List iconThe Merry Wives of Windsor:
Act 4, scene 1
List icon

The Merry Wives of Windsor
Act 4, scene 1



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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Quill icon
Scene 1
Enter Mistress Page, Mistress Quickly, and William.

MISTRESS PAGE Is he at Master Ford’s already, think’st
MISTRESS QUICKLY Sure he is by this, or will be presently.
 But truly he is very courageous mad about
5 his throwing into the water. Mistress Ford desires
 you to come suddenly.
MISTRESS PAGE I’ll be with her by and by. I’ll but bring
 my young man here to school.

Enter Sir Hugh Evans.

 Look where his master comes. ’Tis a playing day, I
10 see.—How now, Sir Hugh, no school today?
SIR HUGH No. Master Slender is let the boys leave to
MISTRESS QUICKLY Blessing of his heart!
MISTRESS PAGE Sir Hugh, my husband says my son
15 profits nothing in the world at his book. I pray you,
 ask him some questions in his accidence.
SIR HUGH Come hither, William. Hold up your head.
MISTRESS PAGE Come on, sirrah. Hold up your head.
20 Answer your master. Be not afraid.
SIR HUGH William, how many numbers is in nouns?

The Merry Wives of Windsor
ACT 4. SC. 1

MISTRESS QUICKLY Truly, I thought there had been one
 number more, because they say “’Od’s nouns.”
SIR HUGH 25Peace your tattlings!—What is “fair,”
WILLIAM Pulcher.
MISTRESS QUICKLY Polecats? There are fairer things
 than polecats, sure.
SIR HUGH 30You are a very simplicity ’oman. I pray you,
 peace.—What is lapis, William?
WILLIAM A stone.
SIR HUGH And what is “a stone,” William?
WILLIAM A pebble.
SIR HUGH 35No. It is lapis. I pray you, remember in your
SIR HUGH That is a good William. What is he, William,
 that does lend articles?
WILLIAM 40Articles are borrowed of the pronoun and be
 thus declined: singulariter, nominativo, hic, haec,
SIR HUGH Nominativo, hig, haeg, hog. Pray you, mark:
 genitivo, huius. Well, what is your accusative case?
WILLIAM 45Accusativo, hinc.
SIR HUGH I pray you, have your remembrance, child.
 Accusativo, hung, hang, hog.
MISTRESS QUICKLY “Hang-hog” is Latin for bacon, I
 warrant you.
SIR HUGH 50Leave your prabbles, ’oman.—What is the
 focative case, William?
WILLIAM O—vocativo—O—
SIR HUGH Remember, William, focative is caret.
MISTRESS QUICKLY And that’s a good root.
SIR HUGH 55’Oman, forbear.
MISTRESS PAGE, to Mistress Quickly Peace!
SIR HUGH What is your genitive case plural, William?
WILLIAM Genitive case?

The Merry Wives of Windsor
ACT 4. SC. 2

WILLIAM 60Genitive: horum, harum, horum.
MISTRESS QUICKLY Vengeance of Ginny’s case! Fie on
 her! Never name her, child, if she be a whore.
SIR HUGH For shame, ’oman!
MISTRESS QUICKLY You do ill to teach the child such
65 words.—He teaches him to hick and to hack,
 which they’ll do fast enough of themselves, and to
 call “whorum.”—Fie upon you!
SIR HUGH ’Oman, art thou lunatics? Hast thou no understandings
 for thy cases and the numbers of the
70 genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as
 I would desires.
MISTRESS PAGE, to Mistress Quickly Prithee, hold thy
SIR HUGH Show me now, William, some declensions of
75 your pronouns.
WILLIAM Forsooth, I have forgot.
SIR HUGH It is qui, quae, quod. If you forget your qui’s,
 your quae’s, and your quod’s, you must be
 preeches. Go your ways and play, go.
MISTRESS PAGE 80He is a better scholar than I thought he
SIR HUGH He is a good sprag memory. Farewell, Mistress
MISTRESS PAGE Adieu, good Sir Hugh.—Get you home,
85 boy. (To Mistress Quickly.) Come. We stay too
They exit.