ACT I
Scene 3
 

The Garter Inn

Enter FALSTAFF, HOST, BARDOLPH, NYM, PISTOL, and ROBIN

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
followers.

HOST
Discard, bully Hercules; cashier; let them wag; trot,
trot.

FALSTAFF
I sit at ten pounds a week.

HOST
Thou'rt an emperor-Caesar, Keiser, and Pheazar. 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. [To BARDOLPH] Let me
see thee froth and lime. I am at a word; follow.

Exit HOST

FALSTAFF
Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade;
an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a wither'd serving-man a
fresh tapster. Go; adieu.

BARDOLPH
It is a life that I have desir'd; I will thrive.

PISTOL
O base Hungarian wight! Wilt thou the spigot
wield?

Exit BARDOLPH

NYM
He was gotten in drink. Is not the humour conceited?

FALSTAFF
I am glad I am so acquit of this tinder-box: 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 behaviour, to be
English'd rightly, is 'I am Sir John Falstaff's.'

PISTOL
He hath studied her well, 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, examin'd 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 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.

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 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.

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 in my head 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 malcontents; I second thee;
troop on.

Exeunt