Euan. Pray you lock hand in hand: your selues in order set: And twenty glow-wormes shall our Lanthornes bee To guide our Measure round about the Tree. But stay, I smell a man of middle earth

Fal. Heauens defend me from that Welsh Fairy, Least he transforme me to a peece of Cheese

Pist. Vilde worme, thou wast ore-look'd euen in thy birth

Qu. With Triall-fire touch me his finger end: If he be chaste, the flame will backe descend And turne him to no paine: but if he start, It is the flesh of a corrupted hart

Pist. A triall, come

Eua. Come: will this wood take fire? Fal. Oh, oh, oh

Qui. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire. About him (Fairies) sing a scornfull rime, And as you trip, still pinch him to your time.

The Song.

Fie on sinnefull phantasie: Fie on Lust, and Luxurie: Lust is but a bloudy fire, kindled with vnchaste desire, Fed in heart whose flames aspire, As thoughts do blow them higher and higher. Pinch him (Fairies) mutually: Pinch him for his villanie. Pinch him, and burne him, and turne him about, Till Candles, & Star-light, & Moone-shine be out

Page. Nay do not flye, I thinke we haue watcht you now: Will none but Herne the Hunter serue your turne? M.Page. I pray you come, hold vp the iest no higher. Now (good Sir Iohn) how like you Windsor wiues? See you these husband? Do not these faire yoakes Become the Forrest better then the Towne? Ford. Now Sir, whose a Cuckold now? Mr Broome, Falstaffes a Knaue, a Cuckoldly knaue, Heere are his hornes Master Broome: And Master Broome, he hath enioyed nothing of Fords, but his Buck-basket, his cudgell, and twenty pounds of money, which must be paid to Mr Broome, his horses are arrested for it, Mr Broome

M.Ford. Sir Iohn, we haue had ill lucke: wee could neuer meete: I will neuer take you for my Loue againe, but I will alwayes count you my Deere

Fal. I do begin to perceiue that I am made an Asse

Ford. I, and an Oxe too: both the proofes are extant

Fal. And these are not Fairies: I was three or foure times in the thought they were not Fairies, and yet the guiltinesse of my minde, the sodaine surprize of my powers, droue the grossenesse of the foppery into a receiu'd beleefe, in despight of the teeth of all rime and reason, that they were Fairies. See now how wit may be made a Iacke-a-Lent, when 'tis vpon ill imployment

Euans. Sir Iohn Falstaffe, serue Got, and leaue your desires, and Fairies will not pinse you

Ford. Well said Fairy Hugh

Euans. And leaue you your iealouzies too, I pray you

Ford. I will neuer mistrust my wife againe, till thou art able to woo her in good English

Fal. Haue I laid my braine in the Sun, and dri'de it, that it wants matter to preuent so grosse ore-reaching as this? Am I ridden with a Welch Goate too? Shal I haue a Coxcombe of Frize? Tis time I were choak'd with a peece of toasted Cheese

Eu. Seese is not good to giue putter; your belly is al putter

Fal. Seese, and Putter? Haue I liu'd to stand at the taunt of one that makes Fritters of English? This is enough to be the decay of lust and late-walking through the Realme

The Merry Wiues of Windsor Page 37

William Shakespeare Plays

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