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Merry Wives of Windsor

 FENTON	a gentleman.
 SHALLOW	a country justice.
 SLENDER	cousin to Shallow.
 	|  two gentlemen dwelling at Windsor.
 WILLIAM PAGE	a boy, son to Page.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	a Welsh parson.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	a French physician.
 	Host of the Garter Inn. (Host:)
 PISTOL	|  sharpers attending on Falstaff.
 NYM	|
 ROBIN	page to Falstaff.
 SIMPLE	servant to Slender.
 RUGBY	servant to Doctor Caius.
 ANNE PAGE	her daughter.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	servant to Doctor Caius.
 	Servants to Page, Ford, &c.
 	(First Servant:)
 	(Second Servant:)
 SCENE	Windsor, and the neighbourhood.
 SCENE I	Windsor. Before PAGE's house.
 SHALLOW	Sir Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Star-
 	chamber matter of it: if he were twenty Sir John
 	Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, esquire.
 SLENDER	In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace and
 SHALLOW	Ay, cousin Slender, and 'Custalourum.
 SLENDER	Ay, and 'Rato-lorum' too; and a gentleman born,
 	master parson; who writes himself 'Armigero,' in any
 	bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, 'Armigero.'
 SHALLOW	Ay, that I do; and have done any time these three
 	hundred years.
 SLENDER	All 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.
 SHALLOW	It is an old coat.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	The dozen white louses do become an old coat well;
 	it agrees well, passant; it is a familiar beast to
 	man, and signifies love.
 SHALLOW	The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.
 SLENDER	I may quarter, coz.
 SHALLOW	You may, by marrying.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.
 SHALLOW	Not a whit.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Yes, py'r lady; if he has a quarter of your coat,
 	there is but three skirts for yourself, in my
 	simple conjectures: but that is all one. If Sir
 	John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto
 	you, I am of the church, and will be glad to do my
 	benevolence to make atonements and compremises
 	between you.
 SHALLOW	The council shall bear it; it is a riot.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	It is not meet the council hear a riot; there is no
 	fear of Got in a riot: the council, look you, shall
 	desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a
 	riot; take your vizaments in that.
 SHALLOW	Ha! o' my life, if I were young again, the sword
 	should end it.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	It 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.
 SLENDER	Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks
 	small like a woman.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	It is that fery person for all the orld, as just as
 	you will desire; and seven hundred pounds of moneys,
 	and gold and silver, is her grandsire upon his
 	death's-bed--Got deliver to a joyful resurrections!
 	--give, when she is able to overtake seventeen years
 	old: it were a goot motion if we leave our pribbles
 	and prabbles, and desire a marriage between Master
 	Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.
 SLENDER	Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.
 SLENDER	I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts.
 SHALLOW	Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff there?
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar as I do
 	despise one that is false, or as I despise one that
 	is not true. The knight, Sir John, is there; and, I
 	beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will
 	peat the door for Master Page.
 	What, hoa! Got pless your house here!
 PAGE	[Within]  Who's there?
 	[Enter PAGE]
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Here is Got's plessing, and your friend, and Justice
 	Shallow; and here young Master Slender, that
 	peradventures shall tell you another tale, if
 	matters grow to your likings.
 PAGE	I am glad to see your worships well.
 	I thank you for my venison, Master Shallow.
 SHALLOW	Master Page, I am glad to see you: much good do it
 	your good heart! I wished your venison better; it
 	was ill killed. How doth good Mistress Page?--and I
 	thank you always with my heart, la! with my heart.
 PAGE	Sir, I thank you.
 SHALLOW	Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.
 PAGE	I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.
 SLENDER	How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say he
 	was outrun on Cotsall.
 PAGE	It could not be judged, sir.
 SLENDER	You'll not confess, you'll not confess.
 SHALLOW	That he will not. 'Tis your fault, 'tis your fault;
 	'tis a good dog.
 PAGE	A cur, sir.
 SHALLOW	Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog: can there be
 	more said? he is good and fair. Is Sir John
 	Falstaff here?
 PAGE	Sir, he is within; and I would I could do a good
 	office between you.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
 SHALLOW	He hath wronged me, Master Page.
 PAGE	Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.
 SHALLOW	If 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.
 PAGE	Here comes Sir John.
 FALSTAFF	Now, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me to the king?
 SHALLOW	Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer, and
 	broke open my lodge.
 FALSTAFF	But not kissed your keeper's daughter?
 SHALLOW	Tut, a pin! this shall be answered.
 FALSTAFF	I will answer it straight; I have done all this.
 	That is now answered.
 SHALLOW	The council shall know this.
 FALSTAFF	'Twere better for you if it were known in counsel:
 	you'll be laughed at.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Pauca verba, Sir John; goot worts.
 FALSTAFF	Good worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke your
 	head: what matter have you against me?
 SLENDER	Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you;
 	and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph,
 	Nym, and Pistol.
 BARDOLPH	You Banbury cheese!
 SLENDER	Ay, it is no matter.
 PISTOL	How now, Mephostophilus!
 SLENDER	Ay, it is no matter.
 NYM	Slice, I say! pauca, pauca: slice! that's my humour.
 SLENDER	Where's Simple, my man? Can you tell, cousin?
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Peace, 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.
 PAGE	We three, to hear it and end it between them.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Fery 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.
 PISTOL	He hears with ears.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, 'He
 	hears with ear'? why, it is affectations.
 FALSTAFF	Pistol, did you pick Master Slender's purse?
 SLENDER	Ay, by these gloves, did he, or I would I might
 	never come in mine own great chamber again else, of
 	seven groats in mill-sixpences, and two Edward
 	shovel-boards, that cost me two shilling and two
 	pence apiece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
 FALSTAFF	Is this true, Pistol?
 SIR HUGH EVANS	No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
 PISTOL	Ha, thou mountain-foreigner! Sir John and Master mine,
 	I combat challenge of this latten bilbo.
 	Word of denial in thy labras here!
 	Word of denial: froth and scum, thou liest!
 SLENDER	By these gloves, then, 'twas he.
 NYM	Be avised, sir, and pass good humours: I will say
 	'marry trap' with you, if you run the nuthook's
 	humour on me; that is the very note of it.
 SLENDER	By 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.
 FALSTAFF	What say you, Scarlet and John?
 BARDOLPH	Why, sir, for my part I say the gentleman had drunk
 	himself out of his five sentences.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is!
 BARDOLPH	And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; and
 	so conclusions passed the careires.
 SLENDER	Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but 'tis no
 	matter: I'll ne'er be drunk whilst I live again,
 	but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick:
 	if I be drunk, I'll be drunk with those that have
 	the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.
 FALSTAFF	You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.
 	[Enter ANNE PAGE, with wine; MISTRESS FORD
 	and MISTRESS PAGE, following]
 PAGE	Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink within.
 	[Exit ANNE PAGE]
 SLENDER	O heaven! this is Mistress Anne Page.
 PAGE	How now, Mistress Ford!
 FALSTAFF	Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met:
 	by your leave, good mistress.
 	[Kisses her]
 PAGE	Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome. Come, we have a
 	hot venison pasty to dinner: come, gentlemen, I hope
 	we shall drink down all unkindness.
 	[Exeunt all except SHALLOW, SLENDER, and SIR HUGH EVANS]
 SLENDER	I 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?
 SIMPLE	Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice
 	Shortcake upon All-hallowmas last, a fortnight
 	afore Michaelmas?
 SHALLOW	Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. A word with
 	you, coz; marry, this, coz: there is, as 'twere, a
 	tender, a kind of tender, made afar off by Sir Hugh
 	here. Do you understand me?
 SLENDER	Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if it be so,
 	I shall do that that is reason.
 SHALLOW	Nay, but understand me.
 SLENDER	So I do, sir.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Give ear to his motions, Master Slender: I will
 	description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.
 SLENDER	Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says: I pray
 	you, pardon me; he's a justice of peace in his
 	country, simple though I stand here.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	But that is not the question: the question is
 	concerning your marriage.
 SHALLOW	Ay, there's the point, sir.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Marry, is it; the very point of it; to Mistress Anne Page.
 SLENDER	Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any
 	reasonable demands.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	But can you affection the 'oman? Let us command to
 	know that of your mouth or of your lips; for divers
 	philosophers hold that the lips is parcel of the
 	mouth. Therefore, precisely, can you carry your
 	good will to the maid?
 SHALLOW	Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?
 SLENDER	I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that
 	would do reason.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Nay, Got's lords and his ladies! you must speak
 	possitable, if you can carry her your desires
 	towards her.
 SHALLOW	That you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?
 SLENDER	I will do a greater thing than that, upon your
 	request, cousin, in any reason.
 SHALLOW	Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz: what I do
 	is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the maid?
 SLENDER	I 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.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	It is a fery discretion answer; save the fall is in
 	the ort 'dissolutely:' the ort is, according to our
 	meaning, 'resolutely:' his meaning is good.
 SHALLOW	Ay, I think my cousin meant well.
 SLENDER	Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la!
 SHALLOW	Here comes fair Mistress Anne.
 	[Re-enter ANNE PAGE]
 	Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne!
 ANNE PAGE	The dinner is on the table; my father desires your
 	worships' company.
 SHALLOW	I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.
 ANNE PAGE	Will't please your worship to come in, sir?
 SLENDER	No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well.
 ANNE PAGE	The dinner attends you, sir.
 SLENDER	I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth. Go,
 	sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my
 	cousin Shallow.
 	[Exit SIMPLE]
 	A justice of peace sometimes may be beholding to his
 	friend for a man. I keep but three men and a boy
 	yet, till my mother be dead: but what though? Yet I
 	live like a poor gentleman born.
 ANNE PAGE	I may not go in without your worship: they will not
 	sit till you come.
 SLENDER	I' faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much as
 	though I did.
 ANNE PAGE	I pray you, sir, walk in.
 SLENDER	I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruised
 	my shin th' other day with playing at sword and
 	dagger with a master of fence; three veneys for a
 	dish of stewed prunes; and, by my troth, I cannot
 	abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your
 	dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?
 ANNE PAGE	I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.
 SLENDER	I love the sport well but I shall as soon quarrel at
 	it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see
 	the bear loose, are you not?
 ANNE PAGE	Ay, indeed, sir.
 SLENDER	That'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.
 	[Re-enter PAGE]
 PAGE	Come, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay for you.
 SLENDER	I'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.
 PAGE	By cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! come, come.
 SLENDER	Nay, pray you, lead the way.
 PAGE	Come on, sir.
 SLENDER	Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.
 ANNE PAGE	Not I, sir; pray you, keep on.
 SLENDER	I'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome.
 	You do yourself wrong, indeed, la!
 SCENE II	The same.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Caius' house which
 	is the way: and there dwells one Mistress Quickly,
 	which is in the manner of his nurse, or his dry
 	nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, his washer, and
 	his wringer.
 SIMPLE	Well, sir.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Nay, it is petter yet. Give her this letter; for it
 	is a 'oman that altogether's acquaintance with
 	Mistress Anne Page: and the letter is, to desire
 	and require her to solicit your master's desires to
 	Mistress Anne Page. I pray you, be gone: I will
 	make an end of my dinner; there's pippins and cheese to come.
 SCENE III	A room in the Garter Inn.
 	and ROBIN]
 FALSTAFF	Mine host of the Garter!
 Host	What says my bully-rook? speak scholarly and wisely.
 FALSTAFF	Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my
 Host	Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.
 FALSTAFF	I sit at ten pounds a week.
 Host	Thou'rt an emperor, Caesar, Keisar, and Pheezar. I
 	will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall
 	tap: said I well, bully Hector?
 FALSTAFF	Do so, good mine host.
 Host	I have spoke; let him follow.
 	Let me see thee froth and lime: I am at a word; follow.
 FALSTAFF	Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade:
 	an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered
 	serving-man a fresh tapster. Go; adieu.
 BARDOLPH	It is a life that I have desired: I will thrive.
 PISTOL	O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?
 NYM	He was gotten in drink: is not the humour conceited?
 FALSTAFF	I 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.
 NYM	The good humour is to steal at a minute's rest.
 PISTOL	'Convey,' the wise it call. 'Steal!' foh! a fico
 	for the phrase!
 FALSTAFF	Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
 PISTOL	Why, then, let kibes ensue.
 FALSTAFF	There is no remedy; I must cony-catch; I must shift.
 PISTOL	Young ravens must have food.
 FALSTAFF	Which of you know Ford of this town?
 PISTOL	I ken the wight: he is of substance good.
 FALSTAFF	My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
 PISTOL	Two yards, and more.
 FALSTAFF	No 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.'
 PISTOL	He hath studied her will, and translated her will,
 	out of honesty into English.
 NYM	The anchor is deep: will that humour pass?
 FALSTAFF	Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her
 	husband's purse: he hath a legion of angels.
 PISTOL	As many devils entertain; and 'To her, boy,' say I.
 NYM	The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.
 FALSTAFF	I 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.
 PISTOL	Then did the sun on dunghill shine.
 NYM	I thank thee for that humour.
 FALSTAFF	O, she did so course o'er my exteriors with such a
 	greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye did
 	seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass! Here's
 	another letter to her: she bears the purse too; she
 	is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will
 	be 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.
 PISTOL	Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,
 	And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all!
 NYM	I will run no base humour: here, take the
 	humour-letter: I will keep the havior of reputation.
 FALSTAFF	[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.
 	[Exeunt FALSTAFF and ROBIN]
 PISTOL	Let 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!
 NYM	I have operations which be humours of revenge.
 PISTOL	Wilt thou revenge?
 NYM	By welkin and her star!
 PISTOL	With wit or steel?
 NYM	With both the humours, I:
 	I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.
 PISTOL	     And I to Ford shall eke unfold
 	How Falstaff, varlet vile,
 	His dove will prove, his gold will hold,
 	And his soft couch defile.
 NYM	My humour shall not cool: I will incense Page to
 	deal with poison; I will possess him with
 	yellowness, for the revolt of mine is dangerous:
 	that is my true humour.
 PISTOL	Thou art the Mars of malecontents: I second thee; troop on.
 SCENE IV	A room in DOCTOR CAIUS' house.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	What, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the casement,
 	and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor
 	Caius, coming. If he do, i' faith, and find any
 	body in the house, here will be an old abusing of
 	God's patience and the king's English.
 RUGBY	I'll go watch.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Go; and we'll have a posset for't soon at night, in
 	faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire.
 	[Exit RUGBY]
 	An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant
 	shall come 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?
 SIMPLE	Ay, for fault of a better.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	And Master Slender's your master?
 SIMPLE	Ay, forsooth.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Does he not wear a great round beard, like a
 	glover's paring-knife?
 SIMPLE	No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with a
 	little yellow beard, a Cain-coloured beard.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	A softly-sprighted man, is he not?
 SIMPLE	Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his hands
 	as any is between this and his head; he hath fought
 	with a warrener.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	How say you? O, I should remember him: does he not
 	hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?
 SIMPLE	Yes, indeed, does he.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Well, 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--
 	[Re-enter RUGBY]
 RUGBY	Out, alas! here comes my master.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man;
 	go into this closet: he will not stay long.
 	[Shuts SIMPLE in the closet]
 	What, John Rugby! John! what, John, I say!
 	Go, John, go inquire for my master; I doubt
 	he be not well, that he comes not home.
 	And down, down, adown-a, &c.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Vat is you sing? I do not like des toys. Pray you,
 	go and vetch me in my closet un boitier vert, a box,
 	a green-a box: do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Ay, forsooth; I'll fetch it you.
 	I am glad he went not in himself: if he had found
 	the young man, he would have been horn-mad.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je
 	m'en vais a la cour--la grande affaire.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Is it this, sir?
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Oui; mette le au mon pocket: depeche, quickly. Vere
 	is dat knave Rugby?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	What, John Rugby! John!
 RUGBY	Here, sir!
 DOCTOR CAIUS	You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby. Come,
 	take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to the court.
 RUGBY	'Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	By my trot, I tarry too long. Od's me!
 	Qu'ai-j'oublie! dere is some simples in my closet,
 	dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Ay me, he'll find the young man here, and be mad!
 DOCTOR CAIUS	O diable, diable! vat is in my closet? Villain! larron!
 	[Pulling SIMPLE out]
 	Rugby, my rapier!
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Good master, be content.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Wherefore shall I be content-a?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	The young man is an honest man.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	What shall de honest man do in my closet? dere is
 	no honest man dat shall come in my closet.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic. Hear the truth
 	of it: he came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh.
 SIMPLE	Ay, forsooth; to desire her to--
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Peace, I pray you.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Peace-a your tongue. Speak-a your tale.
 SIMPLE	To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to
 	speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page for my
 	master in the way of marriage.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	This is all, indeed, la! but I'll ne'er put my
 	finger in the fire, and need not.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Sir Hugh send-a you? Rugby, baille me some paper.
 	Tarry you a little-a while.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	[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,--
 SIMPLE	[Aside to MISTRESS QUICKLY]  'Tis a great charge to
 	come under one body's hand.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	[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.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	You 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:
 	[Exit SIMPLE]
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Alas, he speaks but for his friend.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	It is no matter-a ver dat: do not you tell-a me
 	dat I shall have Anne Page for myself? By gar, I
 	vill kill de Jack priest; and I have appointed mine
 	host of de Jarteer to measure our weapon. By gar, I
 	will myself have Anne Page.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. We
 	must give folks leave to prate: what, the good-jer!
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Rugby, come to the court with me. By gar, if I have
 	not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my
 	door. Follow my heels, Rugby.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	You shall have An fool's-head of your own. No, I
 	know Anne's mind for that: never a woman in Windsor
 	knows more of Anne's mind than I do; nor can do more
 	than I do with her, I thank heaven.
 FENTON	[Within]  Who's within there? ho!
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Who's there, I trow! Come near the house, I pray you.
 	[Enter FENTON]
 FENTON	How now, good woman? how dost thou?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	The better that it pleases your good worship to ask.
 FENTON	What news? how does pretty Mistress Anne?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	In 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.
 FENTON	Shall I do any good, thinkest thou? shall I not lose my suit?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Troth, 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?
 FENTON	Yes, marry, have I; what of that?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Well, 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.
 FENTON	Well, 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.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Will I? i'faith, that we will; and I will tell your
 	worship more of the wart the next time we have
 	confidence; and of other wooers.
 FENTON	Well, farewell; I am in great haste now.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Farewell to your worship.
 	[Exit FENTON]
 	Truly, an honest gentleman: but Anne loves him not;
 	for I know Anne's mind as well as another does. Out
 	upon't! what have I forgot?
 SCENE I	Before PAGE'S house.
 	[Enter MISTRESS PAGE, with a letter]
 MISTRESS PAGE	What, have I scaped love-letters in the holiday-
 	time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them?
 	Let me see.
 	'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.
 MISTRESS FORD	Mistress Page! trust me, I was going to your house.
 MISTRESS PAGE	And, trust me, I was coming to you. You look very
 MISTRESS FORD	Nay, I'll ne'er believe that; I have to show to the contrary.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Faith, but you do, in my mind.
 MISTRESS FORD	Well, I do then; yet I say I could show you to the
 	contrary. O Mistress Page, give me some counsel!
 MISTRESS PAGE	What's the matter, woman?
 MISTRESS FORD	O woman, if it were not for one trifling respect, I
 	could come to such honour!
 MISTRESS PAGE	Hang the trifle, woman! take the honour. What is
 	it? dispense with trifles; what is it?
 MISTRESS FORD	If I would but go to hell for an eternal moment or so,
 	I could be knighted.
 MISTRESS PAGE	What? thou liest! Sir Alice Ford! These knights
 	will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the
 	article of thy gentry.
 MISTRESS FORD	We 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?
 MISTRESS PAGE	Letter for letter, but that the name of Page and
 	Ford differs! To thy great comfort in this mystery
 	of ill opinions, here's the twin-brother of thy
 	letter: 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.
 MISTRESS FORD	Why, this is the very same; the very hand, the very
 	words. What doth he think of us?
 MISTRESS PAGE	Nay, I know not: it makes me almost ready to
 	wrangle with mine own honesty. I'll entertain
 	myself like one that I am not acquainted withal;
 	for, sure, unless he know some strain in me, that I
 	know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury.
 MISTRESS FORD	'Boarding,' call you it? I'll be sure to keep him
 	above deck.
 MISTRESS PAGE	So will I	if he come under my hatches, I'll never
 	to sea again. Let's be revenged on him: let's
 	appoint him a meeting; give him a show of comfort in
 	his suit and lead him on with a fine-baited delay,
 	till he hath pawned his horses to mine host of the Garter.
 MISTRESS FORD	Nay, I will consent to act any villany against him,
 	that may not sully the chariness of our honesty. O,
 	that my husband saw this letter! it would give
 	eternal food to his jealousy.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Why, look where he comes; and my good man too: he's
 	as far from jealousy as I am from giving him cause;
 	and that I hope is an unmeasurable distance.
 MISTRESS FORD	You are the happier woman.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Let's consult together against this greasy knight.
 	Come hither.
 	[They retire]
 	[Enter FORD with PISTOL, and PAGE with NYM]
 FORD	Well, I hope it be not so.
 PISTOL	Hope is a curtal dog in some affairs:
 	Sir John affects thy wife.
 FORD	Why, sir, my wife is not young.
 PISTOL	He wooes both high and low, both rich and poor,
 	Both young and old, one with another, Ford;
 	He loves the gallimaufry: Ford, perpend.
 FORD	Love my wife!
 PISTOL	With liver burning hot. Prevent, or go thou,
 	Like Sir Actaeon he, with Ringwood at thy heels:
 	O, odious is the name!
 FORD	What name, sir?
 PISTOL	The horn, I say. Farewell.
 	Take heed, have open eye, for thieves do foot by night:
 	Take heed, ere summer comes or cuckoo-birds do sing.
 	Away, Sir Corporal Nym!
 	Believe it, Page; he speaks sense.
 FORD	[Aside]  I will be patient; I will find out this.
 NYM	[To PAGE]  And this is true; I like not the humour
 	of lying. He hath wronged me in some humours: I
 	should have borne the humoured letter to her; but I
 	have a sword and it shall bite upon my necessity.
 	He 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.
 PAGE	'The humour of it,' quoth a'! here's a fellow
 	frights English out of his wits.
 FORD	I will seek out Falstaff.
 PAGE	I never heard such a drawling, affecting rogue.
 FORD	If I do find it: well.
 PAGE	I will not believe such a Cataian, though the priest
 	o' the town commended him for a true man.
 FORD	'Twas a good sensible fellow: well.
 PAGE	How now, Meg!
 	[MISTRESS PAGE and MISTRESS FORD come forward]
 MISTRESS PAGE	Whither go you, George? Hark you.
 MISTRESS FORD	How now, sweet Frank! why art thou melancholy?
 FORD	I melancholy! I am not melancholy. Get you home, go.
 MISTRESS FORD	Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head. Now,
 	will you go, Mistress Page?
 MISTRESS PAGE	Have 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.
 MISTRESS FORD	[Aside to MISTRESS PAGE]  Trust me, I thought on her:
 	she'll fit it.
 MISTRESS PAGE	You are come to see my daughter Anne?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Ay, forsooth; and, I pray, how does good Mistress Anne?
 MISTRESS PAGE	Go in with us and see: we have an hour's talk with
 PAGE	How now, Master Ford!
 FORD	You heard what this knave told me, did you not?
 PAGE	Yes: and you heard what the other told me?
 FORD	Do you think there is truth in them?
 PAGE	Hang 'em, slaves! I do not think the knight would
 	offer it: but these that accuse him in his intent
 	towards our wives are a yoke of his discarded men;
 	very rogues, now they be out of service.
 FORD	Were they his men?
 PAGE	Marry, were they.
 FORD	I like it never the better for that. Does he lie at
 	the Garter?
 PAGE	Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyage
 	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.
 FORD	I do not misdoubt my wife; but I would be loath to
 	turn them together. A man may be too confident: I
 	would have nothing lie on my head: I cannot be thus satisfied.
 PAGE	Look where my ranting host of the Garter comes:
 	there is either liquor in his pate or money in his
 	purse when he looks so merrily.
 	[Enter Host]
 	How now, mine host!
 Host	How now, bully-rook! thou'rt a gentleman.
 	Cavaleiro-justice, I say!
 	[Enter SHALLOW]
 SHALLOW	I follow, mine host, I follow. Good even and
 	twenty, good Master Page! Master Page, will you go
 	with us? we have sport in hand.
 Host	Tell him, cavaleiro-justice; tell him, bully-rook.
 SHALLOW	Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir Hugh
 	the Welsh priest and Caius the French doctor.
 FORD	Good mine host o' the Garter, a word with you.
 	[Drawing him aside]
 Host	What sayest thou, my bully-rook?
 SHALLOW	[To PAGE]  Will you go with us to behold it? My
 	merry host hath had the measuring of their weapons;
 	and, I think, hath appointed them contrary places;
 	for, believe me, I hear the parson is no jester.
 	Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.
 	[They converse apart]
 Host	Hast thou no suit against my knight, my
 FORD	None, I protest: but I'll give you a pottle of
 	burnt sack to give me recourse to him and tell him
 	my name is Brook; only for a jest.
 Host	My hand, bully; thou shalt have egress and regress;
 	--said I well?--and thy name shall be Brook. It is
 	a merry knight. Will you go, An-heires?
 SHALLOW	Have with you, mine host.
 PAGE	I have heard the Frenchman hath good skill in
 	his rapier.
 SHALLOW	Tut, sir, I could have told you more. In these times
 	you stand on distance, your passes, stoccadoes, and
 	I know not what: 'tis the heart, Master Page; 'tis
 	here, 'tis here. I have seen the time, with my long
 	sword I would have made you four tall fellows skip like rats.
 Host	Here, boys, here, here! shall we wag?
 PAGE	Have with you. I would rather hear them scold than fight.
 	[Exeunt Host, SHALLOW, and PAGE]
 FORD	Though Page be a secure fool, an stands so firmly
 	on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my
 	opinion so easily: she was in his company at Page's
 	house; and what they made there, I know not. Well,
 	I will look further into't: and I have a disguise
 	to sound Falstaff. If I find her honest, I lose not
 	my labour; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestowed.
 SCENE II	A room in the Garter Inn.
 FALSTAFF	I will not lend thee a penny.
 PISTOL	Why, then the world's mine oyster.
 	Which I with sword will open.
 FALSTAFF	Not 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.
 PISTOL	Didst not thou share? hadst thou not fifteen pence?
 FALSTAFF	Reason, 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!
 PISTOL	I do relent: what would thou more of man?
 	[Enter ROBIN]
 ROBIN	Sir, here's a woman would speak with you.
 FALSTAFF	Let her approach.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Give your worship good morrow.
 FALSTAFF	Good morrow, good wife.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Not so, an't please your worship.
 FALSTAFF	Good maid, then.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	I'll be sworn,
 	As my mother was, the first hour I was born.
 FALSTAFF	I do believe the swearer. What with me?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?
 FALSTAFF	Two thousand, fair woman: and I'll vouchsafe thee
 	the hearing.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	There is one Mistress Ford, sir:--I pray, come a
 	little nearer this ways:--I myself dwell with master
 	Doctor Caius,--
 FALSTAFF	Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say,--
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Your worship says very true: I pray your worship,
 	come a little nearer this ways.
 FALSTAFF	I warrant thee, nobody hears; mine own people, mine
 	own people.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Are they so? God bless them and make them his servants!
 FALSTAFF	Well, Mistress Ford; what of her?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Why, sir, she's a good creature. Lord Lord! your
 	worship's a wanton! Well, heaven forgive you and all
 	of us, I pray!
 FALSTAFF	Mistress Ford; come, Mistress Ford,--
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Marry, this is the short and the long of it; you
 	have brought her into such a canaries as 'tis
 	wonderful. The best courtier of them all, when the
 	court lay at Windsor, could never have brought her
 	to such a canary. Yet there has been knights, and
 	lords, and gentlemen, with their 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.
 FALSTAFF	But what says she to me? be brief, my good
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Marry, 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.
 FALSTAFF	Ten and eleven?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Ay, 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.
 FALSTAFF	Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her; I will
 	not fail her.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Why, you say well. But I have another messenger to
 	your worship. Mistress Page hath her hearty
 	commendations to you too: and let me tell you in
 	your 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.
 FALSTAFF	Not I, I assure thee: setting the attractions of my
 	good parts aside I have no other charms.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Blessing on your heart for't!
 FALSTAFF	But, I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford's wife and
 	Page's wife acquainted each other how they love me?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	That were a jest indeed! they have not so little
 	grace, I hope: that were a trick indeed! but
 	Mistress Page would desire you to send her your
 	little page, of all loves: her husband has a
 	marvellous infection to the 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.
 FALSTAFF	Why, I will.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Nay, 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.
 FALSTAFF	Fare thee well: commend me to them both: there's
 	my purse; I am yet thy debtor. Boy, go along with
 	this woman.
 	This news distracts me!
 PISTOL	This 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!
 FALSTAFF	Sayest thou so, old Jack? go thy ways; I'll make
 	more of thy old body than I have done. Will they
 	yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expense
 	of so much money, be now a gainer? Good body, I
 	thank thee. Let them say 'tis grossly done; so it be
 	fairly done, no matter.
 	[Enter BARDOLPH]
 BARDOLPH	Sir John, there's one Master Brook below would fain
 	speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath
 	sent your worship a morning's draught of sack.
 FALSTAFF	Brook is his name?
 BARDOLPH	Ay, sir.
 FALSTAFF	Call him in.
 	Such Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow such
 	liquor. Ah, ha! Mistress Ford and Mistress Page
 	have I encompassed you? go to; via!
 	[Re-enter BARDOLPH, with FORD disguised]
 FORD	Bless you, sir!
 FALSTAFF	And you, sir! Would you speak with me?
 FORD	I make bold to press with so little preparation upon
 FALSTAFF	You're welcome. What's your will? Give us leave, drawer.
 FORD	Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much; my name is Brook.
 FALSTAFF	Good Master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.
 FORD	Good 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.
 FALSTAFF	Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on.
 FORD	Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me:
 	if you will help to bear it, Sir John, take all, or
 	half, for easing me of the carriage.
 FALSTAFF	Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.
 FORD	I will tell you, sir, if you will give me the hearing.
 FALSTAFF	Speak, good Master Brook: I shall be glad to be
 	your servant.
 FORD	Sir, I hear you are a scholar,--I will be brief
 	with you,--and you have been a man long known to me,
 	though 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.
 FALSTAFF	Very well, sir; proceed.
 FORD	There is a gentlewoman in this town; her husband's
 	name is Ford.
 FALSTAFF	Well, sir.
 FORD	I have long loved her, and, I protest to you,
 	bestowed much on her; followed her with a doting
 	observance; engrossed opportunities to meet her;
 	fee'd every slight occasion that could but niggardly
 	give me sight of her; not only 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.'
 FALSTAFF	Have you received no promise of satisfaction at her hands?
 FORD	Never.
 FALSTAFF	Have you importuned her to such a purpose?
 FORD	Never.
 FALSTAFF	Of what quality was your love, then?
 FORD	Like a fair house built on another man's ground; so
 	that I have lost my edifice by mistaking the place
 	where I erected it.
 FALSTAFF	To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?
 FORD	When I have told you that, I have told you all.
 	Some say, that though she appear honest to me, yet in
 	other places she enlargeth her mirth so far that
 	there is shrewd construction made of her. Now, Sir
 	John, here is the heart of my purpose: you are a
 	gentleman of excellent breeding, admirable
 	discourse, of great admittance, authentic in your
 	place and person, generally allowed for your many
 	war-like, court-like, and learned preparations.
 FORD	Believe 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
 FALSTAFF	Would it apply well to the vehemency of your
 	affection, that I should win what you would enjoy?
 	Methinks you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.
 FORD	O, understand my drift. She dwells so securely on
 	the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my
 	soul 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?
 FALSTAFF	Master Brook, I will first make bold with your
 	money; next, give me your hand; and last, as I am a
 	gentleman, you shall, if you will, enjoy Ford's wife.
 FORD	O good sir!
 FALSTAFF	I say you shall.
 FORD	Want no money, Sir John; you shall want none.
 FALSTAFF	Want 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.
 FORD	I am blest in your acquaintance. Do you know Ford,
 FALSTAFF	Hang him, poor cuckoldly knave! I know him not:
 	yet I wrong him to call him poor; they say the
 	jealous wittolly knave hath masses of money; for the
 	which his wife seems to me well-favored. I will
 	use her as the key of the cuckoldly rogue's coffer;
 	and there's my harvest-home.
 FORD	I would you knew Ford, sir, that you might avoid him
 	if you saw him.
 FALSTAFF	Hang 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.
 FORD	What a damned Epicurean rascal is this! My heart is
 	ready to crack with impatience. Who says this is
 	improvident jealousy? my wife hath sent to him; the
 	hour is fixed; the match is made. Would any man
 	have thought this? See the hell of having a false
 	woman! My bed shall be abused, my coffers
 	ransacked, my reputation gnawn at; and I shall not
 	only receive this villanous wrong, but stand under
 	the adoption of abominable terms, and by him that
 	does me this wrong. Terms! names! Amaimon sounds
 	well; Lucifer, well; Barbason, well; yet they are
 	devils' additions, the names of fiends: but
 	Cuckold! Wittol!--Cuckold! the devil himself hath
 	not such a name. Page is an ass, a secure ass: he
 	will trust his wife; he will not be jealous. I will
 	rather trust a Fleming with my butter, Parson Hugh
 	the Welshman with my cheese, an Irishman with my
 	aqua-vitae bottle, or a thief to walk my ambling
 	gelding, than my wife with herself; then she plots,
 	then she ruminates, then she devises; and what they
 	think in their hearts they may effect, they will
 	break their hearts but they will effect. God be
 	praised for my jealousy! Eleven o'clock the hour.
 	I will prevent this, detect my wife, be revenged on
 	Falstaff, and laugh at Page. I will about it;
 	better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
 	Fie, fie, fie! cuckold! cuckold! cuckold!
 SCENE III	A field near Windsor.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Vat is de clock, Jack?
 RUGBY	'Tis past the hour, sir, that Sir Hugh promised to meet.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	By gar, he has save his soul, dat he is no come; he
 	has pray his Pible well, dat he is no come: by gar,
 	Jack Rugby, he is dead already, if he be come.
 RUGBY	He is wise, sir; he knew your worship would kill
 	him, if he came.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	By gar, de herring is no dead so as I vill kill him.
 	Take your rapier, Jack; I vill tell you how I vill kill him.
 RUGBY	Alas, sir, I cannot fence.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Villany, take your rapier.
 RUGBY	Forbear; here's company.
 	[Enter Host, SHALLOW, SLENDER, and PAGE]
 Host	Bless thee, bully doctor!
 SHALLOW	Save you, Master Doctor Caius!
 PAGE	Now, good master doctor!
 SLENDER	Give you good morrow, sir.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Vat be all you, one, two, tree, four, come for?
 Host	To see thee fight, to see thee foin, to see thee
 	traverse; to see thee here, to see thee there; to
 	see thee pass thy punto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy
 	distance, thy 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?
 DOCTOR CAIUS	By gar, he is de coward Jack priest of de vorld; he
 	is not show his face.
 Host	Thou art a Castalion-King-Urinal. Hector of Greece, my boy!
 DOCTOR CAIUS	I pray you, bear vitness that me have stay six or
 	seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come.
 SHALLOW	He 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?
 PAGE	Master Shallow, you have yourself been a great
 	fighter, though now a man of peace.
 SHALLOW	Bodykins, Master Page, though I now be old and of
 	the peace, if I see a sword out, my finger itches to
 	make one. Though we are justices and doctors and
 	churchmen, Master Page, we have some salt of our
 	youth in us; we are the sons of women, Master Page.
 PAGE	'Tis true, Master Shallow.
 SHALLOW	It will be found so, Master Page. Master Doctor
 	Caius, I am come to fetch you home. I am sworn of
 	the peace: you have showed yourself a wise
 	physician, and Sir Hugh hath shown himself a wise
 	and patient churchman. You must go with me, master doctor.
 Host	Pardon, guest-justice. A word, Mounseur Mockwater.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Mock-vater! vat is dat?
 Host	Mock-water, in our English tongue, is valour, bully.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	By gar, den, I have as mush mock-vater as de
 	Englishman. Scurvy jack-dog priest! by gar, me
 	vill cut his ears.
 Host	He will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Clapper-de-claw! vat is dat?
 Host	That is, he will make thee amends.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	By gar, me do look he shall clapper-de-claw me;
 	for, by gar, me vill have it.
 Host	And I will provoke him to't, or let him wag.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Me tank you for dat.
 Host	And, moreover, bully,--but first, master guest, and
 	Master Page, and eke Cavaleiro Slender, go you
 	through the town to Frogmore.
 	[Aside to them]
 PAGE	Sir Hugh is there, is he?
 Host	He is there: see what humour he is in; and I will
 	bring the doctor about by the fields. Will it do well?
 SHALLOW	We will do it.
 SHALLOW	|  Adieu, good master doctor.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	By gar, me vill kill de priest; for he speak for a
 	jack-an-ape to Anne Page.
 Host	Let him die: sheathe thy impatience, throw cold
 	water on thy choler: go about the fields with me
 	through Frogmore: I will bring thee where Mistress
 	Anne Page is, at a farm-house a-feasting; and thou
 	shalt woo her. Cried I aim? said I well?
 DOCTOR CAIUS	By gar, me dank you for dat: by gar, I love you;
 	and I shall procure-a you de good guest, de earl,
 	de knight, de lords, de gentlemen, my patients.
 Host	For the which I will be thy adversary toward Anne
 	Page. Said I well?
 DOCTOR CAIUS	By gar, 'tis good; vell said.
 Host	Let us wag, then.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Come at my heels, Jack Rugby.
 SCENE I	A field near Frogmore.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	I pray you now, good master Slender's serving-man,
 	and friend Simple by your name, which way have you
 	looked for Master Caius, that calls himself doctor of physic?
 SIMPLE	Marry, sir, the pittie-ward, the park-ward, every
 	way; old Windsor way, and every way but the town
 SIR HUGH EVANS	I most fehemently desire you you will also look that
 SIMPLE	I will, sir.
 SIR 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!
 	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.
 	Melodious birds sing madrigals--
 	When as I sat in Pabylon--
 	And a thousand vagram posies.
 	To shallow &c.
 	[Re-enter SIMPLE]
 SIMPLE	Yonder he is coming, this way, Sir Hugh.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	He's welcome.
 	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.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Pray you, give me my gown; or else keep it in your arms.
 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!
 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!
 SIR HUGH EVANS	There is reasons and causes for it.
 PAGE	We are come to you to do a good office, master parson.
 SIR HUGH 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
 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.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	What is he?
 PAGE	I think you know him; Master Doctor Caius, the
 	renowned French physician.
 SIR HUGH 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?
 SIR HUGH 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.
 SHALLOW	[Aside]  O sweet Anne Page!
 SHALLOW	It appears so by his weapons. Keep them asunder:
 	here comes Doctor Caius.
 	[Enter Host, DOCTOR CAIUS, and RUGBY]
 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.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	I pray you, let-a me speak a word with your ear.
 	Vherefore vill you not meet-a me?
 SIR HUGH EVANS	[Aside to DOCTOR CAIUS]  Pray you, use your patience:
 	in good time.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	By gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog, John ape.
 SIR 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.
 	I will knog your urinals about your knave's cockscomb
 	for missing your meetings and appointments.
 DOCTOR 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?
 SIR HUGH 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!
 DOCTOR 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.
 SHALLOW	Trust me, a mad host. Follow, gentlemen, follow.
 SLENDER	[Aside]  O sweet Anne Page!
 	[Exeunt SHALLOW, SLENDER, PAGE, and Host]
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Ha, do I perceive dat? have you make-a de sot of
 	us, ha, ha?
 SIR HUGH 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
 	scall, scurvy cogging companion, the host of the Garter.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	By gar, with all my heart. He promise to bring me
 	where is Anne Page; by gar, he deceive me too.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Well, I will smite his noddles. Pray you, follow.
 SCENE II	A street.
 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 weather-cock?
 MISTRESS PAGE	I cannot tell what the dickens his name is 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.
 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.
 	[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.
 PAGE	|  Well met, Master Ford.
 &C	|
 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.
 DOCTOR 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]
 DOCTOR 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.
 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.
 SCENE III	A room in FORD'S house.
 MISTRESS FORD	What, John! What, Robert!
 MISTRESS PAGE	Quickly, quickly! is the buck-basket--
 MISTRESS FORD	I warrant. What, Robin, I say!
 	[Enter Servants with a 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 Servants]
 MISTRESS PAGE	Here comes little Robin.
 	[Enter 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. 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.
 	[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	By the Lord, thou art a traitor to say so: thou
 	wouldst make an absolute courtier; and the firm
 	fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion
 	to thy gait in a semi-circled 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 is 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.
 ROBIN	[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.
 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]
 	[Re-enter MISTRESS PAGE and ROBIN]
 	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 pon 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 assence: 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	[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.
 MISTRESS PAGE	What, Sir John Falstaff! Are these your letters, knight?
 FALSTAFF	I love thee. Help me away. Let me creep in here.
 	I'll never--
 	[Gets into the basket; they cover him with foul linen]
 MISTRESS PAGE	Help to cover your master, boy. Call your men,
 	Mistress Ford. You dissembling knight!
 MISTRESS FORD	What, 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.
 FORD	Pray you, come near: if I suspect without cause,
 	why then make sport at me; then let me be your jest;
 	I deserve it. How now! whither bear you this?
 Servant	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 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.
 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.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	This is fery fantastical humours and jealousies.
 DOCTOR 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.
 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 to-morrow,
 	eight o'clock, to have amends.
 	[Re-enter FORD, PAGE, DOCTOR CAIUS, and
 FORD	I cannot find him: may be 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.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	If there be any pody in the house, and in the
 	chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses,
 	heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgment!
 DOCTOR CAIUS	By gar, nor I too: there is no bodies.
 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.
 SIR HUGH 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.
 DOCTOR 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 to-morrow morning to my house
 	to breakfast: after, we'll a-birding together; I
 	have a fine hawk for the bush. Shall it be so?
 FORD	Any thing.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	If there is one, I shall make two in the company.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	If dere be one or two, I shall make-a the turd.
 FORD	Pray you, go, Master Page.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	I pray you now, remembrance tomorrow on the lousy
 	knave, mine host.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Dat is good; by gar, with all my heart!
 SIR HUGH EVANS	A lousy knave, to have his gibes and his mockeries!
 SCENE IV	A room in PAGE'S house.
 	[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 PAGE	Alas, how then?
 FENTON	                  Why, 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.
 ANNE PAGE	May be 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 woo'd thee, Anne:
 	Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
 	Than stamps in gold or sums in sealed bags;
 	And 'tis the very riches of thyself
 	That now I aim at.
 ANNE PAGE	                  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 converse apart]
 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
 SHALLOW	Be not dismayed.
 SLENDER	No, she shall not dismay me: I care not for that,
 	but that I am afeard.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Hark ye; Master Slender would speak a word with you.
 ANNE PAGE	I come to him.
 	This is my father's choice.
 	O, what a world of vile ill-favor'd faults
 	Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	And how does good Master Fenton? Pray you, a word with you.
 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
 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 PAGE	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 PAGE	Now, Master Slender,--
 SLENDER	Now, good Mistress Anne,--
 ANNE PAGE	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 PAGE	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.
 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.
 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 cheques, rebukes and manners,
 	I must advance the colours of my love
 	And not retire: let me have your good will.
 ANNE PAGE	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 PAGE	Alas, I had rather be set quick i' the earth
 	And bowl'd 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.
 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 to-night
 	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!
 SCENE V	A room in the Garter Inn.
 FALSTAFF	Bardolph, I say,--
 BARDOLPH	Here, sir.
 FALSTAFF	Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in't.
 	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.
 	[Re-enter BARDOLPH with sack]
 BARDOLPH	Here's Mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with you.
 FALSTAFF	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!
 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.
 	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, be gone: I will not miss her.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Peace be with you, sir.
 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]
 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-favoredly, 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 villanous 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, I am sorry that for my sake you
 	have sufferd 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.
 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 pepper-box: but, lest the devil that
 	guides him should aid him, I will search
 	impossible places. Though what I am I cannot avoid,
 	yet to be what I would not shall not make me tame:
 	if I have horns to make one mad, let the proverb go
 	with me: I'll be horn-mad.
 SCENE I	A street.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Is he at Master Ford's already, think'st thou?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Sure he is by this, or will be presently: but,
 	truly, he is very courageous mad about his throwing
 	into the water. Mistress Ford desires you to come suddenly.
 MISTRESS PAGE	I'll be with her by and by; I'll but bring my young
 	man here to school. Look, where his master comes;
 	'tis a playing-day, I see.
 	How now, Sir Hugh! no school to-day?
 SIR HUGH EVANS	No; Master Slender is let the boys leave to play.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Blessing of his heart!
 MISTRESS PAGE	Sir Hugh, my husband says my son profits nothing in
 	the world at his book. I pray you, ask him some
 	questions in his accidence.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Come hither, William; hold up your head; come.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Come on, sirrah; hold up your head; answer your
 	master, be not afraid.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	William, how many numbers is in nouns?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Truly, I thought there had been one number more,
 	because they say, ''Od's nouns.'
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Peace your tattlings! What is 'fair,' William?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Polecats! there are fairer things than polecats, sure.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	You are a very simplicity 'oman: I pray you peace.
 	What is 'lapis,' William?
 SIR HUGH EVANS	And what is 'a stone,' William?
 SIR HUGH EVANS	No, it is 'lapis:' I pray you, remember in your prain.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	That is a good William. What is he, William, that
 	does lend articles?
 WILLIAM PAGE	Articles are borrowed of the pronoun, and be thus
 	declined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, haec, hoc.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Nominativo, hig, hag, hog; pray you, mark:
 	genitivo, hujus. Well, what is your accusative case?
 WILLIAM PAGE	Accusativo, hinc.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	I pray you, have your remembrance, child,
 	accusative, hung, hang, hog.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	'Hang-hog' is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Leave your prabbles, 'oman. What is the focative
 	case, William?
 WILLIAM PAGE	O,--vocativo, O.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Remember, William; focative is caret.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	And that's a good root.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	'Oman, forbear.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	What is your genitive case plural, William?
 WILLIAM PAGE	Genitive case!
 WILLIAM PAGE	Genitive,--horum, harum, horum.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Vengeance of Jenny's case! fie on her! never name
 	her, child, if she be a whore.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	For shame, 'oman.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	You do ill to teach the child such words: he
 	teaches him to hick and to hack, which they'll do
 	fast enough of themselves, and to call 'horum:' fie upon you!
 SIR HUGH EVANS	'Oman, art thou lunatics? hast thou no
 	understandings for thy cases and the numbers of the
 	genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as
 	I would desires.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Prithee, hold thy peace.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Show me now, William, some declensions of your pronouns.
 WILLIAM PAGE	Forsooth, I have forgot.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	It is qui, quae, quod: if you forget your 'quies,'
 	your 'quaes,' and your 'quods,' you must be
 	preeches. Go your ways, and play; go.
 MISTRESS PAGE	He is a better scholar than I thought he was.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	He is a good sprag memory. Farewell, Mistress Page.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Adieu, good Sir Hugh.
 	Get you home, boy. Come, we stay too long.
 SCENE II	A room in FORD'S house.
 FALSTAFF	Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up my
 	sufferance. I see you are obsequious in your love,
 	and I profess requital to a hair's breadth; not
 	only, Mistress Ford, in the simple
 	office of love, but in all the accoutrement,
 	complement and ceremony of it. But are you
 	sure of your husband now?
 MISTRESS FORD	He's a-birding, sweet Sir John.
 MISTRESS PAGE	[Within]  What, ho, gossip Ford! what, ho!
 MISTRESS FORD	Step into the chamber, Sir John.
 MISTRESS PAGE	How now, sweetheart! who's at home besides yourself?
 MISTRESS FORD	Why, none but mine own people.
 MISTRESS FORD	No, certainly.
 	[Aside to her]
 	Speak louder.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Truly, I am so glad you have nobody here.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Why, woman, your husband is in his old lunes again:
 	he so takes on yonder with my husband; so rails
 	against all married mankind; so curses all Eve's
 	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.
 MISTRESS FORD	Why, does he talk of him?
 MISTRESS PAGE	Of none but him; and swears he was carried out, the
 	last time he searched for him, in a basket; protests
 	to my husband he is now here, and hath drawn him and
 	the rest of their company from their sport, to make
 	another experiment of his suspicion: but I am glad
 	the knight is not here; now he shall see his own foolery.
 MISTRESS FORD	How near is he, Mistress Page?
 MISTRESS PAGE	Hard by; at street end; he will be here anon.
 MISTRESS FORD	I am undone! The knight is here.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Why then you are utterly shamed, and he's but a dead
 	man. What a woman are you!--Away with him, away
 	with him! better shame than murder.
 FORD	Which way should be go? how should I bestow him?
 	Shall I put him into the basket again?
 	[Re-enter FALSTAFF]
 FALSTAFF	No, I'll come no more i' the basket. May I not go
 	out ere he come?
 MISTRESS PAGE	Alas, three of Master Ford's brothers watch the door
 	with pistols, that none shall issue out; otherwise
 	you might slip away ere he came. But what make you here?
 FALSTAFF	What shall I do? I'll creep up into the chimney.
 MISTRESS FORD	There they always use to discharge their
 	birding-pieces. Creep into the kiln-hole.
 FALSTAFF	Where is it?
 MISTRESS FORD	He will seek there, on my word. Neither press,
 	coffer, chest, trunk, well, vault, but he hath an
 	abstract for the remembrance of such places, and
 	goes to them by his note: there is no hiding you in the house.
 FALSTAFF	I'll go out then.
 MISTRESS PAGE	If you go out in your own semblance, you die, Sir
 	John. Unless you go out disguised--
 MISTRESS FORD	How might we disguise him?
 MISTRESS PAGE	Alas 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.
 FALSTAFF	Good hearts, devise something: any extremity rather
 	than a mischief.
 MISTRESS FORD	My maid's aunt, the fat woman of Brentford, has a
 	gown above.
 MISTRESS PAGE	On my word, it will serve him; she's as big as he
 	is: and there's her thrummed hat and her muffler
 	too. Run up, Sir John.
 MISTRESS FORD	Go, go, sweet Sir John: Mistress Page and I will
 	look some linen for your head.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Quick, quick! we'll come dress you straight: put
 	on the gown the while.
 MISTRESS FORD	I would my husband would meet him in this shape: he
 	cannot abide the old woman of Brentford; he swears
 	she's a witch; forbade her my house and hath
 	threatened to beat her.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Heaven guide him to thy husband's cudgel, and the
 	devil guide his cudgel afterwards!
 MISTRESS FORD	But is my husband coming?
 MISTRESS PAGE	Ah, in good sadness, is he; and talks of the basket
 	too, howsoever he hath had intelligence.
 MISTRESS FORD	We'll try that; for I'll appoint my men to carry the
 	basket again, to meet him at the door with it, as
 	they did last time.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Nay, but he'll be here presently: let's go dress him
 	like the witch of Brentford.
 MISTRESS FORD	I'll first direct my men what they shall do with the
 	basket. Go up; I'll bring linen for him straight.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Hang 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.
 	[Re-enter MISTRESS FORD with two Servants]
 MISTRESS FORD	Go, 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.
 First Servant	Come, come, take it up.
 Second Servant	Pray heaven it be not full of knight again.
 First Servant	I hope not; I had as lief bear so much lead.
 FORD	Ay, but if it prove true, Master Page, have you any
 	way then to unfool me again? Set down the basket,
 	villain! Somebody call my wife. Youth in a basket!
 	O you panderly rascals! there's a knot, a ging, a
 	pack, a conspiracy against me: now shall the devil
 	be shamed. What, wife, I say! Come, come forth!
 	Behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching!
 PAGE	Why, this passes, Master Ford; you are not to go
 	loose any longer; you must be pinioned.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Why, this is lunatics! this is mad as a mad dog!
 SHALLOW	Indeed, Master Ford, this is not well, indeed.
 FORD	So say I too, sir.
 	[Re-enter MISTRESS FORD]
 	Come hither, Mistress Ford; Mistress Ford the honest
 	woman, the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that
 	hath the jealous fool to her husband! I suspect
 	without cause, mistress, do I?
 MISTRESS FORD	Heaven be my witness you do, if you suspect me in
 	any dishonesty.
 FORD	Well said, brazen-face! hold it out. Come forth, sirrah!
 	[Pulling clothes out of the basket]
 PAGE	This passes!
 MISTRESS FORD	Are you not ashamed? let the clothes alone.
 FORD	I shall find you anon.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	'Tis unreasonable! Will you take up your wife's
 	clothes? Come away.
 FORD	Empty the basket, I say!
 MISTRESS FORD	Why, man, why?
 FORD	Master Page, as I am a man, there was one conveyed
 	out of my house yesterday in this basket: why may
 	not he be there again? In my house I am sure he is:
 	my intelligence is true; my jealousy is reasonable.
 	Pluck me out all the linen.
 MISTRESS FORD	If you find a man there, he shall die a flea's death.
 PAGE	Here's no man.
 SHALLOW	By my fidelity, this is not well, Master Ford; this
 	wrongs you.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Master Ford, you must pray, and not follow the
 	imaginations of your own heart: this is jealousies.
 FORD	Well, he's not here I seek for.
 PAGE	No, nor nowhere else but in your brain.
 FORD	Help to search my house this one time. If I find
 	not what I seek, show no colour for my extremity; let
 	me for ever be your table-sport; let them say of
 	me, 'As jealous as Ford, Chat searched a hollow
 	walnut for his wife's leman.' Satisfy me once more;
 	once more search with me.
 MISTRESS FORD	What, ho, Mistress Page! come you and the old woman
 	down; my husband will come into the chamber.
 FORD	Old woman! what old woman's that?
 MISTRESS FORD	Nay, it is my maid's aunt of Brentford.
 FORD	A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not
 	forbid her my house? She comes of errands, does
 	she? We are simple men; we do not know what's
 	brought to pass under the profession of
 	fortune-telling. She works 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!
 MISTRESS FORD	Nay, good, sweet husband! Good gentlemen, let him
 	not strike the old woman.
 	[Re-enter FALSTAFF in woman's clothes, and
 MISTRESS PAGE	Come, Mother Prat; come, give me your hand.
 FORD	I'll prat her.
 	[Beating him]
 	Out of my door, you witch, you hag, you baggage, you
 	polecat, you runyon! out, out! I'll conjure you,
 	I'll fortune-tell you.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Are you not ashamed? I think you have killed the
 	poor woman.
 MISTRESS FORD	Nay, he will do it. 'Tis a goodly credit for you.
 FORD	Hang her, witch!
 SIR HUGH EVANS	By 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.
 FORD	Will 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.
 PAGE	Let's obey his humour a little further: come,
 MISTRESS PAGE	Trust me, he beat him most pitifully.
 MISTRESS FORD	Nay, by the mass, that he did not; he beat him most
 	unpitifully, methought.
 MISTRESS PAGE	I'll have the cudgel hallowed and hung o'er the
 	altar; it hath done meritorious service.
 MISTRESS FORD	What think you? may we, with the warrant of
 	womanhood and the witness of a good conscience,
 	pursue him with any further revenge?
 MISTRESS PAGE	The spirit of wantonness is, sure, scared out of
 	him: if the devil have him not in fee-simple, with
 	fine and recovery, he will never, I think, in the
 	way of waste, attempt us again.
 MISTRESS FORD	Shall we tell our husbands how we have served him?
 MISTRESS PAGE	Yes, by all means; if it be but to scrape the
 	figures out of your husband's brains. If they can
 	find in their hearts the poor unvirtuous fat knight
 	shall be any further afflicted, we two will still be
 	the ministers.
 MISTRESS FORD	I'll warrant they'll have him publicly shamed: and
 	methinks there would be no period to the jest,
 	should he not be publicly shamed.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Come, to the forge with it then; shape it: I would
 	not have things cool.
 SCENE III	A room in the Garter Inn.
 	[Enter Host and BARDOLPH]
 BARDOLPH	Sir, the Germans desire to have three of your
 	horses: the duke himself will be to-morrow at
 	court, and they are going to meet him.
 Host	What duke should that be comes so secretly? I hear
 	not of him in the court. Let me speak with the
 	gentlemen: they speak English?
 BARDOLPH	Ay, sir; I'll call them to you.
 Host	They shall have my horses; but I'll make them pay;
 	I'll sauce them: they have had my house a week at
 	command; I have turned away my other guests: they
 	must come off; I'll sauce them. Come.
 SCENE IV	A room in FORD'S house.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	'Tis one of the best discretions of a 'oman as ever
 	I did look upon.
 PAGE	And did he send you both these letters at an instant?
 MISTRESS PAGE	Within a quarter of an hour.
 FORD	Pardon me, wife. Henceforth do what thou wilt;
 	I rather will suspect the sun with cold
 	Than thee with wantonness: now doth thy honour stand
 	In him that was of late an heretic,
 	As firm as faith.
 PAGE	'Tis well, 'tis well; no more:
 	Be not as extreme in submission
 	As in offence.
 	But let our plot go forward: let our wives
 	Yet once again, to make us public sport,
 	Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow,
 	Where we may take him and disgrace him for it.
 FORD	There is no better way than that they spoke of.
 PAGE	How? to send him word they'll meet him in the park
 	at midnight? Fie, fie! he'll never come.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	You say he has been thrown in the rivers and has
 	been grievously peaten as an old 'oman: methinks
 	there should be terrors in him that he should not
 	come; methinks his flesh is punished, he shall have
 	no desires.
 PAGE	So think I too.
 MISTRESS FORD	Devise but how you'll use him when he comes,
 	And let us two devise to bring him thither.
 MISTRESS PAGE	There is an old tale goes that Herne the hunter,
 	Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest,
 	Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight,
 	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.
 PAGE	Why, yet there want not many that do fear
 	In deep of night to walk by this Herne's oak:
 	But what of this?
 MISTRESS FORD	                  Marry, this is our device;
 	That Falstaff at that oak shall meet with us.
 PAGE	Well, let it not be doubted but he'll come:
 	And in this shape when you have brought him thither,
 	What shall be done with him? what is your plot?
 MISTRESS PAGE	That likewise have we thought upon, and thus:
 	Nan Page my daughter and my little son
 	And three or four more of their growth we'll dress
 	Like urchins, ouphes and fairies, green and white,
 	With rounds of waxen tapers on their heads,
 	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.
 MISTRESS FORD	                  And till he tell the truth,
 	Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound
 	And burn him with their tapers.
 MISTRESS PAGE	The truth being known,
 	We'll all present ourselves, dis-horn the spirit,
 	And mock him home to Windsor.
 FORD	The children must
 	Be practised well to this, or they'll ne'er do't.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	I will teach the children their behaviors; and I
 	will be like a jack-an-apes also, to burn the
 	knight with my taber.
 FORD	That will be excellent. I'll go and buy them vizards.
 MISTRESS PAGE	My Nan shall be the queen of all the fairies,
 	Finely attired in a robe of white.
 PAGE	That silk will I go buy.
 		   And in that time
 	Shall Master Slender steal my Nan away
 	And marry her at Eton. Go send to Falstaff straight.
 FORD	Nay I'll to him again in name of Brook
 	He'll tell me all his purpose: sure, he'll come.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Fear not you that. Go get us properties
 	And tricking for our fairies.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Let us about it: it is admirable pleasures and fery
 	honest knaveries.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Go, Mistress Ford,
 	Send quickly to Sir John, to know his mind.
 	I'll to the doctor: he hath my good will,
 	And none but he, to marry with Nan Page.
 	That Slender, though well landed, is an idiot;
 	And he my husband best of all affects.
 	The doctor is well money'd, and his friends
 	Potent at court: he, none but he, shall have her,
 	Though twenty thousand worthier come to crave her.
 SCENE V	A room in the Garter Inn.
 	[Enter Host and SIMPLE]
 Host	What wouldst thou have, boor? what: thick-skin?
 	speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick, snap.
 SIMPLE	Marry, sir, I come to speak with Sir John Falstaff
 	from Master Slender.
 Host	There's his chamber, his house, his castle, his
 	standing-bed and truckle-bed; 'tis painted about
 	with the story of the Prodigal, fresh and new. Go
 	knock and call; hell speak like an Anthropophaginian
 	unto thee: knock, I say.
 SIMPLE	There's an old woman, a fat woman, gone up into his
 	chamber: I'll be so bold as stay, sir, till she come
 	down; I come to speak with her, indeed.
 Host	Ha! a fat woman! the knight may be robbed: I'll
 	call. Bully knight! bully Sir John! speak from
 	thy lungs military: art thou there? it is thine
 	host, thine Ephesian, calls.
 FALSTAFF	[Above]  How now, mine host!
 Host	Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of
 	thy fat woman. Let her descend, bully, let her
 	descend; my chambers are honourable: fie! privacy?
 	[Enter FALSTAFF]
 FALSTAFF	There was, mine host, an old fat woman even now with
 	me; but she's gone.
 SIMPLE	Pray you, sir, was't not the wise woman of
 FALSTAFF	Ay, marry, was it, mussel-shell: what would you with her?
 SIMPLE	My 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.
 FALSTAFF	I spake with the old woman about it.
 SIMPLE	And what says she, I pray, sir?
 FALSTAFF	Marry, she says that the very same man that
 	beguiled Master Slender of his chain cozened him of
 SIMPLE	I would I could have spoken with the woman herself;
 	I had other things to have spoken with her too from
 FALSTAFF	What are they? let us know.
 Host	Ay, come; quick.
 SIMPLE	I may not conceal them, sir.
 Host	Conceal them, or thou diest.
 SIMPLE	Why, sir, they were nothing but about Mistress Anne
 	Page; to know if it were my master's fortune to
 	have her or no.
 FALSTAFF	'Tis, 'tis his fortune.
 SIMPLE	What, sir?
 FALSTAFF	To have her, or no. Go; say the woman told me so.
 SIMPLE	May I be bold to say so, sir?
 FALSTAFF	Ay, sir; like who more bold.
 SIMPLE	I thank your worship: I shall make my master glad
 	with these tidings.
 Host	Thou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, Sir John. Was
 	there a wise woman with thee?
 FALSTAFF	Ay, 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.
 	[Enter BARDOLPH]
 BARDOLPH	Out, alas, sir! cozenage, mere cozenage!
 Host	Where be my horses? speak well of them, varletto.
 BARDOLPH	Run away with the cozeners; for so soon as I came
 	beyond Eton, they threw me off from behind one of
 	them, in a slough of mire; and set spurs and away,
 	like three German devils, three Doctor Faustuses.
 Host	They are gone but to meet the duke, villain: do not
 	say they be fled; Germans are honest men.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Where is mine host?
 Host	What is the matter, sir?
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Have 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.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Vere is mine host de Jarteer?
 Host	Here, master doctor, in perplexity and doubtful dilemma.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	I 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.
 Host	Hue and cry, villain, go! Assist me, knight. I am
 	undone! Fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone!
 	[Exeunt Host and BARDOLPH]
 FALSTAFF	I 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.
 	Now, whence come you?
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	From the two parties, forsooth.
 FALSTAFF	The devil take one party and his dam the other! and
 	so they shall be both bestowed. I have suffered more
 	for their sakes, more than the villanous inconstancy
 	of man's disposition is able to bear.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	And have not they suffered? Yes, I warrant;
 	speciously one of them; Mistress Ford, good heart,
 	is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a
 	white spot about her.
 FALSTAFF	What tellest thou me of black and blue? I was
 	beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow;
 	and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of
 	Brentford: but that my admirable dexterity of wit,
 	my counterfeiting the action of an old woman,
 	delivered me, the knave constable had set me i' the
 	stocks, i' the common stocks, for a witch.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Sir, 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.
 FALSTAFF	Come up into my chamber.
 SCENE VI	Another room in the Garter Inn.
 	[Enter FENTON and Host]
 Host	Master Fenton, talk not to me; my mind is heavy: I
 	will give over all.
 FENTON	Yet 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.
 Host	I will hear you, Master Fenton; and I will at the
 	least keep your counsel.
 FENTON	From 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.
 Host	Which means she to deceive, father or mother?
 FENTON	Both, my good host, to go along with me:
 	And here it rests, that you'll procure the vicar
 	To stay for me at church 'twixt twelve and one,
 	And, in the lawful name of marrying,
 	To give our hearts united ceremony.
 Host	Well, husband your device; I'll to the vicar:
 	Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.
 FENTON	So shall I evermore be bound to thee;
 	Besides, I'll make a present recompense.
 SCENE I	A room in the Garter Inn.
 FALSTAFF	Prithee, no more prattling; go. I'll hold. This is
 	the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd
 	numbers. Away I go. They say there is divinity in
 	odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death. Away!
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	I'll provide you a chain; and I'll do what I can to
 	get you a pair of horns.
 FALSTAFF	Away, I say; time wears: hold up your head, and mince.
 	[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.
 FORD	Went you not to her yesterday, sir, as you told me
 	you had appointed?
 FALSTAFF	I went to her, Master Brook, as you see, like a poor
 	old man: but I came from her, Master Brook, like a
 	poor old woman. That same knave Ford, her husband,
 	hath the finest mad devil of jealousy in him,
 	Master Brook, that ever governed frenzy. I will tell
 	you: he beat me grievously, in the shape of a
 	woman; for in the shape of man, Master Brook, I fear
 	not Goliath with a weaver's beam; because I know
 	also life is a shuttle. I am in haste; go along
 	with me: I'll tell you all, Master Brook. Since I
 	plucked geese, played truant and whipped top, I knew
 	not what 'twas to be beaten till lately. Follow
 	me: I'll tell you strange things of this knave
 	Ford, on whom to-night I will be revenged, and I
 	will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow.
 	Strange things in hand, Master Brook! Follow.
 SCENE II	Windsor Park.
 PAGE	Come, come; we'll couch i' the castle-ditch till we
 	see the light of our fairies. Remember, son Slender,
 	my daughter.
 SLENDER	Ay, 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.
 SHALLOW	That'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.
 PAGE	The night is dark; light and spirits will become it
 	well. Heaven prosper our sport! No man means evil
 	but the devil, and we shall know him by his horns.
 	Let's away; follow me.
 SCENE III	A street leading to the Park.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Master doctor, my daughter is in green: when you
 	see your time, take her by the band, away with her
 	to the deanery, and dispatch it quickly. Go before
 	into the Park: we two must go together.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	I know vat I have to do. Adieu.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Fare you well, sir.
 	My husband will not rejoice so much at the abuse of
 	Falstaff as he will chafe at the doctor's marrying
 	my daughter: but 'tis no matter; better a little
 	chiding than a great deal of heart-break.
 MISTRESS FORD	Where is Nan now and her troop of fairies, and the
 	Welsh devil Hugh?
 MISTRESS PAGE	They 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.
 MISTRESS FORD	That cannot choose but amaze him.
 MISTRESS PAGE	If he be not amazed, he will be mocked; if he be
 	amazed, he will every way be mocked.
 MISTRESS FORD	We'll betray him finely.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Against such lewdsters and their lechery
 	Those that betray them do no treachery.
 MISTRESS FORD	The hour draws on. To the oak, to the oak!
 SCENE IV	Windsor Park.
 	[Enter SIR HUGH EVANS, disguised, with others as Fairies]
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Trib, trib, fairies; come; and remember your parts:
 	be pold, I pray you; follow me into the pit; and
 	when I give the watch-'ords, do as I pid you:
 	come, come; trib, trib.
 SCENE V	Another part of the Park.
 	[Enter FALSTAFF disguised as Herne]
 FALSTAFF	The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the minute
 	draws on. Now, the hot-blooded gods assist me!
 	Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Europa; love
 	set on thy horns. O powerful love! that, in some
 	respects, 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
 MISTRESS FORD	Sir John! art thou there, my deer? my male deer?
 FALSTAFF	My doe with the black scut! Let the sky rain
 	potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green
 	Sleeves, hail kissing-comfits and snow eringoes; let
 	there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.
 MISTRESS FORD	Mistress Page is come with me, sweetheart.
 FALSTAFF	Divide me like a bribe buck, each a haunch: I will
 	keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow
 	of this walk, and my horns I bequeath your husbands.
 	Am I a woodman, ha? Speak I like Herne the hunter?
 	Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience; he makes
 	restitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome!
 	[Noise within]
 MISTRESS PAGE	Alas, what noise?
 MISTRESS FORD	Heaven forgive our sins
 FALSTAFF	What should this be?
 	|  Away, away!
 	[They run off]
 FALSTAFF	I think the devil will not have me damned, lest the
 	oil that's in me should set hell on fire; he would
 	never else cross me thus.
 	[Enter SIR HUGH EVANS, disguised as before; PISTOL,
 	as Hobgoblin; MISTRESS QUICKLY, ANNE PAGE, and
 	others, as Fairies, with tapers]
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,
 	You moonshine revellers and shades of night,
 	You orphan heirs of fixed destiny,
 	Attend your office and your quality.
 	Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy oyes.
 PISTOL	Elves, list your names; silence, you airy toys.
 	Cricket, to Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap:
 	Where fires thou find'st unraked and hearths unswept,
 	There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry:
 	Our radiant queen hates sluts and sluttery.
 FALSTAFF	They are fairies; he that speaks to them shall die:
 	I'll wink and couch: no man their works must eye.
 	[Lies down upon his face]
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Where's Bede? Go you, and where you find a maid
 	That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
 	Raise up the organs of her fantasy;
 	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.
 	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.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Pray you, lock hand in hand; yourselves in order set
 	And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be,
 	To guide our measure round about the tree.
 	But, stay; I smell a man of middle-earth.
 FALSTAFF	Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy, lest he
 	transform me to a piece of cheese!
 PISTOL	Vile worm, thou wast o'erlook'd even in thy birth.
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	With trial-fire touch me his finger-end:
 	If he be chaste, the flame will back descend
 	And turn him to no pain; but if he start,
 	It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.
 PISTOL	A trial, come.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Come, will this wood take fire?
 	[They burn him with their tapers]
 MISTRESS QUICKLY	Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire!
 	About him, fairies; sing a scornful rhyme;
 	And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time.
 	Fie on sinful fantasy!
 	Fie on lust and luxury!
 	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]
 PAGE	Nay, do not fly; I think we have watch'd you now
 	Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn?
 MISTRESS PAGE	I 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?
 FORD	Now, sir, who's a cuckold now? Master Brook,
 	Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldly knave; here are his
 	horns, Master Brook: and, Master Brook, he hath
 	enjoyed nothing 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.
 MISTRESS FORD	Sir 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.
 FALSTAFF	I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass.
 FORD	Ay, and an ox too: both the proofs are extant.
 FALSTAFF	And 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!
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave your
 	desires, and fairies will not pinse you.
 FORD	Well said, fairy Hugh.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	And leave your jealousies too, I pray you.
 FORD	I will never mistrust my wife again till thou art
 	able to woo her in good English.
 FALSTAFF	Have I laid my brain in the sun and dried it, that
 	it wants matter to prevent so gross o'erreaching as
 	this? Am I ridden with a Welsh goat too? shall I
 	have a coxcomb of frize? 'Tis time I were choked
 	with a piece of toasted cheese.
 SIR HUGH EVANS	Seese is not good to give putter; your belly is all putter.
 FALSTAFF	'Seese' and 'putter'! have I lived to stand at the
 	taunt of one that makes fritters of English? This
 	is enough to be the decay of lust and late-walking
 	through the realm.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Why 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?
 FORD	What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax?
 MISTRESS PAGE	A puffed man?
 PAGE	Old, cold, withered and of intolerable entrails?
 FORD	And one that is as slanderous as Satan?
 PAGE	And as poor as Job?
 FORD	And as wicked as his wife?
 SIR HUGH EVANS	And given to fornications, and to taverns and sack
 	and wine and metheglins, and to drinkings and
 	swearings and starings, pribbles and prabbles?
 FALSTAFF	Well, 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.
 FORD	Marry, 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.
 PAGE	Yet 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.
 MISTRESS PAGE	[Aside]  Doctors doubt that: if Anne Page be my
 	daughter, she is, by this, Doctor Caius' wife.
 	[Enter SLENDER]
 SLENDER	Whoa ho! ho, father Page!
 PAGE	Son, how now! how now, son! have you dispatched?
 SLENDER	Dispatched! I'll make the best in Gloucestershire
 	know on't; would I were hanged, la, else.
 PAGE	Of what, son?
 SLENDER	I came yonder at Eton to marry Mistress Anne Page,
 	and she's a great lubberly boy. If it had not been
 	i' the church, I would have swinged him, or he
 	should have swinged me. If I did not think it had
 	been Anne Page, would I might never stir!--and 'tis
 	a postmaster's boy.
 PAGE	Upon my life, then, you took the wrong.
 SLENDER	What need you tell me that? I think so, when I took
 	a boy for a girl. If I had been married to him, for
 	all he was in woman's apparel, I would not have had
 PAGE	Why, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you how
 	you should know my daughter by her garments?
 SLENDER	I went to her in white, and cried 'mum,' and she
 	cried 'budget,' as Anne and I had appointed; and yet
 	it was not Anne, but a postmaster's boy.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Good 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.
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Vere is Mistress Page? By gar, I am cozened: I ha'
 	married un garcon, a boy; un paysan, by gar, a boy;
 	it is not Anne Page: by gar, I am cozened.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Why, did you take her in green?
 DOCTOR CAIUS	Ay, by gar, and 'tis a boy: by gar, I'll raise all Windsor.
 FORD	This is strange. Who hath got the right Anne?
 PAGE	My heart misgives me: here comes Master Fenton.
 	[Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGE]
 	How now, Master Fenton!
 ANNE PAGE	Pardon, good father! good my mother, pardon!
 PAGE	Now, mistress, how chance you went not with Master Slender?
 MISTRESS PAGE	Why went you not with master doctor, maid?
 FENTON	You 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.
 FORD	Stand not amazed; here is no remedy:
 	In love the heavens themselves do guide the state;
 	Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.
 FALSTAFF	I am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand to
 	strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced.
 PAGE	Well, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give thee joy!
 	What cannot be eschew'd must be embraced.
 FALSTAFF	When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chased.
 MISTRESS PAGE	Well, 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.
 FORD	                  Let it be so. Sir John,
 	To Master Brook you yet shall hold your word
 	For he tonight shall lie with Mistress Ford.

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