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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 220 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 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 served him ?
Mrs. Page. Yes, by all means; if it be but to 230 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 shamed: and methinks there would be no period to the jest, should he not be publicly shamed.
Mrs. Page. Come, to the forge with it then; shape it : I would not have things cool. [Exeunt. 240
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
225. in fee-simple, with fine tenure of land into ownership. and recovery, as his absolute 231. figures, fancies, whimsies. property. · Fine and recovery' 1. the Germans desire, etc. were part of the legal mechan- This doubtless refers to the visit ism for converting a conditional of Count Frederick of Mömpel
morrow at court, and they are going to meet him.
Host. What duke should that becomes 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 10 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.
A room in FORD's house,
Enter PAGE, FORD, MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS
Ford, and SIR HUGH EVANS. Evans. 'Tis one of the best 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.
'Tis well, 'tis well ; no more : Be not as extreme in submission As in offence. gard to Windsor in 1592 ; he it to the discontent of English received the privilege of travel- innkeepers. Cf. iv. 5. 79. ling free by post, and exercised
But let our plot go forward : let our wives
spoke of. Page. How? to send him word they'll meet him in the park at midnight? Fie, fie! he'll
Evans. 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.
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
chain In a most hideous and dreadful manner : You have heard of such a spirit, and well you
know The superstitious idle-headed eld Received 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
28. Herne the Hunter. The 32. takes, strikes with disease. present passage is the source of practically all that is known of 36. eld, old age (collectively this legend.
for aged persons).
In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak:
Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device;
Page. Well, let it not be doubted but he 'll
And in this shape when you have brought him
and thus :
Mrs. Ford. And till he tell the truth,
The truth being known,
The children must
Evans. I will teach the children their behaviours;
49. ouphes, goblins.
herent. 54. diffused, strange, inco- 57. to-pinch, pinch soundly.
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. [Aside] And in
away 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 for our fairies.
Evans. Let us about it: it is admirable plea- 80 sures and fery honest knaveries.
[Exeunt Page, Ford, and Evans.
[Exit Mrs. Ford.
78. properties, stage requisites apart from scenery and dresses, here especially the torches.
79. tricking, dresses. Pyrrhus, in Ham. ii. 2. 479, is said to be horridly trick'd with blood of fathers, mothers,' etc.