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

Falstaff, above.
Fal. How now, mine Hoft?

Hoft. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of thy fat woman : let her descend, bully, let her descend; my chambers are honourable. Fy, privacy? fy.

Enter Falstaff Fal. There was, mine Hoft, an old fat woman even now with me, but she's

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

Fal. Ay, marry was it, muffel-lhell, what would you with her!

Simp. My master, Sir, my master Slender sent to her, seeing her thro' the street, to know, Sir, whether one Nym, Sir, that beguild him of a chain, had the chain, or no.

Fal. I spake with the old woman about it.
Simp. And what says the, I pray, Sir ?
Fal. Marry, she says, that the very

fame man, that beguild master Slender of his chain, cozen'd him of it.

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 mistress Ann 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; say, the woman told me so.

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Simp. May I be so bold to say ro, Sir:
Fal

. Ay, Sir; like who more bold.
Simp. I thank your worship: I Mall make my maftet
glad with these tidings.

(Exit Simple. Hof. Thou art clarkly; thou art clarkly, Sir John was there a wise woman with thee!

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

Enter Bardolph.
Bard. Out, alas, Sir, cozenage? mere cożenage.

Hoft. Where be my horles? speak well of them, varletto.

Bard. Run away with the coženers; for so soon as I came beyond Eaton, they threw me off from behind one of them in a fough of mire, and fet (pers, and away ; like three German devils, three Doctor Fauftus's.

Hoft. They are gone but to meet the Duke, villain do not say they be fed ; Germans are honed men.

Enter Evans.
Eva. Where is mine Haft?
Hoft. What is the matter, Sir?
Eva. Have a care of your entertainments ; there is

friend o’mine come to town, tells me, there is three cozen-jermans that has cozen'd all the Hofts of Readings, of Maiden-head, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell you for good will, look you ; you are wise, and full of gibes and vlouting-stocks, and ’tis not convenient you should be cożen'd; fare you well. {Exit,

Enier Caius
Caius. Ver' is mine Hoft de. Jarteer?

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

Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat ; but it is tell-a-mé, 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. Vol. 1.

Home

Holl. Hue and cry, villain, go! affift me, Knight, I am undore; fiy, run, hue and cry! Villain, I am undone!

(Exit Fal. I would, all the world might be cozen'd, for I have been cozened and beaten too. If it thould come to the ear of the court, how I have been tiansformed, and how my trans'ormation hath been wash'd and cudgeld, they would melt me out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermens boots with me. I warrant, they would whip me with their fine wits, 'till I were as crest-faln as a dry'd pear. I never prosper'd since I forswore myself at Primero. Well, if my wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent.

Enter Mistress Quickly. Now. whence come you?

Quic. From the two parties, forsooth.

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

Quic. And have not they suffer'd ? yes, I warrant, speciously one of them; mitress Ford, good heart, is beaten blick and blue, that you cannot see a white Spot about her.

Fal. What tell'it thou me of black and biue? 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 aunirable dexterity of wit, counterfeiting the (26) action of a wood woman,

(26) Action of an old woman,] This reading is no great compli. ment to the fagacity of our former Editors, who could content themSelves with words, without any regard to the reasoning. What! was it any, dexterity of wit in Sir Fobn Falftaff, to counterfeit the action of an old woman in order to escape being apprehended for å witch Surely, one would imagine, this was the readiest means to bring him into such a scrape: for none but old women have ever been Hyfpected of being witches. The text muft certainly be retord, as I have corrected it, a queid woman; is e. a crazy, frantick woman; one too wild, and fi ly, and unmeaning, to have either the malice, or mi'chievous fubtlety of a witch in her. I have already explain'd, and prov'd the use of this term, in cne of my notes on the Two Gentlemon of Verona.

deliver'd

One of

me in

deliver'd mé, the knave constahle had set me i'th'stocks, i'th'common ftocks for a witch.

Quic. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber; you

Thall hear how things go, and, I warrant, to your content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good hearts, what add is here to bring you together? ture,

you

does' not ferve heav'n well, that you are sa cross'd. Fal. Come up into my chamber.

[Exeunt. Enter Fenton and Hoft. Hoft. Master Fenton, talk not to me, my mind is heavy, I will give over all. Fent. Yet hear me speak; a

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my purpose, , And, as I am a gentlemany. I'll give thee. A hundied poun in gold more than your loss.

Hoft. I will hear you, malter Fenton; and I will, at the least, keep your counsel.

Feat. From time to time I have acquainted you With the dear love I bear to fair Ann Page; Who, mutually, hath answer'd my affection, (So far forth as herself might be her chuser) Ev'n to my with. I have a letter from her Of such contents, as you will wonderat ; The mirth whereof's fo larded with my matter, That neither fingly can be manifefied; Without the shew of both. Fat Sir John Fallegt Hith a great scene ; the image of the jeft IN thew you here at large. Hark, good mine Hoft; To-night at Herne’s oak, júlt 'twixt iwelve and ones ? Must my sweet Non present the fairy Queen; The purpose why, is here; in which disguise, While other jests are something rank on foot, Her father hath commanded her to slip Away with Siender, and with him at Eaton Immediately to marry; the hath consented.-Now, Sira Her mother, ever strong against that match, And firm for Doctor Caius, 'hath' appointed That he Mall likewise thuffl: her away, While other sports are talking of their minds;

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And at the Deanry, where a priest attends,
Straight marry her; to this her mother's plot,
She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath
Made promise to the Doctor. Now, thus it refts;
Her father means the shall be all in white,
And in that dress when Slender sees his time
To take her by the hand, and bid her go,
She snall go with him. Her mother hath intended,
'?'he better to devote her to the Doctor,
(For they must all be mask'd and vizarded)
That, quaint in green, he shall be loose enrob’d,
With ribbands-pendent, faring 'bout her head;
And when the Doctor (pies his vantage ripe,
To pinch her by the hand, and on that token,
The maid hath given consent to go with him.

Hoft. Which means the to deceivei father or mother!

Fent. Both, my good Hoft, to go along with me; And here it refts, that you'll procure the Vicar To stay for me at church, 'twixt twelve and one, And in the lawful name of marrying, To give our hearts united ceremony.

Hoft. Well, husband your device; I'll to the Vicar. Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.

Fent. So fhall I evermore be bound to thee; Befide, I'll make a present recompence.

[Exeunt. Re-enter Falstaff and Mistress Quickly. Fal. Pr’ythee, no more pratling; go, I'll hold. This is the third time; I hope, good luck lies in odd num. bers; away, go; they say, there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance or death ; au ay.

Quic. I'll provide you a chain, and I'll do what I can to get you a pair of horns. (Exit Mrs. Quickly Fal. Away, I say, time wears : hold up your

bead and mince.

Enter Ford. How now, master Brook? master Brook, the matter will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the park about mid-night, at Herne's oak, and you thall fee wonders.

Forte

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