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Prince. Speak, sirs; how was it ?
Falstaff. You rogue, they were bound, every man of them; or I am a Jew else, an Ebrew Jew.
[Bardolph signs to Peto that they were bound. Gadshill. As we were sharing, some six or seven fresh yo men set upon us
Falstaf. And unbound the rest, and then come in the other.
Prince. What, fought ye with them all ?
Falstaff. All ! I know not what ye call all ; but if 75 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.
80 Falstaf (resignedly]. Nay, that's past praying for : I have peppered two of them; two, I am sure, I have paid ; two rogues in buckram suits. (He sees the Prince's face twitching.] I tell thee what, Hal, if I tell thee a lie, spit in my face, call me horse. Thou knowest my old ward ; 85 here I lay, (throws his shield in front of him] and thus I bore my point. Four rogues in buckram let drive at me,
Prince. What, four ? thou saidst but two even now.
90 Poins. Aye, aye, he said four.
Falstaff. 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. 95
Prince [to Poins]. Prithee, let him alone; we shall have more anon.
Falstaff. Dost thou hear me, Hal ?
Falstaff. Do so, for it is worth the listening to. These nine in buckram, that I told thee of,
100 I 20
Prince. So, two more already.
105 Falstaff. Their points being broken, began to give me ground : but I followed me close, came in, foot and hand ; [takes one step forward, and makes seven quick passes) and with a thought, seven of the eleven I paid.
Prince. O monstrous ! eleven buckram men grown out 110 of two !
Falstaff. 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.
115 Prince. These lies are like the father that begets them,-gross as a mountain, open, palpable. Why, thou clay-brained guts, thou greasy tallow-keech,
Falstaf. 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 ?
[Falstaff hesitates for a moment. Poins [jeering]. Come, your reason, Jack, your reason. !25
Falstaff. 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 plenty as blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion, I.
130 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,
Falstaf. Away, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried neat's tongue, you stock-fish! Oh, for breath to utter 135 what is like thee! you tailor's yard, you sheath, you bow-case,
[Gasps and wipes his face. Prince. Well, breathe awhile, and then to it again : and when thou hast tired thyself in base comparisons, hear me speak but this.
140 Poins. Mark, Jack.
Prince. We two saw you four set on four ; you bound them, and were masters of their wealth ! [Falstaf starts.] Mark now, how a plain tale shall put you down. Then did we two set on you four; and, with a word, outfaced 145 you from your prize, and have it, yea, and can show it you here in the house : and, Falstaff, you carried your
guts away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roared for mercy, and still ran and roared, as ever I heard bullcalf. What a slave art thou, to hack thy sword as thou 150 hast done, and then say it was in fight! [A pause. Falstaf looks ashamed.] What trick, what device, what starting-hole, canst thou now find out, to hide thee from this open and apparent shame?
[Falstaff hides his face behind his shield. Poins. Come, let's hear, Jack; what trick hast thou 155 now ?
Falstaff [recovering himself and throwing down his shield]. By the Lord, I knew ye as well as he that made ye. Why, hear ye, my masters : was it for me to kill the heir-apparent ? Should I turn upon the true prince ? (He 160 sheathes his sword.] Why, thou knowest I am as valiant as Hercules : but beware instinct; the lion will not touch the true prince. (He speaks very solemnly.] Instinct is a great matter; I was a coward on instinct. I shall think the better of myself and thee during my life ; I for 165 a valiant lion, and thou for a true prince. [Brightening up.] But, by the Lord, lads, I am glad you have the money.[To the Hostess within.] Hostess, clap to the doors. Gallants, lads, boys, hearts of gold, all the titles of good fellowship come to you! What, shall we be merry ? 170 shall we have a play extempore ?
Prince. Content, and the argument shall be, thy running away.
Falstaff. Ah, no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me!
XX. AN ELIZABETHAN
BY JOHN MARSTON
This scene gives a very lifelike picture of an English school
room in Shakespeare's day. The grammar learnt is Latin grammar only, from John Lilly's famous schoolbook. °If you had not known your verbs (and you may be quite sure that you would not have known them), you will see what would have happened to you.
A Schoolroom; Battus, Nous, Slip, Nathaniel, and Holo
fernes Pippo are discovered sitting with books in their hands. Enter the Pedant, or Schoolmaster. All. Salve, magister.
Pedant. Salvete, pueri, estote salvi, vos salvere exopto, exopto vobis salutem. Batte, mi fili, fili, mi Batte.
Battus. Quid vis ?
[Battus gets up, and begins in a sing-song. Battus. A noun is the name of a thing that may be seen, felt, heard, or understood.
Pedant. Good boy; on, on!
Battus. Of nouns some be substantives and some be substantives.
Pedant [correcting him). Adjectives.
Battus. Adjectives; a noun substantive either is proper to the thing that it betokeneth,
Pedant (stopping him]. Well, to numbers.
Battus. In nouns be two numbers, the singular and 15 the plural : the singular number speaketh of one, as lapis, 'a stone'; the plural speaketh of more than one as lapides, 'stones'.
Pedant. Good child, now thou art past lapides,'stones', proceed to the cases. [Battus goes back to his place.] Nous, 20 say you next, Nous; where's your lesson, Nous ?
Nous. I am in a verb forsooth.
Nous. A verb is a part of speech declined with mood and tense, and betokeneth doing, as amo, ' I love'. 25
Pedant. How many kinds of verbs are there ?
Nous. Five : active, passive, neuter, deponent, and common. A verb active endeth in -0 and betokeneth 30 'to do', as amo, 'I love'; and by putting to -1, it may be a passive, as amor, 'I am loved '.
Pedant. Very good, child ; now learn to know the deponent and common. [Nous goes back to his place.) Say you, Slip.
[Slip comes forward. 35 Slip. Cedant arma togae, concedat laurea linguae.
Pedant. What part of speech is lingua > inflecte, inflecte.
Slip. Singulariter, nominativo haec lingua.
Pedant. Why is lingua the feminine gender ?
40 Slip [puzzled]. Forsooth, because it is the feminine gender.
Pedant. Ha, thou ass, thou dolt! idem per idem, mark it: lingua is declined with haec the feminine, because it is a household stuff particularly belonging and 45 most commonly resident under the roof of women's mouths. [He waves to Slip to sit down.] Come on you, Nathaniel, say you, say you next, not too fast, say tretably, say.
[Nathaniel comes forward. Nathaniel [very slowly). Mascula dicuntur monosyllaba 50 nomina quaedam.
Pedant. Faster, faster.
Nathaniel. Ut sal, sol; ren et splen; Car, Ser, vir; vas vadis, as, mas; bes, Cres, praes et pes; glis gliris habens genetivo; mos, flos, ros et Tros; mus, dens, mons, pons— 55
Pedant. Rup, tup, snup, slup, bor, hor, cor, mor! Holla, holla, holla. You, Holofernes Pippo, put him down -wipe your nose ; fie, on your sleeve! Where's your muckinder your grandmother gave you ?-Well, say on, say on.
60 Holofernes [bringing up his book, in order to look at the work as long as possible]. Pree, master, what word's this?
Pedant. Ass, ass! [Holofernes shuts his book.
Holofernes. As in praesenti perfectum format in-inin
(He stops short. Pedant (sharply). In what, sir ?
65 Holofernes [repeating without thinking]. Perfectum format in what, sir.
Pedant [angrily]. In what, sir! in -avi.
Holofernes (catching at it]. In what, sir, in -avi, ut no, nas, navi ; vocito, vocitas,-[forgetting by this time what yo he said at the beginning] voci—voci—voci,
Pedant. Voci—what's next?
Pedant [getting out the birch). Why, thou ungracious child, thou simple animal, thou barnacle ! Nous, snare 75 him, take him up; an you were my father, you should up.
Holofernes [struggling with Nous, who is trying to get hold of him]. Hark you, master, my grandmother entreats you to come to dinner to-morrow morning.
Pedant. I say, untruss, take him up, Nous, dispatch ! What, not perfect in -as in praesenti !