The Merry Wives of Windsor - Act 4, scene 5
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Act 4, scene 5
The Host learns his horses have been stolen. Mistress Quickly approaches Falstaff with another invitation, this time to meet Mistress Ford and Mistress Page.Enter Host ⌜and⌝ Simple.
HOST 2397 What wouldst thou have, boor? What, thickskin?
2398 Speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick,
SIMPLE 2400 Marry, sir, I come to speak with Sir John Falstaff
2401 5 from Master Slender.
HOST 2402 There’s his chamber, his house, his castle, his
2403 standing-bed and truckle-bed. ’Tis painted about
2404 with the story of the Prodigal, fresh and new. Go,
2405 knock and call. He’ll speak like an Anthropophaginian
2406 10 unto thee. Knock, I say.
SIMPLE 2407 There’s an old woman, a fat woman, gone up
2408 into his chamber. I’ll be so bold as stay, sir, till she
2409 come down. I come to speak with her, indeed.
HOST 2410 Ha? A fat woman? The knight may be robbed.
2411 15 I’ll call.—Bully knight! Bully Sir John! Speak from
2413 thine Ephesian, calls.
FALSTAFF, ⌜within⌝ 2414 How now, mine Host?
HOST 2415 Here’s a Bohemian Tartar tarries the coming
2416 20 down of thy fat woman. Let her descend, bully, let
2417 her descend. My chambers are honorable. Fie! Privacy?
Enter ⌜Sir John⌝ Falstaff.
FALSTAFF 2419 There was, mine Host, an old fat woman
2420 even now with me, but she’s gone.
SIMPLE 2421 25Pray you, sir, was ’t not the wise woman of
FALSTAFF 2423 Ay, marry, was it, mussel-shell. What would
2424 you with her?
SIMPLE 2425 My master, sir, my Master Slender, sent to her,
2426 30 seeing her go through the streets, to know, sir,
2427 whether one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain,
2428 had the chain or no.
FALSTAFF 2429 I spake with the old woman about it.
SIMPLE 2430 And what says she, I pray, sir?
FALSTAFF 2431 35Marry, she says that the very same man that
2432 beguiled Master Slender of his chain cozened him
2433 of it.
SIMPLE 2434 I would I could have spoken with the woman
2435 herself. I had other things to have spoken with her
2436 40 too from him.
FALSTAFF 2437 What are they? Let us know.
HOST 2438 Ay, come. Quick!
⌜SIMPLE⌝ 2439 I may not conceal them, sir.
HOST 2440 Conceal them, or thou diest.
SIMPLE 2441 45Why, sir, they were nothing but about Mistress
2442 Anne Page, to know if it were my master’s fortune
2443 to have her or no.
FALSTAFF 2444 ’Tis; ’tis his fortune.
SIMPLE 2445 What, sir?
2447 me so.
SIMPLE 2448 May I be bold to say so, sir?
FALSTAFF 2449 Ay, sir; like who more bold.
SIMPLE 2450 I thank your Worship. I shall make my master
2451 55 glad with these tidings.⌜He exits.⌝
HOST 2452 Thou ⌜art⌝ clerkly, thou art clerkly, Sir John. Was
2453 there a wise woman with thee?
FALSTAFF 2454 Ay, that there was, mine Host, one that hath
2455 taught me more wit than ever I learned before in
2456 60 my life. And I paid nothing for it neither, but was
2457 paid for my learning.
BARDOLPH, ⌜to Host⌝ 2458 Out, alas, sir, cozenage, mere
HOST 2460 Where be my horses? Speak well of them,
2461 65 varletto.
BARDOLPH 2462 Run away with the cozeners. For so soon as
2463 I came beyond Eton, they threw me off from behind
2464 one of them in a slough of mire, and set
2465 spurs, and away, like three German devils, three
2466 70 Doctor Faustuses.
HOST 2467 They are gone but to meet the Duke, villain. Do
2468 not say they be fled. Germans are honest men.
Enter ⌜Sir Hugh⌝ Evans.
SIR HUGH 2469 Where is mine Host?
HOST 2470 What is the matter, sir?
SIR HUGH 2471 75Have a care of your entertainments. There is
2472 a friend of mine come to town tells me there is
2473 three cozen-Germans that has cozened all the
2474 hosts of Readings, of Maidenhead, of Colnbrook,
2475 of horses and money. I tell you for good will, look
2476 80 you. You are wise, and full of gibes and vlouting-stocks,
2477 and ’tis not convenient you should be cozened.
2478 Fare you well.⌜He exits.⌝
DOCTOR CAIUS 2479 Vere is mine Host de Jarteer?
HOST 2480 Here, Master Doctor, in perplexity and doubtful
2481 85 dilemma.
DOCTOR CAIUS 2482 I cannot tell vat is dat. But it is tell-a me
2483 dat you make grand preparation for a duke de
2484 Jamanie. By my trot, dere is no duke that the court
2485 is know to come. I tell you for good will. Adieu.
HOST, ⌜to Bardolph⌝ 2486 90Hue and cry, villain, go!—Assist
2487 me, knight. I am undone.—Fly, run; hue and cry,
2488 villain! I am undone.⌜Host and Bardolph exit.⌝
FALSTAFF 2489 I would all the world might be cozened, for I
2490 have been cozened and beaten too. If it should
2491 95 come to the ear of the court how I have been transformed,
2492 and how my transformation hath been
2493 washed and cudgeled, they would melt me out of
2494 my fat drop by drop, and liquor fishermen’s boots
2495 with me. I warrant they would whip me with their
2496 100 fine wits till I were as crestfallen as a dried pear. I
2497 never prospered since I forswore myself at
2498 primero. Well, if my wind were but long enough, I
2499 would repent.
Enter ⌜Mistress⌝ Quickly.
2500 Now, whence come you?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 2501 105From the two parties, forsooth.
FALSTAFF 2502 The devil take one party, and his dam the
2503 other, and so they shall be both bestowed. I have
2504 suffered more for their sakes, more than the villainous
2505 inconstancy of man’s disposition is able to
2506 110 bear.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 2507 And have not they suffered? Yes, I
2508 warrant, speciously one of them. Mistress Ford,
2510 see a white spot about her.
FALSTAFF 2511 115What tell’st thou me of black and blue? I was
2512 beaten myself into all the colors of the rainbow,
2513 and I was like to be apprehended for the witch of
2514 Brentford. But that my admirable dexterity of wit,
2515 my counterfeiting the action of an old woman, delivered
2516 120 me, the knave constable had set me i’ th’
2517 stocks, i’ th’ common stocks, for a witch.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 2518 Sir, let me speak with you in your
2519 chamber. You shall hear how things go, and, I warrant,
2520 to your content. Here is a letter will say
2521 125 somewhat. ⌜She gives him a paper.⌝ Good hearts,
2522 what ado here is to bring you together! Sure, one
2523 of you does not serve heaven well, that you are so
FALSTAFF 2525 Come up into my chamber.