Page images

may: they may give the dozen white luces in their coat. 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 4. Slen. I may quarter, coz? Shal. You may, by marrying. Eva. It is marring indeed, if he quarter it. Shal. Not a whit. Eva. Yes, pe'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 5 shall hear it; it is a riot.

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 6 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 prain, which, peradventure, prings goot discretions with it: There is Anne Page, which is daughter to master George Page, which is pretty virginity.

and now,

4 It seems that the latter part of this speech should be given to Sir Hugh. Shallow has just before said the coat is an old one;

that it is "the luce, the fresh fish. No, replies the parson it cannot be old and fresh too - "the salt fish is an old coat.' Shakspeare is supposed to allude to the arms of Sir Thomas Lucy, who is said to have prosecuted him for a misdemeanor in his youth, and whom he now ridiculed under the character of Justice Shallow, 5 The Conrt of Star-chamber is meant. & Adrisement.

[ocr errors]

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 just as you will desire; and seven hundred pounds of monies, and gold, and silver, is her grandsire, upon his death's bed (Got deliver to a joyful resurrections !) give, when she is able to overtake seventeen 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 pound?

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 good 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 Jolin, is there; and, I beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will peat the door [knocks] for master Rage. What, hoa! Got pless your house here!

Enter Page. Page. Who's there? Eva. Here is Got's plessing, and 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.

Shal. 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


7 Soft. Voul.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Page ?-and I love you always with my heart,
la; with my heart.
Page. Sir, I thank you.
Shal. Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.
Page. I am glad to see you, good master Slender.
Slen. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I
heard say, he was out-run on Cotsale 9.
Page. It could not be judg'd, sir.
Slen. You'll not confess, you'll not confess.
Shal. That he will not ;-'tis your fault, 'tis your
fault:-"Tis a good dog.
Page. A cur, sir.

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. 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 redressid ; is not 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. 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.

[ocr errors]

8 First folio. I thank. The reading in the text is from the 4to. 1619.

9 The Cotswold Hills in Gloucestershire, famous for their fine turf, and therefore excellent for coursing.

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 10!. 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-catching 11 rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and made me drunk, and afterwards picked my pocket. Bar. You Banbury cheese 12! Slen. Ay, it is no matter. Pist. How now, Mephostophilus 137 Slen. Ay, it is no matter. Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca 14; slice! that's 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 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.

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.

my humour.

10 Worts was the ancient term for all the cabbage kind.

11 A common name for cheats and sharpers in the time of Elizabeth. 'By a metaphor taken from those that rob warrens and conie grounds.'-Minshew's Dict.

12 Said in allusion to the thin carcass of Slender. So, in Jack Drum's Entertainment, 1601. “Put off your clothes, and you are like a Banbury Cheese, nothing but paring."

13 The name of a spirit, or familiar, in the old story book of Faustus: to whom there is another allusiou Act ii. Sc. 2. It was a caut phrase, probably for an ugly fellow.

14 Few words.



Eva. The teril 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 15, that cost me two shilling and twopence a-piece of Yead Miller, by these gloves. Fal. Is this true, Pistol? Eva. No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse. Pist. Ila, thou mountain-foreigner! - Sir John,

and master mine, I combat challenge of this latten bilbo 16: Word of denial in thy labras 17 here; Word of denial; froth and scum, thou liest. Slen. By these gloves, then 'twas he. Nym. Be avised, sir, and pass good humours: I will say, marry, trap, with you, if you run the nuthook's 18 humour on me; that is the very note of it.

Slen. 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. 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 19, sir, was, as they say, cashier'd, and so conclusions pass'd the careires 20

11 Lips.

15 Mill sixpences were used as counters; and King Edward's shillings used in the game of shnffle-board.

16 Latten, from the Fr. Laiton, Brass. - Bilbo, from Bilboa in Spain, where fine sword blades were made. Pistol therefore calle Slender a weak blade of base metal, as one of brass would be.

18 Metaphorically a bailiff or constable, who hooks or geizes debtors or malefactors with a staff or otherwise. The meaning apparently is, if yon try to bring me to justice.'.

19 Fap was evidently a.cant term for Foolish. It may have been derived from the Italian Vappa, which Florio explains "any wine that hath lost his force: used also for a man or woman without writ or reason." In Hutton's Dict. 1583, one of the meanings of the Latin Vappa is a Dissard or fooiish man, &c.

20 A military phrase for running the charge in a tournament or attack; here used metaphorically.

« PreviousContinue »