Mist.Page. Quicke, quicke, wee'le come dresse you straight: put on the gowne the while

Mist.Ford. I would my husband would meete him in this shape: he cannot abide the old woman of Brainford; he sweares she's a witch, forbad her my house, and hath threatned to beate her

Mist.Page. Heauen guide him to thy husbands cudgell: and the diuell guide his cudgell afterwards

Mist.Ford. But is my husband comming? Mist.Page. I in good sadnesse is he, and talkes of the basket too, howsoeuer he hath had intelligence

Mist.Ford. Wee'l try that: for Ile appoint my men to carry the basket againe, to meete him at the doore with it, as they did last time

Mist.Page. Nay, but hee'l be heere presently: let's go dresse him like the witch of Brainford

Mist.Ford. Ile first direct my men, what they shall doe with the basket: Goe vp, Ile bring linnen for him straight

Mist.Page. Hang him dishonest Varlet, We cannot misuse enough: We'll leaue a proofe by that which we will doo, Wiues may be merry, and yet honest too: We do not acte that often, iest, and laugh, 'Tis old, but true, Still Swine eats all the draugh

Mist.Ford. Go Sirs, take the basket againe on your shoulders: your Master is hard at doore: if hee bid you set it downe, obey him: quickly, dispatch

1 Ser. Come, come, take it vp

2 Ser. Pray heauen it be not full of Knight againe

1 Ser. I hope not, I had liefe as beare so much lead

Ford. I, but if it proue true (Mr. Page) haue you any way then to vnfoole me againe. Set downe the basket villaine: some body call my wife: Youth in a basket: Oh you Panderly Rascals, there's a knot: a gin, a packe, a conspiracie against me: Now shall the diuel be sham'd. What wife I say: Come, come forth: behold what honest cloathes you send forth to bleaching

Page. Why, this passes M[aster]. Ford: you are not to goe loose any longer, you must be pinnion'd

Euans. Why, this is Lunaticks: this is madde, as a mad dogge

Shall. Indeed M[aster]. Ford, this is not well indeed

Ford. So say I too Sir, come hither Mistris Ford, Mistris Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife, the vertuous creature, that hath the iealious foole to her husband: I suspect without cause (Mistris) do I? Mist.Ford. Heauen be my witnesse you doe, if you suspect me in any dishonesty

Ford. Well said Brazon-face, hold it out: Come forth sirrah

Page. This passes

Mist.Ford. Are you not asham'd, let the cloths alone

Ford. I shall finde you anon

Eua. 'Tis vnreasonable; will you take vp your wiues cloathes? Come, away

Ford. Empty the basket I say

M.Ford. Why man, why? Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there was one conuay'd out of my house yesterday in this basket: why may not he be there againe, in my house I am sure he is: my Intelligence is true, my iealousie is reasonable, pluck me out all the linnen

Mist.Ford. If you find a man there, he shall dye a Fleas death

Page. Heer's no man

Shal. By my fidelity this is not well Mr. Ford: This wrongs you

Euans. Mr Ford, you must pray, and not follow the imaginations of your owne heart: this is iealousies

Ford. Well, hee's not heere I seeke for

Page. No, nor no where else but in your braine

The Merry Wiues of Windsor Page 29

William Shakespeare Plays

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