|The Merry Wives of Windsor
| Merry Wives of Windsor
| Act 1, Scene 1
Enter SHALLOW, SLENDER, and SIR HUGH EVANSSHALLOW
Sir Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Star-SLENDER
chamber matter of it: if he were twenty Sir John
Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, esquire.
In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace andSHALLOW
Ay, cousin Slender, and 'Custalourum.SLENDER
Ay, and 'Rato-lorum' too; and a gentleman born,SHALLOW
master parson; who writes himself 'Armigero,' in any
bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, 'Armigero.'
Ay, that I do; and have done any time these threeSLENDER
All his successors gone before him hath done't; andSHALLOW
all his ancestors that come after him may: they may
give the dozen white luces in their coat.
It is an old coat.SIR HUGH EVANS
The dozen white louses do become an old coat well;SHALLOW
it agrees well, passant; it is a familiar beast to
man, and signifies love.
The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.SLENDER
I may quarter, coz.SHALLOW
You may, by marrying.SIR HUGH EVANS
It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.SHALLOW
Not a whit.SIR HUGH EVANS
Yes, py'r lady; if he has a quarter of your coat,SHALLOW
there is but three skirts for yourself, in my
simple conjectures: but that is all one. If Sir
John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto
you, I am of the church, and will be glad to do my
benevolence to make atonements and compremises
The council shall bear it; it is a riot.SIR HUGH EVANS
It is not meet the council hear a riot; there is noSHALLOW
fear of Got in a riot: the council, look you, shall
desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a
riot; take your vizaments in that.
Ha! o' my life, if I were young again, the swordSIR HUGH EVANS
should end it.
It is petter that friends is the sword, and end it:SLENDER
and there is also another device in my prain, which
peradventure prings goot discretions with it: there
is Anne Page, which is daughter to Master Thomas
Page, which is pretty virginity.
Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaksSIR HUGH EVANS
small like a woman.
It is that fery person for all the orld, as just asSLENDER
you will desire; and seven hundred pounds of moneys,
and gold and silver, is her grandsire upon his
death's-bed--Got deliver to a joyful resurrections!
--give, when she is able to overtake seventeen years
old: it were a goot motion if we leave our pribbles
and prabbles, and desire a marriage between Master
Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.
Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?SIR HUGH EVANS
Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.SLENDER
I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.SIR HUGH EVANS
Seven hundred pounds and possibilities is goot gifts.SHALLOW
Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff there?SIR HUGH EVANS
Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar as I doPAGE
despise one that is false, or as I despise one that
is not true. The knight, Sir John, is there; and, I
beseech you, be ruled by your well-willers. I will
peat the door for Master Page.
KnocksWhat, hoa! Got pless your house here!
[Within] Who's there?SIR HUGH EVANS
Here is Got's plessing, and your friend, and JusticePAGE
Shallow; and here young Master Slender, that
peradventures shall tell you another tale, if
matters grow to your likings.
I am glad to see your worships well.SHALLOW
I thank you for my venison, Master Shallow.
Master Page, I am glad to see you: much good do itPAGE
your good heart! I wished your venison better; it
was ill killed. How doth good Mistress Page?--and I
thank you always with my heart, la! with my heart.
Sir, I thank you.SHALLOW
Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.PAGE
I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.SLENDER
How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say hePAGE
was outrun on Cotsall.
It could not be judged, sir.SLENDER
You'll not confess, you'll not confess.SHALLOW
That he will not. 'Tis your fault, 'tis your fault;PAGE
'tis a good dog.
A cur, sir.SHALLOW
Sir, he's a good dog, and a fair dog: can there bePAGE
more said? he is good and fair. Is Sir John
Sir, he is within; and I would I could do a goodSIR HUGH EVANS
office between you.
It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.SHALLOW
He hath wronged me, Master Page.PAGE
Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.SHALLOW
If it be confessed, it is not redress'd: is not thatPAGE
so, Master Page? He hath wronged me; indeed he
hath, at a word, he hath, believe me: Robert
Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wronged.
Here comes Sir John.FALSTAFF
Enter FALSTAFF, BARDOLPH, NYM, and PISTOL
Now, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me to the king?SHALLOW
Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer, andFALSTAFF
broke open my lodge.
But not kissed your keeper's daughter?SHALLOW
Tut, a pin! this shall be answered.FALSTAFF
I will answer it straight; I have done all this.SHALLOW
That is now answered.
The council shall know this.FALSTAFF
'Twere better for you if it were known in counsel:SIR HUGH EVANS
you'll be laughed at.
Pauca verba, Sir John; goot worts.FALSTAFF
Good worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke yourSLENDER
head: what matter have you against me?
Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you;BARDOLPH
and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph,
Nym, and Pistol.
You Banbury cheese!SLENDER
Ay, it is no matter.PISTOL
How now, Mephostophilus!SLENDER
Ay, it is no matter.NYM
Slice, I say! pauca, pauca: slice! that's my humour.SLENDER
Where's Simple, my man? Can you tell, cousin?SIR HUGH EVANS
Peace, I pray you. Now let us understand. There isPAGE
three umpires in this matter, as I understand; that
is, Master Page, fidelicet Master Page; and there is
myself, fidelicet myself; and the three party is,
lastly and finally, mine host of the Garter.
We three, to hear it and end it between them.SIR HUGH EVANS
Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in my note-FALSTAFF
book; and we will afterwards ork upon the cause with
as great discreetly as we can.
He hears with ears.SIR HUGH EVANS
The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, 'HeFALSTAFF
hears with ear'? why, it is affectations.
Pistol, did you pick Master Slender's purse?SLENDER
Ay, by these gloves, did he, or I would I mightFALSTAFF
never come in mine own great chamber again else, of
seven groats in mill-sixpences, and two Edward
shovel-boards, that cost me two shilling and two
pence apiece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.
Is this true, Pistol?SIR HUGH EVANS
No; it is false, if it is a pick-purse.PISTOL
Ha, thou mountain-foreigner! Sir John and Master mine,SLENDER
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo.
Word of denial in thy labras here!
Word of denial: froth and scum, thou liest!
By these gloves, then, 'twas he.NYM
Be avised, sir, and pass good humours: I will saySLENDER
'marry trap' with you, if you run the nuthook's
humour on me; that is the very note of it.
By this hat, then, he in the red face had it; forFALSTAFF
though I cannot remember what I did when you made me
drunk, yet I am not altogether an ass.
What say you, Scarlet and John?BARDOLPH
Why, sir, for my part I say the gentleman had drunkSIR HUGH EVANS
himself out of his five sentences.
It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is!BARDOLPH
And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; andSLENDER
so conclusions passed the careires.
Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but 'tis noSIR HUGH EVANS
matter: I'll ne'er be drunk whilst I live again,
but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick:
if I be drunk, I'll be drunk with those that have
the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves.
So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.FALSTAFF
You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.PAGE
Enter ANNE PAGE, with wine; MISTRESS FORD and MISTRESS PAGE, following
Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink within.SLENDER
Exit ANNE PAGE
O heaven! this is Mistress Anne Page.PAGE
How now, Mistress Ford!FALSTAFF
Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met:PAGE
by your leave, good mistress.
Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome. Come, we have aSLENDER
hot venison pasty to dinner: come, gentlemen, I hope
we shall drink down all unkindness.
Exeunt all except SHALLOW, SLENDER, and SIR HUGH EVANS
I had rather than forty shillings I had my Book ofSIMPLE
Songs and Sonnets here.
Enter SIMPLEHow now, Simple! where have you been? I must wait
on myself, must I? You have not the Book of Riddles
about you, have you?
Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to AliceSHALLOW
Shortcake upon All-hallowmas last, a fortnight
Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. A word withSLENDER
you, coz; marry, this, coz: there is, as 'twere, a
tender, a kind of tender, made afar off by Sir Hugh
here. Do you understand me?
Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if it be so,SHALLOW
I shall do that that is reason.
Nay, but understand me.SLENDER
So I do, sir.SIR HUGH EVANS
Give ear to his motions, Master Slender: I willSLENDER
description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.
Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says: I praySIR HUGH EVANS
you, pardon me; he's a justice of peace in his
country, simple though I stand here.
But that is not the question: the question isSHALLOW
concerning your marriage.
Ay, there's the point, sir.SIR HUGH EVANS
Marry, is it; the very point of it; to Mistress Anne Page.SLENDER
Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon anySIR HUGH EVANS
But can you affection the 'oman? Let us command toSHALLOW
know that of your mouth or of your lips; for divers
philosophers hold that the lips is parcel of the
mouth. Therefore, precisely, can you carry your
good will to the maid?
Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?SLENDER
I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one thatSIR HUGH EVANS
would do reason.
Nay, Got's lords and his ladies! you must speakSHALLOW
possitable, if you can carry her your desires
That you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?SLENDER
I will do a greater thing than that, upon yourSHALLOW
request, cousin, in any reason.
Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz: what I doSLENDER
is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the maid?
I will marry her, sir, at your request: but if thereSIR HUGH EVANS
be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may
decrease it upon better acquaintance, when we are
married and have more occasion to know one another;
I hope, upon familiarity will grow more contempt:
but if you say, 'Marry her,' I will marry her; that
I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely.
It is a fery discretion answer; save the fall is inSHALLOW
the ort 'dissolutely:' the ort is, according to our
meaning, 'resolutely:' his meaning is good.
Ay, I think my cousin meant well.SLENDER
Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la!SHALLOW
Here comes fair Mistress Anne.ANNE PAGE
Re-enter ANNE PAGEWould I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne!
The dinner is on the table; my father desires yourSHALLOW
I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.SIR HUGH EVANS
Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.ANNE PAGE
Exeunt SHALLOW and SIR HUGH EVANS
Will't please your worship to come in, sir?SLENDER
No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well.ANNE PAGE
The dinner attends you, sir.SLENDER
I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth. Go,ANNE PAGE
sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my
Exit SIMPLEA justice of peace sometimes may be beholding to his
friend for a man. I keep but three men and a boy
yet, till my mother be dead: but what though? Yet I
live like a poor gentleman born.
I may not go in without your worship: they will notSLENDER
sit till you come.
I' faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much asANNE PAGE
though I did.
I pray you, sir, walk in.SLENDER
I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruisedANNE PAGE
my shin th' other day with playing at sword and
dagger with a master of fence; three veneys for a
dish of stewed prunes; and, by my troth, I cannot
abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your
dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?
I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.SLENDER
I love the sport well but I shall as soon quarrel atANNE PAGE
it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see
the bear loose, are you not?
Ay, indeed, sir.SLENDER
That's meat and drink to me, now. I have seenPAGE
Sackerson loose twenty times, and have taken him by
the chain; but, I warrant you, the women have so
cried and shrieked at it, that it passed: but women,
indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favored
Come, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay for you.SLENDER
I'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.PAGE
By cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! come, come.SLENDER
Nay, pray you, lead the way.PAGE
Come on, sir.SLENDER
Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.ANNE PAGE
Not I, sir; pray you, keep on.SLENDER
I'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome.
You do yourself wrong, indeed, la!
| Merry Wives of Windsor
| Act 1, Scene 1