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Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
To make such means for her as thou hast done,
And leave her on such flight conditions.
Now, by the honour of my ancestry,
I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine,
And think thee worthy of an empress’ love :
Know then, I here forget all former griefs ;
Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again,
Plead a new state in thy unrivald merit,
To which I thus subscribe: Sir Valentine,
Thou art a gentleman, and well deriv'd;
Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserv'd her.

Val. I thank your Grace; the gift hath made me happy.
I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake,
To grant one boon that I shall ask of you.

Duke. I grant it for thine own, whate'er it be.

Val. These banish'd men, that I have kept withal,
Are men endu'd with worthy qualities :
Forgive them what they have committed here,
And let them be recall'd from their exile.
They are reformed, civil, full of good,
And fit for great employment, worthy lord.

Duke. Thou hast prevailid, I pardon them and thee;
Dispose of them, as thou know'ft their deserts.
Come, let us go; we will include all jars
With triumphs, mirth, and all solemnity,

Val. And as we walk along, I dare be bold
With our discourse to make your Grace to smile.
What think you of this Page, my lord?

Duke. I think, the boy hath grace in him; he blushes.
Val. I warrant you, my lord, more grace than boy.
Duke. What mean you by that saying?

Val. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along,
That you will wonder what hath fortuned.
Come, Protheus, 'tis your penance but to hear
The story of your loves discovered:
That done, our day of marriage shall be yours,
One feast, one house, one mutual happiness.

[Exeunt omnes.

THE

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SIR John Falstaff.
Fenton, a young Gentleman of small Fortune, in Love with

Mrs. Anne Page.
Shallow, a Country Justice.
Slender, Cousin to Shallow, a foolish Country. Squire.
Mr. Page,
Mr. Ford, S

two Gentlemen, dwelling at Windsor.
Sir Hugh Evans, a Welch Parson.
Dr. Caius, a French Doktor.
Host of the Garter, a merry talking Fellous.
Bardolph,
Pistol, Sharpers, attending on Falstaff.
Nym,
Robin, Page to Falstaff.
William Page, a Boy, Son to Mr. Page.
Simple, Servant to Slender.
Rugby, Servant to Dr. Caius.

Mrs. Page, Wife to Mr. Page.
Mrs. Ford, Wife to Mr. Ford.
Mrs. Anne Page, Daughter to Mr. Page, in Love with

Fenton.
Mrs. Quickly, Servant to Dr. Caius.

Servants to Page, Ford, &c.

SCENE, Windfor : and the Parts adjacent.

THE

(1) MERRY WIVES of Windsor.

А ст. І.

SCENE, before Page's House in Windsor.

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Enter Justice Shallow, Slender, and Sir Hugh Evans.

SH ALLOW. IR Hugh, perswade me not; I will make a Star-Chamber matter of it: if he were twenty Sir John Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, Esq;

Slen. In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace, and Coram,

, Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and Cuffalorum. (1)

. The Merry Wives of Windsor.] Queen Elizabeth was so well pleas’d with the admirable Character of Falstaff in the Two Parts of Henry IV, that, as Mr. Rowe informs us, She commanded Shakespeare to continue it for one Play more, and to thew him in Love. To this Command We owe this Comedy of the Merry Wives of Windsor : which, Mr. Gildon says, he was very well affur’d, our Author finish'd in a Fortnight. But this must be meant only, as Mr. Pope has observ'd, of the first imperfect Sketch of this Comedy, printed in 1619. The Notice of a Play, publish'd seventeen years after Queen Elizabeth's Death, does no ways come in Support of the Tradition, that it was perform'd for that Princess's Entertainment. But I have another old Quarto Edition of this Comedy, (which, I presume, Mr. Pope never law ;) printed in 1602 ; which says in the Title-page - As it hath been diverse times acted both before her Majesty and elsewhere. The Reader will find the Title of this old Play at length, in my Catalogue of Editions prefix'd to this work.

Slen.

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