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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.
Mrs. Ford. Shall we send Mistress Quickly to him, and excuse his throwing into the water; and give him another hope, to betray him to another punishment ?
Mrs. Page. We'll do it; let him be sent for to-morrow eight o'clock, to have amends.
Re-enter FORD and Page, R. Ford. I cannot find him: may be, the knave hragg'd of that he could not compass.
Mrs. Page. Heard you that?
Mrs. Ford. Ay, ay ; peace !-- You use me well, Master Ford, do you?
Ford. Ay, I do so.
Mrs. Ford. Heaven make you better than your thoughts !
[Exit, r. S. E. Ford. Amen.
Mrs. Page. You do yourself mighty wrong, Master Ford.
[Exit, L. S. E. Ford. Ay, ay; I must bear it.
Enter Evans and Caius, R. Eva. If there be any pody in the house, and in the chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses, heaven forgive me my sins !
Caius. By gar, nor I too ; dere is no bodies. Page. Fie, fie, Master Ford! are you not asham'd ? What spirit, what devil suggests this imagination ?
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.
Page. Let's go, gentlemen :-but trust me, we'll mock him.- 1 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.—'Pray you, go, Master Page.
(Excunt FORD and Page, R. 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 paltry knave; to have Is gibes, and his mockeries.
SCENE IV.- Page's House. Enter Anne Page, Mrs. QUICKLY, SHALLOW, and
SLENDER, R. Shal. (R. C.) Mistress Quickly; my kinsman shall speak for himself.
Slen. (c.) 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.
Quick. Mark ye; Master Slender would speak a word with you. Anne. I come to him. [Comes down the Stage.] This
is my father's choice. 0, what a world of vile ill-favour'd faults Look handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!
[Aside. Shal. She's coming ; to her, coz. 0, boy, thou hadst a father !
[SLENDÈr crosses to Centre. Slen. I had a father, Mistress Ann ;-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 Gloucestershire.
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 him. self.
Shal. Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good comfort. She calls you, coz: I'll leave you. Come Mrs. Quickly-mum!
[Exeunt SHALLOW and QUICKLY, R. Anne. (L. C.) Now, Master Slender. Slen. (c.) 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 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 can : You may ask your father ; there he is. [Pointing off.] Let's go to him-Oh, Mistress Anne !
SCENE V.-The Garter Inn.-Chairs on.
Enter Falstaff and BARDOLPI, L.
Fal. Go, fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in't. [Exit BARDOLPII, L.] Have I liy'd to be carried in a basket, like a barrow of butcher's offal; and to be thrown into the Thames? Well; if I be serv'd such another trick, I'll have my brains ta'en out, and butter'd, 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 drown'd 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 drown'd, 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 swell'd! I should have been a mountain of mummy.
Enter BARDOLPII, with the Sack, L. Bard. Hore'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 swallow'd snow-balls.-Call her in. Bard. Como in, woman.
Enter MRS. QUICKLY, L. Quiek. By your leave ;-) cry you mercy :-Give your worship good-morrow,
Fal. Go, brewme a pot of the sack Anely.
Fal. Simple of itself.—[Exit BARDOLPH, L.]–How now?
Quick. Marry, sir, I come to your worship from Mis. tress 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 her.
Fal. So did I, to build upon a foolish woman's pro. mise.
Quick. Well, she laments, sir, for it, that it would yearn your heart to see it. Her husband goes this morn. ing a-birding : she desires you once more to come to her between eight and nine : I must carry her word quickly: she'll make you amends, I warrant you.
Fal. Well, I will visit her: tell her so ; and bid her think what a man is : let her consider' his frailty, and then judge of my mierit.
Quick. I will tell her.
[Exit, Fal. I marvel, I hear not of Master Brook; he sent me word to stay within: I like his money well.-0, here he comes.
Enter FORD, L. disguised. Ford. 'Bless
sir ! Fal. Now, Master Brook ?--you come to know what hath pass'd 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 housė 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 determing. tion ?
Fal. No, Master Brook : but the peaking carnuto'her husband, Master Brook, dwelling in a continuat 'larum of jealousy, comes me in the instant of our encounter, after we had embrac’d, kiss'd, protested, and as it were, spoke the prologue of our comedy; and at his heels &
rabble of his companions, thither provok'd and instigated by his distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for his wife's love.
Ford. What, while you were there?
Ford. And did he search for you, and could not find you?
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 convey'd me into a buck-basket. Ford. A buck-basket !
Fal. By the lord, a buck-basket: ramm’d 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 nostril.
Ford. And how long lay you there?
Fal. Nay, you shall hear, Master Brook, what I have suffer'd, to bring this woman to evil for your good.Being thus cramm’d in the basket, a couple of Ford's knaves, his hinds, were call’d 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 ask'd them once or twice, what they had in their basket : I quak'd for fear, lest the lunatic knave would have search'd it; but fate, daining 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 Brooks: I suf. fer'd the pangs of three several deaths : first, an intolerable fright, to be detected with a jealous bell-wether : next, to be compass’d, like a good bilbo, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to point, heel to head : and then, to be stopp d in, like a strong distillation, with stinking clothes that fretted in their own grease : think of thąt-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 stew'd in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be thrown into the Thames, and cool'd, glowing hot, in that surge, like a horse-shoe: think of that-hissing hot-think of that, Master Brook.
[Goes up and throws himself into a large
Chair, L. c.