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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 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 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. 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?
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 warlike, courtlike, 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 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 securely on the excellency of her honor, that the folly of my soul dares not present itself; she is too bright to be looked against. Now, could I come to her with any detection in my hand, my desires had instance and argument to commend them
selves; 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 strongly embattled against me; What say you to’t, Sir John ?
Fal. Master Brook, I will first make bold with your money; next, give me your hand; and last, as I am a 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 may tell you,) by her own appointment; even as you came in to me, her assistant, 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 blest 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-favored. 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 salt-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 o'er the peasant, and thou shalt lie with his wife. — Come to me soon at night:- Ford's a knave, and I will aggravate his stile; thou, master Brook, shalt know him for a knave and cuckold: - come to me soon at night.
[Exit. Ford. What a damned 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 fixed, the match is made. Would any man have thought this ?-See the hell of having a false woman! my bed shall be abused, my coffers ransacked, my reputation gnawn at; and I shall not only receive this villanous wrong, but stand under the adoption of abominable terms, and by him that does me this wrong. Terms! names !- Amaimon sounds well; Lucifer, well; Barbason, 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: I will rather trust a Fleming with my butter, parson Hugh the Welshman with my cheese, an Irishman with my aqua-vitæ bottle, or a thief to walk my ambling gelding, than my wife with herself; then she 'plots, then she ruminates, then she devises: and what they think in their hearts they may effect, they will break their hearts but they will effect. Heaven be praised for my jealousy!-Eleven o'clock the hour — I will prevent this, detect my wife, be revenged on Falstaff, and laugh at Page. I will about it; better three hours too soon, than a minute too late. Fie, fie, fie! cuckold ! cuckold! cuckold !
SCENE III. Windsor Park.
Enter Caius and Rugby.
Rug. 'Tis past the hour, sir, that Sir Hugh promised to meet.
Caius. By gar, he has save his soul, dat he is no come: he has pray his Pible vell, dat he is no come: by gar, Jack Rugby, he is dead already, if he be come.
Rug. He is wise, sir; he knew your worship would kill him, if he came.
Caius. By gar, de herring is no dead, so as I vill kill him. Take your rapier, Jack; I vill tell you how I vill kill him.
Rug. Alas, sir, I cannot fence.
Enter Host, SHALLOW, SLENDER, and PAGE.
Host. To see thee fight, to see thee foin, to see thee traverse, to see thee here, to see thee there; to see thee pass thy punto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy distance, thy montant. Is he dead, my Ethiopian? is he dead, my Francisco ? ha, bully! What says my Æsculapius? my Galen ? my heart of elder ? ha! is he dead, bully Stale ? is he dead ?
Caius. By gar, he is de coward Jack priest of the vorld; he is not show his face.
Host. Thou art a Castilian, king-urinal! Hector of Greece, my boy!
Caius. I pray you, bear vitness, that me have stay six or seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come.
Shal. He is the wiser man, master doctor: he is a curer of souls, and you a curer of bodies; if you should fight, you go against the hair of your professions : is it not true, master Page ?
Page. Master Shallow, you have yourself been a great fighter, though now a man of peace.
Shal. Bodykins, master Page, though I now be old, and of the peace, if I see a sword out, my finger itches to make one: though we are justices, and doctors, and churchmen, master Page, we have some salt of our youth in us; we are the sons of women, master Page.
Page. 'Tis true, master Shallow.
Shal. It will be found so, master Page. Master doctor Caius, I am come to fetch you home. I am sworn of the peace; you have showed yourself a wise physician, and Sir Hugh hath shown himself a wise and patient churchman: you must go with me, master doctor.
Host. Pardon, guest justice: A word, monsieur Muckwater.
Caius. Muck-vater; vat is dat.
Caius. By gar, then I have as much muck-vater as de Englishman : – Scurvy jack-dog priest; by gar, me vil cut his ears.
Host. He will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully.
Caius. By gar, me do look, he shall clapper-de-claw me; for, by gar, me vill have it.
Host. And I will provoke him to't, or let him wag.
Host. And moreover, bully, But first, master guest, and master Page, and eke cavalero Slender, go you through the town to Frogmore.
[Aside to them. Page. Sir Hugh is there, is he?
Host. He is there : see what humour he is in; and I will bring the doctor about by the fields : will it do well ?
Shal. We will do it.
[Exeunt Page, SHALLOW, and SLENDER.
Caius. By gar, me vill kill de priest; for he speak for a jack-an-ape to Anne Page.
Host. Let him die: but, first, sheath thy impatience; throw cold water on thy choler: go about the fields with me through Frogmore; I will bring thee where Mrs. Anne Page is, at a farmhouse a feasting; and thou shalt woo her: Cry'd game, said I well ?
Caius. By gar, me tank you for dat: by gar, I love you; and I shall procure-a you de good guest, de earl, de knight, de lords, de gentlemen, my patients. · Host. For the which, I will be thy adversary towards Anne Page; said I well ?
Caius. By gar, 'tis good; vell said.
SCENE I. A Field near Frogmore.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans and SIMPLE. Eva. I pray you now, good master Slender's serving-man, and friend Simple by your name, which way have you looked for master Caius, that calls himself Doctor of Physic?
Sim. Marry, sir, the pittie-ward, the park ward, every way; old Windsor way, and every way but the town way.
Eva. I most fehemently desire you, you will also look that way.
Sim. I will, sir.
Eva. 'Pless' my soul! how full of cholers I am, and trempling of mind !- I shall be glad, if he have deceived me:—how melancholies I am !-I will knog his urinals about his knave's costard, when I have good opportunities for the 'ork:— 'pless my soul!