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The Merry Wives of Windsor - Act 1, scene 4
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Navigate this workThe Merry Wives of Windsor - Act 1, scene 4
Act 1, scene 4
Delivering Sir Hugh’s letter to Mistress Quickly, Simple is discovered by her employer Dr. Caius (another of Anne’s suitors). Furious with Sir Hugh for interfering on behalf of Slender, Dr. Caius writes Sir Hugh challenging him to a duel.Enter Mistress Quickly ⌜and⌝ Simple.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0428 What, John Rugby! (Enter John
Rugby.) 0429 I pray thee, go to the casement and see if
0430 you can see my master, Master Doctor Caius, coming.
0431 If he do, i’ faith, and find anybody in the
0432 5 house, here will be an old abusing of God’s patience
0433 and the King’s English.
RUGBY 0434 I’ll go watch.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0435 Go, and we’ll have a posset for ’t
0436 soon at night, in faith, at the latter end of a seacoal
0437 10 fire. ⌜(Rugby exits.)⌝ An honest, willing, kind fellow
0438 as ever servant shall come in house withal; and, I
0439 warrant you, no telltale nor no breed-bate. His
0440 worst fault is that he is given to prayer. He is something
0441 peevish that way, but nobody but has his
0442 15 fault. But let that pass. Peter Simple you say your
0443 name is?
SIMPLE 0444 Ay, for fault of a better.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0445 And Master Slender’s your master?
SIMPLE 0446 Ay, forsooth.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0447 20Does he not wear a great round
0448 beard like a glover’s paring knife?
SIMPLE 0449 No, forsooth. He hath but a little wee face,
0450 with a little yellow beard, a Cain-colored beard.
p. 35MISTRESS QUICKLY 0451 A softly-sprited man, is he not?
SIMPLE 0452 25Ay, forsooth. But he is as tall a man of his
0453 hands as any is between this and his head. He hath
0454 fought with a warrener.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0455 How say you? O, I should remember
0456 him. Does he not hold up his head, as it were,
0457 30 and strut in his gait?
SIMPLE 0458 Yes, indeed, does he.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0459 Well, heaven send Anne Page no
0460 worse fortune! Tell Master Parson Evans I will do
0461 what I can for your master. Anne is a good girl, and
0462 35 I wish—
RUGBY 0463 Out, alas! Here comes my master.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0464 We shall all be shent.—Run in here,
0465 good young man. Go into this closet. He will not
0466 stay long. ⌜(Simple exits.)⌝ What, John Rugby!
0467 40 John! What, John, I say! Go, John, go enquire for
0468 my master. I doubt he be not well, that he comes
0469 not home.⌜Rugby exits.⌝
0470 ⌜(She sings.)⌝ And down, down, adown ’a, etc.
Enter Doctor Caius.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0471 Vat is you sing? I do not like dese toys.
0472 45 Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un boîtier
0473 vert, a box, a green-a box. Do intend vat I speak?
0474 A green-a box.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0475 Ay, forsooth. I’ll fetch it you.
0476 ⌜(Aside.)⌝ I am glad he went not in himself. If he
0477 50 had found the young man, he would have been
0478 horn-mad.⌜She exits.⌝
DOCTOR CAIUS 0479 Fe, fe, fe, fe! Ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je
0480 m’en vais à la cour—la grande affaire.
⌜Enter Mistress Quickly with a small box.⌝
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0481 Is it this, sir?
DOCTOR CAIUS 0482 55Oui, mets-le à mon pocket. Dépêche,
0483 quickly. Vere is dat knave Rugby?
p. 37MISTRESS QUICKLY 0484 What, John Rugby, John!
RUGBY 0485 Here, sir.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0486 You are John Rugby, and you are Jack
0487 60 Rugby. Come, take-a your rapier, and come after
0488 my heel to the court.
RUGBY 0489 ’Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0490 By my trot, I tarry too long. Od’s
0491 me! Qu’ai-j’oublié? Dere is some simples in my
0492 65 closet dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave
0493 behind.⌜He exits.⌝
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0494 Ay me! He’ll find the young man
0495 there, and be mad!
⌜Enter Doctor Caius.⌝
DOCTOR CAIUS 0496 O diable, diable! Vat is in my closet? Villainy!
0497 70 Larron! ⌜(Pulling out Simple.)⌝ Rugby, my
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0499 Good master, be content.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0500 Wherefore shall I be content-a?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0501 The young man is an honest man.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0502 75What shall de honest man do in my
0503 closet? Dere is no honest man dat shall come in
0504 my closet.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0505 I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic.
0506 Hear the truth of it. He came of an errand to me
0507 80 from Parson Hugh.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0508 Vell?
SIMPLE 0509 Ay, forsooth. To desire her to—
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0510 Peace, I pray you.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0511 Peace-a your tongue.—Speak-a your
0512 85 tale.
SIMPLE 0513 To desire this honest gentlewoman, your
0514 maid, to speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page
0515 for my master in the way of marriage.
p. 39MISTRESS QUICKLY 0516 This is all, indeed, la! But I’ll ne’er
0517 90 put my finger in the fire, and need not.
DOCTOR CAIUS, ⌜to Simple⌝ 0518 Sir Hugh send-a you?—
0519 Rugby, baille me some paper.—Tarry you a little-a
⌜Rugby brings paper, and Doctor Caius writes.⌝
MISTRESS QUICKLY, ⌜aside to Simple⌝ 0521 I am glad he is so
0522 95 quiet. If he had been throughly moved, you should
0523 have heard him so loud and so melancholy. But
0524 notwithstanding, man, I’ll do you your master
0525 what good I can. And the very yea and the no is,
0526 the French doctor, my master—I may call him my
0527 100 master, look you, for I keep his house, and I wash,
0528 wring, brew, bake, scour, dress meat and drink,
0529 make the beds, and do all myself—
SIMPLE, ⌜aside to Quickly⌝ 0530 ’Tis a great charge to come
0531 under one body’s hand.
MISTRESS QUICKLY, ⌜aside to Simple⌝ 0532 105Are you advised o’
0533 that? You shall find it a great charge. And to be up
0534 early and down late. But notwithstanding—to tell
0535 you in your ear; I would have no words of it—my
0536 master himself is in love with Mistress Anne Page.
0537 110 But notwithstanding that, I know Anne’s mind.
0538 That’s neither here nor there.
DOCTOR CAIUS, ⌜handing paper to Simple⌝ 0539 You, jack’nape,
0540 give-a this letter to Sir Hugh. By gar, it is a
0541 shallenge. I will cut his troat in de park, and I will
0542 115 teach a scurvy jackanape priest to meddle or
0543 make. You may be gone. It is not good you tarry
0544 here.—By gar, I will cut all his two stones. By gar,
0545 he shall not have a stone to throw at his dog.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0546 Alas, he speaks but for his friend.
DOCTOR CAIUS 0547 120It is no matter-a ver dat. Do not you tell-a
0548 me dat I shall have Anne Page for myself? By gar, I
0549 vill kill de jack priest; and I have appointed mine
p. 410550 Host of de Jarteer to measure our weapon. By gar,
0551 I will myself have Anne Page.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0552 125Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall
0553 be well. We must give folks leave to prate. What
0554 the goodyear!
DOCTOR CAIUS 0555 Rugby, come to the court with me. ⌜(To
Mistress Quickly.)⌝ 0556 By gar, if I have not Anne Page,
0557 130 I shall turn your head out of my door.—Follow my
0558 heels, Rugby.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0559 You shall have Anne—
⌜Caius and Rugby exit.⌝
0560 fool’s head of your own. No, I know Anne’s mind
0561 for that. Never a woman in Windsor knows more
0562 135 of Anne’s mind than I do, nor can do more than I
0563 do with her, I thank heaven.
FENTON, ⌜within⌝ 0564 Who’s within there, ho?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0565 Who’s there, I trow? Come near the
0566 house, I pray you.
FENTON 0567 140How now, good woman? How dost thou?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0568 The better that it pleases your good
0569 Worship to ask.
FENTON 0570 What news? How does pretty Mistress Anne?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0571 In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and
0572 145 honest, and gentle; and one that is your friend, I
0573 can tell you that by the way, I praise heaven for it.
FENTON 0574 Shall I do any good, think’st thou? Shall I not
0575 lose my suit?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0576 Troth, sir, all is in His hands above.
0577 150 But notwithstanding, Master Fenton, I’ll be sworn
0578 on a book she loves you. Have not your Worship a
0579 wart above your eye?
FENTON 0580 Yes, marry, have I. What of that?
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0581 Well, thereby hangs a tale. Good
0582 155 faith, it is such another Nan! But, I detest, an honest
p. 430583 maid as ever broke bread. We had an hour’s
0584 talk of that wart. I shall never laugh but in that
0585 maid’s company. But, indeed, she is given too
0586 much to allicholy and musing. But, for you,—well,
0587 160 go to.
FENTON 0588 Well, I shall see her today. Hold, there’s
0589 money for thee. ⌜(He hands her money.)⌝ Let me
0590 have thy voice in my behalf. If thou see’st her before
0591 me, commend me.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0592 165Will I? I’ faith, that we will. And I
0593 will tell your Worship more of the wart the next
0594 time we have confidence, and of other wooers.
FENTON 0595 Well, farewell. I am in great haste now.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 0596 Farewell to your Worship.
0597 170 Truly an honest gentleman—but Anne loves him
0598 not, for I know Anne’s mind as well as another
0599 does. Out upon ’t! What have I forgot?