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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;-Ill in. Mrs. Page. What! Sir John Falstaff! Are these your letters, knight?

Fai. 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, 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. Ferd. Buck? I would I could wash myself of the buck! Buck, buck, buck? Ay, bück; I warrant you, buck; and of the season too; it shall appear. [Exeunt Servants with the basket.] Gentlemen, I have dreamed te-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. [Exit. Eva. This is fery fantastical humours, and jealous. ies.

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 may husband is deceived, or sir John.

Mrs. Page. What a taking was he in, when your husband asked who was in the basket!

Mra. 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 discase will searcé obey this medicine.

Mrs. Ford. Shallave 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?

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

Re-enter Ford, Page, Caius, and Sir Hugh Evans. Ferd. 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-Yon use me well, master Ford, do you?

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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, heav en forgive my sins at the day of judgement! 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 promis'd 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 make-a de tird. 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.
Ann. 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,
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.
Ann. 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.

Ann. Gentle Master Fenton, Yet seek my father's love: still seek it, sir: If opportunity and humblest suit Cannot attain it, why then.-Hark you hither. [They converse apart.

Enter Shallow, Slender, and Mistress 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.

Quic. Hark ye; master Slender would speak a word with you.

Ann. 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! [Asi. Quic. 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.

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

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.

Ann. Good master Shallow, let him weo for himself. Shal. Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good comfort.-She calls you, coz I'll leave you. Ann. Now, master Slender. Slen. Now, good mistress Anne. Ann. 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. Ann. 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 ean 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 here?
You wrong me, sir, thus 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. [Exeunt Page, Shallow, and Slender.

Quic. Speak to mistress Page.
Fent. Good mistress Page, for that I love your
daughter

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.

Ann. Good mother, do not marry me to yond' fool. Mrs. Page. I mean it not; I seek you a better husband.

Quic. That's my master, master doctor.

Ann. Alas, I had rather be set quick i' the earth,

And bowl'd to death with turnips.

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. [Ex. Mrs. Page and Anne.
Fent. Farewell, gentle mistress; farewell, Nan.
Quic. 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. [Exit.

Quic. 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 mas ter 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 slack it. [Exit.

SCENE V-A Room in the Garter Inn. Enter Fal staff and Bardolph.

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.

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Fal. Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage. [Exit Bardolph.]-How now?

Quic. 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.

Quic. 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.

Quic. Well, she laments, sir, for it, that it would

yearn your heart to see it. Her husband goes this || suffocation. And in the height of this bath, when I morning a birding; she desires you once more to come was more than half stewed in grease, like a Dutch dish, to her between eight and nine: I must carry her word to be thrown into the Thames, and cooled, glowing hot, quickly: she'll make you amends, I warrant you. in that surge, like a horse-shoe; think of that,-hissing Fal. Well, I will visit her: Tell her so; and bid hot,-think of that, master Brook. ber think, what a man is : let her consider his frailty, and then judge of my merit.

Quie. I will tell her.

Fal. Do so. Between nine and ten, say'st thou ?
Quic. Eight and nine, sir.

Fal. Well, be gone: I will not miss her.
Quic. 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.

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 bour she appointed me.

Ford. And how sped you, sir?

Fel. Very ill-favouredly, master Brook.
Ford. How so, sir? Did she change her

tion?

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 receiv ed 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.

Ford. Hum! ha! is this a vision? is this a dream? do I sleep? 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

determina-buck-baskets!-Well, I will proclaim myself what I
am: I will now take the lecher; he is at my house:
he cannot 'scape ine; '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.
[Exit.

Fal. No, master Brook; but the peaking cornuto her husband, master Brook, dwelling in a continual laruin 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 he's a rabble of his companions, thither voked 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.

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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 rapkins; that, master Brook, there was the rankest compound of villanous smell, that ever offended nostril. Ford. And how long lay you there?

Fel. 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 raaster 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 rotten 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 contincal dissolution and thaw; it was a miracle, to 'scape

ACT IV.

SCENE I-The Street. Enter Mrs. Page, Mrs
Quickly, and William.

Mrs. Page.

IS he at master Ford's already, think'st thou ? Quic. 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.

How now, sir Hugh? no school to day?

Eva. No; master Slender is let the boys leave to play.

Quic. 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, sirrab; hold up your head; answer your master, be not afraid.

Eva. William, how many numbers is in nouns ?
Will. Two.

Quic. 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.

Quic. Pouleats! there are fairer things than poul

cats sure.

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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, 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.

Quic. Hang hog is Latin for bacon, I warrant you. Eva. Leave your prabbles, 'oman.-What is the focative case, William ?

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Quic. 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. 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. 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 another experiment of his suspicion : but I am glad the knight is not here; now he shall see his own foolery.

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? Re-enter Falstaff.

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 ere he came. But what make you here?

Fal. What shall I do?--I'll creep up into the chim

ney.

Mrs. Ford. There they always use to discharge their Eva. Shew me now, William, some declensions of birding-pieces: Creep into the kiln-hole.

your pronouns.

Will. Forsooth, I have forgot.

Eva. It is ki, ka, cod; if you forget your kies, your ks, 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.

Eva. He is a good sprag memory. Farewell, Mrs. Page. [Exit Sir Hugh. Mrs. Page. Adieu, good 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?

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. [Ex. Fal. Enter Mrs. Page.

Mrs. Page. How now, sweetheart? who's at home besides yourself?

Fal. Where is it?

Mrs. Ford. He will seek there, on my word. Neither press, coffer, chest, trunk, well, vault, but he hath an abstract for the remembrance of such places, and 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 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 Fal.

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 beat her.

Mr. Page. Heaven guide him to thy husband's cudgel; and the devil guide his cudgel afterwards! Mr. 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.

Page. Here's no man.

Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, master Ford; this wrongs you.

Eva. Master Ford, you must pray, 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, shew no colour for my extremity,

Mrs. Page. Nay, but he'll be here presently: let's let me forever be your table-sport; let them say of me, gs 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. [Ext. Mr. Page. Hang bim, 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:
We do not act, that often jest and laugh;
Tis old but true, Still swine eat all the draff. [Exit.
Re-enter Mrs. Ford, with two Servants.

Mra. 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: quickly, despatch. [Exit.

1 Serc, Come, come, take it up.

2 Sero. 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 Sir Hugh

Evans.

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 out here!-0, you panderly rascals! there's a knot, a ging, a pack, a conspiracy against me: Now shall the devil be shamed.-What! wife, I my! mome, come forth; behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching.

Pare. Why, this passes! Master Ford, you are not to go loose any longer; you must be pinioned.

Esa. Why, this is lunaties! this is mad as a mad dog!

Shal. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well; indeed.
Enter Mrs. Ford.

Fard. So say I too, sir.-Come hither, mistress Ford; mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool to her husband!--I suspect without cause, mistress, do I? Mrs. Ford. Heaven be my witness, you do, if you stepect me in any dishonesty.

Ford. Well said, brazen-face; hold it out.-Come forth, sirrah. [Pulls the clothes out of the basket.

Page. This passes! Mr. Ferd. Are you not ashamed? let the clothes fae.

Perd. I shall find you anon.

Erg. "Tis unreasonable! Will you take up your wife's clothes? Come away. Ford. Empty the basket, I say. Mr. Ford. Why, man, why,— Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there was one taveyed out of my house yesterday in this basket: Why may not he be there again? In my house I am Fre he is: my intelligence is true; my jealousy is rearable: Pluck me ont all the linen.

Mr. Ford. If you find a man there, he shall die a Ba's death

As jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow wall-nut for his wife's leman. Satisfy me once more; once more search with me.

Mrs. Ford. What hoa, mistress Page! come you, and the old woman, down; my husband will come into the chamber.

Ford. Old woman! What old woman's that?

Mrs. Ford. Why, it is my maid's aunt of Brentford Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not forbid her my house? She comes of errauds, does she? We are simple men; we do not know telling. She works by charms, by spells, by the figwhat's brought to pass under the profession of fortuneand such daubery as this is; beyond our element: we know nothing.-Come down, you witch, you hag you; come down, I say.

ure,

Mrs. Ford. Nay, good, sweet husband;-good gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.

Enter Falstaff in women's clothes, led by Mrs. Page. Mrs. Page. Come, mother Prat, come, give me your hand.

Ford, I'll prat her:-Out of my door, you witch! [beats him.] you rag, you baggage, you polecat, you ronyon! out! out! I'il conjure you, I'll fortune-tell [Eart Fal.

you.

Mrs. Page. Are you not ashamed? I think, you have killed the poor woman.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, he will do it :-"Tis a goodly credit for you.

Ford. Hang her, witch!

Eva. By yea and no, I think, the 'oman is a witch indleed: I like not when a 'oman has a great peard; I spy a great peard under her mulier.

Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen? I beseech you, follow; see but the issue of my jealousy: if I cry out thus upon no trail, never trust me when I open again. Page. Let's obey his humour a little further: Come, gentlemen. [Exe. Page, Ford, Shal. and Eva Mrs. Page. Trust me, he beat him most pitifully. Mrs. Ford. Nay, by the mass, that he did not; he beat him most unpitifully, methought.

Mrs. Page. I'll have the cudgel hallowed, and hang o'er the altar; it hath done meritorious service.

Mrs. Ford. What think you? May we, with the warrant of woman-hood, and the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any further revenge?

Mrs. Page. The spirit of wantonness is, sure, scared out of him; if the devil have him not in fec-simple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I think, in the way of waste, attempt us again.

Mrs. Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how we have served him?

Mrs. Page. Yes, by all means; if it be but to scrape the figures out of your husband's brains. If they can find in their hearts, the poor unvirtuous fat knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will still be the ministers.

Mrs. Ford. I'll warrant, they'll have him publicly

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