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SCENE.-Windsor, and the parts adjacent.
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 Glo'ster, 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 we do; and have done any time these three hundred years.
Slen. All his successors, gone before him, have 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.
* A title formerly appropriated to chaplains. VOL. I.
+ Custos rotulorum.
Eva. The dozen white louses do become an old coat well; it agrees well, passant: it is a familiar beast to man, and signifieslove.
Shal. The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.
Shal. You may by marrying.
Eva. It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.
Eva. Yes, py'r*-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 compromises between you.
Shal. The Council† shall hear it; it is a riot.
Eva. 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 Ann 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 verson 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's-bed, (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.
Shal. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound? Eva. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny. Shal. 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 [knocks] for master Page. What, hoa! Got pless your house here!
Page. Who's there?
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.
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 The Court of Star-chamber.
* By our.
your good heart!
I wished your venison better; it was ill
kill'd: How doth good mistress Page ?--and I love you always with my heart, la; 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 out-run on Cotsale.*
Page. It could not be judged, Sir.
Slen. You'll not confess, you'll not confess.
Shal. That he will not;-'tis your fault, 'tis your 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 answer❜d.
Fal. I will answer it straight;-I have done all this :-That is now answer'd.
Shal. The Council shall know this.
Fal. 'Twere better for you, if it were known in counsel: you'll be laugh'd 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.
* Cotswold, in Gloucestershire.
† Worts was the ancient name of all the cabbage kind.
Nothing but paring.
The name of an ugly spirit