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Caius. By gar, me vill kill de priest; for he speak | love you; and I shall procure-a you de good guest, for a jack-an-ape to Anne Page. de earl, de knight, de lords, de gentlemen, my patients.

Host. Let him die: but, first, sheath thy impa tience; throw cold water on thy choler: go about the fields with me through Frogmore: I will bring thee where Mrs. Anne Page is, at a farm-house, a feasting; and thou shalt woo her: said I well? Camus. By gar, me tank you for dat: by gar, I

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Host. For the which, I will be thy adversary towards Anne Page; said I well?

Caius. By gar, 'tis good; vell said.
Host. Let us wag then.

Caius. Come at my heels, Jack Rugby. [Exeunt.


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Sim. Yonder he is coming, this way, sir Hugh.
Eva. He's welcome:

To shallow rivers, to whose falls ·
Heaven prosper the right! - What weapons is he?
Sim. No weapons, sir: There comes my master,
master Shallow, and another gentleman from Frog-
more, over the stile, this way

Eva. Pray you, give me my gown; or else keep it in your arms.

Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. Shal. How now, master parson? Good morrow, good sir Hugh. Keep a gamester from the dice, and a good student from his book, and it is wonderful. Slen. Ah, sweet Anne Page!

Page. Save you, good sir Hugh!

Eva. 'Pless you from his mercy sake, all of you! Shal. What! the sword and the word! do you study them both, master parson?

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Caius. Diable! Jack Rugby,
- mine Host de
Jarterre, have I not stay for him, to kill him? have
I not, at de place I did appoint?

Eva. As I am a christians soul, now, look you, this is the place appointed; I'll be judgment by mine host of the Garter.

Host. Peace, I say, Guallia, and Gaul, French and Welsh; soul-curer and body-curer.

Caius. Ay, dat is very good! excellent! Host. Peace, I say; hear mine host of the Garter. Am I politick? am I subtle? am I a Machiavel? Shall I lose my doctor? no; he gives me the potions. Shall I lose my parson? my priest? my sir Hugh? no; he gives me the proverbs and the noPage. We are come to you, to do a good office, verbs. Give me thy hand, terrestrial; so:- Give

Page. And youthful still, in your doublet and hose, this raw rheumatic day?

Eva. There is reasons and causes for it.

master parson.

Eva. Fery well: What is it?

me thy hand, celestial; so. Boys of art, 1 have deceived you both; I have directed you to wrong Page. Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, places: your hearts are mighty, your skins are whole, and let burnt sack be the issue.

9 Head

- Come

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Mrs. Page. By your leave, sir ; — I am sick, till I see her. [Exeunt Mrs. PAGE and ROBIN.

Ford. Has Page any brains? hath he any eyes; hath he any thinking? Sure they sleep; he hath no use of them. Why, this boy will carry a letter twenty miles, as easy as a cannon will shoot point-blank twelve score. He pieces-out his wife's inclination; he gives her folly motion, and advantage: and now she's going to my wife, and Falstaff's boy with her. A man may hear this shower sing in the wind! and Falstaff's boy with her! - Good plots! - they are laid; and our revolted wives share damnation together. Well; I will take him, then torture my wife, pluck the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure and wilful Actæon; and to these violent proceedings all my neighbours shall cry aim.4 [Clock strikes.] The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me search; there I shall find Falstaff: I shall be rather praised for this than mocked; for it is as positive as the earth is firm, that Falstaff is there I will go.

4 Shall encourage.


Shal. Page, &c. Well met, master Ford. Ford. Trust me, a good knot: I have good cheer at home; and I pray you, all go with me.

Shal. I must excuse myself, master Ford. Slen. And so must I, sir; we have appointed to dine with mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for more money than I'll speak of.

Shal. We have lingered about a match between Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.

Slen. I hope I have your good-will, father Page. Page. You have, master Slender; I stand wholly for you: - - but my wife, master doctor, is for you altogether,

Caius. Ay, by gar; and de maid is love-a me; my nursh-a Quickly tell me so mush.

Host. What say you to young master Fenton ? writes verses, he speaks holyday 5; he smells April he capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he and May he will carry't, he will carry't.



Page. Not by my consent, I promise you. the wild Prince and Poins; he is of too high a gentleman is of no having: he kept company with knit a knot in his fortunes with the finger of my region, he knows too much. No, he shall not substance: if he take her, let him take her simply; the wealth I have, waits on my consent, and my consent goes not that way.

Ford. I beseech you, heartily, some of you go home with me to dinner: besides your cheer, you shall have sport; I will show you a monster. Master doctor, you shall go ; —so shall you, master Page; - and you, sir Hugh. Shal. Well, fare you well: freer wooing at master Page's.

we shall have the

[Exeunt SHALLOW and SLENDer. Caius. Go home, John Rugby; I come anon. [Exit RUGBY. Host. Farewell, my hearts: I will to my honest knight Falstaff, and drink canary with him.

[Exit Host. Ford. [Aside.] I think, I shall drink in pipe-wine first with him; I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles?

All. Have with you, to see this monster. [Exeunt. SCENE III.

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A Room in Ford's House. Enter Mrs. FORD and Mrs. PAGE. Mrs. Ford. What, John! what, Robert! Mrs. Page. Quickly, quickly: Is the buck-bas

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Enter Servants with a basket. Mrs. Page. Come, come, come. Mrs. Ford. Here, set it down. Mrs. Page. Give your men the charge; we must be brief.

Mrs. Ford. Marry, as I told you before, John and Robert, be ready here hard by in the brewhouse; and when I suddenly call you, come forth, and (without any pause, or staggering,) take this basket on your shoulders: that done trudge with it in all haste, and carry it among the whitsters in 5 Out of the common style.

Datchet-mead, and there empty it in the muddy ditch, close by the Thames' side.

Mrs. Page. You will do it?

Mrs. Ford. I have told them over and over; they lack no direction: Begone, and come when you are called. [Exeunt Servants.

Mrs. Page. Here comes little Robin.

Enter ROBIN.

Mrs. Ford. How now, my eyas-musket?6 what news with you?

Fal. Thou might'st as well say, I love to walk by the Counter-gate; which is as hateful to me as the reek of a lime-kiln.

Mrs. Ford. Well heaven knows, how I love you; and you shall one day find it.

Fal. Keep in that mind; I'll deserve it. Mrs Ford. Nay, I must tell you, so you do; or else I could not be in that mind.

Rob. [within.] Mistress Ford, mistress Ford! here's mistress Page at the door, sweating, and blowing, and looking wildly, and would needs speak you presently.

Rob. My master sir John is come in at your back-with door, mistress Ford; and requests your company. Mrs. Page. You little Jack-a-lent 7, have you been true to us?

Rob. Ay, I'll be sworn: My master knows not of your being here; and hath threatened to put me into everlasting liberty, if I tell you of it; for, he swears, he'll turn me away.

Mrs. Page. Thou'rt a good boy; this secrecy of thine shall be a tailor to thee, and shall make thee a new doublet and hose. -- I'll go hide me. Mrs. Ford. Do so: - - Go tell thy master, I am alone. Mistress Page, remember you your cue. [Exit ROBIN. Mrs. Page. I warrant thee; if I do not act it, hiss me. [Exit Mrs. PAGE. Mrs. Ford. Go to then; we'll use this gross watery pumpion; we'll teach him to know turtles from jays.


Fal. Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel! Why, now let me die, for I have lived long enough: this is the period of my ambition: O this blessed


Mrs. Ford. O sweet sir John!

Fal. Mistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate, mistress Ford. Now shall I sin in my wish: I would thy husband were dead; I'll speak it before the best lord, I would make thee my lady.

Mrs. Ford. I your lady, sir John! alas, I should be a pitiful lady.

Fal. Let the court of France show me such an

other: I see how thine eye would emulate the diamond: Thou hast the right arched bent of the brow, that becomes the ship-tire, the tire-valiant, or any

tire of Venetian admittance.

Mrs. Ford. A plain kerchief, sir John: my brows become nothing else; nor that well neither.

Fal. Thou art a traitor to say so: thou would'st make an absolute courtier: and the firm fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy gait, in a semi-circled farthingale. I see what thou wert, if fortune thy foe were not; nature is thy friend: Come, thou canst not hide it.


Mrs. Ford. Believe me, there's no such thing in

Fal. What made me love thee? let that persuade thee, there's something extraordinary in thee. Come, I cannot cog, and say, thou art this and that, like a many of these lisping haw-thorn buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklers-bury in simple-time; I cannot : but I love thee; none but thee; and thou deservest it. Mrs. Ford. Do not betray me, sir; I fear, you love mistress Page.

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Fal. She shall not see me; I will ensconce 9 me behind the arras.

Mrs. Ford. Pray you, do so; she's a very tat-
tling woman.
[FALSTAFF hides himself.

Enter Mrs. PAGE and ROBIN.
What's the matter? how now?

Mrs. Page. O mistress Ford, what have you done? You're shamed, you are overthrown, you are undone for ever.

Mrs. Ford. What's the matter, good mistress Page?

Mrs. Page. O well-a-day, mistress Ford! having an honest man to your husband, to give him such cause of suspicion!

Mrs. Ford. What cause of suspicion ? Mrs. Page. What cause of suspicion! upon you! how am I mistook in you?

· Out

Mrs. Ford. Why, alas! what's the matter? Mrs. Page. Your husband's coming hither, woman, with all the officers in Windsor, to search for a gentleman, that, he says, is here, now in the house, by your consent, to take an ill advantage of his absence: you are undone.

Mrs. Ford. Speak louder, [Aside.] — 'Tis not so, I hope.

have such a man here; but 'tis most certain your
Mrs. Page. Pray heaven it be not so, that you
husband's coming with half Windsor at his heels,
to search for such a one. I come before to tell
you: If you know yourself clear, why I am glad of
it but if you have a friend here, convey, convey
him out. Be not amazed; call all your senses to
you: defend your reputation, or bid farewell to
your good life for ever.
Mrs. Ford. What shall I do?
There is a gen-
tleman, my dear friend; and I fear not mine own
shame, so much as his peril: I had rather than a
thousand pound, he were out of the house.

Mrs. Page. For shame, never stand you had
rather, and you had rather; your husband's here
at hand, bethink you of some conveyance: in the
house you cannot hide him. · O, how have you
Look, here is a basket: if he be
deceived me!·
of any reasonable stature, he may creep in here;
to bucking: Or, it is whiting-time', send him by
and throw foul linen upon him, as if it were going

your two men to Datchet-mead.

Mrs. Ford. He's too big to go in there: What shall I do?

Re-enter FALSTAFF.

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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.

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Mrs Ford. What, John, Robert, John! [Exit ROBIN; Re-enter Servants.] Go, take up these clothes here, quickly; Where's the cowl-staff? 2 look, how you drumble3; carry them to the laundress in Datchet-mead; quickly, come.


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?

Serv. To the laundress, forsooth.

Mrs. Ford. Why, what have you to do whither they bear it? You were best meddle with buckwashing.

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 first: So now uncape.+ Page. Good master Ford, be contented: you

wrong yourself too much.


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

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. Page. What a taking was he in, when your husband asked who was in the basket?

Mrs. Ford. 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 carrion, mistress Quickly, to him, and excuse his throwing into the water; and give him another hope, to betray him to another punishment?

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

Re-enter FORD, PAGE, CAIUS, and Sir HUGH EVANS. Ford. I cannot find him: may be the knave bragged of that he could not compass.

2 A staff for carrying a large tub or basket. Unbag the fox.

3 Drone.

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Mrs. Page. You do yourself mighty wrong, master Ford.

Ford. Ay, ay; I must bear it.

Eva. If there be any pody in the house, and in the chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses, heaven forgive my sins!

Caius. By gar, nor I too; dere is no bodies.

Page. Fie, fie, master Ford! are you not ashamed? What spirit, what devil suggests this imagination? I would not have your distemper in this kind, for the wealth of Windsor Castle.

Ford. 'Tis my fault, master Page: I suffer for it. Eva. You suffer for a pad conscience; your wife is as honest a 'omans, as I will desires among five thousand, and five hundred too.

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

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

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

Slen. 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 Glocestershire.

Shal. He will maintain you like a gentlewoman. Slen. Ay, that I will, come cut and long-tail, 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! 5 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 here? You wrong me, sir, thus still to haunt my house: I told you, sir, my daughter is dispos'd of. Fent. Nay, master Page, be not impatient.

Come, master Shallow come, son Slender; in: Knowing my mind, you wrong me, master Fenton. [Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. 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 manners,
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 in ;
Her father will be angry.

[Exeunt Mrs. 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 tonight

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: I 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 6 for master Fenton. Well, I must of another errand to sir John Falstaff from my two mistresses: What a beast am I to slack 7 it. [Exit.

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Fal. Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast [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 buttered, and give them to a dog for a new year's gift. The rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorse as they would have drowned blind puppies, fifteen i' the litter and you may know by my size, that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking; if the bottom were ever so deep, I should

Mrs. Page. Good master Fenton, come not to down." I had been drowned, but that the shore

my child.

Page. She is no match for you.

Fent. Sir, will you hear me? Page.

No, good master Fenton.

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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.

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