[Enter SHALLOW, SLENDER, and SIR HUGH EVANS]
- Robert 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.
- Slender. In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace and
- Robert Shallow. Ay, cousin Slender, and 'Custalourum.
- Slender. Ay, and 'Rato-lorum' too; and a gentleman born,
master parson; who writes himself 'Armigero,' in any
bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, 'Armigero.'
- Robert Shallow. Ay, that I do; and have done any time these three
- Slender. 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.
- Robert Shallow. It is an old coat.
- Sir Hugh Evans. The dozen white louses do become an old coat well;
it agrees well, passant; it is a familiar beast to
man, and signifies love.
- Robert Shallow. The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.
- Slender. I may quarter, coz.
- Robert Shallow. You may, by marrying.
- Sir Hugh Evans. It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.
- Robert Shallow. Not a whit.
- Sir Hugh 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
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
- Robert Shallow. The council shall bear it; it is a riot.
- Sir Hugh 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.
- Robert Shallow. Ha! o' my life, if I were young again, the sword
should end it.
- Sir Hugh 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 Thomas
Page, which is pretty virginity.
- Slender. Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks
small like a woman.
- Sir Hugh Evans. It is that fery person for all the orld, as just 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 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.
- Slender. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?
- Sir Hugh Evans. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.
- Slender. I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.
- Sir Hugh Evans. Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts.
- Robert Shallow. Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff there?
- Sir Hugh Evans. 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 for Master Page.
What, hoa! Got pless your house here!
- Page. [Within] Who's there?
- Sir Hugh 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 you for my venison, Master Shallow.
- Robert Shallow. 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.
- Robert Shallow. Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.
- Page. I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.
- Slender. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say he
was outrun on Cotsall.
- Page. It could not be judged, sir.
- Slender. You'll not confess, you'll not confess.
- Robert Shallow. That he will not. 'Tis your fault, 'tis your fault;
'tis a good dog.
- Robert Shallow. Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog: can there be
more said? he is good and fair. Is Sir John
- Page. Sir, he is within; and I would I could do a good
office between you.
- Sir Hugh Evans. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
- Robert Shallow. He hath wronged me, Master Page.
- Page. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.
- Robert Shallow. If it be confessed, it is not redress'd: 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 FALSTAFF, BARDOLPH, NYM, and PISTOL]
- Falstaff. Now, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me to the king?
- Robert Shallow. Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer, and
broke open my lodge.
- Falstaff. But not kissed your keeper's daughter?
- Robert Shallow. Tut, a pin! this shall be answered.
- Falstaff. I will answer it straight; I have done all this.
That is now answered.
- Robert Shallow. The council shall know this.
- Falstaff. 'Twere better for you if it were known in counsel:
you'll be laughed at.
- Sir Hugh Evans. Pauca verba, Sir John; goot worts.
- Falstaff. Good worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke your
head: what matter have you against me?
- Slender. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you;
and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph,
Nym, and Pistol.
- Bardolph. You Banbury cheese!
- Slender. Ay, it is no matter.
- Pistol. How now, Mephostophilus!
- Slender. Ay, it is no matter.
- Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca: slice! that's my humour.
- Slender. Where's Simple, my man? Can you tell, cousin?
- Sir Hugh Evans. Peace, I pray you. Now let us understand. There is
three umpires in this matter, as I understand; that
is, Master Page, fidelicet Master Page; and there is
myself, fidelicet myself; and the three party is,
lastly and finally, mine host of the Garter.
- Page. We three, to hear it and end it between them.
- Sir Hugh Evans. Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in my note-
book; and we will afterwards ork upon the cause with
as great discreetly as we can.
- Pistol. He hears with ears.
- Sir Hugh Evans. The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, 'He
hears with ear'? why, it is affectations.
- Falstaff. Pistol, did you pick Master Slender's purse?
- Slender. Ay, by these gloves, did he, or I would I might
never come in mine own great chamber again else, of
seven groats in mill-sixpences, and two Edward
shovel-boards, that cost me two shilling and two
pence apiece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
- Falstaff. Is this true, Pistol?
- Sir Hugh Evans. No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
- Pistol. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner! Sir John and Master mine,
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo.
Word of denial in thy labras here!
Word of denial: froth and scum, thou liest!
- Slender. By these gloves, then, 'twas he.
- Nym. Be avised, sir, and pass good humours: I will say
'marry trap' with you, if you run the nuthook's
humour on me; that is the very note of it.
- Slender. By this hat, then, he in the red face had it; for
though I cannot remember what I did when you made me
drunk, yet I am not altogether an ass.
- Falstaff. What say you, Scarlet and John?
- Bardolph. Why, sir, for my part I say the gentleman had drunk
himself out of his five sentences.
- Sir Hugh Evans. It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is!
- Bardolph. And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; and
so conclusions passed the careires.
- Slender. Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but 'tis no
matter: I'll ne'er be drunk whilst I live again,
but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick:
if I be drunk, I'll be drunk with those that have
the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves.
- Sir Hugh Evans. So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.
- Falstaff. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.
[Enter ANNE PAGE, with wine; MISTRESS FORD]
and MISTRESS PAGE, following]
- Page. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink within.
[Exit ANNE PAGE]
- Slender. O heaven! this is Mistress Anne Page.
- Page. How now, Mistress Ford!
- Falstaff. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met:
by your leave, good mistress.
- Page. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome. Come, we have a
hot venison pasty to dinner: come, gentlemen, I hope
we shall drink down all unkindness.
[Exeunt all except SHALLOW, SLENDER, and SIR HUGH EVANS]
- Slender. I had rather than forty shillings I had my Book of
Songs and Sonnets here.
How now, Simple! where have you been? I must wait
on myself, must I? You have not the Book of Riddles
about you, have you?
- Simple. Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice
Shortcake upon All-hallowmas last, a fortnight
- Robert Shallow. Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. A word with
you, coz; marry, this, coz: there is, as 'twere, a
tender, a kind of tender, made afar off by Sir Hugh
here. Do you understand me?
- Slender. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if it be so,
I shall do that that is reason.
- Robert Shallow. Nay, but understand me.
- Sir Hugh Evans. Give ear to his motions, Master Slender: I will
description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.
- Slender. Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says: I pray
you, pardon me; he's a justice of peace in his
country, simple though I stand here.
- Sir Hugh Evans. But that is not the question: the question is
concerning your marriage.
- Robert Shallow. Ay, there's the point, sir.
- Sir Hugh Evans. Marry, is it; the very point of it; to Mistress Anne Page.
- Slender. Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any
- Sir Hugh Evans. But can you affection the 'oman? Let us command to
know that of your mouth or of your lips; for divers
philosophers hold that the lips is parcel of the
mouth. Therefore, precisely, can you carry your
good will to the maid?
- Robert Shallow. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?
- Slender. I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that
would do reason.
- Sir Hugh Evans. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies! you must speak
possitable, if you can carry her your desires
- Robert Shallow. That you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?
- Slender. I will do a greater thing than that, upon your
request, cousin, in any reason.
- Robert Shallow. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz: what I do
is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the maid?
- Slender. I will marry her, sir, at your request: but if there
be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may
decrease it upon better acquaintance, when we are
married and have more occasion to know one another;
I hope, upon familiarity will grow more contempt:
but if you say, 'Marry her,' I will marry her; that
I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely.
- Sir Hugh Evans. It is a fery discretion answer; save the fall is in
the ort 'dissolutely:' the ort is, according to our
meaning, 'resolutely:' his meaning is good.
- Robert Shallow. Ay, I think my cousin meant well.
- Slender. Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la!
- Robert Shallow. Here comes fair Mistress Anne.
[Re-enter ANNE PAGE]
Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne!
- Anne Page. The dinner is on the table; my father desires your
- Robert Shallow. I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.
- Sir Hugh Evans. Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.
[Exeunt SHALLOW and SIR HUGH EVANS]
- Anne Page. Will't please your worship to come in, sir?
- Slender. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well.
- Anne Page. The dinner attends you, sir.
- Slender. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth. Go,
sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my
A justice of peace sometimes may be beholding to his
friend for a man. I keep but three men and a boy
yet, till my mother be dead: but what though? Yet I
live like a poor gentleman born.
- Anne Page. I may not go in without your worship: they will not
sit till you come.
- Slender. I' faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much as
though I did.
- Anne Page. I pray you, sir, walk in.
- Slender. I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruised
my shin th' other day with playing at sword and
dagger with a master of fence; three veneys for a
dish of stewed prunes; and, by my troth, I cannot
abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your
dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?
- Anne Page. I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.
- Slender. I love the sport well but I shall as soon quarrel at
it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see
the bear loose, are you not?
- Anne Page. Ay, indeed, sir.
- Slender. That's meat and drink to me, now. I have seen
Sackerson loose twenty times, and have taken him by
the chain; but, I warrant you, the women have so
cried and shrieked at it, that it passed: but women,
indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favored
- Page. Come, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay for you.
- Slender. I'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.
- Page. By cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! come, come.
- Slender. Nay, pray you, lead the way.
- Slender. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.
- Anne Page. Not I, sir; pray you, keep on.
- Slender. I'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome.
You do yourself wrong, indeed, la!