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picked (with the devil's name) out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me? Why, he hath not been thrice in my company —What should I say to him?—I was then frugal of my mirth:—heaven forgive me!—Why, I'll exhibit a bill in the parliament for the putting down of men. How shall I be revenged on him? for revenged I will be, as sure as his guts are made of puddings.
Enter Mistress Ford.
Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page! trust me I was going to your house, Mrs. Page. And, trust me, I was coming to you. You look very ill. Mrs. Ford. Nay, I'll ne'er believe that; I have to show to the contrary. Mrs. Page. 'Faith, but you do, in my mind. Mrs. Ford. Well, I do then; yet, I say, I could show you to the contrary : O, mistress Page, give me some counsel ! Mrs. Page. What's the matter, woman 2 Mrs. Ford. O woman, if it were not for one trifling respect, I could come to such honour! Mrs. Page. Hang the trifle, woman; take the honour: What is it?—dispense with trifles;– what is it? Mrs. Ford. If I would but go to hell for an eternal moment, or so, I could be knighted. Mrs. Page. What?—thou liest!—Sir Alice Ford' —These knights will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry.”
8 What?—thou liest l—Sir Alice Ford 1–These knights will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry.] These knights will hack (that is, become cheap or vulgar,) and therefore she advises her friend not to sully her gentry by becoming one. Between the time of king James’s arrival at Berwick in April 1603, and the 2d of May, he made two hundred and thirty
Mrs. Ford. We burn day-light:”—here, read, read;—perceive how I might be knighted.—I shall think the worse of fat men, as long as I have an eye to make difference of men's liking: ' And yet É. would not swear; praised women's modesty: And gave such orderly and well-behaved reproof to all uncomeliness, that I would have sworn his disposition would have gone to the truth of his words: but they do no more adhere and keep place together than the hundredth psalm to the tune of Green sleeves. What tempest, I trow, threw this whale with so many tuns of oil in his belly, ashore at Windsor How shall I be revenged on him I think the best way were to entertain him with hope, till the wicked fire of lust have melted him in his own grease.—Did you ever hear the like?
Mrs. Page. Letter for letter; but that the name of Page and Ford differs —To thy great comfort in this mystery of ill opinions, here's the twin-brother of thy letter: but let thine inherit first; for, I protest, mine never shall. I warrant, he hath a thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for different names, (sure more,) and these are of the second edition: He will print them out of doubt; for he cares not what he puts into the press, when he would put us two. I had rather be a giantess, and lie under mount Pelion. Well, I will find you twenty lascivious turtles, cre one chaste man.
Mrs. Ford. Why this is the very same; the joy hand, the very words: What doth he think of us
seven knights; and in the July following between three and four hundred. It is probable that the play before us was enlarged in that or the subsequent year, when this stroke of satire must have been highly relished by the audience. MAlone. * We burn day-light :] i.e. we have more proof than we want; or, we are wasting time in idle talk. o men's liking :] i. e. men's condition of body,
Mrs. Page. Nay, I know not: It makes me almost ready to wrangle with mine own honesty. I'll entertain myself like one that I am not acquainted withal; for, sure, unless he know some strain in me, that I know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury. Mrs. Ford. Boarding, call you it? I'll be sure to keep him above deck. Mrs. Page. So will I ; if he come under my hatches, I'll never to sea again. Let's be reveng'd on him: let's appoint him a meeting ; give him a show of comfort in his suit; and lead him on with a fine-baited delay, till he hath pawn'd his horses to mine Host of the Garter. Mrs. Ford. Nay, I will consent to act any villainy against him, that may not sully the chariness of our honesty.” O, that my husband saw this letter! it would give eternal food to his jealousy. Mrs. Page. Why, look, where he comes; and my good man too; he's as far from jealousy, as I am from giving him cause; and that, I hope, is an unmeasurable distance. Mrs. Ford. You are the happier woman. Mrs. Page. Let's consult together against this greasy knight: Come hither. [They retire.
Enter For D, PISTol, PAGE, and NYM. Ford. Well, I hope, it be not so.
Pist. Hope is a curtail dog” in some affairs:
* — the chariness —j i. e. the caution. * — curtail dog — That is, a dog that misses his game; or is, a dog of small value;—a cur.
Pist. He wooes both high and low, both rich and
r, Both yonoid old, one with another, Ford; He loves thy gally-mawfry;" Ford, perpend. Ford. Love my wife? Pist. With liver burning hot: Prevent, or go thou, Like sir Actaeon he, with Ring-wood at thy heels:— O, odious is the name ! Ford. What name, sir? Pist. The horn, I say: Farewell. Take heed; have open eye; for thieves do foot by might: Take heed, ere summer comes, or cuckoo birds do sing.Away, sir o Nym. Believe it, Page; he speaks sense. [Evit Pistol. Ford. I will be patient; I will find out this. Nym. And this is true; [to PAGE.] I like not the humour of lying. He hath wronged me in some humours: I should have borne the humoured letter to her; but I have a sword, and it shall bite upon my necessity. He loves your wife; there's the short and the long. My name is corporal Nym ; I speak, and I avouch. "Tis true:—my name is Nym, and Falstaff loves your wife.—Adieu! I love not the humour of bread and cheese; and there's the humour of it. Adieu. [Erit NYM. Page. The humour of it, quoth 'a! here's a fellow frights humour out of his wits. Ford. I will seek out Falstaff. Page. I never heard such a drawling, affecting rogue.
Page. I will not believe such a Cataian,” though the priest o' the town commended him for a true IIlall. Ford. "Twas a good sensible fellow :" Well. Page. How now, Meg 2 Mrs. Page. Whither go you, George —Hark Ou. t y Mrs. Ford. How now, sweet Frank? why art thou melancholy? Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy.— Get you home, go. Mrs. Ford. 'Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head now.—Will you go, mistress Page 2 Mrs. Page. Have with you.-You'll come to dinner, George —Look, who comes yonder: she shall be our messenger to this paltry knight. Aside to Mrs. For D.
Enter Mrs. QUICKLY.
Mrs. Ford. Trust me, I thought on her: she'll fit it. Mrs. Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne? * * Quick. Ay, forsooth; And, I pray, how does good mistress Anne? Mrs. Page. Go in with us, and see; we have an hour's talk with you. [Ereunt Mrs. PAGE, Mrs. Ford, and Mrs. QUICKLY. - Page. How now, master Ford Ford. You heard what this knave told me; did you not
* I will not believe such a Cataian,J By a Cataian, some kind of sharper is meant. The Chinese were anciently called Cataians. Their tricks are hinted at in some old histories of Cataia.
"'Twas a good sensible fellow :]. This, and the two preceding speeches of Ford, are spoken to himself.