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O Proteus, let this habit make thee blush !
Be thou ashamed that I have took upon me
Such an immodest raiment, if shame live
In a disguise of love :
It is the lesser blot, modesty finds,
Women to change their shapes than men their minds.
Pro. Than men their minds ! 'tis true. 0 heaven! were

110
But constant, he were perfect. That one error
Fills him with faults; makes him run through all the sins :
Inconstancy falls off ere it begins.
What is in Silvia's face, but I may spy
More fresh in Julia's with a constant eye?

Val. ('ome, come, a hand from either :
Let me be blest to make this happy close;
"Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.

Pro. Bear witness, Heaven, I have my wish for ever,
Jul. And I mine.

120 Enter Outlaws, with DUKE and THURIO. Outlaus. A prize, a prize, a prize!

Val. Forbear, forbear, I say ! it is my lord the duke.
Your grace is welcome to a man disgraced,
Banished Valentine.
Duke.

Sir Valentine !
Thu. Yonder is Silvia ; and Silvia's mine.

Val. Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy death ;
Come not within the measure of my wrath ;
Do not name Silvia thine ; if once again,
+ Milano shall not hold thee. Here she stands :
Take but possession of her with a touch :

130 I dare thee but to breathe upon my love.

T'hu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I:
I hold him but a fool that will endanger
His body for a girl that loves him not :
I claim her not, and therefore she is thine.

Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
To make such means for her as thou hast done
And leave her on such slight conditions.
Now, by the lionour of my ancestry,
I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine,

140
And think thee worthy of an empress' love :
Know then, I here forget all former griefs,
Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again,
Plead a new state in thy unrival'd merit,
To which I thus subscribe : Sir Valentine,
Thou art a gentleman and well derived ;

Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserved her.

Val. I thank your grace; the gift hath made me happy.
I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake,
To grant one boon that I shall ask of you.

150 Duke. I grant it, for thine own, whate'er it be.

Val. These banish'd men that I have kept withal
Are men endued with worthy qualities :
Forgive them what they have committed here
And let them be recall'd from their exile :
They are reformed, civil, full of good
And fit for great employment, worthy lord.

Duke. Thou hast prevail'd; I pardon them and thee :
Dispose of them as thou know'st their deserts.
Come, let us go : we will include all jars

160 With triumphs, mirth and rare solemnity.

Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bola
With our discourse to make your grace to smile.
What think you of this page, my lord ?
Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him ; he blushes.
Val. I warrant you, my lord, more grace than boy.
Duke. What mean you by that saying?

Val. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along,
That you will wonder what hath fortuned.
Come, Proteus; 'tis your penance but to hear

170
The story of your loves discovered :
That done, our day of marriage shall be yours;
One feast, one house, one mutual happiness. [Exeunt.

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THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

SIR JOHN FALSTAFF.

ROBIN, page to Falstaff. FENTON, a gentleman.

SIMPLE, servant to Slender.
SHALLOW, a country justice. RUGBY, scrvant to Doctor Caius.
SLENDER, cousin to Shallow.
FORD, (two gentlemen dwelling at

MISTRESS FORD.
PAGE,
Windsor.

MISTRESS PAGE.
WILLIAM PAGE, a boy, son to Page.

ANNE PAGE, her daughter.
Sir Hugh Evans, a Welsh parson,
Doctor Caius, a French physician.

MISTRESS QUICKLY,servant to Doc.

tor Caius.
Host of the Garter Inn.
BARDOLPH,
PISTOL,

sharpers attending on Servants to Page, Ford, &c.

Falstaff. NYM,

SCENE : Windsor, and the neighbourhood.

ACT I.

SCENE I. Windsor. Before PAGE's house. Enter JUSTICE SHALLOW, SLENDER, and SIR HUGH Evans.

Shal. Sir Hugh, persuade me not ; I will make a Starchamber matter of it : if he were twenty Sir John Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, esquire.

Slen. In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace and (oram.

Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and “Custalorum."

Slen. Ay, and "Rato-lorum” too ; and a gentleman born, master parson ; who writes himself “. Armigero,” in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, “Armigero."

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

Slen. 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.

Shal. It is an old coat.

Ecans. The dozen white louses do become an old coat well; it agrees well, passant ; it is a familiar beast to man, and significs love.

21

Sha. The luce is the fresh fish ; the salt fish is an old coat.

Slen. I may quarter, coz.
Shal. You may, by marrying
Ecans. It is marrying indeed, if he quarter it.
Shal. Not a whit.

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 between you.

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

Ecans. 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.

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

41 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:

Slen. Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks small like a woman.

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,

Slen. her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound? Erans. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny. Slen. I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.

Evans. Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts.

Shal. Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff there?

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

Page. [Within] Who's there?

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Enter PAGE. Evans. Here is Got's plessing, and your friend, and Jus. tice 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 thank you always with my heart, Ja! with my heart.

Page. Sir, I thank you.
Shul. Sir, I thank you ; by yea and no, I do.
Page. I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.

90 Slen. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say he was outrun on Cotsall.

Page. It could not be judged, sir.
Slen. You'll not confess, you'll not confess.

Shal. That le will not. "Tis your fault, 'tis your fault; 'tis a good dog.

Page. cur, sir.

Shal. Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair deg: can there be more said ? le 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.

Evans. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
Shal. He hathi wronged me, Master Page.
Page. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.

Shal. If it be confessed, it is not redressed : is not that so, Master Page? He liath wronged me; indeed he hath ; at a word, he hath, believe me: Robert Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wronged.

110 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 kissed your keeper's daughter?
Shal. Tut, a pin ! this shall be answered.
Fal. I will answer it straight; I have done all this.
That is now answered.
Shal. The council shall know this.

120 l'al. "Twere better for you if it were known in counsel : you'll be laughed at.

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