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Quic. Why, you say well: But I have another meffenger 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 Windfor, whoe'er be the other; and the bad me tell your worship, that her husband is seldom from home, but, The hopes, there will come a time. I never knew a woman To doat upon a man; Surely, I think you have charms, la ; yes, in truth.
Fal. Not I, I assure thee ; fecting 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 Windfor 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 Windfor, truly, she is one. You must send her your page; no remedy.
Fal. Why, I will.
Quic. Nay, but do fo then ; and look you, he may come and go between you both, and in any cafe have a nay-word, that you may know one another's mind : and the boy never need to understand any thing; for 'cis 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!
. [Exeunt Quickly and Robin, · Pift.' This pink is one of Cupid's carriers : Clap on more fails; 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 mony, be now a gainer? good body, I thank thee; let them say, 'tis grossly done; so it be fairly done, no matter.
· 2 This PUNK is one of Cupid's carriers,
Clap on more fails; pursue; up with your fights,
Give fire; she is my prize.] This punk is one of Cupid's carriers, is a plausible reading, yet absurd on examination. For are not all punks Cupid's carriers? Shakespear certainly wrote,
This PINK is one of Cupid's carriers, and then the sense is proper, and the metaphor, which is all the way taken from the marine, entire. A Pink is a vessel of the small craft, employed as a carrier (and so called) for merchants, Fletcher uses the word, in his Tamer Tamed, . .
This Pink, this painted fois, this cockle-boat,
A well-known man of war As to the word fights, both in the text and in the quotation, it was then, and, for ought I know, may be now, a common sea-term, Sir Richard Hawkins in his voyages, p. 66. fays, For once we cleared her deck, and had we been able to have spared but a dozes men, doubtless we had done with her what we would; for The had no close FIGTHS, i. e, if I understand it right, no small arms. So that by fights is meant any manner of defense, either small arms or cannon. So Dryden, in his tragedy of Amboyna,
Up with your FIGHTS,
And your nettings prepare, &c. But, not considering this, I led the Oxford Editor into a flly conje&ture, which he has done me the honour of putting into bis text, which is indeed a proper place for it, Up with YOND FRIGAT,
S CE N E IX.
Enter Bardolph. Bard. -Sir John, there's one master · Brook below would fain 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.
* Fai. 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 fomething embolden'd me to this unseason'd intrusion; for they say, if mony go before, all ways do lye open.
Fal. Mony is a good soldier, Sir, and will on. Ford, Troth, and I have a bag of mony here trou3 Edition of 1619, in all the succeeding editions this name of Brook (I can't tell why) is alter'd to Broom : whereas it is manifeft from this conceit upon the name that it Ihould be Brook.
bles me; if you will help me 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
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, tho’I had never fo 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 imperfections; but, good Sir Jobn, as you have one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded, turn another into the register of your own, that I may país with a reproof the easier ; sith you yourself know, how easie it is to be such an offender.
Fal. Very well: Sir, proceed. .
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 doating observance; ingrofs'd opportunities to meet her ; fee'd every night occasion, that could but niggardly give me light 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 pursu'd 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 That hath taught me to say this; 5 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. Like a fair house, built on 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 tho' 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 Jobn, here is the heart of my purpose: You are a gentleman of excellent breeding, admirable discourse, of great admittance, authentick 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 mony, 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 fiege 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 vehemence of your affection, that I should win what you would enjoy? methinks, you prescribe to yourself very preposterousy.
Ford. O, understand my drift ; she dwells so securely on the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my soul dares not present itself; she is too bright to be look'd against. Now, could I come to her with any detection in my hand, my desires had instance and argument to commend themselves; I could drive her