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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.
Slender. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say he was outrun on Cotsale.5
Page. It could not be judg’d, sir.
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.
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
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.
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 ?
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
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'