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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 Star-chamber matter of it: if he were
twenty Sir John Falstaffs, he shall not abuse
Robert Shallow, esquire.

Slen.
In the county of Gloucester, justice
of peace and 'Coram.'

Shal.
Ay, cousin Slender, and 'Custalorum.'

Slen.
Ay, and 'Rato-lorum' too; and a
gentleman born, master parson; who writes
himself 'Armigero,' in any bill, warrant, quittance, (11)
or obligation, 'Armigero.'

Shal.
Ay, that I do; and have done any
time these three hundred years.

Slen.
All his successors gone before him
hath 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.

Evans.
The dozen white louses do become
an old coat well; it agrees well, passant; it is (21)
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.

Evans.
It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.

Shal.
Not a whit.

Evans.
Yes, py'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 compremises between you.

Shal.
The council shall hear it; it is a riot.

Evans.
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, (41)
the sword should end it.

Evans.
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 Thomas Page, which is
pretty virginity.

Slen.
Mistress Anne Page? She has brown
hair, and speaks small like a woman.

Evans.
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.

Slen.
Did her grandsire leave her seven (60)
hundred pound?

Evans.
Ay, and her father is make her a
petter penny.

Slen.
I know the young gentlewoman; she
has good gifts.

Evans.
Seven hundred pounds and possibilities
is goot gifts.

Shal.
Well, let us see honest Master Page.
Is Falstaff there?

Evans.
Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise
a liar as I do depise 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 for Master

Page.
[Knocks.]
What, hoa! Got pless your
house here!

Page.
[Within] Who's there!
Enter PAGE.

Evans.
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 ill killed. How doth
good Mistress Page?--and I thank you always
with my heart, la! with my heart.

Page.
Sir, I thank you.

Shal.
Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.

Page.
I am glad to see you, good Master (90)
Slender.

Slen.
How does your fallow greyhound,
sir? I heard say he was outrun on Cotsall.

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. (100)
Is Sir John Falstaff here?

Page.
Sir, he is within; and I would I
could do a good office between you.

Evans.
It is spoke as a Christians ought to
speak.

Shal.
He hath wronged me, Master Page.

Page.
Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.

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 (110)
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. (120)

Shal.
The council shall know this.

Fal.
'Twere better for you if it were known
in counsel: you'll be laughed at.

Evans.
Pauca verba, Sir John; goot 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. (130)

Bard.
You Banbury cheese!

Slen.
Ay, it is no matter.

Pist.
How now, Mephostophilus!

Slen.
Ay, it is no matter.

Nym.
Slice, I say! pauca, pauca: slice!
that's my humor.

Slen.
Where's Simple, my man? Can you
tell, cousin?

Evans.
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.

Evans.
Fery goot: I will make a prief of
it in my note-book; and we will afterwards ork
upon the cause with as great discreetly as we
can.

Fal.
Pistol! (150)

Pist.
He hears with ears.

Evans.
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 two pence a-piece of
Yead Miller, by these gloves.

Fal.
Is this true, Pistol?

Evans.
No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.

Pist.
Ha, thou mountain-foreigner! Sir John and master mine,

I combat challenge of this latten bilbo.

Word of denial in thy labras here!

Word of denial; froth and scum, thou liest!

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 nuthook's humour 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 (180)
sentences.

Evans.
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 (190)
drunken knaves.

Evans.
So Got udge me, that is a virtuous
mind.

Fal.
You hear all these matters denied,
gentlemen; you hear it.
Enter ANNE PACE, with wine; MISTRESS FORD and MISTRESS PAGE, following.

Page.
Nay, daughter, carry the wine in;
we'll drink within.
[Exit Anne Page.

Slen.
O heaven! this is Mistress Anne Page.

Page.
How now, Mistress Ford!

Fal.
Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are (200)
very well met: by your leave, good mistress.
[Kisses 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 unkindness.
[Exeunt all except Shal., Slen., and Evans.

Slen.
I had rather than forty shillings I had
my Book of Songs and Sonnets here.
Enter SIMPLE.
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 All-hallowmas
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 is reason.

Shal.
Nay, but understand me. (220)

Slen.
So I do, sir.

Evans.
Give ear to his motions, Master
Slender: I will description the matter to you,
if you be capacity of it.

Slen.
Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow
says: I pray you, pardon me; he's a justice of
peace in his country, simple though I stand
here.

Evans.
But that is not the question: the
question is concerning your marriage.

Shal.
Ay, there's the point, sir.

Evans.
Marry, is it; the very point of it; (231)
to Mistress Anne Page.

Slen.
Why, if it be so, I will marry her
upon any reasonable demands.

Evans.
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? (240)

Shal.
Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?

Slen.
I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become
one that would do reason.

Evans.
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; (260)
that I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely.

Evans.
It is a fery discretion answer; save
the fall 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!

Shal.
Here comes fair Mistress Anne.
Re-enter ANNE PAGE.


Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne!

Anne.
The dinner is on the table; my father (271)
desires your worships' company.

Shal.
I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.

Evans.
Od's plessed will! I will not be
absence at the grace.
[Exeunt Shallow, and Evans.

Anne.
Will 't please your worship to come
in, sir?

Slen.
No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily;
I am very well. (279)

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 beholding
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.

Slen.
I' faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you (291)
as much as though I did.

Anne.
I pray you, sir, walk in.

Slen.
I had rather walk here, I thank you.
I bruised my shin th' other day with playing
at sword and dagger with a master of fence;
three veneys 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; I heard them (301)
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.
I have seen Sackerson loose twenty times, and
have taken him by the chain; but, I warrant
you, the women have so cried and shrieked at
it, that it passed; but women, indeed, cannot
abide 'em; they are very ill-favoured rough
things.
Re-enter PAGE.

Page.
Come, gentle Master Slender, come;
we stay for you.

Slen.
I'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.

Page.
By cock and pie, 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.

Anne.
Not I, sir: pray you, keep on.

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.

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