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The Merry Wives of Windsor: Act III, Scene 5

The Merry Wives of Windsor
Act III, Scene 5

A room in the Garter Inn.

  1. Enter Falstaff.

Falstaff

1
  1. Bardolph, I say!
  1. Enter Bardolph.

Bardolph

2
  1. Here, sir.

Falstaff

3 - 15
  1. Go fetch me a quart of sack, put a toast in’t.
  2. Exit Bardolph.
  3. Have I liv’d to be carried in a basket like a barrow of
  4. butcher’s offal? And to be thrown in the Thames? Well, and I
  5. be serv’d such another trick, I’ll have my brains ta’en out
  6. and butter’d, and give them to a dog for a new-year’s gift.
  7. The rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorse
  8. as they would have drown’d a blind bitch’s puppies, fifteen
  9. i’ th’ litter; and you may know by my size that I have a
  10. kind of alacrity in sinking; and the bottom were as deep as
  11. hell, I should down. I had been drown’d, but that the shore
  12. was shelvy and shallowa death that I abhor; for the water
  13. swells a man; and what a thing should I have been when I had
  14. been swell’d! I should have been a mountain of mummy.
  1. Enter Bardolph with sack.

Bardolph

16
  1. Here’s Mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with you.

Falstaff

17 - 19
  1. Come, let me pour in some sack to the Thames water; for my
  2. belly’s as cold as if I had swallow’d snowballs for pills to
  3. cool the reins. Call her in.

Bardolph

20
  1. Come in, woman!
  1. Enter Mistress Quickly.

Mistress Quickly

21 - 22
  1. By your leave; I cry you mercy! Give your worship good
  2. morrow.

Falstaff

23 - 24
  1. Take away these chalices. Go, brew me a pottle of sack
  2. finely.

Bardolph

25
  1. With eggs, sir?

Falstaff

26 - 27
  1. Simple of itself; I’ll no pullet-sperm in my brewage.
  2. Exit Bardolph.
  3. How now?

Mistress Quickly

28
  1. Marry, sir, I come to your worship from Mistress Ford.

Falstaff

29 - 30
  1. Mistress Ford? I have had ford enough. I was thrown into the
  2. ford; I have my belly full of ford.

Mistress Quickly

31 - 32
  1. Alas the day! Good heart, that was not her fault. She does
  2. so take on with her men; they mistook their erection.

Falstaff

33
  1. So did I mine, to build upon a foolish woman’s promise.

Mistress Quickly

34 - 38
  1. Well, she laments, sir, for it, that it would yearn your
  2. heart to see it. Her husband goes this morning a-birding;
  3. she desires you once more to come to her, between eight and
  4. nine. I must carry her word quickly. She’ll make you amends,
  5. I warrant you.

Falstaff

39 - 41
  1. Well, I will visit her, tell her so. And bid her think what
  2. a man is: let her consider his frailty, and then judge of my
  3. merit.

Mistress Quickly

42
  1. I will tell her.

Falstaff

43
  1. Do so. Between nine and ten, say’st thou?

Mistress Quickly

44
  1. Eight and nine, sir.

Falstaff

45
  1. Well, be gone; I will not miss her.

Mistress Quickly

46
  1. Peace be with you, sir.
  1. Exit.

Falstaff

47 - 48
  1. I marvel I hear not of Master Brook; he sent me word to stay
  2. within. I like his money well. O, here he comes.
  1. Enter Ford disguised.

Ford

49
  1. Bless you, sir!

Falstaff

50 - 51
  1. Now, Master Brook, you come to know what hath pass’d between
  2. me and Ford’s wife?

Ford

52
  1. That indeed, Sir John, is my business.

Falstaff

53 - 54
  1. Master Brook, I will not lie to you. I was at her house the
  2. hour she appointed me.

Ford

55
  1. And sped you, sir?

Falstaff

56
  1. Very ill-favoredly, Master Brook.

Ford

57
  1. How so, sir? Did she change her determination?

Falstaff

58 - 65
  1. No, Master Brook, but the peaking cornuto her husband,
  2. Master Brook, dwelling in a continual ’larum of jealousy,
  3. comes me in the instant of our encounter, after we had
  4. embrac’d, kiss’d, protested, and, as it were, spoke the
  5. prologue of our comedy; and at his heels a rabble of his
  6. companions, thither provok’d and instigated by his
  7. distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for his wive’s
  8. love.

Ford

66
  1. What? While you were there?

Falstaff

67
  1. While I was there.

Ford

68
  1. And did he search for you, and could not find you?

Falstaff

69 - 72
  1. You shall hear. As good luck would have it, comes in one
  2. Mistress Page; gives intelligence of Ford’s approach; and in
  3. her invention, and Ford’s wive’s distraction, they convey’d
  4. me into a buck-basket.

Ford

73
  1. A buck-basket?

Falstaff

74 - 77
  1. By the Lord, a buck-basket! Ramm’d me in with foul shirts
  2. and smocks, socks, foul stockings, greasy napkins, that,
  3. Master Brook, there was the rankest compound of villainous
  4. smell that ever offended nostril.

Ford

78
  1. And how long lay you there?

Falstaff

79 - 102
  1. Nay, you shall hear, Master Brook, what I have suffer’d to
  2. bring this woman to evil for your good. Being thus cramm’d
  3. in the basket, a couple of Ford’s knaves, his hinds, were
  4. call’d forth by their mistress to carry me in the name of
  5. foul clothes to Datchet-lane. They took me on their
  6. shoulders; met the jealous knave their master in the door,
  7. who ask’d them once or twice what they had in their basket.
  8. I quak’d for fear, lest the lunatic knave would have
  9. search’d it; but fate (ordaining he should be a cuckold)
  10. held his hand. Well, on went he for a search, and away went
  11. I for foul clothes. But mark the sequel, Master Brook. I
  12. suffer’d the pangs of three several deaths: first, an
  13. intolerable fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten
  14. bell-wether; next, to be compass’d like a good bilbo in the
  15. circumference of a peck, hilt to point, heel to head; and
  16. then to be stopp’d in like a strong distillation with
  17. stinking clothes that fretted in their own grease. Think of
  18. thata man of my kidney. Think of thatthat am as subject to
  19. heat as butter; a man of continual dissolution and thaw. It
  20. was a miracle to scape suffocation. And in the height of
  21. this bath (when I was more than half stew’d in grease, like
  22. a Dutch dish) to be thrown into the Thames, and cool’d,
  23. glowing-hot, in that surge, like a horse-shoe; think of
  24. thathissing-hotthink of that, Master Brook.

Ford

103 - 105
  1. In good sadness, sir, I am sorry that for my sake you have
  2. suffer’d all this. My suit then is desperate; you’ll
  3. undertake her no more?

Falstaff

106 - 110
  1. Master Brook, I will be thrown into Etna, as I have been
  2. into Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her husband is this
  3. morning gone a-birding. I have receiv’d from her another
  4. embassy of meeting. ’Twixt eight and nine is the hour,
  5. Master Brook.

Ford

111
  1. ’Tis past eight already, sir.

Falstaff

112 - 116
  1. Is it? I will then address me to my appointment. Come to me
  2. at your convenient leisure, and you shall know how I speed;
  3. and the conclusion shall be crown’d with your enjoying her.
  4. Adieu. You shall have her, Master Brook. Master Brook, you
  5. shall cuckold Ford.
  1. Exit.

Ford

117 - 128
  1. Hum! Ha? Is this a vision? Is this a dream? Do I sleep?
  2. Master Ford, awake! Awake, Master Ford! There’s a hole made
  3. in your best coat, Master Ford. This ’tis to be married!
  4. This ’tis to have linen and buck-baskets! Well, I will
  5. proclaim myself what I am. I will now take the lecher; he is
  6. at my house. He cannot scape me; ’tis impossible he should;
  7. he cannot creep into a halfpenny purse, nor into a
  8. pepper-box. But lest the devil that guides him should aid
  9. him, I will search impossible places. Though what I am I
  10. cannot avoid, yet to be what I would not shall not make me
  11. tame. If I have horns to make one mad, let the proverb go
  12. with me: I’ll be horn-mad.
  1. Exit.
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