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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, 5

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; 10 and the three party is, lastly and finally, mine host of the Garter.

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

Era. Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in 15 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 20 this, He hears with ear? Why, it is affectations. Ful. Pistol, did you pick master Slender's purse? Slen. Ay, by these gloves, did he, (or I would I might never come in mine own great chamber again else) of seven groats in mill-sixpences 2,25 and two Edward shovel-boards; that cost me two shilling and two-pence a-piece of Yead 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 and master mine,

John,

I combat challenge of this latten bilboe^:
Word of denial in thy labras here".
Word of denial: froth and scum, thou ly'st.
Slen. By these gloves, then, 'twas he.
Nym. Be advis'd, Sir, and pass good humours:
I will say, marry trap", with you, if you run the
nut-hook's humour on me; that is the
very note
of it.

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!

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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.

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

Enter mistress Anne Page with wine; mistress
Ford and mistress Page following.
Page. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll
drink within."
[Exit Anne Page.
Slen. O heaven! this is mistress Anne Page.
Page. How now, mistress Ford ?

Fal. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good mistress.

[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 Slen. I had rather than forty shillings, I had my unkindness. [Ere. all but Shal. Slend. and Evans. 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?

Shal. Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you, A 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 35 it be so, I shall do that that is reason. Shal. Nay, but understand me, Slen. So I do, sir.

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Eva. Give ear to his motions, master Slender: I will description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.

Slen. Nay, Iwill 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 45 is concerning your marriage.

Bard. And being fap, sir, was, as they say, ca- 50 shier'd; and so conclusions pass'd the careires o.

Slen. Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but 'tis no matter: I'll never be drunk whilst I live again,

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 demand.

Eva. But can you affection the 'oman let us command to know that of your mouth, or of your lips; for divers philosophers hold, that the lips is

The name of a spirit or familiar, in the old story-book of Sir John Faustus, or Joan Faust, and in those times a cant phrase of abuse. 2 Mill'd sixpences were used by way of counters to cast up money. 3 These were the broad shillings of Edward VI., and at that time used at the play of shovel-board. ⚫ Mr. Theobald is of opinion, that by latten bilboe Pistol, seeing Slender such a slim, puny wight, would intimate, that he is as thin as a plate of that compound metal which is called latten; whilst Mr. Steevens thinks, that latten bilboe means no more than a blade as thin as a lath. "That is, hear the word of denial in my lips. Thou ly'st. We often talk of giving the lie in a man's teeth, or in his throat. Pistol chooses to throw the word of denial in the lips of his adversary. When a man was caught in his own stratagem, the exclamation of insult probably was marry trap! 7 Nuthook was a term of reproach in cant strain; and, if you run the nuthook's humour on me, is in plain English, if you say I am a thief.

A military phrase.

parcel

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your dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town? Anne. I think there are, sir; I heard them talk'd 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 een Sackerson loose, twenty times; and have

2

Shal. That you must: Will you, upon good 10 taken him by the chain: but I warrant you, the dowry, marry her?

Sten. 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 15 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 marry'd, and have more occasion to 20 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.

Era. It is a fery discretion answer; save, the 25 faul' 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 hang'd, 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. [Ex. Shal, and Evans.

Anne. Will 't please your worship to come in, sir? Sten. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well.

Anne. The dinner attends you, sir.

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women have so cry'd and shriek'd at it, that it pass'd:-but women, indeed, cannot abide’em; they are very ill-favour'd rough things.

Re-enter Page.

Page. Come, gentle master Slender, come; we stay for you.

Slen. I'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir. Page. By cock and pye 4, you shall not choose, sir: come, come.

Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way.

Page. Come on, sir.

Slen. Mistress Anne; yourself shall go first.
Anne. Not I, sir; pray you, keep on.

Slen. Truly, I will not go first; truly-la; I will not do you that wrong,

Anne. I pray you, sir.

Slen. I'll ratirer be unmannerly, than troublesome: you do yourself wrong, indeed-la. [Exeunt. SCENE II.

Enter Evans and Simple.

Era. Go your ways, and ask of Dr. Caius' house, which is the way; and there dwells one mistress Quickly, which is in the manner of his nurse, or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, 35his washer, and his wringer.

40

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 beholden to his friend 45 for a man:--I keep but three men and a boy yet, till my mother be dead: but what though? yet 1 live like a poor gentleman born. Anne. I may not go in without your worship: they will not sit till you come. Slen. P'faith, I'll eat nothing: I thank you as much as though I did.

Anne. I pray you, sir, walk in.

Simp. Well, sir.

Eva. Nay, it is petter yet:-give her this let-
ter; for it is a'oman that altogether's acquaintance
with mistress Anne Page; and the letter is, to de-
sire 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 severally.
SCENE III.
The Garter inn.

Enter Falstaff, Host, Bardolph, Nym, Pistol, and
Robin.

Fal. Mine host of the Garter,

Host. What says my bully-rook? speak schol50larly, and wisely.

Slen. I had rather walk here, I thank you: I bruis'd my shin the other day with playing at sword|55| and dagger with a master of fence, three veneys for a dish of stew'd pruens; and, by my troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do

Ful. 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 Pheezar. I will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector?

That is, three different set-to's, bouts, a technical term from the French, venue.

3

4

2 The name of

a bear. Meaning, that it passed all expression. *A popular adjuration of those times. Cock is no more than a corruption of the Sacred Name, as appears from cock's wounds, cock's bones, and cock's mother, and some other exclamations which occur in the old Moralities and Interludes. The pue is a table in the old Roman offices, shewing how to find out the service which is to be read on each day.

Fal.

Fal. Do so, good mine host. Host. I have spoke; let him follow: Let me see the froth, and lime1; I am at a word; follow. [Erit Host

Fal. Bardolph, follow him; a tapster is a good 5 trade: An old cloak makes a new jerkin; a wither'd serving-man, a fresh tapster: Go; adieu. Bard. It is a life that I have desir'd: I wil thrive. [Exit Bard. 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.

Jeyes too; examin'd my parts with most judicious
eyliads; sometimes the beam of her view gilded
my foot, sometimes my portly belly.

Pist. Then did the sun on dung-hill 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 mé up like a burning-glass! Here's another letter to her: she bears the purse 1000; she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. 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.

Fal. I am glad, I am so acquit of this tinder-15 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 minute's

rest 3.

Pist. Convey, the wise it call; Steal! foh; a 20 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 cony-catch,
I must shift.

Pist. Young ravens must have food 4.

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.

25

130

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 35 her; she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation: I can construe the action of her familiar stile; and the hardest voice of her behaviour, to be English'd rightly, is, I am sir John Falstaff's.

Pist. He hath study'd her will, and translated| her will; out of honesty into English.

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

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
humourletter; I will keep thehaviour of reputation.
Fal. Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly";
Sail like my pinnace" to these golden shores.
[To Robin.
Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go;
Trudge, plod, away, o' the hoof; seek shelter, pack!
Falstaff will learn the humour of this age.
French thrift, you rogues; myselfand skirted page.
[Exeunt Fulstag and Boy.
Pist. Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd,
and fullam 13 holds;

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

Nym. I have operations in my head, which be humours of revenge.

Pist. Wilt thou revenge?
Nym. By welkin, and her star!
Pist. With wit, or steel?

Nym. With both the humours, I:

40I will discuss the humour of this love to Ford. Pist. And I to Page shall eke unfold,

45

How Falstaff, varlet vile,

His dove will prove, his gold will hold,

And his soft couch defile.

Nym. My humour shall not cool: I will incense Ford to deal with poison; I will po-sess him with yellowness, for the revolt of mien" is dangerous: that is my true humour:

Pist. Thou art the Mars of malecontents: Ise

Nym. The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels. Fal. I have writ me here a letter to her: and here 50 cond thee; troop on. another to Page's wife who even now gave me good

[Exeunt.

7 The

This alludes to the tricks of frothing beer and liming sack, practised in the time of Shakspeare. The first was done by putting soap into the bottom of the tankard when they drew the beer; the other, by mixing lime with the sack (i. e. sherry) to make it sparkle in the glass. 2 This is a parody on a line taken from one of the old bombast plays. Nym means to say, that the perfection of stealing is to do it in the shortest time possible. 4 A proverb. In those times the young of both sexes were instructed in carving, as a necessary accomplishment. That is, explained. old quarto reads: As many devils attend her! eagerness of desire. 10 By this is meant eschetour, an officer in the Exchequer, in no good repute with the common people. Perhaps we should read rightly. 12 A pinnace anciently seems to have signified a small vessel or sloop, attending on a larger. At present it signifies only a man of war's boat. 13 Fullam is a cant term for false dice, high and low. Gourd was another instrument of gaming. 14 That is, jealousy. 15 Revolt of mien means change of countenance, one of the ef

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fects he has just been ascribing to jealousy.

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8

Probably from oeillades, French.

That is,

SCENE

SCENE IV.

Dr. Caius's house.

Enter Mrs. Quickly, Simple, and John Rugby, Quic. What; John Rugby!-I pray thee, go 5 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.

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10my heel to de court.

Quic. 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, 15 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?

3

Sim. Av, for fault of a better.

Quic. And master Slender's your master?
Sim. Av, forsooth.

Quic. 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-colour'd beard.

Quic. A softly sprighted man, is he not?

201

Sim. Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his 30 hands, as any is between this and his head; he hath fought with a warrener.

Quic. How say you?-oh, I should remember him; Does he not hold up his head, as it were? and strut in his gait?

Sim. Yes, indeed, does he.

Quic. Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! Teil master parson Evans, I will do what I can for your master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish

Re-enter Rugby.

35

40

Rug. Out, alas! here comes my master. Quic. 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 45 Rugby! John, what John, I say!-Go, John, go enquire for my master; I doubt, he be not well, that he comes not home:-and_down, down a-down-da &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 cerd; a box, a green-a box; do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.

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

4

[Aside.

50

55

Rug. Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.

Caius. By my trot, I tarry too long:-Od's me! Qu'ay j'oublie dere is some simples in my closet, dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.

Quic. Ah me! he'll find the young man there, jand be mad.

Caius. O diable, diable! vat is in my closet?Villaine, larron! Rugby, my rapier.

[Pulls Simple out of the closet.

Quic. Good master, be content. Caius. Verefore shall I be content-a? Quic. The young man is an honest man. Caius. Vat shall de honest man do in my closet? dere is no honest man dat shall come in my closet. Quic. I beseech you be not so flegmatic; hear the truth of it. He came of errand to me from parson Hugh.

Caius. Vell.

Sim. Ay, forsooth, to desire her to-
Quic. 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.

Quic. This is all, indeed-la; but I'll never put my finger in the fire, and need not.

Caius. Sir Hugh send-a you?-Rugby, baillez me some paper: Tarry you a little while.

Quic. 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 for 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.

Quic. 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 fear; 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. Youj ck'nape; give-a dis letter to Sir Hugh; by gar, it is a shallenge: I vill cut his

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That is, when my master is in bed. 2 Bate is an obsolete word, signifying strife, contention. 3 Foolish. Wee, in the northern dialect, signifies very little. tapestries and pictures of old, were represented with yellow beards. the jockey measure, so many hands high, used by grooms when speaking scolded. To deceive her master, she sings as if at her work.

ifies a case of surgeon's instruments.

of horses.

? Boilier, in French, sig

throat

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throat 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. 5
Quic. Alas, he speaks but for his friend.
Caius. It is no matter-a for dat:-do you not
tell-a me dat I shall have Anne Page for myself?-
by gar, I vill kill de jack priest; and I have ap-
pointed mine host of de Jarterre to measure ou 10
weapon;-by gar, I vill myself have Anne Page.
Quic. Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be
well: we must give folks leave to prate: What,
the goujere'.

Cuius. Rugby, come to the court vit me:-
By gar, if I have not Anne Page, I shall turn your
head out of door:-Follow my heels, Rugby.
[Ex. Caius and Rugby.

| Quic. 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, thinkest thou? shall I not lose my suit?

Quic. 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 about your eye?

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

Quic. Well, thereby hangs a tale:-good faith, it is such another Nan;- -but I detest, an honest maid as ever broke bread:-Webadan hour's talk of that wart; I shall never laugh but in that 15 maid's company!- -But indeed she is given too much to allicholly and musing: But for youWell-go to.

Quic. You shall have An fool's-head of your own. No, I know Anne's mind for that: never a woman 20 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? Quic. Who's there, I trow? come near the 23| house, I pray you.

Enter Mr. Fenton.

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

Fent. What news? how does pretty mistress Anne?!

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

Quic. Will I ay, faith, that we 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.

Quic. Farewell to your worship.-Truly, an honest gentleman; but Anne loves him not; I know Anne's mind as well as another does: Out 30upon't! what have I forgot?

[Exit.

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ACT II.

Enter Mistress Page with a letter. Mistress Page. WHAT, have I'scap'd loveletters in the holy-day-time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them? Let me see:

What a Herod of Jewry is this?--O wicked, 40 wicked world!-one that is well nigh worn to pieces with age, to shew himself a young gallant ! What an unweigh'd behaviour has this Flemish drunkard pick'd (with the devil's name) out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay 45 ne? 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 men. How shall I be reveng'd on him? for reveng'd I will be, as sure as his guis are made of puddings.

Ask me no reason why I love you; for though love use reason for his precision, he admits him not for his counsellor: You are not young, no more am I gotothen, there's sympathy: you are merry, so am I: Ha ha! then there's more sympathy: you 50 love suc, and so do I: Would you desire better sympathy? let it suffice thee, mistress Page, (at the teast, if the love of a 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,

Thine own true knight,
Bu day or night',

Or any kind of light,

With all his might,

For thee to fight,

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John Falstaff. 60

Enter Mistress Ford. Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page! trust me, I was going to your house.

Mrs. Page. And, trust me, I was coming to you. You look very ill.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, I'll ne'er believe that; I have to shew to the contrary.

Mrs. Page. 'Faith, but you do, in my mind.
Mrs. Ford. Well, I do then; yet, I say, I could

That is, morbus Gallicus. 2 The meaning is, though love permit reason to tell what is fit to be done, he seldom follows its advice.-By precision, is meant one who pretends to a more than ordinary degree of virtue and sanctity.

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