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yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime in it; a villainous 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.— I would, I were a weaver ; I could sing all manner of fongs.-A plague on all cowards, I say still ! P. Henry. How now, Woolfack, what mutter you
? Fal. A King's fon! 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, you whorfon round man! what's the matter?
Fal. Are you not a coward ? answer me to that, and Poins there?
(To Poins. P. Henry. Ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward, I'll stab thee.
Fal. I call thee coward ! I'll see thee damn'd ere I call thee coward; but I would give a thousand pound I could run as fast as thou canst. You are strait I would, I were a
wards corrected. The reading weaver; I could fing psalms, &c.] of the three last editions, I could In the persecutions of the pro- fing psalms and all manner of songs, testants in Flanders under Philip II. is made without authority out those who came over into Eng- of different copies. land on that occafion, brought I believe nothing more is here with them the woollen manufac- meant than to allude to the practory. These were Calvinists, who tice of weavers, who having were always distinguished for their hands more employed than their love of psalmody.
their minds, amuse themselves WARBURTON, frequently with songs at the loom. In the firit editions the passage The knight, being full of vexais read thus, I could fing psalms tion, wishes he could sing to diar any thing. In the first folio vert his thoughts. thus, I could fing ail manner of Weavers are mentioned as longs. Many expressions border- lovers of mufick in the Merchant ing on indecency are found in of Venice. Perhaps to sing like the first editions, which are after a ll’eaver might be proverbial.
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 meGive me a cup of sack; I am a rogue, if I drunk to day.
P. Henry. O villain, thy lips are scarce wip'd since thou drunk’st last. Fal. All's one for that.
(He drinks. A plague on 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 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 escap'd 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-law, ecce fignum. [ Shows his sword.] I never dealt better since I was a man.-All would not do. A plague on all cowards ! -Let them speak ; if they speak inore 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 few elfe, an Elrew Jew.
Gods. As we were sharing, some six or seven fresh
Fal. And unbound the rest, and then came in the other. P. Henry. 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-legg’d creature.
Poins. Pray heav'n, you have not murthered some of them.
Fal. Nay, that's past praying for. I have pepper'd two of them ; two, I am sure, I have pay'd, two rogues in buckram Tuits. I tell thee what, Hal; If I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call me horse. Thou knɔwilt 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 faidst 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 me; I made no more ado, but took all their feven points in my target, thus.
P. Henry. Seven, why there were but four, even now.
Fal. In buckram.
P. Ilenry. Pr’ythee let him alone, we shall have more anon.
Fal. Doft thou hear me, Hal?
Fal. Do so, for it is worth the listning to. These nine in buckram, that I told the of
P. Henry. So, two more already.
7 Their points being broken- membered, which fignifies the down fell his hofe.] To under- Sharp end of a weapon, and the land" Poins's joke the double lace's a girment, meaning of joint mult be re
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. Henry. O monstrous ! eleven buckram men grown out of two!
Fal. But as the devil 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 couldit not see thy hand.)
P. Henry. These lies are like the father that begets them, gross as a mountain, open, palpable. thou clay-brain'd guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whorson obscene greasie & tallow-catch
Fal. What, art thou mad ? art thou mad ? is not the truth, the truth?
P. Henry. Why, how could'st thou know these men in Kendal green, when it was so dark, thou could'ft not fee thy hand ? come, tell us your reason : what fay'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. Henry. I'll be no longer guilty of this fin. This sanguine coward, this bed-preffer, this horse-backbreaker, this huge hill of Aesh,
Fal. Away, , you starveling, you elf-skin, you
8 Tallow-catch.] This word for elf-fhin Sir T. Hanmer and Dr. is in all the editions, but having Warburton read Eelskin. The no meaning, cannot be under- true reading, I believe, is Elfftood. In some parts of the kin, or little fairy. For though kingdom, a cake or moss of wax the Ballard in King John comor tallow, is called a keech, which pares his brother's legs to trio is doubtless the word intended ee skins fluffd, yet an celfkin fimhere, unless we read rallow-ketch, ply bears no great resemblance that is, tub of tallow, 9 You fturveling, you elf-Skin]
to a man.
dry'd neats-tongue, bull's pizzle, you stock-filho for breath to utter what is like thee-You taylor's yard, you -Theath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck,
P. Henry. Well, breathe a while, and then to't again ; and when thou hast tir'd thylelf in base comparisons, hear me speak but this.
Poins. Mark, Jack.
P. Henry. We two faw 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 New it you here in the house. And, Falstaff, you carry'd your guts away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roard for mercy, and still ran and roar'd, as ever I heard bull-calf. What a Nave art thou to hack thy fword as thou hast done, and then say it was in fight! What crick ? what device? what starting hole, canst thou now find out, to hide thee froin this open and apparent shame!
Poins. Come, let's hear, Jack: what trick haft 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 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
a true Prince. But, by the lord, lads, I am glad you have the mony. Hoftels, clap to the doors; watch to night, pray to morrow. Galla its, 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 ? Vol. IV.