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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    The Merry Wiues of Windsor.
    Follow me Gentlemen.
    Euans. This is fery fantasticall humors and iealousies.
    Caius. By gar, 'tis no-the fashion of France:
    It is not iealous in France.
    1505Page. Nay follow him (Gentlemen) see the yssue of
    his search.
    Mist Page. Is there not a double excellency in this?
    Mist. Ford. I know not which pleases me better,
    That my husband is deceiued, or Sir Iohn.
    1510Mist. Page. What a taking was hee in, when your
    husband askt who was in the basket?
    Mist. Ford. I am halfe affraid he will haue neede of
    washing: so throwing him into the water, will doe him
    a benefit.
    1515Mist. Page. Hang him dishonest rascall: I would all
    of the same straine, were in the same distresse.
    Mist. Ford. I thinke my husband hath some speciall
    suspition of Falstaffs being heere: for I neuer saw him so
    grosse in his iealousie till now.
    1520Mist. Page. I will lay a plot to try that, and wee will
    yet haue more trickes with Falstaffe: his dissolute disease
    will scarse obey this medicine.
    Mis. Ford. Shall we send that foolishion Carion, Mist.
    Quickly to him, and excuse his throwing into the water,
    1525and giue him another hope, to betray him to another
    Mist. Page. We will do it: let him be sent for to mor-
    row eight a clocke to haue amends.
    Ford. I cannot finde him: may be the knaue bragg'd
    1530of that he could not compasse.
    Mis. Page. Heard you that?
    Mis. Ford. You vse me well, M. Ford? Do you?
    Ford. I, I do so.
    M. Ford. Heauen make you better then your thoghts
    1535Ford. Amen.
    Mi. Page. You do your selfe mighty wrong (M. Ford)
    Ford. I, I: I must beare it.
    Eu. If there be any pody in the house, & in the cham-
    bers, and in the coffers, and in the presses: heauen for-
    1540giue my sins at the day of iudgement.
    Caius. Be gar, nor I too: there is no-bodies.
    Page. Fy, fy, M. Ford, are you not asham'd? What spi-
    rit, what diuell suggests this imagination? I wold not ha
    your distemper in this kind, for ye welth of Windsor castle.
    1545Ford. 'Tis my fault (M. Page) I suffer for it.
    Euans. You suffer for a pad conscience: your wife is
    as honest a o'mans, as I will desires among fiue thou-
    sand, and fiue hundred too.
    Cai. By gar, I see 'tis an honest woman.
    1550Ford. Well, I promisd you a dinner: come, come, walk
    in the Parke, I pray you pardon me: I wil hereafter make
    knowne to you why I haue done this. Come wife, come
    Mi. Page, I pray you pardon me. Pray hartly pardon me.
    Page. Let's go in Gentlemen, but (trust me) we'l mock
    1555him: I doe inuite you to morrow morning to my house
    to breakfast: after we'll a Birding together, I haue a fine
    Hawke for the bush. Shall it be so:
    Ford. Any thing.
    Eu. If there is one, I shall make two in the Companie
    1560Ca. If there be one, or two, I shall make-a-theturd.
    Ford. Pray you go, M. Page.
    Eua. I pray you now remembrance to morrow on the
    lowsie knaue, mine Host.
    Cai. Dat is good by gar, withall my heart.
    1565Eua. A lowsie knaue, to haue his gibes, and his moc-
    keries. Exeunt.

    Scoena Quarta.

    Enter Fenton, Anne, Page, Shallow, Slender,
    Quickly, Page, Mist. Page.
    1570Fen: I see I cannot get thy Fathers loue,
    Therefore no more turne me to him (sweet Nan.)
    Anne. Alas, how then?
    Fen. Why thou must be thy selfe.
    He doth obiect, I am too great of birth,
    1575And that my state being gall'd with my expence,
    I seeke to heale it onely by his wealth.
    Besides these, other barres he layes before me,
    My Riots past, my wilde Societies,
    And tels me 'tis a thing impossible
    1580I should loue thee, but as a property.
    An. May be he tels you true.
    No, heauen so speed me in my time to come,
    Albeit I will confesse, thy Fathers wealth
    Was the first motiue that I woo'd thee (Anne:)
    1585Yet wooing thee, I found thee of more valew
    Then stampes in Gold, or summes in sealed bagges:
    And 'tis the very riches of thy selfe,
    That now I ayme at.
    An. Gentle M. Fenton,
    1590Yet seeke my Fathers loue, still seeke it sir,
    If opportunity and humblest suite
    Cannot attaine it, why then harke you hither.
    Shal. Breake their talke Mistris Quickly,
    My Kinsman shall speake for himselfe.
    1595Slen. Ile make a shaft or a bolt on't, slid, tis but ventu-(ring.
    Shal. Be not dismaid.
    Slen. No, she shall not dismay me:
    I care not for that, but that I am affeard.
    Qui. Hark ye, M. Slender would speak a word with you
    1600An. I come to him. This is my Fathers choice:
    O what a world of vilde ill-fauour'd faults
    Lookes handsome in three hundred pounds a yeere?
    Qui. And how do's good Master Fenton?
    Pray you a word with you.
    1605Shal. Shee's comming; to her Coz:
    O boy, thou hadst a father.
    Slen. I had a father (M. An) my vncle can tel you good
    iests of him: pray you Vncle, tel Mist. Anne the iest how
    my Father stole two Geese out of a Pen, good Vnckle.
    1610Shal. Mistris Anne, my Cozen loues you.
    Slen. I that I do, as well as I loue any woman in Glo-
    Shal. He will maintaine you like a Gentlewoman.
    Slen. I that I will, come cut and long-taile, vnder the
    1615degree of a Squire.
    Shal. He will make you a hundred and fiftie pounds
    Anne. Good Maister Shallow let him woo for him-
    1620Shal. Marrie I thanke you for it: I thanke you for
    that good comfort: she cals you (Coz) Ile leaue you.
    Anne. Now Master Slender.
    Slen. Now good Mistris Anne.
    Anne. What is your will?
    1625Slen. My will? Odd's-hart-lings, that's a prettie
    iest indeede: I ne're made my Will yet (I thanke Hea-
    uen:) I am not such a sickely creature, I giue Heauen