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Tent. Shall I do any good, thinkest thou ? Mrs. Paye. And, trust me, I was coming to
you. You look very ill.
Mrs. Pord. Well, I do then ; yet, I say I could Fent. Yes, marry, bave I ; what of that ? show you to the contrary. O Mistress Page !
Quick. Well, thereby hangs a tale: Good faith, give me some counsel. it is such another Nan; but, I detest, an honest Mrs. Page. What 's the matter, woman ? maid as ever broke bread : we had an hour's talk Mrs. Ford. O woman ! if it were not for one of that wart. I shall never laugh but in that trifling respect, I
such honour. maid's company; but indeed she is given too Mrs. Puge. Hang the trifle, woman ; take the much to allicholly and musing. But for you -- honour. What is it ? dispense with trifles; what well, go to.
is it? Fent. Well, I shall see her to-day. Hold, Mrs. Ford. If I would but go to' hell for an there's money for thee; let me have thy voice eternal moment or so, I could be knighted. in my behalf: if thou seest her before me, com- Mrs. Page. What ? thou liest! Sir Alice Ford ! mend me.
162 | These knights will hack; and so thou should'st Quick. Will I ? i' faith, that we will; and I not alter the article of thy gentry. will tell your worship more of the wart the next Mrs. Foril. We burn daylight : here, read, time we have confidence; and of other wooers. read ; perceive how I might be knighted. I shall l'ent. Well, farewell; I am in great haste now. think the worse of fat men as long as I have an
Erit. eye to make difference of men's liking : and yet Quick. Farewell to your worship. Truly, an he would not swear; praised women's modesty ; honest gentleman : but Anne loves him not ; for and gavesuchorderly and well-behaved reproof to I know Anne's mind as well as another does. all imcomeliness, that I would have sworn his Out upon 't! what have I forgot ? Exit. 170 disposition would have gone to the truth of his
words ; but they do no more adhere and keep ACT II.
place together than the Hundredth Psalm to the
tune of Green Sleeves.' What tempest, I trow, SCENE I.-Before Page's House. threw this whale, with so many tuns of oil in Enter Mistress PAGE, with a letter,
bis belly, ashore at Windsor ? How shall I be
revenged on him? I think the best way were M/rs. Page. What! have I 'scaped love-letters to entertain him with hope, till the wicked fire in the holiday-time of my beauty, and am I now of lust have melted him in his own grease. Did a subject for them ? Let me see.
you ever hear the like? Ask me no reason why I love you ; for though Mrs. Paje. Letter for letter, but that the name Love use Reason for his physician, he admits him of Page and Ford differs! To thy great comfort not for his counsellor. You are not young, no more in this mystery of ill opinions, here's the twinam I: go to then, there's sympathy; you are merry, brother of thy letter : but let thine inherit first; 80 am 1: ha! ha! then, there's more sympathy; for, I protest, mine never shall. I warrant, he you love sack, and so do I: would you desire better hath a thousand of these letters, writ with blank sympathy? Let it sujice thee, Mistress Page, at space for different names, sure more, and these the least, if the love of a soldier can suffice, that I are of the second edition. He will print them, love thee. I will not say, pity me, 'tis not a solulier out of doubt ; for he cares not what he puts into like phrase ; but I say, love me.
the press, when he would putustwo: I had rather Thine oven truc kniyht,
be a giantess, and lie under Mount Pelion. Well, By day or night,
I will find you twenty lascivious turtles ere one
Mrs. Ford. Why, this is the very same; the very
hand, the very words. What doth he think of us?
Mrs. Page. Nay, I know not: it makes me
almost ready to wrangle with mine own honesty.
Mrs. Ford. Nay, I will consent to act any
villany against him, that may not sully the chari
ness of our honesty. 0! that my husband saw Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page! trust me, I was this letter; it would give eternal food to his going to your house.
Mrs. Parje. Why, look where he comes; and Quick. Ay, forsooth; and, I pray, how does my good man too: he's as far from jealousy as good Mistress Anne? I am from giving him cause; and that I hope Mrs. Puge. Go in with us and see; we have is an unmeasurable distance.
an hour's talk with you. Mrs. Ford. You are the happier woman.
Exeunt Mistress PAGE, Mistress FORD, and Mrs. Page. Let's consult together against this
Mistress QUICKLY. greasy knight. Come hither.
They retire. 110 Page. How now, Master Ford!
Ford. You heard wliat this knave told me,
Page. Yes; and you heard what the other
told me? Pist. Hope is a curtal dog in some affairs : Sir John affects thy wife.
Ford. Do you think there is truth in them ? Purd. Why, sir, my wife is not young.
Page. Hang 'em, slaves! I do not think the Pist. He woos both high and low, both rich knight would offer it : but these that accuse
him in his intent towards our wives are a yoke Both young and old, one with another, Ford.
of his discarded men ; very rogues, now they
be out of service.
Ford. Were they his men ?
Paje. Marry, were they.
Ford. I like it never the better for that. Does
he lie at the Garter ? Like Sir Actæon he, with Ringwood at thy heels. 0! odious is the name.
Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should inFord. What name, sir ?
tend this voyage towards my wife, I would turn Pist. The horn, I say. Farewell:
her loose to him ; and what he gets more of Take heed ; have open ere, for thieves do foot her than sharp words, let it lie on my head. by night:
Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife, but I would Take heed, ere summer comes or cuckoo-birds be loath to turn them together. A man may be do sing.
too confident: I would have nothing lie on my
head: I cannot be thus satisfied. Away, Sir Corporal Nym! Believe it, Page ; he speaks sense.
Page. Look where my ranting host of the Ford. I will be patient: I will find out this.
Garter comes. There is either liquor in his Nym. To Page. And this is true; I like not pate or money in his purse when he looks so the humour of lying. He hath wronged me in merrily. How now, mine host ! some humours: I should have bornethe humoured
Enter Host and SHALLOW. letter to her; but I have a sword and it shall bite upon my necessity. He loves your wife ;
Ilost. How now, bully-rook ! thou 'rt a gentle. there's the short and the long, My name is man. , Cavaleiro.justice, I say. Corporal Nym: I speak, and I avouch 'tis trne:
Shal. I follow, mine host, I follow. Good even biy name is Nym, and Falstaff loves your wife. and twenty, good Master Page! Master Page, Adieu. I love not the humour of bread and will you go with us? we have sport in hand. 20
Host. Tell bim, cavaleiro-justice ; tell him, cheese ; and there's the humour of it. Adieu.
shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought be. Paje. “The humour of it,' quoth a'! here's a fellow frights humour out of his wits.
tween Sir Hugh the Welsh priest and Caius the
Ford. Good mine host o' the Garter, a word rogue. Pord. If I do find it: well.
Ilost. What say'st thou, my bully-rook? Puge. I will not believe such a Cataian, though
They go aside. The priest o' the town commended him for a
Shal. To PAGE. Will you go with us to be. true man.
hold it? My merry host hath had the measuring Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow: well.
of their weapons, and, I think, hath appointed Paye. How now, Meg!
them contrary places ; for, believe me, I hear Mrs. Page, Whither go you, George? Hark yon. the parson is no jester. Hark, I will tell you Mrs. Pord. How now, sweet Frank! why art
what our sport shall be. thou melancholy ?
Host. Hast thou no suit against my knight, Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy. my guest-cavalier ?
Pord. None, I protest : but I'll give you a Get you home, go.
Mrs. Pord. Faith, thou hast some crotchets in pottle of burnt sack to give me recourse to him this head now. Will you go, Mistress Page ?
and tell him my name is Brook, only for a jest.
Host. My hand, bully : thou shalt have egress Mrs. Page. Have with you. You'll come to dinner, George? A side to Mistress FORD. Look and regress; said I well ? and thy name 'shall vho comes yonder : she shall be our messenger be Brook. It is a merry kuight. Will you go, to this paltry knight.
mynheers ? Mrs. Ford. Trust me, I thought on her : she 'll
Shal. Have with you, mine host. fit it.
Page. I have heard the Frenchman bath good
skill in his rapier. Enter Mistress QUICKLY.
Shal. Tut, sir! I could have told you more : Mrs. Page. You are come to see my daughter in these times you stand on distance, your Anne?
passes, stoccadoes, and I know not what: 'tis
the heart, Master Page; 'tis here, 'tis here. have seen the time with my long sword I would have made you four tall fellows skip like rats. 23 Host. Here, boys, here, here! shall we wag? Page. Have with you. I had rather hear them scold than fight.
Exeunt Host, SHALLOW, and PAGE. Ford. Though Page be a secure fool, and stands so firmly on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my opinion so easily. She was in his company at Page's house, and what they made there, I know not. Well, I will look further into 't; and I have a disguise to sound Falstaff. If I find her honest, I lose not my labour; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestowed. Exit.
SCENE II. A Room in the Garter Inn.
Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.
Fal. Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you should lay my countenance to pawn: I have grated upon my good friends for three reprieves for you and your coach-fellow Nym; or else you had looked through the grate, like a geminy of baboons. I am damned in hell for swearing to gentlemen my friends, you were good soldiers and tall fellows; and when Mistress Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took't upon mine honour thou hadst it not.
Pist. Didst thou not share? hadst thou not fifteen pence?
Fal. Reason, you rogue, reason: thinkest thou I'll endanger my soul gratis? At a word, hang no more about me, I am no gibbet for you: go a short knife and a throng! to your manor of Pickt-hatch! go. You'll not bear a letter for me, you rogue! you stand upon your honour! Why, thou unconfinable baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the terms of my honour precise. I, I, I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of God on the left hand and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge and to lurch; and yet you, rogue, will ensconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour! You will not do it, you!
Pist. I do relent: what would thou more of man?
Enter ROBIN. Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you.
Ful. Let her approach.
Enter Mistress QUICKLY.
Quick. Give your worship good morrow.
As my mother was, the first hour I was born. Fal. I do believe the swearer. What with me? Quick. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?
Quick. There is one Mistress Ford, sir: I pray, come a little nearer this ways: I myself dwell with Master Doctor Caius.
Fal. Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say,Quick. Your worship says very true: I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways. 51 Ful. I warrant thee, nobody hears: mine own people, mine own people.
Quick. Are they so? God bless them, and make them his servants!
Fal. Two thousand, fair woman; and I'll vouchsafe thee the hearing,
Fal. Well: Mistress Ford; what of her? Quick. Why, sir, she's a good creature. Lord, Lord! your worship's a wanton! well, heaven forgive you and all of us, I pray!
Fal. Mistress Ford; come, Mistress Ford,Quick. Marry, this is the short and the long of it. You have brought her into such a canaries as 'tis wonderful: the best courtier of them all, when the court lay at Windsor, could never have brought her to such 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; smelling so sweetly, all musk, and so rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and in such alligant terms; and in such wine and sugar of the best 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 myself twenty angels given me this morning; but I defy all angels, in any such sort, as they say, but in the way of honesty: and, I warrant you, they could never get her so much as sip on a cup with the proudest of them all; and yet there has been earls, nay, which is more, pensioners; but, I warrant you, all is one with her.
Fal. But what says she to me? be brief, my good she-Mercury.
Quick. Marry, she hath received your letter, for the which she thanks you a thousand times; and she gives you to notify that her husband will be absence from his house between ten and eleven.
Fal. Ten and eleven?
and see the picture, she says, that you wot of: Quick. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come Master Ford, her husband, will be from home. Alas! the sweet woman leads an ill life with him; he's a very jealousy man; she leads a very frampold life with him, good heart.
Fal. Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her; I will not fail her.
Quick. Why, you say well. But I have another messenger to your worship: Mistress Page hath her hearty commendations to you too; and let me tell you in your ear, she's as fartuous a civil modest wife, and one, I tell you, that will not miss you morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, whoe'er be the other and she bade me tell your worship that her husband is seldom from home; but she hopes there will come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon a man surely, I think you have charms, la; yes, in truth.
Fal. Not I, I assure thee; setting the attraction of my good parts aside, I have no other charms.
Quick. Blessing 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?
Quick. That were a jest indeed! they have | John, take all, or half, for easing me of the not so little grace, I hope: that were a trick indeed! But Mistress Page would desire you to send 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 Windsor leads a better life than she does do what she will, say what she will, take all, pay all, go to bed when she list, rise when she list, all is as she will; and, truly she deserves it; for if there be a kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must send her your page; no remedy. Fal. Why, I will. Quick. Nay, but do so, then: and, look you, he may come and go between you both; and in any case have a nay-word, that you may know one another's mind, and the boy never need to understand anything: for 'tis not good that children should know any wickedness; old folks, you know, have discretion, as they say, and know the world.
Fol. Fare thee well: commend me to them both. There's my purse; I am yet thy debtor. Boy, go along with this woman. 140
Exeunt Mistress QUICKLY and ROBIN. This news distracts me.
Pist. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers. Clap on more sails; pursue; up with your fights: Give fire! She is my prize, or ocean whelm them all! Exit.
Fal. Sayest thou so, 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 expense of so much money, be now a gainer? Good body, I thank thee: let them say 'tis grossly done; so it be fairly done, no matter. 150 Enter BARDOLPH.
Fal. Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.
Ford. I will tell you, sir, if you will give me the hearing.
Fal. Speak, good Master Brook; I shall be glad to be your servant.
Ford. Sir, I hear you are a scholar,-I will be brief with you, and you have been a man long known to me, though I had never so good means, as desire, to make myself acquainted with you. I shall discover a thing to you, wherein I must very much lay open mine own imperfection ; but, good Sir John, as you have one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded, turn another into the register of your own, that I may pass with a reproof the easier, sith you yourself know how easy it is to be such an offender.
Fal. Very well, sir; proceed.
Ford. There is a gentlewoman in this town ; her husband's name is Ford. Fal. Well, sir.
Ford. I have long loved her, and, I protest to you, bestowed much on her; followed her with a doting observance; engrossed opportunities to meet her; fee'd every slight occasion that could but niggardly give me sight of her; not only bought many presents to give her, but have given largely to many to know what she would have given. Briefly, I have pursued her as love hath pursued me, which hath been on the wing of all occasions: but whatsoever I have merited, either in my mind or in my means, meed, I am sure, I have received none, unless experience be a jewel that I have purchased at an infinite rate, and that hath taught me to say this: Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues; Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.
Ful. Have you received no promise of satisfaction at her hands?
Fal. Have you importuned her to such a purpose?
Fal. Of what quality was your love then? Ford. Like a fair house built upon another man's ground; so that I have lost my edifice by mistaking the place where I erected it.
Fal. To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?
Re-enter BARDOLPH, with FORD disguised. Ford. Bless you, sir.
Pul. And you, sir: would you speak with me? Ford. I make bold to press with so little preparation upon you.
Fal. You're welcome. Give us leave, drawer.
What's your will? Exit BARDOLPH. Ford. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much my name is Brook.
Ford. When I have told you that, I have told you all. Some say, that though she appear honest to me, yet in other places she enlargeth her mirth so far that there is shrewd construction made of her. Now, Sir John, here is the heart of my purpose: you are a gentleman of excellent breeding, admirable discourse, of great adac-mittance, authentic in your place and person, 170 generally allowed for your many war-like, courtFord. Good Sir John, I sue for yours; not to like, and learned preparations. charge you; for I must let you understand I think myself in better plight for a lender than you are the which hath something emboldened me to this unseasoned intrusion, for they say, if money go before, all ways do lie open.
Fal. Good Master Brook, I desire more quaintance of you.
Fal. O sir.
Fal. Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on. Ford. Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me if you will help to bear it, Sir |
Ford. Believe it, for you know it. There is money; spend it, spend it: spend more; spend all I have; only give me so much of your time in exchange of it, as to lay an amiable siege to the honesty of this Ford's wife: use your art of wooing, win her to consent to you; if any man may, you may as soon as any. D
Ful. Would it apply well to the vehemency of your affection, that I should win what you would enjoy? Methinks you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.
Ford. O, understand my drift. She dwells so securely on the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my soul dares not present itself: she is too bright to be looked against. Now, could I come to her with any detection in my hand, my desires had instance and argument commend themselves; I could drive her then from the ward of her purity, her reputation, her marriage-vow, and a thousand other her defences, which now are too too strongly embattled against me. What say you to 't, Sir John?
Fal. Master Brook, I will first make bold with your money; next, give me your hand; and last, as I am a gentleman, you shall, if you will, enjoy Ford's wife.
with my cheese, an Irishman with my aqua-vitæ bottle, or a thief to walk my ambling gelding, than my wife with herself: then she plots, then she ruminates, then she devises; and what they think in their hearts they may effect, they will break their hearts but they will effect. God be praised for my jealousy! Eleven o'clock the hour: I will prevent this, detect my wife, be revenged on Falstaff, and laugh at Page. I will about it; better three hours too soon than a minute too late. Fie, fie, fie! cuckold! cuckExit. 330 old! cuckold!
Ford. I am blest in your acquaintance. Do you know Ford, sir?
SCENE III.-Windsor Park,
Caius. Jack Rugby!
Caius. Vat is de clock, Jack?
Rug. "Tis past the hour, sir, that Sir Hugh promised to meet.
Caius. By gar, he has save his soul, dat he is no come: he has pray his Pible vell, dat he is no come. By gar, Jack Rugby, he is dead already, if he be come.
Rug. He is wise, sir; he knew your worship would kill him, if he came.
Caius. By gar, de herring is no dead so as I vill kill him. Take your rapier, Jack; I vill tell you how I vill kill him.
Rug. Alas, sir, I cannot fence.
Fal. Hang him, poor cuckoldy knave! I know him not. Yet I wrong him to call him poor: they say the jealous wittolly knave hath masses of money, for the which his wife seems to me wellfavoured. I will use her as the key of the cuckoldy rogue's coffer, and there's my harvest-home. Ford. I would you knew Ford, sir, that you might avoid him if you saw him.
Enter Host, SHALLOW, SLENDER, and PAGE.
Fal. Hang him, mechanical salt-butter rogue! I will stare him out of his wits; I will awe him with my cudgel: it shall hang like a meteor o'er the cuckold's horns. Master Brook, thou shalt know I will predominate over the peasant, and thou shalt lie with his wife. Come to me soon at night. Ford's a knave, and I will aggravate his style; thou, Master Brook, shalt Cuius. By gar, he is de coward Jack priest of know him for a knave and cuckold. Come to de vorld; he is not show his face. me soon at night. Exit. 300
Host. To see thec fight, to see thee foin, to see thee traverse; to see thee here, to sce thee. there; to see thee pass thy punto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy distance, thy montant. Is he dead, my Ethiopian? is he dead, my Francisco? ha, bully! What says my Esculapius? my Galen? my heart of elder? ha! is he dead, bully stale? is he dead?
Host. Thou art a Castilian, King Urinal: Hector of Greece, my boy!
Caius. I pray you, bear vitness that me have stay six or seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come.
Ford. What a damned Epicurean rascal is this! My heart is ready to crack with impatience. Who says this is improvident jealousy? my wife hath sent to him, the hour is fixed, the match is made. Would any man have thought this? See the hell of having a false woman! My bed shall be abused, my coffers ransacked, my reputation gnawn at; and I shall not only receive this villanous wrong, but stand under the adoption of abominable terms, and by him that does me this wrong. Terms! Names ! Amaimon sounds well; Lucifer, well; Barbason, well; yet they are devils' additions, the names of fiends but Cuckold! Wittol-cuckold! the devil himself hath not such a name. Page is an ass, a secure ass; he will trust his wife, he will not be jealous: I will rather trust a Fleming with my butter, Parson Hugh the Welshman
Shal. He is the wiser man, Master doctor: he is a curer of souls, and you a curer of bodies; if you should fight, you go against the hair of your professions. Is it not true, Master Page? Page. Master Shallow, you have yourself been a great fighter, though now a man of peace.
Shal. Bodykins, Master Page, though I now be old and of the peace, if I see a sword out, my finger itches to make one. Though we are justices and doctors and churchmen, Master Page, we have some salt of our youth in us; we are the sons of women, Master Page.
Page. 'Tis true, Master Shallow.
Shal. It will be found so, Master Page. Master