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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 bath 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?
Quick. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the picture, 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 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 halh her hearty commendations to you too ;—and let me tell you in your ear, she's as fartuous a civil modest wise, 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 fort !
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 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 any thing ; 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!
[Exeunt 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 expence 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?
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. 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 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 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. Fal. Have you received no promise of satisfaction at her hands?