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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 ;-50 shall you, master Page ;-and you, sir Hugh.
Shal. Well, fare you well :-we shall have the freer wooing at master Page's. [Exeunt SHAL. and SLEN. 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 a first with him ; I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles ?
All. Have with you, to see this monster. [Exeunt.
SCENE III.-A Room in Ford's House.
Enter Mrs. Ford and Mrs. PAGE.
Enter Servants, with a basket.
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 brew-house; and when I suddenly call you, come forth, and (without
a Pipe-wine. Ford will pipe while Falstaff dances.
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 no direction : Be gone, and come when you are called.
[Exeunt Servants. Mrs. Page. Here comes little Robin,
Enter Robin. Mrs. Ford. How now, my eyas-musket ? b what news with you?
Rob. My master, sir John, is come in at your backdoor, mistress Ford; and requests your company.
Mrs. Page. You little Jack-a-lent,o 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
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
[Exit Mrs. Page. Mrs. Ford. Go to ther; we 'll use this unwholesome humidity, this gross watery pumpion. We 'll teach him to know turtles from jays.
hitsters. A launder is still called a whitster.
Eyas-musket. The musket is the small sparrow-hawk; the eyas is a general name for a very young hawk. • Jack-a-lent—a puppet thrown at in Lent,
Enter FALSTAFF. Fal. Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel ?a 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.
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 beauty 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 tyrant 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,b if Fortune thy foe were not, Nature 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,
thou art this and that, like a many of these lisping hawthorn-buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklersbury in simple
& " Have I canght my heavenly jewel" is the first line of a song in Sidney's 'Astrophel and Stella.'
6°" Fortune, my foe," was the beginning of an old ballad. We do not think that a perfect sense can be made of the passage as it stands. The meaning, no doubt, is, if Fortune were subdued by Nature, thou wouldst be unparalleled.
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.
Fal. Thou mightst 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 with you presently.
Fal. She shall not see me; I will ensconce me behind the arras. Mrs. Ford. Pray you, do so: she 's a very tattling
[FALSTAFF hides himself. Enter MISTRESS PAGE and ROBIN. What 's the matter? how now?
Mrs. Page. O mistress Ford, what have you done ? You ’re shamed, you 're overthrown, you 're undone for
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 is coming hither, woman, a Bucklersbury, in the time of Shakspere, was chiefly inhabited by druggists, who then did the office of the herbalist.
with all the officers in Windsor, to search for a gentle. man 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. 'T is not so, I hope.
Mrs. Page. Pray Heaven it be not so, that you have such a man here; but 't is 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, 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.-0, 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. Help me away: let me creep in here; I 'll never
[He goes into the basket; they cover him
with foal tinen.