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Ford's wife's distraction, they conveyed me into a Re-enter BardoLPH, with the wine.
buck-basket ? Bard. Here's mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with Ford. A buck-basket ? you.
Fal. Yea, a buck-basket: rammed me in with Fal. Come, let me pour in some sack to the foul shirts and socks, foul stockings, and greasy Thames water; for my inside's as cold, as if I had napkins; that, master Brook, there was the rankest swallowed snow-balls. Call her in.
compound of villainous smell, that ever offended Bard. Come in, woman.
Ford. And how long lay you there?
Fal. Nay, you shall hear, master Brook, what I Quick. By your leave; I cry you mercy: Give have suffered to bring this woman to evil for your your worship good-morrow.
good. Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple Fal. Take away these chalices: Go brew me a of Ford's knaves, his hinds, were called forth by pottle of sack finely. — [Exit BardOLPH.] – How their mistress, to carry me in the name of foul now?
clothes to Datchet-lane : they took me on their Quick. Marry, sir, I come to your worship from shoulders ; met the jealous knave their master in mistress Ford.
the door; who asked them once or twice what they Fal. Mistress Ford! I have had ford enough: I had in their basket: I quaked for fear, lest the was thrown into the ford.
lunatic knave would have searched it; but Fate, Quick. Alas the day! good heart, that was not ordaining he should be a cuckold, held bis hand. her fault; she does so take on with her men; they Well; on went he for a search, and away went I mistook their erection.
for foul clothes. But mark the sequel, master Fal. So did I mine, to build upon a foolish wo- Brook : I suffered the pangs of three several deaths: man's promise.
first, an intolerable fright, to be detected with a Quick. Well
, she laments, sir, for it, that it would jealous bell-wether: next, to be compassed like a yearn your heart to see it. Her husband goes this good bilbo 8, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to morning a birding; she desires you once more to point, heel to head: and then, to be stopped in, come to her between eight and nine : I must carry like a strong distillation, with stinking clothes : her word quickly; she'll make you amends, I think of that, — a man of my kidney, think of that; warrant you.
that am as subject to heat as butter ; a man of Fal. Well, I will visit her: Tell her so; and bid continual dissolution and thaw; it was a miracle to her think, what a man is : let her consider his 'scape suffocation. And in the height of this bath, frailty, and then judge of my merit.
when I was more than half stewed in grease, like a Quick. I will tell her.
Dutch dish, to be thrown into the Thames, and Fal. Do so. Between nine and ten, say'st thou? cooled, glowing hot, in that surge, like a horseQuick. Eight and nine, sir.
shoe; think of that ;— hissing hot, - think of that, Fal. Well, be gone: I will not miss her. master Brook. Quick. Peace be with you, sir.
[Erit. Ford. In good sadness, sir, I am sorry that for Fal. I marvel, I hear not of master Brook; he my sake you have suffered all this. My suit then sent me word to stay within: I like his money is desperate; you'll undertake her no more. well. O, here he comes.
Fal. Master Brook, I will be thrown into Ætna,
as I have been into Thames, ere I will leave her Enter Ford.
thus. Her husband is this morning gone a birdFord. Bless you, sir !
ing: I have received from her another embassy of Fal. Now, master Brook ? you come to know meeting ; 'twixt eight and nine is the hour, master what hath passed between me and Ford's wife? Brook.
Ford. That, indeed, sir John, is my business. Ford. 'Tis past eight already, sir.
Fal. Master Brook, I will not lie to you; I was Fal. Is it? I will then address me to my appointat her house the hour she appointed me.
ment. Come to me at your convenient leisure, and Ford. And how sped you, sir?
you shall know how I speed; and the conclusion Fal. Very ill-favouredly, master Brook. shall be crowned with your having her : Adieu.
Ford. How so, sir ? Did she change her deter. You shall have her, master Brook; master Brook, mination ?
you shall cuckold Ford.
[Exit. Fal. No, master Brook; but the peaking cor- Ford. Hum! ha! is this a vision? is this a dream? nuto, her husband, master Brook, dwelling in a do I sleep? Master Ford, awake; awake, master continual 'larum of jealousy, comes me in the in- Ford; there's a hole made in your best coat, master stant of our encounter, after we had embraced, Ford. This 'tis to be married ! this 'tis to have kissed, protested, and, as it were, spoke the pro- linen and buck-baskets ! — Well, I will proclaim logue of our comedy; and at his heels a rabbie of myself what I am: I will now take the lecher ; he his companions, thither provoked and instigated by is at my house: he cannot 'scape me; 'tis imposhis distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for sible he should; he cannot creep into a halfpenny his wife's love.
purse, nor into a pepper-box : but, lest the devil Ford. What, while you were there?
that guides him should aid him, I will search imFal. While I was there.
possible places. Though what I am I cannot Ford. And did he search for you, and could not avoid, yet to be what I would not, shall not make find you?
me tame: if I have horns to make one mad, let the Fal. You shall hear. As good luck would have proverb go with me, I'll be horn mad. [Erit. it, comes in one mistress Page; gives intelligence of Ford's approach; and, by her invention, and 8 Bilboa, where the best blades are made.
SCENE I. - A Room in Ford's House. Mrs. Ford. He will seek there on my word.
Neither press, coffer, chest, trunk, well, vault, but Enter FALSTAFF and Mrs. FORD.
he hath an abstract for the remembrance of such Fal. Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up places, and goes to them by his note: There my sufferance: I see you are obsequious in your hiding you in the house. love, and I profess requital to a hair's breadth; not Fal. I'll go out then. only, mistress Ford, in the simple office of love, but Mrs. Page. If you go out in your own semin all the accoutrement, complement, and ceremony blance, you die, sir John. Unless you go out disof it. But are you sure of your husband now? guised.
Mrs. Ford. He's a birding, sweet sir John. Mrs. Ford. How might we disguise him? Mrs. Page. [Wihin.] What hoa, gossip Ford ! Mrs. Page. Alas the day, I know not. There what hoa !
is no woman's gown big enough for him ; otherMrs. Ford. Step into the chamber, sir John. wise, he might put on a hat, a muffler, and a ker
[Erit Falstaff. chief, and so escape. Enter Mrs. PAGE.
Fal. Good hearts, devise something: any extreMrs. Page. How now, sweetheart? who's at mity rather than a mischief. home beside yourself?
Mrs. Ford. My maid's aunt, the fat woman of Mrs. Ford. Why, none but mine own people.
Brentford, has a gown above. Mrs. Page. Indeed ?
Mrs. Page. On my word, it will serve him; Mrs. Ford. No, certainly; - speak louder. ( Aside. she's as big as he is : and there's her thrum'd hat, Mrs. Page. Truly, I am so glad you have nobody and her muffler too: Run up, sir John. here.
Mrs. Ford. Go, go, sweet sir John: mistress Mrs. Ford. Why?
Page and I will look some linen for your head. Mrs. Page. Why, woman, your husband is in
Mrs. Page. Quick, quick; we'll come dress you his own lunes 9 again : he so takes on yonder with straight: put on the gown the while. (Exit Falstaff. my husband ; so rails against all married mankind;
Mrs. Ford. I would my husband would meet him so curses all Eve's daughters, of what complexion in this shape: he cannot abide the old woman of soever; and so buffets himself on the forehead, cry
Brentford ; he swears she's a witch : forbade her ing Peer out, peer out! that any madness I ever my house, and hath threatened to beat her. yet beheld seemed but tameness, civility, and pa- cudgel ; and the devil guide his cudgel afterwards !
Mrs. Page. Heaven guide him to thy husband's tience, to this his distemper he is in now : I am glad the fat knight is not here.
Mrs. Ford. But is my husband coming ? Mrs. Ford. Why, does he talk of him ?
Mrs. Page. Ay, in good sadness is he; and talks Mrs. Page. Of none but him; and swears, he of the basket too, howsoever he hath had intelliwas carried out, the last time he searched for him gence. in a basket : protests to my husband he is now
Mrs. Ford. We'll try that; for I'll appoint my here; and hath drawn him and the rest of their men to carry the basket again, to meet him at the company from their sport, to make another experi-door with it, as they did last time. ment of his suspicion : but I am glad the knight is
Mrs. Page. Nay, but he'll be here presently; not here ; now he shall see his own foolery.
let's go dress him like the witch of Brentford. Mrs. Ford. How near is he, mistress Page ?
Mrs. Ford. I'll first direct my men, what they Mrs. Page. Hard by; at street end; he will be shall do with the basket. Go up, I'll bring linen here anon.
for him straight.
[Erit. Mrs. Ford. I am undone!- the knight is here.
Mrs. Page. Hang him, dishonest varlet! we canMrs, Page. Why, then you are utterly shamed, not misuse him enough. and he's but a dead man. What a woman are you?
We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do, Away with him, away with him ; better shame
Wives may be merry, and yet honest too. (Erit. than murder.
Re-enter Mrs. FORD, with two servants. Mrs. Ford. Which way should he go? how should I bestow him ? Shall I put him into the
Mrs. Ford. Go, sirs, take the basket again on basket again?
your shoulders; your master is hard at door; if he Re-enter FALSTAFF. bid you set it down, obey him : quickly, dispatch.
[Exit. Fal. No, I'll come no more i' the basket : May 1 Serv. Come, come, take it up. I not go out ere he come ?
2 Serv. Pray heaven, it be not full of the knight Mrs. Page. Alas, three of master Ford's bro- again. thers watch the door with pistols, that none shall 1 Serv. I hope not; I had as lief bear so much issue out; otherwise you might slip away ere he lead.
But what make you here?
Enter Ford, Page, SHALLOW, Carus, and Sir
Hugh Evans. chimney. Mrs. Ford. There they always use to discharge you any way then to unfool me again ? - Set down
Ford. Ay, but if it prove true, master Page, have their birding pieces : creep into the kiln-hole. Fal. Where is it?
the basket, villain : - - Somebody call my wife
9 Mad fits.
conspiracy against me: Now shall the devil be Ford. I'll prat her : - out of my door, you shamed. What! wife, I say ! come, come forth; witch! [beats him.] you rag, you baggage, you behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleach- pole-cat, you ronyon!? out! out! I'll conjure you, ing.
I'll fortune-tell you.
(Exit FAL. Page. Why, this passes! Master Ford, you are not Mrs. Page. Are you not ashamed? I think you to go loose any longer; you must be pinioned. have kill'd the poor woman. Eva. Why, this is lunatics ! this is mad as a mad Mrs. Ford, Nay, he will do it:
'Tis a goodly dog!
credit for you. Shal. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well; in- Ford. Hang her, witch ! deed.
Eva. By yea and no, I think, the 'oman is a witch Enter Mrs. FORD.
indeed: I like not when a 'oman has a great peard ; Ford. So say I too, sir. - Come hither, mistress I spy a great peard under her muffler. Ford; mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen? I beseech wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool you, follow ; see but the issue of my jealousy: if I to her husband !- I suspect without cause, mistress, cry out thus upon no trails, never trust me when I do I?
open again. Mrs. Ford. Heaven be my witness, you do, if you
Page. Let's obey his humour a little further : suspect me in any dishonesty.
Come, gentlemen. Ford. Well said, brazen-face; hold it out.
(Exeunt Page, FORD, SHALLOW, and Evans. Come forth, sirrah.
Mrs. Page. Trust me, he beat him most pitifully. [Pulls the clothes out of the basket.
Mrs. Ford. Nay, by the mass, that he did not ; Page. This passes !
he beat him most unpitifully, methought. Mrs. Ford. Are you not ashamed ? let the clothes Mrs. Page. I'll have the cudgel hallowed ; it hath alone.
done meritorious service. Ford. I shall find you anon.
Mrs. Ford. What think you? May we, with the Eva. 'Tis unreasonable! Come away.
warrant of womanhood, and the witness of a good Ford. Empty the basket, I say.
conscience, pursue him with any further revenge? Mrs. Ford. Why, man, why,
Mrs. Page. The spirit of wantonness is, sure, Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there was one
scared out of him; if the devil have him not in feeconveyed out of my house yesterday in this basket : simple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I Why may not he be there again? In my house I am
think, attempt us again. sure he is: my intelligence is true; my jealousy is
Mrs. Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how we reasonable: Pluck me out all the linen.
have served him ? Mrs. Ford. If you find a man there, he shall die
Mrs. Page. Yes, by all means; if it be but to a flea's death.
scrape the figures out of your husband's brains. If Page. Here's no man.
they can find in their hearts, the poor unvirtuous Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, master Ford; fat knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will this wrongs you.
still be the ministers. Eva. Master Ford, you must pray, and not fol- Mrs. Ford. I'll warrant, they'll have him publow the imaginations of your own heart: this is lickly shamed : and, methinks, there would be no jealousies.
period to the jest, should he not be publickly Ford. Well, he's not here I seek for.
shamed. Page. No, nor no where else, but in your brain. Mrs. Page. Come, to the forge with it then, shape
Ford. Help to search my house this one time : it: I would not have things cool. [Ereunt. if I find not what I seek, show no colour for my extremity, let me for ever be your table-sport ; let
SCENE II. — - A Room in the Garter Inn. them say of me, As jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow walnut for his wife's leman.' Satisfy me once
Enter Host and BARDOLPH. more; once more search with me.
Bard. Sir, the Germans desire to have three of Mrs. Ford. What hoa, mistress Page! come you, your horses: the duke himself will be to-morrow at and the old woman down; my husband will come court, and they are going to meet him. into the chamber.
Host. What duke should that be, comes so seFord. Old woman! What old woman's that? cretly? I hear not of him in the court : Let me Mrs. Ford. Why, it is my maid's aunt of Brentford. speak with the gentlemen ; they speak English ? Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean!
Bard. Ay, sir; I'll call them to you. Have I not forbid her my house? She comes of er- Host. They shall have my horses; but I'll make rands, does she? We are simple men ; we do not them pay, I'll sauce them : they have had my houses know what's brought to pass under the profession a week at command; I have turned away my other of fortune-telling. She works by charms, spells, guests : they must come off; I'll sauce them : Come. by the figure, and such daubery as this is; beyond
[Exeunt. our element : we know nothing. Come down,
SCENE III. you witch, you hag you; come down, I say.
- A Room in Ford's House. Mrs. Ford. Nay, good, sweet husband; — good Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.
Sir Hugh Evans. Enter FAJ STAFF in woman's clothes, led by Mrs. Eva. 'Tis one of the pest discretions of a 'oman Page.
as ever I did look upon. Mrs. Page. Come, mother Pratt, come, give me
Page. And did he send you both these letters at an instant?
Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour.
The truth being known, Ford. Pardon me, wife: Henceforth do what We'll all present ourselves; dis-horn the spirit, thou wilt;
And mock him home to Windsor. I rather will suspect the sun with cold,
The children must Than thee with wantonness : now doth thy honour Be practised well to this, or they'll ne'er do't. stand,
Eva. I will teach the children their behaviours; In him that was of late an heretick,
and I will be like a jack-an-apes also, to burn the As firm as faith.
knight with my taber. Page.
'Tis well, 'tis well ; no more. Ford. That will be excellent. I'll go buy them Be not as extreme in submission,
vizards. As in offence;
Mrs. Page. My Nan shall be the queen of all the But let our plot go forward : let our wives
fairies, Yet once again, to make us publick sport,
Finely attired in a robe of white. Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,
Page. That silk will I go buy; - and in that time Where we may take him, and disgrace him for it. Shall master Slender steal my Nan away, [Aside. Ford. There is no better way than that they And marry her at Eton. Go, send to Falstaff spoke of.
straight. Page. How! to send him word they'll meet him Ford. Nay, I'll to him again in name of Brook : in the park at midnight ! fie, fie ! he'll never come. He'll tell me all his purpose : Sure, he'll come.
Evn. You say, he has been thrown in the rivers ; Mrs. Page. Fear not you that : Go, get us proand has been grievously peaten, as an old 'oman :
perties, methinks, there should be terrors in him, that he And tricking for our fairies. should not come.
Eva. Let us about it: It is admirable pleasures, Page. So think I too.
and fery honest knaveries. Mrs. Ford. Devise but how you'll use him when
[Exeunt Page, Ford, and Evans.
Mrs. Page. Go, mistress Ford,
[Erit Mrs. Ford. the hunter,
I'll to the doctor; he hath my good will, Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest, And none but he, to marry with Nan Page. Doth all the winter time, at still midnight, That Slender, though weli landed, is an idiot; Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns; And he my husband best of all affects : And there he blasts the tree, and takes 4 the cattle; The doctor is well money'd, and his friends And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a Potent at court; he, none but he, shall have her, chain
Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave her. In a most hideous and dreadful manner:
[Erit. You have heard of such a spirit; and well you know, The superstitious idle-headed eld 5
SCENE IV. A Room in the Garter Inn. Received, and did deliver to our age, This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.
Enter Host and SIMPLE. Page. Why, yet there want not many, that do fear
Host. What would'st thou have, boor? what, In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak :
thick-skin? speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, But what of this?
quick, snap Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device;
Sim. Marry, sir, I come to speak with sir John That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us, Falstaff from master Slender. Disguis'd like Herne, with huge horns on his head.
Host. There's his chamber, his house, his castle, Page. Well, let it not be doubted but he'll come,
his standing-bed, and truckle-bed ; 'tis painted about And in this shape: When you have brought him with the story of the prodigal, fresh and new: Go, thither,
*knock and call; he'll speak like an AnthropophaWhat shall be done with him ? what is your plot ? ginian 7 unto thee : Knock, I say, Mrs. Page. That likewise have we thought upon, Sim. There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone and thus :
up into his chamber ; I'll be so bold as stay, sir, Nan Page my daughter, and my little son,
till she come down: I come to speak with her, inAnd three or four more of their growth, we'll dress deed. Like urchins, ouphes, and fairies, green and white, Host. Ha! a fat woman! the knight may be With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads,
robbed : I'll call. - Bully knight! Bully sir John! And rattles in their hands; upon a sudden,
speak from thy lungs military: Art thou there? it As Falstaff, she, and I, are newly met,
is thine host, thine Ephesian, calls. Let them from forth a saw-pit rush at once With some diffused song ; upon their sight,
Fal. (above. ] How now, mine host ?
Host. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the comWe two in great amazedness will fly:
ing down of thy fat woman: Let her descend, bully, Then let them all encircle him about,
let her descend; my chambers are honourable : Fye! And, fairy-like, to pinch the unclean knight ;
privacy! fye! And ask him, why, that hour of fairy-revel, In their so sacred paths he dares to tread,
Enter Falstaff. In shape prophane.
Fal. There was, mine host, an old fat woman Mrs. Ford. And till he tell the truth, even now with me; but she's gone. Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound,
Sim. Pray you, sir, was't not the wise woman of And burn him with their tapers.
Brentford ? 6 Elf, hobgoblin
1 A cannibal
- assist me,
Fal. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell; What Host. Hue and cry, villain, go : would you with her ?
knight; I am undone : — fly, run, hue and cry, Sim. My master, sir, my master Slender, sent to villain! I am undone ! her, seeing her go through the streets, to know, sir,
[Exeunt Host and BardolrH. whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain, Fal. I would, all the world might be cozened ; had the chain, or no.
for I have been cozened and beaten too. If it Fal. I spake with the old woman about it. should come to the ear of the court, how I have Sim. And what says she, I pray, sir?
been transformed, and how my transforınation hath Fal. Marry, she says, that the very same man, been washed and cudgeled, they would melt me that beguiled master Slender of his chain, cozened out of my fat, drop by drop, and liquor fishermen's himn of it.
boots with me; I warrant, they would whip me Sim. I would, I could have spoken with the with their fine wits, till I were as crest-fallen as a woman herself; I had other things to have spoken dried pear. I never prospered since I foreswore with her too, from him.
myself at Primero. 9 Well, if my wind were but Fal. What are they? let us know.
long enough to say my prayers, I would repent. Host. Ay, come; quick. Sim. I may not conceal them, sir.
Enler Mrs. Quickly. Fal. Conceal them, or thou diest.
Now! whence come you? Sim. Why, sir, they were nothing but about Quick. From the two parties, forsooth. mistress Anne Page ; to know, if it were my mas- Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the ter's fortune to have her, or no.
other, and so they shall be both bestowed ! I have Fal. 'Tis, 'tis his fortune.
suffered more for their sakes, more, than the vilSim. What, sir?
lainous inconstancy of man's disposition is able to Fal. To have her, - - or no: Go; say, the woman bear. told me so.
Quick. And have not they suffered ? Yes, I warSim. May I be so bold to say so, sir?
rant; speciously one of them: mistress Ford, good Fal. Ay, sir Tike; who more bold ?
heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot Sim. I thank your worship: I shall make my see a white spot about her. master glad with these tidings.
Fal. What tell'st thou me of black and blue? I Host. Thou art clerkly 8, thou art clerkly, sir was beaten myself into all the colours of the rainJohn. Was there a wise woman with thee? bow, and I was like to be apprehended for the
Fal. Ay, that there was, mine host; one, that witch of Brentford ; but that my admirable dexhath taught me more wit than ever I learned before terity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of an in my life: and I paid nothing for it neither, but old woman, deliver'd me, the knave constable had was paid for my learning.
set me i' the stocks, i’ the common stocks, for a
witch. Enter BARDOLPH.
Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamBard. Out, alas, sir! cozenage ! mere cozenage! ber : you shall hear how things go; and, I warrant,
Host. Where be my horses ? speak well of them, to your content. Here is a letter will say somevarletto.
what. Good hearts, what ado here is to bring you Bard. Run away with the cozeners: for so soon together! Sure one of you does not serve heaven as I came beyond Eton, they threw me off, from well, that you are so crossed. behind one of them, in a slough of mire ; and set Fal. Come up into my chamber. [Ereunt. spurs, and away, like three German devils, three Doctor Faustuses.
SCENE V. - Another Room in the Garter Inn. Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, villain : do not say, they be fled ; Germans are honest
Enter FENTON and Host.
Host. Master Fenton, talk not to me; my mind Enter Sir Hugh Evans.
is heavy, I will give over all. Eva. Where is mine host ?
Fent. Yet hear me speak : Assist me in my purHost. What is the matter, sir ?
pose, Ew. Have a care of your entertainments : there And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee is a friend of mine come to town, tells me, there is hundred pound in gold, more than your loss. three couzin germans, that has cozened all the Host. I will hear you, master Fenton ; and I will, hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, at the least, keep your counsel. of horses and money. I tell you for good-will, look Fent. From time to time I have acquainted you you: you are wise, and full of gibes and vlouting. With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page ; stogs; and 'tis not convenient you should be co- Who, mutually, hath answered my affection zened: Fare you well.
(Exit. (So far forth as herself might be her chooser),
Even to my wish: I have a letter from her
Of such contents as you will wonder at;
The mirth whereof so larded with my matter, Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity, and That neither, singly, can be manifested, doubtful dilemma.
Without the show of both; - wherein fat Falstaff Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat : but it is tell-a me, Hath a great scene : the image of the jest dat you make grand preparation for a duke de Jar
(Showing the letter many: by my trot, dere is no duke, dat the court I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine host is know to come; I tell you for good vill : Adieu. To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and one,
(Exit. 8 Scholar like.
9 A game at cards,