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Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again. -
Plead a new state in thy unrivall'd merit,
To which I thus subscribe, — sir Valentine,
Thou art a gentleman, and well deriv'd;

Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserv'd her. Val. I thank your grace; the gift hath made me happy.

I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake,
To grant one boon that I shall ask of you.

Duke. I grant it, for thine own, whate'er it be.
Val. These banish'd men, that I have kept withal,
Are men endued with worthy qualities;
Forgive them what they have committed here,
And let them be recall'd from their exíle:
They are reformed, civil, full of good,
And fit for great employment, worthy lord.

Duke. Thou hast prevail'd: I pardon them, and thee;

Dispose of them, as thou know'st their deserts.
Come, let us go; we will include all jars
With triumphs 2, mirth, and rare solemnity.
Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold
With our discourse to make your grace to smile:
What think you of this
page, my lord?

Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him; he blushes.

Val. I warrant you, my lord; more grace than boy.

Duke. What mean you by that saying?

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Val. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along, That will wonder what hath fortuned.. you Come, Proteus; 'tis your penance, but to hear The story of your loves discovered:

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That done, our day of marriage shall be yours;
One feast, one house, one mutual happiness.


In this play there is a strange mixture of knowledge and ignorance, of care and negligence. The versification is often excellent, the allusions are learned and just; but the author conveys his heroes by sea from one inland town to another in the same country; he places the emperor at Milan, and sends his young men to attend him, but never mentions him more: he makes Proteus, after an interview with Silvia, say he has only seen her picture; and, if we may credit the old copies, he has, by mistaking places, left his scenery inextricable. The reason of all this confusion seems to be, that he took his story from a novel, which he sometimes followed, and sometimes forsook, sometimes remembered, and sometimes forgot.

That this play is rightly attributed to Shakspeare, I have little doubt. If it be taken from him, to whom shall it be given? This question may be asked of all the disputed plays, except TiruS ANDRONICUS; and it will be found more credible, that Shakspeare might sometimes sink below his highest flights, than that any other should rise up to his lowest.






Sir JOHN FALstaff.


SHALLOW, a country Justice.
SLENDER, Cousin to Shallow.


two Gentlemen dwelling at Windsor. WILLIAM PAGE, a Boy, Son to Mr. Page. Sir HUGH EVANS, a Welsh Parson. Dr. CAIUS, a French Physician.

Host of the Garter Inn.


PISTOL, Followers of Falstaff.

ROBIN, Page to Falstaff.

SIMPLE, Servant to Slender.

RUGBY, Servant to Dr. Caius.

Mrs. FORD.

Mrs. PAGE.

Mrs. ANN PAGE, her Daughter in love with Fenton. Mrs. QUICKLY, Servant to Dr. Caius.

Servants to Page, Ford, &c.

SCENE, WINDSOR; and the Parts adjacent.





SCENE I.-Windsor. Before Page's House.

Enter Justice SHALLOW, SLENDER, and Sir1 HUGH



SIR Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Starchamber matter of it; if he were twenty sir John Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, esquire. Slen. In the county of Gloster, justice of peace, and coram.

Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and Cust-alorum.2

Slen. Ay, and ratolorum too; and a gentleman born, master parson; who writes himself armigero; in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, armigero.


Shal. Ay, that we do; and have done any time these three hundred years.

A title formerly appropriated to chaplains.

2 Custos rotulorum.

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