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Ford. Marry, sir, we'll bring you to Windsor, to one master Brook, that you have cozened of money, to whom you should have been a pander: over and above that you have suffered, I think, to repay that money will be a biting affliction,

Mrs. Ford. Nay, husband, let that go to make amends : Forgive that sum, and so we'll all be friends.

Ford. Well, here's my hand ; all's forgiven at last.

Page. Yet be cheerful, knight : thou shalt eat a posset to-night at my house ; where I will desire thee to laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee : Tell her, master Slender hath married her daughter. 4

Mrs. Page. Doctors doubt that : if Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this, doctor Caius' wife. [Aside

Enter SLENDER. Slen. Whoo, ho ! ho ! father Page !

Page. Son ! how now ? how now, son ? have you despatched ?

Slen. Despatched !--I'll maks the best in Gloucestershire know on't ; would I were hanged, la, else.

Page. Of what, son ?

Slen. I came yonder at Eton to marry mistress Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy: If it had not been i’ the church, I would have swinged him, or he should have swinged me. If I did not think it had been Anne Page, would I might never stir, and 'tis a post-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 she cry'd budget, as Anne and I had appointed ; and yet it was not Anne, but a post-master's boy.

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

Page. O, I am vexed at heart : What shall I do?

Mrs. Page. Good George, be not angry : I knew of your purpose ; turned my daughter into green ; and, indeed, she is now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married.

[4] The two plots are excellently connected, and the transition very art fully made in this speech. JOHNSON.

26 VOL. I.

Enter Caius. Caius. Vere is mistress Page ? By gar, I am cozened; I ha' married un garçon, a boy ; un paisan, by gar, a boy ; it is not Anne Page : by gar, I am cozened.

Mrs. Page. Why, did you take her in green?

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

[Exit CAIUS. Ford. This is strange : Who hath got the right Anne !

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

Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGE. How now, master Fenton ?

Anne. Pardon, good father ! good my mother, pardon!

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

Mrs. Pa. 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 eviate and shun A thousand irreligious cursed hours, Which forced marriage would have brought upon her

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

Fal. I am glad, though you have ta’en a special stand to strike at me,

that your arrow hath glanced. Page. Well, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give thee What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac'd.

[joy! Fal. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chac'd. Eva. I will dance and eat plums at your wedding.

Mrs.Pa. Well, I will muse no further:-MasterFenton, 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 yet shall hold your word ; For he, to-night, shall lie with mistress Ford. (Exeunt.

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SHAKSPEARE took the fable of this play from the Promos and Cassandra of George Whetstone, published in 1598.

A hint, like a seed, is more or less prolific, according to the qualities of the soil on which it is thrown. This story, which in the hands of Whetstone produced little more than barren insipidity, under the culture of Shakspeare became fertile of entertainment. The curious reader will find that the old play of Promos and Cassandra exhibits an almost complete embryo of Measure for Measure ; yet the hints on which it is formed are so slight, that it is nearly as impossible to detect them, as it is to point out in the acorn the future ramifications of the oak.

STEEVENS. There is perhaps not one of Shakspeare's plays more darkened than this by the peculiarities of its author, and the unskilfulness of its editors, by distortions of phrase, or negligence of transcription. The light or comic part is very natural and pleasing, but the grave scenes, if a few passages be excepted, have more labour than elegance. The plot is rather intricate than artful. The time of the action is indefinite : some time, we know not how much, must have elapsed between the recess of the duke and the imprisonment of Claudio ; for he must have learned the story of Mariana in his disguise, or he delegated his power to a man already known to be corrupted. The unities of action and place are sufficiently preserved.


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