ACT III
Scene 2
 

The street in Windsor

Enter MISTRESS PAGE and ROBIN

MRS. 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.

MRS. PAGE
O, you are a flattering boy; now I see you'll be a
courtier.

Enter FORD

FORD
Well met, Mistress Page. Whither go you?

MRS. 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.

MRS. PAGE
Be sure of that-two other husbands.

FORD
Where had you this pretty weathercock?

MRS. PAGE
I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my
husband had him of. What do you call your knight's
name, sirrah?

ROBIN
Sir John Falstaff.

FORD
Sir John Falstaff!

MRS. 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
home indeed?

FORD
Indeed she is.

MRS. PAGE
By your leave, sir. I am sick till I see her.

Exeunt MRS. 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 pointblank 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 show'r 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. [Clock strikes]
The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance bids me
search; there I shall find Falstaff. I shall be rather prais'd
for this than mock'd; 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, CAIUS, and RUGBY

SHALLOW, PAGE, &

C
Well met, Master Ford.

FORD
Trust me, a good knot; I have good cheer at home,
and I pray you all go with me.

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.

SHALLOW
We have linger'd 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.

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 will carry 't.

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.

SHALLOW
Well, fare you well; we shall have the freer
wooing at Master Page's.

Exeunt SHALLOW and SLENDER

CAIUS
Go home, John Rugby; I come anon.

Exit RUGBY

HOST
Farewell, my hearts; I will to my honest knight
Falstaff, and drink canary with him.

Exit HOST

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.

Exeunt