« AnteriorContinuar »
Page. Yes ; And you heard what the other told me?
Ford. Do you think there is truth in them?
Page. Hang 'em, slaves; I do not think the knight would offer it: but these that accuse him in his intent towards our wives, are a yoke of his discarded men: very rogues, now they be out of service.
Ford. Were they his men ?
Ford. I like it never the better for that.-Does he lie at the Garter?
Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyage towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and what he gets of her more than sharp words, let it lie on my head.
Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife; but I would be loth to turn them together : A man may be too confident: I would have nothing lie on my head : I cannot be thus satisfied.
Page. Look, where my ranting host of the Gar. ter comes : there is either liquor in his pate, or money in his purse, when he looks so merrily.—How now, mine host:
Enter Host, and SHALLOW. Host. How now, bully-rook! thou'rt a gentleman: cavalero-justice," I say.
Shal. I follow, mine host, I follow.-Good even, and twenty, good master Page! Master Page, will you go with us ? we have sport in hand.
Host. Tell him, cavalero-justice; tell him, bullyrook.
Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought, between
sir Hugh the Welsh priest, and Caius the French doctor.
Ford. Good mine host o' the Garter, a word with you. Host. What say'st thou, bully-rook?
[They go aside. Shal. Will you (to Page] go with us to behold it? My merry host hath had the measuring of their weapons; and, I think, he hath appointed them contrary places : for, believe me, I hear, the parson is no jester. Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.
Host. Hast thou no suit against my knight, my guest-cavalier?
Ford. None, I protest: but I'll give you a pottle of burnt sack to give me recourse to him, and tell him, my name is Brook; only for a jest.
Host. My hand, bully: thou shalt have egress and regress; said I well ? and thy name shall be Brook: It is a merry knight.-Will you go on, hearts?
Shal. Have with you, mine host.
Page. I have heard, the Frenchman hath good skill in his rapier.
Shal. Tut, sir, I could have told you more: In these times you stand on distance, your passes, stoccadoes, and I know not what: 'tis the heart, master Page; 'tis here, 'tis here. I have seen the time, with my long sword, I would have made you four tall fellows® skip like rats.
Host. Here, boys, here, here! shall we wag?
Page. Have with you :- I had rather hear them scold than fight.
[Exeunt Host, SHALLOW, and Page.
8-tall fellows -] A tall fellow, in the time of our author, meant a stout, bold, or courageous person.
Ford. Though Page be a secure fool, and stands so firmly on his wife's frailty,' yet I cannot put off my opinion so easily : She was in his company at Page's house; and, what they made there,' 'I know not. Well, I will look further into't: and I have a disguise to sound Falstaff: If I find her honest, I lose not my labour ; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestowed.
A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF and PISTOL.
Pist. Why, then the world's mine oyster,
Fal. Not a penny, I have been content, sir, you should lay my countenance to pawn : I have grated upon my good friends for three reprieves for you and your coach-fellow, Nym;} or else you had looked through the grate, like a geminy of baboons. damned in hell, for swearing to gentlemen my friends, you were good soldiers, and tall fellows: and when mistress Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took't
mine honour thou hadst it not.
9- and stands so firmly on his rife's frailty,] i. e. has such perfect confidence in his unchaste wife.
and, what they made there,] An obsolete phrase signifying-what they did there. MALONE.
* I will retort the sum in equipage.] Means, I will pay you again in stolen goods. WARBURTON. 3
- your coach-fellow, Nym;] i. e. he, who draws along with you; who is joined with you in all your knavery.
*— lost the handle of her fan,) It should be remembered, that fans, in our author's time, were more costly than they are at present, as well as of a different construction. They consisted of ostrich feathers, (or others of equal length and flexibility,)
Pist. Didst thou not share ? hadst thou not fif
Fal. Reason, you rogue, reason : Think'st thou I'll endanger my soul gratis ? At a word, hang no more about me, I am no gibbet for you :-go.—A short knife and a throng ;-—to your manor of Pickthatch,' go.—You'll not bear a letter for me, you rogue !-You stand upon your honour -Why, thou unconfinable baseness, it is as much as I can do, to keep the terms of my honour precise. I, I, I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on the left hand, and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch ; and yet you, rogue, will ensconce your rags, your cata-mountain looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour! You will not do it, you?
Pist. I do relent; What would'st thou more of
Enter Mistress QUICKLY.
which were stuck into handles. The richer sort of these were composed of gold, silver, or ivory of curious workmanship.
Pickt-hatch,] A cant name for some part of the towa noted for brothels.
ensconce your rags, &c.] A sconce is a petty fortification. To ensconce, therefore, is to protect as with a fort.
red-lattice phrases,] Your ale-house conversation. Red lattice at the doors and windows, were formerly the exter. nal denotements of an alehouse.
Quick. I'll be sworn; as my mother was, the first hour I was born.
Fal. I do believe the swearer: What with me?
Quick. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?
Fal. Two thousand, fair woman: and I'll vouchsafe thee the hearing.
Quick. There is one mistress Ford, sir ;-I pray, come a little nearer this ways :-I myself dwell with master doctor Caius.
Fal. Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say,
Quick. Your worship says very true: I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways.
Fal. I warrant thee, nobody hears ;—mine own people, mine own people.
Quick. Are they so? Heaven bless them, and make them his servants !
Fal. Well: Mistress Ford ;-what of her?
Quick. Why, sir, she's a good creature. Lord, lord ! your worship's a wanton: Well, heaven forgive you, and all of us, I pray!
Fal. Mistress Ford ;-come, mistress Ford,
Quick. Marry, this is the short and the long of it; you have brought her into such a canaries, as 'tis wonderful. The best courtier of them all, when the court lay at Windsor, could never have brought her to such a canary. Yet there has been knights, and lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches; I warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift; smelling so sweetly, (all musk) and so rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and in such alligant terms; and in such wine and sugar of the best, and the fairest, that would have won any woman's heart; and, I warrant you, they could never get an eye-wink of her. I had myself twenty
8 — canaries,] Probably for quandaries. VOL. I.