept,
There pinch the maids as blue as bilberryt:
Our radiant queen hates sluts, and sluttery.
Fal. They are fairies; he, that speaks to them,
I'll wink and couch: No man their works must eye. [Lies down upon his face.
Eva. Where's Pede?-Go you, and where you
find a maid,
That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
Sleep she as sound as careless infancy;
But those as sleep, and think not on their sins, Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides, and shins.
Quick. About, about;
Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out:
Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery,
Eva. Pray you, lock hand in hand; yourselves in
And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be,
Fal. Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy, lest be transform me to a piece of cheese!
Pist. Vile worm, thou wast o'er-look'd even in thy
Quick. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end:
It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.
Pist. A trial, come.
Conie, will this wood take fire? [They burn him with their tapers.
Fal. Oh, oh, ob!
Quick. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire! About him, fairies; sing a scornful rhyme:
And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time. Eva. It is right; indeed he is full of lecheries and iniquity.
Fye on sinful fantasy!
Kindled with unchaste desire,
Fed in heart; whose flames aspire,
As thoughts doblow them, higher and higher.
Pinch him, fairies, mutually;
Pinch him for his villainy;
Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about, Till candles, and star-light, and moonshine, be out.
During this song, the fairies pinch Falstaff. Doctor Caius comes one way, and steals away a fairy in green; Slender another way, and takes off a fairy in white; and Fenton comes, and steals away Mrs. Anne Page. A noise of hunting is made within. All the fairies run away. Falstaff pulls off his buck's head, and rises.
Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, and Mrs. Ford.
Page. Nay, do not fly: I think, we have watch'd you now;
Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn? Mrs. Page. I pray you, come; hold up the jest
Now, good sir John, how like you Windsor wives? See you these, husband? do not these fair yokes Become the forest better than the town?
Ford. Now, sir, who's a cuckold now?-Master Brook, Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldly knave; here are his horns, master Brock: And, master Brook, he hath enjoyed nothing of Ford's but his buckbasket, his cudgel, and twenty pounds of money; which must be paid to master Brook; his horses are arrested for it, master Brook.
Mrs. Ford. Sir John, we have had ill luck; we could never meet. I will never take you for my love again, but I will always count you my deer.
Fal. I do begin to perceive that I am made an
Ford. Ay, and an ox too; both the proofs are extant.
Horns which Falstaff had.
Act V. Fal. And these are not fairies? I was three or four times in the thought, they were not fairies: and yet the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surprise of my powers, drove the grossness of the foppery into a received belief, in despite of the teeth of all rhyme and reason, that they were fairies. See now, how wit may be made a Jack-a-lent, when 'tis upon ill employment!
Eva. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your desires, and fairies will not pinse you..
Ford. Well said, fairy Hugh.
Eva. And leave you your jealousies too, I pray
Ford. I will never mistrust my wife again, till thou art able to woo her in good English..
Fal. Have I laid my brain in the sun, and dried it, that it wants matter to prevent so gross o'erreaching as this? Am I ridden with a Welch goat too? Shall I have a coxcomb of frize? 'tis time I were choked with a piece of toasted cheese.
Eva. Seese is not good to give putter; your pelly is all putter.
Fal. Seese and putter! Have I lived to stand at the taunt of one that makes fritters of English? This is enough to be the decay of lust and late-walking, through the realm,
Mrs. Page. Why, sir John, do you think, though we would have thrust yirtue out of our hearts by the head and shoulders, and have given ourselves without scruple to hell, that ever the devil could have made you our delight?
Ford. What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax?
Page, Old, cold, withered, and of intolerable entrails?
Ford. And one that is as slanderous as Satan? Page. And as poor as Job?
Ford. And as wicked as his wife?
A fool's cap of Welch materials.