Fen. From time to time, I haue acquainted you With the deare loue I beare to faire Anne Page, Who, mutually, hath answer'd my affection, (So farre forth, as her selfe might be her chooser) Euen to my wish; I haue a letter from her Of such contents, as you will wonder at; The mirth whereof, so larded with my matter, That neither (singly) can be manifested Without the shew of both: fat Falstaffe Hath a great Scene; the image of the iest Ile show you here at large (harke good mine Host:) To night at Hernes-Oke, iust 'twixt twelue and one, Must my sweet Nan present the Faerie-Queene: The purpose why, is here: in which disguise While other Iests are something ranke on foote, Her father hath commanded her to slip Away with Slender, and with him, at Eaton Immediately to Marry: She hath consented: Now Sir, Her Mother, (euen strong against that match And firme for Doctor Caius) hath appointed That he shall likewise shuffle her away, While other sports are tasking of their mindes, And at the Deanry, where a Priest attends Strait marry her: to this her Mothers plot She seemingly obedient) likewise hath Made promise to the Doctor: Now, thus it rests, Her Father meanes she shall be all in white; And in that habit, when Slender sees his time To take her by the hand, and bid her goe, She shall goe with him: her Mother hath intended (The better to deuote her to the Doctor; For they must all be mask'd, and vizarded) That quaint in greene, she shall be loose en-roab'd, With Ribonds-pendant, 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 giuen consent to go with him

Host. Which meanes she to deceiue? Father, or Mother

Fen. Both (my good Host) to go along with me: And heere it rests, that you'l procure the Vicar To stay for me at Church, 'twixt twelue, and one, And in the lawfull name of marrying, To giue our hearts vnited ceremony

Host. Well, husband your deuice; Ile to the Vicar, Bring you the Maid, you shall not lacke a Priest

Fen. So shall I euermore be bound to thee; Besides, Ile make a present recompence.


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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