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Shal. Tüt, Sir, I could have told you more; in these times you stand on distance, your passes, stoccados, 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.

Hoft. Here, boys, here, here: hall we wag?

Page. Have with you ; I had rather hear them fcold than fight.

[Exeunt Hoit, Shallow and Page. Ford. Tho' Page be a secure fool, (15) and stand so firmly on his wife's fealty, yet I cannot put off my opinion so 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 disguise to found Faltaf: If I find her honest, I lose not my labour ; if he be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestow'd.



SCENE changes to the Garter- Inn.

Enter Falstaff and Pistol. Fal.

Will not lend thee a-penny.

Pif. Why then the world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open. I will retort the fum in equipage.

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, Nim; or else you had look'd through the grate, like a gemiry of baboons. I am damn'd in hell for swearing to gentlemen, my friends, you were good soldiers, and tali fellows. And when mistress Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took't upon mine honour, thou hadft it not.

Pif. Didit thou not sare ? hadst thou not fifteen pence?

(15) And fand so firmly on bis wife's frailty,] No, surely; Page food tightly to the opinion of her honesty, and would not entertain a thought of her being frail. I have therefore ventur’d to subftirute a word correspondent to the sense requir'd; and one, which our Poet frequently uses, to fignify conjugal faith.


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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: (16) go, a short 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 baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the term 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 fhufille, to hedge and to lurch; and yet you rogue will ensconce your rags, your cat a-mountain looks, your red-lettice phrases, and your bold-beating caths, under the thel. ser of your honour! you will not do it, you! Pift. I do relent; what wouldst thou more of man:

Enter Robin
Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you,
Fal.. Let her approach.

Enter Mistress Quickly.
Quic. Give your worship good morrow.
Fal. Good morrow, good wife.
Quic. Not so, an't pleafe your worship.
Fal. Good maid, then.

Quic. I'll be sworn, as my mother was, the firk hour I was born.'

Fal. I do believe the fwearer: what with me?
Quic. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?

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

Quic. There is one mistress Ford, Sir: I pray, come a little nearer this ways: I myself dwell with Mr. Doctor Caius.

Fal. Well, on: mistress Ford, you say, (16) Go, a port knife, and a thong,] All the old copies have it tbrong: as I believe, the Author design d ; i. e. a short knive and a croud, the two requisites for a pick-pocket. Pickt-batcb, as we may find by many places in Ben Jobnfon, was a noted harbour for Tbicves and frumpelse

Quic. Your worship fays very true: I pray your worship, come a little nearer this

ways. Fal. I warrant thee, no body hears: mine own people, mine own people.

Quic. Are they fo? heav'n bless them, and make chem his servants.

Fal. Well: mistress Ford, what of her

Quic. Why, Sir, she's a good creature. Lord, Lord, your worship's a wanton; well, heav'n forgive yoll, and all of us, pray

Fal. Mistress Ford, come mistress Ford

Quic. Marry, this is the fort and the long of it; you have brought her into such a canaries, as "tis wonderful: the best courrier 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 fo sweetly; all musk; and fo russling, I warrant you, in silk, and gold, and in such alligant terms, and in such wine and sugar of the best, and the faireft, that would have won any woman's heart; and I warrant you, they could never get an eye-wink of her. I had myself twenty angels given me this moreing: but I defy all angels, in any such fort, as they fay, but in the way of honesty; and I warrant yoii, they could never get her so much as fip on a cup with the proudeft of them all; and yet there has been Earls, nay, which is more, Pensioners; but, I warrant you, all is one with her.

Fal. But what says she to me? be brief, my good She-Mercury.

Quic. Marry, she hath receiv'd your letter, for the : which she thanks you a thousand times; and the gives you to notify, that her husband will be absence from his house between ten and eleven.

Fal. Ten and Eleven.

Quis. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the picture, the says, that you wot of: master Ford, her husband, will be from home. Alas! the sweet



woman leads an ill life with him, he's a very jealousyman; she leads a very frampold life with him, good heart.

Fal. Ten and Eleven: woman, commend me to her, I will not fail her.

Quic. Why, you fay well : But I have another moffenger to your worship; mistress Page has her hearty commendations to you too; and let me tell you in your ear, she's a fartuous a civil modeft wife, and one (I tell you,) that will not miss you morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windfor, whoe'er be the other ; and the bade me tell your worship, that her husband is feldom from home, but, she hopes, there will come a time. I never knew a woman fo doat upon a' man; surely, I think you have charms, la ; yes, in truth.

Fal. Not I, Í assure thee ; setting the attraction of my good parts aside, I have no other charms.

Quic. Blessing on your heart for't.

Fal. But I pray thee, tell me this ; has Ford's wife, and Page’s wife, acquainted each other how they love me?

Quic. That were a jest, indeed; they have not so little

grace, I hope ; that were a trick, indeed! but mistress Page would desire you to send her your

little page, of all loves: her husband has a marvellous i.? ction to the little page ; and, truly, master Page is an honest man. Never a wife in Windfor leads a better life, than she does; do what she will, say what she will, take all, pay all, go to bed when the lift, rife when the list, all is as she will; and, truly she deserves it; for if there be a kind woman in Windsor, truly, she is one. You must send her your page; no remedy.

Fal. Why, I will.

Quic. Nay, but do fo then; and, look you, he may come and go between you both, and in any case have a nay-word, that you may know one another's mind: and the boy never need to understand any thing; for 'tis not good, that children should know any wickedness: old folks, you know, have discretion, as they say, and know the world.


Fal. Fare thee well ; commend me to them both; there's my purse, I am yet thy debtor. Boy, go along with this woman.

This news distracts me.

[Exe. Quick and Robin. Pift. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers : Clap on more fails; pursue; up with with your fights : Give fire! she is my prize, or ocean whelm them all!

(Exit Piftol. Fal. Say'st thou fo, old Jack? go thy ways ; I'll make more of thy old body, than I have done ; will they yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expencu of so much money, be now a gainer? good body, [ thank thee ; let them say, 'tis grosly done; fo be it fairly done, no matter.

Enter Bardolph. Bard. Sir John, there's one master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a morning's draught of fack.

Fal. Brook, is his name?
Bard. Ay, Sir.

Fal. Call him in; (Exit Bardolph.) Such Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow with such liquor. Ah! ah! mistress Ford and mistress Page, have I encom-. pafs'd you? go to, via!

Re-enter Bardolph, with Ford disguis'd.
Ford. Bless you, Sir.
Fal. And you, Sir; would you speak with me?

Ford. I make bold to press with fo little preparation upon you.

Fal. You're welcome; what's your will? give us leave, drawer.

[Exit Bardolph. Ford. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much ; my name is Brook.

Fal. Good master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.

Ford. Good Sir John, I sue for yours; not to charge. you; for I must let you understand, I think myself in better plight for a lender than you are, the which hath


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