|[Enter SIR HUGH EVANS and SIMPLE]|
|SIR HUGH EVANS||I pray you now, good master Slender's serving-man,
and friend Simple by your name, which way have you
looked for Master Caius, that calls himself doctor of physic?
|SIMPLE||Marry, sir, the pittie-ward, the park-ward, every
way; old Windsor way, and every way but the town
|SIR HUGH EVANS||I most fehemently desire you you will also look that
|SIMPLE||I will, sir.|
|SIR HUGH EVANS||'Pless my soul, how full of chollors I am, and
trempling of mind! I shall be glad if he have
deceived me. How melancholies I am! I will knog
his urinals about his knave's costard when I have
good opportunities for the ork. 'Pless my soul!
|To shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sings madrigals;
There will we make our peds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies.
|Mercy on me! I have a great dispositions to cry.|
|Melodious birds sing madrigals--
When as I sat in Pabylon--
And a thousand vagram posies.
To shallow &c.
|SIMPLE||Yonder he is coming, this way, Sir Hugh.|
|SIR HUGH EVANS||He's welcome.|
|To shallow rivers, to whose falls-
Heaven prosper the right! What weapons is he?
|SIMPLE||No weapons, sir. There comes my master, Master
Shallow, and another gentleman, from Frogmore, over
the stile, this way.
|SIR HUGH EVANS||Pray you, give me my gown; or else keep it in your arms.|
|[Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER]|
|SHALLOW||How now, master Parson! Good morrow, good Sir Hugh.
Keep a gamester from the dice, and a good student
from his book, and it is wonderful.
|SLENDER||[Aside] Ah, sweet Anne Page!|
|PAGE||'Save you, good Sir Hugh!|
|SIR HUGH EVANS||'Pless you from his mercy sake, all of you!|
|SHALLOW||What, the sword and the word! do you study them
both, master parson?
|PAGE||And youthful still! in your doublet and hose this
raw rheumatic day!
|SIR HUGH EVANS||There is reasons and causes for it.|
|PAGE||We are come to you to do a good office, master parson.|
|SIR HUGH EVANS||Fery well: what is it?|
|PAGE||Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, who, belike
having received wrong by some person, is at most
odds with his own gravity and patience that ever you
|SHALLOW||I have lived fourscore years and upward; I never
heard a man of his place, gravity and learning, so
wide of his own respect.
|SIR HUGH EVANS||What is he?|
|PAGE||I think you know him; Master Doctor Caius, the
renowned French physician.
|SIR HUGH EVANS||Got's will, and his passion of my heart! I had as
lief you would tell me of a mess of porridge.
|SIR HUGH EVANS||He has no more knowledge in Hibocrates and Galen,
--and he is a knave besides; a cowardly knave as you
would desires to be acquainted withal.
|PAGE||I warrant you, he's the man should fight with him.|
|SHALLOW||[Aside] O sweet Anne Page!|
|SHALLOW||It appears so by his weapons. Keep them asunder:
here comes Doctor Caius.
|[Enter Host, DOCTOR CAIUS, and RUGBY]|
|PAGE||Nay, good master parson, keep in your weapon.|
|SHALLOW||So do you, good master doctor.|
|Host||Disarm them, and let them question: let them keep
their limbs whole and hack our English.
|DOCTOR CAIUS||I pray you, let-a me speak a word with your ear.
Vherefore vill you not meet-a me?
|SIR HUGH EVANS||[Aside to DOCTOR CAIUS] Pray you, use your patience:
in good time.
|DOCTOR CAIUS||By gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog, John ape.|
|SIR HUGH EVANS||[Aside to DOCTOR CAIUS] Pray you let us not be
laughing-stocks to other men's humours; I desire you
in friendship, and I will one way or other make you amends.
|I will knog your urinals about your knave's cockscomb
for missing your meetings and appointments.
|DOCTOR CAIUS||Diable! Jack Rugby,--mine host de Jarteer,--have I
not stay for him to kill him? have I not, at de place
I did appoint?
|SIR HUGH EVANS||As I am a Christians soul now, look you, this is the
place appointed: I'll be judgement by mine host of
|Host||Peace, I say, Gallia and Gaul, French and Welsh,
soul-curer and body-curer!
|DOCTOR CAIUS||Ay, dat is very good; excellent.|
|Host||Peace, I say! hear mine host of the Garter. Am I
politic? am I subtle? am I a Machiavel? Shall I
lose my doctor? no; he gives me the potions and the
motions. Shall I lose my parson, my priest, my Sir
Hugh? no; he gives me the proverbs and the
no-verbs. Give me thy hand, terrestrial; so. Give me
thy hand, celestial; so. Boys of art, I have
deceived you both; I have directed you to wrong
places: your hearts are mighty, your skins are
whole, and let burnt sack be the issue. Come, lay
their swords to pawn. Follow me, lads of peace;
follow, follow, follow.
|SHALLOW||Trust me, a mad host. Follow, gentlemen, follow.|
|SLENDER||[Aside] O sweet Anne Page!|
|[Exeunt SHALLOW, SLENDER, PAGE, and Host]|
|DOCTOR CAIUS||Ha, do I perceive dat? have you make-a de sot of
us, ha, ha?
|SIR HUGH EVANS||This is well; he has made us his vlouting-stog. I
desire you that we may be friends; and let us knog
our prains together to be revenge on this same
scall, scurvy cogging companion, the host of the Garter.
|DOCTOR CAIUS||By gar, with all my heart. He promise to bring me
where is Anne Page; by gar, he deceive me too.
|SIR HUGH EVANS||Well, I will smite his noddles. Pray you, follow.|
|[Enter MISTRESS PAGE and ROBIN]|
|MISTRESS PAGE||Nay, keep your way, little gallant; you were wont to
be a follower, but now you are a leader. Whether
had you rather lead mine eyes, or eye your master's heels?
|ROBIN||I had rather, forsooth, go before you like a man
than follow him like a dwarf.
|MISTRESS PAGE||O, you are a flattering boy: now I see you'll be a courtier.|
|FORD||Well met, Mistress Page. Whither go you?|
|MISTRESS PAGE||Truly, sir, to see your wife. Is she at home?|
|FORD||Ay; and as idle as she may hang together, for want
of company. I think, if your husbands were dead,
you two would marry.
|MISTRESS PAGE||Be sure of that,--two other husbands.|
|FORD||Where had you this pretty weather-cock?|
|MISTRESS PAGE||I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my
husband had him of. What do you call your knight's
|ROBIN||Sir John Falstaff.|
|FORD||Sir John Falstaff!|
|MISTRESS PAGE||He, he; I can never hit on's name. There is such a
league between my good man and he! Is your wife at
|FORD||Indeed she is.|
|MISTRESS PAGE||By your leave, sir: I am sick till I see her.|
|[Exeunt MISTRESS PAGE and ROBIN]|
|FORD||Has Page any brains? hath he any eyes? hath he any
thinking? Sure, they sleep; he hath no use of them.
Why, this boy will carry a letter twenty mile, as
easy as a cannon will shoot point-blank twelve
score. He pieces out his wife's inclination; he
gives her folly motion and advantage: and now she's
going to my wife, and Falstaff's boy with her. A
man may hear this shower sing in the wind. And
Falstaff's boy with her! Good plots, they are laid;
and our revolted wives share damnation together.
Well; I will take him, then torture my wife, pluck
the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming
Mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure and
wilful Actaeon; and to these violent proceedings all
my neighbours shall cry aim.
|The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me
search: there I shall find Falstaff: I shall be
rather praised for this than mocked; for it is as
positive as the earth is firm that Falstaff is
there: I will go.
|[Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, SLENDER, Host,
SIR HUGH EVANS, DOCTOR CAIUS, and RUGBY]
| Well met, Master Ford.
|FORD||Trust me, a good knot: I have good cheer at home;
and I pray you all go with me.
|SHALLOW||I must excuse myself, Master Ford.|
|SLENDER||And so must I, sir: we have appointed to dine with
Mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for
more money than I'll speak of.
|SHALLOW||We have lingered about a match between Anne Page and
my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.
|SLENDER||I hope I have your good will, father Page.|
|PAGE||You have, Master Slender; I stand wholly for you:
but my wife, master doctor, is for you altogether.
|DOCTOR CAIUS||Ay, be-gar; and de maid is love-a me: my nursh-a
Quickly tell me so mush.
|Host||What say you to young Master Fenton? he capers, he
dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he
speaks holiday, he smells April and May: he will
carry't, he will carry't; 'tis in his buttons; he
|PAGE||Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman is
of no having: he kept company with the wild prince
and Poins; he is of too high a region; he knows too
much. No, he shall not knit a knot in his fortunes
with the finger of my substance: if he take her,
let him take her simply; the wealth I have waits on
my consent, and my consent goes not that way.
|FORD||I beseech you heartily, some of you go home with me
to dinner: besides your cheer, you shall have
sport; I will show you a monster. Master doctor,
you shall go; so shall you, Master Page; and you, Sir Hugh.
|SHALLOW||Well, fare you well: we shall have the freer wooing
at Master Page's.
|[Exeunt SHALLOW, and SLENDER]|
|DOCTOR CAIUS||Go home, John Rugby; I come anon.|
|Host||Farewell, my hearts: I will to my honest knight
Falstaff, and drink canary with him.
|FORD||[Aside] I think I shall drink in pipe wine first
with him; I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles?
|All||Have with you to see this monster.|
|[Enter MISTRESS FORD and MISTRESS PAGE]|
|MISTRESS FORD||What, John! What, Robert!|
|MISTRESS PAGE||Quickly, quickly! is the buck-basket--|
|MISTRESS FORD||I warrant. What, Robin, I say!|
|[Enter Servants with a basket]|
|MISTRESS PAGE||Come, come, come.|
|MISTRESS FORD||Here, set it down.|
|MISTRESS PAGE||Give your men the charge; we must be brief.|
|MISTRESS FORD||Marry, as I told you before, John and Robert, be
ready here hard by in the brew-house: and when I
suddenly call you, come forth, and without any pause
or staggering take this basket on your shoulders:
that done, trudge with it in all haste, and carry
it among the whitsters in Datchet-mead, and there
empty it in the muddy ditch close by the Thames side.
|MISTRESS PAGE||You will do it?|
|MISTRESS FORD||I ha' told them over and over; they lack no
direction. Be gone, and come when you are called.
|MISTRESS PAGE||Here comes little Robin.|
|MISTRESS FORD||How now, my eyas-musket! what news with you?|
|ROBIN||My master, Sir John, is come in at your back-door,
Mistress Ford, and requests your company.
|MISTRESS PAGE||You little Jack-a-Lent, have you been true to us?|
|ROBIN||Ay, I'll be sworn. My master knows not of your
being here and hath threatened to put me into
everlasting liberty if I tell you of it; for he
swears he'll turn me away.
|MISTRESS PAGE||Thou'rt a good boy: this secrecy of thine shall be
a tailor to thee and shall make thee a new doublet
and hose. I'll go hide me.
|MISTRESS FORD||Do so. Go tell thy master I am alone.|
|Mistress Page, remember you your cue.|
|MISTRESS PAGE||I warrant thee; if I do not act it, hiss me.|
|MISTRESS FORD||Go to, then: we'll use this unwholesome humidity,
this gross watery pumpion; we'll teach him to know
turtles from jays.
|FALSTAFF||Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel? Why, now let
me die, for I have lived long enough: this is the
period of my ambition: O this blessed hour!
|MISTRESS FORD||O sweet Sir John!|
|FALSTAFF||Mistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate,
Mistress Ford. Now shall I sin in my wish: I would
thy husband were dead: I'll speak it before the
best lord; I would make thee my lady.
|MISTRESS FORD||I your lady, Sir John! alas, I should be a pitiful lady!|
|FALSTAFF||Let the court of France show me such another. I see
how thine eye would emulate the diamond: thou hast
the right arched beauty of the brow that becomes the
ship-tire, the tire-valiant, or any tire of
|MISTRESS FORD||A plain kerchief, Sir John: my brows become nothing
else; nor that well neither.
|FALSTAFF||By the Lord, thou art a traitor to say so: thou
wouldst make an absolute courtier; and the firm
fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion
to thy gait in a semi-circled farthingale. I see
what thou wert, if Fortune thy foe were not, Nature
thy friend. Come, thou canst not hide it.
|MISTRESS FORD||Believe me, there is no such thing in me.|
|FALSTAFF||What made me love thee? let that persuade thee
there's something extraordinary in thee. Come, I
cannot cog and say thou art this and that, like a
many of these lisping hawthorn-buds, that come like
women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklersbury
in simple time; I cannot: but I love thee; none
but thee; and thou deservest it.
|MISTRESS FORD||Do not betray me, sir. I fear you love Mistress Page.|
|FALSTAFF||Thou mightst as well say I love to walk by the
Counter-gate, which is as hateful to me as the reek
of a lime-kiln.
|MISTRESS FORD||Well, heaven knows how I love you; and you shall one
day find it.
|FALSTAFF||Keep in that mind; I'll deserve it.|
|MISTRESS FORD||Nay, I must tell you, so you do; or else I could not
be in that mind.
|ROBIN||[Within] Mistress Ford, Mistress Ford! here's
Mistress Page at the door, sweating and blowing and
looking wildly, and would needs speak with you presently.
|FALSTAFF||She shall not see me: I will ensconce me behind the arras.|
|MISTRESS FORD||Pray you, do so: she's a very tattling woman.|
|[FALSTAFF hides himself]|
|[Re-enter MISTRESS PAGE and ROBIN]|
|What's the matter? how now!|
|MISTRESS PAGE||O Mistress Ford, what have you done? You're shamed,
you're overthrown, you're undone for ever!
|MISTRESS FORD||What's the matter, good Mistress Page?|
|MISTRESS PAGE||O well-a-day, Mistress Ford! having an honest man
to your husband, to give him such cause of suspicion!
|MISTRESS FORD||What cause of suspicion?|
|MISTRESS PAGE||What cause of suspicion! Out pon you! how am I
mistook in you!
|MISTRESS FORD||Why, alas, what's the matter?|
|MISTRESS PAGE||Your husband's coming hither, woman, with all the
officers in Windsor, to search for a gentleman that
he says is here now in the house by your consent, to
take an ill advantage of his assence: you are undone.
|MISTRESS FORD||'Tis not so, I hope.|
|MISTRESS PAGE||Pray heaven it be not so, that you have such a man
here! but 'tis most certain your husband's coming,
with half Windsor at his heels, to search for such a
one. I come before to tell you. If you know
yourself clear, why, I am glad of it; but if you
have a friend here convey, convey him out. Be not
amazed; call all your senses to you; defend your
reputation, or bid farewell to your good life for ever.
|MISTRESS FORD||What shall I do? There is a gentleman my dear
friend; and I fear not mine own shame so much as his
peril: I had rather than a thousand pound he were
out of the house.
|MISTRESS PAGE||For shame! never stand 'you had rather' and 'you
had rather:' your husband's here at hand, bethink
you of some conveyance: in the house you cannot
hide him. O, how have you deceived me! Look, here
is a basket: if he be of any reasonable stature, he
may creep in here; and throw foul linen upon him, as
if it were going to bucking: or--it is whiting-time
--send him by your two men to Datchet-mead.
|MISTRESS FORD||He's too big to go in there. What shall I do?|
|FALSTAFF||[Coming forward] Let me see't, let me see't, O, let
me see't! I'll in, I'll in. Follow your friend's
counsel. I'll in.
|MISTRESS PAGE||What, Sir John Falstaff! Are these your letters, knight?|
|FALSTAFF||I love thee. Help me away. Let me creep in here.
|[Gets into the basket; they cover him with foul linen]|
|MISTRESS PAGE||Help to cover your master, boy. Call your men,
Mistress Ford. You dissembling knight!
|MISTRESS FORD||What, John! Robert! John!|
|Go take up these clothes here quickly. Where's the
cowl-staff? look, how you drumble! Carry them to
the laundress in Datchet-meat; quickly, come.
|[Enter FORD, PAGE, DOCTOR CAIUS, and SIR HUGH EVANS]|
|FORD||Pray you, come near: if I suspect without cause,
why then make sport at me; then let me be your jest;
I deserve it. How now! whither bear you this?
|Servant||To the laundress, forsooth.|
|MISTRESS FORD||Why, what have you to do whither they bear it? You
were best meddle with buck-washing.
|FORD||Buck! I would I could wash myself of the buck!
Buck, buck, buck! Ay, buck; I warrant you, buck;
and of the season too, it shall appear.
|[Exeunt Servants with the basket]|
|Gentlemen, I have dreamed to-night; I'll tell you my
dream. Here, here, here be my keys: ascend my
chambers; search, seek, find out: I'll warrant
we'll unkennel the fox. Let me stop this way first.
|[Locking the door]|
|So, now uncape.|
|PAGE||Good Master Ford, be contented: you wrong yourself too much.|
|FORD||True, Master Page. Up, gentlemen: you shall see
sport anon: follow me, gentlemen.
|SIR HUGH EVANS||This is fery fantastical humours and jealousies.|
|DOCTOR CAIUS||By gar, 'tis no the fashion of France; it is not
jealous in France.
|PAGE||Nay, follow him, gentlemen; see the issue of his search.|
|[Exeunt PAGE, DOCTOR CAIUS, and SIR HUGH EVANS]|
|MISTRESS PAGE||Is there not a double excellency in this?|
|MISTRESS FORD||I know not which pleases me better, that my husband
is deceived, or Sir John.
|MISTRESS PAGE||What a taking was he in when your husband asked who
was in the basket!
|MISTRESS FORD||I am half afraid he will have need of washing; so
throwing him into the water will do him a benefit.
|MISTRESS PAGE||Hang him, dishonest rascal! I would all of the same
strain were in the same distress.
|MISTRESS FORD||I think my husband hath some special suspicion of
Falstaff's being here; for I never saw him so gross
in his jealousy till now.
|MISTRESS PAGE||I will lay a plot to try that; and we will yet have
more tricks with Falstaff: his dissolute disease will
scarce obey this medicine.
|MISTRESS FORD||Shall we send that foolish carrion, Mistress
Quickly, to him, and excuse his throwing into the
water; and give him another hope, to betray him to
|MISTRESS PAGE||We will do it: let him be sent for to-morrow,
eight o'clock, to have amends.
|[Re-enter FORD, PAGE, DOCTOR CAIUS, and
SIR HUGH EVANS]
|FORD||I cannot find him: may be the knave bragged of that
he could not compass.
|MISTRESS PAGE||[Aside to MISTRESS FORD] Heard you that?|
|MISTRESS FORD||You use me well, Master Ford, do you?|
|FORD||Ay, I do so.|
|MISTRESS FORD||Heaven make you better than your thoughts!|
|MISTRESS PAGE||You do yourself mighty wrong, Master Ford.|
|FORD||Ay, ay; I must bear it.|
|SIR HUGH EVANS||If there be any pody in the house, and in the
chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses,
heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgment!
|DOCTOR CAIUS||By gar, nor I too: there is no bodies.|
|PAGE||Fie, fie, Master Ford! are you not ashamed? What
spirit, what devil suggests this imagination? I
would not ha' your distemper in this kind for the
wealth of Windsor Castle.
|FORD||'Tis my fault, Master Page: I suffer for it.|
|SIR HUGH EVANS||You suffer for a pad conscience: your wife is as
honest a 'omans as I will desires among five
thousand, and five hundred too.
|DOCTOR CAIUS||By gar, I see 'tis an honest woman.|
|FORD||Well, I promised you a dinner. Come, come, walk in
the Park: I pray you, pardon me; I will hereafter
make known to you why I have done this. Come,
wife; come, Mistress Page. I pray you, pardon me;
pray heartily, pardon me.
|PAGE||Let's go in, gentlemen; but, trust me, we'll mock
him. I do invite you to-morrow morning to my house
to breakfast: after, we'll a-birding together; I
have a fine hawk for the bush. Shall it be so?
|SIR HUGH EVANS||If there is one, I shall make two in the company.|
|DOCTOR CAIUS||If dere be one or two, I shall make-a the turd.|
|FORD||Pray you, go, Master Page.|
|SIR HUGH EVANS||I pray you now, remembrance tomorrow on the lousy
knave, mine host.
|DOCTOR CAIUS||Dat is good; by gar, with all my heart!|
|SIR HUGH EVANS||A lousy knave, to have his gibes and his mockeries!|
|[Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGE]|
|FENTON||I see I cannot get thy father's love;
Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.
|ANNE PAGE||Alas, how then?|
|FENTON||Why, thou must be thyself.
He doth object I am too great of birth--,
And that, my state being gall'd with my expense,
I seek to heal it only by his wealth:
Besides these, other bars he lays before me,
My riots past, my wild societies;
And tells me 'tis a thing impossible
I should love thee but as a property.
|ANNE PAGE||May be he tells you true.|
|FENTON||No, heaven so speed me in my time to come!
Albeit I will confess thy father's wealth
Was the first motive that I woo'd thee, Anne:
Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
Than stamps in gold or sums in sealed bags;
And 'tis the very riches of thyself
That now I aim at.
|ANNE PAGE||Gentle Master Fenton,
Yet seek my father's love; still seek it, sir:
If opportunity and humblest suit
Cannot attain it, why, then,--hark you hither!
|[They converse apart]|
|[Enter SHALLOW, SLENDER, and MISTRESS QUICKLY]|
|SHALLOW||Break their talk, Mistress Quickly: my kinsman shall
speak for himself.
|SLENDER||I'll make a shaft or a bolt on't: 'slid, 'tis but
|SHALLOW||Be not dismayed.|
|SLENDER||No, she shall not dismay me: I care not for that,
but that I am afeard.
|MISTRESS QUICKLY||Hark ye; Master Slender would speak a word with you.|
|ANNE PAGE||I come to him.|
|This is my father's choice.
O, what a world of vile ill-favor'd faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!
|MISTRESS QUICKLY||And how does good Master Fenton? Pray you, a word with you.|
|SHALLOW||She's coming; to her, coz. O boy, thou hadst a father!|
|SLENDER||I had a father, Mistress Anne; my uncle can tell you
good jests of him. Pray you, uncle, tell Mistress
Anne the jest, how my father stole two geese out of
a pen, good uncle.
|SHALLOW||Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.|
|SLENDER||Ay, that I do; as well as I love any woman in
|SHALLOW||He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.|
|SLENDER||Ay, that I will, come cut and long-tail, under the
degree of a squire.
|SHALLOW||He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.|
|ANNE PAGE||Good Master Shallow, let him woo for himself.|
|SHALLOW||Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good
comfort. She calls you, coz: I'll leave you.
|ANNE PAGE||Now, Master Slender,--|
|SLENDER||Now, good Mistress Anne,--|
|ANNE PAGE||What is your will?|
|SLENDER||My will! 'od's heartlings, that's a pretty jest
indeed! I ne'er made my will yet, I thank heaven; I
am not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.
|ANNE PAGE||I mean, Master Slender, what would you with me?|
|SLENDER||Truly, for mine own part, I would little or nothing
with you. Your father and my uncle hath made
motions: if it be my luck, so; if not, happy man be
his dole! They can tell you how things go better
than I can: you may ask your father; here he comes.
|[Enter PAGE and MISTRESS PAGE]|
|PAGE||Now, Master Slender: love him, daughter Anne.
Why, how now! what does Master Fenton here?
You wrong me, sir, thus still to haunt my house:
I told you, sir, my daughter is disposed of.
|FENTON||Nay, Master Page, be not impatient.|
|MISTRESS PAGE||Good Master Fenton, come not to my child.|
|PAGE||She is no match for you.|
|FENTON||Sir, will you hear me?|
|PAGE||No, good Master Fenton.
Come, Master Shallow; come, son Slender, in.
Knowing my mind, you wrong me, Master Fenton.
|[Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER]|
|MISTRESS QUICKLY||Speak to Mistress Page.|
|FENTON||Good Mistress Page, for that I love your daughter
In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Perforce, against all cheques, rebukes and manners,
I must advance the colours of my love
And not retire: let me have your good will.
|ANNE PAGE||Good mother, do not marry me to yond fool.|
|MISTRESS PAGE||I mean it not; I seek you a better husband.|
|MISTRESS QUICKLY||That's my master, master doctor.|
|ANNE PAGE||Alas, I had rather be set quick i' the earth
And bowl'd to death with turnips!
|MISTRESS PAGE||Come, trouble not yourself. Good Master Fenton,
I will not be your friend nor enemy:
My daughter will I question how she loves you,
And as I find her, so am I affected.
Till then farewell, sir: she must needs go in;
Her father will be angry.
|FENTON||Farewell, gentle mistress: farewell, Nan.|
|[Exeunt MISTRESS PAGE and ANNE PAGE]|
|MISTRESS QUICKLY||This is my doing, now: 'Nay,' said I, 'will you cast
away your child on a fool, and a physician? Look on
Master Fenton:' this is my doing.
|FENTON||I thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night
Give my sweet Nan this ring: there's for thy pains.
|MISTRESS QUICKLY||Now heaven send thee good fortune!|
|A kind heart he hath: a woman would run through
fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet I
would my master had Mistress Anne; or I would
Master Slender had her; or, in sooth, I would Master
Fenton had her; I will do what I can for them all
three; for so I have promised, and I'll be as good
as my word; but speciously for Master Fenton. Well,
I must of another errand to Sir John Falstaff from
my two mistresses: what a beast am I to slack it!
|[Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH]|
|FALSTAFF||Bardolph, I say,--|
|FALSTAFF||Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in't.|
|Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a
barrow of butcher's offal, and to be thrown in the
Thames? Well, if I be served such another trick,
I'll have my brains ta'en out and buttered, and give
them to a dog for a new-year's gift. The rogues
slighted me into the river with as little remorse as
they would have drowned a blind bitch's puppies,
fifteen i' the litter: and you may know by my size
that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking; if the
bottom were as deep as hell, I should down. I had
been drowned, but that the shore was shelvy and
shallow,--a death that I abhor; for the water swells
a man; and what a thing should I have been when I
had been swelled! I should have been a mountain of mummy.
|[Re-enter BARDOLPH with sack]|
|BARDOLPH||Here's Mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with you.|
|FALSTAFF||Let me pour in some sack to the Thames water; for my
belly's as cold as if I had swallowed snowballs for
pills to cool the reins. Call her in.
|BARDOLPH||Come in, woman!|
|[Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY]|
|MISTRESS QUICKLY||By your leave; I cry you mercy: give your worship
|FALSTAFF||Take away these chalices. Go brew me a pottle of
|BARDOLPH||With eggs, sir?|
|FALSTAFF||Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage.|
|MISTRESS QUICKLY||Marry, sir, I come to your worship from Mistress Ford.|
|FALSTAFF||Mistress Ford! I have had ford enough; I was thrown
into the ford; I have my belly full of ford.
|MISTRESS QUICKLY||Alas the day! good heart, that was not her fault:
she does so take on with her men; they mistook their erection.
|FALSTAFF||So did I mine, to build upon a foolish woman's promise.|
|MISTRESS QUICKLY||Well, she laments, sir, for it, that it would yearn
your heart to see it. Her husband goes this morning
a-birding; she desires you once more to come to her
between eight and nine: I must carry her word
quickly: she'll make you amends, I warrant you.
|FALSTAFF||Well, I will visit her: tell her so; and bid her
think what a man is: let her consider his frailty,
and then judge of my merit.
|MISTRESS QUICKLY||I will tell her.|
|FALSTAFF||Do so. Between nine and ten, sayest thou?|
|MISTRESS QUICKLY||Eight and nine, sir.|
|FALSTAFF||Well, be gone: I will not miss her.|
|MISTRESS QUICKLY||Peace be with you, sir.|
|FALSTAFF||I marvel I hear not of Master Brook; he sent me word
to stay within: I like his money well. O, here he comes.
|FORD||Bless you, sir!|
|FALSTAFF||Now, master Brook, you come to know what hath passed
between me and Ford's wife?
|FORD||That, indeed, Sir John, is my business.|
|FALSTAFF||Master Brook, I will not lie to you: I was at her
house the hour she appointed me.
|FORD||And sped you, sir?|
|FALSTAFF||Very ill-favoredly, Master Brook.|
|FORD||How so, sir? Did she change her determination?|
|FALSTAFF||No, Master Brook; but the peaking Cornuto her
husband, Master Brook, dwelling in a continual
'larum of jealousy, comes me in the instant of our
encounter, after we had embraced, kissed, protested,
and, as it were, spoke the prologue of our comedy;
and at his heels a rabble of his companions, thither
provoked and instigated by his distemper, and,
forsooth, to search his house for his wife's love.
|FORD||What, while you were there?|
|FALSTAFF||While I was there.|
|FORD||And did he search for you, and could not find you?|
|FALSTAFF||You shall hear. As good luck would have it, comes
in one Mistress Page; gives intelligence of Ford's
approach; and, in her invention and Ford's wife's
distraction, they conveyed me into a buck-basket.
|FALSTAFF||By the Lord, a buck-basket! rammed me in with foul
shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, greasy
napkins; that, Master Brook, there was the rankest
compound of villanous smell that ever offended nostril.
|FORD||And how long lay you there?|
|FALSTAFF||Nay, you shall hear, Master Brook, what I have
suffered to bring this woman to evil for your good.
Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple of Ford's
knaves, his hinds, were called forth by their
mistress to carry me in the name of foul clothes to
Datchet-lane: they took me on their shoulders; met
the jealous knave their master in the door, who
asked them once or twice what they had in their
basket: I quaked for fear, lest the lunatic knave
would have searched it; but fate, ordaining he
should be a cuckold, held his hand. Well: on went he
for a search, and away went I for foul clothes. But
mark the sequel, Master Brook: I suffered the pangs
of three several deaths; first, an intolerable
fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten
bell-wether; next, to be compassed, like a good
bilbo, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to
point, heel to head; and then, to be stopped in,
like a strong distillation, with stinking clothes
that fretted in their own grease: think of that,--a
man of my kidney,--think of that,--that am as subject
to heat as butter; a man of continual dissolution
and thaw: it was a miracle to scape suffocation.
And in the height of this bath, when I was more than
half stewed in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be
thrown into the Thames, and cooled, glowing hot,
in that surge, like a horse-shoe; think of
that,--hissing hot,--think of that, Master Brook.
|FORD||In good sadness, I am sorry that for my sake you
have sufferd all this. My suit then is desperate;
you'll undertake her no more?
|FALSTAFF||Master Brook, I will be thrown into Etna, as I have
been into Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her
husband is this morning gone a-birding: I have
received from her another embassy of meeting; 'twixt
eight and nine is the hour, Master Brook.
|FORD||'Tis past eight already, sir.|
|FALSTAFF||Is it? I will then address me to my appointment.
Come to me at your convenient leisure, and you shall
know how I speed; and the conclusion shall be
crowned with your enjoying her. Adieu. You shall
have her, Master Brook; Master Brook, you shall
|FORD||Hum! ha! is this a vision? is this a dream? do I
sleep? Master Ford awake! awake, Master Ford!
there's a hole made in your best coat, Master Ford.
This 'tis to be married! this 'tis to have linen
and buck-baskets! Well, I will proclaim myself
what I am: I will now take the lecher; he is at my
house; he cannot 'scape me; 'tis impossible he
should; he cannot creep into a halfpenny purse,
nor into a pepper-box: but, lest the devil that
guides him should aid him, I will search
impossible places. Though what I am I cannot avoid,
yet to be what I would not shall not make me tame:
if I have horns to make one mad, let the proverb go
with me: I'll be horn-mad.