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WIVES OF

OF WINDSOR

Mrs. Ford. Heaven make you better than your thoughts !
FORD. Amen.
Mrs. PAGE. You do yourself mighty wrong, master Ford.
FORD. Ay, ay; I must bear it.

Eva. If there pe any pody in the house, and in the chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses, heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgment !

CAIUs. By gar, nor I too; dere is no bodies.

Page. Fie, fie, master Ford ! are you not ashamed? What spirit, what devil suggests this imagination? I would not have your distemper in this kind, for the wealth of Windsor Castle,

FORD. 'T is my fault,a 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 't is an honest woman.

FORD. Well ;-I promised you a dinner :-come, come, walk in the park: I pray you, pardon me, I will hereafter make known to you, why I have done this.—Come, wife ;-come, mistress Page; I pray you pardon me; pray heartily, pardon me.

PAGE. Let's go in, gentlemen ; but, trust me, we'll mock him. I 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.
Eva. If there is one, I shall make two in the company,
Caius. If there be one or two, I shall make-a de tird.
FORD. Pray you go, master Page.

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 lousy knave; to have his gibes, and his mockeries.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV.-A Room in Page's House.

Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGE.
FENT. I see, I cannot get thy father's love;
Therefore, no more turn me to him, sweet Nan,

ANNE. Alas! how then ?
FENT.

Why, thou must be thyself.
He doth object, I am too great of birth;
And that, my state being gall’d with my expense,
I seek to heal it only by his wealth :
Besides these, other bars he lays before me,
My riots past, my wild societies;
And tells me, 't is a thing impossible
I should love thee, but as a property.

ANNE. May be, he tells you true.

'Tis my fault,-) That is, my misfortune. See note (d), Vol. II., p. 97.

FENT. No, heaven so speed me in my time to come!
Albeit, I will confess, thy father's wealth
Was the first motive that I woo'd thee, Anne:
Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
Than stamps in gold, or sums in sealed bags :
And 't is the very riches of thyself
That now I aim at.
ANNE.

Gentle master Fenton,
Yet seek my father's love: still seek it, sir :
If opportunity and humblest suit
Cannot attain it, why then, hark you hither. [They converse apart.

Enter SHALLOW, SLENDER, and MISTRESS QUICKLY. SHAL. Break their talk, mistress Quickly; my kinsman shall speak for himself.

SLEN. I'll make a shaft or a bolt on 't:a 'slid, 't is but venturing. SHAL, Be not dismayed.

SLEN. No, she shall not dismay me: I care not for that,—but that I am afeard.

QUICK. Hark ye; master Slender would speak a word with you.

ANNE. I come to him. This is my father's choice. 0, what a world of vile ill-favour'd faults Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!

[Aside. QUICK. And how does good master Fenton ? Pray you, a word with you.

SHAL. She's coming; to her, coz. O boy, thou hadst a father!

SLEN. I had a father, mistress Anne ;—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 Glostershire.
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 himself.

SHAL. Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good comfort. She calls you, coz: I'll leave you.

ANNE. Now, master Slender.
SLEN. 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, hath made motions: if it be my

• I'll make a shaft or a bolt on 't:) To make a bolt or a shaft of a thing is an old proverbial expression, equivalent to our saying, Here goes, hit or miss.

Come cut and long-tail,] Let any come that may i good and bad. This phrase was, no doubt, originally applied to dogs, or horses.

luck, so: if not, happy man be his dole?a They can tell you how things go, better than I can: you may ask your father; here he comes.

Enter Page, and MISTRESS PAGE.
PAGE. Now, master Slender :-love him, daughter Anne.
Why, how now! what does master Fenton here?
You wrong me, sir, thus still to haunt my house:
I told you, sir, my daughter is disposed of.

FENT. Nay, master Page, be not impatient.
MRS. PAGE. Good master Fenton, come not to my child.
PAGE. She is no match for you.
FENT. Sir, will you hear me?
PAGE.

No, good master Fenton.
Come, master Shallow ; come, son Slender; in :-
Knowing my mind, you wrong me, master Fenton.

[Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. QUICK. Speak to mistress Page.

FENT. Good mistress Page, for that I love your daughter
In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Perforce, against all checks, rebukes, and manners,
I must advance the colours of my love,
And not retire: let me have your good will.

ANNE. Good mother, do not marry me to yond fool.
MRS. PAGE. I mean it not; I seek you a better husband.
QUICK. That's my master, master doctor.
ANNE. Alas, I had rather be set quick i'th' earth,
And bowld to death with turnips.

MRS. PAGE. Come, trouble not yourself: good master Fenton,
I will not be your friend nor enemy:
My daughter will I question how she loves you,
And as I find her, so am I affected;
'Till then, farewell, sir :-she must needs go in;
Her father will be angry. [Exeunt MISTRESS PAGE and ANNE.

FENT. Farewell, gentle mistress; farewell, Nan.

QUICK. This is my doing now ;-nay, said I, will you cast away your child on a fool, and a physician? Look on master Fenton :—this is my doing.

FENT. I thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night, Give my sweet Nan this ring : there's for thy pains.

[Exit. QUICK. Now heaven send thee good fortune! A kind heart he hath: a woman would run through fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet, I would my master had mistress Anne; or I would master Slender had her; or, in sooth, I would master Fenton had her: I will do what I can for them all three; for so I have promised, and I'll be as good as my word; but speciously for master Fenton. Well, I must of another errand to sir John Falstaff from my two mistresses; what a beast am I to slack it!

[Erit. SCENE V.-A Room in the Garter Inn.

* Happy man be his dole!] See note (), Vol. I., p. 324. b Once to-night,-] Some time to-night.

Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH.
FAL. Bardolph, I say,-
BARD. Here, sir.

FAL. Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in't. [Exit BARD.] Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a barrow of butcher's offal; and to be thrown in the Thames ? Well, if I be served such another trick, I'll have my brains ta'en out, and buttered, 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 drowned a blind bitch's puppies, a fifteen i’ th’ 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 drowned, 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 swelled! I should have been a mountain of mummy.

Re-enter BARDOLPH, with the wine.
BARD. Here'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 swallowed snow-balls for pills to cool the reins. Call her in. BARD. Come in, woman.

Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY. QUICK. By your leave; I cry you mercy: give your worship goodmorrow.

Fal. Take away these chalices: go brew me a pottle of sack finely. BARD. With eggs, sir?

FAL. Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage.—[Exit BARDOLPH. 1—How now?

QUICK. 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.

QUICK. 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 upon a foolish woman's promise.

QUICK. Well, she laments, sir, for it, that it would yearn 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.

QUICK. I will tell her.

• A blind bitch's puppies -- So the old text; a colloquial inversion o a bitch's blind puppies.

FAL. Do so. Between nine and ten, say'st thou ?
QUICK. Eight and nine, sir.
FAL. Well, be gone: I will not miss her.
QUICK. Peace be with you, sir!

[Erit. FAL. I marvel, I hear not of master Brook; he sent me word to stay within: I like his money well. O, here he comes.

Enter FORD. FORD. 'Bless you, sir !a

FAL. Now, master Brook, you come to know what hath passed 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 house the hour she appointed me.

FORD. And sped you, sir ?
FAL. Very ill-favouredly, master Brook.
FORD. How so, sir ? did she 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 embraced, kissed, protested, and, as it were, spoke the prologue of our comedy; and at his heels a rabble of his companions, thither provoked and instigated by his distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for his wife's love.

FORD. What, while you were 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 distraction, they conveyed me into a buck-basket.

FORD. A buck-basket!

FAL. By the Lord,b a buck-basket: rammed me in with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, 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 suffered to bring this woman to evil for your good. Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple of Ford's knaves, his hinds, were called forth by their mistress, to carry me in the name of foul clothes to Datchetlane: they took me on their shoulders; met the jealous knave their master in the door, who asked them once or twice what they had in their basket: I quaked for fear, lest the lunatic knave would have searched 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 clothes. But mark the sequel, master Brook: I suffered the pangs of three several deaths : first, an intolerable fright, to be detected

(*) First folio, in. * 'Bless you, sir !] The greeting in the quarto, “God save you, sir!" is certainly referable.

b By the Lord,–] This is the reading of the quarto. The folio has only, Yes.

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