• Enter Justice SHALLOW and Justice SILENCE, with MOULDY, SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, BULLCALF, and a servant or two

    SHALLOW

    Come on, come on, come on. Give me your hand, sir, give
    me your hand, sir. An early stirrer, by the rood. And how
    doth my good cousin Silence?

    SILENCE

    Good morrow, good cousin Shallow.

    SHALLOW

    5And how doth my cousin your bedfellow? And your fairest
    daughter and mine, my goddaughter Ellen?

    SILENCE

    Alas, a black ousel, cousin Shallow.

    SHALLOW

    By yea and no, sir. I dare say my cousin William is become
    a good scholar. He is at Oxford still, is he not?

    SILENCE

    10Indeed, sir, to my cost.

    SHALLOW

    He must then to the Inns o' Court shortly. I was once of
    Clement’s Inn, where I think they will talk of mad Shallow
    yet.

    SILENCE

    You were called “Lusty Shallow” then, cousin.

    SHALLOW

    15By the Mass, I was called anything, and I would have done
    anything indeed too, and roundly too. There was I, and little
    John Doit of Staffordshire, and black George Barnes, and
    Francis Pickbone, and Will Squele, a Cotswold man. You
    had not four such swinge-bucklers in all the Inns o' Court
  • Justice SHALLOW and Justice SILENCE enter. They are followed by MOULDY, SHADOW, WART, FEEBLE, BULLCALF, and a servant or two.

    SHALLOW

    Come on, come on, come on, sir. Shake my hand, sir, shake my hand. You’re an early riser, I swear. How are you, cousin Silence?

    SILENCE

    Good morning, cousin Shallow.

    SHALLOW

    And how’s my cousin, your wife? And your prettiest daughter, my fair god-daughter Ellen?

    SILENCE

    I’m afraid she’s got dark hair, cousin Shallow!

    dark hair

    Dark hair was considered unattractive.

    SHALLOW

    By gum, I bet William’s become a real scholar. He’s still at Oxford, right?

    SILENCE

    He sure is, and I’m the one who’s paying for it.

    SHALLOW

    He’ll be going to law school soon. I studied law at Clement’s Inn, where I think they still talk about crazy old Shallow.

    Clement’s Inn

    The Inns of Court are London legal colleges.

    SILENCE

    You were known as lusty Shallow back then, cousin.

    SHALLOW

    I was known as anything, I swear. And I would have done anything too, and all the way, too. I was there, and little John Doit from Staffordshire, and black-haired George Barnes, and Francis Pickbone, and Will Squele, from the Cotswolds. Since then, no law college