[Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGE]
- Fenton. I see I cannot get thy father's love;
Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.
- Anne Page. Alas, how then?
- Fenton. Why, thou must be thyself.
He doth object I am too great of birth—,
And that, my state being gall'd with my expense,
I seek to heal it only by his wealth:
Besides these, other bars he lays before me,
My riots past, my wild societies;
And tells me 'tis a thing impossible
I should love thee but as a property.
- Anne Page. May be he tells you true.
- Fenton. No, heaven so speed me in my time to come!
Albeit I will confess thy father's wealth
Was the first motive that I woo'd thee, Anne:
Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
Than stamps in gold or sums in sealed bags;
And 'tis the very riches of thyself
That now I aim at.
- Anne Page. Gentle Master Fenton,
Yet seek my father's love; still seek it, sir:
If opportunity and humblest suit
Cannot attain it, why, then,—hark you hither!
[They converse apart]
[Enter SHALLOW, SLENDER, and MISTRESS QUICKLY]
- Robert Shallow. Break their talk, Mistress Quickly: my kinsman shall
speak for himself.
- Slender. I'll make a shaft or a bolt on't: 'slid, 'tis but
- Robert Shallow. Be not dismayed.
- Slender. No, she shall not dismay me: I care not for that,
but that I am afeard.
- Hostess Quickly. Hark ye; Master Slender would speak a word with you.
- Anne Page. I come to him.
This is my father's choice.
O, what a world of vile ill-favor'd faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!
- Hostess Quickly. And how does good Master Fenton? Pray you, a word with you.
- Robert Shallow. She's coming; to her, coz. O boy, thou hadst a father!
- Slender. I had a father, Mistress Anne; my uncle can tell you
good jests of him. Pray you, uncle, tell Mistress
Anne the jest, how my father stole two geese out of
a pen, good uncle.
- Robert Shallow. Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.
- Slender. Ay, that I do; as well as I love any woman in
- Robert Shallow. He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.
- Slender. Ay, that I will, come cut and long-tail, under the
degree of a squire.
- Robert Shallow. He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.
- Anne Page. Good Master Shallow, let him woo for himself.
- Robert Shallow. Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good
comfort. She calls you, coz: I'll leave you.
- Anne Page. Now, Master Slender,—
- Slender. Now, good Mistress Anne,—
- Anne Page. What is your will?
- Slender. My will! 'od's heartlings, that's a pretty jest
indeed! I ne'er made my will yet, I thank heaven; I
am not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.
- Anne Page. I mean, Master Slender, what would you with me?
- Slender. Truly, for mine own part, I would little or nothing
with you. Your father and my uncle hath made
motions: if it be my luck, so; if not, happy man be
his dole! They can tell you how things go better
than I can: you may ask your father; here he comes.
[Enter PAGE and MISTRESS PAGE]
- Page. Now, Master Slender: love him, daughter Anne.
Why, how now! what does Master Fenton here?
You wrong me, sir, thus still to haunt my house:
I told you, sir, my daughter is disposed of.
- Fenton. Nay, Master Page, be not impatient.
- Mistress Page. Good Master Fenton, come not to my child.
- Page. She is no match for you.
- Fenton. Sir, will you hear me?
- Page. No, good Master Fenton.
Come, Master Shallow; come, son Slender, in.
Knowing my mind, you wrong me, Master Fenton.
[Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER]
- Hostess Quickly. Speak to Mistress Page.
- Fenton. Good Mistress Page, for that I love your daughter
In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Perforce, against all cheques, rebukes and manners,
I must advance the colours of my love
And not retire: let me have your good will.
- Anne Page. Good mother, do not marry me to yond fool.
- Mistress Page. I mean it not; I seek you a better husband.
- Hostess Quickly. That's my master, master doctor.
- Anne Page. Alas, I had rather be set quick i' the earth
And bowl'd to death with turnips!
- Mistress Page. Come, trouble not yourself. Good Master Fenton,
I will not be your friend nor enemy:
My daughter will I question how she loves you,
And as I find her, so am I affected.
Till then farewell, sir: she must needs go in;
Her father will be angry.
- Fenton. Farewell, gentle mistress: farewell, Nan.
[Exeunt MISTRESS PAGE and ANNE PAGE]
- Hostess Quickly. This is my doing, now: 'Nay,' said I, 'will you cast
away your child on a fool, and a physician? Look on
Master Fenton:' this is my doing.
- Fenton. I thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night
Give my sweet Nan this ring: there's for thy pains.
- Hostess Quickly. Now heaven send thee good fortune!
A kind heart he hath: a woman would run through
fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet I
would my master had Mistress Anne; or I would
Master Slender had her; or, in sooth, I would Master
Fenton had her; I will do what I can for them all
three; for so I have promised, and I'll be as good
as my word; but speciously for Master Fenton. Well,
I must of another errand to Sir John Falstaff from
my two mistresses: what a beast am I to slack it!