« ZurückWeiter »
not only, mistress Ford, in the fimple office of love, but in all the accouftrement, complement, and ceremony of it. But are you sure of your husband now?
Mrs. Ford. He's a birding, sweet Sir John.
Mrs. Page. [within.) What hoa, goflip Ford! what hoa ! Mrs. Ford. Step into th' chamber, Sir John.
Mrs. Ford. Why none but mine own people.
Mrs. Page. Truly, I am so glad you have no body here,
Mrs. Ford. Why?
Mrs. Page. Why, woman, your husband is in his old lunes again ; he to takes on yonder with my husband, so rails against all married mankind, so curses all Eve's. daughters, of what complexion foever, and fo buffets: himielf on the forehead, crying, peer-out, peer-out! that any madness I ever yet beheld seem'd but tame. ness, civility, and patience, to this diftemper he is in now; 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
from their sport, to make another experiment of his suspicion ; but I am glad, the Knight is not here; now he Thall 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 shame than murder.
Mrs. Ford. Which way should he go? how should I bestow him ? fhall I put him into the basket again?
Enter Falftaff. 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 issue out, otherwise you might flip away ere he came : but what make you here?
Fal. What shall 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, cheft, trunk, well, vault, but he hath an abstract for the remembrance of such places, and goes to them by his note; there is no hiding you in the house.
Fal. I'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 disguise him?
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 mufter, and a kerchiet, and so escape.
Fal. Good heart, devise something; any extremity, rather than mischief.
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 thrumb hat, and her muffler too. Run up, Sir John.
Mrs. Ford. Go, go, sweet Sir John; mistress Page and I will look some linnen for your head.
Mrs. Page. Quick, quick, we'll come dress you Itraight; put on the gown the while. [Exit Falstaff.
Mrs. Ford. I would, my husband would meet him in this shape; he cannot abide the old woman of Brainford; 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 sadness 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 linnen for him straight.
Mrs. Page. Hang him, dishoneft varlet, we cannot misuse him enough. We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do,
Mrs. Ford. Go, Sirs, take the baket again on your houlders ; your master 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. Serv. Come, come, take up. 2 Serv. Pray heav’n, it be not full of the Knight again. 1 Serv. I hope not. I had as lief bear so much lead.
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 i fet down the basket, villain ; somebody call my wife: youth in a basket! oh you panderly rascals, there's a knot, a y gang, a pack, a conspiracy, against me; now fhall the
you do, if
devil be fham'd. What! wife, I say; come, come forth, behold what honeft cloaths you send forth to bleaching.
Page. Why, this passes, master Ford, you are not to go loose any longer, you must be pinnion'd. Eva.Why, this is lunaticks; this is mad as a mad dog.
Enter Mrs. Ford.
Ford. So say I too, Sir. Come hither, mistress Ford; mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modeft wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool to her husband! I suspect without cause, mistress, do I?. Mrs, Ford. Heav'n be
you suspect me in any dishonesty.
Ford. Well said, brazen-face ; hold it out: come forth, firrah.
[Pulls the cloaths out of the basket. Page. This paffes, Mrs. Ford. Are you not asham’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.
Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there was one convey'd out of my house yesterday in this basket; why may not he be there again in my house I am sure he is ; my intelligence is true, my jealousy is reaSonable ; pluck me out all the linnen.
Mrs. Ford. If you find a man there, he shall die a fiea's death.
Page. Here's no man.
Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, master Ford ; this wrongs you.
Eva. Master Ford, you must pray, and not follow the imaginations of your own heart; this is jealousies.
Ford. Well, he's not here I seek for.
your brain. Ford. Help to search my house this one time ; if I find not what I seek, shew no colour for my extremity;
let let me for ever be your table sport; let them say of me, as jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow wall nut for his wife's leman. Satisfy me once more, once niore search with me.
Mrs. Ford. What hoa, mistress Page! come you, and the old woman down; my husband will come into the chamber.
Ford. Old woman! what old woman's that?
Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean; have I not forbid her my house? she comes of errands, does she? we are fiinple 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.
Mrs. Ford. Nay, good sweet husband; good gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.
Enter Falstaff in womens cloathes, and Mrs. Page. Mrs. Page. Come, mother Prat, come, give me your hand.
Ford, I'll Prat her. Out of my door, you witch ! [Beats bim.] you hag, yoo baggage, you poulcat, you runnion ! out, out, out; I'll conjure you, I'll fortuneMrs. 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
Eva. By yea and no, I think, the o’man is a witch indeed: I like not, when a o'man has a great peard ; I spy a great peard under her muffler.
Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen? I beseech you, follow ; fee but the issue of my jealousy ; (21) if I cry
out (21) If I cry out thus upon no tryal, never truft me when I open again.] This is a corruption of the modern editions: che consequence