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  • Title: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folio 1, 1623)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folio 1, 1623)

    Merry Wiues of Windsor.

    1Actus primus, Scena prima.

    Enter Iustice Shallow, Slender, Sir Hugh Euans, Master
    Page, Falstoffe, Bardolph, Nym, Pistoll, Anne Page,
    Mistresse Ford, Mistresse Page, Simple.

    SIr Hugh, perswade me not: I will make a Star-
    Chamber matter of it, if hee were twenty Sir
    Iohn Falstoffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow
    10Slen. In the County of Glocester, Iustice of Peace and (Coram.
    Shal. I (Cosen Slender) and Cust-alorum.
    Slen. I, and Rato lorum too; and a Gentleman borne
    (Master Parson) who writes himselfe Armigero, in any
    Bill, Warrant, Quittance, or Obligation, Armigero.
    15Shal. I that I doe, and haue done any time these three
    hundred yeeres.
    Slen. All his successors (gone before him) hath don't:
    and all his Ancestors (that come after him) may: they
    may giue the dozen white Luces in their Coate.
    20Shal. It is an olde Coate.
    Euans. The dozen white Lowses doe become an old
    Coat well: it agrees well passant: It is a familiar beast to
    man, and signifies Loue.
    Shal. The Luse is the fresh-fish, the salt-fish, is an old
    Slen. I may quarter (Coz).
    Shal. You may, by marrying.
    Euans. It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.
    Shal. Not a whit.
    30Euan. Yes per-lady: if he ha's a quarter of your coat,
    there is but three Skirts for your selfe, in my simple con-
    iectures; but that is all one: if Sir Iohn Falstaffe haue
    committed disparagements vnto you, I am of the Church
    and will be glad to do my beneuolence, to make attone-
    35ments and compremises betweene you.
    Shal. The Councell shall heare it, it is a Riot.
    Euan. It is not meet the Councell heare a Riot: there
    is no feare of Got in a Riot: The Councell (looke you)
    shall desire to heare the feare of Got, and not to heare a
    40Riot: take your viza-ments in that.
    Shal. Ha; o'my life, if I were yong againe, the sword
    should end it.
    Euans. It is petter that friends is the sword, and end
    it: and there is also another deuice in my praine, which
    45peraduenture prings goot discretions with it. There is
    Anne Page, which is daughter to Master Thomas Page,
    which is pretty virginity.
    Slen. Mistris Anne Page? she has browne haire, and
    speakes small like a woman.
    50Euans. It is that ferry person for all the orld, as iust as
    you will desire, and seuen hundred pounds of Moneyes,
    and Gold, and Siluer, is her Grand-sire vpon his deaths-
    bed, (Got deliuer to a ioyfull resurrections) giue, when
    she is able to ouertake seuenteene yeeres old. It were a
    55goot motion, if we leaue our pribbles and prabbles, and
    desire a marriage betweene Master Abraham, and Mistris
    Anne Page.
    Slen. Did her Grand-sire leaue her seauen hundred
    60Euan. I, and her father is make her a petter penny.
    Slen. I know the young Gentlewoman, she has good
    Euan. Seuen hundred pounds, and possibilities, is
    goot gifts.
    65Shal. Wel, let vs see honest Mr Page: is Falstaffe there?
    Euan. Shall I tell you a lye? I doe despise a lyer, as I
    doe despise one that is false, or as I despise one that is not
    true: the Knight Sir Iohn is there, and I beseech you be
    ruled by your well-willers: I will peat the doore for Mr.
    70Page. What hoa? Got-plesse your house heere.
    Mr. Page. Who's there?
    Euan. Here is go't's plessing and your friend, and Iu-
    stice Shallow, and heere yong Master Slender: that perad-
    uentures shall tell you another tale, if matters grow to
    75your likings.
    Mr. Page. I am glad to see your Worships well: I
    thanke you for my Venison Master Shallow.
    Shal. Master Page, I am glad to see you: much good
    doe it your good heart: I wish'd your Venison better, it
    80was ill killd: how doth good Mistresse Page? and I thank
    you alwaies with my heart, la: with my heart.
    M. Page. Sir, I thanke you.
    Shal. Sir, I thanke you: by yea, and no I doe.
    M. Pa. I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.
    85Slen. How do's your fallow Greyhound, Sir, I heard
    say he was out-run on Cotsall.
    M. Pa. It could not be iudg'd, Sir.
    Slen. You'll not confesse: you'll not confesse.
    Shal. That he will not, 'tis your fault, 'tis your fault:
    90'tis a good dogge.
    M. Pa. A Cur, Sir.
    Shal. Sir: hee's a good dog, and a faire dog, can there
    be more said? he is good, and faire. Is Sir Iohn Falstaffe
    95M. Pa. Sir, hee is within: and I would I could doe a
    good office betweene you.
    Euan. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speake.
    Shal. He hath wrong'd me (Master Page.)
    M. Pa. Sir, he doth in some sort confesse it.