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Slen. Ay, that I will, come cut and long-tail, under the degree of a 'squire.
Shal. He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.
Anne. Good master Shallow, let him woo for himself.
Shal. Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good comfort. She calls you, coz: I'll leave you.
[Stands back. Anne. Now, master Slender. Slen. Now, good mistress Anne. Anne. What is your will ?
Slen. My will? od's heartlings! that's a pretty jest, indeed. I ne'er made my will yet, I thank heaven; I am not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.
Anne. I mean, master Slender, what would you with me ?
Slen. Truly, for mine own part, I would little or nothing with you. Your father, and my uncle, have made motions : if it be my luck, so; if not, happy man be his dole. They can tell you how things go, better than I can: you may ask your father; here he
Enter Page and Mistress Page.
Fent. Nay, master Page, be not impatient.
No, good master Fenton.Come, master Shallow ;-come, son Slender ; in.Knowing my mind, you wrong me, master Fenton.
[Exeunt Page, Shallow, and SLENDER. Quick. Speak to mistress Page. Fent. Good mistress Page, for that I love your
daughter In such a righteous fashion as I do, Perforce, against all checks, rebukes, and manners,
1 Not in f. e.
I must advance the colours of my love,
Anne. Good mother, do not marry me to yond' fool.
Anne. Alas! I had rather be set quick i’ the earth,
master Fenton, I will not be your friend, nor enemy: My daughter will I question how she loves you, And as I find her, so am I affected. 'Till then, farewell, sir: she must needs go in; Her father will be angry. (Exeunt Mrs. PagE and ANNE.
Fent. Farewell, gentle mistress.--Farewell, Nan.
Quick. This is my doing, now.-Nay, said I, will you cast away your child on a fool, and a physician ? look on, master Fenton.—This is my doing.
Fent. I thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night Give my sweet Nan this ring. There's for thy pains.
[Exit. Quick. Now, heaven send thee good fortune! A kind heart he hath : a woman would run through fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet I would my master had mistress Anne; or I would master Slender had her; or, in sooth, I would master Fenton had her. I will do what I can for them all three, for so I have promised, and I'll be as good as my word ; but speciously for master Fenton. Well, I must of another errand to sir John Falstaff from my two mistresses : what a beast am I to slack it.
(Exit. SCENE V.--A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH. Fal. Bardolph, I say ! Bard. Here, sir. Fal. Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in 't. [Exit Bard.] Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a barrow of butcher's offal, and to be thrown in the Thames? Well, if I be served such another trick, I'll have my brains ta’en out, and buttered, and give them to a dog for a new year's gift. The rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorse as
they would have drowned a blind bitch's puppies, fifteen i' the 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 drowned, 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 swelled ! I should have been a mountain of mummy.
Re-enter BARDOLPH, with the wine. Bard. Here's mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with you.
Fal. Come, let me pour in some sack to the Thames water; for my belly 's as cold, as if I had swallowed snow-balls for pills to cool the reins. Call her in. Bard. Come in, woman.
Enter Mrs. QUICKLY. Quick. By your leave.--I cry you mercy: give your worship good-morrow.
Fal. Take away these chalices. Go, brew me a pottle of sack finely.
Bard. With eggs, sir ?
Fal. Simple of itself; I'll no'pullet-sperm in my brewage.—[Exit BARDOLPH.]-How now?
Quick. 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.
Quick. 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.
Quick. Well, she laments, sir, for it, that it would yearn your heart to see it. Her husband goes this morning a birding : she desires you once more to come to her between eight and nine. I must carry her word quickly: she'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.
Quịck. I will tell her.
Between nine and ten, say’st thou ?
Fal. I marvel, I hear not of master Brook : he sent me word to stay within. I like his money well. 0! here he comes.
Fal. Now, master Brook; you come to know what hath passed between me and Ford's wife?
Ford. That, indeed, sir John, is my business.
Fal. Master Brook, I will not lie to you. I was at her house the hour she appointed me. Ford. And sped you,
sir ? Fal. Very ill-favouredly, master Brook. Ford. How so, sir? 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 embraced, kissed, protested, and, as it were, spoke the prologue of our comedy; and at his heels a rabble of his companions, thither provoked and instigated by his distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for his wife's love.
Ford. What! while you were there?
Fal. You shall hear. As good luck would have it, comes in one mistress Page; gives intelligence of Ford's approach; and by her invention, and Ford's wife's distraction, they conveyed me into a buck-basket.
Ford. A buck-basket!
Fal. By the Lord, a buck-basket: rammed me in with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, and greasy napkins; that, master Brook, there was the rankest compound of villainous smell, that ever offended nostril.
Ford. And how long lay you there?
Fal. Nay, you shall hear, master Brook, what I have suffered, to bring this woman to evil for your_good. Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple of Ford's knaves, his hinds, were called forth by their mistress, to carry me in the name of foul clothes to Datchet lane : they took me on their shoulders; met the jealous knave, their master, in the door, who asked them once or twice what they had in their basket. I quaked for fear, the lunatic knave would searched 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 clothes. But mark the sequel, master Brook: I suffered the pangs of three several deaths : first, an intolerable fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten bell-wether: next, to be compassed, like a good bilbo, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to point, heel to head: and then, to be stopped in, like a strong distillation, with stinking clothes that fretted in their own grease: think of that, -a man of my 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 the height of this bath, when I was more than half stewed in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be thrown into the Thames, and cooled, glowing hot, in that surge, like a horse shoe; think of that,-hissing hot,—think of that, master Brook.
Ford. In good sadness, sir, I am sorry that for my sake you have suffered all this. My suit, then, is 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 received from her another embassy of meeting; 'twixt eight and nine is the hour, master Brook. Ford. 'Tis past eight already, sir.
Fal. Is it? I will then address me to my appointment. Come to me at your convenient leisure, and you shall know how I speed, and the conclusion shall be crowned 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 't is to be married : this 't is 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; 't is impossible he should : he hannot creep into a half-penny purse, nor into a pepper
ox; but, lest the devil that guides him should aid him, I will search impossible places. Though what I am I cannot avoid, yet to be what I would not, shall not make me tame : if I have horns to make me mad, let the proverb go with me, I'll be horn mad. (Exit.
Vol. 1. -16