Eva. If there be any pody in the house, and in the chambers, and in the coffers, and in the presses, heaven forgive my sins at the day of judgment !

Caius. By gar, nor I too; dere is no bodies.

Page. Fie, fie, Mr. Ford! are you not alham'd ? what fpirit, what devil suggests this imagination? I would not have your distemper in this kind, for the wealth of Windsor Castle.

Ford. 'Tis my fault, Mr. Page : I suffer for it.

Eva. You suffer for a pad conscience : your wife is as honest a o'mans, as I will desires among five thousand, and five hundred too.

Caius. By gar, I see, 'tis an honest woman.

Ford. Well;-I promis’d you a dinner :- come, come, walk in the park : I pray you, pardon me; I will hereafter make known to you, why I have done this. Come, wife ; come, mistress Page; I pray you pardon me; pray heartily, pardon me.

Page. Let's go in, gentlemen ; but trust me, we'll mock him. I do invite you to-morrow morning to my house to breakfast; after, we'll a birding together; I have a fine hawk for the bush. Shall it be fo?

Ford. Any thing

Eva. If there is one, I shall make two in the company.

Caius. If there be one or two, I shall make-a de turd.

Eva. In your teeth :--for shame.
Ford. Pray you go, Mr. Page.

Eva. I pray you now, remembrance co-morrow on the lousy knave, mine Host.

Caius. Dat is good; by gar, with all my heart.

Eva. A lousy knave; to have his gibes, and his mockeries.



[blocks in formation]

Changes to Page's bouse.
Enter Fenton and Mistress Anne Page.
Fent. I fee I cannot get thy father's love ;
Therefore no more turn me to him, sweet Nan.

Anne. Alas! how then?

Fent. Why, thou must be thyself.
He doth object, I am too great of birth;
And that my state being galld with my expence,
I seek to heal it only by his wealth.
Besides these, other bars he lays before me
My riots past, my wild focieties :
And tells me, 'tis a thing impossible
I should love thee, but as a property.

Anne. May be, he tells you true.

Fent. No, heaven so speed me in my time to come!
Albeit, I will confess, thy 7 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 Mr. Fenton,
Yet seek my father's love ; still seek it, Sir:


- father's wealth] Some light may be given to those who shall endeavour to calculate the increase of English wealth, by observing, that Latymer, in the time of Edward VI. mentions it as a proof of his father's prosperity, that though but a yeoman, be gave his daughters five pounds each for her portion. At the latter end of Elizabeth, seven hundred pounds were such a temptation to courtship, as made all other motives sufpected. Congreve makes twelve thousand pounds more than a counterbalance to the affectation of Belinda. No poet would now fly his favourite character at less than fifty thousand.


8 If opportunity and humblest suit Cannot attain it, why then-Hark

you hither. [Fenton and Mistress Anne go apart. Enter Shallow, Slender, and Mrs. Quickly. Sbal. Break their talk, mistress Quickly; my kinfman shall speak for himself.

Slen. I'll make a shaft or a bolt on't : 'nid, 'tis but venturing

Shal. Be not dismay’d.

Slen. No, she shall not dismay me : I care not for that, but that I am affeard.

Quic. Hark ye ; master Slender would speak a word

with you.

Anne. I come to him.—This is my father's choice. O, what a world of vile ill-favour'd faults Look handsome in three hundred pounds a year!

Quic. And how does good master Fenton ? Pray you, a word with you.

Shal. She's coming; to her, coz. O boy, thou hadít a father!

Slen. I had a father, Mrs. Anne; my uncle can tell you good jefts of him.--Pray you, uncle, tell Mrs. 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, 9 come cut and long-tail, under the degree of a 'squire.

. If opportunity and bumbleft suit] Dr. Thirlby imagines, that our author with more propriety wrote:

If importunity and humbleft fuit. I have not ventur'd to disturb the text, because it may mean, “ If the frequent opportunities you find of folliciting my fa“ ther, and your obsequiousness to him, cannot get him over to your party,” &c. THEOBALD.

-come cut and long-tail,-) According to the forest laws, the dog of a man, who had no right to the privilege of chace,



Sbal. 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.
Slen. Now, good mistress Anne.
Anne. What is your will ?

Slen. My will ? 'od's heart-lings, 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?

Slen. Truly, for my own part, I would little or nothing with you: your father, and my uncle, have made motions : if it be my luck, fo; if not, happy man be his dole! They can tell 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

-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.

Fent. Nay, master Page, be not impatient.
Mrs. Page. Good master Fenton, come not to my

Page. She is no match for you.

. Fent. 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. Quic. Speak to mistress Page. was obliged to cut, or law his dog, amongst other modes of disabling him, by depriving him of his tail. A dog so cut was called a cut, or curt-tail, and by contraction cur. long-tail therefore fignify the dog of a clown, and the dog of a gentleman. STEEVENS.

Cut and

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.

Anne. Good mother, do not marry me to yon' fool. Mrs.Page. I mean it not; I seek you a better husband. Quic. That's my master, master Doctor.

9 Anne. Alas, I had rather be set quick i’the 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 :- he must needs go in, Her father will be angry. (Exe. Mrs. Page and Anne.

Fent. Farewell, gentle mistress ; farewell, Nan.

Quic. This is my doing now. Nay, said I, will you cast away your child on

'child on a ' fool and a physician? Look on, master Fenton :-this is my doing.

Fent. I thank thee ; and I pray thee, once to-night give my sweet Nan this ring. There's for thy pains.

[Exit. Quic. 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 footh, 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;

9 Anne. Alas, I had rather be fet quick i' the earth,

And bowld to death with turnips.] Can we think the speaker would thus ridicule her own imprecation? We may be sure the last line should be given to the procuress, Quickly, who would mock the young woman's aversion for her maiter the Doctor. WARBURTON.

-fool and a physician?] I should read fool or a pbysician, nieaning Siender and Caius. JOHNSON.


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