Page images
PDF
EPUB

SCENE IK. 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 ere 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 I er this letter; for it is a 'oman that altogether's acquain once 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 [Exeunt. pippins and cheese to come.

SCENE III. A room in the Garin

Enter FALSTAFF, HOST, BARDOLPH, NY

ROBIN.

Fal. Mine host of the Garter!

Inn.

PISTOL and

Host. What says my bully-rook? speak sholarly 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 shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector?

Hal. 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. Fal. Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade; an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered serving-man a fresh tapster. Go; adieu.

20

Bard. It is a life that I have desired: I will thrive. Pist. O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield? [Exit Bardolph. 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.

30

Nym. The good humour is to steal at a minute's rest. Pist. " 'Convey," the wise it call. "Steal !" foh I 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 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.

40

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 carves, 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 will, 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. 60 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, examined my parts with most judicious œillades; 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.

70

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 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.

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.
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 :

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 defile.

100

Nym. My humour shall not cool: I will incense Page to deal with poison; I will possess + him with yellowness, for this revolt of mine is dangerous that is my true humour. Pist. Thou art the Mars of malecontents: I second thee; troop on. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. A room in DOCTOR CAIUS's house.

Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY, SIMPLE, and 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 house withal, and, I warrant you, no tell-tale nor no breedbate 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?

21

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 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 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, &c.

Enter DOCTOR CAIUS.

43

Caius. Vat is you sing? I do not like des toys. Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un boiter vert, 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 m'en vais a la cour-la grande affaire.

Quick. Is it this, sir?

52

Čaius. Oui; mette le au mon pocket; depeche, 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. 'Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.

62

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

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

Caius. O diable, diable! vat is in my closet? Villain! arron! [Pulling Simple out.] Rugby, my rapier! 72 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 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.

81

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.

91

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

[Writes. Quick. [Aside to Simple] I am glad he is so quiet if he lad 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. [Aside to Quickly] under one body's hand.

"Tis a great charge to come

Quick. [Aside to Simple] Are you avised o' that? you shall find it a great charge and to be up early and down late; but nothwithstanding, 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 jackʼnape, give-a this letter to Sir Hugh; by gar, it is a shallenge: I will cut his troat in de park; and will 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 will cut all his two stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to throw at his dog. [Exit Simple.

120

Quick. Alas, he speaks but for his friend. Caius. It is no matter-a ver dat do not you tell-a me dat I shall have Anne Page for myself? Dy gar, I vill kill Jack priest; and I have appointed mine host of de Jar SHAK. I.-5

« PreviousContinue »