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ACT IV QUICK. Poulcats! there are fairer things than poulcats, Sc. I


EVANS. You are a very simplicity 'oman: I pray you

peace. What is lapis, William?

WILL. A stone.

EVANS. And what is a stone, William ?

WILL. A pebble.


EVANS. No, it is lapis: I pray you remember in your prain.
WILL. Lapis.

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

WILL. Articles are borrow'd of the pronoun; and be thus declin'd, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, hæc, hoc. EVANS. Nominativo, hig, hag, hog; pray you, mark: genitivo, hujus. Well, what is your accusative case? WILL. Accusativo, hinc.

EVANS. I pray you, have your remembrance, child: Accusativo, hing, hang, hog.

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

EVANS. Leave your prabbles, 'oman! What is the focative

case, William ?

WILL. O-Vocativo, O.

EVANS. Remember, William: focative is caret.

QUICK. And that's a good root.

EVANS. 'Oman, forbear!

MRS. PAGE. Peace!

EVANS. What is your genitive case plural, William? 50

WILL. Genitive case?


WILL. Genitivo,-horum, harum, horum.


QUICK. 'Vengeance of Jenny's case! Fie on her !-Never name her, child, if she be a whore.

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


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MRS. PAGE. Pr'ythee hold thy peace.
EVANS. Shew me now, William, some declensions of

your pronouns.

WILL. Forsooth, I have forgot.

EVANS. It is qui, quæ, quod; if you forget your quies, your ques, and your quods, you must be preeches.1 Go your ways, and play, go.


MRS. PAGE. He is a better scholar than I thought he was.
EVANS. He is a good sprag2 memory. Farewell, Mistress

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.


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,
Mistress 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.



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. Speak louder.


MRS. PAGE. Truly, I am so glad you have nobody here.

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!*
1 breeched. 2 quick. 3 diligent. 4 as children to a snail, to shew his horns.

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Sc. II


that any madness, I ever yet beheld, seem'd but tameness, civility, and patience, to this his distemper he is in now. 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 search'd 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?od
MRS. PAGE. Hard by; at street end; he will be here


MRS. FORD. I am undone! The Knight is here.
MRS. PAGE. Why, then you are utterly sham'd, 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 ways
he go? how should I
bestow him? Shall I put him into the basket again? 41

Re-enter FALSTAFF.

FAL. No, I'll come no more i' th' 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 make1 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 kiln2-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 disguis'd

1 do.

2 oven.


There is no

MRS. FORD. How might we disguise him?
MRS. PAGE. Alas the day, I know not.
woman's gown big enough for him: otherwise he
might put on a hat, a muffler,' and a kerchief, and so

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 thrumm'd hat,2 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.
MRS. FORD. I would my husband would meet him in this
shape. He cannot abide the Old Woman of Brent-
ford: he swears she's a witch, forbade her my house,
and hath threaten'd 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

MRS. PAGE. Hang him, dishonest varlet! we cannot
misuse him enough.

We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do, 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.

1 a wrap for mouth and chin.


2 built of the weaver's tufts or thrums.

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Sc. II

Re-enter MISTRESS 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 dispatch.
FIRST SERV. Come, come, take it up.
SEC. SERV. Pray Heaven, it be not full of Knight again.
FIRST SERV. I hope not: I had as lief bear so much lead.



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, come out here -O, you panderly rascals!
there's a knot, a gin, a pack, a conspiracy against me.
Now, shall the Devil be sham'd. What! wife, I say!
Come, come forth! Behold what honest clothes you
send forth to bleaching!



PAGE. Why, this passes!1 Master Ford, you are not to
go loose any longer: you must be pinion'd.

EVANS. Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad dog!
SHAL. Indeed, Master Ford, this is not well-indeed.


FORD. So say I too, Sir.-Come hither, Mistress Ford:
Mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife,
the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool to her
husband! I suspect without cause, Mistress, do I?
MRS. FORD. Heaven be my witness you do, if you

suspect me in any dishonesty.

FORD. Well said, brazen-face; hold it out!-Come forth,
[pulls the clothes out of the basket.


PAGE. This passes!
MRS. FORD. Are you not asham'd? Let the clothes alone.

FORD. I shall find you anon.
EVANS. "Tis unreasonable!

Will you take up your wife's

clothes? Come away.
FORD. Empty the basket, I say.
MRS. FORD. Why, man, why?

1 is too much



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