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Ford. I will feek out Falstaff. Page. I never heard fuch a drawling, affecting rogue.
Ford. If I do find it: well.
Page. I will not believe such a Cataian, tho' the prieft o' th' town commended him for a true man. Ford. 'Twas a good fenfible fellow-well.
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 haft fome 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 meffenger to this paultry knight.
[Afide to Mrs Ford.
Enter Miftrefs Quickly.
Mrs Ford. Trust me I thought on her, fhe'll fit it Mrs Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne?
Quic. Ay, forfooth; and, I pray, how does good Miftrefs Anne?
Mrs Page. Go in with us and fee; we have an hour's talk with you.
[Ex. Mrs Page, Mrs Ford, and Mrs Quickly.
Page. How now, Mafter 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, flaves; I do not think, the Knight would offer it; but thefe that accufe him
in his intent towards our wives, are a yoke of his difcarded men; very rogues, now they be out of fervice.
Ford. Were they his men?
Page. Marry were they.
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 loofe to him; and what he gets more of her than fharp words, let it ly on my head.
Ford. I do not mifdoubt 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 fatisfy'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 fo merrily. How now, mine host?
Enter Hoft and Shallow
Hoft. How now, bully Rock? thou'rt a gentleman; cavaliero-juftice, I fay.
Shal. I follow, mine hoft, I follow. Good even, and twenty, good Master Page. Mafter Page, will you go with us? we have fport in hand.
Hoft. Tell him, cavaliero-juftice; 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 hoft o' th' Garter, a word with you.
Hoft. What fay'ft thou, bully Rock?
[They go a little afide.
Shal. to Page.] Will you go with us to behold it? my merry hoft hath had the measuring of their weapons, and, I think, he hath appointed them contrary places; for, believe me, I hear the par
fon is no jefter. Hark, I will tell you what our fport fhall be.
Hoft. Haft thou no fuit against my knight, my gueft-cavalier?
Ford. None, I proteft; but I'll give you a pottle of burnt fack to give me recourfe to him, and tell him my name is Brook; only for a jeft.
Hoft. My hand, bully. Thou fhalt have egress and regrefs; faid I well? and thy name fhall be Brook. It is a merry knight. Will you go an
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. thefe times you stand on distance, your paffes, ftoccado's, and I know not what. 'Tis the heart, Mafter Page; 'tis here, 'tis here. I have seen the time, with my long fword, I would have made you. four tall fellows fkip like rats.
Hoft. Here, boys, here, here: fhall we wag? Page. Have with you; I had rather hear them fcold than fight. [Exeunt Hoft, Shallow, and Page.
Ford. Tho' Page be a fecure fool, and ftand fo firmly on his wife's fealty, yet I cannot put off my opinion fo 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 difguife to found Falstaff: if I find her honest, I lofe not my labour; if fhe be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestow'd. [Exit.
Changes to the Garter-Inn.
Enter Falstaff and Pistol.
Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.
* Perhaps we should read, "Will you go on, hearts ?" Revifal.
I with fword will open.- -I will retort the fum in equipage t.
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 elfe you had look'd through the grate, like a geminy of baboons. I am damn'd in hell for fwearing to gentlemen, my friends, you were good foldiers and tall fellows. And when Mrs Bridget loft the handle of her fan, I took't upon mine honour thou hadft it not.
Pift. Didst thou not fhare? hadft thou not fifteen pence?
Fal. Reafon, you rogue, reafon: think'ft thou I'll endanger my foul gratis? At a word, hang no more about me, I am no gibbet for you.--Go.
-A fhort 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 balenefs, it is as much as I can do to keep the term of my honour precise. I, I, I myself fometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on the left hand, and hiding mine honour in my neceflity, am fain to fhuffle, to hedge and to lurch; and yet you, rogue, will enfconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain looks, your red lettice phrafes, and your bold-beating oaths, under the thelter of your honour! You will not do it, you? Pift. I do relent: what would't thou more of man?
Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you. Fal. Let her approach.
tie. I will pay you again in stolen goods. Warb. A noted place for thieves and pickpockets. Theob..
Enter Mrs Quickly.
Quic. Give your Worship good-morrow.
Quic. Not fo, and 't please your Worship.
Quic. I'll be fworn, as my mother was the first hour I was born.
Fal. I do believe the fwearer; what with me? Quic. Shall I vouchiafe your Worship a word or two?
Fal. Two thoufand, fair woman, and I'll vouchfafe thee the hearing.
Quic. There is one Miftrefs Ford, Sir--I pray, come a little nearer this ways-I myfelf dwell with Mafter Doctor Caius.
Fel. Well, on: Miftrefs Ford, you fay
Quic. Your Worfhip 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 fo? Heav'n bless them, and make them his fervants!
Fal. Well, Miftrefs Ford,-what of her?
Quic. Why, Sir, fhe's a good creature. Lord, Lord, your Worship's a wanton: well, Heav'n forgive you, and all of us, I pray
Fal. Miftrefs Ford,-come, Mistress Ford,Quic. Marry, this is the fhort and the long of it; you have brought her into fuch a canaries, as 'tis wonderful. The best courtier of them all, when the court lay at Windfor, could never have brought her to fuch 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, fmelling fo fweetly; all musk; and fo rufling, I warrant you, in filk and gold, and in fuch alligant terms, and in fuch wine and fugar of the best, and the faireft, that would have won any woman's heart: and, I warrant you, they could