صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

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 drown's, 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 swelld! I should have been a mountain of munmy.

Re-enter Bardolph, with the wine. Now, is the fack brew'd ?

Bard. Ay, fir: there's a woman below would speak

with you.

Fal. Come, let me pour in some fack to the Thames water; for my belly's as cold, as if I had swallow'd snow-balls for pills to cool the reins. Call her in. Bard. Coine in, woman.

Enter Mrs. Quickly. Quic. By your leave ;-I cry you mercy :-Give your worship good morrow.

Fal. Take away these chalices: Go brew me a pottle of fack finely.

Bard. With eggs, fir ?

Fal. Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperin in my brewage.--How now

Quic. 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.

Quic. 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.

Quic. Well, she laments, fir, for it, that it would yern your heart to see it. Her husband goes this morning a birding; the defires you once more to come to

her

her between eight and nine : I must carry her word quickly: fhe'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.

Quic. I will tell her.
Fål. Do so. Between nine and ten, fay'st thou?
Quic. Eight and nine, fir.
Fal. Well, be gone: I will not miss her.
Quic. Peace be with

you,
sir !

[Exit. Fal. I marvel, I hear not of matter Brook; he fent me word to stay within : I like his money well. Oh, here he comes.

Enter Ford. Ford. Bless you, fir!

Fal. Now, master Brook? you come to know what hath pass'd between me and Ford's wife?

Ford. That, indeed, fir John, is my business.

Fal. Master Brook, I will not lie to you; I was at her house the hour the appointed me.

Ford. And you sped, fir?
Fal. Very ill-favour'dly, master Brook.
Ford. How, fir? 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 embrac'd, kiss’d, protested, and, as it were, spoke the prologue of our comedy; and at his heels a rabble of his companions, thither provok'd and instigated by his distemper, and forfooth, 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

Y 2

Ford's approach ; and, by her invention, and Ford's wife's distraction, they convey'd me into a buck-basket.

Ford. A buck-basket !

Fal. Yea, a buck-basket : ramm'd me in with fou! Thirts and finocks, 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 suffer'd to bring this woman to evil for your good. Being thus cramm'd in the basket, a couple of Ford's knaves, his hinds, were call’d forth by their mistress, to carry me in the name of foul cloaths to Datchet lane : they took me on their shoulders ; met the jealous knave their master in the door; who ask'd them once or twice, what they had in their basket: I quak'd for fear, least the lunatic 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 sequel, master Brook: I suffer'd the pangs of three ? several deaths: first, an intolerable fright, to be detected with ; 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 stopp'd in, like a strong distillation, with stinking cloaths that fretted in their own grease : think of that,-a man

2

3

-- several deaths:] Thus the folio and the most correct of the quartos. The first quarto rea

-egregious deaths.

STEEVENS. -detected with -] Thus the old copies. With was fometimes used for of. So, a little after :

“ I sooner will suspect the sun with cold.” Detected of a jealous &c.] would have been the common gram. mar of the times. The modern editors read by. STEEVENS.

-bilbo, -] A bilbo is a Spanish blade, of which the excellence is flexibleness and elasticity. JOHNSON. -bilbo, from Bilboa, STEEVENS.

of

of my 5 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 i 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-shoe ; think of that hissing hot-think of that, master Brook. Ford. In good sadness, fir, I am sorry that for

my fake you have suffer'd all this. My suit is then 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 receiv'd from her another embassy of meeting; ’twixt eight and nine is the hour, master Brook. Ford. 'Tis past eight already, fir. Fal. Is it? I will then address me to my appoint

Come to ine at your convenient leisure, and you shall know how I speed; and the conclusion shall be crown’d 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 half-penny purse, nor into a pepper-box: but, left the devil that gnides him should

ment.

[ocr errors]

-kidney;] Kidney in this phrase now fignifies kind or quabities, but Falstaff means, a man whose kidnies are as fat as mine.

JOHNSON. address mc] i. e. make myself ready. So in K. Henry V: “ To-morrow for our march we are addrest.STEEVENS.

aid

Y 3

aid him, I will search impossible places. Though what I am I cannot avoid, yet to be what I would pot, fhall not make me taine : if I have horns to make one mad, let the proverb go with me, ? I'll be horn-inad,

[Exit.

8 ACT

IV.

SCENE I.

Page's house.

Enter Mrs. Page, Mrs. Quickly, and William. Mrs. Page. Is he at inafter Ford's already, think'ft thou?

Quic. 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

"I'll be horn-mad.] There is no image which our author appears fo fond of, as that of cuckold's horns. Scarcely a light character is introduced that does not endeavour to produce merriment by some allusion to horned husbands. As he wrote his plays for the stage rather than the press, he perhaps reviewed them fél. dom, and did not observe this repetition; or finding the jest, however frequent, still successful, did not think correction neceffary.

Johnson. $ This is a very trifling scene, of no use to the plot, and I should think of no great delight to the audience; but Shakespeare best knew what would please. Johnson.

We may suppose this scene to have been a very entertaining one to the audience for which it was written. Many of the old plays exhibit pedants instructing their scholars. Marston has a very long one in his What you will

, between a schoolmaster, and Hilofernes, Nathaniel, &c. his pupils. The title of this play was perhaps borrowed by Shakespeare, to join to that of Twelfth Nigbt. What you Will, appeared in 1607. Twelfth Night, in 1623.

STEEVENS.

« السابقةمتابعة »