The Merry Wives of Windsor


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Falstaff, Host, Bardolph, Nym, Pistol, and

Robin


FALSTAFF

Mine host of the Garter –


HOST

What says my bully rook? Speak scholarly and
bully rook (n.) merry comrade, good mate, old rogue

wisely.


FALSTAFF

Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of
turn away (v.) send away, dismiss from service

my followers.


HOST

Discard, bully Hercules, cashier. Let them wag;
bully (n./adj.) [especially as a warm form of address] fine fellow, good friend See Topics: Address forms
cashier (v.) 2 discharge, dismiss [from service]
wag (v.) 1 go off, depart, go on one's way

trot, trot.


FALSTAFF

I sit at ten pounds a week.
sit (v.) 1 lodge, live, stay


HOST

Thou'rt an emperor – Caesar, Keisar, and Pheazar.
keisar (n.) kaiser, emperor
pheazar (n.) [unclear meaning] vizier, person of great stature

I will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap.
draw (v.) 15 draw liquor [from barrels]
entertain (v.) 5 hire, employ, maintain, take into service
tap (v.) work as a tapster

Said I well, bully Hector?
bully (n./adj.) [especially as a warm form of address] fine fellow, good friend See Topics: Address forms


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.
froth (v.) make beer foam up [so that not so much is sold]
lime (v.) 4 mix wine with lime [to add to its sparkle]
word, at a 2 without more ado, at once, forthwith

Exit


FALSTAFF

Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade.
tapster (n.) inn waiter, drawer of ale

An old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered servingman
jerkin (n.) male upper garment, close-fitting jacket [often made of leather] See Topics: Clothing

a fresh tapster. Go, adieu.


BARDOLPH

It is a life that I have desired. I will thrive.


PISTOL

O base Hungarian wight! Wilt thou the spigot wield?
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count
Hungarian (adj.) [pun on ‘hungry’] beggarly, thievish
spigot (v.) wooden peg, tap [in a barrel]
wight (n.) [archaism] person, human being See Topics: Archaisms

Exit Bardolph


NYM

He was gotten in drink. Is not the humour
conceited (adj.) 1 ingenious, clever, well-devised
get (v.) 1 beget, conceive, breed
humour (n.) 3 style, method, way, fashion
humour (n.) 4 sentiment, turn of phrase, manner of expression

conceited?


FALSTAFF

I am glad I am so acquit of this tinderbox.
acquit (adj.) rid, free, relieved

His thefts were too open. His filching was like an
open (adj.) 1 public, exposed to general view

unskilful singer – he kept not time.


NYM

The good humour is to steal at a minute's rest.
humour (n.) 3 style, method, way, fashion
rest (n.) 2 interval, space, pause


PISTOL

‘ Convey ’, the wise it call. ‘ Steal!’ Foh,
convey (v.) 1 carry off, make away with, take by force

A fico for the phrase!
fico (n.) fig See Topics: Exclamations


FALSTAFF

Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
heels, out at penniless, destitute, in desperate straights


PISTOL

Why then, let kibes ensue.
kibe (n.) chilblain, inflamed heel


FALSTAFF

There is no remedy – I must cony-catch, I must
cony-catch (v.) 2 take to cheating, become a trickster

shift.
shift (v.) 1 provide, look out, take care


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.
ken (v.) 3 know, be acquainted with
substance (n.) 2 property, wealth, possessions, treasure
wight (n.) [archaism] person, human being See Topics: Archaisms


FALSTAFF

My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
about (adv.) 2 in the process of planning, up to


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 –
about (adv.) 3 round, in circumference

I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to

Ford's wife. I spy entertainment in her. She discourses,
discourse (v.) 1 talk, chat, converse
entertainment (n.) 3 hospitality, provision for needs

she carves, she gives the leer of invitation. I can construe
carve (v.) 1 be a generous hostess; or: speak in a charmingly affected way
construe (v.) 3 explain, expound
leer (n.) 2 glance, look, eye

the action of her familiar style; and the hardest voice
action (n.) 7 performance, exercises, acts
familiar (adj.) 1 friendly, congenial, welcoming
hard (adj.) 4 unpleasant, harsh, cruel
voice (n.) 3 authoritative opinion, judgement

of her behaviour – to be Englished rightly – is ‘ I am

Sir John Falstaff's.’


PISTOL

He hath studied her will, and translated her will –
translate (v.) 1 transform, change, alter
will (n.) 4 intent, purpose, design

out of honesty into English.
honesty (n.) 1 virtue, chastity


NYM

The anchor is deep. Will that humour pass?
humour (n.) 4 sentiment, turn of phrase, manner of expression
pass (v.) 2 pass muster, stand up well


FALSTAFF

Now, the report goes she has all the rule of

her husband's purse. He hath a legion of angels.
angel (n.) 3 gold coin [with the angel Michael depicted] See Topics: Money
legend (n.) probably a malapropism for ‘legion’


PISTOL

As many devils entertain! And ‘ To her, boy,’ say I.
entertain (v.) 5 hire, employ, maintain, take into service


NYM

The humour rises – it is good. Humour me the
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count
humour (n.) 4 sentiment, turn of phrase, manner of expression
humour (v.) like the mood of, find enjoyable, indulge

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, examined my parts with most judicious œillades.
oeillade (n.) [pron: 'iliad, uh'yahd] ] amorous glance, look of love, ogle
part (n.) 1 quality, attribute, gift, accomplishment [of mind or body]

Sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot,

sometimes my portly belly.
portly (adj.) stately, majestic, dignified


PISTOL

(aside)

Then did the sun on dunghill shine.


NYM

(aside)
humour (n.) 4 sentiment, turn of phrase, manner of expression

I thank thee for that humour.


FALSTAFF

O, she did so course o'er my exteriors with
course over (v.) run an eye over, check out, go through

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
cheater (n.) deceiver, sharper, gamester; also: officer who looks after estates forfeited to the crown

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. (To Pistol) Go, bear thou this letter to

Mistress Page; (to Nym) 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.
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count
humour (n.) 3 style, method, way, fashion
humour-letter (n.) letter displaying a particular sentiment

I will keep the haviour of reputation.
haviour (n.) behaviour, manner, demeanour
reputation (n.) honour, esteem, integrity


FALSTAFF

(to Robin)

Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly;

Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.
pinnace (n.) small speedy boat with a single mast

Rogues, hence, avaunt! Vanish like hailstones, go!
avaunt (int.) begone, go away, be off See Topics: Frequency count

Trudge, plod away o'th'hoof, seek shelter, pack!
pack (v.) 1 take [oneself] off, be off, depart

Falstaff will learn the humour of the age,
humour (n.) 3 style, method, way, fashion

French thrift, you rogues – myself and skirted page.
skirted (adj.) wearing a long coat

Exeunt Falstaff and Robin


PISTOL

Let vultures gripe thy guts! For gourd and fullam holds,
fullam, fulham (n.) type of loaded dice
gourd (n.) type of loaded dice
gripe (v.) clutch, grasp, seize
hold (v.) 5 apply, be apt, remain valid

And high and low beguiles the rich and poor.
beguile (v.) 1 cheat, deceive, trick

Tester I'll have in pouch when thou shalt lack,
tester, testril (n.) sixpenny piece See Topics: Money

Base Phrygian Turk!
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count


NYM

I have operations which be humours of revenge.
humour (n.) 3 style, method, way, fashion
operation (n.) 2 plan, active thought, working idea


PISTOL

Wilt thou revenge?
welkin (n.) sky, firmament, heavens


NYM

                         By welkin and her star!


PISTOL

With wit or steel?
humour (n.) 3 style, method, way, fashion
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count


NYM

                         With both the humours, I.

I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.
discuss (v.) disclose, make known, declare
humour (n.) 3 style, method, way, fashion


PISTOL

And I to Ford shall eke unfold
eke (adv.) [archaism] also, moreover, too See Topics: Archaisms

How Falstaff, varlet vile,
varlet (n.) 1 knave, rogue, rascal, ruffian

His dove will prove, his gold will hold,
prove (v.) 1 test, try out, make trial [of]

And his soft couch defile.


NYM

My humour shall not cool. I will incense Page to
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count

deal with poison. I will possess him with yellowness, for
deal with (v.) make use of, resort to
possess (v.) 2 fill, imbue

the revolt of mine is dangerous. That is my true humour.
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count
revolt (n.) 2 rebellion, act of disobedience


PISTOL

Thou art the Mars of malcontents. I second thee. Troop on.
malcontent (n.) discontented individual, trouble-maker

Exeunt

 
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