Page images

you run the base


Enter Mistress Ann Page, with wine. The Merry Wives of Windsor. 225 Slen. By these gloves, then 'twas he.

Nym. Be advis'd, Sir, and pass good humours: I will say marry trap

with you,

if humour on me; that is the very note of it.

Slen. By this hat, then he in the red face had it; for tho’I cannot remember what I did when 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 fentences.

Eva. It is his five senfes : fy, what the ignorance is !

Bard. And being fap, Sir, was, as they say, cashier'd ; and so conclusions past the car-eires.

Slen.. Ay; you fpake in Latin then too ; but ’țis no matter ; I'll never be drunk whilt I live again, but in honeft

, 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 udg me, that is a virtuous mind.

Fal. You hear all these matters deny’d, gentlemen; you

hear it.


Page. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink

[Exit Ann Page. Slen. O heav'n ! this is mistress Ann Page.

Enter Misiress Ford and Mistress Page.
Page. How now, mistress Ford?
Fal. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very

well met; by your leave, good mistress.

Page: Wife, bid'thefe gentlemen welcome: come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner ; come, gentle. men; I hope, we shall drink down all unkindness.

[Exe. Pal. Page, &c. Manent Shallow, Evans, and Slender. Slen. I had rather than forty shillings, I had my book of songs and sonnets here.


[Killing her.

[ocr errors]

Enter Simple. How now, Simple, where have you been? I must wait on myself, muft I? you have not the book of riddles about you, have you?

Simp. Book of riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake (4) upon All-ballowmas laft, a fortnight afore Martlemas?

Shal. Come, coz; come, coz ; we stay for you: 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?

Slen. Ay, Sir, you shall find me reasonable : if it be fo, I shall do that that is reason.

Shal. Nay, but understand me.
Slen. So I do, Sir.

Eva. Give ear to his motions, Mr. Slender : I will description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.

Sler. Nay, I will do, as my cousin Shallow says: I pray you, pardon me; he's a juftice of peace in his country, simple tho' I stand here.

Eva. But ihat 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 Mrs. Ann 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 krow that of your mouth, or of your lips ; for divers philosophers hold, that the lips is parcel of the


(4! Upın Allhallowmas laff, a fortnigbt afore Michaelmas.] Sure, Simple's a little out in his reckoning. Alhallowmas is almost five weeks after Michaelmas. But may it not be urg'd, it is defign'd, Sirople should appear thuo ignorant, to keep up character? I think,

The fimplest creatures (nay, even naturals) generally are very pecife in the knowledge of feftivals, and marking how the seasons rn: And therefore I have ventur'd to suspect, our Poet wrote 'stemas, xs the vulgar call it; which is near a fortnight after AllSainis day, i. e. eleven days, both inclusive,

marry her ?

decrease it upon

mind: therefore precisely, can you carry your good will to the maid?

Shal. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her ? Šlen. 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 poffitable, if you can carry her your desires towards her.

Sbal. That you must: will you, upon good dowry, Slen

. I will do a greater thing than that upon your request, coufin, 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 heav'n may

better acquaintance, when we are marry'd, and have more occafion to know one another: (5) I hope, u pon familiarity will grow more contempt: but if you fay, marry her, I will marry her, that i anu freely diffolved, and diffolutely.

Eva. It is a ferry discretion answer ; fave, the fall is in th’ort, di Golutely: the ort is, according to our meaning, refolutely; his meaning is good. Shal. Ay, I think, my coufin meant well. Sien. Ay, or elfe I would I might be hang'd, la.

Enter Mistress Ann Page. Shal. Here comes fair mistress Ann : would I were young your fake, mistress Ann. Ann. The dinner is on the table; my

father de fires your worship's company.

(il bope, zipon familiarity will grow more content.] Certain'v, the Editors in their fagacity have murder'd a jeft here. It is delign’d, no doubt, that S'erder should say decrease, instead of increase ; and dijfolaved and diffolueely, instead of resolved and resolutely : biit to make him say, on the present occasion, that upon familiarity will me more content, in tead of contempt, is difarming the sentiment of a!! i18 falt and humour, and disappointing the audience of a reasonable cause for laughter.



very well.


Shal. I will wait on him, fair mistress Ann.

Eva. Od's plessed will, I will not be absence at the grace.

[Exe. Shallow and Evans. Ann. Will't please your worship to come in, Sir ? S'en. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am Ann. The dinner attends you, Sir.

Slen. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth. Go, firrab, for all you are my man, go wait upon my cousin Shallow: [Exit Simple.) a justice of peace fometime 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.

Ann. I may not go in without your worship; they will not fit, 'till you come.

Slen. I’faith, I'll eat nothing ; I thank you as much as though I did,

Ann. I pray you, Sir, walk in.

Slen, I had rather walk here, I thank I bruis'd my fhin th'other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence, three veneys for a dish of stew'd prunes ; and, by my troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your dogs bark fy? be there bears i' th' town?

Ann. I think, there are, Sir; I heard them talk'd of.

Slen. I love the sport we'l, 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 ?

Ann. Ay, indeed, Sir.

Sle:z. 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 fo cry'd and shriek'd at it, that it paft : but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em, they are very ill-favour'd sough things.

Enter Mr. Page. Page. Come, gentle Mr. Slender,come; we stay for you. Sen. I'll eat nothing, I thank you, Sir.

Page. By cock and pye, you fall not chase, Sir; come i coine.


that wrong.

Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way. Page. Come on, Sir. Slen. Mistress Ann, yourself shall go firft. Ann. Not I, Sir; pray you, keep on. Slen. Truly, I will not go first, truly-la: I will not do

you Ann. I pray you, Sir.

Slen. I'll rather be unmannerly, than troublesome ; you do yourself wrong, indeed-la.

[Exeunt. Re-enter Evans and Simple. Eva. Go your ways, and ask of doctor Caius' house which is the way; and there dwells one mitress Quickly, which is in the manner of his nurse, or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, his washer, and his wringer.

Simp. Well, Sir. Eva. Nay, it is petter yet; give her this letter; for it is a o'man that altogethers acquaintance with miltress Ann Page ; and the letter is to desire and require her to solicit your master's desires to mistress Ann Page : I

be gone ;

I will make an end of my dinner ; there's pippins and cheese to come.

[Exeunt severally. SCENE changes to the Garter-Inn. Enter Falstaff, Hoft, Bardolph, Nym, Pistol and Robin. Fal. MINE ho of the gamer,

Hoft. What says my bully rock ? speak fchollarly, and wisely:

Fal. Truly, mine hoft, I must turn away some of my followers.

Hoft. Discard, bully Hercules, cashier ; let them wag; trot, trot.

Fal. I fit at ten pounds a week.
Hoft, Thou’rt an Emperor, Cæfar, Keifar and Phea-

I will entertain Bardolph, he shall draw, he shall tap;

well, bully Hector! Fal. Do fo, good mine hoft.

pray you,

faid I

« PreviousContinue »