Imágenes de páginas

FORD. Master Page, as I am a man, there was one convey'd out of my house yesterday in this basket. Why may not he be there again? In my house I am sure he is: my intelligence is true; my jealousy is reasonable.-Pluck me out all the linen.

MRS. FORD. If you find a man there, he shall die a flea's death.

PAGE. Here's no man.

SHAL. By my fidelity, this is not well, Master Ford; this wrongs1 you.


EVANS. Master Ford, you must pray, and not follow the
imaginations of your own heart: this is jealousies.
FORD. Well, he's not here I seek for.

PAGE. No, nor nowhere else, but in your brain.

FORD. Help to search my house this one time. If I find not what I seek, shew no colour for my extremity, let me for ever be your table-sport; let them say of me, As jealous as Ford, that search'd a hollow walnut for his wife's leman. Satisfy me once more; once


more search with me. MRS. FORD. What hoa! Mistress Page! Come you and the old woman down: my husband will come into the chamber.

FORD. Old woman! What old woman's that?
MRS. FORD. Why, it is my maid's aunt of Brentford.
FORD. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have

I not forbid her my house? She comes of errands,
does she? We are simple men: we do not know
what's brought to pass under the profession of fortune-
telling! She works by charms, by spells, by the figure,
and such daubery as this is beyond our element: we
know nothing.-Come down, you witch, you hag, you;
come down, I say.


MRS. FORD. Nay, good, sweet husband!-Good gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.

Enter FALSTAFF in women's clothes, led by MISTRESS PAGE. MRS. PAGE. Come, Mother Prat, come, give me your hand.

FORD. [beating her.] I'll prat3 her.

2 lover.

1 is unworthy of. I: EE

Out of my door,

$ (slang) buttock.


Sc. II

Sc. II

you witch! you hag, you baggage, you polecat, you ronyon!1 Out! out! I'll conjure you, I'll fortunetell you! [Exit FALSTAFF. MRS. PAGE. Are you not asham'd? I think you have kill'd the poor woman.


MRS. FORD. Nay, he will do it!—Tis a goodly credit for


FORD. Hang her, witch!


EVANS. By yea and no, I think the 'oman is a witch
indeed: I like not when a 'oman has a great peard;
I spy a great peard under her muffler.
FORD. Will you follow, gentlemen?
I beseech you,
follow; see but the issue of my jealousy; if I cry out
thus upon no trail, never trust me when I open3 again.
PAGE. Let's obey his humour a little further.



[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 hallow'd, 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, scar'd out
of him;
if the Devil have him not in fee-simple, 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
serv'd 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 publicly
sham'd. And, methinks, there would be no period
to the jest, should he not be publicly sham'd.
MRS. PAGE. Come, to the forge with it then-shape it :
I would not have things cool.


5 term.

2 scent.

3 give tongue.

1 scab.

4 corrupting.


SCENE III. A Room in the Garter.
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 sauce1 them: they have had my house a
week at command; I have turn'd away my other
guests: they must come off. I'll sauce them. Come.


SCENE IV. A Room in FORD'S House.


EVANS. '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

MRS. PAGE. Within a quarter of an hour.

FORD. Pardon me, wife. Henceforth do what thou wilt:

I rather will suspect the Sun with cold

Than thee with wantonness. Now doth thy honour stand

In him that was of late an heretic

As firm as faith.


"Tis well, 'tis well; no more.
Be not as extreme in submission
As in offence,

But let our plot go forward: let our wives
Yet once again, to make us public sport,
Appoint a meeting with this old, fat fellow,
Where we may take him, and disgrace him for it.
FORD. There is no better way than that they spoke of.

2 down.

1 (slang) bleed.


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ACT IV PAGE. How! to send him word they'll meet him in the Sc. IV Park at midnight? Fie, fie: he'll never come. EVANS. You say, he has been thrown into 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 punish'd, he shall have no desires.

PAGE. So think I too.

MRS. FORD. Devise but how you'll use him when he


And let us two devise to bring him thither.

MRS. PAGE. There is an old tale goes, that Herne the


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 takes1 the cattle,

And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner.

You have heard of such a Spirit: and well you know,
The superstitious, idle-headed eld

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
In deep of night to walk by this Herne's Oak.
But what of this?

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,
When you have brought him

And in this shape.



What shall be done with him?

What is your plot?

MRS. PAGE. That likewise have we thought upon, and


Nan Page my daughter, and my little son,

And three or four more of their growth, we'll dress

Like Urchins, Ouphes,3 and Fairies, green and white, 5o
With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads,
And rattles in their hands. Upon a sudden,

1 smites.

2 goblins.

3 elves.

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,
In their so sacred paths he dares to tread
In shape profane.
And till he tell the truth,
Let the supposed Fairies pinch him sound,
And burn him with their tapers.

The truth being known,
We'll all present ourselves, dis-horn the Spirit,
And mock him home to Windsor.



The children must
Be practis'd well to this, or they'll ne'er do 't.
EVANS. 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


FORD. Nay, I'll to him again in name of Brook :

Sure, he'll come!

He'll tell me all his purpose. MRS. PAGE. Fear not you that!

Go, get us properties,

Finely attired in a robe of white.

PAGE. That silk will I go buy. And in that trim
Shall Master Slender steal my Nan away,

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


And tricking for our Fairies. EVANS. 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.

1 incomprehensible.

Sc. IV

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