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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 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.
Enter FALSTAFF disguised, 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 ;-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'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 bribe-buck,2 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!
Mrs. Page. Alas! What noise?
Mrs. Ford. Heaven forgive our sins!
[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 waxen tapers on their heads.
Quick. Fairies, black, gray, green, and white, You moonshine revellers, and shades of night, You orphan-heirs of fixed destiny,
Attend your office, and your quality.
Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy o-yes.
1 The sweet potato was used in England as a delicacy long before the introduction of the common potato by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1586. It was imported in considerable quantities from Spain and the Canaries, and was supposed to possess the power of restoring decayed vigor. The kissing-comfits were principally made of these and eringo roots, and were perfumed to make the breath sweet. Gerarde attributes the same virtues to the common potato, which he distinguishes as the Virginian sort. 2 i. e. like a buck sent as a bribe.
3 The keeper. The shoulders of the buck were among his perquisites. 4 The woodman was an attendant on the forester. It is here, however, used in a wanton sense, for one who chooses female game for the object of his pursuit.
5 The old copy reads orphan-heirs. Warburton reads ouphen.
Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys. Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap: Where fires thou find'st unraked, and hearths unswept, There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry:
Our radiant queen hates sluts, and sluttery.
Fal. They are fairies; he that speaks to them shall die:
I'll wink and couch: No man their works must eye. [Lies down upon his face. Eva. Where's Pede?-Go you, and where you
find a maid,
That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
Sleep she as sound as careless infancy;
But those as sleep, and think not on their sins, Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides, and shins.
Quick. About, about;
Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out:
In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue and white;
1 It was an article of ancient luxury to rub tables, &c. with aromatic herbs. Pliny informs us that the Romans did so to drive away evil spirits. 2 "Charactery is a writing by characters, or by strange marks.”—Bullokar's English Expositor, 12mo. 1656.
Away; disperse: But, till 'tis one o'clock,
order set: And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be, To guide our measure round about the tree. But, stay; I smell a man of middle earth. · Fal. Heaven defend me from that Welsh fairy ! lest he transform me to a piece of cheese! Pist. Vile worm, thou wast o'erlooked even in thy
Pist. A trial, come.
[They burn him with their tapers. Fal. Oh, oh, oh!
Quick. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire !
Eva. It is right; indeed he is full of lecheries and iniquity.
Fie on sinful fantasy!
Kindled with unchaste desire.
Pinch him for his villany;
1 By o'erlooked is here meant bewitched by an evil eye.
During this song, the fairies pinch Falstaff. Doctor Caius comes one way, and steals away a fairy in green; Slender' another way, and takes off a fairy in white; and Fenton comes, and steals away Mrs. Anne Page. A noise of hunting is made within. All the fairies run away. Falstaff pulls off his buck's head, and rises.
Enter PAGE, FORD, MRS. PAGE, and MRS. FORD. They lay hold on him.
Page. Nay, do not fly: I think we have watched you now;
Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn?
Now, good Sir John, how like you Windsor wives?
Ford. Now, sir, who's a cuckold now?-Master Brook, Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldy 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.
Mrs. 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.
Fal. I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass. Ford. Ay, and an ox too; both the proofs are
Fal. 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
1 The extremities of yokes for oxen, as still used in several counties of England, bend upwards, and, rising very high, in shape resemble horns.