The Merry Wives of Windsor - The Works of William Shakespeare [Cambridge Edition] [9 vols.]
by William Shakespeare
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[Transcriber's Note:

These texts of The Merry Wives of Windsor are from Volume I of the nine-volume 1863 Cambridge edition of Shakespeare. The Preface (e-text 23041) and the other plays from this volume are each available as separate e-texts.

General Notes are in their original location at the end of the play. Text-critical notes are grouped at the end of each Scene. All line numbers are from the original text; line breaks in dialogue—including prose passages—are unchanged. Brackets are also unchanged; to avoid ambiguity, footnotes and linenotes are given without added brackets. In the notes, numerals printed as subscripts are shown inline as F1, F2, Q1....

Texts cited in the Notes are listed at the end of the e-text.]




Edited by

WILLIAM GEORGE CLARK, M.A. Fellow and Tutor of Trinity College, and Public Orator in the University of Cambridge;

and JOHN GLOVER, M.A. Librarian Of Trinity College, Cambridge.


Cambridge and London: MACMILLAN AND CO. 1863.



Besides the copies of the Merry Wives of Windsor appearing in the folios and modern editions, a quarto, Q3, has been collated in these Notes, of which the following is the title:

The Merry Wives of Windsor. with the humours of Sir John Falstaffe, as also, The swaggering Vaine of Ancient Pistoll, and Corporall Nym. WRITTEN BY William Shake-speare. Newly corrected. LONDON: printed by T. H. for R. Meighen and are to be sold at his Shop, next to the Middle-Temple Gate, and in S. Dunstan's Church-yard in Fleet Street. 1630.

Q1 and Q2 are editions of an early sketch of the same play. The variations between the text of these quartos and the received text are so great that collation cannot be attempted. The text printed at the end of the play is taken literatim from Q1, the edition of 1602, of which a copy is preserved among Capell's SHAKESPEARIANA, and this text is collated verbatim with Q2, the second quarto printed in 1619. Q1 was reprinted in 1842 for the Shakespeare Society by Mr J. O. Halliwell. This text, which differs in one or two places from Capell's Q1, has also been collated. Q2 is given among TWENTY OF THE PLAYS OF SHAKESPEARE, edited by Steevens. Their titles are as follows:

(1) A Most pleasaunt and excellent conceited Co- medie, of Syr John Falstaffe, and the Merrie Wiues of Windsor. Enter-mixed with sundrie variable and pleasing humors of Syr Hugh the Welch Knight, Justice Shallow, and his wise Cousin M. Slender. With the Swaggering vaine of Auncient Pistoll, and Corporall Nym. By William Shakespeare. As it hath been diuers times Acted by the right Honorable my Lord Chamberlaines seruants. Both before her Maiestie, and else-where. London. Printed by T. C. for Arthur Johnson, and are to be sold at his shop in Powles Church-yard, at the signe of the Flower de Leuse and the Crowne. 1602.

[This consists of 7 Quires of 4. In the Quire G one line, which we have included in brackets, has been cut away by the binder. We have supplied it from Halliwell's edition and Q2.]

(2) A Most pleasant and ex- cellent Comedy, of Sir John Falstaffe, and the merry Wives of Windsor. With the swaggering vaine of An cient Pistoll, and Corporall Nym. Written by W. SHAKESPEARE. Printed for Arthur Johnson, 1619.


SIR JOHN FALSTAFF. FENTON, a gentleman. SHALLOW, a country justice. SLENDER, cousin to Shallow. FORD, } two gentlemen dwelling at Windsor. PAGE, } WILLIAM PAGE, a boy, son to Page. SIR HUGH EVANS, a Welsh parson. DOCTOR CAIUS, a French physician. Host of the Garter Inn. BARDOLPH, } PISTOL, } sharpers attending on Falstaff. NYM, } ROBIN, page to Falstaff. SIMPLE, servant to Slender. RUGBY, servant to Doctor Caius.


Servants to Page, Ford, &c.

SCENE—Windsor, and the neighbourhood.

[Footnote 1: Not in Qq Ff. Inserted by Rowe.]



SCENE I. Windsor. Before PAGE'S house.


Shal. 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.

Slen. In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace and 'Coram.' 5

Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and 'Custalorum.'

Slen. Ay, and 'Rato-lorum' too; and a gentleman born, master parson; who writes himself 'Armigero,' in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, 'Armigero.'

Shal. Ay, that I do; and have done any time these 10 three hundred years.

Slen. 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. 15

Shal. It is an old coat.

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.

Shal. The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat. 20

Slen. I may quarter, coz.

Shal. You may, by marrying.

Evans. It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.

Shal. Not a whit.

Evans. Yes, py'r lady; if he has a quarter of your 25 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. 30

Shal. The council shall hear it; it is a riot.

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. 35

Shal. Ha! o' my life, if I were young again, the sword should end it.

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 40 Page, which is daughter to Master Thomas Page, which is pretty virginity.

Slen. Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks small like a woman.

Evans. It is that fery person for all the orld, as just as 45 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 50 Master Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.

Slen. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?

Evans. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.

Slen. I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts. 55

Evans. Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts.

Shal. Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff there?

Evans. Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar as I do 60 despise one that is false, or as I despise one that is not true. The knight, Sir John, is there; and, I beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will peat the door for Master Page. [Knocks] What, hoa! Got pless your house here!

Page. [Within] Who's there? 65

Enter PAGE.

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 70 you for my venison, Master Shallow.

Shal. 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. 75

Page. Sir, I thank you.

Shal. Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.

Page. I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.

Slen. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say he was outrun on Cotsall. 80

Page. It could not be judged, sir.

Slen. You'll not confess, you'll not confess.

Shal. That he will not. 'Tis your fault, 'tis your fault; 'tis a good dog.

Page. A cur, sir. 85

Shal. 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.

Evans. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak. 90

Shal. He hath wronged me, Master Page.

Page. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.

Shal. If it be confessed, it is not redressed: is not that so, Master Page? He hath wronged me; indeed he hath; at a word, he hath, believe me: Robert Shallow, esquire, 95 saith, he is wronged.

Page. Here comes Sir John.


Fal. Now, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me to the king?

Shal. Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my 100 deer, and broke open my lodge.

Fal. But not kissed your keeper's daughter?

Shal. Tut, a pin! this shall be answered.

Fal. I will answer it straight; I have done all this. That is now answered. 105

Shal. The council shall know this.

Fal. 'Twere better for you if it were known in counsel: you'll be laughed at.

Evans. Pauca verba, Sir John; goot worts.

Fal. Good worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke 110 your head: what matter have you against me?

Slen. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you; and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol.

Bard. You Banbury cheese! 115

Slen. Ay, it is no matter.

Pist. How now, Mephostophilus!

Slen. Ay, it is no matter.

Nym. Slice, I say! pauca, pauca: slice! that's my humour. 120

Slen. Where's Simple, my man? Can you tell, cousin?

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 125 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.

Evans. Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in my note-book; and we will afterwards ork upon the cause 130 with as great discreetly as we can.

Fal. Pistol!

Pist. He hears with ears.

Evans. The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, 'He hears with ear'? why, it is affectations. 135

Fal. Pistol, did you pick Master Slender's purse?

Slen. 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 a-piece of 140 Yead Miller, by these gloves.

Fal. Is this true, Pistol?

Evans. No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.

Pist. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner! Sir John and master mine, 145 I combat challenge of this latten bilbo. Word of denial in thy labras here! Word of denial: froth and scum, thou liest!

Slen. By these gloves, then, 'twas he.

Nym. Be avised, sir, and pass good humours: I will 150 say 'marry trap' with you, if you run the nuthook's humour on me; that is the very note of it.

Slen. 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. 155

Fal. What say you, Scarlet and John?

Bard. Why, sir, for my part, I say the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five sentences.

Evans. It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is!

Bard. And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; 160 and so conclusions passed the careires.

Slen. 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 165 with drunken knaves.

Evans. So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.

Fal. 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 170 within. [Exit Anne Page.

Slen. O heaven! this is Mistress Anne Page.

Page. How now, Mistress Ford!

Fal. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good mistress. [Kisses her. 175

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 Shal., Slen., and Evans.

Slen. I had rather than forty shillings I had my Book of Songs and Sonnets here. 180


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?

Sim. Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake upon All-hallowmas last, a fortnight afore 185 Michaelmas?

Shal. 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? 190

Slen. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if it be so, I shall do that that is reason.

Shal. Nay, but understand me.

Slen. So I do, sir.

Evans. Give ear to his motions, Master Slender: I will 195 description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.

Slen. 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.

Evans. But that is not the question: the question is 200 concerning your marriage.

Shal. Ay, there's the point, sir.

Evans. Marry, is it; the very point of it; to Mistress Anne Page.

Slen. Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any reasonable 205 demands.

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 210 maid?

Shal. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?

Slen. I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that would do reason.

Evans. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies! you must 215 speak possitable, if you can carry her your desires towards her.

Shal. That you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?

Slen. I will do a greater thing than that, upon your 220 request, cousin, in any reason.

Shal. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz: what I do is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the maid?

Slen. I will marry her, sir, at your request: but if there be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may decrease 225 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.

Evans. It is a fery discretion answer; save the fall is in 230 the ort 'dissolutely:' the ort is, according to our meaning, 'resolutely:' his meaning is good.

Shal. Ay, I think my cousin meant well.

Slen. Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la!

Shal. Here comes fair Mistress Anne. 235

Re-enter ANNE PAGE.

Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne!

Anne. The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worships' company.

Shal. I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.

Evans. Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the 240 grace. [Exeunt Shallow and Evans.

Anne. Will't please your worship to come in, sir?

Slen. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well.

Anne. The dinner attends you, sir. 245

Slen. 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 250 what though? yet I live like a poor gentleman born.

Anne. I may not go in without your worship: they will not sit till you come.

Slen. I' faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much as though I did. 255

Anne. I pray you, sir, walk in.

Slen. 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 260 meat since. Why do your dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?

Anne. I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.

Slen. I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel at it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you 265 see the bear loose, are you not?

Anne. Ay, indeed, sir.

Slen. 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 270 shrieked at it, that it passed: but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favoured rough things.

Re-enter PAGE.

Page. Come, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay for you.

Slen. I'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir. 275

Page. By cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! come, come.

Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way.

Page. Come on, sir.

Slen. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first. 280

Anne. Not I, sir; pray you, keep on.

Slen. Truly, I will not go first; truly, la! I will not do you that wrong.

Anne. I pray you, sir.

Slen. I'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome. 285 You do yourself wrong, indeed, la! [Exeunt.


6: Custalorum] Custos Farmer conj. 7: Rato-lorum] Ff. Rotulorum Q3. 10: I] We Steevens (Farmer conj.). 12: hath] F1 Q3 F2. have F3 F4. 19: The luce is] The luce [To Slen. showing him his seal-ring] is Capell. 23: marring] F1 Q3. marrying F2 F3 F4. 25: py'r lady] per-lady Ff Q3. 26: skirts] shirts Q3. 28: unto] upon Pope. 30: compremises] compromises Pope. 32: hear] F1 Q3. hear of F2 F3 F4. 34: take your] F1 Q3. take you F2 F3 F4. 38: and] that Pope. 40: goot] F1 Q3. good F2 F3 F4. 41: Thomas] Ff Q3. George Theobald. See note (I). 44: small] F1 Q3. om. F2 F3 F4. 45: orld] Ff. world Q3. 49: See note (II). 52, 54, 55: Given to Shallow by Capell. 53: her father] his father Capell (corrected in MS.). 56: possibilities] F1 Q3. possibility F2 F3 F4. 63: well-willers] well-wishers Rowe. 65: Enter PAGE.] Edd. Enter Page. Rowe (after line 64). Halliwell (after line 69). 65: SCENE II. Pope. 67: here] F1 Q3. here's F2 F3 F4. 70: worships] worship's Rowe. 75: thank] love (Q1 Q2) Steevens (Farmer conj.). 77: thank] love Farmer conj. MS. 80: Cotsall F1 Q3.] Cotsale F2 F3 F4. 82-84: Slen ... dog] Shall. You'll ... confess. Slen. That ... not. Shall. 'Tis ... dog. Farmer conj. MS. 98: SCENE III. Pope. 99: king] council (Q1 Q2) Warburton. 102: daughter?] F1 Q3 F2 F3. daughter. (Q1 Q2) F4. 106, 107: council ... counsel] councell ... counsell (Q1 Q2). councell ... councill F1 Q3 F2. council ... counsell F3. council ... councel F4. 107, 108: you if ... you'll] you: if it were known in council, you'll Harness (Johnson conj.). 107: known] not known Pope. 114: Pistol.] Pistol; they carried me to the tavern and made me drunk, and afterward picked my pocket. Malone (from Q1 Q2). See note (III). 119-120: pauca, pauca ... humour] Evans. Pauca, pauca. Nym. Slice ... humour. Farmer conj. 126: three] third Pope. 127: Garter] Q3. Gater Ff. 131: discreetly] discretions Pope. 146: latten] laten (Q1 Q3). latine Ff Q3. latten bilbo.] latten. Bilbo! Becket conj. 147: thy labras here] my labras hear Johnson conj. 150: avised] advis'd F4. 151: the nuthook's humour] the base humour Pope. bace humors (Q1 Q2). 160: fap] sap A. A. conj. vap Boys conj. 161: careires] car-eires Ff Q3. careeres Capell. 171: [Exit A. P.] Theobald. 175: [Kisses her.] Pope. 179: SCENE IV. Pope. 186: Michaelmas] Martlemas Theobald. 188: this, coz] this Q3. 192: that that] that F3 F4. 209: mouth] mind Pope. 210: carry] F1 Q3. marry F2 F3 F4. 216: carry her] carry-her F1 Q3 F2 F3. carre-her F4. 228: contempt] Theobald. content Ff Q3. 230: fall] Ff Q3. faul' Hanmer. fault Collier. fall' Singer. faul Dyce. 234: hanged] hang' F2 F3 F4. 236: SCENE V. Pope. 249: beholding] beholden Pope. 251: like] om. F2 F3 F4. 275: I'll eat] I chuse to eat Hanmer.

SCENE II. The same.


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.

Sim. Well, sir. 5

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; 10 there's pippins and cheese to come. [Exeunt.


SCENE II.] SCENE VI. Pope. The same.] Capell. An outer room in Page's house. Dyce. 3: dry] try (Q1 Q2) Dyce. 4: wringer] Theobald. Ringer Ff Q3. 11: cheese] seese Dyce.

SCENE III. A room in the Garter Inn.


Fal. Mine host of the Garter!

Host. What says my bully-rook? speak scholarly and wisely.

Fal. Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers. 5

Host. Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.

Fal. 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 10 I well, bully Hector?

Fal. Do so, good mine host.

Host. I have spoke; let him follow. [To Bard.] Let me see thee froth and lime: I am at a word; follow. [Exit.

Fal. Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade: 15 an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered serving-man a fresh tapster. Go; adieu.

Bard. It is a life that I have desired: I will thrive.

Pist. O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?

[Exit Bardolph. 20

Nym. He was gotten in drink: is not the humour conceited?

Fal. I am glad I am so acquit of this tinder-box: his thefts were too open; his filching was like an unskilful singer; he kept not time. 25

Nym. The good humour is to steal at a minute's rest.

Pist. 'Convey,' the wise it call. 'Steal!' foh! a fico for the phrase!

Fal. Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.

Pist. Why, then, let kibes ensue. 30

Fal. There is no remedy; I must cony-catch; I must shift.

Pist. Young ravens must have food.

Fal. Which of you know Ford of this town?

Pist. I ken the wight: he is of substance good. 35

Fal. My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.

Pist. Two yards, and more.

Fal. 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 40 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 behaviour, to be Englished rightly, is, 'I am Sir John Falstaff's.'

Pist. He hath studied her will, and translated her will, 45 out of honesty into English.

Nym. The anchor is deep: will that humour pass?

Fal. Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her husband's purse: he hath a legion of angels.

Pist. As many devils entertain; and 'To her, boy,' say I. 50

Nym. The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.

Fal. 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; 55 sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.

Pist. Then did the sun on dunghill shine.

Nym. I thank thee for that humour.

Fal. O, she did so course o'er my exteriors with such 60 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 cheaters to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me; they shall be my East 65 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.

Pist. Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become, And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all! 70

Nym. I will run no base humour: here, take the humour-letter: I will keep the haviour of reputation.

Fal. [To Robin] Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly; Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores. Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go; 75 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.

Pist. Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and fullam holds, And high and low beguiles the rich and poor: 80 Tester I'll have in pouch when thou shalt lack, Base Phrygian Turk!

Nym. I have operations which be humours of revenge.

Pist. Wilt thou revenge?

Nym. By welkin and her star! 85

Pist. With wit or steel?

Nym. With both the humours, I: I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.

Pist. And I to Ford shall eke unfold How Falstaff, varlet vile, 90 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. 95

Pist. Thou art the Mars of malecontents: I second thee; troop on. [Exeunt.


SCENE III.] SCENE VII. Pope. 2: bully-rook] Bully Rock Rowe, passim. 10: shall ... shall] F1 Q3. will ... will F2 F3 F4. 14: see thee froth] see thee, froth Staunton. lime] Steevens. lyme (Q1 Q2). live Ff Q3. 19: Hungarian] Ff Q3. Gongarian (Q1 Q2) Capell. 22: conceited?] Theobald here inserts (from Q1 Q2), His mind is not heroic and there's the humour of it. 23: acquit] quit Pope. 26: minute's] Ff. minuntes Q3. minim's Singer (Bennet-Langton conj.). 41: carves] Ff (Q1 Q2). craves Q3. 45: studied her will] Ff Q3. studied her well (Q1 Q2) Pope. translated her will] Ff Q3 (om. Q1 Q2). translated her well Pope. translated her Hanmer. studied her well and translated her will Grant White. studied her well and translated her ill Edd. conj. 47: anchor] author Johnson conj. 49: he] she (Q1 Q2) Pope. a legion] Pope. a legend Ff. Q3. legians (Q1). legions (Q2) Capell. 50: entertain] Ff Q3. attend her (Q1 Q2). enter swine Coleridge conj. in her train Anon. conj. 55: oeillades] illiads Ff Q3. eyelids Halliwell (Pope conj.). 56: gilded] guilded F1 Q3. guided F2 F3 F4. 64: cheaters] (Q1 Q2) F1 Q3 F3 F4. cheators F2. cheater Theobald. escheator Hanmer. 'cheator Capell. 73: tightly] F1. titely (Q1 Q2). rightly Q3 F2 F3 F4. 74: [Exit Robin. Dyce. 76: o' the] oth' F2 F3 F4. ith' F1 Q3. 77: learn] earn Anon. conj. humour] (Q1 Q2) Theobald. honour Ff Q3. the] Ff Q3. this (Q1 Q2) Capell. 78: [Exeunt Falstaff and Robin.] Rowe. [Exit. Dyce. 79: SCENE VIII. Pope. fullam holds] fullams hold Hanmer. 80: beguiles] beguile Hanmer. 83: operations] Ff Q3. operations in my head (Q1 Q2) Pope. 85: star] fairies (Q1 Q2). stars Collier MS. 88: discuss] disclose Pope. 88, 89: Page ... Ford] (Q1 Q2) Steevens. Ford ... Page Ff Q3. See note (I). 93: Page] Steevens. Ford Ff Q3. 94: yellowness] jealousies Pope. 95: the] this Pope. 95: mine] mien Theobald. mind Jackson conj. meisne or men Anon. conj. See note (IV).

SCENE IV. A room in DOCTOR CAIUS'S house.


Quick. 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. 5

Rug. I'll go watch.

Quick. 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 10 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?

Sim. Ay, for fault of a better.

Quick. And Master Slender's your master? 15

Sim. Ay, forsooth.

Quick. Does he not wear a great round beard, like a glover's paring-knife?

Sim. No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with a little yellow beard,—a Cain-coloured beard. 20

Quick. A softly-sprighted man, is he not?

Sim. 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.

Quick. How say you?—O, I should remember him: 25 does he not hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?

Sim. Yes, indeed, does he.

Quick. 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— 30

Re-enter RUGBY.

Rug. Out, alas! here comes my master.

Quick. 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; 35 I doubt he be not well, that he comes not home.

[Singing] And down, down, adown-a, &c.


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. 40

Quick. Ay, forsooth; I'll fetch it you. [Aside] I am glad he went not in himself: if he had found the young man, he would have been horn-mad.

Caius. Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je m'en vais a la cour,—la grande affaire. 45

Quick. Is it this, sir?

Caius. Oui; mette le au mon pocket: depeche, quickly. Vere is dat knave Rugby?

Quick. What, John Rugby! John!

Rug. Here, sir! 50

Caius. You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby. Come, take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to the court.

Rug. 'Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.

Caius. By my trot, I tarry too long. —Od's me! 55 Qu'ai-j'oublie! dere is some simples in my closet, dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.

Quick. Ay me, he'll find the young man there, and be mad!

Caius. O diable, diable! vat is in my closet? Villain! 60 larron! [Pulling Simple out.] Rugby, my rapier!

Quick. Good master, be content.

Caius. Wherefore shall I be content-a?

Quick. The young man is an honest man.

Caius. What shall de honest man do in my closet? 65 dere is no honest man dat shall come in my closet.

Quick. I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic. Hear the truth of it: he came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh.

Caius. Vell.

Sim. Ay, forsooth; to desire her to— 70

Quick. Peace, I pray you.

Caius. Peace-a your tongue. Speak-a your tale.

Sim. To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page for my master in the way of marriage. 75

Quick. This is all, indeed, la! but I'll ne'er put my finger in the fire, and need not.

Caius. Sir Hugh send-a you? Rugby, baille me some paper. Tarry you a little-a while. [Writes.

Quick. [Aside to Simple] I am glad he is so quiet: 80 if he had been throughly 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; 85 and I wash, wring, brew, bake, scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds, and do all myself,—

Sim. [Aside to Quickly] 'Tis a great charge to come under one body's hand.

Quick. [Aside to Simple] Are you avised o' that? you 90 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. 95

Caius. You jack'nape, give-a this letter to Sir Hugh; by gar, it is a shallenge: I will cut his troat in de 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 100 have a stone to throw at his dog. [Exit Simple.

Quick. Alas, he speaks but for his friend.

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 105 Jarteer to measure our weapon:—By gar, I will myself have Anne Page.

Quick. Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. We must give folks leave to prate: what, the good-jer!

Caius. Rugby, come to the court with me. By gar, if 110 I have not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my door. Follow my heels, Rugby. [Exeunt Caius and Rugby.

Quick. 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 115 do more than I do with her, I thank heaven.

Fent. [Within] Who's within there? ho!

Quick. Who's there, I trow? Come near the house, I pray you.


Fent. How now, good woman! how dost thou? 120

Quick. The better that it pleases your good worship to ask.

Fen. What news? how does pretty Mistress Anne?

Quick. In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you that by 125 the way; I praise heaven for it.

Fent. Shall I do any good, thinkest thou? shall I not lose my suit?

Quick. Troth, sir, all is in his hands above: but notwithstanding, Master Fenton, I'll be sworn on a book, she 130 loves you. Have not your worship a wart above your eye?

Fent. Yes, marry, have I; what of that?

Quick. 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 135 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.

Fent. Well, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there's money for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: 140 if thou seest her before me, commend me.

Quick. 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.

Fent. Well, farewell; I am in great haste now. 145

Quick. 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? [Exit.


SCENE IV.] SCENE IX. Pope. 4: an] om. Pope. 19: wee] whey Capell. 20: Cain] F3 F4. Kane (Q1 Q2). Caine F1 Q3 F2. cane Pope. 31: [Exit. Grant White. 34: [Shuts S. in the closet] Rowe. 38: SCENE X. Pope. des toys] F3 F4. des-toyes F1 Q3 F2. dese toys Theobald. 39: un boitier] Rowe. unboyteene F1 F2 Q3. unboyteen F3 F4. 44, 45: ma foi ... affaire] Rowe. mai (moi F2 F3 F4) foy, il fait for chando, Ie man voi a le Court la grand affaires. Ff Q3. 47: depeche] de-peech Ff Q3. 51: Jack Rugby] Jack Rogoby Halliwell. 52: take-a] take Q3. 56: vill] will F2 F3 F4. 60: villain] Q3. villainie Ff. 61: larron] La-roone Ff Q3. [Pulling S. out] Theobald. 63, 66: shall] F1 Q3. should F2 F3 F4. 78: baille] ballow Ff Q3. baillez Theobald. 83: you] yoe F1 Q3. for F2 F3 F4. om. Capell. 84: the French] Ff. that French Q3. 86: wring] ring Ff Q3. 96: give-a] F1 Q3. givie-a F2 F3 F4. 97, 98, 100: will] vill Pope. 101: throw] F1 Q3. trow F2 F3 F4. 103: ver] Ff Q3. for Capell. 106: Jarteer] F1 Q3 F2 F3. Garter F4. 109: good-jer] goujeres Hanmer. goujere Johnson. good year Capell. 120: SCENE XI. Pope. 131: above] about Steevens. 132: what of that?] and what of that? Pope. 142: we will] I will Halliwell MS.


SCENE I. Before PAGE'S house.

Enter MISTRESS PAGE, with a letter.

[Transcriber's Note: In order to preserve the marked line breaks without losing readability, each line of the quoted letter has been split into two equal halves.]

Mrs 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. [Reads:

'Ask me no reason why I love you; for though Love use Reason for his physician, he admits him not for his counsellor. You are 5 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; 10 but I say, love me. By me,

Thine own true knight, By day or night, Or any kind of light, With all his might 15 For thee to fight, JOHN FALSTAFF.'

What a Herod of Jewry is this! O wicked, wicked world! One that is well-nigh worn to pieces with age to show himself a young gallant! What an unweighed behaviour hath this Flemish drunkard picked—with the devil's name!—out 20 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 25 on him? for revenged I will be, as sure as his guts are made of puddings.


Mrs Ford. Mistress Page! trust me, I was going to your house.

Mrs Page. And, trust me, I was coming to you. You 30 look very ill.

Mrs Ford. Nay, I'll ne'er believe that; I have to show to the contrary.

Mrs Page. Faith, but you do, in my mind.

Mrs Ford. Well, I do, then; yet, I say, I could show 35 you to the contrary. O Mistress Page, give me some counsel!

Mrs Page. What's the matter, woman?

Mrs Ford. O woman, if it were not for one trifling respect, I could come to such honour! 40

Mrs Page. Hang the trifle, woman! take the honour. What is it?—dispense with trifles;—what is it?

Mrs Ford. If I would but go to hell for an eternal moment or so, I could be knighted.

Mrs Page. What? thou liest! Sir Alice Ford! These 45 knights will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the article of thy gentry.

Mrs 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 50 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 55 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 60 grease. Did you ever hear the like?

Mrs 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. 65 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 70 Mount Pelion. Well, I will find you twenty lascivious turtles ere one chaste man.

Mrs Ford. Why, this is the very same; the very hand, the very words. What doth he think of us?

Mrs Page. Nay, I know not: it makes me almost 75 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.

Mrs Ford. 'Boarding,' call you it? I'll be sure to keep 80 him above deck.

Mrs 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 85 pawned his horses to mine host of the Garter.

Mrs 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. 90

Mrs 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.

Mrs Ford. You are the happier woman. 95

Mrs 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.

Pist. Hope is a curtal dog in some affairs: Sir John affects thy wife. 100

Ford. Why, sir, my wife is not young.

Pist. 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! 105

Pist. 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?

Pist. The horn, I say. Farewell. 110 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. [Exit.

Ford. [Aside] I will be patient; I will find out this. 115

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 120 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. [Exit.

Page. 'The humour of it,' quoth 'a! here's a fellow 125 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 130 priest o' the town commended him for a true man.

Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow:—well.

Page. How now, Meg!

[Mrs Page and Mrs Ford come forward.

Mrs Page. Whither go you, George? Hark you.

Mrs Ford. How now, sweet Frank! why art thou melancholy? 135

Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy. Get you home, go.

Mrs Ford. Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head. Now, will you go, Mistress Page? 140

Mrs Page. Have with you. You'll come to dinner, George? [Aside to Mrs Ford] Look who comes yonder: she shall be our messenger to this paltry knight.

Mrs Ford. [Aside to Mrs Page] Trust me, I thought on her: she'll fit it. 145


Mrs Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne?

Quick. Ay, forsooth; and, I pray, how does good Mistress Anne?

Mrs Page. Go in with us and see: we have an hour's talk with you. 150

[Exeunt Mrs Page, Mrs Ford, and Mrs Quickly.

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 155 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. 160

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 toward my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lie on my 165 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. 170

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. 175 Cavaleiro-justice, I say!


Shal. 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. 180

Shal. 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?

Shal. [To Page] Will you go with us to behold it? My 185 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 guest-cavaleire? 190

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 195 regress;—said I well?—and thy name shall be Brook. It is a merry knight. Will you go, An-heires?

Shal. Have with you, mine host.

Page. I have heard the Frenchman hath good skill in his rapier. 200

Shal. 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. 205

Host. Here, boys, here, here! shall we wag?

Page. Have with you. I had rather hear them scold than fight. [Exeunt Host, Shal., and Page.

Ford. Though Page be a secure fool, and stands so firmly on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my opinion 210 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. [Exit. 215


1: I] om. F1. 5: physician] Dyce (Johnson conj.). precisian Ff Q3. See note (V). 8: you] F1 F3 F4. yout Q3. your F2. 9: at the least] at the last F4. soldier] F1 Q3 F2. a soldier F3 F4. 19: an] om. F3 F4. 20: with the] i' th'] F3 F4. 25: putting] pulling Jackson conj. men] fat men Theobald. mum Hanmer. 28: SCENE II. Pope. 30: coming] going Q3. 45: What? thou liest!] What thou liest? F1 Q3 F2 F3. What, thou liest! F4. 46: will hack] will lack Warburton. we'll hack Johnson conj. 51: praised] Theobald. praise Ff Q3. 55: place] pace Capell conj. 55, 56: Hundredth Psalm] Rowe. hundred Psalms Ff Q3. 57: tuns] Ff Q3. tun Rowe. tons Dyce. 67: sure] F1 Q3. sue F2 F3 F4. nay Rowe. 78: know] knew F4. strain] stain Pope. 97: [They retire] Theobald. 98: SCENE III. Pope. 102-104: Printed as prose in Ff Q3. 103: one] and one F4. 104: the] F1 Q3. thy F2 F3 F4. a Anon. (N. & Q.) conj. 107: he] om. F3 F4. 113, 114: Away ... sense] Away Sir Corporal! Nym. Believe ... sense. Johnson conj. 117: hath] have Q3. 119: bite ... He] biteupon my necessity, he Warburton conj. 121: avouch; 'tis] F1 Q3 F2. avouch, tis F3 F4. 123: [and there's the humour of it] These words, not found in Ff Q3 are added from Q1 Q2 by Capell. 126: English] humour Pope (from Q1 Q2). his] its Pope. 128: drawling, affecting] F2 F3 F4. drawling-affecting F1 Q3. 133: [Mrs ... forward.] Theobald. SCENE IV. Page and Ford meeting their wives. Pope. 140: head. Now,] head, Now: F1. head, Now, Q3. head. Now: F2 F3 F4. head now. Johnson. 149: have] would have S. Walker conj. 151: SCENE V. Pope. 163: this] his Pope. 175: SCENE VI. Pope. 176, 180: Cavaleiro] F1 Q3 F2. Cavalerio F3 F4. 184: my] om. Rowe 186: hath] om. Q3. he hath Warburton. 192-194: This speech is given to Shallow in Ff, to Ford in Q3. 194, 196: Brook] (Q1 Q2) Pope. Broome Ff Q3. See note (VI). 197: An-heires] F1 Q3 F2. An-heirs F3. an-heirs F4. mynheers Theobald conj. on, here Id. conj. on, heris Warburton. on, hearts Heath conj. on, heroes Steevens conj. and hear us Malone conj. cavaleires Singer (Boaden conj.). eh, sir Becket conj. 207: hear] have Hanmer. 209: stands] stand F4. 210: frailty] fealty Theobald. fidelity Collier MS.

SCENE II. A room in the Garter Inn.


Fal. I will not lend thee a penny.

Pist. Why, then the world's mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.

Fal. Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you should lay my countenance to pawn: I have grated upon 5 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 10 her fan, I took't upon mine honour thou hadst it not.

Pist. Didst not thou share? hadst thou not fifteen pence?

Fal. Reason, you rogue, reason: thinkest thou I'll endanger my soul gratis? At a word, hang no more about 15 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 20 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 25 your honour! You will not do it, you!

Pist. I do relent: what would thou more of man?

Enter ROBIN.

Rob. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you.

Fal. Let her approach.


Quick. Give your worship good morrow. 30

Fal. Good morrow, good wife.

Quick. Not so, an't please your worship.

Fal. Good maid, then.

Quick. I'll be sworn; As my mother was, the first hour I was born. 35

Fal. I do believe the swearer. What with me?

Quick. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?

Fal. Two thousand, fair woman: and I'll vouchsafe thee the hearing.

Quick. There is one Mistress Ford, sir:—I pray, come 40 a little nearer this ways:—I myself dwell with Master Doctor Caius,—

Fal. Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say,—

Quick. Your worship says very true:—I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways. 45

Fal. I warrant thee, nobody hears;—mine own people, mine own people.

Quick. Are they so? God bless them, and make them his servants!

Fal. Well, Mistress Ford;—what of her? 50

Quick. Why, sir, she's a good creature. —Lord, Lord! your worship's a wanton! Well, heaven forgive you and all of us, I pray!

Fal. Mistress Ford;—come, Mistress Ford,—

Quick. Marry, this is the short and the long of it; you 55 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, 60 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 65 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; 70 but, I warrant you, all is one with her.

Fal. But what says she to me? be brief, my good she-Mercury.

Quick. Marry, she hath received your letter; for the which she thanks you a thousand times; and she gives you 75 to notify, that her husband will be absence from his house between ten and eleven.

Fal. Ten and eleven.

Quick. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the picture, she says, that you wot of: Master Ford, her 80 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.

Fal. Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her; I will not fail her. 85

Quick. 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 90 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. 95

Fal. Not I, I assure thee: setting the attraction of my good parts aside, I have no other charms.

Quick. Blessing on your heart for't!

Fal. But, I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford's wife and Page's wife acquainted each other how they love me? 100

Quick. 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. 105 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 110 remedy.

Fal. Why, I will.

Quick. 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 115 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.

Fal. Fare thee well: commend me to them both: there's my purse; I am yet thy debtor. Boy, go along 120 with this woman. [Exeunt Mistress Quickly and Robin.] This news distracts me!

Pist. 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! [Exit. 125

Fal. 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. 130


Bard. 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.

Fal. Brook is his name?

Bard. Ay, sir. 135

Fal. Call him in. [Exit Bardolph.] Such Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow such liquor. Ah, ha! Mistress Ford and Mistress Page have I encompassed you? go to; via!

Re-enter BARDOLPH, with FORD disguised.

Ford. Bless you, sir!

Fal. And you, sir! Would you speak with me? 140

Ford. I make bold to press with so little preparation upon you.

Fal. You're welcome. What's your will?—Give us leave, drawer. [Exit Bardolph.

Ford. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much; 145 my name is Brook.

Fal. 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 150 plight for a lender than you are: the which hath something emboldened me to this unseasoned intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all ways do lie open.

Fal. Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on.

Ford. Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles 155 me: if you will help to bear it, Sir John, take all, or half, for easing me of the carriage.

Fal. 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. 160

Fal. 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 165 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 170 yourself know how easy it is to be such an offender.

Fal. Very well, sir; proceed.

Ford. There is a gentlewoman in this town; her husband's name is Ford.

Fal. Well, sir. 175

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 180 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 185 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.'

Fal. Have you received no promise of satisfaction at 190 her hands?

Ford. Never.

Fal. Have you importuned her to such a purpose?

Ford. Never.

Fal. Of what quality was your love, then? 195

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.

Fal. To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?

Ford. When I have told you that, I have told you all. 200 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 205 in your place and person, generally allowed for your many war-like, court-like, and learned preparations.

Fal. O, sir!

Ford. Believe it, for you know it. There is money; spend it, spend it; spend more; spend all I have; only 210 give me so much of your time in exchange of it, as to lay an amiable siege to the honesty of this Ford's wife: use your art of wooing; win her to consent to you: if any man may, you may as soon as any.

Fal. Would it apply well to the vehemency of your 215 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 220 against. Now, could I 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 225 embattled against me. What say you to't, Sir John?

Fal. 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! 230

Fal. I say you shall.

Ford. Want no money, Sir John; you shall want none.

Fal. 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, 235 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 240 Ford, sir?

Fal. 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-favoured. I will use her as the key of the 245 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.

Fal. Hang him, mechanical salt-butter rogue! I will stare him out of his wits; I will awe him with my cudgel: 250 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 255 cuckold. Come to me soon at night. [Exit.

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 260 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 265 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, 270 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 275 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! [Exit. 280


SCENE II.] SCENE VII. Pope. 3: open] open. —I will retort the sum in equipage. Theobald (from Q1 Q2). open. — ... equipoize Jackson conj. 6: coach-fellow] couch-fellow Theobald. 12: Didst not thou] F1 Q3 F2. Didst thou not F3 F4. 17: throng] (Q1 Q2) Ff Q3. thong Pope. 20: terms] termes F1 Q3. terme F2. term F3 F4. honour] hononor F1. I, I, I] I Pope. I, ay, I Grant White. 21: God] (Q1 Q2). heaven Ff Q3. 23: yet you, rogue,] Pope. yet, you rogue, Ff Q3. yet you, you rogue, Collier MS. 24: rags] rages Becket conj. brags Singer (Anon., N. & Q., conj.). 25: bold-beating] bull-baiting Hanmer. bold-bearing Warburton. bold cheating Heath conj. blunderbust Halliwell MS. 27: relent] Ff Q3. recant (Q1 Q3). would thou] would'st thou Pope. would you Anon. conj. 30: SCENE VIII. Pope. 43: on: Mistress] one Mistress Grant White (Douce conj.). 48: God] (Q1 Q2). Heaven Ff Q3. 63: in] om. Hanmer. 66: this] of a Collier MS. 104: loves] love Rowe. 110: she is one] truly she is one Rowe. 116: need] heede Q3. 123: punk] pink Warburton. 124: your fights] yond' frigat Hanmer (Warburton conj.). 125: them all] all Q3. [Exit] Rowe. 131: SCENE IX. Pope. 131, 136: Brook, Brooks] Pope (from Q1 Q2). Broome, Broomes Ff Q3, and passim. See note (VI). 137: that o'erflow] Capell. that oreflows Ff. that that ore' flowes Q3. that o'erflow with Pope. 139: Bless] F4. 'Bless F1 Q3 F2 F3. God save (Q1 Q2). 156: all, or half] half, or all Collier MS. 167: imperfection] imperfections Pope. 178: fee'd] free'd Q3. 180: bought] brought Q3. 185: jewel that] F4. jewel, that F1 Q3 F2 F3. jewel; that Theobald. that] om. Rowe. 215: vehemency] vehemence F4. 219: soul] suit Collier MS. 225: other her] other Pope. too, too] too-too Ff Q3. too Rowe. 231: I say you shall] Master Brooke, I say you shall (Q1 Q2) Theobald. 242: cuckoldly] cuckoldy Rowe. 246: cuckoldly rogue's] F1 Q3. cuckold-rogue's F2 F3 F4. 257: SCENE X. Pope. 261: false] fair Q3. 263: this wrong] the wrong Pope. 267: Wittol!—Cuckold] Wittoll, Cuckold Ff Q3. wittol-cuckold Malone. 276: God] (Q1 Q2). Heaven Ff Q3.

SCENE III. A field near Windsor.

Enter CAIUS and RUGBY.

Caius. Jack Rugby!

Rug. Sir?

Caius. Vat is de clock, Jack?

Rug. Tis past the hour, sir, that Sir Hugh promised to meet. 5

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.

Rug. He is wise, sir; he knew your worship would kill him, if he came. 10

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.

Rug. Alas, sir, I cannot fence.

Caius. Villainy, take your rapier. 15

Rug. Forbear; here's company.


Host. Bless thee, bully doctor!

Shal. Save you, Master Doctor Caius!

Page. Now, good master doctor!

Slen. Give you good morrow, sir. 20

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? 25 ha, bully! What says my AEsculapius? my Galen? my heart of elder? ha! is he dead, bully-stale? is he dead?

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 30 Greece, my boy!

Caius. I pray you, bear vitness that me have stay six or seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come.

Shal. He is the wiser man, master doctor: he is a curer of souls, and you a curer of bodies; if you should 35 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.

Shal. Bodykins, Master Page, though I now be old, 40 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. 45

Shal. 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 shewed yourself a wise physician, and Sir Hugh hath shewn himself a wise and patient churchman. You must go with me, master doctor. 50

Host. Pardon, guest-justice. —A word, Mounseur Mock-water.

Caius. Mock-vater! vat is dat?

Host. Mock-water, in our English tongue, is valour, bully. 55

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.

Caius. Clapper-de-claw! vat is dat? 60

Host. That is, he will make thee amends.

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.

Caius. Me tank you for dat. 65

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 70 I will bring the doctor about by the fields. Will it do well?

Shal. We will do it.

Page, Shal., and Slen. Adieu, good master doctor.

[Exeunt Page, Shal., and Slen.

Caius. By gar, me vill kill de priest; for he speak for a 75 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 80 I aim? said I well?

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 85 Anne Page. Said I well?

Caius. By gar, 'tis good; vell said.

Host. Let us wag, then.

Caius. Come at my heels, Jack Rugby. [Exeunt.


SCENE III.] SCENE XI. Pope. 3: de] F3 F4. the F1 Q3 F2. 11: is no dead so as I vill kill him] Ff Q3. is not so dead as me vill make him Pope. be not so dead as I shall make him (Q1 Q2). 21: tree] trees F4. 25: Francisco] Franceyes (Q1 Q2) Warburton. 26: Galen] Gallon (Q1 Q2). Galien F1 F2. Gallen Q3 F3 F4. 29: vorld] varld Hanmer. 30: Castalion] Castallian (Q1 Q2). Cardalion Hanmer. Castillian Capell. 41: the] F1 Q3. om. F2 F3 F4. 51: A word] Theobald (from Q1 Q2). A Ff Q3. Ah Hanmer. 51, 54: Mock-water] Muck-water Malone (Farmer conj.). 71: by] om. F3 F4. 80: Cried I aim?] Dyce (Douce conj.). Cried game (Q1 Q2). Cride-game Ff Q3. Try'd game Theobald. Cock o' th' game Hanmer. Cry aim Warburton. and cry 'amie' Becket conj. Dry'd game Jackson conj. Curds and cream Collier MS. 89: This line given to Host in F3 F4.


SCENE I. A field near Frogmore.


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?

Sim. Marry, sir, the pittie-ward, the park-ward, every 5 way; old Windsor way, and every way but the town way.

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

Sim. I will, sir. [Exit.

Evans. Pless my soul, how full of chollors I am, and 10 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 goot opportunities for the ork. —Pless my soul!— [Sings.

To shallow rivers, to whose falls 15 Melodious birds sings madrigals; There will we make our peds of roses, And a thousand fragrant posies. To shallow—

Mercy on me! I have a great dispositions to cry. [Sings. 20

Melodious birds sing madrigals— Whenas I sat in Pabylon— And a thousand vagram posies. To shallow &c.

Re-enter SIMPLE.

Sim. Yonder he is coming, this way, Sir Hugh. 25

Evans. He's welcome. — [Sings.

To shallow rivers, to whose falls—

Heaven prosper the right!—What weapons is he?

Sim. No weapons, sir. There comes my master, Master Shallow, and another gentleman, from Frogmore, 30 over the stile, this way.

Evans. Pray you, give me my gown; or else keep it in your arms.


Shal. How now, master parson! Good morrow, good Sir Hugh. Keep a gamester from the dice, and a good 35 student from his book, and it is wonderful.

Slen. [Aside] Ah, sweet Anne Page!

Page. Save you, good Sir Hugh!

Evans. Pless you from his mercy sake, all of you!

Shal. What, the sword and the word! do you study 40 them both, master parson?

Page. And youthful still! in your doublet and hose this raw rheumatic day!

Evans. There is reasons and causes for it.

Page. We are come to you to do a good office, master 45 parson.

Evans. Fery well: what is it?

Page. Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, who, belike having received wrong by some person, is at most odds with his own gravity and patience that ever you saw. 50

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

Evans. What is he?

Page. I think you know him; Master Doctor Caius, 55 the renowned French physician.

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

Page. Why?

Evans. He has no more knowledge in Hibocrates and 60 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.

Slen. [Aside] O sweet Anne Page! 65

Shal. It appears so, by his weapons. Keep them asunder: here comes Doctor Caius.


Page. Nay, good master parson, keep in your weapon.

Shal. So do you, good master doctor.

Host. Disarm them, and let them question: let them 70 keep their limbs whole, and hack our English.

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

Evans. [Aside to Caius] Pray you, use your patience: in good time. 75

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

Evans. [Aside to Caius] Pray you, let us not be laughing-stocks to other men's humours; I desire you in friendship, and I will one way or other make you amends. 80 [Aloud] I will knog your urinals about your knave's cogscomb [for missing your meetings and appointments].

Caius. Diable!—Jack Rugby,—mine host de Jarteer,—have I not stay for him to kill him? have I not, at de place I did appoint? 85

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! 90

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 95 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 100 swords to pawn. Follow me, lads of peace; follow, follow, follow.

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

Slen. [Aside] O sweet Anne Page!

[Exeunt Shal., Slen., Page, and Host. 105

Caius. Ha, do I perceive dat? have you make-a de sot of us, ha, ha?

Evans. This is well; he has made us his vlouting-stog. —I desire you that we may be friends; and let us knog our prains together to be revenge on this same scall, scurvy, 110 cogging companion, the host of the Garter.

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

Evans. Well, I will smite his noddles. Pray you, follow. [Exeunt. 115


5: pittie-ward] F1 Q3. pitty-wary F2 F3 F4. city-ward Capell. pit way Collier MS. the park-ward] the park way Collier MS. 7: also] om. Q3. 10: chollors] F1 Q3 F2. chollars F3 F4. 14: sings] Ff. sing Q3. 15, 19, 24, 27: To shallow] (Q1 Q2) Ff Q3. By shallow Theobald. 18: fragrant] (Q1 Q2) Ff. vagram Q3. vragrant Hanmer. vagrant Johnson. 20: dispositions] F1 Q3. disposition F2 F3 F4. 21: madrigals] madrigall F2 F3 F4. 23: vagram] Ff Q3. vagrant Pope. vragant Hanmer. vagrant Johnson. 27: to whose] in whose Q3. 34: SCENE II. Pope. 36: student] F3 F4. studient F1 Q3 F2. 37, 65, 105: [Aside] Edd. 62: desires] F1 Q3. desire F2 F3 F4. 66: SCENE III. Pope. 68: in] om. Q3. 74: [Aside...] Edd. See note (VII). 78: [Aside...] Staunton. Pray you] I pray you Q3. laughing-stocks] laughing stogs J. rec. Edd. 81: [Aloud] Staunton. your] your your F4. you your Rowe. urinals] (Q1 Q2) Capell. urinal] Ff Q3. 82: [for ... appointments] Pope (from Q1 Q2). om. Ff Q3. 89: Gallia and Gaul] F3 F4. Gallia and Gaule F1 Q3 F2. Gawle and Gawlia (Q1 Q2). Gallia and Wallia Halliwell MS. Hanmer. Guallia and Gaul Malone (Farmer conj.). Gallia and Guallia Collier (Farmer MS. conj.). 95: lose my parson, my priest] lose my Priest Pope. 96: [Give me thy hand, terrestrial; so] Theobald (from Q1 Q2). om. Ff Q3. Give me thy hands, celestial and terrestrial; so. Collier MS. 101: lads] (Q1 Q2) Warburton. lad Ff Q3. 108: vlouting-stog] vlouting-stock Pope. 110: scall] scald Pope. Scal' Capell. 112: with] vith Hanmer. vit rec. Capell. 113: where] vhere Pope. ver Hanmer. vere rec. Capell.

SCENE II. The street, in Windsor.


Mrs 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?

Rob. I had rather, forsooth, go before you like a man than follow him like a dwarf. 5

Mrs 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?

Mrs Page. Truly, sir, to see your wife. Is she at home?

Ford. Ay; and as idle as she may hang together, for 10 want of company. I think, if your husbands were dead, you two would marry.

Mrs Page. Be sure of that,—two other husbands.

Ford. Where had you this pretty weathercock?

Mrs Page. I cannot tell what the dickens his name is 15 husband had him of. —What do you call your knight's name, sirrah?

Rob. Sir John Falstaff.

Ford. Sir John Falstaff!

Mrs Page. He, he; I can never hit on's name. There 20 is such a league between my good man and he!—Is your wife at home indeed?

Ford. Indeed she is.

Mrs Page. By your leave, sir: I am sick till I see her.

[Exeunt Mrs Page and Robin.

Ford. Has Page any brains? hath he any eyes? hath 25 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 30 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 35 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 40 earth is firm that Falstaff is there: I will go.


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

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

Shal. I must excuse myself, Master Ford. 45

Slen. 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.

Shal. We have lingered about a match between Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have 50 our answer.

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

Page. You have, Master Slender; I stand wholly for you:—but my wife, master doctor, is for you altogether.

Caius. Ay, be-gar; and de maid is love-a me: my 55 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. 60

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 65 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; 70 so shall you, Master Page; and you, Sir Hugh.

Shal. Well, fare you well: we shall have the freer wooing at Master Page's. [Exeunt Shal. and Slen.

Caius. Go home, John Rugby; I come anon.

[Exit Rugby.

Host. Farewell, my hearts: I will to my honest knight 75 Falstaff, and drink canary with him. [Exit.

Ford. [Aside] I think I shall drink in pipe-wine first with him; I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles?

All. Have with you to see this monster. [Exeunt.


SCENE II.] SCENE IV. Pope. 11: company] your company Collier MS. 19: Ford. Sir John Falstaff!] omitted in F3 F4 and Rowe. 20: on's] on his Rowe. 25: SCENE V. Pope. 37: [Clock heard] Capell. 39: search: there] search where Collier MS. 42: SCENE VI. Pope. 46-48: Printed as verse in Ff Q3 and Rowe. 47: her] here F2. 59: April] all April (Q1 Q2). 60: buttons] betmes (Q1 Q2). destiny Anon. conj. 63: Poins] Poyntz F1 Q3 F2. Poinz F3 F4.

SCENE III. A room in FORD'S house.


Mrs Ford. What, John! What, Robert!

Mrs Page. Quickly, quickly!—is the buck-basket—

Mrs Ford. I warrant. What, Robin, I say!

Enter Servants with a basket.

Mrs Page. Come, come, come.

Mrs Ford. Here, set it down. 5

Mrs Page. Give your men the charge; we must be brief.

Mrs 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: 10 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.

Mrs Page. You will do it?

Mrs Ford. I ha' told them over and over; they lack 15 no direction. Be gone, and come when you are called.

[Exeunt Servants.

Mrs Page. Here comes little Robin.

Enter ROBIN.

Mrs Ford. How now, my eyas-musket! what news with you?

Rob. My master, Sir John, is come in at your back-door, 20 Mistress Ford, and requests your company.

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