Sign up for the free Shakespeare Newsletter

   King Henry IV, Part II
ACT III SCENE II Gloucestershire. Before SHALLOW'S house. 
 Enter SHALLOW and SILENCE, meeting; MOULDY,SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, BULLCALF, a Servant or twowith them 
SHALLOW Come on, come on, come on, sir; give me your hand, 
 sir, give me your hand, sir: an early stirrer, by 
 the rood! And how doth my good cousin Silence? 
SILENCE Good morrow, good cousin Shallow. 5
SHALLOW And how doth my cousin, your bedfellow? and your 
 fairest daughter and mine, my god-daughter Ellen? 
SILENCE Alas, a black ousel, cousin Shallow! 
SHALLOW By yea and nay, sir, I dare say my cousin William is 
 become a good scholar: he is at Oxford still, is he not? 10
SILENCE Indeed, sir, to my cost. 
SHALLOW A' must, then, to the inns o' court shortly. I was 
 once of Clement's Inn, where I think they will 
 talk of mad Shallow yet. 
SILENCE You were called 'lusty Shallow' then, cousin. 15
SHALLOW By the mass, I was called any thing; and I would 
 have done any thing indeed too, and roundly too. 
 There was I, and little John Doit of Staffordshire, 
 and black George Barnes, and Francis Pickbone, and 
 Will Squele, a Cotswold man; you had not four such 20
 swinge-bucklers in all the inns o' court again: and 
 I may say to you, we knew where the bona-robas were 
 and had the best of them all at commandment. Then 
 was Jack Falstaff, now Sir John, a boy, and page to 
 Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. 25
SILENCE This Sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon about soldiers? 
SHALLOW The same Sir John, the very same. I see him break 
 Skogan's head at the court-gate, when a' was a 
 crack not thus high: and the very same day did I 
 fight with one Sampson Stockfish, a fruiterer, 30
 behind Gray's Inn. Jesu, Jesu, the mad days that I 
 have spent! and to see how many of my old 
 acquaintance are dead! 
SILENCE We shall all follow, cousin. 
SHADOW Certain, 'tis certain; very sure, very sure: death, 35
 as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all; all shall 
 die. How a good yoke of bullocks at Stamford fair? 
SILENCE By my troth, I was not there. 
SHALLOW Death is certain. Is old Double of your town living 
 yet? 40
SILENCE Dead, sir. 
SHALLOW Jesu, Jesu, dead! a' drew a good bow; and dead! a' 
 shot a fine shoot: John a Gaunt loved him well, and 
 betted much money on his head. Dead! a' would have 
 clapped i' the clout at twelve score; and carried 45
 you a forehand shaft a fourteen and fourteen and a 
 half, that it would have done a man's heart good to 
 see. How a score of ewes now? 
SILENCE Thereafter as they be: a score of good ewes may be 
 worth ten pounds. 50
SHALLOW And is old Double dead? 
SILENCE Here come two of Sir John Falstaff's men, as I think. 
 Enter BARDOLPH and one with him 
BARDOLPH Good morrow, honest gentlemen: I beseech you, which 
 is Justice Shallow? 
SHALLOW I am Robert Shallow, sir; a poor esquire of this 55
 county, and one of the king's justices of the peace: 
 What is your good pleasure with me? 
BARDOLPH My captain, sir, commends him to you; my captain, 
 Sir John Falstaff, a tall gentleman, by heaven, and 
 a most gallant leader. 60
SHALLOW He greets me well, sir. I knew him a good backsword 
 man. How doth the good knight? may I ask how my 
 lady his wife doth? 
BARDOLPH Sir, pardon; a soldier is better accommodated than 
 with a wife. 65
SHALLOW It is well said, in faith, sir; and it is well said 
 indeed too. Better accommodated! it is good; yea, 
 indeed, is it: good phrases are surely, and ever 
 were, very commendable. Accommodated! it comes of 
 'accommodo' very good; a good phrase. 70
BARDOLPH Pardon me, sir; I have heard the word. Phrase call 
 you it? by this good day, I know not the phrase; 
 but I will maintain the word with my sword to be a 
 soldier-like word, and a word of exceeding good 
 command, by heaven. Accommodated; that is, when a 75
 man is, as they say, accommodated; or when a man is, 
 being, whereby a' may be thought to be accommodated; 
 which is an excellent thing. 
SHALLOW It is very just. 
 Look, here comes good Sir John. Give me your good 80
 hand, give me your worship's good hand: by my 
 troth, you like well and bear your years very well: 
 welcome, good Sir John. 
FALSTAFF I am glad to see you well, good Master Robert 
 Shallow: Master Surecard, as I think? 85
SHALLOW No, Sir John; it is my cousin Silence, in commission with me. 
FALSTAFF Good Master Silence, it well befits you should be of 
 the peace. 
SILENCE Your good-worship is welcome. 
FALSTAFF Fie! this is hot weather, gentlemen. Have you 90
 provided me here half a dozen sufficient men? 
SHALLOW Marry, have we, sir. Will you sit? 
FALSTAFF Let me see them, I beseech you. 
SHALLOW Where's the roll? where's the roll? where's the 
 roll? Let me see, let me see, let me see. So, so: 95
 yea, marry, sir: Ralph Mouldy! Let them appear as 
 I call; let them do so, let them do so. Let me 
 see; where is Mouldy? 
MOULDY Here, an't please you. 
SHALLOW What think you, Sir John? a good-limbed fellow; 100
 young, strong, and of good friends. 
FALSTAFF Is thy name Mouldy? 
MOULDY Yea, an't please you. 
FALSTAFF 'Tis the more time thou wert used. 
SHALLOW Ha, ha, ha! most excellent, i' faith! Things that 105
 are mouldy lack use: very singular good! in faith, 
 well said, Sir John, very well said. 
FALSTAFF Prick him. 
MOULDY I was pricked well enough before, an you could have 
 let me alone: my old dame will be undone now for 110
 one to do her husbandry and her drudgery: you need 
 not to have pricked me; there are other men fitter 
 to go out than I. 
FALSTAFF Go to: peace, Mouldy; you shall go. Mouldy, it is 
 time you were spent. 115
MOULDY Spent! 
SHALLOW Peace, fellow, peace; stand aside: know you where 
 you are? For the other, Sir John: let me see: 
 Simon Shadow! 
FALSTAFF Yea, marry, let me have him to sit under: he's like 120
 to be a cold soldier. 
SHALLOW Where's Shadow? 
SHADOW Here, sir. 
FALSTAFF Shadow, whose son art thou? 
SHADOW My mother's son, sir. 125
FALSTAFF Thy mother's son! like enough, and thy father's 
 shadow: so the son of the female is the shadow of 
 the male: it is often so, indeed; but much of the 
 father's substance! 
SHALLOW Do you like him, Sir John? 130
FALSTAFF Shadow will serve for summer; prick him, for we have 
 a number of shadows to fill up the muster-book. 
SHALLOW Thomas Wart! 
FALSTAFF Where's he? 
WART Here, sir. 135
FALSTAFF Is thy name Wart? 
WART Yea, sir. 
FALSTAFF Thou art a very ragged wart. 
SHALLOW Shall I prick him down, Sir John? 
FALSTAFF It were superfluous; for his apparel is built upon 140
 his back and the whole frame stands upon pins: 
 prick him no more. 
SHALLOW Ha, ha, ha! you can do it, sir; you can do it: I 
 commend you well. Francis Feeble! 
FEEBLE Here, sir. 145
FALSTAFF What trade art thou, Feeble? 
FEEBLE A woman's tailor, sir. 
SHALLOW Shall I prick him, sir? 
FALSTAFF You may: but if he had been a man's tailor, he'ld 
 ha' pricked you. Wilt thou make as many holes in 150
 an enemy's battle as thou hast done in a woman's petticoat? 
FEEBLE I will do my good will, sir; you can have no more. 
FALSTAFF Well said, good woman's tailor! well said, 
 courageous Feeble! thou wilt be as valiant as the 
 wrathful dove or most magnanimous mouse. Prick the 155
 woman's tailor: well, Master Shallow; deep, Master Shallow. 
FEEBLE I would Wart might have gone, sir. 
FALSTAFF I would thou wert a man's tailor, that thou mightst 
 mend him and make him fit to go. I cannot put him 
 to a private soldier that is the leader of so many 160
 thousands: let that suffice, most forcible Feeble. 
FEEBLE It shall suffice, sir. 
FALSTAFF I am bound to thee, reverend Feeble. Who is next? 
SHALLOW Peter Bullcalf o' the green! 
FALSTAFF Yea, marry, let's see Bullcalf. 165
BULLCALF Here, sir. 
FALSTAFF 'Fore God, a likely fellow! Come, prick me Bullcalf 
 till he roar again. 
BULLCALF O Lord! good my lord captain,-- 
FALSTAFF What, dost thou roar before thou art pricked? 170
BULLCALF O Lord, sir! I am a diseased man. 
FALSTAFF What disease hast thou? 
BULLCALF A whoreson cold, sir, a cough, sir, which I caught 
 with ringing in the king's affairs upon his 
 coronation-day, sir. 175
FALSTAFF Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a gown; we wilt 
 have away thy cold; and I will take such order that 
 my friends shall ring for thee. Is here all? 
SHALLOW Here is two more called than your number, you must 
 have but four here, sir: and so, I pray you, go in 180
 with me to dinner. 
FALSTAFF Come, I will go drink with you, but I cannot tarry 
 dinner. I am glad to see you, by my troth, Master Shallow. 
SHALLOW O, Sir John, do you remember since we lay all night 
 in the windmill in Saint George's field? 185
FALSTAFF No more of that, good Master Shallow, no more of that. 
SHALLOW Ha! 'twas a merry night. And is Jane Nightwork alive? 
FALSTAFF She lives, Master Shallow. 
SHALLOW She never could away with me. 
FALSTAFF Never, never; she would always say she could not 190
 abide Master Shallow. 
SHALLOW By the mass, I could anger her to the heart. She 
 was then a bona-roba. Doth she hold her own well? 
FALSTAFF Old, old, Master Shallow. 
SHALLOW Nay, she must be old; she cannot choose but be old; 195
 certain she's old; and had Robin Nightwork by old 
 Nightwork before I came to Clement's Inn. 
SILENCE That's fifty-five year ago. 
SHALLOW Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that that 
 this knight and I have seen! Ha, Sir John, said I well? 200
FALSTAFF We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow. 
SHALLOW That we have, that we have, that we have; in faith, 
 Sir John, we have: our watch-word was 'Hem boys!' 
 Come, let's to dinner; come, let's to dinner: 
 Jesus, the days that we have seen! Come, come. 205
 Exeunt FALSTAFF and Justices 
BULLCALF Good Master Corporate Bardolph, stand my friend; 
 and here's four Harry ten shillings in French crowns 
 for you. In very truth, sir, I had as lief be 
 hanged, sir, as go: and yet, for mine own part, sir, 
 I do not care; but rather, because I am unwilling, 210
 and, for mine own part, have a desire to stay with 
 my friends; else, sir, I did not care, for mine own 
 part, so much. 
BARDOLPH Go to; stand aside. 
MOULDY And, good master corporal captain, for my old 215
 dame's sake, stand my friend: she has nobody to do 
 any thing about her when I am gone; and she is old, 
 and cannot help herself: You shall have forty, sir. 
BARDOLPH Go to; stand aside. 
FEEBLE By my troth, I care not; a man can die but once: we 220
 owe God a death: I'll ne'er bear a base mind: 
 an't be my destiny, so; an't be not, so: no man is 
 too good to serve's prince; and let it go which way 
 it will, he that dies this year is quit for the next. 
BARDOLPH Well said; thou'rt a good fellow. 225
FEEBLE Faith, I'll bear no base mind. 
 Re-enter FALSTAFF and the Justices 
FALSTAFF Come, sir, which men shall I have? 
SHALLOW Four of which you please. 
BARDOLPH Sir, a word with you: I have three pound to free 
 Mouldy and Bullcalf. 230
FALSTAFF Go to; well. 
SHALLOW Come, Sir John, which four will you have? 
FALSTAFF Do you choose for me. 
SHALLOW Marry, then, Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble and Shadow. 
FALSTAFF Mouldy and Bullcalf: for you, Mouldy, stay at home 235
 till you are past service: and for your part, 
 Bullcalf, grow till you come unto it: I will none of you. 
SHALLOW Sir John, Sir John, do not yourself wrong: they are 
 your likeliest men, and I would have you served with the best. 
FALSTAFF Will you tell me, Master Shallow, how to choose a 240
 man? Care I for the limb, the thewes, the stature, 
 bulk, and big assemblance of a man! Give me the 
 spirit, Master Shallow. Here's Wart; you see what a 
 ragged appearance it is; a' shall charge you and 
 discharge you with the motion of a pewterer's 245
 hammer, come off and on swifter than he that gibbets 
 on the brewer's bucket. And this same half-faced 
 fellow, Shadow; give me this man: he presents no 
 mark to the enemy; the foeman may with as great aim 
 level at the edge of a penknife. And for a retreat; 250
 how swiftly will this Feeble the woman's tailor run 
 off! O, give me the spare men, and spare me the 
 great ones. Put me a caliver into Wart's hand, Bardolph. 
BARDOLPH Hold, Wart, traverse; thus, thus, thus. 
FALSTAFF Come, manage me your caliver. So: very well: go 255
 to: very good, exceeding good. O, give me always a 
 little, lean, old, chapt, bald shot. Well said, i' 
 faith, Wart; thou'rt a good scab: hold, there's a 
 tester for thee. 
SHALLOW He is not his craft's master; he doth not do it 260
 right. I remember at Mile-end Green, when I lay at 
 Clement's Inn--I was then Sir Dagonet in Arthur's 
 show,--there was a little quiver fellow, and a' 
 would manage you his piece thus; and a' would about 
 and about, and come you in and come you in: 'rah, 265
 tah, tah,' would a' say; 'bounce' would a' say; and 
 away again would a' go, and again would a' come: I 
 shall ne'er see such a fellow. 
FALSTAFF These fellows will do well, Master Shallow. God 
 keep you, Master Silence: I will not use many words 270
 with you. Fare you well, gentlemen both: I thank 
 you: I must a dozen mile to-night. Bardolph, give 
 the soldiers coats. 
SHALLOW Sir John, the Lord bless you! God prosper your 
 affairs! God send us peace! At your return visit 275
 our house; let our old acquaintance be renewed; 
 peradventure I will with ye to the court. 
FALSTAFF 'Fore God, I would you would, Master Shallow. 
SHALLOW Go to; I have spoke at a word. God keep you. 
FALSTAFF Fare you well, gentle gentlemen. 280
 Exeunt Justices 
 On, Bardolph; lead the men away. 
 Exeunt BARDOLPH, Recruits, &c 
 As I return, I will fetch off these justices: I do 
 see the bottom of Justice Shallow. Lord, Lord, how 
 subject we old men are to this vice of lying! This 
 same starved justice hath done nothing but prate to 285
 me of the wildness of his youth, and the feats he 
 hath done about Turnbull Street: and every third 
 word a lie, duer paid to the hearer than the Turk's 
 tribute. I do remember him at Clement's Inn like a 
 man made after supper of a cheese-paring: when a' 290
 was naked, he was, for all the world, like a forked 
 radish, with a head fantastically carved upon it 
 with a knife: a' was so forlorn, that his 
 dimensions to any thick sight were invincible: a' 
 was the very genius of famine; yet lecherous as a 295
 monkey, and the whores called him mandrake: a' came 
 ever in the rearward of the fashion, and sung those 
 tunes to the overscutched huswives that he heard the 
 carmen whistle, and swear they were his fancies or 
 his good-nights. And now is this Vice's dagger 300
 become a squire, and talks as familiarly of John a 
 Gaunt as if he had been sworn brother to him; and 
 I'll be sworn a' ne'er saw him but once in the 
 Tilt-yard; and then he burst his head for crowding 
 among the marshal's men. I saw it, and told John a 305
 Gaunt he beat his own name; for you might have 
 thrust him and all his apparel into an eel-skin; the 
 case of a treble hautboy was a mansion for him, a 
 court: and now has he land and beefs. Well, I'll 
 be acquainted with him, if I return; and it shall 310
 go hard but I will make him a philosopher's two 
 stones to me: if the young dace be a bait for the 
 old pike, I see no reason in the law of nature but I 
 may snap at him. Let time shape, and there an end. 

 | home  |  what's new  |  about this site  |  contact  |  notice of copyright  | 
©1999-2021 Shakespeare Online. All Rights Reserved.