Obrázky stránek

page: and, truly, master Page is an honest | be brief with you and you have been a man man. Never a wife in Windsor leads a better long known to me, though I had never so good life than she does; do what she will, say what means, as desire, to make myself acquainted she will, take all, pay all, go to bed when she with you. I shall discover a thing to you, list, rise when she list, all is as she will; and, wherein I must very much lay open mine own truly, she deserves it: for if there be a kind imperfection: but, good Sir John, as you have woman in Windsor, she is one. You must one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unsend her your page; no remedy. folded, turn another into the register of your Fal. Why, I will. own; that I may pass with a reproof the easier, sith* you yourself know, how easy it is to be such an offender.

Quick. Nay, but do so then: and, look you, he may come and go between you both; and, in any case, have a nay-word,* that you may know one another's mind, and the boy never need to understand any thing; for 'tis not good that children should know any wickedness: old folks, you know, have discretion, as they say, and know the world.

Fal. Very well, Sir; proceed.

Ford. There is a gentlewoman in this town, her husband's name is Ford. Fal. Well, Sir.

Ford. I have long loved her, and, I protest to you, bestowed much on her; followed her with a doting observance; engrossed opportu

Fal. Fare thee well: commend me to them both: there's my purse; I am yet thy debtor.nities to meet her; fee'd every slight occasion, Boy, go along with this woman.-This news that could but niggardly give me sight of her; distracts me! [Exeunt QUICKLY and ROBIN. not only bought many presents to give her, but have given largely to many, to know what she would have given: briefly, I have pursued her, as love hath pursued me; which hath been, on the wing of all occasions. But whatsoever I have merited, either in my mind, or in my means, meed,t I am sure, I have received none; unless experience be a jewel: that I have purchased at an infinite rate; and that hath taught me to say this:

Pist. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers :Clap on more sails; pursue, up with your fights; Give fire; she is my prize, or ocean whelm them [Exit PISTOL. Fal. Say'st thou so, old Jack? go thy ways; I'll make more of thy old body than I have done. Will they yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expense of so much money, be now a gainer? Good body, I thank thee: Let them say, 'tis grossly done; so it be fairly done, no matter.


Love like a shadow flies, when substance love pur


Bard. Sir John, there's one master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a morning's draught of sack.

Fal. Brook, is his name?
Bard. Ay, Sir.

Fal. Call him in; [Exit BARDOLPH.] Such
Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow such
liquor. Ah! ha! mistress Ford and mistress
Page, have I encompassed you? go to; via!t
Re-enter BARDOLPH, with FORD disguised.
Ford. Bless you, Sir.

Fal. And you, Sir: Would you speak with me?

Ford. I make bold, to press with so little preparation upon you.

Fal. You're welcome; What's your will? Give us leave, drawer. [Exit BARDOLPH. Ford. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much; my name is Brook.

Fal. Good master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.

Ford. Good Sir John, I sue for yours: not to charge you; for I must let you understand, I think myself in better plight for a lender than you are: the which hath something embolden'd me to this unseasoned intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all ways do lie open.

Fal. Money is a good soldier, Sir, and will on. Ford. Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me: if you will help me to bear it, Sir John, take all, or half, for easing me of the carriage.

Fal. Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.

Ford. I will tell you, Sir, if you will give me the hearing.

Fal. Speak, good master Brook; I shall be glad to be your servant. Ford. Sir, I hear you are a scholar, I will

A watch-word. † A cant phrase of exultation.


Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.
faction at her hands?
Fal. Have you received no promise of satis-

Ford. Never.

Fal. Have you importuned her to such a purpose?

Ford. Never.

Fal. Of what quality was your love, then? Ford. Like a fair house, built upon another man's ground; so that I have lost my edifice, by mistaking the place where I erected it.

Fal. To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?

Ford. When I have told you that, I have told you all. Some say, that, though she appear honest to me, yet, in other places, she enlargeth her mirth so far, that there is shrewd construction made of her. Now, Sir John, here is the heart of my purpose: You are a gentleman of excellent breeding, admirain your place and person, generally allowed ble discourse, of great admittance, authentic for your many warlike, court-like, and learned preparations.

Fal. O, Sir!

Ford. Believe it, for you know it :--There is money; spend it, spend it; spend more; spend all I have; only give me so much of your time the honesty of this Ford's wife: use your art in exchange of it, as to lay an amiable siege to of wooing, win her to consent to you; if any man may, you may as soon as any.

Fal. Would it apply well to the vehemency of your affection, that I should win what you would enjoy? Methinks, you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.

Ford. O, understand my drift! she dwells so the folly of my soul dares not present itself; securely on the excellency of her honour, that she is too bright to be looked against. Now, could I come to her with any detection in my hand, my desires had instance and argument to

* Since.

↑ In the greatest companies.


commend themselves; I could drive her then from the ward* of her purity, her reputation, her marriage-vow, and a thousand other her defences, which now are too strongly embattled against me: What say you to't, Sir John?

Fal. Master Brook, I will first make bold with your money; next, give me your hand; and last, as I am a gentleman, you shall, if you will, enjoy Ford's wife.

Ford. O good Sir!

Fal. Master Brook, I say you shall.
Ford. Want no money, Sir John, you shall

want none.

Fal. Want no mistress Ford, master Brook, I shall be with her (I you shall want none. may tell you,) by her own appointment; even as you came in to me, her assistant, or go-between, parted from me: I say, I shall be with her between ten and eleven; for at that time the jealous rascally knave, her husband, will be forth. Come you to me at night; you shall know how I speed.

Ford. I am blest in your acquaintance. Do you know Ford, Sir?

Fal. Hang him, poor euckoldly knave! I know him not-yet I wrong him, to call him poor; they say, the jealous wittolly knave hath masses of money; for the which his wife seems to me well-favoured. I will use her as the key of the cuckoldly rogue's coffer; and there's my harvest-home.

SCENE III-Windsor Park.
Enter CAIUS and RUGBY.
Caius. Jack Rugby!
Rug. Sir.

Caius. Vat is de clock, Jack?

Rug. 'Tis past the hour, Sir, that Sir Hugh promised to meet.

Caius. By gar, he has save his soul, dat he is no come; he has pray his Pible vell, dat he is no come by gar, Jack Rugby, he is dead already, if he be come.

Rug. He is wise, Sir; he knew, your worship would kill him, if he came.

Caius. By gar, de herring is no dead, so as
vill kill him. Take your rapier, Jack; I vilf
tell you how I vill kill him.

Rug. Alas, Sir I cannot fence.
Caius. Villany, take your rapier.
Rug. Forbear; here's company.

Host. 'Bless thee, bully doctor.
Shal. 'Save you, master doctor Caius.
Page. Now, good master doctor!
Slen. Give you good-morrow, Sir.
Caius. Vat be all you, one, two, tree, four,

come for?

Ford. I would you knew Ford, Sir; that you might avoid him, if you saw him.

Fal. Hang him,mechanical salt-butter rogue! I will stare him out of his wits; I will awe him with my cudgel: it shall hang like a meteor o'er the cuckold's horns: master Brook, thou shalt know, I will predominate o'er the peasant, and thou shalt lie with his wife.-Come to me soon at night :-Ford's a knave, and I will aggravate his stile ; thou, master Brook, shalt know him for a knave and cuckold:-come to [Exit. me soon at night.

Ford. What a damn'd Epicurean rascal is this! My heart is ready to crack with impatience.-Who says, this is improvident jealousy? My wife hath sent to him, the hour is fixed, the match is made. Would any man have thought this?-See the hell of having a false woman! my bed shall be abused, my coffers ransacked, my reputation gnawn at; and I shall not only receive this villanous wrong, but stand under the adoption of abomi-justices, and doctors, and churchmen, master nable terms, and by him that does me this Page, we have some salt of our youth in us; wrong. Terms! names!Amaimon sounds we are the sons of women, master Page. well; Lucifer, well; Barbason, well; yet they are devils' additions, the names of fiends: but cuckold! wittolf-cuckold! the devil himself hath not such a name. Page is an ass, a secure ass; he will trust his wife, he will not be jealous: I will rather trust a Fleming with my butter, parson Hugh the Welshman with my cheese, an Irishman with my aqua-vitæ bottle, or a thief to walk my ambling gelding, than my wife with herself: then she plots, then she ruminates, then she devises: and what they think in their hearts they may effect, they will break their hearts but they will effect. Heaven be praised for my jealousy!-Eleven o'clock the hour;-I will prevent this, detect my wife, be revenged on Falstaff, and laugh at Page. will about it; better three hours too soon, than a minute too late. Fie, fie, fie! cuckold! cuck[Exit. old! cuckold!

Host. To see thee fight, to see thee foin,* to see thee traverse, to see thee here, to see thee there; to see thee pass thy punto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy distance, thy montánt.t Is he dead, my Ethiopian? is he dead, my Francisco? ha, bully! What says my Esculapius? my Galen? my heart of elder? ha! is he dead, bully Stale? is he dead?

Caius. By gar, he is de coward Jack priest of the vorld; he is not show his face.

Host. Thou art a Castiliant king, Urinal! Hector of Greece, my boy!

Caius. I pray you, bear vitness that me have stay six or seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come.

Shal. He is the wiser man, master doctor: he is a curer of souls, and you a curer of bodies; if you should fight, you go against the hair of your professions: is it not true, master Page?

Page. Master Shallow, you have yourself been a great fighter, though now a man of


Contented Cuckold.

+ Add to his titles.


Shal. Bodykins, master Page, though I now be old, and of the peace, if I see a sword out, my finger itches to make one: though we are

Page. "Tis true, master Shallow.

Shal. It will be found so, master Page. Master doctor Caius, I am come to fetch you home. I am sworn of the peace; you have showed yourself a wise physician, and Sir Hugh hath shown himself a wise and patient churchman: you must go with me, master doctor.

Host. Pardon, guest justice:-A word, monsieur Muck-water.j

Caius. Muck-vater; vat is dat?

Host. Muck-water, in our English tongue is valour, bully.

Caius. By gar, then I have as much muckvater as de Englishman:-Scurvy jack-dogpriest! by gar, me vill cut his ears.

Host. He will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully.

* Fence.

Cant term for Spaniard.

Terms in fencing.
Drain of a dunghill.

[ocr errors]

Caius. Clapper-de-claw! vat is dat? Heaven prosper the right !-- What weapons is Host. That is, he will make thee amends. he?

Caius. By gar, me do look, he shall clapper- Sim. No weapons, Sir: There comes my de-claw me; for, by gar, me vill have it. master, master Shallow, and another gentle.

Host. And I will provoke him to't, or let him man from Frogmore, over the stile, this way. wag.

Eva. Pray you, give me my gown; or else Caius. Me tank you for dat.

keep it in your arms. Host. And moreover, bully,—But first, mas

Enter Page, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. ter guest, and master Page, and eke cavalero Slender, go you through the town to Frogmore.

Shal. How now, master parson? Good mor

[Aside to them. row, good Sir Hugh. Keep a gamester from Page. Sir Hugh is there, is he?

the dice, and a good student from his book, and Host. He is there : see what humour he is it is wonderful. in; and I will bring the doctor about by the

Slen. Ah, sweet Anne Page ! fields; will it do well?

Page. Save you, good Sir Hugh! Shal. We will do it.

Eva. 'Pless you from his mercy sake, all of Page, Shal. and Slen. Adieu, good master you! doctor.

Shal. What! the sword and the word! do (Exeunt PAGE, SHALLow, and SLENDER. you study them both, master parson?

Caius. By gar, me vill kill de priest ; for he Page. And youthful still, in your doublet speak for a jack-an-ape to Anne Page.

and hose, this raw rheumatick day? Host. Let him die : but, first, sheath thy im

Eva. There is reasons and causes for it. patience; throw cold water on thy choler : go Page. We are come to you, to do a good about the fields with me through Frogmore; 1 office, master parson. will bring thee where Mrs. Anne Page is, at a Eva. Fery well : What is it? farm-house a feasting ; and thou shall woo her: Page. Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, Cry'd game, said I well?

who belike, having received wrong by some Caius. By gar, me tank you for dat: by gar, person, is at most odds with his own gravity I love you ; and I shall procure-a you de good and patience, that ever you saw. guest, de earl, de knight, de lords, de gentle

Shal. I have lived fourscore years and upmen, my patients.

ward; I never heard a man of his place, graviHost. For the which, I will be thy adversary |ty, and learning, so wide of his own respect. towards Anne Page ; said I well ?

Eva. What is he? Caius. By gar, 'tis good ; vell said.

Page. I think you know him; master doctor Host. Let us wag then.

Caius, the renowned French physician. Caius. Come at my heels, Jack Rugby.

Eva. Got's will, and his passion of my heart ! (Ereunt. I had as lief you would tell me of a mess of

porridge. ACT III.

Page. Why? SCENE I.-A Field near Frogmore. Eva. He has no more knowledge in HiboEnter Sir Hugh Evans and SIMPLE.

crates and Galen, and he is a knave besides ; Eva. I pray you now, good master Slander's a cowardly knave, as you wculd desires to be

acquainted withal. serving-man, and friend Simple by your name, which way have you looked for master Caius, fight with him.

Page. I warrant you, he's the man should that calls himself Doctor of Physic.?

Slen. O, sweet Anne Page ! Sim. Marry, Sir, the city-ward, the parkward, every way; old Windsor way, and every them asunder ;-here comes doctor Caius.

Shal. It appears so, by his weapons :-Keep way, but the town way,

Éva. I most fehemently desire you, you will Enter Host, Caius, and Rugby. also look that way.

Page. Nay, good master parson, keep in Sim. I will, Sir.

your weapon. Eva. 'Pless my soul ! how full of cholers I

Shal. So do you, good master doctor. am, and trempling of mind I shall be glad, Host. Disarm them, and let them question ; if he have deceived me :-how melancholies 1 let them keep their limbs whole, and hack our am I will knog his urinals about his knave's English. costard,* when I have good opportunities for

Caius. I pray you, let-a me speak a word vit. the 'ork :-pless my soul !

[Sings. your ear : Verefore vill you not meet-a me? To shallow rivers, to whose falls

Eva. Pray you, use your patience : In good Melodious birds sing madrigals ;

time. There will we make our peds of roses, Caius. By gar, you are de coward, de Jack And a thousand fragrant posies.

dog, John ape. To shallow

Eva. Pray you, let us not be laughing-stogs Mercy on me! I have a great dispositions to ship, and I will one way or other make you

to other men's humours ; I desire you in friendcry.

amends: I will knock your urinals about your Melodious birds sing madrigals ;

knave's cogscomb, for missing your meetings When as I sat in Pabylon, t

and appointments. And a thousand fragrant posies.

Caius Diable! Jack Rugby,--mine Host de To shallow

Jarterre, have I not stay for him, to kill him? Sim. Yonder he is coming, this way, Sir have I not, at de place I did appoint ? Hugh.

Eva. As I am a Christians soul, now, look Era. He's welcome :

you, this is the place appointed ; I'll be judg. To shallow rivers, to whose falls

ment by mine Host of the Garter.

Host. Peace, I say,Guallia and Gaul, Frenci * Heach Babylon, the first line of the 139th Psalm. and Welsh ; soul-curer and body-curer.

Caius. Ay,dat is very good! excellent! A man may hear this shower sing in the wind! Host. Peace, I say; hear mine host of the-and Falstaff's boy with her!-Good plots!Garter. Am I politic? am I subtle? am I a they are laid; and our revolted wives share Machiavel? Shall I lose my doctor? no; he damnation together. Well; I will take him, gives me the potions, and the motions. Shall then torture my wife, pluck the borrowed veil I lose my parson? my priest? my Sir Hugh? of modesty from the so seeming* mistress Page, no; he gives me the proverbs and the no- divulge Page himself for a secure and wilful verbs.-Give me thy hand, terrestrial; so:- Acteon; and to these violent proceedings all Give me thy hand, celestial; so.-Boys of my neighbours shall cry aim.+ [Clock strikes.] art, I have deceived you both; I have directed The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance you to wrong places: your hearts are mighty, bids me search; there I shall find Falstaff: I your skins are whole, and let burnt sack be shall be rather praised for this, than mocked; the issue.-Come, lay their swords to pawn:- for it is as positive as the earth is firm, that Follow me, lad of peace; follow, follow, follow. Falstaff is there: I will go. Shal. Trust me, a mad host:-Follow, gentlemen, follow.

Shal. Page, &c. Well met, master Ford.
cheer at home; and, I pray you, all go with
Ford. Trust me, a good knot: I have good


Slen. O, sweet Anne Page!

[Exeunt SHAL. SLEN. PAGE and HOST. Caius. Ha! do I perceive dat? have you nake a de sot* of us? ha, ha!

Eva. This is well; he has made us his vlouting-stog.t- desire you, that we may be friends; and let us knog our prains together, to be revenge on this same scall, scurvy, cog-break with her for more money than I'll speak ging companion, the host of the Garter.

Shal. I must excuse myself, master Ford. to dine with mistress Anne, and I would not Slen. And so must I, Sir; we have appointed


Caius. By gar, vit all my heart; he promise to bring me vere is Anne Page: by gar, he de

ceive me too.

tween Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and
Shal. We have lingered about a match be-
this day we shall have our answer.
Slen. I hope, I have your good-will, father

Era. Well, I will smite his noddles :-Pray you, follow. [Exeunt. SCENE II.-The Street in Windsor. Enter Mistress PAGE and ROBIN.

Mrs. Page. Nay, keep your way, little galJant; you were wont to be a follower, but now you are a leader: Whether had you rather, lead mine eyes, or eye your master's heels?

Rob. I had rather, forsooth, go before you like a man, than follow him like a dwarf.

Mrs. Page. O you are a flattering boy; now, I see, you'll be a courtier.

Enter FORD.

Mrs. Page. He, he; I can never hit on's name. There is such a league between my good man and he !-Is your wife at home, indeed?

Ford. Well met, mistress Page: Whither go you? Mrs. Page. Truly, Sir, to see your wife: Is she at home?

Page. Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman is of no having: he kept company with the 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. Ay; and as idle as she may hang together, for want of company: I think, if your husbands were dead, you two would marry.

Ford. I beseech you, heartily, some of you

Ford. Where had you this pretty

Mrs. Page. Be sure of that,-two other hus-go home with me to dinner: besides your cheer, you shall have sport; I will show you a monweather-ster.-Master doctor, you shall go;-30 shall you, master Page ;—and you, Sir Hugh.

Mrs. Page. I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my husband had him of: What do you call your knight's name, sirrah?

Shal. Well, fare you well:-we shall have the freer wooing at master Page's.

Rob. Sir John Falstaff.
Ford. Sir John Falstaff!

Ford. Indeed, she is.

Mrs. Page. By your leave, Sir;-I am sick, till I see her. [Exeunt Mrs. PAGE and ROBIN. Ford. Has Page any brains? hath he any eyes? hath he any thinking? Sure, they sleep; he hath no use of them. Why, this boy will carry a letter twenty miles, as easy as a cannon will shoot point-blank twelve score. He pieces-out his wife's inclination; he gives her folly motion, and advantage: and now she's going to my wife, and Falstaff's boy with her.

*Fibuting stock.

* Fool

Page. You have, master Slender; I stand wholly for you:-but my wife, master doctor, is for you altogether.

Caius. Ay, by gar; and de maid is love-a me; my nursh-a Quickly tell me so mush.

Host. What say you to young master Fenton? he capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he speaks holyday,‡ he smells April and May: he will carry't, he will carry't; 'tis in his buttons; he will carry't.

[Exeunt SHALLOW and SLENDER. 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 pipewine first with him; I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles?

All. Have with you, to see this monster.
SCENE III-A Room in FORD's House.

Enter Mrs. FORD and Mrs. PAGE.
Mrs. Ford. What, John! what, Robert!
Mrs. Page. Quickly, quickly: Is the buck

Mrs. Ford. I warrant :-What, Robin, I say.

* Specious

Shall encourage: Out of the common style, Not rich.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Mrs. Ford. Believe me, there's no such thing

in me.

Fal. What made me love thee? let that persuade thee, there's something extraordinary in thee. Come, I cannot cog, and say, thou art this and that, like a many of these lisping haw

Mrs. Ford. Marry, as I told you before, John, and Robert, be ready here hard by in the brew-thorn buds, that come like women in men's aptime; I cannot: but I love thee; none but parel, and smell like Bucklers-bury* in simple


and thou deservest it.

house; and when I suddenly call you, come forth, and (without 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.

Enter Servants with a basket.

Mrs. Page. Come, come, come.
Mrs. Ford. Here, set it down.
Mrs. Page. Give your men the charge; we

must be brief.

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?+ what news with you?

Rob. My master Sir John come in at your back-door, mistress Ford; and requests your company.

Mrs. Page. You little Jack-a-lent, 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 go hide me. Mrs. Ford. Do so:-Go tell thy master, I am alone. Mistress Page, remember you your [Exit ROBIN. Mrs. Page. I warrant thee; if I do not act it, [Exit Mrs. PAGE. Mrs. Ford. Go to then; we'll use this unwholesome humidity, this gross watry pumpion;-we'll teach him to know turtles from jays.

hiss me.

Enter FALSTAff.

Fal. Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel? Why, now let me die, for I have lived long enough; this is the period of my ambition: Ŏ this blessed hour!

Mrs. Ford. Do not betray me, Sir; I fear, you love mistress Page.

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's coming hither, woman, with all the officers in Windsor, to search for a gentleman, 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. Speak louder.-[Aside]—"Tis not so, I hope.

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. Page. Pray heaven it be not so, that you have such a man here: but 'tis 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;


Fal. Thou might'st as well say, I love to walk by the Countert-gate; which is as hate. ful 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 woman.- [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 are overthrown, you are undone for ever.

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!

Fal. Let the court of France show me such another; I see how thine eye would emulate the diamond: Thou hast the right arched bent of the brow, that becomes the ship-tire, the tirevaliant, 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 traitor to say so: thou would'st make an absolute courtier; and the firm fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy gait, in a semi-circled farthingale. I see what thou wert, if fortune thy foe were not; nature is thy friend: Come, thou

canst not hide it.

Mrs. Fo. d. I your lady, Sir John! alas, I call all your senses to you; defend your reshould be a pitiful lady. putation, or bid farewell to your good life for ever.

• Bleachers of linen
† A young small hawk.
A puppet thrown at in Lent, like shrove cocks.
Venetian fashions.

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.-O, 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.

† Prison. * Formerly chiefly inhabited by druggists. Hide. Tapestry. Bleaching time.

« PředchozíPokračovat »