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The Merry Wives of Windsor: Act 1, Scene 1

The Merry Wives of Windsor
Act 1, Scene 1

Scene 1

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

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

Shallow

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

Slender

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

Shallow

6
  1. Ay, cousin Slender, and Custa-lorum.

Slender

7 - 9
  1. Ay, and Rato-lorum too; and a gentleman born, Master Parson,
  2. who writes himself Armigero, in any bill, warrant,
  3. quittance, or obligation, Armigero.

Shallow

10 - 11
  1. Ay, that I do, and have done any time these three hundred
  2. years.

Slender

12 - 14
  1. All his successors (gone before him) hath done’t; and all
  2. his ancestors (that come after him) may. They may give the
  3. dozen white luces in their coat.

Shallow

15
  1. It is an old coat.

Evans

16 - 18
  1. The dozen white louses do become an old coat well; it agrees
  2. well, passant. It is a familiar beast to man, and signifies
  3. love.

Shallow

19
  1. The luce is the fresh fish, the salt fish is an old coat.

Slender

20
  1. I may quarter, coz.

Shallow

21
  1. You may, by marrying.

Evans

22
  1. It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.

Shallow

23
  1. Not a whit.

Evans

24 - 29
  1. Yes, py’r lady. If he has a quarter of your coat, there is
  2. but three skirts for yourself, in my simple conjectures. But
  3. that is all one. If Sir John Falstaff have committed
  4. disparagements unto you, I am of the church, and will be
  5. glad to do my benevolence to make atonements and compromises
  6. between you.

Shallow

30
  1. The Council shall hear it, it is a riot.

Evans

31 - 34
  1. It is not meet the Council hear a riot; there is no fear of
  2. Got in a riot. The Council, look you, shall desire to hear
  3. the fear of Got, and not to hear a riot. Take your vizaments
  4. in that.

Shallow

35 - 36
  1. Ha! O’ my life, if I were young again, the sword should end
  2. it.

Evans

37 - 41
  1. It is petter that friends is the sword, and end it; and
  2. there is also another device in my prain, which peradventure
  3. prings goot discretions with it: there is Anne Page, which
  4. is daughter to Master George Page, which is pretty
  5. virginity.

Slender

42 - 43
  1. Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks small
  2. like a woman.

Evans

44 - 50
  1. It is that fery person for all the orld, as just as you will
  2. desire, and seven hundred pounds of moneys, and gold, and
  3. silver, is her grandsire upon his death’s-bed (Got deliver
  4. to a joyful resurrections!) give, when she is able to
  5. overtake seventeen years old. It were a goot motion if we
  6. leave our pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage
  7. between Master Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.

Slender

51
  1. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?

Evans

52
  1. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.

Slender

53
  1. I know the young gentlewoman, she has good gifts.

Evans

54
  1. Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is goot gifts.

Shallow

55
  1. Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff there?

Evans

56 - 61
  1. Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar as I do despise
  2. one that is false, or as I despise one that is not true. The
  3. knight Sir John is there, and I beseech you be rul’d by your
  4. well-willers. I will peat the door for Master Page.
  5. Knocks.
  6. What ho! Got pless your house here!

George

62 - 63
  1. Within.
  2. Who’s there?
  1. Enter Page.

Evans

65 - 68
  1. Here is Got’s plessing, and your friend, and Justice
  2. Shallow, and here young Master Slender, that peradventures
  3. shall tell you another tale, if matters grow to your
  4. likings.

George

69 - 70
  1. I am glad to see your worships well. I thank you for my
  2. venison, Master Shallow.

Shallow

71 - 74
  1. Master Page, I am glad to see you. Much good do it your good
  2. heart! I wish’d your venison better, it was ill kill’d. How
  3. doth good Mistress Page?—and I thank you always with my
  4. heart, la! With my heart.

George

75
  1. Sir, I thank you.

Shallow

76
  1. Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.

George

77
  1. I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.

Slender

78 - 79
  1. How does your fallow greyhound, sir? I heard say he was
  2. outrun on Cotsall.

George

80
  1. It could not be judg’d, sir.

Slender

81
  1. You’ll not confess, you’ll not confess.

Shallow

82 - 83
  1. That he will not. ’Tis your fault, ’tis your fault; ’tis a
  2. good dog.

George

84
  1. A cur, sir.

Shallow

85 - 86
  1. Sir! He’s a good dog, and a fair dogcan there be more said?
  2. He is good, and fair. Is Sir John Falstaff here?

George

87 - 88
  1. Sir, he is within; and I would I could do a good office
  2. between you.

Evans

89
  1. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.

Shallow

90
  1. He hath wrong’d me, Master Page.

George

91
  1. Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.

Shallow

92 - 95
  1. If it be confess’d, it is not redress’d. Is not that so,
  2. Master Page? He hath wrong’d me, indeed he hath, at a word
  3. he hath. Believe me, Robert Shallow, esquire, saith he is
  4. wrong’d.

George

96
  1. Here comes Sir John.
  1. Enter Sir John Falstaff, Bardolph, Nym, Pistol.

Falstaff

98
  1. Now, Master Shallow, you’ll complain of me to the King?

Shallow

99 - 100
  1. Knight, you have beaten my men, kill’d my deer, and broke
  2. open my lodge.

Falstaff

101
  1. But not kiss’d your keeper’s daughter?

Shallow

102
  1. Tut, a pin! This shall be answer’d.

Falstaff

103 - 104
  1. I will answer it straight: I have done all this. That is now
  2. answer’d.

Shallow

105
  1. The Council shall know this.

Falstaff

106 - 107
  1. ’Twere better for you if it were known in counsel. You’ll be
  2. laugh’d at.

Evans

108
  1. Pauca verba; Sir John, good worts.

Falstaff

109 - 110
  1. Good worts? Good cabbage. Slender, I broke your head; what
  2. matter have you against me?

Slender

111 - 114
  1. Marry, sir, I have matter in my head against you, and
  2. against your cony-catching rascals, Bardolph, Nym, and
  3. Pistol. They carried me to the tavern and made me drunk, and
  4. afterward pick’d my pocket.

Bardolph

115
  1. You Banbury cheese!

Slender

116
  1. Ay, it is no matter.

Pistol

117
  1. How now, Mephostophilus?

Slender

118
  1. Ay, it is no matter.

Nym

119
  1. Slice, I say! Pauca, pauca. Slice, that’s my humor.

Slender

120
  1. Where’s Simple, my man? Can you tell, cousin?

Evans

121 - 125
  1. Peace, I pray you. Now let us understand. There is three
  2. umpires in this matter, as I understand: that is, Master
  3. Page (fidelicet Master Page) and there is myself (fidelicet
  4. myself) and the three party is (lastly and finally) mine
  5. host of the Garter.

George

126
  1. We three to hear it and end it between them.

Evans

127 - 129
  1. Fery goot. I will make a prief of it in my note-book, and we
  2. will afterwards ork upon the cause with as great discreetly
  3. as we can.

Falstaff

130
  1. Pistol!

Pistol

131
  1. He hears with ears.

Evans

132 - 133
  1. The tevil and his tam! What phrase is this? He hears with
  2. ear”? Why, it is affectations.

Falstaff

134
  1. Pistol, did you pick Master Slender’s purse?

Slender

135 - 139
  1. Ay, by these gloves, did he, or I would I might never come
  2. in mine own great chamber again else, of seven groats in
  3. mill-sixpences, and two Edward shovel-boards, that cost me
  4. two shilling and two pence a-piece of Yead Millerby these
  5. gloves.

Falstaff

140
  1. Is this true, Pistol?

Evans

141
  1. No, it is false, if it is a pick-purse.

Pistol

142 - 145
  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

146
  1. By these gloves, then ’twas he.

Nym

147 - 149
  1. Be avis’d, sir, and pass good humors. I will say marry
  2. trap with you, if you run the nuthook’s humor on methat is
  3. the very note of it.

Slender

150 - 152
  1. By this hat, then he in the red face had it; for though I
  2. cannot remember what I did when you made me drunk, yet I am
  3. not altogether an ass.

Falstaff

153
  1. What say you, Scarlet and John?

Bardolph

154 - 155
  1. Why, sir, for my part, I say the gentleman had drunk himself
  2. out of his five sentences.

Evans

156
  1. It is his five senses. Fie, what the ignorance is!

Bardolph

157 - 158
  1. And being fap, sir, was (as they say) cashier’d; and so
  2. conclusions pass’d the careers.

Slender

159 - 163
  1. Ay, you spake in Latin then too: but ’tis no matter; I’ll
  2. ne’er be drunk whilst I live again, but in honest, civil,
  3. godly company, for this trick. If I be drunk, I’ll be drunk
  4. with those that have the fear of God, and not with drunken
  5. knaves.

Evans

164
  1. So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.

Falstaff

165
  1. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.
  1. Enter Anne Page with wine, Mistress Ford, Mistress Page.

George

167
  1. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in, we’ll drink within.
  1. Exit Anne Page.

Slender

169
  1. O heaven! This is Mistress Anne Page.

George

170
  1. How now, Mistress Ford?

Falstaff

171 - 172
  1. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met. By your
  2. leave, good mistress.
  1. Kisses her.

George

174 - 176
  1. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome. Come, we have a hot
  2. venison pasty to dinner. Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall
  3. drink down all unkindness.
  1. Exeunt all except Shallow, Slender, and Evans.

Slender

178 - 183
  1. I had rather than forty shillings I had my Book of Songs and
  2. Sonnets here.
  3. Enter Simple.
  4. How now, Simple, where have you been? I must wait on myself,
  5. must I? You have not the Book of Riddles about you, have
  6. you?

Simple

184 - 185
  1. Book of Riddles? Why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake
  2. upon All-hallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas?

Shallow

186 - 189
  1. Come, coz, come, coz, we stay for you. A word with you, coz;
  2. marry, this, coz: there is as ’twere a tender, a kind of
  3. tender, made afar off by Sir Hugh here. Do you understand
  4. me?

Slender

190 - 191
  1. Ay, sir, you shall find me reasonable. If it be so, I shall
  2. do that that is reason.

Shallow

192
  1. Nay, but understand me.

Slender

193
  1. So I do, sir.

Evans

194 - 195
  1. Give ear to his motions: Master Slender, I will description
  2. the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.

Slender

196 - 198
  1. Nay, I will do as my cousin Shallow says. I pray you pardon
  2. me; he’s a Justice of Peace in his country, simple though I
  3. stand here.

Evans

199 - 200
  1. But that is not the question: the question is concerning
  2. your marriage.

Shallow

201
  1. Ay, there’s the point, sir.

Evans

202
  1. Marry, is it; the very point of itto Mistress Anne Page.

Slender

203 - 204
  1. Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any reasonable
  2. demands.

Evans

205 - 208
  1. But can you affection the oman? Let us command to know that
  2. of your mouth, or of your lips; for divers philosophers hold
  3. that the lips is parcel of the mouth. Therefore precisely,
  4. can you carry your good will to the maid?

Shallow

209
  1. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?

Slender

210 - 211
  1. I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that would do
  2. reason.

Evans

212 - 213
  1. Nay, Got’s lords and his ladies, you must speak possitable,
  2. if you can carry her your desires towards her.

Shallow

214
  1. That you must. Will you, upon good dowry, marry her?

Slender

215 - 216
  1. I will do a greater thing than that, upon your request,
  2. cousin, in any reason.

Shallow

217 - 218
  1. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz; what I do is to
  2. pleasure you, coz. Can you love the maid?

Slender

219 - 224
  1. I will marry her, sir, at your request; but if there be no
  2. great love in the beginning, yet heaven may decrease it upon
  3. better acquaintance, when we are married and have more
  4. occasion to know one another. I hope, upon familiarity will
  5. grow more content. But if you say, Marry her,” I will marry
  6. her; that I am freely dissolv’d, and dissolutely.

Evans

225 - 227
  1. It is a fery discretion answer, save the fall is in the ord
  2. dissolutely.” The ort is (according to our meaning)
  3. resolutely.” His meaning is good.

Shallow

228
  1. AyI think my cousin meant well.

Slender

229
  1. Ay, or else I would I might be hang’d, la!

Shallow

230 - 232
  1. Here comes fair Mistress Anne.
  2. Enter Anne Page.
  3. Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne!

Anne

233 - 234
  1. The dinner is on the table. My father desires your worships’
  2. company.

Shallow

235
  1. I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.

Evans

236
  1. ’Od’s plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.
  1. Exeunt Shallow and Evans.

Anne

238
  1. Will’t please your worship to come in, sir?

Slender

239
  1. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well.

Anne

240
  1. The dinner attends you, sir.

Slender

241 - 247
  1. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth. Go, sirrah, for
  2. all you are my man, go wait upon my cousin Shallow.
  3. Exit Simple.
  4. A Justice of Peace sometime may be beholding to his friend
  5. for a man. I keep but three men and a boy yet, till my
  6. mother be dead. But what though? Yet I live like a poor
  7. gentleman born.

Anne

248 - 249
  1. I may not go in without your worship; they will not sit till
  2. you come.

Slender

250 - 251
  1. I’ faith, I’ll eat nothing. I thank you as much as though I
  2. did.

Anne

252
  1. I pray you, sir, walk in.

Slender

253 - 257
  1. I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruis’d my shin th’
  2. other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of
  3. fence (three veneys for a dish of stew’d prunes) and by my
  4. troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do
  5. your dogs bark so? Be there bears i’ th’ town?

Anne

258
  1. I think there are, sir, I heard them talk’d of.

Slender

259 - 261
  1. I love the sport well, but I shall as soon quarrel at it as
  2. any man in England. You are afraid if you see the bear
  3. loose, are you not?

Anne

262
  1. Ay indeed, sir.

Slender

263 - 267
  1. That’s meat and drink to me, now. I have seen Sackerson
  2. loose twenty times, and have taken him by the chain; but (I
  3. warrant you) the women have so cried and shriek’d at it,
  4. that it pass’d. But women, indeed, cannot abide ’em, they
  5. are very ill-favor’d rough things.
  1. Enter Page.

George

269
  1. Come, gentle Master Slender, come; we stay for you.

Slender

270
  1. I’ll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.

George

271
  1. By cock and pie, you shall not choose, sir! Come, come.

Slender

272
  1. Nay, pray you lead the way.

George

273
  1. Come on, sir.

Slender

274
  1. Mistress Anne, yourself shall go first.

Anne

275
  1. Not I, sir, pray you keep on.

Slender

276 - 277
  1. Truly I will not go first; truly la! I will not do you that
  2. wrong.

Anne

278
  1. I pray you, sir.

Slender

279 - 280
  1. I’ll rather be unmannerly than troublesome. You do yourself
  2. wrong indeed la!
  1. Exeunt.
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