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ACT I. SCENE 4. 


DOCTOR CAIUS'S house

Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY, SIMPLE, and RUGBY

 QUICKLY.

What, John Rugby! I pray thee go to the casement
and see if you can see my master, Master Doctor
Caius, coming. If he do, i' faith, and find anybody in the
house, here will be an old abusing of God's patience and
the King's English.

 RUGBY.

I'll go watch.

 QUICKLY.

Go; and we'll have a posset for't soon at night, in
faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire. [Exit RUGBY] An
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?

 SIMPLE.

Ay, for fault of a better.

 QUICKLY.

And Master Slender's your master?

 SIMPLE.

Ay, forsooth.

 QUICKLY.

Does he not wear a great round beard, like a
glover's paring-knife?

 SIMPLE.

No, forsooth; he hath but a little whey face, with a
little yellow beard, a Cain-colour'd beard.

 QUICKLY.

A softly-sprighted man, is he not?

 SIMPLE.

Ay, forsooth; but he is as tall a man of his hands as
any is between this and his head; he hath fought with a
warrener.

 QUICKLY.

How say you? O, I should remember him. Does
he not hold up his head, as it were, and strut in his gait?

 SIMPLE.

Yes, indeed, does he.

 QUICKLY.

Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune!
Tell Master Parson Evans I will do what I can for your
master. Anne is a good girl, and I wish-

Re-enter RUGBY

 RUGBY.

Out, alas! here comes my master.

 QUICKLY.

We shall all be shent. Run in here, good young
man; go into this closet. [Shuts SIMPLE in the closet] He
will not stay long. What, 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. [Singing]
And down, down, adown-a, etc.

Enter DOCTOR CAIUS

 CAIUS.

Vat is you sing? I do not like des toys. Pray you, 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.

 QUICKLY.

Ay, forsooth, I'll fetch it you. [Aside] I am glad
he went not in himself; if he had found the young man,
he would have been horn-mad.

 CAIUS.

Fe, fe, fe fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je m'en vais a
la cour-la grande affaire.

 QUICKLY.

Is it this, sir?

 CAIUS.

Oui; mette le au mon pocket: depeche, quickly. Vere
is dat knave, Rugby?

 QUICKLY.

What, John Rugby? John!

 RUGBY.

Here, sir.

 CAIUS.

You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby.
Come, take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to the
court.

 RUGBY.

'Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.
CAIUS. By my trot, I tarry too long. Od's me! Qu'ai j'oublie?
Dere is some simples in my closet dat I vill not for the
varld I shall leave behind.

 QUICKLY.

Ay me, he'll find the young man there, and be
mad!

 CAIUS.

O diable, diable! vat is in my closet? Villainy! larron!
[Pulling SIMPLE out] Rugby, my rapier!

 QUICKLY.

Good master, be content.

 CAIUS.

Wherefore shall I be content-a?

 QUICKLY.

The young man is an honest man.

 CAIUS.

What shall de honest man do in my closet? Dere is
no honest man dat shall come in my closet.

 QUICKLY.

I beseech you, be not so phlegmatic; hear the
truth of it. He came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh.

 CAIUS.

Vell?

 SIMPLE.

Ay, forsooth, to desire her to-

 QUICKLY.

Peace, I pray you.

 CAIUS.

Peace-a your tongue. Speak-a your tale.

 SIMPLE.

To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to
speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page for my master,
in the way of marriage.

 QUICKLY.

This is all, indeed, la! but I'll ne'er put my finger
in the fire, and need not.

 CAIUS.

Sir Hugh send-a you? Rugby, baillez me some paper.
Tarry you a little-a-while

[Writes]

 QUICKLY.

[Aside to SIMPLE] I am glad he is so quiet; if he
had been throughly 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 all myself-

 SIMPLE.

[Aside to QUICKLY] 'Tis a great charge to come
under one body's hand.

 QUICKLY.

[Aside to SIMPLE] Are you avis'd o' that? You
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.

 CAIUS.

You jack'nape; give-a this letter to Sir Hugh; by gar,
it is a shallenge; I will cut his troat in de 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

Exit SIMPLE

 QUICKLY.

Alas, he speaks but for his friend.

 CAIUS.

It is no matter-a ver dat. Do not you tell-a me 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.

 QUICKLY.

Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well. We
must give folks leave to prate. What the good-year!

 CAIUS.

Rugby, come to the court with me. By gar, if I have
not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my door.
Follow my heels, Rugby

Exeunt CAIUS and RUGBY

 QUICKLY.

You shall have-An fool's-head of your own. No,
I 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.

 FENTON.

[Within] Who's within there? ho!

 QUICKLY.

Who's there, I trow? Come near the house, I pray
you.

Enter FENTON

 FENTON.

How now, good woman, how dost thou?

 QUICKLY.

The better that it pleases your good worship to
ask.

 FENTON.

What news? How does pretty Mistress Anne?

 QUICKLY.

In truth, sir, and she is pretty, and honest, and
gentle; and one that is your friend, I can tell you that by
the way; I praise heaven for it.

 FENTON.

Shall I do any good, think'st thou? Shall I not lose
my suit?

 QUICKLY.

Troth, sir, all is in His hands above; but
notwithstanding, Master Fenton, I'll be sworn on a book
she loves you. Have not your worship a wart above your eye?

 FENTON.

Yes, marry, have I; what of that?

 QUICKLY.

Well, thereby hangs a tale; good faith, it is such
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.

 FENTON.

Well, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there's money
for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf. If thou seest
her before me, commend me.

 QUICKLY.

Will I? I' faith, that we will; and I will tell your
worship more of the wart the next time we have confidence;
and of other wooers.

 FENTON.

Well, farewell; I am in great haste now.

 QUICKLY.

Farewell to your worship. [Exit FENTON] Truly,
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? Exit

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