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comes the ship-tire, the tire-vailant, or any 'tire of Venetian admittance.

Mrs. Ford. A plain kerchief, Sir John: my brows become nothing else, nor that well neither.

Fal. Thou art a traitor to say so; thou would'st make an absolute Courtier; and the firm fixure of thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy gate. in a semi-circled farthingale. I see what thou wert; if fortune thy foe were not, nature is thy friend: come, thou canst not hide it.

Mrs. Ford. Believe me, there's no such thing in me.

Fal. What made me love thee? let that persuade thee, there's something extraordinary in thee. Come, I cannot cog, and say, thou art this and that, like a-many of these lisping haw-thorn buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and smell like BucklersBury in fimpling time; I cannot: but I love thee, none but thee; and thou deservest it.

Mrs. Ford. Do not betray me, Sir; I fear you love mistress Page.

Fal. Thou might'st as well say, I love to walk by the Counter-gate, which is as hateful to me as the reek of a lime-kiln.

Mrs. Ford. Well, heav'n knows how I love you, and

you shall one day find it. Fal. Keep in that mind; I'll aeserve it.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, I must tell you, so you do; or else I could not be in that mind.

Rob. (within.] Mistress Ford, mistress Ford, here's mistress Page at the door, sweating, and blowing, and looking wildly, and would needs speak' with you presently.

Fal. She shall not see me; I will ensconce me behind the arras. Mrs. Ford. Pray you, do so; she's a very tattling

[Falstaff hides himself.

woman.

SCENE

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Enter Mistress Page. What's the matter? how now?

Mrs. Page. O mistress Ford, what have you done? you're sham'd, y’are overthrown, you are undone for ever.

Mrs. Ford. What's the matter, good mistress Page?

Mrs. Page. O well-a-day, mistress Ford, having an honest man to your husband, to give him such cause of suspicion!

Mrs. Ford. What cause of suspicion?

Mrs. Page. What cause of suspicion? out upon you! how am I mistook in you?

Mrs. Ford. Why, alas ! what's the matter?

Mrs. Page. Your husband's coming hither, woman, with all the officers in Windsor, to search for a gentleman, that, he says, is here now in the house, by your consent, to take an ill advantage of his absence. You are undone. Mrs. Ford. Speak louder

- [Afde] 'Tis not so, Mrs. Page. Pray heav'n it be not so, that you have such a man here; but 'tis most certain, your husband's coming with half Windsor at his heels, to search for such a one. I come before to tell

you: if you know yourself clear, why, I am glad of it; but if you have a friend here, convey, convey him out. Be not amaz’d, call all your Senses to you, defend your reputation, or bid farewel to your good life for ever.

Mrs. Ford. What shall I do? there is a gentleman, my dear friend; and I fear not mine own shame, so much as his peril. I had rather than a thousand pound, he were out of the house. Mr. Page. For shame, never stand you had rather,

and

I hope.

N 2

and

you had rather; your husband's here at hand; bethink you of some conveyance, in the house you cannot hide him. Oh, how have

you deceiv'd me? look, here is a basket, if he be of any reasonable ftature, he may creep in here, and throw foul linen upon him, as if it were going to bucking: or it is whiting time, fend him by your two men to Datchetmead.

Mrs. Ford. He's too big to go in there: what fhall I do?

Re-enter Falstaff. Fal. Let me see't, let me see't, О let me fee't; I'll in, I'll in; follow your friend's counsel; I'll in. : Mrs. Page. What! Sir John Falstaff? are these

your letters, Knight?

Fal. I love thee, help me away; let me creep in here: I'll never

(He goes into the basket, they cover him with foul linen. Mrs. Page. Help to cover your master, boy: call your men, mistress Ford. You dissembling Knight!

Mrs. Ford. What, John, Robert, John, go take up these clothes here, quickly. Where's the cowlftaff? look, how you drumble: carry them to the laundress in Datchet-mead; quickly, come.

SCENE X.

PRAY

Enter Ford, Page, Caius, and Evans. Ford.

RAY you, come near, if I suspect without

cause, why then make sport at me, then let me be your jest, I deserve it. How now? whither bear you this ?

Seru. To the laundress, forsooth.

Mrs. Ford. Why, what have you to do whither they bear it? You were best meddle with buckwashing

Ford

Let me

Ford. Buck? I would, I could, wash myself of the buck: buck, buck, buck ? ay, buck: I warrant you, buck, and of the season too, it shall appear. [Exeunt Servants with the basket.] Gentlemen, I have dream'd to night, I'll tell you my dream: here, here, here be my keys; ascend my chambers, search, feek, find out. I'll warrant, we'll unkennel the fox. stop this

way
first.

So, now uncape. Page. Good master Ford, be contented: you wrong yourself too much.

Ford. True, master Page. Up, gentlemen, you fhall see sport anon; follow me, gentlemen.

Eva. This is ferry fantastical humours and jealousies.

Caius. By gar, 'tis no the fashion of France; it is not jealous in France

Page. Nay, follow him, gentlemen, see the issue of his search.

Exeunt. SCENE XI. Manent Mistress Page and Mistress Ford. Mrs. Page. I Miss Ford. I know not which pleases

S there not a double excellency in this? me better, that my husband is deceiv'd, or Sir John. Mrs. Page. What a taking was he in, when

your husband ask'd who was in the basket !

Mrs. Ford. I am half afraid he will have need of washing; so throwing him into the water will do him a benefit.

Mrs. Page. Hang him, dishonest rascal; I would, all of the same strain were in the same distress.

Mrs. Ford. I think, my husband hath some special fufpicion of Falstaff's being here! I never saw him so gross in his jealousy till now.

Mrs. Page. I will lay a plot to try that, and we will yet

have more tricks with Falstaff : his dissolute dif-; case will scarce obey this medicine.

Mrs.

N 3

Mrs. Ford. Shall we send that foolish carrion, miltress Quickly, to him, and excuse his throwing into the water, and give him another hope, to betray him to another punishment ?

Mrs. Page. We'll do it; let him be sent for tomorrow by eight a clock, to have amends.

Re-enter Ford, Page, bc. Ford. I cannot find him; may be, the knave brag'd of that he could not compass.

Mrs. Page. Heard you that ?

Mrs. Ford. I, I; peace:-You use me well, master Ford, do you?

Ford. Ay, ay, I do fo.

Mrs, Ford. Heay'n make you better than your thoughts !

Ford. Amen.

Mrs. Page. You do yourself mighty wrong, Mr. Ford.

Ford. Ay, ay; I must bear it.

Eva. If there be any pódy in the house, and in the chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses, heav'n forgive my fins !

Caius. By gar, nor I too; there is no bodies.

Page. Fie; fie, Mr. Ford, are you not asham'd ? what spirit, what devil suggests this imagination ? I would not ha' your diftemper in this kind, for the wealth of Windsor Castle.

Ford. 'Tis my fault, Mr. Page: I suffer for it.

Eva. You suffer for a pad conscience ; your wife is as honest a 'omans, as I will desires among five thoufand, and five hundred too.

Caius. By gar, I see, 'tis an honest woman.

Ford. Well, I promis'd you a dinner; come, come, walk in the park. I pray you, pardon me; I will hereafter make known to you, why I have done this. Come, wife; come, mistress Page; I pray you pardon me: pray heartily, pardon me.

Page.

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