The Merry Wives of Windsor


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Fenton and Anne Page


FENTON

I see I cannot get thy father's love;

Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.
turn (v.) 7 direct, point, refer


ANNE

Alas, how then?


FENTON

                         Why, thou must be thyself.

He doth object I am too great of birth,

And that, my state being galled with my expense,
expense (n.) 1 extravagance, expenditure, spending
gall (v.) 2 chafe, rub, make sore
state (n.) 11 estate, property, wealth, means

I seek to heal it only by his wealth.

Besides these, other bars he lays before me –
bar (n.) 3 objection, impediment

My riots past, my wild societies;
society (n.) 1 companionship, fellowship, association
wild (adj.) 1 erratic, irregular, unruly

And tells me 'tis a thing impossible

I should love thee but as a property.
property (n.) 3 means to an end, commercial asset


ANNE

Maybe he tells you true.


FENTON

No, heaven so speed me in my time to come!
speed (v.) 1 meet with success, prosper, flourish See Topics: Politeness

Albeit, I will confess, thy father's wealth

Was the first motive that I wooed thee, Anne;

Yet, wooing thee, I found thee of more value

Than stamps in gold or sums in sealèd bags.
stamp (n.) 2 coin, impression [of the monarch's head] made on a coin

And 'tis the very riches of thyself
very (adj.) 2 true, real, genuine

That now I aim at.
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind


ANNE

                         Gentle Master Fenton,

Yet seek my father's love, still seek it, sir.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

If opportunity and humblest suit
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

Cannot attain it, why then – hark you hither.

They talk aside

Enter Shallow, Slender, and Mistress Quickly


SHALLOW

Break their talk, Mistress Quickly. My kinsman
break (v.) 7 interrupt, break in on, cut in on

shall speak for himself.


SLENDER

I'll make a shaft or a bolt on't. 'Slid, 'tis but
bolt (n.) 1 [short and thick, crossbow] arrow
shaft (n.) [long and slender] arrow

venturing.


SHALLOW

Be not dismayed.


SLENDER

No, she shall not dismay me. I care not for

that, but that I am afeard.
afeard (adj.) afraid, frightened, scared See Topics: Frequency count


MISTRESS QUICKLY

(to Anne)

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-favoured faults
ill-favoured (adj.) ugly, unattractive, unsightly

Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!


MISTRESS QUICKLY

And how does good Master Fenton?

Pray you, a word with you.

They talk aside


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
come cut and long tail [whether a horse or dog has its tail docked or not] whatever happens, come what may

the degree of a squire.
degree (n.) 1 rank, station, standing


SHALLOW

He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds

jointure.
jointure (n.) marriage settlement, part of a husband's estate due to his widow


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
motion (n.) 6 proposal, proposition, suggestion, offer

dole. They can tell you how things go better than I can.
dole, happy man be his destiny, fate, lot

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.
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]

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 checks, rebukes, and manners,
check (n.) 1 reprimand, reproof, rebuke
perforce (adv.) 2 of necessity, with no choice in the matter See Topics: Frequency count

I must advance the colours of my love
advance (v.) 2 display, present, promote
colours (n.) 1 battle-flags, ensigns, standards, banners See Topics: Frequency count

And not retire. Let me have your good will.


ANNE

Good mother, do not marry me to yond fool.


MISTRESS PAGE

I mean it not – I seek you a better husband.
mean (v.) 1 intend, purpose, mean to act


MISTRESS QUICKLY

That's my master, Master Doctor.


ANNE

Alas, I had rather be set quick i'th'earth,
quick (adj.) 1 living, vital, full of life

And bowled 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.
affected (adj.) 1 disposed, inclined, minded

Till then, farewell, sir. She must needs go in;

Her father will be angry.


FENTON

Farewell, gentle mistress. Farewell, Nan.
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

Exeunt Mistress Page and Anne


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 tonight
once (adv.) 4 some time, at a convenient point

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
speciously (adv.) malapropism for ‘specially’

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!
slack (v.) 3 put off, neglect, postpone

Exit

 
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