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many: by my trot, dere is no duke, dat the court is know to come ; I tell you for good vill : adieu.
[Exit. Host. Hue and cry, villain, go :-assist me, knight; I am undone :-fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone!
[Exeunt Host and BARDOLPH. Fal. I would, all the world might be cozened; for I have been cozened and beaten too. If it should come to the ear of the court, how I have been transformed, and how my transformation hath been washed and cudgeled, they would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermen's boots with me; I warrant, they would whip me with their fine wits, till I were as crest-fallen as a dried pear. I never prospered since I foreswore myself at Primero.6 Well, if my wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent.-
Enter Mrs. QUICKLY. . Now! whence come you?
Quick. From the two parties, forsooth.
Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the other, and so they shall be both bestowed! I have suffered more for their sakes, more, than the villainous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to bear.
Quick. And have not they suffered? Yes, I warwant; speciously one of them; mistress Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a white spot about her...
Fal. What tell’st thou, me of black and blue? I was beaten myself into all the colours of the rain
6 A game at cards,
bow, and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of Brentford ; but that my admirable dexterity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of an old woman, deliver'd me, the knave constable had set me i' the stocks, i' the common stocks, for a witch. .
Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber: you shall hear how things go; and, I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts, what ado here is to bring you together! Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well, that you are so crossed. Fal. Come up into my chamber.
Another Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter Fenton and Host.
and will Host. I will hear you, master Fenton; and I will, at the least, keep your counsel.
· Fent. From time to time I have acquainted you With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page; Who, mutually, hath answer'd my affection (So far forth as herself might be her chooser,) Even to my wish : I have a letter from her Of such contents as you will wonder at;
The mirth whereof so larded with my matter,
[Showing the letter,
To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token,
Host. Which means she to deceive ? father or i
mother ? Fent. Both, my good host, to go along with me: . And here it rests,—that you'll procure the yicar To stay for me at church, 'twixt twelve and one, And, in the lawful name of marrying, To give our hearts united ceremony.
Host. Well, husband your device; I'll to the vicar: Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.
Fent. So shall I evermore be bound to thee; Besides, I'll make a present recompense. [Exeunt.
Enter Falstaff and Mrs. Quickly. Fal. Pr’ythee, no more prattling ;--00.- I'll hold: 9 This is the third time; I hope, good luck lies in odd numbers. Away, go ; they say, there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death.--Away.
Quick. I'll provide you a chain ; and I'll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.
Fal. Away, I say; time wears : hold up your head, and mince.
[Exit Mrs. QUICKLY.
Enter Ford. How now, master Brook? Master Brook, the matter
9 Keep to the time.
will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the Park about midnight, at Herne's oak, and you shall see wonders.
Ford. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me you had appointed ?
Fal. I went to her, master Brook, as you see, like a poor old man: but I came from her, master Brook, like a poor old woman. That same knave, Ford her husband, hath the finest mad devil of jealousy in him, master Brook, that ever governed frenzy. I will tell you.—He beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of man, master Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaver's beam ; because I know also, life is a shuttle. I am in haste; -go along with me; I'll tell you all, master Brook. Since I plucked geese, played truant, and whipped top, I knew not what it was to be beaten, till lately. Follow me: I'll tell you strange things of this knave Ford : on whom to-night I will be revenged, and I will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow: Strange things in hand, master Brook! follow.
Slen. Ay, forsooth; I have spoke with her, and