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  • Title: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Quarto 1, 1602)

  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Quarto 1, 1602)

    Enter Mistresse Ford, with two of her men, and
    a great buck busket.
    Mis. For. Sirrha, if your M. aske you whither
    1362.1You carry this basket, say to the Launderers,
    I hope you know how to bestow it?
    Ser. I warrant you misteris.
    Exit seruant.
    Mis.For. Go get you in. Well sir Iohn,
    1362.5I beleeue I shall serue you such a trick,
    You shall haue little mind to come againe.
    Enter Sir Iohn.
    Fal. Haue I caught my heauenlie Iewel?
    Why now let me die. I haue liued long inough,
    This is the happie houre I haue desired to see,
    Now shall I sin in my wish,
    I would thy husband were dead.
    1393.1Mis. For. Why how then sir Iohn?
    Fal. By the Lord, Ide make thee my Ladie.
    1395Mis. For. Alas sir Iohn, I should be a verie simple
    Fal. Goe too, I see how thy eie doth emulate
    the Diamond.
    And how the arched bent of thy brow
    Would become the ship tire, the tire vellet,
    1400Or anie Venetian attire, I see it.
    Mis. For. A plaine kercher sir Iohn, would fit me
    Fal. By the Lord thou art a traitor to saie so:
    What made me loue thee? Let that perswade thee
    Ther's somewhat extraordinarie in thee: Goe too
    1412.1I loue thee:
    Mistris Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate, like one
    Of these fellowes that smels like Bucklers-berie,
    1415In simple time, but I loue thee,
    And none but thee.
    Mis. For. Sir Iohn, I am afraid you loue misteris
    Fal. I thou mightest as well saie
    I loue to walke by the Counter gate,
    1420VVhich is as hatefull to me
    1420As the reake of a lime kill.
    Enter Mistresse Page.
    Mis. Pa. Mistresse Ford, Mis. Ford, where are you?
    1434.1Mis. For. O Lord step aside good sir Iohn.
    Falstaffe stands behind the aras.
    How now Misteris Page whats the matter?
    Mis. Pa. Why your husband woman is cõming,
    With halfe Windsor at his heeles,
    To looke for a gentleman that he ses
    1445Is hid in his house: his wifes sweet hart.
    Mis.For. Speak louder. But I hope tis not true
    1448.1Misteris Page.
    Mis. Pa. Tis too true woman. Therefore if you
    Haue any here, away with him, or your vndone for
    Mis. For. Alas mistresse Page, what shall I do?
    Here is a gentleman my friend, how shall I do?
    Mis. Pa. Gode body woman, do not stand what
    1461.1shal I do, and what shall I do. Better any shift, rather
    then you shamed. Looke heere, here's a buck-bas-
    ket, if hee be a man of any reasonable sise, heele in
    Mis. For. Alas I feare he is too big.
    1470Fal. Let me see, let me see, Ile in, Ile in,
    Follow your friends counsell.
    Mis. Pa. Fie sir Iohn is this your loue? Go too.
    Fal. I loue thee, and none but thee:
    1474.1Helpe me to conuey me hence,
    1475Ile neuer come here more.
    Sir Iohn goes into the basket, they put cloathes ouer him,
    the two men carries it away: Foord meetes it, and all
    the rest, Page, Doctor, Priest, Slender, Shallow.
    Ford. Come pray along, you shall see all.
    How now who goes heare? whither goes this?
    Whither goes it? set it downe.
    Mis. For. Now let it go, you had best meddle with
    Ford. Buck, good buck, pray come along,
    Maister Page, take my keyes: helpe to search. Good
    Sir Hugh pray come along, helpe a little, a little,
    Ile shew you all.
    Sir Hu. By Ieshu these are iealosies & distemperes.
    Exit omnes.
    Mis. Pa. He is in a pittifull taking.
    Mis. I wonder what he thought
    1510Whẽ my husband bad them set downe the basket.
    Mis. Pa. Hang him dishonest slaue, we cannot vse
    1515Him bad inough. This is excellent for your
    1515.1Husbands iealousie.
    Mi. For. Alas poore soule it grieues me at the hart,
    But this will be a meanes to make him cease
    His iealous fits, if Falstaffes loue increase.
    1515.5Mis. Pa. Nay we wil send to Falstaffe once again,
    Tis great pittie we should leaue him:
    What wiues may be merry, and yet honest too.
    Mi. For. Shall we be cõdemnd because we laugh?
    Tis old, but true: still sowes eate all the draffe.
    Enter all.
    Mis. Pa. Here comes your husband, stand aside.
    For. I can find no body within, it may be he lied.
    1530Mis. Pa. Did you heare that?
    1530.1Mis. For. I, I, peace.
    For. Well Ile not let it go so, yet Ile trie further.
    S. Hu. By Ieshu if there be any body in the kitchin
    Or the cuberts, or the presse, or the buttery,
    I am an arrant Iew: Now God plesse me:
    1538.1You serue me well, do you not?
    Pa. Fie M. Ford you are too blame:
    1541.1Mis. Pa. Ifaith tis not well M. Ford to suspect
    Her thus without cause.
    Doc. No by my trot it be no vell:
    For. Wel I pray bear with me, M.Page pardõ me.
    I suffer for it, I suffer for it:
    1545Sir Hu: You suffer for a bad conscience looke you
    1550Ford: Well I pray no more, another time Ile tell
    1550.1you all:
    The mean time go dine with me, pardõ me wife,
    1550I am sorie. M. Page pray goe in to dinner,
    1550Another time Ile tell you all.
    Pa: Wel let it be so, and to morrow I inuite you all
    To my house to dinner: and in the morning weele
    1555A birding, I haue an excellent Hauke for the bush.
    Ford: Let it be so: Come M. Page, come wife:
    I pray you come in all, your welcome, pray come
    1552.1Sir Hu: By so kad vdgme, M. Fordes is
    Not in his right wittes:
    Exit omnes: