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Caius. Ha! do I perceive dat? have you make-a de sot of us ?? ha, ha!

Eva. This is well; he has made us his vloutingstog.--I desire you, that we may be friends; and let us knog our prains together, to be revenge on this same scall, scurvy,” cogging companion, the host of the Garter.

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

Eva. Well, I will smite his noddles :-Pray you, follow,

[Ereunt.

SCENE II.

The Street in Vindsor.

Enter Mistress Page and ROBIN.

Mrs. Page. Nay, keep your way, little gallant ; you were wont to be a follower, but now you are a seader: 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.

Ford. Well met, mistress Page: Whither go

you?

Mrs. Page. Truly, sir, to see your wife; Is she at home?

Ford. Ay; and as idle as she may hang toge

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make-a de sot of us?] Sot, in French, signifies a fool.

scall, scurvy,] Scall was an old word of reproach. VOL. I,

T

ther, for want of company: I think, if your husbands were dead, you two would marry.

Mrs. Page. Be sure of that, two other husbands.

Ford. Where had you this pretty weather-cock?

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

Rob. Sir John Falstaff. Ford. Sir John Falstaff! 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. 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 pointblank 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. A man may hear this shower sing in the wind ! —and Falstaff's boy with her ! -Good plots !--they are laid ; and our revolted wives share damnation together. Well; I will take him, then torture my wife, pluck the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure and wilful Actxon; and to these violent proceedings all my neighbours shall cry aim." [Clock strikes.] The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me search; there I shall find Falstaff: I shall be rather praised for this, than mock

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so seeming mistress Page,] Seeming is specious.

shall cry aim.] i. e. shall encourage.

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cd; for it is as positive as the earth is firm, that Falstaff is there : I will

go.

Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, SLENDER, Host, șir Hugh

Evans, Calus, and RUGBY. Shal. Page, &c. Well met, master Ford.

Ford. Trust me, a good knot: I have good cheer at home ; and, I pray you, all go with me.

Shal. I must excuse myself, master Ford.

Slen. And so must I, sir ; we have appointed to dine with mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for more money than I'll speak of.

Shal. We have lingered about a match between Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.

Slen. I hope, I have your good will, father Page.

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.

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:

s-- he writes verses, he speaks holyday,] i. e. his language is curious and affectedly chosen.

-'tis in his buttons;] Alluding to an ancient custom among the country fellows, of trying whether they should succeed with their mistresses, by carrying the batchelor's buttons in their pockels. 1 -- of no having :) Having ; i. e. estate or fortune.

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. I beseech you, heartily, some of you go home with me to dinner: besides your cheer, you shall have sport; I will show you a monster.-Master doctor, you shall go ;-50 shall you, master Page ;-—and you, sir Hugh.

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

[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 pipe-
wine first with him ; I'll make him dance. Will
you go, gentles?
All. Have with you, to see this monster.

[Exeunt.

SCENE FII.

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-bas-

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

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Mrs. Page. Give your men the charge ; we must be brief.

Mrs. Ford. Marry, as I told you before, John, and Robert, be ready here hard by in the brewhouse ; 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.

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.

[E.reunt 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, is 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

the whitsters - i. e. the blanchers of linen. 9 How now, my eyas-musket ?] Eyas is a young unfledg'd hawk, Eyas-musket is the same as infant Lilliputian.

Jack-a-lent,) A Jack o' lent was a puppet thrown at in Lent, like shrove-cocks.

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