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Henry the Fourth Part 1

by William Shakespeare

Act 2, Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 



Henry the Fourth Part 1 Act 2 Scene 1



Rochester. An inn yard

Enter a CARRIER with a lantern in his hand

Enter a CARRIER with a lantern in his hand

FIRST CARRIER

Heigh-ho! An it be not four by the day (in the morning), I’ll be hanged. Charles’s wain (chariot – a star cluster) is over the new chimney, and yet our horse not packed (is not yet packed).—What, ostler!

ostler=horse attendant

 

FIRST 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 (right away).

 

OSTLER

(within) Anon, anon.

 

FIRST CARRIER

I prithee, Tom, beat Cut’s saddle (pound the saddle to soften it). Put a few flocks (tufts of wool) in the point (under the pommel). Poor jade (old horse) is wrung in the withers (pressed on his neck) out of all cess (constantly).

 

FIRST CARRIER

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

Enter another CARRIER

SECOND CARRIER

Peas and beans are as dank (watery) here as a dog, and that is the next way to give poor jades the bots (maggots). This house (inn) is turned upside down since Robin ostler died.

 

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 ostler died.

 

FIRST CARRIER

Poor fellow never joyed (was happy) since the price of oats rose. It was the death of him.

 

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 road (the road to London) for fleas. I am stung like a tench (red-spotted fish).

 

SECOND CARRIER

I think this be the most villainous house in all London road for fleas. I am stung like a tench.

 

FIRST CARRIER

Like a tench? By the Mass, there is ne'er a king in Christendom could be better bit than I have been since the first cock (cock-crow).

 

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 Jordan (chamber pot), and then we leak in your chimney (fireplace), and your chamber-lye (urine) breeds fleas like a loach (quick-breeding fish).

FIRST CARRIER

What, ostler, come away (come out here) and be hanged. Come away.

 

SECOND CARRIER

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.

 

FIRST CARRIER

What, ostler, come away and be hanged. Come away.

 

SECOND CARRIER

I have a gammon (haunch) of bacon and two races (roots) of ginger to be delivered as far as Charing Cross.

 

SECOND CARRIER

I have a gammon of bacon and two races 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 hear? An [if] ’twere not as good deed as drink (as good a thing as drinking) to break the pate on thee (crack open your head), I am (may I be called) a very villain. Come, and be hanged. Hast no faith (trustworthiness) in thee?

 

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. Hast no faith in thee?

 

Enter GADSHILL

Enter GADSHILL

GADSHILL

Good morrow, carriers. What’s o'clock?

 

GADSHILL

Good morrow, carriers. What’s o'clock?

 

FIRST CARRIER

I think it be two o'clock.

 

FIRST CARRIER

I think it be two o'clock.

 

GADSHILL

I prithee, lend me thy lantern to see my gelding in the stable.

 

GADSHILL

I prithee, 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.

 

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.

 

GADSHILL

(to SECOND CARRIER) I pray thee, lend me thine.

 

SECOND CARRIER

Ay, when, canst tell? “Lend me thy lantern,” quoth he.

Marry, I’ll see thee hanged first.

 

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 (arrive in) London?

 

GADSHILL

Sirrah carrier, what time do you mean to come to London?

 

SECOND CARRIER

Time enough to go to bed with a candle (after sunset), I warrant (guarantee) thee. Come, neighbour Mugs, we’ll call up (awaken) the gentlemen. They will along (want to travel) with company, for they have great charge (a lot to carry).

 

SECOND CARRIER

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.

 

Exeunt CARRIERS

Exeunt CARRIERS

GADSHILL

What ho, chamberlain (bedroom attendant)!

 

GADSHILL

What ho, chamberlain!

 

CHAMBERLAIN

(within) At hand (at your service), quoth pickpurse (as a pickpocket would say).

 

CHAMBERLAIN

(within) At hand, quoth pickpurse.

 

GADSHILL

That’s even as fair (as good) as “at hand, quoth the chamberlain,” for thou variest no more from picking of purses than giving direction (being a supervisor) doth from laboring: thou layest the plot how (you devise the plans).

 

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 laboring: thou layest the plot how.

 

Enter CHAMBERLAIN

Enter CHAMBERLAIN

CHAMBERLAIN

Good morrow, Master Gadshill. It holds current (it is still true) that [which] I told you yesternight: there’s a franklin (land owner) 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 (royal accounts officer), one that hath abundance of charge (belongings), too, God knows what. They are up already and call for eggs and butter. They will away presently.

 

CHAMBERLAIN

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.

 

GADSHILL

Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint Nicholas' clerks (robbers), I’ll give thee this neck (for hanging).

(Saint Nicholas was patron saint of travelers)

 

GADSHILL

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

 

CHAMBERLAIN

No, I’ll [have] none of it. I pray thee keep that for the hangman, for I know thou worshipest Saint Nicholas as truly as a man of falsehood (a godless man) may.

 

CHAMBERLAIN

No, I’ll none of it. I pray thee keep that for the hangman, for I know thou worshipest 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 [Falstaff] hangs with me, and thou knowest he is no starveling (not skinny). Tut, there are other Troyans (good fellows) that thou dream’st not of, the which for sport sake are content to do the profession [of thievery] some grace, that would, if matters should be looked into, for their own credit sake (reputation) make all whole (make us look good). I am joined with no foot-land-rakers (thieves without a horse), no long-staff sixpenny strikers (long-cudgeled petty vagrants), none of these mad mustachio purple-hued malt-worms (malt drunkards), but with nobility and tranquility, burgomasters (town magistrates) and great oneyers (one-of-a-kind persons), such as can hold in (keep their mouths shut), such as will strike sooner than speak, and speak sooner than drink, and drink sooner than pray, and yet, zounds (God’s wounds), I lie, for they pray continually to their saint the commonwealth (England), or rather not pray to her but prey on her, for they ride up and down on her and make her their boots (booty, plunder).

 

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 Troyans that thou dream’st 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 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 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 boots? Will she hold out water (be waterproof) in foul (muddy) way?

 

CHAMBERLAIN

What, the commonwealth their boots? Will she hold out water in foul way?

 

GADSHILL

She will, she will. Justice hath liquored her (corrupt justices have oiled her). We steal as in a castle, cocksure. We have the receipt of fern seed; we walk invisible.

(Fern seed, which was invisible, if swallowed made the person invisible)

 

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 more beholding to the night than to fern seed for your walking invisible.

 

CHAMBERLAIN

Nay, by my faith, I think you are 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 (plunder) as I am a true man (a man of honor).


CHAMBERLAIN

Nay, rather let me have it (a share) as you are a false thief.

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 (both true and false). Bid the ostler bring my gelding out of the stable. Farewell, you muddy (muddled) knave.

 

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

Exeunt

 

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