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To save our heads by raising of a head:1
Hot. He does, he does; we'll be reveng'd on him.
Wor. Cousin, farewell ;—No further go in this, Than I by letters shall direct your course. When time is ripe, (which will be suddenly,) I'll steal to Glendower, and lord Mortimer; Where
and Douglas, and our powers at once, (As I will fashion it,) shall happily meet, To bear our fortunes in our own strong arms, Which now we hold at much uncertainty. North. Farewell, good brother: we shall thrive,
I trust. Hot. Uncle, adieu:-0, let the hours be short, Till fields, and blows, and groans applaud our sport!
by raising of a head:] A head is a body of forces. ? The king will always, &c.] This is a natural description of the state of mind between those that have conferred, and those that have received obligations too great to be satisfied.
3 Cousin,] This was a common address in our author's time to nephews, nieces, and grandchildren.
SCENE I. Rochester. An Inn Yard.
Enter a Carrier, with a Lantern in his hand.
i Car. Heigh ho! An't 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!
Ost. [Within.] Anon, anon.
i Car. I pr’ythee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle, put a few flocks in the point; the poor jade is wrung in the withers out of all cess.
Enter another Carrier. 2 Car. Pease 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.
i Car. Poor fellow! never joyed since the price of oats rose; it was the death of him.
2 Car. I think, this be the most villainous house in all London road for fleas: I am stung like a tench.
i Car. 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.
Charles' wain-] Charles's wain is the vulgar name given to the constellation called the Bear. It is a corruption of the Chorles or Churls wain (Sax. ceonl, a countryman.)
Cut's saddle,] Cut is the name of a horse in The Witches of Lancashire, 1634, and, probably, a common one.
out of all cess.] i. e. out of all measure : the phrase being taken from a cess, tax, or subsidy.
as dank -] i. e. wet, rotten.
2 Car. Why, they will allow us ne'er a jorden, and then we leak in your chimney; and your chamber-lie breeds fleas like a loach.9
1 Car. What, ostler! come away and be hanged; come away:
2 Car. I have a gammon of bacon, and two razes of ginger, to be delivered as far as Charing
i Car. 'Odsbody! the turkies 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 a deed as drink, to break the pate of thee, I am a very villain.—Come, and be hanged:Hast no faith in thee?
Gads. Good morrow, carriers. 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.
i 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 do you mean to come to London.
2 Car. 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.
Gads. What, ho! chamberlain!
breeds fleas like a loach.] i. e. as a loach breeds. The Zoach is a very small fish, but so exceedingly prolifick, that it is seldom found without spawn in it.
Gadshill.] This thief receives his title from a place on the Kentish road, where many robberies have been committed, VOL. IV
Cham. [Within.] At hand, quoth pick-purse.?
Gads. 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.
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.
Chan. No, I'll none of it: I pr’ythee, keep that for the hangman; for, I know, thou wor
2 At hanul, quoth pick-purse.] This is, à proverbial expression often used by Green, Nashe, and other writers of the time, in whose works the cant of low conversation is preserved.
3 franklin -] is a little gentleman, perhaps an opulent frecholder
Tortescue, says the editor of The Canterbury Tales, Vol. IV. p. 202, (de L. L. Ang. c. xxix.) describes a franklain to be pater familias-magnis ditatus possessionibus. He is classed with (but after) the miles and armiyer; and is distinguished from the Libere tenentes and ralecti; though, as it should seem, the only real distinction betv een him and other freeholders, consisted in the largeness of his estate. Spelman, in voce Franklein, quotes the following passage from Trivet's French Chronicle. (MSS. Bibl. R, S. 11. 56.) “ Thomas de Brotherton filius Edwardi I. marescallus Angliæ, apres la mort de son pere esposa la fille de un Franchelyn ape'ee Alice." The historian did not think it worth his while even so mention the name of the Frankelein. Reed.
suint 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' clerks..
ship’st saint Nicholas as truly as a man of falsehood inay.
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 with me; and, thou knowest, he's no 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 long-staff, sixpenny strikers; none of these mad, mustachio purple-hued mait-worms: but with nobility, and tranquillity; burgomasters, and great oneyers;7 such as can hold in; such as will strike sooner thian speak, and speak sooner than drink, and drink sooner than pray: 8 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
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 hath liquored
5 — other Trojans ---] Trojan had a cant signification, and perhaps was only a more creditable term for a thief.
I am joined with no foot land-rakers, &c.] That is, with no padders, no wanderers on foot. No long-staff sixpenny strikers, Sno fellows that infest the road with long staffs, and knock men down for six-pence.
None of these mad mustachio, purple-hued înalt-worms,-none of those whose faces are red with drinking ale. JOIINSON.
burgomasters, and great cneyers;] Perhaps public accountunts. Some read moneyers, or bunkers.
such as can hold in; such as will strike sooner than speak, and speak sooner than drink, and drink, &-c.) Perhaps the meaning may be,-Men who will knock the traveller down sooner than speak to him; -who yet will speak to him and bid him stand, sooner than drink; (to which they are sufficiently well inclined;) and lastly, who will drink sooner than pray.