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SCENE I.-Windsor. Before PAGE's House. Enter Justice SHALLOW, SLENDER, and Sir HUGH EVANS.

Shal. Sir Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Star-chamber matter of it: if he were twenty sir John Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, esquire. Slen. In the county of Gloster, justice of peace, and

coram.

Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and cust-alorum. Slen. Ay, and ratolorum too; and a gentleman born, master parson; who writes himself armigero; in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, armigero.

Shal. Ay, that I do; and have done any time these three hundred years.

Slen. All his successors, gone before him, hath done't; and all his ancestors, that come after him, may: they may give the dozen white luces in their coat.

Shal. It is an old coat.

Eva. The dozen white louses do become an old coat well; it agrees well, passant: it is a familiar beast to man, and signifies love.

Shal. The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.

Slen. I may quarter, coz?

Shal. You may, by marrying.

Eva. It is marring, indeed, if he quarter it.
Shal. Not a whit.

Eva. Yes, per-lady: if he has a quarter of your coat, there is but three skirts for yourself, in my simple conjectures. But that is all one: if sir John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto you, I am of the church, and will be glad to do my benevolence, to make atonements and compremises between you.

Shal. The council shall hear it: it is a riot. Era. It is not meet the council hear a riot; there is no fear of Got in a riot. The council, look you, shall desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a riot: take your vizaments in that.

Shal. Ha! o' my life, if I were young again the sword should end it.

Eva. It is petter that friends is the sword, and end it: and there is also another device in my prain, which, peradventure, prings goot discretions with it. There is Anne Page, which is daughter to master George Page, which is pretty virginity.

Slen. Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks small, like a woman.

Eva. It is that fery person for all the orld; as just as you will desire, and seven hundred pounds of monies, and gold, and silver, is her grandsire, upon his death'sbed (Got deliver to a joyful resurrections!) give, when she is able to overtake seventeen years old. It were a goot motion, if we leave our pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage between master Abraham, and mistress Anne Page.

Slen. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound? Eva. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny. Slen. I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.

Eva. Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is good gifts.

Shal. Well, let us see honest master Page. Is Falstaff there?

Eva. Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar, as I do despise one that is false; or, as I despise one that is not true. The knight, sir John, is there; and, I beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will peat the door for master Page. [Knocks.] What, hoa! Got pless your house here!

Page. Who's there? [Above, at the window. Eva. Here is Got's plessing, and your friend, and justice Shallow; and here young master Slender, that, peradventures, shall tell you another tale, if matters grow to your likings.

Enter PAGE.

Page. I am glad to see your worships well. I thank you for my venison, master Shallow.

Shal. Master Page, I am glad to see you: much good do it your good heart. I wished your venison better; it was ill kill'd.-How doth good mistress

Page?-and I thank you always with my heart, la; might never come in mine own great chamber again with my heart.

Page. Sir, I thank you.

Shal. Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do. Page. I am glad to see you, good master Slender.

Slen. How does your fallow greyhound, sir?

I

heard say, he was outrun on Cotsold.

Page. It could not be judg'd, sir.

Slen. You'll not confess, you'll not confess.

else) of seven groats in mill-sixpences, and two Edward shovel-boards, that cost me two shilling and two pence a-piece of Yed Miller, by these gloves.

Fal. Is this true, Pistol?

Eva. No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.

Pist. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner!—Sir John and master mine,

I combat challenge of this latten bilbo :

Shal. That he will not;-'tis your fault, 'tis your Word of denial in thy labras here; fault.-'Tis a good dog.

Page. A cur, sir.

Shal. Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog; can there be more said? he is good, and fair. Is sir John Falstaff here?

Page. Sir, he is within; and I would I could do a good office between you.

Eva. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
Shal. He hath wrong'd me, master Page.
Page. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.

Shal. If it be confess'd, it is not redress'd: is not that so, master Page? He hath wrong'd me; indeed, he hath;-at a word, he hath ;-believe me :-Robert Shallow, esquire, saith he is wrong'd.

Page. Here comes sir John.

Enter Sir JOHN FALSTAFF, BARDOLPH, NYM,
and PISTOL.

Fal. Now, master Shallow; you'll complain of me to the king?

Shal. Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer, and broke open my lodge.

Fal. But not kiss'd your keeper's daughter. Shal. Tut, a pin! this shall be answered. Fal. I will answer it straight:-I have done all this. That is now answered.

Shal. The council shall know this.

Fal. "Twere better for you, if it were known in counsel: you'll be laughed at.

Eva. Pauca verba, sir John; good worts. Fal. Good worts? good cabbage.-Slender, I broke your head; what matter have you against me?

Slen. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you; and against your coney-catching rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and made me drunk, and afterwards picked my pocket.

Bard. You Banbury cheese!
Slen. Ay, it is no matter.

Pist. How now, Mephostophilus?

Slen. Ay, it is no matter.

Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca; slice! that's my

humour.

Slen. Where's Simple, my man?-can you tell, cousin?

Eva. Peace! I pray you. Now let us understand: there is three umpires in this matter, as I understand; that is-master Page, fidelicet, master Page; and there is myself, fidelicet, myself; and the three party is, lastly and finally, mine host of the Garter.

Page. We three, to hear it, and end it between them.

Eva. Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in my note-book; and we will afterwards 'ork upon the cause, with as great discreetly as we can. Fal. Pistol!

Pist. He hears with ears.

Eva. The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this? "He hears with ear?" Why, it is affectations.

Fal. Pistol, did you pick master Slender's purse? Slen. Ay, by these gloves, did he, (or I would I

Word of denial: froth and scum, thou liest. Slen. By these gloves, then 'twas he.

66

Nym. Be advised, sir, and pass good humours. I will 'marry trap," with you, if you run the nuthook's humour on me; that is the very note of it.

say,

Slen. By this hat, then he in the red face had it; for though I cannot remember what I did when you made me drunk, yet I am not altogether an ass.

Fal. What say you, Scarlet and John? Bard. Why, sir, for my part, I say, the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five sentences.

Eva. It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is! Bard. And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashier'd; and so conclusions pass'd the carieres.

Slen. Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but 'tis no matter. I'll ne'er be drunk whilst I live again, but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick: if I be drunk, I'll be drunk with those that have the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves.

Eva. So Got 'udge me, that is a virtuous mind. Fal. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.

Enter ANNE PAGE with Wine; and Mistress FORD and Mistress PAGE. Page. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in ; we'll drink within. [Exit ANNE PAGE. Slen. Oh heaven! this is mistress Anne Page. [Following and looking after her. Page. How now, mistress Ford! Fal. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very met: by your leave, good mistress.

well [Kissing her.

Page. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome.-Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner: come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.

[Exeunt all but SHALLOW, SLENDER, and EVANS. Slen. I had rather than forty shillings, I had my book of songs and sonnets here.Enter SIMPle.

How now, Simple! Where have you been? I must wait on myself, must I? You have not the book of riddles about you, have you?

Sim. Book of riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas?

A

Shal. Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. word with you, coz; marry, this, coz there is, as 'twere, a tender, a kind of tender, made afar off by sir Hugh here: do you understand me?

Slen. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable: if it be so, I shall do that that is reason.

Shal. Nay, but understand me.
Slen. So I do, sir.

Eva. Give ear to his motions, master Slender. I will description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it. Slen. Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says. I pray you, pardon me; he's a justice of peace in his country, simple though I stand here.

Eva. But that is not the question: the question is concerning your marriage.

Shal. Ay, there's the point, sir.

Eva. Marry, is it, the very point of it; to mistress Anne Page.

Slen. Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any reasonable demands.

Eva. But can you affection the 'oman? Let us demand to know that of your mouth, or of your lips; for divers philosophers hold, that the lips is parcel of the mouth: therefore, precisely, can you carry your good will to the maid?

Shal. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her? Slen. I hope, sir, I will do, as it shall become one that would do reason.

Eva. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies, you must speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires towards

her.

Shal. That you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?

Slen. I will do a greater thing than that, upon your request, cousin, in any reason.

Shal. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz: what I do, is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the

maid?

Slen. I will marry her, sir, at your request; but if there be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may decrease it upon better acquaintance, when we are married, and have more occasion to know one another. I hope, upon familiarity will grow more contempt: but if you say, "marry her," I will marry her; that I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely.

Eva. It is a fery discretion answer; save, the fault is in the 'ort dissolutely the 'ort is, according to our meaning, resolutely. His meaning is good.

:

Shal. Ay, I think my cousin meant well.

Slen. Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la.
Re-enter ANNE PAGE.

Shal. Here comes fair mistress Anne.-Would I were young, for your sake, mistress Anne!

Anne. The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worship's company.

Shal. I will wait on him, fair mistress Anne. Eva. Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace. [Exeunt SHALLOW and EVANS. Anne. Will't please your worship to come in, sir? Slen. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well.

Anne. The dinner attends you, sir.

Slen. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth.-Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go, wait upon my cousin Shallow. [Exit SIMPLE.] A justice of peace sometime may be beholding to his friend for a man.—I keep but three men and a boy yet, till my mother be dead; but what though? yet I live like a poor gentleman born. Anne. I may not go in without your worship: they will not sit, till you come.

Slen. I'faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much as though I did.

Anne. I pray you, sir, walk in.

Slen. I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruised my shin the other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence, (three veneys for a dish of stewed prunes) aud, by my troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town? [Dogs bark. Anne. I think, there are, sir; I heard them talked of. Slen. I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel at it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see the bear loose, are you not?

Anne. Ay, indeed, sir.

Slen. That's meat and drink to me, now: I have seen Sackerson loose, twenty times, and have taken him

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Eva. Nay, it is petter yet.-Give her this letter; for it is a 'oman that altogether's acquaintance with mistress Anne Page: and the letter is, to desire and require her to solicit your master's desires to mistress Anne Page: I pray you, be gone. I will make an end of my dinner: there's pippins and cheese to come. [Exeunt. SCENE III.-A Room in the Garter Inn. Enter FALSTAFF, Host, BARDOLPH, NYM, PISTOL, and ROBIN.

Fal. Mine host of the Garter!

Host. What says my bully-rook? Speak scholarly, and wisely.

Fal. Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers.

Host. Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.

Fal. I sit at ten pounds a-week.

Host. Thou'rt an emperor, Cæsar, Keisar, and Pheazar. I will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector?

Fal. Do so, good mine host.

Host. I have spoke; let him follow.-Let me see thee froth, and lime: I am at a word; follow. [Exit Host. Fal. Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade: an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered servingman, a fresh tapster. Go; adieu.

Bard. It is a life that I have desired. I will thrive. [Exit BARDOLph. Pist. O base Gongarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield? Nym. He was gotten in drink: is not the humour conceited? His mind is not heroic, and there's the humour of it.

Fal. I am glad I am so acquit of this tinder-box : his thefts were too open; his filching was like an unskilful singer, he kept not time.

Nym. The good humour is to steal at a minim's rest. Pist. Convey the wise it call. Steal? foh! a fico for the phrase!

Fal. Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
Pist. Why then, let kibes ensue.

Fal. There is no remedy; I must coney-catch, I must shift.

Pist. Young ravens must have food.

Fal. Which of you know Ford of this town?
Pist. I ken the wight: he is of substance good.
Fal. My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
Pist. Two yards, and more.

Fal. No quips now, Pistol. Indeed I am in the waist two yards about; but I am now about no waste; I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford's wife: I spy entertainment in her; she discourses, she craves, she gives the leer of invitation: I can construe the action of her familiar style; and the hardest voice of her behaviour, to be Englished rightly, is, "I am sir John Falstaff"s."

Pist. He hath studied her will, and translated her well; out of honesty into English.

Nym. The anchor is deep: will that humour pass? Fal. Now, the report goes, she has all the rule of her husband's purse; he hath a legion of angels. Pist. As many devils entertain, and "To her, boy," say I.

Nym. The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.

Fal. I have writ me here a letter to her; and here another to Page's wife, who even now gave me good eyes too, examin'd my parts with most judicious ciliads : sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.

Pist. Then did the sun on dunghill shine.
Nym. I thank thee for that humour.

Fal. O! she did so course o'er my exteriors with such a greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye did seem to scorch me up like a burning glass. Here's another letter to her: she bears the purse too; she is a region in Guiana, all gold and beauty. I will be cheater to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me: they shall be my East and West Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go, bear thou this letter to mistress Page; and thou this to mistress Ford. We will thrive, lads, we will thrive.

Pist. Shall I sir Pandarus of Troy become, And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all! Nym. I will run no base humour: here, take the humour-letter. I will keep the 'haviour of reputation.

Fal. Hold, sirrah, [to ROBIN,] bear you these letters tightly:

Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.-
Rogues, hence! avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go;
Trudge, plod away o' the hoof; seek shelter, pack!
Falstaff will learn the humour of the age,
French thrift, you rogues: myself, and skirted page.
[Exeunt FALSTAFF and ROBIN.
Pist. Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd, and
fullam holds,

And high and low beguile the rich and poor.
Tester I'll have in pouch, when thou shalt lack,
Base Phrygian Turk.

Nym. My humour shall not cool: I will incense Page to deal with poison; I will possess him with yellowness, for the revolt of mine is dangerous: that is my true humour.

Pist. Thou art the Mars of malcontents: I second thee; troop on. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV.-A Room in Dr. CAIUS's House. Enter Mrs. QUICKLY, SIMPLE, and JOHN RUGBY. Quick. What, John Rugby!-I pray thee, go to the casement, and see if you can see my master, master doctor Caius, coming: if he do, i' faith, and find any body in the house, here will be an old abusing of God's patience, and the king's English. Rug. I'll go watch.

[Exit RUGBY. Quick. Go; and we'll have a posset for't soon at night, in faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire.-An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant shall come in house withal; and, I warrant you, no tell-tale, nor no breed-bate his worst fault is, that he is given to prayer; he is something peevish that way, but nobody but has his fault; but let that pass. Peter Simple, you say your name is?

Sim. Ay, for fault of a better.
Quick. And master Slender's your master?
Sim. Ay, forsooth.

Quick. Does he not wear a great round beard, like a glover's paring-knife?

Sim. No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with a little yellow beard; a Cain-coloured beard. Quick. A softly-sprighted man, is he not?

Sim. Ay, forsooth; but he is as tall a man of his hands, as any is between this and his head: he hath fought with a warrener.

Quick. How say you?-O! I should remember him: does he not hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?

Sim. Yes, indeed, does he.

Quick. Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! Tell master parson Evans, I will do what I can for your master: Anne is a good girl, and I wishRe-enter RUGBY, running.

Rug. Out, alas! here comes my master. Quick. We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man; go into this closet. [Shuts SIMPLE in the closet.] He will not stay long.—What, John Rugby! John, what, John, I say!-Go, John, go inquire for my master; [Exit RUGBY.] I doubt, he be not well, that he comes not home:" and down, down, adown-a," &c. [Sings.

Enter Doctor CAIUS.

Caius. Vat is you sing? I do not like dese toys. Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un boitier verd; a box, a green-a box; do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.

Quick. Ay, forsooth; I'll fetch it you. [Aside.] I am glad he went not in himself: if he had found the young man, he would have been horn-mad.

Caius. Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je

Nym. I have operations, which be humours of re- m'en vais à la cour,-la grande affaire.

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Qu'ai j'oublié ? dere is some simples in my closet, dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind. [Going to it. Quick. [Aside.] Ah me! he'll find the young man there, and be mad.

Caius. O diable, diable! vat is in my closet?-Villainy! larron! [Dragging SIMPLE out.] Rugby, my rapier!

Quick. Good master, be content.

Caius. Verefore shall I be content-a? Quick. The young man is an honest man. Caius. Vat shall the honest man do in my closet? dere is no honest man dat shall come in my closet. Quick. I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic. Hear the truth of it: he came of an errand to me from parson Hugh.

Caius. Vell.

Sim. Ay, forsooth, to desire her to-
Quick. Peace, I pray you.

Caius. Peace-a your tongue!-Speak-a your tale. Sim. To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to speak a good word to mistress Anne Page for my master, in the way of marriage.

Quick. This is all, indeed, la; but I'll ne'er put my finger in the fire, and need not.

Caius. Sir Hugh send-a you?-Rugby, baillez me some paper: tarry you a littel-a while. [Writes. Quick. I am glad he is so quiet: if he had been thoroughly moved, you should have heard him so loud, and so melancholy. But notwithstanding, man, I'll do you your master what good I can: and the very yea and the no is, the French doctor, my master,—I may call him my master, look you, for I keep his house; and I wash, wring, brew, bake, scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds, and do all myself.—

Sim. 'Tis a great charge, to come under one body's hand.

Quick. Are you avis'd o' that? you shall find it a great charge and to be up early and down late;—but notwithstanding, to tell you in your ear, (I would have no words of it) my master himself is in love with mistress Anne Page: but notwithstanding that, I know Anne's mind; that's neither here nor there.

Caius. You jack'nape, give-a dis letter to sir Hugh. By gar, it is a shallenge: I vill cut his troat in de park; and I vill teach a scurvy jack-a-nape priest to meddle or make. You may be gone; it is not good you tarry here:-by gar, I vill cut all his two stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to trow at his dog. [Exit SIMPLE. Quick. Alas! he speaks but for his friend. Caius. It is no matter-a for dat :-do not you tell-a

me, dat I shall have Anne Page for myself?-By gar, I vill kill de Jack priest; and I have appointed mine Host of de Jarretière to measure our weapon.-By gar, I vill myself have Anne Page.

Quick. Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. We must give folks leave to prate: what, the good year! Caius. Rugby, come to the court vit me.— -By gar, if I have not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my door.-Follow my heels, Rugby.

[Exeunt CAIUS and RUGBY. Quick. You shall have An fool's-head of your own. No, I know Anne's mind for that: never a woman in Windsor knows more of Anne's mind than I do, nor can do more than I do with her, I thank heaven. Fent. [Within.] Who's within there, ho?

Quick. Who's there, I trow? Come near the house, I pray you.

Enter FENTON.

Fent. How now, good woman! how dost thou? Quick. The better, that it pleases your good worship to ask.

Fent. What news? how does pretty mistress Anne? Quick. In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you that by the way; I praise heaven for it.

Fent. Shall I do any good, think'st thou? Shall I not lose my suit?

Quick. Troth, sir, all is in his hands above; but notwithstanding, master Fenton, I'll be sworn on a book, she loves you.-Have not your worship a wart above your eye?

Fent. Yes, marry, have I; what of that?

Quick. Well, thereby hangs a tale.—Good faith, it is such another Nan;-but, I detest, an honest maid as ever broke bread :-we had an hour's talk of that wart. -I shall never laugh but in that maid's company;but, indeed, she is given too much to allicholly and musing. But for you-well, go to.

Fent. Well, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there's money for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if thou seest her before me, commend me

Quick. Will I! i'faith, that I will; and I will tell your worship more of the wart, the next time we have confidence, and of other wooers.

Fent. Well, farewell; I am in great haste now. [Exit. Quick. Farewell to your worship.-Truly, an honest gentleman; but Anne loves him not, for I know Anne's mind as well as another does.-Out upon't! what have I forgot? [Exit.

ACT II.

SCENE I.-Before PAGE's House. Enter Mistress PAGE, with a Letter. Mrs. Page. What! have I 'scaped love-letters in the holy-day time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them? Let me see. [Reads. "Ask me no reason why I love you; for though love use reason for his physician, he admits him not for his counsellor. You are not young, no more am I go to then, there's sympathy. You are merry, so am I; ha! ha! then, there's more sympathy: you love sack, and so do I; would you desire better sympathy? Let it suffice thee, mistress Page, (at the least, if the love of soldier can suffice) that I love thee. I will not say, pity me, 'tis not a soldier-like phrase; but I say, love me. By me,

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What a Herod of Jewry is this!-O wicked, wicked, world!-one that is well nigh worn to pieces with age, to show himself a young gallant! What an unweighed behaviour hath this Flemish drunkard picked (with the devil's name) out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me? Why, he hath not been thrice in my company.-What should I say to him?—I was then frugal of my mirth :-heaven forgive me!-Why, I'll exhibit a bill in the parliament for the putting down of fat men. How shall I be revenged on him?

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