Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merry Wives of Windsor (Quarto 1, 1602)

Enter Sir Iohn Falstaffe.
1705Fal: Bardolfe brew me a pottle sack presently:
Bar: With Egges sir?
Fal: Simply of it selfe, Ile none of these pullets
In my drinke: goe make haste.
Haue I liued to be carried in a basket
and throwne into the Thames like a barow of But-
chers offoll. Well, and I be serued such another
1685tricke, Ile giue them leaue to take out my braines
and butter them, and giue them to a dog for a new-
yeares gift. Sblood, the rogues slided me in with as
little remorse as if they had gone to drowne a blind
bitches puppies in the litter: and they might know
1690by my sise I haue a kind of alacritie in sinking: and
the bottom had bin as deep as hell I should downe.
I had bene drowned, but that the shore was sheluie
and somewhat shallowe: a death that I abhorre.
For you know the water swelles a man: and what a
thing should I haue bene whẽ I had bene swelled?
1694.1By the Lord a mountaine of money. Now is the
Sacke brewed?
Bar. I sir, there's a woman below would speake
with you.
Fal. Bid her come vp. Let me put some Sacke
among this cold water, for my belly is as cold as if I
had swallowed snow-balles for pilles.
Enter Mistresse Quickly.
Now whats the newes with you?
Quic. I come from misteris Ford forsooth.
1710Fal. Misteris Ford, I haue had Ford inough,
1710I haue bene throwne into the Ford, my belly is full
Of Ford: she hath tickled mee.
Quic. O Lord sir, she is the sorrowfullest woman
that her seruants mistooke, that euer liued. And sir,
she would desire you of all loues you will meet her
once againe, to morrow sir, betweene ten and ele-
1720uen, and she hopes to make amends for all.
1725Fal. Ten, and eleuen, saiest thou?
1725.1Quic. I forsooth.
Fal. Well, tell her Ile meet her. Let her but think
1727.1Of mans frailtie: Let her iudge what man is,
And then thinke of me. And so farwell.
Quic. Youle not faile sir?
Exit mistresse Quickly.
1727.5Fal. I will not faile. Commend me to her.
I wonder I heare not of M. Brooke, I like his
1730Mony well. By the masse here he is.
Enter Brooke.
For. God saue you sir.
Fal. Welcome good M. Brooke. You come to
know how matters goes.
1735Ford. Thats my comming indeed sir Iohn.
Fal. M. Brooke I will not lie to you sir,
I was there at my appointed time.
For. And how sped you sir?
Fal. Verie ilfauouredly sir.
1740For. Why sir, did she change her determination?
Fal. No M. Brooke, but you shall heare. After we
had kissed and imbraced, and as it were euen amid
the prologue of our incounter, who should come,
but the iealous knaue her husband, and a rabble of
his companions at his heeles, thither prouoked and
instigated by his distemper. And what to do thinke
you? to search for his wiues loue. Euen so, plainly
For. While ye were there?
Fal. Whilst I was there.
1750For. And did he search and could not find you?
Fal. You shall heare sir, as God would haue it,
A litle before comes me one Pages wife,
Giues her intelligence of her husbands
Approach: and by her inuention, and Fords wiues
Distraction, conueyd me into a buck basket.
1755Ford. A buck basket!
Fal. By the Lord a buck basket, rammed me in
With foule shirts, stokins, greasie napkins,
That M. Brooke, there was a compound of the most
Villanous smel, that euer offended nostrill.
Ile tell you M. Brooke, by the Lord for your sake
I suffered three egregious deaths: First to be
Crammed like a good bilbo, in the circomference
Of a pack, Hilt to point, heele to head: and then to
1780Be stewed in my owne grease like a Dutch dish:
A man of my kidney; by the Lord it was maruell I
Escaped suffication; and in the heat of all this,
To be throwne into Thames like a horshoo hot:
Maister Brooke, thinke of that hissing heate, Maister
Ford. Well sir then my shute is void?
Youle vndertake it no more?
Fal. M. Brooke, Ile be throwne into Etna
1795As I haue bene in the Thames,
1795Ere I thus leaue her: I haue receiued
Another appointment of meeting,
Between ten and eleuen is the houre.
1800Ford: Why sir, tis almost ten alreadie:
Fal: Is it? why then will I addresse my selfe
For my appointment: M. Brooke come to me soone
At night, and you shall know how I speed,
And the end shall be, you shall enioy her loue:
You shall cuckold Foord: Come to mee soone at
1804.1at night.
Exit Falstaffe.
For. Is this a dreame? Is it a vision?
Maister Ford, maister Ford, awake maister Ford,
There is a hole made in your best coat M. Ford,
1809.1And a man shall not only endure this wrong,
But shall stand vnder the taunt of names,
Lucifer is a good name, Barbason good : good
Diuels names: But cuckold, wittold, godeso
1809.5The diuel himselfe hath not such a name:
And they may hang hats here, and napkins here
Vpon my hornes: Well Ile home, I ferit him,
1815And vnlesse the diuel himselfe should aide him,
Ile search vnpossible places: Ile about it,
1816.1Least I repent too late:
Exit omnes.