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in ;

Till then, farewell, sir :—she must needs go
Her father will be angry:

(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?

[Exit.

3

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

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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.

1

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 !

[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

you,

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 ?
Fal. Very ill-favoredly, 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 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.

a

a

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.

ACT IV.

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.

1 Outrageous.

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