Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folio 1, 1623)


Scena Quinta.
2480
Enter Falstaffe, Mistris Page, Mistris Ford, Euans,
Anne Page, Fairies, Page, Ford, Quickly,
Slender, Fenton, Caius, Pistoll.
Fal. The Windsor-bell hath stroke twelue: the Mi-
nute drawes-on: Now the hot-bloodied-Gods assist me:
2485Remember Ioue, thou was't a Bull for thy Europa, Loue
set on thy hornes. O powerfull Loue, that in some re-
spects makes a Beast a Man: in som other, a Man a beast.
You were also (Iupiter) a Swan, for the loue of Leda: O
omnipotent Loue, how nere the God drew to the com-
2490plexion of a Goose: a fault done first in the forme of a
beast, (O Ioue, a beastly fault:) and then another fault,
in the semblance of a Fowle, thinke on't (Ioue) a fowle-fault.
When Gods haue hot backes, what shall poore
men do? For me, I am heere a Windsor Stagge, and the
2495fattest (I thinke) i'th Forrest. Send me a coole rut-time
(Ioue) or who can blame me to pisse my Tallow? Who
comes heere? my Doe?
M. Ford. Sir Iohn? Art thou there (my Deere?)
My male-Deere?
2500Fal. My Doe, with the blacke Scut? Let the skie
raine Potatoes: let it thunder, to the tune of Greene-
sleeues, haile-kissing Comfits, and snow Eringoes: Let
there come a tempest of prouocation, I will shelter mee
heere.
2505M. Ford. Mistris Page is come with me (sweet hart.)
Fal. Diuide me like a brib'd-Bucke, each a Haunch:
I will keepe my sides to my selfe, my shoulders for the
fellow of this walke; and my hornes I bequeath your
husbands. Am I a Woodman, ha? Speake I like Herne
2510the Hunter? Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience,
he makes restitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome.
M. Page. Alas, what noise?
M. Ford. Heauen forgiue our sinnes.
Fal. What should this be?
2515M. Ford. M. Page. Away, away.
Fal. I thinke the diuell wil not haue me damn'd,
Least the oyle that's in me should set hell on fire;
He would neuer else crosse me thus.
Enter Fairies.
2520Qui. Fairies blacke, gray, greene, and white,
You Moone-shine reuellers, and shades of night.
You Orphan heires of fixed destiny,
Attend your office, and your quality.
Crier Hob-goblyn, make the Fairy Oyes.
2525Pist. Elues, list your names: Silence you aiery toyes.
Cricket, to Windsor-chimnies shalt thou leape;
Where fires thou find'st vnrak'd, and hearths vnswept,
There pinch the Maids as blew as Bill-berry,
Our radiant Queene, hates Sluts, and Sluttery.
2530Fal. They are Fairies, he that speaks to them shall die,
Ile winke, and couch: No man their workes must eie.
Eu. Wher's Bede? Go you, and where you find a maid
That ere she sleepe has thrice her prayers said,
Raise vp the Organs of her fantasie,
2535Sleepe she as sound as carelesse infancie,
But those as sleepe, and thinke not on their sins,
Pinch them armes, legs, backes, shoulders, sides, & shins.
Qu. About, about:
Search Windsor Castle (Elues) within, and out.
2540Strew good lucke (Ouphes) on euery sacred roome,
That it may stand till the perpetuall doome,
In state as wholsome, as in state 'tis fit,
Worthy the Owner, and the Owner it.
The seuerall Chaires of Order, looke you scowre
2545With iuyce of Balme; and euery precious flowre,
Each faire Instalment, Coate, and seu'rall Crest,
With loyall Blazon, euermore be blest.
And Nightly-meadow-Fairies, looke you sing
Like to the Garters-Compasse, in a ring
2550Th' expressure that it beares: Greene let it be,
Mote fertile-fresh then all the Field to see:
And, Hony Soit Qui Mal-y-Pence, write
In Emrold-tuffes, Flowres purple, blew, and white,
Like Saphire-pearle, and rich embroiderie,
2555Buckled below faire Knight-hoods bending knee;
Fairies vse Flowres for their characterie.
Away, disperse: But till 'tis one a clocke,
Our Dance of Custome, round about the Oke
Of Herne the Hunter, let vs not forget.
2560Euan. Pray you lock hand in hand: your selues in order
And twenty glow-wormes shall our Lanthornes bee
To guide our Measure round about the Tree.
But stay, I smell a man of middle earth.
Fal. Heauens defend me from that Welsh Fairy,
2565Least he transforme me to a peece of Cheese.
Pist. Vilde worme, thou wast ore-look'd euen in thy
birth.
Qu. With Triall-fire touch me his finger end:
If he be chaste, the flame will backe descend
2570And turne him to no paine: but if he start,
It is the flesh of a corrupted hart.
Pist. A triall, come.
Eua. Come: will this wood take fire?
Fal. Oh, oh, oh.
2575Qui. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire.
About him (Fairies) sing a scornfull rime,
And as you trip, still pinch him to your time.
The Song.
Fie on sinnefull phantasie: Fie on Lust, and Luxurie:
2580Lust is but a bloudy fire, kindled with vnchaste desire,
Fed in heart whose flames aspire,
As thoughts do blow them higher and higher.
Pinch him (Fairies) mutually: Pinch him for his villanie.
Pinch him, and burne him, and turne him about,
2585Till Candles, & Star-light, & Moone-shine be out.
Page. Nay do not flye, I thinke we haue watcht you
now: VVill none but Herne the Hunter serue your
turne?
M. Page. I pray you come, hold vp the iest no higher.
2590Now (good Sir Iohn) how like you Windsor wiues?
See you these husband? Do not these faire yoakes
Become the Forrest better then the Towne?
Ford. Now Sir, whose a Cuckold now?
Mr Broome, Falstaffes a Knaue, a Cuckoldly knaue,
2595Heere are his hornes Master Broome:
And Master Broome, he hath enioyed nothing of Fords,
but his Buck-basket, his cudgell, and twenty pounds of
money, which must be paid to Mr Broome, his horses are
arrested for it, Mr Broome.
2600M. Ford. Sir Iohn, we haue had ill lucke: wee could
neuer meete: I will neuer take you for my Loue againe,
but I will alwayes count you my Deere.
Fal. I do begin to perceiue that I am made an Asse.
Ford. I, and an Oxe too: both the proofes are ex-
2605tant.
Fal. And these are not Fairies:
I was three or foure times in the thought they were not
Fairies, and yet the guiltinesse of my minde, the sodaine
surprize of my powers, droue the grossenesse of the fop-
2610pery into a receiu'd beleefe, in despight of the teeth of
all rime and reason, that they were Fairies. See now
how wit may be made a Iacke-a-Lent, when 'tis vpon ill
imployment.
Euans. Sir Iohn Falstaffe, serue Got, and leaue your
2615desires, and Fairies will not pinse you.
Ford. Well said Fairy Hugh.
Euans. And leaue you your iealouzies too, I pray
you.
Ford. I will neuer mistrust my wife againe, till thou
2620art able to woo her in good English.
Fal. Haue I laid my braine in the Sun, and dri'de it,
that it wants matter to preuent so grosse ore-reaching as
this? Am I ridden with a Welch Goate too? Shal I haue
a Coxcombe of Frize? Tis time I were choak'd with a
2625peece of toasted Cheese.
Eu. Seese is not good to giue putter; your belly is al
putter.
Fal. Seese, and Putter? Haue I liu'd to stand at the
taunt of one that makes Fritters of English? This is e-
2630nough to be the decay of lust and late-walking through
the Realme.
Mist. Page. Why Sir Iohn, do you thinke though wee
would haue thrust vertue out of our hearts by the head
and shoulders, and haue giuen our selues without scru-
2635ple to hell, that euer the deuill could haue made you our
delight?
Ford. What, a hodge-pudding? A bag of flax?
Mist. Page. A puft man?
Page. Old, cold, wither'd, and of intollerable en-
2640trailes?
Ford. And one that is as slanderous as Sathan?
Page. And as poore as Iob?
Ford. And as wicked as his wife?
Euan. And giuen to Fornications, and to Tauernes,
2645and Sacke, and Wine, and Metheglins, and to drinkings
and swearings, and starings? Pribles and prables?
Fal. Well, I am your Theame: you haue the start of
me, I am deiected: I am not able to answer the Welch
Flannell, Ignorance it selfe is a plummet ore me, vse me
2650as you will.
Ford. Marry Sir, wee'l bring you to Windsor to one
Mr Broome, that you haue cozon'd of money, to whom
you should haue bin a Pander: ouer and aboue that you
haue suffer'd, I thinke, to repay that money will be a bi-
2655ting affliction.
Page. Yet be cheerefull Knight: thou shalt eat a pos-
set to night at my house, wher I will desire thee to laugh
at my wife, that now laughes at thee: Tell her Mr Slen-
der hath married her daughter.
2660Mist. Page. Doctors doubt that;
If Anne Page be my daughter, she is (by this) Doctour
Caius wife.
Slen. Whoa hoe, hoe, Father Page.
Page. Sonne? How now? How now Sonne,
2665Haue you dispatch'd?
Slen. Dispatch'd? Ile make the best in Glostershire
know on't: would I were hang'd la, else.
Page. Of what sonne?
Slen. I came yonder at Eaton to marry Mistris Anne
2670Page, and she's a great lubberly boy. If it had not bene
i'th Church, I would haue swing'd him, or hee should
haue swing'd me. If I did not thinke it had beene Anne
Page, would I might neuer stirre, and 'tis a Post-masters
Boy.
2675Page. Vpon my life then, you tooke the wrong.
Slen. What neede you tell me that? I think so, when
I tooke a Boy for a Girle: If I had bene married to him,
(for all he was in womans apparrell) I would not haue
had him.
2680Page. Why this is your owne folly,
Did not I tell you how you should know my daughter,
By her garments?
Slen. I went to her in greene, and cried Mum, and
she cride budget, as Anne and I had appointed, and yet
2685it was not Anne, but a Post-masters boy.
Mist. Page. Good George be not angry, I knew of
your purpose: turn'd my daughter into white, and in-
deede she is now with the Doctor at the Deanrie, and
there married.
2690Cai. Ver is Mistris Page: by gar I am cozoned, I ha
married oon Garsoon, a boy; oon pesant, by gar. A boy,
it is not An Page, by gar, I am cozened.
M. Page. VVhy? did you take her in white?
Cai. I bee gar, and 'tis a boy: be gar, Ile raise all
2695Windsor.
Ford. This is strange: Who hath got the right Anne?
Page. My heart misgiues me, here comes Mr Fenton.
How now Mr Fenton?
Anne. Pardon good father, good my mother pardon
2700Page. Now Mistris:
How chance you went not with Mr Slender?
M. Page. Why went you not with Mr Doctor, maid?
Fen. You do amaze her: heare the truth of it,
You would haue married her most shamefully,
2705Where there was no proportion held in loue:
The truth is, she and I (long since contracted)
Are now so sure that nothing can dissolue vs:
Th'offence is holy, that she hath committed,
And this deceit looses the name of craft,
2710Of disobedience, or vnduteous title,
Since therein she doth euitate and shun
A thousand irreligious cursed houres
Which forced marriage would haue brought vpon her.
Ford. Stand not amaz'd, here is no remedie:
2715In Loue, the heauens themselues do guide the state,
Money buyes Lands, and wiues are sold by fate.
Fal. I am glad, though you haue tane a special stand
to strike at me, that your Arrow hath glanc'd.
Page. Well, what remedy? Fenton, heauen giue thee
2720ioy, what cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac'd.
Fal. When night-dogges run, all sorts of Deere are
chac'd.
Mist. Page. Well, I will muse no further: Mr Fenton,
Heauen giue you many, many merry dayes:
2725Good husband, let vs euery one go home,
And laugh this sport ore by a Countrie fire,
Sir Iohn and all.
Ford. Let it be so (Sir Iohn:)
To Master Broome, you yet shall hold your word,
2730For he, to night, shall lye with Mistris Ford:
Exeunt