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dwells one mistress Quickly, which is in the manner of his nurse, or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, his washer, and his wringer.
Simp. Well, Sir.
Fal. Now, the report goes, she has all the rule of her husband's purse; she hath legions of angels.*
Pist. As many devils entertain; and, To her, boy, say I.
Nym. The humour rises; it is good: humour
Eva. Nay, it is petter yet:-give her this letter; for it is a 'oman that altogether's ac-me the angels. quaintance with mistress Anne Page; and the letter is, to desire and require her to solicit your master's desires to mistress Anne Page: I pray you, be gone; I will make an end of my dinner; there's pippins and cheese to come.
SCENE III-A room in the Garter Inn. Enter FALSTAFF, HOST, BARDOLPH, NYM, PISTOL, and ROBIN.
Fal. Mine host of the Garter,Host. What says my bully-rook? Speak scholarly, and wisely.
Fal. Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers.
Host. Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.
Fal. I sit at ten pounds a week.
Host. Thou'rt an emperor, Cæsar, Keisar, and Pheezar, I will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector?
Fal. Do so, good mine host.
Host. I have spoke; let him follow: Let me see thee froth, and lime: I am at a word; follow. [Exit HosT. Fal. Bardolph, follow him; a tapster is a good trade: An old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered servingman, a fresh tapster: Go; adieu.
Bard. It is a life that I have desired; I will thrive. [Exit BARD. Pist. O base Gongarian* wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?
Nym. He was gotten in drink: Is not the humour conceited? His mind is not heroic, and there's the humour of it.
Fal. I am glad, I am so acquit of this tinderbox; his thefts were too open: his filching was like an unskilful singer, he kept not time.
Nym. The good humour is, to steal at a minute's rest.
Pist. Convey, the wise it call: Steal! foh; a ficot for the phrase!
Fal. Well, Sirs, I am almost out at heels.
Fal. There is no remedy; I must coney-catch; I must shift.
Pist. Young ravens must have food.
Fal. Which of you know Ford of this town? Pist. Iken the wight; he is of substance good. Fal. My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
Pist. Two yards, and more.
Fal. No quips now, Pistol; indeed I am in the waist two yards about: but I am now about no waste; I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford's wife; I spy entertainment in her; she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation: I can construe the action of her familiar style; and the hardest voice of her behaviour, to be English'd rightly, is, I am Sir John Falstaff's.
Pist. He hath studied her well, and translated her well; out of honesty into English. Nym. The anchor is deep: will that humour pass?
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 eyliads: sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.
Pist. Then did the sun on dung-hill shine.
Fal. O, she did so course o'er my exteriors with such a greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye did seem to scorch me up like a burning glass! Here's another letter to her; she bears the purse too; she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will be cheatert to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go, bear thou this letter to mistress Page; and thou this to mistress Ford: we will thrive, lads, we will thrive.
Pist. Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become, And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all!
Nym. I will run no base humour; here, take the humour letter; I will keep the 'haviour of reputation.
Fal. Hold, sirrah, [to ROB.] bear you these letters tightly;‡
Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.Rogues, hence avaunt! vanish like hail-stones, go; [pack! Trudge, plod, away, o'the hoof; seek shelter, Falstaff will learn the humour of this age, French thrift, you rogues; myself, and skirted
page. [Exeunt FALSTAFF and ROBIN. Pist. Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd
and fullam holds,
And high and low beguile the rich and poor:
Nym. I have operations in my head, which be humours of revenge.
Pist. Wilt thou revenge?
Nym. By welkin, and her star!
Nym. With both the humours, I:
I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.
His dove will prove, his gold will hold,
Nym. My humour shall not cool: I will incense Page to deal with poison; I will possess him with yellowness,** for the revolt of mien is dangerous: that is my true humour.
Pist. Thou art the Mars of malcontents: I second thee; troop on. [Exeunt SCENE IV.—A Room in Dr. CAIUS' House. Enter Mrs. QUICKLY, SIMPLE, and RUGBY.
go to the casement, and see if you can see my
*Gold coin. † Escheatour, an officer in the Exchequer.
Sixpence I'll have in pocket.
Rug. I'll go watch.
[Exit RUGBY. closet? dere is no honest man dat shall come in my closet.
Quick. Go; and we'll have a posset for't soon at night, in faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire. An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant shall come in house withal; and, I warrant you, no tell-tale, nor no breed-bate :* his worst fault is, that he is given to prayer; he is something peevisht that way: but nobody but has his fault;-but let that pass. Simple, you say your name is? Sim. Ay, for fault of a better. Quick. And master Slender's your master? Sim. Ay, forsooth.
Quick. Does he not wear a great round beard, like a glover's paring knife?
Sim. No forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with a little yellow beard; a Cain-col
Quick. A softly-sprighted man, is he not? Sim. Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his hands, as any is between this and his head; he hath fought with a warrener.j
Quick. How say you?—O, I should remember him? Does he not hold up his head, as it were? and strut in his gait?
Sim. Yes, indeed does he.
Quick. Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! Tell master parson Evans, I will do what I can for you master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish
Enter Doctor CAIUS. Caius. Vat is you sing? I do not like dese toys; Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un boitier verd; a box, a green-a box; Do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.
Quick. Ay, forsooth, I'll fetch it you. I am glad he went not in himself; if he had found the young man, he would have been horn-mad. [Aside. Caius. Fe, fe fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je m'en vais à la Cour,-la grand affaire. Quick. Is it this, Sir?
Caius. Ouy; mette le au mon pocket; Depeche, quickly:-Vere is dat knave, Rugby? Quick. What, John Rugby! John! Rug. Here, Sir.
Caius. You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby: Come, take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to de court.
Rug. "Tis ready, Sir, here in the porch. Caius. By my trot, I tarry too long:-Od's me! Qu'ay j'oublié ? dere is some simples in my closet, dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.
Quick. Ah me! he'll find the young man there, and be mad.
Caius. O diable, diable! vat is in my closet?Villany? larron! [Pulling SIMPLE out.] Rugby, my rapier.
Quick. Good master, be content.
Sim. Ay, forsooth, to desire her to
Čaius. Peace-a your tongue :-Speak-a your tale.
Sim. To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to speak a good word to mistress Anne Page for my master, in the way of marriage.
Quick. This is all, indeed, la; but I'll ne'er put my finger in the fire, and need not. Caius. Sir Hugh send-a you?-Rugby, bailles me some paper :-Tarry you a little-a while. [Writes.
Quick. I am glad he is so quiet: if he had been thoroughly moved, you should have heard him so loud, and so melancholy;—But notwithstanding, man, I'll do your master what good I can: and the very yea and the no is, the French Doctor, my master,-I may call him my master, look you, for I keep his house; and I wash, wring, brew, bake, scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds, and do all myself;
Sim. 'Tis a great charge, to come under one body's hand.
Quick. Are you avis'd o' that? you shall find it a great charge: and to be up early, and down late; but notwithstanding, (to tell you master himself is in love with mistress Anne in your ear; I would have no words of it ;) my Anne's mind, that's neither here nor there. Page: but notwithstanding that, I know
Caius. You jack'nape; give-a dis letter to his troat in de park; and I vill teach a scurvy Sir Hugh; by gar, it is a shallenge: I vill cut jack-a-nape priest to meddle or make: -you may be gone; it is not good you tarry here:by gar, I vill cut all his two stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to trow at his dog.
Quick. Alas, he speaks but for his friend. Caius. It is no matter-a for dat :-do not you tell-a me dat I shall have Anne Page for myself?-by gar, I vill kill de Jack priest; and I have appointed mine host of de Jarterre to measure our weapon:-by gar, I vill myself have Anne Page.
Quick. Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well: we must give folks leave to prate: What, the good-jer!*
Caius. Rugby, come to the court vit me ;By gar, if I have not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my door :-Follow my heels, Rugby. [Exeunt CAIUS and RUGBY. Quick. You shall have An fools-head of your own. No, I know Anne's mind for that: never a woman in Windsor knows more of Anne's mind than I do; nor can do more than I do with her, I thank heaven.
Fent. [Within.] Who's within there, ho? Quick. Who's there, I trow? Come near the house, I pray you.
Fent. How now, good woman; how dost thou?
Quick. The better, that it pleases your good worship to ask.
Fent. What news? how does pretty mistress Anne?
*The goujere, what the pox!
Quick. In truth, Sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you that by the way; I praise heaven for it.
Fent. Shall I do any good, thinkest thou? Shall I not lose my suit?
Quick. Troth, Sir, all is in his hands above: but notwithstanding, master Fenton, I'll be sworn on a book, she loves you :-Have not your worship a wart above your eye?
Fent. Yes, marry, have I; what of that? Quick. Well, thereby hangs a tail;-good faith, it is such another Nan:-but, I detest,* an honest maid as ever broke bread :-We had an hour's talk of that wart; I shall never laugh but in that maid's company?-But, indeed, she is given too much to allicholly† and musing: But for you-Well, go to.
Fent. Well, I shall see her to-day: Hold, there's money for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if thou seest her before me, commend me
Quick. Will I? i'faith, that we will: and I will tell your worship more of the wart, the next time we have confidence; and of other
Fent. Well, farewell; I am in great haste [Exit. Quick. Farewell to your worship.-Truly, an honest gentleman; but Anne loves him not; for I know Anne's mind as well as another does, -Out upon't! what have I forgot? [Exit. ACT II.
SCENE I.—Before PAGE's House. Enter Mistress PAGE, with a letter. Mrs. Page. What! have I 'scaped love-letters in the holly-day time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them? Let me see: [Reads.
Ask me no reason why I love you; for though love use reason for his precisian,‡ he admits him not for his counsellor: You are not young, no more am I; go to then, there's sympathy: you are merry, so am I; Ha! ha! then there's more sympathy: you love suck, and so do I; Would you desire better sympathy? Let it suffice thee, mistress Page, (at the least, if the love of a soldier can suffice,) that I love thee. I will not say, pity me, 'tis not a soldier-like phrase; but say, love me. By me.
Thine own true knight,
What a Herod of Jewry is this?-O wicked, wicked, world!-one that is well nigh worn to pieces with age, to show himself a young gallant! What an unweighed behaviour hath this Flemish drunkard picked (with the devil's name) out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me? Why, he hath not been thrice in my company!-What should I say to him?--I was then frugal of my mirth:-heaven forgive me!-Why, I'll exhibit a bill in the parliament for the putting down of men. How shall I be revenged on him? for revenged I will be, as sure as his guts are made of puddings. Enter Mistress FORD.
Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page! trust me, I was going to your house.
*She means, I protest. † Melancholy. Most probably Shakspeare wrote physician.
Mrs. Page. And, trust me, I was coming to you. You look very ill.
Mrs. Ford. Nay, I'll ne'er believe that; I have to show to the contrary.
Mrs. Page. 'Faith, but you do, in my mind. Mrs. Ford. Well, I do then; yet, I say, I could show you to the contrary: O, mistress Page, give me some counsel!
Mrs. Page. What's the matter, woman?
Mrs. Ford. O woman, if it were not for one trifling respect, I could come to such honour!' Mrs. Page. Hang the trifle, woman; take the honour: What is it?- -dispense with trifles ;-what is it?
Mrs. Ford. If I would but go to hell for an eternal moment, or so, I could be knighted.
Mrs. Page. What?-thou liest !-Sir Alice Ford!These knights will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry.
Mrs. Ford. We burn day-light :-here, read, read;-perceive how I might be knighted.-I shall think the worse of fat men, as long as I have an eye to make difference of men's liking: And yet he would not swear; praised women's modesty: and gave such orderly and well-behaved reproof to all uncomeliness, that I would have sworn his disposition would have gone to the truth of his words: but they do no more adhere and keep place together, than the hundreth Psalm to the tune of Green sleeves. What tempest, I trow, threw this whale, with so many tuns of oil in his belly, ashore at Windsor? How shall I be revenged on him? I think, the best way were to entertain him with hope, till the wicked fire of lust have melted him in his own grease. Did you ever hear the like?
Mrs. Page. Letter for letter; but that the comfort in this mystery of ill opinions, here's name of Page and Ford differs!-To thy great the twin-brother of thy letter: but let thine inherit first; for, I protest, mine never shall. I warrant, he hath a thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for different names, (sure more,) and these are of the second edition: He will print them out of doubt: for he cares not what he puts into the 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
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.
hatches, I'll never to sea again. Let's be reMrs. Page. So will I; if he come under my venged on him: let us appoint him a meeting; lead him on with a fine baited delay, till he give him a show of comfort in his suit; and hath pawn'd 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. Ö, that my hus
band saw this letter! it would give eternal | food to his jealousy.
Mrs. Page. Why, look, where he comes; and my good man too: 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.
Ford. Why, Sir, my wife is not young.
rich and poor,
Both young and old, one with another, Ford;
Pist. With liver burning hot: Prevent, or
Like Sir Acteon he, with Ringwood at thy
Ford. What name,
Pist. The horn, I say: Farewell. Take heed, ere summer comes, or cuckoobirds do sing.
Away, Sir corporal Nym.-
[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 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 humour 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, tho' the priest o' the town commended him for a true man.
Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow: Well. Page. How now, Meg?
Mrs. Page. Whither go you, George?— Hark you.
Mrs. Ford. How now, sweet Frank? why art thou melancholy?
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?
Does he lie at the Garter.
tend this voyage towards my wife, I would Poge. Ay, marry, does he. If he should inof her than sharp words, let it lie on my head. turn her loose to him; and what he gets more
Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife; but I would be loath to turn them together: A man lie on my head: I cannot be thus satisfied. may be too confident: I would have nothing
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?
Enter Host and SHALLOW. Host. How now, bully-rook? thou'rt a gentleman: cavalero-justice, 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. hold it? my merry host hath had the measurShal. Will you [to PAGE] go with us to being 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, Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy.—and tell him, my name is Brook; only for a 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 daugh
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.
* Stout, bold.
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 made* 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.
Enter FALSTAFF and PISTOL.
Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.
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? Quick. Why, Sir, she's 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 rush
Fal. Not a penny. I have been content, Sir, you should lay my countenance to pawu: Iling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and in have grated upon my good friends for three reprieves for you and your coach fellow 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-go.-A short knife and a throng;-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 esconce¶ your rags, your cat-a-mountain looks, your red-lattice** phrases, and your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour! You will not do it, you?
Pist. I do relent; What would'st thou more of man?
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 frampoldt life with him, good
Fal. Ten and eleven: Woman commend me to her; I will not fail her.
Quick. Why, you say well: But I have an
Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with other messenger to your worship: Mistress
Fal. Let her approach.
Enter Mistress QUICKLY.
Quick. Give your worship good-morrow.
Quick. Not so, an't please your worship.
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.
Page hath her hearty commendations to you too;-and let me tell you in your ear, she's at 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, I have no other charms. Quick. Blessing on your heart for't!
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; her husband has a marvellous infection to the little *A mistake of Mrs. Quickly's for quandaries. + Know. Fretful, peevish. By all means.