Act 4 - Scene 6
Another room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FENTON and Host
Master Fenton, talk not to me; my mind is heavy: I
will give over all.
Yet hear me speak. Assist me in my purpose,
And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee
A hundred pound
in gold more than your loss.
I will hear you, Master Fenton; and I will at the
least keep your counsel.
From time to time I have acquainted you
With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page;
Who mutually hath
answer'd my affection,
So far forth as herself might be her chooser,
Even to my wish: I have a letter from
Of such contents as you will wonder at;
The mirth whereof so larded with my matter,
That neither singly
can be manifested,
Without the show of both; fat Falstaff
Hath a great scene: the image of the jest
you here at large. Hark, good mine host.
To-night at Herne's oak, just 'twixt twelve and one,
sweet Nan present the Fairy Queen;
The purpose why, is here: in which disguise,
While other jests are
something rank on foot,
Her father hath commanded her to slip
Away with Slender and with him at Eton
to marry: she hath consented: Now, sir,
Her mother, ever strong against that match
And firm for Doctor
Caius, hath appointed
That he shall likewise shuffle her away,
While other sports are tasking of their minds,
at the deanery, where a priest attends,
Straight marry her: to this her mother's plot
She seemingly obedient
Made promise to the doctor. Now, thus it rests:
Her father means she shall be all in white,
in that habit, when Slender sees his time
To take her by the hand and bid her go,
She shall go with him: her
mother hath intended,
The better to denote her to the doctor,
For they must all be mask'd and vizarded,
quaint in green she shall be loose enrobed,
With ribands pendent, flaring 'bout her head;
And when the
doctor spies his vantage ripe,
To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token,
The maid hath given consent
to go with him.
Which means she to deceive, father or mother?
Both, my good host, to go along with me:
And here it rests, that you'll procure the vicar
To stay for me at
church 'twixt twelve and one,
And, in the lawful name of marrying,
To give our hearts united ceremony.
Well, husband your device; I'll to the vicar:
Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.
So shall I evermore be bound to thee;
Besides, I'll make a present recompense.
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