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Host. What say you to young master Fenton? he ca- | Why, now let me die, for I have lived long enough; pers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes ver- this is the period of my ambition: O this blessed hour! ses, he speaks holyday, he smells April and May: he Mrs Ford. O sweet sir John! will carry't, he will carry't; 'tis in his buttons; he will carry't.


Fal. Mistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate, mistress Ford. Now shall I sin in my wish: I would thy Page. Not by my consent, I promise you. The gen-husband were dead; I'll speak it before the best lord, tleman is of no having: he kept company with the wild would make thee my lady. 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. 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 ;-so 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 III.-Aroom in Ford's house,
Enter Mrs FORD and Mrs PAGE.

Mrs Ford. What, John! what, Robert!
Mrs Page. Quickly, quickly! Is the buck-basket
Mrs Ford. I warrant: what, Robin, I say.
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

Mrs Ford. I your lady, sir John! alas, I should be a pityful lady!


Fal. Let the court of France show me such another; see how thine eye would emulate the diamond: thou hast the right arched bent of the brow, that becomes the ship-tire, the tire-valiant, 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 semicircled farthingale. I see what thou wert, if fortune thy foe were not; nature is thy friend: come, thou canst not hide it.

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 hawthorn buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklersbury in simple time; I cannot: but I love thee; none but thee; and thou deservest it.

Mrs Ford. Do not betray me, sir! I fear, you love Mrs Page.

Fal. Thou might'st as well say, I love to walk by the Counter-gate; which is as hateful 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.

Mrs Ford. Marry, as I told you before, John, and Robert, be ready here hard by in the brew-house; and when I suddenly call you, come forth, and (without any Rob. [Within.] Mistress Ford, mistress Ford! here's pause or staggering,) take this basket on your should-mistress Page at the door, sweating, and blowing, and ers: that done, trudge with it in all haste, and carry looking wildly, and would needs speak with you preit among the whitsters in Datchet Mead, and there sently. empty it in the muddy ditch, close by the Thames' Mrs Page. You will do it? side. 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.

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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 cue! [Exit Robin. Mrs Page. I warraut thee; ifI do not act it, hiss me! [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.

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!

Mrs Ford. What cause of suspicion? Mrs Page. What cause of suspicion! you! how am I mistook in you!

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Out upon

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 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 Fal. Ilave I caught thee, my heavenly jewel? yourself clear, why I am glad of it: but if you have a



friend here, convey, convey him out! Be not amazed;| Mrs Ford. Shall we send that foolish carrion, miscall all your senses to you; defend your reputation, tress Quickly, to him, and excuse his throwing into the water; and give him another hope, to betray him to or bid farewell to your good life for ever! Mrs Ford. What shall I do? - There is a gentleman, another punishment? 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.―0, how have you deceived me!-Look, here is a basket; if he be of any reasonable stature, he may creep in here; and throw foullinen upon him, as if it were going to bucking: or, it is whiting-time, send him by your two men to Datchet Mead.

Mrs. Ford. He's too big to go in there: what shall I do?

Re-enter FALSTAFF.

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
You dissembling knight!
men, mistress Ford!
Mrs Ford. What, John, Robert, John! [Exit Robin.
Re-enter Servants.

Go take up these clothes here, quickly! where's the
cowl-staf? look, how you drumble: carry them to
the laundress in Datchet Mead; quickly, come!

Enter FORD, PAGE, CAIUS, and Sir HUGH EVANS. Ford. Pray you, come near: if I suspect without cause, why then make sport at me, 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 shail 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 chambers, 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, gentlemen!


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 botter, that 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 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 Page. We'll do it; let him be sent for to-morrow eight o'clock, 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! ter Ford, do you?" Ford. Ay, I do so.

You use me well, mas

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? 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.

- come,

Caius. By gar, I see 'tis an honest woman. Ford. Well; I promised you a dinner; 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; 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
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 mock-

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 expense,
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
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.

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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,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.


Anne. Good mother, do not marry me to yond' fool!
Mrs Page. I mean it not; I seek you a better husband.
Quick. That's my master, master doctor.

Anne. Alas, I had rather he set quick i' the earth,
And bowl'd to death with turnips.

Mrs Page. Come, trouble not yourself: good master

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 Mrs 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
Give my sweet Nan this ring! There's for thy pains.


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

Slèn. Ay, that I do; as well as I love any woman in am I to slack it?

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 himself.
Shal. Marry, Ithank you for it; I thank you for that
good comfort.-She calls you, coz; I'll leave you.
Aune, 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

Slen. Truly, for mine own part, I would little or nothing with you: your father, and my uncle, have made motions; ifit be my luck, so; if not, happy man be his dole! They can tell you how things go, better than can you may ask your father; here he comes.

Enter PACE, and Mistress PAGE.

Page. Now, master Slender :- love him, daughter


Why, how now! what does master Fenton here?
You wrong me, sir, thus still to haunt my house:
I told you, sir, my daughter is disposed of.
Fent. Nay, master Page, be not impatient!


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SCENE V.-A Room in the Garter Inn.
Fal. Bardolph, I say,—
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 buttered, and give them to a dog for a new year's gift. The rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorse 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 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. By your leave; I cry you mercy: give your worship good-morrow.

Mrs Page. Good master Fenton, come not to my Fal. Take away these chalices. Go brew me e pottle


Page. Sheis 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 Feuton.
[Exeunt Page, Shal. and Slen.

Quick. Speak to mistress Page!
Fent. Good mistress Page, for that I love your

In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Perforce, against all checks, rebukes, and manners,
I must advance the colours of my love,

And not retire: let me have your good will!

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. Quiek. 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

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Ford. Bless you, sir!

in that surge, like a horse-shoe; think of that,-his-
sing 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 despe-
rate; you'll undertake her no more.

Fal. Master Brook, I will be thrown into Aetna, as I
have been into Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her
husband is this morning gone a birding: I have recei-
ved 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.

[Exit. Fal. Now, master Brook? you come to know, what Ford. Humph! ha! is this a vision? is this a dream? hath passed between me and Ford's wife? do I sleep? Master Ford, awake! awake, master Ford! there's a hole made in your best coat,master Ford.This

Ford. That, indeed, sir John, is my business.

Fal. Master Brook, I will not lie to you; I was at her 'tis to be married! this 'tis to have linen and buck-bashouse the hour she appointed me.

Ford. And how sped you, sir?

Fal. Very ill-favouredly, master Brook.

Ford. How so, sir? Did she change her determina-into a halfpenny purse,nor into a pepper-box; but,lest


kets! 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 the devil that guides him should aid him, I will search Fal. No, master Brook; but the peaking cornuto, her impossible places. Though what I am I cannot avoid, husband, master Brook, dwelling in a continual 'larum yet to be what I would not, shall not make me tame; if of jealousy, comes in the instant of our encoun-I have horns to make one mad, let the proverb go with ter, after we had embraced, kissed, protested, and, as me, I'll be horn-mad. 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. While I was there.

Ford. And did he search for you, and could not find you?



SCENE I.-The Street.


Enter Mrs PAGE, Mrs QUICKLY, and WILLIAM. Mrs Page. Is he at master Ford's already, thinks't thou?

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 sud

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 dis-denly. traction, 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 villainous smell, that ever offended no stril.

Ford. And how long lay you there?

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 sec.

How now, sir Hugh? no school to-day?
Eva. No; master Slender is let the boys leave to play.
Quick. Blessing of his heart!

Mrs Page. Sir Hugh, my husband says, my son pro-
its nothing in the world at his book; I pray you, ask

Fal. Nay, you shall hear, master Brook, what I have
suffered to bring this woman to evil for your good. Be-him some questions in his accidence.
ing 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. But mark the sequel, master Brook: I
suffered the pangs of three several deaths: first, an in-cats, sure.
tolerable fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten
bell-wether; next, to be compassed, like a good bilbo,
in the circumference of a peck, hilt to poiut, heel to
head; and then, to be stopped in, like a strong distilla-
tion, 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,

Eva. Come hither, William ;hold up your head; come! Mrs Page. Come on, sirrah! hold up your head; auswer 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?
Will. Pulcher.

Quick. Poulcats! there are fairer things than poul-
Eva. You are a very simplicity 'oman; I pray you,
peace!-What is lapis, William?
Will. A stone.

Eva. And what is a stone, William?
Will. A pebble.

Eva. No, it is lapis; I pray you, remember in your prain.

Will. Lapis.

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, haec,


Mrs Ford. Why, does he talk of him? Mrs Page. Of none but him; and swears, he was carEva. Nominativo, hig, hag, hog;—pray you, mark :ried 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 another experiment of his suspicion: 1 but I am glad, the knight is not here; now he shall see his own foolery.

genitivo, huius: 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?

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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!

Mrs Ford. How near is he, mistress Page?

Mrs Page. Hard by; at street end; he will be here


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? Re-enter FALSTAFF. Fal. No, I'll come no more i' the basket: may go out, ere he come?

I not

Mrs Page. Alas, three of master Ford's brothers watch the door with pistols, that none shall issue out; otherwise you might slip away ere he came. But what make you here?

Fal. What shall I do?-I'll creep up into the chimney. Mrs Ford. There they always use to discharge their birding-pieces. Creep into the kilnhole! Fal. Where is it?

Mrs Ford. He will seek there, on my word. Neither press, coffer, chest, trunk, well, vault, but he hath an

Eva. Shew me now, William, some declensions of abstract for the remembrance of such places, and your pronouns.

Will. Forsooth, I have forgot.

Eva. It is ki, kae, cod; if you forget your kies, your kaes, and your cods, you must be preeches. Go your ways, and play, go!

Mrs Page. He is a better scholar, than I thought he


Eva. He is a good sprag memory. Farewell, mistress Page! Mrs Page. Adieu, good sir Hugh! [Exit Sir Hugh.] Get you home,boy!-Come,we stay too long.[Exeunt.

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 accoutrement, complement, and ceremony of it. But are you sure of your husband now?

goes to them by his note. There is no hiding you in the house.

Fal. I'll go out then.

Mrs Page. If you go out in your own semblance, you die, sir John. Unless you go out disguised.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; otherwise, he might put on a hat, a muffler, and a kerchief, and so escape.

Fal. Good hearts, devise something: any extremity,

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 will look some linen for head. your

I Mrs Page. Quick, quick! we'll come dress you straight: put on the gown the while! [Exit Falstaff. Mrs Page. [Within.] What hoa, gossip Ford! what Mrs Ford. I would, my husband would meet him in hoa!

Mrs Ford. He's a birding, sweet sir John.

Mrs Ford. Step into the chamber, sir John!

[Exit Falstaff. Enter Mrs PAGE. Mrs Page. How now, sweetheart? who's at home besides yourself?

Mrs Ford. Why, none but mine own people.
Mrs Page. Indeed?

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.

this shape: he cannot abide the old woman of Brentford; he swears, she's a witch, forbade her my house, and hath threatened to beat her.

Mrs Page. Heaven guide him to thy husband's cudgel! and the devil guide his cudgel afterwards! 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: let's go dress him like the witch of Brentford. Mrs Ford. I'll first direct my men, what they shall do with the basket. Go up, I'll bring linen for him straight. [Exit.

Mrs Page. Hang him, dishonest varlet! we cannot misuse him enough.

We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do,
Wives may be merry, and yet honest too:

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