Enter a Carrier with a lantern in his hand
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!
(within) Anon, anon.
I prithee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle, put a
few flocks in the point; poor jade is wrung in the withers
out of all cess.
Enter another 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 Ostler
Poor fellow never joyed since the price of
oats rose, it was the death of him.
I think this be the most villainous
house in all London road for fleas, I am stung like a
type of freshwater fish [with red spots on its skin]
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.
Why, they will allow us ne'er a
jordan, and then we leak in your chimney, and your
chamber-lye breeds fleas like a loach.
What, Ostler! Come away and be
hanged, come away!
I have a gammon of bacon, and two
razes of ginger, to be delivered as far as Charing Cross.
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! Hast no
faith in thee?
Good morrow, carriers, what's o'clock?
I think it be two o'clock.
I prithee lend me thy lantern, to see my
gelding in the stable.
Nay, by God, soft! I know a trick worth
two of that, i'faith.
I pray thee lend me thine.
Ay, when? Canst tell? Lend me thy
lantern, quoth he! Marry, I'll see thee hanged first.
Sirrah carrier, what time do you mean to come
Time enough to go to bed with a
candle, I warrant thee! Come, neighbour Mugs, we'll
call up the gentlemen, they will along with company, for
they have great charge.
What ho! Chamberlain!
‘ 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
layest the plot how.
Good morrow, Master Gadshill. It holds
current that I told you yesternight. There's a franklin in
landowner ranking below the gentry, rich freeholder, yeoman
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
official of the Exchequer, royal accounts officer
hath abundance of charge too, God knows what. They
are up already, and call for eggs and butter. They will
Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint Nicholas'
clerks, I'll give thee this neck.
No, I'll none of it, I pray thee keep that
for the hangman, for I know thou worshippest Saint
Nicholas, as truly as a man of falsehood may.
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 Troyans 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-landrakers, no long-staff
sixpenny strikers, none of these mad mustachio
purple-hued maltworms; but with nobility and tranquillity,
quillity, Burgomasters and great O-yeas, such as can
[unclear meaning] public crier [who shouts Oyez, ‘Hear ye’]
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
commonwealth, or rather not pray to her, but prey on
her, for they ride up and down on her, and make her
What, the commonwealth their boots?
Will she hold out water in foul way?
She will, she will, justice hath liquored her.
We steal as in a castle, cock-sure. We have the receipt
of fern-seed, we walk invisible.
Nay, by my faith, I think you are more
beholding to the night than to fern-seed for your
Give me thy hand, thou shalt have a share in
our purchase, as I am a true man.
Nay, rather let me have it as you are a
Go to, homo is a common name to all men.
Bid the Ostler bring my gelding out of the stable.
Farewell, you muddy knave.