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every night 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 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 : “ Love like a shadow flies, when substance love pur
sues ; " 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 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, authentick in your place and person, generally allow'd for your many war-like, court-like, and learned preparations.
Fel. 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 fiege to the honesty of this Ford's VOL. I.
wife: wife: use your art of wooing, win her to consent to you; if any man may, you may as soon as any. 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 !
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 fo fecurely 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 6 instance and argument to commend themselves; 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 too strongly embattel'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!
Ford. Want no money, Sir John, you shall want none.
Fal. Want no mistress Ford, master Brook, you fhall 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 fay, 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 bim, poor cuckoldly knave! I know hiin not : yet I wrong him to call him poor; they say, the jealous wittolly knave hath masses of money; for
r-infance and argument-] Instance is example. Johnson.
the which his wife seems to me well-favour'd. 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 falt-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 shall know, I will predominate over the peasant, and thou shalt lye with his wife. Come to me soon at night. Ford's a knave, 9 and I will aggravate his stile ; thou, master Brook, shalt know him for knave and cuckold. Come to me foon at night.
[Exit. 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 the 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 Welchman 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
7-and I will aggravate his file :- Stile is a phrase from the herald's office. Falstaff means, that he will add more tilles to those he already enjoys. STEEVENS.
S CE NE III.
Enter Caius and Rugby.
Rug. 'Tis past the hour, Sir, that Sir Hugh promis’d to ineet.
Caius. By gar, he has save his foul, dat he is no come; he has pray his Bible well, dat he is no come: by gar, Jack Rugby, he is dead already, if he be conie.
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 Hoft, Shallow, Slender, and Page:
8 -Eleven o'clock-) Ford should rather have said ten o'clock: the time was between ien and eleven; and his impatient surpicion was not likely to fiay beyond the time. Johnson,
Page. Now, good master Doctor!
Caius. Vat be all you one, two, tree, four, come for?
Hoft. 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 diftance, thy montant. Is he dead, my Ethiopian? Is he dead, my Francisco ? ha, bully? What says my Æfculapius? my Galen ? 9 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 shew his face.
Hoft. 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 fouls, and you a curer of bodies : if you should fight, you go against the hair of your profersions : is it not true, master Page ?
Page. Master Shallow, you have yourself been a great fighter, though now a man of peace.
Shal. Body-kins, 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
9 - my heart of elder ?-] It should be remember'd, to make this joke relih, that the elder tree has no beart. I suppose this exprellion was made use of in opposition to the common one, heart of oak. STEEVENS.
1- Castilian ] Sir T. Hanmer reads Cardalian, as used corruptedly for Cæur de lion. Johnson.
Castilian and Æthiopian, like Cataian, appear in our author's time to have been cant terms. I have met with them in more than one of the old comedies. STEEVENS.