Imagens das páginas

Anne. Will’t please your worship to come in, sir?

Slen. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily ; I am very well.

Anne. The dinner attends you, sir.

Slen. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth :-Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go, wait upon my cousin Shallow : [Ex. Simp.] A justice of peace sometime may be beholden to his friend for a man:- I keep but three men and a boy yet, till my mother be dead : But what though? yet I live like a poor gentleman born,

Anne. I may not go in without your worship : they will not sit, till you come.

Slen. l'faith, I'll eat nothing: I thank you as much as though I did.

Anne. I.pray you, sir, walk in.

Slen. I had rather walk here, I thank you : I bruised my shin the other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence, three veneysl for a dish of stewed prunes; and, by my troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat since.-Why do your dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?

Anne. I think, there are, sir; I heard them talked of.

Slen. I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel at it, as any man in England : You are afraid, if you see the bear loose, are you not ?

Anne. Ay, indeed, sir.

Slen. That's meat and drink to me now: I have seen Sackerson loose twenty times; and have taken him by the chain: but I warrant you, the women have so cried and shrieked at it, that it passid :2 but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favoured, rough things.

Re-enter PAGE. Page. Come, gentle master Slender, come; we stay

for you.

Slen. I'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.

Page. By cock and pye, you shall not choose, sir :come, come.

Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way. [1] i. c. three venues, Fr. Three different set-to's, bouts, (or hits, as Me. Malone, perhaps more properly, explains the word,) a technical term STE.

[2] It pas,'d, or this passes, was a way of speaking customary heretofore, to signify the excess, or extraordinary degree of any thing. The sentence completed would be, This passes all expression, or perhaps, This passes all things. We still use passing well, passing strange. WARBURTON.

Page. Come on, sir.
Slen. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go

first. Anne. Not I, sir ; pray you, keep on.

Slen. Truly, I will not go first ; truly, la : I will not do you that wrong.

Anne. I pray you, sir.

Slen. I'll rather be unmannerly, than troublesome you do yourself wrong, indeed, la.


SCENE II. The same. Enter Sir Hugh Evans and SIMPLE.

Eva. Go your ways, and ask of Dr. Caius' house, which is the way: and there dwells one mistress Quickly, which is in the manner of his nurse, or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, his washer, and his wringer.

Sim. Well, sir.

Eva. Nay, it is petter yet :-give her this letter; for it is a 'oman that altogether's acquaintance with mistress Anne Page ; and the letter is, to desire and require her to solicit your master's desires to mistress Anne Page: I pray you, be gone ; I will make an end of my dinner; there's pippins and cheese to come.


SCENE III. A Room in the Garter Inn. Enter FALSTAFF, Host,

BARDOLPH, Nym, PISTOL, and Robin. Fal. Mine Host of the Garter,

Host. What says my bully-rook ?3 speak scholarly, and wisely.

Fal. Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers.

Host. Discard, bully Hercules ; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.

Fal. I sit at ten pounds a week.
Host. Thou’rt an emperor, Cæsar, Keisar, and Phee-

I will entertain Bardolph ; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector?


[3] The latter part of this compound title is taken from the rooks at the game of chess. STEEVENS.-Bully-rook seems to have been the reading of some editions : in others it is bully-rock. Mr. Steevens's explanation of it as alluding to chess-men, is right. But Shakspeare might possibly have given it bully-rock, as rock is the true name of these men, which is softened or corrurted into ruok. There is seemingly more humour in bully-rock. WHALLEY.

Fal. Do so, good mine host.

Host. I have spoke ; let him follow : Let me see thee froth, and lime :* I am at a word ; follow. [Exit.

Fal. Bardolph, follow him ; a tapster is a good trade: An old cloak makes a new jerkin ; a withered servingman, a fresh tapster: Go; adieu.

Bard. It is a life that I have desired: I will thrive. [Ex..

Pist. O base Gongarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield ?5

Nym. He was gotten in drink: Is not the humour conceited ? His mind is not heroic, and there's the humour of it.

Fal. I am glad I am so acquit of this tinder-box; his thefts were too open: his filching was like an unskilful singer, he kept not time.

Nym. The good humour is, to steal at a minute's rest.

Pist. Convey, the wise it call : Steal! foh; a fico for the phrase!

Fal. Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
Pist. Why then, let kibęs ensue.

Fal. There is no remedy ; I must coney-catch; I must shift.

Pist. Young ravens must have food.
Fal. Which of you know Ford of this town?
Pist. I ken the wight; he is of substance good.
Fal. My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
Pist. Two yards, and more.

Fal. No quips now, Pistol ; indeed, I am in the waist two yards about: but I am now about no waste;

I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford's wife ; I spy entertainment in her; she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation : I can construe the action of her familiar style ; and the hardest voice of her behaviour, to be English'd rightly, is, I am sir John Falstaff's.

Pist. He hath studied her well, and translated her well; out of honesty into English.

Nym. The anchor is deep: Will that humour pass?

Fal. Now, the report goes, she has all the rule of her husband's purse ; she hath legions of angels.

[4] Frothing beer, and liming sack, were tricks practised in the times of Shakspeare. The first was done by putting soap into the bottom of the tankard when they drew the beer; the otber, by mixing lime with the sack (i. e. sherry) to make it sparkle in the glass. STEEVENS. [5] This is a parody on a line in one of the old bombast plays. STEEV.

Pist. As many devils entertain; and, To her, boy, say I.

Nym. 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, examin'd my parts with most judicious eyliads : sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.

Pist. Then did the sun on dung-hill shine. Nym. I thank thee for that humour. 6 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 in Guiana,? all gold and bounty. I will be 'cheater 8 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 thon this letter to mistress Page ; and thou this to mistress Ford :-we will thrive, lads, we 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. Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly ; Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores. [To Rob. -Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hail-stones, go; Trudge, plod, away, o' the hoof; seek shelter, pack! Falstaff will learn the humour of this age. French thrift, you rogues ; myself, and skirted page.


[6] What distinguishes the language of Nym, from that of the other at. tendants on Falstaff, is the constant repetition of this phrase. In the time of Shakspeare such an affectation seems to have been sufficient to mark a character. STEEVENS.

[7] If the tradition be true (as I doubt not but it is) of this play being wiote at queen Elizabeth's command, this passage, perhaps, may furnish a probable conjecture that it could not appear till after the year 1598. The mention of Guiana, then so lately discovered to the English, was a very happy compli. ment to Sir Walter Raleigh, who did not begin his expedition for SouthAmerica till 1595, and returned from it in 1596, with an advantageous ac. count of the great wealth of Guiana. Such an address of the poet was likely, I imagine, to have a proper impression on the people, when the intelligence of such a golden country was fresh in their minds, and gave them expectations of immense gain. THEOBALD.

[8] The same joke is intended here, as in The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Act II :-"I will bar no hon=st man my house, nor no cheater." By which is meant Escheatour, an officer in the Exchequer, in no good repute with the common people. WARBURTON.

21 VOL. I.

Pist. Let vultures gripe thy guts ! 9 for gourd, and

fullam holds, 1
And high and low beguiles the rich and poor :
Tester I'll have in pouch, when thou shalt lack,
Base Phrygian Turk !

Nym. I have operations in my head, which be humours of revenge.

Pist. Wilt thou revenge?
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. Nym. My humour shall not cool : I will incense Page to deal with poison; I will possess him with yellowness, 2 for the revolt of mien is dangerous : that is my true humour.

Pist. Thou art the Mars of malcontents: I second thee; troop on.

[Exeunt. SCENE IV. A Room in Dr. Caius's house. Enter Mrs. QUICKLY,

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

Rug. I'll go watch.

Quic. Go; and we'll have a posset for't soon at night, in faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire. [Exit Rug.] An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant shall come in house withal ; and, I warrant you, no tell-tale,

[9] This hemistich is a burlesque on a passage in Tamburlaine, or The Scyihian Shepherd, of which play a more particular account is given in one of the notes to Henry IV. Part II. Act II.

(4] Fullam is a cant term for false dice, high and low. Torriano, in his Italian dictionary, interprets Pise by false dice, high and low men, high fullams and lotu fullams. WARBURTON.

Gourds were probably dice in which a secret cavity had been made; fullams those which had been loaded with a small bit of lead. High inon and low men, which were likewise cant terms, explain themselves. High numbers on the dice, at hazard, are from five to twelve, inclusive ; low from aces to four. MALONE. [2] Yellowness is jealousy, JOHNSON.


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