Prescanned Shakespeare.com
presented by Acoustic Learning


The Merry Wives of Windsor

Act I, Scene 3

A room in the Garter Inn.
 
[Enter FALSTAFF, Host, BARDOLPH, NYM, PISTOL, and ROBIN]
 
FALSTAFF
Mine host of the Garter!
 
HOST
What says my bully-rook? speak scholarly and wisely.
 
FALSTAFF
Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers.
 
HOST
Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.
 
FALSTAFF
I sit at ten pounds a week.
 
HOST
Thou'rt an emperor, Caesar, Keisar, and Pheezar. I will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector?
 
FALSTAFF
Do so, good mine host.
 
HOST
I have spoke; let him follow. Let me see thee froth and lime: I am at a word; follow.
 
[Exit]
 
FALSTAFF
Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade: an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered serving-man a fresh tapster. Go; adieu.
 
BARDOLPH
It is a life that I have desired: I will thrive.
 
PISTOL
O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?
 
[Exit BARDOLPH]
 
NYM
He was gotten in drink: is not the humour conceited?
 
FALSTAFF
I am glad I am so acquit of this tinderbox: his thefts were too open; his filching was like an unskilful singer; he kept not time.
 
NYM
The good humour is to steal at a minute's rest.
 
PISTOL
Convey, the wise it call. Steal! foh! a fico for the phrase!
 
FALSTAFF
Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
 
PISTOL
Why, then, let kibes ensue.
 
FALSTAFF
There is no remedy; I must cony-catch; I must shift.
 
PISTOL
Young ravens must have food.
 
FALSTAFF
Which of you know Ford of this town?
 
PISTOL
I ken the wight: he is of substance good.
 
FALSTAFF
My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
 
PISTOL
Two yards, and more.
 
FALSTAFF
No quips now, Pistol! Indeed, I am in the waist two yards about; but I am now about no waste; I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford's wife: I spy entertainment in her; she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation: I can construe the action of her familiar style; and the hardest voice of her behavior, to be Englished rightly, is, I am Sir John Falstaff's.
 
PISTOL
He hath studied her will, and translated her will, out of honesty into English.
 
NYM
The anchor is deep: will that humour pass?
 
FALSTAFF
Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her husband's purse: he hath a legion of angels.
 
PISTOL
As many devils entertain; and To her, boy, say I.
 
NYM
The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.
 
FALSTAFF
I have writ me here a letter to her: and here another to Page's wife, who even now gave me good eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious oeillades; sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.
 
PISTOL
Then did the sun on dunghill shine.
 
NYM
I thank thee for that humour.
 
FALSTAFF
O, she did so course ore my exteriors with such a greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye did seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass! Here's another letter to her: she bears the purse too; she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will be cheater to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go bear thou this letter to Mistress Page; and thou this to Mistress Ford: we will thrive, lads, we will thrive.
 
PISTOL
Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become, And by my side wear steel? then, Lucifer take all!
 
NYM
I will run no base humour: here, take the humour-letter: I will keep the havior of reputation.
 
FALSTAFF
Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly; Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores. Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go; Trudge, plod away of the hoof; seek shelter, pack! Falstaff will learn the humour of the age, French thrift, you rogues; myself and skirted page.
 
[Exeunt FALSTAFF and ROBIN]
 
PISTOL
Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and fullam holds, and high and low beguiles the rich and poor: Tester I'll have in pouch when thou shalt lack, Base Phrygian Turk!
 
NYM
I have operations which be humours of revenge.
 
PISTOL
Wilt thou revenge?
 
NYM
By welkin and her star!
 
PISTOL
With wit or steel?
 
NYM
With both the humours, I: I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.
 
PISTOL
          ,        ,           ,        ,
      And I | to Ford | shall eke | unfold
       T   T   T      ,        __
      How Falstaff,| varlet | vile,
            ,           ,           ,           ,
      His dove | will prove,| his gold | will hold,
       T   T    T      ,       __
      And his soft | couch de|file.
 
NYM
My humour shall not cool: I will incense Page to deal with poison; I will possess him with yellowness, for the revolt of mine is dangerous: that is my true humour.
 
PISTOL
Thou art the Mars of malecontents: I second thee; troop on.
 
[Exeunt]

← Previous Scene | Next Scene →


Home