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Sir John Falstaff.
Shallow, a country justice.
Robin, page to Falstaff.
two gentlemen dwelling at Windsor
followers of Falstaff.
Mrs. Anne Page, her daughter, in love with Fenton. Mrs. Quickly, servant to Dr. Caius.
Servants to Page, Ford, &c.
Scene, Windsor; and the parts adjacent.
Before Page's house. Enter Justice Shallow, Slender, and Sir1 Hugh Evans.
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.
Slen. All his successors, gone before him, have done't; and all his ancestors, that come after him,
(1) A title formerly appropriated to chaplains. (2) Custos rotulorum.
heard say, he was outrun on Cotsale.1 Page. It could not be judg'd, sir. Sten. 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.
Eva. It is spoke as a christians ought to speak.
Shal. If it be confess'd, it is not redress'd; is not that so, master Page? he hath wrong'd me; indeed, he hath;-at a word, he hath;-believe me;— Robert Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wrong'd. Page. Here comes Sir John.
Enter Sir John Falstaff, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol.
Fal. 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 kiss'd your keeper's daughter.
Fal. I will answer it straight;-I have done all this--that is now answer'd.
Shal. The council shall know this.
Fal. "Twere better for you, if it were known in counsel: you'll be laugh'd at.
Eva. Pauca verba, Sir John, good worts.
(1) Cotswold in Gloucestershire.
Worts was the ancient name of all the calfbage kind.
broke your head; what matter have you against
Slen. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you; and against your coney-catching! rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and made me drunk, and afterwards picked my pocket.
Bar. You Banbury cheese !2
Slen. Ay, it is no matter. Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca 4 slice! that's my humour.
Slen. Where's Simple, my man?-can you tell,
Eva. 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.
Page. We three, to hear it, and end it between them.
Eva. 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.
Pist. He hears with ears.
Eva. The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, He hears with ear? Why, it is affectations.
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,5 that cost me two shilling
(2) Nothing but paring. (3) The name of an ugly spirit. (4) Few words. (5) King Edward's shillings, used in the game
and two pence apiece of Yead Miller, by these
Fal. Is this true, Pistol?
Eva. No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo :1
Nym. Be advised, sir, and pass good humours: I will say, marry trap, with you, if you run the nuthook's humour on me; that is the very note of it.
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 altogether an ass.
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. Eva. It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance
Bard. And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashier'd; and so conclusions pass'd the careires.5
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.
Eva. So Got 'udge me, that is a virtuous mind. Fal. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.
Enter Mistress Anne Page with wine; Mistress Ford and Mistress Page following.
Page. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink within. [Exit Anne Page.
(1) Blade as thin as a lath.