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Bar. Sir, a word with you. I have three pound to free Mouldy and Bullcalf.
Fal. Go to; well.
Shal. Come, sir John, which four will you have ? Fal. Do
choose for me. Shal. Marry, then,-Mouldy, Bullcalf, Feeble, and Shadow.
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 thewes, 1 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 : he 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: and this same half-faced 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
1 The muscular strength.
the spare men, and spare me the great ones. Put me a caliver 1 into Wart's hand, Bardolph.
Bar. Hold, Wart, traverse; thus, thus, thus.
Fal. Come, manage me your caliver. So :-very well :-go to :very good; exceeding good. 0, give me always a little, lean, old, chapped, bald shot. 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, (when I lay at Clement's inn ;- I was then sir Dagonet in Arthur's show) 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,' would ’a say; and away again would ’a go, and again would 'a come :-I shall never 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, Heaven bless you, and prosper your affairs, and send us peace! As you return, visit my house; let our old acquaintance be renewed: peradventure, I will with you to the court.
Fal. I would you would, master Shallow.
1 A hand-gun.
Shal. Go to; I have spoke at a word. Fare you well.
[Exeunt Shallow and Silence. Fal. Fare you well, gentle gentlemen. On, Bardolph ; lead the men away. (Exeunt Bardolph, Recruits, &c.] 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 feats he hath done about Turnbullstreet; 1 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 carved 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 over-scutched huswives that he heard the carmen whistle, and sware they were his fancies, or his good-nights. And now is this Vice's dagger 3 become a squire; and talks as familiarly of John of Gaunt, as if he had been sworn brother to him ; and I'll be sworn he never saw him but once in the Tilt-yard ; and
i In Clerkenwell.
2 Titles of little poems. 3 The buffoon, called Vice, in the old moralities, used a wooden dagger similar to that of the modern Harlequin.