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Authors: William Shakespeare

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[
Enter Shallow
]

Cavaliero
174
Justice, I say!

SHALLOW
    I follow, mine host, I follow.
Good even and twenty
175
,

good Master Page. Master Page, will you go with us? We have

sport in hand.

HOST
    Tell him, Cavaliero Justice: tell him, bully-rook.

SHALLOW
    Sir, there is a fray to be fought between Sir Hugh the

Welsh priest and Caius the French doctor.

FORD
    Good mine host o’th’Garter, a word

They speak apart

with you.

HOST
    What sayst thou, my bully-rook?

SHALLOW
    Will you go with us to behold it? My merry

To Page

host hath had the measuring of their weapons, and, I think,

hath appointed them
contrary
186
places, for, believe me, I hear

the parson is
no jester
187
. Hark, I will tell you what our sport

shall be.

They speak apart

HOST
    Hast thou no suit against my knight,
my guest-
189

cavalier
?

FORD
None, I
protest
. But I’ll give you a
pottle
of
burned
191

sack to give me
recourse
192
to him, and tell him my name is

Broom, only for a jest.

HOST
    My hand, bully. Thou shalt have
egress and regress
194

— said I well? — and thy name shall be Broom. It is a merry

knight.— Will you go,
An-heires
196
?

To Shallow and Page

SHALLOW
    Have with you, mine host.

PAGE
    I have heard the Frenchman hath good skill in his

rapier.

SHALLOW
    Tut, sir, I could have told you more. In these times

you
stand on distance
: your
passes, stoccadoes
201
, and I know

not what. ’Tis the
heart
202
, Master Page, ’tis here, ’tis here. I

have seen the time, with my
long sword
203
, I would have made

you four
tall
204
fellows skip like rats.

HOST
    Here, boys, here, here! Shall we
wag
205
?

PAGE
    Have with you. I had rather hear them
scold
206
than

fight.

[
Exeunt Host, Shallow and Page
]

FORD
    Though Page be a
secure
fool, and
stands so firmly
208

on his wife’s frailty, yet I cannot put off my opinion so easily.

She was in
his
210
company at Page’s house, and what they

made
211
there I know not. Well, I will look further into’t, and I

have a disguise to
sound
212
Falstaff. If I find her honest, I lose

not my labour: if she be otherwise, ’tis labour well bestowed.

Exit

Act 2 Scene 2

running scene 6

Enter Falstaff [and] Pistol

FALSTAFF
    I will not lend thee a penny.

PISTOL
    Why, then the world’s mine oyster, which I with

sword will open.

FALSTAFF
    Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you should

lay my
countenance to pawn
. I have
grated upon
5
my good

friends for three reprieves for you and your
coach-fellow
6

Nim, or else you had looked through the
grate
, like a
gemini
7

of baboons. I am damned 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
10

mine honour thou hadst it not.

PISTOL
    Didst not thou
share
12
? Hadst thou not fifteen pence?

FALSTAFF
    
Reason
13
, you rogue, reason. Think’st thou I’ll

endanger my soul
gratis
? At a word,
hang no more about
14

me, I am no gibbet for you. Go —
a short knife and a throng
15

— to your manor of
Picked-hatch
16
, go! You’ll not bear a letter

for me, you rogue. You stand upon your honour. Why, thou

unconfinable
18
baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the

terms of my honour
precise
19
. Ay, ay, I myself sometimes,

leaving the fear of heaven
on the left hand
20
, and hiding mine

honour in my necessity, am
fain to shuffle, to hedge and to
21

lurch: and yet, you rogue, will
ensconce
your rags, your
cat-
22

a-mountain looks, your
red-lattice
phrases, and your
bold-
23

beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour? You will

not do it? You?

PISTOL
    I do
relent
26
. What would thou more of man?

[
Enter Robin
]

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

FALSTAFF
    Let her approach.

[
Enter Mistress Quickly
]

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    
Give
29
your worship good morrow.

FALSTAFF
    Good morrow, good wife.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    
Not so
31
, an’t please your worship.

FALSTAFF
    Good maid, then.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    That I am, I’ll be sworn,

As my mother was the first hour I was born
34
.

FALSTAFF
    I do believe the swearer. What with me?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?

FALSTAFF
    Two thousand, fair woman, and I’ll
vouchsafe
37
thee

the hearing.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    There is one Mistress Ford, sir — I pray come

a little nearer this
ways
40
— I myself dwell with master Doctor

Caius—

FALSTAFF
    Well,
on
42
. Mistress Ford, you say—

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    Your worship says very true. I pray your

worship come a little nearer this ways.

FALSTAFF
    I warrant thee nobody hears. Mine

Gestures toward Pistol and Robin

own people, mine own people.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    Are they so? Heaven bless them, and make

them his servants.

FALSTAFF
    Well, Mistress Ford: what of her?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    Why, sir, she’s a good creature. Lord, lord,

your worship’s a
wanton
51
! Well, heaven forgive you, and all of

us, I pray—

FALSTAFF
    Mistress Ford, come, Mistress Ford.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    Marry, this is the short and the long of it: you

have brought her into such a
canaries
as ’tis
wonderful
55
. 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
60
, I

warrant you, in silk and gold, and in such
alligant
61
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
64
her. I had myself twenty

angels
65
given me this morning, but I defy all angels — in any

such
sort
66
, 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
69
, but, I warrant you, all

is one with her.

FALSTAFF
    But what says she to me? Be brief, my good
she-
71

Mercury.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    Marry, she hath received your letter, for the

which she thanks you a thousand times; and she gives you to

notify
75
that her husband will be absence from his house

between ten and eleven.

FALSTAFF
    Ten and eleven.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    Ay, forsooth, and then you may come and see

the picture, she says, that you
wot
79
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
82
life with him, good heart.

FALSTAFF
    Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her. I will

not fail her.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    Why, you say well. But I have another

messenger
86
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
88
wife, and one, I tell you, that

will not
miss you
89
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
93
, la. Yes, in truth.

FALSTAFF
    Not I, I assure thee. Setting the attraction of my

good
parts
95
aside, I have no other charms.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    Blessing on your heart for’t!

FALSTAFF
    But I pray thee tell me this: has Ford’s wife and

Page’s wife acquainted each other how they love me?

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    That were a jest indeed! They have not so little

grace
100
, I hope — that were a trick indeed! But Mistress Page

would desire you to send her your little page,
of all loves
101
. Her

husband has a marvellous
infection to
102
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
105
, rise when

she list, all is as she will, and truly she deserves it, for if there

be a
kind
107
woman in Windsor, she is one. You must send her

your page, no remedy.

FALSTAFF
    Why, I will.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
    Nay, but do so, then, and, look you, he may

come and go between you both: and in any case have a
nay-
111

word, that you may know one another’s mind, and the boy

never need to understand anything, for ’tis not good that

children should know any wickedness. Old folks, you know,

have discretion, as they say, and know the world.

FALSTAFF
    Fare thee well, commend me to them both. There’s

my purse: I am yet thy debtor.— Boy, go along with this

woman.

[
Exeunt Mistress Quickly and Robin
]

This news
distracts
119
me.

PISTOL
    This
punk
is one of Cupid’s
carriers
120
.

Clap
on more sails, pursue, up with your
fights
121
,

Give fire. She is my
prize
, or ocean
whelm
122
them all!

BOOK: The Merry Wives of Windsor
11.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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