Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
While Sir Quintilian Shorthose supervises the preparations for the marriage of his daughter Caelestine to Sir Walter Terrill, three guests arrive to share in the festivities: Sir Adam Prickshaft, Sir Vaughan ap Rees, and Mistress Miniver, a wealthy widow. All three of the older knights are enamored of the widow. When the bridal party enters, the groom-to-be announces that King William Rufus will grace the wedding with his presence. He also announces that he has sent to the poet Horace for a wedding song.
Horace is laboring by candlelight, surrounded by books, when his admiring friend Asinius Bubo visits him. Bubo warns that Crispinus and Demetrius plan to put Horace in a play as a bricklayer. To the great embarrassment of Horace, Crispinus and Demetrius enter and accuse him of unfair attacks on them.
Soon Blunt, accompanied by Captain Tucca, arrives to get the wedding verses, but Horace confesses that he was not able to finish them in the three days allotted him. Captain Tucca blasts Horace with a stream of Rabelaisian abuse for writing satires about him, and Horace, quivering with fear, apologizes and promises future good behavior. The captain tips him generously, and the visitors leave.
At the wedding dance, the three knights urge Mistress Miniver to choose one of them for her second husband, but their talk is interrupted by the arrival of King William Rufus and his train. The king greets the bride with a kiss, obviously taken...
(The entire section is 876 words.)
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