Dramatis Personae


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


Windsor. Before PAGE'S house


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

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


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


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?

Enter PAGE

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

between you.

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.


FALSTAFF. Now, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me to

the King?

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

drunken knaves.

EVANS. So Got udge me, that is a virtuous mind.

FALSTAFF. You hear all these matters deni'd, gentlemen; you

hear it.

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