A room in the Garter Inn.
(Falstaff; Mistress Quickly; Ford)
Falstaff sends Mistress Quickly off to find the bits of costume he’ll need. Ford comes in disguised as Brook, and Falstaff tells him he’ll be in the park at midnight. (6 lines)
Enter Falstaff, Mistress Quickly.
Prithee no more prattling. Go, I’ll hold. This is the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers. Away, go. They say there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death. Away!
I’ll provide you a chain, and I’ll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.
Away, I say, time wears, hold up your head and mince.
Exit Mrs. Quickly.
Enter Ford disguised.
How now, Master Brook? Master Brook, the matter will be known tonight, or never. Be you in the park about midnight, at Herne’s oak, and you shall see wonders.
Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me you had appointed?
I went to her, Master Brook, as you see, like a poor old man, but I came from her, Master Brook, like a poor old woman. That same knave Ford, her husband, hath the finest mad devil of jealousy in him, Master Brook, that ever govern’d frenzy. I will tell you—he beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of man, Master Brook, I fear not Goliah with a weaver’s beam, because I know also life is a shuttle. I am in haste, go along with me, I’ll tell you all, Master Brook. Since I pluck’d geese, play’d truant, and whipt top, I knew not what ’twas to be beaten till lately. Follow me, I’ll tell you strange things of this knave Ford, on whom tonight I will be reveng’d, and I will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow. Strange things in hand, Master Brook! Follow.