Speeches (Lines) for Falstaff
in "Merry Wives of Windsor"

Total: 136

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,1,102

Now, Master Shallow, you'll complain of me to the king?

2

I,1,105

But not kissed your keeper's daughter?

3

I,1,107

I will answer it straight; I have done all this.
That is now answered.

4

I,1,110

'Twere better for you if it were known in counsel:
you'll be laughed at.

5

I,1,113

Good worts! good cabbage. Slender, I broke your
head: what matter have you against me?

6

I,1,133

Pistol!

7

I,1,137

Pistol, did you pick Master Slender's purse?

8

I,1,143

Is this true, Pistol?

9

I,1,156

What say you, Scarlet and John?

10

I,1,168

You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.
[Enter ANNE PAGE, with wine; MISTRESS FORD]
and MISTRESS PAGE, following]

11

I,1,175

Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met:
by your leave, good mistress.

12

I,3,306

Mine host of the Garter!

13

I,3,308

Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my
followers.

14

I,3,311

I sit at ten pounds a week.

15

I,3,315

Do so, good mine host.

16

I,3,320

Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade:
an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered
serving-man a fresh tapster. Go; adieu.

17

I,3,327

I am glad I am so acquit of this tinderbox: his
thefts were too open; his filching was like an
unskilful singer; he kept not time.

18

I,3,333

Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.

19

I,3,335

There is no remedy; I must cony-catch; I must shift.

20

I,3,337

Which of you know Ford of this town?

21

I,3,339

My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.

22

I,3,341

No quips now, Pistol! Indeed, I am in the waist two
yards about; but I am now about no waste; I am about
thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford's
wife: I spy entertainment in her; she discourses,
she carves, she gives the leer of invitation: I
can construe the action of her familiar style; and
the hardest voice of her behavior, to be Englished
rightly, is, 'I am Sir John Falstaff's.'

23

I,3,352

Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her
husband's purse: he hath a legion of angels.

24

I,3,356

I have writ me here a letter to her: and here
another to Page's wife, who even now gave me good
eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious
oeillades; sometimes the beam of her view gilded my
foot, sometimes my portly belly.

25

I,3,363

O, she did so course o'er my exteriors with such a
greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye did
seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass! Here's
another letter to her: she bears the purse too; she
is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will
be cheater to them both, and they shall be
exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West
Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go bear thou
this letter to Mistress Page; and thou this to
Mistress Ford: we will thrive, lads, we will thrive.

26

I,3,377

[To ROBIN] Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly;
Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.
Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go;
Trudge, plod away o' the hoof; seek shelter, pack!
Falstaff will learn the humour of the age,
French thrift, you rogues; myself and skirted page.

27

II,2,796

I will not lend thee a penny.

28

II,2,799

Not a penny. I have been content, sir, you should
lay my countenance to pawn; I have grated upon my
good friends for three reprieves for you and your
coach-fellow Nym; or else you had looked through
the grate, like a geminy 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
mine honour thou hadst it not.

29

II,2,809

Reason, you rogue, reason: thinkest thou I'll
endanger my soul gratis? At a word, hang no more
about me, I am no gibbet for you. Go. A short knife
and a throng! To your manor of Pickt-hatch! Go.
You'll not bear a letter for me, you rogue! you
stand upon your honour! Why, thou unconfinable
baseness, it is as much as I can do to keep the
terms of my honour precise: I, I, I myself
sometimes, leaving the fear of God on the left hand
and hiding mine honour in my necessity, am fain to
shuffle, to hedge and to lurch; and yet you, rogue,
will ensconce your rags, your cat-a-mountain
looks, your red-lattice phrases, and your
bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your
honour! You will not do it, you!

30

II,2,827

Let her approach.

31

II,2,830

Good morrow, good wife.

32

II,2,832

Good maid, then.

33

II,2,835

I do believe the swearer. What with me?

34

II,2,837

Two thousand, fair woman: and I'll vouchsafe thee
the hearing.

35

II,2,842

Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say,—

36

II,2,845

I warrant thee, nobody hears; mine own people, mine
own people.

37

II,2,848

Well, Mistress Ford; what of her?

38

II,2,852

Mistress Ford; come, Mistress Ford,—

39

II,2,872

But what says she to me? be brief, my good
she-Mercury.

40

II,2,878

Ten and eleven?

41

II,2,885

Ten and eleven. Woman, commend me to her; I will
not fail her.

42

II,2,897

Not I, I assure thee: setting the attractions of my
good parts aside I have no other charms.

43

II,2,900

But, I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford's wife and
Page's wife acquainted each other how they love me?

44

II,2,914

Why, I will.

45

II,2,922

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 me!

46

II,2,931

Sayest thou so, old Jack? go thy ways; I'll make
more of thy old body than I have done. Will they
yet look after thee? Wilt thou, after the expense
of so much money, be now a gainer? Good body, I
thank thee. Let them say 'tis grossly done; so it be
fairly done, no matter.

47

II,2,941

Brook is his name?

48

II,2,943

Call him in.
[Exit BARDOLPH]
Such Brooks are welcome to me, that o'erflow such
liquor. Ah, ha! Mistress Ford and Mistress Page
have I encompassed you? go to; via!

49

II,2,950

And you, sir! Would you speak with me?

50

II,2,953

You're welcome. What's your will? Give us leave, drawer.

51

II,2,956

Good Master Brook, I desire more acquaintance of you.

52

II,2,963

Money is a good soldier, sir, and will on.

53

II,2,967

Sir, I know not how I may deserve to be your porter.

54

II,2,969

Speak, good Master Brook: I shall be glad to be
your servant.

55

II,2,981

Very well, sir; proceed.

56

II,2,984

Well, sir.

57

II,2,1000

Have you received no promise of satisfaction at her hands?

58

II,2,1002

Have you importuned her to such a purpose?

59

II,2,1004

Of what quality was your love, then?

60

II,2,1008

To what purpose have you unfolded this to me?

61

II,2,1018

O, sir!

62

II,2,1026

Would it apply well to the vehemency of your
affection, that I should win what you would enjoy?
Methinks you prescribe to yourself very preposterously.

63

II,2,1039

Master Brook, I will first make bold with your
money; next, give me your hand; and last, as I am a
gentleman, you shall, if you will, enjoy Ford's wife.

64

II,2,1043

I say you shall.

65

II,2,1045

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.

66

II,2,1055

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

67

II,2,1063

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.

68

III,3,1444

Have I caught thee, my heavenly jewel? Why, now let
me die, for I have lived long enough: this is the
period of my ambition: O this blessed hour!

69

III,3,1448

Mistress Ford, I cannot cog, I cannot prate,
Mistress Ford. Now shall I sin in my wish: I would
thy husband were dead: I'll speak it before the
best lord; I would make thee my lady.

70

III,3,1453

Let the court of France show me such another. I see
how thine eye would emulate the diamond: thou hast
the right arched beauty of the brow that becomes the
ship-tire, the tire-valiant, or any tire of
Venetian admittance.

71

III,3,1460

By the Lord, thou art a traitor to say so: thou
wouldst make an absolute courtier; and the firm
fixture of thy foot would give an excellent motion
to thy gait in a semi-circled farthingale. I see
what thou wert, if Fortune thy foe were not, Nature
thy friend. Come, thou canst not hide it.

72

III,3,1467

What made me love thee? let that persuade thee
there's something extraordinary in thee. Come, I
cannot cog and say thou art this and that, like a
many of these lisping hawthorn-buds, that come like
women in men's apparel, and smell like Bucklersbury
in simple time; I cannot: but I love thee; none
but thee; and thou deservest it.

73

III,3,1475

Thou mightst as well say I love to walk by the
Counter-gate, which is as hateful to me as the reek
of a lime-kiln.

74

III,3,1480

Keep in that mind; I'll deserve it.

75

III,3,1486

She shall not see me: I will ensconce me behind the arras.

76

III,3,1526

[Coming forward] Let me see't, let me see't, O, let
me see't! I'll in, I'll in. Follow your friend's
counsel. I'll in.

77

III,3,1530

I love thee. Help me away. Let me creep in here.
I'll never—

78

III,5,1746

Bardolph, I say,—

79

III,5,1748

Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in't.
[Exit BARDOLPH]
Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a
barrow of butcher's offal, and to be thrown in the
Thames? 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 I
had been swelled! I should have been a mountain of mummy.

80

III,5,1766

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.

81

III,5,1773

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

82

III,5,1776

Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage.
[Exit BARDOLPH]
How now!

83

III,5,1780

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

84

III,5,1784

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

85

III,5,1790

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.

86

III,5,1794

Do so. Between nine and ten, sayest thou?

87

III,5,1796

Well, be gone: I will not miss her.

88

III,5,1799

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

89

III,5,1803

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

90

III,5,1806

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

91

III,5,1809

Very ill-favoredly, Master Brook.

92

III,5,1811

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.

93

III,5,1820

While I was there.

94

III,5,1822

You shall hear. As good luck would have it, comes
in one Mistress Page; gives intelligence of Ford's
approach; and, in her invention and Ford's wife's
distraction, they conveyed me into a buck-basket.

95

III,5,1827

By the Lord, a buck-basket! rammed me in with foul
shirts and smocks, socks, foul stockings, greasy
napkins; that, Master Brook, there was the rankest
compound of villanous smell that ever offended nostril.

96

III,5,1832

Nay, you shall hear, Master Brook, what I have
suffered to bring this woman to evil for your good.
Being thus crammed in the basket, a couple of Ford's
knaves, his hinds, were called forth by their
mistress to carry me in the name of foul clothes to
Datchet-lane: they took me on their shoulders; met
the jealous knave their master in the door, who
asked them once or twice what they had in their
basket: I quaked for fear, lest the lunatic knave
would have searched it; but fate, ordaining he
should be a cuckold, held his hand. Well: on went he
for a search, and away went I for foul clothes. But
mark the sequel, Master Brook: I suffered the pangs
of three several deaths; first, an intolerable
fright, to be detected with a jealous rotten
bell-wether; next, to be compassed, like a good
bilbo, in the circumference of a peck, hilt to
point, heel to head; and then, to be stopped in,
like a strong distillation, with stinking clothes
that fretted in their own grease: think of that,—a
man of my kidney,—think of that,—that am as subject
to heat as butter; a man of continual dissolution
and thaw: it was a miracle to scape suffocation.
And in the height of this bath, when I was more than
half stewed in grease, like a Dutch dish, to be
thrown into the Thames, and cooled, glowing hot,
in that surge, like a horse-shoe; think of
that,—hissing hot,—think of that, Master Brook.

97

III,5,1863

Master Brook, I will be thrown into Etna, as I have
been into Thames, ere I will leave her thus. Her
husband is this morning gone a-birding: I have
received from her another embassy of meeting; 'twixt
eight and nine is the hour, Master Brook.

98

III,5,1869

Is it? I will then address me to my appointment.
Come to me at your convenient leisure, and you shall
know how I speed; and the conclusion shall be
crowned with your enjoying her. Adieu. You shall
have her, Master Brook; Master Brook, you shall
cuckold Ford.

99

IV,2,1967

Mistress Ford, your sorrow hath eaten up my
sufferance. I see you are obsequious in your love,
and I profess requital to a hair's breadth; not
only, Mistress Ford, in the simple
office of love, but in all the accoutrement,
complement and ceremony of it. But are you
sure of your husband now?

100

IV,2,2011

No, I'll come no more i' the basket. May I not go
out ere he come?

101

IV,2,2016

What shall I do? I'll creep up into the chimney.

102

IV,2,2019

Where is it?

103

IV,2,2024

I'll go out then.

104

IV,2,2031

Good hearts, devise something: any extremity rather
than a mischief.

105

IV,5,2311

[Above] How now, mine host!

106

IV,5,2317

There was, mine host, an old fat woman even now with
me; but she's gone.

107

IV,5,2321

Ay, marry, was it, mussel-shell: what would you with her?

108

IV,5,2326

I spake with the old woman about it.

109

IV,5,2328

Marry, she says that the very same man that
beguiled Master Slender of his chain cozened him of
it.

110

IV,5,2334

What are they? let us know.

111

IV,5,2341

'Tis, 'tis his fortune.

112

IV,5,2343

To have her, or no. Go; say the woman told me so.

113

IV,5,2345

Ay, sir; like who more bold.

114

IV,5,2351

Ay, that there was, mine host; one that hath taught
me more wit than ever I learned before in my life;
and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for
my learning.

115

IV,5,2386

I would all the world might be cozened; for I have
been cozened and beaten too. If it should come to
the ear of the court, how I have been transformed
and how my transformation hath been washed and
cudgelled, they would melt me out of my fat drop by
drop and liquor fishermen's boots with me; I warrant
they would whip me with their fine wits till I were
as crest-fallen as a dried pear. I never prospered
since I forswore myself at primero. Well, if my
wind were but long enough to say my prayers, I would repent.
[Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY]
Now, whence come you?

116

IV,5,2399

The devil take one party and his dam the other! and
so they shall be both bestowed. I have suffered more
for their sakes, more than the villanous inconstancy
of man's disposition is able to bear.

117

IV,5,2407

What tellest thou me of black and blue? I was
beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow;
and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of
Brentford: but that my admirable dexterity of wit,
my counterfeiting the action of an old woman,
delivered me, the knave constable had set me i' the
stocks, i' the common stocks, for a witch.

118

IV,5,2420

Come up into my chamber.

119

V,1,2479

Prithee, no more prattling; go. I'll hold. This is
the third time; I hope good luck lies in odd
numbers. Away I go. They say there is divinity in
odd numbers, either in nativity, chance, or death. Away!

120

V,1,2485

Away, I say; time wears: hold up your head, and mince.
[Exit MISTRESS QUICKLY]
[Enter FORD]
How now, Master Brook! Master Brook, the matter
will be known to-night, or never. Be you in the
Park about midnight, at Herne's oak, and you shall
see wonders.

121

V,1,2494

I went to her, Master Brook, as you see, like a poor
old man: but I came from her, Master Brook, like a
poor old woman. That same knave Ford, her husband,
hath the finest mad devil of jealousy in him,
Master Brook, that ever governed frenzy. I will tell
you: he beat me grievously, in the shape of a
woman; for in the shape of man, Master Brook, I fear
not Goliath with a weaver's beam; because I know
also life is a shuttle. I am in haste; go along
with me: I'll tell you all, Master Brook. Since I
plucked geese, played truant and whipped top, I knew
not what 'twas to be beaten till lately. Follow
me: I'll tell you strange things of this knave
Ford, on whom to-night I will be revenged, and I
will deliver his wife into your hand. Follow.
Strange things in hand, Master Brook! Follow.

122

V,5,2560

The Windsor bell hath struck twelve; the minute
draws on. Now, the hot-blooded gods assist me!
Remember, Jove, thou wast a bull for thy Europa; love
set on thy horns. O powerful love! that, in some
respects, makes a beast a man, in some other, a man
a beast. You were also, Jupiter, a swan for the love
of Leda. O omnipotent Love! how near the god drew
to the complexion of a goose! A fault done first in
the form of a beast. O Jove, a beastly fault! And
then another fault in the semblance of a fowl; think
on 't, Jove; a foul fault! When gods have hot
backs, what shall poor men do? For me, I am here a
Windsor stag; and the fattest, I think, i' the
forest. Send me a cool rut-time, Jove, or who can
blame me to piss my tallow? Who comes here? my
doe?

123

V,5,2578

My doe with the black scut! Let the sky rain
potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green
Sleeves, hail kissing-comfits and snow eringoes; let
there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.

124

V,5,2583

Divide me like a bribe buck, each a haunch: I will
keep my sides to myself, my shoulders for the fellow
of this walk, and my horns I bequeath your husbands.
Am I a woodman, ha? Speak I like Herne the hunter?
Why, now is Cupid a child of conscience; he makes
restitution. As I am a true spirit, welcome!

125

V,5,2592

What should this be?

126

V,5,2595

I think the devil will not have me damned, lest the
oil that's in me should set hell on fire; he would
never else cross me thus.
[Enter SIR HUGH EVANS, disguised as before; PISTOL,]
as Hobgoblin; MISTRESS QUICKLY, ANNE PAGE, and
others, as Fairies, with tapers]

127

V,5,2611

They are fairies; he that speaks to them shall die:
I'll wink and couch: no man their works must eye.

128

V,5,2645

Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy, lest he
transform me to a piece of cheese!

129

V,5,2655

Oh, Oh, Oh!

130

V,5,2694

I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass.

131

V,5,2696

And these are not fairies? I was three or four
times in the thought they were not fairies: and yet
the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surprise of my
powers, drove the grossness of the foppery into a
received belief, in despite of the teeth of all
rhyme and reason, that they were fairies. See now
how wit may be made a Jack-a-Lent, when 'tis upon
ill employment!

132

V,5,2710

Have I laid my brain in the sun and dried it, that
it wants matter to prevent so gross o'erreaching as
this? Am I ridden with a Welsh goat too? shall I
have a coxcomb of frize? 'Tis time I were choked
with a piece of toasted cheese.

133

V,5,2716

'Seese' and 'putter'! have I lived to stand at the
taunt of one that makes fritters of English? This
is enough to be the decay of lust and late-walking
through the realm.

134

V,5,2733

Well, I am your theme: you have the start of me; I
am dejected; I am not able to answer the Welsh
flannel; ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me: use
me as you will.

135

V,5,2801

I am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand to
strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced.

136

V,5,2805

When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chased.

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