The Merry Wives of Windsor By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scenes 5-6

ACT IV. SCENE 5. 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.

SIMPLE.
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.

SIMPLE.
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.

FALSTAFF.
[Above] How now, mine host?

HOST.
Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down of thy fat woman.
Let her descend, bully, let her descend; my chambers are honourible.
Fie! privacy? fie!

[Enter FALSTAFF.]

FALSTAFF.
There was, mine host, an old fat woman even now with, me; but
she's gone.

SIMPLE.
Pray you, sir, was't not the wise woman of Brainford?

FALSTAFF.
Ay, marry was it, mussel-shell: what would you with her?

SIMPLE.
My master, sir, my 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.

FALSTAFF.
I spake with the old woman about it.

SIMPLE.
And what says she, I pray, sir?

FALSTAFF.
Marry, she says that the very same man that beguiled Master Slender
of his chain cozened him of it.

SIMPLE.
I would I could have spoken with the woman herself; I had other
things to have spoken with her too, from him.

FALSTAFF.
What are they? Let us know.

HOST.
Ay, come; quick.

SIMPLE.
I may not conceal them, sir.

FALSTAFF.
Conceal them, or thou diest.

SIMPLE.
Why, sir, they were nothing but about Mistress Anne Page: to know
if it were my master's fortune to have her or no.

FALSTAFF.
'Tis, 'tis his fortune.

SIMPLE.
What sir?

FALSTAFF.
To have her, or no. Go; say the woman told me so.

SIMPLE.
May I be bold to say so, sir?

FALSTAFF.
Ay, Sir Tike; like who more bold?

SIMPLE.
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?

FALSTAFF.
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.]

BARDOLPH.
Out, alas, sir! cozenage, mere cozenage!

HOST.
Where be my horses? Speak well of them, varletto.

BARDOLPH.
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.]

EVANS.
Where is mine host?

HOST.
What is the matter, sir?

EVANS.
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.]

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