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goes to them by his note ; there is no hiding you in the house.

Fal. .'ll go out then.

Mrs. Ford If you go out in your own semblance, you die, Sir John. unless you go out disguis’d. How might we disguite hiin!

Mrs. Page Alas-the-day, I know not; there is no woman's gown big enough for him: otherwise he might. put on a hat, a muffler, and a kerchief, and so escape.

Fal Good heart, devise fomething; any extremity rather than mitchief.

Mrs. Ford. My maid's aunt, the fat woman of Brainford, 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 hat, and her muffler too.

Run up, Sir John. Mrs Ford. Go, go, sweet Sir John; Mistress Page and I will look some linen for

your

head Mrs. 'age. Quick, quick, we'll come dress you straight; put on the gown the while. [Exit Falitaff.

Mirs. Ford I would my husband would meet him in this shape; he cannot abide the old woman of Prainford; he swears she's a witch, forbade her my house, and hath threatened to beat her.

Mrs. Page Heav'n 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 sadneis, is he ; and talks of the basket too, however 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 Brainford.

Mrs. Ford. I'll first direct my men, what they shall do with the basket; go up, I'll bring linen for him straight.

Mss. Page. Hang him, dishonest varlet, we cannot misuse him We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do, Wives may be merry, and yet honest too.

We

enough

We do not act, that often jest and laugh:
'Tis old, but true. Still fwine eats all the draugh.

Mrs. Ford. Go lirs, take the baiket again on your shoulders : your matter is hard at door; if he bid you set it down, obey him: quickly, dispatch.

[Exeunt Mrs. Page and Mrs. Ford.

Enter servants with the basket. i Seru. Come, come, take up.

2 Serv. Pray heav'n, it be not full of the Knight again

i Serv. I hope not. I had as lief bear so much lead,

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Enter Ford, Shallow, Page, Caius, and Evans.

Ford. Ay, but if it prove true, Master Page, have you any way then to unfool me again? Set down the baiket, villain ; fomebody call my wife : youth in a basket ! oh, you panderly rascals ! there's a knot, a gang, a pack, a conspiracy, against me : now shall the devil be sham’d. What, wife, I say; come, come forth, behold what honest cloaths you send forth to bleaching Page. Why, this passes *, Master Ford;

you are not to go loose any longer, you must be pinion'd.

Eva. Why, this is lunatics; this is mad as a mad dog.

Enter Mistress Ford.
Shal. Indeed, Master Ford, this is not well, indeed.

Ford. So say I too, Sir Come hither, Mistress Ford; Mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool to her husband! I suspect without cause, Mistress, do I?

Mrs. Ford. Heav'n be my witness you do, if you sufpect me in any dishonesty

Ford. Well said, brazen-face ; hold it out: come forth, Sirrah. [Pulls the cloaths out of the basket. Page. This paffes * * See the note, p. 188 G 8 2

Mrs.

i

Mrs. Ford. Are you not alham'd ? let the cloaths alone.

Ford. I shall find you anon. * Eva. 'Tis unreasonable; will you take up your wife's cloaths ? come away.

Ford. Empty the basket, I say.
Mrs. Ford. Why, man, why

Ford. Malter Page, as I am a man, there was one convey'd out of my house yesterday in this batket; why may not he be there again: in my house I am sure he is ; my intelligence is true, my jealouty is reasonable ; pluck me out all the linen.

Mrs. Ford. If you find a man there, he hall die a flea's death

Page. Here's no man.

Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, Master Ford ; this wrongs you

Eva. Malter Ford, you must pray, and not follova the imaginations of your own heart: this is jealousies.

Ford. Well, he's not here I seek for.
Page. No, nor no where elie but in your brain.

Ford. Help to search my house this one time. If I find not what I feel, thew no colour for my extremity; let me for ever be your table-sport ; let them say: of me, As jealous as Ford, that searcheth a hollow wall-nut for his wife's leman. Satisfy me once more, once more search with me.

Mrs. Ford. What hoa, Mistress Page! come you, and the old woman down; my husband will come into the chainber.

Ford. Old woman ! what old woman's that?
Mrs. Ford. Why, it is my maid's aunt of Brainford,

Ford. A witch, a quean, an 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 by charms, by spells, by th’ figure; and such dawbry as this is beyond our element; we know nothing Come down, you witch ; you hag you, come down, I say.

Hirs. Ford. Nay, good sweet husband; good Gentlemen, let him not itrike the old woman.

SCENE

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door, you

tell you.

S CE N E. V.
Enter Falstaff in women's cloaths, and Mrs. Page.

Mrs. Page. Come, mother Prat, come give me your
hand.
Ford. I'll Prat her. Out of

my

witch ! [Beats him ] you hag, you baggage, you poulcat, you runnion ! out, out, out; I'll conjure you, I'll fortune

[Exit Fal. Mrs. Page. Are you not asham’d? I think you have kill'd the poor woman.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, he will do it; 'tis a goodly credit for you!

Ford. Hang her, witch.

Eva. By yea and no, I think the 'omart is a witch indeed. I like not when a 'oman has a great peard; I spy a great peard under her mumer

Ford. Will you follow, Gentlemen ? I beseech you, follow; see but the issue of my jealousy; if I cry out thus upon no trail, never trust me when I open again.

Page. Let's obey his humour a lictle further; come, Gentlemen.

[ Exeunt, N1rs. Page Trust me, he beat him molt pititully.

Mrs Ford. Nay, by th’mass, that he did not; he beat himn molt unpitifully, methought.

Mrs. t'age l'll have the cudgel hallow'd, and hung c'er the altar; it hath done meritorious service.

Mrs. Ford. What think you' may we, with the war. rant of womanhood, and the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any further revenge?

Mrs. Page The spirit of wantonnefs is, fure, scar'd out of him; if the devil have him not in fee-fimple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I think, in the way of waste, attempt us again

Mrs. Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how we have ferved him!

Mrs Page. Yes, by all means; if it be but to scrape the figures out of your husband's brain. If they can find in their hearts the poor unvirtuous fat Knight shall be

any further afflited, we two will still be the miniIters. Mrs. Ford. I'll warrant they'll have him publicly

iham'd;

shamn'd; and methinks there would be no period to the jest, should he not be publicly than’d.

Mrs. age. Come to the forge with it, then shape it : I would not have things cool.

[cxeunt.

SCENE VI. Changes to the Garter-inn.

Enter Holt and Bardolph.
Bard. Sir, the German defires to have three of

your horses; the Duke himself will be to-morrow at court, and they are going to meet him.

Hoft. What Duke fhould that be comes so secretly? I hear not of him in the court: let me speak with the gentlemen ; they speak English?

Bard. Sir, I'll call them co you.

Hoft. They shall have my horfes, but I'll make them pay; I'll fawce them. They have had my house a week at command ; I have turned away my other guests; they must compt off ; I'll sauce them, come.

[Exeunt.

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S CE N E VII. Changes to Ford's house. Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Evans.

Eva. 'Tis one of the best discretions of 'oman, as ever I did look upon.

Page. And he did send you both these letters at an instant ?

Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour.
Ford. Pardon me, wife. Henceforth do what thou

wilt;
I rather will fufpect the fun with cold,
Than thee with wantonness; thy honour stands,
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
Yet once again, to make us public sport,
Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,
Where we may take him, and disgrace him for it.
Ford. There is no better way than that they spoke of.

Page.

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