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Slen. O heaven! this is mistress Anne Page. Page. How now, mistress Ford? Fal. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good mistress.
[kissing her. Page. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome :-Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner; come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkind
[Exeunt all but Shal. Slend. and Evans. Slen. I had rather than forty shillings, I had my book of songs and sonnets here
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 Allhallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas ?!
Shal. Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. 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 me?
Slen. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if it be so, I shall do that that is reason. Shal. Nay, but understand me. Slen. So I do, sir.
Eva. Give ear to his motions, master Slender: I will description the matter to you, if you be сараcity of it.
Slen. Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says: pray you, pardon me; he's a justice of peace in his country, simple though I stand here.
Eva. But that is not the question; the question is concerning your marriage.
Shal. Ay, there's the point, sir.
(1) An intended blunder.
Eva. 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.
Eva. 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 her? Slen. I hope, sir,-I will do, as it shall become one that would do reason.
Eva. 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 acquaintance, 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.
Eva. It is a fery discretion answer; save, the faul' is in the 'ort dissolutely: the 'ort is, according to our meaning, resolutely;—his meaning is good. Shal. Ay, I think my cousin meant well. Slen. Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la.
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. Eva. Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.
[Exeunt Shal. and Sir H. Evans.
Anne. Will't please your worship to come in, sir? 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: [Exit Simple.] A justice of peace sometime may be beholden to his friend for a man :-I keep but three men and a boy yet, till my mother be dead: but what though? yet I live like a poor gentleman born.
Anne. I may not go in without your worship: they will not sit, till you come.
Šlen. I'faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much as though I did.
Anne. I pray you, sir, walk in.
Slen. I had rather walk here, I thank you : bruised my shin the other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence, three veneys1 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; 1 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.
Slen. That's meat and drink to me now: 1
(1) Three set-to's, bouts, or hits.
have seen Sackerson1 loose, twenty times; and have taken him by the chain: but, I warrant you, the women have so cried and shriek'd at it, that it pass'd:2-but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favoured rough things.
Page. Come, gentle master Slender, come; we stay for you.
Šlen. I'll eat nothing; I thank you, sir.
Page. By cock and pye, you shall not choose, sir: come, come.
Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way.
Page. Come on, sir.
Slen. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.
Slen. Truly, I will not go first; truly, la: I will not do you that wrong.
Anne. I pray you, sir.
Slen. I'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome: you do yourself wrong, indeed, la.
[Exeunt. SCENE II.-The same. Enter Sir Hugh Evans and Simple.
Eva. Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Caius' house, which is the way: and there 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.
Eva. Nay, it is petter yet:-give her this letter; for it is a 'oman that altogether's acquain tance with mistress Anne Page; and the letter is, to desire and require her to solicit your master's
(1) The name of a bear exhibited at ParisGarden, in Southwark.
(2) Surpassed all expression.
desires to mistress Anne Page: I pray you, be 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 serving-man, 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
(1) For Hungarian.