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What is the gross sum that I owe thee?

Falstaff
What is the gross sum that I owe thee?
Hostess
Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself
and the money too. Thou didst swear to me upon a
parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in my Dolphin chamber at
the round table by a sea-coal fire, upon Wednesday
in Wheeson week, when the Prince broke thy head
for liking his father to a singing-man of Windsor,
thou didst swear to me then, as I was washing thy
wound, to marry me and make me my lady thy wife.

You call honorable boldness “impudent
sauciness.” If a man will make curtsy and say
nothing, he is virtuous. No, my lord

Canst thou deny it? Did not Goodwife Keech, the
butcher’s wife, come in then and call me Gossip
Quickly, coming in to borrow a mess of vinegar,
telling us she had a good dish of prawns, whereby
thou didst desire to eat some, whereby I told thee
they were ill for a green wound? And didst thou not,
when she was gone downstairs, desire me to be no
more so familiarity with such poor people, saying
that ere long they should call me madam? And didst
thou not kiss me and bid me fetch thee thirty shillings?
I put thee now to thy book-oath. Deny it if thou canst.
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 in good case, and the truth is,
poverty hath distracted her. But, for these foolish
officers, I beseech you I may have redress against them.
Chief Justice
Sir John, Sir John, I am well acquainted
with your manner of wrenching the true cause the
false way. It is not a confident brow, nor the throng
of words that come with such more than impudent
sauciness from you, can thrust me from a level
consideration. You have, as it appears to me, practiced
upon the easy-yielding spirit of this woman, and made
her serve your uses both in purse and in person.
Falstaff
Yea, in truth, my lord.
Chief Justice
Pray thee, peace.—Pay her the debt you
owe her, and 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. You call honorable boldness “impudent
sauciness.” If a man will make curtsy and say
nothing, he is virtuous. No, my lord, my humble
duty remembered, 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.
Chief Justice
You speak as having power to do wrong;
but answer in th’ effect of your reputation, and
satisfy the poor woman.

Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 87

Source Type:

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Themes:
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