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Mrs. Ford. He's too big to go in there: rion, mistress Quickly, to him, and excuse his What shall I do?
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, and none but thee; help me away: let me creep in here; I'll never
[He goes into the basket; they cover him with foul linen.
Mrs. Page. Help to cover your master, boy: Call your men, mistress Ford:-You dissembling knight!
Mrs. Ford. What, John, Robert, John! [Exit Robin; Re-enter Servants.] Go take up these clothes here, quickly; Where's the cowlstaff?* look, how you drumble :† carry them to the laundress in Datchet mead; quickly,
Enter FORD, PAGE, CAIUS, and Sir HUGH EVANS.
Ford. Pray you, come near: if I suspect without cause, why then make sport at then let me be your jest; I deserve it.-How now? whither bear you this?
Serv. To the laundress, forsooth. Mrs. Ford. Why, what have you to do whither they bear it? You were best meddle with buck-washing.
Ford. Buck? I would I could wash myself of the buck! Buck, buck, buck? Ay, buck; I warrant you, buck; and of the season too, it shall appear. [Exeunt Servants with the basket.] Gentlemen, I have dreamed to-night; I'll tell you my dream. Here, here, here be my keys: ascend my chamber, search, seek find out: I'll warrant, we'll unkennel the fox:-Let me stop this way first:-So, now uncape.‡
Page. Good master Ford, be contented: you wrong yourself too much.
Ford. True, master Page.-Up, gentlemen; you shall see sport anon: follow me, gentle[Exit. Eva. This is fery fantastical humours, and jealousies.
Caius. By gar, 'tis no de fashion of France: it is not jealous in France.
Page. Nay, follow him, gentlemen; see the issue of his search.
[Exeunt EVANS, PAGE, and CAIUS. Mrs. Page. Is there not a double excellency in this?
Mrs. Ford. I know not which pleases me better, that my husband is deceived, or Sir John.
Mrs. Page. What a taking was he in, when your husband asked who was in the basket! Mrs. Ford. I am half afraid he will have need of washing; so throwing him into the water will do him a benefit.
Mrs. Page. Hang him, dishonest rascal; I would, all of the same strain were in the same distress.
Mrs. Ford. I think, my husband hath some special suspicion of Falstaff's being here; for I never saw him so gross in his jealousy till now. Mrs. Page. I will lay a plot to try that: And we will yet have more tricks with Falstaff: his dissolute disease will scarce obey this medicine.
Mrs. Ford. Shall we send that foolish car*A staff for carrying a large tub or basket. Unbag the fox.
throwing into the water; and give him another hope, to betray him to another punishment?
to-morrow eight o'clock, to have amends. Mrs. Page. We'll do it; let him be sent for
Re-enter FORD, PAGE, CAIUS, and Sir HUGH
Mrs. Page. You do yourself mighty wrong, master Ford.
Ford. Ay, ay; I must bear it.
Eva. If there be any pody in the house, and in the chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses, heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgment !
Caius. By gar, nor I too; dere is no bodies. Page. Fie, fie, master Ford! are you not ashamed? What spirit, what devil suggests this imagination? I would not have your distemper in this kind, for the wealth of Windsor Castle.
Ford. 'Tis my fault, master Page: I suffer for it.
Eva. You suffer for a pad conscience: your wife is as honest a 'omans, as I will desires among five thousand, an five hundred too.
Caius. By gar, I see 'tis an honest woman. Ford. Well;-I promised you a dinner :Come, come, walk in the park: I pray you, pardon me; I will hereafter make known to you, why I have done this.—Come, wife ;— come, mistress Page; I pray you pardon me; pray heartily, pardon me.
Page. Let's go in, gentlemen; but, trust me, we'll mock him. I do invite you to-morrow morning to my house to breakfast; after, we'll a birding together; I have a fine hawk for the bush: Shall it be so ?
Ford. Any thing.
Eva. If there is one, I shall make two in the company.
Caius. If there be one or two, I shall makea de turd.
Eva. In your teeth: for shame. Ford. Pray you go, master Page. Eva. I pray you now, remembrance to-morrow on the lousy knave mine host.
Caius. Dat is good; by gar, vit all my heart. Eva. A lousy knave; to have his gibes, and his mockeries. [Exeunt.
SCENE IV-A Room in PAGE's House. Enter FENTON, and Mistress ANNE PAGE.
Fent. I see, I cannot get thy father's love: Therefore, no more turn me to him, sweet Nan. Anne. Alas! how then?
Fent. Why, thou must be thyself.
I seek to heal it only by his wealth:
Anne. May be, he tells you true.
Fent. No, heaven so speed me in my time to
Albeit, I will confess, thy father's wealth
Anne. Gentle master Fenton,
Slen. I'll make a shaft or a bolt on't :* slid, 'tis but venturing.
Shal. Be not dismay'd.
Slen. No, she shall not dismay me: I care not for that, but that I am afeard.
Quick. Hark ye; master Slender would speak a word with you.
Anne. I come to him.-This is my father's
O, what a world of vile ill-favour'd faults
Shal. She's coming; to her, coz. thou hadst a father!
O boy, Slen. I had a father, mistress Anne;-my uncle can tell you good jests of him:-Pray you, uncle, tell mistress Anne the jest, how my father stole two geese out of a pen, good uncle.
Shal. Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.
woman in Gloucestershire.
Shal. He will maintain you like a gentle
Slen. Ay, that I will, come cut and longtail,t under the degree of a 'squire.
Shal. He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.
Anne. Good master Shallow, let him woo for himself.
Shal. Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good comfort. She calls you, coz: I'll
Anne. Now, master Slender.
Slen. My will? od's heartlings, that's a pretty jest, indeed! I ne'er made my will yet, I thank heaven: I am not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.
Anne. I mean, master Slender, what would you with me?
Slen. Truly, for mine own part, I would little or nothing with you: Your father, and my uncle, have made motions: if it be my luck, so: if not, happy man be his dole !‡ They can tell you how things, go, better than I can: You may ask your father; here he comes.
Enter PAGE and Mistress PAGE. Page. Now, master Slender :-Love him, daughter Anne.
Why, how now! what does master Fenton
"A proverb-a shaft was a long arrow, and a bolt, a thick short one. † Come, poor or rich. Lot.
I told you, Sir, my daughter is dispos'd of.
Page. She is no match for you.
Perforce, against all checks, rebukes, and
I must advance the colours of my love,
Mrs. Page. I mean it not; I seek you a better
Quick. That's my master, master doctor.
Mrs. Page. Come, trouble not yourself: Good
I will not be your friend, nor enemy:
[Exeunt Mistress PAGE and ANNE. Fent. Farewell, gentle mistress; farewell, Nan.
I, will you cast away your child on a fool, and Quick. This is my doing, now;—Nay, said a physician? Look on master Fenton:-this is my doing.
Fent. I thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night
Give my sweet Nan this ring: There's for thy [Exit,
A kind heart he hath: a woman would run
SCENE V-A room in the Garter Inn.
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 into the Thames? Well; if I be served such another trick, I'll have my brains ta'en out, and butter'd, and give them to a dog for a new year's gift. The rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorset as they would have drowned a bitch's blind puppies, fifteen i' the litter: and you may know *Specially. ↑ Neglect. Pity.
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. 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 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: 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.
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; I was at her house the hour she appointed me. Ford And how speed 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?
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, foul stockings, and greasy napkins; that, master villanous smell, that ever offended nostril. Brook, there was the rankest compound of
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 Datchetlane: 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 the pangs of three several deaths: first, an intolerable fright, to be detected with a jealous rotton 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 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. "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 conclusion shall be crowned with your enjoying her: Adieu. You shall have her, master Brook; master Brook, you shall cuckold Ford.
Ford. Hum! ha! is this a vision? is this a dream? do I sleep? Master Ford, awake; awake, master Ford; ther's a hole made in your best coat, master Ford. This 'tis to be married! this 'tis to have linen, and buckbaskets!-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 halfpenny purse, nor into a pepper-box: but, lest the
*Bilboa, where the best blades are made. + Seriousness.
Make myself ready.
devil that guides him should aid him, I will|
SCENE I.-The Street.
Enter Mrs. PAGE, Mrs. QUICKLY, and
Mrs. Page. Is he at master Ford's already,
Quick. Sure, he is by this; or will be presently but truly, he is very courageous* mad, about his throwing into the water. Mistress 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
Enter Sir HUGH EVANS.
How now, Sir Hugh? no school to-day?
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 head; answer your master, be not afraid.
Eva. William, how many numbers is in
Quick. Truly I thought there had been one number more; because they say, od's nouns. Eva. Peace your tattlings. What is fair, William?
Quick. Poulcats! there are fairer things than poulcats, sure.
Eva. Your are a very simplicity 'oman; I pray you, peace. What is lapis, William? Will. A stone.
Eva. And what is a stone, William?
Eva. No, it is lapis; I pray you remember in your prain.
Eva. That is good William. What is he, William, that does lend articles?
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 bacon, I warrant you.
Eva. Leave your prabbles, 'oman. What is the focative case, William?
Will. O-Vocativo, O.
Will. Genitive case?
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 thou lunatics? hast thou no understandings for thy cases, and the numbers of the genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as I would desires.
Mrs. Page. Pr'ythee hold thy peace. Eva. Show me now, William, some declen sions of your pronouns.
Will. Forsooth, I have forgot.
Eva. It is ki, kæ, cod; if you forget your kies, your kæs, and your cods, you must be preeches.* Go your ways, and play, go.
Mrs. Page. He is a better scholar, than I thought he was.
Mrs Page. Adieu, good Sir Hugh. [Exit Sir
Enter FALSTAFF and Mrs. FORD. Fal. Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up my sufferance: I see, you are obsequioust 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.
Enter Mrs. PAGE.
Mrs. Ford. Why, none but mine own people.
Mrs. Ford. No, certainly;-speak louder.
[Aside. Mrs. Page. Truly, I am so glad you have nobody here.
Mrs. Ford. Why?
Mrs. Page. Why, woman, your husband is in his old lunes again: he so takes on yonder 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
Eva. Remember, William; focative is, caret. another experiment of his suspicion: but I am
Quick. And that's a good root.
Eva. 'Oman, forbear.
Mrs Page. Peace.
Eva. What is your genitive case plural, Wil
glad the knight is not here; now he shall see
Mrs. Ford. How near is he, mistress Page?
Mrs. Page. Hard by; at street end; he will be here anon.
Mrs. Ford. I am undone !-the knight is here.
Mrs. Page. Why, then you are utterly shamed, and he's but a dead man. What a woman are you?-Away with him, away with him; better shame than murder. Mrs. Ford. Which way should he go? how should I bestow him? Shall I put him into the basket again?
Fal. No, I'll come no more i' the basket: May I not go out, ere he come?
Mrs. Page. Alas, three of master Ford's brothers watch the door with pistols, that none shall issue out; otherwise you might slip away But what make you here?
ere he came.
We do not act, that often jest and laugh;
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: [Exit. quickly, despatch.
1. Serv. Come, come, take it up.
2. Serv. Pray heaven, it be not full of the knight again.
1. Serv. I hope not; I had as lief bear so much lead.
Enter FORD, PAGE, SHALLOW, CAIUS, and
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 Mrs. Ford. There they always use to dis-out here!-O, you panderly rascals! there's a charge their birding-pieces: Creep into the
Fal. What shall I do?-I'll creep up into the chimney.
Fal. Where is it?
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 passes !+ 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;
Enter Mrs. FORD.
Ford. So say I too, Sir.-Come hither, mis
Mrs. Ford. How might we disguise him? Mrs. Page. Alas the day, I know not. There is no woman's gown big enough for him; other-tress Ford; mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that wise, he might put on a hat, a muffler, and a kerchief, and so escape. hath the jealous fool to her husband!—I sus
Fal. Good hearts, devise something; any ex-pect without cause, mistress, do I? tremity, rather than a mischief.
Mrs. Ford. My maid's aunt, the fat woman of Brentford, has a gown above.
Mrs. Page. On my word, it will serve him; she's as big as he is: and there's her thrum'd hat, and her muffler too: Run up, Sir John.
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.
[Exit FALSTAFF. 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 threatened to
Mrs. Ford. Heaven be my witness, you do,
[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.
Eva. "Tis unreasonable! Will you take up your wife's clothes! Come away.
Ford. Empty the basket, I say.
Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there in this basket: Why may not he be there again? was one conveyed out of my house yesterday
Mrs. Page. Heaven guide him to thy hus-In my house I am sure he is: my intelligence band's cudgel; and the devil guide his cudgel is true; my jealousy is reasonable: Pluck me out all the linen. afterward!
Mrs. Ford. But is my husband coming? Mrs. Page. Ay, in good sadness,† is he; and talks of the basket too, howsoever he hath had intelligence.
Mrs. Ford. We'll try that; for I'll appoint 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:
We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do,
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 pay, 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 tablesport; let them say of me, as jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow walnut for his wife's