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The Merry Wives of Windsor: Act I, Scene 1

The Merry Wives of Windsor
Act I, Scene 1

Scene 1

Windsor. A street in front of Page’s house.

  1. Enter Justice Shallow, Slender, Sir Hugh
  2. Evans.

Shallow

1 - 4
  1. Sir Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a Star
  2. Chamber matter of it. If he were twenty Sir John
  3. Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow,
  4. esquire.

Slender

5 - 6
  1. In the county of Gloucester, Justice of Peace
  2. and Coram.

Shallow

7
  1. Ay, cousin Slender, and Custa-lorum.

Slender

8 - 11
  1. Ay, and Rato-lorum too; and a gentleman born,
  2. Master Parson, who writes himself Armigero, in
  3. any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation,
  4. Armigero.

Shallow

12 - 13
  1. Ay, that I do, and have done any time these
  2. three hundred years.

Slender

14 - 17
  1. All his successors (gone before him) hath
  2. done’t; and all his ancestors (that come after
  3. him) may. They may give the dozen white luces
  4. in their coat.

Shallow

18
  1. It is an old coat.

Evans

19 - 21
  1. The dozen white louses do become an old coat
  2. well; it agrees well, passant. It is a familiar
  3. beast to man, and signifies love.

Shallow

22 - 23
  1. The luce is the fresh fish, the salt fish is an old
  2. coat.

Slender

24
  1. I may quarter, coz.

Shallow

25
  1. You may, by marrying.

Evans

26
  1. It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.

Shallow

27
  1. Not a whit.

Evans

28 - 34
  1. Yes, py’r lady. If he has a quarter of your coat,
  2. there is but three skirts for yourself, in my
  3. simple conjectures. But that is all one. If Sir
  4. John Falstaff have committed disparagements
  5. unto you, I am of the church, and will be glad to
  6. do my benevolence to make atonements and
  7. compromises between you.

Shallow

35
  1. The Council shall hear it, it is a riot.

Evans

36 - 39
  1. It is not meet the Council hear a riot; there is no
  2. fear of Got in a riot. The Council, look you, shall
  3. desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a
  4. riot. Take your vizaments in that.

Shallow

40 - 41
  1. Ha! O’ my life, if I were young again, the sword
  2. should end it.

Evans

42 - 46
  1. It is petter that friends is the sword, and end it;
  2. and there is also another device in my prain,
  3. which peradventure prings goot discretions with
  4. it: there is Anne Page, which is daughter to
  5. Master George Page, which is pretty virginity.

Slender

47 - 48
  1. Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and
  2. speaks small like a woman.

Evans

49 - 57
  1. It is that fery person for all the orld, as just as
  2. you will desire, and seven hundred pounds of
  3. moneys, and gold, and silver, is her grandsire
  4. upon his death’s-bed (Got deliver to a joyful
  5. resurrections!) give, when she is able to
  6. overtake seventeen years old. It were a goot
  7. motion if we leave our pribbles and prabbles,
  8. and desire a marriage between Master
  9. Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.

Slender

58 - 59
  1. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred
  2. pound?

Evans

60
  1. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.

Slender

61 - 62
  1. I know the young gentlewoman, she has good
  2. gifts.

Evans

63 - 64
  1. Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is
  2. goot gifts.

Shallow

65 - 66
  1. Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff
  2. there?

Evans

67 - 72
  1. Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar as I do
  2. despise one that is false, or as I despise one
  3. that is not true. The knight Sir John is there,
  4. and I beseech you be rul’d by your well-willers. I
  5. will peat the door for Master Page.
  6. Knocks.
  7. What ho! Got pless your house here!

George

73
  1. Within.
  2. Who’s there?
  1. Enter Page.

Evans

74 - 77
  1. Here is Got’s plessing, and your friend, and
  2. Justice Shallow, and here young Master
  3. Slender, that peradventures shall tell you
  4. another tale, if matters grow to your likings.

George

78 - 79
  1. I am glad to see your worships well. I thank you
  2. for my venison, Master Shallow.

Shallow

80 - 84
  1. Master Page, I am glad to see you. Much good
  2. do it your good heart! I wish’d your venison
  3. better, it was ill kill’d. How doth good Mistress
  4. Page?—and I thank you always with my heart,
  5. la! With my heart.

George

85
  1. Sir, I thank you.

Shallow

86
  1. Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.

George

87
  1. I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.

Slender

88 - 89
  1. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard
  2. say he was outrun on Cotsall.

George

90
  1. It could not be judg’d, sir.

Slender

91
  1. You’ll not confess, you’ll not confess.

Shallow

92 - 93
  1. That he will not. ’Tis your fault, ’tis your fault; ’tis
  2. a good dog.

George

94
  1. A cur, sir.

Shallow

95 - 97
  1. Sir! He’s a good dog, and a fair dogcan there
  2. be more said? He is good, and fair. Is Sir John
  3. Falstaff here?

George

98 - 99
  1. Sir, he is within; and I would I could do a good
  2. office between you.

Evans

100
  1. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.

Shallow

101
  1. He hath wrong’d me, Master Page.

George

102
  1. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.

Shallow

103 - 106
  1. If it be confess’d, it is not redress’d. Is not that
  2. so, Master Page? He hath wrong’d me, indeed
  3. he hath, at a word he hath. Believe me, Robert
  4. Shallow, esquire, saith he is wrong’d.

George

107
  1. Here comes Sir John.
  1. Enter Sir John Falstaff, Bardolph, Nym, Pistol.

Falstaff

108 - 109
  1. Now, Master Shallow, you’ll complain of me to
  2. the King?

Shallow

110 - 111
  1. Knight, you have beaten my men, kill’d
  2. my deer, and broke open my lodge.

Falstaff

112
  1. But not kiss’d your keeper’s daughter?

Shallow

113
  1. Tut, a pin! This shall be answer’d.

Falstaff

114 - 115
  1. I will answer it straight: I have done all this. That
  2. is now answer’d.

Shallow

116
  1. The Council shall know this.

Falstaff

117 - 118
  1. ’Twere better for you if it were known in
  2. counsel. You’ll be laugh’d at.

Evans

119
  1. Pauca verba; Sir John, good worts.

Falstaff

120 - 121
  1. Good worts? Good cabbage. Slender, I broke
  2. your head; what matter have you against me?

Slender

122 - 126
  1. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against
  2. you, and against your cony-catching rascals,
  3. Bardolph, Nym, and Pistol. They carried me to
  4. the tavern and made me drunk, and afterward
  5. pick’d my pocket.

Bardolph

127
  1. You Banbury cheese!

Slender

128
  1. Ay, it is no matter.

Pistol

129
  1. How now, Mephostophilus?

Slender

130
  1. Ay, it is no matter.

Nym

131 - 132
  1. Slice, I say! Pauca, pauca. Slice, that’s my
  2. humor.

Slender

133
  1. Where’s Simple, my man? Can you tell, cousin?

Evans

134 - 139
  1. Peace, I pray you. Now let us understand.
  2. There is three umpires in this matter, as I
  3. understand: that is, Master Page (fidelicet
  4. Master Page) and there is myself (fidelicet
  5. myself) and the three party is (lastly and finally)
  6. mine host of the Garter.

George

140
  1. We three to hear it and end it between them.

Evans

141 - 143
  1. Fery goot. I will make a prief of it in my
  2. note-book, and we will afterwards ork upon
  3. the cause with as great discreetly as we can.

Falstaff

144
  1. Pistol!

Pistol

145
  1. He hears with ears.

Evans

146 - 147
  1. The tevil and his tam! What phrase is this? He
  2. hears with ear”? Why, it is affectations.

Falstaff

148
  1. Pistol, did you pick Master Slender’s purse?

Slender

149 - 154
  1. Ay, by these gloves, did he, or I would I might
  2. never come in mine own great chamber again
  3. else, of seven groats in mill-sixpences, and two
  4. Edward shovel-boards, that cost me two shilling
  5. and two pence a-piece of Yead Millerby these
  6. gloves.

Falstaff

155
  1. Is this true, Pistol?

Evans

156
  1. No, it is false, if it is a pick-purse.

Pistol

157 - 160
  1. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner! Sir John, and master mine,
  2. I combat challenge of this latten bilbo.
  3. Word of denial in thy labras here!
  4. Word of denial! Froth and scum, thou liest!

Slender

161
  1. By these gloves, then ’twas he.

Nym

162 - 164
  1. Be avis’d, sir, and pass good humors. I will say
  2. marry trap with you, if you run the nuthook’s
  3. humor on methat is the very note of it.

Slender

165 - 167
  1. By this hat, then he in the red face had it; for
  2. though I cannot remember what I did when you
  3. made me drunk, yet I am not altogether an ass.

Falstaff

168
  1. What say you, Scarlet and John?

Bardolph

169 - 170
  1. Why, sir, for my part, I say the gentleman had
  2. drunk himself out of his five sentences.

Evans

171
  1. It is his five senses. Fie, what the ignorance is!

Bardolph

172 - 173
  1. And being fap, sir, was (as they say) cashier’d;
  2. and so conclusions pass’d the careers.

Slender

174 - 178
  1. Ay, you spake in Latin then too: but ’tis no
  2. matter; I’ll ne’er be drunk whilst I live again, but
  3. in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick. If I
  4. be drunk, I’ll be drunk with those that have the
  5. fear of God, and not with drunken knaves.

Evans

179
  1. So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.

Falstaff

180 - 181
  1. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen;
  2. you hear it.
  1. Enter Anne Page with wine, Mistress Ford,
  2. Mistress Page.

George

182 - 183
  1. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in, we’ll drink
  2. within.
  1. Exit Anne Page.

Slender

184
  1. O heaven! This is Mistress Anne Page.

George

185
  1. How now, Mistress Ford?

Falstaff

186 - 187
  1. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well
  2. met. By your leave, good mistress.
  1. Kisses her.

George

188 - 191
  1. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome. Come, we
  2. have a hot venison pasty to dinner. Come,
  3. gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all
  4. unkindness.
  1. Exeunt all except Shallow, Slender, and Evans.

Slender

192 - 196
  1. I had rather than forty shillings I had my Book of
  2. Songs and Sonnets here.
  3. Enter Simple.
  4. How now, Simple, where have you been? I
  5. must wait on myself, must I? You have not the
  6. Book of Riddles about you, have you?

Simple

197 - 199
  1. Book of Riddles? Why, did you not lend it
  2. to Alice Shortcake upon All-hallowmas last, a
  3. fortnight afore Michaelmas?

Shallow

200 - 203
  1. Come, coz, come, coz, we stay for you. A word
  2. with you, coz; marry, this, coz: there is as ’twere
  3. a tender, a kind of tender, made afar off by Sir
  4. Hugh here. Do you understand me?

Slender

204 - 205
  1. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable. If it be so,
  2. I shall do that that is reason.

Shallow

206
  1. Nay, but understand me.

Slender

207
  1. So I do, sir.

Evans

208 - 210
  1. Give ear to his motions: Master Slender, I will
  2. description the matter to you, if you be capacity
  3. of it.

Slender

211 - 213
  1. Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says. I pray
  2. you pardon me; he’s a Justice of Peace in his
  3. country, simple though I stand here.

Evans

214 - 215
  1. But that is not the question: the question is
  2. concerning your marriage.

Shallow

216
  1. Ay, there’s the point, sir.

Evans

217 - 218
  1. Marry, is it; the very point of itto Mistress
  2. Anne Page.

Slender

219 - 220
  1. Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any
  2. reasonable demands.

Evans

221 - 226
  1. But can you affection the oman? Let us
  2. command to know that of your
  3. mouth, or of your lips; for divers philosophers
  4. hold that the lips is parcel of the mouth.
  5. Therefore precisely, can you carry your good
  6. will to the maid?

Shallow

227
  1. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?

Slender

228 - 229
  1. I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that
  2. would do reason.

Evans

230 - 232
  1. Nay, Got’s lords and his ladies, you must speak
  2. possitable, if you can carry her your desires
  3. towards her.

Shallow

233 - 234
  1. That you must. Will you, upon good dowry,
  2. marry her?

Slender

235 - 236
  1. I will do a greater thing than that, upon your
  2. request, cousin, in any reason.

Shallow

237 - 239
  1. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz;
  2. what I do is to pleasure you, coz. Can you love
  3. the maid?

Slender

240 - 247
  1. I will marry her, sir, at your request; but if there
  2. be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven
  3. may decrease it upon better acquaintance,
  4. when we are married and have more occasion
  5. to know one another. I hope, upon familiarity
  6. will grow more content. But if you say, Marry
  7. her,” I will marry her; that I am freely dissolv’d,
  8. and dissolutely.

Evans

248 - 250
  1. It is a fery discretion answer, save the fall is
  2. in the ord dissolutely.” The ort is (according to
  3. our meaning) resolutely.” His meaning is good.

Shallow

251
  1. AyI think my cousin meant well.

Slender

252
  1. Ay, or else I would I might be hang’d, la!

Shallow

253 - 255
  1. Here comes fair Mistress Anne.
  2. Enter Anne Page.
  3. Would I were young for your sake, Mistress
  4. Anne!

Anne

256 - 257
  1. The dinner is on the table. My father desires
  2. your worships’ company.

Shallow

258
  1. I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.

Evans

259 - 260
  1. ’Od’s plessed will! I will not be absence at the
  2. grace.
  1. Exeunt Shallow and Evans.

Anne

261
  1. Will’t please your worship to come in, sir?

Slender

262 - 263
  1. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very
  2. well.

Anne

264
  1. The dinner attends you, sir.

Slender

265 - 271
  1. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth. Go,
  2. sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my
  3. cousin Shallow.
  4. Exit Simple.
  5. A Justice of Peace sometime may be beholding
  6. to his friend for a man. I keep but three men
  7. and a boy yet, till my mother be dead. But what
  8. though? Yet I live like a poor gentleman born.

Anne

272 - 273
  1. I may not go in without your worship; they will
  2. not sit till you come.

Slender

274 - 275
  1. I’ faith, I’ll eat nothing. I thank you as much as
  2. though I did.

Anne

276
  1. I pray you, sir, walk in.

Slender

277 - 283
  1. I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruis’d my
  2. shin th’ other day with playing at sword and
  3. dagger with a master of fence (three veneys for
  4. a dish of stew’d prunes) and by my troth, I
  5. cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why
  6. do your dogs bark so? Be there bears i’ th’
  7. town?

Anne

284
  1. I think there are, sir, I heard them talk’d of.

Slender

285 - 287
  1. I love the sport well, but I shall as soon quarrel
  2. at it as any man in England. You are afraid if
  3. you see the bear loose, are you not?

Anne

288
  1. Ay indeed, sir.

Slender

289 - 294
  1. That’s meat and drink to me, now. I have seen
  2. Sackerson loose twenty times, and have taken
  3. him by the chain; but (I warrant you) the women
  4. have so cried and shriek’d at it, that it pass’d.
  5. But women, indeed, cannot abide ’em, they are
  6. very ill-favor’d rough things.
  1. Enter Page.

George

295 - 296
  1. Come, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay
  2. for you.

Slender

297
  1. I’ll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.

George

298 - 299
  1. By cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir!
  2. Come, come.

Slender

300
  1. Nay, pray you lead the way.

George

301
  1. Come on, sir.

Slender

302
  1. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.

Anne

303
  1. Not I, sir, pray you keep on.

Slender

304 - 305
  1. Truly I will not go first; truly la! I will not do you
  2. that wrong.

Anne

306
  1. I pray you, sir.

Slender

307 - 308
  1. I’ll rather be unmannerly than troublesome. You
  2. do yourself wrong indeed la!
  1. Exeunt.
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