The Merry Wives of Windsor
Act II, Scene 2
A room in the Garter Inn.
- Enter Falstaff, Pistol.
- I will retort the sum in equipage.
- I will not lend thee a penny.
Pistol3 - 4
- Why then the world’s mine oyster,
- Which I with sword will open.
Falstaff5 - 12
- Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you should lay my
- countenance to pawn. I have grated upon my good friends for
- three reprieves for you and your coach-fellow Nym; or else
- you had look’d through the grate, like a geminy of baboons.
- I am damn’d in hell for swearing to gentlemen my friends,
- you were good soldiers and tall fellows; and when Mistress
- Bridget lost the handle of her fan, I took’t upon mine honor
- thou hadst it not.
- Didst not thou share? Hadst thou not fifteen pence?
Falstaff14 - 25
- Reason, you rogue, reason; think’st thou I’ll endanger my
- soul gratis? At a word, hang no more about me, I am no
- gibbet for you. Go—a short knife and a throng!—to your manor
- of Pickt-hatch! Go. You’ll not bear a letter for me, you
- rogue? You stand upon your honor! Why, thou unconfinable
- baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the terms of my
- honor precise. I, I, I myself sometimes, leaving the fear of
- God on the left hand, and hiding mine honor in my necessity,
- am fain to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch; and yet you,
- rogue, will ensconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain looks,
- your red-lattice phrases, and your bold-beating oaths, under
- the shelter of your honor! You will not do it? You!
- I do relent. What would thou more of man?
- Enter Robin.
- Sir, here’s a woman would speak with you.
- Let her approach.
- Enter Mistress Quickly.
- Give your worship good morrow.
- Good morrow, goodwife.
- Not so, and’t please your worship.
- Good maid then.
Mistress Quickly33 - 34
- I’ll be sworn,
- As my mother was the first hour I was born.
- I do believe the swearer. What with me?
- Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?
Falstaff37 - 38
- Two thousand, fair woman, and I’ll vouchsafe thee the
Mistress Quickly39 - 40
- There is one Mistress Ford, sir—I pray come a little nearer
- this ways. I myself dwell with Master Doctor Caius—
- Well, on. Mistress Ford, you say—
Mistress Quickly42 - 43
- Your worship says very true. I pray your worship come a
- little nearer this ways.
Falstaff44 - 45
- I warrant thee, nobody hears—mine own people, mine own
- Are they so? God bless them and make them his servants!
- Well; Mistress Ford, what of her?
Mistress Quickly48 - 49
- Why, sir, she’s a good creature. Lord, Lord, your worship’s
- a wanton! Well—heaven forgive you, and all of us, I pray—
- Mistress Ford; come, Mistress Ford—
Mistress Quickly51 - 67
- Marry, this is the short and the long of it: you have
- brought her into such a canaries as ’tis wonderful. The best
- courtier of them all (when the court lay at Windsor) could
- never have brought her to such a canary; yet there has been
- knights, and lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches; I
- warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift
- after gift; smelling so sweetly, all musk, and so rushling,
- I warrant you, in silk and gold, and in such alligant terms,
- and in such wine and sugar of the best, and the fairest,
- that would have won any woman’s heart; and I warrant you,
- they could never get an eye-wink of her. I had myself twenty
- angels given me this morning, but I defy all angels (in any
- such sort, as they say) but in the way of honesty; and I
- warrant you, they could never get her so much as sip on a
- cup with the proudest of them all, and yet there has been
- earls, nay (which is more) pensioners, but I warrant you all
- is one with her.
- But what says she to me? Be brief, my good she-Mercury.
Mistress Quickly69 - 72
- Marry, she hath receiv’d your letter—for the which she
- thanks you a thousand times—and she gives you to notify that
- her husband will be absence from his house between ten and
- Ten and eleven?
Mistress Quickly74 - 78
- Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the picture, she
- says, that you wot of. Master Ford her husband will be from
- home. Alas, the sweet woman leads an ill life with him. He’s
- a very jealousy man. She leads a very frampold life with
- him, good heart.
Falstaff79 - 80
- Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her, I will not fail
Mistress Quickly81 - 89
- Why, you say well. But I have another messenger to your
- worship. Mistress Page hath her hearty commendations to you
- too; and let me tell you in your ear, she’s as fartuous a
- civil modest wife, and one (I tell you) that will not miss
- you morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windsor,
- whoe’er be the other; and she bade me tell your worship that
- her husband is seldom from home, but she hopes there will
- come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon a man; surely
- I think you have charms, la; yes, in truth.
Falstaff90 - 91
- Not I, I assure thee. Setting the attraction of my good
- parts aside, I have no other charms.
- Blessing on your heart for’t!
Falstaff93 - 94
- But I pray thee tell me this: has Ford’s wife and Page’s
- wife acquainted each other how they love me?
Mistress Quickly95 - 104
- That were a jest indeed! They have not so little grace, I
- hope. That were a trick indeed! But Mistress Page would
- desire you to send her your little page, of all loves. Her
- husband has a marvelous infection to the little page; and
- truly Master Page is an honest man. Never a wife in Windsor
- leads a better life than she does: do what she will, say
- what she will, take all, pay all, go to bed when she list,
- rise when she list, all is as she will; and truly she
- deserves it, for if there be a kind woman in Windsor, she is
- one. You must send her your page, no remedy.
- Why, I will.
Mistress Quickly106 - 111
- Nay, but do so then, and look you, he may come and go
- between you both; and in any case have a nay-word, that you
- may know one another’s mind, and the boy never need to
- understand any thing; for ’tis not good that children should
- know any wickedness. Old folks, you know, have discretion,
- as they say, and know the world.
Falstaff112 - 114
- Fare thee well, commend me to them both. There’s my purse, I
- am yet thy debtor. Boy, go along with this woman.
- Exeunt Mrs. Quickly and Robin.
- This news distracts me!
Pistol115 - 117
- This punk is one of Cupid’s carriers.
- Clap on more sails, pursue; up with your fights;
- Give fire! She is my prize, or ocean whelm them all!
Falstaff118 - 122
- Say’st thou so, old Jack? Go thy ways. I’ll make more of thy
- old body than I have done. Will they yet look after thee?
- Wilt thou, after the expense of so much money, be now a
- gainer? Good body, I thank thee. Let them say ’tis grossly
- done, so it be fairly done, no matter.
- Enter Bardolph.
Bardolph123 - 125
- Sir John, there’s one Master Brook below would fain speak
- with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your
- worship a morning’s draught of sack.
- Brook is his name?
- Ay, sir.
Falstaff128 - 131
- Call him in.
- Exit Bardolph.
- Such Brooks are welcome to me, that o’erflows such liquor.
- Ah, ha! Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, have I encompass’d
- you? Go to, via!
- Enter Bardolph with Ford disguised like Brook.
- God save you, sir!
- And you, sir! Would you speak with me?
- I make bold, to press with so little preparation upon you.
- You’re welcome. What’s your will? Give us leave, drawer.
- Exit Bardolph.
Ford136 - 137
- Sir, I am a gentleman that have spent much. My name is
- Good Master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.
Ford139 - 143
- Good Sir John, I sue for yours—not to charge you, for I must
- let you understand I think myself in better plight for a
- lender than you are; the which hath something embold’ned me
- to this unseason’d intrusion; for they say, if money go
- before, all ways do lie open.
- Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on.
Ford145 - 147
- Troth, and I have a bag of money here troubles me. If you
- will help to bear it, Sir John, take all, or half, for
- easing me of the carriage.
- Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.
- I will tell you, sir, if you will give me the hearing.
Falstaff150 - 151
- Speak, good Master Brook, I shall be glad to be your
Ford152 - 160
- Sir, I hear you are a scholar (I will be brief with you),
- and you have been a man long known to me, though I had never
- so good means as desire to make myself acquainted with you.
- I shall discover a thing to you, wherein I must very much
- lay open mine own imperfection; but, good Sir John, as you
- have one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded,
- turn another into the register of your own, that I may pass
- with a reproof the easier, sith you yourself know how easy
- it is to be such an offender.
- Very well, sir, proceed.
Ford162 - 163
- There is a gentlewoman in this town, her husband’s name is
- Well, sir.
Ford165 - 177
- I have long lov’d her, and I protest to you, bestow’d much
- on her; follow’d her with a doting observance; engross’d
- opportunities to meet her; fee’d every slight occasion that
- could but niggardly give me sight of her; not only bought
- many presents to give her, but have given largely to many to
- know what she would have given; briefly, I have pursu’d her
- as love hath pursu’d 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 receiv’d none, unless
- experience be a jewel—that I have purchas’d at an infinite
- rate, and that hath taught me to say this:
- “Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues,
- Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.”
- Have you receiv’d no promise of satisfaction at her hands?
- Have you importun’d her to such a purpose?
- Of what quality was your love then?
Ford183 - 185
- Like a fair house built on another man’s ground, so that I
- have lost my edifice by mistaking the place where I erected
- To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?
Ford187 - 194
- When I have told you that, I have told you all. Some say
- that, though she appear honest to me, yet in other places
- she enlargeth her mirth so far that there is shrewd
- construction made of her. Now, Sir John, here is the heart
- of my purpose: you are a gentleman of excellent breeding,
- admirable discourse, of great admittance, authentic in your
- place and person, generally allow’d for your many war-like,
- court-like, and learned preparations.
- O sir!
Ford196 - 201
- Believe it, for you know it. There is money, spend it, spend
- it; spend more; spend all I have; only give me so much of
- your time in exchange of it, as to lay an amiable siege to
- the honesty of this Ford’s wife. Use your art of wooing; win
- her to consent to you; if any man may, you may as soon as
Falstaff202 - 204
- Would it apply well to the vehemency of your affection, that
- I should win what you would enjoy? Methinks you prescribe to
- yourself very preposterously.
Ford205 - 213
- O, understand my drift. She dwells so securely on the
- excellency of her honor, that the folly of my soul dares not
- present itself; she is too bright to be look’d against. Now,
- could I come to her with any detection in my hand, my
- desires had instance and argument to commend themselves. I
- could drive her then from the ward of her purity, her
- reputation, her marriage vow, and a thousand other her
- defenses, which now are too too strongly embattled against
- me. What say you to’t, Sir John?
Falstaff214 - 216
- Master Brook, I will first make bold with your money; next,
- give me your hand; and last, as I am a gentleman, you shall,
- and you will, enjoy Ford’s wife.
- O good sir!
- I say you shall.
- Want no money, Sir John, you shall want none.
Falstaff220 - 226
- Want no Mistress Ford, Master Brook, you shall want none. I
- shall be with her (I may tell you) by her own appointment;
- even as you came in to me, her assistant or go-between
- parted from me. I say I shall be with her between ten and
- eleven; for at that time the jealous rascally knave her
- husband will be forth. Come you to me at night, you shall
- know how I speed.
- I am blest in your acquaintance. Do you know Ford, sir?
Falstaff228 - 232
- Hang him, poor cuckoldly knave, I know him not. Yet I wrong
- him to call him poor. They say the jealous wittolly knave
- hath masses of money, for the which his wife seems to me
- well-favor’d. I will use her as the key of the cuckoldly
- rogue’s coffer, and there’s my harvest-home.
Ford233 - 234
- I would you knew Ford, sir, that you might avoid him if you
- saw him.
Falstaff235 - 242
- Hang him, mechanical salt-butter rogue! I will stare him out
- of his wits; I will awe him with my cudgel; it shall hang
- like a meteor o’er the cuckold’s horns. Master Brook, thou
- shalt know I will predominate over the peasant, and thou
- shalt lie with his wife. Come to me soon at night. Ford’s a
- knave, and I will aggravate his style; thou, Master Brook,
- shalt know him for knave, and cuckold. Come to me soon at
Ford243 - 265
- What a damn’d Epicurean rascal is this! My heart is ready to
- crack with impatience. Who says this is improvident
- jealousy? My wife hath sent to him, the hour is fix’d, the
- match is made. Would any man have thought this? See the hell
- of having a false woman! My bed shall be abus’d, my coffers
- ransack’d, my reputation gnawn at, and I shall not only
- receive this villainous wrong, but stand under the adoption
- of abominable terms, and by him that does me this wrong.
- Terms! Names! Amaimon sounds well; Lucifer, well; Barbason,
- well; yet they are devils’ additions, the names of fiends;
- but Cuckold! Wittol!—Cuckold! The devil himself hath not
- such a name. Page is an ass, a secure ass; he will trust his
- wife, he will not be jealous. I will rather trust a Fleming
- with my butter, Parson Hugh the Welshman with my cheese, an
- Irishman with my aqua-vitae bottle, or a thief to walk my
- ambling gelding, than my wife with herself. Then she plots,
- then she ruminates, then she devises; and what they think in
- their hearts they may effect, they will break their hearts
- but they will effect. God be prais’d for my jealousy! Eleven
- o’ clock the hour. I will prevent this, detect my wife, be
- reveng’d on Falstaff, and laugh at Page. I will about it;
- better three hours too soon than a minute too late. Fie,
- fie, fie! Cuckold, cuckold, cuckold!