The Merry Wives of Windsor Act III
by William Shakespeare

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Act III, Scene 1

ACT III

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SCENE 1. A field near Frogmore.

[Enter SIR HUGH EVANS and SIMPLE.]

EVANS.
I pray you now, good Master Slender's serving-man, and friend
Simple by your name, which way have you looked for Master Caius,
that calls himself doctor of physic?

SIMPLE.
Marry, sir, the pittie-ward, the park-ward, every way; old Windsor
way, and every way but the town way.

EVANS.
I most fehemently desire you you will also look that
way.

SIMPLE.
I will, Sir.

[Exit.]

EVANS.
Pless my soul, how full of chollors I am, and trempling of mind!
I shall be glad if he have deceived me. How melancholies I am!
I will knog his urinals about his knave's costard when I have goot
opportunities for the 'ork: pless my soul!

[Sings]
To shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sings madrigals;
There will we make our peds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies.
To shallow--

Mercy on me! I have a great dispositions to cry.

[Sings.]
Melodious birds sing madrigals,--
Whenas I sat in Pabylon,--
And a thousand vagram posies.
To shallow,--

[Re-enter SIMPLE.]

SIMPLE.
Yonder he is, coming this way, Sir Hugh.

EVANS.
He's welcome.

[Sings]
To shallow rivers, to whose falls--

Heaven prosper the right!--What weapons is he?

SIMPLE.
No weapons, sir. There comes my master, Master Shallow, and another
gentleman, from Frogmore, over the stile, this way.

EVANS.
Pray you give me my gown; or else keep it in your arms.
[Reads in a book.]

[Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER.]

SHALLOW.
How now, Master Parson! Good morrow, good Sir Hugh. Keep a gamester
from the dice, and a good student from his book, and it is wonderful.

SLENDER.
[Aside] Ah, sweet Anne Page!

PAGE.
'Save you, good Sir Hugh!

EVANS.
Pless you from his mercy sake, all of you!

SHALLOW.
What, the sword and the word! Do you study them both, Master Parson?

PAGE.
And youthful still, in your doublet and hose, this raw rheumatic day!

EVANS.
There is reasons and causes for it.

PAGE.
We are come to you to do a good office, Master Parson.

EVANS.
Fery well; what is it?

PAGE.
Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, who, belike having received
wrong by some person, is at most odds with his own gravity and
patience that ever you saw.

SHALLOW.
I have lived fourscore years and upward; I never heard a man of
his place, gravity, and learning, so wide of his own respect.

EVANS.
What is he?

PAGE.
I think you know him: Master Doctor Caius, the renowned French
physician.

EVANS.
Got's will and His passion of my heart! I had as lief you would
tell me of a mess of porridge.

PAGE.
Why?

EVANS.
He has no more knowledge in Hibbocrates and Galen,--and he is a
knave besides; a cowardly knave as you would desires to be
acquainted withal.

PAGE.
I warrant you, he's the man should fight with him.

SLENDER.
[Aside] O, sweet Anne Page!

SHALLOW.
It appears so, by his weapons. Keep them asunder; here comes
Doctor Caius.

[Enter HOST, CAIUS, and RUGBY.]

PAGE.
Nay, good Master Parson, keep in your weapon.

SHALLOW.
So do you, good Master Doctor.

HOST.
Disarm them, and let them question; let them keep their limbs whole
and hack our English.

CAIUS.
I pray you, let-a me speak a word with your ear: verefore will you
not meet-a me?

EVANS.
[Aside to CAIUS.] Pray you use your patience; in good time.

CAIUS.
By gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog, John ape.

EVANS.
[Aside to CAIUS.] Pray you, let us not be laughing-stogs to other
men's humours; I desire you in friendship, and I will one way or
other make you amends.
[Aloud.] I will knog your urinals about your knave's cogscomb
for missing your meetings and appointments.

CAIUS.
Diable!--Jack Rugby,--mine Host de Jarretiere,--have I not stay for
him to kill him? Have I not, at de place I did appoint?

EVANS.
As I am a Christians soul, now, look you, this is the place
appointed. I'll be judgment by mine host of the Garter.

HOST.
Peace, I say, Gallia and Gaullia; French and Welsh, soul-curer
and body-curer!

CAIUS.
Ay, dat is very good; excellent!

HOST.
Peace, I say! Hear mine host of the Garter. Am I politic? am I
subtle? am I a Machiavel? Shall I lose my doctor? No; he gives me
the potions and the motions. Shall I lose my parson, my priest,
my Sir Hugh? No;...

(The entire section is 5,793 words.)