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  • Title: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folio 1, 1623)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Merry Wives of Windsor (Folio 1, 1623)

    Scena Tertia.
    300Enter 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. Exeunt.