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something embolden 'd me to this unfeason'd 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, tho’ I had never fo good means, as desire, to make myself acquainted with you : I fhall discover a thing to you, wherein I muft very much lay open mine own imperfections; 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 ; 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. Well, Sir.
Ford. I have long lov'd her; and I protest to you, bestow'd much on her; follow'd her with a doating observance; ingross’d opportunities to meet her; fee'd every flight occasion, that could but niggardly give me light of her; not only bought many presents to give her, but have given largely to many, to know what he would have given : briefly, I have pursued her, as love hath pursued me, which hath been on the wing on all occafions. 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 purchas’d at an infinite rate, and that hath taught me to say this; “ Love like a shadow fies, when substance love pursues ; “ Pursuing that that fies, 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 say, that tho' she appear honeft to me, yet: in other places the 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, authentick 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, fpend it, spend it; fpend 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 honefty 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 should win what you would enjoy ? methinks, you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.
Ford. O, understand my drift; the dwells so securely on the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my foul dazes 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 marriage-vow, and a thousand other her defences, which now are too too, strongly embattel'd against me. What fay you to't, Sir John?
you, by her
Fa'. Master Brook, I will firft make bold with your money ; next, give me your hand; and last, as I am 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
tell own appointment. Even as you came into me, her asliftant, 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 bleft 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-favour'd. 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-falt-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 over the peasant; and thou shalt lie with his wife: Come to me foon at night; Ford's a knave, and I will aggravate his stile: thou, master Brook, shalt know him for knave and cuckold : come to me foon 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 fixt, the match is made ; would any man have thought this ? see the hell of having a false woman!
bed shall be abus'd, my coffers ransack’d, my reputation gnawn at; and I shall not only receive
this villainous wrong, but stand under the adoption of abominable terms, and by him that does me the wrong. Terms, names ; Amaimon sounds well, Lucifer, well; Barbafon, well; yet they are devils 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: 1 will rather trust a Fleming with my butter, parson Hugh the Welchman with my cheese, an Irishman with my aquavite bottle, or a thief to walk my ambling gelding, than my wife with herself: then she plots, then fhe ruminates, then the devises: and what they think in their hearts they may effect, they will break their hearts but they will effect. Heav'n be prais’d for my jealousy! Eleven o'clock the hour; I will prevent this, detect my wife, be reveng'd on Falstaff, and laugh at Page: I will about it: better three hours too soon, than a minute too late. Fy, fy, fy; cuckold, cuckold, cuckold !
SCENE changes to Windfor-Park.
Enter Caius and Rugby.
Rug. 'Tis past the hour, Sir, that Sir Hugb promis'd to meet.
Caius. By gar, he has fave his soul, dat he is no come; he has pray his pible well, dat he is no come: by gar, Jack Rugby, he is dead already, if he be come.
Rug. He is wife, Sir; he knew, your worship would kill him, if he came.
Caius. By gar, de herring is not so dead as me vill make him.' Take your rapier, Jack; I vill tell you how I vill kill him.
Rug. Alas, Sir, I cannot fence.
Enter Hoft, Shallow, Slender and Page. Hoft. 'Bless thee, bully-doctor. Shal. Save you, Mr. Doctor Caius. Page. Now, good Mr. Doctor. Slen. Give you good morrow, Sir. Caius. Vat be all you, one, two, tree, four, come for ?
Hoft. To see thee fight, to see thee foigne, to see thee traverse, to see thee here, to fee thee there, to fee thee pass thy puncto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy diftance, thy montant. Is he dead, my Ethiopean? Is h: dead, my Francisco? ha, bully? what says my Æfculapius? my.
heart of elder? hai is he dead, bully-ftale? is he dead?
Caius. By gar, he is de coward Jack-priest of de vorld; he is not show his face.
Hoft. Thou art a Caftalion-king-Urinal : Hector of Greece, my boy.
Caius. I pray you bear witness, that me have stay fix or seven, two or tree hours for him, and he is no come.
Shal. He is the wiser man, Mr. Doctor; he is a curer of fouls, and you a curer of bodies; if you
should fight, you go against the hair of your profesions: Is it not true, master Page ?
Page. Master Shallow, you have yourself been a great fighter, tho' now a man of
peace. Shal. Body-kins, Mr. Page, tho' I now he old, and of peace, if I fee a sword out, my finger itches to make one; tho' we are justices, and doctors, and churchmen, Mr. Page, we have some falt of our youth in us; we are the fons of women, Mr. Page.
Page. 'Tis true, Mr. Shallow.
Shal. It will be found so, Mr. Page. Mr. Doctor Caius, I am come to fetch you home : I am sworn of the peace : you have fhew'd yourself a wife phyfician, and Sir Hugh hath fhewn himself a wise and patient church-man: you
with me, Mr. Doctor. Hoft. Pardon, gueft-justice; a word, monsieur mockwater.