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The Merry Wives of Windsor

 

ACT IV SCENE IA street.
[ Enter MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS QUICKLY, and WILLIAM PAGE ]
MISTRESS PAGEIs he at Master Ford’s already, think’st thou?
MISTRESS QUICKLYSure he is by this, or will be presently: but,
truly, he is very courageous mad about his throwing
into the water. Mistress Ford desires you to come suddenly.
MISTRESS PAGEI’ll be with her by and by; I’ll but bring my young5
man here to school. Look, where his master comes;
’tis a playing-day, I see.
[Enter SIR HUGH EVANS]
How now, Sir Hugh! no school to-day?
SIR HUGH EVANSNo; Master Slender is let the boys leave to play.
MISTRESS QUICKLYBlessing of his heart!10
MISTRESS PAGESir Hugh, my husband says my son profits nothing in
the world at his book. I pray you, ask him some
questions in his accidence.
SIR HUGH EVANSCome hither, William; hold up your head; come.
MISTRESS PAGECome on, sirrah; hold up your head; answer your15
master, be not afraid.
SIR HUGH EVANSWilliam, how many numbers is in nouns?
WILLIAM PAGETwo.
MISTRESS QUICKLYTruly, I thought there had been one number more,
because they say, ”Od’s nouns.’20
SIR HUGH EVANSPeace your tattlings! What is ‘fair,’ William?
WILLIAM PAGEPulcher.
MISTRESS QUICKLYPolecats! there are fairer things than polecats, sure.
SIR HUGH EVANSYou are a very simplicity ‘oman: I pray you peace.
What is ‘lapis,’ William?25
WILLIAM PAGEA stone.
SIR HUGH EVANSAnd what is ‘a stone,’ William?
WILLIAM PAGEA pebble.
SIR HUGH EVANSNo, it is ‘lapis:’ I pray you, remember in your prain.
WILLIAM PAGELapis.30
SIR HUGH EVANSThat is a good William. What is he, William, that
does lend articles?
WILLIAM PAGEArticles are borrowed of the pronoun, and be thus
declined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, haec, hoc.
SIR HUGH EVANSNominativo, hig, hag, hog; pray you, mark:35
genitivo, hujus. Well, what is your accusative case?
WILLIAM PAGEAccusativo, hinc.
SIR HUGH EVANSI pray you, have your remembrance, child,
accusative, hung, hang, hog.
MISTRESS QUICKLY‘Hang-hog’ is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.40
SIR HUGH EVANSLeave your prabbles, ‘oman. What is the focative
case, William?
WILLIAM PAGEO,–vocativo, O.
SIR HUGH EVANSRemember, William; focative is caret.
MISTRESS QUICKLYAnd that’s a good root.45
SIR HUGH EVANS‘Oman, forbear.
MISTRESS PAGEPeace!
SIR HUGH EVANSWhat is your genitive case plural, William?
WILLIAM PAGEGenitive case!
SIR HUGH EVANSAy.50
WILLIAM PAGEGenitive,–horum, harum, horum.
MISTRESS QUICKLYVengeance of Jenny’s case! fie on her! never name
her, child, if she be a whore.
SIR HUGH EVANSFor shame, ‘oman.
MISTRESS QUICKLYYou do ill to teach the child such words: he55
teaches him to hick and to hack, which they’ll do
fast enough of themselves, and to call ‘horum:’ fie upon you!
SIR HUGH EVANS‘Oman, art thou lunatics? hast thou no
understandings for thy cases and the numbers of the
genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as60
I would desires.
MISTRESS PAGEPrithee, hold thy peace.
SIR HUGH EVANSShow me now, William, some declensions of your pronouns.
WILLIAM PAGEForsooth, I have forgot.
SIR HUGH EVANSIt is qui, quae, quod: if you forget your ‘quies,’65
your ‘quaes,’ and your ‘quods,’ you must be
preeches. Go your ways, and play; go.
MISTRESS PAGEHe is a better scholar than I thought he was.
SIR HUGH EVANSHe is a good sprag memory. Farewell, Mistress Page.
MISTRESS PAGEAdieu, good Sir Hugh.70
[Exit SIR HUGH EVANS]
Get you home, boy. Come, we stay too long.
[Exeunt]

Next: The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 4, Scene 2

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