Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folio 1, 1623)

The Merry Wiues of Windsor.
Ford. A Buck-basket?
Fal. Yes: a Buck-basket: ram'd mee in with foule
Shirts and Smockes, Socks, foule Stockings, greasie
Napkins, that (Master Broome) there was the rankest
1760compound of villanous smell, that euer offended no-
Ford. And how long lay you there?
Fal. Nay, you shall heare (Master Broome) what I
haue sufferd, to bring this woman to euill, for your
1765good: Being thus cram'd in the Basket, a couple of
Fords knaues, his Hindes, were cald forth by their Mi-
stris, to carry mee in the name of foule Cloathes to
Datchet-lane: they tooke me on their shoulders: met
the iealous knaue their Master in the doore; who
1770ask'd them once or twice what they had in their Bas-
ket? I quak'd for feare least the Lunatique Knaue
would haue search'd it: but Fate (ordaining he should
be a Cuckold) held his hand: well, on went hee, for
a search, and away went I for foule Cloathes: But
1775marke the sequell (Master Broome) I suffered the pangs
of three seuerall deaths: First, an intollerable fright,
to be detected with a iealious rotten Bell-weather:
Next to be compass'd like a good Bilbo in the circum-
ference of a Pecke, hilt to point, heele to head. And
1780then to be stopt in like a strong distillation with stink-
ing Cloathes, that fretted in their owne grease:
thinke of that, a man of my Kidney; thinke of that,
that am as subiect to heate as butter; a man of conti-
nuall dissolution, and thaw: it was a miracle to scape
1785suffocation. And in the height of this Bath (when I
was more then halfe stew'd in grease (like a Dutch-
dish) to be throwne into the Thames, and
coold, glowing-hot, in that serge like a Horse-
shoo; thinke of that; hissing hot: thinke of that (Master
Ford. In good sadnesse Sir, I am sorry, that for my sake
you haue sufferd all this.
My suite then is desperate: You'll vndertake her no
1795Fal. Master Broome: I will be throwne into Etna,
as I haue beene into Thames, ere I will leaue her thus;
her Husband is this morning gone a Birding: I
haue receiued from her another ambassie of mee-
ting: 'twixt eight and nine is the houre (Master
Ford. 'Tis past eight already Sir.
Fal. Is it? I will then addresse mee to my appoint-
ment: Come to mee at your conuenient leisure, and
you shall know how I speede: and the conclusion
1805shall be crowned with your enioying her: adiew: you
shall haue her (Master Broome) Master Broome, you shall
cuckold Ford.
Ford. Hum: ha? Is this a vision? Is this a dreame?
doe I sleepe? Master Ford awake, awake Master Ford:
1810ther's a hole made in your best coate (Master Ford:) this
'tis to be married; this 'tis to haue Lynnen, and Buck-
baskets: Well, I will proclaime my selfe what I am:
I will now take the Leacher: hee is at my house: hee
cannot scape me: 'tis impossible hee should: hee can-
1815not creepe into a halfe-penny purse, nor into a Pepper-
Boxe: But least the Diuell that guides him, should
aide him, I will search impossible places: though
what I am, I cannot auoide; yet to be what I would
not, shall not make me tame: If I haue hornes, to make
1820one mad, let the prouerbe goe with me, Ile be horne-

Actus Quartus. Scoena Prima.

Enter Mistris Page, Quickly, William, Euans.
Mist. Pag. Is he at M. Fords already think'st thou?
1825Qui. Sure he is by this; or will be presently; but
truely he is very couragious mad, about his throwing
into the water. Mistris Ford desires you to come so-
Mist. Pag. Ile be with her by and by: Ile but bring
1830my yong-man here to Schoole: looke where his Master
comes; 'tis a playing day I see: how now Sir Hugh, no
Schoole to day?
Eua. No: Master Slender is let the Boyes leaue to play.
Qui 'Blessing of his heart.
1835Mist. Pag. Sir Hugh, my husband saies my sonne pro-
fits nothing in the world at his Booke: I pray you aske
him some questions in his Accidence.
Eu. Come hither William; hold vp your head; come.
Mist. Pag. Come-on Sirha; hold vp your head; an-
1840swere your Master, be not afraid.
Eua. William, how many Numbers is in Nownes?
Will. Two.
Qui. Truely, I thought there had bin one Number
more, because they say od's-Nownes.
1845Eua. Peace, your tatlings. What is (Faire) William?
Will. Pulcher.
Qu. Powlcats? there are fairer things then Powlcats,
Eua. You are a very simplicity o'man: I pray you
1850peace. What is (Lapis) William?
Will. A Stone.
Eua. And what is a Stone (William?)
Will. A Peeble.
Eua. No; it is Lapis: I pray you remember in your
Will. Lapis.
Eua. That is a good William: what is he (William) that
do's lend Articles.
Will. Articles are borrowed of the Pronoune; and be
1860thus declined. Singulariter nominatiuo hic hæc, hoc.
Eua. Nominatiuo hig, hag, hog: pray you marke: geni-
tiuo huius: Well: what is your Accusatiue-case?
Will. Accusatiuo hinc.
Eua. I pray you haue your remembrance (childe) Ac-
1865cusatiuo hing, hang, hog.
Qu. Hang-hog, is latten for Bacon, I warrant you.
Eua. Leaue your prables (o'man) What is the Foca-
tiue case (William?)
Will. O, Vocatiuo, O.
1870Eua. Remember William, Focatiue, is caret.
Qu. And that's a good roote.
Eua. O'man, forbeare.
Mist. Pag. Peace.
Eua. What is your Genitiue case plurall (William?)
1875Will. Genitiue case?
Eua. I.
Will. Genitiue horum, harum, horum.
Qu. 'Vengeance of Ginyes case; fie on her; neuer
name her (childe) if she be a whore.
1880Eua. For shame o'man.
Qu. You doe ill to teach the childe such words: hee
teaches him to hic, and to hac; which they'll doe fast
enough of themselues, and to call horum; fie vpon you.
Eua. 'Oman