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tale to me may be nothing but-anon. Step aside, and I'll show thee a precedent.
Fran. Anon, anon, sir.-Look down into the Pomegranate, Ralph.
P. Hen. Come hither, Francis.
P. Hen. Five years! by'rlady, a long lease for the clinking of pewter. But, Francis, darest thou be so valiant, as to play the coward with thy indenture, and show it a fair pair of heels, and run from it?
Fran. O lord, sir! I'll be sworn upon all the books in England, I could find in my heart
Poins. [Within.] Francis !
Fran. Let me see,- About Michaelmas next I shall be
Poins. [Within.] Francis!
Fran. Anon, sir.-Pray you, stay a little, my lord.
P. Hen. Nay, but hark you, Francis: For the
sugar thou gavest me,-'twas a pennyworth, was't not?
Fran. O lord, sir! I would, it had been two.
P. Hen. I will give thee for it a thousand pound; ask me when thou wilt, and thou shalt have it.
Poins. (Within.] Francis!
P. Hen. Anon, Francis ? No, Francis: but tomorrow, Francis; or, Francis, on Thursday; or, indeed, Francis, when thou wilt. But, Francis,
Fran. My lord?
P. Hen. Wilt thou rob this leathern-jerkin, crystal-button, nott-pated 34, agate-ring, puke-stocking 35, caddis-garter 36, smooth-tongue, Spanish-pouch
Fran. O lord, sir, who do you mean?
P. Hen. Why then, your brown bastard is your only drink: for, look you, Francis, your white canvas doublet will sully: in Barbary, sir, it cannot come to so much.
Fran. What, sir?
P. Hen. Away, you rogue; Dost thou not hear them call?
[Here they both call him; the drawer
stands amazed, not knowing which way to go.
Vint. What! stand'st thou still, and hear'st such a calling? look to the guests within. [Exit Fran. My lord, old sir John, with half a dozen more, are at the door; Shall I let them in?
P. Hen. Let them alone awhile, and then open the door. [Erit Vintner.] Poins!
Re-enter Poins. Poins. Anon, anon, sir.
P. Hen. Sirrah, Falstaff and the rest of the thieves are at the door; Shall we be merry?
Poins. As merry as crickets, my lad. But hark ye; What cunning match have you made with this jest of the drawer? come, what's the issue?
P. Hen. I am now of all humours, that have show'd themselves humours, since the old days of goodman Adam, to the pupil age of this present twelve o'clock at midnight. (Re-enter Francis with wine.] What's o'clock, Francis ? Fran. Anon, anon,
sir. P. Hen. That ever this fellow should have fewer words than a parrot, and yet the son of a woman!His industry is-up-stairs, and down-stairs; his eloquence, the parcel of a reckoning. I am not yet of Percy's mind, the Hot-spur of the north; he that kills me some six or seven dozen of Scots at a breakfast, washes his hands, and says to his wife,-Fie upon this quiet life! I want work. O my sweet Harry, says she, how many hast thou kill'd to-day? Give my roan horse a drench, says he; and answers, Some fourteen, an hour after; a trifle, a trifle. I prythee, call in Falstaff; I'll play Percy, and that damn'd brawn shall play dame Mortimer his wife. Rivo 37, says the drunkard. Call in ribs, call in tallow,
Enter FALSTAFF, GADSHILL, BARDOLPH, and Peto.
Poins. Welcome, Jack. Where hast thou been?
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, I'll sew netherstocks, and mend them, and foot them too. A plague of all cowards !-Give me a cup of sack, rogue.--Is there no virtue extant?
[He drinks. P. Hen. Didst thou never see Titan kiss a dish of butter? pitiful-hearted Titan, that melted at the sweet tale of the son 38! if thou didst, then behold that compound.
Fal. You rogue, here's 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 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 psalms or any thing 39: A plague of all cowards, I
P. Hen. How now, wool-sack? what mutter you? Fal. A king's 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, I'll never wear hair on my face more. You prince of Wales !
P. Hen. Why, you whoreson round man! what's the matter?
Fal. Are you not a coward? answer me to that; and Poins there?
Poins. 'Zounds, 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 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.
P. Hen. O villain! thy lips are scarce wiped since thou drunk'st last.
Fal. All's one for that. A plague of all cowards, still say I.
[He drinks. P. Hen. What's the matter?
Fal. What's the matter! there be four of us here baye ta'en a thousand pound this morning.
P. Hen. Where is it, Jack? where is it?
Fal. Where is it? taken from us it is: a hundred upon poor four of us.
P. Hen. 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 'scap'd