Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 whe, 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 carrion, mistress Quickly, to him, and excuse his throwing into the water; and give him another hope, to betray him to another punishment ?

Mrs. Page. We'll do it; let him be sent for tomorrow eight o’eloek, to have amends.

Re-enter FORD, Page, Caius, and Sir Hugh

EVANS.

Ford. I cannot find him: may be the knave bragged of that he could not compass.

Mrs. Page. Heard you that?

Mrs. Ford. Ay, ay, peace :-You use me well, master Ford, do

you

? Ford. Ay, I do so.

Mrs. Ford. Heaven make you better than your thoughts !

Ford. Amen.

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, and 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

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 make-a 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,

[Ereunt.

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.
He doth object, I am too great of birth ;
And that, my state being gall’d with my expence,
I seek to heal it only by his wealth :
Besides these, other bars he lays before me,
My riots past, my wild societies ;
And tells me, 'tis a thing impossible
I should love thee, but as a property.

Anne. May be, he tells you true.
Fent. No, heaven so speed me in my time to

come!
Albeit, I will confess, thy father's wealth
Was the first motive that I woo'd thee, Anne :
Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
Than stamps in gold, or sums in sealed bags;
And 'tis the very riches of thyself
That now I aim at.
Anne.

Gentle master Fenton,
Yet seek my father's love; still seek it, sir :
If opportunity and humblest sui
Cannot attain it, why then.—Hark you hither.

[They converse apart.

Enter SHALLOW, SLENDER, and Mrs. QuickLY.

Shal. Break their talk, mistress Quickly; my kinsman shall speak for himself.

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

choice. O, what a world of vile ill-favour'd faults Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!

( Aside. Quick. And how does good master Fenton ? Pray you, a word with you.

Shal. She's coming; to her, coz. O boy, thou hadst a father!

Slen. I had a father, mistress Anne ;---my uncle can tell you good jests of him :-Pray you unele, tell mistress Anne the jest, how my father stole two geese out of a pen, good uncle.

Shal. Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.

Slen. Ay, that I do; as well as I love any woman in Gloucestershire.

Shal. He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.

Slen. Ay, that I will, come cut and long-tail, 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 limself,

Shal. Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for

' I'll make a shaft or a bolt on't:) To make a bolt or a shaft of a thing is enumerated by Ray, amongst others, in his collection of proverbial phrases. The bolt in this proverb means the fool's bolt.

come cut and long-tail,] i. e. come poor, or rich, to offer himself as my rival. The origin of the phrase is not decided.

that good comfort. She calls you, coz : I'll leave you.

Anne. Now, master Slender.
Slen. Now, good mistress Anne.
Anne. What is your will ?

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 Nsistress Page,
Page. Now, master Slender :--Love him, daugh

ter Anne.
Why, how now! what does master Fenton here?
You wrong me, sir, tlius still to haunt my house:
I told you, sir, my daughter is dispos’d of.

Fent. Nay, master Page, be not impatient.
Mrs. Page. Good master Fenton, come not to

my child.

Page. She is no match for you.
Fent. Sir, will you hear me?
Page.

No, good master Fenton. Come, master Shallow ; come, son Slender; in: Knowing my mind, you wrong me, master Fenton.

[E.reunt Page, Shallow, and SLENDER. Quick. Speak to mistress Page.

3

happy man be his dole!) A proverbial expression.

« PreviousContinue »