The Merry Wives of Windsor

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The hardest habit of all to break is the terrible habit of happiness.
Theodosia Garrison
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The Merry Wives of Windsor is one of Shakespeare's comedies. It deals with the misadventures of Sir John Falstaff and of other characters first seen in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2.


Act I

  • I will make a Star Chamber matter of it.
    • Shallow, scene i


  • All his successors, gone before him, have done’t; and all his ancestors, that come after him, may.
    • Slender, scene i


  • It is a familiar beast to man, and signifies love.
    • Evans, scene i


  • Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is good gifts.
    • Evans, scene i


  • Mine host of the Garter.
    • Evans, scene i


  • I had rather than forty shillings I had my book of Songs and Sonnets here.
    • Slender, scene i


  • If there be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may decrease it upon better acquaintance, when we are married and have more occasion to know one another: I hope, upon familiarity will grow more contempt.
    • Slender, scene i


  • O base Gongarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?
    • Pistol, scene iii


  • Convey, the wise it call: steal! foh; a fico for the phrase!
    • Pistol, scene iii


  • Bear you these letters tightly;
    Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.
    • Falstaff, scene iii


  • Tester I’ll have in pouch, when thou shalt lack,
    Base Phrygian Turk!
    • Pistol, scene iii


  • Thou art the Mars of malcontents.
    • Pistol, scene iii


  • Here will be an old abusing of God's patience, and the King's English.
    • Mistress Quickly, scene iv


Act II

  • We burn day-light.
    • Mistress Ford, scene i


  • I love not the humour of bread and cheese; and there’s the humour of it.
    • Nym, scene i


  • 'Faith, thou hast some crotchets in thy head now.
    • Mistress Ford, scene i


  • Why, then the world's mine oyster,
    Which I with sword will open.
    • Pistol, scene ii


  • This is the short and the long of it.
    • Mistress Quickly, scene ii


  • I have pursued her, as love hath pursued me; which hath been, on the wing of all occasions. But whatsoever I have merited, either in my mind, or in my means, meed, I am sure, I have received none, unless experience be a jewel.
    • Ford, scene ii


  • Falstaff: Of what quality was your love then?
    Ford: Like a fair house, built on another man’s ground.
    • scene ii


  • We have some salt of our youth in us.
    • Shallow, scene iii


Act III

  • Your hearts are mighty, your skins are whole.
    • Host, scene i


  • I cannot tell what the dickens his name is.
    • Mistress Page, scene ii


  • What a taking was he in, when your husband asked what was in the basket!
    • Mistress Page, scene iii


  • O, what a world of vile ill-favour’d faults
    Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!
    • Anne Page, scene iv


  • Happy man be his dole!
    • Slender, scene iv


  • You may know by my size, that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking.
    • Falstaff, scene v


  • As good luck would have it.
    • Falstaff, scene v


  • The rankest compound of villainous smell, that ever offended nostril.
    • Falstaff, scene v


  • A man of my kidney.
    • Falstaff, scene v


  • Think of that, master Brook.
    • Falstaff, scene v


Act IV

  • Why, woman, your husband is in his old lunes again; he so takes on yonder with my husband; so rails against all married mankind; so curses all Eve’s daughters, of what complexion soever.
    • Mistress Page, scene ii


Act V

  • This is the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd numbers. Away, go; they say, there is divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death.
    • Falstaff, scene i


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