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  • Title: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folio 1, 1623)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folio 1, 1623)

    Scena Quinta.
    Enter Host, Simple, Falstaffe, Bardolfe, Euans,
    2220Caius, Quickly.
    Host. What wouldst thou haue? (Boore) what? (thick
    skin) speake, breathe, discusse: breefe, short, quicke,
    Simp. Marry Sir, I come to speake with Sir Iohn Fal-
    2225staffe from M. Slender.
    Host. There's his Chamber, his House, his Castle,
    his standing-bed and truckle-bed: 'tis painted about
    with the story of the Prodigall, fresh and new: go, knock
    and call: hee'l speake like an Anthropophaginian vnto
    2230thee: Knocke I say.
    Simp. There's an olde woman, a fat woman gone vp
    into his chamber: Ile be so bold as stay Sir till she come
    downe: I come to speake with her indeed.
    Host. Ha? A fat woman? The Knight may be robb'd:
    2235Ile call. Bully-Knight, Bully Sir Iohn: speake from thy
    Lungs Military: Art thou there? It is thine Host, thine
    Ephesian cals.
    Fal. How now, mine Host?
    Host. Here's a Bohemian-Tartar taries the comming
    2240downe of thy fat-woman: Let her descend (Bully) let
    her descend: my Chambers are honourable: Fie, priua-
    cy? Fie.
    Fal. There was (mine Host) an old-fat-woman euen
    now with me, but she's gone.
    2245Simp. Pray you Sir, was't not the Wise-woman of
    Fal. I marry was it (Mussel-shell) what would you
    with her?
    Simp. My Master (Sir) my master Slender, sent to her
    2250seeing her go thorough the streets, to know (Sir) whe-
    ther one Nim (Sir) that beguil'd him of a chaine, had the
    chaine, or no.
    Fal. I spake with the old woman about it.
    Sim. And what sayes she, I pray Sir?
    2255Fal. Marry shee sayes, that the very same man that
    beguil'd Master Slender of his Chaine, cozon'd him of it.
    Simp. I would I could haue spoken with the Woman
    her selfe, I had other things to haue spoken with her
    too, from him.
    2260Fal. What are they? let vs know.
    Host. I: come: quicke.
    Fal. I may not conceale them (Sir.)
    Host. Conceale them, or thou di'st.
    Sim. Why sir, they were nothing but about Mistris
    2265Anne Page, to know if it were my Masters fortune to
    haue her, or no.
    Fal. 'Tis, 'tis his fortune.
    Sim. What Sir?
    Fal. To haue her, or no: goe; say the woman told
    2270me so.
    Sim. May I be bold to say so Sir?
    Fal. I Sir: like who more bold.
    Sim. I thanke your worship: I shall make my Master
    glad with these tydings.
    2275Host. Thou are clearkly: thou art clearkly (Sir Iohn)
    was there a wise woman with thee?
    Fal. I that there was (mine Host) one that hath taught
    me more wit, then euer I learn'd before in my life: and
    I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for my lear-
    Bar. Out alas (Sir) cozonage: meere cozonage.
    Host. Where be my horses? speake well of them var-
    Bar. Run away with the cozoners: for so soone as
    2285I came beyond Eaton, they threw me off, from behinde
    one of them, in a slough of myre; and set spurres, and
    away; like three Germane-diuels; three Doctor Fau-
    Host. They are gone but to meete the Duke (villaine)
    2290doe not say they be fled: Germanes are honest men.
    Euan. Where is mine Host?
    Host. What is the matter Sir?
    Euan. Haue a care of your entertainments: there is a
    friend of mine come to Towne, tels mee there is three
    2295Cozen-Iermans, that has cozend all the Hosts of Readins,
    of Maidenhead; of Cole-brooke, of horses and money: I
    tell you for good will (looke you) you are wise, and full
    of gibes, and vlouting-stocks: and 'tis not conuenient
    you should be cozoned. Fare you well.
    2300Cai. Ver' is mine Host de Iarteere?
    Host. Here (Master Doctor) in perplexitie, and doubt-
    full delemma.
    Cai. I cannot tell vat is dat: but it is tell-a-me, dat
    you make grand preparation for a Duke de Iamanie: by
    2305my trot: der is no Duke that the Court is know, to
    come: I tell you for good will: adieu.
    Host. Huy and cry, (villaine) goe: assist me Knight, I
    am vndone: fly, run: huy, and cry (villaine) I am vn-
    2310Fal. I would all the world might be cozond, for I
    haue beene cozond and beaten too: if it should come
    to the eare of the Court, how I haue beene transformed;
    and how my transformation hath beene washd, and
    cudgeld, they would melt mee out of my fat drop by
    2315drop, and liquor Fishermens-boots with me: I warrant
    they would whip me with their fine wits, till I were as
    crest-falne as a dride-peare: I neuer prosper'd, since I
    forswore my selfe at Primero: well, if my winde were
    but long enough; I would repent: Now? Whence come
    Qui. From the two parties forsooth.
    Fal. The Diuell take one partie, and his Dam the
    other: and so they shall be both bestowed; I haue suf-
    fer'd more for their sakes; more then the villanous in-
    2325constancy of mans disposition is able to beare.
    Qui. And haue not they suffer'd? Yes, I warrant; spe-
    ciously one of them; Mistris Ford (good heart) is beaten
    blacke and blew, that you cannot see a white spot about
    2330Fal. What tell'st thou mee of blacke, and blew? I
    was beaten my selfe into all the colours of the Raine-
    bow: and I was like to be apprehended for the Witch
    of Braineford, but that my admirable dexteritie of wit,
    my counterfeiting the action of an old woman deliuer'd
    2335me, the knaue Constable had set me ith' Stocks, ith' com-
    mon Stocks, for a Witch.
    Qu, Sir: let me speake with you in your Chamber,
    you shall heare how things goe, and (I warrant) to your
    content: here is a Letter will say somewhat: (good-
    2340hearts) what a-doe here is to bring you together? Sure,
    one of you do's not serue heauen well, that you are so
    Fal. Come vp into my Chamber. Exeunt.