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Page. By cock and pye, you shall not choose, sir : come, come.
Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way.
first. Anne. Not I, sir ; pray you, keep on.
Slen. Truly, I will not go first, truly, la: I will not do you that wrong.
Anne. I pray you, sir.
Slen. I'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome : you do yourself wrong, indeed, la.
SCENE II. The same.
Enter Sir Hugh EVANS and SIMPLE. Eva. 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.
Sim. Well, sir.
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 cheese to come.
SCENE III. A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FalstAFF, Host, BARDOLPH, Nym, Pistol,
and ROBIN. Fal. Mine host of the Garter,
Host. What says my bully-rook? Speak scholarly, and wisely.
1 A popular adjuration.
Fal. Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers.
Host. Discard, bully Hercules; cashier ; let them wag ; trot, trot.
Fal. I sit at ten pounds a week.
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: Let me see thee froth, and lime :1 I am at a word; follow.
[Exit Host. 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.
[Exit BARD. Pist. O base Gongarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield
Nym. He was gotten in drink: Is not the humor conceited ? His mind is not heroic, and there's the humor of it.
Fal. I am glad I am so acquit of this tinder-box; his thefts were too open: his filching was like an unskilful singer, he kept not time.
Nym. The good humor is, to steal at a minute's rest.
Pist. Convey, the wise it call: Steal! foh; a fico ? for the phrase!
Fal. Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
Fal. There is no remedy; I must cony-catch; 1 must shift.
Pist. Young ravens must have food.
1 To froth beer and to lime sack were tapster's tricks. Mr. Steevens says the first was done by putting soap in the bottom of the tankard; the other by mixing lime with the wine to make it sparkle in the glass.
2 « A fico for the phrase.” See K. Henry IV. Part 2. A. 2.
Fal. My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
Pist. Two yards, and more.
Fal. 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 Falstaf”s.
Pist. He hath studied her well, and translated her well; out of honesty into English.
Nym. The anchor is deep; will that humor pass ?
Fal. Now, the report goes, she has all the rule of her husband's purse ; she hath legions of angels.?
Pist. As many devils entertain ; and, To her, boy,
Nym. The humor rises; it is good; humor me the angels.
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 eyliads :3 sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.
Pist. Then did the sun on dunghill shine.
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, all gold and bounty. I will be
1 It seems to have been a mark of kindness when a lady carved to a gentleman.
2 Gold coin.
3 Oëillades, French. Ogles, wanton looks of the eyes. Cotgrave translates it, “to cast a sheep's eye.”
4 What distinguishes the language of Nym from that of the other attendants on Falstaff is the constant repetition of this phrase. In the time of Shakspeare such an affectation seems to have been sufficient to mark a character. Some modern dramatists have also thought so.
cheater to them both, and they shall be exchequers to
Pist. Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,
Nym. I will run no base humor; here, take the
[Exeunt FALSTAFF and Robin. Pist. Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and
fullam ? holds,
Nym. I have operations in my head, which be humors of revenge.
Pist. Wilt thou revenge?
Nym. With both the humors, I:
How Falstaff, varlet vile,
And his soft couch defile.
1 Escheatour, an officer in the Exchequer.
2 In Decker's Bellman of London, 1640, among the false dice are enumerated “ a bale of fullams”—“ a bale of gordes, with as many high men as low men for passage.” The false dice were chiefly made at Fulham; hence the name. The manner in which they were made is described in The Complete Gamester, 1676, 12mo. 3 Sixpence I'll have in pocket. VOL. I.
Page to deal with poison; I will possess him with yellowness, for the revolt of mien is dangerous: that is my true humor.
Pist. Thou art the Mars of malcontents: I second thee; troop on.
SCENE IV. A Room in Dr. Caius's House.
Enter Mrs. QUICKLY, SIMPLE, and Rugby. Quick. 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. Rug. I'll go watch. .
[Exit Rugby Quick. 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 ?
Sim. Ay, for a fault of a better.
Quick. Does he not wear a great round beard, like a glover's paring knife ?
Sim. No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with a little yellow beard; a Cain-colored beard.3
Quick. A softly-sprighted man, is he not ?
Sim. 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.5
3 It is said that Cain and Judas, in old pictures and tapestry, were constantly represented with yellow beards.
4 A free version of the French Homme haut à la main. 5 The keeper of a warren.