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 compound of villanous smell, that euer offended nostrill

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 good: Being thus cram'd in the Basket, a couple of Fords knaues, his Hindes, were cald forth by their Mistris, 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 ask'd them once or twice what they had in their Basket? 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 marke 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 circumference of a Pecke, hilt to point, heele to head. And then to be stopt in like a strong distillation with stinking 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 continuall dissolution, and thaw: it was a miracle to scape suffocation. 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 Broome.) 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 more? Fal. 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 meeting: 'twixt eight and nine is the houre (Master Broome.) Ford. 'Tis past eight already Sir

Fal. Is it? I will then addresse mee to my appointment: Come to mee at your conuenient leisure, and you shall know how I speede: and the conclusion shall 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: ther's a hole made in your best coate (Master Ford:) this 'tis to be married; this 'tis to haue Lynnen, and Buckbaskets: 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 cannot creepe into a halfe-penny purse, nor into a PepperBoxe: 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 one mad, let the prouerbe goe with me, Ile be hornemad.


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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