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Henry IV Part 2

William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 2

page Act 3 Scene 2 Page 13

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255acquaintance be renewed. Peradventure I will with you to
the court.
a visit. Let’s renew our old friendship. Maybe I’ll even come with you to the royal court!


Fore God, would you would, Master Shallow.


I swear, I wish you would, Master Shallow.


Go to. I have spoke at a word. God keep you.


I meant what I said. May God keep you.


Fare you well, gentle gentlemen.


Farewell, gentle gentlemen.
260On, Bardolph. Lead the men away.
March, Bardolph. Lead the men away.
Exeunt BARDOLPH and the recruits
BARDOLPH and the recruits exit.
As I return, I will fetch off these justices. 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
265feats 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 he was naked, he was, for
all the world, like a forked radish with a head fantastically
270carved upon it with a knife. He was so forlorn that his
dimensions to any thick sight were invincible. He was the
very genius of famine, yet lecherous as a monkey, and the
whores called him “mandrake.” He came ever in the
rearward of the fashion, and sung those tunes to the
275overscutched huswives that he heard the carmen whistle,
and swore they were his fancies or his good-nights.
And now is this Vice’s dagger 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 he ne'er saw him but once in the
When I come back, I’ll expose these judges for the frauds that they are. I can see through this Judge Shallow. Lord, Lord; we old men sure know how to tell lies! This dried-up old judge has done nothing but go on and on to me about how wild he was when he was as a youth, and how many stunts he pulled in the seedy parts of town. Every third word he speaks is a lie, and he’ll tell lies quicker than a Turk will scramble to pay the sultan. I remember him at Clement’s Inn: he looked like a man someone carved after dinner out of a scrap of cheese. When he was naked he looked like a

mandrake root

The Turkish Sultan exacted notoriously harsh punishments on those who failed to pay him on time.

mandrake root
, with a fanciful head someone had carved in with a knife. He was so skinny that he was invisible to any man with imperfect vision; he truly was the embodiment of starvation. But he was as horny as a monkey: the whores called him “mandrake,” because mandrake stimulates the sex drive. He was always a little bit behind the times. He would hear the wagon drivers sing their songs, and then he’d go to his worn-out whores and sing them what he’d heard, pretending he had written them himself. And now this vile stick has become a landowner, and he talks about John of Gaunt like he was his own brother. I swear, he only saw Gaunt

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