The Merry Wives of Windsor
Act III, Scene 3
A room in Ford’s house.
- Enter Mistress Ford, Mistress Page.
- What, John! What, Robert!
- Quickly, quickly! Is the buck-basket—
- I warrant. What, Robin, I say!
- Enter Servants with a great buck-basket.
- Come, come, come.
- Here, set it down.
- Give your men the charge, we must be brief.
Mistress Ford7 - 12
- Marry, as I told you before, John and Robert, be ready here
- hard by in the brew-house, and when I suddenly call you,
- come forth, and (without any pause or staggering) take this
- basket on your shoulders. That done, trudge with it in all
- haste, and carry it among the whitsters in Datchet-mead, and
- there empty it in the muddy ditch close by the Thames side.
- You will do it?
Mistress Ford14 - 15
- I ha’ told them over and over, they lack no direction. Be
- gone, and come when you are call’d.
- Exeunt Servants.
- Here comes little Robin.
- Enter Robin.
- How now, my eyas-musket, what news with you?
Robin18 - 19
- My master, Sir John, is come in at your back door, Mistress
- Ford, and requests your company.
- You little Jack-a-Lent, have you been true to us?
Robin21 - 23
- Ay, I’ll be sworn. My master knows not of your being here,
- and hath threat’ned to put me into everlasting liberty if I
- tell you of it; for he swears he’ll turn me away.
Mistress Page24 - 26
- Thou’rt a good boy. This secrecy of thine shall be a tailor
- to thee, and shall make thee a new doublet and hose. I’ll go
- hide me.
Mistress Ford27 - 28
- Do so. Go tell thy master I am alone.
- Exit Robin.
- Mistress Page, remember you your cue.
- I warrant thee, if I do not act it, hiss me.
Mistress Ford30 - 31
- Go to then. We’ll use this unwholesome humidity, this gross
- wat’ry pumpion. We’ll teach him to know turtles from jays.
- Enter Falstaff.
Falstaff32 - 34
- “Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel?” Why, now let me
- die, for I have liv’d long enough. This is the period of my
- ambition. O this blessed hour!
- O sweet Sir John!
Falstaff36 - 39
- Mistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate, Mistress Ford.
- Now shall I sin in my wish: I would thy husband were dead.
- I’ll speak it before the best lord, I would make thee my
- I your lady, Sir John? Alas, I should be a pitiful lady!
Falstaff41 - 44
- Let the court of France show me such another. I see how
- thine eye would emulate the diamond. Thou hast the right
- arch’d beauty of the brow that becomes the ship-tire, the
- tire-valiant, or any tire of Venetian admittance.
Mistress Ford45 - 46
- A plain kerchief, Sir John. My brows become nothing else,
- nor that well neither.
Falstaff47 - 51
- By the Lord, thou art a tyrant to say so. Thou wouldst make
- an absolute courtier, and the firm fixture of thy foot would
- give an excellent motion to thy gait in a semicircled
- farthingale. I see what thou wert, if Fortune thy foe were
- not, Nature thy friend. Come, thou canst not hide it.
- Believe me, there’s no such thing in me.
Falstaff53 - 58
- What made me love thee? Let that persuade thee there’s
- something extraordinary in thee. Come, I cannot cog and say
- thou art this and that, like a many of these lisping
- hawthorn buds, that come like women in men’s apparel, and
- smell like Bucklersbury in simple time—I cannot; but I love
- thee, none but thee; and thou deserv’st it.
- Do not betray me, sir. I fear you love Mistress Page.
Falstaff60 - 61
- Thou mightst as well say I love to walk by the Counter-gate,
- which is as hateful to me as the reek of a lime-kill.
Mistress Ford62 - 63
- Well, heaven knows how I love you, and you shall one day
- find it.
- Keep in that mind, I’ll deserve it.
Mistress Ford65 - 66
- Nay, I must tell you, so you do; or else I could not be in
- that mind.
- Enter Robin.
Robin67 - 69
- Mistress Ford, Mistress Ford! Here’s Mistress Page at the
- door, sweating, and blowing, and looking wildly, and would
- needs speak with you presently.
- She shall not see me, I will ensconce me behind the arras.
Mistress Ford71 - 72
- Pray you do so, she’s a very tattling woman.
- Falstaff stands behind the arras.
- Enter Mistress Page.
- What’s the matter? How now?
Mistress Page73 - 74
- O Mistress Ford, what have you done? You’re sham’d, y’ are
- overthrown, y’ are undone forever!
- What’s the matter, good Mistress Page?
Mistress Page76 - 77
- O well-a-day, Mistress Ford, having an honest man to your
- husband, to give him such cause of suspicion!
- What cause of suspicion?
Mistress Page79 - 80
- What cause of suspicion? Out upon you! How am I mistook in
- Why, alas, what’s the matter?
Mistress Page82 - 85
- Your husband’s coming hither, woman, with all the officers
- in Windsor, to search for a gentleman that he says is here
- now in the house; by your consent to take an ill advantage
- of his absence. You are undone.
- ’Tis not so, I hope.
Mistress Page87 - 93
- Pray heaven it be not so, that you have such a man here; but
- ’tis most certain your husband’s coming, with half Windsor
- at his heels, to search for such a one. I come before to
- tell you. If you know yourself clear, why, I am glad of it;
- but if you have a friend here, convey, convey him out. Be
- not amaz’d, call all your senses to you, defend your
- reputation, or bid farewell to your good life forever.
Mistress Ford94 - 96
- What shall I do? There is a gentleman, my dear friend; and I
- fear not mine own shame so much as his peril. I had rather
- than a thousand pound he were out of the house.
Mistress Page97 - 103
- For shame, never stand “you had rather” and “you had
- rather.” Your husband’s here at hand, bethink you of some
- conveyance. In the house you cannot hide him. O, how have
- you deceiv’d me! Look, here is a basket; if he be of any
- reasonable stature, he may creep in here, and throw foul
- linen upon him, as if it were going to bucking; or—it is
- whiting-time—send him by your two men to Datchet-mead.
- He’s too big to go in there. What shall I do?
Falstaff105 - 106
- Starting from his concealment.
- Let me see’t, let me see’t, O, let me see’t! I’ll in, I’ll
- in. Follow your friend’s counsel. I’ll in.
Mistress Page107 - 108
- What, Sir John Falstaff?
- Are these your letters, knight?
- To Mrs. Page.
- I love thee. Help me away.—Let me creep in here. I’ll never—
- Goes into the basket; they put clothes over him.
Mistress Page110 - 111
- Help to cover your master, boy. Call your men, Mistress
- Ford. You dissembling knight!
Mistress Ford112 - 115
- What, John! Robert! John!
- Exit Robin.
- Enter Servants.
- Go take up these clothes here quickly. Where’s the
- cowl-staff? Look how you drumble! Carry them to the
- laundress in Datchet-mead; quickly, come.
- Enter Ford, Page, Caius, Evans.
Ford116 - 118
- Pray you come near. If I suspect without cause, why then
- make sport at me, then let me be your jest, I deserve it.
- How now? Whither bear you this?
- To the laundress, forsooth.
Mistress Ford120 - 121
- Why, what have you to do whither they bear it? You were best
- meddle with buck-washing.
Ford122 - 129
- Buck! I would I could wash myself of the buck! Buck, buck,
- buck! Ay, buck! I warrant you, buck, and of the season too,
- it shall appear.
- Exeunt Servants with the basket.
- Gentlemen, I have dream’d tonight; I’ll tell you my dream.
- Here, here, here be my keys. Ascend my chambers, search,
- seek, find out. I’ll warrant we’ll unkennel the fox. Let me
- stop this way first.
- Locking the door.
- So, now uncape.
- Good Master Ford, be contented. You wrong yourself too much.
Ford131 - 132
- True, Master Page. Up, gentlemen, you shall see sport anon.
- Follow me, gentlemen.
- This is fery fantastical humors and jealousies.
Caius134 - 135
- By gar, ’tis no the fashion of France; it is not jealous in
- Nay, follow him, gentlemen, see the issue of his search.
- Exeunt Page, Caius, and Evans.
- Is there not a double excellency in this?
Mistress Ford138 - 139
- I know not which pleases me better, that my husband is
- deceiv’d, or Sir John.
Mistress Page140 - 141
- What a taking was he in when your husband ask’d who was in
- the basket!
Mistress Ford142 - 143
- I am half afraid he will have need of washing, so throwing
- him into the water will do him a benefit.
Mistress Page144 - 145
- Hang him, dishonest rascal! I would all of the same strain
- were in the same distress.
Mistress Ford146 - 148
- I think my husband hath some special suspicion of Falstaff’s
- being here, for I never saw him so gross in his jealousy
- till now.
Mistress Page149 - 151
- I will lay a plot to try that, and we will yet have more
- tricks with Falstaff. His dissolute disease will scarce obey
- this medicine.
Mistress Ford152 - 154
- Shall we send that foolish carrion, Mistress Quickly, to
- him, and excuse his throwing into the water, and give him
- another hope, to betray him to another punishment?
Mistress Page155 - 156
- We will do it. Let him be sent for tomorrow, eight a’ clock,
- to have amends.
- Enter Ford, Page, Caius, and Evans.
Ford157 - 158
- I cannot find him. May be the knave bragg’d of that he could
- not compass.
- Aside to Mrs. Ford
- Heard you that?
- You use me well, Master Ford, do you?
- Ay, I do so.
- Heaven make you better than your thoughts!
- You do yourself mighty wrong, Master Ford.
- Ay, ay; I must bear it.
Evans166 - 168
- If there be any pody in the house, and in the chambers, and
- in the coffers, and in the presses, heaven forgive my sins
- at the day of judgment!
- Be-gar, nor I too; there is no-bodies.
George170 - 172
- Fie, fie, Master Ford, are you not asham’d? What spirit,
- what devil suggests this imagination? I would not ha’ your
- distemper in this kind for the wealth of Windsor Castle.
- ’Tis my fault, Master Page. I suffer for it.
Evans174 - 176
- You suffer for a pad conscience. Your wife is as honest a
- omans as I will desires among five thousand, and five
- hundred too.
- By gar, I see ’tis an honest woman.
Ford178 - 181
- Well, I promis’d you a dinner. Come, come, walk in the park.
- I pray you pardon me; I will hereafter make known to you why
- I have done this. Come, wife, come, Mistress Page, I pray
- you pardon me; pray heartly pardon me.
George182 - 185
- Let’s go in, gentlemen, but (trust me) we’ll mock him. I do
- invite you tomorrow morning to my house to breakfast; after,
- we’ll a-birding together. I have a fine hawk for the bush.
- Shall it be so?
- Any thing.
- If there is one, I shall make two in the company.
- If there be one or two, I shall make-a the turd.
- Pray you go, Master Page.
- Exit with Page.
Evans190 - 191
- I pray you now remembrance tomorrow on the lousy knave, mine
- Dat is good, by gar; with all my heart!
- A lousy knave, to have his gibes and his mockeries!