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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    100Shal. If it be confessed, it is not redressed; is not that
    so (M. Page?) he hath wrong'd me, indeed he hath, at a
    word he hath: beleeue me, Robert Shallow Esquire, saith
    he is wronged.
    Ma. Pa. Here comes Sir Iohn.
    105Fal. Now, Master Shallow, you'll complaine of me to
    the King?
    Shal. Knight, you haue beaten my men, kill'd my
    deere, and broke open my Lodge.
    Fal. But not kiss'd your Keepers daughter?
    110Shal. Tut, a pin: this shall be answer'd.
    Fal. I will answere it strait, I haue done all this:
    That is now answer'd.
    Shal. The Councell shall know this.
    Fal. 'Twere better for you if it were known in coun-
    115cell: you'll be laugh'd at.
    Eu. Pauca verba; (Sir Iohn) good worts.
    Fal. Good worts? good Cabidge; Slender, I broke
    your head: what matter haue you against me?
    Slen. Marry sir, I haue matter in my head against you,
    120and against your cony-catching Rascalls, Bardolf, Nym,
    and Pistoll.
    Bar. You Banbery Cheese.
    Slen. I, it is no matter.
    Pist. How now, Mephostophilus?
    125Slen. I, it is no matter.
    Nym. Slice, I say; pauca, pauca: Slice, that's my humor.
    Slen. Where's Simple my man? can you tell, Cosen?
    Eua. Peace, I pray you: now let vs vnderstand: there
    is three Vmpires in this matter, as I vnderstand; that is,
    130Master Page (fidelicet Master Page,) & there is my selfe,
    (fidelicet my selfe) and the three party is (lastly, and fi-
    nally) mine Host of the Gater.
    Ma. Pa. We three to hear it, & end it between them.
    Euan. Ferry goo't, I will make a priefe of it in my
    135note-booke, and we wil afterwards orke vpon the cause,
    with as great discreetly as we can.
    Fal. Pistoll.
    Pist. He heares with eares.
    Euan. The Teuill and his Tam: what phrase is this?
    140he heares with eare? why, it is affectations.
    Fal. Pistoll, did you picke M. Slenders purse?
    Slen. I, by these gloues did hee, or I would I might
    neuer come in mine owne great chamber againe else, of
    seauen groates in mill-sixpences, and two Edward Sho-
    145uelboords, that cost me two shilling and two pence a
    peece of Yead Miller: by these gloues.
    Fal. Is this true, Pistoll?
    Euan. No, it is false, if it is a picke-purse.
    Pist. Ha, thou mountaine Forreyner: Sir Iohn, and
    150Master mine, I combat challenge of this Latine Bilboe:
    word of deniall in thy labras here; word of denial; froth,
    and scum thou liest.
    Slen. By these gloues, then 'twas he.
    Nym. Be auis'd sir, and passe good humours: I will
    155say marry trap with you, if you runne the nut-hooks hu-
    mor on me, that is the very note of it.
    Slen. By this hat, then he in the red face had it: for
    though I cannot remember what I did when you made
    me drunke, yet I am not altogether an asse.
    160Fal. What say you Scarlet, and Iohn?
    Bar. Why sir, (for my part) I say the Gentleman had
    drunke himselfe out of his fiue sentences.
    Eu. It is his fiue sences: fie, what the ignorance is.
    Bar. And being fap, sir, was (as they say) casheerd: and
    165so conclusions past the Car-eires.
    Slen. I, you spake in Latten then to: but 'tis no mat-
    ter; Ile nere be drunk whilst I liue againe, but in honest,
    ciuill, godly company for this tricke: if I be drunke, Ile
    be drunke with those that haue the feare of God, and not
    170with drunken knaues.
    Euan. So got-udge me, that is a vertuous minde.
    Fal. You heare all these matters deni'd, Gentlemen;
    you heare it.
    Mr. Page. Nay daughter, carry the wine in, wee'll
    175drinke within.
    Slen. Oh heauen: This is Mistresse Anne Page.
    Mr. Page. How now Mistris Ford?
    Fal. Mistris Ford, by my troth you are very wel met:
    by your leaue good Mistris.
    180Mr. Page. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome: come,
    we haue a hot Venison pasty to dinner; Come gentle-
    men, I hope we shall drinke downe all vnkindnesse.
    Slen. I had rather then forty shillings I had my booke
    of Songs and Sonnets heere: How now Simple, where
    185haue you beene? I must wait on my selfe, must I? you
    haue not the booke of Riddles about you, haue you?
    Sim. Booke of Riddles? why did you not lend it to
    Alice Short-cake vpon Alhallowmas last, a fortnight a-
    fore Michaelmas.
    190Shal. Come Coz, come Coz, we stay for you: a word
    with you Coz: marry this, Coz: there is as 'twere a ten-
    der, a kinde of tender, made a farre-off by Sir Hugh here:
    doe you vnderstand me?
    Slen. I Sir, you shall finde me reasonable; if it be so,
    195I shall doe that that is reason.
    Shal. Nay, but vnderstand me.
    Slen. So I doe Sir.
    Euan. Giue eare to his motions; (Mr. Slender) I will
    description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.
    200Slen. Nay, I will doe as my Cozen Shallow saies: I
    pray you pardon me, he's a Iustice of Peace in his Coun-
    trie, simple though I stand here.
    Euan. But that is not the question: the question is
    concerning your marriage.
    205Shal. I, there's the point Sir.
    Eu. Marry is it: the very point of it, to Mi. An Page.
    Slen. Why if it be so; I will marry her vpon any rea-
    sonable demands.
    Eu. But can you affection the 'o-man, let vs command
    210to know that of your mouth, or of your lips: for diuers
    Philosophers hold, that the lips is parcell of the mouth:
    therfore precisely, cā you carry your good wil to ye maid?
    Sh. Cosen Abraham Slender, can you loue her?
    Slen. I hope sir, I will do as it shall become one that
    215would doe reason.
    Eu. Nay, got's Lords, and his Ladies, you must speake
    possitable, if you can carry-her your desires towards her.
    Shal. That you must:
    Will you, (vpon good dowry) marry her?
    220Slen. I will doe a greater thing then that, vpon your
    request (Cosen) in any reason.
    Shal. Nay conceiue me, conceiue mee, (sweet Coz):
    what I doe is to pleasure you (Coz:) can you loue the
    225Slen. I will marry her (Sir) at your request; but if
    there bee no great loue in the beginning, yet Heauen
    may decrease it vpon better acquaintance, when wee
    are married, and haue more occasion to know one ano-
    ther: I hope vpon familiarity will grow more content:
    230but if you say mary-her, I will mary-her, that I am freely
    dissolued, and dissolutely.
    Eu. It