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Till then, farewell, sir :—she must needs go
(Exeunt Mrs. 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 3 it?
SCENE V. A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH. Fal. Bardolph, 1 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 into 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. slighted me into the river with as little remorse, as they would have drowned a bitch's blind puppies, fifteen i’ the litter: and you may know by my size, that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking; if the bottom were
lj. e. some time to-night.
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 Mrs. Quickly. Quick. By your leave; I cry you mercy: Give your worship good-morrow.
Fal. Take away these chalices: Go brew me a pottle of sack finely.
Bar. With egos, sir?
Fal. Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage. [Exit Bardolph.] 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
1 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.
Fal. Do so. Between nine and ten, say'st thou ?
[Exit. 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
sir ! Fal. Now, master Brook! you come to know what hath passed between me and Ford's wise ?
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 how sped you, sir ?
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?
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 buckbasket.
Ford. A buck-basket?
Fal. By the Lord, a buck-basket: rammed me in with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, and greasy napkins; that, master Brook, there was the rankest compound of villanous 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 a 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 with a jealous rotten bellwether: next, to be compassed like a good bilbo, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to point, heel to head: and then, to be stopped in, like a strong distillation, with stinking clothes that fretted in their own grease: think of that,-a man of my kidney,—think of that; that am as subject to heat 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 stewed in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be thrown into the Thames, and cooled, glowing hot, in that surge, like a horse-shoe; think of that ;-hissing hot,—think of that, master Brook.
Ford. In good sadness, sir, I am sorry that for my sake you have suffered all this. My suit then is 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 received from her another embassy of meeting ; 'twixt eight and nine is the hour, master Brook.
Ford. 'Tis past eight already, sir.
I With, by, and of, wera used indiscriminately by our ancestors.
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 crowned 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 lecher; he is at my house: he cannot 'scape me; 'tis impossible he should; he cannot creep into a halfpenny purse, nor into a pepperbox: but, lest the devil that guides him should aid him, I will search impossible places. Though 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.
SCENE I. The Street.
Enter Mrs. Page, Mrs. Quickly, and William.
Msrs. Page. Is he at master Ford's already, think'st thou?
Quick. Sure, he is by this; or will be presently: but truly, he is very courageous ? mad, about his throwing into the water.
Mistress Ford desires 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.