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Shal. Coufin Abraham Slender, can you love her? Slen. I hope, Sir; I will do as it fhall become one that would do reafon.
Eva. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies, you must fpeak poffitable, if you can carry her your defires towards her. Shal. That you muft: will you, upon good dowry, marry her?
Slen. I will do a greater thing than that upon your requeft, coufin, in any reafon.
Shal. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, fweet coz ; what I do is to pleasure you, coz: can you love the maid?
Slen. I will marry her, Sir, at your request: but if there be no great love in the beginning, yet heav'n may decrease it upon better acquaintance, when we are marry'd, and have more occafion to know one another; I hope upon fa miliarity will grow more contempt: but if you fay, marry her, I will marry her, that I am freely diffolved, and diffolutely.
Eva. It is a ferry difcretion anfwer, fave the faul' is in th' ort diffolutely the ort is, according to our meaning, refolutely; his meaning is goot.
Shal. Ay, I think my coufin meant well.
Slen. Ay, or elfe I would I might be hang'd, la.
Shal. Here comes fair miftrefs Anne: wou'd I were young for your fake, mistress Anne.
Anne. The dinner is on the table; my father defires your worship's company.
Shal. I will wait on him, fair mistress Anne.
Eva. Od's pleffed will, I will not be abfence at the Grace.
Slen. I am not a-hungry, I thank you forfooth. Go, Sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my coufin Shallow : a Juftice of peace fometime may be beholden to his friend for a man. I keep but three men and a boy yet, 'till my mother be dead; but what though, yet I live a poor gentleman born.
Anne. I may not go in without your worship; they will not fit '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 bruis'd my fhin th' other day with playing at fword and dagger with a mafter of fence, three veneys for a dish of stew'd prunes; and, by my troth, I cannot abide the fmell of hot meat fince. Why do your dogs bark fo? be there bears i' th' town? Anne. I think there are, Sir; I heard them talk'd of. Slen. I love the sport well, but I fhall as foon quarrel at it as any man in England. You are afraid if you see the bear loofe, are you not?
Anne. Ay indeed, Sir.
Slen. That's meat and drink to me now; I have seen Sackerfon loofe twenty times, and have taken him by the chain; but, I warrant you, the women have so cry'd and fhriekt at it, that it past *: but women indeed cannot abide 'em, they are very ill-favour'd rough things.
Enter Mr. Page.
Page. Come, gentle Mr. Slender, come; we stay for you. Slen. I chufe to eat nothing, I thank you, Sir.
Page. By cock and pye, you shall not chufe, Sir; come;
Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way.
Page. Come on, Sir.
Slen. Miftrefs Anne, your self shall go first.
Anne. Not I, Sir; pray you, keep on.
Slen. Truly I will not go firft, truly-la: I will not de you that wrong.
Anne. I pray you, Sir.
Slen. I'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome; you do your felf wrong, indeed-la. [Exeunt. It paft, and This paffes was a way of speaking customary here. tofore to fignify the excess or extraordinary degree of any thing. The fentence compleated would be, It paft or This paffes all expreffion, or perhaps (according to a vulgar phrafe ftill in ufe) It paft or This paffes all things, is beyond all things. The participle of the fame verb is still in common ufe and in the fame fenfe: paffing well, passing Brange, &c.
SCENE VI. Re-enter Evans and Simple. Eva. Go your ways, and afk of doctor Caius' houfe which is the way; and there dwells one miftrefs Quickly, which is in the manner of his nurfe, or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, his wafher, and his ringer.
Simp. Well, Sir.
Eva. Nay, it is petter yet; give her this letter; for it is a 'oman that altogethers acquaintance with mistress Anne Page; and the letter is to defire and require her to follicit your master's defires to mistress Anne Page: I pray you, be gone; I will make an end of my dinner; there's pippins and cheese to come. [Exeunt.
SCENE VII. Changes to the Garter-Inn. Enter Falftaff, Hoft, Bardolph, Nym, Pistol and Robin. · Fal. Mine hoft of the garter!
Hoft. What fays my bully rock? fpeak schollarly, and wifely.
Fal. Truly, mine hoft, I must turn away fome of my followers.
Hoft. Difcard, bully Hercules, cafhier; let them wag ; trot, trot.
Fal. I fit at ten pounds a week.
Hoft. Thou'rt an Emperor, Cafar, Keifar and Pheazar. I will entertain Bardolph, he will draw, he will tap; faid I well, bully Hectar?
Fal. Do fo, good mine hoft.
Hoft. I have fpoke, let him follow; let me fee thee froth, and live: I am at a word; follow. [Exit Hoft.
Fal. Bardolph, follow him; a tapfter is a good trade; an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a wither'd serving-man, a fresh tapfter; go, adieu.
Bard. It is a life that I have defired: I will thrive.
Fal. I am glad I am fo quit of this tinderbox; his thefts were too open, his filching was like an unfkilful finger, he kept not time.
Nym. The good humour is to steal at a minute's reft.
Pift. Convey, the wife it call: fteal? foh; a fico for the phrafe!
Fal. Well, Sirs, I am almoft out at heels.
Fal. There is no remedy: I must cony-catch, I muf fhift.
Pift. Young ravens must have food.
Fal. Which of you know Ford of this town?
Fal. No quips now, Piftol: indeed I am in the waste two yards about; but I am now about no wafte, I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford's wife: I fpy entertainment in her; the difcourfes, the carves, the gives the leer of invitation; I can conftrue the action of her familiar ftile, and the hardest voice of her behaviour, to be english'd right, is, I am Sir John Falstaff's.
Pift. He hath ftudy'd her well, and tranflated her out of honefty into English:
Nym. The anchor is deep; will that humour pafs? Fal. Now the report goes, fhe has all the rule of her hufband's purfe: fhe hath a legion of angels.
Pift. As many devils entertain; and to her, boy, fay I. Nym. The humour rifes; 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 most judicious oiellades; fometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, fometimes my portly belly.
Pift. Then did the fun on dung-hill shine.
Fal. O, fhe did fo courfe o'er my exteriors with such a greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye did feem to fcorch me up like a burning-glafs. Here's another letter to her; fhe bears the purfe too; fhe is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will be Efcheator to them both, and they fhall be Exchequers to me; they fhall be my Eaft and Weft Indies, and I will trade to them both, Go, bear thou
this letter to miftrefs Page; and thou this to mistress Ford: we will thrive, lads, we will thrive.
Pift. Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,
Nym. I will run no base humour: here take the humour. letter, I will keep the haviour of reputation.
Fal. Hold, Sirrah, bear you thefe letters rightly, [To Robin Sail like my pinnace to these golden fhores.
Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hail-ftones, go!
French thrift, you rogues, my self and skirted Page.
Pift. Let vultures gripe thy guts; for gourd and Fulhams
Bafe Phrygian Turk.
Nym. I have operations in my head, which be humours
Pift. Wilt thou revenge?
Pift. With wit, or steel?
Nym. With both the humours, I:
I will difclofe the humour of this love to Ford.
Pift. And I to Page fhall eke unfold
His dove will prove, his gold will hold,
Nym. My humour shall not cool; 'I will incenfe Ford to deal with poifon, I will poffefs him with jealoufies, for this revolt of mine is dangerous: that is my true humour.
Pift. Thou art the Mars of male-contents: I fecond thee; troop on. [Exeunt.
SCENE IX. Changes to Dr. Caius's houfe. Enter miftrefs Quickly, Simple, and John Rugby. Quic. What, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the cafement, and fee if you can fee my mafter, mafter Doctor Caius, coming; if he do, i'faith, and find any body in the VOL. I. house,