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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Anne. I meane (M. Slender) what wold you with me?
    1630Slen. Truely, for mine owne part, I would little or
    nothing with you: your father and my vncle hath made
    motions: if it be my lucke, so; if not, happy man bee his
    dole, they can tell you how things go, better then I can:
    you may aske your father, heere he comes.
    1635Page. Now Mr Slender; Loue him daughter Anne.
    Why how now? What does Mr Fenter here?
    You wrong me Sir, thus still to haunt my house.
    I told you Sir, my daughter is disposd of.
    Fen. Nay Mr Page, be not impatient.
    1640Mist. Page. Good M. Fenton. come not to my child.
    Page. She is no match for you.
    Fen. Sir, will you heare me?
    Page. No, good M. Fenton.
    Come M. Shallow: Come sonne Slender, in;
    1645Knowing my minde, you wrong me (M. Fenton.)
    Qui. Speake to Mistris Page.
    Fen. Good Mist. Page, for that I loue your daughter
    In such a righteous fashion as I do,
    Perforce, against all checkes, rebukes, and manners,
    1650I must aduance the colours of my loue,
    And not retire. Let me haue your good will.
    An. Good mother, do not marry me to yond foole.
    Mist. Page. I meane it not, I seeke you a better hus-
    1655Qui. That's my master, M. Doctor.
    An. Alas I had rather be set quick i'th earth,
    And bowl'd to death with Turnips.
    Mist. Page. Come, trouble not your selfe good M.
    Fenton, I will not be your friend, nor enemy:
    1660My daughter will I question how she loues you,
    And as I finde her, so am I affected:
    Till then, farewell Sir, she must needs go in,
    Her father will be angry.
    Fen. Farewell gentle Mistris: farewell Nan.
    1665Qui. This is my doing now: Nay, saide I, will you
    cast away your childe on a Foole, and a Physitian:
    Looke on M. Fenton, this is my doing.
    Fen. I thanke thee: and I pray thee once to night,
    Giue my sweet Nan this Ring: there's for thy paines.
    1670Qui. Now heauen send thee good fortune, a kinde
    heart he hath: a woman would run through fire & wa-
    ter for such a kinde heart. But yet, I would my Maister
    had Mistris Anne, or I would M. Slender had her: or (in
    sooth) I would M. Fenton had her; I will do what I can
    1675for them all three, for so I haue promisd, and Ile bee as
    good as my word, but speciously for M. Fenton. Well, I
    must of another errand to Sir Iohn Falstaffe from my two
    Mistresses: what a beast am I to slacke it. Exeunt

    Scena Quinta.

    1680Enter Falstaffe, Bardolfe, Quickly, Ford.
    Fal. Bardolfe I say.
    Bar. Heere Sir.
    Fal. Go, fetch me a quart of Sacke, put a tost in't.
    Haue I liu'd to be carried in a Basket like a barrow of
    1685butchers Offall? and to be throwne in the Thames? Wel,
    if I be seru'd such another tricke, Ile haue my braines
    'tane out and butter'd, and giue them to a dogge for a
    New-yeares gift. The rogues slighted me into the riuer
    with as little remorse, as they would haue drown'de a
    1690blinde bitches Puppies, fifteene i'th litter: and you may
    know by my size, that I haue a kinde of alacrity in sink-
    ing: if the bottome were as deepe as hell, I shold down.
    I had beene drown'd, but that the shore was sheluy and
    shallow: a death that I abhorre: for the water swelles a
    1695man; and what a thing should I haue beene, when I
    had beene swel'd? I should haue beene a Mountaine of
    Bar. Here's M. Quickly Sir to speake with you.
    Fal. Come, let me poure in some Sack to the Thames
    1700water: for my bellies as cold as if I had swallow'd snow-
    bals, for pilles to coole the reines. Call her in.
    Bar. Come in woman.
    Qui. By your leaue: I cry you mercy?
    Giue your worship good morrow.
    1705Fal. Take away these Challices:
    Go, brew me a pottle of Sacke finely.
    Bard. With Egges, Sir?
    Fal. Simple of it selfe: Ile no Pullet-Spersme in my
    brewage. How now?
    1710Qui. Marry Sir, I come to your worship from M. Ford.
    Fal. Mist. Ford? I haue had Ford enough: I was thrown
    into the Ford; I haue my belly full of Ford.
    Qui. Alas the day, (good-heart) that was not her
    fault: she do's so take on with her men; they mistooke
    1715their erection.
    Fal. So did I mine, to build vpon a foolish Womans (promise.
    Qui. Well, she laments Sir for it, that it would yern
    your heart to see it: her husband goes this morning a
    birding; she desires you once more to come to her, be-
    1720tweene eight and nine: I must carry her word quickely,
    she'll make you amends I warrant you.
    Fal. Well, I will visit her, tell her so: and bidde her
    thinke what a man is: Let her consider his frailety, and
    then iudge of my merit.
    1725Qui. I will tell her.
    Fal. Do so. Betweene nine and ten saist thou?
    Qui. Eight and nine Sir.
    Fal. Well, be gone: I will not misse her.
    Qui. Peace be with you Sir.
    1730Fal. I meruaile I heare not of Mr Broome: he sent me
    word to stay within: I like his money well.
    Oh, heere be comes.
    Ford. Blesse you Sir.
    Fal. Now M. Broome, you come to know
    1735What hath past betweene me, and Fords wife.
    Ford. That indeed (Sir Iohn) is my businesse.
    Fal. M. Broome I will not lye to you,
    I was at her house the houre she appointed me.
    Ford. And sped you Sir?
    1740Fal. very ill-fauouredly M. Broome.
    Ford. How so sir, did she change her determination?
    Fal. No (M. Broome) but the peaking Curnuto her hus-
    band (M. Broome) dwelling in a continual larum of ielou-
    sie, coms me in the instant of our encounter, after we had
    1745embrast, kist, protested, & (as it were) spoke the prologue
    of our Comedy: and at his heeles, a rabble of his compa-
    nions, thither prouoked and instigated by his distemper,
    and (forsooth) to serch his house for his wiues Loue.
    Ford. What? While you were there?
    1750Fal. While I was there.
    For. And did he search for you, & could not find you?
    Fal. You shall heare. As good lucke would haue it,
    comes in one Mist. Page, giues intelligence of Fords ap-
    proch: and in her inuention, and Fords wiues distraction,
    1755they conuey'd me into a bucke-basket.