ACT III
Scene 4
 

Before 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
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
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
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 dismay'd.

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

QUICKLY
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!

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 longtail, under the
degree of a squire.

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

ANNE
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
Now, Master Slender-

SLENDER
Now, good Mistress Anne-

ANNE
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
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 dispos'd of.

FENTON
Nay, Master Page, be not impatient.

MRS. 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

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 checks, rebukes, and manners,
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.

QUICKLY
That's my master, Master Doctor.

ANNE
Alas, I had rather be set quick i' th' earth.
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.

FENTON
Farewell, gentle mistress; farewell, Nan.

Exeunt MRS. PAGE and ANNE

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.

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 promis'd,
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