The Merry Wives of Windsor - Act 3, scene 2
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Act 3, scene 2
Ford, knowing of Falstaff’s visit to Mistress Ford, gathers as many men as he can to go with him to his house, promising them fine entertainment there.⌜Enter⌝ Robin ⌜followed by⌝ Mistress Page.
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.