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Fent. No, heaven so speed me in my time to I told you, sir, my daughter is dispos'd of.
Albeit, I will confess, thy father's wealth
Anne. Gentle master Fenton,
[They converse apart.
Fent. Nay, master Page, be not impatient.
Page. She is no match for you.
No, good master Fenton.
Enter Shallow, Slender, and Mrs. Quickly. Shal. Break their talk, mistress Quickly; myI 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.
Slen. 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 choice. O, what a world of vile ill-favour'd faults
In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Mrs. Page. I mean it not; I seek you a better
Quick. That's my master, master doctor.
Mrs. Page. Come, trouble not yourself: good
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!I will not be your friend, nor enemy:
[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,2 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
Anne. Now, master Slender.
Slen. Now, good mistress Anne.
[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 to
Give my sweet Nan this ring: there's for thy pains [Exit
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 speciously4 for master Fenton. Well, I must of another errand to sir John Falstaff from my two mistresses; what a beast am I to slack5 it!
Falstaff and Bardolph.
Slen. My will? od's heartlings, that's a pretty SCENE V-A room in the Garter Inn. Enter 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
Fal. Bardolph, I say,
Bard. Here, sir.
Fal. Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in't. like a barrow of butcher's offal; and to be thrown [Exit Bard.] Have I lived to be carried in a basket, other trick, I'll have my brains ta'en out, and butinto the Thames? Well; if I be served such anter'd, and give them to a dog for a new year's gift. The rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorses as they would have drown'd a bitch's 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 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
(2) Come poor or rich. (3) Lot. (4) Specially. (5) Neglect. (6) Pity.
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 pottle of sack finely.
Bard. With eggs, sir?
Fal. Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage.-Exit Bardolph.]-How now? Quick. Marry, sir, I come to your worship from
was thrown into the ford: I have my belly full of Fal. Mistress Ford! I have had ford enough: I
Quick. Alas the day! good heart, that was not her fault; she does so take on with her men; they mistook their erection.
Fal. 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
Quick. I will tell her.
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.
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; at her house the hour she appointed me. Ford. And how speed you, sir? Fal. Very ill-favouredly, master Brook. Ford. How so, sir? Did she change her mination?
Ford. A buck-basket!
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?
have suffered to bring this woman to evil for your Fal. Nay, you shall hear, master Brook, what I good. Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple their mistress, to carry me in the name of foul of Ford's knaves, his hinds, were called forth by shoulders; met the jealous knave, their master, in clothes to Datchet-lane: they took me on their natic knave would have searched it; but Fate, orthe door; who asked them once or twice what they had in their basket: I quaked for fear, lest the luWell: on went he for a search, and away went I daining he should be a cuckold, held his hand. 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 good bilbo,2 in the circumference of a peck, hilt to rotten bell-wether: next, to be compassed like a point, heel to head: and then, to be stopped in, like ted in their own grease: think of that,-a man of a strong distillation, with stinking clothes that fretmy 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 in that surge, like a horse-shoe; think of that;thrown into the Thames, and cooled, glowing hot, hissing hot,-think of that, master Brook.
Ford. In good sadness,3 sir, I am sorry that for my sake you have suffered all this. My suit then desperate; you'll undertake her no more.
Fal. Master Brook, I will be thrown into Etna, as I have been into the Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her husband is this morning gone a birding: I have received from her another embassy of Brook. meeting; 'twixt eight and nine is the hour, master
Ford. 'Tis past eight already, sir.
Fal. Is it? I will then address me to my appointment. Come to me at your convenient leisure, and you shall know how I speed; and the conclusion shall be crowned with your enjoying her: adieu. deter-you shall cuckold Ford. You shall have her, master Brook; master Brook, [Exit.
Ford. Hum! ha! is this a vision? is this a dream? Fal. No, master Brook; but the peaking cornu- do I sleep? Master Ford, awake; awake, master to, her husband, master Brook, dwelling in a con- Ford; there's a hole made in your best coat, master tinual 'larum of jealousy, comes me in the instant Ford. This 'tis to be married! this 'tis to have linen, of our encounter, after we had embraced, kissed, and buck-baskets!--Well, I will proclaim myself protested, and, as it were, spoke the prologue of what I am: I will now take the lecher; he is at my our comedy; and at his heels a rabble of his com-house: he cannot 'scape me; 'tis impossible he panions, thither provoked and instigated by his distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for his wife's love.
Bilboa, where the best blades are made.
should; he cannot creep into a half-penny purse, nor into a pepper-box: but, lest the devil that guides him should aid him, I will search impossible places. Though what I am I cannot avoid, yet to
(4) Make myself ready.
Quick. Sure he is by this; or will be presently but truly, he is very courageous! mad, about his throwing into the water. Mistress Ford desires you to come suddenly.
Mrs. Page. I'll be with her by and by; I'll but bring my young man here to school: look, where his master comes; 'tis a playing-day, I see.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans.
Eva. 'Oman, forbear.
Mrs. Page. Peace.
Eva. What is your genitive case plural, William?
Will. Genitive case?
Will. Genitive,—horum, harum, horum.
Quick. You do ill to teach the child such words:
Eva. Oman, art thou lunatics? hast thou no understandings for thy cases, and the numbers of the genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as I would desires.
Mrs. Page. Pr'y thee, hold thy peace.
Eva. Show me now, William, some declensions of your pronouns.
Will. Forsooth, I have forgot.
Eva. It is ki, kæ, cod; if you forget your kies, your kes, and your cods, you must be preeches.2 Go your ways, and play, go.
Mrs. Page. He is a better scholar, than I
How now, sir Hugh? no school to-day?
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."
Eva. Come hither, William; hold up your head; come.
Mrs. Page. Come on, sirrah; hold up your bead; answer your master, be not afraid.
Eva. William, how many numbers is in nouns?
Quick. Truly, I thought there had been one number more; because they say, od's nouns.
Eva. He is a good sprag3 memory. mistress Page.
Mrs. Page. Adieu, good sir Hugh. [Exit Sir [Exeunt. Hugh.] Get you home, boy.-Come, we stay too long.
Falstaff and Mrs. Ford.
Fal. Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up sufferance: I see, you are obsequious4 in your love, and I profess requital to a hair's breadth; not
Eva. Peace your tattlings. What is fair, Wil-only, mistress Ford, in the simple office of love, but
Quick. Poulcats! there are fairer things than poulcats, sure.
Eva. You are a very simplicity 'oman; I pray
you, peace. What is lapis, William?
Will. A stone.
Eva. And what is a stone, William?
Eva. No, it is lapis; I pray you, remember in your prain.
Eva. That is good William. What is he, William, that does lend articles?
Will. Articles are borrowed of the pronoun; and be thus declined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, hæc, hoc.
Eva. Nominativo, hig, hag, hog; pray you, mark: genitivo, hujus: Well, what is your accusative case?
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!
Mrs. Ford. Step into the chamber, sir John.
Enter Mrs. Page.
Mrs. Page. How now, sweetheart? who's at home beside yourself?
Mrs. Ford. Why, none but mine own people.
Mrs. Ford. No, certainly;-speak louder. [Aside. Mrs. Page. Truly, I am so glad you have nobody here.
Mrs. Ford. Why?
Mrs. Page. Why, woman, your husband is in my husband; so rails against all married mankind; his old lunes again: he so takes on yonder with so curses all Eve's daughters, of what complexion Eva. I pray you, have your remembrance,soever; and so buffets himself on the forehead, child; Accusativo, hing, hang, hog.
Will. Accusativo, hinc.
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 should
Mrs. Ford. I'll first direct my men, what they shall do with the basket. Go up, I'll bring linen for him straight. [Exit. 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 : We do not act, that often jest and laugh; 'Tis old but true, Still swine eat all the draff. [Exit.
Re-enter Mrs. Ford, with two servants. Mrs. Ford. Go, sirs, take the basket again on your shoulders; your master is hard at door: if he bid you set it down, obey him: quickly, despatch. (Exit. 1 Serv. Come, come, take it up.
2 Serv. Pray heaven, it be not full of the knight again.
1 Serv. I hope not; I had as lief bear so much lead.
issue out; otherwise you might slip away ere he Enter Ford, Page, Shallow, Caius, and Sir Hugh came. But what make you here?"
Fal. What shall I do?-I'll creep up into the chimney.
Mrs. Ford. There they always use to discharge their birding-pieces: creep into the kiln-hole. Fal. Where is it?
Ford. Ay, but if it prove true, master Page, have you any way then to unfool me again?-Set down the basket, villain :-Somebody call my wife:- -You, youth in a basket, come out here!
Mrs. Ford. He will seek there on my word-O, you panderly rascals! there's a knot, a ging,3 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.
a pack, a conspiracy against me: now shall the devil be shamed. What! wife, I say! come, come forth; behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching.
Page. Why, this passes; Master Ford, you are not to go loose any longer; you must be pin
Mrs. Page. If you go out in your own semblance, you die, sir John. Unless you go out dis-ioned. guised,
Mrs. Ford. How might we disguise him?
Eva. Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad dog!
Mrs. Page. Alas the day, I know not. There Shal. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well; is no woman's gown big enough for him; other-indeed. wise, he might put on a hat, a muffler, and a ker
chief, and so escape.
Fal. Good hearts, devise something: any extremity, rather than a mischief.
Mrs. Ford. My maid's aunt, the fat woman of Brentford, has a gown above.
Mrs. Page. 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.
[Exit Fal Mrs. Ford. I would my husband would meet 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,2 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 t door with it, as they did last time.
Mrs. Page. Nay, but he'll be here presently: let's go dress him like the witch of Brentford.
Enter Mrs. Ford.
Ford. So say I too, sir.--Come hither, mistress Ford; mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool to her husband!--I suspect without cause, mistress, do I?
Mrs. Ford. Heaven be my witness, you do, if you suspect me in any dishonesty. 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,
Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there was one conveyed out of my house yesterday in this basket: Why may not he be there again? In my house I am sure he is: my intelligence is true; my jealousy is reasonable: Pluck me out all the linen.
Mrs. Ford. If you find a man there, he shall die a flea's death.
Page. Here's no man.
(3) Gang. (4) Surpasses, to go beyond bounds.
Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, master Ford; this wrongs you.
Eva. Master Ford, you must pray, and not follow the imaginations of your own heart: this is jealousies.
Ford. Well, he's not here I seek for.
licly shamed: and, methinks, there would be no period to the jest, should he not be publicly shamed.
Mrs. Page. Come, to the forge with it then, shape it: I would not have things cool. [Exeunt.
ter Host and Bardolph.
Page. No, nor no where else, but in your brain. || SCENE III-A Room in the Garter Inn. En Ford. Help to search my house this one time: if I find not what I seek, show no colour for my extremity, let me for ever be your table-sport: let them say of me, As jealous as Ford, that search'd a hollow walnut for his wife's leman. Satisfy me once more; once more search with me.
Mrs. Ford. What hoa, mistress Page! come you, and the old woman down; my husband will
come into the chamber.
Bard. Sir, the Germans desire to have three of your horses: the duke himself will be to-morrow at court, and they are going to meet him.
Host. What duke should that be, comes so secretly? I hear not of him in the court: Let me speak with the gentlemen; they speak English? Bard. Ay, sir; I'll call them to you. Host. They shall have my horses; but I'll make
Ford. Old woman! What old woman's that? Mrs. Ford. Why, it is my maid's aunt of Brent-them pay, I'll sauce them: they have had my house ford. a week at command; I have turned away my other guests: they must come off; I'll sauce them: Come.
Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not forbid her my house? She comes of errands, does she? We are simple men; we do not know what's brought to pass under the profession of fortune-telling. She works by charms, by spells, by the figure, and such daubery as this is: beyond our element: we know nothing.- -Come down, you witch, you hag you; come down, I say, Mrs. Ford. Nay, good sweet husband-good gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.
Enter Falstaff in women's clothes, led by Mrs. Page. Mrs. Page. Come, mother Pratt, come, give me your hand.
Ford. I'll prat her:Out of my door, you witch! [beats him.] you rag, you baggage, you polecat, you ronyon 2 out! out! I'll conjure you, I'll fortune-tell you. [Exit Falstaff. Mrs. Page. Are you not ashamed? I think, you have kill'd the poor woman.
Mrs. Ford. Nay, he will do it 'Tis a goodly credit for you.
Ford. Hang her, witch!
Eva. By yea and no, I think, the 'oman is a witch indeed: I like not when a 'oman has a great peard; I spy a great peard under her muffler.
Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen? I beseech you, follow; see but the issue of my jealousy: if I cry out thus upon no trail,3 never trust me when I open1 again.
Page. Let's obey his humour a little further; Come, gentlemen. [Ex. Page, Ford, Shal. and Eva. Mrs. Page. Trust me, he beat him most pitifully. Mrs. Ford. Nay, by the mass, that he did not; he beat him most unpitifully, methought.
SCENE IV-A Room in Ford's House. Enter
as ever I did look upon.
Page. And did he send you both these letters at an instant?
Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour.
I rather will suspect the sun with cold,
'Tis well, 'tis well; no more.
But let our plot go forward: let our wives
Page. How to send him word they'll meet him in the park at midnight! fie, fie; he'll never come.
Eva. 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.
Page. So think I too.
Mrs. Page. I'll have the cudgel hallowed, and hung o'er the altar; it hath done meritorious service. Mrs. Ford. What think you? May we, with the warrant of womanhood, and the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any further revenge? Mrs. Page. The spirit of wantonness is, sure, Sometime a keeper hers in Windsor forest, scared out of him; if the devil have him not in fee-Doth all the winter time, at still midnight, simple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I think, in the way of waste, attempt us again. Mrs. Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how we have served him?
Mrs. Ford. Devise but how you'll use him when
And let us two devise to bring him thither.
Mrs. Page. Yes, by all means; if it be but to scrape the figures out of your husband's brains. If they can find in their hearts, the poor unvirtuous fat knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will still be the ministers.
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns;
In a most hideous and dreadful manner.
The superstitious idle-headed eld
Mrs. Ford. I'll warrant, they'll have him pub-This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.
(4) Cry out. (5) Strikes.
(6) Old age.