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THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.
SIR JOHN FALSTAFF.
DRAMATIS PERSON E.
ROBIN, Page to Falstaff.
RUGBY, Servant to Doctor Caius.
FORD, Two Gentlemen dwelling at Windsor.
WILLIAM PAGE, a Boy, Son to Page. SIR HUGH EVANS, a Welsh Parson. DOCTOR CAIUS, a French Physician. Host of the Garter Inn.
SCENE I.-Windsor. Before PAGE'S House. Enter Justice SHALLOW, SLENDER, and Sir HUGH EVANS.
Shal. Sir Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Star-chamber 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.
Servants to Page, Ford, etc.
Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and cust-alorum.
Sten. Ay, and rato-lorum too; and a gentleman born, Master parson; who writes himself armigero, in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation,-armigero.
Shal. Ay, that I do; and have done any time these three hundred years.
Slen. All his successors gone before him hath done't; and all his ancestors that come after him may they may give the dozen white luces in their coat.
Shal. It is an old coat.
Evans. The dozen white louses do become an old coat well; it agrees well, passant; it is a familiar beast to man, and signifies love.
Shal. The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.
Slen. I may quarter, coz.
Shal. You may, by marrying.
Evans. It is marring indeed, if he quarter it. Shal. Not a whit.
Evans. Yes, py '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 penevolence to make atonements and compremises between you.
Shal. The Council shall hear it; it is a riot. Evans. It is not meet the Council hear a riot; there is no fear of Got in a riot. The Council, look you, shall desire to hear the fear of Got,
Followers of Falstaff.
ANNE PAGE, her Daughter, in love with Fenton. MISTRESS QUICKLY, Servant to Doctor Caius.
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.
Evans. 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.
Evans. 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 and prabbles, and desire a marriage between Master Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.
Shal. Did her grandsire leave her seven hun. dred pound?
Erans. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.
Shal. I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.
Evans. Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts.
Shal. Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff there?
Evans. Shall I tell you a lic? 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 peseech you, pe ruled by your well-willers. I will peat the door for Master Page. Knocks. What, hoa! Got pless your house here! Page. Within. Who's there?
Evans. 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 thank 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. 93 Page. Iam glad to see you, good Master Slender. Slen. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say he was outrun on Cotsall.
Page. It could not be judged, sir.
S'en. You'll not confess, you'll not confess. 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. Evans. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak. Shal. He hath wronged me, Master Page. Page. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it. 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 Robert Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wronged. Page. Here comes Sir John.
Ful. 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? Shal. Tut, a pin! this shall be answered, Fal. I will answer it straight: I 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.
Evans. Pauca verba, Sir John; goot worts. Fal. Good worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke your head: what matter have you against me?
Page. We three, to hear it and end it between them.
Evans. 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. 151 Fal. Pistol!
Pist. He hears with ears.
Slen. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you; and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and made me drunk, and afterwards picked my pocket.
Bard. You Banbury cheese!
Slen. Ay, it is no matter.
Pist. How now, Mephostophilus!
Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca; slice! that's my humour.
Slen. Where's Simple, my man? can you tell, 140 Evans. Peace! I 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.
Evans. The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, 'He hears with ear'? Why, it is affectations.
Enter Sir JOHN FALSTAFF, BARDOLPH, NYM, gether an ass.
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 two pence a-piece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
Fal. Is this true, Pistol?
Evans. No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse. Pist. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner! Sir John and master mine,
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo :
Slen. By these gloves, then, 'twas he.
Nym. Be avised, sir, and pass good humours. I will say 'marry trap' with you, if you run the nut-hook's humour on me: that is the very note
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 alto
Fal. What say you, Scarlet and John? Bard. Why, sir, for my part, I say the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five sentences. Evans. 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.
Evans. So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.
Fal. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.
How now, Simple! where have you been? I must wait on myself, must I? You have not the Book of Riddles about you, have you!
Sim. Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake upon All-hallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas ?
Shal. Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for A word with you, coz; marry, this, coz: there is, as 'twere, a tender, a kind of tender, made afar off by Sir Hugh here do you understand
Slen. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable:
if it be so, I shall do that that is reason.
Evans. Give ear to his motions, Master Slender. I will description the matter to you, if you pe capacity of it.
Slen. Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says. I pray you pardon me; he's a justice of peace in his country, simple though I stand here. Evans. But that is not the question; the question is concerning your marriage. Shal. Ay, there's the point, sir. Evans. Marry, is it, the very point of it; to Mistress Anne Page.
Slen. Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any reasonable demands.
Erans. But can you affection the 'oman? Let us command to know that of your mouth or of your lips; for divers philosophers hold that the lips is parcel of the mouth: therefore, precisely, can you carry your good will to the maid? Shal. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love Slen. I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that would do reason.
Evans. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies! you must speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires towards her.
Shal. That you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?
Slen. I will do a greater thing than that, upon your request, cousin, in any reason.
Shal. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz; what I do is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the maid?
Slen. I will marry her, sir, at your request; but if there be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may decrease it upon better acquaint
ance, when we are married and have more occasion to know one another: I hope, upon familiarity will grow more contempt: but if you say, Marry her,' I will marry her; that I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely.
Erans. It is a fery discretion answer; save the fall is in the ortdissolutely': the ort is, according to our meaning, 'resolutely.' His meaning is good.
Shal. Ay, I think my cousin meant well.
Evans. Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace. Exeunt SHALLOW and EVANS. Anne. Will't please your worship to come in, sir ?
Re-enter ANNE PAGE.
Shal. Here comes fair Mistress Anne. Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne! Anne. The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worships' company. Shal. I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.
Slen. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well,
Anne. The dinner attends you, sir.
Slen. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth. Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my cousin Shallow.
A justice of peace sometime may be beholding to his friend for a man. I keep but three men what though? yet I live like a poor gentleman and a boy yet, till my mother be dead; but
Anne. I may not go in without your worship: they will not sit till you come.
Slen. I' faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much as though I did.
Anne. I pray you, sir, walk in.
bruised my shin th' other day with playing at Slen. I had rather walk here, I thank you. I sword and dagger with a master of fence; three veneys for a dish of stewed prunes; and, by my troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat
since. Why do your dogs bark so? be there
bears i' the town?
Anne. I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.
Slen. I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel at it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see the bear loose, are you not? Anne. Ay, indeed, sir.
have seen Sackerson loose twenty times, and Slen. That's meat and drink to me, now: I have taken him by the chain; but, I warrant you, the women have so cried and shrieked at it, that it passed: but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favoured rough things.
Page. Come, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay for you.
Slen. I'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.
Page. By cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! Come, come.
Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way.
Slen. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.
will not do you that wrong. Slen. Truly, I will not go first: truly, la! I
Anne. I pray you, sir.
Slen. I'll rather be unmannerly than troubleYou do yourself wrong, indeed, la!
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? u Fal. Do so, good mine host.
Host. I have spoke; let him follow. To BARD. Let me see thee froth and lime: I am at a word; follow. Exit.
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. 20 Pist. O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?
Nym. He was gotten in drink; is not the humour conceited?
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 minim's
me good eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious ceilliades: sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly. Pist. Then did the sun on dunghill shine. Nym. I thank thee for that humour.
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 cheater 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, so 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. To ROBIN. Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly:
Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores. Rogues, hence! avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go;
Trudge, plod away o'the hoof; seek shelter, pack! Falstaff will learn the humour of the age, French thrift, you rogues: myself and skirted page. Excunt FALSTAFF and ROBIN. 90 Pist. Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and fullam holds,
And high and low beguile the rich and poor. Tester I'll have in pouch when thou shalt lack, Base Phrygian Turk.
Nym. I have operations which be humours of revenge.
Pist. Wilt thou revenge?
Nym. By welkin and her star!
Pist. With wit or steel?
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.
Pis. Thou art the Mars of malecontents: I second thee; troop on. Exeunt. 111
SCENE IV.-A Room in Doctor CAIUS's House. Enter Mistress QUICKLY, SIMPLE, and RUGBY.
Quick. What, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the casement, and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor Caius, coming: if he do, i' faith, and find anybody in the house, here will be an old abusing of God's patience and the king's English. Rug. I'll go watch.
Quick. Go; and we'll have a posset for 't soon at night, i' faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire. Exit RUGBY,
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 peevish that way, but nobody but has his fault;
but let that pass. Peter Simple you say your name is?
Sim. Ay, forsooth, to desire her to-
Rug. Out, alas! here comes my master. Quick. We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man; go into this closet.
Shuts SIMPLE in the closet.
He will not stay long. What, John Rugby! John, what, John, I say! Go, John, go inquire for my master; I doubt he be not well, that he comes not home. Sings.
And down, down, adown-a, etc.
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 vert, a box, a green-a box: do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.
Quick. Ay, forsooth; I'll fetch it you. Aside. I am glad he went not in himself: if he had found the young man he would have been horn-mad. 51 Caius. Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je m'en vais à la cour,-la grande affaire.
Quick. Is it this, sir?
Caius. Ouy; mettez le au mon pocket; dépêchez, quickly. Vere is dat knave Rugby?
Quick. What, John Rugby! John!
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. Ay me! he'll find the young man there, and be mad.
Caius. O diable! diable! vat is in my closet?
Rugby, my rapier!
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, baillez me some paper: tarry you a little-a while. 90 Writes.
Quick. I am glad he is so quiet if he had been throughly moved, you should have heard him so loud and so melancholy. But notwithstanding, man, I'll do you 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 avised o' that? you shall find it a great charge and to be up early and down late; but notwithstanding, to tell you in your ear, I would have no words of it, my master himself is in love with Mistress Anne Page: but notwithstanding that, I know Anne's mind, that's neither here nor there.
Caius. You jack'nape, give-a dis letter to Sir Hugh; by gar, it is a shallenge: I vill cut his troat in de Park; and I vill teach a scurvy jacka-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. Exit SIMPLE. Quick. Alas! he speaks but for his friend. Caius. It is no matter-a vor 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 Jartiere 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 fool's-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?
Quick. Good master, be content. Caius. Verefore shall I be content-a? Quick. The young man is an honest man. Caius. Vat shall de honest man do in my closet? dere is no honest man dat shall come in my closet. Quick. I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic; hear the truth of it: he came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh,
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.