The Merry Wives of Windsor
Act I, Scene 3
A room in the Garter Inn.
- Enter Falstaff, Host, Bardolph, Nym, Pistol, Robin,
- Falstaff’s page.
- Mine host of the Garter!
- What says my bully-rook? Speak scholarly and wisely.
- Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers.
- Discard, bully Hercules, cashier; let them wag; trot, trot.
- I sit at ten pounds a week.
Host6 - 8
- Thou’rt an emperor—Caesar, Keiser, and Pheazar. I will
- entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap. Said I
- well, bully Hector?
- Do so, good mine host.
Host10 - 11
- I have spoke; let him follow.
- To Bardolph.
- Let me see thee froth and lime. I am at a word; follow.
Falstaff12 - 14
- Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade. An old
- cloak makes a new jerkin; a wither’d servingman a fresh
- tapster. Go, adieu.
- It is a life that I have desir’d. I will thrive.
- O base Hungarian wight! Wilt thou the spigot wield?
- Exit Bardolph.
- He was gotten in drink. Is not the humor conceited?
Falstaff18 - 20
- I am glad I am so acquit of this tinderbox; his thefts were
- too open; his filching was like an unskillful singer, he
- kept not time.
- The good humor is to steal at a minute’s rest.
Pistol22 - 23
- “Convey,” the wise it call. “Steal”? Foh! A fico for the
- Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
- Why then let kibes ensue.
- There is no remedy; I must cony-catch, I must shift.
- Young ravens must have food.
- Which of you know Ford of this town?
- I ken the wight; he is of substance good.
- My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
- Two yards, and more.
Falstaff32 - 38
- 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
- English’d rightly) is, “I am Sir John Falstaff’s.”
Pistol39 - 40
- He hath studied her well, and translated her will, out of
- honesty into English.
- The anchor is deep. Will that humor pass?
Falstaff42 - 43
- Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her husband’s
- purse. He hath a legion of angels.
- As many devils entertain; and “To her, boy,” say I.
- The humor rises; it is good. Humor me the angels.
Falstaff46 - 49
- I have writ me here a letter to her; and here another to
- Page’s wife, who even now gave me good eyes too, examin’d my
- parts with most judicious iliads; sometimes the beam of her
- view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.
- Then did the sun on dunghill shine.
- I thank thee for that humor.
Falstaff52 - 60
- 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 cheaters 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.
Pistol61 - 62
- Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,
- And by my side wear steel? Then Lucifer take all!
Nym63 - 64
- I will run no base humor. Here, take the humor-letter; I
- will keep the havior of reputation.
Falstaff65 - 70
- 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 i’ th’ hoof! Seek shelter, pack!
- Falstaff will learn the humor of the age,
- French thrift, you rogues—myself and skirted page.
- Exeunt Falstaff and Robin.
Pistol71 - 74
- 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!
- I have operations in my head which be humors of revenge.
- Wilt thou revenge?
- By welkin and her star!
- With wit or steel?
Nym79 - 80
- With both the humors, I.
- I will discuss the humor of this love to Page.
Pistol81 - 84
- And I to Ford shall eke unfold
- How Falstaff (varlet vile)
- His dove will prove, his gold will hold,
- And his soft couch defile.
Nym85 - 87
- My humor shall not cool. I will incense Page to deal with
- poison; I will possess him with yallowness, for the revolt
- of mine is dangerous—that is my true humor.
- Thou art the Mars of malcontents. I second thee; troop on.