The Merry Wives of Windsor


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Host and Simple
thickskin, thick-skin (n.) brutishly built, dullard, blockhead


HOST

What wouldst thou have, boor? What, thick-skin?

Speak, breathe, discuss; brief, short, quick, snap.
breathe (v.) 1 speak, utter, talk
discuss (v.) disclose, make known, declare


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
truckle-bed (n.) low-lying bed on castors, trundle-bed

the story of the Prodigal, fresh and new. Go, knock and

call. He'll speak like an Anthropophaginian unto thee.
anthropophaginian (n.) man-eater, cannibal

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
bully (n./adj.) [especially as a warm form of address] fine fellow, good friend See Topics: Address forms

lungs military. Art thou there? It is thine host, thine

Ephesian, calls.
Ephesian (n.) good mate, old drinking companion


FALSTAFF

(above)

How now, mine host?


HOST

Here's a Bohemian-Tartar tarries the coming down
Bohemian-Tartar (n.) barbarian, savage beast
tarry (v.) 3 await, expect, anticipate

of thy fat woman. Let her descend, bully, let her descend.
bully (n./adj.) [especially as a warm form of address] fine fellow, good friend See Topics: Address forms

My chambers are honourable. 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
wise woman, wisewoman (n.) fortune-teller, witch, sorceress

Brainford?


FALSTAFF

Ay, marry, was it, mussel-shell. What would
mussel-shell (n.) empty-head, gaping idiot [with mouth open like a mussel-shell]

you with her?


SIMPLE

My master, sir, my Master Slender, sent to her,

seeing her go through the streets, to know, sir, whether

one Nym, sir, that beguiled him of a chain, had the
beguile (v.) 1 cheat, deceive, trick

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.
cozen (v.) cheat, dupe, trick, deceive


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.
conceal (v.) malapropism for ‘reveal’


HOST

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
fortune (n.) 1 good fortune, success

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; 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
clerkly (adj.) scholarly, erudite, full of learning

there a wise woman with thee?
wise woman, wisewoman (n.) fortune-teller, witch, sorceress


FALSTAFF

Ay, that there was, mine host, one that hath

taught me more wit than ever I learned before in my
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

life. And I paid nothing for it neither, but was paid for
pay (v.) 4 beat, make suffer

my learning.

Enter Bardolph
cozenage (n.) cheating, trickery, deception
mere (adj.) 1 complete, total, absolute, utter See Topics: Frequency count


BARDOLPH

Out, alas, sir, cozenage, mere cozenage!


HOST

Where be my horses? Speak well of them, varletto.
varletto (n.) [mock-Italian] varlet, rascal, rogue


BARDOLPH

Run away with the cozeners. For so soon as
cozener (n.) cheat, deceiver, fraud

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
villain (n.) 2 scoundrel, rogue, rascal

not say they be fled. Germans are honest men.

Enter Evans


EVANS

Where is mine host?


HOST

What is the matter, sir?


EVANS

Have a care of your entertainments. There is a
entertainment (n.) 8 [mistaken use] guest, resident

friend of mine come to town tells me there is three

cozen-germans that has cozened all the hosts of Readins,
cozen-german (n.) German confidence trickster; or: first cousin

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-stocks, and 'tis not convenient you
convenient (adj.) fitting, suitable, appropriate
gibe (n.) scoff, taunt, jeer
vlouting-stock, -stog (n.) dialect form of ‘flouting-stock’ [= laughing-stock, object of derision] See Topics: Welsh

should be cozened. Fare you well.
cozen (v.) cheat, dupe, trick, deceive

Exit

Enter Caius


CAIUS

Vere is mine host de Jarteer?


HOST

Here, Master Doctor, in perplexity and doubtful
doubtful (adj.) 1 fearful, worried, apprehensive

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 that the court is know to come. I

tell you for good will. Adieu.

Exit


HOST

Hue and cry, villain, go! Assist me, knight. I am
hue and cry (n.) general pursuit [of a felon]

undone! Fly, run, hue and cry, villain! I am undone!
undone (adj.) ruined, destroyed, brought down See Topics: Frequency count

Exeunt Host and Bardolph


FALSTAFF

I would all the world might be cozened, for I
cozen (v.) cheat, dupe, trick, deceive

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
liquor (v.) 1 grease, oil

whip me with their fine wits till I were as crestfallen as a
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

dried pear. I never prospered since I forswore myself at
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word See Topics: Frequency count

primero. Well, if my wind were but long enough to say
primero (n.) type of gambling card game

my prayers, I would repent.

Enter Mistress Quickly

Now, whence come you?


MISTRESS QUICKLY

From the two parties, forsooth.
forsooth (adv.) in truth, certainly, truly, indeed See Topics: Frequency count


FALSTAFF

The devil take one party, and his dam the

other! And so they shall be both bestowed. I have
bestow (v.) 4 accommodate, lodge, quarter

suffered more for their sakes, more than the villainous

inconstancy of man's disposition is able to bear.
disposition (n.) 2 natural temperament, normal state of mind


MISTRESS QUICKLY

And have not they suffered? Yes, I

warrant; speciously one of them. Mistress Ford, good
speciously (adv.) malapropism for ‘specially’
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

heart, is beaten black and blue, that you cannot see a

white spot about her.


FALSTAFF

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
apprehend (v.) 1 seize, arrest, lay hold of
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count

Brainford. But that my admirable dexterity of wit, my
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

counterfeiting the action of an old woman, delivered me,
action (n.) 8 movement, demeanour, gesture
counterfeit (v.) 1 copy, imitate, simulate See Topics: Frequency count

the knave constable had set me i'th'stocks, i'th'common
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

stocks, for a witch.


MISTRESS QUICKLY

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.
content (n.) 3 acceptance, acquiescence
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

Good hearts, what ado here is to bring you together!

Sure, one of you does not serve heaven well, that you are

so crossed.
cross (v.) 1 prevent, thwart, forestall


FALSTAFF

Come up into my chamber.

Exeunt

 
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