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them once or twice what they had in their basket; I quak'd for fear, left the lunátick knave would have search'd 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 cloaths ; but mark the se quel, master Brook; I suffered the pangs of three egre. gious deaths ; first, an intolerable fright, to be detected by a jealous rotten bell-weather; next to be compass'd like a good bilbo, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to point, heel to head; and then to be stopt in, like a strong distillation, with stinking cloaths 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 diffolution and thaw; it was a miracle to 'scape fuffocation. And in the height of this bath, when I was more than half stew'd in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be thrown into the Thames, and cool'd glowing hot, in that surge, like a horse-fhoe; think of that; hissing hot; think of that, master Brook,
Ford. In good sadness, Sir, I am sorry that for my fake you suffer'd all this. My fuit is then desperate ; you'll undertake her no more?
Fab. Master Brook, I will be thrown into Etna, as I have been into Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her husband is this morning gone a birding ; I have receiv'd from her another embassie of meeting; 'twixc eight and nine is the hour, master Brook.
Ford. 'Tis past eight already, Sir.
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 thall be crown'd with your enjoying her; adieu, you shall have her, master Braok; 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 linnen and buck-baskets! well, I will proclaim my self what I am, I will now
take the leacher; he is at my house ; he cannot 'scape me; 'tis impossible, he should; he cannot creep into a half-penny purse, nor into a pepper-box. But, left the devil that guides him should aid him, I will search impossible places; tho? 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.
SCENE, Page's house.
Enter Mistress Page, Mistress Quickly, and William.
Quic. Sure, he is by this, or will be presently ;
but truly he is very courageous mad, about his throwing into the water; Mrs. Ford defires you to come fuddenly.
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; ʼtis a playing-day, I sợc. How now, Sir Hugh, no school to day?
Enter Evans. Eva. No; master Slender is let the boys leave to play.
Quic. Blessing of his heart.
profits nothing in the world at his book; I pray you, ask him some questions in his Accidence.
Eva, Come hither, William ; hold up your head,
Mrs. Page. Come on, Sirrah, hold up your head; answer your master, be not afraid.
Eva. William, how many numbers is in nouns?
Quic. Truly, I thought there had been one number more, because they say, od's nouns.
Eva. Peace your tatlings. What is, Fair, William? Will. Pulcher.
Quic. Poulcats ? there are fairer things than poulcats, sure.
Eva. You are a very simplicity o’man; I pray you, peace. What is, Lapis, William
Wu. A stone.
Eva. No, it is Lapis: I pray you, remember in your prain.
Eva. That is a good William: what is hc, William, that does lend articles ?
Will. Articles are borrow'd of the pronoun, and be thus declin’d, fingulariter nominativo, hic, hæc, hoc.
Eva. Nominativo, big, bag, bog: pray you, mark: genitivo, hujus : well, what is your accusative case?
Will. Accusative, hinc.
Evą. I pray you, have your remembrance, child; accusative, bung, bang, bog.
Quic. Hang hog is Latin for bacon, I warrant you,
Eva. Leave your prabbles, o'man. What is the facative case, William?
Will. O, vocativo, O.
Quick. 'Vengeance of Ginyes case; fie on her; never name her, child, if he be a whore.
Eva. For shame, o'man.
Quic. You do ill to teach the child such words: he teaches him to hick and to hack, which they'll do faft enough of themselves; and to call horum; fie upon
Eva. O'man, art thou lunacies? hast thou no understandings for thy cases, and the numbers of the genders? thou art as foolish christian creatures, as I would desire.
Mrs. Page. Pr’ythee, hold thy peace.
Eva. Shew me now, William, some declenfions of your pronouns.
Will. Forsooth, I have forgot.
Eva. It is qui, que, quod; if you forget your quies, your quæs, and your quods, you must be preeches: go your ways and play, go. Mrs. Page. He is a better scholar, than I thought
, he was.
Eva. He is a good sprag memory. Farewel, Mrs. Page.
Mrs. Page. Adieu, good Sir Hugh. Get you home, boy. Come, we stay too long.
SCENE changes to Ford's house.
Enter Falftaff and Mistress Ford.
Fal. ISTRESS Ford, your forrow hath eaten
up my sufferance; I see you are obsequipus in your love, and I profefs requital to a hair's breadth; not only, mistress Ford, in the fimple office of love, but in all the accoustrement, complement, and ceremony of it. But are you sure of your hus, band now?
Mrs. Ford. He's a birding, sweet Sir John.
Mrs. Page. [within.] What hoa, gossip Ford! what hoa!
Mrs. Ford. Step into th' chamber, Sir John.
[Exit Falstaff. Enter Mistress Page. Mrs. Page. How now, sweet heart, who's at home besides your self?
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 so takes on yonder with my husband, so rails against all married mankind, so curses all Eve's daughters, of what complexion soever, and so buffets himself on the fore-head, crying, peer-out, peera out! that any madness I wer yet beheld seem'd but tameness, civility, and patience, to this distemper 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 company 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 fham'd, and he's but a dead man. What a woman are you? away with him, away with him; better, shame than mur. ther.
Mrs. Ford. Which way should he go? how should I beltow him? shall I put him into the basket again?