Henry IV Part 2

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Original text
Act III, Scene I
Enter the King, with a Page.

King.
Goe, call the Earles of Surrey, and of Warwick:
But ere they come, bid them ore-reade these Letters,
And well consider of them: make good speed.
Exit.
How many thousand of my poorest Subiects
Are at this howre asleepe? O Sleepe, O gentle Sleepe,
Natures soft Nurse, how haue I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eye-lids downe,
And steepe my Sences in Forgetfulnesse?
Why rather (Sleepe) lyest thou in smoakie Cribs,
Vpon vneasie Pallads stretching thee,
And huisht with bussing Night, flyes to thy slumber,
Then in the perfum'd Chambers of the Great?
Vnder the Canopies of costly State,
And lull'd with sounds of sweetest Melodie?
O thou dull God, why lyest thou with the vilde,
In loathsome Beds, and leau'st the Kingly Couch,
A Watch-case, or a common Larum-Bell?
Wilt thou, vpon the high and giddie Mast,
Seale vp the Ship-boyes Eyes, and rock his Braines,
In Cradle of the rude imperious Surge,
And in the visitation of the Windes,
Who take the Ruffian Billowes by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deaff'ning Clamors in the slipp'ry Clouds,
That with the hurley, Death it selfe awakes?
Canst thou (O partiall Sleepe) giue thy Repose
To the wet Sea-Boy, in an houre so rude:
And in the calmest, and most stillest Night,
With all appliances, and meanes to boote,
Deny it to a King? Then happy Lowe, lye downe,
Vneasie lyes the Head, that weares a Crowne.
Enter Warwicke and Surrey.

War.
Many good-morrowes to your Maiestie.

King.
Is it good-morrow, Lords?

War.
'Tis One a Clock, and past.

King.
Why then good-morrow to you all (my Lords:)
Haue you read o're the Letters that I sent you?

War.
We haue (my Liege.)

King.
Then you perceiue the Body of our Kingdome,
How foule it is: what ranke Diseases grow,
And with what danger, neere the Heart of it?

War.
It is but as a Body, yet distemper'd,
Which to his former strength may be restor'd,
With good aduice, and little Medicine:
My Lord Northumberland will soone be cool'd.

King.
Oh Heauen, that one might read the Book of Fate,
And see the reuolution of the Times
Make Mountaines leuell, and the Continent
(Wearie of solide firmenesse) melt it selfe
Into the Sea: and other Times, to see
The beachie Girdle of the Ocean
Too wide for Neptunes hippes; how Chances mocks
And Changes fill the Cuppe of Alteration
With diuers Liquors. 'Tis not tenne yeeres gone,
Since Richard, and Northumberland, great friends,
Did feast together; and in two yeeres after,
Were they at Warres. It is but eight yeeres since,
This Percie was the man, neerest my Soule,
Who, like a Brother, toyl'd in my Affaires,
And layd his Loue and Life vnder my foot:
Yea, for my sake, euen to the eyes of Richard
Gaue him defiance. But which of you was by
(You Cousin Neuil, as I may remember)
When Richard, with his Eye, brim-full of Teares,
(Then check'd, and rated by Northumberland)
Did speake these words (now prou'd a Prophecie:)
Northumberland, thou Ladder, by the which
My Cousin Bullingbrooke ascends my Throne:
(Though then, Heauen knowes, I had no such intent,
But that necessitie so bow'd the State,
That I and Greatnesse were compell'd to kisse:)
The Time shall come (thus did hee follow it)
The Time will come, that foule Sinne gathering head,
Shall breake into Corruption: so went on,
Fore-telling this same Times Condition,
And the diuision of our Amitie.

War.
There is a Historie in all mens Liues,
Figuring the nature of the Times deceas'd:
The which obseru'd, a man may prophecie
With a neere ayme, of the maine chance of things,
As yet not come to Life, which in their Seedes
And weake beginnings lye entreasured:
Such things become the Hatch and Brood of Time;
And by the necessarie forme of this,
King Richard might create a perfect guesse,
That great Northumberland, then false to him,
Would of that Seed, grow to a greater falsenesse,
Which should not finde a ground to roote vpon,
Vnlesse on you.

King.
Are these things then Necessities?
Then let vs meete them like Necessities;
And that same word, euen now cryes out on vs:
They say, the Bishop and Northumberland
Are fiftie thousand strong.

War.
It cannot be (my Lord:)
Rumor doth double, like the Voice, and Eccho,
The numbers of the feared. Please it your Grace
To goe to bed, vpon my Life (my Lord)
The Pow'rs that you alreadie haue sent forth,
Shall bring this Prize in very easily.
To comfort you the more, I haue receiu'd
A certaine instance, that Glendour is dead.
Your Maiestie hath beene this fort-night ill,
And these vnseason'd howres perforce must adde
Vnto your Sicknesse.

King.
I will take your counsaile:
And were these inward Warres once out of hand,
Wee would (deare Lords) vnto the Holy-Land.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene II
Enter Shallow and Silence: with Mouldie, Shadow, Wart, Feeble, Bull-calfe

Shal.
Come-on, come-on, come-on: giue mee your
Hand, Sir; giue mee your Hand, Sir: an early stirrer, by
the Rood. And how doth my good Cousin Silence?

Sil.
Good-morrow, good Cousin Shallow.

Shal.
And how doth my Cousin, your Bed-fellow? and
your fairest Daughter, and mine, my God-Daughter Ellen?

Sil.
Alas, a blacke Ouzell (Cousin Shallow.)

Shal.
By yea and nay, Sir. I dare say my Cousin
William is become a good Scholler? hee is at Oxford still,
is hee not?

Sil.
Indeede Sir, to my cost.

Shal.
Hee must then to the Innes of Court shortly: I
was once of Clements Inne; where (I thinke) they will talke
of mad Shallow yet.

Sil.
You were call'd lustie Shallow then (Cousin.)

Shal.
I was call'd any thing: and I
would haue done any thing indeede too, and roundly too.
There was I, and little Iohn Doit of Staffordshire, and
blacke George Bare, and Francis Pick-bone, and Will
Squele a Cot-sal-man, you had not foure such Swindge-bucklers
in all the Innes of Court againe: And I may say
to you, wee knew where the Bona-Roba's were, and had
the best of them all at commandement. Then was Iacke
Falstaffe (now Sir Iohn) a Boy, and Page to Thomas
Mowbray, Duke of Norfolke.

Sil.
This Sir Iohn (Cousin) that comes hither anon
about Souldiers?

Shal.
The same Sir Iohn, the very same: I saw him
breake Scoggan's Head at the Court-Gate, when hee was a
Crack, not thus high: and the very same day did I fight
with one Sampson Stock-fish, a Fruiterer, behinde Greyes-
Inne. Oh the mad dayes that I haue spent! and to
see how many of mine olde Acquaintance are dead?

Sil.
Wee shall all follow (Cousin.)

Shal.
Certaine: 'tis certaine: very sure, very sure:
Death is certaine to all, all shall
dye. How a good Yoke of Bullocks at Stamford Fayre?

Sil.
Truly Cousin, I was not there.

Shal.
Death is certaine. Is old Double of your Towne
liuing yet?

Sil.
Dead, Sir.

Shal.
Dead? See, see: hee drew a good Bow: and
dead? hee shot a fine shoote. Iohn of Gaunt loued him well,
and betted much Money on his head. Dead? hee would
haue clapt in the Clowt at Twelue-score, and carryed you
a fore-hand Shaft at foureteene, and foure-teene and a halfe,
that it would haue done a mans heart good to see. How
a score of Ewes now?

Sil.
Thereafter as they be: a score of good Ewes may
be worth tenne pounds.

Shal.
And is olde Double dead?

Sil.
Heere come two of Sir Iohn Falstaffes Men (as I
thinke.)
Enter Bardolph and his Boy.

Shal.
Good-morrow, honest Gentlemen.

Bard.
I beseech you, which is Iustice Shallow?

Shal.
I am Robert Shallow (Sir) a poore Esquire of
this Countie, and one of the Kings Iustices of the Peace:
What is your good pleasure with me?

Bard.
My Captaine (Sir) commends him to you: my
Captaine, Sir Iohn Falstaffe: a tall Gentleman,
and a most gallant Leader.

Shal.
Hee greetes me well: (Sir) I knew him a good
Back-Sword-man. How doth the good Knight? may I aske,
how my Lady his Wife doth?

Bard.
Sir, pardon: a Souldier is better accommodated,
then with a Wife.

Shal.
It is well said, Sir; and it is well said,
indeede, too: Better accommodated? it is good, yea
indeede is / good phrases are surely, and euery where
very commendable. Accommodated, it comes of
Accommodo: very good, a good Phrase.

Bard.
Pardon, Sir, I haue heard the word. Phrase
call you it? by this Day, I know not the Phrase: but I
will maintaine the Word with my Sword, to bee a Souldier-like
Word, and a Word of exceeding good Command.
Accommodated: that is, when a man is (as they
say) accommodated: or, when a man is, being whereby he
thought to be accommodated, which is an
excellent thing.

Shal.
It is very iust:
Enter Falstaffe.
Looke, heere comes good Sir Iohn. Giue me your
hand, giue me your Worships good hand: Trust me,
you looke well: and beare your yeares very well. Welcome,
good Sir Iohn.

Fal.
I am glad to see you well, good M. Robert
Shallow: Master Sure-card as I thinke?

Shal.
No sir Iohn, it is my Cosin Silence: in
Commission with mee.

Fal.
Good M. Silence, it well befits you should
be of the peace.

Sil.
Your good Worship is welcome.

Fal.
Fye, this is hot weather (Gentlemen) haue you
prouided me heere halfe a dozen of sufficient men?

Shal.
Marry haue we sir: Will you sit?

Fal.
Let me see them, I beseech you.

Shal.
Where's the Roll? Where's the Roll? Where's
the Roll? Let me see, let me see, let me see: so, so, so, so:
yea marry Sir. Raphe Mouldie: let them
appeare as I call: let them do so, let them do so: Let mee
see, Where is Mouldie?

Moul.
Heere, if it please you.

Shal.
What thinke you (Sir Iohn) a good limb'd
fellow: yong, strong, and of good friends.

Fal.
Is thy name Mouldie?

Moul.
Yea, if it please you.

Fal.
'Tis the more time thou wert vs'd.

Shal.
Ha, ha, ha, most excellent. Things
that are mouldie, lacke vse: very singular good.
Well saide Sir Iohn, very well said.

Fal.
Pricke him.

Moul.
I was prickt well enough before, if you could
haue let me alone: my old Dame will be vndone now, for
one to doe her Husbandry, and her Drudgery; you need
not to haue prickt me, there are other men fitter to
goe out, then I.

Fal.
Go too: peace Mouldie, you shall goe. Mouldie,
it is time you were spent.

Moul.
Spent?

Shallow.
Peace, fellow, peace; stand aside: Know you
where you are? For the other sir Iohn: Let me see:
Simon Shadow.

Fal.
I marry, let me haue him to sit vnder: he's
like to be a cold souldier.

Shal.
Where's Shadow?

Shad.
Heere sir.

Fal.
Shadow, whose sonne art thou?

Shad.
My Mothers sonne, Sir.

Falst.
Thy Mothers sonne: like enough, and thy
Fathers shadow: so the sonne of the Female, is the shadow
of the Male: it is often so indeede, but not of the
Fathers substance.

Shal.
Do you like him, sir Iohn?

Falst.
Shadow will serue for Summer: pricke him: For
wee haue a number of shadowes to fill vppe the Muster-Booke.

Shal.
Thomas Wart?

Falst.
Where's he?

Wart.
Heere sir.

Falst.
Is thy name Wart?

Wart.
Yea sir.

Fal.
Thou art a very ragged Wart.

Shal.
Shall I pricke him downe, Sir Iohn?

Falst.
It were superfluous: for his apparrel is built
vpon his backe, and the whole frame stands vpon pins:
prick him no more.

Shal.
Ha, ha, ha, you can do it sir: you can doe it:
I commend you well. Francis Feeble.

Feeble.
Heere sir.

Shal.
What Trade art thou Feeble?

Feeble.
A Womans Taylor sir.

Shal.
Shall I pricke him, sir?

Fal.
You may: But if he had beene a mans Taylor,
he would haue prick'd you. Wilt thou make as many holes in
an enemies Battaile, as thou hast done in a Womans
petticote?

Feeble.
I will doe my good will sir, you can haue no more.

Falst.
Well said, good Womans Tailour: Well sayde
Couragious Feeble: thou wilt bee as valiant as the
wrathfull Doue, or most magnanimous Mouse. Pricke the
womans Taylour well Master Shallow, deepe Maister
Shallow.

Feeble.
I would Wart might haue gone sir.

Fal.
I would thou wert a mans Tailor, that yu
might'st mend him, and make him fit to goe. I cannot put
him to a priuate souldier, that is the Leader of so many
thousands. Let that suffice, most Forcible Feeble.

Feeble.
It shall suffice.

Falst.
I am bound to thee, reuerend Feeble. Who is
the next?

Shal.
Peter Bulcalfe of the Greene.

Falst.
Yea marry, let vs see Bulcalfe.

Bul.
Heere sir.

Fal.
Trust me, a likely Fellow. Come, pricke me Bulcalfe
till he roare againe.

Bul.
Oh, good my Lord Captaine.

Fal.
What? do'st thou roare before th'art prickt.

Bul.
Oh sir, I am a diseased man.

Fal.
What disease hast thou?

Bul.
A whorson cold sir, a cough sir, which I
caught with Ringing in the Kings affayres, vpon his
Coronation day, sir.

Fal.
Come, thou shalt go to the Warres in a Gowne:
we will haue away thy Cold, and I will take such order,
that thy friends shall ring for thee. Is heere all?

Shal.
There is two more called then your number:
you must haue but foure heere sir, and so I pray you
go in with me to dinner.

Fal.
Come, I will goe drinke with you, but I cannot
tarry dinner. I am glad to see you in good troth, Master
Shallow.

Shal.
O sir Iohn, doe you remember since wee lay all
night in the Winde-mill, in S. Georges Field.

Falstaffe.
No more of that good Master Shallow: No more of that.

Shal.
Ha? it was a merry night. And is Iane Night-worke
aliue?

Fal.
She liues, M. Shallow.

Shal.
She neuer could away with me.

Fal.
Neuer, neuer: she would alwayes say shee could
not abide M. Shallow.

Shal.
I could anger her to the heart: shee
was then a Bona-Roba. Doth she hold her owne well.

Fal.
Old, old, M. Shallow.

Shal.
Nay, she must be old, she cannot choose but
be old: certaine shee's old: and had Robin Night-worke, by
old Night-worke, before I came to Clements Inne.

Sil.
That's fiftie fiue yeeres agoe.

Shal.
Hah, Cousin Silence, that thou hadst seene that,
that this Knight and I haue seene: hah, Sir Iohn, said I
well?

Falst.
Wee haue heard the Chymes at mid-night, Master
Shallow.

Shal.
That wee haue, that wee haue; in
faith, Sir Iohn, wee haue: our watch-word was, Hem-
Boyes. Come, let's to Dinner; come, let's to Dinner:
Oh the dayes that wee haue seene. Come, come.

Bul.
Good Master Corporate Bardolph, stand my
friend, and heere is foure Harry tenne shillings in French
Crownes for you: in very truth, sir, I had as lief be
hang'd sir, as goe: and yet, for mine owne part, sir, I do
not care; but rather, because I am vnwilling, and for
mine owne part, haue a desire to stay with my friends:
else, sir, I did not care, for mine owne part, so much.

Bard.
Go-too: stand aside.

Mould.
And good Master Corporall Captaine, for my old
Dames sake, stand my friend: shee hath no body to doe
any thing about her, when I am gone: and she is old, and
cannot helpe her selfe: you shall haue fortie, sir.

Bard.
Go-too: stand aside.

Feeble.
I care not, a man can die but once:
wee owe a death. I will neuer beare a base minde: if it
be my destinie, so: if it be not, so: no man is too good
to serue his Prince: and let it goe which way it will, he
that dies this yeere, is quit for the next.

Bard.
Well said, thou art a good fellow.

Feeble.
Nay, I will beare no base minde.

Falst.
Come sir, which men shall I haue?

Shal.
Foure of which you please.

Bard.
Sir, a word with you: I haue
three pound, to free Mouldie and Bull-calfe.

Falst.
Go-too: well.

Shal.
Come, sir Iohn, which foure will you haue?

Falst.
Doe you chuse for me.

Shal.
Marry then, Mouldie, Bull-calfe, Feeble, and
Shadow.

Falst.
Mouldie, and Bull-calfe: for you Mouldie, stayat
home, till you are past seruice: and for your part,
Bull-calfe, grow till you come vnto it: I will none of you.

Shal.
Sir Iohn, Sir Iohn, doe not your selfe wrong,
they are your likelyest men, and I would haue you seru'd
with the best.

Falst.
Will you tell me (Master Shallow) how to
chuse a man? Care I for the Limbe, the Thewes, the
stature, bulke, and bigge assemblance of a man? giue mee
the spirit (Master Shallow.) Where's Wart? you see what
a ragged appearance it is: hee shall charge you, and
discharge you, with the motion of a Pewterers Hammer:
come off, and on, swifter then hee that gibbets on the
Brewers Bucket. And this same halfe-fac'd fellow,
Shadow, giue me this man: hee presents no marke to the
Enemie, the foe-man may with as great ayme leuell at the
edge of a Pen-knife: and for a Retrait, how swiftly will
this Feeble, the Womans Taylor, runne off. O, giue me the
spare men, and spare me the great ones. Put me a Calyuer
into Warts hand, Bardolph.

Bard.
Hold Wart, Trauerse: thus, thus, thus.

Falst.
Come, manage me your Calyuer: so: very well,
go-too, very good, exceeding good. O, giue me alwayes
a little, leane, old, chopt, bald Shot. Well said
Wart, thou art a good Scab: hold, there is a Tester for thee.

Shal.
Hee is not his Crafts-master, hee doth not doe it
right. I remember at Mile-end-Greene, when I lay at
Clements Inne, I was then Sir Dagonet in Arthurs
Show: there was a little quiuer fellow, and hee would
manage you his Peece thus: and hee would about, and
about, and come you in, and come you in: Rah, tah,
tah, would hee say, Bownce would hee say, and away
againe would hee goe, and againe would he come: I shall
neuer see such a fellow.

Falst.
These fellowes will doe well, Master Shallow.
Farewell Master Silence, I will not vse many
wordes with you: fare you well, Gentlemen both: I thanke
you: I must a dozen mile to night. Bardolph, giue the
Souldiers Coates.

Shal.
Sir Iohn, Heauen blesse you, and prosper
your Affaires, and send vs Peace. As you returne, visit
my house. Let our old acquaintance be renewed:
peraduenture I will with you to the Court.

Falst.
I would you would, Master Shallow.

Shal.
Go-too: I haue spoke at a word. Fare you well.

Falst.
Fare you well, gentle Gentlemen.
Exit.
On Bardolph, leade the men away.
As I returne, I will fetch off these Iustices: I doe see the
bottome of Iustice Shallow. How subiect wee
old men are to this vice of Lying? This same staru'd
Iustice hath done nothing but prate to me of the wildenesse
of his Youth, and the Feates hee hath done about Turnball-
street, and euery third word a Lye, duer pay'd to the
hearer, then the Turkes Tribute. I doe remember him at
Clements Inne, like a man made after Supper, of a
Cheese-paring. When hee was naked, hee was, for all the
world, like a forked Radish, with a Head fantastically
caru'd vpon it with a Knife. Hee was so forlorne, that his
Dimensions (to any thicke sight) were inuincible. Hee was
the very Genius of Famine:
hee came euer in
the rere-ward of the Fashion:
And now is this Vices Dagger become a Squire,
and talkes as familiarly of Iohn of Gaunt, as if hee had
beene sworne Brother to him: and Ile be sworne hee neuer
saw him but once in the Tilt-yard, and then he burst his
Head, for crowding among the Marshals men. I saw it,
and told Iohn of Gaunt, hee beat his owne Name, for you
might haue truss'd him and all his Apparrell into an
Eele-skinne: the Case of a Treble Hoe-boy was a Mansion for
him: a Court: and now hath hee Land, and Beeues. Well, I will
be acquainted with him, if I returne: and it shall goe hard,
but I will make him a Philosophers two Stones to me. If
the young Dace be a Bayt 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.
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act III, Scene I
Enter the King in his nightgown, followed by a page

KING HENRY IV
Go call the Earls of Surrey and of Warwick –
But, ere they come, bid them o'er-read these letters
And well consider of them. Make good speed.
Exit page
How many thousand of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lulled with sound of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile
In loathsome beds, and leavest the kingly couch
A watch-case, or a common 'larum-bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge,
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deafing clamour in the slippery clouds,
That with the hurly death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-son in an hour so rude,
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
Enter Warwick and Surrey

WARWICK
Many good morrows to your majesty!

KING HENRY IV
Is it good morrow, lords?

WARWICK
'Tis one o'clock, and past.

KING HENRY IV
Why then, good morrow to you all, my lords.
Have you read o'er the letters that I sent you?

WARWICK
We have, my liege.

KING HENRY IV
Then you perceive the body of our kingdom
How foul it is, what rank diseases grow,
And with what danger, near the heart of it.

WARWICK
It is but as a body yet distempered,
Which to his former strength may be restored
With good advice and little medicine.
My lord Northumberland will soon be cooled.

KING HENRY IV
O God, that one might read the book of fate,
And see the revolution of the times
Make mountains level, and the continent,
Weary of solid firmness, melt itself
Into the sea; and other times to see
The beachy girdle of the ocean
Too wide for Neptune's hips; how chance's mocks
And changes fill the cup of alteration
With divers liquors! 'Tis not ten years gone
Since Richard and Northumberland, great friends,
Did feast together, and in two years after
Were they at wars. It is but eight years since
This Percy was the man nearest my soul,
Who like a brother toiled in my affairs
And laid his love and life under my foot;
Yea, for my sake, even to the eyes of Richard
Gave him defiance. But which of you was by –
(to Warwick) You, cousin Nevil, as I may remember –
When Richard, with his eye brimful of tears,
Then checked and rated by Northumberland,
Did speak these words, now proved a prophecy?
‘ Northumberland, thou ladder by the which
My cousin Bolingbroke ascends my throne ’ –
Though then, God knows, I had no such intent,
But that necessity so bowed the state
That I and greatness were compelled to kiss –
‘ The time shall come ’ – thus did he follow it –
‘ The time will come that foul sin, gathering head,
Shall break into corruption ’ – so went on,
Foretelling this same time's condition,
And the division of our amity.

WARWICK
There is a history in all men's lives
Figuring the nature of the times deceased,
The which observed, a man may prophesy,
With a near aim, of the main chance of things
As yet not come to life, who in their seeds
And weak beginning lie intreasured.
Such things become the hatch and brood of time,
And by the necessary form of this
King Richard might create a perfect guess
That great Northumberland, then false to him,
Would of that seed grow to a greater falseness,
Which should not find a ground to root upon
Unless on you.

KING HENRY IV
Are these things then necessities?
Then let us meet them like necessities,
And that same word even now cries out on us.
They say the Bishop and Northumberland
Are fifty thousand strong.

WARWICK
It cannot be, my lord.
Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo,
The numbers of the feared. Please it your grace
To go to bed. Upon my soul, my lord,
The powers that you already have sent forth
Shall bring this prize in very easily.
To comfort you the more, I have received
A certain instance that Glendower is dead.
Your majesty hath been this fortnight ill,
And these unseasoned hours perforce must add
Unto your sickness.

KING HENRY IV
I will take your counsel.
And were these inward wars once out of hand,
We would, dear lords, unto the Holy Land.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene II
Enter Justice Shallow and Justice Silence

SHALLOW
Come on, come on, come on! 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.

SHALLOW
And how doth my cousin your bedfellow? And
your fairest daughter and mine, my god-daughter Ellen?

SILENCE
Alas, a black woosel, cousin Shallow!

SHALLOW
By yea and no, sir. I dare say my cousin
William is become a good scholar – he is at Oxford still,
is he not?

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.

SHALLOW
By the mass, I was called anything, and I
would have done anything 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 Cotsole man – you had not four such 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.

SILENCE
This Sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon
about soldiers?

SHALLOW
The same Sir John, the very same. I see him
break Scoggin'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, 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.

SHALLOW
Certain, 'tis certain, very sure, very sure.
Death, 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?

SILENCE
Dead, sir.

SHALLOW
Jesu, Jesu, dead! 'A drew a good bow, and
dead! 'A shot a fine shoot. John o' Gaunt loved him well,
and betted much money on his head. Dead! 'A would
have clapped i'th' clout at twelve score, and carried 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.

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

SHALLOW
Good morrow, honest gentlemen.

BARDOLPH
I beseech you, which is Justice Shallow?

SHALLOW
I am Robert Shallow, sir, a poor esquire of
this 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.

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.

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.

BARDOLPH
Pardon, sir, I have heard the word – phrase
call you it? By this 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 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.
Enter Falstaff
Look, here comes good Sir John. Give me your good
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?

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
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, so,
so, so, so, so. Yea, marry, sir. Rafe Mouldy! Let them
appear as I call, let them do so, let them do so. Let me
see – where is Mouldy?
Enter Mouldy

MOULDY
Here, an't please you.

SHALLOW
What think you, Sir John? A good-limbed
fellow, 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 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
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.

MOULDY
Spent?

SHALLOW
Peace, fellow, peace – stand aside. Know you
where you are? For th' other, Sir John – let me see.
Simon Shadow!
Enter Shadow

FALSTAFF
Yea, marry, let me have him to sit under. He's
like to be a cold soldier.

SHALLOW
Where's Shadow?

SHADOW
Here, sir.

FALSTAFF
Shadow, whose son art thou?

SHADOW
My mother's son, sir.

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?

FALSTAFF
Shadow will serve for summer. Prick him, for
we have a number of shadows fill up the muster-book.

SHALLOW
Thomas Wart!
Enter Wart

FALSTAFF
Where's he?

WART
Here, sir.

FALSTAFF
Is thy name Wart?

WART
Yea, sir.

FALSTAFF
Thou art a very ragged Wart.

SHALLOW
Shall I prick him, Sir John?

FALSTAFF
It were superfluous, for his apparel is built
upon 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!
Enter Feeble

FEEBLE
Here, sir.

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'd ha' pricked you. Wilt thou make as many holes in
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
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
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'th' green!
Enter Bullcalf

FALSTAFF
Yea, marry, let's see Bullcalf.

BULLCALF
Here, sir.

FALSTAFF
'Fore God, a likely fellow! Come, prick Bullcalf
till he roar again.

BULLCALF
O Lord, good my lord captain –

FALSTAFF
What, dost thou roar before thou art pricked?

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.

FALSTAFF
Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a gown.
We will have away thy cold, and I will take such order
that thy 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 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?

FALSTAFF
No more of that, Master Shallow.

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 abide Master Shallow.

SHALLOW
By the mass, I could anger her to th' 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, 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?

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 watchword was ‘ Hem,
boys!’ Come, let's to dinner; come, let's to dinner.
Jesus, the days that we have seen! Come, come.
Exeunt Falstaff, Shallow, and Silence

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, 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
dame's sake stand my friend. She has nobody to do
anything 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 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's 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; th'art a good fellow.

FEEBLE
Faith, I'll bear no base mind.
Enter Falstaff and the Justices

FALSTAFF
Come, sir, which men shall I have?

SHALLOW
Four of which you please.

BARDOLPH
(aside to Falstaff)
Sir, a word with you. I have
three pound to free Mouldy and Bullcalf.

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 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 man? Care I for the limb, the thews, 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 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, 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. Thas! Thas! Thas!

FALSTAFF
Come, manage me your caliver. So, very well!
Go to, very good! Exceeding good! O, give me always
a little, lean, old, chopped, bald shot. Well said, i'faith!
Wart, th'art a good scab. Hold, there's a tester for thee.

SHALLOW
He is not his craft's master; he doth not do it
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, 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 with you. Fare you well, gentlemen both; I thank
you. I must a dozen mile tonight. Bardolph, give the
soldiers coats.

SHALLOW
Sir John, the Lord bless you! God prosper
your affairs! God send us peace! At your return, visit
my house; let our old acquaintance be renewed.
Peradventure I will with ye to the court.

FALSTAFF
'Fore God, would you would.

SHALLOW
Go to; I have spoke at a word. God keep you!

FALSTAFF
Fare you well, gentle gentlemen.
Exeunt Shallow and Silence
On, Bardolph, lead the men away.
Exeunt Bardolph and the recruits
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 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 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 monkey,
and the whores called him mandrake. 'A came ever in
the rearward of the fashion, and sung those tunes to the
overscutched housewives that he heard the carmen
whistle, and sware they were his fancies or his good-nights.
And now is this Vice's dagger become a squire,
and talks as familiarly of John o' 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 o' 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't shall 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.
Exit
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