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In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt
But being season'd with a gracious voice
Obscures the show of evil?

      — The Merchant of Venice, Act III Scene 2


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The Merry Wives of Windsor

Act II

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Scene 1. Before PAGE’S house.

Scene 2. A room in the Garter Inn.

Scene 3. A field near Windsor.


Act II, Scene 1

Before PAGE’S house.

      next scene .

[Enter MISTRESS PAGE, with a letter]

  • Mistress Page. What, have I scaped love-letters in the holiday-
    time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them?
    Let me see. 570
    'Ask me no reason why I love you; for though
    Love use Reason for his physician, he admits him
    not for his counsellor. You are not young, no more
    am I; go to then, there's sympathy: you are merry, 575
    so am I; ha, ha! then there's more sympathy: you
    love sack, and so do I; would you desire better
    sympathy? Let it suffice thee, Mistress Page,—at
    the least, if the love of soldier can suffice,—
    that I love thee. I will not say, pity me; 'tis 580
    not a soldier-like phrase: but I say, love me. By me,
    Thine own true knight,
    By day or night,
    Or any kind of light,
    With all his might 585
    For thee to fight, JOHN FALSTAFF'
    What a Herod of Jewry is this! O wicked
    world! One that is well-nigh worn to pieces with
    age to show himself a young gallant! What an
    unweighed behavior hath this Flemish drunkard 590
    picked—with the devil's name!—out of my
    conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me?
    Why, he hath not been thrice in my company! What
    should I say to him? I was then frugal of my
    mirth: Heaven forgive me! Why, I'll exhibit a bill 595
    in the parliament for the putting down of men. How
    shall I be revenged on him? for revenged I will be,
    as sure as his guts are made of puddings.


  • Mistress Ford. Mistress Page! trust me, I was going to your house. 600
  • Mistress Page. And, trust me, I was coming to you. You look very
  • Mistress Ford. Nay, I'll ne'er believe that; I have to show to the contrary.
  • Mistress Ford. Well, I do then; yet I say I could show you to the 605
    contrary. O Mistress Page, give me some counsel!
  • Mistress Ford. O woman, if it were not for one trifling respect, I
    could come to such honour!
  • Mistress Page. Hang the trifle, woman! take the honour. What is 610
    it? dispense with trifles; what is it?
  • Mistress Ford. If I would but go to hell for an eternal moment or so,
    I could be knighted.
  • Mistress Page. What? thou liest! Sir Alice Ford! These knights
    will hack; and so thou shouldst not alter the 615
    article of thy gentry.
  • Mistress Ford. We burn daylight: here, read, read; perceive how I
    might be knighted. I shall think the worse of fat
    men, as long as I have an eye to make difference of
    men's liking: and yet he would not swear; praised 620
    women's modesty; and gave such orderly and
    well-behaved reproof to all uncomeliness, that I
    would have sworn his disposition would have gone to
    the truth of his words; but they do no more adhere
    and keep place together than the Hundredth Psalm to 625
    the tune of 'Green Sleeves.' What tempest, I trow,
    threw this whale, with so many tuns of oil in his
    belly, ashore at Windsor? How shall I be revenged
    on him? I think the best way were to entertain him
    with hope, till the wicked fire of lust have melted 630
    him in his own grease. Did you ever hear the like?
  • Mistress Page. Letter for letter, but that the name of Page and
    Ford differs! To thy great comfort in this mystery
    of ill opinions, here's the twin-brother of thy
    letter: but let thine inherit first; for, I 635
    protest, mine never shall. I warrant he hath a
    thousand of these letters, writ with blank space for
    different names—sure, more,—and these are of the
    second edition: he will print them, out of doubt;
    for he cares not what he puts into the press, when 640
    he would put us two. I had rather be a giantess,
    and lie under Mount Pelion. Well, I will find you
    twenty lascivious turtles ere one chaste man.
  • Mistress Ford. Why, this is the very same; the very hand, the very
    words. What doth he think of us? 645
  • Mistress Page. Nay, I know not: it makes me almost ready to
    wrangle with mine own honesty. I'll entertain
    myself like one that I am not acquainted withal;
    for, sure, unless he know some strain in me, that I
    know not myself, he would never have boarded me in this fury. 650
  • Mistress Ford. 'Boarding,' call you it? I'll be sure to keep him
    above deck.
  • Mistress Page. So will I. if he come under my hatches, I'll never
    to sea again. Let's be revenged on him: let's
    appoint him a meeting; give him a show of comfort in 655
    his suit and lead him on with a fine-baited delay,
    till he hath pawned his horses to mine host of the Garter.
  • Mistress Ford. Nay, I will consent to act any villany against him,
    that may not sully the chariness of our honesty. O,
    that my husband saw this letter! it would give 660
    eternal food to his jealousy.
  • Mistress Page. Why, look where he comes; and my good man too: he's
    as far from jealousy as I am from giving him cause;
    and that I hope is an unmeasurable distance.
  • Mistress Page. Let's consult together against this greasy knight.
    Come hither.

[They retire]

[Enter FORD with PISTOL, and PAGE with NYM]

  • Ford. Well, I hope it be not so. 670
  • Pistol. Hope is a curtal dog in some affairs:
    Sir John affects thy wife.
  • Ford. Why, sir, my wife is not young.
  • Pistol. He wooes both high and low, both rich and poor,
    Both young and old, one with another, Ford; 675
    He loves the gallimaufry: Ford, perpend.
  • Ford. Love my wife!
  • Pistol. With liver burning hot. Prevent, or go thou,
    Like Sir Actaeon he, with Ringwood at thy heels:
    O, odious is the name! 680
  • Ford. What name, sir?
  • Pistol. The horn, I say. Farewell.
    Take heed, have open eye, for thieves do foot by night:
    Take heed, ere summer comes or cuckoo-birds do sing.
    Away, Sir Corporal Nym! 685
    Believe it, Page; he speaks sense.


  • Ford. [Aside] I will be patient; I will find out this.
  • Nym. [To PAGE] And this is true; I like not the humour
    of lying. He hath wronged me in some humours: I 690
    should have borne the humoured letter to her; but I
    have a sword and it shall bite upon my necessity.
    He loves your wife; there's the short and the long.
    My name is Corporal Nym; I speak and I avouch; 'tis
    true: my name is Nym and Falstaff loves your wife. 695
    Adieu. I love not the humour of bread and cheese,
    and there's the humour of it. Adieu.


  • Page. 'The humour of it,' quoth a'! here's a fellow
    frights English out of his wits. 700
  • Ford. I will seek out Falstaff.
  • Page. I never heard such a drawling, affecting rogue.
  • Ford. If I do find it: well.
  • Page. I will not believe such a Cataian, though the priest
    o' the town commended him for a true man. 705
  • Ford. 'Twas a good sensible fellow: well.
  • Page. How now, Meg!


  • Mistress Ford. How now, sweet Frank! why art thou melancholy? 710
  • Ford. I melancholy! I am not melancholy. Get you home, go.
  • Mistress Ford. Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head. Now,
    will you go, Mistress Page?
  • Mistress Page. Have with you. You'll come to dinner, George.
    [Aside to MISTRESS FORD] 715
    Look who comes yonder: she shall be our messenger
    to this paltry knight.
  • Mistress Ford. [Aside to MISTRESS PAGE] Trust me, I thought on her:
    she'll fit it.


  • Mistress Page. Go in with us and see: we have an hour's talk with


  • Page. How now, Master Ford!
  • Ford. You heard what this knave told me, did you not?
  • Page. Yes: and you heard what the other told me?
  • Ford. Do you think there is truth in them?
  • Page. Hang 'em, slaves! I do not think the knight would 730
    offer it: but these that accuse him in his intent
    towards our wives are a yoke of his discarded men;
    very rogues, now they be out of service.
  • Ford. Were they his men?
  • Page. Marry, were they. 735
  • Ford. I like it never the better for that. Does he lie at
    the Garter?
  • Page. Ay, marry, does he. If he should intend this voyage
    towards my wife, I would turn her loose to him; and
    what he gets more of her than sharp words, let it 740
    lie on my head.
  • Ford. I do not misdoubt my wife; but I would be loath to
    turn them together. A man may be too confident: I
    would have nothing lie on my head: I cannot be thus satisfied.
  • Page. Look where my ranting host of the Garter comes: 745
    there is either liquor in his pate or money in his
    purse when he looks so merrily.
    [Enter Host]
    How now, mine host!
  • Host. How now, bully-rook! thou'rt a gentleman. 750
    Cavaleiro-justice, I say!


  • Robert Shallow. I follow, mine host, I follow. Good even and
    twenty, good Master Page! Master Page, will you go
    with us? we have sport in hand. 755
  • Host. Tell him, cavaleiro-justice; tell him, bully-rook.
  • Robert Shallow. Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir Hugh
    the Welsh priest and Caius the French doctor.
  • Ford. Good mine host o' the Garter, a word with you.

[Drawing him aside]

  • Host. What sayest thou, my bully-rook?
  • Robert Shallow. [To PAGE] Will you go with us to behold it? My
    merry host hath had the measuring of their weapons;
    and, I think, hath appointed them contrary places;
    for, believe me, I hear the parson is no jester. 765
    Hark, I will tell you what our sport shall be.

[They converse apart]

  • Host. Hast thou no suit against my knight, my
  • Ford. None, I protest: but I'll give you a pottle of 770
    burnt sack to give me recourse to him and tell him
    my name is Brook; only for a jest.
  • Host. My hand, bully; thou shalt have egress and regress;
    —said I well?—and thy name shall be Brook. It is
    a merry knight. Will you go, An-heires? 775
  • Page. I have heard the Frenchman hath good skill in
    his rapier.
  • Robert Shallow. Tut, sir, I could have told you more. In these times
    you stand on distance, your passes, stoccadoes, and 780
    I know not what: 'tis the heart, Master Page; 'tis
    here, 'tis here. I have seen the time, with my long
    sword I would have made you four tall fellows skip like rats.
  • Host. Here, boys, here, here! shall we wag?
  • Page. Have with you. I would rather hear them scold than fight. 785

[Exeunt Host, SHALLOW, and PAGE]

  • Ford. Though Page be a secure fool, an stands so firmly
    on his wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off my
    opinion so easily: she was in his company at Page's
    house; and what they made there, I know not. Well, 790
    I will look further into't: and I have a disguise
    to sound Falstaff. If I find her honest, I lose not
    my labour; if she be otherwise, 'tis labour well bestowed.


. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 2

A room in the Garter Inn.

      next scene .


  • Falstaff. I will not lend thee a penny.
  • Pistol. Why, then the world's mine oyster.
    Which I with sword will open.
  • Falstaff. Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you should
    lay my countenance to pawn; I have grated upon my 800
    good friends for three reprieves for you and your
    coach-fellow Nym; or else you had looked through
    the grate, like a geminy of baboons. I am damned in
    hell for swearing to gentlemen my friends, you were
    good soldiers and tall fellows; and when Mistress 805
    Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took't upon
    mine honour thou hadst it not.
  • Pistol. Didst not thou share? hadst thou not fifteen pence?
  • Falstaff. Reason, you rogue, reason: thinkest thou I'll
    endanger my soul gratis? At a word, hang no more 810
    about me, I am no gibbet for you. Go. A short knife
    and a throng! To your manor of Pickt-hatch! Go.
    You'll not bear a letter for me, you rogue! you
    stand upon your honour! Why, thou unconfinable
    baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the 815
    terms of my honour precise: I, I, I myself
    sometimes, leaving the fear of God on the left hand
    and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to
    shuffle, to hedge and to lurch; and yet you, rogue,
    will ensconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain 820
    looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your
    bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your
    honour! You will not do it, you!
  • Pistol. I do relent: what would thou more of man?

[Enter ROBIN]

  • Robin. Sir, here's a woman would speak with you.


  • Hostess Quickly. I'll be sworn,
    As my mother was, the first hour I was born.
  • Falstaff. I do believe the swearer. What with me? 835
  • Falstaff. Two thousand, fair woman: and I'll vouchsafe thee
    the hearing.
  • Hostess Quickly. There is one Mistress Ford, sir:—I pray, come a
    little nearer this ways:—I myself dwell with master 840
    Doctor Caius,—
  • Falstaff. Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say,—
  • Hostess Quickly. Your worship says very true: I pray your worship,
    come a little nearer this ways.
  • Falstaff. I warrant thee, nobody hears; mine own people, mine 845
    own people.
  • Falstaff. Well, Mistress Ford; what of her?
  • Hostess Quickly. Why, sir, she's a good creature. Lord Lord! your
    worship's a wanton! Well, heaven forgive you and all 850
    of us, I pray!
  • Falstaff. Mistress Ford; come, Mistress Ford,—
  • Hostess Quickly. Marry, this is the short and the long of it; you
    have brought her into such a canaries as 'tis
    wonderful. The best courtier of them all, when the 855
    court lay at Windsor, could never have brought her
    to such a canary. Yet there has been knights, and
    lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches, I warrant
    you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift
    after gift; smelling so sweetly, all musk, and so 860
    rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and in
    such alligant terms; and in such wine and sugar of
    the best and the fairest, that would have won any
    woman's heart; and, I warrant you, they could never
    get an eye-wink of her: I had myself twenty angels 865
    given me this morning; but I defy all angels, in
    any such sort, as they say, but in the way of
    honesty: and, I warrant you, they could never get
    her so much as sip on a cup with the proudest of
    them all: and yet there has been earls, nay, which 870
    is more, pensioners; but, I warrant you, all is one with her.
  • Falstaff. But what says she to me? be brief, my good
  • Hostess Quickly. Marry, she hath received your letter, for the which
    she thanks you a thousand times; and she gives you 875
    to notify that her husband will be absence from his
    house between ten and eleven.
  • Hostess Quickly. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the
    picture, she says, that you wot of: Master Ford, 880
    her husband, will be from home. Alas! the sweet
    woman leads an ill life with him: he's a very
    jealousy man: she leads a very frampold life with
    him, good heart.
  • Falstaff. Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her; I will 885
    not fail her.
  • Hostess Quickly. Why, you say well. But I have another messenger to
    your worship. Mistress Page hath her hearty
    commendations to you too: and let me tell you in
    your ear, she's as fartuous a civil modest wife, and 890
    one, I tell you, that will not miss you morning nor
    evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, whoe'er be the
    other: and she bade me tell your worship that her
    husband is seldom from home; but she hopes there
    will come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon 895
    a man: surely I think you have charms, la; yes, in truth.
  • Falstaff. Not I, I assure thee: setting the attractions of my
    good parts aside I have no other charms.
  • Falstaff. But, I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford's wife and 900
    Page's wife acquainted each other how they love me?
  • Hostess Quickly. That were a jest indeed! they have not so little
    grace, I hope: that were a trick indeed! but
    Mistress Page would desire you to send her your
    little page, of all loves: her husband has a 905
    marvellous infection to the little page; and truly
    Master Page is an honest man. Never a wife in
    Windsor leads a better life than she does: do what
    she will, say what she will, take all, pay all, go
    to bed when she list, rise when she list, all is as 910
    she will: and truly she deserves it; for if there
    be a kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must
    send her your page; no remedy.
  • Hostess Quickly. Nay, but do so, then: and, look you, he may come and 915
    go between you both; and in any case have a
    nay-word, that you may know one another's mind, and
    the boy never need to understand any thing; for
    'tis not good that children should know any
    wickedness: old folks, you know, have discretion, 920
    as they say, and know the world.
  • Falstaff. Fare thee well: commend me to them both: there's
    my purse; I am yet thy debtor. Boy, go along with
    this woman.
    [Exeunt MISTRESS QUICKLY and ROBIN] 925
    This news distracts me!
  • Pistol. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers:
    Clap on more sails; pursue; up with your fights:
    Give fire: she is my prize, or ocean whelm them all!


  • Falstaff. Sayest thou so, old Jack? go thy ways; I'll make
    more of thy old body than I have done. Will they
    yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expense
    of so much money, be now a gainer? Good body, I
    thank thee. Let them say 'tis grossly done; so it be 935
    fairly done, no matter.


  • Bardolph. Sir John, there's one Master Brook below would fain
    speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath
    sent your worship a morning's draught of sack. 940
  • Falstaff. Call him in.
    [Exit BARDOLPH]
    Such Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow such 945
    liquor. Ah, ha! Mistress Ford and Mistress Page
    have I encompassed you? go to; via!

[Re-enter BARDOLPH, with FORD disguised]

  • Ford. Bless you, sir!
  • Falstaff. And you, sir! Would you speak with me? 950
  • Ford. I make bold to press with so little preparation upon
  • Falstaff. You're welcome. What's your will? Give us leave, drawer.


  • Ford. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much; my name is Brook. 955
  • Falstaff. Good Master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.
  • Ford. Good Sir John, I sue for yours: not to charge you;
    for I must let you understand I think myself in
    better plight for a lender than you are: the which
    hath something embolden'd me to this unseasoned 960
    intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all
    ways do lie open.
  • Falstaff. Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on.
  • Ford. Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me:
    if you will help to bear it, Sir John, take all, or 965
    half, for easing me of the carriage.
  • Falstaff. Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.
  • Ford. I will tell you, sir, if you will give me the hearing.
  • Falstaff. Speak, good Master Brook: I shall be glad to be
    your servant. 970
  • Ford. Sir, I hear you are a scholar,—I will be brief
    with you,—and you have been a man long known to me,
    though I had never so good means, as desire, to make
    myself acquainted with you. I shall discover a
    thing to you, wherein I must very much lay open mine 975
    own imperfection: but, good Sir John, as you have
    one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded,
    turn another into the register of your own; that I
    may pass with a reproof the easier, sith you
    yourself know how easy it is to be such an offender. 980
  • Ford. There is a gentlewoman in this town; her husband's
    name is Ford.
  • Ford. I have long loved her, and, I protest to you, 985
    bestowed much on her; followed her with a doting
    observance; engrossed opportunities to meet her;
    fee'd every slight occasion that could but niggardly
    give me sight of her; not only bought many presents
    to give her, but have given largely to many to know 990
    what she would have given; briefly, I have pursued
    her as love hath pursued me; which hath been on the
    wing of all occasions. But whatsoever I have
    merited, either in my mind or, in my means, meed,
    I am sure, I have received none; unless experience 995
    be a jewel that I have purchased at an infinite
    rate, and that hath taught me to say this:
    'Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues;
    Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.'
  • Falstaff. Have you received no promise of satisfaction at her hands? 1000
  • Falstaff. Have you importuned her to such a purpose?
  • Falstaff. Of what quality was your love, then?
  • Ford. Like a fair house built on another man's ground; so 1005
    that I have lost my edifice by mistaking the place
    where I erected it.
  • Falstaff. To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?
  • Ford. When I have told you that, I have told you all.
    Some say, that though she appear honest to me, yet in 1010
    other places she enlargeth her mirth so far that
    there is shrewd construction made of her. Now, Sir
    John, here is the heart of my purpose: you are a
    gentleman of excellent breeding, admirable
    discourse, of great admittance, authentic in your 1015
    place and person, generally allowed for your many
    war-like, court-like, and learned preparations.
  • Ford. Believe it, for you know it. There is money; spend
    it, spend it; spend more; spend all I have; only 1020
    give me so much of your time in exchange of it, as
    to lay an amiable siege to the honesty of this
    Ford's wife: use your art of wooing; win her to
    consent to you: if any man may, you may as soon as
    any. 1025
  • Falstaff. Would it apply well to the vehemency of your
    affection, that I should win what you would enjoy?
    Methinks you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.
  • Ford. O, understand my drift. She dwells so securely on
    the excellency of her honour, that the folly of my 1030
    soul dares not present itself: she is too bright to
    be looked against. Now, could I could come to her
    with any detection in my hand, my desires had
    instance and argument to commend themselves: I
    could drive her then from the ward of her purity, 1035
    her reputation, her marriage-vow, and a thousand
    other her defences, which now are too too strongly
    embattled against me. What say you to't, Sir John?
  • Falstaff. Master Brook, I will first make bold with your
    money; next, give me your hand; and last, as I am a 1040
    gentleman, you shall, if you will, enjoy Ford's wife.
  • Ford. Want no money, Sir John; you shall want none.
  • Falstaff. Want no Mistress Ford, Master Brook; you shall want 1045
    none. I shall be with her, I may tell you, by her
    own appointment; even as you came in to me, her
    assistant or go-between parted from me: I say I
    shall be with her between ten and eleven; for at
    that time the jealous rascally knave her husband 1050
    will be forth. Come you to me at night; you shall
    know how I speed.
  • Ford. I am blest in your acquaintance. Do you know Ford,
  • Falstaff. Hang him, poor cuckoldly knave! I know him not: 1055
    yet I wrong him to call him poor; they say the
    jealous wittolly knave hath masses of money; for the
    which his wife seems to me well-favored. I will
    use her as the key of the cuckoldly rogue's coffer;
    and there's my harvest-home. 1060
  • Ford. I would you knew Ford, sir, that you might avoid him
    if you saw him.
  • Falstaff. Hang him, mechanical salt-butter rogue! I will
    stare him out of his wits; I will awe him with my
    cudgel: it shall hang like a meteor o'er the 1065
    cuckold's horns. Master Brook, thou shalt know I
    will predominate over the peasant, and thou shalt
    lie with his wife. Come to me soon at night.
    Ford's a knave, and I will aggravate his style;
    thou, Master Brook, shalt know him for knave and 1070
    cuckold. Come to me soon at night.


  • Ford. What a damned Epicurean rascal is this! My heart is
    ready to crack with impatience. Who says this is
    improvident jealousy? my wife hath sent to him; the 1075
    hour is fixed; the match is made. Would any man
    have thought this? See the hell of having a false
    woman! My bed shall be abused, my coffers
    ransacked, my reputation gnawn at; and I shall not
    only receive this villanous wrong, but stand under 1080
    the adoption of abominable terms, and by him that
    does me this wrong. Terms! names! Amaimon sounds
    well; Lucifer, well; Barbason, well; yet they are
    devils' additions, the names of fiends: but
    Cuckold! Wittol!—Cuckold! the devil himself hath 1085
    not such a name. Page is an ass, a secure ass: he
    will trust his wife; he will not be jealous. I will
    rather trust a Fleming with my butter, Parson Hugh
    the Welshman with my cheese, an Irishman with my
    aqua-vitae bottle, or a thief to walk my ambling 1090
    gelding, than my wife with herself; then she plots,
    then she ruminates, then she devises; and what they
    think in their hearts they may effect, they will
    break their hearts but they will effect. God be
    praised for my jealousy! Eleven o'clock the hour. 1095
    I will prevent this, detect my wife, be revenged on
    Falstaff, and laugh at Page. I will about it;
    better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
    Fie, fie, fie! cuckold! cuckold! cuckold!


. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 3

A field near Windsor.



  • Rugby. 'Tis past the hour, sir, that Sir Hugh promised to meet. 1105
  • Doctor Caius. By gar, he has save his soul, dat he is no come; he
    has pray his Pible well, dat he is no come: by gar,
    Jack Rugby, he is dead already, if he be come.
  • Rugby. He is wise, sir; he knew your worship would kill
    him, if he came. 1110
  • Doctor Caius. By gar, de herring is no dead so as I vill kill him.
    Take your rapier, Jack; I vill tell you how I vill kill him.
  • Rugby. Alas, sir, I cannot fence.
  • Rugby. Forbear; here's company. 1115

[Enter Host, SHALLOW, SLENDER, and PAGE]

  • Host. Bless thee, bully doctor!
  • Page. Now, good master doctor!
  • Slender. Give you good morrow, sir. 1120
  • Doctor Caius. Vat be all you, one, two, tree, four, come for?
  • Host. To see thee fight, to see thee foin, to see thee
    traverse; to see thee here, to see thee there; to
    see thee pass thy punto, thy stock, thy reverse, thy
    distance, thy montant. Is he dead, my Ethiopian? is 1125
    he dead, my Francisco? ha, bully! What says my
    AEsculapius? my Galen? my heart of elder? ha! is
    he dead, bully stale? is he dead?
  • Doctor Caius. By gar, he is de coward Jack priest of de vorld; he
    is not show his face. 1130
  • Host. Thou art a Castalion-King-Urinal. Hector of Greece, my boy!
  • Doctor Caius. I pray you, bear vitness that me have stay six or
    seven, two, tree hours for him, and he is no come.
  • Robert Shallow. He is the wiser man, master doctor: he is a curer of
    souls, and you a curer of bodies; if you should 1135
    fight, you go against the hair of your professions.
    Is it not true, Master Page?
  • Page. Master Shallow, you have yourself been a great
    fighter, though now a man of peace.
  • Robert Shallow. Bodykins, Master Page, though I now be old and of 1140
    the peace, if I see a sword out, my finger itches to
    make one. Though we are justices and doctors and
    churchmen, Master Page, we have some salt of our
    youth in us; we are the sons of women, Master Page.
  • Page. 'Tis true, Master Shallow. 1145
  • Robert Shallow. It will be found so, Master Page. Master Doctor
    Caius, I am come to fetch you home. I am sworn of
    the peace: you have showed yourself a wise
    physician, and Sir Hugh hath shown himself a wise
    and patient churchman. You must go with me, master doctor. 1150
  • Host. Pardon, guest-justice. A word, Mounseur Mockwater.
  • Host. Mock-water, in our English tongue, is valour, bully.
  • Doctor Caius. By gar, den, I have as mush mock-vater as de
    Englishman. Scurvy jack-dog priest! by gar, me 1155
    vill cut his ears.
  • Host. He will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully.
  • Host. That is, he will make thee amends.
  • Doctor Caius. By gar, me do look he shall clapper-de-claw me; 1160
    for, by gar, me vill have it.
  • Host. And I will provoke him to't, or let him wag.
  • Host. And, moreover, bully,—but first, master guest, and
    Master Page, and eke Cavaleiro Slender, go you 1165
    through the town to Frogmore.

[Aside to them]

  • Page. Sir Hugh is there, is he?
  • Host. He is there: see what humour he is in; and I will
    bring the doctor about by the fields. Will it do well? 1170
  • Page. [with Shallow and Slender] Adieu, good master doctor.


  • Doctor Caius. By gar, me vill kill de priest; for he speak for a
    jack-an-ape to Anne Page. 1175
  • Host. Let him die: sheathe thy impatience, throw cold
    water on thy choler: go about the fields with me
    through Frogmore: I will bring thee where Mistress
    Anne Page is, at a farm-house a-feasting; and thou
    shalt woo her. Cried I aim? said I well? 1180
  • Doctor Caius. By gar, me dank you for dat: by gar, I love you;
    and I shall procure-a you de good guest, de earl,
    de knight, de lords, de gentlemen, my patients.
  • Host. For the which I will be thy adversary toward Anne
    Page. Said I well? 1185
  • Host. Let us wag, then.