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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 sir Iohn with a Bucks head vpon him.
    Fal. This is the third time, well Ile venter,
    They say there is good luck in old numbers,
    Ioue transformed himselfe into a bull,
    the merry wives of windsor.
    And I am here a Stag, and I thinke the fattest
    In all Windsor forrest: well I stand here
    2494.1 For Horne the hunter, waiting my Does comming.
    Enter mistris Page, and mistris Ford.
    Mis. Pa. Sir Iohn, where are you?
    Fal. Art thou come my doe? what and thou too?
    2499.1Welcome Ladies.
    Mi. For. I I sir Iohn, I see you will not faile,
    Therefore you deserue far better then our loues,
    But it grieues me for your late crosses.
    2499.5Fal. This makes amends for all.
    2505Come diuide me betweene you, each a hanch,
    For my horns Ile bequeath thẽ to your husbands,
    Do I speake like Horne the hunter, ha?
    Mis. Pa. God forgiue me, what noise is this?
    2511.1There is a noise of hornes, the two women run away.
    Enter sir Hugh like a Satyre, and boyes drest like Fayries,
    mistresse Quickly, like the Queene of Fayries: they
    sing a song about him, and afterward speake.
    Quic: You Fayries that do haunt these shady (groues,
    2519.1Looke round about the wood if you can espie
    A mortall that doth haunt our sacred round:
    If such a one you can espie, giue him his due,
    And leaue not till you pinch him blacke and blew:
    2519.5Giue them their charge Puck ere they part away.
    Sir Hu. Come hither Peane, go to the countrie
    And when you finde a slut that lies a sleepe,
    And all her dishes foule, and roome vnswept,
    2519.10With your long nailes pinch her till she crie,
    G2 And
    A pleasant Comedie, of
    And sweare to mend her sluttish huswiferie.
    Fai. I warrant you I will performe your will.
    Hu. Where is Pead? go you & see where Brokers(sleep,
    2531.1And Foxe-eyed Seriants with their mase,
    Goe laie the Proctors in the street,
    And pinch the lowsie Seriants face:
    Spare none of these when they are a bed,
    2531.5But such whose nose lookes plew and red.
    Quic. Away begon, his mind fulfill,
    And looke that none of you stand still.
    Some do that thing, some do this,
    All do something, none amis.
    Hir Hu. I smell a man of middle earth.
    Fal. God blesse me from that wealch Fairie.
    2563.1Quic. Looke euery one about this round,
    And if that any here be found,
    For his presumption in this place,
    Spare neither legge, arme, head, nor face.
    2563.5Sir Hu. See I haue spied one by good luck,
    His bodie man, his head a buck.
    Fal. God send me good fortune now, and I care(not.
    Quic. Go strait, and do as I commaund,
    And take a Taper in your hand,
    And set it to his fingers endes,
    2567.1And if you see it him offends,
    And that he starteth at the flame,
    2568.1Then is he mortall, know his name:
    If with an F. it doth begin,
    2570Why then be shure he is full of sin.
    2570.1About it then, and know the truth,
    Of this same metamorphised youth.
    Sir Hu. Giue me the Tapers, I will try
    And if that he loue venery.
    the merry wives of windsor.
    2570.5They put the Tapers to his fingers, and he starts.
    Sir Hu. It is right indeed, he is full of lecheries
    2574.1 and iniquitie.
    Quic. A little distant from him stand,
    And euery one take hand in hand,
    And compasse him within a ring,
    2574.5First pinch him well, and after sing.
    Here they pinch him, and sing about him, & the Doc-
    tor comes one way & steales away a boy in red. And
    Slender another way he takes a boy in greene: And
    Fenton steales misteris Anne, being in white. And
    2574.10a noyse of hunting is made within: and all the Fai-
    ries runne away. Falstaffe pulles of his bucks head,
    and rises vp. And enters M. Page, M. Ford, and
    their wiues, M. Shallow, Sir Hugh.
    Fal. Horne the hunter quoth you: am I a ghost?
    2574.15Sblood the Fairies hath made a ghost of me:
    What hunting at this time at night?
    Ile lay my life the mad Prince of Wales
    Is stealing his fathers Deare.
    How now who haue
    we here, what is all Windsor stirring? Are you there?
    2574.20Shal. God saue you sir Iohn Falstaffe.
    Sir Hu. God plesse you sir Iohn, God plesse you.
    Pa. Why how now sir Iohn, what a pair of horns
    in your hand?
    Ford. Those hornes he ment to place vpon my(head,
    2595And M. Brooke and he should be the men:
    2595.1Why how now sir Iohn, why are you thus amazed?
    We know the Fairies man that pinched you so,
    Your throwing in the Thames, your beating well,
    G3 And
    A pleasant Comedie, of
    And whats to come sir Iohn, that can we tell.
    2595.5Mi. Pa. Sir Iohn tis thus, your dishonest meanes
    To call our credits into question,
    Did make vs vndertake to our best,
    To turne your leaud lust to a merry Iest.
    Fal. Iest, tis well, haue I liued to these yeares
    2595.10To be gulled now, now to be ridden?
    Why then these were not Fairies?
    Mis. Pa. No sir Iohn but boyes.
    Fal. By the Lord I was twice or thrise in the (mind
    They were not, and yet the grosnesse
    Of the fopperie perswaded me they were.
    2608.1Well, and the fine wits of the Court heare this,
    Thayle so whip me with their keene Iests,
    That thayle melt me out like tallow,
    Drop by drop out of my grease. Boyes!
    Sir Hu. I trust me boyes Sir Iohn: and I was
    Also a Fairie that did helpe to pinch you.
    2614.1Fal. I, tis well I am your May-pole,
    You haue the start of mee,
    Am I ridden too with a wealch goate?
    With a peece of toasted cheese?
    2625Sir Hu. Butter is better then cheese sir Iohn,
    You are all butter, butter.
    2626.1For. There is a further matter yet sir Iohn,
    There's 20. pound you borrowed of M. Brooke Sir (Iohn,
    2651.1And it must be paid to M. Ford Sir Iohn.
    Mi. For. Nay husband let that go to make amẽds,
    Forgiue that sum, and so weele all be friends.
    For. Well here is my hand, all's forgiuen at last.
    2651.5Fal. It hath cost me well,
    I haue bene well pinched and washed.
    the merry wives of windsor.
    Enter the Doctor.
    Mi. Pa. Now M. Doctor, sonne I hope you are.
    Doct. Sonne begar you be de ville voman,
    2651.10Begar I tinck to marry metres An, and begar
    Tis a whorson garson Iack boy.
    Mis. Pa. How a boy?
    Doct. I begar a boy.
    Pa. Nay be not angry wife, Ile tell thee true,
    2651.15It was my plot to deceiue thee so:
    And by this time your daughter's married
    To M. Slender, and see where he comes.
    Enter Slender.
    Now sonne Slender,
    2651.20Where's your bride?
    Slen. Bride, by Gods lyd I thinke theres neuer a
    man in the worell hath that crosse fortune that I
    haue: begod I could cry for verie anger.
    Pa. Why whats the matter sonne Slender?
    2651.25Slen. Sonne, nay by God I am none of your son.
    Pa. No, why so?
    Slen. Why so God saue me, tis a boy that I haue(married.
    Pa. How a boy? why did you mistake the word?
    Slen. No neither, for I came to her in red as you
    2651.30bad me, and I cried mum, and hee cried budget, so
    well as euer you heard, and I haue married him.
    Sir Hu. Ieshu M. Slender, cannot you see but marrie (boyes?
    Pa. O I am vext at hart, what shal I do?
    Enter Fenton and Anne.
    2651.35Mis. Pa. Here comes the man that hath deceiued(vs all:
    How now daughter, where haue you bin?
    An. At Curch forsooth.
    Pa. At Church, what haue you done there?
    A pleasaunt Comedie, of
    Fen. Married to me, nay sir neuer storme,
    2651.40Tis done sir now, and cannot be vndone.
    Ford: I faith M. Page neuer chafe your selfe,
    She hath made her choise wheras her hart was fixt,
    Then tis in vaine for you to storme or fret.
    Fal. I am glad yet that your arrow hath glanced
    2717.1Mi. For. Come mistris Page, Ile be bold with you,
    Tis pitie to part loue that is so true.
    Mis. Pa. Altho that I haue missed in my intent,
    Yet I am glad my husbands match was crossed,
    2717.5Here M. Fenton, take her, and God giue thee ioy.
    Sir Hu: Come M. Page, you must needs agree.
    Fo. I yfaith sir come, you see your wife is wel plea- (sed:
    Pa. I cannot tel, and yet my hart's well eased,
    And yet it doth me good the Doctor missed.
    2717.10Come hither Fenton, and come hither daughter,
    Go too you might haue stai'd for my good will,
    But since your choise is made of one you loue,
    Here take her Fenton, & both happie proue.
    Sir Hu. I wil also dance & eat plums at your wed- (dings.
    2717.15Ford. All parties pleased, now let vs in to feast,
    And laugh at Slender, and the Doctors ieast.
    He hath got the maiden, each of you a boy
    To waite vpon you, so God giue you ioy,
    And sir Iohn Falstaffe now shal you keep your word,
    For Brooke this night shall lye with mistris Ford.
    Exit omnes.