ACT 2, SCENE I: Rochester. An inn yard.

Enter a Carrier with a lantern in his hand.

First Carrier: Heigh-ho! an it be not four by the
day, I'll be hanged: Charles' 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,                                               [5]
put a few flocks in the 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 upside down since Robin                          [10]
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 is the most villanous
house in all London road for fleas: I am stung like a                        [15]
tench.

First Carrier: Like a tench! by the mass, there is
ne'er a king christen could be better bit than I have
been since the first cock.

Second Carrier: Why, they will allow us ne'er a                                             [20]
jordan, and then we leak in your chimney; and your
chamber-lie 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                                             [25]
two razes of ginger, 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                        [30]
hear? An 'twere not as good deed as drink, to break
the pate on thee, I am a very villain. Come, and be
hanged! hast no faith in thee?

Enter GADSHILL.

GADSHILL: Good morrow, carriers. What's o'clock?

First Carrier: I think it be two o'clock.                                                               [35]

GADSHILL: I pray thee lend me thy lantern, to see my
gelding in the stable.

First Carrier: Nay, by God, soft; I know a trick
worth two of that, i' faith.

GADSHILL: I pray thee, lend me thine.                                                            [40]

Second Carrier: Ay, when? canst tell? Lend me
thy lantern, quoth he? marry, 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                                          [45]
candle, I warrant thee. Come, neighbour Mugs, we'll
call up the gentleman: they will along with company,
for they have great charge.

[Exeunt carriers.]

GADSHILL: What, ho! chamberlain!

Chamberlain: [Within] At hand, quoth pick-purse.                                      [50]

GADSHILL: 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 labouring;
thou layest the plot how.

Enter Chamberlain.

Chamberlain: Good morrow, Master Gadshill. It                                          [55]
holds current that I told you yesternight: there's a
franklin in the wild 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                        [60]
knows what. They are up already, and call for eggs and
butter; they will away presently.

GADSHILL: Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint
Nicholas' clerks, I'll give thee this neck.

Chamberlain: No, I'll none of it: I pray thee keep                                         [65]
that for the hangman; for I know thou worshippest
St. 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                 [70]
starveling. Tut! there are other Trojans that thou
dreamest not of, the which for sport sake are content to
do the profession some grace; that would, if matters
should be looked into, for their own credit sake, make
all whole. I am joined with no foot-land rakers, no                         [75]
long-staff sixpenny strikers, none of these mad
mustachio purple-hued malt-worms; but with nobility
and tranquillity, burgomasters and great oneyers,
such as can hold in, such as will strike sooner than
speak, and speak sooner than drink, and drink sooner                    [80]
than pray: and yet, 'zounds, I lie; for they pray
continually to their saint, the commonwealth; 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                                              [85]
boots? will she hold out water in foul way?

GADSHILL: She will, she will; justice hath liquored
her. We steal as in a castle, cocksure; we have the
receipt of fern-seed, we walk invisible.

Chamberlain: Nay, by my faith, I think you are                                              [90]
more beholding to the night than to fern-seed 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                                     [95]
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.]


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