Go, go, sweet Sir John. Mistress Page and I will look some linen
for your head.
Quick, quick! we'll come dress you straight; put on the gown the while.
I would my husband would meet him in this shape; he cannot abide
the old woman of Brainford; he swears she's a witch, forbade her
my house, and hath threatened to beat her.
Heaven guide him to thy husband's cudgel; and the devil guide his
But is my husband coming?
Ay, in good sadness is he; and talks of the basket too, howsoever
he hath had intelligence.
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.
Nay, but he'll be here presently; let's go dress him like the
witch of Brainford.
I'll first direct my men what they shall do with the basket. Go up;
I'll bring linen for him straight.
Hang him, dishonest varlet! we cannot misuse him enough.
We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do,
Wives may be merry and yet honest too.
We do not act that often jest and laugh;
'Tis old but true: 'Still swine eats all the draff.'
[Re-enter MISTRESS FORD, with two SERVANTS.]
Go, sirs, take the basket again on your shoulders; your master is
hard at door; if he bid you set it down, obey him. Quickly, dispatch.
Come, come, take it up.
Pray heaven, it be not full of knight again.
I hope not; I had lief as bear so much lead.
[Enter FORD, PAGE, SHALLOW, CAIUS, and SIR HUGH EVANS.]
Ay, but if it prove true, Master Page, have you any way then to
unfool me again? Set down the basket, villain! Somebody call my
wife. Youth in a basket! O you panderly rascals! there's a knot,
a ging, a pack, a conspiracy against me. Now shall the devil be
shamed. What, wife, I say! Come, come forth! behold what honest
clothes you send forth to bleaching!
Why, this passes, Master Ford! you are not to go loose any longer;
you must be pinioned.
Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad dog.
Indeed, Master Ford, this is not well, indeed.
So say I too, sir. —
[Re-enter MISTRESS FORD.]
Come hither, Mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife,
the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool to her husband!
I suspect without cause, Mistress, do I?
Heaven be my witness, you do, if you suspect me in any dishonesty.
Well said, brazen-face! hold it out. Come forth, sirrah.
[Pulling clothes out of the basket.]
Are you not ashamed? Let the clothes alone.
I shall find you anon.
'Tis unreasonable. Will you take up your wife's clothes? Come away.
Empty the basket, I say!
Why, man, why?