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In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Anne. Good mother, do not marry me to yond' fool.
Anne. Alas, I had rather be set quick i' the earth,
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. [Exeunt MISTRESS 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? Look on master Fenton :-this is my doing.
Fent. I thank thee; and I pray thee once to-night
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 slackt it!
[Exit. SCENE V-A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH.
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 barrel 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 remorsef 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 șinking; 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 y * Specially. † Neglect.
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 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 BARD.]-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, Şir, 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
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.
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; I was at her house the hour she appointed me.
Ford. And how 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?
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 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 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. Bút mark the sequel, master Brook: I suffered the pangs of three several deaths: first, an intolerable fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten bellwether: next to be compassed like a good bilbo,* 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 Ætna, 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 I 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.
[Exit. Ford. Hum ! ha! is this a vision ? is this a dream? do I sleep?
* Bilboa, where the best blades are made.
# Make myself ready.
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 halfpenny 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.
SCENE I.-The Street.
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 see.
Enter SIR HUGH EVANS.
Eva. No; master Slender is let the boys leave to play.
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 nouns ? Will. Two.
Quick. Truly, I thought there had been one number more; because they say, od's nouns.
Eva. Peace your tattlings. What is fair, William ?
Eva. You are a very simplicity 'oman; I pray you, peace. What is lapis, William?
Will. A stone.
Eva. That is a 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, hung, hang, hog.
Quick. Hang hog is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.
Will. 0-Vocativo, 0.
Quick. 'Vengeance of Jenny's case! fie on her !--never name her, child, if she be a whore. Éva. 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. Prythee hold thy peace.
Eva. It is ki, kæ, cod; if you forget your kies, your kæes 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.
, mistress Page. Mrs. Page. Adieu, good Sir Hugh. [Exit SíR HUGH.] Get you home, boy.—Come, we stay too long.
SCENE II.-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 acoutrement, 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.
* Breeched, i. e. flogged.
+ Apt to learn.