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Anne. I come to him. This is my father's choice. 0, what a world of vile ill-favour'd faults Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!
[Aside. Quick. And how does good master Fenton ? Pray you, a word with you.
Shal. She's coming; to her, coz. O boy, thou hadst a father!
Slen. 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.
Shal. Mistress Anne, my cousin loves you.
Slen. Ay, that I do; as well as I love any woman in Gloucestershire.
Shal. He will maintain you like a gentlewoman.
Slen. Ay, that I will, come cut and long tail 3, under the degree of a 'squire.
Shal. He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure.
Anne. Good master Shallow, let him woo for himself.
Shal. 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.
Anne. What is your will ? · Slen. 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?
3 The sense is obviously “ Come who will to contend with me, under the degree of a squire.” Cut and longtail means all kinds of curtail curs, and sporting dogs, and all others. It is a phrase of frequent occurrence in writers of the period; every kind of dog being comprehended under cut and longtail, every rank of people in the expression when metaphorically used.
Slen. Truly, for mine own part, I would little or nothing with you: Your father, and my uncle, have made motions; if it be my luck, so: if not, happy man be his dole 4! They can tell you how things go, better than I can: You may ask your father; here he comes.
Enter PAGE and MISTRESS PAGE.
Fent. Nay, master Page, be not impatient.
No, good master Fenton. Come, master Shallow; come, son Slender; in :Knowing my mind, you wrong me, master Fenton.
[Exeunt PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER. Quick. Speak to mistress Page. Fent. 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.
4 This is a proverbial expression of frequent occurrence. The apparent signification here is : ‘Happiness be his portion who succeeds best,' but the general meaning of the phrase may be interpreted : 'Let his portion or lot be happy man. Dole is the past participle and past tense of the A. s, verb Dælan, to deal, to divide, to distribute.
Anne. Good mother, do not marry me to yond'
fool. Mrs. Page. I mean it not; I seek you a better
Anne. Alas, I had rather be set quick i’ the earth,
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.
[Exeunt Mrs. PAGE and ANNE. Fent. Farewell, gentle mistress; farewell, Nan.
Quick. 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. Fent. I thank thee; and I pray thee, onces to
night Give my sweet Nan this ring: There's for thy pains.
[Exit. Quick. Now heaven send thee good fortune! 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 slack7 it?
[Exit. 5 i. e. some time to-night. 6 Specially. 7 Neglect.
SCENE V. A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter Falstaff and BARDOLPH.
Fal. Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in't. [Exit BARD.] Have I lived to be carried in a basket, like a barrow of butcher's offal; and to be thrown into the Thames? Well; if I be served such another trick, I'll have my brains ta'en out, and butter'd, and give them to a dog for a new year's gift. The rogues slighted me into the river with as little remorsel as they would have drowned a bitch's blind puppies, fifteen i’ the litter: and you may know by my size, that I have a kind of alacrity in sinking; if the bottom were as deep as hell, I should down. I had been drowned, but that the shore was shelvy and shallow; a death that I abhor; for the water swells a man; and what a thing should I have been, when I had been swelled! I should have been a mountain of mummy.
Re-enter BARDOLPH, with the wine. Bard. Here's mistress Quickly, sir, to speak with you.
Fal. Come, let me pour in some sack to the Thames water; for my belly's as cold, as if I had swallowed snow-balls for pills to cool the reins. Call her in. Bard. Come in, woman.
Enter MRS. QUICKLY. Quick. By your leave; I cry you mercy: Give your worship good-morrow.
Fal. Take away these chalices?: Go brew me a pottle of sack finely. 1 Pity.
Bar. With eggs, sir?
Fal. Simple of itself; I'll no pullet-sperm in my brewage.—[Exit BARDOLPH.]-How now?
Quick. Marry, sir, I come to your worship from mistress Ford.
Fal. Mistress Ford! I have had ford enough: I was thrown into the ford: I have my belly full of ford.
Quick. Alas the day! good heart, that was not her fault; she does so take on with her men; they mistook their erection.
Fal. So did I mine, to build upon a foolish woman's promise.
Quick. Well, she laments, sir, for it, that it would yearn your heart to see it. Her husband goes this morning a birding; she desires you once more to come to her between eight and nine : I must carry her word quickly: she'll make you amends, I warrant you.
Fal. Well, I will visit her: Tell her so; and bid her think what a man is: let her consider his frailty, and then judge of my merit.
Quick. I will tell her.
[Exit. Fal. I marvel, I hear not of master Brook; he sent me word to stay within; I like his money well. O, here he comes.
Fal. Now, master Brook? you come to know what hath passed between me and Ford's wife?
Ford. That, indeed, Sir John, is my business.