Laughing stock Introduction
I'm Sir Hugh Evans. I'm the local clergyman and schoolmaster. I always love a bit of juicy gossip about, oh, anyone. And you know what I think?
[Aside to DOCTOR CAIUS] Pray you let us not be
laughing-stocks to other men's humors; I desire you
in friendship, and I will one way or other make you amends.
I will knog your urinals about your knave's cockscomb
for missing your meetings and appointments (3.1.77-82).
Who Said It and Where
Even though Evans is an active member of the little community in The Merry Wives of Windsor, his status as a foreigner makes him somewhat of an outsider. Take his seriously thick Welsh accent, for example. It seems like every time we turn around, someone's making fun of his speech (when they're not making fun of the Frenchman, Doctor Caius, of course). That's why Falstaff complains that Evans "makes fritters of English" (5.5.135).
Doctor Caius has challenged Evans to a duel for trying to help Master Slender woo Anne Page. In this scene, Evans has been waiting over at Frogmore fields for Caius to show up. He's carrying a big sword and a Bible. They go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Before Evans and Caius can throw down, the Host of the Garter Inn prevents the fight and declares, "let them keep their limbs whole and hack our English" (3.1.66-67). Translation: it's more fun to listen to the two foreigners (Caius and Evans) butcher the English language than it is to watch them "hack" into each with their swords.
But he can't trick Evans so easily.
Evans is a pretty smart guy, so he eventually realizes that the Host is having some fun at his expense. This is a really crucial moment for Evans, because he tells Dr. Caius in an aside that he doesn't want to be made fun of. An aside occurs when one character says something to another character or the audience that no one else on stage can hear.
Here, Evans and Dr. Caius decide to join forces. Together they hatch a plot to get revenge on the Host by tricking him out of a bunch of horses.