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The Merry Wives of Windsor - Act 3, scene 4
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Navigate this workThe Merry Wives of Windsor - Act 3, scene 4
Act 3, scene 4
Attempting to court Anne Page, Fenton is interrupted first by his rival Slender and then by a hostile Master and Mistress Page.Enter Fenton ⌜and⌝ Anne Page.
1712 I see I cannot get thy father’s love;
1713 Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.
1714 Alas, how then?
FENTON 1715 Why, thou must be thyself.
1716 5 He doth object I am too great of birth,
1717 And that, my state being galled with my expense,
1718 I seek to heal it only by his wealth.
p. 1191719 Besides these, other bars he lays before me—
1720 My riots past, my wild societies—
1721 10 And tells me ’tis a thing impossible
1722 I should love thee but as a property.
ANNE 1723 Maybe he tells you true.
1724 No, heaven so speed me in my time to come!
1725 Albeit I will confess thy father’s wealth
1726 15 Was the first motive that I wooed thee, Anne,
1727 Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value
1728 Than stamps in gold or sums in sealèd bags.
1729 And ’tis the very riches of thyself
1730 That now I aim at.
ANNE 1731 20 Gentle Master Fenton,
1732 Yet seek my father’s love, still seek it, sir.
1733 If opportunity and humblest suit
1734 Cannot attain it, why then—hark you hither.
⌜They talk aside.⌝
Enter Shallow, Slender, ⌜and Mistress⌝ Quickly.
SHALLOW 1735 Break their talk, Mistress Quickly. My kinsman
1736 25 shall speak for himself.
SLENDER 1737 I’ll make a shaft or a bolt on ’t. ’Slid, ’tis but
SHALLOW 1739 Be not dismayed.
SLENDER 1740 No, she shall not dismay me. I care not for
1741 30 that, but that I am afeard.
MISTRESS QUICKLY, ⌜to Anne⌝ 1742 Hark ye, Master Slender
1743 would speak a word with you.
1744 I come to him. ⌜(Aside.)⌝ This is my father’s choice.
1745 O, what a world of vile ill-favored faults
1746 35 Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1747 And how does good Master Fenton?
1748 Pray you, a word with you.⌜They talk aside.⌝
SHALLOW, ⌜to Slender⌝ 1749 She’s coming. To her, coz! O
1750 boy, thou hadst a father!
p. 121SLENDER 1751 40I had a father, Mistress Anne; my uncle can
1752 tell you good jests of him.—Pray you, uncle, tell
1753 Mistress Anne the jest how my father stole two
1754 geese out of a pen, good uncle.
SHALLOW 1755 Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.
SLENDER 1756 45Ay, that I do, as well as I love any woman in
SHALLOW 1758 He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.
SLENDER 1759 Ay, that I will, come cut and longtail, under
1760 the degree of a squire.
SHALLOW 1761 50He will make you a hundred and fifty
1762 pounds jointure.
ANNE 1763 Good Master Shallow, let him woo for himself.
SHALLOW 1764 Marry, I thank you for it. I thank you for that
1765 good comfort.—She calls you, coz. I’ll leave you.
⌜He steps aside.⌝
ANNE 1766 55Now, Master Slender.
SLENDER 1767 Now, good Mistress Anne.
ANNE 1768 What is your will?
SLENDER 1769 My will? ’Od’s heartlings, that’s a pretty jest
1770 indeed! I ne’er made my will yet, I thank heaven. I
1771 60 am not such a sickly creature, I give heaven praise.
ANNE 1772 I mean, Master Slender, what would you with
SLENDER 1774 Truly, for mine own part, I would little or
1775 nothing with you. Your father and my uncle hath
1776 65 made motions. If it be my luck, so; if not, happy
1777 man be his dole. They can tell you how things go
1778 better than I can. You may ask your father.
Enter Page ⌜and⌝ Mistress Page.
1779 Here he comes.
1780 Now, Master Slender.—Love him, daughter Anne.—
1781 70 Why, how now? What does Master Fenton here?
p. 1231782 You wrong me, sir, thus still to haunt my house.
1783 I told you, sir, my daughter is disposed of.
1784 Nay, Master Page, be not impatient.
1785 Good Master Fenton, come not to my child.
PAGE 1786 75She is no match for you.
FENTON 1787 Sir, will you hear me?
PAGE 1788 No, good Master Fenton.—
1789 Come Master Shallow.—Come, son Slender, in.—
1790 Knowing my mind, you wrong me, Master Fenton.
⌜Page, Shallow, and Slender exit.⌝
MISTRESS QUICKLY, ⌜to Fenton⌝ 1791 80Speak to Mistress Page.
1792 Good Mistress Page, for that I love your daughter
1793 In such a righteous fashion as I do,
1794 Perforce, against all checks, rebukes, and manners,
1795 I must advance the colors of my love
1796 85 And not retire. Let me have your good will.
1797 Good mother, do not marry me to yond fool.
1798 I mean it not; I seek you a better husband.
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1799 That’s my master, Master Doctor.
1800 Alas, I had rather be set quick i’ th’ earth
1801 90 And bowled to death with turnips!
1802 Come, trouble not yourself.—Good Master Fenton,
1803 I will not be your friend nor enemy.
1804 My daughter will I question how she loves you,
1805 And as I find her, so am I affected.
1806 95 Till then, farewell, sir. She must needs go in;
1807 Her father will be angry.
1808 Farewell, gentle mistress.—Farewell, Nan.
⌜Mistress Page and Anne Page exit.⌝
p. 125MISTRESS QUICKLY 1809 This is my doing now. “Nay,” said I,
1810 “will you cast away your child on a fool and a
1811 100 physician? Look on Master Fenton.” This is my
1813 I thank thee; and I pray thee, once tonight
1814 Give my sweet Nan this ring. There’s for thy pains.
⌜He gives her money and a ring.⌝
MISTRESS QUICKLY 1815 Now heaven send thee good fortune.
1816 105 A kind heart he hath. A woman would run through
1817 fire and water for such a kind heart. But yet I
1818 would my master had Mistress Anne, or I would
1819 Master Slender had her, or, in sooth, I would Master
1820 Fenton had her. I will do what I can for them all
1821 110 three; for so I have promised and I’ll be as good as
1822 my word—but speciously for Master Fenton. Well,
1823 I must of another errand to Sir John Falstaff from
1824 my two mistresses. What a beast am I to slack it!