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dolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and made me drunk, and afterwards picked my pocket.
Bar. You Banbury cheese!!
Slen. Where's Simple, my man ? can you tell, cousin ?
Eva. 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.
Eva. 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.
Eva. 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 twopence a-piece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
Fal. Is this true, Pistol ?
1 Said in allusion to the thin carcass of Slender. So, in Jack Drum's Entertainment, 1601–“ Put off your clothes, and you are like a Banbury Cheese, nothing but paring."
2 The name of a spirit, or familiar, in the old story book of Faustus. It was a cant phrase, probably, for an ugly fellow.
3 Few words.
4 Mill-sixpences were used as counters; and King Edward's shillings used in the game of shuffle-board. VOL. 1.
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo : 1
Slen. By these gloves, then, 'twas he.
you, say, marry, trap, with if
you run the nut-hook's 3 humor 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 sentences.
Eva. 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 drunken knaves.
Eva. So Got 'udge me, that is a virtuous mind.
you hear it.
Enter MISTRESS Anne Page, 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 very well met: by your leave, good mistress,
[kissing her. Puge. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome :
1 Latten, from the Fr. Laiton, Brass ; Bilbo, from Bilboa in Spain, where fine sword-blades were made. Pistol therefore calls Slender a weak blade of base metal, as one of brass would be. 3 The meaning apparently is, “ if you try to bring me to justice.”
Fap was evidently a cant term for foolish. 5 A military phrase for running the charge in a tournament or attack.
Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner; come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.
[Exeunt all but SHAL., SLENDER, 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
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?
Šlen. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable ; if it be SO,
I shall do that that is reason. Shal. Nay, but understand me. Slen. So I do, sir.
Eva. Give ear to his motions, master Slender : I will description the matter to
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.
Eva. But this is not the question; the question is concerning your marriage.
Shal. Ay, there's the point, sir.
Eva. Marry, is it; the very point of it; to mistress Anne Page.
Slen. Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any reasonable demands.
Eva. 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 ?
1 A popular book of Shakspeare's time, “ Songes and Sonnettes, written by the Earle of Surrey and others,” and published in 1557. 2 This is an intended blunder. 3 1. e. part, a law term.
Shal. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her ?
Slen. I hope, sir,- I will do as it shall become one that would do reason.
Eva. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies, you must speak possitable, if you can carry
desires towards her.
Shal. That you must: Will you, upon good dowry,
Sien. 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, that I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely.
Eva. It is a fery discretion answer; save the faul 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.
Re-enter ANNE PAGE. Shal. Here comes fair mistress Anne:- Would I were young for your sake, mistress Anne!
Anne. The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worships' company.
Shal. I will wait on him, fair mistress Anne !
[Exeunt SHALLOW and Sir H. Evans. Anne. Will’t please your worship to come in, sir ? Slen. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am
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 beholden 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 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 the other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence, three veneys 3 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 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 : 5—but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very illfavored, rough things.
Re-enter PAGE. Page. Come, gentle master Slender, come; we stay for
you. Slen. I'll eat nothing; I thank you, sir.
1 It was formerly the custom in England for persons to be attended at dinner by their own servants wherever they dined.
2 A person who had taken his master's degree in the science. There were three degrees—a master's, a provost's, and a scholar's.
3 Veney, or Venue, Fr., a touch or hit in the body at fencing, &c.