Shakespeare Piece of the Day: The Merry Wives of Windsor (7/2/16)

07/02/2016 — Leave a comment

The Merry Wives of Windsor, ACT I
SCENE I. Windsor. Before PAGE’s house.

1851 Folger, Borron Clay, Clay Merry, Alfred Borron, Illustration Art, Folger Shakespeare. Alfred Borron Clay – The Merry Wives of Windsor

Enter SHALLOW, SLENDER, and SIR HUGH EVANS

SHALLOW
Sir Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Star-
chamber matter of it: if he were twenty Sir John
Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, esquire.

SLENDER
In the county of Gloucester, justice of peace and
‘Coram.’

SHALLOW
Ay, cousin Slender, and ‘Custalourum.

SLENDER
Ay, and ‘Rato-lorum’ too; and a gentleman born,
master parson; who writes himself ‘Armigero,’ in any
bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, ‘Armigero.’

SHALLOW
Ay, that I do; and have done any time these three
hundred years.

SLENDER
All his successors gone before him hath done’t; and
all his ancestors that come after him may: they may
give the dozen white luces in their coat.

SHALLOW
It is an old coat.

SIR HUGH EVANS
The dozen white louses do become an old coat well;
it agrees well, passant; it is a familiar beast to
man, and signifies love.

SHALLOW
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,
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
between you.

SHALLOW
The council shall bear it; it is a riot.

SIR HUGH EVANS
It is not meet the council hear a riot; there is no
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.

SHALLOW
Ha! o’ my life, if I were young again, the sword
should end it.

SIR HUGH EVANS
It is petter that friends is the sword, and end it:
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.

SLENDER
Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks
small like a woman.

SIR HUGH EVANS
It is that fery person for all the orld, as just as
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.

SLENDER
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 do
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.

Knocks

What, hoa! Got pless your house here!

PAGE
[Within] Who’s there?

Enter PAGE

SIR HUGH EVANS
Here is Got’s plessing, and your friend, and Justice
Shallow; and here young Master Slender, that
peradventures shall tell you another tale, if
matters grow to your likings.

PAGE
I am glad to see your worships well.
I thank you for my venison, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW
Master Page, I am glad to see you: much good do it
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.

PAGE
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 he
was outrun on Cotsall.

PAGE
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;
’tis a good dog.

PAGE
A cur, sir.

SHALLOW
Sir, he’s a good dog, and a fair dog: can there be
more said? he is good and fair. Is Sir John
Falstaff here?

PAGE
Sir, he is within; and I would I could do a good
office between you.

SIR HUGH EVANS
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 that
so, Master Page? He hath wronged me; indeed he
hath, at a word, he hath, believe me: Robert
Shallow, esquire, saith, he is wronged.

PAGE
Here comes Sir John.

Enter FALSTAFF, BARDOLPH, NYM, and PISTOL

FALSTAFF
Now, Master Shallow, you’ll complain of me to the king?

SHALLOW
Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer, and
broke open my lodge.

FALSTAFF
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.
That is now answered.

SHALLOW
The council shall know this.

FALSTAFF
‘Twere better for you if it were known in counsel:
you’ll be laughed at.

SIR HUGH EVANS
Pauca verba, Sir John; goot worts.

FALSTAFF
Good worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke your
head: what matter have you against me?

SLENDER
Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you;
and against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph,
Nym, and Pistol.

BARDOLPH
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 is
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.

PAGE
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-
book; and we will afterwards ork upon the cause with
as great discreetly as we can.

FALSTAFF
Pistol!

PISTOL
He hears with ears.

SIR HUGH EVANS
The tevil and his tam! what phrase is this, ‘He
hears with ear’? why, it is affectations.

FALSTAFF
Pistol, did you pick Master Slender’s purse?

SLENDER
Ay, by these gloves, did he, or I would I might
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.

FALSTAFF
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,
I combat challenge of this latten bilbo.
Word of denial in thy labras here!
Word of denial: froth and scum, thou liest!

SLENDER
By these gloves, then, ’twas he.

NYM
Be avised, sir, and pass good humours: I will say
‘marry trap’ with you, if you run the nuthook’s
humour on me; that is the very note of it.

SLENDER
By this hat, then, he in the red face had it; for
though I cannot remember what I did when you made me
drunk, yet I am not altogether an ass.

FALSTAFF
What say you, Scarlet and John?

BARDOLPH
Why, sir, for my part I say the gentleman had drunk
himself out of his five sentences.

SIR HUGH EVANS
It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is!

BARDOLPH
And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; and
so conclusions passed the careires.

SLENDER
Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but ’tis no
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.

SIR HUGH EVANS
So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.

FALSTAFF
You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.

Enter ANNE PAGE, with wine; MISTRESS FORD and MISTRESS PAGE, following

PAGE
Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we’ll drink within.

Exit ANNE PAGE

SLENDER
O heaven! this is Mistress Anne Page.

PAGE
How now, Mistress Ford!

FALSTAFF
Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met:
by your leave, good mistress.

Kisses her

PAGE
Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome. Come, we have a
hot venison pasty to dinner: come, gentlemen, I hope
we shall drink down all unkindness.

Exeunt all except SHALLOW, SLENDER, and SIR HUGH EVANS

SLENDER
I had rather than forty shillings I had my Book of
Songs and Sonnets here.

Enter SIMPLE

How now, Simple! where have you been? I must wait
on myself, must I? You have not the Book of Riddles
about you, have you?

SIMPLE
Book of Riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice
Shortcake upon All-hallowmas last, a fortnight
afore Michaelmas?

SHALLOW
Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. A word with
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?

SLENDER
Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable; if it be so,
I shall do that that is reason.

SHALLOW
Nay, but understand me.

SLENDER
So I do, sir.

SIR HUGH EVANS
Give ear to his motions, Master Slender: I will
description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.

SLENDER
Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says: I pray
you, pardon me; he’s a justice of peace in his
country, simple though I stand here.

SIR HUGH EVANS
But that is not the question: the question is
concerning your marriage.

SHALLOW
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 any
reasonable demands.

SIR HUGH EVANS
But can you affection the ‘oman? Let us command to
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?

SHALLOW
Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?

SLENDER
I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that
would do reason.

SIR HUGH EVANS
Nay, Got’s lords and his ladies! you must speak
possitable, if you can carry her your desires
towards her.

SHALLOW
That you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?

SLENDER
I will do a greater thing than that, upon your
request, cousin, in any reason.

SHALLOW
Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz: what I do
is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love the maid?

SLENDER
I will marry her, sir, at your request: but if there
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.

SIR HUGH EVANS
It is a fery discretion answer; save the fall is in
the ort ‘dissolutely:’ the ort is, according to our
meaning, ‘resolutely:’ his meaning is good.

SHALLOW
Ay, I think my cousin meant well.

SLENDER
Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la!

SHALLOW
Here comes fair Mistress Anne.

Re-enter ANNE PAGE

Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne!

ANNE PAGE
The dinner is on the table; my father desires your
worships’ company.

SHALLOW
I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.

SIR HUGH EVANS
Od’s plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.

Exeunt SHALLOW and SIR HUGH EVANS

ANNE PAGE
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,
sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my
cousin Shallow.

Exit SIMPLE

A 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.

ANNE PAGE
I may not go in without your worship: they will not
sit till you come.

SLENDER
I’ faith, I’ll eat nothing; I thank you as much as
though I did.

ANNE PAGE
I pray you, sir, walk in.

SLENDER
I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruised
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?

ANNE PAGE
I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.

SLENDER
I love the sport well but I shall as soon quarrel at
it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see
the bear loose, are you not?

ANNE PAGE
Ay, indeed, sir.

SLENDER
That’s meat and drink to me, now. I have seen
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
rough things.

Re-enter PAGE

PAGE
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!

Exeunt

SCENE II. The same.

Enter SIR HUGH EVANS and SIMPLE
SIR HUGH EVANS
Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Caius’ house which
is the way: and there dwells one Mistress Quickly,
which is in the manner of his nurse, or his dry
nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, his washer, and
his wringer.

SIMPLE
Well, sir.

SIR HUGH EVANS
Nay, it is petter yet. Give her this letter; for it
is a ‘oman that altogether’s acquaintance with
Mistress Anne Page: and the letter is, to desire
and require her to solicit your master’s desires to
Mistress Anne Page. I pray you, be gone: I will
make an end of my dinner; there’s pippins and cheese to come.

Exeunt

SCENE III. A room in the Garter Inn.

Enter FALSTAFF, Host, BARDOLPH, NYM, PISTOL, and ROBIN
FALSTAFF
Mine host of the Garter!

Host
What says my bully-rook? speak scholarly and wisely.

FALSTAFF
Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my
followers.

Host
Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.

FALSTAFF
I sit at ten pounds a week.

Host
Thou’rt an emperor, Caesar, Keisar, and Pheezar. I
will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall
tap: said I well, bully Hector?

FALSTAFF
Do so, good mine host.

Host
I have spoke; let him follow.

To BARDOLPH

Let me see thee froth and lime: I am at a word; follow.

Exit

FALSTAFF
Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade:
an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered
serving-man a fresh tapster. Go; adieu.

BARDOLPH
It is a life that I have desired: I will thrive.

PISTOL
O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?

Exit BARDOLPH

NYM
He was gotten in drink: is not the humour conceited?

FALSTAFF
I am glad I am so acquit of this tinderbox: his
thefts were too open; his filching was like an
unskilful singer; he kept not time.

NYM
The good humour is to steal at a minute’s rest.

PISTOL
‘Convey,’ the wise it call. ‘Steal!’ foh! a fico
for the phrase!

FALSTAFF
Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.

PISTOL
Why, then, let kibes ensue.

FALSTAFF
There is no remedy; I must cony-catch; I must shift.

PISTOL
Young ravens must have food.

FALSTAFF
Which of you know Ford of this town?

PISTOL
I ken the wight: he is of substance good.

FALSTAFF
My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.

PISTOL
Two yards, and more.

FALSTAFF
No quips now, Pistol! Indeed, I am in the waist two
yards about; but I am now about no waste; I am about
thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford’s
wife: I spy entertainment in her; she discourses,
she carves, she gives the leer of invitation: I
can construe the action of her familiar style; and
the hardest voice of her behavior, to be Englished
rightly, is, ‘I am Sir John Falstaff’s.’

PISTOL
He hath studied her will, and translated her will,
out of honesty into English.

NYM
The anchor is deep: will that humour pass?

FALSTAFF
Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her
husband’s purse: he hath a legion of angels.

PISTOL
As many devils entertain; and ‘To her, boy,’ say I.

NYM
The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.

FALSTAFF
I have writ me here a letter to her: and here
another to Page’s wife, who even now gave me good
eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious
oeillades; sometimes the beam of her view gilded my
foot, sometimes my portly belly.

PISTOL
Then did the sun on dunghill shine.

NYM
I thank thee for that humour.

FALSTAFF
O, she did so course o’er my exteriors with such a
greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye did
seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass! Here’s
another letter to her: she bears the purse too; she
is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will
be cheater to them both, and they shall be
exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West
Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go bear thou
this letter to Mistress Page; and thou this to
Mistress Ford: we will thrive, lads, we will thrive.

PISTOL
Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,
And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all!

NYM
I will run no base humour: here, take the
humour-letter: I will keep the havior of reputation.

FALSTAFF
[To ROBIN] Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly;
Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.
Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go;
Trudge, plod away o’ the hoof; seek shelter, pack!
Falstaff will learn the humour of the age,
French thrift, you rogues; myself and skirted page.

Exeunt FALSTAFF and ROBIN

PISTOL
Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and fullam holds,
And high and low beguiles the rich and poor:
Tester I’ll have in pouch when thou shalt lack,
Base Phrygian Turk!

NYM
I have operations which be humours of revenge.

PISTOL
Wilt thou revenge?

NYM
By welkin and her star!

PISTOL
With wit or steel?

NYM
With both the humours, I:
I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.

PISTOL
And I to Ford shall eke unfold
How Falstaff, varlet vile,
His dove will prove, his gold will hold,
And his soft couch defile.

NYM
My humour shall not cool: I will incense Page to
deal with poison; I will possess him with
yellowness, for the revolt of mine is dangerous:
that is my true humour.

PISTOL
Thou art the Mars of malecontents: I second thee; troop on.

Exeunt

SCENE IV. A room in DOCTOR CAIUS’ house.

Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY, SIMPLE, and RUGBY
MISTRESS QUICKLY
What, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the casement,
and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor
Caius, coming. If he do, i’ faith, and find any
body in the house, here will be an old abusing of
God’s patience and the king’s English.

RUGBY
I’ll go watch.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Go; and we’ll have a posset for’t soon at night, in
faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire.

Exit RUGBY

An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant
shall come in house withal, and, I warrant you, no
tell-tale nor no breed-bate: his worst fault is,
that he is given to prayer; he is something peevish
that way: but nobody but has his fault; but let
that pass. Peter Simple, you say your name is?

SIMPLE
Ay, for fault of a better.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
And Master Slender’s your master?

SIMPLE
Ay, forsooth.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Does he not wear a great round beard, like a
glover’s paring-knife?

SIMPLE
No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with a
little yellow beard, a Cain-coloured beard.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
A softly-sprighted man, is he not?

SIMPLE
Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his hands
as any is between this and his head; he hath fought
with a warrener.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
How say you? O, I should remember him: does he not
hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?

SIMPLE
Yes, indeed, does he.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! Tell
Master Parson Evans I will do what I can for your
master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish–

Re-enter RUGBY

RUGBY
Out, alas! here comes my master.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man;
go into this closet: he will not stay long.

Shuts SIMPLE in the closet

What, John Rugby! John! what, John, I say!
Go, John, go inquire for my master; I doubt
he be not well, that he comes not home.

Singing

And down, down, adown-a, & c.

Enter DOCTOR CAIUS

DOCTOR CAIUS
Vat is you sing? I do not like des toys. Pray you,
go and vetch me in my closet un boitier vert, a box,
a green-a box: do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Ay, forsooth; I’ll fetch it you.

Aside

I am glad he went not in himself: if he had found
the young man, he would have been horn-mad.

DOCTOR CAIUS
Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je
m’en vais a la cour–la grande affaire.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Is it this, sir?

DOCTOR CAIUS
Oui; mette le au mon pocket: depeche, quickly. Vere
is dat knave Rugby?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
What, John Rugby! John!

RUGBY
Here, sir!

DOCTOR CAIUS
You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby. Come,
take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to the court.

RUGBY
‘Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.

DOCTOR CAIUS
By my trot, I tarry too long. Od’s me!
Qu’ai-j’oublie! dere is some simples in my closet,
dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Ay me, he’ll find the young man here, and be mad!

DOCTOR CAIUS
O diable, diable! vat is in my closet? Villain! larron!

Pulling SIMPLE out

Rugby, my rapier!

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Good master, be content.

DOCTOR CAIUS
Wherefore shall I be content-a?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
The young man is an honest man.

DOCTOR CAIUS
What shall de honest man do in my closet? dere is
no honest man dat shall come in my closet.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic. Hear the truth
of it: he came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh.

DOCTOR CAIUS
Vell.

SIMPLE
Ay, forsooth; to desire her to–

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Peace, I pray you.

DOCTOR CAIUS
Peace-a your tongue. Speak-a your tale.

SIMPLE
To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to
speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page for my
master in the way of marriage.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
This is all, indeed, la! but I’ll ne’er put my
finger in the fire, and need not.

DOCTOR CAIUS
Sir Hugh send-a you? Rugby, baille me some paper.
Tarry you a little-a while.

Writes

MISTRESS QUICKLY
[Aside to SIMPLE] I am glad he is so quiet: if he
had been thoroughly moved, you should have heard him
so loud and so melancholy. But notwithstanding,
man, I’ll do you your master what good I can: and
the very yea and the no is, the French doctor, my
master,–I may call him my master, look you, for I
keep his house; and I wash, wring, brew, bake,
scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds and do
all myself,–

SIMPLE
[Aside to MISTRESS QUICKLY] ‘Tis a great charge to
come under one body’s hand.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
[Aside to SIMPLE] Are you avised o’ that? you
shall find it a great charge: and to be up early
and down late; but notwithstanding,–to tell you in
your ear; I would have no words of it,–my master
himself is in love with Mistress Anne Page: but
notwithstanding that, I know Anne’s mind,–that’s
neither here nor there.

DOCTOR CAIUS
You jack’nape, give-a this letter to Sir Hugh; by
gar, it is a shallenge: I will cut his troat in dee
park; and I will teach a scurvy jack-a-nape priest
to meddle or make. You may be gone; it is not good
you tarry here. By gar, I will cut all his two
stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to throw
at his dog:

Exit SIMPLE

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Alas, he speaks but for his friend.

DOCTOR CAIUS
It is no matter-a ver dat: do not you tell-a me
dat I shall have Anne Page for myself? By gar, I
vill kill de Jack priest; and I have appointed mine
host of de Jarteer to measure our weapon. By gar, I
will myself have Anne Page.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. We
must give folks leave to prate: what, the good-jer!

DOCTOR CAIUS
Rugby, come to the court with me. By gar, if I have
not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my
door. Follow my heels, Rugby.

Exeunt DOCTOR CAIUS and RUGBY

MISTRESS QUICKLY
You shall have An fool’s-head of your own. No, I
know Anne’s mind for that: never a woman in Windsor
knows more of Anne’s mind than I do; nor can do more
than I do with her, I thank heaven.

FENTON
[Within] Who’s within there? ho!

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Who’s there, I trow! Come near the house, I pray you.

Enter FENTON

FENTON
How now, good woman? how dost thou?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
The better that it pleases your good worship to ask.

FENTON
What news? how does pretty Mistress Anne?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and
gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you
that by the way; I praise heaven for it.

FENTON
Shall I do any good, thinkest thou? shall I not lose my suit?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Troth, sir, all is in his hands above: but
notwithstanding, Master Fenton, I’ll be sworn on a
book, she loves you. Have not your worship a wart
above your eye?

FENTON
Yes, marry, have I; what of that?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Well, thereby hangs a tale: good faith, it is such
another Nan; but, I detest, an honest maid as ever
broke bread: we had an hour’s talk of that wart. I
shall never laugh but in that maid’s company! But
indeed she is given too much to allicholy and
musing: but for you–well, go to.

FENTON
Well, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there’s money
for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if
thou seest her before me, commend me.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Will I? i’faith, that we will; and I will tell your
worship more of the wart the next time we have
confidence; and of other wooers.

FENTON
Well, farewell; I am in great haste now.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Farewell to your worship.

Exit FENTON

Truly, an honest gentleman: but Anne loves him not;
for I know Anne’s mind as well as another does. Out
upon’t! what have I forgot?

Exit

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