The Merry Wives of Windsor eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 75 pages of information about The Merry Wives of Windsor.

[Enter ford disguised.]

Ford
Bless you, sir!

Falstaff
Now, Master Brook, you come to know what hath passed between me
and Ford’s wife?

Ford
That, indeed, Sir John, is my business.

Falstaff
Master Brook, I will not lie to you:  I was at her house the hour
she appointed me.

Ford
And how sped you, sir?

Falstaff
Very ill-favouredly, Master Brook.

Ford
How so, sir? did she change her determination?

Falstaff.  No.  Master Brook; but the peaking cornuto her husband, Master Brook, dwelling in a continual ’larum of jealousy, comes me in the instant of our encounter, after we had embraced, kissed, protested, and, as it were, spoke the prologue of our comedy; and at his heels a rabble of his companions, thither provoked and instigated by his distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for his wife’s love.

Ford
What! while you were there?

Falstaff
While I was there.

Ford
And did he search for you, and could not find you?

Falstaff
You shall hear.  As good luck would have it, comes in one Mistress
Page; gives intelligence of Ford’s approach; and, in her invention
and Ford’s wife’s distraction, they conveyed me into a buck-basket.

Ford
A buck-basket!

Falstaff.  By the Lord, a buck-basket! rammed me in with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, greasy napkins, that, Master Brook, there was the rankest compound of villainous smell that ever offended nostril.

Ford
And how long lay you there?

Falstaff.  Nay, you shall hear, Master Brook, what I have suffered to bring this woman to evil for your good.  Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple of Ford’s knaves, his hinds, were called forth by their mistress to carry me in the name of foul clothes to Datchet-lane; they took me on their shoulders; met the jealous knave their master in the door; who asked them once or twice what they had in their basket.  I quaked for fear lest the lunatic knave would have searched it; but Fate, ordaining he should be a cuckold, held his hand.  Well, on went he for a search, and away went I for foul clothes.  But mark the sequel, Master Brook:  I suffered the pangs of three several deaths:  first, an intolerable fright to be detected with a jealous rotten bell-wether; next, to be compassed like a good bilbo in the circumference of a peck, hilt to point, heel to head; and then, to be stopped in, like a strong distillation, with stinking clothes that fretted in their own grease:  think of that; a man of my kidney, think of that, that am as subject to heat as butter; a man of continual dissolution and thaw:  it was a miracle to ’scape suffocation.  And in the height of this bath, when I was more than half stewed in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be thrown into the Thames, and cooled, glowing hot, in that surge, like a horse-shoe; think of that, hissing hot, think of that, Master Brook!

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Merry Wives of Windsor from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.