William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor in the complete original text.
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The Merry Wives of Windsor

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Act IV. Scene V.

Scene V.—A Room in the Garter Inn.

Enter Host and SIMPLE.

Host. What wouldst thou have, boor? what,
thick-skin? speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short,
quick, snap.
Sim. Marry, sir, I come to speak with Sir
John Falstaff from Master Slender.
Host. There's his chamber, his house, his
castle, his standing-bed and truckle-bed: 'tis
painted about with the story of the Prodigal,
fresh and new. Go knock and call: he'll speak
like an Anthropophaginian unto thee: knock,
I say.
Sim. There's an old woman, a fat woman,
gone up into his chamber: I'll be so bold as
stay, sir, till she come down; I come to speak
with her, indeed.
Host. Ha! 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 thine host, thine Ephesian, calls.
Fal. [Above.] How now, mine host!
Host. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the
coming down of thy fat woman. Let her de-
scend, bully; let her descend; my chambers are
honourable: fie! privacy? fie!

Enter FALSTAFF.
Fal. There was, mine host, an old fat woman
even now with me, but she's gone.
Sim. Pray you, sir, was't not the wise woman
of Brainford?
Fal. Ay, marry, was it, muscle-shell: what
would you with her?
Sim. My Master, sir, Master Slender, sent to
her, seeing her go thorough the streets, to know,
sir, whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of
a chain, had the chain or no.
Fal. I spake with the old woman about it.
Sim. And what says she, I pray, sir?
Fal. Marry, she says that the very same man
that beguiled Master Slender of his chain
cozened him of it.
Sim. I would I could have spoken with the
woman herself: I had other things to have
spoken with her too, from him.
Fal. What are they? let us know.
Host. Ay, come; quick.
Sim. I may not conceal them, sir.
Host. Conceal them, or thou diest.
Sim. Why, sir, they were nothing but about
Mistress Anne Page; to know if it were my
master's fortune to have her or no.
Fal. 'Tis, 'tis his fortune.
Sim. What, sir?
Fal. To have her, or no. Go; say the
woman told me so.
Sim. May I be bold to say so, sir?
Fal. Ay, Sir Tike; who more bold?
Sim. I thank your worship: I shall make my
master glad with these tidings. [Exit.
Host. Thou art clerkly, thou art clerkly, Sir
John. Was there a wise woman with thee?
Fal. 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.

Enter BARDOLPH.
Bard. Out, alas, sir! cozenage, mere cozenage!
Host. Where be my horses? speak well of
them, varletto.
Bard. Run 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.
Host. They are gone but to meet the duke,
villain. Do not say they be fled: Germans are
honest men.

Enter SIR HUGH EVANS.
Eva. Where is mine host?
Host. What is the matter, sir?
Eva. Have a care of your entertainments:
there is a friend of mine come to town, tells me,
there is three 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-stogs, and 'tis not convenient
you should be cozened. Fare you well. [Exit.

Enter DOCTOR CAIUS.
Caius. Vere is mine host de Jarteer?
Host. Here, Master doctor, in perplexity and
doubtful dilemma
Caius. I 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 de
court is know to come. I tell you for good vill:
adieu. [Exit.
Host. Hue and cry, villain! go. Assist me,
knight; I am undone. Fly, run, hue and cry,
villain! I am undone!
[Exeunt Host and BARDOLPH.
Fal. 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 pros-
pered 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?
Quick. From the two parties, forsooth.
Fal. 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.
Quick. 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.
Fal. 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 Brainford: but that my admirable
dexterity of wit, my counterfeiting the action
of an old woman, delivered me, the knave con-
stable had set me i' the stocks, i' the common
stocks, for a witch.
Quick. 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.
Fal. Come up into my chamber. [Exeunt.
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