Page images

page: and, truly, master Page is an honest | be brief with you ;—and you have been a man man. Never a wife in Windsor leads a better long known to me, though I had never so good life than she does; do what she will, say what means, as desire, to make myself acquainted she will, take all, pay all, go to bed when she list, rise when she list, all is as she will; and, truly, she deserves it: for if there be a kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must send her your page; no remedy. Fal. Why, I will.

Quick. Nay, but do so then: and, look you, he may come and go between you both; and, in any case, have a nay-word,* that you may know one another's mind, and the boy never need to understand any thing; for 'tis not good that children should know any wickedness: old folks, you know, have discretion, as they say, and know the world.

with you. I shall discover a thing to you, wherein I must very much lay open mine own imperfection: but, good Sir John, as you have one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded, turn another into the register of your own; that I may pass with a reproof the easier, sith* you yourself know, how easy it is to be such an offender.

Fal. Very well, Sir; proceed.

Ford. There is a gentlewoman in this town, her husband's name is Ford. Fal. Well, Sir.

[ocr errors]

Ford. I have long loved her, and, I protest to you, bestowed much on her; followed her Fal. Fare thee well: commend me to them with a doting observance; engrossed opportuboth: there's my purse; I am yet thy debtor.nities to meet her; fee'd every slight occasion, Boy, go along with this woman.-This news that could but niggardly give me sight of her distracts me! [Exeunt QUICKLY and ROBIN. not only bought many presents to give her, but Pist. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers :— have given largely to many, to know what she Clap on more sails; pursue, up with your fights; would have given: briefly, I have pursued her, Give fire; she is my prize, or ocean whelm them as love hath pursued me; which hath been, on [Exit PISTOL. the wing of all occasions. But whatsoever I Fal. Say'st thou so, old Jack? go thy ways; have merited, either in my mind, or in my I'll make more of thy old body than I have means, meed,† I am sure, I have received none; done. Will they yet look after thee? Wilt unless experience be a jewel: that I have purthou, after the expense of so much money, be chased at an infinite rate; and that hath taught now a gainer? Good body, I thank thee: Let me to say this: them say, 'tis grossly done; so it be fairly done, no matter.



Bard. Sir John, there's one master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a morning's draught of sack.

Fal. Brook, is his name?
Bard. Ay, Sir.

Fal. Call him in; [Exit BARDOLPH.] Such
Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow such
liquor. Ah! ha! mistress Ford and mistress
Page, have I encompassed you? go to; via!t
Re-enter BARDOLPH, with FORD disguised.
Ford. Bless you, Sir.

Fal. And you, Sir: Would you speak with


Ford. I make bold, to press with so little preparation upon you.

Fal. You're welcome; What's your will? Give us leave, drawer. [Exit BARDOLPH. Ford. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much; my name is Brook.

Fal. Good master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.

Ford. Good Sir John, I sue for yours: not to charge you; for I must let you understand, I think myself in better plight for a lender than you are: the which hath something embolden'd me to this unseasoned intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all ways do lie open.

Fal. Money is a good soldier, Sir, and will on. Ford. Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me: if you will help me to bear it, Sir John, take all, or half, for easing me of the carriage.

Fal. Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be

your porter.

Ford. I will tell you, Sir, if you will give me the hearing.

Fal. Speak, good master Brook; I shall be glad to be your servant.

Ford. Sir, I hear you are a scholar, I will

[blocks in formation]

Love like a shadow flies, when substance love pur


Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.
faction at her hands?
Fal. Have you received no promise of satis-

Ford. Never.

[blocks in formation]

Fal. Of what quality was your love, then?

Ford. Like a fair house, built upon another man's ground; so that I have lost my edifice, by mistaking the place where I erected it.

Fal. To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?

Ford. When I have told you that, I have told you all. Some say, that, though she appear honest to me, yet, in other places, she enlargeth her mirth so far, that there is shrewd construction made of her. Now, Sir John, here is the heart of my purpose: You are a gentleman of excellent breeding, admirain your place and person, generally allowed ble discourse, of great admittance, authentic for your many warlike, court-like, and learned preparations.

Fal. O, Sir!

Ford. Believe it, for you know it :--There is money; spend it, spend it; spend more; spend all I have; only give me so much of your time the honesty of this Ford's wife: use your art in exchange of it, as to lay an amiable siege to of wooing, win her to consent to you; if any man may, you may as soon as any.

Fal. Would it apply well to the vehemency of your affection, that I should win what you would enjoy? Methinks, you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.

Ford. O, understand my drift! she dwells so the folly of my soul dares not present itself; securely on the excellency of her honour, that she is too bright to be looked against. Now, could I come to her with any detection in my hand, my desires had instance and argument to

* Since.

[blocks in formation]

+ Reward.

[blocks in formation]

want none.


Fal. Want no mistress Ford, master Brook, you shall want none. I shall be with her (II may tell you,) by her own appointment; even as you came in to me, her assistant, or go-between, parted from me: I say, I shall be with her between ten and eleven; for at that time the jealous rascally knave, her husband, will be forth. Come you to me at night; you shall know how I speed.

Ford. I am blest in your acquaintance. Do you know Ford, Sir?

Fal. Hang him, poor euckoldly knave! I know him not-yet I wrong him, to call him poor; they say, the jealous wittolly knave hath masses of money; for the which his wife seems to me well-favoured. I will use her as the key of the cuckoldly rogue's coffer; and there's my harvest-home.

Ford. I would you knew Ford, Sir; that you might avoid him, if you saw him.

Fal. Hang him,mechanical salt-butter rogue! I will stare him out of his wits; I will awe him with my cudgel: it shall hang like a meteor o'er the cuckold's horns: master Brook, thou shalt know, I will predominate o'er the peasant, and thou shalt lie with his wife.-Come to me soon at night :-Ford's a knave, and I will aggravate his stile; thou, master Brook, shalt know him for a knave and cuckold:-come to me soon at night.

[blocks in formation]

if he be come.

Rug. He is wise, Sir; he knew, your worship would kill him, if he came.

Caius. By gar, de herring is no dead, so as vill kill him. Take your rapier, Jack; I vill tell you how I vill kill him.

Rug. Alas, Sir I cannot fence.
Caius. Villany, take your rapier.
Rug. Forbear; here's company.
Host. 'Bless thee, bully doctor.

Shal. 'Save you, master doctor Caius.
Page. Now, good master doctor!
Slen. Give you good-morrow, Sir.
Caius. Vat be all you, one, two, tree, four,
come for?

Host. To see thee fight, to see thee foin,* to see thee traverse, to see thee here, to see thee there; to see thee pass thy punto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy distance, thy montánt.t Is he dead, my Ethiopian? is he dead, my Francisco ? ha, bully! What says my Esculapius? my Galen? my heart of elder? ha! is he dead, bully Stale? is he dead?

Caius. By gar, he is de coward Jack priest of the vorld; he is not show his face.

Host. Thou art a Castilianț king, Urinal! Hector of Greece, my boy!

Caius. I pray you, bear vitness that me have stay six or seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come.


Page, we have some salt of our youth in us; we are the sons of women, master Page.

Page. "Tis true, master Shallow.

[Exit. Shal. He is the wiser man, master doctor: he Ford. What a damn'd Epicurean rascal is is a curer of souls, and you a curer of bodies; this! My heart is ready to crack with impa-if you should fight, you go against the hair of tience.-Who says, this is improvident jea- your professions: is it not true, master Page? lousy? My wife hath sent to him, the hour is Page. Master Shallow, you have yourself fixed, the match is made. Would any man been a great fighter, though now a man of have thought this?-See the hell of having a false woman! my bed shall be abused, my Shal. Bodykins, master Page, though I now coffers ransacked, my reputation gnawn at; be old, and of the peace, if I see a sword out, and I shall not only receive this villanous my finger itches to make one: though we are wrong, but stand under the adoption of abomi-justices, and doctors, and churchmen, master nable terms, and by him that does me this wrong. Terms! names !Amaimon sounds well; Lucifer, well; Barbason, well; yet they are devils' additions, the names of fiends: but cuckold! wittolf-cuckold! the devil himself hath not such a name. Page is an ass, a secure ass; he will trust his wife, he will not be jealous: I will rather trust a Fleming with my butter, parson Hugh the Welshman with my cheese, an Irishman with my aqua-vitæ bottle, or a thief to walk my ambling gelding, than my wife with herself: then she plots, then she ruminates, then she devises: and what they think in their hearts they may effect, they will break their hearts but they will effect. Heaven be praised for my jealousy!-Eleven o'clock the hour;-I will prevent this, detect my wife, be revenged on Falstaff, and laugh at Page. I

will about it; better three hours too soon, than a minute too late. Fie, fie, fie! cuckold! cuckold! cuckold!

[blocks in formation]

Shal. It will be found so, master Page. Master doctor Caius, I am come to fetch you home. I am sworn of the peace; you have showed yourself a wise physician, and Sir Hugh hath shown himself a wise and patient churchman: you must go with me, master


Host. Pardon, guest justice:-A word, monsieur Muck-water.j

Caius. Muck-vater; vat is dat? Host. Muck-water, in our English tongue is valour, bully.

Caius. By gar, then I have as much muckvater as de Englishman:-Scurvy jack-dogpriest! by gar, me vill cut his ears.

Host. He will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully.


* Fence.
Cant term for Spaniard.

Terms in fencing.
Drain of a dunghill.

Caius. Clapper-de-claw! vat is dat ? Host. That is, he will make thee amends. Caius. By gar, me do look, he shall clapperde-claw me; for, by gar, me vill have it. Host. And I will provoke him to't, or let him wag.

Caius. Me tank you for dat.

Host. And moreover, bully,-But first, master guest, and master Page, and eke cavalero Slender, go you through the town to Frogmore.

Heaven prosper the right !-What weapons is he?

Sim. No weapons, Sir: There comes my master, master Shallow, and another gentle. man from Frogmore, over the stile, this way. Eva. Pray you, give me my gown; or else keep it in your arms.

Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLEnder. Shal. How now, master parson? Good mor[Aside to them.row, good Sir Hugh. Keep a gamester from the dice, and a good student from his book, and it is wonderful.

Page. Sir Hugh is there, is he? Host. He is there: see what humour he is in; and I will bring the doctor about by the fields; will it do well?

Shal. We will do it.

Page, Shal. and Slen. Adieu, good master doctor.

[Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. Caius. By gar, me vill kill de priest; for he speak for a jack-an-ape to Anne Page.

Host. Let him die: but, first, sheath thy impatience; throw cold water on thy choler: go about the fields with me through Frogmore; I will bring thee where Mrs. Anne Page is, at a farm-house a feasting; and thou shall woo her: Cry'd game, said I well?

Caius. By gar, me tank you for dat: by gar, I love you; and I shall procure-a you de good guest, de earl, de knight, de lords, de gentlemen, my patients.

Host. For the which, I will be thy adversary towards Anne Page; said I well?

Caius. By gar, 'tis good; vell said.
Host. Let us wag then.

Caius. Come at my heels, Jack Rugby.



[blocks in formation]

Slen. Ah, sweet Anne Page!

Page. Save you, good Sir Hugh!

Eva. 'Pless you from his mercy sake, all of you!

Shal. What! the sword and the word! do you study them both, master parson?

Page. And youthful still, in your doublet and hose, this raw rheumatick day?

Eva. There is reasons and causes for it. Page. We are come to you, to do a good office, master parson.

Eva. Fery well: What is it?

Page. Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, who belike, having received wrong by some person, is at most odds with his own gravity and patience, that ever you saw.

Shal. I have lived fourscore years and upward; I never heard a man of his place, gravity, and learning, so wide of his own respect. Eva. What is he?

Page. I think you know him; master doctor Caius, the renowned French physician.

Eva. Got's will, and his passion of my heart! I had as lief you would tell me of a mess of porridge.

Page. Why?

Eva. He has no more knowledge in Hibocrates and Galen,-and he is a knave besides; a cowardly knave, as you would desires to be acquainted withal.

fight with him. Page. I warrant you, he's the man should

Slen. O, sweet Anne Page!

them asunder;-here comes doctor Caius. Shal. It appears so, by his weapons :---Keep

Enter HOST, CAIUS, and RUGBY. Page. Nay, good master parson, keep in

your weapon.

Shal. So do you, good master doctor.

Host. Disarm them, and let them question; let them keep their limbs whole, and hack our English.

Caius. I pray you, let-a me speak a word vit your ear: Verefore vill you not meet-a me? Eva. Pray you, use your patience: In good time.

Caius. By gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog, John ape.

Eva. Pray you, let us not be laughing-stogs to other men's humours; I desire you in friend

Mercy on me! I have a great dispositions to ship, and I will one way or other make you


Melodious birds sing madrigals ;

When as I sat in Pabylon,t

And a thousand fragrant posies.

To shallow

amends:-I will knock your urinals about your knave's cogscomb, for missing your meetings and appointments.

Caius Diable!-Jack Rugby,-mine Host de
Jarterre, have I not stay for him, to kill him?

Sim. Yonder he is coming, this way, Sir have I not, at de place I did appoint?
Eva. He's welcome :-

To shallow rivers, to whose falls

Head Babylon, the first line of the 139th Psalm.

Eva. As I am a Christians soul, now, look you, this is the place appointed; I'll be judg ment by mine Host of the Garter.

Host. Peace, I say,Guallia and Gaul, French and Welsh; soul-curer and body-curer.

Caius. Ay, dat is very good! excellent! A man may hear this shower sing in the wind! Host. Peace, I say; hear mine host of the—and Falstaff's boy with her!-Good plots !— Garter. Am I politic? am I subtle? am I a they are laid; and our revolted wives share Machiavel? Shall I lose my doctor? no; he damnation together. Well; I will take him, gives me the potions, and the motions. Shall I lose my parson? my priest? my Sir Hugh? no; he gives me the proverbs and the noverbs. Give me thy hand, terrestrial; so:Give me thy hand, celestial; so.-Boys of art, I have deceived you both; I have directed you to wrong places: your hearts are mighty, your skins are whole, and let burnt sack be the issue.-Come, lay their swords to pawn:Follow me, lad of peace; follow, follow, follow. Shal. Trust me, a mad host :-Follow, gen-Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, SLENDER, HOST, Sir tlemen, follow.

Slen. O, sweet Anne Page!

[Exeunt SHAL. SLEN. PAGE and HOST. Caius. Ha! do I perceive dat? have you make a de sot* of us? ha, ha!

then torture my wife, pluck the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming* mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure and wilful Actæon; and to these violent proceedings all my neighbours shall cry aim.† [Clock strikes.] The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me search; there I shall find Falstaff: I shall be rather praised for this, than mocked; for it is as positive as the earth is firm, that Falstaff is there: I will go.

Shal. Page, &c. Well met, master Ford.
cheer at home; and, I pray you, all go with
Ford. Trust me, a good knot: I have good


Eva. This is well; he has made us his vloutShal. I must excuse myself, master Ford. ing-stog.t-I desire you, that we may be Slen. And so must I, Sir; we have appointed friends; and let us knog our prains together, to dine with mistress Anne, and I would not to be revenge on this same scall, scurvy, cog-break with her for more money than I'll speak ging companion, the host of the Garter.

Caius. By gar, vit all my heart; he promise to bring me vere is Anne Page: by gar, he deceive me too.

Eva. Well, I will smite his noddles :-Pray
you, follow.

SCENE II.-The Street in Windsor.
Enter Mistress PAGE and ROBIN.

Mrs. Page. Nay, keep your way, little gal-
Jant; you were wont to be a follower, but now
you are a leader: Whether had you rather,
lead mine eyes, or eye your master's heels?
Rob. I had rather, forsooth, go before you
like a man, than follow him like a dwarf.
Mrs. Page. O you are a flattering boy; now,
I see, you'll be a courtier.

[blocks in formation]



Shal. We have lingered about a match between Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.

Slen. I hope, I have your good-will, father Page.

Page. You have, master Slender; I stand wholly for you:-but my wife, master doctor, is for you altogether.

Caius. Ay, by gar; and de maid is love-a me; my nursh-a Quickly tell me so mush.

Host. What say you to young master Fenton? he capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he speaks holyday, he smells April and May: he will carry't, he will carry't; 'tis in his buttons; he will carry't.

Page. Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman is of no having : he kept company with the wild Prince and Poins; he is of too high a region, he knows too much. No, he shall not knit a knot in his fortunes with the finger of my substance: if he take her, let him take her simply; the wealth I have waits on my consent, and my consent goes not that way. Ford. I beseech you, heartily, some of you

Ford. Ay; and as idle as she may hang together, for want of company: I think, if your husbands were dead, you two would marry. Mrs. Page. Be sure of that,-two other hus-go home with me to dinner: besides your cheer, you shall have sport; I will show you a monFord. Where had you this pretty weather-ster.) -Master doctor, you shall go ;-30 shall you, master Page ;-and you, Sir Hugh. Shal. Well, fare you well-we shall have the freer wooing at master Page's.


Mrs. Page. I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my husband had him of: What do you call your knight's name, sirrah?

Rob. Sir John Falstaff. Ford. Sir John Falstaff! Mrs. Page. He, he; I can never hit on's name. There is such a league between my good man and he !-Is your wife at home, indeed?

Ford. Indeed, she is.

Mrs. Page. By your leave, Sir;-I am sick, till I see her. [Exeunt Mrs. PAGE and ROBIN. Ford. Has Page any brains? hath he any eyes? hath he any thinking? Sure, they sleep; he hath no use of them. Why, this boy will carry a letter twenty miles, as easy as a cannon will shoot point-blank twelve score. He pieces-out his wife's inclination; he gives her folly motion, and advantage: and now she's going to my wife, and Falstaff's boy with her.

[blocks in formation]

[Exeunt SHALLOW and SLENDER. Caius. Go home, John Rugby; I come anon. [Exit RUGBY. Host. Farewell, my hearts: I will to my honest knight Falstaff, and drink canary with him. Exit HOST. Ford. [Aside.] I think, I shall drink in pipewine first with him; I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles?

All. Have with you, to see this monster.
SCENE III-A Room in FORD's House.

Enter Mrs. FORD and Mrs. PAGE.
Mrs. Ford. What, John! what, Robert!
Mrs. Page. Quickly, quickly: Is the buck

Mrs. Ford. I warrant-What, Robin, I say.
* Specious
+ Shall encourage:
Out of the common style. Not rich.

Enter Servants with a basket. Mrs. Page. Come, come, come. Mrs. Ford. Here, set it down.

Mrs. Page. Give your men the charge; we

must be brief.

[blocks in formation]

Fal. What made me love thee? let that persuade thee, there's something extraordinary in thee. Come, I cannot cog, and say, thou art Mrs. Ford. Marry, as I told you before, John, this and that, like a many of these lisping hawand Robert, be ready here hard by in the brew-thorn buds, that come like women in men's aptime; I cannot: but I love thee; none but parel, and smell like Bucklers-bury* in simplethee; and thou deservest it.

house; and when I suddenly call you, come forth, and (without any pause, or staggering,) take this basket on your shoulders: that done, trudge with it in all haste, and carry it among the whitsters* in Datchet mead, and there empty it in the muddy ditch, close by the

Thames' side.

Mrs. Page. You will do it?

Mrs. Ford. I have told them over and over; they lack no direction: Be gone, and come when you are called. [Exeunt Servants. Mrs. Page. Here comes little Robin. Enter ROBIN.

Mrs. Ford. How now, my eyas-musket?+ what news with you?

Rob. My master Sir John is come in at your back-door, mistress Ford; and requests your company.

Mrs. Page. You little Jack-a-lent,‡ have you been true to us?

Rob. Ay, I'll be sworn: My master knows not of your being here; and hath threatened to put me into everlasting liberty, If I tell you of it; for, he swears, he'll turn me away.


Mrs. Page. Thou'rt a good boy; this secrecy of thine shall be a tailor to thee, and shall make thee a new doublet and hose.-I'll go hide me. Mrs. Ford. Do so:-Go tell thy master, I am alone. Mistress Page, remember you your [Exit ROBIN. Mrs. Page. I warrant thee; if I do not act it, [Exit Mrs. PAGE. Mrs. Ford. Go to then; we'll use this unwholesome humidity, this gross watry pumpion; we'll teach him to know turtles from jays.

hiss me.

Enter FALSTaff.

Fal. Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel? Why, now let me die, for I have lived long enough; this is the period of my ambition: Ŏ this blessed hour!

Mrs. Ford. O sweet Sir John!

Fal. Mistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate, mistress Ford. Now shall I sin in my wish I would thy husband were dead: I'll speak it before the best lord, I would make, thee my lady.


Mrs. Ford. Do not betray me, Sir; I fear, love mistress Page.


walk by the Countert-gate; which is as hateFal. Thou might'st as well say, I love to

ful to me as the reek of a lime-kiln.

Mrs. Ford. Well, heaven knows, how I love you; and you shall one day find it.

Fal. Keep in that mind; I'll deserve it. Mrs. Ford. Nay, I must tell you, so you do; or else I could not be in that mind.

Rob. [within.] Mistress Ford, mistress Ford! here's mistress Page at the door, sweating, and blowing, and looking wildly, and would needs speak with you presently.

Fal. She shall not see me; I will ensconce me behind the arras.

Mrs. Ford. Pray you, do so; she's a very tattling woman.- [FALSTAFF hides himself. Enter Mistress PAGE and ROBIN. What's the matter? how now?

done? You're shamed, you are overthrown, Mrs. Page. O mistress Ford, what have you you are undone for ever.

Mrs. Ford. What's the matter, good mistress Page?

Mrs. Page. O well-a-day, mistress Ford! having an honest man to your husband, to give him such cause of suspicion!

Mrs. Ford. What cause of suspicion? Mrs. Page. What cause of suspicion?-Out upon you! how am I mistook in you?

Mrs. Ford. Why, alas! what's the matter?

Mrs. Page. Your husband's coming hither, woman, with all the officers in Windsor, to search for a gentleman, that, he says, is here now in the house, by your consent, to take an ill advantage of his absence: You are undone. Mrs. Ford. Speak louder.-[Aside]—'Tis not so, I hope.

Mrs. Page. Pray heaven it be not so, that you have such a man here: but 'tis most certain your husband's coming with half Windsor at his heels, to search for such a one. I come before to tell you: If you know yourself clear, why I am glad of it: but if you have a friend here, convey, convey him out. Be not amazed; Mrs. Fo. d. I your lady, Sir John! alas, I call all your senses to you; defend your reshould be a pitiful lady. putation, or bid farewell to your good life for ever.

Fal. Let the court of France show me such another; I see how thine eye would emulate Mrs. Ford. What shall I do?-There is a the diamond: Thou hast the right arched bent gentleman, my dear friend; and I fear not mine of the brow, that becomes the ship-tire, the tire-own shame, so much as his peril: I had rather valiant, or any tire of Venetian admittance.j than a thousand pound, he were out of the house.

Mrs. Ford. A plain kerchief, Sir John: my brows become nothing else; nor that well neither.

Fal. Thou art a traitor to say so: thou would'st make an absolute courtier; and the firm fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy gait, in a semi-circled farthingale. I see what thou wert, if fortune thy foe were not; nature is thy friend: Come, thou canst not hide it.

[blocks in formation]

Mrs. Page. For shame, never stand you had rather, and you had rather; your husband's here at hand, bethink you of some conveyance: in the house you cannot hide him.-O, how have you deceived me!-Look, here is a basket; if he be of any reasonable stature, he may creep in here; and throw foul linen upon him, as if it were going to bucking: Or, it is whitingtime, send him by your two men to Datchet mead.

* Formerly chiefly inhabited by druggista. † Prison. + Hide. Tapestry. Bleaching time.

« PreviousContinue »