Enter Shallow, Slender, and Sir Hugh Evans
Shallow 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.
Slender In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace and ‘Coram.’
Shallow Ay, cousin Slender, and ‘Custalourum’.
Slender Ay, and ‘Rato-lorum’ too; and a gentleman born, master parson; who writes himself ‘Armigero,’ in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, ‘Armigero.’
Shallow Ay, that I do; and have done any time these three hundred years.
Slender 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.
Shallow It is an old coat.
Sir Hugh Evans The dozen white louses do become an old coat well; it agrees well, passant; it is a familiar beast to man, and signifies love.
Shallow The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.
Slender I may quarter, coz.
Shallow You may, by marrying.
Sir Hugh Evans It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.
Shallow Not a whit.
Sir Hugh 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.
Shallow The council shall bear it; it is a riot.
Sir Hugh 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.
Shallow Ha! o’ my life, if I were young again, the sword should end it.
Sir Hugh 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.
Slender Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks small like a woman.
Sir Hugh 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.
Slender Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?
Sir Hugh Evans Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.
Slender I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.
Sir Hugh Evans Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts.
Shallow Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff there?
Sir Hugh Evans 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 for Master Page.
What, hoa! Got pless your house here!
Page [Within] Who’s there?
Sir Hugh 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.
Shallow 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.
Shallow Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.
Page I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.
Slender How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say he was outrun on Cotsall.
Page It could not be judged, sir.
Slender You’ll not confess, you’ll not confess.
Shallow That he will not. ’Tis your fault, ’tis your fault;
’tis a good dog.
Page A cur, sir.
Shallow 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.
Sir Hugh Evans It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
Shallow He hath wronged me, Master Page.
Page Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.
Shallow If it be confessed, it is not redress’d: 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 Falstaff, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol
Falstaff Now, Master Shallow, you’ll complain of me to the king?
Shallow Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer, and broke open my lodge.
Falstaff But not kissed your keeper’s daughter?
Shallow Tut, a pin! this shall be answered.
Falstaff I will answer it straight; I have done all this.
That is now answered.
Shallow The council shall know this.
Falstaff ’Twere better for you if it were known in counsel: you’ll be laughed at.
Sir Hugh Evans Pauca verba, Sir John; goot worts.
Falstaff Good worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke your head: what matter have you against me?
Slender Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you; and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol.
Bardolph You Banbury cheese!
Slender Ay, it is no matter.
Pistol How now, Mephostophilus!
Slender Ay, it is no matter.
Nym Slice, I say! pauca, pauca: slice! that’s my humour.
Slender Where’s Simple, my man? Can you tell, cousin?
Sir Hugh 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.
Sir Hugh 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.
Pistol He hears with ears.
Sir Hugh Evans The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, ‘He hears with ear’? why, it is affectations.
Falstaff Pistol, did you pick Master Slender’s purse?
Slender 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 apiece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
Falstaff Is this true, Pistol?
Sir Hugh Evans No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
Pistol 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!
Slender By these gloves, then, ’twas he.
Nym Be avised, sir, and pass good humours: I will say ’marry trap’ with you, if you run the nuthook’s humour on me; that is the very note of it.
Slender 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.
Falstaff What say you, Scarlet and John?
Bardolph Why, sir, for my part I say the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five sentences.
Sir Hugh Evans It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is!
Bardolph And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; and so conclusions passed the careires.
Slender 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.
Sir Hugh Evans So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.
Falstaff You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.
Enter Anne Page, with wine; Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, following
Page Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we’ll drink within.
Exit Anne Page
Slender O heaven! this is Mistress Anne Page.
Page How now, Mistress Ford!
Falstaff Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good mistress.
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 Shallow, Slender, and Sir Hugh Evans
Slender 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?
Simple Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake upon All-hallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas?
Shallow 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?
Slender Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if it be so,
I shall do that that is reason.
Shallow Nay, but understand me.
Slender So I do, sir.
Sir Hugh Evans Give ear to his motions, Master Slender: I will description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.
Slender 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.
Sir Hugh Evans But that is not the question: the question is concerning your marriage.
Shallow Ay, there’s the point, sir.
Sir Hugh Evans Marry, is it; the very point of it; to Mistress Anne Page.
Slender Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any reasonable demands.
Sir Hugh 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?
Shallow Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?
Slender I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that would do reason.
Sir Hugh Evans Nay, Got’s lords and his ladies! you must speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires towards her.
Shallow That you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?
Slender I will do a greater thing than that, upon your request, cousin, in any reason.
Shallow Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz: what I do is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the maid?
Slender 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.
Sir Hugh 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.
Shallow Ay, I think my cousin meant well.
Slender Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la!
Shallow Here comes fair Mistress Anne.
Re-enter Anne Page
Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne!
Anne Page The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worships’ company.
Shallow I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.
Sir Hugh Evans Od’s plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.
Exeunt Shallow and Sir Hugh Evans
Anne Page Will’t please your worship to come in, sir?
Slender No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well.
Anne Page The dinner attends you, sir.
Slender I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth. Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my cousin Shallow.
A justice of peace sometimes 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 Page I may not go in without your worship: they will not sit till you come.
Slender I’ faith, I’ll eat nothing; I thank you as much as though I did.
Anne Page I pray you, sir, walk in.
Slender 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 Page I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.
Slender 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 Page Ay, indeed, sir.
Slender 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-favored rough things.
Page Come, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay for you.
Slender I’ll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.
Page By cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! come, come.
Slender Nay, pray you, lead the way.
Page Come on, sir.
Slender Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.
Anne Page Not I, sir; pray you, keep on.
Slender I’ll rather be unmannerly than troublesome.
You do yourself wrong, indeed, la!
Enter Sir Hugh Evans and Simple
Sir Hugh Evans 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.
Simple Well, sir.
Sir Hugh Evans Nay, it is petter yet. Give her this letter; for it is a ’oman that altogether’s acquaintance with Mistress Anne Page: and the letter is, to desire and require her to solicit your master’s desires to Mistress Anne Page. I pray you, be gone: I will make an end of my dinner; there’s pippins and cheese to come.
Enter Falstaff, Host, Bardolph, Nym, Pistol, and Robin
Falstaff Mine host of the Garter!
Host What says my bully-rook? speak scholarly and wisely.
Falstaff Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers.
Host Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.
Falstaff I sit at ten pounds a week.
Host Thou’rt an emperor, Caesar, Keisar, and Pheezar. I will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector?
Falstaff 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.
Falstaff 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.
Bardolph It is a life that I have desired: I will thrive.
Pistol O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?
Nym He was gotten in drink: is not the humour conceited?
Falstaff 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 rest.
Pistol ‘Convey,’ the wise it call. ‘steal!’ foh! a fico for the phrase!
Falstaff Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
Pistol Why, then, let kibes ensue.
Falstaff There is no remedy; I must cony-catch; I must shift.
Pistol Young ravens must have food.
Falstaff Which of you know Ford of this town?
Pistol I ken the wight: he is of substance good.
Falstaff My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
Pistol Two yards, and more.
Falstaff No quips now, Pistol! Indeed, I am in the waist two yards about; but I am now about no waste; I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford’s wife: I spy entertainment in her; she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation: I can construe the action of her familiar style; and the hardest voice of her behavior, to be Englished rightly, is, ‘I am Sir John Falstaff’s.’
Pistol He hath studied her will, and translated her will, out of honesty into English.
Nym The anchor is deep: will that humour pass?
Falstaff Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her husband’s purse: he hath a legion of angels.
Pistol As many devils entertain; and ‘To her, boy,’ say I.
Nym The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.
Falstaff I have writ me here a letter to her: and here another to Page’s wife, who even now gave me good eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious oeillades; sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.
Pistol Then did the sun on dunghill shine.
Nym I thank thee for that humour.
Falstaff O, she did so course o’er my exteriors with such a greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye did seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass! Here’s another letter to her: she bears the purse too; she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will be cheater to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go bear thou this letter to Mistress Page; and thou this to Mistress Ford: we will thrive, lads, we will thrive.
Pistol Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,
And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all!
Nym I will run no base humour: here, take the humour-letter: I will keep the havior of reputation.
Falstaff [To Robin] Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly;
Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.
Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go;
Trudge, plod away o’ the hoof; seek shelter, pack!
Falstaff will learn the humour of the age,
French thrift, you rogues; myself and skirted page.
Exeunt Falstaff and Robin
Pistol Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and fullam holds,
And high and low beguiles the rich and poor:
Tester I’ll have in pouch when thou shalt lack,
Base Phrygian Turk!
Nym I have operations which be humours of revenge.
Pistol Wilt thou revenge?
Nym By welkin and her star!
Pistol With wit or steel?
Nym With both the humours, I:
I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.
Pistol And I to Ford shall eke unfold
How Falstaff, varlet vile,
His dove will prove, his gold will hold,
And his soft couch defile.
Nym My humour shall not cool: I will incense Page to deal with poison; I will possess him with yellowness, for the revolt of mine is dangerous: that is my true humour.
Pistol Thou art the Mars of malecontents: I second thee; troop on.
Enter Mistress Quickly, Simple, and Rugby
Mistress Quickly What, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the casement, and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor Caius, coming. If he do, i’ faith, and find any body in the house, here will be an old abusing of God’s patience and the king’s English.
Rugby I’ll go watch.
Mistress Quickly Go; and we’ll have a posset for’t soon at night, in faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire.
An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant shall come in house withal, and, I warrant you, no tell-tale nor no breed-bate: his worst fault is, that he is given to prayer; he is something peevish that way: but nobody but has his fault; but let that pass. Peter Simple, you say your name is?
Simple Ay, for fault of a better.
Mistress Quickly And Master Slender’s your master?
Simple Ay, forsooth.
Mistress Quickly Does he not wear a great round beard, like a glover’s paring-knife?
Simple No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with a little yellow beard, a Cain-coloured beard.
Mistress Quickly A softly-sprighted man, is he not?
Simple Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his hands as any is between this and his head; he hath fought with a warrener.
Mistress Quickly How say you? O, I should remember him: does he not hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?
Simple Yes, indeed, does he.
Mistress Quickly Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! Tell Master Parson Evans I will do what I can for your master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish —
Rugby Out, alas! here comes my master.
Mistress Quickly We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man; go into this closet: he will not stay long.
Shuts Simple in the closet
What, John Rugby! John! what, John, I say! Go, John, go inquire for my master; I doubt he be not well, that he comes not home.
And down, down, adown-a, & c.
Enter Doctor Caius
Doctor Caius Vat is you sing? I do not like des toys. Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un boitier vert, a box, a green-a box: do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.
Mistress Quickly Ay, forsooth; I’ll fetch it you.
I am glad he went not in himself: if he had found the young man, he would have been horn-mad.
Doctor Caius Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je m’en vais a la cour — la grande affaire.
Mistress Quickly Is it this, sir?
Doctor Caius Oui; mette le au mon pocket: depeche, quickly. Vere is dat knave Rugby?
Mistress Quickly What, John Rugby! John!
Rugby Here, sir!
Doctor Caius You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby. Come, take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to the court.
Rugby ’Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.
Doctor Caius By my trot, I tarry too long. Od’s me! Qu’ai-j’oublie! dere is some simples in my closet, dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.
Mistress Quickly Ay me, he’ll find the young man here, and be mad!
Doctor Caius O diable, diable! vat is in my closet? Villain! larron!
Pulling Simple out
Rugby, my rapier!
Mistress Quickly Good master, be content.
Doctor Caius Wherefore shall I be content-a?
Mistress Quickly The young man is an honest man.
Doctor Caius What shall de honest man do in my closet? dere is no honest man dat shall come in my closet.
Mistress Quickly I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic. Hear the truth of it: he came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh.
Doctor Caius Vell.
Simple Ay, forsooth; to desire her to —
Mistress Quickly Peace, I pray you.
Doctor Caius Peace-a your tongue. Speak-a your tale.
Simple To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page for my master in the way of marriage.
Mistress Quickly This is all, indeed, la! but I’ll ne’er put my finger in the fire, and need not.
Doctor Caius Sir Hugh send-a you? Rugby, baille me some paper.
Tarry you a little-a while.
Mistress Quickly [Aside to Simple] I am glad he is so quiet: if he had been thoroughly moved, you should have heard him so loud and so melancholy. But notwithstanding, man, I’ll do you your master what good I can: and the very yea and the no is, the French doctor, my master — I may call him my master, look you, for I keep his house; and I wash, wring, brew, bake, scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds and do all myself —
Simple [Aside to Mistress Quickly] ’Tis a great charge to come under one body’s hand.
Mistress Quickly [Aside to Simple] Are you avised o’ that? you shall find it a great charge: and to be up early and down late; but notwithstanding — to tell you in your ear; I would have no words of it — my master himself is in love with Mistress Anne Page: but notwithstanding that, I know Anne’s mind — that’s neither here nor there.
Doctor Caius You jack’nape, give-a this letter to Sir Hugh; by gar, it is a shallenge: I will cut his troat in dee park; and I will teach a scurvy jack-a-nape priest to meddle or make. You may be gone; it is not good you tarry here. By gar, I will cut all his two stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to throw at his dog:
Mistress Quickly Alas, he speaks but for his friend.
Doctor Caius It is no matter-a ver dat: do not you tell-a me dat I shall have Anne Page for myself? By gar, I vill kill de Jack priest; and I have appointed mine host of de Jarteer to measure our weapon. By gar, I will myself have Anne Page.
Mistress Quickly Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. We must give folks leave to prate: what, the good-jer!
Doctor Caius Rugby, come to the court with me. By gar, if I have not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my door. Follow my heels, Rugby.
Exeunt Doctor Caius and Rugby
Mistress Quickly You shall have An fool’s-head of your own. No, I know Anne’s mind for that: never a woman in Windsor knows more of Anne’s mind than I do; nor can do more than I do with her, I thank heaven.
Fenton [Within] Who’s within there? ho!
Mistress Quickly Who’s there, I trow! Come near the house, I pray you.
Fenton How now, good woman? how dost thou?
Mistress Quickly The better that it pleases your good worship to ask.
Fenton What news? how does pretty Mistress Anne?
Mistress Quickly In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you that by the way; I praise heaven for it.
Fenton Shall I do any good, thinkest thou? shall I not lose my suit?
Mistress Quickly Troth, sir, all is in his hands above: but notwithstanding, Master Fenton, I’ll be sworn on a book, she loves you. Have not your worship a wart above your eye?
Fenton Yes, marry, have I; what of that?
Mistress Quickly Well, thereby hangs a tale: good faith, it is such another Nan; but, I detest, an honest maid as ever broke bread: we had an hour’s talk of that wart. I shall never laugh but in that maid’s company! But indeed she is given too much to allicholy and musing: but for you — well, go to.
Fenton Well, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there’s money for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if thou seest her before me, commend me.
Mistress Quickly Will I? i’faith, that we will; and I will tell your worship more of the wart the next time we have confidence; and of other wooers.
Fenton Well, farewell; I am in great haste now.
Mistress Quickly Farewell to your worship.
Truly, an honest gentleman: but Anne loves him not; for I know Anne’s mind as well as another does. Out upon’t! what have I forgot?
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:13