Prescanned Shakespeare.com
presented by Acoustic Learning


The Merry Wives of Windsor

Act IV, Scene 4

A room in FORD'S house.
 
[Enter PAGE, FORD, MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS FORD, and SIR HUGH EVANS]
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
'Tis one of the best discretions of a woman as ever I did look upon.
 
PAGE
And did he send you both these letters at an instant?
 
MISTRESS PAGE
Within a quarter of an hour.
 
FORD
       ,             ,           ,          ,           ,
      Pardon | me (wife)| henceforth | do what | thou wilt;
         ,        ,        ,          ,           ,
      I ra|ther will | suspect | the sun | with gold,
             ,          ,     2      ,        2     ,       ,
      Than thee | with wan|tonness: now | doth thy ho|nor stand
           ,          ,         ,       ,    ,
      (In him | that was | of late | a he|retic)
           ,         ,
      As firm | as faith.
 
PAGE
                                ,           ,         ,
                         'Tis well,| 'tis well,| no more:
          ,      2    ,       2    ,         ,     2    ,
      Be not | as extreme | in submis|sion, as | in offense,
           ,          ,        ,    ,               ,
      But let | our plot | go for|ward: let | our wives
            ,       ,         ,        ,        ,
      Yet once | again |(to make | us pub|lic sport)
          ,        ,           2        ,   ,     ,
      Appoint | a mee|ting with this / old fat | fellow,
             ,         ,          ,         ,            x
      Where we | may take | him, and | disgrace | him for it.
 
FORD
           2    ,    ,        ,           ,           ,
      There is no | better | way than | that they | spoke of.
 
PAGE
How? to send him word they'll meet him in the park at midnight? Fie, fie! he'll never come.
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
You say he has been thrown in the rivers and has been grievously peaten as an old woman: methinks there should be terrors in him that he should not come; methinks his flesh is punished, he shall have no desires.
 
PAGE
So think I too.
 
MISTRESS FORD
          ,         ,            ,          ,         ,
      Devise | but how | you'll use | him when | he comes,
       ,     2      ,       ,         ,          ,
      And let us | two de|vise to | bring him | thither.
 
MISTRESS PAGE
        ,     2      T    T    T           ,          ,      ->
      There is an | old tale goes | that Herne | the hun||ter,
         ,      2   ,        ,         ,       ,       ->
      (Some|time a kee|per here | in Wind|sor for||est)
        ,       2     ,        ,         ,      ,
      Doth | all the win|ter-time,| at still | midnight
             ,        ,        ,           ,      ,        ___
      Walk^round | about | an oak,| with great | ragged | horns,
            ,           ,           ,          ,          ,       o
      And there | he blasts | the tree,| and takes | the cat|tle,    (hex with prev?)
            ,       T     T    T       ,             ,          ,  ->
      And makes | milch-kine yield | blood, and | shakes a || chain
               ,     ,  3  3        ,         ,
      In | a most | hideous and | dreadful | manner.
         2       ,          ,         x           ,          ,
      You have heard | of such | a spirit,| and well | you know
           ,     ,         ,     ,       ,
      The su|persti|tious id|le-hea|ded eld
           ,          ,       ,      ,        ,
      Received,| and did | deli|ver to | our age
             ,         ,          ,        ,        ,
      This tale | of Herne | the hun|ter, for | a truth.
 
PAGE
           ,            ,         ,      ,         ,
      Why yet | there want | not ma|ny that | do fear
           ,         ,          ,                 ,     ,
      In deep | of night | to walk | by this / Herne's oak:
            ,         ,
      But what | of this?
 
MISTRESS FORD
                           ,          2    ,        ,
                          Marry | this is our | device,
            ,    ,              ,            ,          ,
      That Fal|staff at | that oak | shall meet | with us.
 
PAGE
        ,             ,         ,       ,            ,
      Well, let | it not | be doub|ted but | he'll come,
           ,          ,       ,     2          ,           ,
      And in | this shape,| when you have | brought him | thither,
        ,               ,          ,          ,          ,
      What shall | be done | with him?| What is | your plot?
 
MISTRESS PAGE
        T    T   T        2      ,        ,          ,
      That likewise | have we thought | upon:| and thus:
            ,         ,         ,        ,       ,
      Nan^Page |(my daugh|ter) and | my lit|tle son,
            ,          ,      ,                ,             ,
      And three | or four | more of | their growth,| we'll dress
            ,           ,          ,          ,           ,
      Like ur|chins, ouphes,| and fai|ries, green | and white,
              ,         ,      ,       ,           ,
      With rounds | of wax|en ta|pers on | their heads,
           ,        ,           ,       ,         x
      And rat|tles in | their hands:| upon | a sudden,
       .  T   T     T        ,        ,      ,
      As Falstaff, she,| and I,| are new|ly met,
            ,           ,        ,        ,         ,
      Let them | from forth | a saw|pit rush | at once
             ,        ,       ,      ,            ,
      With some | diffu|sed song:| upon | their sight
           ,         ,       ,      ,          ,
      We* two,| in great | ama|zedness | will fly:
            ,          ,       ,       ,       ,
      Then let | them all | encir|cle him | about,
           ,       ,         ,      .   T  T      T
      And fai|ry-like | to pinch | the unclean knight;
           ,         ,           ,        ,       x
      And ask | him why | that hour | of fai|ry revel,
                  ,  ,        ,          ,          ,
      In their / so sa|cred paths,| he dares | to tread
           ,          ,
      In shape | profane.
 
MISTRESS FORD
                               ,         ,          ,
                         And till | he tell | the truth,
       ,            ,      ,         ,            ,
      Let the | suppo|sed fai|ries pinch | him, sound,
            ,          ,           ,     2
      And burn | him with | their ta|pers.
 
MISTRESS PAGE
                                                ,       2     ,
                                          The truth | being known,
             ,         ,          ,           ,           x
      We'll all | present | ourselves,| dis-horn | the spirit,
            ,          ,         ,     2
      And mock | him home | to Wind|sor.
 
FORD
                                              ,         ,
                                        The chil|dren must
           ,          ,         ,                   ,    x
      Be prac|tised well | to this,| or they'll / nere do it.
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
I will teach the children their behaviors; and I will be like a jack-an-apes also, to burn the knight with my taber.
 
FORD
That will be excellent, I'll go and buy them vizards.
 
MISTRESS PAGE
My Nan shall be the queen of all the fairies, finely attired in a robe of white.
 
PAGE
             ,         ,       ,         ,          ,
      That silk | will I | go buy,| and in | that time
             ,        ,        ,         ,      ,
      Shall Mas|ter Slen|der steal | my Nan | away,
           ,    3   3   ,       ,       2    ,             ,
      And mar|ry her at E|ton: Go,| send^to Fal|staff* straight.
 
FORD
       ,           ,          ,         ,         ,
      Nay, I'll | to him | again | in name | of Brook
              ,        ,         ,          ,            ,
      He'll tell | me all | his pur|pose: sure,| he'll come.
 
MISTRESS PAGE
            ,          ,        ,        ,       ,
      Fear not | you that.| Go get | us pro|perties
            ,        ,         ,
      And trick|ing for | our fai|ries.
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
                                        ,      2     x
                                       Let | us about it:
       ,       ,      ,      ,              ,      ,       ,      ,  ->
      It is | admi|rable | pleasures,| and fe||ry ho|nest kna|veries.
 
[Exeunt PAGE, FORD, and SIR HUGH EVANS]
 
MISTRESS PAGE
           ,          ,
      Go* Mis|tress Ford,
             ,            ,    ,         ,          ,
      Send quick|ly to / Sir John,| to know | his mind.
 
[Exit MISTRESS FORD]
        ,            ,        ,         ,           ,
      I'll to | the doc|tor: he | hath my | good* will,
            ,         ,       ,             ,    ,
      And none | but he,| to mar|ry with / Nan Page.
             ,          ,           ,      3  3    ,   ,
      That Slen|der (though | well^lan|ded) is an id|iot;
           ,       ,         ,        ,        ,
      And he | my hus|band best | of all | affects.
           ,             ,   ,         ,           ,
      The doc|tor is / well-mo|neyed, and | his friends
       ,    2       T     T    T         ,           ,         o
      Potent at | court: he, none | but he,| shall have | her,
               ,       ,        ,    2     ,         ,         o
      Though twen|ty thou|sand wor|thier come | to crave | her.  (hex with prev)
 
[Exit]

← Previous Scene | Next Scene →


Home