The Merry Wives of Windsor

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Original text
Act III, Scene I
Enter Euans, Simple, Page, Shallow, Slender, Host, Caius, Rugby.

Euans.
I pray you now, good Master Slenders seruing-man,
and friend Simple by your name; which way haue
you look'd for Master Caius, that calls himselfe Doctor
of Phisicke.

Sim.
Marry Sir, the pittie-ward, the Parke-ward:
euery way: olde Windsor way, and euery way but the
Towne-way.

Euan.
I most fehemently desire you, you will also looke
that way.

Sim.
I will sir.

Euan.
'Plesse my soule: how full of Chollors I am, and
trempling of minde: I shall be glad if he haue deceiued
me: how melancholies I am? I will knog his Vrinalls
about his knaues costard, when I haue good oportunities
for the orke: 'Plesse my soule:
To shallow Ruiers to whose falls:
melodious Birds sings Madrigalls:
There will we make our Peds of Roses:
and a thousand fragrant posies.
To shallow:
'Mercie on mee, I haue a great dispositions to cry.
Melodious birds sing Madrigalls: ---
When as I sat in Pabilon:
and a thousand vagram Posies.
To shallow, &c.

Sim.
Yonder he is comming, this way, Sir Hugh.

Euan.
Hee's welcome:
To shallow Riuers, to whose fals:
Heauen prosper the right: what weapons is he?

Sim.
No weapons, Sir: there comes my Master, Mr.
Shallow, and another Gentleman; from Frogmore, ouer
the stile, this way.

Euan.
Pray you giue mee my gowne, or else keepe it in
your armes.

Shal.
How now Master Parson? good morrow good
Sir Hugh: keepe a Gamester from the dice, and a good
Studient from his booke, and it is wonderfull.

Slen.
Ah sweet Anne Page.

Page.
'Saue you, good Sir Hugh.

Euan.
'Plesse you from his mercy-sake, all of you.

Shal.
What? the Sword, and the Word? Doe you study
them both, Mr. Parson?

Page.
And youthfull still, in your doublet and hose, this
raw-rumaticke day?

Euan.
There is reasons, and causes for it.

Page.
We are come to you, to doe a good office, Mr .
Parson.

Euan.
Fery-well: what is it?

Page.
Yonder is a most reuerend Gentleman; who (be-like)
hauing receiued wrong by some person, is at most odds
with his owne grauity and patience, that euer you saw.

Shal.
I haue liued foure-score yeeres, and vpward: I
neuer heard a man of his place, grauity, and learning, so
wide of his owne respect.

Euan.
What is he?

Page.
I thinke you know him: Mr. Doctor Caius the
renowned French Physician.

Euan.
Got's-will, and his passion of my heart: I had as
lief you would tell me of a messe of porredge.

Page.
Why?

Euan.
He has no more knowledge in Hibocrates and
Galen, and hee is a knaue besides: a cowardly knaue, as
you would desires to be acquainted withall.

Page.
I warrant you, hee's the man should fight with him.

Slen.
O sweet Anne Page.

Shal.
It appeares so by his weapons:
keepe them asunder: here comes Doctor Caius.

Page.
Nay good Mr. Parson, keepe in your weapon.

Shal.
So doe you, good Mr. Doctor.

Host.
Disarme them, and let them question: let them keepe
their limbs whole, and hack our English.

Cai.
I pray you let-a-mee speake a word with your eare;
vherefore vill you not meet-a me?

Euan.
Pray you vse your patience
in good time.

Cai.
By-gar, you are de Coward: de Iack dog: Iohn Ape.

Euan.
Pray you let vs not be laughing-stocks
to other mens humors: I desire you in friendship,
and I will one way or other make you amends:
I will knog your Vrinal about your knaues
Cogs-combe.

Cai.
Diable: Iack Rugby: mine Host de Iarteer: haue I
not stay for him, to kill him? haue I not at de place I
did appoint?

Euan.
As I am a Christians-soule, now looke you: this is the
place appointed, Ile bee iudgement by mine Host of the
Garter.

Host.
Peace, I say, Gallia and Gaule, French & Welch,
Soule-Curer, and Body-Curer.

Cai.
I, dat is very good, excellant.

Host.
Peace, I say: heare mine Host of the Garter, Am I
politicke? Am I subtle? Am I a Machiuell? Shall I loose
my Doctor? No, hee giues me the Potions and the
Motions. Shall I loose my Parson? my Priest? my Sir
Hugh? No, he giues me the Prouerbes, and the No-verbes.
Giue me thy hand
(Celestiall) so: Boyes of Art, I haue deceiu'd you both: I haue
directed you to wrong places: your hearts are mighty,
your skinnes are whole, and let burn'd Sacke be the issue:
Come, lay their swords to pawne: Follow me, Lad of
peace, follow, follow, follow.

Shal.
Trust me, a mad Host: follow Gentlemen,
follow.

Slen.
O sweet Anne Page.

Cai.
Ha' do I perceiue dat? Haue you make-a-de-sot
of vs, ha, ha?

Eua.
This is well, he has made vs his vlowting-stog: I
desire you that we may be friends: and let vs knog our
praines together to be reuenge on this same scall scuruy-
cogging-companion the Host of the Garter.

Cai.
By gar, with all my heart: he promise to bring me
where is Anne Page: by gar he deceiue me too.

Euan.
Well, I will smite his noddles: pray you follow.
Original text
Act III, Scene II
Mist. Page, Robin, Ford, Page, Shallow, Slender, Host, Euans, Caius.

Mist. Page.
Nay keepe 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
masters heeles?

Rob.
I had rather (forsooth) go before you like a man,
then follow him like a dwarfe.

M. Pa.
O you are a flattering boy, now I see
you'l be a Courtier.

Ford.
Well met mistris Page, whether go you.

M. Pa.
Truly Sir, to see your wife, is she at
home?

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

M. Pa.
Be sure of that, two other husbands.

Ford.
Where had you this pretty weather-cocke?

M. Pa.
I cannot tell what (the dickens) his name
is my husband had him of, what do you cal your
Knights name sirrah?

Rob.
Sir Iohn Falstaffe.

Ford.
Sir Iohn Falstaffe.

M. Pa.
He, he, I can neuer hit on's name; there
is such a league betweene my goodman, and he: is your
Wife at home indeed?

Ford.
Indeed she is.

M. Pa.
By your leaue sir, I am sicke till I see her.

Ford.
Has Page any braines? Hath he any eies? Hath he
any thinking? Sure they sleepe, he hath no vse of them:
why this boy will carrie a letter twentie mile as easie, as a
Canon will shoot point-blanke twelue score: hee peeces
out his wiues inclination: he giues her folly motion and
aduantage: and now she's going to my wife, &
Falstaffes boy with her: A man may heare this showre sing
in the winde; and Falstaffes boy with her: good plots,
they are laide, and our reuolted wiues share damnation
together. Well, I will take him, then torture my wife,
plucke the borrowed vaile of modestie from the
so-seeming Mist. Page, divulge Page himselfe for a
secure and wilfull Acteon, and to these violent
proceedings all my neighbors shall cry aime.
The clocke giues me my Qu, and my assurance bids me
search, there I shall finde Falstaffe: I shall be rather
praisd for this, then mock'd, for it is as possitiue, as the
earth is firme, that Falstaffe is there: I will go.

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

Ford.
Trust me, a good knotte; I haue good cheere at home,
and I pray you all go with me.

Shal.
I must excuse my selfe Mr Ford.

Slen.
And so must I Sir, / We haue appointed to dine
with Mistris Anne, / And I would not breake with her for
more mony / Then Ile speake of.

Shal.
We haue linger'd about a match betweene An
Page, and my cozen Slender, and this day wee shall haue
our answer.

Slen.
I hope I haue your good will Father Page.

Pag.
You haue Mr Slender, I stand wholly for you,
But my wife (Mr Doctor) is for you altogether.

Cai.
I be-gar, and de Maid is loue-a-me: my nursh-a-
Quickly tell me so mush.

Host.
What say you to yong Mr Fenton? He capers,
he dances, he has eies of youth: he writes verses, hee
speakes holliday, he smels April and May, he wil
carry't, he will carry't, 'tis in his buttons, he will
carry't.

Page.
Not by my consent I promise you. The Gentleman
is of no hauing, hee kept companie with the wilde Prince,
and Pointz: he is of too high a Region, he knows too
much: no, hee 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 haue waits on my consent, and
my consent goes not that way.

Ford.
I beseech you heartily, some of you goe home with
me to dinner: besides your cheere you shall haue sport,
I will shew you a monster: Mr Doctor, you shal go,
so shall you Mr Page, and you Sir Hugh.

Shal.
Well, fare you well: We shall haue the freer
woing at Mr Pages.

Cai.
Go home Iohn Rugby, I come anon.

Host.
Farewell my hearts, I will to my honest Knight
Falstaffe, and drinke Canarie with him.

Ford.
I thinke I shall drinke in Pipe-wine first with
him, Ile make him dance. Will you go, Gentles?

All.
Haue with you, to see this Monster.
Exeunt
Original text
Act III, Scene III
Enter M. Ford, M. Page, Seruants, Robin, Falstaffe, Ford, Page, Caius, Euans.

Mist. Ford.
What Iohn, what Robert.

M. Page.
Quickly, quickly: Is the Buck-basket ---

Mis. Ford.
I warrant. What Robin I say.

Mis. Page.
Come, come, come.

Mist. Ford.
Heere, set it downe.

M. Pag.
Giue your men the charge, we must be
briefe.

M. Ford.
Marrie, as I told you before (Iohn &
Robert) be ready here hard-by in the Brew-house, &
when I sodainly call you, come forth, and (without any
pause, or staggering) take this basket on your shoulders:
yt done, trudge with it in all hast, and carry it
among the Whitsters in Dotchet Mead, and there empty
it in the muddie ditch, close by the Thames side.

M. Page.
You will do it?

M. Ford.
I ha told them ouer and ouer, they
lacke no direction. Be gone, and come when you are
call'd.

M. Page.
Here comes little Robin.

Mist. Ford.
How now my Eyas-Musket, what newes
with you?

Rob.
My M. Sir Iohn is come in at your backe doore
Mist. Ford, and requests your company.

M. Page.
You litle Iack-a-lent, haue you bin
true to vs

Rob.
I, Ile be sworne: my Master knowes not of your
being heere: and hath threatned to put me into euerlasting
liberty, if I tell you of it: for he sweares he'll turne
me away.

Mist. Pag.
Thou'rt a good boy: this secrecy of
thine shall be a Tailor to thee, and shal make thee a new
doublet and hose. Ile go hide me.

Mi. Ford.
Do so: go tell thy Master, I
am alone:
Mistris Page, remember you your Qu.

Mist. Pag.
I warrant thee, if I do not act it, hisse me.

Mist. Ford.
Go-too then: we'l vse this vnwholsome
humidity, this grosse-watry Pumpion; we'll teach him
to know Turtles from Iayes.

Fal.
Haue I caught thee, my heauenly Iewell? Why
now let me die, for I haue liu'd long enough: This is
the period of my ambition: O this blessed houre.

Mist. Ford.
O sweet Sir Iohn.

Fal.
Mistris Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate
(Mist.Ford) now shall I sin in my wish; I would thy
Husband were dead, Ile speake it before the best Lord,
I would make thee my Lady.

Mist. Ford.
I your Lady Sir Iohn? Alas, I should bee a
pittifull Lady.

Fal.
Let the Court of France shew 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-tyre, the Tyre-valiant, or any Tire of Venetian
admittance.

Mist. Ford.
A plaine Kerchiefe, Sir Iohn: My browes
become nothing else, nor that well neither.

Fal.
Thou art a tyrant to say so: thou wouldst
make an absolute Courtier, and the firme fixture of thy
foote, would giue an excellent motion to thy gate, 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.

Mist. Ford.
Beleeue me, ther's no such thing in me.

Fal.
What made me loue thee? Let that perswade
thee. Ther's something extraordinary in thee: Come, I
cannot cog, and say thou art this and that, like a-manie of
these lisping-hauthorne buds, that come like women in
mens apparrell, and smell like Bucklers-berry in simple time:
I cannot, but I loue thee, none but thee; and thou
deseru'st it.

M. Ford.
Do not betray me sir, I fear you loue
M. Page.

Fal.
Thou mightst as well say, I loue to walke by the
Counter-gate, which is as hatefull to me, as the reeke of a
Lime-kill.

Mis Ford.
Well, heauen knowes how I loue you, / And
you shall one day finde it.

Fal.
Keepe in that minde, Ile deserue it.

Mist. Ford.
Nay, I must tell you, so you doe; / Or else
I could not be in that minde.

Rob.
Mistris Ford, Mistris Ford: heere's Mistris
Page at the doore, sweating, and blowing, and looking
wildely, and would needs speake with you presently.

Fal.
She shall not see me, I will ensconce mee behinde
the Arras.

M. Ford.
Pray you do so, she's a very tatling
woman.
Whats the matter? How now?

Mist. Page.
O mistris Ford what haue you done?
You'r sham'd, y'are ouerthrowne, y'are vndone for
euer.

M. Ford.
What's the matter, good mistris Page?

M. Page.
O weladay, mist. Ford, hauing an
honest man to your husband, to giue him such cause of
suspition.

M. Ford.
What cause of suspition?

M. Page.
What cause of suspition? Out vpon
you: How am I mistooke in you?

M. Ford.
Why (alas) what's the matter?

M. Page.
Your husband's comming hether (Woman)
with all the Officers in Windsor, to search for a Gentleman,
that he sayes is heere now in the house; by your consent
to take an ill aduantage of his absence: you are vndone.

M. Ford.
'Tis not so, I hope.

M. Page.
Pray heauen it be not so, that you haue
such a man heere: but 'tis most certaine your husband's
comming, with halfe Windsor at his heeles, to serch for such
a one, I come before to tell you: If you know your selfe
cleere, why I am glad of it: but if you haue a friend here,
conuey, conuey him out. Be not amaz'd, call all your
senses to you, defend your reputation, or bid farwell to
your good life for euer.

M. Ford.
What shall I do? There is a Gentleman
my deere friend: and I feare not mine owne shame so much,
as his perill. I had rather then a thousand pound he were
out of the house.

M. Page.
For shame, neuer stand (you had rather,
and you had rather:) your husband's heere at hand,
bethinke you of some conueyance: in the house you
cannot hide him. Oh, how haue you deceiu'd me? Looke,
heere is a basket, if he be of any reasonable stature, he
may creepe in heere, and throw fowle linnen vpon him, as if
it were going to bucking: Or it is whiting time, send him
by your two men to Datchet-Meade.

M. Ford.
He's too big to go in there: what shall I
do?

Fal.
Let me see't, let me see't, O let me see't: Ile
in, Ile in: Follow your friends counsell, Ile in.

M. Page.
What Sir Iohn Falstaffe?
Are these your Letters, Knight?

Fal.
I loue thee,
helpe mee away: let me creepe in heere: ile
neuer ---

M. Page.
Helpe to couer your master
(Boy:) Call your men (Mist. Ford.)
You dissembling Knight.

M. Ford.
What Iohn, Robert, Iohn;
Go, take vp these cloathes heere, quickly: Wher's the
Cowle-staffe? Look how you drumble? Carry them to the
Landresse in Datchet mead: quickly, come.


Ford.

'Pray you come nere: if I suspect
without cause, / Why then make sport at me, then let me
be your iest, / I deserue it: How now?
Whether beare you this?

Ser.
To the Landresse forsooth?

M. Ford.
Why, what haue you to doe whether they
beare it? You were best meddle with buck-washing.

Ford.
Buck? I would I could wash my selfe of ye Buck:
Bucke, bucke, bucke, I bucke: I warrant you Bucke, / And
of the season too; it shall appeare.
Gentlemen, I haue dream'd to night, Ile tell you my
dreame: heere, heere, heere bee my keyes, ascend my Chambers,
search, seeke, finde out: Ile warrant wee'le vnkennell
the Fox. Let me stop this way first:
so, now vncape.

Page.
Good master Ford, be contented: / You wrong your selfe
too much.

Ford.
True (master Page) vp Gentlemen, / You shall see
sport anon: / Follow me Gentlemen.

Euans.
This is fery fantasticall humors and iealousies.

Caius.
By gar, 'tis no-the fashion of France: / It is not
iealous in France.

Page.
Nay follow him (Gentlemen) see the yssue of his
search.

Mist Page.
Is there not a double excellency in this?

Mist. Ford.
I know not which pleases me better,
That my husband is deceiued, or Sir Iohn.

Mist. Page.
What a taking was hee in, when your
husband askt who was in the basket?

Mist. Ford.
I am halfe affraid he will haue neede of
washing: so throwing him into the water, will doe him a
benefit.

Mist. Page.
Hang him dishonest rascall: I would all
of the same straine, were in the same distresse.

Mist. Ford.
I thinke my husband hath some speciall
suspition of Falstaffs being heere: for I neuer saw him
so grosse in his iealousie till now.

Mist. Page.
I will lay a plot to try that, and wee will
yet haue more trickes with Falstaffe: his dissolute disease
will scarse obey this medicine.

Mis. Ford.
Shall we send that foolishion Carion,
Mist. Quickly to him, and excuse his throwing into
the water, and giue him another hope, to betray him to
another punishment?

Mist. Page.
We will do it: let him be sent for
to morrow eight a clocke to haue amends.

Ford.
I cannot finde him: may be the knaue bragg'd of that
he could not compasse.

Mis. Page.
Heard you that?

Mis. Ford.
You vse me well, M. Ford? Do you?

Ford.
I, I do so.

M. Ford.
Heauen make you better then your
thoghts

Ford.
Amen.

Mi. Page.
You do your selfe mighty wrong (M.
Ford)

Ford.
I, I: I must beare it.

Eu.
If there be any pody in the house, & in the
chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses: heauen
forgiue my sins at the day of iudgement.

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

Page.
Fy, fy, M. Ford, are you not asham'd? What
spirit, what diuell suggests this imagination? I wold not
ha your distemper in this kind, for ye welth of Windsor
castle.

Ford.
'Tis my fault (M. Page) I suffer for it.

Euans.
You suffer for a pad conscience: your wife is as
honest a o'mans, as I will desires among fiue thousand,
and fiue hundred too.

Cai.
By gar, I see 'tis an honest woman.

Ford.
Well, I promisd you a dinner: come, come, walk
in the Parke, I pray you pardon me: I wil hereafter make
knowne to you why I haue done this. Come wife, come
Mi. Page, I pray you pardon me. Pray hartly
pardon me.

Page.
Let's go in Gentlemen, but (trust me) we'l mock
him: I doe inuite you to morrow morning to my house to
breakfast: after we'll a Birding together, I haue a fine
Hawke for the bush. Shall it be so:

Ford.
Any thing.

Eu.
If there is one, I shall make two in the Companie

Ca.
If there be one, or two, I shall make-a-theturd.

Ford.
Pray you go, M. Page.

Eua.
I pray you now remembrance to morrow on the
lowsie knaue, mine Host.

Cai.
Dat is good by gar, withall my heart.

Eua.
A lowsie knaue, to haue his gibes, and his mockeries.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene IV
Enter Fenton, Anne, Page, Shallow, Slender, Quickly, Page, Mist. Page.

Fen:
I see I cannot get thy Fathers loue,
Therefore no more turne me to him (sweet Nan.)

Anne.
Alas, how then?

Fen.
Why thou must be thy selfe.
He doth obiect, I am too great of birth,
And that my state being gall'd with my expence,
I seeke to heale it onely by his wealth.
Besides these, other barres he layes before me,
My Riots past, my wilde Societies,
And tels me 'tis a thing impossible
I should loue thee, but as a property.

An.
May be he tels you true.
No, heauen so speed me in my time to come,
Albeit I will confesse, thy Fathers wealth
Was the first motiue that I woo'd thee (Anne:)
Yet wooing thee, I found thee of more valew
Then stampes in Gold, or summes in sealed bagges:
And 'tis the very riches of thy selfe,
That now I ayme at.

An.
Gentle M. Fenton,
Yet seeke my Fathers loue, still seeke it sir,
If opportunity and humblest suite
Cannot attaine it, why then harke you hither.

Shal.
Breake their talke Mistris Quickly, / My Kinsman
shall speake for himselfe.

Slen.
Ile make a shaft or a bolt on't, slid, tis but
venturing.

Shal.
Be not dismaid.

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

Qui.
Hark ye, M. Slender
would speak a word with you

An.
I come to him. This is my Fathers choice:
O what a world of vilde ill-fauour'd faults
Lookes handsome in three hundred pounds a yeere?

Qui.
And how do's good Master Fenton?
Pray you a word with you.

Shal.
Shee's comming; to her Coz: / O boy, thou hadst
a father.

Slen.
I had a father (M. An) my vncle can
tel you good iests of him: pray you Vncle, tel Mist.
Anne the iest how my Father stole two Geese out of a Pen,
good Vnckle.

Shal.
Mistris Anne, my Cozen loues you.

Slen.
I that I do, as well as I loue any woman in
Glocestershire.

Shal.
He will maintaine you like a Gentlewoman.

Slen.
I that I will, come cut and long-taile, vnder
the degree of a Squire.

Shal.
He will make you a hundred and fiftie pounds
ioynture.

Anne.
Good Maister Shallow let him woo for himselfe.

Shal.
Marrie I thanke you for it: I thanke you for that
good comfort: she cals you (Coz) Ile leaue you.

Anne.
Now Master Slender.

Slen.
Now good Mistris Anne.

Anne.
What is your will?

Slen.
My will? Odd's-hart-lings, that's a prettie iest
indeede: I ne're made my Will yet (I thanke Heauen:) I am
not such a sickely creature, I giue Heauen praise.

Anne.
I meane (M. Slender) what wold you with me?

Slen.
Truely, for mine owne part, I would little or
nothing with you: your father and my vncle hath made
motions: if it be my lucke, so; if not, happy man bee his
dole, they can tell you how things go, better then I can:
you may aske your father, heere he comes.

Page.
Now Mr Slender; Loue him daughter Anne.
Why how now? What does Mr Fenter here?
You wrong me Sir, thus still to haunt my house.
I told you Sir, my daughter is disposd of.

Fen.
Nay Mr Page, be not impatient.

Mist. Page.
Good M. Fenton. come not to my child.

Page.
She is no match for you.

Fen.
Sir, will you heare me?

Page.
No, good M. Fenton.
Come M. Shallow: Come sonne Slender, in;
Knowing my minde, you wrong me (M. Fenton.)

Qui.
Speake to Mistris Page.

Fen.
Good Mist. Page, for that I loue your daughter
In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Perforce, against all checkes, rebukes, and manners,
I must aduance the colours of my loue,
And not retire. Let me haue your good will.

An.
Good mother, do not marry me to yond foole.

Mist. Page.
I meane it not, I seeke you a better husband.

Qui.
That's my master, M. Doctor.

An.
Alas I had rather be set quick i'th earth,
And bowl'd to death with Turnips.

Mist. Page.
Come, trouble not your selfe good M. Fenton,
I will not be your friend, nor enemy:
My daughter will I question how she loues you,
And as I finde her, so am I affected:
Till then, farewell Sir, she must needs go in,
Her father will be angry.

Fen.
Farewell gentle Mistris: farewell Nan.

Qui.
This is my doing now: Nay, saide
I, will you cast away your childe on a Foole, and a
Physitian: Looke on M. Fenton, this is my doing.

Fen.
I thanke thee: and I pray thee once to night,
Giue my sweet Nan this Ring: there's for thy paines.

Qui.
Now heauen send thee good
fortune,
a kinde heart he hath: a woman would run through fire
& water for such a kinde heart. But yet, I would my
Maister had Mistris Anne, or I would M. Slender
had her: or (in sooth) I would M. Fenton had her;
I will do what I can for them all three, for so I haue
promisd, and Ile bee as good as my word, but speciously
for M. Fenton. Well, I must of another errand to Sir
Iohn Falstaffe from my two Mistresses: what a beast am
I to slacke it.
Exeunt
Original text
Act III, Scene V
Enter Falstaffe, Bardolfe, Quickly, Ford.

Fal.
Bardolfe I say.

Bar.
Heere Sir.

Fal.
Go, fetch me a quart of Sacke, put a tost in't.
Haue I liu'd to be carried in a Basket like a barrow of
butchers Offall? and to be throwne in the Thames? Wel,
if I be seru'd such another tricke, Ile haue my braines
'tane out and butter'd, and giue them to a dogge for a
New-yeares gift. The rogues slighted me into the riuer with as
little remorse, as they would haue drown'de a blinde
bitches Puppies, fifteene i'th litter: and you may know
by my size, that I haue a kinde of alacrity in sinking: if the
bottome were as deepe as hell, I shold down. I had beene
drown'd, but that the shore was sheluy and shallow:
a death that I abhorre: for the water swelles a man; and what
a thing should I haue beene, when I had beene swel'd?
I should haue beene a Mountaine of Mummie.

Bar.
Here's M. Quickly Sir to speake with
you.

Fal.
Come, let me poure in some Sack to the Thames
water: for my bellies as cold as if I had swallow'd
snowbals, for pilles to coole the reines. Call her in.

Bar.
Come in woman.

Qui.
By your leaue: I cry you mercy?
Giue your worship good morrow.

Fal.
Take away these Challices: / Go, brew me a
pottle of Sacke finely.

Bard.
With Egges, Sir?

Fal.
Simple of it selfe: Ile no Pullet-Spersme in my
brewage.
How now?

Qui.
Marry Sir, I come to your worship
from M. Ford.

Fal.
Mist. Ford? I haue had Ford enough: I
was thrown into the Ford; I haue my belly full of Ford.

Qui.
Alas the day, (good-heart) that was
not her fault: she do's so take on with her men; they
mistooke their erection.

Fal.
So did I mine, to build vpon a foolish Womans
promise.

Qui.
Well, she laments Sir for it, that
it would yern your heart to see it: her husband goes
this morning a birding; she desires you once more to
come to her, betweene eight and nine: I must carry her
word quickely, she'll make you amends I warrant you.

Fal.
Well, I will visit her, tell her so: and bidde her
thinke what a man is: Let her consider his frailety, and
then iudge of my merit.

Qui.
I will tell her.

Fal.
Do so. Betweene nine and ten saist thou?

Qui.
Eight and nine Sir.

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

Qui.
Peace be with you Sir.

Fal.
I meruaile I heare not of Mr Broome: he sent
me word to stay within: I like his money well. Oh, heere
be comes.

Ford.
Blesse you Sir.

Fal.
Now M. Broome, you come to know / What
hath past betweene me, and Fords wife.

Ford.
That indeed (Sir Iohn) is my businesse.

Fal.
M. Broome I will not lye to you, / I was at her
house the houre she appointed me.

Ford.
And sped you Sir?

Fal.
very ill-fauouredly M. Broome.

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

Fal.
No (M. Broome) but the peaking Curnuto
her husband (M. Broome) dwelling in a continual
larum of ielousie, coms me in the instant of our
encounter, after we had embrast, kist, protested,
& (as it were) spoke the prologue of our Comedy: and
at his heeles, a rabble of his companions, thither prouoked
and instigated by his distemper, and (forsooth) to
serch his house for his wiues Loue.

Ford.
What? While you were there?

Fal.
While I was there.

For.
And did he search for you, & could not find you?

Fal.
You shall heare. As good lucke would haue it,
comes in one Mist. Page, giues intelligence of Fords
approch: and in her inuention, and Fords wiues
distraction, they conuey'd me into a bucke-basket.

Ford.
A Buck-basket?

Fal.
Yes: a Buck-basket: ram'd mee in
with foule Shirts and Smockes, Socks, foule Stockings,
greasie Napkins, that (Master Broome) there was the
rankest compound of villanous smell, that euer offended
nostrill.

Ford.
And how long lay you there?

Fal.
Nay, you shall heare (Master Broome) what I
haue sufferd, to bring this woman to euill, for your good:
Being thus cram'd in the Basket, a couple of Fords
knaues, his Hindes, were cald forth by their Mistris, to
carry mee in the name of foule Cloathes to Datchet-lane:
they tooke me on their shoulders: met the iealous knaue
their Master in the doore; who ask'd them once or twice
what they had in their Basket? I quak'd for feare least the
Lunatique Knaue would haue search'd it: but Fate
(ordaining he should be a Cuckold) held his hand: well, on
went hee, for a search, and away went I for foule Cloathes:
But marke the sequell (Master Broome) I suffered the
pangs of three seuerall deaths: First, an intollerable fright,
to be detected with a iealious rotten Bell-weather:
Next to be compass'd like a good Bilbo in the circumference
of a Pecke, hilt to point, heele to head. And then to
be stopt in like a strong distillation with stinking
Cloathes, that fretted in their owne grease: thinke of that, a
man of my Kidney; thinke of that, that am as subiect to
heate as butter; a man of continuall dissolution, and thaw:
it was a miracle to scape suffocation. And in the height
of this Bath (when I was more then halfe stew'd in
grease (like a Dutch-dish) to be throwne into the Thames,
and coold, glowing-hot, in that serge like a Horse-shoo;
thinke of that; hissing hot: thinke of that (Master
Broome.)

Ford.
In good sadnesse Sir, I am sorry, that for my sake
you haue sufferd all this. My suite then is desperate:
You'll vndertake her no more?

Fal.
Master Broome: I will be throwne into Etna, as
I haue beene into Thames, ere I will leaue her thus; her
Husband is this morning gone a Birding: I haue receiued
from her another ambassie of meeting: 'twixt eight
and nine is the houre (Master Broome.)

Ford.
'Tis past eight already Sir.

Fal.
Is it? I will then addresse mee to my appointment:
Come to mee at your conuenient leisure, and you
shall know how I speede: and the conclusion shall be
crowned with your enioying her: adiew: you shall haue
her (Master Broome) Master Broome, you shall cuckold
Ford.

Ford.
Hum: ha? Is this a vision? Is this a dreame? doe I
sleepe? Master Ford awake, awake Master Ford:
ther's a hole made in your best coate (Master Ford:) this
'tis to be married; this 'tis to haue Lynnen, and
Buck-baskets: Well, I will proclaime my selfe what I am: I will
now take the Leacher: hee is at my house: hee cannot
scape me: 'tis impossible hee should: hee cannot creepe
into a halfe-penny purse, nor into a Pepper-Boxe: But least
the Diuell that guides him, should aide him, I will search
impossible places: though what I am, I cannot auoide;
yet to be what I would not, shall not make me tame: If I
haue hornes, to make one mad, let the prouerbe goe with
me, Ile be horne-mad.
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act III, Scene I
Enter Evans and Simple

EVANS
I pray you now, good Master Slender's servingman,
and friend Simple by your name, which way have
you looked for Master Caius, that calls himself Doctor
of Physic?

SIMPLE
Marry, sir, the pittie-ward, the park-ward,
every way; Old Windsor way, and every way but the
town way.

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

SIMPLE
I will, sir.
Exit

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!
He 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.
He sings
Melodious birds sing madrigals –
Whenas I sat in Pabylon –
And a thousand vagram posies.
To shallow, etc.
Enter Simple

SIMPLE
Yonder he is, coming this way, Sir Hugh.

EVANS
He's welcome.
He sings
To shallow rivers, to whose falls –
Heaven prosper the right! What weapons is he?

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

EVANS
Pray you, give me my gown – or else keep it in
your arms.
He takes a book and reads it
Enter Page, Shallow, and Slender

SHALLOW
How 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.

SLENDER
(aside)
Ah, sweet Anne Page!

PAGE
Save you, good Sir Hugh!

EVANS
Pless you from his mercy sake, all of you!

SHALLOW
What, the sword and the word? Do you study
them both, Master Parson?

PAGE
And youthful still – in your doublet and hose this
raw rheumatic day?

EVANS
There is reasons and causes for it.

PAGE
We are come to you to do a good office, Master
Parson.

EVANS
Fery well. What is it?

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

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

EVANS
What is he?

PAGE
I think you know him: Master Doctor Caius, the
renowned French physician.

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

PAGE
Why?

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

PAGE
I warrant you, he's the man should fight with him.

SLENDER
(aside)
O sweet Anne Page!

SHALLOW
It appears so by his weapons.
Enter Host, Caius, and Rugby
Keep them asunder; here comes Doctor Caius.
Evans and Caius offer to fight

PAGE
Nay, good master Parson, keep in your weapon.

SHALLOW
So do you, good Master Doctor.

HOST
Disarm them, and let them question. Let them keep
their limbs whole and hack our English.

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

EVANS
(aside to Caius)
Pray you, use your patience.
(Aloud) In good time.

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

EVANS
(aside to Caius)
Pray you, let us not be laughing-stocks
to other men's humours. I desire you in friendship,
and I will one way or other make you amends.
(Aloud) I will knog your urinals about your knave's
cogscombs for missing your meetings and
appointments.

CAIUS
Diable! Jack Rugby, mine host de Jarteer, have I
not stay for him to kill him? Have I not, at de place I
did appoint?

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

HOST
Peace, I say, Gallia and Gaul, French and Welsh,
soul-curer and body-curer.

CAIUS
Ay, dat is very good, excellent.

HOST
Peace, I say. Hear mine host of the Garter. Am I
politic? Am I subtle? Am I a Machiavel? Shall I lose
my doctor? No; he gives me the potions and the
motions. 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.
Exit

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

SLENDER
(aside)
O sweet Anne Page!
Exeunt Shallow, Slender, and Page

CAIUS
Ha, do I perceive dat? Have you make-a de sot of
us, ha, ha?

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

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

EVANS
Well, I will smite his noddles. Pray you follow.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene II
Enter Mistress Page and Robin

MISTRESS PAGE
Nay, keep your way, little gallant. You
were wont to be a follower, but now you are a leader.
Whether had you rather, lead mine eyes, or eye your
master's heels?

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

MISTRESS PAGE
O, you are a flattering boy. Now I see
you'll be a courtier.
Enter Ford

FORD
Well met, Mistress Page. Whither go you?

MISTRESS PAGE
Truly, sir, to see your wife. Is she at
home?

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

MISTRESS PAGE
Be sure of that – two other husbands.

FORD
Where had you this pretty weathercock?

MISTRESS PAGE
I cannot tell what the dickens his name
is that my husband had him of. What do you call your
knight's name, sirrah?

ROBIN
Sir John Falstaff.

FORD
Sir John Falstaff?

MISTRESS PAGE
He, he. I can never hit on's name. There
is such a league between my good man and he. Is your
wife at home indeed?

FORD
Indeed she is.

MISTRESS PAGE
By your leave, sir. I am sick till I see her.
Exeunt Mistress Page and Robin

FORD
Has Page any brains? Hath he any eyes? Hath he
any thinking? Sure, they sleep; he hath no use of them.
Why, this boy will carry a letter twenty mile as easy as a
cannon will shoot point-blank twelve score. He pieces
out his wife's inclination. He gives her folly motion and
advantage. 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.
The town clock strikes
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, Evans, Caius,
and Rugby

ALL
Well met, Master Ford.

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

SHALLOW
I must excuse myself, Master Ford.

SLENDER
And so must I, sir. We have appointed to dine
with Mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for
more money than I'll speak of.

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

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

PAGE
You have, Master Slender – I stand wholly for you.
But my wife, Master Doctor, is for you altogether.

CAIUS
Ay, be-gar, and de maid is love-a me – my nursh-a
Quickly tell me so mush.

HOST
What say you to young Master Fenton? He capers,
he dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he
speaks holiday, he smells April and May. He will
carry't, he will carry't. 'Tis in his buttons he will
carry't.

PAGE
Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman
is of no having. He kept company with the wild Prince
and Poins. He is of too high a region, he knows too
much. No, he shall not knit a knot in his fortunes with
the finger of my substance. If he take her, let him take
her simply. The wealth I have waits on my consent, and
my consent goes not that way.

FORD
I beseech you heartily, some of you go home with
me to dinner. Besides your cheer, you shall have sport –
I will show you a monster. Master Doctor, you shall go.
So shall you, Master Page, and you, Sir Hugh.

SHALLOW
Well, fare you well. We shall have the freer
wooing at Master Page's.
Exeunt Shallow and Slender

CAIUS
Go home, John Rugby. I come anon.
Exit Rugby

HOST
Farewell, my hearts. I will to my honest knight
Falstaff, and drink canary with him.
Exit

FORD
(aside) I think I shall drink in pipe-wine first with
him; I'll make him dance. – Will you go, gentles?

ALL
Have with you to see this monster.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene III
Enter Mistress Ford and Mistress Page

MISTRESS FORD
What, John! What, Robert!

MISTRESS PAGE
Quickly, quickly! Is the buck-basket –

MISTRESS FORD
I warrant. What, Robert, I say!
Enter John and Robert with a great buck-basket

MISTRESS PAGE
Come, come, come.

MISTRESS FORD
Here, set it down.

MISTRESS PAGE
Give your men the charge. We must be
brief.

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

MISTRESS PAGE
You will do it?

MISTRESS FORD
I ha' told them over and over – they
lack no direction. – Be gone, and come when you are
called.
Exeunt John and Robert
Enter Robin

MISTRESS PAGE
Here comes little Robin.

MISTRESS FORD
How now, my eyas-musket, what news
with you?

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

MISTRESS PAGE
You little Jack-a-Lent, have you been
true to us?

ROBIN
Ay, 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.

MISTRESS PAGE
Thou'rt a good boy. This secrecy of
thine shall be a tailor to thee and shall make thee a new
doublet and hose. I'll go hide me.

MISTRESS FORD
Do so. (To Robin) Go tell thy master I
am alone.
Exit Robin
Mistress Page, remember you your cue.

MISTRESS PAGE
I warrant thee. If I do not act it, hiss me.

MISTRESS FORD
Go to, then. We'll use this unwholesome
humidity, this gross watery pumpion. We'll teach him
to know turtles from jays.
Exit Mistress Page
Enter Falstaff

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

MISTRESS FORD
O sweet Sir John!

FALSTAFF
Mistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate,
Mistress Ford. Now shall I sin in my wish: I would thy
husband were dead. I'll speak it before the best lord,
I would make thee my lady.

MISTRESS FORD
I your lady, Sir John? Alas, I should be
a pitiful lady.

FALSTAFF
Let the court of France show me such another.
I see how thine eye would emulate the diamond. Thou
hast the right arched beauty of the brow that becomes
the ship-tire, the tire-valiant, or any tire of Venetian
admittance.

MISTRESS FORD
A plain kerchief, Sir John. My brows
become nothing else, nor that well neither.

FALSTAFF
Thou art a tyrant 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
semicircled farthingale. I see what thou wert if Fortune,
thy foe, were – not Nature – thy friend. Come,
thou canst not hide it.

MISTRESS FORD
Believe me, there's no such thing in me.

FALSTAFF
What 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.

MISTRESS FORD
Do not betray me, sir. I fear you love
Mistress Page.

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

MISTRESS FORD
Well, heaven knows how I love you, and
you shall one day find it.

FALSTAFF
Keep in that mind – I'll deserve it.

MISTRESS FORD
Nay, I must tell you, so you do, or else
I could not be in that mind.
Enter Robin

ROBIN
Mistress Ford, Mistress Ford! Here's Mistress
Page at the door, sweating and blowing and looking
wildly, and would needs speak with you presently.

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

MISTRESS FORD
Pray you, do so. She's a very tattling
woman.
Falstaff hides himself
Enter Mistress Page
What's the matter? How now?

MISTRESS PAGE
O Mistress Ford, what have you done?
You're shamed, you're overthrown, you're undone for
ever.

MISTRESS FORD
What's the matter, good Mistress Page?

MISTRESS PAGE
O well-a-day, Mistress Ford, having an
honest man to your husband, to give him such cause of
suspicion!

MISTRESS FORD
What cause of suspicion?

MISTRESS PAGE
What cause of suspicion? Out upon
you! How am I mistook in you!

MISTRESS FORD
Why, alas, what's the matter?

MISTRESS PAGE
Your husband's coming hither, woman,
with all the officers in Windsor, to search for a gentleman
that he says is here now in the house, by your consent,
to take an ill advantage of his absence. You are undone.

MISTRESS FORD
'Tis not so, I hope.

MISTRESS PAGE
Pray heaven it be not so that you have
such a man here! But 'tis most certain your husband's
coming, with half Windsor at his heels, to search for such
a one. 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.

MISTRESS FORD
What shall I do? There is a gentleman,
my dear friend; and I fear not mine own shame so much
as his peril. I had rather than a thousand pound he were
out of the house.

MISTRESS PAGE
For 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.

MISTRESS FORD
He's too big to go in there. What shall I
do?
Falstaff rushes out of hiding

FALSTAFF
Let me see't, let me see't. O, let me see't! I'll
in, I'll in. Follow your friend's counsel. I'll in.

MISTRESS PAGE
What, Sir John Falstaff? (Aside to him)
Are these your letters, knight?

FALSTAFF
(aside to Mistress Page)
I love thee, and none
but thee. Help me away. Let me creep in here. I'll
never –
He gets into the basket; they cover him with foul
linen

MISTRESS PAGE
(to Robin)
Help to cover your master,
boy. Call your men, Mistress Ford. (Aside to Falstaff)
You dissembling knight!
Exit Robin

MISTRESS FORD
What, John! Robert! John!
Enter John and Robert
Go, take up these clothes here. Quickly! Where's the
cowl-staff? Look how you drumble! Carry them to the
laundress in Datchet Mead. Quickly! Come.
Enter Ford, Page, Caius, and Evans

FORD
(to his companions)
Pray you, come near. If I suspect
without cause, why then make sport at me; then let me
be your jest; I deserve it. (To John and Robert) How now?
Whither bear you this?

JOHN and ROBERT
To the laundress, forsooth.

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

FORD
Buck? I would I could wash myself of the buck!
Buck, buck, buck! Ay, buck! I warrant you, buck – and
of the season too, it shall appear.
Exeunt John and Robert with the basket
Gentlemen, I have dreamed tonight. 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.
He locks the door
So; now escape.

PAGE
Good master Ford, be contented. You wrong yourself
too much.

FORD
True, Master Page. Up, gentlemen, you shall see
sport anon. Follow me, gentlemen.
Exit

EVANS
This is fery fantastical humours and jealousies.

CAIUS
By gar, 'tis no the fashion of France. It is not
jealous in France.

PAGE
Nay, follow him, gentlemen. See the issue of his
search.
Exeunt Page, Caius, and Evans

MISTRESS PAGE
Is there not a double excellency in this?

MISTRESS FORD
I know not which pleases me better –
that my husband is deceived, or Sir John.

MISTRESS PAGE
What a taking was he in when your
husband asked who was in the basket!

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

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

MISTRESS FORD
I think my husband hath some special
suspicion of Falstaff's being here, for I never saw him
so gross in his jealousy till now.

MISTRESS PAGE
I will lay a plot to try that, and we will
yet have more tricks with Falstaff. His dissolute disease
will scarce obey this medicine.

MISTRESS FORD
Shall we send that foolish carrion
Mistress Quickly to him, and excuse his throwing into
the water, and give him another hope to betray him to
another punishment?

MISTRESS PAGE
We will do it. Let him be sent for
tomorrow eight o'clock, to have amends.
Enter Ford, Page, Caius, and Evans

FORD
I cannot find him. Maybe the knave bragged of that
he could not compass.

MISTRESS PAGE
(aside to Mistress Ford)
Heard you that?

MISTRESS FORD
You use me well, Master Ford! Do you?

FORD
Ay, I do so.

MISTRESS FORD
Heaven make you better than your
thoughts.

FORD
Amen.

MISTRESS PAGE
You do yourself mighty wrong, Master
Ford.

FORD
Ay, ay, I must bear it.

EVANS
If there be anypody in the house, and in the
chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses, heaven
forgive my sins at the day of judgement.

CAIUS
By gar, nor I too. There is nobodies.

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

FORD
'Tis my fault, Master Page. I suffer for it.

EVANS
You suffer for a pad conscience. Your wife is as
honest a 'omans as I will desires among five thousand,
and five hundred too.

CAIUS
By gar, I see 'tis an honest woman.

FORD
Well, I promised you a dinner. Come, come, walk
in the Park. I pray you pardon me. I will hereafter make
known to you why I have done this. Come, wife, come,
Mistress Page, I pray you pardon me. Pray heartily
pardon me.

PAGE
Let's go in, gentlemen; but, trust me, we'll mock
him. I do invite you tomorrow morning to my house to
breakfast. After, we'll a-birding together. I have a fine
hawk for the bush. Shall it be so?

FORD
Anything.

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

CAIUS
If there be one or two, I shall make-a the turd.

FORD
Pray you go, Master Page.
Exeunt all but Evans and Caius

EVANS
I pray you now, remembrance tomorrow on the
lousy knave, mine host.

CAIUS
Dat is good. By gar, with all my heart.

EVANS
A lousy knave, to have his gibes and his mockeries.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene IV
Enter Fenton and Anne Page

FENTON
I see I cannot get thy father's love;
Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.

ANNE
Alas, how then?

FENTON
Why, thou must be thyself.
He doth object I am too great of birth,
And that, my state being galled 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.

ANNE
Maybe he tells you true.

FENTON
No, heaven so speed me in my time to come!
Albeit, I will confess, thy father's wealth
Was the first motive that I wooed thee, Anne;
Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
Than stamps in gold or sums in sealed bags.
And 'tis the very riches of thyself
That now I aim at.

ANNE
Gentle 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.
They talk aside
Enter Shallow, Slender, and Mistress Quickly

SHALLOW
Break their talk, Mistress Quickly. My kinsman
shall speak for himself.

SLENDER
I'll make a shaft or a bolt on't. 'Slid, 'tis but
venturing.

SHALLOW
Be not dismayed.

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

MISTRESS QUICKLY
(to Anne)
Hark ye, Master Slender
would speak a word with you.

ANNE
I come to him. (Aside) This is my father's choice.
O, what a world of vile ill-favoured faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!

MISTRESS QUICKLY
And how does good Master Fenton?
Pray you, a word with you.
They talk aside

SHALLOW
She's coming. To her, coz. O boy, thou hadst
a father!

SLENDER
I 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.

SHALLOW
Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.

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

SHALLOW
He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.

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

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

ANNE
Good Master Shallow, let him woo for himself.

SHALLOW
Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that
good comfort. She calls you, coz. I'll leave you.

ANNE
Now, Master Slender –

SLENDER
Now, good Mistress Anne –

ANNE
What is your will?

SLENDER
My will? 'Od's heartlings, that's a pretty jest
indeed! I ne'er made my will yet, I thank heaven. I am
not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.

ANNE
I mean, Master Slender, what would you with me?

SLENDER
Truly, 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.
Enter Page and Mistress Page

PAGE
Now, Master Slender. Love him, daughter Anne –
Why, how now? What does Master Fenton here?
You wrong me, sir, thus still to haunt my house.
I told you, sir, my daughter is disposed of.

FENTON
Nay, Master Page, be not impatient.

MISTRESS PAGE
Good Master Fenton, come not to my child.

PAGE
She is no match for you.

FENTON
Sir, will you hear me?

PAGE
No, good Master Fenton.
Come, Master Shallow, come, son Slender, in.
Knowing my mind, you wrong me, Master Fenton.
Exeunt Page, Shallow, and Slender

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Speak to Mistress Page.

FENTON
Good Mistress Page, for that I love your daughter
In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Perforce, against all checks, rebukes, and manners,
I must advance the colours of my love
And not retire. Let me have your good will.

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

MISTRESS PAGE
I mean it not – I seek you a better husband.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
That's my master, Master Doctor.

ANNE
Alas, I had rather be set quick i'th' earth,
And bowled to death with turnips.

MISTRESS PAGE
Come, trouble not yourself. Good Master Fenton,
I will not be your friend, nor enemy.
My daughter will I question how she loves you,
And as I find her, so am I affected.
Till then, farewell, sir. She must needs go in;
Her father will be angry.

FENTON
Farewell, gentle mistress. Farewell, Nan.
Exeunt Mistress Page and Anne

MISTRESS QUICKLY
This 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.

FENTON
I thank thee, and I pray thee once tonight
Give my sweet Nan this ring. There's for thy pains.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Now 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!
Exit
Modern text
Act III, Scene V
Enter Falstaff and Bardolph

FALSTAFF
Bardolph, I say!

BARDOLPH
Here, sir.

FALSTAFF
Go 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'th' 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.
Enter Bardolph with sack

BARDOLPH
Here's Mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with
you.

FALSTAFF
Come, let 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.

BARDOLPH
Come in, woman.
Enter Mistress Quickly

MISTRESS QUICKLY
By your leave; I cry you mercy.
Give your worship good morrow.

FALSTAFF
Take away these chalices. Go, brew me a
pottle of sack finely.

BARDOLPH
With eggs, sir?

FALSTAFF
Simple of itself. I'll no pullet-sperm in my
brewage.
Exit Bardolph
How now?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Marry, sir, I come to your worship
from Mistress Ford.

FALSTAFF
Mistress Ford? I have had ford enough. I
was thrown into the ford. I have my belly full of ford.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Alas the day, good heart, that was
not her fault. She does so take on with her men; they
mistook their erection.

FALSTAFF
So did I mine, to build upon a foolish woman's
promise.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Well, 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.

FALSTAFF
Well, I will visit her. Tell her so, and bid her
think what a man is. Let her consider his frailty, and
then judge of my merit.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
I will tell her.

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

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Eight and nine, sir.

FALSTAFF
Well, begone. I will not miss her.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Peace be with you, sir.
Exit

FALSTAFF
I marvel I hear not of Master Brook. He sent
me word to stay within. I like his money well. O, here
he comes.
Enter Ford disguised as Brook

FORD
Bless you, sir.

FALSTAFF
Now, Master Brook, you come to know what
hath passed between me and Ford's wife?

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

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

FORD
And sped you, sir?

FALSTAFF
Very ill-favouredly, Master Brook.

FORD
How so, sir? Did she change her determination?

FALSTAFF
No, 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.

FORD
What? While you were there?

FALSTAFF
While I was there.

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

FALSTAFF
You shall hear. As good luck would have it,
comes in one Mistress Page, gives intelligence of Ford's
approach, and, in her invention and Ford's wife's
distraction, they conveyed me into a buck-basket.

FORD
A buck-basket?

FALSTAFF
By the Lord, a buck-basket! Rammed me in
with foul shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings,
greasy napkins, that, Master Brook, there was the
rankest compound of villainous smell that ever offended
nostril.

FORD
And how long lay you there?

FALSTAFF
Nay, you shall hear, Master Brook, what I
have suffered to bring this woman to evil for your good.
Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple of Ford's
knaves, his hinds, were called forth by their mistress to
carry me in the name of foul clothes to Datchet Lane.
They took me on their 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!

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

FALSTAFF
Master 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.

FORD
'Tis past eight already, sir.

FALSTAFF
Is 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.
Exit

FORD
Hum! Ha! Is this a vision? Is this a dream? Do I
sleep? Master Ford, awake; awake, Master Ford!
There's a hole made in your best coat, Master Ford. This
'tis to be married; this 'tis to have linen and
buck-baskets! Well, I will proclaim myself what I am. I will
now take the lecher. He is at my house. He cannot
'scape me. 'Tis impossible he should. He cannot creep
into a halfpenny purse, nor into a pepperbox. But, lest
the devil that guides him should aid him, I will search
impossible places. Though what I am I cannot avoid,
yet to be what I would not shall not make me tame. If I
have horns to make one mad, let the proverb go with
me – I'll be horn-mad.
Exit
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