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Shal. Have with you, mine hoft.

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 ftand on distance, your paffes, ftoccado's, and I know not what: 'tis the heart, mafter Page; 'tis here, 'tis here. I have feen the time, with my long fword, I would have made you four tall fellows skip like rats.

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

Pag. Have with you; I had rather hear them fcold than fight. [Exeunt Hoft, Shallow and Page. Ford. Tho' Page be a fecure fool, (15) and ftand fo firmly on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my opinion fo eafily. She was in his company at Page's houfe; and what they made there, I know not. Well, I will look further into't; and I have a disguise to found Falstaff: if I find her honeft, I lofe not my labour; if the be otherwife, 'tis labour well beftow'd. [Exit,

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SCENE changes to the Garter-Inn.

Enter Falstaff and Piftol.

Fal. I will not lend thet a world's

Pift. Why then the world's mine oyfter, which I with fword will open. I will retort the Sum in

Equipage.

Fal. Not a penny. I have been content, Sir, you

Will you go on,

here?

Pointing out the Way, which

was to lead them to the Combatants; as he afterwards fays, Here, boys, here, here: fhall we wag? Or,

Will you go, myn-heers?

i. e. my Malters; Both these make plain Sense; and are not remote from the Traces of the Text: but, without fome fuch Alteration, the Pa fage feems utterly unintelligible to me.

(15) And stand fo firmly on his Wife's Frailty,] No, furely; Page ftood tightly to the Opinion of her Honefty, and would not entertain a Thought of her being frail. I have therefore ventur'd to fubftitute a Word correfpondent to the Senfe requir'd; and one, which our Poet frequently ufes, to fignify conjugal Faith.

fhould

fhould 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 fwearing to gentlemen, my friends, you were good foldiers, and tall fellows. And when miftrels Bridget loft the handle of her fan, I took't upon mine honour, thou hadst it not.

Pift. Didit thou not fhare? hadft thou not fifteen pence?

Fal. Reafon, you rogue, reafon: think't thou, I'll endanger my foul gratis? At a word, hang no more about me, I am no gibbet for you: (16) go, a fhort knife, and a throng, to your manor of Pickt-hatch; go, you'll not bear a letter for me, you rogue! you Itand upon your honour! why, thou unconfinable basenefs, it is as much as I can do to keep the term of my honour precife. I, I, I my felf fometimes, leaving the fear of heaven on the left hand, and hiding mine honour in my neceffity, am fain to fhuffle, to hedge and to lurch; and yet you rogue will enfconfe your rags, your cat-a-mountain fooks, your red-lettice phrafes, and your bold-beating oaths, under the fhelter 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 fpeak with you.
Fal. Let her approach.

Enter Miftrefs Quickly.

Quick. Give your worship good morrow.
Fal. Good morrow, good wife.

Quick. Not fo, and't please your worship.
Fal. Good maid, then,

(16) Go, a fort knife, and a thong,] All the old Copies have it, trong as I believe, the Author defign'd; i. e. a fhort knife and a Croud, the two Requifites for a Pick-pocket. Pickt-hatch, as we may find by many places in B. onon, was a noted Harbour for Thieves and Strum

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

Fal. I do believe the fwearer: what with me?

Quic. Shall I vouchfafe your worship a word or two? Fal. Two thousand, fair woman, and I'll vouchfafe thee the hearing.

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

Fal. Well, on: mistress Ford, you fay,

Quic. Your worship fays 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 fo? heav'n bless them, and make them his fervants.

Fal. Well: miftrels Ford, what of her?

Quic. Why, Sir, fhe's a good Creature. Lord, lord, your worship's a wanton; well, heav'n forgive you, and all of us, I pray

Fal. Miftrefs Ford, come, Miftrefs Ford

Quic. Marry, this is the fhort and the long of it; you have brought her into fuch a canaries, as 'tis wonderful: the beft Courtier of them all, when the Court lay at Windfor, could never have brought her to fuch 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, fmelling fo fweetly; all musk; and fo rufsling, I warrant you, in filk and gold, and in fuch alligant terms, and in fuch wine and fugar of the beft, and the faireft, that would have won any woman's heart; and, I warrant you, they could never get an eye-wink of her. I had my felf twenty angels given me this morning; but T defie all angels, in any fuch fort as they fay, but in

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the way of honesty, and warrant you, they could

never get her fo much as fip on a cup with the proud eft of them all: and yet there has been Earls, nay, which is more, Pensioners; but, I warrant you, all is ang with her.

Fal

Fal. But what fays the to me? be brief, my good She-Mercury.

Quic. Marry, the hath receiv'd your letter, for the which the thanks you a thousand times; and the gives you to notific, that, her husband will be abfence from his houfe between ten and eleven.

Fal. Ten and eleven.

Quic. Ay, forfooth; and then you may come and fee the picture, fhe fays, that you wot of: mafter Ford, her husband, will be from home. Alas! the fweet woman leads an ill life with him, he's a very jealouficman; the leads a very frampold life with him, good heart.

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

Quic. Why, you fay well: But I have another meffenger to your worship; miftrefs Page has her hearty commendations to you too; and let me tell you in your ear, fhe's as fartuous a civil modeft wife, and one (I tell you) that will not mifs you morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windfor, whoe'er be the other;. and the bad me tell your worship, that her husband is feldom from home, but, fhe hopes, there will come a time. I never knew a woman fo doat upon a man; newav furely, I think you have Charms, la; yes, in truth. Fal. Not I, I affure thee; fetting the attraction of my good parts afide, I have no other Charms. Quic. Bleffing on your heart for't.

Fal. But I pray thee, tell me this, has Ford's wife, and Page's wife, acquainted each other how they love

me?

Quic. That were a jeft, indeed; they have not fo little grace, I hope; that were a trick, indeed! but miftrefs Page would defire you to fend her your little Page, of all loves: her husband has a marvellous infection to the little Page; and, truly, mafter Page is an honeft man. Never a wife in Windfor leads a better life, than the does; do what the will, fay what fhe will, take all, pay all, go to bed when the lift, rife when the lift, all is as the will; and, truly, the deferves

it; for if there be a kind woman in Windfor, truly, fhe is one. You must fend her your Page; no remedy. Fal. Why, I will al

Quic. Nay, but do fo then; and, look you, he may come and go between you both, and in any cafe have a nay-word, that you may know one another's mind." and the boy never need to understand any thing; for 'tis not good, that children fhould know any wickednefs: old folks, you know, have difcretion, as they fay, 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. This news diftracts me.

[Ex. Quick. and Robin.

Pift. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers; Clap on more fails; purfue; up with your fights; Give fire; fhe is my prize, or ocean whelm them all! [Exit Pistol.

Fal. Say'ft thou fo, old Jack? go thy ways; I'll make more of thy old body, than I have done; will they yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expence of fo much mony, be now a gainer? good body, I thank thee; let them fay, 'tis grofsly done; fo it be fairly done, no matter.

Enter Bardolph.

Bard. Sir John, there's one mafter Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath fent your worship a morning's draught of fack. Fal. Brook, is his Name?

Bard. Ay, Sir.

Fal. Call him in; [Ex. Bardolph.] fuch Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow with fuch liquor. Ah! ah! mistress Ford and miftrefs Page, have I encompass'd you? go to, via!

Re-enter Bardolph, with Ford difguis'd.

Ford. Blefs you, Sir.

Fal. And you, Sir; would you speak with me?

Ford.

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