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Quick. I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic; hear the truth of it: He came of an errand to me from parson Hugh.
Sim. To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to speak a good word to mistress Anne Page 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.
Caius. Sir Hugh send-a you?-Rugby, baillez me some paper : -Tarry you a little-a while.
[Writes. Quick. 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 your master what good I can: and the very yea and the no is, the French Doctor, may 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. 'Tis a great charge, to come under one body's hand.
Quick. 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.
Caius. You jack’nape; give-a dis letter to Sir Hugh; by gar, it is a shallenge: I vill cut his troat in de park; and I vill teach a scurvy jack-a-nape priest to meddle or make :--you may begone; 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.
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 Jarterre 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 fools-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.
Fent. [within]. Who's within there, ho ?
* The goujere, what the pox ?
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?
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 tail ;-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 allichollyt 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
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 wooers. Fent. Well, farewell; I am in great haste now. [Exit.
Quick. 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 ? [Exit.
АСТ II. .
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
[Reads. Ask me no reason why I love you; for though love use reason for his precisian, I 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,
* She means, I protest.
† Melancholy. 5 Most probably Shakspeare wrote physician,
What a Herod of Jewry is this ?-0 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 devi!'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
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 vou to the contrary: 0, 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 ! 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.
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 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 you ever hear the like?
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.
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.
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
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 greasy knight: Come hither.
[They retire. Enter FORD, PISTOL, PAGE, and Nym. Ford. Well, I hope it be not so.
Pist. Hope is a curtailt dog in some affairs: Sir John affects thy wife.
Ford. Why, Sir, my wife is not young.
Pist. He wooes both high and low, both rich and poor,
Ford. Love my wife?
Pist. The horn, I say: Farewell.
[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 wronged me in some humours; I should have borne the humoured letter to her: but I have a sword, and * Caution, † A dog that misses his game. # A medley
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 Nym. Page. The humour of it, quoth’a! here's a fellow frights humour out of its wits.
Ford. I will seek out Falstaff.
Page. I will not believe such a Cataian,* though the priest oo the town commended him for a true man.
Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow : Well.
Mrs. Ford. How now, sweet Frank? why art thou melancholy ?
Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy.-Get you home, go.
Mrs. Ford. 'Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head now. Will you go, mistress Page ?
Mrs. Page. Have with you.-You'll come to dinner, George ! -Look, who comes yonder : she shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.
[Aside to MRS. FORD. Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY. Mrs. Ford. Trust me, I thought on her: she'll fit it. Mrs. Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne ?
Quick. Ay, forsooth; And, I pray, how does good mistress Anne ?
Mrs. Page. Go in with us, and see; we have an hour's talk with you. (Exeunt MRS. PAGE, MRS. FORD, and MRS. QUICKLY.
Page. How now, master Ford ? Ford. You heard what this knave told me, did you not ? Page. Yes; and you heard what the other told me? Ford. Do you think there is truth in them ? Page. Hang 'em, slaves! I do not think the knight would offer it: but these that accuse him in his intent towards our wives are a yoke of his discarded men; very rogues, now they be out of service.
Ford. Were they his men ?
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 loath to turn them together: A man may be too confident: I would have nothing lie on my head: I cannot be thus satisfied. Page. Look, where my ranting host of the Garter comes :
* A lying sharper.