Open Source Shakespeare

The Merry Wives of Windsor

• To print this text, click here
• To save this text, go to your browser's File menu, then select Save As


Act IV, Scene 1

A street.



  • Mistress Page. Is he at Master Ford's already, think'st thou?
  • Hostess Quickly. Sure 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. 1895
  • Mistress Page. I'll be with her by and by; I'll but bring my young
    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? 1900
  • Sir Hugh Evans. No; Master Slender is let the boys leave to play.
  • Hostess Quickly. Blessing of his heart!
  • Mistress Page. Sir Hugh, my husband says my son profits nothing in
    the world at his book. I pray you, ask him some
    questions in his accidence. 1905
  • Sir Hugh Evans. Come hither, William; hold up your head; come.
  • Mistress Page. Come on, sirrah; hold up your head; answer your
    master, be not afraid.
  • Sir Hugh Evans. William, how many numbers is in nouns?
  • William Page. Two. 1910
  • Hostess Quickly. Truly, I thought there had been one number more,
    because they say, 'Od's nouns.'
  • Sir Hugh Evans. Peace your tattlings! What is 'fair,' William?
  • William Page. Pulcher.
  • Hostess Quickly. Polecats! there are fairer things than polecats, sure. 1915
  • Sir Hugh Evans. You are a very simplicity 'oman: I pray you peace.
    What is 'lapis,' William?
  • William Page. A stone.
  • Sir Hugh Evans. And what is 'a stone,' William?
  • William Page. A pebble. 1920
  • Sir Hugh Evans. No, it is 'lapis:' I pray you, remember in your prain.
  • William Page. Lapis.
  • Sir Hugh Evans. That is a good William. What is he, William, that
    does lend articles?
  • William Page. Articles are borrowed of the pronoun, and be thus 1925
    declined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, haec, hoc.
  • Sir Hugh Evans. Nominativo, hig, hag, hog; pray you, mark:
    genitivo, hujus. Well, what is your accusative case?
  • William Page. Accusativo, hinc.
  • Sir Hugh Evans. I pray you, have your remembrance, child, 1930
    accusative, hung, hang, hog.
  • Hostess Quickly. 'Hang-hog' is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.
  • Sir Hugh Evans. Leave your prabbles, 'oman. What is the focative
    case, William?
  • William Page. O,—vocativo, O. 1935
  • Sir Hugh Evans. Remember, William; focative is caret.
  • Hostess Quickly. And that's a good root.
  • Sir Hugh Evans. 'Oman, forbear.
  • Mistress Page. Peace!
  • Sir Hugh Evans. What is your genitive case plural, William? 1940
  • William Page. Genitive case!
  • Sir Hugh Evans. Ay.
  • William Page. Genitive,—horum, harum, horum.
  • Hostess Quickly. Vengeance of Jenny's case! fie on her! never name
    her, child, if she be a whore. 1945
  • Sir Hugh Evans. For shame, 'oman.
  • Hostess Quickly. You do ill to teach the child such words: he
    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 1950
    understandings for thy cases and the numbers of the
    genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as
    I would desires.
  • Mistress Page. Prithee, hold thy peace.
  • Sir Hugh Evans. Show me now, William, some declensions of your pronouns. 1955
  • William Page. Forsooth, I have forgot.
  • Sir Hugh Evans. It is qui, quae, quod: if you forget your 'quies,'
    your 'quaes,' and your 'quods,' you must be
    preeches. Go your ways, and play; go.
  • Mistress Page. He is a better scholar than I thought he was. 1960
  • Sir Hugh Evans. He is a good sprag memory. Farewell, Mistress Page.
  • Mistress Page. Adieu, good Sir Hugh.
    Get you home, boy. Come, we stay too long.