Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition

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Enter Caius and Rugby [with rapiers]
Editor’s Note1

caius Jack Rugby!


rugby Sir.


caius Vat is the clock, Jack?


rugby 'Tis past the hour, sir, that Sir Hugh promised to meet.

Editor’s Note5

caius By Gar, he has save his soul dat he is no come; he has pray his 6Pible well, dat he is no come. By Gar, Jack Rugby, he is dead already if he 7be come.


rugby He is wise, sir. He knew your worship would kill him if he came.

Editor’s Note9

caius By Gar, de herring is no dead, so as I vill kill him. [Drawing his 10rapier] Take your rapier, Jack. I vill tell you how I vill kill him.


rugby Alas, sir, I cannot fence.

Editor’s Note12

caius Villainy, take your rapier.


rugby Forbear: here's company.

[Enter the Host of the Garter, Justice Shallow, Master Page, and Master Slender]

host God bless thee, bully Doctor.


shallow God save you, Master Doctor Caius.


page Now, good Master Doctor.


slender God give you good morrow, sir.


caius Vat be all you one, two, tree, four, come for?

Editor’s Note19

host To see thee fight, to see thee foin, to see thee traverse, to see thee Editor’s Note20here, to see thee there; to see thee pass thy punto, thy stock, thy reverse, Editor’s Note21thy distance, thy montant. Is he dead, my Ethiopian? Is he dead, my Editor’s Note22Francisco? Ha, bully? What says my Aesculapius, my Galen, my heart of Editor’s Note23elder, ha? Is he dead, bully stale? Is he dead?


caius By Gar, he is de coward jack-priest of de vorld. He is not show his 25face.

Editor’s Note26

host Thou art a Castalion king-urinal, Hector of Greece, my boy!


caius I pray you bear witness that me have stay, six or seven, two, tree 28hours for him, and he is no come.

pg 1788 29

shallow He is the wiser man, Master Doctor. He is a curer of souls, Editor’s Note30and you a curer of bodies. If you should fight you go against the hair 31of your professions. Is it not true, Master Page?


page Master Shallow, you have yourself been a great fighter, though 33now a man of peace.

Editor’s Note34

shallow Bodykins, Master Page, though I now be old and of the peace, Editor’s Note35if I see a sword out, my finger itches to make one. Though we are Editor’s Note36justices and doctors and churchmen, Master Page, we have some salt Editor’s Note37of our youth in us. We are the sons of women, Master Page.


page 'Tis true, Master Shallow.


shallow It will be found so, Master Page.—Master Doctor Caius, I am 40come to fetch you home. I am sworn of the peace. You have showed 41yourself a wise physician, and Sir Hugh hath shown himself a wise 42and patient churchman. You must go with me, Master Doctor.

Editor’s Note Link 43

host Pardon, guest Justice. [To Caius] A word, Monsieur Mockwater.


caius Mockvater? Vat is dat?

Editor’s Note45

host Mockwater, in our English tongue, is valour, bully.


caius By Gar, then I have as much mockvater as de Englishman. Scurvy Editor’s Note47jack-dog priest! By Gar, me vill cut his ears.

Editor’s Note48

host He will clapper-claw thee tightly, bully.


caius Clapper-de-claw? Vat is dat?


host That is, he will make thee amends.

Editor’s Note51

caius By Gar, me do look he shall clapper-de-claw me, for, by Gar, me 52vill have it.

Editor’s Note53

host And I will provoke him to't, or let him wag.


caius Me tank you for dat.


host And moreover, bully— [Aside to the others] But first, master guest Editor’s Note56and Master Page, and eke Cavaliero Slender, go you through the town to Editor’s Note57Frogmore.


page Sir Hugh is there, is he?


host He is there. See what humour he is in, and I will bring the Doctor 60about by the fields. Will it do well?


shallow We will do it.

Editor’s Note62

page, shallow, and slender Adieu, good Master Doctor.

[Exeunt Page, Shallow, and Slender]

caius By Gar, me vill kill de priest, for he speak for a jackanape to 64Anne Page.


host Let him die. Sheath thy impatience; throw cold water on thy 66choler. Go about the fields with me through Frogmore. I will bring thee 67where Mistress Anne Page is, at a farmhouse a-feasting; and thou shalt Editor’s Note68woo her. Cried game? Said I well?


caius By Gar, me dank you vor dat. [He sheathes his rapier] By Gar, I Editor’s Note70love you, and I shall procure-a you de good guest: de earl, de knight, 71de lords, de gentlemen, my patients.

pg 1789 Editor’s Note72

host For the which I will be thy adversary toward Anne Page. Said I 73well?


caius By Gar, 'tis good. Vell said.


host Let us wag, then.


caius Come at my heels, Jack Rugby.


Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
2.3.1 Jack (a familiar alternative to John)
Editor’s Note
2.3.5 dat (for 'that', meaning 'if')
Editor’s Note
2.3.5–6 he … well (his prayers are well-answered)
Editor’s Note
2.3.9 herring is no dead (from proverbial simile 'dead as a herring')
Editor’s Note
2.3.9 Take your rapier In many productions, an armed Caius chases Rugby around the stage, trying to display his martial prowess, which is still going on when the other men enter.
Editor’s Note
2.3.12 Villainy (Caius' version of 'villain')
Editor’s Note
2.3.19–23 To see thee fight … Is he dead? perhaps mimicking Caius' attacks on Rugby
Editor’s Note
2.3.20 foin thrust (the first of a series of fencing terms)
Editor’s Note
2.3.20 traverse move back and forward
Editor’s Note
2.3.21 punto thrust with the sword-point
Editor’s Note
2.3.21 stock thrust
Editor’s Note
2.3.21 reverse backhand blow with sword
Editor’s Note
2.3.22 distance skill in keeping at the right distance
Editor’s Note
2.3.23 montant upward thrust
Editor’s Note
2.3.23 Ethiopian (perhaps insulting Caius' dark complexion)
Editor’s Note
2.3.23 Francisco Frenchman
Editor’s Note
2.3.23 Aesculapius (ancient Roman god of medicine)
Editor’s Note
2.3.23 Galen (ancient Greek physician and authority on medicine)
Editor’s Note
2.3.23–4 heart of elder The soft core of elder wood is offered in implied contrast with a 'heart of oak', a common metaphor for courage and strength. The Host calculates that Caius will miss the botanical insult and understand 'elder' as 'senior' or 'more experienced'.
Editor’s Note
2.3.23 stale decoy, dupe; urine (used by Renaissance physicians for medical diagnosis)
Editor’s Note
2.3.26 Castalion literally 'of the spring Castalia', sacred to the muses; this disguises 'cast-stale-ian', one who diagnoses by inspecting urine; perhaps also suggesting 'Castilian' meaning 'Spanish'
Editor’s Note
2.3.26 urinal urine-bottle
Editor’s Note
2.3.26 Hector of Greece Hector was the Trojans' hero in their war against Greece, so either the Host mistakes or (rather obscurely) mocks Caius with the reassignment.
Editor’s Note
2.3.30 against the hair contrary to the proper function (proverbial image of rubbing an animal's hair the wrong way)
Editor’s Note
2.3.34 Bodykins by God's dear body (a mild oath)
Editor’s Note
2.3.35 make one join in
Editor’s Note
2.3.36 salt vigour
Editor’s Note
2.3.37 sons of women Shallow must mean 'sons of men'.
Editor’s Note
2.3.43 guest Justice Together with the Host's address of 'master guest' (2.3.55) this indicates that Shallow also lodges at the Garter Inn.
Editor’s Note
2.3.43 Mockwater implying that Caius' diagnoses from urine are quackery
Editor’s Note
2.3.45 is valour, bully The others may overhear this exchange and visibly enjoy it.
Editor’s Note
2.3.47 jack-dog mongrel
Editor’s Note
2.3.48 clapper-claw maul, thrash
Editor’s Note
2.3.48 tightly soundly
Editor’s Note
2.3.51 look anticipate
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2.3.53 wag go on his way
Editor’s Note
2.3.56 eke also
Editor’s Note
2.3.57 Frogmore (a village east of Windsor)
Editor’s Note
2.3.62 page, slender, and shallow may speak this line in unison, or individually as they exit.
Editor’s Note
2.3.68 Cried game did I set the hounds to the quarry
Editor’s Note
2.3.70-1 I … patients French doctors were in vogue at court.
Editor’s Note
2.3.72 adversary Caius is prompted to take this as 'advocate' or 'emissary'.
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