Графични страници
PDF файл

Bard, Sir, I'll call them to you.

Hoft. They fhall have my horfes, but I'll make them pay, I'll fawce them. They have had my house a week at command; I have turn'd away, my other guests; they must come off; I'll fawce them, come. [Exeunt.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Evans,

Eva. 1

[ocr errors]


AIS one of the beft difcretions of 'oman, as ever I did look upon.

Page. And did he fend you both these letters at an inftant?

Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour.

Ford. Pardon me, wife. Henceforth do what thou wilt;

I rather will fufpect the fun with cold,

Than thee with wantonnefs; thy honour stands,
In him that was of late an heretick,

As firm as faith.

Page. 'Tis well, 'tis well; no more.

Be not as extream in fubmiffion, as in offence,
But let our plat go forward; let our wives
Yet once again, to make us public fport,
Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,
Where we may take him, and difgrace him for it.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Ford. There is no better way than that they fpoke of. Page. How? to fend him word they'll meet him in the park at midnight? fie, fie, he'll never come.

Eva. You fay, he hath been thrown into the river; and has been grievously peaten, as an old 'oman; methinks, there fhould be terrors in him, that he should not come; methinks, his flesh is punish'd, he fhall have no defires.

Page. So think I too.

Mrs. Ford. Devife but how you'll use him, when he comes;

And let us two devife, to bring him thither.

Mrs. Page. There is an old tale goes, that Herne.
the hunter,

Sometime a keeper here in Windfor foreft,
Doth all the winter-time at ftill of midnight
Walk round about an oak, with ragged horns;
And there he blafts the tree, and takes the cattle 3;
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a moft hideous and dreadful manner.

You've heard of fuch a fpirit; and well you know,
The fuperftitious idle-headed Eld

Receiv'd, and did deliver to our age,

This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.

Page. Why, yet there want not many, that do fear In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak; But what of this?

Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device 4,

3 And takes the cattle.] To take, in Shakespeare, fignifies to feize or ftrike with a disease, to blaft. So in Hamlet,

No planet takes. So in Lear,

Strike her young limbs, Ye taking airs, with lameness. Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is aur Device,


That Falstaff at that Oak fhall
meet with us.
Page. Well, let it not be
doubted, but he'll come.
And in this Shape when you

have brought him thither,] Thus this Paffage has been tranf mitted down to us, from the Time of the firft Edition by the Players But what was this


That Falstaff at that oak fhall meet with us,
We'll fend him word to meet us in the field,
Difguis'd like Herne, with huge horns on his head.
Page, Well, let it not be doubted, but he'll come.
And in this fhape when you have brought him thither,
What shall be done with him? what is your plot?
Mrs. Page. That likewife we have thought upon,

and thus:

Nan Page (my daughter), and my little fon,.
And three or four more of their growth, we'll drefs
Like urchins, ouphes, and fairies, green and white,
With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads,
And rattles in their hands; upon a fudden,
As Falstaff, fhe, and I, are newly met,
Let them from forth a faw-pit rush at once
5 With fome diffufed fong: upon their fight,
We two, in great amazednefs, will fly;
Then let them all encircle him about,

And fairy-like to pinch the unclean knight;
And ask him, why, that hour of fairy Revel,
In their fo facred paths he dares to tread
In shape prophane?

Mrs. Ford. And 'till he tell the truth,
Let the fuppofed fairies pinch him round,
And burn him with their tapers.

Mrs. Page. The truth being known,

We'll all prefent ourselves; dif-horn the spirit,

[blocks in formation]

And mock him home to Windfor.

Ford. The children must

Be practis'd well to this, or they'll ne'er do't.

Eva. I will teach the children their behaviours; and I will be like a jack-an-apes alfo to burn the knight with my taper.

Ford. This will be excellent. I'll go buy them vizards.

Mrs. Page. My Nan fhall be the Queen of all the fairies; finely attired in a robe of white.

Page. That filk will I go buy. And in that time Shall Mr. Slender fteal my Nan away, And marry her at Eaton.



Go, fend to Falstaff

Ford. Nay, I'll to him again in the name of Brook; he'll tell me all his purpose. Sure, he'll come.

Mrs. Page. Fear not you that; go get us properties and tricking for our fairies.

Eva. Let us about it, it is admirable pleasures, and ferry honeft knaveries. [Ex. Page, Ford and Evans. Mrs. Page. Go, Mrs. Ford,

Send Quickly to Sir John to know his mind.

[Exit Mrs. Ford. I'll to the doctor; he hath my good will, And none but he, to marry with Nan Page. That Slender, tho' well landed, is an Ideot;! And he my husband beft of all affects: The doctor is well mony'd, and his friends Potent at court; he, none but he, shall have her; Tho' twenty thoufand worthier came to crave her. [Exit.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


Changes to the Garter-Inn.

Euter Hoft and Simple.

Hoft. W thick-skin? fpeak, breathe, difcufs

WHAT would't thou have, boor? what,

brief, fhort, quick, fnap.

Simp. Marry, Sir, I come to fpeak with Sir John Falstaff, from Mr. Slender.

Hoft. There's his chamber, his houfe, his caftle, his ftanding-bed and truckle-bed'; 'tis painted about with the story of the Prodigal, fresh and new; go, knock and call; he'll fpeak like an anthropophaginian unto thee: knock, I fay.

Simp. There's an old woman, a fat woman gone up into his chamber; I'll be fo bold as ftay, Sir, 'till fhe come down: I come to fpeak with her, indeed.

Hoft. Ha! a fat woman? the Knight may be robb'd; I'll call. Bully-Knight! Bully-Sir John! speak from thy lungs military: art thou there? it is thine Hoft, thine Ephefian, calls.

Falstaff, above.

Fal. How now, mine Hoft?

Hoft. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming

8 Standing-bed and truckle bed.] The ufual furniture of chambers in that time, was a standing-bed, under which was a trochle, truckle or running bed. In the ftanding-bed lay the mafter, and in the truckle-bed the fervant. So in Hall's account of a fervile tutor:

He lieth in the truckle-bed

While his young mafter lieth o'er bis head.


Bohemian-Tartar.] The French call a Bohemian what we call a Gypfey; but I believe the Hoft means nothing more than, by a wild appellation, to infinuate that Simple makes a strange appearance.


« ПредишнаНапред »