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P. Henry. O villain! thy lips are scarce wiped since thou drank'st last. Fal. All's one for that. A plague of all cowards, still say
(He drinks.) P. Henry. What's the matter ?
Fal. What's the matter! There be four of us here have ta’en 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 '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 hand-saw ; look here : [shows his sword.] 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. Henry. 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.
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 twolegged creature. Poins. I
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, and call me a horse. Thou knowest my old ward ; [Draws his sword and takes a fighting position,] 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.
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. 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, 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. Oh, monstrous ! eleven buckram men grown out of two !
Fal. But, as ill-luck would have it, three mis-begotten 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 of them; gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou clay-brained villain; thou knotty-pated fool ; thou greasy tallow-keech
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 sayst 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 blackberries, I would give no man a reason on compulsion.
P. Henry. I'll no longer be guilty of this sîn ; this ganguine coward, this bed-presser, this horseback-breaker, this huge hill of flesh
Fal. Away! you starveling, you eel-skin, you dried neat's tongue, you stock-fish-Oh for breath to utter what is like thee! -you tailor's yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck
P. Henry. Well, breathe a while, and then to 't again; and when thou hast tired thyself in base comparisons, hear me speak but this.
Poins. Mark, Jack.
P. Henry. 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-faced you from your prize, and have it; yea, and can show it you here in the house ; -and, Falstaff, you carried yourself away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roared for mercy, and still ran and roared, as ever I heard a 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. Why, 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 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, 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. Henry. Content; and the argument shall be thy running away.
Fal. Ah! no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me.
EXTRACT FROM "THE LAST DAYS OF HERCULANEUM."
BY EDWIN ATHERTON.
THERE was a man
But generous, and brave, and kind.
A little, faithful copy of his sire
The captive's lot He felt in all its bitterness; the walls Of his deep dungeon answer'd many a sigh And heart-heaved groan. His tale was known, and touch'd His jailer with compassion; and the boy, Thenceforth a frequent visitor, beguiled His father's lingering hours, and brought a balm With his loved presence that in every wound Dropp'd healing
But in this terrific hour
The iron door was closed, for them
Well they heard
On his low couch
Deepest horror chill'd
But terrible his agony. 8.
Soon the storm
And blackest darkness ! 9.
With intensest awe
Fate had already given. 10.
Whe'e, man of woe!
11. Loudly the father call’d upon his child:
No voice replied. Trembling and anxiously