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Mrs. Ford. He's too big to go in there: | rion, mistress Quickly, to him, and excuse his What shall I do?

Re-enter FALSTAFF.

Fal. Let me see't, let me see't! O let me see't! I'll in, I'll in;-follow your friend's counsel;-I'll in.

Mrs. Page. What! Sir John Falstaff! Are these your letters, knight?

Fal. I love thee, and none but thee; help me away: let me creep in here; I'll never

[He goes into the basket; they cover him with |
foul linen.

Mrs. Page. Help to cover your master, boy: Call your men, mistress Ford :-You dissembling knight!

Mrs. Ford. What, John, Robert, John! [Exit Robin; Re-enter Servants.] Go take up these clothes here, quickly; Where's the cowlstaff? look, how you drumble:+ carry them to the laundress in Datchet mead; quickly,


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Ford. Pray you, come near: if I suspect without cause, why then make sport at me, then let me be your jest; I deserve it.-How now? whither bear you this?

throwing into the water; and give him ano-
ther hope, to betray him to another punish-

to-morrow eight o'clock, to have amends.
Mrs. Page. We'll do it; let him be sent for

Re-enter FORD, PAGE, CAIUS, and Sir HUGH

bragged of that he could not compass.
Ford. I cannot find him: may be the knave
Mrs. Page. Heard you that?

well, master Ford, do you?

Mrs. Ford. Ay, ay, peace:-You use me

Ford. Ay, I do so.

Mrs. Ford. Heaven make you better than

your thoughts?

Ford. Amen.

Mrs. Page. You do yourself mighty wrong,

master Ford.

Ford. Ay, ay; I must bear it.

Era. If there be any pody in the house, and in the chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses, heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgement!

Caius. By gar, nor I too; dere is no bodies. Page. Fie, fie, master Ford! are you not Serv. To the laundress, forsooth. ashamed? What spirit, what devil suggests Mrs. Ford. Why, what have you to do whither this imagination? I would not have your disthey bear it? You were best meddle with buck-temper in this kind, for the wealth of Windsor washing.

Ford. Buck? I would I could wash myself of the buck! Buck, buck, buck? Ay, buck; I warrant you, buck; and of the season too, it shall appear. [Exeunt Servants with the basket.] Gentlemen, I have dreamed to-night; I'll tell you my dream. Here, here, here be my keys: ascend my chambers, search, seek, find out: I'll warrant, we'll unkennel the fox :-Let me stop this way first:-So, now uncape.t

Page. Good master Ford, be contented: you wrong yourself too much.

Ford. True, master Page.-Up, gentlemen ; you shall see sport anon: follow me, gentle[Exit. Eva. This is fery fantastical humours, and jealousies.


Caius. By gar, 'tis no de fashion of France: it is not jealous in France. Page. Nay, follow him, gentlemen; see the issue of his search.

[Exeunt EVANS, PAGE, and CAIUS. Mrs. Page. Is there not a double excellency

in this?

Mrs. Ford. I know not which pleases me better, that my husband is deceived, or Sir John.

Mrs. Puge. What a taking was he in, when your husband asked who was in the basket! Mrs. Ford. I am half afraid he will have need of washing; so throwing him into the water will do him a benefit.

Mrs. Page. Hang him, dishonest rascal; I would, all of the same strain were in the same distress.

Mrs. Ford. I think, my husband hath some special suspicion of Falstaff's being here; for I never saw him so gross in his jealousy till now. Mrs. Page. I will lay a plot to try that: And we will yet have more tricks with Falstaff: his dissolute disease will scarce obey this medicine.

Mrs. Ford. Shall we send that foolish car-
A staff for carrying a large tub or basket.
+ Drone.
Unbag the fox.



Ford. 'Tis my fault, master Page: I suffer

for it.

wife is as honest a 'omans, as I will desires Eva. You suffer for a pad conscience: your among five thousand, and five hundred too.

Caius. By gar, I see 'tis an honest woman. Come, come, walk in the park: I pray you, Ford. Well;-I promised you a dinner :pardon me; I will hereafter make known to come, mistress Page; I pray you pardon me; you, why I have done this.-Come, wife ;pray heartily, pardon me.

we'll mock him. I do invite you to-morrow Page. Let's go in, gentlemen; but, trust me, morning to my house to breakfast; after, we'll a birding together; I have a fine hawk for the bush: Shall it be so?

Ford. Any thing.

Era. If there is one, I shall make two in the company.

Caius. If there be one or two, I shall makea de turd.

Eva. In your teeth: for shame.
Ford. Pray you go, master Page.
row on the lousy knave, mine host.
Eva. I pray you now, remembrance to-mor-

Caius. Dat is good; by gar, vit all my heart.
his mockeries.
Eva. A lousy knave; to have his gibes, and

SCENE IV-A Room in PAGE's House.
Enter FENTON, and Mistress ANNE PAGE.
Fent. I see, I cannot get thy father's love;
Therefore, no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.
Anne. Alas! how then?

He doth object, I am too great of birth;
Fent. Why, thou must be thyself.
And that, my state being gall'd with my ex-
I seek to heal it only by his wealth:
My riots past, my wild societies;
Besides these, other bars he lays before me,-
And tells me, 'tis a thing impossible
should love thee, but as a property.

Anne. May be, he tells you true.
Fent. No, heaven so speed me in my time to

Albeit, I will confess, thy father's wealth
Was the first motive that I woo'd thee, Anne:
Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
Than stamps in gold, or sums in sealed bags;
And 'tis the very riches of thyself
That now I aim at.

Anne. Gentle master Fenton,
Yet seek my father's love: still seek it, Sir:
If opportunity and humble suit
Cannot attain it, why then.-Hark you hither.
[They converse apart.
Shal. Break their talk, mistress Quickly;
my kinsman shall speak for himself.
Slen. I'll make a shaft or a bolt on't: slid,
'tis but venturing.

Shal. Be not dismay'd.

Sten. No, she shall not dismay me: I care not for that, but that I am afeard.

Quick. Hark ye; master Slender would speak a word with you.

Anne. I come to him.-This is my father's

O, what a world of vile ill-favour'd faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a
Quick. And how does good master Fenton?
Pray you, a word with you.


Shal. She's coming; to her, coz. thou hadst a father!

O boy,

Sten. I had a father, mistress Anne; my uncle can tell you good jests of him :-Pray you, uncle, tell mistress Anne the jest, how my father stole two geese out of a pen, good uncle.

Shal. Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you. Slen. Ay, that I do; as well as I love any woman in Gloucestershire.

Shal. He will maintain you like a gentle


Slen. Ay, that I will, come cut and longtail,t under the degree of a 'squire.

Shal. He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.

Anne. Good master Shallow, let him woo for himself.

Shal. Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good comfort. She calls you, coz: I'll

leave you.

Anne. Now, master Slender.
Slen. Now, good mistress Anne.
Anne. What is your will?

Slen. My will? od's heartlings, that's a pretty jest, indeed! I ne'er made my will yet, I thank heaven; I am not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.

Anne. I mean, master Slender, what would you with me?

Slen. Truly, for mine own part, I would little or nothing with you: Your father, and my uncle, have made motions: if it be my luck, so: if not, happy man be his dole! They can tell you how things go, better than I can: You may ask your father; here he comes.

Enter PAGE and Mistress PAGE.
Page. Now, master Slender :-Love him,
daughter Anne.-

Why, how now! what does master Fenton

A proverb-a shaft was a long arrow, and a bolt, a Lot. thick short one. + Come, poor or rich.

You wrong me, Sir, thus still to haunt my

I told you, Sir, my daughter is dispos'd of.
Fent. Nay, master Page, be not impatient.
Mrs. Page. Good master Fenton, come not
to my child.

Page. She is no match for you.
Fent. Sir, will you hear me?
Page. No, good master Fenton.

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Come, master Shallow come, son Slender,
Knowing my mind, you wrong me, master
Quick. Speak to mistress Page.
Fent. Good mistress Page, for that I love
your daughter

In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Perforce, against all checks, rebukes, and
I must advance the colours of my love,,
And not retire: Let me have your good will.
Anne. Good mother, do not marry me to

yond' fool.

Mrs. Page. I mean it not; I seek you a better husband.

Quick. That's my master, master doctor. Anne. Alas, I had rather be set quick i' the earth,

And bowl'd to death with turnips.

Mrs. Page. Come, trouble not yourself: Good master Fenton, I will not be your friend, nor enemy: My daughter will I question how she loves you, And as I find her, so am I affected; "Till then, farewell, Sir:-She must needs go Her father will be angry. [in: [Exeunt Mistress PAGE and ANNE. Fent. Farewell, gentle mistress; farewell, Nan.

Quick. This is my doing, now;-Nay, said I, will you cast away your child on a fool, and a physician? Look on master Fenton :-this is my doing.

Fent. I thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night Give my sweet Nan this ring: There's for thy pains.


Quick. Now heaven send thee good fortune! A kind heart he hath: a woman would run through fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet, I would my master had mistress Anne; or I would master Slender had her; or, in sooth, I would master Fenton had her: will do what I can for them all three; for so I have promised, and I'll be as good as my word; but speciously for master Fenton. Well, I must of another errand to Sir John Falstaff [Exit. from my two mistresses; What a beast am I to slack+ it?

SCENE V-A Room in the Garter Inn.
Fal. Bardolph, I say,-

Bard. Here, Sir.

Fal. Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in't. [Exit BARD.] Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a barrow of butcher's offal; and to be thrown into the Thames? Well; if I be served such another trick, I'll have my brains ta'en out, and butter'd, and give them to a dog for a new year's gift. The rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorset as they would have drowned a bitch's blind puppies, fifteen i' the litter: and you may know + Pity

* Specially.

+ Neglect.

by my size, that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking; if the bottom were as deep as hell, I should down. I had been drowned, but that the shore was shelvy and shallow; a death that I abhor; for the water swells a man; and what a thing should I have been, when I had been swelled! I should have been a mountain of mummy.

Re-enter BARDOLPH, with the wine. Bard, Here's mistress Quickly, Sir, to speak with you.

Fal. Come, let me pour in some sack to the Thames water; for my belly's as cold, as if I had swallowed snow-balls for pills to cool the reins. Call her in.

Bard. Come in, woman.

Enter Mrs. QUICKLY.

Quick. By your leave; I cry you mercy: Give your worship good-morrow.

Fal. Take away these chalices: Go brew me a pottle of sack finely.

Bard. With eggs, Sir?

Fal. Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage.-[Exit BARD.]-How now? Quick. Marry, Sir, I come to your worship from mistress Ford.

Fal. Mistress Ford! I have had ford enough: I was thrown into the ford: I have my belly full of ford.

Quick. Alas the day! good heart, that was not her fault; she does so take on with her men; they mistook their erection.

Ful. So did I mine, to build upon a foolish woman's promise.

Quick. Well, she laments, Sir, for it, that it would yearn your heart to see it. Her husband goes this morning a birding; she desires you once more to come to her between eight and nine: I must carry her word quickly: she'll make you amends, I warrant you.

Fal. Well, I will visit her: Tell her so; and bid her think, what a man is: let her consider his frailty, and then judge of my merit. Quick. I will tell her.

Fal. Do so. Between nine and ten, say'st


Quick. Eight and nine, Sir.

Fal. Well, be gone: I will not miss her. Quick. Peace be with you, Sir! [Exit. Fal. I marvel, I hear not of master Brook; he sent me word to stay within: I like his money well. O, here he comes.

Enter FORD.

Ford. Bless you, Sir!

Fal. Now, master Brook? you come to know what hath passed between me and Ford's wife? Ford. That, indeed, Sir John, is my business. Fal. Master Brook, I will not lie to you; I was at her house the hour she appointed me. Ford. And how speed you, Sir?

Ful. Very ill-favouredly, master Brook. Ford. How so, Sir? Did she change her determination?

Fal. No, master Brook; but the peaking cornuto, her husband, master Brook, dwelling in a continual 'larum of jealousy, comes me in the instant of our encounter, after we had embraced, kissed, protested, and, as it were, spoke the prologue of our comedy; and at his heels a rabble of his companions, thither provoked and instigated by his distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for his wife's love.

* Cups.

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Fal. By the Lord, a buck-basket: rammed me in with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, and greasy napkins; that, master Brook, there was the rankest compound of villanous smell, that ever offended nostril.

Ford. And how long lay you there? Fal. Nay, you shall hear, master Brook, what I have suffered to bring this woman to evil for your good. Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple of Ford's knaves, his hinds, were called forth by their mistress, to carry me in the name of foul clothes to Datchetlane: they took me on their shoulders; met the jealous knave their master in the door; who asked them once or twice what they had in their basket: I quaked for fear, lest the lunatic knave would have searched it; but Fate, ordaining he should be a cuckold, held his hand. Well; on went he for a search, and away went I for foul clothes. But mark the sequel, master Brook: I suffered the pangs of three several deaths: first, an intolerable fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten bell-wether: next, to be compassed like a good bilbo,* in the circumference of a peck, hilt to point, heel to head and then, to be stopped in, like a strong distillation, with stinking clothes that fretted in their own grease: think of that,-a man of my kidney,-think of that; that am as subject to heat as butter; a man of continual dissolution and thaw; it was a miracle to 'scape suffocation. And in the height of this bath, when I was more than half stewed in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be thrown into the Thames, and cooled, glowing hot, in that surge, like a horse-shoe; think of that;-hissing hot,-think of that, master Brook.

Ford. In good sadness,t Sir, I am sorry that for my sake you have suffered all this. My suit then is desperate; you'll undertake her no more.

Fal. Master Brook, I will be thrown into Etna, as I have been into Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her husband is this morning gone a birding: I have received from her another embassy of meeting; 'twixt eight and nine is the hour, master Brook.

Ford. 'Tis past eight already, Sir. Ful. Is it? I will then address; me to my appointment. Comme at your convenient leisure, and you shall know how I speed; and the conclusion shall be crowned with your enjoying her: Adieu. You shall have her, master Brook; master Brook, you shall cuckold Ford.


Ford. Hum! ha! is this a vision? is this at dream? do I sleep? Master Ford, awake; awake, master Fthere's a hole made in your best coat, master Ford. This 'tis to be married! this 'tis to have linen, and buckbaskets!-Well, I will proclaim myself what I am: I will now take the lecher; he is at my house: he cannot 'scape me; 'tis impossible he should; he cannot creep into a halfpenny purse, nor into a pepper-box: but, lest the

* Bilboa, where the best blades are made. + Seriousness.

1 Make myself ready.

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How now, Sir Hugh? no school to-day? Era. No; master Slender is let the boys leave to play.

Quick. Blessing of his heart!

Mrs. Page. Sir Hugh, my husband says, my son profits nothing in the world at his book; I pray you, ask him some questions in his accidence.

Era. Come hither, William; hold up your head; come.

Mrs. Page. Come on, sirrah; hold up your head; answer your master, be not afraid. Eva. William, how many numbers is in


Will. Two.

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Era. I pray you, have your remembrance, child; Accusativo, hing, hang, hog.

Quick. Hang hog is Latin for bacon, I war

rant you.

Era. Leave your pi the focative case, William? Will. O-Vocativo, O.

'oman. What is

Will. Genitive case? Eva. Ay.

Will. Genitive,-horum, harum, horum. Quick. 'Vengeance of Jenny's case! fie on her!-never name her, child, if she be a whore. Era. For shame, 'oman.

Quick. You do ill to teach the child such words: he teaches him to hick and to hack, which they'll do fast enough of themselves; and to call horum:-fie upon you!

Eva. 'Oman, art thou lunatics? hast thou no of the genders? Thou art as foolish Christian understandings for thy cases, and the numbers creatures as I would desires.

Mrs. Page. Pr'ythee hold thy peace.

sions of your pronouns.

Eva. Show me now, William, some declen

Will. Forsooth, I have forgot.

your kes, and your cods, you must be preeches Eva. It is ki, ka, cod; if you forget your kies, your ways, and play, go.


Mrs. Puge. He is a better scholar, than I thought he was.

Eva. He is a good spragt memory. Farewell, mistress Page.

Mrs. Page. Adieu, good Sir Hugh. [Exit Sir HUGH.] Get you home, boy.-Come, we stay too long. [Exeunt

SCENE II.-A Room in FORD's House.

Enter FALSTAFF and Mrs. FORD. Fal. Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up my sufferance: I see, you are obsequious‡ in your love, and I profess requital to a hair's breadth; not only, mistress Ford, in the simple office of love, but in all the accoutrement, complement, and ceremony of it. But are you sure of your husband now?

Mrs. Ford. He's a birding, sweet Sir John Mrs. Page. [Within.] What hoa, gossip Ford! what hoa!

Mrs. Ford. Step into the chamber, Sir John, [Exit FALSTAFF.

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Mrs. Page. Why, woman, your husband is with my husband; so rails against all married in his old luness again: he so takes on yonder mankind; so curses all Eve's daughters, of self on the forehead, crying, Peer out, peer out! what complexion soever; and so buffets himthat any madness, I ever yet beheld, seemed but tameness, civility, and patience, to this his distemper he is in now: I am glad the fat

knight is not here.

Mrs. Ford. Why, does he talk of him?

Mrs. Page. Of none but him; and swears, he was carried out, the last time he searched for him, in a basket: protests to my husband, he is now here; and hath drawn him and the

Era. Remember, William; focative is, caret. rest of their company from their sport, to make

Quick. And that's a good root.

Eva. 'Oman, forbear.

Mrs. Page. Peace.

Eva. What is your genitive case plural, William ?

* Outrageous.

another experiment of his suspicion : but I am glad the knight is not here; now he shall see his own foolery.

Mrs. Ford. How near is he, mistress Page?

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Mrs. Page. Hard by ; at street end; he will be here anon.

Mrs. Ford. I am undone!-the knight is here.

Mrs. Page. Why, then you are utterly shamed, and he's but a dead man. What a woman are you?-Away with him, away with him; better shame than murder.

Mrs. Ford. Which way should he go? how should I bestow him? Shall I put him into the basket again?

Re-enter FALSTAFF.

Fal. No, I'll come no more i' the basket: May I not go out, ere he come?

Mrs. Page. Alas, three of master Ford's brothers watch the door with pistols, that none shall issue out; otherwise you might slip away ere he came. But what make you here? Fal. What shall I do?-I'll creep up into the chimney.

We do not act, that often jest and laugh;
'Tis old but true, Still swine eat all the druff.

Re-enter Mrs. FORD, with two Servants.
on your shoulders; your master is hard at
Mrs. Ford. Go, Sirs, take the basket again
quickly, despatch.
door; if he bid you set it down, obey him:

1. Serv. Come, come, take it up.
2. Serv. Pray heaven, it be not full of the
knight again.

much lead.
1. Serv. I hope not; I had as lief bear so


Ford. Ay, but if it prove true, master Page, Set down the basket, villain :-Somebody call have you any way then to unfool me again? dis-out here!-O, you panderly rascals! there's a my wife:- -You, youth in a basket, come knot, a ging, a pack, a conspiracy against me: Now shall the devil be shamed. What! honest clothes you send forth to bleaching. wife, I say! come, come forth; behold what

Mrs. Ford. There they always use to charge their birding-pieces: Creep into the kiln-hole.

Fal. Where is it?

Mrs. Ford. He will seek there on my word. Neither press, coffer, chest, trunk, well, vault, but he hath an abstract for the remembrance of such places, and goes to them by his note: There is no hiding you in the house.

Fal. I'll go out then.

Mrs. Page. If you go out in your own semblance, you die, Sir John. Unless you go out disguised,

are not to go loose any longer; you must be Page. Why, this passes !+ Master Ford, you pinioned.

Eva. Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad dog!

Shal. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well;


Enter Mrs. FORD.

Mrs. Ford. How might we disguise him? Mrs. Page. Alas the day, I know not. There is no woman's gown big enough for him; other-tress Ford; mistress Ford, the honest woman, Ford. So say I too, Sir.-Come hither, miswise, he might put on a hat, a muffler, and a the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that kerchief, and so escape. hath the jealous fool to her husband!-Í sus

Fal. Good hearts, devise something: any ex-pect without cause, mistress, do I?

tremity, rather than a mischief.

Mrs. Ford. My maid's aunt, the fat woman of Brentford, has a gown above.

Mrs. Puge. On my word, it will serve him she's as big as he is: and there's her thrum'd hat, and her muffler too: Run up, Sir John.

Mrs. Ford. Go, go, sweet Sir John: mistress Page and I, will look some linen for your head. Mrs. Page. Quick, quick; we'll come dress you straight: put on the gown the while.

Mrs. Ford. I would my husband would meet [Exit FALSTAFF. him in this shape: he cannot abide the old woman of Brentford; he swears, she's a witch; forbade her my house, and hath threatened to beat her.

Mrs. Page. Heaven guide him to thy husband's cudgel; and the devil guide his cudgel afterwards!

Mrs. Ford. But is my husband coming? Mrs. Page. Ay, in good sadness,t is he; and talks of the basket too, howsoever he hath had intelligence.

Mrs. Ford. We'll try that; for I'll appoint my men to carry the basket again, to meet him at the door with it, as they did last time.

Mrs. Puge. Nay, but he'll be here presently:
let's go dress him like the witch of Brentford.
Mrs. Ford. I'll first direct my men, what they
shall do with the basket. Go up, I'll bring
linen for him straight.
Mrs. Page. Hang him, dishonest varlet! we
cannot misuse him enough.

We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do,
Wives may be merry, and yet honest too:
+ Seriousness.

Short note of.

if you suspect me in any dishonesty.
Mrs. Ford. Heaven be my witness, you do,
Ford. Well said, brazen-face; hold it out.-
Come forth, sirrah.

[Pulls the clothes out of the basket. Page. This passes!

Mrs. Ford. Are you not ashamed? let the

clothes alone.

Ford. I shall find you anon.

Eva. 'Tis unreasonable! Will you take up your wife's clothes? Come away.

Ford. Empty the basket, I say.
Mrs. Ford. Why, man, why?—

was one conveyed out of my house yesterday
Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there
In my house I am sure he is: my intelligence
in this basket: Why may not he be there again?
is true; my jealousy is reasonable: Pluck me
out all the linen.

die a flea's death.
Mrs. Ford. If you find a man there, he shall

Page. Here's no man.

Ford; this wrongs you.
Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, master

Eva. Master Ford, you must pay, and not
this is jealousies.
follow the imaginations of your own heart:

Ford. Well, he's not here I seek for.

Page. No, nor no where else, but in your


if I find not what I seek, show no colour for Ford. Help to search my house this one time: sport; let them say of me, As jealous as Ford, my extremity, let me for ever be your tablethat searched a hollow walnut for his wife's

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