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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Eu. It is a fery discetion-answere; saue the fall is in
    the 'ord, dissolutely: the ort is (according to our mea-
    ning) resolutely: his meaning is good.
    235Sh. I: I thinke my Cosen meant well.
    Sl. I, or else I would I might be hang'd (la.)
    Sh. Here comes faire Mistris Anne; would I were
    yong for your sake, Mistris Anne.
    An. The dinner is on the Table, my Father desires
    240your worships company.
    Sh. I will wait on him, (faire Mistris Anne.)
    Eu. Od's plessed-wil: I wil not be absēce at the grace.
    An. Wil't please your worship to come in, Sir?
    Sl. No, I thank you forsooth, hartely; I am very well.
    245An. The dinner attends you, Sir.
    Sl. I am not a-hungry, I thanke you, forsooth: goe,
    Sirha, for all you are my man, goe wait vpon my Cosen
    Shallow: a Iustice of peace sometime may be beholding
    to his friend, for a Man; I keepe but three Men, and a
    250Boy yet, till my Mother be dead: but what though, yet
    I liue like a poore Gentleman borne.
    An. I may not goe in without your worship: they
    will not sit till you come.
    Sl. I'faith, ile eate nothing: I thanke you as much as
    255though I did.
    An. I pray you Sir walke in.
    Sl. I had rather walke here (I thanke you) I bruiz'd
    my shin th'other day, with playing at Sword and Dag-
    ger with a Master of Fence (three veneys for a dish of
    260stew'd Prunes) and by my troth, I cannot abide the smell
    of hot meate since. Why doe your dogs barke so? be
    there Beares ith' Towne?
    An. I thinke there are, Sir, I heard them talk'd of.
    Sl. I loue the sport well, but I shall as soone quarrell
    265at it, as any man in England: you are afraid if you see the
    Beare loose, are you not?
    An. I indeede Sir.
    Sl. That's meate and drinke to me now: I haue seene
    Sackerson loose, twenty times, and haue taken him by the
    270Chaine: but (I warrant you) the women haue so cride
    and shrekt at it, that it past: But women indeede, cannot
    abide 'em, they are very ill-fauour'd rough things.
    Ma. Pa. Come, gentle M. Slender, come; we stay for you.
    Sl. Ile eate nothing, I thanke you Sir.
    275Ma. Pa. By cocke and pie, you shall not choose, Sir:
    come, come.
    Sl. Nay, pray you lead the way.
    Ma. Pa. Come on, Sir.
    Sl. Mistris Anne: your selfe shall goe first.
    280An. Not I Sir, pray you keepe on.
    Sl. Truely I will not goe first: truely-la: I will not
    doe you that wrong.
    An. I pray you Sir.
    Sl. Ile rather be vnmannerly, then troublesome: you
    285doe your selfe wrong indeede-la. Exeunt.

    Scena Secunda.

    Enter Euans, and Simple.
    Eu. Go your waies, and aske of Doctor Caius house,
    which is the way; and there dwels one Mistris Quickly;
    290which is in the manner of his Nurse; or his dry-Nurse; or
    his Cooke; or his Laundry; his Washer, and his Ringer.
    Si. Well Sir.
    Eu. Nay, it is petter yet: giue her this letter; for it is
    a 'oman that altogeathers acquaintāce with Mistris Anne
    295Page; and the Letter is to desire, and require her to soli-
    cite your Masters desires, to Mistris Anne Page: I pray
    you be gon: I will make an end of my dinner; ther's Pip-
    pins and Cheese to come. Exeunt.

    Scena Tertia.

    300Enter Falstaffe, Host, Bardolfe, Nym, Pistoll, Page.
    Fal. Mine Host of the Garter?
    Ho. What saies my Bully Rooke? speake schollerly,
    and wisely.
    Fal. Truely mine Host; I must turne away some of my
    Ho. Discard, (bully Hercules) casheere; let them wag;
    trot, trot.
    Fal. I sit at ten pounds a weeke.
    Ho. Thou'rt an Emperor (Cesar, Keiser and Pheazar)
    310I will entertaine Bardolfe: he shall draw; he shall tap; said
    I well (bully Hector?)
    Fa. Doe so (good mine Host.
    Ho. I haue spoke; let him follow; let me see thee froth,
    and liue: I am at a word: follow.
    315Fal. Bardolfe, follow him: a Tapster is a good trade:
    an old Cloake, makes a new Ierkin: a wither'd Seruing-
    man, a fresh Tapster: goe, adew.
    Ba. It is a life that I haue desir'd: I will thriue.
    Pist. O base hungarian wight: wilt yu the spigot wield.
    320Ni. He was gotten in drink: is not the humor cōceited?
    Fal. I am glad I am so acquit of this Tinderbox: his
    Thefts were too open: his filching was like an vnskilfull
    Singer, he kept not time.
    Ni. The good humor is to steale at a minutes rest.
    325Pist. Conuay: the wise it call: Steale? foh: a fico for
    the phrase.
    Fal. Well sirs, I am almost out at heeles.
    Pist. Why then let Kibes ensue.
    Fal. There is no remedy: I must conicatch, I must shift.
    330Pist. Yong Rauens must haue foode.
    Fal. Which of you know Ford of this Towne?
    Pist. I ken the wight: he is of substance good.
    Fal. My honest Lads, I will tell you what I am about.
    Pist. Two yards, and more.
    335Fal. No quips now Pistoll: (Indeede I am in the waste
    two yards about: but I am now about no waste: I am a-
    bout thrift) briefely: I doe meane to make loue to Fords
    wife: I spie entertainment in her: shee discourses: shee
    carues: she giues the leere of inuitation: I can construe
    340the action of her familier stile, & the hardest voice of her
    behauior (to be english'd rightly) is, I am Sir Iohn Falstafs.
    Pist. He hath studied her will; and translated her will:
    out of honesty, into English.
    Ni. The Anchor is deepe: will that humor passe?
    345Fal. Now, the report goes, she has all the rule of her
    husbands Purse: he hath a legend of Angels.
    Pist. As many diuels entertaine: and to her Boy say I.
    Ni. The humor rises: it is good: humor me the angels.
    Fal. I haue writ me here a letter to her: & here ano-
    350ther to Pages wife, who euen now gaue mee good eyes
    too; examind my parts with most iudicious illiads: some-
    times the beame of her view, guilded my foote: some-
    times my portly belly.