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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.
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 Mistress Quickly.
Quic. I'll be sworn, as my mother was, the firk hour I was born.'
Fal. I do believe the fwearer: what with me?
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?
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. 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