Home  »  The Oxford Shakespeare  »  The Merry Wives of Windsor

William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act V. Scene I.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

A Room in the Garter Inn.


Fal.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!

Quick.I’ll provide you a chain, and I’ll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.

Fal.Away, I say; time wears: hold up your head, and mince.[Exit MISTRESS QUICKLY.

Enter FORD.

How now, Master Brook! Master Brook, the matter will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the Park about midnight, at Herne’s oak, 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 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 governed frenzy. I will tell you: he beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of a man, Master Brook, I fear not Goliath 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 plucked geese, played truant, and whipped top, I knew not what it was to be beaten till lately. Follow me: I’ll tell you strange things of this knave Ford, on whom to-night I will be revenged, and I will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow. Strange things in hand, Master Brook! Follow.[Exeunt.