Actus Quintus. Scoena Prima.

Enter Falstoffe, Quickly, and Ford.

Fal. Pre'thee no more pratling: go, Ile hold, this is the third time: I hope good lucke lies in odde numbers: Away, go, they say there is Diuinity in odde Numbers, either in natiuity, chance, or death: away

Qui. Ile prouide you a chaine, and Ile do what I can to get you a paire of hornes

Fall. Away I say, time weares, hold vp your head & mince. How now M[aster]. Broome? Master Broome, the matter will be knowne to night, or neuer. Bee you in the Parke about midnight, at Hernes-Oake, and you shall see wonders

Ford. Went you not to her yesterday (Sir) as you told me you had appointed? Fal. I went to her (Master Broome) as you see, like a poore-old-man, but I came from her (Master Broome) like a poore-old-woman; that same knaue (Ford hir husband) hath the finest mad diuell of iealousie in him (Master Broome) that euer gouern'd Frensie. I will tell you, he beate me greeuously, in the shape of a woman: (for in the shape of Man (Master Broome) I feare not Goliath with a Weauers beame, because I know also, life is a Shuttle) I am in hast, go along with mee, Ile tell you all (Master Broome:) since I pluckt Geese, plaide Trewant, and whipt Top, I knew not what 'twas to be beaten, till lately. Follow mee, Ile tell you strange things of this knaue Ford, on whom to night I will be reuenged, and I will deliuer his wife into your hand. Follow, straunge things in hand (M[aster]. Broome) follow.

Exeunt.

Scena Secunda.

Enter Page, Shallow, Slender.

Page. Come, come: wee'll couch i'th Castle-ditch, till we see the light of our Fairies. Remember son Slender, my Slen. I forsooth, I haue spoke with her, & we haue a nay-word, how to know one another. I come to her in white, and cry Mum; she cries Budget, and by that we know one another

Shal. That's good too: But what needes either your Mum, or her Budget? The white will decipher her well enough. It hath strooke ten a' clocke

Page. The night is darke, Light and Spirits will become it wel: Heauen prosper our sport. No man means euill but the deuill, and we shal know him by his hornes. Lets away: follow me.

Exeunt.

Scena Tertia.

Enter Mist.Page, Mist.Ford, Caius.

Mist.Page. Mr Doctor, my daughter is in green, when you see your time, take her by the hand, away with her to the Deanerie, and dispatch it quickly: go before into the Parke: we two must go together

Cai. I know vat I haue to do, adieu

Mist.Page. Fare you well (Sir:) my husband will not reioyce so much at the abuse of Falstaffe, as he will chafe at the Doctors marrying my daughter: But 'tis no matter; better a little chiding, then a great deale of heartbreake

Mist.Ford. Where is Nan now? and her troop of Fairies? and the Welch-deuill Herne? Mist.Page. They are all couch'd in a pit hard by Hernes Oake, with obscur'd Lights; which at the very instant of Falstaffes and our meeting, they will at once display to the night

Mist.Ford. That cannot choose but amaze him

Mist.Page. If he be not amaz'd he will be mock'd: If he be amaz'd, he will euery way be mock'd

Mist.Ford. Wee'll betray him finely

Mist.Page. Against such Lewdsters, and their lechery, Those that betray them, do no treachery

Mist.Ford. The houre drawes-on: to the Oake, to the Oake.

Exeunt.

The Merry Wiues of Windsor Page 35

William Shakespeare Plays

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