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Sir JOHN FALSTAFF.
Mrs. Anne PAGE.
two Gentlemen, dwelling at Windsor.
Mrs. Page, Wife to Mr. Page.
Before Page's house in Windsor.
Slen. In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace,
and coram. Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and cufałorum.
Slen. Ay, and ratolorum too; and a gentleman born, master parfon, who writes himself armigero in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation; armigero.
Sbal. Ay, that I do, and have done any time these three hundred
years. Slen. All his successors, gone before him, have don'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,
* This play was written in the author's best and ripeft years, after Henry the fourth, by the command of queen Elizabeth. There is a tradition that it was compos’d at a fortnight's warning. But that must be meant only of the first imperfect sketch of this comedy, which is yet extant in an old quarto edition, printed in 1619. This which we here have, was alter'd and improv'd by the author almost in every speech.
Eva. 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.
Eva. Yes, per-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 fir John Falstaff have committed difparagements upon you, I am of the church, and will be glad to do my
benevolence, to make atonements and compromises between you.
Shal. The council shall hear it; it is a riot.
Eva. It is not meet the council hear of a riot; there is no fear of Got in a riot : the council, look you, shall desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a riot; take
you vizaments in that. Shal. Ha! o’my life, if I were young again, the sword should end it.
Eva. It is petter that friends is the sword that end it; and there is also another device in my prain, which, peradventure, prings good discretions with it: there is Arine Page, which is daughter to master George Page, which is pretty virginity.
Slen. Mistress Anne Page ? she has brown hair, and speaks like a woman.
Éva. It is that ferry person for all the orld, as just as you will desire; and seven hundred pounds of monies, and gold, and silver, is her grandfire upon his death's-bed (Göt deliver to a joyful resurrections!) give, when she is able to overtake feventeen years old: it were a good motion, if we leave our pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage between master Abraham and mistress Anne Page.
Slen. Did her grandfire leave her seven hundred pound?
Eva. Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar as I do despise one that is false; or, as I despise one that is not true. The knight fir John is there ; and, I beseech you, be ruled by your wellwishers. I will peat the door [knocks] for master Page. What, hoa ? Got bless your house here !
Enter master Page. Page. Who's there?
Eva. Here is got’s plessing, and your friend, and justice Shallow; and here's 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 wish'd your venison better; it was ill kill’d. How doth good mistress Page? and I thank you always with my heart, la; with my heart.
Page. Sir, I thank you.
Slen. How does your fallow greyhound, fir? I heard say, he was out-run on Cotfale.
Page. It could not be judg’d, sir.
Shal. That he will not; 'tis your fault, ’tis your fault; 'tis a good dog.
Page. A cur, fir.
Shal. Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog; can there be more said ? he is good and fair. Is fir John Falstaff here?
Page. Sir, he is within; and I would, I could do a good office
Shal, If it be confess’d, it is not redress’d; is not that fo, mafter Page? he hath wrong'd me; indeed, he hath; at a word, he hath; believe me, Robert Shallow esquire faith, he is wrong’d.
Page. Here comes fir Jahn.
SCENE III. 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, killd my deer, and broke open my lodge. Fal. But not kiss'd
your keeper's daughter. Shal. Tut, a pin! this shall be answer’d.
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 'twere not known in council ; you'll be laugh’d at.
Eva. Pauca verba, sir John, good worts.
Fal. Good worts? good cabbage. Slender, I broke your head: what matter have you against me?
Slen. Marry, fir, I have matter in my head against you, and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol.
Bar. You Banbury cheese !
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 third party is, lastly and finally, mine host of the garter.
Page. We three to hear it, and end it between them.
Eva. Ferry goot; I will make a prief of it in my note-book, and we will afterwards ork upon the cause with as great discretions as we can.