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Poins. Anon, anon, sir.
P. Hen. Sirrah, Falstaff and the rest of the thieves are at the door. Shall we be merry ?
Poins. As merry as crickets, my lad. But, hark ye; what cunning match have you made with this jest of the drawer? come, what's the issue ?
P. Hen. I am now of all humors, that have showed themselves humors, since the old days of goodman Adam, to the pupil age of this present twelve o'clock at midnight.
Re-enter FRANCIS with wine.
What 's o'clock, Francis ?
Fran. Anon, anon, sir.
P. Hen. That ever this fellow should have fewer words than a parrot, and yet the son of a woman! His industry is—up stairs, and down stairs; his eloquence, the parcel of a reckoning. I am not yet of Percy's mind, the Hotspur of the north; he that kills me some six or seven dozen of Scots at a breakfast, washes his hands, and says to his wife, - Fie
upon this quiet life! I want work.'— O my sweet Harry,' says she, “how many hast thou killed to-day ? — Give my roan horse a drench,' says he; and answers, “Some fourteen,' an hour after ; trifle, a trifle.' I pr’ythee, call in Falstaff; I'u play Percy, and that damned brawn shall play dame
Mortimer his wife. Rivo,1 says the drunkard. Call in ribs, call in tallow.
Enter FALSTAFF, GADSHILL, BARDOLPH, and PETO. Poins. Welcome, Jack. Where hast thou been ?
Fal. A plague of 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-stocks, and mend them, and foot them too. A plague of all cowards !–Give me a cup of sack, rogue. Is there no virtue extant ?
[he drinks. P. Hen. Didst thou never see Titan kiss a dish of butter? pitiful-hearted Titan, that melted at the sweet tale of the sons ! 3 if thou didst, then behold that compound.
Fal. You rogue, here's lime in this sack too. There is nothing but roguery to be found in villanous man: yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime in it; a villanous coward. Go thy ways, old Jack; die when 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 unhanged 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 sing psalms, or any thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.
I A cant term of exultation.
P. Hen. How now, woolsack ? what mutter you ?
Fal. A king's son! 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. Hen. Why, you whoreson round man! what's the matter?
Fal. Are you not a coward ? answer me to that; and Poins there.
Poins. Zounds, ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward, I'll stab thee.
Fal. I call thee coward ! I'll see thee damned ere I call thee coward : but I would give a thousand pound, I could run as fast as thou canst. straight enough in the shoulders ; you care not who sees your back. Call you that 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. Hen. O villain! thy lips are scarce wiped since thou drunk'st last.
Fal. All's one for that. A plague of all cowards, still say I.
[he drinks. P. Hen. What's the matter.
Fal. What's the matter? there be four of us here have ta'en a thousand pound this morning.
P. Hen. Where is it, Jack, where is it?
Fal. Where is it? taken from us it is : a hundred upon poor four of us.
P. Hen. 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 'scaped by miracle. I am eight times thrust through the doublet, four through the hose; my buckler cut through and through, my sword hacked like a handsaw, Ecce signum! I never dealt better since I was a man: all would not do. A plague of all cowards ! Let them speak : if they speak more or less than truth, they are villains, and the sons of darkness.
P. Hen. Speak, sirs; how was it?
Fal. You rogue, they were bound, every man of them; or I am a Jew else, an Ebrew Jew.
Gads. As we were sharing, some six or seven fresh men set upon us,
Fal. And unbound the rest, and then come in the other.
P. Hen. What, fought ye with them all?
Fal. All? I know not what ye call all; but if I fought not with fifty of them, I am a bunch of radish: if there were not two or three and fifty upon poor old Jack, then am I no two-legged creature.
Poins. Pray God, you have not murdered some of them.
Fal. Nay, that 's past praying for; for I have peppered two of them : two, I am sure, I have paid ; two rogues in buckram suits. I tell thee what,
Hal;—if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call me horse. Thou knowest my old ward ;-here I lay, and thus I bore my point. Four rogues in buckram let drive at me,
P. Hen. What, four thou saidst but two even now.
Fal. Four, Hal; I told thee four.
Fal. These four came all afront, and mainly thrust at me. I made me no more ado, but took their seven points in my target, thus.
P. Hen. Seven? why there were but four even now.
Fal. In buckram.
Fal. Dost thou hear me, Hal ?
Fal. Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These nine in buckram, that I told thee of,
P. Hen. So, two more already !
Fal. Began to give me ground: but I followed me close; came in foot and hand; and, with a thought, seven of the eleven I paid.
P. Hen. O monstrous ! eleven buckram men grown out of two!
Fal. But, as the devil would have it, three mis