Page images
PDF
EPUB

it quickly: Go before into the park; we two must go together.

Caius. I know vat I have to do; Adieu.

Mrs. Page. Fare you well, sir. [Exit CAIUS.] My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse of Falstaff, as he will chafe at the doctor's marrying my daughter: but 'tis no matter; better a little chiding, than a great deal of heart-break.

Mrs. Ford. Where is Nan now, and her troop of fairies? and the Welch devil, Hugh?

Mrs. Page. They are all couched in a pit hard by Herne's oak, with obscured lights; which, at the very instant of Falstaff's and our meeting, they will at once display to the night.

Mrs. Ford. That cannot choose but amaze him. Mrs. Page. If he be not amazed, he will be mocked; if he be amazed, he will every way be mocked.

Mrs. Ford. We'll betray him finely.

Mrs. Page. Against such lewdsters, and their lechery,

Those that betray them do no treachery.

Mrs. Ford. The hour draws on; To the oak, to the oak! [Exeunt.

SCENE IV.

Windsor Park.

Enter Sir HUGH EVANS, and Fairies.

Eva. Trib, trib, fairies; come; and remember your parts: be pold, I pray you; follow me into

8

in a pit hard by Herne's oak,] An oak, which may be that alluded to by Shakspeare, is still standing close to a pit in Windsor forest. It is yet shown as the oak of Herne.

STEEVENS.

the pit; and when I give the watch-'ords, do as I pid you; Come, come; trib, trib.

SCENE V.

Another part of the Park.

[Exeunt.

Enter FALSTAFF disg sed, with a buck's head on.

Fal. 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 ;-0, 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 Mrs. FORD and Mrs. PAGE.

Mrs. Ford. Sir John? art thou there, my deer? my male deer?

Fal. 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. [Embracing her.

Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, sweetheart.

Fal. Divide me like a bride-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. spirit, welcome!

As I am a true [Noise within.

Mrs. Page. Alas! what noise?
Mrs. Ford. Heaven forgive our sins!
Fal. What should this be?

Mrs. Ford.

Mrs. Page. Away, away.

[They run off..

Fal. I think, the devil will not have me damned, lest the oil that is in me should set hell on fire; he would never else cross me thus.

Enter Sir HUGH EVANS, like a satyr; Mrs. QUICKLY, and PISTOL; ANNE PAGE, as the Fairy Queen, attended by her brother and others, dressed like Fairies, with waren tapers on their heads.

Quick. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,
You moon-shine revellers, and shades of night,
You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,"
Attend your office, and your quality.

9my shoulders for the fellow of this walk,] A walk is that district in a forest, to which the jurisdiction of a particular keeper extends. To the keeper the shoulders and humbles belong as a perquisite.

I

a woodman?] A woodman was an attendant on the officer, called Forrester. It is here, however, used in a wanton sense, for one who chooses female game as the objects of his pursuit.

2 You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,] Dr. Warburton corrects orphan to ouphen; and not without plausibility, as the word ouphes occurs both before and afterwards. But, I fancy, in acquiescence to the vulgar doctrine, the address in this line is to a part of the troop, as mortals by birth, but adopted by the fairies: orphans in respect of their real parents, and now only dependent on destiny herself. FARMER.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
[graphic][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »