Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Ford. What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of filax?
Mrs. Page. A puff'd man?

Page. Old, cold, withered, and of intolerable entrails?

Ford. And one that is as slanderous as Satan?
Page. And as poor as Job ?
Ford. And as wicked as his wife?

Eva. And given to fornications, and to taverns, and sack, and wine, and metheglins, and to drinkings, and swearings, and starings, pribbles and prabbles ?

Fal. Well, I am your theme; you have the start of me; I am dejected; I am not able to answer the Welch flannel; ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me : use me as you will.

Ford. Marry, sir, we'll bring you to Windsor, to one master Brook, that you have cozened of money, to whom you should have been a pander : over and above that you have suffered, I think, to repay that money will be a biting affiction. Mrs. Ford. Nay, husband, let that go to make

amends : Forgive that sum, and so we'll all be friends.

Ford. Well, here's my hand; all's forgiven at last.

Page. Yet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt eat a posset to-night at my house; where I will desire thee to laugh at my wife 106, that now laughs at thee: Tell her, master Slender hath married her daughter.

Mrs. Page. Doctors doubt that: If Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this, doctor Cajus' wife.

[Aside.

Enter SLENDER.

Slen. Whoo, ho! ho! father Page !

Page. Son ! how now? how now, son ? have you despatch'd ?

Slen. Despatch'd !—I'll make the best in Glocestershire know on't; would I were hanged, la, else.

Page. Of what, son?

Slen. I came yonder at Eton to marry mistress Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy : If it had not been i' the church, I would have swinged him, or he should have swinged me. If I did not think it had been Anne Page, would I might never stir, and 'tis a post-master's boy.

Page. Upon my life then you took the wrong.

Slen. What need you tell me that? I think so, when I took a boy for a girl: If I had been married to him, for all he was in woman's apparel, I would not have had him.

Page. Why, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you, how you should know my daughter by her

garments ?

Slen. I went to her in white, and cry'd, mum, and she cry'd buulget, as Anne and I had appointed; and yet it was not Anne, but a post-master's boy.

Eva. Jeshu ! (aster Slender, cannot you see but marry boys?

Puge. O, I am vex'd at heart: What shall I do?

Mrs. Page. Good George, be not angry : I knew of your purpose ; turned my daughter into green;

and, indeed, she is now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married.

Enter Caius. Caius. Vere is mistress Page ? By gar, I am cozened; I ha' married un garçon, a boy; un paisan, by gar, a boy; it is not Anne Page: by gar, I am cozened.

Mrs. Page. Why, did you take her in green?

Caius. Ay, be gar, and 'tis a boy: be gar, I'll raise all Windsor.

[Exit Caius. Ford. This is strange: Who hath got the right Anne ?

Page. My heart misgives me: Here comes master Fenton.

Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGE.

How now, master Fenton ?
Anne. Pardon, good father! good my mother,

pardon ! Page. Now, mistress ? how chance you went not with master Slender? Mrs. Page. Why went you not with master doc

tor, maid?
Fent. You do amaze her; Hear the truth of it.
You would have married her most shamefully,
Where there was no proportion held in love.
The truth is, She and I, long since contracted,
Are now so sure, that nothing can dissolve us.
The offence is holy, that she hath committed :
And this deceit loses the name of craft,
VOL. II.

I

Of disobedience, or unduteous title;
Since therein she doth evitate and shun
A thousand irreligious cursed hours,
Which forced marriage would have brought upon her.

Ford. Stand not amaz'd: here is no remedy:
In love, the heavens themselves do guide the state ;
Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.

Fal. I am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced. Page. Well, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give

thee joy ! What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac'd. Fal. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are

chas'd. Eva. I will dance and eat plums at your wedding. Mrs. Page. Well, I will muse no further :-Ma

ster Fenton,
Heaven give you many, many merry days ! -
Good husband, let us every one go home,
And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire;
Sir John and all.
Ford.

Let it be so :-Sir John,
To master Brook you yet shall hold your word;
For he, to-night, shall lie with Mrs. Ford.

[Ereunt.

U PON THE

MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

[ocr errors]

Sir Hugh,] It was the custom in ancient times to give the title of Sir to certain orders of the clergy as well as to knights. Indeed it seems the opinion both of Chief Justice Popham and my Lord Coke that these ecclesiastical Sirs were bona fide knights, but that idea is at present little credited.

- a Star-chamber matter of it:] Ben Jonson intimates, that the Star-chamber had a right to take cognizance of such matters. See The Magnetick Lady, Act 3. Sc. 4.

" There is a court above, of the Star-chamber,

“ To punish routs and riots.• Cust-alorum.] This is, I suppose, intended for a corruption of Custos Rotulorum. The mistake was hardly designed by the author, who, though he gives Shallow folly enough, makes him rather pedantic than illiterate. If we read;

Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and Custos Rotulorum :" It follows naturally;

Slen. Ay, and Ratalorum too." JOHNSON.

STEEVENS.

« ZurückWeiter »