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Fal. Will not lend thee a penny:
Pist. Why then the world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open-I will retort the sum in Equipage.
Fal. Not a penny. I have been content, Sir, you fhould lay my countenance to pawn; I have grated upon my good friends for three reprieves for you, and your couch-fellow, Nym; or else you had look'd through the grate, like a geminy of baboons, I am damn din hell for swearing to gentlemen, my friends, you were good foldiers, and tall fellows. And when mistress Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took't upon mine honour, thou hadít it not.
Pist. Didst thou not share? hadít thou not fifteen pence?
Fal. Reason, you rogue, reason: think'st thou, I'll endanger my soul gratis ? At a word, hang no more about me, I am no gibbet for you: go, a short knife and a throng, to your manour of Pickthatch; go, you'll not bear a letter for me, you rogue! you stand upon your honour! why, thou unconfinable baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the term of mine honour precise. I, I, I myself fometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on the left hand, and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge and to lurchs and yet you rogue will ensconse your rags, your cat-a-mountain looks, your red-lettice phrases, and your bold-bearing oaths, under the shelter of your honour! you
will not do it, you ! Pift. I do relent; what wouldit thou more of me?
Enter Robin. Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you. Fal. Let her approach.
S CE N E VIII.
Enter Mistress Quickly. Quic.
IVE your worship good morrow.
Fal. Good morrow, good wife. Quic. Not so, and't plçase your worship. Fal. Good maid, then.
Quic. I'll be sworn, as my mother was, the first hour I was born.
Fal. I do believe the swearer: what with me?
Fal. Two thousand, fair woman, and I'll vouchsafe thee the hearing.
Quic. There is one mistress Ford, Sir: I pray, come a little nearer this ways: I myself dwell with Mr. Doctor Caius.
Fal. Well, on: mistress Ford, you say
Quic. Your worship says very true: I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways.
Fal. I warrant thee, no body hears: mine own people, mine own people.
Quic. Are they so? heav'n bless them, and make them his servants !
Fal. Well: mistrefs Ford, - what of her ?
Quic. Why, Sir, she's a good creature. Lord, lord, your worship's a wanton : well, heav'n forgive you, and all of us, I
prayFal. Mistress Ford,
-come, mistress FordQuic. 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 Windfor, 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 rulling, I warrant you, in silk and gold, and in such alligant terms, and in such wine and sugar of the best, and the faireft, that would have won any woman's heart; and, I warrant you, they could never get an eyewink of her. I had myself twenty angels given me this morning; but I defy all angels, in any such fort 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.
Quic. Marry, she hath receiv'd 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.
Quic. 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.
Quic. Why, you say well: But I have another mellenger to your worship; mistress Page has her hearty commendations to you too; and let me tell you in your ear, she's as fartuous a civil modeft wife, and one (I tell you) that will not miss you morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Wind for, whoe er be the other; and the bad me tell your worship, that her husband is seldom from home, but, she hopes, there will come a time., I never knew a woman fo doat 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.
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 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 lift, 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.
Quic. 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 fay, 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.
Exit Pistol. Fal. Say'st thou fo, 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 grofly done ; so it be fairly done, no matter.
S CE N E IX.
Enter Bardolph. Bard. IR John, there's one master Brook below
would speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a morning's draught of fack.
Fal. Brook, is his name?
Fal. Call him in; [ Exit Bardolph] such Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow with such liquor. Ah! ah! mistress Ford and mistress Page, have I encompass’d you? go to, via!
Re-enter Bardolph, with Ford disguis’d.
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
Ford. Good Sir John, I fue 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 unfeason'd intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all ways do lie
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.