Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Merry Wives of Windsor
Act. III, Pg. 57
Scene II.—The Street in Windsor.
Enter Mrs. PAGE and ROBIN.
Mrs. 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?
Rob. I had rather, forsooth, go before you like
a man than follow him like a dwarf.
Mrs. Page. O you are a flattering boy; now, I
see, you’ll be a courier.
Ford. Well met, Mistress Page. Whither go
Mrs. Page. Truly, sir, to see your wife. Is she
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.
Mrs. Page. Be sure of that,—two other hus-
Ford. Where had you this pretty weather-
Mrs. Page. I cannot tell what the dickens his
name is my husband had him off: What do
you call your knight’s name, sirrah!
Rob. Sir John Falstaff.
Ford. Sir John Falstaff!
Mrs. 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 home indeed?
Ford. Indeed she is.
Mrs. Page. By your leave, sir;—I am sick till
I see her. [Exeunt Mrs. 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 miles 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 [Clock strikes.] 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, CAIUS, and RUGBY.
Shal., Page, &c. Well met, Master Ford.
Ford. Trust me, a good knot: I have good
cheer at home; and, I pray you, all go with me.
Shal. I must excuse myself, Master Ford.
Slen. 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.
Shal. We have lingered about a match be-
tween Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and
this day we shall have our answer.
Slen. 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.
Caius. Ay, by gar; and de maid is love a-me;
my nursh-a Quickly tell me so much.
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 will carry’t.
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 you cheer,
you shall have sport; I will show you a mon-
ster.—Master doctor, you shall go;—so shall
you, Master Page;—and you, Sir Hugh.
(To be continued on 6/30/14 – Enjoy more of
The Merry Wives of Windsor)