How now, Master Fenton!
Pardon, good father! good my mother, pardon!
Now, Mistress, how chance you went not with Master Slender?
Why went you not with Master Doctor, maid?
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 her.
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.
I am glad, though you have ta’en a special stand
to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced.
Well, what remedy?—Fenton, heaven give thee joy!
What cannot be eschew’d must be embrac’d.
When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chas’d.
Well, I will muse no further. Master Fenton,
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.
Let it be so. Sir John,
To Master Brook you yet shall hold your word;
For he, to-night, shall lie with Mistress Ford.
*** End of the project gutenberg EBOOK, the merry wives of Windsor ***
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