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Mrs. Ford. Go, go, liveet fir John: mistress Page, and I, will look some linen for your head.
Mrs. Page. Quick, quick; we'll come dress you straight : put on the gown the while. (Exit Falltaf.
Mrs. Ford. I would, my busband would meet him in this shape: he cannot abide the old woman of Brentford; he swears, she's a witch; forbade her my house, and hath threatened to beat her.
Mis. Page. Heaven 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, howsoever 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 Brentford.
Mrs. Ford. I'll first direct my men what they shall do with the basket. Go up, I'll bring linen 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, Wives may be merry, and yet honest too : We do not act, that often jest and laugh; 'Tis old but true, Still swine eat all the draugh.
for the purpose of making coarse hats. In the Midsummer Night's Dream :
" O fates, come, come,
46 Cut thread and thrum." A mufler was some part of dress that covered the face. So, in the Cobler's Prophecy, 1594: “ Now is the bare-fac'd to be seen :-strait on her Muffler
goes.” Again, in Laneham's account of Queen Elizabeth's entertainment at Kenelworth castle, 1575: "
-his mother lent him a nu muflar for a napkin, that was tyed to hiz gyrdi for lozyng."
Mrs. Ford. Go, firs, take the basket again on your shoulders; your master is hard at door ; if he bid you. set it down, obey him : quickly, dispatch.
[Exeunt Mrs. Page and Mrs. Pord. Enter Servants with the basket. I Serv. Come, come, take up.
2 Sero. Pray heaven, it be not full of the knight again.
I Serv. I hope not; I had as lief bear so much lead.
Enter Ford, Shallow, Page, Caius, and Sir Hugh Evans.
Ford. Ay, but if it prove true, master Page, you any way then to unfool me again?-Set down the basket, villain :-Somebody call iny wife :-Youth in a basket !-Oh, you panderly rascals ! there's a knot, a gang, a pack, a conspiracy, against me: Now shall the devil be sham’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 pinion'd.
Eva. Why, this is lunatics ! this is mad as a mad
Shal. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well; indeed.
'--this palles!] The force of the phrase I did not understand when our former in pression of Shakespeare was prepared ; and therefore gave these two words as part of an imperfect sentence. One of the obsolete senses of the verb, to pass, is, to go beyond bounds. So, in Sir Clyomon, &c. Knight of the Golden Shield, 1599:
" I have such a deal of substance here when Brian's men
66 That it palseth. Oh that I had while to stay!". Again, in the tranilation of the Menæchmi, 1595 : “ This palseth, that I meet with none, but thus they vexe me with itrange speeches." STEEVENS.
Enter Mrs. Forda Ford. So say I too, fir.-Come hither, mistress Ford;-mistress Ford, the honeft woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool to her husband !--I suspect without cause, mistress, do I?
Mrs. Tord. Heaven be my witness, you do, if you suspect me in any dishonesty.
Ford. Well said, brazen-face; hold it out.-Come forth, firrah.
[Pulls the cloaths out of the balet. Page. This passes.
Mrs. Ford. Are you not afham'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 bafker ; 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 linen.
Mrs. Ford. If you find a man there, he shall die a flea'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 jealoufies.
Ford. Well, he's not here I seek for.
This wrongs you.] This is below your character, unwerthy of your understanding, injurious to your honour. So, in Tire Taming of the Shrew, Bianca, being ill treated by her rugged fifter, says; “ You wrong me much, indeed you curong yourself.”
Page. No, nor no where else but in 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 me for ever be your table-sport ; let them fay of me, As jealous as Ford, that search'd a hollow wall-nut for his wife's lemana, Satisfy me once more, once more 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?
Mrs. Ford. Why, it is my maid's aunt of Brentford.
Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not forbid her my house? She cames of errands, does she? We are fimple men ; we do not know what's brought to pass under the profession of fortune-telling. She works by charms }, by spells, by the figure, and such daubery * as this is: beyond our element : we know nothing.
—Come down, you witch; you hag you, coine down, I say.
Mrs. Ford. Nay, good, sweet husband ;-good gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.
Enter Faltaff in women's cloaths, led by Mrs. Page. Mrs. Page. Come, mother Prat, come, give me Ford. I'll prat her:
-Out of my doors, you witch! [Beats him.] you hag, you baggage, you poulcat,
his wife's leman.) Leman, i.e. lover, is derived from hef, Dutch, beloved, and man. STEEVENS.
3 She works by charms, &c.] Concerning some old woman of Brentford, there are several ballads ; among the rest, Julian of Brentford's last Will and Teftament, 1599. STEEVENS.
such daubery] Darberies are disguises. So, in K. Lear, Edgar fays ; "I cannot daub is further." STEEVENS.
you s ronyon! out! out! I'll conjure you, I'll for tune-tell you.
[Exit Fal. Mrs. 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 you.
Ford. Hang her, witch !
Eva. By yea and no, I think, the 'oman is a witch indeed : I like not when a 'omans has a great peardo; ? I spy a great peard under his muffler.
Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen ? I beseech you, follow ; see but the issue of my jealousy: if I cry out thus upon no trail, never trust me when I open again.
5-ronyon! — ) Ronyon, applied to a woman, means, as far as can be traced, much the fame with fcall or fiab spoken of a man. Johnson. So, in Macbeth:
“ Aroint thee witch, the rump-fed ronyon cries.". From Rogneux, Fr. So again : “ The roynib clown,” in As you like it. Steevens.
a great peard ;--] One of the marks of a supposed witch, was a beard. So in Macbeth:
-you should be women,
“ That you are so.”
a chin, without all controversy, good “ To go a fishing with ; a witches beard on't.”
I spy a great peard under his muffler.] As the second stratagem, by which Falstaff escapes, is much the grosser of the two, I wish it had been practised first
. It is very unlikely that Ford, having been so deceived before, and knowing that he had been deceived, would suffer him to escape in fo flight a disguise.
“ How chearfully on the false trail they cry: