The Merry Wives of Windsor

A comedy written in 1600 by William Shakespeare

1(stage directions)11[Enter SHALLOW, SLENDER, and SIR HUGH EVANS]
211SHALLOWSir 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.
311SLENDERIn the county of Gloucester, justice of peace and 'Coram.'
411SHALLOWAy, cousin Slender, and 'Custalourum.
511SLENDERAy, and 'Rato-lorum' too; and a gentleman born, master parson; who writes himself 'Armigero,' in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, 'Armigero.'
611SHALLOWAy, that I do; and have done any time these three hundred years.
711SLENDERAll 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.
811SHALLOWIt is an old coat.
911SIR 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.
1011SHALLOWThe luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.
1111SLENDERI may quarter, coz.
1211SHALLOWYou may, by marrying.
1311SIR HUGH EVANSIt is marring indeed, if he quarter it.
1411SHALLOWNot a whit.
1511SIR HUGH EVANSYes, py'r lady; if he has a quarter of your coat, there is but three skirts for yourself, in my simple conjectures: but that is all one. If Sir John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto you, I am of the church, and will be glad to do my benevolence to make atonements and compremises between you.
1611SHALLOWThe council shall bear it; it is a riot.
1711SIR 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 riot; take your vizaments in that.
1811SHALLOWHa! o' my life, if I were young again, the sword should end it.
1911SIR HUGH EVANSIt is petter that friends is the sword, and end it: and there is also another device in my prain, which peradventure prings goot discretions with it: there is Anne Page, which is daughter to Master Thomas Page, which is pretty virginity.
2011SLENDERMistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks small like a woman.
2111SIR HUGH EVANSIt is that fery person for all the orld, as just as you will desire; and seven hundred pounds of moneys, and gold and silver, is her grandsire upon his death's-bed--Got deliver to a joyful resurrections! --give, when she is able to overtake seventeen years old: it were a goot motion if we leave our pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage between Master Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.
2211SLENDERDid her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?
2311SIR HUGH EVANSAy, and her father is make her a petter penny.
2411SLENDERI know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.
2511SIR HUGH EVANSSeven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts.
2611SHALLOWWell, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff there?
2711SIR 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 is not true. The knight, Sir John, is there; and, I beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will peat the door for Master Page. [Knocks] What, hoa! Got pless your house here!
2811PAGE[Within] Who's there?
29(stage directions)11[Enter PAGE]
3011SIR HUGH EVANSHere 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.
3111PAGEI am glad to see your worships well. I thank you for my venison, Master Shallow.
3211SHALLOWMaster 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.
3311PAGESir, I thank you.
3411SHALLOWSir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.
3511PAGEI am glad to see you, good Master Slender.
3611SLENDERHow does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say he was outrun on Cotsall.
3711PAGEIt could not be judged, sir.
3811SLENDERYou'll not confess, you'll not confess.
3911SHALLOWThat he will not. 'Tis your fault, 'tis your fault; 'tis a good dog.
4011PAGEA cur, sir.
4111SHALLOWSir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog: can there be more said? he is good and fair. Is Sir John Falstaff here?
4211PAGESir, he is within; and I would I could do a good office between you.
4311SIR HUGH EVANSIt is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
4411SHALLOWHe hath wronged me, Master Page.
4511PAGESir, he doth in some sort confess it.
4611SHALLOWIf it be confessed, it is not redress'd: is not that so, Master Page? He hath wronged me; indeed he hath, at a word, he hath, believe me: Robert Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wronged.
4711PAGEHere comes Sir John.
48(stage directions)11[Enter FALSTAFF, BARDOLPH, NYM, and PISTOL]
4911FALSTAFFNow, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me to the king?
5011SHALLOWKnight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer, and broke open my lodge.
5111FALSTAFFBut not kissed your keeper's daughter?
5211SHALLOWTut, a pin! this shall be answered.
5311FALSTAFFI will answer it straight; I have done all this. That is now answered.
5411SHALLOWThe council shall know this.
5511FALSTAFF'Twere better for you if it were known in counsel: you'll be laughed at.
5611SIR HUGH EVANSPauca verba, Sir John; goot worts.
5711FALSTAFFGood worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke your head: what matter have you against me?
5811SLENDERMarry, sir, I have matter in my head against you; and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol.
5911BARDOLPHYou Banbury cheese!
6011SLENDERAy, it is no matter.
6111PISTOLHow now, Mephostophilus!
6211SLENDERAy, it is no matter.
6311NYMSlice, I say! pauca, pauca: slice! that's my humour.
6411SLENDERWhere's Simple, my man? Can you tell, cousin?
6511SIR HUGH EVANSPeace, 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.
6611PAGEWe three, to hear it and end it between them.
6711SIR 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.
6911PISTOLHe hears with ears.
7011SIR HUGH EVANSThe tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, 'He hears with ear'? why, it is affectations.
7111FALSTAFFPistol, did you pick Master Slender's purse?
7211SLENDERAy, by these gloves, did he, or I would I might never come in mine own great chamber again else, of seven groats in mill-sixpences, and two Edward shovel-boards, that cost me two shilling and two pence apiece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
7311FALSTAFFIs this true, Pistol?
7411SIR HUGH EVANSNo; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
7511PISTOLHa, 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!
7611SLENDERBy these gloves, then, 'twas he.
7711NYMBe 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.
7811SLENDERBy this hat, then, he in the red face had it; for though I cannot remember what I did when you made me drunk, yet I am not altogether an ass.
7911FALSTAFFWhat say you, Scarlet and John?
8011BARDOLPHWhy, sir, for my part I say the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five sentences.
8111SIR HUGH EVANSIt is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is!
8211BARDOLPHAnd being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; and so conclusions passed the careires.
8311SLENDERAy, you spake in Latin then too; but 'tis no matter: I'll ne'er be drunk whilst I live again, but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick: if I be drunk, I'll be drunk with those that have the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves.
8411SIR HUGH EVANSSo Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.
8511FALSTAFFYou hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it. [Enter ANNE PAGE, with wine; MISTRESS FORD] and MISTRESS PAGE, following]
8611PAGENay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink within.
87(stage directions)11[Exit ANNE PAGE]
8811SLENDERO heaven! this is Mistress Anne Page.
8911PAGEHow now, Mistress Ford!
9011FALSTAFFMistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good mistress.
91(stage directions)11[Kisses her]
9211PAGEWife, bid these gentlemen welcome. Come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner: come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.
93(stage directions)11[Exeunt all except SHALLOW, SLENDER, and SIR HUGH EVANS]
9411SLENDERI had rather than forty shillings I had my Book of Songs and Sonnets here. [Enter SIMPLE] How now, Simple! where have you been? I must wait on myself, must I? You have not the Book of Riddles about you, have you?
9511SIMPLEBook of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake upon All-hallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas?
9611SHALLOWCome, 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?
9711SLENDERAy, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if it be so, I shall do that that is reason.
9811SHALLOWNay, but understand me.
9911SLENDERSo I do, sir.
10011SIR HUGH EVANSGive ear to his motions, Master Slender: I will description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.
10111SLENDERNay, 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.
10211SIR HUGH EVANSBut that is not the question: the question is concerning your marriage.
10311SHALLOWAy, there's the point, sir.
10411SIR HUGH EVANSMarry, is it; the very point of it; to Mistress Anne Page.
10511SLENDERWhy, if it be so, I will marry her upon any reasonable demands.
10611SIR HUGH EVANSBut 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?
10711SHALLOWCousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?
10811SLENDERI hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that would do reason.
10911SIR HUGH EVANSNay, Got's lords and his ladies! you must speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires towards her.
11011SHALLOWThat you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?
11111SLENDERI will do a greater thing than that, upon your request, cousin, in any reason.
11211SHALLOWNay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz: what I do is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the maid?
11311SLENDERI 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; I hope, upon familiarity will grow more contempt: but if you say, 'Marry her,' I will marry her; that I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely.
11411SIR HUGH EVANSIt is a fery discretion answer; save the fall is in the ort 'dissolutely:' the ort is, according to our meaning, 'resolutely:' his meaning is good.
11511SHALLOWAy, I think my cousin meant well.
11611SLENDERAy, or else I would I might be hanged, la!
11711SHALLOWHere comes fair Mistress Anne. [Re-enter ANNE PAGE] Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne!
11811ANNE PAGEThe dinner is on the table; my father desires your worships' company.
11911SHALLOWI will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.
12011SIR HUGH EVANSOd's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.
121(stage directions)11[Exeunt SHALLOW and SIR HUGH EVANS]
12211ANNE PAGEWill't please your worship to come in, sir?
12311SLENDERNo, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well.
12411ANNE PAGEThe dinner attends you, sir.
12511SLENDERI am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth. Go, sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my cousin Shallow. [Exit SIMPLE] A justice of peace sometimes may be beholding to his friend for a man. I keep but three men and a boy yet, till my mother be dead: but what though? Yet I live like a poor gentleman born.
12611ANNE PAGEI may not go in without your worship: they will not sit till you come.
12711SLENDERI' faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much as though I did.
12811ANNE PAGEI pray you, sir, walk in.
12911SLENDERI had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruised my shin th' other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence; three veneys for a dish of stewed 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?
13011ANNE PAGEI think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.
13111SLENDERI 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?
13211ANNE PAGEAy, indeed, sir.
13311SLENDERThat'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 rough things.
134(stage directions)11[Re-enter PAGE]
13511PAGECome, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay for you.
13611SLENDERI'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.
13711PAGEBy cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! come, come.
13811SLENDERNay, pray you, lead the way.
13911PAGECome on, sir.
14011SLENDERMistress Anne, yourself shall go first.
14111ANNE PAGENot I, sir; pray you, keep on.
14211SLENDERI'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome. You do yourself wrong, indeed, la!
143(stage directions)11[Exeunt]
144(stage directions)12[Enter SIR HUGH EVANS and SIMPLE]
14512SIR 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 his wringer.
14612SIMPLEWell, sir.
14712SIR 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 and require her to solicit your master's desires to Mistress Anne Page. I pray you, be gone: I will make an end of my dinner; there's pippins and cheese to come.
148(stage directions)12[Exeunt] [Enter FALSTAFF, Host, BARDOLPH, NYM, PISTOL,] and ROBIN]
14913FALSTAFFMine host of the Garter!
15013HOSTWhat says my bully-rook? speak scholarly and wisely.
15113FALSTAFFTruly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers.
15213HOSTDiscard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.
15313FALSTAFFI sit at ten pounds a week.
15413HOSTThou'rt an emperor, Caesar, Keisar, and Pheezar. I will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector?
15513FALSTAFFDo so, good mine host.
15613HOSTI have spoke; let him follow. [To BARDOLPH] Let me see thee froth and lime: I am at a word; follow.
157(stage directions)13[Exit]
15813FALSTAFFBardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade: an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered serving-man a fresh tapster. Go; adieu.
15913BARDOLPHIt is a life that I have desired: I will thrive.
16013PISTOLO base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?
161(stage directions)13[Exit BARDOLPH]
16213NYMHe was gotten in drink: is not the humour conceited?
16313FALSTAFFI am glad I am so acquit of this tinderbox: his thefts were too open; his filching was like an unskilful singer; he kept not time.
16413NYMThe good humour is to steal at a minute's rest.
16513PISTOL'Convey,' the wise it call. 'Steal!' foh! a fico for the phrase!
16613FALSTAFFWell, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
16713PISTOLWhy, then, let kibes ensue.
16813FALSTAFFThere is no remedy; I must cony-catch; I must shift.
16913PISTOLYoung ravens must have food.
17013FALSTAFFWhich of you know Ford of this town?
17113PISTOLI ken the wight: he is of substance good.
17213FALSTAFFMy honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
17313PISTOLTwo yards, and more.
17413FALSTAFFNo quips now, Pistol! Indeed, I am in the waist two yards about; but I am now about no waste; I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford's wife: I spy entertainment in her; she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation: I can construe the action of her familiar style; and the hardest voice of her behavior, to be Englished rightly, is, 'I am Sir John Falstaff's.'
17513PISTOLHe hath studied her will, and translated her will, out of honesty into English.
17613NYMThe anchor is deep: will that humour pass?
17713FALSTAFFNow, the report goes she has all the rule of her husband's purse: he hath a legion of angels.
17813PISTOLAs many devils entertain; and 'To her, boy,' say I.
17913NYMThe humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.
18013FALSTAFFI have writ me here a letter to her: and here another to Page's wife, who even now gave me good eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious oeillades; sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.
18113PISTOLThen did the sun on dunghill shine.
18213NYMI thank thee for that humour.
18313FALSTAFFO, she did so course o'er my exteriors with such a greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye did seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass! Here's another letter to her: she bears the purse too; she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will be 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.
18413PISTOLShall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become, And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all!
18513NYMI will run no base humour: here, take the humour-letter: I will keep the havior of reputation.
18613FALSTAFF[To ROBIN] Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly; Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores. Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go; Trudge, plod away o' the hoof; seek shelter, pack! Falstaff will learn the humour of the age, French thrift, you rogues; myself and skirted page.
187(stage directions)13[Exeunt FALSTAFF and ROBIN]
18813PISTOLLet 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!
18913NYMI have operations which be humours of revenge.
19013PISTOLWilt thou revenge?
19113NYMBy welkin and her star!
19213PISTOLWith wit or steel?
19313NYMWith both the humours, I: I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.
19413PISTOLAnd I to Ford shall eke unfold How Falstaff, varlet vile, His dove will prove, his gold will hold, And his soft couch defile.
19513NYMMy humour shall not cool: I will incense Page to deal with poison; I will possess him with yellowness, for the revolt of mine is dangerous: that is my true humour.
19613PISTOLThou art the Mars of malecontents: I second thee; troop on.
197(stage directions)13[Exeunt]
198(stage directions)14[Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY, SIMPLE, and RUGBY]
19914HOSTESSWhat, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the casement, and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor Caius, coming. If he do, i' faith, and find any body in the house, here will be an old abusing of God's patience and the king's English.
20014RUGBYI'll go watch.
20114HOSTESSGo; and we'll have a posset for't soon at night, in faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire. [Exit RUGBY] An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant shall come 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?
20214SIMPLEAy, for fault of a better.
20314HOSTESSAnd Master Slender's your master?
20414SIMPLEAy, forsooth.
20514HOSTESSDoes he not wear a great round beard, like a glover's paring-knife?
20614SIMPLENo, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with a little yellow beard, a Cain-coloured beard.
20714HOSTESSA softly-sprighted man, is he not?
20814SIMPLEAy, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his hands as any is between this and his head; he hath fought with a warrener.
20914HOSTESSHow say you? O, I should remember him: does he not hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?
21014SIMPLEYes, indeed, does he.
21114HOSTESSWell, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! Tell Master Parson Evans I will do what I can for your master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish--
212(stage directions)14[Re-enter RUGBY]
21314RUGBYOut, alas! here comes my master.
21414HOSTESSWe shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man; go into this closet: he will not stay long. [Shuts SIMPLE in the closet] What, John Rugby! John! what, John, I say! Go, John, go inquire for my master; I doubt he be not well, that he comes not home. [Singing] And down, down, adown-a, &c.
215(stage directions)14[Enter DOCTOR CAIUS]
21614DOCTOR CAIUSVat is you sing? I do not like des toys. Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un boitier vert, a box, a green-a box: do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.
21714HOSTESSAy, forsooth; I'll fetch it you. [Aside] I am glad he went not in himself: if he had found the young man, he would have been horn-mad.
21814DOCTOR CAIUSFe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je m'en vais a la cour--la grande affaire.
21914HOSTESSIs it this, sir?
22014DOCTOR CAIUSOui; mette le au mon pocket: depeche, quickly. Vere is dat knave Rugby?
22114HOSTESSWhat, John Rugby! John!
22214RUGBYHere, sir!
22314DOCTOR CAIUSYou are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby. Come, take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to the court.
22414RUGBY'Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.
22514DOCTOR CAIUSBy 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.
22614HOSTESSAy me, he'll find the young man here, and be mad!
22714DOCTOR CAIUSO diable, diable! vat is in my closet? Villain! larron! [Pulling SIMPLE out] Rugby, my rapier!
22814HOSTESSGood master, be content.
22914DOCTOR CAIUSWherefore shall I be content-a?
23014HOSTESSThe young man is an honest man.
23114DOCTOR CAIUSWhat shall de honest man do in my closet? dere is no honest man dat shall come in my closet.
23214HOSTESSI beseech you, be not so phlegmatic. Hear the truth of it: he came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh.
23414SIMPLEAy, forsooth; to desire her to--
23514HOSTESSPeace, I pray you.
23614DOCTOR CAIUSPeace-a your tongue. Speak-a your tale.
23714SIMPLETo desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page for my master in the way of marriage.
23814HOSTESSThis is all, indeed, la! but I'll ne'er put my finger in the fire, and need not.
23914DOCTOR CAIUSSir Hugh send-a you? Rugby, baille me some paper. Tarry you a little-a while.
240(stage directions)14[Writes]
24114HOSTESS[Aside to SIMPLE] I am glad he is so quiet: if he had been thoroughly moved, you should have heard him so loud and so melancholy. But notwithstanding, man, I'll do you your master what good I can: and the very yea and the no is, the French doctor, my master,--I may call him my master, look you, for I keep his house; and I wash, wring, brew, bake, scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds and do all myself,--
24214SIMPLE[Aside to MISTRESS QUICKLY] 'Tis a great charge to come under one body's hand.
24314HOSTESS[Aside to SIMPLE] Are you avised o' that? you shall find it a great charge: and to be up early and down late; but notwithstanding,--to tell you in your ear; I would have no words of it,--my master himself is in love with Mistress Anne Page: but notwithstanding that, I know Anne's mind,--that's neither here nor there.
24414DOCTOR 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 to meddle or make. You may be gone; it is not good you tarry here. By gar, I will cut all his two stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to throw at his dog:
245(stage directions)14[Exit SIMPLE]
24614HOSTESSAlas, he speaks but for his friend.
24714DOCTOR CAIUSIt 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.
24814HOSTESSSir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. We must give folks leave to prate: what, the good-jer!
24914DOCTOR 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.
250(stage directions)14[Exeunt DOCTOR CAIUS and RUGBY]
25114HOSTESSYou 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.
25214FENTON[Within] Who's within there? ho!
25314HOSTESSWho's there, I trow! Come near the house, I pray you.
254(stage directions)14[Enter FENTON]
25514FENTONHow now, good woman? how dost thou?
25614HOSTESSThe better that it pleases your good worship to ask.
25714FENTONWhat news? how does pretty Mistress Anne?
25814HOSTESSIn truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you that by the way; I praise heaven for it.
25914FENTONShall I do any good, thinkest thou? shall I not lose my suit?
26014HOSTESSTroth, sir, all is in his hands above: but notwithstanding, Master Fenton, I'll be sworn on a book, she loves you. Have not your worship a wart above your eye?
26114FENTONYes, marry, have I; what of that?
26214HOSTESSWell, thereby hangs a tale: good faith, it is such another Nan; but, I detest, an honest maid as ever broke bread: we had an hour's talk of that wart. I shall never laugh but in that maid's company! But indeed she is given too much to allicholy and musing: but for you--well, go to.
26314FENTONWell, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there's money for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if thou seest her before me, commend me.
26414HOSTESSWill 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.
26514FENTONWell, farewell; I am in great haste now.
26614HOSTESSFarewell to your worship. [Exit FENTON] Truly, an honest gentleman: but Anne loves him not; for I know Anne's mind as well as another does. Out upon't! what have I forgot?
267(stage directions)14[Exit]
268(stage directions)21[Enter MISTRESS PAGE, with a letter]
26921MISTRESS PAGEWhat, have I scaped love-letters in the holiday- time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them? Let me see. [Reads] 'Ask me no reason why I love you; for though Love use Reason for his physician, he admits him not for his counsellor. You are not young, no more am I; go to then, there's sympathy: you are merry, so am I; ha, ha! then there's more sympathy: you love sack, and so do I; would you desire better sympathy? Let it suffice thee, Mistress Page,--at the least, if the love of soldier can suffice,-- that I love thee. I will not say, pity me; 'tis not a soldier-like phrase: but I say, love me. By me, Thine own true knight, By day or night, Or any kind of light, With all his might For thee to fight, JOHN FALSTAFF' What a Herod of Jewry is this! O wicked world! One that is well-nigh worn to pieces with age to show himself a young gallant! What an unweighed behavior hath this Flemish drunkard picked--with the devil's name!--out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me? Why, he hath not been thrice in my company! What should I say to him? I was then frugal of my mirth: Heaven forgive me! Why, I'll exhibit a bill in the parliament for the putting down of men. How shall I be revenged on him? for revenged I will be, as sure as his guts are made of puddings.
270(stage directions)21[Enter MISTRESS FORD]
27121MISTRESS FORDMistress Page! trust me, I was going to your house.
27221MISTRESS PAGEAnd, trust me, I was coming to you. You look very ill.
27321MISTRESS FORDNay, I'll ne'er believe that; I have to show to the contrary.
27421MISTRESS PAGEFaith, but you do, in my mind.
27521MISTRESS FORDWell, I do then; yet I say I could show you to the contrary. O Mistress Page, give me some counsel!
27621MISTRESS PAGEWhat's the matter, woman?
27721MISTRESS FORDO woman, if it were not for one trifling respect, I could come to such honour!
27821MISTRESS PAGEHang the trifle, woman! take the honour. What is it? dispense with trifles; what is it?
27921MISTRESS FORDIf I would but go to hell for an eternal moment or so, I could be knighted.
28021MISTRESS PAGEWhat? thou liest! Sir Alice Ford! These knights will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry.
28121MISTRESS FORDWe burn daylight: here, read, read; perceive how I might be knighted. I shall think the worse of fat men, as long as I have an eye to make difference of men's liking: and yet he would not swear; praised women's modesty; and gave such orderly and well-behaved reproof to all uncomeliness, that I would have sworn his disposition would have gone to the truth of his words; but they do no more adhere and keep place together than the Hundredth Psalm to the tune of 'Green Sleeves.' What tempest, I trow, threw this whale, with so many tuns of oil in his belly, ashore at Windsor? How shall I be revenged on him? I think the best way were to entertain him with hope, till the wicked fire of lust have melted him in his own grease. Did you ever hear the like?
28221MISTRESS PAGELetter for letter, but that the name of Page and Ford differs! To thy great comfort in this mystery of ill opinions, here's the twin-brother of thy letter: but let thine inherit first; for, I protest, mine never shall. I warrant he hath a thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for different names--sure, more,--and these are of the second edition: he will print them, out of doubt; for he cares not what he puts into the press, when he would put us two. I had rather be a giantess, and lie under Mount Pelion. Well, I will find you twenty lascivious turtles ere one chaste man.
28321MISTRESS FORDWhy, this is the very same; the very hand, the very words. What doth he think of us?
28421MISTRESS 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; for, sure, unless he know some strain in me, that I know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury.
28521MISTRESS FORD'Boarding,' call you it? I'll be sure to keep him above deck.
28621MISTRESS PAGESo will I. if he come under my hatches, I'll never to sea again. Let's be revenged on him: let's appoint him a meeting; give him a show of comfort in his suit and lead him on with a fine-baited delay, till he hath pawned his horses to mine host of the Garter.
28721MISTRESS FORDNay, I will consent to act any villany against him, that may not sully the chariness of our honesty. O, that my husband saw this letter! it would give eternal food to his jealousy.
28821MISTRESS PAGEWhy, look where he comes; and my good man too: he's as far from jealousy as I am from giving him cause; and that I hope is an unmeasurable distance.
28921MISTRESS FORDYou are the happier woman.
29021MISTRESS PAGELet's consult together against this greasy knight. Come hither.
291(stage directions)21[They retire]
292(stage directions)21[Enter FORD with PISTOL, and PAGE with NYM]
29321FORDWell, I hope it be not so.
29421PISTOLHope is a curtal dog in some affairs: Sir John affects thy wife.
29521FORDWhy, sir, my wife is not young.
29621PISTOLHe wooes both high and low, both rich and poor, Both young and old, one with another, Ford; He loves the gallimaufry: Ford, perpend.
29721FORDLove my wife!
29821PISTOLWith liver burning hot. Prevent, or go thou, Like Sir Actaeon he, with Ringwood at thy heels: O, odious is the name!
29921FORDWhat name, sir?
30021PISTOLThe horn, I say. Farewell. Take heed, have open eye, for thieves do foot by night: Take heed, ere summer comes or cuckoo-birds do sing. Away, Sir Corporal Nym! Believe it, Page; he speaks sense.
301(stage directions)21[Exit]
30221FORD[Aside] I will be patient; I will find out this.
30321NYM[To PAGE] And this is true; I like not the humour of lying. He hath wronged me in some humours: I should have borne the humoured letter to her; but I have a sword and it shall bite upon my necessity. He loves your wife; there's the short and the long. My name is Corporal Nym; I speak and I avouch; 'tis true: my name is Nym and Falstaff loves your wife. Adieu. I love not the humour of bread and cheese, and there's the humour of it. Adieu.
304(stage directions)21[Exit]
30521PAGE'The humour of it,' quoth a'! here's a fellow frights English out of his wits.
30621FORDI will seek out Falstaff.
30721PAGEI never heard such a drawling, affecting rogue.
30821FORDIf I do find it: well.
30921PAGEI will not believe such a Cataian, though the priest o' the town commended him for a true man.
31021FORD'Twas a good sensible fellow: well.
31121PAGEHow now, Meg!
312(stage directions)21[MISTRESS PAGE and MISTRESS FORD come forward]
31321MISTRESS PAGEWhither go you, George? Hark you.
31421MISTRESS FORDHow now, sweet Frank! why art thou melancholy?
31521FORDI melancholy! I am not melancholy. Get you home, go.
31621MISTRESS FORDFaith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head. Now, will you go, Mistress Page?
31721MISTRESS PAGEHave with you. You'll come to dinner, George. [Aside to MISTRESS FORD] Look who comes yonder: she shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.
31821MISTRESS FORD[Aside to MISTRESS PAGE] Trust me, I thought on her: she'll fit it.
319(stage directions)21[Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY]
32021MISTRESS PAGEYou are come to see my daughter Anne?
32121HOSTESSAy, forsooth; and, I pray, how does good Mistress Anne?
32221MISTRESS PAGEGo in with us and see: we have an hour's talk with you.
323(stage directions)21[Exeunt MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS FORD, and MISTRESS QUICKLY]
32421PAGEHow now, Master Ford!
32521FORDYou heard what this knave told me, did you not?
32621PAGEYes: and you heard what the other told me?
32721FORDDo you think there is truth in them?
32821PAGEHang 'em, slaves! I do not think the knight would offer it: but these that accuse him in his intent towards our wives are a yoke of his discarded men; very rogues, now they be out of service.
32921FORDWere they his men?
33021PAGEMarry, were they.
33121FORDI like it never the better for that. Does he lie at the Garter?
33221PAGEAy, 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.
33321FORDI 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.
33421PAGELook where my ranting host of the Garter comes: there is either liquor in his pate or money in his purse when he looks so merrily. [Enter Host] How now, mine host!
33521HOSTHow now, bully-rook! thou'rt a gentleman. Cavaleiro-justice, I say!
336(stage directions)21[Enter SHALLOW]
33721SHALLOWI follow, mine host, I follow. Good even and twenty, good Master Page! Master Page, will you go with us? we have sport in hand.
33821HOSTTell him, cavaleiro-justice; tell him, bully-rook.
33921SHALLOWSir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir Hugh the Welsh priest and Caius the French doctor.
34021FORDGood mine host o' the Garter, a word with you.
341(stage directions)21[Drawing him aside]
34221HOSTWhat sayest thou, my bully-rook?
34321SHALLOW[To PAGE] Will you go with us to behold it? My merry host hath had the measuring of their weapons; and, I think, hath appointed them contrary places; for, believe me, I hear the parson is no jester. Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.
344(stage directions)21[They converse apart]
34521HOSTHast thou no suit against my knight, my guest-cavaleire?
34621FORDNone, I protest: but I'll give you a pottle of burnt sack to give me recourse to him and tell him my name is Brook; only for a jest.
34721HOSTMy 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?
34821SHALLOWHave with you, mine host.
34921PAGEI have heard the Frenchman hath good skill in his rapier.
35021SHALLOWTut, sir, I could have told you more. In these times you stand on distance, your passes, stoccadoes, and I know not what: 'tis the heart, Master Page; 'tis here, 'tis here. I have seen the time, with my long sword I would have made you four tall fellows skip like rats.
35121HOSTHere, boys, here, here! shall we wag?
35221PAGEHave with you. I would rather hear them scold than fight.
353(stage directions)21[Exeunt Host, SHALLOW, and PAGE]
35421FORDThough Page be a secure fool, an stands so firmly on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my opinion so easily: she was in his company at Page's house; and what they made there, I know not. Well, I will look further into't: and I have a disguise to sound Falstaff. If I find her honest, I lose not my labour; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestowed.
355(stage directions)21[Exit]
356(stage directions)22[Enter FALSTAFF and PISTOL]
35722FALSTAFFI will not lend thee a penny.
35822PISTOLWhy, then the world's mine oyster. Which I with sword will open.
35922FALSTAFFNot a penny. I have been content, sir, you should lay my countenance to pawn; I have grated upon my good friends for three reprieves for you and your coach-fellow Nym; or else you had looked through the grate, like a geminy of baboons. I am damned in hell for swearing to gentlemen my friends, you were good soldiers and tall fellows; and when Mistress Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took't upon mine honour thou hadst it not.
36022PISTOLDidst not thou share? hadst thou not fifteen pence?
36122FALSTAFFReason, you rogue, reason: thinkest thou I'll endanger my soul gratis? At a word, hang no more about me, I am no gibbet for you. Go. A short knife and a throng! To your manor of Pickt-hatch! Go. You'll not bear a letter for me, you rogue! you stand upon your honour! Why, thou unconfinable baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the terms of my honour precise: I, I, I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of God on the left hand and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to shuffle, to hedge and to lurch; and yet you, rogue, will ensconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour! You will not do it, you!
36222PISTOLI do relent: what would thou more of man?
363(stage directions)22[Enter ROBIN]
36422ROBINSir, here's a woman would speak with you.
36522FALSTAFFLet her approach.
366(stage directions)22[Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY]
36722HOSTESSGive your worship good morrow.
36822FALSTAFFGood morrow, good wife.
36922HOSTESSNot so, an't please your worship.
37022FALSTAFFGood maid, then.
37122HOSTESSI'll be sworn, As my mother was, the first hour I was born.
37222FALSTAFFI do believe the swearer. What with me?
37322HOSTESSShall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?
37422FALSTAFFTwo thousand, fair woman: and I'll vouchsafe thee the hearing.
37522HOSTESSThere is one Mistress Ford, sir:--I pray, come a little nearer this ways:--I myself dwell with master Doctor Caius,--
37622FALSTAFFWell, on: Mistress Ford, you say,--
37722HOSTESSYour worship says very true: I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways.
37822FALSTAFFI warrant thee, nobody hears; mine own people, mine own people.
37922HOSTESSAre they so? God bless them and make them his servants!
38022FALSTAFFWell, Mistress Ford; what of her?
38122HOSTESSWhy, sir, she's a good creature. Lord Lord! your worship's a wanton! Well, heaven forgive you and all of us, I pray!
38222FALSTAFFMistress Ford; come, Mistress Ford,--
38322HOSTESSMarry, this is the short and the long of it; you have brought her into such a canaries as 'tis wonderful. The best courtier of them all, when the court lay at Windsor, could never have brought her to such a canary. Yet there has been knights, and lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches, I warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift; smelling so sweetly, all musk, and so rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and in such alligant terms; and in such wine and sugar of the best and the fairest, that would have won any woman's heart; and, I warrant you, they could never get an eye-wink of her: I had myself twenty angels given me this morning; but I defy all angels, in any such sort, as they say, but in the way of honesty: and, I warrant you, they could never get her so much as sip on a cup with the proudest of them all: and yet there has been earls, nay, which is more, pensioners; but, I warrant you, all is one with her.
38422FALSTAFFBut what says she to me? be brief, my good she-Mercury.
38522HOSTESSMarry, 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 house between ten and eleven.
38622FALSTAFFTen and eleven?
38722HOSTESSAy, 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 woman leads an ill life with him: he's a very jealousy man: she leads a very frampold life with him, good heart.
38822FALSTAFFTen and eleven. Woman, commend me to her; I will not fail her.
38922HOSTESSWhy, 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 evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, whoe'er be the other: and she bade me tell your worship that her husband is seldom from home; but she hopes there will come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon a man: surely I think you have charms, la; yes, in truth.
39022FALSTAFFNot I, I assure thee: setting the attractions of my good parts aside I have no other charms.
39122HOSTESSBlessing on your heart for't!
39222FALSTAFFBut, I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford's wife and Page's wife acquainted each other how they love me?
39322HOSTESSThat 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 Master Page is an honest man. Never a wife in Windsor leads a better life than she does: do what she will, say what she will, take all, pay all, go to bed when she list, rise when she list, all is as she will: and truly she deserves it; for if there be a kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must send her your page; no remedy.
39422FALSTAFFWhy, I will.
39522HOSTESSNay, but do so, then: and, look you, he may come and go between you both; and in any case have a nay-word, that you may know one another's mind, and the boy never need to understand any thing; for 'tis not good that children should know any wickedness: old folks, you know, have discretion, as they say, and know the world.
39622FALSTAFFFare thee well: commend me to them both: there's my purse; I am yet thy debtor. Boy, go along with this woman. [Exeunt MISTRESS QUICKLY and ROBIN] This news distracts me!
39722PISTOLThis punk is one of Cupid's carriers: Clap on more sails; pursue; up with your fights: Give fire: she is my prize, or ocean whelm them all!
398(stage directions)22[Exit]
39922FALSTAFFSayest thou so, old Jack? go thy ways; I'll make more of thy old body than I have done. Will they yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expense of so much money, be now a gainer? Good body, I thank thee. Let them say 'tis grossly done; so it be fairly done, no matter.
400(stage directions)22[Enter BARDOLPH]
40122BARDOLPHSir John, there's one Master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a morning's draught of sack.
40222FALSTAFFBrook is his name?
40322BARDOLPHAy, sir.
40422FALSTAFFCall him in. [Exit BARDOLPH] Such Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow such liquor. Ah, ha! Mistress Ford and Mistress Page have I encompassed you? go to; via!
405(stage directions)22[Re-enter BARDOLPH, with FORD disguised]
40622FORDBless you, sir!
40722FALSTAFFAnd you, sir! Would you speak with me?
40822FORDI make bold to press with so little preparation upon you.
40922FALSTAFFYou're welcome. What's your will? Give us leave, drawer.
410(stage directions)22[Exit BARDOLPH]
41122FORDSir, I am a gentleman that have spent much; my name is Brook.
41222FALSTAFFGood Master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.
41322FORDGood Sir John, I sue for yours: not to charge you; for I must let you understand I think myself in better plight for a lender than you are: the which hath something embolden'd me to this unseasoned intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all ways do lie open.
41422FALSTAFFMoney is a good soldier, sir, and will on.
41522FORDTroth, 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.
41622FALSTAFFSir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.
41722FORDI will tell you, sir, if you will give me the hearing.
41822FALSTAFFSpeak, good Master Brook: I shall be glad to be your servant.
41922FORDSir, I hear you are a scholar,--I will be brief with you,--and you have been a man long known to me, though I had never so good means, as desire, to make myself acquainted with you. I shall discover a thing to you, wherein I must very much lay open mine own imperfection: but, good Sir John, as you have one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded, turn another into the register of your own; that I may pass with a reproof the easier, sith you yourself know how easy it is to be such an offender.
42022FALSTAFFVery well, sir; proceed.
42122FORDThere is a gentlewoman in this town; her husband's name is Ford.
42222FALSTAFFWell, sir.
42322FORDI have long loved her, and, I protest to you, bestowed much on her; followed her with a doting observance; engrossed opportunities to meet her; fee'd every slight occasion that could but niggardly give me sight of her; not only bought many presents to give her, but have given largely to many to know what she would have given; briefly, I have pursued her as love hath pursued me; which hath been on the wing of all occasions. But whatsoever I have merited, either in my mind or, in my means, meed, I am sure, I have received none; unless experience be a jewel that I have purchased at an infinite rate, and that hath taught me to say this: 'Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues; Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.'
42422FALSTAFFHave you received no promise of satisfaction at her hands?
42622FALSTAFFHave you importuned her to such a purpose?
42822FALSTAFFOf what quality was your love, then?
42922FORDLike a fair house built on another man's ground; so that I have lost my edifice by mistaking the place where I erected it.
43022FALSTAFFTo what purpose have you unfolded this to me?
43122FORDWhen I have told you that, I have told you all. Some say, that though she appear honest to me, yet in other places she enlargeth her mirth so far that there is shrewd construction made of her. Now, Sir John, here is the heart of my purpose: you are a gentleman of excellent breeding, admirable discourse, of great admittance, authentic in your place and person, generally allowed for your many war-like, court-like, and learned preparations.
43222FALSTAFFO, sir!
43322FORDBelieve 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 Ford's wife: use your art of wooing; win her to consent to you: if any man may, you may as soon as any.
43422FALSTAFFWould it apply well to the vehemency of your affection, that I should win what you would enjoy? Methinks you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.
43522FORDO, 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 with any detection in my hand, my desires had instance and argument to commend themselves: I could drive her then from the ward of her purity, her reputation, her marriage-vow, and a thousand other her defences, which now are too too strongly embattled against me. What say you to't, Sir John?
43622FALSTAFFMaster 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.
43722FORDO good sir!
43822FALSTAFFI say you shall.
43922FORDWant no money, Sir John; you shall want none.
44022FALSTAFFWant 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 assistant or go-between parted from me: I say I shall be with her between ten and eleven; for at that time the jealous rascally knave her husband will be forth. Come you to me at night; you shall know how I speed.
44122FORDI am blest in your acquaintance. Do you know Ford, sir?
44222FALSTAFFHang him, poor cuckoldly knave! I know him not: yet I wrong him to call him poor; they say the jealous wittolly knave hath masses of money; for the which his wife seems to me well-favored. I will use her as the key of the cuckoldly rogue's coffer; and there's my harvest-home.
44322FORDI would you knew Ford, sir, that you might avoid him if you saw him.
44422FALSTAFFHang 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 lie with his wife. Come to me soon at night. Ford's a knave, and I will aggravate his style; thou, Master Brook, shalt know him for knave and cuckold. Come to me soon at night.
445(stage directions)22[Exit]
44622FORDWhat a damned Epicurean rascal is this! My heart is ready to crack with impatience. Who says this is improvident jealousy? my wife hath sent to him; the hour is fixed; the match is made. Would any man have thought this? See the hell of having a false woman! My bed shall be abused, my coffers ransacked, my reputation gnawn at; and I shall not only receive this villanous wrong, but stand under the adoption of abominable terms, and by him that does me this wrong. Terms! names! Amaimon sounds well; Lucifer, well; Barbason, well; yet they are devils' additions, the names of fiends: but Cuckold! Wittol!--Cuckold! the devil himself hath not such a name. Page is an ass, a secure ass: he will trust his wife; he will not be jealous. I will rather trust a Fleming with my butter, Parson Hugh the Welshman with my cheese, an Irishman with my aqua-vitae bottle, or a thief to walk my ambling gelding, than my wife with herself; then she plots, then she ruminates, then she devises; and what they think in their hearts they may effect, they will break their hearts but they will effect. God be praised for my jealousy! Eleven o'clock the hour. I will prevent this, detect my wife, be revenged on Falstaff, and laugh at Page. I will about it; better three hours too soon than a minute too late. Fie, fie, fie! cuckold! cuckold! cuckold!
447(stage directions)22[Exit]
448(stage directions)23[Enter DOCTOR CAIUS and RUGBY]
44923DOCTOR CAIUSJack Rugby!
45123DOCTOR CAIUSVat is de clock, Jack?
45223RUGBY'Tis past the hour, sir, that Sir Hugh promised to meet.
45323DOCTOR CAIUSBy 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.
45423RUGBYHe is wise, sir; he knew your worship would kill him, if he came.
45523DOCTOR CAIUSBy 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.
45623RUGBYAlas, sir, I cannot fence.
45723DOCTOR CAIUSVillany, take your rapier.
45823RUGBYForbear; here's company.
459(stage directions)23[Enter Host, SHALLOW, SLENDER, and PAGE]
46023HOSTBless thee, bully doctor!
46123SHALLOWSave you, Master Doctor Caius!
46223PAGENow, good master doctor!
46323SLENDERGive you good morrow, sir.
46423DOCTOR CAIUSVat be all you, one, two, tree, four, come for?
46523HOSTTo 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 AEsculapius? my Galen? my heart of elder? ha! is he dead, bully stale? is he dead?
46623DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, he is de coward Jack priest of de vorld; he is not show his face.
46723HOSTThou art a Castalion-King-Urinal. Hector of Greece, my boy!
46823DOCTOR CAIUSI pray you, bear vitness that me have stay six or seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come.
46923SHALLOWHe 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. Is it not true, Master Page?
47023PAGEMaster Shallow, you have yourself been a great fighter, though now a man of peace.
47123SHALLOWBodykins, Master Page, though I now be old and of the peace, if I see a sword out, my finger itches to make one. Though we are justices and doctors and churchmen, Master Page, we have some salt of our youth in us; we are the sons of women, Master Page.
47223PAGE'Tis true, Master Shallow.
47323SHALLOWIt will be found so, Master Page. Master Doctor Caius, I am come to fetch you home. I am sworn of the peace: you have showed yourself a wise physician, and Sir Hugh hath shown himself a wise and patient churchman. You must go with me, master doctor.
47423HOSTPardon, guest-justice. A word, Mounseur Mockwater.
47523DOCTOR CAIUSMock-vater! vat is dat?
47623HOSTMock-water, in our English tongue, is valour, bully.
47723DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, den, I have as mush mock-vater as de Englishman. Scurvy jack-dog priest! by gar, me vill cut his ears.
47823HOSTHe will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully.
47923DOCTOR CAIUSClapper-de-claw! vat is dat?
48023HOSTThat is, he will make thee amends.
48123DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, me do look he shall clapper-de-claw me; for, by gar, me vill have it.
48223HOSTAnd I will provoke him to't, or let him wag.
48323DOCTOR CAIUSMe tank you for dat.
48423HOSTAnd, moreover, bully,--but first, master guest, and Master Page, and eke Cavaleiro Slender, go you through the town to Frogmore.
485(stage directions)23[Aside to them]
48623PAGESir Hugh is there, is he?
48723HOSTHe is there: see what humour he is in; and I will bring the doctor about by the fields. Will it do well?
48823SHALLOWWe will do it.
48923PAGE[with Shallow and Slender] Adieu, good master doctor.
490(stage directions)23[Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER]
49123DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, me vill kill de priest; for he speak for a jack-an-ape to Anne Page.
49223HOSTLet him die: sheathe thy impatience, throw cold water on thy choler: go about the fields with me through Frogmore: I will bring thee where Mistress Anne Page is, at a farm-house a-feasting; and thou shalt woo her. Cried I aim? said I well?
49323DOCTOR 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.
49423HOSTFor the which I will be thy adversary toward Anne Page. Said I well?
49523DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, 'tis good; vell said.
49623HOSTLet us wag, then.
49723DOCTOR CAIUSCome at my heels, Jack Rugby.
498(stage directions)23[Exeunt]
499(stage directions)31[Enter SIR HUGH EVANS and SIMPLE]
50031SIR 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?
50131SIMPLEMarry, sir, the pittie-ward, the park-ward, every way; old Windsor way, and every way but the town way.
50231SIR HUGH EVANSI most fehemently desire you you will also look that way.
50331SIMPLEI will, sir.
504(stage directions)31[Exit]
50531SIR HUGH EVANS'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! [Sings] To shallow rivers, to whose falls Melodious birds sings madrigals; There will we make our peds of roses, And a thousand fragrant posies. To shallow-- Mercy on me! I have a great dispositions to cry. [Sings] Melodious birds sing madrigals-- When as I sat in Pabylon-- And a thousand vagram posies. To shallow &c.
506(stage directions)31[Re-enter SIMPLE]
50731SIMPLEYonder he is coming, this way, Sir Hugh.
50831SIR HUGH EVANSHe's welcome. [Sings] To shallow rivers, to whose falls- Heaven prosper the right! What weapons is he?
50931SIMPLENo weapons, sir. There comes my master, Master Shallow, and another gentleman, from Frogmore, over the stile, this way.
51031SIR HUGH EVANSPray you, give me my gown; or else keep it in your arms.
511(stage directions)31[Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER]
51231SHALLOWHow now, master Parson! Good morrow, good Sir Hugh. Keep a gamester from the dice, and a good student from his book, and it is wonderful.
51331SLENDER[Aside] Ah, sweet Anne Page!
51431PAGE'Save you, good Sir Hugh!
51531SIR HUGH EVANS'Pless you from his mercy sake, all of you!
51631SHALLOWWhat, the sword and the word! do you study them both, master parson?
51731PAGEAnd youthful still! in your doublet and hose this raw rheumatic day!
51831SIR HUGH EVANSThere is reasons and causes for it.
51931PAGEWe are come to you to do a good office, master parson.
52031SIR HUGH EVANSFery well: what is it?
52131PAGEYonder 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.
52231SHALLOWI have lived fourscore years and upward; I never heard a man of his place, gravity and learning, so wide of his own respect.
52331SIR HUGH EVANSWhat is he?
52431PAGEI think you know him; Master Doctor Caius, the renowned French physician.
52531SIR HUGH EVANSGot's will, and his passion of my heart! I had as lief you would tell me of a mess of porridge.
52731SIR HUGH EVANSHe has no more knowledge in Hibocrates and Galen, --and he is a knave besides; a cowardly knave as you would desires to be acquainted withal.
52831PAGEI warrant you, he's the man should fight with him.
52931SHALLOW[Aside] O sweet Anne Page!
53031SHALLOWIt appears so by his weapons. Keep them asunder: here comes Doctor Caius.
531(stage directions)31[Enter Host, DOCTOR CAIUS, and RUGBY]
53231PAGENay, good master parson, keep in your weapon.
53331SHALLOWSo do you, good master doctor.
53431HOSTDisarm them, and let them question: let them keep their limbs whole and hack our English.
53531DOCTOR CAIUSI pray you, let-a me speak a word with your ear. Vherefore vill you not meet-a me?
53631SIR HUGH EVANS[Aside to DOCTOR CAIUS] Pray you, use your patience: in good time.
53731DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog, John ape.
53831SIR HUGH EVANS[Aside to DOCTOR CAIUS] 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. [Aloud] I will knog your urinals about your knave's cockscomb for missing your meetings and appointments.
53931DOCTOR CAIUSDiable! Jack Rugby,--mine host de Jarteer,--have I not stay for him to kill him? have I not, at de place I did appoint?
54031SIR HUGH EVANSAs I am a Christians soul now, look you, this is the place appointed: I'll be judgement by mine host of the Garter.
54131HOSTPeace, I say, Gallia and Gaul, French and Welsh, soul-curer and body-curer!
54231DOCTOR CAIUSAy, dat is very good; excellent.
54331HOSTPeace, I say! hear mine host of the Garter. Am I politic? am I subtle? am I a Machiavel? Shall I lose my doctor? no; he gives me the potions and the motions. Shall I lose my parson, my priest, my Sir Hugh? no; he gives me the proverbs and the no-verbs. Give me thy hand, terrestrial; so. Give me thy hand, celestial; so. Boys of art, I have deceived you both; I have directed you to wrong places: your hearts are mighty, your skins are whole, and let burnt sack be the issue. Come, lay their swords to pawn. Follow me, lads of peace; follow, follow, follow.
54431SHALLOWTrust me, a mad host. Follow, gentlemen, follow.
54531SLENDER[Aside] O sweet Anne Page!
546(stage directions)31[Exeunt SHALLOW, SLENDER, PAGE, and Host]
54731DOCTOR CAIUSHa, do I perceive dat? have you make-a de sot of us, ha, ha?
54831SIR HUGH EVANSThis 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.
54931DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, with all my heart. He promise to bring me where is Anne Page; by gar, he deceive me too.
55031SIR HUGH EVANSWell, I will smite his noddles. Pray you, follow.
551(stage directions)31[Exeunt]
552(stage directions)32[Enter MISTRESS PAGE and ROBIN]
55332MISTRESS 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?
55432ROBINI had rather, forsooth, go before you like a man than follow him like a dwarf.
55532MISTRESS PAGEO, you are a flattering boy: now I see you'll be a courtier.
556(stage directions)32[Enter FORD]
55732FORDWell met, Mistress Page. Whither go you?
55832MISTRESS PAGETruly, sir, to see your wife. Is she at home?
55932FORDAy; and as idle as she may hang together, for want of company. I think, if your husbands were dead, you two would marry.
56032MISTRESS PAGEBe sure of that,--two other husbands.
56132FORDWhere had you this pretty weather-cock?
56232MISTRESS PAGEI cannot tell what the dickens his name is my husband had him of. What do you call your knight's name, sirrah?
56332ROBINSir John Falstaff.
56432FORDSir John Falstaff!
56532MISTRESS PAGEHe, he; I can never hit on's name. There is such a league between my good man and he! Is your wife at home indeed?
56632FORDIndeed she is.
56732MISTRESS PAGEBy your leave, sir: I am sick till I see her.
568(stage directions)32[Exeunt MISTRESS PAGE and ROBIN]
56932FORDHas Page any brains? hath he any eyes? hath he any thinking? Sure, they sleep; he hath no use of them. Why, this boy will carry a letter twenty mile, as easy as a cannon will shoot point-blank twelve score. He pieces out his wife's inclination; he gives her folly motion and advantage: and now she's going to my wife, and Falstaff's boy with her. A man may hear this shower sing in the wind. And Falstaff's boy with her! Good plots, they are laid; and our revolted wives share damnation together. Well; I will take him, then torture my wife, pluck the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming Mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure and wilful Actaeon; and to these violent proceedings all my neighbours shall cry aim. [Clock heard] The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me search: there I shall find Falstaff: I shall be rather praised for this than mocked; for it is as positive as the earth is firm that Falstaff is there: I will go. [Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, SLENDER, Host,] SIR HUGH EVANS, DOCTOR CAIUS, and RUGBY]
57032SHALLOW[with Page and others] Well met, Master Ford.
57132FORDTrust me, a good knot: I have good cheer at home; and I pray you all go with me.
57232SHALLOWI must excuse myself, Master Ford.
57332SLENDERAnd so must I, sir: we have appointed to dine with Mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for more money than I'll speak of.
57432SHALLOWWe have lingered about a match between Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.
57532SLENDERI hope I have your good will, father Page.
57632PAGEYou have, Master Slender; I stand wholly for you: but my wife, master doctor, is for you altogether.
57732DOCTOR CAIUSAy, be-gar; and de maid is love-a me: my nursh-a Quickly tell me so mush.
57832HOSTWhat say you to young Master Fenton? he capers, he dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he speaks holiday, he smells April and May: he will carry't, he will carry't; 'tis in his buttons; he will carry't.
57932PAGENot by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman is of no having: he kept company with the wild prince and Poins; he is of too high a region; he knows too much. No, he shall not knit a knot in his fortunes with the finger of my substance: if he take her, let him take her simply; the wealth I have waits on my consent, and my consent goes not that way.
58032FORDI 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.
58132SHALLOWWell, fare you well: we shall have the freer wooing at Master Page's.
582(stage directions)32[Exeunt SHALLOW, and SLENDER]
58332DOCTOR CAIUSGo home, John Rugby; I come anon.
584(stage directions)32[Exit RUGBY]
58532HOSTFarewell, my hearts: I will to my honest knight Falstaff, and drink canary with him.
586(stage directions)32[Exit]
58732FORD[Aside] I think I shall drink in pipe wine first with him; I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles?
58832ALLHave with you to see this monster.
589(stage directions)32[Exeunt]
590(stage directions)33[Enter MISTRESS FORD and MISTRESS PAGE]
59133MISTRESS FORDWhat, John! What, Robert!
59233MISTRESS PAGEQuickly, quickly! is the buck-basket--
59333MISTRESS FORDI warrant. What, Robin, I say!
594(stage directions)33[Enter Servants with a basket]
59533MISTRESS PAGECome, come, come.
59633MISTRESS FORDHere, set it down.
59733MISTRESS PAGEGive your men the charge; we must be brief.
59833MISTRESS 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 or staggering take this basket on your shoulders: that done, trudge with it in all haste, and carry it among the whitsters in Datchet-mead, and there empty it in the muddy ditch close by the Thames side.
59933MISTRESS PAGEYou will do it?
60033MISTRESS FORDI ha' told them over and over; they lack no direction. Be gone, and come when you are called.
601(stage directions)33[Exeunt Servants]
60233MISTRESS PAGEHere comes little Robin.
603(stage directions)33[Enter ROBIN]
60433MISTRESS FORDHow now, my eyas-musket! what news with you?
60533ROBINMy master, Sir John, is come in at your back-door, Mistress Ford, and requests your company.
60633MISTRESS PAGEYou little Jack-a-Lent, have you been true to us?
60733ROBINAy, 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 swears he'll turn me away.
60833MISTRESS 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.
60933MISTRESS FORDDo so. Go tell thy master I am alone. [Exit ROBIN] Mistress Page, remember you your cue.
61033MISTRESS PAGEI warrant thee; if I do not act it, hiss me.
611(stage directions)33[Exit]
61233MISTRESS FORDGo to, then: we'll use this unwholesome humidity, this gross watery pumpion; we'll teach him to know turtles from jays.
613(stage directions)33[Enter FALSTAFF]
61433FALSTAFFHave 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!
61533MISTRESS FORDO sweet Sir John!
61633FALSTAFFMistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate, Mistress Ford. Now shall I sin in my wish: I would thy husband were dead: I'll speak it before the best lord; I would make thee my lady.
61733MISTRESS FORDI your lady, Sir John! alas, I should be a pitiful lady!
61833FALSTAFFLet the court of France show me such another. I see how thine eye would emulate the diamond: thou hast the right arched beauty of the brow that becomes the ship-tire, the tire-valiant, or any tire of Venetian admittance.
61933MISTRESS FORDA plain kerchief, Sir John: my brows become nothing else; nor that well neither.
62033FALSTAFFBy 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 what thou wert, if Fortune thy foe were not, Nature thy friend. Come, thou canst not hide it.
62133MISTRESS FORDBelieve me, there is no such thing in me.
62233FALSTAFFWhat made me love thee? let that persuade thee there's something extraordinary in thee. Come, I cannot cog and say thou art this and that, like a many of these lisping hawthorn-buds, that come like women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklersbury in simple time; I cannot: but I love thee; none but thee; and thou deservest it.
62333MISTRESS FORDDo not betray me, sir. I fear you love Mistress Page.
62433FALSTAFFThou 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.
62533MISTRESS FORDWell, heaven knows how I love you; and you shall one day find it.
62633FALSTAFFKeep in that mind; I'll deserve it.
62733MISTRESS FORDNay, I must tell you, so you do; or else I could not be in that mind.
62833ROBIN[Within] Mistress Ford, Mistress Ford! here's Mistress Page at the door, sweating and blowing and looking wildly, and would needs speak with you presently.
62933FALSTAFFShe shall not see me: I will ensconce me behind the arras.
63033MISTRESS FORDPray you, do so: she's a very tattling woman. [FALSTAFF hides himself] [Re-enter MISTRESS PAGE and ROBIN] What's the matter? how now!
63133MISTRESS PAGEO Mistress Ford, what have you done? You're shamed, you're overthrown, you're undone for ever!
63233MISTRESS FORDWhat's the matter, good Mistress Page?
63333MISTRESS PAGEO well-a-day, Mistress Ford! having an honest man to your husband, to give him such cause of suspicion!
63433MISTRESS FORDWhat cause of suspicion?
63533MISTRESS PAGEWhat cause of suspicion! Out pon you! how am I mistook in you!
63633MISTRESS FORDWhy, alas, what's the matter?
63733MISTRESS PAGEYour husband's coming hither, woman, with all the officers in Windsor, to search for a gentleman that he says is here now in the house by your consent, to take an ill advantage of his assence: you are undone.
63833MISTRESS FORD'Tis not so, I hope.
63933MISTRESS PAGEPray heaven it be not so, that you have such a man here! but 'tis most certain your husband's coming, with half Windsor at his heels, to search for such a one. I come before to tell you. If you know yourself clear, why, I am glad of it; but if you have a friend here convey, convey him out. Be not amazed; call all your senses to you; defend your reputation, or bid farewell to your good life for ever.
64033MISTRESS 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 out of the house.
64133MISTRESS 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 is a basket: if he be of any reasonable stature, he may creep in here; and throw foul linen upon him, as if it were going to bucking: or--it is whiting-time --send him by your two men to Datchet-mead.
64233MISTRESS FORDHe's too big to go in there. What shall I do?
64333FALSTAFF[Coming forward] 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.
64433MISTRESS PAGEWhat, Sir John Falstaff! Are these your letters, knight?
64533FALSTAFFI love thee. Help me away. Let me creep in here. I'll never--
646(stage directions)33[Gets into the basket; they cover him with foul linen]
64733MISTRESS PAGEHelp to cover your master, boy. Call your men, Mistress Ford. You dissembling knight!
64833MISTRESS FORDWhat, John! Robert! John! [Exit ROBIN] [Re-enter Servants] Go take up these clothes here quickly. Where's the cowl-staff? look, how you drumble! Carry them to the laundress in Datchet-meat; quickly, come.
649(stage directions)33[Enter FORD, PAGE, DOCTOR CAIUS, and SIR HUGH EVANS]
65033FORDPray 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?
65133SERVANTTo the laundress, forsooth.
65233MISTRESS FORDWhy, what have you to do whither they bear it? You were best meddle with buck-washing.
65333FORDBuck! I would I could wash myself of the buck! Buck, buck, buck! Ay, buck; I warrant you, buck; and of the season too, it shall appear. [Exeunt Servants with the basket] Gentlemen, I have dreamed to-night; I'll tell you my dream. Here, here, here be my keys: ascend my chambers; search, seek, find out: I'll warrant we'll unkennel the fox. Let me stop this way first. [Locking the door] So, now uncape.
65433PAGEGood Master Ford, be contented: you wrong yourself too much.
65533FORDTrue, Master Page. Up, gentlemen: you shall see sport anon: follow me, gentlemen.
656(stage directions)33[Exit]
65733SIR HUGH EVANSThis is fery fantastical humours and jealousies.
65833DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, 'tis no the fashion of France; it is not jealous in France.
65933PAGENay, follow him, gentlemen; see the issue of his search.
660(stage directions)33[Exeunt PAGE, DOCTOR CAIUS, and SIR HUGH EVANS]
66133MISTRESS PAGEIs there not a double excellency in this?
66233MISTRESS FORDI know not which pleases me better, that my husband is deceived, or Sir John.
66333MISTRESS PAGEWhat a taking was he in when your husband asked who was in the basket!
66433MISTRESS FORDI am half afraid he will have need of washing; so throwing him into the water will do him a benefit.
66533MISTRESS PAGEHang him, dishonest rascal! I would all of the same strain were in the same distress.
66633MISTRESS 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.
66733MISTRESS PAGEI will lay a plot to try that; and we will yet have more tricks with Falstaff: his dissolute disease will scarce obey this medicine.
66833MISTRESS FORDShall we send that foolish carrion, Mistress Quickly, to him, and excuse his throwing into the water; and give him another hope, to betray him to another punishment?
66933MISTRESS PAGEWe will do it: let him be sent for to-morrow, eight o'clock, to have amends.
670(stage directions)33[Re-enter FORD, PAGE, DOCTOR CAIUS, and SIR HUGH EVANS]
67133FORDI cannot find him: may be the knave bragged of that he could not compass.
67233MISTRESS PAGE[Aside to MISTRESS FORD] Heard you that?
67333MISTRESS FORDYou use me well, Master Ford, do you?
67433FORDAy, I do so.
67533MISTRESS FORDHeaven make you better than your thoughts!
67733MISTRESS PAGEYou do yourself mighty wrong, Master Ford.
67833FORDAy, ay; I must bear it.
67933SIR HUGH EVANSIf there be any pody in the house, and in the chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses, heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgment!
68033DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, nor I too: there is no bodies.
68133PAGEFie, fie, Master Ford! are you not ashamed? What spirit, what devil suggests this imagination? I would not ha' your distemper in this kind for the wealth of Windsor Castle.
68233FORD'Tis my fault, Master Page: I suffer for it.
68333SIR 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.
68433DOCTOR CAIUSBy gar, I see 'tis an honest woman.
68533FORDWell, 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; pray heartily, pardon me.
68633PAGELet'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?
68733FORDAny thing.
68833SIR HUGH EVANSIf there is one, I shall make two in the company.
68933DOCTOR CAIUSIf dere be one or two, I shall make-a the turd.
69033FORDPray you, go, Master Page.
69133SIR HUGH EVANSI pray you now, remembrance tomorrow on the lousy knave, mine host.
69233DOCTOR CAIUSDat is good; by gar, with all my heart!
69333SIR HUGH EVANSA lousy knave, to have his gibes and his mockeries!
694(stage directions)33[Exeunt]
695(stage directions)34[Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGE]
69634FENTONI see I cannot get thy father's love; Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.
69734ANNE PAGEAlas, how then?
69834FENTONWhy, thou must be thyself. He doth object I am too great of birth--, And that, my state being gall'd with my expense, I seek to heal it only by his wealth: Besides these, other bars he lays before me, My riots past, my wild societies; And tells me 'tis a thing impossible I should love thee but as a property.
69934ANNE PAGEMay be he tells you true.
70034FENTONNo, heaven so speed me in my time to come! Albeit I will confess thy father's wealth Was the first motive that I woo'd thee, Anne: 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.
70134ANNE PAGEGentle 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!
702(stage directions)34[They converse apart]
703(stage directions)34[Enter SHALLOW, SLENDER, and MISTRESS QUICKLY]
70434SHALLOWBreak their talk, Mistress Quickly: my kinsman shall speak for himself.
70534SLENDERI'll make a shaft or a bolt on't: 'slid, 'tis but venturing.
70634SHALLOWBe not dismayed.
70734SLENDERNo, she shall not dismay me: I care not for that, but that I am afeard.
70834HOSTESSHark ye; Master Slender would speak a word with you.
70934ANNE PAGEI come to him. [Aside] This is my father's choice. O, what a world of vile ill-favor'd faults Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!
71034HOSTESSAnd how does good Master Fenton? Pray you, a word with you.
71134SHALLOWShe's coming; to her, coz. O boy, thou hadst a father!
71234SLENDERI had a father, Mistress Anne; my uncle can tell you good jests of him. Pray you, uncle, tell Mistress Anne the jest, how my father stole two geese out of a pen, good uncle.
71334SHALLOWMistress Anne, my cousin loves you.
71434SLENDERAy, that I do; as well as I love any woman in Gloucestershire.
71534SHALLOWHe will maintain you like a gentlewoman.
71634SLENDERAy, that I will, come cut and long-tail, under the degree of a squire.
71734SHALLOWHe will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.
71834ANNE PAGEGood Master Shallow, let him woo for himself.
71934SHALLOWMarry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good comfort. She calls you, coz: I'll leave you.
72034ANNE PAGENow, Master Slender,--
72134SLENDERNow, good Mistress Anne,--
72234ANNE PAGEWhat is your will?
72334SLENDERMy 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.
72434ANNE PAGEI mean, Master Slender, what would you with me?
72534SLENDERTruly, for mine own part, I would little or nothing with you. Your father and my uncle hath made motions: if it be my luck, so; if not, happy man be his dole! They can tell you how things go better than I can: you may ask your father; here he comes.
726(stage directions)34[Enter PAGE and MISTRESS PAGE]
72734PAGENow, Master Slender: love him, daughter Anne. Why, how now! what does Master Fenton here? You wrong me, sir, thus still to haunt my house: I told you, sir, my daughter is disposed of.
72834FENTONNay, Master Page, be not impatient.
72934MISTRESS PAGEGood Master Fenton, come not to my child.
73034PAGEShe is no match for you.
73134FENTONSir, will you hear me?
73234PAGENo, good Master Fenton. Come, Master Shallow; come, son Slender, in. Knowing my mind, you wrong me, Master Fenton.
733(stage directions)34[Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER]
73434HOSTESSSpeak to Mistress Page.
73534FENTONGood 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 And not retire: let me have your good will.
73634ANNE PAGEGood mother, do not marry me to yond fool.
73734MISTRESS PAGEI mean it not; I seek you a better husband.
73834HOSTESSThat's my master, master doctor.
73934ANNE PAGEAlas, I had rather be set quick i' the earth And bowl'd to death with turnips!
74034MISTRESS 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. Till then farewell, sir: she must needs go in; Her father will be angry.
74134FENTONFarewell, gentle mistress: farewell, Nan.
742(stage directions)34[Exeunt MISTRESS PAGE and ANNE PAGE]
74334HOSTESSThis is my doing, now: 'Nay,' said I, 'will you cast away your child on a fool, and a physician? Look on Master Fenton:' this is my doing.
74434FENTONI thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night Give my sweet Nan this ring: there's for thy pains.
74534HOSTESSNow heaven send thee good fortune! [Exit FENTON] A kind heart he hath: a woman would run through fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet I would my master had Mistress Anne; or I would Master Slender had her; or, in sooth, I would Master Fenton had her; I will do what I can for them all three; for so I have promised, and I'll be as good as my word; but speciously for Master Fenton. Well, I must of another errand to Sir John Falstaff from my two mistresses: what a beast am I to slack it!
746(stage directions)34[Exit]
747(stage directions)35[Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH]
74835FALSTAFFBardolph, I say,--
74935BARDOLPHHere, sir.
75035FALSTAFFGo fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in't. [Exit BARDOLPH] Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a barrow of butcher's offal, and to be thrown in the Thames? Well, if I be served such another trick, I'll have my brains ta'en out and buttered, and give them to a dog for a new-year's gift. The rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorse as they would have drowned a blind bitch's puppies, fifteen i' the litter: and you may know by my size that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking; if the bottom were as deep as hell, I should down. I had been drowned, but that the shore was shelvy and shallow,--a death that I abhor; for the water swells a man; and what a thing should I have been when I had been swelled! I should have been a mountain of mummy.
751(stage directions)35[Re-enter BARDOLPH with sack]
75235BARDOLPHHere's Mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with you.
75335FALSTAFFLet me pour in some sack to the Thames water; for my belly's as cold as if I had swallowed snowballs for pills to cool the reins. Call her in.
75435BARDOLPHCome in, woman!
755(stage directions)35[Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY]
75635HOSTESSBy your leave; I cry you mercy: give your worship good morrow.
75735FALSTAFFTake away these chalices. Go brew me a pottle of sack finely.
75835BARDOLPHWith eggs, sir?
75935FALSTAFFSimple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage. [Exit BARDOLPH] How now!
76035HOSTESSMarry, sir, I come to your worship from Mistress Ford.
76135FALSTAFFMistress Ford! I have had ford enough; I was thrown into the ford; I have my belly full of ford.
76235HOSTESSAlas the day! good heart, that was not her fault: she does so take on with her men; they mistook their erection.
76335FALSTAFFSo did I mine, to build upon a foolish woman's promise.
76435HOSTESSWell, 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 quickly: she'll make you amends, I warrant you.
76535FALSTAFFWell, 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.
76635HOSTESSI will tell her.
76735FALSTAFFDo so. Between nine and ten, sayest thou?
76835HOSTESSEight and nine, sir.
76935FALSTAFFWell, be gone: I will not miss her.
77035HOSTESSPeace be with you, sir.
771(stage directions)35[Exit]
77235FALSTAFFI marvel I hear not of Master Brook; he sent me word to stay within: I like his money well. O, here he comes.
773(stage directions)35[Enter FORD]
77435FORDBless you, sir!
77535FALSTAFFNow, master Brook, you come to know what hath passed between me and Ford's wife?
77635FORDThat, indeed, Sir John, is my business.
77735FALSTAFFMaster Brook, I will not lie to you: I was at her house the hour she appointed me.
77835FORDAnd sped you, sir?
77935FALSTAFFVery ill-favoredly, Master Brook.
78035FORDHow so, sir? Did she change her determination?
78135FALSTAFFNo, 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; and at his heels a rabble of his companions, thither provoked and instigated by his distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for his wife's love.
78235FORDWhat, while you were there?
78335FALSTAFFWhile I was there.
78435FORDAnd did he search for you, and could not find you?
78535FALSTAFFYou 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.
78635FORDA buck-basket!
78735FALSTAFFBy 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.
78835FORDAnd how long lay you there?
78935FALSTAFFNay, you shall hear, Master Brook, what I have suffered to bring this woman to evil for your good. Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple of Ford's knaves, his hinds, were called forth by their mistress to carry me in the name of foul clothes to Datchet-lane: they took me on their shoulders; met the jealous knave their master in the door, who asked them once or twice what they had in their basket: I quaked for fear, lest the lunatic knave would have searched it; but fate, ordaining he should be a cuckold, held his hand. Well: on went he for a search, and away went I for foul clothes. But mark the sequel, Master Brook: I suffered the pangs of three several deaths; first, an intolerable fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten bell-wether; next, to be compassed, like a good bilbo, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to point, heel to head; and then, to be stopped in, like a strong distillation, with stinking clothes that fretted in their own grease: think of that,--a man of my kidney,--think of that,--that am as subject to heat as butter; a man of continual dissolution and thaw: it was a miracle to scape suffocation. And in the height of this bath, when I was more than half stewed in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be thrown into the Thames, and cooled, glowing hot, in that surge, like a horse-shoe; think of that,--hissing hot,--think of that, Master Brook.
79035FORDIn good sadness, I am sorry that for my sake you have sufferd all this. My suit then is desperate; you'll undertake her no more?
79135FALSTAFFMaster 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 received from her another embassy of meeting; 'twixt eight and nine is the hour, Master Brook.
79235FORD'Tis past eight already, sir.
79335FALSTAFFIs it? I will then address me to my appointment. Come to me at your convenient leisure, and you shall know how I speed; and the conclusion shall be crowned with your enjoying her. Adieu. You shall have her, Master Brook; Master Brook, you shall cuckold Ford.
794(stage directions)35[Exit]
79535FORDHum! ha! is this a vision? is this a dream? do I sleep? Master Ford awake! awake, Master Ford! there's a hole made in your best coat, Master Ford. This 'tis to be married! this 'tis to have linen and buck-baskets! Well, I will proclaim myself what I am: I will now take the lecher; he is at my house; he cannot 'scape me; 'tis impossible he should; he cannot creep into a halfpenny purse, nor into a pepper-box: but, lest the devil that guides him should aid him, I will search impossible places. Though what I am I cannot avoid, yet to be what I would not shall not make me tame: if I have horns to make one mad, let the proverb go with me: I'll be horn-mad.
796(stage directions)35[Exit]
797(stage directions)41[Enter MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS QUICKLY, and WILLIAM PAGE]
79841MISTRESS PAGEIs he at Master Ford's already, think'st thou?
79941HOSTESSSure 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.
80041MISTRESS PAGEI'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. [Enter SIR HUGH EVANS] How now, Sir Hugh! no school to-day?
80141SIR HUGH EVANSNo; Master Slender is let the boys leave to play.
80241HOSTESSBlessing of his heart!
80341MISTRESS 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.
80441SIR HUGH EVANSCome hither, William; hold up your head; come.
80541MISTRESS PAGECome on, sirrah; hold up your head; answer your master, be not afraid.
80641SIR HUGH EVANSWilliam, how many numbers is in nouns?
80841HOSTESSTruly, I thought there had been one number more, because they say, ''Od's nouns.'
80941SIR HUGH EVANSPeace your tattlings! What is 'fair,' William?
81041WILLIAM PAGEPulcher.
81141HOSTESSPolecats! there are fairer things than polecats, sure.
81241SIR HUGH EVANSYou are a very simplicity 'oman: I pray you peace. What is 'lapis,' William?
81341WILLIAM PAGEA stone.
81441SIR HUGH EVANSAnd what is 'a stone,' William?
81541WILLIAM PAGEA pebble.
81641SIR HUGH EVANSNo, it is 'lapis:' I pray you, remember in your prain.
81841SIR HUGH EVANSThat is a good William. What is he, William, that does lend articles?
81941WILLIAM PAGEArticles are borrowed of the pronoun, and be thus declined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, haec, hoc.
82041SIR HUGH EVANSNominativo, hig, hag, hog; pray you, mark: genitivo, hujus. Well, what is your accusative case?
82141WILLIAM PAGEAccusativo, hinc.
82241SIR HUGH EVANSI pray you, have your remembrance, child, accusative, hung, hang, hog.
82341HOSTESS'Hang-hog' is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.
82441SIR HUGH EVANSLeave your prabbles, 'oman. What is the focative case, William?
82541WILLIAM PAGEO,--vocativo, O.
82641SIR HUGH EVANSRemember, William; focative is caret.
82741HOSTESSAnd that's a good root.
82841SIR HUGH EVANS'Oman, forbear.
83041SIR HUGH EVANSWhat is your genitive case plural, William?
83141WILLIAM PAGEGenitive case!
83341WILLIAM PAGEGenitive,--horum, harum, horum.
83441HOSTESSVengeance of Jenny's case! fie on her! never name her, child, if she be a whore.
83541SIR HUGH EVANSFor shame, 'oman.
83641HOSTESSYou 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!
83741SIR HUGH EVANS'Oman, art thou lunatics? hast thou no understandings for thy cases and the numbers of the genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as I would desires.
83841MISTRESS PAGEPrithee, hold thy peace.
83941SIR HUGH EVANSShow me now, William, some declensions of your pronouns.
84041WILLIAM PAGEForsooth, I have forgot.
84141SIR HUGH EVANSIt is qui, quae, quod: if you forget your 'quies,' your 'quaes,' and your 'quods,' you must be preeches. Go your ways, and play; go.
84241MISTRESS PAGEHe is a better scholar than I thought he was.
84341SIR HUGH EVANSHe is a good sprag memory. Farewell, Mistress Page.
84441MISTRESS PAGEAdieu, good Sir Hugh. [Exit SIR HUGH EVANS] Get you home, boy. Come, we stay too long.
845(stage directions)41[Exeunt]
846(stage directions)42[Enter FALSTAFF and MISTRESS FORD]
84742FALSTAFFMistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up my sufferance. I see you are obsequious in your love, and I profess requital to a hair's breadth; not only, Mistress Ford, in the simple office of love, but in all the accoutrement, complement and ceremony of it. But are you sure of your husband now?
84842MISTRESS FORDHe's a-birding, sweet Sir John.
84942MISTRESS PAGE[Within] What, ho, gossip Ford! what, ho!
85042MISTRESS FORDStep into the chamber, Sir John.
851(stage directions)42[Exit FALSTAFF]
852(stage directions)42[Enter MISTRESS PAGE]
85342MISTRESS PAGEHow now, sweetheart! who's at home besides yourself?
85442MISTRESS FORDWhy, none but mine own people.
85642MISTRESS FORDNo, certainly. [Aside to her] Speak louder.
85742MISTRESS PAGETruly, I am so glad you have nobody here.
85942MISTRESS PAGEWhy, woman, your husband is in his old lunes again: he so takes on yonder with my husband; so rails against all married mankind; so curses all Eve's daughters, of what complexion soever; and so buffets himself on the forehead, crying, 'Peer out, peer out!' that any madness I ever yet beheld seemed but tameness, civility and patience, to this his distemper he is in now: I am glad the fat knight is not here.
86042MISTRESS FORDWhy, does he talk of him?
86142MISTRESS 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 the rest of their company from their sport, to make another experiment of his suspicion: but I am glad the knight is not here; now he shall see his own foolery.
86242MISTRESS FORDHow near is he, Mistress Page?
86342MISTRESS PAGEHard by; at street end; he will be here anon.
86442MISTRESS FORDI am undone! The knight is here.
86542MISTRESS 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.
86642FORDWhich way should be go? how should I bestow him? Shall I put him into the basket again?
867(stage directions)42[Re-enter FALSTAFF]
86842FALSTAFFNo, I'll come no more i' the basket. May I not go out ere he come?
86942MISTRESS PAGEAlas, three of Master Ford's brothers watch the door with pistols, that none shall issue out; otherwise you might slip away ere he came. But what make you here?
87042FALSTAFFWhat shall I do? I'll creep up into the chimney.
87142MISTRESS FORDThere they always use to discharge their birding-pieces. Creep into the kiln-hole.
87242FALSTAFFWhere is it?
87342MISTRESS FORDHe 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.
87442FALSTAFFI'll go out then.
87542MISTRESS PAGEIf you go out in your own semblance, you die, Sir John. Unless you go out disguised--
87642MISTRESS FORDHow might we disguise him?
87742MISTRESS PAGEAlas the day, I know not! There is no woman's gown big enough for him otherwise he might put on a hat, a muffler and a kerchief, and so escape.
87842FALSTAFFGood hearts, devise something: any extremity rather than a mischief.
87942MISTRESS FORDMy maid's aunt, the fat woman of Brentford, has a gown above.
88042MISTRESS PAGEOn 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.
88142MISTRESS FORDGo, go, sweet Sir John: Mistress Page and I will look some linen for your head.
88242MISTRESS PAGEQuick, quick! we'll come dress you straight: put on the gown the while.
883(stage directions)42[Exit FALSTAFF]
88442MISTRESS 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 threatened to beat her.
88542MISTRESS PAGEHeaven guide him to thy husband's cudgel, and the devil guide his cudgel afterwards!
88642MISTRESS FORDBut is my husband coming?
88742MISTRESS PAGEAh, in good sadness, is he; and talks of the basket too, howsoever he hath had intelligence.
88842MISTRESS 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.
88942MISTRESS PAGENay, but he'll be here presently: let's go dress him like the witch of Brentford.
89042MISTRESS FORDI'll first direct my men what they shall do with the basket. Go up; I'll bring linen for him straight.
891(stage directions)42[Exit]
89242MISTRESS PAGEHang him, dishonest varlet! we cannot misuse him enough. We'll leave a proof, by that which we will do, Wives may be merry, and yet honest too: We do not act that often jest and laugh; 'Tis old, but true, Still swine eat all the draff.
893(stage directions)42[Exit]
894(stage directions)42[Re-enter MISTRESS FORD with two Servants]
89542MISTRESS FORDGo, sirs, take the basket again on your shoulders: your master is hard at door; if he bid you set it down, obey him: quickly, dispatch.
896(stage directions)42[Exit]
89742FIRST SERVANTCome, come, take it up.
89842SECOND SERVANTPray heaven it be not full of knight again.
89942FIRST SERVANTI hope not; I had as lief bear so much lead.
900(stage directions)42[Enter FORD, PAGE, SHALLOW, DOCTOR CAIUS, and SIR HUGH EVANS]
90142FORDAy, but if it prove true, Master Page, have you any way then to unfool me again? Set down the basket, villain! Somebody call my wife. Youth in a basket! O you panderly rascals! there's a knot, a ging, a pack, a conspiracy against me: now shall the devil be shamed. What, wife, I say! Come, come forth! Behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching!
90242PAGEWhy, this passes, Master Ford; you are not to go loose any longer; you must be pinioned.
90342SIR HUGH EVANSWhy, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad dog!
90442SHALLOWIndeed, Master Ford, this is not well, indeed.
90542FORDSo say I too, sir. [Re-enter MISTRESS FORD] Come hither, Mistress Ford; Mistress Ford the honest woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the jealous fool to her husband! I suspect without cause, mistress, do I?
90642MISTRESS FORDHeaven be my witness you do, if you suspect me in any dishonesty.
90742FORDWell said, brazen-face! hold it out. Come forth, sirrah!
908(stage directions)42[Pulling clothes out of the basket]
90942PAGEThis passes!
91042MISTRESS FORDAre you not ashamed? let the clothes alone.
91142FORDI shall find you anon.
91242SIR HUGH EVANS'Tis unreasonable! Will you take up your wife's clothes? Come away.
91342FORDEmpty the basket, I say!
91442MISTRESS FORDWhy, man, why?
91542FORDMaster 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.
91642MISTRESS FORDIf you find a man there, he shall die a flea's death.
91742PAGEHere's no man.
91842SHALLOWBy my fidelity, this is not well, Master Ford; this wrongs you.
91942SIR HUGH EVANSMaster Ford, you must pray, and not follow the imaginations of your own heart: this is jealousies.
92042FORDWell, he's not here I seek for.
92142PAGENo, nor nowhere else but in your brain.
92242FORDHelp to search my house this one time. If I find not what I seek, show no colour for my extremity; let me for ever be your table-sport; let them say of me, 'As jealous as Ford, Chat searched a hollow walnut for his wife's leman.' Satisfy me once more; once more search with me.
92342MISTRESS FORDWhat, ho, Mistress Page! come you and the old woman down; my husband will come into the chamber.
92442FORDOld woman! what old woman's that?
92542MISTRESS FORDNay, it is my maid's aunt of Brentford.
92642FORDA witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not forbid her my house? She comes of errands, does she? We are simple men; we do not know what's brought to pass under the profession of fortune-telling. She works by charms, by spells, by the figure, and such daubery as this is, beyond our element we know nothing. Come down, you witch, you hag, you; come down, I say!
92742MISTRESS FORDNay, good, sweet husband! Good gentlemen, let him not strike the old woman.
928(stage directions)42[Re-enter FALSTAFF in woman's clothes, and MISTRESS PAGE]
92942MISTRESS PAGECome, Mother Prat; come, give me your hand.
93042FORDI'll prat her. [Beating him] Out of my door, you witch, you hag, you baggage, you polecat, you runyon! out, out! I'll conjure you, I'll fortune-tell you.
931(stage directions)42[Exit FALSTAFF]
93242MISTRESS PAGEAre you not ashamed? I think you have killed the poor woman.
93342MISTRESS FORDNay, he will do it. 'Tis a goodly credit for you.
93442FORDHang her, witch!
93542SIR 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.
93642FORDWill 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.
93742PAGELet's obey his humour a little further: come, gentlemen.
938(stage directions)42[Exeunt FORD, PAGE, SHALLOW, DOCTOR CAIUS, and SIR HUGH EVANS]
93942MISTRESS PAGETrust me, he beat him most pitifully.
94042MISTRESS FORDNay, by the mass, that he did not; he beat him most unpitifully, methought.
94142MISTRESS PAGEI'll have the cudgel hallowed and hung o'er the altar; it hath done meritorious service.
94242MISTRESS FORDWhat think you? may we, with the warrant of womanhood and the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any further revenge?
94342MISTRESS PAGEThe spirit of wantonness is, sure, scared out of him: if the devil have him not in fee-simple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I think, in the way of waste, attempt us again.
94442MISTRESS FORDShall we tell our husbands how we have served him?
94542MISTRESS PAGEYes, by all means; if it be but to scrape the figures out of your husband's brains. If they can find in their hearts the poor unvirtuous fat knight shall be any further afflicted, we two will still be the ministers.
94642MISTRESS FORDI'll warrant they'll have him publicly shamed: and methinks there would be no period to the jest, should he not be publicly shamed.
94742MISTRESS PAGECome, to the forge with it then; shape it: I would not have things cool.
948(stage directions)42[Exeunt]
949(stage directions)43[Enter Host and BARDOLPH]
95043BARDOLPHSir, 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.
95143HOSTWhat duke should that be comes so secretly? I hear not of him in the court. Let me speak with the gentlemen: they speak English?
95243BARDOLPHAy, sir; I'll call them to you.
95343HOSTThey shall have my horses; but I'll make them pay; I'll sauce them: they have had my house a week at command; I have turned away my other guests: they must come off; I'll sauce them. Come.
954(stage directions)43[Exeunt] [Enter PAGE, FORD, MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS FORD,] and SIR HUGH EVANS]
95544SIR HUGH EVANS'Tis one of the best discretions of a 'oman as ever I did look upon.
95644PAGEAnd did he send you both these letters at an instant?
95744MISTRESS PAGEWithin a quarter of an hour.
95844FORDPardon 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.
95944PAGE'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, Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow, Where we may take him and disgrace him for it.
96044FORDThere is no better way than that they spoke of.
96144PAGEHow? to send him word they'll meet him in the park at midnight? Fie, fie! he'll never come.
96244SIR HUGH EVANSYou 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.
96344PAGESo think I too.
96444MISTRESS FORDDevise but how you'll use him when he comes, And let us two devise to bring him thither.
96544MISTRESS PAGEThere is an old tale goes that Herne the hunter, Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest, Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight, Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns; And there he blasts the tree and takes the cattle And makes milch-kine yield blood and shakes a chain In a most hideous and dreadful manner: You have heard of such a spirit, and well you know The superstitious idle-headed eld Received and did deliver to our age This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.
96644PAGEWhy, yet there want not many that do fear In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak: But what of this?
96744MISTRESS FORDMarry, this is our device; That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us.
96844PAGEWell, let it not be doubted but he'll come: And in this shape when you have brought him thither, What shall be done with him? what is your plot?
96944MISTRESS 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 Like urchins, ouphes and fairies, green and white, With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads, And rattles in their hands: upon a sudden, As Falstaff, she and I, are newly met, Let them from forth a sawpit rush at once With some diffused song: upon their sight, We two in great amazedness will fly: Then let them all encircle him about And, fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean knight, And ask him why, that hour of fairy revel, In their so sacred paths he dares to tread In shape profane.
97044MISTRESS FORDAnd till he tell the truth, Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound And burn him with their tapers.
97144MISTRESS PAGEThe truth being known, We'll all present ourselves, dis-horn the spirit, And mock him home to Windsor.
97244FORDThe children must Be practised well to this, or they'll ne'er do't.
97344SIR HUGH EVANSI will teach the children their behaviors; and I will be like a jack-an-apes also, to burn the knight with my taber.
97444FORDThat will be excellent. I'll go and buy them vizards.
97544MISTRESS PAGEMy Nan shall be the queen of all the fairies, Finely attired in a robe of white.
97644PAGEThat silk will I go buy. [Aside] And in that time Shall Master Slender steal my Nan away And marry her at Eton. Go send to Falstaff straight.
97744FORDNay I'll to him again in name of Brook He'll tell me all his purpose: sure, he'll come.
97844MISTRESS PAGEFear not you that. Go get us properties And tricking for our fairies.
97944SIR HUGH EVANSLet us about it: it is admirable pleasures and fery honest knaveries.
980(stage directions)44[Exeunt PAGE, FORD, and SIR HUGH EVANS]
98144MISTRESS PAGEGo, Mistress Ford, Send quickly to Sir John, to know his mind. [Exit MISTRESS FORD] I'll to the doctor: he hath my good will, And none but he, to marry with Nan Page. That Slender, though well landed, is an idiot; And he my husband best of all affects. The doctor is well money'd, and his friends Potent at court: he, none but he, shall have her, Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave her.
982(stage directions)44[Exit]
983(stage directions)45[Enter Host and SIMPLE]
98445HOSTWhat wouldst thou have, boor? what: thick-skin? speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick, snap.
98545SIMPLEMarry, sir, I come to speak with Sir John Falstaff from Master Slender.
98645HOSTThere'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.
98745SIMPLEThere'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.
98845HOSTHa! a fat woman! the knight may be robbed: I'll call. Bully knight! bully Sir John! speak from thy lungs military: art thou there? it is thine host, thine Ephesian, calls.
98945FALSTAFF[Above] How now, mine host!
99045HOSTHere's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of thy fat woman. Let her descend, bully, let her descend; my chambers are honourable: fie! privacy? fie!
991(stage directions)45[Enter FALSTAFF]
99245FALSTAFFThere was, mine host, an old fat woman even now with me; but she's gone.
99345SIMPLEPray you, sir, was't not the wise woman of Brentford?
99445FALSTAFFAy, marry, was it, mussel-shell: what would you with her?
99545SIMPLEMy 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 chain or no.
99645FALSTAFFI spake with the old woman about it.
99745SIMPLEAnd what says she, I pray, sir?
99845FALSTAFFMarry, she says that the very same man that beguiled Master Slender of his chain cozened him of it.
99945SIMPLEI would I could have spoken with the woman herself; I had other things to have spoken with her too from him.
100045FALSTAFFWhat are they? let us know.
100145HOSTAy, come; quick.
100245SIMPLEI may not conceal them, sir.
100345HOSTConceal them, or thou diest.
100445SIMPLEWhy, sir, they were nothing but about Mistress Anne Page; to know if it were my master's fortune to have her or no.
100545FALSTAFF'Tis, 'tis his fortune.
100645SIMPLEWhat, sir?
100745FALSTAFFTo have her, or no. Go; say the woman told me so.
100845SIMPLEMay I be bold to say so, sir?
100945FALSTAFFAy, sir; like who more bold.
101045SIMPLEI thank your worship: I shall make my master glad with these tidings.
1011(stage directions)45[Exit]
101245HOSTThou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, Sir John. Was there a wise woman with thee?
101345FALSTAFFAy, 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.
1014(stage directions)45[Enter BARDOLPH]
101545BARDOLPHOut, alas, sir! cozenage, mere cozenage!
101645HOSTWhere be my horses? speak well of them, varletto.
101745BARDOLPHRun 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.
101845HOSTThey are gone but to meet the duke, villain: do not say they be fled; Germans are honest men.
1019(stage directions)45[Enter SIR HUGH EVANS]
102045SIR HUGH EVANSWhere is mine host?
102145HOSTWhat is the matter, sir?
102245SIR HUGH EVANSHave a care of your entertainments: there is a friend of mine come to town tells me there is three cozen-germans that has cozened all the hosts of Readins, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, of horses and money. I tell you for good will, look you: you are wise and full of gibes and vlouting-stocks, and 'tis not convenient you should be cozened. Fare you well.
1023(stage directions)45[Exit]
1024(stage directions)45[Enter DOCTOR CAIUS]
102545DOCTOR CAIUSVere is mine host de Jarteer?
102645HOSTHere, master doctor, in perplexity and doubtful dilemma.
102745DOCTOR CAIUSI cannot tell vat is dat: but it is tell-a me dat you make grand preparation for a duke de Jamany: by my trot, dere is no duke dat the court is know to come. I tell you for good vill: adieu.
1028(stage directions)45[Exit]
102945HOSTHue and cry, villain, go! Assist me, knight. I am undone! Fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone!
1030(stage directions)45[Exeunt Host and BARDOLPH]
103145FALSTAFFI would all the world might be cozened; for I have been cozened and beaten too. If it should come to the ear of the court, how I have been transformed and how my transformation hath been washed and cudgelled, they would melt me out of my fat drop by drop and liquor fishermen's boots with me; I warrant they would whip me with their fine wits till I were as crest-fallen as a dried pear. I never prospered since I forswore myself at primero. Well, if my wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent. [Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY] Now, whence come you?
103245HOSTESSFrom the two parties, forsooth.
103345FALSTAFFThe 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.
103445HOSTESSAnd 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.
103545FALSTAFFWhat tellest thou me of black and blue? I was beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow; and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of Brentford: but that my admirable dexterity of wit, my counterfeiting the action of an old woman, delivered me, the knave constable had set me i' the stocks, i' the common stocks, for a witch.
103645HOSTESSSir, 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! Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well, that you are so crossed.
103745FALSTAFFCome up into my chamber.
1038(stage directions)45[Exeunt]
1039(stage directions)46[Enter FENTON and Host]
104046HOSTMaster Fenton, talk not to me; my mind is heavy: I will give over all.
104146FENTONYet hear me speak. Assist me in my purpose, And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee A hundred pound in gold more than your loss.
104246HOSTI will hear you, Master Fenton; and I will at the least keep your counsel.
104346FENTONFrom time to time I have acquainted you With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page; Who mutually hath answer'd my affection, So far forth as herself might be her chooser, Even to my wish: I have a letter from her Of such contents as you will wonder at; The mirth whereof so larded with my matter, That neither singly can be manifested, Without the show of both; fat Falstaff Hath a great scene: the image of the jest I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine host. To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and one, Must my sweet Nan present the Fairy Queen; The purpose why, is here: in which disguise, While other jests are something rank on foot, Her father hath commanded her to slip Away with Slender and with him at Eton Immediately to marry: she hath consented: Now, sir, Her mother, ever strong against that match And firm for Doctor Caius, hath appointed That he shall likewise shuffle her away, While other sports are tasking of their minds, And at the deanery, where a priest attends, Straight marry her: to this her mother's plot She seemingly obedient likewise hath Made promise to the doctor. Now, thus it rests: Her father means she shall be all in white, And in that habit, when Slender sees his time To take her by the hand and bid her go, She shall go with him: her mother hath intended, The better to denote her to the doctor, For they must all be mask'd and vizarded, That quaint in green she shall be loose enrobed, With ribands pendent, flaring 'bout her head; And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe, To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token, The maid hath given consent to go with him.
104446HOSTWhich means she to deceive, father or mother?
104546FENTONBoth, 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, To give our hearts united ceremony.
104646HOSTWell, husband your device; I'll to the vicar: Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.
104746FENTONSo shall I evermore be bound to thee; Besides, I'll make a present recompense.
1048(stage directions)46[Exeunt]
1049(stage directions)51[Enter FALSTAFF and MISTRESS QUICKLY]
105051FALSTAFFPrithee, 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!
105151HOSTESSI'll provide you a chain; and I'll do what I can to get you a pair of horns.
105251FALSTAFFAway, I say; time wears: hold up your head, and mince. [Exit MISTRESS QUICKLY] [Enter FORD] How now, Master Brook! Master Brook, the matter will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the Park about midnight, at Herne's oak, and you shall see wonders.
105351FORDWent you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me you had appointed?
105451FALSTAFFI went to her, Master Brook, as you see, like a poor old man: but I came from her, Master Brook, like a poor old woman. That same knave Ford, her husband, hath the finest mad devil of jealousy in him, Master Brook, that ever governed frenzy. I will tell you: he beat me grievously, in the shape of a woman; for in the shape of man, Master Brook, I fear not Goliath with a weaver's beam; because I know also life is a shuttle. I am in haste; go along with me: I'll tell you all, Master Brook. Since I plucked geese, played truant and whipped top, I knew not what 'twas to be beaten till lately. Follow me: I'll tell you strange things of this knave Ford, on whom to-night I will be revenged, and I will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow. Strange things in hand, Master Brook! Follow.
1055(stage directions)51[Exeunt]
1056(stage directions)52[Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER]
105752PAGECome, come; we'll couch i' the castle-ditch till we see the light of our fairies. Remember, son Slender, my daughter.
105852SLENDERAy, forsooth; I have spoke with her and we have a nay-word how to know one another: I come to her in white, and cry 'mum;' she cries 'budget;' and by that we know one another.
105952SHALLOWThat's good too: but what needs either your 'mum' or her 'budget?' the white will decipher her well enough. It hath struck ten o'clock.
106052PAGEThe 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.
1061(stage directions)52[Exeunt]
1062(stage directions)53[Enter MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS FORD, and DOCTOR CAIUS]
106353MISTRESS 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.
106453DOCTOR CAIUSI know vat I have to do. Adieu.
106553MISTRESS PAGEFare you well, sir. [Exit DOCTOR CAIUS] My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse of Falstaff as he will chafe at the doctor's marrying my daughter: but 'tis no matter; better a little chiding than a great deal of heart-break.
106653MISTRESS FORDWhere is Nan now and her troop of fairies, and the Welsh devil Hugh?
106753MISTRESS PAGEThey are all couched in a pit hard by Herne's oak, with obscured lights; which, at the very instant of Falstaff's and our meeting, they will at once display to the night.
106853MISTRESS FORDThat cannot choose but amaze him.
106953MISTRESS PAGEIf he be not amazed, he will be mocked; if he be amazed, he will every way be mocked.
107053MISTRESS FORDWe'll betray him finely.
107153MISTRESS PAGEAgainst such lewdsters and their lechery Those that betray them do no treachery.
107253MISTRESS FORDThe hour draws on. To the oak, to the oak!
1073(stage directions)53[Exeunt]
1074(stage directions)54[Enter SIR HUGH EVANS, disguised, with others as Fairies]
107554SIR 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.
1076(stage directions)54[Exeunt]
1077(stage directions)55[Enter FALSTAFF disguised as Herne]
107855FALSTAFFThe Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the minute draws on. Now, the hot-blooded gods assist me! Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Europa; love set on thy horns. O powerful love! that, in some respects, makes a beast a man, in some other, a man a beast. You were also, Jupiter, a swan for the love of Leda. O omnipotent Love! how near the god drew to the complexion of a goose! A fault done first in the form of a beast. O Jove, a beastly fault! And then another fault in the semblance of a fowl; think on 't, Jove; a foul fault! When gods have hot backs, what shall poor men do? For me, I am here a Windsor stag; and the fattest, I think, i' the forest. Send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can blame me to piss my tallow? Who comes here? my doe?
1079(stage directions)55[Enter MISTRESS FORD and MISTRESS PAGE]
108055MISTRESS FORDSir John! art thou there, my deer? my male deer?
108155FALSTAFFMy doe with the black scut! Let the sky rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green Sleeves, hail kissing-comfits and snow eringoes; let there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.
108255MISTRESS FORDMistress Page is come with me, sweetheart.
108355FALSTAFFDivide me like a bribe buck, each a haunch: I will keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow of this walk, and my horns I bequeath your husbands. 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!
1084(stage directions)55[Noise within]
108555MISTRESS PAGEAlas, what noise?
108655MISTRESS FORDHeaven forgive our sins
108755FALSTAFFWhat should this be?
108855MISTRESS FORD[with Mistress Page] Away, away!
1089(stage directions)55[They run off]
109055FALSTAFFI think the devil will not have me damned, lest the oil that's in me should set hell on fire; he would never else cross me thus. [Enter SIR HUGH EVANS, disguised as before; PISTOL,] as Hobgoblin; MISTRESS QUICKLY, ANNE PAGE, and others, as Fairies, with tapers]
109155HOSTESSFairies, black, grey, green, and white, You moonshine revellers and shades of night, You orphan heirs of fixed destiny, Attend your office and your quality. Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy oyes.
109255PISTOLElves, list your names; silence, you airy toys. Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap: Where fires thou find'st unraked and hearths unswept, There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry: Our radiant queen hates sluts and sluttery.
109355FALSTAFFThey are fairies; he that speaks to them shall die: I'll wink and couch: no man their works must eye.
1094(stage directions)55[Lies down upon his face]
109555SIR HUGH EVANSWhere's Bede? Go you, and where you find a maid That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said, Raise up the organs of her fantasy; 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.
109655HOSTESSAbout, about; Search Windsor Castle, elves, within and out: Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room:. That it may stand till the perpetual doom, In state as wholesome as in state 'tis fit, Worthy the owner, and the owner it. The several chairs of order look you scour With juice of balm and every precious flower: Each fair instalment, coat, and several crest, With loyal blazon, evermore be blest! And nightly, meadow-fairies, look you sing, Like to the Garter's compass, in a ring: The expressure that it bears, green let it be, More fertile-fresh than all the field to see; And 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' write In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue and white; Let sapphire, pearl and rich embroidery, Buckled below fair knighthood's bending knee: Fairies use flowers for their charactery. Away; disperse: but till 'tis one o'clock, Our dance of custom round about the oak Of Herne the hunter, let us not forget.
109755SIR 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.
109855FALSTAFFHeavens defend me from that Welsh fairy, lest he transform me to a piece of cheese!
109955PISTOLVile worm, thou wast o'erlook'd even in thy birth.
110055HOSTESSWith trial-fire touch me his finger-end: If he be chaste, the flame will back descend And turn him to no pain; but if he start, It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.
110155PISTOLA trial, come.
110255SIR HUGH EVANSCome, will this wood take fire?
1103(stage directions)55[They burn him with their tapers]
110455FALSTAFFOh, Oh, Oh!
110555HOSTESSCorrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire! About him, fairies; sing a scornful rhyme; And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time. SONG. Fie on sinful fantasy! Fie on lust and luxury! Lust is but a bloody fire, Kindled with unchaste desire, Fed in heart, whose flames aspire As thoughts do blow them, higher and higher. Pinch him, fairies, mutually; Pinch him for his villany; Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about, Till candles and starlight and moonshine be out. [During this song they pinch FALSTAFF. DOCTOR CAIUS] comes one way, and steals away a boy in green; SLENDER another way, and takes off a boy in white; and FENTON comes and steals away ANN PAGE. A noise of hunting is heard within. All the Fairies run away. FALSTAFF pulls off his buck's head, and rises]
1106(stage directions)55[Enter PAGE, FORD, MISTRESS PAGE, and MISTRESS FORD]
110755PAGENay, do not fly; I think we have watch'd you now Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn?
110855MISTRESS PAGEI 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?
110955FORDNow, sir, who's a cuckold now? Master Brook, Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldly knave; here are his horns, Master Brook: and, Master Brook, he hath enjoyed nothing of Ford's but his buck-basket, his cudgel, and twenty pounds of money, which must be paid to Master Brook; his horses are arrested for it, Master Brook.
111055MISTRESS 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.
111155FALSTAFFI do begin to perceive that I am made an ass.
111255FORDAy, and an ox too: both the proofs are extant.
111355FALSTAFFAnd 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 received belief, in despite of the teeth of all rhyme and reason, that they were fairies. See now how wit may be made a Jack-a-Lent, when 'tis upon ill employment!
111455SIR HUGH EVANSSir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your desires, and fairies will not pinse you.
111555FORDWell said, fairy Hugh.
111655SIR HUGH EVANSAnd leave your jealousies too, I pray you.
111755FORDI will never mistrust my wife again till thou art able to woo her in good English.
111855FALSTAFFHave 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.
111955SIR HUGH EVANSSeese is not good to give putter; your belly is all putter.
112055FALSTAFF'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.
112155MISTRESS PAGEWhy 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?
112255FORDWhat, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax?
112355MISTRESS PAGEA puffed man?
112455PAGEOld, cold, withered and of intolerable entrails?
112555FORDAnd one that is as slanderous as Satan?
112655PAGEAnd as poor as Job?
112755FORDAnd as wicked as his wife?
112855SIR HUGH EVANSAnd given to fornications, and to taverns and sack and wine and metheglins, and to drinkings and swearings and starings, pribbles and prabbles?
112955FALSTAFFWell, I am your theme: you have the start of me; I am dejected; I am not able to answer the Welsh flannel; ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me: use me as you will.
113055FORDMarry, 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 that you have suffered, I think to repay that money will be a biting affliction.
113155PAGEYet 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 Master Slender hath married her daughter.
113255MISTRESS PAGE[Aside] Doctors doubt that: if Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this, Doctor Caius' wife.
1133(stage directions)55[Enter SLENDER]
113455SLENDERWhoa ho! ho, father Page!
113555PAGESon, how now! how now, son! have you dispatched?
113655SLENDERDispatched! I'll make the best in Gloucestershire know on't; would I were hanged, la, else.
113755PAGEOf what, son?
113855SLENDERI came yonder at Eton to marry Mistress Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy. If it had not been i' the church, I would have swinged him, or he should have swinged me. If I did not think it had been Anne Page, would I might never stir!--and 'tis a postmaster's boy.
113955PAGEUpon my life, then, you took the wrong.
114055SLENDERWhat 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.
114155PAGEWhy, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you how you should know my daughter by her garments?
114255SLENDERI 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.
114355MISTRESS PAGEGood George, be not angry: I knew of your purpose; turned my daughter into green; and, indeed, she is now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married.
1144(stage directions)55[Enter DOCTOR CAIUS]
114555DOCTOR 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.
114655MISTRESS PAGEWhy, did you take her in green?
114755DOCTOR CAIUSAy, by gar, and 'tis a boy: by gar, I'll raise all Windsor.
1148(stage directions)55[Exit]
114955FORDThis is strange. Who hath got the right Anne?
115055PAGEMy heart misgives me: here comes Master Fenton. [Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGE] How now, Master Fenton!
115155ANNE PAGEPardon, good father! good my mother, pardon!
115255PAGENow, mistress, how chance you went not with Master Slender?
115355MISTRESS PAGEWhy went you not with master doctor, maid?
115455FENTONYou do amaze her: hear the truth of it. You would have married her most shamefully, Where there was no proportion held in love. The truth is, she and I, long since contracted, Are now so sure that nothing can dissolve us. The offence is holy that she hath committed; And this deceit loses the name of craft, Of disobedience, or unduteous title, Since therein she doth evitate and shun A thousand irreligious cursed hours, Which forced marriage would have brought upon her.
115555FORDStand not amazed; here is no remedy: In love the heavens themselves do guide the state; Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.
115655FALSTAFFI am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced.
115755PAGEWell, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give thee joy! What cannot be eschew'd must be embraced.
115855FALSTAFFWhen night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chased.
115955MISTRESS PAGEWell, I will muse no further. Master Fenton, Heaven give you many, many merry days! Good husband, let us every one go home, And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire; Sir John and all.
116055FORDLet it be so. Sir John, To Master Brook you yet shall hold your word For he tonight shall lie with Mistress Ford.
1161(stage directions)55[Exeunt]

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