Public Domain Books  :   home   ::   authors   ::   titles   ::   search

These texts of The Merry Wives of Windsor are from Volume I of the nine-volume 1863 Cambridge edition of Shakespeare. The editors’ preface (e-text 23041) and the other plays from this volume are each available as separate e-texts.

General Notes are in their original location at the end of the Folio text, followed by the text-critical notes originally printed at the bottom of each page. All notes are hyperlinked in both directions. In dialogue, a link from a speaker’s name generally means that the note applies to the entire line or group of lines. The Quarto text is given separately, after all Notes.

Line numbers—shown in the right margin and used for all notes—are from the original text. In prose passages the exact line counts will depend on your browser settings, and will probably be different from the displayed numbers. Stage directions were not included in the line numbering.

Introduction
Standard Text (folios and later)
Text of First Quarto

THE WORKS

OF

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

EDITED BY

WILLIAM GEORGE CLARK, M.A.

FELLOW AND TUTOR OF TRINITY COLLEGE, AND PUBLIC ORATOR
IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE;

and JOHN GLOVER, M.A.

LIBRARIAN OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
 
VOLUME I.
 
Cambridge and London:
MACMILLAN AND CO.
1863.
 

Introduction
 

The Merry Wives of Windsor
 

Dramatis Personæ
Act I Scene 1 Windsor. Before Page’s house.
Scene 2 The same.
Scene 3 A room in the Garter Inn.
Scene 4 A room in Doctor Caius’s house.
Act II Scene 1 Before Page’s house.
Scene 2 A room in the Garter Inn.
Scene 3 A field near Windsor.
Act III Scene 1 A field near Frogmore.
Scene 2 The street, in Windsor.
Scene 3 A room in Ford’s house.
Scene 4 A room in Page’s house.
Scene 5 A room in the Garter Inn.
Act IV Scene 1 A street.
Scene 2 A room in Ford’s house.
Scene 3 A room in the Garter Inn.
Scene 4 A room in Ford’s house.
Scene 5 A room in the Garter Inn.
Scene 6 The same. Another room in the Garter Inn.
Act V Scene 1 A room in the Garter Inn.
Scene 2 Windsor Park.
Scene 3 A street leading to the Park.
Scene 4 Windsor Park.
Scene 5 Another part of the Park.
 
Notes

Critical Apparatus (“Linenotes”) for main text
 

A Pleasant Conceited Comedy of Syr John Falstaffe, &c.
(The Merry Wives of Windsor, First Quarto text)
 

Critical Apparatus (“Linenotes”) for Quarto text
 

Texts Used (from general preface)

161
THE

MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.


163  

Besides the copies of the Merry Wives of Windsor appearing in the folios and modern editions, a quarto, Q3, has been collated in these Notes, of which the following is the title:

The | Merry Wives | of Windsor. | with the humours of Sir John Falstaffe, | as also, The swaggering Vaine of Ancient | Pistoll, and Corporall Nym. |written by William Shake-speare. | Newly corrected. | London: | printed by T. H. for R. Meighen and are to be sold | at his Shop, next to the Middle-Temple Gate, and in | S. Dunstan’s Church-yard in Fleet Street. | 1630.

Q1 and Q2 are editions of an early sketch of the same play. The variations between the text of these quartos and the received text are so great that collation cannot be attempted. The text printed at the end of the play is taken literatim from Q1, the edition of 1602, of which a copy is preserved among Capell’s Shakespeariana, and this text is collated verbatim with Q2, the second quarto printed in 1619. Q1 was reprinted in 1842 for the Shakespeare Society by Mr J. O. Halliwell. This text, which differs in one or two places from Capell’s Q1, has also been collated. Q2 is given among Twenty of the Plays of Shakespeare, edited by Steevens. Their titles are as follows:

(1) A | Most pleasaunt and | excellent conceited Co-|medie, of Syr John Falstaffe, and the | Merrie Wiues of Windsor. | Enter-mixed with sundrie | variable and pleasing humors of Syr Hugh | the Welch Knight, Justice Shallow, and his | wise Cousin M. Slender. | With the Swaggering vaine of Auncient | Pistoll, and Corporall Nym. | By William Shakespeare. | As it hath been diuers times Acted by the right Honorable | my Lord Chamberlaines seruants. Both before her | Maiestie, and else-where. | London. | Printed by T. C. for Arthur Johnson, and are to be sold at | his shop in Powles Church-yard, at the signe of the | Flower de Leuse and the Crowne. | 1602.

[This consists of 7 Quires of 4. In the Quire G one line, which we have included in brackets, has been cut away by the binder. We have supplied it from Halliwell’s edition and Q2.]

(2) A | Most pleasant and ex-|cellent Comedy, | of Sir John Falstaffe, and the | merry Wives of Windsor. | With the swaggering vaine of An|cient Pistoll, and Corporall Nym. | Written by W. Shakespeare. | Printed for Arthur Johnson, 1619.


164  

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.1

Sir John Falstaff.

Fenton, a gentleman.

Shallow, a country justice.

Slender, cousin to Shallow.

Ford, two gentlemen dwelling at Windsor.
Page,

William Page, a boy, son to Page.

Sir Hugh Evans, a Welsh parson.

Doctor Caius, a French physician.

Host of the Garter Inn.

Bardolph, sharpers attending on Falstaff.
Pistol,
Nym,

Robin, page to Falstaff.

Simple, servant to Slender.

Rugby, servant to Doctor Caius.

 

Mistress Ford.

Mistress Page.

Anne Page, her daughter.

Mistress Quickly, servant to Doctor Caius.

 

Servants to Page, Ford, &c.

Scene—Windsor, and the neighbourhood.

1. Not in Qq Ff. Inserted by Rowe.


165
THE

MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.


ACT I.

I. 1 Scene I. Windsor. Before Page’s house.

Enter Justice Shallow, Slender, and Sir Hugh Evans.

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

Slen. In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace 5 and ‘Coram.’

Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and ‘Custalorum.’

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

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

Slen. All his successors gone before him hath done’t; and all his ancestors that come after him may: they may 15 give the dozen white luces in their coat.

Shal. It is an old coat.

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

166

Shal. The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an 20 old coat.

Slen. I may quarter, coz.

Shal. You may, by marrying.

Evans. It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.

Shal. Not a whit.

I. 1.
25
Evans. Yes, py’r lady; if he has a quarter of your coat, there is but three skirts for yourself, in my simple conjectures: but that is all one. If Sir John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto you, I am of the church, and will be glad to do my benevolence to make atonements and 30 compremises between you.

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

Evans. It is not meet the council hear a riot; there is no fear of Got in a riot: the council, look you, shall desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a riot; take your 35 vizaments in that.

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

Evans. It is petter that friends is the sword, and end it: and there is also another device in my prain, which peradventure 40 prings goot discretions with it:—there is Anne Page, which is daughter to Master Thomas Page, which is pretty virginity.

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

45 Evans. It is that fery person for all the orld, as just as you will desire; and seven hundred pounds of moneys, and gold and silver, is her grandsire upon his death’s-bed (Got deliver to a joyful resurrections!) give, when she is able to overtake seventeen years old: it were a goot motion if we 167 I. 1.
50
leave our pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage between Master Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.

Slen. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?

Evans. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.

Slen. I know the young gentlewoman; she has good 55 gifts.

Evans. Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts.

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

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

65 Page. [Within] Who’s there?

Enter Page.

Evans. Here is Got’s plessing, and your friend, and Justice Shallow; and here young Master Slender, that peradventures shall tell you another tale, if matters grow to your likings.

70 Page. I am glad to see your worships well. I thank you for my venison, Master Shallow.

Shal. Master Page, I am glad to see you: much good do it your good heart! I wished your venison better; it was ill killed. How doth good Mistress Page?—and I I. 1.
75
thank you always with my heart, la! with my heart.

Page. Sir, I thank you.

Shal. Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.

Page. I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.

168

Slen. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard 80 say he was outrun on Cotsall.

Page. It could not be judged, sir.

Slen. You’ll not confess, you’ll not confess.

Shal. That he will not. ’Tis your fault, ’tis your fault; ’tis a good dog.

85 Page. A cur, sir.

Shal. Sir, he’s a good dog, and a fair dog: can there be more said? he is good and fair. Is Sir John Falstaff here?

Page. Sir, he is within; and I would I could do a good office between you.

90 Evans. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.

Shal. He hath wronged me, Master Page.

Page. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.

Shal. If it be confessed, it is not redressed: is not that so, Master Page? He hath wronged me; indeed he hath; 95 at a word, he hath, believe me: Robert Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wronged.

Page. Here comes Sir John.

Enter Sir John Falstaff, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol.

Fal. Now, Master Shallow, you’ll complain of me to the king?

I. 1.
100
Shal. Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer, and broke open my lodge.

Fal. But not kissed your keeper’s daughter?

Shal. Tut, a pin! this shall be answered.

Fal. I will answer it straight; I have done all this.

105 That is now answered.

Shal. The council shall know this.

Fal. ’Twere better for you if it were known in counsel: you’ll be laughed at.

169

Evans. Pauca verba, Sir John; goot worts.

110 Fal. Good worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke your head: what matter have you against me?

Slen. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you; and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol.

115 Bard. You Banbury cheese!

Slen. Ay, it is no matter.

Pist. How now, Mephostophilus!

Slen. Ay, it is no matter.

Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca: slice! that’s my 120 humour.

Slen. Where’s Simple, my man? Can you tell, cousin?

Evans. Peace, I pray you. Now let us understand. There is three umpires in this matter, as I understand; I. 1.
125
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.

Page. We three, to hear it and end it between them.

Evans. Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in my 130 note-book; and we will afterwards ork upon the cause with as great discreetly as we can.

Fal. Pistol!

Pist. He hears with ears.

Evans. The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, ’He 135 hears with ear’? why, it is affectations.

Fal. Pistol, did you pick Master Slender’s purse?

Slen. Ay, by these gloves, did he, or I would I might never come in mine own great chamber again else, of seven groats in mill-sixpences, and two Edward shovel-boards, 140 that cost me two shilling and two pence a-piece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.

Fal. Is this true, Pistol?

170

Evans. No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.

145 Pist. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner! Sir John and master mine,

I combat challenge of this latten bilbo.

Word of denial in thy labras here!

Word of denial: froth and scum, thou liest!

Slen. By these gloves, then, ’twas he.

I. 1.
150
Nym. Be avised, sir, and pass good humours: I will say ‘marry trap’ with you, if you run the nuthook’s humour on me; that is the very note of it.

Slen. By this hat, then, he in the red face had it; for though I cannot remember what I did when you made me 155 drunk, yet I am not altogether an ass.

Fal. What say you, Scarlet and John?

Bard. Why, sir, for my part, I say the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five sentences.

Evans. It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is!

160 Bard. And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; and so conclusions passed the careires.

Slen. Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but ’tis no matter: I’ll ne’er be drunk whilst I live again, but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick: if I be drunk, 165 I’ll be drunk with those that have the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves.

Evans. So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.

Fal. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.

Enter Anne Page, with wine; Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, following.

170 Page. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we’ll drink within.

Exit Anne Page.

171

Slen. O heaven! this is Mistress Anne Page.

Page. How now, Mistress Ford!

Fal. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well I. 1.
175
met: by your leave, good mistress. Kisses her.

Page. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome. Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner: come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.

Exeunt all except Shal., Slen., and Evans.

Slen. I had rather than forty shillings I had my Book 180 of Songs and Sonnets here.

Enter Simple.

How now, Simple! where have you been? I must wait on myself, must I? You have not the Book of Riddles about you, have you?

Sim. Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to 185 Alice Shortcake upon All-hallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas?

Shal. Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. A word with you, coz; marry, this, coz: there is, as ’twere, a tender, a kind of tender, made afar off by Sir Hugh here. Do 190 you understand me?

Slen. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if it be so, I shall do that that is reason.

Shal. Nay, but understand me.

Slen. So I do, sir.

195 Evans. Give ear to his motions, Master Slender: I will description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.

Slen. Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says: I pray you, pardon me; he’s a justice of peace in his country, simple though I stand here.

I. 1.
200
Evans. But that is not the question: the question is concerning your marriage.

Shal. Ay, there’s the point, sir.

Evans. Marry, is it; the very point of it; to Mistress Anne Page.

172

205 Slen. Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any reasonable demands.

Evans. But can you affection the ’oman? Let us command to know that of your mouth or of your lips; for divers philosophers hold that the lips is parcel of the mouth. 210 Therefore, precisely, can you carry your good will to the maid?

Shal. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?

Slen. I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that would do reason.

215 Evans. Nay, Got’s lords and his ladies! you must speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires towards her.

Shal. That you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?

220 Slen. I will do a greater thing than that, upon your request, cousin, in any reason.

Shal. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz: what I do is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the maid?

Slen. I will marry her, sir, at your request: but if there I. 1.
225
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.

230 Evans. It is a fery discretion answer; save the fall is in the ort ‘dissolutely:’ the ort is, according to our meaning, ‘resolutely:’ his meaning is good.

Shal. Ay, I think my cousin meant well.

Slen. Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la!

235 Shal. Here comes fair Mistress Anne.

173
Re-enter Anne Page.

Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne!

Anne. The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worships’ company.

Shal. I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.

240 Evans. Od’s plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.

Exeunt Shallow and Evans.

Anne. Will’t please your worship to come in, sir?

Slen. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well.

245 Anne. The dinner attends you, sir.

Slen. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth. Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my cousin Shallow. [Exit Simple.] A justice of peace sometimes may be beholding to his friend for a man. I keep but I. 1.
250
three men and a boy yet, till my mother be dead: but what though? yet I live like a poor gentleman born.

Anne. I may not go in without your worship: they will not sit till you come.

Slen. I’ faith, I’ll eat nothing; I thank you as much as 255 though I did.

Anne. I pray you, sir, walk in.

Slen. I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruised my shin th’ other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence; three veneys for a dish of stewed 260 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?

Anne. I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.

Slen. I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel 265 at it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see the bear loose, are you not?

Anne. Ay, indeed, sir.

Slen. That’s meat and drink to me, now. I have seen Sackerson loose twenty times, and have taken him by the 270 chain; but, I warrant you, the women have so cried and 174 shrieked at it, that it passed: but women, indeed, cannot abide ’em; they are very ill-favoured rough things.

Re-enter Page.

Page. Come, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay for you.

I. 1.
275
Slen. I’ll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.

Page. By cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! come, come.

Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way.

Page. Come on, sir.

280 Slen. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.

Anne. Not I, sir; pray you, keep on.

Slen. Truly, I will not go first; truly, la! I will not do you that wrong.

Anne. I pray you, sir.

285 Slen. I’ll rather be unmannerly than troublesome. You do yourself wrong, indeed, la!

Exeunt.

I. 2 Scene II. The same.

Enter Sir Hugh Evans and Simple.

Evans. Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Caius’ house which 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 his wringer.

5 Sim. Well, sir.

Evans. 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 10 pray you, be gone: I will make an end of my dinner; there’s pippins and cheese to come.

Exeunt.

175

I. 3 Scene III. A room in the Garter Inn.

Enter Falstaff, Host, Bardolph, Nym, Pistol, and Robin.

Fal. Mine host of the Garter!

Host. What says my bully-rook? speak scholarly and wisely.

Fal. Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my 5 followers.

Host. Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.

Fal. I sit at ten pounds a week.

Host. Thou’rt an emperor, Cæsar, Keisar, and Pheezar. 10 I will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector?

Fal. Do so, good mine host.

Host. I have spoke; let him follow. [To Bard.] Let me see thee froth and lime: I am at a word; follow. Exit.

15 Fal. Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade: an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered serving-man a fresh tapster. Go; adieu.

Bard. It is a life that I have desired: I will thrive.

Pist. O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot 20 wield?

Exit Bardolph.

Nym. He was gotten in drink: is not the humour conceited?

Fal. I am glad I am so acquit of this tinder-box: his thefts were too open; his filching was like an unskilful I. 3.
25
singer; he kept not time.

Nym. The good humour is to steal at a minute’s rest.

Pist. ‘Convey,’ the wise it call. ‘Steal!’ foh! a fico for the phrase!

176

Fal. Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.

30 Pist. Why, then, let kibes ensue.

Fal. There is no remedy; I must cony-catch; I must shift.

Pist. Young ravens must have food.

Fal. Which of you know Ford of this town?

35 Pist. I ken the wight: he is of substance good.

Fal. My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.

Pist. Two yards, and more.

Fal. No quips now, Pistol! Indeed, I am in the waist two yards about; but I am now about no waste; I am 40 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 behaviour, to be Englished rightly, is, ‘I am Sir John Falstaff’s.’

45 Pist. He hath studied her will, and translated her will, out of honesty into English.

Nym. The anchor is deep: will that humour pass?

Fal. Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her husband’s purse: he hath a legion of angels.

I. 3.
50
Pist. As many devils entertain; and ‘To her, boy,’ say I.

Nym. The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.

Fal. I have writ me here a letter to her: and here another to Page’s wife, who even now gave me good eyes 55 too, examined my parts with most judicious œillades; sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.

Pist. Then did the sun on dunghill shine.

177

Nym. I thank thee for that humour.

60 Fal. O, she did so course o’er my exteriors with such a 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 cheaters to them both, and 65 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.

Pist. Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,

70 And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all!

Nym. I will run no base humour: here, take the humour-letter: I will keep the haviour of reputation.

Fal. [To Robin] Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly;

Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores

I. 3.
75
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.

Pist. Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and fullam holds,

80 And high and low beguiles the rich and poor:

Tester I’ll have in pouch when thou shalt lack,

Base Phrygian Turk!

Nym. I have operations which be humours of revenge.

Pist. Wilt thou revenge?

85 Nym. By welkin and her star!

178

Pist. With wit or steel?

Nym. With both the humours, I:

I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.

Pist. And I to Ford shall eke unfold

90 How Falstaff, varlet vile,

His dove will prove, his gold will hold,

And his soft couch defile.

Nym. My humour shall not cool: I will incense Page to deal with poison; I will possess him with yellowness, for 95 the revolt of mine is dangerous: that is my true humour.

Pist. Thou art the Mars of malecontents: I second thee; troop on.

Exeunt.

I. 4 Scene IV. A room in Doctor Caius’s house.

Enter Mistress Quickly, Simple, and Rugby.

Quick. What, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the casement, 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 5 patience and the king’s English.

Rug. I’ll go watch.

Quick. Go; and we’ll have a posset for’t soon at night, in faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire. [Exit Rugby.] An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant shall come 10 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?

Sim. Ay, for fault of a better.

15 Quick. And Master Slender’s your master?

Sim. Ay, forsooth.

179

Quick. Does he not wear a great round beard, like a glover’s paring-knife?

Sim. No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with 20 a little yellow beard,—a Cain-coloured beard.

Quick. A softly-sprighted man, is he not?

Sim. Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his hands as any is between this and his head; he hath fought with a warrener.

I. 4.
25
Quick. How say you?—O, I should remember him: does he not hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?

Sim. Yes, indeed, does he.

Quick. Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! Tell Master Parson Evans I will do what I can 30 for your master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish—

Re-enter Rugby.

Rug. Out, alas! here comes my master

Quick. We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man; go into this closet: he will not stay long. [Shuts Simple in the closet.] What, John Rugby! John! 35 what, John, I say! Go, John, go inquire for my master; I doubt he be not well, that he comes not home.

[Singing] And down, down, adown-a, &c.

Enter Doctor Caius.

Caius. Vat is you sing? I do not like des toys. Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un boitier vert,—a box, 40 a green-a box: do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.

Quick. Ay, forsooth; I’ll fetch it you. [Aside] I am glad he went not in himself: if he had found the young man, he would have been horn-mad.

Caius. Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je 45 m’en vais à la cour,—la grande affaire.

180

Quick. Is it this, sir?

Caius. Oui; mette le au mon pocket: dépêche, quickly. Vere is dat knave Rugby?

Quick. What, John Rugby! John!

I. 4.
50
Rug. Here, sir!

Caius. You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby. Come, take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to the court.

Rug. ’Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.

55 Caius. By my trot, I tarry too long. —Od’s me! Qu’ai-j’oublié! dere is some simples in my closet, dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.

Quick. Ay me, he’ll find the young man there, and be mad!

60 Caius. O diable, diable! vat is in my closet? Villain! larron! [Pulling Simple out.] Rugby, my rapier!

Quick. Good master, be content.

Caius. Wherefore shall I be content-a?

Quick. The young man is an honest man.

65 Caius. What shall de honest man do in my closet? dere is no honest man dat shall come in my closet.

Quick. I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic. Hear the truth of it: he came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh.

Caius. Vell.

70 Sim. Ay, forsooth; to desire her to—

Quick. Peace, I pray you.

Caius. Peace-a your tongue. Speak-a your tale.

Sim. To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page for my I. 4.
75
master in the way of marriage.

Quick. This is all, indeed, la! but I’ll ne’er put my finger in the fire, and need not.

Caius. Sir Hugh send-a you? Rugby, baille me some paper. Tarry you a little-a while. Writes.

181

80 Quick. [Aside to Simple] I am glad he is so quiet: if he had been throughly 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 85 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 all myself,—

Sim. [Aside to Quickly] ’Tis a great charge to come under one body’s hand.

90 Quick. [Aside to Simple] Are you avised o’ that? you 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 95 Anne’s mind,—that’s neither here nor there.

Caius. You jack’nape, give-a this letter to Sir Hugh; by gar, it is a shallenge: I will cut his troat in de 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 I. 4.
100
gar, I will cut all his two stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to throw at his dog.

Exit Simple.

Quick. Alas, he speaks but for his friend.

Caius. It is no matter-a ver dat:—do not you tell-a me dat I shall have Anne Page for myself?—By gar, I vill 105 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.

Quick. Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. We must give folks leave to prate: what, the good-jer!

110 Caius. Rugby, come to the court with me. By gar, if I have not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my door. Follow my heels, Rugby.

Exeunt Caius and Rugby.

182

Quick. You shall have An fool’s-head of your own. No, I know Anne’s mind for that: never a woman in 115 Windsor knows more of Anne’s mind than I do; nor can do more than I do with her, I thank heaven.

Fent. [Within] Who’s within there? ho!

Quick. Who’s there, I trow? Come near the house, I pray you.

Enter Fenton.

120 Fent. How now, good woman! how dost thou?

Quick. The better that it pleases your good worship to ask.

Fen. What news? how does pretty Mistress Anne?

Quick. In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and I. 4.
125
gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you that by the way; I praise heaven for it.

Fent. Shall I do any good, thinkest thou? shall I not lose my suit?

Quick. Troth, sir, all is in his hands above: but notwithstanding, 130 Master Fenton, I’ll be sworn on a book, she loves you. Have not your worship a wart above your eye?

Fent. Yes, marry, have I; what of that?

Quick. Well, thereby hangs a tale:—good faith, it is such another Nan; but, I detest, an honest maid as ever 135 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.

Fent. Well, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there’s 140 money for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if thou seest her before me, commend me.

Quick. Will I? i’ faith, that we will; and I will tell your worship more of the wart the next time we have confidence; and of other wooers.

145 Fent. Well, farewell; I am in great haste now.

183

Quick. Farewell to your worship. [Exit Fenton.] Truly, 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? Exit.

ACT II.

II. 1 Scene I. Before Page’s house.

Enter Mistress Page, with a letter.

Mrs Page. What, have I scaped love-letters in the holiday-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 5 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 10 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,

15 With all his might

For thee to fight,     John Falstaff.’

What a Herod of Jewry is this! O wicked, wicked world! One that is well-nigh worn to pieces with age to show himself a young gallant! What an unweighed behaviour hath 20 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 184 II. 1.
25
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.

Mrs Ford. Mistress Page! trust me, I was going to your house.

30 Mrs Page. And, trust me, I was coming to you. You look very ill.

Mrs Ford. Nay, I’ll ne’er believe that; I have to show to the contrary.

Mrs Page. Faith, but you do, in my mind.

35 Mrs Ford. Well, I do, then; yet, I say, I could show you to the contrary. O Mistress Page, give me some counsel!

Mrs Page. What’s the matter, woman?

Mrs Ford. O woman, if it were not for one trifling respect, 40 I could come to such honour!

Mrs Page. Hang the trifle, woman! take the honour. What is it?—dispense with trifles;—what is it?

Mrs Ford. If I would but go to hell for an eternal moment or so, I could be knighted.

45 Mrs Page. What? thou liest! Sir Alice Ford! These knights will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry.

Mrs Ford. We burn daylight:—here, read, read; perceive how I might be knighted. I shall think the worse of II. 1.
50
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 55 more adhere and keep place together than the Hundredth 185 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 60 hope, till the wicked fire of lust have melted him in his own grease. Did you ever hear the like?

Mrs Page. Letter for letter, but that the name of Page and Ford differs! To thy great comfort in this mystery of ill opinions, here’s the twin-brother of thy letter: 65 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 70 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.

Mrs Ford. Why, this is the very same; the very hand, the very words. What doth he think of us?

II. 1.
75
Mrs Page. Nay, I know not: it makes me almost ready to 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.

80 Mrs Ford. ‘Boarding,’ call you it? I’ll be sure to keep him above deck.

Mrs Page. So will I: if he come under my hatches, I’ll never to sea again. Let’s be revenged on him: let’s appoint him a meeting; give him a show of comfort in his 85 suit, and lead him on with a fine-baited delay, till he hath pawned his horses to mine host of the Garter.

Mrs Ford. Nay, I will consent to act any villany against him, that may not sully the chariness of our honesty. O, that my husband saw this letter! it would give 90 eternal food to his jealousy.

186

Mrs Page. Why, look where he comes; and my good man too: he’s as far from jealousy as I am from giving him cause; and that, I hope, is an unmeasurable distance.

95 Mrs Ford. You are the happier woman.

Mrs Page. Let’s consult together against this greasy knight. Come hither. They retire.

Enter Ford, with Pistol, and Page, with Nym.

Ford. Well, I hope it be not so.

Pist. Hope is a curtal dog in some affairs:

II. 1.
100
Sir John affects thy wife.

Ford. Why, sir, my wife is not young.

Pist. He wooes both high and low, both rich and poor,

Both young and old, one with another, Ford;

He loves the gallimaufry: Ford, perpend.

105 Ford. Love my wife!

Pist. With liver burning hot. Prevent, or go thou,

Like Sir Actæon he, with Ringwood at thy heels:

O, odious is the name!

Ford. What name, sir?

110 Pist. The horn, I say. Farewell.

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. Exit.

115 Ford. [Aside] I will be patient; I will find out this.

Nym. [To Page] And this is true; I like not the humour 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 187 120 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. Exit.

II. 1.
125
Page. ‘The humour of it,’ quoth ’a! here’s a fellow frights English out of his wits.

Ford. I will seek out Falstaff.

Page. I never heard such a drawling, affecting rogue.

Ford. If I do find it:—well.

130 Page. I will not believe such a Cataian, though the priest o’ the town commended him for a true man.

Ford. ’Twas a good sensible fellow:—well.

Page. How now, Meg!

Mrs Page and Mrs Ford come forward.

Mrs Page. Whither go you, George? Hark you.

135 Mrs Ford. How now, sweet Frank! why art thou melancholy?

Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy. Get you home, go.

Mrs Ford. Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy 140 head. Now, will you go, Mistress Page?

Mrs Page. Have with you. You’ll come to dinner, George? [Aside to Mrs Ford] Look who comes yonder: she shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.

Mrs Ford. [Aside to Mrs Page] Trust me, I thought on 145 her: she’ll fit it.

Enter Mistress Quickly.

Mrs Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne?

Quick. Ay, forsooth; and, I pray, how does good Mistress Anne?

188

Mrs Page. Go in with us and see: we have an hour’s II. 1.
150
talk with you.

Exeunt Mrs Page, Mrs Ford, and Mrs Quickly.

Page. How now, Master Ford!

Ford. You heard what this knave told me, did you not?

Page. Yes: and you heard what the other told me?

Ford. Do you think there is truth in them?

155 Page. Hang ’em, slaves! I do not think the knight would 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.

Ford. Were they his men?

160 Page. Marry, were they.

Ford. I like it never the better for that. Does he lie at the Garter?

Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyage toward my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and 165 what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lie on my head.

Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife; but I would be loath to turn them together. A man may be too confident: I would have nothing lie on my head: I cannot be thus 170 satisfied.

Page. Look where my ranting host of the Garter comes: there is either liquor in his pate, or money in his purse, when he looks so merrily.

Enter Host.

How now, mine host!

II. 1.
175
Host. How now, bully-rook! thou’rt a gentleman. Cavaleiro-justice, I say!

Enter Shallow.

Shal. I follow, mine host, I follow. Good even and twenty, good Master Page! Master Page, will you go with us? we have sport in hand.

189

180 Host. Tell him, cavaleiro-justice; tell him, bully-rook.

Shal. Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir Hugh the Welsh priest and Caius the French doctor.

Ford. Good mine host o’ the Garter, a word with you. Drawing him aside.

Host. What sayest thou, my bully-rook?

185 Shal. [To Page] Will you go with us to behold it? My 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.

Host. Hast thou no suit against my knight, my 190 guest-cavaleire?

Ford. None, I protest: but I’ll give you a pottle of burnt sack to give me recourse to him, and tell him my name is Brook; only for a jest.

195 Host. My hand, bully; thou shalt have egress and regress;—said I well?—and thy name shall be Brook. It is a merry knight. Will you go, An-heires?

Shal. Have with you, mine host.

Page. I have heard the Frenchman hath good skill in II. 1.
200
his rapier.

Shal. Tut, sir, I could have told you more. In these times 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 205 have made you four tall fellows skip like rats.

Host. Here, boys, here, here! shall we wag?

Page. Have with you. I had rather hear them scold than fight.

Exeunt Host, Shal., and Page.

Ford. Though Page be a secure fool, and stands so 210 firmly on his wife’s frailty, yet I cannot put off my opinion 190 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, 215 ’tis labour well bestowed. Exit.

II. 2 Scene II. A room in the Garter Inn.

Enter Falstaff and Pistol.

Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.

Pist. Why, then the world’s mine oyster,

Which I with sword will open.

Fal. Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you 5 should 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 10 tall fellows; and when Mistress Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took’t upon mine honour thou hadst it not.

Pist. Didst not thou share? hadst thou not fifteen pence?

Fal. Reason, you rogue, reason: thinkest thou I’ll endanger 15 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 20 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 191 your rags, your cat-a-mountain looks, your red-lattice II. 2.
25
phrases, and your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour! You will not do it, you!

Pist. I do relent: what would thou more of man?

Enter Robin.

Rob. Sir, here’s a woman would speak with you.

Fal. Let her approach.

Enter Mistress Quickly.

30 Quick. Give your worship good morrow.

Fal. Good morrow, good wife.

Quick. Not so, an’t please your worship.

Fal. Good maid, then.

Quick. I’ll be sworn;

35 As my mother was, the first hour I was born.

Fal. I do believe the swearer. What with me?

Quick. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?

Fal. Two thousand, fair woman: and I’ll vouchsafe thee the hearing.

40 Quick. There is one Mistress Ford, sir:—I pray, come a little nearer this ways:—I myself dwell with Master Doctor Caius,—

Fal. Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say,—

Quick. Your worship says very true:—I pray your 45 worship, come a little nearer this ways.

Fal. I warrant thee, nobody hears;—mine own people, mine own people.

Quick. Are they so? God bless them, and make them his servants!

II. 2.
50
Fal. Well, Mistress Ford;—what of her?

Quick. Why, sir, she’s a good creature. —Lord, Lord! 192 your worship’s a wanton! Well, heaven forgive you and all of us, I pray!

Fal. Mistress Ford;—come, Mistress Ford,—

55 Quick. Marry, this is the short and the long of it; you 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 60 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 65 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; 70 but, I warrant you, all is one with her.

Fal. But what says she to me? be brief, my good she-Mercury.

Quick. Marry, she hath received your letter; for the II. 2.
75
which 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.

Fal. Ten and eleven.

Quick. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see 80 the 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.

Fal. Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her; 85 I will not fail her.

Quick. Why, you say well. But I have another messenger to your worship. Mistress Page hath her hearty commendations to you, too: and let me tell you in your 193 ear, she’s as fartuous a civil modest wife, and one, I tell 90 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 95 charms, la; yes, in truth.

Fal. Not I, I assure thee: setting the attraction of my good parts aside, I have no other charms.

Quick. Blessing on your heart for’t!

Fal. But, I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford’s wife II. 2.
100
and Page’s wife acquainted each other how they love me?

Quick. That were a jest indeed! they have not so little 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 105 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 110 Windsor, she is one. You must send her your page; no remedy.

Fal. Why, I will.

Quick. Nay, but do so, then: and, look you, he may come and go between you both; and, in any case, have a 115 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.

Fal. Fare thee well: commend me to them both: 120 there’s my purse; I am yet thy debtor. Boy, go along with this woman. [Exeunt Mistress Quickly and Robin.] This news distracts me!

Pist. This punk is one of Cupid’s carriers:

194

Clap on more sails; pursue; up with your fights:

II. 2.
125
Give fire: she is my prize, or ocean whelm them all! Exit.

Fal. Sayest thou so, old Jack? go thy ways; I’ll make 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 130 them say ’tis grossly done; so it be fairly done, no matter.

Enter Bardolph.

Bard. Sir John, there’s one Master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a morning’s draught of sack.

Fal. Brook is his name?

135 Bard. Ay, sir.

Fal. Call him in. [Exit Bardolph.] Such 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.

Ford. Bless you, sir!

140 Fal. And you, sir! Would you speak with me?

Ford. I make bold to press with so little preparation upon you.

Fal. You’re welcome. What’s your will?—Give us leave, drawer.

Exit Bardolph.

145 Ford. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much; my name is Brook.

Fal. Good Master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.

Ford. Good Sir John, I sue for yours: not to charge II. 2.
150
you; for I must let you understand I think myself in better plight for a lender than you are: the which hath something emboldened me to this unseasoned intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all ways do lie open.

195

Fal. Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on.

155 Ford. Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me: if you will help to bear it, Sir John, take all, or half, for easing me of the carriage.

Fal. Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.

160 Ford. I will tell you, sir, if you will give me the hearing.

Fal. Speak, good Master Brook: I shall be glad to be your servant.

Ford. Sir, I hear you are a scholar,—I will be brief with you,—and you have been a man long known to me, though 165 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 170 own; that I may pass with a reproof the easier, sith you yourself know how easy it is to be such an offender.

Fal. Very well, sir; proceed.

Ford. There is a gentlewoman in this town; her husband’s name is Ford.

II. 2.
175
Fal. Well, sir.

Ford. I have long loved her, and, I protest to you, 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 180 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 185 received none; unless experience be a jewel that I have purchased at an infinite rate, and that hath taught me to say this:

196

‘Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues;

Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.’

190 Fal. Have you received no promise of satisfaction at her hands?

Ford. Never.

Fal. Have you importuned her to such a purpose?

Ford. Never.

195 Fal. Of what quality was your love, then?

Ford. Like a fair house built on another man’s ground; so that I have lost my edifice by mistaking the place where I erected it.

Fal. To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?

II. 2.
200
Ford. When I have told you that, I have told you all. 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 205 breeding, admirable discourse, of great admittance, authentic in your place and person, generally allowed for your many war-like, court-like, and learned preparations.

Fal. O, sir!

Ford. Believe it, for you know it. There is money; 210 spend 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 any.

215 Fal. Would it apply well to the vehemency of your affection, that I should win what you would enjoy? Methinks you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.

Ford. O, understand my drift. She dwells so securely on the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my soul 220 dares not present itself: she is too bright to be looked against. Now, could I 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 197 II. 2.
225
other her defences, which now are too, too strongly embattled against me. What say you to’t, Sir John?

Fal. Master Brook, I will first make bold with your money; next, give me your hand; and last, as I am a gentleman, you shall, if you will, enjoy Ford’s wife.

230 Ford. O good sir!

Fal. I say you shall.

Ford. Want no money, Sir John; you shall want none.

Fal. Want no Mistress Ford, Master Brook; you shall want none. I shall be with her, I may tell you, by her 235 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.

240 Ford.. I am blest in your acquaintance. Do you know Ford, sir?

Fal. Hang him, poor cuckoldly knave! I know him not: —yet I wrong him to call him poor; they say the jealous wittolly knave hath masses of money; for the which his wife 245 seems to me well-favoured. I will use her as the key of the cuckoldly rogue’s coffer; and there’s my harvest-home.

Ford. I would you knew Ford, sir, that you might avoid him, if you saw him.

Fal. Hang him, mechanical salt-butter rogue! I will II. 2.
250
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 255 style; thou, Master Brook, shalt know him for knave and cuckold. Come to me soon at night. Exit.

Ford. 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 198 260 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 265 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 270 be jealous. I will rather trust a Fleming with my butter, Parson Hugh the Welshman with my cheese, an Irishman with my aqua-vitæ 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 II. 2.
275
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 280 late. Fie, fie, fie! cuckold! cuckold! cuckold! Exit.

II. 3 Scene III. A field near Windsor.

Enter Caius and Rugby.

Caius. Jack Rugby!

Rug. Sir?

Caius. Vat is de clock, Jack?

Rug. Tis past the hour, sir, that Sir Hugh promised 5 to meet.

Caius. By gar, he has save his soul, dat he is no come; he has pray his Pible well, dat he is no come: by gar, Jack Rugby, he is dead already, if he be come.

199

Rug. He is wise, sir; he knew your worship would 10 kill him, if he came.

Caius. By gar, de herring is no dead so as I vill kill him. Take your rapier, Jack; I vill tell you how I vill kill him.

Rug. Alas, sir, I cannot fence.

15 Caius. Villainy, take your rapier.

Rug. Forbear; here’s company.

Enter Host, Shallow, Slender, and Page.

Host. Bless thee, bully doctor!

Shal. Save you, Master Doctor Caius!

Page. Now, good master doctor!

20 Slen. Give you good morrow, sir.

Caius. Vat be all you, one, two, tree, four, come for?

Host. To see thee fight, to see thee foin, to see thee traverse; to see thee here, to see thee there; to see thee pass thy punto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy distance, thy II. 3.
25
montant. Is he dead, my Ethiopian? is he dead, my Francisco? ha, bully! What says my Æsculapius? my Galen? my heart of elder? ha! is he dead, bully-stale? is he dead?

Caius. By gar, he is de coward Jack priest of de vorld; he is not show his face.

30 Host. Thou art a Castalion-King-Urinal. Hector of Greece, my boy!

Caius. I pray you, bear vitness that me have stay six or seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come.

Shal. He is the wiser man, master doctor: he is a 35 curer of 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?

Page. Master Shallow, you have yourself been a great fighter, though now a man of peace.

200

40 Shal. Bodykins, Master Page, though I now be old, and of 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.

45 Page. ’Tis true, Master Shallow.

Shal. It will be found so, Master Page. Master Doctor Caius, I am come to fetch you home. I am sworn of the peace: you have shewed yourself a wise physician, and Sir Hugh hath shewn himself a wise and patient II. 3.
50
churchman. You must go with me, master doctor.

Host. Pardon, guest-justice. —A word, Mounseur Mock-water.

Caius. Mock-vater! vat is dat?

Host. Mock-water, in our English tongue, is valour, 55 bully.

Caius. By gar, den, I have as mush mock-vater as de Englishman. —Scurvy jack-dog priest! by gar, me vill cut his ears.

Host. He will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully.

60 Caius. Clapper-de-claw! vat is dat?

Host. That is, he will make thee amends.

Caius. By gar, me do look he shall clapper-de-claw me; for, by gar, me vill have it.

Host. And I will provoke him to’t, or let him wag.

65 Caius. Me tank you for dat.

Host. And, moreover, bully,—But first, master guest, and Master Page, and eke Cavaleiro Slender, go you through the town to Frogmore. Aside to them.

Page. Sir Hugh is there, is he?

70 Host. He is there: see what humour he is in; and I will bring the doctor about by the fields. Will it do well?

Shal. We will do it.

Page, Shal., and Slen. Adieu, good master doctor.

Exeunt Page, Shal., and Slen.

201

II. 3.
75
Caius. By gar, me vill kill de priest; for he speak for a jack-an-ape to Anne Page.

Host. Let him die: sheathe thy impatience, throw cold water on thy choler: go about the fields with me through Frogmore: I will bring thee where Mistress Anne Page is, 80 at a farm-house a-feasting; and thou shalt woo her. Cried I aim? said I well?

Caius. By gar, me dank you for dat: by gar, I love you; and I shall procure-a you de good guest, de earl, de knight, de lords, de gentlemen, my patients.

85 Host. For the which I will be thy adversary toward Anne Page. Said I well?

Caius. By gar, ’tis good; vell said.

Host. Let us wag, then.

Caius. Come at my heels, Jack Rugby.

Exeunt.

ACT III.

III. 1 Scene I. A field near Frogmore.

Enter Sir Hugh Evans and Simple.

Evans. I pray you now, good Master Slender’s serving-man, and friend Simple by your name, which way have you looked for Master Caius, that calls himself doctor of physic?

5 Sim. Marry, sir, the pittie-ward, the park-ward, every way; old Windsor way, and every way but the town way.

Evans. I most fehemently desire you you will also look that way.

Sim. I will, sir. Exit.

10 Evans. Pless my soul, how full of chollors I am, and trempling of mind!—I shall be glad if he have deceived 202 me. —How melancholies I am!—I will knog his urinals about his knave’s costard when I have goot opportunities for the ork. —Pless my soul!— Sings.

15 To shallow rivers, to whose falls

Melodious birds sings madrigals;

There will we make our peds of roses,

And a thousand fragrant posies.

To shallow

20 Mercy on me! I have a great dispositions to cry. Sings.

Melodious birds sing madrigals

Whenas I sat in Pabylon—

And a thousand vagram posies.

To shallow &c.

Re-enter Simple.

III. 1.
25
Sim. Yonder he is coming, this way, Sir Hugh.

Evans. He’s welcome. — Sings.

To shallow rivers, to whose falls—

Heaven prosper the right!—What weapons is he?

Sim. No weapons, sir. There comes my master, 30 Master Shallow, and another gentleman, from Frogmore, over the stile, this way.

Evans. Pray you, give me my gown; or else keep it in your arms.

Enter Page, Shallow, and Slender.

Shal. How now, master parson! Good morrow, good 35 Sir Hugh. Keep a gamester from the dice, and a good student from his book, and it is wonderful.

Slen. [Aside] Ah, sweet Anne Page!

Page. Save you, good Sir Hugh!

Evans. Pless you from his mercy sake, all of you!

203

40 Shal. What, the sword and the word! do you study them both, master parson?

Page. And youthful still! in your doublet and hose this raw rheumatic day!

Evans. There is reasons and causes for it.

45 Page. We are come to you to do a good office, master parson.

Evans. Fery well: what is it?

Page. Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, who, belike having received wrong by some person, is at most odds III. 1.
50
with his own gravity and patience that ever you saw.

Shal. I have lived fourscore years and upward; I never heard a man of his place, gravity, and learning, so wide of his own respect.

Evans. What is he?

55 Page. I think you know him; Master Doctor Caius, the renowned French physician.

Evans. Got’s will, and his passion of my heart! I had as lief you would tell me of a mess of porridge.

Page. Why?

60 Evans. He has no more knowledge in Hibocrates and Galen,—and he is a knave besides; a cowardly knave as you would desires to be acquainted withal.

Page. I warrant you, he’s the man should fight with him.

65 Slen. [Aside] O sweet Anne Page!

Shal. It appears so, by his weapons. Keep them asunder: here comes Doctor Caius.

Enter Host, Caius, and Rugby.

Page. Nay, good master parson, keep in your weapon.

Shal. So do you, good master doctor.

70 Host. Disarm them, and let them question: let them keep their limbs whole, and hack our English.

Caius. I pray you, let-a me speak a word with your ear. Verefore vill you not meet-a me?

204

Evans. [Aside to Caius] Pray you, use your patience: III. 1.
75
in good time.

Caius. By gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog, John ape.

Evans. [Aside to Caius] Pray you, let us not be laughing-stocks to other men’s humours; I desire you in friendship, 80 and I will one way or other make you amends. [Aloud] I will knog your urinals about your knave’s cogscomb [for missing your meetings and appointments].

Caius. Diable!—Jack Rugby,—mine host de Jarteer,—have I not stay for him to kill him? have I not, at de 85 place I did appoint?

Evans. As I am a Christians soul, now, look you, this is the place appointed: I’ll be judgement by mine host of the Garter.

Host. Peace, I say, Gallia and Gaul, French and 90 Welsh, soul-curer and body-curer!

Caius. Ay, dat is very good; excellent.

Host. Peace, I say! hear mine host of the Garter. Am I politic? am I subtle? am I a Machiavel? Shall I lose my doctor? no; he gives me the potions and the motions. 95 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 III. 1.
100
are whole, and let burnt sack be the issue. Come, lay their 205 swords to pawn. Follow me, lads of peace; follow, follow, follow.

Shal. Trust me, a mad host. Follow, gentlemen, follow.

105 Slen. [Aside] O sweet Anne Page!

Exeunt Shal., Slen., Page, and Host.

Caius. Ha, do I perceive dat? have you make-a de sot of us, ha, ha?

Evans. This is well; he has made us his vlouting-stog. —I desire you that we may be friends; and let us knog our 110 prains together to be revenge on this same scall, scurvy, cogging companion, the host of the Garter.

Caius. By gar, with all my heart. He promise to bring me where is Anne Page; by gar, he deceive me too.

Evans. Well, I will smite his noddles. Pray you, 115 follow.

Exeunt.

III. 2 Scene II. The street, in Windsor.

Enter Mistress Page and Robin.

Mrs Page. Nay, keep your way, little gallant; you were wont to be a follower, but now you are a leader. Whether had you rather lead mine eyes, or eye your master’s heels?

Rob. I had rather, forsooth, go before you like a man 5 than follow him like a dwarf.

Mrs Page. O, you are a flattering boy: now I see you’ll be a courtier.

Enter Ford.

Ford. Well met, Mistress Page. Whither go you?

Mrs Page. Truly, sir, to see your wife. Is she at home?

10 Ford. Ay; and as idle as she may hang together, for want of company. I think, if your husbands were dead, you two would marry.

Mrs Page. Be sure of that,—two other husbands.

206

Ford. Where had you this pretty weathercock?

15 Mrs Page. I cannot tell what the dickens his name is husband had him of. —What do you call your knight’s name, sirrah?

Rob. Sir John Falstaff.

Ford. Sir John Falstaff!

20 Mrs Page. He, he; I can never hit on’s name. There is such a league between my good man and he!—Is your wife at home indeed?

Ford. Indeed she is.

Mrs Page. By your leave, sir: I am sick till I see her.

Exeunt Mrs Page and Robin.

III. 2.
25
Ford. Has Page any brains? hath he any eyes? hath he any 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: 30 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 35 veil of modesty from the so seeming Mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure and wilful Actæon; and to these violent proceedings all my neighbours shall cry aim. [Clock heard.] The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me search: there I shall find Falstaff: I shall be rather 40 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, Caius, and Rugby.

Shal., Page, &c. Well met, Master Ford.

Ford. Trust me, a good knot: I have good cheer at home; and I pray you all go with me.

207

45 Shal. I must excuse myself, Master Ford.

Slen. And so must I, sir: we have appointed to dine with Mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for more money than I’ll speak of.

Shal. We have lingered about a match between Anne III. 2.
50
Page and my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.

Slen. I hope I have your good will, father Page.

Page. You have, Master Slender; I stand wholly for you:—but my wife, master doctor, is for you altogether.

55 Caius. Ay, be-gar; and de maid is love-a me: my nursh-a Quickly tell me so mush.

Host. What say you to young Master Fenton? he capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he speaks holiday, he smells April and May: he will 60 carry’t, he will carry’t; ’tis in his buttons; he will carry’t.

Page. Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman is 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 65 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.

Ford. I beseech you heartily, some of you go home with me to dinner: besides your cheer, you shall have sport; 70 I will show you a monster. Master doctor, you shall go; so shall you, Master Page; and you, Sir Hugh.

Shal. Well, fare you well: we shall have the freer wooing at Master Page’s.

Exeunt Shal. and Slen.

Caius. Go home, John Rugby; I come anon.

Exit Rugby.

III. 2.
75
Host. Farewell, my hearts: I will to my honest knight Falstaff, and drink canary with him. Exit.

Ford. [Aside] I think I shall drink in pipe-wine first with him; I’ll make him dance. Will you go, gentles?

All. Have with you to see this monster.

Exeunt.

208

III. 3 Scene III. A room in Ford’s house.

Enter Mistress Ford and Mistress Page.

Mrs Ford. What, John! What, Robert!

Mrs Page. Quickly, quickly!—is the buck-basket—

Mrs Ford. I warrant. What, Robin, I say!

Enter Servants with a basket.

Mrs Page. Come, come, come.

5 Mrs Ford. Here, set it down.

Mrs Page. Give your men the charge; we must be brief.

Mrs Ford. Marry, as I told you before, John and Robert, be ready here hard by in the brew-house; and when I suddenly call you, come forth, and, without any 10 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.

Mrs Page. You will do it?

15 Mrs Ford. I ha’ told them over and over; they lack no direction. Be gone, and come when you are called.

Exeunt Servants.

Mrs Page. Here comes little Robin.

Enter Robin.

Mrs Ford. How now, my eyas-musket! what news with you?

20 Rob. My master, Sir John, is come in at your back-door, Mistress Ford, and requests your company.

Mrs Page. You little Jack-a-Lent, have you been true to us?

Rob. Ay, I’ll be sworn. My master knows not of your III. 3.
25
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.

209

Mrs Page. Thou’rt a good boy: this secrecy of thine shall be a tailor to thee, and shall make thee a new doublet and hose. I ’ll go hide me.

30 Mrs Ford. Do so. Go tell thy master I am alone. [Exit Robin.] Mistress Page, remember you your cue.

Mrs Page. I warrant thee; if I do not act it, hiss me. Exit.

Mrs Ford. Go to, then: we’ll use this unwholesome humidity, this gross watery pumpion; we’ll teach him to 35 know turtles from jays.

Enter Falstaff.

Fal. ‘Have I caught’ thee, ‘my heavenly jewel?’ Why, now let me die, for I have lived long enough: this is the period of my ambition: O this blessed hour!

Mrs Ford. O sweet Sir John!

40 Fal. Mistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate, 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.

Mrs Ford. I your lady, Sir John! alas, I should be a 45 pitiful lady!

Fal. Let the court of France show me such another. I see 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 Venetian admittance.

III. 3.
50
Mrs Ford. A plain kerchief, Sir John: my brows become nothing else; nor that well neither.

Fal. By the Lord, thou art a traitor to say so: thou wouldst make an absolute courtier; and the firm fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion to thy gait in a semi-circled 210 55 farthingale. I see what thou wert, if Fortune thy foe were not, Nature thy friend. Come, thou canst not hide it.

Mrs Ford. Believe me, there’s no such thing in me.

Fal. What made me love thee? let that persuade thee there’s something extraordinary in thee. Come, I cannot 60 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.

Mrs Ford. Do not betray me, sir. I fear you love 65 Mistress Page.

Fal. Thou mightst as well say I love to walk by the Counter-gate, which is as hateful to me as the reek of a lime-kiln.

Mrs Ford. Well, heaven knows how I love you; and 70 you shall one day find it.

Fal. Keep in that mind; I’ll deserve it.

Mrs Ford. Nay, I must tell you, so you do; or else I could not be in that mind.

Rob. [Within] Mistress Ford, Mistress Ford! here’s III. 3.
75
Mistress Page at the door, sweating, and blowing, and looking wildly, and would needs speak with you presently.

Fal. She shall not see me: I will ensconce me behind the arras.

Mrs Ford. Pray you, do so: she’s a very tattling 80 woman.

Falstaff hides himself.

Re-enter Mistress Page and Robin.

What’s the matter? how now!

Mrs Page. O Mistress Ford, what have you done? You’re shamed, you’re overthrown, you’re undone for ever!

Mrs Ford. What’s the matter, good Mistress Page?

211

85 Mrs Page. O well-a-day, Mistress Ford! having an honest man to your husband, to give him such cause of suspicion!

Mrs Ford. What cause of suspicion?

Mrs Page. What cause of suspicion! Out upon you! 90 how am I mistook in you!

Mrs Ford. Why, alas, what’s the matter?

Mrs Page. Your husband’s coming hither, woman, with all the officers in Windsor, to search for a gentleman that he says is here now in the house, by your consent, to 95 take an ill advantage of his absence: you are undone.

Mrs Ford. ’Tis not so, I hope.

Mrs Page. Pray heaven it be not so, that you have such a man here! but ’tis most certain your husband’s coming, with half Windsor at his heels, to search for such a one. III. 3.
100
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.

105 Mrs Ford. What shall I do? There is a gentleman my dear 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.

Mrs Page. For shame! never stand ‘you had rather’ 110 and ‘you 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 115 to bucking: or,—it is whiting-time,—send him by your two men to Datchet-mead.

Mrs Ford. He’s too big to go in there. What shall I do?

Fal. [Coming forward] Let me see’t, let me see’t, 120 O, let me see’t!—I’ll in, I’ll in. —Follow your friend’s counsel. —I’ll in.

212

Mrs Page. What, Sir John Falstaff! Are these your letters, knight?

Fal. I love thee. —Help me away. —Let me creep in III. 3.
125
here. —I’ll never— Gets into the basket; they cover him with foul linen.

Mrs Page. Help to cover your master, boy. —Call your men, Mistress Ford. —You dissembling knight!

Mrs Ford. What, John! Robert! John!

Exit Robin.

Re-enter Servants.

Go take up these clothes here quickly. —Where’s the cowl-staff? 130 look, how you drumble!—Carry them to the laundress in Datchet-mead; quickly, come.

Enter Ford, Page, Caius, and Sir Hugh Evans.

Ford. Pray you, come near: if I suspect without cause, why then make sport at me; then let me be your jest; I deserve it. —How now! whither bear you this?

135 Serv. To the laundress, forsooth.

Mrs Ford. Why, what have you to do whither they bear it? You were best meddle with buck-washing.

Ford. Buck!—I would I could wash myself of the buck!—Buck, buck, buck! Ay, buck; I warrant you, buck; and 140 of the season too, it shall appear. [Exeunt Servants with the basket.] Gentlemen, 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 door.] So, 145 now uncape.

Page. Good Master Ford, be contented: you wrong yourself too much.

Ford. True, Master Page. Up, gentlemen; you shall see sport anon: follow me, gentlemen. Exit.

213

III. 3.
150
Evans. This is fery fantastical humours and jealousies.

Caius. By gar, ’tis no the fashion of France; it is not jealous in France.

Page. Nay, follow him, gentlemen; see the issue of his search.

Exeunt Page, Caius, and Evans.

155 Mrs Page. Is there not a double excellency in this?

Mrs Ford. I know not which pleases me better, that my husband is deceived, or Sir John.

Mrs Page. What a taking was he in when your husband asked who was in the basket!

160 Mrs Ford. I am half afraid he will have need of washing; so throwing him into the water will do him a benefit.

Mrs Page. Hang him, dishonest rascal! I would all of the same strain were in the same distress.

Mrs Ford. I think my husband hath some special suspicion 165 of Falstaff’s being here; for I never saw him so gross in his jealousy till now.

Mrs Page. I will lay a plot to try that; and we will yet have more tricks with Falstaff: his dissolute disease will scarce obey this medicine.

170 Mrs Ford. Shall we send that foolish carrion, Mistress Quickly, to him, and excuse his throwing into the water; and give him another hope, to betray him to another punishment?

Mrs Page. We will do it: let him be sent for to-morrow, III. 3.
175
eight o’clock, to have amends.

Re-enter Ford, Page, Caius, and Sir Hugh Evans.

Ford. I cannot find him: may be the knave bragged of that he could not compass.

Mrs Page. [Aside to Mrs Ford] Heard you that?

Mrs Ford. You use me well, Master Ford, do you?

180 Ford. Ay, I do so.

214

Mrs Ford. Heaven make you better than your thoughts!

Ford. Amen!

Mrs Page. You do yourself mighty wrong, Master Ford.

185 Ford. Ay, ay; I must bear it.

Evans. If there be any pody in the house, and in the chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses, heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgement!

Caius. By gar, nor I too: there is no bodies.

190 Page. Fie, fie, Master Ford! are you not ashamed? What spirit, what devil suggests this imagination? I would not ha’ your distemper in this kind for the wealth of Windsor Castle.

Ford. ’Tis my fault, Master Page: I suffer for it.

195 Evans. You suffer for a pad conscience: your wife is as honest a ’omans as I will desires among five thousand, and five hundred too.

Caius. By gar, I see ’tis an honest woman.

Ford. Well, I promised you a dinner. —Come, come, III. 3.
200
walk in 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.

Page. Let’s go in, gentlemen; but, trust me, we’ll 205 mock 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?

Ford. Any thing.

210 Evans. If there is one, I shall make two in the company.

Caius. If dere be one or two, I shall make-a the turd

Ford. Pray you, go, Master Page.

Evans. I pray you now, remembrance to-morrow on the lousy knave, mine host.

215 Caius. Dat is good; by gar, with all my heart!

Evans. A lousy knave, to have his gibes and his mockeries!

Exeunt.

215

III. 4 Scene IV. A room in Page’s house.

Enter Fenton and Anne Page.

Fent. I see I cannot get thy father’s love;

Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.

Anne. Alas, how then?

Fent.

Why, thou must be thyself.

He doth object I am too great of birth;

5 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

10 I should love thee but as a property.

Anne. May be he tells you true.

Fent. No, heaven so speed me in my time to come!

Albeit I will confess thy father’s wealth

Was the first motive that I woo’d thee, Anne:

15 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.

Anne.

Gentle Master Fenton,

Yet seek my father’s love; still seek it, sir:

20 If opportunity and humblest suit

Cannot attain it, why, then,—hark you hither!

They converse apart.

Enter Shallow, Slender, and Mistress Quickly.

Shal. Break their talk, Mistress Quickly: my kinsman shall speak for himself.

Sle. I’ll make a shaft or a bolt on’t: ’slid, ’tis but III. 4.
25
venturing.

Shal. Be not dismayed.

216

Slen. No, she shall not dismay me: I care not for that, but that I am afeard.

Quick. Hark ye; Master Slender would speak a word 30 with you.

Anne. I come to him. [Aside] This is my father’s choice.

O, what a world of vile ill-favour’d faults

Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!

Quick. And how does good Master Fenton? Pray you, 35 a word with you.

Shal. She’s coming; to her, coz. O boy, thou hadst a father!

Slen. I had a father, Mistress Anne;—my uncle can tell you good jests of him. Pray you, uncle, tell Mistress 40 Anne the jest, how my father stole two geese out of a pen, good uncle.

Shal. Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.

Slen. Ay, that I do; as well as I love any woman in Gloucestershire.

45 Shal. He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.

Slen. Ay, that I will, come cut and long-tail, under the degree of a squire.

Shal. He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.

III. 4.
50
Anne. Good Master Shallow, let him woo for himself.

Shal. Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good comfort. She calls you, coz: I’ll leave you.

Anne. Now, Master Slender,—

Slen. Now, good Mistress Anne,—

55 Anne. What is your will?

Slen. My will! od’s heartlings, that’s a pretty jest indeed! I ne’er made my will yet, I thank heaven; I am not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.

Anne. I mean, Master Slender, what would you with 60 me?

Slen. Truly, for mine own part, I would little or nothing with you. Your father and my uncle hath made motions: 217 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 65 ask your father; here he comes.

Enter Page and Mistress Page.

Page. Now, Master Slender: love him, daughter Anne.—

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.

70 Fent. Nay, Master Page, be not impatient.

Mrs Page. Good Master Fenton, come not to my child.

Page. She is no match for you.

Fent. Sir, will you hear me?

Page.

No, good Master Fenton.

Come, Master Shallow; come, son Slender, in.

III. 4.
75
Knowing my mind, you wrong me, Master Fenton.

Exeunt Page, Shal., and Slen.

Quick. Speak to Mistress Page.

Fent. Good Mistress Page, for that I love your daughter

In such a righteous fashion as I do,

Perforce, against all checks, rebukes and manners,

80 I must advance the colours of my love,

And not retire: let me have your good will.

Anne. Good mother, do not marry me to yond fool.

Mrs Page. I mean it not; I seek you a better husband.

Quick. That’s my master, master doctor.

85 Anne. Alas, I had rather be set quick i’ the earth,

And bowl’d to death with turnips!

Mrs Page. Come, trouble not yourself. Good Master Fenton,

I will not be your friend nor enemy:

My daughter will I question how she loves you,

90 And as I find her, so am I affected.

Till then farewell, sir: she must needs go in;

Her father will be angry.

218

Fent. Farewell, gentle mistress: farewell, Nan.

Exeunt Mrs Page and Anne.

Quick. This is my doing now: ‘Nay,’ said I, ‘will you 95 cast away your child on a fool, and a physician? Look on Master Fenton:’ this is my doing.

Fent. I thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night

Give my sweet Nan this ring: there’s for thy pains.

Quick. Now heaven send thee good fortune! [Exit III. 4.
100
Fenton.
] A 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; 105 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! Exit.

III. 5 Scene V. A room in the Garter Inn.

Enter Falstaff and Bardolph.

Fal. Bardolph, I say,—

Bard. Here, sir.

Fal. Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in’t. [Exit Bard.] Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a barrow 5 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, 10 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 219 I abhor; for the water swells a man; and what a thing 15 should I have been when I had been swelled! I should have been a mountain of mummy.

Re-enter Bardolph with sack.

Bard. Here’s Mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with you.

Fal. Come, let me pour in some sack to the Thames water; for my belly’s as cold as if I had swallowed snow-balls 20 for pills to cool the reins. Call her in.

Bard. Come in, woman!

Enter Mistress Quickly.

Quick. By your leave; I cry you mercy: give your worship good morrow.

Fal. Take away these chalices. Go brew me a pottle III. 5.
25
of sack finely.

Bard. With eggs, sir?

Fal. Simple of itself; I’ll no pullet-sperm in my brewage. [Exit Bardolph.] How now!

Quick. Marry, sir, I come to your worship from Mistress 30 Ford.

Fal. Mistress Ford! I have had ford enough; I was thrown into the ford; I have my belly full of ford.

Quick. Alas the day! good heart, that was not her fault: she does so take on with her men; they mistook 35 their erection.

Fal. So did I mine, to build upon a foolish woman’s promise.

Quick. Well, she laments, sir, for it, that it would yearn your heart to see it. Her husband goes this morning 40 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.

Fal. Well, I will visit her: tell her so; and bid her think what a man is: let her consider his frailty, and then 45 judge of my merit.

220

Quick. I will tell her.

Fal. Do so. Between nine and ten, sayest thou?

Quick. Eight and nine, sir.

Fal. Well, be gone: I will not miss her.

III. 5.
50
Quick. Peace be with you, sir. Exit.

Fal. I marvel I hear not of Master Brook; he sent me word to stay within: I like his money well. —O, here he comes.

Enter Ford.

Ford. Bless you, sir!

55 Fal. Now, Master Brook,—you come to know what hath passed between me and Ford’s wife?

Ford. That, indeed, Sir John, is my business.

Fal. Master Brook, I will not lie to you: I was at her house the hour she appointed me.

60 Ford. And sped you, sir?

Fal. Very ill-favouredly, Master Brook.

Ford. How so, sir? Did she change her determination?

Fal. No, Master Brook; but the peaking Cornuto her husband, Master Brook, dwelling in a continual ’larum of 65 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 70 love.

Ford. What, while you were there?

Fal. While I was there.

Ford. And did he search for you, and could not find you?

III. 5.
75
Fal. You shall hear. As good luck would have it, comes 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.

221

Ford. A buck-basket!

80 Fal. By the Lord, a buck-basket!—rammed me in with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, greasy napkins; that, Master Brook, there was the rankest compound of villanous smell that ever offended nostril.

Ford. And how long lay you there?

85 Fal. Nay, you shall hear, Master Brook, what I have 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 90 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 95 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; III. 5.
100
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 105 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.

Ford. In good sadness, sir, I am sorry that for my sake 110 you have suffered all this. My suit, then, is desperate; you’ll undertake her no more?

Fal. Master Brook, I will be thrown into Etna, as I have been into Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her 222 husband is this morning gone a-birding: I have received 115 from her another embassy of meeting; ’twixt eight and nine is the hour, Master Brook.

Ford. ’Tis past eight already, sir.

Fal. Is it? I will then address me to my appointment. Come to me at your convenient leisure, and you 120 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 cuckold Ford. Exit.

Ford. Hum! ha! is this a vision? is this a dream? do I sleep? Master Ford, awake! awake, Master Ford! there’s III. 5.
125
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 130 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. Exit.

ACT IV.

IV. 1 Scene I. A street.

Enter Mistress Page, Mistress Quickly, and William.

Mrs Page. Is he at Master Ford’s already, think’st thou?

Quick. Sure he is by this, or will be presently: but, truly, he is very courageous mad about his throwing into 5 the water. Mistress Ford desires you to come suddenly.

Mrs Page. I’ll be with her by and by; I’ll but bring 223 my young man here to school. Look, where his master comes; ’tis a playing-day, I see.

Enter Sir Hugh Evans.

How now, Sir Hugh! no school to-day?

10 Evans. No; Master Slender is let the boys leave to play.

Quick. Blessing of his heart!

Mrs Page. Sir Hugh, my husband says my son profits nothing in the world at his book. I pray you, ask him 15 some questions in his accidence.

Evans. Come hither, William; hold up your head; come.

Mrs Page. Come on, sirrah; hold up your head; answer your master, be not afraid.

Evans. William, how many numbers is in nouns?

20 Will. Two.

Quick. Truly, I thought there had been one number more, because they say, ‘Od’s nouns.’

Evans. Peace your tattlings! What is ‘fair,’ William?

Will. Pulcher.

IV. 1.
25
Quick. Polecats! there are fairer things than polecats, sure.

Evans. You are a very simplicity ’oman: I pray you, peace. —What is ‘lapis,’ William?

Will. A stone.

30 Evans. And what is ‘a stone,’ William?

Will. A pebble.

Evans. No, it is ‘lapis:’ I pray you, remember in your prain.

Will. Lapis.

35 Evans. That is a good William. What is he, William, that does lend articles?

Will. Articles are borrowed of the pronoun, and be thus declined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, hæc, hoc.

Evans. Nominativo, hig, hag, hog; pray you, mark: 40 genitivo, hujus. Well, what is your accusative case?

224

Will. Accusativo, hinc.

Evans. I pray you, have your remembrance, child; accusativo, hung, hang, hog.

Quick. ‘Hang-hog’ is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.

45 Evans. Leave your prabbles, ’oman. —What is the focative case, William?

Will. O,—vocativo, O.

Evans. Remember, William; focative is caret.

Quick. And that’s a good root.

IV. 1.
50
Evans. ’Oman, forbear.

Mrs Page. Peace!

Evans. What is your genitive case plural, William?

Will. Genitive case!

Evans. Ay.

55 Will. Genitive,—horum, harum, horum.

Quick. Vengeance of Jenny’s case! fie on her! never name her, child, if she be a whore.

Evans. For shame, ’oman.

Quick. You do ill to teach the child such words:—he 60 teaches him to hick and to hack, which they’ll do fast enough of themselves, and to call ‘horum’:—fie upon you!

Evans. ’Oman, art thou lunaties? hast thou no understandings for thy cases, and the numbers of the genders? 65 Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as I would desires.

Mrs Page. Prithee, hold thy peace.

Evans. Show me now, William, some declensions of your pronouns.

Will. Forsooth, I have forgot.

70 Evans. It is qui, quæ, quod: if you forget your ‘quies,’ your ‘quæs,’ and your ‘quods,’ you must be preeches. Go your ways, and play; go.

Mrs Page. He is a better scholar than I thought he was.

225

IV. 1.
75
Evans. He is a good sprag memory. Farewell, Mistress Page.

Mrs Page. Adieu, good Sir Hugh.

Exit Sir Hugh.

Get you home, boy. Come, we stay too long.

Exeunt.

IV. 2 Scene II. A room in Ford’s house.

Enter Falstaff and Mistress Ford.

Fal. Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up my 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, 5 complement, and ceremony of it. But are you sure of your husband now?

Mrs Ford. He’s a-birding, sweet Sir John.

Mrs Page. [Within] What, ho, gossip Ford! what, ho!

Mrs Ford. Step into the chamber, Sir John.

Exit Falstaff.

Enter Mistress Page.

10 Mrs Page. How now, sweetheart! who’s at home besides yourself?

Mrs Ford. Why, none but mine own people.

Mrs Page. Indeed!

Mrs Ford. No, certainly. [Aside to her] Speak louder.

15 Mrs Page. Truly, I am so glad you have nobody here.

Mrs Ford. Why?

Mrs Page. Why, woman, your husband is in his old lunes again: he so takes on yonder with my husband; so rails against all married mankind; so curses all Eve’s 20 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.

226

IV. 2.
25
Mrs Ford. Why, does he talk of him?

Mrs Page. Of none but him; and swears he was carried out, the 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 30 another experiment of his suspicion: but I am glad the knight is not here; now he shall see his own foolery.

Mrs Ford. How near is he, Mistress Page?

Mrs Page. Hard by; at street end; he will be here anon.

Mrs Ford. I am undone!—the knight is here.

35 Mrs Page. Why, then, you are utterly shamed, and he’s but a dead man. What a woman are you!—Away with him, away with him! better shame than murder.

Mrs Ford. Which way should he go? how should I bestow him? Shall I put him into the basket again?

Re-enter Falstaff.

40 Fal. No, I’ll come no more i’ the basket. May I not go out ere he come?

Mrs Page. Alas, three of Master Ford’s brothers watch the door with pistols, that none shall issue out; otherwise you might slip away ere he came. But what make you 45 here?

Fal. What shall I do?—I’ll creep up into the chimney.

Mrs Ford. There they always use to discharge their birding-pieces. Creep into the kiln-hole.

Fal. Where is it?

IV. 2.
50
Mrs Ford. He will seek there, on my word. Neither press, 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.

Fal. I’ll go out, then.

55 Mrs Page. If you go out in your own semblance, you die, Sir John. Unless you go out disguised,—

227

Mrs Ford. How might we disguise him?

Mrs Page. Alas the day, I know not! There is no woman’s gown big enough for him; otherwise he might put 60 on a hat, a muffler, and a kerchief, and so escape.

Fal. Good hearts, devise something: any extremity rather than a mischief.

Mrs Ford. My maid’s aunt, the fat woman of Brentford, has a gown above.

65 Mrs Page. On my word, it will serve him; she’s as big as he is: and there’s her thrummed hat, and her muffler too. Run up, Sir John.

Mrs Ford. Go, go, sweet Sir John: Mistress Page and I will look some linen for your head.

70 Mrs Page. Quick, quick! we’ll come dress you straight: put on the gown the while. Exit Falstaff.

Mrs Ford. I would my husband would meet him in this shape: he cannot abide the old woman of Brentford; he swears she’s a witch; forbade her my house, and hath IV. 2.
75
threatened to beat her.

Mrs Page. Heaven guide him to thy husband’s cudgel, and the devil guide his cudgel afterwards!

Mrs Ford. But is my husband coming?

Mrs Page. Ay, in good sadness, is he; and talks of 80 the basket too, howsoever he hath had intelligence.

Mrs Ford. We’ll try that; for I’ll appoint my men to carry the basket again, to meet him at the door with it, as they did last time.

Mrs Page. Nay, but he’ll be here presently: let’s go 85 dress him like the witch of Brentford.

Mrs Ford. I’ll first direct my men what they shall do with the basket. Go up; I’ll bring linen for him straight. Exit.

Mrs Page. Hang him, dishonest varlet! we cannot misuse him enough.

90 We’ll leave a proof, by that which we will do,

228

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. Exit.

Re-enter Mistress Ford with two Servants.

Mrs Ford. Go, sirs, take the basket again on your 95 shoulders: your master is hard at door; if he bid you set it down, obey him: quickly, dispatch. Exit.

First Serv. Come, come, take it up.

Sec. Serv. Pray heaven it be not full of knight again.

First Serv. I hope not; I had as lief bear so much lead.

Enter Ford, Page, Shallow, Caius, and Sir Hugh Evans.

IV. 2.
100
Ford. Ay, but if it prove true, Master Page, have you any 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, 105 wife, I say!—Come, come forth! Behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching!

Page. Why, this passes, Master Ford; you are not to go loose any longer; you must be pinioned.

Evans. Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad 110 dog!

Shal. Indeed, Master Ford, this is not well, indeed.

Ford. So say I too, sir.

Re-enter Mistress Ford.

Come hither, Mistress Ford; Mistress Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the 115 jealous fool to her husband! I suspect without cause, mistress, do I?

229

Mrs Ford. Heaven be my witness you do, if you suspect me in any dishonesty.

Ford. Well said, brazen-face! hold it out. Come forth, 120 sirrah! Pulling clothes out of the basket.

Page. This passes!

Mrs Ford. Are you not ashamed? let the clothes alone.

Ford. I shall find you anon.

Evans. ’Tis unreasonable! Will you take up your IV. 2.
125
wife’s clothes? Come away.

Ford. Empty the basket, I say!

Mrs Ford. Why, man, why?

Ford. Master Page, as I am a man, there was one conveyed out of my house yesterday in this basket: why may 130 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.

Mrs Ford. If you find a man there, he shall die a flea’s death.

135 Page. Here’s no man.

Shal. By my fidelity, this is not well, Master Ford; this wrongs you.

Evans. Master Ford, you must pray, and not follow the imaginations of your own heart: this is jealousies.

140 Ford. Well, he’s not here I seek for.

Page. No, nor nowhere else but in your brain.

Ford. Help to search my house this one time. If I find not what I seek, show no colour for my extremity; let me for ever be your table-sport; let them say of me, ‘As 145 jealous as Ford, that searched a hollow walnut for his wife’s leman.’ Satisfy me once more; once more search with me.

Mrs Ford. What, ho, Mistress Page! come you and the old woman down; my husband will come into the chamber.

Ford. Old woman! what old woman’s that?

IV. 2.
150
Mrs Ford. Why, it is my maid’s aunt of Brentford.

Ford. A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not 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 155 by charms, by spells, by the figure, and such daubery as 230 this is, beyond our element: we know nothing. Come down, you witch, you hag, you; come down, I say!

Mrs Ford. Nay, good, sweet husband!—Good gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.

Re-enter Falstaff in woman’s clothes, and Mistress Page.

160 Mrs Page. Come, Mother Prat; come, give me your hand.

Ford. I’ll prat her. [Beating him] Out of my door, you witch, you hag, you baggage, you polecat, you ronyon! out, out! I’ll conjure you, I’ll fortune-tell you.

Exit Falstaff.

165 Mrs Page. Are you not ashamed? I think you have killed the poor woman.

Mrs Ford. Nay, he will do it. ’Tis a goodly credit for you.

Ford. Hang her, witch!

170 Evans. By yea and no, I think the ’oman is a witch indeed: I like not when a ’oman has a great peard; I spy a great peard under his muffler.

Ford. Will you follow, gentlemen? I beseech you, follow; see but the issue of my jealousy: if I cry out thus IV. 2.
175
upon no trail, never trust me when I open again.

Page. Let’s obey his humour a little further: come, gentlemen.

Exeunt Ford, Page, Shal., Caius, and Evans.

Mrs Page. Trust me, he beat him most pitifully.

Mrs Ford. Nay, by the mass, that he did not; he beat 180 him most unpitifully methought.

Mrs Page. I’ll have the cudgel hallowed and hung o’er the altar; it hath done meritorious service.

Mrs Ford. What think you? may we, with the warrant of womanhood and the witness of a good conscience, pursue 185 him with any further revenge?

231

Mrs Page. The spirit of wantonness is, sure, scared out of 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.

190 Mrs Ford. Shall we tell our husbands how we have served him?

Mrs Page. Yes, by all means; if it be but to scrape the figures out of your husband’s brains. If they can find in their hearts the poor unvirtuous fat knight shall be any 195 further afflicted, we two will still be the ministers.

Mrs Ford. I’ll warrant they’ll have him publicly shamed: and methinks there would be no period to the jest, should he not be publicly shamed.

Mrs Page. Come, to the forge with it, then; shape it: IV. 2.
200
I would not have things cool.

Exeunt.

IV. 3 Scene III. A room in the Garter Inn.

Enter Host and Bardolph.

Bard. Sir, the Germans desire to have three of your horses: the duke himself will be to-morrow at court, and they are going to meet him.

Host. What duke should that be comes so secretly? I 5 hear not of him in the court. Let me speak with the gentlemen: they speak English?

Bard. Ay, sir; I’ll call them to you.

Host. They shall have my horses; but I’ll make them pay; I’ll sauce them: they have had my house a week at 10 command; I have turned away my other guests: they must come off; I’ll sauce them. Come.

Exeunt.

232

IV. 4 Scene IV. A room in Ford’s house.

Enter Page, Ford, Mistress Page, Mistress Ford, and Sir Hugh Evans.

Evans. ’Tis one of the best discretions of a ’oman as ever I did look upon.

Page. And did he send you both these letters at an instant?

5 Mrs Page. Within a quarter of an hour.

Ford. Pardon me, wife. Henceforth do what thou wilt;

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.

10 Page.

’Tis well, ’tis well; no more:

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,

15 Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,

Where we may take him, and disgrace him for it.

Ford. There is no better way than that they spoke of.

Page. How? to send him word they’ll meet him in the Park at midnight? Fie, fie! he’ll never come.

20 Evans. You say he has been thrown in the rivers, and has 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 no desires.

Page. So think I too.

IV. 4.
25
Mrs Ford. Devise but how you’ll use him when he comes,

And let us two devise to bring him thither.

233

Mrs Page. There is an old tale goes that Herne the hunter,

Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest,

Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight,

30 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

35 The superstitious idle-headed eld

Receiv’d, and did deliver to our age,

This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.

Page. Why, yet there want not many that do fear

In deep of night to walk by this Herne’s oak:

But what of this?

40 Mrs Ford.

Marry, this is our device;

That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us

Page. Well, let it not be doubted but he’ll come:

And in this shape when you have brought him thither,

What shall be done with him? what is your plot?

45 Mrs Page. That likewise have we thought upon, and thus:

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,

IV. 4.
50
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:

55 Then let them all encircle him about,

And, fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean knight;

234

And ask him why, that hour of fairy revel,

In their so sacred paths he dares to tread

In shape profane.

Mrs Ford.

And till he tell the truth,

60 Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound,

And burn him with their tapers.

Mrs Page.

The truth being known,

We’ll all present ourselves, dis-horn the spirit,

And mock him home to Windsor.

Ford.

The children must

Be practised well to this, or they’ll ne’er do’t.

65 Evans. I will teach the children their behaviours; and I will be like a jack-an-apes also, to burn the knight with my taber.

Ford. That will be excellent. I’ll go and buy them vizards.

70 Mrs Page. My Nan shall be the queen of all the fairies,

Finely attired in a robe of white.

Page. That silk will I go buy. [Aside] And in that time

Shall Master Slender steal my Nan away,

And marry her at Eton. Go send to Falstaff straight.

IV. 4.
75
Ford. Nay, I’ll to him again in name of Brook:

He’ll tell me all his purpose: sure, he’ll come.

Mrs Page. Fear not you that. Go get us properties

And tricking for our fairies.

Evans. Let us about it: it is admirable pleasures and 80 fery honest knaveries.

Exeunt Page, Ford, and Evans.

Mrs Page. Go, Mistress Ford,

Send quickly to Sir John, to know his mind.

Exit Mrs Ford.

I’ll to the doctor: he hath my good will,

And none but he, to marry with Nan Page.

85 That Slender, though well landed, is an idiot;

235

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. Exit.

IV. 5 Scene V. A room in the Garter Inn.

Enter Host and Simple.

Host. What wouldst thou have, boor? what, thick-skin? speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick, snap.

Sim. Marry, sir, I come to speak with Sir John Falstaff from Master Slender.

5 Host. There’s his chamber, his house, his castle, his standing-bed, and truckle-bed; ’tis painted about with the story of the Prodigal, fresh and new. Go knock and call; he’ll speak like an Anthropophaginian unto thee: knock, I say.

10 Sim. There’s an old woman, a fat woman, gone up into his chamber: I’ll be so bold as stay, sir, till she come down; I come to speak with her, indeed.

Host. Ha! a fat woman! the knight may be robbed: I’ll call. —Bully knight! bully Sir John! speak from thy 15 lungs military: art thou there? it is thine host, thine Ephesian, calls.

Fal. [Above] How now, mine host!

Host. Here’s a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of thy fat woman. Let her descend, bully, let her 20 descend; my chambers are honourable: fie! privacy? fie!

Enter Falstaff.

Fal. There was, mine host, an old fat woman even now with me; but she’s gone.

Sim. Pray you, sir, was’t not the wise woman of Brentford?

IV. 5.
25
Fal. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell: what would you with her?

236

Sim. My master, sir, Master Slender, sent to her, seeing her go thorough the streets, to know, sir, whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain, had the chain or no.

30 Fal. I spake with the old woman about it.

Sim. And what says she, I pray, sir?

Fal. Marry, she says that the very same man that beguiled Master Slender of his chain cozened him of it.

Sim. I would I could have spoken with the woman 35 herself; I had other things to have spoken with her too from him.

Fal. What are they? let us know.

Host. Ay, come; quick.

Sim. I may not conceal them, sir.

40 Host. Conceal them, or thou diest.

Sim. Why, sir, they were nothing but about Mistress Anne Page; to know if it were my master’s fortune to have her or no.

Fal. ’Tis, ’tis his fortune.

45 Sim. What, sir?

Fal. To have her, or no. Go; say the woman told me so.

Sim. May I be bold to say so, sir?

Fal. Ay, sir; like who more bold.

IV. 5.
50
Sim. I thank your worship: I shall make my master glad with these tidings. Exit.

Host. Thou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, Sir John. Was there a wise woman with thee?

Fal. Ay, that there was, mine host; one that hath 55 taught me more wit than ever I learned before in my life; and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my learning.

237
Enter Bardolph.

Bard. Out, alas, sir! cozenage, mere cozenage!

Host. Where be my horses? speak well of them, 60 varletto.

Bard. Run away with the cozeners: for so soon as I came 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.

65 Host. They are gone but to meet the duke, villain: do not say they be fled; Germans are honest men.

Enter Sir Hugh Evans.

Evans. Where is mine host?

Host. What is the matter, sir?

Evans. Have a care of your entertainments: there is a 70 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 IV. 5.
75
cozened. Fare you well. Exit.

Enter Doctor Caius.

Caius. Vere is mine host de Jarteer?

Host. Here, master doctor, in perplexity and doubtful dilemma.

Caius. I cannot tell vat is dat: but it is tell-a me dat 80 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. Exit.

Host. Hue and cry, villain, go!—Assist me, knight. —I am undone!—Fly, run, hue and cry, villain!—I am 85 undone!

Exeunt Host and Bard.

Fal. I would all the world might be cozened; for I have been cozened and beaten too. If it should come to 238 the ear of the court, how I have been transformed, and how my transformation hath been washed and cudgelled, they 90 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 95 would repent.

Enter Mistress Quickly.

Now, whence come you?

Quick. From the two parties, forsooth.

Fal. The devil take one party, and his dam the other! and so they shall be both bestowed. I have suffered more IV. 5.
100
for their sakes, more than the villanous inconstancy of man’s disposition is able to bear.

Quick. And have not they suffered? Yes, I warrant; speciously one of them; Mistress Ford, good heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a white spot 105 about her.

Fal. What tellest thou me of black and blue? I was 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 110 action of an old woman, delivered me, the knave constable had set me i’ the stocks, i’ the common stocks, for a witch.

Quick. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber: you shall hear how things go; and, I warrant, to your content. 115 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.

Fal. Come up into my chamber.

Exeunt.

239

IV. 6 Scene VI. The same. Another room in the Garter Inn.

Enter Fenton and Host.

Host. Master Fenton, talk not to me; my mind is heavy: I will give over all.

Fent. Yet hear me speak. Assist me in my purpose,

And, as I am a gentleman, I’ll give thee

5 A hundred pound in gold more than your loss.

Host. I will hear you, Master Fenton; and I will at the least keep your counsel.

Fent. From time to time I have acquainted you

With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page;

10 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,

15 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,

20 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

IV. 6.
25
Immediately to marry: she hath consented:

Now, sir,

Her mother, even 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,

240

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:

35 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,—

40 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,

45 The maid hath given consent to go with him.

Host. Which means she to deceive, father or mother?

Fent. Both, my good host, to go along with me:

And here it rests,—that you’ll procure the vicar

To stay for me at church ’twixt twelve and one,

IV. 6.
50
And, in the lawful name of marrying,

To give our hearts united ceremony.

Host. Well, husband your device; I’ll to the vicar:

Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.

Fent. So shall I evermore be bound to thee;

55 Besides, I’ll make a present recompense.

Exeunt.

ACT V.

V. 1 Scene I. A room in the Garter Inn.

Enter Falstaff and Mistress Quickly.

Fal. Prithee, no more prattling; go. I’ll hold. This is the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers. Away! go. They say there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death. Away!

241

5 Quick. I’ll provide you a chain; and I’ll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.

Fal. Away, I say; time wears: hold up your head, and mince.

Exit Mrs Quickly.

Enter Ford.

How now, Master Brook! Master Brook, the matter will 10 be known to-night, or never. Be you in the Park about midnight, at Herne’s oak, and you shall see wonders.

Ford. Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me you had appointed?

Fal. I went to her, Master Brook, as you see, like a 15 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 20 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 V. 1.
25
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.

Exeunt.

V. 2 Scene II. Windsor Park.

Enter Page, Shallow, and Slender.

Page. Come, come; we’ll couch i’ the castle-ditch till we see the light of our fairies. Remember, son Slender, my daughter.

Slen. Ay, forsooth; I have spoke with her, and we 5 have a nay-word how to know one another: I come to her 242 in white, and cry, ‘mum;’ she cries ‘budget;’ and by that we know one another.

Shal. That’s good too: but what needs either your ‘mum’ or her ‘budget?’ the white will decipher her well 10 enough. It hath struck ten o’clock.

Page. 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.

Exeunt.

V. 3 Scene III. A street leading to the Park.

Enter Mistress Page, Mistress Ford, and Doctor Caius.

Mrs Page. Master doctor, my daughter is in green: when you see your time, take her by the hand, away with her to the deanery, and dispatch it quickly. Go before into the Park: we two must go together.

5 Caius. I know vat I have to do. Adieu.

Mrs Page. Fare you well, sir. [Exit Caius.] My 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 10 heart-break.

Mrs Ford. Where is Nan now and her troop of fairies, and the Welsh devil Hugh?

Mrs Page. They are all couched in a pit hard by Herne’s oak, with obscured lights; which, at the very instant 15 of Falstaff’s and our meeting, they will at once display to the night.

Mrs Ford. That cannot choose but amaze him.

Mrs Page. If he be not amazed, he will be mocked; if he be amazed, he will every way be mocked.

20 Mrs Ford. We’ll betray him finely.

243

Mrs Page. Against such lewdsters and their lechery Those that betray them do no treachery.

Mrs Ford. The hour draws on. To the oak, to the oak!

Exeunt.

V. 4 Scene IV. Windsor Park.

Enter Sir Hugh Evans disguised, with others as Fairies.

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.

Exeunt.

V. 5 Scene V. Another part of the Park.

Enter Falstaff disguised as Horne.

Fal. The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the minute 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, 5 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 10 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 doe?

Enter Mistress Ford and Mistress Page.

15 Mrs Ford. Sir John! art thou there, my deer? my male deer?

244

Fal. My doe with the black scut! Let the sky rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green Sleeves, hail kissing-comfits, and snow eringoes; let there come a tempest 20 of provocation, I will shelter me here.

Mrs Ford. Mistress Page is come with me, sweetheart.

Fal. Divide me like a bribe buck, each a haunch: I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow of this walk, and my horns I bequeath your husbands. V. 5.
25
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!

Noise within.

Mrs Page. Alas, what noise?

Mrs Ford. Heaven forgive our sins!

30 Fal. What should this be?

Mrs Ford. Away, away!

They run off.

Mrs Page.

Fal. I think the devil will not have me damned, lest the 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.

35 Quick. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,

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.

40 Pist. Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.

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.

245

45 Fal. They are fairies; he that speaks to them shall die: I’ll wink and couch: no man their works must eye. Lies down upon his face.

Evans. Where’s Bede? Go you, and where you find a maid

That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,

Raise up the organs of her fantasy;

V. 5.
50
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.

Quick. About, about;

Search Windsor Castle, elves, within and out:

55 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

60 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:

65 Th’ 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;

Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery,

70 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

246

Of Herne the hunter, let us not forget.

V. 5.
75
Evans. Pray you, lock hand in hand; yourselves in order set;

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.

Fal. Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy, lest he 80 transform me to a piece of cheese!

Pist. Vile worm, thou wast o’erlook’d even in thy birth.

Quick. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end:

If he be chaste, the flame will back descend,

And turn him to no pain; but if he start,

85 It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.

Pist. A trial, come.

Evans.

Come, will this wood take fire?

They burn him with their tapers.

Fal. Oh, Oh, Oh!

Quick. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire!

About him, fairies; sing a scornful rhyme;

90 And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time.

Song.

Fie on sinful fantasy!

Fie on lust and luxury!

Lust is but a bloody fire,

Kindled with unchaste desire,

95 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,

V. 5.
100
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 247 steals away Mrs Anne 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.

Page. Nay, do not fly; I think we have watch’d you now:

Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn?

Mrs Page. I pray you, come, hold up the jest no higher.

Now, good Sir John, how like you Windsor wives?

105 See you these, husband? do not these fair yokes

Become the forest better than the town?

Ford. Now, sir, who’s a cuckold now? Master Brook, Falstaff’s a knave, a cuckoldly knave; here are his horns, Master Brook: and, Master Brook, he hath enjoyed nothing 110 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.

Mrs Ford. Sir John, we have had ill luck; we could never meet. I will never take you for my love again; but 115 I will always count you my deer.

Fal. I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass.

Ford. Ay, and an ox too: both the proofs are extant.

Fal. And these are not fairies? I was three or four times in the thought they were not fairies: and yet the 120 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 ill employment!

V. 5.
125
Evans. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your desires, and fairies will not pinse you.

248

Ford. Well said, fairy Hugh.

Evans. And leave you your jealousies too, I pray you.

Ford. I will never mistrust my wife again, till thou art 130 able to woo her in good English.

Fal. Have I laid my brain in the sun, and dried it, that 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 135 toasted cheese.

Evans. Seese is not good to give putter; your pelly is all putter.

Fal. ‘Seese’ and ’putter’! have I lived to stand at the taunt of one that makes fritters of English? This is enough 140 to be the decay of lust and late-walking through the realm.

Mrs Page. Why, Sir John, do you think, though we would have thrust 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?

145 Ford. What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax?

Mrs Page. A puffed man?

Page. Old, cold, withered, and of intolerable entrails?

Ford. And one that is as slanderous as Satan?

Page. And as poor as Job?

V. 5.
150
Ford. And as wicked as his wife?

Evans. And given to fornications, and to taverns, and sack, and wine, and metheglins, and to drinkings, and swearings, and starings, pribbles and prabbles?

Fal. Well, I am your theme: you have the start of 155 me; I am dejected; I am not able to answer the Welsh flannel; ignorance itself is a plummet o’er me: use me as you will.

Ford. Marry, sir, we’ll bring you to Windsor, to one Master Brook, that you have cozened of money, to whom 160 you should have been a pander: over and above that you 249 have suffered, I think to repay that money will be a biting affliction

Page. Yet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt eat a posset to-night at my house; where I will desire thee to laugh at 165 my wife, that now laughs at thee: tell her Master Slender hath married her daughter.

Mrs Page. [Aside] Doctors doubt that: if Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this, Doctor Caius’ wife.

Enter Slender.

Slen. Whoa, ho! ho, father Page!

170 Page. Son, how now! how now, son! have you dispatched?

Slen. Dispatched!—I’ll make the best in Gloucestershire know on’t; would I were hanged, la, else!

Page. Of what, son?

V. 5.
175
Slen. I came yonder at Eton to marry Mistress Anne Page, 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.

180 Page. Upon my life, then, you took the wrong.

Slen. What need you tell me that? I think so, when I took 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 him.

Page. Why, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you 185 how you should know my daughter by her garments?

Slen. I went to her in white, and cried ‘mum,’ and she cried ‘budget,’ as Anne and I had appointed; and yet it was not Anne, but a postmaster’s boy.

Mrs Page. Good George, be not angry: I knew of 250 190 your purpose; turned my daughter into green; and, indeed, she is now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married.

Enter Caius.

Caius. Vere is Mistress Page? By gar, I am cozened: I ha’ married un garçon, a boy; un paysan, by gar, a boy; it 195 is not Anne Page: by gar, I am cozened.

Mrs Page. Why, did you take her in green?

Caius. Ay, by gar, and ’tis a boy: by gar, I’ll raise all Windsor. Exit.

Ford. This is strange. Who hath got the right Anne?

V. 5.
200
Page. My heart misgives me:—here comes Master Fenton.

Enter Fenton and Anne Page.

How now, Master Fenton!

Anne. Pardon, good father! good my mother, pardon!

Page. Now, mistress, how chance you went not with 205 Master Slender?

Mrs Page. Why went you not with master doctor, maid?

Fent. You do amaze her: hear the truth of it.

You would have married her most shamefully,

Where there was no proportion held in love.

210 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;

215 Since therein she doth evitate and shun

A thousand irreligious cursed hours,

Which forced marriage would have brought upon her.

Ford. Stand not amazed; here is no remedy:

251

In love the heavens themselves do guide the state;

220 Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.

Fal. I am glad, though you have ta’en a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced.

Page. Well, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give thee joy!

V. 5.
225
What cannot be eschew’d must be embraced

Fal. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chased.

Mrs Page. Well, I will muse no further. Master Fenton,

Heaven give you many, many merry days!

Good husband, let us every one go home,

230 And laugh this sport o’er by a country fire;

Sir John and all.

Ford.

Let it be so. Sir John,

To Master Brook you yet shall hold your word;

For he to-night shall lie with Mistress Ford.

Exeunt.

252
253

NOTES.

Note I.

I. 1. 41. Master Page is called ‘George’ in three places, II. 1. 134 and 142 , and V. 5. 189, but we have left the text of the Folios uncorrected, as the mistake may have been Shakespeare’s own. It is however possible that a transcriber or printer may have mistaken ‘Geo.’ for ‘Tho.’

In I. 3. 89, 90, on the other hand, we have not hesitated to correct the reading of the Folio, substituting ‘Page’ for ‘Ford,’ and ‘Ford’ for ‘Page,’ because, as the early Quartos have the names right, it seems likely that the blunder was not due to Shakespeare.

Note II.

I. 1. 49. Here again, as in line 40, F2 F3 F4 read ‘good,’ F1 Q3 ‘goot,’ but we have not thought it necessary to do more than give a specimen of such variations. Capell, in order to make Dr Caius’s broken English consistent with itself, corrects it throughout and substitutes ‘de’ for ‘the,’ ‘vill’ for ‘will,’ and so forth. As a general rule, we have silently followed the first Folio.

Note III.

I. 1. 114. With regard to this and other passages which Pope, Theobald, Malone, &c. have inserted from the early Quartos, our rule has been to introduce, between brackets, such, and such only, as seemed to be absolutely essential to the understanding of the text, taking care to give in the note all those which we have rejected.

254

The fact that so many omissions can be supplied from such mutilated copies as the early Quartos, indicates that there may be many more omissions for the detection of which we have no clue. The text of the Merry Wives given in F1 was probably printed from a carelessly written copy of the author’s MS.

Note IV.

I. 3. 95. Perhaps, as in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, III. 1. 315, and other passages, some of which are mentioned by Sidney Walker in his ‘Criticisms,’ Vol. II. p. 13 sqq., this vexed passage may be emended by supplying a word. We venture to suggest ’the revolt of mine anger is dangerous.’ The recurrence of the same letters anger in the word ‘dangerous,’ might mislead the printer’s eye and cause the omission.

Note V.

II. 1. 5. In the copy of Johnson’s Edition, which belongs to Emmanuel College, there is a MS. note of Dr Farmer’s referring to Sonnet CXLVII. in support of the conjecture ‘physician’ for ‘precisian;’ we find there

‘My reason, the physician to my love,’ &c.

Note VI.

II. 1. 194, 196. Here again we have followed the early Quartos in reading ‘Brook’ instead of ‘Broome,’ the name given by Ff Q3. That the former was the original name is proved by the jest in II. 2. 136, where the Folios make sheer nonsense.

Mr Halliwell suggests that the following lines, IV. 4. 75, 76,

‘Nay I’ll to him again in name of Broome;

He’ll tell me all his purpose: sure he’ll come,’

were intended to rhyme and therefore favour the later reading. But in this scene there are no rhyming lines except the couplet at the end.

On the whole, it seems likely that the name was altered in the stage copies at the instance of some person of the name of Brook living at Windsor, who had sufficient acquaintance with the players, or interest with their patrons, to get it done.

255

Note VII.

III. 1. 74, 78. Mr Staunton is unquestionably right in supposing that one part of Evans’s speech is spoken aside to his opponent, and the other part aloud. It is impossible else to account for the sudden change of tone. It might have been conjectured that, being a parson, he wished to appear peacefully minded, and therefore made his offers of reconciliation aloud and his menaces in an under tone, but Caius’s reply shews that it was the threat which had been made aloud. Evans’s valour, it would seem, had already evaporated when he had ‘a great dispositions to cry’ (III. 1. 20) and, besides, he had just begun to see that he was being made a laughing-stock. As his former speech (74, 75,) is also conciliatory, it was probably spoken so as to be heard by Caius only. He wished to keep up his credit for courage in the eyes of the bystanders. In the corresponding scene of the first Quartos we have the words ‘Hark van urd in your ear,’ and the meaning of the text may have been obscured by some omission in the Folio.

Note VIII.

IV. 4. 41. No doubt there is an omission here in the Folio, which may be partly supplied from the Quarto. But it is probable that Mrs Ford gave a still fuller explanation of her device and the grounds on which the disguise was recommended to Falstaff, otherwise Page would not have been so confident of his falling into the snare.

Note IX.

IV. 5. 49. In the edition of 1778 Steevens reads ‘Ay, sir Tike, like’ ... but it is clear from Farmer’s note that it should be ‘Ay, sir Tike,’ ... and so it is corrected in the later Editions of Steevens. In the Edition annotated by Fanner, mentioned in note V., we find another conjecture of his: ‘Ay, sir, if you like,’ ... or it may have been ‘Ay, sir, an you like,’ for the word preceding ‘you’ has been cut away by the binder.

Note X.

The stage direction of the early Quartos is: Enter Sir Hugh like a Satyre, and boyes drest like Fayries, Mistresse Quickly, like the Queene of Fayries; they sing a song about him and afterward speake.

256

The Folio enumerates at the commencement of the scene all who take part in it, including Anne Page, Fairies, Quickly and Pistol, and in this place has merely Enter Fairies. Malone introduced Anne Page as the Fairy Queen, and at the end, with waxen tapers on their heads. He however still assigned the speeches 35-39, 53-74, 82-85, and 88-90 to Quickly. Recent Editors have generally given them to Anne, on the ground that it is proved by IV. 6. 20 and V. 3. 11, 12, that she was to ‘present the Fairy Queen,’ and that the character of the speeches is unsuitable to Mrs Quickly. It has been argued, too, that the Qui. of the folios, line 35, may be a misprint for Qu., i.e. Queen. This however is contradicted by the fact that Mrs Quickly plays the Queen in the early Quartos, and that the recurrence of Qui., line 88, proves that the printer of the first Folio used either Qui. or Qu. indifferently as the abbreviation of Quickly.

Most likely, in this and other respects the play was altered by its author, but the stage MSS. were not corrected throughout with sufficient care. This will account for the mistake about the colours ‘green’ and ‘white’ in the final scene, lines 186, 190, 196.

Or we may suppose Mrs Quickly to have agreed to take Anne’s part in order to facilitate her escape with Fenton.


CRITICAL APPARATUS
(“Linenotes”).

Act I: Scene 1

6. Custalorum] Custos Farmer conj.

7. Rato-lorum] Ff. Rotulorum Q3.

10. I] We Steevens (Farmer conj.).

12. hath] F1 Q3 F2. have F3 F4.

19. The luce is] The luce [To Slen. showing him his seal-ring] is Capell.

23. marring] F1 Q3. marrying F2 F3 F4.

25. py’r lady] per-lady Ff Q3.

26. skirts] shirts Q3.

28. unto] upon Pope.

30. compremises] compromises Pope.

32. hear] F1 Q3. hear of F2 F3 F4.

34. take your] F1 Q3. take you F2 F3 F4.

38. and] that Pope.

40. goot] F1 Q3. good F2 F3 F4.

41. Thomas] Ff Q3. George Theobald. See note (I).

44. small] F1 Q3. om. F2 F3 F4.

45. orld] Ff. world Q3.

49. See note (II).

52, 54, 55. Given to Shallow by Capell.

53. her father] his father Capell (corrected in MS.).

56. possibilities] F1 Q3. possibility F2 F3 F4.

63. well-willers] well-wishers Rowe.

65. Enter Page.] Edd. Enter Page. Rowe (after line 64). Halliwell (after line 69).

65. Scene ii. Pope.

67. here] F1 Q3. here’s F2 F3 F4.

70. worships] worship’s Rowe.

75. thank] love (Q1 Q2) Steevens (Farmer conj.).

77. thank] love Farmer conj. MS.

80. Cotsall F1 Q3.] Cotsale F2 F3 F4.

82-84. Slen ... dog] Shall. You’ll ... confess. Slen. That ... not. Shall. ’Tis ... dog. Farmer conj. MS.

98. Scene iii. Pope.

99. king] council (Q1 Q2) Warburton.

102. daughter?] F1 Q3 F2 F3. daughter. (Q1 Q2) F4.

106, 107. council ... counsel] councell ... counsell (Q1 Q2). councell ... councill F1 Q3 F2. council ... counsell F3. council ... councel F4.

107, 108. you if ... you’ll] you: if it were known in council, you’ll Harness (Johnson conj.).

107. known] not known Pope.

114. Pistol.] Pistol; they carried me to the tavern and made me drunk, and afterward picked my pocket. Malone (from Q1 Q2). See note (III).

119-120. pauca, pauca ... humour] Evans. Pauca, pauca. Nym. Slice ... humour. Farmer conj.

126. three] third Pope.

127. Garter] Q3. Gater Ff.

131. discreetly] discretions Pope.

146. latten] laten (Q1 Q3). latine Ff Q3.

latten bilbo.] latten. Bilbo! Becket conj.

147. thy labras here] my labras hear Johnson conj.

150. avised] advis’d F4.

151. the nuthook’s humour] the base humour Pope. bace humors (Q1 Q2).

160. fap] sap A. A. conj. vap Boys conj.

161. careires] car-eires Ff Q3. careeres Capell.

171. [Exit A. P.] Theobald.

175. [Kisses her.] Pope.

179. Scene iv. Pope.

186. Michaelmas] Martlemas Theobald.

188. this, coz] this Q3.

192. that that] that F3 F4.

209. mouth] mind Pope.

210. carry] F1 Q3. marry F2 F3 F4.

216. carry her] carry-her F1 Q3 F2 F3. carre-her F4.

228. contempt] Theobald. content Ff Q3.

230. fall] Ff Q3. faul’ Hanmer. fault Collier. fall’ Singer. faul Dyce.

234. hanged] hang’ F2 F3 F4.

236. Scene v. Pope.

249. beholding] beholden Pope.

251. like] om. F2 F3 F4.

275. I’ll eat] I chuse to eat Hanmer.

Act I: Scene 2

Scene ii.] Scene vi. Pope.

The same.] Capell. An outer room in Page’s house. Dyce.

3. dry] try (Q1 Q2) Dyce.

4. wringer] Theobald. Ringer Ff Q3.

11. cheese] seese Dyce.

Act I: Scene 3

Scene iii.] Scene vii. Pope.

2. bully-rook] Bully Rock Rowe, passim.

10. shall ... shall] F1 Q3. will ... will F2 F3 F4.

14. see thee froth] see thee, froth Staunton.

lime] Steevens. lyme (Q1 Q2). live Ff Q3.

19. Hungarian] Ff Q3. Gongarian (Q1 Q2) Capell.

22. conceited?] Theobald here inserts (from Q1 Q2), His mind is not heroic and there’s the humour of it.

23. acquit] quit Pope.

26. minute’s] Ff. minuntes Q3. minim’s Singer (Bennet-Langton conj.).

41. carves] Ff (Q1 Q2). craves Q3.

45. studied her will] Ff Q3. studied her well (Q1 Q2) Pope.

translated her will] Ff Q3 (om. Q1 Q2). translated her well Pope. translated her Hanmer. studied her well and translated her will Grant White. studied her well and translated her ill Edd. conj.

47. anchor] author Johnson conj.

49. he] she (Q1 Q2) Pope.

a legion] Pope. a legend Ff. Q3. legians (Q1). legions (Q2) Capell.

50. entertain] Ff Q3. attend her (Q1 Q2). enter swine Coleridge conj. in her train Anon. conj.

55. œillades] illiads Ff Q3. eyelids Halliwell (Pope conj.).

56. gilded] guilded F1 Q3. guided F2 F3 F4.

64. cheaters] (Q1 Q2) F1 Q3 F3 F4. cheators F2. cheater Theobald. escheator Hanmer. ’cheator Capell.

73. tightly] F1. titely (Q1 Q2). rightly Q3 F2 F3 F4.

74. [Exit Robin. Dyce.

76. o’ the] oth’ F2 F3 F4. ith’ F1 Q3.

77. learn] earn Anon. conj.

humour] (Q1 Q2) Theobald. honour Ff Q3.

the] Ff Q3. this (Q1 Q2) Capell.

78. [Exeunt Falstaff and Robin.] Rowe. [Exit. Dyce.

79. Scene viii. Pope.

fullam holds] fullams hold Hanmer.

80. beguiles] beguile Hanmer.

83. operations] Ff Q3. operations in my head (Q1 Q2) Pope.

85. star] fairies (Q1 Q2). stars Collier MS.

88. discuss] disclose Pope.

88, 89. Page ... Ford] (Q1 Q2) Steevens. Ford ... Page Ff Q3. See note (I).

93. Page] Steevens. Ford Ff Q3.

94. yellowness] jealousies Pope.

95. the] this Pope.

95. mine] mien Theobald. mind Jackson conj. meisne or men Anon. conj. See note (IV).

Act I: Scene 4

Scene iv.] Scene ix. Pope.

4. an] om. Pope.

19. wee] whey Capell.

20. Cain] F3 F4. Kane (Q1 Q2). Caine F1 Q3 F2. cane Pope.

31. [Exit. Grant White.

34. [Shuts S. in the closet] Rowe.

38. Scene x. Pope.

des toys] F3 F4. des-toyes F1 Q3 F2. dese toys Theobald.

39. un boitier] Rowe. unboyteene F1 F2 Q3. unboyteen F3 F4.

44, 45. ma foi ... affaire] Rowe. mai (moi F2 F3 F4) foy, il fait for chando, Ie man voi a le Court la grand affaires. Ff Q3.

47. dépêche] de-peech Ff Q3.

51. Jack Rugby] Jack Rogoby Halliwell.

52. take-a] take Q3.

56. vill] will F2 F3 F4.

60. villain] Q3. villainie Ff.

61. larron] La-roone Ff Q3.

[Pulling S. out] Theobald.

63, 66. shall] F1 Q3. should F2 F3 F4.

78. baille] ballow Ff Q3. baillez Theobald.

83. you] yoe F1 Q3. for F2 F3 F4. om. Capell.

84. the French] Ff. that French Q3.

86. wring] ring Ff Q3.

96. give-a] F1 Q3. givie-a F2 F3 F4.

97, 98, 100. will] vill Pope.

101. throw] F1 Q3. trow F2 F3 F4.

103. ver] Ff Q3. for Capell.

106. Jarteer] F1 Q3 F2 F3. Garter F4.

109. good-jer] goujeres Hanmer. goujere Johnson. good year Capell.

120. Scene xi. Pope.

131. above] about Steevens.

132. what of that?] and what of that? Pope.

142. we will] I will Halliwell MS.

Act II: Scene 1

1. I] om. F1.

5. physician] Dyce (Johnson conj.). precisian Ff Q3. See note (V).

8. you] F1 F3 F4. yout Q3. your F2.

9. at the least] at the last F4.

soldier] F1 Q3 F2. a soldier F3 F4.

19. an] om. F3 F4.

20. with the] i’ th’] F3 F4.

25. putting] pulling Jackson conj.

men] fat men Theobald. mum Hanmer.

28. Scene ii. Pope.

30. coming] going Q3.

45. What? thou liest!] What thou liest? F1 Q3 F2 F3. What, thou liest! F4.

46. will hack] will lack Warburton. we’ll hack Johnson conj.

51. praised] Theobald. praise Ff Q3.

55. place] pace Capell conj.

55, 56. Hundredth Psalm] Rowe. hundred Psalms Ff Q3.

57. tuns] Ff Q3. tun Rowe. tons Dyce.

67. sure] F1 Q3. sue F2 F3 F4. nay Rowe.

78. know] knew F4.

strain] stain Pope.

97. [They retire] Theobald.

98. Scene iii. Pope.

102-104. Printed as prose in Ff Q3.

103. one] and one F4.

104. the] F1 Q3. thy F2 F3 F4. a Anon. (N. & Q.) conj.

107. he] om. F3 F4.

113, 114. Away ... sense] Away Sir Corporal! Nym. Believe ... sense. Johnson conj.

117. hath] have Q3.

119. bite ... He] biteupon my necessity, he Warburton conj.

121. avouch; ’tis] F1 Q3 F2. avouch, tis F3 F4.

123. [and there’s the humour of it] These words, not found in Ff Q3 are added from Q1 Q2 by Capell.

126. English] humour Pope (from Q1 Q2).

his] its Pope.

128. drawling, affecting] F2 F3 F4. drawling-affecting F1 Q3.

133. [Mrs ... forward.] Theobald.

Scene iv. Page and Ford meeting their wives. Pope.

140. head. Now,] head, Now: F1. head, Now, Q3. head. Now: F2 F3 F4. head now. Johnson.

149. have] would have S. Walker conj.

151. Scene v. Pope.

163. this] his Pope.

175. Scene vi. Pope.

176, 180. Cavaleiro] F1 Q3 F2. Cavalerio F3 F4.

184. my] om. Rowe

186. hath] om. Q3. he hath Warburton.

192-194. This speech is given to Shallow in Ff, to Ford in Q3.

194, 196. Brook] (Q1 Q2) Pope. Broome Ff Q3. See note (VI).

197. An-heires] F1 Q3 F2. An-heirs F3. an-heirs F4. mynheers Theobald conj. on, here Id. conj. on, heris Warburton. on, hearts Heath conj. on, heroes Steevens conj. and hear us Malone conj. cavaleires Singer (Boaden conj.). eh, sir Becket conj.

207. hear] have Hanmer.

209. stands] stand F4.

210. frailty] fealty Theobald. fidelity Collier MS.

Act II: Scene 2

Scene ii.] Scene vii. Pope.

3. open] open. —I will retort the sum in equipage. Theobald (from Q1 Q2). open. — ... equipoize Jackson conj.

6. coach-fellow] couch-fellow Theobald.

12. Didst not thou] F1 Q3 F2. Didst thou not F3 F4.

17. throng] (Q1 Q2) Ff Q3. thong Pope.

20. terms] termes F1 Q3. terme F2. term F3 F4.

honour] hononor F1.

I, I, I] I Pope. I, ay, I Grant White.

21. God] (Q1 Q2). heaven Ff Q3.

23. yet you, rogue,] Pope. yet, you rogue, Ff Q3. yet you, you rogue, Collier MS.

24. rags] rages Becket conj. brags Singer (Anon., N. & Q., conj.).

25. bold-beating] bull-baiting Hanmer. bold-bearing Warburton. bold cheating Heath conj. blunderbust Halliwell MS.

27. relent] Ff Q3. recant (Q1 Q3).

would thou] would’st thou Pope. would you Anon. conj.

30. Scene viii. Pope.

43. on: Mistress] one Mistress Grant White (Douce conj.).

48. God] (Q1 Q2). Heaven Ff Q3.

63. in] om. Hanmer.

66. this] of a Collier MS.

104. loves] love Rowe.

110. she is one] truly she is one Rowe.

116. need] heede Q3.

123. punk] pink Warburton.

124. your fights] yond’ frigat Hanmer (Warburton conj.).

125. them all] all Q3.

[Exit] Rowe.

131. Scene ix. Pope.

131, 136. Brook, Brooks] Pope (from Q1 Q2). Broome, Broomes Ff Q3, and passim. See note (VI).

137. that o’erflow] Capell. that oreflows Ff. that that ore’ flowes Q3. that o’erflow with Pope.

139. Bless] F4. ’Bless F1 Q3 F2 F3. God save (Q1 Q2).

156. all, or half] half, or all Collier MS.

167. imperfection] imperfections Pope.

178. fee’d] free’d Q3.

180. bought] brought Q3.

185. jewel that] F4. jewel, that F1 Q3 F2 F3. jewel; that Theobald.

that] om. Rowe.

215. vehemency] vehemence F4.

219. soul] suit Collier MS.

225. other her] other Pope.

too, too] too-too Ff Q3. too Rowe.

231. I say you shall] Master Brooke, I say you shall (Q1 Q2) Theobald.

242. cuckoldly] cuckoldy Rowe.

246. cuckoldly rogue’s] F1 Q3. cuckold-rogue’s F2 F3 F4.

257. Scene x. Pope.

261. false] fair Q3.

263. this wrong] the wrong Pope.

267. Wittol!—Cuckold] Wittoll, Cuckold Ff Q3. wittol-cuckold Malone.

276. God] (Q1 Q2). Heaven Ff Q3.

Act II: Scene 3

Scene iii.] Scene xi. Pope.

3. de] F3 F4. the F1 Q3 F2.

11. is no dead so as I vill kill him] Ff Q3. is not so dead as me vill make him Pope. be not so dead as I shall make him (Q1 Q2).

21. tree] trees F4.

25. Francisco] Françeyes (Q1 Q2) Warburton.

26. Galen] Gallon (Q1 Q2). Galien F1 F2. Gallen Q3 F3 F4.

29. vorld] varld Hanmer.

30. Castalion] Castallian (Q1 Q2). Cardalion Hanmer. Castillian Capell.

41. the] F1 Q3. om. F2 F3 F4.

51. A word] Theobald (from Q1 Q2). A Ff Q3. Ah Hanmer.

51, 54. Mock-water] Muck-water Malone (Farmer conj.).

71. by] om. F3 F4.

80. Cried I aim?] Dyce (Douce conj.). Cried game (Q1 Q2). Cride-game Ff Q3. Try’d game Theobald. Cock o’ th’ game Hanmer. Cry aim Warburton. and cry ‘amie’ Becket conj. Dry’d game Jackson conj. Curds and cream Collier MS.

89. This line given to Host in F3 F4.

Act III: Scene 1

5. pittie-ward] F1 Q3. pitty-wary F2 F3 F4. city-ward Capell. pit way Collier MS.

the park-ward] the park way Collier MS.

7. also] om. Q3.

10. chollors] F1 Q3 F2. chollars F3 F4.

14. sings] Ff. sing Q3.

15, 19, 24, 27. To shallow] (Q1 Q2) Ff Q3. By shallow Theobald.

18. fragrant] (Q1 Q2) Ff. vagram Q3. vragrant Hanmer. vagrant Johnson.

20. dispositions] F1 Q3. disposition F2 F3 F4.

21. madrigals] madrigall F2 F3 F4.

23. vagram] Ff Q3. vagrant Pope. vragant Hanmer. vagrant Johnson.

27. to whose] in whose Q3.

34. Scene ii. Pope.

36. student] F3 F4. studient F1 Q3 F2.

37, 65, 105. [Aside] Edd.

62. desires] F1 Q3. desire F2 F3 F4.

66. Scene iii. Pope.

68. in] om. Q3.

74. [Aside...] Edd. See note (VII).

78. [Aside...] Staunton.

Pray you] I pray you Q3.

laughing-stocks] laughing stogs J. rec. Edd.

81. [Aloud] Staunton.

your] your your F4. you your Rowe.

urinals] (Q1 Q2) Capell. urinal] Ff Q3.

82. [for ... appointments] Pope (from Q1 Q2). om. Ff Q3.

89. Gallia and Gaul] F3 F4. Gallia and Gaule F1 Q3 F2. Gawle and Gawlia (Q1 Q2). Gallia and Wallia Halliwell MS. Hanmer. Guallia and Gaul Malone (Farmer conj.). Gallia and Guallia Collier (Farmer MS. conj.).

95. lose my parson, my priest] lose my Priest Pope.

96. [Give me thy hand, terrestrial; so] Theobald (from Q1 Q2). om. Ff Q3. Give me thy hands, celestial and terrestrial; so. Collier MS.

101. lads] (Q1 Q2) Warburton. lad Ff Q3.

108. vlouting-stog] vlouting-stock Pope.

110. scall] scald Pope. Scal’ Capell.

112. with] vith Hanmer. vit rec. Capell.

113. where] vhere Pope. ver Hanmer. vere rec. Capell.

Act III: Scene 2

Scene ii.] Scene iv. Pope.

11. company] your company Collier MS.

19. Ford. Sir John Falstaff!] omitted in F3 F4 and Rowe.

20. on’s] on his Rowe.

25. Scene v. Pope.

37. [Clock heard] Capell.

39. search: there] search where Collier MS.

42. Scene vi. Pope.

46-48. Printed as verse in Ff Q3 and Rowe.

47. her] here F2.

59. April] all April (Q1 Q2).

60. buttons] betmes (Q1 Q2). destiny Anon. conj.

63. Poins] Poyntz F1 Q3 F2. Poinz F3 F4.

Act III: Scene 3

Scene iii.] Scene vii. Pope.

7, 8. Mrs Ford. Marry ... Robert] omitted in Q3.

20. your] the Q3.

36. Scene viii. Pope. thee] Ff Q3 om. (Q1 Q2) Dyce.

38. my] om. Q3.

41. Mistress] Master Q3.

49. tire-valiant] Ff Q3. tire-vellet (Q1 Q2). tire-vailant Warburton. tire-velvet Heath conj. tire-volant Becket conj.

tire of Venetian admittance] Ff Q3. Venetian attire (Q1 Q2) Pope. tire of Venetian addition Hanmer.

52. By the Lord, thou art a traitor] (Q1 Q2) Singer. Thou art a tyrant Ff Q3. Thou art a traitor Warburton. By the Lord, thou art a tyrant Collier.

53. fixture] F1 Q3. fixure F2 F3 F4.

55, 56. foe were not, Nature] F2 F3 F4. foe, were not Nature F1 Q3. foe were not; Nature is Capell.

58. persuade thee there’s] persuade thee There’s (Q1 Q2). persuade Thee. There’s Ff Q3.

62. simple] F1 Q3 F2. simpling F3 F4.

74. [Within] F2. Re-enter Robin. Capell.

75. sweating] F1 Q3. swearing F2 F3 F4.

81. Scene ix. Pope.

Re-enter...] Enter Mis. Page. F2.

96. ’Tis not so] Speak louder. ’Tis not so Theobald (from Q1 Q2).

110. and] om. Q3.

119. [Coming forward] Enter F. Rowe. [Starting from his concealment. Capell.

124. I love thee] Ff Q3. I love thee and none but thee (Q1 Q2) Malone.

125. [Gets ... linen.] Rowe.

128. John! Robert] John Rugby Q3.

[Exit Robin.] Malone.

132. Scene x. Pope.

134. How now!] How now? who goes here? Halliwell (from Q1 Q2). How now! what’s here? S. Verges conj.

140. [Exeunt ... basket.] Rowe.

144. [Locking the door.] Capell.

144, 145. So, now uncape] om. Pope. So, now uncouple Hanmer.

155. Scene xi. Pope.

159. who] what Grant White (Ritson conj.).

170. foolish] F2 F3 F4. foolishion F1 Q3. foolish eye on—carry on Jackson conj.

174. to-morrow, eight] F1 Q3. to-morrow by eight F2 F3 F4.

178. [Aside to Mrs Ford] Capell.

179. You use...] I, I; peace;—You use... Theobald (from Q1 Q2).

180. Ay, I] I, I F1 Q3 F2. I, I, I F3 F4.

181. you] me Capell conj.

188. at the day of judgement] F1 Q3. om. F2 F3 F4.

211. Theobald inserts (from Q1 Q2) Evans. In your teeth: for shame!

Act III: Scene 4

Scene iv.] Scene xii. Pope.

7. Besides these, other] Ff Q3. Besides, these other S. Walker conj.

12. my] the Capell (altered to my in his own hand).

20. opportunity] importunity Hanmer.

22. Scene xiii. Pope.

28. but that] F1 Q3 F2. but F3 F4.

40. pen] henloft (Q1 Q2) Halliwell.

62. my] om. Q3.

hath] have F4.

65. ask] om. Q3.

66. Scene xiv. Pope.

67. Fenton] Fenter F1.

75. mind] wind F2.

80. of] or Q3.

85, 86. Anne. Alas, ... turnips!] Anne. Alas, ... earth. Quick. And ... turnips Warburton.

92. angry] angry else S. Verges conj.

93. gentle] my gentle Capell.

95. and] or Hanmer.

Act III: Scene 5

Scene v.] Scene xv. Pope.

5. in] into Rowe.

9. blind bitch’s] bitch’s blind Hanmer.

16. mummy] mummy. Now, is the sack brewed? Theobald (from Q1 Q2).

22. Scene xvi. Pope.

24. pottle] posset R. G. White.

60. sped you] you sped Rowe.

62. How so, sir] F1 Q3 F2. How Sir F3 F4.

65. me] om. F4.

77. in] by (Q1 Q2) Theobald.

distraction] direction Hanmer.

80. By the Lord] (Q1 Q2) Malone. yes F1 Q3. yea F2 F3 F4.

83. smell] smells Hanmer.

96. several] egregious (Q1 Q2) Pope.

106. in] is F2.

107. surge] forge Capell conj.

110. have suffered] suffered F4.

130. nor] not Q3.

134. one] me Dyce.

[Exit.] Rowe. [Exeunt. Ff Q3.

Act IV: Scene 1

[A Street] Capell. Page’s House. Pope.

10. let] get Collier MS.

25. polecats] powlcat Q3.

41. Accusativo] accusative F3 F4.

hinc] hunc Halliwell.

43. hung] Pope. hing Ff Q3.

56. Jenny’s] Ginyes Ff Q3.

63. lunaties] Ff Q3. lunacies Rowe. lunaticks Capell.

64. of] and Collier MS.

65. desires] desire Pope.

70, 71. quæ ... quæs] que ... ques Ff Q3.

Act IV: Scene 2

18. lunes] Theobald. lines Ff Q3. vaine (Q1 Q2).

33. street] F1 Q3. streets F2 F3 F4.

39. Re-enter F.] Enter. F2.

40. Scene iii. Pope.

43. pistols] Pistol Jackson conj.

48. Creep into the kiln-hole] Given to Mrs Page by Dyce (Malone conj.).

55. Mrs Page] (Q1 Q2) Malone. Mist. Ford. Ff Q3.

57. Mrs Ford] om. F2 F3 F4.

62. a mischief] mischief F4.

63, 73, 85, 150, and passim. Brentford] Brainford (Q1 Q2) Ff Q3.

66. thrummed] thrum’d F1 F2 F3. thrumb F4.

89. him] F2 F3 F4. om. F1 Q3.

98. knight] F1 Q3. the knight F2 F3 F4.

99. as lief] F2 F3 F4. liefe as F1 Q3.

100. Scene iv. Pope.

102. villain] villains Dyce.

Youth in a basket] you youth in a basket come out here Malone (from Q1 Q2).

103. ging] F2 F3 F4. gin F1 Q3 gang Rowe.

104. shamed] ashamed F2.

105. wife] om. Rowe.

159. not] om. F1.

160. Scene v. Pope.

Re-enter ... clothes] Rowe. Enter Fal. Ff. and Mistress Page] Pope.

163. hag] F3 F4. ragge F1. hagge Q3. rag F2.

170. By yea and no] By Jeshu (Q1 Q2).

171. ’oman] ’omans Q3.

172. his] Ff Q3. her (Q1 Q2) Pope.

175. trail] F1 Q3 F2 F3. Tryal F4.

188. fine] find Q3.

193. brains] brain F3 F4.

197. period] right period Hanmer.

198. the jest] jest Q3.

199. it, then; shape it:] it, then shape it: Ff Q3.

Act IV: Scene 3

Scene iii.] Scene vi. Pope.

1. Germans desire] Capell. Germane desires Ff Q3.

7. Ay] om. F3 F4.

9. house] (Q1 Q2) Rowe. houses Ff Q3.

11. come off] compt off Theobald (Warburton). not come off Capell.

Act IV: Scene 4

Scene iv.] Scene vii. Pope.

1. ’oman] o’mans Q3.

7. cold] Rowe. gold Ff Q3.

9. as faith] F1 Q3. of faith F2 F3 F4.

11. as extreme] F1 Q3. om. as F2 F3 F4.

11, 12. Printed in one line in Ff Q3.

20. say] see Collier MS.

in the rivers] F1 Q3. into the river F2 F3 F4.

22. terrors] terror Q3.

29. midnight] F1 Q3. of midnight F2 F3 F4.

30. great ragg’d] ragged Pope.

31. tree] trees Hanmer.

41. Here Theobald inserts from Q1 Q2, We’ll send him word to meet us in the field, Disguised like Herne [Horne Q1 Q2] with huge horns on his head. Malone gives the second line only. See note (VIII).

56. to-pinch] Steevens (Tyrwhitt conj.).] to pinch Ff Q3. too, pinch Warburton.

fairy-like, to-pinch] like to fairies pinch Hanmer.

60. him sound] F2 F3 F4. him, sound, F1 Q3. him round, Pope. him soundly Collier MS.

67. taber] taper Pope.

72. time] tire Theobald.

75. in name] in the name Q3.

86. he] him Hanmer.

Act IV: Scene 5

Scene v.] Scene viii. Pope.

2. snap] nap Q3.

17. [Above] Theobald. Enter Falstaff. Rowe. om. Ff Q3.

27. Master Slender] Steevens. my master Slender, Ff Q3.

28. thorough] F1 Q3. through F2 F3 F4.

39. Sim. I may...] Rowe. Fal. I may... Ff Q3. Fal. You may... Collier MS.

40. Host.] Fal. Warburton.

Conceal them, or] Conceal them, and Hanmer. Aye conseil them or Becket conj.

39, 40. conceal, Conceal] reveal, Reveal Farmer conj.

42. master’s] master Q3.

49. Ay, sir; like] Ff Q3. I tike, (Q1 Q2). Ay, sir Tike, Steevens (Farmer conj.). Ay, sir, tike, Collier. See note (IX).

58. Scene ix. Pope.

61. with] with by Collier MS.

71. Readins] Reading F4.

80. grand] agrand F3 F4.

85. [Exeunt H. and B.] Capell. [Exit F2. om. F1 Q3.

94. [to say my prayers] (Q1 Q2) Pope. om. Ff Q3.

95. repent] pray and repent Collier MS.

96. Scene x. Pope.

110. an old woman] a wode woman Theobald.

Act IV: Scene 6

Scene vi.] Ff Q3. Scene xi. Pope. Theobald continues Sc. 5.

The same] Another room. Capell.

14. whereof] whereof’s Pope.

16. fat Falstaff] F1 Q3. wherein fat Falstaff (Q1 Q2) Malone. fat sir John Falstaffe F2 F3 F4. fat Falstaff, he S. Walker conj. therein fat Falstaff Id. conj.

17. scene] scare (Q1 Q2). share S. Verges conj. scene in it Capell.

27. even] ever Pope.

39. denote] Capell (Steevens conj.). devote Ff Q3.

50. marrying] marriage S. Walker conj.

51. ceremony] matrimony (Q1 Q2).

Act V: Scene 1

Act v. Scene i.] Act iv. (continued). Scene xii. Pope.

Act V: Scene 2

Scene ii.] Act V. Scene i. Pope.

Windsor Park] Pope. [A street. Capell.

3. daughter] om. F1 Q3.

Act V: Scene 3

Scene iii.] Scene ii. Pope.

A street, &c.] [Another street, &c. Capell.

12. Hugh] Capell. Herne Ff Q3. Evans Theobald (Thirlby conj.).

19. every way] F1 Q3. om. F2 F3 F4.

Act V: Scene 4

Scene iv.] Scene II. continued in Pope.

3. pid] F1 Q3. bid F2 F3 F4.

Act V: Scene 5

Scene v.] Scene iii. Pope.

Enter F...] Enter Sir John with a Buck’s head upon him (Q1 Q2).

22. bribe] Theobald. brib’d Ff Q3.

32-34. Printed as verse in Ff Q3.

34. Enter ... tapers] See note (X).

35. Quick.] Qui. Ff Q3.

37. orphan] ouphan Theobald (Warburton).

41. shalt thou leap] when thou’st leapt Collier MS. having leapt Singer.

42. unswept] to sweep S. Verges conj.

46. [Lies ... face] Rowe.

47. Bede] Ff Q3. Pede Theobald. Pead (Q1 Q2).

51. as] that F4.

53. Quick.] Qu. F1 Q3 F2. Qui. F3 F4.

57. state as] site as Hanmer. seat as S. Walker conj.

58. and] as Theobald (Warburton).

63. nightly, meadow-fairies,] Capell. Nightly-meadow-Fairies Ff Q3.

66. More] Mote F1 Q3.

68. emerald tufts] Emrold-tuffes Ff Q3.

purple] purfled Warburton.

69. sapphire, pearl] Theobald. saphire-pearle Ff Q3.

and] in Warburton.

75. Pray you] om. Pope.

86. [They burn ... tapers.] Rowe.

90. time] time. Eva. It is right, indeed, he is full of lecheries and iniquity. Theobald (from Q1 Q2).

91. sinful] simple Pope.

93. a bloody fire] i’ th’ blood a fire] Hanmer.

95. heart] the heart Hanmer.

97. Mutually] mutuall Q3.

100. The stage direction which follows was inserted by Theobald from Q1 Q2, with some verbal changes.

101. Enter...] Enter... They lay hold on him. Rowe.

101, 102. Printed as prose in Ff Q3.

105. these, husband] these husband F1 Q3. these husbands F2 F3 F4. these, husbands Hanmer.

yokes] yoakes F1 Q3. okes F2 F3. oaks F4. oaks [Pointing to the horns. Hanmer.

fair yokes] fairy jokes Jackson conj.

111. paid to Master Brook] paid to M. Foord (Q1 Q2). pay’d too, Master Brook Capell.

120. the sudden] with the sudden Hanmer.

136. pelly] F2 F3 F4. belly F1 Q3.

148. as slanderous] slanderous Q3.

152. sack, and wine] sacks, and wines Pope.

153. starings] F1 Q3. staring F2 F3 F4.

156. is a plummet o’er me] is plummet o’er me Q3. has a plume o’ me Johnson conj. is a planet o’er me Farmer conj.

162. After this line Theobald inserts from Q1 Q2: Mrs Ford. Nay, husband, let that go to make amends; Forgive that sum, and so we’ll all be friends. Ford. Well, here’s my hand: all is forgiven at last.

167, 168. Given to Mrs Ford in Q3. [Aside] Theobald.

169. Scene vi. Pope.

Whoa] What Rowe.

177. i’ the] i’t F2.

186. white] Pope. green Ff Q3.

190, 196. green] Pope. white Ff Q3.

190. into] in Q3.

193. Scene vii. Pope.

194. un garçon] Capell. oon garsoon F1 Q3. one garsoon F2 F3 F4.

un paysan] Capell. oon pesant Ff Q3.

boy] boe F2 F3 F4.

196. did you] did you not Rowe.

214. title] guile Collier MS.

225. After this line Pope, followed by Theobald, inserts from Q1 Q2: Evans [aside to Fenton] I will dance and eat plums at your wedding.

231. Let it be so. Sir John,] Let it be so (Sir John:) Ff Q3.




257  

A

Pleasant Conceited Comedie,

of

Syr Iohn Falstaffe,

and

the merry Wiues of VVindsor.

 
 

Enter Iustice Shallow, Syr Hugh, Maister Page, and Slender.

Shal. Nere talke to me, Ile make a star-chamber matter of it.

The Councell shall know it.

Page. Nay good maister Shallow be perswaded by mee.

Slen. Nay surely my vncle shall not put it vp so.

5 Sir Hu. Wil you not heare reasons M. Slenders?

You should heare reasons.

Shal. Tho he be a knight, he shall not thinke to carrie it so away.

M. Page I will not be wronged. For you

Syr, I loue you, and for my cousen,

10 He comes to looke vpon your daughter.

Pa. And heres my hand, and if my daughter

Like him so well as I, wee’l quickly haue it a match:

In the meane time let me entreate you to soiourne

Here a while. And on my life Ile vndertake

15 To make you friends.

Sir Hu. I pray you M. Shallowes let it be so.

The matter is pud to arbitarments.

The first man is M. Page, videlicet M. Page.

The second is my selfe, videlicet my selfe.

20 The third and last man, is mine host of the gartyr.

Enter Syr Iohn Falstaffe, Pistoll, Bardolfe, and Nim.

Heere is sir Iohn himselfe now, looke you.

Fal. Now M. Shallow, youle complaine of me to the Councell, I heare?

Shal. Sir Iohn, sir Iohn, you haue hurt my keeper,

258

I. 25 Kild my dogs, stolne my deere.

Fal. But not kissed your keepers daughter.

Shal. Well this shall be answered.

Fal. He answere it strait. I haue done all this.

This is now answred.

30 Shal. Well, the Councell shall know it.

Fal. Twere better for you twere knowne in counsell,

Youle be laught at.

Sir Hugh. Good vrdes sir Iohn, good vrdes.

Fal. Good vrdes, good Cabidge.

35 Slender I brake your head,

What matter haue you against mee?

Slen. I haue matter in my head against you and your cogging companions, Pistoll and Nym. They carried mee to the Tauerne, and made mee drunke, and afterward picked my pocket.

40 Fal. What say you to this Pistoll, did you picke Maister Slenders purse Pistoll?

Slen. I by this handkercher did he. Two faire shouell boord shillings, besides seuen groats in mill sixpences.

Fal. What say you to this Pistoll?

45 Pist. Sir Iohn, and Maister mine, I combat craue

Of this same laten bilbo. I do retort the lie

Euen in thy gorge, thy gorge, thy gorge.

Slen. By this light it was he then.

Nym. Syr my honor is not for many words,

I. 50 But if you run bace humors of me,

I will say mary trap. And there’s the humor of it.

Fal. You heare these matters denide gentlemen,

You heare it.

Enter Mistresse Foord, Mistresse Page, and her daughter Anne.

Pa. No more now,

55 I thinke it be almost dinner time,

For my wife is come to meete vs.

Fal. Mistresse Foord, I think your name is,

If I mistake not.

Syr Iohn kisses her.

Mis. Ford. Your mistake sir is nothing but in the Mistresse.

60 But my husbands name is Foord sir.

Fal. I shall desire your more acquaintance.

The like of you good misteris Page.

Mis. Pa. With all my hart sir Iohn.

Come husband will you goe?

65 Dinner staies for vs.

Pa. With all my hart, come along Gentlemen.

Exit all, but Slender and Mistresse Anne.

259

Anne. Now forsooth why do you stay me?

What would you with me?

Slen. Nay for my owne part, I would litle or nothing with you. 70 I loue you well, and my vncle can tell you how my liuing stands. And if you can loue me why so. If not, why then happie man be his dole.

An. You say well M. Slender.

But first you must giue me leaue to

I. 75 Be acquainted with your humor,

And afterward to loue you if I can.

Slen. Why by God, there’s neuer a man in christendome can desire more. What haue you beares in your Towne mistresse Anne, your dogs barke so?

80 An. I cannot tell M. Slender, I think there be.

Slen. Ha how say you? I warrant your afeard of a Beare let loose, are you not?

An. Yes trust me.

Slen. Now that’s meate and drinke to me,

85 He run yon to a beare, and take her by the mussell,

You neuer saw the like.

But indeed I cannot blame you,

For they are maruellous rough things.

Anne. Will yo go into dinner M. Slendor?

90 The meate staies for you.

Slen. No faith not I. I thanke you,

I cannot abide the smell of hot meate

Nere since I broke my shin. Ile tel you how it came

By my troth. A Fencer and I plaid three venies

95 For a dish of stewd prunes, and I with my ward

Defending my head, he hot my shin. Yes faith.

Enter Maister Page.

Pa. Come, come Maister Slender, dinner staies for you.

Slen. I can eate no meate, I thanke you.

Pa. You shall not choose I say.

I. 100 Slen. Ile follow you sir, pray leade the way.

Nay be God misteris Anne, you shall goe first,

I haue more manners then so, I hope.

An. Well sir, I will not be troublesome.

Exit omnes.

Sc. ii. Enter Sir Hugh and Simple, from dinner.

Sir Hu. Hark you Simple, pray you beare this letter to doctor Cayus house, the French Doctor. He is twell vp along the street, and enquire of his house for one mistris Quickly, his woman, or his try 260 nurse, and deliuer this Letter to her, it tis about Maister Slender. 5 Looke you, will you do it now?

Sim. I warrant you sir.

Sir Hu. Pray you do, I must not be absent at the grace.

I will goe make an end of my dinner,

There is pepions and cheese behinde.

Exit omnes.

Sc. iii. Enter Sir Iohn Falstaffes Host of the Garter, Nym, Bardolfe, Pistoll, and the Boy.

Fal. Mine Host of the Garter.

Host. What ses my bully Rooke?

Speake schollerly and wisely.

Fal. Mine Host, I must turne away some of my followers.

5 Host. Discard bully, Hercules cassire.

Let them wag, trot, trot.

Fal. I sit at ten pound a weeke.

Host. Thou art an Emperor Cæsar, Phesser and Kesar bully.

Ile entertaine Bardolfe. He shall tap, he shall draw.

10 Said I well, bully Hector?

Fal. Do good mine Host.

Host. I haue spoke. Let him follow. Bardolfe

Let me see thee froth, and lyme. I am at

A word. Follow, follow.

Exit Host.

15 Fal. Do Bardolfe, a Tapster is a good trade,

An old cloake will make a new Ierkin,

A withered seruingman, a fresh Tapster:

Follow him Bardolfe.

Bar. I will sir, Ile warrant you Ile make a good shift to liue.

Exit Bardolfe.

20 Pis. O bace gongarian wight, wilt thou the spicket willd?

Nym. His minde is not heroick. And theres the humor of it.

Fal. Well my Laddes, I am almost out at the heeles.

Pis. Why then let cybes insue.

Nym. I thanke thee for that humor.

III. 25 Fal. Well I am glad I am so rid of this tinder Boy.

His stealth was too open, his filching was like

An vnskilfull singer, he kept not time.

Nym. The good humour is to steale at a minutes rest.

Pis. Tis so indeed Nym, thou hast hit it right.

30 Fal. Wel, afore God, I must cheat, I must conycatch.

Which of you knowes Foord of this Towne?

Pis. I ken the wight, he is of substance good.

Fal. Well my honest Lads, Ile tell you what

I am about.

261

Pis. Two yards and more.

Fal. No gibes now Pistoll: indeed I am two yards

In the wast, but now I am about no wast:

Briefly, I am about thrift you rogues you,

I do intend to make loue to Foords wife,

40 I espie entertainment in her. She carues, she

Discourses. She giues the lyre of inuitation,

And euery part to be constured rightly is, I am

Syr Iohn Falstaffes.

Pis. Hee hath studied her well, out of honestie

45 Into English.

Fal. Now the report goes, she hath all the rule

Of her husbands purse. She hath legians of angels.

Pis. As many diuels attend her.

And to her boy say I.

III. 50 Fal. Heree’s a Letter to her. Heeres another to misteris Page. Who euen now gaue me good eies too, examined my exteriors with such a greedy intention, with the beames of her beautie, that it seemed as she would a scorged me vp like a burning glasse. Here is another Letter to her, shee beares the purse too. They shall be Excheckers 55 to me, and Ile be cheaters to them both. They shall be my East and West Indies, and Ile trade to them both. Heere beare thou this Letter to mistresse Foord. And thou this to mistresse Page. Weelethriue Lads, we will thriue.

Pist. Shall I sir Panderowes of Troy become?

60 And by my sword were steele.

Then Lucifer take all.

Nym. Here, take your humor Letter againe,

For my part, I will keepe the hauior

Of reputation. And theres the humor of it.

65 Fal. Here sirrha beare me these Letters titely,

Saile like my pinnice to the golden shores:

Hence slaues, avant. Vanish like hailstones, goe.

Falstaffe will learne the humor of this age,

French thrift you rogue, my selfe and scirted Page.

Exit Falstaffe, and the Boy.

70 Pis. And art thou gone? Teaster Ile haue in pouch

When thou shalt want, bace Phrygian Turke,

Nym. I haue operations in my head, which are humors of reuenge.

Pis. Wilt thou reuenge?

III. 75 Nym. By Welkin and her Fairies.

Pis. By wit, or sword?

Nym. With both the humors I will disclose this loue to Page. He poses him with Iallowes,

262

And theres the humor of it.

80 Pis. And I to Foord will likewise tell

How Falstaffe varlot vilde,

Would haue her loue, his doue would proue,

And eke his bed defile.

Nym. Let vs about it then.

85 Pis. He second thee: sir Corporall Nym troope on.

Exit omnes.

Sc. iv. Enter Mistresse Quickly, and Simple.

Quic. M. Slender is your masters name say you?

Sim. I indeed that is his name.

Quic. How say you? I take it hee is somewhat a weakly man:

And he has as it were a whay coloured beard.

5 Sim. Indeed my maisters beard is kane colored.

Quic. Kane colour, you say well.

And is this Letter from sir You, about misteris An,

Is it not?

Sim. I indeed is it.

10 Quic. So: and your Maister would haue me as it twere to speak to misteris Anne concerning him: I promise you my M. hath a great affectoned mind to mistresse Anne himselfe. And if he should know that I should as they say, giue my verdit for any one but himselfe, I should heare of it throughly: For I tell you friend, he puts all his priuities 15 in me.

Sim. I by my faith you are a good staie to him.

Quic. Am I? I and you knew all yowd say so:

Washing, brewing, baking, al goes through my hands,

Or else it would be but a woe house.

20 Sim. I beshrow me, one woman to do all this, Is very painfull.

Quic. Are you auised of that? I, I warrant you,

Take all, and paie all, all goe through my hands,

And he is such a honest man, and he should chance

IV. 25 To come home and finde a man here, we should

Haue no who with him. He is a parlowes man.

Sim. Is he indeed?

Quic. Is he, quoth you? God keepe him abroad:

Lord blesse me, who knocks there?

30 For Gods sake step into the Counting-house,

While I go see whose at doore.

He steps into the Counting-house.

What Iohn Rugby, Iohn,

Are you come home sir alreadie?

And she opens the doore.

263

Doct. I begar I be forget mine oyntment,

35 Where be Iohn Rugby?

Enter Iohn.

Rug. Here sir, do you call?

Doct. I you be Iohn Rugbie, and you be Iack Rugby

Goe run vp met your heeles, and bring away

De oyntment in the vindoe present:

40 Make haste Iohn Rugbie. O I am almost forget

My simples in a boxe in de Counting-house:

O Ieshu vat be here, a deuella, a deuella?

My Rapier Iohn Rugby, Vat be you, vat make

You in my Counting-house?

45 I tinck you be a teefe.

Quic. Ieshu blesse me, we are all vndone.

Sim. O Lord sir no: I am no theefe,

I am a Seruingman:

My name is Iohn Simple, I brought a Letter sir

IV. 50 From my M. Slender, about misteris Anne Page

Sir: Indeed that is my comming.

Doct. I begar is dat all? Iohn Rugby giue a ma pen

An Inck: tarche vn pettit tarche a little.

The Doctor writes.

Sim. O God what a furious man is this?

55 Quic. Nay it is well he is no worse:

I am glad he is so quiet.

Doc. Here giue that same to sir Hu, it ber ve chalenge

Begar tell him I will cut his nase, will you?

Sim. I sir, Ile tell him so.

60 Doc. Dat be vell, my rapier Iohn Rugby, follow may.

Exit Doctor.

Quic. Well my friend, I cannot tarry, tell your

Maister Ile doo what I can for him,

And so farewell.

Sim. Marry will I, I am glad I am got hence.

Exit omnes.

Sc. v. Enter Mistresse Page, reading of a Letter.

Mis. Pa. Mistresse Page I loue you. Ask me no reason,

Because theyr impossible to alledge. Your faire,

And I am fat. You loue sack, so do I:

As I am sure I haue no mind but to loue,

5 So I know you haue no hart but to grant

A souldier doth not vse many words where a knowes

A letter may serue for a sentence. I loue you,

264

And so I leaue you.

Yours Syr Iohn Falstaffe.

10 Now Ieshu blesse me, am I methomorphised?

I think I knowe not my selfe. Why what a Gods name doth this man see in me, that thus he shootes at my honestie? Well but that I knowe my owne heart, I should scarcely perswade my selfe I were hand. Why what an vnreasonable woolsack is this. He was neuer 15 twice in my companie, and if then I thought I gaue such assurance with my eies, Ide pull them out, they should neuer see more holie daies. Well, I shall trust fat men the worse while I liue for his sake. O God, that I knew how to be reuenged of him. But in good time, heeres mistresse Foord.

Enter Mistresse Foord.

20 Mis. For. How now mistris Page, are you are reading Loue letters? How do you woman?

Mis. Pa. O woman I am I know not what:

In loue vp to the hard eares. I was neuer in such a case in my life.

Mis. Ford. In loue, now in the name of God with whom?

V. 25 Mis. Pa. With one that sweares he loues me,

And I must not choose but do the like againe:

I prethie looke on that Letter.

Mis. For. He match your letter iust with the like,

Line for line, word for word. Onely the name

30 Of misteris Page, and misteris Foord disagrees:

Do me the kindnes to looke vpon this.

Mis. Pa. Why this is right my letter.

O most notorious villaine!

Why what a bladder of iniquity is this?

35 Lets be reuenged what so ere we do.

Mis. For. Reuenged, if we liue weel be reuenged.

O Lord if my husband should see this Letter,

Ifaith this would euen giue edge to his Iealousie.

Enter Ford, Page, Pistoll, and Nym.

Mis. Pa. See where our husbands are,

40 Mine’s as far from Iealousie,

As I am from wronging him.

Pis. Ford the words I speake are forst:

Beware, take heed, for Falstaffe loues thy wife:

When Pistoll lies do this.

45 Ford. Why sir my wife is not young.

Pis. He wooes both yong and old, both rich and poore,

None comes amis. I say he loues thy wife:

265

Faire warning did I giue, take heed,

For sommer comes, and cuckoo birds appeare;

V. 50 Page belieue him what he ses. Away sir Corporal Nym.

Exit Pistoll:

Nym. Syr the humor of it is, he loues your wife,

I should ha borne the humor Letter to her:

I speake and I auouch tis true: My name is Nym.

Farwell, I loue not the humor of bread and cheese:

55 And theres the humor of it.

Exit Nym.

Pa. The humor of it, quoth you:

Heres a fellow frites humor out of his wits.

Mis. Pa. How now sweet hart, how dost thou?

Enter Mistresse Quickly.

Pa. How now man? how do you mistris Ford?

60 Mis. For. Well I thanke you good M. Page.

How now husband, how chaunce thou art so melancholy?

Ford. Melancholy, I am not melancholy.

Goe get you in, goe.

Mis. For. God saue me, see who yonder is:

65 Weele set her a worke in this businesse.

Mis Pa. O sheele serue excellent.

Now you come to see my daughter An I am sure.

Quic. I forsooth that is my comming.

Mis. Pa. Come go in with me. Come Mis. Ford.

70 Mis. For. I follow you Mistresse Page.

Exit Mistresse Ford, Mis. Page, and Quickly.

For. M. Page did you heare what these fellows said?

Pa. Yes M. Ford, what of that sir?

For. Do you thinke it is true that they told vs?

Pa. No by my troth do I not,

V. 75 I rather take them to be paltry lying knaues,

Such as rather speakes of enuie,

Then of any certaine they haue

Of any thing. And for the knight, perhaps

He hath spoke merrily, as the fashion of fat men

80 Are: But should he loue my wife,

Ifaith Ide turne her loose to him:

And what he got more of her,

Then ill lookes, and shrowd words,

Why let me beare the penaltie of it.

85 For. Nay I do not mistrust my wife,

Yet Ide be loth to turne them together,

A man may be too confident.

266

Enter Host and Shallow.

Pa. Here comes my ramping host of the garter,

Ther’s either licker in his hed, or mony in his purse,

90 That he lookes so merily. Now mine Host?

Host. God blesse you my bully rookes, God blesse you.

Caualera Iustice I say.

Shal. At hand mine host, at hand. M. Ford. god den to you

God den and twentie good M. Page.

95 I tell you sir we haue sport in hand.

Host. Tell him cauelira Iustice: tell him bully rooke.

Ford. Mine Host a the garter:

Host. What ses my bully rooke?

Ford. A word with you sir.

Ford and the Host talkes.

V. 100 Shal. Harke you sir, Ile tell you what the sport shall be

Doctor Cayus and sir Hu are to fight,

My merrie Host hath had the measuring

Of their weapons, and hath

Appointed them contrary places. Harke in your eare:

105 Host: Hast thou no shute against my knight, My guest, my cauellira.

For. None I protest: But tell him my name

Is Rrooke, onlie for a Iest.

Host: Thy hand bully: thou shalt

110 Haue egres and regres, and thy Name shall be Brooke:

Sed I well bully Hector?

Shal. I tell you what M. Page, I beleeue

The Doctor is no Iester, heele laie it on:

For tho we be Iustices and Doctors,

115 And Church men, yet we are

The sonnes of women M. Page:

Pa: True maister Shallow:

Shal: It will be found so maister Page:

Pa. Maister Shallow, you your selfe

120 Haue bene a great fighter,

Though now a man of peace:

Shal: M. Page, I haue seene the day that yong

Tall fellowes with their stroke and their passado,

I haue made them trudge Maister Page,

V. 125 A tis the hart, the hart doth all: I

Haue seene the day, with my two hand sword

I would a made you foure tall Fencers

Scipped like Rattes.

Host. Here boyes, shall we wag, shall we wag?

267

Shal. Ha with you mine host.

Exit Host and Shallow.

Pa. Come M. Ford, shall we to dinner?

I know these fellowes sticks in your minde.

For. No in good sadnesse, not in mine:

Yet for all this Ile try it further,

135 I will not leaue it so:

Come M. Page, shall we to dinner?

Page. With all my hart sir, Ile follow you.

Exit omnes.

Sc. vi. Enter Syr Iohn, and Pistoll.

Fal. Ile not lend thee a peny.

Pis. I will retort the sum in equipage.

Fal. Not a pennie: I haue beene content you shuld lay my countenance to pawne: I haue grated vpon my good friends for 3 repriues, 5 for you and your Coach-follow Nym, else you might a looked thorow a grate like a geminy of babones. I am damned in hell for swearing to Gentlemen your good souldiers and tall fellowes: and when mistrisse Briget lost the handle of her Fan, I tooked on my ho- thou hadst it not.

10 Pis. Didst thou not share? hadst thou not fifteene pence?

Fal. Reason you rogue, reason.

Doest thou thinke Ile indanger my soule gratis?

In briefe, hang no more about mee, I am no gybit for you. short knife and a throng to your manner of pickt hatch, goe. Youle not 15 beare a Letter for me you rogue you: you stand vpon your honor. Why thou vnconfinable basenesse thou, tis as much as I can do to keepe the termes of my honor precise. I, I my selfe sometimes, leauing the feare of God on the left hand, am faine to shuffel, to filch and to lurch. And yet you stand vpon your honor, you rogue. You, 20 you.

Pis. I do recant: what woulst thou more of man?

Fal. Well, gotoo, away, no more.

Enter Mistresse Quickly.

Quic. Good you god den sir.

Fal. Good den faire wife.

VI. 25 Quic. Not so ant like your worship.

Fal. Faire mayd then.

Quic. That I am Ile be sworne, as my mother was

The first houre I was borne.

Sir I would speake with you in priuate.

30 Fal. Say on I prethy, heeres none but my owne houshold.

268

Quic. Are they so? Now God blesse them, and make them his seruants.

Syr I come from Mistresse Foord.

Fal. So from Mistresse Foord. Goe on.

35 Quic. I sir, she hath sent me to you to let you

Vnderstand she hath receiued your Letter,

And let me tell you, she is one stands vpon her credit.

Fal. Well, come Misteris Ford, Misteris Ford.

Quic. I sir, and as they say, she is not the first

40 Hath bene led in a fooles paradice.

Fal. Nay prethy be briefe my good she Mercury.

Quic. Mary sir, sheed haue you meet her betweene eight and nine.

Fal. So betweene eight and nine:

45 Qu. I forsooth, for then her husband goes a birding,

Fal. Well commend me to thy mistris, tel her

I will not faile her: Boy giue her my purse.

Quic. Nay sir I haue another arant to do to you

From misteris Page:

VI. 50 Fal. From misteris Page? I prethy what of her?

Qu. By my troth I think you work by Inchantments,

Els they could neuer loue you as they doo:

Fal. Not I, I assure thee; setting the attraction of my

Good parts aside, I vse no other inchantments:

55 Quic. Well sir, she loues you extreemly:

And let me tell you, shees one that feares God,

And her husband giues her leaue to do all:

For he is not halfe so iealousie as M. Ford is.

Fal. But harke thee, hath misteris Page and mistris Ford,

60 Acquainted each other how dearly they loue me?

Quic. O God no sir: there were a iest indeed.

Fal. Well farwel, commend me to misteris Ford,

I will not faile her say.

Quic. God be with your worship.

Exit Mistresse Quickly.

Enter Bardolfe.

65 Bar. Sir, heer’s a Gentleman,

One M. Brooke, would speak with you,

He hath sent you a cup of sacke.

Fal. M. Brooke, hees welcome: bid him come vp,

Such Brookes are alwaies welcome to me:

70 A Iack, will thy old bodie yet hold out?

Wilt thou after the expence of so much mony

269

Be now a gainer? Good bodie I thanke thee,

And Ile make more of thee then I ha done:

Ha, ha, misteris Ford, and misteris Page, haue

VI. 75 I caught you a the hip? go too.

Enter Foord disguised like Brooke.

For. God saue you sir.

Fal. And you too, would you speak with me?

For. Mary would I sir, I am somewhat bolde to trouble you,

My name is Brooke.

80 Fal. Good M. Brooke your verie welcome.

For. Ifaith sir I am a gentleman and a traueller,

That haue seen somewhat. And I haue often heard

That if mony goes before, all waies lie open.

Fal. Mony is a good souldier sir, and will on.

85 For. Ifaith sir, and I haue a bag here,

Would you wood helpe me to beare it.

Fal. O Lord, would I could tell how to deserue

To be your porter.

For. That may you easily sir Iohn: I haue an earnest

90 Sute to you. But good sir Iohn when I haue

Told you my griefe, cast one eie of your owne

Estate, since your selfe knew what tis to be

Such an offender.

Fal. Verie well sir, proceed.

95 For. Sir I am deeply in loue with one Fords wife

Of this Towne. Now sir Iohn you are a gentleman

Of good discoursing, well beloued among Ladies,

A man of such parts that might win 20. such as she.

Fal. O good sir.

VI. 100 For. Nay beleeue it sir Iohn, for tis time. Now my loue

Is so grounded vpon her, that without her loue

I shall hardly liue.

Fal. Haue you importuned her by any means?

Ford. No neuer sir.

105 Fal. Of what qualitie is your loue then?

Ford. Ifaith sir, like a faire house set vpon

Another mans foundation.

Fal. And to what end haue you vnfolded this to me?

For. O sir, when I haue told you that, I told you all:

110 For she sir stands so pure in the firme state

Of her honestie, that she is too bright to be looked

Against: Now could I come against her

With some detection, I should sooner perswade her

270

From her marriage vow, and a hundred such nice

115 Tearmes that sheele stand vpon.

Fal. Why would it apply well to the veruensie of your affection,

That another should possesse what you would enjoy?

Meethinks you prescribe verie preposterously

To your selfe.

120 For. No sir, for by that meanes should I be certaine of that which I now misdoubt.

Fal. Wel M. Brooke, Ile first make bold with your mony,

Next, giue me your hand. Lastly, you shall

And you will, enioy Fords wife.

VI. 125 Foord. O good sir.

Fal. M. Brooke, I say you shall.

For. Want no mony syr Iohn, you shall want none.

Fal. Want no misteris Ford M. Brooke,

You shall want none. Euen as you came to me,

130 Her spokes mate, her go between parted from me:

I may tell you M. Brooke, I am to meet her

Betweene 8 and 9, for at that time the Iealous

Cuckally knaue her husband wil be from home,

Come to me soone at night, you shall know how

135 I speed M. Brooke.

Ford. Sir do you know Ford?

Fal. Hang him poore cuckally knaue, I know him not,

And yet I wrong him to call him poore. For they

Say the cuckally knaue hath legions of angels,

140 For the which his wife seemes to me well fauored,

And Ile vse her as the key of the cuckally knaues

Coffer, and there’s my randeuowes.

Foord. Meethinkes sir it were good that you knew

Ford, that you might shun him.

145 Fal. Hang him cuckally knaue, Ile stare him

Out of his wits, Ile keepe him in awe

With this my cudgell: It shall hang like a meator

Ore the wittolly knaues head, M. Brooke thou shalt

See I will predominate ore the peasant,

VI. 150 And thou shalt lie with his wife. M. Brooke

Thou shalt know him for knaue and cuckold,

Come to me soone at night.

Exit Falstaffe.

Ford. What a damned epicurian is this?

My wife hath sent for him, the plot is laid:

155 Page is an Asse, a foole. A secure Asse,

Ile sooner trust an Irishman with my

Aquauita bottle, Sir Hu our parson with my cheese,

271

A theefe to walke my ambling gelding, then my wife

With her selfe: then she plots, then she ruminates,

160 And what she thinkes in her hart she may effect,

Sheele breake her hart but she will effect it.

God be praised, God be praised for my iealousie:

Well Ile go preuent him, the time drawes on,

Better an houre too soone, then a minit too late,

165 Gods my life cuckold, cuckold.

Exit Ford.

Sc. vii. Enter the Doctor and his man.

Doc. Iohn Rugbie goe looke met your eies ore de stall,

And spie and you can see de parson.

Rug. Sir I cannot tell whether he be there or no,

But I see a great many comming.

5 Doc. Bully moy, mon rapier Iohn Rugabie, begar de

Hearing be not so dead as I shall make him.

Enter Shallow, Page, my Host, and Slender.

Pa. God saue you M. Doctor Cayus.

Shal. How do you M. Doctor?

Ho. God blesse thee my bully doctor, God blesse thee,

10 Doct. Vat be all you, Van to tree come for, a?

Host. Bully to see thee fight, to see thee foine, to see thee trauerse, to see thee here, to see thee there, to see thee passe the punto. The stock, the reuerse, the distance: the montnce is a dead my francoyes? Is a dead my Ethiopian? Ha, what ses my gallon? my 15 escuolapis? Is a dead bullies taile, is a dead?

Doct. Begar de preest be a coward Iack knaue,

He dare not shew his face.

Host. Thou art a castallian king vrinall.

Hector of Greece my boy.

20 Sha. He hath showne himselfe the wiser man, M. Doctor:

Sir Hugh is a parson, and you a Phisition. You must

Goe with me, M. Doctor.

Host. Pardon bully Iustice. A word monsire mockwater.

Doct. Mockwater, vat me dat?

VII. 25 Host. That is in our English tongue, Vallor bully, vallor.

Doct. Begar den I haue as mockuater as de Inglish Iack dog, knaue.

Host. He will claperclaw thee titely bully.

Doct. Claperclawe, vat be dat?

30 Host. That is, he will make thee amends.

Doct. Begar I do looke he shal claperclaw me den,

And Ile prouoke him to do it, or let him wag:

272

And moreouer bully, but M. Page and M. Shallow,

And eke cauellira Slender, go you all ouer the fields to Frogmore?

35 Pa. Sir Hugh is there, is hee?

Host. He is there: go see what humor hee is in,

Ile bring the Doctor about by the fields:

Will it do well?

Shal. We wil do it my host. Farewel M. Doctor.

Exit all but the Host and Doctor.

40 Doc. Begar I will kill de cowardly Iack preest,

He is make a foole of moy.

Host. Let him die, but first sheth your impatience,

Throw cold water on your collor, com go with me

Through the fields to Frogmore, and Ile bring thee

45 Where mistris An Page is a feasting at a farm house,

And thou shalt wear hir cried game: sed I wel bully.

Doct. Begar excellent vel: and if you speake pour moy, I shall procure you de gesse of all de gentlemen mon patinces. I begar I sall.

VII. 50 Host. For the which Ile be thy aduersary

To misteris An Page: sed I well?

Doct. I begar excellent.

Host. Let vs wag then.

Doct. Alon, alon, alon.

Exit omnes.

Sc. viii. Enter syr Hugh and Simple.

Sir Hu. I pray you do so much as see if you can espie

Doctor Cayus comming, and giue me intelligence,

Or bring me vrde if you please now.

Sim. I will sir.

5 Sir Hu. Ieshu ples mee, how my hart trobes, and trobes,

And then she made him bedes of Roses,

And a thousand fragrant poses,

To shallow riueres. Now so kad vdge me, my hart

Swelles more and more. Mee thinks I can cry

10 Verie well. There dwelt a man in Babylon,

To shallow riuers and to falles,

Melodious birds sing Madrigalles.

Sim. Sir here is M. Page, and M. Shallow,

Comming hither as fast as they can.

15 Sir Hu. Then it is verie necessary I put vp my sword,

Pray give me my cowne too, marke you.

Enter Page, shallow, and Slender.

Pa. God saue you sir Hugh.

273

Shal. God saue you M. parson.

Sir Hu. God plesse you all from his mercies sake now.

20 Pa. What the word and the sword, doth that agree well?

Sir Hu. There is reasons and causes in all things,

I warrant you now.

Pa. Well sir Hugh, we are come to crane

Your helpe and furtherance in a matter.

VIII. 25 Sir Hu. What is I pray you?

Pa. Ifaith tis this sir Hugh. There is an auncient friend of ours, a man of verie good sort, so at oddes with one patience, that I am sure you would hartily grieue to see him. Now sir Hugh, you are a scholler well red, and verie perswasiue, we would intreate you to see 30 if you could intreat him to patience.

Sir Hu. I pray you who is it? Let vs know that.

Pa. I am shure you know him, tis Doctor Cayus.

Sir Hu. I had as leeue you should tel me of a messe of poredge,

35 He is an arant lowsie beggerly knaue:

And he is a coward beside.

Pa. Why Ile laie my life tis the man

That he should fight withall.

Enter Doctor and the Host, they offer to fight.

Shal. Keep them asunder, take away their weapons.

40 Host. Disarme, let them question.

Shal. Let them keepe their limbs hole, and hack our English.

Doct. Harke van vrd in your eare. You be vn daga

And de Iack, coward preest.

45 Sir Hu. Harke you, let vs not be laughing stockes to other mens humors. By Ieshu I will knock your vrinalls about your knaues cock-comes, for missing your meetings and appointments.

Doct. O Ieshu mine host of de garter, Iohn Rogoby,

Haue I not met him at de place he make apoint,

Haue I not?

VIII. 50 Sir Hu. So kad vdge me, this is the pointment place,

Witnes by my Host of the garter.

Host. Peace I say gawle and gawlia, French and Wealch,

Soule curer and bodie curer.

Doc. This be verie braue, excellent.

55 Host. Peace I say, heare mine host of the garter,

Am I wise? am I polliticke? am I Matchauil?

Shal I lose my doctor? No, he giues me the motions

And the potions. Shal I lose my parson, my sir Hu?

No, he giues me the prouerbes, and the nouerbes:

60 Giue me thy hand terestiall, So giue me thy hand celestiall:

274

So boyes of art I haue deceiued you both,

I haue directed you to wrong places,

Your hearts are mightie, you skins are whole,

65 Bardolfe laie their swords to pawne. Follow me lads

Of peace, follow me. Ha, ra, la. Follow.

Exit Host.

Shal. Afore God a mad host, come let vs goe.

Doc. I begar haue you mocka may thus?

I will be euen met you my Iack Host.

70 Sir Hugh. Giue me your hand doctor Cayus,

We be all friends:

But for mine hosts foolish knauery, let me alone.

Doc. I dat be veil begar I be friends.

(Exit omnes.

Sc. ix. Enter M. Foord.

For. The time drawes on he shuld come to my house,

Well wife, you had best worke closely,

Or I am like to goe beyond your cunning:

I now wil seeke my guesse that comes to dinner,

5 And in good time see where they all are come.

Enter Shallow, Page, host, Slender, Doctor, and sir Hugh.

By my faith a knot well met: your welcome all.

Pa. I thanke you good M. Ford.

For. Welcome good M. Page,

I would your daughter were here.

10 Pa. I thank you sir, she is very well at home.

Slen. Father Page I hope I haue your consent

For Misteris Anne?

Pa. You haue sonne Slender, but my wife here,

Is altogether for maister Doctor.

15 Doc. Begar I tanck her hartily.

Host. But what say you to yong Maister Fenton?

He capers, he daunces, he writes verses, he smelles

All April and May: he wil cary it, he wil carit,

Tis in his betmes he wil carite.

20 Pa. My host not with my consent: the gentleman is

Wilde, he knowes too much: If he take her,

Let him take her simply: for my goods goes

With my liking, and my liking goes not that way.

For. Well, I pray go home with me to dinner:

IX. 25 Besides your cheare Ile shew you wonders: Ile

Shew you a monster. You shall go with me

M. Page, and so shall you sir Hugh, and you Maister Doctor.

S. Hu. If there be one in the company, I shal make two:

Doc. And dere be ven to, I sail make de tird:

275

Sir Hu, In your teeth for shame,

Shal. wel, wel, God be with you, we shall haue the fairer

Wooing at Maister Pages:

Exit Shallow and Slender.

Host. Ile to my honest knight sir Iohn Falstaffe,

And drinke Canary with him.

Exit host.

35 For. I may chance to make him drinke in pipe wine,

First come gentlemen.

Exit omnes.

Sc. x. Enter Mistresse Ford, with two of her men, and a great buck busket.

Mis. For. Sirrha, if your M. aske you whither

You carry this basket, say to the Launderers,

I hope you know how to bestow it?

Ser. I warrant you misteris.

Exit seruant.

5 Mis. For. Go get you in. Well sir Iohn,

I beleeue I shall serue you such a trick,

You shall haue little mind to come againe.

Enter Sir Iohn.

Fal. Haue I caught my heauenlie Iewel?

Why now let me die. I haue liued long inough.

10 This is the happie houre I haue desired to see,

Now shall I sin in my wish,

I would thy husband were dead.

Mis. For. Why how then sir Iohn?

Fal. By the Lord, Ide make thee my Ladie.

15 Mis. For. Alas sir Iohn, I should be a verie simple Ladie.

Fal. Goe too, I see how thy eie doth emulate the Diamond.

And how the arched bent of thy brow

Would become the ship tire, the tire vellet,

Or anie Venetian attire, I see it.

20 Mis. For. A plaine kercher sir Iohn, would fit me better.

Fal. By the Lord thou art a traitor to saie so:

What made me loue thee? Let that perswade thee

Ther’s somewhat extraordinarie in thee: Goe too I loue thee:

Mistris Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate, like one

X. 25 Of these fellowes that smels like Bucklers-berie,

In simple time, but I loue thee,

And none but thee.

Mis. For. Sir Iohn, I am afraid you loue misteris Page.

Fal. I thou mightest as well saie

30 I loue to walke by the Counter gate,

Which is as hatefull to me

As the reake of a lime kill.

276
Enter Mistresse Page.

Mis. Pa. Mistresse Ford, Mis. Ford, where are you?

Mis. For. O Lord step aside good sir Iohn.

Falstaffe stands behind the aras.

35 How now Misteris Page, what’s the matter?

Mis. Pa. Why your husband woman is comming,

With halfe Windsor at his heeles,

To looke for a gentleman, that he ses

Is hid in his house: his wifes sweet hart.

40 Mis. For. Speak louder. But I hope tis not true Misteris Page.

Mis. Pa. Tis too true woman. Therefore if you

Haue any here, away with him, or your vndone for euer.

Mis. For. Alas mistresse Page, what shall I do?

Here is a gentleman my friend, how shall I do?

45 Mis. Pa. Gode body woman, do not stand what shal I do, and what shall I do. Better any shift, rather then you shamed. Looke heere, here’s a buck-basket, if hee be a man of any reasonable sise, heele in here.

Mis. For. Alas I feare he is too big.

X. 50 Fal. Let me see, let me see, Ile in, Ile in,

Follow your friends counsell.

Mis. Pa. Fie sir Iohn, is this your loue? Go too. (Aside.

Fal. I loue thee, and none but thee:

Helpe me to conuey me hence,

55 Ile neuer come here more.

Sir Iohn goes into the basket, they put cloathes ouer him, the two men carries it away: Foord meetes it, and all the rest, Page, Doctor, Priest, Slender, Shallow.

Ford. Come pray along, you shall see all.

How now who goes heare? whither goes this?

Whither goes it? set it downe.

Mis. For. Now let it go, you had best meddle with 60 buck-washing.

Ford. Buck, good buck, pray come along,

Master Page take my keyes: helpe to search. Good

Sir Hugh pray come along, helpe a little, a little,

He shew you all.

65 Sir Hu. By Ieshu these are iealosies and distemperes.

Exit omnes.

Mis. Pa. He is in a pittifull taking.

Mis. I wonder what he thought

When my husband bad them set downe the basket.

Mis. Pa. Hang him dishonest slaue, we cannot vse

Him bad inough. This is excellent for your

277

Husbands iealousie.

Mi. For. Alas poore soule it grieues me at the hart,

But this will be a meanes to make him cease

His iealous fits, if Falstaffes love increase.

X. 75 Mis. Pa. Nay we wil send to Falstaffe once again,

Tis great pittie we should leaue him:

What wiues may be merry, and yet honest too.

Mi. For. Shall we be condemnd because we laugh?

Tis old, but true: still sowes eate all the draffe.

Enter all.

80 Mis. Pa. Here comes your husband, stand aside.

For. I can find no body within, it may be he lied.

Mis. Pa. Did you heare that?

Mis. For. I, I, peace.

For. Well, Ile not let it go so, yet Ile trie further.

85 S. Hu. By Ieshu if there be any body in the kitchin

Or the cuberts, or the presse, or the buttery,

I am an arrant Iew: now God plesse me:

You serue me well, do you not?

Pa. Fie M. Ford you are too blame:

90 Mis. Pa. I faith tis not well M. Ford to suspect

Her thus without cause.

Doc. No by my trot it be no vell:

For. Wel, I pray bear with me, M. Page pardon me.

I suffer for it, I suffer for it:

95 Sir Hu: You suffer for a bad conscience looke you now:

Ford: Well I pray no more, another time Ile tell you all:

The mean time go dine with me, pardon me wife,

I am sorie; M. Page, pray goe in to dinner,

Another time Ile tell you all.

X. 100 Pa: Wel let it be so, and to morrow I inuite you all

To my house to dinner: and in the morning weele

A birding, I haue an excellent Hauke for the bush.

Ford: Let it be so: Come M. Page, come wife;

I pray you come in all, y’are welcome, pray come in.

105 Sir Hu: By so kad vdgme, M. Fordes is

Not in his right wittes:

Exit omnes:

Sc. xi. Enter sir Iohn Falstaffe.

Fal: Bardolfe brew me a pottle sack presently:

Bar: With Egges sir?

Fal: Simply of it selfe, Ile none of these pullets sperme

278

In my drink: goe make haste.

5 Haue I liued to be carried in a basket

And throwne into the Thames like a barow of Butchers offoll. Well, and I be serued such another tricke, Ile giue them leaue to take out my braines and butter them, and giue them to a dog for a new-yeares gift. Sblood, the rogues slided me in with as little remorse as if they 10 had gone to drowne a blinde bitches puppies in the litter: and they might know by my sise I haue a kind of alacritie in sinking: and the bottom had bin as deep as hell I should downe. I had bene drowned, but that the shore was sheluie and somewhat shallowe: a death that I abhorre. For you know the water swelles a man: and what a thing 15 should I haue bene when I had bene swelled? By the Lord a mountaine of money. Now is the Sacke brewed?

Bar. I sir, there’s a woman below would speake with you.

Fal. Bid her come vp. Let me put some Sacke among this cold water, for my belly is as cold as if I had swallowed snow-balles 20 for pilles.

Enter Mistresse Quickly.

Now whats the newes with you?

Quic. I come from misteris Ford forsooth.

Fal. Misteris Ford, I haue had Ford inough,

I haue bene throwne into the Ford, my belly is full

XI. 25 Of Ford: she hath tickled mee.

Quic. O Lord sir, she is the sorrowfullest woman that her seruants mistooke, that euer liued. And sir, she would desire you of all loues you will meet her once againe, to morrow sir, betweene ten and eleuen, and she hopes to make amends for all.

30 Fal. Ten, and eleuen, saiest thou?

Quic. I forsooth.

Fal. Well, tell her Ile meet her. Let her but think

Of mans frailtie: Let her iudge what man is,

And then thinke of me. And so farwell.

35 Quic. Youle not faile sir?

Exit mistresse Quickly.

Fal. I will not faile. Commend me to her.

I wonder I heare not of M. Brooke, I like his

Mony well. By the masse here he is.

Enter Brooke.

For. God saue you sir.

40 Fal. Welcome good M. Brooke. You come to know how matters goes.

Ford. Thats my comming indeed sir Iohn.

Fal. M. Brooke I will not lye to you sir,

279

I was there at my appointed time.

45 For. And how sped you sir?

Fal. Verie ilfauouredly sir.

For. Why sir, did she change her determination?

Fal. No M. Brooke, but you shall heare. After we had kissed and imbraced, and as it were euen amid the prologue of our incounter, XI. 50 who should come, but the iealous knaue her husband, and a rabble of his companions at his heeles, thither prouoked and instigated by his distemper. And what to do thinke you? to search for his wiues loue. Euen so, plainly so.

For. While ye were there?

55 Fal. Whilst I was there.

For. And did he search and could not finde you?

Fal. You shall heare sir, as God would haue it,

A litle before comes me one Pages wife,

Giues her intelligence of her husbands

60 Approach: and by her inuention, and Fords wiues

Distraction, conueyd me into a buck-basket.

Ford. A buck basket!

Fal. By the Lord a buck-basket, rammed me in

With foule shirts, stokins, greasie napkins,

65 That M. Brooke, there was a compound of the most

Villanous smel, that euer offended nostrill.

Ile tell you M. Brooke, by the Lord for your sake

I suffered three egregious deaths: First to be

Crammed like a good bilbo, in the circomference

70 Of a pack, Hilt to point, heele to head: and then to

Be stewed in my owne grease like a Dutch dish:

A man of my kidney; by the Lord it was maruell I

Escaped suffication; and in the heat of all this,

To be throwne into Thames like a horshoo hot:

XI. 75 Maister Brooke, thinke of that hissing heate, Maister Brooke.

Ford. Well sir then my shute is void?

Youle vndertake it no more?

Fal. M. Brooke, Ile be throwne into Etna

As I haue bene in the Thames,

80 Ere I thus leaue her: I haue receiued

Another appointment of meeting,

Betweene ten and eleuen is the houre.

Ford: Why sir, tis almost ten alreadie:

Fal: Is it? why then will I addresse my selfe

85 For my appointment: M. Brooke, come to me soone

At night, and you shall know how I speed,

And the end shall be, you shall enjoy her loue:

280

You shall cuckold Foord: come to mee soone at at night.

Exit Falstaffe.

For. Is this a dreame? Is it a vision?

90 Maister Ford, maister Ford, awake maister Ford,

There is a hole made in your best coat M. Ford,

And a man shall not onely endure this wrong,

But shall stand vnder the taunt of names,

Lucifer is a good name, Barbason good: good

95 Diuels names: but cuckold, wittold, godeso

The diuel himselfe hath not such a name:

And they may hang hats here, and napkins here

Vpon my homes: well Ile home, I ferit him,

And vnlesse the diuel himselfe should aide him.

XI. 100 Ile search vnpossible places: Ile about it, Least

I repent too late:

Exit omnes.

Sc. xii. Enter M. Fenton, Page, and mistresse Quickly.

Fen: Tell me sweet Nan, how doest thou yet resolue,

Shall foolish Slender haue thee to his wife?

Or one as wise as he, the learned Doctor?

Shall such as they enjoy thy maiden hart?

5 Thou knowst that I haue alwaies loued thee deare,

And thou hast oft times swore the like to me.

An: Good M. Fenton, you may assure your selfe

My hart is setled vpon none but you,

Tis as my father and mother please:

10 Get their consent, you quickly shall haue mine.

Fen: Thy father thinks I loue thee for his wealth,

Tho I must needs confesse at first that drew me,

But since thy vertues wiped that trash away,

I loue thee Nan, and so deare is it set,

15 That whilst I liue, I nere shall thee forget.

[Quic:] Godes pitie here comes her father.

Enter M. Page his wife, M. Shallow, and Slender.

Pa. M. Fenton I pray what make you here?

You know my answere sir, shees not for you:

Knowing my vow, to blame to vse me thus.

20 Fen. But heare me speake sir.

Pa. Pray sir get you gon: Come hither daughter,

Sonne Slender let me speak with you. (they whisper.

Quic. Speake to misteris Page.

Fen. Pray misteris Page let me haue your consent.

281

Mis. Pa. Ifaith M. Fenton tis as my husband please.

For my part, Ile neither hinder you, nor further you.

Quic. How say you this was my doings?

I bid you speake to misteris Page.

Fen. Here nurse, theres a brace of angels to drink,

30 Worke what thou canst for me, farwell. (Exit Fen.

Quic. By my troth so I will, good hart.

Pa. Come wife, you an I will in, weele leaue M. Slender

And my daughter to talke together. M. Shallow,

You may stay sir if you please.

Exit Page and his wife.

35 Shal. Mary I thanke you for that:

To her cousin, to her.

Slen. Ifaith I know not what to say.

An. Now M. Slender, what’s your will?

40 Slen. Godeso, theres a Iest indeed: why misteris An, I neuer made will yet: I thank God I am wise inough for that.

Shal. Fie cusse fie, thou art not right,

O thou hadst a father.

Slen. I had a father misteris Anne, good vncle

Tell the Iest how my father stole the goose out of

45 The henloft. All this is nought, harke you mistresse Anne.

Shal. He will make you ioynter of three hundred pound a yeare, he shall make you a Gentlewoman.

Slend. I be God that I vill, come cut and long taile, as good as any is in Glostershire, vnder the degree of a Squire.

XII. 50 An. O God how many grosse faults are hid

And couered in three hundred pound a yeare?

Well M. Slender, within a day or two Ile tell you more.

Slend. I thanke you good misteris Anne, vncle I shall haue her.

Quic. M. Shallow, M. Page would pray you to come you, and you 55 M. Slender, and you mistris An.

Slend. Well Nurse, if youle speake for me,

Ile giue you more than Ile talke of.

Exit omnes but Quickly.

Quic. Indeed I will, Ile speake what I can for you,

But specially for M. Fenton:

60 But specially of all for my Maister.

And indeed I will do what I can for them all three.

Exit.

Enter misteris Ford and her two men.

Mis. For. Do you heare? when your M. comes take vp this basket as you did before, and if your M. bid you set it downe, obey him.

65 Ser. I will forsooth.

Enter Syr Iohn.

Mis. For. Syr Iohn welcome.

282

Fal. What are you sure of your husband now?

Mis. For. He is gone a birding sir Iohn, and I hope will not come home yet.

Enter mistresse Page.

70 Gods body here is misteris Page,

Step behind the arras good sir Iohn.

He steps behind the arras.

Mis. Pa. Misteris Ford, why woman your husband is in his old vaine againe, hees comming to search for your sweet heart, but I am glad he is not here.

XII. 75 Mis. For. O God misteris Page the knight is here,

What shall I do?

Mis. Pa. Why then you’r vndone woman, vnles you make some meanes to shift him away.

Mis. For. Alas I know no meanes, unlesse 80 we put him in the basket againe.

Fal. No Ile come no more in the basket,

Ile creep vp into the chimney.

Mis For. There they use to discharge their Fowling peeces.

Fal. Why then Ile goe out of doores.

85 Mi. Pa. Then your vndone, your but a dead man.

Fal. For Gods sake deuise any extremitie,

Rather then a mischiefe.

Mis. Pa. Alas I know not what meanes to make,

If there were any womans apparell would fit him,

90 He might put on a gowne and a mufler, And so escape.

Mi. For. Thats wel remembred, my maids Aunt

Gillian of Brainford, hath a gowne aboue.

Mis. Pa. And she is altogether as fat as he.

95 Mis. For. I that will serue him of my word.

Mis. Pa. Come goe with me sir Iohn, Ile helpe to dresse you.

Fal. Come for God sake, any thing.

Exit Mis. Page and Sir Iohn.

Enter M. Ford, Page, Priest, Shallow, the two men carries the basket, and Ford meets it.

For. Come along I pray, you shal know the cause,

How now whither goe you? Ha whither go you?

XII. 100 Set downe the basket you ssaue,

You panderly rogue, set it downe.

Mis. For. What is the reason that you vse me thus?

For. Come hither set downe the basket,

283

Misteris Ford the modest woman,

105 Misteris Ford the vertuous woman,

She that hath the iealous foole to her husband,

I mistrust you without cause do I not?

Mis. For. I Gods my record do you. And if

you mistrust me in any ill sort.

110 Ford. Well sed brazen face, hold it out,

You youth in a basket, come out here,

Pull out the cloathes, search.

Hu. Ieshu plesse me, will you pull vp your wiues cloathes.

Pa. Fie M. Ford, you are not to go abroad if you be in these fits.

115 Sir Hugh. By so kad vdge me, tis verie necessarie

He were put in pethlem.

For. M. Page, as I am an honest man M. Page,

There was one conueyd out of my house here yesterday out of this basket, why may he not be here now?

120 Mi. For. Come mistris Page, bring the old woman downe.

For. Old woman, what old woman?

Mi. For. Why my maidens Ant, Gillian of Brainford.

A witch, haue I not forewarned her my house,

Alas we are simple we, we know not what

XII. 125 Is brought to passe vnder the colour of fortune-Telling.

Come downe you witch, come downe.

Enter Falstaffe disguised like an old woman, and misteris Page with him, Ford beates him, and hee runnes away.

Away you witch get you gone.

Sir Hu. By Ieshu I verily thinke she is a witch indeed,

I espied vnder her mufler a great beard.

130 Ford. Pray come helpe me to search, pray now.

Pa. Come weele go for his minds sake.

Exit omnes.

Mi. For. By my troth he beat him most extreamly.

Mi. Pa. I am glad of it, what shall we proceed any further?

Mi. For. No faith, now if you will let vs tell our husbands of it.

135 For mine I am sure hath almost fretted himselfe to death.

Mi. Pa. Content, come weele go tell them all,

And as they agree, so will we proceed.

Exit both.

Sc. xiii. Enter Host and Bardolfe.

Bar. Syr heere be three Gentlemen come from the Duke the Stanger sir, would haue your horse.

Host. The Duke, what Duke? let me speake with the Gentlemen, do they speake English?

5 Bar. He call them to you sir.

284

Host. No Bardolfe, let them alone, He sauce them:

They haue had my house a weeke at command,

I haue turned away my other guesse,

They shall haue my horses Bardolfe,

10 They must come off, He sawce them.

Exit omnes.

Sc. xiv. Enter Ford, Page, their wives, Shallow and Slender, Syr Hu.

Ford. Well wife, heere take my hand, vpon my soule I loue thee dearer then I do my life, and ioy I haue so true and constant wife, my iealousie shall neuer more offend thee.

Mi. For. Sir I am glad, and that which I haue done,

5 Was nothing else but mirth and modestie.

Pa. I misteris Ford, Falstaffe hath all the griefe,

And in this knauerie my wife was the chiefe.

Mi. Pa. No knauery husband, it was honest mirth.

Hu. Indeed it was good pastimes & merriments.

10 Mis. For. But sweete heart shall wee leaue olde Falstaffe so?

Mis. Pa. O by no meanes, send to him againe.

Pa. I do not thinke heele come being so much deceiued.

For.    Let me alone, Ile to him once again like Brooke, and know his mind whether heele come or not.

15 Pa. There must be some plot laide, or heele not come.

Mis. Pa. Let vs alone for that. Heare my deuice.

Oft haue you heard since Horne the hunter dyed,

That women to affright their litle children,

Ses that he walkes in shape of a great stagge.

20 Now for that Falstaffe hath bene so deceiued,

As that he dares not venture to the house,

Weele send him word to meet vs in the field,

Disguised like Horne, with huge horns on his head.

The houre shalbe iust betweene twelue and one,

XIV. 25 And at that time we will meet him both:

Then would I haue you present there at hand,

With litle boyes disguised and dressed like Fayries,

For to affright fat Falstaffe in the woods.

And then to make a period to the Iest,

30 Tell Falstaffe all, I thinke this will do best.

Pa. Tis excellent, and my daughter Anne,

Shall like a litle Fayrie be disguised.

Mis. Pa. And in that Maske Ile make the Doctor steale my daughter An, and ere my husband knowes it, to carrie her to Church, 35 and marrie her.

Mis. For. But who will buy the silkes to tyre the boyes?

Pa. That will I do, and in a robe of white

285

Ile cloath my daughter, and aduertise Slender

To know her by that signe, and steale her thence,

40 And vnknowne to my wife, shall marrie her.

Hu. So kad vdge me the deuises is excellent.

I will also be there, and will be like a Iackanapes,

And pinch him most cruelly for his lecheries.

Mis. Pa. Why then we are reuenged sufficiently.

45 First he was carried and throwne in the Thames,

Next beaten well, I am sure youle witnes that.

Mi. For. Ile lay my life this makes him nothing fat.

Pa. Well lets about this stratagem, I long

To see deceit deceiued, and wrong haue wrong.

XIV. 50 For. Well send to Falstaffe, and if he come thither,

Twill make vs smile and laugh one moneth togither.

Exit omnes.

Sc. xv. Enter Host and Simple.

Host. What would thou haue boore, what thick-skin?

Speake, breath, discus, short, quick, briefe, snap.

Sim. Sir, I am sent from my M. to sir Iohn Falstaffe.

Host. Sir Iohn, theres his Castle, his standing bed, his trundle 5 bed, his chamber is painted about with the story of the prodigall, fresh and new, goe knock, heele speak like an Antripophiginian to thee:

Knock I say.

Sim. Sir I should speak with an old woman that went vp into 10 his chamber.

Host. An old woman, the knight may be robbed, Ile call bully knight, bully sir Iohn. Speake from thy Lungs military: it is thine host, thy Ephesian calls.

Fal. Now mine host,

15 Host: Here is a Bohemian tarter bully, tarries the comming downe of the fat woman: Let her descend bully, let her descend, my chambers are honorable, pah priuasie, fie.

Fal. Indeed mine host there was a fat woman with me,

But she is gone.

Enter sir Iohn.

20 Sim. Pray sir, was it not the wise woman of Brainford?

Fal. Marry was it Musselshell, what would you?

Sim. Marry sir my maister Slender sent me to her,

To know whether one Nim that hath his chaine,

Cousoned him of it, or no.

XV. 25 Fal. I talked with the woman about it.

Sim. And I pray you sir what ses she?

Fal. Marry she ses the very same man that

286

Beguiled maister Slender of his chaine,

Cousoned him of it.

30 Sim. May I be bolde to tell my maister so sir?

Fal. I tike, who more bolde.

Sim. I thanke you sir, I shall make my maister a glad man at these tydings, God be with you sir.

Exit.

Host. Thou art clarkly sir Iohn, thou art clarkly,

35 Was there a wise woman with thee?

Fal. Marry was there mine host, one that taught

Me more wit then I learned this 7. yeare,

And I paid nothing for it,

But was paid for my learning.

Enter Bardolfe.

40 Bar. O lord sir cousonage, plaine cousonage.

Host. Why man, where be my horses? where be the Germanes?

Bar. Rid away with your horses:

After I came beyond Maidenhead,

They flung me in a slow of myre, & away they ran.

Enter Doctor.

45 Doc. Where be my Host de gartyre?

Host. O here sir in perplexitie.

Doc. I cannot tell vad be dad,

But begar I will tell you van ting,

Dear be a Garmaine Duke come to de Court,

XV. 50 Has cosened all the host of Branford,

And Redding: begar I tell you for good will,

Ha, ha, mine Host, am I euen met you?

Exit.

Enter Sir Hugh.

Sir Hu. Where is mine host of the gartyr?

Now my Host, I would desire you looke you now,

55 To haue a care of your entertainments,

For there is three sorts of cosen garmombles,

Is cosen all the Host of Maidenhead and Readings,

Now you are an honest man, and a scuruy beggerly lowsie knaue beside:

60 And can point wrong places,

I tell you for good will, grate why mine Host.

Exit.

Host. I am cosened Hugh, and coy Bardolfe,

Sweet knight assist me, I am cosened.

Exit.

Fal. Would all the worell were cosened for me,

65 For I am cousoned and beaten too.

Well, I neuer prospered since I forswore

Myselfe at Primero: and my winde

287

Were but long inough to say my prayers,

Ide repent, now from whence come you?

Enter Mistresse Quickly.

70 Quic. From the two parties forsooth.

Fal. The diuell take the one partie,

And his dam the other,

And theyle be both bestowed.

I haue endured more for their sakes,

XV. 75 Then man is able to endure.

Quic. O Lord sir, they are the sorowfulst creatures

That euer liued: specially mistresse Ford,

Her husband hath beaten her that she is all

Blacke and blew poore soule.

80 Fal. What tellest me of blacke and blew,

I haue bene beaten all the colours in the Rainbow,

And in my escape like to a bene apprehended

For a witch of Brainford, and set in the stockes.

Quic. Well sir, she is a sorrowfull woman,

85 And I hope when you heare my errant,

Youle be perswaded to the contrarie.

Fal. Come goe with me into my chamber, Ile heare thee.

Exit omnes.

Sc. xvi. Enter Host and Fenton.

Host. Speake not to me sir, my mind is heauie,

I haue had a great losse.

Fen. Yet heare me, and as I am a gentleman,

Ile giue you a hundred pound toward your losse.

5 Host. Well sir Ile heare you, and at least keep your counsell.

Fen. Then thus my host. Tis not vnknown to you,

The feruent loue I beare to young Anne Page,

And mutally her loue againe to mee:

But her father still against her choise,

10 Doth seeke to marrie her to foolish Slender,

And in a robe of white this night disguised,

Wherein fat Falstaffe had a mightie scare,

Must Slender take her and carrie her to Catlen,

And there vnknowne to any, marrie her.

15 Now her mother still against that match,

And firme for Doctor Cayus, in a robe of red

By her deuice, the Doctor must steale her thence,

288

And she hath giuen consent to goe with him.

Host. Now which meanes she to deceiue, father or mother?

20 Fen. Both my good Host, to go along with me.

Now here it rests, that you would procure a priest,

And tarry readie at the appointment place,

To giue our harts vnited matrimonie.

Host. But how will you come to steale her from among them?

XVI. 25 Fen. That hath sweet Nan and I agreed vpon,

And by a robe of white, the which she weares,

With ribones pendant flaring bout her head,

I shalbe sure to know her, and conuey her thence,

And bring her where the priest abides our comming,

30 And by thy furtherance there be married.

Host. Well, husband your deuice, Ile to the Vicar,

Bring you the maide, you shall not lacke a Priest.

Fen. So shall I euermore be bound vnto thee,

Besides Ile always be thy faithful friend.

Exit omnes.

Sc. xvii. Enter sir Iohn with a Bucks head upon him.

Fal. This is the third time, well Ile venter,

They say there is good luck in old numbers,

[Ioue transform’d himselfe into a Bull,]

And I am here a Stag, and I thinke the fattest

5 In all Windsor forrest: well I stand here

For Horne the hunter, waiting my Does comming.

Enter mistris Page and mistris Ford.

Mis. Pa. Sir Iohn, where are you?

Fal. Art thou come my doe? What and thou too?

Welcome Ladies.

10 Mi. For. I I sir Iohn, I see you will not faile,

Therefore you deserue far better then our loues,

But it grieues me for your late crosses.

Fal. This makes amends for all.

Come diuide me betweene you, each a hanch,

15 For my horns Ile bequeath them to your husbands,

Do I speake like Horne the hunter, ha?

Mis. Pa. God forgiue me, what noise is this?

There is a noise of hornes, the two women run away.

Enter sir Hugh like a Satyre, and boyes drest like Fayries, mistresse Quickly, like the Queene of Fayries: they sing a song about him, and afterward speake.

Quic: You Fayries that do haunt these shady groues,

Looke round about the wood if you can espie

289

A mortall that doth haunt our sacred round:

If such a one you can espy, giue him his due,

And leaue not till you pinch him blacke and blew:

Giue them their charge Puck ere they part away.

Sir Hu. Come hither Peane, goe to the countrie houses,

XVII. 25 And when you finde a slut that lies a sleepe,

And all her dishes foule, and roome vnswept,

With youre long nailes pinch her till she crie,

And sweare to mend her sluttish huswiferie.

Fai. I warrant you I will perform your will.

30 Hu. Where is Pead? Go and see where Brokers sleep,

And Foxe-eyed Seriants with their mase,

Goe laie the proctors in the street,

And pinch the lowsie Seriants face:

Spare none of these when they are a bed,

35 But such whose nose lookes plew and red.

Quic. Away begon, his mind fulfill,

And looke that none of you stand still.

Some do that thing, some do this,

All do something, none amis.

40 Hir Hu. I smell a man of middle earth.

Fal. God blesse me from that wealch Fairie.

Quic. Looke euery one about this round,

And if that any here be found,

For his presumption in this place,

45 Spare neither legge, arme, head, nor face.

Sir Hu. See I haue spied one by good luck,

His bodie man, his head a buck.

Fal. God send me good fortune now, and I care not.

Quick. Go strait, and do as I commaund,

XVII. 50 And take a Taper in your hand,

And set it to his fingers endes,

And if you see it him offends,

And that he starteth at the flame,

Then is he mortall, know his name:

55 If with an F. it doth begin,

Why then be shure he is full of sin.

About it then, and know the truth,

Of this same metamorphised youth.

Sir Hugh. Giue me the Tapers, I will try

60 And if that he loue venery.

They put the Tapers to his fingers, and he starts.

Sir Hu. It is right indeed, he is full of lecheries and iniquitie.

290

Quic. A little distant from him stand,

And euery one take hand in hand,

And compasse him within a ring,

65 First pinch him well, and after sing.

Here they pinch him, and sing about him, and the Doctor comes one way and steales away a boy in red. And Slender another way he takes a boy in greene: And Fenton steales misteris Anne, being in white. And a noyse of hunting is made within; and all the Fairies runne away. Falstaffe pulles off his bucks head, and rises vp. And enters M. Page, M. Ford, and their wiues, M. Shallow, sir Hugh.

Fal. Horne the hunter quoth you: am I ghost?

Sblood the Fairies hath made a ghost of me:

What hunting at this time at night?

He lay my life the mad prince of Wales

70 Is stealing his fathers Deare. How now who haue we here, what is all Windsor stirring? Are you there?

Shal. God saue you sir Iohn Falstaffe.

Sir Hu. God plesse you sir Iohn, God plesse you.

Pa. Why how now sir Iohn, what a pair of horns in your XVII. 75 hand?

For. Those hornes he ment to place vpon my head,

And M. Brooke and he should be the men:

Why how now sir Iohn, why are you thus amazed?

We know the Fairies man that pinched you so,

80 Your throwing in the Thames, your beating well,

And what’s to come sir Iohn, that can we tell.

Mi. Pa. Sir Iohn tis thus, your dishonest meanes

To call our credits into question,

Did make vs vndertake to our best,

85 To turn your leaud lust to a merry Iest.

Fal. Iest, tis well, haue I liued to these yeares

To be gulled now, now to be ridden?

Why then these were not Fairies?

Mis. Pa. No sir Iohn but boyes.

90 Fal. By the Lord I was twice or thrise in the mind

They were not, and yet the grosnesse

Of the fopperie perswaded me they were.

Well, and the fine wits of the Court heare this,

Thayle so whip me with their keene Iests,

95 That thayle melt me out like tallow,

Drop by drop out of my grease. Boyes!

Sir Hu. I trust me boyes Sir Iohn: and I was

291

Also a Fairie that did helpe to pinch you.

Fal. I, tis well I am your May-pole,

XVII. 100 You haue the start of mee,

Am I ridden too with a wealch goate?

With a peece of toasted cheese?

Sir Hu. Butter is better then cheese sir Iohn,

You are all butter, butter.

105 For. There is a further matter yet sir Iohn,

There’s 20. pound you borrowed of M. Brooke sir Iohn,

And it must be paid to M. Ford sir Iohn.

Mi. For. Nay husband let that go to make amends,

Forgiue that sum, and so weele all be friends.

110 For. Well here is my hand, all’s forgiuen at last.

Fal. It hath cost me well,

I haue beene well pinched and washed.

Enter the Doctor.

Mi. Pa. Now M. Doctor, sonne I hope you are.

Doct. Sonne begar you be de ville voman,

115 Begar I tinck to marry metres An, and begar

Tis a whorson garson Iack boy.

Mis. Pa. How a boy?

Doct. I begar a boy.

Pa. Nay be not angry wife, Ile tell thee true,

120 It was my plot to deceiue thee so:

And by this time your daughter’s married

To M. Slender, and see where he comes.

Enter Slender.

Now sonne Slender,

Where’s your bride?

XVII. 125 Slen. Bride, by Gods lyd I thinke theres neuer a man in the worell hath that crosse fortune that I haue: begod I could cry for verie anger.

Page. Why whats the matter sonne Slender?

Slen. Sonne, nay by God I am none of your son.

130 Pa. No, why so?

Slen. Why so God saue me, tis a boy that I haue married.

Page. How, a boy? why did you mistake the word?

Slen. No neither, for I came to her in red as you bad me, and I cried mum, and hee cried budget, so well as euer you heard, and I 135 haue married him.

292

Sir Hugh. Ieshu M. Slender, cannot you see but marrie boyes?

Pa. O I am vext at hart, what shal I do?

Enter Fenton and Anne.

Mis. Pa. Here comes the man that hath deceiued vs all:

How now daughter, where haue you bin?

140 An. At Curch forsooth.

Pa. At Church, what haue you done there?

Fen. Married to me, nay sir neuer storme,

Tis done sir now, and cannot be vndone.

Ford: Ifaith M. Page neuer chafe your selfe,

145 She hath made her choise wheras her hart was fixt,

Then tis in vaine for you to storme or fret.

Fal. I am glad yet that your arrow hath glanced.

Mi. For. Come mistris Page, Ile be bold with you,

Tis pitie to part loue that is so true.

XVII. 150 Mis. Pa. Altho that I haue missed in my intent,

Yet I am glad my husbands match was crossed,

Here M. Fenton, take her, and God giue thee ioy.

Sir Hu: Come M. Page, you must needs agree.

Fo. I yfaith sir come, you see your wife is wel pleased:

155 Pa. I cannot tel, and yet my hart’s well eased,

And yet it doth me good the Doctor missed.

Come hither Fenton, and come hither daughter,

Go too you might haue stai’d for my good will,

But since your choise is made of one you loue,

160 Here take her Fenton, & both happie proue.

Sir. Hu. I wil also dance & eate plums at your weddings.

For. All parties pleased, now let vs in to feast,

And laugh at Slender and the Doctors ieast.

He hath got the maiden, each of you a boy

165 To waite vpon you, so God giue you ioy,

And sir Iohn Falstaffe now shal you keep your word,

For Brooke this night shall lye with mistris Ford.

Exit omnes.

FINIS.


CRITICAL APPARATUS
(“Linenotes”).

Scene I.

28: strait] straight Halliwell.

85: yon] om.

Scene III.

60: were] we are.

Scene IV.

24: and] if.

26: who] hoe.

31: doore] the doore.

Scene V.

5: grant] grant. Halliwell.

15: twice] but twice.

31: kindnes] kindness Halliwell.

61: melancholy?] melancholy. Halliwell.

93: to you] t’ e.

108: Rrooke] Brooke.

Scene VI.

7: mistrisse] mistresse Halliwell.

8: ho-] honesty.

13: A] I Halliwell.

37: let me] I.

stands vpon] that stands on.

52: they could] could they.

58: iealousie] iealous.

72: bodie] booty.

75: a the] ath the.

124: And] If.

Scene VII.

24: me] be.

45: a feasting] feasting.

46: bully] bully. Halliwell.

48: gesse] guests.

patinces] patients.

Scene XI.

[Sc. xi.] add and Bardolfe.

7, 11: and] if.

49: euen] om.

80: I thus] thus I

88: at at] at.

Scene XII.

[Sc. xii.] Page] Anne Page.

16: [Quic:] from the Catchword.

69: home] om.

98: Priest] Hugh.

115: By so] So.

120: Come] om.

123: A witch.] For. A witch.

Scene XIV.

10: and Slender] Slender and.

The number 10 refers to the last line of Scene XIII, carried over to the “Enter...” line in Scene XIV. In the original text, the two line 10’s were printed on the same page.

14: ins. he speakes aboue.

Scene XV.

81: bene] om.

Scene XVII.

59: Tapers] Torches.

79: so] om.

93: and] if.

101: ridden] written.

131: that] om. Halliwell.

138: the man] he.

140: Curch] Church Halliwell.

147: that] then Halliwell.

154: I yfaith] I faith.

161: also] om.

Sources

The Quarto editions of The Merry Wives of Windsor are described in the introduction to the play.

The general Preface (e-text 23041) discusses the 17th- and 18th-century editions in detail; the newer (19th-century) editions are simply listed by name. The following editions may appear in the Notes. All inset text is quoted from the Preface.

Folios:
F1 1623; F2 (no date given); F3 1663; F4 1685.

“The five plays contained in this volume occur in the first Folio in the same order, and ... were there printed for the first time.”

Early editions:
Rowe 1709
Pope 1715

“Pope was the first to indicate the place of each new scene; as, for instance, Tempest, I. 1. ‘On a ship at sea.’ He also subdivided the scenes as given by the Folios and Rowe, making a fresh scene whenever a new character entered—an arrangement followed by Hanmer, Warburton, and Johnson. For convenience of reference to these editions, we have always recorded the commencement of Pope’s scenes.”

Theobald 1733
Hanmer (“Oxford edition”) 1744
Warburton 1747
Johnson 1765
Capell 1768; also Capell’s annotated copy of F2
Steevens 1773
Malone 1790
Reed 1803

Later editions:
Singer, Knight, Cornwall, Collier, Phelps, Halliwell, Dyce, Staunton

Produced by Louise Hope, Jonathan Ingram and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/Canadian Libraries)