SCENE VAnother part of the Park.
Enter FALSTAFF disguised as Herne.
The Windsor bell hath struck twelve;
the minute draws on. Now, the hot-blooded
gods assist me! Remember, Jove, thou wast a
bull for thy Europa; love set on thy horns.
O powerful love! that, in some respects, makes
a beast a man, in some other, a man a beast.
You were also, Jupiter, a swan for the love of
Leda. O omnipotent Love! how near the
god drew to the complexion of a goose! A
fault done first in the form of a beast. O
Jove, a beastly fault! And then another fault
in the semblance of a fowl; think on't, Jove;
a foul fault! When gods have hot backs,
what shall poor men do? For me, I am here
a Windsor stag; and the fattest, I think, i'
the forest. Send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or
who can blame me to piss my tallow? Who
comes here? my doe?
Enter MISTRESS FORD and MISTRESS PAGE.
Sir John! art thou there, my
deer? my male deer?
My doe with the black scut! Let the
sky rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of
Green Sleeves, hail kissing-comfits and snow
eringoes; let there come a tempest of provocation,
I will shelter me here.
Mistress Page is come with
Divide me like a bribe buck, each a
haunch: I will keep my sides to myself, my
shoulders for the fellow of this walk, and my
horns I bequeath your husbands. Am I a
woodman, ha? Speak I like Herne the hunter?
Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience;
he makes restitution. As I am a
true spirit, welcome! [Noise within.
Alas, what noise?
Heaven forgive our sins!
What should this be?
Mrs. Page. Mrs. Ford
Away, away! [They run off.
I think the devil will not have me
damned, lest the oil that's in me should set
hell on fire; he would never else cross me (40)
Enter SIR HUGH EVANS, disguised as before; PISTOL, as Hobgoblin; MISTRESS QUICKLY, ANNE PAGE, and others, as Fairies, with tapers.
Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,
You moonshine revellers, and shades of night,
You orphan heirs of fixed destiny,
Attend your office and your quality.
Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy oyes.
Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.
Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap:
Where fires thou find'st unraked and hearts unswept,
There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry: (50)
Our radiant queen hates sluts and sluttery.
They are fairies; he that speaks to them shall die:
I'll wink and couch: no man their works must eye.
[Lies down upon his face.
Where's Bede? Go you, and where you find a maid
That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
Raise up the organs of her fantasy;
Sleep she as sound as careless infancy:
But those as sleep and think not on their sins,
Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides and shins. (59)
Search Windsor Castle, elves, within and out:
Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room:
That it may stand till the perpetual doom,
In state as wholesome as in state 'tis fit,
Worthy the owner, and the owner it.
The several chairs of order look you scour
With juice of balm and every precious flower:
Each fair instalment, coat, and several crest,
With loyal blazon, evermore be blest!
And nightly, meadow-fairies, look you sing, (70)
Like to the Garter's compass, in a ring:
The expressure that it bears, green let it be,
More fertile-fresh than all the field to see;
And 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' write
In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue, and white;
Like sapphire, pearl and rich embroidery,
Buckled below fair knighthood's bending knee:
Fairies use flowers for their charactery.
Away; disperse: but till 'tis one o'clock,
Our dance of custom round about the oak (80)
Of Herne the hunter, let us not forget.
Pray you, lock hand in hand; yourselves in order set;
And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be,
To guide our measure round about the tree.
But, stay; I smell a man of middle-earth.
Heavens defend me from that Welsh
fairy, lest he transform me to a piece of
Vile worm, thou wast o'erlook'd even in thy birth.
With trial-fire touch me his fingerend:
If he be chaste, the flame will back descend (90)
And turn him to no pain; but if he start,
It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.
A trial, come.
Come, will this wood take fire?
[They burn him with their tapers.
Oh, Oh, Oh!
Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire!
About him, fairies; sing a scornful rhyme;
And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time.
During this song they pinch FALSTAFF. DOCTOR CAIUS comes one way, and steals away a boy in green; SLENDER another way, and takes off a boy in white; and FENTON comes, and steals away MRS ANNE PAGE. A noise of hunting is heard within. All the Fairies run away. FALSTAFF pulls off his buck's head, and rises.
Enter PAGE, FORD, MISTRESS PAGE and MISTRESS FORD.
Nay, do not fly; I think we have watch'd you now:
Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn?
I pray you, come, hold up the jest no higher. (110)
Now, good Sir John, how like you Windsor wives?
See you these, husband? do not these fair yokes
Become the forest better than the town?
Now, sir, who's a cuckold now?
Master Brook, Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldly
knave; here are his horns, Master Brook: and,
Master Brook, he hath enjoyed nothing of
Ford's but his buck-basket, his cudgel, and
twenty pounds of money, which must be paid
to Master Brook; his horses are arrested for (119)
it, Master Brook.
Sir John, we have had ill
luck; we could never meet. I will never take
you for my love again; but I will always
count you my deer.
I do begin to perceive that I am made
Ay, and an ox too: both the proofs
And these are not fairies? I was
three or four times in the thought they were
not fairies: and yet the guiltiness of my mind,
the sudden surprise of my powers, drove the
grossness of the foppery into a received belief,
in despite of the teeth of all rhyme and
reason, that they were fairies. See now how
wit may be made a Jack-a-Lent, when 'tis
upon ill employment!
Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and
leave your desires, and fairies will not pinse
Well, said, fairy Hugh.
And leave your jealousies too, I (140)
I will never mistrust my wife again,
till thou art able to woo her in good English.
Have I laid my brain in the sun and
dried it, that it wants matter to prevent so
gross o'erreaching as this? Am I ridden with
a Welsh goat too? shall I have a coxcomb of
frize? 'Tis time I were choked with a piece
of toasted cheese.
Seese is not good to give putter; (149)
your belly is all putter.
'Seese' and 'putter'! have I lived to
stand at the taunt of one that makes fritters of
English? This is enough to be the decay of
lust and late-walking through the realm.
Why, Sir John, do you think,
though we would have thrust virtue out of our
hearts by the head and shoulders and have
given ourselves without scruple to hell, that
ever the devil could have made you our
What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax! (160)
A puffed man?
Old, cold, withered and of intolera-
And one that is as slanderous as
And as poor as Job?
And as wicked as his wife?
And given to fornications, and to
taverns and sack and wine and metheglins,
and to drinkings and swearings and starings, (169)
pribbles and prabbles?
Well, I am your theme: you have the
start of me; I am dejected; I am not able to
answer the Welsh flannel: ignorance itself is
a plummet o'er me: use me as you will.
Marry, sir, we'll bring you to Windsor,
to one Master Brook, that you have cozened
of money, to whom you should have
been a pandar: over and above that you have
suffered, I think to repay that money will be
a biting affliction.
Yet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt
eat a posset to-night at my house; where I will
desire thee to laugh at my wife, that now
laughs at thee: tell her Master Slender hath
married her daughter.
[Aside] Doctors doubt that:
if Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this,
Doctor Caius' wife.
Whoa, ho! ho, father Page!
Son, how now! how now, son! have (189)
Dispatched! I'll make the best in
Gloucestershire know on't; would I were
hanged, la, else!
Of what, son?
I came yonder at Eton to marry Mistress
Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly
boy. If it had not been i' the church, I would
have swinged him, or he should have swinged
me. If I did not think it had been Anne
Page, would I might never stir--and 'tis a
Upon my life, then, you took the (201)
What need you tell me that? I
think so, when I took a boy for a girl. If I
had been married to him, for all he was in
woman's apparel, I would not have had him.
Why, this is your own folly. Did
not I tell you how you should know my
daughter by her garments?
I went to her in white, and cried
'mum,' and she cried 'budget,' as Anne and I
had appointed; and yet it was not Anne, but
a postmaster's boy.
Good George, be not angry: I
knew of your purpose; turned my daughter
into green; and, indeed, she is now with the
doctor at the deanery, and there married.
Vere is Mistress Page? By gar, I
am cozened: I ha' married un garcon, a boy;
un paysan, by gar, a boy; it is not Anne (220)
Page: by gar, I am cozened.
Why, did you take her in
Ay, by gar, and 'tis a boy: by gar,
I'll raise all Windsor.
This is strange. Who hath got the
My heart misgives me: here comes
Master Fenton. Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGE.
How now, Master Fenton!
Pardon, good father! good my mother, pardon!
Now, mistress, how chance you (231)
went not with Master Slender?
Why went you not with master doctor, maid?
You do amaze: hear the truth of it.
You would have married her most shamefully,
Where there was no proportion held in love.
The truth is, she and I, long since contracted,
Are now so sure that nothing can dissolve us.
The offence is holy that she hath committed;
And this deceit loses the name of craft, (240)
Of disobedience, or unduteous title,
Since therein she doth evitate and shun
A thousand irreligious cursed hours,
Which forced marriage would have brought upon her.
Stand not amazed; here is no remedy:
In love the heavens themselves do guide the state;
Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.
I am glad, though you have ta'en a
special stand to strike at me, that your arrow
hath glanced. (250)
Well, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give thee joy!
'What cannot be eschew'd must be embraced.
When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chased.
Well, I will must no further, Master Fenton,
Heaven give you many, many merry days!
Good husband, let us every one go home,
And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire;
Sir John and all.
Let it be so, Sir John,
To Master Brook you yet shall hold your word;
For he to-night shall lie with Mistress Ford.