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HUMOUROUS SCENE OF COWARDICE AND LYING.

PRINCE HENRY AND FALSTAFF.

P. Henry. 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 socks, 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.]— 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 unhang'd in England, and one of them is fat, and grows old. God help, the while! A bad world! I say-A plague of all cowards! I say still P. Henry. 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. Henry. Why what's the matter!

Fal. Are you not a coward? answer me to that. P. Henry. Ye fat paunch, an' ye call me coward, I'll stab thee.

Fal. I call thee coward! I'll see thee hang'd ere

I'll call thee coward; but I would give a thousand pound I could run as fast as thou canst. You are

strait 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. Henry. Oh villain! thy lips are scarce wip'd since thou drunk'st last.

Fal. All's one for that. [He drinks.] A plague of all cowards! still, say I.

P. Henry. What's the matter?

Fal. What's the matter? here be four of us have ta'en a thousand pound this morning.

P. Henry. Where is it, Jack? where is it?

Fal. Where is it! taken from us, it is: a hundred upon 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 escaped 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 signum! I never dealt better since I was a man: all would not do. A plague of all cowards!

P. Henry. What, fought you 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 I am no two-legg'd creature.

P. Henry. Pray heav'n, you have not murdered some of them.

Fal. Nay, that's past praying for. I have pepper'd two of them; two, I am sure, I have paid; two rogues in buckram suits. I tell you what, Hal, if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call me a horse. Thou knowest my old ward: here I lay and thus I bore my point; four rogues in buckram let drive at me.

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

now.

Fal. Four, Hal, I told thee four.-These four came all a front, and made a thrust at me: I made no more ado, but took all their seven points, in my target, thus.

P. Henry. Seven! why they were but four, even

now.

Fal. In buckram?

P. Henry. Ay, four, in buckram suits :

Fal. Seven by these hilts, or I am a villain else. 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 ofP. Henry. So, two more already.

Fal. Their points being broken, 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. Henry. 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. Henry. These lies are like the father that

begets them, gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou obscene greasy tallow-catch

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

P. Henry. 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? 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 blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion.

P. Henry. I'll be no longer guilty of this sin. This sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horseback-breaker, this huge hill of flesh

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

P. Henry. Well, breathe awhile, and then to't again; and when thou hast tir'd thyself in base comparisons, hear me speak but this:-Poins and I saw you four set on four: you bound them, and were masters of their wealth: mark now, how a plain 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 carry'd your guts away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roar'd for mercy, and still ran and

roar'd, as ever I heard a 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 ?

Fal. Ha! ha! ha!—Do'ye think I did not know you! By the Lord, I knew you as well as he that made you. Why, hear ye me master, was it for me to kill the heir apparent? should I turn upon the true prince? why, thou knowest 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 grant you: and I shall think the better of myself and thee during my life; I for a valiant lion, and thou for a true prince. But I am glad you have the money. Let us clap to the doors; watch to-night, pray to-morrow. What, shall we be merry? shall we have a play extempore ?

P. Henry. Content!-and the argument shall be, thy running away.

Fal. Ah!-no more of that, Hal, if thou lovest

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Iago. WHAT! are you hurt, lieutenant?

Cas. Past all surgery.

Iago. Marry, Heav'n forbid !

Cas. Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh I

have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal

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