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Gads. Good morrow, carrier's. What's o'clock?

1 Car. I think it be two o'clock.

Gads. I pr'ythee, lend me thy lantern, to see my gelding in the stable.

1 Car. Nay, soft, I pray ye: I know a trick worth two of that, i' faith.

Gads. I pr'ythee, lend me thine.

2 Car. Ay, when? canst tell? Lend me thy lantern, quoth a? - marry, I'll see thee hanged first.

Gads. Sirrah carrier, what time to you mean to come to London?

2 Car.


Time enough to go to bed with a candle, I warrant Come, neighbour Mugs, we'll call up the gentlemen: they will along with company, for they have great charge.

Gads. What, ho! chamberlain!

[Exeunt Carriers.

Cham. [Within.] At hand, quoth pick-purse.


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 lay'st the plot how.

Enter Chamberlain.

Cham. Good morrow, master Gadshill. It 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 knows what. They are up already, and call for eggs and butter: they will away presently.

Gads. Sirrah, if they meet not with saint Nicholas' clerks, I'll give thee this neck.

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Cham. No, I'll none of it: I pr'ythee, keep that for the hangman; for, I know, thou worship'st saint Nicholas as truly as a man of falsehood may.

Gads. 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

Tut! there are

with me, and thou knowest he s no starveling. 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 long-staff, sixpenny strikers: none of these mad, mustachio purple-hued maltworms; 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 than pray: and yet 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.

Cham. What! the commonwealth their boots? will she hold out water in foul way?

Gads. She will, she will; justice had liquored her. We steal as in a castle, cock-sure; we have the receipt of fern-seed, we walk invisible.

Cham. Nay, by my faith; I think you are more beholding to the night, than to fern-seed, for your walking invisible.

Gads. Give me thy hand: thou shalt have a share in our purchase, as I am a true man.

Cham. Nay, rather let me have it, as you are a false thief. Gads. 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.


The Road by Gadshill.

Enter Prince HENRY, and POINS; BARDOLPH and Pero, at

some distance.

Poins. Come, shelter, shelter: I have removed Falstaff's horse, and he frets like a gummed velvet.

P. Hen. Stand close.


Fal. Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins!

P. Hen. Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal! What a brawling dost thou keep?

Fal. Where's Poins, Hal?

P. Hen. He is walked up to the top of the hill: I'll go seek him. [Pretends to seek POINS.

Fal. I am accursed to rob in that thief's company; the rascal hath removed my horse, and tied him I know not where. If I travel but four foot by the squire further afoot I shall break my wind. Well, I doubt not but to die a fair death for all this, if I 'scape hanging for killing that rogue. I have forsworn his company hourly any time this two-and-twenty years, and yet I am bewitched with the rogue's company. If the rascal have not given me medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged; it could not be else: I have drunk medicines. Poins! Hal! a plague upon you both! Bardolph! Peto! - I'll starve, ere I'll rob a foot further. An 't were not as good a deed as drink, to turn true man, and leave these rogues, I am the veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth. Eight yards of uneven ground is three score and ten miles afoot with me, and the stony-hearted villains know it well enough. A plague upon 't, when thieves cannot be true to one another! [They whistle.] Whew! A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you rogues: give me my horse, and be hanged.

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P. Hen. Peace, ye fat-guts! lie down: lay thine ear close to the ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread of travellers.

Fal. Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down? 'Sblood! I'll not bear mine own flesh so far afoot again, for all the coin in thy father's exchequer. What a pleague mean ye to colt me thus?

P. Hen. Thou liest: thou art not colted, thou art uncolted. Fal. I pr'ythee, good prince Hal, help me to my horse; good king's son.

P. Hen. Out, you rogue! shall I be your ostler?

Fal. Go, hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent garters! If I be ta'en, I'll peach for this. An I have not ballads made on you all, and sung to filthy tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison: when a jest is so forward, and afoot too,

I hate it.


Gads. Stand.

Fal. So I do, against my will.


0! 't is our setter: I know his voice.

Bard. What news?

Enter BARDolph.

Gads. Case ye, case ye; on with your visors: there's money of the king's coming down the hill; 't is going to the king's exchequer.

Fal. You lie, you rogue: 't is going to the king's tavern.
Gads. There's enough to make us all.

Fal. To be hanged.

P. Hen. Sirs, you four shall front them in the narrow lane; Ned Poins and I will walk lower: if they 'scape from your encounter, then they light on us.

Peto. But how many be there of them?

Gads. Some eight, or ten.

Fal. Zounds! will they not rob us?

P. Hen. What, a coward, Sir John Paunch?

Fal. Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your grandfather; but yet no coward, Hal.

P. Hen. Well, we leave that to the proof.

Poins. Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge: when thou needest him, there thou shalt find him. Farewell, and stand fast.

Fal. Now cannot I strike him, if I should be hanged.

P. Hen. Ned, [Aside to POINS] where are our disguises?
Poins. Here, hard by: stand close.

[Exeunt P. HENRY and POINS. Fal. Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say I every man to his business.

Enter Travellers.

1 Trav. Come, neighbour: the boy shall lead our horses down the hill; we 'll walk afoot awhile, and ease our legs.

Thieves. Stand!

Trav. Jesu bless us!

Fal. Strike; down with them; cut the villains' throats. Ah!

whorson caterpillars! bacon-fed knaves! they hate us youth: down with them; fleece them.

1 Trav. O! we are undone, both we and ours, for ever.

Fal. Hang ye, gorbellied knaves. Are ye undone? No, ye fat chuffs; I would, your store were here! On, bacons, on! What! ye knaves, young men must live. You are grand-jurors are ye? We'll jure ye, i' faith.

[Exeunt FAL. &c. driving the Travellers out.

Re-enter Prince HENRY and POINS.

P. Hen. The thieves have bound the true men. Now could thou and I rob the thieves, and go merrily to London, it would be argument for a week, laughter for a month, and a good jest for ever.

Poins. Stand close; I hear them coming.

Re-enter Thieves.

Fal. Come, my masters; let us share, and then to horse before day. An the prince and Poins be not two arrant cowards, there's no equity stirring: there's no more valour in that Poins, than in a wild duck.

P. Hen.

Your money.

[Rushing out upon them.

[As they are sharing, the PRINCE and POINS set upon them. They all run away, and FALSTAFF, after a blow or two, runs away too, leaving the booty behind them.]

P. Hen. Got with much ease. Now merrily to horse:
The thieves are scatter'd, and possess'd with fear
So strongly, that they dare not meet each other;
Each takes his fellow for an officer.
Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to death,
And lards the lean earth as he walks along:
Wer't not for laughing, I should pity him.
Poins. How the rogue roar'd!


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