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  • Title: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Quarto 1, 1602)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    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    Not Peer Reviewed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.