The Merry Wives of Windsor By William Shakespeare Act V: Scenes 1-5

ACT V. SCENE 5. Another part of the Park.

[Enter FALSTAFF disguised as HERNE with a buck's head on.]

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?


Sir John! Art thou there, my deer? my male deer?

My doe with the black scut! Let the sky rain potatoes; let it
thunder to the tune of 'Greensleeves'; hail kissing-comfits and
snow eringoes; let there come a tempest of provocation, I will
shelter me here.

[Embracing her.]

Mistress Page is come with me, sweetheart.

Divide me like a brib'd buck, 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!

[Noise within.]

Alas! what noise?

Heaven forgive our sins!

What should this be?

Away, away!

Away, away!

[They run off.]

I think the devil will not have me damned, lest the oil that's
in me should set hell on fire; he would never else cross me thus.

[Enter SIR HUGH EVANS like a Satyr, PISTOL as a Hobgoblin, ANNE
PAGE as the the Fairy Queen, attended by her Brothers and Others,
as fairies, with waxen tapers on their heads.]

Fairies, black, grey, 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 oyes.

Elves, list your names: silence, you airy toys!
Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap:
Where fires thou find'st unrak'd, and hearths unswept,
There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry:
Our radiant Queen hates sluts and sluttery.

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.]

Where's Bede? Go you, and where you find a maid
That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
Rein up the organs of her fantasy,
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.

About, about!
Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out:
Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room,
That it may stand till the perpetual doom,
In state as wholesome as in state 'tis fit,
Worthy the owner and the owner it.
The several chairs of order look you scour
With juice of balm and every precious flower:
Each fair instalment, coat, and several crest,
With loyal blazon, evermore be blest!
And nightly, meadow-fairies, look you sing,
Like to the Garter's compass, in a ring:
The expressure that it bears, green let it be,
More fertile-fresh than all the field to see;
And 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' write
In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue and white;
Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery,
Buckled below fair knighthood's bending knee.
Fairies use flowers for their charactery.
Away! disperse! But, till 'tis one o'clock,
Our dance of custom round about the oak
Of Herne the hunter let us not forget.

Pray you, lock hand in hand; yourselves in 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.

Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy, lest he transform me
to a piece of cheese!

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