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History of Henry IV, Part II

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Act V, Scene 1

Gloucestershire. SHALLOW’S house



  • Robert Shallow. By cock and pie, sir, you shall not away to-night. 3140
    What, Davy, I say!
  • Falstaff. You must excuse me, Master Robert Shallow.
  • Robert Shallow. I will not excuse you; you shall not be excus'd;
    shall not be admitted; there is no excuse shall serve; you
    not be excus'd. Why, Davy! 3145

Enter DAVY

  • Robert Shallow. Davy, Davy, Davy, Davy; let me see, Davy; let me see, 3150
    Davy; let me see—yea, marry, William cook, bid him come
    Sir John, you shall not be excus'd.
  • Davy. Marry, sir, thus: those precepts cannot be served; and,
    again, sir—shall we sow the headland with wheat? 3155
  • Robert Shallow. With red wheat, Davy. But for William cook—are there
    young pigeons?
  • Davy. Yes, sir. Here is now the smith's note for shoeing and
    plough-irons. 3160
  • Robert Shallow. Let it be cast, and paid. Sir John, you shall not be
  • Davy. Now, sir, a new link to the bucket must needs be had;
    sir, do you mean to stop any of William's wages about the
    lost the other day at Hinckley fair? 3165
  • Robert Shallow. 'A shall answer it. Some pigeons, Davy, a couple of
    short-legg'd hens, a joint of mutton, and any pretty little
    kickshaws, tell William cook. 3170
  • Davy. Doth the man of war stay all night, sir?
  • Robert Shallow. Yea, Davy; I will use him well. A friend i' th' court
    better than a penny in purse. Use his men well, Davy; for
    are arrant knaves and will backbite. 3175
  • Davy. No worse than they are backbitten, sir; for they have
    marvellous foul linen.
  • Davy. I beseech you, sir, to countenance William Visor of
    against Clement Perkes o' th' hill.
  • Robert Shallow. There, is many complaints, Davy, against that Visor.
    Visor is an arrant knave, on my knowledge. 3185
  • 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 serv'd your worship 3190
    sir, this eight years; an I cannot once or twice in a quarter
    bear out a knave against an honest man, I have but a very
    credit with your worship. The knave is mine honest friend,
    therefore, I beseech you, let him be countenanc'd.
  • Davy. [Exit DAVY] Where are you, Sir John? Come, come, come,
    with your boots. Give me your hand, Master Bardolph. 3200
  • Bardolph. I am glad to see your worship.
  • Robert Shallow. I thank thee with all my heart, kind Master Bardolph.
    [To the PAGE] And welcome, my tall fellow. Come, Sir John.
  • Falstaff. I'll follow you, good Master Robert Shallow. 3205
    [Exit SHALLOW] Bardolph, look to our horses. [Exeunt
    and PAGE]
    If I were sawed into quantities, I should make
    dozen of such bearded hermits' staves as Master Shallow. It
    wonderful thing to see the semblable coherence of his men's
    spirits and his. They, by observing of him, do bear 3210
    like foolish justices: he, by conversing with them, is turned
    into a justice-like serving-man. Their spirits are so married
    conjunction with the participation of society that they flock
    together in consent, like so many wild geese. If I had a suit
    Master Shallow, I would humour his men with the imputation of 3215
    being near their master; if to his men, I would curry with
    Shallow that no man could better command his servants. It is
    certain that either wise bearing or ignorant carriage is
    as men take diseases, one of another; therefore let men take
    of their company. I will devise matter enough out of this 3220
    to keep Prince Harry in continual laughter the wearing out of
    fashions, which is four terms, or two actions; and 'a shall
    without intervallums. O, it is much that a lie with a slight
    oath, and a jest with a sad brow will do with a fellow that
    had the ache in his shoulders! O, you shall see him laugh 3225
    his face be like a wet cloak ill laid up!
  • Falstaff. I come, Master Shallow; I come, Master Shallow.