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Ford. I shall find

you anon.
Eva. 'Tis unreasonable; will you take up your
wife's clothes ? come away:

Ford. Empty the basket, I say.
Mrs. Ford. Why, man, why-

Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there was one convey'd out of my house yesterday in this basket; why may not he be there again ? in


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. Eav. Master Ford, you must


and not follow the imaginations of your own heart; this is jealousies.

Ford. Well, he's not here I seek for.
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 say of me, as jealous as Ford, that searcheth a hollow wall-nut for his wife's leman. 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 Brainford.

Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean; have I not forbid her my house? she comes of errands, does she ? we are simple men, we do not know what's brought to pass under the profession of fortune-telling. She works by charms, by spells, by th' figure; and such dawbry as this is beyond our element; we know nothing. Come down, you witch; you hag you, come down, I say.


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Mrs. Ford. Nay, good sweet husband; good gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman,

Enter Falstaff in women's dothes, and Mrs. Page.


Hand. Ford, I'll Prat her. Out of my door, you witch ! [Beats him.] you hag, you baggage, you poulcat, you runnion! out, out, out; I'll conjure you, I'll fortune-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 cre

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dit for you.

Ford. Hang her, witch.

Eva. By yea and no, I think, the 'oman, is a witch indeed: I like not when a 'oman has a great peard ; I spy a great peard under her 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.

Page. Let's obey his humour a little further: come, gentlemen.

[Exeunt. Mrs. Page. Trust me, he beat him most pítifully.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, by th' mass, that he did not ; he beat him most unpitifully, methought.

Mrs. Page. I'll have the cudgel hallow'd and hung o'er the altar; it hath done meritorious service.

Mrs. Ford. What think you ? may we, with the warrant of woman-hood, and the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any further revenge ?

Mrs. Page. The spirit of wantonness is, fure, scar'd out of him; if the devil have him not in fee-fimple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I think, in the way of waste, attempt us again.


Mrs. Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how we have served him ?

Mrs. Page. Yes, by all means ; if it be but to scrape the figures out of your husband's brain. If they can find in their hearts the

poor unvirtuous fat knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will Atill be the ministers.

Mrs. Ford. I'll warrant, they'll have him publicly sham'd; and, methinks, there would be no period to the jest, should he not be publicly sham'd.

Mrs. Page. Come to the forge with it, then shape it : I would not have things cool. (Exeunt.

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Changes to the Garter-Inn.

Enter Hoft and Bardolph.
Bard. IR, the German desires to have three of

your horses ; the Duke himself will be to-morrow at court, and they are going to meet him.

Host. What Duke should that be, comes so secretly ? I hear not of him in the court: let me speak with the gentlemen ; they speak English ?

Bard. Sir, I'll call them to you.

Hoft. They shall have my horses, but I'll make them pay, I'll fawce them. They have had my house a week at command ; I have turn'd away my other guests ; they must compt off; I'll fawce them,




Changes to Ford's House. Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Evans. Eva. 21

I S one of the best discretions of 'oman,

as ever I did look upon. Page. And did he send you both these letters at an inftant?



Mrs. Page. Within a quarter of an hour.
Ford. Pardon me, wife. Henceforth do what thou.

I rather will suspect the sun with cold,
Than thee with wantonness; thy honour stands,
In him that was of late an heretic,
As firm as faith.

Page. 'Tis well, 'tis well; no morc.
Be not as extream in submission, as in offence;
But let our plot go forward: let our wives
Yet once again, to make us public sport,
Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,
Where we may take him, and disgrace him for it.

Ford. There is no better way than that they spoke of.

Page. How? to send him word they'll meet him in the park at midnight? fie, fie, he'll never come.

Eva. You say, he hath been thrown into the river ; and has been grievously peaten, as an old 'oman ; methinks, there shoudbe terrors in him, that he should not come; methinks, his flesh is pu nish'd, he shall have no desires.

Page. So think I too.
Mrs. Ford. Devise but how you'll use him, when he

comes; And let us two devise to bring him thither. Mrs. Page. There is an old tale goes, that Herne the

hunter, Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest, Doth all the winter-time at still of midnight Walk round about an oak, with ragged horns; And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle ; And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain In a most hideous and dreadful manner. You've heard of such a spirit; and well you know, The superstitious idle-headed Eld Receiv'd, and did deliver to our age, This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.

Page. Why, yet there want not many, that do fear Vol. I. 0


In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak;
But what of this ?

Mrs. Ford. Marry, this is our device,
That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us.
We'll send him word to meet us in the field,
Disguised like Herne, with huge horns on his head.

Page. Well, let it not be doubted, but he'll come And in this shape when you have brought him thi

ther, What shall be done with him? what is your plot ? Mrs. Page. That likewise we have thought upon,

and thus :
Nan Page, (my daughter) and my little fon,
And three or four more of their growth, we'll dress
Like urchins, ouphes, and fairies, green and white,
With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads,
And rattles in their hands; upon a sudden,
As Falstaff, she, and I, are newly met,
Let them

from forth a faw-pit rush at once
With some diffused song: upon their fight,
We two, in great amazedness, will fly;
Then let them all encircle him about,
And fairy-like too, pinch the unclean knight ;
And ask him, why, that hour of fairy Revel,
In their fo facred paths he dares to tread
In shape prophane.

Mrs. Ford. And 'till he tell the truth,
Let the supposed fairies pinch him round,
And burn him with their tapers.

Mrs. Page. The truth being known,
We'll all present ourselves ; dif-horn the spirit;
And mock him home to Windsor.

Ford. The children must
Be practis'd well to this, or they'll ne'er do't.

Eva. I will teach the children their behaviours ; and I will be like a jack-anapes also, to burn the knight with my taber.

Tord. This will be excellent. I'll go buy them vizards.


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