Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folio 1, 1623)

Actus Tertius. Scoena Prima.
Enter Euans, Simple, Page, Shallow, Slender, Host, Caius,
1160Euans. I pray you now, good Master Slenders seruing-
man, and friend Simple by your name; which way haue
you look'd for Master Caius, that calls himselfe Doctor
of Phisicke.
Sim. Marry Sir, the pittie-ward, the Parke-ward:
1165euery way: olde Windsor way, and euery way but the
Euan. I most fehemently desire you, you will also
looke that way.
Sim. I will sir.
1170Euan. 'Plesse my soule: how full of Chollors I am, and
trempling of minde: I shall be glad if he haue deceiued
me: how melancholies I am? I will knog his Vrinalls a-
bout his knaues costard, when I haue good oportunities
for the orke: 'Plesse my soule: To shallow Ruiers to whose
1175falls: melodious Birds sings Madrigalls: There will we make
our Peds of Roses: and a thousand fragrant posies. To shal-
low: 'Mercie on mee, I haue a great dispositions to cry.
Melodious birds sing Madrigalls: --- When as I sat in Pa-
bilon: and a thousand vagram Posies. To shallow, &c.
1180Sim. Yonder he is comming, this way, Sir Hugh.
Euan. Hee's welcome: To shallow Riuers, to whose fals:
Heauen prosper the right: what weapons is he?
Sim. No weapons, Sir: there comes my Master, Mr.
Shallow, and another Gentleman; from Frogmore, ouer
1185the stile, this way.
Euan. Pray you giue mee my gowne, or else keepe it
in your armes.
Shal. How now Master Parson? good morrow good
Sir Hugh: keepe a Gamester from the dice, and a good
1190Studient from his booke, and it is wonderfull.
Slen. Ah sweet Anne Page.
Page. 'Saue you, good Sir Hugh.
Euan. 'Plesse you from his mercy-sake, all of you.
Shal. What? the Sword, and the Word?
1195Doe you study them both, Mr. Parson?
Page. And youthfull still, in your doublet and hose,
this raw-rumaticke day?
Euan. There is reasons, and causes for it.
Page. We are come to you, to doe a good office, Mr.
Euan. Fery-well: what is it?
Page. Yonder is a most reuerend Gentleman; who
(be-like) hauing receiued wrong by some person, is at
most odds with his owne grauity and patience, that euer
1205you saw.
Shal. I haue liued foure-score yeeres, and vpward: I
neuer heard a man of his place, grauity, and learning, so
wide of his owne respect.
Euan. What is he?
1210Page. I thinke you know him: Mr. Doctor Caius the
renowned French Physician.
Euan. Got's-will, and his passion of my heart: I had
as lief you would tell me of a messe of porredge.
Page. Why?
1215Euan. He has no more knowledge in Hibocrates and
Galen, and hee is a knaue besides: a cowardly knaue, as
you would desires to be acquainted withall.
Page. I warrant you, hee's the man should fight with
1220Slen. O sweet Anne Page.
Shal. It appeares so by his weapons: keepe them a-
sunder: here comes Doctor Caius.
Page. Nay good Mr. Parson, keepe in your weapon.
Shal. So doe you, good Mr. Doctor.
1225Host. Disarme them, and let them question: let them
keepe their limbs whole, and hack our English.
Cai. I pray you let-a-mee speake a word with your
eare; vherefore vill you not meet-a me?
Euan. Pray you vse your patience in good time.
1230Cai. By-gar, you are de Coward: de Iack dog: Iohn
Euan. Pray you let vs not be laughing-stocks to other
mens humors: I desire you in friendship, and I will one
way or other make you amends: I will knog your Vrinal
1235about your knaues Cogs-combe.
Cai. Diable: Iack Rugby: mine Host de Iarteer: haue I
not stay for him, to kill him? haue I not at de place I did
Euan. As I am a Christians-soule, now looke you:
1240this is the place appointed, Ile bee iudgement by mine
Host of the Garter.
Host. Peace, I say, Gallia and Gaule, French & Welch,
Soule-Curer, and Body-Curer.
Cai. I, dat is very good, excellant.
1245Host. Peace, I say: heare mine Host of the Garter,
Am I politicke? Am I subtle? Am I a Machiuell?
Shall I loose my Doctor? No, hee giues me the Potions
and the Motions. Shall I loose my Parson? my Priest?
my Sir Hugh? No, he giues me the Prouerbes, and the
1250No-verbes. Giue me thy hand (Celestiall) so: Boyes of
Art, I haue deceiu'd you both: I haue directed you to
wrong places: your hearts are mighty, your skinnes are
whole, and let burn'd Sacke be the issue: Come, lay their
swords to pawne: Follow me, Lad of peace, follow, fol-
1255low, follow.
Shal. Trust me, a mad Host: follow Gentlemen, fol-
Slen. O sweet Anne Page.
Cai. Ha' do I perceiue dat? Haue you make-a-de-sot
1260of vs, ha, ha?
Eua. This is well, he has made vs his vlowting-stog:
I desire you that we may be friends: and let vs knog our
praines together to be reuenge on this same scall scur-
uy-cogging-companion the Host of the Garter.
1265Cai. By gar, with all my heart: he promise to bring
me where is Anne Page: by gar he deceiue me too.
Euan. Well, I will smite his noddles: pray you follow.