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Fal. Nay, you shall hear, Master Brook, what I have fuffer'd to bring this woman to evil for your good. Being thus cramınd in the baiket, 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 lunatic 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 soul cloaths. But mark the sequel, Mr. Brook. I suffer'd the pangs of three egregious deaths : first, an intollerable fright, to be detected by a jealous rotten bell-weather; next, to be compass'd like a good bilbo, in the circunference of a peck, hilt to point, heel to head; and then to be itopt 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 subje Et to heat as butter; a man of continual dissolution and thaw; it was a miracle to 'scape fulfocation. 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; hilling hot; think of that, Master Brook.
Ford. In good sadness, Sir, I am sorry that for my fake you suffer'd all this. My tuit is then desperate; you'll undertake her no more?
Fal. Master Brook, I will be thrown into Ætna, as I have been into Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her husband is this morning gone a birding. I have receiv'd from her another embassy of meeting. 'Twixt eight and nine is the hour, Maiter Brook. ford. 'Tis past eight already, Sir. Fal. Is it? I will then address me to my appoint
Come to me at your convenient leisure, and you shall know how I speed; and the conclusion shail be crown'd with your enjoying her. Adieu; you fall have her, Master Brook; Malter 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 buckbaskets! Well, I will proclaim my self what I am ;
I will now take the leacher; he is at my house; he cannot 'scape me; 'tis imposible he thould; he cannot creep into a halfpenny-purse, nor into a pepper-box. 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.
ACT IV. S CE NE I.
Page's house. Enter Mrs. Page, Mrs. Quickly, and William. Nirs. Page. Is he at Mr. Ford's already, think'st thou?
Quic. Sure he is by this, or will be prefently; but truly he is very courageous mad, about his throwing into the water; Mrs. Ford desires you to come fuddenly.
Mrs. Page. I'll be with her by and by; I'll but bring my young man here to school.
Look where his mafter comes ; 'tis a playing-day, I see. How now, Sir Hugh, no school to-day?
Enter Evans. Eva. No; Master Slender is let the boys leave to play.
Quic. Blessing of his heart!
Mrs. Page. Sir Hugh, my husband fays my son profits nothing in the world at his book; I pray you ask him some questions in his accidence.
Eva. Come 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 ?
Quic. Truly I thought there had been one number more, because they say, od’s nouns.
Eva. Peace your tatlings. What is fair, William? Will. Pulcher.
Quic. Poulcats ? there are fairer things than pouleats, fure.
Eva. You are a very simplicity ’oman; I pray you peace. What is lapis, William?
Will. A stone.
Eva. No, it is lapis. I pray you, remember in your prain.
Eva. That is a good William. What is he, William, that does lend articles?
Will. Articles are borrowed of the pronoun, and be thus declin'd, Singulariter nominativo, hic, hæc, hoc.
Eva. Nominativo, big, hag, hog; pray you, mark: genitivo, hujus. Well, what is your accusative casa?
Will. Accusative, hinc.
Eva. I pray you, have your remembrance, child ; accufative, hung, hang, hog.
Quic. Hang hog is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.
Eva. Leave your prabbles, 'oman. What is the focative case, William ?
Will. O, vocativo, O.
Quic. 'Vengeance of Giney's cafe ; fie on her! never name her, child, if she be a whore.
Eva. For shame, 'oman.
Quic. 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
Eva. 'Oman, art thou lunacies? haft thou no underitandings for thy cases, and the numbers of the genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as I would defire.
Mrs.Page. Pr'ythee, hold thy peace.
Eva. Shew me now, William, fome declensions of your pronouns.
Will. Forfooth, I have forgot.
Eva. It is qui, que, quod. If you forget your quies, your ques, and your quods, you must be preeches. Go your ways and play, go.
Mrs. Page. He is a better fcholar than I thought he
Eva. He is a good sprag memory. Farewel, Mrs, Page.
Mrs. Page. Adieu, good Sir Hugh. Get you home, boy. Come, we stay too long.
[Exeunt. SCENE II. Changes to Ford's house.
Enter Falstaff and Mrs. Ford. Fal. Mistress Ford, your forrow hath eaten up my sufferance; I see you are obfequious 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 accoustrement, complement, and ceremony of it. But are you sure of your husband now?
Mrs. Ford. He's a-birding, sweet Sir John.
Mrs. Ford. Step into the chamber, Sir John.
[Exit Falstaff. Enter Mrs. Page. Mrs. Page. How now, sweet heart, who's at home besides yourself?
Mrs. Ford. Why, none but mine own people.
Mrs. Page. Truly, I am so glad you have no body bere.
Mrs. Ford. Why? Mrs. Page. Why, woman, your husband is in his old 3
lunes again. He fo 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 distemper he is in
I am glad the fat Knight is not here. Mrs. Ford. Why? does he talk of him?
Mrs. Page. Of none but him; and swears he was carry'd out, the last time he search'd 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 fufpicion. But I am glad the Knight is not here; now he shall see his own foolery.
Mrs. Ford. How near is he, Mistress Page?
Mrs. Ford. I am undone, the Knight is here.
Mrs. Page. Why, then thou art utterly sham'd, and he's but a dead man. What a woman are you ? away with him, away with him; better Thame than murder.
Mrs. Ford. Which way should he go? how should I bestow him? shall I put him into the basket again ?
S CE N E III. Enter Falstaff. Fal. No, I'll come no more i' th' basket! may I not go out ere he come ?
Mrs. Page, Alas ! alas ! three of Master Ford's brothers watch the door with pistols, that none should ifsue out, otherwise you might slip away ere he came. But what make you here?
Fal. What Thall I do? I'll creep up into the chimney.
Mrs. Ford. There they always use to discharge their birding-pieces; creep into the kill-hole.
Fal. Where is it?
Mrs. Ford. He will seek there on my word. Neither press, coffer, chelt, trunk, well, vault, but he hath an abstract for the remembrance of such places, and VOL.I.