Heere they both call him, the Drawer stands amazed, not knowing which way to go.

Enter Vintner.

Vint. What, stand'st thou still, and hear'st such a calling? Looke to the Guests within: My Lord, olde Sir Iohn with halfe a dozen more, are at the doore: shall I let them in? Prin. Let them alone awhile, and then open the doore. Poines. Enter Poines.

Poin. Anon, anon sir

Prin. Sirra, Falstaffe and the rest of the Theeues, are at the doore, shall we be merry? Poin. As merrie as Crickets my Lad. But harke yee, What cunning match haue you made this iest of the Drawer? Come, what's the issue? Prin. I am now of all humors, that haue shewed themselues humors, since the old dayes of goodman Adam, to the pupill age of this present twelue a clock at midnight. What's a clocke Francis? Fran. Anon, anon sir

Prin. That euer this Fellow should haue fewer words then a Parret, and yet the sonne of a Woman. His industry is vp-staires and down-staires, his eloquence the parcell of a reckoning. I am not yet of Percies mind, the Hotspurre of the North, he that killes me some sixe or seauen dozen of Scots at a Breakfast, washes his hands, and saies to his wife; Fie vpon this quiet life, I want worke. O my sweet Harry sayes she, how many hast thou kill'd to day? Giue my Roane horse a drench (sayes hee) and answeres, some fourteene, an houre after: a trifle, a trifle. I prethee call in Falstaffe, Ile play Percy, and that damn'd Brawne shall play Dame Mortimer his wife. Riuo, sayes the drunkard. Call in Ribs, call in Tallow. Enter Falstaffe.

Poin. Welcome Iacke, where hast thou beene? Fal. A plague of all Cowards I say, and a Vengeance too, marry and Amen. Giue me a cup of Sacke Boy. Ere I leade this life long, Ile sowe nether stockes, and mend them too. A plague of all cowards. Giue me a Cup of Sacke, Rogue. Is there no Vertue extant? Prin. Didst thou neuer see Titan kisse a dish of Butter, pittifull hearted Titan that melted at the sweete Tale of the Sunne? If thou didst, then behold that compound

Fal. You Rogue, heere's Lime in this Sacke too: there is nothing but Roguery to be found in Villanous man; yet a Coward is worse then a Cup of Sack with lime. A villanous Coward, go thy wayes old Iacke, die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood be not forgot vpon the face of the earth, then am I a shotten Herring: there liues not three good men vnhang'd in England, & one of them is fat, and growes old, God helpe the while, a bad world I say. I would I were a Weauer, I could sing all manner of songs. A plague of all Cowards, I say still

Prin. How now Woolsacke, what mutter you? Fal. A Kings Sonne? If I do not beate thee out of thy Kingdome with a dagger of Lath, and driue all thy Subiects afore thee like a flocke of Wilde-geese, Ile neuer weare haire on my face more. You Prince of Wales? Prin. Why you horson round man? what's the matter? Fal. Are you not a Coward? Answer me to that, and Poines there? Prin. Ye fat paunch, and yee call mee Coward, Ile stab thee

Fal. I call thee Coward? Ile see thee damn'd ere I call the Coward: but I would giue a thousand pound I could run as fast as thou canst. You are straight enough in the shoulders, you care not who sees your backe: Call you that backing of your friends? a plague vpon such backing: giue me them that will face me. Giue me a Cup of Sack, I am a Rogue if I drunke to day

Prin. O Villaine, thy Lippes are scarce wip'd, since thou drunk'st last

Falst. All's one for that.

He drinkes.

A plague of all Cowards still, say I

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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