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Sim. Book of Riddles! why, did not you lend it to Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas ??

Shal. Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. A word with you, coz: marry, this, coz; There is, as 'twere, 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.

Eva. 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.

Eva. But this is not the question; the question is concerning your marriage.

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

Eva. 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.

Eva. 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.

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

upon Allhalloumas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas ?] An intended blunder of Shakspeare's.

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 maid?

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.

Eva. It is a fery discretion answer; save, the faul 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.

Re-enter ANNE PAGE.

Shal. Here comes fair mistress Anne :-Would I were young, for your sake, mistress Anne !

Anne. The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worships' company.

Shal. I will wait on him, fair mistress Anne.

Eva. Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.

Exeunt SHALLOW and Sir H. EVANS. Anne. Will't please your worship to come in, sir? Slen. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am

Very well.

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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 : [Exit SIMPLE.) 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. Šlen. 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 veneys 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 shriek’d at it, that it pass'd:

ebut

3

a master of fence,] Master of defence, on this occasion, does not simply mean a professor of the art of fencing, but a person who had taken his master's degree in it; in this art there were three degrees, viz. a Master's, a Provost's, and a Scholar's.

three veneys for a dish, &c.] i.e. three venues, French. Three different set-to's, bouts, (or hits, as Mr. Malone, perhaps more properly, explains the word,) a technical term.

s. Sackerson –] Sackerson, or Sacarson, was the name of a bear that was exhibited in our author's time at Paris-Garden in Southwark.

6. that it pass'd :) i. e. all expression,

women, indeed, cannot abide 'em ; they are very il favoured rough things.

lead the way.

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 choase, sir : come, come.

Slen. Nay, pray you,
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. [Ereunt.

SCENE II.

The same.

Enter Sir Hugh Evans and SIMPLE. Eva. Go your ways, and ask of Doctor 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.

Simp. Well, sir.

Eva. Nay, it is petter yet: -give her this letter; for it is a roman that altogether's acquaintance with mistress Anne Page : and the letter is, to desire and

By cock and pye,] This was a very popular adjuration, and occurs in many of our old dramatic pieces.

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

[Exeunt.

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

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 Host. Fal. Bardolph, follow him : a tapster is a good

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?-my bully-rook?] The spelling of this word is corrupted, and thereby its primitive meaning is lost. The latter part of this compound title is taken from the rooks at the game of chess.

Steeyens. -- Keisar,] Keysar for Cæsar. 9. Let me see thee froth, and lime:) Frothing beer and liming sack, were tricks practised in the time of Shakspeare, The first was done by putting soap into the bottom of the tankard when they drew the beer; the other by mixing lime with the sack (i. e. sherry) to make it sparkle in the glass.

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