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no excuse shall serve ; you shall not be excused.Why, Davy!

Enter Davy. Davy. Here, sir.

SHAL. Davy, Davy, Davy,—let me see, Davy; let me see :-yea, marry, William cook, bid him come hithero.—Sir John, you shall not be excused.

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


cited by him, from Decker, in a note in the third Scene of this Act : " By these comfits and carraways,&c. BLAKEWAY.

The following passage in A Catechisme, containing the Summe of Religion, &c. by George Giffard, 1583, will show that this word was not considered as a corruption of the Sacred Name: Men

suppose that they do not offende when they do not sweare falsly; and because they will not take the name of God to abuse it, they sware by small thinges, as by cocke and pye, by the mouse foote, and many other suche like.” Boswell.

s I will not excuse you ; &c.] The sterility of Justice Shallow's wit is admirably described, in thus making him, by one of the finest strokes of nature, so often vary his phrase, to express one and the same thing, and that the commonest. WARBURTON. WILLIAM COOK, bid him come hither.] It appears

from this instance, as well as many others, that anciently the lower orders of people had no surnames, or, if they had, were only called by the titles of their several professions. The cook of William Canynge, the royal Merchant of Bristol, lies buried there under a flat stone, near the monument of his master, in the beautiful church of St. Mary Redcliffe. On this stone are represented the ensigns of his trade, a skimmer and a knife. His epitaph is as follows : “ Hic jacet Willmø Coke quondam serviens Willm? Canynges mercatoris villä Bristoll ; cujus animæ propitietur Deus.” Lazarillo, in The Woman-Hater of Beaumont and Fletcher, expresses a wish to have his tomb ornamented in a like

for others' glorious shields, “ Give me a voider; and above


“ For a trutch sword, my naked knife stuck up."

STEEVENS. those PRECEPTs cannot be served :) Precept is a justice's warrant. To the offices which Falstaff gives Davy in the follow



Shal. With red wheat, Davy. But for William cook ;--Are there no young pigeons ?

Davy. Yes, sir.Here is now the smith's note, for shoeing, and plough irons.

Shal. Let it be cast®, and paid :-sir John, you shall not be excused.

Davy. Now, sir, a new link to the bucket must needs be had :-And, sir, do you mean to stop any of William's wages, about the sack he lost the other day at Hinckley fairo ?

Shal. He shall answer it:--Some pigeons, Davy; a couple of short-legged hens; a joint of mutton; and any pretty little tiny kickshaws, tell William cook.

Davy. Doth the man of war stay all night, sir?

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

Davy. No worse than they are back-bitten, sir ; for they have marvellous foul linen.

Shal. Well conceited, Davy. About thy business, Davy.

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



ing scene, may be added that of justice's clerk. Davy has almost as many employments as Scrub in The Stratagem. Johnson. 8 Let it be cast,] That is, cast up, computed. M. Mason. HINCKLEY fair?] Hinckley is a town in Leicester.

Steevens. A friend i' the court, &c.] So, in Chaucer's Romaunt of the Rose, v. 5540 :

Friendship is more than cattell
For frende in courte aie better is,

Than peny is in purse, certis.” GREY. A friend in court is worth a penny in purse,” is one of Camden's proverbial sentences. See his Remaines, 4to. 1605.


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

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 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 countenanced.

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

BARD. I am glad to see your worship.

Shal. I thank thee with all my heart, kind master Bardolph :-and welcome, my tall fellow'. [To the Page yp.] Come, sir John. . [Exit SHALLOW.

* Folio, these. + This direction is not in the old copies.


and if I cannot once or twice in a quarter bear out a knave,” &c.] This is no exaggerated picture of the course of justice in those days. The Lord Keeper, Sir Nicholas Bacon, in his speech to both houses of parliament, 1559, says, “is it not a monstrous disguising to have a justice a maintainer, acquitting some for gain, enditing others for malice, bearing with him as his servant, overthrowing the other as his enemy." D'Ewes, p. 34. And he uses the same words in another speech, 1571, ibid. 153. A member of the house of commons, in 1601, says, “ A justice of peace is a living creature yet [read that] for half a dozen chickens will dispense with half a dozen penal statutes.-- If a warrant come from the lord of the council to levy a hundred men, he will levy two hundred, and what with chopping in and chusing out, he'll gain a hundred pounds by the bargain : nay,

he will write the warrant himself, and you must put two shillings in his pocket as his clerk's fee (when God knows he keeps but two or three hindes,) for his better maintenance." P. 661. BLAKEWAY.

3 - my TALL fellow.] Whether the epithet tall, in the pre

FAL. I'll follow you, good master Robert Shallow. Bardolph, look to our horses. [Exeunt BARDOLPH and Page.] If I were sawed into quantities, I should make four dozen of such bearded hermit's staves as master Shallow *. It is a wonderful thing, to see the semblable coherence of his men's spirits and his: They, by observing him, do bear themselves like foolish justices; he, by conversing with them, is turned into a justice-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 humour his men, with the imputation of being near their mastero: if to his men I would curry with master Shallow, that no man could better command his servants. tain, that either wise bearing or ignorant carriage,

It is cer


sent instance, is used with reference to the diminutive size of the page or has the ancient signification-gallant, let the reader determine. Thus, in Chapman's version of the eleventh Iliad :

as little suffer I “ In this same tall exploit of thine.” Steevens. 3 bearded hermit's staves —] He had before called him the starved justice. His want of flesh is a standing jest.

Johnson. master Shallow.] Shallow's folly seems to have been almost proverbial. So, in Decker's Satiromastix, 1602: “ — We must have false fires to amaze these spangle babies, these true heirs of master Justice Shallow." STEEVENS.

- they flock together in consent,] i. e. in concentu, or in one mind, one party. So, Macbeth :


shall cleave to my consent." See vol. xi. p. 92, n. 3, and note on King Henry VI. Part I. Act I. Sc. I. line 5. The word, however, may be derived from consensio, consensus, Lat. STEEvens.

"-in concent,” i. e. in union, in accord. In our author's time the word in this sense was written concent, (as it here is in the old copy,) and that spelling continued to Cowley's time. See Davideis, book iii. :

“ Learning consent and concord from his lyre.” MALONE.

Near their master:] i. e. admitted to their master's confidence. STEEVENS.



is caught, as men take diseases, 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 he shall laugh 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 never had the ache' in his shoulders !

O, you shall see him laugh, till his face be like a wet cloak ill

. Shal. [Within.] Sir John!

FAL. I come, master Shallow : I come, master Shallow.


laid up



A Room in the Palace.

Enter WARWICK, and the Lord Chief Justice. WAR. How now, my lord chief justice ? whither

away ?

Ch. Just. How doth the king ?
WAR. Exceeding well ; his cares are now all

Ch. Just. I hope, not dead.

He's walk'd the way of nature; And, to our purposes, he lives no more.



- two actions,] There is something humorous in making a spendthrift compute time by the operation of an action for debt.

JOHNSON. a sad brow,] i. e. a serious face. So, in The Winter's Tale : “My father and the gentlemen are in sad talk."

Steevens. fellow that never had the ache -] That is, a young fellow, one whose disposition to merriment time and pain have not yet impaired. Johnson,


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