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Henry IV, Part 2

Henry IV, Part 2 Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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Enter SHALLOW, FALSTAFF, PAGE, and BARDOLPH

SHALLOW

By cock and pie, sir, you shall not away tonight.—What,Davy, I say!

SHALLOW

By God, you're not going anywhere tonight.

[Shouting offstage] Hey, Davy, I say!

FALSTAFF

You must excuse me, Master Robert Shallow.

FALSTAFF

You must excuse me, Master Robert Shallow. 

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!

SHALLOW

I'm not going to excuse you. You shall not be excused. Excuses will not be allowed. No excuse is good enough, you will not be excused!

[Shouting offstage] Hey, Davy!

Enter DAVY

DAVY

Here, sir.

DAVY

Here, sir. 

SHALLOW

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.

SHALLOW

Davy, Davy, Day, Davy, let me see, Davy. Let me see, Davy, let me see. Yes, all right, go and tell William the cook to come here.

[To FALSTAFF] Sir John, you are not excused. 

DAVY

Marry, sir, thus: those precepts cannot be served. And again,sir, shall we sow the hade land with wheat?

DAVY

Well, sir, the thing is that those warrants can't be served. And, I repeat, sir, is it time to plant wheat at the side of the fields?

SHALLOW

With red wheat, Davy. But for William cook, are there noyoung pigeons?

SHALLOW

It's time to plant some red wheat, Davy. As for William the cook, are there any young pigeons?

DAVY

Yes, sir. Here is now the smith’s note for shoeing and plowirons.

DAVY

Yes, sir. Here is the bill from the blacksmith for the horseshoes and the plow irons.

SHALLOW

Let it be cast and paid.—Sir John, you shall not be excused.

SHALLOW

Add it all up and then pay it.

[To FALSTAFF] Anyway, Sir John, you will not be excused. 

DAVY

Now, sir, a new link to the bucket must needs be had. And, sir, do you mean to stop any of William’s wages about the sack he lost the other day at Hinckley Fair?

DAVY

Now, sir, we need to get a new rope for the bucket. Also, sir, are you going to make William pay for that wine he lost the other day at Hinckley Fair?

SHALLOW

He shall answer it. Some pigeons, Davy, a couple of short-legged hens, a joint of mutton, and any pretty little tiny kickshaws, tell William cook.

SHALLOW

He will pay for it. Davy, tell William the cook to prepare some pigeons, a couple of short-legged hens, a shoulder of lamb, and any pretty little fancy side dishes he wants to make. 

DAVY

Doth the man of war stay all night, sir?

DAVY

Is the soldier going to stay for the whole night, sir?

SHALLOW

Yea, Davy. I will use him well. A friend i' th' court is betterthan a penny in purse. Use his men well, Davy, for theyarearrant knaves and will backbite.

SHALLOW

Yes, Davy, and I'm going to take very good care of him. Having a friend in the court is more useful than having money in your purse. Look after his men, Davy—they're complete rascals and will bite at you. 

DAVY

No worse than they are back-bitten, sir, for they havemarvellous foul linen.

DAVY

Sir, it can't be worse than they've already been bitten, for their clothes definitely have fleas.

SHALLOW

Well-conceited, Davy. About thy business, Davy.

SHALLOW

Very witty. Now run along, Davy, you have things to do. 

DAVY

I beseech you, sir, to countenance William Visor of Woncotagainst Clement Perkes o' th' hill.

DAVY

And I beg you, sir, to rule in favor of William Visor of Woncot, in his case against Clement Perkes of the hill. 

SHALLOW

There is many complaints, Davy, against that Visor. ThatVisor is an arrant knave, on my knowledge.

SHALLOW

Davy, there have been many complaints made about that Visor. He is a complete rogue, as far as I know. 

DAVY

I grant your Worship that he is a knave, sir, but yet, God forbid, sir, but a knave should have some countenance at his friend’s request. An honest man, sir, is able to speak for himself when a knave is not. I have served your Worship truly, sir, this eight years; an if I cannot once or twice in a quarter bear out a knave against an honest man, I have a very little credit with your Worship. The knave is mine honest friend, sir; therefore I beseech you let him be countenanced.

DAVY

I will admit that he is a bit of a rogue, sir. But, by God, even a rogue should be granted a favor when his friend asks for it. Sir, an honest man is allowed to speak for himself, whereas a rogue cannot. I have served your Worship faithfully for eight years, sir. And if I can't convince you to support the rogue instead of the honest man every once in a while, then I clearly don't mean that much to you. This rogue is my true friend, sir, so I'm asking you to help him out here. 

SHALLOW

Go to, I say he shall have no wrong. Look about, Davy.

SHALLOW

Enough of that, I promise you he won't be wronged. Now, off you go, Davy. 

Exit DAVY

Where are you, Sir John? Come, come, come, off with yourboots.—Give me your hand, Master Bardolph.

Where are you, Sir John? Come, come, come, take your boots off.

[To BARDOLPH] Shake my hand, Master Bardolph. 

BARDOLPH

I am glad to see your Worship.

BARDOLPH

I am happy to see your Worship.

SHALLOW

I thank thee with all my heart, kind Master Bardolph, [to thePAGE] and welcome, my tall fellow.—Come, Sir John.

SHALLOW

I thank you with all my heart, kind Master Bardolph.

[To the PAGE]
Welcome to you, you tall fellow.

[To FALSTAFF] Come on, Sir John. 

FALSTAFF

I’ll follow you, good Master Robert Shallow.

FALSTAFF

I'm right behind you, good Master Robert Shallow. 

Exit SHALLOW

Bardolph, look to our horses.

Bardolph, get the horses ready. 

Exeunt BARDOLPH and PAGE

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 of him, do 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. If I had a suit to Master Shallow, I would humorhis 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 twoactions, and a' shall laugh without intervallums. O, itis much that a lie with a slight oath and a jest with asad brow will do with a fellow that never had the ache in his shoulders. O, you shall see him laugh till his face be like a wet cloak ill laid up.

If I were cut into little bits, I would make four dozen bearded sticks—and that would look just like Master Shallow. It's lovely to see the obvious similarities between his men's characters and his own. They've clearly been watching him, and now they all act like foolish judges as well. Likewise, he has been talking to them and has become something in between a judge and a servant. Their spirits are joined in such an intimate union that when they come together it is like a flock of wild geese flying together. If I needed a favor from Master Shallow, I would pretend to his men that I was a close friend of their master. If I needed something from his men, I would flatter Master Shallow, telling him that he was the best master to his servants. What is certain is that both the behavior of a wise man and that of a stupid one can be caught from other men, in the same way we catch diseases. Therefore, it is important to be careful about the company you keep. I could think up enough to say about this Shallow to keep Prince Harry laughing for at least a year. And, a year from now, the fashions will have changed six times, two lawsuits will have been decided, and Harry will still be laughing without stopping. Oh, a lie told with some honesty and a joke that is delivered with some seriousness will be enjoyed by a lad who's young and carefree, not weighed down by anything. You will see him laugh until his face looks like a wet coat that's been hung up badly to dry—that's how wrinkled it will be. 

SHALLOW

[within] Sir John.

SHALLOW

[Offstage] Sir John.

FALSTAFF

I come, Master Shallow; I come, Master Shallow.

FALSTAFF

I'm coming, Master Shallow, I'm coming. 

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.