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ACT I NYм. My humour shall not cool: I will incense Page Sc. III to deal with poison; I will possess him with yellowness; for this revolt of mine is dangerous: that is my true humour.

PIST. Thou art the Mars of malcontents: I second thee;
troop on.


Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY, SIMPLE, and RUGBY. QUICK. 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 any body in the house, here will be an old1 abusing of God's patience and the King's English.

RUG. I'll go watch.

[Exit RUGBY. QUICK. Go; and we'll have a posset for 't soon at night, in faith, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire. An honest, willing, kind fellow, as ever servant shall come in house withal; and, I warrant you, no tell-tale, nor no breedbate: 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?

SIM. Ay, for fault of a better.

QUICK. And Master Slender's your master?

SIM. Ay, forsooth.

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

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

QUICK. A softly-sprighted man, is he not?


SIM. Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his hands3 as any is between this and his head. He hath fought with a warrener.

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

SIM. Yes, indeed, does he.


QUICK. Well, Heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune!

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Tell Master Parson Evans, I will do what I can for ACT I your master: Anne is a good girl, and I wish

Re-enter RUGBY.

RUG. Out, alas! here comes my master.

QUICK. We shall all be shent.1 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:-And down, down, adorn-a.


CAIUS. Vat is you sing? I do not like dese 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
QUICK. 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 à la Cour-la grande affaire.

QUICK. Is it this, Sir?

CAIUS. Ouy; mette le au mon pocket. Dépêche, quickly.
-Vere is dat knave Rugby?

QUICK. What, John Rugby! John!

RUG. Here, Sir.


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

RUG. 'Tis ready, Sir, here in the porch.

CAIUS. By my trot, I tarry too long. 'Od's me! Qu'ayj'oublié? Dere is some simples in my closet, dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.


QUICK. Ah 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. QUICK. Good master, be content.

CAIUS. Verefore shall I be content-a?

1 scolded.

Sc. IV

Sc. IV

QUICK. The young man is an honest man.

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


QUICK. I beseech you, be not so flegmatick! Hear the truth of it: he came of an errand to me from Parson Hugh.

CAIUS. Vell.

SIM. Ay, forsooth, to desire her to

QUICK. Peace, I pray you.

CAIUS. Peace-a, your tongue. [to SIMPLE.] Speak-a your tale.

SIM. To desire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to


speak a good word to Mistress Anne Page for my
master, in the way of marriage.
QUICK. 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, little-a awhile.
QUICK. [aside to SIMPLE.] I am glad he is so quiet: if
he had been thoroughly mov'd, you should have heard
him so loud, and so melancholy. But notwithstanding,
man, I'll do 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.
SIM. 'Tis a great charge, to come under one body's hand.
QUICK. Are you avis'd o' that? You shall find it a great
charge: and to be up early, and down late-But not-
withstanding (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 vill cut his troat in de Park; and I vill 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 vill cut all his two stones; by gar, he shall not have a stone to trow at his dog. [Exit SIMPLE. QUICK. Alas, he speaks but for his friend.

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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 vill myself have Anne Page.
QUICK. Sir, the maid loves you, and all shall be well:
we must give folks leave to prate. What the good-jer !1
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.
QUICK. You shall have Anne fools-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.
FENT. [within.] Who's within there, ho?


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

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FENT. How now, good woman: how dost thou ?

QUICK. The better, that it pleases your good Worship to ask.

FENT. What news? how does pretty Mistress Anne? QUICK. 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.


FENT. Shall I do any good, thinkest thou? Shall I not lose my suit?

QUICK. Troth, Sir, all is in His hands above: but not

withstanding, Master Fenton, I'll be sworn on a book, she loves you. Have not your Worship a wart above your eye?

FENT. Yes, marry, have I; what of that?

QUICK. 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 allicholly and musing.
But for you- Well-
FENT. Well, I shall see her to-day. Hold, there's money

1 morbus Gallicus; i.e. 'what the pox.'



Sc. IV

Sc. IV

for thee; let me have thy voice in my behalf: if thou see'st her before me, commend me

QUICK. 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.



FENT. Well, farewell: I am in great haste now.
QUICK. Farewell to your Worship. 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?



SCENE I. Before PAGE's House.

Enter MISTRESS PAGE, with a letter.

MRS. PAGE. What! have 'scap'd love-letters in the holiday time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them? Let me see:

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Ask me no reason why I love you; for though Love use Reason for his physician, he admits him not for his counsellor. You are not young, no more am I; go to then, there's sympathy. You are merry, so am I. Ha! ha! then there's more sympathy. You love sack, and so do I; would you desire better sympathy? Let it suffice thee, Mistress Page (at the least, if the love of soldier can suffice), that I love thee. I will not say, pity me, 'tis not a soldier-like phrase; but I say, love me. By me, thine own true Knight, by day or night, Or any kind of light, with all his might

For thee to fight,


What a Herod of Jewry is this!-O wicked, wicked world!—One that is well-nigh worn to pieces with age, to shew himself a young gallant! What an unweigh'd1 behaviour hath this Flemish drunkard pick'd (with the Devil's name) out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me? Why, he hath not been thrice in my company!—What should I say to him? I was

1 light, reckless.

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