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    The Merry Wives of Windsor

    by William Shakespeare
    MFFE script v5.06 CloudReader v1.05
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  • Act One Scene One

    >>>Start of play
    Enter Justice Shallow, Slender, Sir Hugh Evans.
    ---!!! First speech of play
    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.
    --- Robert Shallow Esquire.
    Slender.
    In the County of Glocester, Justice of Peace and Coram.
    --- Peace and Coram.
    Shallow.
    Ay, Cousin Slender, and Cust-a-lorum.
    --- Slender, and Cust-a-lorum.
    Slender.
    Ay, and Ratolorum too; and a Gentleman born, Master Parson, who writes himself Armigero, in any Bill, Warrant, Quittance, or Obligation - Armigero.
    --- or Obligation - Armigero.
    Shallow.
    Ay, that I do, and have done any time these three hundred years.
    --- 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.
    --- in their Coat.
    Shallow.
    It is an old Coat.
    --- 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.
    --- and signifies Love.
    Shallow.
    The Luce is the fresh fish - the salt-fish is an old Coat.
    --- an old Coat.
    Slender.
    I may quarter, Coz.
    --- may quarter, Coz.
    Shallow.
    You may, by marrying.
    --- may, by marrying.
    Evans.
    It is marring indeed, if he quarter it.
    --- he quarter it.
    Shallow.
    Not a whit.
    --- 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.
    --- compremises between you.
    Shallow.
    The Council shall hear it, it is a Riot.
    --- 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.
    --- vizaments in that.
    Shallow.
    Ha, o'my life, if I were young again, the sword should end it.
    --- 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.
    --- is pretty virginity.
    Slender.
    Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks small like a woman.
    --- like a woman.
    Evans.
    It is that ferry 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.
    --- Mistress Anne Page.
    Slender.
    Did her Grand-sire leave her seven hundred pound?
    --- seven hundred pound?
    Evans.
    Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.
    --- a petter penny.
    Slender.
    I know the young Gentlewoman, she has good gifts.
    --- has good gifts.
    Evans.
    Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is goot gifts.
    --- is goot gifts.
    Shallow.
    Well, let us see honest Mr Page. Is Falstaff there?
    --- Is Falstaff there?
    Evans.
    Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a lier, 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 Mr. Page.
    Knocks.
    What ho! Got pless your house here!
    --- your house here!
    Page.
    Within.
    Who's there?
    >>>Who's there?
    Enter Page.
    --- 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 likings.
    --- to your likings.
    Page.
    I am glad to see your Worships well. I thank you for my Venison, Master Shallow.
    --- Venison, Master Shallow.
    Shallow.
    Master Page, I am glad to see you, much good do it your good heart. I wished your Venison better, it was ill killed. How doth good Mistress Page? And I thank you always with my heart, la - with my heart.
    --- with my heart.
    Page.
    Sir, I thank you.
    --- I thank you.
    Shallow.
    Sir, I thank you; by yea and no I do.
    --- no I do.
    Page.
    I am glad to see you, good Master Slender.
    --- good Master Slender.
    Slender.
    How does your fallow Greyhound, Sir? I heard say he was outrun on Cotsall.
    --- outrun on Cotsall.
    Page.
    It could not be judged, Sir.
    --- be judged, Sir.
    Slender.
    You'll not confess, you'll not confess!
    --- you'll not confess!
    Shallow.
    That he will not 'tis your fault, 'tis your fault. 'Tis a good dog.
    --- a good dog.
    Page.
    A Cur, Sir.
    --- 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?
    --- John Falstaff here?
    Page.
    Sir, he is within; and I would I could do a good office between you.
    --- office between you.
    Evans.
    It is spoke as a Christians ought to speak.
    --- ought to speak.
    Shallow.
    He hath wronged me, Master Page.
    --- me, Master Page.
    Page.
    Sir, he doth in some sort confess it.
    --- sort confess it.
    Shallow.
    If it be confessed, it is not redressed. Is not that so, Master Page? He hath wronged me, indeed he hath, at a word he hath. Believe me: Robert Shallow Esquire saith he is wronged.
    --- he is wronged.
    Page.
    Here comes Sir John.
    >>>comes Sir John.
    Enter Sir John Falstaff, Pistol, Bardolf, and Nym.
    --- comes Sir John.
    Falstaff.
    Now, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me to the King?
    --- to the King?
    Shallow.
    Knight, you have beaten my men, killed my deer and broke open my Lodge.
    --- open my Lodge.
    Falstaff.
    But not kissed your Keeper's daughter!
    --- your Keeper's daughter!
    Shallow.
    Tut, a pin!  This shall be answered.
    --- shall be answered.
    Falstaff.
    I will answer it straight: I have done all this. That is now answered.
    --- is now answered.
    Shallow.
    The Council shall know this.
    --- shall know this.
    Falstaff.
    'Twere better for you if it were known in counsel: you'll be laughed at.
    --- be laughed at.
    Evans.
    Pauca verba, Sir John, good worts.
    --- John) good worts.
    Falstaff.
    Good worts? Good Cabbage! Slender, I broke your head: what matter have you against me?
    --- you against me?
    Slender.
    Marry sir, I have matter in my head against you, and against your cony-catching Rascals, Bardolf, Nym, and Pistol.
    --- Nym, and Pistol.
    Bardolf.
    You Banbery Cheese!
    --- You Banbery Cheese!
    Slender.
    Ay, it is no matter.
    --- is no matter.
    Pistol.
    How now, Mephostophilus?
    --- How now, Mephostophilus?
    Slender.
    Ay, it is no matter.
    --- is no matter.
    Nym.
    Slice, I say! Pauca, pauca, slice, that's my humour.
    --- that's my humour.
    Slender.
    Where's Simple my man? Can you tell, Cousin?
    --- 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.
    --- of the Garter.
    Page.
    We three to hear it, and end it between them.
    --- it between them.
    Evans.
    Ferry goot, I will make a prief of it in my notebook, and we will afterwards 'ork upon the cause with as great discreetly as we can.
    --- as we can.
    Falstaff.
    Pistol!
    --- Pistol.
    Pistol.
    He hears with ears.
    --- hears with ears.
    Evans.
    The Tevil and his Tam, what phrase is this? He hears with ears! Why, it is affectations.
    --- it is affectations.
    Falstaff.
    Pistol, did you pick Master Slender's purse?
    --- 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 a-piece of Yead Miller - by these gloves!
    --- by these gloves!
    Falstaff.
    Is this true, Pistol?
    --- this true, Pistol?
    Evans.
    No, it is false, if it is a pick-purse.
    --- is a pick-purse.
    Pistol.
    Ha, thou mountain Foreigner! -
    Sir John, and Master mine,
    I combat challenge of this Latin Bilbo -
    Word of denial in thy labras here!
    Word of denial! Froth and scum, thou liest!
    --- scum, thou liest!
    Slender.
    Points at Nym.
    By these gloves, then 'twas he.
    --- then 'twas he.
    Nym.
    Be advised 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.
    --- 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.
    --- altogether an ass.
    Falstaff.
    What say you, Scarlet and John?
    --- Scarlet and John?
    Bardolf.
    Why, sir, for my part, I say the Gentleman had drunk himself out of his five sentences.
    --- his five sentences.
    Evans.
    It is 'his five senses'. Fie, what the ignorance is!
    --- the ignorance is!
    Bardolf.
    And being fap, sir, was, as they say, cashiered; and so conclusions past the Careers.
    --- past 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.
    --- with drunken knaves.
    Evans.
    So Got 'udge me, that is a virtuous mind.
    --- a virtuous mind.
    Falstaff.
    You hear all these matters denied, Gentlemen; you hear it.
    >>>you hear it.
    Enter Mistress Ford, Mistress Page,and her daughter Anne, with wine.
    --- you hear it.
    Page.
    Nay daughter, carry the wine in, we’ll drink within.
    >>>we’ll drink within.
    Exit Anne Page.
    --- we’ll drink within.
    Slender.
    Oh heaven, this is Mistress Anne Page.
    --- Mistress Anne Page.
    Page.
    How now, Mistress Ford?
    --- now, Mistress Ford?
    Falstaff.
    Mistress Ford, by my troth you are very well met. By your leave, good Mistress.
    --- leave, good Mistress.
    Page.
    Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome. - Come, we have a hot Venison pasty to dinner. Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.
    >>> down all unkindness.
    Exeunt all, leaving Slender.
    --- down all unkindness.
    Slender.
    I had rather than forty shillings I had my book of Songs and Sonnets here.
    >>>and Sonnets here.
    Enter Simple.
    How now Simple, where have you been? I must wait on myself, must I? You have not the Book of Riddles about you, have you?
    --- you, have you?
    Simple.
    Book of Riddles? Why did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake upon Allhallowmas last, a fortnight afore Michaelmas?
    >>>fortnight afore Michaelmas.
    Enter Shallow and Evans.
    --- fortnight afore Michaelmas.
    Shallow.
    Come, Coz, come, Coz, we stay for you. A word with you, Coz. Marry, this, Coz: there is, as 'twere, a tender, a kind of tender, made afar off by Sir Hugh here. Do you understand me?
    --- you understand me?
    Slender.
    Ay, Sir, you shall find me reasonable. If it be so, I shall do that that is reason.
    --- that is reason.
    Shallow.
    Nay, but understand me.
    --- but understand me.
    Slender.
    So I do, Sir.
    --- I do, Sir.
    Evans.
    Give ear to his motions. Master Slender, I will description the matter to you, if you be capacity of it.
    --- capacity of it.
    Slender.
    Nay, I will do as my Cozen Shallow says. I pray you pardon me, he's a Justice of Peace in his Country, simple though I stand here.
    --- I stand here.
    Evans.
    But that is not the question. The question is concerning your marriage.
    --- concerning your marriage.
    Shallow.
    Ay, there's the point Sir.
    --- the point Sir.
    Evans.
    Marry, is it, the very point of it - to Mistress Anne Page.
    --- Mistress Anne Page.
    Slender.
    Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any reasonable demands.
    --- any reasonable demands.
    Evans.
    But can you affection the 'oman? Let us command to know that of your mouth, or of your lips - for divers Philosophers hold, that the lips is parcel of the mouth. Therefore precisely, can you carry your good will to the maid?
    --- to the maid?
    Shallow.
    Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?
    --- you love her?
    Slender.
    I hope, sir, I will do as it shall become one that would do reason.
    --- would do reason.
    Evans.
    Nay, Got's Lords, and his Ladies, you must speak possitable if you can carry-her your desires towards her.
    --- desires towards her.
    Shallow.
    That you must: will you, upon good dowry, marry her?
    --- dowry, marry her?
    Slender.
    I will do a greater thing than that, upon your request, Cousin, in any reason.
    --- in any reason.
    Shallow.
    Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet Coz. What I do is to pleasure you, Coz. Can you love the maid?
    --- love the maid?
    Slender.
    I will marry her, Sir, at your request. But if there be no great love in the beginning, yet Heaven may decrease it upon better acquaintance, when we are married, and have more occasion to know one another. I hope upon familiarity will grow more contempt. But if you say marry her, I will marry her - that I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely.
    --- dissolved, and dissolutely.
    Evans.
    It is a fery discretion answer. Save the faul' is in the 'ord, 'dissolutely' - the 'ort is, according to our meaning, 'resolutely' - his meaning is good.
    --- meaning is good.
    Shallow.
    Ay, I think my Cousin meant well.
    --- Cousin meant well.
    Slender.
    Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la!
    >>>be hanged, la!
    Enter Anne Page.
    --- be hanged, la!
    Shallow.
    Here comes fair Mistress Anne. - Would I were young for your sake, Mistress Anne.
    --- sake, Mistress Anne.
    Anne_page.
    The dinner is on the Table, my Father desires your worships' company.
    --- your worships' company.
    Shallow.
    I will wait on him, fair Mistress Anne.
    --- fair Mistress Anne.
    Evans.
    Od's plessed-will! I will not be absence at the grace.
    >>>at the grace.
    Exeunt Shallow and Evans.
    --- at the grace.
    Anne_page.
    Will't please your worship to come in, Sir?
    --- come in, Sir?
    Slender.
    No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well.
    --- am very well.
    Anne_page.
    The dinner attends you, Sir.
    --- attends you, Sir.
    Slender.
    I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth, heartily.
    To Simple.
    Go, Sirrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my Cousin Shallow:
    Exit Simple.
    A Justice of peace sometime may be beholding to his friend for a Man. I keep but three Men and a Boy yet, till my Mother be dead. But what though, yet I live like a poor Gentleman born.
    --- poor Gentleman born.
    Anne_page.
    I may not go in without your worship: they will not sit till you come.
    --- till you come.
    Slender.
    I' faith, I'll eat nothing. I thank you as much as though I did.
    --- though I did.
    Anne_page.
    I pray you, Sir, walk in.
    --- Sir, walk in.
    Slender.
    I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruised my shin th' other day, with playing at Sword and Dagger with a Master of Fence - three venues for a dish of stewed Prunes  - and by my troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. - Why do your dogs bark so? Be there Bears i'th' Town?
    --- Bears i'th' Town?
    Anne_page.
    I think there are, Sir, I heard them talked of.
    --- them talked of.
    Slender.
    I love the sport well, but I shall as soon quarrel at it, as any man in England. You are afraid if you see the Bear loose, are you not?
    --- are you not?
    Anne_page.
    Ay indeed, Sir.
    --- Ay indeed Sir.
    Slender.
    That's meat and drink to me now. I have seen Sackerson loose twenty times, and have taken him by the Chain; but, I warrant you, the women have so cried and shrieked at it, that it passed. But women, indeed, cannot abide 'em: they are very ill-favoured rough things.
    >>>ill-favoured rough things.
    Enter Page.
    --- ill-favoured rough things.
    Page.
    Come, gentle Master Slender, come: we stay for you.
    --- stay for you.
    Slender.
    I'll eat nothing, I thank you, Sir.
    --- thank you, Sir.
    Page.
    By cock and pie, you shall not choose, Sir. Come, come.
    --- Sir. Come, come.
    Slender.
    Nay, pray you, lead the way.
    --- lead the way.
    Page.
    Come on, Sir.
    --- Come on, Sir.
    Slender.
    Mistress Anne: yourself shall go first.
    --- shall go first.
    Anne_page.
    Not I ,Sir, pray you, keep on.
    --- you, keep on.
    Slender.
    Truly, I will not go first; truly - la! I will not do you that wrong.
    --- you that wrong.
    Anne_page.
    I pray you, Sir.
    --- pray you, Sir.
    Slender.
    I'll rather be unmannerly than troublesome. You do yourself wrong indeed - la!
    >>> wrong indeed - la!
    Exeunt.
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