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Evans. Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar, as I do despise one that is false; or as I despise one that is not true. The knight, sir John, is there; and, I beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will peat the door [knocks] for master Page. What, hoa! pless your house here!

Enter PAGE Page. Who's there?

Evans. Here's your friend, and justice 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.

Shallow. Master Page, I am glad to see you; Much good do it your good heart! I wished your venison better; it was ill-kill'd:—How doth good mistress Page-and I love you always with my heart, la; with my heart.

Page. Sir, I thank you.
Shallow. Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.
Page. I am glad to see you, good master Slender.

Slender. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say he was outrun on Cotsale.5

Page. It could not be judg’d, sir.
Slender. You'll not confess, you'll not confess.

Shallow. That he will not;—'tis your fault, 'tis your fault:—'Tis a good dog.

Page. A cur, sir.

Shallow. Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog; 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 Christian ought to speak.
Shallow. He hath wrong'd me, master Page.
Page. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.
Shallow. If it be confess'd, it is not redress’d; is not

5 Cotswold, in Gloucestershire.

that so, master Page? He hath wrong’d me; indeed, he hath ;-at a word, he hath ;-believe me ;-Robert Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wrong’d.

Page. Here comes sir John.

PISTOL. Falstaff. Now, master Shallow; you'll complain of me to the king?

Shallow. Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my dear, and broke open my lodge: this shall be answer'd.

Falstaff. I will answer it straight;—I have done all this :—That is now answer’d.

Shallow. The Council shall know this.

Falstaff. 'Twere better for you, if it were known in counsel: you'll be laugh'd at.

Evans. Pauca verba, Sir John, good worts.

Falstaff. Good worts !6 good cabbage.—Slender, I broke your head; What matter have you against me?

Slender. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you; and against Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and made me drunk, and afterwards picked my pocket.

Bardolph. You Banbury cheese !7
Slender. Ay, it is no matter.
Pistol. How, now, Mephostophilus 28
Slender. Ay, it is no matter.

Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca; slice! that's my humour.

Slender. Where's Simple, my man l-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.

6 Worts was the ancient name of all the cabbage kind. ? Nothing but paring! & The name of an ugly spirit.

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.

Falstaff. Pistol,--
Pistol. He hears with ears.

Evans. What phrase is this, He hears with ear ? Why, it is affectations.

Falstaff. Pistol, did you pick master Slender's purse?

Slender. '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, and two Edward shovel-boards, that cost me two shillings and two pence a-piece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.

Falstaff. Is this true, Pistol ?
Evans. No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
Pistol. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner !—Sir John, and

master mine,
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo :1
Word of denial in thy labrasa here;
Word of denial; froth and scum, thou liest.

Slender. By these gloves, then 'twas he.

Nym. Be advised, sir, and pass good humours: I will say, marry trap, with you if you run the nuthook’s3 humour on me; that is the very note of it.

Slender. 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.

Falstaff. What say you, Scarlet and John?

Bardolph. 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


Bardolph. And being fap,4 sir, was, as they say, cashier'd; and so conclusions pass'd the careires.5

2 Lips.

9 King Edward's shillings, used in the game of shuffleboard. 1 Blade as thin as a lath. 3 If you say I am a thief.

4 Drunk, 5 The bounds of good behaviour.

Slender. 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. That is a virtuous mind.

Falstaff. You hear all these matters denied, 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. Slender. O heaven! this is mistress Anne Page. Page. How now, mistress Ford ?

Falstaff. 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 unkindness.

[Exeunt all but SHALLOW, SLENDER, and EVANS. Slender. I had rather than forty shillings, I had my 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?

Simple. Book of Riddles ! why did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas ? 6

Shallow. 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?

Slender. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if it be so, I shall do that that is reason. Shallow. Nay, but understand me.

6 An intended blunder.

şlender. 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.

Slender. 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 this is not the question; the question is concerning your marriage.

Shallow. Ay, there's the point, sir.

Evans. Marry, is it; the very point of it; to mistress Anne Page.

Slender. 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 ?

Shallow. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?

Slender. I hope, sir, I will do, as it shall become one that would do reason.

Evans. Nay, you must speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires towards her.

Shallow. That you must: Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?

Slender. I will do a greater thing than that, upon your request, cousin, in any reason.

Shallow. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz; what I do, is to pleasure you, coz: Can you love the maid?

Slender. 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

Evans. It is a fery discretion answer; save, the faul'

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