SCENE 4. A room in FORD'S house.
[Enter PAGE, FORD, MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS FORD, and SIR HUGH
'Tis one of the best discretions of a 'oman as ever
did look upon.
And did he send you both these letters at an instant?
Within a quarter of an hour.
Pardon me, wife. Henceforth, do what thou wilt;
I rather will suspect the sun with cold
Than thee with wantonness: now doth thy honour stand,
In him that was of late an heretic,
As firm as faith.
'Tis well, 'tis well; no more.
Be not as extreme in submission
As in offence;
But let our plot go forward: let our wives
Yet once again, to make us public sport,
Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,
Where we may take him and disgrace him for it.
There is no better way than that they spoke of.
How? To send him word they'll meet him in the park
at midnight? Fie, fie! he'll never come!
You say he has been thrown in the rivers; and has
been grievously peaten as an old 'oman; methinks there
should be terrors in him, that he should not come;
methinks his flesh is punished; he shall have no desires.
So think I too.
Devise but how you'll use him when he comes,
And let us two devise to bring him thither.
There is an old tale goes that Herne the hunter,
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor Forest,
Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight,
Walk round about an oak, with great raggd horns;
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle,
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner:
You have heard of such a spirit, and well you know
The superstitious idle-headed eld
Received, and did deliver to our age,
This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.