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  • Title: Henry IV, Part 2 (Modern)
  • Editor: Rosemary Gaby

  • Copyright Rosemary Gaby. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Rosemary Gaby
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Henry IV, Part 2 (Modern)

    Enter Justice Shallow and Justice
    Shallow Come on, come on, come on, sir, give me your 1535hand, 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 goddaughter 1540Ellen?
    Silence Alas, a black ouzel, 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?
    1545Silence 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.
    1550Shallow 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 Cotswold man. You had not four such swinge-bucklers in all the Inns 1555o'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.
    1560Silence This Sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon about soldiers?
    Shallow The same Sir John, the very same. I see him break Skoggin's head at the Court gate, when 'a was a crack, not thus high; and the very same day did I fight with one Samson 1565Stockfish, a fruiterer, behind Grey'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 1570psalmist saith, is certain to all. All shall die. How a good yoke of bullocks at Samforth fair?
    Silence By my troth, I was not there.
    Shallow Death is certain. Is old Double of your town living yet?
    1575Silence 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 1580fourteen 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.
    1585Shallow And is old Double dead?
    Silence Here come two of Sir John Falstaff's men, as I think.
    Enter Bardolph and [the page].
    Good morrow, honest gentlemen.
    1590Bardolph 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 pleasure with me?
    Bardolph My captain, sir, commends him to you -- my 1595captain, 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?
    1600Bardolph 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 1605commendable. "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 1610soldier-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.
    Enter Sir John Falstaff.
    Shallow It is very just. 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.
    1620Falstaff I am glad to see you well, good Master Robert Shallow. [To Silence] 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 1625the 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?
    1630Falstaff Let me see them, I beseech you.
    [They sit.]
    Shallow Where's the roll? Where's the roll? Where's the roll? Let me see, let me see, so, so, so, so, so, so, so. Yea, marry, sir -- Rafe Moldy! -- let them appear as I call, let them do so, let them do so. Let me see, where is Moldy?
    Moldy Here, an it please you.
    Shallow What think you Sir John? A good limbed fellow, young, strong, and of good friends.
    Falstaff Is thy name Moldy?
    1640Moldy Yea, an't please you.
    Falstaff 'Tis the more time thou wert used.
    Shallow Ha, ha, ha, most excellent i'faith: things that are moldy lack use. Very singular good, in faith. Well said, Sir John, very well said.
    Falstaff Prick him.
    Moldy 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 Moldy, you shall go, Moldy. It is time you were spent.
    Moldy Spent?
    Shallow Peace fellow, peace, stand aside. Know you where you 1655are? For th'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?
    1660Shadow 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 1665often so indeed -- but not 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!
    Falstaff Where's he?
    Wart Here sir.
    Falstaff Is thy name Wart?
    1675Wart 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, 1680and 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!
    1685Feeble Here sir.
    Shallow 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.
    1695Falstaff 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.
    1700Feeble 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.
    1705Feeble It shall suffice, sir.
    Falstaff I am bound to thee, reverend Feeble. Who is next?
    Shallow Peter Bullcalf o'th'green.
    Falstaff Yea, marry, let's see Bullcalf.
    1710Bullcalf 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?
    1715Bullcalf 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.
    1720Falstaff 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 1725dinner.
    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 1730in 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?
    1735Falstaff 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 1740then 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.
    1745Silence 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.
    1755Bullcalf 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, 1760else, sir, I did not care for mine own part so much.
    Bardolph Go to, stand aside.
    Moldy And good master corporal captain, for my old dame's sake, stand my friend, she has nobody to do anything about 1765her 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 1770destiny, 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.
    1775Falstaff 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 Moldy and Bullcalf.
    Falstaff Go to, well.
    1780Shallow Come, Sir John, which four will you have?
    Falstaff Do you choose for me.
    Shallow Marry then: Moldy, Bullcalf, Feeble, and Shadow.
    Falstaff Moldy and Bullcalf: for you, Moldy, stay at home, till 1785you 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.
    1790Falstaff 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 1795discharge 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 1800swiftly 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 [Giving Wart the caliver] Hold Wart, travers thus, thus, thus.
    1805Falstaff 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. [Giving Wart a coin] Hold, there's a tester for thee.
    Shallow He is not his craft's master; he doth not do it right. I 1810remember 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. 1815"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 1820well 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 our house; let 1825our 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.
    1830Falstaff Fare you well, gentle gentlemen. On Bardolph, lead the men away.
    [Exeunt all but Falstaff.]
    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 1835of 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 invisible. 'A was the very genius of famine, yet lecherous as a 1843.1monkey, and the whores called him mandrake. 'A came ever in the rearward of the fashion, and sung those tunes to the 1844.1overscutched housewives that he heard the Carmen whistle, and swore they were his fancies or his good-nights. And now is 1845this 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 1850saw 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 1855if I return, and't shall go hard, but I'll 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, till time shape, and there an end.