Page images

Sim. Ay, forsooth.

Quick. Does he not wear a great round beard, like a glover's paring-knife?

for my master, in the way of marriage. Quick. This is all, indeed, la; but I'll ne'er put my finger in the fire, and need not. Sim. No forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, Caius. Sir Hugh send-a you?-Rugby, baillez with a little yellow beard; a Cain-coloured beard. me some paper:-Tarry you a little-a while. Quick. A softly-sprighted man, is he not? [writes. Sim. Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall' a man of Quick. I am glad he is so quiet: if he had been his hands, as any is between this and his head: he thoroughly moved, you should have heard him so hath fought with a warrener. loud, and so melancholy;-but notwithstanding, Quick. How say you?—O, I should remember man, I'll do your master what good I can: and, him; does he not hold up his head, as it were? and the very yea and the no is, the French doctor, my strut in his gait? 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;

Sim. Yes, indeed, does he.


Quick. 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

Re-enter Rugby.

Enter Doctor Caius.

Sim. 'Tis a great charge, to come under one body's hand.

Quick. Are you advis'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 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.

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 Caius. You jack'nape; give-a dis letter to sir inquire for my master; I doubt, he be not well, Hugh; by gar, it is a shallenge: I vill cut his troat that he comes not home :-and down, down, in de park; and I vill teach a scurvy jack-a-nape adown-a, &c. [Sings. 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 trow at his dog. [Exit Simple. Quick. Alas, he speaks but for his friend. 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 apQuick. Ay, forsooth, I'll fetch it you. I am glad pointed mine host of de Jarterre to measure our he went not in himself; if he had found the young weapon:-by gar, I vill myself have Anne Page. man, he would have been horn-mad. Quick. Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be Caius. Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. well: we must give folks leave to prate: What, Je m'en vais à la cour,-la grand affaire. the good-jer!4

Caius. Vat is you sing? I do not like dese toys; Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un boitier verd; a box, a green-a box; do íntend vat I speak? a green-a box.

Quick. Is it this, sir?


Caius. Ouy; mette le au mon pocket; depeche,
quickly:-Vere is dat knave Rugby!
Quick. What, John Rugby! John!
Rug. Here, sir.

Caius. You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby: come, take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to de court.

Rug. 'Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.

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 the varld I shall leave behind.

Quick. Ah me! he'll find the young man there, and be mad.

Caius. O diable, diable! vat is in my closet?Villany! 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 closet? dere is no honest man dat shall come in my closet. Quick. I beseech you, be not so flegmatic; hear the truth of it: he came of an errand to me from parson Hugh.

Caius. Vell.

Sim. Ay, forsooth, to desire her to—
Quick. Peace, I pray you.

Caius. Peace-a your tongue:-Speak-a your tale. Sim. To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to speak a good word to mistress Anne Page, (1) Brave. (2) The keeper of a warren. Scolded, reprimanded.

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 fools-head of your own. No, I know Anne's raind 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.

Fent. [Within.] Who's within there, ho? Quick. Who's there, I trow? Come near the house, I pray you.

Enter Fenton.

Fent. How now, good woman; how dost thou ? Quick. The better, that it pleases your good worship to ask.

Fent. What news? how docs 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?

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,

(4) The goujere, what the pox!

it is such another Nan:-but, I detest,' an honest show you to the contrary: O, mistress Page, give maid as ever broke bread:-We had an hour's me some counsel ! talk of that wart;-I shall never laugh but in that maid's company.-But, indeed, she is given too much to allicholly2 and musing: but for youWell, go to.

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! Mrs. Page. Hang the trifle, woman; take the Fent. Well, I shall see her to-day: hold, there's honour: what is it?-dispense with trifles;-what money for thee; let me have thy voice in my be- is it? half: if thou seest her before me, commend me- Mrs. Ford. If I would but go to hell for an Quick. Will I? i'faith, that we will: and I will eternal moment, or so, I could be knighted. tell your worship more of the wart, the next time Mrs. Page. What ?-thou liest !-Sir Alice we have confidence; and of other wooers. Ford!- -These knights will hack; and so thou Fent. Well, farewell; I am in great haste now. shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry. [Exit. Mrs. Ford. We burn day-light :-here, read, Quick. Farewell to your worship.-Truly, an read;-perceive how I might be knighted.—I shall honest gentleman; but Anne loves him not; for think the worse of fat men, as long as I have an eye to I know Anne's mind as well as another does :- make difference of men's liking: and yet he would Out upon't! what have I forgot? [Exit. 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 adhere and keep place together, than the hundredth psalm to the tune of Green Sleeves. What tempest, I trow, threw this whale, with so many tuns of oil in his belly, ashore at Windsor ? How shall I be revenged on him? I think the best way were to entertain him with hope, till the wicked fire of lust have melted him in his own grease. Did [reads. Mrs. Page. Letter for letter; but that the name Ask me no reason why I love you; for though of Page and Ford differs!-To thy great comfort love use reason for his precisian, he admits him in this mystery of ill opinions, here's the twin not for his counsellor: You are not young, no brother of thy letter: but let thine inherit first; for, more am I; go to then, there's sympathy you I protest, mine never shall. I warrant, he hath a are merry, so am I; ha! ha! then there's more thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for sympathy: you love sack, and so do I would different names (sure more,) and these are of the you desire better sympathy? Let it suffice thee, second edition: he will print them out of doubt: mistress Page (at the least, if the love of a soldier for he cares not what he puts into the press, when can suffice,) that I love thee. I will not say, pity he would put us two. I had rather be a giantess, 'tis not a soldier-like phrase; but I say, love and lie under mount Pelion. Well, I will find you


SCENE I-Before Page's house. Enter Mistress Page, with a letter.

Mrs. Page. What! have I 'scaped love-letters in the holy-day time of my beauty, and am I now you ever hear the like? a subject for them? Let me see:


me. By me,

[blocks in formation]

twenty lascivious turtles, ere one chaste man.
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 al-
most 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.

What a Herod of Jewry is this !-O wicked, wicked world!-one that is well nigh worn to Mrs. Ford. Boarding, call you it? I'll be sure pieces with age, to show himself a young gallant! What an unweighed behaviour hath this Flemish to keep him above deck. drunkard picked (with the devil's name) out of my Mrs. Page. So will I; if he come under my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay hatches, I'll never to sea again. Let's be revenged me? Why, he hath not been thrice in my compa- on him: let's appoint him a meeting; give him a ny! What should I say to him?-I was then show of comfort in his suit; and lead him on with frugal of my mirth :-heaven forgive me !-Why, a fine-baited delay, till he hath pawn'd his horses I'll exhibit a bill in the parliament for the putting to mine host of the Garter. 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.

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

(1) She means, I protest. (2) Melancholy.

3 Most probably Shakspeare wrote Physician.!

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.
Mrs. Page. Let's consult together against this
[They retire.
greasy knight: come hither.

Enter Ford, Pistol, Page, and Nym.
Ford. Well, I hope, it be not so.
(4) Caution.



Pist. Hope is a curtail' dog in some affairs:
Sir John affects thy wife.

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

Both young and old, one with another, Ford;
He loves thy gally-mawfry; Ford, perpend.3
Ford. Love my wife?

Pist. With liver burning hot: prevent, or go thou,
Like sir Acteon he, with Ring-wood at thy heels:
O, odious is the name!

Ford. What name, sir?

Pist. The horn, I say: farewell.

[blocks in formation]

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

Take heed, ere summer comes, or cuckoo-birds do confident: I would have nothing lie on my head: I


Away, sir corporal Nym.

Believe it, Page; he speaks sense. [Exit Pistol. Ford. I will be patient; I will find out this. Nym. And this is true. [To Page.] I like not the humour of lying. He hath wrong'd 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

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'rt a gentlethe short and the long. My name is corporal Nym; man: cavalero-justice, I say.

I speak, and I avouch. 'Tis true:-my name is Shal. I follow, mine host, I follow.-Good even Nym, and Falstaff loves your wife.-Adieu! I love and twenty, good master Page! Master Page, will not the humour of bread and cheese; and there's you go with us? we have sport in hand. [Exit Nym. Host. Tell him, cavalero-justice; tell him, bully

the humour of it. Adieu.

Page. The humour of it, quoth 'a! here's a fel-rook. low frights humour out of his wits.

Ford. I will seek out Falstaff.

Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought, between sir Hugh the Welsh priest, and Caius the French

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

[blocks in formation]


Ford. Good mine host o' the Garter, a word with you.

Host. What say'st thou, bully-rook?

[They go aside.

Shal. Will you [to Page] go with us to behold it? my merry host hath had the measuring of their weapons; and, I think, he hath appointed them 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

Mrs. Ford. How now, sweet Frank? why art sport shall be. thou melancholy?

Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy.-guest-cavalier? Get you home, go.

Ford. None, I protest: but I'll give you a pottle Mrs. Ford. Faith, thou hast some crotchets in of burnt sack to give me recourse to him, and tell thy head now.-Will you go, mistress Page?

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

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 tall 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 so 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. [Exit.

[blocks in formation]

SCENE II.-A room in the Garter Inn.
Falstaff and Pistol.

Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.

Pist. Why, then the world's mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open.-
I will retort the sum in equipage.'

Enter 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; warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift; smelling so sweetly (all musk,) and Fal. Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you so rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and should lay my countenance to pawn: I have grat-in such alligant terms; and in such wine and sugar ed upon my good friends for three reprieves for you of the best, and the fairest, that would have won and your coach-fellow Nym; or else you had any woman's heart; and, I warrant you, they could looked through the grate like a geminy of baboons. never get an eye-wink of her.-I had myself twenty I am damned in hell, for swearing to gentlemen my angels given me this morning : but I defy all angels friends, you were good soldiers, and tall fellows: (in any such sort, as they say,) but in the way of and when mistress Bridget lost the handle of her honesty:-and, I warrant you, they could never get fan, I took't upon my honour, thou hadst it not.

Pist. Didst thou not share? hadst thou not fifteen pence?

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. Reason, you rogue, reason: Think'st thou, I'll endanger my soul gratis? At a word, hang no Fal. But what says she to me? be brief, my good more about me, I am no gibbet for you :-go.-Ashe Mercury. short knife and a throng:-to your manor of Pickt- Quick. Marry, she hath received your letter hatch, go.-You'll not bear a letter for me, you for the which she thanks you a thousand times rogue!-you stand upon your honour!-Why, thou and she gives you to notify, that her husband will unconfinable baseness, it is as much as I can do, to be absence from his house between ten and eleven keep the terms of my honour precise. I, I, I my- Fal. Ten and eleven?

self sometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on the Quick. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come left hand, and hiding mine honour in my necessity, and see the picture, she says, that you wou of;am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch; and yet master Ford, her husband, will be from home. you, rogue, will ensconce your rags, your cat-a- Alas! the sweet woman leads an ill life with him; mountain looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your he's a very jealousy man; she leads a very frambold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your ho- pold life with him, good heart. nour! You will not do it, you?

Fal. Ten and eleven? Woman, commend me to

Pist. I do relent; What would'st thou more of her; I will not fail her. man?

Enter Robin.

Quick. Why, you say well: But I have another messenger to your worship: Mistress Page hath her hearty commendations to you too ;-and let me tell you in your ear, she's as fartuous a civil modest

Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you. wife, and one (I tell you) that will not miss your Fal. Let her approach.

[blocks in formation]

Fal. I do believe the swearer: What with me? Quick. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?

morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, whoc'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 of my good parts aside, I have no other charms. Quick. Blessing on your heart for't! Fal. But, pray thee, tell me this; has Ford's wife, and Page's wife, acquainted each other how

Fal. Two thousand, fair woman; and I'll vouch-they love me? safe thee the hearing.

Quick. That were a jest, indeed!-they have not Quick. There is one mistress Ford, sir;-I pray, so little grace, I hope:-that were a trick, indeed! 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!

But mistress Page would desire you to send her
your little page, of all loves; 1° her husband has a
marvellous infection to the little page: and, truly,
Never a wife in
master Page is an honest man.
Windsor leads a better life than she does; do what
she will, say what she will, take all, pay all, go to
bed when she list, rise when she list, all is as she
will; and truly she deserves it: for if there be a
kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must
send her your page; no remedy.

Fal. Why, I will.

Quick. Nay, but do so then: and, look you, he may come and go between you both; and, in any case have a nay-word," that you may know one Quick. Marry, this is the short and the long of another's mind, and the boy never need to under

Fal. Mistress Ford-come, mistress Ford.

Pay you again in stolen goods.
Draws along with you.

(3) To cut purses in a crowd.

(6) Ale-house.

(7) A mistake of Mrs. Quickly's for quandary. (8) Know. (9) Fretful, peevish.

Pickt-hatch was in Clerkenwell. (5) Protect. (10) By all means. (11) A watch-word.

stand any thing; for 'tis not good that children
should know any wickedness; old folks, you know,
have discretion, as they say, and know the world.

Fal. Very well, sir; proceed. Ford. There is a gentlewoman in this town, her husband's name is Ford.

Fal. Well, sir.

Fal. Fare thee well: commend me to them both: there's my purse: I am yet thy debtor.- Ford. I have long loved her, and, I protest to Boy, go along with this woman.-This news dis- you, bestowed much on her; followed her with a tracts me! [Exeunt Quickly and Robin. doting observance; engrossed opportunities to Pist. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers :- meet her; fee'd every slight occasion, that could Clap on more sails; pursue, up with your fights; but niggardly give me sight of her: not only Give fire; she is my prize, or ocean whelm them bought many presents to give her, but have given all! [Exit Pistol. largely to many, to know what she would have Fal. Say'st thou so, old Jack? go thy ways; given: briefly, I have pursued her, as love hath I'll make more of thy old body than I have done. pursued me; which hath been, on the wing of all Will they yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after occasions. But whatsover I have merited, either the expense of so much money, be now a gainer? in my mind, or in my means, meed, I am sure, Good body, I thank thee: Let them say, 'tis grossly have received none; unless experience be a jewel: done; so it be fairly done, no matter. that I have purchased at an infinite rate; and that nath taught me to say this:

Enter Bardolph.

Bard. Sir John, there's one master Brook below
would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with
you; and hath sent your worship a morning's
draught of sack.

Fal. Brook, is his name?
Bard. Ay, sir.

Fal. Call him in; [Exit Bardolph.] Such,
Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow such
liquor, Ah! ha! mistress Ford and mistress
Page, have I encompassed you? go to; via !

Re-enter Bardolph, with Ford disguised.
Ford. Bless you, sir.

Fal. And you, sir; Would you speak with me?
Ford. I make bold, to press with so little pre-
paration upon you.

[blocks in formation]

Fal. Have you importuned her to such a pur|pose? Ford. Never.

Fal. Of what quality was your love then?

Ford. Like a fair house, built upon another man's ground; so that I have lost my edifice, by mistaking the place where I erected it.

Fal. To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?

Ford. When I have told you that, I have told you all. Some say, that, though she appear honest to me, yet, in other places, she enlargeth her Fal. You're welcome; What's your will? Give mirth so far, that there is shrewd construction us leave, drawer. [Exit Bardolph. made of her. Now, sir John, here is the heart of Ford. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent my purpose: You are a gentleman of excellent much; my name is Brook. breeding, admirable discourse, of great admitFal. Good master Brook, I desire more acquaint-tance, authentic in your place and person, geneance of you. rally allowed for your many warlike, court-like, and learned preparations.

Ford. Good sir John, I sue for yours: not to charge you; for I must let you understand, I think myself in better plight for a lender than you are: the which hath something enboldened me to this unseasoned intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all ways do lie open.

Fal. Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on. Ford. Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me; if you will help me to bear it, sir John, take all, or half, for easing me of the carriage.

Fal. Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be

your porter.

Ford. I will tell you, sir, if you will give me the hearing.


Fal. O, sir!

Ford. Believe it, for you know it :-There is money; spend it, spend it; spend more; spend all I have; only give me so much of your time in exchange of it, as to lay an amiable siege to the honesty of this Ford's wife: use your art of wooing, win her to consent to you; if any man may, you may as soon as any.

Fal. Would it apply well to the vehemency of your affection, that I should win what you would enjoy? Methinks, you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.

Ford. O, understand my drift! she dwells so securely on the excellency of her honour, that Fal. Speak, good master Brook: I shall be glad the folly of my soul dares not present itself; she is to be your servant. too bright to be looked against. Now, could I come Ford. Sir, I hear you are a scholar,-I will be to her with any detection in my hand, my desires brief with you ;and you have been a man had instance and argument to commend themselves; long known to me, though I had never so good I could drive her then from the ward of her purity, neans, as desire, to make myself acquainted with her reputation, her marriage-vow, and a thousand I shall discover a thing to you, wherein other her defences, which now are too strongly aust very much lay open mine own imperfection: embattled against me; What say you to't, sír but, good sir John, as you have one eye upon my John?


Collies, as you hear them unfolded, turn another Fal. Master Brook, I will first make bold with
nto the register of your own; that I may pass with your money; next, give me your hand; and last,
a reproof the easier, sith you yourself know, how as I am a gentleman, you shall, if you will, enjoy
easy it is to be such an offender.
Ford's wife.

(2) A cant phrase of exultation.

(3) Reward.

(4) In the greatest companies. (5) Approved. 6) Guard.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »