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Quic. Ay, foriooth; and then you may come and see the pi&ure, she says, that you wot of: Master Ford, her husband, will be from home. Alas! the sweet woman leads an ill life with him, he's a very jealoułyman ; the 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 say well: but I have another mes. senger to your Worship. Mistrels Page has 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 doat upon a man; surely' think you have charms, la ; yes, in truth.
Fal Not I, I assure thee; setting the attraction of my good parts afide, I have no other charms. Quic. 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
Quic. That were a jest indeed ; they have not so little grace, I hope ; that were a trick, indeed ! but Mistres 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 Windfor leads a better life than she does; do what she will, say what she will, take all, pay all, go to bed when she litt, rise when she litt, all is as she will: and truly she deserves it; for if there be a kind woman in Windsor, truly she is one. You must send her your page; no remedy.
Fal. Why, I will.
case have a nay-word, that you may know one another's mind: and the boy never need to understand any thing, for Pris not good that children should know any wicked,
nels : 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 diltracts me!
[Exeunt Quickly and Robin.
[Exit Piitol. Fal. Say’it 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 expence of so much money, be now a gainer? Good body, I thank thee; let them say, 'tis groisly done ; to it be fairly done, no matter.
SCENE IX. Enter Bardolph.
Fal. Brook, is his name?
Fal. Call himn in; [Exit Bardolph]. Such Brooks * are welcome to me that o'erflow with such liquor. Ah! ah. Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, have I en: compass’d you ? go to, via!
Re-enter Bardolph, with Ford disguis’d.
Ford I make bold to press with fo 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.
Edition of 1619. In all the succeedirg editions this name of Brouk (I can't tell why) is altered to Brcom ; whereas it is marifet from this conceit upon the name, that it should be Brock. Mi. I pe.
Fal Good Master Brook, I defire more acquaintance
Ford Good Sir John, I fue for your's; not to charge you; for I must let you underitand, I think myself in better plight for a lender than you are, the which hath fomething embolden’d me to this unseason’d intrusion; for they lay, if money go before, all ways do lie open.
Fal. Money is a good soldier, Sir, and will on.
here troue bles me: if 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 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 nake myself acquainted with you : I shall discover a thing to you, wherein I must very much lay open ming or n in perfections; 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 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. kell, Sir,
Ford. I have long lov'd her; and, I proteft to you, bestow'd much on her; follow'd her with a doating obfervance: ingroisd opportunities to meet her; fee'd every slight occation, that could but niggardly give me fight of her ; not only bought many presents to give her, but have given largely to many, to know what the would have given: briefly, I have pursued her, as love hath pursu'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 recei. ved none; unless experience be a jewel; that I have
purchas'd at an infinite rate, and that hath taught me to say this; " Love like a madow flies, when substance love pursues; “ Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.
Fal. Have you receiv’d no promise of satisfaction at her hands ?
Ford Like a fair house built on 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 fay, that though the appear hóneft to me, yet in other places the enlargeth her mirth fo far, that there is shrewd construction made of her. Now, Sir John, here is the heart of any purpose: you are a gentleman of excellent breeding, admirable discourse, of great admittance, authentic in your place and person, generally allow'd for your many war-like, court-like, and learned preparations.
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 fiege 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 vehemence of your affection, that I thould win what you would enjoy ? methinks you prescribe to yourself very prepoiteroully.
Ford. O, understand my drift ; the dwells fo tecurely on the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my foul dares not present itself; she is too bright to be look'd 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 mare riage-vow, and a thousand other her defences, which
now are too too strongly embattel'd against me. What say you to't, Sir John
Fal. Maiter 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. Malter Brook, I say, you shall. Ford. Want no money, Sir John, you shall want
Fal. Want no Mistress Ford, Master Brook, you shall want none; I shall be with her, I may
you, by her own appointment. Even as you came in to me, her affiftant, 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 nie at night, you shall know how I fpeed.
Ford. I am bless’d 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 wittoliy knave hath masses of money, for the which his wife seems to be well-favour'd. I will use her as the key of the cuckoldly rogue's cosser; and there's
harvest-home. Ford I would you knew Ford, Sir, that you might avoid him if you saw him.
Fal. Hang him, mechanical falt-butter rogue; I will ftare hiin 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 predo. minate over the peasant; and thou shalt lie with his wife: come to me soon at night; Ford's a knave, anda I will aggravate his style : thou, Master Brook, shalt know him for knave and cuckold : come to me soon at night.
[Eait. SCENE 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 fix'd, the match is made; would any