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Act 3, Scene IV

SCENE IV. A room in PAGE'S house.

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

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
venturing.

SHALLOW
Be not dismayed.

SLENDER
No, she shall not dismay me: I care not for that,
but that I am afeard.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
Hark ye; Master Slender would speak a word with you.

ANNE PAGE
I come to him.

Aside

This is my father's choice.
O, what a world of vile ill-favor'd faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!

MISTRESS QUICKLY
And how does good Master Fenton? Pray you, a word with you.

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.

SHALLOW
Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.

SLENDER
Ay, that I do; as well as I love any woman in
Gloucestershire.

SHALLOW
He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.

SLENDER
Ay, that I will, come cut and long-tail, under the
degree of a squire.

SHALLOW
He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.

ANNE PAGE
Good Master Shallow, let him woo for himself.

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

MISTRESS 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.

MISTRESS 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

MISTRESS 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.

MISTRESS QUICKLY
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

William Shakespeare