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if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call me horse, Thou know'st my old ward; here I lay, and thus I bore my point. Four rogues in buckram let drive at


P. Hen. What, four! thou saidst but two, even


Fal. Four, Hal; I told thee, four.

Poins. Ay, ay, he said four.

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

P. Hen. Seven? why, there were but four, even


Fal. In buckram.

Poins. Ay, four in buckram suits.

Fal. Seven, by these hilts, or I'm a villain else. P. Hen. Pr'ythee, let him alone; we shall have more aǹon.

Fal. Dost thou hear me, Hal?

P. Hen. 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. Hen. 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 eleven I pay'd.

P. Hen. O monstrous! eleven buckram men grown out of two!

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 couldst not see thy hand.

P. Hen. These lies are like the father that begets them; gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou clay-brain'd guts; thou knotty-pated fool; thou whóreson, obscene, greasy tallow-keech,

Fal. What, art thou mad? art thou mad? is not the truth the truth?

P. Hen. Why, how couldst thou know these men in Kendal green, when it was so dark thou couldst not see thy hand? come, tell us your reason: What say'st thou to this?

Poins. Come, your reason, Jack, your reason.

Fal. What, upon compulsion? No; were I at the strappado, or all the racks in the world, I would not tell you on compulsion. Give you a reason on compulsion! if reasons were as plenty as black-berries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion, I.

P. Hen. I'll be no longer guilty of this sin; this sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horse backbreaker, this huge hill of flesh,

Fal. Away, you starveling, you eel-skin, you dry'd neat's tongue, you stock-fish,-O, for breath to utter what is like thee!-you tailor's yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck,—

P. Hen. Well, breathe a while, and then to it again: and when thou hast tir'd thyself in base comparisons, hear me speak but this.

Poins. Mark, Jack.

P. Hen. We two saw you four set on four; you bound them, and were masters of their wealth.Mark now, how plain a tale shall put you down.. Then did we two set on you four; and, with a word, out-fac'd you from your prize, and have it; yea, and can show it you here in the house :-and, Falstaff, you carried your guts away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roar'd for mercy, and still ran and roar'd, as ever I heard bull-calf. What a slave art thou, to hack thy sword as thou hast done, and then say it was in fight! What trick, what device, what starting-hole canst thou now find out, to hide thee from this open and apparent shame ?

Poins. Come, let's hear, Jack, what trick hast thou now?

Fal. By the lord, I knew ye, as well as he that made ye. Why, hear ye, my masters: was it for me to kill the heir apparent? should I turn upon the true prince? Why, thou know'st I am as valiant as

Hercules: but beware instinct; the lion will not touch the true prince. Instinct is Instinct is a great matter; I was a coward on instinct. I shall 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 glad you have the money. Hostess, clap to the doors; watch to-night, pray to-morrow.-Gallants, lads, boys, hearts of gold, all the titles of good fellowship come to you! What, shall we be merry? shall we have a play extempore?

P. Hen. Content;-and the argument shall be--tby running away.

Fal. Ah, no more of that, Hal, an thou lov'st me. Enter Hostess.

Host. My lord the prince,

P. Hen. How now, my lady the hostess; what say'st thou to me?

Host. Marry, my lord, there is a nobleman of the court at door, would speak with you: he says, he comes from your father.

P. Hen. Give him as much as will make him a royal mån, and send him back again to my mother. Fal. What manner of man is he?

Host. An old man.

Fal. What doth gravity out of his bed at midnight? -Shall I give him his answer?

P. Hen. Pry'thee, do, Jack.

Fal. 'Faith, and I 'll send him packing.

[Exeunt FALSTAFF and Hostess, P. Hen. Now, sirs; by 'r lady, you fought fair; so did you, Peto; so did you, Bardolph; you are lions too, you ran away upon instinct, you will not touch the true prince; no,-fie!

Bard. 'Faith, I ran when I saw others run.

P. Hen. Tell me now, in earnest, How came Falstaff's sword so hack'd?

Peto. Why, he hack'd it with his dagger; and said, he would swear truth out of England, but he would make you believe it was done in fight, and persuaded us to do the like.

Bard. Yea, and to tickle our noses with spear-grass, to make them bleed; and then to beslubber our garments with it, and swear it was the blood of true men. I did that I did not these seven years before, I blush'd to hear his monstrous devices.

P. Hen. O villain, thou stol'st a cup of sack eighteen years ago, and wert taken with the manner, and ever since thou hast blush'd, extempore: thou hadst fire and sword on thy side, and yet thou ran'st away: What instinct hadst thou for it?

Bard. My lord, do you see these meteors? do you behold these exhalations ?

P. Hen. I do.

Bard. What think you they portend?
P. Hen. Hot livers, and cold purses.
Bard. Choler, my lord, if rightly taken.
P. Hen. No, if rightly taken, halter.


Here comes lean Jack, here comes bare-bone. How now, my sweet creature of bombast? How long is 't ago, Jack, since thou saw'st thine own knee?

Fal. My own knee? when I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle's talon in the waist; I could have crept into an alderman's thumb-ring: A plague of sighing and grief! it blows a man up like a bladder. There's villainous news abroad: here was Sir John Bracy from your father; you must to the court in the morning. That same mad fellow of the north, Percy; and he of Wales, that gave Amaimon the bastinado, and made Lucifer cuckold, and swore the devil his true liegeman upon the cross of a Welsh hook,-What a plague call you him?—

Poins. O, Glendower.

Fal. Owen, Owen; the same; and his son-inlaw Mortimer; and old Northumberland; and that sprightly Scot of Scots, Douglas, that runs o' horseback up a hill perpendicular.

P. Hen. He that rides at high speed, and with his pistol kills a sparrow flying.


Fal. You have hit it.

P. Hen. So did he never the sparrow.

Fal. Well, that rascal hath good mettle in him; he will not run.

P. Hen. Why, what a rascal art thou then, to praise him so for running?

Fal. O' horseback, ye cuckoo ! but, afoot, he will not budge a foot.

P. Hen. Yes, Jack, upon instinct.

Fal. I grant ye, upon instinct. Well, he is there too, and one Mordake, and a thousand blue-caps more; Worcester is stolen away by night; thy father's beard is turn'd white with the news; you may buy land now as cheap as stinking mackerel.

P. Hen. Then, 't is like, if there come a hot June, and this civil buffeting hold, we shall buy maidens as they buy hob-nails, by the hundreds.

Fal. By the mass, lad, thou say'st true; it is like, we shall have good trading that way.-But, tell me, Hal, art thou not horribly afeard? thou being heir apparent, could the world pick thee out three such enemies again, as that fiend Douglas, that spirit Percy, and that devil Glendower? Art thou not horribly afraid? doth not thy blood thrill at it?

P. Hen. Not a whit, i' faith; I lack some of thy instinct.

Fal. Well, thou wilt be horribly chid to-morrow, when thou comest to thy father: if thou love me, practise an answer.

Enter Hostess.

Host. O, my lord, my lord!

Fal. Heigh, heigh! the devil rides upon a fiddlestick: What's the matter?

Host. The sheriff and all the watch are at the door: they are come to search the house: shall I let them in ?

Fal. Dost thou hear, Hal? never call a true piece of gold, a counterfeit: thou art essentially mad, without seeming so.

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