Enter Justice Shallow, Slender, and Sir Hugh Evans
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,
In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace and
malapropism for ‘quorum’ [part of a legal formula for installing the number of justices needed to constitute a bench]
Ay, cousin Slender, and Custalorum.
Ay, and Ratolorum too. And a gentleman born,
master parson, who writes himself Armigero – in any
bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, Armigero.
Ay, that I do, and have done any time these
three hundred years.
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.
It is an old coat.
The dozen white louses do become an old coat well.
It agrees well, passant. It is a familiar beast to man, and
[heraldry] walking, with three paws on the ground and one raised
The luce is the fresh fish. The salt fish is an
I may quarter, coz?
You may, by marrying.
It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.
Not a whit.
Yes, py'r lady. If he has a quarter of your coat,
there is but three skirts for yourself, in my simple
skirt (n.) 1
one of four pieces of cloth forming the lower part of a long coat
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 compromises between you.
The Council shall hear it. It is a riot.
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.
Ha! O'my life, if I were young again, the
sword should end it.
It is petter that friends is the swort, and end it.
pronunciation of ‘sword’ or ‘sort’ [= outcome]
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.
Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and
speaks small like a woman?
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
Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred
Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.
I know the young gentlewoman. She has good
Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is goot
Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is
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. (He knocks) What, ho! Got pless your
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.
I am glad to see your worships well. I thank you
for my venison, Master 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.
Sir, I thank you.
Sir, I thank you. By yea and no, I do.
I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.
How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard
say he was outrun on Cotsall.
It could not be judged, sir.
You'll not confess. You'll not confess.
That he will not. 'Tis your fault, 'tis your
fault. 'Tis a good dog.
A cur, sir.
Sir, he's a good dog and a fair dog. Can there
be more said? He is good and fair. Is Sir John Falstaff
Sir, he is within; and I would I could do a good
office between you.
It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
He hath wronged me, Master Page.
Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.
If it be confessed, it is not redressed. 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.
Here comes Sir John.
Enter Sir John Falstaff, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol
Now, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me
to the King?
Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my
deer, and broke open my lodge.
But not kissed your keeper's daughter?
Tut, a pin! This shall be answered.
pin (n.) 1
trifle, triviality, insignificant amount
I will answer it straight. I have done all this.
That is now answered.
The Council shall know this.
'Twere better for you if it were known in
counsel. You'll be laughed at.
Pauca verba, Sir John, goot worts.
Good worts? Good cabbage! – Slender, I
wort (n.) 2
[pun on Evans' pronunciation of ‘word’] cabbage
broke your head. What matter have you against me?
Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against
you, and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph,
Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to the tavern, and
made me drunk, and afterward picked my pocket.
You Banbury cheese!
Ay, it is no matter.
How now, Mephostophilus?
Ay, it is no matter.
Slice, I say. Pauca, pauca. Slice! That's my humour.
humour (n.) 1
mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids]
Where's Simple, my man? Can you tell,
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.
We three to hear it, and end it between them.
Fery goot. I will make a prief of it in my notebook,
and we will afterwards 'ork upon the cause with as great
discreetly as we can.
He hears with ears.
The tevil and his tam! What phrase is this, ‘He
hears with ear'? Why, it is affectations.
Pistol, did you pick Master Slender's purse?
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 shillings and twopence
apiece of Yed Miller, by these gloves.
Is this true, Pistol?
No, it is false, if it is a pickpurse.
Ha, thou mountain-foreigner! – Sir John and master mine,
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo.
sword [from Bilbao, noted for its flexibility]
Word of denial in thy labras here!
Word of denial! Froth and scum, thou liest!
(pointing to Nym)
By these gloves, then 'twas he.
Be advised, sir, and pass good humours. I will say
humour (n.) 1
mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids]
‘ Marry trap with you,’ if you run the nuthook's humour
on me. That is the very note of it.
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.
What say you, Scarlet and John?
Why, sir, for my part, I say the gentleman
had drunk himself out of his five sentences.
It is his ‘ five senses.’ Fie, what the ignorance is!
And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered.
And so conclusions passed the careers.
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.
So Got 'udge me, that is a virtuous mind.
You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen.
You hear it.
Enter Anne Page, with wine, Mistress Ford, and
Nay, daughter, carry the wine in – we'll drink
Exit Anne Page
O heaven! This is Mistress Anne Page.
How now, Mistress Ford?
Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well
met. By your leave, good mistress.
He kisses her
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 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?
Book of Riddles? Why, did you not lend it to
Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas last, a fortnight
Enter Shallow and Evans
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?
Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable. If it be
so, I shall do that that is reason.
Nay, but understand me.
So I do, sir.
Give ear to his motions. Master Slender, I will
description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.
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.
But that is not the question. The question is
concerning your marriage.
Ay, there's the point, sir.
Marry, is it, the very point of it – to Mistress Anne
Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any
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
Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?
I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that
would do reason.
Nay, Got's lords and his ladies! You must speak
possitable, if you can carry her your desires towards
That you must. Will you, upon good dowry,
I will do a greater thing than that, upon your
request, cousin, in any reason.
Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz –
what I do is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the maid?
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 content. But if
you say ‘ Marry her,’ I will marry her – that I am freely
dissolved, and dissolutely.
It is a fery discretion answer, save the fall is in the
'ord ‘ dissolutely.’ The 'ort is, according to our meaning,
‘ resolutely.’ His meaning is good.
Ay, I think my cousin meant well.
Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la!
Enter Anne Page
Here comes fair Mistress Anne. Would I
were young for your sake, Mistress Anne!
The dinner is on the table. My father desires your
I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.
'Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the
Exeunt Shallow and Evans
Will't please your worship to come in, sir?
No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily. I am very
The dinner attends you, sir.
I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth.
(To Simple) Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait
upon my cousin Shallow.
A justice of peace sometime 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.
I may not go in without your worship – they will
not sit till you come.
I'faith, I'll eat nothing. I thank you as much as
though I did.
I pray you, sir, walk in.
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
I think there are, sir. I heard them talked of.
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?
Ay, indeed, sir.
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-favoured rough
Come, gentle Master Slender, come. We stay for
I'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.
By cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! Come,
Nay, pray you lead the way.
Come on, sir.
Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.
Not I, sir. Pray you, keep on.
Truly, I will not go first, truly, la! I will not do
you that wrong.
I pray you, sir.
I'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome.
You do yourself wrong, indeed, la!