Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

midity, this grofs watry pumpion, we'll teach him to know turtles from jays,

SCENE VIII. Enter Falftaff.

Fal. Have I caught thee, my heav'nly jewel? why, now let me die; for I have liv'd long enough; this is the period of my ambition: O this bleffed hour!

Mrs. Ford. O fweet Sir John!

Fal. Mrs. Ford. I cannot cog, I cannot prate, mistress Ford: now fhall I fin in my wifh. I would thy husband were dead, I'll fpeak it before the best lord, I would make thee my lady.

Mrs. Ford. I your lady, Sir John ? alas, I should be a pitiful lady.

Fal. Let the court of France fhew me fuch another; I fee how thine eye would emulate the diamond: thou haft the right arched bent of the brow, that becomes the fhiptire, the tire-valiant *, or any tire of Venetian addition.

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

Fal. Thou art a tyrant to fay fo; thou would'ft make an abfolute courtier, and the firm fixure of thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy gate in a femi-circled farthingale. I fee 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 fuch thing in me. Fal. What made me love thee? let that perfuade thee there's fomething extraordinary in thee. Come, I cannot cóg, and fay thou art this and that, like many of these lifping haw-thorn buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklers-Berry in fimpling-time; I cannot; but I love thee, none but thee; and thou deferveft it.

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

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

'Tis probable this should be tire-volant or voilant, and that both this and the hip tire were names given to women's head-dreffes by the Venetians from whom the finé Ladies heretofore took their fashions, as the lace then moft in esteem was the Point de Venife.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Mrs,

Mrs. Ford. Well, heav'n knows how I love you, and you shall one day find it.

Fal. Keep in that mind; I'll deferve it.

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

Rob. [Within.] Miftrefs Ford, miftrefs Ford, here's miftrefs Page at the door, fweating, and blowing, and looking. wildly, and would needs fpeak with you presently.

Fal. She fhall not fee me; I will infconce me behind the arras.

1

Mrs. Ford. Pray you, do fo; fhe's a very tattling woman. SCENE IX. Enter Miftrefs Page.

What's the matter? how now?

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

Mrs. Ford. What's the matter, good mistress Page? Mrs. Page. O well-a-day, miftrefs Ford, having an honeft man to your husband, to give him fuch caufe of fufpicion! Mrs. Ford. What cause of fufpicion ?

Mrs. Page. What caufe of fufpicion? 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 Windfer, to fearch for a gentleman that he fays is here now in the house, by your confent, to take an ill advantage of his abfence. You are undone.

Mrs. Ford. 'Tis not fo, I hope.

Mrs. Page. Pray heav'n it be not fo that you have such a man here; but 'tis moft certain your husband's coming with half Windsor at his heels, to search for such a one. 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 fenfes to you, defend your reputation, or bid farewel to your good life for ever.

Mrs. Ford. What fhall I do? there is a gentleman, my dear friend; and I fear not mine own fhame fo much as his peril. Į had rather than a thousand pound he were out of the house.

Mrs Page. For fhame, never ftand you had rather, and you bad rather; your husband's here at hand, bethink you

of

[ocr errors]

of fome 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 linnen upon him, as if it were going to
bucking or it is whiting time, fend him by your two
men to Datchet-mead.

Mrs. Ford. He's too big to go in there: what shall I do?
Re-enter Falstaff.

Fal. Let me fes't, let me fee't, O let me fee't; I'll in, I'll in; follow your friend's counfel; I'll in.

Mrs. Page. What, Sir John Falstaff? are thefe 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 linnen.

Mrs. Page. Help to cover your mafter, boy: call your men, miftrefs Ford. You diffembling Knight!

Mrs. Ford. What, Jobn, Robert, John, go, take up these cloaths here, quickly. Where's the cowl-ftaff! look how you drumble: carry them to the landrefs in Datchetmead ; quickly, come.

SCENE X. Enter Ford, Page, Caius, and Evans. Ford, Pray you, come near; if I fufpect without caufe, why then make sport at me, then let me be your jeft, I deserve it. How now ? whither bear you this?

Serv. To the landrefs, forfooth.

Mrs. Ford. Why, what have you to do whither they bear. it? You were beft meddle with buck-washing,

Ford. Buck? I would I could wash myself of the buck: buck, buck, buck, ay buck: I warrant you buck, and of the feason 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; afcend my chambers, fearch, feek, find out. I'll warrant we'll unkennel the fox. Let me ftop this way firft; fo, now uncouple. Page. Good mafter Ford, be contented: you wrong yourself too much.

Ford. True, mafter Page. Up, gentlemen, you shall fee fport anon; follow me, gentlemen.

Eve. This is ferry fantastical humours and jealoufies.

U 3

Caius,

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

Page. Nay, follow him, gentlemen, fee the iffue of his fearch. [Exeunt. SCENE XI. Manent Miftrefs Page and Mistress Ford. Mrs. Page. Is there not a double excellency in this? Mrs. Ford. I know not which pleases me better, that my husband is deceiv'd, or Sir John.

Mrs. Page. What a taking was he in when your hufband afk'd who was in the basket!

Mrs. Ford. I am half afraid he will have need of washing; fo throwing him into the water will do him a benefit, Mrs. Page. Hang him, difhoneft rascal; I would all of the fame ftrain were in the fame diftrefs.

Mrs. Ford. I think my husband hath some special fufpicion of Falftaff's being here: I never faw him so grofs in his jealoufie till now.

Mrs. Page. I will lay a plot to try that, and we will yet have more tricks with Falstaff: his diffolute disease will scarce obey this medicine.

Mrs. Ford, Shall we fend that foolish carrion mistress Quickly to him, and excufe 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 fent for to-morrow by eight a clock, to have amends.

Re-enter Ford, Page, &c."

Ford. I cannot find him; may be the knave bragg'd of that he could not compafs.

Mrs. Page. Heard you that?

Mrs. Ford. You ufe me well, mafter Ford, do you?
Ford. Ay, ay, I do fo.

Mrs. Page. Heav'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 pody in the house, and in the chambers, and in the coffers, and in the preffes, heav'n forgive my fins!

Caius. By gar, nór I too

dere is no bodies.

Page, Fie, fie, Mr. Ford, are you not asham'd? what

[ocr errors]

fpirit, what devil fuggefts this imagination? I would not ha your diftemper in this kind for the wealth of Windfor Castle. Ford. 'Tis my fault, Mr. Page: I fuffer for it.

Eva. You fuffer for a pad conscience; your wife is as honeft a 'omans as I will defires among five thousand, and five hundred too.

Caius. By gar,

I fee '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. Let's go in, gentlemen; but truft me, we'll mock him. I do invite you to-morrow morning to my houfe to breakfaft; after, we'll a birding together; I have a fine hawk for the bufh. Shall it be fo?

Ford. Any thing.

Eva. If there is one, I fhall make two in the company.
Caius. If dere be one or two, I fhall make-a de turd.
Ford. Pray you go, Mr. Page.

Eva. I pray you now, remembrance to-morrow on the lowfie knave mine hoft.

Caius, Dat is good, by gar, vith all my heart.

Eva. A lowfie knave, to have his gibes, and his moc-
keries.
[Exeunt.
SCENE XII. Changes to Page's boufe.
Enter Fenton and Miftrefs Anne Page.

Fent. I fee I cannot get thy father's love;
Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.
Anne. Alas! how then?

Fent. Why, thou must be thyfelf.
He doth object I am too great of birth,

And that my state being gall'd with my expence,
I seek to heal it only by his wealth.

Befides thefe, other bars he lays before me,
My riots paft, my wild focieties :
And tells me, 'tis a thing impoffible
I fhould love thee, but as a property.
Anne. May be he tells you true.

Fent. No, heav'n fo speed me in my time to come!

« ZurückWeiter »