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The

Merry Wives of Windsor.

ACT FIRST.

Scene I.

Windsor. Before Page's House.

Enter Justice Shallow, Slender, and Sir Hugh Evans. Shal. Sir Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Starchamber matter of it: if he were twenty Sir John Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, esquire.

Slen. In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace 'Coram.'

and

Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and 'Custalorum.'
Slen. Ay, and 'Rato-lorum' too; and a gentleman born,

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master parson; who writes himself Armigero,' to in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, I☀ 'Armigero.'

Shal. Ay, that I do; and have done any time these three hundred years.

Slen. All his successors gone before him hath done't; and all his ancestors that come after him may: they may give the dozen white luces in their

coat.

Shal. It is an old coat.

Evans. The dozen white louses do become an old coat

well; it agrees well, passant; it is a familiar 20 beast to man, and signifies love.

Shal. The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an

old coat.

Slen. I may quarter, coz.

Shal. You may, by marrying.

Evans. It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.

Shal. Not a whit.

Evans. Yes, py'r lady; if he has a quarter of your coat, there is but three skirts for yourself, in my simple conjectures: but that is all one. If Sir 30 John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto you, I am of the church, and will be glad to do my benevolence to make atonements and compremises between you.

Shal. The council shall hear it; it is a riot.

Evans. It is not meet the council hear a riot; there is no fear of Got in a riot: the council, look you, shall desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a riot; take your vizaments in that.] Shal. Ha! o' my life, if I were young again, the 40 sword should end it.

Evans. It is petter that friends is the sword, and end it and there is also another device in my prain, which peradventure prings goot discretions with it: there is Anne Page, which is daughter to Master George Page, which is pretty virginity.

Slen. Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and

speaks small like a woman.

Evans. It is that fery person for all the orld, as just 50 as you will desire; and seven hundred pounds

of moneys, and gold and silver, is her grandsire
upon his death's-bed (Got deliver to a joyful
resurrections!) give, when she is able to over-
take seventeen years old: it were a goot motion
if we leave our pribbles and prabbles, and de-
sire a marriage between Master Abraham and
Mistress Anne Page.

Slen. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred

pound?

Evans. Ay, and her father is make her a petter

penny.

Slen. I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.

Evans. Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts.

Shal. Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff there?

Evans. Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar

60

as I do despise one that is false, or as I despise 70 one that is not true. The knight, Sir John, is there; and, I beseech you, be ruled by your wellwillers. I will peat the door for Master Page. [Knocks] What, hoa! Got pless your house here! Page. [Within] Who's there?

Enter Page.

Evans. Here is Got's plessing, and your friend, and

Justice Shallow; and here young Master Slender,
that peradventures shall tell you another tale, if
matters grow to your likings.

Page. I am glad to see your worships well. I thank 80 you for my venison, Master Shallow.

Shal. Master Page, I am glad to see you much good do it your good heart! I wished your venison better; it was ill killed. How doth good Mistress Page?—and I thank you always with my heart, la! with my heart.

Page. Sir, I thank you.

Shal. Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.

Page. I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.

Slen. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard 90 he was outrun on Cotsall.

say

Page. It could not be judged, sir.

Slen. You'll not confess, you'll not confess.

Shal. That he will not.

fault; 'tis a good dog.

Page. A cur, sir.

'Tis your fault, 'tis your

Shal. Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog: can there be more said? he is good and fair. Is Sir John

Falstaff here ?

Page. Sir, he is within; and I would I could do a 100

good office between you.

Evans. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
Shal. He hath wronged me, Master Page.

Page. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.

Shal. If it be confessed, it is not redressed: is not that so, Master Page? He hath wronged me; indeed he hath; at a word, he hath, believe me: Robert Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wronged.

Page. Here comes Sir John.

Enter Sir John Falstaff, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol. Fal. Now, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me to II0 the king?

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