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voice of her behaviour, to be Englished rightly, is, “I am Sir John Falstaff's.

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PIST. He hath studied her will, and translated her will, out of honesty into English.


NYM. The anchor is deep: will that humour FAL. Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her husband's purse: he hath a legion of angels. PIST. As many devils entertain; and "To her, boy," say I.

NYм. The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.

FAL. I have writ me here a letter to her: and here another to Page's wife, who even now gave me good eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious œillades ; sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.

PIST. Then did the sun on dunghill shine.

NYM. I thank thee for that humour.

FAL. O, she did so course o'er my exteriors with such a greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye did seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass! Here's another letter to her she bears the purse too; she is a region

46–47 will . . . will] This is the reading of the First Folio. The earlier Quartos read well for the first will and omit the second phrase. Will in both cases is doubtless right.

57 œillades] A French word meaning "amorous glances,” very occasionally met with in Elizabethan literature.

65-66 a region in Guiana] An allusion to Sir Walter Ralegh's recent exploration of Guiana, of which he published an account in 1595.



in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will be cheaters to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go bear thou this letter to Mistress Page; and thou this to Mistress Ford: we will thrive, lads, we 70 will thrive.

PIST. Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,

And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all ! NYM. I will run no base humour: here, take the humour-letter: I will keep the haviour of reputation. FAL. [To Robin] Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly;

Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.
Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go;
Trudge, plod away o' the hoof; seek shelter, pack!
Falstaff will learn the humour of the age,
French thrift, you rogues; myself and skirted page.

[Exeunt Falstaff and Robin. PIST. Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and fullam holds,

And high and low beguiles the rich and poor:
Tester I'll have in pouch when thou shalt lack,
Base Phrygian Turk!

NYм. I have operations which be humours of revenge.
PIST. Wilt thou revenge?

66 cheaters] A punning quibble on "cheaters" and "escheaters,” officers of the Exchequer.

82-83 gourd... low] “Gourd," "fullam,” “high [men]" and "low [men]" were all cant terms for loaded dice in common use by sharpers.


NYM. By welkin and her star!

PIST. With wit or steel?

NYM. With both the humours, I:

I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.
PIST. And I to Ford shall eke unfold

How Falstaff, varlet vile,

His dove will prove, his gold will hold,

And his soft couch defile.

NYм. My humour shall not cool: I will incense Page to deal with poison; I will possess him with yellowness, for the revolt of mine is dangerous: that is my true humour.


PIST. Thou art the Mars of malecontents: I second thee; troop on. [Exeunt. 100



QUICK. What, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the casement, and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor Caius, coming. If he do, i' faith, and find any

97 yellowness] the traditional colour of jealousy. 98 revolt of mine] This is the original reading. Theobald suggested revolt of mien (i. e. change of complexion), which does not add much point to Nym's threat. The Cambridge editors suggest that "anger" is omitted after "mine." Most probably Nym merely means to say in his grandiloquent jargon "my revolt," i. e. " my purpose of renouncing allegiance to Falstaff."

body in the house, here will be an old abusing of God's patience and the king's English.

RUG. I'll go watch.

QUICK. GO; and we 'll have a posset for 't soon at night, in faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire. [Exit Rugby.] An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant shall come in house withal; and, I warrant you, no tell-tale 10 nor no breed-bate : his worst fault is, that he is given to prayer; he is something peevish that way: but nobody but has his fault; but let that pass. Peter Simple, you say your name is?

SIM. Ay, for fault of a better.

QUICK. And Master Slender's your master?

SIM. Ay, forsooth.

QUICK. Does he not wear a great round beard, like a glover's paring-knife?

SIM. No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with 20 a little yellow beard, - a Cain-coloured beard.

QUICK. A Softly-sprighted man, is he not?

20 wee face] This is the original reading. Capell needlessly substituted whey-face (meaning "pale-faced "), as in Macb., V, iii, 17. In the Second Quarto (in the preceding speech, which the Folio alters), Dame Quickly applies to Slender's beard the epithet "whay coloured," but wee is quite appropriate to the context.

21 Cain-coloured] The early Quartos read "Kane colored," which tends to justify the popular emendation" Cane-coloured" for the First Folio reading "Caine-colored." "Cane-coloured beard" would be much the same as 66 straw-colour beard" in Mids. N. Dr., I, ii, 82. If "Cain-coloured" be retained, there would be a reference to the red colour of Cain's beard in current pictorial illustrations of Scriptural history.

SIM. Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his hands as any is between this and his head; he hath fought with a warrener.

QUICK. HOW Say you?—O, I should remember him: does he not hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?

SIM. Yes, indeed, does he.

QUICK. Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! Tell Master Parson Evans I will do what I can 30 for your master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish —

Re-enter RUGBY

RUG. Out, alas! here comes my master.

QUICK. We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man; go into this closet: he will not stay long. [Shuts Simple in the closet.] What, John Rugby! John! what, John, I say! Go, John, go inquire for my master; I doubt he be not well, that he comes not home.

[Singing] And down, down, adown-a, &c.


CAIUS. Vat is you sing? I do not like des toys. Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un boitier vert, — a 40 box, a green-a box: do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.


23 as tall a man of his hands] In Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598, "manesco is interpreted as "readie or nimble-handed; a tall man of his hands."

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