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Slen. I'll rather be unmannerly than troubleYou do yourself wrong, indeed, la!
Enter SIR HUGH EVANS and SIMPLE.
Evans. Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Caius' house which is the way: and there dwells one Mistress Quickly, which is in the manner of his nurse, or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry, his washer, and his wringer.
Sim. Well, sir.
Evans. Nay, it is petter yet. Give her this letter ; for it is a 'oman that altogether's acquaintance with Mistress Anne Page: and the letter is, to desire and require her to solicit your 10 master's desires to Mistress Anne Page. I pray you, be gone: I will make an end of my dinner; there's pippins and cheese to come. [Exeunt.
SCENE III. A room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF, Host, Bardolph, Nym,
Fal. Mine host of the Garter!
Host. What says my bully-rook? speak scholarly and wisely.
Fal. Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers.
Host. Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.
Fal. I sit at ten pounds a week.
1. of, concerning.
5. laundry; for 'launder.'
2. bully-rook, dashing fellow, 'jolly dog'; bully, below, in the same sense.
Host. Thou 'rt an emperor, Cæsar, Keisar, and Pheezar. I will entertain Bardolph ; he ΙΟ shall draw, he shall tap: said I well, bully Hector?
Fal. Do so, good mine host.
Host. I have spoke; let him follow. [To Bard.] Let me see thee froth and lime: I am at a word; follow. [Exit.
Fal. Bardolph, follow him. A tapster is a good trade: an old cloak makes a new jerkin; a withered serving-man a fresh tapster. Go; adieu.
Bard. It is a life that I have desired: I will thrive.
Pist. O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield? [Exit Bardolph. Nym. He was gotten in drink is not the humour conceited?
Fal. I am glad I am so acquit of this tinderbox: 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 30 minute's rest.
Pist. 'Convey,' the wise it call. 'Steal!' foh! a fico for the phrase!
Fal. Well, sirs, I am almost out at heels.
Pist. Why, then, let kibes ensue.
Fal. There is no remedy; I must cony-catch;
Pist. Young ravens must have food.
Fal. Which of you know Ford of this town? Pist. I ken the wight: he is of substance 40 good.
Fal. My honest lads, I will tell you what I am about.
Pist. Two yards, and more.
Fal. 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 50 her familiar style; and .the hardest voice of her behaviour, to be Englished rightly, is, 'I am Sir John Falstaff's.'
Pist. He hath studied her will, and translated her will, out of honesty into English.
Nym. The anchor is deep: will that humour pass?
Fal. Now, the report goes she has all the rule of her husband's purse: he hath a legion of angels.
Pist. As many devils entertain; and 'To her, boy,' say I.
Nym. The humour rises; it is good: humour me the angels.
Fal. I have writ me here a letter to her and here another to Page's wife, who even now gave
49. carves, makes signs of favour with the finger or hand. It is a trait of Overbury's character, A Very Woman,' that 'her lightness gets her to sit at the top of the table, where her wise little finger bewraies carving.'
51. the hardest voice, word, VOL. II
52. to be Englished rightly, if translated into English.
56. The anchor is deep, i.e. the plot is deep laid.
60. angels; the angel was a gold coin worth about ten shillings.
me good eyes too, examined my parts with most
Fal. 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 burningglass! Here's another letter to her: she bears the purse too; she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will be cheater 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; 80 and thou this to Mistress Ford: we will thrive, lads, we will thrive.
Pist. 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.
Fal. [To Robin] Hold, sirrah, bear you these letters tightly;
Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores.
Rogues, hence, avaunt! vanish like hailstones, go; 90 Trudge, plod away o' the hoof; seek shelter,
Falstaff will learn the humour of the age,
76. a region in Guiana; Raleigh had returned thence in 1596, and shortly after published his account of The Discovery of the Empire of Guiana.
77. cheater, escheater, an officer of the exchequer employed to exact fines (with a play on the ordinary sense).
83. Sir Pandarus of Troy, the go-between in the amours of Troilus and Cressida, famous from Chaucer's poem. Pistol asks whether he, a soldier, shall condescend to play this part.
88. tightly, promptly, effectively.
French thrift, you rogues; myself and skirted page. [Exeunt Falstaff and Robin. Pist. Let vultures gripe thy guts! for gourd and fullam holds,
And high and low beguiles the rich and poor :
Nym. I have operations which be humours of
Pist. Wilt thou revenge?
Nym. By welkin and her star!
Pist. With wit or steel?
Nym. With both the humours, I:
I will discuss the humour of this love to Page.
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 110 with yellowness, for the revolt of mine is dangerous that is my true humour.
Pist. Thou art the Mars of malecontents: I
second thee; troop on.
93. French thrift, the economical practice of employing a page instead of a band of retainers.
94. gourd, fullam, species of false dice.
95. high and low, high and low throws at dice.
IOI. her star, the sun.
III. yellowness, the sign of jealousy.
III. revolt of mine; doubtful reading. If right, it can only mean of my humour.' Theobald altered to mien, which gives a good sense rather strangely expressed: the change of colour (to 'yellowness') makes a man dangerous.