ACT III. SCENE 2. A street in Windsor.
[Enter MISTRESS PAGE and ROBIN.]
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?
I had rather, forsooth, go before you like a man than follow him
like a dwarf.
O! you are a flattering boy: now I see you'll be a courtier.
Well met, Mistress Page. Whither go you?
Truly, sir, to see your wife. Is she at home?
Ay; and as idle as she may hang together, for want of company.
I think, if your husbands were dead, you two would marry.
Be sure of that — two other husbands.
Where had you this pretty weathercock?
I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my husband had him of.
What do you call your knight's name, sirrah?
Sir John Falstaff.
Sir John Falstaff!
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?
Indeed she is.
By your leave, sir: I am sick till I see her.
[Exeunt MRS. PAGE and ROBIN.]
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. [Clock strikes] 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,
CAIUS, and RUGBY.]
SHALLOW, PAGE, &c.
Well met, Master Ford.
Trust me, a good knot; I have good cheer at home, and I pray you
all go with me.
I must excuse myself, Master Ford.
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.
We have lingered about a match between Anne Page and my cousin
Slender, and this day we shall have our answer.
I hope I have your good will, father Page.
You have, Master Slender; I stand wholly for you. But my wife,
Master doctor, is for you altogether.
Ay, be-gar; and de maid is love-a me: my nursh-a Quickly tell me
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.
Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman is of no having:
he kept company with the wild Prince and Pointz; 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.
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,
Well, fare you well; we shall have the freer wooing at Master Page's.
[Exeunt SHALLOW and SLENDER.]
Go home, John Rugby; I come anon.
Farewell, my hearts; I will to my honest knight Falstaff, and drink
canary with him.
[Aside] I think I shall drink in pipe-wine first with him. I'll
make him dance. Will you go, gentles?
Have with you to see this monster.