Page images

Fal. Pistol,
Pist. He hears with ears.

Eva. What phrase is this,“ He hears with ear.” Why it is affectations.

Fal. Pistol did you pick Master Slender's purse ?

Slen. Ay, by these gloves, did he, (or I would I might never come in mine own great chamber again else) of seven groats in mill-sixpences, and two Edward shovell-boards, that cost me two shilling and two-pence apiece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.

Fal. Is this true, Pistol ?
Eva. No: it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
Pist. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner !

-Sir John,
and master mine,
I combat challenge of this latten bilboe :
Word of denial in thy labras here ;
Word of denial : froth and scum, thou ly’st.

Slen. By these gloves, then 'twas he. Nym. Be advis'd, sir, and pass good humours: I will say," marry trap,” with you, if you run the nuthook's humour on me: that is the very note of it:

Slen. By this hat, then he in the red face had it: for though I cannot remember what I did when you 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 sentences.

Eva. It is the five senses : fie, what the ignorance is !

Bard. And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashier'd; and so conclusions pass'd the careires.

Slen. Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but ’tis no matter: I'll never be drunk whilst I live again, but in honest, civil company, for this trick: if I be drunk, I'll be drunk with those that have the fear of Heaven, and not with drunken knaves.

Eva. So Heaven 'udge me, that is a virtuous mind.
Fal. You hear all these matters deny'd, gentlemen;

you hear it.

Enter Anne Page with Wine, followed by Mrs. Page.

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

[Exit ANNE PAGE. Slen. O Heaven ! this is Mistress Anne Page.

Enter MRS. FORD.
Page. How now, Mistress Ford ?
Fal. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very

well met :. by your leave, good mistress. [Kissing her.

Page. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome : Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner; come, gentlemen, I hope, we shall drink down all unkind



[Exeunt all but SHALLOW, SLENDER, and

Evans. Slen. I had rather than forty shillings, I had my book of songs and sonnets here:

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


have Sim. Book of riddles ! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas ?

Shal. Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. А 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 so, I shall do that that is reason.

Shal. Nay, but understand me.

Slen. So I do, sir.

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

Slen. Nay, I will do, as my cousin Shallow says: I

pray you, pardon me; he's a justice of peace in his country, simple though I stand here.

Eva. But that 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 Mistress Anne 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 know that of your mouth, or of your lips; for divers philosophers hold, that the lips is parcel of the mouth; --Therefore, precisely, can you carry your good-will to the maid?

Shal. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?

Slen. I hope, sir-I will do, as it shall become one that would do reason.

Eva. Nay, you must speak possitable, if you can carry


desires towards her. Shal. That you must: Will you, upon good dowry,

Slen. I will do a greater thing than that, upon your request, cousin, 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 Heaven may decrease it upon better acquaintance, when we are marry'd, and have more occasion to know one another: I hope, upon familiarity will grow more contempt; but if you say, marry her, I will marry her, that I am freely dissolv'd, and dissolutely.

marry her?


the grace.

very well.

Eva. It is a fery discretion answer ; save, the faul is in the 'ort dissolutely: the 'ort is, according to our meaning, resolutely ;-his meaning is good.

Shal. Ay, I think my cousin meant well,
Sten. Ay, or else I would I might be hang’d, la.

Enter ANNE PAGE. Shal. Here comes fair Mistress Anne ;-Would I were young,


your sake, Mistress Anne! Anne. The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worship's company. Shal. I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.

[Exit SHALLOW. Evu. Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at

[Exit Evans. Anne. Will't please your worship to come in, sir? Slen. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am Anne. The dinner attends you, sir.

Slen. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth :Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go, wait upon my Cousin Shallow :-[Exit SIMPLE.) A justice of peace sometime 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.

Anne. I may not go in without your worship: they will not sit, till you come.

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

Anne. I pray you, sir, walk in.

Slen. I had rather walk here, I thank you: I bruis'd my

shin the 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 so? be there bears i'the town?

Anne. I think, there are, sir ; I heard them talk'd of.

Slen. I love the sport. well; 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?

Anne. Ay, indeed, sir.

Slen. 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 so cry'd and shriek'd at it, that it pass'd : :--but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very illfavour'd rough things.

Enter Page. Page. Come, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay Slen. I'll eat nothing; I thank you, sir ;

Page. By cock and pye, you shall not chuse, sir; come, come.

[Exit PAGE. Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way. Anne. Come on, sir. Slen. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first. Anne. Not I, sir ; pray you, keep on.

Slen. Truly, I will not go first; truly-la : I will not do


wrong. Anne. I pray you, sir.

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


for you.


A Room in Page's House.'

Enter Evans, with a Letter, and SIMPLE. Eva. Go your ways, and ask of Dr. Caius' house, which is the way: and there dwells one Mistress

« PreviousContinue »