Imatges de pàgina


Host. Yea, good master Snare; I have entered him and all.

Snare. It may chance cost some of us our lives, for he will stab.

Host. Alas the day! take heed of him; in good faith, a' cares not what mischief he doth, if his weapon be out: he will foin 8 like any devil ; he will spare

neither man, woman, nor child. Fang. If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.

Host. I'll be at your elbow. Fang. An I but fist him once; an a' come but within

my Host. I am undone by his going; I warrant you, he's an infinitive thing upon my score: - Good master Fang, hold him sure ;. good master Snare, let him not escape. He comes continuantly to Piecorner, and he's indited to dinner to the lubbar's head in Lumbert-street, to master Smooth's the silkman: I pray ye, since my exion is entered, and my case so openly known to the world, let him be brought in to his answer. A hundred mark is a long loan for a poor lone woman to bear : and I have borne, and borne, and borne ; and have been fubbed off, and fubbed off, and fubbed off, from this day to that day, that it is a shame to be thought on. There is no honesty in such dealing ; unless a woman should be made an ass, and a beast, to bear every knave's wrong.

Enter Sir John FALSTAFF, Page, and BAR


Yonder he comes; and that arrant malmsey-nose knave, Bardolph, with him. Do your offices, do your offices, master Fang, and master Snare ; do me, do me your offices.

do me,


9 Grasp.



Fal. How now? whose mare's dead? what's the matter?

Fang. Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of mistress Quickly.

Fal. Away, varlets! - Draw, Bardolph ; cut me off the villain's head; throw the quean in the channel.

Host. Throw me in the channel ? I'll throw thee in the channel. Wilt thou ? wilt thou ? thou rogue ! - Murder, murder! O thou honey-suckle' villain! wilt thou kill the king's officers ? O thou honeyseed rogue ! thou art a honey-seed ; a man-queller, and a woman-queller.

Fal. Keep them off, Bardolph. Fang. A rescue! a rescue! Host. Good people, bring a rescue or two.Thou wo't, wo't thou ? thou, wo't, wo't thou? do, do, thou rogue ! do, thou hemp-seed !

Fal. Away, you scullion! you rampallian! you fustilarian!

Enter the Lord Chief Justice, attended. Ch. Just. What's the matter ? keep the peace here, ho!

Host. Good my lord, be good to me! I beseech you ! Ch. Just. How now, sir John ? what, are you

brawling here? Doth this become your place, your time, and busi

ness ? You should have been well on your way to York. Stand from him, fellow ; Wherefore hang'st thou on

him ? Host. Oʻmy most worshipful lord, an't please your grace, I am a poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.

i Homicidal.

2 Homicide.

Ch. Just. For what sum ?

Host. It is more than for some, my lord ; it is for all, all I have: he hath eaten me out of house and home; he hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his.

Ch. Just. How comes this, Sir John ? Fye! what man of good temper would endure this tempest of exclamation ? Are you not ashamed, to enforce a poor widow to so rough a course to come by her


Fal. What is the gross sum that I owe thee ?

Host. Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself, and the money too. Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt: goblet, sitting in my Dolphinchamber, at the round table, by a sea-coal" fire, upon Wednesday in Whitsun-week, when the prince broke thy head for liking his father to a singingman of Windsor; thou didst swear to me then, as I was washing thy wound, to marry me, and make me my lady thy wife. Canst thou deny it? Did not goodwife Keech, the butcher's wife, come in then, and call me gossip Quickly? coming in to borrow a mess' of vinegar ; telling us, she had a good dish of prawns; whereby thou didst desire to eat some; whereby I told thee, they were ill for a green wound? And didst thou not, when she was gone down stairs, desire me to be no more so familiarity with such poor people; saying, that ere long they should call me madam ? And didst thou not kiss me, and bid me fetch thee thirty shillings? I

put thee now to thy book-oath ; deny it, if thou canst.

Fal. My lord, this is a poor mad soul; and she says, up and down the town, that her eldest son is like you: she hath been in good case, and, the truth is, poverty hath distracted her. But for these foolish officers, I beseech

3 Party gilt.


I may have redress against them.

Ch. Just. Sir John, sir John, I am well acquainted with your manner of wrenching the true cause the false way. It is not a confident brow, nor the throng of words that come with such more than impudent sauciness from you, can thrust me from a level consideration ; you have, as it appears to me, practised upon the easy-yielding spirit of this woman, and made her serve your uses both in purse and person.

Host. Yea, in troth, my lord.

Ch. Just. Pr’ythee, peace:- Pay her the debt you owe her, and unpay the villainy you have done with her; the one you may do with sterling money, and the other with current repentance.

Fal. My lord, I will not undergo this sneap without reply. You call honourable boldness, impudent sauciness : if a man will make court'sy, and say. nothing, he is virtuous : No, my lord, my humble duty remembered, I will not be your suitor ; I say

I do desire deliverance from these officers, being upon hasty employment in the king's affairs.

Ch. Just. You speak as having power to do wrong : but answer in the effect of your reputation', and satisfy the

poor woman. Fal. Come hither, hostess. [Taking her aside.


to you,

Enter GOWER. Ch. Just. Now, master Gower; What news? Gow. The king, my lord, and Harry prince of

Are near at hand! the rest the


tells. Fal. As I am a gentleman ; Host. Nay, you said so before. 4 Snub, check. 5 Suitably to your character,

[ocr errors]

Fal. As I am a gentleman; Come, no more words of it.

Host. By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain to pawn both my plate, and the tapestry of my dining-chambers.

Fal. Glasses, glasses, is the only drinking: and for thy walls, -a pretty slight drollery, or the story of the prodigal, or the German hunting in waterwork, is worth a thousand of these bed-hangings, and these fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten pound, if thou canst. Come, an it were not for thy humours, there is not a better wench in England. Go, wash thy face, and draw thy action : Come, thou must not be in this humour with me'; dost not know me ? Come, come, I know thou wast set on to this.

Host. Pray thee, sir John, let it be but twenty nobles; i'faith I am loath to pawn my plate, in good earnest, la,

Fal. Let it alone ; I'll make other shift: you'll be a fool still.

Host. Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown. I hope, you'll come to supper : you'll pay me all together?

Fal. Will I live?-Go, with her, with her ; [T. BARDOLPH.] hook on, hook on. [Exeunt Hostess, BARDOLPH, Officers, and

Ch. Just. I have heard better news.
Fal. What's the news, my good lord ?
Ch. Just. Where lay the king last night?
Gow. At Basingstoke, my lord.

Fal. I hope, my lord, all's well: What's the news, my lord ?

Ch. Just. Come all his forces back ?
Gow. No; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred


6 Withdraw.

« AnteriorContinua »