The Merry Wives of Windsor


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Fenton and Host
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count


HOST

Master Fenton, talk not to me. My mind is heavy.

I will give over all.


FENTON

Yet hear me speak. Assist me in my purpose,
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

And, as I am a gentleman, I'll give thee

A hundred pound in gold more than your loss.


HOST

I will hear you, Master Fenton, and I will, at the

least, keep your counsel.


FENTON

From time to time I have acquainted you

With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page,

Who mutually hath answered my affection,
affection (n.) 4 love, devotion
answer (v.) 13 return, respond to, requite

So far forth as herself might be her chooser,

Even to my wish. I have a letter from her
even, e'en (adv.) 5 quite, fully, simply

Of such contents as you will wonder at,

The mirth whereof so larded with my matter
lard (v.) 2 mix in, intermix, intermingle
matter (n.) 4 affair(s), business, real issue
mirth (n.) 2 joke, diversion, sport

That neither singly can be manifested

Without the show of both. Fat Falstaff

Hath a great scene. The image of the jest
image (n.) 1 embodiment, instance, form
scene (n.) 1 play, drama, performance

I'll show you here at large. Hark, good mine host:
large, at 1 at length, in full, thoroughly

Tonight at Herne's Oak, just 'twixt twelve and one,

Must my sweet Nan present the Fairy Queen –
present (v.) 4 act, represent, play the part of

The purpose why is here – in which disguise,

While other jests are something rank on foot,
foot, on 1 in employment, taking place, under way
rank (adj.) 12 numerous, frequent, abundant
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count

Her father hath commanded her to slip

Away with Slender, and with him at Eton

Immediately 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,
shuffle (v.) 1 spirit, smuggle, remove secretly

While other sports are tasking of their minds,
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count
task of (v.) occupy, engage, make demands on

And at the deanery, where a priest attends,
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]

Straight marry her. To this her mother's plot
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath

Made promise to the doctor. Now thus it rests:
rest (v.) 1 remain, stay, stand

Her father means she shall be all in white,

And in that habit, when Slender sees his time
habit (n.) 1 dress, clothing, costume See Topics: Frequency count

To take her by the hand and bid her go,

She shall go with him. Her mother hath intended,
intend (v.) 4 plan, arrange, organize

The better to denote her to the doctor –
denote (v.) 2 mark out, single out, distinguish

For they must all be masked and vizarded –
vizarded (adj.) masked, visored, disguised

That quaint in green she shall be loose enrobed,
quaint (adv.) elaborately, elegantly, finely

With ribands pendent, flaring 'bout her head;
flare (v.) blow in the air, stream loosely
pendent (adj.) 1 downhanging, drooping, dangling
riband (n.) ribbon

And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe,
vantage (n.) 1 right moment, suitable opportunity

To pinch her by the hand, and, on that token,
pinch (v.) 6 take, squeeze, press
token (n.) 2 signal, indication

The maid hath given consent to go with him.


HOST

Which means she to deceive, father or mother?


FENTON

Both, my good host, to go along with me.

And here it rests – that you'll procure the vicar
rest (v.) 1 remain, stay, stand

To stay for me at church 'twixt twelve and one,

And, in the lawful name of marrying,

To give our hearts united ceremony.


HOST

Well, husband your device. I'll to the vicar.
device (n.) 1 plot, stratagem, trick
husband (v.) 3 make the most of, thrive well with

Bring you the maid, you shall not lack a priest.


FENTON

So shall I evermore be bound to thee;
bound (adj.) 1 obliged, indebted, under an obligation

Besides, I'll make a present recompense.
recompense (n.) 1 payment for services, reward

Exeunt

 
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