|The Merry Wives of Windsor|
| Merry Wives of Windsor
| Act 1, Scene 4
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Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY, SIMPLE, and RUGBYMISTRESS QUICKLY
What, John Rugby! I pray thee, go to the casement,RUGBY
and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor
Caius, coming. If he do, i' faith, and find any
body in the house, here will be an old abusing of
God's patience and the king's English.
I'll go watch.MISTRESS QUICKLY
Go; and we'll have a posset for't soon at night, inSIMPLE
faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire.
Exit RUGBYAn honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant
shall come in house withal, and, I warrant you, no
tell-tale nor no breed-bate: his worst fault is,
that he is given to prayer; he is something peevish
that way: but nobody but has his fault; but let
that pass. Peter Simple, you say your name is?
Ay, for fault of a better.MISTRESS QUICKLY
And Master Slender's your master?SIMPLE
Ay, forsooth.MISTRESS QUICKLY
Does he not wear a great round beard, like aSIMPLE
No, forsooth: he hath but a little wee face, with aMISTRESS QUICKLY
little yellow beard, a Cain-coloured beard.
A softly-sprighted man, is he not?SIMPLE
Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his handsMISTRESS QUICKLY
as any is between this and his head; he hath fought
with a warrener.
How say you? O, I should remember him: does he notSIMPLE
hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?
Yes, indeed, does he.MISTRESS QUICKLY
Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! TellRUGBY
Master Parson Evans I will do what I can for your
master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish--
Out, alas! here comes my master.MISTRESS QUICKLY
We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young man;DOCTOR CAIUS
go into this closet: he will not stay long.
Shuts SIMPLE in the closetWhat, John Rugby! John! what, John, I say!
Go, John, go inquire for my master; I doubt
he be not well, that he comes not home.
SingingAnd down, down, adown-a, & c.
Enter DOCTOR CAIUS
Vat is you sing? I do not like des toys. Pray you,MISTRESS QUICKLY
go and vetch me in my closet un boitier vert, a box,
a green-a box: do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.
Ay, forsooth; I'll fetch it you.DOCTOR CAIUS
AsideI am glad he went not in himself: if he had found
the young man, he would have been horn-mad.
Fe, fe, fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. JeMISTRESS QUICKLY
m'en vais a la cour--la grande affaire.
Is it this, sir?DOCTOR CAIUS
Oui; mette le au mon pocket: depeche, quickly. VereMISTRESS QUICKLY
is dat knave Rugby?
What, John Rugby! John!RUGBY
Here, sir!DOCTOR CAIUS
You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby. Come,RUGBY
take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to the court.
'Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.DOCTOR CAIUS
By my trot, I tarry too long. Od's me!MISTRESS QUICKLY
Qu'ai-j'oublie! dere is some simples in my closet,
dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.
Ay me, he'll find the young man here, and be mad!DOCTOR CAIUS
O diable, diable! vat is in my closet? Villain! larron!MISTRESS QUICKLY
Pulling SIMPLE outRugby, my rapier!
Good master, be content.DOCTOR CAIUS
Wherefore shall I be content-a?MISTRESS QUICKLY
The young man is an honest man.DOCTOR CAIUS
What shall de honest man do in my closet? dere isMISTRESS QUICKLY
no honest man dat shall come in my closet.
I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic. Hear the truthDOCTOR CAIUS
of it: he came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh.
Ay, forsooth; to desire her to--MISTRESS QUICKLY
Peace, I pray you.DOCTOR CAIUS
Peace-a your tongue. Speak-a your tale.SIMPLE
To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, toMISTRESS QUICKLY
speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page for my
master in the way of marriage.
This is all, indeed, la! but I'll ne'er put myDOCTOR CAIUS
finger in the fire, and need not.
Sir Hugh send-a you? Rugby, baille me some paper.MISTRESS QUICKLY
Tarry you a little-a while.
[Aside to SIMPLE] I am glad he is so quiet: if heSIMPLE
had been thoroughly moved, you should have heard him
so loud and so melancholy. But notwithstanding,
man, I'll do you your master what good I can: and
the very yea and the no is, the French doctor, my
master,--I may call him my master, look you, for I
keep his house; and I wash, wring, brew, bake,
scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds and do
[Aside to MISTRESS QUICKLY] 'Tis a great charge toMISTRESS QUICKLY
come under one body's hand.
[Aside to SIMPLE] Are you avised o' that? youDOCTOR CAIUS
shall find it a great charge: and to be up early
and down late; but notwithstanding,--to tell you in
your ear; I would have no words of it,--my master
himself is in love with Mistress Anne Page: but
notwithstanding that, I know Anne's mind,--that's
neither here nor there.
You jack'nape, give-a this letter to Sir Hugh; byMISTRESS QUICKLY
gar, it is a shallenge: I will cut his troat in dee
park; and I will teach a scurvy jack-a-nape priest
to meddle or make. You may be gone; it is not good
you tarry here. By gar, I will cut all his two
stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to throw
at his dog:
Alas, he speaks but for his friend.DOCTOR CAIUS
It is no matter-a ver dat: do not you tell-a meMISTRESS QUICKLY
dat I shall have Anne Page for myself? By gar, I
vill kill de Jack priest; and I have appointed mine
host of de Jarteer to measure our weapon. By gar, I
will myself have Anne Page.
Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. WeDOCTOR CAIUS
must give folks leave to prate: what, the good-jer!
Rugby, come to the court with me. By gar, if I haveMISTRESS QUICKLY
not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my
door. Follow my heels, Rugby.
Exeunt DOCTOR CAIUS and RUGBY
You shall have An fool's-head of your own. No, IFENTON
know Anne's mind for that: never a woman in Windsor
knows more of Anne's mind than I do; nor can do more
than I do with her, I thank heaven.
[Within] Who's within there? ho!MISTRESS QUICKLY
Who's there, I trow! Come near the house, I pray you.FENTON
How now, good woman? how dost thou?MISTRESS QUICKLY
The better that it pleases your good worship to ask.FENTON
What news? how does pretty Mistress Anne?MISTRESS QUICKLY
In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, andFENTON
gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you
that by the way; I praise heaven for it.
Shall I do any good, thinkest thou? shall I not lose my suit?MISTRESS QUICKLY
Troth, sir, all is in his hands above: butFENTON
notwithstanding, Master Fenton, I'll be sworn on a
book, she loves you. Have not your worship a wart
above your eye?
Yes, marry, have I; what of that?MISTRESS QUICKLY
Well, thereby hangs a tale: good faith, it is suchFENTON
another Nan; but, I detest, an honest maid as ever
broke bread: we had an hour's talk of that wart. I
shall never laugh but in that maid's company! But
indeed she is given too much to allicholy and
musing: but for you--well, go to.
Well, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there's moneyMISTRESS QUICKLY
for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if
thou seest her before me, commend me.
Will I? i'faith, that we will; and I will tell yourFENTON
worship more of the wart the next time we have
confidence; and of other wooers.
Well, farewell; I am in great haste now.MISTRESS QUICKLY
Farewell to your worship.
Exit FENTONTruly, an honest gentleman: but Anne loves him not;
for I know Anne's mind as well as another does. Out
upon't! what have I forgot?
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