|The Merry Wives of Windsor|
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SCENE I. Windsor. Before PAGE's house.
Enter SHALLOW, SLENDER, and SIR HUGH EVANSSHALLOW
Sir Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Star-SLENDER SHALLOW SLENDER
chamber matter of it: if he were twenty Sir John
Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, esquire.
Ay, and 'Rato-lorum' too; and a gentleman born,SHALLOW SLENDER
master parson; who writes himself 'Armigero,' in any
bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, 'Armigero.'
All his successors gone before him hath done't; andSHALLOW SIR HUGH EVANS
all his ancestors that come after him may: they may
give the dozen white luces in their coat.
The dozen white louses do become an old coat well;SHALLOW SLENDER SHALLOW SIR HUGH EVANS SHALLOW SIR HUGH EVANS
it agrees well, passant; it is a familiar beast to
man, and signifies love.
Yes, py'r lady; if he has a quarter of your coat,SHALLOW SIR HUGH EVANS
there is but three skirts for yourself, in my
simple conjectures: but that is all one. If Sir
John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto
you, I am of the church, and will be glad to do my
benevolence to make atonements and compremises
It is not meet the council hear a riot; there is noSHALLOW SIR HUGH EVANS
fear of Got in a riot: the council, look you, shall
desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a
riot; take your vizaments in that.
It is petter that friends is the sword, and end it:SLENDER SIR HUGH EVANS
and there is also another device in my prain, which
peradventure prings goot discretions with it: there
is Anne Page, which is daughter to Master Thomas
Page, which is pretty virginity.
It is that fery person for all the orld, as just asSLENDER SIR HUGH EVANS SLENDER SIR HUGH EVANS SHALLOW SIR HUGH EVANS
you will desire; and seven hundred pounds of moneys,
and gold and silver, is her grandsire upon his
death's-bed--Got deliver to a joyful resurrections!
--give, when she is able to overtake seventeen years
old: it were a goot motion if we leave our pribbles
and prabbles, and desire a marriage between Master
Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.
Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar as I doPAGE
despise one that is false, or as I despise one that
is not true. The knight, Sir John, is there; and, I
beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will
peat the door for Master Page.
KnocksWhat, hoa! Got pless your house here!
[Within] Who's there?SIR HUGH EVANS
Here is Got's plessing, and your friend, and JusticePAGE SHALLOW
Shallow; and here young Master Slender, that
peradventures shall tell you another tale, if
matters grow to your likings.
Master Page, I am glad to see you: much good do itPAGE SHALLOW PAGE SLENDER PAGE SLENDER SHALLOW PAGE SHALLOW
your good heart! I wished your venison better; it
was ill killed. How doth good Mistress Page?--and I
thank you always with my heart, la! with my heart.
Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog: can there bePAGE SIR HUGH EVANS SHALLOW PAGE SHALLOW
more said? he is good and fair. Is Sir John
If it be confessed, it is not redress'd: is not thatPAGE
so, Master Page? He hath wronged me; indeed he
hath, at a word, he hath, believe me: Robert
Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wronged.
Here comes Sir John.FALSTAFF SHALLOW FALSTAFF SHALLOW FALSTAFF SHALLOW FALSTAFF SIR HUGH EVANS FALSTAFF SLENDER
Enter FALSTAFF, BARDOLPH, NYM, and PISTOL
Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you;BARDOLPH SLENDER PISTOL SLENDER NYM SLENDER SIR HUGH EVANS
and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph,
Nym, and Pistol.
Peace, I pray you. Now let us understand. There isPAGE SIR HUGH EVANS
three umpires in this matter, as I understand; that
is, Master Page, fidelicet Master Page; and there is
myself, fidelicet myself; and the three party is,
lastly and finally, mine host of the Garter.
Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in my note-FALSTAFF PISTOL SIR HUGH EVANS FALSTAFF SLENDER
book; and we will afterwards ork upon the cause with
as great discreetly as we can.
Ay, by these gloves, did he, or I would I mightFALSTAFF SIR HUGH EVANS PISTOL
never come in mine own great chamber again else, of
seven groats in mill-sixpences, and two Edward
shovel-boards, that cost me two shilling and two
pence apiece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
Ha, thou mountain-foreigner! Sir John and Master mine,SLENDER NYM
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo.
Word of denial in thy labras here!
Word of denial: froth and scum, thou liest!
Be avised, sir, and pass good humours: I will saySLENDER
'marry trap' with you, if you run the nuthook's
humour on me; that is the very note of it.
By this hat, then, he in the red face had it; forFALSTAFF BARDOLPH SIR HUGH EVANS BARDOLPH SLENDER
though I cannot remember what I did when you made me
drunk, yet I am not altogether an ass.
Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but 'tis noSIR HUGH EVANS FALSTAFF
matter: I'll ne'er be drunk whilst I live again,
but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick:
if I be drunk, I'll be drunk with those that have
the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves.
You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.PAGE
Enter ANNE PAGE, with wine; MISTRESS FORD and MISTRESS PAGE, following
Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink within.SLENDER PAGE FALSTAFF PAGE
Exit ANNE PAGE
Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome. Come, we have aSLENDER
hot venison pasty to dinner: come, gentlemen, I hope
we shall drink down all unkindness.
Exeunt all except SHALLOW, SLENDER, and SIR HUGH EVANS
I had rather than forty shillings I had my Book ofSIMPLE
Songs and Sonnets here.
Enter SIMPLEHow now, Simple! where have you been? I must wait
on myself, must I? You have not the Book of Riddles
about you, have you?
Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to AliceSHALLOW
Shortcake upon All-hallowmas last, a fortnight
Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. A word withSLENDER SHALLOW SLENDER SIR HUGH EVANS
you, coz; marry, this, coz: there is, as 'twere, a
tender, a kind of tender, made afar off by Sir Hugh
here. Do you understand me?
Give ear to his motions, Master Slender: I willSLENDER
description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.
Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says: I praySIR HUGH EVANS SHALLOW SIR HUGH EVANS SLENDER SIR HUGH EVANS
you, pardon me; he's a justice of peace in his
country, simple though I stand here.
But can you affection the 'oman? Let us command toSHALLOW SLENDER SIR HUGH EVANS
know that of your mouth or of your lips; for divers
philosophers hold that the lips is parcel of the
mouth. Therefore, precisely, can you carry your
good will to the maid?
Nay, Got's lords and his ladies! you must speakSHALLOW SLENDER SHALLOW SLENDER
possitable, if you can carry her your desires
I will marry her, sir, at your request: but if thereSIR HUGH EVANS
be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may
decrease it upon better acquaintance, when we are
married and have more occasion to know one another;
I hope, upon familiarity will grow more contempt:
but if you say, 'Marry her,' I will marry her; that
I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely.
It is a fery discretion answer; save the fall is inSHALLOW SLENDER SHALLOW
the ort 'dissolutely:' the ort is, according to our
meaning, 'resolutely:' his meaning is good.
Here comes fair Mistress Anne.ANNE PAGE SHALLOW SIR HUGH EVANS
Re-enter ANNE PAGEWould I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne!
Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.ANNE PAGE SLENDER ANNE PAGE SLENDER
Exeunt SHALLOW and SIR HUGH EVANS
I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth. Go,ANNE PAGE SLENDER ANNE PAGE SLENDER
sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my
Exit SIMPLEA justice of peace sometimes may be beholding to his
friend for a man. I keep but three men and a boy
yet, till my mother be dead: but what though? Yet I
live like a poor gentleman born.
I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruisedANNE PAGE SLENDER
my shin th' other day with playing at sword and
dagger with a master of fence; three veneys for a
dish of stewed prunes; and, by my troth, I cannot
abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your
dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?
I love the sport well but I shall as soon quarrel atANNE PAGE SLENDER
it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see
the bear loose, are you not?
That's meat and drink to me, now. I have seenPAGE SLENDER PAGE SLENDER PAGE SLENDER ANNE PAGE SLENDER
Sackerson loose twenty times, and have taken him by
the chain; but, I warrant you, the women have so
cried and shrieked at it, that it passed: but women,
indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favored
SCENE II. The same.
Enter SIR HUGH EVANS and SIMPLESIR HUGH EVANS
Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Caius' house whichSIMPLE SIR HUGH EVANS
is the way: and there dwells one Mistress Quickly,
which is in the manner of his nurse, or his dry
nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, his washer, and
Nay, it is petter yet. Give her this letter; for it
is a 'oman that altogether's acquaintance with
Mistress Anne Page: and the letter is, to desire
and require her to solicit your master's desires to
Mistress Anne Page. I pray you, be gone: I will
make an end of my dinner; there's pippins and cheese to come.
SCENE III. A room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF, Host, BARDOLPH, NYM, PISTOL, and ROBINFALSTAFF Host FALSTAFF Host FALSTAFF Host
Thou'rt an emperor, Caesar, Keisar, and Pheezar. IFALSTAFF Host
will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall
tap: said I well, bully Hector?
I have spoke; let him follow.FALSTAFF
To BARDOLPHLet me see thee froth and lime: I am at a word; follow.
Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade:BARDOLPH PISTOL
an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered
serving-man a fresh tapster. Go; adieu.
O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?NYM FALSTAFF
I am glad I am so acquit of this tinderbox: hisNYM PISTOL FALSTAFF PISTOL FALSTAFF PISTOL FALSTAFF PISTOL FALSTAFF PISTOL FALSTAFF
thefts were too open; his filching was like an
unskilful singer; he kept not time.
No quips now, Pistol! Indeed, I am in the waist twoPISTOL NYM FALSTAFF PISTOL NYM FALSTAFF
yards about; but I am now about no waste; I am about
thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford's
wife: I spy entertainment in her; she discourses,
she carves, she gives the leer of invitation: I
can construe the action of her familiar style; and
the hardest voice of her behavior, to be Englished
rightly, is, 'I am Sir John Falstaff's.'
I have writ me here a letter to her: and herePISTOL NYM FALSTAFF
another to Page's wife, who even now gave me good
eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious
oeillades; sometimes the beam of her view gilded my
foot, sometimes my portly belly.
O, she did so course o'er my exteriors with such aPISTOL NYM FALSTAFF
greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye did
seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass! Here's
another letter to her: she bears the purse too; she
is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will
be cheater to them both, and they shall be
exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West
Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go bear thou
this letter to Mistress Page; and thou this to
Mistress Ford: we will thrive, lads, we will thrive.
[To ROBIN] Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly;PISTOL
Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.
Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go;
Trudge, plod away o' the hoof; seek shelter, pack!
Falstaff will learn the humour of the age,
French thrift, you rogues; myself and skirted page.
Exeunt FALSTAFF and ROBIN
Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and fullam holds,NYM PISTOL NYM PISTOL NYM PISTOL
And high and low beguiles the rich and poor:
Tester I'll have in pouch when thou shalt lack,
Base Phrygian Turk!
And I to Ford shall eke unfoldNYM
How Falstaff, varlet vile,
His dove will prove, his gold will hold,
And his soft couch defile.
My humour shall not cool: I will incense Page toPISTOL
deal with poison; I will possess him with
yellowness, for the revolt of mine is dangerous:
that is my true humour.
SCENE IV. A room in DOCTOR CAIUS' house.
Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY, SIMPLE, and RUGBYMISTRESS QUICKLY
What, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the casement,RUGBY MISTRESS QUICKLY
and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor
Caius, coming. If he do, i' faith, and find any
body in the house, here will be an old abusing of
God's patience and the king's English.
Go; and we'll have a posset for't soon at night, inSIMPLE MISTRESS QUICKLY SIMPLE MISTRESS QUICKLY SIMPLE MISTRESS QUICKLY SIMPLE
faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire.
Exit RUGBYAn honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant
shall come in house withal, and, I warrant you, no
tell-tale nor no breed-bate: his worst fault is,
that he is given to prayer; he is something peevish
that way: but nobody but has his fault; but let
that pass. Peter Simple, you say your name is?
Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his handsMISTRESS QUICKLY
as any is between this and his head; he hath fought
with a warrener.
How say you? O, I should remember him: does he notSIMPLE MISTRESS QUICKLY
hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?
Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! TellRUGBY MISTRESS QUICKLY
Master Parson Evans I will do what I can for your
master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish--
We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man;DOCTOR CAIUS
go into this closet: he will not stay long.
Shuts SIMPLE in the closetWhat, John Rugby! John! what, John, I say!
Go, John, go inquire for my master; I doubt
he be not well, that he comes not home.
SingingAnd down, down, adown-a, & c.
Enter DOCTOR CAIUS
Vat is you sing? I do not like des toys. Pray you,MISTRESS QUICKLY
go and vetch me in my closet un boitier vert, a box,
a green-a box: do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.
Ay, forsooth; I'll fetch it you.DOCTOR CAIUS MISTRESS QUICKLY DOCTOR CAIUS MISTRESS QUICKLY RUGBY DOCTOR CAIUS
AsideI am glad he went not in himself: if he had found
the young man, he would have been horn-mad.
You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby. Come,RUGBY DOCTOR CAIUS
take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to the court.
By my trot, I tarry too long. Od's me!MISTRESS QUICKLY DOCTOR CAIUS
Qu'ai-j'oublie! dere is some simples in my closet,
dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.
O diable, diable! vat is in my closet? Villain! larron!MISTRESS QUICKLY DOCTOR CAIUS MISTRESS QUICKLY DOCTOR CAIUS MISTRESS QUICKLY
Pulling SIMPLE outRugby, my rapier!
I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic. Hear the truthDOCTOR CAIUS SIMPLE MISTRESS QUICKLY DOCTOR CAIUS SIMPLE
of it: he came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh.
To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, toMISTRESS QUICKLY DOCTOR CAIUS MISTRESS QUICKLY
speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page for my
master in the way of marriage.
[Aside to SIMPLE] I am glad he is so quiet: if heSIMPLE MISTRESS QUICKLY
had been thoroughly moved, you should have heard him
so loud and so melancholy. But notwithstanding,
man, I'll do you your master what good I can: and
the very yea and the no is, the French doctor, my
master,--I may call him my master, look you, for I
keep his house; and I wash, wring, brew, bake,
scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds and do
[Aside to SIMPLE] Are you avised o' that? youDOCTOR CAIUS
shall find it a great charge: and to be up early
and down late; but notwithstanding,--to tell you in
your ear; I would have no words of it,--my master
himself is in love with Mistress Anne Page: but
notwithstanding that, I know Anne's mind,--that's
neither here nor there.
You jack'nape, give-a this letter to Sir Hugh; byMISTRESS QUICKLY DOCTOR CAIUS
gar, it is a shallenge: I will cut his troat in dee
park; and I will teach a scurvy jack-a-nape priest
to meddle or make. You may be gone; it is not good
you tarry here. By gar, I will cut all his two
stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to throw
at his dog:
It is no matter-a ver dat: do not you tell-a meMISTRESS QUICKLY
dat I shall have Anne Page for myself? By gar, I
vill kill de Jack priest; and I have appointed mine
host of de Jarteer to measure our weapon. By gar, I
will myself have Anne Page.
Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. WeDOCTOR CAIUS
must give folks leave to prate: what, the good-jer!
Rugby, come to the court with me. By gar, if I haveMISTRESS QUICKLY
not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my
door. Follow my heels, Rugby.
Exeunt DOCTOR CAIUS and RUGBY
You shall have An fool's-head of your own. No, IFENTON MISTRESS QUICKLY FENTON MISTRESS QUICKLY FENTON MISTRESS QUICKLY
know Anne's mind for that: never a woman in Windsor
knows more of Anne's mind than I do; nor can do more
than I do with her, I thank heaven.
In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, andFENTON MISTRESS QUICKLY
gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you
that by the way; I praise heaven for it.
Troth, sir, all is in his hands above: butFENTON MISTRESS QUICKLY
notwithstanding, Master Fenton, I'll be sworn on a
book, she loves you. Have not your worship a wart
above your eye?
Well, thereby hangs a tale: good faith, it is suchFENTON
another Nan; but, I detest, an honest maid as ever
broke bread: we had an hour's talk of that wart. I
shall never laugh but in that maid's company! But
indeed she is given too much to allicholy and
musing: but for you--well, go to.
Well, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there's moneyMISTRESS QUICKLY
for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if
thou seest her before me, commend me.
Will I? i'faith, that we will; and I will tell yourFENTON MISTRESS QUICKLY
worship more of the wart the next time we have
confidence; and of other wooers.
Farewell to your worship.
Exit FENTONTruly, an honest gentleman: but Anne loves him not;
for I know Anne's mind as well as another does. Out
upon't! what have I forgot?
SCENE I. Before PAGE'S house.
Enter MISTRESS PAGE, with a letterMISTRESS PAGE
What, have I scaped love-letters in the holiday-MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them?
Let me see.
Reads'Ask me no reason why I love you; for though
Love use Reason for his physician, he admits him
not for his counsellor. You are not young, no more
am I; go to then, there's sympathy: you are merry,
so am I; ha, ha! then there's more sympathy: you
love sack, and so do I; would you desire better
sympathy? Let it suffice thee, Mistress Page,--at
the least, if the love of soldier can suffice,--
that I love thee. I will not say, pity me; 'tis
not a soldier-like phrase: but I say, love me. By me,
Thine own true knight,
By day or night,
Or any kind of light,
With all his might
For thee to fight, JOHN FALSTAFF'
What a Herod of Jewry is this! O wicked
world! One that is well-nigh worn to pieces with
age to show himself a young gallant! What an
unweighed behavior hath this Flemish drunkard
picked--with the devil's name!--out of my
conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me?
Why, he hath not been thrice in my company! What
should I say to him? I was then frugal of my
mirth: Heaven forgive me! Why, I'll exhibit a bill
in the parliament for the putting down of men. How
shall I be revenged on him? for revenged I will be,
as sure as his guts are made of puddings.
Enter MISTRESS FORD
What? thou liest! Sir Alice Ford! These knightsMISTRESS FORD
will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the
article of thy gentry.
We burn daylight: here, read, read; perceive how IMISTRESS PAGE
might be knighted. I shall think the worse of fat
men, as long as I have an eye to make difference of
men's liking: and yet he would not swear; praised
women's modesty; and gave such orderly and
well-behaved reproof to all uncomeliness, that I
would have sworn his disposition would have gone to
the truth of his words; but they do no more adhere
and keep place together than the Hundredth Psalm to
the tune of 'Green Sleeves.' What tempest, I trow,
threw this whale, with so many tuns of oil in his
belly, ashore at Windsor? How shall I be revenged
on him? I think the best way were to entertain him
with hope, till the wicked fire of lust have melted
him in his own grease. Did you ever hear the like?
Letter for letter, but that the name of Page andMISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
Ford differs! To thy great comfort in this mystery
of ill opinions, here's the twin-brother of thy
letter: but let thine inherit first; for, I
protest, mine never shall. I warrant he hath a
thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for
different names--sure, more,--and these are of the
second edition: he will print them, out of doubt;
for he cares not what he puts into the press, when
he would put us two. I had rather be a giantess,
and lie under Mount Pelion. Well, I will find you
twenty lascivious turtles ere one chaste man.
Nay, I know not: it makes me almost ready toMISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
wrangle with mine own honesty. I'll entertain
myself like one that I am not acquainted withal;
for, sure, unless he know some strain in me, that I
know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury.
So will I if he come under my hatches, I'll neverMISTRESS FORD
to sea again. Let's be revenged on him: let's
appoint him a meeting; give him a show of comfort in
his suit and lead him on with a fine-baited delay,
till he hath pawned his horses to mine host of the Garter.
Nay, I will consent to act any villany against him,MISTRESS PAGE
that may not sully the chariness of our honesty. O,
that my husband saw this letter! it would give
eternal food to his jealousy.
Why, look where he comes; and my good man too: he'sMISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
as far from jealousy as I am from giving him cause;
and that I hope is an unmeasurable distance.
Let's consult together against this greasy knight.FORD PISTOL FORD PISTOL
Enter FORD with PISTOL, and PAGE with NYM
He wooes both high and low, both rich and poor,FORD PISTOL
Both young and old, one with another, Ford;
He loves the gallimaufry: Ford, perpend.
With liver burning hot. Prevent, or go thou,FORD PISTOL
Like Sir Actaeon he, with Ringwood at thy heels:
O, odious is the name!
The horn, I say. Farewell.FORD NYM
Take heed, have open eye, for thieves do foot by night:
Take heed, ere summer comes or cuckoo-birds do sing.
Away, Sir Corporal Nym!
Believe it, Page; he speaks sense.
[To PAGE] And this is true; I like not the humourPAGE FORD PAGE FORD PAGE FORD PAGE
of lying. He hath wronged me in some humours: I
should have borne the humoured letter to her; but I
have a sword and it shall bite upon my necessity.
He loves your wife; there's the short and the long.
My name is Corporal Nym; I speak and I avouch; 'tis
true: my name is Nym and Falstaff loves your wife.
Adieu. I love not the humour of bread and cheese,
and there's the humour of it. Adieu.
How now, Meg!MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD FORD MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
MISTRESS PAGE and MISTRESS FORD come forward
Have with you. You'll come to dinner, George.MISTRESS FORD
Aside to MISTRESS FORDLook who comes yonder: she shall be our messenger
to this paltry knight.
[Aside to MISTRESS PAGE] Trust me, I thought on her:MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS QUICKLY MISTRESS PAGE
she'll fit it.
Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY
Go in with us and see: we have an hour's talk withPAGE FORD PAGE FORD PAGE
Exeunt MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS FORD, and MISTRESS QUICKLY
Hang 'em, slaves! I do not think the knight wouldFORD PAGE FORD PAGE
offer it: but these that accuse him in his intent
towards our wives are a yoke of his discarded men;
very rogues, now they be out of service.
Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyageFORD
towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and
what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it
lie on my head.
I do not misdoubt my wife; but I would be loath toPAGE
turn them together. A man may be too confident: I
would have nothing lie on my head: I cannot be thus satisfied.
Look where my ranting host of the Garter comes:Host SHALLOW
there is either liquor in his pate or money in his
purse when he looks so merrily.
Enter HostHow now, mine host!
I follow, mine host, I follow. Good even andHost SHALLOW FORD
twenty, good Master Page! Master Page, will you go
with us? we have sport in hand.
Good mine host o' the Garter, a word with you.Host SHALLOW
Drawing him aside
[To PAGE] Will you go with us to behold it? MyHost FORD
merry host hath had the measuring of their weapons;
and, I think, hath appointed them contrary places;
for, believe me, I hear the parson is no jester.
Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.
They converse apart
None, I protest: but I'll give you a pottle ofHost
burnt sack to give me recourse to him and tell him
my name is Brook; only for a jest.
My hand, bully; thou shalt have egress and regress;SHALLOW PAGE SHALLOW
--said I well?--and thy name shall be Brook. It is
a merry knight. Will you go, An-heires?
Tut, sir, I could have told you more. In these timesHost PAGE
you stand on distance, your passes, stoccadoes, and
I know not what: 'tis the heart, Master Page; 'tis
here, 'tis here. I have seen the time, with my long
sword I would have made you four tall fellows skip like rats.
Have with you. I would rather hear them scold than fight.FORD
Exeunt Host, SHALLOW, and PAGE
Though Page be a secure fool, an stands so firmly
on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my
opinion so easily: she was in his company at Page's
house; and what they made there, I know not. Well,
I will look further into't: and I have a disguise
to sound Falstaff. If I find her honest, I lose not
my labour; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestowed.
SCENE II. A room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF and PISTOLFALSTAFF PISTOL FALSTAFF
Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you shouldPISTOL FALSTAFF
lay my countenance to pawn; I have grated upon my
good friends for three reprieves for you and your
coach-fellow Nym; or else you had looked through
the grate, like a geminy of baboons. I am damned in
hell for swearing to gentlemen my friends, you were
good soldiers and tall fellows; and when Mistress
Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took't upon
mine honour thou hadst it not.
Reason, you rogue, reason: thinkest thou I'llPISTOL
endanger my soul gratis? At a word, hang no more
about me, I am no gibbet for you. Go. A short knife
and a throng! To your manor of Pickt-hatch! Go.
You'll not bear a letter for me, you rogue! you
stand upon your honour! Why, thou unconfinable
baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the
terms of my honour precise: I, I, I myself
sometimes, leaving the fear of God on the left hand
and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to
shuffle, to hedge and to lurch; and yet you, rogue,
will ensconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain
looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your
bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your
honour! You will not do it, you!
I do relent: what would thou more of man?ROBIN FALSTAFF
Let her approach.MISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY
Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY
There is one Mistress Ford, sir:--I pray, come aFALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY
little nearer this ways:--I myself dwell with master
Why, sir, she's a good creature. Lord Lord! yourFALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY
worship's a wanton! Well, heaven forgive you and all
of us, I pray!
Marry, this is the short and the long of it; youFALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY
have brought her into such a canaries as 'tis
wonderful. The best courtier of them all, when the
court lay at Windsor, could never have brought her
to such a canary. Yet there has been knights, and
lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches, I warrant
you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift
after gift; smelling so sweetly, all musk, and so
rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and in
such alligant terms; and in such wine and sugar of
the best and the fairest, that would have won any
woman's heart; and, I warrant you, they could never
get an eye-wink of her: I had myself twenty angels
given me this morning; but I defy all angels, in
any such sort, as they say, but in the way of
honesty: and, I warrant you, they could never get
her so much as sip on a cup with the proudest of
them all: and yet there has been earls, nay, which
is more, pensioners; but, I warrant you, all is one with her.
Marry, she hath received your letter, for the whichFALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY
she thanks you a thousand times; and she gives you
to notify that her husband will be absence from his
house between ten and eleven.
Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see theFALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY
picture, she says, that you wot of: Master Ford,
her husband, will be from home. Alas! the sweet
woman leads an ill life with him: he's a very
jealousy man: she leads a very frampold life with
him, good heart.
Why, you say well. But I have another messenger toFALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF
your worship. Mistress Page hath her hearty
commendations to you too: and let me tell you in
your ear, she's as fartuous a civil modest wife, and
one, I tell you, that will not miss you morning nor
evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, whoe'er be the
other: and she bade me tell your worship that her
husband is seldom from home; but she hopes there
will come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon
a man: surely I think you have charms, la; yes, in truth.
But, I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford's wife andMISTRESS QUICKLY
Page's wife acquainted each other how they love me?
That were a jest indeed! they have not so littleFALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY
grace, I hope: that were a trick indeed! but
Mistress Page would desire you to send her your
little page, of all loves: her husband has a
marvellous infection to the little page; and truly
Master Page is an honest man. Never a wife in
Windsor leads a better life than she does: do what
she will, say what she will, take all, pay all, go
to bed when she list, rise when she list, all is as
she will: and truly she deserves it; for if there
be a kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must
send her your page; no remedy.
Nay, but do so, then: and, look you, he may come andFALSTAFF
go between you both; and in any case have a
nay-word, that you may know one another's mind, and
the boy never need to understand any thing; for
'tis not good that children should know any
wickedness: old folks, you know, have discretion,
as they say, and know the world.
Fare thee well: commend me to them both: there'sPISTOL
my purse; I am yet thy debtor. Boy, go along with
Exeunt MISTRESS QUICKLY and ROBINThis news distracts me!
This punk is one of Cupid's carriers:FALSTAFF
Clap on more sails; pursue; up with your fights:
Give fire: she is my prize, or ocean whelm them all!
Sayest thou so, old Jack? go thy ways; I'll makeBARDOLPH
more of thy old body than I have done. Will they
yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expense
of so much money, be now a gainer? Good body, I
thank thee. Let them say 'tis grossly done; so it be
fairly done, no matter.
Sir John, there's one Master Brook below would fainFALSTAFF BARDOLPH FALSTAFF
speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath
sent your worship a morning's draught of sack.
Call him in.FORD FALSTAFF FORD FALSTAFF
Exit BARDOLPHSuch Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow such
liquor. Ah, ha! Mistress Ford and Mistress Page
have I encompassed you? go to; via!
Re-enter BARDOLPH, with FORD disguised
You're welcome. What's your will? Give us leave, drawer.FORD FALSTAFF FORD
Good Sir John, I sue for yours: not to charge you;FALSTAFF FORD
for I must let you understand I think myself in
better plight for a lender than you are: the which
hath something embolden'd me to this unseasoned
intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all
ways do lie open.
Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me:FALSTAFF FORD FALSTAFF FORD
if you will help to bear it, Sir John, take all, or
half, for easing me of the carriage.
Sir, I hear you are a scholar,--I will be briefFALSTAFF FORD FALSTAFF FORD
with you,--and you have been a man long known to me,
though I had never so good means, as desire, to make
myself acquainted with you. I shall discover a
thing to you, wherein I must very much lay open mine
own imperfection: but, good Sir John, as you have
one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded,
turn another into the register of your own; that I
may pass with a reproof the easier, sith you
yourself know how easy it is to be such an offender.
I have long loved her, and, I protest to you,FALSTAFF FORD FALSTAFF FORD FALSTAFF FORD
bestowed much on her; followed her with a doting
observance; engrossed opportunities to meet her;
fee'd every slight occasion that could but niggardly
give me sight of her; not only bought many presents
to give her, but have given largely to many to know
what she would have given; briefly, I have pursued
her as love hath pursued me; which hath been on the
wing of all occasions. But whatsoever I have
merited, either in my mind or, in my means, meed,
I am sure, I have received none; unless experience
be a jewel that I have purchased at an infinite
rate, and that hath taught me to say this:
'Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues;
Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.'
Like a fair house built on another man's ground; soFALSTAFF FORD
that I have lost my edifice by mistaking the place
where I erected it.
When I have told you that, I have told you all.FALSTAFF FORD
Some say, that though she appear honest to me, yet in
other places she enlargeth her mirth so far that
there is shrewd construction made of her. Now, Sir
John, here is the heart of my purpose: you are a
gentleman of excellent breeding, admirable
discourse, of great admittance, authentic in your
place and person, generally allowed for your many
war-like, court-like, and learned preparations.
Believe it, for you know it. There is money; spendFALSTAFF
it, spend it; spend more; spend all I have; only
give me so much of your time in exchange of it, as
to lay an amiable siege to the honesty of this
Ford's wife: use your art of wooing; win her to
consent to you: if any man may, you may as soon as
Would it apply well to the vehemency of yourFORD
affection, that I should win what you would enjoy?
Methinks you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.
O, understand my drift. She dwells so securely onFALSTAFF
the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my
soul dares not present itself: she is too bright to
be looked against. Now, could I could come to her
with any detection in my hand, my desires had
instance and argument to commend themselves: I
could drive her then from the ward of her purity,
her reputation, her marriage-vow, and a thousand
other her defences, which now are too too strongly
embattled against me. What say you to't, Sir John?
Master Brook, I will first make bold with yourFORD FALSTAFF FORD FALSTAFF
money; next, give me your hand; and last, as I am a
gentleman, you shall, if you will, enjoy Ford's wife.
Want no Mistress Ford, Master Brook; you shall wantFORD FALSTAFF
none. I shall be with her, I may tell you, by her
own appointment; even as you came in to me, her
assistant or go-between parted from me: I say I
shall be with her between ten and eleven; for at
that time the jealous rascally knave her husband
will be forth. Come you to me at night; you shall
know how I speed.
Hang him, poor cuckoldly knave! I know him not:FORD FALSTAFF
yet I wrong him to call him poor; they say the
jealous wittolly knave hath masses of money; for the
which his wife seems to me well-favored. I will
use her as the key of the cuckoldly rogue's coffer;
and there's my harvest-home.
Hang him, mechanical salt-butter rogue! I willFORD
stare him out of his wits; I will awe him with my
cudgel: it shall hang like a meteor o'er the
cuckold's horns. Master Brook, thou shalt know I
will predominate over the peasant, and thou shalt
lie with his wife. Come to me soon at night.
Ford's a knave, and I will aggravate his style;
thou, Master Brook, shalt know him for knave and
cuckold. Come to me soon at night.
What a damned Epicurean rascal is this! My heart is
ready to crack with impatience. Who says this is
improvident jealousy? my wife hath sent to him; the
hour is fixed; the match is made. Would any man
have thought this? See the hell of having a false
woman! My bed shall be abused, my coffers
ransacked, my reputation gnawn at; and I shall not
only receive this villanous wrong, but stand under
the adoption of abominable terms, and by him that
does me this wrong. Terms! names! Amaimon sounds
well; Lucifer, well; Barbason, well; yet they are
devils' additions, the names of fiends: but
Cuckold! Wittol!--Cuckold! the devil himself hath
not such a name. Page is an ass, a secure ass: he
will trust his wife; he will not be jealous. I will
rather trust a Fleming with my butter, Parson Hugh
the Welshman with my cheese, an Irishman with my
aqua-vitae bottle, or a thief to walk my ambling
gelding, than my wife with herself; then she plots,
then she ruminates, then she devises; and what they
think in their hearts they may effect, they will
break their hearts but they will effect. God be
praised for my jealousy! Eleven o'clock the hour.
I will prevent this, detect my wife, be revenged on
Falstaff, and laugh at Page. I will about it;
better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
Fie, fie, fie! cuckold! cuckold! cuckold!
SCENE III. A field near Windsor.
Enter DOCTOR CAIUS and RUGBYDOCTOR CAIUS RUGBY DOCTOR CAIUS RUGBY DOCTOR CAIUS
By gar, he has save his soul, dat he is no come; heRUGBY DOCTOR CAIUS
has pray his Pible well, dat he is no come: by gar,
Jack Rugby, he is dead already, if he be come.
By gar, de herring is no dead so as I vill kill him.RUGBY DOCTOR CAIUS RUGBY
Take your rapier, Jack; I vill tell you how I vill kill him.
Forbear; here's company.Host SHALLOW PAGE SLENDER DOCTOR CAIUS Host
Enter Host, SHALLOW, SLENDER, and PAGE
To see thee fight, to see thee foin, to see theeDOCTOR CAIUS Host DOCTOR CAIUS
traverse; to see thee here, to see thee there; to
see thee pass thy punto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy
distance, thy montant. Is he dead, my Ethiopian? is
he dead, my Francisco? ha, bully! What says my
AEsculapius? my Galen? my heart of elder? ha! is
he dead, bully stale? is he dead?
I pray you, bear vitness that me have stay six orSHALLOW
seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come.
He is the wiser man, master doctor: he is a curer ofPAGE SHALLOW
souls, and you a curer of bodies; if you should
fight, you go against the hair of your professions.
Is it not true, Master Page?
Bodykins, Master Page, though I now be old and ofPAGE SHALLOW
the peace, if I see a sword out, my finger itches to
make one. Though we are justices and doctors and
churchmen, Master Page, we have some salt of our
youth in us; we are the sons of women, Master Page.
It will be found so, Master Page. Master DoctorHost DOCTOR CAIUS Host DOCTOR CAIUS
Caius, I am come to fetch you home. I am sworn of
the peace: you have showed yourself a wise
physician, and Sir Hugh hath shown himself a wise
and patient churchman. You must go with me, master doctor.
By gar, den, I have as mush mock-vater as deHost DOCTOR CAIUS Host DOCTOR CAIUS Host DOCTOR CAIUS Host
Englishman. Scurvy jack-dog priest! by gar, me
vill cut his ears.
And, moreover, bully,--but first, master guest, andPAGE Host
Master Page, and eke Cavaleiro Slender, go you
through the town to Frogmore.
Aside to them
He is there: see what humour he is in; and I willSHALLOW PAGE SHALLOW SLENDER
bring the doctor about by the fields. Will it do well?
Adieu, good master doctor.DOCTOR CAIUS Host
Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER
Let him die: sheathe thy impatience, throw coldDOCTOR CAIUS
water on thy choler: go about the fields with me
through Frogmore: I will bring thee where Mistress
Anne Page is, at a farm-house a-feasting; and thou
shalt woo her. Cried I aim? said I well?
By gar, me dank you for dat: by gar, I love you;Host DOCTOR CAIUS Host DOCTOR CAIUS
and I shall procure-a you de good guest, de earl,
de knight, de lords, de gentlemen, my patients.
SCENE I. A field near Frogmore.
Enter SIR HUGH EVANS and SIMPLESIR HUGH EVANS
I pray you now, good master Slender's serving-man,SIMPLE
and friend Simple by your name, which way have you
looked for Master Caius, that calls himself doctor of physic?
Marry, sir, the pittie-ward, the park-ward, everySIR HUGH EVANS SIMPLE
way; old Windsor way, and every way but the town
I will, sir.SIR HUGH EVANS
'Pless my soul, how full of chollors I am, andSIMPLE SIR HUGH EVANS
trempling of mind! I shall be glad if he have
deceived me. How melancholies I am! I will knog
his urinals about his knave's costard when I have
good opportunities for the ork. 'Pless my soul!
SingsTo shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sings madrigals;
There will we make our peds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies.
Mercy on me! I have a great dispositions to cry.
SingsMelodious birds sing madrigals--
When as I sat in Pabylon--
And a thousand vagram posies.
To shallow & c.
SingsTo shallow rivers, to whose falls-
Heaven prosper the right! What weapons is he?
No weapons, sir. There comes my master, MasterSIR HUGH EVANS
Shallow, and another gentleman, from Frogmore, over
the stile, this way.
Pray you, give me my gown; or else keep it in your arms.SHALLOW
Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER
How now, master Parson! Good morrow, good Sir Hugh.SLENDER PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS SHALLOW PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS PAGE
Keep a gamester from the dice, and a good student
from his book, and it is wonderful.
Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, who, belikeSHALLOW
having received wrong by some person, is at most
odds with his own gravity and patience that ever you
I have lived fourscore years and upward; I neverSIR HUGH EVANS PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS
heard a man of his place, gravity and learning, so
wide of his own respect.
He has no more knowledge in Hibocrates and Galen,PAGE SHALLOW SHALLOW
--and he is a knave besides; a cowardly knave as you
would desires to be acquainted withal.
It appears so by his weapons. Keep them asunder:PAGE SHALLOW Host DOCTOR CAIUS SIR HUGH EVANS DOCTOR CAIUS SIR HUGH EVANS
here comes Doctor Caius.
Enter Host, DOCTOR CAIUS, and RUGBY
[Aside to DOCTOR CAIUS] Pray you let us not beDOCTOR CAIUS
laughing-stocks to other men's humours; I desire you
in friendship, and I will one way or other make you amends.
AloudI will knog your urinals about your knave's cockscomb
for missing your meetings and appointments.
Diable! Jack Rugby,--mine host de Jarteer,--have ISIR HUGH EVANS
not stay for him to kill him? have I not, at de place
I did appoint?
As I am a Christians soul now, look you, this is theHost DOCTOR CAIUS Host
place appointed: I'll be judgement by mine host of
Peace, I say! hear mine host of the Garter. Am ISHALLOW SLENDER
politic? am I subtle? am I a Machiavel? Shall I
lose my doctor? no; he gives me the potions and the
motions. Shall I lose my parson, my priest, my Sir
Hugh? no; he gives me the proverbs and the
no-verbs. Give me thy hand, terrestrial; so. Give me
thy hand, celestial; so. Boys of art, I have
deceived you both; I have directed you to wrong
places: your hearts are mighty, your skins are
whole, and let burnt sack be the issue. Come, lay
their swords to pawn. Follow me, lads of peace;
follow, follow, follow.
[Aside] O sweet Anne Page!DOCTOR CAIUS SIR HUGH EVANS
Exeunt SHALLOW, SLENDER, PAGE, and Host
This is well; he has made us his vlouting-stog. IDOCTOR CAIUS SIR HUGH EVANS
desire you that we may be friends; and let us knog
our prains together to be revenge on this same
scall, scurvy cogging companion, the host of the Garter.
SCENE II. A street.
Enter MISTRESS PAGE and ROBINMISTRESS PAGE
Nay, keep your way, little gallant; you were wont toROBIN MISTRESS PAGE FORD MISTRESS PAGE FORD
be a follower, but now you are a leader. Whether
had you rather lead mine eyes, or eye your master's heels?
Ay; and as idle as she may hang together, for wantMISTRESS PAGE FORD MISTRESS PAGE
of company. I think, if your husbands were dead,
you two would marry.
I cannot tell what the dickens his name is myROBIN FORD MISTRESS PAGE
husband had him of. What do you call your knight's
He, he; I can never hit on's name. There is such aFORD MISTRESS PAGE
league between my good man and he! Is your wife at
By your leave, sir: I am sick till I see her.FORD
Exeunt MISTRESS PAGE and ROBIN
Has Page any brains? hath he any eyes? hath he anySHALLOW PAGE & C FORD SHALLOW SLENDER
thinking? Sure, they sleep; he hath no use of them.
Why, this boy will carry a letter twenty mile, as
easy as a cannon will shoot point-blank twelve
score. He pieces out his wife's inclination; he
gives her folly motion and advantage: and now she's
going to my wife, and Falstaff's boy with her. A
man may hear this shower sing in the wind. And
Falstaff's boy with her! Good plots, they are laid;
and our revolted wives share damnation together.
Well; I will take him, then torture my wife, pluck
the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming
Mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure and
wilful Actaeon; and to these violent proceedings all
my neighbours shall cry aim.
Clock heardThe clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me
search: there I shall find Falstaff: I shall be
rather praised for this than mocked; for it is as
positive as the earth is firm that Falstaff is
there: I will go.
Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, SLENDER, Host, SIR HUGH EVANS, DOCTOR CAIUS, and RUGBY
And so must I, sir: we have appointed to dine withSHALLOW
Mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for
more money than I'll speak of.
We have lingered about a match between Anne Page andSLENDER PAGE
my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.
You have, Master Slender; I stand wholly for you:DOCTOR CAIUS Host
but my wife, master doctor, is for you altogether.
What say you to young Master Fenton? he capers, hePAGE
dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he
speaks holiday, he smells April and May: he will
carry't, he will carry't; 'tis in his buttons; he
Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman isFORD
of no having: he kept company with the wild prince
and Poins; he is of too high a region; he knows too
much. No, he shall not knit a knot in his fortunes
with the finger of my substance: if he take her,
let him take her simply; the wealth I have waits on
my consent, and my consent goes not that way.
I beseech you heartily, some of you go home with meSHALLOW
to dinner: besides your cheer, you shall have
sport; I will show you a monster. Master doctor,
you shall go; so shall you, Master Page; and you, Sir Hugh.
Well, fare you well: we shall have the freer wooingDOCTOR CAIUS
at Master Page's.
Exeunt SHALLOW, and SLENDER
Go home, John Rugby; I come anon.Host FORD
[Aside] I think I shall drink in pipe wine firstAll
with him; I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles?
SCENE III. A room in FORD'S house.
Enter MISTRESS FORD and MISTRESS PAGEMISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
I warrant. What, Robin, I say!MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
Enter Servants with a basket
Marry, as I told you before, John and Robert, beMISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
ready here hard by in the brew-house: and when I
suddenly call you, come forth, and without any pause
or staggering take this basket on your shoulders:
that done, trudge with it in all haste, and carry
it among the whitsters in Datchet-mead, and there
empty it in the muddy ditch close by the Thames side.
I ha' told them over and over; they lack noMISTRESS PAGE
direction. Be gone, and come when you are called.
Here comes little Robin.MISTRESS FORD ROBIN MISTRESS PAGE ROBIN
Ay, I'll be sworn. My master knows not of yourMISTRESS PAGE
being here and hath threatened to put me into
everlasting liberty if I tell you of it; for he
swears he'll turn me away.
Thou'rt a good boy: this secrecy of thine shall beMISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
a tailor to thee and shall make thee a new doublet
and hose. I'll go hide me.
Go to, then: we'll use this unwholesome humidity,FALSTAFF
this gross watery pumpion; we'll teach him to know
turtles from jays.
Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel? Why, now letMISTRESS FORD FALSTAFF
me die, for I have lived long enough: this is the
period of my ambition: O this blessed hour!
Mistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate,MISTRESS FORD FALSTAFF
Mistress Ford. Now shall I sin in my wish: I would
thy husband were dead: I'll speak it before the
best lord; I would make thee my lady.
Let the court of France show me such another. I seeMISTRESS FORD FALSTAFF
how thine eye would emulate the diamond: thou hast
the right arched beauty of the brow that becomes the
ship-tire, the tire-valiant, or any tire of
By the Lord, thou art a traitor to say so: thouMISTRESS FORD FALSTAFF
wouldst make an absolute courtier; and the firm
fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion
to thy gait in a semi-circled farthingale. I see
what thou wert, if Fortune thy foe were not, Nature
thy friend. Come, thou canst not hide it.
What made me love thee? let that persuade theeMISTRESS FORD FALSTAFF
there's something extraordinary in thee. Come, I
cannot cog and say thou art this and that, like a
many of these lisping hawthorn-buds, that come like
women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklersbury
in simple time; I cannot: but I love thee; none
but thee; and thou deservest it.
Thou mightst as well say I love to walk by theMISTRESS FORD FALSTAFF MISTRESS FORD ROBIN
Counter-gate, which is as hateful to me as the reek
of a lime-kiln.
[Within] Mistress Ford, Mistress Ford! here'sFALSTAFF MISTRESS FORD
Mistress Page at the door, sweating and blowing and
looking wildly, and would needs speak with you presently.
Pray you, do so: she's a very tattling woman.MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
FALSTAFF hides himself
Re-enter MISTRESS PAGE and ROBINWhat's the matter? how now!
O well-a-day, Mistress Ford! having an honest manMISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
to your husband, to give him such cause of suspicion!
Your husband's coming hither, woman, with all theMISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
officers in Windsor, to search for a gentleman that
he says is here now in the house by your consent, to
take an ill advantage of his assence: you are undone.
Pray heaven it be not so, that you have such a manMISTRESS FORD
here! but 'tis most certain your husband's coming,
with half Windsor at his heels, to search for such a
one. I come before to tell you. If you know
yourself clear, why, I am glad of it; but if you
have a friend here convey, convey him out. Be not
amazed; call all your senses to you; defend your
reputation, or bid farewell to your good life for ever.
What shall I do? There is a gentleman my dearMISTRESS PAGE
friend; and I fear not mine own shame so much as his
peril: I had rather than a thousand pound he were
out of the house.
For shame! never stand 'you had rather' and 'youMISTRESS FORD FALSTAFF
had rather:' your husband's here at hand, bethink
you of some conveyance: in the house you cannot
hide him. O, how have you deceived me! Look, here
is a basket: if he be of any reasonable stature, he
may creep in here; and throw foul linen upon him, as
if it were going to bucking: or--it is whiting-time
--send him by your two men to Datchet-mead.
[Coming forward] Let me see't, let me see't, O, letMISTRESS PAGE FALSTAFF
me see't! I'll in, I'll in. Follow your friend's
counsel. I'll in.
I love thee. Help me away. Let me creep in here.MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
Gets into the basket; they cover him with foul linen
What, John! Robert! John!FORD
Re-enter ServantsGo take up these clothes here quickly. Where's the
cowl-staff? look, how you drumble! Carry them to
the laundress in Datchet-meat; quickly, come.
Enter FORD, PAGE, DOCTOR CAIUS, and SIR HUGH EVANS
Pray you, come near: if I suspect without cause,Servant MISTRESS FORD FORD
why then make sport at me; then let me be your jest;
I deserve it. How now! whither bear you this?
Buck! I would I could wash myself of the buck!PAGE FORD SIR HUGH EVANS DOCTOR CAIUS PAGE
Buck, buck, buck! Ay, buck; I warrant you, buck;
and of the season too, it shall appear.
Exeunt Servants with the basketGentlemen, I have dreamed to-night; I'll tell you my
dream. Here, here, here be my keys: ascend my
chambers; search, seek, find out: I'll warrant
we'll unkennel the fox. Let me stop this way first.
Locking the doorSo, now uncape.
Nay, follow him, gentlemen; see the issue of his search.MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
Exeunt PAGE, DOCTOR CAIUS, and SIR HUGH EVANS
I am half afraid he will have need of washing; soMISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
throwing him into the water will do him a benefit.
I think my husband hath some special suspicion ofMISTRESS PAGE
Falstaff's being here; for I never saw him so gross
in his jealousy till now.
I will lay a plot to try that; and we will yet haveMISTRESS FORD
more tricks with Falstaff: his dissolute disease will
scarce obey this medicine.
Shall we send that foolish carrion, MistressMISTRESS PAGE
Quickly, to him, and excuse his throwing into the
water; and give him another hope, to betray him to
We will do it: let him be sent for to-morrow,FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD FORD MISTRESS FORD FORD MISTRESS PAGE FORD SIR HUGH EVANS
eight o'clock, to have amends.
Re-enter FORD, PAGE, DOCTOR CAIUS, and SIR HUGH EVANS
If there be any pody in the house, and in theDOCTOR CAIUS PAGE
chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses,
heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgment!
Fie, fie, Master Ford! are you not ashamed? WhatFORD SIR HUGH EVANS
spirit, what devil suggests this imagination? I
would not ha' your distemper in this kind for the
wealth of Windsor Castle.
You suffer for a pad conscience: your wife is asDOCTOR CAIUS FORD
honest a 'omans as I will desires among five
thousand, and five hundred too.
Well, I promised you a dinner. Come, come, walk inPAGE
the Park: I pray you, pardon me; I will hereafter
make known to you why I have done this. Come,
wife; come, Mistress Page. I pray you, pardon me;
pray heartily, pardon me.
Let's go in, gentlemen; but, trust me, we'll mockFORD SIR HUGH EVANS DOCTOR CAIUS FORD SIR HUGH EVANS DOCTOR CAIUS SIR HUGH EVANS
him. I do invite you to-morrow morning to my house
to breakfast: after, we'll a-birding together; I
have a fine hawk for the bush. Shall it be so?
SCENE IV. A room in PAGE'S house.
Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGEFENTON ANNE PAGE FENTON
Why, thou must be thyself.ANNE PAGE FENTON
He doth object I am too great of birth--,
And that, my state being gall'd with my expense,
I seek to heal it only by his wealth:
Besides these, other bars he lays before me,
My riots past, my wild societies;
And tells me 'tis a thing impossible
I should love thee but as a property.
No, heaven so speed me in my time to come!ANNE PAGE
Albeit I will confess thy father's wealth
Was the first motive that I woo'd thee, Anne:
Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
Than stamps in gold or sums in sealed bags;
And 'tis the very riches of thyself
That now I aim at.
Gentle Master Fenton,SHALLOW SLENDER SHALLOW SLENDER MISTRESS QUICKLY ANNE PAGE
Yet seek my father's love; still seek it, sir:
If opportunity and humblest suit
Cannot attain it, why, then,--hark you hither!
They converse apart
Enter SHALLOW, SLENDER, and MISTRESS QUICKLY
I come to him.MISTRESS QUICKLY SHALLOW SLENDER
AsideThis is my father's choice.
O, what a world of vile ill-favor'd faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!
I had a father, Mistress Anne; my uncle can tell youSHALLOW SLENDER SHALLOW SLENDER SHALLOW ANNE PAGE SHALLOW ANNE PAGE SLENDER ANNE PAGE SLENDER
good jests of him. Pray you, uncle, tell Mistress
Anne the jest, how my father stole two geese out of
a pen, good uncle.
My will! 'od's heartlings, that's a pretty jestANNE PAGE SLENDER
indeed! I ne'er made my will yet, I thank heaven; I
am not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.
Truly, for mine own part, I would little or nothingPAGE
with you. Your father and my uncle hath made
motions: if it be my luck, so; if not, happy man be
his dole! They can tell you how things go better
than I can: you may ask your father; here he comes.
Enter PAGE and MISTRESS PAGE
Now, Master Slender: love him, daughter Anne.FENTON MISTRESS PAGE PAGE FENTON PAGE
Why, how now! what does Master Fenton here?
You wrong me, sir, thus still to haunt my house:
I told you, sir, my daughter is disposed of.
No, good Master Fenton.MISTRESS QUICKLY FENTON
Come, Master Shallow; come, son Slender, in.
Knowing my mind, you wrong me, Master Fenton.
Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER
Good Mistress Page, for that I love your daughterANNE PAGE MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS QUICKLY ANNE PAGE MISTRESS PAGE
In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Perforce, against all cheques, rebukes and manners,
I must advance the colours of my love
And not retire: let me have your good will.
Come, trouble not yourself. Good Master Fenton,FENTON
I will not be your friend nor enemy:
My daughter will I question how she loves you,
And as I find her, so am I affected.
Till then farewell, sir: she must needs go in;
Her father will be angry.
Farewell, gentle mistress: farewell, Nan.MISTRESS QUICKLY
Exeunt MISTRESS PAGE and ANNE PAGE
This is my doing, now: 'Nay,' said I, 'will you castFENTON MISTRESS QUICKLY
away your child on a fool, and a physician? Look on
Master Fenton:' this is my doing.
Now heaven send thee good fortune!
Exit FENTONA kind heart he hath: a woman would run through
fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet I
would my master had Mistress Anne; or I would
Master Slender had her; or, in sooth, I would Master
Fenton had her; I will do what I can for them all
three; for so I have promised, and I'll be as good
as my word; but speciously for Master Fenton. Well,
I must of another errand to Sir John Falstaff from
my two mistresses: what a beast am I to slack it!
SCENE V. A room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPHFALSTAFF BARDOLPH FALSTAFF
Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in't.BARDOLPH FALSTAFF
Exit BARDOLPHHave I lived to be carried in a basket, like a
barrow of butcher's offal, and to be thrown in the
Thames? Well, if I be served such another trick,
I'll have my brains ta'en out and buttered, and give
them to a dog for a new-year's gift. The rogues
slighted me into the river with as little remorse as
they would have drowned a blind bitch's puppies,
fifteen i' the litter: and you may know by my size
that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking; if the
bottom were as deep as hell, I should down. I had
been drowned, but that the shore was shelvy and
shallow,--a death that I abhor; for the water swells
a man; and what a thing should I have been when I
had been swelled! I should have been a mountain of mummy.
Re-enter BARDOLPH with sack
Let me pour in some sack to the Thames water; for myBARDOLPH
belly's as cold as if I had swallowed snowballs for
pills to cool the reins. Call her in.
Come in, woman!MISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF BARDOLPH FALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY
Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY
Alas the day! good heart, that was not her fault:FALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY
she does so take on with her men; they mistook their erection.
Well, she laments, sir, for it, that it would yearnFALSTAFF
your heart to see it. Her husband goes this morning
a-birding; she desires you once more to come to her
between eight and nine: I must carry her word
quickly: she'll make you amends, I warrant you.
Well, I will visit her: tell her so; and bid herMISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF
think what a man is: let her consider his frailty,
and then judge of my merit.
I marvel I hear not of Master Brook; he sent me wordFORD FALSTAFF FORD FALSTAFF FORD FALSTAFF FORD FALSTAFF
to stay within: I like his money well. O, here he comes.
No, Master Brook; but the peaking Cornuto herFORD FALSTAFF FORD FALSTAFF
husband, Master Brook, dwelling in a continual
'larum of jealousy, comes me in the instant of our
encounter, after we had embraced, kissed, protested,
and, as it were, spoke the prologue of our comedy;
and at his heels a rabble of his companions, thither
provoked and instigated by his distemper, and,
forsooth, to search his house for his wife's love.
You shall hear. As good luck would have it, comesFORD FALSTAFF
in one Mistress Page; gives intelligence of Ford's
approach; and, in her invention and Ford's wife's
distraction, they conveyed me into a buck-basket.
By the Lord, a buck-basket! rammed me in with foulFORD FALSTAFF
shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, greasy
napkins; that, Master Brook, there was the rankest
compound of villanous smell that ever offended nostril.
Nay, you shall hear, Master Brook, what I haveFORD
suffered to bring this woman to evil for your good.
Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple of Ford's
knaves, his hinds, were called forth by their
mistress to carry me in the name of foul clothes to
Datchet-lane: they took me on their shoulders; met
the jealous knave their master in the door, who
asked them once or twice what they had in their
basket: I quaked for fear, lest the lunatic knave
would have searched it; but fate, ordaining he
should be a cuckold, held his hand. Well: on went he
for a search, and away went I for foul clothes. But
mark the sequel, Master Brook: I suffered the pangs
of three several deaths; first, an intolerable
fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten
bell-wether; next, to be compassed, like a good
bilbo, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to
point, heel to head; and then, to be stopped in,
like a strong distillation, with stinking clothes
that fretted in their own grease: think of that,--a
man of my kidney,--think of that,--that am as subject
to heat as butter; a man of continual dissolution
and thaw: it was a miracle to scape suffocation.
And in the height of this bath, when I was more than
half stewed in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be
thrown into the Thames, and cooled, glowing hot,
in that surge, like a horse-shoe; think of
that,--hissing hot,--think of that, Master Brook.
In good sadness, I am sorry that for my sake youFALSTAFF
have sufferd all this. My suit then is desperate;
you'll undertake her no more?
Master Brook, I will be thrown into Etna, as I haveFORD FALSTAFF
been into Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her
husband is this morning gone a-birding: I have
received from her another embassy of meeting; 'twixt
eight and nine is the hour, Master Brook.
Is it? I will then address me to my appointment.FORD
Come to me at your convenient leisure, and you shall
know how I speed; and the conclusion shall be
crowned with your enjoying her. Adieu. You shall
have her, Master Brook; Master Brook, you shall
Hum! ha! is this a vision? is this a dream? do I
sleep? Master Ford awake! awake, Master Ford!
there's a hole made in your best coat, Master Ford.
This 'tis to be married! this 'tis to have linen
and buck-baskets! Well, I will proclaim myself
what I am: I will now take the lecher; he is at my
house; he cannot 'scape me; 'tis impossible he
should; he cannot creep into a halfpenny purse,
nor into a pepper-box: but, lest the devil that
guides him should aid him, I will search
impossible places. Though what I am I cannot avoid,
yet to be what I would not shall not make me tame:
if I have horns to make one mad, let the proverb go
with me: I'll be horn-mad.
SCENE I. A street.
Enter MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS QUICKLY, and WILLIAM PAGEMISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS QUICKLY
Sure he is by this, or will be presently: but,MISTRESS PAGE
truly, he is very courageous mad about his throwing
into the water. Mistress Ford desires you to come suddenly.
I'll be with her by and by; I'll but bring my youngSIR HUGH EVANS MISTRESS QUICKLY MISTRESS PAGE
man here to school. Look, where his master comes;
'tis a playing-day, I see.
Enter SIR HUGH EVANSHow now, Sir Hugh! no school to-day?
Sir Hugh, my husband says my son profits nothing inSIR HUGH EVANS MISTRESS PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS WILLIAM PAGE MISTRESS QUICKLY SIR HUGH EVANS WILLIAM PAGE MISTRESS QUICKLY SIR HUGH EVANS WILLIAM PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS WILLIAM PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS WILLIAM PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS WILLIAM PAGE
the world at his book. I pray you, ask him some
questions in his accidence.
Articles are borrowed of the pronoun, and be thusSIR HUGH EVANS WILLIAM PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS MISTRESS QUICKLY SIR HUGH EVANS WILLIAM PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS MISTRESS QUICKLY SIR HUGH EVANS MISTRESS PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS WILLIAM PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS WILLIAM PAGE MISTRESS QUICKLY SIR HUGH EVANS MISTRESS QUICKLY
declined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, haec, hoc.
You do ill to teach the child such words: heSIR HUGH EVANS
teaches him to hick and to hack, which they'll do
fast enough of themselves, and to call 'horum:' fie upon you!
'Oman, art thou lunatics? hast thou noMISTRESS PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS WILLIAM PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS
understandings for thy cases and the numbers of the
genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as
I would desires.
It is qui, quae, quod: if you forget your 'quies,'MISTRESS PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS MISTRESS PAGE
your 'quaes,' and your 'quods,' you must be
preeches. Go your ways, and play; go.
Adieu, good Sir Hugh.
Exit SIR HUGH EVANSGet you home, boy. Come, we stay too long.
SCENE II. A room in FORD'S house.
Enter FALSTAFF and MISTRESS FORDFALSTAFF
Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up myMISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
sufferance. I see you are obsequious in your love,
and I profess requital to a hair's breadth; not
only, Mistress Ford, in the simple
office of love, but in all the accoutrement,
complement and ceremony of it. But are you
sure of your husband now?
Step into the chamber, Sir John.MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
Enter MISTRESS PAGE
No, certainly.MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
Aside to herSpeak louder.
Why, woman, your husband is in his old lunes again:MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
he so takes on yonder with my husband; so rails
against all married mankind; so curses all Eve's
daughters, of what complexion soever; and so buffets
himself on the forehead, crying, 'Peer out, peer
out!' that any madness I ever yet beheld seemed but
tameness, civility and patience, to this his
distemper he is in now: I am glad the fat knight is not here.
Of none but him; and swears he was carried out, theMISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
last time he searched for him, in a basket; protests
to my husband he is now here, and hath drawn him and
the rest of their company from their sport, to make
another experiment of his suspicion: but I am glad
the knight is not here; now he shall see his own foolery.
Why then you are utterly shamed, and he's but a deadFORD
man. What a woman are you!--Away with him, away
with him! better shame than murder.
Which way should be go? how should I bestow him?FALSTAFF MISTRESS PAGE
Shall I put him into the basket again?
Alas, three of Master Ford's brothers watch the doorFALSTAFF MISTRESS FORD FALSTAFF MISTRESS FORD
with pistols, that none shall issue out; otherwise
you might slip away ere he came. But what make you here?
He will seek there, on my word. Neither press,FALSTAFF MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
coffer, chest, trunk, well, vault, but he hath an
abstract for the remembrance of such places, and
goes to them by his note: there is no hiding you in the house.
Alas the day, I know not! There is no woman's gownFALSTAFF MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
big enough for him otherwise he might put on a hat,
a muffler and a kerchief, and so escape.
On my word, it will serve him; she's as big as heMISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
is: and there's her thrummed hat and her muffler
too. Run up, Sir John.
I would my husband would meet him in this shape: heMISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
cannot abide the old woman of Brentford; he swears
she's a witch; forbade her my house and hath
threatened to beat her.
We'll try that; for I'll appoint my men to carry theMISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
basket again, to meet him at the door with it, as
they did last time.
I'll first direct my men what they shall do with theMISTRESS PAGE
basket. Go up; I'll bring linen for him straight.
Hang him, dishonest varlet! we cannot misuse him enough.MISTRESS FORD
We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do,
Wives may be merry, and yet honest too:
We do not act that often jest and laugh;
'Tis old, but true, Still swine eat all the draff.
Re-enter MISTRESS FORD with two Servants
Go, sirs, take the basket again on your shoulders:First Servant Second Servant First Servant
your master is hard at door; if he bid you set it
down, obey him: quickly, dispatch.
I hope not; I had as lief bear so much lead.FORD
Enter FORD, PAGE, SHALLOW, DOCTOR CAIUS, and SIR HUGH EVANS
Ay, but if it prove true, Master Page, have you anyPAGE SIR HUGH EVANS SHALLOW FORD
way then to unfool me again? Set down the basket,
villain! Somebody call my wife. Youth in a basket!
O you panderly rascals! there's a knot, a ging, a
pack, a conspiracy against me: now shall the devil
be shamed. What, wife, I say! Come, come forth!
Behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching!
So say I too, sir.MISTRESS FORD FORD
Re-enter MISTRESS FORDCome hither, Mistress Ford; Mistress Ford the honest
woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that
hath the jealous fool to her husband! I suspect
without cause, mistress, do I?
Well said, brazen-face! hold it out. Come forth, sirrah!PAGE MISTRESS FORD FORD SIR HUGH EVANS FORD MISTRESS FORD FORD
Pulling clothes out of the basket
Master Page, as I am a man, there was one conveyedMISTRESS FORD PAGE SHALLOW SIR HUGH EVANS FORD PAGE FORD
out of my house yesterday in this basket: why may
not he be there again? In my house I am sure he is:
my intelligence is true; my jealousy is reasonable.
Pluck me out all the linen.
Help to search my house this one time. If I findMISTRESS FORD FORD MISTRESS FORD FORD
not what I seek, show no colour for my extremity; let
me for ever be your table-sport; let them say of
me, 'As jealous as Ford, Chat searched a hollow
walnut for his wife's leman.' Satisfy me once more;
once more search with me.
A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I notMISTRESS FORD
forbid her my house? She comes of errands, does
she? We are simple men; we do not know what's
brought to pass under the profession of
fortune-telling. She works by charms, by spells,
by the figure, and such daubery as this is, beyond
our element we know nothing. Come down, you witch,
you hag, you; come down, I say!
Nay, good, sweet husband! Good gentlemen, let himMISTRESS PAGE FORD
not strike the old woman.
Re-enter FALSTAFF in woman's clothes, and MISTRESS PAGE
I'll prat her.MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD FORD SIR HUGH EVANS
Beating himOut of my door, you witch, you hag, you baggage, you
polecat, you runyon! out, out! I'll conjure you,
I'll fortune-tell you.
By the yea and no, I think the 'oman is a witchFORD
indeed: I like not when a 'oman has a great peard;
I spy a great peard under his muffler.
Will you follow, gentlemen? I beseech you, follow;PAGE
see but the issue of my jealousy: if I cry out thus
upon no trail, never trust me when I open again.
Let's obey his humour a little further: come,MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
Exeunt FORD, PAGE, SHALLOW, DOCTOR CAIUS, and SIR HUGH EVANS
What think you? may we, with the warrant ofMISTRESS PAGE
womanhood and the witness of a good conscience,
pursue him with any further revenge?
The spirit of wantonness is, sure, scared out ofMISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
him: if the devil have him not in fee-simple, with
fine and recovery, he will never, I think, in the
way of waste, attempt us again.
Yes, by all means; if it be but to scrape theMISTRESS FORD
figures out of your husband's brains. If they can
find in their hearts the poor unvirtuous fat knight
shall be any further afflicted, we two will still be
I'll warrant they'll have him publicly shamed: andMISTRESS PAGE
methinks there would be no period to the jest,
should he not be publicly shamed.
SCENE III. A room in the Garter Inn.
Enter Host and BARDOLPHBARDOLPH
Sir, the Germans desire to have three of yourHost
horses: the duke himself will be to-morrow at
court, and they are going to meet him.
What duke should that be comes so secretly? I hearBARDOLPH Host
not of him in the court. Let me speak with the
gentlemen: they speak English?
They shall have my horses; but I'll make them pay;
I'll sauce them: they have had my house a week at
command; I have turned away my other guests: they
must come off; I'll sauce them. Come.
SCENE IV. A room in FORD'S house.
Enter PAGE, FORD, MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS FORD, and SIR HUGH EVANSSIR HUGH EVANS PAGE MISTRESS PAGE FORD
Pardon me, wife. Henceforth do what thou wilt;PAGE
I rather will suspect the sun with cold
Than thee with wantonness: now doth thy honour stand
In him that was of late an heretic,
As firm as faith.
'Tis well, 'tis well; no more:FORD PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS
Be not as extreme in submission
As in offence.
But let our plot go forward: let our wives
Yet once again, to make us public sport,
Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,
Where we may take him and disgrace him for it.
You say he has been thrown in the rivers and hasPAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
been grievously peaten as an old 'oman: methinks
there should be terrors in him that he should not
come; methinks his flesh is punished, he shall have
There is an old tale goes that Herne the hunter,PAGE
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest,
Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight,
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns;
And there he blasts the tree and takes the cattle
And makes milch-kine yield blood and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner:
You have heard of such a spirit, and well you know
The superstitious idle-headed eld
Received and did deliver to our age
This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.
Why, yet there want not many that do fearMISTRESS FORD PAGE
In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak:
But what of this?
Well, let it not be doubted but he'll come:MISTRESS PAGE
And in this shape when you have brought him thither,
What shall be done with him? what is your plot?
That likewise have we thought upon, and thus:MISTRESS FORD
Nan Page my daughter and my little son
And three or four more of their growth we'll dress
Like urchins, ouphes and fairies, green and white,
With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads,
And rattles in their hands: upon a sudden,
As Falstaff, she and I, are newly met,
Let them from forth a sawpit rush at once
With some diffused song: upon their sight,
We two in great amazedness will fly:
Then let them all encircle him about
And, fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean knight,
And ask him why, that hour of fairy revel,
In their so sacred paths he dares to tread
In shape profane.
And till he tell the truth,MISTRESS PAGE
Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound
And burn him with their tapers.
The truth being known,FORD SIR HUGH EVANS
We'll all present ourselves, dis-horn the spirit,
And mock him home to Windsor.
I will teach the children their behaviors; and IFORD MISTRESS PAGE PAGE
will be like a jack-an-apes also, to burn the
knight with my taber.
That silk will I go buy.FORD MISTRESS PAGE SIR HUGH EVANS
AsideAnd in that time
Shall Master Slender steal my Nan away
And marry her at Eton. Go send to Falstaff straight.
Let us about it: it is admirable pleasures and feryMISTRESS PAGE
Exeunt PAGE, FORD, and SIR HUGH EVANS
Go, Mistress Ford,
Send quickly to Sir John, to know his mind.
Exit MISTRESS FORDI'll to the doctor: he hath my good will,
And none but he, to marry with Nan Page.
That Slender, though well landed, is an idiot;
And he my husband best of all affects.
The doctor is well money'd, and his friends
Potent at court: he, none but he, shall have her,
Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave her.
SCENE V. A room in the Garter Inn.
Enter Host and SIMPLEHost SIMPLE Host
There's his chamber, his house, his castle, hisSIMPLE
standing-bed and truckle-bed; 'tis painted about
with the story of the Prodigal, fresh and new. Go
knock and call; hell speak like an Anthropophaginian
unto thee: knock, I say.
There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone up into hisHost
chamber: I'll be so bold as stay, sir, till she come
down; I come to speak with her, indeed.
Ha! a fat woman! the knight may be robbed: I'llFALSTAFF Host
call. Bully knight! bully Sir John! speak from
thy lungs military: art thou there? it is thine
host, thine Ephesian, calls.
Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down ofFALSTAFF SIMPLE FALSTAFF SIMPLE
thy fat woman. Let her descend, bully, let her
descend; my chambers are honourable: fie! privacy?
My master, sir, Master Slender, sent to her, seeingFALSTAFF SIMPLE FALSTAFF SIMPLE
her go through the streets, to know, sir, whether
one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain, had the
chain or no.
I would I could have spoken with the woman herself;FALSTAFF Host SIMPLE Host SIMPLE
I had other things to have spoken with her too from
Why, sir, they were nothing but about Mistress AnneFALSTAFF SIMPLE FALSTAFF SIMPLE FALSTAFF SIMPLE Host FALSTAFF
Page; to know if it were my master's fortune to
have her or no.
Ay, that there was, mine host; one that hath taughtBARDOLPH Host BARDOLPH
me more wit than ever I learned before in my life;
and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for
Run away with the cozeners; for so soon as I cameHost
beyond Eton, they threw me off from behind one of
them, in a slough of mire; and set spurs and away,
like three German devils, three Doctor Faustuses.
They are gone but to meet the duke, villain: do notSIR HUGH EVANS Host SIR HUGH EVANS
say they be fled; Germans are honest men.
Enter SIR HUGH EVANS
Have a care of your entertainments: there is aDOCTOR CAIUS Host DOCTOR CAIUS
friend of mine come to town tells me there is three
cozen-germans that has cozened all the hosts of
Readins, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, of horses and
money. I tell you for good will, look you: you
are wise and full of gibes and vlouting-stocks, and
'tis not convenient you should be cozened. Fare you well.
Enter DOCTOR CAIUS
I cannot tell vat is dat: but it is tell-a me datHost
you make grand preparation for a duke de Jamany: by
my trot, dere is no duke dat the court is know to
come. I tell you for good vill: adieu.
Hue and cry, villain, go! Assist me, knight. I amFALSTAFF
undone! Fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone!
Exeunt Host and BARDOLPH
I would all the world might be cozened; for I haveMISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF
been cozened and beaten too. If it should come to
the ear of the court, how I have been transformed
and how my transformation hath been washed and
cudgelled, they would melt me out of my fat drop by
drop and liquor fishermen's boots with me; I warrant
they would whip me with their fine wits till I were
as crest-fallen as a dried pear. I never prospered
since I forswore myself at primero. Well, if my
wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent.
Enter MISTRESS QUICKLYNow, whence come you?
The devil take one party and his dam the other! andMISTRESS QUICKLY
so they shall be both bestowed. I have suffered more
for their sakes, more than the villanous inconstancy
of man's disposition is able to bear.
And have not they suffered? Yes, I warrant;FALSTAFF
speciously one of them; Mistress Ford, good heart,
is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a
white spot about her.
What tellest thou me of black and blue? I wasMISTRESS QUICKLY
beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow;
and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of
Brentford: but that my admirable dexterity of wit,
my counterfeiting the action of an old woman,
delivered me, the knave constable had set me i' the
stocks, i' the common stocks, for a witch.
Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber: youFALSTAFF
shall hear how things go; and, I warrant, to your
content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good
hearts, what ado here is to bring you together!
Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well, that
you are so crossed.
Come up into my chamber.
SCENE VI. Another room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FENTON and HostHost FENTON
Yet hear me speak. Assist me in my purpose,Host FENTON
And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee
A hundred pound in gold more than your loss.
From time to time I have acquainted youHost FENTON
With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page;
Who mutually hath answer'd my affection,
So far forth as herself might be her chooser,
Even to my wish: I have a letter from her
Of such contents as you will wonder at;
The mirth whereof so larded with my matter,
That neither singly can be manifested,
Without the show of both; fat Falstaff
Hath a great scene: the image of the jest
I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine host.
To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and one,
Must my sweet Nan present the Fairy Queen;
The purpose why, is here: in which disguise,
While other jests are something rank on foot,
Her father hath commanded her to slip
Away with Slender and with him at Eton
Immediately to marry: she hath consented: Now, sir,
Her mother, ever strong against that match
And firm for Doctor Caius, hath appointed
That he shall likewise shuffle her away,
While other sports are tasking of their minds,
And at the deanery, where a priest attends,
Straight marry her: to this her mother's plot
She seemingly obedient likewise hath
Made promise to the doctor. Now, thus it rests:
Her father means she shall be all in white,
And in that habit, when Slender sees his time
To take her by the hand and bid her go,
She shall go with him: her mother hath intended,
The better to denote her to the doctor,
For they must all be mask'd and vizarded,
That quaint in green she shall be loose enrobed,
With ribands pendent, flaring 'bout her head;
And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe,
To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token,
The maid hath given consent to go with him.
Both, my good host, to go along with me:Host FENTON
And here it rests, that you'll procure the vicar
To stay for me at church 'twixt twelve and one,
And, in the lawful name of marrying,
To give our hearts united ceremony.
SCENE I. A room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF and MISTRESS QUICKLYFALSTAFF
Prithee, no more prattling; go. I'll hold. This isMISTRESS QUICKLY FALSTAFF
the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd
numbers. Away I go. They say there is divinity in
odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death. Away!
Away, I say; time wears: hold up your head, and mince.FORD FALSTAFF
Exit MISTRESS QUICKLY
Enter FORDHow now, Master Brook! Master Brook, the matter
will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the
Park about midnight, at Herne's oak, and you shall
I went to her, Master Brook, as you see, like a poor
old man: but I came from her, Master Brook, like a
poor old woman. That same knave Ford, her husband,
hath the finest mad devil of jealousy in him,
Master Brook, that ever governed frenzy. I will tell
you: he beat me grievously, in the shape of a
woman; for in the shape of man, Master Brook, I fear
not Goliath with a weaver's beam; because I know
also life is a shuttle. I am in haste; go along
with me: I'll tell you all, Master Brook. Since I
plucked geese, played truant and whipped top, I knew
not what 'twas to be beaten till lately. Follow
me: I'll tell you strange things of this knave
Ford, on whom to-night I will be revenged, and I
will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow.
Strange things in hand, Master Brook! Follow.
SCENE II. Windsor Park.
Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDERPAGE
Come, come; we'll couch i' the castle-ditch till weSLENDER
see the light of our fairies. Remember, son Slender,
Ay, forsooth; I have spoke with her and we have aSHALLOW
nay-word how to know one another: I come to her in
white, and cry 'mum;' she cries 'budget;' and by
that we know one another.
That's good too: but what needs either your 'mum'PAGE
or her 'budget?' the white will decipher her well
enough. It hath struck ten o'clock.
The night is dark; light and spirits will become it
well. Heaven prosper our sport! No man means evil
but the devil, and we shall know him by his horns.
Let's away; follow me.
SCENE III. A street leading to the Park.
Enter MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS FORD, and DOCTOR CAIUSMISTRESS PAGE
Master doctor, my daughter is in green: when youDOCTOR CAIUS MISTRESS PAGE
see your time, take her by the band, away with her
to the deanery, and dispatch it quickly. Go before
into the Park: we two must go together.
Fare you well, sir.MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
Exit DOCTOR CAIUSMy husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse of
Falstaff as he will chafe at the doctor's marrying
my daughter: but 'tis no matter; better a little
chiding than a great deal of heart-break.
They are all couched in a pit hard by Herne's oak,MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD
with obscured lights; which, at the very instant of
Falstaff's and our meeting, they will at once
display to the night.
SCENE IV. Windsor Park.
Enter SIR HUGH EVANS, disguised, with others as FairiesSIR HUGH EVANS
Trib, trib, fairies; come; and remember your parts:
be pold, I pray you; follow me into the pit; and
when I give the watch-'ords, do as I pid you:
come, come; trib, trib.
SCENE V. Another part of the Park.
Enter FALSTAFF disguised as HerneFALSTAFF
The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the minuteMISTRESS FORD FALSTAFF
draws on. Now, the hot-blooded gods assist me!
Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Europa; love
set on thy horns. O powerful love! that, in some
respects, makes a beast a man, in some other, a man
a beast. You were also, Jupiter, a swan for the love
of Leda. O omnipotent Love! how near the god drew
to the complexion of a goose! A fault done first in
the form of a beast. O Jove, a beastly fault! And
then another fault in the semblance of a fowl; think
on 't, Jove; a foul fault! When gods have hot
backs, what shall poor men do? For me, I am here a
Windsor stag; and the fattest, I think, i' the
forest. Send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can
blame me to piss my tallow? Who comes here? my
Enter MISTRESS FORD and MISTRESS PAGE
My doe with the black scut! Let the sky rainMISTRESS FORD FALSTAFF
potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green
Sleeves, hail kissing-comfits and snow eringoes; let
there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.
Divide me like a bribe buck, each a haunch: I willMISTRESS PAGE MISTRESS FORD FALSTAFF MISTRESS FORD MISTRESS PAGE
keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow
of this walk, and my horns I bequeath your husbands.
Am I a woodman, ha? Speak I like Herne the hunter?
Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience; he makes
restitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome!
They run off
I think the devil will not have me damned, lest theMISTRESS QUICKLY
oil that's in me should set hell on fire; he would
never else cross me thus.
Enter SIR HUGH EVANS, disguised as before; PISTOL, as Hobgoblin; MISTRESS QUICKLY, ANNE PAGE, and others, as Fairies, with tapers
Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,PISTOL
You moonshine revellers and shades of night,
You orphan heirs of fixed destiny,
Attend your office and your quality.
Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy oyes.
Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.FALSTAFF
Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap:
Where fires thou find'st unraked and hearths unswept,
There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry:
Our radiant queen hates sluts and sluttery.
They are fairies; he that speaks to them shall die:SIR HUGH EVANS
I'll wink and couch: no man their works must eye.
Lies down upon his face
Where's Bede? Go you, and where you find a maidMISTRESS QUICKLY
That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
Raise up the organs of her fantasy;
Sleep she as sound as careless infancy:
But those as sleep and think not on their sins,
Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides and shins.
About, about;SIR HUGH EVANS
Search Windsor Castle, elves, within and out:
Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room:
That it may stand till the perpetual doom,
In state as wholesome as in state 'tis fit,
Worthy the owner, and the owner it.
The several chairs of order look you scour
With juice of balm and every precious flower:
Each fair instalment, coat, and several crest,
With loyal blazon, evermore be blest!
And nightly, meadow-fairies, look you sing,
Like to the Garter's compass, in a ring:
The expressure that it bears, green let it be,
More fertile-fresh than all the field to see;
And 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' write
In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue and white;
Let sapphire, pearl and rich embroidery,
Buckled below fair knighthood's bending knee:
Fairies use flowers for their charactery.
Away; disperse: but till 'tis one o'clock,
Our dance of custom round about the oak
Of Herne the hunter, let us not forget.
Pray you, lock hand in hand; yourselves in order setFALSTAFF PISTOL MISTRESS QUICKLY
And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be,
To guide our measure round about the tree.
But, stay; I smell a man of middle-earth.
With trial-fire touch me his finger-end:PISTOL SIR HUGH EVANS
If he be chaste, the flame will back descend
And turn him to no pain; but if he start,
It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.
Come, will this wood take fire?FALSTAFF MISTRESS QUICKLY
They burn him with their tapers
Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire!PAGE MISTRESS PAGE
About him, fairies; sing a scornful rhyme;
And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time.
Fie on sinful fantasy!
Fie on lust and luxury!
Lust is but a bloody fire,
Kindled with unchaste desire,
Fed in heart, whose flames aspire
As thoughts do blow them, higher and higher.
Pinch him, fairies, mutually;
Pinch him for his villany;
Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about,
Till candles and starlight and moonshine be out.
During this song they pinch FALSTAFF. DOCTOR CAIUS comes one way, and steals away a boy in green; SLENDER another way, and takes off a boy in white; and FENTON comes and steals away ANN PAGE. A noise of hunting is heard within. All the Fairies run away. FALSTAFF pulls off his buck's head, and rises
Enter PAGE, FORD, MISTRESS PAGE, and MISTRESS FORD
I pray you, come, hold up the jest no higherFORD
Now, good Sir John, how like you Windsor wives?
See you these, husband? do not these fair yokes
Become the forest better than the town?
Now, sir, who's a cuckold now? Master Brook,MISTRESS FORD
Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldly knave; here are his
horns, Master Brook: and, Master Brook, he hath
enjoyed nothing of Ford's but his buck-basket, his
cudgel, and twenty pounds of money, which must be
paid to Master Brook; his horses are arrested for
it, Master Brook.
Sir John, we have had ill luck; we could never meet.FALSTAFF FORD FALSTAFF
I will never take you for my love again; but I will
always count you my deer.
And these are not fairies? I was three or fourSIR HUGH EVANS FORD SIR HUGH EVANS FORD FALSTAFF
times in the thought they were not fairies: and yet
the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surprise of my
powers, drove the grossness of the foppery into a
received belief, in despite of the teeth of all
rhyme and reason, that they were fairies. See now
how wit may be made a Jack-a-Lent, when 'tis upon
Have I laid my brain in the sun and dried it, thatSIR HUGH EVANS FALSTAFF
it wants matter to prevent so gross o'erreaching as
this? Am I ridden with a Welsh goat too? shall I
have a coxcomb of frize? 'Tis time I were choked
with a piece of toasted cheese.
'Seese' and 'putter'! have I lived to stand at theMISTRESS PAGE
taunt of one that makes fritters of English? This
is enough to be the decay of lust and late-walking
through the realm.
Why Sir John, do you think, though we would have theFORD MISTRESS PAGE PAGE FORD PAGE FORD SIR HUGH EVANS
virtue out of our hearts by the head and shoulders
and have given ourselves without scruple to hell,
that ever the devil could have made you our delight?
And given to fornications, and to taverns and sackFALSTAFF
and wine and metheglins, and to drinkings and
swearings and starings, pribbles and prabbles?
Well, I am your theme: you have the start of me; IFORD
am dejected; I am not able to answer the Welsh
flannel; ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me: use
me as you will.
Marry, sir, we'll bring you to Windsor, to onePAGE
Master Brook, that you have cozened of money, to
whom you should have been a pander: over and above
that you have suffered, I think to repay that money
will be a biting affliction.
Yet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt eat a possetMISTRESS PAGE
to-night at my house; where I will desire thee to
laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee: tell her
Master Slender hath married her daughter.
[Aside] Doctors doubt that: if Anne Page be mySLENDER PAGE SLENDER PAGE SLENDER
daughter, she is, by this, Doctor Caius' wife.
I came yonder at Eton to marry Mistress Anne Page,PAGE SLENDER
and she's a great lubberly boy. If it had not been
i' the church, I would have swinged him, or he
should have swinged me. If I did not think it had
been Anne Page, would I might never stir!--and 'tis
a postmaster's boy.
What need you tell me that? I think so, when I tookPAGE SLENDER
a boy for a girl. If I had been married to him, for
all he was in woman's apparel, I would not have had
I went to her in white, and cried 'mum,' and sheMISTRESS PAGE
cried 'budget,' as Anne and I had appointed; and yet
it was not Anne, but a postmaster's boy.
Good George, be not angry: I knew of your purpose;DOCTOR CAIUS
turned my daughter into green; and, indeed, she is
now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married.
Enter DOCTOR CAIUS
Vere is Mistress Page? By gar, I am cozened: I ha'MISTRESS PAGE DOCTOR CAIUS FORD PAGE
married un garcon, a boy; un paysan, by gar, a boy;
it is not Anne Page: by gar, I am cozened.
My heart misgives me: here comes Master Fenton.ANNE PAGE PAGE MISTRESS PAGE FENTON
Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGEHow now, Master Fenton!
You do amaze her: hear the truth of it.FORD
You would have married her most shamefully,
Where there was no proportion held in love.
The truth is, she and I, long since contracted,
Are now so sure that nothing can dissolve us.
The offence is holy that she hath committed;
And this deceit loses the name of craft,
Of disobedience, or unduteous title,
Since therein she doth evitate and shun
A thousand irreligious cursed hours,
Which forced marriage would have brought upon her.
Stand not amazed; here is no remedy:FALSTAFF PAGE FALSTAFF MISTRESS PAGE
In love the heavens themselves do guide the state;
Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.
Well, I will muse no further. Master Fenton,FORD
Heaven give you many, many merry days!
Good husband, let us every one go home,
And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire;
Sir John and all.