Vengeance of Jenny’s case!

From The Merry Wives of Windsor (4.1). Having taught Latin in the past, this scene both hurts and humours my 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
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, ‘oman.
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
‘Oman, 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.

* Quickly interprets the words genitive case as a gross allusion to the vagina (case) of a whore, since prostitutes were mostly known by diminutive nicknames.
** Quickly takes the nominative case of the pronoun to mean to hiccup (for drunkeness) and to go whoring.
*** fuck them; Quickly’s interpretation of the plural genitive horum.

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