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The Merry Wives of Windsor

ACT I

SCENE I. Windsor. Before PAGE's house.

SHALLOWSir 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.
SLENDERIn the county of Gloucester, justice of peace and
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 5'Coram.'
SHALLOWAy, cousin Slender, and 'Custalourum.
SLENDERAy, and 'Rato-lorum' too; and a gentleman born,
master parson; who writes himself 'Armigero,' in any
bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, 'Armigero.'
SHALLOWAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 10Ay, that I do; and have done any time these three
hundred years.
SLENDERAll his successors gone before him hath done't; and
all his ancestors that come after him may: they may
give the dozen white luces in their coat.
SHALLOWAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 15It is an old coat.
SIR HUGH EVANSThe dozen white louses do become an old coat well;
it agrees well, passant; it is a familiar beast to
man, and signifies love.
SHALLOWThe luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.
SLENDERAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 20I may quarter, coz.
SHALLOWYou may, by marrying.
SIR HUGH EVANSIt is marring indeed, if he quarter it.
SHALLOWNot a whit.
SIR HUGH EVANSYes, py'r lady; if he has a quarter of your coat,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 25there is but three skirts for yourself, in my
simple conjectures: but that is all one. If Sir
John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto
you, I am of the church, and will be glad to do my
benevolence to make atonements and compremises
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 30between you.
SHALLOWThe council shall bear it; it is a riot.
SIR HUGH EVANSIt 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 35riot; take your vizaments in that.
SHALLOWHa! o' my life, if I were young again, the sword
should end it.
SIR HUGH EVANSIt is petter that friends is the sword, and end it:
and there is also another device in my prain, which
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 40peradventure prings goot discretions with it: there
is Anne Page, which is daughter to Master Thomas
Page, which is pretty virginity.
SLENDERMistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks
small like a woman.
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 45It 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
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 50old: it were a goot motion if we leave our pribbles
and prabbles, and desire a marriage between Master
Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.
SLENDERDid her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?
SIR HUGH EVANSAy, and her father is make her a petter penny.
SLENDERAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 55I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.
SIR HUGH EVANSSeven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts.
SHALLOWWell, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff there?
SIR HUGH EVANSShall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar as I do
despise one that is false, or as I despise one that
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 60is 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.
What, hoa! Got pless your house here!
PAGE Who's there?
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 65Here 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.
PAGEI am glad to see your worships well.
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 70I thank you for my venison, Master Shallow.
SHALLOWMaster Page, I am glad to see you: much good do it
your good heart! I wished your venison better; it
was ill killed. How doth good Mistress Page? — and I
thank you always with my heart, la! with my heart.
PAGEAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 75Sir, I thank you.
SHALLOWSir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.
PAGEI am glad to see you, good Master Slender.
SLENDERHow does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say he
was outrun on Cotsall.
PAGEAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 80It could not be judged, sir.
SLENDERYou'll not confess, you'll not confess.
SHALLOWThat he will not. 'Tis your fault, 'tis your fault;
'tis a good dog.
PAGEA cur, sir.
SHALLOWAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 85Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog: can there be
more said? he is good and fair. Is Sir John
Falstaff here?
PAGESir, he is within; and I would I could do a good
office between you.
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 90It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
SHALLOWHe hath wronged me, Master Page.
PAGESir, he doth in some sort confess it.
SHALLOWIf it be confessed, it is not redress'd: is not that
so, Master Page? He hath wronged me; indeed he
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 95hath, at a word, he hath, believe me: Robert
Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wronged.
PAGEHere comes Sir John.
FALSTAFFNow, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me to the king?
SHALLOWKnight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer, and
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 100broke open my lodge.
FALSTAFFBut not kissed your keeper's daughter?
SHALLOWTut, a pin! this shall be answered.
FALSTAFFI will answer it straight; I have done all this.
That is now answered.
SHALLOWAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 105The council shall know this.
FALSTAFF'Twere better for you if it were known in counsel:
you'll be laughed at.
SIR HUGH EVANSPauca verba, Sir John; goot worts.
FALSTAFFGood worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke your
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 110head: what matter have you against me?
SLENDERMarry, sir, I have matter in my head against you;
and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph,
Nym, and Pistol.
BARDOLPHYou Banbury cheese!
SLENDERAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 115Ay, it is no matter.
PISTOLHow now, Mephostophilus!
SLENDERAy, it is no matter.
NYMSlice, I say! pauca, pauca: slice! that's my humour.
SLENDERWhere's Simple, my man? Can you tell, cousin?
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 120Peace, I pray you. Now let us understand. There is
three umpires in this matter, as I understand; that
is, Master Page, fidelicet Master Page; and there is
myself, fidelicet myself; and the three party is,
lastly and finally, mine host of the Garter.
PAGEAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 125We three, to hear it and end it between them.
SIR HUGH EVANSFery goot: I will make a prief of it in my note-
book; and we will afterwards ork upon the cause with
as great discreetly as we can.
FALSTAFFPistol!
PISTOLAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 130He hears with ears.
SIR HUGH EVANSThe tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, 'He
hears with ear'? why, it is affectations.
FALSTAFFPistol, did you pick Master Slender's purse?
SLENDERAy, by these gloves, did he, or I would I might
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 135never come in mine own great chamber again else, of
seven groats in mill-sixpences, and two Edward
shovel-boards, that cost me two shilling and two
pence apiece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
FALSTAFFIs this true, Pistol?
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 140No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
PISTOLHa, 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!
SLENDERAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 145By these gloves, then, 'twas he.
NYMBe 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.
SLENDERBy this hat, then, he in the red face had it; for
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 150though I cannot remember what I did when you made me
drunk, yet I am not altogether an ass.
FALSTAFFWhat say you, Scarlet and John?
BARDOLPHWhy, sir, for my part I say the gentleman had drunk
himself out of his five sentences.
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 155It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is!
BARDOLPHAnd being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; and
so conclusions passed the careires.
SLENDERAy, you spake in Latin then too; but 'tis no
matter: I'll ne'er be drunk whilst I live again,
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 160but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick:
if I be drunk, I'll be drunk with those that have
the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves.
SIR HUGH EVANSSo Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.
FALSTAFFYou hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.
PAGEAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 165Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink within.
SLENDERO heaven! this is Mistress Anne Page.
PAGEHow now, Mistress Ford!
FALSTAFFMistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met:
by your leave, good mistress.
PAGEAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 170Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome. Come, we have a
hot venison pasty to dinner: come, gentlemen, I hope
we shall drink down all unkindness.
SLENDERI had rather than forty shillings I had my Book of
Songs and Sonnets here.
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 175How now, Simple! where have you been? I must wait
on myself, must I? You have not the Book of Riddles
about you, have you?
SIMPLEBook of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice
Shortcake upon All-hallowmas last, a fortnight
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 180afore Michaelmas?
SHALLOWCome, 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 you understand me?
SLENDERAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 185Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if it be so,
I shall do that that is reason.
SHALLOWNay, but understand me.
SLENDERSo I do, sir.
SIR HUGH EVANSGive ear to his motions, Master Slender: I will
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 190description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.
SLENDERNay, 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.
SIR HUGH EVANSBut that is not the question: the question is
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 195concerning your marriage.
SHALLOWAy, there's the point, sir.
SIR HUGH EVANSMarry, is it; the very point of it; to Mistress Anne Page.
SLENDERWhy, if it be so, I will marry her upon any
reasonable demands.
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 200But 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. Therefore, precisely, can you carry your
good will to the maid?
SHALLOWAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 205Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?
SLENDERI hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that
would do reason.
SIR HUGH EVANSNay, Got's lords and his ladies! you must speak
possitable, if you can carry her your desires
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 210towards her.
SHALLOWThat you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?
SLENDERI will do a greater thing than that, upon your
request, cousin, in any reason.
SHALLOWNay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz: what I do
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 215is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the maid?
SLENDERI will marry her, sir, at your request: but if there
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;
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 220I hope, upon familiarity will grow more contempt:
but if you say, 'Marry her,' I will marry her; that
I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely.
SIR HUGH EVANSIt is a fery discretion answer; save the fall is in
the ort 'dissolutely:' the ort is, according to our
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 225meaning, 'resolutely:' his meaning is good.
SHALLOWAy, I think my cousin meant well.
SLENDERAy, or else I would I might be hanged, la!
SHALLOWHere comes fair Mistress Anne.
Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne!
ANNE PAGEAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 230The dinner is on the table; my father desires your
worships' company.
SHALLOWI will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.
SIR HUGH EVANSOd's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.
ANNE PAGEWill't please your worship to come in, sir?
SLENDERAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 235No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well.
ANNE PAGEThe dinner attends you, sir.
SLENDERI am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth. Go,
sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my
cousin Shallow.
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 240A justice of peace sometimes may be beholding to his
friend for a man. I keep but three men and a boy
yet, till my mother be dead: but what though? Yet I
live like a poor gentleman born.
ANNE PAGEI may not go in without your worship: they will not
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 245sit till you come.
SLENDERI' faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much as
though I did.
ANNE PAGEI pray you, sir, walk in.
SLENDERI had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruised
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 250my shin th' other day with playing at sword and
dagger with a master of fence; three veneys for a
dish of stewed prunes; and, by my troth, I cannot
abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your
dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?
ANNE PAGEAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 255I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.
SLENDERI love the sport well but I shall as soon quarrel at
it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see
the bear loose, are you not?
ANNE PAGEAy, indeed, sir.
SLENDERAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 260That's meat and drink to me, now. I have seen
Sackerson loose twenty times, and have taken him by
the chain; but, I warrant you, the women have so
cried and shrieked at it, that it passed: but women,
indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favored
Act 1 Sc 1 Ln 265rough things.
PAGECome, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay for you.
SLENDERI'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.
PAGEBy cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! come, come.
SLENDERNay, pray you, lead the way.
PAGEAct 1 Sc 1 Ln 270Come on, sir.
SLENDERMistress Anne, yourself shall go first.
ANNE PAGENot I, sir; pray you, keep on.
SLENDERI'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome.
You do yourself wrong, indeed, la!

ACT I

SCENE II. The same.

SIR HUGH EVANSGo 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
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 5his wringer.
SIMPLEWell, sir.
SIR HUGH EVANSNay, 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
Act 1 Sc 2 Ln 10and require her to solicit your master's desires to
Mistress Anne Page. I pray you, be gone: I will
make an end of my dinner; there's pippins and cheese to come.

ACT I

SCENE III. A room in the Garter Inn.

FALSTAFFMine host of the Garter!
HostWhat says my bully-rook? speak scholarly and wisely.
FALSTAFFTruly, mine host, I must turn away some of my
followers.
HostAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 5Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.
FALSTAFFI sit at ten pounds a week.
HostThou'rt an emperor, Caesar, Keisar, and Pheezar. I
will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall
tap: said I well, bully Hector?
FALSTAFFAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 10Do so, good mine host.
HostI have spoke; let him follow.
Let me see thee froth and lime: I am at a word; follow.
FALSTAFFBardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade:
an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 15serving-man a fresh tapster. Go; adieu.
BARDOLPHIt is a life that I have desired: I will thrive.
PISTOLO base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?
NYMHe was gotten in drink: is not the humour conceited?
FALSTAFFI am glad I am so acquit of this tinderbox: his
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 20thefts were too open; his filching was like an
unskilful singer; he kept not time.
NYMThe good humour is to steal at a minute's rest.
PISTOL'Convey,' the wise it call. 'Steal!' foh! a fico
for the phrase!
FALSTAFFAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 25Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
PISTOLWhy, then, let kibes ensue.
FALSTAFFThere is no remedy; I must cony-catch; I must shift.
PISTOLYoung ravens must have food.
FALSTAFFWhich of you know Ford of this town?
PISTOLAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 30I ken the wight: he is of substance good.
FALSTAFFMy honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
PISTOLTwo yards, and more.
FALSTAFFNo quips now, Pistol! Indeed, I am in the waist two
yards about; but I am now about no waste; I am about
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 35thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford's
wife: I spy entertainment in her; she discourses,
she carves, she gives the leer of invitation: I
can construe the action of her familiar style; and
the hardest voice of her behavior, to be Englished
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 40rightly, is, 'I am Sir John Falstaff's.'
PISTOLHe hath studied her will, and translated her will,
out of honesty into English.
NYMThe anchor is deep: will that humour pass?
FALSTAFFNow, the report goes she has all the rule of her
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 45husband's purse: he hath a legion of angels.
PISTOLAs many devils entertain; and 'To her, boy,' say I.
NYMThe humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.
FALSTAFFI have writ me here a letter to her: and here
another to Page's wife, who even now gave me good
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 50eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious
oeillades; sometimes the beam of her view gilded my
foot, sometimes my portly belly.
PISTOLThen did the sun on dunghill shine.
NYMI thank thee for that humour.
FALSTAFFAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 55O, 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
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 60be cheater to them both, and they shall be
exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West
Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go bear thou
this letter to Mistress Page; and thou this to
Mistress Ford: we will thrive, lads, we will thrive.
PISTOLAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 65Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,
And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all!
NYMI will run no base humour: here, take the
humour-letter: I will keep the havior of reputation.
FALSTAFF Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly;
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 70Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.
Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go;
Trudge, plod away o' the hoof; seek shelter, pack!
Falstaff will learn the humour of the age,
French thrift, you rogues; myself and skirted page.
PISTOLAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 75Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and fullam holds,
And high and low beguiles the rich and poor:
Tester I'll have in pouch when thou shalt lack,
Base Phrygian Turk!
NYMI have operations which be humours of revenge.
PISTOLAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 80Wilt thou revenge?
NYMBy welkin and her star!
PISTOLWith wit or steel?
NYMWith both the humours, I:
I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.
PISTOLAct 1 Sc 3 Ln 85And I to Ford shall eke unfold
How Falstaff, varlet vile,
His dove will prove, his gold will hold,
And his soft couch defile.
NYMMy humour shall not cool: I will incense Page to
Act 1 Sc 3 Ln 90deal with poison; I will possess him with
yellowness, for the revolt of mine is dangerous:
that is my true humour.
PISTOLThou art the Mars of malecontents: I second thee; troop on.

ACT I

SCENE IV. A room in DOCTOR CAIUS' house.

MISTRESS QUICKLYWhat, 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
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 5God's patience and the king's English.
RUGBYI'll go watch.
MISTRESS QUICKLYGo; and we'll have a posset for't soon at night, in
faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire.
An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 10shall come in house withal, and, I warrant you, no
tell-tale nor no breed-bate: his worst fault is,
that he is given to prayer; he is something peevish
that way: but nobody but has his fault; but let
that pass. Peter Simple, you say your name is?
SIMPLEAct 1 Sc 4 Ln 15Ay, for fault of a better.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAnd Master Slender's your master?
SIMPLEAy, forsooth.
MISTRESS QUICKLYDoes he not wear a great round beard, like a
glover's paring-knife?
SIMPLEAct 1 Sc 4 Ln 20No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with a
little yellow beard, a Cain-coloured beard.
MISTRESS QUICKLYA softly-sprighted man, is he not?
SIMPLEAy, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his hands
as any is between this and his head; he hath fought
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 25with a warrener.
MISTRESS QUICKLYHow say you? O, I should remember him: does he not
hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?
SIMPLEYes, indeed, does he.
MISTRESS QUICKLYWell, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! Tell
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 30Master Parson Evans I will do what I can for your
master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish —
RUGBYOut, alas! here comes my master.
MISTRESS QUICKLYWe shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man;
go into this closet: he will not stay long.
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 35What, John Rugby! John! what, John, I say!
Go, John, go inquire for my master; I doubt
he be not well, that he comes not home.
And down, down, adown-a, &c.
DOCTOR CAIUSVat is you sing? I do not like des toys. Pray you,
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 40go and vetch me in my closet un boitier vert, a box,
a green-a box: do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAy, forsooth; I'll fetch it you.
I am glad he went not in himself: if he had found
the young man, he would have been horn-mad.
DOCTOR CAIUSAct 1 Sc 4 Ln 45Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je
m'en vais a la cour — la grande affaire.
MISTRESS QUICKLYIs it this, sir?
DOCTOR CAIUSOui; mette le au mon pocket: depeche, quickly. Vere
is dat knave Rugby?
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 1 Sc 4 Ln 50What, John Rugby! John!
RUGBYHere, sir!
DOCTOR CAIUSYou are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby. Come,
take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to the court.
RUGBY'Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.
DOCTOR CAIUSAct 1 Sc 4 Ln 55By my trot, I tarry too long. Od's me!
Qu'ai-j'oublie! dere is some simples in my closet,
dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAy me, he'll find the young man here, and be mad!
DOCTOR CAIUSO diable, diable! vat is in my closet? Villain! larron!
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 60Rugby, my rapier!
MISTRESS QUICKLYGood master, be content.
DOCTOR CAIUSWherefore shall I be content-a?
MISTRESS QUICKLYThe young man is an honest man.
DOCTOR CAIUSWhat shall de honest man do in my closet? dere is
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 65no honest man dat shall come in my closet.
MISTRESS QUICKLYI beseech you, be not so phlegmatic. Hear the truth
of it: he came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh.
DOCTOR CAIUSVell.
SIMPLEAy, forsooth; to desire her to —
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 1 Sc 4 Ln 70Peace, I pray you.
DOCTOR CAIUSPeace-a your tongue. Speak-a your tale.
SIMPLETo desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to
speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page for my
master in the way of marriage.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 1 Sc 4 Ln 75This is all, indeed, la! but I'll ne'er put my
finger in the fire, and need not.
DOCTOR CAIUSSir Hugh send-a you? Rugby, baille me some paper.
Tarry you a little-a while.
MISTRESS QUICKLY I am glad he is so quiet: if he
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 80had been thoroughly moved, you should have heard him
so loud and so melancholy. But notwithstanding,
man, I'll do you your master what good I can: and
the very yea and the no is, the French doctor, my
master, — I may call him my master, look you, for I
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 85keep his house; and I wash, wring, brew, bake,
scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds and do
all myself, —
SIMPLE 'Tis a great charge to
come under one body's hand.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 1 Sc 4 Ln 90 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
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 95notwithstanding that, I know Anne's mind, — that's
neither here nor there.
DOCTOR CAIUSYou jack'nape, give-a this letter to Sir Hugh; by
gar, it is a shallenge: I will cut his troat in dee
park; and I will teach a scurvy jack-a-nape priest
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 100to meddle or make. You may be gone; it is not good
you tarry here. By gar, I will cut all his two
stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to throw
at his dog:
MISTRESS QUICKLYAlas, he speaks but for his friend.
DOCTOR CAIUSAct 1 Sc 4 Ln 105It is no matter-a ver dat: do not you tell-a me
dat I shall have Anne Page for myself? By gar, I
vill kill de Jack priest; and I have appointed mine
host of de Jarteer to measure our weapon. By gar, I
will myself have Anne Page.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 1 Sc 4 Ln 110Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. We
must give folks leave to prate: what, the good-jer!
DOCTOR CAIUSRugby, 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.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 1 Sc 4 Ln 115You shall have An fool's-head of your own. No, I
know Anne's mind for that: never a woman in Windsor
knows more of Anne's mind than I do; nor can do more
than I do with her, I thank heaven.
FENTON Who's within there? ho!
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 1 Sc 4 Ln 120Who's there, I trow! Come near the house, I pray you.
FENTONHow now, good woman? how dost thou?
MISTRESS QUICKLYThe better that it pleases your good worship to ask.
FENTONWhat news? how does pretty Mistress Anne?
MISTRESS QUICKLYIn truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 125gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you
that by the way; I praise heaven for it.
FENTONShall I do any good, thinkest thou? shall I not lose my suit?
MISTRESS QUICKLYTroth, sir, all is in his hands above: but
notwithstanding, Master Fenton, I'll be sworn on a
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 130book, she loves you. Have not your worship a wart
above your eye?
FENTONYes, marry, have I; what of that?
MISTRESS QUICKLYWell, thereby hangs a tale: good faith, it is such
another Nan; but, I detest, an honest maid as ever
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 135broke 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.
FENTONWell, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there's money
Act 1 Sc 4 Ln 140for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if
thou seest her before me, commend me.
MISTRESS QUICKLYWill 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.
FENTONAct 1 Sc 4 Ln 145Well, farewell; I am in great haste now.
MISTRESS QUICKLYFarewell to your worship.
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?

ACT II

SCENE I. Before PAGE'S house.

MISTRESS PAGEWhat, have I scaped love-letters in the holiday-
time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them?
Let me see.
'Ask me no reason why I love you; for though
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 5Love use Reason for his physician, he admits him
not for his counsellor. You are not young, no more
am I; go to then, there's sympathy: you are merry,
so am I; ha, ha! then there's more sympathy: you
love sack, and so do I; would you desire better
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 10sympathy? Let it suffice thee, Mistress Page, — at
the least, if the love of soldier can suffice, —
that I love thee. I will not say, pity me; 'tis
not a soldier-like phrase: but I say, love me. By me,
Thine own true knight,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 15By day or night,
Or any kind of light,
With all his might
For thee to fight, JOHN FALSTAFF'
What a Herod of Jewry is this! O wicked
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 20world! One that is well-nigh worn to pieces with
age to show himself a young gallant! What an
unweighed behavior hath this Flemish drunkard
picked — with the devil's name! — out of my
conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me?
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 25Why, he hath not been thrice in my company! What
should I say to him? I was then frugal of my
mirth: Heaven forgive me! Why, I'll exhibit a bill
in the parliament for the putting down of men. How
shall I be revenged on him? for revenged I will be,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 30as sure as his guts are made of puddings.
MISTRESS FORDMistress Page! trust me, I was going to your house.
MISTRESS PAGEAnd, trust me, I was coming to you. You look very
ill.
MISTRESS FORDNay, I'll ne'er believe that; I have to show to the contrary.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 35Faith, but you do, in my mind.
MISTRESS FORDWell, I do then; yet I say I could show you to the
contrary. O Mistress Page, give me some counsel!
MISTRESS PAGEWhat's the matter, woman?
MISTRESS FORDO woman, if it were not for one trifling respect, I
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 40could come to such honour!
MISTRESS PAGEHang the trifle, woman! take the honour. What is
it? dispense with trifles; what is it?
MISTRESS FORDIf I would but go to hell for an eternal moment or so,
I could be knighted.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 45What? thou liest! Sir Alice Ford! These knights
will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the
article of thy gentry.
MISTRESS FORDWe burn daylight: here, read, read; perceive how I
might be knighted. I shall think the worse of fat
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 50men, 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 55the truth of his words; but they do no more adhere
and keep place together than the Hundredth Psalm to
the tune of 'Green Sleeves.' What tempest, I trow,
threw this whale, with so many tuns of oil in his
belly, ashore at Windsor? How shall I be revenged
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 60on him? I think the best way were to entertain him
with hope, till the wicked fire of lust have melted
him in his own grease. Did you ever hear the like?
MISTRESS PAGELetter for letter, but that the name of Page and
Ford differs! To thy great comfort in this mystery
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 65of ill opinions, here's the twin-brother of thy
letter: but let thine inherit first; for, I
protest, mine never shall. I warrant he hath a
thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for
different names — sure, more, — and these are of the
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 70second edition: he will print them, out of doubt;
for he cares not what he puts into the press, when
he would put us two. I had rather be a giantess,
and lie under Mount Pelion. Well, I will find you
twenty lascivious turtles ere one chaste man.
MISTRESS FORDAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 75Why, this is the very same; the very hand, the very
words. What doth he think of us?
MISTRESS PAGENay, 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;
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 80for, sure, unless he know some strain in me, that I
know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury.
MISTRESS FORD'Boarding,' call you it? I'll be sure to keep him
above deck.
MISTRESS PAGESo will I if he come under my hatches, I'll never
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 85to sea again. Let's be revenged on him: let's
appoint him a meeting; give him a show of comfort in
his suit and lead him on with a fine-baited delay,
till he hath pawned his horses to mine host of the Garter.
MISTRESS FORDNay, I will consent to act any villany against him,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 90that may not sully the chariness of our honesty. O,
that my husband saw this letter! it would give
eternal food to his jealousy.
MISTRESS PAGEWhy, look where he comes; and my good man too: he's
as far from jealousy as I am from giving him cause;
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 95and that I hope is an unmeasurable distance.
MISTRESS FORDYou are the happier woman.
MISTRESS PAGELet's consult together against this greasy knight.
Come hither.
FORDWell, I hope it be not so.
PISTOLAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 100Hope is a curtal dog in some affairs:
Sir John affects thy wife.
FORDWhy, sir, my wife is not young.
PISTOLHe wooes both high and low, both rich and poor,
Both young and old, one with another, Ford;
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 105He loves the gallimaufry: Ford, perpend.
FORDLove my wife!
PISTOLWith liver burning hot. Prevent, or go thou,
Like Sir Actaeon he, with Ringwood at thy heels:
O, odious is the name!
FORDAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 110What name, sir?
PISTOLThe 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!
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 115Believe it, Page; he speaks sense.
FORD I will be patient; I will find out this.
NYM 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
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 120have a sword and it shall bite upon my necessity.
He loves your wife; there's the short and the long.
My name is Corporal Nym; I speak and I avouch; 'tis
true: my name is Nym and Falstaff loves your wife.
Adieu. I love not the humour of bread and cheese,
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 125and there's the humour of it. Adieu.
PAGE'The humour of it,' quoth a'! here's a fellow
frights English out of his wits.
FORDI will seek out Falstaff.
PAGEI never heard such a drawling, affecting rogue.
FORDAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 130If I do find it: well.
PAGEI 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.
PAGEHow now, Meg!
MISTRESS PAGEAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 135Whither go you, George? Hark you.
MISTRESS FORDHow now, sweet Frank! why art thou melancholy?
FORDI melancholy! I am not melancholy. Get you home, go.
MISTRESS FORDFaith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head. Now,
will you go, Mistress Page?
MISTRESS PAGEAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 140Have with you. You'll come to dinner, George.
Look who comes yonder: she shall be our messenger
to this paltry knight.
MISTRESS FORD Trust me, I thought on her:
she'll fit it.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 145You are come to see my daughter Anne?
MISTRESS QUICKLYAy, forsooth; and, I pray, how does good Mistress Anne?
MISTRESS PAGEGo in with us and see: we have an hour's talk with
you.
PAGEHow now, Master Ford!
FORDAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 150You heard what this knave told me, did you not?
PAGEYes: and you heard what the other told me?
FORDDo you think there is truth in them?
PAGEHang 'em, slaves! I do not think the knight would
offer it: but these that accuse him in his intent
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 155towards our wives are a yoke of his discarded men;
very rogues, now they be out of service.
FORDWere they his men?
PAGEMarry, were they.
FORDI like it never the better for that. Does he lie at
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 160the Garter?
PAGEAy, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyage
towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and
what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it
lie on my head.
FORDAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 165I 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 satisfied.
PAGELook where my ranting host of the Garter comes:
there is either liquor in his pate or money in his
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 170purse when he looks so merrily.
How now, mine host!
HostHow now, bully-rook! thou'rt a gentleman.
Cavaleiro-justice, I say!
SHALLOWI follow, mine host, I follow. Good even and
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 175twenty, good Master Page! Master Page, will you go
with us? we have sport in hand.
HostTell him, cavaleiro-justice; tell him, bully-rook.
SHALLOWSir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir Hugh
the Welsh priest and Caius the French doctor.
FORDAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 180Good mine host o' the Garter, a word with you.
HostWhat sayest thou, my bully-rook?
SHALLOW 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;
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 185for, believe me, I hear the parson is no jester.
Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.
HostHast thou no suit against my knight, my
guest-cavaleire?
FORDNone, I protest: but I'll give you a pottle of
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 190burnt sack to give me recourse to him and tell him
my name is Brook; only for a jest.
HostMy 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?
SHALLOWAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 195Have with you, mine host.
PAGEI have heard the Frenchman hath good skill in
his rapier.
SHALLOWTut, sir, I could have told you more. In these times
you stand on distance, your passes, stoccadoes, and
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 200I know not what: 'tis the heart, Master Page; 'tis
here, 'tis here. I have seen the time, with my long
sword I would have made you four tall fellows skip like rats.
HostHere, boys, here, here! shall we wag?
PAGEHave with you. I would rather hear them scold than fight.
FORDAct 2 Sc 1 Ln 205Though Page be a secure fool, an stands so firmly
on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my
opinion so easily: she was in his company at Page's
house; and what they made there, I know not. Well,
I will look further into't: and I have a disguise
Act 2 Sc 1 Ln 210to sound Falstaff. If I find her honest, I lose not
my labour; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestowed.

ACT II

SCENE II. A room in the Garter Inn.

FALSTAFFI will not lend thee a penny.
PISTOLWhy, then the world's mine oyster.
Which I with sword will open.
FALSTAFFNot a penny. I have been content, sir, you should
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 5lay 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
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 10good soldiers and tall fellows; and when Mistress
Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took't upon
mine honour thou hadst it not.
PISTOLDidst not thou share? hadst thou not fifteen pence?
FALSTAFFReason, you rogue, reason: thinkest thou I'll
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 15endanger 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
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 20baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the
terms of my honour precise: I, I, I myself
sometimes, leaving the fear of God on the left hand
and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to
shuffle, to hedge and to lurch; and yet you, rogue,
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 25will ensconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain
looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your
bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your
honour! You will not do it, you!
PISTOLI do relent: what would thou more of man?
ROBINAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 30Sir, here's a woman would speak with you.
FALSTAFFLet her approach.
MISTRESS QUICKLYGive your worship good morrow.
FALSTAFFGood morrow, good wife.
MISTRESS QUICKLYNot so, an't please your worship.
FALSTAFFAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 35Good maid, then.
MISTRESS QUICKLYI'll be sworn,
As my mother was, the first hour I was born.
FALSTAFFI do believe the swearer. What with me?
MISTRESS QUICKLYShall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?
FALSTAFFAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 40Two thousand, fair woman: and I'll vouchsafe thee
the hearing.
MISTRESS QUICKLYThere is one Mistress Ford, sir: — I pray, come a
little nearer this ways: — I myself dwell with master
Doctor Caius, —
FALSTAFFAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 45Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say, —
MISTRESS QUICKLYYour worship says very true: I pray your worship,
come a little nearer this ways.
FALSTAFFI warrant thee, nobody hears; mine own people, mine
own people.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 50Are they so? God bless them and make them his servants!
FALSTAFFWell, Mistress Ford; what of her?
MISTRESS QUICKLYWhy, sir, she's a good creature. Lord Lord! your
worship's a wanton! Well, heaven forgive you and all
of us, I pray!
FALSTAFFAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 55Mistress Ford; come, Mistress Ford, —
MISTRESS QUICKLYMarry, 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
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 60to such a canary. Yet there has been knights, and
lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches, I warrant
you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift
after gift; smelling so sweetly, all musk, and so
rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and in
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 65such alligant terms; and in such wine and sugar of
the best and the fairest, that would have won any
woman's heart; and, I warrant you, they could never
get an eye-wink of her: I had myself twenty angels
given me this morning; but I defy all angels, in
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 70any such sort, as they say, but in the way of
honesty: and, I warrant you, they could never get
her so much as sip on a cup with the proudest of
them all: and yet there has been earls, nay, which
is more, pensioners; but, I warrant you, all is one with her.
FALSTAFFAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 75But what says she to me? be brief, my good
she-Mercury.
MISTRESS QUICKLYMarry, she hath received your letter, for the which
she thanks you a thousand times; and she gives you
to notify that her husband will be absence from his
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 80house between ten and eleven.
FALSTAFFTen and eleven?
MISTRESS QUICKLYAy, forsooth; and then you may come and see the
picture, she says, that you wot of: Master Ford,
her husband, will be from home. Alas! the sweet
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 85woman leads an ill life with him: he's a very
jealousy man: she leads a very frampold life with
him, good heart.
FALSTAFFTen and eleven. Woman, commend me to her; I will
not fail her.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 90Why, 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 ear, she's as fartuous a civil modest wife, and
one, I tell you, that will not miss you morning nor
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 95evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, whoe'er be the
other: and she bade me tell your worship that her
husband is seldom from home; but she hopes there
will come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon
a man: surely I think you have charms, la; yes, in truth.
FALSTAFFAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 100Not I, I assure thee: setting the attractions of my
good parts aside I have no other charms.
MISTRESS QUICKLYBlessing on your heart for't!
FALSTAFFBut, I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford's wife and
Page's wife acquainted each other how they love me?
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 105That 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 little page; and truly
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 110Master 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
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 115be a kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must
send her your page; no remedy.
FALSTAFFWhy, I will.
MISTRESS QUICKLYNay, but do so, then: and, look you, he may come and
go between you both; and in any case have a
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 120nay-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.
FALSTAFFAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 125Fare thee well: commend me to them both: there's
my purse; I am yet thy debtor. Boy, go along with
this woman.
This news distracts me!
PISTOLThis punk is one of Cupid's carriers:
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 130Clap on more sails; pursue; up with your fights:
Give fire: she is my prize, or ocean whelm them all!
FALSTAFFSayest 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
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 135of so much money, be now a gainer? Good body, I
thank thee. Let them say 'tis grossly done; so it be
fairly done, no matter.
BARDOLPHSir John, there's one Master Brook below would fain
speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 140sent your worship a morning's draught of sack.
FALSTAFFBrook is his name?
BARDOLPHAy, sir.
FALSTAFFCall him in.
Such Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow such
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 145liquor. Ah, ha! Mistress Ford and Mistress Page
have I encompassed you? go to; via!
FORDBless you, sir!
FALSTAFFAnd you, sir! Would you speak with me?
FORDI make bold to press with so little preparation upon
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 150you.
FALSTAFFYou're welcome. What's your will? Give us leave, drawer.
FORDSir, I am a gentleman that have spent much; my name is Brook.
FALSTAFFGood Master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.
FORDGood Sir John, I sue for yours: not to charge you;
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 155for I must let you understand I think myself in
better plight for a lender than you are: the which
hath something embolden'd me to this unseasoned
intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all
ways do lie open.
FALSTAFFAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 160Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on.
FORDTroth, 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.
FALSTAFFSir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.
FORDAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 165I will tell you, sir, if you will give me the hearing.
FALSTAFFSpeak, good Master Brook: I shall be glad to be
your servant.
FORDSir, I hear you are a scholar, — I will be brief
with you, — and you have been a man long known to me,
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 170though 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,
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 175turn another into the register of your own; that I
may pass with a reproof the easier, sith you
yourself know how easy it is to be such an offender.
FALSTAFFVery well, sir; proceed.
FORDThere is a gentlewoman in this town; her husband's
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 180name is Ford.
FALSTAFFWell, sir.
FORDI have long loved her, and, I protest to you,
bestowed much on her; followed her with a doting
observance; engrossed opportunities to meet her;
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 185fee'd every slight occasion that could but niggardly
give me sight of her; not only bought many presents
to give her, but have given largely to many to know
what she would have given; briefly, I have pursued
her as love hath pursued me; which hath been on the
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 190wing of all occasions. But whatsoever I have
merited, either in my mind or, in my means, meed,
I am sure, I have received none; unless experience
be a jewel that I have purchased at an infinite
rate, and that hath taught me to say this:
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 195'Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues;
Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.'
FALSTAFFHave you received no promise of satisfaction at her hands?
FORDNever.
FALSTAFFHave you importuned her to such a purpose?
FORDAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 200Never.
FALSTAFFOf what quality was your love, then?
FORDLike a fair house built on another man's ground; so
that I have lost my edifice by mistaking the place
where I erected it.
FALSTAFFAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 205To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?
FORDWhen 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
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 210John, here is the heart of my purpose: you are a
gentleman of excellent breeding, admirable
discourse, of great admittance, authentic in your
place and person, generally allowed for your many
war-like, court-like, and learned preparations.
FALSTAFFAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 215O, sir!
FORDBelieve it, for you know it. There is money; 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
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 220Ford's wife: use your art of wooing; win her to
consent to you: if any man may, you may as soon as
any.
FALSTAFFWould it apply well to the vehemency of your
affection, that I should win what you would enjoy?
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 225Methinks you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.
FORDO, understand my drift. She dwells so securely on
the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my
soul dares not present itself: she is too bright to
be looked against. Now, could I could come to her
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 230with any detection in my hand, my desires had
instance and argument to commend themselves: I
could drive her then from the ward of her purity,
her reputation, her marriage-vow, and a thousand
other her defences, which now are too too strongly
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 235embattled against me. What say you to't, Sir John?
FALSTAFFMaster 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.
FORDO good sir!
FALSTAFFAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 240I say you shall.
FORDWant no money, Sir John; you shall want none.
FALSTAFFWant no Mistress Ford, Master Brook; you shall want
none. I shall be with her, I may tell you, by her
own appointment; even as you came in to me, her
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 245assistant 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.
FORDAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 250I am blest in your acquaintance. Do you know Ford,
sir?
FALSTAFFHang 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
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 255which his wife seems to me well-favored. I will
use her as the key of the cuckoldly rogue's coffer;
and there's my harvest-home.
FORDI would you knew Ford, sir, that you might avoid him
if you saw him.
FALSTAFFAct 2 Sc 2 Ln 260Hang him, mechanical salt-butter rogue! I will
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
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 265lie with his wife. Come to me soon at night.
Ford's a knave, and I will aggravate his style;
thou, Master Brook, shalt know him for knave and
cuckold. Come to me soon at night.
FORDWhat a damned Epicurean rascal is this! My heart is
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 270ready to crack with impatience. Who says this is
improvident jealousy? my wife hath sent to him; the
hour is fixed; the match is made. Would any man
have thought this? See the hell of having a false
woman! My bed shall be abused, my coffers
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 275ransacked, my reputation gnawn at; and I shall not
only receive this villanous wrong, but stand under
the adoption of abominable terms, and by him that
does me this wrong. Terms! names! Amaimon sounds
well; Lucifer, well; Barbason, well; yet they are
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 280devils' additions, the names of fiends: but
Cuckold! Wittol! — Cuckold! the devil himself hath
not such a name. Page is an ass, a secure ass: he
will trust his wife; he will not be jealous. I will
rather trust a Fleming with my butter, Parson Hugh
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 285the Welshman with my cheese, an Irishman with my
aqua-vitae bottle, or a thief to walk my ambling
gelding, than my wife with herself; then she plots,
then she ruminates, then she devises; and what they
think in their hearts they may effect, they will
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 290break their hearts but they will effect. God be
praised for my jealousy! Eleven o'clock the hour.
I will prevent this, detect my wife, be revenged on
Falstaff, and laugh at Page. I will about it;
better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
Act 2 Sc 2 Ln 295Fie, fie, fie! cuckold! cuckold! cuckold!

ACT II

SCENE III. A field near Windsor.

DOCTOR CAIUSJack Rugby!
RUGBYSir?
DOCTOR CAIUSVat is de clock, Jack?
RUGBY'Tis past the hour, sir, that Sir Hugh promised to meet.
DOCTOR CAIUSAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 5By 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.
RUGBYHe is wise, sir; he knew your worship would kill
him, if he came.
DOCTOR CAIUSAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 10By 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.
RUGBYAlas, sir, I cannot fence.
DOCTOR CAIUSVillany, take your rapier.
RUGBYForbear; here's company.
HostAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 15Bless thee, bully doctor!
SHALLOWSave you, Master Doctor Caius!
PAGENow, good master doctor!
SLENDERGive you good morrow, sir.
DOCTOR CAIUSVat be all you, one, two, tree, four, come for?
HostAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 20To 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 montant. Is he dead, my Ethiopian? is
he dead, my Francisco? ha, bully! What says my
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 25AEsculapius? my Galen? my heart of elder? ha! is
he dead, bully stale? is he dead?
DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, he is de coward Jack priest of de vorld; he
is not show his face.
HostThou art a Castalion-King-Urinal. Hector of Greece, my boy!
DOCTOR CAIUSAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 30I pray you, bear vitness that me have stay six or
seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come.
SHALLOWHe is the wiser man, master doctor: he is a curer of
souls, and you a curer of bodies; if you should
fight, you go against the hair of your professions.
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 35Is it not true, Master Page?
PAGEMaster Shallow, you have yourself been a great
fighter, though now a man of peace.
SHALLOWBodykins, Master Page, though I now be old and of
the peace, if I see a sword out, my finger itches to
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 40make 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.
PAGE'Tis true, Master Shallow.
SHALLOWIt will be found so, Master Page. Master Doctor
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 45Caius, I am come to fetch you home. I am sworn of
the peace: you have showed yourself a wise
physician, and Sir Hugh hath shown himself a wise
and patient churchman. You must go with me, master doctor.
HostPardon, guest-justice. A word, Mounseur Mockwater.
DOCTOR CAIUSAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 50Mock-vater! vat is dat?
HostMock-water, in our English tongue, is valour, bully.
DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, den, I have as mush mock-vater as de
Englishman. Scurvy jack-dog priest! by gar, me
vill cut his ears.
HostAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 55He will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully.
DOCTOR CAIUSClapper-de-claw! vat is dat?
HostThat is, he will make thee amends.
DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, me do look he shall clapper-de-claw me;
for, by gar, me vill have it.
HostAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 60And I will provoke him to't, or let him wag.
DOCTOR CAIUSMe tank you for dat.
HostAnd, moreover, bully, — but first, master guest, and
Master Page, and eke Cavaleiro Slender, go you
through the town to Frogmore.
PAGEAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 65Sir Hugh is there, is he?
HostHe is there: see what humour he is in; and I will
bring the doctor about by the fields. Will it do well?
SHALLOWWe will do it.
PAGEAdieu, good master doctor.
DOCTOR CAIUSAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 70By gar, me vill kill de priest; for he speak for a
jack-an-ape to Anne Page.
HostLet 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
Act 2 Sc 3 Ln 75Anne Page is, at a farm-house a-feasting; and thou
shalt woo her. Cried I aim? said I well?
DOCTOR CAIUSBy 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.
HostAct 2 Sc 3 Ln 80For the which I will be thy adversary toward Anne
Page. Said I well?
DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, 'tis good; vell said.
HostLet us wag, then.
DOCTOR CAIUSCome at my heels, Jack Rugby.

ACT III

SCENE I. A field near Frogmore.

SIR HUGH EVANSI 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?
SIMPLEMarry, sir, the pittie-ward, the park-ward, every
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 5way; old Windsor way, and every way but the town
way.
SIR HUGH EVANSI most fehemently desire you you will also look that
way.
SIMPLEI will, sir.
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 10'Pless my soul, how full of chollors I am, and
trempling of mind! I shall be glad if he have
deceived me. How melancholies I am! I will knog
his urinals about his knave's costard when I have
good opportunities for the ork. 'Pless my soul!
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 15To shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sings madrigals;
There will we make our peds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies.
To shallow —
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 20Mercy on me! I have a great dispositions to cry.
Melodious birds sing madrigals —
When as I sat in Pabylon —
And a thousand vagram posies.
To shallow &c.
SIMPLEAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 25Yonder he is coming, this way, Sir Hugh.
SIR HUGH EVANSHe's welcome.
To shallow rivers, to whose falls-
Heaven prosper the right! What weapons is he?
SIMPLENo weapons, sir. There comes my master, Master
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 30Shallow, and another gentleman, from Frogmore, over
the stile, this way.
SIR HUGH EVANSPray you, give me my gown; or else keep it in your arms.
SHALLOWHow now, master Parson! Good morrow, good Sir Hugh.
Keep a gamester from the dice, and a good student
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 35from his book, and it is wonderful.
SLENDER Ah, sweet Anne Page!
PAGE'Save you, good Sir Hugh!
SIR HUGH EVANS'Pless you from his mercy sake, all of you!
SHALLOWWhat, the sword and the word! do you study them
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 40both, master parson?
PAGEAnd youthful still! in your doublet and hose this
raw rheumatic day!
SIR HUGH EVANSThere is reasons and causes for it.
PAGEWe are come to you to do a good office, master parson.
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 45Fery well: what is it?
PAGEYonder is a most reverend gentleman, who, belike
having received wrong by some person, is at most
odds with his own gravity and patience that ever you
saw.
SHALLOWAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 50I have lived fourscore years and upward; I never
heard a man of his place, gravity and learning, so
wide of his own respect.
SIR HUGH EVANSWhat is he?
PAGEI think you know him; Master Doctor Caius, the
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 55renowned French physician.
SIR HUGH EVANSGot's will, and his passion of my heart! I had as
lief you would tell me of a mess of porridge.
PAGEWhy?
SIR HUGH EVANSHe has no more knowledge in Hibocrates and Galen,
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 60 — and he is a knave besides; a cowardly knave as you
would desires to be acquainted withal.
PAGEI warrant you, he's the man should fight with him.
SHALLOW O sweet Anne Page!
SHALLOWIt appears so by his weapons. Keep them asunder:
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 65here comes Doctor Caius.
PAGENay, good master parson, keep in your weapon.
SHALLOWSo do you, good master doctor.
HostDisarm them, and let them question: let them keep
their limbs whole and hack our English.
DOCTOR CAIUSAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 70I pray you, let-a me speak a word with your ear.
Vherefore vill you not meet-a me?
SIR HUGH EVANS Pray you, use your patience:
in good time.
DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog, John ape.
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 75 Pray you let us not be
laughing-stocks to other men's humours; I desire you
in friendship, and I will one way or other make you amends.
I will knog your urinals about your knave's cockscomb
for missing your meetings and appointments.
DOCTOR CAIUSAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 80Diable! Jack Rugby, — mine host de Jarteer, — have I
not stay for him to kill him? have I not, at de place
I did appoint?
SIR HUGH EVANSAs I am a Christians soul now, look you, this is the
place appointed: I'll be judgement by mine host of
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 85the Garter.
HostPeace, I say, Gallia and Gaul, French and Welsh,
soul-curer and body-curer!
DOCTOR CAIUSAy, dat is very good; excellent.
HostPeace, I say! hear mine host of the Garter. Am I
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 90politic? am I subtle? am I a Machiavel? Shall I
lose my doctor? no; he gives me the potions and the
motions. Shall I lose my parson, my priest, my Sir
Hugh? no; he gives me the proverbs and the
no-verbs. Give me thy hand, terrestrial; so. Give me
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 95thy hand, celestial; so. Boys of art, I have
deceived you both; I have directed you to wrong
places: your hearts are mighty, your skins are
whole, and let burnt sack be the issue. Come, lay
their swords to pawn. Follow me, lads of peace;
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 100follow, follow, follow.
SHALLOWTrust me, a mad host. Follow, gentlemen, follow.
SLENDER O sweet Anne Page!
DOCTOR CAIUSHa, do I perceive dat? have you make-a de sot of
us, ha, ha?
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 3 Sc 1 Ln 105This is well; he has made us his vlouting-stog. I
desire you that we may be friends; and let us knog
our prains together to be revenge on this same
scall, scurvy cogging companion, the host of the Garter.
DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, with all my heart. He promise to bring me
Act 3 Sc 1 Ln 110where is Anne Page; by gar, he deceive me too.
SIR HUGH EVANSWell, I will smite his noddles. Pray you, follow.

ACT III

SCENE II. A street.

MISTRESS PAGENay, 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?
ROBINI had rather, forsooth, go before you like a man
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 5than follow him like a dwarf.
MISTRESS PAGEO, you are a flattering boy: now I see you'll be a courtier.
FORDWell met, Mistress Page. Whither go you?
MISTRESS PAGETruly, sir, to see your wife. Is she at home?
FORDAy; and as idle as she may hang together, for want
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 10of company. I think, if your husbands were dead,
you two would marry.
MISTRESS PAGEBe sure of that, — two other husbands.
FORDWhere had you this pretty weather-cock?
MISTRESS PAGEI cannot tell what the dickens his name is my
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 15husband had him of. What do you call your knight's
name, sirrah?
ROBINSir John Falstaff.
FORDSir John Falstaff!
MISTRESS PAGEHe, he; I can never hit on's name. There is such a
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 20league between my good man and he! Is your wife at
home indeed?
FORDIndeed she is.
MISTRESS PAGEBy your leave, sir: I am sick till I see her.
FORDHas Page any brains? hath he any eyes? hath he any
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 25thinking? Sure, they sleep; he hath no use of them.
Why, this boy will carry a letter twenty mile, as
easy as a cannon will shoot point-blank twelve
score. He pieces out his wife's inclination; he
gives her folly motion and advantage: and now she's
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 30going 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
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 35the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming
Mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure and
wilful Actaeon; and to these violent proceedings all
my neighbours shall cry aim.
The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 40search: there I shall find Falstaff: I shall be
rather praised for this than mocked; for it is as
positive as the earth is firm that Falstaff is
there: I will go.
SHALLOWWell met, Master Ford.
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 45&c.
FORDTrust me, a good knot: I have good cheer at home;
and I pray you all go with me.
SHALLOWI must excuse myself, Master Ford.
SLENDERAnd so must I, sir: we have appointed to dine with
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 50Mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for
more money than I'll speak of.
SHALLOWWe have lingered about a match between Anne Page and
my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.
SLENDERI hope I have your good will, father Page.
PAGEAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 55You have, Master Slender; I stand wholly for you:
but my wife, master doctor, is for you altogether.
DOCTOR CAIUSAy, be-gar; and de maid is love-a me: my nursh-a
Quickly tell me so mush.
HostWhat say you to young Master Fenton? he capers, he
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 60dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he
speaks holiday, he smells April and May: he will
carry't, he will carry't; 'tis in his buttons; he
will carry't.
PAGENot by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman is
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 65of no having: he kept company with the wild prince
and Poins; he is of too high a region; he knows too
much. No, he shall not knit a knot in his fortunes
with the finger of my substance: if he take her,
let him take her simply; the wealth I have waits on
Act 3 Sc 2 Ln 70my consent, and my consent goes not that way.
FORDI beseech you heartily, some of you go home with me
to dinner: besides your cheer, you shall have
sport; I will show you a monster. Master doctor,
you shall go; so shall you, Master Page; and you, Sir Hugh.
SHALLOWAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 75Well, fare you well: we shall have the freer wooing
at Master Page's.
DOCTOR CAIUSGo home, John Rugby; I come anon.
HostFarewell, my hearts: I will to my honest knight
Falstaff, and drink canary with him.
FORDAct 3 Sc 2 Ln 80 I think I shall drink in pipe wine first
with him; I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles?
AllHave with you to see this monster.

ACT III

SCENE III. A room in FORD'S house.

MISTRESS FORDWhat, John! What, Robert!
MISTRESS PAGEQuickly, quickly! is the buck-basket —
MISTRESS FORDI warrant. What, Robin, I say!
MISTRESS PAGECome, come, come.
MISTRESS FORDAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 5Here, set it down.
MISTRESS PAGEGive your men the charge; we must be brief.
MISTRESS FORDMarry, 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 pause
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 10or 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.
MISTRESS PAGEYou will do it?
MISTRESS FORDAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 15I ha' told them over and over; they lack no
direction. Be gone, and come when you are called.
MISTRESS PAGEHere comes little Robin.
MISTRESS FORDHow now, my eyas-musket! what news with you?
ROBINMy master, Sir John, is come in at your back-door,
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 20Mistress Ford, and requests your company.
MISTRESS PAGEYou little Jack-a-Lent, have you been true to us?
ROBINAy, I'll be sworn. My master knows not of your
being here and hath threatened to put me into
everlasting liberty if I tell you of it; for he
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 25swears he'll turn me away.
MISTRESS PAGEThou'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.
MISTRESS FORDDo so. Go tell thy master I am alone.
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 30Mistress Page, remember you your cue.
MISTRESS PAGEI warrant thee; if I do not act it, hiss me.
MISTRESS FORDGo to, then: we'll use this unwholesome humidity,
this gross watery pumpion; we'll teach him to know
turtles from jays.
FALSTAFFAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 35Have 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!
MISTRESS FORDO sweet Sir John!
FALSTAFFMistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate,
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 40Mistress 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.
MISTRESS FORDI your lady, Sir John! alas, I should be a pitiful lady!
FALSTAFFLet the court of France show me such another. I see
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 45how 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.
MISTRESS FORDA plain kerchief, Sir John: my brows become nothing
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 50else; nor that well neither.
FALSTAFFBy 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 farthingale. I see
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 55what thou wert, if Fortune thy foe were not, Nature
thy friend. Come, thou canst not hide it.
MISTRESS FORDBelieve me, there is no such thing in me.
FALSTAFFWhat made me love thee? let that persuade thee
there's something extraordinary in thee. Come, I
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 60cannot 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.
MISTRESS FORDAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 65Do not betray me, sir. I fear you love Mistress Page.
FALSTAFFThou 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.
MISTRESS FORDWell, heaven knows how I love you; and you shall one
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 70day find it.
FALSTAFFKeep in that mind; I'll deserve it.
MISTRESS FORDNay, I must tell you, so you do; or else I could not
be in that mind.
ROBIN Mistress Ford, Mistress Ford! here's
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 75Mistress Page at the door, sweating and blowing and
looking wildly, and would needs speak with you presently.
FALSTAFFShe shall not see me: I will ensconce me behind the arras.
MISTRESS FORDPray you, do so: she's a very tattling woman.
What's the matter? how now!
MISTRESS PAGEAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 80O Mistress Ford, what have you done? You're shamed,
you're overthrown, you're undone for ever!
MISTRESS FORDWhat's the matter, good Mistress Page?
MISTRESS PAGEO well-a-day, Mistress Ford! having an honest man
to your husband, to give him such cause of suspicion!
MISTRESS FORDAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 85What cause of suspicion?
MISTRESS PAGEWhat cause of suspicion! Out pon you! how am I
mistook in you!
MISTRESS FORDWhy, alas, what's the matter?
MISTRESS PAGEYour husband's coming hither, woman, with all the
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 90officers in Windsor, to search for a gentleman that
he says is here now in the house by your consent, to
take an ill advantage of his assence: you are undone.
MISTRESS FORD'Tis not so, I hope.
MISTRESS PAGEPray heaven it be not so, that you have such a man
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 95here! but 'tis most certain your husband's coming,
with half Windsor at his heels, to search for such a
one. I come before to tell you. If you know
yourself clear, why, I am glad of it; but if you
have a friend here convey, convey him out. Be not
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 100amazed; call all your senses to you; defend your
reputation, or bid farewell to your good life for ever.
MISTRESS FORDWhat 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
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 105out of the house.
MISTRESS PAGEFor shame! never stand 'you had rather' 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
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 110is a basket: if he be of any reasonable stature, he
may creep in here; and throw foul linen upon him, as
if it were going to bucking: or — it is whiting-time
— send him by your two men to Datchet-mead.
MISTRESS FORDHe's too big to go in there. What shall I do?
FALSTAFFAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 115 Let me see't, let me see't, O, let
me see't! I'll in, I'll in. Follow your friend's
counsel. I'll in.
MISTRESS PAGEWhat, Sir John Falstaff! Are these your letters, knight?
FALSTAFFI love thee. Help me away. Let me creep in here.
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 120I'll never —
MISTRESS PAGEHelp to cover your master, boy. Call your men,
Mistress Ford. You dissembling knight!
MISTRESS FORDWhat, John! Robert! John!
Go take up these clothes here quickly. Where's the
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 125cowl-staff? look, how you drumble! Carry them to
the laundress in Datchet-meat; quickly, come.
FORDPray 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?
ServantAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 130To the laundress, forsooth.
MISTRESS FORDWhy, what have you to do whither they bear it? You
were best meddle with buck-washing.
FORDBuck! I would I could wash myself of the buck!
Buck, buck, buck! Ay, buck; I warrant you, buck;
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 135and of the season too, it shall appear.
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.
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 140So, now uncape.
PAGEGood Master Ford, be contented: you wrong yourself too much.
FORDTrue, Master Page. Up, gentlemen: you shall see
sport anon: follow me, gentlemen.
SIR HUGH EVANSThis is fery fantastical humours and jealousies.
DOCTOR CAIUSAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 145By gar, 'tis no the fashion of France; it is not
jealous in France.
PAGENay, follow him, gentlemen; see the issue of his search.
MISTRESS PAGEIs there not a double excellency in this?
MISTRESS FORDI know not which pleases me better, that my husband
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 150is deceived, or Sir John.
MISTRESS PAGEWhat a taking was he in when your husband asked who
was in the basket!
MISTRESS FORDI am half afraid he will have need of washing; so
throwing him into the water will do him a benefit.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 155Hang him, dishonest rascal! I would all of the same
strain were in the same distress.
MISTRESS FORDI think my husband hath some special suspicion of
Falstaff's being here; for I never saw him so gross
in his jealousy till now.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 160I will lay a plot to try that; and we will yet have
more tricks with Falstaff: his dissolute disease will
scarce obey this medicine.
MISTRESS FORDShall we send that foolish carrion, Mistress
Quickly, to him, and excuse his throwing into the
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 165water; and give him another hope, to betray him to
another punishment?
MISTRESS PAGEWe will do it: let him be sent for to-morrow,
eight o'clock, to have amends.
FORDI cannot find him: may be the knave bragged of that
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 170he could not compass.
MISTRESS PAGE Heard you that?
MISTRESS FORDYou use me well, Master Ford, do you?
FORDAy, I do so.
MISTRESS FORDHeaven make you better than your thoughts!
FORDAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 175Amen!
MISTRESS PAGEYou do yourself mighty wrong, Master Ford.
FORDAy, ay; I must bear it.
SIR HUGH EVANSIf there be any pody in the house, and in the
chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses,
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 180heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgment!
DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, nor I too: there is no bodies.
PAGEFie, 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
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 185wealth of Windsor Castle.
FORD'Tis my fault, Master Page: I suffer for it.
SIR HUGH EVANSYou suffer for a pad conscience: your wife is as
honest a 'omans as I will desires among five
thousand, and five hundred too.
DOCTOR CAIUSAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 190By gar, I see 'tis an honest woman.
FORDWell, I promised you a dinner. Come, come, 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;
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 195pray heartily, pardon me.
PAGELet's go in, gentlemen; but, trust me, we'll 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?
FORDAct 3 Sc 3 Ln 200Any thing.
SIR HUGH EVANSIf there is one, I shall make two in the company.
DOCTOR CAIUSIf dere be one or two, I shall make-a the turd.
FORDPray you, go, Master Page.
SIR HUGH EVANSI pray you now, remembrance tomorrow on the lousy
Act 3 Sc 3 Ln 205knave, mine host.
DOCTOR CAIUSDat is good; by gar, with all my heart!
SIR HUGH EVANSA lousy knave, to have his gibes and his mockeries!

ACT III

SCENE IV. A room in PAGE'S house.

FENTONI see I cannot get thy father's love;
Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.
ANNE PAGEAlas, how then?
FENTONWhy, thou must be thyself.
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 5He doth object I am too great of birth — ,
And that, my state being gall'd with my expense,
I seek to heal it only by his wealth:
Besides these, other bars he lays before me,
My riots past, my wild societies;
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 10And tells me 'tis a thing impossible
I should love thee but as a property.
ANNE PAGEMay be he tells you true.
FENTONNo, heaven so speed me in my time to come!
Albeit I will confess thy father's wealth
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 15Was the first motive that I woo'd thee, Anne:
Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
Than stamps in gold or sums in sealed bags;
And 'tis the very riches of thyself
That now I aim at.
ANNE PAGEAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 20Gentle Master Fenton,
Yet seek my father's love; still seek it, sir:
If opportunity and humblest suit
Cannot attain it, why, then, — hark you hither!
SHALLOWBreak their talk, Mistress Quickly: my kinsman shall
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 25speak for himself.
SLENDERI'll make a shaft or a bolt on't: 'slid, 'tis but
venturing.
SHALLOWBe not dismayed.
SLENDERNo, she shall not dismay me: I care not for that,
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 30but that I am afeard.
MISTRESS QUICKLYHark ye; Master Slender would speak a word with you.
ANNE PAGEI come to him.
This is my father's choice.
O, what a world of vile ill-favor'd faults
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 35Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!
MISTRESS QUICKLYAnd how does good Master Fenton? Pray you, a word with you.
SHALLOWShe's coming; to her, coz. O boy, thou hadst a father!
SLENDERI had a father, Mistress Anne; my uncle can tell you
good jests of him. Pray you, uncle, tell Mistress
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 40Anne the jest, how my father stole two geese out of
a pen, good uncle.
SHALLOWMistress Anne, my cousin loves you.
SLENDERAy, that I do; as well as I love any woman in
Gloucestershire.
SHALLOWAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 45He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.
SLENDERAy, that I will, come cut and long-tail, under the
degree of a squire.
SHALLOWHe will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.
ANNE PAGEGood Master Shallow, let him woo for himself.
SHALLOWAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 50Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good
comfort. She calls you, coz: I'll leave you.
ANNE PAGENow, Master Slender, —
SLENDERNow, good Mistress Anne, —
ANNE PAGEWhat is your will?
SLENDERAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 55My 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 PAGEI mean, Master Slender, what would you with me?
SLENDERTruly, for mine own part, I would little or nothing
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 60with you. Your father and my uncle hath made
motions: if it be my luck, so; if not, happy man be
his dole! They can tell you how things go better
than I can: you may ask your father; here he comes.
PAGENow, Master Slender: love him, daughter Anne.
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 65Why, 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.
FENTONNay, Master Page, be not impatient.
MISTRESS PAGEGood Master Fenton, come not to my child.
PAGEAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 70She is no match for you.
FENTONSir, will you hear me?
PAGENo, good Master Fenton.
Come, Master Shallow; come, son Slender, in.
Knowing my mind, you wrong me, Master Fenton.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 3 Sc 4 Ln 75Speak to Mistress Page.
FENTONGood Mistress Page, for that I love your daughter
In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Perforce, against all cheques, rebukes and manners,
I must advance the colours of my love
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 80And not retire: let me have your good will.
ANNE PAGEGood mother, do not marry me to yond fool.
MISTRESS PAGEI mean it not; I seek you a better husband.
MISTRESS QUICKLYThat's my master, master doctor.
ANNE PAGEAlas, I had rather be set quick i' the earth
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 85And bowl'd to death with turnips!
MISTRESS PAGECome, trouble not yourself. Good Master Fenton,
I will not be your friend nor enemy:
My daughter will I question how she loves you,
And as I find her, so am I affected.
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 90Till then farewell, sir: she must needs go in;
Her father will be angry.
FENTONFarewell, gentle mistress: farewell, Nan.
MISTRESS QUICKLYThis is my doing, now: 'Nay,' said I, 'will you cast
away your child on a fool, and a physician? Look on
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 95Master Fenton:' this is my doing.
FENTONI thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night
Give my sweet Nan this ring: there's for thy pains.
MISTRESS QUICKLYNow heaven send thee good fortune!
A kind heart he hath: a woman would run through
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 100fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet I
would my master had Mistress Anne; or I would
Master Slender had her; or, in sooth, I would Master
Fenton had her; I will do what I can for them all
three; for so I have promised, and I'll be as good
Act 3 Sc 4 Ln 105as 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!

ACT III

SCENE V. A room in the Garter Inn.

FALSTAFFBardolph, I say, —
BARDOLPHHere, sir.
FALSTAFFGo fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in't.
Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 5barrow 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
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 10they would have drowned a blind bitch's puppies,
fifteen i' the litter: and you may know by my size
that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking; if the
bottom were as deep as hell, I should down. I had
been drowned, but that the shore was shelvy and
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 15shallow, — a death that I abhor; for the water swells
a man; and what a thing should I have been when I
had been swelled! I should have been a mountain of mummy.
BARDOLPHHere's Mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with you.
FALSTAFFLet me pour in some sack to the Thames water; for my
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 20belly's as cold as if I had swallowed snowballs for
pills to cool the reins. Call her in.
BARDOLPHCome in, woman!
MISTRESS QUICKLYBy your leave; I cry you mercy: give your worship
good morrow.
FALSTAFFAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 25Take away these chalices. Go brew me a pottle of
sack finely.
BARDOLPHWith eggs, sir?
FALSTAFFSimple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage.
How now!
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 30Marry, sir, I come to your worship from Mistress Ford.
FALSTAFFMistress Ford! I have had ford enough; I was thrown
into the ford; I have my belly full of ford.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAlas the day! good heart, that was not her fault:
she does so take on with her men; they mistook their erection.
FALSTAFFAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 35So did I mine, to build upon a foolish woman's promise.
MISTRESS QUICKLYWell, she laments, sir, for it, that it would yearn
your heart to see it. Her husband goes this morning
a-birding; she desires you once more to come to her
between eight and nine: I must carry her word
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 40quickly: she'll make you amends, I warrant you.
FALSTAFFWell, I will visit her: tell her so; and bid her
think what a man is: let her consider his frailty,
and then judge of my merit.
MISTRESS QUICKLYI will tell her.
FALSTAFFAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 45Do so. Between nine and ten, sayest thou?
MISTRESS QUICKLYEight and nine, sir.
FALSTAFFWell, be gone: I will not miss her.
MISTRESS QUICKLYPeace be with you, sir.
FALSTAFFI marvel I hear not of Master Brook; he sent me word
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 50to stay within: I like his money well. O, here he comes.
FORDBless you, sir!
FALSTAFFNow, master Brook, you come to know what hath passed
between me and Ford's wife?
FORDThat, indeed, Sir John, is my business.
FALSTAFFAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 55Master Brook, I will not lie to you: I was at her
house the hour she appointed me.
FORDAnd sped you, sir?
FALSTAFFVery ill-favoredly, Master Brook.
FORDHow so, sir? Did she change her determination?
FALSTAFFAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 60No, Master Brook; but the peaking Cornuto her
husband, Master Brook, dwelling in a continual
'larum of jealousy, comes me in the instant of our
encounter, after we had embraced, kissed, protested,
and, as it were, spoke the prologue of our comedy;
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 65and at his heels a rabble of his companions, thither
provoked and instigated by his distemper, and,
forsooth, to search his house for his wife's love.
FORDWhat, while you were there?
FALSTAFFWhile I was there.
FORDAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 70And did he search for you, and could not find you?
FALSTAFFYou 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.
FORDAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 75A buck-basket!
FALSTAFFBy 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.
FORDAct 3 Sc 5 Ln 80And how long lay you there?
FALSTAFFNay, 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
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 85mistress to carry me in the name of foul clothes to
Datchet-lane: they took me on their shoulders; met
the jealous knave their master in the door, who
asked them once or twice what they had in their
basket: I quaked for fear, lest the lunatic knave
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 90would have searched it; but fate, ordaining he
should be a cuckold, held his hand. Well: on went he
for a search, and away went I for foul clothes. But
mark the sequel, Master Brook: I suffered the pangs
of three several deaths; first, an intolerable
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 95fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten
bell-wether; next, to be compassed, like a good
bilbo, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to
point, heel to head; and then, to be stopped in,
like a strong distillation, with stinking clothes
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 100that fretted in their own grease: think of that, — a
man of my kidney, — think of that, — that am as subject
to heat as butter; a man of continual dissolution
and thaw: it was a miracle to scape suffocation.
And in the height of this bath, when I was more than
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 105half 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.
FORDIn good sadness, I am sorry that for my sake you
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 110have sufferd all this. My suit then is desperate;
you'll undertake her no more?
FALSTAFFMaster Brook, I will be thrown into Etna, as I have
been into Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her
husband is this morning gone a-birding: I have
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 115received from her another embassy of meeting; 'twixt
eight and nine is the hour, Master Brook.
FORD'Tis past eight already, sir.
FALSTAFFIs it? I will then address me to my appointment.
Come to me at your convenient leisure, and you shall
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 120know 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.
FORDHum! ha! is this a vision? is this a dream? do I
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 125sleep? Master Ford awake! awake, Master Ford!
there's a hole made in your best coat, Master Ford.
This 'tis to be married! this 'tis to have linen
and buck-baskets! Well, I will proclaim myself
what I am: I will now take the lecher; he is at my
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 130house; he cannot 'scape me; 'tis impossible he
should; he cannot creep into a halfpenny purse,
nor into a pepper-box: but, lest the devil that
guides him should aid him, I will search
impossible places. Though what I am I cannot avoid,
Act 3 Sc 5 Ln 135yet 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.

ACT IV

SCENE I. A street.

MISTRESS PAGEIs he at Master Ford's already, think'st thou?
MISTRESS QUICKLYSure he is by this, or will be presently: but,
truly, he is very courageous mad about his throwing
into the water. Mistress Ford desires you to come suddenly.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 5I'll be with her by and by; I'll but bring my young
man here to school. Look, where his master comes;
'tis a playing-day, I see.
How now, Sir Hugh! no school to-day?
SIR HUGH EVANSNo; Master Slender is let the boys leave to play.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 10Blessing of his heart!
MISTRESS PAGESir Hugh, my husband says my son profits nothing in
the world at his book. I pray you, ask him some
questions in his accidence.
SIR HUGH EVANSCome hither, William; hold up your head; come.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 15Come on, sirrah; hold up your head; answer your
master, be not afraid.
SIR HUGH EVANSWilliam, how many numbers is in nouns?
WILLIAM PAGETwo.
MISTRESS QUICKLYTruly, I thought there had been one number more,
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 20because they say, ''Od's nouns.'
SIR HUGH EVANSPeace your tattlings! What is 'fair,' William?
WILLIAM PAGEPulcher.
MISTRESS QUICKLYPolecats! there are fairer things than polecats, sure.
SIR HUGH EVANSYou are a very simplicity 'oman: I pray you peace.
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 25What is 'lapis,' William?
WILLIAM PAGEA stone.
SIR HUGH EVANSAnd what is 'a stone,' William?
WILLIAM PAGEA pebble.
SIR HUGH EVANSNo, it is 'lapis:' I pray you, remember in your prain.
WILLIAM PAGEAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 30Lapis.
SIR HUGH EVANSThat is a good William. What is he, William, that
does lend articles?
WILLIAM PAGEArticles are borrowed of the pronoun, and be thus
declined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, haec, hoc.
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 35Nominativo, hig, hag, hog; pray you, mark:
genitivo, hujus. Well, what is your accusative case?
WILLIAM PAGEAccusativo, hinc.
SIR HUGH EVANSI pray you, have your remembrance, child,
accusative, hung, hang, hog.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 40'Hang-hog' is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.
SIR HUGH EVANSLeave your prabbles, 'oman. What is the focative
case, William?
WILLIAM PAGEO, — vocativo, O.
SIR HUGH EVANSRemember, William; focative is caret.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 45And that's a good root.
SIR HUGH EVANS'Oman, forbear.
MISTRESS PAGEPeace!
SIR HUGH EVANSWhat is your genitive case plural, William?
WILLIAM PAGEGenitive case!
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 50Ay.
WILLIAM PAGEGenitive, — horum, harum, horum.
MISTRESS QUICKLYVengeance of Jenny's case! fie on her! never name
her, child, if she be a whore.
SIR HUGH EVANSFor shame, 'oman.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 55You do ill to teach the child such words: he
teaches him to hick and to hack, which they'll do
fast enough of themselves, and to call 'horum:' fie upon you!
SIR HUGH EVANS'Oman, art thou lunatics? hast thou no
understandings for thy cases and the numbers of the
Act 4 Sc 1 Ln 60genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as
I would desires.
MISTRESS PAGEPrithee, hold thy peace.
SIR HUGH EVANSShow me now, William, some declensions of your pronouns.
WILLIAM PAGEForsooth, I have forgot.
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 65It is qui, quae, quod: if you forget your 'quies,'
your 'quaes,' and your 'quods,' you must be
preeches. Go your ways, and play; go.
MISTRESS PAGEHe is a better scholar than I thought he was.
SIR HUGH EVANSHe is a good sprag memory. Farewell, Mistress Page.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 4 Sc 1 Ln 70Adieu, good Sir Hugh.
Get you home, boy. Come, we stay too long.

ACT IV

SCENE II. A room in FORD'S house.

FALSTAFFMistress 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
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 5office of love, but in all the accoutrement,
complement and ceremony of it. But are you
sure of your husband now?
MISTRESS FORDHe's a-birding, sweet Sir John.
MISTRESS PAGE What, ho, gossip Ford! what, ho!
MISTRESS FORDAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 10Step into the chamber, Sir John.
MISTRESS PAGEHow now, sweetheart! who's at home besides yourself?
MISTRESS FORDWhy, none but mine own people.
MISTRESS PAGEIndeed!
MISTRESS FORDNo, certainly.
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 15Speak louder.
MISTRESS PAGETruly, I am so glad you have nobody here.
MISTRESS FORDWhy?
MISTRESS PAGEWhy, woman, your husband is in his old lunes again:
he so takes on yonder with my husband; so rails
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 20against all married mankind; so curses all Eve's
daughters, of what complexion soever; and so buffets
himself on the forehead, crying, 'Peer out, peer
out!' that any madness I ever yet beheld seemed but
tameness, civility and patience, to this his
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 25distemper he is in now: I am glad the fat knight is not here.
MISTRESS FORDWhy, does he talk of him?
MISTRESS PAGEOf 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
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 30the rest of their company from their sport, to make
another experiment of his suspicion: but I am glad
the knight is not here; now he shall see his own foolery.
MISTRESS FORDHow near is he, Mistress Page?
MISTRESS PAGEHard by; at street end; he will be here anon.
MISTRESS FORDAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 35I am undone! The knight is here.
MISTRESS PAGEWhy 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.
FORDWhich way should be go? how should I bestow him?
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 40Shall I put him into the basket again?
FALSTAFFNo, I'll come no more i' the basket. May I not go
out ere he come?
MISTRESS PAGEAlas, three of Master Ford's brothers watch the door
with pistols, that none shall issue out; otherwise
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 45you might slip away ere he came. But what make you here?
FALSTAFFWhat shall I do? I'll creep up into the chimney.
MISTRESS FORDThere they always use to discharge their
birding-pieces. Creep into the kiln-hole.
FALSTAFFWhere is it?
MISTRESS FORDAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 50He 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.
FALSTAFFI'll go out then.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 55If you go out in your own semblance, you die, Sir
John. Unless you go out disguised —
MISTRESS FORDHow might we disguise him?
MISTRESS PAGEAlas the day, I know not! There is no woman's gown
big enough for him otherwise he might put on a hat,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 60a muffler and a kerchief, and so escape.
FALSTAFFGood hearts, devise something: any extremity rather
than a mischief.
MISTRESS FORDMy maid's aunt, the fat woman of Brentford, has a
gown above.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 65On 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.
MISTRESS FORDGo, go, sweet Sir John: Mistress Page and I will
look some linen for your head.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 70Quick, quick! we'll come dress you straight: put
on the gown the while.
MISTRESS FORDI 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
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 75threatened to beat her.
MISTRESS PAGEHeaven guide him to thy husband's cudgel, and the
devil guide his cudgel afterwards!
MISTRESS FORDBut is my husband coming?
MISTRESS PAGEAh, in good sadness, is he; and talks of the basket
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 80too, howsoever he hath had intelligence.
MISTRESS FORDWe'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.
MISTRESS PAGENay, but he'll be here presently: let's go dress him
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 85like the witch of Brentford.
MISTRESS FORDI'll first direct my men what they shall do with the
basket. Go up; I'll bring linen for him straight.
MISTRESS PAGEHang him, dishonest varlet! we cannot misuse him enough.
We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 90Wives 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.
MISTRESS FORDGo, sirs, take the basket again on your shoulders:
your master is hard at door; if he bid you set it
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 95down, obey him: quickly, dispatch.
First ServantCome, come, take it up.
Second ServantPray heaven it be not full of knight again.
First ServantI hope not; I had as lief bear so much lead.
FORDAy, but if it prove true, Master Page, have you any
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 100way then to unfool me again? Set down the basket,
villain! Somebody call my wife. Youth in a basket!
O you panderly rascals! there's a knot, a ging, a
pack, a conspiracy against me: now shall the devil
be shamed. What, wife, I say! Come, come forth!
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 105Behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching!
PAGEWhy, this passes, Master Ford; you are not to go
loose any longer; you must be pinioned.
SIR HUGH EVANSWhy, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad dog!
SHALLOWIndeed, Master Ford, this is not well, indeed.
FORDAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 110So say I too, sir.
Come hither, Mistress Ford; Mistress Ford the honest
woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that
hath the jealous fool to her husband! I suspect
without cause, mistress, do I?
MISTRESS FORDAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 115Heaven be my witness you do, if you suspect me in
any dishonesty.
FORDWell said, brazen-face! hold it out. Come forth, sirrah!
PAGEThis passes!
MISTRESS FORDAre you not ashamed? let the clothes alone.
FORDAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 120I shall find you anon.
SIR HUGH EVANS'Tis unreasonable! Will you take up your wife's
clothes? Come away.
FORDEmpty the basket, I say!
MISTRESS FORDWhy, man, why?
FORDAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 125Master Page, as I am a man, there was one conveyed
out of my house yesterday in this basket: why may
not he be there again? In my house I am sure he is:
my intelligence is true; my jealousy is reasonable.
Pluck me out all the linen.
MISTRESS FORDAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 130If you find a man there, he shall die a flea's death.
PAGEHere's no man.
SHALLOWBy my fidelity, this is not well, Master Ford; this
wrongs you.
SIR HUGH EVANSMaster Ford, you must pray, and not follow the
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 135imaginations of your own heart: this is jealousies.
FORDWell, he's not here I seek for.
PAGENo, nor nowhere else but in your brain.
FORDHelp to search my house this one time. If I find
not what I seek, show no colour for my extremity; let
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 140me for ever be your table-sport; let them say of
me, 'As jealous as Ford, Chat searched a hollow
walnut for his wife's leman.' Satisfy me once more;
once more search with me.
MISTRESS FORDWhat, ho, Mistress Page! come you and the old woman
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 145down; my husband will come into the chamber.
FORDOld woman! what old woman's that?
MISTRESS FORDNay, it is my maid's aunt of Brentford.
FORDA witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not
forbid her my house? She comes of errands, does
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 150she? We are simple men; we do not know what's
brought to pass under the profession of
fortune-telling. She works by charms, by spells,
by the figure, and such daubery as this is, beyond
our element we know nothing. Come down, you witch,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 155you hag, you; come down, I say!
MISTRESS FORDNay, good, sweet husband! Good gentlemen, let him
not strike the old woman.
MISTRESS PAGECome, Mother Prat; come, give me your hand.
FORDI'll prat her.
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 160Out of my door, you witch, you hag, you baggage, you
polecat, you runyon! out, out! I'll conjure you,
I'll fortune-tell you.
MISTRESS PAGEAre you not ashamed? I think you have killed the
poor woman.
MISTRESS FORDAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 165Nay, he will do it. 'Tis a goodly credit for you.
FORDHang her, witch!
SIR HUGH EVANSBy the 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.
FORDAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 170Will you follow, gentlemen? I beseech you, follow;
see but the issue of my jealousy: if I cry out thus
upon no trail, never trust me when I open again.
PAGELet's obey his humour a little further: come,
gentlemen.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 175Trust me, he beat him most pitifully.
MISTRESS FORDNay, by the mass, that he did not; he beat him most
unpitifully, methought.
MISTRESS PAGEI'll have the cudgel hallowed and hung o'er the
altar; it hath done meritorious service.
MISTRESS FORDAct 4 Sc 2 Ln 180What think you? may we, with the warrant of
womanhood and the witness of a good conscience,
pursue him with any further revenge?
MISTRESS PAGEThe spirit of wantonness is, sure, scared out of
him: if the devil have him not in fee-simple, with
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 185fine and recovery, he will never, I think, in the
way of waste, attempt us again.
MISTRESS FORDShall we tell our husbands how we have served him?
MISTRESS PAGEYes, by all means; if it be but to scrape the
figures out of your husband's brains. If they can
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 190find in their hearts the poor unvirtuous fat knight
shall be any further afflicted, we two will still be
the ministers.
MISTRESS FORDI'll warrant they'll have him publicly shamed: and
methinks there would be no period to the jest,
Act 4 Sc 2 Ln 195should he not be publicly shamed.
MISTRESS PAGECome, to the forge with it then; shape it: I would
not have things cool.

ACT IV

SCENE III. A room in the Garter Inn.

BARDOLPHSir, 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.
HostWhat duke should that be comes so secretly? I hear
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 5not of him in the court. Let me speak with the
gentlemen: they speak English?
BARDOLPHAy, sir; I'll call them to you.
HostThey shall have my horses; but I'll make them pay;
I'll sauce them: they have had my house a week at
Act 4 Sc 3 Ln 10command; I have turned away my other guests: they
must come off; I'll sauce them. Come.

ACT IV

SCENE IV. A room in FORD'S house.

SIR HUGH EVANS'Tis one of the best discretions of a 'oman as ever
I did look upon.
PAGEAnd did he send you both these letters at an instant?
MISTRESS PAGEWithin a quarter of an hour.
FORDAct 4 Sc 4 Ln 5Pardon 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.
PAGEAct 4 Sc 4 Ln 10'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,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 15Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,
Where we may take him and disgrace him for it.
FORDThere is no better way than that they spoke of.
PAGEHow? to send him word they'll meet him in the park
at midnight? Fie, fie! he'll never come.
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 4 Sc 4 Ln 20You 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.
PAGEAct 4 Sc 4 Ln 25So think I too.
MISTRESS FORDDevise but how you'll use him when he comes,
And let us two devise to bring him thither.
MISTRESS PAGEThere is an old tale goes that Herne the hunter,
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 30Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight,
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns;
And there he blasts the tree and takes the cattle
And makes milch-kine yield blood and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner:
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 35You have heard of such a spirit, and well you know
The superstitious idle-headed eld
Received and did deliver to our age
This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.
PAGEWhy, yet there want not many that do fear
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 40In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak:
But what of this?
MISTRESS FORDMarry, this is our device;
That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us.
PAGEWell, let it not be doubted but he'll come:
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 45And in this shape when you have brought him thither,
What shall be done with him? what is your plot?
MISTRESS PAGEThat 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
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 50Like urchins, ouphes and fairies, green and white,
With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads,
And rattles in their hands: upon a sudden,
As Falstaff, she and I, are newly met,
Let them from forth a sawpit rush at once
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 55With some diffused song: upon their sight,
We two in great amazedness will fly:
Then let them all encircle him about
And, fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean knight,
And ask him why, that hour of fairy revel,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 60In their so sacred paths he dares to tread
In shape profane.
MISTRESS FORDAnd till he tell the truth,
Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound
And burn him with their tapers.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 4 Sc 4 Ln 65The truth being known,
We'll all present ourselves, dis-horn the spirit,
And mock him home to Windsor.
FORDThe children must
Be practised well to this, or they'll ne'er do't.
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 4 Sc 4 Ln 70I will teach the children their behaviors; and I
will be like a jack-an-apes also, to burn the
knight with my taber.
FORDThat will be excellent. I'll go and buy them vizards.
MISTRESS PAGEMy Nan shall be the queen of all the fairies,
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 75Finely attired in a robe of white.
PAGEThat silk will I go buy.
And in that time
Shall Master Slender steal my Nan away
And marry her at Eton. Go send to Falstaff straight.
FORDAct 4 Sc 4 Ln 80Nay I'll to him again in name of Brook
He'll tell me all his purpose: sure, he'll come.
MISTRESS PAGEFear not you that. Go get us properties
And tricking for our fairies.
SIR HUGH EVANSLet us about it: it is admirable pleasures and fery
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 85honest knaveries.
MISTRESS PAGEGo, Mistress Ford,
Send quickly to Sir John, to know his mind.
I'll to the doctor: he hath my good will,
And none but he, to marry with Nan Page.
Act 4 Sc 4 Ln 90That Slender, though well landed, is an idiot;
And he my husband best of all affects.
The doctor is well money'd, and his friends
Potent at court: he, none but he, shall have her,
Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave her.

ACT IV

SCENE V. A room in the Garter Inn.

HostWhat wouldst thou have, boor? what: thick-skin?
speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick, snap.
SIMPLEMarry, sir, I come to speak with Sir John Falstaff
from Master Slender.
HostAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 5There'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; hell speak like an Anthropophaginian
unto thee: knock, I say.
SIMPLEAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 10There'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.
HostHa! a fat woman! the knight may be robbed: I'll
call. Bully knight! bully Sir John! speak from
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 15thy lungs military: art thou there? it is thine
host, thine Ephesian, calls.
FALSTAFF How now, mine host!
HostHere's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of
thy fat woman. Let her descend, bully, let her
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 20descend; my chambers are honourable: fie! privacy?
fie!
FALSTAFFThere was, mine host, an old fat woman even now with
me; but she's gone.
SIMPLEPray you, sir, was't not the wise woman of
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 25Brentford?
FALSTAFFAy, marry, was it, mussel-shell: what would you with her?
SIMPLEMy master, sir, Master Slender, sent to her, seeing
her go through the streets, to know, sir, whether
one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain, had the
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 30chain or no.
FALSTAFFI spake with the old woman about it.
SIMPLEAnd what says she, I pray, sir?
FALSTAFFMarry, she says that the very same man that
beguiled Master Slender of his chain cozened him of
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 35it.
SIMPLEI would I could have spoken with the woman herself;
I had other things to have spoken with her too from
him.
FALSTAFFWhat are they? let us know.
HostAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 40Ay, come; quick.
SIMPLEI may not conceal them, sir.
HostConceal them, or thou diest.
SIMPLEWhy, sir, they were nothing but about Mistress Anne
Page; to know if it were my master's fortune to
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 45have her or no.
FALSTAFF'Tis, 'tis his fortune.
SIMPLEWhat, sir?
FALSTAFFTo have her, or no. Go; say the woman told me so.
SIMPLEMay I be bold to say so, sir?
FALSTAFFAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 50Ay, sir; like who more bold.
SIMPLEI thank your worship: I shall make my master glad
with these tidings.
HostThou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, Sir John. Was
there a wise woman with thee?
FALSTAFFAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 55Ay, that there was, mine host; one that hath 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.
BARDOLPHOut, alas, sir! cozenage, mere cozenage!
HostAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 60Where be my horses? speak well of them, varletto.
BARDOLPHRun 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.
HostAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 65They are gone but to meet the duke, villain: do not
say they be fled; Germans are honest men.
SIR HUGH EVANSWhere is mine host?
HostWhat is the matter, sir?
SIR HUGH EVANSHave a care of your entertainments: there is a
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 70friend 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
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 75'tis not convenient you should be cozened. Fare you well.
DOCTOR CAIUSVere is mine host de Jarteer?
HostHere, master doctor, in perplexity and doubtful dilemma.
DOCTOR CAIUSI cannot tell vat is dat: but it is tell-a me dat
you make grand preparation for a duke de Jamany: by
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 80my trot, dere is no duke dat the court is know to
come. I tell you for good vill: adieu.
HostHue and cry, villain, go! Assist me, knight. I am
undone! Fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone!
FALSTAFFI would all the world might be cozened; for I have
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 85been cozened and beaten too. If it should come to
the ear of the court, how I have been transformed
and how my transformation hath been washed and
cudgelled, they would melt me out of my fat drop by
drop and liquor fishermen's boots with me; I warrant
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 90they would whip me with their fine wits till I were
as crest-fallen as a dried pear. I never prospered
since I forswore myself at primero. Well, if my
wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent.
Now, whence come you?
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 95From the two parties, forsooth.
FALSTAFFThe devil take one party and his dam the other! and
so they shall be both bestowed. I have suffered more
for their sakes, more than the villanous inconstancy
of man's disposition is able to bear.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 4 Sc 5 Ln 100And 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 about her.
FALSTAFFWhat tellest thou me of black and blue? I was
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 105beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow;
and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of
Brentford: but that my admirable dexterity of wit,
my counterfeiting the action of an old woman,
delivered me, the knave constable had set me i' the
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 110stocks, i' the common stocks, for a witch.
MISTRESS QUICKLYSir, let me speak with you in your chamber: you
shall hear how things go; and, I warrant, to your
content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good
hearts, what ado here is to bring you together!
Act 4 Sc 5 Ln 115Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well, that
you are so crossed.
FALSTAFFCome up into my chamber.

ACT IV

SCENE VI. Another room in the Garter Inn.

HostMaster Fenton, talk not to me; my mind is heavy: I
will give over all.
FENTONYet hear me speak. Assist me in my purpose,
And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee
Act 4 Sc 6 Ln 5A hundred pound in gold more than your loss.
HostI will hear you, Master Fenton; and I will at the
least keep your counsel.
FENTONFrom time to time I have acquainted you
With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page;
Act 4 Sc 6 Ln 10Who 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,
Act 4 Sc 6 Ln 15That 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,
Act 4 Sc 6 Ln 20Must 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
Act 4 Sc 6 Ln 25Immediately to marry: she hath consented: Now, sir,
Her mother, ever strong against that match
And firm for Doctor Caius, hath appointed
That he shall likewise shuffle her away,
While other sports are tasking of their minds,
Act 4 Sc 6 Ln 30And at the deanery, where a priest attends,
Straight marry her: to this her mother's plot
She seemingly obedient likewise hath
Made promise to the doctor. Now, thus it rests:
Her father means she shall be all in white,
Act 4 Sc 6 Ln 35And in that habit, when Slender sees his time
To take her by the hand and bid her go,
She shall go with him: her mother hath intended,
The better to denote her to the doctor,
For they must all be mask'd and vizarded,
Act 4 Sc 6 Ln 40That quaint in green she shall be loose enrobed,
With ribands pendent, flaring 'bout her head;
And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe,
To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token,
The maid hath given consent to go with him.
HostAct 4 Sc 6 Ln 45Which means she to deceive, father or mother?
FENTONBoth, 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,
And, in the lawful name of marrying,
Act 4 Sc 6 Ln 50To give our hearts united ceremony.
HostWell, husband your device; I'll to the vicar:
Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.
FENTONSo shall I evermore be bound to thee;
Besides, I'll make a present recompense.

ACT V

SCENE I. A room in the Garter Inn.

FALSTAFFPrithee, no more prattling; go. I'll hold. This is
the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd
numbers. Away I go. They say there is divinity in
odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death. Away!
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 5 Sc 1 Ln 5I'll provide you a chain; and I'll do what I can to
get you a pair of horns.
FALSTAFFAway, I say; time wears: hold up your head, and mince.
How now, Master Brook! Master Brook, the matter
will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 10Park about midnight, at Herne's oak, and you shall
see wonders.
FORDWent you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me
you had appointed?
FALSTAFFI went to her, Master Brook, as you see, like a poor
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 15old 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
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 20woman; for in the shape of man, Master Brook, I fear
not Goliath with a weaver's beam; because I know
also life is a shuttle. I am in haste; go along
with me: I'll tell you all, Master Brook. Since I
plucked geese, played truant and whipped top, I knew
Act 5 Sc 1 Ln 25not what 'twas to be beaten till lately. Follow
me: I'll tell you strange things of this knave
Ford, on whom to-night I will be revenged, and I
will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow.
Strange things in hand, Master Brook! Follow.

ACT V

SCENE II. Windsor Park.

PAGECome, come; we'll couch i' the castle-ditch till we
see the light of our fairies. Remember, son Slender,
my daughter.
SLENDERAy, forsooth; I have spoke with her and we have a
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 5nay-word how to know one another: I come to her in
white, and cry 'mum;' she cries 'budget;' and by
that we know one another.
SHALLOWThat's good too: but what needs either your 'mum'
or her 'budget?' the white will decipher her well
Act 5 Sc 2 Ln 10enough. It hath struck ten o'clock.
PAGEThe 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.

ACT V

SCENE III. A street leading to the Park.

MISTRESS PAGEMaster doctor, my daughter is in green: when you
see your time, take her by the band, away with her
to the deanery, and dispatch it quickly. Go before
into the Park: we two must go together.
DOCTOR CAIUSAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 5I know vat I have to do. Adieu.
MISTRESS PAGEFare you well, sir.
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
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 10chiding than a great deal of heart-break.
MISTRESS FORDWhere is Nan now and her troop of fairies, and the
Welsh devil Hugh?
MISTRESS PAGEThey are all couched in a pit hard by Herne's oak,
with obscured lights; which, at the very instant of
Act 5 Sc 3 Ln 15Falstaff's and our meeting, they will at once
display to the night.
MISTRESS FORDThat cannot choose but amaze him.
MISTRESS PAGEIf he be not amazed, he will be mocked; if he be
amazed, he will every way be mocked.
MISTRESS FORDAct 5 Sc 3 Ln 20We'll betray him finely.
MISTRESS PAGEAgainst such lewdsters and their lechery
Those that betray them do no treachery.
MISTRESS FORDThe hour draws on. To the oak, to the oak!

ACT V

SCENE IV. Windsor Park.

SIR HUGH EVANSTrib, 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.

ACT V

SCENE V. Another part of the Park.

FALSTAFFThe 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
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 5respects, 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
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 10then another fault in the semblance of a fowl; think
on 't, Jove; a foul fault! When gods have hot
backs, what shall poor men do? For me, I am here a
Windsor stag; and the fattest, I think, i' the
forest. Send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 15blame me to piss my tallow? Who comes here? my
doe?
MISTRESS FORDSir John! art thou there, my deer? my male deer?
FALSTAFFMy doe with the black scut! Let the sky rain
potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 20Sleeves, hail kissing-comfits and snow eringoes; let
there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.
MISTRESS FORDMistress Page is come with me, sweetheart.
FALSTAFFDivide me like a bribe buck, each a haunch: I will
keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 25of this walk, and my horns I bequeath your husbands.
Am I a woodman, ha? Speak I like Herne the hunter?
Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience; he makes
restitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome!
MISTRESS PAGEAlas, what noise?
MISTRESS FORDAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 30Heaven forgive our sins
FALSTAFFWhat should this be?
MISTRESS FORDAway, away!
FALSTAFFI think the devil will not have me damned, lest the
oil that's in me should set hell on fire; he would
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 35never else cross me thus.
MISTRESS QUICKLYFairies, black, grey, green, and white,
You moonshine revellers and shades of night,
You orphan heirs of fixed destiny,
Attend your office and your quality.
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 40Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy oyes.
PISTOLElves, 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:
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 45Our radiant queen hates sluts and sluttery.
FALSTAFFThey are fairies; he that speaks to them shall die:
I'll wink and couch: no man their works must eye.
SIR HUGH EVANSWhere's Bede? Go you, and where you find a maid
That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 50Raise up the organs of her fantasy;
Sleep she as sound as careless infancy:
But those as sleep and think not on their sins,
Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides and shins.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAbout, about;
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 55Search Windsor Castle, elves, within and out:
Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room:
That it may stand till the perpetual doom,
In state as wholesome as in state 'tis fit,
Worthy the owner, and the owner it.
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 60The several chairs of order look you scour
With juice of balm and every precious flower:
Each fair instalment, coat, and several crest,
With loyal blazon, evermore be blest!
And nightly, meadow-fairies, look you sing,
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 65Like to the Garter's compass, in a ring:
The expressure that it bears, green let it be,
More fertile-fresh than all the field to see;
And 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' write
In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue and white;
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 70Let sapphire, pearl and rich embroidery,
Buckled below fair knighthood's bending knee:
Fairies use flowers for their charactery.
Away; disperse: but till 'tis one o'clock,
Our dance of custom round about the oak
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 75Of Herne the hunter, let us not forget.
SIR HUGH EVANSPray 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.
FALSTAFFAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 80Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy, lest he
transform me to a piece of cheese!
PISTOLVile worm, thou wast o'erlook'd even in thy birth.
MISTRESS QUICKLYWith trial-fire touch me his finger-end:
If he be chaste, the flame will back descend
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 85And turn him to no pain; but if he start,
It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.
PISTOLA trial, come.
SIR HUGH EVANSCome, will this wood take fire?
FALSTAFFOh, Oh, Oh!
MISTRESS QUICKLYAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 90Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire!
About him, fairies; sing a scornful rhyme;
And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time.
Fie on sinful fantasy!
Fie on lust and luxury!
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 95Lust is but a bloody fire,
Kindled with unchaste desire,
Fed in heart, whose flames aspire
As thoughts do blow them, higher and higher.
Pinch him, fairies, mutually;
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 100Pinch him for his villany;
Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about,
Till candles and starlight and moonshine be out.
PAGENay, do not fly; I think we have watch'd you now
Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn?
MISTRESS PAGEAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 105I pray you, come, hold up the jest no higher
Now, good Sir John, how like you Windsor wives?
See you these, husband? do not these fair yokes
Become the forest better than the town?
FORDNow, sir, who's a cuckold now? Master Brook,
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 110Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldly knave; here are his
horns, Master Brook: and, Master Brook, he hath
enjoyed nothing of Ford's but his buck-basket, his
cudgel, and twenty pounds of money, which must be
paid to Master Brook; his horses are arrested for
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 115it, Master Brook.
MISTRESS FORDSir John, we have had ill luck; we could never meet.
I will never take you for my love again; but I will
always count you my deer.
FALSTAFFI do begin to perceive that I am made an ass.
FORDAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 120Ay, and an ox too: both the proofs are extant.
FALSTAFFAnd these are not fairies? I was three or four
times in the thought they were not fairies: and yet
the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surprise of my
powers, drove the grossness of the foppery into a
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 125received 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!
SIR HUGH EVANSSir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 130desires, and fairies will not pinse you.
FORDWell said, fairy Hugh.
SIR HUGH EVANSAnd leave your jealousies too, I pray you.
FORDI will never mistrust my wife again till thou art
able to woo her in good English.
FALSTAFFAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 135Have 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 toasted cheese.
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 140Seese is not good to give putter; your belly is all putter.
FALSTAFF'Seese' and 'putter'! have I lived to stand at the
taunt of one that makes fritters of English? This
is enough to be the decay of lust and late-walking
through the realm.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 145Why Sir John, do you think, though we would have the
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?
FORDWhat, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax?
MISTRESS PAGEAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 150A puffed man?
PAGEOld, cold, withered and of intolerable entrails?
FORDAnd one that is as slanderous as Satan?
PAGEAnd as poor as Job?
FORDAnd as wicked as his wife?
SIR HUGH EVANSAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 155And given to fornications, and to taverns and sack
and wine and metheglins, and to drinkings and
swearings and starings, pribbles and prabbles?
FALSTAFFWell, I am your theme: you have the start of me; I
am dejected; I am not able to answer the Welsh
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 160flannel; ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me: use
me as you will.
FORDMarry, sir, we'll bring you to Windsor, to one
Master Brook, that you have cozened of money, to
whom you should have been a pander: over and above
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 165that you have suffered, I think to repay that money
will be a biting affliction.
PAGEYet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt eat a posset
to-night at my house; where I will desire thee to
laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee: tell her
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 170Master Slender hath married her daughter.
MISTRESS PAGE Doctors doubt that: if Anne Page be my
daughter, she is, by this, Doctor Caius' wife.
SLENDERWhoa ho! ho, father Page!
PAGESon, how now! how now, son! have you dispatched?
SLENDERAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 175Dispatched! I'll make the best in Gloucestershire
know on't; would I were hanged, la, else.
PAGEOf what, son?
SLENDERI came yonder at Eton to marry Mistress Anne Page,
and she's a great lubberly boy. If it had not been
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 180i' 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.
PAGEUpon my life, then, you took the wrong.
SLENDERAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 185What 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.
PAGEWhy, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you how
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 190you should know my daughter by her garments?
SLENDERI 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.
MISTRESS PAGEGood George, be not angry: I knew of your purpose;
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 195turned my daughter into green; and, indeed, she is
now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married.
DOCTOR CAIUSVere is Mistress Page? By gar, I am cozened: I ha'
married un garcon, a boy; un paysan, by gar, a boy;
it is not Anne Page: by gar, I am cozened.
MISTRESS PAGEAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 200Why, did you take her in green?
DOCTOR CAIUSAy, by gar, and 'tis a boy: by gar, I'll raise all Windsor.
FORDThis is strange. Who hath got the right Anne?
PAGEMy heart misgives me: here comes Master Fenton.
How now, Master Fenton!
ANNE PAGEAct 5 Sc 5 Ln 205Pardon, good father! good my mother, pardon!
PAGENow, mistress, how chance you went not with Master Slender?
MISTRESS PAGEWhy went you not with master doctor, maid?
FENTONYou do amaze her: hear the truth of it.
You would have married her most shamefully,
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 210Where there was no proportion held in love.
The truth is, she and I, long since contracted,
Are now so sure that nothing can dissolve us.
The offence is holy that she hath committed;
And this deceit loses the name of craft,
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 215Of disobedience, or unduteous title,
Since therein she doth evitate and shun
A thousand irreligious cursed hours,
Which forced marriage would have brought upon her.
FORDStand not amazed; here is no remedy:
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 220In love the heavens themselves do guide the state;
Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.
FALSTAFFI am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand to
strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced.
PAGEWell, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give thee joy!
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 225What cannot be eschew'd must be embraced.
FALSTAFFWhen night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chased.
MISTRESS PAGEWell, I will muse no further. Master Fenton,
Heaven give you many, many merry days!
Good husband, let us every one go home,
Act 5 Sc 5 Ln 230And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire;
Sir John and all.
FORDLet it be so. Sir John,
To Master Brook you yet shall hold your word
For he tonight shall lie with Mistress Ford.