Imatges de pÓgina


press, when he would put us two. I had rather be a giantess, and lie under mount Pelion. Well, I will find you twenty lascivious turtles, ere one chaste man.

Mrs. Ford. Why this is the very same; the very hand, the very words :

-What doth he think of us ? Mrs. Page. Nay, I know not: It makes me almost ready to wrangle with mine own honesty. I'll entertain myself like one that I am not acquainted withal; for, sure, unless he know some strain in me, that I know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury.

Mrs. Ford. Boarding call you it? I'll be sure to keep him above deck.

Mrs. Page. So will I; if he come under my hatches, I'll never to sea again. Let's be revenged on him: let's appoint him a meeting; give him a show of comfort in his suit; and lead him on with a fine baited delay, till he hath pawned his horses to mine Host of the Garter.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, I will consent to act any villany against him, that may not sully the chariness* of our honesty. O, that my husband saw this letter! it would give eternal food to his jealousy. Mrs. Page. Why, look, where he comes; and my good man

he's as far from jealousy, as I am from giving him cause: and that, I hope, is an unmeasurable distance.

Mrs. Ford. You are the happier woman.

Mrs. Page. Let's consult together against this greasy knight: Come hither.

[They retire. Enter FORD, PISTOL, PAGE, and NYM. Ford. Well, I hope it be pot şo.

Pist. Hope is a curtailt dog in some affairs: Sir John affects thy wife. Ford. Why, Sir, my wife is not young:

Pist. He wooes both high and low, both rich and poor,
Both young and old, one with another, Ford;
He loves thy gally-mawfry;I Ford, perpend.

Ford. Love my wife?
Pist. With liver burning hot: Prevent, or go thou,
Like Sir Actæon he, with Ringwood at thy heels :
0, odious is the name !

Ford. What name, Sir?
Pist. The horn, I say : Farewell.
Take heed, ere summer comes, or cuckoo-birds do sing.-
Away, Sir corporal Nym.
Believe it, Page; he speaks sense.

[Exit PISTOL. Ford. I will be patient; I will find out

this. Nym. And this is true.' [To PAGE.] I like not the humour of lying. He hath wronged me in some humours; I should have borne the humoured letter to her: but I have a sword, and * Caution. † A dog that misses his game. # A medley

Ś Consider.

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it shall bite upon my necessity. He loves your wife; there's the short and the long. My name is corporal Nym; I speak, and I avouch. 'Tis true:-my name is Nym, and Falstaff loves your wife.- Adieu ! I love not the humour of bread and cheese ; and there's the humour of it. Adieu.

[Exit Nym. Page. The humour of it, quoth’a! here's a fellow frights bumour out of its wits.

Ford. I will seek out Falstaff.
Page. I never heard such a drawling, affecting rogue.
Ford. If I do find it, well.

Page. I will not believe such a Cataian,* though the priest o the town commended him for a true man.

Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow : Well.
Page. How now, Meg?
Mrs. Page. Whíther

go you, George ?-Hark you. Mrs. Ford. How now, sweet Frank ? why art thou melancholy ?

Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy.-Get you home, go.

Mrs. Ford. 'Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head now.Will you go, mistress Page ?

Mrs. Page. Have with you.-You'll come to dinner, George ! -Look, who comes yonder : she shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.

[Aside to MRS. FORD. Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY. Mrs. Ford. Trust me, I thought on her : she'll fit it. Mrs. Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne ?

Quick. Ay, forsooth; And, I pray, how does good mistress Anne?

Mrs. Page. Go in with us, and see; we have an hour's talk with you. (Exeunt MRS. PAGE, MRS. FORD, and MRS. QUICKLY.

Page. How now, master Ford ? Ford, You heard what this knave told me, did you not? Page. Yes; and you heard what the other told me ? Ford. Do you think there is truth in them? Page. Hang 'em, slaves! I do not think the knight would offer it: but these that accuse him in his intent towards our wives are a yoke of his discarded men; very rogues, now they be out of service.

Ford. Were they his men ?
Page. Marry, were they.

Ford. I like it never the better for that. Does he lie at the Garter ?

Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyage towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lie on my head.

Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife; but I would be loath to turn them together: A man may be too confident: I would have nothing lie on my head: I cannot be thus satisfied. Page. Look, where my ranting host of the Garter comes : there is either liquor in his pate, or money in his purse, when he looks so merrily.-How now, mine host?

* A lying sharper.

Enter Host and SHALLOW. Host. How now, bully-rook ? thou’rt a gentleman : cavalerojustice, I say:

Shal. I follow, mine host, I follow.-Good even, and twenty, good master Page! Master Page, will you go with us? we have sport in hand.

Host. Tell him, cavalero-justice; tell him, bully-rook.
Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought, between Sir Hugh the
Welsh priest, and Caius the French doctor.

Ford. Good, mine host o' the Garter, a word with you.
Host. What say'st thou, bully-rook ? [ They go aside.

Shal. Will you (to PAGE] go with us to behold it? my merry host hath had the measuring of their weapons; and, I think, he hath appointed them contrary places: for, believe me, I hear the parson is no jester. Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.

Host. Hast thou no suit against my knight, my guest-cavalier?

Ford. None, I protest: but I'll give you a pottle of_burnt sack, to give me recourse to him, and tell him, my name is Brook; only for a jest.

Host. My hand, bully: thou shalt have egress and regress; said I well and thy name shall be Brook: It is a merry knight. --Will you go on, hearts ?

Shal. Have with you, mine host.

Page. I have heard, the Frenchman hath good skill in his rapier.

Shal. Tut, Sir, I could have told you more: In these times, you stand on distance, your passes, stoccadoes, and I know not what: 'tis the heart, master Page; 'tis here, 'tis here. I have seen the time, with my long sword, I would have made you four tall* fellows skip like rats.

Host. Here, boys, here, here! shall we wag?

Page. Have with you :-I had rather hear them scold than fight.

[Exeunt Host, SHALLOW, and PAGE. Ford. Though Page be a secure fool, and stands so firmly on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my opinion so easily: She was in his company at Page's house; and, what they madef there, I know not. Well, I will look further into't: and I have a disguise to sound Falstaff: If I find her honest, I lose not my labour; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestowed. ; :-* [Exit.

SCENE II.-A Room in the Garter Inn.

Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.
Pist. Why, then, the world's mine oyster,
* Stout, bold.

+ Did.

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Which I with sword will open.-
I will retort the sum in equipage.*

Fal. Not a penny. I have been content, Sir, you should lay my countenance to pawn: I have grated upon my good friends for three reprieves for you and your coach-fellow,t Nym; or else you had looked through the grate like a geminy of baboons. I am damned in hell, for swearing to gentlemen my friends, you were good soldiers and tall fellows: and when mistress Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took’t, upon mine honour, thou hadst it not.

Pist. Didst thou not share ? hadst thou not fifteen pence?

Fal. Reason, you rogue, reason: Think'st thou I'll endanger my soul gratis ? At a word, hang no more about me; I am no gibbet for you:-00.-A short knife and a thong, I-to your manor of Pickt-hatch, go. You'll not bear a letter for me, you rogue!-you stand upon your honour!- Why, thou unconfinable baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the terms of my honour precise. I, I, I myself, sometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on the left hand, and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch; and yet you, rogue, will ensconcell your rags, your cat-a-mountain looks, your red-lattices phrases, and your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour! You will not do it, you ? Pist. I do relent: What wouldst thou more of man?

Enter ROBIN.
Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you.
Fal. Let her approach.

Quick. Give your worship good-morrow.
Fal. Good-morrow, good wife.
Quick. Not so, an't please your worship.
Fal. Good maid, then.

Quick. I'll be sworn; as my mother was, the first hour I was born.

Fal. I do believe the swearer: What with me?
Quick. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two ?

Fal. Two thousand, fair woman; and I'll vouchsafe thee the hearing

Quick. There is one mistress Ford, Sir ;-I pray, come a little nearer this ways:- I myself dwell with master doctor Caius. Fal. Well, on: mistress Ford, you say,

Quick. Your worship says very true:-I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways.

Fal. I warrant thee nobody hears :-mine own people, mine own people.

Quick. Are they so ? Heaven bless them, and make them his servants !

Fal. Well, mistress Ford ;-what of her ?

* Pay you again in stolen goods.
# To cut purses in a crowd.
I Protect.

+ Draws along with you.

Pickt-hatch was in Clerkenwell.



Quick. Why, Sir, she is a good creature. Lord, lord! your worship's a wanton: Well, heaven forgive you and all of us, I pray! Fal. Mistress Ford ;-come, mistress Ford, —

Quick. Marry, this is the short and the long, of it; you have brought her into such a canaries, * as 'tis wonderful.' The best courtier of them all, when the court lay at Windsor, could never have brought her to such a canary. Yet there has been knights, and lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches; I warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift; smelling so sweetly (all musk), and so rusling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and in such alligant terms; and in such wine and sugar of the best, and the fairest, that would have won any woman's heart; and, I warrant you, they could never get an eye-wink of her.-I had myself twenty angels given me this morning: but I defy all angels (in any such sort, as they say), but in the way of honesty :-and, I warrant you, they could never get her so much as sip on a cup with the proudest of them all: and yet there has been earls, nay, which is more, pensioners; but, I warrant you, all is one with her. Fal. But what says she to me? be brief, my good she-Mercury.

Quick. Marry, she hath received your letter; for the which she thanks you a thousand times: and she gives you to notify, that her husband will be absence from his house between ten and eleven.

Fal. Ten and eleven?

Quick. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the picture, she says, that you wott of;-master Ford, her husband, will be from home. Alas! the sweet woman leads an ill life with him; he's a very jealousy man; she leads a very frampoldi life with him, good heart.

Fal. Ten and eleven : Woman, commend me to her; I will not fail her.

Quick. Why, you say well : But I have another messenger to your worship : Mistress Page hath her hearty commendations to you too,and, let me tell you in your ear, she's as fartuous a civil modest wife, and one (I tell you) that will not miss your morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, whoe'er be the other: and she bade me tell your worship, that her husband is seldom from home; but, she hopes, there will come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon a man; surely, I think you have charms, la; yes, in truth.

Fal. Not I, I assure thee; setting the attraction of my good parts aside,- 1 have no other charms.

Quick. Blessing on your heart fort ! Fal. But, I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford's wife and Page's wife acquainted each other how they love me?

Quick. That were a jest, indeed !-they have not so little grace, I hope :-that were a trick, indeed! But mistress Page would desire you to send her your little page of all loves; ş her husband has a marvellous infection to the little page : and, truly,

* A mistake of Mrs. Quickly's for quandaries. # Fretful, peevish.

By all means.

+ Know.

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