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Home » Quotes » Henry IV Pt 2 » As I return, I will fetch off these justices

As I return, I will fetch off these justices

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 Turnbull Street, and every third word a
lie, duer paid to the hearer than the Turk’s tribute.

Lord, Lord, how subject we old men are to this vice of lying

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 overscutched 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 tilt-yard, and then he burst his head
for crowding among the Marshal’s men. I saw it
and told John o’ Gaunt he beat his own name, for
you might have thrust him and all his apparel into
an eel-skin; the case of a treble hautboy was a
mansion for him, a court. And now has he land and
beefs. Well, I’ll be acquainted with him if I return,
and ’t shall go hard but I’ll make him a philosopher’s
two stones to me. If the young dace be a
bait for the old pike, I see no reason in the law of
nature but I may snap at him. Let time shape, and
there an end.
  He exits.

Act 3
Scene 2
Line 310

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