Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folio 1, 1623)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folio 1, 1623)

    Scoena Quarta.
    Enter Fenton, Anne, Page, Shallow, Slender,
    Quickly, Page, Mist. Page.
    1570Fen: I see I cannot get thy Fathers loue,
    Therefore no more turne me to him (sweet Nan.)
    Anne. Alas, how then?
    Fen. Why thou must be thy selfe.
    He doth obiect, I am too great of birth,
    1575And that my state being gall'd with my expence,
    I seeke to heale it onely by his wealth.
    Besides these, other barres he layes before me,
    My Riots past, my wilde Societies,
    And tels me 'tis a thing impossible
    1580I should loue thee, but as a property.
    An. May be he tels you true.
    No, heauen so speed me in my time to come,
    Albeit I will confesse, thy Fathers wealth
    Was the first motiue that I woo'd thee (Anne:)
    1585Yet wooing thee, I found thee of more valew
    Then stampes in Gold, or summes in sealed bagges:
    And 'tis the very riches of thy selfe,
    That now I ayme at.
    An. Gentle M. Fenton,
    1590Yet seeke my Fathers loue, still seeke it sir,
    If opportunity and humblest suite
    Cannot attaine it, why then harke you hither.
    Shal. Breake their talke Mistris Quickly,
    My Kinsman shall speake for himselfe.
    1595Slen. Ile make a shaft or a bolt on't, slid, tis but ventu-
    Shal. Be not dismaid.
    Slen. No, she shall not dismay me:
    I care not for that, but that I am affeard.
    Qui. Hark ye, M. Slender would speak a word with you
    1600An. I come to him. This is my Fathers choice:
    O what a world of vilde ill-fauour'd faults
    Lookes handsome in three hundred pounds a yeere?
    Qui. And how do's good Master Fenton?
    Pray you a word with you.
    1605Shal. Shee's comming; to her Coz:
    O boy, thou hadst a father.
    Slen. I had a father (M. An) my vncle can tel you good
    iests of him: pray you Vncle, tel Mist. Anne the iest how
    my Father stole two Geese out of a Pen, good Vnckle.
    1610Shal. Mistris Anne, my Cozen loues you.
    Slen. I that I do, as well as I loue any woman in Glo-
    Shal. He will maintaine you like a Gentlewoman.
    Slen. I that I will, come cut and long-taile, vnder the
    1615degree of a Squire.
    Shal. He will make you a hundred and fiftie pounds
    Anne. Good Maister Shallow let him woo for him-
    1620Shal. Marrie I thanke you for it: I thanke you for
    that good comfort: she cals you (Coz) Ile leaue you.
    Anne. Now Master Slender.
    Slen. Now good Mistris Anne.
    Anne. What is your will?
    1625Slen. My will? Odd's-hart-lings, that's a prettie
    iest indeede: I ne're made my Will yet (I thanke Hea-
    uen:) I am not such a sickely creature, I giue Heauen
    Anne. I meane (M. Slender) what wold you with me?
    1630Slen. Truely, for mine owne part, I would little or
    nothing with you: your father and my vncle hath made
    motions: if it be my lucke, so; if not, happy man bee his
    dole, they can tell you how things go, better then I can:
    you may aske your father, heere he comes.
    1635Page. Now Mr Slender; Loue him daughter Anne.
    Why how now? What does Mr Fenter here?
    You wrong me Sir, thus still to haunt my house.
    I told you Sir, my daughter is disposd of.
    Fen. Nay Mr Page, be not impatient.
    1640Mist. Page. Good M. Fenton. come not to my child.
    Page. She is no match for you.
    Fen. Sir, will you heare me?
    Page. No, good M. Fenton.
    Come M. Shallow: Come sonne Slender, in;
    1645Knowing my minde, you wrong me (M. Fenton.)
    Qui. Speake to Mistris Page.
    Fen. Good Mist. Page, for that I loue your daughter
    In such a righteous fashion as I do,
    Perforce, against all checkes, rebukes, and manners,
    1650I must aduance the colours of my loue,
    And not retire. Let me haue your good will.
    An. Good mother, do not marry me to yond foole.
    Mist. Page. I meane it not, I seeke you a better hus-
    1655Qui. That's my master, M. Doctor.
    An. Alas I had rather be set quick i'th earth,
    And bowl'd to death with Turnips.
    Mist. Page. Come, trouble not your selfe good M.
    Fenton, I will not be your friend, nor enemy:
    1660My daughter will I question how she loues you,
    And as I finde her, so am I affected:
    Till then, farewell Sir, she must needs go in,
    Her father will be angry.
    Fen. Farewell gentle Mistris: farewell Nan.
    1665Qui. This is my doing now: Nay, saide I, will you
    cast away your childe on a Foole, and a Physitian:
    Looke on M. Fenton, this is my doing.
    Fen. I thanke thee: and I pray thee once to night,
    Giue my sweet Nan this Ring: there's for thy paines.
    1670Qui. Now heauen send thee good fortune, a kinde
    heart he hath: a woman would run through fire & wa-
    ter for such a kinde heart. But yet, I would my Maister
    had Mistris Anne, or I would M. Slender had her: or (in
    sooth) I would M. Fenton had her; I will do what I can
    1675for them all three, for so I haue promisd, and Ile bee as
    good as my word, but speciously for M. Fenton. Well, I
    must of another errand to Sir Iohn Falstaffe from my two
    Mistresses: what a beast am I to slacke it.