Page images

Fal. 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 not much of the father's substance.


Shal. Do you like him, sir John?

Fal. Shadow will serve for summer,-prick him; -for we have a number of shadows to fill up the muster-book.

Shal. Thomas Wart!

Fal. Where's he?

Wart. Here, sir.

Fal. Is thy name Wart?

Wart. Yea, sir.

Fal. Thou art a very ragged wart.

Shal. Shall I prick him, sir John?

Fal. It were superfluous; for his apparel is built upon his back, and the whole frame stands upon pins :' prick him no more,

Shal. Ha, ha, ha!-you can do it, sir; you can do it: I commend you well.-Francis Feeble!

Feeble. Here, sir.

Fal. What trade art thou, Feeble?

Feeble. A taylor, sir.

Fal. Well said, taylor! well said, most forcible Feeble! Thou wilt be as valiant as the wrathful dove, or most magnanimous mouse.-Prick him, master Shallow. Who is next?

Shal. Peter Bull-calf of the green!

Fal. Yea, marry, let us see Bull-calf.

Bull. Here, sir.

Fal. Trust me, a likely fellow !Come, prick me Bull-calf, till he roar again.

Bull. O lord!-good my lord captain,

Fal. What, dost thou roar before thou art prick'd? Bull. O lord, sir! I am a diseas'd man.

Fal. What disease hast thou?

Bull. A whoreson cold, sir; a cough, sir; which I caught with ringing in the king's affairs, upon his coronation day, sir.

Fal. Come, thou shalt go to the wars in a gown;

we will have away thy cold; and I will take such order, that thy friends shall ring for thee.-Is here all ?

Shal. There is one more call'd than your number, you must have but four here, sir;-and so, I pray you, go in with me to dinner. [They rise. Fal. Come, I will go drink with you, but I cannot tarry dinner. I am glad to see you, in good troth, master Shallow.

Shal. O, sir John, do you remember since we lay all night in the windmill in saint George's Fields? Fal. No more of that, good master Shallow, no more of that.

Shal. Ha, it was a merry night. And is Jane Night-work alive?

Fal. She lives, master Shallow.

Shal. She could never away with me.

Fal. Never, never: she would always say, she could not abide master Shallow.

Shal. By the mass, I could anger her to the heart. She was then a bona-roba. Doth she hold her own well?

Fal. Old, old, master Shallow.

Shal. Nay, she must be old: she cannot choose but be old; certain, she's old; and had Robin Nightwork by old Night-work, before I came to Clement's


Sil. That's fifty-five years ago.

Shal. Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that that this knight and I have seen!--Ha, sir John, said I well?

Fal. We have heard the chimes at midnight, master Shallow.

Shal. That we have, that we have, that we have; in faith, sir John, we have; our watch-word was, Hem, boys!-Come, let 's to dinner; come, let's to dinner, the days that we have seen!-Come,



Bull. Good master corporate Bardolph, stand my friend; and here is four Harry ten shillings in French

crowns for you. In very truth, sir, I had as lief be hang'd, sir, as go: and yet for mine own part, sir, I do not care; but, rather, because I am 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.

Bard. Go to; (Takes the money.) Stand aside.

Moul. And good master corporal captain, for my old dame's sake, stand my friend: she has nobody to do any thing about her, when I am gone; and she is old, and cannot help herself: you shall have forty, sir.

Bard. Go to (Takes the money.) Stand aside.

[ocr errors]

Feeble. I care not ;- -a man can die but once ;-we owe heaven 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 his prince; and, let it go which way it will, he that dies this year, is quit for the next. Bard. Well said; thou 'rt a good fellow. Feeble. 'Faith, I'll bear no base mind.

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.

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. And this same half-fac'd fellow Shadow,-give me this man; he presents no mark to the enemy; the foe-man may with as great aim level at the edge of a penknife: And, for a retreat,-how swiftly will this Feeble, the taylor, run off! O, give me the spare men, and spare me the great ones.-Put me a caliver into Feeble's hand, Bardolph.

Bard. Hold, Feeble, traverse; thus, thus, thus.

Fal. Come, manage me your caliver. So :-very well:-go to:-very good:-exceeding good.-O, give me always a little, lean, old, chopp'd, bald shot!-Well said, Feeble.

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,) 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, tạh, 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.Heaven 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 renew'd: 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.


Fal. Fare you well, gentle gentlemen. Bardolph; lead the men away.


[Exeunt BARDOLPH, Recruits, and Page. I do see the bottom of justice Shallow. Lord, lord, how subject we old men are to this vice of lying! This same starv'd 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 fork'd radish, with a head fantastically carv'd 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 :-And now is this vice's dagger become a squire; 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 Tilt-yard; 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 ccl-skin; the 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 stone 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. [Exit.


A Forest in Yorkshire.

A March-then-a Parley.

Enter the Archbishop of YORK, MOWBRAY, HASTINGS, and other Gentlemen, meeting WESTMORELAND, GOWER, and other Gentlemen.

West. Health and fair greeting from our general, The prince, lord John of Lancaster.

« PreviousContinue »