List iconThe Merry Wives of Windsor:
Act 3, scene 4
List icon

The Merry Wives of Windsor
Act 3, scene 4



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 4
Enter Fenton and Anne Page.

 I see I cannot get thy father’s love;
 Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.
 Alas, how then?
FENTON  Why, thou must be thyself.
5 He doth object I am too great of birth,
 And that, my state being galled with my expense,
 I seek to heal it only by his wealth.

The Merry Wives of Windsor
ACT 3. SC. 4

 Besides these, other bars he lays before me—
 My riots past, my wild societies—
10 And tells me ’tis a thing impossible
 I should love thee but as a property.
ANNE Maybe he tells you true.
 No, heaven so speed me in my time to come!
 Albeit I will confess thy father’s wealth
15 Was the first motive that I wooed thee, Anne,
 Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
 Than stamps in gold or sums in sealèd bags.
 And ’tis the very riches of thyself
 That now I aim at.
ANNE 20 Gentle Master Fenton,
 Yet seek my father’s love, still seek it, sir.
 If opportunity and humblest suit
 Cannot attain it, why then—hark you hither.
They talk aside.

Enter Shallow, Slender, and Mistress Quickly.

SHALLOW Break their talk, Mistress Quickly. My kinsman
25 shall speak for himself.
SLENDER I’ll make a shaft or a bolt on ’t. ’Slid, ’tis but
SHALLOW Be not dismayed.
SLENDER No, she shall not dismay me. I care not for
30 that, but that I am afeard.
MISTRESS QUICKLY, to Anne Hark ye, Master Slender
 would speak a word with you.
 I come to him. (Aside.) This is my father’s choice.
 O, what a world of vile ill-favored faults
35 Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!
MISTRESS QUICKLY And how does good Master Fenton?
 Pray you, a word with you.They talk aside.
SHALLOW, to Slender She’s coming. To her, coz! O
 boy, thou hadst a father!

The Merry Wives of Windsor
ACT 3. SC. 4

SLENDER 40I had a father, Mistress Anne; my uncle can
 tell you good jests of him.—Pray you, uncle, tell
 Mistress Anne the jest how my father stole two
 geese out of a pen, good uncle.
SHALLOW Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.
SLENDER 45Ay, that I do, as well as I love any woman in
SHALLOW He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.
SLENDER Ay, that I will, come cut and longtail, under
 the degree of a squire.
SHALLOW 50He will make you a hundred and fifty
 pounds jointure.
ANNE Good Master Shallow, let him woo for himself.
SHALLOW Marry, I thank you for it. I thank you for that
 good comfort.—She calls you, coz. I’ll leave you.
He steps aside.
ANNE 55Now, Master Slender.
SLENDER Now, good Mistress Anne.
ANNE What is your will?
SLENDER My will? ’Od’s heartlings, that’s a pretty jest
 indeed! I ne’er made my will yet, I thank heaven. I
60 am not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.
ANNE I mean, Master Slender, what would you with
SLENDER Truly, for mine own part, I would little or
 nothing with you. Your father and my uncle hath
65 made motions. If it be my luck, so; if not, happy
 man be his dole. They can tell you how things go
 better than I can. You may ask your father.

Enter Page and Mistress Page.

 Here he comes.
 Now, Master Slender.—Love him, daughter Anne.—
70 Why, how now? What does Master Fenton here?

The Merry Wives of Windsor
ACT 3. SC. 4

 You wrong me, sir, thus still to haunt my house.
 I told you, sir, my daughter is disposed of.
 Nay, Master Page, be not impatient.
 Good Master Fenton, come not to my child.
PAGE 75She is no match for you.
FENTON Sir, will you hear me?
PAGE No, good Master Fenton.—
 Come Master Shallow.—Come, son Slender, in.—
 Knowing my mind, you wrong me, Master Fenton.
Page, Shallow, and Slender exit.
MISTRESS QUICKLY, to Fenton 80Speak to Mistress Page.
 Good Mistress Page, for that I love your daughter
 In such a righteous fashion as I do,
 Perforce, against all checks, rebukes, and manners,
 I must advance the colors of my love
85 And not retire. Let me have your good will.
 Good mother, do not marry me to yond fool.
 I mean it not; I seek you a better husband.
MISTRESS QUICKLY That’s my master, Master Doctor.
 Alas, I had rather be set quick i’ th’ earth
90 And bowled to death with turnips!
 Come, trouble not yourself.—Good Master Fenton,
 I will not be your friend nor enemy.
 My daughter will I question how she loves you,
 And as I find her, so am I affected.
95 Till then, farewell, sir. She must needs go in;
 Her father will be angry.
 Farewell, gentle mistress.—Farewell, Nan.
Mistress Page and Anne Page exit.

The Merry Wives of Windsor
ACT 3. SC. 5

MISTRESS QUICKLY This is my doing now. “Nay,” said I,
 “will you cast away your child on a fool and a
100 physician? Look on Master Fenton.” This is my
 I thank thee; and I pray thee, once tonight
 Give my sweet Nan this ring. There’s for thy pains.
He gives her money and a ring.
MISTRESS QUICKLY Now heaven send thee good fortune.
Fenton exits.
105 A kind heart he hath. A woman would run through
 fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet I
 would my master had Mistress Anne, or I would
 Master Slender had her, or, in sooth, I would Master
 Fenton had her. I will do what I can for them all
110 three; for so I have promised and I’ll be as good as
 my word—but speciously for Master Fenton. Well,
 I must of another errand to Sir John Falstaff from
 my two mistresses. What a beast am I to slack it!
She exits.