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noverbs. Give me thy hand, terrestrial; so:-Give me thy hand, celestial; so.-Boys of art, I have deceived you both; I have directed you to wrong places: your hearts are mighty, your skins are whole, and let burnt sack be the issue.-Come, lay their swords to pawn:-Follow me, lad of peace; follow, follow, follow. Shal. Trust me, a mad host:-Follow, gentlemen, follow. Slen. O, sweet Anne Page!

[Exeunt SHAL. SLEN. PAGE, and HOST. Caius. Ha! do I perceive dat? have you make-a de sot* of us? ha, ha!

Eva. This is well; he has made us his vlouting-stog.t-I desire you, that we may be friends; and let us knog our prains together, to be revenge on this same scald, scurvy, cogging companion, the Host of the Garter.

Caius. By gar, vit all my heart; he promise to bring me vere is Anne Page: by gar, he deceive me too.

Eva. Well, I will smite his noddles:-Pray you, follow.

SCENE II-The Street in Windsor.



Mrs. Page. Nay, keep your way, little gallant; you were wont to be a follower, but now you are a leader: Whether had you rather lead mine eyes, or eye your master's heels ?

Rob. I had rather, forsooth, go before you like a man, than follow him like a dwarf.

Mrs. Page. O you are a flattering boy; now, I see, you'll be a courtier.

Enter FORD.

Ford. Well met, mistress Page: Whither go you?

Mrs. Page. Truly, Sir, to see your wife: Is she at home? Ford. Ay; and as idle as she may hang together, for want of company: I think, if your husbands were dead, you two would


Mrs. Page. Be sure of that,-two other husbands.

Ford. Where had you this pretty weather-cock?

Mrs. Page. I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my husband had him of: What do you call your knight's name, sirrah? Rob. Sir John Falstaff.

Ford. Sir John Falstaff!

Mrs. Page. He, he! I can never hit on's name. There is such a league between my good man and he!-Is your wife at home, indeed ?

Ford. Indeed she is.

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 † Flouting stock.

* Fool.

A man may

going to my wife, and Falstaff's boy with her. 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. † [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.


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? he capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he speaks holyday, he smells April and May: he will carry't, he will carry't; 'tis in his buttons; he will carry't.

Page. Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman is of no having:§ he kept company with the wild Prince and Poins; he is of too high a region, he knows too much. No, he shall not knit a knot in his fortunes with the finger of my 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:—we shall have the freer wooing at master Page's. [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.

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SCENE III-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-basket-
Mrs. Ford. I warrant:-What, Robin, I say.

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 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 ne direction: Begone, and come when you are called.

Mrs. Page. Here comes little Robin.

Enter ROBIN.

[Exeunt Servants.

Mrs. Ford. How now, my eyas-musket ?+ what news with you? Rob. My master Sir John is come in at your back-door, mistress Ford; and requests your company.

Mrs. Page. You little Jack-a-lent, 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 ROPIN.

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 unwholesome humidity, 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 hour!

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.

*Bleachers of linen.

A young small hawk.
A puppet thrown at in Lent, like shrove-cocks.

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

Fal. Let the court of France show me such another; I see how thine eye would emulate the diamond: Thou hast the right arched bent of the brow, that becomes the ship-tire, the tirevaliant, 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 wouldst make an absolute courtier; and the firm fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy gait, in a semicircled 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 me.

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 hawthorn buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklers-buryt 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 mistressPage. Fal. Thou mightst as well say, I love to walk by the Countergate; 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 with you presently.

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


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


What's the matter? how now ?

Mrs. Page. O mistress Ford, what have you done? You are 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 ?-Out upon you! how am I mistook in you?

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.

*Venetian fashions. + Prison.

+ Formerly chiefly inhabited by druggists. § Hide. Tapestry.

Mrs. Ford. Speak louder.-[Aside]-Tis not so, I hope. Mrs. Page. Pray heaven it be not so, that you have such a man here; but 'tis most certain your 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 him, 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 gentleman, 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.-Ö, how have you deceived me!--Look, here is a basket; if he be of any reasonable stature, he may creep in here; and throw foul linen upon him, as if it were going to bucking: Or, it is whitingtime, send him by your two men to Datchet mead.

Mrs. Ford. He's too big to go in there: 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; Reenter Servants.] Go, take up these clothes here, quickly; Where's the cowl-staff?t look, how you drumble: 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 way first:-So, now uncape.§

*Bleaching-time. + Drone.

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

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