The Merry Wives of Windsor By William Shakespeare Act III: Scenes 4-5

ACT III SCENE 5. A room in the Garter Inn.

[Enter FALSTAFF and BARDOLPH.]

FALSTAFF.
Bardolph, I say, —

BARDOLPH.
Here, sir.

FALSTAFF.
Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in 't.

[Exit BARDOLPH.]

Have I lived to be carried in a basket, and to be thrown in the
Thames like a barrow of butcher's offal? Well, if I be served such
another trick, I'll have my brains ta'en out and buttered, and give
them to a dog for a new year's gift. The rogues slighted me into
the river with as little remorse as they would have drowned a blind
bitch's puppies, fifteen i' the litter; and you may know by my size
that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking; if the bottom were as
deep as hell I should down. I had been drowned but that the shore
was shelvy and shallow; a death that I abhor, for the water swells
a man; and what a thing should I have been when had been swelled!
I should have been a mountain of mummy.

[Re-enter BARDOLPH, with the sack.]

BARDOLPH.
Here's Mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with you.

FALSTAFF.
Come, let me pour in some sack to the Thames water; for my belly's
as cold as if I had swallowed snowballs for pills to cool the reins.
Call her in.

BARDOLPH.
Come in, woman.

[Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY.]

QUICKLY.
By your leave. I cry you mercy. Give your worship good morrow.

FALSTAFF.
Take away these chalices. Go, brew me a pottle of sack finely.

BARDOLPH.
With eggs, sir?

FALSTAFF.
Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage.

[Exit BARDOLPH.]

How now!

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

FALSTAFF.
Mistress Ford! I have had ford enough; I was thrown into the ford;
I have my belly full of ford.

QUICKLY.
Alas the day! good heart, that was not her fault: she does so take
on with her men; they mistook their erection.

FALSTAFF.
So did I mine, to build upon a foolish woman's promise.

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

FALSTAFF.
Well, I will visit her. Tell her so; and bid her think what a man
is; let her consider his frailty, and then judge of my merit.

QUICKLY.
I will tell her.

FALSTAFF.
Do so. Between nine and ten, sayest thou?

QUICKLY.
Eight and nine, sir.

FALSTAFF.
Well, be gone; I will not miss her.

QUICKLY.
Peace be with you, sir.

[Exit.]

FALSTAFF.
I marvel I hear not of Master Brook; he sent me word to stay within.
I like his money well. O! here he comes.

[Enter FORD disguised.]

FORD.
Bless you, sir!

FALSTAFF.
Now, Master Brook, you come to know what hath passed between me
and Ford's wife?

FORD.
That, indeed, Sir John, is my business.

FALSTAFF.
Master Brook, I will not lie to you: I was at her house the hour
she appointed me.

FORD.
And how sped you, sir?

FALSTAFF.
Very ill-favouredly, Master Brook.

FORD.
How so, sir? did she change her determination?

FALSTAFF.
No. Master Brook; but the peaking cornuto her husband, Master Brook,
dwelling in a continual 'larum of jealousy, comes me in the instant
of our encounter, after we had embraced, kissed, protested, and, as
it were, spoke the prologue of our comedy; and at his heels a
rabble of his companions, thither provoked and instigated by his
distemper, and, forsooth, to search his house for his wife's love.

FORD.
What! while you were there?

FALSTAFF.
While I was there.

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

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