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Fent. Nay, master Page, be not impatient.
No, good master Fenton. Come, master Shallow; come, son Slender, in :Knowing my mind, you wrong me, master Fenton.
(Exeunt Page, SHAL., and SLEN. Quick. Speak to mistress Page. Fent. Good mistress Page, for that I love your
Anne. Good mother, do not marry me to yond' fool.
band. 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. [Ex. 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 ? b Look on master Fenton :this is my doing.
a The refined cruelties of Oriental despotism suggested the punishment of burying an offender in this manner.
b The fool was Slender, patronised by Master Page; the physician, Dr. Caius, whose suit Mistress Page favoured.
Fent. I thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night, Give my sweet Nan this ring: There 's for thy pains. Ex.
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 for master Fenton. Well, I must of another errand to sir John Falstaff from my two mistresses. What a beast am I to slack it!
SCENE V.-A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter Falstaff and BARDOLPH. Fal. Bardolph, I say, Bard. Here, sir. Fal. Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in 't. [Exit Bard.] Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a barrow of butcher's offal; and to be thrown in 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 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 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 snowballs 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 BARDOLPH.]–How now ?
Quick. Marry, sir, I came to your worship from mistress Ford.
Fal. Mistress For! 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 ber 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 ber 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.
[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 : I was at her house the hour she appointed me.
Ford. And sped you, sir ?
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.
Ford. What, while you were 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, in her invention and Ford's wife's distraction, they conveyed me into a buck-basket.
Ford. A buck-basket?
Fal. Yes, a buck-basket : rammed me in with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, greasy napkins ; that, master Brook, there was the rankest compound of villainous 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 : I suffered
pangs of three several deaths : first, an intolerable fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten bell-wether : 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 Etna, as I have been thrown 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. 'T is 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 he crowned with your enjoying her : Adieu. You shall have her, master Brook; master Brook, you shall cuckold Forsi.