The Merry Wives of Windsor By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 4

ACT I. SCENE 4. A room in DOCTOR CAIUS'S house.

[Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY, and SIMPLE.]

QUICKLY.
What, John Rugby!

[Enter 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 cane-coloured 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.

[Exit Rugby.]

[Sings.] And down, down, adown-a, &c.

[Enter DOCTOR CAIUS.]

CAIUS.
Vat is you sing? I do not like des toys. Pray you, go and vetch me
in my closet une boitine verde — 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; mettez le au mon pocket: depechez, quickly — Vere is dat knave,
Rugby?

QUICKLY.
What, John Rugby? John!

[Re-enter Rugby.]

RUGBY.
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.

RUGBY.
'Tis ready, sir, here in the porch.

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

QUICKLY.
[Aside.] 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.

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