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Speeches (Lines) for Hostess Quickly
in "Merry Wives of Windsor"

Total: 74

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Speech text



(stage directions). [Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY, SIMPLE, and RUGBY]

Hostess Quickly. What, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the casement,
and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor
Caius, coming. If he do, i' faith, and find any
body in the house, here will be an old abusing of
God's patience and the king's English.



Rugby. I'll go watch.

Hostess Quickly. Go; and we'll have a posset for't soon at night, in
faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire.
[Exit RUGBY]
An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant
shall come in house withal, and, I warrant you, no
tell-tale nor no breed-bate: his worst fault is,
that he is given to prayer; he is something peevish
that way: but nobody but has his fault; but let
that pass. Peter Simple, you say your name is?



Simple. Ay, for fault of a better.

Hostess Quickly. And Master Slender's your master?



Simple. Ay, forsooth.

Hostess Quickly. Does he not wear a great round beard, like a
glover's paring-knife?



Simple. No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with a
little yellow beard, a Cain-coloured beard.

Hostess Quickly. A softly-sprighted man, is he not?



Simple. Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his hands
as any is between this and his head; he hath fought
with a warrener.

Hostess Quickly. How say you? O, I should remember him: does he not
hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?



Simple. Yes, indeed, does he.

Hostess Quickly. Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! Tell
Master Parson Evans I will do what I can for your
master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish—



Rugby. Out, alas! here comes my master.

Hostess Quickly. We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man;
go into this closet: he will not stay long.
[Shuts SIMPLE in the closet]
What, John Rugby! John! what, John, I say!
Go, John, go inquire for my master; I doubt
he be not well, that he comes not home.
And down, down, adown-a, &c.



Doctor Caius. Vat is you sing? I do not like des toys. Pray you,
go and vetch me in my closet un boitier vert, a box,
a green-a box: do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.

Hostess Quickly. Ay, forsooth; I'll fetch it you.
I am glad he went not in himself: if he had found
the young man, he would have been horn-mad.



Doctor Caius. Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je
m'en vais a la cour—la grande affaire.

Hostess Quickly. Is it this, sir?



Doctor Caius. Oui; mette le au mon pocket: depeche, quickly. Vere
is dat knave Rugby?

Hostess Quickly. What, John Rugby! John!



Doctor Caius. By my trot, I tarry too long. Od's me!
Qu'ai-j'oublie! dere is some simples in my closet,
dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.

Hostess Quickly. Ay me, he'll find the young man here, and be mad!



Doctor Caius. O diable, diable! vat is in my closet? Villain! larron!
[Pulling SIMPLE out]
Rugby, my rapier!

Hostess Quickly. Good master, be content.



Doctor Caius. Wherefore shall I be content-a?

Hostess Quickly. The young man is an honest man.



Doctor Caius. What shall de honest man do in my closet? dere is
no honest man dat shall come in my closet.

Hostess Quickly. I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic. Hear the truth
of it: he came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh.



Simple. Ay, forsooth; to desire her to—

Hostess Quickly. Peace, I pray you.



Simple. To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to
speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page for my
master in the way of marriage.

Hostess Quickly. This is all, indeed, la! but I'll ne'er put my
finger in the fire, and need not.



(stage directions). [Writes]

Hostess Quickly. [Aside to SIMPLE] I am glad he is so quiet: if he
had been thoroughly moved, you should have heard him
so loud and so melancholy. But notwithstanding,
man, I'll do you your master what good I can: and
the very yea and the no is, the French doctor, my
master,—I may call him my master, look you, for I
keep his house; and I wash, wring, brew, bake,
scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds and do
all myself,—



Simple. [Aside to MISTRESS QUICKLY] 'Tis a great charge to
come under one body's hand.

Hostess Quickly. [Aside to SIMPLE] Are you avised o' that? you
shall find it a great charge: and to be up early
and down late; but notwithstanding,—to tell you in
your ear; I would have no words of it,—my master
himself is in love with Mistress Anne Page: but
notwithstanding that, I know Anne's mind,—that's
neither here nor there.



(stage directions). [Exit SIMPLE]

Hostess Quickly. Alas, he speaks but for his friend.



Doctor Caius. It is no matter-a ver dat: do not you tell-a me
dat I shall have Anne Page for myself? By gar, I
vill kill de Jack priest; and I have appointed mine
host of de Jarteer to measure our weapon. By gar, I
will myself have Anne Page.

Hostess Quickly. Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. We
must give folks leave to prate: what, the good-jer!



(stage directions). [Exeunt DOCTOR CAIUS and RUGBY]

Hostess Quickly. You shall have An fool's-head of your own. No, I
know Anne's mind for that: never a woman in Windsor
knows more of Anne's mind than I do; nor can do more
than I do with her, I thank heaven.



Fenton. [Within] Who's within there? ho!

Hostess Quickly. Who's there, I trow! Come near the house, I pray you.



Fenton. How now, good woman? how dost thou?

Hostess Quickly. The better that it pleases your good worship to ask.



Fenton. What news? how does pretty Mistress Anne?

Hostess Quickly. In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and
gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you
that by the way; I praise heaven for it.



Fenton. Shall I do any good, thinkest thou? shall I not lose my suit?

Hostess Quickly. Troth, sir, all is in his hands above: but
notwithstanding, Master Fenton, I'll be sworn on a
book, she loves you. Have not your worship a wart
above your eye?



Fenton. Yes, marry, have I; what of that?

Hostess Quickly. Well, thereby hangs a tale: good faith, it is such
another Nan; but, I detest, an honest maid as ever
broke bread: we had an hour's talk of that wart. I
shall never laugh but in that maid's company! But
indeed she is given too much to allicholy and
musing: but for you—well, go to.



Fenton. Well, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there's money
for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if
thou seest her before me, commend me.

Hostess Quickly. Will I? i'faith, that we will; and I will tell your
worship more of the wart the next time we have
confidence; and of other wooers.



Fenton. Well, farewell; I am in great haste now.

Hostess Quickly. Farewell to your worship.
Truly, an honest gentleman: but Anne loves him not;
for I know Anne's mind as well as another does. Out
upon't! what have I forgot?



Mistress Page. You are come to see my daughter Anne?

Hostess Quickly. Ay, forsooth; and, I pray, how does good Mistress Anne?



(stage directions). [Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY]

Hostess Quickly. Give your worship good morrow.



Falstaff. Good morrow, good wife.

Hostess Quickly. Not so, an't please your worship.



Falstaff. Good maid, then.

Hostess Quickly. I'll be sworn,
As my mother was, the first hour I was born.



Falstaff. I do believe the swearer. What with me?

Hostess Quickly. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?



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

Hostess Quickly. There is one Mistress Ford, sir:—I pray, come a
little nearer this ways:—I myself dwell with master
Doctor Caius,—



Falstaff. Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say,—

Hostess Quickly. Your worship says very true: I pray your worship,
come a little nearer this ways.



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

Hostess Quickly. Are they so? God bless them and make them his servants!



Falstaff. Well, Mistress Ford; what of her?

Hostess Quickly. Why, sir, she's a good creature. Lord Lord! your
worship's a wanton! Well, heaven forgive you and all
of us, I pray!



Falstaff. Mistress Ford; come, Mistress Ford,—

Hostess Quickly. Marry, this is the short and the long of it; you
have brought her into such a canaries as 'tis
wonderful. 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, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and in
such alligant 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 her: I had myself twenty angels
given me this morning; but I defy all angels, in
any such sort, 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; but, I warrant you, all is one with her.



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

Hostess Quickly. Marry, she hath received your letter, for the which
she thanks you a thousand times; and she gives you
to notify that her husband will be absence from his
house between ten and eleven.



Falstaff. Ten and eleven?

Hostess Quickly. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the
picture, she says, that you wot 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 life with
him, good heart.



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

Hostess Quickly. Why, you say well. But I have another messenger 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 wife, and
one, I tell you, that will not miss you 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, la; yes, in truth.



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

Hostess 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?

Hostess Quickly. That were a jest indeed! they have not so little
grace, I hope: that were a trick indeed! but
Mistress Page would desire you to send her your
little page, of all loves: her husband has a
marvellous infection to 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, rise when she list, all is as
she will: and truly she deserves it; for if there
be a kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must
send her your page; no remedy.



Falstaff. Why, I will.

Hostess Quickly. Nay, but do so, then: and, look you, he may come and
go between you both; and in any case have a
nay-word, that you may know one another's mind, and
the boy never need to understand any thing; for
'tis not good that children should know any
wickedness: old folks, you know, have discretion,
as they say, and know the world.



Slender. No, she shall not dismay me: I care not for that,
but that I am afeard.

Hostess Quickly. Hark ye; Master Slender would speak a word with you.



Anne Page. I come to him.
This is my father's choice.
O, what a world of vile ill-favor'd faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!

Hostess Quickly. And how does good Master Fenton? Pray you, a word with you.



(stage directions). [Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER]

Hostess Quickly. Speak to Mistress Page.



Mistress Page. I mean it not; I seek you a better husband.

Hostess Quickly. That's my master, master doctor.



(stage directions). [Exeunt MISTRESS PAGE and ANNE PAGE]

Hostess Quickly. This is my doing, now: 'Nay,' said I, 'will you cast
away your child on a fool, and a physician? Look on
Master Fenton:' this is my doing.



Fenton. I thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night
Give my sweet Nan this ring: there's for thy pains.

Hostess Quickly. Now heaven send thee good fortune!
A kind heart he hath: a woman would run through
fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet I
would my master had Mistress Anne; or I would
Master Slender had her; or, in sooth, I would Master
Fenton had her; I will do what I can for them all
three; for so I have promised, and I'll be as good
as my word; but speciously for Master Fenton. Well,
I must of another errand to Sir John Falstaff from
my two mistresses: what a beast am I to slack it!



(stage directions). [Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY]

Hostess Quickly. By your leave; I cry you mercy: give your worship
good morrow.



Falstaff. Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage.
How now!

Hostess 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.

Hostess 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.

Hostess 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.

Hostess Quickly. I will tell her.



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

Hostess Quickly. Eight and nine, sir.



Falstaff. Well, be gone: I will not miss her.

Hostess Quickly. Peace be with you, sir.



Mistress Page. Is he at Master Ford's already, think'st thou?

Hostess Quickly. Sure he is by this, or will be presently: but,
truly, he is very courageous mad about his throwing
into the water. Mistress Ford desires you to come suddenly.



Sir Hugh Evans. No; Master Slender is let the boys leave to play.

Hostess Quickly. Blessing of his heart!



William Page. Two.

Hostess Quickly. Truly, I thought there had been one number more,
because they say, 'Od's nouns.'



William Page. Pulcher.

Hostess Quickly. Polecats! there are fairer things than polecats, sure.



Sir Hugh Evans. I pray you, have your remembrance, child,
accusative, hung, hang, hog.

Hostess Quickly. 'Hang-hog' is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.



Sir Hugh Evans. Remember, William; focative is caret.

Hostess Quickly. And that's a good root.



William Page. Genitive,—horum, harum, horum.

Hostess Quickly. Vengeance of Jenny's case! fie on her! never name
her, child, if she be a whore.



Sir Hugh Evans. For shame, 'oman.

Hostess Quickly. You do ill to teach the child such words: he
teaches him to hick and to hack, which they'll do
fast enough of themselves, and to call 'horum:' fie upon you!



Falstaff. 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.
Now, whence come you?

Hostess Quickly. From the two parties, forsooth.



Falstaff. 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.

Hostess Quickly. And have not they suffered? Yes, I warrant;
speciously one of them; Mistress Ford, good heart,
is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a
white spot about her.



Falstaff. 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.

Hostess Quickly. Sir, let me speak with you in your chamber: you
shall hear how things go; and, I warrant, to your
content. Here is a letter will say somewhat. Good
hearts, what ado here is to bring you together!
Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well, that
you are so crossed.



Falstaff. 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!

Hostess Quickly. I'll provide you a chain; and I'll do what I can to
get you a pair of horns.



Falstaff. 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,]
others, as Fairies, with tapers]

Hostess Quickly. Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,
You moonshine revellers and shades of night,
You orphan heirs of fixed destiny,
Attend your office and your quality.
Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy oyes.



Sir Hugh Evans. Where's Bede? Go you, and where you find a maid
That, ere she sleep, has thrice her prayers said,
Raise up the organs of her fantasy;
Sleep she as sound as careless infancy:
But those as sleep and think not on their sins,
Pinch them, arms, legs, backs, shoulders, sides and shins.

Hostess Quickly. About, about;
Search Windsor Castle, elves, within and out:
Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room:. That it may stand till the perpetual doom,
In state as wholesome as in state 'tis fit,
Worthy the owner, and the owner it.
The several chairs of order look you scour
With juice of balm and every precious flower:
Each fair instalment, coat, and several crest,
With loyal blazon, evermore be blest!
And nightly, meadow-fairies, look you sing,
Like to the Garter's compass, in a ring:
The expressure that it bears, green let it be,
More fertile-fresh than all the field to see;
And 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' write
In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue and white;
Let sapphire, pearl and rich embroidery,
Buckled below fair knighthood's bending knee:
Fairies use flowers for their charactery.
Away; disperse: but till 'tis one o'clock,
Our dance of custom round about the oak
Of Herne the hunter, let us not forget.



Pistol. Vile worm, thou wast o'erlook'd even in thy birth.

Hostess Quickly. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end:
If he be chaste, the flame will back descend
And turn him to no pain; but if he start,
It is the flesh of a corrupted heart.



Falstaff. Oh, Oh, Oh!

Hostess Quickly. Corrupt, corrupt, and tainted in desire!
About him, fairies; sing a scornful rhyme;
And, as you trip, still pinch him to your time.
Fie on sinful fantasy!
Fie on lust and luxury!
Lust is but a bloody fire,
Kindled with unchaste desire,
Fed in heart, whose flames aspire
As thoughts do blow them, higher and higher.
Pinch him, fairies, mutually;
Pinch him for his villany;
Pinch him, and burn him, and turn him about,
Till candles and starlight and moonshine be out.
[During this song they pinch FALSTAFF. DOCTOR CAIUS]
comes one way, and steals away a boy in green;
SLENDER another way, and takes off a boy in white;
and FENTON comes and steals away ANN PAGE.
A noise of hunting is heard within. All the
Fairies run away. FALSTAFF pulls off his buck's
head, and rises]

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