King Henry IV, Part 1 By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 4

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 hack'd like a hand-saw, — ecce 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.

PRINCE.
Speak, sirs; how was it?

GADS.
We four set upon some dozen, —

FAL.
Sixteen at least, my lord.

GADS.
— and bound them.

PETO.
No, no; they were not bound.

FAL.
You rogue, they were bound, every man of them; or I am a Jew
else, an Ebrew Jew.

GADS.
As we were sharing, some six or seven fresh men sea upon us, —

FAL.
And unbound the rest, and then come in the other.

PRINCE.
What, fought you with them all?

FAL.
All? I know not what you 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 two-legged creature.

PRINCE.
Pray God you have not murdered some of them.

FAL.
Nay, that's past praying for: I have pepper'd 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: here I lay, and thus I bore my point.
Four rogues in buckram let drive at me, —

PRINCE.
What, four? thou saidst but two even now.

FAL.
Four, Hal; I told thee four.

POINTZ.
Ay, ay, he said four.

FAL.
These four came all a-front, and mainly thrust at me. I made me no more
ado but took all their seven points in my target, thus.

PRINCE.
Seven? why, there were but four even now.

FAL.
In buckram?

POINTZ.
Ay, four, in buckram suits.

FAL.
Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.

PRINCE.
[aside to Pointz.] Pr'ythee let him alone; we shall have more
anon.

FAL.
Dost thou hear me, Hal?

PRINCE.
Ay, and mark thee too, Jack.

FAL.
Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These nine in buckram
that I told thee of, —

PRINCE.
So, two more already.

FAL.
— their points being broken, —

POINTZ.
Down fell their hose.

FAL.
— 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.

PRINCE.
O monstrous! eleven buckram men grown out of two!

FAL.
But, as the Devil 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.

PRINCE.
These lies are like the father that begets them, gross as a mountain,
open, palpable. Why, thou nott-pated fool, thou whoreson, obscene
greasy tallow-keech, —

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

PRINCE.
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?

POINTZ.
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 on
compulsion! if reasons were as plentiful as blackberries, I would
give no man a reason upon compulsion, I.

PRINCE.
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, —
O, for breath to utter what is like thee! — you tailor's-yard, you
sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck, —

PRINCE.
Well, breathe awhile, and then to it again: and, when thou hast
tired thyself in base comparisons, hear me speak but this: —

POINTZ.
Mark, Jack.

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