The Merry Wives of Windsor eText - Act I

Act I

Act I, Scene 1

ACT I.

SCENE 1. Windsor. Before PAGE'S house.

[Enter JUSTICE 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 'cust-alorum.'

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.

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.

EVANS.
It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.

SHALLOW.
Not a whit.

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 hear it; it is a riot.

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.

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 George Page, which is pretty virginity.

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

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.

SHALLOW.
Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?

EVANS.
Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.

SHALLOW.
I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.

EVANS.
Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is goot gifts.

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

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?

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.

[Enter PAGE.]

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.

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 redressed: 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 SIR JOHN 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 kiss'd 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.

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. They carried me
to the tavern, and made me drunk, and afterwards picked my pocket.

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?

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.

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.

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
a-piece of Yead Miller, by these gloves.

FALSTAFF.
Is this true, Pistol?

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.

EVANS.
It is his 'five senses'; fie, what the ignorance is!

BARDOLPH.
And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashier'd; 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.

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.]

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. [Kissing 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 but SHALLOW, SLENDER, and EVANS.]

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

[Enter SIMPLE.]

How, 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
Allhallowmas 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.

EVANS.
Give ear to his motions, Master Slender: I will description the
matter to you, if you pe 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.

EVANS.
But that is not the question; the question is concerning your marriage.

SHALLOW.
Ay, there's the point, sir.

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.

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.

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.

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.
The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worships' company.

SHALLOW.
I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne!

EVANS.
Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.

[Exeunt SHALLOW and EVANS.]

ANNE.
Will't please your worship to come in, sir?

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

ANNE.
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 sometime 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.
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.
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.
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.
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-favoured 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.
Not I, sir; pray you keep on.

SLENDER.
Truly, I will not go first; truly, la! I will not do you that wrong.

ANNE.
I pray you, sir.

SLENDER.
I'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome. You do yourself wrong
indeed, la!

[Exeunt.]

Act I, Scene 2

SCENE 2. The same.

[Enter SIR HUGH EVANS and SIMPLE.]

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.

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.]

Act I, Scene 3

SCENE 3. 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, Keiser, and Pheazar. 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 tinder-box: 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 minim'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 behaviour,
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
cheator 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 haviour 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' hoof; seek shelter, pack!
Falstaff will learn the humour of this 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 beguile the rich and poor;
Tester I'll have in pouch when thou shalt lack,
Base Phrygian Turk!

NYM.
I have operations in my head 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 malcontents; I second thee; troop on.

[Exeunt.]

Act I, Scene 4

SCENE 4. A room in DOCTOR CAIUS'S house.

[Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY, and SIMPLE.]

QUICKLY.
What, John Rugby!

[Enter 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 anybody
in the house, here will be an old abusing of God's patience and the
King's English.

RUGBY.
I'll go watch.

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.

QUICKLY.
And Master Slender's your master?

SIMPLE.
Ay, forsooth.

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

SIMPLE.
No, forsooth; he hath but a little whey face, with a little yellow
beard--a cane-coloured beard.

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.

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.

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.

QUICKLY.
We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man; go into this
closet. [Shuts SIMPLE in the closet.] He will not stay long. 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.

[Exit Rugby.]

[Sings.] And down, down, adown-a, &c.

[Enter DOCTOR CAIUS.]

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

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.

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

QUICKLY.
Is it this, sir?

CAIUS.
Oui; mettez le au mon pocket: depechez, quickly--Vere is dat knave,
Rugby?

QUICKLY.
What, John Rugby? John!

[Re-enter Rugby.]

RUGBY.
Here, sir.

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

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

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

QUICKLY.
[Aside.] Ay me, he'll find the young man there, and be mad!

CAIUS.
O diable, diable! vat is in my closet?--Villainy! larron!
[Pulling SIMPLE out.] Rugby, my rapier!

QUICKLY.
Good master, be content.

CAIUS.
Verefore shall I be content-a?

QUICKLY.
The young man is an honest man.

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

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

CAIUS.
Vell.

SIMPLE.
Ay, forsooth, to desire her to--

QUICKLY.
Peace, I pray you.

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.

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

CAIUS.
Sir Hugh send-a you?--Rugby, baillez me some paper: tarry you a
little-a while. [Writes.]

QUICKLY.
I am glad he is so quiet: if he had been throughly 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.
'Tis a great charge to come under one body's hand.

QUICKLY.
Are you avis'd 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.

CAIUS.
You jack'nape; give-a dis letter to Sir Hugh; by gar, it is a
shallenge: I will cut his troat in de 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.]

QUICKLY.
Alas, he speaks but for his friend.

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 Jartiere to measure our weapon. By gar, I
vill myself have Anne Page.

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

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

[Exeunt CAIUS and RUGBY.]

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!

QUICKLY.
Who's there, I trow? Come near the house, I pray you.

[Enter FENTON.]

FENTON.
How now, good woman! how dost thou?

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

FENTON.
What news? how does pretty Mistress Anne?

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.]