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The Merry Wives of Windsor: Act 2, Scene 2

The Merry Wives of Windsor
Act 2, Scene 2

A room in the Garter Inn.

  1. Enter Falstaff, Pistol.

Pistol

2
  1. I will retort the sum in equipage.

Falstaff

3
  1. I will not lend thee a penny.

Pistol

4 - 5
  1. Why then the world’s mine oyster,
  2. Which I with sword will open.

Falstaff

6 - 13
  1. Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you should lay my
  2. countenance to pawn. I have grated upon my good friends for
  3. three reprieves for you and your coach-fellow Nym; or else
  4. you had look’d through the grate, like a geminy of baboons.
  5. I am damn’d in hell for swearing to gentlemen my friends,
  6. you were good soldiers and tall fellows; and when Mistress
  7. Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took’t upon mine honor
  8. thou hadst it not.

Pistol

14
  1. Didst not thou share? Hadst thou not fifteen pence?

Falstaff

15 - 26
  1. Reason, you rogue, reason; think’st thou I’ll endanger my
  2. soul gratis? At a word, hang no more about me, I am no
  3. gibbet for you. Goa short knife and a throng!—to your manor
  4. of Pickt-hatch! Go. You’ll not bear a letter for me, you
  5. rogue? You stand upon your honor! Why, thou unconfinable
  6. baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the terms of my
  7. honor precise. I, I, I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of
  8. God on the left hand, and hiding mine honor in my necessity,
  9. am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch; and yet you,
  10. rogue, will ensconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain looks,
  11. your red-lattice phrases, and your bold-beating oaths, under
  12. the shelter of your honor! You will not do it? You!

Pistol

27
  1. I do relent. What would thou more of man?
  1. Enter Robin.

Robin

29
  1. Sir, here’s a woman would speak with you.

Falstaff

30
  1. Let her approach.
  1. Enter Mistress Quickly.

Mistress Quickly

32
  1. Give your worship good morrow.

Falstaff

33
  1. Good morrow, goodwife.

Mistress Quickly

34
  1. Not so, and’t please your worship.

Falstaff

35
  1. Good maid then.

Mistress Quickly

36 - 37
  1. I’ll be sworn,
  2. As my mother was the first hour I was born.

Falstaff

38
  1. I do believe the swearer. What with me?

Mistress Quickly

39
  1. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?

Falstaff

40 - 41
  1. Two thousand, fair woman, and I’ll vouchsafe thee the
  2. hearing.

Mistress Quickly

42 - 43
  1. There is one Mistress Ford, sirI pray come a little nearer
  2. this ways. I myself dwell with Master Doctor Caius

Falstaff

44
  1. Well, on. Mistress Ford, you say

Mistress Quickly

45 - 46
  1. Your worship says very true. I pray your worship come a
  2. little nearer this ways.

Falstaff

47 - 48
  1. I warrant thee, nobody hearsmine own people, mine own
  2. people.

Mistress Quickly

49
  1. Are they so? God bless them and make them his servants!

Falstaff

50
  1. Well; Mistress Ford, what of her?

Mistress Quickly

51 - 52
  1. Why, sir, she’s a good creature. Lord, Lord, your worship’s
  2. a wanton! Wellheaven forgive you, and all of us, I pray

Falstaff

53
  1. Mistress Ford; come, Mistress Ford

Mistress Quickly

54 - 70
  1. Marry, this is the short and the long of it: you have
  2. brought her into such a canaries as ’tis wonderful. The best
  3. courtier of them all (when the court lay at Windsor) could
  4. never have brought her to such a canary; yet there has been
  5. knights, and lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches; I
  6. warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift
  7. after gift; smelling so sweetly, all musk, and so rushling,
  8. I warrant you, in silk and gold, and in such alligant terms,
  9. and in such wine and sugar of the best, and the fairest,
  10. that would have won any woman’s heart; and I warrant you,
  11. they could never get an eye-wink of her. I had myself twenty
  12. angels given me this morning, but I defy all angels (in any
  13. such sort, as they say) but in the way of honesty; and I
  14. warrant you, they could never get her so much as sip on a
  15. cup with the proudest of them all, and yet there has been
  16. earls, nay (which is more) pensioners, but I warrant you all
  17. is one with her.

Falstaff

71
  1. But what says she to me? Be brief, my good she-Mercury.

Mistress Quickly

72 - 75
  1. Marry, she hath receiv’d your letterfor the which she
  2. thanks you a thousand timesand she gives you to notify that
  3. her husband will be absence from his house between ten and
  4. eleven.

Falstaff

76
  1. Ten and eleven?

Mistress Quickly

77 - 81
  1. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the picture, she
  2. says, that you wot of. Master Ford her husband will be from
  3. home. Alas, the sweet woman leads an ill life with him. He’s
  4. a very jealousy man. She leads a very frampold life with
  5. him, good heart.

Falstaff

82 - 83
  1. Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her, I will not fail
  2. her.

Mistress Quickly

84 - 92
  1. Why, you say well. But I have another messenger to your
  2. worship. Mistress Page hath her hearty commendations to you
  3. too; and let me tell you in your ear, she’s as fartuous a
  4. civil modest wife, and one (I tell you) that will not miss
  5. you morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windsor,
  6. whoe’er be the other; and she bade me tell your worship that
  7. her husband is seldom from home, but she hopes there will
  8. come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon a man; surely
  9. I think you have charms, la; yes, in truth.

Falstaff

93 - 94
  1. Not I, I assure thee. Setting the attraction of my good
  2. parts aside, I have no other charms.

Mistress Quickly

95
  1. Blessing on your heart for’t!

Falstaff

96 - 97
  1. But I pray thee tell me this: has Ford’s wife and Page’s
  2. wife acquainted each other how they love me?

Mistress Quickly

98 - 107
  1. That were a jest indeed! They have not so little grace, I
  2. hope. That were a trick indeed! But Mistress Page would
  3. desire you to send her your little page, of all loves. Her
  4. husband has a marvelous infection to the little page; and
  5. truly Master Page is an honest man. Never a wife in Windsor
  6. leads a better life than she does: do what she will, say
  7. what she will, take all, pay all, go to bed when she list,
  8. rise when she list, all is as she will; and truly she
  9. deserves it, for if there be a kind woman in Windsor, she is
  10. one. You must send her your page, no remedy.

Falstaff

108
  1. Why, I will.

Mistress Quickly

109 - 114
  1. Nay, but do so then, and look you, he may come and go
  2. between you both; and in any case have a nay-word, that you
  3. may know one another’s mind, and the boy never need to
  4. understand any thing; for ’tis not good that children should
  5. know any wickedness. Old folks, you know, have discretion,
  6. as they say, and know the world.

Falstaff

115 - 118
  1. Fare thee well, commend me to them both. There’s my purse, I
  2. am yet thy debtor. Boy, go along with this woman.
  3. Exeunt Mrs. Quickly and Robin.
  4. This news distracts me!

Pistol

119 - 122
  1. Aside.
  2. This punk is one of Cupid’s carriers.
  3. Clap on more sails, pursue; up with your fights;
  4. Give fire! She is my prize, or ocean whelm them all!
  1. Exit.

Falstaff

124 - 128
  1. Say’st thou so, old Jack? Go thy ways. I’ll make more of thy
  2. old body than I have done. Will they yet look after thee?
  3. Wilt thou, after the expense of so much money, be now a
  4. gainer? Good body, I thank thee. Let them say ’tis grossly
  5. done, so it be fairly done, no matter.
  1. Enter Bardolph.

Bardolph

130 - 132
  1. Sir John, there’s one Master Brook below would fain speak
  2. with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your
  3. worship a morning’s draught of sack.

Falstaff

133
  1. Brook is his name?

Bardolph

134
  1. Ay, sir.

Falstaff

135 - 139
  1. Call him in.
  2. Exit Bardolph.
  3. Such Brooks are welcome to me, that o’erflows such liquor.
  4. Ah, ha! Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, have I encompass’d
  5. you? Go to, via!
  1. Enter Bardolph with Ford disguised like Brook.

Ford

141
  1. God save you, sir!

Falstaff

142
  1. And you, sir! Would you speak with me?

Ford

143
  1. I make bold, to press with so little preparation upon you.

Falstaff

144
  1. You’re welcome. What’s your will? Give us leave, drawer.
  1. Exit Bardolph.

Ford

146 - 147
  1. Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much. My name is
  2. Brook.

Falstaff

148
  1. Good Master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.

Ford

149 - 153
  1. Good Sir John, I sue for yoursnot to charge you, for I must
  2. let you understand I think myself in better plight for a
  3. lender than you are; the which hath something embold’ned me
  4. to this unseason’d intrusion; for they say, if money go
  5. before, all ways do lie open.

Falstaff

154
  1. Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on.

Ford

155 - 157
  1. Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me. If you
  2. will help to bear it, Sir John, take all, or half, for
  3. easing me of the carriage.

Falstaff

158
  1. Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.

Ford

159
  1. I will tell you, sir, if you will give me the hearing.

Falstaff

160 - 161
  1. Speak, good Master Brook, I shall be glad to be your
  2. servant.

Ford

162 - 170
  1. Sir, I hear you are a scholar (I will be brief with you),
  2. and you have been a man long known to me, though I had never
  3. so good means as desire to make myself acquainted with you.
  4. I shall discover a thing to you, wherein I must very much
  5. lay open mine own imperfection; but, good Sir John, as you
  6. have one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded,
  7. turn another into the register of your own, that I may pass
  8. with a reproof the easier, sith you yourself know how easy
  9. it is to be such an offender.

Falstaff

171
  1. Very well, sir, proceed.

Ford

172 - 173
  1. There is a gentlewoman in this town, her husband’s name is
  2. Ford.

Falstaff

174
  1. Well, sir.

Ford

175 - 187
  1. I have long lov’d her, and I protest to you, bestow’d much
  2. on her; follow’d her with a doting observance; engross’d
  3. opportunities to meet her; fee’d every slight occasion that
  4. could but niggardly give me sight of her; not only bought
  5. many presents to give her, but have given largely to many to
  6. know what she would have given; briefly, I have pursu’d her
  7. as love hath pursu’d me, which hath been on the wing of all
  8. occasions. But whatsoever I have merited, either in my mind
  9. or in my means, meed I am sure I have receiv’d none, unless
  10. experience be a jewelthat I have purchas’d at an infinite
  11. rate, and that hath taught me to say this:
  12. Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues,
  13. Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.”

Falstaff

188
  1. Have you receiv’d no promise of satisfaction at her hands?

Ford

189
  1. Never.

Falstaff

190
  1. Have you importun’d her to such a purpose?

Ford

191
  1. Never.

Falstaff

192
  1. Of what quality was your love then?

Ford

193 - 195
  1. Like a fair house built on another man’s ground, so that I
  2. have lost my edifice by mistaking the place where I erected
  3. it.

Falstaff

196
  1. To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?

Ford

197 - 204
  1. When I have told you that, I have told you all. Some say
  2. that, though she appear honest to me, yet in other places
  3. she enlargeth her mirth so far that there is shrewd
  4. construction made of her. Now, Sir John, here is the heart
  5. of my purpose: you are a gentleman of excellent breeding,
  6. admirable discourse, of great admittance, authentic in your
  7. place and person, generally allow’d for your many war-like,
  8. court-like, and learned preparations.

Falstaff

205
  1. O sir!

Ford

206 - 211
  1. Believe it, for you know it. There is money, spend it, spend
  2. it; spend more; spend all I have; only give me so much of
  3. your time in exchange of it, as to lay an amiable siege to
  4. the honesty of this Ford’s wife. Use your art of wooing; win
  5. her to consent to you; if any man may, you may as soon as
  6. any.

Falstaff

212 - 214
  1. Would it apply well to the vehemency of your affection, that
  2. I should win what you would enjoy? Methinks you prescribe to
  3. yourself very preposterously.

Ford

215 - 223
  1. O, understand my drift. She dwells so securely on the
  2. excellency of her honor, that the folly of my soul dares not
  3. present itself; she is too bright to be look’d against. Now,
  4. could I come to her with any detection in my hand, my
  5. desires had instance and argument to commend themselves. I
  6. could drive her then from the ward of her purity, her
  7. reputation, her marriage vow, and a thousand other her
  8. defenses, which now are too too strongly embattled against
  9. me. What say you to’t, Sir John?

Falstaff

224 - 226
  1. Master Brook, I will first make bold with your money; next,
  2. give me your hand; and last, as I am a gentleman, you shall,
  3. and you will, enjoy Ford’s wife.

Ford

227
  1. O good sir!

Falstaff

228
  1. I say you shall.

Ford

229
  1. Want no money, Sir John, you shall want none.

Falstaff

230 - 236
  1. Want no Mistress Ford, Master Brook, you shall want none. I
  2. shall be with her (I may tell you) by her own appointment;
  3. even as you came in to me, her assistant or go-between
  4. parted from me. I say I shall be with her between ten and
  5. eleven; for at that time the jealous rascally knave her
  6. husband will be forth. Come you to me at night, you shall
  7. know how I speed.

Ford

237
  1. I am blest in your acquaintance. Do you know Ford, sir?

Falstaff

238 - 242
  1. Hang him, poor cuckoldly knave, I know him not. Yet I wrong
  2. him to call him poor. They say the jealous wittolly knave
  3. hath masses of money, for the which his wife seems to me
  4. well-favor’d. I will use her as the key of the cuckoldly
  5. rogue’s coffer, and there’s my harvest-home.

Ford

243 - 244
  1. I would you knew Ford, sir, that you might avoid him if you
  2. saw him.

Falstaff

245 - 252
  1. Hang him, mechanical salt-butter rogue! I will stare him out
  2. of his wits; I will awe him with my cudgel; it shall hang
  3. like a meteor o’er the cuckold’s horns. Master Brook, thou
  4. shalt know I will predominate over the peasant, and thou
  5. shalt lie with his wife. Come to me soon at night. Ford’s a
  6. knave, and I will aggravate his style; thou, Master Brook,
  7. shalt know him for knave, and cuckold. Come to me soon at
  8. night.
  1. Exit.

Ford

254 - 276
  1. What a damn’d Epicurean rascal is this! My heart is ready to
  2. crack with impatience. Who says this is improvident
  3. jealousy? My wife hath sent to him, the hour is fix’d, the
  4. match is made. Would any man have thought this? See the hell
  5. of having a false woman! My bed shall be abus’d, my coffers
  6. ransack’d, my reputation gnawn at, and I shall not only
  7. receive this villainous wrong, but stand under the adoption
  8. of abominable terms, and by him that does me this wrong.
  9. Terms! Names! Amaimon sounds well; Lucifer, well; Barbason,
  10. well; yet they are devils’ additions, the names of fiends;
  11. but Cuckold! Wittol!—Cuckold! The devil himself hath not
  12. such a name. Page is an ass, a secure ass; he will trust his
  13. wife, he will not be jealous. I will rather trust a Fleming
  14. with my butter, Parson Hugh the Welshman with my cheese, an
  15. Irishman with my aqua-vitae bottle, or a thief to walk my
  16. ambling gelding, than my wife with herself. Then she plots,
  17. then she ruminates, then she devises; and what they think in
  18. their hearts they may effect, they will break their hearts
  19. but they will effect. God be prais’d for my jealousy! Eleven
  20. o’ clock the hour. I will prevent this, detect my wife, be
  21. reveng’d on Falstaff, and laugh at Page. I will about it;
  22. better three hours too soon than a minute too late. Fie,
  23. fie, fie! Cuckold, cuckold, cuckold!
  1. Exit.
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