List iconThe Merry Wives of WindsorList icon

The Merry Wives of Windsor
Act 3, scene 2

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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 2
Enter Robin followed by Mistress Page.

MISTRESS PAGE 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?
ROBIN 5I had rather, forsooth, go before you like a man
 than follow him like a dwarf.
MISTRESS PAGE O, you are a flattering boy! Now I see
 you’ll be a courtier.

Enter Ford.

FORD Well met, Mistress Page. Whither go you?
MISTRESS PAGE 10Truly, sir, to see your wife. Is she at
 home?
FORD Ay, and as idle as she may hang together, for
 want of company. I think if your husbands were
 dead, you two would marry.
MISTRESS PAGE 15Be sure of that—two other husbands.
FORD Where had you this pretty weathercock?
MISTRESS PAGE I cannot tell what the dickens his name
 is my husband had him of.—What do you call your
 knight’s name, sirrah?
ROBIN 20Sir John Falstaff.

99
The Merry Wives of Windsor
ACT 3. SC. 2

FORD Sir John Falstaff!
MISTRESS PAGE He, he. I can never hit on ’s name.
 There is such a league between my goodman and
 he. Is your wife at home indeed?
FORD 25Indeed, she is.
MISTRESS PAGE By your leave, sir. I am sick till I see
 her.Mistress Page and Robin exit.
FORD Has Page any brains? Hath he any eyes? Hath
 he any thinking? Sure they sleep; he hath no use
30 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.
35 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
40 Mistress Page, divulge Page himself for a secure
 and willful Acteon, and to these violent proceedings
 all my neighbors shall cry aim. A clock
 strikes. 
The clock gives me my cue, and my assurance
 bids me search. There I shall find Falstaff. I
45 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, Doctor Caius, and Rugby.


SHALLOW, PAGE, ETC. Well met, Master Ford.
FORD Trust me, a good knot. I have good cheer at
50 home, and I pray you all go with me.
SHALLOW I must excuse myself, Master Ford.
SLENDER 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.

101
The Merry Wives of Windsor
ACT 3. SC. 2

SHALLOW 55We have lingered about a match between
 Anne Page and my cousin Slender, and this day we
 shall have our answer.
SLENDER I hope I have your good will, Father Page.
PAGE You have, Master Slender. I stand wholly for
60 you.—But my wife, Master Doctor, is for you
 altogether.
DOCTOR CAIUS Ay, be-gar, and de maid is love-a me! My
 nursh-a Quickly tell me so mush.
HOST, to Page What say you to young Master Fenton?
65 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.
PAGE Not by my consent, I promise you. The gentleman
70 is of no having. He kept company with the
 wild Prince and Poins. 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
75 waits on my consent, and my consent goes not that
 way.
FORD 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,
80 you shall go.—So shall you, Master Page.—
 And you, Sir Hugh.
SHALLOW Well, fare you well. We shall have the freer
 wooing at Master Page’s.
Shallow and Slender exit.
DOCTOR CAIUS Go home, John Rugby. I come anon.
Rugby exits.
HOST 85Farewell, my hearts. I will to my honest knight
 Falstaff, and drink canary with him.He exits.
FORD, aside I think I shall drink in pipe-wine first
 with him; I’ll make him dance.—Will you go,
 gentles?

103
The Merry Wives of Windsor
ACT 3. SC. 3

PAGE, DOCTOR CAIUS, and SIR HUGH 90Have with you to
 see this monster.
They exit.