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his belly, a'shore at Windsor ? how shall I be reveng'd on him? I think, the best way were to entertain him with hope, 'till the wicked fire of lust have melted him in his own grease. Did you ever hear the like?
Mrs. Page. Letter for letter, but that the name of Page and Ford disfers.
To thy great comfort in this mystery of ill opinions, here's the twin brother of thy letter; but let thine inherit first, for, I protest, mine never shall. I warrant, he has a thousand of these letters, writ with blank-space for different names; nay, more; and these are of the second edition: he will print them out of doubt, for he cares not what he puts into the press, when he would put us two. I had rather be a giantess, and lie under mount Peo lien. Well, I will find you twenty lascivious turtles, ere one chaste man.
Mrs. Ford. Why, this is the very fame, the very hand, the very words; what doth he think of us?
Mrs. Page. Nay, I know not; it makes ine almost ready to wrangle with mine own honesty. I'll entertain myself like one that I am not acquainted withal; for, sure, unless he knew fome Strain in me, that I know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury.
Mrs. Ford. Boarding, call it you? I'll be sure to keep him above deck.
Mrs. Page. So will I; if he come under my hatches, I'll never to sea again. Let's be reveng’d on him ; let's appoint him a meeting, give him a show of comfort in his fuit, and lead him on with a fine baited delay, till he hath pawn'd his horses to mine Host of the Garter.
Mrs. Ford. Nay, I will consent to act any villany against him, that may not fully the chariness of our honesty: oh, that my husband saw this letter! it would give eternal food to his jealousy.
Mrs. Page. Why, look, where he comes, and my
from giving him cause; and that, I hope, is an unmeasurable distance.
Mrs. Ford. You are the happier woman.
Mrs. Page. Let's consult together againft this greasy Knight. Come hither.
S CE N E III.
I , .
Ford. W Pit. Hope is a curtal-dog in some affairs.
Sir John affects thy wife.
Ford. Why, Sir, my wife is not young.
wife? Pift. With liver burning hot: prevent, or go thou, like Sir Acteon, he, with Ring-wood at thy heels 0, odious is the name.
Ford. What name, Sir?
Pift. The horn, I say : farewel. Take heed, have open eye; for thieves do foot by night. Take heed ere summer comes, or cuckoo-birds af.
fright. Away, Sir corporal Nym. Believe it, Page, he speaks sense. Exit Pistol.
Ford. I will be patient; I will find out this.
Nym. And this is true : I like not the humour of lying; he hath wrong'd me in some humours: I should have borne the humour'd letter to her; but I have a sword, and it shall bite upon my necessity. He loves your wife; there's the short and the long. My name is Corporal Nynı; I speak, and I avouch; 'tis true: my name is Nym, and Falstaff loves your Wife. Adieu ; I love not the humour of bread and cheese: adieu,
Page. The humour of it, quoth 'a! here's a fellow, frights humour out of its wits.
Ford. I will seek out Falstaff
Page. I will not believe such a Cataian, tho' the priest o'th' town commended him for a true man.
Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow: well.
SC E N E IV.
OW now, Meg?
[you. Mrs. Ford. How now, sweet Frank, why art thou melancholy?
Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy. Geť you home, go.
Mrs. Ford. Faith, thou haft some crotchets in thy head. Now, will you go, mistress Page?
Mrs. Page. Have with you. You'll come to dinner, George ? Look, who comes yonder; she shall be our messenger to this paultry Knight.
Enter Mistress Quickly. Mrs. Ford. Trust me, I thought on her, she'll fit it. Mrs. Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne?
Quic. Ay, forsooth; and, I pray, how does good mistress Anne?
Mrs. Page. Go in with us, and fee; we have an hour's talk with you.
[Ex. Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Mrs. Quickly.
SC E N E V.
Page. H Ford. You heard what this knave told me,
did you not?
Page. Yes; and you heard what the other told me? Ford. Do
think there is truth in them? Page. Hang 'em, flaves; I do not think, the Knight would offer it; but these, that accuse him in his intent towards our wives, are a yoak of his discarded men; very rogues, now they be out of service.
Ford. Were they is men?
Ford. I like it never the better for that. Does he lie at the Garter?
Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend his voyage
towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lie on my head.
Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife, but I would be loth to turn them together; a man may be too confident; I would have nothing lie on my head; I cannot be thus satisfy’d.
Page. Look, where my ranting Host of the Garter comes; there is either liquor in his pate, or money in his purse, when he looks so merrily. How now, mine Hoft?
Hoft. OW now, bully Rock ? thou'rt a gentle
man; cavaliero-justice, I say. Shal. I follow, mine Hoft, I follow. Good even, and twenty, good mafter Page. Master Page, will
you go with us? we have fport in hand.
Hoft. Tell him, cavaliero-justice; tell him, bully Rock.
Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir Hugh the Welch priest, and Caius the French doctor.
Ford. Good mine Hoft o'th' Garter, à word with you.
Host. What say'st thou, bully Rock?
with us to behold it? my merry Hoft hath had the measuring of their weapons, and, I think, he hath appointed them contrary places ; for, believe me, I hear, the parson is no jefter. Hark, I will tell
you what our sport shall be. Hoft. Hast thou no suit against my Knight, my guest-cavalier ?
Ford. None, I protest; but I'll give you a pottle of burnt fack to give me recourse to him, and tell him, my name is Brook; only for a jest.
Hoft. My hand, bully: thou shalt have egress and regress; said I well? and thy name shall be Brook. It is a merry Knight. Will
you go no, Heris ? Shal. Have with you, mine hoft.
Page. I have heard, the Frenchman hath good skill in his rapier.
Shal. Tut, Sir, I could have told you more; in these times you stand on distance, your passes, stoccado's, and I know not what: 'tis the heart, master Page; 'tis here, 'tis here. I have seen the time, with my long sword, I would have made you four tall follows skip like rats.
Hoft. Here, boys, here, here: shall we wag?
Page. Have with you; I had rather hear them scold than fight. [Exeunt Hoft, Shallow and Page.
Ford. Tho' Page be a secure fool, and stand so firmly on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my opinion so easily. She was in his company at Page's house; and what they made there, I know not. Well, I will look further into t; and I have a disguise to found Falstaff: if I find her honest, I lose not my labour; if the be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestow'd.
* Will you go an Heirs ? ] This Nonsence is spoken to Shallow. We should read, Will you go on, Heris ? ho 6. Will you go on, Malter. Heris, an old Scotch Word for Malter.