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Henry IV, Part 2

Henry IV, Part 2 Translation Act 3, Scene 2

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Enter Justice SHALLOW and Justice SILENCE, with MOULDY, SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, BULLCALF, and a servant or two

SHALLOW

Come on, come on, come on. Give me your hand, sir, giveme your hand, sir. An early stirrer, by the rood. And howdoth my good cousin Silence?

SHALLOW

Come on, come on, come on. Shake my hand, sir, shake my hand. You're an early riser, by the Holy Cross. How are you, Silence?

SILENCE

Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.

SILENCE

Good morning, good cousin Shallow. 

SHALLOW

And how doth my cousin your bedfellow? And your fairestdaughter and mine, my goddaughter Ellen?

SHALLOW

How is my cousin, your wife? And how is your beautiful daughter, my lovely goddaughter Ellen?

SILENCE

Alas, a black ousel, cousin Shallow.

SILENCE

Sadly she's got dark hair, Shallow!

SHALLOW

By yea and no, sir. I dare say my cousin William is becomea good scholar. He is at Oxford still, is he not?

SHALLOW

You win some, you lose some, sir. Well, I bet that William has become a good scholar. He's still at Oxford, right?

SILENCE

Indeed, sir, to my cost.

SILENCE

He is, sir—and I'm still having to pay for it.

SHALLOW

He must then to the Inns o' Court shortly. I was once ofClement’s Inn, where I think they will talk of mad Shallowyet.

SHALLOW

He must be moving on to study law soon. I once studied at Clement's Inn, and they still talk about crazy Shallow, even today.

SILENCE

You were called “Lusty Shallow” then, cousin.

SILENCE

I thought you were called, "Lively Shallow" back 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 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.

SHALLOW

By God, I was called anything they wanted to call me, and I would have done anything as well, without a fuss. There was me, little John Doit from Staffordshire, the dark-haired George Barnes, Francis Pickbone, and Will Squele, from the Cotswolds. Since then, in all of the Inns of Court there have been no four swashbucklers quite like us. Yet, let me tell you, we knew where to find prostitutes, and we had the best of them at our beck and call. Back then, John Falstaff—now Sir John—was just a boy and was working as a page for Thomas Mowbray, the Duke of Norfolk.

SILENCE

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

SILENCE

The same Sir John that's on his way here to recruit some soldiers?

SHALLOW

The same Sir John, the very same. I see him break Scoggin’s head at the court gate, when he was a crack not thus high; and the very same day did I fight with one Sampson Stockfish, 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.

SHALLOW

Yes, that Sir John—the very same. I saw him beat Scogan on the head at the gates of the court, when he was just a lad, only this tall. On that same day I happened to have a fight with a man called Sampson Stockfish, a fruit seller, behind Gray's Inn. Oh Jesus, Jesus, I've had some wild times! And now so many of the men I used to know are dead.  

SILENCE

We shall all follow, cousin.

SILENCE

That will be us one day.

SHALLOW

Certain, ’tis certain; very sure, very sure. Death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all. All shall die. How agood yoke of bullocks at Stamford Fair?

SHALLOW

You're right, I know you're right—that's for sure. As the Psalms say in the Bible, "death is certain." Everyone will die. What price are people charging for a good set of young bulls at Stamford Fair?

SILENCE

By my troth, cousin, I was not there.

SILENCE

I'm not sure, I wasn't there.

SHALLOW

Death is certain. Is old Dooble of your town living yet?

SHALLOW

Death is certain. Is Dooble, that old man from your hometown, still alive?

SILENCE

Dead, sir.

SILENCE

He's dead, sir. 

SHALLOW

Jesu, Jesu, dead! He drew a good bow, and dead? He shota fine shoot. John o' Gaunt loved him well, and betted much money on his head. Dead! He would have clapped i' th' clout at twelve score, and carried you a forehand shafta fourteen and fourteen and a half, that it would have done a man’s heart good to see. How a score of ewes now?

SHALLOW

Jesus, Jesus, dead! He was such a good archer, and now he's dead? He had an excellent shot! John of Gaunt loved him, and used to bet money on his incredible aim. Dead! Oh, he would have hit the target even from two hundred forty yards away! He could shoot straight at the target from two hundred eighty yards away, maybe even two hundred ninety—it was quite something to see! How much are they charging for twenty ewes now?

SILENCE

Thereafter as they be, a score of good ewes may be worth tenpounds.

SILENCE

That all depends on their quality, but twenty good ewes would be worth about ten pounds.

SHALLOW

And is old Dooble dead?

SHALLOW

But old Dooble is dead?

SILENCE

Here come two of Sir John Falstaff’s men, as I think.

SILENCE

Here come two of Sir John Falstaff's men, I think.

Enter BARDOLPH and one with him

SHALLOW

Good morrow, honest gentlemen.

SHALLOW

Good morning, honorable gentlemen.

BARDOLPH

I beseech you, which is Justice Shallow?

BARDOLPH

Please, which of you is Justice Shallow?

SHALLOW

I am Robert Shallow, sir, a poor esquire of this countyandone of the King’s justices of the peace. What is your goodpleasure with me?

SHALLOW

Sir, I am Robert Shallow—a poor gentleman of this country and one of the King's justices of the peace. What can I do for you?

BARDOLPH

My captain, sir, commends him to you, my captain, Sir JohnFalstaff, a tall gentleman, by heaven, and a most gallantleader.

BARDOLPH

My captain sends you his regards, sir. My captain is Sir John Falstaff. He is a brave gentleman and an excellent leader, I can tell you that.

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 wifedoth?

SHALLOW

It's good to hear from him. I knew him when he was a good fencer. How is the good knight? And if you don't mind me asking, how is his wife?

BARDOLPH

Sir, pardon. A soldier is better accommodated than withawife.

BARDOLPH

Sorry, sir. A soldier doesn't need a wife—he is already accommodated with everything he needs.

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 goodphrase.

SHALLOW

Well said, indeed, sir. Well said, indeed. "Accommodated with everything he needs." That's good, indeed. That's very good. Good phrases always deserve praise. Even the word, "Accommodated." It comes from the Latin word, "accommodo." Very good, a very 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 soldierlike 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 he may be thought to be accommodated, which is an excellent thing.

BARDOLPH

Sorry, sir. I know the word "accommodated"—but you call it a good phrase? I don't know anything about phrases. But I am certain that the word, "accommodated" is a good word—a word used by soldiers, an extremely good military term, that's certain. "Accommodated." You can say that a man is accommodated when he has been given what he needs, or when he is actually been given just what he needs, which is an excellent thing. 

Enter 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.

SHALLOW

Quite right. Look, here comes good Sir John.

[To FALSTAFF] Let me shake your good hand, let me shake your hand. Honestly, you look very well and like you haven't aged a bit. Welcome, good Sir John. 

FALSTAFF

I am glad to see you well, good Master Robert Shallow.—Master Sure-card, as I think?

FALSTAFF

I am glad to see you're well, good Master Robert Shallow. And this must be Master Sure-card, I think?

SHALLOW

No, Sir John. It is my cousin Silence, in commission with me.

SHALLOW

No, Sir John. This is my cousin Silence, another justice of the peace.

FALSTAFF

Good Master Silence, it well befits you should be of thepeace.

FALSTAFF

Good Master Silence, your name is very apt for a justice of the peace.

SILENCE

Your good Worship is welcome.

SILENCE

You are welcome here, your Worship.

FALSTAFF

Fie, this is hot weather, gentlemen. Have you provided mehere half a dozen sufficient men?

FALSTAFF

Damn, it's hot outside, gentleman. Have you managed to find at least six men to be soldiers for me?

SHALLOW

Marry, have we, sir. Will you sit?

SHALLOW

Indeed we have, sir. Would you like to sit down?

FALSTAFF

Let me see them, I beseech you.

FALSTAFF

Let me see them, please.

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?

SHALLOW

Where's the list? Where's the list? Where's the list? Let me see, let me see, let me see. So, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so. Right, yes, indeed.

[To MOULDY] Ralph Mouldy!

[To the recruits] Come as I call your names! Do that, make sure you do that. Let's see then, where's Mouldy?!

MOULDY

Here, an it please you.

MOULDY

Here, sir.

SHALLOW

What think you, Sir John? A good-limbed fellow; young,strong, and of good friends.

SHALLOW

What do you think, Sir John? He's got a good physique. He's young, strong, and from a good family. 

FALSTAFF

Is thy name Mouldy?

FALSTAFF

Is your name Mouldy?

MOULDY

Yea, an ’t please you.

MOULDY

Yes, sir.

FALSTAFF

'Tis the more time thou wert used.

FALSTAFF

Well, then it's time you were put to good use. 

SHALLOW

Ha, ha, ha, most excellent, i' faith! Things that are mouldylack use. Very singular good, in faith. Well said, Sir John,very well said.

SHALLOW

Ha, ha, ha, an excellent joke, indeed! Things get moldy when they aren't used. Good one, I swear. Well said, Sir John, very well said. 

FALSTAFF

Prick him.

FALSTAFF

Prick him. 

MOULDY

I was pricked well enough before, an you could have letme 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.

MOULDY

I have been pricked enough times before, when you could have just left me alone. My old lady will be ruined now, without anyone to do her farming and her housework. You didn't need to prick me—there are men much fitter than I am who could have gone instead. 

FALSTAFF

Go to. Peace, Mouldy. You shall go. Mouldy, it is time you werespent.

FALSTAFF

That's enough. Be quiet, Mouldy. You will go, Mouldy—it's time that you were used up.

MOULDY

Spent?

MOULDY

Used up?

SHALLOW

Peace, fellow, peace. Stand aside. Know you where you are? —For th' other, Sir John. Let me see. —Simon Shadow!

SHALLOW

Quiet, boy, quiet. Step aside. Don't you know where you are?

[To FALSTAFF] As for the others, Sir John, let's see who's next.

[To SHADOW] Simon Shadow!

FALSTAFF

Yea, marry, let me have him to sit under. He’s like to be acold soldier.

FALSTAFF

Great, I can use him as something to sit under. I'm sure he'll be a cool soldier. 

SHALLOW

Where’s Shadow?

SHALLOW

Where's Shadow?

SHADOW

Here, sir.

SHADOW

Here, sir. 

FALSTAFF

Shadow, whose son art thou?

FALSTAFF

Shadow, whose son are you?

SHADOW

My mother’s son, sir.

SHADOW

I am 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.

FALSTAFF

Your mother's son! That makes sense, and your father's shadow. The woman's son is actually a true reflection of the male—that's often how it goes. But normally, the son doesn't have quite as much to him as the father does. 

SHALLOW

Do you like him, Sir John?

SHALLOW

Do you approve of him, Sir John?

FALSTAFF

Shadow will serve for summer. Prick him, for we have anumber of shadows to fill up the muster book.

FALSTAFF

Shadow will be worthwhile for the summer. Prick him, we're going to need a lot of shadows to fill up this list. 

SHALLOW

Thomas Wart!

SHALLOW

Thomas Wart!

FALSTAFF

Where’s he?

FALSTAFF

Where is he?

WART

Here, sir.

WART

Here, sir. 

FALSTAFF

Is thy name Wart?

FALSTAFF

Is your name Wart?

WART

Yea, sir.

WART

Yes, sir. 

FALSTAFF

Thou art a very ragged wart.

FALSTAFF

You're a very rough wart. 

SHALLOW

Shall I prick him down, Sir John?

SHALLOW

Shall I prick him on the list, 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.

FALSTAFF

That's pointless. Can't you see, his clothing has been pieced together, and his whole body is being forced to stand up on two little pins. He's had enough pricking. Don't prick him anymore. 

SHALLOW

Ha, ha, ha. You can do it, sir, you can do it. I commend youwell.—Francis Feeble!

SHALLOW

Ha, ha, ha. That's good, sir, that's good. I have nothing but praise for you.

[To FEEBLE] Francis Feeble!

FEEBLE

Here, sir.

FEEBLE

Here, sir. 

FALSTAFF

What trade art thou, Feeble?

FALSTAFF

What trade are you in, Feeble?

FEEBLE

A woman’s tailor, sir.

FEEBLE

I'm a woman's tailor, sir. 

SHALLOW

Shall I prick him, sir?

SHALLOW

Shall I prick him, sir?

FALSTAFF

You may, but if he had been a man’s tailor, he’d ha' prickedyou.—Wilt thou make as many holes in an enemy’s battle asthou hast done in a woman’s petticoat?

FALSTAFF

You can. But, if he had been a man's tailor, he would have pricked you himself already as he measured you for your clothes. Will you make as many holes in the army of the enemy as you have done in a woman's undergarments?

FEEBLE

I will do my good will, sir. You can have no more.

FEEBLE

I'll do what I can, sir. I can't do anymore than that. 

FALSTAFF

Well said, good woman’s tailor, well said, courageous Feeble. Thou wilt be as valiant as the wrathful dove ormost magnanimous mouse. —Prick the woman’s tailor well, Master Shallow, deep, Master Shallow.

FALSTAFF

Well said, good woman's tailor! Well said, brave Feeble! You will be as courageous as an angry dove—or the most fearless mouse. Prick the woman's tailor. Do it well, Master Shallow, do it deeply, Master Shallow. 

FEEBLE

I would Wart might have gone, sir.

FEEBLE

I wish Wart were going, 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.

FALSTAFF

If you were a man's tailor, you could mend his clothes and make him prepared to go. I can't enlist him as a private soldier, when he is already a leader of thousands—thousands of vermin, that is. But forget about that now, most powerful Feeble. 

FEEBLE

It shall suffice, sir.

FEEBLE

All right, I'll leave it, sir. 

FALSTAFF

I am bound to thee, reverend Feeble.—Who is next?

FALSTAFF

I'm a fan of you, good Feeble.

[To SHALLOW] Who's next?

SHALLOW

Peter Bullcalf o' th' green.

SHALLOW

Peter Bullcalf from the Green.

FALSTAFF

Yea, marry, let’s see Bullcalf.

FALSTAFF

Oh, yes, let's see Bullcalf.

BULLCALF

Here, sir.

BULLCALF

Here, sir.

FALSTAFF

Fore God, a likely fellow. Come, prick me Bullcalf tillheroar again.

FALSTAFF

By God, he's a good man, I can tell. Come on, prick Bullcalf for me until he shouts again.

BULLCALF

O Lord, good my lord captain—

BULLCALF

Oh Lord! My good lord and captain.

FALSTAFF

What, dost thou roar before thou art pricked?

FALSTAFF

What? Are you shouting before you've even been pricked?

BULLCALF

O Lord, sir, I am a diseased man.

BULLCALF

Oh Lord, sir, I'm a very sick man.

FALSTAFF

What disease hast thou?

FALSTAFF

What disease do you have?

BULLCALF

A whoreson cold, sir, a cough, sir, which I caught withringing in the King’s affairs upon his coronation day, sir.

BULLCALF

A horrible cold, sir. And a cough, sir, which I caught when I was ringing the bell for the anniversary of the King's coronation.

FALSTAFF

Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a gown. We will have away thy cold, and I will take such order that my friends shall ring for thee .— [to SHALLOW ] Is here all?

FALSTAFF

Come on, you will just have to go to war in a dressing gown. That will help to get rid of your cold, and I will make sure that some of my friends can ring the bell while you're away.

[to SHALLOW] Is that everyone?

SHALLOW

Here is two more called than your number. You must havebut four here, sir, and so I pray you go in with me to dinner.

SHALLOW

There's two more here than you said you needed. You can take four of them. Come on, let's go and have lunch now. 

FALSTAFF

Come, I will go drink with you, but I cannot tarry dinner. Iam glad to see you, by my troth, Master Shallow.

FALSTAFF

I will come and have a drink with you, but I don't have time to stay for lunch. It is good to see you, truly it is, Master Shallow. 

SHALLOW

O, Sir John, do you remember since we lay all night in thewindmill in Saint George’s Field?

SHALLOW

Oh, Sir John, do you remember when we spent a whole night in the windmill in Saint George's Field?

FALSTAFF

No more of that, good Master Shallow, no more of that.

FALSTAFF

Let's not talk about that, good Master Shallow. Let's not.

SHALLOW

Ha, ’twas a merry night. And is Jane Nightwork alive?

SHALLOW

Ha, it was a fun night! Is Jane Nightwork still alive?

FALSTAFF

She lives, Master Shallow.

FALSTAFF

She is, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW

She never could away with me.

SHALLOW

She could never put up with me.

FALSTAFF

Never, never; she would always say she could not abideMaster Shallow.

FALSTAFF

Never, never. She always said that she just couldn't stand Master Shallow.

SHALLOW

By the Mass, I could anger her to th' heart. She was then abona roba. Doth she hold her own well?

SHALLOW

By God, I could anger her to her very heart. She was one of the best whores. Does she still have it?

FALSTAFF

Old, old, Master Shallow.

FALSTAFF

She's old, very old now, 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.

SHALLOW

Well, of course she's old—she can't help that. Of course she's old. She gave birth to Robin Nightwork, the son of old Nightwork, before I even went to Clement's Inn.

SILENCE

That’s fifty-five year ago.

SILENCE

That's fifty-five years ago now.

SHALLOW

Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that that thisknightand I have seen!—Ha, Sir John, said I well?

SHALLOW

Ha, cousin Silence. If you could have seen what this knight and I have seen!

[To FALSTAFF] Ha, Sir John, isn't that right?

FALSTAFF

We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow.

FALSTAFF

We've certainly seen the clock strike midnight a few times, Master Shallow. 

SHALLOW

That we have, that we have, that we have. In faith, SirJohn, 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.

SHALLOW

We certainly have, we certainly have. Really, Sir John, we have. Our motto was "Down with it, boys!" Come on, let's go to lunch. Jesus, the things that we've seen. Come on, let's go.

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 Iam 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.

BULLCALF

Good Master Corporate Bardolph, be my friend. And here's some French crowns for you, worth four Harry ten-shillings. Truthfully, sir, I would just as happily be hanged than go to war. It's not that I care about my own safety, that doesn't matter to me. It's just that I don't want to go. More than anything, I want to stay here with my friends. Other than that, sir, I really don't care about myself. 

BARDOLPH

Go to. Stand aside.

BARDOLPH

Whatever you say. Stand aside now.

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.

MOULDY

And, good Master Corporal Captain, for my old lady's sake, be my friend. She has no one else to help her do anything if I go, and she's old and can't take care of herself. I'll give you forty shillings, sir. 

BARDOLPH

Go to. Stand aside.

BARDOLPH

Whatever you say. Stand aside now.

FEEBLE

By my troth, I care not. A man can die but once. We oweGod 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 quitfor the next.

FEEBLE

Truthfully, I don't care. A man can only die once, and at some point we all owe God a death. I'm not going to do anything that's wrong. If it's my fate, then that's that. If it's not, then that's fine too. No man is too good to fight for his Prince and his country. No matter how it goes, if a person dies this year, then it just means their debts are paid for next year. 

BARDOLPH

Well said. Th' art a good fellow.

BARDOLPH

Very well said. You're a good man.

FEEBLE

Faith, I’ll bear no base mind.

FEEBLE

I'm telling the truth. I won't do anything dishonest. 

Enter FALSTAFF, SHALLOW, and SILENCE

FALSTAFF

Come, sir, which men shall I have?

FALSTAFF

Come on then, sir, which men shall I have?

SHALLOW

Four of which you please.

SHALLOW

Whichever four you want.

BARDOLPH

Sir, a word with you. [aside to FALSTAFF] I have three poundto free Mouldy and Bullcalf.

BARDOLPH

Sir, can I have a word?

[To FALSTAFF so that only he can hear]
I've been given three pounds to free Mouldy and Bullcalf.

FALSTAFF

Go to, well.

FALSTAFF

Right! That's fine!

SHALLOW

Come, Sir John, which four will you have?

SHALLOW

Come on, Sir John, which four men will you take?

FALSTAFF

Do you choose for me.

FALSTAFF

Why don't you choose for me?

SHALLOW

Marry, then, Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble, and Shadow.

SHALLOW

Okay then: Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble and Shadow.

FALSTAFF

Mouldy and Bullcalf! For you, Mouldy, stay at home tillyou are past service. —And for your part, Bullcalf, grow till you come unto it. I will none of you.

FALSTAFF

Mouldy and Bullcalf! You stay at home until you are too old to fight, Mouldy. And as for you, Bullcalf, you should stay at home and wait until you are old enough to fight. I don't want either of you.

Exeunt MOULDY and BULLCALF

SHALLOW

Sir John, Sir John, do not yourself wrong. They are yourlikeliest men, and I would have you served with the best.

SHALLOW

Sir John, Sir John, don't make a bad choice. They're the best men of the whole group, and I want to make sure you have 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 bigassemblance of a man? Give me the spirit, Master Shallow.Here’s Wart. You see what a ragged appearance itis. He shall charge you and discharge you with the motion of apewterer’s hammer, come off and on swifter than he thatgibbets on the brewer’s bucket. And this same half-facedfellow, Shadow, give me this man. He presents no mark tothe enemy. The foeman may with as great aim level at theedge of a penknife. And for a retreat, how swiftly will thisFeeble the woman’s tailor,run off! O, give me the sparemen, and spare me the great ones. —Put me a caliver into Wart’s hand, Bardolph.

FALSTAFF

Master Shallow, are you going to tell me how I should choose my soldiers? Do you think I only care about a man's body, power, strength, muscles, and overall appearance? Give me his spirit, Master Shallow! Look at Wart here. You can see what a tattered appearance he has. But he will load and fire with the steadiness that a pewterer has when using his hammer. He can advance and retreat as quickly as a man can refill a brewer's pail. And this little thin fellow, Shadow, let me have this man. He isn't even a proper target for the enemy. He's so thin the enemy might as well be aiming at the edge of a knife. And when it comes to retreating, this Feeble, the woman's tailor, will run away quicker than anyone else! Oh, give me the spare men and spare me the great ones!

[To BARDOLPH] Now give Wart a light musket, Bardolph. 

BARDOLPH

Hold, Wart. Traverse. Thas, thas, thas.

BARDOLPH

Here it is, Wart. Now march back and forth. March, march, march.

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.

FALSTAFF

Come on, handle your weapon. Yes, very good, very good, you're doing very well. Oh, I would always choose a little, thin, old, dried up and bald soldier. Well done, Wart. You're a good little rascal. Hang on, here's sixpence for you.

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 he would manage you his piece thus. And he would about and about, and come you in, and come you in. “Rah, tah, tah,” would he say. “Bounce,” would he say, and away again would he go, and again would he come. I shall ne'er see such a fellow.

SHALLOW

He is not exactly an expert. He's not doing it right. I remember at Mile End Green, when I was staying at Clement's Inn, I played the fool in an archery exhibition. I remember that there was this little nimble man who used to hold his weapon just like this. He would just run around all over the place, and he'd charge over and over again. He'd say, "Rah, tah, tah," and "Bang!" Then he would run away, before charging all over again. I've never seen anyone like him.

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.

FALSTAFF

These men will do well, Master Shallow.

[To SILENCE] God bless you, Master Silence. There's no need for me to say many words to you.

[To SHALLOW and SILENCE] Goodbye to both of you. Thank you for your help. I need to travel at least twelve miles tonight.

[To BARDOLPH] Give the soldiers their uniforms and their jackets, Bardolph.

SHALLOW

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

SHALLOW

Sir John, may God bless you and may he bring you good fortunes. May God also bring us peace. When you get back, come and visit us here. We can rebuild our old friendship. Maybe I will even come and see you at the royal court. 

FALSTAFF

Fore God, would you would, Master Shallow.

FALSTAFF

I swear before God that I hope you do, Master Shallow.

SHALLOW

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

SHALLOW

Get going now. I meant what I said. May God keep you safe. 

FALSTAFF

Fare you well, gentle gentlemen.

FALSTAFF

Goodbye, kind gentlemen.

Exeunt SHALLOW and SILENCE

On, Bardolph. Lead the men away.

Walk 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 he was naked, he was, for all the world, like a forked radish with a head fantastically carved upon it with a knife. He was so forlorn that his dimensions to any thick sight were invincible. He was the very genius of famine, yet lecherous as a monkey, and the whores called him “mandrake.” He came ever in the rearward of the fashion, and sung those tunes to the overscutched huswives that he heard the carmen whistle, and swore 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 he 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 andbeefs. Well, I’ll be acquainted with him, if 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 thelaw of nature but I may snap at him. Let time shape, and therean end.

When I return, I will fleece these justices of the peace. I can see Justice Shallow for who he really is. Lord, Lord, we old men are so good at lying. This old justice has done nothing but chatter on to me about his wild youth and the crazy things he did near Turnbull Street. Every third word he's said to me has been a lie. He can tell lies quicker than a Turk will rush off to pay the Sultan. I remember him when he was at Clement's Inn. He looked like a man that had been made out of a spare slice of cheese after dinner. When he was naked, he looked like a mandrake root, with a head that someone had taken the time to carve out with a knife. He was so thin that you had to have perfect vision to even notice him at all. He was the very embodiment of famine, but he was still as horny as a monkey, and the whores called him "mandrake." He was always behind on the fashions. He would hear the cart drivers whistling tunes and then would go and sing those tunes to a deadbeat whore, pretending that they were his songs, his ditties. And now this vile, thin man has become a gentleman, and talks about John of Gaunt like they were close companions. In fact, the only place he would have seen John of Gaunt was up in Westminster, when he was competing in a jousting tournament. Even then, John of Gaunt cut Shallow's head with his sword for standing where he wasn't supposed to. I saw it all and I told John of Gaunt that he had basically beaten his own name—since Shallow was so gaunt back then you could have fit all of him into the skin of an eel. Back then an oboe's case would have looked like a mansion to him—a courtroom even. And now he has land and his own animals. Well, if I come back, I will make him be my friend. It won't be easy, but I will make him a never-ending source of wealth for myself. If small fish are meant to be eaten by big fish, then I see no reason why I can't snap at his heels. Only time will decide, and with that, I'm done.

Exit

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Lani strange
About the Translator: Lani Strange

Lani is currently studying for an MA in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe. She has a BA in English and Latin Literature from the University of Warwick and worked as a Teacher of Drama for a year in between her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. She has a love for all things theatrical and spends all of her free time either watching theatre or taking part in it herself.