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The Merry Wives of Windsor

Act IV, Scene 1

A street.
 
[Enter MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS QUICKLY, and WILLIAM PAGE]
 
MISTRESS PAGE
Is he at Master Ford's already, thinkst thou?
 
MISTRESS 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.
 
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. How now, Sir Hugh! no school to-day?
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
No; Master Slender is let the boys leave to play.
 
MISTRESS 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.
 
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.
 
MISTRESS 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.
 
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Polecats! there are fairer things than polecats, sure.
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
You are a very simplicity woman: 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.
 
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 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, accusative, hung, hang, hog.
 
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Hang-hog is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
Leave your prabbles, woman. What is the focative case, William?
 
WILLIAM PAGE
O,--vocativo, O.
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
Remember, William; focative is caret.
 
MISTRESS QUICKLY
And that's a good root.
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
woman, forbear.
 
MISTRESS PAGE
Peace!
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
What is your genitive case plural, William?
 
WILLIAM PAGE
Genitive case!
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
Ay.
 
WILLIAM PAGE
Genitive,--horum, harum, horum.
 
MISTRESS QUICKLY
Vengeance of Jenny's case! fie on her! never name her, child, if she be a whore.
 
SIR HUGH EVANS
For shame, woman.
 
MISTRESS 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
woman, art thou lunatics? hast thou no 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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
[Exeunt] 

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