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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. 289 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 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?

301 Anne. I think there are, sir; I heard them 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.

308 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.


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Eva. 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 seese to come.



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Host. Thou'rt an emperor, Cæsar, Keisar, and Pheezar. I will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector? Fal. Do so, good mine host.


Host. I have spoke; let him follow. [To BARD.] Let me see thee froth and lime: I am at a word; follow. [Exit.

Fal. 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. Bard. It is a life that I have desired. I will thrive. Pist. O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield? [Exit BARD. Nym. He was gotten in drink; is not the humour conceited?



Fal. 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 minim's rest.


Pist. 'Convey,' the wise it call. 'Steal!' foh! a fico for the phrase!

Fal. Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels. 32 Pist Why, then, let kibes ensue.

Fal. There is no remedy; I must conycatch, I must shift.

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Fal. Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her husband's purse; he hath a legion of angels.

Pist. As many devils entertain, and 'To her, boy,' say I.

60 Nym. The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.

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Pist. Thou art the Mars of malcontents: I
second thee; troop on.

Quick. What, John Rugby!—

Enter 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 anybody in the house, here will be an old abusing of God's patience and the king's English.

Rug. I'll go watch.


Fal. 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 œilliades: sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly. Pist. Then did the sun on dunghill shine. 68 Nym. I thank thee for that humour. Fal. 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, Quick. Go; and we'll have a posset for 't soon all gold and bounty. I will be 'cheator to them at night, in faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal both, and they shall be exchequers to me: they fire. [Exit RUGBY.] An honest, willing, kind shall be my East and West Indies, and I will fellow, as ever servant shall come in house trade to them both. Go bear thou this letter to withal; and, I warrant you, no tell-tale, nor Mistress Page; and thou this to Mistress Ford. no breed-bate: his worst fault is, that he is We will thrive, lads, we will thrive. 80 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? 16 Sim. Ay, for fault of a better.

Pist. 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 haviour of reputation.


Fal. [To ROBIN.] Hold, sirrah, bear you these
letters tightly:

Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.
Rogues, hence! avaunt! vanish like hailstones,


Trudge, plod a way o' the hoof; seek shelter,pack!

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Rug. Out, alas! here comes my master. Quick. We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man; go into this closet. [Shuts SIMPLE in the closet.] He will not stay long. 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. [Exit RUGBY.] [Sings.]

'And down, down, adown-a,' &c.


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Quick. I am glad he is so quiet: if he had been throughly moved, you should have heard him so loud, and so melancholy. But, notwithstanding, man, I'll do your master what good I Enter DOCTOR CAIUS. can; and the very yea and the no is, the French Caius. Vat is you sing? I do not like dese doctor, my master,-I may call him my master, toys. Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet look you, for I keep his house; and I wash, une boitine verde; a box, a green-a box: do in-wring, brew, bake, scour, dress meat and drink, tend vat I speak? a green-a box. make the beds, and do all myself,— Sim. 'Tis a great charge to come under one body's hand.


Quick. Ay, forsooth; I'll fetch it you. [Aside.] I am glad he went not in himself: if he had found the young man, he would have been horn-mad. Caius. Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je m'en vais à la cour,-la grande affaire.

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Quick. Are you avis'd 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 dénotwithstanding that, I know Anne's mind, that's neither here nor there.





Rug. 'Tis ready, sir, here in the porch. 63 Caius. By my trot, I tarry too long.-Od's me! Qu'ay j'oublié? dere is some simples in my closet, dat I vill not for de varld I shall leave behind. 67

Quick. [Aside.] Ay me! he'll find the young man there, and be mad.

Caius. O diable! diable! vat is in my closet? -Villain! larron! [Pulling SIMPLE out.] Rugby, my rapier!


Quick. Good master, be content.
Caius. Verefore shall I be content-a?
Quick. The young man is an honest man.
Caius. Vat shall de honest man do in my


Caius. You jack'nape, give-a dis letter to Sir Hugh; by gar, it is a challenge: I vill cut his troat in de Park; and I vill 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 vill cut all his two stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to trow at his dog. [Exit SIMPLE.

Quick. Alas! he speaks but for his friend. 119 Caius. It is no matter-a for 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 Jartiere to measure our weapon. By gar, I vill myself have Anne Page.

Quick. Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. We must give folks leave to prate: what, the good-jer!


Caius. Rugby, come to the court vit me. By gar, if I have not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my door. Follow my heels, Rugby. [Exeunt CAIUS and RUGBY. Quick. You shall have An fool's-head of your

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Fent. What news? how does pretty Mistress Anne?

Quick. 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.

Fent. Shall I do any good, thinkest thou? Shall I not lose my suit? 149 Quick. 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?


Fent. Yes, marry have I; what of that? Quick. 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.


Fent. 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. 165 Quick. 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 169 Fent. Well, farewell; I am in great haste now. Quick. Farewell to your worship.-[Exit FENTON.] 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? [Exit.



SCENE I.-Before PAGE's House. Enter MISTRESS PAGE, with a Letter. Mrs. Page. What! have I 'scaped love-letters in the holiday-time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them? Let me see.

Ask me no reason why I love you; for though Love use Reason for his physician, he admits him not for his counsellor. You are not young, no

more am I; go to then, there's sympathy; you are merry, so am I; ha! ha! then, there's more sympathy; you love sack, and so do I; would you desire better sympathy? Let it suffice thee, Mistress Page, at the least, if the love of a soldier can suffice, that I love thee. I will not say, pity me,'tis not a soldier-like phrase; but I say, love me. By me, Thine own true knight, By day or night, Or any kind of light, With all his might For thee to fight,



What a Herod of Jewry is this! O wicked, wicked world! one that is well-nigh worn to pieces with age, to show himself a young gallant! What an unweighed behaviour hath this Flemish drunkard picked, with the devil's name! out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me? Why, he hath not been thrice in my company! What should I say to him? I was then frugal of my mirth:-heaven forgive me! Why, I'll exhibit a bill in the parliament for the putting down of men. How shall I be revenged on him? for revenged I will be, as sure as his guts are made of puddings.


Enter MISTRESS FORD. Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page! trust me, I was going to your house. Mrs. Page. And, trust me, I was coming to you. You look very ill.

36 Mrs. Ford. Nay, I'll ne'er believe that: I have to show to the contrary.

Mrs. Page. Faith, but you do, in my mind. Mrs. Ford. Well, I do then; yet, I say I could show you to the contrary. O, Mistress Page! give me some counsel.


Mrs. Page. What's the matter, woman? Mrs. Ford. O woman, if it were not for one trifling respect, I could come to such honour! 45 Mrs. Page. Hang the trifle, woman; take the honour. What is it?-dispense with trifles; what is it?


Mrs. Ford. If I would but go to hell for an eternal moment or so, I could be knighted.

Mrs. Page. What? thou liest. Sir Alice Ford! These knights will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry. 53

Mrs. Ford. We burn daylight: here, read, read; perceive how I might be knighted. I shall think the worse of fat men as long as I have an eye to make difference of men's liking: and yet he would not swear; praised women's modesty; and gave such orderly and well-behaved reproof to all uncomeliness, that I would have sworn his disposition would have gone to the truth of his words; but they do no more

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Mrs. Page. Letter for letter, but that the name of Page and Ford differs! To thy great comfort in this mystery of ill opinions, here's the twin brother of thy letter: but let thine inherit first; for, I protest, mine never shall. I warrant, he hath a thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for different names, sure more, and these are of the second edition. He will print them, out of doubt; for he cares not what he puts into the press, when he would put us two: I had rather be a giantess, and lie under Mount Pelion. Well, I will find you twenty lascivious turtles ere one chaste man. 83 Mrs. Ford. Why, this is the very same; the very hand, the very words. What doth he think of us? Mrs. Page. Nay, I know not: it makes me almost ready to wrangle with mine own honesty. I'll entertain myself like one that I am not acquainted withal; for, sure, unless he know some strain in me, that I know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury.

Mrs. Ford. Boarding call you it? I'll be sure to keep him above deck.


Mrs. Page. So will I: if he come under my hatches, I'll never to sea again. Let's be revenged on him: let's appoint him a meeting; give him a show of comfort in his suit, and lead him on with a fine-baited delay, till he hath pawned his horses to mine host of the Garter. 99 Mrs. Ford. Nay, I will consent to act any villany against him, that may not sully the chariness of our honesty. O, that my husband saw this letter! it would give eternal food to his jealousy.. Mrs. Page. Why, look, where he comes; and my good man too: he's as far from jealousy, as I am from giving him cause; and that, I hope, is an unmeasurable distance.

Mrs. Ford. You are the happier woman. 108 Mrs. Page. Let's consult together against this greasy knight. Come hither. [They retire.

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Take heed, ere summer comes or cuckoo-birds do sing.

Away, sir Corporal Nym!
Believe it, Page; he speaks sense. [Exit.
Ford. [Aside.] I will be patient: I will find
out this.


Nym. [To PAGE.] And this is true; I like not the humour of lying. He hath wronged me in some humours: I should have borne the humoured letter to her, but I have a sword and it shall bite upon my necessity. He loves your wife; there's the short and the long. My name is Corporal Nym; I speak, and I avouch 'tis true: my name is Nym, and Falstaff loves your wife. Adieu. I love not the humour of bread and cheese; and there's the humour of it. Adieu. [Exit.

Page. [Aside.] 'The humour of it,' quoth 'a! here's a fellow frights humour out of his wits. 142 Ford. I will seek out Falstaff.

Page. I never heard such a drawling, affecting rogue.

Ford. If I do find it: well.


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Enter FORD, PISTOL, PAGE, and NYM. Ford. Well, I hope it be not so. Pist. Hope is a curtal dog in some affairs: 112 she'll fit it.

Sir John affects thy wife.

Ford. Why, sir, my wife is not young.
Pist. He woos both high and low, both rich

and poor,

Mrs. Ford. Trust me, I thought on her: 165


Mrs. Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne?

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