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, Ill sew nether-stocks, and mend them, and foot them too. A plague of all cowards!Give me a cup of sack, rogue.Is there no virtue extant? (Drinks.)
Fal. You rogue, heres lime in this sack, too: there is nothing but roguery to be found in villainous man: 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 unhanged 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 psalms or anything. A plague of all cowards, I say still!
Fal. A kings 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, Ill never wear hair on my face more. You Prince of Wales!
Fal. I call thee coward! Ill see thee damned ere I call thee coward; but I would give a thousand pound I could run as fast as thou canst. You are straight 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.
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-sawecce signum. 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.
Fal. Nay, thats past praying for: I have peppered two of them; two, I am sure, I have paidtwo 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
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, I.
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?
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 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?