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  • Title: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Quarto 1, 1602)

  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Quarto 1, 1602)

    Enter Host and Simple.
    2220Host. What would thou haue boore, what thick-
    Speake, breath, discus, short, quick, briefe, snap.
    Sim. Sir, I am sent frõ my M. to sir Iohn Falstaffe.
    2225Host. Sir Iohn, theres his Castle, his standing bed,
    his trundle bed, his chamber is painted about with
    the story of the prodigall, fresh and new, go knock,
    heele speak like an Antripophiginian to thee:
    Knock I say.
    2230Sim. Sir I should speak with an old woman that
    2230went vp into his chamber.
    Host. An old woman, the knight may be robbed,
    Ile call bully knight, bully sir Iohn. Speake from thy
    2235Lungs military: it is thine host, thy Ephesian calls.
    Fal. Now mine Host.
    Host. Here is a Bohemian tarter bully, tarries the
    comming downe of the fat woman: Let her descēd
    2240bully, let her descend, my chambers are honorable,
    2240pah priuasie, fie.
    Fal. Indeed mine host there was afat woman with
    But she is gone.
    Enter Sir Iohn.
    Sim. Pray sir was it not the wise woman of Brain-
    Fal. Marry was it Musselshell, what would you?
    Sim. Marry sir my maister Slender sent me to her,
    To know whether one Nim that hath his chaine,
    Cousoned him of it, or no.
    Fal. I talked with the woman about it.
    Sim. And I pray sir what ses she?
    Fal. Marry she ses the very same man that
    2255Beguiled maister Slender of his chaine,
    2255Cousoned him of it.
    2270Sim. May I be bolde to tell my maister so sir?
    Fal. I tike, who more bolde.
    Sim. I thanke you sir, I shall make my maister a
    glad man at these tydings, God be with you sir.
    Host. Thou art clarkly sir Iohn, thou art clarkly,
    2275Was there a wise woman with thee?
    Fal. Marry was there mine host, one that taught
    Me more wit then I learned this 7. yeare,
    And I paid nothing for it,
    But was paid for my learning.
    Enter Bardolfe.
    2280Bar. O Lord sir cousonage, plaine cousonage.
    Host. Why man, where be my horses? where be
    2281.1the Germanes?
    Bar. Rid away with your horses:
    After I came beyond Maidenhead,
    They flung me in a slow of myre, & away they ran.
    Enter Doctor.
    Doc. Where be my Host de gartyre?
    2300Host. O here sir in perplexitie.
    Doc. I cannot tell vad be dad,
    But begar I will tell you van ting,
    Dear be a Garmaine Duke come to de Court,
    2303.1Has cosened all de host of Branford,
    And Redding: begar I tell you for good will,
    Ha, ha, mine Host, am I euen met you?
    Enter Sir Hugh.
    2290Sir Hu. Where is mine Host of the gartyr?
    Now my Host, I would desire you looke you now,
    2292.1To haue a care of your entertainments,
    For there is three sorts of cosen garmombles,
    Is cosen all the Host of Maidenhead & Readings,
    2295 Now you are an honest man, and a scuruy beg-
    2295.1gerly lowsie knaue beside:
    And can point wrong places,
    I tell you for good will, grate why mine Host.
    Host. I am cosened Hugh, and coy Bardolfe,
    Sweet knight assist me, I am cosened.
    Fal. Would all the worell were cosened for me,
    2310For I am cousoned and beaten too.
    Well, I neuer prospered since I forswore
    My selfe at Primero: and my winde
    Were but long inough to say my prayers,
    Ide repent, now from whence come you?
    Enter Mistresse Quickly.
    2320Quic. From the two parties forsooth.
    Fal. The diuell take the one partie,
    And his dam the other,
    And theyle be both bestowed.
    I haue endured more for their sakes,
    Then man is able to endure.
    2325Quic. O Lord sir, they are the sorowfulst creatures
    That euer liued: specially mistresse Ford,
    Her husband hath beaten her that she is all
    Blacke and blew poore soule.
    Fal. What tellest me of blacke and blew,
    I haue bene beaten all the colours in the Rainbow,
    And in my escape like to a bene apprehended
    For a witch of Brainford, and set in the stockes.
    Quic. Well sir, she is a sorrowfull woman,
    And I hope when you heare my errant,
    Youle be perswaded to the contrarie.
    Fal. Come goe with me into my chamber, Ile
    heare thee.
    Exit omnes.