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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 ?
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 more of her 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’rta 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.
Shall. Sir, there is a fray to be fought, between sir Hugh the Welsh priest, and Caius the French doctor.
Ford. Good mine host o' the Garter, a word with
[They go aside. Shal. Will you (to Page go with us to behold
host hath had the measuring- of their weapons ; and, I think, he hath appointed them
it? my merry
sport shall be.
contrary places : for, believe me, I hear, the parson is no jester. Hark, I will tell you what our
Host. Hast thou no suit against my knight, my guest-cavalier ?
Ford. None, I protest : but I'll give you a pottle of burnt sack to give me recourse to him, and tell him, my name is Brook; only for a jest.
Host. My hand, bully : thou shalt have egress and regress; said I well ? and thy name shall be Brook: It is a merry knight.-Will you go on, hearts ?
Shal. Have with you, mine host.
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 talli 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 20 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 well bestowed.
SCENE II.-A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter Falstaff and Pistol.
Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.
(1) Stout, bold.
Pist. Why, then the world's mine oyster, Which I with sword will
open.—. 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-fellow2 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 my honour, thou hadst it not. Pist. Didst thou not share? hadst thou not fif.
teen 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 :3—to your manor of Pickthatch,4 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 cat-amountain looks, your red-lattice6 phrases, and your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour! You will not do it, you? Pist. I do relent; What would'st thou more of man?
Enter Robin. Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you. (1) Pay you again in stolen goods. (2) Draws along with you. (3) To cut purses in a crowd. (4) Pickt-hatch was in Clerkenwell. (5) Protect. (6) Ale-house.
Fal. Let her approach.
Enter Mistress Quickly.
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 bearing. Quick. There is one mistress Ford, sir ;-I
pray; come a little nearer this ways. I myself dwell with master doctor Caius.
Fal. Well, on : Mistress Ford, you say, Quick. Your worship says very true : I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways.
Fal. I warrant thee, nobody hears ;mine own people, mine own people.
Quick. Are they so? Heaven bless them, and 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. 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 ; Í warrant
you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift ; smelling so sweetly (all rusk,) and $0 rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold and
(1) A mistake of Mrs. Quickly's for quandary.
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 neverget 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 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 wotl of ;inaster 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 frampold2 life with him, good heart.
Fal. Ten and eleven? Woman, commend me to her; I will not fail her.
Quick. Why, you say well: But I have another messenger to your worship : Mistress Page bath 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 your 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
(1) Know. (2) Fretful, peevish.