Sacred-texts home  Shakespeare Index  First Folio  Previous  Next 

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.

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.


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	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.


	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.

	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.


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?


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.


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.


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]


	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.


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.


	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?


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.


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,
	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.


	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.


Next: Othello