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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.

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 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 thou ?

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.

Ford. Bless you, Sir!

Enter FORD.

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 sped you, Sir?

Fal. 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.

Ford. What, while you were there?
Fal. While I was there.

Ford. And did he search for you, and could not find you? Fal. You shall hear. As good luck would have it, comes in one mistress Page; gives intelligence of Ford's approach; and, by her invention, and Ford's wife's distraction, they conveyed me into a buck-basket.

Ford. A buck-basket!

Fal. By the Lord, a buck-basket: rammed me in with fouì 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 Datchet-lane: 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: suffered the pangs of three several deaths: first, an intolerable fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten bellwether: 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,† 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 Ætna, 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.

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. You shall have her, master Brook; master Brook, you shall cuckold Ford.

[Exit.

Ford. Hum! ha! is this a vision? is this a dream? do I sleep? * Bilboa, where the best blades are made. Make myself ready.

+ Seriousness.

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Master Ford, awake; awake, master Ford; there's a hole made in your best coat, master Ford. This 'tis to be married! this 'tis to have linen, and buck-baskets! 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 devil that guides him should aid him, I will search impossible places. Though what I am I cannot avoid, yet to be what I would not shall not make me tame: if I have horns to make one mad, let the proverb go with me, I'll be horn mad.

ACT IV.

SCENE 1.-The Street.

Exit.

Enter MRS. PAGE, MRS. QUICKLY, and WILLIAM.
Mrs. Page. Is he at master Ford's already, think'st thou ?
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.

'tis a play

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; ing-day, I see.

Enter SIR HUGH EVANS.

How, now, Sir Hugh? no school to-day ?

Eva. 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.

Eva. 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 nouns?

Will. Two.

Quick. Truly, I thought there had been one number more; because they say, od's nouns.

Eva. Peace your tattlings. What is fair, William ?

Will. Pulcher.

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 ?

Will. A pebble.

Eva. No, it is lapis: I pray you remember in your prain.

Will. Lapis.

Era. That is a good William. What is he, William, that does lend articles ?

* Outrageous.

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?

Will. Accusativo, hinc.

Eva. I pray you, have your remembrance, child; Accusativo, hung, hang, hog.

Quick. Hang hog is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.

Eva. Leave your prabbles, 'oman. What is the focative case, William ?

Will. O-Vocativo, O.

Eva. Remember, William; focative is, caret.

Quick. And that's a good root.

Eva. 'Oman, forbear.

Mrs. Page. Peace.

Eva. What is your genitive case plural, William ?

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.

Eva. For shame, 'oman.

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

Eva. 'Oman, art thou lunatics? hast thou no understandings for thy cases, and the numbers of the genders?

as foolish Christian creatures as I would desires. Mrs. Page. Pr'ythee hold thy peace.

Thou art

Eva. Show me now, William, some declensions of your pro

nouns.

Will. Forsooth, I have forgot.

Eva. It is ki, kæ, cod; if you forget your kies, your kæes and your cods, you must be preeches.* Go your ways, and play, go. Mrs. Page. 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

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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 acoutrement, 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.

* Breeched, i. e. flogged.

† Apt to learn.

+ Sorrowful.

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Enter MRS. PAGE.

Mrs. Page. How now, sweetheart ? who's at home beside yourself?

Mrs. Ford. Why, none but mine own people.

Mrs. Page. Indeed?

Mrs. Ford. No, certainly;-speak louder.

Mrs. Page. Truly, I am so glad you have nobody here.
Mrs. Ford. Why?

[Aside.

Mrs. Page. Why, woman, your husband is in his old lunes* again: he so takes on yonder with my husband! so rails against all married mankind; so curses all Eve's daughters, of what complexion soever; and so buffets himself on the forehead, crying, Peer out, peer out !t that any madness, I ever yet beheld, seemed but tameness, civility, and patience, to this 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 rest of their company from their sport, to make 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?

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 should 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.

Mrs. Ford. There they always use to discharge their birdingpieces: 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,

Mrs. Ford. How might we disguise him?

Mrs. Page. Alas the day, I know not. There is no woman's

Mad fits.

† As children call on a snail to push forth his horns.

Short note of

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