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Authors: William Shakespeare

The Merry Wives of Windsor (5 page)

BOOK: The Merry Wives of Windsor
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[
Enter Anne
]

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 plessèd 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
229
, heartily. I am very well.

ANNE
    The dinner
attends
230
you, sir.

SLENDER
I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth.—

To Simple

Go,
sirrah
,
for all
232
you are my man, go wait upon my cousin

Shallow.

[
Exit Simple
]

A justice of peace sometime may be
beholding
234
to his friend

for a man. I keep but three men and a boy yet, till my mother

be dead: but
what though
236
, 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
245

and, by my troth, I cannot abide the
smell of hot meat
246
since.

Why do your dogs bark so? Be there bears i’th’town?

ANNE
    I think there are, sir. I heard them talked of.

SLENDER
    I love
the sport
249
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
254
loose twenty times, and have taken him by the

chain: but, I
warrant
255
you, the women have so cried and

shrieked at it that it
passed
256
. But women, indeed, cannot

abide ’em: they are very
ill-favoured
257
rough things.

[
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
260
, 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
265
.

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

Goes first

troublesome. You do yourself wrong, indeed, la!

Exeunt

Act 1 Scene 2

running scene 2

Enter Evans and Simple

EVANS
    Go your ways, and ask
of
1
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
3
, or his

cook, or his
laundry
, his washer and his
wringer
4
.

SIMPLE
Well, sir.

EVANS
Nay, it is petter yet. Give her this letter.

Gives letter

For it is a ’oman that
altogether’s acquaintance
7
with Mistress

Anne Page. And the letter is to desire and require her to

solicit
9
your master’s desires to Mistress Anne Page. I pray

you, be gone: I will make an end of my dinner, there’s
pippins
10

and cheese to come.

Exeunt

Act 1 Scene 3

running scene 3

Enter Falstaff, Host, Bardolph, Nim, Pistol
[
and
]
page
[
Robin
]

FALSTAFF
    Mine host of the Garter!

HOST
    What says my
bully rook
2
? Speak scholarly and

wisely.

FALSTAFF
    Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my

followers.

HOST
    Discard,
bully Hercules
,
cashier
. Let them
wag
6
. Trot,

trot.

FALSTAFF
    I
sit at
8
ten pounds a week.

HOST
    Thou’rt an emperor:
Caesar
,
Kaiser
and
Pheazar
9
. I

will
entertain
Bardolph: he shall
draw, he shall tap
10
. Said I

well, bully
Hector
11
?

FALSTAFF
    Do so, good mine host.

HOST
    I have spoke. Let him follow.— Let me

To Bardolph

see thee
froth
and lime.
I am at a word
14
: follow.

[
Exit
]

FALSTAFF
    Bardolph, follow him. A
tapster
15
is a good trade. An

old cloak makes a new
jerkin
16
: a withered servingman a fresh

tapster. Go, adieu.

BARDOLPH
    It is a life that I have desired. I will thrive.

[
Exit Bardolph
]

PISTOL
    O base
Hungarian wight
, wilt thou the
spigot
19
wield?

NIM
    He was
gotten in drink
.
Is not the humour conceited
20
?

FALSTAFF
I am glad I am so
acquit
of this
tinderbox
21
. His thefts

were too
open
22
: his filching was like an unskilful singer, he

kept not time.

NIM
    The
good humour
is to steal
at a minute’s rest
24
.

PISTOL
    ‘Convey’, the wise it call. ‘Steal?’ Foh! A
fico
25
for the

phrase.

FALSTAFF
    Well, sirs, I am almost
out at heels
27
.

PISTOL
    Why then, let
kibes
28
ensue.

FALSTAFF
    There is no remedy: I must cony-catch, I must
shift
29
.

PISTOL
    Young ravens must have food.

FALSTAFF
    Which of you know Ford of this town?

PISTOL
    I
ken the wight
32
: he is of substance good.

FALSTAFF
    My honest lads, I will tell you what I
am about
33
.

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
37
Ford’s wife. I spy

entertainment
in her: she discourses, she
carves
38
, she gives

the
leer
of invitation. I can
construe
the
action
39
of her

familiar
style, and the
hardest voice
40
of her behaviour — to

be
Englished
41
rightly — is, ‘I am Sir John Falstaff’s.’

PISTOL
    He hath studied her
will
42
, and translated her will,

out of
honesty
43
, into English.

NIM
    
The anchor is deep
. Will
that humour pass
44
?

FALSTAFF
    Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her

husband’s purse: he hath a
legion of angels
46
.

PISTOL
    
As many devils entertain
. And ‘
To her
47
, boy!’ say I.

NIM
    
The
humour rises
48
: it is good. Humour me the angels.

FALSTAFF
    I have
writ me
49
here a letter to her.

Shows letters

And here another to Page’s wife, who even now gave me

good eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious

oeillades
52
. Sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot,

sometimes my portly belly.

PISTOL
    Then did the sun on dunghill shine.

NIM
    I thank thee for that
humour
55
.

FALSTAFF
    O, she did so
course
56
o’er my exteriors with such a

greedy
intention
57
, that the appetite of her eye did seem to

scorch me up like a
burning-glass
58
. Here’s another letter to

her. She bears the
purse
too: she is a region in
Guiana
59
, all gold

and bounty. I will be
cheaters
60
to them both, and they shall be

exchequers
61
to me. They shall be my East and West Indies,

and I will
trade
62
to them both.— Go bear thou this

To Nim

letter to Mistress Page — and thou this to Mistress

To Pistol

Ford. We will thrive, lads, we will thrive.

PISTOL
    Shall I Sir
Pandarus of Troy
65
become,

And by my side wear steel
66
? Then Lucifer take all!

Gives back the letter

NIM
    I will
run no base humour
67
. Here, take the

humour
-letter. I will keep the
’haviour of
68

reputation.

Gives the letter back

FALSTAFF
    Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters
tightly
70
,

To Robin

Sail like my
pinnace
71
to these golden shores.

Rogues, hence,
avaunt
72
! Vanish like hailstones: go,

Trudge, plod away
o’th’hoof
, seek shelter,
pack
73
!

Falstaff will learn the
humour
74
of the age,

French thrift
, you rogues, myself and
skirted
75
page.

[
Exeunt Falstaff and Robin
]

PISTOL
    Let vultures
gripe
thy guts! For
gourd and fullam
holds
76
,

And
high and low
beguiles
77
the rich and poor:

Tester
I’ll have in
pouch
78
when thou shalt lack,

Base
Phrygia
79
n Turk!

NIM
    I have
operations
which be
humours of
80
revenge.

PISTOL
    Wilt thou revenge?

NIM
    By
welkin
82
and her star!

PISTOL
    With
wit or steel
83
?

NIM
    With both the
humours
, I. I will
discuss
the
humour
84

of this love to Ford.

PISTOL
    And I to Page shall
eke
86
unfold

How Falstaff, varlet vile,

His dove will
prove
88
, his gold will hold,

And his soft couch defile.

NIM
    My humour shall not cool. I will incense Ford to

deal with poison. I will possess him with
yellowness
91
, for the

revolt
92
of mine is dangerous. That is my true humour.

PISTOL
    Thou art the
Mars
of malcontents
93
. I second thee,

troop on.

BOOK: The Merry Wives of Windsor
11.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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