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gone to the truth of his words ; but they do no more adhere, and keep place together, than the hundredth psalm to the tune of Green Sleeves. What tempest
, I trow, threw this whale, with so many tun of oil in his belly, a'lore at Windsor ? how fall I be reveng'd on him? I think, the best way were to entertain him with hope, 'till the wicked fire of lust have melted him in his own grease. Did you ever hear the like?
Mrs. Page. Letter for letter, but that the name of Page and Ford differs. To thy great comfort in this mystery of ill opinions, here's the twin-brother of thy letter; but let thine inherit first, for, I protest, mine never shall. I warrant, he hath a thousand of these letters, writ with blank-space for different names ; nay, more; and these are of the second edition : he will print them out of doubt, for he cares not what he puts into the press, when he would put us 'two. I had rather be a giantess, and lie under mount Pelion. Well, I will find you twenty lascivious turtles, ere one chaste man.
Mrs. Ford. Why, this is the very fame, 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 honefty. I'll enter, tain myself like one that I am not acquainted withal; for, sure, uniess he knew some strain in me, that I know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury:
Mrs. Ford. Boarding, call it you? I'll be sure to keep him above deck. Mrs. Page. So will I; if he come under
hatches, I'll never to sea again. Let's be reveng'd' on him; let's appoint him a meeting, give him a show of comfort in his fuit, and lead him on with a fine baited delay, 'till he hath pawn'd his horses to mine Hoft of the Garter.
Mrs.Ford. Nay, I will consent to act any villainy against him, that may not fully the chariness of our honesty: oh, that my husband saw this letter ! it would give eternal food' to his jealousy.
Mrs. Page. Why, look, where he comes, and my good man too; he's as far from jealouly, as I am from giving him cause; and that, I hope, is an unmcajurable distance.
Mrs. Ford. You are the happier woman.
Mrs. Pege. Let's consult together against this greasy Knight. Come hither.
[They retire. Enter Ford with Pistol, Page with Nym. Ford. Well, I hope, it be not fo. Pift. Hope is a cortal-dog in fome affairs. Sir Fobn affects thy wife.
Ford. Why, Sir, iny wife is not young:
Pift. He wooes both high and low, both rich and poor, Boch
young and old, one with another, Ford; He loves thy gally-maw fry, Ford, perpend.
Ford. Love my wife?
Pijt. With liver burning hot: prevent, or go thos, like Sir Asteon, he, with Ring-wood at thy heels-0, odious is the name.
Ford. What nüme, Sir?
Pift. The horn, I say : farewel. Take heed, have open eye; for thieves do foot by night. Take heed ere summer comes, or cuckoo-tirds affright. Away, Sir corporal Nym. Believe it, Page, he speaks fense. (Exit Pistol.
Ford. I wil be patient; I will find out this.
Nym. And this is true : ( like not the humour of Iving ; he hath wrong'd me in some humours: I Tould have borne the humour'd letter to her; but I have a sword, and it fall bite upon my necefity. He loves your wife; there's the short and the long. My name is corporal Nym; I speak, and I avouch ; 'tis -true; my name is Nym, and Falsi of loves your wife. Adieu ; I love not the humour of bread and cheese : adieu.
[Exit Nym. Page. The humour of it, quoth a'! here's a fellow, frights humour out of its wits.
Ford. I will seek out for Falsiaf.
Ford. If I do find it: well.
Page. (12) I will not believe such a Cataian, tho' the priest o'th' town commended him for a true man. Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow : well.
Mrs. Page and Mrs. Ford come forwards.
Mrs. Ford. How now, sweet Frank, why art thou melancholy?
Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy. Get you home, go.
Mrs. Ford. Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head. Now, will you go, mistress Page?
Mrs. Page. Have with you. You'll come to dinner, George ? Look, who comes yonder; the shall be our messenger to this paltry Knight.
(12) I will not believe fuch a Cataian, tho', &c.] This is a piece of satire, that did not want its force at the time of the play's appearing; cho' the history, on which it is grounded, is become obsolete, and lost to general knowledge. In the year 1575, Captain Martin Frobisher (who was afterwards knighted, for services against the Spaniss Armada ;). being furnish'd with adventurers to the project
, set out upon his discovery of a passage to Cataia, near China, by the North-weft seas. Having fail'd fixty degrees North-west beyond Friesland, he came to land upon a place inhabited by favages, from whence bie brought a piece of black stone, like fea-coal, which, upen his return, being alayed by the goldsmiths, was judgid to be very rich in gold-ore. This encourag'd him to a second voyage thither the next season ; when he freighted two veífels home with this black fone: and in 1578, his project was so rifen in credit, that he fet fail a third time with fifteen good thips; and freighted them all, homewards, out of the said mines. But, to see the odd fate that too often attends such discoveries! Tho' the prospect of immense treasures was at first fo plausible, that it was given out with cer. tainty, Cataia was Solomon's Opbir; yet, on a fevere trial, this boasted gold ore prov'd to be mere dross: and that falling short of the expected value, and the adventurers of their expected gains, ibe project fell fo low in repute, that Catcians and Frobifhers became by: Words for such vain boasters, as promis'd more than they could make out, and therefore delery'd not to be credited,
Enter Mistress Quickly Mrs. Ford. Trust me, I thought on her, Mhe'll fit it. Mrs. Page. You are come to see my daughter Ann? Quic
. Ay, forsooth; and, I pray, how does good mistress Ann?
Mrs. Page. Go in with us, and see ; we have an hour's talk with you.
[Exe. Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and NIrs. Quic. Page. How now, master Ford? Ford. You heard what this knave told me, did you not? Page. Yes ; and you heard what the oher told me? Ford. Do you think there is truth in theni?
Page. Hang 'em, flaves; I do not think, the Knight would offer it, but there, that accuse him in his intent towards our wives, are a yoak of his discarded men ; very rogues, now they be out of service.
Ford. Were they his men ?
Ford. I like it never the better for that. Does he lie at the Garter ?
Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend his voyage towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and what he gets more of her than tharp words, let it lie on my head.
Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife, but I would be loth to turn them together ; a man may be too confident; I would have nothing lie on my head ; I cannot be thus fatisfy’d.
Page. Look, where my ranting Hoit of the Garter comes; there is either liquor in his pate, or money in his purse, when he looks so merrily. How now, mine Hoit ?
Enter Hot and Shallow. Hoft. How now, bully Rock? thou’rt a gentleman, cavalerio-justice, I say. Shal. I follow, mine Host, I follow.
Good even, and twenty, good master Page. Master Page, will you go with us ? we have fport in hand.. M 2
HA. Hej!. Tell himn, cavaliero-justice; tell him, bully Rock.
Skal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir !?gh the II elch priest, and Caius the French doctor.
Ford. Good mine toit o'th' Garter, a word with you. Hl. What fay't thou, bully Rock?
Shal. Will you go with us to behold it; my merry Jlolt hath had the measuring of their weapons, and, I think, hath appointed them contrary places; for, believe me, I hear, the parson is no jefter. Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.
Hon. Haft thou no fuit against iny Knight, my gu:fi-cavalier ?
Ford. None, I proteft ; but I'll give you a pottle of burnt fack to give me recourse to him, (13) and tell him my name is Brook; only for a jelt.
Hof. My hand, fully : thou thalt have egress and segress; said I well? and thy name shall be Brook. It is a merry Knight. (14) Will you go an-heirs ?
Sbal. Have with you, mine Hoft.
Page. I have heard, the Frenchman hath good kill in his rapier.
(13) And tell him, my name is Brook ;] Thus both the old Quarto's; and thus most certainly the Poet wrote. We need no better evidence, than the pun that Falt.ff anon makes on the nanie, when Brek fends him some burnt lack.
Such Brooks are weleome to me, that overflow with such liquor. The Players, in tacir editions, alter'd the name to Broom: But how far that name will sort with that jest, is submitted to common sense. Their succctiors; however, of the stage (like !he old priest, who had read mumpimus in his breviary, instead of fumpfimus, 100 long to think of aliering it ;) continue to this day to call him, master Broom.
(14) 1Vill you go ah-heirs ? I can make nothing of this reading, which hath po Tels'd all the editions. The word is not to be traced; and, confequently, I am apt to suspect, must be corrupted. I thould think, the Host meant to say, either,
Will you go on, bere? Pointing out the way, which was to lead them to the combatants; as he afterwards says, Here, boys kiere, bere : fall we wag ? Or,
Will you go, myr-beers i. e. my masters; both these make plain sense; and are not remote fro:n the traces of the text: but, without some fuch alteration, the pallage fecms utterly unintelligible to me.