Henry IV Part 2

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 2

page Act 3 Scene 2 Page 2

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SHALLOW

20again. And I may say to you, we knew where the bona robas
were and had the best of them all at commandment. Then
was Jack Falstaff, now Sir John, a boy, and page to Thomas
Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.

SHALLOW

in the world has seen four swashbucklers like us. And let me tell you this: we knew where to find the highest-quality whores, and the best of them were at our beck and call. At that time, Jack Falstaff, now Sir John, was just a boy. He worked as a page for Thomas Mowbray, the Duke of Norfolk.

SILENCE

This Sir John, cousin, that comes hither anon about soldiers?

SILENCE

Do you mean the same Sir John that’s coming here soon to recruit soldiers?

SHALLOW

25The same Sir John, the very same. I see him break Scoggin’s
head at the court gate, when he was a crack not thus high; and
the very same day did I fight with one Sampson Stockfish,
a fruiterer, behind Grey’s Inn. Jesu, Jesu, the mad days that
I have spent! And to see how many of my old acquaintance
30are dead.

SHALLOW

The same Sir John, the very same. I saw him beat Skogan upon the head when he was a little tyke, not this high. The same day, I had a fight with a guy named Sampson Stockfish. He sold fruit behind Gray’s Inn. Jesus, Jesus! I’ve had some crazy times! To think that so many of my old pals are dead!

SILENCE

We shall all follow, cousin.

SILENCE

We’ll all follow them, cousin.

SHALLOW

Certain, ’tis certain; very sure, very sure. Death, as the
Psalmist saith, is certain to all. All shall die. How a good
yoke of bullocks at Stamford Fair?

SHALLOW

Right you are, very right. That’s for sure, that’s for sure. Death, as the Psalms say, is certain. Everyone dies. How much are they getting for good young bulls at the Stamford county fair?

SILENCE

35By my troth, cousin, I was not there.

SILENCE

Truly, I wasn’t there.

SHALLOW

Death is certain. Is old Dooble of your town living yet?

SHALLOW

Death is certain. Is old Double from your hometown still alive?

SILENCE

Dead, sir.

SILENCE

Dead, sir.

SHALLOW

Jesu, Jesu, dead! He drew a good bow, and dead? He shot a
fine shoot. John o' Gaunt loved him well, and betted much
40money on his head. Dead! He would have clapped i' th'
clout at twelve score, and carried you a forehand shaft a
fourteen and fourteen and a half, that it would have done a
man’s heart good to see. How a score of ewes now?

SHALLOW

Jesus, Jesus, dead! He was a good archer, and dead! He could fire one heck of a shot. John of Gaunt loved him, and used to wager on his shooting. Dead! He could hit a target from two hundred and forty yards, and he could shoot a straight arrow two hundred and eighty yards—maybe even two hundred and ninety. That was something to see. How much are they getting for twenty ewes?

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