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Ford. I like it never the better for that. Does he lye at the Garter ?

Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend his voyage towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him, and what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lye on my head.

Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife, but I would be loth to turn them together; a man may be too con. fident; I would have nothing lye on my head; I cannot be thus satisfy’d.

Page. Look, where my ranting Host of the Garter comes; there is either liquor in his pate, or mony in his purse, when he looks so merrily. How now, mine Host? S c E NE VI.

Enter Host and Shallow. Hoft. How now, bully Rock? thou’rt a gentleman; cavalerio-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.

Hoft. Tell him, cavaliero-justice ; tell him, bully Rock.

Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir Hugh the Welch priest, and Caius the French doctor.

Ford. Good mine Höst o'th' Garter, a word with


Hoft. What fay'st thou, bully Rock?

Shal. Will you 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.

Hoff. Hast thou no suit against my Knight, my guest-cavalier ?


Ford. None, I protest; but I'll give you a pottle of burnt fack to give me recourse to him, and tell him, my name is Brook; only for a jest.

Hoft. My hand, bully: thou shalt have egress and regress ; said I well ? and thy name shall be Brook. It is a merry Knight. 6 Will you go on, Heris ?

Sbal. Have with you, mine hoit.

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, stoc“ cado's, 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.

Hoft. Here, boys, here, here : shall we wag?

Page. Have with you; I had rather hear them scold than fight. [ Exeunt Host, Shallow and Page.

Ford. Tho' Page be a secure fool, and ? stand 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

6 Will you go an heirs ?] This nonsense is spoken to Shallow. We thould read,

Will you go on, Heris? i.e. Will you go on, Maler. Heris, an old Scotch word for master.

7 fland fo firmly on his wife's frailty,] Thus all the Copies. But Mr. Theobald has no conceprion how any man could stand firmly on his wife's frailty. And why? Because he had no conception how he could stand upon it, without knowing what it was. But if I tell a stranger, that the bridge he is about to cross is rotten, and he believes it not, but will go on, may I not fay, when I see him upon it, that he stands firmly on a rotten plank? Yet he has changed frailty for fealty, and the Oxford Editor has followed him. But they took the phrase, to fand firmly on, to signify to infift upon; whereas it fignifies to reft upon, which the character of a secure fool, given to him, Thews. So that the common reading has an elegance that would be lost in the alteration, Vol. I.




found Faltaff: if I find her honest, I lose not my labour ; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well beliowd.

[Exit. S c E N E VII. Changes to the Garter-Inn.

Enter Falstaff and Piftol. Fal, I Will not lend thee a penny.

1 Pift. Why then the world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open— ' I will retort the fum in Equipage.

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 couch-fellow, Nim; or else you had look'd through the grate, like a geminy of baboons. I am damn'd 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 upon mine honour, thou hadft it not. * Pift. Didst thou not share ? hadft thou not fifteen


.. 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, 9 a short knife and a throng, to your manour of Pickt-batch ; go, you'll not bear a letter for me, you rogue ! you stand upon your honour! why, thou unconfinable bafenefs, it is as much as I can do to keep the term of mine honour precise. I, I, I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on the left hand, and hiding mine ho

8 I will retort the fum in equipage.] This is added from the old Quarto of 1619, and means, I will pay you again in folen goods.

9 a short knife and a sbrong. ) So Lear, Wbex Carpurfes come not to throngs.


nour in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge and
to lurch ; and yet you rogue will ensconse your rags,
your cat-a-mountain looks, your red-lettice phrases,
and your bold-bearing oaths, under the shelter of
your honour ! you will not do it, you!
Pift. I do relent ; what wouldst thou more of man?

Enter Robin.
Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you.
Fal. Let her approach.

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Enter Mistress Quickly.
Quic. Give your worship good morrow.
Fal. Good morrow, good wife.
Quic. Not so, and't please your worship,
Fal. Good maid, then.

Quic. l'll be sworn, as my mother was, the first hour I was born.

Fal. I do believe the swearer: what with me?
Quic. Shall I vouchfafe your worship a word or two?

Fal. Two thousand, fair woman, and I'll vouchsafe thee the hearing

Quic. There is one mistress Ford, Sir: I pray, come a little nearer this ways: I myself dwell with Mr. Doctor Caius.

Fal. Well, on: mistress Ford, you say

Quic. Your worship says very true: I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways.

Fal. I warrant thee, no body hears: mine own people, mine own people.

Quic. Are they lo ? heav'n bless them, and make them his servants !

Fal. Well: mistress Ford, what of her?

1 your bold-BEATING oaths;] We thould read bold-BEARING rasbs, i. e. out-facing.

Quic. Why, Sir, she's a good creature. Lord, lord, your worship’s a wanton : well, heav'n forgive you, and all of us, I pray: Fal. Mistress Ford, come, mistress Ford

Quic. 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 russling, I warrant you, in silk and gold, and in such alligant terms, and in such wine and sugar of the best, and the faireít, 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 angels given me this morning; but I defie all angels, in any such sort as they say, but in the way of honesty; and I warrant you, they could never get her so much as sip on a cup with the proudest of them all: and yet there has been earls, nay, which is more, pensioners ; but, I warrant you, all is one with her.

Fal. But what says she to me? be brief, my good She Mercury.

Quic. Marry, she hath receiv'd your letter, for the which she thanks you a thousand times; and she gives you to notifie, that her husband will be absence from his house between ten and eleven. · Fal. Ten and eleven.

Quic. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the picture, she says, that you wot of: master Ford, her husband, will be from home. Alas! the sweet woman leads an ill life with him, he's a very jealousieman; she leads a very frampold life with him, good heart.

Fal. Ten and eleven : woman, commend me to her, I will not fail her.

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