Internet Shakespeare Editions


Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • Title: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Modern, Quarto)
  • Editor: Helen Ostovich
  • Markup editor: Janelle Jenstad
  • Coordinating editor: Janelle Jenstad

  • Copyright Helen Ostovich. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Editor: Helen Ostovich
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Merry Wives of Windsor (Modern, Quarto)

    1[Scene 1]
    Enter Justice Shallow, Sir Hugh, Master Page, and Slender.
    Ne'er talk to me! I'll make a Star Chamber matter of it. The council shall know it.
    36.1 Page
    Nay, good Master Shallow, be persuaded by me.
    Nay, surely my uncle shall not put it up so.
    Will you not hear reasons, Master Slenders? You should hear reasons.
    36.5 Shallow
    Though he be a knight, he shall not think to carry it so away. Master Page, I will not be wronged. For you, sir, I love you, and, for my cousin, he comes to look upon your daughter.
    36.10 Page
    And here's my hand, and if my daughter like him so well as I, we'll quickly have it a match. In the meantime, let me entreat you to sojourn here a while. And on my life I'll undertake to make you friends.
    36.15 Evans
    I pray you, Master Shallows, let it be so. The matter is pud to arbitarments.130 The first man is Master Page, videlicet Master Page. The second is myself, videlicet myself. And the third and last man is mine host of the Garter.131.1
    Enter Sir John Falstaff, Pistol, Bardolph, and Nym
    Here is Sir John himself now, look you.
    105 Falstaff
    Now, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me to the council, I hear?
    Sir John, Sir John, you have hurt my keeper, killed my dogs, stolen my deer.
    But not kissed your keeper's daughter.
    110 Shallow
    Well, this shall be answered.
    I'll answer it straight. I have done all this. This is now answered.
    Well, the council shall know it.
    'Twere better for you 'twere known in counsel.115 You'll be laughed at.
    Good 'ords, Sir John, good 'ords.
    Good worts? Good cabbage! -- Slender, I brake your head. What matter have you against me?
    I have matter in my head against you and120 your cogging companions, Pistol and Nym. They120.1 carried me to the tavern and made me drunk, and afterward picked my pocket.
    What say you to this, Pistol? Did you pick Master Slender's purse, Pistol?
    Ay, by this handkercher, did he. Two fair shovel-board shillings, besides seven groats in mill144.1 sixpences.
    What say you to this, Pistol?
    150 Pistol
    Sir John and master mine, I combat crave
    Of this same latten bilbo. [To Slender] I do retort the lie
    Even in thy gorge, thy gorge, thy gorge!
    By this light it was he then.
    Sir, my honor is not for many words,155 but if you run base humors of me, I will say "marry, trap!" And there's the humor of it.
    You hear these matters denied, gentlemen, you hear it.
    173.1 Enter Mistress Ford, Mistress Page, and her daughter Anne.
    No more now. I think it be almost dinner-time,173.5 for my wife is come to meet us.
    [To Mistress Page] Mistress Ford, I think your name is, if I mistake not.
    Sir John kisses [Mistress Page].
    Mistress Ford
    Your mistake, sir, is nothing but in the173.10 mistress. But my husband's name is Ford, sir.
    I shall desire your more acquaintance. [Sir John kisses her.] The like of you, good Mistress Page.
    Mistress Page
    With all my heart, Sir John. -- Come, husband, will you go?173.15 Dinner stays for us.
    With all my heart. Come along, gentlemen.
    Exeunt all but Slender and Mistress Anne.
    Now, forsooth, why do you stay me?173.20 What would you with me?
    Nay, for my own part, I would little or nothing with you. I love you well, and my uncle can tell you how my living stands. An if you can love me, why so. If not, why then happy man be his173.25 dole.
    You say well, Master Slender. But first you must give me leave to be acquainted with your humor, and afterward to love you if I can.
    273.30 Slender
    Why, by God, there's never a man in Christendom can desire more.
    [Dogs bark offstage.]
    What, have you bears in your town, Mistress Anne, your dogs bark so?
    I cannot tell, Master Slender, I think there be.
    270 Slender
    Ha, how say you? I warrant you're afeard of a bear let loose, are you not?
    Yes, trust me.
    Now that's meat and drink to me! I'll run you to a bear, and take her by the muzzle --269.1 you never saw the like! But indeed I cannot blame you,
    for they are marvellous rough things.
    272.1 Anne
    Will you go in to dinner, Master Slender? The meat stays for you.
    No, faith, not I. I thank you,260 I cannot abide the smell of hot meat, ne'er since I broke my shin. I'll tell you how it came, by my troth. A fencer and I played three venies for a dish of stewed prunes, and I with my ward259.1 defending my head, he hot my shin. Yes, faith.
    Enter Master Page.
    Come, come, Master Slender, dinner stays for you.
    I can eat no meat, I thank you.
    275 Page
    You shall not choose, I say.
    I'll follow you, sir. Pray lead the way. Nay, by God, Mistress Anne, you shall go first. I have more manners than so, I hope.
    Well, sir, I will not be troublesome.
    285 Exeunt omnes.