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Shal. The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.
Slen. I may quarter, coz?
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 ? 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 desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a riot; take your vizaments 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.
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 moneys, 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
1 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; and now, 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.
2 The Court of Star-chamber is meant. 3 Advisement.
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 consess.
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;-) 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 !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.
dolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and made me drunk, and afterwards picked my pocket.
Bar. You Banbury cheese! 1
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
Slen. By these gloves, then, 'twas he.
Nym. Be avised, sir, and pass good humors: I will say, marry, trap, with you, if you run the nut-hook's 3 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 ?
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.
2 Lips. 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.