Falst. What, vpon compulsion? No: were I at the Strappado, or all the Racks in the World, I would not tell you on compulsion. Giue you a reason on compulsion? If Reasons were as plentie as Black-berries, I would giue no man a Reason vpon compulsion, I

Prin. Ile be no longer guiltie of this sinne. This sanguine Coward, this Bed-presser, this Hors-back-breaker, this huge Hill of Flesh

Falst. Away you Starueling, you Elfe-skin, you dried Neats tongue, Bulles-pissell, you stocke-fish: O for breth to vtter. What is like thee? You Tailors yard, you sheath you Bow-case, you vile standing tucke

Prin. Well, breath a-while, and then to't againe: and when thou hast tyr'd thy selfe in base comparisons, heare me speake but thus

Poin. Marke Iacke

Prin. We two, saw you foure set on foure and bound them, and were Masters of their Wealth: mark now how a plaine Tale shall put you downe. Then did we two, set on you foure, and with a word, outfac'd you from your prize, and haue it: yea, and can shew it you in the House. And Falstaffe, you caried your Guts away as nimbly, with as quicke dexteritie, and roared for mercy, and still ranne and roar'd, as euer I heard Bull-Calfe. What a Slaue art thou, to hacke thy sword as thou hast done, and then say it was in fight. What trick? what deuice? what starting hole canst thou now find out, to hide thee from this open and apparant shame? Poines. Come, let's heare Iacke: What tricke hast thou now? Fal. I knew ye as well as he that made ye. Why heare ye my Masters, was it for me to kill the Heire apparant? Should I turne vpon 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 thinke the better of my selfe, and thee, during my life: I, for a valiant Lion, and thou for a true Prince. But Lads, I am glad you haue the Mony. Hostesse, clap to the doores: watch to night, pray to morrow. Gallants, Lads, Boyes, Harts of Gold, all the good Titles of Fellowship come to you. What, shall we be merry? shall we haue a Play extempory

Prin. Content, and the argument shall be, thy runing away

Fal. A, no more of that Hall, and thou louest me.

Enter Hostesse

Host. My Lord, the Prince? Prin. How now my Lady the Hostesse, what say'st thou to me? Hostesse. Marry, my Lord, there is a Noble man of the Court at doore would speake with you: hee sayes, hee comes from your Father

Prin. Giue him as much as will make him a Royall man, and send him backe againe to my Mother

Falst. What manner of man is hee? Hostesse. An old man

Falst. What doth Grauitie out of his Bed at Midnight? Shall I giue him his answere? Prin. Prethee doe Iacke

Falst. 'Faith, and Ile send him packing. Enter.

Prince. Now Sirs: you fought faire; so did you Peto, so did you Bardol: you are Lyons too, you ranne away vpon instinct: you will not touch the true Prince; no, fie

Bard. 'Faith, I ranne when I saw others runne

Prin. Tell mee now in earnest, how came Falstaffes Sword so hackt? Peto. Why, he hackt it with his Dagger, and said, hee would sweare truth out of England, but hee would make you beleeue it was done in fight, and perswaded vs to doe the like

Bard. Yea, and to tickle our Noses with Spear-grasse, to make them bleed, and then to beslubber our garments with it, and sweare it was the blood of true men. I did that I did not this seuen yeeres before, I blusht to heare his monstrous deuices

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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