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and prabbles, and desire a marriage between master Abraham and mistress Anne Page.
Shal. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pounds ?
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 John, is there; and, I beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will peat the door [knocks] for master Page. 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 killed :—How doth good mistress 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 outrun on Cotsale.
Page. It could not be judged, sir.
1 The Cotswold Hills in Gloucestershire, famous for their fine turf, and therefore excellent for coursing.
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. If it be confessed, it is not redressed; is not that so, master Page? He hath wronged me; indeed he hath ;—at a word, he hath ;-believe me ;-Robert Shallow, esquire, saith he is wronged.
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 kissed your keeper's daughter?
Fal. I will answer it straight;—I have done all this :That is now answered,
Shal. The Council shall know this.
Fal. 'Twere better for you, if it were known in counsel : you'll be laughed at.
Eva. Pauca verba, Sir John, good worts.
Fal. Good worts !1 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 cony-catching rascals, Bar
1 Worts was the ancient term for all the cabbage kind. 2 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.
MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.
dolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and made me drunk, and afterwards picked my pocket.
Bar. You Banbury cheese!
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.
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 twopence a-piece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
Fal. Is this true, Pistol ?
1 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.”
2 The name of a spirit, or familiar, in the old story book of Faustus. It was a cant phrase, probably, for an ugly fellow.
3 Few words.
4 Mill-sixpences were used as counters; and King Edward's shillings used in the game of shuffle-board.
VOL. I. 21
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo : 1
Slen. By these gloves, then, 'twas he.
Nym. Be avised, sir, and pass good humors: I will say, marry, trap, with if
you run the nut-hook's humor 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, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; and so conclusions passed the careires.
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.
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. [kissing her.
Page. "Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome :
1 Latten, from the Fr. Laiton, Brass ; Bilbo, from Bilboa in Spain, where fine sword-blades were made. Pistol therefore calls Slender a weak blade of base metal, as one of brass would be.
3 The meaning apparently is, “ if you try to bring me to justice.” 4 Fap was evidently a cant term for foolish. 5 A military phrase for running the charge in a tournament or attack.
Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner; come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.
[Exeunt all but SHAL., SLENDER, and EVANS. Slen. I had rather than forty shillings I had my book of Songs and Sonnets here :
Enter SIMPLE. How now, Simple! where have you been? I must wait on myself, must I ? You have not The Book of Riddles about you, have you ?
Sim. Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas ? 2
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?
Šlen. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable ; if it be so, I shall do that that is reason.
Shal. Nay, but understand me.
Eva. Give ear to his motions, master Slender: I will description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.
Slen. Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says: I pray you, pardon me; he's a justice of peace in his country, simple though I stand here.
Eva. But this 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
1 A popular book of Shakspeare's time, “ Songes and Sonnettes, written by the Earle of Surrey and others," and published in 1557.
2 This is an intended blunder. 3 1. e. part, a law term.