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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 neverget 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?

Quick. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the picture, she says, that you wot1 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 frampold2 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 your 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

(1) Know.

(2) Fretful, peevish.

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 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,2 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.

tracts me!

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 dis[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 [Exit Pistol.

all! 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?

(1) By all means.

(2) A watch-word.

Good body, I thank thee: Let them say, ly done; so it be fairly done, no matter.

Enter Bardolph.

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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 enbolden'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.

(1) A cant phrase of exultation.

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, sith1 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,2 I am sure, have received none; unless experience be a jewel: that I have purchased at an infinite rate; and that hath taught me to say this:

I

Love like a shadow flies, when substance love pur

sues;

Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues. (2) Reward.

(1) Since.

Fal. Have you received no promise of satisfaction at her hands?

Ford. Never.

Fal. Have you importuned her to such a purpose?

Ford. Never.

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?

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, authentic in your place and person, generally allowed2 for your many warlike, 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 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

(1) In the greatest companies. (2) Approved.

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