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Pist. Hope is a curtail 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;
Ford. Love my wife?
Pist. With liver burning hot: Prevent, or go thou, Like sir Acteon he, with Ring-wood at thy heels:O, odious is the name!
Ford. What name, sir?
Pist. The horn, I say: Farewell.
Take heed; have open eye; for thieves do foot by night:
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 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.
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 of her more than sharp words, let it lie on my head.
Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife; but I would be loth 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?
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, bullyrook.
Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought, between sir Hugh the Welch 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
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 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
SCENE II. —A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF and PISTOL.
Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.
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, 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 Pickthatch, 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 ensconce your rags, your cata-mountain looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your bull-baiting oaths, under the shelter of your honour! You will not do it, you?
Pist. I do relent; What would'st thou more of man?
Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you.
Enter Mistress QUICKLY.
Quick. Give your worship good-morrow.
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.
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 rushling, 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 wot 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 frampold life with him, good heart.
Fal. Ten and eleven: Woman, commend me tɩ 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 you 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 page: and, truly, master Page is an honest man. Never a wife in Windsor leads a better life than she does; do what
Fal. Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say, Quick. Your worship says very true: I pray she will, say what she will, take all, pay all, go to your worship, come a little nearer this ways.
Fal. I warrant thee, nobody hears; -mine own people, mine own people.
bed when she list, rise when she list, all is as she will; and, truly, she deserves it: for if there be a kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must send
Quick. Are they so? Heaven bless them, and her your page; no remedy. 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,.
Fal. Why, I will.
Quick. Nay, but do so then. and, look you, he may come and go between you both; and, in any case, have a nay-word, that you may know one another's mind, and the boy never need to understand any thing; for 'tis not good that children should
know any wickedness: old folks, you know, have discretion, as they say, and know the world.
Fal. Fare thee well: commend me to them both: there's my purse; I am yet thy debtor. - Boy, go along with this woman. - This news distracts me! [Exeunt QUICKLY and ROBIN. Pist. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers: Clap on more sails; pursue, up with your fights; Give fire; she is my prize, or ocean whelm them all! [Exit PISTOL.
Fal. Say'st thou so, old Jack? go thy ways; I'll make more of thy old body than I have done. Will they yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expence of so much money, be now a gainer? Good body, I thank thee: Let them say, 'tis grossly done; so it be fairly done, no matter.
Bard. Sir John, there's one master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a morning's draught of sack.
Fal. Brook, is his name?
Bard. Ay, sir.
Fal. Call him in; [Exit BARDOLPH.] Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow such liquor. Ah! ha! mistress Ford and mistress Page, have I encompassed you? go to; via!
Re-enter BARDOLPH, with FORD disguneed. Ford. Bless you, sir.
Fal. And you, sir: Would you speak with me? Ford. I make bold, to press with so little preparation upon you.
Fal. You're welcome; What's your will? Give us leave, drawer. [Exit BARDOLPH. Ford. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much; my name is Brook.
Fal. Good master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.
Ford. Good sir John, I sue for yours: not to charge you; for I must let you understand, I think myself in better plight for a lender than you are: the which hath something emboldened me to this unseasoned intrusion: for they say, if money go before, all ways do lie open.
Fal. Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on. Ford. Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me: if you will help me to bear it, sir John, take all, or half, for easing me of the carriage. Fal. Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.
Ford. I will tell you, sir, if you will give me the hearing.
Fal. Speak, good master Brook; I shall be glad to be your servant. Ford. Sir, I hear you are a scholar, I will be brief with you, and you have been a man long known to me, though I had never so good means, as desire, to make myself acquainted with you. I shall discover a thing to you, wherein I must very much lay open mine own imperfection: but, good sir John, as you have one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded, turn another into the register of your own; that I may pass with a reproof the easier, sith you yourself know, how easy it is to be such an offender.
Fal. Very well, sir; proceed.
Ford. There is a gentlewoman in this town, her husband's name is Ford.
Fal. Well, sir.
Ford. I have long loved her, and I protest to you, bestowed much on her; followed her with a doting observance; engrossed opportunities to meet her; fee'd every slight occasion, that could but niggardly give me sight of her; not only bought many presents to give her, but have given largely to many, to know what she would have given: briefly, I have pursued her, as love hath pursued me; which hath been on the wing of all occasions. But whatsoever I have merited, either in my mind, or in my means, meed, I am sure, I have received none; unless experience be a jewel; that I have purchased at an infinite rate; and that hath taught me to say this:
Love like a shadow flies, when substance love pursues ; Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.
Fal. Have you received no promise of satisfaction at her hands?
Fal. Have you importuned her to such a purpose?
Fal. Of what quality was your love then?
Ford. Like a fair house, built upon another man's ground; so that I have lost my edifice, by mistaking the place where I erected it.
Fal. To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?
When I have told you that, I have told you all. Some say, that, though she appear honest to me, yet, in other places, she enlargeth her mirth so far, that there is shrewd construction made of her. Now, sir John, here is the heart of my purpose: You are a gentleman of excellent breeding, admirable discourse, of great admittance, authentick in your place and person, generally allowed for your many war-like, court-like, and learned preparations.
Fal. O, sir!
Ford. Believe it, for you know it: :- - There is money; spend it, spend it; spend more; spend all I have; only give me so much of your time in exchange of it, as to lay an amiable siege to the honesty of this Ford's wife: use your art of wooing, win her to consent to you; if any man may, you may as soon as any.
Fal. Would it apply well to the vehemency of your affection, that I should win what you would enjoy? Methinks, you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.
Ford. O, understand my drift! she dwells so securely on the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my soul dares not present itself; she is too bright to be looked against. Now, could I come to her with any detection in my hand, my desires had instance and argument to commend themselves; I could drive her then from the ward of her purity, her reputation, her marriage vow, and a thousand other her defences, which now are too strongly cmbattled against me: What say you to't, sir John?
Fal. Master Brook, I will first make bold with your money; next, give me your hand: and last, as I am a gentleman, you shall, if you will, enjoy Ford's wife.
Ford. O good sir!
Fal. Master Brook, 1 say you shall.
Ford. Want no money, sir John, you shall want
Fal. Want no mistress Ford, master Brook, you shall want none. I shall be with her, (I may tell you,) by her own appointment; even as you came in to me, her assistant, or go-between, parted from me: I say, I shall be with her between ten and eleven; for at that time the jealous rascally knave, her husband, will be forth. Come you to me at night; you shall know how I speed.
Ford. I am blest in your acquaintance. know Ford, sir?
Fal. Hang him, poor cuckoldly knave! I know him not yet I wrong him to call him poor; they say, the jealous wittolly knave hath masses of money; for the which his wife seems to me well-favoured. I will use her as the key of the cuckoldly rogue's coffer; and there's my harvest-home.
Ford. I would you knew Ford, sir; that you might avoid him, if you saw him.
Fal. Hang him, mechanical salt-butter rogue! I will stare him out of his wits; I will awe him with my cudgel: it shall hang like a meteor o'er the cuckold's horns: master Brook, thou shalt know, I will predominate o'er the peasant, and thou shalt lie with his wife. Come to me soon at night:Ford's a knave, and I will aggravate his stile; thou, master Brook, shalt know him for a knave and cuckold: :- come to me soon at night. [Exit. Ford. What a damned Epicurean rascal is this! My heart is ready to crack with impatience. Who says, this is improvident jealousy? My wife hath sent to him, the hour is fixed, the match is made. Would any man have thought this? -See the hell of having a false woman! my bed shall be abused, my coffers ransacked, my reputation gnawn at; and I shall not only receive this villainous wrong, but stand under the adoption of abominable terms, and by him that does me this wrong. Terms! names! Amaimon sounds well; Lucifer, well; Barbason, well; yet they are devils' additions, the names of fiends: but cuckold! wittolcuckold! the devil himself hath not such a name. Page is an ass, a secure ass! he will trust his wife, he will not be jealous; I will rather trust a Fleming with my butter, parson Hugh the Welchman with my cheese, an Irishman with my aqua-vitæ bottle, or a thief to walk my ambling gelding, than my wife with herself: then she plots, then she ruminates, then she devises: and what they think in their hearts they may effect, they will break their hearts but they will effect. Heaven be praised for my jealousy! -Eleven o'clock the hour; -I will prevent this, detect my wife, be revenged on Falstaff, and laugh at Page. I will about it; better three hours Fie, fie, fie! too soon, than a minute too late. cuckold! cuckold! cuckold! [Erit.
Caius. By gar, de herring is no dead, so as I vi!! kill him. Take your rapier, Jack; I vill tell you how I vill kill him.
Rug. Alas, sir, I cannot fence.
Enter Host, SHALLOW, SLENDER, and PAGE.
Caius. Vat be all you, one, two, tree, four, come for?
Host. To see thee fight, to see thee foin, to see thee traverse, to see thee here, to see thee there: to see thee pass thy punto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy distance, thy montánt. Is he dead, my Ethiopian? is he dead, my Francisco? ha, bully! What says my Esculapius? my Galen? my heart of elder ha! is he dead, bully Stale? is he dead?
Caius. By gar, he is de coward Jack priest of th vorld; he is not show his face.
Host. Thou art a Castilian king, Urinal! Hec. tor of Greece, my boy?
Caius. I pray you, bear vitness that me have stay six or seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no
Shal. He is the wiser man, master doctor: he is a curer of souls, and you a curer of bodies; if you should fight, you go against the hair of your professions; is it not true, master Page?
Page. Master Shallow, you have yourself been a great fighter, though now a man of peace.
Shal. Bodykins, master Page, though I now be old, and of the peace, if I see a sword out, my finger itches to make one: though we are justices, and doctors, and churchmen, master Page, we have some salt of our youth in us; we are the sons of women, master Page.
Page. 'Tis true, master Shallow.
Shal. It will be found so, master Page. doctor Caius, I am come to fetch you home. sworn of the peace; you have showed yourself a wise physician, and sir Hugh hath shown himself a wise and patient churchman: you must go with me, master doctor.
Host. Pardon, guest justice: A word, monsieur Muck-water.
Caius. Muck-vater! vat is dat? Host. Muck-water, in our English tongue, is valour, bully.
Caius. By gar, then I have as much muck-vater as de Englishman: - Scurvy jack-dog priest! by gar, me vill cut his ears.
Host. He will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully. Caius. Clapper-de-claw! vat is dat?
Host. That is, he will make thee amends.
Caius. By gar, me do look, he shall clapper-de claw me; for, by gar, me vill have it.
Host. And I will provoke him to't, or let him wag. Caius. Me tank you for dat.
Host. And moreover, bully, But first, master guest, and master Page, and eke cavalero Slender, go you through the town to Frogmore. [Aside to them. Page. Sir Hugh there, is he?
Host. He is there: see what humour he is in ; and I will bring the doctor about by the fields: will it do well?
Shal. We will do it.
Page. Shal. and Slen. Adieu, good master doctor. [Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. Caius. By gar, me vill kill de priest; for he speak for a jack-an-ape to Anne Page.
Host. Let him die: but, first, sheath thy impatience; throw cold water on thy choler: go about the fields with me through Frogmore; I will bring thee where mistress Anne Page is, at a farm-house, a feasting: and thou shalt woo her: Cry'd game, said I well?
'Mercy on me! I have a great dispositions to cry.
Melodious birds sing madrigals:
And a thousand vagram posies.
Sim. Yonder he is coming, this way, sir Hugh. Eva. He's welcome :
To shallow rivers, to whose falls Heaven prosper the right! What weapons is he? Sim. No weapons, sir: There comes my master, master Shallow, and another gentleman from Frogmore, over the stile, this way.
Eva. Pray you, give me my gown; or else keep it in your arms.
Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. Shal. How now, master parson? Good-morrow, good sir Hugh. Keep a gamester from the dice, and a good student from his book, and it is wonderful.
Slen. Ah, sweet Anne Page!
Eva. 'Pless you from his mercy sake, all of you! Shal. What! the sword and the word! do you study them both, master parson?
Page. And youthful still, in your doublet and hose, this raw rheumatick day?
Eva. There is reasons and causes for it.
Page. We are come to you, to do a good office master parson.
Eva. Fery well: What is it?
Page. Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, who belike, having received wrong by some person, is at most odds with his own gravity and patience, that ever you saw.
Shal. I have lived fourscore years, and upward; I never heard a man of his place, gravity, and learning, so wide of his own respect.
Eva. What is he?
Page. I think you know him; master doctor Caius, the renowned French Physician.
Eva. Got's will, and his passion of my heart! I had as lief you would tell me of a mess of porridge. Page. Why?
Eva. He has no more knowledge in Hibocrates and Galen, -and he is a knave besides; a cowardly knave, as you would desires to be acquainted withal.
Page. I warrant you, he's the man should fight
Slen. O, sweet Anne Page!
Shal. It appears so, by his weapons :- Keep them asunder; - here comes doctor Caius.
Enter Host, CAIUS, and RUGBY.
Page. Nay, good master parson, keep in your
Shal. So do you, good master doctor. Host. Disarm them, and let them question; let them keep their limbs whole, and hack our English. Caius. I pray you, let-a me speak a word vit your ear: Verefore vill you not meet a-me?
Eva. Pray you, use your patience: In good time.
Caius. By gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog, John ape.
Eva. Pray you, let us not be laughing-stogs to other men's humours; I desire you in friendship, and I will one way or other make you amends: - I will knog your urinals about your knave's cogscomb, for missing your meetings and appointments.
Caius. Diable!-Jack Rugby,-mine Host de Jarterre, have I not stay for him, to kill him? have I not, at de place I did appoint?
Eva. As I am a christians soul, now, look you, this is the place appointed; I'll be judgment by mine host of the Garter.
Host. Peace, I say, Guallia and Gaul, French and Welch; soul-curer and body-curer. Caius. Ay, dat is very good! excellent! Host. Peace, I say; hear mine host of the GarAm I politick? am I subtle? am I a Machi