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Enter Sir Hugh Evans. How now, Sir Hugh? no school to-day?

Eva. No: master Slender is let the boys leave to play.

Quick. Blessing of his heart !

Mrs. Page. Sir Hugh, my husband says, my son profits nothing in the world at bis book; I pray you, ask him some questions in his accidence.

Eva. Come hither, William; hold up your head ; come.

Mrs. Page. Come on, sirrah; hold up your head; answer your master, be not afraid.

Eva. William, how many numbers is in nouns?
Will. Two.

Quick. Truly, I thought there had been one number more; because they say, od's nouns.

Eva. Peace your tattlings. What is fair, William? Will. Pulcher.

Quick. Poulcats! there are fairer things than poulcats, sure.

Eva. You are a very simplicity ’oman; I pray you peace. What is lapis, William ?

Will. A stone.
Eva. And what is a stone, William ?
Will. A pebble.

Eva. No, it is lapis; I pray you remember in your prain.

Will. Lapis.

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

Will. Articles are borrowed of the pronoun; and be thus declined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, hæc, hoc.

Eva. Nominativo, hig, hag, hog; pray you, mark: genitivo, hujus : Well, what is your accusative case ?

Will. Accusativo, hinc.

Eva. I pray you, have your remembrance, 'child ; Accusativo, hing, hang, hog:

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

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Eva. Leave your prabbles, ’oman. What is the focative case, William?

Will. 0vocativo, O.
Eva. Remember, William ; focative is caret.
Quick. And that's a good root.
Eva. 'Oman, forbear.
Mrs. Page. Peace.
Eva. What is your genitive case plural, William ?
Will. Genitive case ?
Eva. Ay.
Will. Genitivo,-horum, harum, horum.

Quick. 'Vengeance of Jenny's case! fie on her! never name her, child, if she be a whore.

Eva. 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 !

Eva. '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.

Mrs. Page. Pr’ythee hold thy peace.

Eva. Show me now, William, some declensions of your pronouns.

Will. Forsooth, I have forgot.

Eva. It is ki, , cod ; if you forget your kies, your kæs, and your cods, you must be preeches. Go your ways, and play, go.

Mrs. Page. He is a better scholar than I thought he was.

Eva. He is a good sprag ? memory. Farewell, mistress Page. Mrs. Page. Adieu, good Sir Hugh. [Exit Sir

[ Hugh.] Get you home, boy.—Come, we stay too long.


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SCENE II. A Room in Ford's House.

Enter FALSTAFF and Mrs. FORD. 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.

[Exit FalstAFF. Enter Mrs. PAGE. Mrs. Page. How now, sweetheart? who's at home beside yourself?

Mrs. Ford. Why, none but mine own people.
Mrs. Page. Indeed ?
Mrs. Ford. No, certainly ;-speak louder. [Aside.

Mrs. Page. Truly, I am so glad you have nobody here.

Mrs. Ford. Why?

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 !3 that any madness, I ever yet beheld, seemed but tameness, civility, and patience, to this his

1 So in Hamlet; “To do obsequious sorrow.” The epithet obsequious refers, in both instances, to the seriousness with which obsequies are performed.

2 i. e. lunacy, frenzy.

3 Shakspeare refers to a sport of children, who thus call on a snail to push forth his horns.

“ Peer out, peer out, peer out of your hole,
Or else I'll beat you as black as a coal.”

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 searched for him, in a bas-
ket; 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 ?

Mrs. Page. Hard by; at street end; he will be here anon.

Mrs. Ford. I am undone !—the knight is here.

Mrs. Page. Why, then you are utterly shamed, 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 way should he go? how should I bestow him ? Shall I put him into the basket again?

Re-enter FALSTAFF. Fal. No, I'll come no more i’ the basket: May 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 make you here?

Fal. What shall I do?-I'll creep up into the chimney.

Mrs. Ford. There they always used 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 abstracto for the remembrance of such places,

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1 This is one of Shakspeare's anachronisms: he has also introduced pistols in Pericles, in the reign of Antiochus, two hundred years before Christ.

2 i. e. a list, an inventory, or short note of.


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 disguised,

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.

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 thrumed 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.

[Exit 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 threatened 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.2

1 A hat composed of the weaver's tufts or thrums, or of very coarse cloth. A muffler was a part of female attire which only covered the lower part of the face.

2 This old witch Jyl or Gillian of Brentford seems to have been a character well known in popular story at the time.

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