Page images

had been Anne Page, would I might never stir, and, 'tis a poft-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 The cry'd budget, as Anne and I had appointed; and yet it was not Anne, but a poft-master's boy.

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

Page. O, I am vex'd at heart: What shall I do? Mrs Page. Good George, be not angry: I knew of your purpose ; turn’d 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 cozen'd; I ha’ married un garçon, a boy; un paisan, by gar, a boy; it is not Anne Page : by gar, I am cozen'd.

Mrs Page. Why, did you not take her in green?

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

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

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

Enter Fenton, and ANNE PAGE. How now, master Fenton ? Anne. Pardon, goodfather! goodmy mother, pardon!


Page. Now, mistress ? how chance you went not with master Slender ?

Mrs Page. Why went you not with master doctor, 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, Of disobedience, or unduteous title ; Since therein she doth evitate and shun A thousand irreligious cursed hours, Which forced marriage would have brought upon heri

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

F. I am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanc’d.

Page. Well, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give thee What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac'd. [joy!

Eva. I will dance and eat plums at your wedding.
Fal. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deerarechac'd.
Mrs Page. Well, I will muse no further :-Mafter

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 yét shall hold your word;
For he, to-night, shall sye with mistress Ford.

[Exeunt omnes.



Page 5, line 1, for eleyen read seven

5 from bottom, for Eva, read Sken.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »