« PreviousContinue »
Evans. Here is Got's plessing, and your friend, and Jus tice 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. 81
Shal. Master Page, I am glad to see you: much good do it your good heart! I wished your venison better; it was ill killed. How doth good Mistress Page?—and I thank 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 outrun on Čotsall.
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, sır.
Shal. Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair deg: 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.
Evans. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
Page. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.
Shal. If it be confessed, it is not redressed is not that so, Master Page? He hath wronged me; indeed he hath; at a word, he hath, believe me: Robert Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wronged. 110
Page. Here comes Sir John.
Enter SIR JOHN Falstaff, BARDOLPH, NYи, 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 kissed 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.
Evans. Pauca verba, Sir John; goot 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 cony-catching rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol.
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 nu
Slen. Where's Simple, my man? Can you tell, cousin? Evans. 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.
Evans. Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in my notebook; and we will afterwards ork upon the cause with as great discreetly as we can.
Pist. He hears with ears.
Evans. 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 might never come in mine own great chainber again else, of seven groats in mill-sixpences, 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?
Evans. No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
Pist. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner? Sir John &ag master mine,
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo.
Word of denial in thy labras here!
Word of denial: froth and scum, thou liest !
Slen. By these gloves, then, 'was he.
Nym. Be avised, sir, and pass good humours. I will say marry trap" with you, if you run the nuthook'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.
Evans. It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is ! Bard. And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; and so conclusions passed the careires.
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.
Evans. 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; MISTRESS FORD and MISTRESS PAGE, following.
Page. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink
Fal. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good mistress. [Kisses her. 200
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 except Shal., Slen., and Evans. Slen. I had rather than forty shillings I had my Book of Songs and Sonnets here.
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 All-hallowmas 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 it be so, I shall do that that is reason.
Shal. Nay, but understand me.
Slen. So I do, sir.
Evans. 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.
Evans. But that is not the question: the question is con cerning your marriage.
Shal. Ay, there's the point, sir.
Evans. Marry, is it; the very point of it; to Mistress Anne Page. 231
Slen. Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any reasonable demands.
Evans. 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 parcel of the mouth. Therefore, precisely, can you carry your good will to the maid?
Shal. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her? 240 Slen. I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that would do reason.
Evans. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies! you must speak pos itable, 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. 260
Evans. It is a fery discretion answer; save the fall 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.
Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne !
Anne. The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worships' company.
Shal. I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.
Evans. 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 sometimes 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 conie.
Slen. I' faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much as though I did. 291
Anne. I pray you, sir, walk in.
Slen. I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruised my shin th' other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence; three veneys for a dish of stewed prunes ; and, by my troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your dogs bark so? be there bears i' the
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 by the chain; but, I warrant you, the women have so cried and shrieked at it. that it passed: but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favoured rough things.
Page. Come, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay for
Slen. I'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.
Page. By cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! 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