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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.
Fal. Fare thee well : commend me to them both: there's my purse; I am yet thy debtor.-Boy, go along with this woman.-This news distracts me! [Exeunt QUICKLY and ROBIN.
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 PISTOL. Fal. Say'st 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.
Enter BARDOLPH, Bard. Sir John, there's one master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a morning's draught of sack. Fal. Brook, is his name? Bard. Ay, Sir.
Fal. Call him in. (Exit BARDOLPH.) Such Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow such liquor. “Ah! ha! mistress Ford and mistress Page, have I encompassed you ? go to; via !
Re-enter BARDOLPH, with FORD disguised, Ford. Bless you, Sir. Fal. And you, Sir; Would you speak with me? Ford. I make bold, to press with so little preparation upon you.
Fal. You're welcome; What's your will? Give us leave, drawer.
[Exit BARDOLPH. Ford. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much; my name is Brook.
Fal. Good master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.
Ford. Good Sir John, I sue 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 something embolden'd me to this unseasoned intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all ways do lie open.
Fal. Money is a good soldier, Sir, and will on. Ford. Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me; if * A watch-word.
† A cant phrase of exultation.
you will help me to bear it, Sir John, take all, or half, for easing me of the carriage.
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 máster 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 tollies, 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,t I am sure, I have received none; unless expe rience 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. Fal. Have you received no promise of satisfaction at her hands?
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?
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 admittance, I authentic in your place and person, generally allowed for your many warlike, court-like, and learned preparations.
+ Reward. In the greatest companies.
Fal. O, 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.
Fal. 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 to 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 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.
Ford. O, good Sir!
Fal. Want no mistress Ford, master Brook, you shall want none. - I shall be with her (I may tell you) by her own appointment; even as you came in to me, her assistant, or go-between, parted from me; I say, I shall be with her between ten and eleven; for at that time the jealous rascally knave, her husband, will be forth. Come you to me at night; you shall know how I speed.
Ford. I am blest in your acquaintance. Do you know Ford, Sir?
Fal. Hang him, poor cuckoldly 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 well-favoured. I will use her as the key of the cuckoldly 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.
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 o’er the peasant, and thou shalt lie with his wife.-Come to me soon at night :-Ford's a knave, and I will aggravate his stile ;t thou, master Brook, shalt know him for a knave and cuckold come to me soon at night. (Exit.
Ford. What a damn'd 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 !
+ Add to his titles.
-Amaimon sounds well; Lucifer, well; Barbason, well; yet they are devil's 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 with my cheese, an Irishman with my aqua-vität 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. Heaven 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 ! cuckold ! cuckold !
[Exit. SCENE III.-Windsor Park.
Enter Caius and RUGBY. Caius. Jack Rugby! Rug. Sir. 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.
Enter Host, SHALLOW, SLENDER, and PAGE.
Host. To see thee fight, to see thee foin, to see thee traverse, to see thee here, to see thee there; to see thee pass thy punto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy distance, thy montánt. Is he dead, my Ethiopian ? is he dead, my Francisco ? ha, bully! What says my Æsculapius? my Galen ? my heart of elder? ha! is he dead, bully Stale ? is he dead ?
* Contented cuckold
† Usquebaugh. $ Terms in fencing,
Caius. By gar, he is de coward Jack priest of the vorld: he is not show his face.
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.
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 doctor Caius, I am come to fetch you home. I am sworn of the peace; you have showed yourself a wise physician, and Sir Hugh hath shown himself a wise and patient churchman; you must go with me, master doctor. Host
. Pardon, guest-justice :-A word, monsieur Muck-water.f Caius. Muck-Vater! vat is dat? Host. Muck-water, in our English tongue, is valour, bully.
Caius. By gar, then I have as much muck-vater as de Englishman Scurvy, jack-dog-priest! by gar, me vill cut his ears. Host. He will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully. Caius. Clapper-de-claw! vat is dat ? Host. That is, he will make thee amends.
Caius. By gar, me do look, he shall clapper-de-claw me; for, by gar, me vill have it.
Host. And I will provoke him to't, or let him wag.
Host. And moreover, bully-But first, master guest, and master Page, and eke cavalero Ślender, go you through the town to Frogmore.
[Aside to them. Page. Sir Hugh is there, is he?
Host. He is there: see what humour he is in; and I will bring the doctor about by the fields; will it do well ?
Shal. We will do it.
[Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. Caius. By gar, me vill kill de priest; for he speak for a jackan-ape to Anne Page.
Host. Let him die: but, first, sheath thy impatience; throw cold water on thy choler: go about the fields with me through Frogmore; I will bring thee where mistress Anne Page is, at a farmhouse a-feasting; and thou shalt woo her: Cryd game, said l well?
* Cant term for Spaniard.
+ Drain of a dunghill.