Imagens das páginas

EVANS. The tevil and his tam! 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 shovelboards, that cost me two shilling and two pence a-piece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.

FAL. Is this true, Pistol?

EVANS. 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 bilbo.

Word of denial in thy labras here!

Word of denial: froth and scum, thou liest!

SLEN. By these gloves, then, 't was he.

NYм. Be avised, sir, and pass good humours: I will

139-140 seven groats . . . a-piece] groats, i. e. four-penny pieces, were coins of very old standing; milled or stamped sixpences were first coined in 1561. "Edward shovel-boards," which are called "shove-groat shillings" in 2 Hen. IV, II, iv, 182, were broad and heavy shilling-pieces of Edward VI's reign, and came to be used as counters or discs in the popular game of shovel-board, which in principle resembles the more modern game of "squayles." Slender's words indicate that the value of Edward VI's shillings had greatly appreciated; but his figures are not to be depended on. Seven groats (of four-pence each) could not be converted into sixpence's. 141 Yead] A colloquial form of Ned.

146 latten bilbo] Slender is compared to a sword blade; cf. III, v, 98, infra. 147 labras] Pistol bombastically uses the Spanish word for lips. 150–151 I will say "marry trap"] I will catch you (cry quits with you), if you play the "nuthook" (i. e. constable or catchpole) with me.



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.

EVANS. It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is! BARD. And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; and so conclusions passed the careires.

SLEN. Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but 't is no matter: I'll ne'er be drunk whilst I live again, but in honest, 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.

EVANS. SO Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind. FAL. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen ; you hear it.

PAGE, following


PAGE. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we 'll drink within. [Exit Anne Page. 171

156 Scarlet and John] The names of two followers of Robin Hood. "Scarlet" alludes to Bardolph's red face.

160 fap] drunken; probably from " vappa," a drunken person. 161 passed the careires] galloped on at full speed; a technical term of the equestrian menage, or art of riding. Cf. Hen. V, II, i,


SLEN. O heaven! this is Mistress Anne Page.
PAGE. How now, Mistress Ford!

FAL. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good mistress.

[Kisses 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 unkindness.

[Exeunt all except Shal., Slen., and Evans. SLEN. I had rather than forty shillings I had my Book of Songs and Sonnets here.


How now, Simple! where have you been? I must wait on myself, must I? You have not the Book of Riddles about you, have you?

SIM. Book of Riddles ! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake upon All-hallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas ?

180 Book of Songs and Sonnets] Slender seeks amatory verse wherewith to court Anne Page. The book he specifies is probably the popular poetic miscellany, generally called Tottel's Miscellany, but really entitled Songes and Sonnettes, 1557. An eighth edition appeared in 1587.

182 Book of Riddles] The Booke of Mery Riddles was very popular in the 16th and 17th centuries, though no edition earlier than that of 1600 seems to be extant.

185–186 All-hallowmas last . . . Michaelmas] Slender seems to confuse Michaelmas (29 September) with Martlemas or Martinmas (11 November). All-hallowmas (All Saints, 1 November) comes some five weeks after Michaelinas, but ten days "afore" Martlemas.


SHAL. Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. A word with you, coz; marry, this, coz: there is, as 't were, 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.

EVANS. 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.

EVANS. But that is not the question: the question is concerning your marriage.

SHAL. Ay, there's the point, sir.

EVANS. 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.

EVANS. 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.

EVANS. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies! you must




speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires towards her.

SHAL. That you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?

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


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 married 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 dissolved, and dissolutely.

EVANS. It is a fery discretion answer; save the fall 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.

SLEN. Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la!
SHAL. Here comes fair Mistress Anne.

Re-enter ANNE PAGE

Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne! ANNE. The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worships' company.

230-231 fall... ort] Fall is a mispronunciation of "fault," as "ort”

is of "word."



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