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Mrs. Ford. If I would but go to hell for an eternal moment, or so, i could be knighted.

Mrs. Page. What ?-thou liest!-Sir Alice Ford ! -These knights will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry.

Mrs. Ford. We burn day-light!—here; read, read; --perceive how I might be knighted.- I shall think the worse of fat men, as long as I have an eye to make difference of men's liking : And yet he would not swear; prais'd women's modesty ; and gave such orderly and well-behav'd reproof to alluncomeliness, that I would have sworn his disposition would have gone to the truth of his words : but they do no more adhere, and keep place together, than the hundredth psalm to the ture of Green Sleeves. What tempest, I trow, threw this whale, with so many tuns of oil in his belly, ashoré at Windsor? How shall I be reveng'd on him? I think, the best way were to en: tertain him with hope, 'till the wicked fire of lust have melted him in his own gréase. Did you ever hear the like?

66 Mrs. Pagé. Létter for letter ; but that the name of Page and Ford differs |--To thy great comfort in this mystery of ill opinions, here's the twin-brother of thy letter: but let thine inherit first; for, I protest, mine never shall. I warrant, he hath a thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for different names (sure more), and these are of the second edition: He will print them out of doubt'; for he cares not what he puts into the press, when he would put is two.


I had rather be a giantess, and lie under mount Pe. lion. Well, I will find you twenty lascivious turtles, ere one chaste man.

Mrs. Ford. Why, this is the very same; the very hand, the very words: What doth he think of us?

Mrs. Page. Nay, I know not : It makes me almost ready to wrangle with mine own honesty. I'll entertain myself like one that I am not acquainted withal; for, sure, unless he knew some strain in me, that I know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury,

Mrs. Ford. Boarding, call you it? I'll be sure to keep him above deck.

88 Mrs. Page. So will I; if he come under my hatches, I'll never to sea again, Let's be reveng'd on him : let's appoint him a meeting ; give him a show of comfort in his suit; and lead him on with a fine baited delay, 'till he hath pawn'd his horses to mine Host of the Garter.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, I will consent to act any villainy against him, that may not sully the chariness of our honesty. Oh, that my husband saw this letter! it would give eternal food to his jealousy.

Mrs. Page. Why, look, where he comes; and my good man too: he's as far from jealousy, as I am from giving him cause ; and that, I hope, is an unmeasurable distance.

Mrs. Ford. You are the happier woman.

Mrs. Page. Let's consult together against this greasy knight: Come hither.

[They retire.




Enter Ford with Pistol, Page with Nym. Ford. Well, I hope, it be not so.

Pist. Hope is a curtail-dog in some affairs :
Sir John affects thy wife.

Ford. Why, sir, my wife is not young.
Pist. He wooes both high and low, both rich and

Both young and old, one with another, Ford;
He loves thy gally-mawfry; Ford, perpend,

Ford. Love my wife?

Pist. With liver burning hot: Prevent, or go thou, Like sir Actæon he, with Ring-wood at thy heels :0, odious is the name !

Ford. What name, sir?

Pist. The horn, I say: Farewel. Take heed ; have open eye ; for thieves do foot by

night : Take heed, ere summer comes, or cuckoo-birds do

sing. Away, sir corporal Nym. Believe it, Page ; he speaks sense. [Exit PISTOL. · Ford. I will be patient; I will find out this.

Nym. [Speaking to PAGE.] And this is true; I like not the humour of lying. He hath wrong'd me in some humours: I should have borne the humour'd letter to her; but I have a sword, and it shall bite upon my necessity. He loves your wife; there's the short and the long. My name is corporal Nym; I speak, and I avouch. 'Tis true :--my name is



Nym, and Falstaff loves your wife.-Adieu ! I love not the humour of bread and cheese ; and there's the humour of it. Adieu.

(Exit Nym. Page: The humour of it, quoth a'! here's a fellow frights humour out of its wits.

135 Ford. I will seek out Falstaff.

Page. I never heard such a drawling, affecting rogue.

Ford. If I do find it, well.

Page. I will not believe such a Cataian, though the priest o' the town commended him for a true man,

14 Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow: Well, Page. How now, Meg? Mrs. Page. Whither go you, George Hark you.

Mrs. Ford. How now, sweet Frank, why art thou melancholy?

Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy.-Get you home, go.

Mrs. Ford. Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head now.-Will you go, mistress Page ? 151

Mrs. Page. Have with you. You'll come to dinner, George !--Look, who comes yonder : she shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.

[ Aside to Mrs. FORD. Enter Mrs. Quickly, Mrs. Ford. Trust me, I thought on her : she'll fit it. Mrs. Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne!

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Quic. Ay, forsooth; And, I pray, how does good mistress Anne?

Mrs. Page. Go in with us, and see; we have an hour's talk with you.

160 [Ex. Mrs. PAGE, Mrs. FORD, and Mrs. QUICKLY. Page. How now, master Ford ?

Ford. You heard what this knave told not?

Page. Yes; And you heard what the other told me? Ford. Do you think there is truth in them?

Page. Hang 'em, slaves! I do not think the knight would offer it : but these, that accuse him in his intent towards our wives, are a yoke of his discarded men; very rogues, now they be out of service. Ford. Were they his men?

170 Page. Marry, were they.

Ford. I like it never the better for that...Does he lie at the Garter ?

Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend his

voyage towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him ; and what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lie on my head.

Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife; but I would be loth to turn them together: A man may be too confident: I would have nothing lie on my head: I can: not be thus satisfied.

181 Page. Look, where my ranting host of the Garter comes : there is either liquor in his pate, or money in his purse, when he looks so merrily.---How, now, mine host?



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