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Monologues for Men


From time to time I have acquainted you

With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page,

Who mutually hath answer’d my affection

(So far forth as herself might be her chooser)

Even to my wish. I have 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 show of both. Fat Falstaff

Hath a great scene; the image of the jest

I’ll show you here at large. Hark, good mine host:

Tonight at Herne’s oak, just ’twixt twelve and one,

Must my sweet Nan present the Fairy Queen;

The purpose why, is here; in which disguise,

While other jests are something rank on foot,

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 (even strong against that match

And firm for Doctor Caius) hath appointed

That he shall likewise shuffle her away,

While other sports are tasking of their minds,

And at the dean’ry, where a priest attends,

Straight marry her. To this her mother’s plot

She (seemingly obedient) likewise hath

Made promise to the doctor. Now, thus it rests:

Her father means she shall be all in white;

And in that habit, when Slender sees his time

To take her by the hand and bid her go,

She shall go with him. Her mother hath intended

(The better to denote her to the doctor,

For they must all be mask’d and vizarded)

That quaint in green she shall be loose enrob’d,

With ribands 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 given consent to go with him.

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