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Gads. That's ev'n 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.
Chan. Good-morrow, master. Gads-hill; 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 prefently.
Gads. Sirrah, if they meet not with * St. Nicholas' clerks, I'll give thec this neck.
Cham. No, I'll none of it: I pr’ythee, keep that for the hangman; for I know thou worshipp'it St. Nicholas as truly as a man of falfhood may.
Gads. What'talk'st thou to me of hangman? if I hang, I'll make a fat pair of gallows. For if I hang, old Sir John hangs with me, and thou know'st, he's no ftarveling. Tut, there are other Trojans that thou dream'st not of, the which, for sport-fake, are content to do the profesfion some grace; that would, if matters should be look'd into, for their own credit sake, make all whole. I am, join'd with no footland-rakers, no long-staff-fix-penny-strikers, none of those mad Mustachio-purple-hu'd-malt-worms; but with nobility and tranquillity; burgomasters, and great Moneyers; such as can hold in, such as will ftrike sooner than speak; and speak sooner than think; and think sooner than pray; and yet I lie, for they pray continually unto their Saint the Common-wealth ; or rather, not pray to her, but prey on her; for they ride up and down on her, and make her-their boots.
* St. Nicholas' clerks,} St. Nicholas was the Patron Saint of Scholars : And Nicholas, or Old Nick, is a cant Name for the Devil. Hence he equivocally calls Robbers, St. Nicholas's Clerks. Vol: V.
Cham. What, the common-wealth their boots ? will she hold out water in foul way?
Gads. She will, she will ; justice hath liquor'd her. We steal as in a castle, cock-fure; we have the receipt of Fern-seed, we walk invisible.
Cham. Nay, I think rather, you are more beholden to the night, than the 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 Bid the oftler bring my Gelding out of the ftable. Farewel, ye muddy knave. (Exeunt.
S CE N E III.
Changes to the Highway. Enter Prince Henry, Poins, and Peto. Poins. TOME, shelter, shelter; I have removed
Falstaff's horse, and he frets like a gumm’d 'velvet. P. Henry. Stand close.
Enter Falstaff. Fal. Poins, Poins, and be hanged, Poins ! P. Henry. Peace, ye fat-kidney'd rascal, what a brawling dost thou keep? · Fal. What, Poins ! Hal!
P. Henry. He is walk'd up to the top of the hill, I'll go seek him. Fal. I am accurft to rob in that thief's c
company : the rascal hath remov'd my horse, and tyd him, i know not where. If I travel but four foot by the square farther 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 year, and yet I am bewitch'd with the rogue's company. If the rascal have not given me medicines to make me love him, I'll be hang'd; it could not be elfe; I have drunk medicines. Poins!. Hal! a Plague upon you both. Bardolph! Peto! I'll starve, ere I'll rob a foot further. An'twere not as good a deed as to drink, to turn true-man, and to leave these rogues, I am the veriest varlet that ever chew'd with a tooth. Eight yards of uneven ground, is threescore and ten miles afoot with me: and the ftony-hearted villains know it well enough. A plague upon’t, when thieves cannot be tråe one to another. They whifle. Whew!-a plague upon you all. Give me my borse ; you rogues, give me my horse, and be hang'd.
P. Henry. Peace, ye fat guts, lie down, lay thine ear clofe to the ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread of travellers.
Fal. Have you any leavers 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 plague mean ye, to colt me thus ?
P. Henry. Thou lielt, thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.
Fal. I pr’ythee, good Prince Hal, help me to my horse, good King's son.
P. Henry. Out, you rogue! shall I be your oftler?
Fal. Gó hang thyself in thy 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.
Enter Gads-hill and Bardolph.
Poins. O, 'tis our Setter, I know his voice : Bardolph, what news?
Bard. Case ye, case ye; on with your visors ; there's money of the King's coming down the hill, 'tis going to the King's Exchequer.
Fal. You lie, you rogue, 'tis going to the King's tavern.
Gads. There's enough to make us all.
P. Henry. 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
Peto. But how many be of them ?
Fal. Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your grandfather; but yet no coward, Hal.
P. Henry. Well, we'll leave that to the proof.
Poins. Sirrah, Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge; when thou need’ft him, there shalt thou find him ; farewel, and stand fast
Fal. Now cannot I strike him, if I lhould be hang'd
P. Henry. Ned, where are our disguises ?
Fal. Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, fay I; every man to his business.
SC EN E IV.
horses down the hill : we'll walk a foot a while, and ease our legs.
Fal. Strike; down with them, cut the villains' throats ; ah ! whoreson caterpillars; bacon-fed knaves ; they hate us youth ; down with them, fleece them.
Trav. O, we are undone, both we and ours for
Fal. Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are you 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.
[Here they rob and bind them: Exeunt.
Enter Prince Henry and Poins. P. Henry. 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 jeft for ever.
Poins. Stand close, I hear then coming.
Enter Thieves again.
P. Henry. Your money.
them. They all run away, and Falstaff after a