List iconThe Merry Wives of WindsorList icon

The Merry Wives of Windsor
Act 3, scene 1

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Characters in the Play

Entire Play

In The Merry Wives of Windsor, fat, disreputable Sir John Falstaff pursues two housewives, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, who outwit…

Act 1, scene 1

Justice Shallow and his nephew Slender accompany Sir Hugh the parson to the Pages’ home. There they meet Sir John…

Act 1, scene 2

Sir Hugh sends Slender’s servant Simple with a letter to Mistress Quickly asking her to intercede with Anne Page on…

Act 1, scene 3

Falstaff, in desperate need of funds, dismisses his servant Bardolph, who enters the employ of the Host of the Garter….

Act 1, scene 4

Delivering Sir Hugh’s letter to Mistress Quickly, Simple is discovered by her employer Dr. Caius (another of Anne’s suitors). Furious…

Act 2, scene 1

Mistress Page and Mistress Ford compare their love letters from Falstaff and plot revenge against him. Pistol and Nym tell…

Act 2, scene 2

Falstaff receives Mistress Ford’s invitation to visit; he then accepts “Brook’s” money in exchange for his promise to compromise Mistress…

Act 2, scene 3

Dr. Caius responds furiously when Sir Hugh fails to meet him for their duel. The Host calms his anger by…

Act 3, scene 1

Page, Shallow, and Slender join Sir Hugh, who is waiting to fight Dr. Caius. When the Host brings Dr. Caius…

Act 3, scene 2

Ford, knowing of Falstaff’s visit to Mistress Ford, gathers as many men as he can to go with him to…

Act 3, scene 3

Mistress Ford and Mistress Page begin their revenge against Falstaff. As Falstaff joins Mistress Ford, Mistress Page enters with news…

Act 3, scene 4

Attempting to court Anne Page, Fenton is interrupted first by his rival Slender and then by a hostile Master and…

Act 3, scene 5

Falstaff agrees once again to visit Mistress Ford and again informs “Brook” of his plans.

Act 4, scene 1

William, the young son of Master and Mistress Page, is briefly tested on his Latin by Sir Hugh.

Act 4, scene 2

Visiting Mistress Ford, Falstaff is again interrupted by Mistress Page, again with news of Ford’s threatening approach. This time the…

Act 4, scene 3

Some Germans want to hire the Host’s horses.

Act 4, scene 4

Mistress Page and Mistress Ford, having fully disclosed their dealings with Falstaff to their husbands, conspire with them to humiliate…

Act 4, scene 5

The Host learns his horses have been stolen. Mistress Quickly approaches Falstaff with another invitation, this time to meet Mistress…

Act 4, scene 6

The Host is asked to arrange for a vicar to marry Anne to Fenton that night.

Act 5, scene 1

Falstaff, having agreed to meet Mistress Page and Mistress Ford, promises success to “Brook.”

Act 5, scene 2

Slender prepares to elope with Anne Page.

Act 5, scene 3

Dr. Caius waits to elope with Anne Page. Mistress Page and Mistress Ford follow their plan to torment Falstaff.

Act 5, scene 4

Sir Hugh and the “fairies” approach.

Act 5, scene 5

Falstaff is tormented by the “fairies” and then publicly humiliated. Slender and Dr. Caius enter in turn to report that…

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Scene 1
Enter Sir Hugh Evans (with a book and a sword)
and Simple (carrying Sir Hugh’s gown).


SIR HUGH I pray you now, good Master Slender’s servingman
 and friend Simple by your name, which
 way have you looked for Master Caius, that calls
 himself doctor of physic?
SIMPLE 5Marry, sir, the Petty-ward, the Park-ward,
 every way; Old Windsor way, and every way but
 the town way.
SIR HUGH I most fehemently desire you, you will also
 look that way.
SIMPLE 10I will, sir.He exits.
SIR HUGH Pless my soul, how full of cholers I am, and
 trempling of mind! I shall be glad if he have deceived
 me. How melancholies I am! I will knog his
 urinals about his knave’s costard when I have good
15 opportunities for the ’ork. Pless my soul!
(Sings.)
 To shallow rivers, to whose falls
 Melodious birds sings madrigals.
 There will we make our peds of roses
 And a thousand fragrant posies.
20 To shallow—

 Mercy on me, I have a great dispositions to cry.
89

91
The Merry Wives of Windsor
ACT 3. SC. 1

(Sings.)
 Melodious birds sing madrigals—
 Whenas I sat in Pabylon—
 And a thousand vagram posies.
25 To shallow rivers, to whose falls
 Melodious birds sings madrigals.


Enter Simple.

SIMPLE Yonder he is, coming this way, Sir Hugh.
SIR HUGH He’s welcome.
(Sings.)
 To shallow rivers, to whose falls—
30 Heaven prosper the right! What weapons is he?
SIMPLE No weapons, sir. There comes my master,
 Master Shallow, and another gentleman, from
 Frogmore, over the stile, this way.
SIR HUGH Pray you, give me my gown—or else keep it
35 in your arms.

Enter Page, Shallow, and Slender.

SHALLOW How now, Master Parson? Good morrow,
 good Sir Hugh. Keep a gamester from the dice,
 and a good student from his book, and it is
 wonderful.
SLENDER, aside 40Ah, sweet Anne Page!
PAGE God save you, good Sir Hugh!
SIR HUGH God pless you from His mercy sake, all of
 you!
SHALLOW What, the sword and the word? Do you
45 study them both, Master Parson?
PAGE And youthful still—in your doublet and hose
 this raw rheumatic day?
SIR HUGH There is reasons and causes for it.
PAGE We are come to you to do a good office, Master
50 Parson.
SIR HUGH Fery well. What is it?

93
The Merry Wives of Windsor
ACT 3. SC. 1

PAGE Yonder is a most reverend gentleman who, belike
 having received wrong by some person, is at
 most odds with his own gravity and patience that
55 ever you saw.
SHALLOW I have lived fourscore years and upward. I
 never heard a man of his place, gravity, and learning
 so wide of his own respect.
SIR HUGH What is he?
PAGE 60I think you know him: Master Doctor Caius, the
 renowned French physician.
SIR HUGH Got’s will and His passion of my heart! I had
 as lief you would tell me of a mess of porridge.
PAGE Why?
SIR HUGH 65He has no more knowledge in Hibbocrates
 and Galen—and he is a knave besides, a cowardly
 knave as you would desires to be acquainted
 withal.
PAGE, to Shallow I warrant you, he’s the man should
70 fight with him.
SLENDER, aside O, sweet Anne Page!
SHALLOW It appears so by his weapons. Keep them
 asunder. Here comes Doctor Caius.

Enter Host, Doctor Caius, and Rugby.
Caius and Sir Hugh offer to fight.


PAGE Nay, good Master Parson, keep in your weapon.
SHALLOW 75So do you, good Master Doctor.
HOST Disarm them, and let them question. Let them
 keep their limbs whole and hack our English.
Page and Shallow disarm Caius and Sir Hugh.
DOCTOR CAIUS, to Sir Hugh I pray you, let-a me speak
 a word with your ear. Verefore vill you not
80 meet-a me?
SIR HUGH, aside to Caius Pray you, use your patience.
 (Aloud.) In good time.
DOCTOR CAIUS By gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog,
 John ape.

95
The Merry Wives of Windsor
ACT 3. SC. 1

SIR HUGH, aside to Caius 85Pray you, let us not be
 laughing-stocks to other men’s humors. I desire
 you in friendship, and I will one way or other
 make you amends. (Aloud.) By Jeshu, I will knog
 your urinal about your knave’s cogscomb.
DOCTOR CAIUS 90Diable! Jack Rugby, mine Host de Jarteer,
 have I not stay for him to kill him? Have I not,
 at de place I did appoint?
SIR HUGH As I am a Christians soul, now look you, this
 is the place appointed. I’ll be judgment by mine
95 Host of the Garter.
HOST Peace, I say, Gallia and Gaul, French and Welsh,
 soul-curer and body-curer!
DOCTOR CAIUS Ay, dat is very good, excellent.
HOST Peace, I say! Hear mine Host of the Garter. Am
100 I politic? Am I subtle? Am I a Machiavel? Shall I
 lose my doctor? No, he gives me the potions and
 the motions. Shall I lose my parson, my priest, my
 Sir Hugh? No, he gives me the proverbs and the
 no-verbs. (To Caius.) Give me thy hand, terrestrial;
105 so. (To Sir Hugh.) Give me thy hand, celestial;
 so. Boys of art, I have deceived you both. I
 have directed you to wrong places. Your hearts are
 mighty, your skins are whole, and let burnt sack be
 the issue. (To Page and Shallow.) Come, lay their
110 swords to pawn. (To Caius and Sir Hugh.) Follow
 me, lads of peace, follow, follow, follow.
Host exits.
SHALLOW Afore God, a mad Host. Follow, gentlemen,
 follow.
SLENDER, aside O, sweet Anne Page!
Shallow, Page, and Slender exit.
DOCTOR CAIUS 115Ha, do I perceive dat? Have you make-a
 de sot of us, ha, ha?
SIR HUGH This is well! He has made us his vloutingstog.
 I desire you that we may be friends, and let

97
The Merry Wives of Windsor
ACT 3. SC. 2

 us knog our prains together to be revenge on this
120 same scall, scurvy, cogging companion, the Host of
 the Garter.
DOCTOR CAIUS By gar, with all my heart. He promise
 to bring me where is Anne Page. By gar, he deceive
 me too.
SIR HUGH 125Well, I will smite his noddles. Pray you,
 follow.
Sir Hugh, Caius, Simple, and Rugby exit.