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Merry Wives of Windsor :: Scenes :: Merry Wives of Windsor: Act III, Scene 1

Scene 1

A field near Frogmore.

(Evans; Simple; Page; Shallow; Slender; Host; Caius; Rugby)

Sir Hugh is waiting for Dr. Caius, singing to himself to try and keep his courage up. Shallow, Slender and Page come in, and tell Evans that they are hoping to reconcile him with the doctor. The Host brings Caius in, and while they exchange threats, he admits that he has tricked them, arranging that they wouldn’t meet so he could make them avoid the duel. Caius and Evans plot revenge. ( line)

Enter Evans, Simple.

EVANS.

I pray you now, good Master Slender’s servingman, and friend Simple by your name, which way have you look’d for Master Caius, that calls himself Doctor of Physic?

SIM.

Marry, sir, the pittie-ward, the park-ward—every way; Old Windsor way, and every way but the town way.

EVANS.

I most fehemently desire you you will also look that way.

SIM.

I will, sir.

Exit.

EVANS.

Jeshu pless my soul! How full of chollors I am and trempling of mind! I shall be glad if he have deceiv’d me. How melancholies I am! I will knog his urinals about his knave’s costard when I have good opportunities for the ork. Pless my soul!

Sings.

“To shallow rivers, to whose falls

Melodious birds sings madrigals;

There will we make our peds of roses,

And a thousand fragrant posies.

To shallow—”

Mercy on me! I have a great dispositions to cry.

Sings.

“Melodious birds sing madrigals—

When as I sat in Pabylon—

And a thousand vagram posies.

To shallow, etc.”

Enter Simple.

SIM.

Yonder he is coming, this way, Sir Hugh.

EVANS.

He’s welcome.

Sings.

“To shallow rivers, to whose falls—”

Heaven prosper the right! What weapons is he?

SIM.

No weapons, sir. There comes my master, Master Shallow, and another gentleman—from Frogmore, over the stile, this way.

EVANS.

Pray you give me my gown, or else keep it in your arms.

Reads in a book.

Enter Page, Shallow, Slender.

SHAL.

How now, Master Parson? Good morrow, good Sir Hugh. Keep a gamester from the dice, and a good studient from his book, and it is wonderful.

SLEN.

Aside.SLEN.

Ah, sweet Anne Page!

PAGE.

God save you, good Sir Hugh!

EVANS.

God pless you from his mercy sake, all of you!

SHAL.

What? The sword and the word? Do you study them both, Master Parson?

PAGE.

And youthful still, in your doublet and hose, this raw rheumatic day?

EVANS.

There is reasons and causes for it.

PAGE.

We are come to you to do a good office, Master Parson.

EVANS.

Fery well; what is it?

PAGE.

Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, who, belike having receiv’d wrong by some person, is at most odds with his own gravity and patience that ever you saw.

SHAL.

I have liv’d fourscore years and upward; I never heard a man of his place, gravity, and learning, so wide of his own respect.

EVANS.

What is he?

PAGE.

I think you know him: Master Doctor Caius, the renown’d French physician.

EVANS.

Got’s will, and his passion of my heart! I had as lief you would tell me of a mess of porridge.

PAGE.

Why?

EVANS.

He has no more knowledge in Hibocrates and Galen—and he is a knave besides, a cowardly knave as you would desires to be acquainted withal.

PAGE.

I warrant you, he’s the man should fight with him.

SLEN.

Aside.SLEN.

O sweet Anne Page!

Enter Host, Caius, Rugby.

SHAL.

It appears so by his weapons. Keep them asunder; here comes Doctor Caius.

Evans and Caius offer to fight.

PAGE.

Nay, good Master Parson, keep in your weapon.

SHAL.

So do you, good Master Doctor.

HOST.

Disarm them, and let them question. Let them keep their limbs whole and hack our English.

CAIUS.

I pray you let-a me speak a word with your ear. Vherefore vill you not meet-a me?

EVANS.

Aside to CaiusEVANS.CAIUS.

Pray you use your patience in good time.

CAIUS.

By gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog, John ape.

EVANS.

Aside to CaiusEVANS.CAIUS.

Pray you let us not be laughing-stocks to other men’s humors. I desire you in friendship, and I will one way or other make you amends.

Aloud.

I will knog your urinals about your knave’s cogscomb for missing your meetings and appointments.

CAIUS.

Diable! Jack Rugby—mine host de Jarteer—have I not stay for him to kill him? Have I not, at de place I did appoint?

EVANS.

As I am a Christians-soul, now look you; this is the place appointed. I’ll be judgment by mine host of the Garter.

HOST.

Peace, I say, Gallia and Gaul, French and Welsh, soul-curer and body-curer!

CAIUS.

Ay, dat is very good, excellant.

HOST.

Peace, I say! Hear mine host of the Garter. Am I politic? Am I subtle? Am I a Machiavel? Shall I lose my doctor? No, he gives me the potions and the motions. Shall I lose my parson? My priest? My Sir Hugh? No, he gives me the proverbs and the no-verbs. Give me thy hand, terrestial; so. Give me thy hand, celestial; so. Boys of art, I have deceiv’d you both; I have directed you to wrong places. Your hearts are mighty, your skins are whole, and let burnt sack be the issue. Come, lay their swords to pawn. Follow me, lads of peace; follow, follow, follow.

Exit.

SHAL.

Afore God, a mad host. Follow, gentlemen, follow.

SLEN.

Aside.SLEN.

O sweet Anne Page!

Exeunt Shallow, Slender, and Page.

CAIUS.

Ha, do I perceive dat? Have you make-a de sot of us, ha, ha?

EVANS.

This is well! He has made us his vlouting-stog. I desire you that we may be friends; and let us knog our prains together to be revenge on this same scall, scurvy, cogging companion, the host of the Garter.

CAIUS.

By gar, with all my heart. He promise to bring me where is Anne Page; by gar, he deceive me too.

EVANS.

Well, I will smite his noddles. Pray you follow.

Exeunt.

 
 
 
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