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Poins. Well, for two of them, I know them to be as true-bred cowards as ever turn'd back; and for the third, if he fights longer than he sees reason, I'll forswear. arms. The virtue of this jest will be, the incomprehensible lyes that this sanie fat rogue will tell us when we meet at supper; how thirty at least he fought with; what wards, what blows, what extremities he endured ; and, in the reproof of this, lies the jeft.

P. Henry. Well, I'll go with thee. Provide us all things necessary, and meet me to-morrow night in East-cheap there l'il fup. Farewel. Poins. Farewel, my Lord. .

[Exit Poins. P. Henry. I know you all, and will awhile uphold. The unyok'd humour of your

Yet herein will I imitate the Sun,
Who doth permit the bafe contagious clouds
To smother

up his beauty from the world ;
That when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at,
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapours, that did seem to ftrangle him.
If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work ;
But when they seldom come, they wilh'd-for come;.
And nothing pleaseth, but rare accidents.
So, when this loose behaviour I throw off,

the debt I never promised;
By how much better than my word. I am,
By so much shall I falsify men's hopes ;
And, like bright metal on a fullen grounds,
My reformation glittering o'er my fault,
Shall shew more goodly, and attract more eyes,
Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
I'll ro offend, to make offence a skill;
Redeeming time, when men think leaft I will. [Exit.



ACT II. SCENE IV. Enter Falstaff, Gads-hill, Bardolph, and Peton WELCOME, Fordd; where halt thou been? "Orlofál. A plague on all cowards, I say, and a vengeance too,

marry and Amen! Give me a cup of sack, boy-Ere I lead this life long, I'll sew nether focks, and mend them, and foot them too. A plague on all cowards !-Give me a cup of fack, rogue.- Is there no virtue extant? He drinks.

P. Henry. Didit thou never see Titan kiss a dish of butter ? (pitiful-hearted Titan!) that melted at the sweet tale of the sun ! If thou didft, then behold that compound.

Fal. You rogue, here's lime in this fack too. There is nothing but roguery to be found in villainous man. Yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime in it; a villainous coward-Go thy ways, old Jack; die w.hen thou: wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a shotten herring. There live: not three good men unhang'd in England ; and one of them is fat, and grows old, God help, the while! A bad world; I say.--I would I were a weaver; I could fing all manner. of longs. -A plague on all cowards ! I say dill.

P. Henry. How now, Woolfack, what mutter you? Fal. A King's fon! If I do not beat thee out of thy kingdom with a dagger of lath, and drive all thy subjects afore thee like a flock of wild geese, I'll never wear hair on my face more.

You Prince of Wales ! P. Henry. Why, you whoreson round man! what's the matter?

Fal. Are you not a coward ? Answer me to that, and Poins there?

[Zo Poins. P. Henry. Ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward, I'll stab thee.

Fal. I call thee coward! I'll see thee damn'd ere I call thee coward'; but I would give a thousand pound I could Tun as fast as thou canst. You are straight enough in the

Thoulders [He drinkin

shoulders, you care not who sees your back. Call you tha: backing of your friends ? A plague upon such backing! Give me them that will face me--Give me a cup of sack ; I am a rogue, if I drunk to-day.

P. Henry. O villain! thy lips are scarce wip'd since thor drunk ft last.

Fal. All's one for that.
A plague on all cowards, ftill, fay I!

P. Henry. What's the matter?

Fal. What's the matter! Here be four of us, hiave ta'sı a thousand pounds this morning.

P. Henry. Where is it, Jack? where is it?
Fal. Where is it? Taken from us, it is.

A hundred upon poor four of us. P. Henry. What! a hundred, man.

Fal. I am a rogue, if I were not at half-sword with a dozen of them two hours together. I have escap'd by miracle. I am eight times thrust through the doublet, four through the hose, my buckler cut through and through, my sword hack'd like a hand-saw-Ecce fignum! [Shews bir fword.] I never dealt better since I was a man. All would not do. A plague on all cowards !--Let them speak; i they speak more or less than truth, they are villains, and the sons of darkness.

P. Henry. Speak, Sirs, how was it?
Gads. We four set upon some dozen..
Fal. Sixteen, at least, my. Lord.
Gads. And bound them.
Peto. No, no, they were not bound:

Fal. You rogue, they were bound, every man of tliem, or I am a Jew else, an Ebrew Jew.

Gads. As we were sharing, some fix or seven fresh men fet

upon us. Fal. And unbound the rest, and then came in the other. P. Henry. What, fought ye with them all ?

Fal. All? I know not what ye call all ; but if I fough: not with fifty of them, I am a bunch of radilh ; if there were not two or three and fifty upon poor old Jack, then am I no two-legg'd.creature.

Poins. Pray heaven, you have not murthered fome of them.


Fal. Nay, that's past praying for. I have pepper'd two of them ; two, I am sure, I have pay'd, two rogues in buck.. ram suits. I tell thee what, Hal; if I tell thee a lye, spit in my face, call me horse. Thou know'ft my old ward; here I lay, and thus I bore my point; four rogues in buck- . ram let drive at me.

P. Henry. What! four? Thou saidst but two, even now.
Fal. Four, Hal, I told thee four.
Poins. Ay, ay, he said four.

Fal. These four came all a front, and mainly thrust at me; I made no more ado, but took all their seven points in my target, thus.

P. Henry. Seven! Why there were but four, even now.
Fal. In buckram.
Poins. Ay, four, in buckram suits.
Fal. Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.
P. Henry. Pr'ythee let him alone, we thall have more,


eleven I pay'd.

of two!

Fal. Dost thou hear me, Hal ?
P. Henry. Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.

Fal. Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These nine in buckram, that I told thee of

P. Henry. So, two more already.
Fal. Their points being broken
Poins. Down fell their hose.

Fal. Began to give me ground; but I follow'd me close, came in foot and hand ; and, with a thought, seven of the - P. Henry. O monstrous ! eleven buckram men grown out

Fal. But as the devil would have it, three misbegotten knaves in Kendal green came at my back, and let drive at me; (for it was so dark, Hal, that thou could not see thy:

P. Henry. These lyes are like the father that begets them, gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou clay-brain'd guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson. obscene greasy tallow-catch-

Fal. What, art thou mad? art thou mad? Is not the truth the truth? P. Henry, Why, how couldīt thou know these men in




green, when it was fo dark thou couldft not see thy hand? Come, tell as your reason : what fayft thou to this? · Poins. Come, your reafon, Jack, your reason.

Fal. What, upon compulfion? No; were I at the frappado, or all the racks in the world, I would not tell you on compulfion. Give you a reason on compulsion! If reafons were as plenty as black-berries, I'would not give you a reason upon compulsion-I!

P. Henry. I'll be no longer guilty of this fin. This fanguine coward, this bed-prefier, this horse-back-breaker, this huge hill of flesh

Fal. Away, you starveling, you elf-skin you dry'd neat'tongue, bull's pizzle, you stock-fish-O for breath to utter what is like thee - You taylor's yard, you sheath, you boxcafe, you vile standing tuck.

P. Henry. Well, breathe awhile, and then to 't again; and when thou haft tir'd thyself in base comparisons, hear me speak but this.

Poins. Mark, Jack.
P. Henry. We two faw you

four fet on four; you them, and were masters of their wealth.-Mark now, how a plain tale shall put you down.-Then did we two fet an you four, and with a word out-fac'd you from your prize

, and have it ; yea; and can Mew it you here in the house. And, Falstaf, you carry'd your guts away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roard for mercy, and fill ran and roar'd, as ever I heard bull-calf. What a flave art thou, to hack thy sword as thou hast done, and then say it was in fight! What trick, what device, what starting-hole, can't thou now find out, to hide thee from this open and apparent thame?

Poins. Come, let's hear, Jack: what trick haft shou now?

Fal. By the Lord, I knew ye, as well as he that made yo Why hear ye, my masters ; 'was it for me to kill the Heir Apparent ? Should I turn upon the true Prince? Why, thou knoweit I am as valiant as Hercules. But beware instinct ; the lion will not touch the true Prince. Instinct is a great matter ; I was a coward on instinct. I thall think the better of myself and thee, during my life ; I, for a valiant lion, and thou for a true Prince. But, by the Lord, lads, I am




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