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them to a dog for a new-year's gift. The rogues
fighted me into the river with as little remorse as they
would have drown'd a bitch's blind puppies, fifteen
i'th' litter ; and you may know, by my size, that I
have a kind of alacrity in finking : if the bottom were
as deep as hell, I should down. I had been drown'd,
but that the share was fhelvy 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 fwell'a?
I should have been a mountain of mummy.

Enter Bardolph.
Now, is the Sack brew'd ?

Bard. Here's Mrs. Quickly, Sir, to speak with you.

Fal. Come, let me pour in some fack to the Thameswater ;

for my belly's as cold as if I had swallow'd snow-balls, for pills to cool the reins. Call her in. Bard. Come in, woman. SCÊ N XVI.

Enter Mrs. Quickly. Quic. By your leave: I cry you mercy. Give your worship good morrow.

Fal. Take away thefe challices; go brew me a pottle of fack finely

Bard. With eggs, Sir?

Fal. Simple of it self: I'll no pullet-sperm in my Brewage. How now?

Quic. Marry, Sir, I come to your worship from mistress Ford.

Fal. Mistrefs Ford? I have had Ford enough; I was thrown into the Ford ; I have my belly full of Ford.

Quic. Alas the day! good heart, that was not her Fault: fhe does fo take on with her men; they mistook their erection.

Fal. So did I mine, to build on a foolish woman's promise.

Quic. .

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Quic. Well, the laments, Sir, for it, that it would yern

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; The'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.

Quic. I will tell her.
Fal. Do so. Between nine and ten, fay'st thou?
Quic. Eight and nine, Sir.
Fal. Well, be gone ; I will not miss her.
Quic. 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 mony well. Oh, here he comes.

S CE N E XVII.

Enter Ford. Ford. Bless you, Sir.

Fel. Now, master Brook, you come to know what hath pass'd between me and Ford's wife.

Ford. That, indeed, Sir John, is my businefs.

Fal. Master Brook, I will not lie to you; I was at her house the hour she appointed me.

Ford. And you sped, Sir ?
Fal. Very ill-favour'dly, master Brook.
Ford. How, Sir, did she change her determination ?

Fal. No, master Brook; but the peaking cornuto her husband, master Brook, dwelling in a continul larum of jealousie, comes me in the instant of our encounter ; after we had embrac'd, kiss’d, protested, and, as it were, spoke the prologue of our comedy; and at his heels a rabble of his companions, thither provok’d and instigated by his distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for his wife's love.

Ford.

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

Ford. And did he search for you, and could not find you?

Fál. You shall hear. As good luck would have it, comes in one mistress Page, gives intelligence of Ford's approach, and 8 by her invention, and Ford's wife's direction, they convey'd me into a buck-basket.

Ford. A buck-basket ?

Fal. Yea, a buck-basket; ramm'd me in with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, and greasie napkins; that, mafter Brook, there was the rankest compound of villainous smell, that ever offended noftril.

Ford. And how long lay you there?

Fal. Nay, you shall hear, master Brook, what I have suffer'd to bring this woman to evil for your good. Being thus cramm'd in the basket, a couple of Ford's knaves, his hinds, were call'd forth by their mistress, to carry me in the name of foul cloaths to Datchet-lane ; they took me on their shoulders, met the jealous knave their master in the door, who ask'd them once or twice what they had in their basket ; I quak'd for fear, left the lunatick knave would have search'd 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 cloaths; but mark the sequel, master Brook ; I suffer'd the pangs of three egregious deaths: first, an intolerable fright, to be detected by a jealous rotten bell-weather , next to be compass’d like a good bilbo, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to point, heel to head ; and then to be stopt in, like a strong distillation, with stinking cloaths that freted in their own grease : think of that, a man of my kidney ; think of

8 by, her invention, and Pord's wife's DISTRACTION] We must read DIRECTION. For tho' the speaker 'might think Ford's wife much frighted at the approach of her husband, yet he is here speaking of the part which the bore in an artful contrivance to deceive him.

that,

that, that am as subject to heat as butter ; a man of continual diffolution and thaw ; it was a miracle to 'scape fuffocation. And in the height of this bath, when I was more than half stew'd in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be thrown into the Thames, and cool'd glowing hot, in that furge, like a horse-lhoe; think of that ; hissing hot; think of that, master Brook.

Ford. In good sadness, Sir, I am sorry that for my fake you

suffer'd all this. My fuit is then desperate ; you'll undertake her no more?

Fal. Master Brook, I will be thrown into Etna, as I have been into Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her husband is this morning gone a birding; I have receiv'd from her another embassie 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 conclufion shall be crown'd with your enjoying her; adieu, you shall have her, master Brook , master Brook, you fhall cuckold Ford.

[Exit. Ford. Hum! ha! is this a vision is this a dream? do I sleep? master Fard, awake ; awake, master Ford; there's a hole made in your best coat, master Ford ; thiş 'tis to be married! this 'tis to have linnen and buckbaskets ! well, I will proclaim my self what I am ; I will now take the leacher ; he is at my house; he cannot ’scape me ; 'tis impossible, he should ; he cannot creep into a half-penny purse, nor into a pepper-box. But, left the devil that guides him should aid him, I will search impossible places ; tho’ 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.

[Exit.

А ст:

ACT IV.

SCENE I.

Page's House.
Enter Mrs. Page, Mrs. Quickly, and William.

Mrs. PAGE.

She at Mr. Ford's already, think'st thou ?

Quic. Sure, he is by this, or will be presently;

but truly he is very courageous mad, about his throwing into the water ; Mrs. 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 fee. How now, Sir Hugh, no school to day?

Enter Evans. Eva. No; master Slender is let the boys leave to play.

Quic. Blessing of his heart !

Mrs. Page. Sir Hugh, my husband fays, 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,

Mrs. Page. Come on, Sirrah, hold up your head, answer your master, be not afraid.

Eva. William, how many numbers is in nouns ? Wil. Two.

Quic. Truly, I thought there had been one number more, because they fay, od's nouns.

Eva. Peace your tatlings. What is Fair, William ? Wil. Pulcher.

Quic. Poulcats? there are fairer things than poulcats, fure.

come.

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