Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 2 (Modern)

Enter Shallow, Falstaff, Bardolph, [and Page, followed by Davy].
By cock and pie, sir, you shall not away to night. What, Davy, I say!
You must excuse me, Master Robert Shallow.
I will not excuse you; you shall not be excused; excuses shall not be admitted; there is no excuse shall serve; you shall not be excused. Why, Davy!
Here sir.
Davy, Davy, Davy, Davy; let me see, Davy; let me see, Davy; let me see; yea, marry, William Cook, bid him come hither. Sir John, you shall not be excused.
Marry, sir, thus, those precepts cannot be served. And 2800again, sir, shall we sow the headland with wheat?
With red wheat, Davy. But for William Cook -- are there no young pigeons?
Yes, sir. Here is now the Smith's note for shoeing and plow-irons.
Let it be cast and paid. Sir John, you shall not be excused.
Now, sir, a new link to the bucket must needs be 2810had; and, sir, do you mean to stop any of William's wages, about the sack he lost at Hinckley Fair?
'A shall answer it. Some pigeons, Davy, a couple of short-legged hens, a joint of mutton, and any pretty little tiny 2815kickshaws -- tell William Cook.
Doth the man of war stay all night, sir?
Yea, Davy, I will use him well. A friend i'th'court is better then a 2820penny in purse. Use his men well, Davy, for they are errant knaves, and will backbite.
No worse than they are back-bitten, sir, for they have marvelous foul linen.
Well conceited, Davy. About thy business, Davy.
I beseech you, sir, to countenance William Visor of Woncote against Clement Perks o'th'hill.
There is many complaints, Davy, against that Visor; 2830that Visor is an errant knave on my knowledge.
I grant your worship that he is a knave, sir, but yet god forbid, sir, but a knave should have some countenance at his friends' request. An honest man, sir, is able to speak for 2835himself, when a knave is not. I have served your worship truly, sir, this eight years. An I cannot once or twice in a quarter bear out a knave against an honest man, I have litle credit with your worship. The knave is mine honest friend sir, therefore I beseech 2840you, let him be countenanced.
Go to I say, he shall have no wrong. Look about, Davy.
[Exit Davy.]
Where are you, Sir John? Come, come, come, off with your boots. 2845Give me your hand, Master Bardolph.
I am glad to see your worship.
I thank thee with my heart, kind Master Bardolph; [To the Page] and welcome my tall fellow. Come, Sir John.
I'll follow you, good Master Robert Shallow. Bardolph, look to our horses.
[Exeunt all but Falstaff.]
If I were sawed into quantities, I should make four dozen of such bearded hermits' staves as Master Shallow. It is a wonderful thing to see the semblable coherence of his men's spirits and his. They, by observing him, 2855do bear themselves like foolish justices; he, by conversing with them, is turned into a justice-like servingman. Their spirits are so married in conjunction with the participation of society, that they flock together in consent, like so many wild geese. 2860If I had a suit to Master Shallow, I would humor his men with the imputation of being near their master; if to his men, I would curry with Master Shallow that no man could better command his servants. It is certain that either wise bearing or ignorant carriage is caught as men take diseases, one of another; therefore let men take heed of their company. I will devise matter enough out of this Shallow to keep Prince Harry in continual laughter the wearing out of six fashions -- which is four terms, or two actions -- and 'a shall laugh without 2870intervallums. Oh, it is much that a lie with a slight oath and a jest with a sad brow will do with a fellow that never had the ache in his shoulders. Oh, you shall see him laugh till his face be like a wet cloak, ill laid up.
[Within] Sir John!
I come, Master Shallow, I come, Master Shallow.