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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Syr Iohn, and Pistoll.
    Fal. Ile not lend thee a peny.
    772.1Pis. I will retort the sum in equipage.
    775Fal. Not a pennie: I haue beene content you
    shuld lay my countenance to pawne: I haue grated
    vpon my good friends for 3. repriues, for you and
    your Coach fellow Nym, else you might a looked
    thorow a grate like a geminy of babones. I am dam-
    ned in hell for swearing to Gentlemen your good
    souldiers and tall fellowes: And when mistrisse Bri-
    get lost the handle of her Fan, I tooked on my ho-
    thou hadst it not.
    Pis. Didst thou not share? hadst thou not fif-
    teene pence?
    Fal. Reason you rogue, reason.
    Doest thou thinke Ile indanger my soule gratis?
    In briefe, hang no more about mee, I am no gybit
    for you. A short knife and a throng to your manner
    of pickt hatch, goe. Youle not beare a Letter for me
    790you rogue you: you stand vpon your honor. Why
    thou vnconfinable basenesse thou, tis as much as I
    can do to keep the termes of my honor precise. I, I
    my selfe sometimes, leauing the feare of God on
    the left hand, am faine to shuffel, to filch & to lurch.
    795And yet you stand vpon your honor, you rogue.
    795You, you.
    800Pis. I do recant: what woullst thou more of man?
    800.1Fal. Well, gotoo, away, no more.
    Enter Mistresse Quickly.
    Quic. Good you god den sir.
    Fal. Good den faire wife.
    805Quic. Not so ant like your worship.
    Fal. Faire mayd then.
    Quic. That I am Ile be sworne, as my mother
    The first houre I was borne.
    810Sir I would speake with you in priuate.
    Fal. Say on I prethy, heeres none but my owne
    Quic. Are they so? Now God blesse them, and
    make them his seruants.
    Syr I come from Mistresse Foord.
    Fal. So from Mistresse Foord. Goe on.
    817.1Quic. I sir, she hath sent me to you to let you
    Vnderstand she hath receiued your Letter,
    849.1And let me tell you, she is one stands vpon her cre-
    Fal. Well, come Misteris Ford, Misteris Ford.
    Quic. I sir, and as they say, she is not the first
    Hath bene led in a fooles paradice.
    849.5Fal. Nay prethy be briefe my good she Mercury.
    Quic. Mary sir, sheed haue you meet her between
    eight and nine.
    Fal. So betweene eight and nine:
    859.1Quic. I forsooth, for then her husband goes a
    Fal. Well commend me to thy mistris, tel her
    895I will not faile her: Boy giue her my purse.
    Quic. Nay sir I haue another arant to do to you
    From misteris Page:
    862.1Fal. From misteris Page? I prethy what of her?
    Quic. By my troth I think you work by Inchant-
    869.1Els they could neuer loue you as they doo:
    Fal. Not I, I assure thee: setting the atraction of my
    Good parts aside, I vse no other inchantments:
    872.1Quic. Well sir, she loues you extreemly:
    And let me tell you, shees one that feares God,
    And her husband giues her leaue to do all:
    880For he is not halfe so iealousie as M. Ford is.
    Fal. But harke thee, hath misteris Page & mistris
    875Acquainted each other how dearly they loue me?
    875.1Quic. O God no sir: there were a iest indeed.
    Fol. Well farwel, commend me to misteris Ford,
    894.1I will not faile her say.
    Quic. God be with your worship
    Exit Mistresse Quickly.
    Enter Bardolfe.
    Bar. Sir heer's a Gentleman,
    One M. Brooke, would speak with you,
    He hath sent you a cup of sacke.
    Fal. M. Brooke, hees welcome: Bid him come vp,
    Such Brookes are alwaies welcome to me:
    911.1A Iack, will thy old bodie yet hold out?
    Wilt thou after the expence of so much mony
    Be now a gainer? Good bodie I thanke thee,
    And Ile make more of thee then I ha done:
    911.5Ha, ha, misteris Ford, and misteris Page, haue
    I caught you a the hip? go too.
    Enter Foord disguised like Brooke.
    For. God saue you sir.
    915Fal. And you too, would you speak with me?
    Fal. Mary would I sir, I am somewhat bolde to
    My name is Brooke.
    Fal. Good M. Brooke your verie welcome.
    920For. Ifaith sir I am a gentleman and a traueller,
    That haue seen somewhat. And I haue often heard
    That if mony goes before, all waies lie open.
    930Fal. Mony is a good souldier sir, and will on.
    For. Ifaith sir, and I haue a bag here,
    Would you wood helpe me to beare it.
    Fal. O Lord, would I could tell how to deserue
    To be your porter.
    934.1For. That may you easily sir Iohn: I haue an ear-
    945Sute to you. But good sir Iohn when I haue
    Told you my griefe, cast one eie of your owne
    Estate, since your selfe knew what tis to be
    Such an offender.
    950Fal. Verie well sir, proceed.
    For. Sir I am deeply in loue with one Fords wife
    951.1Of this Towne. Now sir Iohn you are a gentleman
    Of good discoursing, well beloued among Ladies,
    A man of such parts that might win 20. such as she.
    Fal. O good sir.
    953.1For. Nay beleeue it sir Iohn, for tis time. Now my
    Is so grounded vpon her, that without her loue
    I shall hardly liue.
    Fal. Haue you importuned her by any means?
    Ford. No neuer Sir.
    Fal. Of what qualitie is your loue then?
    975Ford. Ifaith sir, like a faire house set vpon
    975Another mans foundation.
    Fal. And to what end haue you vnfolded this to
    For. O sir, when I haue told you that, I told you
    For she sir stands so pure in the firme state
    Of her honestie, that she is too bright to be looked
    Against: Now could I come against her
    With some detectiõ, I should sooner perswade her
    From her marriage vow, and a hundred such nice
    Tearmes that sheele stand vpon.
    995Fal. Why would it apply well to the veruensie
    of your affection,
    That another should possesse what you would en-
    Meethinks you prescribe verie proposterously
    To your selfe.
    997.1For. No sir, for by that meanes should I be cer-
    taine of that which I now misdoubt.
    Fal. Well M. Brooke, Ile first make bold with your
    Next, giue me your hand. Lastly, you shall
    1010And you will, enioy Fords wife.
    For. O good sir.
    Fal. M. Brooke, I say you shall.
    Ford. Want no mony Syr Iohn, you shall want
    Fal. Want no Misteris Ford M. Brooke,
    You shall want none. Euen as you came to me,
    Her spokes mate, her go between parted from me:
    I may tell you M. Brooke, I am to meet her
    Between 8. and 9. for at that time the Iealous
    Cuckally knaue her husband wil be from home,
    Come to me soone at night, you shall know how
    1020I speed M. Brooke.
    Ford. Sir do you know Ford?
    Fal. Hang him poore cuckally knaue, I know
    And yet I wrong him to call him poore. For they
    Say the cuckally knaue hath legions of angels,
    For the which his wife seemes to me well fauored,
    And Ile vse her as the key of the cuckally knaues
    Coffer, and there's my randeuowes.
    Ford. Meethinkes sir it were very good that you
    1030Ford, that you might shun him.
    Fal. Hang him cuckally knaue, Ile stare him
    Out of his wits, Ile keepe him in awe
    With this my cudgell: It shall hang like a meator
    Ore the wittolly knaues head, M. Brooke thou shalt
    See I will predominate ore the peasant,
    1035And thou shalt lie with his wife. M. Brooke
    Thou shalt know him for knaue and cuckold,
    Come to me soone at night.
    Exit Falstaffe.
    Ford. What a damned epicurian is this?
    My wife hath sent for him, the plot is laid:
    Page is an Asse, a foole. A secure Asse,
    Ile sooner trust an Irishman with my
    Aquauita bottle, Sir Hu our parson with my cheese,
    1055A theefe to walk my ambling gelding, thẽ my wife
    With her selfe: then she plots, then she ruminates,
    And what she thinkes in her hart she may effect,
    Sheele breake her hart but she will effect it.
    God be praised, God be praised for my iealousie:
    1060Well Ile goe preuent him, the time drawes on,
    Better an houre too soone, then a minit too late,
    Gods my life cuckold, cuckold.
    Exit Ford.