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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.
P. Hen. Pray Heaven you have not murdered some of them.
Fal. Nay, that's past praying 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.
. Poins. Ay, ay, he said four. Fal. These four came all a-front, and mainly thrust at
I made no more ado, but took all their seven points in my target, thus.
P. Hen. Seven? Why, there were but four, even now.
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. Oh, 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-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou obscene, greasy tallowkeech
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 sayest thou to this?
Poins. Come, your reason, Jack-your reason.
pado, 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, I.
P. Hen. 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 dried neat'stongue, you stock-fish! Oh, for breath to utter what is like thee! You tailor's-yard, you sheath, you bow case, you vile
P. Hen. Well, breathe awhile, and then to it again; and when thou hast tired 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 a plain tale shall put you down. Then did we two set on you four, and, with a word, outfaced 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 roared for mercy, and still ran and roared, 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 heirapparent? 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 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. (To Hostess within.) 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, thy running away. Fal. Ah! no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me!
-“ First Part of King Henry IV.”
Madness With a Method
POLONIUS and HAMLET, reading.
Not I, my
Pol. How does my good Lord Hamlet?
Ham. Ay, sir: to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.
Pol. That's very true, my lord.
Ham. For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a good kissing carrion- Have you a daughter ?
Pol. I have, my lord.
Ham. Let her not walk i' the sun: conception is a blessing; but not as your daughter may conceive. Friend, look to't.
Pol. How say you by that? (Aside.) Still harping on my daughter. Yet he knew me not at first; he said I was a fishmonger. He is far gone, far gone: and truly in my youth I suffered much extremity for love; very near this. I'll speak to him again.-What do you read, my lord?
Ham. Words, words, words.
Ham. Slanders, sir. For the satirical slave says here, that old men have gray beards; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber or plum-tree gum; and that they have a plentiful lack of wit, together with weak hams. All of which, sir, though I most powerfuily and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down; for you yourself, sir, shall grow old as I am: if, like a crab, you could go backward.
Pol. (aside). Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.-Will you walk out o' the air, my lord ?
Ham. Into my grave?
Pol. Indeed, that is out o' the air. (Aside.) How pregnant sometimes his replies are! A happiness that often madness hits on, which reason and sanity could not so prosperously be delivered of. I will leave him, and suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him and my daughter.-My honourable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of
you. Ham. You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I