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ACT IV.

SCENE I.—The Street.
Enter Mrs. Page, Mrs. QUICKLY, and WILLIAM.
Mrs. Page. Is he at master Ford's already, think'st
thou ?

Quick. Sure he is, by this, or will be presently; but
truly, he is very courageous mad about his throwing
into the water. Mistress Ford desires you to come
suddenly.

Mrs. Page. I'll be with her by and by: I'll but
bring my young man here to school. Look, where his
master comes; 't is a playing day, I see.

· Enter Sir Hugh EVANS.
How now, sir Hugh! no school to-day ?

Eva. No; master Slender is get the boys leave to

play.

Quick. Blessing of his heart!

Mrs. Page. Sir Hugh, my husband says, my son
profits nothing in the world at his book: I pray you,
ask him some questions in his accidence.

Eva. Come hither, William : hold up your head;

come.

Mrs. Page. Come on, sirrah: hold up your head :
answer your master; be not afraid.

Eva. William, how many numbers is in nouns ?
Will. Two.

Quick. Truly, I thought there had been one number
more, because they say, od's nouns.

Eva. Peace your tattlings !-What is fair, William ?
Will. Pulcher.

Quick. Pole-cats ! there are fairer things than pole-
cats, sure.

Eva. You are a very simplicity 'oman: I pray you,
peace.- What is lapis, William ?

Will. A stone.
Eva. And what is a stone, William ?
Will. A pebble.

Eva. No, it is lapis: I pray you remember in your
prain.
Will. Lapis.

1 let : in f. e.'

Eva. That is good, William. What is he, William, that does lend articles ?

Will. Articles are borrowed of the pronoun; and be thus declined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, hæc, hoc.

Eva. Nominativo, hig, hag, hog ;-pray you, mark: genitivo, hujus. Well, what is your accusative case ?

Will. Accusativo, hinc.

Eva. I pray you, have your remembrance, child ; accusativo, hing, hang, hog,

Quick. Hang hog is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.

Eva. Leave your prabbles, 'oman.-What is the focative case, William ?

Will. (—vocativo, o.
Eva. Remember, William ; focative is, caret.
Quick. And that's a good root.
Eva. 'Oman, forbear.
Mrs. Page. Peace!
Eva. What is your genitive case plural, William ?
Will. Genitive case ?
Eva. Ay.
Will. Genitive,-horum, harum, horum.

Quick. Vengeance of Jenny's case! fie on her! Never name her, child, if she be a whore.

Eva. For shame, 'oman!

Quick. You do ill to teach the child such words. He teaches him to hick and to hack, which they'll do fast enough of themselves; and to call horum,-fie upon you !

Eva. 'Oman, art thou lunatics ? hast thou no understandings for thy cases, and the numbers and the genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as I would desires.

Mrs. Page. Pr’ythee hold thy peace.

Eva. Show me now, William, some declensions of your pronouns.

Will. Forsooth, I have forgot.

Eva. It is qui, quæ, quod ; if you forget your quis, your ques, and your quods, you must be preeches'. ` Go your ways, and play; go.

Mrs. Page. He is a better scholar than I thought he was.

Eva. He is a good sprag’ memory. Farewell, mistress Page.

1 Breeched, whipped. 2 Spry, quick.

Mrs. Page. Adieu, good sir Hugh. [Exit Sir Hugh.] Get you home, boy.-- Come, we stay too long. (Exeunt.

SCENE II.-A Room in FORD's House.

Enter FALSTAFF and Mrs. FORD. Fal. Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up my sufferance. I see, you are obsequious in your love, and I profess requital to a hair's breadth ; not only, Mrs. Ford, in the simple office of love, but in all the accoutrement, complement, and ceremony of it. But are you sure of your husband now?

Mrs. Ford. He's a birding, sweet sir John.

Mrs. Page. [Within.] What hoa! gossip Ford ! what hoa! Mrs. Ford. Step into the chamber, sir John.

[Exit FALSTAFF. Enter Mrs. PAGE. Mrs. Page. How now, sweetheart! who's at home besides yourself?

Mrs Ford. Why, none but mine own people.
Mrs. Page. Indeed ?
Mrs. Ford. No, certainly.—[ Aside.] Speak louder.

Mrs. Page. Truly, I am so glad you have nobody here.

Mrs. Ford. Why?

Mrs. Page. Why, woman, your husband is in his old lunes again: he so takes on yonder with my husband; so rails against all married mankind; so curses all Eve's daughters, of what complexion soever; and so buffets himself on the forehead, crying, “Peer-out, Peer-out!” that any madness I ever yet beheld seemed but tameness, civility, and patience, to this distemper he is in

I am glad the fat knight is not here. Mrs. Ford. Why, does he talk of him?

Mrs. Page. Of none but him; and swears, he was carried out, the last time he searched for him, in a basket : protests to my husband he is now here, and hath drawn him and the rest of their company from their sport, to make another experiment of his suspicion. But I am glad the knight is not here; now he shall see his own foolery.

Mrs. Ford. How near is he, mistress Page?
Mrs. Page. Hard by; at street end: he will be here

now.

anon.

Mrs. Ford. I am undone! the knight is here.

Mrs. Page. Why, then you are utterly shamed, and he's but a dead man. What a woman are you ! Away with him, away with him : better shame, than murder.

Mrs. Ford. Which way should he go? how should I bestow him ? Shall I put him into the basket again?

Re-enter FALSTAFF in fright. Fal. No, I'll come no more in the basket. May I not go out, ere he come ?

Mrs. Page. Alas, three of master Ford's brothers watch the door with pistols, that none shall issue out; otherwise you might slip away ere he came. But what make you here?

Fal. What shall I do?-I'll creep up into the chimney.

Mrs. Ford. There they always use to discharge their birding-pieces. Creep into the kiln-hole.

Fal. Where is it?

Mrs. Ford. He will seek there, on my word. Neither press, coffer, chest, trunk, well, vault, but he hath an abstract for the remembrance of such places, and goes to them by his note ; there is no hiding you in the house.

Fal. I'll go out, then.

Mrs. Page. If you go out in your own semblance, you die, sir John. Unless you go out disguised,

Mrs. Ford. How might we disguise him?

Mrs. Page. Alas the day! I know not. There is no woman's gown big enough for him; otherwise, he might put on a hat, a muffler, and a kerchief, and so escape.

Fal. Good hearts, devise something: any extremity, rather than a mischief.

Mrs. Ford. My maid's aunt, the fat woman of Brentford, has a gown above.

Mrs. Page. On my word it will serve him; she's as big as he is: and there's her thrum'd hat, and her muffler too.—Run up, sir John.

Mrs. Ford. Go, go, sweet sir 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 FALSTAFF.

1 in fright: not in f. e.

Mrs. Ford. I would my husband 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.

Mrs. 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.

[Exit. Mrs. Page. Hang him, dishonest 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 draff.”

[Exit. Re-enter Mrs. FORD, with two Servants. Mrs. Ford. Go, sirs, take the basket again on your shoulders : your master is hard at door ; if he bid you set it down, obey him. Quickly; despatch. (Exit.

1 Serv. Come, come, take it up. 2 Serv. Pray heaven, it be not full of knight again. 1 Serv. I hope not; I had as lief bear so much lead. Enter FORD, PAGE, SHALLOW, Caius, and Sir Hugh

EVANS. Ford. Ay, but if it prove true, master Page, have you any way then to unfool me again ?-Set down the basket, villains.—Somebody call my wife.-Youth in a basket !-O you panderly rascals ! there 's a knot, a ging', a pack, a conspiracy against me : now shall the devil' be shamed.-What, wife, I say ? Come, come forth: behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching.

Page. Why, this passes ! Master Ford, you are not to go loose any longer; you must be pinioned.

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