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Bard. Sir, I'll call them to you.

Hoft. They shall have my horses, but I'll make them pay, I'll fawce them. They have had my house a week at command; I have turn'd away my other guests; they must come off; I'll fawce them, come.

[Exeunt.

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'TIS

Changes to Ford's House. Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Evans. Eva. S VIS one of the best discretions of '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.
Ford. Pardon me, wife. Henceforth do what thou

wilt;
I rather will suspect the fun with cold,
Than thee with wantonness; thy honour stands,
In him that was of late an heretick,
As firm as faith.

Page. 'Tis well, 'tis well; no more.
Be not as extream 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.

2 They must come off;] This with spirit and solubility. In never can be our Poet's or his this place it seems to mean what Hoft's meaning. To come of be. is in our time exprefled by to ing in other terms to go foot free. come down, to pay liberally and We must read, COMPT off, i. e.

readily. Th. fe accidental and clear their reckoning.

colloquial senses are the disgra e WARBURTON. of language, and the plague of To come off, fignifies in our au- commentators. thour, fonctimes to be attered

Ford.

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Ford. There is no better way than that they spoke of.

Page. How? to send him word they'll meet him in the park at midnight? fie, fie, he'll never come.

Eva. You say, he hath been thrown into the river ; 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 punith’d, he shall have no desires.

Page. So think I too.
Mrs. Ford. Devise but how you'll use him, when

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 of midnight
Walk round about an oak, with ragged 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've 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? Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device 4,

That

And takes the cattle.) To That Falstaff at that Oak fball take, in Shakespeare, fignifies to meet with us. seize or strike with a disease, to Page. W'ell; let it not be blaft. So in Hamlet,

doubted, but be'll come. No planet takes.

And in this Shape when yoz So in Lear,

have brought him thither, Strike her young limbs, Thus this Pallage has been tranr. 12 taking airs, with lameness. mitted down to us, from the * Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is Time of the first Edition by the our Device,

Players : But what was this

Shape,

That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us.
We'll send him word to meet us in the field,
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 we have 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 s With some diffused song : upon their sight, We two, in great amazedness, will fly; Then let them all encircle him about, 6 And fairy-like to pinch the unclean knight; And ask him, why, that hour of fairy Revel, In their so facred paths he dares to tread In shape prophane?

Mrs. Ford. And 'till he tell the truth,
Let the supposed fairies pinch hiin round,
And burn him with their tapers.

Mrs. Page. The truth being known,
We'll all present ourselves; dil-horn the spirit,

Shape, in which Falfaff was diffused fong fignifies a song that to be appointed to meet ? For strikes out into wild sentiments the women have not said one beyond the bounds of nature, word to ascertain it. This makes such as those whose subject is faiit more than suspicious, the De- ry-land. WARBURTON. fect in this point must be owing And fairy like to pinch the to some wise Retrenchment. The unclean Knight;] The Gramtwo intermediate Lines, which I mar requires us to read, have restored from the old Quar- And fairy like too, pinch the to, are absolutely necessary, and unclean Knight. clear up the matter. THEOBALD.

WARDURTON.' s With some diffused fong: A

And

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And mock him home to Windfor.

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

Eva, I will teach the children their behaviours; and I will be like a jack-an-apes also to burn the knight with my taper.

Ford. This 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 Shall Mr. Slender steal my Nan away, [Alide. And marry her at Eaton, — Go, send to Falstaff

straight. Ford. Nay, I'll to him again in the name of Brook ; he'll tell me all his purpose. Sure, he'll come.

Mrs. Page. Fear nat you that; go get us properties and tricking for our fairies.

- Eva. Let us about it, it is admirable pleasures, and ferry honest knaveries. [Ex. Page, Ford and Evans.

Mrs. Page. Go, Mrs. 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.
That Slender, tho' well landed, is an Ideot;
And he my husband best of all affects :
The doctor is well mony'd, and his friends
Potent at court; he, none but he, shall have her;
Tho'twenty thousand worthier came to crave her.

[Exit. ? That silk will I go by, and dently relating to the time of the

in that time—j Mr.Then- mak'with which Falstaff was to balt referring that time to the be entertained, and which makes ume of buying the 'blk, alters the whole subject of this dialogue. ji to tire. But there is no need Therefore the common reading is of any change: That time evi- right. WARBURTON

SCENE SCENE VIII.

Changes to the Garter-Inn.

Euter Host and Simple.

W

Hoft. HAT would'st thou have, boor? what,

thick-skin? speak, breathe, discuss; brief, thort, quick, snap.

Simp. Marry, Sir, I come to speak with Sir John Falstaf, from Mr. Slender,

Hot. There's his chamber, his house, his castle, his standing-bed and truckle-bed °; ʼtis painted about with the story of the Prodigal, fresh and new; go, knock and call; he'll speak like an anthropophaginian unto thee: knock, I say.

Simp. There's an old woman, a fat woman gone up into his chamber ; I'll be so bold as stay, Sir, 'till the come down: I come to speak with her, indeed.

Hoft. Ha! a fat woman? the Knight may be robb’d; I'll call. Bully.Knight! Bully-Sir "John! speak from thy lungs military : art thou there? it is thine Hoft, thine Ephesian, calls.

Falstaff, above.

Fal. How now, mine Host?
Hot. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming

!

9

1

8 Standing-bed and truckle bed.] While his young mafier lieth o'er The usual furniture of chambers his head. in that time, was a standing-bed,

Bobemian-Tartar. ] The under which was a trocble, fruc- French call a Bobemian what we kle or running bed. In the stand- call a Gypsey ; but I believe the ing-hed lay the master, and in Hoft means nothing more than, the truckle-bed the servant. So by a wild appellation, to insinuin Hall's account of a servile cu- ate that Simple makes a strange tor:

appearance. He fieth in the buckle-bedt,

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