The Merry Wives of Windsor By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 2

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?

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-favoured. I will
use her as the key of the cuckoldly rogue's coffer; and there's my

I would you knew Ford, sir, that you might avoid him if you saw him.

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 night.


What a damned 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 fixed; the match is made. Would any man
have thought this? See the hell of having a false woman! My bed
shall be abused, my coffers ransacked, my reputation gnawn at; and
I shall not only receive this villanous 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 praised for my jealousy!
Eleven o'clock the hour. I will prevent this, detect my wife, be
revenged 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!


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