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phrafes, and your bull-baiting oaths, under the fhelter of your honour! you will not do it, you!
Pift. I do relent; what wouldst thou more of man? Enter Robin.
Rob. Sir, here's a woman would fpeak with you.
SCENE VIII. Enter Mistress Quickly.
Fal. Good-morrow, good wife.
Quic, Not fo, an't please your worship.
Fal, Good maid, then,
Quic. I'll be fworn, as my mother was the first hour I was born.
Fal. I do believe the fwearer: what with me?
Quic. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two? Fal. Two thousand, fair woman, and I'll vouchfafe thee the hearing.
Quic. There is one miftrefs Ford, Sir: I pray, come a little nearer this ways: 'I my self dwell with Mr. Doctor Caius.
Fal. Well, on miftrefs Ford, you say.
Quic. Your worship fays very true: I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways.
Fal, I warrant thee no body hears: mine own people, mine own people.
Quic. Are they fo! heav'n blefs them, and make them his fervants!
Fal. Well: miftrefs Ford, what of her?
Quic. Why, Sir, fhe's a good creature. Lord, lord, your worship's a wanton; well, heav'n forgive you, and all of us, I pray
Fal. Miftrefs Ford, come, miftrefs Ford
Quic. Marry, this is the fhort and the long of it; you have brought her into fuch a canaries as 'tis wonderful: the beft courtier of them all, when the court lay at Windfor, could never have brought her to fuch a canary. Yet there has been knights, and lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches; I warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift, fmelling fo fweetly; all mufk, and fo rufsling, I warrant you, in filk and gold, and in fuch
alligant terms, and fuch wine and sugar of the beft, and the fairest, that would have won any woman's heart; and, I warrant you, they could never get an eye-wink of her. I had my felf twenty angels given me this morning; but I defie all angels, in any fuch fort as they fay, but in the way of honesty; and I warrant you, they could never get her fo much as fip on a cup with the proudeft of them all; and yet there has been Earls, nay, which is more, Penfioners; but, I warrant you, all is one with her.
Fal. But what fays fhe to me? be brief, my good sheMercury.
Quic. Marry, the hath receiv'd your letter, for the which the thanks you a thousand times; and the gives you to notifie that her husband will be abfence from his houfe between ten and eleven.
Fal. Ten and eleven.
Quic. Ay, forfooth; and, then you may come and fee the picture, fhe fays, that you wot of: mafter Ford, her husband, will be from home. Alas! the fweet woman leads an ill life with him, he's a very jealoufie-man; fhe leads a very frampold life with him, good heart.
Fal. Ten and eleven: woman, commend me to her, I will not fail her.
Quic. Why, you fay well: But I have another mef fenger to your worship; miftrefs Page has her hearty commendations to you too; and let me tell you in your ear, fhe's as fartuous a civil modeft wife, and one (I tell you) that will not mifs you morning and evening prayer, as any is in Windfor, whoe'er be the other; and she bad me tell your worship that her hufband is feldom from home, but she hopes there will come a time. I never knew a woman fo doat upon a man; furely I think you have charms, la; yes in truth,
Fal. Not I, I affure thee; fetting the attraction of my good parts afide, I have no other charms.
Quic, Bieffing on your heart for't!
Fal. But I pray thee, tell me this; has Ford's wife and Page's wife acquainted each other how they love me?
Quic. That were a jeft indeed; they have not fo little grace, I hope; that were a trick indeed! but miftrefs Page VOL. I,
would defire you to fend her your little page, of all loves: her husband has a marvellous infection to the little page; and truly master Page is an honest man. Never a wife in
Windfor leads a better life than fhe does; do what the will, fay what the will, take all, pay all, go to bed when the lift, rife when the lift, all is as the will; and truly she deferves it; for if there be a kind woman in Windfor, truly fhe is one. You must fend her your page; no remedy. Fal. Why, I will.
Quic. Nay, but do fo them; and, look you, come and go between you both, and in any case have a nayword, that you may know one another's mind: and the boy never need to understand any thing; for 'tis not good that children should know any wickedness: old folks, you know, have difcretion, as they fay, and know the world.
Fal. Fare thee well; commend me to them both: there's my purfe, I am yet thy debtor. Boys go along with this woman. This news diftracts me. [Exe. Quic. and Robin. Pift. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers :
Clap on more fails; purfue; up with yond' frigat;
[Ex. Pift. Fal. Say'ft thou fo, old Jack? go thy ways; I'll make more of thy old body than I have done; will they yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expence of fo much mony, be now a gainer? good body, I thank thee; let them fay 'tis grofly done, fo it be fairly done, no matter.
SCENE IX. Enter Bardolph.
Bard. Sir John, there's one mafter Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath fent your worship a morning's draught of fack.
Fal. Brook is his name?
Bard. Ay, Sir.
Fal. Call him in; fuch * Brooks are welcome to me that o'erflow with fuch liquor. Ah! ah! miftrefs Ford and miftrefs Page, have I encompass'd you? go to, via!
Edit. of 1619. In all the fucceeding editions this name of Brook is alter'd to Broom: whereas it is manifeft from this concent upon the name, that it fhould be Brooks
Enter Ford difguis'd.
Ford. 'Blefs you, Sir!
Fal. And you, Sir; would you speak with me?
Fal. You're welcome; what's your will? give us leave, drawer. [Exit Bard. Ford. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much; my name is Brook.
Fal. Good mafter Brook, I defire more acquaintance of
Ford. Good Sir John, I fue for yours; not to charge you; for I must let you understand, I think myself in better plight for a lender than you are, the which hath fomething embolden'd me to this unfeafon'd intrufion; for they fay, if mony go before, all ways do lye open.
Fal. Mony is a good foldier, Sir, and will on.
Ford. Troth, and I have a bag of mony here troubles me; if you will help to bear it, Sir John, take all, or half, for eafing me of the carriage,
Fal. Sir, I know not how I may deferve to be your porter. Ford. I will tell you, Sir, if you will give me the hearing. Fal. Speak, good mafter Brook, I fhall be glad to be your fervant.
Ford. Sir, I hear you are a fcholar, I will be brief with you, and you have been a man long known to me, tho I had never fo good means as defire to make myself acquainted with you: I fhall discover a thing to you wherein I must very much lay open mine own imperfections; but, good Sir John, as you have one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded, turn another into the regifter of your own, that I may pass with a reproof the easier, fith you yourself know how eafy it is to be fuch an offender,
Fal. Very well: Sir, proceed.
Ford. There is a gentlewoman in this town, her hufband's name is Ford.
Fal. Well, Sir.
Ford. I have long lov'd her, and, I protest to you, be ftow'd much on her, follow'd her with a doating obfer. vance, ingrofs'd opportunities to meet her, fee'd every
flight occafion that could but niggardly give me fight of her; not only bought many presents to give her, but have given Jargely to many to know what he would have given: briefly, I have purfu'd her as love hath purfu'd me, which hath been on the wing of all occafions. But whatsoever I have merited, either in my mind, or in my means, meed I am fure I have received none, unless experience be a jewel; That I have purchas'd at an infinite rate, and that bath taught me to say this;
Love like a fhadow flies, when fubftance love pursues ;
Fal. Have you receiv'd no promise of fatisfaction at her hands?
Fal. Have you importun'd her to fuch a purpose?
Fal. Of what quality was your love then?
Ford. Like a fair house built on another man's ground; fo that I have loft my edifice by mistaking the place where I erected it.
Fal. To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?
Ford. When I have told you that, I have told you all. Some fay, that tho' fhe appear honeft to me, yet in other places fhe enlargeth her mirth fo far, that there is fhrewd conftruction made of her. Now, Sir John, here is the heart of my purpose: You are a gentleman of excellent breeding, admirable difcourfe, of great admittance, authentick in your place and perfon, generally allow'd for your many warlike, court-like, and learned preparations.
Fal. O Sir!
Ford. Believe it, for you know it; there is mony, fpend it, fpend it; fpend more, spend all I have, only give me fo much of your time in exchange of it as to lay an amiable fiege to the honefty of this Ford's wife; ufe your art of wooing, win her to confent to you; if any man may, you may as foon as any.
Fal. Would it apply well to the vehemence of your affection, that I fhould win what you would enjoy? methinks you prefcribe to yourself very prepofterously.
Ford. O, underftand my drift; the dwells fo fecurely on