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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    Euans. O'man, art thou Lunaties? Hast thou no vn-
    1885derstandings for thy Cases, & the numbers of the Gen-
    ders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures, as I would
    Mi. Page. Pre'thee hold thy peace.
    Eu. Shew me now (William) some declensions of your
    Will. Forsooth, I haue forgot.
    Eu. It is Qui, que, quod; if you forget your Quies,
    your Ques, and your Quods, you must be preeches: Goe
    your waies and play, go.
    1895M. Pag. He is a better scholler then I thought he was.
    Eu. He is a good sprag-memory: Farewel Mis. Page.
    Mis. Page. Adieu good Sir Hugh:
    Get you home boy, Come we stay too long. Exeunt.

    Scena Secunda.

    1900Enter Falstoffe, Mist. Ford, Mist. Page, Seruants, Ford,
    Page, Caius, Euans, Shallow.

    Fal. Mi. Ford, Your sorrow hath eaten vp my suffe-
    rance; I see you are obsequious in your loue, and I pro-
    fesse requitall to a haires bredth, not onely Mist. Ford,
    1905in the simple office of loue, but in all the accustrement,
    complement, and ceremony of it: But are you sure of
    your husband now?
    Mis. Ford. Hee's a birding (sweet Sir Iohn.)
    Mis. Page. What hoa, gossip Ford: what hoa.
    1910Mis. Ford. Step into th'chamber, Sir Iohn.
    Mis. Page. How now (sweete heart) whose at home
    besides your selfe?
    Mis Ford. Why none but mine owne people.
    Mis. Page. Indeed?
    1915Mis. Ford. No certainly: Speake louder.
    Mist. Pag. Truly, I am so glad you haue no body here.
    Mist. Ford. Why?
    Mis. Page. Why woman, your husband is in his olde
    lines againe: he so takes on yonder with my husband, so
    1920railes against all married mankinde; so curses all Eues
    daughters, of what complexion soeuer; and so buffettes
    himselfe on the for-head: crying peere-out, peere-out,
    that any madnesse I euer yet beheld, seem'd but tame-
    nesse, ciuility, and patience to this his distemper he is in
    1925now: I am glad the fat Knight is not heere.
    Mist. Ford. Why, do's he talke of him?
    Mist. Page. Of none but him, and sweares he was ca-
    ried out the last time hee search'd for him, in a Basket:
    Protests to my husband he is now heere, & hath drawne
    1930him and the rest of their company from their sport, to
    make another experiment of his suspition: But I am glad
    the Knight is not heere; now he shall see his owne foo-
    Mist. Ford. How neere is he Mistris Page?
    1935Mist. Pag. Hard by, at street end; he wil be here anon.
    Mist. Ford. I am vndone, the Knight is heere.
    Mist. Page. Why then you are vtterly sham'd, & hee's
    but a dead man. What a woman are you? Away with
    him, away with him: Better shame, then murther.
    1940Mist. Ford. Which way should he go? How should I
    bestow him? Shall I put him into the basket againe?
    Fal. No, Ile come no more i'th Basket:
    May I not go out ere he come?
    Mist. Page. Alas: three of Mr. Fords brothers watch
    1945the doore with Pistols, that none shall issue out: other-
    wise you might slip away ere hee came: But what make
    you heere?
    Fal. What shall I do? Ile creepe vp into the chimney.
    Mist. Ford. There they alwaies vse to discharge their
    1950Birding-peeces: creepe into the Kill-hole.
    Fal. Where is it?
    Mist. Ford. He will seeke there on my word: Neyther
    Presse, Coffer, Chest, Trunke, Well, Vault, but he hath
    an abstract for the remembrance of such places, and goes
    1955to them by his Note: There is no hiding you in the
    Fal. Ile go out then.
    Mist. Ford. If you goe out in your owne semblance,
    you die Sir Iohn, vnlesse you go out disguis'd.
    1960Mist. Ford. How might we disguise him?
    Mist. Page. Alas the day I know not, there is no wo-
    mans gowne bigge enough for him: otherwise he might
    put on a hat, a muffler, and a kerchiefe, and so escape.
    Fal. Good hearts, deuise something: any extremitie,
    1965rather then a mischiefe.
    Mist. Ford. My Maids Aunt the fat woman of Brain-
    ford, has a gowne aboue.
    Mist. Page. On my word it will serue him: shee's as
    big as he is: and there's her thrum'd hat, and her muffler
    1970too: run vp Sir Iohn.
    Mist. Ford. Go, go, sweet Sir Iohn: Mistris Page and
    I will looke some linnen for your head.
    Mist. Page. Quicke, quicke, wee'le come dresse you
    straight: put on the gowne the while.
    1975Mist. Ford. I would my husband would meete him
    in this shape: he cannot abide the old woman of Brain-
    ford; he sweares she's a witch, forbad her my house, and
    hath threatned to beate her.
    Mist. Page. Heauen guide him to thy husbands cud-
    1980gell: and the diuell guide his cudgell afterwards.
    Mist. Ford. But is my husband comming?
    Mist. Page. I in good sadnesse is he, and talkes of the
    basket too, howsoeuer he hath had intelligence.
    Mist. Ford. Wee'l try that: for Ile appoint my men to
    1985carry the basket againe, to meete him at the doore with
    it, as they did last time.
    Mist. Page. Nay, but hee'l be heere presently: let's go
    dresse him like the witch of Brainford.
    Mist. Ford. Ile first direct my men, what they
    1990shall doe with the basket: Goe vp, Ile bring linnen for
    him straight.
    Mist. Page. Hang him dishonest Varlet,
    We cannot misuse enough:
    We'll leaue a proofe by that which we will doo,
    1995Wiues may be merry, and yet honest too:
    We do not acte that often, iest, and laugh,
    'Tis old, but true, Still Swine eats all the draugh.
    Mist. Ford. Go Sirs, take the basket againe on your
    shoulders: your Master is hard at doore: if hee bid you
    2000set it downe, obey him: quickly, dispatch.
    1 Ser. Come, come, take it vp.
    2 Ser. Pray heauen it be not full of Knight againe.
    1 Ser. I hope not, I had liefe as beare so much lead.
    Ford. I, but if it proue true (Mr. Page) haue you any
    2005way then to vnfoole me againe. Set downe the basket
    villaine: some body call my wife: Youth in a basket:
    Oh you Panderly Rascals, there's a knot: a gin, a packe,
    a conspiracie against me: Now shall the diuel be sham'd.
    What wife I say: Come, come forth: behold what ho-