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taught me more wit than ever I learn'd before in my life, and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning.


Enter Bardolph.
Bard. Out, alas, Sir, cozenage! meer cozenage !

Hoft. Where be my horses, speak well of them, varletto.

Bard. Run away with the cozeners; for so soon as I came beyond Eaton, they threw me off from behind one of them in a sough of mire, and set spurs, and away, like three German devils, three Doctor FauStus's.

Hoft. They are gone but to meet the Duke ; villain; do not say, they are fled; Germans are honest men.

Enter Evans.
Eva. Where is mine Host?
Hoft. What is the matter, Sir?

Eva. Have a care of your entertainments; there is a friend o’mine come to town, tells me, there is three cozen-jermans that has cozen'd all the Hosts of Reading, of Maidenhead, of Colebrock, of horses and mony. I tell you for good will, look you; you are wise, and full of gibes and vlouting-stocks, and 'tis not convenient you should be cozen'd; fare you well. [Exit.

Enter Caius.
Caius. Ver' is mine Host de Fartere?

Hoft. Here, master Doctor, in perplexity and doubtful dilemma.

Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat ; but it is tell-a-me, dat you make a grand preparation for a Duke de Jamany ; but my trot, der is no Duke, dat the Court is know, to come: I tell you for good will; adieu.

[Exit. Hoft.

Hof. Hue and cry, villain, go! affift me, Knight, I am undone ; Ay, run, hue and cry! Villain, I am undone !

[Exit. Fal. I would, all the world might be cozen’d, 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 washid and cudgel'd, they would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermens boots with me. I warrant, they would whip me with their fine wits, 'till I were as crest-faln as a dry'd pear. I never prosper'd since I forswore myself at Primero. Well, if my wind were but long enough to fay my prayers, I would repent. SC È NE X.

Enter Mistress Quickly. Now, whence come you?

Quic. From the two parties, forsooth.

Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the other, and so they shall be both bestowod. I have suffer'd more for their fakes, more than the villainous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to bear.

Quic. And have not they suffer'd? yes, I warrant, 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’lt thou me of black and blue ? I was beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow; and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of Brainford; but that my admirable dexterity of wit, counterfeiting the action of an old woman, deliverd me, the knave constable had set me i'th' stocks, i'th' common stocks, for a witch.

Quic. 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 is here to bring you together? sure,
one of you does not serve heav'n well, that you are so
Fal. Come up into my chamber. (Exeunt.
S c E N E XI.

Enter Fenton and Hoft.
Hoft. Master Fenton, talk not to me, my mind is

I will give over all.

Fen. Yet hear me speak; affift me in my purpose, And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee A hundred pound in gold more than your loss.

Host. I will hear you, master Fenton; and I will, at the least, keep your counsel. :

Fen. 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 chuser)
Ev'n to my wish. I have a letter from her
Of such contents, as you will wonder at;
The mirth whereof's lo larded with my matter,
That neither singly can be manifested,
Without the shew of both. Fat Sir John Falstaff
Hath a great Scene; the image of the jest
I'll shew you here at large. Hark, good mine Host;
To night at Herne's Oak, just 'twixt twelve and one,
Must my sweet Nan present the Fairy Queen ;

The purpose why, is here; in which disguise,
While other jests are something rank on foot,
Her father hath commanded her to Nip
Away with Slender, and with him at Eaton
Immediately to marry; she hath consented. - Now,

Her mother, ever strong against that match,


And firm for Doctor Caius, hath appointed
That he shall likewise shuffle her away,
(While other sports are tasking of their minds ;)
And at the Deanry, where a priest attends,
Straight marry her ; To this her mother's Plot
She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath
Made promise to the Doctor.---Now, thus it rests;
Her father means she shall be all in white,
And in that dress when Slender sees his time
To take her by the hand, and bid her go,
She shall go with him. Her mother hath intended,
The better to devote her to the Doctor,
(For they must all be mask'd and vizarded)
That, quaint in green, she shall be loose enrob'd,
With ribbands-pendent, Alaring 'bout her head;
And when the Doctor spies his vantage ripe,
To pinch her by the hand, and on that token,
The maid hath given consent to go with him.
Hoft. Which means she to deceive? father or mo.

Fen. Both, my good Hoft, to go along with me;
And here it rests, that you'll procure the Vicar
To stay for me at church, 'twixt twelve and one,
And in the lawful name of marrying,
To give our hearts united ceremony.

Hoft. Well, husband your device; I'll to the Vicar.
Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.

Fen. So shall I evermore be bound to thee;
Beside, I'll make a present recompence. [Exeunt.

Re-enter Falstaff and Mistress Quickly.
Fal. Prythee, no more pratling; go, I'll hold.
This is the third time; I hope, good luck lyes in odd


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numbers; away, go; they fay, 4 there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance or death; away.

Quic. I'll provide you a chain, and I'll do what I can to get you a pair of horns. [Exit Mrs. Quickly.

Fal. Away, I say, time wears : hold up your head and mince.

Enter Ford. How now, master Brook? master Brook, the matter 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 jealousie in him, master Brook, that ever govern'd frenzy. I will tell you; he beat me grievousy, in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of a man, master Brook, I fear not Goliab with a weaver's beam ; because I know also, life is a shuttle ; I am in hafte ; go along with me, I'll tell you all, master Brook. Since I pluckt geese, play'd truant, and whipt top, I knew not what 'twas to be beaten, 'till lately. Follow me, I'll tell you strange things of this knave Ford, on whom to night I will be reveng'd, and I will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow; strange things in hand, master Brook! follow.


4. There is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death ;] i.. being born in an odd year, having an odd number in a lottery, and the climacteric years of 7 and 63.


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