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Fal. Brook is his name?
Fal. Call him in; 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!
Enter Ford disguis’d.
[Exit Bard. 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 fir John, I fue 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 something embolden's me to this unseason'd intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all ways do lye open.
Fal. Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on.
Ford. Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me; if
you will help to bear it, fir John, take all, or half, for easing me of the carriage.
Fal. Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.
· Edit. of 1619. In all the succeeding editions this name of Brook is alter'd to Broom : whereas it is manifeft from this conceit upon the name, that it should be Brook. Vol. I.
Ford. Sir, I hear you are a scholar, (I will be brief with you) and you have been a man tong known to me, though I had never so 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 for John, as you have one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded, turn another into the register of your own, that I may pass with a reproof the easier, fith you yourself know how easy it is to be fuch an offender.
Fal. Very well: sir, proceed.
Ford. There is a gentlewoman in this town, her husband's name is Ford.
Fal. Well, fir.
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 night occafion 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 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 pursues ;
Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.
Ford. Like a fair house built on another man's ground; fo that
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, fir 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 warlike, courtlike, and learned preparations.
Fal. O sir!
Ford. Believe it, for you know it; there is money, spend it, fpend 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 honefty 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 preposterously.
Ford. O, understand my drift; she dwells so securely on the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my soul dares not present itfelf; 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 dộive her then from the ward of her purity, her reputation, her marriage-vow, and a thousand other defences, which now are too strongly embattled against me. What say you to’t, fir 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.
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, fir ?
wrong him, to call him poor; they say the jealous wittolly knave hath masses of money, for the which his wife seems to me wellfavour’d. I will use her as the key of the cuckold-rogue's coffer; and there's
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 shalt know, I will predominate over the peasant, and thou shalt lye 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 knave and cuckold; come to me foon at night.
[Exit. SCENE X. 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, Barbafon 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, parfon Hugħ 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 the devises; and what they think in their hearts they may effect, they will break their hearts but they will effect
. Heav'n 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 !
SC EN E
Enter Caius and Rugby.
Caius. By gar, he has save his soul, dat he is no come; he has pray his pible well, dat he is no come: by gar, Jack Rugby, he is dead already, if he be come.
Rug. He is wise, fir; he knew your worship would kill him, if he came.
Caius. By gar, de herring is not so dead as me vill make him.
Rug. Alas, sir, I cannot fence.
Enter Hoft, Shallow, Slender, and Page.
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 puncto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy distance, thy montant. 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 varld; he is not show his face.