previous next


Gloucestershire. SHALLOW'S house.

By cock and pie, sir, you shall not
away to-night. What, Davy, I say!

You must excuse me, Master Robert

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! Enter DAVY. (9)

Here, sir.

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.

Marry, sir, thus; those precepts cannot
be served: and, again, sir, shall we sow
the headland with wheat?

With red wheat, Davy. But for William
cook: are there no young pigeons?

Yes, sir. Here is now the smith's (20)
note for shoeing and plough-irons.

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

Now, sir, a new link to the bucket
must need 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?

A' shall answer it. Some pigeons,
Davy, a couple of short-legged hens, a joint of
mutton, and any pretty little tiny kickshaws, (30)
tell William cook.

Doth the man of war stay all night,
sir ?

Yea, Davy. I will use him well: a
friend i' the court is better than a penny in
purse. Use his men well, Davy; for they are
arrant knaves, and will backbite.

No worse than they are backbitten,
sir; for they have marvellous foul linen.

Well conceited, Davy: about thy (40)
business, Davy.

I beseech you, sir, to countenance
William Visor of Woncot against Clement
Perkes of the hill.

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

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;
and if I cannot once or twice in a quarter
bear out a knave against an honest man, I
have but a very little credit with your worship.
The knave is mine honest friend, sir; therefore,
I beseech your worship, let him be

Go to; I say he shall have no wrong.
Look about, Davy. [Exit Davy.] Where are
you, Sir John? Come, come, come, off with
your boots. Give me your hand, Master Bardolph.

I am glad to see your worship.

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

I 'll follow you, good Master Robert
Shallow. [Exit Shallow.] Barlolph, look to
our horses. [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 ajustice-like
serving-man: 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 humor his 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 takediseases,
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 two
actions, and a' shall laugh withoutintervallums.
O, it is much that a lie with a slight oath
and a jest with a sad 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!

Sir John!

I come, Master Shallow; I come,
Master Shallow. [Exit.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: