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ACT V. SCENE I. 


Gloucestershire. SHALLOW'S house

Enter SHALLOW, FALSTAFF, BARDOLPH, and PAGE

 SHALLOW.

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

 FALSTAFF.

You must excuse me, Master Robert Shallow.

 SHALLOW.

I will not excuse you; you shall not be excus'd; excuses
shall not be admitted; there is no excuse shall serve; you shall
not be excus'd. Why, Davy!

Enter DAVY

 DAVY.

Here, sir.

 SHALLOW.

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 excus'd.

 DAVY.

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

 SHALLOW.

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.

 SHALLOW.

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 fair?

 SHALLOW.

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

 DAVY.

Doth the man of war stay all night, sir?

 SHALLOW.

Yea, Davy; I will use him well. A friend i' th' 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 backbitten, sir; for they have
marvellous foul linen.

 SHALLOW.

Well conceited, Davy- about thy business, Davy.

 DAVY.

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

 SHALLOW.

There, is 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 serv'd your worship truly,
sir, this eight years; an 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 you, let him be countenanc'd.

 SHALLOW.

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.

 BARDOLPH.

I am glad to see your worship.

 SHALLOW.

I thank thee with all my heart, kind Master Bardolph.
[To the PAGE] And welcome, my tall fellow. Come, Sir John.

 FALSTAFF.

I'll follow you, good Master Robert Shallow.
[Exit SHALLOW] Bardolph, 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 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 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 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 'a 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 laid up!

 SHALLOW.

[Within] Sir John!

 FALSTAFF.

I come, Master Shallow; I come, Master Shallow.

Exit

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