Page images
PDF
EPUB

Page. Yes ; And you heard what the other told

me?

Ford. Do you think there is truth in them?

Page. Hang 'em, slaves; I do not think the knight would offer it: but these that accuse him in his intent towards our wives, are a yoke of his discarded men : very rogues, now they be out of service.

Ford. Were they his men?
Page. Marry, were they.

Ford. I like it never the better for that.Does he lie at the Garter?

Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyage towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and what he gets of her more than sharp words, let it lie on my head.

Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife; but I would be loth to turn them together: A man may be too confident: I would have nothing lie on my head : I cannot be thus satisfied.

Page. Look, where my ranting host of the Gar. ter comes: there is either liquor in his pate, or money in his purse, when he looks so merrily.--How now, mine hosti

Enter Host, and Shallow. Host. How now, bully-rook! thou'rt a gentleman: cavalero-justice, I say.

I Shal. I follow, mine host, I follow.-Good even, and twenty, good master Page! Master Page, will you go with us ? we have sport in hand.

Host. Tell him, cavalero-justice; tell him, bullyrook.

Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought, between

? cavalero-justice,] A cant term.

sir Hugh the Welsh priest, and Caius the French doctor.

Ford. Good mine host o' the Garter, a word with you. Host. What say'st thou, bully-rook?

[They go aside. Shal. Will you (to Page] go with us to behold

[ it? My merry host hath had the measuring of their weapons; and, I think, he hath appointed them contrary places : for, believe me, I hear, the parson is no jester. Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.

Host. Hast thou no suit against my knight, my guest-cavalier ?

Ford. None, I protest : but I'll give you a pottle of burnt sack to give me recourse to him, and tell him, my name is Brook ; only for a jest.

Host. My hand, bully: thou shalt have egress and regress; said I well ? and thy name shall be Brook: It is a merry knight.-Will you go on, hearts ?

Shal. Have with you, mine host.

Page. I have heard, the Frenchman hath good skill in his rapier.

Shal. Tut, sir, I could have told you more: In these times you stand on distance, your passes, stoccadoes, and I know not what: 'tis the heart, master Page; 'tis here, 'tis here. I have seen the time, with my long sword, I would have made you four tall fellows8 skip like rats.

Host. Here, boys, here, here! shall we wag ?

Page. Have with you :-I had rather hear them scold than fight.

[Exeunt Host, Shallow, and Page.

tall fellows -] A tall fellow, in the time of our author, meant a stout, bold, or courageous person.

Ford. Though Page be a secure fool, and stands so firmly on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my opinion so easily : She was in his company at Page's house; and, what they made there,' I know not. Well, I will look further into't: and I have a disguise to sound Falstaff: If I find her honest, I lose not my labour; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestowed.

[Erit.

SCENE II.

A Room in the Garter Inn.

2

Enter Falstaff and Pistol. Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.

Pist. Why, then the world's mine oyster, Which I with sword will

open.I will retort the sum in equipage.?

Fal. Not a penny, I have been content, sir, you should lay my countenance to pawn : I have grated upon my good friends for three reprieves for you and your coach-fellow, Nym;} or else you had looked through the grate, like a geminy of baboons.

I am damned in hell, for swearing to gentlemen my friends,

you were good soldiers, and tall fellows: and when mistress Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took’t upon mine honour thou hadst it not.

9

[ocr errors]

and stands so firmly on his wife's frailty,] i. e. has such perfect confidence in his unchaste wife.

and, what they made there,] An obsolete phrase signifying-what they did there. MALONE.

* I will retort the sum in equipage.] Means, I will pay you again in stolen goods. WARBURTON.

your coach-fellow, Nym ;] i. e. he, who draws along with you ; who is joined with you in all your knavery.

lost the handle of her fan,) It should be remembered, that fans, in our author's time, were more costly than they are at present, as well as of a different construction. They consisted of ostrich feathers, (or others of equal length and flexibility,)

a

Pist. Didst thou not share? hadst thou not fif

teen pence? Fal. Reason, you rogue, reason : Think'st thou I'll endanger my soul gratis ? At a word, hang no more about me, I am no gibbet for you :-go.-A short knife and a throng ;-to your manor of Pickthatch,' go.—You'll not bear a letter for me, you rogue !-You stand upon your honour !Why, thou unconfinable baseness, it is as much as I can do, to keep the terms of my honour precise. I, I, I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on the left hand, and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch ; and yet you, rogue, will ensconce your rags, your cata-mountain looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour! You will not do it, you?

Pist. I do relent; What would'st thou more of man?

Enter Robin
Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you.
Fal. Let her approach.

Enter Mistress QUICKLY.
Quick. Give your worship good-morrow.
Fal. Good-morrow, good wife.
Quick. Not so, an't please your worship.
Fal. Good maid, then.

[ocr errors]

which were stuck into handles. The richer sort of these were composed of gold, silver, or ivory of curious workmanship.

Pickt-hatch,] A cant name for some part of the town noted for brothels.

ensconce your rags, &c.] A sconce is a petty fortification. To ensconce, therefore, is to protect as with a fort.

red-lattice phrases,] Your ale-house conversation. Red lattice at the doors and windows, were formerly the external denotements of an alehouse.

6

7

Quick. I'll be sworn; as my mother was, the first hour I was born.

Fal. I do believe the swearer: What with me?

Quick. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?

Fal. Two thousand, fair woman: and I'll vouchsafe thee the hearing.

Quick. There is one mistress Ford, sir ;-I pray, come a little nearer this ways :-I myself dwell with master doctor Caius.

Fal. Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say,

Quick. Your worship says very true: I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways.

Fal. I warrant thee, nobody hears ;—mine own people, mine own people.

Quick. Are they so? Ileaven bless them, and make them his servants!

Fal. Well : Mistress Ford ;-what of her?

Quick. Why, sir, she's a good creature. Lord, lord ! your worship’s a wanton: Well, heaven forgive you, and all of us, I pray!

Fal. Mistress Ford ;-come, mistress Ford,

Quick. Marry, this is the short and the long of it; you have brought her into such a canaries, as 'tis wonderful. The best courtier of them all, when the court lay at Windsor, could never have brought her to such a canary. Yet there has been knights, and lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches; I warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift; smelling so sweetly, (all musk) and so rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and in such alligant terms; and in such wine and sugar of the best, and the fairest, that would have won any woman's heart; and, I warrant you, they could never get an eye-wink of her.-I had myself twenty

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »