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With triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity.
Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him; he
Val. I warrant you, my lord; more grace than
Duke. What mean you by that saying?
That done, our day of marriage shall be yours;
(1) Masks, revels.
In this play there is a strange mixture of knowledge and ignorance, of care and negligence. The versification is often excellent, the allusions are learned and just; but the author conveys his heroes by sea from one inland town to another in the same country; he places the emperor at Milan, and sends his young men to attend him, but never mentions him more; he makes Proteus, after an interview with Silvia, say he has only seen her picture: and, if we may credit the old copies, he has, by mistaking places, left his scenery inextricable. The reason of all this confusion seems to be, that he took his story from a novel which he sometimes followed, and sometimes forsook; sometimes remembered, and sometimes forgot.
That this play is rightly attributed to Shak[Exeunt.speare, I have little doubt. If it be taken from him, to whom shall it be given? This question may be asked of all the disputed plays, except Titus Andronicus; and it will be found more credible, that Shakspeare might sometimes sink below his highest flights, than that any other should rise up to his lowest. JOHNSON.
Eva. It is not meet the council hear a riot; there is no fear of Got in a riot: the council, look you, shall desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a riot; take your vizaments in that.
Shal. Ha! o' my life, if I were young again, the sword should end it.
Eva. It is petter that friends is the sword, and end it: and there is also another device in my
SIR Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Star-prain, which, peradventure, prings goot discretions chamber matter of it: if he were twenty Sir John with it: there is Anne Page, which is daughter to Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, es-master George Page, which is pretty virginity. quire.
Slen. In the county of Gloster, justice of peace, and coram.
Slen. Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks small like a woman.
Eva. It is that fery person for all the 'orld, as Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and cust-alorum.2 just as you will desire; and seven hundred pounds Slen. Ay, and ratolorum too; and a gentleman of monies, and gold, and silver, is her grandsire, born, master parson; who writes himself armigero; upon his death's-bed (Got deliver to a joyful resurin any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, ar-rections!) give, when she is able to overtake sevenmigero.
Shal. Ay, that we do; and have done any time these three hundred years.
Slen. All his successors, gone before him, have done't; and all his ancestors, that come after him, may: they may give the dozen white luces in their
Shal. It is an old coat.
Eva. The dozen white louses do become an old coat well; it agrees well, passant: it is a familiar beast to man, and signifies-love.
Shal. The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.
Slen. I may quarter, coz?
Shal. You may, by marrying.
Eva. Yes, py'r-lady; if he has a quarter of your coat, there is but three skirts for yourself, in my simple conjectures: but that is all one: if Sir John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto you, I am of the church, and will be glad to do my benevolence, to make atonements and compromises between you.
Shal. The council shall hear it; it is a riot.
(1) A title formerly appropriated to chaplains. (2) Custos rotulorum.
teen years old: it were a goot motion, if we leave our pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage between master 'Abraham, and mistress Anne Page.
Shal. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred
Eva. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny. Shal. I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.
Eva. Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is goot gifts.
Shal. Well, let us see honest master Page: is Falstaff there?
Eva. 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. will peat the door [knocks] for master Page. What, hoa! Got pless your house here!
Shal. 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.
Page. We three, to hear it, and end it between them.
Eva. Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in my note-book; and we will afterwards 'ork upon the cause, with as great discreetly as we can. Fal. Pistol,
Pist. He hears with ears.
Eva. The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, He hears with ear? Why, it is affectations.
Fal. Pistol, did you pick master Slender's purse? Slen. 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 shilling and two pence apiece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
Fal. Is this true, Pistol?
Eva. No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo :8
Eva. It is spoke as a christians ought to speak. Shal. He hath wrong'd me, master Page. Page. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it. Shal. If it be confess'd, it is not redress'd; is not that so, master Page? he hath wrong'd me; in-I deed, he hath;-at a word, he hath;-believe me;-nuthook's humour on me; that is the very note of it. Robert Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wrong'd. Page. Here comes Sir John.
Enter Sir John Falstaff, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol.
Fal. Now, master Shallow; you'll complain of me to the king?
Shal. Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer, and broke open my lodge.
Fal. But not kiss'd your keeper's daughter. Shal. Tut, a pin! this shall be answer'd. Fal. I will answer it straight;-I have done all this-that is now answer'd.
Shal. The council shall know this. Fal. "Twere better for you, if it were known in counsel you'll be laugh'd at.
Eva. Pauca verba, Sir John, good worts. Fal. Good worts 2 good cabbage.-Slender, I broke your head; what matter have you against me?
Slen. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you; and against your coney-catching3 rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and made me drunk, and afterwards picked my pocket.
Bar. You Banbury cheese !4
Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca, slice! that's my humour.
Slen. Where's Simple, my man?-can you tell, cousin?
Eva. Peace, I pray you! Now let us understand: there is three umpires in this matter, as I
(1) Cotswold in Gloucestershire.
Slen. By this hat, then he in the red face had it: for though I cannot remember what I did when you made ne drunk, yet I am not altogether an ass. Fal. What say you, Scarlet and John? Bard. Why, sir, for my part, I say, the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five sentences. Eva. It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is!
Bard. And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashier'd; and so conclusions pass'd the careires, 12
Slen. 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.
Eva. So Got 'udge me, that is a virtuous mind. Fal. 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. Slen. O heaven! this is mistress Anne Page. Page. How now, mistress Ford? Fal. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good mistress.
Page. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome :-Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner; come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkind ness.
[Exeunt all but Shal. Slend. and Evans. Slen. I had rather than forty shillings, I had my book of songs and sonnets here :-
(7) King Edward's shillings, used in the game
(2) Worts was the ancient name of all the cab-of shuffle-board. bage kind.
(8) Blade as thin as a lath.
(9) Lips. (11) Drunk.
(10) If you say I am a thief. (12) The bounds of good behaviour.
How now, Simple! where have you been? I must
Shal. 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?
Slen. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if
Eva. Give ear to his motions, master Slender: I
they will not sit, till you come.
Slen. I'faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much as though I did.
Anne. I pray you, sir, walk in.
Slen. I had rather walk here, I thank you: I
will description the matter to you, if you be capa-bruised my shin the other day with playing at city of it.
Slen. Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says: pray you, pardon me; he's a justice of peace in his country, simple though I stand here.
Eva. But that is not the question; the question is concerning your marriage.
Shal. Ay, there's the point, sir.
Eva. Marry, is it; the very point of it; to mistress Anne Page.
Slen. Why, if it be so, I will marry her, upon any reasonable demands.
Eva. 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?
Shal. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her? Slen. I hope, sir,-I will do, as it shall become one that would do reason.
Eva. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies, you must speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires towards her.
Shal. That you must: will you, upon good dowry, marry her?
Slen. I will do a greater thing than that, upon your request, cousin, in any reason.
Shal. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz what I do, is to pleasure you, coz; Can you love the maid?
veneys? for a dish of stewed prunes; and, by my sword and dagger with a master of fence, three troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your dogs bark so? be there bears i' the
Page. Come on, sir.
Slen. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.
Slen. Truly, I will not go first; truly, la: I will
Anne. I pray you, sir.
Slen. I will marry her, sir, at your request; but if there be no great love in the beginning, yet hea-not do you that wrong. ven 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.
Eva. It is a fery discretion answer; save, the faul' is in the 'ort dissolutely: the 'ort is, according to our meaning, resolutely;—his meaning is good. Shal. Ay, I think my cousin meant well. Slen. Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la.
Re-enter Anne Page.
Shal. Here comes fair mistress Anne :-Would
Shal. I will wait on him, fair mistress Anne. Eva. Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.
[Exeunt Shal. and Sir H. Evans.
(1) An intended blunder.
Slen. I'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome: you do yourself wrong, indeed, la.
SCENE II.-The same. Enter Sir Hugh Evans and Simple.
Eva. Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Caius' house, which is the way: and there dwells one mistress Quickly, which is in the manner of his nurse, or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, his washer, and his wringer.
Simp. Well, sir.
Eva. Nay, it is petter yet: -give her this lettance with mistress Anne Page; and the letter is, ter; for it is a 'oinan that altogether's acquainto desire and require her to solicit your master's desires to mistress Ann Page: I pray you, I will make an end of my dinner: there's pippins be gone; and cheese to come. [Exeunt.
(3) The name of a bear exhibited at ParisGarden, in Southwark.
(4) Surpassed all expression.
gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly. Pist. Then did the sun on dunghill shine. Nym. I thank thee for that humour.
Fal. O, she did so course o'er my exteriors with did seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass! such a greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye Here's another letter to her: she bears the purse too: she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West I will be cheater4 to them both, and they shall be Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go, bear mistress Ford: we will thrive, lads, we will thrive. thou this letter to mistress Page; and thou this to
Pist. Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become, And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all! humour letter; I will keep the 'haviour of reputaNym. I will run no base humour; here, take the
tion. [Exit Host. Fal. Bardolph, follow him; a tapster is a good trade: an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered serving-man, a fresh tapster: go; adieu. Bard. It is a life that I have desired; I will [Exit Bard. Pist. O base Gongarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?
Fal. Hold, sirrah, [to Rob.] bear you these letSail like my pinnace to these golden shores.— ters tightly;5 Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hail-stones, go; Trudge, plod, away, o' the hoof; seek shelter, Falstaff will learn the humour of this age, pack!
Nym. He was gotten in drink: is not the hu-French thrift, you rogues; myself, and skirted mour conceited? His mind is not heroic, and there's page. [Exeunt Falstaff and Robin. Pist. Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and the humour of it. fullam holds,
Fal. I am glad, I am so acquit of this tinder-And high and low beguile the rich and poor: box; his thefts were too open: his filching was like an unskilful singer, he kept not time.
Nym. The good humour is, to steal at a minute's
Pist. Convey, the wise it call: steal! foh; a fico2 for the phrase !
Fal. Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
Fal. There is no remedy; I must coney-catch; I must shift.
Pist. Young ravens must have food.
Fal. Which of you know Ford of this town? Pist. I ken the wight; he is of substance good. Fal. My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
Pist. Two yards, and more.
Fal. No quips now, Pistol; indeed I am in the waist two yards about: but I am now about no waste; I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford's wife; I spy entertainment in her; she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation: I can construe the action of her familiar style; and the hardest voice of her behaviour, to be English'd rightly, is, I am Sir John Falstaff's.
Pist. He hath studied her well, and translated her well; out of honesty into English.
Nym. The anchor is deep: will that humour pass?
Fal. Now, the report goes, she has all the rule of her husband's purse; she hath legions of angels.3
Pist. As many devils entertain; and, To her, boy, say I. Nym. The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.
Fal. I have writ me here a letter to her and here another to Page's wife; who even now gave me good eyes too, examin'd my parts with inost judicious eyliads: sometimes the beam of her view
(1) For Hungarian. (2) Fig. (3) Gold coin. (4) Escheatour, an officer in the Exchequer. (5) Cleverly. (6) False dice.
Tester I'll have in pouch, when thou shalt lack, Base Phrygian Turk!
Nym. I have operations in my head, which be humours of revenge.
Pist. Wilt thou revenge?
By welkin, and her star!
Pist. With wit, or steel? Nym.
I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.
With both the humours, I;
His dove will prove, his gold will hold,
Nym. My humour shall not cool: I will incense Page to deal with poison; I will possess him with yellowness, for the revolt of mien is dangerous : that is my true humour.
Pist. Thou art the Mars of malcontents: I second thee; troop on. [Exeunt.
SCENE IV-A room in Dr. Caius's house. Enter Mrs. Quickly, Simple, and Rugby.
Quick. What; John Rugby!-I pray thee, go to the casement, and see if you can see my master, master Doctor Caius, coming: if he do, i'faith, and find any body in the house, here will be an old abusing of God's patience, and the king's English. Rug. I'll go watch. [Exit Rugby.
Quick. Go; and we'll have a posset for't soon at night, in faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire. An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant shall come in house withal; and, I warrant you, no tell-tale, nor no breed-bate:10 his worst fault is, that he is given to prayer; he is something peevishll that way: but nobody but has his fault; but let that pass. Peter Simple, you say your name is? Sim. Ay, for fault of a better.
Quick. And master Slender's your master?
(7) Sixpence I'll have in pocket.