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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 pen, good uncle.
Shal. Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.
Slen. Ay, that I do; as well as I love any woman in
Shal. He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.
Shal. He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.
Anne. Good master Shallow, let him woo for himself.
Slen. Now, good mistress Anne.
Slen. My will? od's heartlings, that's a pretty jest,
Slen. Truly, for mine own part, I would little or no-
Enter PAGE, and Mistress PAGE.
Page. Now, master Slender :- love him, daughter
Why, how now! what does master Fenton here?
Mrs Page. Good master Fenton, come not to my
Page. She is no match for you.
Come, master Shallow; come, son Slender; in:-
Quick. Speak to mistress Page!
In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Perforce, against all checks, rebukes, and manners,
And not retire: let me have your good will!
Anne. Good mother, do not marry me to yond' fool!
Anne. Alas, I had rather he set quick i' the earth,
Mrs Page. Come, trouble not yourself: good master
will not be your friend, nor enemy:
My daughter will I question how she loves you,
Till then, farewell, sir!-She must needs go in;
Fent, I thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night
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 am I to slack it? [Exit.
SCENE V.-A Room in the Garter Inn.
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! Bed. Come in, woman!
Enter Mrs QUICKLY. Quick. By your leave; I cry you mercy give your worship good-morrow.
Fal. Take away these chalices. Go brew me e pottle 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. Quick. Alas the day! good heart, that was not her fault: she does so take on with her men; they mistook their etection.
Fal. So did I mine, to build upon a foolish woman's promise.
Quick. Well, she laments, sir, for it, that it would
-in that surge, like a horse-shoe; think of that,-his-
yearn your heart to see it.Her husband goes this morn-
Fal. Do so. Between nine and ten, say'st thou?
Fal. Well, be gone: I will not miss her.
Fal. I marvel, I hear not of master Brook; me word to stay within: I like his money well. he comes.
[Exit. he sent O, here
Ford. Bless you, sir!
Fal. Master Brook, I will be thrown into Aetna, as I
Fal. Is it? I will then address me to my appointment.
[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 lord'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.
kets!--Well, I will proclaim myself what I am : I will
Fal. No, master Brook; but the peaking cornuto, her
Ford, What, while you were there?
Ford. And did he search for you, and could not find you?
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 see. Enter Sir HUGH EVANS. How now, sir Hugh? no school to-day? Eva. No; master Slender is let the boys leave to play. Quick. Blessing of his heart!
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 ?
Quick. Truly, I thought there had been one number more; because they say, od's nouns. Eva. Peace your tattlings!-What is fair, William?
Quick. Poulcats! there are fairer things than poul
Mrs Page. Sir Hugh, my husband says, my son proFal. Nay, you shall hear, master Brook, what I have fits nothing in the world at his book; I pray you, ask 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 jeous 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 point, heel to head; and then, to be stopped in, like a strong distillation, with stinklothes, 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 aDutch dish, to be thrown into the Thames, and cooled, glowing hot,
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?
Eva. No, it is lapis; I pray you, remember in your prain.
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: 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?
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 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 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 goes to them by his note. There is no hiding you in the house.
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?
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!
Enter Mrs PAGE.
Mrs Page. How now, sweetheart? who's at home besides yourself?
Mrs Ford. Why, none but mine own people.
Mrs Ford. No, certainly:
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
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 your head. Mrs Page. Quick, quick! we'll come dress you straight: put on the gown the while! [Exit Falstaff. 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.
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.
Mrs Page. Hang him, dishonest varlet! we cannot misuse him enough.
We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do,
| Enter FALSTAFF in women's clothes, led by Mrs PAGE.
We do not act, that often jest and laugh;
Re-enter Mrs FORD, with two Servants.
Mrs 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 Serv. Come, come, take it up!
2 Serv. 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
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!
Ford. Ay, but if it prove true, master Page, have you
Page. Why, this passes! Master Ford, you are not
Enter Mrs FORD.
Ford. So say Itoo, sir.-Come hither, mistress Ford;
Page. This passes!
Ford. Empty the basket, I say!
Mrs Ford. If you find a man there, he shall die a flea's! Page. Here's no man. death.
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,show no colour for my extremity, let me for ever be your table-sport; let them say of me, As jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow walnut for his wife's leman.Satisfy me once more; once more search
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 uunt of Brentford. Ford. A witch, a quean, and old cozening quean! Have I not forbid her my house? She comes of errands, does she? We are simple men; we do not know what's brought to pass under the profession of fortune-telling. She works hy charms, by spells, by the figure, and such daubery as this is; beyond our element: we know nothing.- -Come down, you witch, you hag you; come down, I say!
Mrs Ford. Nay, good, sweet husband;-good gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.
Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen? I beseech you,
Mrs Page. I'll have the cudgel hallowed, and hang
Mrs Ford. Shall we tell our husbands, how we have
Mrs Page. Yes, by all means; if it be but to scrape
Mrs Ford. I'll warrant, they'll have him publicly shamed: and, methinks, there would be no period to the jest, should he not be publicly shamed. Mrs Page. Come, to the forge with it then, shape it! I would not have things cool. [Exeunt.
In him, that was of late an heretic,
As firm as faith.
Page. 'Tis well, 'tis well; no more.
Be not as extreme in submission,
As in offence;
But let our plot go forward: let our wives
Page. So think I too.
Mrs Page.My Nan shall be the queen of all the fairies,
Page. That silk will I go buy ;-and in that time
Eva. Let us about it! It is admirable pleasures, and fery honest knaveries!
[Exeunt Page, Ford, and Evans.
Mrs Page. Go, mistress Ford,
Mrs Ford. Devise but, how you'll use him, when he And he my husband best of all affects:
And let us two devise to bring him thither.
The doctor is well money'd, and his friends
Mrs Page. There is an old tale goes, that Herne the Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave her. hunter,
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest,
Doth all the winter time, at still midnight,
Walk round about an oak with great ragg'd horns;
SCENE V.- A room in the Garter Inn.
Enter Host and SIMPLE.
Host. What would'st thou have, boor? what, thick
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a skin? speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick, snap! Sim. Marry, sir, I come to speak with sir John Falstaff from master Slender.
In a most hideous and dreadful manner:
You have heard of such a spirit; and well you know, Host. There's his chamber, his house, his castle, his The superstitions idle-headed eld
Received, and did deliver to our age,
This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.
Page. Why, yet there want not many, that do fear
Mrs Ford. Marry, this is our device;
standing-bed, and truckle-bed; 'tis painted about with the story of the prodigal, fresh and new: go, knock and call; he'll speak like an Anthropophaginian unto thee. Knock, I say!
Sim. There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone up into his chamber: I'll be so bold as stay, sir, till she come down: I come to speak with her, indeed.
Host. Ha! a fat woman! the knight may be robbed: I'll call.-Bully knight! Bully sir John! speak from thy lungs military: art thou there? it is thine host, thine thi-Ephesian, calls.
Nan Page my daughter, and my little
Mrs Ford. And till he tell the truth,
Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound,"
And burn him with their tapers.
Mrs Page. The truth being known,
We'll all present ourselves; dis-horn the spirit,
Ford. The children must
Be practis'd well to this, or they'll ne'er do't.
Eva. I will teach the children their behaviours; and
I will be like a jack-an-apes also; to burn the knight
Fal. There was, mine host, an old fat woman even with me; but she's gone.
Sim. Pray you, sir, was't not the wise woman of Brentford?
Fal. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell: what would you with her?
Sim. My master, sir, my master Slender, sent to her, seeing her go thorough the streets, to know, sir, whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain, had the chain, or no.
Fal. I spake with the old woman about it.
Fal. Marry, she says, that the very same man, that beguiled master Slender of his chain, cozened him of it. Sim. I would, I could have spoken with the woman herself; I had other things to have spoken with her too, from him.
Fal. What are they? let us know.
Sim. Why, sir, they were nothing but about mis-