SIR JOHN FALSTAFF
FENTON, a young gentleman
SHALLOW, a country justice
SLENDER, cousin to Shallow
Gentlemen of Windsor
WILLIAM PAGE, a boy, son to Page
SIR HUGH EVANS, a Welsh parson
DOCTOR CAIUS, a French physician
HOST of the Garter Inn
Followers of Falstaff
ROBIN, page to Falstaff
SIMPLE, servant to Slender
RUGBY, servant to Doctor Caius
MISTRESS ANNE PAGE, her daughter
MISTRESS QUICKLY, servant to Doctor Caius
SERVANTS to Page, Ford, etc.
Windsor, and the neighbourhood
The Merry Wives of Windsor
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
SHALLOW. Ay, cousin Slender, and Custalorum.
SLENDER. Ay, and Ratolorum 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
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
SHALLOW. The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old
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
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
EVANS. Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is goot gifts.
SHALLOW. Well, let us see honest Master Page. Is Falstaff
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
[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
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 wish'd your venison better; it was ill
kill'd. 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 judg'd, 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
EVANS. It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
SHALLOW. He hath wrong'd 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 wrong'd 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
SHALLOW. Knight, you have beaten my men, kill'd my deer,
and broke open my lodge.
FALSTAFF. But not kiss'd your keeper's daughter.
SHALLOW. Tut, a pin! this shall be answer'd.
FALSTAFF. I will answer it straight: I have done all this.
That is now answer'd.
SHALLOW. The Council shall know this.
FALSTAFF. 'Twere better for you if it were known in counsel:
you'll be laugh'd 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 pick'd 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.
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 apiece
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
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 avis'd, 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 pass'd the careers.
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
EVANS. So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.
FALSTAFF. You hear all these matters deni'd, gentlemen; you