Enter HOSTESS with two officers, FANG and SNARE
- Fang. Sirrah, where's Snare?
- Fang. Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.
- Snare. It may chance cost some of our lives, for he will stab.
- Hostess Quickly. Alas the day! take heed of him; he stabb'd me in mine
house, and that most beastly. In good faith, 'a cares not
mischief he does, if his weapon be out; he will foin like any
devil; he will spare neither man, woman, nor child.
- Fang. If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.
- Fang. An I but fist him once; an 'a come but within my vice!
- Hostess Quickly. I am undone by his going; I warrant you, he's an
infinitive thing upon my score. Good Master Fang, hold him
Good Master Snare, let him not scape. 'A comes continuantly
Pie-corner—saving your manhoods—to buy a saddle; and he is
indited to dinner to the Lubber's Head in Lumbert Street, to
Master Smooth's the silkman. I pray you, since my exion is
ent'red, and my case so openly known to the world, let him be
brought in to his answer. A hundred mark is a long one for a
lone woman to bear; and I have borne, and borne, and borne;
have been fubb'd off, and fubb'd off, and fubb'd off, from
day to that day, that it is a shame to be thought on. There
honesty in such dealing; unless a woman should be made an ass
a beast, to bear every knave's wrong.
[Enter SIR JOHN FALSTAFF, PAGE, and BARDOLPH]
Yonder he comes; and that arrant malmsey-nose knave,
with him. Do your offices, do your offices, Master Fang and
Master Snare; do me, do me, do me your offices.
- Falstaff. How now! whose mare's dead? What's the matter?
- Fang. Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of Mistress Quickly.
- Falstaff. Away, varlets! Draw, Bardolph. Cut me off the
head. Throw the quean in the channel.
- Hostess Quickly. Throw me in the channel! I'll throw thee in the
Wilt thou? wilt thou? thou bastardly rogue! Murder, murder!
thou honeysuckle villain! wilt thou kill God's officers and
King's? Ah, thou honey-seed rogue! thou art a honey-seed; a
man-queller and a woman-queller.
- Fang. A rescue! a rescue!
- Hostess Quickly. Good people, bring a rescue or two. Thou wot, wot
thou wot, wot ta? Do, do, thou rogue! do, thou hemp-seed!
- Page. Away, you scullion! you rampallian! you fustilarian!
I'll tickle your catastrophe.
Enter the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE and his men
- Lord Chief Justice. How now, Sir John! what, are you brawling here?
Doth this become your place, your time, and business?
You should have been well on your way to York.
Stand from him, fellow; wherefore hang'st thou upon him?
- Hostess Quickly. O My most worshipful lord, an't please your Grace, I
poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.
- Hostess Quickly. It is more than for some, my lord; it is for all—all
have. He hath eaten me out of house and home; he hath put all
substance into that fat belly of his. But I will have some of
out again, or I will ride thee a nights like a mare.
- Falstaff. I think I am as like to ride the mare, if I have any
vantage of ground to get up.
- Lord Chief Justice. How comes this, Sir John? Fie! What man of good
temper would endure this tempest of exclamation? Are you not
ashamed to enforce a poor widow to so rough a course to come
- Falstaff. What is the gross sum that I owe thee?
- Hostess Quickly. Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself and the
too. Thou didst swear to me upon a parcel-gilt goblet,
my Dolphin chamber, at the round table, by a sea-coal fire,
Wednesday in Wheeson week, when the Prince broke thy head for
liking his father to singing-man of Windsor—thou didst swear
me then, as I was washing thy wound, to marry me and make me
lady thy wife. Canst thou deny it? Did not goodwife Keech,
butcher's wife, come in then and call me gossip Quickly?
in to borrow a mess of vinegar, telling us she had a good
prawns, whereby thou didst desire to eat some, whereby I told
thee they were ill for green wound? And didst thou not, when
was gone down stairs, desire me to be no more so familiarity
such poor people, saying that ere long they should call me
And didst thou not kiss me, and bid me fetch the thirty
shillings? I put thee now to thy book-oath. Deny it, if thou
- Falstaff. My lord, this is a poor mad soul, and she says up and
down the town that her eldest son is like you. She hath been
good case, and, the truth is, poverty hath distracted her.
for these foolish officers, I beseech you I may have redress
- Lord Chief Justice. Sir John, Sir John, I am well acquainted with
manner of wrenching the true cause the false way. It is not a
confident brow, nor the throng of words that come with such
than impudent sauciness from you, can thrust me from a level
consideration. You have, as it appears to me, practis'd upon
easy yielding spirit of this woman, and made her serve your
both in purse and in person.
- Lord Chief Justice. Pray thee, peace. Pay her the debt you owe her,
unpay the villainy you have done with her; the one you may do
with sterling money, and the other with current repentance.
- Falstaff. My lord, I will not undergo this sneap without reply.
call honourable boldness impudent sauciness; if a man will
curtsy and say nothing, he is virtuous. No, my lord, my
duty rememb'red, I will not be your suitor. I say to you I do
desire deliverance from these officers, being upon hasty
employment in the King's affairs.
- Lord Chief Justice. You speak as having power to do wrong; but
th' effect of your reputation, and satisfy the poor woman.
- Gower. The King, my lord, and Harry Prince of Wales
Are near at hand. The rest the paper tells. [Gives a letter]
- Falstaff. As I am a gentleman! Come, no more words of it.
- Hostess Quickly. By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain to
both my plate and the tapestry of my dining-chambers.
- Falstaff. Glasses, glasses, is the only drinking; and for thy
walls, a pretty slight drollery, or the story of the
the German hunting, in water-work, is worth a thousand of
bed-hangers and these fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten
if thou canst. Come, and 'twere not for thy humours, there's
a better wench in England. Go, wash thy face, and draw the
action. Come, thou must not be in this humour with me; dost
know me? Come, come, I know thou wast set on to this.
- Hostess Quickly. Pray thee, Sir John, let it be but twenty nobles;
i' faith, I am loath to pawn my plate, so God save me, la!
- Falstaff. Let it alone; I'll make other shift. You'll be a fool
- Hostess Quickly. Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown.
I hope you'll come to supper. you'll pay me all together?
- Falstaff. Will I live? [To BARDOLPH] Go, with her, with her;
on, hook on.
- Falstaff. No more words; let's have her.
Exeunt HOSTESS, BARDOLPH, and OFFICERS
- Gower. At Basingstoke, my lord.
- Falstaff. I hope, my lord, all's well. What is the news, my
- Gower. No; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse,
Are march'd up to my Lord of Lancaster,
Against Northumberland and the Archbishop.
- Falstaff. Comes the King back from Wales, my noble lord?
- Lord Chief Justice. You shall have letters of me presently.
Come, go along with me, good Master Gower.
- Falstaff. Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to dinner?
- Gower. I must wait upon my good lord here, I thank you, good
- Lord Chief Justice. Sir John, you loiter here too long, being you
take soldiers up in counties as you go.
- Falstaff. Will you sup with me, Master Gower?
- Falstaff. Master Gower, if they become me not, he was a fool
taught them me. This is the right fencing grace, my lord; tap
tap, and so part fair.