The Windsor bell hath strook twelve; the minute draws on.
Now the hot-bloodied 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’ th’ forest. Send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss my tallow? Who comes here? My doe?
Enter Mistress Page, Mistress Ford.
My doe with the black scut? Let the sky rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of “Green-sleeves,” hail kissing-comfits, and snow eringoes; let there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.
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!