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Ford. I will seek out Falstaff.
Page. I never heard such a drawling, affecting rcgue.
Ford. If I do find it : well.
Page. I will not believe such a Catàian, tho' the priest o'th' town commended him for a true man. Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow-well.
S CE N E IV. Mrs Page and Mrs Ford come forward. Page. How now, Meg? Mrs Page. Whither go you, George ?--hark you.
Mrs Ford. How now, fweet Frank, why art thou melancholy?
Ford. I melancholy ! I am not melancholy.-Get you home, go.
Mrs Ford. Faith, thou hast some crochets in thy head now—Will you go, Mistress Page ?
Mrs Page. Have with you.—You'll come to dinner, George ?--Look who comes yonder : fhe shall be our messenger to this paultry 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?
Quic. 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. [Ex. Mrs Page, Mrs Ford, and Mrs Quickly.
SC E N E V. Page. How now, Master Ford ? Ford. You heard what this knave told me, did
Page Yes; and you heard what the other told me ? Ford. Do you think there is truth in them?
Page. Hang 'em, Naves; 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 ly at the Garter?
Page. Ay, marry does he. If he should intend his voyage towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him ; and what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it ly on my head.
Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife, but I would be loth to turn them together; a man may be too confident; I would have nothing ly on my head ; I cannot be thus satisfy'd.
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?
S CE N E VI.
Enter Host and Shallow Host. How now, bully Rock ? thou’rt a gentleman; cavaliero-justice, I say.
Shal. I follow, mine host, i follow. Good even, and twenty, good Master Page. Master Page, will you go with us? we have sport in hand.
Host. Tell him, cavaliero-justice; tell him, bully Rock.
Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir Hugh the Welch priest, and Caius the French doctor.
Ford. Good mine host o'th? Garter, a word with you. Hoft. What say'st thou, bully Rock?
[They go a little aside. Shal. to Page.] Will you go with us to behold it? my merry holt hath had the measuring of their weapons, and, I think, he hath appointed them contrary places; for, believe nie, I hear the par
fon is no jester. Hark, I will tell you what our fport thali be.
Host. Hast thou no suit against my knight, my guest-cavalier
Ford. None, I protest; but I'll give you a pottle of burnt sack to give me recourse to him, and tell him my name is Brook; only for a jest.
Hoj. My hand, bully. Thou shalt have egress and regress; said I well ? and thy name shal be „Brook. It is a merry knight. Will you go an: heirs * ?
Shal. Have with you, mine hoft. Page, I have heard the Frenchman hath good fkill in his rapier.
Shal. Tut, Sir, I could have told you more. In these times you' stand on distance, your passes, stoccado's, 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 Ikip like rats.
Hoft. 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. Tho' Page be a secure fool, and stand so firmly on his wife's fealty, 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 dif-. guise to sound Falstaff: if I find her honest, I lose not my labour; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestow'd.
S CE N E VII.
Enter Falstaff and Pistol. Fal. I will not lend thee a penny. Pift. Why, then the world's mine oyster, which
* Perhaps we Mhould read, “Will you go on, hearts?"
I with sword will open. I will retort the sum in equipage
Fal. Not a penny. I have been content, Sir, you should lay my countenance to pawn; I have grated upon my good friends for three reprieves for you, and your couch-fellow, Nym; or else you had look'd through the grate, like a geminy of baboons. I am damn'd in hell for swearing to gentlemen, my friends, you were good foldiers and tall fellows. And when Mrs Fridget lost the handle of her fan, I took’t upon mine honour thou hadst it not.
Pift. Didst thou not share ? hadst thou not fif. teen pence?
Fal. Realon, you rogue, reason : think'st thou I'll endanger my soul gratis ? At a word, hang no more about me, I am no gibbet for you.—Go.
A short knife and a throng--to your manor of Pickt-hatch * -Go.. You'll not bear a letter for me, you rogue !--you stand upon your honour ! -why, thou unconfinable baleneis, it is as mucli as I can do to keep the term of my honour precise. I, I, I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on the left hand, and hiding mine honour in my neceility, am fain to shuffle, to hedge and to lurch; and yet you, rogue, will ensconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain looks, your red lettice phrates, and your bold-beating oaths, under the Thelter of your honour! You will not do it, you? Pift. I do relent: what would'st thou more of man?
Enter Robin. Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you, Fal. Let her approach.
§ i.e. I will pay you again in stolen goods. Warb. A noted place for thieves and pickpockets. Theoba
Enter Mrs Quickly.
Quic. I'll be sworn, as my mother was the first hour I was born.
Fal. I do believe the swearer; what with me?
Quic. Siiali I vouchiafe your Worship a word or two?
Fil. Two thousand, fair woman, and I'll vouchsafe thee the hearing.
Quic. I here is one Mistress Ford, Sir-I pray, conie a little nearer this ways-I myself dwell with Master Doctor Caius.
Fol. Well, on : Mistress Ford, you say
Quic. Your Worship fays very true: I pray your Worship, come a little nearer this' ways.
Fal. I warrant thee nobody hears--mine. own people, mine own people.
Quic. Are they so? Heav'n bless them, and make them his servants !
Fal. Well, Mistress Ford, —what of her?
Qilic. Why, Sir, she's a good creature. Lord, Lord, your Worship’s a wanton :. well, Heav'n for give you, and all of us, I pray
Fal. Mistress Ford, -come, Mistress Ford,
Quic. Marry, this is the short and the long of 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; I warrant you,, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift, smelling so sweetly; all musks; and fo rusling, I warrant you, in filk and gold, and in fuch alligant terms, and in such wine and sugar of the best, and the faireft, that would have won any woman's heart: and, I warrant you, they could