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 behaviour, to be
English'd rightly, is 'I am Sir John Falstaff's.'
He hath studied her well, and translated her will out
of honesty into English.
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 humour rises; it is good; humour me the angels.
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 oeillades;
sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my
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.
Shall I Sir Pandarus of Troy become,
And by my side wear steel? Then Lucifer take all!
I will run no base humour. Here, take the
humour-letter; I will keep the haviour 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 i' th' hoof; seek shelter, pack!
Falstaff will learn the humour of the age;
French thrift, you rogues; myself, and skirted page.