[Enter MISTRESS PAGE and ROBIN]
- Mistress Page. Nay, keep your way, little gallant; you were wont to
be a follower, but now you are a leader. Whether
had you rather lead mine eyes, or eye your master's heels?
- Robin. I had rather, forsooth, go before you like a man
than follow him like a dwarf.
- Mistress Page. O, you are a flattering boy: now I see you'll be a courtier.
- Ford. Well met, Mistress Page. Whither go you?
- Mistress Page. Truly, sir, to see your wife. Is she at home?
- Ford. Ay; and as idle as she may hang together, for want
of company. I think, if your husbands were dead,
you two would marry.
- Mistress Page. Be sure of that,—two other husbands.
- Ford. Where had you this pretty weather-cock?
- Mistress Page. I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my
husband had him of. What do you call your knight's
- Robin. Sir John Falstaff.
- Mistress Page. He, he; I can never hit on's name. There is such a
league between my good man and he! Is your wife at
- Ford. Indeed she is.
- Mistress Page. By your leave, sir: I am sick till I see her.
[Exeunt MISTRESS PAGE and ROBIN]
- Ford. Has Page any brains? hath he any eyes? hath he any
thinking? Sure, they sleep; he hath no use of them.
Why, this boy will carry a letter twenty mile, as
easy as a cannon will shoot point-blank twelve
score. He pieces out his wife's inclination; he
gives her folly motion and advantage: and now she's
going to my wife, and Falstaff's boy with her. A
man may hear this shower sing in the wind. And
Falstaff's boy with her! Good plots, they are laid;
and our revolted wives share damnation together.
Well; I will take him, then torture my wife, pluck
the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming
Mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure and
wilful Actaeon; and to these violent proceedings all
my neighbours shall cry aim.
The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me
search: there I shall find Falstaff: I shall be
rather praised for this than mocked; for it is as
positive as the earth is firm that Falstaff is
there: I will go.
[Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, SLENDER, Host,]
SIR HUGH EVANS, DOCTOR CAIUS, and RUGBY]
- Robert Shallow. [with Page and others] Well met, Master Ford.
- Ford. Trust me, a good knot: I have good cheer at home;
and I pray you all go with me.
- Robert Shallow. I must excuse myself, Master Ford.
- Slender. And so must I, sir: we have appointed to dine with
Mistress Anne, and I would not break with her for
more money than I'll speak of.
- Robert Shallow. We have lingered about a match between Anne Page and
my cousin Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.
- Slender. I hope I have your good will, father Page.
- Page. You have, Master Slender; I stand wholly for you:
but my wife, master doctor, is for you altogether.
- Doctor Caius. Ay, be-gar; and de maid is love-a me: my nursh-a
Quickly tell me so mush.
- Host. What say you to young Master Fenton? he capers, he
dances, he has eyes of youth, he writes verses, he
speaks holiday, he smells April and May: he will
carry't, he will carry't; 'tis in his buttons; he
- Page. Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman is
of no having: he kept company with the wild prince
and Poins; he is of too high a region; he knows too
much. No, he shall not knit a knot in his fortunes
with the finger of my substance: if he take her,
let him take her simply; the wealth I have waits on
my consent, and my consent goes not that way.
- Ford. I beseech you heartily, some of you go home with me
to dinner: besides your cheer, you shall have
sport; I will show you a monster. Master doctor,
you shall go; so shall you, Master Page; and you, Sir Hugh.
- Robert Shallow. Well, fare you well: we shall have the freer wooing
at Master Page's.
[Exeunt SHALLOW, and SLENDER]
- Doctor Caius. Go home, John Rugby; I come anon.
- Host. Farewell, my hearts: I will to my honest knight
Falstaff, and drink canary with him.
- Ford. [Aside] I think I shall drink in pipe wine first
with him; I'll make him dance. Will you go, gentles?
- All. Have with you to see this monster.