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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 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 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 in

a very FRAMPOLD life-] “Frampold” is a very common word in authors of the time, but variously spelt : it usually means vexatious, or uneasy, and such is the sense required here. It is still used in Norfolk.

1- of all loves :) This expression is equivalent to by all means. See Vol. ü.

P. 418.



fection 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


between you both; and, in any case, have a nayword", 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.

[Ereunt 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!

[Exit 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.

8 – have a NAYWORD,] i. e. byeword, or watchword. It occurs again in a subsequent part of this comedy, Ac, v. sc. 2, and in Vol. iü. p. 358.

9 This punk is one of Cupid's carriers :-) A pink was the name of a ressel, and it was also applied metaphorically : “punk” may be the same word corrupted : the phrase in the next line, “up with your fights,” is technical to the sea, and is not unfrequently met with : "fights” seem to have been something placed round the deck of a ship before action, in order to conceal and protect the crew. Coles, in his “ Engl. Dict.” 1677, defines them, “coverts, any places where men may stand unseen, and use their arms in a ship.”


Bard. Sir John, there's one master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and bath 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 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.

1- go to; via!) Via occurs in “Henry VI." part iii. Vol. v. p. 256. It is there used as a word of encouragement :

“Why, via! to London will we march amain." Here it is employed more in the way of exultation and joy.

Ford. Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me: if you will help 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, ber 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; feed every slight occasion, that could but niggardly give me sight of her: not only bought many presents to give her, but bave 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?

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 bave 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 allowed for your many war-like, 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 se


and flying what pursues.] This couplet is printed in Italic type, and marked with inverted commas in the folio, 1623: it is probably a quotation, although the writer of it has not been discovered. In works of the time passages well adapted for quotation were sometimes denoted by inverted commas.

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