Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merry Wives of Windsor (Quarto 1, 1602)

Enter misteris Ford and her two men.
1899.1Mis. For. Do you heare? when your M. comes
take vp this basket as you did before, and if your M.
bid you set it downe, obey him.
Ser. I will forsooth.
Enter Syr Iohn.
Mis. For. Syr Iohn welcome.
1905Fal. What are you sure of your husband now?
Mis. For. He is gone a birding sir Iohn, and I hope
1907.1will not come home yet.
Enter mistresse Page.
Gods body here is misteris Page,
Step behind the arras good sir Iohn.
He steps behind the arras.
Mis. Pa. Misteris Ford, why woman your husband
is in his old vaine againe, hees comming to search
for your sweet heart, but I am glad he is not here.
1935Mis. For. O God misteris Page the knight is here,
1935.1What shall I do?
Mis. Pa. Why then you'r vndone woman, vnles
you make some meanes to shift him away.
Mis. For. Alas I know no meanes, vnlesse
1940we put him in the basket againe.
Fal. No Ile come no more in the basket,
Ile creep vp into the chimney.
Mis. For. There they vse to discharge their Fow-
Fal. Why then Ile goe out of doores.
1956.1Mi.Pa. Then your vndone, your but a dead man.
Fal. For Gods sake deuise any extremitie,
Rather then a mischiefe.
1964.1Mis. Pa. Alas I know not what meanes to make,
1960If there were any womans apparell would fit him,
He might put on a gowne and a mufler,
And so escape.
1962.1Mi. For. Thats wel remembred, my maids Aunt
1965Gillian of Brainford, hath a gowne aboue.
Mis. Pa. And she is altogether as fat as he.
Mis. For. I that will serue him of my word.
Mis. Pa. Come goe with me sir Iohn, Ile helpe to
dresse you.
1972.1Fal. Come for God sake, any thing.
Exit Mis. Page, & Sir Iohn.
Enter M. Ford, Page, Priest, Shallow, the two men
carries the basket, and Ford meets it.
1972.5For. Come along I pray, you shal know the cause,
How now whither goe you? Ha whither go you?
Set downe the basket you ssaue,
You panderly rogue set it downe.
2006.1Mis. For. What is the reason that you vse me
For. Come hither set downe the basket,
Misteris Ford the modest woman,
Misteris Ford the vertuous woman,
She that hath the iealous foole to her husband,
I mistrust you without cause do I not?
Mis. For. I Gods my record do you. And if
you mistrust me in any ill sort.
Ford. Well sed brazen face, hold it out,
2021.1You youth in a basket, come out here,
Pull out the cloathes, search.
Hu. Ieshu plesse me, will you pull vp your wiues
2026.1Pa. Fie M. Ford you are not to go abroad if you
be in these fits.
Sir Hu. By so kad vdge me, tis verie necessarie
He were put in pethlem.
2030For. M. Page, as I am an honest man M. Page,
2030There was one conueyd out of my house here ye-
sterday out of this basket, why may he not be here
2050Mi. For. Come mistris Page, bring the old womã
For. Old woman, what old woman?
Mi.For. Why my maidens Ant, Gilleã of Brainford.
2055A witch, haue I not forewarned her my house,
Alas we are simple we, we know not what
Is brought to passe vnder the colour of fortune-
Telling. Come downe you witch, come downe.
Enter Falstaffe disguised like an old woman, and mi-
steris Page with him, Ford beates him, and hee
runnes away.
Away you witch get you gone.
2075Sir Hu. By Ieshu I verily thinke she is a witch
I espied vnder her mufler a great beard.
2076.1Ford. Pray come helpe me to search, pray now.
Pa. Come weele go for his minds sake.
Exit omnes.
Mi. For. By my troth he beat him most extreamly.
2083.1Mi. Pa. I am glad of it, what shall we proceed any
2095Mi. For. No faith, now if you will let vs tell our
2095.1husbands of it. For mine I am sure hath almost fret-
ted himselfe to death.
Mi. Pa. Content, come weele goe tell them all,
And as they agree, so will we proceed.
Exit both.