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FAL. Very well, Sir; proceed.


FORD. There is a gentlewoman in this town, her husband's

name is Ford.

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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 pursu'd 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 receiv'd none; unless experience be a jewel. That I have purchas'd 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 receiv'd no promise of satisfaction at her

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? 208
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 allow'd for your many warlike, courtlike, and learned preparations

FAL. O, Sir!—

1 reward.

2 the best society.



Sc. II


Sc. II

There is money:

FORD. Believe it, for you know it!
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 preposter-


FORD. O, understand my drift! She dwells so securely
on the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my
wit 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
then from the ward1 of her purity, her reputation, her
marriage-vow, and a thousand other her defences, which
now are too strongly embattl'd 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!


say you shall,

FORD. Want no money, Sir John: you shall want none. 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 cuckoldy 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-favour'd. I will use 1 (fencing) guard.

her as the key of the cuckoldy rogue's coffer; and ACT II there's my harvest-home. Sc. II


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 pre-
dominate 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 style.1 Thou, Master Brook,
shalt know him for a knave and cuckold. Come to me
soon at night.

FORD. What a damn'd 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 fix'd, the match is made. Would any
man have thought this? See the Hell of having a false
woman! My bed shall be abus'd, my coffers ransack'd,
my reputation gnawn at; and I shall not only receive
this villainous 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 !3
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 prais'd for my jealousy!-Eleven o'clock the hour.
I will prevent this, detect my wife, be reveng'd 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!

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SCENE III. Windsor Park.

Enter CAIUS and RUGBY.

CAIUS. Jack Rugby!

RUG. Sir.

CAIUS. Vat is the clock, Jack?

RUG. "Tis past the hour, Sir, that Sir Hugh promis'd

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,

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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.

CAIUS. Villainy, take your rapier.
RUG. Forbear; here's company.


HOST. 'Bless thee, bully Doctor.

SHAL. Save you, Master Doctor Caius.
PAGE. Now, good Master Doctor!

SLEN. Give you good-morrow, Sir.


CAIUS. Vat be all you, one, two, tree, four, come for? 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 montánt. Is he dead, my Ethiopian ? is he dead, my Francisco? ha, bully! What says my Esculapius? 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 de vorld: he is not shew his face.

HOST. Thou art a Castalion-King-Urinal!


1 thrust. 2 parry. 174 • upright blow

push thy point. 7 pith.

Greece, my boy!

CAIUS. I pray you, bear witness that me have stay six or seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come.

5 back-stroke.

4 thrust.
8 horse-piss.



Hector of

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 hair1 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. devuld may

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 shew'd yourself a wise physician, and Sir Hugh hath shewn himself a wise and patient churchman. You must go with me, Master Doctor. 52 HOST. Pardon, Guest-Justice- Ah, Monsieur Muck


CAIUS. Muck-vater; vat is dat?

HOST. Muck-water, in our English tongue, is valour, bully.

CAIUS. By gar, then I have as much muck-vater as de Englishman. Scurvy Jack-dog priest; by gar, me vill cut his ears.


HOST. He will clapper-claw' thee tightly, bully.

CAIUS. Clapper-de-claw! vat is dat?

HOST. That is, he will make thee amends.

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.3

CAIUS. Me tank you for dat.

HOST. And moreover, bully- But first, Master Guest,

and Master Page, and eke Cavaliero Slender, go you
through the town to Frogmore.
[áside 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.

1 grain.

2 deal roundly with.

8 (slang) trot, 'clear.'


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