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him, good heart.

323 Fal. Ten and eleven : Woman, commend me to her; I will not fail her.

Quic. Why, you say well : But I have another messenger 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 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. 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 me?

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 list, all is as she will; and, truly, she deserves it; for if there be a kind woman in Windsor,

she

she is one. You must send her your page; no remedy.

354 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 discre. tion, as they say, and know the world.

369 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. Pist. This pink 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.

374

Enter BARDOLPH.

Bard. Sir John, there's one master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you ; and hatlı sent your worship a morning's draught of sack.

Fal.

1

Fal. Brook, is his name?
Bard. Ay, sir.

386 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 encome pass'd you ? go to; via!

Re-enter BARDOLPH, with FORD disguis'd.
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.

392 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 unseason’d intrusion ; for they say, if money go before, all ways do lie open.

400 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 tire carriage.

Fal. Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter,

Ford.

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.

410 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.

421 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 doting observance ; engross'd 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, I am sure, I have received none; unless experience be a jewel; that I have purchas'd at an infinite rate ;

and

and that hath taught me to say this :

437

Love like a shadow flies, when substance love pursues ; Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.

Fal. Have you receiv'd no promise of satisfaction at her hands?

Ford. Never.
Fal. Have you importun'd 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?

450 Ford. When I have told you that, I have told you áll. 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 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 ; 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 sieze to the honesty of this Ford's

460

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