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Fal. But what says she to me? be brief, my good she Mercury.
Quick. Marry, she hath received 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;4_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 frampolds 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, who'er be the other; and
Pensioners were Gentlemen of the band of Pensioners.-" In the month of December,”  says Stowe, Annals, p. 973, edit. 1605, “were appointed to waite on the king's person fifty Gentlemen called Pensioners, or Speares, like as they were in the first yeare of the king; unto whom was assigned the summe of fiftie pounds, yerely, for the maintenance of themselves, and everie man two horses, or one horse and a gelding of service.” Their dress was remarkably splendid, and therefore likely to attract the notice of Mrs. Quickly. Hence, [as both Mr. Steevens and Mr. T. Warton have observed] in A Midsummer Night's Dream, our author has selected from all the tribes of towers the golden-coated cowslips to be pensioners to the Fairy Queen:
“The cowslips tall her pensioners be,
- you wot of;] To wot is to know. Obsolete. So, in King Henry VIII: * wot you what I found?” Steevens.
- frampold – ] This word I have never seen elsewhere, except in Dr. Hacket’s Life of Archbishop Williams, where a frampul man signifies a peevish troublesome fellow. Johnson.
In The Roaring Girl, a comedy, 1611, I meet with a word, which, though differently spelt, appears to be the same:
“ Lax. Coachman. “ Coach, Anon, sir!
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;6 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,7 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
“ Lax. Are we fitted with good phram pelljades?" Steevens.
6 — to send her your little page, of all loves;] Of all loves, is an adjuration only, and signifies no more than if she had said, desires you to send him by all means.
It is used in Decker's Honest Whore, P. I, 1635:-“ juring his wife, of all loves, to prepare cheer fitting,” &c. Again, in Holinshed's Chronicle, p. 1064: “Mrs. Arden desired him, of all loves, to come backe againe.” Again, in Othello, Act IIT: “ – the general so likes your musick, that he desires you, of all loves, to make no more noise with it."
a nay-word,] i. e. a watch-word. So, in a subsequent “We have a nay-word to know one another,” &c. Steevens ,
with this woman. This news distracts me!
[Exeunt Quick, and Rob. Pist. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers: 8-Clap on more sails; pursue, up with your fights;9 Give fire;
8 This punk is one of Cupid's carriers :-) Punk is a plausible reading, yet absurd on examination. For are not all punks Cupid's carriers? Shakspeare certainly wrote:
“ This PINK is one of Cupid's carriers :" And then the sense is proper, and the metaphor, which is all the way taken from the marine, entire. A pink is a vessel of the small craft, employed as a carrier (and so called) for merchants. Fletcher uses the word in his Tamer Tumed:
“ This Pink, this painted foist, this cockle-boat.” Warburton. So, in The La:lies' Privilege, 1640: “ These gentlemen know better to cut a caper than a cable, or board a pink in the bordells, than a pinnace at sea." A small salmon is called a salmon-pink.
Dr. Farmer, however, observes, that the word punk has been unnecessarily altered to pink. In Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, Justice Overdo says of the pig-woman: “ She hath been before me, punk, pinnace, and bawd, any time these two and twenty-years.” Steevens.
up with your fights ;] So again, in Fletcher's Tamer Tamed:
“ To hang her fights out, and defy me, friends!
“ A well known man of war.". As to the word fights, both in the text and in the quotation, it was then, and, for aught I know, may be now, a common sea.
Sir Richard Hawkins, in his Voyages, p. 66, says: once we cleared her deck; and had we been able to have spared but a dozen men, doubtless we had done with her what we would ; for she had no close Fights,” i. e. if I understand it right, no small arms.
So that by fights is meant any manner of defence, either small arms or cannon. So, Dryden, in his tragedy of Amboyna:
* Up with your FIGHTS,
“ And your nettings prepare,” &c. Warburton. The quotation from Dryden might at least have raised a sus. picion that fights were neither small arms, nor cannon. Fights and nettings are properly joined. Fights, I find, are clothes hung round the ship to conceal the men from the enemy; and closefights are bulk-heads, or any other shelter that the fabric of a ship affords. Johnson.
So, in Heywood and Rowley's comedy, called Fortune by Land and Sea: " - display'd their ensigns, up with all their feights, their matches in their cocks,” &c. Again, in The Christian turned Turk, 1612: “ Lace the netting, and let down the fights, make ready the shot,” &c.
This passage may receive an additional and perhaps a somewhat different illustration from John Smith's Sea-Grammar,
she is my prize, or ocean whelm them all! [Exit Pist.
Fal. Say'st thou so, old Jack? go thy ways; I 'll make more of thy old body than I have done. Will they yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expence of so much money, be now a gainer? Good body, I thank thee: Let them say, 'tis grossly done; so it be fairly done, no matter.
Enter BARDOLPH. Bard. Sir John, there 's one master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a morning's draught of sack?.
Fal. Brook, is his name?
Fal. Call him in; [Exit Bard.] Such Brooks are welcome to me, that o’erflow such liquor. Ah! ha! mistress Ford and mistress Page, have I encompassed you? go to; via ! 2
4to. 1627. In p. 58 he says: “But if you see your chase strip himself into fighting sailes, that is, to put out his colours in the poope, his flag in the maine top, his streamers or pendants at the end of his yards' arms, &c. provide yourself to fight.” Again, p. 60: “ Thus they use to strip themselves into their short sailes, or fighting sailes, which is only the fore sail, the maine and fore top sailes, because the rest should not be fired or spoiled; besides they would be troublesome to handle, hinder our fights and the using of our arms: he makes ready his close fights fore and aft." In a former passage, p. 58, he has said that " a ships' close fights are small ledges of wood laid crosse one another, like the grates of iron in a prison's window', betwixt the maine mast and the fore mast, and are called gratings or nettings,'' &c. Steevens.
-one master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a morning's draught of sack.] It seems to have been a common custom at taverns, in our author's time, to send presents of wine from one room to another, either as a memorial of friendship, or (as in the present instance) by way of introduction to acquaintance. Malone.
go to; via!] This cant phrase of exultation or defi. ance, is common in the old plays. So, in Blurt Master Constable:
“Via for fate! Fortune, lo! this is all.” Steevens. Markham uses this word as one of the vocal helps necessary for reviving a horse's spirits in galloping large rings, when he grows slothful. Hence this cant phrase (perhaps from the Italian, via) may be used on other occasions to quicken or pluck up courage. Tollet..
Re-enter BARDOLPH, with Ford disguised.
Ford. I make bold, to press with so little preparation upon you.
Fal. You ’re welcome; What 's your will? Give us leave, drawer.
[Exit BARD. Ford. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much; my name is Brook.
Fal. Good master Brook, I desire more acquaintance
Ford. Good sir John, I sue for yours: not to charge you;3 for I must let you understand, I think myself in better plight for a lender than you are: the which hath something embolden’ me to this unseasoned intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all ways do lie 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 me to bear it, sir John, take all, or half, for easing me of the carriage.
Fal. Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.
Ford. I will tell you, sir, if you will give me the hearing
Fal. Speak, good master Brook; I shall be glad to be your servant. Ford. Sir, I hear you are a scholar,—I will be brief
you;. and you have been a man long 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 imperfection: but, good sir 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, sith* you yourself know, how easy it is to be such an offender. Fal. Very well, sir; proceed.
Ford. There is a gentlewoman in this town, her husband's name is Ford.
not to charge you ;] That is, not with a purpose of putting you to expense, or being burthensome. Johnson.
sith - ] i.e. since. Steevens.