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down of thy fat woman: let her defcend, bully, let her defcend; my chambers are honourable. Fie, privacy? fie!

Enter Falstaff.

- Fal. There was, mine Hoft, an old fat woman even now with me, but he's gone.

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Simp. Pray you, Sir, was't not the wife woman of Brainford?

Fal. Ay, marry was it, muffel-fhell', what would you with her?

Simp. My master, Sir, my master Slender, fent to her, feeing her go thro' the street, to know, Sir, whether one Nym, Sir, that beguil'd him of a chain, had the chain, or no.

Fal. I fpake with the old woman about it.
Simp. And what fays fhe, I pray, Sir?

Fal. Marry, the fays, that the very fame man, that beguil'd master Slender of his chain, cozen'd him of


Simp. I would, I could have spoken with the woman herself; I had other things to have spoken with her too, from him.

Fal. What are they? let us know.
Hoft. Ay, come; quick..

Simp. I may not conceal them, Sir.
Fal. Conceal them, or thou dy'ft.

Simp. Why, Sir, they were nothing but about miftrefs Anne Page; to know, if it were my master's fortune to have her or no.

Fal. Tis, 'tis his fortune. !

Simp. What, Sir?

Fal. To have her, or no: go; fay, the woman told

me fo.

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Simp. May I be fo bold to fay fo, Sir?

Fal. Ay, Sir; like who more bold.

Muffel-fell.] He calls poor Simple muffel-fhell, because he

ftands with his mouth open.

Simp. Thank your worship: I fhall make my mafter glad with thefe tidings. [Exit Simples Hoft. Thou art clarkly; thou art clarkly, Sir John: was there a wife woman with thee?

Fal. Ay, that there was, mine Hoft; one, that hath taught me more wit than ever I learned before in my life; and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning.

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Bard. Out, alas, Sir, cozenage!: meer scozenage! Hoft. Where be my horfes, fpeak well of them, varletto.

Bard. Run away with the cozeners; for fo foon as I came beyond Eaton, they threw me off from behind one of them in a flough of mire, and fet fpurs, and away, like three German devils, three Doctor Fauftus's.

Hoft. They are gone but to meet the Duke, villain; do not fay, they are fled; Germans are honeft men.

Enter Evans.

Eva. Where is mine Hoft?

Hoft. What is the matter, Sir?

Eva. Have a care of your entertainments; there is a friend o'mine come to town, tells me, there is three cozen-jermans that has cozen'd all the Hofts of Reading, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, of horfes and mo. nyt I tell you for good will, look you; you are wife, and full of gibes and vlouting-stocks, and 'tis not convenient you fhould be cozen'd; fare you well. [Exit.

Enter Caius.

Caius. Ver' is mine Hoft de Jarterre?


Hoft. Here, master Doctor, in perplexity and doubtful dilemma,

Caius, I cannot tell vat is dat; but it is tell-a-me, dat you make a grand preparation for a Duke de Jamany; by my trot, der is no Duke, dat the Court is know, to come. I tell you for good will; adieu.

[Exit. Hoft. Hue and cry, villain, go! aflift me, Knight, I am undone; fly, run, hue and cry! Villain, I am undone !


Fal. I would, all the world might be cozen'd, for I have been cozened and beaten too. If it should come to the ear of the Court, how I have been tranfformed, and how my transformation hath been wash'd and cudgel'd, they would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermen's boats with me. I warrant, they would whip me with their fine wits, 'till I were as creft-fall'n as a dry'd pear. I never profper'd fince I forfwore myfelf at Primera 2. Well, if my wind were but long enough to fay my prayers, I would repent.


Enter Miftrefs Quickly,

Now, whence come you?

Quic. From the two parties, forfooth.

Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the other, and fo they fhall be both beftow'd. I have fuffer'd more for their fakes, more than the villainous inconftancy of man's difpofition is able to bear.

Quic. And have not they fuffer'd? yes, I warrant, fpecioufly one of them; miftrefs Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot fee a white spot about her.

2 Primero.] A game at cards.


Fal. What tell'ft thou me of black and blue? I was beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow; and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of Brainford; but that my admirable dexterity of wit, counterfeiting the action of an old woman, deliver'd me, the knave conftable had fet me i'th' ftocks, i'th' common ftocks, for a witch..


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Quic. Sir, let me fpeak with you in your chamber; you thall hear how things go, and, I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will fay fomewhat. Good hearts, what ado is here to bring you together? fure, one of you does not ferve heav'n well, that you are fo crofs'd.

Fal. Come up into my chamber.


Enter Fenton and Hoft.


Haft. Mafter Fenton, talk not to me; my mind is heavy,

I will give over all.

Fent. Yet hear me fpeak; affift me in my purpofe, And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee

A hundred pounds in gold more than your lofs.

either the Malice or mifchievous Subtlety of a Witch in her,


3 Action of an old Woman.] What! was it any Dexterity of Wit in Sir John Falstaff, to counterfeit the Action of an old Wo- This emendation is received man, in order to escape being by Sir Thomas Hanmer, but reapprehended for a Witch? Sure- jected by Dr. Warburton. To ly, one would imagine, This me it appears reafonable enough. was the readieft Means to bring 4 great fault of this play bim into fuch a Scrape: for none is the frequency of expreffions

fufpected of being Witches. The preferving character can juftify Text muft certainly be reftor'd, them. There are laws of higha weed Woman, a crazy, fran- er authority than thofe of crititick Woman; one too wild, and filly, and unmeaning, to have

but Old Women have ever been foe, that no neceffity of




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Hoft. I will hear you, mafter Fenton; and I will, at the leaft, keep your counsel.

Fen. From time to time I have acquainted you
With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page;
Who, mutually, hath anfwer'd my affection
(So far forth as herself might be her chufer)
Ev'n to my wifh. I have a letter from her
Of fuch contents, as you will wonder at;
The mirth whereof's fo larded with my matter,
That neither fingly can be manifested,

. Without the fhew of both. Fat Sir John Falstaff
Hath a great Scene; the image of the jeft

[Shewing a letter.
I'll shew you here at large. Hark, good mine Hoft;
To night at Herne's Oak, juft 'twixt twelve and one,
Muft my fweet Nan prefent the Fairy Queen;
The purpose why, is here; in which difguife,
While other jefts are fomething rank on foot,
Her father hath commanded her to flip
Away with Slender, and with him at Eaton
Immediately to marry; he hath confented-


Her mother, ever ftrong against that match,
And firm for Doctor Caius, hath appointed
That he fhall likewife fhuffle her away,
While other sports are talking of their minds;
And at the Deanry, where a priest attends,
Straight marry her; To this her mother's Plöt
She, feemingly obedient, likewife hath


Made promife to the Doctor. Now, thus it refts;
. Her father means the fhall be all in white,
And in that drefs when Slender fees his time
To take her by the hand, and bid her go,
She fhall go with him. Her mother hath intended,
The better to devote her to the Doctor,
(For they must all be mask'd and vizarded)
That, quaint in green, fhe fhall be loofe enrob'd,
With ribbands-pendant, flaring 'bout her head;


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