William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor in the complete original text.
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The Merry Wives of Windsor

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Act III. Scene IV.

Scene IV.—A Room in PAGE'S House.

QUICKLY stands apart.

Fent. I see I cannot get thy father's love;
Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.
Anne. Alas! how then?
Fent. 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. May be he tells you true.
Fent. No, heaven so speed me in my time to
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. 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.

Shal. Break their talk. Mistress Quickly: my
kinsman shall speak for himself.
Slen. I'll make a shaft or a bolt on't. 'Slid,
'tis but venturing.
Shal. Be not dismayed.
Slen. No, she shall not dismay me: I care
not for that, but that I am afeard.
Quick. Hark ye; Master Slender would speak
a word with you.
Anne. I come to him. [Aside.] This is my
father's choice.
O, what a world of vile ill-favour'd faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!
Quick. And how does good Master Fenton?
Pray you, a word with you.
Shal. She's coming; to her, coz. O boy,
thou hadst a father!
Slen. 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.
Shal. Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.
Slen. Ay, that I do; as well as I love any
woman in Glostershire.
Shal. He will maintain you like a gentle-
Slen. Ay, that I will, come cut and long-tall,
under the degree of a squire.
Shal. He will make you a hundred and fifty
pounds jointure.
Anne. Good Master Shallow, let him woo for
Shal. Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you
for that good comfort. She calls you, coz: I'll
leave you.
Anne. Now, Master Slender.
Slen. Now, good Mistress Anne.—
Anne. What is your will?
Slen. Mywill?od'shearthngs! 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. I mean. Master Slender, what would
you with me?
Slen. Truly, for mine own part, I would little
or nothing with you. Your father and my
uncle have 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.

Page. Now, Master Slender: love him, daugh-
ter 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 dispos'd of.
Fent. Nay, Master Page, be not impatient.
Mrs. Page. Good Master Fenton, come not
to my child.
Page. She is no match for you.
Fent. Sir, will you hear me?
Page. No, good Master Fenton.
Come, Master Shallow; come, son Slender, in.
Knowing my mind, you wrong me. Master
Quick. Speak to Mistress Page.
Fent. Good Mistress Page, for that I love
your daughter
In such a righteous fashion as I do,
Perforce, against all checks, rebukes and man-
I must advance the colours of my love
And not retire: let me have your good will.
Anne. Good mother, do not marry me to
yond fool.
Mrs. Page. I mean it not; I seek you a
better husband.
Quick. That's my master, Master doctor.
Anne. Alas! I had rather be set quick i' the
And bowl'd to death with turnips.
Mrs. 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.
Fent. Farewell, gentle mistress. Farewell,
Nan. [Exeunt MISTRESS PAGE and ANNE.
Quick. 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.
Fent. I thank thee; and I pray thee, once
Give my sweet Nan this ring. There's for thy
Quick. Now heaven send thee good fortune!
[Exit FENTON.] 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 [Exit?
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