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Sim. Ay, forsooth.
Quick. Does he not wear a great round beard, like a glover's paring-knife?
Sim. No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with a little yellow beard; a Cain-coloured beard. Quick. A softly-sprighted man, is he not? Sim. Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his hands, as any is between this and his head: he hath fought with a warrener.2
Quick. How say you?-O, I should remember him; does he not hold up his head, as it were? and strut in his gait?
Sim. Yes, indeed, does he.
Quick. Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse brtune! Tell master parson Evans, I will do what I can for your master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish
Carus. Vat is you sing? I do not like dese toys; Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un boitier verd; a box, a green-a box; do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.
Quick. Ay, forsooth, I'll fetch it you. I am glad he went not in himself; if he had found the young man, he would have been horn-mad. [Aside Caius. Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je m'en vais à la cour,-la grand affaire.
Quick. Is it this, sir?
Caius. Ouy; mette le au mon pocket; depeche,
Caius. You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby: come, take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to de court.
Rug. 'Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.
Caius. By my trot, I tarry too long:-Od's me! Qu'ay j'oublié ? dere is some simples in my closet, dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.
Quick. Ah me! he'll find the young man there, and be mad.
Caius. O diable, diable! vat is in my closet?Villany! larron! [Pulling Simple out.] Rugby, my rapier.
Quick. Good master, be content. Caius. Verefore shall I be content-a? Quick. The young man is an honest man. Caius. Vat shall de honest man do in my closet? dere is no honest man dat shall come in my closet. Quick. I beseech you, be not so flegmatic; hear the truth of it: he came of an errand to me from parson Hugh.
Sim. Ay, forsooth, to desire her to
Quick. Peace, I pray you.
for my master, in the way of marriage
Camus. Sir Hugh send-a you?-Rugby, baillez me some paper:-Tarry you a little-a while.
Quick. I am glad he is so quiet: if he had been thoroughly moved, you should have heard him so loud, and so melancholy;-but notwithstanding, man, I'll do your master what good I can: and, the very yea and the no is, the French doctor, my master,-I may call him my master, look you, for I keep his house; and I wash, wring, brew, bake, scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds, and do all myself;
Sim. 'Tis a great charge, to come under one body's hand.
Quick. Are you avis'd o' that? you shall find it a great charge: and to be up early, and down late ;--but notwithstanding (to tell you in your ear; I in love with mistress Anne Page: but notwithwould have no words of it;) my master himself is standing that, I know Anne's mind,—that's nei
ther here nor there.
Hugh; by gar, it is a shallenge: I vill cut his troat
Quick. Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well: we must give folks leave to prate: What, the good-jer !4
Caius. Rugby, come to the court vit me ;-by gar, if I have not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my door :-Follow my heels, Rugby. [Exeunt Caius and Rugby.
Quick. You shall have An fools-head of your own. No, I know Anne's mind for that: never a woman in Windsor knows more of Anne's mind than I do; nor can do more than I do with her, I thank heaven.
Fent. [Within.] Who's within there, ho? Quick. Who's there, I trow? Come near the house, I pray you.
Fent. How now, good woman; how dost thou? Quick. The better, that it pleases your good worship to ask.
Fent. What news? how does pretty mistress Anne?
Quick. In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and gentle; and one that is your friend, 1 can tell you that by the way; I praise heaven for it.
Fent. Shall I do any good, thinkest thou? Shall I not loose my suit?
Quick. Troth, sir, all is in his hands above: but notwithstanding, master Fenton, I'll be sworn on a
Carus. Peace-a your tongue:-Speak-a your tale.book, she loves you:-Have not your worship a
Sim. To desire this honest gentlewoman, your
maid, to speak a good word to mistress Anne Page,
(1) Brave. (2) The keeper of a warren. (3) Scolded, reprimanded.
wart above your eye?
Fent. Yes, marry, have I; what of that?
(4) The goujere, what the pox!
it is such another Nan:-but, I detest, an honest | show you to the contrary: O, mistress Page, give maid as ever broke bread:-We had an hour's me some counsel! talk of that wart;-I shall never laugh but in that maid's company.-But, indeed, she is given too much to allicholly2 and musing: but for youWell, go to.
Mrs. Page. What's the matter, woman? Mrs. Ford. O woman, if it were not for one trifling respect, I could come to such honour!
Mrs. Page. Hang the trifle, woman; take the honour: what is it?-dispense with trifles;-what is it?
Mrs. Ford. If I would but go to hell for an eternal moment, or so, I could be knighted.
Mrs. Page. What?-thou liest!-Sir Alice Ford!- -These knights will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry.
Fent. Well, I shall see her to-day: hold, there's money for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if thou seest her before me, commend meQuick. Will I? i'faith, that we will: and I will tell your worship more of the wart, the next time we have confidence; and of other wooers. Fent. Well, farewell; I am in great haste now. [Exit. Mrs. Ford. We burn day-light-here, read, Quick. Farewell to your worship.-Truly, an read;-perceive how I might be knighted.--I shall honest gentleman; but Anne loves him not; for I think the worse of fat men, as long as I have an eye to know Anne's mind as well as another does :-make difference of men's liking and yet he would Out upon't! what have I forgot? [Exit. not swear; praised women's modesty: and gave such orderly and well-behaved reproof to all uncomeliness, that I would have sworn his disposition would have gone to the truth of his words: but they do no more adhere and keep place together, than the hundredth psalm to the tune of Green Sleeves.
SCENE I-Before Page's house. Enter Mis- What tempest, I trow, threw this whale, with so
tress Page, with a letter.
many tuns of oil in his belly, ashore at Windsor? How shall I be revenged on him? I think the best way were to entertain him with hope, till the wicked fire of lust have melted him in his own grease. Did you ever hear the like?
Mrs. Page. What! have I 'scaped love-letters in the holy-day time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them? Let me see: [reads. Mrs. Page. Letter for letter; but that the name Ask me no reason why I love you; for though love use reason for his precisian, he admits him of Page and Ford differs!-To thy great comfort not for his counsellor: You are not young, no in this mystery of ill opinions, here's the twin more am I; go to then, there's sympathy: you brother of thy letter: but let thine inherit first; for, are merry, so am I; ha! ha! then there's moreI protest, mine never shall. I warrant, he hath a sympathy: you love sack, and so do I; would you desire better sympathy? Let it suffice thee, mistress Page (at the least, if the love of a soldier can suffice,) that I love thee. I will not say, pity me, 'tis not a soldier-like phrase; but I say, love me. By me,
What a Herod of Jewry is this!--O wicked, wicked world!-one that is well nigh worn to pieces with age, to show himself a young gallant! What an unweighed behaviour hath this Flemish drunkard picked (with the devil's name) out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me? Why, he hath not been thrice in my company! What should I say to him?--I was then frugal of my mirth :-heaven forgive me!-Why, I'll exhibit a bill in the parliament for the putting down of men. How shall I be revenged on him? for revenged I will be, as sure as his guts are made of puddings.
Enter Mistress Ford.
thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for different names (sure more,) and these are of the second edition: he will print them out of doubt: for he cares not what he puts into the press, when he would put us two. I had rather be a giantess, and lie under mount Pelion. Well, I will find you twenty lascivious turtles, ere one chaste man.
Mrs. Ford. Why, this is the very same; the very hand, the very words: what doth he think of us? Mrs. Page. Nay, I know not: it makes me almost ready to wrangle with mine own honesty. I'll entertain myself like one that I am not acquainted withal; for, sure, unless he know some strain in me, that I know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury.
Mrs. Ford. Boarding, call you it? I'll be sure to keep him above deck.
Mrs. Page. So will I; if he come under my hatches, I'll never to sea again. Let's be revenged on him: let's appoint him a meeting; give him a show of comfort in his suit; and lead him on with a fine-baited delay, till he hath pawn'd his horses to mine host of the Garter.
Mrs. Ford. Nay, I will consent to act any villany against him, that may not sully the chariness of our honesty. O, that my husband saw this letter! it would give eternal food to his jealousy.
Mrs. Page. Why, look, where he comes; and Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page! trust me, I was go-am from giving him cause; and that, I hope, is an my good man too: he's as far from jealousy, as I ing to your house.
Mrs. Page. And, trust me, I was coming to you. You look very ill.
Mrs. Ford. Nay, I'll ne'er believe that; I have to show to the contrary.
Mrs. Page. 'Faith, but you do, in my mind.
(1) She means, I protest. (2) Melancholy.
Mrs. Ford. You are the happier woman.
Enter Ford, Pistol, Page, and Nym.
Pist. Hope is a curtail! dog in some affairs :
Ford. Why, sir, my wife is not young.
Both young and old, one with another, Ford;
Pist. With liver burning hot: prevent, or go thou,
Pist. The horn, I say: farewell.
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 more of her 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
Take heed, ere summer comes, or cuckoo-birds do confident: I would have nothing lie on my head: I
Away, sir corporal Nym.——
Believe it, Page; he speaks sense. [Exit Pistol. Ford. I will be patient; I will find out this. Nym. And this is true. [To Page.] I like not the humour of lying. He hath wrong'd me in some humours; I should have borne the humoured letter to her but I have a sword, and it shall bite upon my necessity. He loves your wife; there's the short and the long. My name is corporal Nym; I speak, and I avouch. 'Tis true:-my name is Nym, and Falstaff loves your wife.-Adieu! I love not the humour of bread and cheese; and there's [Exit Nym. Page. The humour of it, quoth 'a! here's a fellow frights humour out of his wits.
the humour of it. Adieu.
Ford. I will seek out Falstaff.
Page. I never heard such a drawling, affecting rogue.
Ford. If I do find it, well.
Page. I will not believe such a Cataian,4 though the priest o' the town commended him for a true
Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow: Well.
Mrs. Page. Whither go you, George?-Hark
Mrs. Ford. How now, sweet Frank? why art thou melancholy?
Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy.Get you home, go.
Mrs. Ford. Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head now.-Will you go, mistress Page?
Mrs. Page. Have with you.-You'll come to dinner, George?-Look, who comes yonder: she shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.
cannot be thus satisfied.
Page. Look, where my ranting host of the Garter comes: there is either liquor in his pate, or money in his purse, when he looks so merrily.How now, mine host?
Enter Host and Shallow.
Host. How now, bully-rook? thou'rt a gentleman: cavalero-justice, I say.
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.
Shall. Sir, there is a fray to be fought, between 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 him, my name is Brook; only for a jest. of burnt sack to give me recourse to him, and tell
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? [Aside to Mrs. Ford.
Enter Mistress Quickly. Mrs. Ford. Trust me, I thought on her: she'll fit it.
Mrs. Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne?
Quick. Ay, forsooth; and, I pray, how does good mistress Anne?
Mrs. Page. Go in with us, and see; we have an hour's talk with you.
[Exe. Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Mrs. Quick. Page. How now, master Ford? Ford. You heard what this knave told me; did you not?
Page. Yes; and you heard what the other told
Ford. Do you think there is truth in them? Page. Hang 'em, slaves! I do not think the ught would offer it: but these that accuse him
(1) A dog that misses his game. (2) A medley. (4) A lying sharper.
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 talls fellows 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. 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. [Exit
SCENE II-A Room in the Garter Inn.
Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.
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-fellow2 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 my honour, thou hadst it not. Pist. Didst thou not share? hadst thou not fif teen pence?
it; you have brought her into such a canaries, as
Fal. But what says she to me? be brief, my good she Mercury.
Quick. Marry, she hath received your letter; for the which she thanks you a thousand times; and she gives you to notify, that her husband will be absence from his house between ten and eleven? Fal. Ten and eleven?
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 :3-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 Quick. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come left hand, and hiding mine honour in my necessity, and see the picture, she says, that you wote of;--am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch; and yet master Ford, her husband, will be from home. you, rogue, will ensconces your rags, your cat-a-Alas! the sweet woman leads an ill life with him; mountain looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your he's a very jealousy man; she leads a very frambold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your pold life with him, good heart. honour! You will not do it, you?
Pist. I do relent; What would'st thou more of
Fal. Ten and eleven? Woman, commend me to her; I will not fail her.
Quick. Why, you say well: But I have another messenger to your worship: Mistress Page hath her hearty commendations to you too ;-and let me
Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you. tell you in your ear, she's as fartuous a civil Fal. Let her approach.
Enter Mistress Quickly.
Quick. Give your worship good-morrow.
Quick. Not so, an't please your worship.
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? Heaven 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.
modest wife, and one (I tell you) that will not miss your morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, whoe'er be the other: and she bade me tell your worship, that her husband is seldom from home; but, she hopes, there will come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon a man: surely, I think you have charms, la; yes, in truth.
Fal. Not I, I assure thee; setting the attraction of my good parts aside, I have no other charms. Quick. Blessing on your heart for't!
Fal. But, I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford's wife, and Page's wife, acquainted each other how they love me?
Quick. That were a jest, indeed!-they have not so little grace, I hope :-that were a trick, indeed! But mistress Page would desire you to send her your little page, of all loves; 10 her husband has a marvellous infection to the little page: and, truly, master Page is an honest man. wife in Windsor leads a better life than she does; do what she will, say what 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
Quick. Marry, this is the short and the long of another's mind, and the boy never need to under
(1) Pay you again in stolen goods.
(2) Draws along with you.
(3) To cut purses in a crowd.
(4) Pickt-hatch was in Clerkenwell. (5) Protect.
(7) A mistake of Mrs. Quickly's for quandary.
(8) Know. (9) Fretful, peevish.
(10) By all means. (11) A watch-word.
Fal. Very well, sir; proceed.
Ford. There is a gentlewoman in this town, her husband's name is Ford.
Fal. Well, sir.
stand 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. Fal. Fare thee well: commend me to them both: there's my purse: I am yet thy debtor.--||| Ford. I have long loved her, and, I protest to Boy, go along with this woman.-This news dis-you, bestowed much on her; followed her with a tracts me! [Exeunt Quickly and Robin. doting observance; engrossed opportunities to Pist. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers :- meet her; fee'd every slight occasion, that could Clap on more sails; pursue, up with your fights; but niggardly give me sight of her not only Give fire; she is my prize, or ocean whelm them bought many presents to give her, but have given [Exit Pistol. largely to many, to know what she would have Fal. Say'st thou so, old Jack? go thy ways; given: briefly, I have pursued her, as love hath I'll make more of thy old body than I have done. pursued me; which hath been, on the wing of all Will they yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after occasions. But whatsoever I have merited, either the expense of so much money, be now a gainer? in my mind, or in my means, meed,3 I am sure, I Good body, I thank thee: Let them say, 'tis gross-have received none; unless experience be a jewel: ly done; so it be fairly done, no matter.
Fal. Call him in; [Exit Bardolph.]
Re-enter Bardolph, with Ford disguised.
that I have purchased at an infinite rate; and that hath taught me to say this:
Love like a shadow flies, when substance love pur
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?
Fal. And you, sir: Would you speak with me? Ford. When I have told you that, I have told Ford. I make bold, to press with so little pre-you all. Some say, that, though she appear honest paration upon you. to me, yet, in other places, she enlargeth her Fal. You're welcome; What's your will? Give mirth so far, that there is shrewd construction us leave, drawer. (Exit Bardolph.made of her. Now, sir John, here is the heart of Ford. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent my purpose: You are a gentleman of excellent much; my name is Brook.
breeding, admirable discourse, of great admit
Fal. Good master Brook, I desire more acquaint-tance,4 authentic in your place and person, geneance of you. rally allowed for your many warlike, court-like, and learned preparations.
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 enbolden'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 be brief with you;-and you have been a man long known to me, though I had never so good means, as desire, to make myself acquainted 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, sith2 you yourself know, how easy it is to be such an offender.
(1) A cant phrase of exultation.
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 in exchange of it, as to lay an amiable siege to the honesty of this Ford's wife: use your art 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 securely on the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my soul dares not present itself; 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 commend themselves; I could drive her then from the ward of her purity, her reputation, her marriage-vow, and a thousand other her defences, which now are too strongly embattled against me; What say you to't, sir John?
Fal. Master Brook, I will first make bold with your money; next, give me your hand; and last, as I am a gentleman, you shall, if you will, enjoy
(4) In the greatest companies. (5) Approved. (6) Guard.