Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Rosemary Gaby
Peer Reviewed

Henry IV, Part 1 (Modern)


[2.1]
Enter a Carrier with a lantern in his hand.
635First Carrier Heigh-ho! An it be not four by the day, I'll be hanged. Charles's Wain is over the new chimney, and yet our horse not packed. What, ostler!
Ostler [Within] Anon, anon!
First Carrier I prithee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle, put a few flocks in 640the point. Poor jade is wrung in the withers, out of all cess.
Enter another Carrier.
Second Carrier Peas and beans are as dank here as a dog, and that is the next way to give poor jades the bots. This house is turned 645upside down since Robin Ostler died.
First Carrier Poor fellow never joyed since the price of oats rose; it was the death of him.
Second Carrier I think this be the most villainous house in all London 650road for fleas. I am stung like a tench.
First Carrier Like a tench? By the mass, there is ne'er a king Christian could be better bit than I have been since the first cock.
Second Carrier Why, they will allow us ne'er a jordan, and then we 655leak in your chimney, and your chamber-lye breeds fleas like a loach.
First Carrier What, ostler! Come away and be hanged, come away!
Second Carrier I have a gammon of bacon and two races of 660ginger to be delivered as far as Charing Cross.
First Carrier God's body, the turkeys in my pannier are quite starved! What, ostler! A plague on thee, hast thou never an eye in thy head? Canst not hear? An 'twere not as good deed as drink to break the pate on thee, I am a very villain. Come, and be hanged! 665Hast no faith in thee?
Enter Gadshill.
Gadshill Good morrow, carriers. What's o'clock?
First Carrier I think it be two o'clock.
Gadshill I prithee lend me thy lantern to see my gelding in the 670stable.
First Carrier Nay, by god, soft. I know a trick worth two of that, i'faith.
Gadshill [To Second Carrier] I pray thee, lend me thine.
Second Carrier Ay, when? Canst tell? "Lend me thy lantern," quoth he. 675Marry, I'll see thee hanged first.
Gadshill Sirrah carrier, what time do you mean to come to London?
Second Carrier Time enough to go to bed with a candle, I warrant thee. Come, neighbor Mugs, we'll call up the gentlemen. 680They will along with company, for they have great charge.
Exeunt [Carriers].
Enter Chamberlain.
Gadshill What ho, chamberlain!
Chamberlain "At hand, quoth pickpurse."
685Gadshill That's even as fair as "at hand, quoth the chamberlain," for thou variest no more from picking of purses than giving direction doth from laboring: thou layest the plot how.
Chamberlain Good morrow, Master Gadshill. It holds current that 690I told you yesternight. There's a franklin in the Weald of Kent hath brought three hundred marks with him in gold. I heard him tell it to one of his company last night at supper, a kind of auditor, one that hath abundance of charge too, god knows what. They are up already, and call for eggs and butter; they will 695away presently.
Gadshill Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint Nicholas's clerks, I'll give thee this neck.
Chamberlain No, I'll none of it: I pray thee keep that for the 700hangman, for I know thou worshippest Saint Nicholas as truly as a man of falsehood may.
Gadshill What talkest thou to me of the hangman? If I hang, I'll make a fat pair of gallows, for if I hang, old Sir John hangs with me, and thou knowest he is no starveling. Tut, there are other 705Trojans that thou dreamest not of, the which for sport's sake are content to do the profession some grace, that would, if matters should be looked into, for their own credit's sake make all whole. I am joined with no foot-landrakers, no 710long-staff sixpenny strikers, none of these mad mustachio purple-hued maltworms, but with nobility and tranquility, burgomasters and great oneyers; such as can hold in, such as will strike sooner than speak, and speak sooner than drink, and drink sooner than pray. And yet, zounds, I lie, for they pray continually to their saint the 715commonwealth; or rather, not pray to her, but prey on her; for they ride up and down on her and make her their boots.
Chamberlain What, the commonwealth their boots? Will she hold out water in foul way?
720Gadshill She will, she will, justice hath liquored her. We steal as in a castle, cocksure; we have the recipe of fernseed, we walk invisible.
Chamberlain Nay, by my faith, I think you are more beholding to the night than to fernseed for your walking invisible.
Gadshill Give me thy hand; thou shalt have a share in our purchase, as I am a true man.
Chamberlain Nay, rather let me have it as you are a false thief.
Gadshill Go to, "homo" is a common name to all men. Bid the ostler bring my gelding out of the stable. Farewell, you muddy knave.
[Exeunt.]