The Merry Wives of Windsor - Entire Play
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Navigate this workThe Merry Wives of Windsor - Entire Play
In The Merry Wives of Windsor, fat, disreputable Sir John Falstaff pursues two housewives, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, who outwit and humiliate him instead. Meanwhile, three suitors seek the hand of Anne Page, Mistress Page’s daughter.
Falstaff hopes to seduce the wives so he can gain access to their husbands’ wealth. Ford learns of Falstaff’s approaches and is consumed by jealousy. In disguise, he befriends Falstaff to learn about Mistress Ford’s behavior. The wives, however, trick Falstaff and Ford. As Falstaff visits Mistress Ford, Mistress Page announces that Ford is coming. Falstaff hides in a basket of dirty laundry and is thrown in the river.
Another visit ends similarly: Falstaff disguises himself as “the fat woman of Brentford,” whom Ford hates. Ford beats “her” in anger. Finally, Falstaff is lured to a comical nighttime rendezvous where all of Windsor comes together, Falstaff is publicly humiliated, and Ford admits his folly. Two of Anne Page’s suitors elope with boys in disguise while Anne marries her chosen suitor, Fenton.
SHALLOW 0001 Sir Hugh, persuade me not. I will make a
0002 Star-Chamber matter of it. If he were twenty Sir
0003 John Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow,
SLENDER 0005 5In the county of Gloucester, Justice of Peace
0006 and Coram.
SHALLOW 0007 Ay, Cousin Slender, and Custalorum.
SLENDER 0008 Ay, and Ratolorum too; and a gentleman born,
0009 Master Parson, who writes himself “Armigero”
0010 10 in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation—
SHALLOW 0012 Ay, that I do, and have done any time these
0013 three hundred years.
SLENDER 0014 All his successors gone before him hath
0015 15 done ’t, and all his ancestors that come after him
0016 may. They may give the dozen white luces in their
SHALLOW 0018 It is an old coat.
SIR HUGH 0019 The dozen white louses do become an old
0020 20 coat well. It agrees well, passant. It is a familiar
0021 beast to man and signifies love.
SHALLOW 0022 The luce is the fresh fish. The salt fish is an
0023 old coat.
SLENDER 0024 I may quarter, coz.
SIR HUGH 0026 It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.
SHALLOW 0027 Not a whit.
SIR HUGH 0028 Yes, py ’r Lady. If he has a quarter of your
0029 coat, there is but three skirts for yourself, in my
0030 30 simple conjectures. But that is all one. If Sir John
0031 Falstaff have committed disparagements unto you,
0032 I am of the Church, and will be glad to do my
0033 benevolence to make atonements and compromises
0034 between you.
SHALLOW 0035 35The Council shall hear it; it is a riot.
SIR HUGH 0036 It is not meet the Council hear a riot. There
0037 is no fear of Got in a riot. The Council, look you,
0038 shall desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear
0039 a riot. Take your visaments in that.
SHALLOW 0040 40Ha! O’ my life, if I were young again, the
0041 sword should end it.
SIR HUGH 0042 It is petter that friends is the sword, and end
0043 it. And there is also another device in my prain,
0044 which peradventure prings goot discretions with
0045 45 it. There is Anne Page, which is daughter to Master
0046 Thomas Page, which is pretty virginity.
SLENDER 0047 Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair
0048 and speaks small like a woman?
SIR HUGH 0049 It is that fery person for all the ’orld, as just
0050 50 as you will desire. And seven hundred pounds of
0051 moneys, and gold, and silver, is her grandsire upon
0052 his death’s-bed (Got deliver to a joyful resurrections!)
0053 give, when she is able to overtake seventeen
0054 years old. It were a goot motion if we leave our
0055 55 pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage between
0056 Master Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.
SLENDER 0057 Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred
SIR HUGH 0059 Ay, and her father is make her a petter
0060 60 penny.
0062 good gifts.
SIR HUGH 0063 Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is
0064 goot gifts.
SHALLOW 0065 65Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff
SIR HUGH 0067 Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar as I
0068 do despise one that is false, or as I despise one that
0069 is not true. The knight Sir John is there, and I beseech
0070 70 you be ruled by your well-willers. I will peat
0071 the door for Master Page. ⌜He knocks.⌝ What ho?
0072 Got pless your house here.
PAGE, ⌜within⌝ 0073 Who’s there?
SIR HUGH 0074 Here is Got’s plessing, and your friend, and
0075 75 Justice Shallow, and here young Master Slender,
0076 that peradventures shall tell you another tale, if
0077 matters grow to your likings.
Enter Master Page.
PAGE 0078 I am glad to see your Worships well. I thank you
0079 for my venison, Master Shallow.
SHALLOW 0080 80Master Page, I am glad to see you. Much
0081 good do it your good heart! I wished your venison
0082 better; it was ill killed. How doth good Mistress
0083 Page? And I thank you always with my heart, la,
0084 with my heart.
PAGE 0085 85Sir, I thank you.
SHALLOW 0086 Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.
PAGE 0087 I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.
SLENDER 0088 How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I
0089 heard say he was outrun on Cotsall.
PAGE 0090 90It could not be judged, sir.
SLENDER 0091 You’ll not confess, you’ll not confess.
SHALLOW 0092 That he will not. ’Tis your fault, ’tis your
0093 fault. ’Tis a good dog.
PAGE 0094 A cur, sir.
0096 be more said? He is good and fair. Is Sir John Falstaff
PAGE 0098 Sir, he is within, and I would I could do a good
0099 office between you.
SIR HUGH 0100 100It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
SHALLOW 0101 He hath wronged me, Master Page.
PAGE 0102 Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.
SHALLOW 0103 If it be confessed, it is not redressed. Is not
0104 that so, Master Page? He hath wronged me, indeed
0105 105 he hath; at a word, he hath. Believe me. Robert
0106 Shallow, Esquire, saith he is wronged.
Enter ⌜Sir John⌝ Falstaff, Bardolph, Nym, ⌜and⌝ Pistol.
PAGE 0107 Here comes Sir John.
FALSTAFF 0108 Now, Master Shallow, you’ll complain of me
0109 to the King?
SHALLOW 0110 110Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my
0111 deer, and broke open my lodge.
FALSTAFF 0112 But not kissed your keeper’s daughter.
SHALLOW 0113 Tut, a pin. This shall be answered.
FALSTAFF 0114 I will answer it straight: I have done all this.
0115 115 That is now answered.
SHALLOW 0116 The Council shall know this.
FALSTAFF 0117 ’Twere better for you if it were known in
0118 counsel. You’ll be laughed at.
SIR HUGH 0119 Pauca verba, Sir John, good worts.
FALSTAFF 0120 120Good worts? Good cabbage!—Slender, I
0121 broke your head. What matter have you against
SLENDER 0123 Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against
0124 you and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph,
0125 125 Nym, and Pistol.
BARDOLPH 0126 You Banbury cheese!
SLENDER 0127 Ay, it is no matter.
PISTOL 0128 How now, Mephostophilus?
NYM 0130 130Slice, I say! Pauca, pauca. Slice, that’s my humor.
SLENDER, ⌜(to Shallow)⌝ 0131 Where’s Simple, my man?
0132 Can you tell, cousin?
SIR HUGH 0133 Peace, I pray you. Now let us understand;
0134 there is three umpires in this matter, as I understand:
0135 135 that is, Master Page (fidelicet Master Page);
0136 and there is myself (fidelicet myself); and the three
0137 party is, lastly and finally, mine Host of the Garter.
PAGE 0138 We three to hear it and end it between them.
SIR HUGH 0139 Fery goot. I will make a prief of it in my
0140 140 notebook, and we will afterwards ’ork upon the
0141 cause with as great discreetly as we can.
FALSTAFF 0142 Pistol.
PISTOL 0143 He hears with ears.
SIR HUGH 0144 The tevil and his tam! What phrase is this,
0145 145 “He hears with ear”? Why, it is affectations.
FALSTAFF 0146 Pistol, did you pick Master Slender’s purse?
SLENDER 0147 Ay, by these gloves, did he—or I would I
0148 might never come in mine own great chamber
0149 again else—of seven groats in mill-sixpences,
0150 150 and two Edward shovel-boards that cost me two
0151 shilling and twopence apiece of Yed Miller, by
0152 these gloves.
FALSTAFF 0153 Is this true, Pistol?
SIR HUGH 0154 No, it is false, if it is a pickpurse.
PISTOL 0155 155Ha, thou mountain foreigner!—Sir John and
0156 master mine, I combat challenge of this latten
0157 bilbo.—Word of denial in thy labras here! Word of
0158 denial! Froth and scum, thou liest.
SLENDER, ⌜indicating Nym⌝ 0159 By these gloves, then ’twas
0160 160 he.
NYM 0161 Be avised, sir, and pass good humors. I will say
0162 “marry trap with you” if you run the nuthook’s
0163 humor on me. That is the very note of it.
0165 165 For, though I cannot remember what I did when
0166 you made me drunk, yet I am not altogether an
FALSTAFF 0168 What say you, Scarlet and John?
BARDOLPH 0169 Why, sir, for my part, I say the gentleman
0170 170 had drunk himself out of his five sentences.
SIR HUGH 0171 It is “his five senses.” Fie, what the ignorance
BARDOLPH, ⌜to Falstaff⌝ 0173 And being fap, sir, was, as
0174 they say, cashiered. And so conclusions passed the
0175 175 careers.
SLENDER 0176 Ay, you spake in Latin then too. But ’tis no
0177 matter. I’ll ne’er be drunk whilst I live again but in
0178 honest, civil, godly company, for this trick. If I be
0179 drunk, I’ll be drunk with those that have the fear of
0180 180 God, and not with drunken knaves.
SIR HUGH 0181 So Got ’udge me, that is a virtuous mind.
FALSTAFF 0182 You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen.
0183 You hear it.
Enter Anne Page ⌜with wine.⌝
PAGE 0184 Nay, daughter, carry the wine in. We’ll drink
0185 185 within.⌜Anne Page exits.⌝
SLENDER 0186 O heaven, this is Mistress Anne Page.
Enter Mistress Ford ⌜and⌝ Mistress Page.
PAGE 0187 How now, Mistress Ford?
FALSTAFF 0188 Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well
0189 met. By your leave, good mistress.⌜He kisses her.⌝
PAGE 0190 190Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome.—Come, we
0191 have a hot venison pasty to dinner. Come, gentlemen,
0192 I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.
⌜All but Slender, Shallow, and Sir Hugh exit.⌝
SLENDER 0193 I had rather than forty shillings I had my
0194 book of Songs and Sonnets here!
0195 195 How now, Simple? Where have you been? I must
0196 wait on myself, must I? You have not the Book of
0197 Riddles about you, have you?
SIMPLE 0198 Book of Riddles? Why, did you not lend it to
0199 Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas last, a fortnight
0200 200 afore Michaelmas?
SHALLOW, ⌜to Slender⌝ 0201 Come, coz; come, coz. We stay
0202 for you. A word with you, coz. Marry, this, coz:
0203 there is, as ’twere, a tender, a kind of tender, made
0204 afar off by Sir Hugh here. Do you understand me?
SLENDER 0205 205Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable. If it be
0206 so, I shall do that that is reason.
SHALLOW 0207 Nay, but understand me.
SLENDER 0208 So I do, sir.
SIR HUGH 0209 Give ear to his motions, Master Slender. I
0210 210 will description the matter to you, if you be capacity
0211 of it.
SLENDER 0212 Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says. I
0213 pray you, pardon me. He’s a Justice of Peace in his
0214 country, simple though I stand here.
SIR HUGH 0215 215But that is not the question. The question is
0216 concerning your marriage.
SHALLOW 0217 Ay, there’s the point, sir.
SIR HUGH 0218 Marry, is it, the very point of it—to Mistress
0219 Anne Page.
SLENDER 0220 220Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any
0221 reasonable demands.
SIR HUGH 0222 But can you affection the ’oman? Let us command
0223 to know that of your mouth, or of your lips;
0224 for divers philosophers hold that the lips is parcel of
0225 225 the mouth. Therefore, precisely, can you carry your
0226 good will to the maid?
SHALLOW 0227 Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?
0229 that would do reason.
SIR HUGH 0230 230Nay, Got’s lords and His ladies! You must
0231 speak positable, if you can carry her your desires
0232 towards her.
SHALLOW 0233 That you must. Will you, upon good dowry,
0234 marry her?
SLENDER 0235 235I will do a greater thing than that, upon your
0236 request, cousin, in any reason.
SHALLOW 0237 Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz.
0238 What I do is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the
SLENDER 0240 240I will marry her, sir, at your request. But if
0241 there be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven
0242 may decrease it upon better acquaintance, when
0243 we are married and have more occasion to know
0244 one another. I hope upon familiarity will grow
0245 245 more content. But if you say “Marry her,” I will
0246 marry her. That I am freely dissolved, and
SIR HUGH 0248 It is a fery discretion answer, save the fall is
0249 in the ’ord “dissolutely.” The ’ort is, according to
0250 250 our meaning, “resolutely.” His meaning is good.
SHALLOW 0251 Ay, I think my cousin meant well.
SLENDER 0252 Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la!
⌜Enter Anne Page.⌝
SHALLOW 0253 Here comes fair Mistress Anne.—Would I
0254 were young for your sake, Mistress Anne.
ANNE 0255 255The dinner is on the table. My father desires
0256 your Worships’ company.
SHALLOW 0257 I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.
SIR HUGH 0258 ’Od’s plessèd will, I will not be absence at
0259 the grace.⌜Sir Hugh and Shallow exit.⌝
ANNE, ⌜to Slender⌝ 0260 260Will ’t please your Worship to come
0261 in, sir?
ANNE 0264 The dinner attends you, sir.
SLENDER 0265 265I am not ahungry, I thank you, forsooth. ⌜(To
Simple.)⌝ 0266 Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go
0267 wait upon my cousin Shallow. ⌜(Simple exits.)⌝ A
0268 Justice of Peace sometime may be beholding to his
0269 friend for a man. I keep but three men and a boy
0270 270 yet, till my mother be dead. But what though? Yet
0271 I live like a poor gentleman born.
ANNE 0272 I may not go in without your Worship. They will
0273 not sit till you come.
SLENDER 0274 I’ faith, I’ll eat nothing. I thank you as much
0275 275 as though I did.
ANNE 0276 I pray you, sir, walk in.
SLENDER 0277 I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruised
0278 my shin th’ other day with playing at sword and
0279 dagger with a master of fence—three veneys for a
0280 280 dish of stewed prunes—and, by my troth, I cannot
0281 abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your
0282 dogs bark so? Be there bears i’ th’ town?
ANNE 0283 I think there are, sir. I heard them talked of.
SLENDER 0284 I love the sport well, but I shall as soon quarrel
0285 285 at it as any man in England. You are afraid if
0286 you see the bear loose, are you not?
ANNE 0287 Ay, indeed, sir.
SLENDER 0288 That’s meat and drink to me, now. I have
0289 seen Sackerson loose twenty times, and have taken
0290 290 him by the chain. But, I warrant you, the women
0291 have so cried and shrieked at it that it passed. But
0292 women, indeed, cannot abide ’em; they are very ill-favored
0293 rough things.
PAGE 0294 Come, gentle Master Slender, come. We stay for
0295 295 you.
PAGE 0297 By cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! Come,
SLENDER 0299 Nay, pray you, lead the way.
PAGE 0300 300Come on, sir.
SLENDER 0301 Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.
ANNE 0302 Not I, sir. Pray you, keep on.
SLENDER 0303 Truly, I will not go first, truly, la! I will not do
0304 you that wrong.
ANNE 0305 305I pray you, sir.
SLENDER 0306 I’ll rather be unmannerly than troublesome.
0307 You do yourself wrong, indeed, la!
SIR HUGH 0308 Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Caius’
0309 house which is the way. And there dwells one Mistress
0310 Quickly, which is in the manner of his nurse,
0311 or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry—his
0312 5 washer and his wringer.
SIMPLE 0313 Well, sir.
SIR HUGH 0314 Nay, it is petter yet. Give her this letter
0315 ⌜(handing him a paper),⌝ for it is a ’oman that altogether’s
0316 acquaintance with Mistress Anne Page;
0317 10 and the letter is to desire and require her to solicit
0318 your master’s desires to Mistress Anne Page. I pray
0319 you, be gone. I will make an end of my dinner;
0320 there’s pippins and cheese to come.
⌜and Robin, Falstaff’s⌝ Page.
FALSTAFF 0321 Mine Host of the Garter!
HOST 0322 What says my bullyrook? Speak scholarly and
FALSTAFF 0324 Truly, mine Host, I must turn away some of
0325 5 my followers.
HOST 0326 Discard, bully Hercules, cashier. Let them wag;
0327 trot, trot.
FALSTAFF 0328 I sit at ten pounds a week.
HOST 0329 Thou ’rt an emperor—Caesar, Keiser, and
0330 10 Pheazar. I will entertain Bardolph. He shall draw,
0331 he shall tap. Said I well, bully Hector?
FALSTAFF 0332 Do so, good mine Host.
HOST 0333 I have spoke. Let him follow.—Let me see thee
0334 froth and ⌜lime.⌝ I am at a word. Follow.
FALSTAFF 0335 15Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good
0336 trade. An old cloak makes a new jerkin, a withered
0337 servingman a fresh tapster. Go. Adieu.
BARDOLPH 0338 It is a life that I have desired. I will thrive.
PISTOL 0339 O base Hungarian wight, wilt thou the spigot
0340 20 wield?⌜Bardolph exits.⌝
NYM 0341 He was gotten in drink. Is not the humor
FALSTAFF 0343 I am glad I am so acquit of this tinderbox.
0344 His thefts were too open. His filching was like an
0345 25 unskillful singer; he kept not time.
NYM 0346 The good humor is to steal at a minute’s rest.
PISTOL 0347 “Convey,” the wise it call. “Steal”? Foh, a fico
0348 for the phrase!
FALSTAFF 0349 Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
PISTOL 0350 30Why, then, let kibes ensue.
FALSTAFF 0351 There is no remedy. I must cony-catch, I
0352 must shift.
FALSTAFF 0354 Which of you know Ford of this town?
PISTOL 0355 35I ken the wight. He is of substance good.
FALSTAFF 0356 My honest lads, I will tell you what I am
PISTOL 0358 Two yards and more.
FALSTAFF 0359 No quips now, Pistol. Indeed, I am in the
0360 40 waist two yards about, but I am now about no
0361 waste; I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make
0362 love to Ford’s wife. I spy entertainment in her. She
0363 discourses; she carves; she gives the leer of invitation.
0364 I can construe the action of her familiar style;
0365 45 and the hardest voice of her behavior, to be Englished
0366 rightly, is “I am Sir John Falstaff’s.”
PISTOL, ⌜aside to Nym⌝ 0367 He hath studied her will and
0368 translated her will—out of honesty into English.
NYM, ⌜aside to Pistol⌝ 0369 The anchor is deep. Will that
0370 50 humor pass?
FALSTAFF 0371 Now, the report goes, she has all the rule of
0372 her husband’s purse. He hath a ⌜legion⌝ of angels.
PISTOL, ⌜aside to Nym⌝ 0373 As many devils entertain, and
0374 “To her, boy,” say I.
NYM, ⌜aside to Pistol⌝ 0375 55The humor rises; it is good.
0376 Humor me the angels.
FALSTAFF, ⌜showing two papers⌝ 0377 I have writ me here a
0378 letter to her; and here another to Page’s wife, who
0379 even now gave me good eyes too, examined my
0380 60 parts with most judicious ⌜oeillades.⌝ Sometimes
0381 the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes
0382 my portly belly.
PISTOL, ⌜aside to Nym⌝ 0383 Then did the sun on dunghill
NYM, ⌜aside to Pistol⌝ 0385 65I thank thee for that humor.
FALSTAFF 0386 O, she did so course o’er my exteriors with
0387 such a greedy intention that the appetite of her
0388 eye did seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass.
0390 70 too; she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty.
0391 I will be cheaters to them both, and they shall be
0392 exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West
0393 Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go bear thou
0394 this letter to Mistress Page—and thou this to Mistress
0395 75 Ford. We will thrive, lads, we will thrive.
0396 Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,
0397 And by my side wear steel? Then Lucifer take all!
NYM, ⌜to Falstaff⌝ 0398 I will run no base humor. Here, take
0399 the humor-letter. I will keep the havior of
0400 80 reputation.
FALSTAFF, ⌜giving papers to Robin⌝
0401 Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly;
0402 Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.—
0403 Rogues, hence, avaunt, vanish like hailstones, go,
0404 Trudge, plod away i’ th’ hoof, seek shelter, pack!
0405 85 Falstaff will learn the ⌜humor⌝ of the age:
0406 French thrift, you rogues—myself and skirted page.
⌜Falstaff and Robin exit.⌝
0407 Let vultures gripe thy guts! For gourd and fullam
0409 And high and low beguiles the rich and poor.
0410 90 Tester I’ll have in pouch when thou shalt lack,
0411 Base Phrygian Turk!
NYM 0412 I have operations which be humors of revenge.
PISTOL 0413 Wilt thou revenge?
NYM 0414 By welkin and her star!
PISTOL 0415 95With wit or steel?
NYM 0416 With both the humors, I. I will discuss the
0417 humor of this love to Ford.
0418 And I to Page shall eke unfold
0419 How Falstaff, varlet vile,
0421 And his soft couch defile.
NYM 0422 My humor shall not cool. I will incense Ford to
0423 deal with poison. I will possess him with yellowness,
0424 for the revolt of mine is dangerous. That is
0425 105 my true humor.
PISTOL 0426 Thou art the Mars of malcontents. I second
0427 thee. Troop on.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0428 What, John Rugby! (Enter John
Rugby.) 0429 I pray thee, go to the casement and see if
0430 you can see my master, Master Doctor Caius, coming.
0431 If he do, i’ faith, and find anybody in the
0432 5 house, here will be an old abusing of God’s patience
0433 and the King’s English.
RUGBY 0434 I’ll go watch.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0435 Go, and we’ll have a posset for ’t
0436 soon at night, in faith, at the latter end of a seacoal
0437 10 fire. ⌜(Rugby exits.)⌝ An honest, willing, kind fellow
0438 as ever servant shall come in house withal; and, I
0439 warrant you, no telltale nor no breed-bate. His
0440 worst fault is that he is given to prayer. He is something
0441 peevish that way, but nobody but has his
0442 15 fault. But let that pass. Peter Simple you say your
0443 name is?
SIMPLE 0444 Ay, for fault of a better.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0445 And Master Slender’s your master?
SIMPLE 0446 Ay, forsooth.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0447 20Does he not wear a great round
0448 beard like a glover’s paring knife?
SIMPLE 0449 No, forsooth. He hath but a little wee face,
0450 with a little yellow beard, a Cain-colored beard.
SIMPLE 0452 25Ay, forsooth. But he is as tall a man of his
0453 hands as any is between this and his head. He hath
0454 fought with a warrener.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0455 How say you? O, I should remember
0456 him. Does he not hold up his head, as it were,
0457 30 and strut in his gait?
SIMPLE 0458 Yes, indeed, does he.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0459 Well, heaven send Anne Page no
0460 worse fortune! Tell Master Parson Evans I will do
0461 what I can for your master. Anne is a good girl, and
0462 35 I wish—
RUGBY 0463 Out, alas! Here comes my master.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0464 We shall all be shent.—Run in here,
0465 good young man. Go into this closet. He will not
0466 stay long. ⌜(Simple exits.)⌝ What, John Rugby!
0467 40 John! What, John, I say! Go, John, go enquire for
0468 my master. I doubt he be not well, that he comes
0469 not home.⌜Rugby exits.⌝
0470 ⌜(She sings.)⌝ And down, down, adown ’a, etc.
Enter Doctor Caius.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0471 Vat is you sing? I do not like dese toys.
0472 45 Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un boîtier
0473 vert, a box, a green-a box. Do intend vat I speak?
0474 A green-a box.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0475 Ay, forsooth. I’ll fetch it you.
0476 ⌜(Aside.)⌝ I am glad he went not in himself. If he
0477 50 had found the young man, he would have been
0478 horn-mad.⌜She exits.⌝
DOCTOR CAIUS 0479 Fe, fe, fe, fe! Ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je
0480 m’en vais à la cour—la grande affaire.
⌜Enter Mistress Quickly with a small box.⌝
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0481 Is it this, sir?
DOCTOR CAIUS 0482 55Oui, mets-le à mon pocket. Dépêche,
0483 quickly. Vere is dat knave Rugby?
RUGBY 0485 Here, sir.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0486 You are John Rugby, and you are Jack
0487 60 Rugby. Come, take-a your rapier, and come after
0488 my heel to the court.
RUGBY 0489 ’Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0490 By my trot, I tarry too long. Od’s
0491 me! Qu’ai-j’oublié? Dere is some simples in my
0492 65 closet dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave
0493 behind.⌜He exits.⌝
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0494 Ay me! He’ll find the young man
0495 there, and be mad!
⌜Enter Doctor Caius.⌝
DOCTOR CAIUS 0496 O diable, diable! Vat is in my closet? Villainy!
0497 70 Larron! ⌜(Pulling out Simple.)⌝ Rugby, my
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0499 Good master, be content.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0500 Wherefore shall I be content-a?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0501 The young man is an honest man.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0502 75What shall de honest man do in my
0503 closet? Dere is no honest man dat shall come in
0504 my closet.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0505 I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic.
0506 Hear the truth of it. He came of an errand to me
0507 80 from Parson Hugh.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0508 Vell?
SIMPLE 0509 Ay, forsooth. To desire her to—
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0510 Peace, I pray you.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0511 Peace-a your tongue.—Speak-a your
0512 85 tale.
SIMPLE 0513 To desire this honest gentlewoman, your
0514 maid, to speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page
0515 for my master in the way of marriage.
0517 90 put my finger in the fire, and need not.
DOCTOR CAIUS, ⌜to Simple⌝ 0518 Sir Hugh send-a you?—
0519 Rugby, baille me some paper.—Tarry you a little-a
⌜Rugby brings paper, and Doctor Caius writes.⌝
MISTRESS QUICKLY, ⌜aside to Simple⌝ 0521 I am glad he is so
0522 95 quiet. If he had been throughly moved, you should
0523 have heard him so loud and so melancholy. But
0524 notwithstanding, man, I’ll do you your master
0525 what good I can. And the very yea and the no is,
0526 the French doctor, my master—I may call him my
0527 100 master, look you, for I keep his house, and I wash,
0528 wring, brew, bake, scour, dress meat and drink,
0529 make the beds, and do all myself—
SIMPLE, ⌜aside to Quickly⌝ 0530 ’Tis a great charge to come
0531 under one body’s hand.
MISTRESS QUICKLY, ⌜aside to Simple⌝ 0532 105Are you advised o’
0533 that? You shall find it a great charge. And to be up
0534 early and down late. But notwithstanding—to tell
0535 you in your ear; I would have no words of it—my
0536 master himself is in love with Mistress Anne Page.
0537 110 But notwithstanding that, I know Anne’s mind.
0538 That’s neither here nor there.
DOCTOR CAIUS, ⌜handing paper to Simple⌝ 0539 You, jack’nape,
0540 give-a this letter to Sir Hugh. By gar, it is a
0541 shallenge. I will cut his troat in de park, and I will
0542 115 teach a scurvy jackanape priest to meddle or
0543 make. You may be gone. It is not good you tarry
0544 here.—By gar, I will cut all his two stones. By gar,
0545 he shall not have a stone to throw at his dog.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0546 Alas, he speaks but for his friend.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0547 120It is no matter-a ver dat. Do not you tell-a
0548 me dat I shall have Anne Page for myself? By gar, I
0549 vill kill de jack priest; and I have appointed mine
0551 I will myself have Anne Page.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0552 125Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall
0553 be well. We must give folks leave to prate. What
0554 the goodyear!
DOCTOR CAIUS 0555 Rugby, come to the court with me. ⌜(To
Mistress Quickly.)⌝ 0556 By gar, if I have not Anne Page,
0557 130 I shall turn your head out of my door.—Follow my
0558 heels, Rugby.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0559 You shall have Anne—
⌜Caius and Rugby exit.⌝
0560 fool’s head of your own. No, I know Anne’s mind
0561 for that. Never a woman in Windsor knows more
0562 135 of Anne’s mind than I do, nor can do more than I
0563 do with her, I thank heaven.
FENTON, ⌜within⌝ 0564 Who’s within there, ho?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0565 Who’s there, I trow? Come near the
0566 house, I pray you.
FENTON 0567 140How now, good woman? How dost thou?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0568 The better that it pleases your good
0569 Worship to ask.
FENTON 0570 What news? How does pretty Mistress Anne?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0571 In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and
0572 145 honest, and gentle; and one that is your friend, I
0573 can tell you that by the way, I praise heaven for it.
FENTON 0574 Shall I do any good, think’st thou? Shall I not
0575 lose my suit?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0576 Troth, sir, all is in His hands above.
0577 150 But notwithstanding, Master Fenton, I’ll be sworn
0578 on a book she loves you. Have not your Worship a
0579 wart above your eye?
FENTON 0580 Yes, marry, have I. What of that?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0581 Well, thereby hangs a tale. Good
0582 155 faith, it is such another Nan! But, I detest, an honest
0584 talk of that wart. I shall never laugh but in that
0585 maid’s company. But, indeed, she is given too
0586 much to allicholy and musing. But, for you,—well,
0587 160 go to.
FENTON 0588 Well, I shall see her today. Hold, there’s
0589 money for thee. ⌜(He hands her money.)⌝ Let me
0590 have thy voice in my behalf. If thou see’st her before
0591 me, commend me.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0592 165Will I? I’ faith, that we will. And I
0593 will tell your Worship more of the wart the next
0594 time we have confidence, and of other wooers.
FENTON 0595 Well, farewell. I am in great haste now.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0596 Farewell to your Worship.
0597 170 Truly an honest gentleman—but Anne loves him
0598 not, for I know Anne’s mind as well as another
0599 does. Out upon ’t! What have I forgot?
MISTRESS PAGE 0600 What, have ⌜I⌝ ’scaped love letters in
0601 the holiday time of my beauty, and am I now a
0602 subject for them? Let me see.
0603 Ask me no reason why I love you, for though Love
0604 5 use Reason for his precisian, he admits him not for
0605 his counselor. You are not young; no more am I. Go
0606 to, then, there’s sympathy. You are merry; so am I.
0607 Ha, ha, then, there’s more sympathy. You love sack,
0608 and so do I. Would you desire better sympathy? Let
0609 10 it suffice thee, Mistress Page—at the least, if the love
0610 of soldier can suffice—that I love thee. I will not say
0611 pity me—’tis not a soldier-like phrase—but I say love
0612 me. By me,
0613 Thine own true knight,
0614 15 By day or night,
0615 Or any kind of light,
0616 With all his might
0617 For thee to fight,
0618 John Falstaff.
0619 20 What a Herod of Jewry is this! O wicked, wicked
0620 world! One that is well-nigh worn to pieces with
0621 age, to show himself a young gallant! What an
0622 unweighed behavior hath this Flemish drunkard
0624 25 that he dares in this manner assay me?
0625 Why, he hath not been thrice in my company!
0626 What should I say to him? I was then frugal of my
0627 mirth. Heaven forgive me! Why, I’ll exhibit a bill
0628 in the Parliament for the putting down of men.
0629 30 How shall I be revenged on him? For revenged I
0630 will be, as sure as his guts are made of puddings.
Enter Mistress Ford.
MISTRESS FORD 0631 Mistress Page! Trust me, I was going to
0632 your house.
MISTRESS PAGE 0633 And, trust me, I was coming to you.
0634 35 You look very ill.
MISTRESS FORD 0635 Nay, I’ll ne’er believe that. I have to
0636 show to the contrary.
MISTRESS PAGE 0637 Faith, but you do, in my mind.
MISTRESS FORD 0638 Well, I do, then. Yet I say I could show
0639 40 you to the contrary. O Mistress Page, give me some
MISTRESS PAGE 0641 What’s the matter, woman?
MISTRESS FORD 0642 O woman, if it were not for one trifling
0643 respect, I could come to such honor!
MISTRESS PAGE 0644 45Hang the trifle, woman; take the honor.
0645 What is it? Dispense with trifles. What is it?
MISTRESS FORD 0646 If I would but go to hell for an eternal
0647 moment or so, I could be knighted.
MISTRESS PAGE 0648 What, thou liest! Sir Alice Ford? These
0649 50 knights will hack, and so thou shouldst not alter
0650 the article of thy gentry.
MISTRESS FORD 0651 We burn daylight. Here, read, read. Perceive
0652 how I might be knighted. ⌜(She gives a paper
to Mistress Page, who reads it.)⌝ 0653 I shall think the
0654 55 worse of fat men as long as I have an eye to make
0655 difference of men’s liking. And yet he would not
0656 swear; ⌜praised⌝ women’s modesty; and gave such
0658 that I would have sworn his disposition
0659 60 would have gone to the truth of his words. But
0660 they do no more adhere and keep place together
0661 than the ⌜Hundredth Psalm⌝ to the tune of
0662 “Greensleeves.” What tempest, I trow, threw this
0663 whale, with so many tuns of oil in his belly, ashore
0664 65 at Windsor? How shall I be revenged on him? I
0665 think the best way were to entertain him with hope
0666 till the wicked fire of lust have melted him in his
0667 own grease. Did you ever hear the like?
MISTRESS PAGE 0668 Letter for letter, but that the name of
0669 70 Page and Ford differs! To thy great comfort in this
0670 mystery of ill opinions, here’s the twin brother of
0671 thy letter. ⌜(She gives a paper to Mistress Ford, who
reads it.)⌝ 0672 But let thine inherit first, for I protest
0673 mine never shall. I warrant he hath a thousand of
0674 75 these letters writ with blank space for different
0675 names—sure, more—and these are of the second
0676 edition. He will print them, out of doubt; for he
0677 cares not what he puts into the press, when he
0678 would put us two. I had rather be a giantess and lie
0679 80 under Mount Pelion. Well, I will find you twenty
0680 lascivious turtles ere one chaste man.
MISTRESS FORD 0681 Why, this is the very same—the very
0682 hand, the very words. What doth he think of us?
MISTRESS PAGE 0683 Nay, I know not. It makes me almost
0684 85 ready to wrangle with mine own honesty. I’ll entertain
0685 myself like one that I am not acquainted
0686 withal; for, sure, unless he know some strain in
0687 me that I know not myself, he would never have
0688 boarded me in this fury.
MISTRESS FORD 0689 90“Boarding” call you it? I’ll be sure to
0690 keep him above deck.
MISTRESS PAGE 0691 So will I. If he come under my hatches,
0692 I’ll never to sea again. Let’s be revenged on him.
0693 Let’s appoint him a meeting, give him a show of
0695 delay till he hath pawned his horses to mine
0696 Host of the Garter.
MISTRESS FORD 0697 Nay, I will consent to act any villainy
0698 against him that may not sully the chariness of our
0699 100 honesty. O, that my husband saw this letter! It
0700 would give eternal food to his jealousy.
MISTRESS PAGE 0701 Why, look where he comes, and my
0702 good man too. He’s as far from jealousy as I am
0703 from giving him cause, and that, I hope, is an
0704 105 unmeasurable distance.
MISTRESS FORD 0705 You are the happier woman.
MISTRESS PAGE 0706 Let’s consult together against this greasy
0707 knight. Come hither.⌜They talk aside.⌝
Enter Ford ⌜with⌝ Pistol, and Page ⌜with⌝ Nym.
FORD 0708 Well, I hope it be not so.
0709 110 Hope is a curtal dog in some affairs.
0710 Sir John affects thy wife.
FORD 0711 Why, sir, my wife is not young.
0712 He woos both high and low, both rich and poor,
0713 Both young and old, one with another, Ford.
0714 115 He loves the gallimaufry. Ford, perpend.
FORD 0715 Love my wife?
0716 With liver burning hot. Prevent,
0717 Or go thou like Sir Acteon, he,
0718 With Ringwood at thy heels.
0719 120 O, odious is the name!
FORD 0720 What name, sir?
PISTOL 0721 The horn, I say. Farewell.
0722 Take heed, have open eye, for thieves do foot by
0724 125 Take heed, ere summer comes or cuckoo birds do
0727 speaks sense.⌜He exits.⌝
FORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0728 I will be patient. I will find out this.
NYM, ⌜to Page⌝ 0729 130And this is true. I like not the humor of
0730 lying. He hath wronged me in some humors. I
0731 should have borne the humored letter to her; but I
0732 have a sword, and it shall bite upon my necessity.
0733 He loves your wife; there’s the short and the long.
0734 135 My name is Corporal Nym. I speak and I avouch.
0735 ’Tis true. My name is Nym, and Falstaff loves your
0736 wife. Adieu. I love not the humor of bread and
0737 cheese. Adieu.⌜He exits.⌝
PAGE, ⌜aside⌝ 0738 “The humor of it,” quoth he? Here’s a fellow
0739 140 frights English out of his wits.
FORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0740 I will seek out Falstaff.
PAGE, ⌜aside⌝ 0741 I never heard such a drawling, affecting
FORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0743 If I do find it—well.
PAGE, ⌜aside⌝ 0744 145I will not believe such a Cataian, though
0745 the priest o’ th’ town commended him for a true
FORD, ⌜aside⌝ 0747 ’Twas a good sensible fellow—well.
⌜Mistress Page and Mistress Ford come forward.⌝
PAGE, ⌜to Mistress Page⌝ 0748 How now, Meg?
MISTRESS PAGE 0749 150Whither go you, George? Hark you.
⌜They talk aside.⌝
MISTRESS FORD, ⌜to Ford⌝ 0750 How now, sweet Frank? Why
0751 art thou melancholy?
FORD 0752 I melancholy? I am not melancholy. Get you
0753 home. Go.
MISTRESS FORD 0754 155Faith, thou hast some crochets in thy
0755 head now.—Will you go, Mistress Page?
MISTRESS PAGE 0756 Have with you.—You’ll come to dinner,
0757 George? ⌜(Aside to Mistress Ford.)⌝ Look who
0758 comes yonder.
0759 160 She shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.
MISTRESS FORD 0760 Trust me, I thought on her. She’ll fit it.
MISTRESS PAGE, ⌜to Mistress Quickly⌝ 0761 You are come to
0762 see my daughter Anne?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0763 Ay, forsooth. And, I pray, how does
0764 165 good Mistress Anne?
MISTRESS PAGE 0765 Go in with us and see. We have an
0766 hour’s talk with you.
⌜Mistress Page, Mistress Ford, and
Mistress Quickly exit.⌝
PAGE 0767 How now, Master Ford?
FORD 0768 You heard what this knave told me, did you not?
PAGE 0769 170Yes, and you heard what the other told me?
FORD 0770 Do you think there is truth in them?
PAGE 0771 Hang ’em, slaves! I do not think the knight
0772 would offer it. But these that accuse him in his intent
0773 towards our wives are a yoke of his discarded
0774 175 men, very rogues, now they be out of service.
FORD 0775 Were they his men?
PAGE 0776 Marry, were they.
FORD 0777 I like it never the better for that. Does he lie at
0778 the Garter?
PAGE 0779 180Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyage
0780 toward my wife, I would turn her loose to him;
0781 and what he gets more of her than sharp words, let
0782 it lie on my head.
FORD 0783 I do not misdoubt my wife, but I would be loath
0784 185 to turn them together. A man may be too confident.
0785 I would have nothing lie on my head. I cannot
0786 be thus satisfied.
PAGE 0787 Look where my ranting Host of the Garter
0788 comes. There is either liquor in his pate or money
0789 190 in his purse when he looks so merrily.—How now,
0790 mine Host?
0792 Cavaleiro Justice, I say!
SHALLOW 0793 I follow, mine Host, I follow.—Good even
0794 195 and twenty, good Master Page. Master Page, will
0795 you go with us? We have sport in hand.
HOST 0796 Tell him, Cavaleiro Justice; tell him, bullyrook.
SHALLOW 0797 Sir, there is a fray to be fought between
0798 Sir Hugh the Welsh priest and Caius the French
0799 200 doctor.
FORD 0800 Good mine Host o’ th’ Garter, a word with you.
HOST 0801 What say’st thou, my bullyrook?
⌜The Host and Ford talk aside.⌝
SHALLOW, ⌜to Page⌝ 0802 Will you go with us to behold it?
0803 My merry Host hath had the measuring of their
0804 205 weapons and, I think, hath appointed them contrary
0805 places; for, believe me, I hear the parson is no
0806 jester. Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.
⌜Shallow and Page talk aside.⌝
HOST, ⌜to Ford⌝ 0807 Hast thou no suit against my knight,
0808 my guest cavalier?
⌜FORD⌝ 0809 210None, I protest. But I’ll give you a pottle of
0810 burnt sack to give me recourse to him, and tell him
0811 my name is ⌜Brook⌝—only for a jest.
HOST 0812 My hand, bully. Thou shalt have egress and
0813 regress—said I well?—and thy name shall be
0814 215 ⌜Brook.⌝ It is a merry knight. ⌜(To Shallow and
Page.)⌝ 0815 Will you go, ⌜ameers?⌝
SHALLOW 0816 Have with you, mine Host.
PAGE 0817 I have heard the Frenchman hath good skill
0818 in his rapier.
SHALLOW 0819 220Tut, sir, I could have told you more. In these
0820 times you stand on distance—your passes, stoccados,
0821 and I know not what. ’Tis the heart, Master
0822 Page; ’tis here, ’tis here. I have seen the time, with
0823 my long sword I would have made you four tall
0824 225 fellows skip like rats.
PAGE 0826 Have with you. I had rather hear them scold
0827 than fight.⌜Page, Host, and Shallow exit.⌝
FORD 0828 Though Page be a secure fool and stands so
0829 230 firmly on his wife’s frailty, yet I cannot put off my
0830 opinion so easily. She was in his company at Page’s
0831 house, and what they made there I know not. Well,
0832 I will look further into ’t, and I have a disguise to
0833 sound Falstaff. If I find her honest, I lose not my
0834 235 labor. If she be otherwise, ’tis labor well bestowed.
FALSTAFF 0835 I will not lend thee a penny.
PISTOL 0836 Why then, the world’s mine oyster, which I
0837 with sword will open.
FALSTAFF 0838 Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you
0839 5 should lay my countenance to pawn. I have grated
0840 upon my good friends for three reprieves for you
0841 and your coach-fellow Nym, or else you had
0842 looked through the grate like a gemini of baboons.
0843 I am damned in hell for swearing to gentlemen my
0844 10 friends you were good soldiers and tall fellows.
0845 And when Mistress Bridget lost the handle of her
0846 fan, I took ’t upon mine honor thou hadst it not.
PISTOL 0847 Didst not thou share? Hadst thou not fifteen
FALSTAFF 0849 15Reason, you rogue, reason. Think’st thou I’ll
0850 endanger my soul gratis? At a word, hang no more
0851 about me. I am no gibbet for you. Go—a short
0852 knife and a throng—to your manor of Pickt-hatch,
0853 go. You’ll not bear a letter for me, you rogue? You
0854 20 stand upon your honor? Why, thou unconfinable
0856 terms of my honor precise. Ay, ay, I myself sometimes,
0857 leaving the fear of ⌜God⌝ on the left hand
0858 and hiding mine honor in my necessity, am fain to
0859 25 shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch; and yet you, rogue,
0860 will ensconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain
0861 looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your bold beating
0862 oaths under the shelter of your honor! You will
0863 not do it? You?
PISTOL 0864 30I do relent. What would thou more of man?
ROBIN 0865 Sir, here’s a woman would speak with you.
FALSTAFF 0866 Let her approach.
Enter ⌜Mistress⌝ Quickly.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0867 Give your Worship good morrow.
FALSTAFF 0868 Good morrow, goodwife.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0869 35Not so, an ’t please your Worship.
FALSTAFF 0870 Good maid, then.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0871 I’ll be sworn—as my mother was,
0872 the first hour I was born.
FALSTAFF 0873 I do believe the swearer. What with me?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0874 40Shall I vouchsafe your Worship a
0875 word or two?
FALSTAFF 0876 Two thousand, fair woman, and I’ll vouchsafe
0877 thee the hearing.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0878 There is one Mistress Ford, sir—I
0879 45 pray, come a little nearer this ways. I myself dwell
0880 with Master Doctor Caius.
FALSTAFF 0881 Well, on. “Mistress Ford,” you say—
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0882 Your Worship says very true. I pray
0883 your Worship, come a little nearer this ways.
FALSTAFF 0884 50I warrant thee, nobody hears. Mine own
0885 people, mine own people.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0886 Are they so? ⌜God⌝ bless them and
0887 make them His servants!
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0889 55Why, sir, she’s a good creature.
0890 Lord, Lord, your Worship’s a wanton! Well, heaven
0891 forgive you and all of us, I pray!
FALSTAFF 0892 “Mistress Ford”—come, “Mistress Ford”—
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0893 Marry, this is the short and the long
0894 60 of it: you have brought her into such a canaries as
0895 ’tis wonderful. The best courtier of them all, when
0896 the court lay at Windsor, could never have brought
0897 her to such a canary. Yet there has been knights,
0898 and lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches, I
0899 65 warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter,
0900 gift after gift, smelling so sweetly—all musk—and
0901 so rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold, and in
0902 such alligant terms, and in such wine and sugar of
0903 the best and the fairest, that would have won any
0904 70 woman’s heart; and, I warrant you, they could
0905 never get an eye-wink of her. I had myself twenty
0906 angels given me this morning, but I defy all angels
0907 in any such sort, as they say, but in the way of
0908 honesty. And, I warrant you, they could never get
0909 75 her so much as sip on a cup with the proudest of
0910 them all. And yet there has been earls—nay, which
0911 is more, pensioners—but, I warrant you, all is one
0912 with her.
FALSTAFF 0913 But what says she to me? Be brief, my good
0914 80 she-Mercury.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0915 Marry, she hath received your letter,
0916 for the which she thanks you a thousand times,
0917 and she gives you to notify that her husband will
0918 be absence from his house between ten and eleven.
FALSTAFF 0919 85Ten and eleven?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0920 Ay, forsooth; and then you may come
0921 and see the picture, she says, that you wot of. Master
0922 Ford, her husband, will be from home. Alas, the
0923 sweet woman leads an ill life with him. He’s a very
0925 him, good heart.
FALSTAFF 0926 Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to
0927 her. I will not fail her.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0928 Why, you say well. But I have another
0929 95 messenger to your Worship. Mistress Page
0930 hath her hearty commendations to you too; and,
0931 let me tell you in your ear, she’s as fartuous a civil
0932 modest wife, and one, I tell you, that will not miss
0933 you morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windsor,
0934 100 whoe’er be the other. And she bade me tell
0935 your Worship that her husband is seldom from
0936 home, but she hopes there will come a time. I
0937 never knew a woman so dote upon a man. Surely, I
0938 think you have charms, la! Yes, in truth.
FALSTAFF 0939 105Not I, I assure thee. Setting the attraction of
0940 my good parts aside, I have no other charms.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0941 Blessing on your heart for ’t!
FALSTAFF 0942 But I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford’s wife
0943 and Page’s wife acquainted each other how they
0944 110 love me?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0945 That were a jest indeed! They have
0946 not so little grace, I hope. That were a trick indeed!
0947 But Mistress Page would desire you to send her
0948 your little page, of all loves. Her husband has a
0949 115 marvelous infection to the little page; and, truly,
0950 Master Page is an honest man. Never a wife in
0951 Windsor leads a better life than she does. Do what
0952 she will, say what she will, take all, pay all, go to
0953 bed when she list, rise when she list—all is as she
0954 120 will. And, truly, she deserves it, for if there be a
0955 kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must send
0956 her your page, no remedy.
FALSTAFF 0957 Why, I will.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0958 Nay, but do so then, and, look you,
0959 125 he may come and go between you both. And in any
0961 mind, and the boy never need to understand
0962 anything; for ’tis not good that children
0963 should know any wickedness. Old folks, you know,
0964 130 have discretion, as they say, and know the world.
FALSTAFF 0965 Fare thee well. Commend me to them both.
0966 There’s my purse. ⌜(He gives her money.)⌝ I am yet
0967 thy debtor.—Boy, go along with this woman. ⌜(Mistress
Quickly and Robin exit.)⌝ 0968 This news distracts
0969 135 me.
0970 This punk is one of Cupid’s carriers.
0971 Clap on more sails, pursue; up with your fights;
0972 Give fire! She is my prize, or ocean whelm them all!
FALSTAFF 0973 Sayst thou so, old Jack? Go thy ways. I’ll
0974 140 make more of thy old body than I have done. Will
0975 they yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expense
0976 of so much money, be now a gainer? Good
0977 body, I thank thee. Let them say ’tis grossly done;
0978 so it be fairly done, no matter.
⌜Enter Bardolph with wine.⌝
BARDOLPH 0979 145Sir John, there’s one Master ⌜Brook⌝ below
0980 would fain speak with you and be acquainted with
0981 you, and hath sent your Worship a morning’s
0982 draught of sack.⌜(He hands Falstaff the wine.)⌝
FALSTAFF 0983 ⌜Brook⌝ is his name?
BARDOLPH 0984 150Ay, sir.
FALSTAFF 0985 Call him in. Such ⌜Brooks⌝ are welcome to
0986 me that o’erflows such liquor.⌜(Bardolph exits.)⌝
0987 Ah ha, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, have I encompassed
0988 you? Go to. Via!
Enter ⌜Bardolph with⌝ Ford ⌜disguised as Brook.⌝
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 0989 155⌜God⌝ bless you, sir.
FALSTAFF 0990 And you, sir. Would you speak with me?
0992 preparation upon you.
FALSTAFF 0993 You’re welcome. What’s your will?—Give us
0994 160 leave, drawer.⌜Bardolph exits.⌝
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 0995 Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent
0996 much. My name is ⌜Brook.⌝
FALSTAFF 0997 Good Master ⌜Brook,⌝ I desire more acquaintance
0998 of you.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 0999 165Good Sir John, I sue for yours—not
1000 to charge you, for I must let you understand I
1001 think myself in better plight for a lender than you
1002 are, the which hath something emboldened me to
1003 this unseasoned intrusion; for they say, if money
1004 170 go before, all ways do lie open.
FALSTAFF 1005 Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1006 Troth, and I have a bag of money
1007 here troubles me. ⌜He sets it down.⌝ If you will help
1008 to bear it, Sir John, take all, or half, for easing me
1009 175 of the carriage.
FALSTAFF 1010 Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1012 I will tell you, sir, if you will give me
1013 the hearing.
FALSTAFF 1014 180Speak, good Master ⌜Brook.⌝ I shall be glad
1015 to be your servant.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1016 Sir, I hear you are a scholar—I will
1017 be brief with you—and you have been a man long
1018 known to me, though I had never so good means
1019 185 as desire to make myself acquainted with you. I
1020 shall discover a thing to you wherein I must very
1021 much lay open mine own imperfection. But, good
1022 Sir John, as you have one eye upon my follies, as
1023 you hear them unfolded, turn another into the register
1024 190 of your own, that I may pass with a reproof
1025 the easier, sith you yourself know how easy it is to
1026 be such an offender.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1028 There is a gentlewoman in this
1029 195 town—her husband’s name is Ford.
FALSTAFF 1030 Well, sir.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1031 I have long loved her and, I protest
1032 to you, bestowed much on her, followed her with
1033 a doting observance, engrossed opportunities to
1034 200 meet her, fee’d every slight occasion that could but
1035 niggardly give me sight of her, not only bought
1036 many presents to give her, but have given largely to
1037 many to know what she would have given. Briefly,
1038 I have pursued her as love hath pursued me, which
1039 205 hath been on the wing of all occasions. But whatsoever
1040 I have merited, either in my mind or in my
1041 means, meed I am sure I have received none, unless
1042 experience be a jewel. That I have purchased
1043 at an infinite rate, and that hath taught me to say
1044 210 this:
1045 “Love like a shadow flies when substance love
1047 Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.”
FALSTAFF 1048 Have you received no promise of satisfaction
1049 215 at her hands?
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1050 Never.
FALSTAFF 1051 Have you importuned her to such a
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1053 Never.
FALSTAFF 1054 220Of what quality was your love, then?
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1055 Like a fair house built on another
1056 man’s ground, so that I have lost my edifice by
1057 mistaking the place where I erected it.
FALSTAFF 1058 To what purpose have you unfolded this to
1059 225 me?
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1060 When I have told you that, I have
1061 told you all. Some say that though she appear honest
1062 to me, yet in other places she enlargeth her
1063 mirth so far that there is shrewd construction
1065 purpose: you are a gentleman of excellent breeding,
1066 admirable discourse, of great admittance,
1067 authentic in your place and person, generally
1068 allowed for your many warlike, courtlike, and
1069 235 learned preparations.
FALSTAFF 1070 O, sir!
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1071 Believe it, for you know it. There is
1072 money. ⌜(He points to the bag.)⌝ Spend it, spend
1073 it, spend more; spend all I have. Only give me so
1074 240 much of your time in exchange of it as to lay an
1075 amiable siege to the honesty of this Ford’s wife.
1076 Use your art of wooing; win her to consent to you.
1077 If any man may, you may as soon as any.
FALSTAFF 1078 Would it apply well to the vehemency of
1079 245 your affection that I should win what you would
1080 enjoy? Methinks you prescribe to yourself very
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1082 O, understand my drift. She dwells
1083 so securely on the excellency of her honor that the
1084 250 folly of my soul dares not present itself; she is too
1085 bright to be looked against. Now, could I come to
1086 her with any detection in my hand, my desires had
1087 instance and argument to commend themselves. I
1088 could drive her then from the ward of her purity,
1089 255 her reputation, her marriage vow, and a thousand
1090 other her defenses, which now are too too strongly
1091 embattled against me. What say you to ’t, Sir
FALSTAFF, ⌜taking the bag⌝ 1093 Master ⌜Brook,⌝ I will first
1094 260 make bold with your money; next, give me your
1095 hand; and, last, as I am a gentleman, you shall, if
1096 you will, enjoy Ford’s wife.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1097 O, good sir!
FALSTAFF 1098 I say you shall.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1099 265Want no money, Sir John; you shall
1100 want none.
1102 shall want none. I shall be with her, I may tell you,
1103 by her own appointment. Even as you came in to
1104 270 me, her assistant or go-between parted from me. I
1105 say I shall be with her between ten and eleven, for
1106 at that time the jealous, rascally knave her husband
1107 will be forth. Come you to me at night. You
1108 shall know how I speed.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1109 275I am blessed in your acquaintance.
1110 Do you know Ford, sir?
FALSTAFF 1111 Hang him, poor cuckoldly knave! I know
1112 him not. Yet I wrong him to call him poor. They
1113 say the jealous wittolly knave hath masses of
1114 280 money, for the which his wife seems to me well-favored.
1115 I will use her as the key of the cuckoldly
1116 rogue’s coffer, and there’s my harvest home.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1117 I would you knew Ford, sir, that you
1118 might avoid him if you saw him.
FALSTAFF 1119 285Hang him, mechanical salt-butter rogue! I
1120 will stare him out of his wits. I will awe him with
1121 my cudgel; it shall hang like a meteor o’er the
1122 cuckold’s horns. Master ⌜Brook,⌝ thou shalt know I
1123 will predominate over the peasant, and thou shalt
1124 290 lie with his wife. Come to me soon at night. Ford’s
1125 a knave, and I will aggravate his style. Thou, Master
1126 ⌜Brook,⌝ shalt know him for knave and cuckold.
1127 Come to me soon at night.⌜Falstaff exits.⌝
FORD 1128 What a damned epicurean rascal is this! My
1129 295 heart is ready to crack with impatience. Who says
1130 this is improvident jealousy? My wife hath sent
1131 to him, the hour is fixed, the match is made.
1132 Would any man have thought this? See the hell of
1133 having a false woman: my bed shall be abused, my
1134 300 coffers ransacked, my reputation gnawn at. And
1135 I shall not only receive this villainous wrong but
1136 stand under the adoption of abominable terms,
1138 names! “Amaimon” sounds well, “Lucifer” well,
1139 305 “Barbason” well; yet they are devils’ additions, the
1140 names of fiends. But “Cuckold,” “Wittoll,” “Cuckold”!
1141 The devil himself hath not such a name. Page
1142 is an ass, a secure ass. He will trust his wife, he will
1143 not be jealous. I will rather trust a Fleming with
1144 310 my butter, Parson Hugh the Welshman with my
1145 cheese, an Irishman with my aquavitae bottle, or
1146 a thief to walk my ambling gelding, than my wife
1147 with herself. Then she plots, then she ruminates,
1148 then she devises; and what they think in their
1149 315 hearts they may effect, they will break their hearts
1150 but they will effect. ⌜God⌝ be praised for my jealousy!
1151 Eleven o’clock the hour. I will prevent this,
1152 detect my wife, be revenged on Falstaff, and laugh
1153 at Page. I will about it. Better three hours too soon
1154 320 than a minute too late. Fie, fie, fie! Cuckold, cuckold,
DOCTOR CAIUS 1156 Jack Rugby.
RUGBY 1157 Sir?
DOCTOR CAIUS 1158 Vat is the clock, Jack?
RUGBY 1159 ’Tis past the hour, sir, that Sir Hugh promised
1160 5 to meet.
DOCTOR CAIUS 1161 By gar, he has save his soul dat he is no
1162 come. He has pray his Pible well dat he is no come.
1163 By gar, Jack Rugby, he is dead already if he be
RUGBY 1165 10He is wise, sir. He knew your Worship would
1166 kill him if he came.
1168 kill him. Take your rapier, Jack. I vill tell you how I
1169 vill kill him.
RUGBY 1170 15Alas, sir, I cannot fence.
DOCTOR CAIUS 1171 Villainy, take your rapier.
RUGBY 1172 Forbear. Here’s company.
Enter Page, Shallow, Slender, ⌜and⌝ Host.
HOST 1173 ⌜God⌝ bless thee, bully doctor!
SHALLOW 1174 ⌜God⌝ save you, Master Doctor Caius!
PAGE 1175 20Now, good Master Doctor!
SLENDER 1176 Give you good morrow, sir.
DOCTOR CAIUS 1177 Vat be all you, one, two, tree, four, come
HOST 1179 To see thee fight, to see thee foin, to see thee traverse;
1180 25 to see thee here, to see thee there; to see
1181 ⌜thy⌝ pass, thy puncto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy
1182 distance, thy montant. Is he dead, my Ethiopian?
1183 Is he dead, my Francisco? Ha, bully? What says
1184 my Aesculapius, my Galien, my heart of elder, ha?
1185 30 Is he dead, bully stale? Is he dead?
DOCTOR CAIUS 1186 By gar, he is de coward jack-priest of de
1187 vorld. He is not show his face.
HOST 1188 Thou art a Castalion King Urinal Hector of
1189 Greece, my boy!
DOCTOR CAIUS 1190 35I pray you, bear witness that me have
1191 stay six or seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is
1192 no come.
SHALLOW 1193 He is the wiser man, Master Doctor. He is a
1194 curer of souls, and you a curer of bodies. If you
1195 40 should fight, you go against the hair of your professions.—
1196 Is it not true, Master Page?
PAGE 1197 Master Shallow, you have yourself been a great
1198 fighter, though now a man of peace.
SHALLOW 1199 Bodykins, Master Page, though I now be old
1200 45 and of the peace, if I see a sword out, my finger
1202 doctors and churchmen, Master Page, we have
1203 some salt of our youth in us. We are the sons of
1204 women, Master Page.
PAGE 1205 50’Tis true, Master Shallow.
SHALLOW 1206 It will be found so, Master Page.—Master
1207 Doctor Caius, I am come to fetch you home. I am
1208 sworn of the peace. You have showed yourself a
1209 wise physician, and Sir Hugh hath shown himself
1210 55 a wise and patient churchman. You must go with
1211 me, Master Doctor.
HOST 1212 Pardon, guest Justice. ⌜(To Caius.)⌝ A ⌜word,⌝
1213 Monsieur Mockwater.
DOCTOR CAIUS 1214 “Mockvater”? Vat is dat?
HOST 1215 60“Mockwater,” in our English tongue, is “valor,”
DOCTOR CAIUS 1217 By gar, then I have as much mockvater
1218 as de Englishman. Scurvy jack-dog priest! By gar,
1219 me vill cut his ears.
HOST 1220 65He will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully.
DOCTOR CAIUS 1221 “Clapper-de-claw”? Vat is dat?
HOST 1222 That is, he will make thee amends.
DOCTOR CAIUS 1223 By gar, me do look he shall clapper-de-claw
1224 me, for, by gar, me vill have it.
HOST 1225 70And I will provoke him to ’t, or let him wag.
DOCTOR CAIUS 1226 Me tank you for dat.
HOST 1227 And moreover, bully—⌜(He draws Shallow, Page,
and Slender aside.)⌝ 1228 But first, Master guest, and
1229 Master Page, and eke Cavaleiro Slender, go you
1230 75 through the town to Frogmore.
PAGE 1231 Sir Hugh is there, is he?
HOST 1232 He is there. See what humor he is in; and I will
1233 bring the doctor about by the fields. Will it do
SHALLOW 1235 80We will do it.
PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER 1236 Adieu, good Master
1237 Doctor.⌜Page, Shallow, and Slender exit.⌝
1239 for a jackanape to Anne Page.
HOST 1240 85Let him die. Sheathe thy impatience; throw cold
1241 water on thy choler. Go about the fields with me
1242 through Frogmore. I will bring thee where Mistress
1243 Anne Page is, at a farmhouse a-feasting, and
1244 thou shalt woo her. Cried game! Said I well?
DOCTOR CAIUS 1245 90By gar, me dank you vor dat. By gar, I
1246 love you, and I shall procure-a you de good guest:
1247 de earl, de knight, de lords, de gentlemen, my
HOST 1249 For the which I will be thy adversary toward
1250 95 Anne Page. Said I well?
DOCTOR CAIUS 1251 By gar, ’tis good. Vell said.
HOST 1252 Let us wag, then.
DOCTOR CAIUS 1253 Come at my heels, Jack Rugby.
and⌝ Simple ⌜(carrying Sir Hugh’s gown).⌝
SIR HUGH 1254 I pray you now, good Master Slender’s servingman
1255 and friend Simple by your name, which
1256 way have you looked for Master Caius, that calls
1257 himself doctor of physic?
SIMPLE 1258 5Marry, sir, the ⌜Petty-ward,⌝ the Park-ward,
1259 every way; Old Windsor way, and every way but
1260 the town way.
SIR HUGH 1261 I most fehemently desire you, you will also
1262 look that way.
SIMPLE 1263 10I will, sir.⌜He exits.⌝
SIR HUGH 1264 Pless my soul, how full of cholers I am, and
1265 trempling of mind! I shall be glad if he have deceived
1266 me. How melancholies I am! I will knog his
1267 urinals about his knave’s costard when I have good
1268 15 opportunities for the ’ork. Pless my soul!
1269 To shallow rivers, to whose falls
1270 Melodious birds sings madrigals.
1271 There will we make our peds of roses
1272 And a thousand fragrant posies.
1273 20 To shallow—
1274 Mercy on me, I have a great dispositions to cry.
1275 Melodious birds sing madrigals—
1276 Whenas I sat in Pabylon—
1277 And a thousand vagram posies.
1278 25 To shallow rivers, to whose falls
1279 Melodious birds sings madrigals.
SIMPLE 1280 Yonder he is, coming this way, Sir Hugh.
SIR HUGH 1281 He’s welcome.
1282 To shallow rivers, to whose falls—
1283 30 Heaven prosper the right! What weapons is he?
SIMPLE 1284 No weapons, sir. There comes my master,
1285 Master Shallow, and another gentleman, from
1286 Frogmore, over the stile, this way.
SIR HUGH 1287 Pray you, give me my gown—or else keep it
1288 35 in your arms.
Enter Page, Shallow, ⌜and⌝ Slender.
SHALLOW 1289 How now, Master Parson? Good morrow,
1290 good Sir Hugh. Keep a gamester from the dice,
1291 and a good student from his book, and it is
SLENDER, ⌜aside⌝ 1293 40Ah, sweet Anne Page!
PAGE 1294 ⌜God⌝ save you, good Sir Hugh!
SIR HUGH 1295 ⌜God⌝ pless you from His mercy sake, all of
SHALLOW 1297 What, the sword and the word? Do you
1298 45 study them both, Master Parson?
PAGE 1299 And youthful still—in your doublet and hose
1300 this raw rheumatic day?
SIR HUGH 1301 There is reasons and causes for it.
PAGE 1302 We are come to you to do a good office, Master
1303 50 Parson.
SIR HUGH 1304 Fery well. What is it?
1306 having received wrong by some person, is at
1307 most odds with his own gravity and patience that
1308 55 ever you saw.
SHALLOW 1309 I have lived fourscore years and upward. I
1310 never heard a man of his place, gravity, and learning
1311 so wide of his own respect.
SIR HUGH 1312 What is he?
PAGE 1313 60I think you know him: Master Doctor Caius, the
1314 renowned French physician.
SIR HUGH 1315 Got’s will and His passion of my heart! I had
1316 as lief you would tell me of a mess of porridge.
PAGE 1317 Why?
SIR HUGH 1318 65He has no more knowledge in Hibbocrates
1319 and Galen—and he is a knave besides, a cowardly
1320 knave as you would desires to be acquainted
PAGE, ⌜to Shallow⌝ 1322 I warrant you, he’s the man should
1323 70 fight with him.
SLENDER, ⌜aside⌝ 1324 O, sweet Anne Page!
SHALLOW 1325 It appears so by his weapons. Keep them
1326 asunder. Here comes Doctor Caius.
Enter Host, ⌜Doctor⌝ Caius, ⌜and⌝ Rugby.
⌜Caius and Sir Hugh offer to fight.⌝
PAGE 1327 Nay, good Master Parson, keep in your weapon.
SHALLOW 1328 75So do you, good Master Doctor.
HOST 1329 Disarm them, and let them question. Let them
1330 keep their limbs whole and hack our English.
⌜Page and Shallow disarm Caius and Sir Hugh.⌝
DOCTOR CAIUS, ⌜to Sir Hugh⌝ 1331 I pray you, let-a me speak
1332 a word with your ear. Verefore vill you not
1333 80 meet-a me?
SIR HUGH, ⌜aside to Caius⌝ 1334 Pray you, use your patience.
1335 ⌜(Aloud.)⌝ In good time.
DOCTOR CAIUS 1336 By gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog,
1337 John ape.
1339 laughing-stocks to other men’s humors. I desire
1340 you in friendship, and I will one way or other
1341 make you amends. ⌜(Aloud.) By Jeshu,⌝ I will knog
1342 your urinal about your knave’s cogscomb.
DOCTOR CAIUS 1343 90Diable! Jack Rugby, mine Host de Jarteer,
1344 have I not stay for him to kill him? Have I not,
1345 at de place I did appoint?
SIR HUGH 1346 As I am a Christians soul, now look you, this
1347 is the place appointed. I’ll be judgment by mine
1348 95 Host of the Garter.
HOST 1349 Peace, I say, Gallia and Gaul, French and Welsh,
1350 soul-curer and body-curer!
DOCTOR CAIUS 1351 Ay, dat is very good, excellent.
HOST 1352 Peace, I say! Hear mine Host of the Garter. Am
1353 100 I politic? Am I subtle? Am I a Machiavel? Shall I
1354 lose my doctor? No, he gives me the potions and
1355 the motions. Shall I lose my parson, my priest, my
1356 Sir Hugh? No, he gives me the proverbs and the
1357 no-verbs. ⌜(To Caius.) Give me thy hand, terrestrial;
1358 105 so. (To Sir Hugh.)⌝ Give me thy hand, celestial;
1359 so. Boys of art, I have deceived you both. I
1360 have directed you to wrong places. Your hearts are
1361 mighty, your skins are whole, and let burnt sack be
1362 the issue. ⌜(To Page and Shallow.)⌝ Come, lay their
1363 110 swords to pawn. ⌜(To Caius and Sir Hugh.)⌝ Follow
1364 me, ⌜lads⌝ of peace, follow, follow, follow.
SHALLOW 1365 ⌜Afore God,⌝ a mad Host. Follow, gentlemen,
SLENDER, ⌜aside⌝ 1367 O, sweet Anne Page!
⌜Shallow, Page, and Slender exit.⌝
DOCTOR CAIUS 1368 115Ha, do I perceive dat? Have you make-a
1369 de sot of us, ha, ha?
SIR HUGH 1370 This is well! He has made us his vloutingstog.
1371 I desire you that we may be friends, and let
1373 120 same scall, scurvy, cogging companion, the Host of
1374 the Garter.
DOCTOR CAIUS 1375 By gar, with all my heart. He promise
1376 to bring me where is Anne Page. By gar, he deceive
1377 me too.
SIR HUGH 1378 125Well, I will smite his noddles. Pray you,
⌜Sir Hugh, Caius, Simple, and Rugby exit.⌝
MISTRESS PAGE 1380 Nay, keep your way, little gallant. You
1381 were wont to be a follower, but now you are a
1382 leader. Whether had you rather—lead mine eyes,
1383 or eye your master’s heels?
ROBIN 1384 5I had rather, forsooth, go before you like a man
1385 than follow him like a dwarf.
MISTRESS PAGE 1386 O, you are a flattering boy! Now I see
1387 you’ll be a courtier.
FORD 1388 Well met, Mistress Page. Whither go you?
MISTRESS PAGE 1389 10Truly, sir, to see your wife. Is she at
FORD 1391 Ay, and as idle as she may hang together, for
1392 want of company. I think if your husbands were
1393 dead, you two would marry.
MISTRESS PAGE 1394 15Be sure of that—two other husbands.
FORD 1395 Where had you this pretty weathercock?
MISTRESS PAGE 1396 I cannot tell what the dickens his name
1397 is my husband had him of.—What do you call your
1398 knight’s name, sirrah?
ROBIN 1399 20Sir John Falstaff.
MISTRESS PAGE 1401 He, he. I can never hit on ’s name.
1402 There is such a league between my goodman and
1403 he. Is your wife at home indeed?
FORD 1404 25Indeed, she is.
MISTRESS PAGE 1405 By your leave, sir. I am sick till I see
1406 her.⌜Mistress Page and Robin exit.⌝
FORD 1407 Has Page any brains? Hath he any eyes? Hath
1408 he any thinking? Sure they sleep; he hath no use
1409 30 of them. Why, this boy will carry a letter twenty
1410 mile as easy as a cannon will shoot point-blank
1411 twelve score. He pieces out his wife’s inclination.
1412 He gives her folly motion and advantage. And now
1413 she’s going to my wife, and Falstaff’s boy with her.
1414 35 A man may hear this shower sing in the wind. And
1415 Falstaff’s boy with her! Good plots they are laid,
1416 and our revolted wives share damnation together.
1417 Well, I will take him, then torture my wife, pluck
1418 the borrowed veil of modesty from the so-seeming
1419 40 Mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure
1420 and willful Acteon, and to these violent proceedings
1421 all my neighbors shall cry aim. ⌜A clock
strikes.⌝ 1422 The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance
1423 bids me search. There I shall find Falstaff. I
1424 45 shall be rather praised for this than mocked, for it
1425 is as positive as the earth is firm that Falstaff is
1426 there. I will go.
⌜Enter⌝ Page, Shallow, Slender, Host, ⌜Sir Hugh⌝
Evans, ⌜Doctor⌝ Caius, ⌜and Rugby.⌝
SHALLOW, PAGE, ETC. 1427 Well met, Master Ford.
FORD 1428 Trust me, a good knot. I have good cheer at
1429 50 home, and I pray you all go with me.
SHALLOW 1430 I must excuse myself, Master Ford.
SLENDER 1431 And so must I, sir. We have appointed to dine
1432 with Mistress Anne, and I would not break with
1433 her for more money than I’ll speak of.
1435 Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and this day we
1436 shall have our answer.
SLENDER 1437 I hope I have your good will, Father Page.
PAGE 1438 You have, Master Slender. I stand wholly for
1439 60 you.—But my wife, Master Doctor, is for you
DOCTOR CAIUS 1441 Ay, be-gar, and de maid is love-a me! My
1442 nursh-a Quickly tell me so mush.
HOST, ⌜to Page⌝ 1443 What say you to young Master Fenton?
1444 65 He capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he
1445 writes verses, he speaks holiday, he smells April
1446 and May. He will carry ’t, he will carry ’t. ’Tis in his
1447 buttons he will carry ’t.
PAGE 1448 Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman
1449 70 is of no having. He kept company with the
1450 wild Prince and Poins. He is of too high a region;
1451 he knows too much. No, he shall not knit a knot in
1452 his fortunes with the finger of my substance. If he
1453 take her, let him take her simply. The wealth I have
1454 75 waits on my consent, and my consent goes not that
FORD 1456 I beseech you heartily, some of you go home
1457 with me to dinner. Besides your cheer, you shall
1458 have sport: I will show you a monster. Master Doctor,
1459 80 you shall go.—So shall you, Master Page.—
1460 And you, Sir Hugh.
SHALLOW 1461 Well, fare you well. We shall have the freer
1462 wooing at Master Page’s.
⌜Shallow and Slender exit.⌝
DOCTOR CAIUS 1463 Go home, John Rugby. I come anon.
HOST 1464 85Farewell, my hearts. I will to my honest knight
1465 Falstaff, and drink canary with him.⌜He exits.⌝
FORD, ⌜aside⌝ 1466 I think I shall drink in pipe-wine first
1467 with him; I’ll make him dance.—Will you go,
1470 see this monster.
MISTRESS FORD 1471 What, John! What, Robert!
MISTRESS PAGE 1472 Quickly, quickly! Is the buck-basket—
MISTRESS FORD 1473 I warrant.—What, ⌜Robert,⌝ I say!
⌜Enter John and Robert with a large buck-basket.⌝
MISTRESS PAGE 1474 Come, come, come.
MISTRESS FORD 1475 5Here, set it down.
MISTRESS PAGE 1476 Give your men the charge. We must be
MISTRESS FORD 1478 Marry, as I told you before, John and
1479 Robert, be ready here hard by in the brewhouse,
1480 10 and when I suddenly call you, come forth, and
1481 without any pause or staggering take this basket
1482 on your shoulders. That done, trudge with it in all
1483 haste, and carry it among the whitsters in Datchet
1484 Mead, and there empty it in the muddy ditch close
1485 15 by the Thames side.
MISTRESS PAGE 1486 You will do it?
MISTRESS FORD 1487 I ha’ told them over and over. They lack
1488 no direction.—Be gone, and come when you are
1489 called.⌜John and Robert exit.⌝
MISTRESS PAGE 1490 20Here comes little Robin.
MISTRESS FORD 1491 How now, my eyas-musket? What news
1492 with you?
ROBIN 1493 My master, Sir John, is come in at your back
1494 door, Mistress Ford, and requests your company.
1496 true to us?
ROBIN 1497 Ay, I’ll be sworn. My master knows not of your
1498 being here and hath threatened to put me into
1499 everlasting liberty if I tell you of it, for he swears
1500 30 he’ll turn me away.
MISTRESS PAGE 1501 Thou ’rt a good boy. This secrecy of
1502 thine shall be a tailor to thee and shall make thee a
1503 new doublet and hose.—I’ll go hide me.
MISTRESS FORD 1504 Do so.—Go tell thy master I am alone.
1505 35 ⌜(Robin exits.)⌝ Mistress Page, remember you your
MISTRESS PAGE 1507 I warrant thee. If I do not act it, hiss
1508 me.⌜She exits.⌝
MISTRESS FORD 1509 Go to, then. We’ll use this unwholesome
1510 40 humidity, this gross-wat’ry pumpion. We’ll
1511 teach him to know turtles from jays.
Enter ⌜Sir John⌝ Falstaff.
FALSTAFF 1512 “Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel?”
1513 Why, now let me die, for I have lived long enough.
1514 This is the period of my ambition. O, this blessèd
1515 45 hour!
MISTRESS FORD 1516 O, sweet Sir John!
FALSTAFF 1517 Mistress Ford, I cannot cog. I cannot prate,
1518 Mistress Ford. Now shall I sin in my wish: I would
1519 thy husband were dead. I’ll speak it before the best
1520 50 lord: I would make thee my lady.
MISTRESS FORD 1521 I your lady, Sir John? Alas, I should be
1522 a pitiful lady.
FALSTAFF 1523 Let the court of France show me such
1524 another. I see how thine eye would emulate the
1525 55 diamond. Thou hast the right arched beauty of the
1526 brow that becomes the ship-tire, the tire-valiant,
1527 or any tire of Venetian admittance.
MISTRESS FORD 1528 A plain kerchief, Sir John. My brows
1529 become nothing else, nor that well neither.
1531 make an absolute courtier, and the firm fixture of
1532 thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy gait
1533 in a semicircled farthingale. I see what thou wert,
1534 if Fortune thy foe were not, Nature thy friend.
1535 65 Come, thou canst not hide it.
MISTRESS FORD 1536 Believe me, there’s no such thing in
FALSTAFF 1538 What made me love thee? Let that persuade
1539 thee. There’s something extraordinary in thee.
1540 70 Come, I cannot cog and say thou art this and that
1541 like a many of these lisping hawthorn buds that
1542 come like women in men’s apparel and smell like
1543 Bucklersbury in simple time. I cannot. But I love
1544 thee, none but thee; and thou deserv’st it.
MISTRESS FORD 1545 75Do not betray me, sir. I fear you love
1546 Mistress Page.
FALSTAFF 1547 Thou mightst as well say I love to walk by
1548 the Counter gate, which is as hateful to me as the
1549 reek of a lime-kiln.
MISTRESS FORD 1550 80Well, heaven knows how I love you,
1551 and you shall one day find it.
FALSTAFF 1552 Keep in that mind. I’ll deserve it.
MISTRESS FORD 1553 Nay, I must tell you, so you do, or else
1554 I could not be in that mind.
ROBIN 1555 85Mistress Ford, Mistress Ford! Here’s Mistress
1556 Page at the door, sweating and blowing and looking
1557 wildly, and would needs speak with you
FALSTAFF 1559 She shall not see me. I will ensconce me behind
1560 90 the arras.
MISTRESS FORD 1561 Pray you, do so. She’s a very tattling
1562 woman.⌜Falstaff stands behind the arras.⌝
1563 What’s the matter? How now?
MISTRESS PAGE 1564 O Mistress Ford, what have you done?
1565 95 You’re shamed, you’re overthrown, you’re undone
MISTRESS FORD 1567 What’s the matter, good Mistress Page?
MISTRESS PAGE 1568 O well-a-day, Mistress Ford, having an
1569 honest man to your husband, to give him such
1570 100 cause of suspicion!
MISTRESS FORD 1571 What cause of suspicion?
MISTRESS PAGE 1572 What cause of suspicion? Out upon you!
1573 How am I mistook in you!
MISTRESS FORD 1574 Why, alas, what’s the matter?
MISTRESS PAGE 1575 105Your husband’s coming hither, woman,
1576 with all the officers in Windsor, to search for a gentleman
1577 that he says is here now in the house, by
1578 your consent, to take an ill advantage of his absence.
1579 You are undone.
MISTRESS FORD 1580 110’Tis not so, I hope.
MISTRESS PAGE 1581 Pray heaven it be not so, that you have
1582 such a man here! But ’tis most certain your husband’s
1583 coming, with half Windsor at his heels, to
1584 search for such a one. I come before to tell you. If
1585 115 you know yourself clear, why, I am glad of it. But if
1586 you have a friend here, convey, convey him out. Be
1587 not amazed! Call all your senses to you; defend
1588 your reputation, or bid farewell to your good life
MISTRESS FORD 1590 120What shall I do? There is a gentleman,
1591 my dear friend; and I fear not mine own shame so
1592 much as his peril. I had rather than a thousand
1593 pound he were out of the house.
MISTRESS PAGE 1594 For shame! Never stand “you had
1595 125 rather” and “you had rather.” Your husband’s here
1596 at hand. Bethink you of some conveyance. In the
1598 me! Look, here is a basket. If he be of any
1599 reasonable stature, he may creep in here; and
1600 130 throw foul linen upon him, as if it were going to
1601 bucking. Or—it is whiting time—send him by your
1602 two men to Datchet Mead.
MISTRESS FORD 1603 He’s too big to go in there. What shall I
1604 do?⌜Falstaff comes forward.⌝
FALSTAFF 1605 135Let me see ’t, let me see ’t! O, let me see ’t! I’ll
1606 in, I’ll in. Follow your friend’s counsel. I’ll in.
MISTRESS PAGE 1607 What, Sir John Falstaff? ⌜(Aside to
him.)⌝ 1608 Are these your letters, knight?
FALSTAFF, ⌜aside to Mistress Page⌝ 1609 I love thee. Help me
1610 140 away. Let me creep in here. I’ll never—
⌜Falstaff goes into the basket; they cover
him with dirty clothes.⌝
MISTRESS PAGE, ⌜to Robin⌝ 1611 Help to cover your master,
1612 boy.—Call your men, Mistress Ford.—You dissembling
1613 knight!⌜Robin exits.⌝
MISTRESS FORD 1614 What, John! Robert! John!
⌜Enter Robert and John.⌝
1615 145 Go, take up these clothes here quickly. Where’s the
1616 cowlstaff? Look how you drumble! Carry them to
1617 the laundress in Datchet Mead. Quickly! Come.
Enter Ford, Page, ⌜Doctor⌝ Caius,
⌜and Sir Hugh⌝ Evans.
FORD 1618 Pray you, come near. If I suspect without cause,
1619 why then make sport at me. Then let me be your
1620 150 jest; I deserve it.—How now? Whither bear you
⌜ROBERT and JOHN⌝ 1622 To the laundress, forsooth.
MISTRESS FORD 1623 Why, what have you to do whither they
1624 bear it? You were best meddle with buck-washing!
1626 Buck, buck, buck! Ay, buck! I warrant you, buck,
1627 and of the season too, it shall appear.
⌜Robert and John exit with the buck-basket.⌝
1628 Gentlemen, I have dreamed tonight; I’ll tell you my
1629 dream. Here, here, here be my keys. Ascend my
1630 160 chambers. Search, seek, find out. I’ll warrant we’ll
1631 unkennel the fox. Let me stop this way first. ⌜(He
locks the door.)⌝ 1632 So, now uncape.
PAGE 1633 Good Master Ford, be contented. You wrong
1634 yourself too much.
FORD 1635 165True, Master Page.—Up, gentlemen. You shall
1636 see sport anon. Follow me, gentlemen.⌜He exits.⌝
SIR HUGH 1637 This is fery fantastical humors and
DOCTOR CAIUS 1639 By gar, ’tis no the fashion of France. It is
1640 170 not jealous in France.
PAGE 1641 Nay, follow him, gentlemen. See the issue of his
1642 search.⌜Page, Sir Hugh, and Caius exit.⌝
MISTRESS PAGE 1643 Is there not a double excellency in this?
MISTRESS FORD 1644 I know not which pleases me better—
1645 175 that my husband is deceived, or Sir John.
MISTRESS PAGE 1646 What a taking was he in when your
1647 husband asked who was in the basket!
MISTRESS FORD 1648 I am half afraid he will have need of
1649 washing, so throwing him into the water will do
1650 180 him a benefit.
MISTRESS PAGE 1651 Hang him, dishonest rascal! I would all
1652 of the same strain were in the same distress.
MISTRESS FORD 1653 I think my husband hath some special
1654 suspicion of Falstaff’s being here, for I never saw
1655 185 him so gross in his jealousy till now.
MISTRESS PAGE 1656 I will lay a plot to try that, and we will
1657 yet have more tricks with Falstaff. His dissolute
1658 disease will scarce obey this medicine.
MISTRESS FORD 1659 Shall we send that foolish carrion Mistress
1661 the water, and give him another hope, to betray
1662 him to another punishment?
MISTRESS PAGE 1663 We will do it. Let him be sent for tomorrow
1664 eight o’clock to have amends.
⌜Enter Ford, Page, Doctor Caius, and Sir Hugh.⌝
FORD 1665 195I cannot find him. Maybe the knave bragged of
1666 that he could not compass.
MISTRESS PAGE, ⌜aside to Mistress Ford⌝ 1667 Heard you
MISTRESS FORD 1669 You use me well, Master Ford, do you?
FORD 1670 200Ay, I do so.
MISTRESS FORD 1671 Heaven make you better than your
FORD 1673 Amen!
MISTRESS PAGE 1674 You do yourself mighty wrong, Master
1675 205 Ford.
FORD 1676 Ay, ay. I must bear it.
SIR HUGH 1677 If there be anypody in the house, and in the
1678 chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses,
1679 heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgment!
DOCTOR CAIUS 1680 210Be gar, nor I too. There is nobodies.
PAGE 1681 Fie, fie, Master Ford, are you not ashamed?
1682 What spirit, what devil suggests this imagination?
1683 I would not ha’ your distemper in this kind for the
1684 wealth of Windsor Castle.
FORD 1685 215’Tis my fault, Master Page. I suffer for it.
SIR HUGH 1686 You suffer for a pad conscience. Your wife is
1687 as honest a ’omans as I will desires among five
1688 thousand, and five hundred too.
DOCTOR CAIUS 1689 By gar, I see ’tis an honest woman.
FORD 1690 220Well, I promised you a dinner. Come, come,
1691 walk in the park. I pray you, pardon me. I will
1692 hereafter make known to you why I have done
1694 you, pardon me. Pray, heartily, pardon me.
⌜Mistress Page and Mistress Ford exit.⌝
PAGE, ⌜to Caius and Sir Hugh⌝ 1695 225Let’s go in, gentlemen.
1696 But, trust me, we’ll mock him. ⌜(To Ford, Caius,
and Sir Hugh.)⌝ 1697 I do invite you tomorrow morning
1698 to my house to breakfast. After, we’ll a-birding together;
1699 I have a fine hawk for the bush. Shall it be
1700 230 so?
FORD 1701 Anything.
SIR HUGH 1702 If there is one, I shall make two in the
DOCTOR CAIUS 1704 If there be one or two, I shall make-a the
1705 235 turd.
FORD 1706 Pray you, go, Master Page.
⌜Ford and Page exit.⌝
SIR HUGH 1707 I pray you now, remembrance tomorrow on
1708 the lousy knave mine Host.
DOCTOR CAIUS 1709 Dat is good, by gar, with all my heart.
SIR HUGH 1710 240A lousy knave, to have his gibes and his
1712 I see I cannot get thy father’s love;
1713 Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.
1714 Alas, how then?
FENTON 1715 Why, thou must be thyself.
1716 5 He doth object I am too great of birth,
1717 And that, my state being galled with my expense,
1718 I seek to heal it only by his wealth.
1720 My riots past, my wild societies—
1721 10 And tells me ’tis a thing impossible
1722 I should love thee but as a property.
ANNE 1723 Maybe he tells you true.
1724 No, heaven so speed me in my time to come!
1725 Albeit I will confess thy father’s wealth
1726 15 Was the first motive that I wooed thee, Anne,
1727 Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
1728 Than stamps in gold or sums in sealèd bags.
1729 And ’tis the very riches of thyself
1730 That now I aim at.
ANNE 1731 20 Gentle Master Fenton,
1732 Yet seek my father’s love, still seek it, sir.
1733 If opportunity and humblest suit
1734 Cannot attain it, why then—hark you hither.
⌜They talk aside.⌝
Enter Shallow, Slender, ⌜and Mistress⌝ Quickly.
SHALLOW 1735 Break their talk, Mistress Quickly. My kinsman
1736 25 shall speak for himself.
SLENDER 1737 I’ll make a shaft or a bolt on ’t. ’Slid, ’tis but
SHALLOW 1739 Be not dismayed.
SLENDER 1740 No, she shall not dismay me. I care not for
1741 30 that, but that I am afeard.
MISTRESS QUICKLY, ⌜to Anne⌝ 1742 Hark ye, Master Slender
1743 would speak a word with you.
1744 I come to him. ⌜(Aside.)⌝ This is my father’s choice.
1745 O, what a world of vile ill-favored faults
1746 35 Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1747 And how does good Master Fenton?
1748 Pray you, a word with you.⌜They talk aside.⌝
SHALLOW, ⌜to Slender⌝ 1749 She’s coming. To her, coz! O
1750 boy, thou hadst a father!
1752 tell you good jests of him.—Pray you, uncle, tell
1753 Mistress Anne the jest how my father stole two
1754 geese out of a pen, good uncle.
SHALLOW 1755 Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.
SLENDER 1756 45Ay, that I do, as well as I love any woman in
SHALLOW 1758 He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.
SLENDER 1759 Ay, that I will, come cut and longtail, under
1760 the degree of a squire.
SHALLOW 1761 50He will make you a hundred and fifty
1762 pounds jointure.
ANNE 1763 Good Master Shallow, let him woo for himself.
SHALLOW 1764 Marry, I thank you for it. I thank you for that
1765 good comfort.—She calls you, coz. I’ll leave you.
⌜He steps aside.⌝
ANNE 1766 55Now, Master Slender.
SLENDER 1767 Now, good Mistress Anne.
ANNE 1768 What is your will?
SLENDER 1769 My will? ’Od’s heartlings, that’s a pretty jest
1770 indeed! I ne’er made my will yet, I thank heaven. I
1771 60 am not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.
ANNE 1772 I mean, Master Slender, what would you with
SLENDER 1774 Truly, for mine own part, I would little or
1775 nothing with you. Your father and my uncle hath
1776 65 made motions. If it be my luck, so; if not, happy
1777 man be his dole. They can tell you how things go
1778 better than I can. You may ask your father.
Enter Page ⌜and⌝ Mistress Page.
1779 Here he comes.
1780 Now, Master Slender.—Love him, daughter Anne.—
1781 70 Why, how now? What does Master Fenton here?
1783 I told you, sir, my daughter is disposed of.
1784 Nay, Master Page, be not impatient.
1785 Good Master Fenton, come not to my child.
PAGE 1786 75She is no match for you.
FENTON 1787 Sir, will you hear me?
PAGE 1788 No, good Master Fenton.—
1789 Come Master Shallow.—Come, son Slender, in.—
1790 Knowing my mind, you wrong me, Master Fenton.
⌜Page, Shallow, and Slender exit.⌝
MISTRESS QUICKLY, ⌜to Fenton⌝ 1791 80Speak to Mistress Page.
1792 Good Mistress Page, for that I love your daughter
1793 In such a righteous fashion as I do,
1794 Perforce, against all checks, rebukes, and manners,
1795 I must advance the colors of my love
1796 85 And not retire. Let me have your good will.
1797 Good mother, do not marry me to yond fool.
1798 I mean it not; I seek you a better husband.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1799 That’s my master, Master Doctor.
1800 Alas, I had rather be set quick i’ th’ earth
1801 90 And bowled to death with turnips!
1802 Come, trouble not yourself.—Good Master Fenton,
1803 I will not be your friend nor enemy.
1804 My daughter will I question how she loves you,
1805 And as I find her, so am I affected.
1806 95 Till then, farewell, sir. She must needs go in;
1807 Her father will be angry.
1808 Farewell, gentle mistress.—Farewell, Nan.
⌜Mistress Page and Anne Page exit.⌝
1810 “will you cast away your child on a fool and a
1811 100 physician? Look on Master Fenton.” This is my
1813 I thank thee; and I pray thee, once tonight
1814 Give my sweet Nan this ring. There’s for thy pains.
⌜He gives her money and a ring.⌝
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1815 Now heaven send thee good fortune.
1816 105 A kind heart he hath. A woman would run through
1817 fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet I
1818 would my master had Mistress Anne, or I would
1819 Master Slender had her, or, in sooth, I would Master
1820 Fenton had her. I will do what I can for them all
1821 110 three; for so I have promised and I’ll be as good as
1822 my word—but speciously for Master Fenton. Well,
1823 I must of another errand to Sir John Falstaff from
1824 my two mistresses. What a beast am I to slack it!
FALSTAFF 1825 Bardolph, I say!
BARDOLPH 1826 Here, sir.
FALSTAFF 1827 Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in ’t.
1828 Have I lived to be carried in a basket like a barrow
1829 5 of butcher’s offal, and to be thrown in the Thames?
1830 Well, if I be served such another trick, I’ll have my
1831 brains ta’en out and buttered, and give them to a
1832 dog for a New Year’s gift. ⌜’Sblood,⌝ the rogues
1834 10 they would have drowned a blind bitch’s puppies,
1835 fifteen i’ th’ litter! And you may know by my size
1836 that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking; if the bottom
1837 were as deep as hell, I should down. I had
1838 been drowned, but that the shore was shelvy and
1839 15 shallow—a death that I abhor, for the water swells
1840 a man, and what a thing should I have been when
1841 I had been swelled! ⌜By the Lord,⌝ I should have
1842 been a mountain of mummy.
⌜Enter Bardolph with cups of sack.⌝
BARDOLPH 1843 Here’s Mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with
1844 20 you.
FALSTAFF 1845 Come, let me pour in some sack to the
1846 Thames water, for my belly’s as cold as if I had
1847 swallowed snowballs for pills to cool the reins. ⌜He
drinks.⌝ 1848 Call her in.
BARDOLPH 1849 25Come in, woman.
Enter ⌜Mistress⌝ Quickly.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1850 By your leave, I cry you mercy. Give
1851 your Worship good morrow.
FALSTAFF, ⌜to Bardolph⌝ 1852 Take away these chalices. Go
1853 brew me a pottle of sack finely.
BARDOLPH 1854 30With eggs, sir?
FALSTAFF 1855 Simple of itself. I’ll no pullet sperm in my
1856 brewage.⌜Bardolph exits.⌝
1857 How now?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1858 Marry, sir, I come to your Worship
1859 35 from Mistress Ford.
FALSTAFF 1860 Mistress Ford? I have had ford enough. I
1861 was thrown into the ford, I have my belly full of
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1863 Alas the day, good heart, that was
1864 40 not her fault. She does so take on with her men;
1865 they mistook their erection.
1867 woman’s promise.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1868 Well, she laments, sir, for it, that it
1869 45 would yearn your heart to see it. Her husband goes
1870 this morning a-birding; she desires you once more
1871 to come to her, between eight and nine. I must
1872 carry her word quickly. She’ll make you amends, I
1873 warrant you.
FALSTAFF 1874 50Well, I will visit her. Tell her so. And bid her
1875 think what a man is. Let her consider his frailty,
1876 and then judge of my merit.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1877 I will tell her.
FALSTAFF 1878 Do so. Between nine and ten, say’st thou?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1879 55Eight and nine, sir.
FALSTAFF 1880 Well, be gone. I will not miss her.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1881 Peace be with you, sir.
⌜Mistress Quickly exits.⌝
FALSTAFF 1882 I marvel I hear not of Master ⌜Brook.⌝ He
1883 sent me word to stay within. I like his money well.
Enter Ford ⌜disguised as Brook.⌝
1884 60 O, here ⌜he⌝ comes.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1885 ⌜God⌝ bless you, sir.
FALSTAFF 1886 Now, Master ⌜Brook,⌝ you come to know
1887 what hath passed between me and Ford’s wife.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1888 That indeed, Sir John, is my
1889 65 business.
FALSTAFF 1890 Master ⌜Brook,⌝ I will not lie to you. I was at
1891 her house the hour she appointed me.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1892 And sped you, sir?
FALSTAFF 1893 Very ill-favoredly, Master ⌜Brook.⌝
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1894 70How so, sir? Did she change her
FALSTAFF 1896 No, Master ⌜Brook,⌝ but the peaking cornuto
1897 her husband, Master ⌜Brook,⌝ dwelling in a continual
1898 ’larum of jealousy, comes me in the instant of
1900 protested, and, as it were, spoke the prologue of
1901 our comedy, and, at his heels, a rabble of his companions,
1902 thither provoked and instigated by his
1903 distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for
1904 80 his wife’s love.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1905 What, while you were there?
FALSTAFF 1906 While I was there.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1907 And did he search for you and could
1908 not find you?
FALSTAFF 1909 85You shall hear. As good luck would have it,
1910 comes in one Mistress Page, gives intelligence of
1911 Ford’s approach, and, in her invention and Ford’s
1912 wife’s distraction, they conveyed me into a
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1914 90A buck-basket!
FALSTAFF 1915 ⌜By the Lord,⌝ a buck-basket! Rammed me
1916 in with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings,
1917 greasy napkins, that, Master ⌜Brook,⌝ there
1918 was the rankest compound of villainous smell that
1919 95 ever offended nostril.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1920 And how long lay you there?
FALSTAFF 1921 Nay, you shall hear, Master ⌜Brook,⌝ what I
1922 have suffered to bring this woman to evil for your
1923 good. Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple
1924 100 of Ford’s knaves, his hinds, were called forth by
1925 their mistress to carry me in the name of foul
1926 clothes to Datchet Lane. They took me on their
1927 shoulders, met the jealous knave their master in
1928 the door, who asked them once or twice what they
1929 105 had in their basket. I quaked for fear lest the lunatic
1930 knave would have searched it, but fate, ordaining
1931 he should be a cuckold, held his hand.
1932 Well, on went he for a search, and away went I for
1933 foul clothes. But mark the sequel, Master ⌜Brook.⌝
1934 110 I suffered the pangs of three several deaths: first,
1936 rotten bellwether; next, to be compassed, like a
1937 good bilbo, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to
1938 point, heel to head; and then, to be stopped in, like
1939 115 a strong distillation, with stinking clothes that fretted
1940 in their own grease. Think of that, a man of my
1941 kidney—think of that—that am as subject to heat
1942 as butter; a man of continual dissolution and thaw.
1943 It was a miracle to ’scape suffocation. And in
1944 120 the height of this bath, when I was more than half-stewed
1945 in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be thrown
1946 into the Thames and cooled, glowing hot, in that
1947 surge, like a horseshoe! Think of that—hissing
1948 hot—think of that, Master ⌜Brook.⌝
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1949 125In good sadness, sir, I am sorry that
1950 for my sake you have suffered all this. My suit,
1951 then, is desperate. You’ll undertake her no more?
FALSTAFF 1952 Master ⌜Brook,⌝ I will be thrown into Etna,
1953 as I have been into Thames, ere I will leave her
1954 130 thus. Her husband is this morning gone a-birding.
1955 I have received from her another embassy of meeting.
1956 ’Twixt eight and nine is the hour, Master
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 1958 ’Tis past eight already, sir.
FALSTAFF 1959 135Is it? I will then address me to my appointment.
1960 Come to me at your convenient leisure,
1961 and you shall know how I speed; and the conclusion
1962 shall be crowned with your enjoying her.
1963 Adieu. You shall have her, Master ⌜Brook.⌝ Master
1964 140 ⌜Brook,⌝ you shall cuckold Ford.⌜Falstaff exits.⌝
FORD 1965 Hum! Ha! Is this a vision? Is this a dream? Do I
1966 sleep? Master Ford, awake! Awake, Master Ford!
1967 There’s a hole made in your best coat, Master
1968 Ford. This ’tis to be married; this ’tis to have linen
1969 145 and buck-baskets! Well, I will proclaim myself
1970 what I am. I will now take the lecher. He is at my
1972 should. He cannot creep into a half-penny purse,
1973 nor into a pepper-box. But lest the devil that
1974 150 guides him should aid him, I will search impossible
1975 places. Though what I am I cannot avoid, yet to
1976 be what I would not shall not make me tame. If I
1977 have horns to make one mad, let the proverb go
1978 with me: I’ll be horn-mad.
MISTRESS PAGE 1979 Is he at Master Ford’s already, think’st
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1981 Sure he is by this, or will be presently.
1982 But truly he is very courageous mad about
1983 5 his throwing into the water. Mistress Ford desires
1984 you to come suddenly.
MISTRESS PAGE 1985 I’ll be with her by and by. I’ll but bring
1986 my young man here to school.
Enter ⌜Sir Hugh⌝ Evans.
1987 Look where his master comes. ’Tis a playing day, I
1988 10 see.—How now, Sir Hugh, no school today?
SIR HUGH 1989 No. Master Slender is let the boys leave to
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1991 Blessing of his heart!
MISTRESS PAGE 1992 Sir Hugh, my husband says my son
1993 15 profits nothing in the world at his book. I pray you,
1994 ask him some questions in his accidence.
SIR HUGH 1995 Come hither, William. Hold up your head.
MISTRESS PAGE 1997 Come on, sirrah. Hold up your head.
1998 20 Answer your master. Be not afraid.
SIR HUGH 1999 William, how many numbers is in nouns?
WILLIAM 2000 Two.
2002 number more, because they say “’Od’s nouns.”
SIR HUGH 2003 25Peace your tattlings!—What is “fair,”
WILLIAM 2005 Pulcher.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 2006 Polecats? There are fairer things
2007 than polecats, sure.
SIR HUGH 2008 30You are a very simplicity ’oman. I pray you,
2009 peace.—What is lapis, William?
WILLIAM 2010 A stone.
SIR HUGH 2011 And what is “a stone,” William?
WILLIAM 2012 A pebble.
SIR HUGH 2013 35No. It is lapis. I pray you, remember in your
WILLIAM 2015 Lapis.
SIR HUGH 2016 That is a good William. What is he, William,
2017 that does lend articles?
WILLIAM 2018 40Articles are borrowed of the pronoun and be
2019 thus declined: singulariter, nominativo, hic, haec,
SIR HUGH 2021 Nominativo, hig, haeg, hog. Pray you, mark:
2022 genitivo, huius. Well, what is your accusative case?
WILLIAM 2023 45Accusativo, hinc.
SIR HUGH 2024 I pray you, have your remembrance, child.
2025 Accusativo, ⌜hung,⌝ hang, hog.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 2026 “Hang-hog” is Latin for bacon, I
2027 warrant you.
SIR HUGH 2028 50Leave your prabbles, ’oman.—What is the
2029 focative case, William?
WILLIAM 2030 O—vocativo—O—
SIR HUGH 2031 Remember, William, focative is caret.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 2032 And that’s a good root.
SIR HUGH 2033 55’Oman, forbear.
MISTRESS PAGE, ⌜to Mistress Quickly⌝ 2034 Peace!
SIR HUGH 2035 What is your genitive case plural, William?
WILLIAM 2036 Genitive case?
WILLIAM 2038 60Genitive: horum, harum, horum.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 2039 Vengeance of Ginny’s case! Fie on
2040 her! Never name her, child, if she be a whore.
SIR HUGH 2041 For shame, ’oman!
MISTRESS QUICKLY 2042 You do ill to teach the child such
2043 65 words.—He teaches him to hick and to hack,
2044 which they’ll do fast enough of themselves, and to
2045 call “whorum.”—Fie upon you!
SIR HUGH 2046 ’Oman, art thou lunatics? Hast thou no understandings
2047 for thy cases and the numbers of the
2048 70 genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as
2049 I would desires.
MISTRESS PAGE, ⌜to Mistress Quickly⌝ 2050 Prithee, hold thy
SIR HUGH 2052 Show me now, William, some declensions of
2053 75 your pronouns.
WILLIAM 2054 Forsooth, I have forgot.
SIR HUGH 2055 It is qui, quae, quod. If you forget your qui’s,
2056 your quae’s, and your quod’s, you must be
2057 preeches. Go your ways and play, go.
MISTRESS PAGE 2058 80He is a better scholar than I thought he
SIR HUGH 2060 He is a good sprag memory. Farewell, Mistress
MISTRESS PAGE 2062 Adieu, good Sir Hugh.—Get you home,
2063 85 boy. ⌜(To Mistress Quickly.)⌝ Come. We stay too
FALSTAFF 2065 Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up
2066 my sufferance. I see you are obsequious in your
2067 love, and I profess requital to a hair’s breadth, not
2069 5 but in all the accoutrement, compliment, and ceremony
2070 of it. But are you sure of your husband now?
MISTRESS FORD 2071 He’s a-birding, sweet Sir John.
MISTRESS PAGE, ⌜within⌝ 2072 What ho, gossip Ford! What
MISTRESS FORD 2074 10Step into th’ chamber, Sir John.
Enter Mistress Page.
MISTRESS PAGE 2075 How now, sweetheart, who’s at home
2076 besides yourself?
MISTRESS FORD 2077 Why, none but mine own people.
MISTRESS PAGE 2078 Indeed?
MISTRESS FORD 2079 15No, certainly. ⌜Aside to her.⌝ Speak
MISTRESS PAGE 2081 Truly, I am so glad you have nobody
MISTRESS FORD 2083 Why?
MISTRESS PAGE 2084 20Why, woman, your husband is in his
2085 old ⌜lunes⌝ again. He so takes on yonder with my
2086 husband, so rails against all married mankind, so
2087 curses all Eve’s daughters of what complexion soever,
2088 and so buffets himself on the forehead, crying
2089 25 “Peer out, peer out!” that any madness I ever yet
2090 beheld seemed but tameness, civility, and patience
2091 to this his distemper he is in now. I am glad the fat
2092 knight is not here.
MISTRESS FORD 2093 Why, does he talk of him?
MISTRESS PAGE 2094 30Of none but him, and swears he was
2095 carried out, the last time he searched for him, in a
2096 basket; protests to my husband he is now here;
2097 and hath drawn him and the rest of their company
2098 from their sport to make another experiment of
2099 35 his suspicion. But I am glad the knight is not here.
2100 Now he shall see his own foolery.
MISTRESS PAGE 2102 Hard by, at street end. He will be here
MISTRESS FORD 2104 40I am undone! The knight is here.
MISTRESS PAGE 2105 Why then, you are utterly shamed, and
2106 he’s but a dead man. What a woman are you! Away
2107 with him, away with him! Better shame than
MISTRESS FORD 2109 45Which way should he go? How should
2110 I bestow him? Shall I put him into the basket
⌜Enter Sir John Falstaff.⌝
FALSTAFF 2112 No, I’ll come no more i’ th’ basket. May I not
2113 go out ere he come?
MISTRESS PAGE 2114 50Alas, three of Master Ford’s brothers
2115 watch the door with pistols, that none shall issue
2116 out. Otherwise you might slip away ere he came.
2117 But what make you here?
FALSTAFF 2118 What shall I do? I’ll creep up into the
2119 55 chimney.
MISTRESS FORD 2120 There they always use to discharge
2121 their birding pieces.
⌜MISTRESS PAGE⌝ 2122 Creep into the kiln-hole.
FALSTAFF 2123 Where is it?
MISTRESS FORD 2124 60He will seek there, on my word. Neither
2125 press, coffer, chest, trunk, well, vault, but he
2126 hath an abstract for the remembrance of such
2127 places, and goes to them by his note. There is no
2128 hiding you in the house.
FALSTAFF 2129 65I’ll go out, then.
MISTRESS ⌜PAGE⌝ 2130 If you go out in your own semblance,
2131 you die, Sir John—unless you go out disguised.
MISTRESS FORD 2132 How might we disguise him?
MISTRESS PAGE 2133 Alas the day, I know not. There is no
2134 70 woman’s gown big enough for him; otherwise he
2136 so escape.
FALSTAFF 2137 Good hearts, devise something. Any extremity
2138 rather than a mischief.
MISTRESS FORD 2139 75My maid’s aunt, the fat woman of
2140 Brentford, has a gown above.
MISTRESS PAGE 2141 On my word, it will serve him. She’s as
2142 big as he is. And there’s her thrummed hat and her
2143 muffler too.—Run up, Sir John.
MISTRESS FORD 2144 80Go, go, sweet Sir John. Mistress Page
2145 and I will look some linen for your head.
MISTRESS PAGE 2146 Quick, quick! We’ll come dress you
2147 straight. Put on the gown the while.
MISTRESS FORD 2148 I would my husband would meet him
2149 85 in this shape. He cannot abide the old woman of
2150 Brentford. He swears she’s a witch, forbade her my
2151 house, and hath threatened to beat her.
MISTRESS PAGE 2152 Heaven guide him to thy husband’s
2153 cudgel, and the devil guide his cudgel afterwards!
MISTRESS FORD 2154 90But is my husband coming?
MISTRESS PAGE 2155 Ay, in good sadness is he, and talks of
2156 the basket too, howsoever he hath had
MISTRESS FORD 2158 We’ll try that; for I’ll appoint my men
2159 95 to carry the basket again, to meet him at the door
2160 with it as they did last time.
MISTRESS PAGE 2161 Nay, but he’ll be here presently. Let’s go
2162 dress him like the witch of Brentford.
MISTRESS FORD 2163 I’ll first direct my men what they shall
2164 100 do with the basket. Go up. I’ll bring linen for him
2165 straight.⌜She exits.⌝
MISTRESS PAGE 2166 Hang him, dishonest varlet! We cannot
2167 misuse ⌜him⌝ enough.
2168 We’ll leave a proof, by that which we will do,
2169 105 Wives may be merry and yet honest too.
2171 ’Tis old but true: “Still swine eats all the draff.”
⌜Enter Mistress Ford with Robert and John,
who bring the buck-basket.⌝
MISTRESS FORD 2172 Go, sirs, take the basket again on your
2173 shoulders. Your master is hard at door. If he bid
2174 110 you set it down, obey him. Quickly, dispatch.
⌜ROBERT⌝ 2175 Come, come, take it up.
⌜JOHN⌝ 2176 Pray heaven it be not full of knight again.
⌜ROBERT⌝ 2177 I hope not. I had lief as bear so much lead.
⌜They pick up the basket.⌝
Enter Ford, Page, ⌜Doctor⌝ Caius, ⌜Sir Hugh⌝
Evans, ⌜and⌝ Shallow.
FORD 2178 Ay, but if it prove true, Master Page, have you
2179 115 any way then to unfool me again?—Set down the
2180 basket, villain. ⌜They put the basket down.⌝ Somebody
2181 call my wife. Youth in a basket! O, you panderly
2182 rascals! There’s a knot, a ⌜gang,⌝ a pack, a
2183 conspiracy against me. Now shall the devil be
2184 120 shamed.—What, wife, I say! Come, come forth!
2185 Behold what honest clothes you send forth to
PAGE 2187 Why, this passes, Master Ford! You are not to go
2188 loose any longer; you must be pinioned.
SIR HUGH 2189 125Why, this is lunatics. This is mad as a mad
SHALLOW 2191 Indeed, Master Ford, this is not well, indeed.
FORD 2192 So say I too, sir.
⌜Enter Mistress Ford.⌝
2193 Come hither, Mistress Ford.—Mistress Ford, the
2194 130 honest woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature,
2196 suspect without cause, mistress, do I?
MISTRESS FORD 2197 Heaven be my witness you do, if you
2198 suspect me in any dishonesty.
FORD 2199 135Well said, brazen-face. Hold it out.—Come
2200 forth, sirrah.⌜He pulls clothes out of the basket.⌝
PAGE 2201 This passes.
MISTRESS FORD 2202 Are you not ashamed? Let the clothes
FORD 2204 140I shall find you anon.
SIR HUGH 2205 ’Tis unreasonable. Will you take up your
2206 wife’s clothes? Come, away.
FORD, ⌜to the Servants⌝ 2207 Empty the basket, I say.
MISTRESS FORD 2208 Why, man, why?
FORD 2209 145Master Page, as I am a man, there was one conveyed
2210 out of my house yesterday in this basket.
2211 Why may not he be there again? In my house I am
2212 sure he is. My intelligence is true, my jealousy is
2213 reasonable.—Pluck me out all the linen.
MISTRESS FORD 2214 150If you find a man there, he shall die a
2215 flea’s death.⌜Robert and John empty the basket.⌝
PAGE 2216 Here’s no man.
SHALLOW 2217 By my fidelity, this is not well, Master Ford.
2218 This wrongs you.
SIR HUGH 2219 155Master Ford, you must pray, and not follow
2220 the imaginations of your own heart. This is
FORD 2222 Well, he’s not here I seek for.
PAGE 2223 No, nor nowhere else but in your brain.
FORD 2224 160Help to search my house this one time. If I find
2225 not what I seek, show no color for my extremity.
2226 Let me forever be your table-sport. Let them say of
2227 me “As jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow
2228 walnut for his wife’s leman.” Satisfy me once
2229 165 more. Once more search with me.
⌜Robert and John refill the basket and carry it off.⌝
2231 Page! Come you and the old woman down. My
2232 husband will come into the chamber.
FORD 2233 “Old woman”? What old woman’s that?
MISTRESS FORD 2234 170Why, it is my maid’s aunt of Brentford.
FORD 2235 A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have
2236 I not forbid her my house? She comes of errands,
2237 does she? We are simple men; we do not know
2238 what’s brought to pass under the profession of
2239 175 fortune-telling. She works by charms, by spells, by
2240 th’ figure, and such daubery as this is, beyond our
2241 element. We know nothing.— Come down, you
2242 witch, you hag, you! Come down, I say!
⌜Ford seizes a cudgel.⌝
MISTRESS FORD 2243 Nay, good sweet husband!—Good gentlemen,
2244 180 let him ⌜not⌝ strike the old woman.
⌜Enter Mistress Page and Sir John Falstaff disguised
as an old woman.⌝
MISTRESS PAGE 2245 Come, Mother Pratt; come, give me
2246 your hand.
FORD 2247 I’ll pratt her. ⌜(He beats Falstaff.)⌝ Out of my
2248 door, you witch, you rag, you baggage, you polecat,
2249 185 you runnion! Out, out! I’ll conjure you, I’ll
2250 fortune-tell you!⌜Falstaff exits.⌝
MISTRESS PAGE 2251 Are you not ashamed? I think you have
2252 killed the poor woman.
MISTRESS FORD 2253 Nay, he will do it.—’Tis a goodly credit
2254 190 for you.
FORD 2255 Hang her, witch!
SIR HUGH 2256 By yea and no, I think the ’oman is a witch
2257 indeed. I like not when a ’oman has a great peard.
2258 I spy a great peard under ⌜her⌝ muffler.
FORD 2259 195Will you follow, gentlemen? I beseech you, follow.
2260 See but the issue of my jealousy. If I cry out
2261 thus upon no trail, never trust me when I open
2264 200 gentlemen.
⌜Ford, Page, Caius, Sir Hugh, and Shallow exit.⌝
MISTRESS PAGE 2265 Trust me, he beat him most pitifully.
MISTRESS FORD 2266 Nay, by th’ Mass, that he did not; he
2267 beat him most unpitifully, methought.
MISTRESS PAGE 2268 I’ll have the cudgel hallowed and hung
2269 205 o’er the altar. It hath done meritorious service.
MISTRESS FORD 2270 What think you? May we, with the
2271 warrant of womanhood and the witness of a good
2272 conscience, pursue him with any further revenge?
MISTRESS PAGE 2273 The spirit of wantonness is, sure,
2274 210 scared out of him. If the devil have him not in fee
2275 simple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I
2276 think, in the way of waste, attempt us again.
MISTRESS FORD 2277 Shall we tell our husbands how we
2278 have served him?
MISTRESS PAGE 2279 215Yes, by all means—if it be but to scrape
2280 the figures out of your husband’s brains. If they
2281 can find in their hearts the poor unvirtuous fat
2282 knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will
2283 still be the ministers.
MISTRESS FORD 2284 220I’ll warrant they’ll have him publicly
2285 shamed, and methinks there would be no period to
2286 the jest should he not be publicly shamed.
MISTRESS PAGE 2287 Come, to the forge with it, then shape
2288 it. I would not have things cool.
BARDOLPH 2289 Sir, the ⌜Germans desire⌝ to have three of
2290 your horses. The Duke himself will be tomorrow at
2291 court, and they are going to meet him.
2293 5 hear not of him in the court. Let me speak with the
2294 gentlemen. They speak English?
BARDOLPH 2295 Ay, sir. I’ll call ⌜them⌝ to you.
HOST 2296 They shall have my horses, but I’ll make them
2297 pay. I’ll sauce them. They have had my ⌜house⌝ a
2298 10 week at command; I have turned away my other
2299 guests. They must come off. I’ll sauce them. Come.
⌜Sir Hugh⌝ Evans.
SIR HUGH 2300 ’Tis one of the best discretions of a ’oman as
2301 ever I did look upon.
PAGE 2302 And did he send you both these letters at an
MISTRESS PAGE 2304 5Within a quarter of an hour.
2305 Pardon me, wife. Henceforth do what thou wilt.
2306 I rather will suspect the sun with ⌜cold⌝
2307 Than thee with wantonness. Now doth thy honor
2309 10 In him that was of late an heretic,
2310 As firm as faith.
PAGE 2311 ’Tis well, ’tis well. No more.
2312 Be not as extreme in submission as in offense.
2313 But let our plot go forward. Let our wives
2314 15 Yet once again, to make us public sport,
2315 Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,
2316 Where we may take him and disgrace him for it.
2317 There is no better way than that they spoke of.
PAGE 2318 How, to send him word they’ll meet him in the
2319 20 park at midnight? Fie, fie, he’ll never come.
2321 and has been grievously peaten as an old ’oman.
2322 Methinks there should be terrors in him, that he
2323 should not come. Methinks his flesh is punished;
2324 25 he shall have no desires.
PAGE 2325 So think I too.
2326 Devise but how you’ll use him when he comes,
2327 And let us two devise to bring him thither.
2328 There is an old tale goes that Herne the Hunter,
2329 30 Sometime a keeper here in Windsor Forest,
2330 Doth all the wintertime, at still midnight,
2331 Walk round about an oak, with great ragged horns,
2332 And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle,
2333 And ⌜makes⌝ milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a
2334 35 chain
2335 In a most hideous and dreadful manner.
2336 You have heard of such a spirit, and well you know
2337 The superstitious idle-headed eld
2338 Received and did deliver to our age
2339 40 This tale of Herne the Hunter for a truth.
2340 Why, yet there want not many that do fear
2341 In deep of night to walk by this Herne’s oak.
2342 But what of this?
MISTRESS FORD 2343 Marry, this is our device,
2344 45 That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us.
2345 Well, let it not be doubted but he’ll come.
2346 And in this shape when you have brought him
2348 What shall be done with him? What is your plot?
2349 50 That likewise have we thought upon, and thus:
2350 Nan Page my daughter, and my little son,
2352 Like urchins, aufs, and fairies, green and white,
2353 With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads
2354 55 And rattles in their hands. Upon a sudden,
2355 As Falstaff, she, and I are newly met,
2356 Let them from forth a sawpit rush at once
2357 With some diffusèd song. Upon their sight,
2358 We two in great amazedness will fly.
2359 60 Then let them all encircle him about,
2360 And, fairy-like, to pinch the unclean knight,
2361 And ask him why, that hour of fairy revel,
2362 In their so sacred paths he dares to tread
2363 In shape profane.
FORD 2364 65 And till he tell the truth,
2365 Let the supposèd fairies pinch him sound
2366 And burn him with their tapers.
MISTRESS PAGE 2367 The truth being known,
2368 We’ll all present ourselves, dis-horn the spirit,
2369 70 And mock him home to Windsor.
FORD 2370 The children must
2371 Be practiced well to this, or they’ll ne’er do ’t.
SIR HUGH 2372 I will teach the children their behaviors, and
2373 I will be like a jackanapes also, to burn the knight
2374 75 with my taber.
FORD 2375 That will be excellent. I’ll go buy them vizards.
2376 My Nan shall be the queen of all the fairies,
2377 Finely attirèd in a robe of white.
2378 That silk will I go buy. ⌜(Aside.)⌝ And in that time
2379 80 Shall Master Slender steal my Nan away
2380 And marry her at Eton.—Go, send to Falstaff
2382 Nay, I’ll to him again in name of ⌜Brook.⌝
2383 He’ll tell me all his purpose. Sure he’ll come.
2384 85 Fear not you that. Go get us properties
2385 And tricking for our fairies.
SIR HUGH 2386 Let us about it. It is admirable pleasures and
2387 fery honest knaveries.
⌜Page, Ford, and Sir Hugh exit.⌝
MISTRESS PAGE 2388 Go, Mistress Ford,
2389 90 Send quickly to Sir John to know his mind.
⌜Mistress Ford exits.⌝
2390 I’ll to the doctor. He hath my good will,
2391 And none but he, to marry with Nan Page.
2392 That Slender, though well-landed, is an idiot,
2393 And he my husband best of all affects.
2394 95 The doctor is well-moneyed, and his friends
2395 Potent at court. He, none but he, shall have her,
2396 Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave her.
HOST 2397 What wouldst thou have, boor? What, thickskin?
2398 Speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick,
SIMPLE 2400 Marry, sir, I come to speak with Sir John Falstaff
2401 5 from Master Slender.
HOST 2402 There’s his chamber, his house, his castle, his
2403 standing-bed and truckle-bed. ’Tis painted about
2404 with the story of the Prodigal, fresh and new. Go,
2405 knock and call. He’ll speak like an Anthropophaginian
2406 10 unto thee. Knock, I say.
SIMPLE 2407 There’s an old woman, a fat woman, gone up
2408 into his chamber. I’ll be so bold as stay, sir, till she
2409 come down. I come to speak with her, indeed.
HOST 2410 Ha? A fat woman? The knight may be robbed.
2411 15 I’ll call.—Bully knight! Bully Sir John! Speak from
2413 thine Ephesian, calls.
FALSTAFF, ⌜within⌝ 2414 How now, mine Host?
HOST 2415 Here’s a Bohemian Tartar tarries the coming
2416 20 down of thy fat woman. Let her descend, bully, let
2417 her descend. My chambers are honorable. Fie! Privacy?
Enter ⌜Sir John⌝ Falstaff.
FALSTAFF 2419 There was, mine Host, an old fat woman
2420 even now with me, but she’s gone.
SIMPLE 2421 25Pray you, sir, was ’t not the wise woman of
FALSTAFF 2423 Ay, marry, was it, mussel-shell. What would
2424 you with her?
SIMPLE 2425 My master, sir, my Master Slender, sent to her,
2426 30 seeing her go through the streets, to know, sir,
2427 whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain,
2428 had the chain or no.
FALSTAFF 2429 I spake with the old woman about it.
SIMPLE 2430 And what says she, I pray, sir?
FALSTAFF 2431 35Marry, she says that the very same man that
2432 beguiled Master Slender of his chain cozened him
2433 of it.
SIMPLE 2434 I would I could have spoken with the woman
2435 herself. I had other things to have spoken with her
2436 40 too from him.
FALSTAFF 2437 What are they? Let us know.
HOST 2438 Ay, come. Quick!
⌜SIMPLE⌝ 2439 I may not conceal them, sir.
HOST 2440 Conceal them, or thou diest.
SIMPLE 2441 45Why, sir, they were nothing but about Mistress
2442 Anne Page, to know if it were my master’s fortune
2443 to have her or no.
FALSTAFF 2444 ’Tis; ’tis his fortune.
SIMPLE 2445 What, sir?
2447 me so.
SIMPLE 2448 May I be bold to say so, sir?
FALSTAFF 2449 Ay, sir; like who more bold.
SIMPLE 2450 I thank your Worship. I shall make my master
2451 55 glad with these tidings.⌜He exits.⌝
HOST 2452 Thou ⌜art⌝ clerkly, thou art clerkly, Sir John. Was
2453 there a wise woman with thee?
FALSTAFF 2454 Ay, that there was, mine Host, one that hath
2455 taught me more wit than ever I learned before in
2456 60 my life. And I paid nothing for it neither, but was
2457 paid for my learning.
BARDOLPH, ⌜to Host⌝ 2458 Out, alas, sir, cozenage, mere
HOST 2460 Where be my horses? Speak well of them,
2461 65 varletto.
BARDOLPH 2462 Run away with the cozeners. For so soon as
2463 I came beyond Eton, they threw me off from behind
2464 one of them in a slough of mire, and set
2465 spurs, and away, like three German devils, three
2466 70 Doctor Faustuses.
HOST 2467 They are gone but to meet the Duke, villain. Do
2468 not say they be fled. Germans are honest men.
Enter ⌜Sir Hugh⌝ Evans.
SIR HUGH 2469 Where is mine Host?
HOST 2470 What is the matter, sir?
SIR HUGH 2471 75Have a care of your entertainments. There is
2472 a friend of mine come to town tells me there is
2473 three cozen-Germans that has cozened all the
2474 hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colnbrook,
2475 of horses and money. I tell you for good will, look
2476 80 you. You are wise, and full of gibes and vlouting-stocks,
2477 and ’tis not convenient you should be cozened.
2478 Fare you well.⌜He exits.⌝
DOCTOR CAIUS 2479 Vere is mine Host de Jarteer?
HOST 2480 Here, Master Doctor, in perplexity and doubtful
2481 85 dilemma.
DOCTOR CAIUS 2482 I cannot tell vat is dat. But it is tell-a me
2483 dat you make grand preparation for a duke de
2484 Jamanie. By my trot, dere is no duke that the court
2485 is know to come. I tell you for good will. Adieu.
HOST, ⌜to Bardolph⌝ 2486 90Hue and cry, villain, go!—Assist
2487 me, knight. I am undone.—Fly, run; hue and cry,
2488 villain! I am undone.⌜Host and Bardolph exit.⌝
FALSTAFF 2489 I would all the world might be cozened, for I
2490 have been cozened and beaten too. If it should
2491 95 come to the ear of the court how I have been transformed,
2492 and how my transformation hath been
2493 washed and cudgeled, they would melt me out of
2494 my fat drop by drop, and liquor fishermen’s boots
2495 with me. I warrant they would whip me with their
2496 100 fine wits till I were as crestfallen as a dried pear. I
2497 never prospered since I forswore myself at
2498 primero. Well, if my wind were but long enough, I
2499 would repent.
Enter ⌜Mistress⌝ Quickly.
2500 Now, whence come you?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 2501 105From the two parties, forsooth.
FALSTAFF 2502 The devil take one party, and his dam the
2503 other, and so they shall be both bestowed. I have
2504 suffered more for their sakes, more than the villainous
2505 inconstancy of man’s disposition is able to
2506 110 bear.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 2507 And have not they suffered? Yes, I
2508 warrant, speciously one of them. Mistress Ford,
2510 see a white spot about her.
FALSTAFF 2511 115What tell’st thou me of black and blue? I was
2512 beaten myself into all the colors of the rainbow,
2513 and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of
2514 Brentford. But that my admirable dexterity of wit,
2515 my counterfeiting the action of an old woman, delivered
2516 120 me, the knave constable had set me i’ th’
2517 stocks, i’ th’ common stocks, for a witch.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 2518 Sir, let me speak with you in your
2519 chamber. You shall hear how things go, and, I warrant,
2520 to your content. Here is a letter will say
2521 125 somewhat. ⌜She gives him a paper.⌝ Good hearts,
2522 what ado here is to bring you together! Sure, one
2523 of you does not serve heaven well, that you are so
FALSTAFF 2525 Come up into my chamber.
HOST 2526 Master Fenton, talk not to me. My mind is
2527 heavy. I will give over all.
2528 Yet hear me speak. Assist me in my purpose,
2529 And, as I am a gentleman, I’ll give thee
2530 5 A hundred pound in gold more than your loss.
HOST 2531 I will hear you, Master Fenton, and I will, at the
2532 least, keep your counsel.
2533 From time to time I have acquainted you
2534 With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page,
2535 10 Who mutually hath answered my affection,
2536 So far forth as herself might be her chooser,
2538 Of such contents as you will wonder at,
2539 The mirth whereof so larded with my matter
2540 15 That neither singly can be manifested
2541 Without the show of both. Fat Falstaff
2542 Hath a great scene; the image of the jest
2543 I’ll show you here at large. ⌜He shows the Host a
paper.⌝ 2544 Hark, good mine Host:
2545 20 Tonight at Herne’s oak, just ’twixt twelve and one,
2546 Must my sweet Nan present the Fairy Queen—
2547 The purpose why is here—in which disguise,
2548 While other jests are something rank on foot,
2549 Her father hath commanded her to slip
2550 25 Away with Slender, and with him at Eton
2551 Immediately to marry. She hath consented. Now, sir,
2552 Her mother, ⌜ever⌝ strong against that match
2553 And firm for Doctor Caius, hath appointed
2554 That he shall likewise shuffle her away,
2555 30 While other sports are tasking of their minds,
2556 And at the dean’ry, where a priest attends,
2557 Straight marry her. To this her mother’s plot
2558 She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath
2559 Made promise to the doctor. Now, thus it rests:
2560 35 Her father means she shall be all in white,
2561 And in that habit, when Slender sees his time
2562 To take her by the hand and bid her go,
2563 She shall go with him. Her mother hath intended
2564 The better to ⌜denote⌝ her to the doctor—
2565 40 For they must all be masked and vizarded—
2566 That quaint in green she shall be loose enrobed,
2567 With ribbons pendent flaring ’bout her head;
2568 And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe,
2569 To pinch her by the hand, and on that token
2570 45 The maid hath given consent to go with him.
2571 Which means she to deceive, father or mother?
2572 Both, my good Host, to go along with me.
2573 And here it rests, that you’ll procure the vicar
2574 To stay for me at church ’twixt twelve and one,
2575 50 And, in the lawful name of marrying,
2576 To give our hearts united ceremony.
2577 Well, husband your device. I’ll to the vicar.
2578 Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.
2579 So shall I evermore be bound to thee;
2580 55 Besides, I’ll make a present recompense.
FALSTAFF 2581 Prithee, no more prattling. Go. I’ll hold. This
2582 is the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers.
2583 Away, go. They say there is divinity in odd
2584 numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death.
2585 5 Away.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 2586 I’ll provide you a chain, and I’ll do
2587 what I can to get you a pair of horns.
FALSTAFF 2588 Away, I say! Time wears. Hold up your head,
2589 and mince.⌜Mistress Quickly exits.⌝
Enter Ford ⌜disguised as Brook.⌝
2590 10 How now, Master ⌜Brook!⌝ Master ⌜Brook,⌝ the
2591 matter will be known tonight or never. Be you in
2592 the park about midnight, at Herne’s oak, and you
2593 shall see wonders.
FORD, ⌜as Brook⌝ 2594 Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as
2595 15 you told me you had appointed?
FALSTAFF 2596 I went to her, Master ⌜Brook,⌝ as you see,
2597 like a poor old man, but I came from her, Master
2598 ⌜Brook,⌝ like a poor old woman. That same knave
2599 Ford, her husband, hath the finest mad devil of
2600 20 jealousy in him, Master ⌜Brook,⌝ that ever governed
2601 frenzy. I will tell you, he beat me grievously,
2602 in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of man,
2604 beam, because I know also life is a shuttle. I am in
2605 25 haste. Go along with me; I’ll tell you all, Master
2606 ⌜Brook.⌝ Since I plucked geese, played truant, and
2607 whipped top, I knew not what ’twas to be beaten
2608 till lately. Follow me. I’ll tell you strange things of
2609 this knave Ford, on whom tonight I will be revenged,
2610 30 and I will deliver his wife into your hand.
2611 Follow. Strange things in hand, Master ⌜Brook!⌝
PAGE 2613 Come, come. We’ll couch i’ th’ castle ditch till we
2614 see the light of our fairies.—Remember, son Slender,
SLENDER 2616 Ay, forsooth, I have spoke with her, and we
2617 5 have a nayword how to know one another. I come
2618 to her in white and cry “mum,” she cries “budget,”
2619 and by that we know one another.
SHALLOW 2620 That’s good too. But what needs either your
2621 “mum” or her “budget”? The white will decipher
2622 10 her well enough. It hath struck ten o’clock.
PAGE 2623 The night is dark. Light and spirits will become
2624 it well. Heaven prosper our sport! No man means
2625 evil but the devil, and we shall know him by his
2626 horns. Let’s away. Follow me.
MISTRESS PAGE 2627 Master Doctor, my daughter is in
2628 green. When you see your time, take her by the
2630 it quickly. Go before into the park. We two must go
2631 5 together.
DOCTOR CAIUS 2632 I know vat I have to do. Adieu.
MISTRESS PAGE 2633 Fare you well, sir.⌜Caius exits.⌝
2634 My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse
2635 of Falstaff as he will chafe at the doctor’s marrying
2636 10 my daughter. But ’tis no matter. Better a little chiding
2637 than a great deal of heartbreak.
MISTRESS FORD 2638 Where is Nan now, and her troop of
2639 fairies, and the Welsh devil ⌜Hugh?⌝
MISTRESS PAGE 2640 They are all couched in a pit hard by
2641 15 Herne’s oak, with obscured lights, which, at the
2642 very instant of Falstaff’s and our meeting, they will
2643 at once display to the night.
MISTRESS FORD 2644 That cannot choose but amaze him.
MISTRESS PAGE 2645 If he be not amazed, he will be
2646 20 mocked. If he be amazed, he will every way be
MISTRESS FORD 2648 We’ll betray him finely.
2649 Against such lewdsters and their lechery,
2650 Those that betray them do no treachery.
MISTRESS FORD 2651 25The hour draws on. To the oak, to the
like him, as⌝ Fairies.
SIR HUGH 2653 Trib, trib, fairies! Come, and remember
2654 your parts. Be pold, I pray you. Follow me into the
2655 pit, and when I give the watch-’ords, do as I pid
2656 you. Come, come; trib, trib.They exit.
FALSTAFF 2657 The Windsor bell hath struck twelve. The
2658 minute draws on. Now, the ⌜hot-blooded⌝ gods assist
2659 me! Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy
2660 Europa; love set on thy horns. O powerful love,
2661 5 that in some respects makes a beast a man, in
2662 some other a man a beast! You were also, Jupiter,
2663 a swan for the love of Leda. O omnipotent love,
2664 how near the god drew to the complexion of a
2665 goose! A fault done first in the form of a beast; O
2666 10 Jove, a beastly fault! And then another fault in the
2667 semblance of a fowl; think on ’t, Jove, a foul fault.
2668 When gods have hot backs, what shall poor men
2669 do? For me, I am here a Windsor stag, and the fattest,
2670 I think, i’ th’ forest. Send me a cool rut-time,
2671 15 Jove, or who can blame me to piss my tallow?
Enter Mistress Page ⌜and⌝ Mistress Ford.
2672 Who comes here? My doe?
MISTRESS FORD 2673 Sir John? Art thou there, my deer, my
2674 male deer?
FALSTAFF 2675 My doe with the black scut! Let the sky rain
2676 20 potatoes, let it thunder to the tune of “Greensleeves,”
2677 hail kissing-comfits, and snow eryngoes; let there
2678 come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me
2679 here.⌜He embraces her.⌝
MISTRESS FORD 2680 Mistress Page is come with me,
2681 25 sweetheart.
FALSTAFF 2682 Divide me like a bribed buck, each a haunch.
2683 I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for
2684 the fellow of this walk, and my horns I bequeath
2685 your husbands. Am I a woodman, ha? Speak I like
2686 30 Herne the Hunter? Why, now is Cupid a child of
2687 conscience; he makes restitution. As I am a true
2688 spirit, welcome.⌜A noise of horns within.⌝
MISTRESS FORD 2690 Heaven forgive our sins!
FALSTAFF 2691 35What should this be?
MISTRESS FORD and MISTRESS PAGE 2692 Away, away.
⌜The two women run off.⌝
FALSTAFF 2693 I think the devil will not have me damned,
2694 lest the oil that’s in me should set hell on fire. He
2695 would never else cross me thus.
Enter ⌜Mistress⌝ Quickly, Pistol, ⌜Sir Hugh⌝ Evans,
Anne Page ⌜and boys, all disguised as⌝ Fairies ⌜and
MISTRESS QUICKLY, ⌜as Fairy Queen⌝
2696 40 Fairies black, gray, green, and white,
2697 You moonshine revelers and shades of night,
2698 You orphan heirs of fixèd destiny,
2699 Attend your office and your quality.
2700 Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy oyes.
PISTOL, ⌜as Hobgoblin⌝
2701 45 Elves, list your names. Silence, you airy toys!—
2702 Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap,
2703 Where fires thou find’st unraked and hearths
2705 There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry.
2706 50 Our radiant queen hates sluts and sluttery.
2707 They are fairies. He that speaks to them shall die.
2708 I’ll wink and couch. No man their works must eye.
⌜He crouches down and covers his eyes.⌝
SIR HUGH, ⌜as a fairy⌝
2709 Where’s Bead? Go you, and where you find a maid
2710 That ere she sleep has thrice her prayers said,
2711 55 Raise up the organs of her fantasy;
2712 Sleep she as sound as careless infancy.
2713 But those as sleep and think not on their sins,
2714 Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides, and
2717 Search Windsor Castle, elves, within and out.
2718 Strew good luck, aufs, on every sacred room,
2719 That it may stand till the perpetual doom
2720 In state as wholesome as in state ’tis fit,
2721 65 Worthy the owner, and the owner it.
2722 The several chairs of order look you scour
2723 With juice of balm and every precious flower.
2724 Each fair installment, coat, and sev’ral crest
2725 With loyal blazon evermore be blest!
2726 70 And nightly, meadow fairies, look you sing,
2727 Like to the Garter’s compass, in a ring.
2728 Th’ expressure that it bears, green let it be,
2729 ⌜More⌝ fertile-fresh than all the field to see;
2730 And Honi soit qui mal y pense write
2731 75 In em’rald tufts, flowers purple, blue, and white,
2732 Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery,
2733 Buckled below fair knighthood’s bending knee.
2734 Fairies use flowers for their charactery.
2735 Away, disperse! But till ’tis one o’clock,
2736 80 Our dance of custom round about the oak
2737 Of Herne the Hunter let us not forget.
SIR HUGH, ⌜as a fairy⌝
2738 Pray you, lock hand in hand. Yourselves in order set;
2739 And twenty glowworms shall our lanterns be,
2740 To guide our measure round about the tree.
2741 85 But stay! I smell a man of Middle Earth.
FALSTAFF, ⌜aside⌝ 2742 Heavens defend me from that Welsh
2743 fairy, lest he transform me to a piece of cheese.
PISTOL, ⌜as Hobgoblin, to Falstaff⌝
2744 Vile worm, thou wast o’erlooked even in thy birth.
MISTRESS QUICKLY, ⌜as Fairy Queen, to Sir Hugh⌝
2745 With trial-fire touch me his finger-end.
2746 90 If he be chaste, the flame will back descend
2747 And turn him to no pain. But if he start,
2748 It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.
2749 A trial, come!
SIR HUGH, ⌜as a fairy⌝ 2750 Come, will this wood take fire?
⌜Sir Hugh puts a taper to Falstaff’s finger, and he starts.⌝
FALSTAFF 2751 95O, O, O!
MISTRESS QUICKLY, ⌜as Fairy Queen⌝
2752 Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire!
2753 About him, fairies. Sing a scornful rhyme,
2754 And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time.
⌜Here they pinch him and sing about him, and Doctor
Caius comes one way and steals away a boy in white.
And Slender comes another way; he takes a boy in
green. And Fenton steals Mistress Anne Page.⌝
2755 Fie on sinful fantasy!
2756 100 Fie on lust and luxury!
2757 Lust is but a bloody fire
2758 Kindled with unchaste desire,
2759 Fed in heart whose flames aspire
2760 As thoughts do blow them higher and higher.
2761 105 Pinch him, fairies, mutually;
2762 Pinch him for his villainy.
2763 Pinch him and burn him and turn him about,
2764 Till candles and starlight and moonshine be out.
⌜A noise of hunting is made within, and all the fairies
run away from Falstaff, who pulls off his buck’s head
and rises up.⌝ Enter Page, ⌜Mistress Page,
Mistress Ford and⌝ Ford.
PAGE, ⌜to Falstaff⌝
2765 Nay, do not fly. I think we have watched you now.
2766 110 Will none but Herne the Hunter serve your turn?
2767 I pray you, come, hold up the jest no higher.—
2768 Now, good Sir John, how like you Windsor wives?
2769 See you these, husband? Do not these fair yokes
2770 Become the forest better than the town?
FORD, ⌜to Falstaff⌝ 2771 115Now, sir, who’s a cuckold now?
2772 Master ⌜Brook,⌝ Falstaff’s a knave, a cuckoldly
2773 knave. Here are his horns, Master ⌜Brook.⌝ And,
2774 Master ⌜Brook,⌝ he hath enjoyed nothing of Ford’s
2775 but his buck-basket, his cudgel, and twenty
2776 120 pounds of money, which must be paid to Master
2777 ⌜Brook.⌝ His horses are arrested for it, Master
MISTRESS FORD 2779 Sir John, we have had ill luck. We
2780 could never meet. I will never take you for my love
2781 125 again, but I will always count you my deer.
FALSTAFF 2782 I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass.
FORD 2783 Ay, and an ox too. Both the proofs are extant.
FALSTAFF 2784 And these are not fairies. I was three or four
2785 times in the thought they were not fairies; and yet
2786 130 the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surprise of
2787 my powers, drove the grossness of the foppery into
2788 a received belief, in despite of the teeth of all
2789 rhyme and reason, that they were fairies. See now
2790 how wit may be made a Jack-a-Lent when ’tis upon
2791 135 ill employment.
SIR HUGH 2792 Sir John Falstaff, serve Got and leave your
2793 desires, and fairies will not pinse you.
FORD 2794 Well said, Fairy Hugh.
SIR HUGH 2795 And leave you your jealousies too, I pray
2796 140 you.
FORD 2797 I will never mistrust my wife again till thou art
2798 able to woo her in good English.
FALSTAFF 2799 Have I laid my brain in the sun and dried it,
2800 that it wants matter to prevent so gross o’erreaching
2801 145 as this? Am I ridden with a Welsh goat too?
2802 Shall I have a coxcomb of frieze? ’Tis time I were
2803 choked with a piece of toasted cheese.
2805 all putter.
FALSTAFF 2806 150“Seese” and “putter”? Have I lived to stand at
2807 the taunt of one that makes fritters of English?
2808 This is enough to be the decay of lust and late
2809 walking through the realm.
MISTRESS PAGE 2810 Why, Sir John, do you think though we
2811 155 would have thrust virtue out of our hearts by the
2812 head and shoulders, and have given ourselves
2813 without scruple to hell, that ever the devil could
2814 have made you our delight?
FORD 2815 What, a hodge-pudding? A bag of flax?
MISTRESS PAGE 2816 160A puffed man?
PAGE 2817 Old, cold, withered, and of intolerable entrails?
FORD 2818 And one that is as slanderous as Satan?
PAGE 2819 And as poor as Job?
FORD 2820 And as wicked as his wife?
SIR HUGH 2821 165And given to fornications, and to taverns,
2822 and sack, and wine, and metheglins, and to drinkings
2823 and swearings and starings, pribbles and
FALSTAFF 2825 Well, I am your theme. You have the start of
2826 170 me. I am dejected. I am not able to answer the
2827 Welsh flannel. Ignorance itself is a plummet o’er
2828 me. Use me as you will.
FORD 2829 Marry, sir, we’ll bring you to Windsor to one
2830 Master ⌜Brook,⌝ that you have cozened of money,
2831 175 to whom you should have been a pander. Over and
2832 above that you have suffered, I think to repay that
2833 money will be a biting affliction.
PAGE 2834 Yet be cheerful, knight. Thou shalt eat a posset
2835 tonight at my house, where I will desire thee to
2836 180 laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee. Tell her
2837 Master Slender hath married her daughter.
MISTRESS PAGE, ⌜aside⌝ 2838 Doctors doubt that. If Anne
2839 Page be my daughter, she is, by this, Doctor Caius’
SLENDER 2841 185Whoa, ho, ho, Father Page!
PAGE 2842 Son, how now! How now, son! Have you
SLENDER 2844 “Dispatched”? I’ll make the best in Gloucestershire
2845 know on ’t. Would I were hanged, la, else!
PAGE 2846 190Of what, son?
SLENDER 2847 I came yonder at Eton to marry Mistress
2848 Anne Page, and she’s a great lubberly boy. If it had
2849 not been i’ th’ church, I would have swinged him,
2850 or he should have swinged me. If I did not think it
2851 195 had been Anne Page, would I might never stir! And
2852 ’tis a post-master’s boy.
PAGE 2853 Upon my life, then, you took the wrong—
SLENDER 2854 What need you tell me that? I think so, when
2855 I took a boy for a girl. If I had been married to him,
2856 200 for all he was in woman’s apparel, I would not
2857 have had him.
PAGE 2858 Why, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you
2859 how you should know my daughter by her
SLENDER 2861 205I went to her in ⌜white,⌝ and cried “mum,”
2862 and she cried “budget,” as Anne and I had appointed,
2863 and yet it was not Anne, but a post-master’s
MISTRESS PAGE 2865 Good George, be not angry. I knew of
2866 210 your purpose, turned my daughter into ⌜green,⌝
2867 and indeed she is now with the doctor at the deanery,
2868 and there married.
Enter ⌜Doctor⌝ Caius.
DOCTOR CAIUS 2869 Vere is Mistress Page? By gar, I am cozened!
2870 I ha’ married un garçon, a boy; un paysan, by
2871 215 gar, a boy. It is not Anne Page. By gar, I am
DOCTOR CAIUS 2874 Ay, be gar, and ’tis a boy. Be gar, I’ll raise
2875 all Windsor.
FORD 2876 220This is strange. Who hath got the right Anne?
Enter Fenton and Anne Page.
PAGE 2877 My heart misgives me. Here comes Master Fenton.—
2878 How now, Master Fenton!
ANNE 2879 Pardon, good father. Good my mother, pardon.
PAGE 2880 Now, mistress, how chance you went not with
2881 225 Master Slender?
2882 Why went you not with Master Doctor, maid?
2883 You do amaze her. Hear the truth of it.
2884 You would have married her most shamefully,
2885 Where there was no proportion held in love.
2886 230 The truth is, she and I, long since contracted,
2887 Are now so sure that nothing can dissolve us.
2888 Th’ offense is holy that she hath committed,
2889 And this deceit loses the name of craft,
2890 Of disobedience, or unduteous title,
2891 235 Since therein she doth evitate and shun
2892 A thousand irreligious cursèd hours
2893 Which forcèd marriage would have brought upon her.
FORD, ⌜to Page and Mistress Page⌝
2894 Stand not amazed. Here is no remedy.
2895 In love the heavens themselves do guide the state.
2896 240 Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.
FALSTAFF 2897 I am glad, though you have ta’en a special
2898 stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath
2900 Well, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give thee joy.
2901 245 What cannot be eschewed must be embraced.
2902 When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chased.
2903 Well, I will muse no further.—Master Fenton,
2904 Heaven give you many, many merry days.—
2905 Good husband, let us every one go home
2906 250 And laugh this sport o’er by a country fire—
2907 Sir John and all.
FORD 2908 Let it be so, Sir John.
2909 To Master ⌜Brook⌝ you yet shall hold your word,
2910 For he tonight shall lie with Mistress Ford.