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The Merry Wives of Windsor

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ACT IV SCENE V A room in the Garter Inn. 
[Enter Host and SIMPLE]
HostWhat wouldst thou have, boor? what: thick-skin?
speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick, snap.
SIMPLEMarry, sir, I come to speak with Sir John Falstaff
from Master Slender.
HostThere's his chamber, his house, his castle, his5
standing-bed and truckle-bed; 'tis painted about
with the story of the Prodigal, fresh and new. Go
knock and call; hell speak like an Anthropophaginian
unto thee: knock, I say.
SIMPLEThere's an old woman, a fat woman, gone up into his10
chamber: I'll be so bold as stay, sir, till she come
down; I come to speak with her, indeed.
HostHa! a fat woman! the knight may be robbed: I'll
call. Bully knight! bully Sir John! speak from
thy lungs military: art thou there? it is thine15
host, thine Ephesian, calls.
FALSTAFF[Above] How now, mine host!
HostHere's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of
thy fat woman. Let her descend, bully, let her
descend; my chambers are honourable: fie! privacy?20
FALSTAFFThere was, mine host, an old fat woman even now with
me; but she's gone.
SIMPLEPray you, sir, was't not the wise woman of
FALSTAFFAy, marry, was it, mussel-shell: what would you with her?
SIMPLEMy master, sir, Master Slender, sent to her, seeing
her go through the streets, to know, sir, whether
one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain, had the
chain or no.30
FALSTAFFI spake with the old woman about it.
SIMPLEAnd what says she, I pray, sir?
FALSTAFFMarry, she says that the very same man that
beguiled Master Slender of his chain cozened him of
SIMPLEI would I could have spoken with the woman herself;
I had other things to have spoken with her too from
FALSTAFFWhat are they? let us know.
HostAy, come; quick.40
SIMPLEI may not conceal them, sir.
HostConceal them, or thou diest.
SIMPLEWhy, sir, they were nothing but about Mistress Anne
Page; to know if it were my master's fortune to
have her or no.45
FALSTAFF'Tis, 'tis his fortune.
SIMPLEWhat, sir?
FALSTAFFTo have her, or no. Go; say the woman told me so.
SIMPLEMay I be bold to say so, sir?
FALSTAFFAy, sir; like who more bold.50
SIMPLEI thank your worship: I shall make my master glad
with these tidings.
HostThou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, Sir John. Was
there a wise woman with thee?
FALSTAFFAy, that there was, mine host; one that hath taught55
me more wit than ever I learned before in my life;
and I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for
my learning.
BARDOLPHOut, alas, sir! cozenage, mere cozenage!
HostWhere be my horses? speak well of them, varletto.60
BARDOLPHRun away with the cozeners; for so soon as I came
beyond Eton, they threw me off from behind one of
them, in a slough of mire; and set spurs and away,
like three German devils, three Doctor Faustuses.
HostThey are gone but to meet the duke, villain: do not65
say they be fled; Germans are honest men.
SIR HUGH EVANSWhere is mine host?
HostWhat is the matter, sir?
SIR HUGH EVANSHave a care of your entertainments: there is a
friend of mine come to town tells me there is three70
cozen-germans that has cozened all the hosts of
Readins, of Maidenhead, of Colebrook, of horses and
money. I tell you for good will, look you: you
are wise and full of gibes and vlouting-stocks, and
'tis not convenient you should be cozened. Fare you well.75
DOCTOR CAIUSVere is mine host de Jarteer?
HostHere, master doctor, in perplexity and doubtful dilemma.
DOCTOR CAIUSI cannot tell vat is dat: but it is tell-a me dat
you make grand preparation for a duke de Jamany: by
my trot, dere is no duke dat the court is know to80
come. I tell you for good vill: adieu.
HostHue and cry, villain, go! Assist me, knight. I am
undone! Fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone!
[Exeunt Host and BARDOLPH]
FALSTAFFI would all the world might be cozened; for I have
been cozened and beaten too. If it should come to85
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 were90
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?
MISTRESS QUICKLYFrom the two parties, forsooth.95
FALSTAFFThe 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.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAnd have not they suffered? Yes, I warrant;100
speciously one of them; Mistress Ford, good heart,
is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a
white spot about her.
FALSTAFFWhat tellest thou me of black and blue? I was
beaten myself into all the colours of the rainbow;105
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.110
MISTRESS QUICKLYSir, 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, that115
you are so crossed.
FALSTAFFCome up into my chamber.

Next: The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 4, Scene 6


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