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(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 pie, 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 rather be unmannerly than troublesome. You do yourself wrong, indeed, la !

[Exeunt. SCENE II. (The same.) Enter Sir Hugh Evans and SIMPLE. Evans. Go your ways, and ask of Doctor 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, his washer, and his wringer.

Sim. Well, sir.

Evans. 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. [10 I

pray you, pegone. 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 page [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 Pheezar. I will entertain Bardolph; he (10 shall draw, he shall tap. Said I well, bully Hector ?

Fal. Do so, good mine host.

Host. I have spoke; let him follow. (To Bard.] Let me see thee froth and lime. I am at a word ; follow.

(Exit.) 15 Fal. Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade. An old cloak makes a new jerkin; å wither'd serving-man a fresh tapster, Go; adieu.

Bard. It is a life that I have desir'd. I will thrive.

(Exit Bardolph.] Pist. O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?

Nym. He was gotten in drink. Is not the humour conceited ?

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 minute'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; Imust cony-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 [us 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 carves, she gives the leer of invitation. I can onstrue the action of her familiar style; and the hardest (sa voice of her behaviour, to be English'd rightly, is, “ I am Sir John Falstaff's."

Pist. He hath studied her well, and trans lated her will out of honesty into English.

Nym. The anchor is deep. Will that humour 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 æillades ; sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.

Pist. Then did the sun on dunghill shine. 70 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 (55 Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will be cheaters 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 thon this letter to Mistress Page ; and thou this (se 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. (To Robin.] Hold, sirrah, bear you

these letters tightly; Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.

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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 beguiles the rich and poor. 95 Tester I'll have in pouch when thou shalt

lack, Base Phrygian Turk!

Nym. I have operations 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.
I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.
Pist. And I to Ford shall eke unfold

How Falstaff, varlet vile,
His dove will prove, his gold will hold,

And his soft couch detile. Nym. My humour shall not_cool. I will incense Page to deal with poison ;I will possess (110 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 Doctor Caius's house.] Enter MISTRESS 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.

Quick. Go; and we'll have a posset for 't soon at night, in faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire. (Exit Rugby.) An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant shall come in 10 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

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-colour'd beard.

Quick. A softly-sprighted man, is he not ? 25 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 ? 0, 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 wish

(Re-enter RUGBY.] Rug. Out, alas ! here comes my master,

Quick. We shall all be shent. "Run in here, good young man; go into this closet. He will not stay long. (Shuts Simple in the closet.) What, John Rugby! John! what, John, I to say! Go, John, go inquire for my master ; I doubt he be not well, that he comes not home. (Singing.) And down, down, adown-a, etc.

(Enter DOCTOR CAIUs.) Caius. Vat is you sing? I do not like dese (45 toys. Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet une boite en verde, a box, a green-a box. Do intend vat I speak ? A green-a box.

Quick. Ay, forsooth; I'll fetch it yon. (Aside.] I am glad he went not in himself; if he had found the young man, he would have (60 been horn-mad.

Caius. Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je m'en vais à la cour, - la grande affaire. Quick. Is it this, sir ?

Caius. Oui ; mette le au mon pocket; dépêche, quickly. Vere is dat knave Rugby?

Quick. What, John Rugby! John!
Rug. Here, sir !

Caius. You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby. Come, take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to the court.

Rug. 'T is ready, sir, here in the porch.

Caius. By my trot,'I tarry too long. Od's me! Qu'ai-j'oublié ? Dere is some simples in my closet, dat I vill not for the varld I shall [66 leave behind.

Quick. Ay me, he 'll find the young man there, and be mad !

Caius. O diable, diable! vat is in my closet ? Villainy! Laron! (Pulling Simple out.] "Rugby, my rapier! Quick. Good master, be content. Caius. Wherefore shall I be content-a? Quick. The young man is an honest man.

Caius. What shall de 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.

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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 1; 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 [16 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 allicholy and musing; but for you - well, go to.

Fent. Well, I shall see her today. 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 we will; and I will tell your worship more of the wart the next time we have confidence; and of other

Fent. Well, farewell; I am in great haste Quick. Farewell to your worship. (Erit Fenton.) 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?

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ACT II

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

(Writes.) Quick. [4side to Simple.) I am glad he is so quiet. If he had been thoroughly moved, you (05 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, (100 bake, scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds, and do all myself,

Sim. (Aside to Quickly.l. 'T is a great charge to come under one body's hand.

Quick. (Aside to Simple.) 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 [110 that, I know Anne's mind, – that's neither here nor there.

Caius. You jack'nape, give-a this letter to Sir Hugh. By gar, it is a shallenge. I will cut his troat in de park; and I will teach a scurvy jack-a-nape priest to meddle or (116 make. You may be gone; it is not good you tarry here. By gar, I will cut all his two stones ; by gar, he shall not have a stone to throw at his dog.

[Exit Simple.) Quick. Alas, he speaks but for his friend. 120

Caius. It is no matter-a ver dat. Do not you tell-a me dat I shall have Anne Page for myself?

I vill kill de Jack priest ; and I have appointed mine host of de Jarteer to measure our weapon. By gar, I will 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 with me. [130 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-nead of your own. No, I know Anne's mind for that. Never a woman in Windsor knows more of (185 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?

By gar;

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SCENE I. [Before Page's house.] Enter MISTRESS PAGE (with a letter). Mrs. Page. What, have I scap'd love-letters in the holiday-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 precisian, he admits (5 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 (10 suffice thee, Mistress Page, - at the least, if the love of a soldier can suffice, – that I love thee. I will not say, pity me; 't is not a soldier-like phrase; but I say, love me. By me,

Thine own true knight,
By day or night,
Or any kind of light,
With all his might
For thee to fight,

JOHN FALSTAFF." What a Herod of Jewry is this ! O wicked, (20 wicked world! One that is well-nigh worn to pieces with age to show himself a young gallant! What an unweigh'd behaviour hath this Flemish drunkard pick'd — with the devil's name! - out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me? Why, he hath not (25 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 guts are made of puddings.

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(Enter Mistress FORD.]

Mrs. Page. So will I. If he come under my

hatches, I'll never to sea again. Let's be reMrs. Ford. Mistress Page ! trust me, I was veng’d on him. Let's appoint him a meeting, going to your house.

give him a show of comfort in his suit, and Mrs. Page. And, trust me, I was coming to lead him on with a fine-baited delay, till he you. You look very ill.

hath pawn'd his horses to mine host of the Mrs. Ford. Nay, I'll ne'er believe that; I Garter. have to show to the contrary.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, I will consent to act any Mrs. Page. Faith,

but you do, in my mind. 39 villainy against him, that may not sully the Mrs. Ford. Well, I do then; yet I say I could chariness of our honesty. O, that my husband show you to the contrary. O Mistress Page, saw this letter! It would give eternal food to give me some counsel !

his jealousy. Mrs. Page. What's the matter, woman? Mrs. Page. Why, look where he comes; and

Mrs. Ford. O woman, if it were not for one my good man too. He's as far from jealousy trifling respect, I could come to such honour! 45 as I am from giving him cause; and that I

Mrs. Page. Hang the trifle, woman! take hope is an unmeasurable distance. the honour. What is it? Dispense with trifles. Mrs. Ford. You are the happier woman. What is it?

Mrs. Page. Let's consult together against Mrs. Ford. If I would but go to hell for an this greasy knight. Come hither. eternal moment or so, I could be knighted.

[They retire.] Mrs. Page. What? Thou liest! Sir Alice Ford! These knights will hack; and so thou

[Enter FORD with Pistol, and Page with Nym.] shouldst not alter the article

of thy

gentry. Ford. Well, I hope it be not so. Mrs. Ford. We burn daylight. Here, read, Pist. Hope is a curtal dog in some affairs. read; perceive how I might be knighted. Sir John affects thy wife. shall think the worse of fat men, as long as (65 Ford. Why, sir, my wife is not young: I have an eye to make difference of men's lik- Pist. He woos both high and low, both rich ing; and yet he would not swear; praised women's modesty; and gave such orderly and Both young and old, one with another, Ford. well-behaved reproof to all uncomeliness, that He loves the gallimaufry. Ford, perpend. I would have sworn his disposition would [60 Ford. Love my wife! have gone to the truth of his words; but they Pist. With liver burning hot. Prevent, or do do more adhere and keep place together than

go thou, the Hundredth Psalm to the tune of Green Like Sir Actæon he, with Ringwood at thy Sleeves.". What tempest, I trow, threw this heels. whale, with so many tuns of oil in his belly, (050, odious is the name! ashore at Windsor ? How shall I be revenged Ford. What name, sir ? on him? I think the best way were to entertain Pist. The horn, I say. Farewell. him with hope, till the wicked fire of lust have Take heed, have open eye, for thieves do foot melted him in his own grease. Did you ever by night. hear the like?

Take heed,

ere summer comes or cuckoo-birds Mrs. Page. Letter for letter, but that the name of Page and Ford differs ! To thy great Away, Sir Corporal Nym! comfort in this mystery of ill opinions, here's Believe it, Page; he speaks sense. (Exit.) the twin-brother of thy letter; but let thine in- Ford. (Aside.) I will be patient; I will find herit first; for, I protest, mine never shall. [75 out this. I warrant he hath a thousand of these letters Nym. [To Page.) And this is true; I like writ with blank space for different names, not the humour of lying. He hath wronged me

sure, more,- and these are of the second in some hamours. I should have borne the edition. He will print them, out of doubt; for humour'd letter to her ; but I have a sword he cares not what he puts into the press, when and it shall bite upon my necessity. He (1.35 he would put us two. I had rather be a [80 loves your wife; there's the short and the giantess, and lie under Mount Pelion. Well, I long. My name is Corporal Nym; I speak and will find you twenty lascivious turtles ere one I avouch; 't is true; my name is Nym and chaste man.

Falstaff loves your wife. Adieu. I love not Mrs. Ford. Why, this is the very same; the the humour of bread and cheese (and there's very hand, the very words. What doth he the humour of it). Adieu. (Erit.] 141 think of us?

Page. “The humour of it," quoth 'a ! Mrs. Page. Nay, I know not. It makes me Here's a fellow frights English out of his almost ready to wrangle with mine own hon- wits. Esty. I'll entertain myself like one that I am Ford. I will seek out Falstaff. not acquainted withal; for, sure, unless he Page. I never heard such a drawling, af know some strain in me that I know not (90 fecting rogue. myself, he would never have boarded me in Ford. If I do find it! Well. this fury.

Page. I will not believe such a Cataian, Mrs. Ford. “Boarding," call you it? I'll though the priest o' the town commended him be sure to keep him above deck.

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Host. Tell him, cavaleiro-justice; tell him, bully-sook.

Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir Hugh the Welsh priest and Caius the French doctor. Ford. Good mine host o' the Garter, a word

[Drawing him aside.] Host. What say'st thou, my bully-rook ?

Shal. (To Page.] Will you go with us to behold it? merry host hath had the mea- (215 suring of their weapons, and, I think, hath appointed them contrary places; for, believe me, I hear the parson is no jester. Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.

[They draw aside.] Host. Hast thou no suit against my knight, my guest-cavaleiro?

[Ford.] None, I protest; but I'll give you a pottle of burnt sack to give me recourse to him and tell him my name is Brook; only for a jest.

Host. My hand, bully; thou shalt have egress and regress; – - said I well ? — and 225 thy name shall be Brook. It is a merry knight. Will you go, Mynheers ?

Shal. Have with you, mine host.

Page. I have heard the Frenchman hath good skill in his rapier.

Shal. Tut, sir, I could have told you more. In these times you stand on distance, your passes, stoccadoes, and I know not what.' T is the heart, Master Page; 't is here, 't is here. I have seen the time, with my long sword [355 I would have made you four tall fellows skip like rats.

Host. Here, boys, here, here! shall we wag?

Page. Have with you. I had rather hear them scold than fight.

(Exeunt Host, Shal. [and Page.] Ford. Though Page be a secure fool, and stands so firmly on his wife's frailty, yet I not put off my opinion so easily. She was in his company at Page's house; and what they made there, I know not. Well, I will look further into 't; and I have a disguise to (245 sound Falstaff. If I find her honest, I lose not my labour; if she be otherwise, 't is labour well bestowed.

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Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow. Well. Page. How now, Meg !

[Mrs. Page and Mrs. Ford come

forward.] Mrs. Page. Whither go you, George? Hark you.

Mrs. Ford. How now, sweet Frank! Why art thou melancholy?

Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy. Get you home,

go. Mrs. Ford. Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head now. Will you go, Mistress Page 3

Mrs. Page. Have with you. You'll come to dinner, George. [Aside to Mrs. Ford.) Look who comes yonder. She shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.

Mrs. Ford. (Aside to Mrs. Page.] Trust me, I thought on her. She'll fit it.

(Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY.] Mrs. Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne? Quick. Ay, forsooth ; and, I

pray,

how does good Mistress Anne ?

Mrs. Page. Go in with us and see. We have an hour's talk with you.

(Exeunt Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and

Mrs. Quickly. Page. How now, Master Ford !

Ford. You heard what this knave told me, did you not ?

Page. Yes; and you heard what the other told me?

Ford. Do you think there is truth in them ?

Page. Hang 'em, slaves! I do not think the knight would offer it; but these that accuse him in his intent towards our wives are a 180 yoke of his discarded men; very rogues, now they be out of service.

Ford. Were they his men ?
Page. Marry, were they.

Ford. I like it never the better for that. Does he lie at the Garter ?

Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyage towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lie on my head.

Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife; but I would be loath to turn them together. A man may be too confident. I would have nothing lie on my head. I cannot be thus satisfied.

Enter Host. Page. Look where my ranting host of the Garter comes. There is either liquor in his pate or money in his purse when he looks so merrily.

How now, mine host !

Host. How now, bully-rook! thou 'rt a gentleman. Cavaleiro-justice, I say!

(Enter SHALLOW.) Shal. I follow, mine host, I follow. Good even and twenty, good Master Page! Master Page, will you go with us? We have sport in hand.

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SCENE II. (A room in the Garter Inn.!

Enter FALSTAFF and PISTOL.
Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.
Pist. Why, then the world's mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open.

Fal. Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you should lay my countenance to pawn. I have grated upon my good friends for three [ reprieves for you and your coach-fellow Nym; or else you had look'd through the grate, like a geminy of baboons. I am damn'd in hell for swearing to gentlemen my friends, you were good soldiers and tall fellows; and when (10 Mistress Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took 't upon mine honour thou hadst it not. Pist. Didst not thou share ? Hadst thou not

fifteen pence ? Fal. Reason, you rogue, reason. Think'st

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