Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 taken 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 escaped 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 handsaw, ecce signum. (Shows his sword.) I never dealt better since I was a man: all would not do. A plague on all cowards !

P. Henry. What, fought you 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 twolegged creature.

P. Henry. Pray heaven, you have not murdered some of them.

Fal. Nay, that's past praying for. I have peppered two of them : two I am sure, I have paid ; two 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. (Taking a position for fighting.) Here I lay, and thus I bore my point. Four rogues

in buckram let drive at me P. Henry. What, four ? thou saidst but two, even now.

Fal. Four, Hal! I told thee four.—these four came all a-front, and mainly thrust at me. I made no more ado, but took all their seven points in my target, thus.

P. Henry. Seven ! why, there were but four, even now.
Fal. In buckram.
P. Henry. Ay, four in buckram suits.

Fal. Seven, by these hilts, or I am a 'villain else. Dost thou hear

me,

Hal ?

P. Henry. Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.

Fal. Do so, for it is worth listening to.-- These nine in buckram that I told thee of

P. Henry. So, two more already.

Fal. Their points being broken-began to give me ground; but I followed me close, came in foot and hand, and with a thought, seven of the eleven I paid.

P. Henry. Oh monstrous ! eleven buckram men grown out of two!

Fal. But, as ill-luck would have it, three misbegotten knaves, in Kendal green, came at my back, and let drive at me ;--for it was so dark, Hal, that thou couldst not see thy hand.

P. Henry. These lies are like the father that begets them ; gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou knotty-pated fool; thou greasy tallow-tub.

Fal. What, art thou mad ? art thou mad? is not the truth the truth?

P. Henry. Why, how couldst thou know these men in Kendal

green, when it was so dark thou couldst not see thy hand? Come, tell us your reason; what sayest thou to this? 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 upon compulsion! If reasons were as plenty as blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion.

P. Henry. I'll be no longer guilty of this sin. This sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horse-back breaker, this huge hill of flesh

Fal. Away, you starveling, you eel-skin, you dried neat's tongue, you stock-fish! Oh for breath to utter what is like thee! you tailor's yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck,

P. Henry. Well, breathe awhile and then to it again ; and when thou hast tired thyself in base comparisons, hear me speak but this.—Poins and I 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 can show it you here in the house.

And Falstaff, you carried your paunch away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roared for mercy, and still ran and roared, as ever I heard a bull-calf. What a slave art thou, to hack thy sword as thou has 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. Ha! ha! ha!-D'ye think I did not know ye Hal! Why, hear ye, my master, 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 grant you; and I shall think the better of myself and thee during my life ; I for a valiant lion, and thou for a true prince. But I am glad you have the money. Let us clap to the doors ; watch to-night, pray to

What! shall we be merry ? shall we have a play extempore?

P. Henry. Content !-and the argument shall be, thy running away.

Fal. Ah !-10 more of that, Hal, if thou lovest me.

morrow.

FLOGGING AN EDITOR.-REIMER.

chair
But he sat not easy: there being an air
Of anxious thought beclouding his brow,
As if rightly he knew not what or how
To do in some matter of moment great,
On which depended a throne or a state;
When all of a sudden few open wide
The office door, and, with hasty stride,
A loaferish figure came stalking in
With a rubicund phiz, and hairy chin,
(The former a product directly of gin)

The editor sat in his

easy

6 Are

[ocr errors]

And with fiery eye and menacing air
He made right up to the editor's chair.

you

the man What edits the paper ? I've come to tan

Your hide for that caper. You called me a villain—you called me a rogue, A way of speaking, sir, too much in vogue, With you

fellows that handle the printing press : Defend yourself, sir! I demand a redress."

The editor quailed

Decidedly paled; But just at the moment his courage gave way His genius stepped in, and gained him the day. “I'm not the person, you seek,” he said ; If you want redress, go straight to the head. He's not far off, and will settle affairs, I haven't a doubt: I'll call him

up

stairs."
Then down he went,

As if he were sent,
A fire, or something worse to prevent.
Meantime there came, through a door below,
Another somebody to deal him a blow,-
A scamp

well known to annals of fame, Whom, the hapless editor hoping to tame, Had ventured to publish, and that by name.

At the foot of the stair,

Or near it somewhere,
The monster met him, demanding redress,
And, just like the other, began to press
Poor editor hard with a Billingsgate mess,
And threaten forthwith his hide to dress,
When necessity, mother of all invention,
And a brain editorial, used to tension,
Contrived a means of diverting attention.

“Stranger," said he,
Be not too free,

In applying abusive words to me;
Up stairs is the person you wish to see."
Up stairs all raging the rowdy flew,
(Neither complainant the other knew,)
So the moment they met without more ado,
At it they went in a regular set to.

A terrible tussle,

A terrible bustle,
They make, as around the room they wrestle;
There were very few words, but plenty of blows,
For they fought like a couple of deadly foes,
Till each had acquired a bloody nose;
And each had the pleasure distinctly to spy,
In the face of the other, a very

black

eye.

AN APOTHECARY CROSS-EXAMINED.-ANON.

DAUNCEY, WARBURTON AND JUDGE. Mr. D. Have you always been a surgeon ? Wit. Pray, my lord, is this a proper answer?

Judge. I have not heard any answer; Mr. Dauncey has put a question.

Wit. Must I answer?
Judge. Yes: do you object?
Wit. I do not think it a proper answer.

Judge. I presume you mean question. I beg leave to differ with you in opinion.

Mr. D. Have you always been a surgeon ?
Wit. I am a surgent.
Mr. D. Can you spell the word you

mention ?
Wit. My lord, is that a fair answer ?
Judge. I think it a fair question.
Wit. Spell the word! To be sure I can. S-y-u-r-gunt.

Mr. D. I am rather hard of hearing-repeat what you have said.

Wit. S-u-r-gend.
Mr. D. What did you say was next to S, sir ?
Wit. Sy-u-gent.

« PreviousContinue »