Document: All > Shakespeare > Comedies > Merry Wives of Windsor > Act I, scene III
[Enter FALSTAFF, Host, BARDOLPH, NYM, PISTOL,
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
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.
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?
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 o'er 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: [To ROBIN] 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 o' 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
How Falstaff, varlet vile,
His dove will prove, his gold will hold,
And his soft couch defile.
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.
THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR