William Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor, Act III, Scene IV
Enter Fenton and Anne Page
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.
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.
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
I come to him.
This is my father's choice. O, what a world of vile ill-favor'd faults Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a-year!
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.
Marry, I thank you for it; I thank you for that good comfort. She calls you, coz: I'll leave you.
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.
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
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 disposed of.
No, good Master Fenton. Come, Master Shallow; come, son Slender, in. Knowing my mind, you wrong me, Master Fenton.
Exeunt Page, Shallow, and Slender
Good Mistress Page, for that I love your daughter In such a righteous fashion as I do, Perforce, against all cheques, rebukes and manners, I must advance the colours of my love And not retire: let me have your good will.
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.
Exeunt Mistress Page and Anne Page
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.
I thank thee; and I pray thee, once to-night Give my sweet Nan this ring: there's for thy pains.
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 slack it!