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Quick. Well, thereby hangs a tale: good faith, it is such another Nan; but, I detest, an honest 160 maid as ever broke bread : we had an hour's talk of that wart. I shall never laugh but in that maid's company! But indeed she is given too much to allicholy and musing: but for youwell, go to.

Fent. Well, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there's money for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if thou seest her before me, commend me.

Quick. Will I? i faith, that we will ; and I will tell your worship more of the wart the . next time we have confidence; and of other



Fent. Well, farewell; I am in great haste


Quick. Farewell to your worship. [Exit Fenton.]

Truly, an honest gentleman : but Anne loves him not; for I know Anne's mind as well as another does. Out upon 't! what have I forgot?

[Exit. 180


SCENE I. Before PAGE's house.

Enter MISTRESS PAGE, with a letter. Mrs. Page. What, have I scaped love-letters in the holiday-time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them ? Let me see.

[Reads. 164. allicholy, this seems to by the Host in Two Gent. of have been a current illiterate Ver. iv. 2. form of the word : it is also used

By me,

Ask me no reason why I love you; for though Love use Reason for his physician, he admits him not for his counsellor.

You are not young, no more am I; go to then, there's sympathy: you are merry, so am I; ha, ha! then there's more sympathy: you love sack, and so do I; would you desire better sympathy? Let it suffice to thee, Mistress Page,—at the least, if the love of soldier can suffice,—that I love thee. I will not say, pity me; 'tis not a soldier-like phrase: but I say, love me.

Thine own true knight,
By day or night,
Or any kind of light,
With all his might
For thee to fight,

JOHN FALSTAFF.' What a Herod of Jewry is this ! O wicked, wicked world! One that is well-nigh worn to pieces with age to show himself a young gallant ! What an unweighed behaviour hath this Flemish drunkard picked—with the devil's name !-out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me? Why, he hath not been thrice in my company! What should I say to him ? I was then frugal of my mirth: Heaven forgive me! Why, I'll exhibit a bill in the parliament for the putting down of men.

How shall I be re- 30 venged on him ? for revenged I will be, as sure as his guts are made of puddings.




Enter MISTRESS FORD. Mrs. Ford. Mistress Page!

trust me,

I going to your house.

Mrs. Page. And, trust me, I was coming to you.

You look very ill. 23. unweighed, inconsiderate.

29. exhibit, bring forward.

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Mrs. Ford. Nay, I'll ne'er believe that; I have to show to the contrary.

Mrs. Page. Faith, but you do, in my mind.
Mrs. Ford. Well, I do then; yet I say I 40

Ι could show you to the contrary. O Mistress Page, give me some counsel !

Mrs. Page. What's the matter, woman?

Mrs. Ford. O woman, if it were not for one trifling respect, I could come to such honour !

Mrs. Page. Hang the trifle, woman! take the honour. What is it? dispense with trifles; what is it?

Mrs. Ford. If I would but go to hell for an eternal moment or so, I could be knighted.

Mrs. Page. What? thou liest ! Sir Alice Ford ! These knights will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry.

Mrs. Ford. We burn daylight : here, read, read; perceive how I might be knighted. I shall think the worse of fat men, as long as I have an eye to make difference of men's liking: and yet he would not swear; praised women's modesty ; and gave such orderly and well-behaved reproof to all uncomeliness, that I would have sworn his 60 disposition would have gone to the truth of his words; but they do no more adhere and keep place together than the Hundredth Psalm to the tune of Green Sleeves. What tempest, I trow, threw this whale, with so many tuns of oil in his belly, ashore at Windsor ? How shall I be

45. respect, consideration. 57. to make difference of men's

liking, to distinguish the bodily 52. hack (prob.) grow com

characteristics of men. mon, cheap.

63. the tune of 'Green Sleeves,' 54. Weburn daylight, we talk a lost popular ballad, often reidly instead of coming to the ferred to, of which the tune is matter.



revenged on him ? I think the best way were to entertain him with hope, till the wicked fire of lust have melted him in his own grease.

Did you ever hear the like?

Mrs. Page. Letter for letter, but that the name of Page and Ford differs ! To thy great comfort in this mystery of ill opinions, here's the twin-brother of thy letter : but let thine inherit first; for, I protest, mine never shall. I warrant he hath a thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for different names-sure, more,

and these are of the second edition : he, will print them, out of doubt; for he cares not what he puts into the press, when he would put us two. 80 I had rather be a giantess, and lie under Mount Pelion. Well, I will find you twenty lascivious turtles ere one chaste man.

Mrs. Ford. Why, this is the very same; the very hand, the very words. What doth he think of us?

Mrs. Page. Nay, I know not : it makes me almost ready to wrangle with mine own honesty. I'll entertain myself like one that I am not acquainted withal ; for, sure, unless he know some strain in me, that I know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury.

Mrs. Ford. Boarding,' call you it? I'll be sure to keep him above deck.

Mrs. Page. So will I: if he come under my hatches, I'll never to sea again. Let's be revenged on him : let's appoint him a meeting; give him a show of comfort in his suit and lead him on with a fine-baited delay, till he hath pawned his horses to mine host of the Garter.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, I will consent to act any villany against him, that may not sully the chari



neșs of our honesty. O, that my husband saw this letter !. it would give eternal food to his jealousy.

Mrs. Page. Why, look where he comes; and my good man too: he's as far from jealousy as I am from giving him cause ; and that I hope is an unmeasurable distance.

Mrs. Ford. You are the happier woman.

Mrs. Page. Let's consult together against this greasy knight. Come hither.

[They retire.


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Enter FORD with Pistol, and Page with Nym.
Ford. Well, I hope it be not so.

Pist. Hope is a curtal dog in some affairs :
Sir John affects thy wife.

Ford. Why, sir, my wife is not young.
Pist. He wooes both high and low, both rich

and poor,

I 20

Both young and old, one with another, Ford ;
He loves the gallimaufry: Ford, perpend.

Ford. Love my wife !

Pist. With liver burning hot. Prevent, or go thou, Like Sir Actæon he, with Ringwood at thy heels : O, odious is the name !

Ford. What name, sir ?
Pist. The horn, I say.

Take heed, have open eye, for thieves do foot by

Take heed, ere summer comes or cuckoo-birds do

sing. Away, Sir Corporal Nym !

114. is a curtal dog, has a 122. Like Sir Acteon he, etc., bad scent ; a docked tail indi- make him like Actæon, who (in cating a dog unfit for the chase. the shape of a stag) was hunted

•119. gallimaufry, medley, to death by hounds. hodge-podge.

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