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Alrs. Page. Pray heaven it be not so, that you have such a man here; but 'tis most certain your husband's coming with half Windsor at his heels, to search for such a one, I 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 senses to you; defend your reputation, or bid farewell to your good life for ever.
Mrs. Ford. What shall I do?-There is a gentleman, my dear friend ; and I fear not mine'own shame, so much as his peril: lhad rather than athousand pound, he were out of the house.
Mrs. Page. For: shame, never stand you had rather, and
you had rather; your husband's here at hand, bethink you of some conveyance : in the house you cannot hide him.-Oh, how have you deceived me! Look, here is a basket; if he be of any reasonable ftature, he may creep in here; and throw foul linen upon him, as if it were going to bucking: Or, it is whiting-time, send him by your two men to Datchet nead.
Mrs. Ford. He's too big to go in there : What shall I do?
Re-enter Falstaff, Fal. Let me see't, let me see't! O let me fee't! I'll in, I'll in ;-follow your friend's counsel ;-I'll in.
Mrs. Page. What ! 'sir John Falstaff? Are these 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 linen. Mrs. Page. Help to cover your master, boy: Call your men, mistress Ford :—You diffembling knight!
Mrs. Ford. What, John, Robert, John! Go take up these clothes here, quickly; Where's the cowl
ftaff? look, s how you drumble : carry them to the laundress in Datchet mead ; quickly, come.
Enter Ford, Page, Caius, and Sir Hugh Evans. Ford. Pray you, come near : if I suspect without cause, why then inake sport at me, then let ine be your jest, I deserve it.--How now? whither bear yoų this?
Serv. To the laundress, forsooth.
Mrs. Ford. Why, what have you to do whither they bear it? you were best 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 season 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 : ascend my chambers, search, seek, find out : I'll warrant, we'll unkennel the fox:-Let me stop this way first :-? So, now uncape.
how you drumble:-) The reverend Mr. Lambe, the editor of the ancient metrical history of the Battle of Floddon, observes, that
- look how you drumble, means how confufed you are; and that in the North, drumbled ale is muddy, disturbed ale. Thus, a Scottish proverb in Ray's collection :
“ It is good fishing in drumbling waters." Again, in Have with you to Saffron Walılen, or Gabriel Harvey's Hunt is up, this word, occurs : “-gray-beard drumbling over a discourse." Again: “-your fly in a boxe is but a drumble-bee in comparison of it.” Again: "'--this drumbling course."
STEEVENS. 9- So now uncape.] So the folio of 1623 reads, and rightly. It is a term in fox-hunting, which fignifies to dig out the fox when earth’d. And here is as much as to say, take out the foul linen under which the adulterer lies hid. The Oxford editor reads une couple, out of pure love to an emendation. WARBURTON.
De Warburton seems to have forgot that the linen was already carried away. The allusion in the foregoing sentence is to the stopping every hole at which a fox could enter, before they uncape or turn him out of the bag in which he was brought. ' I suppose every one has heard of a bag.fox, STEEVENS,
Page. Good master Ford, be contented : you wrong yourself too much.
Ford. True, master Page.-Up, gentlemen ; you fhall see sport anon: follow me, gentlemen. (Exit.
Eva. This is fery fantastical humours, and jealousies.
Caius. By gar, 'tis no de fashion of France: it is not jealous in France.
Page. Nay, follow him, gentlemen; see the issue of his fearch.
[Exeunt. 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 husband alk'd who was in the basket!
Mrs. Ford. I am half afraid, he will have need of washing; so throwing him into the water will do him a benefit.
Mrs. Page. Hang him, dishonest rascal! I would, all of the saine ftrain were in the same diftress.
Mrs. Ford. I think, my husband hath fome special suspicion of Falstaff's being here; for I never faw him so gross in his jealousy 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 send that foolish carrion, miltress Quickly, to him, and excuse his throwing into the warer; and give him another hope, to betray him to another punishment ?
Mrs. Page. We'll do it; let him be sent for to-morow eight o'clock, to have amends.
Re-enter Ford, Page, and the rest at a distance. Ford. I cannot find him : may be the kdave bragd of that he could not compass.
Mrs. Page. Heard you that?
-You use me well, master Ford, do you?
Ford. Ay, I do so.
Mrs. Ford. Heaven make you better than your thoughts!
Mrs. Page. You do yourself mighty wrong, master 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 presses, heaven forgive my fins at the day of judgment !
Caius. By gar, nor I too; dere is no bodies.
Page. Fie, fie, master Ford ! are you’not afham'd what spirit, what devil suggests this imagination? I would not have your distemper in this kind, for the wealth of Windsor Castle.
Ford. 'Tis my fault, master Page : I fuffer for it.
Eva. You suffer for a pad conscience : your wife is as honest a 'omans, as I will defires among five thousand, and five hundred too.
Caius. By gar, I see 'tis an honest woman.
Ford. Well ;-I promis'd you a dinner :-Come, come, walk in the park : I pray you, pardon me; 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, trust me, we'll mock him. I do invite you to-morrow morning to my house to breakfast; after, we'll abirding together; I have a fine hawk for the buth : shall it be fo?
Ford. Any thing.
Eva. If there is one, I shall make two in the company.
Caius. If there be one or two, I shall make-a de turd.
Eva. Eva. In
teeth :-for shame. Ford. Pray you go, master Page.
Eva. I pray you now, remembrance to-morrow on the lousy knave, mine hoft.
Caius. Dat is good; by gar, vit all my heart.
Eva. A lousyoknave ; to have his gibes, and his mockeries.
Enter Fenton and Mistress Anne Puge,
Anne. Alas! how then?
Fent. Why, thou must be thyself. He doth object, I am too great of birth; And that, my stare being galld with my expence, I feck to heal it only by his wealth : Besides these, other bars he lays before me, My riots past, my wild societies; And tells me, 'tis a thing impossible I should love thee, but as a property.
Anne. May be, he tells you true.
Fent. No, heaven so speed me in my time to come! Albeit, I will confess, thy · father's wealth
In your teeth: This dirty reftoration was made by Mr. Theobald. Evans's application of the doctor's words, is not in the folio. STEEVENS.
father's wealth] Some light may be given to those who shall endeavour to calculate che increase of English vealth, by observing, that Latymer, in the time of Edward VI. mentions it as a proof of his father's prosperity, That though but a geoman, he gave his daughters five pounds each for her portion. At the tatter end of Elizabeth, seven hundred pounds were such a temptation to