The Merry Wives of Windsor By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 2

Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the picture, she says,
that you wot of: Master Ford, 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.

Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her; I will not fail her.

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
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 a man:
surely I think you have charms, la! yes, in truth.

Not I, I assure thee; setting the attraction of my good parts aside,
I have no other charms.

Blessing on your heart for 't!

But, I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford's wife and Page's wife
acquainted each other how they love me?

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 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 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.

Why, I will.

Nay, but do so then; and, look you, he may come and 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, as they say, and know the world.

Fare thee well; commend me to them both. There's my purse; I am yet
thy debtor. Boy, go along with this woman. —


This news distracts me.

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!


Say'st 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 fairly done,
no matter.

[Enter BARDOLPH, with a cup of sack.]

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.

Brook is his name?

Ay, sir.

Call him in. [Exit BARDOLPH.] Such Brooks are welcome to me, that
o'erflow such liquor. Ah, ha! Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, have
I encompassed you? Go to; via!

[Re-enter BARDOLPH, with FORD disguised.]

Bless you, sir!

And you, sir; would you speak with me?

I make bold to press with so little preparation upon

You're welcome. What's your will? — Give us leave, drawer.


Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much: my name is Brook.

Good Master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.

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 embold'ned me to this unseasoned
intrusion; for they say, if money go before, all ways do lie open.

Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

Falstaff considers himself to be a