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Burd. 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 into 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 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 chalicest: Go brew me a pottle of sack finely.

Bar. With eggs, sir? Fal. Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage. Exit BARDOLPH.]-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 hus. band 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. + Cups.

• Pity.

Enter FORD.

Ford. Bless you, sir!

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; 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. 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 foul shirts and smocks, socks, foal 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 naine of foul clothes to Datchet lane: they took me on their shoulders; met the jealous knave their master in the door; who asked them ouce or twice what they had in their basket: I quaked for fear, lest the lu nauc 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 the of pangs three several deaths: first, an intolerable fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten bell-wether: next, to be compassed like a good bilbot, 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,

Bilboa, where the best blades are made.

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 into Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her husband is this morning gone a-birding: I have received from her an other embassy of meeting; 'twixt eight and nine is the hour, master Brook.

Ford. 'Tis past eight already, sir. Ful. Is it? I will then address † me to my appointment. Come to me at your convenient 2 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? 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 half-penny 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. [Exit.

SCENE I. The Street.


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. Mis tress 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 see.


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 bead; answer your master, be not afraid.

Eva. William, how many numbers is in nouns?

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Will. Lapis.

William, that does lend articles!
Eva. That is good, William. What is he,

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, hing, hang, hog,

Quick. Hang hog is Latin for hacon, I war. rant 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.

Ena. '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'll do fast enough of themselves; and to call horum:-fie upon you!

Eva. 'Oman, art thon Înnatics? hast thou no understandings for thy cases, and the num

+ Make myself ready.

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+ Outrageous.

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A Room in Ford's House. 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 accoutrement, 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.

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Mrs. Ford. No, certainly;-speak louder. [Aside. Mrs. Page. Truly, I am so glad you have nobody here.

Mrs. Ford. Why?

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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?

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Mrs. Page. Alas the day, I know not, There is no woman's gown big enough for him; otherwise, he might put on a hat, a muffler, and a kerchief, and so escape.

Fal. Good hearts, devise something: any extremity rather than a mischief.

Mrs. Ford. My maid's aunt, the fat woman of Brentford, has a gown above.

Mrs. Ford. Go, go, sweet sir John: mistress Page and I will look some linen for your head. Mrs. Page. Quick, quick; we'll come dress you straight: put on the gown the while.

Mrs.Page. On my word, it will serve him; Mrs. Page. Why, woman, your husband is she's as big as he is: and there's her thrum'd in his old lunes S again: he so takes on yon-hat, and her muffler too: Run up, sir John. der 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! that any madness I ever yet beheld, seemed but tameness, civility, and patience, to this his 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?!

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Mrs. Ford. I would my husband would meet him in this shape: he cannot abide the old woman of Brentford; he swears she's a witch; forbade her my house, and hath threat-: ened to beat her.

Mrs. Page. Heaven guide him to thy husband's cudgel; and the devil guide his cudgel afterwards!

Mrs. Ford. But is my husband coming? Mrs. Page. Ay, in good sadness **, is he; and talks of the basket too, howsoever be hath had intelligence.

Mrs. Ford. We'll try that; for I'll appoint

Breeched, i. e., flogged. + Apt to learn.
As children call on a snail to push forth his horns.
** Seriousness.

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my men to carry the basket again, to meet him at the door with it, as they did last time. Mrs. Page. Nay, but he'll be here presently: let's go dress him like the witch of Brentford.

Mrs. Ford. I'll first direct my men, what
they shall do with the basket. Go up, I'll
bring linen for him straight.
Mrs. Page. Hang him, dishonest varlet!
we cannot misuse him enough.
We'll leave a proof, by that which we will

Wives may be merry, and yet honest too:
We do not act, that often jest and laugh;
Tis old but true, Still swine eat all the


Re-enter Mrs. FORD, with two Servants. Mrs. Ford. Go, sirs, take the basket again on your shoulders; your master is hard at door; if he bid you set it down, obey him: quickly, despatch. [Exit.

1 Serv. Come, come, take it up.

2 Serv. Pray heaven, it be not full of the knight again.

was one conveyed out of my house yesterday in this basket: Why may not he be there' again? In my house I am sure he is: my intelligence is true; my jealousy is reasonable : Pluck me out all the linen.

Mrs. Ford. If you find a man there, he shall die a flea's death.

Page. Here's no man.

Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, master Ford; this wrongs you.

Eva. Master Ford, you must pray, and not follow the imaginations of your own heart: this is jealousies.

Ford. Well, he's not here I seek for. Page. No, nor no where else, but in your brain.

Ford. Help to search my house this one time: if I find not what I seek, show no colour for my extremity, let me for ever be your table-sport; let them say of me, As jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow walnut for his wife's leman. Satisfy me once more; once more search with me.

Mrs. Ford. What hoa, mistress Page come you and the old woman down; my husband will come into the chamber. Ford. Old woman!

1 Serv. I hope not; I had as lief bear so much lead. Enter FORD, PAGE, SHALLOW, CAIUS, and that? Sir HUGH EVANS.

Ford. Ay, but if it prove true, master Page, have you any way then to unfool me again?Set down the basket, villain:-Somebody call my wife:-You, youth in a basket, come out here!-O, you panderly rascals! there's a knot, a ging, a pack, a conspiracy against me: Now shall the devil be shamed. What! wife, I say come, come forth; behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching. Page. Why, this passest! Master Ford, you are not to go loose any longer; you must be pinioned.

Eva. Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad dog!

Shal. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well; indeed.

Enter Mrs. FORD.

Ford. So say I too, sir. Come hither, mistress Ford; mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool to her husband!-I suspect without cause, mistress, do I?

Mrs. Ford. Heaven be my witness, you do,
if you suspect me in any dishonesty.
Ford. Well said, brazen face; hold it out.-
Come forth, sirrah.

[Pulls the clothes out of the basket. Page. This passes!

Mrs. Ford. Are you not ashamed? let the clothes alone.

Ford. I shall find you anon.

What old woman's

Mrs. Ford. Why, it is my maid's aunt of Brentford.

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Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not forbid her my house? She comes of errands, does she? We are simple men; we do not know what's brought to pass under the profession of fortune-telling. She works by charms, by spells, by the figure, and such daubery as this is; beyond our element: we know nothing.--Come down, you witch, you hag you; come down,

I say.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, good, sweet husband ;good gentlemen, let him not strike the old


Enter FALSTAFF in women's clothes, led by Mrs. PAGE.


Mrs. Page. Come, mother Pratt, come, give me your hand.

Ford. I'll prat her:-Out of my door, you witch! [beats him.] You rag, you baggage, you polecat, you ronyong! out! out! I'll con jure you, I'll fortune-tell you.

[Exit FALSTAFF. Mrs. Puge. Are you not ashamed? I think, you have killed the poor woman.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, he will do it:-'Tis à goodly credit for you.

Ford. Hang her, witch!

Eva. By yea and no, I think, the 'oman is a witch indeed: I like not when a 'oman has a great peard; I spy a great peard under her

Eva. "Tis unreasonable! Will you take up muffler."
your wife's clothes? Come away.
Ford. Empty the basket, I say.
Mrs. Ford. Why man, why,-

Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there

Gang. † Surpasses, to go beyond bounds.

Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen? I be seech you, follow; see but the issue of my jealousy; if I cry out thus upon no trail, never trust me when I open ¶ again. T

Lover. Scab. Scent.

¶ Cry ont.

Page. Let's obey his humour a little further: Than thee with wantonness: now doth thy Come, gentlemen.

[Exeunt PAGE, FORD, SHAL. and EVANS. Mrs. Page. Trust me, he beat him most pitifully.

honour stand,

In him that was of late an heretic,
As firm as faith.

'Tis well, 'tis well; no more.
Be not as éxtreme in submission,
As in offence;

Mrs. Ford. Nay, by the mass, that he did not; he beat him most unpitifully, methought. Mrs. Page. I'll have the cudgel hallowed, But let our plot go forward: let our wives and hang o'er the altar; it hath done merito-Yet once again, to make us public sport, rious service. Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow, Where we may take him, and disgrace him

Mrs. Ford. What think you? May we, with the warrant of womanhood, and the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any further revenge?

Mrs. Page. The spirit of wantonness is, sure, scared out of him; if the devil have him not in fee-simple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I think, in the way of waste, attempt us again,

Mrs. Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how we have served him?

Mrs. Page. Yes, by all means; if it be but to scrape the figures out of your husband's brains. If they can find in their hearts, the poor unvirtuous fat knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will still be the ministers.

Mrs. Ford. I'll warrant, they'll have him publicly shamed: and, methinks, there would be no period to the jest, should he not be pub. licly shamed.

Mrs. Page. Come, to the forge with it then, shape it: I would not have things cool. [Exeunt. SCENE III. A Room in the Garter Inn.

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Enter Host and BARDOLPH.

Bard. Sir, the Germans desire to have three of your horses: the duke himself will be to-morrow at court, and they are going to meet him.

Host. What duke should that be, comes so secretly? I hear not of him in the court: Let me speak with the gentlemen; they speak English?

Bard. Ay, sir; I'll call them to you.

Host. They shall have my horses; but I'lf make them pay, I'll sauce them: they have had my houses a week at command; I have turned away my other guests: they must come off; I'll sauce them: Come. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. A Room in Ford's House.

Enter PAGE, FORD, Mrs. PAGE, Mrs. FORD,


Eva. 'Tis one of the pest discretions of a 'oman as ever I did look upon. **Page. And did he send you both these let ters at an instant?

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Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour. Ford. Pardon me, wife: Henceforth do what thou wilt;

I rather will suspect the sun with cold,

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Page. So think I too.

Mrs. Ford. Devise but how you'll use him when he comes,

And let us two devise to bring him thither. Mrs. Page. There is an old tale goes, that


Herne the hunter, Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest, Doth all the winter time, at still midnight, Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns; [cattle; And there he blasts the tree, and takes the And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain

In a most hideous and dreadful manner:
You have heard of such a spirit; and well you
The superstitious idle-headed eldt [know,
Received, and did deliver to our age,
This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.
Page. Why, yet there want not many, that

do fear

In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak: But what of this?

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Mrs. Ford, Marry, this is our device; That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us, Disguised like Herne, with huge horns on his [come, Page. Well, let it not be doubted but he'll And in this shape: When you have brought him thither, [plot! What shall be done with him? what is your Mrs. Page. That likewise have we thought

Nan Page my daughter, and my little son,
upon, and thus:
And three or four more of their growth, we'll

Like urchins, ouphes‡, and fairies, green and
With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads,
And rattles in their hands'; upon a sudden,
As Falstaff, she, and I, are newly met,
Let them from forth a saw-pit rush at once
With some diffused § song; upon their sight,
We two in great ainazedness will fly:

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