The Merry Wives of Windsor
Act IV, Scene 2
A room in Ford’s house.
- Enter Falstaff, Mistress Ford.
Falstaff1 - 5
- Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up my sufferance. I
- see you are obsequious in your love, and I profess requital
- to a hair’s breadth, not only, Mistress Ford, in the simple
- office of love, but in all the accoutrement, complement, and
- ceremony of it. But are you sure of your husband now?
- He’s a-birding, sweet Sir John.
- What ho, gossip Ford! What ho!
- Step into th’ chamber, Sir John.
- Exit Falstaff.
- Enter Mistress Page.
- How now, sweet heart, who’s at home besides yourself?
- Why, none but mine own people.
Mistress Ford12 - 13
- No, certainly.
- Aside to her.
- Speak louder.
- Truly, I am so glad you have nobody here.
Mistress Page16 - 23
- Why, woman, your husband is in his old lines again. He so
- takes on yonder with my husband; so rails against all
- married mankind; so curses all Eve’s daughters, of what
- complexion soever; and so buffets himself on the forehead,
- crying, “Peer out, peer out!” , that any madness I ever yet
- beheld seem’d but tameness, civility, and patience to this
- his distemper he is in now. I am glad the fat knight is not
- Why, does he talk of him?
Mistress Page25 - 30
- Of none but him, and swears he was carried out, the last
- time he search’d for him, in a basket; protests to my
- husband he is now here, and hath drawn him and the rest of
- their company from their sport, to make another experiment
- of his suspicion. But I am glad the knight is not here. Now
- he shall see his own foolery.
- How near is he, Mistress Page?
- Hard by, at street end; he will be here anon.
- I am undone! The knight is here.
Mistress Page34 - 36
- Why then you are utterly sham’d, and he’s but a dead man.
- What a woman are you? Away with him, away with him! Better
- shame than murder.
Mistress Ford37 - 38
- Which way should he go? How should I bestow him? Shall I put
- him into the basket again?
- Enter Falstaff.
Falstaff39 - 40
- No, I’ll come no more i’ th’ basket. May I not go out ere he
Mistress Page41 - 43
- Alas! Three of Master Ford’s brothers watch the door with
- pistols, that none shall issue out; otherwise you might slip
- away ere he came. But what make you here?
- What shall I do? I’ll creep up into the chimney.
Mistress Ford45 - 46
- There they always use to discharge their birding-pieces.
- Creep into the kill-hole.
- Where is it?
Mistress Ford48 - 51
- He will seek there, on my word. Neither press, coffer,
- chest, trunk, well, vault, but he hath an abstract for the
- remembrance of such places, and goes to them by his note.
- There is no hiding you in the house.
- I’ll go out then.
Mistress Page53 - 54
- If you go out in your own semblance, you die, Sir
- John—unless you go out disguis’d.
- How might we disguise him?
Mistress Page56 - 58
- Alas the day, I know not! There is no woman’s gown big
- enough for him; otherwise he might put on a hat, a muffler,
- and a kerchief, and so escape.
Falstaff59 - 60
- Good hearts, devise something; any extremity rather than a
Mistress Ford61 - 62
- My maid’s aunt, the fat woman of Brainford, has a gown
Mistress Page63 - 65
- On my word, it will serve him; she’s as big as he is. And
- there’s her thrumm’d hat and her muffler too. Run up, Sir
Mistress Ford66 - 67
- Go, go, sweet Sir John. Mistress Page and I will look some
- linen for your head.
Mistress Page68 - 69
- Quick, quick! We’ll come dress you straight. Put on the gown
- the while.
- Exit Falstaff.
Mistress Ford70 - 72
- I would my husband would meet him in this shape. He cannot
- abide the old woman of Brainford. He swears she’s a witch,
- forbade her my house, and hath threat’ned to beat her.
Mistress Page73 - 74
- Heaven guide him to thy husband’s cudgel; and the devil
- guide his cudgel afterwards!
- But is my husband coming?
Mistress Page76 - 77
- Ay, in good sadness, is he, and talks of the basket too,
- howsoever he hath had intelligence.
Mistress Ford78 - 80
- We’ll try that; for I’ll appoint my men to carry the basket
- again, to meet him at the door with it, as they did last
Mistress Page81 - 82
- Nay, but he’ll be here presently. Let’s go dress him like
- the witch of Brainford.
Mistress Ford83 - 84
- I’ll first direct my men what they shall do with the basket.
- Go up, I’ll bring linen for him straight.
Mistress Page85 - 89
- Hang him, dishonest varlet! We cannot misuse him enough.
- We’ll leave a proof, by that which we will do,
- Wives may be merry, and yet honest too:
- We do not act that often jest and laugh;
- ’Tis old, but true: still swine eats all the draff.
- Enter Mistress Ford with two Servants.
Mistress Ford90 - 92
- Go, sirs, take the basket again on your shoulders. Your
- master is hard at door. If he bid you set it down, obey him.
- Quickly, dispatch.
- Come, come, take it up.
- Pray heaven it be not full of knight again.
- I hope not, I had lief as bear so much lead.
- Enter Ford, Page, Caius, Evans, Shallow.
Ford96 - 102
- Ay, but if it prove true, Master Page, have you any way then
- to unfool me again? Set down the basket, villain! Somebody
- call my wife. Youth in a basket! O you panderly rascals,
- there’s a knot, a ging, a pack, a conspiracy against me. Now
- shall the devil be sham’d. What, wife, I say! Come, come
- forth! Behold what honest clothes you send forth to
George103 - 104
- Why, this passes, Master Ford. You are not to go loose any
- longer, you must be pinion’d.
- Why, this is lunatics! This is mad as a mad dog!
- Indeed, Master Ford, this is not well indeed.
Ford107 - 111
- So say I too, sir.
- Enter Mistress Ford.
- Come hither, Mistress Ford, Mistress Ford, the honest woman,
- the modest wife, the virtuous creature, that hath the
- jealous fool to her husband! I suspect without cause,
- mistress, do I?
Mistress Ford112 - 113
- Heaven be my witness you do, and if you suspect me in any
- Well said, brazen-face! Hold it out. Come forth, sirrah!
- Pulling clothes out of the basket.
- This passes!
- Are you not asham’d? Let the clothes alone.
- I shall find you anon.
Evans118 - 119
- ’Tis unreasonable! Will you take up your wive’s clothes?
- Come away.
- Empty the basket, I say!
- Why, man, why?
Ford122 - 125
- Master Page, as I am a man, there was one convey’d out of my
- house yesterday in this basket. Why may not he be there
- again? In my house I am sure he is. My intelligence is true,
- my jealousy is reasonable. Pluck me out all the linen.
- If you find a man there, he shall die a flea’s death.
- Here’s no man.
Shallow128 - 129
- By my fidelity, this is not well, Master Ford; this wrongs
Evans130 - 131
- Master Ford, you must pray, and not follow the imaginations
- of your own heart. This is jealousies.
- Well, he’s not here I seek for.
- No, nor no where else but in your brain.
Ford134 - 138
- Help to search my house this one time. If I find not what I
- seek, show no color for my extremity; let me forever be your
- table-sport. Let them say of me, “As jealous as Ford, that
- search’d a hollow walnut for his wive’s leman.” Satisfy me
- once more, once more search with me.
Mistress Ford139 - 140
- What ho, Mistress Page! Come you and the old woman down; my
- husband will come into the chamber.
- Old woman? What old woman’s that?
- Why, it is my maid’s aunt of Brainford.
Ford143 - 149
- A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean! Have I not forbid
- her my house? She comes of errands, does she? We are simple
- men, we do not know what’s brought to pass under the
- profession of fortune-telling. She works by charms, by
- spells, by th’ figure, and such daub’ry as this is, beyond
- our element; we know nothing. Come down, you witch, you hag
- you, come down, I say!
Mistress Ford150 - 151
- Nay, good, sweet husband! Good gentlemen, let him not strike
- the old woman.
- Enter Falstaff disguised like an old woman, and Mistress
- Page with him.
- Come, Mother Prat, come give me your hand.
Ford153 - 155
- I’ll prat her. Out of my door, you witch, you rag, you
- baggage, you poulcat, you runnion! Out, out! I’ll conjure
- you, I’ll fortune-tell you!
- Ford beats him, and he runs away.
- Are you not asham’d? I think you have kill’d the poor woman.
- Nay, he will do it.—’Tis a goodly credit for you.
- Hang her, witch!
Evans159 - 161
- By yea and no, I think the oman is a witch indeed. I like
- not when a oman has a great peard. I spy a great peard under
- his muffler.
Ford162 - 164
- Will you follow, gentlemen? I beseech you follow; see but
- the issue of my jealousy. If I cry out thus upon no trail,
- never trust me when I open again.
- Let’s obey his humor a little further. Come, gentlemen.
- Exeunt Ford, Page, Shallow, Caius, and Evans.
- Trust me, he beat him most pitifully.
Mistress Ford167 - 168
- Nay, by th’ mass, that he did not; he beat him most
- unpitifully, methought.
Mistress Page169 - 170
- I’ll have the cudgel hallow’d and hung o’er the altar; it
- hath done meritorious service.
Mistress Ford171 - 173
- What think you? May we, with the warrant of womanhood and
- the witness of a good conscience, pursue him with any
- further revenge?
Mistress Page174 - 176
- The spirit of wantonness is sure scar’d out of him. If the
- devil have him not in fee-simple, with fine and recovery, he
- will never, I think, in the way of waste, attempt us again.
- Shall we tell our husbands how we have serv’d him?
Mistress Page178 - 181
- Yes, by all means; if it be but to scrape the figures out of
- your husband’s brains. If they can find in their hearts the
- poor unvirtuous fat knight shall be any further afflicted,
- we two will still be the ministers.
Mistress Ford182 - 184
- I’ll warrant they’ll have him publicly sham’d, and methinks
- there would be no period to the jest, should he not be
- publicly sham’d.
Mistress Page185 - 186
- Come, to the forge with it, then shape it. I would not have
- things cool.