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This Play was written in the Author's best and ripest Years after Henry the Fourth, by • the Command of Queen Elizabeth. There is a Tradition, that it was composed at a Fortnight's Warning: but that must be meant only of the first imperfect Sketch of this Comedy, which is yet extant in an old Quarto Edition, printed in 1619. The other, which follows it, was altered and improved by the Author in almost every Speech.



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Enter Iustice Shallow, Sir Hugh, Master Page, and Slender.



ERE talke to me, Ile make a star-chamber matter

of it.
The councell shall know it.

Page. Nay good M. Shallow be perswaded by me. Slen. Nay surely my vnckle shall not put it

Sir Hugh. Will you not heare reasons M. Slender ? You should heare reasons.

Shal. Though he be a knight, he shall not thinke to carry

it fo away

Master Page I will not be wronged. For you
Sir, I loue you, and for my cousin,
He comes to looke vpon your daughter.

Page. And heeres my hand, and if my daughter
Like him so well as 1, wee'l quickly haue't a match:
In the meane time let me entreate you to foiourne

E 4


Heere a while: and on my life
Ile vndertake to make you friends.

Sir Hugh. I pray you M. Shallow let it be fo.
The matter is put to arbitarments.
The first man is master Page, videlicet master Page.
The second is my selfe, videlicet my selfe.
The third and last man, is mine Host of the Garter.

Enter Sir Iohn Falstaffe, Pistoll, Bardolffe, and Nym

Heere is sir Iohn himselfe now, looke you.

Fal. Now M. Shallow, you'l complaine of me to the councell, I heare.

Shal. Sir Iohn, fir lohn, you haue hurt my keeper,
Kild my dogs, stolne my deere.

Fal. But not kissed your keepers daughter.
Shal. Well, this shall be answered.

Fal. Ile answer it strait. I haue done all this.
This is now answered.

Shal. Well, the councell shall know it.

Fal. Twere better for you twere knowne in councell. You'l be laught at.

Sir Hugh, Good vrdes fiz lohn, good vrdes.

Fal. Good-vrdes, good cabedge
Slender I brake your head,
What matter haue you against me?

Slen. I haue matter in my head against you and your cogging companions, Pistoll and Nym. They carried me to the tauerne, and made me drunke, and afterward pickt my pocket.

Fal. What say you to this Pistoll, did you picke master Slenders purse, Pistoll?

Slen. I by this handkercher did he. Two faire Thouelboord shillings, beside feuen-groats in mill fixpences. Fal. What say you to this, Pistoll?


Pift. Sir Iohn and master mine, I combate craue
Of this same laten bilbo. I do retort the lie
Euen in thy gorge, thy gorge, thy gorge.

Slen. By this light it was he then.

Nym. Sir, my honor is not for many words,
But if you run bace humors of me,
I will say marry trap. And there's the humor of it.

Fal. You heare these matters denide gentlemen,
You heare it.

Enter Mistrese Ford, Mistresse Page, and her daughter Anne.

Pag. No more now,
I thinke it be almost dinner time,

wife is come to meete vs.
Fal. Mistresse Foord, I think your name is,
If I mistake not.

Sir Iohn kisses her. Mis: For. Your mistake fir is nothing but in the mistresse. But

my husbands name is Foord sir.
Fal. I shall desire your more acquaintance.
The like of you, good mistris Page.

Mis. Page. With all my heart fir lohn.
Come husband, will you goe e?
Dinner staies for vs.
Pa. With all my heart, come along gentlemen.

Exit all but Slender and Mistrelle Anne.
Anne. Now forsooth, why do you stay me?
What would you with me?

Slen. Nay, for my owne part, I would little or nothing with you. I loue you well, and my vnckle can tell you how my liuing stands.

And if you can loue me, why so. If not, why then happy man bee his dole.

Anne. You say well, master Slender. But first you must giue me leaue


To be acquainted with your humor,
And afterward to loue you if I can.

Slen. Why by God there, neuer a man in Christendome can desire more.

What, haue you beares in your towne, mistresse Anne, your dogs barke fo?

Anne. I cannot tell master Slender, I think there be.

Slen. Ha, how fay you? I warrant y'are afeared of a beare let loose, are you not?

Anne. Yes trust me.

Slen. Now that's meate and drinke to me,
Ile run to a beare, and take her by the muzzle,
You neuer saw the like.
But indeed I cannot blame

For they are maruellous rough things.

Anne. Will you go into dinner, master Slender ?
The meate stayes for you.

Slen. No faith, not I, I thanke you,
I cannot abide the smell of hot meate
Nere since I broke my shin. Ile tell you how it came
By my troth. A fencer and I plaid three venies
For a dish of stewd pruines, and I with my ward
Defending my head, he hit my shia: yes faith.

Enter Master Page.
Page. Come, good master Slender, dinner staies for you.
Slen. I can eate no meate I thanke you.
Page. You shall not chuse, I say.

Slen. Ile follow you sir, pray leade the way.
Nay by God mistris Anne, you shall go first,
I haue more manners then so, I hope.
Anne. Well fir, I will not be troublesome.

Exit omnes.
Enter Sir Hugh and Simple from dinner.
Sir Hugh. Harke you Simple, pray you beare this letter
to doctor Cayus house, the French doctor. He is twell vp


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