Over at the Garter Inn, Falstaff refuses to loan money to Pistol, who, apparently, is always asking Falstaff for spare change.
Pistol draws his sword and yells "Why then, the world's mine oyster, / which I with sword will open." (Translation: Pistol is penniless so he's going to use his sword to make his fortune in the world.)
Brain Snack: This is the first time this phrase appears in print so, Shakespeare either invented it or, at the very least, made it popular (source).
(But not as popular as Chess.)
Falstaff gets up in Pistol's face and says he's tired of always having to bail out Pistol when the guy gets caught stealing.
Then he orders Pistol to scram and yells at him for refusing to deliver his letter to the "merry wives."
Pistol backs down. In case you hadn't noticed, Pistol is a hothead (duh, he's named after a firearm), but he's all talk.
Just in time, Mistress Quickly shows up with messages for Falstaff from Mistress Page and Mistress Ford.
She takes Falstaff aside and whispers that Mistress Ford is down for a secret rendezvous and that her hubby will be away the next morning between 10 and 11. (Hint, hint.) Falstaff is so totally there.
Then, Quickly relays a separate message from Mistress Page, who says she wants a steamy hookup with Falstaff but doesn't yet know when her husband will be away.
Falstaff wants to know if the two housewives know that he's trying to get with both of them.
Mistress Quickly's all "Of course not! They're totally clueless!" Snicker.
It's decided that Falstaff's boy servant (Robin) will act as a go-between for Falstaff and the wives.
Falstaff gives Mistress Quickly a little monetary tip just before she runs off.
Pistol is not happy that Falstaff just gave Mistress Quickly some money. He calls her a "punk," which is fun Elizabethan slang for "whore," and storms off.
Bardolph the bartender enters and announces that a guy named "Brooke" is here. (Remember, "Brooke" is Master Ford in disguise.)
"Brooke" wants to buy Falstaff a "morning draught of sack." ("Sack" is Falstaff's favorite sweet wine and, apparently, it's never too early in the morning for a drink. Hey, they call it an "eye-opener" for a reason.)
Brooke/Ford enters and offers Falstaff a huge bag of money to help him with a little problem he's having.
Brooke/Ford says that he's been trying to hook up with Mistress Ford for-e-ver but she's too faithful to cheat on her husband.
Falstaff's all "Really? Tell me more about this."
Brooke/Page wants Falstaff to seduce her, paving the way for "Brooke" to have an affair with her.
Falstaff thinks "Jackpot!" and snatches up the bag of money Brooke/Ford offers.
And now Falstaff reveals that he's actually just set up an appointment to hop in bed with Mistress Ford so, this assignment's going to be a piece of cake.
Then Falstaff talks trash about Ford and calls him a "poor cuckoldy knave." (A "cuckold" is a guy whose wife cheats on him and a "knave" is an idiot.)
Left alone on stage, Master Ford is furious. He delivers a creepy soliloquy about getting revenge against Falstaff and his wife.
Here's a little sample of what he says:
"See the hell of having a false woman! My bed shall be abused, my coffers ransacked, my reputation gnawn at." Yikes! (By the way, a soliloquy is just a speech that reveals a character's innermost thoughts. Characters like Master Ford and Hamlet are big on soliloquies.)