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Fal. Good worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke your head; what matter have you against me?
Slen. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you; and against your coney-catchingt rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and made me drunk, and afterwards picked my pocket.
Bar. You Banbury cheeset!
Slen. Ay, it is no matter.
Pist. How now, Mephostophilus ?
Slen. Ay, it is no matter.
Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca||; slice! that's my humour.
Slen. Where's Simple, my man?-can you tell, cousin?
Eva. 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.
Eva. 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.
Pis. He hears with ears.
Eva. The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, He hears with ear? Why, it is affectations.
Fal. Pistol, did you pick master Slender's purse? Slen. 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 Ed
* Worts was the ancient name of all the cabbage kind.
Nothing but paring.
ward shovel-boards*, that cost me two shilling and two pence apiece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
Fal. Is this true, Pistol?
Eda. No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
Pist. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner!-Sir John, and master mine,
I combat challenge of this latten bilbot:
Word of denial; froth and scum, thou liest.
Nym. Be advised, 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.
Slen. By this hat, theu 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.
Fal. What say you, Scarlet and John?
Bard. Why, sir, for my part, I say, the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five sentences. Eva. It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is!
Bard. And being fap, sir, was, as they say, ca shier'd; and so conclusions' pass'd the careires¶.
Slen. 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.
Eva. So Got 'udge me, that is a virtuous mind. Fal. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.
* King Edward's shillings, used in the game of shuffle-board.
+ Blade as thin as a lath.
If you say I am a thief.
The bounds of good behaviour.
Enter Mistress Anne Page with wine; Mistress Ford and Mistress Page following.
Puge. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink within. [Exit Anne Page. Slen. O heaven! this is mistress Anne Page.
Page. How now, mistress Ford?
Fal Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good mistress.
[kissing her. Page. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome :Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner; come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkind
[Exeunt all but Shall, Slender, and Evans. Slen. 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?
Sim. Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake, upon Allhallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas*?
Shal. 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?
Slen. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if it be so, I shall do that that is reason.
Shal. Nay, but understand me.
Eva. Give ear to his motions, master Slender: I will description the matter to you, if you be capaeity of it.
Sten. Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says:
An intended blunder.
I pray you, pardon me; he's a justice of peace in his country, simple though I stand here.
Eva. But that is not the question; the question is concerning your marriage.
Shal. Ay, there's the point, sir.
Eva. Marry, is it; the very point of it; to mistress Anne Page.
Slen. Why, if it be so, I will marry her, upon any
Eva. 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?
Shal. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her? Slen. I hope, sir,-I will do, as it shall become one that would do reason.
Eva. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies, you must speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires towards her.
Shal. That you must: will you, upon good dowry, marry her?
Slen. I will do a greater thing than that, upon your request, cousin, in any reason.
Shal. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet cos; what I do, is to pleasure you, coz: Can you love
Slen. 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.
Eva. It is a fery discretion answer; save, the faul' is in the 'ort dissolutely: the 'ort is, according to our meaning, resolutely;-his meaning is good
Shal. Ay, I think my cousin meant well.
Slen. Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la.
Re-enter Anne Page.
Shal. Here conies fair mistress Anne:-Would I were young, for your sake, mistress Anne!
Anne. The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worships' company.
Shal. I will wait on him, fair mistress Anne. Eva. Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.
[Exeunt Shallow and Sir H. Evans. Anne. Will't please your worship to come in, sir? Slen. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well.
Anne. The diuner attends you, sir.
Slen. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth: Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go, wait upon my cousin Shallow: [Erit Simple.] A justice of peace sometime may be beholden 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. I may not go in without your worship: they will not sit, till you come.
Slen. I'faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much as though I did.
Anne. I pray you, sir, walk in.
Slen. I had rather walk here, I thank you: I bruised my shin the 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. I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.
Slen. 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?
Three set-to's, bouts, or hits.