« ZurückWeiter »
Eva. Pray you, let us not be laughing-stogs to other men's humours; I desire you in friendship, and I will one way or other make you amends. I will knog your urinals about your knave's cogscomb for missing your meetings and appointments.
Caius. Diable !-Jack Rugby,—mine Host de Jarretière, have I not stay for him, to kill him ? have I not, at de place I did appoint ?
Eva. As I am a Christian soul, now, look you, this is the place appointed. I'll be judgment by mine Host of the Garter.
Host. Peace, I say! Gallia and Guallia, French and Welsh ; soul-curer and body-curer.
Caius. Ay, dat is very good : excellent.
Host. Peace, I say ! hear mine Host of the Garter. Am I politic? am I subtle ? am I a Machiavel ? Shall I lose my doctor ? no; he 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 hands, celestial and terrestrial ;' 80.—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, gentlemen, follow. Slen. 0, sweet Anne Page !
(Exeunt SHALLOW, SLENDER, Page, and Host. Caius. Ha! do I perceive dat! have you make-a de sot of us? ha, ha!
Eva. This is well, he has made us his vlouting-stog. -I desire you, that we may be friends, and let us knog our prains together to be revenge on this same scallo, scurvy, cogging 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.
[Exeunt. SCENE II.-A Street in Windsor.
Enter Mistress Page and ROBIN. Mrs. Page. Nay, keep your way, little gallant: you 1 The folios have : hands celestial, so. Malone altered it to “Give me thy hand terrestrial, so; give me thy hand celestial, so."
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.
Enter FORD. Ford. Well met, mistress Page. Whither go you ?
Mrs. Page. Truly, sir, to see your wife : is she at home?
Ford. Ay; and as idle as she may hang together, for want of your company. I think, if your husbands were dead, you two would marry.
Mrs. Page. Be sure of that,—two other husbands. Ford. Where had you this pretty weather-cock ?
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.
Mrs. Page. He, he; I can never hit on's name There is such a league between my good man and him ! 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. Hath 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. A man may hear this shower sing in the wind :—and Falstaff's boy with her !-Good plots !-they are laid; and our revolted wives share damnation together. Well; I will take him, 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 ten.”] The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me search; there I shall find
1 Applaud-a term in archery. 2 Not in f. e. 3 where : inf. e.
Falstaff. I shall be rather praised for this, than
SHALLOW, SLENDER, Host, Sir HUGH
Evans, Caius, and Rugby. Page, Shal. &c. Well met, master Ford.
Ford. Trust me, a good knot. I have good cheer at home, and I pray you all go with me.
Shal. I must excuse myself, master Ford.
Slen. And so must I, sir: we have appointed to dine with mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for more money than I'll speak of.
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; 't is 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 go home with me to dinner: besides your cheer, you shall have sport; I will show you a monster. -- Master doctor, you shall go :-so shall you, master Page ;-—and you, sir Hugh.
Shal. Well, fare you well.—We shall have the freer wooing at master Page’s.
(Exeunt SHALLOW and SLENDER. Caius. Go home, John Rugby; I come anon.
[Exit Rugby. 1 Property. Vol. I.-15
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 pipe-wine first with him; I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles ? All. Have with you, to see this monster. [Exeunt. SCENE III.A Room in Ford's House.
Enter Mrs. FORD and Mrs. PAGE.
Enter Servants with a large Basket.
Mrs. Page. Give your men the charge: we must be brief.
Mrs. Ford. Marry, as I told you before, John, and Robert, be ready here hard by in the brew-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 backdoor, mistress Ford, and requests your company.
Mrs. Page. You little Jack-a-lents, 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
1 Washerwomen. 2. An eyas, is a young hawk, a musket from the Italian muschetto, a little hawk. 3 A jack, or puppet thrown at as a mark, in Lent.
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 cue. (Exit Robin. Mrs. Page. I warrant thee : if I do not act it, hiss
[Exit Mrs. PAGE. Mrs. Ford. Go to, then: we 'll use this unwholesome humidity, this gross watery pumpion ;-we'll teach him to know turtles from jays.
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. O 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. I your lady, sir John ? alas, I should be a pitiful lady.
Fal. Let the court of France show me such another. I see how thine eye would emulate the diamond : thou hast the right arched beauty of the brow, that becomes the ship-tire, the tire-valiant, or any tire of Venetian admittance.
Mrs. Ford. A plain kerchief, sir John : my brows become nothing else; nor that well neither.
Fal. By the Lord, thou art a tyrant to say so : thou wouldst 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 thy friend : come, thou canst not hide it.
Mrs. Ford. Believe me, there's no such thing in me.
Fal. What made me love thee ? let that persuade thee, there's something extraordinary in thee. Come; I cannot cog, and say thou art this and that, like a many of these lisping haw-thorn buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklersbury in simple:-time: I cannot ; but I love thee, none but thee, and thou deservest it.
1 A line from Sidney's Astrophel and Stella. ? if fortune were not thy foe.