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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 88 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,

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.

MIrs. 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. [Erit Falstaff.

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 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 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

honest too: We do not act, that often jest and laugh; 'Tis old but true, Still swine eat all the draff. [Erit.

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. Serr. Come, come, take it up.

2. Serv. Pray heaven, it be not full of the knight again.

yet

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, villain :- Somebody call my wife :-You, youth in a basket, come out here!-0, you panderly rascals! there's a knot, a ging 4, 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 pinion'd.

Eva. Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad dog!

Shal. Indeed, master Ford, this is not well ; indeed.

Enter Mrs. FORD,

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, sirrah. [Pulls the clothes out of the basket.

Page. This passes !

was one

Mrs. Ford. Are you not ashamed ? let the clothes alone.

Ford. I shall find you anon.

Eva. 'Tis unreasonable ! Will you take up your wife's clothes ? Come away.

Ford. Empty the basket, I say.
Mrs. Ford. Why, man, why,-
Ford. Master Page, as I am a man,

there convey'd out of my house yesterday in this basket : Why may not he be there again? In my house I am sure he is : my intelligence is true ; my jealousy is reasonable : Pluck me out all the linen.

Mrs. Ford. If you find a man there, he shall die a flea's death,

Page. Here's no man.

Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, master Ford; this wrongs you.

Eva. Master Ford, you must pray, and not follow the imaginations of your own heart : this is jealousies.

Ford. Well, he's not here I seek for.
Page. No, nor no where else, but in your brain.

Ford. Help to search my house this one time : if I find not what I seek, show no colour for my extremity, let me for ever be your table-sport ; let them say of me, As jealous as Ford, that search'd a hollow walnut for his wife's leman 85.

Satisfy me once more; once more search with me.

Mrs. Ford. What hoa, mistress Page ! come you, and the old woman down; my husband will come into the chamber.

Ford. Old woman! What old woman's that ?

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