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Sir John FALSTAFF.

Nym. FENTOX.

Robin, page to Falstaf. Shallow, a country justice,

William Page, a boy, son to Mr. Page. SLENDER, cousin to Shallow.

SIMPLE, servant to Slender. Mr. Page,

RUGBY, sertunt to Dr. Caius. Mr. FORD,

tuo gentlemen dwelling at Windsor. Sir Hugh Evans, a Welch parson.

Mrs. Page, Dr. Caius, a French doctor.

Mrs. Ford. Host OF THE GARTER.

Mrs. Anne Page, daughter to Mr. Page, in lese BARDOLPH.

zith Fenton. PISTOL.

Mrs. QUICKLY, servant to Dr. Caius.
Servants to Page, Ford, &c.
SCENE, Windsor ; and the parts adjacent.

A CT 1.

a

SCENE I.

Shal. Ay, that I do: and have done any time

these three hundred years. Before Page's house in Windsor.

Slen. All his successors, gone before him, have Enter Justice Shallow,Slender,andSirHugh Evans. done't; and all his ancestors, that come after him, Shal. S'R Hugla", persuade me not : I will 5 Imay: they may give the dozen white luces in

-of it Itheir coat. he were twenty sir John Falstaff's, he shall not Shal. It is an old coat. abuse Robert Shallow, esquire.

Era. The dozen white louses do become an Slen. In the county of Gloster, justice of peace, old coat well; it agrees well, passant: it is a faand coram.

10 miliar beast to man, and signities-love. Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and * custalorum. Shal. The luces is the fresh fish; the salt fish

Slen. Ay, and rutalorum too; and a gentle. an old coat. man born, master parson; who writes himself ar- Slen. I may quarter, coz. migero; in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obli- Shal. You may by marrying. gation, armigero.

1151 Eva. It is marring, indeed, if he quarter it. Queen Elizabetli was so well pleased with the admirable character of Falstaff in the Two Parts of Henry IV. that, as Mr. Rowe informs us, she commanded Shakspeare to continue it for one play more, and to shew him in love. To this command we owe The Merry Wives of Windsor: which, Mr. Gildon says, he was very well assured our author finished in a fortnight. ?This is the first of sundry instances in our poet, where a parson is called sir; upon which it may be observed, that anciently it was the common designation both of one in holy orders and a knight. The Star-chamber had a right to take cognizance of routs and riots. 4 Probably intended for a corruption of Custos Rotulorum. The luce is a pike or jack. This passage is also supposed to point at Sir Thomas Lucy, wbo was the cause of Shakspeare's leaving Stratford.

Shal.

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in that.

Shal. Not a whit.

{tale, if matters grow to your likings. Eva. Yes, py'r-lady; if he has a quarter of your Page. I am glad to see your worships well : I coat, there is but three skirts for yourself, in my thank you for my venison, master Shallow. simple conjectures: but that is all one: if sir John Shal. Master Page, I am glad to see you: Much Falstaff have committed disparagementsunto you, 5 good do it your good heart! I wish'd your veniI am of the church, and will be glad to do my be- son better; it was ill kill'd:-How doth good Aevolence, to make atonements and compromises inistress Page?--and I thank you always with my between you.

heart, la; with my heart. Shal. The council shall hear it; it is a riot. Page. Sir, I thank you.

Eva. It is not meet the council hear of a riot; 10 Shal. Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do. there is no fear of Got in a riot: the council, look Page. I am glad tosee you, good master Slender. you, shall desire to hear the fear of Got, and not Slen. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I to hear a riot ; take your vizaments?

heard say he was out-run on Cotsale ?. Shal. Ha! o’my lile, if I were young again, the Page. It could not be judg’d, sir. sword should end it.

15 Slen. You'll not confess, you'll not confess. Era. It is petter that friends is the sword, and Shal. That he will not;—'tis your fault, 'tis your end it: and there is also another device in my fault:Tis a good dog. prain, which, peradventure, prings gooddiscretions Page. A cur, sir. with it: There is Anne Page, which is daughter to Shal. Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog; master George Page, which is pretty virginity. 20 can there be more said? he is good, and fair.—1s

Slen. Mistress Anne Page? she has brown hair, sir John Falstatt here? and speaks small like a woman.

Pege. Sir, he is within ; and I would I could do Eva. It is that very person for all the 'orld, as a good office between you. just as you will desire; and seven hundred pounds Era. It is spoke as a christians ought to speak. of monies, and gold, and silver, is her grandsire,25 Shal. He hath wrong'd me, master Page. upon his death's-bed, (Gotdeliver to a joyful resur- Page. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it. rections !) give, when she is ableto overtake seven- Shul. If it be confess'd, it is not redress’d; is not teen years old: it were a goot motion, if we leave that so, master Page? He hath wrong'd me;—inour pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage deed, he hath ;-at a word, he hath ;-believe me; between master Abrahamand mistress Anne Page. 30 -Robert Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wrong’d.

Slen. Did her grandsire leave her seven hun- Puge. Here comes Sir John. dred pounds ?

Enter Sir John Falstaff, Bardolph, Num,and Pistol. Era. Ay, and her father is make her a petter Fal. Now, master Shallow; you'll complain of penny.

me to the king? Slen. I know the young gentlewoman; she has 35 Shal. Knight, you have beaten my men, kill'd good gifts.

my deer, and broke open my lodge.
Eva. Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, Fal. But not kiss'd your keeper's daughter?
is good gifts.

Shal. Tut, a pin! this shall be answer'd.
Shul. Well, let us see honest master Page: Is Fal. I will answer it strait;--I have done all
Falstaff there?

40 this:- That is now answer'd.
Eva. Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar, as Shal. The council shall know this.
I do despise one that is false; or, as I despise one Fal. 'Twere better for you, if'twere known in
that is not true. The knight, Sir John, is there ; counsel'; you'll be laughed at.
and, I beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. Era. Pauca verba, sir John ; good worts.
I will peat the door [Knocks] for master Page. 45 Fal. Good worts *! good cabbage:-Slender, I
What, hoa! Got pless your house here! broke your head;Whatmatter have you against me?
Enter Page.

Slen. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head Page. Who's there?

against you; and against your coney-catching Eru. Here is Got's plessing, and your

friend, rascals, Bardolph, Nyon, and Pistol. and justice Shallow: and here is young master 50 Bar. You Banbury cheese o ! Siender, that peradventures shall tell you another Slen. Ay, it is no matter.

i Adrisement is now an obsolete vord. ? He means Cotswold, in Gloucestershire; where in the beginning of the reign of James the First, by permission of the king, Dover, a public-spirited attorney of Barton on the Heath, in Warwickshire, instituted on the hills of Cotswold an annual celebration of games, consisting of rural sports and exercises. These be constantly conducted in person, well mounted, and accoutred in a suit of his majesty's old cloaths; and they were frequented above forty years by the nobility and gentry for sixty miles round, till the grand rebellion abolished every liberal establisliment. The games were, chietly, wrestling, leaping, pitching the bar, handling the pike, dancing of women, various kinds of hunting, and particularly coursing the hare with greyhounds. ? Falstatt here probably quibbles between council and counsel; the latter signifies secrecy;

and his meaning seems to be, 'Twere better for you if it were known only in secrecy, i. e. among your friends. * Worts was the ancient name of all the cabbage kind. SÅ coney-catcher was, in the time of Elizabeth, a common name for a cheat or sharper. • This alludes to the thin carcase of Slender.

Pist. Ilow now, Vephostophilus'?

but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick: Slon. Av, it is no matter.

if I be drunk, I'll be drunk with those that have Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca; slice! that's the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves. my humour.

Era. So Got 'udge me, that is a virtuous mind. Slen. Where's Simple, my man? can you tell, 5 Fal. You hear all these matters deny'd, gentlecousin?

men; you hear it. Eru. Peace, I pray you! Now let us under

Enter mistress Anne Page with rrine; mistress stani: There is three umpires in this matter, as I Ford and mistress Page following. understand: that is—master Page, tidelicet, master Page; and there is myself

, fidilicet, myself ; 10 drink within.
Page. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll

[Erit Anne Page and the three party is, lastly and finally, mine

Slen. O heaven! this is mistress Anne Page. host of the Garter.

Page. How now, mistress Ford ? Page. We three to hear it, and end it between

Ful. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very them.

well met: by your leave, good mistress. Era. Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in 15

[Kissing her. niy note-book; and we will afterwards ’ork

upon

Page. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome:-the cause, with as great discreetly as we can. Fal. Pistol,

Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner ; Pist. He hears with ears.

come, gentlemen, I hope, we shall drink down ali Era. The tevil and bis tam! what phrase is 20 Slen. I had rather than forty shillings, I had my

unkindness. (Ere. all but Shal. Slend. and Evans, this, He hears with ear? Why, it is attectations.

book of songs and sonnets here:Fal. Pistol, did you pick master Slender's purse: Slen. Ay, by these gloves, did he, (or I would

Enter Simple. I might never come in mine own great chamber How now, Simple? where have you been? I must again else) of seven groats in mill-sixpences ?, 25 wait on myself, must I? You have not the book and two Edward shovel-boards ?; that cost me of riddles about you, have you ? two shilling and two-pence a-piece of Yead Mill- Sim. Book of riddles! why, did you not lend er, by these gloves.

it to Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas last, a Fal. Is this true, Pistol ?

fortnight afore Michaelmas? Era. No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.

301 Shal. Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you, Pist. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner!-Sir John, A word with you, coz; marry this, coz: There and master mine,

is, as 'twere, a tender, a kind of tender, made afar I combat challenge of this latten bilboe * : oti by sir Hugh here;--do you understand me? Word of denial in thv labras here.

Slén. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if Word of denial: froth and scum, thou ly’st. 135 it be so, I shall do that that is reason. Slen. By these gloves, then, 'twas he.

Shal. Nay, but understand me. Nym. Be advis'd, Sir, and pass good humours: Slen. So I do, sir. I will say, marry trap', with you, if you run the Era. Give ear to his motions, master Slender: nut-hook's humour' on me; that is the very note I will description the matter to you, if you be caof it.

40 pacity of it. Slen. By this hat, then, he in the red face hadit: Slin. Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says: for though I cannot remember what I did when I pray you, pardon me; he's a justice of peace in you made me drunk, yet I am not altogether an his country, simple though I stand here. ass.

Eva. But that is not the question; the question Fal. What say you, Scarlet and John? 45 is concerning your marriage.

Bard. Why, sir, for my part, I say, the gentle- Shal. Ay, there's the point, sir. man had drunk hiniself out of his five sentences. Era. Marry is it; the very point of it; to

Eva. It is his tive senses: tie, what the igno- mistress Anne Page. rance is!

Slen. Why, if it be so, I will marry her, upon Bard. And being fap, sir, was, as they say, ca-f50 any reasonable demandshier'd; and so conclusions pass'd the careires'. Eon. But can you affection the 'oman? let us

Slen. Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but'tis command to know that of your mouth, or of your no matter: I'll never be drunk whilst I live again, I lips; for divers philosophers hold, that the lips is

The name of a spirit or familiar, in the old story-hook of Sir John Faustus, or Joan Faust, and in those times a cant phrase of abuse. 2 Mill'd sirpinces were used by way of counters to cast up money. 3 These were the broad shillings of Edward VT., and at that time used at the play of shovil-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 lattt n; whilst Mr. Steevens thinks, that luiten bilboe means no more than a blade as thin us a lath. 5 That is, hi ar 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! ? Muthook was a term of reproach in cant strain; and, it you run the nuthook's humour on me, is in plain English, if you say I um a thief. ! A military phrase.

parcel parcel of the mouth: Therefore, precisely, can your dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town? you carry your good will to the maid?

Anne. I think there are, sir; I heard them Shal. Cousin Abrahain Slender, can you love talk'd of. her?

Slen. I love the sport well ; but I shall as soon Slen. I hope, sir,--I will do as it shall become 5 quarrel at it, as any man in England:-You are one that would do reason.

atraid, if you see the bear loose, are you not? Eza. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies, you must Anne. Ay, indeed, sir. speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires Slen. That's meat and drink to me now: I have towards her.

een Sackerson ? loose, twenty times; and have Shul. That you must: Will you, upon good 10 taken him by the chain: but I warrant you, the dowry, marry her:

women have so cry'd and shriek'd at it, that it Slen. I will do a greater thing than that, upon pass’d?:—but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em; your request, cousin, in any reason.

they are very ill-favour'd rough things. Shal. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet

Re-enter Page. coz; 'what I do, is to pleasure you, coz: Can you 15 Page. Come, gentle master Slender, come; love the maid ?

we stay for you. Slen. I will marry her, sir, at your request; Slen. I'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir. but if there be no great love in the beginning, yet Page. By cock and pye“, you shall not chouse, heaven may decrease it upon better acquaintance, sir: come, come. when we are marry'd, and have more occasion 1020 Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way. know one another: I hope, upon familiarity will Page. Come on, sir. grow more contempt: but if you say, marry her, Slin. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go

first. I will marry her, that I am freely dissolved, and Anne. Not I, sir; pray you, keep on. dissolutely

Slen. Truly, I will not go first; truly-la; I will Era. It is a fery discretion answer; save, the 25 not do you

that

wrous faul is in the 'ort dissolutely: the 'ort is, according Anne. I pray you, sir. to our meaning, resolutely;--his meaning is good. Slen. I'll rather be unmannerly, than trouble

Shal. Ay, I think my cousin meant well. some: you do yourself wrong, indeed-la.[Exeunt.
Slen. Ay, or else I would I might be hang’d, la.

SCENE II.
Re-enter Anne Page.

30

Enter Eruns and Simple. Shal. Here comes fair mistress Anne:-Tould Era. Go your ways, and ask of Dr. Caius' I were young, for your sake, mistress Anne! house, which is the way; and there dwells one

Anne. The dinner is on the table; my father mistress Quickly, which is in the manner of his desires your worship's company.

nurse, or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, Shal. I will wait on him, fair mistress Anne. 35 his washer, and his wringer.

Eva. Od's plessed will! I will not be absence Simp. Well, sir. at the grace..

[Ex. Shul. and Eruns. Era. Nay, it is petter yet:-give her this letAnne. Will't please your worship to comein, sir? ter; for it is a’oman that altogether'sacquaintance Slen. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am with mistress Anne Page; and the letter is, to de

40 sire and require her to solicit your master's desires Anne. The dinner attends you, sir.

to mistress Anne Page: I pray you be gone; I will Slen. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth: make an end of my dinner; there's pippins and -Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go, wait cheese to come.

[Ereunt severally. upon my cousin Shallow: [Exit simple.] A justice

SCENE III. of peace sometime may be beho!den to his friend 45

The Garter inn. for a man:-I keep but three men and a boy yet, Enter Falstal", Host, Bardolph, Nym, Pistol, and till my mother be dead: But what though? yet I

Robin. live like a poor gentleman beri.

Fal. Mine host of the Garter,Anne. I

may go in without your worship: Host. What says my bully-rook? speak scholthey will not sit till you come.

50 larly, and wisely: šlen. I faith, I'll eat nothing: I thank you as Ful. Truly, mine host, I must turn away some much as though I did.

of my followers. Anne. I pray you, sir, walk in.

Host. Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let Sten. I bad rather walk here, I thank you: ] them wag; trot, trot. bruis'd my shin the other day with playing at sword 55 Fal. I sit at ten pounds a week. and dagger with a master of fence, three veneys Host. Thou'rt an emperor, Cæsar, Keisar, and for a dish of stew'd pruens; and, by my troth, I Pheezar. I will entertain Bardolph; he shall cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do kraw, be shall tap: said I well, bully llector?

1 That is, three different set-to's, bouts, a technical term from the French, venue. ? The name of a bear. 3 Menning, 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 pye is table in the old Roman offices, shewing how to find out the service which is to be read on each day.

very well.

not

a

[To Robin.

Fal. Do so, good mine host.

eyes too; examin'd my parts with most judicious Host. I have spoke; let him follow: Let mo eyliads ® ; sometimes the beam of ber view gilded see the froth, and lime'; I am at a word; follow. my foot, sometimes my portl, belly.

[Erit Hosi. Pist. Then did the sun on dung-hill shine. Fal. Bardolph, follow him; a tapster is a good 5

Nym. I thank thee for that humour. trade: An old cloak makes a new jerkin; a

Ful. O, she did so course o'er iny exteriors with wither'd serving-man, a fresh tapster: Go; adien. such a greedy intention ", that the appetite of her

Bard. It is a life that I have desir'd: I wil. eye did seem to scorch meup like a burning-glass! thrive.

[Exit Bard. Iere's another letter to her: she bears the purse Pist. O base Gongarian wight?! wilt thou the 10t00 ; she is a region in Gujana, all gold and spigot wield?

pounty. I will be cheaterlo to thein both, and they Nym. He was gotten in drink: Is not the hu- shall be exchequers to me; they shall be my East mour conceited? His inind is not heroic, and and West Indies, and I will trade to them both. there's the humour of it.

Go, bear thou thisletter ton;istress Page; and thou Fal. I am glad, I am so acquit of this tinder-15| his to mistress ford: we will thrive, lads, we will box; his thefts were too open: his tilching was thrive. like an unskilful singer, he kept not time.

Pist. Shall I sir Pandarcs of Troy become, Nym. The good humour is, to steal at a minute's And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all ! rest,

Nym. I will run no base humour: here, take the Pist. Convey, the wise it call ; Steal! foh; a 20 humourletter; I will keep the haviour ofreputation. fico for the phrase!

Fal. Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly"; Fal. Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels. Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores. Pist. Why then, let kibes ensue.

Fal. There is no remedy; I inust cony-catch, Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go; I must shift.

25 Trudge, plod, away, o'the hoof; seek shelter, pack! Pist. Young ravens must have food *.

Falstall will learn the humour of this age. Fal. Which of you know Ford of this town? French thrift, you rogues; myself and skirted page. Pist. I ken the wight; he is of substance good.

[Exeunt Fulstaff and Boy. Fal. My honest lads, I will tell you what I am Pist. Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd, about.

130

and fullam! holds; Pist. Two yards, and more.

And high and low beguiles the rich and poor: Fal. No quips now,

Pistol: Indeed, I am in the Tester I'll have in pouch, when thou shalt lack, waist two yards about: but I am now about no Base Phrygian Turk! waste; ! ain about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to Nym. I have operations in my head, which be make love to Ford's wife; I spy entertainment in 35 humours of revenge. her; she discourses, she carves', she gives the Pist. Wilt thou revenge? leer of invitation: I can construe the action of her Nym. By welkın, and her star! familiar stile; and the hardest voice of her beha- Pist. With wit, or steel? viour, to be English'd rightly, is, I am sir John Nym. With both the humours, I: Falsiatis.

40 I will discuss the humour of this love to Ford. Pist. He hath study'd her will, and translated Pist. And I to Page shall eke unfold, her will; out of honesty into English.

How Falstaff, varlet vile,
Nym. The anchor is deep: willthathumour pass? His dove will prove, his gold will hold,

Ful. Now, the report goes, she has all the rule of And his soft couch defile. her husband's purse; she hath a legion of angels. 45 Nym. My humour shall not cool: I will incense

Pist. As many devils entertain"; and, To her, Ford to deal with poison; I will po sess him with boy, say I.

yellowness'', for the revolt of mien ''is dangerous: Nym. The humour rises; it is good: humour that is my true humour. me the angels.

Pist. Thou art the Mars of malecontents: IseFal. 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. 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. * A proverb.

• In those times the young of both sexes were instructed in carving, as a necessary accomplishment. • That is, explained. The old quarto reads: As many devils atten: her! • Probably from oeilludes, French.

That is, eagerness of desire. 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. " Fullam is a cant term for false dice, high and low.' Gourd was another instrument of gaming 14 That is, jealousy.

15 Revolt of mion means change of countenance, one of the eftects he has just been ascribing to jealousy.

E

SCENE

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