Imatges de pÓgina

water; for my belly's as cold as if I had swallow'd snow-balls, for pills to cool the reins. Call her in.

Bard. Come in, woman.

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Enter Mrs. Quickly. Quic. By your leave-I cry you mercy. Give your worship good morrow.

Fal. Take away these challices: go brew me a pottle of fack finely

Bard. With eggs, Sir?

Fal. Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage -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 on a foolish woman's promise.

Quic. Well, she laments, Sir, for it, that it would yern your heart to see it. Her husband goes this morning 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 merit.

Quic. 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.



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Fal. I marvel, I hear not of master Brook; he fent me word to stay within : I like his mony well. Oh, here he comes.


Enter Ford.

Ford. Bless


Sir. Fal. Now, master Brook, you come to know what hath pafs'd between me and Ford's wife.

Ford. That, indeed, Sir John, is my bufiness.

Fal. Master Brook, I will not lie to you; I was at her house the hour she appointed me.

Ford. And you sped, Sir?
Fal. Very ill-favour’dly, master Brook.
Ford. How, Sir, did the change her determination ?

Fal. No, master Brook ; but the peaking cornuto her husband, master Brook, dwelling in a continual 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 a rabble of his companions, thither provok'd and instigated by his distemper, and, forfooth, to search his house for his wife's love.

Ford. What, while you was there?
Fal. While I was 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 di{traction, they convey'd me into a buck-basket.

Ford. A buck-basket?

Fal. Yea, a buck-basket; ramm'd me in with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, and greasy papkins; that, master Brook, there was the rankelt

compound of villainous smell, that ever offended noftril.

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 callid forth by their mistress, to carry me in the name of foul cloaths to Datchetlane; 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, left the lunatick knave would have search'd 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 cloaths; but mark the sequel, master Brook ; I suffer'd the pangs of three egregious deaths: first, an intolerable fright, to be detected by a jealous rotten bell weather; next to be compafs'd like a good bilbo 4, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to point, heel to head; and then to be stopt in, like a strong distillation, with stinking cloaths that fretted in their own grease: think of that, a man of my * kidney ; think of that, that am as subject to hear 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 coold glowing hot, in that surge, like a horse-lhoe; think of that; hilling hot; think of that, master Brook.

Ford. In good sadness, Sir, I am sorry that for my sake you have suffer'd all this. My fuit is then defperate; 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 re

4 A bilbo is a Spanish blade, phrase now fignifies kind or quaof which the excellence is flexi- lities, but Falstaff means a man bleness and elasticity.

whose kidnies are as fat as mine. kidney ;] Kidney in this

ceiv'd from her another embasiy of meeting; 'cwixt 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 crown'd 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 buck-baskets !--Well, I will proclaim myself what I am; I will now take the leacher; he is at my house ; he cannot ’scape me; 'tis impoflible, he should; he cannot creep into a half-penny purse, nor into a pepperbox; but, left the devil that guides him should aid him, I will search impoflible places. Tho' 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.

5 There is no image which his plays for the stage rather than our author appears so fond of as the press, he perhaps reviewed that of a cuckold's horns. Scarcc- them seldom, and did not obly a light character is introduced ferve this repetition, or finding that does not endeavour to pro- the jest, however frequent, still duce merriment by some allusion successful, did not think correcto horned husbands. As he wrote tion necessary.




Page's House.

Enter Mrs. Page, Mrs. Quickly, and William.

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Mrs. PAGE.
S he at Mr. 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. Mrs. Ford delires 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 Evans.

How now, Sir Hugh, no school to-day?

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

Quic. Blessing on 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. Com hither, William-hold up your head,


Mrs. Page. Come on, Sirrah, hold up your head. Answer your master, be not afraid.

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

6 This is a very trifling scene, to the audience; but Shakespeare of no use to the plot, and I belt knew what would please. should think of no great delight

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