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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Scene Study (Male-Female)

QUICK.

Give your worship good morrow.

FAL.

Good morrow, goodwife.

QUICK.

Not so, and’t please your worship.

FAL.

Good maid then.

QUICK.

I’ll be sworn,

As my mother was the first hour I was born.

FAL.

I do believe the swearer. What with me?

QUICK.

Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?

FAL.

Two thousand, fair woman, and I’ll vouchsafe thee the hearing.

QUICK.

There is one Mistress Ford, sir—I pray come a little nearer this ways. I myself dwell with Master Doctor Caius—

FAL.

Well, on. Mistress Ford, you say—

QUICK.

Your worship says very true. I pray your worship come a little nearer this ways.

FAL.

I warrant thee, nobody hears—mine own people, mine own people.

QUICK.

Are they so? God bless them and make them his servants!

FAL.

Well; Mistress Ford, what of her?

QUICK.

Why, sir, she’s a good creature. Lord, Lord, your worship’s a wanton! Well—heaven forgive you, and all of us, I pray—

FAL.

Mistress Ford; come, Mistress Ford—

QUICK.

Marry, this is the short and the long of it: you have brought her into such a canaries as ’tis wonderful. The best courtier of them all (when the court lay at Windsor) could never have brought her to such a canary; yet there has been knights, and lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches; I warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift; smelling so sweetly, all musk, and so rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold, and in such alligant terms, and in such wine and sugar of the best, and the fairest, that would have won any woman’s heart; and I warrant you, they could never get an eye-wink of her. I had myself twenty angels given me this morning, but I defy all angels (in any such sort, as they say) but in the way of honesty; and I warrant you, they could never get her so much as sip on a cup with the proudest of them all, and yet there has been earls, nay (which is more) pensioners, but I warrant you all is one with her.

FAL.

But what says she to me? Be brief, my good she-Mercury.

QUICK.

Marry, she hath receiv’d your letter—for the which she thanks you a thousand times—and she gives you to notify that her husband will be absence from his house between ten and eleven.

FAL.

Ten and eleven?

QUICK.

Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the picture, she says, that you wot of. Master Ford her husband will be from home. Alas, the sweet woman leads an ill life with him. He’s a very jealousy man. She leads a very frampold life with him, good heart.

FAL.

Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her, I will not fail her.

QUICK.

Why, you say well. But I have another messenger to your worship. Mistress Page hath 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 Windsor, whoe’er be the other; and she bade me tell your worship that her husband is seldom from home, but she hopes there will come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon a man; surely I think you have charms, la; yes, in truth.

FAL.

Not I, I assure thee. Setting the attraction of my good parts aside, I have no other charms.

QUICK.

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 me?

QUICK.

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 Windsor 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 list, all is as she will; and truly she deserves it, for if there be a kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must send her your page, no remedy.

FAL.

Why, I will.

QUICK.

Nay, but do so then, and look you, he may come and go between you both; and in any case have a nay-word, that you may know one another’s mind, and the boy never need to understand any thing; for ’tis 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.

Exeunt Mrs. Quickly and Robin.

This news distracts me!

 

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