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Ford. I will seek out Falstaff.

Page. I never heard such a drawling, affecting

rogue.

Ford. If I do find it, well.

Page. I will not believe such a Cataian,1 though the priest o' the town commended him for a true

man.

Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow: Well.
Page. How now, Meg?

Mrs. Page. Whither go you, George?-Hark

you.

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.

[Exe. Mrs. Page, Mrs. Ford, and Mrs. Quick. 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? (1) A lying sharper.

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?

Page. Marry, were they.

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 loth 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 there is either liquor in his pate, or money in his purse, when he looks so merrily.How now, mine host?

Enter Host and Shallow.

Host. How now, bully-rook? thou'rt a gentleman: cavalero-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, cavalero-justice; tell him, bully. rook.

Shall. Sir, there is a fray to be fought, between sir Hugh the Welsh priest, and Caius the French doctor.

Ford Good mine host o' the Garter, a word with you.

Host. What say'st thou, bully-rook?

[They go aside. Shal. Will you (to Page] go with us to behold it? my merry host bath had the measuring of their weapons; and, I think, he hath appointed them

contrary places: for, believe me, I hear, the parson is no jester. Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall 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.

Host. My hand, bully: thou shalt have egress and regress; said I well? and thy name shall be Brook: It is a merry knight.-Will you go on, hearts?

Shal. Have with you, mine host.

Page. I have heard, the Frenchman hath good skill in his rapier.

Shal. Tut, sir, I could have told you more: In these times you stand on distance, your passes, stoccadoes, 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 skip like rats.

Host. 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. Though Page be a secure fool, and stands so firmly on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my opinion so easily: She was in his company at Page's house; and, what they made2 there, I know not. Well, I will look further into't: and I have a disguise to sound Falstaff: If I find her honest, I lose not my labour; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestowed. [Exit.

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SCENE II-A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter Falstaff and Pistol.

Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.

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Pist. Why, then the world's mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.

I will retort the sum in equipage.1

you

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 and your coach-fellow2 Nym; or else you had looked through the grate like a geminy of baboons. I am damned in hell, for swearing to gentlemen my friends, you were good soldiers, and tall fellows: and when mistress Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took't upon my honour, thou hadst it not.

Pist. Didst thou not share? hadst thou not fifteen pence?

Fal. Reason, 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 :3-to your manor of Pickthatch 4 go-You'll not bear a letter for me, you rogue !---you stand upon your honour!-Why, thou unconfinable baseness, it is as much as I can do, to keep the terms of my honour precise. I, I, I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on the left hand, and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch; and yet you, rogue, will ensconces your rags, your cat-amountain looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour! You will not do it, you?

Pist. I do relent; What would'st thou more of man?

Enter Robin.

Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you.

(1) Pay you again in stolen goods.

(2) Draws along with you.

(3) To cut purses in a crowd.

(4) Pickt-hatch was in Clerkenwell. (5) Protect. Ale-house.

Fal. Let her approach.

Enter Mistress Quickly.

Quick. Give your worship good-morrow.
Fal. Good-morrow, good wife.

Quick. Not so, an't please your worship.
Fal. Good maid, then.

Quick. I'll be sworn; as my mother was, the first hour I was born.

Fal. I do believe the swearer: What with me? Quick. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?

Fal. Two thousand, fair woman; and I'll vouchsafe thee the hearing.

Quick. There is one mistress Ford, sir ;-I pray, come a little nearer this ways:-I myself dwell with master doctor Caius.

Fal Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say,

Quick. Your worship says very true: I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways.

Fal. I warrant thee, nobody hears;-mine own people, mine own people.

Quick. Are they so? Heaven bless them, and make them his servants!

Fal. Well: mistress Ford;-what of her? Quick. Why, sir, she's a good creature. Lord, lord! your worship's a wanton: Well, heaven forgive you, and all of us, I pray!

Fal. Mistress Ford-come, mistress Ford.

Quick. 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 musk,) and so rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and

(1) A mistake of Mrs. Quickly's for quandary.

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