Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folio 1, 1623)

Scena Tertia.
Enter Falstaffe, Host, Bardolfe, Nym, Pistoll, Page.
Fal. Mine Host of the Garter?
Ho. What saies my Bully Rooke? speake schollerly,
and wisely.
Fal. Truely mine Host; I must turne away some of my
Ho. Discard, (bully Hercules) casheere; let them wag;
trot, trot.
Fal. I sit at ten pounds a weeke.
Ho. Thou'rt an Emperor (Cesar, Keiser and Pheazar)
310I will entertaine Bardolfe: he shall draw; he shall tap; said
I well (bully Hector?)
Fa. Doe so (good mine Host.
Ho. I haue spoke; let him follow; let me see thee froth,
and liue: I am at a word: follow.
315Fal. Bardolfe, follow him: a Tapster is a good trade:
an old Cloake, makes a new Ierkin: a wither'd Seruing-
man, a fresh Tapster: goe, adew.
Ba. It is a life that I haue desir'd: I will thriue.
Pist. O base hungarian wight: wilt yu the spigot wield.
320Ni. He was gotten in drink: is not the humor cōceited?
Fal. I am glad I am so acquit of this Tinderbox: his
Thefts were too open: his filching was like an vnskilfull
Singer, he kept not time.
Ni. The good humor is to steale at a minutes rest.
325Pist. Conuay: the wise it call: Steale? foh: a fico for
the phrase.
Fal. Well sirs, I am almost out at heeles.
Pist. Why then let Kibes ensue.
Fal. There is no remedy: I must conicatch, I must shift.
330Pist. Yong Rauens must haue foode.
Fal. Which of you know Ford of this Towne?
Pist. I ken the wight: he is of substance good.
Fal. My honest Lads, I will tell you what I am about.
Pist. Two yards, and more.
335Fal. No quips now Pistoll: (Indeede I am in the waste
two yards about: but I am now about no waste: I am a-
bout thrift) briefely: I doe meane to make loue to Fords
wife: I spie entertainment in her: shee discourses: shee
carues: she giues the leere of inuitation: I can construe
340the action of her familier stile, & the hardest voice of her
behauior (to be english'd rightly) is, I am Sir Iohn Falstafs.
Pist. He hath studied her will; and translated her will:
out of honesty, into English.
Ni. The Anchor is deepe: will that humor passe?
345Fal. Now, the report goes, she has all the rule of her
husbands Purse: he hath a legend of Angels.
Pist. As many diuels entertaine: and to her Boy say I.
Ni. The humor rises: it is good: humor me the angels.
Fal. I haue writ me here a letter to her: & here ano-
350ther to Pages wife, who euen now gaue mee good eyes
too; examind my parts with most iudicious illiads: some-
times the beame of her view, guilded my foote: some-
times my portly belly.
Pist. Then did the Sun on dung-hill shine.
355Ni. I thanke thee for that humour.
Fal. O she did so course o're my exteriors with such
a greedy intention, that the appetite of her eye, did seeme
to scorch me vp like a burning-glasse: here's another
letter to her: She beares the Purse too: She is a Region
360in Guiana: all gold, and bountie: I will be Cheaters to
them both, and they shall be Exchequers to mee: they
shall be my East and West Indies, and I will trade to
them both: Goe, beare thou this Letter to Mistris Page;
and thou this to Mistris Ford: we will thriue (Lads) we
365will thriue.
Pist. Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,
And by my side weare Steele? then Lucifer take all.
Ni. I will run no base humor: here take the humor-Letter;
I will keepe the hauior of reputation.
370Fal. Hold Sirha, beare you these Letters tightly,
Saile like my Pinnasse to these golden shores.
Rogues, hence, auaunt, vanish like haile-stones; goe,
Trudge; plod away ith' hoofe: seeke shelter, packe:
Falstaffe will learne the honor of the age,
375French-thrift, you Rogues, my selfe, and skirted Page.
Pist. Let Vultures gripe thy guts: for gourd, and
Fullam holds: & high and low beguiles the rich & poore,
Tester ile haue in pouch when thou shalt lacke,
Base Phrygian Turke.
380Ni. I haue opperations,
Which be humors of reuenge.
Pist. Wilt thou reuenge?
Ni. By Welkin, and her Star.
Pist. With wit, or Steele?
385Ni. With both the humors, I:
I will discusse the humour of this Loue to Ford.
Pist. And I to Page shall eke vnfold
How Falstaffe (varlet vile)
His Doue will proue; his gold will hold,
390And his soft couch defile.
Ni. My humour shall not coole: I will incense Ford
to deale with poyson: I will possesse him with yallow-
nesse, for the reuolt of mine is dangerous: that is my
true humour.
395Pist. Thou art the Mars of Malecontents: I second
thee: troope on.