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Mrs. Ford. A plain kerchief, Sir John; my brows become nothing else, nor that well neither.
Fal. Thou art a tyrant to say so; thou would'st make an absolute Courtier; and the firm fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy gate, in a semi-circled 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 2many of those lifping haw-thorn buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklers-Bury This was an image familiar with pears from the impropriety of the poets of that time. Thus the word attire here used for a Beaumont and Fletcher, in their woman's headdress : whereas it play of Wit avithout money,
fignifies the dress of any part. She spreads fattens as the King's We should read therefore, Or any frips do canvas every where, jhe 'tire of Venetian admittance. For may space ber mifen ; &c. This the word attire, reduced by the will cirect us to reform the fol- Aphæresis, to 'tire, takes a new lowing word of tire. valiant, signification, and means only the which I suspect to be corrupt, head-dress
. Hence Tire. ziman, valiant being a very incongru- for a dresser of the head. As to ous epithet for a woman's head. the meaning of the latter part of dress. I suppose Shakespeare wrote the sentence, this may be seen by tire-vailant. As the fi:ip-tire was a paraphrafe of the whole fpecch. an efen head dress, so the tire. Your face is so good, says valant was a close one; in which the speaker, that it would be. the head and breast were covered come any head dress worn at as with a vail. And these were, court, either the open or the in fact, the two different head. close, or indeed any rich and fa. dresses then in fashion, as we may shionable one worth adorning see by the pictures of that time. with Venetian point, or which One of which was so open, that will admit to be adorned. [Of the whole neck, breasts and Venetian admittance.] The fa. houlders, were open'd to view : fhionable lace, at that time, was the other, fo fecurcly inclosed in Venetian point. WARBURTON. kerchiefs, &c. that nothing could
This note is plausible, except be seen above the eyes or below in the explanation of Venetian the chin.
admittance : but I am afraid this or any Venetian attire.] whole fyftem of dress is unsupThis is a wrong reading, as ap- ported by evidence.
in fimpling time; I cannot: but I love thee, none but thee; and thou deferveft it.
Mrs. Ford. Do not betray me, Sir; I fear, you love mistress 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-kilp.
Mrs. Ford. Well, heav'n 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.
Rob. [within.] Mistress Ford, mistress Ford, here's mistress Page at the door, sweating, and blowing, and looking wildly, and would needs fpeak with you presently.
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 bides himself,
Enter mistress Page.
What's the matter how now?
Mrs. Page. O mistress Ford, what have you done? you're sham’d, y’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 fufpicion ?-out upon you!-how am I mistook in you?
Mrs. Ford. Why, alas! what's the matter?
with all the officers in Windsor, to search for a gentleman, that, he says, is here now in the house, by your confent, to take an ill advantage of his abfence. You are undone.
Mrs. Ford. Speak louder Afide.] 'Tis not so, I hope.
Mrs. Page. Pray heav'n 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 fuch a one. I come before to tell you: if you know yourfelf clear, why, I am glad of it; but if you have a friend here, convey, convey him out. Be not amaz’d, call all your Senses to you, defend your reputation, or bid farewel to your good life for ever.
Mrs. Ford. What Thall I do? there is a gentleman, my dear friend; and I fear not mine own shame, fo 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. Oh, how have you deceiv'd me? look, here is a baskei, if he be of any reasonable stature, he may creep in here, and throw foul linen upon him, as if it were going to bucking : or it is whiting time, fend 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, lei me see't, О 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-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, go take up these clothes here, quickly. Where's the cowl-staff? Look, how you drumble : carry them to the landress in Datchet-mead; quickly, come.
S CE N E X.
Enter Ford, Page, Caius, and 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 landress, 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 shall appear. [Exeunt Servants with the basket.] Gentlemen, I have dream'd to-night, I'll tell you my dream. Here, here, here be my keys; ascend my chambers, search, feek, 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 ferry fantastical humours and jealoufies.
Caius. By gar, 'tis no the fashion of France; it is not jealous in France
So now uncape.) So the much as to say, take out the foul Folio of 1623 reads, and rightly. linnen under which the adulterer It is a term in Fox hunting, lies hid. The Oxford Editor which signifies to dig out the Fox reads unccuple, out of pure love when earth'd. And here is as to an emendation. WARBURT.
Paje. Nay, fallow him, gentlemen, see the issue of his search.
Manent Mistress Page and Mistress Ford. Mrs. Page. Is there not a double excellency in this?
Mrs. Ford. I know not which pleases me better, that my husband is deceiv’d, 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 a benefit.
Mrs. Page. Hang him, dishonest rascal; I would, all of the fame strain were in the same distress.
Mrs. Ford. I think, my husband hath some special suspicion of Falstaff's being here. 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 Falstaf; his diffolute disease will scarce obey this medicine.
Mrs. Ford. Shall we send that foolish carrion, miltress 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
mor row by eight o'clock, to have amends.
Re-enter Ford, Page, and the rest at a distance. Ford. I cannot find him; may be, the knave brag'a of that he could not compass.
Mrs. Page. Heard you thạt ?
Mrs. Ford. I, I; peace:-_You use me well, mafter Ford, do you? Ford, Ay, ay, I do so.