William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor in the complete original text.
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The Merry Wives of Windsor

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Act IV. Scene I.

Act IV. Scene I.—The Street.

Enter MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS
QUICKLY, and WILLIAM.

Mrs. Page. Is he at Master Ford's already,
thinkest thou?
Quick. 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.
Mrs. 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?
Eva. No; Master Slender is get the boys
leave to play.
Quick. Blessing of his heart!
Mrs. 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 acci-
dence.
Eva. Come hither, William; hold up your
head; come.
Mrs. Page. Come on, sirrah; hold up your
head; answer your master, be not afraid.
Eva. William, how many numbers is in nouns?
Will. Two.
Quick. Truly, I thought there had been one
number more, because they say,' Od's nouns.'
Eva. Peace your tatthngs! What is fair,
William?
Will. Pulcher.
Quick. Polecats! there are fairer things than
pole-cats, sure.
Eva. You are a very simplicity 'oman: I pray
you peace. What is lapis, William?
Will. A stone.
Eva. And what is a stone, William?
Will. A pebble.
Eva. No, it is lapis: I pray you remember in
your prain.
Will. Lapis.
Eva. That is a good William. What is he,
William, that does lend articles?
Will. Articles are borrowed of the pronoun,
and be thus declined, Singulariter, nominativo,
hic, hæc, hoc.
Eva. Nominativo, hig, hag, hog; pray you,
mark: genitive, hujus. Well, what is your ac-
cusative case?
Will. Accusative, hinc.
Eva. I pray you, have your remembrance,
child; accusative, hung, hang, hog.
Quick. Hang hog is Latin for bacon, I war-
rant you.
Eva. Leave your prabbles, 'oman. What is
the focative case, William?
Will. O vocative, O.
Eva. Remember, William; focative is caret.
Quick. And that's a good root.
Eva. 'Oman, forbear.
Mrs. Page. Peace!
Eva. What is your genitive case plural,
William?
Will. Genitive case?
Eva. Ay.
Will. Genitive, horum, harum, horum.
Quick. Vengeance of Jenny's case! fie on
her! Never name her, child, if she be a whore.
Eva. For shame, 'oman!
Quick. 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!
Eva. 'Oman, art thou lunatics? hast thou no
understandings for thy cases and the numbers
and the genders? Thou art as foolish Christian
creatures as I would desires.
Mrs. Page. Prithee, hold thy peace.
Eva. Show me now, William, some declen-
sions of your pronouns.
Will. Forsooth, I have forgot.
Eva. It is gui, quæ, quod; if you forget
your quis, your quæs, and your quods, you must
be preeches. Go your ways and play; go.
Mrs. Page. He is a better scholar than I
thought he was.
Eva. He is a good sprag memory. Farewell,
Mistress Page.
Mrs. Page. Adieu, good Sir Hugh. [Exit SIR
HUGH.] Get you home, boy. Come, we stay too
long. [Exeunt.
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