Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merry Wives of Windsor (Quarto 1, 1602)

Enter Ford, Page, their wiues, Shallow, and Slen-
der. Syr Hu.
2122.1Ford. Well wife, heere take my hand, vpon my
soule I loue thee dearer then I do my life, and ioy I
hnue so true and constant wife, my iealousie shall
neuer more offend thee.
2122.5Mi. For. Sir I am glad, & that which I haue done,
Was nothing else but mirth and modestie.
Pa. I misteris Ford, Falstaffe hath all the griefe,
And in this knauerie my wife was the chiefe.
Mi. Pa. No knauery husband, it was honest mirth.
2122.10Hu. Indeed it was good pastimes & merriments.
Mis. For. But sweete heart shall wee leaue olde
Falstaffe so?
Mis.Pa. O by no meanes, send to him againe.
Pa. I do not thinke heele come being so much
For. Let me alone, Ile to him once againe like
Brooke, and know his mind whether heele come
Pa. There must be some plot laide, or heele not
Mis. Pa. Let vs alone for that. Heare my deuice.
2150Oft haue you heard since Horne the hunter dyed,
2150.1That women to affright their litle children,
Ses that he walkes in shape of a great stagge.
Now for that Falstaffe hath bene so deceiued,
As that he dares not venture to the house,
2150.5Weele send him word to meet vs in the field,
Disguised like Horne, with huge horns on his head,
The houre shalbe iust betweene twelue and one,
And at that time we will meet him both:
Then would I haue you present there at hand,
With litle boyes disguised and dressed like Fayries,
2172.1For to affright fat Falstaffe in the woods.
And then to make a period to the Iest,
Tell Falstaffe all, I thinke this will do best.
2170Pa. Tis excellent, and my daughter Anne,
2170.1Shall like a litle Fayrie be disguised.
Mis. Pa. And in that Maske Ile make the Doctor
steale my daughter An, & ere my husband knowes
it, to carrie her to Church, and marrie her.
2170.5Mis. For. But who will buy the silkes to tyre the
Pa. That will I do, and in a robe of white
2200Ile cloath my daughter, and aduertife Slender
To know her by that signe, and steale her thence,
2201.1And vnknowne to my wife, shall marrie her.
Hu. So kad vdge me the deuises is excellent.
I will also be there, and be like a Iackanapes,
2192.1And pinch him most cruelly for his lecheries.
Mis. Pa. Why then we are reuenged sufficiently.
First he was carried and throwne in the Thames,
Next beaten well, I am sure youle witnes that.
2192.5Mi. For. Ile lay my life this makes him nothing fat.
Pa. Well lets about this stratagem, I long
To see deceit deceiued, and wrong haue wrong.
For, Well send to Falstaffe, and if he come thither,
Twill make vs smile and laugh one moneth togi-
Exit omnes.