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SIR JOHN FALSTAFF.
two Gentlemen dwelling at Windsor.
Followers of Falstaff.
Servants to Page, Ford, &c.
SCENE. Windsor, and the Parts adjacent.
MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.
SCENE I. Windsor. Before Page's House. Enter JUSTICE SHALLOW, SLENDER, and Sir Hugh EVANS.
Shal. Sir Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Starchamber matter of it: if he were twenty Sir John Falstaff's, 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.
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 I do; and have done any time these three
Slen. All his successors, gone before him, have done'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.
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. Slen. I may quarter, coz? Shal. You may, by marrying. Era. It is marring indeed, if he quarter it. Shal. Not a whit.
Era. Yes, pe'r-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 Sir John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto 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 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 your 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, and end it: and there is also another device in my prain, which, peradventure, prings goot discretions with it: There is Anne Page, which is daughter to master George Page, which is pretty virginity.
Slen. Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks small like a woman.
Eva. It is that fery person for all the 'orld, as just as you will desire; and seven hundred pounds of moneys, and gold, and silver, is her grandsire, upon his death's bed (Got deliver to a joyful resurrections !) give, when she is able to overtake seventeen years old: it were a goot motion, if we leave our pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage between master Abraham and mistress Anne Page.
Shal. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pounds ? Eva. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny. Shal. I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts. Eva. Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is good gifts.
Shal. Well, let us see honest master Page: Is Falstaff there?
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, Sir John, is there; and, I beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will peat the door [knocks] for master Page. What, hoa! Got pless your house here!
Enter Page. Page. Who's there?
Eva. Here is Got's plessing, and your friend, and justice Shallow: and here 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 wished your venison better; it was iữ killed :- How doth good mistress Page ?-and I love you always with my heart, la; with my heart.
Page. Sir, I thank you.
Page. I am glad to see you, good master Slender,
Slen. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say, he was outrun on Cotsale. Page. It could not be judged, sir. Slen. 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 confessed, it is not redressed; is not that so, master Page? He hath wronged me; indeed he hath ; -at a word, he hath ; — believe me; – Robert Shallow, esquire, saith he is wronged.
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 kissed your keeper's daughter? Shal. Tut, a pin! this shall be answered. Fal. I will answer it straight; I have done all this; That is now answered.
Shal. The Council shall know this.
Fal. 'Twere better for you, if it were known in counsel : you'll be laughed 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, sir, I have matter in my head against you; and against your cony-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!
Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca ; slice! that's my humor.
Slen. Where's Simple, my man ? can you tell, cousin ?
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 notebook; and we will afterwards ’ork upon the cause with as great discreetly as we can.
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, that cost me two shilling and twopence a-piece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
Fal. Is this true, Pistol ?
Slen. By these gloves, then, 'twas he.
Nym. Be avised, sir, and pass good humors: I will say, marry, trap, with you, if you run the nut-hooks humor 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 is !
Bard. And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; and so conclusions passed the careires.
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.
Era. So Got 'udge me, that is a virtuous mind.