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THE MERRY
WIVES OF WINDSOR.

ACT I.

II

SCENE I. Windsor. Before PAGE's house. Enter JUSTICE SHALLOW, SLENDER, and SIR

HUGH EVANS. Shal. Sir Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Star-chamber matter of it: if he were twenty Sir John Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, esquire.

Slen. In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace and ‘Coram.'*

*Quorum. Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and 'Custalorum.'*

Slen. Ay, and “Rato-lorum's too; and a gen. tleman born, master parson; who writes himself * Armigero,'} in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, “Armigero.' *Custos Rotulorum. fRotulorum. (Armiger, Latin for Esquire.

Shal. Ay, that I do; and have done any time these three hundred years.

Slen. All his successors gone before him hath done't; and all his ancestors that come after him may: they may give the dozen white luces* in their coat.

*Fresh-water fish. Shal. It is an old coat.

Evans. The dozen white louses do become an old coat well; it agrees well, passant;* it is a familiar beast to man, and signifies love.

*Heraldic. Shal. The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.

Slen. I may quarter, coz.
Shal. You may, by marrying.
Evans. It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.
Shal. Not a whit.

Evans. Yes, py'r lady; if he has a quarter of your coat, there is but three skirts for yourself,

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in my simple conjectures: but that is all one. If Sir John Falstaff have committed disparagements urto you, I am of the church, and will be glad to do my benevolence to make atonements and compromises between you.

Shal. The council shall hear it; it is a riot.

Evans. It is not meet the council hear a riot; there is no fear of Got in a riot; the council, look you, shall desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a riot; take your vizaments* in that.

Shal. Ha! o' my life, if I were young again, the sword should end it.

*Advisement. 41 Evans. It is petter that friends is the sword, and end it: and there is also another device in my prain, which peradventure prings goot discretions with it: there is Anne Page, which is daughter to Master Thomas Page, which is pretty virginity

Slen. Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks small like a woman.

Evans. It is that fery person for all the orld, as just as you will desire; and seven hundred pounds of moneys, and gold and silver, is her grandsire upon his death's-bed-Got deliver to a joyful resurrections!--give, when she is able to overtake seventeen years old: it were a goot motion if we leave our pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage between Master Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.

Slen. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?

60 Evans. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny;

Slen. I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.

Evans. Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts.

Shal. Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff there?

Evans. Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar as I do despise one that is false, or as I despise one that is not true. The knight, Sir John, is there; and, I beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will peat the door for Master Page. [Knocks.]

What, hoa! Got pless your house here!
Page. [Within] Who's there?

Enter PAGE. Evans. Here is Got's plessing, and your friend, and Justice Shallow; and here young Master Slender, that peradventures shall tell you another tale, if matters grow to your likings.

Page. I am glad to see your worships well. I thank you for my venison, Master Shallow. 81

Shal. Master Page, I am glad to see you: much good do it your good heart ! I wished your venison better: it was ill killed. How doth good Mistress Page?—and I thank you always with my heart, la! with my heart.

Page. Sir, I thank you.
Shal. Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.

Page. I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.

90 Slen. How does your fallow* greyhound, sir? I heard say he was outrun on Cotsall. *Fawn-colored.

Page. It could not be judged, sir.
Slen. You'll not confess, you'll not confess.

Shal. That he will not. 'Tis your fault, 'tis your fault; 'tis a good dog.

Page. A cur, sir.

Shal. Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog: can there be more said ? he is good and fair. Is Sir John Falstaff here?

Page. Sir, he is within; and I would I could do a good office between you.

Evans. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.

Shal. He hath wronged me, Master Page.
Page. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.

Shal. If it be confessed, it is not redressed: is not that so, Master Page? He hath wronged me; indeed he hath; at a word, he hath, believe me: Robert Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wronged.

Page. Here comes Sir John.
Enter SIR JOHN FALSTAFF, BARDOLPH, NYM,

and PISTOL. Fal. Now, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me to the king?

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III I 20

Shal. Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer, and broke open my lodge.

Fal. But not kissed your keeper's daughter?
Shal. Tut, a pin! this shall be answered.
Fal. I will answer it straight; I have done all

this.
That is now answered.

Shal. The council shall know this.

Fal. 'Twere better for you if it were known in counsel: you'll be laughed at.

Evans. Pauca verba,* Sir John; goot worts.

Fal. Good worts, t good cabbage. Slender, I broke your head: what matter have you against me?

*Few words. Cabbages. Slen. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you; and against your cony-catching* rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol.

*Pilfering. Bard. You Banbury cheese!

130 Slen. Ay, it is no matter. Pist. How now, Mephostophilus! Slen. Ay, it is no matter.

Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca: slice! that's my

humour. Slen. Where's Simple, my man? tell, cousin ?

Evans. Peace, I pray you. Now let us understand. There is three umpires in this matter, as I understand; that is, Master Page, fidelicet Master Page; and there is myself, fidelicet myself; and the three party is, lastly and finally, mine host of the Garter.

Page. We three, to hear it and end it between them.

Evans. Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in my note-book; and we will afterwards ork upon the cause with as great discreetly as we can. Fal. Pistol! Pist. He hears with ears.

150 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

Can you

*Brass.

I might never come in mine own great chamber again else, of seven groats in mill-sixpences,* and two Edward shovel-boards,ț that cost me two shilling and two pence a-piece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.

*Milled sixpences. 161 Fal. Is this true, Pistol?

Shuffle-boards. 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 labrasť here! +Sword from Bilboa. Word of denial: froth and scum, thou liest! Lips.

Slen. By these gloves, then, 'twas he.

Nym. Be avised, sir, and pass good humours: I will say 'marry trap

** with you, if you run the nuthook'st humour on me; that is the very note of it.

*An oath. Thief's. 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.

180 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 'tis 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. *Drunk. Horse's curvetting. 190

Evans. So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.

Fal. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it. Enter ANNE PAGE, with wine; MISTRESS

FORD and MISTRESS PAGE, following. Page. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink within.

[Exit Anne Page.

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