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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 tun of oil in his belly, a’hore at Windsor ? how fall I be reveng'd 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 proteft, mine never shall. I warrant, he hath a thousand of these letters, writ with blank-space for different names ; nay, more ; and these are of the second edition : he will print them out of doubt, for he cares not what he puts into the prefs, 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, ere one chafte man.
Mrs. Ford. Why, this is the very fame, the very hand, the very words; what doth he think of us?
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 knew some strain in me, that I know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury.
Mrs. Ford. Boarding, call it you? 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 fhow of comfort in his fuit, and lead him on with a fine baited delay, 'till he hath pawn'd his horses to mine Hoft of the Garter.
Mrs.Ford. Nay,I will consent to act any villainy against him, that may not fully the chariness of our honesty: oh, 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 jealouly, as I am from giving him cause; and that, I hope, is an unmcaiurable distance.
Mrs. Ford. You are the happier woman.
Mrs. Page. Let's consult together against this greasy Knight. Come hither.
[They retire. Enter Ford with Piftol, Page with Nym. Ford. Well, I hope, it be not so. -Pif. Hope is a cártal-dog in fome affairs. Sir foon affects thy wife.
Ford. Why, Sir, my wife is not young:
Pift. He wooes both high and low, both rich and poor, Both
young and old, one with another, Ford; He loves thy gally-mawtry, Ford, perpend.
Ford. Love my wife?
Pi/. With liver burning hot : prevent, or go thou, like Sir Arteon, he, with Ring-wood at thy heels-0, odious is the name.
Ford. What name, Sir?
Pift. The horn, I say : farewel. Take heed, have open eye; for thieves do foot by night. Take heed ere summer comes, or cuckoo-birds affright. Away, Sir corporal Nym.--Believe it, Page, he speaks fense.
(Exit Pistol. Ford. I vil be patient; I will find out this. Nym. And this is true: I like not the humour of lying ; he hath wrong'd me in some humours: I mould have borne the humour'd letter to her ; but I have a sword, and it mall bitè upon my neceffity. 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 Falstoff loves your wife. -Adieu ; I love not the humour of bread and cheese : adieu.
[Exit Nym. Page. The humour of it, quoth a'! here's a fellow, frights humour out of its wits.
Ford. I will seek out for Falstaf.
Ford. If I do find it: well.
Page. (12) I will not believe such a Cataian, tho' the priest o’th' town commended him for a true man. Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow : well.
Mrs. Page and Mrs. Ford come forwards.
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 haft fome crotchets in thy head. Now, will you go, mistress Page?
Mrs. Page. Have with you. You'll come to dinner, George ? Look, who comes yonder; she thall be our messenger to this paltry Knight.
(12) I will noe believe fauch a Cataian, tho', &c.) This is a piece of satire, that did not want its force at the time of the play's appearing; tho' the history, on which it is grounded, is become oblolete, and lost to general knowledge. In the year 1575, Captain Marrin Frobifher (who was afterwards knighted, for services against the Spaniss Armada ;). being furnish'd with adventurers to the proje&, fer out upon his discovery of a passage to Cataia, near China, by the North-west feas. Having fail'd fixty degrees North-west beyond Friesland, he came to land upon a place inhabited by favages, from whence he brought a piece of black stone, like fea-coal, which, upon his return, being afayed by the goldsmiths, was judg:d to be very rich in gold-ore. This encourag'd him to a second voyage thither the next feafon ; when he freighted two vefsels home with this black fone: and in 1578, his project was so rifen in credit, that he fet fail a third time with fifteen good thips; and freighted them all, homewards, out of the said mines. But, to see the odd fate that too often attends such discoveries! Tho' the prospect of immense treasures was at first fo plausible, that it was given out with cer. tainty, Caraia was Solomon's Opbir; yet, on a fevere trial, this boasted gold. ore prov'd to be mere dross: and that falling short of the expected value, and the adventurers of their expected gains, ibe project fell so low in repute, that Catcians and Frobifhers became byWords for such vain boasters, as promis’d more than they could make out, and therefore delery'd not to be credited,
Enter Mistress Quickly.
Quic. Ay, forsooth; and, I pray, how does good mistress Ann?
Mrs. Page. Go in with us, and see; we have an hour's talk with you.
Exe. Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Mrs. Quic.
Page. Hang 'em, flaves; I do not think, the Knight would offer it; bui there, that accuse him in his intent towa ds our wives, are a yoak of his discarded men ; very rogues, now they be out of service.
Ford. Were they his men ?
Ford. I like it never the better for that. Does he lie at the Garter?
Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he hould intend his voyage towards my wife, I would turn her loofe to hin; and what he gets more of her than tharp words, let ic lie on my head.
Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife, but I would be loih to turn them together; a man may be too confi-' dent; I would have nothing lie on my head; I canrot be thus fatisfy'd. • Page. Look, where my ranting Host of the Garter comes ;
there is either liquor in his pate, or money in his purse, when he looks so merrily. How now, mine Host ?
Enter Hot and Shallow. Hoft. How now, bully Rock? thou’rt a gentleman, cảvalerio-justice, I say.
Shal. I follow, mine Host, I follow. Good even, and twenty, good master Page. Master Page, will you go with us ? we have sport in hand. M 2
11. Tellhiin, cavaliero-justice; tell him, bully Rock
Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir !?«gh the Welch priest, and Caius the French doctor.
Ford. Good mine Hoit o'th' Garter, a word with you. Hojt. What fay'st thou, bully Rock ?
Shal. Will you go with us to behold it; my merry Jiott hath had the measuring of their weapons, and, I think, hath appointed them contrary places; for, believe me, I hear, the parson is no jefter. Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.
Ho4. Haft thou no suit against iny Knight, my gu:fi-cavalier !
Ford. None, I protest ; but I'll give you a pottle of burnt fack to give me recourse to him, (13) and tell hinn my name is Brook ; only for a jest.
Hot. My hand, bully : thou shalt have egress and segress; said I well ? and thy name shall be Brook. It is a merry Knight. (14) Will you go an-heirs ?
Shal. Have with you, mine Hoft.
Page. I have heard, the Frenchman hath good kill in his rapier.
(13) And tell him, my name is Brook ;] Thus both the old Quarto’s ; and thus inost certainly the Poet wrote. We need no better evidence, than the pun that Falf.f anon makes on the name, when Brek fends him some burnt lack.
Such Brooks are weleome to me, that overflow with such liquor. The Players, in focir editions, alter*d the name to Broom: But how far that name will fort w th that jelt, is submitted to common fense. Their succctiors; however, of the stage (like he old priest, who had read mumpimus in his breviary, initead of fumpfimus, too 1ong to think of aliering it :) continue to this day to call him, master Broom.
(14) 1Vill you go aga-heirs ? I can make nothing of this reading, which hath poʻlels'd all the editions. The word is not to be traced; and, confequently, I am apt to suspect, must be corrupted, I should think, the Hoft meant to say, either,
Will you go on, bere? Pointing out the way, which was to lead them to the combatants; as he afterwards says, Here, boys kiere, bere : fall we waz ? Or,
Will you go, myr-beers i. e. my masters; both these make plain sense; and are not remote froin the traces of the text: but, without some such alteration, the palage seems utterly, unintelligible to me.