Page images
PDF
EPUB

Bard. Well said; thou'rt a good fellow.
Fee. 'Faith I'll bear no base mind.

Re-enter FALSTAFF, and Justices. Fal. Come, sir, which men shall I have? Shal. Four, of which you please.

Bard. Sir, a word with you :-I have three pound to free Mouldy and Bull-calf 63.

Fal. Go to; well.
Shal. Come, sir John, which four will you have?
Fal. Do

you

choose for me. Shal. Marry then,-Mouldy, Bull-calf, Feeble, and Shadow.

Fal, Mouldy, and Bull-calf :-For you, Mouldy, stay at home still ; you are past service:-and, for your part, Bull-calf,-grow till you come unto it; I will none of you.

Shal, Sir John, sir John, do not yourself wrong ; they are your likeliest men, and I would have you serv'd with the best.

Fal. 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: he shall charge you, and discharge you, with the motion of a pewterer's hammer; come off, and on, swifter than he that gibbets on the brewer's bucket 64. 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 swiftly 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 6s into Wart's hand, Bardolph.

Bard. Hold, Wart, traverse; thus, thus, thus.

Fal. Come, manage me your caliver. So:-_very well:-go to:-very good :-exceeding good.-0, give me always a little, lean, old, chapp'd, bald shot.-Well said, i'faith Wart; thou'rt a good scab: hold, there's a tester for thee.

Shal. 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 66,) 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: rah, tah, tah, would 'a say; bounce, would a' say; and away again would 'a go, and again would 'a come:- I shall never see such a fellow.

Fal. 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.

Shal. Sir John, heaven bless you, and prosper your affairs, and send us peace! As you return, visit my house; let our old acquaintance be renewed: peradventure, I will with you to the court.

Fal. I would you would, master Shallow.

Shal. Go to; I have spoke, at a word. Fare you well,

[Exeunt Shallow and Silence. Fal. Fare you well, gentle gentlemen. On, Bardolph; lead the men away. (Exeunt Bardolph, Recruits, &c.] 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 stary'd justice hath done nothing but prate to me of the wildness of his youth, and the feats he hath done about Turnbull street 67; and

every third word a lie, duer paid to the hearer than the Turk's tribute. I do remember him at Clement'sinn, like a man made after supper of a cheese-paring: when he was naked, he was, for all the world, like a fork'd radish, with a head fantastically carved upon it with a knife: he was so forlorn, that his dimensions to any thick sight were invisible: he was the very Genius of famine; yet lecherous as a monkey, and the whores call'd him-mandrake: he came ever in the rearward of the fashion; and sung those tubes to the over-scutch'd huswifes that he heard the carmen whistle, and sware--they were his fancies, or his good-nights 68. And now is this Vice's dagger become a squire 69; and talks as familiarly of John of Gaunt, as if he had been sworn brother to him: and I'll be sworn he never saw him but once in the Tiltyard; and then he burst his head, for crowding among the marshal's men. I saw it; and told John of Gaunt, he beat his own name: for you might have truss'd him, and all his apparel, into an eel-skin; the

[graphic]

case of a treble hautboy was a mansion for him, a court; and now has he land and beeves. Well; I will be acquainted with him, if I return: and it shall go hard, but I will 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. Let time shape, and there an end. [Exeunt.

ACT IV. SCENE I.

A Forest in Yorkshire.

Enter the Archbishop of York, MOWBRAY, Hast

INGS, and others.

Arch. What is this forest call'd?
Hast. 'Tis Gaultree forest, an't shall please your

grace. Arch. Here stand, my lords; and send discoverers

forth,
To know the numbers of our enemies.

Hast. We have sent forth already.
Arch.

'Tis well done.
My friends, and brethren in these great affairs,
I must acquaint you that I have receiv'd
New-dated letters from Northumberland;
Their cold intent, tenour and substance, thus:-
Here doth he wish his person, with such powers
As might hold sortance with his quality,
The which he could not levy; whereupon
He is retird, to ripe his growing fortunes,
To Scotland: and concludes in hearty prayers,
That your attempts may overlive the hazard,
And fearful meeting of their opposite.
Mowb. Thus do the hopes we have in him touch

ground,

« PreviousContinue »