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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 : Jesu, the days that we have seen ! come, come.
[Exeunt FALSTAFF, SHALLOW, and SILENCE. Bull. Good Master Corporate Bardolph, stand my friend; and here's four Harry ten shillings 20 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, mine own part, so much.
Bard. Go to; 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 ; stand aside.
Fee. By my troth, I care not; a man can die but once ; we owe God 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's prince; and, let it go which way it will, he that dies this
year is quit for the next.
Re-enter FALSTAFF, SHALLOW, and SILENCE.
Bard. Sir, a word with you : I have three pound 21 to free Mouldy and Bullcalf.
20 There were no coins of ten shillings' value in Henry the Fourth's time. Shakespeare's Harry ten shillings were those of Henry VII. or Henry VIII.
21 Bardolph was to have four pound: perhaps he means to conceal part of his profit.
Fal. Go to; well.
Fal. Mouldy and Bullcalf: - for you, Mouldy, stay at home till you are past service; -and for your part, Bullcalf, 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 served with the best.
Fal. Will you tell me, Master Shallow, how to choose a man? Care I for the limb, the thews,22 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 : 'a 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.23 And this same halffaced 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 24 into Wart's hand, Bardolph.
Bard. Hold, Wart, traverse ; 25 thus, thus, thus.
22 Shakespeare uses thews in a sense almost peculiar to himself, for muscular strength or sinews. In ancient writers, thews generally signifies manners, behaviour, or qualities of the mind or disposition; in which sense it is used by Chaucer, Spenser, Ben Jonson, and others.
23 Johnson explains this from a personal acquaintance with the terms of the brewery Swifter than he who puts the buckets on the beam, or gibbet, that passes across his shoulders, in order to carry the beer from the vat to the barrel."
24 A caliver was lighter than a musket, and was fired without a rest.
25 Traverse was an ancient military term for march. “Traverse," says Bullokar, " to march up and down, or to move the feet with proportion, as in dancing."
- very well :
Fal. Come, manage me your caliver. So: go to : -- very good ; exceeding good. -O, give me always a little, lean, old, chapp'd, bald shot.26 — 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,27 when I lay at Clement's-Inn,- I was then Sir Dagonet in Arthur's show, 28 —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 29 would 'a say; and away again would ’a go, and again would 'a come : I shall ne'er 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, the Lord bless you ! God prosper your affairs ! God send us peace! As you return, visit my house ;
26 Shot for shooter. So in the Exercise of Arms, 1609: "First of all is in this figure showed to every shot how he shall stand and march, and carry his caliver." — Well said was used where we should say " well done."
27 Mile-End Green was the place for public sports and exercises. Stowe mentions that, in 1585, four thousand citizens were trained and exercised there.
28 Arthur's show was an exhibition of archers, styling themselves the Auncient Order, Society and Unitie laudable of Prince Arthure and his Knightly Armory of the Round Table.” The members were fifty-eight in number, taking the names of the knights in the romantic history of that chivalric worthy. This society was established by charter under King Henry the Eighth, who, "when he saw a good archer indeede, chose him and ordained such a one for a knight of this order." Shakespeare has heightened the ridicule of Shallow's vanity and folly, by making him boast that he was Sir Dagonet, who is represented in the romance as King Arthur's Fool. - Quiver is nimble, active, spry.
29 Bounce was used, as we use bang, to express the report of a gun. See vol. x. page 36, note 52. — It is hardly needful to say that in “manage you," "come you in,” &c., the you is simply expletive. The Poet has a great many such.
let our old acquaintance be renewed : peradventure I will with you to the Court.
Fal. 'Fore God, I would you would, Master Shallow.
Shal. Go to; I have spoke at a word. 30 well.
Fal. Fare you well, gentle gentleman. [Exeunt SHALLow and SILENCE.]— On, Bardolph ; lead the men away. [Exeunt BARDOLPH, Recruits, &c.]- As I return, I will fetch off these justices : 31 I do see the bottom of Justice Shallow. Lord, Lord, how subject we old men are to this vice of lying! This same starved 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 'a was naked, he was, for all the world, like a forked radish, with a head fantastically carved upon it with a knife ; 'a was so forlorn, that his dimensions to any thick sight were invisible : 'a was the very genius of famine ; yet lecherous as a monkey, and the whores call’d him mandrake : 'a came ever in the rearward of the fashion ; and
sung those tunes to the overscutch'd 32 huswives that he heard the carmen whistle, and sware they were his Fancies or his Good-nights.33 And now is this Vice's dag
30 At a word is an old phrase for in short or in brief. Shallow means that he'll keep his word; or that one word from him is as good as a hundred.
31 The equivalent language of our time is, “I will come it over these justices.” How he will do this, appears a little further on.— The implied pun on Shallow in bottom is obvious enough.
32 Scutch'd is commonly explained to mean the same as switched or whipped. — The passage aptly hits off a perpetual sort of people who never find out what the fashion is, till it has passed away. Antony gives a like character to Lepidus in Julius Cæsar.
33 The old Poets sometimes called their slight lyrical effusions by the name of Fancies and Good-nights.
ger34 become a squire, and talks as familiarly of John o' Gaunt as if he had been sworn brother to him ; and I'll be. sworn 'a ne'er saw him but once in the Tilt-yard ; and then he burst 35 his head for crowding among the marshal's men. I saw it, and told John o' Gaunt he beat his own name; for you might have thrust him and all his apparel into an eel-skin ; the case of a treble hautboy was a mansion for him, a court : and now has he land and beeves. Well, I'll be acquainted with him, if I return; and it shall go hard but I'll make him a philosopher's two stones to me :
37 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.
Gaultree Forest in Yorkshire.
Enter the Archbishop of YORK, MOWBRAY, HASTINGS, and
Arch. What is this forest call'd ?
Arch. Here stand, my lords; and send discoverers forth To know the numbers of our enemies.
Hast. We have sent forth already.
34 There is something excessively ludicrous in the comparison of Shallow to this powerless weapon of that droll personage, the old Vice or Fool. See vol. v. page 222, note 17.
35 Burst, brast, and broken were formerly synonymous. 36 That he was gaunter than Gaunt.
87 This is only a humorous exaggerative way of expressing, “He shall be more than the philosopher's stone to me, or twice as good." “ It shall go hard but I will make" means " It must be a hard task indeed, if I do not Work it through." See vol. ii. page 225, note 11.