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A room in the Garter Inn.
Enter Falstaff and Pistol.
Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.
Pist. Why, then the world's mine oyster,
Which I with sword will open.
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
coach-fellow Nym; or else you
had looked through the grate, like a geminy of
baboons. I am 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 upon mine
honour thou hadst it not. Pist. Didst not thou share ? hadst 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.
A short knife and a throng !-To your manor
of Pickt-hatch! 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 God 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 cat-a-mountain looks,
your red-lattice phrases, and your bold-beating
oaths, under the shelter of your honour! You 30
will not do it, you!
Pist. I do relent : what would thou more of man?
Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you.
Fal. Let her approach.
Enter Mistress Quickly.
Quick. Give your worship good morrow.
Fal. Good morrow, good wife.
Quick. Not so, an't please your worship.
Fal. Good maid, then.
Quick. I'll be sworn;
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 vouch-
safe 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 Fal. I warrant thee, nobody hears ;-mine own people,
mine own people. Quick. Are they so? God 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; 60
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, 70
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 defy 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
80 Fal. But what says she to me? be brief, my good
Quick. Marry, she hath received your letter; for the
which she thanks you a thousand times, and she
gives you to notify, that her husband will be
absence from his house between ten and eleven. Fal. Ten and eleven.
Quick. 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. 90
Alas, the sweet woman leads an ill life with him!
he's a very jealousy man: she leads
pold life with him, good heart.
Fal. Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her;
I will not fail her.
Quick. Why, you say well. But I have another
messenger to your worship. Mistress Page hath
her hearty commendations to you, too: and let
in your ear, she's as fartuous a civil modest wife, and one, I tell you, that will not 100 miss you morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, whoe'er be the other : and she bade me tell your worship that her husband is seldom from home; but, she hopes, there will come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon a man: surely, I think you have charms,
la; yes, in truth. Fal. Not I, I assure thee: setting the attraction of my
Ι good parts aside, I have no other charms. Quick. Blessing on your heart for 't !
ΙΙο Fal. But, I pray thee, tell me this : has Ford's wife
and Page’s wife acquainted each other how they
Quick. That were a jest indeed! they have not so
little grace, I hope : that were a trick indeed!
But Mistress Page would desire you to send
her your little page, of all loves : her husband
has a marvellous infection to the little page; and,
truly, Master Page is an honest man. Never a
wife in Windsor leads a better life than she does : 120
do what she will, say what she will, take all, pay
all, go to bed when she list, rise when she list,
all is as she will: and, truly, she deserves it ; for
if there be a kind woman in Windsor, she is one.
You must send her your page; no remedy.
Fal. Why, I will.
Quick. Nay, but do so, then: and, look you, he
may come and go between you both; and, in
any case, have a nay-word, that you may know
one another's mind, and the boy never need to 130
understand any thing; for 'tis not good that
children should know any wickedness: old
folks, you know, have discretion, as they say,
and know the world.
Fal. Fare thee well: commend me to them both :
there's my purse; I am yet thy debtor. Boy,
go along with this woman. [Exeunt Mistress
Quickly and Robin.] This news distracts me!
Pist. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers :
Clap on more sails; pursue ; up with your fights : 140
Give fire: she is my prize, or ocean whelm them all!
[Exit. Fal. Say'st thou so, old Jack ? go thy ways; I'll
make more of thy old body than I have done.
Will they get look after thee? Wilt thou, after
be now a gainer? Good body, I thank thee. Let them say 'tis grossly done ; so it be fairly done, no matter.
Bard. Sir John, there's one Master Brook below