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    Act 3. Scene II

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    Chapter 10
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    SCENE II. Gloucestershire. Before SHALLOW'S house.

    Enter SHALLOW and SILENCE, meeting; MOULDY, SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, BULLCALF, a Servant or two with 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.

    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?

    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 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
    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
    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,
    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,
    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 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
    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

    BARDOLPH
    Good morrow, honest gentlemen: 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 th e 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 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
    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:
    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;
    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 the other, Sir John: let me see:
    Simon 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 to fill up the muster-book.

    SHALLOW
    Thomas 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 down, 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!

    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'ld
    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' the green!

    FALSTAFF
    Yea, marry, let's see Bullcalf.

    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?

    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 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
    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, 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
    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;
    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 watch-word was 'Hem boys!'
    Come, let's to dinner; come, let's to dinner:
    Jesus, the days that we have seen! Come, come.

    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,
    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
    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
    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.

    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.

    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 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
    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; thus, thus, thus.

    FALSTAFF
    Come, manage me your caliver. So: very well: go
    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
    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 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
    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.

    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
    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 huswives that he heard the
    carmen whistle, and swear they were his fancies or
    his good-nights. And now is this Vice's dagger
    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
    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
    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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