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The Merry Wives of Windsor

Act V, Scene 5

Another part of the Park.
 
[Enter FALSTAFF disguised as Herne]
 
FALSTAFF
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 it, 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, in 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]
 
MISTRESS FORD
Sir John! art thou there, my deer? my male deer?
 
FALSTAFF
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 FORD
Mistress Page is come with me, sweetheart.
 
FALSTAFF
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]
 
MISTRESS PAGE
Alas, what noise?
 
MISTRESS FORD
Heaven forgive our sins.
 
FALSTAFF
What should this be?
 
MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
Away, away!
 
[They run off]
 
FALSTAFF
          ,          ,             ,    ,          ,
      I think | the de|vil will / not have | me damned,
        ,         ,            ,              ,      ,          ,  ->
      Lest the | oil that's | in me | should set | hell on || fire;
                  ,       ,      ,         __
      He | would ne|ver else | cross me | thus.
 
[Enter SIR HUGH EVANS, disguised as before; PISTOL, as Hobgoblin; MISTRESS QUICKLY, ANNE PAGE, and others, as Fairies, with tapers]
 
MISTRESS QUICKLY
        ,        ___     __     ___          ,
      Fairies,| black,| grey,| green,| and white,
            ,    ,    ,                 ,           ,
      You moon|shine re/vellers | and shades | of night,
           ,        ,         ,      ,     ,
      You or|phan heirs | of fix|ed des|tiny,
          ,          ,       ,          ,     ,
      Attend | your of|fice and | your qua|lity.
        Tx   T  T         ,         ,       ,
      Crier Hobgob|lin, make | the fai|ry oyes.
 
PISTOL
        ,                 ,      ,             ,      ,
      Elves, list^|your names:| silence | you ai|ry toys.
        ,            ,        ,         ,            ,
      Cricket,| to Wind|sor chim|neys shalt | thou leap:
              ,             ,         ,            ,          ,
      Where fires | thou findst | unraked | and hearths | unswept,
               ,           ,          ,        ,      ,
      There* pinch | the maids | as blue | as bil|berry:
           ,   2     ,             ,           ,     ,
      Our ra|diant queen | hates^sluts | and slut|tery.
 
FALSTAFF
          2     ,         ,           ,          ,           ,
      They are fai|ries; he | that speaks | to them | shall die:
             ,          ,         ,            ,           ,
      I'll wink | and couch:| no man | their works | must^eye.
 
[Lies down upon his face]
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
                ,     ,             ,           ,        ,
      Where's Bede?| Go you,| and where | you find | a maid
            ,          ,            ,          ,         ,
      That ere | she sleep,| has thrice | her pra|yers said,
        ,             ,       ,        ,     ,
      Raise up | the or|gans of | her fan|tasy;
        ,              ,          ,        ,     ,
      Sleep she | as sound | as care|less in|fancy:
            ,          ,           ,          ,          ,
      But those | as sleep | and think | not on | their sins,
        ,           __     __     ___      ,            ,           ___  ->
      Pinch them,| arms,| legs,| backs,| shoulders,|| sides, and | shins.
 
MISTRESS QUICKLY
         ,       ,    oo
      About,| about;|
               ,       ,         ,         ,         ,
      Search^Wind|sor Cas|tle (elves)| within,| and out:
               ,             ,         ,  2   ,        ,
      Strew* good | luck^(ouphes)| on ev|ery sa|cred room:
            ,         ,      ,             ,   2    ,
      That it | may stand | till the | perpe|tual doom,
           ,          ,          ,        ,          ,
      In state | as whole|some, as | in state |'tis fit,
       ,            ,       ,         ,      ,
      Worthy | the ow|ner, and | the ow|ner it.
           ,   2      ,         ,        ,          ,
      The sev|eral chairs | of or|der, look | you scour
             ,          ,         ,  2   ,           x
      With juice | of balm;| and ev|ery pre|cious flower,
             ,        ,           ,         ,   2     ,
      Each^fair | install|ment, coat,| and se|veral crest,
            ,      ,       ,      ,          ,
      With loy|al bla|zon, e|vermore | be blessed.
            ,       ,       ,          ,          ,
      And night|ly mea|dow-fai|ries, look | you sing
        ,            ,         ,         ,       ,
      Like to | the Gar|ter's com|pass, in | a ring,
         2    ,         ,         ,       ,             ,
      The expres|sure that | it bears,| green let | it be,
            ,         ,           ,          ,         ,
      More fer|tile-fresh | than all | the field | to see;
       ,           ,         ,       ,        ,
      And, Ho|ni soit | qui mal | y pen|se, write
          ,  2      ,        2      ,         ,          ,
      In em|erald tufts,| flowers* pur|ple, blue,| and white;
           ,          ,           ,        ,     ,
      Let sap|phire pearl,| and rich | embroi|dery,
        ,          ,             ,           ,         ,
      Buckled | below | fair* knight|hood's^ben|ding knee:
       ,             ,        ,           ,       ,
      Fairies | use flo|wers for | their cha|ractery.
        ,         ,           ,         ,        ,
      Away;| disperse:| but till |'tis one | o'clock,
            ,         ,        ,        ,         ,
      Our dance | of cus|tom round | about | the oak
           ,          ,      3   3    ,        ,
      Of Herne | the hun|ter, let us not | forget.
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
      <-  ,                ,         ,           ,         ,      ,
        Pray you || lock^hand | in hand;| yourselves | in or|der set
            ,       ,     ,                ,         ,
      And twen|ty glow-|worms shall | our lan|terns be,
           ,          ,         ,        ,          ,
      To guide | our mea|sure round | about | the tree.
            ,        ,        ,        ,        ,
      But stay,| I smell | a man | of mid|dle earth.
 
FALSTAFF
       ,            ,     ,               ,      ,
      Heavens | defend | me from | that Welsh | fairy,
        ,              ,     ,          ,           ,
      Lest he | transform | me to | a piece | of cheese.
 
PISTOL
        T    T     T        2      ,     ,   2           ,
      Vile worm, thou | wast orelooked | even in | thy birth.
 
MISTRESS QUICKLY
            ,       ,      ,             ,       ,
      With tri|al-fire | touch me | his fin|ger-end:
          ,         ,           ,            ,        ,
      If he | be chaste,| the flame | will back | descend
            ,              ,   ,         ,        ,
      And turn | him to / no pain;| but if | he start,
          ,         ,      ,         ,        ,
      It is | the flesh | of a | corrup|ted heart.
 
PISTOL
         ,        ,
      A tri|al, come.
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
                        ,                 ,           ,
                      Come, will | this wood | take fire?
 
[They burn him with their tapers]
 
FALSTAFF
Oh, Oh, Oh.
 
MISTRESS QUICKLY
           ,         ,          ,       ,       ,
      Corrupt,| corrupt,| and tain|ted in | desire.
         ,          ,          ,        ,         ,
      About | him (fai|ries) sing | a scorn|ful rhyme,
           ,         ,             ,          ,          ,
      And as | you trip,| still* pinch | him to | your time.
 
[sings]
       ,        ,        ,    __    ,         ,          ,   __
      Fie on | sinful | fanta|sy:| fie on | lust, and | luxu|ry:
        ,        ,        ,       __     ,          ,        ,       __
      Lust is | but a | bloody | fire,| kindled | with un|chaste de|sire,
       ,         ,             ,      ___
      Fed in | heart whose^|flames a|spire
             ,           ,            x           x
      As thoughts | do blow | them higher | and higher.
        ,          ,         ,      ,
      Pinch him |(fairies)| mutu|ally:
        ,          ,         ,    __
      Pinch him | for his | villa|ny;
        ,                ,               ,         __
      Pinch him, and | burn him, and | turn him a|bout,
      <-         ,               ,                ,   ,        ___
        Till || candles, and | starlight, and | moonshine | be out.
 
[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 ANN 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]
 
PAGE
Nay do not fly, I think we have watched you now: will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn?
 
MISTRESS PAGE
          ,          ,      ,             ,          x
      I pray | you come,| hold up | the jest | no higher.
       ,                ,          ,          ,        ,
      Now (good*| Sir John)| how like | you Wind|sor wives?
       ,                ,         ,                 ,    ,
      See you | these* hus|band? Do | not these*/ fair yokes
          ,         ,       ,        ,          ,
      Become | the fo|rest bet|ter than | the town?
 
FORD
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 it, Master Brook.
 
MISTRESS FORD
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.
 
FALSTAFF
I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass.
 
FORD
Ay, and an ox too: both the proofs are extant.
 
FALSTAFF
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 HUGH EVANS
Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your desires, and fairies will not pinse you.
 
FORD
Well said, fairy Hugh.
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
And leave your jealousies too, I pray you.
 
FORD
I will never mistrust my wife again till thou art able to woo her in good English.
 
FALSTAFF
Have I laid my brain in the sun and dried it, that it wants matter to prevent so gross orereaching 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.
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
Seese is not good to give putter; your belly is all putter.
 
FALSTAFF
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.
 
MISTRESS PAGE
Why Sir John, do you think, though we would have the 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 delight?
 
FORD
What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax?
 
MISTRESS PAGE
A puffed man?
 
PAGE
Old, cold, withered and of intolerable entrails?
 
FORD
And one that is as slanderous as Satan?
 
PAGE
And as poor as Job?
 
FORD
And as wicked as his wife?
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
And given to fornications, and to taverns and sack and wine and metheglins, and to drinkings and swearings and starings, pribbles and prabbles?
 
FALSTAFF
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 ore me: use me as you will.
 
FORD
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 pander: over and above that you have suffered, I think to repay that money will be a biting affliction.
 
PAGE
Yet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt eat a posset tonight 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.
 
MISTRESS PAGE [Aside]
Doctors doubt that: if Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this, Doctor Caius' wife.
 
[Enter SLENDER]
 
SLENDER
Whoa ho! ho, father Page!
 
PAGE
Son, how now! how now, son! have you dispatched?
 
SLENDER
Dispatched! I'll make the best in Gloucestershire know on it; would I were hanged, la, else.
 
PAGE
Of what, son?
 
SLENDER
I came yonder at Eton to marry Mistress Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy. If it had not been in 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 postmaster's boy.
 
PAGE
Upon my life, then, you took the wrong.
 
SLENDER
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.
 
PAGE
Why, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you how you should know my daughter by her garments?
 
SLENDER
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.
 
MISTRESS PAGE
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.
 
[Enter DOCTOR CAIUS]
 
DOCTOR CAIUS
Vere is Mistress Page? By gar, I am cozened: I have married un garcon, a boy; un paysan, by gar, a boy; it is not Anne Page: by gar, I am cozened.
 
MISTRESS PAGE
Why, did you take her in green?
 
DOCTOR CAIUS
Ay, by gar, and 'tis a boy: by gar, I'll raise all Windsor.
 
[Exit]
 
FORD
This is strange. Who hath got the right Anne?
 
PAGE
My heart misgives me: here comes Master Fenton. How now Master Fenton?
 
[Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGE]
 
ANNE PAGE
Pardon good father, good my mother pardon.
 
PAGE
Now mistress:
             ,           ,     ,          ,         ,
      How chance | you went | not with | Master | Slender?
 
MISTRESS PAGE
            ,         ,          ,       ,         ,
      Why went | you not | with mas|ter doc|tor, maid?
 
FENTON
           ,      ,           ,          ,         ,
      You do | amaze | her: hear | the truth | of it,
            ,           ,        ,           ,       ,
      You would | have mar|ried her | most shame|fully,
              ,          ,       ,         ,         ,
      Where there | was no | propor|tion held | in love.
            ,          ,        ,     ,               ,       2->
      The truth | is, she | and I |(long since | contrac||ted)
           ,         ,          ,        ,            x
      Are now | so sure | that no|thing can | dissolve us:
         2    ,         ,       ,     ,      2     ,
      The offense | is ho|ly, that | she hath com|mitted;
            ,        ,     ,            ,         ,
      And this | deceit | loses | the name | of craft,
          ,    ,   2      ,      ,   2     x
      Of dis|obe|dience, or | undu|teous title,
              ,       ,         ,     ,          ,
      Since^there|in she | doth e|vitate | and shun
          ,        ,    ,        ,        x
      A thou|sand ir|reli|gious cur|sed hours
               ,      ,           ,             ,        ,
      Which forced | marriage | would have | brought | upon her.
 
FORD
        ,            ,       ,           ,    ,
      Stand not | amazed;| here is | no re|medy:
           ,           x             ,          ,           ,
      In love | the heavens | themselves | do guide | the state;
       T .    T    T           ,           ,         ,
      Money buys lands,| and wives | are sold | by fate.
 
FALSTAFF
I am glad, though you have tane a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced.
 
PAGE
Well, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give thee joy! What cannot be eschewed must be embraced.
 
FALSTAFF
When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chased.
 
MISTRESS PAGE
        ,    2         ,        ,         ,        ,
      Well, I will | muse no | further:| Master | Fenton,
         x              ,      ,     ,       ,
      Heaven give^|you ma|ny, ma|ny mer|ry days:
            ,         ,       ,       ,         ,
      Good hus|band, let | us e|very one | go home,
            ,            ,      ,           ,        ,
      And laugh | this sport | ore by | a coun|try fire,
            ,         ,
      Sir John | and all.
 
FORD
                          ,           ,        ,
                         Let it | be so (Sir John):
          ,        ,          ,            ,           ,
      To Mas|ter Brook | you yet | shall hold | your word
           ,       ,            ,          ,          ,
      For he | tonight | shall lie | with Mis|tress Ford.
 
[Exeunt]

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