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William Page, a boy, son to Mr. Page.
Sir Hugh Evans, a Welsh parson.
Dr. Caius, a French physician.

Host of the Garter Inn.

Bardolph,

Pistol,

Nym,

followers of Falstaff.

Robin, page to Falstaff.

Simple, servant to Slender.

Rugby, servant to Dr. Caius.

Mrs. Ford.

Mrs. Page.

Mrs. Anne Page, her daughter, in love with Fenton.

Mrs. Quickly, servant to Dr. Caius.

Servants to Page, Ford, &c.

Scene, Windsor; and the parts adjacent.

MERRY WIVES

OF

WINDSOR.

ACT I.

SCENE I-Windsor.

Before Page's house.

Enter Justice Shallow, Slender, and Sir Hugh Evans.

Shallow.

SIR Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Star

chamber matter of it: if he were twenty Sir John Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, esquire.

Slen. In the county of Gloster, justice of peace, and coram.

Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and cust-alorum.2 Slen. Ay, and ratolorum too; and a gentleman born, master parson; who writes himself armigero; any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, armigero.

in

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

Slen. All his successors, gone before him, have done't; and all his ancestors, that come after him,

(1) A title formerly appropriated to chaplains. (2) Custos rotulorum.

may: they may give the dozen white luces in their

coat.

Shal. It is an old coat.

Eva. The dozen white louses do become an old coat well; it agrees well, passant: it is a familiar 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.

Eva. It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.
Shal. Not a whit.

Eva. Yes, py'rl-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 John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto you, I am of the church, and will be glad to do my be nevolence, to make atonements and compromises between you.

Shal. The council2 shall hear it; it is a riot.

Eva. 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 vizaments3 in that.

Shal. Ha o' my life, if I were young again, the sword should end it.

Eva. 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.

Eva. It is that fery person for all the 'orld, as just as you will desire; and seven hundred pounds of monies, and gold, and silver, is her grandsire, upon his death's-bed (Got deliver to a joyful resur

(1) By our.

(3) Advisement.

(2) Court of star-chamber.

(4) Soft.

rections!) give, when she is able to overtake seventeen years old: it were a goot motion, if we leave our pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage between master Abraham, and mistress Anne Page.

Shal. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?

Eva. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny. Shal. I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.

Eva. Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is goot gifts.

Shal. Well, let us see honest master Page: is Falstaff there?

Eva. Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar, as I do despise one that is false; or, as I despise one that is not true. The knight, sir John, is there; and, I beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will peat the door [knocks] for master Page. What, hoa! Got pless your house here!

Enter Page.

Page. Who's there?

Eva. 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 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 love 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 say,

he was outrun on Cotsale.1

Page. It could not be judg'd, sir.

Slen. You'll not confess, you'll not confess. Shal. That he will not;-'tis your fault, 'tis your fault 'tis a good dog.

Page. A cur, sir.

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 good office between you.

Eva. It is spoke as a christians ought to speak.
Shal. He hath wrong'd me, master Page.
Page. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.

Shal. If it be confess'd, it is not redress'd; is not that so, master Page? he hath wrong'd me; indeed, he hath;-at a word, he hath;-believe me;Robert Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wrong'd. Page. Here comes Sir John.

Enter Sir John Falstaff, Bardolph, Nym, and

Pistol.

Fal. Now, master Shallow; you'll complain of me to the king?

Shal. Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer, and broke open my lodge.

Fal. But not kiss'd your keeper's daughter.
Shal. Tut, a pin! this shall be answer'd.

Fal. I will answer it straight ;-I have done all this-that is now answer'd.

Shal. The council shall know this.

Fal. "Twere better for you, if it were known in counsel: you'll be laugh'd at.

Eva. Pauca verba, Sir John, good worts.
Fal. Good worts!! good cabbage.-Slender, I

(1) Cotswold in Gloucestershire.

Worts was the ancient name of all the cab. bage kind.

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